بخش 13

کتاب: ملت عشق / فصل 13

بخش 13

توضیح مختصر

  • زمان مطالعه 5 دقیقه
  • سطح سخت

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متن انگلیسی فصل

The Master

BAGHDAD, JANUARY 26, 1243

Being part of a dervish lodge requires far more patience than Shams of Tabriz possesses. Yet nine months have passed, and he is still with us.

In the beginning I expected him to pack up and leave at any moment, so visible was his aversion to a strictly ordered life. I could see that it bored him stiff to have to sleep and wake up at the same hours, eat regular meals, and conform to the same routine as everyone else. He was used to flying as a lonely bird, wild and free. I suspect several times he came close to running away. Nevertheless, great as his need for solitude, even greater was his commitment to finding his companion. Shams firmly believed that one of these days I would come up with the information he needed and tell him where to go, whom to find. With this faith he stayed.

During these nine months, I watched him closely, wondering if time flowed differently for him, more rapidly and intensely. What took other dervishes months, sometimes years, to learn took him only weeks, if not days. He had a remarkable curiosity about everything new and unusual and was a great observer of nature. So many days I found him in the garden admiring the symmetry of a spiderweb or the dewdrops glistening on a night-blooming flower. Insects, plants, and animals seemed more interesting and inspiring to him than books and manuscripts. But just when I would start thinking he had no interest in reading, I would find him immersed in an age-old book. Then, once again, he could go for weeks on end without reading and studying anything.

When I asked him about this, he said one should keep the intellect satisfied and yet be careful not to spoil it. It was one of his rules. “Intellect and love are made of different materials,” he said. “Intellect ties people in knots and risks nothing, but love dissolves all tangles and risks everything. Intellect is always cautious and advises, ‘Beware too much ecstasy,’ whereas love says, ‘Oh, never mind! Take the plunge!’ Intellect does not easily break down, whereas love can effortlessly reduce itself to rubble. But treasures are hidden among ruins. A broken heart hides treasures.” As I got to know him better, I admired his audacity and acumen. But I also suspected there was a downside to Shams’s unrivaled ingenuity and originality. For one thing, he was straightforward to the point of brusqueness. I taught my dervishes never to see the faults of other people and, if they did, to be forgiving and quiet. Shams, however, let no mistake go unnoticed. Whenever he saw anything wrong, he spoke out about it right away, never beating around the bush. His honesty offended others, but he liked to provoke people to see what came out of them in moments of anger.

Forcing him to do ordinary tasks was difficult. He had little patience for such jobs and lost interest in something as soon as he got the hang of it. When it came to a routine, he got desperate, like a tiger trapped in a cage. If a conversation bored him or somebody made a foolish remark, he got up and left, never losing time with pleasantries. Values cherished by most human beings, such as security, comfort, and happiness, had hardly any meaning in his eyes. And his distrust of words was so intense that often he went without speaking for days. That, too, was one of his rules: Most of the problems of the world stem from linguistic mistakes and simple misunderstandings. Don’t ever take words at face value. When you step into the zone of love, language as we know it becomes obsolete. That which cannot be put into words can only be grasped through silence.

In time I became concerned about his well-being. For deep inside I sensed that one who could burn so fervently might have a tendency to put himself into dangerous situations.

At the end of the day, our fates are in the hands of God, and only He can tell when or how we each will depart the world. For my part I decided to do my best to slow Shams down and accustom him, as much as I could, to a more tranquil way of life. And for a while I thought I might succeed. But then came winter, and with the winter came the messenger carrying a letter from afar.

That letter changed everything.

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