Sheikh el Melewi and the mountain
Type of Spiritual Experience
Compare with Dante
A description of the experience
From Adventures in Arabia – W B Seabrook
In the Palace of the Melewi
Sheikh el Melewi
He took a napkin and twisted it round a sugar-bowl, so that it made a little cone – shaped mountain, which he invited me to consider.
" 'We will suppose," he said, " that the peak.- the mountain-top: stands for Unity or God. And we will suppose, all round the wide base of the mountain, men who wish to attain the peak. From any spot at the base the direction to the top is not north, south , east, or west; it is upward.
But the mountain is too steep for any mortal to climb straight upward ; so here are some journeying eastward, and others westward, by winding paths that mount gradually higher and higher. A party travelling east meets a party travelling west.
' Whither ?' each asks the other party.
‘To God ! ' both cry. And then, if they have not wisdom, each cries to the other 'You are lost, come , face about, and go with us"
And then, alas my friend, they dispute and condemn, not knowing in their unwisdom that all paths lead to God if they mount only upward.
I would bid you beware, my friend of falling into such unwisdom, when you return to your own Country and look back in memory on this older land