Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Sound Of No Shore

In the ocean are many bright strands
and many dark strands like veins that are seen
when a wing is lifted up.
Your hidden self is blood in those, those veins
that are lute strings that make ocean music,
not the sad edge of surf,
                            but the sound of no shore.

                                           -- Rumi

     We never come home to the essence of who we are until we experience boundlessness--"the sound of no shore." Our creaturely self must submit to limits, the ultimate of which is physical death. No one, as they say, gets out of this life alive. But there's another way to read the truism: it's only when we become precisely "no one" that we consciously unite with our Eternal Source and so transcend mortality. Yet it can be utterly terrifying to lose not only the sight, but even the sound of the shore! To do so I must surrender everything which represents that familiar, reassuring shore to me--.all my assumptions, attachments, addictions. I must painfully peel away every last layer of self-importance, every last shred of bogus identity, until I reach a condition of perfect emptiness. The silence of that inner ocean is the sound of no shore.


for the ten thousand things

for every no-thing else

sooner or later
you're heading to deep ocean
words love to play on the shore

they're happiest there
frisky!     at home among
crowded beaches    busy docks
people coming and going
all that hustle and bustle

but the farther you swim
alone into uncharted waters
the panickier words become

cold   exhausted   one by one
they sink beneath the waves

until at last only a handful

struggle on blindly


like this


     At the innermost core of ourselves, where the emptiness shines, we are boundless beings. There, and only there, are we quintessentially free. The sound of no shore is also the music of the spheres, the susurration of the universe. How can we bear our burdens and find our way here, in this Earth Plane labyrinth of cause and effect, trial and error, struggle and death? Only if we maintain an indestructable toehold in Eternity! Don't be blasted and confounded by the storm of time. Rediscover the Sanctuary of the eye at the heart of the hurricane.


Three a.m. and the psychic storm was raging--
something around the hugeness of a galaxy but
dead black, twisted inside out, and ravenous.

I was scuttling beneath it, a stupified crab,
lurching this way and that,
                                     scrambling for cover.
So I came at last to the shimmering cliffs.

Not cliffs really, more like the fringes of
some titanic robe, shot through with Radiance;
more like the hem of a garment of Light.

I stopped in my tracks. What would you do?
What would you do if the Inconceivable
swept its scintillant Edge across your soul?

Dazed and punch-drunk I dropped to my knees.
I clothed my quaking terror with nakedness.
I wrapped my anguish in Eternity's Flame.


    If I sacrifice my privacy, solitude, introspection and self-emptying through a Faustian bargain with materialism, consumption, and the glittering allure of digital technology, I won't be gaining greater freedom but rather insuring deeper slavery. There's no way I can hear "the sound of no shore" except by leaving behind the cacophony of things, forms, powers, illusions and desires. My irreducible freedom is defined by "not this, not that." The wormhole to Infinity is a bull's-eye beaconing from the center of my soul!

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

                         -- Rumi



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