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)
Monday, 16 July 2012
"This is the food that conferreth everlasting life upon the pure in heart and the illumined in spirit. This is the bread of which it is said: "Lord, send down upon us Thy bread from heaven." This bread shall never be withheld from them that deserve it, nor can it ever be exhausted. It groweth everlastingly from the tree of grace; it descendeth at all seasons from the heavens of justice and mercy." (Baha'u'llah)
"One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;
And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
The spruces rough in the distant glitter
Of the January sun; and not to think
Of any misery in the sound of the wind,
In the sound of a few leaves,
Which is the sound of the land
Full of the same wind
That is blowing in the same bare place
For the listener, who listens in the snow,
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is."
We try to remember that the Divine Essence which is Layli is not confined to the warm days or the lush green spots. It is good too to spot glimpses of the Essence in the wintry barren lands. So on Saturday 21st July we are going to head up (and up and up) to Devils Gullet and Lake McKenzie and try, being nothing ourselves, to see the "Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is."
You'll need your mind of winter and, even more importantly, a LOT of warm clothes and Thermoses of hot drinks and when you return you will probably feel you have been "cold a long time".
It's a longish trip for most people. Lets assume you can find Deloraine, and from there, at the top end of town take the road to Mole Creek. On arriving at Mole Creek go straight through town (remembering that that is the last place you will see shops or toilets on the day) and follow the B12 (Mole Creek Main Road which becomes Liena Road). Keep going. About 15 kms out of Mole Creek you will see Mersey Forest Road on the left. A very short distance down Mersey Forest Road there is a turn off clearly signposted to Devils Gullet and Lake MacKenzie on the left. From there it is gravel but good gravel for about 14kms.
If the weather is good its about 40 minutes from Mole Creek.
If the weather is snowy the road might be closed. If so we meet at the turn-off from Mersey Forest road and make alternative plans.
We meet at 12 noon hopefully at the Gullet car park.
There are websites with some good photos and descriptions.
"And should the servant ascend to even loftier heights, quit this mortal world of dust, and seek to ascend unto the celestial abode, he will then pass from this city into the City of Absolute Nothingness, that is, of dying to self and living in God. In this station, this most exalted habitation, this journey of utter self-effacement, the wayfarer forgetteth his soul, spirit, body, and very being, immerseth himself in the sea of nothingness, and liveth on earth as one unworthy of mention. Nor will one find any sign of his existence, for he hath vanished from the realm of the visible and attained unto the heights of self-abnegation." (Baha'u'llah)
Well, this passage was perhaps a self-abnegation too far for us. The Bass Strait is not really the sea of nothingness and we didn't immerse ourselves in it. In fact the 'us' and 'we' in that previous sentence are stretching the truth a bit. It was a cold, blustery, rainy day and after some texts and phone calls we decided it was a bad idea to head off to an exposed headland and basically called it off. Still one person had to go just in case anyone unexpected turned up or, perhaps, Layli had intercepted our texts and thought she was safe at Badger's Head.
Bad idea it might have been but it turned out to be a good experience. The rain pelted the car on the trip but kept away long enough for a very pleasant walk and private picnic and prayers.The mood swung to joy.
"Whenever I ponder my grievous shortcomings and my great trespasses, despair assaileth me from every direction, and whenever I pause to meditate upon the ocean of Thy bounteousness and the heaven of Thy grace and the day-star of Thy tender compassion, I inhale the fragrance of hope diffused from right and left, from north and south, as if every created thing imparteth unto me the joyous tidings that the clouds of the heaven of Thy mercy will pour down their rain upon me." (Baha'u'llah)