Page:Alchemy of Happiness - Field.djvu/22

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INTRODUCTION

undertaken this work, which he has entitled, The Alchemy of Happiness. Now the treasuries of God, in which this alchemy is to be sought, are the hearts of the prophets, and he who seeks it elsewhere will be disappointed and bankrupt on the day of judgment when he hears the words, "We have lifted the veil from off thee, and thy sight to-day is keen."

God has sent on earth a hundred and twenty-four thousand prophets[1] to teach men the prescription of this alchemy, and how to purify their hearts from baser qualities in the crucible of abstinence. This alchemy may be briefly described as turning away from the world to God, and its constituents are four:

  1. The knowledge of self.
  2. The knowledge of God.
  3. The knowledge of this world as it really is.
  4. The knowledge of the next world as it really is.

We shall now proceed to expound these four constituents in order.

  1. This is the fixed number of the prophets according to Muhammadan tradition.