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(Masnavi Book 4: 42) The Man who took counsel with his enemy





Story that some one was consulting another, who said, Consult some one else, for I
am your enemy.”

A certain person was consulting some one, that he might be delivered from perplexity and from a quandary.

1970. O man of good name, he replied, seek another, not me, and explain to him the matter for consultation.
I am an enemy to you: do not attach yourself to me; one is never successful (never wins
success) from the counsel of an enemy.
Go, seek one who is a friend to you: undoubtedly a friend seeks (what is) good for his friend. I am an enemy: it is inevitable that from egoism I should go crookedly (play false) and show
enmity towards you.
Tis not a (just) condition to demand of a wolf (that he should perform) the task of a watchman
(shepherd): to demand (anything) from the wrong place is a negation of the demand.

1975. Without any doubt I am an enemy to you: how should I show you the way? I am a highwayman.
Whoever is sitting with friends is amidst a flower-garden (though he be) in a bath-furnace.
Whoever in the world sits with an enemy, he is in a bath-furnace (though he be) in a flower- garden.
Vex not your friend by egoism, lest your friend become your adversary and enemy.
Do good unto the people for your God's sake or for the peace of your own soul,

1980. That you may always see (them) friendly in your sight, and that ugly ideas arising from hatred may not come into your heart.
Since you have behaved with enmity (towards me), abstain (from consulting me): consult a friend who arouses (your) affection.”
He replied,I know you, O Bu l-Hasan, to be one who has long deemed me an enemy;
But you are a reasonable and spiritual man: your reason will not allow you to go crookedly (play false).”
The (carnal) nature desires to take revenge on its adversary: the reason is an iron chain upon the flesh.

1985. It comes and prevents it (the flesh) and restrains it: the reason is like a police-inspector for it in its good and evil (actions).
The reason that is allied to Faith is like a just police-inspector: it is the guardian and magistrate of the city of the heart.
It is mentally alert like a cat: the thief remains in the hole, like a mouse.
Wherever the mouse gets the upper hand, no cat is there, or (at least) there is (only) the
(unreal) form of a cat.
What cat (is to be compared with the reason)? The Faith-regarding reason which is in the body is the lion that overthrows the lions.

1990. Its roar is the magistrate (controller) of the tearing (carnivorous) animals; its shout is the preventer of the browsing (herbivorous) animals.
(If) the city is full of thieves and clothes-robbers, let there be a police-inspector if you will, or let there be none.

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