Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Non-existence, Zikr, and Freedom

Dear Friends

Rumi explains why we should persevere with zikr / remembrance / meditation…

The light of the senses and spirit of our fathers
is not totally perishable like the grass,
but, like the stars and moonbeams,
they vanish in the radiance of the Sun.

It's like the naked man who jumped into the water,
so that he might escape from the hornets' stings:
the hornets circled above him, and whenever
he put out his head they would not spare him.

The water is recollection of God,
and the hornet is the thought, during this time,
of such-and-such a woman or man.

Hold your breath in the water of remembrance and show strength,
so you may be freed from old thoughts and temptations.
After that, you yourself will assume
the nature of that pure water, entirely from head to foot.

As the noxious hornet flees from the water,
so will it be afraid of approaching you.

After that be far from the water, if you wish;
for in your inmost soul you are of the same nature as the water,

Those persons then, who have passed from the world
are not non-existent, but they are absorbed in the attributes of God,
even as the star disappears in the presence of the sun.

[IV, 432-3;435-43]

…This is an exquisite piece of imagery and continues to linger in my soul…


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