Wednesday, June 17, 2009

[Sunlight] Champions in nonexistence -- Ghazal 1601


Once again we have left our heart, intellect, and
spirit behind - the Friend has come into the midst and we
have disappeared.
We have turned back from annihilation and become
woven into subsistence; we have found the Traceless and
thrown away all traces.
Stirring up dust from the ocean and smoke from
the nine spheres, we have discarded Time, the earth, and
the heavens.
Beware, the drunkards have come! Clear the way! - no
I said that wrong, for we have been delivered from the way and
the travelers.
The spirit's fire has lifted its head from the body's
earth; the heart began to shout, and like a shout, we rose up.
Let us speak less, for if we speak, few understand. Pour
more wine, for we have entered the ranks of the self-deniers!
Existence is for women - the work of men is nonexistence.
Thanks be to God, for we have risen as champions in nonexistence!

-- Ghazal (Ode) 1601
Translation by Professor William C. Chittick*
"The Sufi Path of Love"
SUNY Press, Albany, 1983

*William C. Chittick, Ph.D. (University of Tehran, 1974) is Professor of
Comparative Studies at State University of New York, Stony Brook. He has
published numerous books, among them, Imaginal Worlds: Ibn al-'Arabi and
the Problem of Religious Diversity; Faith and Practice of Islam: Three
Thirteenth Century Sufi Texts; The Sufi Path of Knowledge: Ibn al-'Arabi's
Metaphysics of Imagination; The Sufi Path of Love: The Spiritual Teachings of
Rumi; and A Shi'ite Anthology, all published by SUNY Press.




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