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?

Monday, 21 July 2008

Seeking Layli in the Depth of Winter

Thus in the depth of winter we were constrained to make our abode in houses wherein none dwell except in the heat of summer. Neither My family, nor those who accompanied Me, had the necessary raiment to protect them from the cold in that freezing weather.
(Baha'u'llah)

Baha'u'llah and his companions had no choice but to suffer the cold when they were expelled from the city but we do and have decided to make our July picnic in the relative warmth of the centre of Launceston. (Those who like the wild and chilly places wait for our August trip to Pine Lake). Note however that even Launceston can be a little chilly in July so please do bring the necessary raiment.

We meet as usual at 12 noon on Sunday the 27th July in the car park at Punchbowl reserve. If you are late head up the little path signposted 'Rock Fissure' and you will find us somewhere. The customary picnic, prayers and ceaseless search for signs of the Beauty will occur. Some of us are interpreting 'picnic' to mean 'barbecue' as there are facilities there.

We assume everyone knows where Launceston is but if you are coming from overseas allow at least an hour to get to Punchbowl from the airport. If you need a lift just drop me an e-mail.

The entrance to the reserve is marked 'A' at

http://maps.google.com.au/maps?hl=en&tab=wl

and photos can be found at

http://www.touringtasmania.info/punchbowl_reserve.htm

Hope to see you there

The Cleaving of the Earth

So blind hath become the human heart that neither the disruption of the city, nor the reduction of the mountain in dust, nor even the cleaving of the earth, can shake off its torpor.
(Baha'u'llah)

One wouldn't want to argue with Baha'u'llah but the great cleft in the earth at Alum Cliffs did I think at least slightly awaken our hearts.
After a peaceful walk through what seems a mildly undulating forest the suddenness with which a dramatic view confronts one is a highlight of the Alum Cliffs experience. Until perhaps 10 metres from the viewpoint there is no real indication that anything other than forest is around. There is a hint in the slope on the right dropping away rather more steeply (though we still managed to have our picnic there). The paths turns sharply to the left and within a few paces one steps out onto a well constructed platform.
And one looks across to a cliff












And to the left another cliff face contains the red ochre which was prized resource for the indigenous people of the area.






But mostly one looks down
The great gorge and the river far below just demand your attention

Somehow it didn't seem the place to mutter a few quiet prayers. It seems that one's praises should resound between those great cliffs. So in addition to the Baha'i Prayers which are our staple diet, we let a few mighty 'Om's sound out. At least as mighty as our aging lungs could manage. If we didn't see Layli we hope at least she heard us.

It was a great place for a walk and a picnic. The Heath were in bloom even if slightly out of focus.
Nature in its essence is the embodiment of My Name, the Maker, the Creator. Its manifestations are diversified by varying causes, and in this diversity there are signs for men of discernment. Nature is God's Will and is its expression in and through the contingent world. It is a dispensation of Providence ordained by the Ordainer, the All-Wise. Were anyone to affirm that it is the Will of God as manifested in the world of being, no one should question this assertion. It is endowed with a power whose reality men of learning fail to grasp. Indeed a man of insight can perceive naught therein save the effulgent splendour of Our Name, the Creator.
(Baha'u'llah)

Rather surprisingly, art - man-made art - is also at Alum Cliffs. Would we be more successful seeking Layli in galleries? On the path to the viewpoint there is a clearing. And in the clearing there is a giant sculpture. Only an aerial photograph could encompass it all and we had left all our helicopters behind. Here's a glimpse:

Another good day and another spot blessed but we live in hopes of one day finding at least the spoor of Layli.