It is related that one day they came upon Majnun sifting the dust, and his tears flowing down. They said, "What doest thou?" He said, "I seek for Layli." They cried, "Alas for thee! Layli is of pure spirit, and thou seekest her in the dust!" He said, "I seek her everywhere; haply somewhere I shall find her."
(Baha'u'llah, The Seven Valleys, p. 6)

Who is Layli and why do we seek her?

What is a Seeking Layli Event?

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Return to the Heights of Detachment

Thou findest him chill in the fire and dry in the sea, abiding in every land and treading every path. Whosoever toucheth him in this state will perceive the heat of his love. He walketh the heights of detachment and traverseth the vale of renunciation. His eyes are ever expectant to witness the wonders of God's mercy and eager to behold the splendours of His beauty. Blessed indeed are they that have attained unto such a station, for this is the station of the ardent lovers and the enraptured souls.
(Baha'u'llah, Gems of Divine Mysteries)

Mount Barrow, masquerading as the Heights of Detachment, is the first spot we have revisited. Our last visit was cut short by heavy rain and Layli could easily have evaded us in the misty conditions. On this trip the plateau was bitterly cold in the wind and its rocky landscape and prostrate montane vegetation seemed exactly the kind of place where a being of pure spirit who presumably has no attachment to material comfort might choose to dwell.

Be unrestrained as the wind, while carrying the Message of Him Who hath caused the Dawn of Divine Guidance to break. Consider, how the wind, faithful to that which God hath ordained, bloweth upon all the regions of the earth, be they inhabited or desolate. Neither the sight of desolation, nor the evidences of prosperity, can either pain or please it.
(Baha'u'llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah)

Though the invitation had stressed the low temperatures on the top there were those in the party who were numbered amongst the heedless. This gentleman came well prepared. Of immediate concern, of course was the idea that our presence might drive Layli away. Perhaps Layli is always a moving target and if we repeated our search in those places or by those methods which have been fruitless in the past we might at some future time catch a glimpse of the unseen friend?

We naturally posted eagle-eyed watchmen to ensure that Layli could not escape unseen - at least by road though we cannot be certain that she travels by road.It is said that on a clear day our watchman could have seen a third of Tasmania from the top but it was not a totally clear day and anyway would he have recognised Layli from such a distance? And, of course, as unlikely as it may seem, it is possible that she does not even live in Tasmania.
One thing is sure though there was no glimpse of Layli departing by road.

Actually, we don't think Layli would have used the road. For anyone with even a sensible fear of falling let alone vertigo its a scary trip.

The plateau is a rocky place. This pile of boulders is only a small fraction of the rocks which litter the area. Baha'u'llah wrote Let thine abode be under the stone,but seek not the shelter of the cleric.
If Layli has decided to take Him literally and live under one of these stones there is clearly a massive task needed to find her and heavy equipment will be required.

And so, once again, a pleasant day ended with prayers said, a spot blessed, food shared and enjoyed but still no sign of the sought Beauty.

But wait. Look carefully at these photos. Do you see on some of them an almost circular patch of hazy light? Is it possible that an ethereal being was shadowing our every move? Cynics may say it was just a drop of rain or mist on the lens but do they not remember: God it is who sends forth the winds to stir up clouds; then He spreads them forth over the sky as he pleases; and He breaks them up and ye see the rain come forth from amongst them; and when He causes it to fall upon whom He pleases of His servants, ......... (The Qur'an (E.H. Palmer tr), Sura 30 - The Greeks)?

Besides, it wasn't a rain drop. It was a smudge of grease. Every true miracle has a sufficient and natural cause in the contingent world.

1 comment:

  1. I noted with interest that you have, as yet, no confirmed sightings of Layli or, for that matter, the elusive tiger. Although I have also had difficulty sighting Layli from my sedentary retreat here in George Town, I have had the following lead on that enigmatic tiger. I post the following prose-poem which I wrote about nine weeks ago. This prose-poem contains a recent media update on the tiger, an update that some of your readers here may have missed. I trust this update/post meets your approval and I post it in appreciation, yet again, for your fine site and its very pleasing photographs. I will understand, of course, if this somewhat long post is not accepted by your site administrators and moderators. I will submit to their decision graceously whatever that decision regarding the inclusion of the following prose-poem may be. Thanking you folks again. -Ron Price, George Town

    On 7 September 1936 the world's last captive thylacine or Tasmanian tiger died in the Hobart Zoo. The thylacine is the only mammal to have become extinct in Tasmania since European settlement, at least such is the latest and present view. I have spent a significant part of my life in northern Tasmanian, where many supposed sightings of the tiger have occurred since that supposed extinction in 1937.

    Today, 20 May 2008, in a world first, scientists announced that they have extracted a gene from the extinct Tasmanian tiger and successfully inserted it into a mouse embryo. It is the first time a gene from any extinct animal has been brought back to life inside another living creature. Obtaining the thylacine gene, a gene called Col2a1, was itself a major challenge, because DNA begins breaking down after death.However, the researchers from the University of Melbourne and the University of Texas involved in the research, say this latest technology will not lead to the cloning of an entire Tasmanian tiger.(1)

    When the last Tasmanian tiger died in 1936, my maternal grandfather was about to retire on a Canadian old age pension. I will retire next year on an Australian Old Age Pension. My grandfather's wife(my grandmother)died three years later and my mother was about to meet my father.

    The Baha’i community, which members of my family have been associated with in Canada now for fifty-five years, was, in September 1936, just beginning to conceive a plan to establish one Baha'i centre in every state of the USA and in every country in Central and South America with ramifications to include every country on the European continent.(2)

    By the end of that plan, a seven year plan from 1937 to 1944, my parents had met and married. On 23 July 1944 I was born, three days after an assassination attempt on the life of Hitler and four days before another planned assassination on his life.-R.Price with thanks to (1)Richard Macey, “Extinct gene brought back to life,” in the, May 20, 2008; and (2) Shoghi Effendi, Messages To America, Wilmette, 1947, p.7.

    Indeed, the field was immense,
    the task gigantic, the privilege
    immeasurably precious, but the
    time was short, obligations sacred,
    paramount and urgent to muster
    all our force, our resources, our
    faith, determination and energy
    to set out, single-minded and
    undaunted, to attain exertion’s
    heights---as humanity entered
    the outer fringes of the most
    perilous stage of its existence
    and as the thylacine was in the
    last phase of its existence—or
    so it seemed until the other day.

    Ron Price
    20 May 2008
    (updated for this Seeking
    Layli in the Bush Blogger
    Site on: 23/7/'08)