Hafiz and the Infinite Metamorphosis of Existence

By Paul C Pritchard on Thursday August 1st, 2019

Image: Joshua Earle

A Dance with the Divine

We have to nourish our insight into impermanence every day. If we do, we will live more deeply, suffer less, and enjoy life much more. — Thích Nhất Hạnh

I am sitting in Boulder, Colorado at the end of July. The hum of Summer is everywhere. Nature is asserting her way effortlessly with exponential ease. The encroaching abundance is tapping at the window panes. Self-seeded sunflowers are following the sun and rocking in the breeze. Somewhere a radio plays uplifting tunes and Winter feels like an almost forgotten era, an ice-age ago.

And yet, as a first-time visitor to Colorado, I am curious about the long Winters. How everything will recede into what T.S. Eliot called the deadlands: that dormant peaceful sleep. I can’t help but stare at the enthusiastic, leaping-green foliage and tune in to its amnesia of Winter where I too am seduced and can hear my own being whispering how Winter, this year, will never arrive. How can it? In this very moment, there is no place for Winter… it is impossible. Everything is awake, even in the deep of night. Everything is alive and communing with each other.

SummerThe hum of Summer is everywhere. Image from author.

Sipping ice tea, I close my eyes and imagine the white forgotten wonderland; everything snow-capped and snow deep. Some of this green will hibernate and find its new breath somewhere between April and May. But a lot of this verdant splendour will simply die. And I’m filled with a simultaneous sense of Trust and Acceptance. There is no place for grief in this present moment; no place for conversations about the impermanence of life. Right here nothing is born or dying–it is exquisitely changing molecular shape and endlessly manifesting into countless organic configurations.

My thoughts turn to those I love who have slipped into the deadlands; who have given up the ghost. And I now feel my grief smiling as I think of their old body-vessels molecularly coursing through the icy rivulets into Gold Lake; becoming the indigo of the petals of the blue mist penstemon; the shout of the gold stonecrop moss; the irrepressibly subtle lichen determined to spruce up every rock; the intelligence shaping the deciduous bushes or the ever-green resilient pines; the soft fur of a chipmunk’s tail; or the generous Summer rains and all the wildflowers sign-posting my way HOME as I walk around the lake.

I am grateful that my direct experience with death and grief has evolved into a loving acceptance and a peaceful trust in this alchemy–mystery that we call Life. And I have known all too well the grip of grief who, like a relentless hurricane, told me over and over and over that inner-peace will never, ever return.

But it does. And it will, And it is.

My loved ones are everywhere on this material plane. They have never been anywhere else. Their life-force, their essence, their spirit is having yet more dance lessons with the Divine.

I cannot think about the infinite metamorphosis of Existence without calling upon Hafiz…

Deepening The Wonder by Hafiz

Death is a favour to us,
But our scales have lost their balance.

The impermanence of the body
Should give us great clarity,
Deepening the wonder in our senses and eyes

Of this mysterious existence we share
And are surely just traveling through.

If I were in the Tavern tonight,
Hafiz would call for drinks

And as the Master poured, I would be reminded
That all I know of life and myself is that

We are just a mid-air flight of golden wine
Between His Pitcher and His Cup.

If I were in the Tavern tonight,
I would buy freely for everyone in this world

Because our marriage with the Cruel Beauty
Of time and space cannot endure very long.

Death is a favour to us,
But our minds have lost their balance.

The miraculous existence and impermanence of Form
Always makes the illuminated ones
Laugh and Sing.


What is your experience of the cycle of life? What have you learned about acceptance and trust? We’d love to hear your comments below. Are there any poems or words of wisdom that have helped you through?

Much love, celebration, and aliveness to you all…


How do you feel about this article? Join the conversation.






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45 Responses to Hafiz and the Infinite Metamorphosis of Existence

  1. “I am grateful that my direct experience with death and grief has evolved into a loving acceptance and a peaceful trust in this alchemy–mystery that we call Life. And I have known all too well the grip of grief who, like a relentless hurricane, told me over and over and over that inner-peace will never, ever return.

    But it does. And it will, And it is.”

    This resonates so much with me.. very beautifully said. It’s exactly what I noticed happening inside me recently. After exhausting myself and being confronted with death & grief in an intense way; I just had this complete “letting go & giving up”.. there is nothing anymore to understand with my mind, nothing to do or change with effort.. there is nothing left but a peaceful wonder for this thing we call life. I realized there’s an ungraspable “rest in peace”.. while being fully alive 😉

    Thanks for sharing the poem!

    • That’s beautiful Sunny, thank you for sharing 🙂 If you ever feel like sharing these words with the greater UPLIFT community, you are welcome to submit them to our ‘Community Contributions’. You can find the guidelines and directions here: https://bit.ly/2O4xijJ

  2. Perhaps one of mans most endearing struggles in life. We avoid and dismiss the inevitable truths. Our impermanence is a gentler and kinder way to deal with it. Often at deaths door we ask god please help me don’t let me die. We hang in great pain and suffering I stead of letting go to our new being or form.

    • Very true Sterling. There is so much beauty in letting go… and letting ‘be’ isn’t there 🙂

      Much love,
      Team UPLIFT

  3. On Sunday morning my husband and I go out for breakfast. As we wait we notice a local paper has published an article by a musician friend. He is over 70, but he’s used a younger photo of himself. Upon reflection I say, “You know, in a one decade many of our friends will probably not be with us.” “It is true,” he says. “Most of our friends are older than we are.” We sit in silence, knowing that this decade, perhaps more than any in our lives, will bring permanent loss. At the very least, significant transition. We are rounding the corner on the end stretch. It is both bittersweet and exhilarating to know this. One of us will have to go first. I hope it’s me, but it’s not up to me. It feels foreign and yet so familiar. I know I’ve passed this way before.

    • WOW – what a beautiful comment … thank you. We wish you a full and fulfilling life right up to the very last breath on this body. x

  4. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and this lovely poem by Hafiz.
    I love the imagery of being the “golden wine from Pitcher to cup”. Two proms that have me comfort when my father passed away five years ago and I still go back to are “gone from my sight” and “the master weaver”.

  5. Nice – but most of us can’t get to Colorado or some other nice place to get those emotions stirred up. Difficult to do when you are tied to a place full of noise, cars and ugly, angry people.

    • I hear you … and I would suggest meditation. It helps me when I am feeling trapped. The truth is we are always free … even when the struggle feels so real. I often think of Nelson Mandela in times like this … he refused to let his mind be a victim of his bodily circumstance. Please keep reaching out to friends and loved ones to make contact to what really matters … it’s not where we are but who we are that brings meaning and purpose. Much love to you.

  6. This is a constant daily practice..thankyou Hafiz for the reminder!
    And thanks to everyone for the wonderful words.

  7. Hafiz is one of my favorite poets. I love the lightness of his fantastical phrases; his dancing spirit. I particularly enjoy his sensuousness, his irreverent observations that shine a light on the tenderness of human frailties.. There is no meanness in his words. He offers an invitation to laugh at ourselves and to engage in the magic. Actually, I might say he reminds me of Charlie Chaplin at times – with his walking stick. The little tramp who falls down, brushes himself off and begins again.
    I think some of the greatest wisdom is found when we reach that place where we can laugh and find joy in a deep awareness that we were never mean to live forever which has the potential to infuse each moment with laughter and joy.

  8. “the small man builds cages for everyone he knows… while the sage, who has to duck his head when the moon is low, keeps dropping keys, all night long, for the beautiful rowdy prisoners”


    • Beautiful and this is the greatest discovering in lifetime ever … this freedom to every one !!! Life brought me to Rishikesh ,Mooji did give keys … 😉

  9. I love the thought that our loved ones are all around in Nature. That Nature itself is our loved ones. Keeping that in mind would never allow us to be so unkind to Nature as we are now. Sometimes people wonder what God can be. Just looking around us can give us the answer. Kindness towards humanity could stem from this awareness

  10. The beautiful poem by Hafiz comes at just the right time for me, as I mourn the death of a dear friend who shone so brightly in my life. ” Because our marriage with the Cruel Beauty of time and space cannot endure very long’. So true. Our friendship lasted only a few short years, yet every moment was precious.

  11. He has completed his wandering
    The 44 days in the land of Ku
    I feel him…electric on my skin
    His touch a comfort to me now….
    …so near to his departure
    Until I can remember to see him in all things
    Until I can remember who I truly am…
    …what I truly am
    How we have never been apart.
    Not even now that he has changed form.

    (Gone May 22nd from this plane
    But ever my companion)
    …..the missing is for that which held the shape of him
    But never for the truth of him.

  12. Lovely thoughts. Thank you. I am a sacred activist researching how the anthropocène Is changing us as a species. How are we coping with the thought of all life potentially ending? I found hope in the biological resilience of Earth. Even after the worst extinction when 90% of all life on earth died, life returned. We are evolving. The Pursuit of Happiness is more precious. The golden rule seems to more important. Namaste 🙏🏻

    • Vivian, we overly stress ourselves by trying to make sense out of the senselessness of this climate/ecological nightmare. It may bode well to follow Iris Murdoch’s oft-quoted meme on Happiness: “It is one’s most ordinary and everyday mode of consciousness, being busy and lively and unconcerned with self.”

      Life comes and goes from the quantum soup, existing as both waves and particles, simultaneously. Too much study simply compounds our love for the mystery of it all.

      But, I do it anyway. hahaha

  13. Dust unto dust i
    It is hard for humans to come to terms that we are impermanent and fleeting
    The mind and it’s thoughts enslave the humans , we are dragged , pummeled,churned and also uplifted by our thoughts
    The slavery to our thoughts is our undoing
    Mastery of the mind is essential for a happy healthy journey

  14. This reminds me of Tagore’s quote: Death is not extinguishing the light; it is putting out the lamp because dawn has come. The circle of life goes on in ever-new forms.

  15. This mirror of mine shows the softening skin, gently draping the structural folds of face and body..
    Youth, the me of yesterday replaced by this self aging in time and memory.

    I am the Spring, fresh faced child and summers mistress, I am the lady of Autumn, I am maiden, mother, crone awaiting Winters deep sleep.

  16. At this moment
    I am not
    Concerned with death or dying
    And my grief is not visible
    To my eyes
    Nor is the impermanence
    Of everything
    Audible in my ears.

    It is good though
    to be reminded.
    Of things
    Which are never far away.

  17. This is timely for me, my sister passed away 3 months ago and now our nephew who was young man. Impermanence is real and difficult for the living. Believe an exciting & enjoyable ride for my loved ones that moved on.

  18. I love what is being said here about impermanence; I truly believe that we are preparing for the next journey that will begin with joy as we escape the suffering of our human form.

    • Thank you for your words … and we are also reminded to see the beauty and the heaven in this form. Much love Team Uplift

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