Call and Response

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iUniverse, Dec 3, 2006 - Fiction
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The teachings of the great spiritual masters have a strange effect on us. Inspirational, yes, to the extent that we understand them; devotional fervor, certainly, to the degree that we can live it; moral rectitude and ethical vigilance, undoubtedly, providing we can rationalize our doubts, sublimate our fears and benignly dismiss those suggestions that we give up the things of this world for those of the next.

We feel an inner impulse to respond to the teachings, taking either the low road by walking a Sunday path, or the high roads of monastic isolation or mindfully self-aware spiritual righteousness. Or perhaps any road one wishes that lies between these two extremes of passion and commitment.

But the impulse to respond is genuine and deeply moving, and Rumi's invitation to the Divine Caravan is compelling. Despite the pull and attachment of secular life that is constant throughout time and compelling in any era, he offers continual affirmation that no matter what the diversions, no matter how often we fail, the invitation is always open. The spiritual door to the house of God is never closed.

Come, come, whoever you are.

Wanderer, worshipper, lover of leaving.

It doesn't matter.

Ours is not a caravan of despair.

Come, even if you have broken your vow

a thousand times.

Come, come yet again, come.

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