FortyThreeur friend, Saif al-Bukhari has gone to Egypt. Everyone likes a mirror, and is in love with reflections of their own attributes and attainments, but our friend misses the true nature of his face. He thinks this bodily veil is a face, and the mirror of this veil is the mirror of his face. Uncover your face, so you can know for sure that I am a mirror of your true self. Someone said: I know for a fact that the prophets and saints are all victims of a false presumption. There is nothing to it but mere pretense. Rumi said: Do you say this at random, or have you looked into this before speaking? If you have looked into this, then this pretension you have seen is itself a vision, and therefore a proof of their vision. Indeed, such knowingness is the most precious and noblest thing in existence. The proof of the prophets message is simply their own claim to such vision, which you have acknowledged yourself. Such vision only manifests through great longing and seeking. Your own statement still portrays the existence of a seeker, desire and vision. Thus, the relationship between seekers and God is a case where all disclaimers of love prove only love. They say, That crowd are disciples of a dimwit, and venerate the fool. I say, That dimwit of a Sheikh is no less than a stone or an idol. Those who worship stones venerate and magnify them. They direct their hopes and longings toward them, and their petitions, needs and tears. The stone knows nothing, nor can it feel anything of this. Yet God has made stones and idols to be the means of devotion, of which the stones and idols are totally unaware. In the same way, these disciples are in love with the image of this foolish Sheikh, and the Sheikh is oblivious to their banishment, union and all the phases of their love life. If misguided and misdirected love for a phantom can produce ecstasy, still it is nothing like the mutual love enjoyed with a real beloved, who is aware and wide awake to the lovers condition. Like the person who embraces a pillar in the dark, thinking it to be their beloved, the pleasure they enjoy cannot be compared with one who embraces their living and conscious friend.
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Copyright © 1999 by Doug Marman