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(Masnavi Book 4: 77) The Pear-tree of Illusion












Story of the lewd woman who said to her husband, “Those illusions appear to you from the top of the pear-tree, for the top of that pear-tree causes the human eye to see such things: come down from the top of the pear-tree, that those illusions may vanish. And if any one should say that what that man saw was not an illusion, the answer is that this (story) is a parable, not a (precise) similitude. In the (story regarded as a) parable this amount (of resemblance) is sufficient, for if he had not gone to the top of the peartree, he would never have seen those things, whether illusory or real.

That woman desired to embrace her paramour in the presence of her foolish husband.

3545. Therefore the woman said to her husband,O fortunate one, I will climb the tree to gather fruit.”
As soon as she had climbed the tree, the woman burst into tears when from the top she looked in the direction of her husband.
Marito dixit, O cinaede improbe, quis est ille paedicator qui super te incumbit? Tu sub eo velut
femina quietus es: O homo tu vero catamitus evasisti.
“Nay, said the husband: one would think your head is turned (you have lost your wits); at any rate, there is nobody here on the plain except me.”

3550. Uxor rem repetivit. Eho, inquit, “iste pileatus quis est super tergo tuo incumbens?“Hark, wife, he replied, come down from the tree, for your head is turned and you have become very dotish.”
When she came down, her husband went up: (then) the woman drew her paramour into her arms.
Maritus dixit, “O scortum, iste quis est qui velut simia super te venit?”
“Nay, said the wife,there is no one here but me. Hark, your head is turned: don't talk nonsense.”

3555. He repeated the charge against his wife. This,said the wife, is from the pear-tree. From the top of the pear-tree I was seeing just as falsely as you, O cuckold.
Hark, come down, that you may see there is nothing: all this illusion is caused by a pear-tree.” Jesting is teaching: listen to it in earnest, do not you be in pawn to (taken up with) its
appearance of jest.
To jesters every earnest matter is a jest; to the wise (all) jests are earnest.

3560. Lazy folk seek the pear-tree, but it is a good (long) way to that pear-tree.
Descend from the pear-tree on which at present you have become giddy-eyed and giddy-faced. This (pear-tree) is the primal egoism and self-existence wherein the eye is awry and squinting. When you comest down from this pear-tree, your thoughts and eyes and words will no more be awry.
You wilt see that this (pear-tree) has become a tree of fortune, its boughs
(reaching) to the Seventh Heaven.

3565. When you comest down and partest from it, God in His mercy will cause it to be transformed.
On account of this humility shown by you in coming down, God will bestow on yours eye true
vision.
If true vision were easy and facile, how should Mustafá (Mohammed) have desired it from the
Lord?

He said, “Show (unto me) each part from above and below such as that part is in Thy sight.Afterwards go up the pear-tree which has been transformed and made verdant by the (Divine) command, Be.

3570. This tree has (now) become like the tree connected with Moses, inasmuch as you have transported your baggage towards (have been endued with the nature of) Moses.
The fire (of Divine illumination) makes it verdant and flourishing; its boughs cry Lo, I am God.Beneath its shade all your needs are fulfilled: such is the Divine alchemy.
That personality and existence is lawful to you, since you beholdest therein the attributes of the
Almighty.
The crooked tree has become straight, God-revealing: its root fixed (in the earth) and its branches in the sky.


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