A Call to Wisdom

In respectful tribute to the author of A Letter to Hebrews.

And what is wisdom? Wisdom is seeing the whole in the parts, and in the whole, seeing the holy.

It is for their wisdom that the prophets and prophetesses of the past are remembered.

By wisdom we receive the universe as the revelation of the Eternal and Infinite inscribed on the scroll of time and space.

By wisdom Adam and Eve were led to taste the fruit of knowledge and to step from the narrow garden of innocence into the wide world of experience.

Wisdom made Inanna descend to the depths and rise again, to die in darkness and to resurrect in the spring of life.

By wisdom Rama befriended the monkey Hanuman, and by wisdom Sita found solace in all green things.

Wisdom made Krishna dance with a hundred gopis, and each danced with him alone. By wisdom Radha tasted the essences of separation and union, and the shades between.

By wisdom Shiva took his seat high above the world, and by wisdom Parvati brought her yogi lord down to hearth and home.

By wisdom Buddha beheld emptiness in form and form in emptiness and made love, compassion, joy and peace his practice.

With wisdom Abraham welcomed weary travelers under the wings of the Shekinah. By wisdom Sarah saw without eyes and Hagar heard without ears.

Wisdom made Zoroaster answer the call of Mazda to stand against the right of might and for the right of light.

By wisdom Moses led the tribes of Israel from bondage, and by wisdom Miriam sealed their freedom with song.

By wisdom Mary gave her fiat to the incarnation of spirit, and wisdom made Jesus plead in Gethsemane, “Stay awake with me.”

Wisdom carried Muhammad beyond the galaxies and returned him to Earth to point a finger toward the oneness of being. 

Others too, countless others, could and should be named. Men and women of every continent and era who quenched their mortal thirst at the fount of creation only to find themselves filled with the unquenchable thirst of the immortal Creator.

In the name of the One they lived and loved, suffered and died, and in devotion to the One they live on.

And what of ourselves? Having so vast a cloud of witnesses around us, we must shake off our slumber and awaken to wisdom. Not in the placid hereafter, but here in the seething flux of life’s dream.  

This shifting dreamscape is the place of tryst. Here the One without second seeks intimate converse with an other who is no other than the selfsame, ceaselessly seeking, endlessly finding, ever transforming yet everlastingly changeless One.

***

Pir Zia Inayat-Khan reads A Call to Wisdom during his podcast from the recent Sufi Conference in Pacific Grove, California.

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