Posts Tagged ‘knowing oneself’

Yunus Emre says Wisdom comes from Knowing Oneself — a Singularity that contains the Whole

April 1, 2012

I tried to make sense of the Four Books*,
until love arrived,
and it all became a single syllable.

(*Torah, Psalms, Gospel, Quran, considered by Islamic tradition to be four Divinely revealed books.)

From #21, page 43, chapter II, The Way of Love, in The Drop That Became The Sea, Lyric Poems of Yunus Emre. Translated from the Turkish by Kabir Helminski and Refik Algan.

This theme of the single syllable, the first letter of the alphabet, containing everything, is reiterated in this poem #26, page 52, chapter III, Necessary Lessons, where wisdom is equated with Self-knowledge.

Wisdom comes from knowing wisdom.
Wisdom means knowing oneself.

If you do not know yourself,
what is the point of reading books?

The point of reading is to know something real.
Since you have read and do not know it,
reading is useless.

Don’t say, “I’ve read, I’ve learned.”
Don’t say, “I’ve worshipped a lot.”

If you don’t accept the Perfect Man,
all other works are futile.

The meaning of the Four Books is clear and complete.
It shows itself in the first letter, aleph.

If you don’t know what aleph is,
what do you know of reading?

You recite every syllable of the alphabet.
You say “Aleph,” but how little it means.

Yunus Emre says:
“Hey Hoja, you’ve made a thousand pilgrimages
but never been welcomed by a single heart.”

(more…)


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