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(Masnavi Book 3: 34) The Magicians whom Pharaoh threatened to punish




The reason why the magicians of Pharaoh had courage to suffer the amputation of their hands and feet.

Is it not (the fact) that the accursed Pharaoh threatened (the magicians with) punishment on the earth,
Saying, I will cut off your hands and feet on opposite sides, then I will hang you up: I will not hold you exempt (from punishment)”?
He thought that they were (still) in the same imagination and terror and distraction and doubt, So that they would be trembling and terrified and affrighted by the vain imaginings and threats
of the carnal soul.

1725. He did not know that they had been delivered and were seated at the window of the light of the heart;
(And that) they had recognised (the difference of) their (bodily) shadows from their (real) selves, and were brisk and alert and happy and exulting;
(And that), if the mortar of the Sky (Fortune) should pound them small a hundred times in this miry place (the material world),
(Yet), since they had seen the origin of this (corporeal) composition, they were not afraid of the derivatives (which belong to the domain) of imagination.
This world is a dream—do not rest in (false) opinion; if in dream a hand go (be lost), it is no harm.

1730. If in dream a pruning-fork has cut off your head, not only is your head (still) in its place but your life is (still) prolonged.
If in dream you see yourself (cut) in two halves, you are sound in body when you rise, not sick. The sum (of the matter is this): in dreams it is no harm for the body to be maimed or to be torn
into two hundred pieces.
The Prophet said of this world, which is substantial in appearance, that it is the sleeper's dream. You have accepted this (statement) conventionally, (but) the travellers (on the mystic Way) have
beheld this (truth) clairvoyantly, without (relation from) the Prophet.

1735. You are asleep in the daytime: do not say that this is not sleep. The shadow (reflexion)
is derivative, the origin (of it) is naught but the moonlight.
Know, O comrade, that your sleep and waking (your life in this world) is as though a sleeper should dream that he has gone to sleep.
He thinks, Now I am asleep, (and is) unaware that he is (really) in the second sleep. If the potter break a pot, he himself will restore it (to a perfect state) when he wishes.
The blind man at every step is afraid of (falling into) the pit: he walks on the road with a thousand fears;

1740. (But) the seeing man has seen the width of the road, so he knows (all about) the hole and the pit;
His legs and knees do not tremble at any time: how should he look sour because of any
affliction?
“Arise, O Pharaoh (and do your worst)! for we are not such (so deluded) as to stop at every cry and (every) ghoul.
Rend our (bodily) mantle! There is One who will sew (it again); and if not, truly the more naked
we are, the better for us.
Without raiment we would fain clasp this Beauteous One to our bosoms, O enemy good-for- naught!

1745. There is nothing sweeter than to be stripped of the body and the (bodily)
temperament, O stupid uninspired Pharaoh!”

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