Whether one believes in a religion or not, and whether one believes in rebirth or not, there isn’t anyone who doesn’t appreciate kindness and compassion.
Welcome to the new Earthrites.org Turfing Blog!
A big thanks to our friend Doug Fraser for helping me with the transition from our old server to our new server. I am very, very excited! This is allowing me to change a good many things on Earthrites.org, and to head towards our new direction! Earthrites.org and Gwyllm-Arts.com have started transitioning to a new set up as well. First is on the design level and contents on Earthrites.org is starting to transition over the weekend and next next.
Stay tuned for some pleasant surprises!
On The Menu:
On Rebirth – The Quotes
Art Set To Music: Gil Bruvel
Fatimah, Mary and the Divine Feminine in Islam
The Poetry Of Hafiz
Art Set To Music:Mark Kostabi
On Rebirth – The Quotes:
Life, death and rebirth are inevitable.
– Rig Veda
After attaining Me the great souls do not incur rebirth, the impermanent home of misery, because they have attained the highest perfection.
– Bhagavad Gita
It quite often happens that the old man is subject to the delusion of a great moral renewal and rebirth, and from this experience he passes judgments on the work and course of his life, as if he had only now become clear-sighted; and yet the inspiration behind this feeling of well-being and these confident judgements is not wisdom, but weariness .
– Friedrich Nietzsche
Their comings and goings in reincarnation do not end; through death and rebirth, they are wasting away.
– Sri Guru Granth Sahib
Art Set To Music: Gil Bruvel
Fatimah, Mary and the Divine Feminine in Islam
At the very core of Islamic philosophy there is evidence of what can be called a vision of the Motherhood of God.
In the first Sura of the Koran, the Fatiha that is recited by millions of Muslims in their daily devotions, God is called Al Rahmin, the merciful and compassionate one. Ramin is derived from the Arabic for womb or matrix, mercy is also a feminine attribute, and so Muslims are reminded that God can be either woman or man. Every day God is compared to a mother and woman.
While the Muslim vision is often perceived to be authoritarian and punitive the Koran, on close inspection, is filled with descriptions and vision of Gods more feminine attributes such as gentleness, providence, love, universal compassion and tender-heartedness.
Muhammad was himself a living example of the Divines infinite capacity for forgiveness: many times he forgave enemies who had committed unspeakable atrocities against him and his brethren.
The religious intolerance that characterises the behaviour of many Muslim communities today is inconsistent with the heritage of tolerance that is professed by the Islamic tradition. For example, the Koran clearly states in several passages that any person who lives a life of holy reverence is welcomed into paradise regardless of their religion. Muhammad openly praises both Judaism (Abraham is deeply respected within the Koran) and Christianity (Muhammad frequently praises Jesus and Mary in the Koran).
Even more surprising is the Korans reverence for Mary, mother of Christ. Muhammad (and also in later Islamic theological scriptures) regarded Mary as the most marvellous of all women, a high adept and living example of the pure and holy life. Later Koranic commentaries describe Mary as an intervening force between God (Allah) and humanity. This intervening force is characterised by Allahs mercy, forgiveness, sweetness and humility- the embodiment of Allahs love for creation.
When Muhammad retook Mecca he began a programme of removing the pagan influences from the Kaaba, the most holy of Muslim sites. He removed many frescoes and images that he considered inauspicious but he specifically left on the walls a fresco of the Virgin Mary and her child.
In one of the most powerful Hadiths ( prophetic sayings of Muhammad) it is reported that Muhammad said, Paradise is at the feet of the Mother. Does this suggest that the feminine aspect of God is an important and essential pathway to the attainment of supreme consciousness?
Muhammads peak defining experience, called the Meraj, saw him elevated through the seven heavens to the realm of God Almighty at the resplendant Sidrath where he communed with God, received his divine visions and instructions and was placed on the inexorable course of his life-mission to establish Islam. Muhammad was escorted by the archangel Gabriel (a masculine force) but the vehicle upon which Muhammad rode was the beautiful Buraq. The Buraq was a white horse with wings and the face of a woman! Clearly suggesting that the great power by which Muhammad was elevated to the level of supreme consciousness was ultimately feminine in nature! Some scholars say that the Buraq is an Islamic symbol of the Kundalini, a force that Eastern Yogis describe as the Goddess or Divine Mother.
Fatimah is another prominent female in the Islamic tradition. Muhammad revered Fatimah as if she were a divine being, saying “Allah, The Most High; is pleased when Fatimah is pleased. He is angered; whenever Fatimah is angered!”
Whenever Fatimah would go to the house of Muhammad, he would stand up out of respect for her and honour her by giving her a special place to seat herself in his house. He regarded her as a sort of primordial woman, a symbol of divine womanhood giving her many holy names, such as: Siddiqah; The Honest, The Righteous; Al-Batool, Pure Virgin; Al-Mubarakah, The Blessed One; .Al-Tahirah, The Virtuous, The Pure, Al-Zakiyah ;The Chaste, The Unblemished ;Al-Radhiatul Mardhiah, She who is gratified and who shall be satisfied; Al-Muhaddathah, A person other than a Prophet, that the angels speak to; Al-Zahra, The Splendid; Al-Zahirah, The Luminous.
Shias revere the person of Fatimah, Muhammad’s daughter and mother of the line of inspired imams who embodied the divine truth for their generation. As such, Fatimah is associated with Sophia, the divine wisdom, which gives birth to all knowledge of God. She has thus become another symbolic equivalent of the Great Mother.
Sunni Islam has also drawn inspiration from the female. The philosopher Muid ad-Din ibn al-Arabi (1165-1240) saw a young girl in Mecca surrounded by light and realised that, for him, she was an incarnation of the divine Sophia. He believed that women were the most potent icons of the sacred, because they inspired a love in men which must ultimately be directed to God, the only true object of love.
More generally speaking Muslims are reminded in the Koran that humans can experience and speak about God only in symbols. Everything in the world is a sign (aya) of God; so women can also be a revelation of the divine. Ibn al-Arabi argued that humans have a duty to create theophanies for themselves, by means of the creative imagination that pierces the imperfect exterior of mundane reality and glimpses the divine within. The faculty of imagination is commonly associated with the Divine Feminine.
While official Islam may not consistently describe the role of the Divine Feminine, this principle has been described and explored at length in the more esoteric Islamic tradition of Sufism. Sufism emphasises passionate, mystical adoration of God. Many Sufis (and other mystics in other religions) seek a spiritual union between themselves and the divine principle not unlike that between a child (the Sufi) and his mother (God) or a bride (Sufi) and the husband (God).
The Sufi poetry teaches the feminine qualities of joy, love, tenderness and self sacrifice on a path of true knowledge derived from the spiritual heart. The spiritual rebirth of the individual is not unlike the trial and tribulation of physical childbirth, according to the Sufis. They take the principle of divine love and use it to facilitate the process of alchemical transformation from mundane human to spiritual being.
The fanaticism that we see in modern Islam is a new development in a religion that, in its early history, was famous for its tolerance and respect for other religions. In Islams classical period in medieval Spain and Egypt perhaps only Buddhism rivalled Islams tolerance. The fundamentalism that characterises the behaviour of many of todays Muslims is in fact anti-Koranic.
A Sufi Ode to the Divine Mother
On the face of the earth there is no one more beautiful than You
Wherever I go I wear your image in my heart
Whenever I fall in a despondent mood I remember your image
And my spirit rises a thousand fold
Your advent is the blossom time of the Universe
O Mother you have showered your choicest blessings upon me
Also remember me on the Day of Judgement
I dont know if I will go to heaven or hell
But wherever I go, please always abide in me.
The Poetry Of Hafiz
I Cease Not From Desire
I cease not from desire till my desire
Is satisfied; or let my mouth attain
My love’s red mouth, or let my soul expire,
Sighed from those lips that sought her lips in vain.
Others may find another love as fair;
Upon her threshold I have laid my head,
The dust shall cover me, still lying there,
When from my body life and love have fled.
My soul is on my lips ready to fly,
But grief beats in my heart and will not cease,
Because not once, not once before I die,
Will her sweet lips give all my longing peace.
My breath is narrowed down to one long sigh
For a red mouth that burns my thoughts like fire;
When will that mouth draw near and make reply
To one whose life is straitened with desire?
When I am dead, open my grave and see
The cloud of smoke that rises round thy feet:
In my dead heart the fire still burns for thee;
Yea, the smoke rises from my winding-sheet!
Ah, come, Beloved! for the meadows wait
Thy coming, and the thorn bears flowers instead
Of thorns, the cypress fruit, and desolate
Bare winter from before thy steps has fled.
Hoping within some garden ground to find
A red rose soft and sweet as thy soft cheek,
Through every meadow blows the western wind,
Through every garden he is fain to seek.
Reveal thy face! that the whole world may be
Bewildered by thy radiant loveliness;
The cry of man and woman comes to thee,
Open thy lips and comfort their distress!
Each curling lock of thy luxuriant hair
Breaks into barbèd hooks to catch my heart,
My broken heart is wounded everywhere
With countless wounds from which the red drops start.
Yet when sad lovers meet and tell their sighs,
Not without praise shall Hafiz’ name be said,
Not without tears, in those pale companies
Where joy has been forgot and hope has fled.
The Bird of Gardens
The bird of gardens sang unto the rose,
New blown in the clear dawn: “Bow down thy head!
As fair as thou within this garden close,
Many have bloomed and died.” She laughed and said
“That I am born to fade grieves not my heart
But never was it a true lover’s part
To vex with bitter words his love’s repose.”
The tavern step shall be thy hostelry,
For Love’s diviner breath comes but to those
That suppliant on the dusty threshold lie.
And thou, if thou would’st drink the wine that flows
From Life’s bejewelled goblet, ruby red,
Upon thine eyelashes thine eyes shall thread
A thousand tears for this temerity.
Last night when Irem’s magic garden slept,
Stirring the hyacinth’s purple tresses curled,
The wind of morning through the alleys stept.
“Where is thy cup, the mirror of the world?
Ah, where is Love, thou Throne of Djem?” I cried.
The breezes knew not; but “Alas,” they sighed,
“That happiness should sleep so long!” and wept.
Not on the lips of men Love’s secret lies,
Remote and unrevealed his dwelling-place.
Oh Saki, come! the idle laughter dies
When thou the feast with heavenly wine dost grace.
Patience and wisdom, Hafiz, in a sea
Of thine own tears are drowned; thy misery
They could not still nor hide from curious eyes.
The Days Of Spring
The days of Spring are here! the eglantine,
The rose, the tulip from the dust have risen–
And thou, why liest thou beneath the dust?
Like the full clouds of Spring, these eyes of mine
Shall scatter tears upon the grave thy prison,
Till thou too from the earth thine head shalt thrust.
True love has vanished from every heart;
What has befallen all lovers fair?
When did the bonds of friendship part?–
What has befallen the friends that were?
Ah, why are the feet of Khizr lingering?–
The waters of life are no longer clear,
The purple rose has turned pale with fear,
And what has befallen the wind of Spring?
None now sayeth: “A love was mine,
Loyal and wise, to dispel my care.”
None remembers love’s right divine;
What has befallen all lovers fair?
In the midst of the field, to the players’ feet,
The ball of God’s favour and mercy came,
But none has leapt forth to renew the game–
What has befallen the horsemen fleet?
Roses have bloomed, yet no bird rejoiced,
No vibrating throat has rung with the tale;
What can have silenced the hundred-voiced?
What has befallen the nightingale?
Heaven’s music is hushed, and the planets roll
In silence; has Zohra broken her lute?
There is none to press out the vine’s ripe fruit,
And what has befallen the foaming bowl?
A city where kings are but lovers crowned,
A land from the dust of which friendship springs–
Who has laid waste that enchanted ground?
What has befallen the city of kings?
Years have passed since a ruby was won
From the mine of manhood; they labour in vain,
The fleet-footed wind and the quickening rain,
And what has befallen the light of the sun?
Hafiz, the secret of God’s dread task
No man knoweth, in youth or prime
Or in wisest age; of whom would’st thou ask:
What has befallen the wheels of Time?
– Trans G. Bell (1897)
Art Set To Music: Mark Kostabi
Thanks For Visiting!