Thursday, February 16, 2012

[Sunlight] Opposites are made manifest through opposites


"Rumi often refers to or quotes the proverbial expression, "Things become clear through their opposites." Everyday experience confirms this truth, for the existence of the myriad things of the world only becomes possible through differentiation and opposition. If two things were not different, and thereby "opposed" in some respect, they would be one and the same. And so it is with all things, except God. He alone has no opposite, but transcends all oppostion."
-- William C. Chittick
"The Sufi Path of Love," page 49


God created suffering and heartache so that
joyful-heartedness might appear through its opposite.
Hence hidden things become manifest through
opposites. But since God has no opposite, He remains hidden.
For the sight falls first upon light, then upon
color: Opposites are made manifest through opposites, like
white and black.
So you have come to know light through light's
opposite: Opposites display opposites within the breast.
God's light has no opposite within existence,
that through its opposite it might be made manifest.
Therefore our "eyes comprehend Him not, but He
comprehends the eyes" (Koran VI 104): Learn this from Moses at
Mount Sinai*.
Know that form springs from meaning as the
lion from the thicket, or as voice and speech from thought.
Form was born from speech and then died. It
took its wave back to the sea.
Form comes out from Formlessness: Then it
returns, for "unto Him we are returning" (Koran II 156).

-- Mathnavi I, 1130-34
Translation by William C. Chittick
"The Sufi Path of Love"
SUNY Press, Albany, 1983

* Rumi alludes here to Moses' words in the Koran: "Oh
my Lord, show me, that I may behold Thee!" The verse
continues, "Said He, `Thou shalt not see Me; but behold
the mountain – if it stays fast in its place, then thou shalt
see Me.' And when his Lord revealed His theophany to
the mountain, He made it crumble to dust; and Moses fell
down swooning" (Koran VII 143).




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