Mikha'il Na'ima

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Ask not of things to shed their veils. Unveil yourselves, and things will be unveiled.

Mikha'il Na'ima (ميخائيل نعيمة, also spelled Mikhail Naimy or Mīḫāˀīl Nuˁayma; 17 October 188928 February 1988) was a Lebanese author and poet of the New York Pen League.

The Book of Mirdad (1948)[edit]

The Book of Mirdad: The strange story of a monastery which was once called the Ark, London: Watkins Publishing, 2011. ISBN 978-1-78-0283-08-1
  • Ask not of things to shed their veils. Unveil yourselves, and things will be unveiled.
  • How much more infinite a sea is Man? Be not so childish as to measure him from head to foot and think that you have found his borders.
  • The more elaborate his labyrinths, the further from the Sun his face.
  • So think as if your every thought were to be etched in fire upon the sky for all and everything to see. For so, in truth, it is.
  • Love is the Law of God. You live that you may learn to love. You love that you may learn to live. No other lesson is required of Man.
  • Whoever cannot find a temple in his heart, the same can never find his heart in any temple.
  • Logic is immaturity weaving its nets of gossamer wherewith it aims to catch the behemoth of knowledge. When Logic comes of age it strangles itself in its nets and then becomes transmuted into Faith, which is the deeper knowledge. Logic is a crutch for the cripple; but a burden for the swift of foot; and a greater burden still for the winged.
  • Love is the only freedom from attachment. When you love everything, you are attached to nothing.
  • To feed on Death is to become food for Death. To live by others' pain is to become a prey for pain. So has decreed the Omniwill. Know that and choose your course, Micayon.
  • For the yearners know that the life of flesh is but the bridge to the fleshless Life. And the yearners know that the coarse and inadequate senses are but the peepholes into the world of the infinitely fine and adequate sense. And the yearners know that every flesh they tear they must inevitably repair, sooner or later, with their own flesh; and every bone they crush they must rebuild with their own bone; and every drop of blood they spill they must replenish with their own blood. For, that is the law of flesh.
  • While the non-yearner grasps for more and yet more things to put away in his pocket or belly, the yearner walks his way without a pocket, and with a belly clean of any creature's blood and convulsions.
  • Of two men sharing with a calf the milk of that calf's mother one eyes the calf with the thought that his tender flesh would provide good meat for him and his friends to feast upon at his approaching birthday. The other thinks of the calf as his brother of the teat and is filled with affection for the young beast and his mother. I say to you, the latter is truly nourished by that calf's meat; while the first is poisoned thereby. Aye, many things are put in the belly that should be put in the heart.
  • If that be your guiding spirit in eating of the heart of the Earth, then little does it matter what you eat. But if that be, indeed, your guiding spirit, then should you have the wisdom and the love not to bereave the Earth of any of her children, especially those which have come to feel the pleasure of living and the pain of dying – those that have arrived at the segment of Duality. For they, too, have their road to wend, slowly and laboriously, towards Unity. And their road is longer than yours. Delay them in their march, and they shall delay you in your march.
  • Your breath upon the wind shall surely lodge within some breast. Ask not whose breast it is. See only that the breath itself be pure.
  • Often you shall think your road impassable, sombre and companionless. Have will and plod along; and round each curve you shall find a new companion.

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