Part 17 - Story of the Caliph's seeing Laylá

    407   The Caliph said to Laylá: “Art thou she by whom Majnún was distracted and led astray? 408   Thou art not superior to other fair ones.” “Be...


Part 17 - Story of the Caliph's seeing Laylá

 

 

407

 

The Caliph said to Laylá: “Art thou she by whom Majnún was distracted and led astray?

408

 

Thou art not superior to other fair ones.” “Be silent,” she replied, “since thou art not Majnún.”

409

 

Whosoever is awake (to the material world) is the more asleep (to the spiritual world); his wakefulness is worse than his sleep.

410

 

When our soul is not awake to God, wakefulness is like closing our doors (to Divine influences).

411

 

All day long, from the buffets of phantasy and from (thoughts of) loss and gain and from fear of decline,

412

 

There remains to it (the soul) neither joy nor grace and glory nor way of journeying to Heaven.

413

 

The one asleep (to spiritual things) is he who hath hope of every vain fancy and holds parley with it.

414

 

During sleep, he sees (in a dream) a demon resembling a heavenly maiden (houri); then he pours forth (seminal) fluid out of lust (in imagined intercourse) with the demon.]

415

 

After he had scattered the seed of generation on salty (infertile) ground, he came to himself (and) the phantom fled from him.

416

 

Because of that, he sees (himself as) faint of head and polluted of body. Alas, because of that visible (but) invisible form!

417

 

The bird is flying on high, and below, its shadow is speeding on the earth, flying like a bird:

418

 

Some fool begins to chase the shadow, running (after it) so far that he becomes powerless (exhausted),

419

 

Not knowing that it is the reflexion of that bird in the air, not knowing where is the origin of the shadow.

420

 

He shoots arrows at the shadow; his quiver is emptied in seeking (to shoot it):

421

 

The quiver of his life became empty: his life passed in running hotly in chase of the shadow.

422

 

(But) when the shadow of God is his nurse, it delivers him from (every) phantom and shadow.

423

 

The shadow of God is that servant of God who is dead to this world and living through God.

424

 

Lay hold of his skirt most quickly without misgiving, that you may be saved in the skirt (end) of the last days (of the world).

425

 

(The shadow mentioned in the words) How He (God) extended the shadow is the form of the saints, which guides to the light of the Divine Sun.

426

 

Do not go in this valley without this guide; say, like Khalíl (Abraham), “I love not them that set.”

427

 

Go, from the shadow gain a sun: pluck the skirt of the (spiritual) king, Shams-i Tabrízí (the Sun of Tabríz)!

428

 

If you do not know the way to this feast and bridal, ask of Ziyá’u ’l-Haqq (the Radiance of God) Husámu’ddín.

429

 

And if on the way envy seize you by the throat, it belongs to (is characteristic of) Iblís to go beyond bounds in envy;

430

 

For he because of envy hath disdain for Adam, and because of envy is at war with felicity.

431

 

In the Way there is no harder pass than this. Oh, fortunate he who is not companioned by envy!

432

 

This body, you must know, is the house of envy, for the household are tainted with envy.

433

 

If the body is the house of envy, yet God made that body very pure.

434

 

(The text) Cleanse My house, ye twain, is the explanation of (such) purity: it (the purified heart) is a treasure of (Divine) light, though its talisman is of earth.

435

 

When you practise deceit and envy against one who is without envy, from that envy black stain arise in your heart.

437

 

Become (as) dust under the feet of the men of God; throw dust on the head of envy, even as we do.

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