from Hafiz: The
Mystic Poets Series
"A Short Introduction to Hafiz's
Mysticism," pgs. 36-37.
to the great sect from which so many of the most famous among Persian writers
have sprung. Like Saadi and Jámí and Jalal ad-Dín-Rúmí and
a score of others, he was a Sufi.
keynote of Sufism is the union, the identification of God
and humanity. Numberless beautiful images are used to describe
this union. Rúmí: “There came one and
knocked at the door of the Beloved. And a voice answered
and said, ‘Who is there?’ The lover replied, ‘It
is I.’ ‘Go hence,’ returned the voice; ‘there
is no room within for thee and me.’ Then came the
lover a second time and knocked and again the voice demanded, ‘Who
is there?’ He answered, ‘It is thou.’ ‘Enter,’ said
the voice, ‘for I am within.’
is a doctrine which lies at the root of all spiritual religions,
but pushed too
far it leads to pantheism, quietism, and eventually to
nihilism. The highest good to which the Sufis can attain
is the annihilation of the actual--to forget that they
have a separate existence, and to lose themselves in the
Divinity as a drop of water is lost in the ocean.
order to obtain this end, they
recommend ascetic living and solitude; but
they do not carry asceticism to the absurd extremes enjoined
by the Indian mystics, nor do they approve of artificial
aids for the subduing of consciousness, such as opium,
or hashish, or the wild physical exertions of the dancing
dervishes. The drunkenness of the Sufi poets, say their
interpreters, is nothing but an ecstatic frame of mind,
in which the spirit is intoxicated with the contemplation
of God just as the body is intoxicated with wine.
to the Dabistan, there are four stages in the manifestation
of the Divinity: in the first the mystic sees God in the
form of a corporal being; in the second he sees him in
the form of one of his attributes of action, as the maker
or the preserver of the world; in the third he appears
in the form of an attribute which exists in his very essence,
as knowledge or life; in the fourth the mystic is no longer
conscious of his own existence. To the last he can hope
to attain but seldom.
The Mystic Poets, trans. Gertrude Bell, preface
by Ibrahim Gamard (Woodstock,
Vermont: Skylight Paths Publishing, 2004) 36-37.
with permission of Skylight
purchase a copy of Hafiz:
The Mystic Poets visit
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(Woodstock, Vermont: Skylight Paths Publishing, 2004.) 36-37.