And with its apparent ownership, it may understand the true ownership of its Creator, saying: “Like I am the owner of this house, so too is the Creator the owner of the universe.” And with its partial knowledge, it may understand His knowledge, and with its small amount of acquired art, it may understand the originative art of the Glorious Maker. For example, the ‘I’ says: “As I made this house and arranged it, so someone must have made the universe and arranged it,” and so on. Thousands of mysterious states, attributes, and perceptions which make known and show to a degree all the Divine attributes and functions are contained within the ‘I’. That is to say, the ‘I’ is mirror-like, and, like a unit of measurement and tool for discovery, it has an indicative meaning; having no meaning in itself, it shows the meaning of others. It is a conscious strand from the thick rope of the human being, a fine thread from the raiment of the essence of humanity, it is an Alif from the book of the character of mankind, and it has two faces.
The first of these faces looks towards good and existence. With this face it is only capable of receiving favour; it accepts what is given, itself it cannot create. This face is not active, it does not have the ability to create. Its other face looks towards evil and goes to non-existence. That face is active, it has the power to act. Furthermore, the real nature of the ‘I’ is indicative; it shows the meaning of things other than itself. Its dominicality is imaginary. Its existence is so weak and insubstantial that in itself it cannot bear or support anything at all. Rather, it is a sort of scale or measure, like a thermometer or barometer, that indicates the degrees and amounts of things; it is a measure that makes known the absolute, all-encompassing and limitless attributes of the Necessary Being.
Thus, he who knows his own self in this way, and realizes and acts according to it, is included in the good news of,
Truly he succeeds who purifies it.1
He truly carries out the Trust, and through the telescope of his ‘I’, he sees what the universe is and what duties it is performing. When he obtains information about the universe, he sees that his ‘I’ confirms it. This knowledge will remain as light and wisdom for him, and will not be transformed into darkness and futility. When the ‘I’ fulfils its duty in this way, it abandons its imaginary dominicality and supposed ownership, which are the units of measurement, and it says: “His is the sovereignty and to Him is due all praise; His is the judgement and to Him will you all be brought back.” It achieves true worship. It attains the rank of ‘the Most Excellent of Patterns.’2
But if, forgetting the wisdom of its creation and abandoning the duty of its nature, the ‘I’ views itself solely in the light of its nominal and apparent