The Seven Valleys and the Four Valleys
The Seven Valleys
distracted in search of the Friend. How many a Jacob will he see, hunting after his Joseph; he will behold many a lover, hasting to seek the Beloved, he will witness a world of desiring ones searching after the One Desired. At every moment he findeth a weighty matter, in every hour he becometh aware of a mystery; for he hath taken his heart away from both worlds, and set out for the Ka’bih10 of the Beloved. At every step, aid from the Invisible Realm will attend him and the heat of his search will grow.
One must judge of search by the standard of the Majnún of Love.11 It is related that one day they came upon Majnún sifting the dust, and his tears flowing down. They said, “What doest thou?” He said, “I seek for Laylí.” They cried, “Alas for thee! Laylí is of pure spirit, and thou seekest her in the dust!” He said, “I seek her everywhere; haply somewhere I shall find her.”
Yea, although to the wise it be shameful to
10 The holy Sanctuary at Mecca. Here the word means “goal.”
11 Literally, Majnún means “insane.” This is the title of the celebrated lover of ancient Persian and Arabian lore, whose beloved was Laylí, daughter of an Arabian prince. Symbolizing true human love bordering on the divine, the story has been made the theme of many a Persian romantic poem, particularly that of Niẓámí, written in 1188–1189 A.D.
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