no position? Why do you assume a position advertising yourself and wanting the people to listen to you?”
T h e A n s w e r : Those who apply the law, may apply it to others after first applying it to themselves. If you apply a principle to others which you have not applied to yourselves, you are infringing and opposing your own principle and law before anyone. You want to apply this law of absolute equality to me. So I say this:
Whenever a common soldier rises to the social rank of a field marshal and shares in the respect and acclaim the nation shows to the field marshal and is the object of acclaim and respect the same as him; or whenever the field marshal becomes as common as the soldier and assumes the soldier’s lowly position and he retains no value whatsoever outside his duty; and whenever the most brilliant military commander who leads the army to victories receives public acclaim, respect and affection equal to that of the dimmest common soldier; then as required by this law of equality of yours, you can tell me: “Don’t call yourself a hoja! Don’t accept respect! Deny your virtue! Serve the servants, and take beggars as your friends!”
I f y o u s a y : “Respect, social position, and public attention are in regard to functions and particular to those who perform them when they are performing them. But you have no function, so you may not accept the people’s respect as though you did have one.”
T h e A n s w e r : If man consisted only of a body, and he were going to live in this world for ever, and if the door of the grave were closed and death had been killed, then his duties and functions would have been limited to those of the army and government officials, and what you say would have had some meaning. But since man does not consist only of a body, and his heart, tongue, mind, and brain cannot be plucked out to feed his body; they cannot be annihilated; they too have to be administered.
And since the door of the grave does not close, and since anxiety for the future beyond the grave is the most pressing question for everyone, then the duties based on the respect and obedience of the nation are not restricted to the social, political, and military duties looking to its worldly life. Yes, just as it is a duty to give a passport to those travelling abroad, so is it a duty to give a passport to those travelling to post-eternity and to give them a light for that dark way, and there is no other duty so important. It is a duty that can be denied only by denying death and giving the lie to the testimony of the thirty thousand witnesses who every day set their signatures with the seals of their corpses on the claim “Death is a reality,” affirming it.
Since there are moral and spiritual duties based on moral and spiritual