Flash XXI

The Absolute does not exist without the relative, and the relative is not formulated without the Absolute; but the relative stands in need of the Absolute, while the Absolute has no need of the relative. Consequently, the necessary connexion of the two is mutual, but the need is on one side only, as in the case of the motion of a hand holding a key and that of the key thus held.

O Thou whose sacred precincts none may see,
Unseen Thou makest all things seen to be;
Thou and we are not separate, yet still
Thou hast no need of us, but we of Thee.

Moreover, the Absolute requires a relative of some sort, not one particular relative, but any one that may be substituted for it. Now, seeing that there is no substitute for the Absolute, it is the Absolute alone who is the “Qibla” of the needs of all relatives.

None by endeavour can behold Thy face,
Or access gain without prevenient grace;*
For every man some substitute is found,
Thou hast no peer, and none can take Thy place.

Of accident or substance Thou hast naught,
Without constraint of cause Thy grace is wrought;
Thou canst replace what's lost, but if Thou'rt lost,
In vain a substitute for Thee is sought.

It is in regard to His essence that the Absolute has no need of the relative. In other respects the manifestation of the names of His Divinity and the realization of the relations of His Sovereignty are clearly impossible other­wise than by means of the relative.

In me Thy beauty love and longing wrought:
Did I not seek Thee how couldst Thou be sought?
My love is as a mirror in the which
Thy beauty into evidence is brought.

Nay, what is more, it is the “Truth” who is Himself at once the lover and the beloved, the seeker and the sought. He is loved and sought in His character of the “One who is all”;* and He is lover and seeker when viewed as the sum of all particulars and plurality.*

O Lord, none but Thyself can fathom Thee,
Yet every mosque and church doth harbour Thee;
I know the seekers and what 'tis they seek—
Seekers and sought are all comprised in Thee.