Friday, June 17, 2005

seek the science

Seek the science that unties for you this knot.

Seek it as long as there's life in you still to be sought.

Leave that nothing that looks like it's something;

Seek that something that looks like it's nothing; it's not.

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

Search words: science

I was again looking for direction and science has played a part in recent battles, so I appealed to the concept. Here is Rumi being so very directive but also so very enigmatic. At present I'm inclined to read this "nothing that looks like it's something" as any situation that has become over dramatic. We use the expression "wanna make somethin' of it?" when strong emotions have gathered around a conflict that began over some trifling matter. I need to walk away from this. Let it go. I can see this much but what is the "something that looks like it's nothing"? Oh, there's plenty of that. Plenty of humble chores to attend to in my daily life. Get on with them, get on with them. It's all those small steps that matter in walking towards realising a dream.

This message seems clearly to be about vanity and humility: arrogance, pride, maybe even conviction and passion; as contrasted to acknowledging one's own insignificance. Letting oneself be guided, submitting, that whole feminine passive stance. My task in life, my vocation, might not be something splashy that leads to fame or fortune. What matters is that it's the Godhead's call to me, where the Godhead is He and She and It all combined. Wrapped in an envelope of silence and emptiness.

Sahih Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 76, Number 425:

Narrated Mujahid:

'Abdullah bin 'Umar said, "Allah's Apostle took hold of my shoulder and said, 'Be in this world as if you were a stranger or a traveler." The sub-narrator added: Ibn 'Umar used to say, "If you survive till the evening, do not expect to be alive in the morning, and if you survive till the morning, do not expect to be alive in the evening, and take from your health for your sickness, and (take) from your life for your death."

I do like this idea of being in the world like a traveller. It's always time to move on, always time to accept oneself as a stranger in the land. For the unknown is with us everywhere and everyday and in more ways than we can ever imagine.


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