Darkling I listen; and, for many a time
I have been half in love with easeful Death,
Call’d him soft names in many a mused rhyme,
To take into the air my quiet breath
Just die over and over.
Nothing can save you now,
because this is your last moment.
Not even enlightenment will help you now,
because you have no other moments.
With no future, be true to yourself
—and don't move.
–Shunryu Suzuki Roshi
–Robert Desnostranslated by Todd Sanders
"Nothing is possible in love without death,” says the Sufi.
The soul’s love for God frees us from our self, and yet this freedom can seem like death, as we die to the person we think we are. Again and again we die to our limited sense of self in order to step into the vaster dimension of our being. This dying is what separates those who want security and stability from those who are reckless, crazy, or driven enough to venture into the depths.
What security is there for us here in her caravanserai
when every moment camel bells cry, “Pack up the loads!”?
The dark night, the fear of waves
the terrifying whirlpool,
how can they know of our state, those who go lightly along the shore?
Earth, isn't this what you want? To arise in us, invisible?
Is it not your dream, to enter us so wholly
there's nothing left outside us to see?
What, if not transformation,
is your deepest purpose? Earth, my love,
I want that too. Believe me,
no more of your springtimes are needed
to win me over - even one flower
is more than enough. Before I was named
I belonged to you. I seek no other law
but yours, and know I can trust
the death you will bring.
–Rainer Maria Rilke
In Praise Of Mortality, excerpt