. 13. mo ko kahân dhûnro bande
O Servant, where dost thou seek Me?
Lo! I am beside thee.
I am neither in temple nor in mosque: I am neither in Kaaba nor in Kailash:
Neither am I in rites and ceremonies, nor in Yoga and renunciation.
If thou art a true seeker, thou shalt at once see Me: thou shalt meet Me in a moment of time.
Kabîr says, “O Sadhu! God is the breath of all breath.”
I. 16. Santan jât na pûcho nirguniyân
It is needless to ask of a saint the caste to which he belongs;
For the priest, the warrior. the tradesman, and all the thirty-six castes, alike are seeking for God.
It is but folly to ask what the caste of a saint may be;
The barber has sought God, the washerwoman, and the carpenter–
Even Raidas was a seeker after God.
The Rishi Swapacha was a tanner by caste.
Hindus and Moslems alike have achieved that End, where remains no mark of distinction.
This started out a few days ago with me digging around books, and becoming pretty distracted to the task(s) at hand. I have been reading over 3 books of late: The Language Of Birds “Some Notes On Chance And Divination” (review soon!) by Dale Pendell, Technomad – “Global Raving Countercultures” by Graham St. John (Pretty comprehensive stuff!), and Birth Of A Psychedelic Culture “Conversations about Leary, the Harvard Experiments, Millbrook and the Sixties”Ram Dass and Ralph Metzner with Gary Bravo (Oh the history of it all!)
A literary feast, I have to say. I have been working on the first of the reviews, it will be coming soon, I promise. I am amazed by them all. Over the next few days/weeks there will be a steady stream of reviews etc. With the coming of the Kindle, the Ipad and the like, will books as we know them become extinct? I was sent a book to review the other week in PDF form, and honestly, after a couple of hours, I couldn’t do it any longer. Too much screen time. I may have to convert my serigraph press into a printing press just to keep the art going…
Pitching That Art Angle Again…
Be The First On Your Block! You can have a unique mural in your house, on your house, anywhere, in your store just say when!
Noted: The passing of that great historian, Howard Zinn. What a life! From shipyard worker, to bombardier during WW2, onto becoming a Phd and teaching history from a unique view; not the grand sweep of the historic myth that re-enforces the traditional view, but the story from the street and disparate views. The history of rebellions of African slaves, indentured whites and indigenous people joining together in mutual assistance. Here was a man who changed the view we have held collectively about the struggles of the American people. If you haven’t read his works, please do. It will change your world forever. Howard, we will miss ya.
I hope this finds you well, and surviving the January doldrums. This time of the year always seems to be a bit iffy and all.
On The Menu:
The Songs of Kabir: Incidentals & Coda
St. Teresa of Avila Quotes
Collapse Under The Empire “Quiet Dimension”
The Acts Of The Adepts
The Poetry Of Hafiz
Collapse Under The Empire “Captured Moments”
Art: Osman Hamdi Bey
Osman Hamdi exhibited three paintings at the 1867 Paris Exposition Universelle. None seem to have survived today, but their titles were Repose of the Gypsies, Black Sea Soldier Lying in Wait, and Death of the Soldier. An important step in his career was his assignment as the director of the Imperial Museum (Müze-i Hümayun) in 1881. He used his position as museum director to develop the museum and rewrite the antiquities laws and to create nationally sponsored archaeological expeditions. In 1882, he instituted and became director of the Academy of Fine Arts, which provided Ottomans with training in aesthetics and artistic techniques without leaving the empire. In 1884, he oversaw the promulgation of a Regulation prohibiting historical artifacts from being smuggled abroad (Asar-ı Atîka Nizamnamesi), a giant step in constituting a legal framework of preservation of the antiquities. Representatives or middlemen of 19th century European Powers routinely smuggled artifacts with historical value from within the boundaries of the Ottoman Empire (which then comprised the geographies of ancient Greek and Mesopotamian civilizations, among others), often resorting to shadily obtained licenses or bribes, to enrich museums in European capitals.
He conducted the first scientific based archaeological researches done by a Turkish team. His digs included sites as varied as the Commagene tomb-sanctuary in Nemrut Dağı in southeastern Anatolia (a top tourist’s venue in Turkey and a UNESCO World Heritage Site today, within the Adıyaman Province), the Hekate sanctuary in Lagina in southwestern Anatolia (also much visited, and within the Muğla Province today), and Sidon in Lebanon. The sarcophagi he discovered in Sidon (including the one known as the Sarcophagus of Alexander the Great) are considered among the worldwide jewels of archaeological findings. To lodge these, he started building what is today the Istanbul Archaeology Museum in 1881. The museum officially opened in 1891 under his directorship.
Throughout his professional career as museum and academy director, Osman Hamdi continued to paint in the style of his teachers, Gérôme and Boulanger.
“It is love alone that gives worth to all things”
“To have courage for whatever comes in life – everything lies in that.”
“Accustom yourself continually to make many acts of love, for they enkindle and melt the soul.”
“More tears are shed over answered prayers than unanswered ones.”
“Pain is never permanent”
Collapse Under The Empire… I discovered these guys the other day. Blew me away. I am falling in love again with a basic format: Guitar, Drums, Bass, No Vocals. Highly emotive, without the strictures of vocals. The thoughts wander, making up mind-scapes as you go when you surrender to these youngsters from Germany. Enjoy!
Collapse Under The Empire… “Quiet Dimension”
I. 57. sâdho bhâî, jîval hî karo âs’â
O FRIEND! hope for Him whilst you live, know whilst you live, understand whilst you live: for in life deliverance abides.
If your bonds be not broken whilst living, what hope of deliverance in death?
It is but an empty dream, that the soul shall have union with Him because it has passed from the body:
If He is found now, He is found then,
If not, we do but go to dwell in the City of Death.
If you have union now, you shall have it hereafter.
Bathe in the truth, know the true Guru, have faith in the true Name!
Kabîr says: “It is the Spirit of the quest which helps; I am the slave of this Spirit of the quest.”
The Acts Of The Adepts
Bahā’u-’d-Dīn, Veled, Sultānu-’l-‘Ulemā (The Beauty of the Religion of Islam, Son, Sultan of the Doctors of the Law).
The king of Khurāsān, 2 ‘Alā’u-’d-Dīn Muhammed, Khurrem-Shāh, uncle of Jelālu-’d-Dīn Muhammed Kh’ārezm-Shāh, and the proudest, as he was the most handsome man of his time, gave his daughter, Melika’i-Jihān (Queen of the World), as to the only man worthy of her, to Jelālu-’d-Dīn Huseyn, el Khatībī, of the race of Abū-Bekr.
An ancestor of his was one of the original Muslim conquerors of Khurāsān. He was himself very virtuous and learned, surrounded with numerous disciples. He had not married until then; which gave him many an anxious and self-accusing thought.
He himself, the king, the king’s daughter, and the king’s Vazīr were all four warned in a dream by the Prince of the Apostles of God (Muhammed) that he should wed the princess; which was done. He was then thirty years old. In due course, nine months afterwards, a son was born to him, and was named Bahā’u-’d-Dīn Muhammed. He is commonly mentioned as Bahā’u-’d-Dīn Veled.
When adolescent, this latter was so extremely learned that the family of his mother wished to raise him to the throne as king; but this he utterly rejected.
By the divine command, as conveyed in the selfsame night, and in an identical dream, to three hundred of the most learned men of the city of Balkh, 1 the capital of the kingdom, where he dwelt, those sage doctors unanimously conferred upon him the honorific title of Sultānu-’l-‘Ulemā, and they all became his disciples.
Such are the names and titles by which he is more commonly mentioned; but he is also styled Mevlānāyi Buzurg (the Greater or Elder Master). Many miracles and prodigies were attributed to him; and some men were found who conceived a jealousy at his growing reputation and influence.
In a.h. 605 (a.d. 1208) he, Bahā’u-’d-Dīn Veled, began to preach against the innovations of the king and sundry of his courtiers, declaiming against the philosophers and rationalists, while he pressed all his hearers to study and practise the precepts of Islām. Those courtiers maligned him with the king, calling him an intriguer who had designs on the throne. The king sent and made him an offer of the sovereignty, promising to retire elsewhere himself. Bahā answered that he had no concern with earthly greatness, being a poor recluse; and that he would willingly leave the country, so as to remove from the king’s mind all misgivings on his score.
He accordingly quitted Balkh, with a suite of about forty souls, after delivering a public address in the great mosque before the king and people. In this address he foretold the advent of the Moguls to overturn the kingdom, possess the country, destroy Balkh, and drive out the king, who would then flee to the Roman land, and there at length be killed.
So he left Balkh, as the prophet (Muhammed) had fled from Mekka to Medīna. His son Jelālu-’d-Dīn was then five, and the elder brother, ‘Alā’u-’d-Dīn, seven years old.
The people everywhere on his road, hearing of his approach or forewarned in dreams of his coming, flocked to meet him and do him honour. Thus he drew near to Bagdād. Here he was met by the great Sheykh Shahābu-’d-Dīn, ‘Umer, Suherverdī, the most eminent man of the place, deputed by the Caliph Musta‘zim to do him honour. He became the guest of the Sheykh.
The Caliph sent him a present of three thousand sequins, but he declined the gift as being money unlawfully acquired. He also refused to visit the Caliph; but consented to preach in the great mosque after the noon service of worship on the following Friday, the Caliph being present. In his discourse he reproached the Caliph to his face with his evil course of life, and warned him of his approaching slaughter by the Moguls with great cruelty and ignominy. The Caliph again sent him rich presents in money, horses, and valuables, but he refused to accept them.
Before Bahā’u-’d-Dīn quitted Bagdād, intelligence was received there of the siege of Balkh, of its capture, and of its entire destruction, with its twelve thousand mosques, by the Mogul army of five hundred thousand men commanded by Jengīz in person (in a.h. 608, a.d. 1211). Fourteen thousand copies of the Qur’ān were destroyed, fifteen thousand students and professors of the law were slain, and two hundred thousand adult male inhabitants led out and shot to death with arrows.
Bahā’u-’d-Dīn went from Bagdād to Mekka, 1 performed the greater pilgrimage there, proceeding thence to Damascus, and next to Malatia (Melitene, on the Upper Euphrates), where, in a.h. 614 (a.d. 1217), he heard of the death of Jengīz. The Seljūqī Sultan, ‘Alā’u-’d-Dīn Keyqubād, was then sovereign of the land of Rome (Rūm, i.e., Asia Minor), and was residing at Sīwās (Sebaste). In a.h. 620 (a.d. 1223) Sultan Jelālu-’d-Dīn, the dispossessed monarch of Kh’ārezm (Chorasmia) was killed in a battle fought by him in Azerbāyjān (Atropatene) against the Sultans of Rome, Syria, and Egypt, when his forces were totally defeated. And thus ended that great dynasty, after ruling about a hundred and forty years.
Bahā’u-’d-Dīn went from Malatia and remained four years near Erzinjān (the ancient Aziris, on the Western Euphrates), in Armenia, at a college built for him by a saintly lady, ‘Ismet Khātūn. She was the wife of the local sovereign, Melik Fakhru-’d-Dīn. She and her husband both died, and then Bahā’u-’d-Dīn passed on to Larenda (in Cataonia), in Asia Minor, and remained there about seven years at the head of a college, the princess Melika’i-Jihān, his mother, being still with him.
Here it was that his younger son, Jelālu-’d-Dīn Muhammed, the future author of the Mesnevī, attained to man’s estate, being then eighteen years old; when, in a.h. 623 (a.d. 1226), he married a young lady named Gevher Khātūn, daughter of the Lala Sherefu-’d-Dīn, of Samarqand. She gave birth in due course to Jelāl’s eldest son, ‘Alā’u-’d-Dīn.
The king had now returned to his capital, Qonya (the ancient Iconium). Hearing of Bahā’u-’d-Dīn’s great learning and sanctity, the king sent and invited him to the capital, where he installed him in a college, and soon professed himself a disciple. Many miracles are related as having been worked at Qonya by Bahā’u-’d-Dīn, who at length died there on Friday, the 18th of Rebī‘u-’l-ākhir, a.h. 628 (February a.d. 1231). The Sultan erected a marble mausoleum over his tomb, on which this date is recorded. Many miracles continued to occur at this sanctuary. The Sultan died also a few years later, in a.h. 634 (a.d. 1236). received the honorific title of Khudāvendgār—Lord—the father was distinguished from the son, among the disciples, by the customary title of Mevlānā Buzurg—the Greater or Elder Master. The traditions collected by Eflākī, relating to this period, vary considerably from one another on minor points of date and order of succession, though the main facts come out sufficiently clear.)
Jelāl’s son, Sultan Veled, related to Eflākī that his father Jelāl used frequently to say, “I and all my disciples will be under the protection of the Great Master, my father, on the day of resurrection; and under His guidance we shall enter the divine presence; God will pardon all of us for His sake.”
It is related that when the Great Master departed this life, his son, Jelālu-’d-Dīn, was fourteen years old. (This is apparently a copyist’s error for “twenty-four.” Jalāl is said to have been born in a.h. 604—a.d. 1207.) He married when seventeen (or eighteen); and often did he say in the presence of the congregation of his friends, “The Great Master will remain with me a few years. I shall be in need of Shemsu-’d-Dīn of Tebrīz (the capital of Azerbāyjān); for every prophet has had an Abū-Bekr, as Jesus had His apostles.”
Shortly after the death of the Great Master Bahā’u-’d-Dīn Veled, news was received by the Sultan ‘Alā’u-’d-Dīn of Qonya of the arrival of Sultan Jelālu-’d-Dīn Kh’ārezm-Shāh on the borders of Asia Minor. The Sultan went and prayed at the tomb of the deceased saint, and then prepared to meet the Kh’ārezmians, who were in the neighbourhood of Erzenu-’r-Rūm (Erzen of the Romans, the ancient Arzes, now Erzerum). Scouts brought in the intelligence that the Kh’ārezmians were very numerous; and great anxiety prevailed among the Sultan’s troops. He resolved to see for himself.
He put on a disguise and set out with a few followers, on fleet horses, for the Kh’ārezmian camp. They gave out that they were nomad Turks of the neighbourhood, their ancestors having come from the Oxus; that latterly the Sultan had withdrawn his favour from them; and that, in consequence, they had for some time past been looking for the Kh’ārezmian advent. This was reported to the king, Jelālu-’d-Dīn, who sent for them and received them kindly, giving them tents and assigning them rations.
During the night King Jelālu-’d-Dīn began to reflect that every one had hitherto spoken well of Sultan ‘Alā’u-’d-Dīn, and a doubt arose in his mind in consequence respecting the story of these newcomers, especially as he learned that the Sultan was on his march to meet him. Consulting with the Prince of Erzenu-’r-Ram, further perquisition was postponed until the morrow.
But at midnight the deceased saint of Qonya, Bahā-Veled, appeared in a dream to Sultan ‘Alā’u-’d-Dīn, and warned him to fly at once. The Sultan awoke, found it was a dream, and went to sleep again. The saint now appeared a second time. The Sultan saw himself seated on his throne, and the saint coming to him, smiting him on the breast with his staff, and angrily saying, “Why sleepest thou? Arise!”
Now the Sultan did arise, quietly called his people, saddled horses, and stole away out of the camp. Towards morning King Jelāl caused guards to be placed round the tents of the strangers to watch them. But afterwards, when orders were given to bring them to the king’s presence to be questioned, their tents were found to be empty. Pursuit was attempted, but in vain. After an interval the two armies came into collision. The Sultan of Qonya was victorious. From that time forward, whenever difficulties threatened, he always betook himself to the shrine of the saint, Bahā Veled, who always answered his prayers.
(As Sultan Jelālu-’d-Dīn Kh’ārezm-Shāh has already been stated to have died in battle in Azerbāyjān in a.d. 1223, whereas the saint of Qonya did not die until a.d. 1231, eight years afterwards, the discrepancy of that date with the present anecdote is irreconcilable.)
The Great Master, Bahā Veled, used to say that while he himself lived no other teacher would be his equal, but that when his son, Jelālu-’d-Dīn, should succeed him at his death, that son of his would equal and even surpass him:
Seyyid Burhānu-’d-Dīn Termīzī 1 is related to have said that one night the door of the mausoleum of Bahā Veled opened of itself, and that a great glory shone forth from it, which gradually filled his house, so that no shadow fell from anything. The glory then gradually filled the city in like manner, spreading thence over the whole face of nature. On beholding this prodigy the Seyyid swooned away.
This vision is a sure indication that the whole human race will one day own themselves the disciples of the descendants of the great saint.
Before he quitted Balkh, Bahā Veled one day saw a man performing his devotions in the great mosque in his shirt sleeves, with his coat upon his back. Bahā reproved him, telling him to put on his coat properly and decently, then to continue his devotions. “And what if I will not?” asked the man in a disdainful tone. “Thy dead-like soul will obey my command, quit thy body, and thou wilt die!” answered Bahā. Instantly the man fell dead; and crowds flocked to become disciples to the saint who spoke with such power and authority.
When Sultan ‘Alā’u-’d-Dīn had fortified Qonya, he invited Bahā Veled to mount to the terraced roof of the palace, thence to survey the walls and towers. After his inspection, Bahā remarked to the Sultan, “Against torrents, and against the horsemen of the enemy, thou hast raised a goodly defence. But what protection hast thou built against those unseen arrows, the sighs and moans of the oppressed, which overleap a thousand walls and sweep whole worlds to destruction? Go to, now! strive to acquire the blessings of thy subjects. These are a stronghold, compared to which the walls and turrets of the strongest castles are as nothing.”
On one occasion Sultan ‘Alā’u-’d-Dīn paid a visit to Bahā Veled. In lieu of his hand the latter offered the tip of his staff to be kissed by the Sultan, who thought within himself: “The proud scholar!” Bahā read the Sultan’s thoughts as a seer, and remarked in reply thereto: “Mendicant students are bound to be humble and lowly. Not so a Sultan of the Faith who has attained to the utmost circumference of the orbit thereof, and revolves therein.”
A certain Sheykh Hajjāj, a disciple of Bahā Veled and one of God’s elect not known to the herd of mankind, quitted the college after the decease of his teacher, and betook himself to his former trade of a weaver, therewith to gain an honest livelihood. He used to buy the coarsest brown bread of unsifted flour, mash this up with water, and break his fast with this sop alone. All the rest of his earnings he saved up until they would reach to two or three hundred piastres. This sum he would then carry to the college, and place it in the shoes of his teacher’s son, Jelālu-’d-Dīn, the new rector. This practice he continued so long as he lived.
At his death a professional washer was appointed to perform the last ablution for Sheykh Hajjāj. In the execution of his office the washer was about to touch the privities of the deceased, when the defunct seized his hand with so strong a grip as to make him scream with pain and fright. The friends came to rescue him, but they were unable to release the imprisoned hand. They therefore sent word to Jelālu-’d-Dīn of what had occurred. He came and saw, knew the reason, and whispered into the ear of the deceased man: “The poor simpleton has been unaware of the high station of thy sanctity. Pardon his unintentional transgression for my sake.” Immediately the poor washer’s hand was released; but three days afterwards he was himself washed and borne lifeless to his grave.
The Sultan had a governor of his childhood still living, the Emīr Bedru-’d-Dīn Guhertāsh, commonly known as the Dizdār (Castellan), whom he held in great esteem. One day, as Bahā Veled was lecturing in the mosque, in presence of the Sultan and his court, he suddenly called upon the Dizdār to recite any ten verses of the Qur’ān, saying he would then expound them to the congregation. The Dizdār had been admiring the eloquence of the preacher’s expositions. Upon this sudden call, without the slightest hesitation and without ever having committed them to memory, he recited the first ten verses of chapter xxiii., “The believers have attained to prosperity,” &c., which Bahā forthwith explained in such a manner as to draw down the plaudits of the assembly. The Dizdār, with the Sultan’s permission, went to the foot of the pulpit and declared himself a disciple to Bahā. “Then,” said the preacher, “as a thank-offering for this happy event, do thou build and endow a college where my descendants shall teach their disciples after me.” The Dizdār did so, and richly endowed it. This is the college where Jelālu-’d-Dīn afterwards lived. When the Dizdār died he left all his possessions to enrich the foundation.
The Sultan had a dream (something like one of Nebuchadnezzar’s). He saw himself with a head of gold, a breast of silver, a belly of brass, thighs of lead, and shanks of tin. Bahā Veled explained the dream as follows:—”All will go well in the kingdom during thy lifetime. It will be as silver in the days of thy son; as brass in the next generation, when the rabble will get the upper hand. Troubles will thicken during the next reign; and after that the kingdom of Rome will go to ruin, the house of Seljūq will come to an end, and unknown upstarts will seize the reins of government.”
3:1 There is an allusion in the word ‘Arifin (Adepts) to the name of Eflākī’s patron, the Chelebī Emīr ‘Ārif (well-knowing).
3:2 Eastern Persia.
4:1 The ancient Bactra, sometimes called Zariaspa, the capital of Bactria.
5:1 Incorrectly written Mecca by Europeans.
9:1 Of Termīz (Tirmez), on the north bank of the Oxus, near to Balkh.
I. 58. bâgo nâ jâ re nâ jâ
Do not go to the garden of flowers!
O Friend! go not there;
In your body is the garden of flowers.
Take your seat on the thousand petals of the lotus, and there gaze on the Infinite Beauty.
The Poetry Of Hafiz
WITH THAT MOON LANGUAGE
Everyone you see, you say to them, “Love me.”
Of course you do not do this out loud, otherwise
someone would call the authorities.
Still, though, think about this, this great pull in us to connect.
Why not become the one who lives with a
full moon in each eye that is
with that sweet moon language,
what every other eye in
this world is
Some Fill With Each Good Rain
There are different wells within your heart.
Some fill with each good rain,
Others are far too deep for that.
In one well
You have just a few precious cups of water,
That “love” is literally something of yourself,
It can grow as slow as a diamond
If it is lost.
Should never be offered to the mouth of a
Only to someone
Who has the valor and daring
To cut pieces of their soul off with a knife
Then weave them into a blanket
To protect you.
There are different wells within us.
Some fill with each good rain,
Others are far, far too deep
The Stairway of Existence
We Are not
In pursuit of formalities
Or fake religious
For through the stairway of existence
We have come to God’s Door.
We are People who need to love, because
Love is the soul’s life,
Love is simply creation’s greatest joy.
Through The stairway of existence,
O, through the stairway of existence, Hafiz
Have You now come,
Have we all now come to
The Beloved’s Door.
The Mountain Got Tired of Sitting
Won a beauty contest and became a jewel
Set upon God’s right hand.
The earth agreed to be a toe ring on the
And has never regretted its decision.
The mountains got tired
Of sitting amongst a sleeping audience
And are now stretching their arms
Toward the Roof.
The clouds gave my soul an idea
So I pawned my gills
And rose like a winged diamond
Ever trying to be near
More love, more love
The Mountain got tired of sitting
Amongst a snoring crowd inside of me
And rose like a rip sun
Into my eye.
My soul gave my heart a brilliant idea
So Hafiz is rising like a
Look how a mirror
will reflect with perfect equanimity
There is no act in this world
that will ever cause the mirror to look away.
There is no act in this world that will
ever make the mirror
The mirror, like perfect love, will just keep giving
of itself to all
How did the mirror ever get like that, so polite,
so grand, so compassionate?
It watched God.
Yes, the mirror remembers the Beloved
looking into itself as the Beloved shaped existence’s heart
and the mirror’s
My eye has the nature of God.
Hafiz looks upon all with perfect equanimity,
as do my words,
My poems will never tell you no,
because the Mirror is
and if God ever hits you with a don’t –
He has His fingers crossed,
He is just fibbing
for your own
Collapse Under The Empire “Captured Moments”
I. 63. avadhû, mâyâ tajî na jây
TELL me, Brother, how can I renounce Maya?
When I gave up the tying of ribbons, still I tied my garment about me:
When I gave up tying my garment, still I covered my body in its folds.
So, when I give up passion, I see that anger remains;
And when I renounce anger, greed is with me still;
And when greed is vanquished, pride and vainglory remain;
When the mind is detached and casts Maya away, still it clings to the letter.
Kabîr says, “Listen to me, dear Sadhu! the true path is rarely found.”