Wednesday, July 22, 2015

the 'earliest' Koran

What may be the world's oldest fragments of the Koran have been found by the University of Birmingham.
Radiocarbon dating found the manuscript to be at least 1,370 years old, making it among the earliest in existence....
The manuscript is part of the Mingana Collection of more than 3,000 Middle Eastern documents gathered in the 1920s by Alphonse Mingana, a Chaldean priest born near Mosul in modern-day Iraq.
He was sponsored to take collecting trips to the Middle East by Edward Cadbury, who was part of the chocolate-making dynasty.
The tale swells the mind. The beauty and devotion and import infuses the heart. It is, to my mind, incredibly touching, more intimate and flavorful than the best chocolate mousse. An act of love that inspires love. In no way am I willing to fault it; it is too human and therefore speaks of my nearest and dearest kin. It catches my breath and for a moment, the universe is still and whole and perfect.

Isn't this one of the delicious truths of spiritual life -- to be swept up and swept away and washed and anointed? Like music, it calls and compels and cannot be captured.

And yet, my dear, dear friends ... and yet there is more to be done if the music is to be sustained. To love is lovely, AND....

The 19th century Vedanta Hindu, Sri Ramakrishna, was not playing some prickly, smug skeptic when he invited one of his students to take a deeply-venerated text and place it in a room whose entrances and exits would then be sealed. The text should remain locked up for several days, at which point the student was advised to re-enter the room and see if anything had happened.

This is no snarky experiment. It is the truth of spiritual endeavor ... to winkle out the essence of the beauty and music and love. If nothing happened, then however blood-of-my-blood dear a venerated text or totem or teaching might be ... then please do not stop short and merely elevate the swelling in heart and mind.

Please. I know it's beautiful and I know it's human ... but please!!!

1 comment:

  1. I guess i've had so few "Calgon moments" in my practice, that they just don't seem a part of it. I'm told they're to be treated as makyo, to be dismissed and get on with this life. My life is pretty much about chop wood, carry water, try not to worry about memory failures and keep physical pain at arms length. That's a full enough plate for me.