A great poem, when analyzed, is a set of detached sounds. The reader who finds out the meaning, which is the inner medium that connects these outer sounds, discovers a perfect law all through, which is never violated in the least; the law of the evolution of ideas, the law of the music and the form.
But law in itself is a limit. It only shows that whatever is can never be otherwise. When a man is exclusively occupied with the search for the links of causality, his mind succumbs to the tyranny of law in escaping from the tyranny of facts. In learning a language, when from mere words we reach the laws of words we have gained a great deal. But if we stop at that point, and only concern ourselves with the marvels of the formation of a language, seeking the hidden reason of all its apparent caprices, we do not reach the end--for grammar is not literature, prosody is not a poem.
When we come to literature we find that though it conforms to rules of grammar it is yet a thing of joy, it is freedom itself. The beauty of a poem is bound by strict laws, yet it transcends them. The laws are its wings, they do not keep it weighed down, they carry it to freedom. Its form is in law but its spirit is in beauty. Law is the first step towards freedom, and beauty is the complete liberation which stands on the pedestal of law. Beauty harmonizes in itself the limit and the beyond, the law and the liberty.
In the world-poem, the discovery of the law of its rhythms, the measurement of its expansion and contraction, movement and pause, the pursuit of its evolution of forms and characters, are true achievements of the mind; but we cannot stop there. It is like a railway station; but the station platform is not our home.
-- Rabindranath Tagore, Realization in Love, Sadhana
SEED QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: How do you relate to the notion of law being the first step toward freedom, while beauty is the complete liberation standing on the pedestal of law? How does this affect your worldview of law, freedom and beauty? Can you share a personal experience of being bound by strict laws, and yet, transcending them to express beauty?
I am very fond of Rabindranath Tagore. I love his poems . he has helped me to appreciate the beauty in all phases of life. He inspired me write poems. Law and Liberty do not oppose each other unless I allow myself to be bound by the law. When a poem comes to me, I spontaneously go beyond words and grammar. I hear the voice without words. I transcend without knowing the boundaries of of the form. There is a natural flow from form to formless. from sound to soundlessness, a sky-like freedom.
Jagdish P Dave
Law, at best, provides structure that gets us started and points us in the right direction. I agree with the great Tagore that the law is only the first step toward freedom, or at least it can be. For some people the law becomes god, the final destination, and I think a jail. Maturation typically means incorporating the spirit of the law and growing beyond the law. The law may be thought of as a starter map, but it's not the journey or the destination. My paraphrasing of a quote that I like is that we follow the road to get to the temple, and we leave the road to go inside. Freedom, beauty, creativity may begin from "standing on the pedestal of law" and then requires a leap, ie, detaching from the law and following one's own truth that has hopefully been informed by worthwhile law. The law was the starting point for Buddha and Jesus, and they found enlightenment and freedom (salvation) by going beyond the law. Christian scripture even says that you don't find life in the law. For me, my worldview is enhanced by realizing this. I was raised with strict rules. I don't know if I needed them, but they are where I came from, and my own journey has been a breaking free from them, going beyond them into a life and world view that feels much more open, free, and alive, and I am grateful for that.[Hide Full Comment]
Tagore is beautiful and true. This affects my worldview of law, freedom and beauty by keeping my sense that I do not know. I do not know the law, freedom and beauty. A personal experience about this arose when I realized strongly the enormous value of "not knowing." This allows me to be in the present and it allows me to not be a separate knower. It helps me be more comfortable being no one going nowhere. Knowing nothing in this sense has the same affect as knowing everything I need to know at this moment. That is a heavenly experience in one sense and it is in another sense the experience of everyone and everything at this moment.
I must admit when I first read the title for this reflection, I was a little taken back and had much to say on the mirrored passage of what was written, with my thoughts of the global effect of laws and the beauty, the beauty I thought more the ugly effects of the pedestal of that law. Hmm, how completely thought provoking and tingling the senses of one own self debate was I in, huh I said to myself.. Yes there is a visual picture of un-laws and the horror of injustices and miss-justices and the breakdown of laws to make freedoms available to the whole, the bureaucratic effects of laws and the ugly pedestal effect of looking at laws of dictatorship, the laws of slavery even to this day, the thoughts came and my mind raced - Huh I said.. But and a very big paused âbutâ, Once I read this article for the third time, I got it, I really got it, there is the laws within the laws that take us to a different free place of awakenings and growth, the sounds of the orchestra, the laws of the pedestal conductor that leads the beautiful law of complete sounds to every emotion known to man, the pedestal of higher self, and the beautiful law of meditating, the law that tells you to breath, then takes you to a place of better self-being of stillness and growth. The laws of the collective to trust in an unsorted structure to believe and deliver rights for man, the beautiful manifestations that come through that. Then he beautiful law of healing, my saving of life, the pedestal of allowing the body time to heal, the natural law of allowing for time to just heal through everything that comes at us. Thatâs my awakening to allow that time to be, to heal and to see where I was to where I AM.. Yep, I never liked pedestals before, but I can see that some pedestals, laws are indeed just great, beautiful and in balance with the natural laws of all. Thank you, this was a beautiful mind opening piece. Much love xox[Hide Full Comment]