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(Masnavi Book 3: 43) The flight of Jesus from the Fool






How Jesus, on whom be peace, fled to the top of a mountain (to escape) from the fools.

2570. Jesus, son of Mary, was fleeing to a mountain: you would say that a lion wished to shed his blood.
A certain man ran after him and said, “(Is it) well (with thee)? There is no one in pursuit of you:
why do you flee, like a bird?”
(But) he (Jesus) still kept running with haste so (quickly) that on account of his haste he did not answer him.
He pushed on in pursuit of Jesus for the distance of one or two fields, and then invoked Jesus
with the utmost earnestness,
Saying, “For the sake of pleasing God, stop one moment, for I have a difficulty concerning your flight.

2575. From whom art you fleeing in this direction, O noble one? There is no lion pursuing you, no enemy, and there is no fear or danger.
He said,I am fleeing from the fool. Begone! I am saving myself. Do not debar me!”
“Why, said he, art not you the Messiah by whom the blind and the deaf are restored (to sight and hearing)?”
He said, “Yea. Said the other, “Art not you the King in whom the spells of the Unseen World
have their abode?—

(So that) when you chantest those spells over a dead man, he springs up (rejoicing) like a lion that has caught his prey.

2580. He said, Yea, I am he. Said the other, “Dost not you make (living) birds out of clay, O beauteous one?”
He said, “Yea. Said the other, “Then, O pure Spirit, you doest whatsoever you wilt: of whom
have you fear?
With such (miraculous) evidence, who is there in the world that would not be one of the slaves
(devoted) to thee?”
Jesus said, “By the holy Essence of God, the Maker of the body and the Creator of the soul in eternity;
By the sanctity of the pure Essence and Attributes of Him, for whose sake the collar of Heaven is
rent,

2585. (I swear) that the spells and the Most Great Name which I pronounced over the deaf and the blind were good (in their effects).
I pronounced (them) over the stony mountain: it was cloven and tore upon itself its mantle down to the navel.
I pronounced (them) over the corpse: it came to life. I pronounced (them) over nonentity: it
became entity.
I pronounced them lovingly over the heart of the fool hundreds of thousands of times, and it was no cure (for his folly).
He became hard rock and changed not from that disposition; he became sand from which no
produce grows.”

2590. Said the other, What is the reason that the Name of God availed there, (while) it had no advantage (good effect) here?
That (physical infirmity) is disease too, and this (folly) is a disease: why did it (the Name of God)
not become a cure for this, since it cured that?”
He (Jesus) said, “The disease of folly is (the result of) the wrath of God; (physical) disease and blindness are not (the result of Divine) wrath: they are (a means of) probation.”
Probation is a disease that brings (Divine) mercy (in its train); folly is a disease that brings
(Divine) rejection.
That which is branded on him (the fool) He (God) has sealed: no hand can apply a remedy to it.

2595. Flee from the foolish, seeing that (even) Jesus fled (from them): how much blood has been shed by companionship with fools!
The air steals away (absorbs) water little by little: so too does the fool steal away religion from you.
He steals away your heat and gives you cold, like one who puts a stone under your rump.
The flight of Jesus was not caused by fear, (for) he is safe (from the mischief done by fools): it was for the purpose of teaching (others).
Though intense frost fill the world from end to end, what harm (would it do) to the radiant sun?

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