The Mirror | Maḥmūd ibn ʻAbd al-Karīm Shabistarī

The Mirror | Maḥmūd ibn ʻAbd al-Karīm Shabistarī

Your eye has not strength enough
To gaze at the burning sun,
But you can see its brilliant light
By watching its reflection
Mirrored in the water.

So the reflection of Absolute Being
Can be viewed in this mirror of Not-Being,
For non-existence, being opposite Reality,
Instantly catches its reflection.

Know the world from end to end is a mirror;
In each atom a hundred suns are concealed.
If you pierce the heart of a single drop of water,
From it will flow a hundred clear oceans;
If you look intently at each speck of dust,
In it you will see a thousand beings,
A gnat in its limbs is like an elephant;
In name a drop of water resembles the Nile,
In the heart of a barley-corn is stored an hundred harvests,
Within a millet-seed a world exists,
In an insect’s wing is an ocean of life,

A heaven is concealed in the pupil of an eye,
The core in the centre of the heart is small,
Yet the Lord of both worlds will enter there.

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