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Full text of "The Dabistan"

184

" (Jerusalem); and as I entered it, a person came to
" me, and gave me three cups—the one of wine,
" the second of water, and the other, of milk. 1
' ' wished to take that of wine, but Jabriil forbade it,
" and pointed to that of milk, which 1 took and
" drank:" the meaning of this is: When I freed
myself from sensuality, and knew the state of ima-
gination and deception, and resolved in myself to
enter the world of spirits, then I saw three spirits
in the house.of sanctity—the one was that of animal
life, the second that of nature, and the other that of
rationality. I wished to proceed on the footsteps
of brutishness, and compared it to wine, the power
of which is seducing, clouding, and ignorance-in-
creasing, like passion and lust, and wine is the
darkener of the two other powers. And he com-
pared nature to water, because from it is derived the
support and stability of a person, and man depends
upon the temperament of the agents which act in
the body;' water is also the vital strength of ani-

1 This obscure passage appears to allude to a glose found in the
Desatir, English transl., p. 183. After having said that there are four
elements, the Commentator subjoins: " The water is of the shap6 of a
" ball, the half of which being broken, is filled with water, so that the
" water and earth together compose one ball. And as the elements
'* penetrate into and affect each other, a sort of middle nature is pro-
" duced, which is called constitution or temperament. If a body that
" is united with a temperament has the probability ^of subsisting for a
" protracted time, and of retaining its compound substance, it is called
" ' permanent,' or * perfect;' if not, ' imperfect/ or ' wanting perma-