Archive for October, 2006

Tolstoj - The command of non-resistance and the mystery

Posted by Pelgrim on 27th October 2006

I was recently reading the Fifth Chapter of Matthew with a Jewish Rabbi. At almost every sentence the Rabbi said, ‘That is in the Jewish Canon. That is in the Talmud’, and he pointed out to me in the Old Testament and the Talmud dicta very similar to the dicta of the Sermon on the Mount. But when we came to the verse about non-resistance to him that is evil he did not say, ‘And that is in the Talmud’, but only ironically asked me: ‘Do the Christians fulfill that? Do they turn the other cheek ?’

I had no reply, especially as I knew that at that very time Christians were not only not turning the other cheek, but were striking cheeks the Jews had turned. But I was interested to know whether there was anything similar in the Old Testament or in the Talmud, and I asked him about this. He replied: ‘No, it is not there. But tell me whether the Christians fulfill this law.’ By this question he showed me that the presence of this rule in the Christian law, which not only is not performed by anyone, but which Christians themselves admit to be impracticable, is an admission of the irrationality and superfluity of the Christian law. And I had no reply to give him.

Now having understood the meaning of this teaching, I see clearly the strange internal contradiction with which I was faced. Having admitted Christ to be God and his law to be divine, and having at the same time arranged my life in contra­diction to the teaching, what was left me but to ad­mit that the teaching was impracticable? In words I admitted the teaching of Christ to be holy, in prac­tice I professed a quite unchristian teaching and admitted and submitted to unchristian institutions which surrounded me on all sides.

The whole of the Old Testament says that the misfortunes of the Jewish people were the effect of their believing in false gods and not in the true God. Samuel, in his First Book, chapters viii and xii, told the people that to all their former disobedience they had added a new one. Instead of God who had been their King they had chosen a man-king, whom they thought would save them. Do not believe in ‘vain things’, says Samuel to the people (xii. 21). It cannot help you or save you because it is ‘vain’-  empty. That you may not perish together with your king, cling to the one God.

And it was faith in that ‘vain thing’, in empty idols, that hid the truth from me. On the path to it, hiding its light from me, stood those ‘vain things’ which I had not strength to reject.

Tolstoj - What I believe, Chapter II The command of non-resistance

Mark 10, 27 And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.

KJV Ef 3, 3 How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery;

KJV Ef 3, 9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:

KJV Col 1, 26 Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: 27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

KJV Isaiah 53 10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.  thou…: or, his soul shall make an offering
11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. 12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

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Be Lost in the Call a poem by Rumi

Posted by Pelgrim on 19th October 2006

Lord, said David, since you do not need us,
why did you create these two worlds?

Reality replied: O prisoner of time,
I was a secret treasure of kindness and generosity,
and I wished this treasure to be known,
so I created a mirror: its shining face, the heart;
its darkened back, the world;
The back would please you if you’ve never seen the face.

Has anyone ever produced a mirror out of mud and straw?
Yet clean away the mud and straw,
and a mirror might be revealed.

Until the juice ferments a while in the cask,
it isn’t wine. If you wish your heart to be bright,
you must do a little work.

My King addressed the soul of my flesh:
You return just as you left.
Where are the traces of my gifts?

We know that alchemy transforms copper into gold.
This Sun doesn’t want a crown or robe from God’s grace.
He is a hat to a hundred bald men,
a covering for ten who were naked.

Jesus sat humbly on the back of an ass, my child!
How could a zephyr ride an ass?
Spirit, find your way, in seeking lowness like a stream.
Reason, tread the path of selflessness into eternity.

Remember God so much that you are forgotten.
Let the caller and the called disappear;
be lost in the Call.

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Posted in Mysticism, Sufism | No Comments »