Page:Alchemyofhappiness en.djvu/25

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
17
Ghazzali's Alchemy of Happiness.

quantity, or form: to the world of creation belong those which do have both quantity and form. The creation spoken of in the verse is in the sense of foreordination and not of actual formation. Hence those who say that the spirit is created, and is also from all eternity are in error, for nothing is eternal except the being and attributes of God.

Those also, who say that the spirit is but an accident, are in error, for the spirit exists by itself in the body, and an accident is that which subsists with something else. And those who say that the spirit is matter are in error, for matter is that which can be divided, and spirit is not susceptible of division. There is spirit, beloved, which is called animal spirit, which is susceptible of division. It is found in animals. But that spirit, which has the property of knowing God, and which is called the heart, is not found in beasts, nor is it matter or an accident. The heart, on the contrary, has been created with angelic qualities. It is a substance of which it is difficult to apprehend the essence. The law does not permit it to be explained, but there is no occasion for the student being acquainted with it at the outset of his journey. That which is necessary to the student is pious ardor and zeal, and this must be called into exercise in perfection. It is God who graciously teaches the student what spirit is, as we find in the Holy Book: "We will direct in our way, all those who shall strive to propagate our worship."[1] And if a man does not strive earnestly for the faith, there is no use of explaining to him the essence of spirit. It is, however, lawful to explain to him the instruments by which it operates. Know, O seeker after the divine mysteries! that the body is the kingdom of the heart, and that in the body there are many forces in contrariety with the heart, as God speaks

  1. S. 29:69.