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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.

"The mystic's God is not a person or a place but a state that is everywhere at once."

  Deepak Chopra, The Soul in Love, Part 4

The womb of creation is over the event horizon, and it is very real. The Big Bang erupted from virtual space. In other words, so did space-time itself. The amazing implication is that creation didn't happen at a particular moment. You can run a clock backward to try to get to the exact second that the Big Bang occurred, but just when you are about to arrive at the birth of things, your clock will falter and cease. All events will become compacted into a density too heavy and concentrated to allow for either time or space. Properties like weight and size, duration and movement disappear. At this point of seeming nothingness, everything is possible. Every single second of the life of the cosmos--past, present, and future--coheres into a unity. This point has been called a singularity by physics, but mystics call it God. God is the One and Only, the All that is only itself yet contains diverse creation. The mystic's God is not a person or a place but a state that is everywhere at once. This abstract portrayal remains true even when God is being named as father or mother, lover or friend--these are just words used in an attempt to humanize the ineffable.

To cross the event horizon seems physically impossible, yet it is spiritually our birthright. The poets in this book exercised that right, approaching God with awe and trembling but with disarming intimacy, as if meeting the One was the most natural thing in the world. Who is to say that they are wrong? Perhaps messages are drifting across the event horizon all the time. Rabindranath Tagore, the great Bengali poet and Nobel laureate, took the ecstatic tradition of Kabir and Mirabai into our time, going so far as to translate Kabir as an act of homage. Tagore had a famous meeting with Einstein in which the two compared their sense of what God's reality might be, but it is in his poetry that Tagore speaks most wistfully of how easy it is to miss the divine fragrance that is all around us. He uses the image of a flower that has been passed by on the road:

When the lotus opened, I didn't notice and went away empty-handed.

Only now and again do I suddenly sit up from my dreams to smell a strange fragrance. It comes on the south wind, a vague hint that makes me ache with longing, like the eager breath of summer wanting to be completed. I didn't know what was so near, or that it was mine.

This perfect sweetness blossoming in the depths of my heart.

Tagore is the tenderest and most emotionally delicate of the poets in this book--at least that is how he strikes me. They all speak to our souls with the same uncanniness that I mentioned earlier, but after a while one detects a definite flavor from each: Rumi is sharp and challenging, the ever-alert mind who gets impatient with the sleepy. Hafiz, another great lyricist in Islamic poetry, often adopts the metaphor of being drunk on wine, carelessly letting loose his rapture in the "sin" of drinking and carousing. 

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