A monarch once asked a gnostic: 'Do you aspire to be in my place?'

The gnostic [áārif] replied: 'Do I aspire to be in my slave's place?'

The monarch asked: 'Am I, your slave?'

The gnostic said: 'nafs [lower self] and desire [hawa] are my slaves and i have subdued them. you are the slave of nafs and hawa; thus you are the slave of my slaves. would I aspire to be in a slave's place?'

Imām Ibn Áţāyillāh as-Sakandarī rađiyallahu ánhu in his Laţayif al-Minan