from the The Drowned Book

The following article appeared on an earlier version of this blog.


“I have been given a taste for what is beautiful….”

Trans. Barks, Coleman; Moyne, John (2009-10-13). The Drowned Book. HarperCollins.

Our distinct way of finding peace with ourselves and the world around us, we are of this world.

Regardless of what our story of creation may be, regardless of where we believe we are headed toward after death, the one unarguable fact is that we share this earth with other forms of life, that this earth supports us and that can both impact its wellbeing and we are utterly connected to it through our own experience.

Today, like may other days, we may be under pressure, rushing, working.

And it is within our power to pause and recognize that within each of us is a capacity to experience the beautiful.

Within us, within each of us, this basic gift of being human is always accessible. We can find the beauty of where we live and of how we live.

It doesn’t matter how this gift came to be – by some God or gods, or as a freak of genetic mutation or side-effect of the development of consciousness, It is part of who we are as human beings.

You, I, have this sense.

This ability to appreciate what is.

And we are, for better or worse, deeply woven in the fabric of this beauty.

Don’t forget it!

The Drowned Book is the book of Runi’s father, a sufi and mystic teacher. The translation is Coleman Barks and John Moyne’s published by Harper Collins. While rooted in the Muslim tradition, the text transcends the wisdom and morals of any one people. The Sufi view that the Divine, by any name, expresses his/her/its magnificence in the world we live in resonates with tantric and pantheistic roots in other traditions. That the bliss of an etherial heaven may await us – but it should not be pursued at the risk of refusing to see the beauty in our present circumstances and in the experience of being human.