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let your loveself enter | Bahauddin Valad

Alif Lam Mim

If God says "We", meaning "I AM", then any pronoun I use becomes superfluous. Designations fall like petals. Wisdom comes, and I feel such pleasure flooding me that I fear losing my sense of it. I tell myself, Inquire into how lover, beloved, and the other ways of loving exist as one thing. As it is with God’s qualities and human beings, so there is a unity with love. In the heart there is no room for differentiation, only oneness and the beloved.

I would give away books, land, my virtues and reputation, everything, for one hour inside that presence.

Say, "No power but You" (la hawla wa la quwwata illa billah), until you become that surrender. Repetition engraves your habits of mind. Patient practice makes a stone a carnelian. Knowing grows roots in love and love in purity. Each day do some work in splendor (Quran 55:29).

When I am asked about the nature of love, I say nothing. I point to those thousands of surrendered, prophetic souls. Talking about love obscures the essence. Whatever transpires between lovers can never be said. It’s a living mystery. Taste and feel it without verbal exchange. Relish it in your soul, your heart, your personality. Taste the taste with your entire body, and here in the tongue. But not by speaking. As the soul enters physical form, let your loveself enter God. The beauty in a face is the look of mystery, the going in.

Someone asked me what is the knowing I speak of and how does the love I mention feel. I said if you don’t know, what can I say? And if you do know, what can I say?

The taste of knowing love has no explanation, and no account of it will ever give anyone that taste.

Sleeping people know nothing of what’s going on in the world outside. They live in their dreams, and likewise, when someone dies, he or she will not be part of this, but may see into other realities. Seeds and flowers have their ways. Water, wind, dust particles, stars, sun, moon, theirs.

[God says] we make thorns that are very suitable for burning and roses that are right for releasing their essence which can be mixed with juices for healing purposes. That thorns are piercing, that rose petals weaken and fall, both qualities are perfect. Some human lineages feel hard like thorn, some soft as a petal. We have judgments and designations for everything. Seeds look similar, but some grow apples, others pomegranates, quince, pear, plum. But you must take some action to help them reveal who they are. Plant them in the ground.

Cruel people are needed sometimes, kind friends at others. Sword and anger, courtesy and the mirror of docility, use them like different tools. Bodies are coverings that help signify the soul. Let us do our laundry on the river stones, pounding cloth, then rinsing and wringing to hang the pieces of clothing on tree limbs to dry. Now we sit and mend these new coverings as we clean and renew our bodies as clothing for the soul.

Some accumulate honors and social position. We gather the wealth of love and the mystery of presence. Work that does not delight and house the soul - is a waste of your days.

- from The Drowned Book: Ecstatic and Earthly Reflections of Bahauddin, the Father of Rumi, Translated by COLEMAN BARKS and JOHN MOYNE

image credit: Coloured Glass | Indraneel B.


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Technology of the Heart: let your loveself enter | Bahauddin Valad
let your loveself enter | Bahauddin Valad
Technology of the Heart
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