Sunday, June 17, 2007

Response from one of our Email Reporters to "Time Is So Short"

The other day I found these quotes below on OCEAN [ed: a free program of searchable spiritual Writings]. They seem to contradict each other but I know they don't in reality. To me there is an interesting juxtaposition of the points made in these quotes because there are instances where we are not to show kindness but we are told to always show kindness even if people are not nice to us.... What are your thoughts? ~ Sandy

Well, I've often found apparent contradictions in spiritual writings. One solution is to analyze the context and historical period. Another solution is to broaden one's perspective.

How about Christ saying in one place, "I and my Father are one." and in another, "Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven."

So, in the last post I said, "
Some souls may say, 'Gee, I thought spiritual people were supposed to talk nice! '"

And, here are Sandy's two apparently contradictory quotes:

"One of the teachings is that love and faithfulness must so prevail in the hearts that men may see the stranger as a friend, the sinner as an intimate fellow, may count enemies as allies, regard foes as loving comrades, call their executioner the giver of life, consider the denier as a believer and the unbeliever as a faithful one -- that is, men must behave in such a manner as may befit the believers, the faithful, the friend and the confidant."

‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Baha'i World Faith - ‘Abdu’l-Bahá Section, p. 413

"The foundation of the Kingdom of God is laid upon justice, fairness, mercy, sympathy and kindness to every soul. Then strive ye with heart and soul to practice love and kindness to the world of humanity at large, except to those souls who are selfish and insincere. It is not advisable to show kindness to a person who is a tyrant, a traitor or a thief because kindness encourages him to become worse and does not awaken him. The more kindness you show to a liar the more he is apt to lie, for he thinks that you know not, while you do know, but extreme kindness keeps you from revealing your knowledge."

‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Baha'i World Faith - ‘Abdu’l-Bahá Section, p. 412

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