A single person may gain universality by means of various mirrors. While being a single individual, he becomes like a universal possessing general qualities. For example, while the sun is a single individual, by means of transparent objects, it becomes so universal it fills the face of the earth with its images and reflections. It even has as many manifestations as the number of droplets and shining motes. Although the sun’s heat, light, and the seven colours in its light comprehend, encompass, and embrace all the things which confront them, all transparent things also hold in the pupils of their eyes the sun’s heat, and its light and seven colours, together with its image. And they make a throne for them in their hearts. That is to say, with regard to Unity, the sun encompasses all the things which confront it, while with regard to Oneness, the sun is present together with many of its attributes in everything through a sort of manifestation of its essence. Since we have passed from the comparison to a discussion of representation, we shall indicate three of the many sorts of representation which will be a means to understanding this matter.
The First: This is the reflection of dense, physical objects. These reflections are both other than the thing reflected; they are not the same, and they are dead, without life. They possess no quality other than their apparent identity. For example, if you enter a store full of mirrors, one Said will become thousands of Said’s, but the only living one is you, all the others are dead. They possess none of the characteristics of life.
The Second: This is the reflection of physical luminous objects. This reflection is not the same as the thing reflected, but neither is it other than it. It does not hold the luminous object’s nature, but it possesses most of its characteristics, and may be considered as living. For example, the sun entered the world and displayed its reflection in all mirrors. Present in each of the reflections are light and the seven colours in light, which are like the sun’s qualities. Let us suppose the sun possessed consciousness, and its heat was pure power; its light, pure knowledge; and its seven colours, the seven attributes: the single sun would be present in all mirrors at one moment, and would be able to make each a throne for itself and a sort of telephone. One mirror would not be an obstacle to another. It would be able to meet with all of us by means of our mirrors. While we are distant from it, it would be closer to us than ourselves.
The Third: This is the reflection of luminous spirits. This reflection is both living, and the same as the spirits. But since it appears in relation to the capacity of the mirrors, it does not hold completely the spirit’s essence and nature. For example, at the moment the Angel Gabriel (Peace be upon him) is in the presence of the Prophet in the form of Dihya, he is prostrating with his magnificent wings in the Divine Presence before the Sublime Throne. And at the same moment he is present in innumerable places, and is relaying