God is all-merciful—but don’t expect from him
Kindness according to your own mind’s cut and trim.

If he had entirely tempered the wind to the shorn sheep
We would never have become men, but stayed in stone asleep.

Mighty the buffetings from God before Self in stone burst
From its prison to become moss and tree—and suffer thirst.

If we had not tramped the plains with burning feet
We would not have found the Beloved’s house in Love Street.

If we had not known the curling wave and the taste of brine
We would not have developed a palate for vintage wine.

The Beloved is all-merciful and compassionate,
Ever concerned about our arrival at true Self-state.

He drove us up out of stone-dwelling, out of leaf, out of sheep.
If he had tempered the wind entirely we would still be asleep.


To ascend up the evolutionary tree is to become more subject to suffering. If God had wanted to merely protect he would never have let us reach sentience. The sufferings are part of the awakening that drives us on to full consciousness. Our wanderings and hardships are inseparable from the arriving at our destination.

The house of the beloved is where we are given the wine of self-knowledge, the taste of sat, chit, ananda. The waves of good and bad and the brine (one connotation of which is our salt tears) give us the maturity to enjoy mature wine.

The creation is asleep and has to be made to wake up. If false kindness had tempered the wind to the shorn sheep we would never have been needing to awaken. The whole terrible struggle of evolving nature and of humanity is seen as the gift of God to know real knowledge. This affirmation springs from a discovery in his Master of God as love.

» ghazal #85 »