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(Masnavi Book 3: 77) The worldliness of Galen










The love of (a) Galen is for this present life, for only here does his art avail; he has not practised any art that avails in yonder market: there he sees himself to be the same as the vulgar.

3960. That is even as wise Galen said on account of (his) passion for this world and because of what he desired (in it)
I am content that (only) half of my vital spirit should remain, so that I may see the world
through the arse of a mule.
He sees around him cats in troops: his bird has despaired of flying;
Or he has deemed all except this world to be non-existence and has not perceived in non- existence a hidden resurrection.
Like the embryo which (the Divine) Bounty is drawing forth: it is fleeing back towards the belly.

3965. (The Divine) Grace is turning its (the embryo's) face towards the place of exit, (while) it
(the embryo) is making its abode in the mother's loins,
Saying, Oh, I wonder, if I fall outside of this city and (abode of) pleasure, shall I see with my eye this dwelling-place;
Or would there be in that noisome city a door, so that I might gaze into the womb,
Or would there be for me a path, (narrow) as the eye of a needle, so that the womb might become visible to me from outside?
That embryo, too, is unaware of a world (outside): it is one unfamiliar (therewith), like Galen.

3970. It does not know that the humours which exist (in the womb) are supplied (to it) from the external world,
Even as the four elements in this world obtain a hundred supplies (means of support) from the
City beyond space.
If it has found water and seeds in its cage, those have appeared (there) from a Garden and
Expanse.
The spirits of the prophets behold the Garden from this cage at the time of their being transported and freed (from the body);
Hence they are free of Galen and the world: they are shining like the moon in the skies.

3975. And if this saying (as related) from Galen is a fiction, then my answer is not for Galen, (But) this is the answer to the person who said it, for the luminous heart has not been his mate. The bird, his spirit, became a mouse seeking a hole, when it heard from the cats (the cry), “Halt ye!”
On that account his spirit, mouse-like, deemed its home and abode to be in this world-hole. In this hole, too, it began to build and acquired a knowledge suitable to the hole;

3980. It chose the trades advantageous to it, which would be of use in this hole.
Inasmuch as it turned its heart away from (relinquished the desire for) going forth, the way of deliverance from the body was barred.
If the spider had the nature of the ‘Anqá, how should it have reared a tent (made) of some
gossamer?
The cat has put its claws into the cage: the name of its claws is pain and delirium and gripes. The cat is Death, and its claws are disease: it is striking at the bird and its plumage.

3985. He (the sick man) darts (like the bird) from corner to corner towards the remedy. Death is like the cadi, and the disease is the witness.
This witness comes (to you), like the cadi's footman (officer), who summons you to the place of judgment.
You, in flight (from your doom), beg him (to grant you) a respite: if he consent, it is granted;
otherwise, he says, Arise (and go with me).

The seeking of a respite consists in remedies and cures, that you may patch (thereby) the tattered cloak, the body.
At last, one morning, he comes angrily, saying, “How long will the respite be? Now, prithee, be ashamed!”

3990. O envious man, ask your pardon of the King ere such a day as that arrives.
And he who rides his horse into the darkness and altogether removes his heart from the Light
Is fleeing from the witness and his purpose; for that witness is calling him to judgement.

How the people of the mosque blamed the guest once more for (his intention of)
sleeping in the mosque by night.

The people said to him,Do not act with foolhardiness, depart, lest your (bodily) vesture and your soul
become in pawn (to Death).”
Froth afar it seems easy, (but) look well! for in the end the passage is grievous.

3995. Many a man hanged himself and broke (his neck) and at the moment of agony sought something for his hand to cling to.
Before the battle, the fancy of good or evil is slight (makes no deep impression) in a mans heart; (But) when he enters into the fray, then to that person the matter becomes woeful.
Since you are not a lion, beware, do not step forward, for that Doom is a wolf, and your soul is the sheep;
But if you are one of the Abdal (saints) and your sheep has become a lion, come on securely, for your death has been over thrown.

4000. Who is the Abdal? He that becomes transmuted, he whose wine is turned into vinegar by Divine transmutation.
But you are drunken, pot and from (mere) opinion ihink yourself to be a lion: Beware, do not advance!
God bath said of the unrighteous Hypocrites, Their valour amongst themselves is a great valour. Amongst one another they are manly, (but) in a warlike expedition they are as the women of the house.”
The Prophet; the commander-in-chief of the things unseen, said, “There is no bravery, O youth, before the battles.”

4005. The drunken make a froth when there is talk of war, (but) when war is raging they are as unskilled (useless) as froth.
At the time when war is spoken Of, his (such a one’s) scimitar is long (drawn and extended); at the time of combat his sword is (sheathed) like an onion.
At the time of premeditation his heart is eager for wounds; then (in action) his bag is emptied (of air) by a single needle.
I marvel at the seeker of purity who at the time of polishing shrinks from being handled roughly.
Love is like the lawsuit; to suffer harsh treatment is (like) the evidence: when you have no evidence, the lawsuit is lost.

4010. Do not be aggrieved when this Judge demands your evidence: kiss the snake in order that you may gain the treasure.
That harshness is not towards you, 0 son; nay, towards the evil qualities within you.
The blows of the stick with which a man beats a rug he inflicts, not on the rug, but on the dust
(in the rug).
If that vindictive fellow lashes the horse, he directs the blows, not at the horse, but at its stumbling,

In order that it may be delivered from (the vice of) stumbling and may move well: you imprison must (in the vat) in order that it may become wine.

4015.He (some one) said,You have struck that little orphan so many blows: how wert not you afraid of the Divine wrath?”
He (the striker) said, O (dear) soul and friend, when did I strike him? I struck at the devil that is
in him,”
If your mother say to you, “Mayst you die!she wishes the death of that (evil) nature (of yours)
and the death of iniquity.
The folk who fled from correction dishonouredtheir (own) manhood and (true) men.
The railers drove them back from the war, so that they remained so infamous and effeminate.

4020. Do not you hearken to the boasting and roaring of the driveller: do not go into the battle-line with such fellows.
Since they would have added to you (naught but) corruption, God said, Turn the leaf (avert yourself) from pusillanimous comrades,
For if they go along with you, the warriors will become pith- less, like straw.
They put themselves in line with you (on the field of battle); then they flee and break the heart of the line.
Therefore, better a little army without these persons than (that) it should be mustered
(reinforced) with the Hypocrites.”

4025. A few well-sifted almonds are better than a great many (sweet 4025 ones) mixed with bitter..
The bitter and the sweet are one thing (alike) in respect of rattling (against each other, when poured out); the defect arises from their not being the same at heart.
The infidel is of timorous heart, for, (judging) from opinion, he lives in doubt as to the state of that (the other) world.
He is going along the road, (but) he does not know any stage: one blind in heart steps timidly. When the traveller does not know the way, how does he go? He goes with (many) hesitations,
while his heart is full of blood (anguish).

4030. If anyone says (to him), Hey! this is not the way he will o halt there and stand still in affright.
But if his (the travellers) wise heart knows the way, how should every hey and ho go into his ear?
Therefore do not journey with these camel-hearted (craven)ones, for in the hour of distress and danger they are the ones who sink;
Then they flee and leave you alone, though in boasting they are (powerful as) the magic of
Babylon.
Beware! Do not you request sybarites to fight; do not request peacocks to engage in the hunt and the chase.
The carnal nature is a peacock: it tempts you and talks idly, that it may remove you from thy
(spiritual) post.

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