Kabir (1440 - 1518) was a poet, artist, musician and religious reformer. In his time he founded a sect that even today claims a million followers. I like him because he's smart and fresh (for a guy dead more than five hundred years, anyway) and tough, and helps me look at God and the Universe in a way I'd never have gotten to on my own. His writing, according to people much more scholarly than I, is "a remarkable synthesis of Hindu, Muslim and Christian belief." Sounds boring, doesn't it. But he often makes me laugh, or, even better, after reading some of his poems I stop for a moment and have a little, "hmmm" -- and anything that can get an alcoholic to pause for a moment and go "hmmm" has definitely got something going for it.
The poem below, called, "I Had To Seek The Physician" was translated by Daniel Ladinsky and is included in the (brilliant) collection he translated/edited, "Love Poems from God, Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West."
I Had To Seek The Physician
I had to seek the physician
because of the pain this world
I could not believe what happened when I got there --
I found my
Before I left, he said,
"Up for a little homework, yet?"
"Okay." I replied.
"Well then, try thanking all the people
who have caused
They helped you