Sunday, September 13, 2009
Love beyond all telling
By Jacopone da Todi (Jacopone Benedetti)
(1230 - 1306)
English version by Serge and Elizabeth Hughes
Love beyond all telling,
Goodness beyond imagining,
Light of infinite intensity
Glows in my heart.
I once thought that reason
Had led me to You,
And that through feeling
I sensed Your presence,
Caught a glimpse of You in similitudes,
Knew You in Your perfection.
I know now that I was wrong,
That that truth was flawed.
Light beyond metaphor,
Why did You deign to come into this darkness?
Your light does not illumine those who think they see You
And believe they sound Your depths.
Night, I know now, is day,
Virtue no more to be found.
He who witnesses Your splendor
Can never describe it.
On achieving their desired end
Human powers cease to function,
And the soul sees that what it thought was right
Was wrong. A new exchange occurs
At that point where all light disappears;
A new and unsought state is needed:
The soul has what it did not love,
And is stripped of all it possessed, no matter how dear.
In God the spiritual faculties
Come to their desired end,
Lose all sense of self and self-consciousness,
And are swept into infinity.
The soul, made new again,
Marveling to find itself
In that immensity, drowns.
How this comes about it does not know.
from Jacopone da Todi: Lauds
(Photo by N. M. Rai)
This poem by the early Italian monk is, of course, describing the soul's progress as it comes to and is fully smitten by God. For Jacopone de Todi, the journey is the path of the Christian devotee, whose spirit is reborn (in the best sense) when it discovers that what it has experienced thus far is trivial once it attains full illumination of heavenly splendor.
I feel that these lines apply equally well to those who undergo full awakening through Kundalini, the goddess of transformation. We too are reborn into another realm of feeling. In the full rising of Kundalini, the soul does not know itself as separate and confined, but merges with the infinite power which now overtakes it. It loves what it did not love before, because it did not know that this reality existed. And, above ll, it is consumed by "love beyond all telling."
This description might also apply to mystical awakening in any tradition--Sufism, Islam, and even in some forms of Buddhism (the lightning flash of enlightenment?) Certainly such transformations are life changing, indeed they give you a perspective that you did not have before the "soul drowns itself in immensity."