I might give up world affairs.
This could be the end of my interest in what happens in politics, governments, corporations, interest groups, spokespeople for any organization, preachers, reformers, the saved, the anxious to be enlightened, the guardians of public safety, the proponents of change, the protectors of the status quo, the righteous, the rebels, the polite, and the trouble-makers.
Overnight At a Mountain Monastery
Massed peaks pierce
The sky’s cold colors;
Here, the trail junctions
With the temple path.
Shooting stars pass
Into sparse-branched trees;
The moon travels one way,
Clouds the other.
Few people come
To this mountaintop;
Cranes do not flock
In the tall pines.
One Buddhist monk,
Eighty years old,
Has never heard
Of the world’s affairs.
- Chia Tao (779-843)
All of it. Finished.
Well then. There you are. Now then. Let's get started.
Joseph to his father in Canaan shall return, don't despair walk on;
and Jacob's hut will brighten with flowers, don't despair walk on.
Aching hearts heal in time, vanished hopes reappear,
the disparate mind will be pacified, don't despair walk on.
As the spring of life grows the newly green meadow,
roses will crown the sweet nightingale's song, don't despair walk on
If the world does not turn to your whims these few days,
cosmic cycles are preparing to change, don't despair walk on.
If desperation whispers you'll never know God,
it's the talk of hidden games in the veil, don't despair walk on.
O heart, when the vast flood slashes life to its roots,
Captain Noah waits to steer you ashore, don't despair walk on.
If you trek as a pilgrim through sands to Kaabeh
with thorns lodged deep in your soul shouting why, don't despair walk on
Though oases hide dangers and your destiny's far,
there's no pathway that goes on forever, don't despair walk on.
My trials and enemies face me on their own,
but mystery always backs up my stand, don't despair walk on.
Hafez, weakened by poverty, alone in the dark,
this night is your pathway into the light, don't despair walk on.
(From: 'The Spiritual Wisdom of Hafez', Haleh Pourafzal and Roger Montgomery)
Night as pathway; darkness as route.
I despair of the ways of the world. Both the arrogant and the altruistic drink of the same brew.
As the lyrics of the Tom Rush song say, "Tomorrow I'll be in some other sunrise" -- I expect to be gone from the illusions of self and other.
I'll be right here, of course.
Nothing will change.
Just don't ask my opinion of anything.
I'll have none.
Now is the Time
Now is the time to know
That all that you do is sacred.
Now, why not consider
A lasting truce with yourself and God.
Now is the time to understand
That all your ideas of right and wrong
Were just a child's training wheels
To be laid aside
When you finally live
Hafiz is a divine envoy
Whom the Beloved
Has written a holy message upon.
My dear, please tell me,
Why do you still
Throw sticks at your heart
What is it in that sweet voice inside
That incites you to fear?
Now is the time for the world to know
That every thought and action is sacred.
This is the time for you to compute the impossibility
That there is anything
Now is the season to know
That everything you do
(--from 'The Gift - Poems by Hafiz the Great Sufi Master', translations by Daniel Ladinsky)
Oh to disappear into what is completely apparent!