‘Serving the Tree’, artwork by Nalan Özkan Lecerf
With today’s sharing from the Blue House of Via-HYGEIA we inaugurate a cycle of texts by Azizuddin Nasafi that we are very fond of and whose inspirational work we met providentially years ago when we started working together in Istanbul. This text and all coming texts are excerpted from ‘The book of the Perfect Man‘, Fayard, Paris, 1984. Our Via-HYGEIA English translation comes from Isabelle de Gastine’s French translation of the original Persian.
From ‘The book of the Perfect Man’:
‘Book of the way-stations of the Traveler ‘,
page 345 to 347
‘The dervishes – May God increase their numbers– asked to my frail person to explain to them how the ‘Witnesses of the Oneness’ explain the World; what are, according to them, the superior and inferior worlds; the first sky and the seventh …’My success only depends on God. I surrender to him; I leave all up to him‘…
That all beings form a one and only tree.
Know-may you be blessed in the two worlds-that for the ‘Witnesses of the Oneness’, all beings form a one and only tree. The primal sphere, or Sphere of all spheres, that is simple and without any spoor, is the ground of this tree. The second sphere, or sphere of the motionless, is the root of this tree. The seven heavens, which are all a planet, constitute the trunk of this tree. Saturn is at the first heaven; the moon, at the seventh. Saturn is the farthest from us. What is the closest to us is more elevated in hierarchy. The four elements and the 4 natures or temperaments constitute the branches of this tree. The mineral, plant and animal realm are its leaves, flowers and fruits. Now that you know the degrees of this tree, learn that the fruits are at the top, they are the substrate, the quintessence of the tree; they are more noble and more subtle that the tree itself. Hence, everything close to the fruit is more elevated, subtle and noble.
Therefore, the spheres and the planets, that are the ground, the root and the trunk of the tree, constitute the inferior world. The elements, the natures or temperament, the mineral, plant and animal realm, that are the branches, the leaves, the flowers and the fruits of the tree, constitute the superior world. Hence it has been said that the spheres, the planets, the elements and the natures or temperaments, are the ‘Preserved Tablet’ (Al-Lawh al-Mahfoûdh), the divine Book. Everything that is written in the Book of God manifests itself here under: ‘There is nothing green or dry that is not mentioned in the explicit book’ (Qu’ran, VI-59). In the same way, everything that appears on the tree is written in the root and the branches.
O dervish! ‘The people of the Oneness’ say that the degrees of this tree were and will always be complete. But some degrees are so that they don’t leave the form they have and will not take another. These degrees are from the inferior world, which is composed of the spheres and the stars. They are the root and the trunk of the tree. It must be so, because the root and the trunk don’t leave their form for another. Other degrees are so that they abandon their form and don’t take another. These degrees are of the superior world. Which is composed by the mineral, plant and animal realm. They are the leaves, the flowers and the fruits of this tree. It must be so, because the leaves, the flowers and the fruits are not always on the tree in the same state. Some fruits fall at blossoming; other, when they are still green; others when ripe. Then, again, leaves, flowers and fruits all appear, grow, ripe and fall. The more the tree grows and is elevating in degrees, the more it becomes subtle and thin. For the same reason, the tree becomes vulnerable; it shivers from one side to the other, contrary to the root, to the trunk and to the main branches.
Everything about the tree – root, trunk, branches, leaves, flowers and fruits – proceed from the tree itself. The tree is its own provider and gardener, its ground, water, air, sun, shadow and life. The tree has all in itself and for itself. The tree is all; all is this tree.’
of some of the treatises
of the ‘Book of the Perfect Man’
in a translation by Lloyd Ridgeon