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God is both nearer to us than ourselves and beyond seventy-thousand veils at the same time. How can these be reconciled?

You say that verses like �In His hand is the dominion of everything� and �There is not a moving creature, but He has grasp of it by the forelock� and �We are nearer to him than the jugular vein� show that God is infinitely near to us.  The verses, �To Him you are being brought back� and �The angels and the spirit ascend to Him in a day the measure of which is fifty thousand years� and the hadith which says, �God Almighty is beyond seventy thousand veils,� and the truths such as those contained in the Prophet�s Ascension, point out that we are infinitely distant from Him. I would like an explanation which will shed light on this profound mystery.

Listen to the following:

  • At the end of the First Issue, I said:  The sun is, through its unrestricted light and immaterial reflection, nearer to you than the pupil of your eye, which is the window of your spirit and its mirror.  But because of your being bounded by certain conditions and imprisoned within the walls of matter, you are extremely distant from it. You can make contact with it only through some of its reflections and shadows.  You can meet with it through some sort of its particular manifestations, and draw close to its colors which may be regarded as its attributes of some kind, and to its rays and images which may be considered as a grouping of its names. If you seek to approach and meet with the sun itself, you must transcend numerous restrictions and acquire many universal attributes. Simply, in spiritual transcendence, only after growing to the size of the earth, expanding in spirit like the air, rising as far as the moon and directly confronting the sun as the full-moon does, only then could you claim to meet with the sun in person without the veil and to draw near to it to some degree.

    In just the some way, the All-Majestic One of Perfection, the Peerlessly Beautiful One, the Necessarily Existent One, the Creator of All Things, the Eternal Sun, and the Monarch with no beginning and end, is nearer to you than yourself, and you are infinitely distant from Him. If you have enough capacity, try to see the fine points in the comparison corresponding to the reality.

  • For example, among many titles of a king, �Commander� has a manifestation in many ranks or offices, one under or over the other. It manifests itself in offices high and low in rank, from the highest office of Commander-in-Chief, to those of Field Marshall and General, then those of Captain and Corporal. In his military duties, a private soldier admits a corporal as his superior or commander, and through the manifestation of that corporal in this lowest rank of command, he is in touch with one connected to the Commander-in-Chief. If he wishes to be in direct touch with the Commander-in-Chief in his proper person and function in the army, he will have to rise from being corporal to the high rank of Field-Marshal or General of some military force. This means that the king is extremely close to the soldier through his name, rule, law and knowledge, his telephone and regulations, and if he is purified spiritually enough, he may be overseeing every soldier at the same moment without being seen. Nothing can be an obstacle or obstruction to him. Whereas, the soldier is extremely distant from the king. Many ranks block his way, and many veils intervene between them. However, it sometimes happens that the king, contrary to his practice, admits a private to his presence out of his compassion, and favors him with his grace (1).

    In almost the same way�God�s is the highest comparison� the All-Majestic One, the Lord of the command �Be!,� and it is, for Whom the suns and other stars are like soldiers, is nearer to all things than themselves, while all things are infinitely distant from Him. If one wishes to enter His Presence of Grandeur without veil, one will have to pass through seventy thousand veils of darkness and light, that is, material and physical veils and the veils of the Divine Names and Attributes.  He will have to transcend thousands of particular and universal degrees of manifestation of each Name and rise through the most elevated levels of His Attributes.  He will have to ascend as high as His Greatest Throne, which is favored with the manifestation of His Greatest Name, or the most universal manifestation of His Names.  If one is not favored with Divine attraction�God�s direct attracting one to Himself�he will have to strive and journey spiritually for thousands of years.

    For example, if you want to draw near to Him through His Name of Creator, you have to make a connection with Him first on account of His being your creator.  Then you have to make a connection on account of His being the Creator of, in turn, all human beings, all living creatures, and all beings. Otherwise, you will remain in shadow and only find a particular manifestation.

Annotations

1. Because of his relative impotence, the king in the comparison places intermediaries like Field-Marshal and General in the execution of his command. But the Absolutely Powerful One, in Whose hand is the dominion of all things, is absolutely independent of any intermediaries, and has no need for them at all. Intermediaries�like angels and natural causes�are only an appearance, a veil to His Dignity and Grandeur. They are heralds and observers of the sovereignty of His Lordship�being the Sustainer, Upbringer and Administrator�in worship, amazement, helplessness and want. They are not His assistants, and cannot be partners in the sovereignty of His Lordship.

 

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