Self respect, "...a simple matter of etiquette," says Hafiz.
There was a time when people wore hats and there were entire protocols around when to don and when to remove them in company. It seems an inconsequential thing, thinking about it now but I'm reminded of it in reading this poem.
If we are to recognize ourselves as souls having a human experience, then doesn't it make sense to honor that by ritualizing certain aspects of how we present ourselves? We might consider leaving our shields and the coping mechanisms at the door like we do our shoes when entering someone's home or a temple. Our shoes - or that which clothes our souls - could be left off when we enter our communications with others. We could begin to see this as a way we are recognizing ourselves as willing and respectful participants to being present in our encounters with others
It always begins, however, with knowing the difference of who we are and who we are presenting ourselves to be and why.
Thank you for listening.
Music: It doesn't matter much the vehicle used for a spiritual or contemplative life. If it is the body, then we must care deeply for it. If it is an organization like a religion or a doctrine, likewise. What matters is our relationship to what we are believing in. If we believe in nothing, that too has a life force. This is how we design the value and the kind of respect we give it. It begins with our choice and it ends there. In between, we are in relationship to spirit/soul with ritual but only by our choosing it, otherwise, it chooses us.
The original post in this series of poems by Hafiz can be found here.
The Gift: Poems by Hafiz and translated by Daniel Ladinsky can be purchased here.