Page:Alchemyofhappiness en.djvu/47

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page needs to be proofread.
39
Ghazzali's Alchemy of Happiness.

The knowledge of anatomy is the means by which we become acquainted with animal life: by means of knowledge of animal life, we may acquire a knowledge of the heart, and the knowledge of the heart is a key to the knowledge of God. But the knowledge which we obtain of God is limited and contracted in comparison with the knowledge which the heart has of itself. The knowledge possessed by the heart in comparison with the knowledge of God himself, is but as an atom when compared with the sun.

The body is but au animal to be ridden by the heart, which is its rider, while the heart's chief end is to acquire a knowledge of God. The dignity of any thing depends upon what it is in itself. A person therefore who does not understand his own body, heart and soul, and yet pretends to the knowledge of God, resembles the bankrupt, who, although he has nothing to eat himself, should yet plan a feast for all the poor of the city. In short, man ought to make every possible exertion to gain the knowledge of God, because the knowledge of God necessitates the love of God. Just in the same manner as when you see a beautiful specimen of calligraphy or some elegant verses, you praise the person who made them, you feel a love for him in your heart and desire eagerly to see him.

Since you have learned, O inquirer after the divine mysteries, the dignity and nobleness of the heart, know also that this precious jewel has been confided to you and wrapped in a veil, that you may preserve it from too close a contact with the world, and may lead it to perfection and to its place of rest, making it a partaker of manifest happiness in the eternal mansions. In the house of reunion you will have reached an eternal rest, where no evil enters, a joy where no pain mingles, a strength without infirmity, a knowledge without doubt, and a vision of the Lord, the enjoyment of which shall be endless.

If the heart strive not after its own glory and dignity, but