The Splendour of God, by Eric Hammond, , at sacred-texts.com
The Fourth Valley:
The Valley of Divine Unity
He (the traveller) drinks from the cup of abstraction and gazes on the manifestations of singleness.
At this station he rends asunder the veils of plurality, flies away from the worlds of lust, and ascends to the Heaven of Oneness:
He hears with Divine ears, and beholds the mysteries of the creation of the Eternal One with God-like eyes. He steps into the retreat of the Friend, and becomes an intimate in the pavilion of the Beloved. . . .
He sees no commendation, name, or dignity, of himself; he sees his own commendation in the commendation of the True One, and beholds the Name of the True One in his own name. He will know 'all voices to be from the King,' and hear all the melodies from Him.
He will be established on the throne of—'Say, all is from God,' and rest on the carpet of—'There is no power nor might but through God alone.'
He will look upon things with the vision of oneness . . . and see the light of unity manifest and present in all the existent things. All the differences which the traveller sees in the world of Being during the various stages of his journey, are due to the view of the traveller himself. We bring an illustration in order that this fact may become thoroughly evident:
Consider the phenomenal sun which shines forth on all beings with the same effulgence. . . .
But its appearance in every place and the light it sheds thereon, is in accord with the degree of the capacity of that place. In a mirror it reflects . . . it creates fire in the crystal . . . it develops everything according to the capacity of that thing; by the command of the Causer of effects.
Colours also appear in accord with (the nature of) the place; even as in a yellow glass the splendour is yellow, in a white one the ray is white, and in a red one it is red. These differences are due to the place and not to the effulgence of light; and if the place is confronted by an obstacle, such as walls or ceiling, that place is bereft of the splendour of the sun.
Some weak souls, having enclosed the ground of knowledge within the wall of self and desire, and within the veil of heedlessness and blindness, are therefore screened from the effulgence of the Sun of Significances and the mysteries of the Eternal Beloved One; are kept from the Gems of wisdom . . . deprived of Beauty, and separated from the Ka‘aba (sanctum) of Glory. . . .
An agreeable odour is unpleasant to the beetle, and a fragrant perfume has no effect upon one afflicted with a cold.
Hence, for the guidance of the multitude, it has been said, 'Remove the cold from thy head and
brain, so that the Fragrance of God may fill thy nostrils.'
The difference of place is now made clear.
When the gaze of the traveller is restricted, when he looks through glasses (of different colours) he sees yellow, red, or white.
It is due to such a view of things that conflict is stirred up . . . and a gloomy dust, rising from men of limitations, has enveloped the world.
Some extend their gaze to the effulgence of the light; and others drink from the wine of Oneness and therefore see nothing but the sun itself.
Because of journeying in these different stations, travellers differ in their understanding and explanation of things.
That is why the sign of difference is manifest in the world; for some dwell on the plane of oneness and speak of the world of oneness; some stand in the worlds of limitation, others in the stages of self, and still others are absolutely veiled.
The ignorant, who have gained no portion from the splendour of the Beautiful One, speak in certain (unreasonable) words, and in every time and age they inflict upon the people of Unity that which is only worthy of and befits their own selves.
'If God should punish men for their iniquity, He would not leave (on the earth) any moving thing; but He giveth them respite unto an appointed time' (Koran).
A pure heart is like unto a mirror; purify it with the polish of Love, and severance from all save God, until the Ideal Sun may reflect therein, and the Eternal Morn may dawn.
Then wilt thou find clear and manifest the meaning of—'Neither doth My earth nor heaven occupy Me, but the heart of My faithful servant occupieth Me!'—and wilt take thy life in thy hands and sacrifice it, with a thousand longings, to the new Beloved.
When the lights of the splendour of the King of Oneness are seated on the throne of the heart and soul, His light becomes manifest in all the parts and members.
Then will the mystery of the (following) tradition emerge from the veil of obscurity:
For (in this case) the Owner of the house becomes manifest in His Own House (i.e. the heart), and the pillars of the house are all illuminative and radiative through His light.
The action and effect of the Light is from the Giver of Light; this is why all move through Him, and arise by His Desire.
This is that Fountain wherefrom drink those
near unto God; as it is said, 'A Fountain whereof those shall drink who are near (unto God).'
Let no one suppose these explanations to be redolent of anthropomorphism, or indicative of a degrading or restricting of the worlds (or states) of the True One to the planes of the creatures . . . for God, in His Essence, is sanctified above ascent or descent, entrance or exit. He has been, and will be everlastingly independent of (or free from) the attributes of the creatures.
No one has known Him, and no soul has found out His substance.
All the sages are bewildered in the Valley of His Knowledge, and all the saints are perplexed (in their endeavours to) comprehend His Essence. He is purified from being comprehended by all men of comprehension, and is exalted above the knowing of men of knowledge.
'The road (to His Essence) is barred, and search (therefor) is rejected.
His evidence is His Sign, and His Being is His proof.'
Thus the lovers of the Face of the Beloved One have said, 'O Thou whose essence alone bears evidence of the Essence of Him who is sanctified beyond homogeneity with His creatures.' . . .
How can a mortal shadow compare with the Immortal Sun?
Yea, such mentions as are made concerning the stages of knowledge, concern only the knowledge
of the splendour of that Sun of Truth which becomes manifest in the mirrors (i.e. prophets, manifestations).
The reflection of that Light is within the hearts; but it is veiled through sensual coverings and accidental conditions; as is the case with a light enclosed within an iron lantern. When the lantern is removed the radiance of the light will appear.
Likewise, when one rends asunder the illusive veils from the face of the heart, the light of oneness will dwell therein.
Wherefore it is known that even for the Splendour (of the Sun of Divine Essence) there is no entrance nor exit; how much less for that Essence of Beings and that Mystery of the Desired One.
Reflect upon these stations with verification, and not with blind imitation.
The repellent 'avaunt' of words cannot repulse the traveller (after Truth), nor can the terror of allusions impede him.
'What veil can stand between the lover and the Beloved? The Wall of Alexander itself can be no obstacle or screen.'
Mysteries are many, and strangers are countless.
Books are not sufficient for the Mystery of the Beloved, nor can it be exhausted in these Tablets, although it is no more than one word, and but one allegory.
'Knowledge is but one point, but the ignorant have multiplied it.'
I do not wish to mention much of the former sayings; for to speak of the sayings of others would be an evidence of acquired learning (i.e. mediate knowledge), and not of the Divine Gift (i.e. immediate knowledge).
Moreover such explanations are beyond the limits of this treatise.
My forbearing to speak of the sayings of others is not due to pride, but because of a showing forth of Wisdom and a manifesting of the Gift. . . .
This servant accounts himself as nothing, even in the court of one of the beloved of God (i.e. believers); how much more so in the presence of the 'Holy Ones'?
Praise be unto my Lord, the Supreme. . . .
Although a short illustration has already been given as to the beginning and end of the relative or dependent (not absolute) world (or plane), yet again we set another example, so that all of the meanings may become manifest in the garment of illustration.
For instance . . . consider . . . how you are the first in relation to your son, and the last in relation to your father; how, outwardly (i.e. according to the soul), (you bear evidence) of the inward mysteries which, as a Divine Gift, are deposited within you.
Consequently, being the first, the last, the manifest, the hidden, becomes true of you in the sense set forth above; so that in these four
grades bestowed on you, you may comprehend the (corresponding) grades of the Divine; . . . 'Verily! He is the First and the Last, the Manifest and the Hidden!'
The First is identical with the Last, and the Last is the same as the First.
'Enkindle a fire with the Love of the Beloved One, and consume therewith every thought and pious work.'
Consider thine own self; if thou hadst not become a father nor seen a son, thou wouldest not have heard even these words.
Now, therefore, forget all these, so that thou mayest learn in the School of Unity, before the Instructor of Love, and come back from the stage—'Verily, we are (from God)'—unto ('and to Him) we return.'
Thus thou mayest abandon the abode of Unreality, and attain into thine own real station, and abide in the shade of the Tree of Knowledge.
Impoverish thyself so that thou mayest arrive at the Court of Affluence.
Humiliate the body, so that thou mayest drink from the River of Glory, and attain unto all the meanings of the poems which thou hast questioned.
It is evident that these states depend upon the view of the traveller.
In every city he sees a world; in every valley he comes upon a fountain; in every desert he hears a melody.
Peace be on whomsoever accomplisheth this supreme journey, and followeth the True One through the Lights of Guidance.