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4-3218 Strive for selflessness, find your true self as soon as possible — and God

knows best which course is right.

Powerlessness on a spiritual level588. [2.4.1]

3-3280 Power is not suitable for everyone: self-abasement is the best stock-in-trade for
the devout.”

3-3281 For this reason poverty is everlasting glory, since the hand that cannot reach
the objects of desire is left with devotion to God589 and nothing else.

3-3282 Riches and the rich are spurned by God because power relinquishes acts of
self-denial.

3-3283 Self-abasement and poverty are a security for a man against the suffering of the
covetous and anxious fleshly soul (nafs).

3-3297 All debauched drunkards become devout, ascetic and invokers of God when
they are in prison.

3-3260 Whatever becomes lost to you by Divine destiny, know for sure that it has
saved you from affliction.

3-3265 For that God-sent suffering keeps off great sufferings, and that loss prevents
huge losses.

Allegory. [2.4.1]
Poem:
“While passing through this world you will meet many pick-pockets”.
“Happy are those who have nothing in their pockets”
(i.e. who are not attached to anything). [2.4.1]
5-2361 There was a water carrier590 who owned an ass that had been bent double like a
hoop by affliction.

5-2362 Its back was chafed in a hundred places by the heavy load: it passionately
desired the day of its death.

5-2364 The Master of the royal stable saw it and took pity – for the man knew the
owner of the ass –

5-2365 So he greeted him and asked him what had happened, saying, “Why is this ass
bent double like a dāl?”591

588
Qur’ān 96:6 and 7.
589
“Devotion to God”: in the Persian text the word taqwā is used. Taqwā is often translated as “piety” or “fear of
God”, but in reality, it denotes an inner attitude of devotion to God and seeking the pleasure of God, not out of
fear, nor out of desire for the rewards of Paradise, but merely out of selfless love.
590
Apparently he, or rather his ass, carried firewood too (Nich.).

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