FIRST FUNDAMENTAL POINT

Man’s spirit is definitely immortal. Almost all the indications in the First Aim which point to the existence of the angels and spirit beings also point to the immortality of man’s spirit, which is our topic here. In my opinion, the matter is so certain that further explanation would be profitless. Indeed, the distance between us and the caravans of innumerable immortal spirits who are waiting to go to the hereafter in the Intermediate and Spirit Worlds is so fine and slight that there is no need to demonstrate it with proofs. Numberless saints and people of illumination getting in touch with them, and those who discern the secrets of the grave seeing them, and even a number of ordinary people communicating with them, and the mass of people forming relations with them in true dreams, have formed a mass of unanimous reports, and quite simply become part of the commonly accepted knowledge of mankind. However, because materialist thought has stupified everyone in this age, it has been able to implant doubts in their minds concerning even the most evident matters. In order to remove these doubts, therefore, we shall set forth an Introduction and four Sources from the numerous sources springing from the heart’s intuition and the intellect’s insight.

Introduction

As is proved in the Fourth Truth of the Tenth Word, an eternal, everlasting, and peerless beauty requires the eternity and permanence of mirror-bearing enraptured admirers. And a faultless, eternal, and perfect art seeks the perpetuation of thoughtful heralds. And a boundless mercy and beneficence require the continued ease and happiness of needy ones to thank it.

And the foremost of those mirror-bearing enraptured admirers, those heralding thoughtful ones, those needy thankful ones is the human spirit, in which case, it will accompany that beauty, that perfection, that mercy on the endless road to eternity; it will be immortal.

As is also proved in the Tenth Word, in the Sixth Truth, not only the human spirit, but also the simplest levels of existence have not been created for extinction; they manifest a form of immortality. Even an insignificant flower, which has no spirit, when it ceases from external existence, manifests a sort of immortality in a thousand ways. For its form is made permanent in countless memories. And finding perpetuation in all its hundreds of seeds, the law according to which it was formed continues. Since the flower’s law of formation, the model of its form, which resembles a tiny fragment of spirit, is made permanent by an All-Wise Preserver; and since it is preserved throughout turbulent transformations with perfect order in its tiny seeds and made permanent; if you do not understand the degree to which the human spirit, which is of an extremely comprehensive and elevated nature, and has been clothed with external existence, and is a conscious, living, and luminous commanding law, most certainly manifests immortality, and is tied and bound to eternity, if you do not understand this, how can you claim to be a conscious human being? Can it be asked of an All-Wise One of Glory, an Imperishable Preserver Who includes and pre­serves the programme and law of formation of a mighty tree in its tiny dot-like seed? For that law to some degree resembles a spirit,“How can He preserve the spirits of the dead?” .

• FIRST SOURCE:

This is subjective. That is to say, if anyone studies his own life and self, he perceives an immortal spirit. Indeed, in the course of occupying its body for a number of years the spirit causes the body to change considerably, yet the spirit self-evidently remains constant. In which case, although the body is ephemeral, it does not affect the spirit’s permanence, nor spoil its nature, even though the spirit is completely naked at death. However, in the course of life, the spirit gradually changes its body-clothes, and at the time of death, it is suddenly undressed. It has been established through certain conjecture, indeed, through observation, that the body subsists though the spirit; in which case, the spirit does not subsist through the body. Rather, since the spirit subsists and is dominant of itself, the body may be dispersed and gathered together again as it wishes; it will not infringe the spirit’s independence.

In fact, the body is the spirit’s house, it is its home; it is not its clothes. What clothes the spirit is a subtle, fine sheath, something which may be likened to a body, which is to some extent constant, and is ethereal and appropriate for the spirit. At the time of death, then, the spirit is not completely naked, it leaves its home dressed in its body-like sheath.

• SECOND SOURCE:

This is objective. That is to say, it is a sort of empirical judgement which has been formed through repeated observations and numerous occurrences of events. Indeed, when it is understood that a single spirit continues after death, this necessitates the continuation of all spirits as a category of being. For according to the science of logic it is certain that if an intrinsic quality is observed in a single individual, the existence of that quality may be assumed in all individuals. Because it is intrinsic. If it is intrinsic, it will be present in each individual. Whereas the indications based on not one but on innumerable observations beyond calculation and count, and the signs pointing to the immortality of spirits are so definite, that like for us there is a place called the New World, that is, America, and that human beings are found there, we can in no way doubt the existence of those people. In the same way, it is unacceptable to doubt that the spirits of those who have died are now present in great numbers in the World of the Inner Dimension of Things and in the Spirit World, and that they have relations with us. Our immaterial gifts go to them, and their luminous emanations come to us.

Moreover, with certain intuition, one may perceive with one’s conscience that a fundamental aspect of man continues after his death. And that fundamental aspect is spirit. As for spirit, it is not subject to destruction and dissolution. This is because it is simple and uncompounded, it has unity. As for destruction, dissolution, and decomposition, they are the function of complex and compound substances. As we explained above, life ensures a form of unity within multiplicity; it causes a sort of permanence. That is to say, unity and permanence are fundamental to spirit, from which they spread to multiplicity.

The mortality of man’s spirit would be either through destruction and dissolution, whereas unity provides no opportunity for these, and its simple nature disallows decomposition; or it would be through annihilation. But the limitless compassion of the Absolutely Generous One would not permit annihilation, and His boundless munificence would not allow that He should take back from the human spirit the bounty of existence which He has bestowed on it, which it ardently desires, and of which it is worthy.

• THIRD SOURCE:

Man’s spirit, which has been clothed in a living, conscious, luminous external existence, is a comprehensive and veracious commanding law disposed to acquiring universality. And even the weakest commanding laws manifest stability and permanence. For if it is considered carefully, it will be seen that present in all species which are subject to change, is a constant truth that, revolving within the changes, transformations, and stages of life, causes the outer forms of things to change, and living and not dying, is permanent.

Thus, while the human being is an individual, because of the comprehensiveness of his nature, his universal consciousness, and all-embracing imagination, he is like a species. A law that governs and is in force in the species is also in force in the human individual. Since the All-Glorious Creator has created man as a comprehensive mirror, for universal worship, and with an exalted nature, even if the spirit-truth which is present in each individual causes the individual’s outer form to change hundreds of thou­sands of times, with the Sustainer’s permission, it will not die but will continue, departing as it came. In which case, at God’s command and with His permission and through His making it permanent, the human individual’s spirit, which is the conscious element and living part of him, is immortal.

• FOURTH SOURCE:

Consider the laws that govern in species, which to a degree resemble the spirit, and since they both issue from the World of the Divine Command and Will, with regard to their source, are to a degree appropriate for the spirit, and only lack a perceptible existence. Study them and it will be seen that if those commanding laws were clothed in external existence, each of them would become the spirit of the species. And the laws are always permanent; they are always perpetual and constant. No change or transformation affects the laws’ unity, or spoils them.

For example, should a fig-tree die and be dispersed, the law of its formation, which is like its spirit, will continue in its tiny seeds; it will not die. And so, since even the most commonplace and weak commanding laws are thus connected to permanence and continuance, the human spirit must be connected not only with permanence and immortality, but with all eternity. For according to the Qur’an’s glorious decree of:

Say: The Spirit (comes) by command of my Sustainer,1

spirit too is a conscious and living law which has come from the World of the Divine Command, and which Pre-Eternal power has clothed with external existence. That is to say, just as the unconscious laws which proceed from the Divine attribute of will and the World of the Divine Command are always, or mostly, enduring, so is it even more definite that the spirit, which is a sort of brother to them, and like them is a manifestation of the attribute of will and comes from the World of the Command, manifests immortality. It is also more worthy of it, because it is existent, it has an external reality. And it is more potent, more elevated, because it possesses consciousness. It is also more enduring than them, and more valuable, because it is living.