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Jerry Katz
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Issue #2774, Saturday, March 31, 2007, Editor: Mark


The spirit
likes to dress up like this:
ten fingers,
ten toes,

shoulders, and all the rest
at night
in the black branches,
in the morning

in the blue branches
of the world.
It could float, of course,
but would rather

plumb rough matter.
Airy and shapeless thing,
it needs
the metaphor of the body,

lime and appetite,
the oceanic fluids;
it needs the body's world,

and imagination
and the dark hug of time,
and tangibility,

to be understood,
to be more than pure light
that burns
where no one is --

so it enters us --
in the morning
shines from brute comfort
like a stitch of lightning;

and at night
lights up the deep and wondrous
drownings of the body
like a star.

- Mary Oliver, from Dream Work

You make a hundred resolutions to journey somewhere:
He draws you somewhere else.
He turns the horse's bridle in every direction
that the untrained horse may gain knowledge of the rider.
The clever horse is well-paced
because it knows a rider is mounted upon it.
He fixed your heart on a hundred passionate desires,
disappointed you, and then broke your heart.
Since He broke the wings of your first intention,
how do you doubt the existence of the Wing-breaker?
Since His ordainment snapped the cord of contrivance,
how can you remain blind to His Command?

- Rumi, Mathnawi III: 4456-4461, version by Camille and Kabir Helminski, Rumi: Jewels of Remembrance - posted to SufiMystic

Q: What is this big talk about elimination of the self? How can the self eliminate itself? What kind of metaphysical acrobatics can lead to the disappearance of the acrobat? In the end he will reappear, mightily proud of his disappearing.

M: You need not chase the "I am" to kill it. You cannot. All you need is a sincere longing for reality. We call it atma-bhakti, the love of the Supreme: or moksha-sankalpa, the determination to be free from the false. Without love, and will inspired by love, nothing can be done. Merely talking about Reality without doing anything about it is self-defeating. There must be love in the relation between the person who says "I am" and the observer of that "I am." As long as the observer, the inner self, the 'higher' self, considers himself apart from the observed, the 'lower' self, despises it and condemns it, the situation is hopeless. It is only when the observer (vyakta) accepts the person (vyakti) as a projection of manifestation of himself, and, so to say, takes the self into the Self, the duality of 'I' and 'this' goes and in the identity of the outer and the inner the Supreme Reality manifests itself.

This union of the seer and the seen happens when the seer becomes conscious of himself as the seer; he is not merely interested in the seen, which he is anyhow, but also interested in being interested, giving attention to attention, aware of being aware. Affectionate awareness is the crucial factor that brings Reality into focus.

-Nisargadatta Maharaj from I Am That: Talks with Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

Understand the obstructions you are putting in the way of love, freedom, and happiness and they will drop. Turn on the light of awareness and the darkness will disappear. Happiness is not something you acquire; love is not something you produce; love is not something you have; love is something that has you.

- Anthony de Mello

speaking of love...

I started
To speak
About love
Drawing out words
And images
Which, slow at first
Kept welling up
Flowing faster
Than I could draw -

And then they burst out
Like a fountain.

I fell silent
Just watching
This endless spring

When thirsty,
I drink.
Tired, I doze off.
All is
As it should

- Yosy Flug, from Allspirit

Whenever Love speaks to Love, speaks of Love, whenever something is spoken about Love that is true, there’s an igniting that happens, this delirious wild party of celebration when it hears itself praised or even spoken of. And gratitude, the speaking of it, from it, brings it here to earth, brings it alive, in us, with us, to us, builds it an altar here. This is what these hands are for, these eyes are for, this heart is for--a perpetual building of an altar for Love.

Give ownership of yourself over to Love. Let Love have you. Let Love have everything. Let yourself sit tall in this room, filled with your own beauty and grandeur. As though you are wearing the crown of Love. I don't care what you were doing, thinking or feeling ten minutes ago, in this moment you can enter the fire. Everything is burned, and you emerge clean. You emerge as Love.

- Jeannie Zandi

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