Tuesday, June 14, 2005

the peace that follows war

Last night, in private, I asked the wise old man

To reveal to me the secret of the world.

Softly he whispered, Hush!, in my ear:

It's something you learn, not words you can hear.

#1022: From Rumi's Kolliyaat-e Shams-e Tabrizi

Search words: youth, young, old

I've felt exhilarated of late, flushed with the excitement of new beginnings. I sought out words related to that but ended up with the wise old man archetype. For Rumi, he would be wearing a turban and sporting a long grey beard.

Now here we have a clear heresy: wisdom or "the secret of the world" cannot be discovered by listening to words such as endless recitations of the Koran. Allah as embodiment of knowledge and holder of his own divine secret cannot be reached through the Koran. Only life, or living in the world, can provide the experience, the true learning, that can break through occasionally to glimpses of what it might all be about or perhaps an acceptance of the mystery of life without questioning at all where it is all leading and what it all might mean. We just live until we die and living well is good enough.

If I sit here in silence for a moment I can feel the peace of it wash over me. I feel cleansed. Triumph, truth, honour, valour. Nothing seems to matter anymore. There is just the peace that follows war.


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