I was moved by Ebrahim Moosa's Opinion piece in today's NYT "Pilgrims at Heart" (reg req'd). Though largely directed at the Muslim tradition of Hajj, it simultaneously contains insights and inspiration for human behavior in general, and nicely ties together a few of the common threads of the various religions of Abraham.
If I had a highlighter:
Hajj literally means, "to continuously strive to reach one's goal."
Pilgrimage embodies exile by requiring seekers to suspend customary routine, enter new environments and live by new rhythms and rituals.
To play on the words of the poet Federico García Lorca: the imagination hovers above ritual, the way fragrance hovers over a flower.
A prolific 13th century mystic, Ibn Arabi, wrote that pilgrims were mistaken if they believed that swarming like moths around the cube-like stone centerpiece, the Kaaba in the Holy Mosque, was the loftiest act of venerating God. Rather, noted Ibn Arabi, it was the human heart that deserved the highest sanctity. For neither the offerings made, nor the hardships endured, reaches the divine. Instead it is the compass of the heart that counts.
Technorati Tags: hajjPosted by esinclai at January 10, 2006 06:32 AM |