Thursday, May 26, 2011

Seventy Thousand Veils

The excerpt below is a version of the doctrine of the seventy thousand veils as explained by a modern Rifa'i dervish (taken from R.A. Nicholson's The Mystics of Islam). Beautiful. Just beautiful. Sad too, yes?

Seventy Thousand Veils separate Allah, the One Reality, from the world of matter and of sense. And every soul passes before his birth though these seventy thousand. The inner half of these are veils of light: the outer half, veils of darkness. For every one of the veils of light passed through, in this journey towards birth, the soul puts off a divine quality: and for every one of the dark veils, it puts on an earthly quality. Thus the child is born weeping, for the soul knows its separation from Allah, the One Reality. And when the child cries in its sleep, it is because the soul remembers something of what it has lost. Otherwise, the passage through the veils has brought with it forgetfulness (nisyan): and for this reason man is called insan. He is now, as it were, in prison in his body, separated by these thick curtains from Allah.

0 poetic mutterings: