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(Masnavi Book 4: 34) The World’s enticement and warning







The World's mute admonition to worldlings, and how it displays its faithlessness to those who have hope of its keeping faith (with them).

He (the divine) said, I defrauded (you), but (at the same time) I declared to you the (truth of the) matter by way of admonition.”
Likewise the World, though it blossomed delightfully (made a fair show), at the same time
uttered a (warning) cry and declared its faithlessness.
In this (realm of) existence and corruption, O master, existence is the fraud and that corruption is the admonition.

1595. Existence says, Come, I am delectable, and its corruption says, Go, I am nothing.” O you that bitest your lip (in admiration) at the beauty of spring, look on the coldness and paleness of autumn.
In the daytime you didst deem the countenance of the sun beauteous: remember its death in the moment of setting.
You sawest the full-moon on this lovely firmament: observe also its anguish (caused by the loss of visibility) during the interlunar period.
A boy, on account of his beauty, became the lord of the people: after the morrow he became doting and exposed to the scorn of the people.

1600. If the body of those in the fresh bloom of youth has made you a prey, after (it has come to) old age behold a body (bleached) like a cotton plantation.
O you who have seen rich viands, arise and see the residue thereof in the latrine.

Say to the filth, “Where is that beauty of thine—the savour and goodliness and (sweet) scent
(which you hadst) in the dish?”
It replies, That (beauty) was the bait: I was its trap: since you have fallen a prey (to it), the bait has become hidden.
Many fingers that in handicraft (skill and dexterity) were the envy of master craftsmen have at last become trembling.

1605. The soul-like intoxicating narcissus-eye (of the beloved)see it dimmed at last and water trickling from it.
The lion (hero) who advances into the ranks of lions (valiant foes)—at last he is conquered by a mouse.
The acute, far-seeing, artful genius—behold it at last imbecile as an old ass.
The curly lock that sheds (a fragrance of) musk and takes away the reason—at last it is like the ugly white tail of a donkey.
Observe its (the World's) existence, (how) at first (it is) pleasing and joyous; and observe its shamefulness and corruption in the end;

1610. For it showed the snare plainly: it plucked out the fool's moustache in your presence. Do not say, then, The World deceived me by its imposture; otherwise, my reason would have fled from its snare.”
Come now, see (how) the golden collar and shoulder-belt have become a shackle and gyve and chain.
Reckon every particle of the World (to be) like this: bring its beginning and its end into
consideration.
The more any one regards the end (ákhir) the more blessed he is; the more any one regards the stable (ákhur) the more banned he is.

1615. Regard every one's face as the glorious moon: when the beginning has been seen, see the end (also),
Lest you become a man blind of one eye, like Iblís: he, like a person docked (deprived of perfect
sight), sees (the one) half and not (the other) half.
He saw the clay (tín) of Adam but did not see his obedience to God (n): he saw in him this world but did not see that (spirit) which beholds yonder world.
The superiority of men to women, O valorous one, is not on account of strength and money- making and (the possession of) landed estates;
Otherwise the lion and elephant because of (their) strength would be superior to the human
being, O blind one.

1620. The superiority of men to women, O time-server, is because man is more regardful of the end.
The man who is crooked in respect of seeing the end, he, like a woman, is inferior to those acquainted with the end.
From the World are coming two cries in opposition (to each other): (bethink yourself) for which (of
them) you art adapted.
Its one cry is the (means of) quickening the devout with (spiritual) life; and its other cry is the
(means of) cajoling the graceless.
(The World says),I am the thorn-blossom, O sweet cherisher (of love for me): the flower will drop and I shall remain a (mere) thorn-bough.”

1625. The cry of its (the World's) blossom is, Here is the flower-seller! The cry of its thorn is, “Do not strive (to advance) towards me.
(If) you have accepted (responded to) this (alluring cry), you art left (unmoved) by the other, for a lover is deaf to the contrary of the object loved (by him).

The one cry is this, “Here am I, ready; the other cry is, Look upon my latter end.
My readiness is like guile and ambush: behold the image of the end in the mirror of the beginning.
When you have gone into one of these two sacks, you have become contrary and unsuitable to
the other.

1630. Oh, happy is he who, from the first, heard that which the intelligences and the
(spiritual) ears of (holy) men have heard.
(If) it (the World) has found the house (the heart) empty and taken abode (there), all else appears to him (the owner of the house) perverted or wonderful (extraordinary).
(So with) the new pot that has drawn to itself some urine: water cannot detach that filth (from
it).
Everything in the world draws something (to itself): infidelity (draws) the infidel and righteousness him who is guided aright.
There is both the amber and the magnet (lodestone): whether you art iron or straw you wilt come to the hook (you wilt be attracted).

1635. The magnet carries you off if you art iron; and if you art straw, you wilt be in contact with the amber.
When any one is not associated with the good, he inevitably becomes a neighbour to the wicked. Moses is very despicable in the eyes of the Egyptian; Hámán is exceedingly accursed in the eyes of the Israelite.
The spirit of Hámán has drawn the Egyptian (to itself); the spirit of Moses has sought the
Israelite.
The belly of the ass draws straw (to itself) at the (moment of) indrawing (deglutition); the belly of Adam (Man) is an attractor of wheat-broth.

1640. If, on account of the darkness (of ignorance), you do not recognise a person (so as to discern his real nature), look at him whom he has made his imam (leader);

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