...from The Conference of the Birds (Mantiq Uttair), the great philosophical religious poem composed by the Sufi disciple Farid ud-Deen Attar in the second half of the tenth century, A.D.
God Rebukes a Dervish (Sufi)
A holy man who had found prosperity in God gave himself up to worship and adoration for forty years. He had fled from the world, but since God was intimately united to him he was satisfied. This dervish had enclosed a plot of ground in the desert; in the middle of it was a tree, and in the tree a bird had made its nest. The song of the bird was sweet to hear for in each of its notes were a hundred secrets. The servant of God was enchanted. But God told a seer about this state of things in these words: 'Tell the Sufi I am astonished that after so many years of devotion he has ended by selling me for a bird. It is true that this bird is admirable, but its song has caught him in a snare. I have bought him, and he has sold me.'
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