Monday, July 2, 2007

Practical Mystic

I've commented on many quotes from Reality but said nothing about the Individuals being quoted.

Today, I want to make a brief comment about ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Who wrote the words of today's excerpt.

He was born in Iran in 1844 and lived till 1921. Forty of those years were spent as a prisoner because the Ottoman Empire didn't like His ideas.

He's been referred to as a Mystic who walks with practical feet and His quote below starts out quite simply but flows into some strange and wonderful territory:

"All beings, whether large or small, were created perfect and complete from the first, but their perfections appear in them by degrees. The organization of God is one; the evolution of existence is one; the divine system is one. Whether they be small or great beings, all are subject to one law and system. Each seed has in it from the first all the vegetable perfections. For example, in the seed all the vegetable perfections exist from the beginning, but not visibly; afterward little by little they appear. So it is first the shoot which appears from the seed, then the branches, leaves, blossoms and fruits; but from the beginning of its existence all these things are in the seed, potentially, though not apparently.

"In the same way, the embryo possesses from the first all perfections, such as the spirit, the mind, the sight, the smell, the taste—in one word, all the powers—but they are not visible and become so only by degrees.

"Similarly, the terrestrial globe from the beginning was created with all its elements, substances, minerals, atoms and organisms; but these only appeared by degrees: first the mineral, then the plant, afterward the animal, and finally man. But from the first these kinds and species existed, but were undeveloped in the terrestrial globe, and then appeared only gradually. For the supreme organization of God, and the universal natural system, surround all beings, and all are subject to this rule. When you consider this universal system, you see that there is not one of the beings which at its coming into existence has reached the limit of perfection. No, they gradually grow and develop, and then attain the degree of perfection."

‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Some Answered Questions, Chapter 51: "The Spirit
and Mind of Man have Existed from the Beginning", p. 199

No comments: