Thursday, April 30, 2009


       What do you really possess,
        and what have you gained?
   What pearls have you brought up
         from the depth of the sea?
            On the day of death,
         bodily senses will vanish:
      do you have the spiritual light
         to accompany your heart?
 When dust fills these eyes in the grave,
        will your grave shine bright?


 The spirit is from God and will return to God
  the present life is only a moment in between.


 The world is a prison and we are the prisoners:
    dig a hole in the prison and let yourself out!

Rumi, from 'Daylight: A Daybreak of Spiritual Guidance'.
A collection of small nuggets of wisdom from Rumi's Mathnawi 



Shamsul said...

Doc, I beg to differ slightly with Al Rumi's quote about the world being a prison and all...

Firstly who is holding us prisoner?
Secondly no matter how many holes or how deep you dig you will still remain a prisoner so long as you do not realize who is this culprit who holds us prisoner.

I am of the understanding that I do not exist at least scientifically I haveen told that my body is made up of Atoms held together blah..blah. When you ask me who is Shamsul, sure i can identify with this guy sitting here in Dubai and writing this to a friend... but ultimately if i understand my Quran correctly, only the AlMighty is 'Maha Wujud', which is why I say I dont exist.
Merging into that which is void or becoming absorbed into is Fana', correct me if I am wrong and it is the toughest act to follow, this returning to the Source so to speak but it is unavoidable, no one escapes this. Inna lillah Hi... perhaps, perhaps it is not the world that holds us prisoner here but ourselves thinking that we really have a 'self' and exist.
So digging holes as an escape from this prison dont really cut it for me but right understanding the 'self', this, that is writing this crap might liberate me from this prison of so called life. Then off course there's not even a 'me' to talk of is there?
Happy Labor's Day! Doc.

Pearls & Gem said...

Syamsul, What a life!

I just flew back from Phuket. A cardiological conference : 3 days of intellectual deliberation on life, atoms and molecules, followed on the last night with 3 hours of 'philosophical discussion' with a vibrant prof of cardiology from Milan, Italy in a loud 'Patong Beach watering' hole with young girls gyrating , pole dancing,stark naked apart from their flimsy G strings!

On my way back from the KLIA airport had to hear a monologue from one, angry , middle aged Indian limo driver [ must be HINDRAF! ] who called me 'abang', on the vagaries of Malaysian politics and politicians. When I settle my bill, I told him he is going to be my subject on my next blog article. He was beaming from ear to ear .

Well , back to Rumi the 'ole master'.I also do not understand what he meant by being prisoner but I can guess he meant it metaphorically that we are all prisoners of our ' ignorance, background, lack of knowledge, history, heritage and lastly but not the least pride'.Minus all these, we would all be perfect Muslims , celebrating life the way He wanted us to do ie the way of Muhammad.The way expounded by Adam , Noah, Ibrahim, Ishak,Yaakub, Isa and finally perfected by Muhammad.

With respect to the sufic concept that they is no reality except the Absolute ie the rest do not exist and is just illusion, I also do not understand but I have some rough clue to that: Matter as what we perceive are made up of billions of atoms and molecules.If we look at the atom as a unit it is made of a central nucleas of protons and neutrons surrounded by electrons that move around the central core. 99.999999999999 of an atom [ in this case 'matter' ] therefore is empty space. That is Newtonian physics.

If we go one step up the ladder of understanding or 'confusion' into quantum physics, we go into the nebulous concept of Heisenburg Uncertainty Principle, then 'matter'become non existent, more of a 'wave function'[ see one of my earliest blog article, I think my my 2nd article in May 2008 ]. Then what the sufis had been saying some 1200 years back has been validated by Einstein and colleagues in the 20th century.

But why not! First there was nothing , not even Time and Space, except Him .

Then there was 'Kun'from Him.What followed was 'So it be'. Life is an illusion. For all intent and purposes, for our own good we better believe that, this earthly life is just and illusion and momentary, the Hereafter is the real thing.

That I feel is what Rumi is trying to tell us in not so many words!

Shamsul said...

Thanks Doc, glad you had a great time in Phuket looking beyond Horses and scalpels and gawking at naked girls even if they be merely illusions, for illusions can be fun too.
I tried to understand physics by reading Steven Hawking's 'A Brief History of Time'(?) but being the blockhead artist that I am most of what he was trying to convey in the book flew over my head, but i grasped the gist of it.
A short Zen anectdote;

A disciple came to see the master and demanded that he be freed from this world of Illusions (Maya).
The master asked him to show who was holding him prisoner.
The disciple could not and the master grabbed him covering bothe his nose and mouth suffocating him. The disciple struggled for his life untill he was able to breath again.
The master said "See! No one is holding you prisoner, you simply do not want to let go of this life!

Take care my friend and yes it is enlightening to cross words thoughts and ideas with another Buddha! Illusion or otherwise.

RahmatHarounHashim said...

Dear Nik,
I'm a prisoner of my own practice. Only death can free me from this kind self-made prison.

Pearls & Gem said...

Tak apa lah Rachmat, it is 100 % halal! And no one can tell you when you should retire.The nawaitu is very important.

I am in the same boat as you. What you are doing now is great, since you write in you free time.I enjoy your Wacana Seni.