Secrets of the Self

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Amazon Payment Products. English Choose a language for shopping. To the human race he brings both a glad message and a warning, He comes both as a soldier and as a marshal and prince. His person is an atonement for all the world, 1 Koran, ch. The Ideal Man is the final cause of creation. He bestows life by miraculous works, He founds a new system to work by. Splendid visions rise from the print of his foot, Many a Moses is entranced by his Sinai. His hidden being is Life's mystery, The unheard music of Life's harp. Nature travails in blood for genera- tions To compose the harmony of his personality.

When our handful of earth has reached the zenith, 1 These four lines may allude to Jesus, regarded as a type of the Perfect Man. There sleeps amidst the ashes of To-day The flame of a world - consuming morrow. Our bud enfolds a garden of roses, Our eyes are bright with to-morrow's dawn. Appear, O rider of Destiny! Appear, O light of the dark realm of Change!

Illumine the scene of existence, Dwell in the blackness of our eyes! Arise and tune the harp of brother- hood, Give us back the cup of the wine of love! Bring once more days of peace to the WOrld, Give a message of peace to them that seek battle! The leaves are scattered by Autumn's fury : Oh, do thou pass over our gardens as the Spring!

Receive from our downcast brows The homage of little children and of young men and old! When thou art there, we will lift up our heads, Content to suffer the burning fire of this world. Devotion to his family inspires me with life So that I am as a shining pearl.

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Like the narcissus, I am enraptured with gazing ; Like perfume, I am straying through his pleasure-garden. I am dust, but his sun hath made me as a mirror : Song can be seen in my breast. From Ali's face the Prophet drew a fair omen, By his majesty the true religion is glorified. His commandments are the strength of Islam : All things pay allegiance to his House. The dark clay, whose name is the body Our reason is ever bemoaning its iniquity. It hath in its hand a two-edged sword of lust : Travellers' hearts are broken by this brigand.

Ali, the Lion of God, subdued the body's clay And transmuted this dark earth to gold. Whosoever in the world becomes a Bu Turab Turns back the sun from the west ; 2 1 Murtaza, " he whom with God is pleased," is a name of Ali. Bu Turab means literally " father of earth. His person is the gate of the city of the sciences : Arabia, China, and Greece are subject to him. If thou wouldst drink clear wine from thine own grapes, Thou must needs wield authority over thine own earth. Ali performed great feats of valour on this occasion.

Thou art soft as a rose. Become hard as a stone, That thou mayst be the foundation of the wall of the garden! If thou art unfit to be either a wall or a door, Some one else will make bricks of thine earth. O thou who complainest of the cruelty of Heaven, Thou whose glass cries out against the injustice of the stone, How long this wailing and crying and lamentation? How long this perpetual beating of thy breast? The pith of Life is contained in action, To delight in creation is the law of Life. Wrap thyself in flames, be an Abraham!

The man of strong character who is master of himself Will find Fortune complaisant. If the world does not comply with his humour, He will try the hazard of war with Heaven ; He will dig up the foundations of the universe loso And cast its atoms into a new mould. He will subvert the course of Time And wreck the azure firmament.

By his own strength he will produce A new world which will do his pleasure. If one cannot live in the world as beseems a man, 1 See note on 1.


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He that hath sound intelligence Will prove his strength by great enterprises. Tis sweet to use love in hard tasks And, like Abraham, to gather roses from flames. Mean spirits have no weapon but spite, This is their one rule of life. But Life is power made manifest,- And its mainspring is the desire for victory. Mercy out of season is a coldness of Life's blood, A break in the rhythm of Life's music. Whoever is sunk in the depths of ignominy Calls his weakness contentment. Its soul is empty of virtues, Its milk is a fattening for vices.

This spoiler is lurking in ambush. Be not his dupe, if thou art wise : Chameleon-like, he changes colour every moment. Even by keen observers his form is not discerned : Veils are thrown over his face. Now he is muffled in pity and gentle- ness, Now he wears the cloak of humility. Sometimes he is disguised as a victim of oppression, Sometimes as one whose sins are to be excused. He appears in the shape of self- indulgence And robs the strong man's heart of courage. Life is the seed, and power the crop : Power explains the mystery of truth and falsehood. Falsehood derives from power the authority of truth, And by falsifying truth deems itself true.

Its creative word transforms poison into nectar ; It says to Good, "Thou art bad," and Good becomes Evil. O thou that art heedless of the trust committed to thee, Esteem thyself superior to both worlds! Ignore all except God! O man of understanding, open thine k eyes, ears, and lips! See 1. The age of Omar was restored by his godliness, 1 Hujwiri, author of the oldest Persian treatise on Sufism, was a native of Ghazna in Afghanistan. He died at Lahore about A. Pfr-i Sanjar is the renowned saint, Mu'fnuddfn, head of the Chishti order of dervishes, who died in A.

He was a guardian of the honour of the Koran, The house of Falsehood fell in ruins at his gaze. The dust of the Panjab was brought to life by his breath, Our dawn was made splendid by his sun. He was a lover, and withal a courier of Love : The secrets of Love shone forth from his brow. A young man, cypress-tall, Came from the town of Merv to Lahore. He went to see the venerable saint, noo That the sun might dispel his darkness. Be without fear of others! Thou art a sleeping force : awake! If the traveller thinks himself weak, He delivers his soul unto the brigand. How long wilt thou regard thyself as water and clay?

Why be angry with mighty men? Why complain of enemies? Whosoever knows the states of the Self Considers a powerful enemy to be a blessing from God. To the seed of Man the enemy is as a rain-cloud : He awakens its potentialities. If thy spirit be strong, the stones in thy way are as water : What recks the torrent of the ups and downs of the road? The sword of resolution is whetted by the stones in the way And put to proof by traversing stage after stage.

What is the use of eating and sleeping like a beast? What is the use of being, unless thou "30 have strength in thyself? When thou mak'st thyself strong with Self, Thou wilt destroy the world at thy pleasure. To become oblivious to Self. Abide in Self, like Joseph!

Advance from captivity to empire! Think of Self and be a man of action! Be a man of God, bear mysteries within! This verse occurs in the Masnavl. XII Story of the bird that was faint with thirst. He saw a diamond in the garden : Thirst created a vision of water. Deceived by the sunbright stone The foolish bird fancied that it was water.

He got no moisture from the gem : He pecked it with his beak, but it did not wet his palate. Wouldst thou hurt me? Thou art mad! A life that reveals the Self is strange to thee. My water will shiver the beaks of birds And break the jewel of man's life. Disappointment swelled in his breast, The song in his throat became a wail. Upon a rose-twig a drop of dew Gleamed like the tear in a nightingale's eye: All its glitter was owing to the sun, It was trembling in fear of the sun 1 I.

'Secrets Of The Self' - Allama Iqbal

There it hung, ready to drop, Like a tear on the eyelashes of a lover who hath lost his heart. The sorely distressed bird hopped under ins the rose-bush, The dewdrop trickled into his mouth. The drop was not solid and gem-like ; The diamond had a being, the drop had none. Be massive in nature, like mountains, And bear on thy crest a hundred clouds laden with floods of rain! Save thyself by affirmation of Self, Compress thy quicksilver into silver ore! Produce a melody from the string of Self, Make manifest the secrets of Self!

The coal in the mine said to the diamond, "O thou entrusted with splendours everlasting, We are comrades, and our being is one ; The source of our existence is the same, Yet while I die here in the anguish of worthies sn ess, Thou art set on the crowns of emperors. Every one puts the sole of his foot on my head And covers my stock of existence with ashes. My fate must needs be deplored ; Dost thou know what is the gist of my being? Thou art a condensed wavelet of smoke, Endowed with the properties of a single spark ; Both in feature and nature thou art star-like, Splendours rise from every side of thee.

Having been at strife with its environ- ment, It is ripened by the struggle and grows hard like a stone. Because thy being is immature, thou hast become abased ; Because thy body is soft, thou art burnt. Be void of fear, grief, and anxiety ; Be hard as a stone, be a diamond! Whosoever strives hard and grips tight, The two worlds are illumined by him. In solidity consists the glory of Life ; Weakness is worthlessness and im- maturity. He had a large knowledge of philosophy But was well-disposed to the seekers after God. The sighs on his lips bore witness to his despair, His countenance told tales of his dis- traction.


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One day he visited an excellent Sheikh, 1 A mysterious bird, of which nothing is known except its name. The Sheikh laid the seal of silence on his lips While he lent his ear to the Sage's discourse. Then he said : " O wanderer in the lofty sky, Pledge thyself to be true, for a little, to the earth! Thou hast lost thy way in wildernesses of speculation, Thy fearless thought hath passed beyond Heaven. Be reconciled with earth, O sky- traveller!

Do not wander in quest of the essence of the stars! I do not bid thee abandon thine idols. Art thou an unbeliever? Then be worthy of the badge of unbelief! Thou that art not even a perfect infidel Art unfit to worship at the shrine of the spirit. We both are far astray from the road of devotion : Thou art far from Azar, and I from Abraham.

When the lamp of Self expires, What is the use of heaven-surveying imagination? He took away from thee the power to walk : What avails this sublimity and stateli- ness? Life springs from perpetual movement : Motion constitutes the wave's whole existence. Thou hast no knowledge of thine own case, Thou exultest in thy misfortune : thou art a fool!

O born of the womb of the revolving sphere, A fallen-in bank is better than thou! Be self-contained like the rose in the garden, Do not go to the florist in order to smell sweet! To live is to grow in thyself And gather roses from thine own flower-bed. My being grew and reached the sky, The Pleiads sank to rest under my skirts; Thy being vanishes in the ocean, But on my crest the stars bow their heads. Mine eye sees the mysteries of heaven, Mine ear is familiar with angels' wings. Since I glowed with the heat of un- ceasing toil, 1 amassed rubies, diamonds, and other gems.

I am stone within, and in the stone is fire: Water cannot pass over my fire! Do not break at thine own feet, But endeavour to surge and wrestle with the sea. Desire the water of a jewel, become a jewel! Oh, expand thyself! Move swiftly! Be a cloud that shoots lightning and sheds a flood of rain! Let the ocean sue for thy storms as a beggar, Let it complain of the straitness of thy skirts! Let it deem itself less than a wave And glide along at thy feet! XV Showing that the purpose of the Moslem's life is to exalt the Word of Allah, and that the Jihad war against unbelievers , if it be prompted by land- hunger, is unlawful in the religion of Islam.

The Moslem's nature prevails by means of love : The Moslem, if he be not loving, is an infidel. Upon God depends his seeing and not- seeing, His eating, drinking, and sleeping. His high estate is attested by the Prophet that was sent to men and Jinn By the most truthful of witnesses. Albeit clad in kingly robe, live as a dervish, Live wakeful and meditating on God! Whatever thou doest, let it be thine aim therein to draw nigh to God, That His glory may be made manifest by thee.

If God be not exalted by our swords, War dishonours the people. The holy Sheikh Miyan Mir Waif, 1 By the light of whose soul every hidden thing was revealed His feet were firmly planted on the path of Mohammed, He was a flute for the impassioned music of love. Heaven stooped its brow to his threshold, The Emperor of India was one of his disciples. He went to the Sheikh of heaven-high dignity That he might receive his blessing : The Moslem turns from this world to God And strengthens policy with prayer.

The Sheikh made no answer to the Emperor's speech, The assembly of dervishes was all ears, Until a disciple, in his hand a silver coin, Opened his lips and broke the silence, Saying, "Accept this poor offering from me, O guide of them that have lost the way to God! Though he holds sway over sun, moon, and stars, Our Emperor is the most penniless of mankind. His eye is fixed on the table of strangers, The fire of his hunger hath consumed a whole world.

His sword is followed by famine and plague, His culture lays a wide land waste.

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The folk are crying out because of his indigence, His empty-headedness, and his oppres- sion of the weak. In his self-delusion and ignorance He calls pillage by the name of empire, isso Both the royal troops and those of the enemy Are cloven in twain by the sword of his hunger. The beggar's hunger consumes his own soul, But the sultan's hunger destroys state and religion. Whoso shall draw the sword for any- thing except Allah, His sword is sheathed in his own breast.

Do not abandon Self! Persist therein! Be a drop of water and drink up the ocean! Glowing with the light of Self as thou art, Make Self strong, and thou wilt endure. Thou hast being, and art thou afraid of not-being? Since I am acquainted with the harmony of Life, 1 will tell thee what is the secret of Life- To sink into thyself like the pearl, Then to emerge from thine inward solitude ; To collect sparks beneath the ashes, And become a flame and dazzle men's eyes.

Go, burn the house of forty years' tribulation, Move round thyself! Be a circling flame! Beat thy wings and escape from the attraction of Earth ; Like birds, be safe from falling. Unless thou art a bird, thou wilt do wisely Not to build thy nest on the top of a Hio cave. Fast in the bonds of intellectual proofs, 1 Jaldluddin Rumi.

He unravelled the problems of the Peripatetics, The light of his thought made clear whatever was obscure. Heaps of books lay around and in front of him, U25 And on his lips was the key to all their mysteries.

Shams-i Tabriz, directed by Kamal, 1 Sought his way to the college of Jalaluddin Kumi And cried out, " What is all this noise and babble? Get thee out of my college! This is argument and discussion : what hast thou to do with it? My discourse is beyond thy under- standing, It will not brighten the glass of thy perception. The lightning of his look fell on the earth, And the glow of his breath made the dust spring into flames. The Maulavi, being a stranger to Love's miracles And unversed in Love's harmonies, Cried, "How didst thou kindle this fire, Which hath burned the books of the philosophers?

My state is beyond thy thought, My flame is the Alchemist's elixir. Kindle a fire in thy rubble, Foster a flame in thy earth! When Abraham escaped from the bondage of " that which sets," J He sat unhurt in the midst of flames. Thou art hot in pursuit of antimony, Thou art unaware of the blackness of thine own eye. Seek the Fountain of Life from the sword's edge, And the River of Paradise from the dragon's mouth, Demand the Black Stone from the door of the house of idols, And the musk-deer's bladder from a mad dog, 1 Abraham refused to worship the sun, moon, and stars, saying, " I love not them that set " Koran, ch.

Long have I been running to and fro, Learning the secrets of the New Knowledge : Its gardeners have put me to the trial And have made me intimate with their roses. Tulips, rather, that warn one not to smell them Like paper roses, a mirage of perfume. Since this garden ceased to enthral me, I have nested on the Paradisal tree.

Modern knowledge is the greatest blind- Idol - worshipping, idol - selling, idol - making! Shackled in the prison of phenomena, It has not overleaped the limits of the sensible. Having fire, it is yet cold as the tulip ; Having flame, it is yet cold as hail. Its nature remains untouched by the glow of Love, It is ever engaged in a joyless search.

The whole world bows in adoration to Love, Love is the Mahmud that conquers the Somnath of intellect. Like the reed, thou hast emptied thyself of Self And given thine heart to the music of others. O thou that begg'st morsels from another's table, Wilt thou seek thine own kind in another's shop? The Moslem's feast is burned up by the lamps of strangers, His mosque is consumed by the Christian monastery. We, who keep the gate of the citadel of Islam, Have become unbelievers by neglecting the watchword of Islam. The ancient Saki's bowl is shattered, The wine-party of the Hijaz is broken up. The Ka'ba is filled with our idols, Infidelity mocks at our Islam.

Our Sheikh hath gambled Islam away for love of idols And made a rosary of the zunndr. Day and night they are travelling about with disciples, And ignoring their religious duties. Their eyes are without light, like the narcissus, Their breasts devoid of spiritual wealth. Preachers and Sufis, all worship worldli- ness alike ; The prestige of the pure religion is ruined. Our preacher fixed his eyes on the pagoda And the mufti of the Faith sold his decision. After this, O friends, what are we to do? Our guide turns his face towards the wine-house.

His thought plucked a star from heaven : He named Time " a cutting sword. All its brilliance is derived from Life. Its owner is exalted above hope and fear, His hand is whiter than the hand of Moses. Moses held this sword in his hand, Therefore he wrought more than man may contrive. He clove the Red Sea asunder And made its waters like dry earth. The arm of Ali, the conqueror of Khaibar, Drew its strength from this same sword.


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  5. The revolution of the sky is visible, The change of day and night is perceived. Look, O thou enthralled by Yesterday and To-morrow, Behold another world in thine own heart! Thou wert the Elixir, and thou hast become a peck of dust ; Thou wert born the conscience of Truth, and thou hast become a lie! Art thou a Moslem? Then cast off this girdle! Be a candle to the feast of the religion of the free!

    Knowing not the origin of Time, Thou art ignorant of everlasting Life. How long wilt thou be a thrall of night and day? Learn the mystery of Time from the words " I have a time with God. The cause of Time is not the revolution of the sun : Time is everlasting, but the sun does not last for ever.

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    Time is joy and sorrow, festival and fast; Time is the secret of moonlight and sunlight. Thou hast fled, like a scent, from thine own garden ; Thou hast made thy prison with thine own hand. Our Time, which has neither beginning nor end, Blossoms from the flower-bed of our mind. Oh, the memory of those days when Time's sword Was allied with the strength of our hands! From the jar of Truth we made rosy wine gush forth, We charged against the ancient taverns. O thou in whose cup is old wine, 1 The glorious days when Islam first set out to convert and conquer the world.

    Our cup, too, hath graced the sym- posium ; Our breast hath owned a spirit.

    The Secrets of the Self: A Philosophical Poem 1944

    A new age hath been endued with our beauty And hath risen from the dust of our feet. Our blood hath watered God's harvest, All worshippers of God are our debtors. The takbir was our gift to the world, 1 Ka'bas were built of our clay. Although crown and signet have passed from us, 1 The takbir is the cry " AUah akbar" "Allah is most great. We have honour from "There is no god but Allah," We are the preservers of the universe. Freed from the vexation of to-day and to-morrow, We have pledged ourselves to love I6io One.

    We are the conscience hidden in God's heart, We are the heirs of Moses and Aaron. At this level the self is just conscious of its own self. This "I am ness" marks the first awakening of the self. The self cannot think beyond itself until and unless the physiological needs are satisfied. The other level of "the self and the other" can be linked to psychological and social needs.

    After the station of the biological or physiological needs, the self yearns for security and stability. Here, at this level, the self is able to recognize the other that is to see oneself in the light of the other. When physiological and safety needs are fairly satisfied as Maslow suggests, "People have belongingness and love needs--they feel the need that they belong somewhere instead of being transient or newcomers--" Hall Relatedness is a need of belongingness, which starts from our natural ties with our mother and reaches to universal comradeship with all human beings.