Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Spiritual Education ~ Continued

Yesterday's post dealt with the needs of true education.

Today's quote from Reality continues the educational theme but focuses on what happens when we don't implement True Spiritual Education:

"Observe how many penal institutions, houses of detention and places of torture are made ready to receive the sons of men, the purpose being to prevent them, by punitive measures, from committing terrible crimes—whereas this very torment and punishment only increaseth depravity, and by such means the desired aim cannot be properly achieved.

"Therefore must the individual be trained from his infancy in such a way that he will never undertake to commit a crime, will, rather, direct all his energies to the acquisition of excellence, and will look upon the very commission of an evil deed as itself the harshest of all punishments, considering the sinful act itself to be far more grievous than any prison sentence. For it is possible so to train the individual that, although crime may not be completely done away with, still it will become very rare.

"The purport is this, that to train the character of humankind is one of the weightiest commandments of God, and the influence of such training is the same as that which the sun exerteth over tree and fruit. Children must be most carefully watched over, protected and trained; in such consisteth true parenthood and parental mercy. Otherwise, the children will turn into weeds growing wild, and become the cursed, Infernal Tree [the Zaqqúm, Qur’án 37:60, 44:43], knowing not right from wrong, distinguishing not the highest of human qualities from all that is mean and vile; they will be brought up in vainglory, and will be hated of the Forgiving Lord. Wherefore doth every child, new-risen in the garden of Heavenly love, require the utmost training and care."

‘Abdu’l-Bahá: from a Tablet translated from Persian, quoted in the compilation Bahá’í Education, Selection #66

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