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(Masnavi Book 4: 31) Man half angel and half beast







In exposition of the following Hadíth of Mustafá (Mohammed), on whom be peace: Verily, the most High God created the angels and set reason in them, and He created the beasts and set lust in them, and He created the sons of Adam and set in them reason and lust; and he whose reason prevails over his lust is higher than the angels, and he whose lust prevails over his reason is lower than the beasts.

It is related in the Hadíth that the majestical God created the creatures of the world (in) three kinds.
One class (He made) entirely reason and knowledge and munificence; that is the angel: he knoweth naught but prostration in worship.
In his original nature is no concupiscence and sensuality: he is absolute light, (he is) living
through (his) love of God.

1500. Another class is devoid of knowledge, like the animal (which lives) in fatness from
(eating) fodder.
It sees nothing but stable and fodder: it is heedless of (future) misery and glory (felicity).
The third (class) is Adam's descendant and Man: half of him is of the angel and half of him is ass. The ass-half, indeed, inclines to that which is low; the other half inclines to that which is rational.
Those two classes (the angels and the beasts) are at rest from war and combat, while this Man is
(engaged) in torment (painful struggle) with two adversaries.

1505. And, moreover, this (race of) Man, through probation, has been divided: they (all) are of human shape, but (in truth) they have become three communities (families).

One party have become submerged absolutely and, like Jesus, have attained unto the (nature of the) angel.
The form (of such a one is that of) Adam, but the reality is Gabriel: he has been delivered from anger and sensual passion and (vain) disputation.
He has been delivered from discipline and asceticism and self-mortification: you would say he was not even born of a child of Adam.
The second sort have attained unto (the nature of) asses: they have become pure anger and absolute lust.

1510. The qualities of Gabriel were in them and departed: that house was (too) narrow, and those qualities (too) grand.
The person who is deprived of (the vital) spirit becomes dead: when his spirit is deprived of
those (angelic qualities), he becomes an ass,
Because the spirit that has not those (qualities) is vile: this word is true, and the (perfect) fí has said (it).
He (the man of animal nature) suffers more anxiety than the beasts, (for) he practises subtle arts
in the world.
The cunning and imposture which he knows how to spin that (cunning) is not produced by any other animal.

1515. To weave gold-embroidered robes, to win pearls from the bottom of the sea,
The fine artifices of geometry or astronomy, and the science of medicine and philosophy— Which are connected only with this world and have no way (of mounting) up to the Seventh
Heaven—
All this is the science of building the (worldly) stable which is the pillar (basis) of the existence of
(persons like) the ox and the camel.
For the sake of preserving the animal for a few days, these crazy fools have given to those (arts and sciences) the name of “mysteries.

1520. The knowledge of the Way to God and the knowledge of His dwelling place—that only the owner of the heart knows, or (you may say) his heart (itself).
He (God), then, created in this composite fashion the goodly animal and made him familiar with knowledge.
That (bestial) class (of men) He named like the cattle, for where is the resemblance between waking and sleep?
The animal spirit has naught but sleep (ignorance): the (bestial) class of men possess inverted
sense-perceptions.
(When) waking comes, the animal sleep is no more, and he (the enlightened man) reads the
(former) inversion of his senses from the tablet (of his clairvoyant consciousness)—

1525. Like the sense-perceptions of one whom sleep has seized: when he awakes, the inverted quality (of his sense-perceptions whilst he was dreaming) becomes apparent.
Necessarily, he (the bestial man) is the lowest of the low. Take leave of him: I love not them that
sink.

In exposition of the following Verse:and as for those in whose hearts is a disease, it (each new Súra of the Qur’án) added unto their uncleanness (wicked unbelief); and of His Word: thereby He letteth many be led astray, and thereby He letteth many be guided aright.

(The bestial man is the lowest of the low) because he possessed the capacity for transforming himself and striving (to escape) from lowness, but (afterwards) lost it.

Again, since the animal does not possess (that) capacity, its excusability (for remaining) in the bestial state is a thing (most) evident.
When the capacity, which is the guide (to salvation), is gone from him, every nutriment that he eats is the brain of an ass.

1530. If he eats anacardium, it becomes (acts upon him as) opium: his apoplexy and dementia are increased.
There remains another sort (of men: they are engaged) in warfare: (they are) half animal, half
(spiritually) alive and endowed with good guidance.
Day and night in strife and mutual struggle, his (such a one's) last (state) battles with his first.

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