Friday, June 19, 2009

Chinese Gleams of Sufi Light

THE FIRST GLEAM

"God has not assigned to any man two hearts in his breast" (Koran 33:4). The Howless Presence, who has given you the blessing of being, has placed within you only one heart, that you may be one-faced and one-hearted in love, turning away from other than Him and turning toward Him - not that you should make one heart into a hundred pieces, each piece wandering after a goal.

O you who've turned to the qibla of faithfulness,
why make the shell into the kernel's veil?
Its not good for your heart to run after this and that -
with one heart, one friend is enough for you.

The meaning is that the imageless Imperial Majesty has bestowed upon you your image, and He entrusted not but one heart to your image. Why do you not have one heart and one bearing, reject the things, and run to the Lord? Do not make one heart into a hundred divisions, each division following a selfish intention, thereby making your heart into a scrapbook.


THE SECOND GLEAM

"Dispersion" is that you scatter the heart by means of attachment to numerous things. "Gathering" is that you turn away from everything by witness the One. A group supposed that gatheredness lies in gathering the causes, and they stayed in endless dispersion. A band knew for certain that gathering the causes is among the causes of dispersion, and they emptied their hands of all.

O you whose heart has a thousand troubles from all!
Your heart will have trouble finding ease from all.
Since the heart gains nothing but dispersion from each,
give your heart to the One and cut yourself off
from them all!

As long as you dwell in dispersion and doubt,
the Folks of Gathering see you as the worst of men.
No, by God, no - you're not a man, you're a monkey,
but out of ignorance, you don't see your own
monkeyness.

"Division" means to bring about number through occupation with the diverse things and the consequences of affairs. "Collectedness" means to return from the image to the One with clear seeing. Some people have doubted this meaning and have said that colletedness means to collect all the conditions. They did not know that by collecting all the conditions, their hearts were finally drifting into division. Only the wise men discerned with certainty that collecting all the conditions certainly leads into division. They washed their hands of the conditions and cast them aside.

O traveler, speak not on every topic!
Run only the road of reaching the Lord of lords.
The cause of dispersion is the world's causes -
don't try to gather the heart by gathering causes!


THE THIRD GLEAM

The Real - glory be to Him and high indeed is He! - is present everywhere, gazing in each state at the manifest and nonmanifest of all. What a loss - that you have lifted your eyes from His countenance and look at others! You have left the path of contentment with Him and pursue another road.

She came at dawn - that heart-taker of fevered lovers.
She said, "O heavy load on my thoughts!
"Shame on you! I look in your direction,
but you've turned your eyes toward the others!"

We've run in love's path all our life,
we've tried hard for union all our life.
A glimpse of Your image is better for the gaze
than the beauty of all the beauties of our life.

The Real Lord is timeless and placeless, but He always looks at the inward and outward of the ten thousand beings. Alas, you people do not see what He sees, but instead you see other things. You do not walk the Tao of the Real Lord, but instead you walk different paths.

- from Chinese Gleams of Sufi Light

Wang Tai-yu's Great Learning of the Pure and Real and Liu Chih's Displaying the Concealment of the Real Realm - Translation by Sachiko Murata / image credit

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