People differ in their opinions on the Soul— some call it a body, some an essence, some an acci­dent; some regard it as eternal, others as created. Orthodox Islâm declares its existence, but is silent on its nature and quality. God says: “If questioned on the Soul, say, ‘It is from the Will of God.’,” Abu Bakr Qahatî, however, holds that the Soul is beyond the category of created objects. [The Author does not subscribe to this view, and enters on a controversy to show its heresy.—Trs.] —Letter 79.

[The following notes from The Series of 28 Letters, may be added as bearing on the subject— Trs.]

In search of peace, and fervently longing for spiritual fragrance, a pilgrim came to the Soul and said: “Thou art a reflection of the Glo­rious Sun, unfading; all the attributes of the Abso­lute One lie verily in Thee. Transcending Reason and understanding, Thou eludest description and predication. There is no creature above Thee, there is no Beloved beyond Thee.” These lines from Master Farîd Attâr, and the hints underlying them, ought to be carefully pondered over—so that one may realise that there is no existence outside the Self, and that whatever one seeks is to be sought within the Self. If an authority be needed, one may read from the Qorân: “He is within thee, though thou mayest not see.” Again, this couplet is worth perusal: “Adam first ran towards all the atoms of the universe, but he did not find God so long as he found not the Way within himself.”—Loc. cit., Letter 24.

The connection of the Soul with the body com­pares well with that of God with His universe: for the Soul is neither within the body nor without it, neither united with it nor separated from it. Soul and body belong to two different planes of exis­tence; yet for all that there is not an atom in the body but is pervaded by the Soul . . . . The Soul retains its innate purity, linked though it be to the body for myriads of years.—Ibid., Letter 3.