I Have Learned So Much

I Have Learned So Much

I
Have
Learned
So much from God
That I can no longer
Call
Myself

A Christian, a Hindu, a Muslim,
a Buddhist, a Jew.

The Truth has shared so much of Itself
With me

That I can no longer call myself
A man, a woman, an angel,
Or even a pure
Soul.

Love has
Befriended Hafiz so completely
It has turned to ash
And freed
Me

Of every concept and image
my mind has ever known.

~Hafiz

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A Thousand Brilliant Lies

Someone Should Start Laughing

I have a thousand brilliant lies
For the question:

How are you?

I have a thousand brilliant lies
For the question:

What is God?

If you think that the Truth can be known
From words,

If you think that the Sun and the Ocean

Can pass through that tiny opening
Called the mouth,

O, someone should start laughing!

Someone should start wildly Laughing –
Now!

~ Hafiz

Barbarians

“…night is here but the barbarians have not come.
And some people arrived from the borders,
And said that there are no longer any barbarians.

And note what shall become off us without any barbarians?
Those people were some kind of solution.”

Constantine Cavafy, Waiting for the Barbarians

Autumn Floods

The autumn floods had come.  Thousands of wild torrents poured furiously into the Yellow River.  It surged and flooded its banks until, looking across, you could not tell an ox from a horse on the other side.  Then the River God laughed, delighted to think that ll the beauty in the world had fallen into his keeping.  So downstream he swung, until he came to the ocean.  There he looked out over the waves, toward the empty horizon in the east and his face fell.  Gazing out at the far horizon he came to his senses and murmured to the Ocean God: “Well, the proverb is right.  He who has go timslef a hundred ideas thinks he knows more than anybody else.  Such a one am I.  Only now do I see what they mean by EXPANSE!”

 

 

The Ocean God replied:

“Can you talk about the sea

To a frog in a well?

Can you talk about ice

To dragonflies?

Can you talk about he way of Life

To a doctor of philosophy?

 

“Of all the waters in the world

The Ocean is greatest.

All the rivers pour into it

Day and night;

 

It is never filled.

It gives back its waters

Day and night;

 

It is never emptied.

In dry season

It is not lowered.

In floodtime

It does not rise.

Greater than all other waters!

There is no measure to tell

How much greater!

But am I proud of it?

What am I under heaven?

What am I without Yang and Yin?

Compared with the sky

I am a little rock,

A scrub oak

On the mountainside:

Shall I act as if I were something?

 

Of all the beings that exist (and there are millions), man is only one.  Among the millions of men that live on earth, the civilized people that live by farming are only a small proportion.  Smaller still the number of those who having office or fortune, travel by carriage or by boat.  And of all these, one man in his carriage is nothing more than the tip of a hair on a horse’s flank.  Why, then, all the fuss about great men and great offices?  Why all the disputations of scholars? Why all the wrangling of politicians?

 

There are no fixed limits

Time does not stand still.

Nothing endures,

Nothing is final.

You cannot lay hold

OF the end or the beginning.

He who is wise nees near and far

As the same,

Does not despise the small

Or value the great;

Where all the standards differ

How can you compare?

With one glane

He takes in past and present,

Without sorrow for the pas

Or impatience with the present.

All is in movement.

He has experience

Of fullness and emptiness.

He does not rejoice in success

Or lament in failure

The game is never ocer

Birth and death are even

The terms are not final.

 

~Thomas Merton; The Way of Chuang Tzu

What is there Beyond Knowing?

What is there beyond knowing that keeps
calling to me?  I can’t

turn in any direcion
but it’s there.  I don’t mean

the leaves’ grip and shine or even the thrush’s
silk song, but the far-off

fires, for example,
of the stars, heaven’s slowly turning

theater of light, or the wind
playful with its breath;

or time that’s always rushing forward or standing still

in the same moment.

What I know
I could put into a pack

as if it were bread and cheese, and carry it
on one shoulder,

important and honorable, but SO small!
While everything else continues, unexplained

and unexplainable.

How wonderful it is
to follow a thought quietly

to its logical end.
I have done this a few times.

But mostly I just stand in the dark field,
in the middle of the world,

breathing,

in and out.

Life so far doesn’t have any other name
but breath & light,
wind and rain.

If there’s a temple, I haven’t found it yet.

I simply go on drifting, in the heaven of the grass
and
the weeds.

~ The Divine Mary Oliver,  Poet who inspires me

Only Breath

This is a prelude to a new post coming tomorrow about the recognition of my loss of identity and others’ need for ‘the story’.

Not
Christian or
Jew or
Muslim

Not
Hindu
Buddhist
Sufi
or Zen.

Not
any religion
or
cultural system.

I
am
not

from the
East
or the
West.

Not
out
of the ocean

or
up from
the ground

Not
natural
or
ethereal.

Not
composed
of
elements
at all.

I
do
not
exist

am
not
an
entity

in
this
world

or
in
the
next.

Did
not
descend

from
Adam
and
Eve

or
any
origin
story.

My
place
is
placeless

A mere
trace
of
the
traceless.

Neither
body
or
soul.

I
belong
to
the
beloved

have
seen
the
two
worlds

as
one

and
that
one

call
to
and
know

first
last
outer
inner

only
that
breath

breathing
human
being

~ Rumi

Angelic Doctor ~ Thomas Aquinas

And I have felt
A presence that disturbs me with the joy
Of elevated thought; a sense of the sublime
Of something far more deeply interfused,
Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns.
And the round ocean and the living ar,
And the blue sky, and the mind of man:
A motion and a spirit, that impels
All thinking things, all objects of all thoughts
And rolls through all things…