Shafiq and Belle with Abdul broke camp early in the morning. They were about their journey again.
Maysa' walked, carrying Belle, and the two were talking. "Maysa'," Belle was saying, "did you see all of the death we witnessed, the open graves and deserted houses and the overgrown fields growing nothing?" "Yes," Maysa' replied, "I did Belle, and it is unnatural and sad." "Maysa'," Belle continued, "You say sad, you are a horse. How do you perceive death?" Maysa' said, "Not as you do. My soul is not the same as yours. Your soul has the divine spark from God that makes your soul individual and eternal as an individual soul. My individuality is only here and now. I am sentient of it, as you are of your existence, and I am even aware of this sentience of mine. I do not perceive past existence as impinging on present and the present presaging a future existence necessarily. Also, I do not perceive death as being a gateway to further individual existence. Your sentience of sentience includes, since your divine spark makes you permanent as an individual, the consciousness of your acts which engrave a form to your soul, beyond the simple fitting of the form of your soul to your body. My soul is not the same. At death your soul goes to God to be judged and done with as He sees fit. My soul at death melts into the oversoul of all horses. I have no divine spark and you have no oversoul. Your divine spark ensures your individual eternity. The oversoul of all horses ensures the eternity of horse as a creation of God and my soul at death becomes part of that, but my individuality ceases. I am released from it forever, without suffering. For you to try to experience my end would be a grievous wrong, a sin. For me to be jealous of your gift from God is unthinkable." Belle paused and then said, "You explain well that which is your gift from God, but how do you know to explain that which you do not yourself possess?" Maysa' replied, "My gift of human speech carries with it the ability to repeat things not of my nature and which, therefore, I do not understand. This is so because the Queen asked this gift of speech for me and it was granted by the supernatural power of God himself. God is Supreme and Omnipotent alone by His nature possessing aseity, self existence. His singular and unlimited and transcendant nature, Tawhid, permeates His creation and touches all things. He can do with any creature anything he chooses."
"Another thing Maysa' I wonder," Belle went on, "is this, I have always known that the carrier pigeons flew between the Queen's castle and mine, but I didn't even think about that when I answered the call to follow with you to her. Why is that? Why didn't I think it better to have a simple communication sent to me to come to her?" Maysa' answered, "The Queen knew there might be interception of any message sent that way, and for your safety prayed that it be as it was. Also, it was her wisdom that you and Shafiq should meet privately so that the beginning of your commitment to each other would be pure and unfettered by other concerns. Her gentle gift to you both. Her power of prayer is very great." Maysa' turned her head and looked at Belle briefly for emphasis and continued, "Belle, you must always remember to pray and never to make the mistake of trying to conjure. Prayer invokes God's mercy and power. Conjuring incants the evil ones to perform diabolic magic and is utterly sinful. Your enemies are of this. You must never be like that. The difference is in your will and who you call on. Call on God and depend on His mercy and you are fine. Try to will control over His creation in disregard of Him and you invite disaster." Suddenly Abdul was between Maysa' and Numair and speaking to both Shafiq and Belle, "Tonight we camp not far from Sippar and tommorrow we return and should meet the daughters of Astarte there and with them proceed to counsel and the confrontation with the traitors. Then it is to battle."
The five went on in close companionship and camped for the night. That night the stars blazed as if to shed their warmth and radiant joy upon the camp. They rested well and blessed. The morning would come early and their journey would be short to Sippar.
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