Thursday, January 16, 2014

When All The Haggling Is Complete

When All The Haggling Is Complete

"Die before you die," 
said the Prophet Muhammad.
What do you think that feels like? 

It is no game for the fainthearted.
It is living hell,

for there wil be nothing left of you,
but a molten, bright sphere.

Seems a pretty good trade though, 
a fantastic deal,
when all the tough haggling is complete. 

           It would probably be considered a privilege to die with everything complete, but we know that this does not happen. In philosophy, it is actually presented as a conundrum. On the one hand, if you die with everything complete, why did that happen? Does this mean that you set your sights too low and thus achieved "everything", even though in this case "everything" does not constitute a full potential reached. So the alternative, being that you die in the middle of something - a sentence, a project, in pursuit of an ideal, in desire of a dream, is presented as the preferred way. And perhaps, to the person who really dives deep into life, this is the only way. As long as you're alive, there is still work to be done and goals to chase after. However, it may be possible to die spiritually complete or emotionally fulfilled - you leave no anger, but only love, and lots of it, in fact, all you were able to give, to this world.

           I've always loved Mary Oliver, she has a quality about her that a lot of Sufi poets had. In one of her poems, When Death Comes, she pens a beautiful few lines that I will include below:

“When it's over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms. 

When it is over, I don't want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don't want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument. 

I don't want to end up simply having visited this world.” 

Enjoy this truly beautiful song. 
To Where You Are (2002), Josh Groban

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