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Volume V - Spiritual Liberty


Chapter IV

A Persian poet says:

'Thou hast hidden Thy face under the veil of Thy creation,
But I know that it is Thou who hast by one stroke set both
the worlds in motion.'

The world is like a child's hoop; when a blow is given to it, it runs on and on. When the force of the blow is spent it stops and falls down, and this may be seen in a lesser way in all things in the world. When the activity of the world has expired, the world will fall down. The course of destruction is like the course of manifestation: it is in cycles. The first action is created by the blow given, and each action afterwards causes a further action.

The course of the world's life is like that of the clock. It is wound to go for a certain time. Some clocks go for four days, some go for eight days, some you have to wind every day. When the period for which it was wound has passed, the wheels stop.

The law of construction and destruction may be described as having three aspects. Uruj, the first aspect, shows the force of activity. Kamal shows the climax, the limit of its progress and Zaval brings it back to inactivity, the end of which is the absolute Kamal. Kamal shows its destructive power in both its poles, first at the end of Uruj, the active force, when the progress stops; and again at the finish of Zaval, when the activity absolutely ceases. The constructive element is called Qadr, the dominated power. The destructive is the absolute power which dominates. It is called Qaza. All that is born, built, made, or that springs up, must one day or other, singly or collectively, submit to Qaza, the destructive power.

It amazes us when, owing to an explosion, a factory is accidentally blown up, and thousands of lives are lost. It horrifies us to see a big city destroyed by a flood, and millions of lives sacrificed; but to the Creator it amounts to nothing. It is as if a mathematician were to write a sum, multiply, add, subtract, and divide, up to thousands and millions of figures, and then suddenly take a fancy to destroy the whole thing.

There is a time when one finger is cut off, and a time when the whole hand is lost. There is a time when one limb perishes, and a time when the whole body is dead. There is a time when one thing in the room is broken, another when everything in the room is smashed, another when the whole house is ruined, another time when the whole city, or the whole country is destroyed. So there is a time when the whole world is destroyed, even the universe; but this comes over a much longer period of time.

Why is manifestation, although it is made of eternal life, yet subject to destruction? The answer is that the eternal life is the only life and this seeming life on earth is merely an assumption. The Prophet was once asked, What is the soul? He answered in one word, Amr-i Allah, an action of God. There is the same difference between God and His manifestation that there is between a man and his action. The action perishes and man remains; so the manifestation is destroyed and God remains.

All impressions and all memory, and all stains of the world disappear from the consciousness, leaving it as pure as it was before.

If a bottle full of ink is poured into the ocean, the inky substance is absorbed, and the sea is clear and unchanged as before. When a new universe is manifested, it is without the experience of a previous manifestation. When the universe has ceased to be, it starts again, and though this is repeated numberless times, each time it is as fresh as ever.

checked 20-Feb-2006