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

speak.



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

He pleaseth.(74)



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)



Salam!(76)



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

holiness.



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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