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Some Comments On A Sufi Poem

I posted this poem a couple of days ago without comment because i thought the poem perfectly expressed its meaning.  But now i want to comment on one aspect of it.  The poem seems to describe a series of miraculous events: a word full of strangers suddenly becomes a world full of potentiaol friends; a universe full of roseless thorns suddenly becomes a universe full of thornless roses; a life full of despair and groaning becomes a life full of joy;  separateness becomes togetherness; division becomes unity; what used to matter greatly now matters not at all.  Here is a fragment of that poem:

I thought that in this whole world
     no beloved for me remained.

Then I left myself.
     Now no stranger in the world remains.

I used to see in every object a thorn
     but never a rose--

the universe became a rose garden.
     Not a single thorn remains.

I don't know how it happened--.

-- from Quarrel
Poetry Chaikhana | Sacred Poetry from Around the World

You can call it a miracle if you want.  I am stasrting to like that word.  You can also see a simple example of cause and effect.  If i change my attitude or my perspective, the whole universe changes from my point of view.

If i don't really care that much about roses and am terribly annoyed by thorns, i will pay diminished attention to roses and  increassed attention to thorns.  Eventually "every object" will be essentially thorny,  If i learn to appreciate roses and accept thorns, i will pay increasing attention to roses and less attention to thorns, until the roses appear to be magnivicent and everywhere and the thorns becomes almost unnoticable (unless i stick myself). "The universe becomes a rose garden."

The mystic simply takes this process one step farther.

But i don't need to become a mystic right now.  It is enough for me that the beauty of the world seems to outweigh its ugliness, rather than the other way around.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 23rd, 2018 04:39 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you shared your thoughts on the poem, sir. When I first read it, what struck me was how it seemed to describe the growth and change of perspective inside. Now through you I see how the through line extends from myself out into the world around me. Becoming The Change I Want To See indeed. Thank you for sharing.
Sep. 23rd, 2018 10:47 pm (UTC)
Because i have a neurological impairment which males it more difficult to distinguish between empirical reality and my view of it, i can cross rather easily from seeing material reality as "real" and seeing it as "illusion." Like many so-called disorders this is both a curse and a blessing. As my awareness of my condition has grown, i have been able to minimize the curse and maximize the blessing. The key is to not use my condition as an excuse for "bad" behavior. This is certainly no substitute for spiritual or mystical insight but it can produce some of the same results. For me "accepting thorns and appreciating roses" is only a short step away from "the universe has become a rose garden" without a thorn in sight.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )



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