on the former is on all things, universal and particular, whether at rest or in motion, while His seal on the latter is on the body and on the limbs, and on their cells and particles.
Now consider His works as a whole: you will see as clearly as daylight absolute profusion within absolute order and regularity; with absolute speed yet absolute balance; with absolute ease yet with absolute skill; on a vast scale yet with absolute beauty of art; over infinite distances yet with complete unity of kind; with absolute intermingling, yet absolute differentiation; with absolute lack of expense together with absolute value. This situation testifies to the mind, as it compels the foolish dissembler to accept, that this art and unity is the work of a possessor of absolute power, a possessor of absolute knowledge.
In unity lies absolute ease, while in multiplicity and associating partners with God are incomprehensible difficulties.
If all things are attributed to one, the universe’s creation is as easy as the creation of a palm-tree, and the palm-tree as the fruit. But when ascribed to multiplicity, to create a palm-tree is as difficult as creating the universe and each fruit as difficult as the tree – so difficult as to be impossible. For with a single act, a single person may obtain a single result and situation for many things without difficulty and without having recourse to other means. Whereas if the situation and result are referred to many, they could be obtained only with great trouble and dispute and pursuing other means. It would be like an officer referring his duty to the soldiers, the master builder to the stones of a building, the earth to the planets, the waterfall to the drops of water, and the central point of a circle to all the points on the circumference.
Through the mystery of relations an unlimited power is present in unity. A thing or cause is not compelled to carry the sources of its strength, and the work resulting from the cause acquires greatness in relation to the thing on which it relies. But when partners are associated with God, all causes are obliged to carry their own sources of strength, and the resulting works diminish to their extent. It is because of this that an ant and a fly defeated tyrants, and a tiny seed bears upon it a huge tree.
If all things are ascribed to one person, there is no need for creation from absolute non-existence, for it consists of transferring a being which has existence in knowledge to external existence, like transferring the image on the mirror at the back of a camera onto photographic paper, thus establishing its external existence with complete ease, or like revealing words written in invisible ink by spreading a special substance on the writing.
When things are ascribed to causes and multiplicity, it necessitates their