Page:Alchemyofhappiness en.djvu/35

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Ghazzali's Alchemy of Happiness.

proceeds from him, which transcends what is ordinary, is called a manifestation of grace. The miracle performed by a saint is accounted a miracle of that prophet whose law he follows. He who has received, by whatever means, a revelation of the invisible world, is capable of being ordained to the office of a prophet. And if he is not appointed by God, the reason will be either, that at the time the existing law had been newly revealed, and that there was no occasion for a prophet, or else that there may be a peculiarity in prophets which is not found in the saints. It follows that it is our duty not to deny either the saintship or the miracles of the saints, but to acknowledge them as real.

You should be aware, however, that this alchemy of happiness, that is, the knowledge of God, which is the occasion of the revelation of truth, cannot be acquired without spiritual self-denial and effort. Unless a man has reached perfection and the rank of Superior, nothing will be revealed to him, except in cases of special divine grace and merciful providence, and this occurs very rarely. Nor, except by divine condescension, is revelation obtained even by all who by effort reach the rank of Superior. And whosoever would attain holiness can only reach it by the path of difficulty.

You have now learned, student of the divine mysteries, the dignity of the heart through knowledge, and what kind of knowledge it possesses. E"ow listen and learn its dignity through divine power and on account of the greatness of which it is capable, that you may see how precious you are in yourself, and yet how vile and contemptible you make yourself by your own choice. Know then, that the heart is endowed with properties like those of angels and such as are not found in animals; and just as the material world is subjected by divine permission to the angels, and when God wills it, the angels send forth the winds, cause rain to