Gnosis is Realization

In the monastery the monk fell in love. At first a small thing, the passing of bread and salt at meal times, conversation among the carrots, beneath the lemon trees, as when the sun, setting behind the bright curve of a bell, shines forth a ring, almost dazzling to look upon.

His love came to him in a dream, in the fragrant shape of a laurel. He threw his arms about its trunk, kissed its rough bark, cried until his beard was filled with tears. He woke, and his palms were rough where they had pressed against the tree; he woke, and on his head was the bay crown of poets and soldiers. With trembling hands he laid aside the wreath and went down to breakfast, now doubly fretful.

He prayed that this love might be taken from him, that his mind resume the joyful tranquillity to which it had been accustomed, not least because he could not now bear the company of his dear brother, all their quiet conversations lost and broken, all ease destroyed.

But still by nights his love came to him, as a tree, as eagles, as the sky, as the garden of the monastery with its lemons. He cried out, and twisted, and by morning smelled rare and wild and fruitful.