There’s a moon in my body, but I can’t see it!
A moon and a sun.
A drum never touched by hands, beating, and I can’t hear it!
As long as a human being worries about when he will die,
and what he has that is his,
all of his works are zero.
When affection for the I-creature and what it owns is dead,
then the work of the Teacher is over.
The purpose of labor is to learn;
when you know it, the labor is over.
The apple blossom exists to create fruit; when that comes, the petals fall.
The musk is inside the deer, but the deer does not look for it:
It wanders around looking for grass.
(Poem by Kabir, version by Robert Bly)
Photo by Dan Murtha
One part of the ‘family’ self wants to think about, help and support in whatever way possible, and give up personal preferences and wishes in order to become a better daughter, wife, sister, friend. Another part wants to be free from these roles and responsibilities and their incessant demands. Yet another part continues to struggle with the two ‘wants’ and seeks for more harmony. And yet another part reminds to stay calm, and do whatever is needed and take whatever comes with no personal preference.
One part of the ‘social’ self wants to know what is going on in the world and why. Another part of this ‘social’ self wants to be free from this desire to know what is going on in the world and why. Yet another part continues to oscillate between the outward and inward paths of knowing. And yet another part reminds to be at peace and open the heart to receive true knowledge, knowledge of the eternal.
One part of the ‘worker’ self wants to look at the purpose and place of my work in the larger context. Another part reminds this part – “you don’t even know what your work is.” Yet another part suggests – “find your work.” And yet another part calmly signals – “the work will find you.”
Artist: Bindu Popli
Feel the stirrings of a seed within, a seed whose first tiny leaves will one day take the form of a longing for true learning, learning that helps one to transcend the narrow limitations of one’s various identities, roles and responsibilities and makes possible the direct knowledge of the inner, truer being that manifests in all yet is none of these identities, roles and parts, that is waiting in perfect calmness and peace to be unveiled, so that it can surface and shine its light on all the stumbling, crude movements of all the other parts that keep chattering.
A seed is the link between the Heaven and the Earth. All the potentiality of Life is hidden in a seed. In Life lies Aspiration. Aspiration to look up towards the Heaven. Aspiration to bring the Heaven on Earth, to transform Earth into a Heaven. If the seed is broken up to see what exists hidden in it, all potentiality of Life is destroyed. Only the ‘whole’ seed carries potential Life, and thus a potential Aspiration….aspiration to become ‘whole’ again. The ‘whole’ is already in us, trying to reveal itself in and through all our outer actions and movements, partial, fragmented, obscure and crude as they may be. We need to stop and observe, and observe and observe some more. We need to become conscious of our parts and their movements.
Photo by Andrew Gibson
Our outward happenings have their seed within,
And even this random Fate that imitates Chance,
This mass of unintelligible results,
Are the dumb graph of truths that work unseen:
The laws of the Unknown create the known.
The events that shape the appearance of our lives
Are a cipher of subliminal quiverings
Which rarely we surprise or vaguely feel,
Are an outcome of suppressed realities
That hardly rise into material day:
They are born from the spirit’s sun of hidden powers
Digging a tunnel through emergency.
But who shall pierce into the cryptic gulf
And learn what deep necessity of the soul
Determined casual deed and consequence?
Absorbed in a routine of daily acts,
Our eyes are fixed on an external scene;
We hear the crash of the wheels of Circumstance
And wonder at the hidden cause of things.
Yet a foreseeing Knowledge might be ours,
If we could take our spirit’s stand within,
If we could hear the muffled daemon voice.
(Sri Aurobindo, Savitri, Book 1, Canto IV)