What is the relation of life to existence?
The perfection of a thing�s existence is through life. Moreover, life is
the real basis and the light of existence, and consciousness, in turn, is the
light of life. It is also life that constitutes the foundation of everything.
Life appropriates everything for each living thing, and only through life can
a living creature claim that everything belongs to it. The whole world, it can
claim, is its home and the entire universe is its property conferred upon it
by the Owner.
Just as light causes (concrete) things to be seen and, according to one theory,
is the real cause of color, so life may be said to unveil the creation. It is
life again which causes the qualities to be realized, and the archetypes to
gain material existence, thus making the particular acquire universality and
universals be concentrated in a particular.
Life also causes existence to attain to perfection and achieve the rank of
possessing a soul, by making countless factors unite into a whole to become
a sentient, percipient being. Furthermore, life is the manifestation of oneness
in the realm of multiplicity, and the reflection of unity in plurality. See
how lonely a substance is without life, even though it is as big as a mountain.
Its interactions are restricted to its own location, and whatever else exists
in the universe means nothing to it since it is unconscious of other existents.
Now observe a minute living being such as a honeybee, what close interactions
it has with the universe, particularly with its environment of plants and flowers--so
that it can properly argue that the earth is the garden or the market- place
where it does business. The bee has, through the unconscious instinctive senses
which enthuse and motivate it, in addition to its external and inner senses,
close relations and familiarity with most of the species in the world.
If the effect of life upon the humble honeybee is so great, how much more
will it be upon man, as it expands into his consciousness, reason and intellect.
Man, by means of reason and consciousness, which are the light of life, travels
through the higher worlds of corporeal and spiritual existence as easily as
he passes from one room to another in his house. That is, just as that conscious
and living being may go in spirit as a guest to those worlds, those worlds too
come as guests to his mirror-like spirit by being reflected there.
Life is a most manifest evidence of God�s Unity, a greatest source of His
bounty and a most subtle manifestation of His Compassion; it is also a most
hidden and delicate embroidery of His art. Life is really so mysterious and
subtle that even the life of plants, which is the simplest of the levels of
life, and the awakening of the life-force in seeds as the beginning of a plant�s
life, is still not fully understood. Although it is something commonly observed
by man, it has remained a mystery from the time of Adam, since the human mind
has been unable to grasp the nature of life.
Life in both its outer or material and inner or immaterial aspects is pure.
The Divine Power creates life directly without the participation of causes,
while on the other hand It employs natural causes in the creation of everything
else. The reason why God operates behind the veil of natural causes in the creation
of things other than life is that man, being unable to discern Divine Wisdom
in some occurrences, might ignorantly ascribe to Him some things which he deems
In short: It may be argued that inanimate things cannot be regarded as really
existent, not being substantially different from non-existence. Life is the
light of the spirit, and consciousness is the light of life. Since life and
consciousness are so important, and a perfect harmony evidently prevails over
the whole creation, and again since the universe displays a firm cohesion, and
as this small ever-rotating sphere of ours is full of countless living and intelligent
beings, so it is equally certain that those heavenly castles, those lofty constellations,
should have conscious living inhabitants peculiar to themselves. Just as the
fish live in water, so those spirit beings may exist in the heat of the sun.
Fire does not consume light, on the contrary, light becomes brighter because
of fire. We observe that the Eternal Power creates countless living beings from
inert, solid substances and transforms the densest matter into subtle living
compounds by life. Thus It radiates the light of life everywhere in great abundance
and furnishes most things with the light of consciousness.