Friday, July 01, 2005

love under the knife

In the abbatoire of love, they only kill the choicest.

The small-minded, mean ones they reject.

If you truly love, you won't escape with your life.

They are dead to begin with who don't get the knife.

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

Search words: love

I brought up the subject of love as gnosis on the other strand so searched under love today. Here is Rumi at his shocking best: an abbatoire is hardly the place one would normally associate with love.

This verse is the nearest so far to what I might perceive as anger in Rumi. I'm guessing he suspects - or knows - that Shams had his throat slit, like an animal butchered for the table. He was no doubt also referring generally to religious martyrs of which Christianity certainly had many. If one includes the martyrdom that comes of being slaughtered in warfare then Muslims would also have a high count.

However, this verse reverberates with so many other expressions from within the Judeo-Christian tradition itself and from its more modern existential fringes. They all seem to say that there are two kinds of life and two kinds of death: one fake and one authentic.
Romans 6:3-4 (NIV)
Or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

This is what is sad when one contemplates human life, that so many live out their lives in quiet lostness . . . they live, as it were, away from themselves and vanish like shadows. Their immortal souls are blown away, and they are not disquieted by the question of its immortality, because they are already disintegrated before they die.

- Søren Kierkegaard

The millions are awake enough for physical labor; but only one in a million is awake enough for effective intellectual exertion, only one in a hundred millions to a poetic or divine life. To be awake is to be alive. I have never yet met a man who was quite awake. How could I have looked him in the face? We must learn to reawaken and keep ourselves awake, not by mechanical aids, but by an infinite expectation of the dawn, which does not forsake us in our soundest sleep.

- Henry David Thoreau


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