First Fundamental Point: The importance of life in the realm of existence. The extensiveness of immaterial life in the realm of existence.

FIRST FUNDAMENTAL POINT

The perfection of existence is through life. Rather, the true existence of existence is through life. Life is the light of existence, and consciousness is the light of life. Life is the summit and foundation of everything. Life appropriates everything for living beings; it is as though it makes one thing the owner of everything. Through life, a living thing may say: “All these things belong to me. The world is my house. The universe is my property, given to me by my owner.”

Just as light is the cause of things being seen, and, according to some, of the existence of colours, so is life the revealer of beings; it is the cause of their qualities being realized. Furthermore, it makes an insignificant particular general and universal, and is the cause of universal things being concentrated in a particular. It is also the cause of all the perfections of existence, by, for example, making innumerable things co-operate and unite, and making them the means of unity and being endowed with spirit. Life is even a sort of manifestation of Divine unity in the levels of multiplicity, and a mirror reflecting Divine oneness.

Consider the following: a lifeless object, even if it is a great mountain, is an orphan, a stranger, alone. Its only relations are with the place in which it is situated, and with the things which encounter it. Whatever else there is in the cosmos, it does not exist for the mountain. For the mountain has neither life through which it might be related to life, nor consciousness by which it might be concerned.

Now consider a tiny object like a bee, for example. The instant life enters it, it establishes such a connection with the universe that it is as though it concludes a trading agreement with it, especially with the flowers and plants of the earth. It can say: “The earth is my garden; it is my trading house.” Thus, through the unconscious instinctive senses which impel and stimulate it in addition to the well-known five external senses and inner senses of animate beings, the bee has a feeling for, and a familiarity and reciprocal relationship with, most of the species in the world, and they are at its disposal.

If life then displays its effect thus in the tiniest of animate beings, certainly when it rises to the highest level, that of man, it will be revealed and extended and illumined to such a degree that just as a human being is able to move through the rooms of his house with his consciousness and mind, which are the light of life, so he may travel through the higher, and the spiritual and corporeal worlds with them. That is to say, just as that conscious and animate being may go in spirit as though as a guest to those worlds, those worlds too come as guests to his mirror-like spirit by being reflected and depicted there.

Life is a most brilliant proof of the All-Glorious One’s unity, and one of the greatest sources of His bounty; it is a most subtle manifestation of His compassionateness, and a most hidden, unknowable, and incomparable embroidery of His art.

Life is hidden and subtle, because the life of plants even, which is the lowest of the levels of life, and the awakening of the life-force in seeds, that is, their stirring, opening, and growth, which are the first steps in plant life, has remained unfathomed by human science since the time of Adam, despite being so evident and familiar, so ubiquitous and common. Man’s reason has been unable to discover its true reality.

Moreover, life is so pure and unblemished that in both its aspects, that is in both its inner and outer faces, it is pure, translucent, transparent. Not veiling it with causes, the hand of power touches it directly. Whereas It made apparent causes a veil, to be the source of the insignificant aspects of things and their base external qualities, which are inappropriate to the dignity of power.

IN SHORT: It may be said that if there was no life, existence would not be existence; it would be no different from non-existence. Life is the light of the spirit, and consciousness is the light of life. Since life and consciousness are important to this great extent; and since there is self-evidently an absolutely perfect order in the universe, and a masterly precision and most wise harmony; and since our lowly, wretched globe, our wandering earth has been filled with uncountable numbers of animate beings, intelligent beings, and beings with spirits; it may be concluded with decisive certainty that those heavenly palaces, those lofty constellations also have animate and conscious inhabitants appropriate to them. As fish swim in water, so are those luminous inhabitants present in the fire of the sun. Fire does not consume light; indeed, Fire aids light.

Moreover, since, as is plain to see, pre-eternal power creates innumerable animate beings and beings with spirits from the most common substances and densest matter, and giving it great importance, transmutes dense matter by means of life into a subtle substance; and since it strews the light of life everywhere in great abundance, and gilds most things with the light of consciousness; with such flawless power and faultless wisdom, the All-Wise and All-Powerful One would certainly not neglect the other floods of subtle matter like light and ether, which are close to and fitting for the spirit; He would not leave them without life, without consciousness, inanimate. Indeed, He creates animate and conscious beings in great numbers from light, which is also matter, and even from meanings, air, and even words. Just as He creates numerous different species of animals, so from these torrents of subtle matter He creates numerous different spirit creatures. One kind of them are the angels, others are the varieties of spirit beings and jinn. If you wish to see just how true, self-evident, and rational it is to accept the existence of great numbers of angels and spirit beings, and as the Qur’an shows, just how contrary to truth and wisdom, and what a superstition, aberration, delirium and foolishness it is not to accept them, consider the following comparison.

There were two men, one rustic and uncouth, the other civilized and intelligent, who made friends and went to a splendid city like Istanbul. In a distant corner of that civilized and magnificent city they came across a dirty, wretched little building, a factory. They looked and saw that the strange factory was full of miserable, impoverished men working. All around the building were beings with spirits and animate beings, but their means of livelihood and conditions of life were such that some were herbivorous, they lived only on plants, while others were piscivorous, they ate nothing but fish.

The two men watched the scene. Then they saw in the distance thousands of adorned palaces and lofty castles. Among the palaces were spacious workshops and broad squares. Because of either the distance, or the defectiveness of the men’s eyesight, or because they had hidden themselves, the inhabitants of the palaces were not visible to the two men. Moreover, the wretched conditions in the factory were not to be seen in the palaces. In consequence of this, the uncouth country-bumpkin, who had never before seen a city, declared: “Those palaces have no inhabitants, they are empty, there are no beings with spirits in them,” uttering the most ignorant garbled nonsense. To which the second man replied:

“O you miserable man! This insignificant little building you see here has been filled with beings endowed with spirits, with workers, and there is someone who continually employs and replaces them. Look, there is not an empty space all around this factory, it has been filled with animate beings and beings with spirits. Do you think it is at all possible that there would be no high-ranking and suitable inhabitants in that orderly city, in those wisely adorned palaces so full of art which we can see in the distance? Of course they are occupied, and the different conditions of life there are appropriate for those who live there. In place of grass, they eat pastries, and in place of fish, cakes. Their not being visible to you because of the distance, or your weak eyesight, or their hiding themselves, can at no time point to their not being there.” The fact that a thing is not seen does not indicate its non-existence.

As the above comparison indicates, the fact that the globe of the earth is the home of these infinite numbers of beings endowed with consciousness and spirit, despite its insignificance and density among the lofty heavenly bodies and planets, and even its grossest and most rotten particulars becoming masses of micro-organisms when they cease as sources of life, necessarily, demonstrably, decisively indicates, testifies to and proclaims that infinite space and the majestic heavens with their constellations and stars are full of animate beings, conscious beings, and beings with spirits. The Illustrious Shari‘a of Muhammad (Peace and blessings be upon him) and the Qur’an of Miraculous Exposition call these beings, who are created from fire, light, and even from electricity, and from other subtle flowing matter, “The angels, the jinn, and spirit beings.” There are different kinds of angels, just as there are different kinds of corporeal beings. Indeed, the angel who is appointed to a raindrop will not be of the same sort as the angel appointed to the sun. There are also a very great many different sorts of jinn and spirit beings.

THE CONCLUSION OF THIS FUNDAMENTAL POINT:

As may be established empirically, matter is not essential so that existence may be made subject to it, and be dependent on it. Rather, matter subsists through a meaning, and that meaning is life, it is spirit.

Also, as may be established through observation, matter is not the thing served so that everything may be ascribed to it. It is rather the servant; it renders service to the process of the perfection of a truth. And that truth is life. And the fundament of that truth is spirit.

Also, as is self-evident, matter is not dominant so that recourse may be made to it or perfections sought from it. Rather, it is dominated; it looks to the decree of some fundament, it is in motion in the way that that decree dictates. And that fundament is life, it is spirit, it is consciousness.

Also, as is necessary, matter is not the kernel, it is not the fundament, it is not a settled abode so that events and perfections may be affixed to it or constructed on it. Rather, it is a shell prepared to be split, rent, dissolved; it is a husk, it is froth, it is a form.

Consider the following: a creature so minute it can only be seen with a microscope has such acute senses it can hear its friend’s voice, and see its sustenance; it has extremely sensitive and sharp senses. This demonstrates that the effects of life increase and the light of the spirit intensifies in proportion to the reducing and refining of matter. It is as though the more matter is refined and the more we become distanced from our material existences, the closer we draw to the world of the spirit, the world of life, and the world of consciousness; and the more intensely the heat of the spirit and the light of life are manifested.

Is it therefore at all possible that there should be this many distillations of life, consciousness, and spirit within this veil of materiality, and that the inner world which is beyond this veil should not be full of conscious beings and beings with spirits? Is it at all possible that the sources of these numberless distillations, flashes, and fruits of meaning, spirit, life and the truth apparent in this material existence in the Manifest World should be ascribed only to matter and the motion of matter, and be explained by it? God forbid! Absolutely not! These innumerable distillations and flashes demonstrate that this material and manifest world is but a lace veil strewn over the inner and spirit worlds.

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Second Fundamental Point: The relations between laws of nature and angels.

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