opens its eyes and looks at it, it will be able to comprehend the immense sun together with its light, seven colours, heat, and even its distance; it will display a sort of greater manifestation. That is to say, if the particle remains on its own, it will be able to perform a function only to the extent of a particle, whereas if it is deemed to be an official of the sun, and is connected to it and is a mirror to it, it will be able to demonstrate certain partial examples of the sun’s functioning, the same as the sun itself.
Thus, “And God’s is the highest similitude,”(16:60) if all beings, all particles, are attributed to multiplicity, causes, nature, themselves, or to anything other than God, then each of them must either possess all-embracing knowledge and absolute power, or innumerable immaterial machines and printing-presses must take form within each, so that it can carry out its wonderful duties. However, if the particles are attributed to the Single One of Unity, each of them, each artefact, becomes connected to Him; it is as though each becomes His official. Its connection allows it to display His manifestation. And through this connection and state of being a manifestation, it relies on an infinite knowledge and power. Thus, by reason of the mystery of the connection and its reliance, it performs functions and duties far beyond its own power, through the power of its Creator.
Second Comparison: For example, there were two brothers, one brave and self-reliant, the other patriotic and devoted to his country. When a war broke out, the one who relied on himself did not form any connection with the state; he wanted to perform his service on his own. He was compelled therefore to carry his own sources of power, and to transport, as far as his strength allowed, his equipment and ammunition. In accordance with his petty individual strength, he was only able to fight with one corporal of the enemy army; to do more was beyond him.
The other brother did not rely on himself; he knew himself to be weak and powerless so established a connection with the king and was enrolled in the army. Through this connection, the huge army became a source of support for him. And because of this support, he was plunged into war with the moral strength of an army behind him under the auspices of the king. So when he encountered an eminent field marshal of the defeated enemy army’s king, he declared in the name of his own king: “I take you prisoner! Quick march!” He captured him and handed him over. The meaning of this situation and the wisdom in it is this:
Since the first, independent, man, was compelled to carry his equipment and sources of strength himself, the service he was able to perform was extremely insignificant. Whereas the one who was an official did not have to carry his source of strength; indeed, the army and the king carried him.