When I and the world vanished, utterly,
And Ecstasy remained, as Nonexistent Existence,
I was not then a Christian, Jew, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist,
I was “undecided”, living in Not Knowing, and yet…
With Unquenchable Longing.
It was after that Experience,
And the subsequent Presence in The Heart,
Of The Beloved's Perfume lingering,
That I began looking here and there…
Wondering if I was alone in this Affair of The Heart.
I sought throughout the various religions,
Some reference to this Dissolution and Bliss,
To Union, and Her Sweet Perfume lingering,
And found in each some Fragrance…
More so here, less so there.
But I also found, always, inevitably,
The dogma and orthodoxy of each,
The varied descriptions of “reality”,
Their firm pronouncements of “truth”…
And found myself unable to linger.
I wondered, in heartfelt consideration,
If I must pour this Molten Mystery, unformed,
Into a framework of belief, a template of faith,
Forged by other Lovers, long ago…
And now held to by millions.
And I determined, in heartfelt consideration,
To leave my Experience Molten, unformed,
A Divine Puddle, without center or periphery,
Undefined, unexplained, remaining…
A Most Beautiful Mystery, a Puddle of Grace.
Now I dance through the villages of belief,
Like a madman, unfettered, a reveling child,
Splashing through the fountains of their Beauty,
Sidestepping, deftly, the muddy pools.
I cherish those aspects of every faith,
In which this Puddle finds Reflected,
In the Water of Love and Surrender,
The Beautiful Face of The Beloved.
I am now, in the sense that matters most to me,
A Christian, a Jew, a Muslim, a Hindu, a Buddhist,
“I am in Love,” as Hafez declared,
“But with whom I do not know.”