Tuesday, 31 August 2010

the desert

'There are many more beautiful landscapes in the world but none, i think, that can shape man's spirit in such sovereign a way. In its hardness and sparseness, the desert strips our desire to comprehend life of all subterfuges, of all the manifold delusions with which a more bountiful nature may entrap man's mind and cause him to project his own imageries into the world around him. The desert is bare and clean and knows no compromise. It sweeps out of the heart of man all the lovely fantasies that could be used as a masquerade for wishful thinking, and thus makes him free to surrender himself to an Absolute that has no image: the farthest of all that is far and yet the nearest of all that is near.'
p.144-145, M. Asad, The Road to Mecca.