And when Moses said to his people, “My people you have done wrong against yourselves by your taking the [golden] calf;
That is, “you have not caused harm to anyone but yourselves with the sins you perpetrated.” As for the Real (سبحانه), He is exalted in description. None of the wrong of the wrongdoers can be referred back to His exaltedness. The calf of whoever acts in conformity with his whim and follows his objects of desire is whatever he is intent upon and whatever he singles out as his objective.
now turn to your Creator
The allusion is to the true sense of repentance in abandoning oneself entirely to (khurūj ilā) God.
and slay one another;
Repentance by slaying oneself has not been abrogated, but the slaying [done] by the children of Israel was an outward act while this community's repentance consists of slaying themselves inwardly, for the first step in seeking God is to abandon (khurūj ʿan) the lower self.
Verily the people imagined that the repentance of the children of Israel was more difficult but it is not as they imagine, for that was the suffering of slaying one time. As for the elect in this community, there is a slaying
in every moment. Because of this:
One who has died and found rest is not really dead.
The only real dead are those
who are dead among the living.
Slaying the soul in truth is declaring it free of strength and power, or [to be free] of bearing witness to anything from it. It is rejecting its claim, confusing its attempts at self-management, submitting all of its affairs to the Real (سبحانه), stripping it of its free choice and will, and obliterating the vestiges (āthār) of the human from it. As for the remaining traces (rusūm) and skeletal structures (hayākil), there is no danger or concern in them.
That will be better for you in your Creator's sight; He will turn to you [relenting]; truly He is the Relenting, the Merciful.
His being for you against yourselves is more perfect than your being for yourselves.