Friday, December 3, 2010

The Elemental

Though Kabir was concerned with a reality which is beyond name and form, he uses elemental images to express what is "nirguna" or abstract. Images are constructed out of natural elements like earth, stone, or wood. Like the masks which actors on the stage wear, we have many faces, which represent our different moods, and changing identities. In one of his poems, Kabir says that the clay speaks to the potter, saying "just now you are kneading me into a lump from which you make your vessel, but a time will come when your body will also be kneaded, and will return to the clay from which God has fashioned you". It is this process of becoming, but also eventually returning to the original substance from which we have been made, that the mystic understands as life's journey.

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