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STORY IV. The Falcon and the Owls.
A certain falcon lost his way, and found himself in the waste places inhabited
by owls. The owls suspected that he had come to seize their nests, and all
surrounded him to make an end of him. The falcon assured them that he had no
such design as they imputed to him, that his abode was on the wrist of the
king, and that he did not envy their foul habitation. The owls replied that he
was trying to deceive them, inasmuch as such a strange bird as he could not be
a favorite of the king. The falcon repeated that he was indeed a favorite of
the king, and that the king would assuredly destroy their houses if they
injured him, and proceeded to give them some good advice on the folly of
trusting to outward appearances. He said, "It is true I am not homogeneous
with the king, but yet the king's light is reflected in me, as water becomes
homogeneous with earth in plants. I am, as it were, the dust beneath the king's
feet; and if you become like me in this respect, you will be exalted as I am.
Copy the outward form you behold in me, and perchance you will reach the real
substance of the king."
The right use of forms.
That my outward form may not mislead you,
Digest my sweet advice before copying me.
Many are they who have been captured by form,
Who aimed at form, and found Allah.
After all, soul is linked to body,
Though it in nowise resembles the body.
The power of the light of the eye is mated with fat,
The light of the heart is hidden in a drop of blood.
Joy harbors in the kidneys and pain in the liver,
The lamp of reason in the brains of the head;
Smell in the nostrils and speech in the tongue,
Concupiscence in the flesh and courage in the heart.
These connections are not without a why and a how,
But reason is at a loss to understand the how.
Universal Soul had connection with Partial Soul, 1
Which thence conceived a pearl and retained it in its bosom.
From that connection, like Mary,
Soul became pregnant of a fair Messiah;
Not that Messiah who walked upon earth and water,
But that Messiah who is higher than space. 2
Next, as Soul became pregnant by the Soul of souls,
So by the former Soul did the world become pregnant;
Then the World brought forth another world,
And of this last are brought forth other worlds.
Should I reckon them in my speech till the last day
I should fail to tell the total of these resurrections. 3