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The Time Before Death

Friend, hope for the Guest while you are alive.
Jump into experience while you are alive!
Think… and think… while you are alive.
What you call ‘salvation’ belongs to the time before death.

If you don’t break your ropes while you’re alive,
do you think ghosts will do it after?

The idea that the soul will join with the ecstatic
just because the body is rotten —
that is all fantasy.
What is found now is found then.
If you find nothing now,
you will simply end up with an apartment in the City of Death.

If you make love with the divine now, in the next
life you will have the face of satisfied desire.

So plunge into the truth, find out who the Teacher is.
Believe in the Great Sound!

Kabir says this: When the Guest is being searched for,
it is the intensity of the longing for the Guest
that does all the work.

Look at me, and you will see a slave of that intensity.


translated by Robert Bly


You take my opinion in one hand, and fifty cents in the other, and you can’t even buy a doughnut.

The Three Moving Forces

The Elizabethans of Shakespeare’s time, in response to the Question of Good and Evil, believed in three factors that shape how things unfold:

Providence, i.e., God’s will,

Fortune, i.e., luck and chance, and

human character, i.e., your diligent study, practice, training, and action.

Take care of your end, my friends: “‘Good luck’ is when opportunity meets preparation.”

Ancora imparo

If you feel that I can further simplify my teaching, or you’d like further explanation, or you notice I’ve made a mistake, please comment.

Like Chaucer’s Clerk, I hope the same will be said of me:

And gladly wolde he lerne, and gladly teche.

Repetitio est mater studiorum

Repetition is the mother of learning.


A danger foreseen is half avoided.

–Tsistsistas (Cheyenne) saying.