Page:Alchemyofhappiness en.djvu/53

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Ghazzali's Alchemy of Happiness.

all. He knows, also, that these many mercies and bounties are bestowed upon him without his seeking or care, from God's rich and overflowing grace. Now in this way it is possible that the knowledge of the soul should become the key to the knowledge of God. For just as from a survey of your own being and attributes, you have in a contracted form learned the being and attributes of God, it is also possible to understand how the freedom and the holiness of God, bear a resemblance to the freedom of your soul.

Know, that God exists exempt from and independent of the notions that enter the mind, and the forms that are produced in the imagination, that he is not subjected to reasoning, and time and place cannot be ascribed to him. Still his exercise of power and the manifestation of his glory are not independent of place. But in the same manner, this independence and freedom is possible in your soul. The spirit, for example, which we call heart is exempt from the entrance of fancies and imaginations, and also from size and divisibility. Nor has it form or color, for if it had, it could be seen by the eye, and would enter into the sphere of fancy and imagination, and its beauty or ugliness, its greatness or littleness would be known. If any one ask you about your soul, you may answer, "It exists by the will of God: it has neither quantity or physical quality; it is exempt from being known." Beloved, since you are incapable of knowing the spirit which is in your body, how should it be possible for you to know God, who created spirits, bodies and all things, who is himself foreign to all of them, and who is not of their class and kind? It is one of the most important things, yea, a most necessary duty, to treat of God as holy, independent and free.

How many things there are in your body in reference to which you do not know their reality and essence, such as 6