Both worlds within my compass come, but this world cannot compass meby Imadeddin Nasimi
English version by P. Tempest
Original Language Persian/Farsi
Both worlds within my compass come, but this world cannot compass me.
An omnipresent pearl I am and both worlds cannot compass me.
Because in me both earth and heaven and Creation's BE! were found,
Be silent! For there is no commentary can encompass me.
Through doubt and surmise no one came to be a friend of God and Truth.
The man who honours God knows doubt and surmise cannot compass me.
Pay due regard to form, acknowledge content in the form, because
Body and soul I am, but soul and body cannot compass me.
I am both shell and pearl, the Doomsday scales, the bridge to Paradise.
With such a wealth of wares, this worldly counter cannot compass me.
I am the hidden treasure that is God. I am open eyes.
I am the jewel of the mine. No sea or mine can compass me.
Although I am the boundless sea, my name is Adam, I am man.
I am Mount Sinai and both worlds. This dwelling cannot compass me.
I am both soul and word as well. I am both world and epoch, too.
Mark this particular: this world and epoch cannot compass me.
I am the stars, the sky the angel, revelation come from God.
So hold your tongue and silent be! There is no tongue can compass me.
I am the atom, sun, four elements, five saints, dimensions six.
Go seek my attributes! But explanations cannot compass me.
I am the core and attribute, the flower, sugar and sweetmeat.
I am Assignment Night, the Eve. No tight-shut lips can compass me.
I am the burning bush. I am the rock that rose into the sky.
Observe this tongue of flame. There is no tongue of flame can compass me.
This selection reminds me of Whitman's "Song of Myself."
What a wonderful, swirling, kaleidoscopic sense of the self as being all things until it ultimately resolves into a vision of unified totality. Nasimi gathers everything into his sense of self until he is beyond definition, beyond form. For Nasimi, all things are recognized as being within until all descriptions fail:
Explanations cannot compass me.
In reality, we are all like that -- too vast to be corralled into some safe, limited notion of what we are. Whatever we think we are, we are greater still. The limited mind cannot conceive of something so limitless as one's full being. In our deepest self, we are too big to be a 'thing', too big to be anything. Instead, there is something of all things in us. Realizing this, we settle into a state of pure witnessing ("I am open eyes"), free from the faulty effort of endless self-definition.
Silent be! There is no tongue can compass me.
I'll take some good advice and say no more...
|The Drunken Universe: An Anthology of Persian Sufi Poetry||Quarreling with God: Mystic Rebel Poems of the Dervishes of Turkey|