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1 The Sweet-smelling Savour Of My Garment #4
This is an allusion to the story of Joseph in the Qur...

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Thou Hast Asked Me Whether Man As Apart

Thou hast asked Me whether man, as apart from the Prophets of God and His
chosen ones, will retain, after his physical death, the self-same
individuality, personality, consciousness, and understanding that
characterize his life in this world. If this should be the case, how is
it, thou hast observed, that whereas such slight injuries to his mental
faculties as fainting and severe illness deprive him of his understanding
and consciousness, his death, which must involve the decomposition of his
body and the dissolution of its elements, is powerless to destroy that
understanding and extinguish that consciousness? How can any one imagine
that man's consciousness and personality will be maintained, when the very
instruments necessary to their existence and function will have completely

Know thou that the soul of man is exalted above, and is independent of all
infirmities of body or mind. That a sick person showeth signs of weakness
is due to the hindrances that interpose themselves between his soul and
his body, for the soul itself remaineth unaffected by any bodily ailments.
Consider the light of the lamp. Though an external object may interfere
with its radiance, the light itself continueth to shine with undiminished
power. In like manner, every malady afflicting the body of man is an
impediment that preventeth the soul from manifesting its inherent might
and power. When it leaveth the body, however, it will evince such
ascendancy, and reveal such influence as no force on earth can equal.
Every pure, every refined and sanctified soul will be endowed with
tremendous power, and shall rejoice with exceeding gladness.

Consider the lamp which is hidden under a bushel. Though its light be
shining, yet its radiance is concealed from men. Likewise, consider the
sun which hath been obscured by the clouds. Observe how its splendor
appeareth to have diminished, when in reality the source of that light
hath remained unchanged. The soul of man should be likened unto this sun,
and all things on earth should be regarded as his body. So long as no
external impediment interveneth between them, the body will, in its
entirety, continue to reflect the light of the soul, and to be sustained
by its power. As soon as, however, a veil interposeth itself between them,
the brightness of that light seemeth to lessen.

Consider again the sun when it is completely hidden behind the clouds.
Though the earth is still illumined with its light, yet the measure of
light which it receiveth is considerably reduced. Not until the clouds
have dispersed, can the sun shine again in the plenitude of its glory.
Neither the presence of the cloud nor its absence can, in any way, affect
the inherent splendor of the sun. The soul of man is the sun by which his
body is illumined, and from which it draweth its sustenance, and should be
so regarded.

Consider, moreover, how the fruit, ere it is formed, lieth potentially
within the tree. Were the tree to be cut into pieces, no sign nor any part
of the fruit, however small, could be detected. When it appeareth,
however, it manifesteth itself, as thou hast observed, in its wondrous
beauty and glorious perfection. Certain fruits, indeed, attain their
fullest development only after being severed from the tree.

Next: And Now Concerning Thy Question Regarding

Previous: As To Thy Question Concerning The Worlds

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