Religions can serve many people worldwide in profound ways. Sadly many religions mainly serve themselves for they cannot exist without a hierarchy in place. The upper tiers of that construct rely on the compliance, subjugation and participation from the lower strata. This has been one of the cornerstones of human spiritual life for eons and I think we have learned all we can from these teachings and constructs as they were designed to enlighten us. The trouble with renovating something so that it that works better in keeping the spiritual natures of humanity supported is the existing construct has no interest in transformation. Metamorphosis is not pretty but it doesn't have to be brutal. I think the best defense is the offense of reinforcing our better natures for compassion as we all go through this shifting of paradigms and finding new ways to support each other. I'm fairly certain all the real spiritual teachers the world over and through time and space would concur that cultivating love in all manner of hardships would be beneficial.
Hafiz is being counseled here about religion and the need for a sincere discernment when it comes to dogma. He is told the artists and poets are the first to recognize the depreciation of any given status quo. It is often a thankless position and sometimes a dangerous one but a truth, once uttered and heard, will take hold and be adopted by a human heart. A truth is a lifeboat commandeered by the poet and it can provide a probably rough, yet life saving lift to those seeking a better idea as they transition to terra firma and more promising ideas and experiences of their own.
Thank you for listening.
Music: Religious Persuasion is a very popular song for the intrepid Irish troubadour, Andy White, and it popped into my mind as I was writing this. We all have to choose our fashion for our spiritual natures. Some will choose the nakedness of an atheist but if whatever we choose is ill fitting or unseasonable, we will need to make changes to live a fulfilling life. Andy is singing here about the changes he made as he realized his spirit was getting shagged by the church. He wants a better arrangement. His story and his truth in this song is a little lifeboat to help those of us who jumped ship get ashore so we can make some necessary adjustments of our own.
Picture: Cathedral Notre Dam
The Gift: Poems by Hafiz and translated by Daniel Ladinsky can be purchased here.