Beyond the Veil

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

“If any one were to say to the embryo in the womb:

‘Outside is a world well-ordered,
A pleasant earth, broad and long,
Wherein are a thousand delights
And many things to eat.
Mountains and seas and plains, fragrant orchards,
Gardens and sown fields.
A sky very lofty and full of light, sunshine
And moonbeams and innumerable stars.
Its wonders are beyond description:
Why do you stay, drinking blood,
In this dungeon of filth and pain?’

The embryo, being what it is,
Would turn away in utter disbelief,
For the blind have no imagination.

So when the saints tell of a world without smell or colour,
None of the vulgar hearkens to them:
Sensual desire is a barrier huge and stout –
Even as the embryo’s craving for the blood that nourishes it in its low abodes
Debarred it from the perception of the external world,
Since it knows no food but blood.”

Mawlana Jalal ad-Din ar-Rumi (q.s.)


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