Page:Alchemyofhappiness en.djvu/33

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Ghazzali's Alchemy of Happiness.

Probably the knowledge of all the prophets was obtained in this way, for it was not obtained by learning....

When the heart is free from worldly lusts, from the animosities of society and from the distraction occasioned by the senses, the vision of God is possible. And this course is adopted by the Mystics.[1] It is also the path followed by the prophets. But it is permitted also to acquire the practice of it by learning, and this is the way adopted by the theologians. This is also an exalted way, though in comparison with the former, its results are insignificant and contracted. Many distinguished men have attained these revelations by experience and the demonstration of reasoning. Still let every one who fails of obtaining this knowledge either by means of purity of desire or of demonstration of reasoning, take care and not deny its existence to those who are possessed of it, so that they may not be repelled from the low degree they have attained, and their conduct become a snare to them in the way of truth. These things which we have mentioned constitute the wonders of the heart and show its grandeur.

Think not that these discoveries of truth are limited to the prophets alone. On the contrary every man in his essential nature is endowed with attributes rendering him capable of participating in the same discoveries. "What God says, "Am I not your Lord ?"[2] refers to this quality. And the holy saying of the prophet of God: "Every man is born with the nature of Islamism; but his ancestors practised Judaism, ITazarenism or Magianism," is an indication of the same thing.

The heart of man while in the spiritual world knew its maker and creator; it had mingled with angels and knew for what service it was created; and in the assembly where they said, "Yes," it was intoxicated as with wine at the

  1. See note B.
  2. S.7:171.