Love (Book of Mirdad)

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From the Book of Mirdad:

Love is the Law of god.
You live that you may learn to love. You love that you may learn to live. No other lesson is required of Man.

And what is it to love but for the lover to absorb forever the beloved so that the twain be one?

And whom, or what, is one to love? Is one to choose a certain leaf upon the Tree of Life and pour upon it all one’s heart? What of the branch that bears the leaf? What of the stem that holds the branch? What of the bark that shields the stem? What of the roots that feed the bark, the stem, the branches and the leaves? What of the soil embosoming the roots? What of the sun, and sea, and air that fertilize the soil?

You say, ‘But there be leaves and leaves upon a single tree. Some are healthy, some are sick; some are beautiful, some, ugly; some are giant, some are dwarfs. How can we help but pick and choose?’

I say to you, Out of the paleness of the sick proceeds the freshness of the healthy. I further say to you that ugliness is Beauty’s palette, paint and brush; and that the dwarf would not have been a dwarf had he not given of his stature to the giant.

You are the Tree of Life. Beware of fractioning yourselves. Set not a fruit against a fruit, a leaf against a leaf, a bough against a bough; nor set the stem against the roots; nor set the tree against the mother-soil. That is precisely what you do when you love one part more than the rest, or to the exclusion of the rest.

You are the Tree of Life. Your roots are everywhere. Your boughs and leaves are everywhere. Your fruits are in every mouth. Whatever be the fruits upon that tree; whatever be its boughs and leaves; whatever be its roots, they are your fruits; they are your leaves and boughs; they are your roots; if you would have the tree bear sweet and fragrant fruit, if you would have it ever strong and green, see to the sap wherewith you feed the roots.

Love is the sap of Life. While hatred is the pus of Death. But Love, like blood, must circulate unhindered in the veins. Repress the blood, and it becomes a menace and a plague. And what is Hate but Love repressed, or Love withheld, therefore becoming such a deadly poison both to the feeder and the fed; both to the hater and to that he hates?

A yellow leaf upon your tree of life is but a Love-weaned leaf. Blame not the yellow leaf.
A withered bough is but a Love-starved bough. Blame not the withered bough.
A putrid fruit is but a Hatred-suckled fruit. Blame not the putrid fruit. But rather blame your blind and stingy heart that would dole out the sap of life to few and would deny it to many, thereby denying it to itself.

No love is possible except the love of self. No self is real save the all-embracing Self. Therefore is God all Love, because he loves Himself.

So long as you are pained by Love, you have not found your real self, nor have you found the golden key of Love. Because you love an ephemeral self, your love is ephemeral.

The love of man for woman is not love. It is thereof a very distant token. The love of parent for the child is but the threshold to Love’s holy temple. Till every man be every woman’s lover, and the reverse; till every child be every parent’s child, and the reverse; let men and women brag of flesh and bone clinging to flesh and bone, but never speak the sacred name of Love. For that is blasphemy.

You have no friends so long you can count a single man as foe. The heart that harbours enmity how can it be a safe abode for friendship?

You do not know the joy of Love so long as there is hatred in your hearts. Were you to feed all things the sap of Life except a certain tiny worm, that certain tiny worm alone would embitter your life. For in loving anything, or anyone, you love in truth but yourselves. Likewise, in hating anything, or anyone, you hate in truth but yourselves. For that which you hate is bound up inseparably with that which you love, like the face and the reverse of the same coin. If you would be honest with yourselves, then must you love what you hate and what hates you before you love what you love and what loves you.

Love is not a virtue. Love is a necessity; more so than bread and water; more so than light and air.

Let no one pride himself on loving. But rather breathe in love and breathe it out just as unconsciously and freely as you breathe in the air and breathe it out.

For Love needs no one to exalt it. Love will exalt the heart that it finds worthy of itself.

Love neither lends nor borrows; Love neither buys nor sells; but when it gives, it gives its all; and when it takes, it takes its all. Its very taking is a giving. Its very giving is a taking. Therefore is it the same to-day, to-morrow and forevermore.

Just as a mighty river emptying itself in the sea is e’er replenished by the sea, so must you empty yourselves in Love that you may be ever filled with Love. The pool that would withhold the sea-gift from the sea becomes a stagnant pool.
There is nor `more’ nor `less’ in Love. The moment you attempt to grade and measure Love, it slips away leaving behind it bitter memories.
Nor is there `now’ and `then’, nor `here’ and `there’ in Love. All seasons are Love seasons. All spots are fit abodes for Love.

Love knows no boundaries or bars. A love whose course is checked by any obstacle whatever is not yet worthy of the name of Love.

I often hear you say that Love is blind, meaning that it can see no fault in the beloved. That kind of blindness is the height of seeing.
Would you were always so blind as to behold no fault in anything.
Nay, clear and penetrating is the eye of Love. Therefore, it sees no fault. When Love has purged your sight, then would you see nothing at all unworthy of your Love? Only a love-shorn, faulty eye is ever busy finding faults. Whatever fault it finds are only its own faults.

Love integrates. Hatred disintegrates. This huge and ponderous mass of earth and rock which you call Altar Peak would quickly fly asunder were it not held together by the hand of Love. Even your bodies, perishable as they seem, could certainly resist disintegration did you but love each cell of them with equal zeal.

Love is peace athrob with melodies of Life. Hatred is war agog with fiendish blasts of Death. Which would you: Love and be at everlasting peace? Or hate and be at everlasting war?

The whole earth is alive in you. The heavens and their hosts are alive in you. So love the Earth and all her suckling if you would love yourselves. And love the Heavens and all their tenants if you would love yourselves.

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