Chapter 9: A Wedding and a Wake
For the wise man
evil and good
are both exceeding good.
No evil ever comes from God;
whenever you think to see
evil proceeding from him,
you were better to look on it
I’m afraid that on the way of faith,
you are like a squinter seeing double,
or a fool quarreling with the shape of a camel.
If he gives you poison, deem it honey;
and if he shows you anger, deem it mercy.
Be contented with your lot;
but if you have any complaints,
go and take them to the Cadi,
and obtain satisfaction from him.
- That’s how the fool’s mind works!
Whatever befalls you,
misfortune or fortune,
is unalloyed blessing;
the attendant evil
a fleeing shadow.
“Good’” and “evil” have no meaning
in the world of the Word:
they are mere names, coined
in the world of “me” and “you.”
Your life is just a morsel in his mouth;
his feast is both a wedding and a wake.
Why should darkness grieve the heart?
- for night is pregnant with new day.
You say you’ve unrolled the carpet of time,
step then beyond life itself and reason,
till you arrive at God’s command.
You cannot see anything, being blind by night,
and by day one-eyed with your foolish wisdom!
What is wisdom? It certainly is not knowledge. Knowledge is a pretender, it is a false coin. It looks like wisdom and because it looks like wisdom it is very dangerous. One can be easily deceived by it.
Knowledge comes from without, wisdom arises within. Knowledge is a commodity, you can purchase it in the marketplace; it is sold, it is bought. Wisdom is not a commodity, you have to risk your life to find it. It is not a bargain, it is gambling.
Knowledge consists of all that you have known in the past. Wisdom has nothing to do with the past at all, it is of the present. It has nothing to do with the past and it has nothing to do with the future either because the future is nothing but a projection of the past - modified, decorated here and there, a little bit changed, polished, painted, but it is the same old thing, renovated.
Knowledge exists in time. Time consists of the past and the future. Wisdom knows nothing of time, wisdom only knows of eternity. Eternity consists only of now, this moment, the present. Eternity does not come, does not go, it is always here.
Wisdom brings peace, knowledge brings anxiety. Howsoever alike they appear, they are diametrically opposite. Wisdom brings contentment, utter contentment. Knowledge brings more and more discontent, because mind exists only in the desire for more. Mind is nothing but another name for the desire of getting more and more and more. It is a constant hankering for more. If you have money, it desires more money; if you have power, it desires more power; if you have knowledge, it desires more knowledge. It is the same process. Objects differ but the process remains the same.