Haféz

Teachings of the Philosopher of Love
By (author) Haleh Pourafzal
By (author) Roger Montgomery
Haféz
Teachings of the Philosopher of Love
By (author) Haleh Pourafzal
By (author) Roger Montgomery

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Edition : Paperback Edition of The Spriritual Wisom of Haféz

Pages : 288

Book Size : 6 x 9

ISBN-13 : 9780892811885

Imprint : Inner Traditions

On Sale Date : March 03, 2004

Format : Paperback Book

For 600 years the Persian poet Haféz has been read, quoted, and loved by millions. Like his predecessor Rumi, he is a spiritual guide in our search for life’s essence. Haféz: Teachings of the Philosopher of Love is the perfect introduction to the man known as a mystic philosopher and poet of the heart, whose message of spiritual transcendence is especially important to our troubled world today.
Description

About Haféz

An exploration of the Persian poet’s spiritual philosophy, with original translations of his poetry


• Features extensive insight into the meanings and contexts of the poetry and philosophies of this spiritual teacher


• Includes over 30 complete poems by Haféz, including “The Wild Deer,” often regarded as his masterpiece


For 600 years the Persian poet Haféz has been read, recited, quoted, and loved by millions of people in his homeland and throughout the world. Like his predecessor Rumi, he is a spiritual guide in our search for life’s essence. Haféz is both a mystic philosopher and a heartfelt poet of desires and fears.

Haféz: Teachings of the Philosopher of Love is the perfect introduction to the man known as the philosopher of love, whose message of spiritual transcendence through rapture and service to others is especially important to our troubled world. His wisdom speaks directly to the cutting edge of philosophy, psychology, social theory, and education and can serve as a bridge of understanding between the West and the Middle East, two cultures in desperate need of mutual empathy.

Excerpt

Book Excerpt


A Tale of Love

In the garden at dawn I sought for a rose
when nightingale's voice broke the peace with her prose.

Like me, she was mad for love of a flower
and woke up the garden by trilling her woes.

I strolled round the garden moment by moment,
eyeing songbird's affair with flower she chose.

Sweet flower did swoon while the nightingale wooed;
this one's yet to age, that one's caught in love's throes.

As nightingale's song penetrated my heart,
it erased all desires my mind could compose.

In garden where so many roses abound,
to pick even one is to learn where thorn grows.

Haféz, seek no comfort from life's wheel turning,
for its one thousand squeaks create no repose.

Step 12

The Rage of Love

Declaring that Persian poetry is about love is rather like saying that wineglasses are used for wine. In both cases, the vessel draws its existence from the essence that flows within. In terms of rendi, love is a volatile presence, a voluptuous purpose, and an inevitable longing for reunion with the beloved. Both divine and human love fuel the condition of one-heartedness, and both reflect the most profound feelings of intoxication.

As the rend balances spirituality and mentality to cultivate compassion and generosity, mental expansion takes up its protective stance against the threatened incursion of narrow-mindedness. In turn, another process must also arise to assure that the inner war generated by broad-mindedness does not spill over into outer life as a harshly expressed resistance against the world's offerings of experience and emotion. Our desire for love is this insurance against the rend's shutting down the world of feelings.

In "A Tale of Love," Haféz reports on watching a nightingale and rose act out his own desire for the heart of the beloved. As usual in his verses, the love may be seen as either worldly or ethereal:

In the garden at dawn I sought for a rose
when nightingale's voice broke the peace with her prose.

But this desire called love is far from peaceful for the one who does the loving:

Like me, she was mad for love of a flower
and woke up the garden by trilling her woes.


Watching bird and flower, the poet realizes that the exchange between lovers involves a number of different feelings and patterns of behavior. Love is not a simple, easily understood feeling:

Sweet flower did swoon while the nightingale wooed;
this one's yet to age, that one's caught in love's throes.

Finally, the painful side of love becomes as evident as the desirable side. In the end, we get the message that there's no comfort in love. But remember, too, as Haféz stresses, rendi is not about comfort:

In garden where so many roses abound,
to pick even one is to learn where thorn grows.

Haféz, seek no comfort from life's wheel turning,
for its one thousand squeaks create no repose
.

In order to be a truly desirable pathway, rendi must embrace the full range of feelings that we can experience. Within that range, the desperation stemming from separation from the beloved emerges as the most powerful entity for Haféz and the other poets in his lineage. For five hundred years, Rudaki and Khayyam and Rumi had been calling from their depths for divine spiritual reunion. Then came Saadi in Shiraz, just before Haféz. In Saadi's writing, the ghazal turned into a love song to be sung on Earth about the beings of the Earth. Informed by these two approaches, Haféz opened his mental arms and wrote of both spiritual and worldly aspects of love.

Love as the craving for this unity is the attribute of rendi that inspires the expansion of our beings. In today's terminology, such love stretches our envelopes. As Haféz writes:

For lovers alone this Earth spins up to speed;
to feel no love is to lack the true rend's seed.

The true rend, remember, is Haféz himself, the unorthodox spiritual seeker. Love, divine or otherwise or all-inclusive, is the motivating force at any given moment. In the verse just quoted, the true rend is distinguished from the profane debauchee who stumbles through life without purpose. That lack of purpose is the lack of love.

The goal of rendi can be defined as the state of inner unity, the condition of completion, the gathered memory. That quality can also be called, quite simply, love. For Haféz, achieving this unity gives meaning to all the rest of existence, and this is an accomplishment worth any risk, any cost. Here is how he explains it:

Certain things fulfill us, seduce us to stay;
a thought of hand's touch on her face becomes sweet.

A blossom needs the beloved's reflection;
cypress and flower with a song are replete.

This body is a particle--there's no fun
or fulfillment until surrender's complete.

In this final verse, we find perhaps the greatest secret of all: Love is surrender. The surrender of ourselves, our bodies, everything. Only then does the possibility of true completion arise as the essence of love. And, the poet says, this is our natural state, so why fight it?

Since eternity, love's been my destiny;
this inscribed fate cannot be erased from me.

Table of Contents

Table of content


List of Complete Ghazals
Acknowledgments
Notes on the Text
Introduction by Roger Montgomery
One Soul Standing Guard
by Haleh Pourafzal

Part 1: Tavern of the Human Spirit

Philosopher of Love
Jamshid’s Biluminous Cup
Rend: The Warrior of Life

Part 2: Rendi: The Pathway

To Study the Poet
Step 1--Ancient Ways
Step 2--Making the Prayer House Quake
Step 3--Gathered Memory
Step 4--The Goal of Truth
Step 5--Focusing Awareness
Step 6--A Choice of Mythology
Step 7--Inspiration Without Fantasy
Step 8--Clarity in Ecstasy
Step 9--The Gift of Compassion
Step 10--Generosity’s Impulse
Step 11--The Need for Stretching
Step 12--The Rage of Love
Step 13-- Surrender to Mystery
Step 14--Giving Way to Abandon
Step 15--The Blessing of Good Companions
Step 16--The Realm of Sacredness
Step 17--The Joy of Imagination
Step 18--Summoning Courage
Step 19--Beyond Mind’s Speculations
Step 20--Constant Vigilance

Part 3: In Today’s World

The Big Picture
Justice
Sustainability
Service

Part 4: A Tale of Our Journey
The Elder Takes His Leave
The Wild Deer

Notes
Farsi (Persian) Glossary
Selected English Bibliography
Farsi Bibliography

Index

Author Bio
Haleh Pourafzal (1956-2002) was the daughter of Abdol-Hossein Pourafzal, a lifelong student of Persian linguistics and direct descendant of the creator of the contemporary Farsi prose form. Haleh grew up tuned to the spirit of the great poet during her childhood in Tehran, where her father would perform daily recitations of Haféz’s poetry. She drew upon her father’s expertise in developing her own interpretations of the poet’s verse.From the moment Haleh introduced her husband, Roger Montgomery, to the poetry of Haféz, they shared a deep love and respect for his work. It was in the spirit of gaining a greater understanding of this great poet, sage, and philosopher that this book was born. Montgomery is also the author of Twenty Count: Secret Mathematical System of the Aztec/Maya and lives in Berkeley, California.
Reviews

Reviews

Book Praise

Book Praise

“Haféz fears nothing. He sees too far; he sees throughout; such is the only man I wish to see or be.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Haféz has no peer."
Goethe


"Only the most enlightened of beings can benefit from the deepest human joys because within such beings resides a unique force of freedom and rapture. Their awareness rests in the house of spirit and their soul mates with their awareness meaning that which is discovered through awareness emanates from their soul and that which shines in the soul is known with awareness. This unity of spirit and mind is the legacy of Hafez."
Friedrich Nietzsche

"This beautifully written and nicely presented discourse on his life and work honors the poet as a significant figure whose influence resonates still."
NAPRA ReView

"This book is an ideal introduction to the spiritual guidance offered in Hafez's verses."
Bodhi Tree Book Review, Winter 1999 / Spring 2000
Back Cover

Back Cover Copy

SPIRITUALITY / POETRY

“Haféz has no peer.”
--Goethe

“Haféz fears nothing. He sees too far; he sees throughout; such is the only man I wish to see or be.”
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The unity of spirit and mind is the legacy of Haféz.”
--Nietzsche

For six hundred years the Persian poet Haféz has been read, recited, quoted, and loved by millions of people in his homeland and throughout the world. In Haféz: Teachings of the Philosopher of Love new contemporary translations by one of the leading scholars of Haféz connect this traditional spiritual and philosophical wisdom to a modern vision of the world. The book includes over thirty complete poems by Haféz, accompanied by commentary from the authors on the meanings and contexts of the poetry and philosophies of this spiritual teacher. Authors Haleh Pourafzal and Roger Montgomery show how the visionary poet Haféz--whose work inspired Goethe, Nietzsche, and Ralph Waldo Emerson--can serve as an ideal source of inner renewal in our often troubled world, as well as a bridge between the West and Middle East, two cultures in desperate need of mutual empathy.

HALEH POURAFZAL (1956-2002) was the daughter of Abdol-Hossein Pourafzal, a lifelong student of Persian linguistics and direct descendant of the creator of the contemporary Farsi prose form. Haleh grew up tuned to the spirit of the great poet during her childhood in Tehran, where her father would perform daily recitations of Haféz’s poetry. She drew upon her father’s expertise in developing her own interpretations of the poet’s verse. From the moment Haleh introduced her husband, ROGER MONTGOMERY, to the poetry of Haféz, they shared a deep love and respect for his work. It was in the spirit of gaining a greater understanding of this great poet, sage, and philosopher that this book was born. Montgomery is also the author of Twenty Count: Secret Mathematical System of the Aztec/Maya and lives in Berkeley, California.

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