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Commentary by Ivan M. Granger
I really like this haiku by the British nondualist poet Colin Oliver, but you may need to read it more than once to finally recognize what he's really saying.
Like most haiku, these lines use a simple image of nature that works literally and, at the same time, suggests a more transcendent meaning. The rose here can be read as an actual rose, but the rose is also a common spiritual metaphor to represent the awakened heart.
The poet says he sees "no-one to cast ... this shadow." Well, the shadow, of course, is cast by himself. But there is no one there. He is speaking from the nondualist perspective in which the Self is recognized as being everywhere, but the individual self, the little self that dwells within the body is seen as being imaginary, unreal.
The rose, in other words, can be recognized as the seat of the true, undivided Self. There may be the appearance of a separated identity that seems to cast a shadow upon it -- yet, on further investigation, nothing is there to cast the shadow. The rose is all. The shadow is merely an illusion...
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2002 - 2011 by Ivan M. Granger.
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