THE The Pri­mal Ele­ment. first thing that God created was the Primal Ele­ment (<Arabic>), that is to say, the primal element of the entire Universe. This according to the Coran He created of Himself without any medium whatever, and in infinitely less space of time than the twin­kling of an eye. “And it was not the business of an hour, but even as the twinkling of an eye, or quicker still.” (Cor. cap. 16, v. 79.)* This Primal Element is designated by various other names, such as the Pri­mal Intelligence, the Constructive Spirit, the Pen, the Mightiest Spirit, the Spirit of Mohammed (or the Laudable Spirit), and the like. It is so excel­lent and subtle, that God alone knows its worth. It is the perfection of wisdom and propinquity to God, is ever yearning after Him, and ever present with Him; nor is there anything save this Primal Element that can directly approach Him, or become the direct recipient of His bounty.

The Primal Element is God’s world, and the Universe is the world of the Primal Element. By this alone the Voice of God is heard, but its voice is heard throughout the whole Universe, conveying the behests of the Most High*.

It “The Pen.” is the Pen of God which at His command wrote down the Simple Natures, and in the twin­kling of an eye they started into being, the Intelli­gences, Souls, Elements and Natures, the Heavens and the Stars*. These then took up the task, and obeyed the second mandate by writing down the com­pound bodies, and straightway the Mineral, Vegetable and Animal Kingdoms sprung into existence.

This is the explanation of the words which begin the 68th Chapter of the Corán: “N, by the Pen, and what they write.” The mystic letter represents the World of Power, the Inkstand* of God; the Pen is the Primal Element, and “what they write” refers to the Simple Natures. These are the scribes of God, and the words they write are the compound bodies of nature. They are writing even now, and will write on for ever; for “were the sea ink it would not suffice for the words of my Lord*.” (Cor. cap. 18, v. 109.)

There The Spheres. are nine heavenly spheres, each higher than the preceding; the highest of all is called the Heaven of Heavens, or the Throne of God (<Arabic>). Each of these spheres possesses a Soul and an Intelli­gence, higher and more subtle in proportion to their order. The Intelligence of the Heaven of Heavens is called the Primal Intelligence, the Souls and Intelligences which occupy the other eight are iden­tical with the Cherubim and Spirits of the religious account.

In Order of Creation point of time they precede the simple Natures above referred to, being eternal, while the latter are casual; in point of mental excellence, however, they rank after them. Their precedence over the Simple Natures is as the precedence of the Sun’s Orb over its rays. The next in order of creation are the Threefold Offspring, i. e. the Mineral, Vegetable, and Animal Kingdoms. Both the metaphysical and the physical account agree concerning these last, that they are casual; but their account of what are called the Parents* differs.

Because Intelli­gence the beginning and the end. man was the final object of creation, and because when he has attained Intelligence he is complete, and because there is nothing beyond Intelligence, and Primal Intelligence was also the beginning of all things, ergo, Intelligence is the beginning and the end, and the circle is complete. This is proved as follows; a circle is traced by ascent and descent: descent is the attribute of the Simple Nature, and ascent the attribute of Compound Bodies; descent resides in Parents, ascent in Offspring; but both the Parents and the Offspring originated with Primal Intelligence, therefore Intelligence is both the beginning and the end, it refers alike to origin and return, to birth and dissolution, it refers to the Night of Power*, and to the Day of Resurrection. Again, descent, the remoter it is from the origin, the coarser it becomes, and ascent, the remoter it is from the origin, the more refined it becomes; now the Primal Intelligence caused the descent of the lower world, and the ascent of the higher; therefore the former is much coarser than the latter; but they are still one and the same nature. But their nature origi­nated from the Nature of God, therefore the true conclusion is that the Nature of God first was, and first returned, but was still the same Nature of God. “From Him was the origin, and to Him is the return” (cf. Cor. capp. 10, v. 4, &c.).

Some Degrees of Intelli­gences in the higher world say that the originator of the Intelligences of the lower world constitutes a tenth world, and call it the Intelligence of the Lunar Sphere, the Active Intelligence, or the Bestower of Form. Most philosophers, however, agree that there are ten Intelli­gences of the higher world, all active and origina­tors of the Intelligences and souls of the lower world. The occasion degrees of Intelli­gence
among mankind
difference in the Intelligence of mankind is from this cause; Intelligences and Souls constitute the higher world, and the fixed stars and planets are their administrators in the lower world; through their influence, therefore, the differences observable in mankind are in proportion to the differences existing between the various Souls and Intelligences of the higher world, and the differences existing between the fixed stars and the planets themselves. Now the various qualities of the last are innumer­able; astrologers have discovered some of the properties of the seven planets, but no one can give any clue to those of the fixed stars.

Many Other Influences. of the differences of temperament observ­able among mankind are owing also to the influence of the seasons; accident of birth, health, fortune, longevity and the like again, are all considered as due to the influence of the Higher World; the method and means by which this influence is exerted is too mysterious and incomprehensible to be discussed.

In The trea­suries of the Uni­verse. chapter 62, v. 7, of the Coran we find the words, “To God belong the treasuries of the Heaven and the Earth;” these are then of two kinds, heavenly and earthly. To the first class belong the heavens and the stars, every one of which is a treasury; to the second class of these treasuries belong earth, air, fire, and water; every plant and every animal, nay, every embryo, is a treasury in itself. “Verily there is nothing of which the treasury is not with Us.” (Cor. cap. 15, v. 21). The treasuries of Heaven and Earth are countless; they may be called the Hosts of the Lord, as the Coran has it, “Verily to God belong the Hosts of the Heavens and the Earth.” (Cor. cap. 48, v. 4.)