Then, since the object of desire exists not in anyplace, how canst thou purpose to journey towards Him on foot? The highroad by which thy spirit and prayers can travel towards God lies in the polishing of the mirror of the heart. The mirror of the heart becomes not free from the rust of infidelity and hypocrisy by opposition and hostility; the burnisher of the mirror is your steadfast faith; again, what is it? It is the unsullied purity of your religion. To him in
whose heart is no confusion the mirror and the form imaged will not appear as the same thing; although in form thou art in the mirror, that which is in the mirror is not thou,--thou art one, as the mirror is another. The mirror knows nothing of thy form; it and thy form are very different things; the mirror receives the image by means of light, and light is not to be separated from the sun;--the fault, then, is in the mirror and the eye.
Whoso remains for ever behind a veil, his likeness is as the owl and the sun.. If the owl is incapacitated by the sun, it is because of its own weakness, not because of the sun, the light of the sun is spread throughout the world, the misfortune comes from the weakness of the bat's eye.
Thou seest not except by fancy and sense, for thou dost not even know the line, the surface and the point; thou stumblest on this road of knowledge, and for months and years remainest tarrying in discussion; but in this matter he utters only folly who does not know the manifestation of God through his incarnation in man. If thou wishest that the mirror should reflect the face, hold it not crooked and keep it bright; for the sun, though not niggardly of his light, seen in a mist looks only like glass, and a Yûsuf more beautiful than an angel seems in a dagger to have a devil's face. Thy dagger will not distinguish truth from falsehood; it will not serve thee as a mirror. Thou canst better see thy image in the mirror of thy heart than in thy clay; break loose from the chain thou hast fettered thyself with,--for thou wilt be free when thou hast got clear from thy clay; since clay is dark and heart is bright, thy clay is a dustbin and thy heart a rose-garden. Whatever increases the brightness of thy heart brings nearer God's manifestation of Himself to thee; because Abû Bakr's purity of heart was greater than others', he was favoured by a special manifestation.