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Martin Lings: The Dancer

Martin Lings: The Dancer
Photo: Martin Lings (far left) and Rene Guenon (elder man in center) in Egypt



Man’s destiny is day and night, movement and rest,
Heaven and earth, by Spirit winged, by Spirit weighted.
Our bodies with the breath of life are penetrated
And limbs and frames with jointed suppleness are blessed
To run and leap and sway and whirl, by Spirit possessed.

And Spirit is Peace: of all repose it is the best
To dwell between those two Hands, cradled and caressed.
Let life then be a holy sequence, alternated
Dance and repose, each to Thee, Spirit, dedicated.
Without Thee is no excellence, for consummated
By Thee all height is, and all depth Thou deepenest;
Through Thee, who art the lightest and the heaviest,
The waves are walked on, rocks by print of feet impressed.

(Martin Lings)



Quote Reference and Recommended Reading: 
​'Collected Poems'
​By Martin Lings

Purchase Book:

In his first book on Sufism, written many years ago, Martin Lings wrote, with reference to the Quranic descriptions of the celestial Gardens: 'To speak of the Gardens and Fountains of Paradise, as also of its Rivers, Fruits and Consorts, is to speak the Truth, whereas to speak of such blessings in this world is only a manner of speaking, for the Realities are in Heaven and what we see here-below are only the remote shadows of Reality.' He adds: 'The shadow returns to the Substance and, for those with eyes to see, the best things of this world-and that is the criterion of their excellence-are already as it were winged for return to their celestial Source. It is the function of art, in portraying earthly objects, to portray mysteriously at the same time something of their wings.' We take this as the author's avowal of an intention which lies behind his poems, three of which are published here for the first time.
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