It is not for memorial’s sake alone
That men hew likenesses of men from stone.

Stone was the first form God took towards becoming men,
And men must become stone to become God again.

Stone is the last stage before attainment of dust-state;
Once this is reached there’s only a million years to wait.

Becoming one’s self is the longest ranged of projects—
One has got much further out than one suspects.

Never mind, the stars have yet to arrive where one is—
Attainment of man-state is their concept of bliss.

Crawl on hands and knees—if you can’t walk—to Love Street.
Safety is not in numbers but at the Master’s feet.

Should even your coat become stained with one drop of wine,
The pleasures of a permanent heaven you would decline.


Just what is this wine then? Do we expect him to tell us?

Do we think that we already know?

There is a certain grim humour about the whole poem. Most people don’t have a clue about stone as a symbol of the beginning of consciousness or about the fact that we have to reattain its undemanding selflessness whilst retaining infinite human consciousness.

Nor do they realise how primitive the stars are compared to we who have undergone the slow evolution from stone. The very immensity of the picture mocks all our petty anxieties and impatiences.

Safety is not in numbers can mean two things, one that there is no safety in remaining in the crowd, and two that safety does not come from our knowedge of the immense numbers of evolution. Our only safety is in Love Street, shorthand for the bhaktic path of loving the God-Man.

Being further out than we suspect means we have a longer journey to return to the source than we think. But the source is not a place of perfection, heaven, but the embrace of union.

» ghazal #137 »