This is obvious, because so long as you consort with (worldly) people, you will never smell the perfume of the Spirit in them, you will only smell the smell of sweat, and this is because they have been enslaved by sensuality; it has taken possession of their hearts and their limbs..."
"And yet many are they who have freed themselves from sensuality in order to plunge into the Spirit for the rest of their lives (may God be pleased with them and let us profit from their blessing, Amen, Amen, Amen). It is as if God (be He exalted) had not given them Spirit (i.e. the worldly people) and yet each one of them is part of it, as the waves are part of the ocean. If they knew this, they would not allow themselves to be distracted from the Spirit by sensory things; if they knew this, they would discover in themselves oceans; and God is our Warrant for what we say."
* sensuality = al-hiss = sensuality in the broadest sense of the word, i.e attachment to sensory experience
FROM: Letters of a Sufi Master. Translated by Titus Burckhardt
Publisher credit: Fons Vitae