The Book of Mirdad

Mirdad’s aim is to uncover God in man by dissolving man’s sense of duality=the I and the non-I.

When I revealed my determination to one of the local mountaineers, he fixed me with two flaming eyes, and striking his hands together, shouted in terror, “Flint Slope? Never be so foolish as to give your life away so cheap. Many have attempted it before you, but none ever returned to tell the tale. Flint Slope? Never, never!”

A shepherd youth appeared and snatched away all my loaves of bread.

To my almost paralyzing astonishment, he threw the first loaf to the goats, then the second and third, and so on, until the seventh, taking a bite of each for himself. I was thunderstruck, and anger began to tear my chest. Yet realizing my helplessness, I quieted my anger in a measure and, turning a puzzled eye upon the goatherd, said half begging, half-reproaching, “The day is slipping down the mountain, and I must be on my way. Would you not tell me if be still far from the summit?”

‘On Brink of Black Pit’

“You are on the brink of the Black Pit.”

Happy are the staffless,
They stumble not.
Happy are the homeless,
They are at home.

Another old couple pushed me out of my shelter.

Paying no heed to my supplications, they chanted on:

The truly high is ever low.
The truly swift is ever slow.
The highly sensitive is numb.
The highly eloquent is dumb.
The ebb and flow are but one tide.
The very great is very small.
And he has all who gives his all.

One hesitant step. Another hesitant step. At the third I felt as if the mountains had suddenly slipped from under my feet, and I found myself caught in the churning billows of a sea of darkness which sucked my breath and tossed me violently down, down.

“Arise, O happy stranger. You have attained your goal.”

I half-opened my eyes to find me prostrate on the ground and to see the black figure of a man bending over me and gently moistening my lips with water, and as gently washing the blood off my many wounds. With his help I was able to sit up and to ask in a voice which barely reached my own ears, “Who?”

Shamadam’s Past

“My name is Shamadam. I was Senior of the Ark when one of my nine companions died. Hardly had his soul departed when I was told that a stranger was at the gate asking for me.

When I opened the gate and saw him, a mere youth of no more then 25. Naked, apparently famished and devoid of all means of protection, even a staff, he looked most helpless.

“I told him in a voice most blunt and pitiless that he could not be admitted into the community, and ordered him to leave the place forthwith. But he stood his ground and quietly counseled me to reconsider. His counsel I took as an insult and I spat upon his face. Again he stood his ground unflinchingly, and slowly wiping the spittle off his face, he once more counseled me to change my decision. As he wiped the spittle off his face I felt as if mine were being smeared with it. I also felt myself defeated, and somewhere in the depth of me admitted that the combat was unequal, and that he was the stronger combatant.

“Suddenly he asked for some food and clothing, and my hopes revived. Cruelly I refused to give him a morsel of bread, saying that the monastery lived by charity and could dispense no charity. In that I lied most flagrantly; for the monastery was far too rich to deny food and clothing to the needy. I wanted him to beg. But he would not beg. He demanded as of right; there was commanding in his asking.

A Lowly Servant

“To cover my defeat I finally proposed to him to enter the Ark as a servant—as a servant only. Even then I did not realize that I was the beggar and not he. Little did I imagine at the time that by taking him in even as a servant, I was putting myself out.

“For seven years he was a lowly several in our midst-gentle, alert, inoffensive, unobtrusive, ready to do any companion’s slightest bidding. Not a word escaped his lips. We believed him to have taken a vow of silence.

"His name he gave us as Mirdad. To that name only he responded. That was all we knew of him.

"Then began Mirdad to send the Companions out, laden with gifts to the poor and needy in all the villages hereabout.

Love Stronger than Hate

All that I witnessed with my sinful eyes, and recorded in my heart that was about to burst with hatred for Mirdad. But his love was stronger than my hate. Again the combat was unequal. He crushed me without fighting me. I fought him, but only crushed myself. The more of his gentleness he offered me, the more I gave him of my hatred in return.

“We were two warriors in the field—Mirdad and I. Ultimately, I Shamadam was defeated.

“Turning then to me, he looked long and tenderly into my eyes and said: ‘As to you, Shamadam, your hours is not yet. You shall await my coming on this peak. In due time I shall send my messenger to take my book and top publish it unto the world. After delivering the Book into his hands you shall be turned into a stone, which stone shall guard the entrance to this grotto until my coming. From that prison I alone shall deliver you. Should you find the waiting long, it shall be made longer. Should you find it short, it shall be made shorter. Believe and be patient.’ Whereupon he embraced me also.”

Like one exhausted by the heavy labours of a long day, Shamadam suddenly relaxed and fell silent.

He arose and hastily went out, leaving me quite bewildered and impatient.

Presently the monk returned and, handed me a small parcel.

I unwrapped the Book and fumblingly began to turn its yellow parchment leaves.

I read on and on, becoming more and more absorbed.

The Book of Mirdad

All eyes were turned upon Mirdad. And great were our astonishment and joy when, for the first time in seven years, he opened his mouth and spoke unto us saying.

“Your eyes are veiled with far too many veils. Each thing you look upon is but a veil.

Did you but see and speak aright, you should see nothing but yourselves and utter nothing but yourselves. For, in all things and beyond all things, as in all words and beyond all words, are you the seer and the speaker.

Let things alone and labour not to change them. If they are harsh of speech, look only to your tongue. If they be ugly of appearance, search first and last your eye.

Source of All Things

‘I’ is the Source and Centre of All Things.

‘I’ is the centre of your life whence radiate the things that make the total of your world, and whereunto they converge. If it be steady, your world is steady: then no powers above, and no powers.

Yours is a world divided against itself, because the ‘I’ in you is divided.

Yours is a world of barriers and fence, because the ‘I’ in you is of barriers and fences. Some things it would fence out as alien to itself. Some things it would fence in as kindred to itself.

God’s Word

Though each of you be centered in his I, yet are you all encentred in one I—even the single I of God.

God’s I, O monks, is God’s eternal, only Word. In it is God—The Consciousness Supreme—made manifest. By it is the Formless One made of take on a multiplicity of forms through which the creatures shall pass again to formlessness.

The Word

Man names it although it’s too wondrous to be named. Yet holy is this name, and holy is the tongue that keeps it holy.

Now, what is Man if not an offspring of this God? Can he be different from God? Is not the oak enswathed within the acorn? Is not God wrapt in Man?

Swaddling Bonds

Man is a God in swaddling-bands. Time is a swaddling-band. Space is a swaddling-band. Flesh is a swaddling-band, and likewise all the sense and the things perceivable therewith. The mother knows too well that the swaddling-bands are not the babe. The babe, however, knows it not.

God, the Father-Mother, lovingly looks on. For, he knows well that man is tearing but the heavy veils.

The weak are burdens to the weak. But to the strong they are pleasant charge. Seek out the weak. Their weakness is your strength.

The hungry are but hunger to the hungry. But to the full they are a welcome outlet. Seek out the hungry. Your fullness is their want.

At this point the trumpet sounded forth the call for morning prayer of the disciples.

Go! Pray as you have been taught to pray. Pray anyway—for anything. Go! Do all the things commanded you to do till you become self- taught and self- commanded, and till you learn to make each word a prayer, each deed a sacrifice.

Held by Everything

I say to you, except you jettison your silver and your gold they’ll drag you with them to the bottom. For, man is held by everything a price, for the slightest thing is priceless. You price a loaf of bread. Why not price the Sun, the Air, the Earth, the Sea and the sweat and ingenuity of man without which there could have been no loaf?

Set no limits to yourselves. Spread out until there are no regions where you are not. Spread out until the whole world be wherever you may change to be. Spread out. Spread out!

Way to Painless Life

This is the way to freedom from care and pain:

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.

So speak as if the world entire were but a single ear intent on hearing what you say. And so, in truth, it is.

So do as if your every deed were to recoil upon your heads. And so, in truth, it does.

So wish as if you were the wish. And so, in truth, you are.

So live as if your God himself had need to you his life live. And so in truth, he does.

The Judgment Day

God’s oneness is God’s everlasting law.

Is not the Sea—though vast and deep—a single drop?

Is not the Earth—though flung so far—a single sphere?

Are not the sphere—though numberless—a single universe? Likewise is mankind but a single man. Likewise is man, with his worlds, a singleness complete.

God’s oneness, my companions, is the only law of being. Another name for it is Love.

Each creature’s accounts are balanced every twinkling of an eye. Nothing is hidden.

There is no thought, no deed, no wish but are recorded in the thinker and the doer and the wisher.

Love Is the Law of God

Love is the law of God.

You live that you may learn to love. No other lesson is required of man.

And whom, or what, is one to love? Is one to choose a certain leaf upon the Tree of life and pour upon it all one’s heart? What of the branch that bears the leaf? What of the stem?

You say. “But there be leaves and leaves some are healthy, some are sick; some are beautiful, some, ugly some are giants, some are dwarfs, how can we help but pick and choose.’

From the paleness of the sick proceeds the freshness of the healthy.

You are the Tree of Life. Beware of fractioning yourselves. Set not a fruit against a fruit, a leaf against a leaf, a bough against a bough, nor set the stem against the roots; nor set the tree against the mother soil. That is precisely what you do when you love one part more than rest, or to the exclusion of the tree.

You are the tree of life. Your roots are everywhere.

Love is the sap of life. While Hatred is the pus of Death. But love, like blood, must circulate unhindered in the veins.

A yellow leaf upon your tree of life is but a Love- weaned leaf.

Blame not the yellow leaf.

A withered bough is but a Love-starved bough. Blame not the withered bough.

A putrid fruit is but a Hatred-suckled fruit. Blame not the putrid fruit. But rather blame your blind and stingy heart that would dole out the sap of life to few and would deny it to many, thereby denying it to itself.

Love Is a Necessity

Love is not a virtue. Love is a necessity; more so than bread and water; more so than light and air.

Let no one pride himself on loving. But rather breathe in Love and breathe it out just as unconsciously and freely as you breathe the air and breathe it out.

For Love needs no one to exalt it. Love will exalt the heart that finds worthy of itself.

Seek no rewards for Love. Love is reward sufficient unto Love as Hate is punishment sufficient unto Hate.

Nor keep any accounts with Love. For, Love accounts to none but itself.

Spark of Wisdom Home