Love and the Law: An exerpt from Bulleh Shah (Required reading if you have studied the law)

By Sovmind

Bulleh Shah (1680 – 1757) was a Punjabi Sufi poet, a humanist and philosopher from what is now considered Pakistan. As one of the leading figures in social thought and spiritualism, Bulleh Shah continually challenged the norms of society, be it materialism or hate for one’s fellow man.

While his work is expansive, the following passage was picked for a personal reason.  Throughout my career as a law school student I have felt an internal stuggle between what I would call my ‘Universal Self’ (or innate sensibility of ‘fairness’) and the technical nature of the law as embraced by practioners and academics. Several justices over the years, the worst of which is Justice Scalia, have treated the cases that come before the US Supreme Court as a time to showcase thier talent of rationally explaing a inhuman or heartless decision by the court.

Most law school students in the first year, before they have been indoctrinated to accept the notion that injustice can/must be done in order to maintain the court’s precedent, always raise questions of a court not deciding the ‘right way’ even though the Justices were maintained a high level of technical legal analysis. That is because we come into law school believing in our own internal moral compass, again what I would call a relationship to the Universal Self, and the process of learning the law forces one to take actions that may violate one’s own moral code becuase it is the ‘technically’ correct thing to do.

So I present Bulleh Shah’s verse which I will label as Love and Law. Though he presents teh argument as lambasting the laws created around religions by organizations and priests, but it easily translates to the abject focus on technical rationality in the modern legal forum. This has been a more significant and epiphany inducing peice than anything I have read in law school- so for all the young lawyers, PLEASE READ THIS!

Law says go to the Mullah (priest) and learn the rules and regulations.
Love answers, “One letter is enough, shut up and put away other books.”
Law says: Perform the five baths and worship alone in the temple (reffering to the 5x daily prayer of Muslims)
Love says: Your worship is false if you consider yourself seperate from the Universal Self.

Law says: Have shame and hide the enlightenment
Love says: What is this veil for? Let the vision be open
Law says: Go inside the mosque and perform the duty of prayer
Love says: Go to the wine-house and drinking the wine, read a prayer

Law says: Let us go to heaven; we will eat the fruits of heaven
Love says: There, we are custodians or rulers, and we ourselves will distribute the fruits of heaven
Law says: O faithful one, come perform the hajj (pilgrimage), you have to cross the bridge
Love says: The door of the Beloved (God/Allah) is in ka’baa; from there I will not stir

Law says:  We placed Shah Mansur (a contraversial Sufi Saint) on the stake
Love says: You did well, you made him enter the door of the Beloved (God/Allah)
OUT OF LOVE, HE (Allah/ God) has created Bulleh, humble, and from dust.

About sovmind

The Sovereign Minds are a collective of people who seek to create a future where humans can fully realize their autonomy. Our aim is revolution in the least apparent but most significant way – revolution of thought. The world is presented to us as being dichotomous, as good versus bad or black versus white, however, this denies humans the ability to actualize a more robust and all encompassing society. Founding Principles We believe strongly that our differences serve as our strengths – thus, we respect the sovereignty of each individual mind We recognize that our respective talents are best utilized when they contribute to our collective humanity. We seek to create a reality where human progress does not suppress others and destroy Earth. To promote the acquisition and sharing of knowledge. To promote the pursuit of passionate purpose when exerting and contributing our energies into the universe We seek to progress and/or promote a deep caring for humanity and the world around us Recognizing The equality and unity of all living things. That each human being is autonomous – and that is to be cherished, developed, and celebrated. The existence of false dichotomies in the world creating injustices and false choices that constrict freedom of thought and expression. The need to create an environment that fosters the creative thought process through open-minded exchange. MISSION STATEMENT Some may take our call for significant and profound change in ourselves and the world around us as a call to be destructive. If we do destroy anything, it is the false dichotomies that divide humanity and hinder the changes that are necessary for a more equitable, just and free world. The pursuit of freedom and justice remains paramount for the sovereign minds; however that manifests is up for you to define and defend.

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