Someone said: “A man came who wanted to see you. He kept saying, ‘I wish I could have seen the Master.”
Rumi said: He does not see the Master at this moment because in truth the desire that filled him, namely to see the Master, was a veil hiding the Master. So it is with all desires and affections, all loves and fondnesses that people have for every variety of thing – father, mother, heaven, earth, gardens, palaces, knowledge, things to eat and drink. The lover of God realizes all these desires are truly the desire for God, and they are all veils covering humanity’s eyes. When we pass into the next world and behold Reality without these veils, then we realize all those were veils and coverings, and that our true quest in reality is for one thing. All difficulties are then resolved, we hear in our hearts the answer to all questions, and everything is seen clearly face to face.
It is not God’s way to answer every problem separately, but with one answer all questions are satisfied. All at once the total struggle is resolved. In the same way, in winter everyone puts on warm clothes and a leather jacket, and then creeps for shelter from the cold. So too all plants, trees, and shrubs, bitten by the cold, remain without leaves and fruit, storing and hiding their goods and nourishment inwardly so that the grasp of winter will not reach them. When spring, in a single epiphany, answers their requests, then all their various problems, whether human, animal or plant, are resolved, and those secondary symptoms disappear. Then all put forth their heads, and realize the cause of their misery.
God has created these veils for a good purpose. For if God’s beauty were displayed without a veil, we would not have the power to endure it. Through the intermediary of these veils we derive life and enjoyment.
Look at the sun. Through its light we can distinguish good from bad, and find warmth. Trees and orchards become fruitful from its heat, and their fruits – unripe, sour and bitter, become mature and sweet. Through its influence, mines of gold and silver, rubies and carnelians are produced. But if the sun were to come nearer it would bring no benefit whatsoever. On the contrary, the whole world and every creature would be burned up and destroyed.
When God reveals Itself through a veil to the mountain, those slopes become fully arrayed in trees and flowers and verdure. However, when God brings revelation without a veil, It destroys the mountain and breaks it into atoms.
Someone asked: “Well, isn’t this the same sun in the winter?”
Rumi answered: Our purpose here was to draw a comparison. It is not a matter of atoms, or Adam. Similarity is one thing, comparison is another. Although our mind cannot comprehend that reality, yet how can mind abandon the effort? If our reason gave up the struggle, it would no longer be reason. Reason is that thing that perpetually, night and day, is restless while thinking and struggling, striving to comprehend, even though God is unknowable and incomprehensible.
Reason is like a moth, and the Beloved is like a candle. Whenever the moth dashes itself against the candle, it is consumed and destroyed, but the moth is this way by nature. No matter how much that consuming flame and agony may hurt, the moth cannot fly from the candle. If there were another creature like the moth that could not fly away from the light of the candle, and dashed itself against that light, that would not be a mere comparison, that would be a moth itself. But if the moth dashed itself against the light of the candle and the moth were not consumed, that indeed could not be a candle.
Therefore, the human being who can do without God, lacking even the desire, that is no human being at all. But if they are able to comprehend God, that indeed could not be God. So, the true lover is never free from striving, they revolve restlessly and ceaselessly around the light of God. And God consumes them, making them nothing, destroying the veil of their reason.