Kundalini Splendor

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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Swept Away--An Ancient Sufi Poem 

Once again, I am impressed by how a very simple, seemingly easy poem can be so powerful. The ancient themes remain the same, then and now: the sense of yearning, the initial contact, the wave of gratification at having made "progress," then total immersion leading to a certain anxiety. When we long to unite with the immensity, the small self can be quite threatened, fearful of losing itself entirely in this vast and unfamiliar force, which it both loves and fears. Ego dissolves in god, and of course that is not easy for the small self to accept.

It asks, What is happening to me? Is this a good or bad thing? Is this irresistible force malevolent or benign? Should I go forward on this journey, or try to escape in whatever way I can?

Those on a Kundalini path will understand full well what this ancient poet is saying. And they will know--or soon discover--that the only possible response is surrender, to be led by the inner currents, to trust that the inner guide is directing us to the best possible destination--our source and home. To be dissolved in Love--what more can the universe offer to us?

Think for a moment about the fact that this poem was written almost 800 years ago. Since then, new worlds have manifested, empires have fallen, great dramas have been enacted. But this poem could have been written yesterday--the inner unfolding, the archetypal union, remains the same, century after century, realm after realm. This is who we are.

Again, I found this poem on Ivan Granger's Poetry-Chaikhana.

Swept Away

By Hamid al-Din Kirmani
(? - 1238)

English version by David and Sabrineh Fideler

At first, the way of your love
seemed easy.

I thought I'd reach
your union
with speed.

After taking a few steps,
I found
the way
is an ocean.

When I stepped in,
a wave swept me away.

-- from Love's Alchemy: Poems from the Sufi Tradition, Translated by David Fideler / Translated by Sabrineh Fideler

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