Paper would turn to flame if I touched it in an ecstatic mood.
And ink dries if it comes a hundred feet within
the radiance of one who will not let God
leave their arms.
(Love Poems from God: Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West translated by Daniel Ladinsky, p. 209)
This is the first stanza of a poem by Kabir. He was a mystic and poet from India. In yoga, the teacher transmits knowledge to the student by igniting the flame of consciousness in the student. This presupposes that the teacher is aflame with God’s radiant fire. This continual communion with a God who sets His devotees’ souls on fire is illustrated by the lines “The radiance of one who will not let God leave their arms.” During God’s embrace, He imparts a burning light that sustains and enlightens His disciples (envision Pentecost).
How long can we remain in ecstasy? Would we burn like dry paper . . . burn out? “Paper would turn to flame if I touched it in an ecstatic mood.” The phrase “an ecstatic mood” implies being in close communion with a living, radiant God. And this relationship is fire-proof because you are protected by divine love. You won’t burn out. You’ll burn more brightly.
You Get Brighter
In their song “You Get Brighter,” The Incredible String Band sings, “You get brighter every day and every time I see you, Scattered brightness in your way and you taught me how to love you.” I feel this song is about how God infuses us with His brightness. And the last line of the song says, “You give all your brightness away and it only makes you brighter.” Brightness is God’s gift to us which we then give freely to others. “Oh wondrous light, light, lighter.”
Photo Credit: Photo by Nina Matthews at Flickr Creative Commons.
Linked with Thought-Provoking Thursday.