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(Masnavi Book 5: 26) The illusion of causes





[Explaining that when injury befalls you from a creature of God, he in reality is like an instrument. The gnostic is he that refers (all action) to God, not to the instrument; and if he refer it to the instrument formally, he does so not in ignorance but for a purpose. Thus Abú Yazíd, may God sanctify his spirit, said, During all these years I have never spoken to any creature or heard any creature speak to me; but people fancy that I am speaking and listening to them, because they do not see the Most Great Speaker, of whom they in relation to me are (only) the echo. The intelligent hearer pays no heed to the echo. There is a well-known proverb to this effect, (namely), “The wall said to the nail, ‘Why are you splitting me?’ The nail replied, Look at him who is hitting me.’”]

Do not foolishly beg the spear for mercy: beg (mercy) of the King in whose hand it (the spear) is (held). How shouldst you supplicate the spear and sword which are captives in the hand of that Exalted One?

1685. He is (like) Ázar in craftsmanship, and I am the idol (made by Him): whatever instrument He may make of me, I become that.
If He make me a cup, I become a cup; and if He make me a dagger, I become a dagger. If He make me a fountain, I give water; and if He make me fire, I give heat.
If He make rain of me, I give a cornstack; and if He make an arrow of me, I dart into the body.
If He make me a snake (márí), I emit venom; and if He make me a friend (yárí), I do (kindly) service.

1690. I am as a pen between His two fingers: I am not a waverer in the ranks of obedience (to Him).” He (Azrael) engaged the Earth in (this) discourse, (and meanwhile) he snatched from the old Earth a handful (of clay).
(Deftly) like a magician he snatched it from the Earth, (whilst) the Earth was absorbed, like those beside themselves, in (listening to) his words.
He brought the inconsiderate clay to God: (he brought) the runaway (back) to school.
God said, (I swear) by My resplendent knowledge, I will make you the executioner of these (My)
creatures.”

1695. He replied, O Lord, your creatures will regard me as their enemy when I strangle them at death. do you deem it right, O exalted Lord, to make me hated and like a foe in appearance?”
He (God) said, I will bring into clear view certain causes, (such as) fever and dysentery and phrenitis and spear(-wounds);
For (so) I will turn their attention from you to the diseases and threefold causes (of death).”
He (Azrael) replied, O Lord, there are also servants (of Yours) who rend (shatter the illusion of) causes, O Almighty.”

1700. Their eye pierces through the cause: by the grace of the Lord, it has passed beyond (all) veils.

It has obtained the collyrium of Unity from the oculist of ecstasy and has been delivered from ailment and infirmity.
They do not look at fever and dysentery and consumption: they do not admit these causes into their heart; For every one of these diseases has its cure: when it becomes incurable, that is the act of the (Divine) Decree.
Know for certain that every disease has its cure, as (for example) a fur is the cure for the pain of cold;

1705. (Yet), when God wills that a man shall be frozen, the cold penetrates even a hundred furs And puts into his body a tremor that will not be made better by (wrapping himself in) clothes or by (snuggling in) the house.
When the Decree comes, the physician is made foolish, and the medicine too loses its beneficial effect. How should the perception of the (mystic) seer be veiled by these (secondary) causes, which are a veil to catch the dolt?
When the eye is quite perfect, it sees the root (origin); when a man is squinteyed, it sees the branch
(derivative).

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