The Last Truth

9DF6C27B-1BF6-4BED-949F-40F4B6360333 man had left his village in search of enlightenment. After many long years, from hardship to hardship, he had become a vagabond, a pariah in our towns. One evening, he landed in a dense forest. He made a fire and thought of everything he had seen, lived and understood: pieces of light, of truth… but nothing like an awakening. He was a little discouraged when he heard a bird singing at the top of a tree: “I have the last truth, I have the last truth. It is for whoever will come and get it…”.

The man then began to climb to the top of this tree. Climbing was difficult and dangerous. As he climbed towards this last truth, he had to fight against vertigo. He was guided by the song of the bird without ever seeing it. He finally reached the summit and, bathing in a sumptuous golden light, he saw the sun set, the stars appear but no bird. However, the voice, coming out of nowhere and everywhere at the same time, said to him: “You came to receive a last truth, so receive it and leave to offer it to everyone who will believe you.”

At that moment all his questions were changed into answers and his answers into questions. The light became shadow and from the shadow was born light. All these pieces of scattered truths came together to form a whole, new, multiple truth. So his last truth became his first. His heart began to smile and his smile began to say the words of his heart. Then, without descending from the tree, awake and light, he was able to continue his way by riding some winds of wild wisdom.

Since then, this tree of passage, of metamorphosis, which was a wild tea tree, is venerated. Some of us offer or receive some of its leaves, attentive to everything that, in the golden glow of a cup, they could tell or sing to us, sensitive to any call.

 

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Text found in my computer attic, source unknown
(Translated from French by Alain Joly)

Photo by Carol Brandt

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Website:
Carol Brandt Photography

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Hymns to the Dawn

The Rig Veda is the oldest Indian text, a corpus of hymns that have been ‘seen’ by sages, or rishis – these ‘sacred poets’. They are hymns to Agni – the fire, to Soma – the drink of immortality, to the Gods and to nature (the Sun, the Earth, Heaven, Night, Dawn).

I have chosen to share here some hymns dedicated to Dawn. They are simple to understand, full of tender and beautiful imagery. They symbolize the eternal beginnings, the very ones that presided over the birth of the Vedas 3500 years ago. Dawn is the goddess Ushas, the beautiful maiden who infuses life with her beauty and qualities. Shardha Batra writes, “She is the pregnant silence at daybreak, which pulsates with a nebulous promise of fresh hope, dreams to be fulfilled, battles to be fought and conquered. Her gentle yet sure vibrations suffuse the most tired of souls with new potential.”

Also, the dawn symbolises the passage from darkness to light, and was bound to become this strong archetypal figure described by Sri Aurobindo: “Night in the Veda is the symbol of our obscure consciousness full of ignorance in knowledge and of stumblings in will and act, therefore of all evil, sin and suffering; light is the coming of the illuminated higher consciousness which leads to truth and happiness.”

 

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The stars were yielding reluctantly to dawn and there was that peculiar silent expectation when the sun is about to come; the hills were waiting and so were the trees and meadows open in their joy.”
~ J. Krishnamurti

 

Dawn on us with prosperity
O Ushas, Daughter of the Sky.
Dawn with great glory, Lady of the Light.
Dawn Thou with riches bounteous One.

~~

The radiant Dawns have risen up for glory,
in their white splendour like the waves of waters.
She maketh paths all easy, fair to travel, and, rich,
hath shown herself benign and friendly.

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The goddess Dawn has eternally shown before,
and the bounteous goddess shines here today.
So will she shine in future. The ageless and immortal Dawn
moves on according to her eternal laws.

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Shedding her light on human habitations
this Child of Heaven hath called us from our slumber;
She who at night-time with her argent lustre
hath shown herself e’en through the shades of darkness.

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Arise! the breath, the life, again hath reached us:
darkness hath passed away and light approacheth.
She for the Sun hath left a path to travel
we have arrived where men prolong existence.

~~

Singing the praises of refulgent Mornings
with his hymn’s web the priest, the poet rises.
Shine then to-day, rich Maid, on him who lauds thee,
shine down on us the gift of life and offspring.

 

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From Rig Veda (1. 92, 113, & 124) – Translation by Ralph T.H. Griffith

Picture by unknown artist ; Mandala by Elsebet Barner

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Bibliography:
– ‘The Rig Veda: Complete and Illustrated‘ – Translated by Ralph T. H. Griffith – (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform)

Websites:
Usha, vedic goddess of new beginnings – by Shardha Batra
– The Vedic Dawn: Goddess Usha – by Sri Aurobindo
Sri Aurobindo (Wikipedia)
Vedas (Wikipedia)

 

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The Pilgrims

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Love Leading the Pilgrim

“Man is indeed abroad to satisfy needs which are more to him than food and clothing. He is out to find himself. Man’s history is the history of his journey to the unknown in quest of the realisation of his immortal self – his soul. Through the rise and fall of empires; through the building up gigantic piles of wealth and the ruthless scattering of them upon the dust; through the creation of vast bodies of symbols that give shape to his dreams and aspirations, and the casting of them away like the playthings of an outworn infancy; through his forging of magic keys with which to unlock the mysteries of creation, and through his throwing away of this labour of ages to go back to his workshop and work up afresh some new form; yes, through it all man is marching from epoch to epoch towards the fullest realisation of his soul, – the soul which is greater than the things man accumulates, the deeds he accomplishes, the theories he builds; the soul whose onward course is never checked by death or dissolution.

Man’s mistakes and failures have by no means been trifling or small, they have strewn his path with colossal ruins; his sufferings have been immense, like birth-pangs for a giant child; they are the prelude of a fulfilment whose scope is infinite. Man has gone through and is still undergoing martyrdoms in various ways, and his institutions are the altars he has built whereto he brings his daily sacrifices, marvellous in kind and stupendous in quantity. All this would be absolutely unmeaning and unbearable if all along he did not feel that deepest joy of the soul within him, which tries its divine strength by suffering and proves its exhaustless riches by renunciation.

Yes, they are coming, the pilgrims, one and all – coming to their true inheritance of the world; they are ever broadening their consciousness, ever seeking a higher and higher unity, ever approaching nearer to the one central Truth which is all-comprehensive.”

~ Rabindranath Tagore (1861 – 1941)

 

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 Painting by Edward Burne-Jones (1833 – 1898)

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Bibliography:
– ‘Sadhana’: The Realization of Life – by Rabindranath Tagore – (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform)

Website:
Rabindranath Tagore (Wikipedia)

 

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Tripping over Joy

BD266EB8-3B13-4016-A613-8F7742E48D91What is the difference
between your experience of existence
and that of a saint?

The saint knows
that the spiritual path
is a sublime chess game with God
and that the Beloved
has just made such a fantastic move
that the saint is now continually
tripping over joy
and bursting out in laughter
and saying, “I surrender!”

Whereas, my dear,
I am afraid you still think
you have a thousand serious moves.

~ Hafiz

 

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Text from Hafiz, a 14th Century Persian poet

Picture from Alain Joly

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Bibliography:
– ‘I Heard God Laughing: Poems of Hope and Joy’, by Hafiz (translation by Daniel Ladinsky) – Penguin Books

Website:
Hafiz (Wikipedia)

Suggestion:
Voices from Silence (other poems from the blog)

 

Swift as a Bird

Birds, especially the smaller ones, are the most awake creatures of the world. Have you noticed? Their way of quickly moving their head down, and up, up and down, on the sides, pecking with extreme precision, addressing their acute little glance in all corner of life, observing, registering everything, hopping around, ready, for anything, not minding, alert, and gone, swiftly gone, at a lightning speed.

Surely we can find this place in ourselves, untamed, without obstacle, this quality of looking, without the past, without the past. Now. Irremediably now. It’s not that we should be hopping around, but when the mind, all the burden of it, is gone, dissolve, is it not there? This alertness, this awakeness, awareness. Is it not there? Unfettered, wide. Wide as a little bird. Is it not the same energy, the same freedom operating? It seems to me that it is…

 

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Text by Alain Joly

Artwork by Luis Seven Martins (L7m)

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8A19330D-F6FA-43D7-A12C-AA748F24348ALuis Seven Martins – L7m, is a street art painter. Inspired by the beauty and sorrow of life, he likes to work in deserted, disarrayed places. I find his colourful and elegant paintings – mixture of realism and abstraction, exquisite and harmonious. I’m happy that I can share his work with you…
L7MATRIX Street Art

 

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The Secret

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Pierre Bonnard

There is a secret. Do you want to hear it?… So come closer, because like all secrets, it must be whispered. We mustn’t scare anyone.

Are you ready? Here it is: The world is not as it was presented to you. You have been fooled. There is a misundestanding.

It is the best kept secret in the universe. Why? Simply because it is not hidden. Or rather, it is hidden in view of all, in full light. Every religion has tried to conquer it and has failed. Not by lack of believing, as they would like us to think, but by excess of belief, of fascination.

Only the most mystical of their representatives, the most courageous, the most eager to know the truth beyond all other considerations, have approached it, discovered it intimately. Because this secret requires everything, it wants the whole of you. It won’t let you know it from a distance. It wants a total union, therefore a sacrifice.

So, are you ready?

Look carefully. Become impregnated with consciousness, feel it, be ‘it’, to the exclusion of all that you have been taught about yourself. After all, do you really believe that you are your body, to which you gave a name? Do you really think that you have an age, that your thoughts describe you, model you? Do you believe yourself to be so small, so narrow? Is your life just a series of experiences that happen to you, and that will make you either beautiful or stupid, mediocre or refined?

Look again. Are you not experience itself, are you not the world? Are you not absent to the presence of the world? And therefore immense, infinite, eternal, your body marrying the outlines, the confines of the universe? Are you not the very vessel, the One of all things, of which you would be both a part and the totality?

Look. Observe.

The world is not separate from you, doesn’t stand at a distance, and you are not a small thing lost, cut off from everything. You are the experience itself, without any separation between a body, a mind, that would be yourself, and the rest of life and the world that would impose its experience on you. There is only experience, and that is ‘you’.

You are everything, the entirety of what exists. One piece. Nothing that exists is foreign to you. The world is you. Do you hear it? You are the world. Nothing is foreign to you. Nothing that would not be ‘you’. You are your own constituent, and all that, the world, is you! Do you hear it?

That is the secret, God, Love, Life, Death.

It is you !

You are that…

 

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Text by Alain Joly

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The Whirling World

 

A secret turning in us
makes the universe turn.
Head unaware of feet,
and feet head. Neither cares.
They keep turning.”

~ Rumi

 

“What is the significance of this dance? See that if you experiment yourself, turning and turning around in circles, you may realize that it is the world that rotates while you stand still. Here, in our center, and for ever, is the Immobility. When Rumi turned and turned, he must have seen around him the trees, the ground, his disciples, the sun, the moon and the stars. He must have seen his body, his arms stretched out, his feet, all moving. But closer than that, there was Immobility, Silence, Peace. While he was turning and turning, while he let go of the turning world, his sense of oneness with the Source probably got deeper. The depth, the jewel and the mystery of Immobility must have swallowed him and washed him wave after wave. In this Ocean of Love where he drowned, he dissolved until only the Ocean remained. While Immobility lies in the center of the whirling world, without anything that neither comes nor goes, like a rock that is always present and sure, joy sprung forth everywhere around, and so did the ecstasy of the dance. In the midst of the fuzzy world, spinning again and again, he had capitulated, drunk with the beauty, the wisdom and the love of the Beloved.”

 

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Text by Ergin Ergül – ‘La sagesse de Rumi’
(Translated from French by Alain Joly)

Painting from Iranien artist Hossein Irandoust

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Bibliography:
– ‘365 Days With Rûmî’ – Ergin Ergül

Website:
– Rumi (Wikipedia)

 

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