Likewise, reflect upon the perfection of man’s creation, and that all these planes and states are folded up and hidden away within him.
Dost thou reckon thyself only
a puny form
When within thee the universe is folded?(59)
Then we must labor to destroy the animal condition, till the meaning of humanity shall come to light.
Thus, too, Luqman, who had drunk from the wellspring of wisdom and tasted of the waters of mercy, in proving to his son Nathan the planes of resurrection and death, advanced the dream as an evidence and an example. We relate it here, that through this evanescent Servant a memory may endure of that youth of the school of Divine Unity, that elder of the art of instruction and the Absolute. He said: “O Son, if thou art able not to sleep, then thou art able not to die. And if thou art able not to waken after sleep, then thou shalt be able not to rise after death.”
O friend, the heart is the dwelling of eternal mysteries, make it not the home of fleeting fancies; waste not the treasure of thy precious life in employment with this swiftly passing world. Thou comest from the world of holiness—bind not thine heart to the earth; thou art a dweller in the court of nearness—choose not the homeland of the dust.
In sum, there is no end to the description of these stages, but because of the wrongs inflicted by the peoples of the earth, this Servant is in no mood to continue:
The tale is still unfinished
and I have no heart for it—
Then pray forgive me.(60)
The pen groaneth and the ink sheddeth tears, and the river(61) of the heart moveth in waves of blood. “Nothing can befall us but what God hath destined for us."(62) Peace be upon him who followeth the Right Path!
After scaling the high summits of wonderment the wayfarer cometh to
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)