This plane requireth pure affection and the bright stream of fellowship. In telling of these companions of the Cave He saith: “They speak not till He hath spoken; and they do His bidding."(109)
On this plane, neither the reign of reason is sufficient nor the authority of self. Hence, one of the Prophets of God hath asked: “O my Lord, how shall we reach unto Thee?” And the answer came, “Leave thyself behind, and then approach Me.”
These are a people who deem the lowest place to be one with the throne of glory, and to them beauty’s bower differeth not from the field of a battle fought in the cause of the Beloved.
The denizens of this plane speak no words—but they gallop their chargers. They see but the inner reality of the Beloved. To them all words of sense are meaningless, and senseless words are full of meaning. They cannot tell one limb from another, one part from another. To them the mirage is the real river; to them going away is returning. Wherefore hath it been said:
The story of Thy beauty reached
the hermit’s dell;
Crazed, he sought the Tavern where the wine they buy and sell.
The love of Thee hath leveled down the fort of patience,
The pain of Thee hath firmly barred the gate of hope as well.(110)
In this realm, instruction is assuredly of no avail.
The lover’s teacher
is the Loved One’s beauty,
His face their lesson and their only book.
Learning of wonderment, of longing love their duty,
Not on learned chapters and dull themes they look.
The chain that binds them is His musky hair,
The Cyclic Scheme,(111) to them, is but to Him a stair.(112)
Here followeth a supplication to God, the Exalted, the Glorified:
O Lord! O Thou Whose
bounty granteth wishes!
I stand before Thee, all save Thee forgetting.
Grant that the mote of knowledge in my spirit
Escape desire and the lowly clay;
Grant that Thine ancient gift, this drop of wisdom,
Merge with Thy mighty sea.(113)
Thus do I say: There is no power or might save in God, the Protector, the Self-Subsistent.(114)
The Fourth Valley
If the mystic knowers be of those who have reached to the beauty of the Beloved One (Mahbub), this station is the apex of consciousness and the secret of divine guidance. This is the center of the mystery: “He doth what He willeth, ordaineth what He pleaseth."(115)
Were all the denizens of earth and heaven to unravel this shining allusion, this darksome riddle, until the Day when the Trumpet soundeth, yet would they fail to comprehend even a letter thereof, for this is the station of God’s immutable decree, His foreordained mystery. Hence, when searchers inquired of this, He made reply, “This is a bottomless sea which none shall ever fathom."(116) And they asked again, and He answered, “It is the blackest of nights through which none can find his way.”