The spiritual master who has planted the love in the heart of the disciple will always look after it, as the gardener looks after a plant; he does not want it to die. The disciple must surrender completely; only then the Teacher will judge if he is ready for more. Love cannot be more or less for the Spiritual Teacher. For him the very beginning and the end are the same; it is a closed circle. His love for the disciple does not go on increasing; for the disciple, of course, it is very different; he has to complete the whole circle. Then as the disciple progresses, he feels the Master nearer and nearer, as the time goes on. but the Master is not nearer; he was always near, only the disciple did not know it. Like a new born, helpless, the disciple, does not want to return to the womb or darkness again, but craves the light and freedom. That light is love.
Muhammed spoke to his friends
about a newborn baby, ‘This child
may cry out in its helplessness,
but it doesn’t want to go back
to the darkness of the womb.
And so it is with your soul
when it finally leaves the nest
and flies out into the sky
over the wide plain of a new life.
Your soul would not trade that freedom
for the warmth of where it was.
Let loving lead your soul.
Make it a place to retire to,
a kind of monastery cave, a retreat
for the deepest core of being.
Then build a road
from there to God.
Let every action be in harmony with your soul
and its soul-place, but don’t parade
those doings down the street
on the end of a stick!
Keep quiet and secret with soul-work.
Don’t worry so much about your body.
God sewed that robe. Leave it as it is.
Be more deeply courageous.
Change your soul.”
– Attar, from THE HAND OF POETRY: FIVE MYSTIC POETS OF PERSIA (ISBN 0930872479)