Sunday, July 19, 2009

Selections from the Aphorisms of Abu Madyan No.4

Al-Ghawth Abū Madyan: When the heart forgets its passions, it is cured.

Sheikh al-Alawi’s commentary:

The heart has a secret illness, the symptom of which is its inclination to things beloved to the lower self. If it forgets these things and is purified and cleansed from the presence of animal passions, this is a sign that it is cured of its psychological ailments and satanic impulses, and this wellbeing allows it to bear secrets and theophanic illuminations. But as long as any of these impurities remain within it, it is not yet cured, and therefore requires a physician to treat it until it is cured of its sickness and turns once more to its Lord; otherwise, it will inevitably be veiled from Him. Someone once said:

Many ailments pained my heart, and all stemmed from
Its yearning for ephemeral things when it saw them;
But when my heart was cleansed by mention of its Lord,
It turned away from all that fades, and saw them not.

* * * *

Editorial note added by translator (Khalid):

O Rose, Thou art sick!
The invisible worm
That flies in the night,
In the howling storm,

Has found out thy bed
Of crimson joy:
And his dark secret love
Does thy life destroy.

William Blake.