Page:Alchemyofhappiness en.djvu/23

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Ghazzali's Alchemy of Happiness.

and wait for the opening of the door of spiritual union, and for the vision of beauty, as God declares in his holy word: "I have not created the genii and men except that they should worship me."[1]

These qualities, whether animal, or ferocious or demoniacal have been bestowed upon man, that by their means the body might be adapted to be a vehicle for the spirit, and that the spirit, by means of the body which is its vehicle, while herein this temporary home of earth, might seek after the knowledge and love of God, as the huntsman would seek to make the phoenix and the griffin his prey. Then, when it leaves this strange land for the region of spiritual friendship, it shall be worthy to partake of the mystery contained in the invitation, "enter in peace, O believers!"[2] and which is in the homage, "Peace is the word they shall hear from the merciful Lord."[3] People in general suppose that this refers to Paradise. Woe to him who has no portion in this knowledge! There is great danger in his path. The way of faith is veiled from his eyes.

If you wish, seeker of the way! to know your own soul, know that the blessed and glorious God created you of two things: the one is a visible body, and the other is a something internal, that is called spirit and heart, which can only be perceived by the mind. But when we speak of heart, we do not mean the piece of flesh which is in the left side of the breast of a man, for that is found in a dead body and in animals: it may be seen with the eyes, and belongs to the visible world. That heart, which is emphatically called spirit, does not belong to this world, and although it has come to this world, it has only come to leave it. It is the sovereign of the body, which is its vehicle, and all the external and internal organs of the body are its subjects. Its especial attribute is to know God and to

  1. S. 51:56.
  2. S. 50:33.
  3. S. 36:58.