I Am Within My Servant’s Conception of Me

Jesus laughed a lot. John the Baptist wept a lot. John said to Jesus, “You have become mighty secure from God’s subtle deceits to laugh so much.”
“You,” replied Jesus, “are mighty heedless of God’s subtle and mysterious favour and grace to weep so much!”
One of God’s saints, who was present at this exchange, asked God which of the two was the more exalted in station. God answered, “The one who thinks better of me,” that is, “Wherever my servant thinks of me, I am there. I have a form and image for each of My servants. Whatever each of them imagines Me to be, that I am. I am bound to images where God is; I am annoyed by any reality where God is not. O my servants, cleanse your thoughts, for they are my dwelling places. Now try yourself and see what is more beneficial to you—weeping, laughter, fasting, prayer, or retreat. Adopt whichever of these suits you best and causes you to advance more.”

[Discourses of Rumi (Fihi ma Fihi): Discourse 10]

allah

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