those faculties cannot bear the weight of even a hair, that is, some insignificant state arising from heedlessness and misguidance. They are sometimes extinguished and die even.
Since it is thus, be careful, tread with caution, be frightened of sinking! Do not drown in a mouthful, a word, a seed, a flash, a sign, a kiss! Do not plunge your extensive faculties, which can swallow the world, in such a thing. For there are things which are very small that can in one respect swallow things which are very large. The sky together with its stars can enter a small fragment of glass and be drowned. And most of the pages of your actions and leaves of your life enter your faculty of memory, tiny as a mustard-seed. So too there are tiny things that swallow things thus large, and contain them.
F o u r t h S i g n
O world-worshipping man! You conceive of your world as very broad, yet it resembles a narrow grave. But since the walls of that narrow grave-like dwelling are of glass, they are reflected one within the other and stretch as far as the eye can see. While being narrow as the grave, your world appears to be as large as a town. For despite both the right wall, which is the past, and the left wall, which is the future, being non-existent, they are reflected one within the other, unfolding the wings of present time, which is extremely brief and narrow. Reality mixes with imagination, and you suppose a non-existent world to be existent.
On being spun round at speed, a line appears to be broad like a surface, despite in reality being a fine line. Your world too is in reality narrow, but due to your heedlessness, delusions, and imagination, its walls have drawn far apart. If driven by a calamity you stir in that narrow world, you will hit your head on the wall, which you supposed to be distant. It will dispel the illusions in your head and banish your sleep. Then you will see that that broad world of yours is narrower than the grave, finer than the Bridge of Sirat. Your life passes faster than lightning, it pours away more swiftly than tea.
Since worldly life and the life of the flesh and animal life are thus, shake free of animality, leave behind corporeality, enter the level of life of the heart and spirit! You will find a sphere of life, a world of light, far broader than the world you imagined was broad. The key to that world is to make the heart utter the sacred words “There is no god but God,” which express the mysteries of divine unity and knowledge of God, and to make the spirit work them.