Poem 81

A relaxed and humorous exhortation to the reader to look beyond the ephemeral.

Our drop-souls are of the ocean of Truth, their bubbles are bright snares
Which keep us in the sea of Illusion playing ‘musical chairs.’

‘Bubbles’ are a metaphor used by Meher Baba to convey the airy nothingness of the world of illusion in which our individual drop-soul is imprisoned.

‘musical chairs’— not so much the children’s game here but to the metaphorical use where items or people are repeatedly and pointlessly shuffled around various locations. As stanza 3 says ‘the distance ever grows longer’.

Dear Soul, says one bubble to another, you are all I adore,
Curl me up in your arms and I’ll ask of heaven nothing more.

The language of popular love songs (of a bygone era) and it contrasts with the no nonsense tone in the next stanza:

Good luck, brother! but it won’t take you to where you’re going – because
The fly in that ointment is, every ‘It is’ becomes an ‘It was’.

It is not our true goal, and not just time but space too shows its falseness since the only reality that satisfies for good is Unity:

Distance ever grows longer; it never becomes shorter.
The mirage stretches on and on but is never water.

The distance between any two bubbles equals the circumference of Space.
No matter how great our love, union is conditioned by time and place.

So separate bubbles can’t really merge, we are held apart by the very structure of the universe; to overcome separation we have to go outside the whole circle of space.

After the warning comes the invitation given in such a sweet intimate tone:

Come, dearest Droplet, let us together seek the Beloved’s door;
Let us leave this wave which will separate us, and come up on the shore.

I hear his beautiful voice calling deep in my soul:
‘The lover is nothing, the beloved is all in all.’

How nice that this invitation is made with love to the fellow seeker and made from the depths of the love the poet feels for God, the true Beloved. The wave we must leave is the agitated motion of the sea of illusion. Just as in evolution we had to go from water to land so now in so now in spiritual involution we have to reach the solid land which will lead to the Beloved’s door

The poem structures a harmony between the colloquial and the inner deep of the heart.