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Al-Ghazzali - The Alchemy of Happiness - 16 The world as theatre

Identifier

018782

Type of spiritual experience

A description of the experience

Al-Ghazzali - The Alchemy of Happiness – 16 The world as theatre

THIS world is a stage or market-place passed by pilgrims on their way to the next. It is here that they are to provide themselves with pro­visions for the way; or, to put it plainly, man acquires here, by the use of his bodily senses, some knowledge of the works of God, …. As long as his senses remain with him he is said to be “in this world”; when they depart, and only his essential attributes remain, he is said to have gone to “the next world.”

While man is in this world, two things are necessary for him: first, the protection and nurture of his soul; secondly, the care and nurture of his body. .. The body, so to speak, is simply the riding-animal of the soul, and perishes while the soul endures. The soul should take care of the body, just as a pilgrim on his way to Mecca takes care of his camel.

On the other hand, if the pilgrim spends his whole time in feeding and adorning his camel, the caravan will leave him behind, and he will perish in the desert.

The source of the experience

Al-Ghazzali

Concepts and Symbols used in the text or image

Activities

Observation contributed by: Francis Keeble