The Fourth Treatise
A Drop from the ocean of [the proofs] of Divine Unity
In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate.
All praise be to God and blessings be upon His Prophet.
KNOW, O FRIEND, THAT DURING THE 40 YEARS OF MY LIFE AND MY
30 years of study, I have learned four words or phrases and four sentences [each of which is a general ruling]: being like a letter, a sign of the whole or pointing to others rather than to itself; being like a word, pointing to or representing itself; intention; and viewpoint.33
In other words, everything (except God) should be considered only in terms of God Almighty and not in its own terms. Considering the universe in terms of itself or material causes is wrong. Everything has two aspects: one points to the Creator, the other points to creation. Any created being should be considered with respect to its first aspect, that of being a sign of the Almighty Creator. For example, any bounty or blessing should be associated with the Divine gift or Divine act of bestowing bounties. The related means and causes should be seen as “mirrors” reflecting the management or administration of Divine Power.
Similarly, intention and viewpoint change the nature of things and, as an elixir turns soil into gold, good intention and correct viewpoint change evil acts into good ones. Intention transforms our everyday, ordinary acts into acts of worship, and viewpoint allows science to become a means of acquiring knowledge of God. If scientific findings are considered in terms of material causes and means, they become a means of ignorance; if they are considered in terms of or on account of God, they produce knowledge of God.
The four sentences are as follows:
FIRST SENTENCE: I am neither the owner nor master of myself. The one who owns me is the Owner of creation, the One of Majesty and Munificence. I imagine that I own myself in order to understand the Attributes of my Owner by comparison. I perceive the Infinite One through my limitations [in power, attributes, capacities, etc.]. “When the Sun rises and morning comes, stars set.”
SECOND SENTENCE: Death is inevitable. This life and body cannot be the world’s foundation. As the body is made of flesh, blood, and bones, which eventually will decompose, one’s life and body cannot be eternal. How can a “palace” as large as the world be built with desires and fancies upon such a loose foundation and rotting support?
THIRD SENTENCE: My Lord is One. Happiness is realized only by submitting to the One Lord. If this were not so, everyone would need as many conflicting lords as there are entities in the universe. As human nature is comprehensive, human beings need almost everything and have connections with each other. Whether consciously or not, they are affected by all of them and suffer because of them. This is a hellish state. On the other hand, knowledge and recognition of the One Lord before Whose Hand of power all those fancied or supposed lords are but a thin veil is a paradisiacal state.
FOURTH SENTENCE: The ego is a black dot, a point of comparison [to know and recognize God] intertwined with the “threads” of a conscious artistry. It shows that its Owner is nearer to it than itself.
These sentences are explained in the first chapter’s conclusion.
33 In a word or a sentence, a letter points to the meanings of other things, not itself. A word points to itself in meaning. Considering something from the viewpoint of what a letter signifies, or on account of the Creator, means considering it a “mirror” that reflects God’s Names and Attributes manifested on it. Considering something from the viewpoint of what a word signifies means considering it because of or on account of itself. (Tr.)