Photo: Ottoman Jerusalem, 1910.
I had supposed that, having passed away
From self in concentration, I should blaze
A path to Thee, but ah! No creature may
Draw near thee, save Thy appointed ways.
I cannot longer live, Lord, without Thee;
Thy Hand is everywhere: I may not flee.
Some have desired through hope to come to Thee,
And thou hast wrought in them their high design:
Lo! I have severed every thought from me,
And died to selfhood, that I might be Thine.
How long, my heart's Beloved? I am spent:
I can no more endure this banishment.
(Abul Husayn al-Nuri)
Source and Recommended Reading:
'A Treasury of Traditional Wisdom: An Encyclopedia of Humankind's Spiritual Truth'
By Whitall N. Perry (Author), Huston Smith (Introduction), Marco Pallis (Foreword)
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This extraordinary compendium gives access to what the greatest minds of all time and the various faith and philosophical traditions say on every aspect of the spiritual life, be it faith, patience, suffering, or mercy. Relevant passages are included, such as Eckhart, Philo, Rumi, the Talmud, Shakespeare, Rama Krishna, Black Elk, The Psalms, the Tao Te Ching, and Milarepa, among countless others.
"This magnificent volume will provide a life-long companion for all who seek to grow in grace and truth. It will be turned to time and time again, not simply for 'quotes' but as a stimulus to thought, reflection, and faith."
"Will not only enliven the study of religion on the academic levels, but also lead many individuals to a truer and more fruitful personal response to religion and spirituality. Indeed, few will be able to skim these pages without being drawn into their depths."
(Studies in Comparative Religion)