Moon Over Isfahan

All hearts beat in one language, whether the mouth speaks English or Persian. By some ancient covenant written in our bones, we consent to the message in the light that spills through a stranger's eyes. Whether we worship Allah or Yahweh, it takes just a glance to know that all human blood ebbs and flows in sympathy with the same moon.

I know, friend, priests and imams call you to war; but there's something in your ancient brain that is deeper than fear, something that nods in agreement with the enemy, grinning wildly, effusing tears and murmuring, 'Yes, yes, you are right!'

Every Jew breathes atoms that Mohammad breathed. The Prophet's breath contained Christ's sighs, desert dust shaken from Moses' sandals. Right now, you and I are breathing Jesus. We embody one another, the way a gaze sent up from Isfahan, and a gaze from the Dome of the Rock, mingle in one unspeakable star.

Now try this experiment: remove your heart. Place it on a butcher's block and see what color it is. See if it's made of paper and ink, carved from stone, with a face. See if your heart is white or black, Arab, Incan, Jewish or Pashtoon.  See if it's burgundy, tinted with rose, a little drunk, trembling and alive. See if it gasps with a prayer, a spasm of wanting, yearning to fill itself with the blood of every man or woman on earth....

This is what you learn: to depend on the silence of the body to solve every riddle of words; to gaze inward toward that nameless star in the center of your ancient brain, where all scriptures came from; to listen by some stream in the summer woods, where the water whispers and swallows wait quietly in green shadows, trusting the answers of the heart, and hearing the breath that ever goes in and out, like this:  सो ऽहम, 'Ham'so,' I Am the Divine.

* Photo: the great Mosque at Isfahan, Iran. 
* सो ऽहम्: the mantra 'So'ham,' union of inbreath and outbreath, soul and God.

No comments: