Tales : Weeping and Sighing

There was, once upon a time, a man who, for reasons known only to the Creator, wished to enter the company of those who are intimate with the Beloved. Therefore he discreetly studied their behaviour and learned that this strange company of souls had certain traits in common: they had long faces, they paid little care for their dress or their surroundings, and they frequently wept and sighed.

This man began to cultivate these qualities: he became very solemn, never allowing himself to smile; he neglected his clothing and left his room unswept; and he sighed continually and became proficient at weeping. Those who knew him concluded that he must have had some divine visitation to produce such a change, and began to offer him reverence.

When the respectful greetings of his friends convinced this man that he was ready, he went to the place where the Company of Friends traditionally assembled, and sat in a corner. Almost immediately, however, the members of the group seized him and drove him out.

“Be gone!” they told him, “this is not the place for you. A lover weeps and sighs, but weeping and sighing do not make one a lover. When you weep and sigh for the time you have wasted when you could have been sitting at the feet of the Friend, then if the One permits it you may come to us again.”

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