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Chapter 5: The Pilgrims of Love

I talk to my inner lover, and I say, why such rush?
We sense that there is some sort of spirit
that loves birds and animals and the ants.
Perhaps the same one who gave a radiance to you
in your mother’s womb.
Is it logical you would be walking around
entirely orphaned now?
The truth is you turned away yourself,
and decided to go into the dark alone.
Now you are tangled up in others,
and have forgotten what once you knew,
and that is why everything you do
has some sort of weird failure in it.
The bhakti path winds in a delicate way.
On this path there is no asking and no not-asking.
The ego simply disappears the moment you touch him.
And the joy of looking for him is so immense
that you just dive in, and coast around
like a fish in the water.
If anyone needs a head,
the lover leaps up to offer his.
Kabir’s poems touch on the secrets of this bhakti.

One must understand the Ah! of things and then all is understood. They say that philosophy begins in wonder. Perhaps. But philosophy always tries to destroy wonder - it wants to kill its mother. The whole effort of philosophy is to demystify existence.

The more you think you know, the less you have awe, wonder, reverence, love. Existence then seems to be stale, flat; there are no more mysteries in it. And of course when there is no mystery outside, there is no poetry inside. They go together, they are parallel: mystery outside, poetry within.

The poetry can arise only if life remains worth exploring. The moment you know, poetry dies; knowledgeability is the death of all that is beautiful in you. And with the death of poetry you live a life which is not worth living - it can’t have any significance, it can’t have any celebration. It cannot bloom, it cannot dance; you can only drag. So maybe those who say that philosophy begins in wonder are right, but I would like to add one thing more: it tries to kill its mother.

Religion is born in wonder, lives in wonder. Religion begins in wonder and ends in more wonder. That is the difference between philosophy and religion - both may have their beginning in wonder, but then they part ways. Religion starts looking into mysteries and finds that those mysteries go on deepening. The more you know, the less you know, and the ultimate in knowing is ignorance. You become utterly ignorant, you don’t know anything at all. A state of innocence is achieved. In that state of innocence, poetry comes to its perfection. That poetry is religion.

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