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(Masnavi Book 2: 52) The beginning of the gnostic’s illumination

The beginning of the gnostic's illumination by the Light which sees the invisible world.

3240. When one sense in (the course of its) progress has loosed (its) bonds, all the rest of the senses become changed.

When one sense has perceived things that are not objects of sense-perception, that which is of the invisible world becomes apparent to all the senses.

When one sheep of the flock has jumped over a stream, then they all jump across on each other's heels.

Drive the sheep, your senses, to pasture: let them browse on (the pasture indicated in the text)He who has brought forth the herbage,

That there they may browse on hyacinth and wild-rose; that they may make their way to the verdant meadows of the Realities;

3245. (That) every sense of yours may become an apostle to the senses (of others), and lead all senses into that Paradise;

(And then those) senses will tell their secret to your senses, without tongue and without (conveying either) the proper or the metaphorical meaning;

For this proper meaning admits of (different) interpretations, and this guesswork is the source of (vain) imaginings; (But in the case of) that truth which is immediate and intuitive, there is no room for any interpretation.
When (all) senses have become subject to your sense, the heavenly spheres cannot avoid (obedience to) you.

3250. When a dispute takes place as to the ownership of the husk, the husk belongs to him who possesses the kernel. When there happens to be a quarrel about a load of straw, observe who is the owner of the grain.
The heavenly sphere, then, is the husk, and the light of the spirit is the kernel.

This (sky) is visible, that (spirit) is concealed; (but) do not stumble on this account.

The body is manifest, the (vital) spirit is concealed: the body is as the sleeve, the spirit as the hand.

Again, the intellect is more concealed than the (vital) spirit: (your mental) perception makes its way to (apprehends) the (vital)
spirit sooner (than it apprehends the intellect).

3255. (If) you see a movement, you know that he (who moves) is alive; (but) this you do not know, that he is full of intellect,

Until regulated movements appear, and he by means of knowledge turns the motion of copper into gold. From manual actions being conformable (to reason) you may perceive that there is intellect (behind them).
The spirit (that partakes) of Divine inspiration is more concealed than the intellect, because it is (of) the Unseen: it belongs to that side.

The intellect of Ahmad (Mohammed) was not hidden from any one; (but) his spirit of (prophetic) inspiration was not apprehended by every soul.

3260. The spirit of prophecy also has actions conformable (to reason), (but) the intellect does not apprehend (them), for that
(spirit) is exalted (above intellectual apprehension).

Sometimes he (the man of intellect) regards (the actions of one endowed with the spirit) as madness, sometimes he is bewildered, since it (all) depends on his becoming that (other one);

As (for example) the intellect of Moses was troubled by seeing the reasonable actions of Khadir.

His actions seemed unreasonable to Moses, since he (Moses) had not his (Khadir's) state (of Divine inspiration).

Inasmuch as the intellect of Moses becomes tied up (perplexed and helpless) in (the matter of) the mysterious (inspiration), who (what) is the intellect of a (mere) mouse, O excellent (reader)?

3265. Conventional knowledge is (only) for sale (self-advertisement): when it finds a purchaser, it glows with delight. The purchaser of real knowledge* is God: its market is always splendid.
He (the owner of real knowledge) has closed his lips (and is) enraptured in (his) trading: the purchasers are without end, for God has purchased.

The angels purchase Adam's teaching; the devils and Jinn are not privileged to receive it.

Adam, inform them of the Names, give (them) teaching, explain the mysteries of God, hair by hair.

3270. Such a person as is short-sighted, plunged in variability and without steadfastness,

I called a “mouse,” because his place is in the earth (of the body): earth is the place of living for the mouse. He knows (many) ways, but (only) underground: he has pierced the earth in every direction.
The mouse-soul is naught but a nibbler: to the mouse is given a mind proportionate to its need,

Because without need the Almighty God does not give anything to any one.

3275. If the earth had not been needed by the (inhabitants of the) world, the Lord of all beings would not have created any (earth);

And if this quaking earth had not needed mountains, He would not have created them sublime (as they are);

And if there had not been need of the heavenly spheres also, He would not have created from non-existence the Seven Skies. The sun and moon and these stars—how did they come plain into view except through need?
Need, then, is the noose for (all) things that exist: Man has instruments in proportion to his need.

3280. Therefore quickly augment your need, O needy one, in order that the Sea of Bounty may surge up in loving kindness. These beggars (are) on the (public) road, and every sufferer (among them) is displaying his need to the people—
Blindness and palsy and sickness and pain—that men's pity may be aroused by this need.
Does he (any one) ever say, “Give bread, O people, for I have riches and granaries and trays (of viands)?” God has not put eyes in the mole, because it does not need eyes for (getting) food.

3285. It is able to live without eyes and sight: in the dank earth it is independent of eyes.

It never comes out from the earth but for theft, to the end that the Creator may purge it of that thievishness. After that (purification), it will get wings and become a bird, flying (aloft) and glorifying the Creator.
Every moment, in the rose-garden of thanksgiving to God, it will produce a hundred (sweet) notes, like the nightingale,

Singing, “O you that deliverest me from evil qualities! O you that makest a hell Paradise!

3290. You puttest light in a piece of fat; Thou, O Self-sufficing One, givest (the sense of) hearing to a bone.” What connexion have those concepts (e.g. sight and hearing) with the body?
What connexion has the apprehension of things with (their) names?

The word is like the nest, and the meaning is the bird: the body is the riverbed, and the spirit is the rolling water. It is moving, and you say it is standing: it is running, and you say it is keeping still.
If you see not the movement of the water through the clods of earth—(yet it is moving): what are the sticks and straws (ever appearing) anew on it?

3295. Your sticks and straws are the forms (ideas) of thought: (these) virgin forms are always coming on anew.

The surface of the water of the stream of thought, as it rolls, is not without sticks and straws, (some) pleasing and (some)

The husks on the surface of this rolling water have sped along from the fruits of the Invisible Garden.

Seek the kernels of the husks (not on the water, but) in the Garden, because the water comes from the Garden into the river- bed.

If you see not the flow of the Water of Life, look at this movement of weeds in the stream.

3300. When the water begins to pass by in fuller volume, the husks, (which are) the ideas, pass along it more quickly. When this stream has become extremely rapid in its flow, no care lingers in the minds of the gnostics.
Since it is (then) exceedingly full and swift, on that account there is no room in it for anything but the water.

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