First he appeared in the class of inorganic things,
Next he passed therefrom into that of plants.
For years he lived as one of the plants,
Remembering naught of his inorganic state so different; And when he passed from the vegetive to the animal state He had no remembrance of his state as a plant,
Except the inclination he felt to the world of plants, Especially at the time of spring and sweet flowers. Like the inclination of infants towards their mothers, Which know not the cause of their inclination to the
Or the excessive inclination of young disciples
Towards their noble and illustrious teachers.
The disciple’s partial reason comes from that Reason,
The disciple’s shadow is from that bough.
When the shadows in the disciples cease,
They know the reason of their attachment to the teachers. For, O fortunate one, how can the shadow move,
Unless the tree that casts the shadow move as well?
Again, the great Creator, as you know,
Drew man out of the animal into the human state.
Thus man passed from one order of nature to another, Till he became wise and knowing and strong as he is now. Of his first souls he has now no remembrance,
And he will be again changed from his present soul. In order to escape from his present soul full of lusts He must behold thousands of reasonable souls.
Though man fell asleep and forgot his previous states, Yet God will not leave him in this self-forgetfulness; And then he will laugh at his own former state Saying, “ What mattered my experiences when asleep? When I had forgotten my prosperous condition,
And knew not that the grief and ills I experienced
Were the effect of sleep and illusion and fancy?
In like manner this world, which is only a dream. Seems to the sleeper as a thing enduring for ever
But when the morn of the last day shall dawn,
The sleeper will escape from the cloud of illusion; Laughter will overpower him at his own fancied grieves When he beholds his abiding home and place. Whatever you see in this sleep, both good and evil, Will all be exposed to view on the resurrection day. Whatever you have done during your sleep in the world Will be displayed to you clearly when you awake.
Masnavi - Book Four - Rumi