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p. 74


All this knowledge is but a trifling matter; the knowledge of the journey on God's road is otherwise, and belongs to the man of acuter vision. What, for the man of wisdom and true religion, whose bread and speech are alike of wheat, distinguishes that path and points it out? Inquire its mark from the Speaker and the Friend.

And if, O brother, thou also ask of me, I answer plainly and with no uncertainty, 'To turn thy face towards the world of life, to set thy foot upon outward prosperity, to put out of mind rank and reputation, to bend one's back double in His service, to purify ourselves from evil, to strengthen the soul in wisdom.'

What is the provision for such a journey, O heedless one? By looking on the Truth to cut oneself off from the false; to leave the abode of those who strive with words, and to sit before the silent; to journey from the works of God to His attributes, and from His attributes to the mansion of the knowledge of Him; then from knowledge

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to the world of the secret, then to reach the threshold of poverty; then when thou art become the friend of poverty, thy Soul destroys thy impure Self; I thy Self becomes Soul inside thee; it becomes ashamed of all its doings, and casting aside all its possessions is melted on its path of trial; then when thy Self has been melted in thy body, thy Soul has step by step accomplished its work; then God takes away its, poverty from it,--when poverty is no more, God remains.

Not in folly nor ignorance spoke Bâyazîd, if he said 'Glory to me;' so too the tongue that spoke the supreme secret moved truly when it said, 'I am God.' When he proclaimed to the back the secret he had learned from the face, it became his executioner and killed him; his secret's day-time became as night, but God's word was what he spoke; when in the midst of the rabble he suddenly

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disclosed, unauthorized, the secret, his outward form was given to tile gallows, his inward being was taken by the Friend; when his life's soul could speak no longer, his heart's blood divulged the secret.

He spoke well who said in his ecstacy, Leave thyself, O son, and come hither. From thee to the Friend is not long; thyself art the road, then set thy feet on it, that with the eye of Godhead thou mayest see the handwriting of the Lord of power and the land of spirits.

When shall we be separated from our Selves,--I and thou departed and God remaining? the heart arrived at God's threshold, the Soul, saying, Here am I, enter thou. When by the doorway of renunciation heart and soul have reached the dome of a true belief in the Unity, the soul locks itself in the embrace of the Houris, the heart walks proudly in the sight of the Friend.

O thou who knowest not the life that comes of the juice of the grape, how long then wilt thou be drunk with the grape's outward form? Why boastest thou falsely that thou art drunk? So that they say, 'The fellow has drunk butter-milk!' If thou drink wine, say naught; the drinker of butter-milk too will guard his secret. Why seekest thou? Deem it not like thy soul; drink it as thou dost thy faith. Thou knowest not what mâs is in Persian; when thou

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hast eaten it, thou recognizest the taste. When in this ruined hall thou drinkest a cup of wine, I counsel thee put not thy foot outside the house of thy drunkenness, lay down thy head where thou hast drunk the wine; till thou hast drunk it, hold it an unlawful thing, and when thou hast drunk it, rub a clod of earth on thy lips. When with a hundred pains thou hast twice drunk the dregs, I will say, Look at the man's courage!

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More numerous than asses without head-stalls are all the carrion-hearted wine-drinkers; wine has eaten up and the grape has carried off both their understanding and their soul. In this company of youths, in their cowardice no longer men, if thou speak not, thou remainest true; but if thou speak, thou blasphemest.

How canst thou go forward? there is no place for thee, and how then wilt thou leap? thou hast no foot; he feeds on sorrow for whom there is no place, and he is destitute who has no foot. Those who, freed from being, stand at the door of the true Existence, did not today for the first time gird up their loins at His door; from Eternity the sons of the serving-men, giving up wealth and power, have stood before Love as numerous as ants.

Strive that when death shall come with speed he may find thy soul already in his street. Leave this house of vagabonds: if thou art at His door, remain there; if not, repair thither: for those who are His servants are contented in His Godhead, (Qur. 39:36) ever, their loins of servitude girt up, the lord of the seven heavens even as a slave.