[Türkçe metin için yorum bölümüne bkz.]
As we had agreed, we met again towards evening the next day. The Mirror placed his coffee pot on the alcohol burner, and we were soon chatting and drinking our coffee…
Today’s dream began where it had been interrupted the day before. I had fainted, and immediately afterwards Banu had sighted deeply and also fainted. They had taken her to her palace and me to my residence. When I came to myself the soothsayer was standing over me, gazing into my face. I decided that if I could not answer the questions I would commit suicide.
I went over the question with the soothsayer and asked him how we could possibly answer them. He said: ‘My son, only those who love in the Valley of Madness know the answers to these questions’.
‘All right, then, where is this valley?’
‘I don’t understand’.
‘There is no absolute place called the ‘Valley of Madness’. In this world, the Valley of Madness is everywhere.’
‘Well, how do we find such a place?’
‘Nothing is easier. We will make the necessary preparations and set out tomorrow.’
The next day, our journey began. We searched through numerous towns and cities for three months but were unable to find a place that resembled the Valley of Madness. I began to be discouraged.
At last we arrived at the outskirts of a very great city, but as it was late the gates of the citadel were already closed. We pitched our tent near the cemetery adjacent to the city walls and fatigued by travel, soon fell asleep. I awoke quite early. By the time the soothsayer and I were drinking our coffee, dawn had broken. Just then, from the cemetery we heard laughter.
The soothsayer spoke, ‘There are two spaces less places which are the aim. One is the Valley of Astonishment; the other is the Valley of Madness!’ He smiled as he continued. ‘My son, here we have found the Valley of Madness. Stand up, let’s go visit its inhabitants.’
We went into the cemetery. Seven people were seated in a circle atop one grave. One of them, who seemed to be stirred by the laughter and a poem which had just been recited, asked: ‘What is it? Is it the call to prayer?’
The soothsayer explained to me that this was one of the ‘Astonished ones’.
Another one of them replied to the first: ‘No hasty assumptions or doubt can enter our territory. Neither knowledge, nor intellect, nor sciences exist.’
When another heard this, he replied: ‘Is the imam reciting the Quranic chapter on the unbelievers, Surah Kafirun?’
Another said: ‘I guess the nightingale is singing’.
Yet another, ‘What did you say? Has the coffee pot boiled over?’
And another, ‘It must be the sound of waves’.
The last one spoke, ‘I think the halva seller is calling. Let’s buy some. In every state Ferihun makes himself a pleasure; he has written the sign of Kulli Hizbin upon his seal.’
One began to shout: ‘Neither this nor that!’
They all fell silent. The soothsayer and I approached one of them and in a respectful manner attempted to kiss his hand. He laughed and said: ‘If you wish to kiss someone, go and kiss Hacer-i Esved, the black stone of the Kaaba. In order to kiss nothingness, no reputation is necessary. Can the soul ever be embraced with finite words? To kiss the lip of the heart, the soul is necessary.’
We approached another one, but soon as I said, ‘O sage of knowledge, our petitions…’, he burst into laughter and said: ‘For naming the blind ‘wise’, the seer was called ‘crazy’. Science has validated so many myths; yet his science and wisdom were called ‘imaginary’.
We tried to approach a third person, explaining the reason for our visit and why we wished his help. All the while I was asking for his help, he remained still, like the others, but as soon as I stopped speaking and waited for his answer, he began: ‘Is it raining? So! There is one who wants, one who does not want. There is one who wants and does not want; there is also one who neither wants nor does not want. And what does ‘is’ mean?’
We could see that we would not be able to communicate with them and so we moved over into a corner where the soothsayer said: ‘Let’s be patient and watch.’
After a while one of them approached us, and I thought, ‘Well, now we will be able to speak.’, and I went to speak to meet him.
‘Welcome, master’, I said.
‘Oh, I could not come well.’ He said.
‘My master, your name?’ I asked.
‘It changes every minute.’ He replied.
‘My master, then who are you?’
‘How do I know? If I knew would I be a cook here?’
I had enough, but the soothsayer recommended patience. ‘They must be informed of our wish and our intention. Let’s wait and see. We will stay here and undergo austerities for a few days and see what time reveals.’
We did what was necessary. I had already lost my appetite, so a few olives in twenty four hours were enough for me. Thirty nine day passed while we waited. Exactly on the fourteenth day one of the crazy one called to one of the astonished. They sat down facing each other, and the rest of them passed beyond themselves, diving into their own inner world. But after a while the crazy one and the astonished one began speaking.
First the crazy one spoke, ‘O astonished one! You have read; you have written; and you have realized its meaning also. How did you realize the Meaning?’
The astonished one answered, ’With alif-ba’.
‘What does ‘the Meaning’ mean?’
‘One becoming two and two becoming one’.
‘What is the name of this?’
‘The world of Oneness’.
‘How can one be united? Is it possible to divide it, or is it compound?’
‘No! One is simple and without defect. It cannot be divided either.’
‘Then how does one become two? And why are there two lines in oneness?’
‘One of the two lines is affirmation; the other is negation. The existence of negation is the shadow of affirmation. For this reason the truth of the two lines is one. If there were only one line, then there could be duality.’
‘Oh! What is all this called?’
‘It has three names: ‘The art of Creations’, ‘The Play of Appearances’, and the ‘Play of Oneness.’
‘When did this happen?’
‘Time is an aspect related to the negation side. There is no time in the body; there is only the moment!’
‘Alright, what is what you call the ‘moment’?’
‘It is absolute negation. Absolute nothingness is the affirmation of timelessness and absolute time in separation.’
‘What does alif-ba mean?’
‘The phenomena of the universe.’
‘Which letter is the origin?’
‘The origin of what?’ Of the body or of the phenomena?’
‘It cannot be of the body. Of the phenomena.’
‘What is the origin of alif?’
‘Do you accept alif or the dot as the bodies?’
‘No! Alif and the dot are one.’
‘Then how did alif happen to be?’
‘This is a problem. Words cannot contain it!’
‘Give an example!’
‘There can be no equal or anything similar or opposite to it.’
‘Then show me a model!’
‘The example can be realized only but those who are free from the restriction of time and space.’
‘What is the example?’
‘What does the bee make?’
‘Honey, in order that it may be loved.’
‘And what else does it do?’
‘It makes wax, in order to inform.’
With limitless joy, the crazy one explained. ‘May God be blessed, O crown of the wise! The valley of Astonishment is yours; the Valley of the Mads is yours too. I have one last question. Show us an example!’
I became increasingly astonished with each passing moment as the question of the Mirror of Union, Banu, was solved by this dialogue. Now neither Banu nor any other form remained in my heart; the Mirror of Union had become my heart. My inside was my outside before, but now my outside was my inside. Now i was ‘in love’ with the real sense of the word. I was in union with myself.
While I was in this state, the astonished one took a piece of wax out of his pocket; showing it to those who were around him, he spoke, ‘O community! That is the dot.’
Then heating the wax with his breath, he lengthened it and said, ‘That is alif.’
Then the crazy one stood up and said,’ Tell us! Does alif have another name?’
The astonished one replied,’ Yes it does, but let me say it in your ear.’
He approached the crazy one and whispered a few things. They embraced each other, and then turning towards me, the crazy one spoke, ‘O young man ! Now you have become Majnun without Layla, because Majnun became Layla. If Layla is also removed from between, then you can know the other name of alif that was whispered into my ear…’
Infused with joy, I opened my eyes. The Mirror, the great one was singing with his magnificent touching voice, ‘O Majnun, with the artful play of majesty, Layla has become the Lord.’
From Chapter 14 of ‘Awakened Dreams’ by Ahmet Hilmi