The Sufi writes words of longing for her Beloved but she’s not a poet for she knows that words cannot contain the One. It is the spaces between words into which she dives and drowns in the clear waters of love, and it is in the pauses where the vibrant silence of the Beloved’s Presence causes her to gasp in ecstasy. These words are a poor cladding of rags for the light that enthrals the dervish but she gives with love whatever she can bring.
I recently put this in my Facebook notes and then thought that readers here might also enjoy it. Just a few thoughts on the experience of the dissolution of the nafs (ego matrix) that is the aim of the Sufi path.
The soul dwells amidst the utmost silence of total awe and the secret heart expands in space, knowing itself, knowing the Beloved. All is abandoned. Entirely. In savage nakedness veils are torn and slip noiselessly back into the created universe. Light pierces this being and excises every remaining trace of space and time. Stars, galaxies, universes are but sparkling jewels set in the dark mystery of the Unmanifest.
‘I was a hidden Treasure and desired to be known; therefore I created that I might be known’ (Hadith Qudsi)
It is He who is revealed in every face, sought in every sign, gazed upon by every eye, worshipped in every object of worship, and pursued in the unseen and the visible. Not a single one of His creatures can fail to find Him in its primordial and original nature.
Ibn ‘Arabi, Fusus al-Hikam
The photo on the right is of the mosque which contains the tomb of Ibn ‘Arabi.
This is a re-posting that was originally on my other blog, The Sufi Book and Music Blog but I thought it worth posting it here too as I get more readers here and contemporary Sufi poetry is definitely worth bringing to a wider audience.
If you do a Google search on Sufi poetry the results will most likely bring up a wealth of sites with information and examples of the masters of the art. Honoured and respected poets on the Sufi path who wrote about what they experienced and ‘tasted’ on the journey of return to unity with the One. It is a journey of longing and struggle in which all things are seen as the signs of God, including our own selves. Metaphors of love are commonly used in such poetry where the lover longs for union with the Beloved. We see this in the images of the nightingale singing to the rose or the moth drawn to the flame. There are many translations from the original languages in which this poetry was written, Persian, Arabic, Turkish, Urdu, to English. Some of these translations are more like free interpretations attempting to capture the spirit of a piece for contemporary readers. For example, the thirteenth century Sufi poet/mystic Jalaluddin Rumi is one of the most widely read poets in the United States today. But what about Sufi poetry written today by contemporary students on the Sufi path?
Very little contemporary Sufi poetry is published for a mainstream readership. There appears to be little publishing interest in contemporary Sufi writing. Yet many of today’s dervishes, like Sufis of old, still feel compelled to allow words to flow and the recent phenomenon of the blog provides a structure for that expression. Try some of the following blogs for poetry from the heart written today. Just click on the titles.