Brian’s Reflection: Monday, August 18, 2008
There is nothing but water in the holy pools.
I know, I have been swimming in them.
All the gods sculpted of wood or ivory can't say a word.
I know, I have been crying out to them.
The Sacred Books of the East are nothing but words.
I looked through their covers one day sideways.
What Kabir talks of is only what he has lived through.
If you have not lived through something, it is not true.
- Kabir (Sufi)
I have used this quote from Kabir before (in 2004). I find it something important to remember regularly.
Be clear. Kabir is NOT saying – such is the mystery of language and of expression – that “holy pools” and “gods” and “sacred books” are unimportant. What he is saying is that they are meaningless unless they flow out of the experience of Life (and Death, and struggle, and joy, and suffering, etc) of each of us. Unless there is a relationship between these things and each human being.
I am using this quote again to remind us all today: You Are Important and Necessary. Let’s have none of this denigration of our beautiful human selves. None of this dismissal of the imminent in favour of the “transcendent”. None of this longing for “heaven” at the rejection of “this mortal life”.
“Gods” and “sacred books” and “holy pools” are sacraments - outward and visible signs of the inner mystery of Life which each of us experiences in a unique way, and in which we all share in some way. If we are not “in” the holy pools and sacred books and wood and ivory deities, they are “nothing”.
If we can’t find the source of the sacraments within ourselves, none of them are true.