The Valley Of True Poverty And Absolute Nothingness
This station is the dying from self and the living in God, the being poor
in self and rich in the Desired One. Poverty as here referred to
signifieth being poor in the things of the created world, rich in the
things of God's world. For when the true lover and devoted friend reacheth
to the presence of the Beloved, the sparkling beauty of the Loved One and
the fire of the lover's heart will kindle a blaze and burn away all veils
and wrappings. Yea, all he hath, from heart to skin, will be set aflame,
so that nothing will remain save the Friend.
When the qualities of the Ancient of Days stood revealed,
Then the qualities of earthly things did Moses burn away.(63)
He who hath attained this station is sanctified from all that pertaineth
to the world. Wherefore, if those who have come to the sea of His presence
are found to possess none of the limited things of this perishable world,
whether it be outer wealth or personal opinions, it mattereth not. For
whatever the creatures have is limited by their own limits, and whatever
the True One hath is sanctified therefrom; this utterance must be deeply
pondered that its purport may be clear. Verily the righteous shall drink
of a winecup tempered at the camphor fountain.(64) If the interpretation
of camphor become known, the true intention will be evident. This state
is that poverty of which it is said, Poverty is My glory.(65) And of
inward and outward poverty there is many a stage and many a meaning which
I have not thought pertinent to mention here; hence I have reserved these
for another time, dependent on what God may desire and fate may seal.
This is the plane whereon the vestiges of all things (Kullu Shay') are
destroyed in the traveler, and on the horizon of eternity the Divine Face
riseth out of the darkness, and the meaning of All on the earth shall
pass away, but the face of thy Lord....(66) is made manifest.
O My friend, listen with heart and soul to the songs of the spirit, and
treasure them as thine own eyes. For the heavenly wisdoms, like the clouds
of spring, will not rain down on the earth of men's hearts forever; and
though the grace of the All-Bounteous One is never stilled and never
ceasing, yet to each time and era a portion is allotted and a bounty set
apart, this in a given measure. And no one thing is there, but with Us
are its storehouses; and We send it not down but in settled measure.(67)
The cloud of the Loved One's mercy raineth only on the garden of the
spirit, and bestoweth this bounty only in the season of spring. The other
seasons have no share in this greatest grace, and barren lands no portion
of this favor.
O Brother! Not every sea hath pearls; not every branch will flower, nor
will the nightingale sing thereon. Then, ere the nightingale of the mystic
paradise repair to the garden of God, and the rays of the heavenly morning
return to the Sun of Truth--make thou an effort, that haply in this
dustheap of the mortal world thou mayest catch a fragrance from the
everlasting garden, and live forever in the shadow of the peoples of this
city. And when thou hast attained this highest station and come to this
mightiest plane, then shalt thou gaze on the Beloved, and forget all else.
The Beloved shineth on gate and wall
Without a veil, O men of vision.(68)
Now hast thou abandoned the drop of life and come to the sea of the
Life-Bestower. This is the goal thou didst ask for; if it be God's will,
thou wilt gain it.
In this city, even the veils of light are split asunder and vanish away.
His beauty hath no veiling save light, His face no covering save
revelation.(69) How strange that while the Beloved is visible as the sun,
yet the heedless still hunt after tinsel and base metal. Yea, the
intensity of His revelation hath covered Him, and the fullness of His
shining forth hath hidden Him.
Even as the sun, bright hath He shined,
But alas, He hath come to the town of the blind!(70)
In this Valley, the wayfarer leaveth behind him the stages of the oneness
of Being and Manifestation(71) and reacheth a oneness that is sanctified
above these two stations. Ecstasy alone can encompass this theme, not
utterance nor argument; and whosoever hath dwelt at this stage of the
journey, or caught a breath from this garden land, knoweth whereof We
In all these journeys the traveler must stray not the breadth of a hair
from the Law, for this is indeed the secret of the Path and the fruit
of the Tree of Truth; and in all these stages he must cling to the robe
of obedience to the commandments, and hold fast to the cord of shunning
all forbidden things, that he may be nourished from the cup of the Law and
informed of the mysteries of Truth.(72)
If any of the utterances of this Servant may not be comprehended, or may
lead to perturbation, the same must be inquired of again, that no doubt
may linger, and the meaning be clear as the Face of the Beloved One
shining from the Glorious Station.(73)
These journeys have no visible ending in the world of time, but the
severed wayfarer--if invisible confirmation descend upon him and the
Guardian of the Cause assist him--may cross these seven stages in seven
steps, nay rather in seven breaths, nay rather in a single breath, if God
will and desire it. And this is of His grace on such of His servants as
They who soar in the heaven of singleness and reach to the sea of the
Absolute, reckon this city--which is the station of life in God--as the
furthermost state of mystic knowers, and the farthest homeland of the
lovers. But to this evanescent One of the mystic ocean, this station is
the first gate of the heart's citadel, that is, man's first entrance to
the city of the heart; and the heart is endowed with four stages, which
would be recounted should a kindred soul be found.
When the pen set to picturing this station,
It broke in pieces and the page was torn.(75)
O My friend! Many a hound pursueth this gazelle of the desert of oneness;
many a talon claweth at this thrush of the eternal garden. Pitiless ravens
do lie in wait for this bird of the heavens of God, and the huntsman of
envy stalketh this deer of the meadow of love.
O Shaykh! Make of thine effort a glass, perchance it may shelter this
flame from the contrary winds; albeit this light doth long to be kindled
in the lamp of the Lord, and to shine in the globe of the spirit. For the
head raised up in the love of God will certainly fall by the sword, and
the life that is kindled with longing will surely be sacrificed, and the
heart which remembereth the Loved One will surely brim with blood. How
well is it said:
Live free of love, for its very peace is anguish;
Its beginning is pain, its end is death.(77)
Peace be upon him who followeth the Right Path!
* * * * *
The thoughts thou hast expressed as to the interpretation of the common
species of bird that is called in Persian Gunjishk (sparrow) were
considered.(78) Thou appearest to be well-grounded in mystic truth.
However, on every plane, to every letter a meaning is allotted which
relateth to that plane. Indeed, the wayfarer findeth a secret in every
name, a mystery in every letter. In one sense, these letters refer to
Kaf or Gaf (K or G) referreth to Kuffi (free), that is, Free thyself
from that which thy passion desireth; then advance unto thy Lord.
Nun referreth to Nazzih (purify), that is, Purify thyself from all else
save Him, that thou mayest surrender thy life in His love.
Jim is Janib (draw back), that is, Draw back from the threshold of the
True One if thou still possessest earthly attributes.
Shin is Ushkur (thank)--Thank thy Lord on His earth that He may bless
thee in His heaven; albeit in the world of oneness, this heaven is the
same as His earth.
Kaf referreth to Kuffi, that is: Take off from thyself the wrappings of
limitations, that thou mayest come to know what thou hast not known of the
states of Sanctity.(79)
Wert thou to harken to the melodies of this mortal Bird,(80) then wouldst
thou seek out the undying chalice and pass by every perishable cup.
Peace be upon those who walk in the Right Path!
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