Indeed, the reason, which is obsessed with externals, cries out despairingly at seeing the deaths of the things it worships in the universe, and the spirit, which seeks for an eternal beloved, utters the cry: I love not those that set.
I do not want separation, I do not desire separation, I cannot abide separation...
Meetings followed immediately by separation are not worth sorrow and grief, they are not worthy of being longed for. For just as the passing of pleasure is pain, imagining the passing of pleasure is also a pain. The works of all the metaphorical lovers, that is, the works of poetry on love, are all cries at the pain arising from imagining this passing. If you were to constrain the spirit of all the works of poetry, from each would flow these grievous cries.
Thus, it is due to the pain and tribulations of those meetings stained with transitoriness, those sorrowful, metaphorical loves, that my heart weeps and cries through the weeping of, I love not those that set.
If you want permanence in this transitory world, permanence comes from transitoriness. Find transience with regard to your evil-commanding soul so that you may be enduring.
Divest yourself of bad morals, the basis of the worship of this world. Be transitory! Sacrifice your goods and property in the way of the True Beloved. See the ends of beings, which point to non-existence, for the way leading to permanence in this world starts from transitoriness.
The human mind, which plunges into causes, is bewildered at the upheavals of the passing of the world, and laments despairingly. While the conscience, which desires true existence, severs the connection with metaphorical beloveds and transient beings through crying like Abraham, I love not those that set, and it binds itself to the Truly Existent One, and Eternal Beloved.
O my ignorant soul! Know that the world and its beings are certainly ephemeral, but you may find a way leading to permanence in each ephemeral thing, and may see two flashes, two mysteries, of the manifestations of the Undying Beloved’s Beauty.
Yes, it is within the bounty that the bestowal is to be seen and the favour of the Most Merciful perceived. If you pass from bounty to bestowal, you will find the Bestower. Also, each work of the Eternally Besought One makes known the All-Glorious Maker’s Names like a missive. If you pass from the decoration to the meaning, you will find the One signified by way of His Names. Since you can find the kernel, the essence, of these ephemeral beings, obtain it. Then without pity you can throw away their meaningless shells and externals onto the flood of ephemerality.