Monday, June 24, 2013

Luke 12:49

The KJV has this verse as: "I am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled?"

Reading Rowland's Giordano Bruno just now, I came across this version: "I came into this world to light a fire: what should I want but that it burn?" (p38) (I could find no other reference to this version, apart from the Rowland one.)

A little tweaking would render it in woos: "I am come on the earth to light a fire: what should I want but that it burn?"

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Dante: "Abandon all hope, you who enter" could read "Give up all hope, you who would come in (here)".




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Sunday, May 05, 2013

Soul and the Old Woman

From sunlight:
Soul And The Old Woman

What is the soul? Consciousness. The more awareness, the
deeper the soul, and when

such essence overflows, you feel a sacredness around. It's
so simple to tell one who

puts on a robe and pretends to be a dervish from the real
thing. We know the taste

of pure water. Words can sound like a poem but not have
any juice, no flavor to

relish. How long do you look at pictures on a bathhouse
wall? Soul is what draws

you away from those pictures to talk with the old woman
who sits outside by the door

in the sun. She's half blind, but she has what soul loves
to flow into. She's kind; she weeps.

She makes quick personal decisions, and laughs so easily.

-- Mathnawi: VI: 148-50
Version by Coleman Barks


The line numbering here is really incomplete as Barks has used ideas from preceding lines. Here are the lines as provided at IntraText (trans Whinfield):


O son, did you ever present your silver body
As an offering to the damsels pictured on bath walls?
Nay, you pass by those pictures though fair as Huris,
And offer yourself sooner to half-blind old women.
What is there in the old women which the pictures lack,
Which draws you from the pictures to the old women?
Say not, for I will say it in plain words,
'Tis reason, sense, perception, thought, and life.
In the old woman life is infused,
While the pictures of the bath have no life.
If the pictures of the bath should stir with life (soul),
They would uproot your love to all the old women.

What is soul? 'Tis acquainted with good and evil,
Rejoicing at pleasant things, grieving at His.
Since, then, the principle of soul is knowledge,
He who knows most is most full of soul.
Knowledge is the effect flowing from soul;
He who has most of it is most godlike.


Seeing then, beloved, that knowledge is the mark of soul,
He who knows most has the strongest soul.
The world of souls is itself entirely knowledge,
And he who is void of knowledge is void of soul.
When knowledge is lacking in a man s nature,
His soul is like a stone on the plain.
Primal Soul is the theatre of God's court,
Soul of souls the exhibition of God Himself.

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Friday, May 03, 2013

Let us be silent

Now let us be silent
So that the Giver of Speech may speak.
Let us be silent
So we can hear Him calling us
secretly in the night.

Ghazal 1713, Star

blog source
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