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(Masnavi Book 4: 66) The mystery of Life and Death





How Moses, on whom be peace, besought the Lord, saying, “You didst create creatures and destroy them, and how the answer came.

Moses said, O Lord of the Reckoning, You didst create the form: how didst You destroy it again?”
You have made the form, male and female, that gives unto the spirit increase (of joy); and then
You do ruin it: why?”
God said, I know that this question of yours is not from disbelief and heedlessness and idle fancy;
Else I should have corrected and chastised you: I should have afflicted you on account of this
question.


3005. But (I know that) you wishest to discover in My actions the wisdom and hidden meaning of (phenomenal) duration,
That you mayst acquaint the vulgar therewith and by this means make every raw (ignorant)
person to become cooked.
You have become a questioner on purpose to disclose (this matter) to the vulgar, albeit you art acquainted with it;
For this questioning is the half of knowledge, and this ability (to ask questions) does not belong
to every outsider.”
Both question and answer arise from knowledge, just as the thorn and the rose from earth and water.

3010. Both perdition and salvation arise from knowledge, just as bitter and sweet (fruit) from moisture.
This hatred and love arise from acquaintance, and from wholesome food (arise both) sickness and (bodily) powers.
That Kalím (Moses) became (like) an ignorant enquirer in order that he might make the ignorant acquainted with this mystery.
Let us too feign ourselves to be ignorant thereof and elicit the answer to it (to the question) as (if
we were) strangers (seeking information).
(Similarly) the ass-sellers became rivals to one another in order that they might open the way to the contract (of sale).

3015. Then God spake unto him, saying, O you who possessest the most excellent
(understanding), since you have asked (the question), come, hear the answer.
O Moses, sow some seed in the earth, that you yourself mayst render justice to this (question).” When Moses had sown and the seed-corn was complete (in growth) and its ears had gained
beauty and symmetry,
He took the sickle and was cutting that (crop); then a voice from the Unseen reached his ear, Crying, “Why do you sow and tend some seed-corn and (now) art cutting it when it has
attained to perfection?”

3020. He replied,O Lord, I destroy and lay it low because straw is here and (also) grain. The grain is not suitable (to be stored) in the straw-barn; the straw likewise is bad (for putting) in the corn-barn.
It is not wisdom to mix these twain: it (wisdom) makes necessary the separation (of them) in winnowing.
He (God) said, “From whom didst you gain this knowledge, so that by means of the knowledge
you didst construct a threshing-floor?”
He replied, “Thou, O God, gavest me discernment. He (God) said, Then how should I not have discernment?”

3025. Amongst the created beings are pure spirits; there are (also) spirits dark and muddy. These shells are not in one grade: in one (of them) is the pearl and in another the (worthless) bead.
It is necessary to make manifest (the difference between) this good and evil, just as (it is necessary) to make manifest (distinguish) the wheat from the straw.
(The creation of) these creatures of the world is for the purpose of manifestation, to the end that the treasure of (Divine) providences may not remain hidden.
He (God) said, I was a hidden treasure”: hearken! Do not let your (spiritual) substance be lost:
become manifest!

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