Thursday, December 01, 2005

saints and businessmen

This open square does not exist, nor these

Good men and their affairs­ not as you know.

Each one wears the face of a true saint,

But in their hearts there's not a trace of faith.

#1648: From Rumi's Kolliyaat-e Shams-e Tabrizi

The NaNoWriMo month is over. I managed to reach only 10,000 (of the 50,000 word target set) and even that was with a bit of cheating via copy-and-pasting from non-novel writing. I justify it by saying I'm blurring the distinctions. And indeed, why not? Participating in this "game" may have been motivating. I have written more and better in the last month. It's time, however, to take stock and remember there is a life to lead, a house to keep clean and a garden to tend.

I was attracted by the "open square" of this first line, its apparent presence and non-existence wrapped up inside just six words. As it turns out, it touches on a tricky theme: the contrast between profit-making and god-worshipping. Wherever people seem to profit from god especially, pop spiritualists like Deepak Chopra, an instinct cringes. There is such evident marketing being carried out there. Is it any different when a religious prophet or saint promises heaven to his disciples? How does the prophet profit? It may not be in coin, it may be in fame, it may be in love or simple gratitude. As soon as one hopes to gain something, anything, from a transaction (and every word we exhange is also a transaction) then it is a business dealing.

And yet I have also published a speech, a discourse by Rumi followed by my own one-liner, in which I say that we all speak for God. I inserted it in a moment of silent exasperation inside a very very long thread relating to modern western materialism or "Death by Secularism". It is here (CuteCoot's reply beginning "Well, it's the day after my birthday"), for anyone interested.

My heart tells me that the saint and the businessman must come together and cease scoffing at one another.


At Thursday, 01 December, 2005, Blogger Bob Hoeppner said...

Been busy. Started a poem on Monday, finished it tonight, and wrote another.

At Thursday, 01 December, 2005, Blogger Arizona said...

Wow, sounds like the muse is with you, going strong. :)

At Thursday, 01 December, 2005, Blogger Bob Hoeppner said...

I've averaged two poems a week for the past year. Of course, the quality is uneven!

At Friday, 02 December, 2005, Blogger Arizona said...

Are some collected for online viewing? I couldn't find a link to any collection on your blog. I might have missed it.

At Saturday, 03 December, 2005, Blogger Bob Hoeppner said...

If you look through my archives you should find some links, usually for posts titled "Set List".

At Saturday, 03 December, 2005, Blogger Arizona said...

Thanks, I'll try again using that clue.


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