Sheikh Ibrahim said: “Whenever Saif-al-Din Farrukh ordered someone to be given a beating, he would immediately occupy himself until the beating was over, so that no one could intercede.”
Rumi said: Whatever you see in this world corresponds exactly with what is in the world beyond. All these realities are samples of the other Reality. Whatever exists in this world has come from there.
The bald man of Baalbek carried on his head trays and samples of various herbs – a pinch of pepper, a pinch of mastic, a pinch from every heap. The heaps were infinite, but there was no room on his tray for more. People are like the bald man of Baalbek, they are loaded with pinches and pieces out of the treasuries of God, some known and some hidden – a piece of hearing, a piece of speech, a piece of reason, a piece of generosity, a piece of knowledge. For this reason our work is always a reflection of God.
There are beings who are hawkers of God. Night and day they fill trays. By day you spend away your portion to make your living, by night these beings replenish your tray.
For instance, in the other world there are sights and visions of many kinds. A sample of those has been sent to you to see in this world. Sight is not limited to this world only, but the human body cannot bear more than this.
Thousands of people, generation after generation, have come and filled themselves from that Sea, returning again and again. That source is infinite. The longer we stay upon that Infinite Sea, the colder our heart grows for this world of samples.
This world is coined in that Mint and must return to that Mint again. All our parts have issued from that Mint, are samples of that Mint, and must return again – small and great, for all living creatures. Yet upon the tray of this world life becomes visible; without the tray it is not visible.
That infinite world is a subtle world and does not reveal itself openly – yet look how wonderfully it makes its appearance here! Don’t you see how the spring breeze becomes visible in the trees and grasses, the rose-beds and sweet herbs? Through the swaying of fields and flowers you witness the beauty of spring. But when you look upon the breeze itself, you see nothing. This isn’t because the beauty of those rose-beds are outside the reality of the breeze, for the spring breeze contains images of swaying rose-beds and sweet herbs, but those images are subtle and invisible. Only through some medium are they revealed out of their subtlety.
Likewise in the human being these qualities are hidden and only become manifest through an inward or outward medium; one person through speech, another through work, another during times of war or peace. You cannot see these attributes within yourself – look and you will find nothing there – so you believe yourself empty of these infinite attributes. These attributes do not come forth and change you into something else from what you were. Rather, these qualities are hidden in you, like the water in the sea.
Water cannot leave the sea except through the sun’s heat in the form of a cloud; it cannot become visible except in a wave. Your wave is a commotion visible within you, but so long as the sea is still, you see nothing. Your body is on the shore of the sea, and Soul is a part of the ocean itself. Do you not see how many fishes, snakes, birds, and creatures of all kinds come forth and show themselves, and then return to the sea? Your attributes such as patience, friendship, loyalty and the rest, come forth from this sea.
These qualities are subtle lovers of God. You can only glimpse them through the medium of the tongue. But because of their subtlety, without speech they are naked and they retreat back out of sight into the arms of God.