Solomon Ibn Gabirol – searchable text
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Who can come to Thy dwelling place, when Thou didst
raise up above the sphere of intelligence the throne of glory, in which is the abode of mystery and majesty,
In which is the secret and the foundation, to which the
intelligence reaches –and then stops short?
And above it Thou art raised up and exalted on the throne
Who can do as Thy deeds, when under the throne of Thy glory Thou madest a place for the spirits of Thy saints?
Those who are tired and weary, there will they restore their strength. There is the abode of the pure souls, that are bound in the bundle of life.
There shall the weary be at rest, for they are deserving of repose
In it there is delight without end or limitation, for that is the world-to-come.
There are stations and visions for the souls that stand by the mirrors assembled, to see the face of the Lord and to be seen,
Dwelling in the royal palaces, standing by the royal table,
Delighting in the sweetness of the fruit of the Intelligence, which yields royal dainties.
This is the repose and the inheritance, whose good and beauty are without limit, and ‘surely it floweth with milk and honey; and this is the fruit of it.’
Who can reveal Thy mysteries, when in the heights Thou madest chambers and treasure, in which wonders are told, and the word of the mighty deeds?
Some of them treasures of life for the righteous and pure,
Some of them treasures of salvation, for penitent sinners,
Some of them treasures of fire and rivers of sulphur, for the transgressors of the covenant,
And treasures of deep pits of unquenchable fire, ‘he that is abhorred of the Lord shall fall therein’
And treasures of storms and tempests, of freezing and frost
And treasurers of hail and ice and snow, drought and also heat and bursting floods,
Steam and rime and mist and cloud and darkness and gloom.
All of them didst Thou prepare, in their time, either for mercy or for judgement Thou didst ordain them, ‘O mighty God,
Thou hast established them for correction’.
Who can contain Thy might, when from the abundance of Thy glory Thou didst create a pure radiance, hewn from the quarry of the Rock, and dug from the mine of Purity? And on it Thou didst set a spirit of wisdom, and Thou didst call it the Soul.
Thou didst fashion it from the flames of fire of the Intelligence, and its spirit is as a fire burning in it.
Though didst send it into the body to serve it and to guard it, and it is as a fire within, and yet it does not burn it.
From the fire of the spirit it was created, and went forth from nothingness to being, ‘because the Lord descended upon it in fire’.
Who can reach Thy wisdom, when Thou gavest the soul the power of knowledge which inheres in her?
So that knowledge is her glory, and therefore decay has no rule over her, and she endures with the endurance of her foundation; this is her state and her secret.
The wise soul does not see death, but receives for her sin a punishment more bitter than death,
And if she be pure she shall obtain grace, and smile on the last day,
And if she be unclean, she shall stray amid a flood of anger and wrath,
All the days of her uncleanliness she shall sit alone, captive and moving to and fro; ‘she shall touch no hallowed thing, nor come into the sanctuary, until the days of her
purifying be fulfilled’.