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?

Friday, 19 June 2009

Comment from a reader

A reader of this blog commented:

"I've just been enjoying the Layli photos, etc. They are very beautiful. I would love to come on the next one to the caves but whether I (we) make it, time will tell.
I must tell you, though, I was shocked to see the photo of one of the worst seaside weeds of Tasmanian beaches -sea spurge - looking quite beautiful, but offending my sensibilities as a bush restorer. I thought, "I might be useful on these trips - I could have everyone pulling weeds!!"
The photo is in the Tues. 31 March 2009 posting "..subtle colouring of fringe vegetation." Please pull it out! Then again, please yourself. Perhaps it's a case of "shiny white teeth", the one good quality. But sea spurge is a huge problem on the Tassie coastline, its sap is poisonous and must be kept away from skin, eyes, etc. Pulling should be done with caution.
I love your beautiful site - almost as good as being there, and soul inspiring.

Thanks for your kind words and sorry for the offending photo.
Other readers might like to check the Tasmanian Governments view . It certainlyis an offensive invader.
The photo in question is, we think, this one:which appeared in the blog entry relating to our trip to the Waterhouse Reserve
We have decided not to remove the photo but to leave it as a "Know your Enemy" public service in the hope that others will not make the same mistake we did. If you do see some of this weed be careful - it is toxic. Please read the Tasmanian Government's information above to determine the appropriate action. We have of course amended the blog entry to reflect our new knowledge of the status of this plant.
Baha'u'llah, of course, had the answer to this problem:
"We send forth the tempestuous gales of Our decree, tear it up by its roots, and lay it prostrate upon the face of the earth."

Thursday, 18 June 2009

To the Bowels of the Earth

If true glory were to consist in the possession of such perishable things, then the earth on which ye walk must needs vaunt itself over you, because it supplieth you, and bestoweth upon you, these very things, by the decree of the Almighty. In its bowels are contained, according to what God hath ordained, all that ye possess. (Baha'u'llah)

The bowels of the earth might be something of an exaggeration but on Sunday 28th June we are going underground at the Mole Creek Caves.

We will meet at 12 noon in the car park of the Marakoopa Cave. For most people the directions are simply get to Deloraine, proceed towards and through Mole Creek and then keep an eye open for the sign to Marakoopa Cave. Google seems to have got confused about Marakoopa having it in two different locations but there are clear directions at

This is rather an unusual seeking Laylu as it actually costs money to go into the cave for a 45 minute guided tour. $16 for a standard adult with concessional, child and family prices (detailed at site above). However if you do not wish to pay or are claustrophobic or for any reason not wishing to enter, do come anyway. There is a picnic site, where we will eat and probably have our devotions, it is a pleasant park, and at least some of us are likely to stop at Alum Cliffs on the way back

Hope to see you there!

enter within the Garden of Wonderment.

"After this heavenly journey and mystical ascent the wayfarer will enter within the Garden of Wonderment." (Baha'u'llah)

We don't really suppose Baha'u'llah had Notley Fern Gorge in mind when He mentioned the Garden of Wonderment. For one thing the ascent which is steep even if not terribly mystical is on the way out of the Gorge not on the way in.
But, whereas our previous search in Meander Forest Reserve had the feeling of being in a vast wilderness, Notlay Fern Gorge is more like a garden. It is in some ways similar. A moist forest with abundant ferns, mosses, and still fungi but it is a small remnant enclosed by farmland. Not all that small as we hope these photos show.

"Say: 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. Say: This is an existence which knoweth no decay, and Nature itself is lost in bewilderment before its revelations, its compelling evidences and its effulgent glory which have encompassed the universe.

So perfect and comprehensive is His creation that no mind nor heart, however keen or pure, can ever grasp the nature of the most insignificant of His creatures; much less fathom the mystery of Him Who is the Day Star of Truth, Who is the invisible and unknowable Essence. (Baha'u'llah)

The incredibly delicate but tiny fungi pictured above were there in profusion and a stunning demonstration of the wonder of creation. As was the wonderful tree bark pictured below.
Still no sign of Layli. Perhaps a good time to remind ourselves that no matter the beauty of the surroundings where we have our devotions there is no guarantee that they will be accepted

Were anyone to wash the feet of all mankind, and were he to worship God in the forests, valleys, and mountains, upon high hills and lofty peaks, to leave no rock or tree, no clod of earth, but was a witness to his worship -- yet, should the fragrance of My good pleasure not be inhaled from him, his works would never be acceptable unto God. (Baha'u'llah)

and for every fruit a season hath been ordained

In the forests of Tasmania , autumn is the season ordained for the fruiting bodies of fungi. The filaments that form the fungi are of course there all year usually below the ground and usually each filament is too small to see. But in autumn the fruiting bodies are a joy to behold and there are few better places to behold them then Meander Forest Reserve.

Baha'u'llah said:
"The world is continually proclaiming these words: Beware, I am evanescent, and so are all my outward appearances and colours. Take ye heed of the changes and chances contrived within me and be ye roused from your slumber."

Few things are quite as colourful and as evanescent as fungi. So without more ado here are the photos with the minimum of notes of when we went searching for Layli and found fungi.

We had our picnic beside Lake Huntsman

And settled down at Scott's Road lookout to say our prayers amidst the birdsong.

To venture further into the forest we had to cross the river, taking heart from Baha'u'llah's words:
"Forget what thou didst read in the books of Sibavayh and Qawlavayh, of Ibn-i-Hajib and Ibn-i-Malik, and cross the water."
Baha'u'llah might have been surprised how easy it was to forget what we read of those two writers.
And then we found fungi

These two were tiny - about a centimeter across, but so delicate

It shouldn't be forgotten that we were in a forest - fungi were not the only life forms exquisitely formed and coloured - trees too were enchanted.

And lastly, a extremely tiny but shining golden fungus, surely a Layli fungus. Too small to photo easily but so bright it was impossible to miss.

But let Baha'u'llah have the last word reminding us that even such beauty is temporary:
"The dwellers of the kingdom of names have busied themselves with the gay livery of the world, forgetful that every man that hath eyes to perceive and ears to hear cannot but readily recognize how evanescent are its colors."

Much as we love the gay livery of the fungi there is presumable a greater beauty to be sought even if it cannot be photographed.