Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Attar: 'The Conference of the Birds' (1187 A.D.), Part the Third

Attar, The Conference of the Birds (1187 C.E.), translated by Sholeh Wolpé. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2017. 

Sufi Bounce: some of this dovetails with Buddhism and other "Eastern" outlooks, as well as with all sorts of forms of mysticism in various corners of the globe. It also seems like common sense, if only such good sense was more common.

"Whatever you imagine you must have
lasts but for a moment . . .

If you're thrilled at a desire fulfilled,
don't boast; it's just a flash of joy.
If your mood darkens when things go wrong for you,
don't cry; this too is fleeting. . ."

(pages 177-178).

On direction (very important in a bird's life):

"Without direction, you suffer great hardship,
like a stray dog wandering the streets.
Such a dog endures many hardships, yet for what?"

(page 188).

"Do unto others as you would have done to yourself. That so-called infidel has shown fidelity and loyalty; where is yours?"

("Parable of a Dishonorable Warrior," page 206).
"A worthy seer of secrets
is never audacious from rudeness.
To the one who holds civility on his left
and respect on her right,
a moment of audacity is possible."

(page 209).

"As long as you're steeped in your own illusions,
your cries and prayers are worthless, my dear . . .

If you give in to the ego, even for an instant, arrows will shower you from all directions . . ."

(page 223). 

Today's Rune: Defense. lllustrations: Birds from the Panchatantra, Walters Museum; Islamic Medical Manuscripts, National Library of Medicine.

1 comment:

Charles Gramlich said...

Wish I could hold in mind the fact that when my mood darkens it is temporary