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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.

"In one couplet he states the spiritual purpose of life, which is to find the essence, the seed of joy that permeates our most awake moments."

  Deepak Chopra, The Soul in Love, Part 5

Mirabai is the besotted slave of love, longing in the night for her Dark Lord. (She uses oblique names for him, such as "lifter of mountains," drawing from the legends about Krishna, who is called dark because he is envisioned by his devotees as having deep blue or even black skin.) Kabir is harder to typify in my mind, perhaps because I grew up hearing him the way a churchgoer in this country hears hymns. He can be intimate, devoted, humble or haughty, detached, and even abrasive.

The God-mad are inevitably elusive; they don't know their place in society because they don't have one anymore. Therefore they feel free to speak in any way they choose. Mirabai is ironically aware of how much distress she is causing to conventional people by her divine love affair:

The whole town thought I had gone mad. 
She'll ruin the family, my mother-in-law cried, 
And the prince sent me a cup of poison. 
I laughed as I drank it--don't they understand? 
Can you lose your body and mind 
If the Dark One has already taken them?

Naturally, the answer to her question is both yes and no. So-called sane people don't go dancing through the street, swinging on poles, or stripping naked before God, yet we still understand at a deeper level why such behavior defies sanity. We are all tuned in beyond the event horizon. Rumi puts it very simply in two lines that strike to the core of the ever-fleeting mystery:

When you feel most alive, find out why. 
This is one guest you won't greet twice.

In one couplet he states the spiritual purpose of life, which is to find the essence, the seed of joy that permeates our most awake moments without ever being able to be caught and put in a bottle. This joy is the guest we can't greet twice, because it lives in the moment and is new every time. The miracle is that we greet it at all, yet we do. As simple as Rumi's words sound, he can turn on an instant and plumb the profound depths of mystical experience:

He is the tree, the fruit, and the shade 
He is the sun, the light, and the dream 
The word and its meaning 
A point in the All 
Form in the formless 
Infinity in a void.

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