When eternity touches anything temporal, silence deepens
and becomes one zeroed thing
made of both. Dervishes can find a hundred ways to say
how this happens. I’ve
no interest in more poetic images. Mysterious combinations
of Arabic letters stand
at the begining of certain Qur’anic chapters: alif lam
mim ba-mim. They seem
like other letters, but only as biscuits resemble the
moon! A true feeling of
what comes from the presence can free the imprisoned and resurrect the helpless.
Some word combinations, like skin-and-bone arrangements,
have sublime qualities. These
three people talking in the street are ordinary young
men, but Alif, Lam, and
Mim have an exchange more like Larry, Curly, and Moe.
Dżalal ad-Din ar-Rumi „The Three Stooges”
A sufi was on the path of clarity. Every day he walked
the desert, and every night
he walked and slept in the emptiness of God’s custody.
One night he came upon
a merchant’s tent and felt the need for conversation. He
lifted the tent flap
and saw a black slave in chains, unable to move, but shining
with intelligence like
the moon. „Help me”, the slave whispered. „My master will
not refuse the guest. Ask
him to set me free”. The merchant welcomed the sufi
to his tent and brought
food. „I cannot accept your generosity until you release
this poor man”. „I will.
But first listen to what I have suffered because of him!
I used to have many purebred
camels, beautiful animals with humps like mountains, swift
as the wind over steep
and flat, powerful as rhinoceri, tall and dignified as
elephants. Their crossing
and recrossing this desolation were the source of my
existence, their bells my most
wished-for sound. As they traveled, this camel driver sang
songs. The camels heard
and carried their loads with courage and discipline. This time,
though, when we unloaded
them, they fled in every direction, vanished in the desert,
all but the one still
tied outside my tent”. The sufi said. „Let me hear the camel driver’s song”. The master
gestured, and the slave began. The visitor sat politely
watching the tethered animal,
but as longing deepened in the song, the night walker
tore his clothes and fell
on the ground, while the last camel snapped its rope and
escaped into the darkness.
Dżalal ad-Din ar-Rumi „Jami’s the camel driver’s song”
Alla nascita un uomo è tenero e flessibile,
alla morte è duro e rigido.
Tutti gli esseri, l’erba e gli alberi
da vivi sono teneri e flessibili,
da morti sono duri e rigidi.
Dunque il rigido e l’inflessibile
sono amici della morte.
Il tenero e il flessibile
sono amici della vita.
Un esercito rigido viene distrutto.
Un albero rigido viene spezzato.
Il rigido deve piegarsi
o sarà piegato dagli altri.
Ciò che è flessibile
riesce a crescere.
[Tao te Ching 76]