Sunday, September 24, 2006

Why the Dervish Hides Himself

Rumi’s son asked him:

‘How and why is the dervish hidden? Is this done by superficial disguise? Is there something within himself which he conceals?’

The Master said:

‘It might be done in any way. Some write love-poems, and people think that they mean ordinary love. The dervish may hide his true position in the Way by adopting a calling. There are writers; and some, like Baba Farid, are traders. Still others follow various different outer activities.

‘This may be done for the sake of defence against the shallow. Some purposely act in a manner which society might disapprove.

‘The Prophet has therefore said: “God has hidden the Men of Greatest Knowledge.”

‘A device may be adopted by the Followers of the Way to gain peace, when they might otherwise be hindered.’

The master then recited:

Ever-knowing – as they hide and seek.
Appearing other than they are – to the ordinary man;
In inward light they roam – making miracles come to pass.
Yet they are really known – to none.

Munaqib el-Arifin

From: The Way of the Sufi, by Idries Shah.

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