Monday, May 24, 2010

Standing outside the Fire

If your knowledge of fire
has been turned to certainty by words alone,
then seek to be cooked by the fire itself.
Don't abide in borrowed certainty.
There is no real certainty until you burn;
if you wish for this, sit down in the fire.
~ Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi

I believe poetry is wonderful because there is no exact meaning, it means many things, and different things to different folks. Below are 3 thoughts, of many, I have regarding the quote. I would love to hear your ideas!

1) Experience and practice, being in present time with our body and in this world, ARE reality - I hear Rumi say: jump in with no holds barred!

Theory and hearsay are shadows of reality.
I would rather directly experience what is real and true and love and God... for Myself... not second-hand (That is like watching it on TV, it is not LIFE!) AND at the same time, oh how reality Burns!

But then, no one can say this theory or that theory to me, I KNOW my experience - that is my own certainty, not someone else's belief or theory... (Christian writer Paul says: "in order that we may be no longer babes, tossed and carried about by every wind of that teaching but... holding the truth in love, we may grow up to him in all things")

2) God (Light/Love/Life/Fire) burns up everything that is not God (Light/Love/Life/Fire). My favorite preacher, Dr Bruce Morgan, used to say this all the time, for me it is axiomatic.

From my perspective, everything comes from God and everything returns to God. I can flow with the process or resist it.  From my level of resistance I can suffer little or much.  But in the end, everything ends: everything goes into the fire...

3) One of the Christian spellings for Rumi's quote, I believe, is Jesus saying: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me".

I would translate this something like: I must let go of letting the 'lower/ego self' run the show... Paul calls it 'flesh', let go of the physically-focused self; and be who I really am as spirit, a part of God, and walk my unique spiritual path. This fulfills me and naturally serves the world; AND this Way goes through the fire, the cross, there is no way around it! Just like Jesus did, in his unique way, we have the opportunity to do, in our unique way.

When we stop chasing around outside of us (fixing, changing, squirreling, consuming, desiring, worrying, scheming, helping, controlling... ad infinitum) and focus inside of us (which feels like sitting in the fire, no? at least at first!!!) then, well, that is IT.  The way can be painful, but the fruit is sweet.

The fire could be THE BELOVED (GOD), it could be LOVE, it could be LIFE, it could be BEINGNESS.  Here is one possible reading of Rumi's words, that could sum all these things:

If your knowledge of GOD
has been turned to certainty by words alone,
then seek to be cooked by GOD directly.
Don't abide in borrowed certainty.
There is no real certainty until you are consumed/transformed through/by GOD;
if you wish for this, sit down in GOD.

Of course I find myself singing Garth now  ; )
Life is not tried, it is merely survived
If you're standing outside the fire

Friday, January 1, 2010