The essence of the Unveiling lies in coming out of the veils. The seer perceives things not per­ceived by him before. The “veils” mean hindrances keeping one back from the perfect vision of the Divine Beauty, and consist of the various worlds—according to some, 18,000 in number, according to others, 80,600—all present in the constitution of man. Man has an eye correlated to each world, with which he observes that world during the unveiling. These worlds are included under a two-fold division: Light and Darkness, Heaven and Earth, Invisible and Visible, Spir­tual and Physical,—each pair expressing the same sense in different words … When a sincere pilgrim, impelled by his aspiration, turns from the lower nature to follow the Law, and begins to tread the Path under the protection of a Teacher, he unfolds an eye for each of the veils uplifted by him, to observe the conditions of the world before him. First, he unfolds the eye of intellect and comprehends the intellectual mysteries to the extent of the uplifting of the veil. This is called the Intellectual unveiling, and should not be depended on. Most of the philosophers are at this stage and take it as the final goal. This stage transcended, the sincere pilgrim comes to unveil the heart, and perceives various lights. This is called the Percep­tual unveiling. Next, he unveils the Secrets; this is the Inspirational unveiling, and the Mys­teries of creation and existence are revealed to him. Next, he unveils the Soul; this is the Spiritual unveiling, and he can now view Heaven and Hell, and communicate with the Angels. When the soul is completely cleansed of earthly impurities, and is thoroughly pure, he unveils Infinity and is privi­leged to gaze at the circle of Eternity, to compre­hend instantly both Past and Future, getting rid of the limitations of Space and Time, … to see both fore and aft … to read hearts, know events, and tread on water, fire, and air. Such miracles are not to be relied on … Next comes the Innermost unveiling, enabling the pilgrim to enter the plane of the Divine Attributes … The Innermost is the bridge between the Divine Attributes and the plane of the Soul, enabling the Soul to experience the Divine vision, and reflect the Divine character. This is called the Unveiling of the Divine Attributes. During this stage, the disciple unfolds esoteric knowledge, revelation from God, His vision, His bliss, real absorption, real existence, or Unity,—according as he unveils the Divine Attributes of intelligence, audition, sight, construction, disintegration, stability, or oneness. Similarly one may think of other qualities.— Letter 13.

[The last two extracts tacitly refer to the following Sûfî classification of the human consti­tution:—

1. The Body (Tan), the brain-consciousness, or intellect, correlated to the physical plane (Nâsût).

2. The Heart (Dil), the desires and the lower mind, correlated to the astral and lower mental planes (Malakût).

3. The Soul (Rûh), the higher mind, the Ego, correlated to the higher mental plane (Jabarût).

4. The Spirit (Sirr, or the Mystery), cor­related to the spiritual planes (Lâhût)—Trs.]