Sunday, December 25, 2005

all around me

I'm a grape, I roll under trampling feet.

Wherever love pulls me, that's where I roll.

You ask me, 'Why do you roll around me?'

I don't. It's all around me that I roll.

#1155: From Rumi's Kolliyaat-e Shams-e Tabrizi

Search word: feet

My thoughts have turned to feet this morning, inspired especially by the strange bird-claw feet of the goddess in the images below.

Inanna plaque

Inanna plaque @

Inanna seal

Inanna seal @ © S. Beaulieu

I like the way this goddess spans and governs over both the "above" and the "below", however each of these might be understood. In the ancient story of her descent to the underworld, she is stripped naked, killed and her corpse hung up to rot.

When she entered the first gate,
the shugurra, the crown of the steppe was removed.
When she entered the second gate,
From her neck the small lapis beads were removed.
When she entered the third gate,
From her breast the double strand of beads was removed.
When she entered the fourth gate,
From her chest the breastplate called "Come, man, come!" was removed.
When she entered the fifth gate,
From her wrist the gold ring was removed.
When she entered the sixth gate,
From her hand the lapis measuring rod and line was removed.
When she entered the seventh gate,
From her body the royal robe was removed. ...

Naked and bowed low, Inanna entered the throne room.
Ereshkigal rose from her throne.
Inanna started toward the throne.
The Annuna, the judges of the underworld, surrounded her.
They passed judgment against her.
Then Ereshkigal fastened on Inanna the eye of death.
She spoke against her the word of wrath.
She uttered against her the cry of guilt.
She struck her.
Inanna was turned into a corpse,
A piece of rotting meat,
And was hung from a hook on the wall....

Then, after three days and three nights, Inanna had not returned,
Ninshubur set up a lament for her by the ruins.
She beat the drum for her in the assembly places.

Inanna had trusted Father Enki, the God of Wisdom, to save her and indeed this is what happened. However, she did have to send a replacement for herself back to the underworld and, for this, she chose her disloyal husband Dumuzi.

A couple of millenia later, Jesus' followers were to be inspired by a similar archetypal tale of sacrificial salvational death following three days later by a resurrection and eventual ascension to heaven, the "great above".

And so here we have Rumi depicted as a humble grape being prepared for winemaking by trampling feet. And here we have the frankest confession I've seen so far that God, the divine She, the Beloved, Shams the Sun, are not really "you" at all but "me". Or perhaps it is truer to say that "God" is just "Us". (Not to be confused with the US which often acts like it is God.)


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