Page:Alchemyofhappiness en.djvu/24

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Ghazzali's Alchemy of Happiness.

enjoy the vision of the beauty of the Lord God. The invitation to salvation is addressed to the spirit. The commandment is also addressed to it, for it is capable of happiness or misery. The knowledge of what it is in reality, is the key to the knowledge of God. Beloved, strive to obtain this knowledge, for there is no more precious jewel. In its origin it comes from God, and again returns to him. It has come hither but for a time for intercourse and action.

Be sure, O seeker after knowledge! that it is impossible to obtain a knowledge of the heart, until you know its essence and its true nature, its faculties, and its relations with its faculties,—nor until you know its attributes, and how through them the knowledge of God is obtained, and what happiness is, and how happiness is to be secured. Know then, that the existence of the spirit is evident and is not involved in doubt. Still, it is not body, which is found in corpses and in animals generally. If a person with his eyes wide open should look upon the world and upon his own body, and then shut his eyes, everything would be veiled from his view, so that he could not see even his own body. But the existence of his spirit would not be at the same time shut out from his view. Again, at death, the body turns to earth, but the spirit undergoes no corruption. Still it is not permitted to us to know what the spirit is in its real nature and in its essence, as God says in his Holy Word: "They will ask you about the spirit. Answer, the spirit is a creation by decree of the Lord."[1] The spirit belongs to the world of decrees.

All existence is of two kinds, one is of the world of decrees, and the other is of the world of creation. "To him belongs creation and decree."[2] The matters which belong to the world of decrees are those which have not superficies,

  1. S. 17:87.
  2. S. 7:53.