Page:Alchemyofhappiness en.djvu/41

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Ghazzali's Alchemy of Happiness.

established way of salvation, with which God has inspired the prophets, has its basis in external knowledge. These miserable and weak men, since they have no acquaintance with science, and no education, and knowledge of external things, why should they indulge in such corrupt fancies, and unfounded language ? They resemble, beloved, a person who having heard it said that alchemy was of more value than gold, because that whatsoever thing should be touched with the philosophers' stone would turn to gold, should be proud of the idea and should be carried away with a passion for alchemy. And when gold in full bags is offered him, he replies: "Shall I turn my attention to gold, when I am dissolving the philosophers' stone?" And he finishes with being deprived of the gold, and with only hearing the name of the philosophers' stone. He becomes forever a miserable, destitute, and naked vagabond, who wastes his life upon alchemy.

The science then of revelation, or of infused spiritual knowledge, resembles alchemy, and the science of the doctors of the law resembles gold; but it is folly and pure loss not to accept and be satisfied with solid gold, on account of one's ardor to discover the philosophers' stone, which latter knowledge is not acquired by one in a thousand.

There is still one farther observation that deserves to be made. If a person by the payment of a thousand pieces of gold, could become master of alchemy, yet the condition of the man who is absolutely master of ten thousand pieces of gold would be better and preferable. And this illustrates the position of the soofees. If a person follow their method and attain to the knowledge of some things, he still does not equal in excellence, the doctors of the law. Just as we see, that books on alchemy, and students of alchemy are very numerous, while those who are successful are the least of few, so the path of mysticism is" sought for by all men, and longed for by all classes of society, yet those who