Archive for the ‘Abdu’l-Baha’’ Category

Holy Day: Declaration Of The Bab-Azamat 7, 178 B.E. (5/23/2021)

Sunday, May 23rd, 2021

23 May 1912
TALK AT HOME OF MR. AND MRS. FRANCIS W. BREED
367 HARVARD STREET, CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS

Scientific knowledge is the highest attainment upon the human plane, for science is the discoverer of realities. It is of two kinds: material and spiritual. Material science is the investigation of natural phenomena; divine science is the discovery and realization of spiritual verities. The world of humanity must acquire both. A bird has two wings; it cannot fly with one. Material and spiritual science are the two wings of human uplift and attainment. Both are necessary—one the natural, the other supernatural; one material, the other divine. By the divine we mean the discovery of the mysteries of God, the comprehension of spiritual realities, the wisdom of God, inner significances of the heavenly religions and foundation of the law.

This is 23 May, the anniversary of the message and Declaration of the Báb. It is a blessed day and the dawn of manifestation, for the appearance of the Báb was the early light of the true morn, whereas the manifestation of the Blessed Beauty, Bahá’u’lláh, was the shining forth of the sun. Therefore, it is a blessed day, the inception of the heavenly bounty, the beginning of the divine effulgence. On this day in 1844 the Báb was sent forth heralding and proclaiming the Kingdom of God, announcing the glad tidings of the coming of Bahá’u’lláh and withstanding the opposition of the whole Persian nation. Some of the Persians followed Him. For this they suffered the most grievous difficulties and severe ordeals. They withstood the tests with wonderful power and sublime heroism. Thousands were cast into prison, punished, persecuted and martyred. Their homes were pillaged and destroyed, their possessions confiscated. They sacrificed their lives most willingly and remained unshaken in their faith to the very end. Those wonderful souls are the lamps of God, the stars of sanctity shining gloriously from the eternal horizon of the will of God.

The Báb was subjected to bitter persecution in Shíráz, where He first proclaimed His mission and message. A period of famine afflicted that region, and the Báb journeyed to Iṣfahán. There the learned men rose against Him in great hostility. He was arrested and sent to Tabríz. From thence He was transferred to Mákú and finally imprisoned in the strong castle of Chihríq. Afterward He was martyred in Tabríz.

This is merely an outline of the history of the Báb. He withstood all persecutions and bore every suffering and ordeal with unflinching strength. The more His enemies endeavored to extinguish that flame, the brighter it became. Day by day His Cause spread and strengthened. During the time when He was among the people He was constantly heralding the coming of Bahá’u’lláh. In all His Books and Tablets He mentioned Bahá’u’lláh and announced the glad tidings of His manifestation, prophesying that He would reveal Himself in the ninth year. He said that in the ninth year “you will attain to all happiness”; in the ninth year “you will be blessed with the meeting of the Promised One of Whom I have spoken.” He mentioned the Blessed Perfection, Bahá’u’lláh, by the title “Him Whom God shall make manifest.” In brief, that blessed Soul offered His very life in the pathway of Bahá’u’lláh, even as it is recorded in historical writings and records. In His first Book, the Best of Stories, He says, “O Remnant of God! I am wholly sacrificed to Thee; I am content with curses in Thy path; I crave nought but to be slain in Thy love; and God, the Supreme, sufficeth as an eternal protection.”

Consider how the Báb endured difficulties and tribulations; how He gave His life in the Cause of God; how He was attracted to the love of the Blessed Beauty, Bahá’u’lláh; and how He announced the glad tidings of His manifestation. We must follow His heavenly example; we must be self-sacrificing and aglow with the fire of the love of God. We must partake of the bounty and grace of the Lord, for the Báb has admonished us to arise in service to the Cause of God, to be absolutely severed from all else save God during the day of the Blessed Perfection, Bahá’u’lláh, to be completely attracted by the love of Bahá’u’lláh, to love all humanity for His sake, to be lenient and merciful to all for Him and to upbuild the oneness of the world of humanity. Therefore, this day, 23 May, is the anniversary of a blessed event.

Abdu’l-Baha’, The Promulgation Of Universal Peace

Baha’i Sabbath: Jamal 10, 178 B.E. (5/7/2021)

Friday, May 7th, 2021

Some Utterances of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá Concerning Bahá’u’lláh

(Table talk at Abu-Sinan during the sojourn in the war days.)

One day in Baghdad He called all His friends together and spoke to them of God. Then He departed from them alone. Nobody knew just where He was. Even we were not informed.

Two years passed.

Some of the time He dwelt in the mountains, again He sheltered in grottoes, and part of the time He abode in the city of Sulaymaniyyih.

Though solitary and alone, and nobody knew Him, yet all through Kurdistan it was spread abroad in the ears of all men that “This unnamed person is the most remarkable personage in the land.

“He is exceedingly well learned.

“He is possessed of a great power.

“He has a colossal, powerful attraction, and all Kurdistan is magnetized by His Love.”

But Bahá’u’lláh passed all this time in poverty, even His robes and clothes were of the poor. He ate the poor food of the indigent.

The radiance of Majesty, compelling reverence, was manifested from Him as from the sun at noonday, therefore He was so greatly reverenced in this life.

Then He left Kurdistan and arrived at home in Baghdad.

The Kurds came from Sulaymaniyyih to visit Him, and found Him in great comfort, and they were astonished at the appointments, and all they saw of His surroundings, after coming from the seclusion and poverty of His life in Kurdistan.

They were exceedingly amazed at the difference of condition.

In short, the Government of Persia thought and hoped that the banishment of Bahá’u’lláh, the Blessed Perfection, from the kingdom of Persia would be the means of exterminating the Cause in the land.

Then they perceived that the Cause spread more and more rapidly. The fame became more widely circulated. The Teachings of the Blessed Perfection became more pronounced.

Then the Chief of Persia determined to expel Bahá’u’lláh from Baghdad.

He arrived in Constantinople.

Whilst in Constantinople He was regardless of any custom. He paid no attention to the ministers nor to the clergy.

Then the Persian ministers succeeded in having HIm banished from Constantinople–desiring to have Him kept at a great distance from Persia.

So His giving out of His Teaching had to be in secret.

In spite of all, the Cause still spread.

They they said:

“We, indeed, are endeavouring to banish Bahá’u’lláh from place to place, but each time the Cause is more spread abroad, and His proclamation is more widely circulated through the lands, and day by day His Lamp is shining with a brighter Light. The potency of His Cause is waxing more and more strong. The reason of this daily increasing power and knowledge of the Cause is that He has been sent to cities of so large a population; therefore it would be better to send Him to a penal colony, so that He may be considered as a suspect; so that all people may know that He is amongst criminals; that He is in the prison of murderers, of robbers, and other law-breakers; so that in a short time He and His followers may perish.”

Therefore the Shah of Persia persuaded ‘Abdu’l-‘Azz to have Him banished to the prison of ‘Akka.

When Bahá’u’lláh arrived at the prison of ‘Akka, through the power of God, He was enabled to hoist His banner. It was at first a star.

It became a mighty sun.

The fame of the Cause of the Blessed Perfection went far and wide, into distant lands of the East and of the West.

From this prison, from within its walls, He wrote epistles to all the kings. He summoned them to arbitration and the Most Great Peace.

Some of the sovereigns received this summons with haughty pride. One of these was the Ottoman King, another the French Emperor; the latter sent no reply; then another epistle was addressed to Napoleon III stating: “I have already sent you an epistle, summoning you to the Cause, but you heeded it not. You once proclaimed that you were the defender of the oppressed, now it became evident that this is no true claim. You are not a protector of your own distressed and oppressed people. You are devoted to your own interests; and this pride of yours, which is supported by your commands, must be overthrown.

“Because of this arrogance of yours, therefore, in a short time God will destroy your sovereignty.

“France will fall away from you, and will be vanquished by a great conquest.

“The banks of its rivers will be places of lamentation and mourning.

“The women of France will weep and bemoan the loss of their sons.”

Such was the arraignment which was sent, and it has been published and spread abroad.

Were you to you read that epistle, you would perceive what an arraignment it is!

Now consider:

One prisoner, single and solitary, with no assistant, neither protector, moreover a foreigner, a stranger, imprisoned in the fortress of ‘Akka, writing such epistles to kings! Writing such an epistle to the Sultan of Turkey, whilst He was a prisoner in ‘Akka!

Bahá’u’lláh hoisted His banner within the walls of that prison.

Refer to all history. It has no parallel! No such event has ever taken place before. That a stranger, alone and a prisoner, has succeeded in advancing His Cause, and been enabled to spread broadcast His Teachings, so that, eventually, He was powerful enough to conquer the very king who banished Him.

His Cause continued to spread.

The Blessed Perfection was for twenty-five years in that prison. During all this time He was subjected to the persecutions of the people. He underwent the sorrow of the atrocities and banishments of the people of Persia.

You may learn how they pillaged His property in Persia. How they chained Him in prison. How they banished Him from Persia to Baghdad. How a second time He was banished from Baghdad to Constantinople. A third banishment was from Constantinople to Roumelia (Adrianople).

A fourth time was He banished, from Roumelia to the Most Great Prison.

During all His lifetime He had no moment’s rest! He did not pass one night in restful sleep for His body!

He bore all these ordeals and catastrophes and difficulties in order that, in the world of humanity, a selflessness might become apparent.

In order that the Most Great Peace might become a reality in the world of humanity.

In order that waiting souls might become manifest as the very angels of Heaven.

In order that Heavenly miracles might become perfected among men.

In order that the faith of humanity might become adequate.

In order that the priceless, precious bestowal of God in the human temple, the Mind of humanity, might develop to its fullest capacity.

In order that infants may be (in truth) likenesses of God, even as it has been written in the Bible:

“We shall create men in Our Own Image.”

Bahá’u’lláh bore all these ordeals and catastrophes for this:

That our hearts might be illumined.

That our spirits might become glad.

That our imperfections might be replaced by virtues.

That our ignorance might be transformed into knowledge.

In order that we might acquire the fruits of humanity and obtain Heavenly graces.

Although we are now on earth, let us walk in the Kingdom.

Although we are needy, let us plead for Heavenly treasure.

Although we are needy, let us plead for Heavenly treasure.

For these bounties to us has the Blessed Perfection borne so great difficulties.

Trust all to God.

The Light of God is resplendent.

The Blessed Epistles are spreading.

You will shortly see that the Heavenly Teachings have begun, that the Oneness of the World of Humanity is becoming a glorious Reality!

The Blessed Teachings are being spread in the East and in the West.

The Banner of the Most Great Peace has been unfurled, and the great Community of the Kingdom of God is at hand.

From: The Chosen Highway by Lady Blomfield

A***B ***H ***A

 

Baha’i Sabbath: Mulk 8, 176 B.E. (2/14/2020)-Black History Month 2020-Baha’i’s In Black History

Friday, February 14th, 2020

Black History Month

W.E.B and Nina Du Bois

The Du Bois Family, 1898

W. E. B. Du Bois, Ph.D., son Burghardt, wife Nina

W.E.B. Du Bois met Abdu’l-Baha’, when he (Abdu’l-Baha’) delivered a talk at the 4th annual conference of the NAACP in Chicago, IL., though he may have seen him prior to that date when he delivered a talk at Howard University in Washington, D.C., an Historically Black University (HBCU) on April 23, 1912. Their meeting began Mr. Du Bois’ life-long and intimate relationship with the Baha’i Faith. Both W.E.B. Du Bois and his wife, Nina were very active teachers of the Baha’i Faith documented from at least as early as the 1930’s and probably much earlier than that, given their encounter with Abdu’l-Baha’ in 1912. What follows are two articles published by Mr. Dubois in the official magazine of the NAACP, “The Crisis”, which was founded in 1910 by Du Bois and his associates.

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Talk given by Abdu’l-Baha’ at the Fourth Annual Conference of the NAACP, April 30, 1912
Handel Hall, Chicago, Illinois

As recorded in the Newspaper “The Crisis”, the official magazine of the NAACP, published by W.E.B. Du Boise and associates, a facsimile of the original talk by Abdu’l-Baha’, followed by the text of the article.

GOD has stated in the Bible, the Old Testament: “We have created man in our own image and likeness.” This statement indicates the fact that man in some particular is of the image and likeness of God. This man who has been called the image and likeness of God: Let us find out just where and how he is the image and likeness of the Lord, and what is the standard or criterion whereby he can be measured.
If a man should possess wealth, can we call him an image and likeness of God? Or is human honor the criterion whereby he can be called the image of God? Or can we apply a color test as a criterion, and say such and such a one is colored with a certain hue and he therefore is the image of God? Can we say, for example, a man who is green in hue is an image of God? Or can we make another distinction, saying that one who is white is any more an image of God? Is simply the white color a criterion whereby man is to be judged? And shall we make a sweeping statement like that? Or is it reasonable for us to choose the dark color? Supposing we say a colored man is after all the image and like­ ness, just because of his color, or the red- skinned man, shall he be the image and likeness of God? Or shall we declare the yellow race to be a creation and therefore an image and likeness of God? Hence we come to the conclusion that colors are of no importance.
Colors are accidental in nature. That which is essential is the humanitarian as­pect. And that is the manifestation of Divine Virtues and that is the Merciful Be­stowals. That is the Eternal Life. That is the Baptism through the Holy Spirit. Therefore let it be known that color is of no importance’. Man, who is the image and likeness of God, who is the Manifestation of the Bestowals of God, he is acceptable at the threshold of God whatever be his color. Let him be blue in color, or white, or green, or brown, that matters not! Man is not to be pronounced man simply be­cause of bodily attributes. Man is to be judged according to his intelligence and to his spirit. Because he is to be judged ac­cording to spirit and intelligence, therefore, let that be the only criterion. That is the image of God.
As regards you here in this country, there is a point of importance, namely, patriotism. That is common to both. And from the standpoint of language, you share that, both of you speak one tongue. And you have in common the same civilization. And now, with these numerous points of partnership or contact and the one point of difference, which is of the least importance, that of color, are you going to allow this least of differences, namely, that of color, to sepa­rate you?
From the standpoint of the body, you have that in common. All the five senses and tangible properties of man you share. As regards intelligence, you are both en­dowed therewith. Patriotism is common to both. From the standpoint of language there is a point of contact. Your civiliza­tion is one and the same. From the stand­ point of religion you are one and the same. One point of distinction, and that is color. Is it meet, is it becoming, with all the points of contact, for this least point of distinction or difference should there be any separation or difference? Indeed, not! God is not pleased, nor is any intelligent man pleased, nor is any reasonable man willing to have any difference because of that.
His Holiness, Baha’o’llah, has proclaimed to the world the Oneness of the world of humanity. He has caused the various na­tions and divergent sects and creeds to unite, and he has declared that the difference in color in the human kingdom is similar to the differences of the flowers, the variegated flowers in a garden. If you enter a garden you will see yellow flowers, white flowers, dark, variegated flowers, the red flower, for example, in the utmost of delicacy and beauty, radiant, and each one through dif­ference lends a charm to the other. This difference in the human kingdom is similar to that. And now were you to be ushered into a garden where all the flowers were to be of the same hue or color, how monotonous! Therefore, he has said that the various colors of human kind, one is white, one is black, one is yellow, one is red—this sort of difference lends a harmony of color and beauty to the whole. Therefore, all must associate with one another, even as flowers consort harmoniously together in a given garden.

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Abdu’l-Baha’-At Stanford University-10/8/1912

Thursday, November 21st, 2019

8 October 1912

Talk at Leland Stanford Junior University
Palo Alto, California

Notes by Bijou Straun

The greatest attainment in the world of humanity has ever been scientific in nature. It is the discovery of the realities of things. Inasmuch as I find myself in the home of science—for this is one of the great universities of the country and well known abroad—I feel a keen sense of joy.

The highest praise is due to men who devote their energies to science, and the noblest center is a center wherein the sciences and arts are taught and studied. Science ever tends to the illumination of the world of humanity. It is the cause of eternal honor to man, and its sovereignty is far greater than the sovereignty of kings. The dominion of kings has an ending; the king himself may be dethroned; but the sovereignty of science is everlasting and without end. Consider the philosophers of former times. Their rule and dominion is still manifest in the world. The Greek and Roman kingdoms with all their grandeur passed away; the ancient sovereignties of the Orient are but memories, whereas the power and influence of Plato and Aristotle still continue. Even now in schools and universities of the world their names are revered and commemorated, but where do we hear the names of bygone kings extolled? They are forgotten and rest in the valley of oblivion. It is evident that the sovereignty of science is greater than the dominion of rulers. Kings have invaded countries and achieved conquest through the shedding of blood, but the scientist through his beneficent achievements invades the regions of ignorance, conquering the realm of minds and hearts. Therefore, his conquests are everlasting. May you attain extraordinary progress in this center of education. May you become radiant lights flooding the dark regions and recesses of ignorance with illumination.

Inasmuch as the fundamental principle of the teaching of Bahá’u’lláh is the oneness of the world of humanity, I will speak to you upon the intrinsic oneness of all phenomena. This is one of the abstruse subjects of divine philosophy.

Fundamentally all existing things pass through the same degrees and phases of development, and any given phenomenon embodies all others. An ancient statement of the Arabian philosophers declares that all things are involved in all things. It is evident that each material organism is an aggregate expression of single and simple elements, and a given cellular element or atom has its coursings or journeyings through various and myriad stages of life. For example, we will say the cellular elements which have entered into the composition of a human organism were at one time a component part of the animal kingdom; at another time they entered into the composition of the vegetable, and prior to that they existed in the kingdom of the mineral. They have been subject to transference from one condition of life to another, passing through various forms and phases, exercising in each existence special functions. Their journeyings through material phenomena are continuous. Therefore, each phenomenon is the expression in degree of all other phenomena. The difference is one of successive transferences and the period of time involved in evolutionary process.

For example, it has taken a certain length of time for this cellular element in my hand to pass through the various periods of metabolism. At one period it was in the mineral kingdom subject to changes and transferences in the mineral state. Then it was transferred to the vegetable kingdom where it entered into different grades and stations. Afterward it reached the animal plane, appearing in forms of animal organisms until finally in its transferences and coursings it attained to the kingdom of man. Later on it will revert to its primordial elemental state in the mineral kingdom, being subject, as it were, to infinite journeyings from one degree of existence to another, passing through every stage of being and life. Whenever it appears in any distinct form or image, it has its opportunities, virtues and functions. As each component atom or element in the physical organisms of existence is subject to transference through endless forms and stages, possessing virtues peculiar to those forms and stations, it is evident that all phenomena of material being are fundamentally one. In the mineral kingdom this component atom or element possesses certain virtues of the mineral; in the kingdom of the vegetable it is imbued with vegetable qualities or virtues; in the plane of animal existence it is empowered with animal virtues—the senses; and in the kingdom of man it manifests qualities peculiar to the human station.

As this is true of material phenomena, how much more evident and essential it is that oneness should characterize man in the realm of idealism, which finds its expression only in the human kingdom. Verily, the origin of all material life is one and its termination likewise one. In view of this fundamental unity and agreement of all phenomenal life, why should man in his kingdom of existence wage war or indulge in hostility and destructive strife against his fellowman? Man is the noblest of the creatures. In his physical organism he possesses the virtues of the mineral kingdom. Likewise, he embodies the augmentative virtue, or power of growth, which characterizes the kingdom of the vegetable. Furthermore, in his degree of physical existence he is qualified with functions and powers peculiar to the animal, beyond which lies the range of his distinctive human mental and spiritual endowment. Considering this wonderful unity of the kingdoms of existence and their embodiment in the highest and noblest creature, why should man be at variance and in conflict with man? Is it fitting and justifiable that he should be at war, when harmony and interdependence characterize the kingdoms of phenomenal life below him? The elements and lower organisms are synchronized in the great plan of life. Shall man, infinitely above them in degree, be antagonistic and a destroyer of that perfection? God forbid such a condition!

From the fellowship and commingling of the elemental atoms life results. In their harmony and blending there is ever newness of existence. It is radiance, completeness; it is consummation; it is life itself. Just now the physical energies and natural forces which come under our immediate observation are all at peace. The sun is at peace with the earth upon which it shines. The soft breathing winds are at peace with the trees. All the elements are in harmony and equilibrium. A slight disturbance and discord among them might bring another San Francisco earthquake and fire. A physical clash, a little quarreling among the elements as it were, and a violent cataclysm of nature results. This happens in the mineral kingdom. Consider, then, the effect of discord and conflict in the kingdom of man, so superior to the realm of inanimate existence. How great the attendant catastrophe, especially when we realize that man is endowed by God with mind and intellect. Verily, mind is the supreme gift of God. Verily, intellect is the effulgence of God. This is manifest and self-evident.

For all created things except man are subjects or captives of nature; they cannot deviate in the slightest degree from nature’s law and control. The colossal sun, center of our planetary system, is nature’s captive, incapable of the least variation from the law of command. All the orbs and luminaries in this illimitable universe are, likewise, obedient to nature’s regulation. Our planet, the earth, acknowledges nature’s omnipresent sovereignty. The kingdoms of the mineral, vegetable and animal respond to nature’s will and fiat of control. The great bulky elephant with its massive strength has no power to disobey the restrictions nature has laid upon him; but man, weak and diminutive in comparison, empowered by mind which is an effulgence of Divinity itself, can resist nature’s control and apply natural laws to his own uses.

According to the limitations of his physical powers man was intended by creation to live upon the earth, but through the exercise of his mental faculties, he removes the restriction of this law and soars in the air like a bird. He penetrates the secrets of the sea in submarines and builds fleets to sail at will over the ocean’s surface, commanding the laws of nature to do his will. All the sciences and arts we now enjoy and utilize were once mysteries, and according to the mandates of nature should have remained hidden and latent, but the human intellect has broken through the laws surrounding them and discovered the underlying realities. The mind of man has taken these mysteries out of the plane of invisibility and brought them into the plane of the known and visible.

It has classified and adapted these laws to human needs and uses, this being contrary to the postulates of nature. For example, electricity was once a hidden, or latent, natural force. It would have remained hidden if the human intellect had not discovered it. Man has broken the law of its concealment, taken this energy out of the invisible treasury of the universe and brought it into visibility. Is it not an extraordinary accomplishment that this little creature, man, has imprisoned an irresistible cosmic force in an incandescent lamp? It is beyond the vision and power of nature itself to do this. The East can communicate with the West in a few minutes. This is a miracle transcending nature’s control. Man takes the human voice and stores it in a phonograph. The voice naturally should be free and transient according to the law and phenomenon of sound, but man arrests its vibrations and puts it in a box in defiance of nature’s laws. All human discoveries were once secrets and mysteries sealed and stored up in the bosom of the material universe until the mind of man, which is the greatest of divine effulgences, penetrated them and made them subservient to his will and purpose. In this sense man has broken the laws of nature and is constantly taking out of nature’s laboratory new and wonderful things. Notwithstanding this supreme bestowal of God, which is the greatest power in the world of creation, man continues to war and fight, killing his fellowman with the ferocity of a wild animal. Is this in keeping with his exalted station? Nay, rather, this is contrary to the divine purpose manifest in his creation and endowment.

If the animals are savage and ferocious, it is simply a means for their subsistence and preservation. They are deprived of that degree of intellect which can reason and discriminate between right and wrong, justice and injustice; they are justified in their actions and not responsible. When man is ferocious and cruel toward his fellowman, it is not for subsistence or safety. His motive is selfish advantage and willful wrong. It is neither seemly nor befitting that such a noble creature, endowed with intellect and lofty thoughts, capable of wonderful achievements and discoveries in sciences and arts, with potential for ever higher perceptions and the accomplishment of divine purposes in life, should seek the blood of his fellowmen upon the field of battle. Man is the temple of God. He is not a human temple. If you destroy a house, the owner of that house will be grieved and wrathful. How much greater is the wrong when man destroys a building planned and erected by God! Undoubtedly, he deserves the judgment and wrath of God.

God has created man lofty and noble, made him a dominant factor in creation. He has specialized man with supreme bestowals, conferred upon him mind, perception, memory, abstraction and the powers of the senses. These gifts of God to man were intended to make him the manifestation of divine virtues, a radiant light in the world of creation, a source of life and the agency of constructiveness in the infinite fields of existence. Shall we now destroy this great edifice and its very foundation, overthrow this temple of God, the body social or politic? When we are not captives of nature, when we possess the power to control ourselves, shall we become captives of nature and act according to its exigencies?

In nature there is the law of the survival of the fittest. Even if man be not educated, then according to the natural institutes this natural law will demand of man supremacy. The purpose and object of schools, colleges and universities is to educate man and thereby rescue and redeem him from the exigencies and defects of nature and to awaken within him the capability of controlling and appropriating nature’s bounties. If we should relegate this plot of ground to its natural state, allow it to return to its original condition, it would become a field of thorns and useless weeds, but by cultivation it will become fertile soil, yielding a harvest. Deprived of cultivation, the mountain slopes would be jungles and forests without fruitful trees. The gardens bring forth fruits and flowers in proportion to the care and tillage bestowed upon them by the gardener. Therefore, it is not intended that the world of humanity should be left to its natural state. It is in need of the education divinely provided for it. The holy, heavenly Manifestations of God have been the Teachers. They are the divine Gardeners Who transform the jungles of human nature into fruitful orchards and make the thorny places blossom as the rose. It is evident, then, that the intended and especial function of man is to rescue and redeem himself from the inherent defects of nature and become qualified with the ideal virtues of Divinity. Shall he sacrifice these ideal virtues and destroy these possibilities of advancement? God has endowed him with a power whereby he can even overcome the laws and phenomena of nature, wrest the sword from nature’s hand and use it against nature itself. Shall he, then, remain its captive, even failing to qualify under the natural law which commands the survival of the fittest? That is to say, shall he continue to live upon the level of the animal kingdom without distinction between them and himself in natural impulses and ferocious instincts? There is no lower degree nor greater debasement for man than this natural condition of animalism. The battlefield is the acme of human degradation, the cause of the wrath of God, the destruction of the divine foundation of man.

Praise be to God! I find myself in an assemblage, the members of which are peace loving and advocates of international unity. The thoughts of all present are centered upon the oneness of the world of mankind, and every ambition is to render service in the cause of human uplift and betterment. I supplicate God that He may confirm and assist you, that each one of you may become a professor emeritus in the world of scientific knowledge, a faithful standard-bearer of peace and bonds of agreement between the hearts of men.

Fifty years ago Bahá’u’lláh declared the necessity of peace among the nations and the reality of reconciliation between the religions of the world. He announced that the fundamental basis of all religion is one, that the essence of religion is human fellowship and that the differences in belief which exist are due to dogmatic interpretation and blind imitations which are at variance with the foundations established by the Prophets of God. He proclaimed that if the reality underlying religious teaching be investigated all religions would be unified, and the purpose of God, which is love and the blending of human hearts, would be accomplished. According to His teachings if religious belief proves to be the cause of discord and dissension, its absence would be preferable; for religion was intended to be the divine remedy and panacea for the ailments of humanity, the healing balm for the wounds of mankind. If its misapprehension and defilement have brought about warfare and bloodshed instead of remedy and cure, the world would be better under irreligious conditions.

Bahá’u’lláh especially emphasized international peace. He declared that all mankind is the one progeny of Adam and members of one great universal family. If the various races and distinct types of mankind had each proceeded from a different original paternity—in other words, if we had two or more Adams for our human fathers—there might be reasonable ground for difference and divergence in humanity today; but inasmuch as we belong to one progeny and one family, all names which seek to differentiate and distinguish mankind as Italian, German, French, Russian and so on are without significance and sanction. We are all human, all servants of God and all come from Mr. Adam’s family. Why, then, all these fallacious national and racial distinctions? These boundary lines and artificial barriers have been created by despots and conquerors who sought to attain dominion over mankind, thereby engendering patriotic feeling and rousing selfish devotion to merely local standards of government. As a rule they themselves enjoyed luxuries in palaces, surrounded by conditions of ease and affluence, while armies of soldiers, civilians and tillers of the soil fought and died at their command upon the field of battle, shedding their innocent blood for a delusion such as “we are Germans,” “our enemies are French,” etc., when, in reality, all are humankind, all belong to the one family and posterity of Adam, the original father. This prejudice or limited patriotism is prevalent throughout the world, while man is blind to patriotism in the larger sense which includes all races and native lands. From every real standpoint there must and should be peace among all nations.

God created one earth and one mankind to people it. Man has no other habitation, but man himself has come forth and proclaimed imaginary boundary lines and territorial restrictions, naming them Germany, France, Russia, etc. And torrents of precious blood are spilled in defense of these imaginary divisions of our one human habitation, under the delusion of a fancied and limited patriotism.

After all, a claim and title to territory or native land is but a claim and attachment to the dust of earth. We live upon this earth for a few days and then rest beneath it forever. So it is our graveyard eternally. Shall man fight for the tomb which devours him, for his eternal sepulcher? What ignorance could be greater than this? To fight over his grave, to kill another for his grave! What heedlessness! What a delusion!

It is my hope that you who are students in this university may never be called upon to fight for the dust of earth which is the tomb and sepulcher of all mankind, but that during the days of your life you may enjoy the most perfect companionship one with another, even as one family—as brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers—associating together in peace and true fellowship.

Abdu’l-Baha’-The Promulgation Of Universal Peace

Whatsoever Is Possible Of Accomplishment In Human Government Will Be Effected Through These Principles

Baha’i Sabbath: Qudrat 12, 176 B.E. (11/15/2019)

Friday, November 15th, 2019

The Evolution of the Spirit

15 Rue Greuze, Paris,

November 10th

‘ABDU’L‑BAHÁ said:

Tonight I will speak of the evolution or progress of the spirit.

Absolute repose does not exist in nature. All things either make progress or lose ground. Everything moves forward or backward, nothing is without motion. From his birth, a man progresses physically until he reaches maturity, then, having arrived at the prime of his life, he begins to decline, the strength and powers of his body decrease, and he gradually arrives at the hour of death. Likewise a plant progresses from the seed to maturity, then its life begins to lessen until it fades and dies. A bird soars to a certain height and having reached the highest possible point in its flight, begins its descent to earth.

Thus it is evident that movement is essential to all existence. All material things progress to a certain point, then begin to decline. This is the law which governs the whole physical creation.

Now let us consider the soul. We have seen that movement is essential to existence; nothing that has life is without motion. All creation, whether of the mineral, vegetable or animal kingdom, is compelled to obey the law of motion; it must either ascend or descend. But with the human soul, there is no decline. Its only movement is towards perfection; growth and progress alone constitute the motion of the soul.

Divine perfection is infinite, therefore the progress of the soul is also infinite. From the very birth of a human being the soul progresses, the intellect grows and knowledge increases. When the body dies the soul lives on. All the differing degrees of created physical beings are limited, but the soul is limitless!

In all religions the belief exists that the soul survives the death of the body. Intercessions are sent up for the beloved dead, prayers are said for their progress and for the forgiveness of their sins. If the soul perished with the body all this would have no meaning. Further, if it were not possible for the soul to advance towards perfection after it had been released from the body, of what avail are all these loving prayers, of devotion?

We read in the sacred writings that “all good works are found again.”1 Now, if the soul did not survive, this also would mean nothing!

The very fact that our spiritual instinct, surely never given in vain, prompts us to pray for the welfare of those, our loved ones, who have passed out of the material world: does it not bear witness to the continuance of their existence?

In the world of spirit there is no retrogression. The world of mortality is a world of contradictions, of opposites; motion being compulsory everything must either go forward or retreat. In the realm of spirit there is no retreat possible, all movement is bound to be towards a perfect state. “Progress” is the expression of spirit in the world of matter. The intelligence of man, his reasoning powers, his knowledge, his scientific achievements, all these being manifestations of the spirit, partake of the inevitable law of spiritual progress and are, therefore, of necessity, immortal.

My hope for you is that you will progress in the world of spirit, as well as in the world of matter; that your intelligence will develop, your knowledge will augment, and your understanding be widened.

You must ever press forward, never standing still; avoid stagnation, the first step to a backward movement, to decay.

The whole physical creation is perishable. These material bodies are composed of atoms; when these atoms begin to separate decomposition sets in, then comes what we call death. This composition of atoms, which constitutes the body or mortal element of any created being, is temporary. When the power of attraction, which holds these atoms together, is withdrawn, the body, as such, ceases to exist.

With the soul it is different. The soul is not a combination of elements, it is not composed of many atoms, it is of one indivisible substance and therefore eternal. It is entirely out of the order of the physical creation; it is immortal!

Scientific philosophy has demonstrated that a simple element (“simple” meaning “not composed”) is indestructible, eternal. The soul, not being a composition of elements, is, in character, as a simple element, and therefore cannot cease to exist.

The soul, being of that one indivisible substance, can suffer neither disintegration nor destruction, therefore there is no reason for its coming to an end. All things living show signs of their existence, and it follows that these signs could not of themselves exist if that which they express or to which they testify had no being. A thing which does not exist, can, of course, give no sign of its existence. The manifold signs of the existence of the spirit are forever before us.

The traces of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, the influence of His Divine Teaching, are present with us today, and are everlasting.

A nonexistent thing, it is agreed, cannot be seen by signs. In order to write a man must exist—one who does not exist cannot write. Writing is, in itself, a sign of the writer’s soul and intelligence. The Sacred Writings (with ever the same Teaching) prove the continuity of the spirit.

Consider the aim of creation: is it possible that all is created to evolve and develop through countless ages with this small goal in view—a few years of a man’s life on earth? Is it not unthinkable that this should be the final aim of existence?

The mineral evolves till it is absorbed in the life of the plant, the plant progresses till finally it loses its life in that of the animal; the animal, in its turn, forming part of the food of man, is absorbed into human life.

Thus, man is shown to be the sum of all creation, the superior of all created beings, the goal to which countless ages of existence have progressed.

At the best, man spends four-score years and ten in this world—a short time indeed!

Does a man cease to exist when he leaves the body? If his life comes to an end, then all the previous evolution is useless, all has been for nothing! Can one imagine that Creation has no greater aim than this?

The soul is eternal, immortal.

Materialists say, “Where is the soul? What is it? We cannot see it, neither can we touch it.”

This is how we must answer them: However much the mineral may progress, it cannot comprehend the vegetable world. Now, that lack of comprehension does not prove the nonexistence of the plant!

To however great a degree the plant may have evolved, it is unable to understand the animal world; this ignorance is no proof that the animal does not exist!

The animal, be he never so highly developed, cannot imagine the intelligence of man, neither can he realize the nature of his soul. But, again, this does not prove that man is without intellect, or without soul. It only demonstrates this, that one form of existence is incapable of comprehending a form superior to itself.

This flower may be unconscious of such a being as man, but the fact of its ignorance does not prevent the existence of humanity.

In the same way, if materialists do not believe in the existence of the soul, their unbelief does not prove that there is no such realm as the world of spirit. The very existence of man’s intelligence proves his immortality; moreover, darkness proves the presence of light, for without light there would be no shadow. Poverty proves the existence of riches, for, without riches, how could we measure poverty? Ignorance proves that knowledge exists, for without knowledge how could there be ignorance?

Therefore the idea of mortality presupposes the existence of immortality—for if there were no Life Eternal, there would be no way of measuring the life of this world!

If the spirit were not immortal, how could the Manifestations of God endure such terrible trials?

Why did Christ Jesus suffer the fearful death on the cross?

Why did Muḥammad bear persecutions?

Why did the Báb make the supreme sacrifice and why did Bahá’u’lláh pass the years of His life in prison?

Why should all this suffering have been, if not to prove the everlasting life of the spirit?

Christ suffered, He accepted all His trials because of the immortality of His spirit. If a man reflects he will understand the spiritual significance of the law of progress; how all moves from the inferior to the superior degree.

It is only a man without intelligence who, after considering these things, can imagine that the great scheme of creation should suddenly cease to progress, that evolution should come to such an inadequate end!

Materialists who reason in this way, and contend that we are unable to see the world of spirit, or to perceive the blessings of God, are surely like the animals who have no understanding; having eyes they see not, ears they have, but do not hear. And this lack of sight and hearing is a proof of nothing but their own inferiority; of whom we read in the Qur’án, “They are men who are blind and deaf to the Spirit.” They do not use that great gift of God, the power of the understanding, by which they might see with the eyes of the spirit, hear with spiritual ears and also comprehend with a Divinely enlightened heart.

The inability of the materialistic mind to grasp the idea of the Life Eternal is no proof of the nonexistence of that life.

The comprehension of that other life depends on our spiritual birth!

My prayer for you is that your spiritual faculties and aspirations may daily increase, and that you will never allow the material senses to veil from your eyes the glories of the Heavenly Illumination.

Abdu’l-Baha’-Paris Talks

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Whatsoever Is Possible Of Accomplishment In Human Government Will Be Effected Through These Principles

Baha’i Month: Mashiyyat/Will 1, 176 B.E. (9/27/2019)

Friday, September 27th, 2019

A Message from ‘Abdu’l-Bahá
Written for The Christian Commonwealth and published September 29th, 1911.

GOD sends Prophets for the education of the people and the progress of mankind. Each such Manifestation of God has raised humanity. They serve the whole world by the bounty of God. The sure proof that they are the Manifestations of God is in the education and progress of the people. The Jews were in the lowest condition of ignorance, and captives under Pharaoh when Moses appeared and raised them to a high state of civilization. Thus was the reign of Solomon brought about and science and art were made known to mankind. Even Greek philosophers became students of Solomon’s teaching. Thus was Moses proved to be a Prophet.
After the lapse of time the Israelites deteriorated, and became subject to the Romans and the Greeks. Then the brilliant Star of Jesus rose from the horizon upon the Israelites, brightening the world, until all sects and creeds and nations were taught the beauty of unity. There cannot be any better proof than this that Jesus was the Word of God.
So it was with the Arabian nations who, being uncivilized, were oppressed by the Persian and Greek governments. When the Light of Muḥammad shone forth all Arabia was brightened. These oppressed and degraded peoples became enlightened and cultured; so much so, indeed, that other nations imbibed Arabian civilization from Arabia. This was the proof of Muḥammad’s divine mission.
All the teaching of the Prophets is one; one faith; one Divine light shining throughout the world. Now, under the banner of the oneness of humanity all people of all creeds should turn away from prejudice and become friends and believers in all the Prophets. As Christians believe in Moses, so the Jews should believe in Jesus. As the Muḥammadans believe in Christ and Moses, so likewise the Jews and the Christians should believe in Muḥammad. Then all disputes would disappear, all then would be united. Bahá’u’lláh came for this purpose. He has made the three religions one. He has uplifted the standard of the oneness of faith and the honour of humanity in the centre of the world. Today we must gather round it, and try with heart and soul to bring about the union of mankind.

Abdu’l-Baha’ In London

Whatsoever Is Possible Of Accomplishment In Human Government Will Be Effected Through These Principles

Baha’i Sabbath: Jalal 18, 176 B.E. (4/26/2019)

Friday, April 26th, 2019

O CAPTIVE of the love of God! The letter which thou didst write at the time of thy departure hath been received. It brought me joy; and it is my hope that thine inner eye may be opened wide, so that unto thee the very core of the divine mysteries may be disclosed.

Thou didst begin thy letter with a blessed phrase, saying: “I am a Christian.” O would that all were truly Christian! It is easy to be a Christian on the tongue, but hard to be a true one. Today some five hundred million souls are Christian, but the real Christian is very rare: he is that soul from whose comely face there shineth the splendor of Christ, and who showeth forth the perfections of the Kingdom; this is a matter of great moment, for to be a Christian is to embody every excellence there is. I hope that thou, too, shalt become a true Christian. Praise thou God that at last, through the divine teachings, thou hast obtained both sight and insight to the highest degree, and hast become firmly rooted in certitude and faith. It is my hope that others as well will achieve illumined eyes and hearing ears, and attain to everlasting life: that these many rivers, each flowing along in diverse and separated beds, will find their way back to the circumambient sea, and merge together and rise up in a single wave of surging oneness; that the unity of truth, through the power of God, will make these illusory differences to vanish away. This is the one essential: for if unity be gained, all other problems will disappear of themselves.

O honored lady! In accordance with the divine teachings in this glorious dispensation we should not belittle anyone and call him ignorant, saying: “You know not, but I know.” Rather, we should look upon others with respect, and when attempting to explain and demonstrate, we should speak as if we are investigating the truth, saying: “Here these things are before us. Let us investigate to determine where and in what form the truth can be found.” The teacher should not consider himself as learned and others ignorant. Such a thought breedeth pride, and pride is not conducive to influence. The teacher should not see in himself any superiority; he should speak with the utmost kindliness, lowliness and humility, for such speech exerteth influence and educateth the souls.

O honored lady! For a single purpose were the Prophets, each and all, sent down to earth; for this was Christ made manifest, for this did Bahá’u’lláh raise up the call of the Lord: that the world of man should become the world of God, this nether realm the Kingdom, this darkness light, this satanic wickedness all the virtues of heaven—and unity, fellowship and love be won for the whole human race, that the organic unity should reappear and the bases of discord be destroyed and life everlasting and grace everlasting become the harvest of mankind.

O honored lady! Look about thee at the world: here unity, mutual attraction, gathering together, engender life, but disunity and inharmony spell death. When thou dost consider all phenomena, thou wilt see that every created thing hath come into being through the mingling of many elements, and once this collectivity of elements is dissolved, and this harmony of components is dissevered, the life form is wiped out.

O honored lady! In cycles gone by, though harmony was established, yet, owing to the absence of means, the unity of all mankind could not have been achieved. Continents remained widely divided, nay even among the peoples of one and the same continent association and interchange of thought were wellnigh impossible. Consequently intercourse, understanding and unity amongst all the peoples and kindreds of the earth were unattainable. In this day, however, means of communication have multiplied, and the five continents of the earth have virtually merged into one. And for everyone it is now easy to travel to any land, to associate and exchange views with its peoples, and to become familiar, through publications, with the conditions, the religious beliefs and the thoughts of all men. In like manner all the members of the human family, whether peoples or governments, cities or villages, have become increasingly interdependent. For none is self-sufficiency any longer possible, inasmuch as political ties unite all peoples and nations, and the bonds of trade and industry, of agriculture and education, are being strengthened every day. Hence the unity of all mankind can in this day be achieved. Verily this is none other but one of the wonders of this wondrous age, this glorious century. Of this past ages have been deprived, for this century—the century of light—hath been endowed with unique and unprecedented glory, power and illumination. Hence the miraculous unfolding of a fresh marvel every day. Eventually it will be seen how bright its candles will burn in the assemblage of man.

Behold how its light is now dawning upon the world’s darkened horizon. The first candle is unity in the political realm, the early glimmerings of which can now be discerned. The second candle is unity of thought in world undertakings, the consummation of which will erelong be witnessed. The third candle is unity in freedom which will surely come to pass. The fourth candle is unity in religion which is the cornerstone of the foundation itself, and which, by the power of God, will be revealed in all its splendor. The fifth candle is the unity of nations—a unity which in this century will be securely established, causing all the peoples of the world to regard themselves as citizens of one common fatherland. The sixth candle is unity of races, making of all that dwell on earth peoples and kindreds of one race. The seventh candle is unity of language, i.e., the choice of a universal tongue in which all peoples will be instructed and converse. Each and every one of these will inevitably come to pass, inasmuch as the power of the Kingdom of God will aid and assist in their realization.

Abdu’l-Baha’-Selections From The Writings Of #15

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Whatsoever Is Possible Of Accomplishment In Human Government Will Be Effected Through These Principles

The Golden Rule

Baha’i Month: Qudrat/Power 1, 175 B.E. (11/4/2018)

Monday, November 5th, 2018

“There are three processes in teaching: the first is to attract the people; the second is to convert the people; and the third is to be consecrated. There must be attraction, conversion, and consecration. The teachers must not be unwise.” (Shoghi Effendi, Memories of ‘Abdu’l-Baha: Recollections of the Early Days of the Baha’is of California, p. 115)

Dear friends:

Shoghi Effendi has explained that the key to the ultimate victory of the light is conditioned upon the inner transformation of character and personality development in service to the Cause of God:

“Not by the force of numbers, not by the mere exposition of a set of new and noble principles, not by an organized campaign of teaching–no matter how worldwide and elaborate in its character–not even by the staunchness of our faith or the exaltation of our enthusiasm, can we ultimately hope to vindicate in the eyes of a critical and skeptical age the supreme claim of the Abha Revelation. One thing and only one thing will unfailingly and alone secure the undoubted triumph of this sacred Cause, namely, the extent to which our own inner life and private character mirror forth in their manifold aspects the splendor of those eternal principles proclaimed by Baha’u’llah.” (Shoghi Effendi, Baha’i Administration, p. 196)

Now we come across a deepened teaching: the principle of consecration in the faith. What does this mean “consecration?”

“The friends must realize the Power of the Holy Spirit which is manifest and quickening them at this time through the appearance of Baha’u’llah. There is no force of heaven or earth which can affect them if they place themselves wholly under the influence of the Holy Spirit and under its guidance. Such individuals who are subject to the negative influences of the world are those who are not properly consecrated in the Faith.” (Shoghi Effendi, August 11, 1957)

The catastrophe that is upon us now is primarily due to the forces of purification that are quickly liberating a dead and inanimate humanity toward the inner life of the spirit. Those who experience this purification cannot survive this catastrophe (both spiritual and material/both inward and outward) unless they are properly consecrated in the faith, thus freeing themselves from the negative influences emerging in the outer external world due to this cleansing disaster.

However being and becoming “consecrated in the Faith” will mean different inner adjustments for all of us, as we undergo the personal tests and challenges that God has set for us in this world and upon our encounters on the path of teaching in our journeying unto God. Group tests are that which we encounter as a community. Personal tests are those that help us in a very specific and idiosyncratic manner, to pass those group tests and remain growing in the school of the prophets.

In either case–as both operate upon us at once through the divine decree of God–what the deep inner experience of consecration will mean and feel like is something that we will have to discovery each and everyone for ourselves. This cannot be articulated outwardly with mere words.

The transformation, purification and consecration of the soul unto God is above all personal and private. However, once the station of personal spiritual consecration is properly attained–and the mirror of the self is severed from the dross of negative influences of this world that tend to warp the personality; and these grievous veils are rent asunder–the quality of the group meetings, 12 Principle Unity Feasts, Forums, Firesides, and Council meetings, and all other functions, activities and gatherings of the friends, will take on a reflected characteristic, that shall bring down the power, so to speak, of the light of God into the world of activity in a manner and style unheard of in all prior dispensations of the past, and never seen upon the earth in such a magnitude of focus, and consummate expression of lordly power, that all obstacles shall most easily be overcome. This we are promised in the Covenant, and this we are firmly assured is the sacred writings of God. All this in the name: Baha’i.

Consecration? We ask ourselves: “What does this really mean for me?” “What truly is this ‘consecration’ for myself? And for the group and community I associate within?”

Something for all of us to meditate upon in this coming year, something for us all to strive to acquire through the grace of God, as we prepare to gather and assemble in the first weeks of August next year.

In service,

Your servant and co-worker in the vineyard

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Whatsoever Is Possible Of Accomplishment In Human Government Will Be Effected Through These Principles

Baha’i Sabbath: Nur 18, 175 B.E. (6/22/2018)

Saturday, June 23rd, 2018

It is

racial,

patriotic,

religious

and

class

prejudice,

that has been the cause

of the destruction of Humanity.

Abdu’l-Baha’ in London, 9/30/1911

 

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God’s Remedy for The Ill of Prejudice

The Golden Rule

Baha’i Sabbath: Asma 6, 174 B.E. (8/25/2017)

Friday, August 25th, 2017

O visitant of the Resort of spirits (who are) sincere in the Religion of God!

Blessed is the mother who bore thee and the breast whose milk suckled thee and the bosom wherein thou wert nurtured, because thou hast apprehended the Day of the Lord, hast prepared thyself to enter in unto His kingdom, hast set thy face singly toward His Gracious Countenance, hast believed in the Manifest Light, hast rejoiced in the Abundant Grace, hast responded to the Voice of thy Lord with a sincere and beating heart and hast presented thyself from those regions at the Glorious Threshold and hast marked thy forehead with the pure, holy, fragrant Tomb, the breaths of whose sanctity are spread abroad throughout the lands as fragrant musk is diffused unto the distant place! Then thank thy Lord, the Merciful, the Clement, for this great salvation (or fruition, achievement, or attainment) and exceeding grace!

Now as to what thou askest concerning the spirit and its “return” to this world of humanity and this elemental space: Know that spirit in general is divided into five sorts—the vegetable spirit, the animal spirit, the human spirit, the spirit of faith, and the divine spirit of sanctity.

The vegetable spirit is the virtue augmentative, or growing or vegetative faculty, which results from the admixture of the simple elements, with the co-operation of water, air and heat.

The animal spirit is the virtue perceptive resulting from the admixture and absorption of the vital elements generated in the heart, which apprehend sense impressions.

The human spirit consists of the rational, or logical, reasoning faculty, which apprehends general ideas and things intelligible and perceptible.

Now these “spirits” are not reckoned as Spirit in the terminology of the Scriptures and the usage of the people of the Truth, inasmuch as the laws governing them are as the laws which govern all phenomenal being (i.e., all existences belonging to the phenomenal or material universe, called “the world of generation and corruption”), in respect to generation, corruption, production, change and reversion, as is clearly indicated in the Gospel where it says: “Let the dead bury their dead;” “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is Spirit”; inasmuch as he who would bury these dead was alive with the vegetative, animal and rational human soul, yet did Christ—to whom be glory! —declare such dead and devoid of life, in that this person was devoid of the Spirit of Faith, which is of the Kingdom of God.

In brief, for these three spirits there is no restitution or “return,” but they are subordinate to reversions and production and corruption.

But the Spirit of Faith which is of the Kingdom (of God) consists of the all-comprehending Grace and the perfect attainment (or salvation, fruition, achievement) and the power of sanctity and the divine effulgence from the Sun of Truth on luminous light-seeking essences from the presence of the divine Unity. And by this Spirit is the life of the spirit of man, when it is fortified thereby, as Christ saith: “That which is born of the Spirit is Spirit.” And this Spirit hath both restitution and return, inasmuch as it consists of the Light of God and the unconditioned Grace. So, having regard to this state and station. Christ announced that John the Baptist was Elias, who was to come before Christ (Matt. 11:14). And the likeness of this station is as that of lamps kindled (from one another): for these in respect to their glasses and oil-holders, are different, but in respect to their light, One, and in respect to their illumination, One; nay, each one is identical with the other, without imputation of plurality, or diversity or multiplicity or separateness. This is the Truth and beyond the Truth there is only error.

But as to the question of the Trinity, know, O advancer unto God, that in each one of the cycles wherein the Lights have shone forth upon the horizons (i.e., in each prophetic dispensation) and the Forgiving Lord hath revealed Himself on Mount Paran (see Habbakkuk 3:3, etc.) or Mount Sinai, or Mount Seir (see Ezekiel 35), there are necessarily three things: The Giver of the Grace, and the Grace, and the Recipient of the Grace; the Source of the Effulgence, and the Effulgence, and the Recipient of the Effulgence; the Illuminator, and the Illumination, and the Illuminated. Look at the Mosaic cycle: The Lord, and Moses, and the Fire (i.e., the burning bush), the Intermediary; and in the Mohammedan cycle: The Lord, the Apostle (or Messenger, Mohammed), and Gabriel (for, as the Mohammedans believe, Gabriel brought the Revelation from God to Mohammed). Look at the sun and its rays and the heat which results from its rays; the rays and the heart are but two effects of the sun, but inseparable from it; yet the sun is one in its essence, unique in its real identity, single in its attributes, neither is it possible that anything should resemble it. Such is the essence of the Truth concerning the Unity, the real doctrine of the Singularity, the undiluted reality as to the (Divine) Sanctity.

But as to the question concerning the atonement on the part of the Holy Redeemer, I have explained this to thee by word of mouth in a plain and detailed manner, devoid of ambiguities, and I have made it clear to thee as the sun at noonday.

And I ask God to open unto thee the gates, that thou mayest thyself apprehend the true meanings of these mysteries. Verily, He is the Confirmer, the Beneficent, the Merciful!

Abdu’l-Baha’, Tablets volume I, pp 114-118

 

The Lights Of The Sun Of Truth