November 19, 2005

Imagine there's no heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky.

- John Lennon

It is said that Rabia al-Adawiyya, a Sufi mystic of Basra, ran through Basra with a bucket of water in one hand and a burning torch in the other. When asked about the reason behind her actions, she replied: "I want to pour water into hell and set paradise on fire, so that these two veils disappear and nobody shall any longer worship God out of fear of hell or hope of heaven, but simply for the sake of His eternal beauty."

Would it be rude of me to ask what translation of the deity you tend to prefer?
If I could narrow it down to a single isolated translation, then perhaps it might or might not be (and perhaps I might then take your question as an implicit invitation to attempt conversion) -- but I can't, so it isn't ;)

I seek insight, wherever it might be found, through whatever lenses others before me have sought. It seems, to me at least, that all the translations clothe a certain basic universality. By which set of clothes, then, should I name it?
Perhaps I should ask a broader question: do you think a "universality" really exists, and do you think it breathes?

And no, I'm not trying to convert. I don't believe anyone was ever converted with mere words, and words are all the blogosphere affords such as we.
On the blogosphere, mere words clothe our very existence. What could possibly be more potent than that?

We breathe, we speak. Our thoughts are shaped by language and into language, and our being -- on the Internet and otherwise -- breathes out a common word. Or, sometimes, a not-so-in-common word: but have you never argued a point against yourself, to determine its true validity or even just for fun? This universe certainly has a sense of humour -- just look around you!

(I did add a piece of quote by John Lennon to the blog entry: too appropriate! but perhaps not to the C.S. Lewis interpretation?)
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