itself.” A clear proof that nothing owns itself is this: among causes the most noble and with regard to choice the one with the most extensive will is man. But out of the most obvious acts connected to man’s will like thinking, speaking, and eating, only a hundredth single, doubtful, part is subject to his will and is within his power. So how can it be said that he owns himself?
If the highest beings with the most extensive will are thus inhibited from real power and ownership to this degree, someone who says that the rest of beings, animate and inanimate, own themselves merely proves that he is more animal than the animals and more lifeless and unconscious than inanimate beings.
What pushes you to make such an error and casts you into this abyss is your one-eyed genius. That is, your extraordinary, ill-omened brilliance. Due to that blind genius of yours, you have forgotten your Sustainer, who is the the Creator of all things, you have attributed His works to imaginary nature and causes, you have divided up the Creator’s property among idols, false gods. In regard to this and in the view of your genius, every living creature and every human being has to resist innumerable enemies on his own and struggle to procure his endless needs. They are compelled to do this with the power of a minute particle, a fine thread-like will, a fleeting flash-like consciousness, a fast extinguishing flame-like life, a life which passes in a minute. But the capital of those wretched animate creatures is insufficient to answer even one of the thousands of their demands. When smitten by disaster, they can await no salve for their pain other than from deaf, blind causes. They manifest the meaning of the verse:
For the prayer of those without faith is nothing but [futile] wandering [in the mind].(13:14)
Your dark genius has transformed mankind’s daytime into night. And in order to warm that dark, distressing, unquiet night, you have only illuminated men with deceptive, temporary lamps. Those lamps do not smile at them with joy, they rather smirk idiotically at their pitiful and lamentable state. Those lights mock and make fun of them.
In the view of your pupils, all living beings are miserable, calamity-striken, and subject to the assaults of oppressors. The world is a place of universal mourning. Issuing from it are cries and wails at death and suffering. The pupil who has absorbed your instruction thoroughly becomes a pharaoh. But he is an abject pharaoh who worships the basest things and holds himself to be lord over everything he reckons advantageous. A student of yours is obstinate, but an obstinate wretch who accepts utter abasement