A Persian poet says:
'Thou hast hidden Thy face under the veil of Thy
But I know that it is Thou who hast by one stroke set
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.