Sunday, June 23, 2013

Fariduddin Attar on the Human Condition

A man is walking through a luscious garden filled with all the bounties of nature, when all of a sudden the ground beneath his feet gives way and he plummets into a hole. Grasping out blindly, he feels his hands close around the roots of a tree. Terrified, he looks below him and sees a monstrous dragon at the bottom of the pit, waiting for him to fall. He begins to pull himself up by the fortunately-placed tree roots, when his eyes happen upon a beehive lodged in the side of the hole. He lets go of the roots with one hand, and plunges his free hand into the beehive, never minding the stings of the protective bees. He draws out his hand, dripping now with honey, and licks his fingers clean of it. "Ah," he says, "what a joyous thing life is!"