Sunday, July 24, 2005

to rest content

My love, there's a path from your heart to mine,

And my heart is aware how to find it;

For my heart now is pool, sweet and clear,

And it serves the moon as her mirror.

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

Search words: Sunday, holiday, holy, Sabbath, rest, worship

It being Sunday, I felt like taking the day off, taking a holiday. I couldn't think how Rumi might express that. He might refer to the Jewish Sabbath or to the rest and worship that occurs that day. Nothing came of these search words. So, today, I decided to give the search words a rest and simply follow a first line as presented on the page. That turned out to be this one which self-referentially talks of the path from one heart to the other. For these verses are that path, that connection.

Rumi writes that his own heart is "sweet and clear" so it can serve as mirror. I don't feel so confident about my own heart. I feel there lurk things therein that are muddy or shameful. This is the unclean shadow, the enemy one wishes to disown. I so admire Rumi this clarity of perception, this self-acceptance. Above all, I admire a human dignity that shines through any grief, sorrow or hurt, and that withstands any destabilizing intoxication. It simply abides through all of his verses. It is a quality that says simply: I am human and that is good.

This and the theme of rest reminds me of the first story in the Old Testament.
Genesis 1:26-31, 2:1-3 (my emphasis)

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.

And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.

And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.


Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.

And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.

And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.

Things get mucked up later in the Garden of Eden when Eve tempts Adam with that apple. Shame and anxiety enter into human consciousness. It then becomes a great task to regain that original purity and acceptance. Clearly Rumi found it. I also get the occasional glimpse at it. Perhaps that is all that is humanly possible or appropriate. It is perhaps to be precisely human that we can never rest content with how we are.


Post a Comment

<< Home