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Sir Richard Francis Burton (1821 – 1890)


British consul, explorer, translator, writer, poet, Orientalist and swordsman known for his often-unprecedented exploits of travel and exploration as well as his extraordinary knowledge of languages and cultures.
Sir Richard Francis Burton
How Thought is imp'otent to divine the secret which the gods defend,
The Why of birth and life and death, that Isis-veil no hand may rend.
Eternal Morrows make our day; our is is aye to be till when
Night closes in; 'tis all a dream, and yet we die, and then and then?
And still the Weaver plies his loom, whose warp and woof is wretched Man
Weaving th' unpattern'd dark design, so dark we doubt it owns a plan.
Burton quotes
And hold Humanity one man, whose universal agony
Still strains and strives to gain the goal, where agonies shall cease to be.
Believe in all things; none believe; judge not nor warp by "Facts" the thought;
See clear, hear clear, tho' life may seem My and Mirage, Dream and Naught.
Abjure the Why and seek the How: the God and gods enthroned on high,
Are silent all, are silent still; nor hear thy voice, nor deign reply.
The Now, that indivisible point which studs the length of infinite line
Whose ends are nowhere, is thine all, the puny all thou callest thine.
Burton
As palace mirror'd in the stream, as vapour mingled with the skies,
So weaves the brain of mortal man the tangled web of Truth and Lies.




When doctors differ who decides amid the milliard-headed throng?
Who save the madman dares to cry: "'Tis I am right, you all are wrong"?
"You all are right, you all are wrong," we hear the careless Soofi say,
"For each believes his glimm'ering lamp to be the gorgeous light of day."
"Thy faith why false, my faith why true? 'tis all the work of Thine and Mine,
"The fond and foolish love of self that makes the Mine excel the Thine."
Cease then to mumble rotten bones; and strive to clothe with flesh and blood
The skel'eton; and to shape a Form that all shall hail as fair and good.
Burton Sir Richard Francis
"Faith mountains move" I hear: I see the practice of the world unheed
The foolish vaunt, the blatant boast that serves our vanity to feed.
From self-approval seek applause: What ken not men thou kennest, thou!
Spurn ev'ry idol others raise: Before thine own Ideal bow:
Be thine own Deus: Make self free, liberal as the circling air:
Thy Thought to thee an Empire be; break every prison'ing lock and bar.
Sir Richard Francis Burton
The more I study religions the more I am convinced that man never worshipped anything but himself.
He was, as has been well said, an Elizabethan born out of time; in the days of Drake his very faults might have counted to his credit.
Burton
"Reason and Instinct!" How we love to play with words that please our pride;
Our noble race's mean descent by false forged titles seek to hide!
Burton Sir Richard Francis
"'Tis blessed to believe"; you say: The saying may be true enow
And it can add to Life a light: only remains to show us how.
Sir Richard Francis Burton
Friends of my youth, a last adieu! haply some day we meet again;
Yet ne'er the self-same men shall meet; the years shall make us other men.




Support a compatriot against a native, however the former may blunder or plunder.
Sir Richard Francis Burton
The Hj regrets the excessive importance attached to a possible future state: he looks upon this as a psychical stimulant, a day dream, whose revulsion and reaction disorder waking life. The condition may appear humble and prosaic to those exalted by the fumes of Fancy, by a spiritual dram-drinking which, like the physical, is the pursuit of an ideal happiness. But he is too wise to affirm or to deny the existence of another world. For life beyond the grave there is no consensus of mankind Even the instinctive sense of our kind is here dumb. We may believe what we are taught: we can know nothing. He would, therefore, cultivate that receptive mood which, marching under the shadow of mighty events, leads to the highest of goals, the development of Humanity. With him suspension of judgment is a system.
Burton quotes
Hj Abd? has been known to me for more years than I care to record. A native, it is believed, of Drabghird in the Yezd Province, he always preferred to style himself El-Hichmakani, a facetious "lackab" or surname, meaning "Of No-hall, Nowhere." He had travelled far and wide with his eyes open; as appears by his "couplets."
Burton Sir Richard Francis
"Th' immortal mind of mortal man!" we hear yon loud-lunged Zealot cry;
Whose mind but means his sum of thought, an essence of atomic "I."
In time, by dint of plain living, high thinking, and stifling generally the impulses of his nature, Burton became a Master Sufi, and all his life he sympathised with, and to some extent practised Sufism.
Sir Richard Francis Burton
Man worships self: his God is Man; the struggling of the mortal mind
To form its model as 'twould be, the perfect of itself to find.
There is no God, no man-made God; a bigger, stronger, crueller man;
Black phantom of our baby-fears, ere Thought, the life of Life, began.
Sir Richard Francis Burton
What is the Truth? was askt of yore. Reply all object Truth is one
As twain of halves aye makes a whole; the moral Truth for all is none.
Burton Sir Richard Francis
The Pilgrim holds with St. Augustine Absolute Evil is impossible because it is always rising up into good. He considers the theory of a beneficent or maleficent deity a purely sentimental fancy, contradicted by human reason and the aspect of the world.


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