My Soul gave me good counsel, teaching me to love what the people abhor and to show good will toward the one they hate. It showed me that Love is a property not of the lover but of the beloved. Before my Soul taught me, Love was for me a delicate thread stretched between two adjacent pegs, but now it has been transformed into a halo; its first is its last, and its last is its first. It encompasses every being, slowly expanding to embrace all that ever will be.
My Soul gave me good counsel, teaching me to find the beauty concealed in a face, a color, a complexion, and to gaze intently at what the people think ugly, until it shows me its comeliness. Before my Soul taught me, I saw beauty as quivering flames between pillars of smoke; but it faded and I no longer see anything but the kindling that bursts into flame.
My Soul gave me good counsel, teaching me to listen to the voices not produced by tongues, nor shouted from throats. Before my Soul taught me, my ears were weary and ailing, and I was conscious only of uproar and discord. Now I sip at silence and listen to its inwardness that chants songs of the eons, reciting praises of the sky, announcing the mysteries of the Unseen.
My Soul gave me good counsel, teaching me to drink wat has not been squeezed or poured into cups, what is not raised by the hands nor touched by the lips. Before my Soul taught me, my thirst was a faint spark in a mound of ash, which I would quench with water from a pool or with a sip of freshly squeezed juice. Now, however, my yearning is my cup, my burning thirst is my drink, and my solitude is my intoxication; I do not and shall not quench my thirst. But in this burning that is never extinguished is a joy that never wanes.
My Soul gave me good counsel, teaching me to touch what has never taken corporeal form or crystallized. It made me understand that touching something is half the task of comprehending it, and that what we grasp therein is part of what we desire from it. Before my Soul taught me, I contented myself with heat when cold, and with cold when hot, and with either if I was listless. But now my once-cramped sense of touch is scattered everywhere, having metamorphosed into a fine mist that penetrates everything that appears from Being, so as to mingle with what has remained hidden from it.
My Soul gave me good counsel, teaching me to smell the fragrances that neither aromatic herb nor incense has diffused abroad. Before my Soul taught me, whenever I craved a scent I sought it in gardens or in perfume bottles or censers. But now I have begun to smell what does not burn or spill, and I fill my chest with pure breaths that have never passed through a garden in this world and have never been carried aloft by a breeze belonging to this sky.
My Soul gave me good counsel, teaching me to say, "Here I am!" when the unknown and the perilous call me. Before my Soul taught me, I refused to arise save for the voice of a caller I recognized, and I never fared upon any ways save those I had tried and found easy. Now the known has become my mount, which I ride toward the unknown, and the level plain has become my stairs, whose steps I ascend to put myself in jeopardy.
My Soul gave me good counsel, teaching me not to measure time by saying, "It was yesterday, and will be tomorrow." Before my Soul taught me, I imagined the past as an era not to be met with, and the future as an age that I would never witness. But now I know that in the brief moment of the present, all time exists, including everything that is in time—all that is eagerly anticipated, achieved, or realized.
My Soul gave me good counsel, teaching me not to define a place by saying 'here' or 'there'. Before my Soul taught me, I thought that when I was in any place on the earth I was remote from every other spot. But now I have learned that the place where I subsist is all places, and the space I occupy is all intervals.
My Soul gave me good counsel, teaching me to stay up late while the inhabitants of the quarter slumber, and to sleep while they are awake. Before my Soul taught me, I never experienced their dreams while unconscious, and they never shared my dreams in their heedlessness. But now I only swim, arms fluttering, in my sleep with them as my companions, and they do not soar in their dreams save that I rejoice in their liberation.
My Soul gave me good counsel, teaching me never to delight in praise or to be distressed by reproach. Before my Soul taught me, I doubted the value of my accomplishments until the passing days sent someone who would extol or disparage them. But now I know that trees blossom in the spring and give their fruits in the summer without any desire for accolades. And they scatter their leaves abroad in the fall and denude themselves in the winter without fear of reproof.
My Soul gave me good counsel, teaching me and demonstrating to me that I am not exalted over the panhandler nor less than the mighty. Before my Soul taught me, I thought people consisted of two types: the weak, whom I pitied and disregarded, and the powerful, whom I followed or against I rebelled. Now, I have discovered that I was formed as one individual from the same substance from which all human beings were created. I am made up of the same elements as they are, and my pattern is theirs. My struggles are theirs, and my path is theirs. If they do wrong, I am culpable, and if they perform a good deed, I am proud of their act. If they arise, I arise with them, and if they remain seated, so do I.
My Soul gave me good counsel, teaching me that the lamp which I carry does not belong to me, and the song that I sing was not generated from within me. Even if I walk with light, I am not the light; and if I am a taut-stringed lute, I am not the lute player.
My Soul gave me good counsel, my friend, and taught me. Your Soul, too, has given you good counsel, and taught you. You and I are similar and alike, and the only difference between us is that I speak of what is within me and my speech is somewhat insistent, whereas you conceal what is within you, and from your restraint shines forth the face of virtue.