Friday, January 29, 2010

"David" and the Shepherd

"David" heard a shepherd on the road praying, "God, where are you? I want to help you, to fix your shoes andcomb your hair. I want to wash your clothes and pick th lice off. I want to bring you milk and kiss your little hands and feet when it's time for you to go to bed. I want to sweep your room and keep it neat. God, my sheep and goats are yours. All I can say remembering you is aaaayyyyyyyyy and aaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh." "David" could stand it no longer. "Who are you talking to?" "The one who made us and made the earth and made the sky." "Don't talk about shoes and socks with God! And what's this with your little hands? Such blasphemous familiarity sounds like you're chatting with your uncles. Only something that grows needs milk. Only someone with feet needs shoes. Not God!" The shepherd repented and tore his clothes and wandered out into the desert. A sudden revelation came then to "David": You have seperated me from on of my own. Did you come as a prophet to unite or to sever? I have given each being a seperate and unique way of seeing and knowing and saying that knowledge. What seems wrong to you is right for him. What is poison to one is honey to someone else. Purity and impurity, sloth and diligence in worship, these mean nothing to me. I am apart from all that. Ways of worshipping are not to be ranked as better or worse. Hindus do Hindu things. The Dravidian Muslims in India do what they do. It's all praise, and it's all right. I am not glorified in acts of worship. It's the worshipers! I don't hear the words they say. I look inside at the humility. That broken-open lowliness is the reality. Forget phraseology! I want burning, burning. Be friends with your burning. Those who pay attention to ways of behaving and speaking are one sort. Lovers who burn are another. Don't impose a property tax on a burned-out village. Don't scold the lover. The "wrong" way he talks is better than a hundred "right" ways of others. Inside the Kaaba it doesn't matter which way you point your prayer rug! The ocean diver doesn't need snowshoes! The love-religion has no code or doctrine. Only God. So the ruby has nothing engrave on it! I doesn't need markings. God began speaking deeper mysteries to Moses, vision and words, which cannot be recorded here. "David" left himself and came back. He went to eternity and came back here. Many times this happened. It is foolish of me to try and say this. If I did say it, it would uproot human intelligence. "David" ran after the shepherd, following the bewildered footprints, in one place moving like a castle across a chessboard. In another, sideways, like a bishop. Now surging like a wave cresting, now sliding down like a fish, with always his feet making geomancy symbols in the sand, recording his wandering state. "David" finally caught up with him. "I was wrong. God has revealed to me that there are no rules for worship. Say whatever and however your loving tells you to. Your sweetest blasphemy is the truest devotion. Through you a whole world is freed. Loosen your tongue and don't worry what comes out. It's all the light of the spirit." The shepherd replied, ""David","David" I've gone beyond even that. You applied the whip, and my horse shie and jumped out of itself. The divine nature and my human nature come together. Bless your scolding hand. I can't say what has happened. What I'm saying now is not my real condition. It can't be said." The shepherd grew quiet. When you look in a mirror, you see yourself, not the state of the mirror. The flute player gives breath into a flute, and who makes the music? The flute player! Whenever you speak praise or thanksgiving to God, it's always like this dear shepherd's simplicity.

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