...except for me and my monkey! "Everything we see hides another thing. We always want to see what is hidden by what we see." -Rene Magritte

Friday, January 28, 2005

Mysticism 101: Rumi Sez...

This poem came up in conversation tonight. Since I first heard of it while taking the Mysticism class at the U of O over the summer, it's been a jumping-off point and point of meditation in my own spiritual/religious beliefs and practices. The translation is by Coleman Barks in The Essential Rumi. Here is "Love Dogs," by the medieval Sufi poet Jalaluddin Rumi:

One night a man was crying,
Allah! Allah!
His lips grew sweet with the praising,
until a cynic said,
"So! I have heard you
calling out, but have you ever
gotten any response?"

The man had no answer to that.
He quit praying and fell into a confused sleep.

He dreamed he saw Khidr, the guide of souls
in a thick, green foliage.
"Why did you stop praising?"
"Because I've never heard anything back."
"This longing
You express is the return message."

The grief you cry out from
draws you into union.

Your pure sadness
that wants help
is the secret cup.

Listen for the moan of a dog for its master.
That whining is the connection.

There are love dogs
no one knows the names of.

Give your life
to be one of them.

This is in danger of devolving into sap, but I thought of these song lyrics during the same conversation: "I'll Be Your Mirror" by the Velvet Underground:

I'll be your mirror
Reflect what you are, in case you don't know
I'll be the wind, the rain and the sunset
The light on your door to show that you're home

When you think the night has seen your mind
That inside you're twisted and unkind
Let me stand to show that you are blind
Please put down your hands
'Cause I see you

I find it hard to believe you don't know
The beauty that you are
But if you don't let me be your eyes
A hand in your darkness, so you won't be afraid

When you think the night has seen your mind
That inside you're twisted and unkind
Let me stand to show that you are blind
Please put down your hands
'Cause I see you

I'll be your mirror.


I could also post a whole bunch of Rilke, but I'll save that for later.