The world and things have three facets. These are the following:
• The first facet is turned to the Divine Names and Attributes. Each created thing is a manifestation of certain Divine Names and Attributes, such as Mercy, Creativity, Grace, Provision, Favoring, Hearing, Seeing, or Speaking. As this facet only mirrors those Names and Attributes, it does not experience decay and death, but is continually refreshed and renewed.
• The second facet is turned to the Hereafter—the world of permanence. Being like a field sown with the seeds of the Hereafter, seeds that will grow into permanent “trees” with permanent fruits, this facet serves the World of Permanence by causing transient things to acquire permanence. It also does not experience decay and death, but life and permanence.
• The third facet relates to our bodily desires. Many people love this facet, which is the marketplace of sensible conscious persons and a trial for the duty-bound. This facet is apparently the object of decay and death. However, in its inner dimension, there are manifestations of life and permanence to heal the sorrows brought by death, decay, and separation.
Why is love for this third facet not something to be approved? Consider the following:
• The world is a book of the Eternally-Besought-of-All. Its letters and words point not to themselves, but to their Author’s Essence, Names, and Attributes. This being so, learn its meaning and adopt it; abandon its decorations and go.
• The world is a tillage for the Hereafter, so plant it to harvest in the Hereafter. Pay attention to the crop that you will receive in the Hereafter, and throw away the useless chaff.
• The world is a collection of “mirrors” that continually follow each other to reflect their Creator and then pass on. Therefore, know the One Who is manifested in them. See His lights, understand the manifestations of His Names appearing in them, and love the One they signify. Cease your attachment to “those fragments of glass” that are doomed to break and perish.
• The world is a moving place of trade. Do your business and leave. Do not tire yourself in useless pursuit of caravans that leave you behind and ignore you.
• The world is a temporary place of recreation. Study it to take lessons and warnings, but ignore its apparent, ugly face and pay attention to its hidden, beautiful face looking to the Eternal All-Gracious One. Go for a pleasant and beneficial recreation and then return. When the scenes displaying those fine views and beautiful things disappear, do not cry or be anxious.
• The world is a guesthouse. Eat and drink within the limits established by the Munificent Host Who built it, and offer thanks. Act and behave in accordance with His Law. Then depart from it without looking back. Do not interfere in it, or busy yourself in vain with things that one day will leave you and are no concern of yours.
Through such plain truths, He reveals the world’s real character and makes death less painful. He makes death desirable for those awake to the truth, and shows that there is a trace of Mercy in all His actions.
Unal, Ali. The Resurrection and the Afterlife. The Light, Inc. 2006.
- August 29, 2013
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