Creation's Witness

by Abdul-Qader Bedil

English version by David and Sabrineh Fideler
Original Language Persian/Farsi

At time's beginning
that beauty
which polished creation's mirror
caressed every atom
with a hundred thousand suns.

But this glory
was never witnessed.

When the human eye emerged,
only then was he known.

-- from Love's Alchemy: Poems from the Sufi Tradition, Translated by David Fideler / Translated by Sabrineh Fideler

| More Poems by Abdul-Qader Bedil | Next Poem >>


/ Photo by Lisa Norwood /


View All Poems by Abdul-Qader Bedil

Commentary by Ivan M. Granger

At time's beginning
that beauty
which polished creation's mirror
caressed every atom
with a hundred thousand suns.


I love that phrase in the opening section about every atom being caressed "with a hundred thousand suns..." Mm.

Reread the poem's final couplet, though.

When the human eye emerged,
only then was he known.


What do you suppose the poet meant by stating that only "when the human eye emerged" was "that beauty" -- the radiance of God -- known?

The lines suggest the Gnostic teaching used to explain the emergence of duality. In the primal Wholeness that exists prior to separation, everything is one, but unawakened. There is wholeness, but no perception of wholeness, since nothing else is known and since there are no individual points of perception from which to witness that wholeness...

But this glory
was never witnessed.


God, therefore, willed the illusion of separation in human consciousness in order to produce the necessary duality of seer and seen. The play of separation then allows universal consciousness, through humanity, to witness its own Being. Humanity, in this understanding, is the eye of consciousness within existence. You could say that is our divine purpose -- to awaken to the radiant vision of Being. Our first role is to be witnesses. We exist to perceive the fundamental nature of reality. Only by doing so do we fulfill our reason for being.

It is through us that the universe comes to fruition in self-knowledge.

\ | /
- o -
/ | \



Recommended Books: Abdul-Qader Bedil

Love's Alchemy: Poems from the Sufi Tradition The Ocean of Unity: Wahdat al-wujud in Persian, Turkish, and Malay poetry





Creation's Witness