Whoso desires to be lord of his isolation and whoso seeks to guard his seclusion, must take no ease within, nor adorn himself without;
that praise which is bestowed on outward seeming imports the abandonment of true praise and adornment. The beggar asks bread at the door of the king; so the lover begs food for his soul. On the path, naked and fearless, he has cast water and fire and earth to the winds. Standing on the plain of the signposts of time, what matter fools to him, what the philosopher of the age? O brother, hold thy liver as roast meat in the fire of renunciation, not a broth. The mean-spirited dog seeks a bone; the lion's whelp seeks the marrow of life. The lovers have sacrificed soul and heart, and day and night have made His memory their food.
The man of high resolves seeks not bondage; a dog is a dog, made happy by a bite.
If revelation become a restraint on thee, make of it a shoe and beat thy head with it; talk fewer superfluities, and keep thy weakness before thee; leave the bone to the dogs. In virtue of thy essential nature thou hast obtained a high station; then why be mean in spirit like a dog? On the man of high endeavour both worlds are bestowed; but whoso is mean-spirited like a dog, like a dog runs about after a meal.
If thou desirest to possess thy soul free from the body, Lâ is as a gallows,--keep company with it. How can pure Divinity admit thee till thy humanity has been uplifted on the gallows?--for on the path to divinity thy souls will suffer many crucifixions. Put an end to all imitation and speculation, that thy heart may become the house of God. As long as thy existence is with thee in thy soul, the ka`ba is a tavern, though thou serve Him; but if thy soul has parted from thy existence, through thee an idol temple becomes the Inhabited House.
O seeker of taverns, full of wretchedness, thou art but an ass's son, and asses are thy fathers! Thy understanding is muddied with thy Self and thy Existence; thy reason's sight is dark before that other world. Thine own soul it is that distinguishes unbelief and true religion; of necessity it colours thy vision. Selflessness is happy, selffulness most unhappy; cast away the cat from under thy arm. In the Eternal, unbeliefs and religions are not; such things exist not if the nature be pure.