The Unstruck Drum of Eternity: Poetry of Kabir

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Show Info: Continuing in the grand tradition of Rumi and Kahlil Gibran, explore the light within your own sensuality in the company of Kabir, the incomparable 15th century poet, weaver, mystic and musician of Benares. "Open the window to the west, / In the sky of love, now be lost; / Drink the sweeter honey that steeps / And imbues with heat, the petals / Of the lotus of the heart's lips. / Receive the waves in your body: / What splendor is in the warm sea! / Hearken to the sounds of conches / And bells, rising through the branches." The poetry of this 15th century mystic has been recreated in modern English rhymed couplets by Jabez L. Van Cleef, joining the ranks of his poetic interpretations of spiritual texts from all of the world's great religious traditions. Van Cleef's voice in dramatic readings explores the fine distinctions between metered prose and music, by creating a spoken word sound environment that lulls the listener into a state of profound receptivity. In this collection of songs there will be found examples which illustrate nearly every aspect of Kabir's thought, and all the fluctuations of the mystic's emotion: the ecstasy, the despair, the still beatitude, the eager self-devotion, the flashes of wide illumination, the moments of intimate love. All opposites are reconciled: bondage and liberty, love and renunciation, pleasure and pain. Unity is the one thing that matters to the soul, its destiny and its need; and this union, this discovery of God, is the simplest and most natural of all things, if we would but grasp it. It is brought about by love, not by knowledge or ceremonial observances; and the apprehension which that union confers is ineffable--"neither This nor That," as the poet has it. The Divine may best be found in the here-and-now: in the normal, human, bodily existence, the "mud" of material life. "We can reach the goal without crossing the road -- In the home is reality." There love and detachment, bondage and freedom, joy and pain play by turns upon the soul; and it is from their conflict that the Unstruck Music of the Infinite proceeds.

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