The Ocean of the Soul: Man, the World, and God in the Stories of Farid Al-Din 'Attar

By Hellmut Ritter; John O'Kane | Go to book overview

CHAPTER SIXTEEN
THE TRANSFORMATION AND CONQUEST OF SORROW
AND SUFFERING

We saw in Chapter Eight that the emotional frame of mind of pious men is predominantly one of sorrow, and we became acquainted with the reasons for this. However, sorrow is susceptible to being evaluated two different ways.


1

If sorrow is brought about by the loss of earthly things, by failure to attain one's worldly desires, then it is foolish and reprehensible. For the things of this world are transitory and they are not worth attaching one's heart to and mourning over.

One of the birds the hoopoe invites on the journey to the Sīmurgh's court
complains that none of his desires has ever been fulfilled and so he's spent his
entire life in sorrow and grief, and never once in his life been happy. If he were
not burdened with such sorrow, his heart would certainly find joy in this journey.
(Above pp. 14 and 134).—The hoopoe answers him: "You're foolish. Both ful-
filment and denial of desires in this world are temporary and don't even last a
moment. The world is transitory, therefore give it up and pay no attention to it.
Whoever attaches his heart to something transitory, his heart is not alive." (MṬ
27/0, p. 93).

The argument that it is foolish to grieve over transitory things forms the basic theme in Kindī's treatise On the Art of Dispelling Sorrow, from which treatise we have previously encountered a parable (above p. 196). Thus the argument is already found in Late Antiquity.

The story of a tent of crystal which is given as a gift to the emperor Nero and which a
wise man describes as a great misfortune for him because if it is destroyed, he will suffer an
irreparable loss (H. Ritter and R. Walzer, "Uno scritto morale inédito di al-Kindī") is also
found in the Sharḥ al-Ḥikam 2/64 where the tent is replaced by a goblet.

-256-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Ocean of the Soul: Man, the World, and God in the Stories of Farid Al-Din 'Attar
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 838

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.