mentioned briefly in the Third Point of the Sixth Allusion in the present treatise and proved decisively in others of the Words that this world is the realm of service and not the realm of reward. People who seek their recompense here, both transform enduring, perpetual fruits into a transitory, temporary form, and find permanence in this world pleasing, so they do not yearn for the Intermediate Realm. Quite simply, they love the life of this world in one respect, since they find a sort of hereafter within it.
The Sixth: Some of those who embark on spiritual journeying fall into an abyss by confusing the shades and shadows and partial samples of the stations of sainthood with its fundamental, universal stations. As is proved clearly in the Second Branch of the Twenty-Fourth Word and in others of the Words, the sun becomes numerous by means of mirrors and thousands of its similitudes possess light and heat like the sun itself, despite their paltriness in relation to the actual sun. In exactly the same way, the stations of the prophets and the great saints possess shades and shadows. Those who journey with the spirit enter these, and see themselves as greater than those great saints, or even to have advanced further than the prophets, and so fall into an abyss. However, the way to avoid this is to always take the principles of belief and fundamentals of the Shari‘a as one’s basis and guide, and to look on one’s illuminations and visions as opposed to them.
The Seventh: Some of the people of illumination and ecstasy fall into an abyss in their spiritual journeyings by preferring pride, complaint, ecstatic utterances, public regard, and being referred to, to offering thanks and supplication, beseeching Almighty God, and self-sufficiency. Whereas the highest degree is Muhammadan worship, which is termed “belovedness.” The basis and essence of worship is to manifest the perfection of that reality by supplicating and beseeching Almighty God, showing deep humility before Him, offering thanks, and through impotence and want, and by displaying self-sufficiency in the face of others. Some of the great saints have involuntarily and temporarily become proud and made complaints and ecstatic utterances, but they should not be followed voluntarily on such points; they are rightly-guided but not the guide; their way may not be taken!
The Eighth Abyss: Some of those who journey spiritually are self-centred and precipitate and want to consume in this world the fruits of sainthood, which will be given in the hereafter; they fall into an abyss by seeking them on their spiritual journeyings. But, as such verses as,
“The life of this world is but goods and chattels”(3:185)
proclaim, and as is proved decisively in many of the Words, a single fruit