Friday, February 3, 2012

feasts of wisdom

I was seeking a cure for my trouble;
My trouble became my cure.
I was seeking a proof of my origin;
My origin became my proof.

I was looking to the right and the left
So that I could see the face of the Beloved.
I was searching outside,
But the Soul was within that very soul.

~  Niyazi Misri (1616 - 1694)
translation by Walter Feldman
with thanks to  poetry chaikhana

The heart takes on the attributes and colors of that toward which it is inclined. It even becomes the same as that toward which it has turned. If you understand this, you will also have understood the meaning of the saying: zhikr(chanting), zakir(the chanter), and mezkur (that which is chanted) are one thing. This is because the spoken zhikr is a form of the actual zhikr. During the actual zhikr, the heart takes on the form of that zhikr. And so, the heart is also called the zhikr. The heart is Haqq (Truth, Reality).

There is an example for each of these. Water takes the name “wave” due to the waving of the wind; in reality, though, the wave is nothing but water. The heart’s situation with the zhikr is the same. If the zhikr pervades the whole heart, it will completely become the zhikr. The zhikr expressed in words is the form of the zhikr that is within the heart. Yet, though the heart takes on the form of this zhikr, essentially the heart is pure from any zhikr. It only takes on a form according to the thought that comes to it. It is for this reason that two ideas cannot exist within the heart simultaneously, for the heart takes on completely the form of whatever idea comes to it. The heart becomes that thought itself. Then another thought can no longer be contained within it. It is like the water of the sea: when water forms a wave, that that wave could also take the form of another wave is inconceivable. In the same moment there cannot be two waves in the same place. Understand this.

Sometimes one may see the heart as a sea. The fact that there are many waves does not cause a strain on the heart; but this state doesn't always occur. It only happens at moments when the absolute body overcomes the particular body. It is like the seed which when sleeping sees itself as a tree.

Within the chest of each human being there is one single heart. Whether this heart inclines to one Self or to many attributes, it takes on the form of whatever it is that it inclines towards.

~ Niyazi Misri
from feast #51
Translated by Camille Helminski and Refik Algan