brian wilcox. 'Passage to an Unknown'. flickr
We planned a dinner out at a restaurant we both liked. I drove an hour to get there. We ordered our meal, which we had not known would be so expensive. She apologized for the expensiveness. I was paying, and I assured her that the cost was okay, this was a special occasion for us. When waiting for the meal, a matter of disagreement arose. What seemed a small matter became a major matter. The meal arrived, a wonderful dish before us each. We ate, talking about the matter we could find no agreement on, acting like we were enjoying this delicious feast. I thought later, how sad, we totally missed the tasty meal, as well as the special time together we had planned. We missed it all in an argument that found no resolution. We both left sad, saying our goodbyes. And is this not like life ~ we can miss the wonder that Life offers us, we can get into our heads, where we disagree, and forget the heart, where we can love? And these moments cannot be recaptured, once gone, they are gone.
your arguing about belief
for your belief
against her belief
by for and against
the nature of the rain
you miss enjoying
the kisses of wetness
so what is the sense
in such arguing
with the Truth
what lover sharing love stops and says
"Dear, shall we pause
to talk about the meaning of this?"
no, the making love
that is the understanding of lovers
return to the Seed
to become one with the Tree
* * *
The Sage was asked, "Why are there so many different beliefs and persons arguing over them?"
The Sage told a tale...
A young woman lives in a land where the people have never seen a rose. She visits a land where there are roses. Someone shows her a rose and invites her to smell its scent. She is told it is called "rose." She delights in the appearance and scent, and the word "rose" resonates with her spirit. She thinks, "What a lovely word for such a beautiful flower and delightful scent!"
She returns to her home country, excited to tell about the rose. She tells of the beauty and fragrance of a rose. The people look at her confused, while she tries to explain what she means. Finally, she realizes that she can only give a hint of the rose through her experience of the rose, and, possibly, others will wish to go experience it for themselves.
There are varied responses to her efforts. Some of the people get the hint and want to experience the rose. Some leave frustrated, deciding this matter is too confusing. Some leave believing everything she said literally, having arrived at a total misunderstanding of what a rose is. Others depart refusing to believe a rose exists, for they have never experienced a rose and, therefore, they conclude there is no such thing. Others leave, thinking a rose may or may not exist. Some decide, based on the young woman's words, that they know what a rose is, its scent, and its beauty, though they have never seen one or inhaled its fragrance.
Later, some of the people, inspired by the young woman's experience, decide to go to where they can see and smell a rose. They return to tell about their experience, as did the young woman. And they, like her, get the same responses.
The sign and the signified are not the same, said the Sage. The confusion of the two leads to much confusion. Those whose faces are turned to the Sun, they no longer live in a belief about the Sun, so they have no wish to argue about the Sun.
* * *
On another occasion, when after the Sage offered a talk, everyone seemed in a mood to argue about a matter of belief. The Sage interrupted, quoting Kabir...
Hiding in this cage
of visible matter
is the invisible
she is singing
* * *
teach me how to rest in faith
affirming what I know
admitting when I do not know
celebrating what I can never know
Save me from the facile conviction that is
a defense against faith
Teach me the faith that can equally
embrace uncertainty and certainty
sandro bisotti. 'Po river delta'. flickr
(C) Brian Wilcox, 2020
*Poem of Kabir, "Hiding in this Cage," from The Poet Kabir. Poems of Kabir.
*Photo by sandro bisotti is Public Domain.