Your eyes are veiled with far too many veils. Each thing you look upon is but a veil.

Your lips are sealed with far too many seals. Each word you utter forth is but a seal.

For things, whatever be their form and kind, are only veils and swaddling-bands where with Life is enswaddled and enveiled. How can your eye, which is itself a veil and a swaddling-band, lead you to aught but swaddling-bands and veils? How can your lip, which is itself a seal, give utterance to aught but seals?

The eye can veil, but cannot pierce the veils.

The lip can seal, but cannot break the seals.

Demand no more of either one of them. That is their portion of the body’s labours; and they perform it well. By drawing veils, and by setting seals they call aloud to you to come and seek what is behind the veils, and to pry out what is beneath the seals.

To pierce the veils you need an eye other than that shaded with lash, lid and brow.

To break the seals, you need a lip other than the familiar piece of flesh beneath your nose.

First see the eye itself aright, if you would see the other things aright. Not with the eye, but through it you must look that you may see all things beyond it.

Speak first the lip and tongue aright, if you would speak the other words aright. Not with the lip and tongue, but through them must you speak that you may speak all words beyond them.

 

Did you but see and speak aright, you should see nothing but yourselves and utter nothing but yourselves. For in all things and beyond all things, as in all words and beyond all words, are you – the seer and speaker.

 

If, then, your world be such a baffling riddle, it is because you are that baffling riddle. And if your speech be such a woeful maze, it is because you are that woeful maze.

Let things alone and do not labour to change them. For they seem what they seem only because you seem what you seem. They neither see nor speak except you lend them sight and speech. If they be harsh of speech, look only to your tongue. If they be ugly of appearance, search first and last your eye.

 

Ask not of things to shed their veils. Unveil yourselves, and things will be unveiled. Nor ask of things to break their seals. Unseal yourselves and all will be unsealed.

The key to self-unveiling and self-unsealing is a word which you forever hold between your lips. Of words it is the slightest and the greatest. Mirdad has called it THE CREATIVE WORD.

When you say I, forthwith say with your heart, ‘God be my refuge from the woes of I and be my guide unto the bliss of I.’ For in that word, albeit so very slight, is locked the soul of every other word. Unlock it once, and fragrant is your mouth, and sweet the tongue therein; each word of it shall drip with Life’s delights. Let it remain locked up, and foul is the mouth, and bitter is the tongue; from every word of it shall ooze the pus of death.

For I … is the Creative Word. And save you grasp thereof the magic power; and save you be of that power the masters, you are too apt to groan when you would sing; or be at war, when you would be at peace; or cringe in gaols dark when you would soar in light.

Your I is but your consciousness of being, silent and incorporeal, made vocal and corporeal. It is the inaudible in you made audible, and the invisible made visible; that, seeing, you may see the unseeable; and hearing, you may hear the unhearable. For eye- and ear-bound yet are you. And save you see with eyes. and save you hear with ears, you see and hear nothing at all.

 

By merely thinking I you cause a sea of thoughts to heave within your heads. That sea is the creation of your I which is at once the thinker and the thought. If you have thoughts that sting, or stab, or claw, know that the I in you alone endowed them with sting and tusk and claw.

 

Mirdad would have you know as well that that which can endow can also disendow.

By merely feeling I you tap a well of feelings in your hearts. That well is the creation of your I which is at once the feeler and the felt. If there be briars in your hearts, know that the I in you alone has rooted them therein.

 

Mirdad would have you know that that which can so readily root in, the same can as readily root out.

 

By merely saying I you bring to life a mighty host of words; each word a symbol of a thing; each thing a symbol of a world; each world a part component of a universe. That universe is the creation of your I which is at once the maker and the made. If there be some hobgoblins in your universe, know that the I in you alone has brought them into being.

 

Mirdad would have you know as well that that which can create can also uncreate.

As the creator, so is the creation. Can anyone overcreate himself? Or anyone undercreate himself? Himself alone – no more, no less – does the creator procreate.

A fountainhead is I whence flow all things and whither they return. As is the fountainhead, so also is the flow.

 

A magic wand is I. Yet can the wand give birth to naught save what’s in the magician. As is the magician, so are the products of his wand.

 

As is your consciousness, therefore, so is your I. As is your I, so is your world. If it be clear and definite of meaning, your world is clear and definite of meaning; and then your words should never be a maze; nor should your deeds be ever nests of pain. If it be hazy and uncertain, your world is hazy and uncertain; and then your words are but entanglements; and then your deeds are hatcheries of pain.

 

If it be constant and enduring, your world is constant and enduring; then you are mightier than Time, and much more spacious than the Space. If it be passing and inconstant, your world is passing and inconstant; and then you are a wisp of smoke breathed upon lightly by the sun.

 

If it be one, your world is one; then you are at everlasting peace with all the hosts of heaven and the tenants of the Earth. If it be many, your world is many; and then you are at an unending war with your very self and every creature in God’s incompassable domain.

 

I is the centre of your life whence radiate all things that make the total of your world, and whereunto they converge. If it be steady, your world is steady: then no powers above, and no powers below can sway you right or left. If it be shifting, your world is shifting; and then you are a helpless leaf caught in an angry whirl of wind.

 

And lo! Your world is steady, to be sure; but only in unsteadiness. And certain is your world, but only in uncertainty. And constant is your world, but only in inconstancy. And single is your world, but only in unsingleness.

Yours is a world of cradles turning into tombs, and tombs becoming cradles; of days devouring nights, and nights regurgitating days; of peace declaring war and war suing for peace; of smiles afloat on tears, and tears aglow wih smiles.

Yours is a world in constant travail, with Death as the midwife.

Yours is a world of sieves and cribbles, with no two sieves and cribbles alike. And you are ever at pains sifting the unsiftable and cribbling the uncribbable.

Yours is a world divided ‘gainst itself, because the I in you is so divided.

Yours is a world of barriers and fences, because the I in you is one of barriers and fences. Some things it would fence out as alien to itself. Some things it would fence in as kindred to itself. Yet that outside the fence is ever breaking in; and that within the fence is ever breaking out. For they, being offspring of the same mother – even your I – would not be set apart.

And you, rather than joy in their happy union, begird yourselves anew for the fruitless labour of separating the unseparable. Rather than bind the cleavage of your I, you whittle away your life hoping to make thereof a wedge to drive between what you believe to be your I and what you imagine to be other than your I.

Therefore are men’s words dipped in poison. Therefore are their days so drunken with sorrow. Therefore are their nights so tortured with pain.

Mirdad … would bind the cleavage in your I so that you may live at peace with yourselves – with all men – with the universe entire.

Mirdad would draw the poison from your I that you may taste the sweetness of Understanding.

Mirdad would teach you how to weigh your I so as to know the joy of PERFECT BALANCE.

Though each of you be centred in his I, yet you are all encentred in one I – even the single I of God.

God’s I … Is God’s eternal, only word. In it is God – The Consciousness Supreme – made manifest. Without it He would be a silence absolute. By it is the Creator self-created. By it is the Formless One made to take on a multiplicity of forms through which the creatures shall pass through again to formlessness.

To feel Himself; to think Himself; to speak Himself God need not utter more than I. Therefore is I His only word. Therefore it is THE WORD.

When God says I, nothing is left unsaid. Worlds seen and worlds unseen; things born and awaiting birth; time rolling by and time as yet to roll – all, all, excepting not a grain of sand, are uttered forth and pressed into that Word. By it all things were made. Through it are all sustained.

Except it have meaning, a word is but an echo in the void.

Except its meaning be forever one, it is but cancer in the throat and pimples on the tongue.

God’s Word is not an echo in the void, nor a cancer in the throat, not pimples on the tongue except for those devoid of Understanding. For Understanding is the Spirit Holy that vivifies the Word and binds it unto Consciousness. It is the rider-beam of the balance Eternal whose two pans are The Primal Consciousness and The Word.

The Primal Consciousness – The Word – The Spirit of Understanding – behold … The TRINITY OF BEING, the Three which are One, the One which is Three, co-equal, co-extensive, co-eternal; self-balancing, self-knowing, self-fulfilling, Never increasing, nor decreasing. Ever at peace. Ever the same. That is … THE PERFECT BALANCE.

Man names it God, although it is too wondrous to be named. Yet holy is this name, and holy is the tongue that keeps it holy.

Now, what is Man if not an offspring of this God? Can Man be different from God? Is not the oak enswathed within the acorn? Is not God wrapt in Man?

Man, too, therefore, is such a holy triune; a consciousness, a word, and understanding. Man, too, is a creator like his God. His I is his creation. Why is he not so balanced as his God?

Man is a god in swaddling-bands. Time is a swaddling-band. Space is a swaddling-band. Flesh is a swaddling-band, and likewise all the senses and things perceivable therewith. The mother knows too well that the swaddling-bands are not the babe. The babe, however, knows it not.

Man is too conscious yet of his swaddles which change from day to day and from age to age. Hence is his consciousness ever in flux; and hence his word which is his conciousness expressed is never clear and definite of meaning; and hence his understanding is in fog; and hence his life is out of balance. It is confusion thrice confounded.

And so Man pleads for help. His agonised cries reverberate throughout the aeons. The air is heavy with his moans. The sea is salty with his tears. The earth is furrowed with his tombs. The heavens are deafened with his prayers. And all because he knows not yet the meaning of his I which is to him the swaddling-bands as well as the babe therein enswaddled.

In saying I Man cleaves the Word in twain; his swaddling-bands, the one; God’s deathless self, the other. Does Man in truth divide the Indivisible? God forbid. The Indivisible no power can divide – not even God’s. Man’s immaturity imagines the division. And Man, the infant, girds himself for battle and wages war upon the infinite All-Self believing it to be the enemy of his being.

In this unequal fight Man tears his flesh to shreds, and spills his blood in streams. While God, the Father-Mother, lovingly looks on. For He knows well that Man is tearing but the heavy veils, and spilling but the bitter gall that blind him to his oneness with the One.

That is Man’s destiny – to fight and bleed and faint, and in the end to wake and bind the cleavage in the I with his own flesh and to seal it with his blood.

Therefore … You have been cautioned – and very wisely cautioned – to be chary in the use of I. For so long as you mean thereby the swaddling-bands and not the babe alone; so long as it is for you a cribble rather than a crucible, just so long will you be cribbling vanity, only to gather Death with all his brood of agonies and pains.

A CRUCIBLE is the Word of God. What it creates it melts and fuses into one, accepting none as worthy, rejecting none as worthless. Having the Spirit of Understanding, it knows full well that its creation and itself are one; that to reject a part is to reject the whole; and to reject the whole is to reject itself. Therefore is it forever one of purpose and purport.

Whereas a cribble is Man’s word. What it creates it sets at grips and blows. It is forever picking this as friend and casting that away as enemy. And but too oft its friend of yesterday becomes the enemy of today; the enemy of today, the friend of tomorrow.

Thus rages on the cruel and fruitless war of Man against himself. And all because Man lacks the Holy Spirit the which alone can make him understand that he and his creation are but one; that to cast out the foe is to cast out the friend. For both words “foe” and “friend” are the creation of his word – his I.

What you dislike and cast away as evil is surely liked and picked up by someone, or something else as good. Can one thing be at once two self-excluding things? Neither is it the one, nor the other, excepting that your I has made it evil; another I has made it good.

Did I not say that which can create can also uncreate? As you create an enemy so can you uncreate him, or re-create him as a friend. For that your I must needs be a crucible. For that you need the Spirit of Understanding.

Therefore I say to you that if you pray for anything at all, pray first and last for Understanding.

Never be cribbler, my companions. For the Word of God is Life, and Life is a crucible wherein all is made a oneness indivisible; all is at perfect equilibrium, and all is worthy of its author – The Holy Trinity. How much more worthy must it be of you?

Never be cribblers, my companions, and you shall stand in statures so immense, so all-pervading and so all-embracing, that no cribbles can be found to contain you.

Never be cribblers, my companions. Seek first the knowledge of The Word that you may know your own word. And when you know your own word, you shall consign your cribbles to the fire. For your word and God’s are one except that yours is still in veils.

Mirdad would have you cast away the veils.

God’s Word is Time untimed, and Space unspaced. Was there a time when you were not with God? Why chain you, then, eternity with hours and with seasons? And why corral the Space in inches and in miles?

God’s Word is Life unborn, therefore, undying. Wherefore is yours beset with birth and death? Are you not living by God’s life aone? And can the Deathless be the source of Death?

God’s word is all-inclusive. Nor barriers nor fences are therein. Wherefore is yours so rent with fence and barrier?

I say to you, your very flesh and bone are not the bone and flesh of you alone. Innumerable are the hands that dip with you in the same fleshpots of earth and sky whence come your bone and flesh and whither they return.

Nor is the light in your eyes the light of you alone. It is as well the light of all that share the Sun with you. What could your eye behold of me were it not for the light in me? It is my light that sees me in your eye. It is your light that sees you in my eye. Were I a total darkness your eye, looking at me, would be a total darkness.

Nor is the breath within your breast the breath of you alone. All those that breathe, or ever breathed the air are breathing in your breast. Is it not Adam’s breath that still inflates your lungs? Is it not Adam’s heart that is still beating in your hearts?

Nor are your thoughts the thoughts of you alone. The sea of common thought does claim them as her own; and so do all the thinking beings who share that sea with you.

Nor are your dreams the dreams of you alone. The universe entire is dreaming in your dreams.

 

Nor is your house the house of you alone. It is as well the dwelling of your guest, and of the fly, the mouse, the cat and all the creatures that share the house with you.

Beware, therefore, of fences. You but fence in Deception and fence out Truth. And when you turn about to see yourselves within the fence, you find you face to face with Death which is Deception by another name.

Inseparable … is Man from God; therefore, inseparable from his fellow-men and all the creatures that issue from The Word.

 

The Word is the ocean; you, the clouds. And is cloud a cloud save for the ocean it contains? Yet, foolish indeed, is the cloud that would waste away its life striving to pin itself in space so as to keep its shape and its identity for ever. What would it reap of its so foolish striving but disappointed hopes and bitter vanity? Except it lose itself, it cannot find itself. Except it die and vanish as a cloud, it cannot find the ocean in itself which is its only self.

A God-bearing cloud is Man. Save he be emptied of himself, he cannot find himself. Ah! The joy of being empty!

Again I say to you, Pray for Understanding. When Holy Understanding finds your hearts, there shall be naught in God’s immensity that shall not ring to you a glad response each time you utter I.

And then shall Death himself be but a weapon in your hands wherewith to vanquish Death. And then shall Life bestow upon your hearts the key into her boundless heart. That is the golden key of Love.

Can you … count your servants?

Is there an eagle or a falcon; is there a cedar or an oak; is there a mountain or a star; is there an ocean or a lake; is there an angel or a king that do not serve (you)? Is not the whole world in (your) service?

Can you … count your masters?

Is there a beetle or a flea; is there a owl or a sparrow; is there a thistle or a twig; is there a pebble or a shell; is there a dewdrop or a pond; is there a beggar or a thief that are not served by (you)? (Are not you) in the world’s service? For in doing its work the world does yours also. And in doing your work you do the world’s work too.

Aye, the head is master of the belly. But no less is the belly master of the head.

Nothing can serve save it be served by serving. And nothing can be served except it serve the serving.

I say to you … and to all, The servant is the master’s master. The master is the servant’s servant. Let not the servant bow his head. Let not the master raise it high. Crush out the deadly master’s pride. Root out the shameful servant’s shame.

Remember that the Word is one. And you, as syllables in The Word, are in reality but one. No syllable is nobler than the other, nor more essential than the other. The many syllables are but a single syllable – even The Word. Such monosyllables must you becomei f you would know the passing ecstasy of that unutterable Self-Love which is a love for all – for everything.

 

Not as a master to his servant, nor as a servant to his master do I now speak to you … ; but as a brother to his brother. Wherefore are you so troubled by my words?

Deny me if you will. I will deny you not. Did I not say a while since that the flesh upon my back was no other than that upon your back? I would not stab you lest I bleed. So sheathe your tongue, if you would spare your blood. Unlock your heart to me if you would have it locked against all pain.

Better by far to be without a tongue than to have one whose words are snares and briars. And words shall always wound and snare until the tongue be cleansed by Holy Understanding.

 

I bid you search your hearts … I bid you tear all barriers therein. I bid you cast away the swaddling-bands wherewith your I is still enswaddled that you may see it as one with The Word of God, eternally at peace with itself and with all the worlds that issue out of it.

 

Book of Mirdad by Mikhail Naimy

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