Azizuddin Nasafi – From ‘The Book Of The Perfect Man’: About The Stages On The Path
‘The Journey within’, artwork by Nalan
Another sharing for the day from the Blue House of Via-HYGEIA, excerpted from Azizuddin Nasafi’s ‘Book of the way-stations of the Traveler’, page 354 to 356, published within ‘The book of the Perfect Man’, Fayard, Paris, 1984. Our English translation comes from Isabelle de Gastine’s French translation of the original Persian.
‘Having learned what is the pilgrim, his aim and his supreme desire, know now that the dervishes asked me: ‘What is the Path? How many stages are they within?’
O dervish! If one asks about the stages of the journey towards God, know that there are none; not even one! What am I saying? That there is even no path!
O dervish! From you to God, there is no path, let it be in the longitude sense or in the latitude sense. There is only a point. It is to the man with the right attitude that the knowledge of God is given by one word of the wise; and here it is: ‘God’s path is complete.’
O dervish! From you to God there is no path. And if there were one, you are this very path. Rub off your very self, so that you may abolish the distance. Know with certitude that being is to God alone.
‘Have one foot on your ego and the other on the street of the Friend; in everything see the Friend- What else do you need!’
As about the stages where the pilgrims pause and what are their corresponding faith, i will recall them because knowing them is a great benefit.
O dervish! Even though there is in the world diverse religions and scattered beliefs, all of them hold in ten levels. We will expose in details these ten levels. The knowledge of them is of a great benefit.
It is for the pilgrim like the providence of God in the journey within Him. It is for the wise, what is within the teaching and education of the disciples, the mean to know the defects of each of them and to cure them rightfully. However, listening well isn’t enough, because from listening to knowing, the journey is long. At each stage, the pilgrim pauses, so to truly know the harmony and disharmony of each very stage; and from there onwards, so to continue the progression.
O dervish! Humans make a huge mistake: Everything they hear, they imagine they know it; and when they repeat it, they imagine they accomplish it. From all of these stages, there is a way to God. From whatever stage the pilgrim departs- if he is accomplishing the pilgrimage according to the rules-he achieves his goal. None of these stages is before or after one another and it doesn’t matter in which stage the path unfolds, because all human beings are imitators. What they hear, they believe. All day, they are in conflict between each other, each claiming to hold truth alone.
The pilgrim who fulfills the pilgrimage, who gathers divine knowledge, belongs to none of these stages- He has reached the goal. This one is in peace with everybody. The pilgrim, once he has reached the goal, knows which of these stages are remote, which are close and which are at the goal itself. The knowledge of God, know this well, is recognizable with numerous signs. Here speech is worthless. It is the act of deciphering the symbols that matters.
For the pilgrim that reaches God and knows God, the journey towards God is over. This one, at first, is in peace with all the creatures of the world. For the one that after having known God knows and sees reality and the wisdom of this reality, the journey within God is over. He knows everything and there is nothing to know more. The Prophet (Peace be with him) truly has reached God, has known God- He was praying with these words: ‘God! Show us things the way they are!’.
So, the pilgrims, at each stage, talk according to one law and one rule.
O dervish! Among hundred thousand pilgrims that set on the journey alongside the path, only one reaches God, knows God. Among hundred thousand pilgrims that reaches God, know God, only one reaches the point where he knows and sees the reality of things and the wisdom of this reality. All the others are still on their way.
O dervish! You ought to be of a high moral strength, and as long that you are alive, be busy, because the science and wisdom of God are unlimited!
If the pilgrim is truly insightful and with understanding, devoted and gleaming love, sincerity, consistency, loyalty, openness, watchfulness and discretion- for this one, the ten stages are gathered: ‘My success only depends on Him, I give myself to Him and put myself in His mercy.’’
of some of the treatises
of the ‘Book of the Perfect Man’
in a translation by Lloyd Ridgeon