[This Topic was written in response to the wonder expressed by those who serve me permanently at the surprising contradictions they see in my conduct. It is also intended to rectify the excessively good opinions of me of two of my students.]
I see that some of the perfections which properly pertain to the truths of the All-Wise Qur’an are attributed to the instruments who proclaim those truths. And this is wrong. For the sacredness of the source demonstrates effects as powerful as many proofs; it is through these that it makes everyone accept its injunctions. Whenever the herald or deputy obscures it, that is, whenever attention is turned to the herald, the sacredness loses its effectiveness. It is because of this that I shall explain a truth to my brothers who show me greater regard than is my due. It is as follows:
One person may have numerous personalities, all of which display different qualities. For example, when a high official is in his office, his position necessitates dignity and requires a stance that will preserve its loftiness. If he is humble before his visitors, it will be lowering and will debase the position. But when in his own house, his position requires – contrary to his official position – that he should be as modest as he can. If he stands on his dignity, it will be arrogant. And so on. That is to say, a person assumes a personality when performing his duty or work that in many respects contradicts his true personality. If such a person is truly worthy of his duty and truly capable of it, the two personalities are close to each other. But if he lacks the capacity; if, for example, a common soldier is put in the position of a field marshal, the two personalities are far apart; the individual, lowly, inferior qualities of the soldier are incompatible with the elevated, superior character demanded by the position of field marshal.
Thus, this wretched brother of yours has three personalities, which are very distant from each other, truly very distant.
T h e F i r s t : In so far as I am a herald of the elevated treasury of the All-Wise Qur’an, I have a temporary personality that pertains solely to the Qur’an. The extremely exalted character demanded by this position is not mine; I do not possess such a character. It rather consists of the qualities