Expressing the Inexpressible: The Heartbeat of Sikh Mysticism

Photo of Nikky-Guninder Kaur SinghExpressing the Inexpressible: The Heartbeat of Sikh Mysticism

Nikky-Guninder Kaur Singh, Crawford Family Professor of Religion, Colby College

Thursday, April 10, 7:00 p.m., Cowles Library Reading Room

“Beat of the heart” can serve as a metaphor for understanding the complexities of Sikh mysticism. Like the flow of blood in this vital organ, Sikh mysticism is vividly, compactly, though ineffably conveyed as the flow (phora) across (meta) the physical and the metaphysical, the noumenon and the phenomena, the spiritual and the practical. Since metaphors maintain a dynamic tension between a simultaneous “is and is not,” they perform a uniquely revelatory function (Paul Ricoeur, 1976). My question then: with the beat of the heart as our metaphor, what “new vision of reality springs forth”? What sonic, semantic, and existential aspects of Sikh mysticism can we recover?

Nikky-Guninder Kaur Singh is the Crawford Family Professor at Colby College. She has published extensively in the field of Sikhism, and her views have been aired on television and radio in America, Canada, England, India, Australia, and Bangladesh. Born in India, Professor Singh came to America to attend Stuart Hall, a Girls’ Preparatory School in Virginia. She later received her B.A. in Philosophy and Religion from Wellesley College, her M.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, and her Ph.D. from Temple University.

Painting of Guru Nanak
Painting of Guru Nanak

Listen to the audio of Prof. Singh’s talk:

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