Rumi, translated by Jonathan Star in Rumi: In the Arms of the Beloved
I searched both worlds,
but never found joy without you.
I have seen many wonders,
but never one like you.
I pressed my soul’s ear
to countless doors,
but never heard words as sweet as yours.
O Saaqi, sweet sight of my eyes,
I’ve never seen one like you
in all of Persia or Arabia.
Pour the wine that takes me beyond myself,
for this petty existence
brings nothing but fatigue.
Rest now, my soul,
leave behind your religion
and your empty show of faith.
Remember when you had no religion?
Remember when all you had was Him?
Insomniac passing anhypnic nights in writing, translation, music, mathematics, programming and whatever else captures my attention or alleviates agrypnia.
This consists mostly of quotations of things that stand out to me or reflect what's on my mind; occasionally I also post original, often more personal, content as well, which may be found under the "personal" tag. Anything posted under "translations" is also original work and may broadly be taken as personal as well as I seldom tackle a work that does not speak to or for me in some way.
Bertrand RussellIn all affairs it’s a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the things you have long taken for granted.
Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s DictionaryFaith, n., Belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge, of things without parallel.
Mark TwainOne of the often-seen ‘proofs’ of the immortality of the soul is that myriads have believed it—of course, they also believed the world was flat.
So he asked the Lord, and the Lord said: “Man means nothing; he means less to me than the lowliest cactus flower or the humblest yucca tree. He chases round this desert ‘cause he thinks that’s where I’ll be…
“I recoil in horror from the foulness of thee, from the squalor and the filth and the misery. How we laugh up here in heaven at the prayers you offer me!”
The Christians and the Jews were having a jamboree; the Buddhists and the Hindus joined on satellite TV. They picked their four greatest priests, and they began to speak. They said, “Lord, the plague is on the world; Lord, no man is free. The temples that we built to you have tumbled into the sea. Lord, if you won’t take care of us, won’t you please please just let us be?”
And the Lord said, “I burn down your cities—how blind you must be! I take from you your children and you say ‘how blessed are we!’ You must all be crazy to put your faith in me.”
Shearwater doing a cover of Randy Newman’s “God’s Song”.
Jorge Luis Borges, La cifra (1981), “El Ápice” / “The Speck”
No te habrá de salvar lo que dejaron
escrito aquellos que tu miedo implora;
no eres los otros y te ves ahora
centro del laberinto que tramaron
tus pasos. No te salva la agonía
de Jesús o de Sócrates ni el fuerte
Siddharta de oro que aceptó la muerte
en un jardín, al declinar el día.
Polvo también es la palabra escrita
por tu mano o el verbo pronunciado
por tu boca. No hay lástima en el Hado
y la noche de Dios es infinita.
Tu materia es el tiempo, el incesante
tiempo. Eres cada solitario instante.
You won’t be saved by the writings
left by those you turn to when afraid;
you aren’t them and you now find yourself
inside the labyrinth your path has made.
The agony of Jesus won’t save you,
nor Socrates’ nor the strong, golden
Siddhartha, who accepted death
in a garden at the end of the day.
Your words, whether written by hand
or spoken with your own mouth, are dust.
There is no pity in Hades
and the night of God is infinite.
Your substance is time, unceasing time.
You are every lonely moment.
Wilson MiznerI respect faith, but doubt is what gets you an education.