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Excerpted from The Soul in Love by Deepak Chopra. Copyright © 2001 by Deepak Chopra. Excerpted by permission of Random House, Inc.  All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. HTML and web pages copyright © by SpiritSite.com.

"There really is a place beyond time and space that we can access even though we are here inside time and space."

  Deepak Chopra, The Soul in Love, Part 3

This is Mirabai, but the amorous theme she touches on is widely shared. Mystics either remain speechless, or they drift toward the language of lovers. There seems to be no middle ground. If they speak as lovers, we still hear all the complaints of earthly love, that it is fickle, that it brings sleepless nights and empty days, that food has no savor when the lover is gone and the heart becomes anxious and restless. In a way it seems strange to keep using such language about God, because the key quality of immortal love is freedom. It isn't bound by time and space; it doesn't really need expression or outward show because nothing is happening outwardly. The soul's love occurs when a person goes to an unchanging place beyond all dimensions. As Kabir says:

A man lives inside boundaries 
His spirit lives outside. 
Something else knows neither one.

Like Mirabai and Rumi, Kabir lived in the so-called medieval period (his dates are roughly 1440-1518), a term that is too Western to really make sense in India, where unbroken traditions span many centuries. He was low-born, trained in the family craft of weaving. Because cultural boundaries are inescapable, mystical poets still acquire religious labels. Rumi is therefore considered Muslim and Mirabai Hindu, but Kabir refused to be labeled, and was claimed by both religions. (If you read deep enough, these poets easily embrace all faiths. For example, there are mentions of Christ throughout Rumi.) The charming tale of what happened to Kabir's body after he died is known by every Indian child: After he passed on, Kabir's remains were claimed by both the Hindus and Muslims of the town. One side wanted to cremate him and scatter his ashes over a holy place, while the other wanted a burial. The disagreement between the two factions grew heated to the brink of violence. There seemed to be no peaceful solution until Kabir came in a dream and told his followers to open his casket. When they did, Kabir's body was gone, miraculously changed into a bundle of flowers. One faction took half the flowers and burned them; the other took their half and buried them. Thus both faiths got what they wanted, and Kabir became storied as a saint who could not be trapped by orthodoxy on either side.

Delightful as it is to spend time with these divine lovers, I have also come to believe that the God-mad (to use a wonderful phrase from India) have hit upon a truth that has objective validity: There really is a place beyond time and space that we can access even though we are here inside time and space. Modern physics speaks of the "event horizon," which lies beyond the travel of light, a place that must exist but can never be seen because the oldest photons in the universe are unable to bring us any data about it. When you ask a question like, "What happened before time began?" or "Where did things exist before the universe was created?" you are not making sense on this side of the event horizon. There is no time before time began and no place outside space. Yet to a quantum physicist, all such questions do make sense if you cast your mind over the event horizon. Thus we hear about additional dimensions that once existed, about mega-universes that might have served as incubators for our own, and so on. The space beyond space is called "virtual" in the terms of physics; it is an empty place, completely black and cold (words that aren't really meaningful outside our universe), yet filled with the potential to create all time, space, matter, and energy.

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