Throne down to an atom, and their places of manifestation differ to the same degree; so the degrees of sainthood, which consist of manifesting the names, differ in the same way. The most important reason for the confusion is this:
In some of the stations of the saints, the characteristics of the Mahdi’s function may be observed, or a special relation may be formed with the Supreme Spiritual Pole, or with Khidr; certain stations are connected with certain famous persons. In fact, the stations are called the station of Khidr, the station of Uwais, or the station of the Mahdi. Because of this, people who attain to these stations or to minor samples or shadows of them, suppose themselves to be the famous persons connected with them. They suppose themselves to be Khidr, or the Mahdi, or the Supreme Spiritual Pole. If such a person’s ego does not seek rank and position, he is not condemned to the state. His excessively high-flown claims are deemed ecstatic utterances for which he is probably not responsible. But if his ego is secretly set on acquiring rank and position, and if he defeated by it and leaves off thanks and becomes proud, from there he will gradually fall into arrogance, or descend to the depths of madness, or deviate from the path of truth. For he reckons the great saints to be like himself and his good opinion of them is spoiled, for however arrogant a soul is, it still perceives its own faults. Comparing those great saints with himself, he imagines them to be at fault. His respect towards the prophets diminishes, even.
Those suffering from this should hold fast to the balance of the Shari‘a, and adopt the rules of the scholars of the principles of religion, and take as their guides the instructions of such authoritative scholars from among the saints as Imam Ghazali and Imam-i Rabbani. They should constantly accuse their own souls, and attribute nothing to themselves other than fault, impotence, and want. Ecstatic utterances made by followers of this way arise from love of self, for love-filled eyes see no faults. Because of his self-love, such a person supposes a faulty, unworthy fragment of glass to be a brilliant or a diamond. The most dangerous of all these faults is that he imagines the partial meanings which occur to his heart in the form of inspiration to be “God’s Word,” and he calls them “verses (âyât).” This infers disrespect towards divine revelation, which is at the most holy and exalted degree. Yes, all inspirations from the inspirations of bees and animals to those of ordinary people and the elite among men, and from the inspirations of ordinary angels to those of the sublime cherubim, are divine words of a sort. But they are dominical speech in conformity with the capacity of the places of manifestation and their stations; they are the varying manifestations of dominical address shining through seventy thousand veils.