Then that traveller looking closely at the World of the Unseen, and voyaging in it with his intellect and his heart, knocked inquisitively on the door of that world, thinking to himself, “What does this world have to say?” The following occurred to him: it is to be clearly understood that behind the veil of the Unseen is one who wants to make himself known through all these numerous finely adorned artefacts full of art in this corporeal Manifest World, and to make himself loved through these infinite sweet and decorated bounties, and to make known his hidden perfections through these innumerable miraculous and skilful works of art, and who does this by act rather than speech and by making himself known by the tongue of disposition. Since this is so, of a certainty he will speak and make himself known and loved through speech and utterance just as he does through deed and state. In which case, from his manifestations we must know him in respect to the World of the Unseen. Whereupon he entered that world with his heart and saw the following with the eye of his intellect:

The truth of revelations prevails at all instants over all parts of the World of the Unseen, with a most powerful manifestation. There comes with the truths of revelation and inspiration proceeding from the One All-Knowing of the Unseen, a testimony to His existence and unity far stronger than testimony of the universe and created beings. He does not leave Himself, His existence and His unity, only to the testimony of His creatures. Rather, He speaks with a pre-eternal Speech consonant with His own being. The Speech of the One Who is all-present and all-seeing everywhere with His Knowledge and Power is also endless, and just as the meaning of His Speech makes Him known, so does His discourse make Himself known together with His attributes.

The traveller recognized that the truth, reality, and existence of revelation has been made plain to the point of being self-evident by the consensus of one hundred thousand prophets (Peace be upon them), by the agreement among their proclamations concerning the manifestion of Divine revelation; by the evidences and miracles contained in the sacred books and heavenly pages, which are the guides and exemplars of the overwhelming majority of humanity, confirmed and assented to by them, and are the visible fruits of revelation. He understood further that the truth of revelation proclaims five sacred truths.

The First: To speak in accordance with men’s intellects and understandings, known as ‘Divine condescension to the minds of men,’ is a form of Divine descent. It is a requirement of God’s dominicality that He endows all of his conscious creatures with speech, understands their speech, and then participates in it with His own speech.

The Second: The One Who, in order to make Himself known, fills the cosmos with His miraculous creations and endows them with tongues speaking of His perfections, will necessarily make Himself known with His own words also.

The Third: It is a function of His being Creator to respond in words to the supplications and offerings of thanks that are made by the most select, the most needy, the most delicate and the most ardent among His beings — true men.

The Fourth: The attribute of Speech, an essential concomitant and luminous manifestation of both Knowledge and Life, will necessarily be found in a comprehensive and eternal form in the being Whose Knowledge is comprehensive and Whose Life is eternal.

The Fifth: It is a consequence of Divinity that the Being Who endows men with impotence and desire, poverty and need, anxiety for the future, love and worship, should communicate His own existence, by way of His speech, to His most loved and lovable, His most anxious and needy creatures, who are most desirous of finding their Lord and Master.

The evidences for the existence in unity of the Necessary Existent offered in unanimity by universal and heavenly revelations, which contain the truths of Divine descent, dominical self-proclamation, compassionate response, Divine conversation, and eternal self-communication, constitute a proof more powerful than the testimony for the existence of the sun brought by the rays of sunlight.

Our traveller understood this then looked in the direction of inspiration and saw that veracious inspiration indeed resembles revelation in some respects and is a mode of dominical speech. There are, however, two differences:

THE FIRST: Revelation, which is much higher than inspiration, generally comes by the medium of the angels, whereas inspiration generally comes directly.

So too a king has two modes of speech and command. The first consists of his sending to a governor a lieutenant equipped with all the pomp of monarchy and the splendour of sovereignty. Sometimes, in order to demonstrate the splendour of his sovereignty and the importance of his command, he may meet with the intermediary, and then the decree will be issued.

The second consists of his speaking privately in his own person, not with the title of monarch or in the name of kingship, concerning some private matter, some petty affair, using for this purpose a trusted servant, some ordinary subject, or his private telephone.

In the same way the Pre-Eternal Monarch may either, in the name of the Sustainer of All the Worlds, and with the title of Creator of the Universe, speak with revelation or the comprehensive inspiration that performs the function of revelation, or He may speak in a different and private fashion, as the Sustainer and Creator of all animate beings, from behind the veil, in a way suited to the recipient.

THE SECOND DIFFERENCE: Revelation is without shadow, pure, and reserved for the elect. Inspiration, by contrast, has shadow, colours intermingle with it, and it is general. There are numerous different kinds of inspiration, such as the inspiration of angels, the inspiration of men, and the inspiration of animals; inspiration thus forms a field for the multiplication of God’s words, that are as numeous as the drops in the ocean. Our traveller understood that this matter is, indeed, a kind of commentary on the verse,

Were the sea to become ink for the words of my Sustainer, verily the sea would be exhausted before the words of my Sustainer.1

Then he looked at the nature, the wisdom, and the testimony of inspiration and saw that its nature, wisdom and result were composed of four lights.

The first: it is the result of God’s Lovingness and Mercifulness that He makes himself loved through word, presence and discourse, in the same way that He makes Himself loved to His creatures through His deeds.

The second: it is a requirement of His Compassionateness that just as He answers His servants’ prayers in deed, He should also answer them in word, from behind veils.

The third: it is a concomitant of dominicality that just as He responds in deed to the cries for help, supplications, and pleadings of those of His creatures who are afflicted with grievous misfortunes and hardships, so too He should hasten to their help with words of inspiration, which are like a form of speech.

The fourth: God makes His existence, presence and protection perceptible in deed to His most weak and indigent, His most poor and needy, conscious creatures, that stand in great need of finding their Master, Protector, Guardian, and Disposer. It is a necessary and essential consequence of His Divine solicitousness and His dominical compassion that He should also communicate His presence and existence by speech, from behind the veil of veracious inspiration —a mode of dominical discourse— to individuals, in a manner peculiar to them and their capacities, through the telephone of their hearts.

He then looked to the testimony of inspiration and saw that if the sun, for example, had consciousness and life, and if the seven colours of sunlight were the seven attributes, in that respect it would have a form of speech through the rays and manifestations found in its light. And in this situation both its similitudes and reflections would be present in all transparent objects, and it would speak with all mirrors and shining objects and fragments of glass and bubbles and droplets of water, indeed with all transparent particles, in accordance with the capacity of each; it would respond to the needs of each, and all these would testify to the sun’s existence; and no task would form an obstacle to any other task, and no speaking obstruct any other speaking. This is self-evident.

In the same way, the Speech of the Glorious Monarch of Pre-Eternity and Post-Eternity, the Beauteous and Exalted Creator of All Beings, Who may be described as the Pre-Eternal Sun, manifests itself to all things, in general and comprehensive fashion, in a manner appropriate to their capacity, as do also His Knowledge and Power. No request interferes with another, no task prevents the fulfilment of another, and no address becomes confused with another. All of this our traveller understood as self-evident. He knew that all of those manifestations, those discourses, those inspirations, separately and together, evidenced and bore witness unanimously to the presence, the necessary existence, the unity and the oneness of that Pre-Eternal Sun with a knowlege of certainty that approached a vision of certainty.

In brief allusion to the lesson in knowledge of God from the World of the Unseen gained by our inquisitive traveller, we said in the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Degrees of the First Station:

There is no god but God, the Necessary Existent, the One, the Single, to Whose Necessary Existence in Unity points the consensus of all true revelations, containing Divine descent, glorious discourse, dominical self-revelation, compassionate response to the invocations of men, and eternal indications of His existence to his creatures. There points also to His Necessary Existence in Unity the agreement of all veracious inspirations, containing expressions of God’s love, compassionate responses to the prayers of God’s creatures, dominical responses to the appeals of His servants for aid, and glorious intimations of His existence to His creatures.