' A form without a soul '...

Shaikh Mahnah was in a state of great perplexity, his heart was
broken in two, when he saw in the distance an old villager of pious
appearance, walking leisurely, while from his body emanated a bright

The shaikh saluted him and then told him about the sad state
he was in.

The old villager listened, and after thinking a little
said: "O Bu Sa'id, if they were to fill with millet, not once but a
hundred times, the space from lowest earth to the throne of God, and
if a bird took one grain of millet in a thousand years, and then flew
a hundred times round the world, even in all that time your soul
would have no news of the celectial court and Bu Sa'id would still be
far off."

Great patience is necessary for those who suffer; but no one is

When the quest is diverted from the inner to the outer,
even if it should extend over the universe, in the end it will be

He who is not engaged in the quest of the inner life
is no more than an animal--what shall I say?

He does not exist, he
is a non-entity, a form without a soul.

--Fariduddin Attar
from The Conference of the Birds
C. S. Nott version

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