An old woman went one day to Abu Ali and offered him a leaf of gold paper.

“Accept this, O Shaykh,” she said, “at my hands.”

“I have taken a vow not to accept anything from anyone save Allah,” replied the holy man.

“Where hast thou learnt to see double?” at once retorted the woman. “Thou art not a man on this path with power to unite or disunite. If you see many objects, are you not squint-eyed? The eye of man does not regard anything as alien in this path. There is neither Ka‘bah here nor Pagoda. One ought never to see any other than the Infinite Being and ought not to recognize any one except Him as permanent. One is in Him, by Him, and with Him, and, how strange, one is also away from these three points of contact! Whoever is not lost in the ocean of unity, were he Adam himself, is not a man. Whether one belongs to the good or the wicked, one always possesses the sun of grace within the pale of the invisible world. At last a day will dawn when that sun will take you with him and throw aside the veil which covers it. Know, then, for certain that whoever has found this sun sees neither good nor evil. So long as thou existeth individually, good and evil will exist for thee, but when thou hast merged thyself in the sunlight of the divine essence, all will be love. If thou laggest behind in thy individual existence, thou wilt see a good deal of good and a good deal of evil on the weary road of thy existence. Thou wilt be a slave to individuality so long as thy eyes rest on nothingness, so long as thou hast not been blest with the vision beatific. Would to God thou wert now what thou wast before, devoid of existence as an individual. Wash thyself clean of evil qualities; then go to the earth with the wind in thy hand. Little doth thou know what filth and impurity there is in your body. The serpent and the scorpion are within thee, behind the veil; they are asleep and apparently dead, but touch them ever so lightly and each one of them will exhibit the strength of a hundred dragons. For each of us there is a hell full of serpents. If thou art inactive, they are horribly active. If thou art armed against these unclean beasts and come out victorious in thy struggle with them, thou wilt sleep peacefully on the earth; otherwise these snakes and scorpions will bite thee violently, even under the dust of the grave, until the day of Judgment.”*

Let us turn once more to the mysterious Valley of Unity. When the spiritual pilgrim enters this valley, he will be lost, because the Real Being will become manifest. He will remain silent because the Real Being will speak. His self being obliterated, he will be unable to understand who he is and where he is. What was but a part becomes the whole, or rather it becomes neither part nor whole. It becomes a figure without body or soul. Out of every four things, four things will come forth; and out of every hundred thousand, a hundred thousand. In the school of this wonderful secret you will see thousands of intellects with lips parched for lack of speech. What is reason here? It stands still on the threshold of the gate like an infant born blind and deaf-mute. He who has learnt a little of this secret turns away from the two worlds, but although he does not exist as an individual being, he still exists. Existence or no existence, this man still survives.* Give up, then, the thought of separation. Lose the thought of being lost. Then wilt thou attain unity.