The path of the People [al-qawm] is ardour and effort. Those who earnestly expend their effort obtain everything that they desire, while those who delay and neglect are obstructed on the road. There are numerous obstructions, the greatest of which is to depend on created beings, feel inclined toward them, and keep their intimate company. How can one hope to arrive who mixes with them and keeps their company in the manner that they do with each other, that is, talking, joking, laughing and so on? If you desire the exalted stations abandon creation and concentrate on your Lord. Feel estranged from all people, until they say about that you are mad; only then will you see wonders, God willing. But if you do not conform with what has been said, your times will pass in trouble and toil and you will reach nothing of what you desire. Be earnest and strive, do not content yourself with trivia and mere verbosity, test yourself, do not be credulous with your soul, tell your shaykh about the evil in it and hide nothing from him. Be sincere in your quest, and your effort and the wonders and secrets of the heart will become unveiled for you. You will enter the World of Similitudes [‘alam al-mithal], which is a world other than the one you are in now. It is the first station of the Ones Brought Near, and there the wayfarer beholds what the five senses cannot grasp. It is a state that is intermediate between sleep and wakefulness, and it usually comes to the wayfarer as he is sitting down, and then he sees what he sees. Its condition is that he be aware of the time and place and of his state between sleep and wakefulness, for if he is not it is only a dream and thus to be discounted in this regard.
p. 34 – Shaykh Abd Al-Khaliq Al-Shabrawi, tr. by Mostafa Al-Badawi, The Degrees of the Soul, 1997.