Inside this new love, die Your way begins on the other side Become the sky Take an axe to the prison wall Escape Walk out like someone suddenly born into colour Do it now You're covered with thick cloud Slide out the side. Die, and be quiet Quietness is the surest sign that you have died Your old life was a frantic running from silence The speechless full moon comes out now.
Don't forget who's taking you home and in whose arms you're going to be. Darlin', save the last dance for me. Doc Pomus I could (yet can't) break out of this prison for drunks I did not come here of my own accord, and i cannot leave that way Whoever brought me here will have to take me home. Rumi.
When the great Judeo-Christian-Islamic flood subsided, a vineyard was planted and grapes were grown and pressed into wine. We are told these things mainly to get to Noah's intoxication, which seems to have been the first significant event in this "new" world. We are not told whether God approved of this; but according to legend, Ham took offense at his Father's condition and was cursed with eternal servitude,
Legend also has it that Jesus' first miracle was turning water to wine. Wine was served at the Passover meal. (How much wine? well we know that none of the apostles could stay awake while Jesus prayed.) Passersby thought the followers of Jesus were drunk at Pentacost, and Peter agreed that receiving the Holy Spirit seemed a lot like intoxication.
It is the Sufi poet/mystics who make the greatest use of wine and intoxication as metaphors for spiritual experience, nor is it mere metaphor, Drinking and dancing and celebrating have been a part of religious experience throughout time and space. In the Western Hemisphere, alcohol was less often used but mescaline and coca leaves took their place as promptors of religious and spiritual experience. The real or fictional Yaqui shaman who mentored the experiences of Carlos Casteneda finally admitted to him that Peyote was not necessary to produce these experiences, but that people sometimes need Peyote to prove to themselves that mystical experiences are real.
Since i came from that minority of believers (mostly Buddhists, Muslims and Fundamentalist Protestants) who make it a practice to avoid alcohol and drugs in the spiritual experience, my adventures with "strong drink" have been mainly secular and too often negative. Had i not been lucky enough to become a diabetic at an early age, i'm fairly sure that i would have proven myself to be an alcoholic (and believe me, i have enough problems already.) I was often embarrassed, thrice nearly injured, twice came close to losing jobs, and once almost got arrested (i probably could have lost my job that time also.) So i will never discover for myself whether intoxication can enhance spiritual experience.
But that's o.k., it isn't the wine, Rumi suggests, that draws and warms the lovers heart, it is love itself; and no existing thing, no drink, no woman, no-thing can satisfy the lover's need for love. But love can be satisfied by the non-existent ground of existence, by Allah, by the Tao.