The sun and earth produce the day and night; when thou hast passed beyond, neither the one nor the other will exist for thee.
O thou in whose imagination desire and desirer are two, know that the duality belongs to thy understanding, and belongs not to the Unity. Since in the Presence of One such as He all things are one, if thou wilt listen to my words, then seek not thou duality; know that in duality is pain and opposition, in Unity Rustam and a catamite are alike.
Till on the battlefield of purity and in the court of the soul, standing above thy life and treading on thy earthly body, thou cast away thy sword, thou wilt not become a shield; till thou lay aside the crown thou wilt not become a leader. So long as thy soul is a slave to the crown, thy acts will ever be wrong; when thou no longer heedest crown and zone, then art thou chief over the chiefs of the age. To abandon the world is to mount the horse of God's favour; its repudiation is the establishment of pure truth. The death of the soul is the destruction of life; the death of the life is salvation for the
soul. By no means stand still on this path; become non-existent,--non-existent too as regards becoming non-existent; when thou hast abandoned both individuality and understanding, then for thee this world changes to that one.
Every desire that springs up in thee, strike that moment at its head, as thou dost with the lamp, the candle, and pen; for every head that comes in sight is on this Path meet to be cutoff. To be headless before heroes is due respect; for ever a chief seeks a cap of honour. To lose thy head brings thee a head again for its fruit; by reason of its headlessness the pomegranate is a casket full of pearls.
Though a crown is a protection to a bald head, with such a head it is wrong to wear a crown. Thou hast corruption under thy cap,
--then canst thou not possibly pass the bridge of fire. Better for a man than earthly fortune is a well; a bald man becomes arrogant when he receives a crown; so is it well that while on this night-journey, when thou puttest thy hand to thy head, thou shouldest find no crown thereon; for while the baldheaded man desires a crown to cover his defect, the man of the Path seeks for the invisible. If the crown hurts thee, no less too inverted it destroys thy life; the head that is a slave to the crown is a prisoner, like Bîzhan, in a well. Then own neither head nor crown on the Path; if thou dost, thou wilt have thy heart aflame like wax; and if thou must needs have a crown, take one of fire, like the candle; for he who in
his love is the light of the Path, like a candle has a crown of fire.
If thou demandest Yûsuf's place and power, invert thyself before God, like a well; guard like Sulaimân the perfectness of the Path: like Yûsuf look upon the well as beautiful; till thy bodily form becomes a dweller in the well, thy hidden figure will not be of God.
Arise, and leave this ignoble world to find the ineffable God abandon body and life and reason and religion; and in His path get for thyself a soul. Know, that whatso is of the true essence of learning and knowledge is all mere falsehood to him who is learned in attributes. Form, and attribute, and essence,--the first is like the womb; the next the membranes, the last the child; thy outward form covers in thy attributes, thy attributes again are a rampart around thy inmost essence; that, like a lamp, is bright in itself, while the other two are as a glass and a niche in the wall.
Till on that road thou hast endured distress, thou hast two souls, though thy effigy is single. O thou, who art related to phenomenal existence but as soul is to body, whose soul is related to thy individuality but as a man to his name, exertion originates in the body, attraction in the soul; but the search begins in leaving both of these. Contingent existence is for ever an infant before the Eternal; but he who has been purified is free from these dregs.
So long as the race of man endures, there are two mansions prepared for him; this, for pain and want, that one, for blessing and delight. While earth is the habitation of the sons of men, the tent of their daily supplies is erected over them; esteem then this earth a guest-house, but count man the master of a family; though till he has suffered pain on this dust-heap he will not reach the treasure of that mansion.
I ask thee, since thou art heir to the knowledge of philosophy and law, their principles and deductions, (religion ever flees from form, that she may constrain men from evil),--give me an answer truly, if thou art not dead, nor art asleep: Since thou hast been constituted with a soul, is not the soul a sufficient reward for thee in exchange for thyself.?