Wednesday, October 31, 2007

What is Divinity ?

It always surprises me the way so many folk try to drag God down to the human level.

I guess the simplest way I can put it is: the creatures are never as exalted as their Creator and cannot fully understand Him.

Even that word "Him" is a poor human excuse for representing God's true Nature...

"The pictures of Divinity that come to our mind are the product of our fancy; they exist in the realm of our imagination. They are not adequate to the Truth; truth in its essence cannot be put into words.

"Divinity cannot be comprehended because it is comprehending. Man, who has also a real existence, is comprehended by God; therefore, the Divinity which man can understand is partial; it is not complete.

"Divinity is actual Truth and real existence, and not any representation of it.

"Divinity itself contains All, and is not contained."

‘Abdu’l-Bahá: ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in London, "Discourse of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá at St. John’s, Westminster. September 17th, 1911", p. 22

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

"In the Beginning"?

"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth."

King James Bible, Genesis

This statement from the Bible is true within the context of its Revelation: the book of Genesis was composed between 950 and 750 B.C.

According to our Age and the Gift of Knowledge that God gives us through Science, we could say that the Universe has existed forever [the Big Bang is not the last word in Science's Book . . .]; yet, our Earth and its Heaven or Sky were created within the infinite expanses of Universal Time.

"Know that it is one of the most abstruse spiritual truths that the world of existence — that is to say, this endless universe — has no beginning."

‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Some Answered Questions, Chapter 47: "The Universe is Without Beginning; The Origin of Man", p. 180

"Know assuredly that God’s creation hath existed from eternity, and will continue to exist forever. Its beginning hath had no beginning, and its end knoweth no end. His name, the Creator, presupposeth a creation, even as His title, the Lord of Men, must involve the existence of a servant."

Bahá’u’lláh: Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, Selection LXXVIII, p. 150

"The process of His creation hath had no beginning, and can have no end.

"In every age and cycle He hath, through the splendorous light shed
by the Manifestations of His wondrous Essence, recreated all things, so that whatsoever reflecteth in the heavens and on the earth the signs of His glory may not be deprived of the outpourings of His mercy, nor despair of the showers of His favors."

Bahá’u’lláh: Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, Selection XXVI, pp. 61-62

Monday, October 29, 2007

Let's Not Kid Ourselves . . .

If I can exaggerate just a bit for effect: there are as many conceptions of God as there are stars in the sky.

All the way from a friendly Grandpa to a Power that goes beyond anything we creatures can imagine:

"All that the sages and mystics have said or written have never exceeded, nor can they ever hope to exceed, the limitations to which man’s finite mind hath been strictly subjected.

"To whatever heights
the mind of the most exalted of men may soar, however great the depths which the detached and understanding heart can penetrate, such mind and heart can never transcend that which is the creature of their own conceptions and the product of their own thoughts.

meditations of the profoundest thinker, the devotions of the holiest of saints, the highest expressions of praise from either human pen or tongue, are but a reflection of that which hath been created within themselves, through the revelation of the Lord, their God.

"Whoever pondereth this truth in his heart will readily admit that
there are certain limits which no human being can possibly transgress. Every attempt which, from the beginning that hath no beginning, hath been made to visualize and know God is limited by the exigencies of His own creation—a creation which He, through the operation of His own Will and for the purposes of none other but His own Self, hath called into being.

"Immeasurably exalted is He
above the strivings of human mind to grasp His Essence, or of human tongue to describe His mystery. No tie of direct intercourse can ever bind Him to the things He hath created, nor can the most abstruse and most remote allusions of His creatures do justice to His being.

"Through His world-pervading Will He hath brought into
being all created things. He is and hath ever been veiled in the ancient eternity of His own exalted and indivisible Essence, and will everlastingly continue to remain concealed in His inaccessible majesty and glory. All that is in heaven and all that is in the earth have come to exist at His bidding, and by His Will all have stepped out of utter nothingness into the realm of being.

"How can, therefore,
the creature which the Word of God hath fashioned comprehend the nature of Him Who is the Ancient of Days?"

Bahá’u’lláh: Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, Selection CXLVIII, pp. 317-318

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Through the Eyes of God . . .

Science has shown that we see from the inside out.

We aren't merely passive acceptors of exterior information.

Unless we believe strongly that sight happens from the outside, in.

Then, we become materialists: "If I can't see it, I don't believe it."

Today's quotes are all about Believing and having that improve our Vision !

"Open Thou, O my Lord, mine eyes and the eyes of all them that have sought Thee, that we may recognize Thee with Thine own eyes."

Bahá’u’lláh: Prayers and Meditations, Selection LVI, pp. 80-81

"Only when the lamp of search, of earnest striving, of longing desire, of passionate devotion, of fervid love, of rapture, and ecstasy, is kindled within the seeker’s heart, and the breeze of His lovingkindness is wafted upon his soul, will the darkness of error be dispelled, the mists of doubts and misgivings be dissipated, and the lights of knowledge and certitude envelop his being. At that hour will the Mystic Herald, bearing the joyful tidings of the Spirit, shine forth from the City of God resplendent as the morn, and, through the trumpet-blast of knowledge, will awaken the heart, the soul, and the spirit from the slumber of heedlessness. Then will the manifold favors and outpouring grace of the holy and everlasting Spirit confer such new life upon the seeker that he will find himself endowed with a new eye, a new ear, a new heart, and a new mind. He will contemplate the manifest signs of the universe, and will penetrate the hidden mysteries of the soul. Gazing with the eye of God, he will perceive within every atom a door that leadeth him to the stations of absolute certitude. He will discover in all things the mysteries of Divine Revelation, and the evidences of an everlasting Manifestation."

Bahá’u’lláh: Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, Selection CXXV, p. 267

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Independent Investigation

If we are to be spiritually just, fair, and equitable, we must objectively, independently search out the Truth.

Sometimes, the harder task is to take the portion of Truth we've uncovered and Act On It . . .

"Among these teachings was the independent investigation of reality so that the world of humanity may be saved from the darkness of imitation and attain to the truth; may tear off and cast away this ragged and outgrown garment of a thousand years ago and may put on the robe woven in the utmost purity and holiness in the loom of reality."

‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selection #227, p. 298

"The people, therefore, must be set completely free from their old patterns of thought, that all their attention may be focused upon these new principles, for these are the light of this time and the very spirit of this age.

"Unless these Teachings are effectively spread among the people,
until the old ways, the old concepts, are gone and forgotten, this world of being will find no peace, nor will it reflect the perfections of the Heavenly Kingdom.

"Strive ye with all your hearts to make the
heedless conscious, to waken those who sleep, to bring knowledge to the ignorant, to make the blind to see, the deaf to hear, and restore the dead to life."

‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selection #205, pp. 252-253

Friday, October 26, 2007

"...the Company on high..."

There have been a number of posts here that I began with a disclaimer--because many spiritual ideas don't mean what, at first, might be imagined.

Also, many of the posts are what I consider "strong medicine".

I'm certainly not preaching in this blog--fact is, I'm doing it, primarily, as a personal spiritual discipline.

I feel, though, I should interpret one particular phrase of today's quote:

"...this rubbish-heap, the world...".

In other Writings, it's explained that the "world" indicates whatever interposes itself between us and God . . .

"Soon will your swiftly-passing days be over, and the fame and riches, the comforts, the joys provided by this rubbish-heap, the world, will be gone without a trace. Summon ye, then, the people to God, and invite humanity to follow the example of the Company on high. Be ye loving fathers to the orphan, and a refuge to the helpless, and a treasury for the poor, and a cure for the ailing. Be ye the helpers of every victim of oppression, the patrons of the disadvantaged. Think ye at all times of rendering some service to every member of the human race. Pay ye no heed to aversion and rejection, to disdain, hostility, injustice: act ye in the opposite way.

"Be ye sincerely kind, not in appearance only. Let each one of God’s loved ones centre his attention on this: to be the Lord’s mercy to man; to be the Lord’s grace. Let him do some good to every person whose path he crosseth, and be of some benefit to him. Let him improve the character of each and all, and reorient the minds of men. In this way, the light of divine guidance will shine forth, and the blessings of God will cradle all mankind: for love is light, no matter in what abode it dwelleth; and hate is darkness, no matter where it may make its nest. O friends of God! That the hidden Mystery may stand revealed, and the secret essence of all things may be disclosed, strive ye to banish that darkness for ever and ever."

‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selection #1, p. 3

Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Danger of Borrowed Faith

Believe it or not, it appears God does not want us to blindly follow His Will.

We must make our own spiritual decisions so we can truly Own our Spirituality...

"How often the most insignificant of men have acknowledged the truth, while the most learned have remained wrapt in veils. Thus in every Dispensation a number of souls enter the fire by reason of their following in the footsteps of others."

The Báb: Selections from the Writings of the Báb, "Excerpts from the Persian Bayán", pp. 90-91, citing Váhid IV, Chapter 18

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

How Serious Is Our Spirituality ?

Ever watched one of those preachers that shouts out the message: "God wants you to have whatever you desire!"


I think I can agree that God gave us this world as a magnificently provisioned space in which to educate our souls, but . . .

I think some clergy, acting from a desire to swell their membership, preach a rather materialistic brand of spirituality.

A careful reading of today's excerpt will reveal an attitude that appreciates our world while not letting it ensnare our hearts...

"… they that tread the path of faith, they that thirst for the wine of certitude, must cleanse themselves of all that is earthly—their ears from idle talk, their minds from vain imaginings, their hearts from worldly affections, their eyes from that which perisheth. They should put their trust in God, and, holding fast unto Him, follow in His way. Then will they be made worthy of the effulgent glories of the sun of divine knowledge and understanding, and become the recipients of a grace that is infinite and unseen, inasmuch as man can never hope to attain unto the knowledge of the All-Glorious, can never quaff from the stream of divine knowledge and wisdom, can never enter the abode of immortality, nor partake of the cup of divine nearness and favour, unless and until he ceases to regard the words and deeds of mortal men as a standard for the true understanding and recognition of God and His Prophets."

Bahá’u’lláh: The Kitáb-i-Íqán, paragraphs 1-2, pp. 3-4

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

How Blind and Deaf Are We?

We wrestle with our egos...

Still, we cling to our opinions, until...

We pray for assistance...

And, we're really sorry but we just don't have the time to wait for an answer to that prayer.


God gave us our own will so we could wrestle, cling, pray, and, hopefully, Listen . . .

"How sublime is the Utterance of Him Who is the Sovereign Truth and how abject are the idle contentions of the people! The accumulations of vain fancy have obstructed men’s ears and stopped them from hearing the Voice of God, and the veils of human learning and false imaginings have prevented their eyes from beholding the splendour of the light of His countenance."

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, "Excerpts from Other Tablets" (Excerpt #8), pp. 240-241

"We can well perceive how the whole human race is encompassed with great, with incalculable afflictions. We see it languishing on its bed of sickness, sore-tried and disillusioned. They that are intoxicated by self-conceit have interposed themselves between it and the Divine and infallible Physician. Witness how they have entangled all men, themselves included, in the mesh of their devices. They can neither discover the cause of the disease, nor have they any knowledge of the remedy. They have conceived the straight to be crooked, and have imagined their friend an enemy."

Bahá’u’lláh: Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, Selection CVI, p. 213

Monday, October 22, 2007

Progressive Revelation

There have been many Messengers from God in humanity's past.

Fact is, all the religious wars have been fought because one set of believers disbelieves in the other set of believers' Messenger.

"My Messenger from God is better, higher, more powerful, and more amazing than what you call a messenger!"

A quick quote attributed to ‘Abdu’l-Bahá:

"Attachment to the lantern is not loving the light."

God will never leave us without a new Messenger, whenever the World grows too Cold from Godlessness...

"Whenever the True Counsellor uttered a word in admonishment, lo, they all denounced Him as a mover of mischief and rejected His claim. How bewildering, how confusing is such behavior!"

Bahá’u’lláh: Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, Selection CXII, p. 218

"Gracious God! how strange the way of this people! They clamour for guidance, although the standards of Him Who guideth all things are already hoisted. They cleave to the obscure intricacies of knowledge,when He, Who is the Object of all knowledge, shineth as the sun. They see the sun with their own eyes, and yet question that brilliant Orb as to the proof of its light. They behold the vernal showers descending upon them, and yet seek an evidence of that bounty.

"The proof of the sun is the light thereof, which shineth and envelopeth all things."

Bahá’u’lláh: The Kitáb-i-Íqán, paragraph 230, p. 192

Sunday, October 21, 2007

"And Justice for All"

Some of God's Wishes seem quite severe.

Of course, many of us have rather severe Egos...

The way my limited mind sees the situation of today's quote is:

If we give up our desires in preference for what the Whole needs, since God has asked (recommended) it, He will shower us with (spiritual) Gifts!

"[An] attribute of perfection is justice and impartiality. This means to have no regard for one’s own personal benefits and selfish advantages, and to carry out the laws of God without the slightest concern for anything else. It means to see one’s self as only one of the servants of God, the All-Possessing, and except for aspiring to spiritual distinction, never attempting to be singled out from the others. It means to consider the welfare of the community as one’s own. It means, in brief, to regard humanity as a single individual, and one’s own self as a member of that corporeal form, and to know of a certainty that if pain or injury afflicts any member of that body, it must inevitably result in suffering for all the rest."

‘Abdu’l-Bahá: The Secret of Divine Civilization, p. 39

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Who's In Charge Here?

Today's quote could be successfully used on a desk plaque for those folk who are too caught up in what "they" have accomplished...

“How truly hath he [Muhammad] said: ‘All human attainment moveth upon a lame ass, whilst Truth, riding upon the wind, darteth across space.’”

Bahá’u’lláh: The Kitáb-i-Íqán, paragraph 204, pp. 172-173

Friday, October 19, 2007

"...Thy hidden gift..."

So many people who are into "Spirituality" but not Religion are hampering their spiritual bliss if they ignore the Scriptures of the World.

Some feel Scripture is passé, some that It's capable of contradictory interpretations, and some that It's too hard to understand, period.

Today's quote speaks to those people's predicament...

“Number me not with them who read Thy words and fail to find Thy hidden gift which, as decreed by Thee, is contained therein, and which quickeneth the souls of Thy creatures and the hearts of Thy servants.”

Bahá’u’lláh: Prayers and Meditations, Selection LVI, p. 83

Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Proof Is All Around Us !

This Galaxy contains hundreds of billions of stars which have untold planets circling them which harbor who knows what kind of life.

It's just one of God's creations...

"Consider the relation between the craftsman and his handiwork, between the painter and his painting. Can it ever be maintained that the work their hands have produced is the same as themselves? By Him Who is the Lord of the Throne above and of earth below! They can be regarded in no other light except as evidences that proclaim the excellence and perfection of their author."

Bahá’u’lláh: Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, Selection CLX, p. 337

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Religion & Science

So far, in this new "incarnation" of B.I.D.E. Blog, I've only quoted ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and Bahá’u’lláh.

Today the excerpt is from a document published by the World Governing Body of the
Bahá’í Faith:

“While it is true to speak of the unity of all religions, understanding of the context is vital. At the deepest level, as Bahá'u'lláh emphasizes, there is but one religion.

"Religion is religion, as science is science.

"The one discerns and articulates the values unfolding progressively through Divine revelation; the other is the instrumentality through which the human mind explores and is able to exert its influence ever more precisely over the phenomenal world. The one defines goals that serve the evolutionary process; the other assists in their attainment. Together, they constitute the dual knowledge system impelling the advance of civilization. Each is hailed by the Master [
‘Abdu’l-Bahá] as an effulgence of the Sun of Truth.”

Universal House of Justice, One Common Faith, par. 43

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Spiritual Protection

I'd mentioned in a previous post how ‘Abdu’l-Bahá (Who I quote here often...) had to spend 40 years in Middle Eastern prisons before he visited Europe and the USA.

His Father, Bahá’u’lláh, spent the same amount of time as a prisoner yet He had much more suffering heaped upon Him.

Here is a Supreme Example of the correct internal attitude to maintain if others attack us for our beliefs:

"Armed with the power of Thy love, the hatred which moveth them that are against Thee can never alarm me; and with Thy praise on my lips, the rulings of Thy decree can in no wise fill me with sorrow. Fortify, therefore, Thy love within my breast, and suffer me to face the assaults which all the peoples of the earth may launch against me."

Bahá’u’lláh: Prayers and Meditations, Selection CXXVII, p. 214

Monday, October 15, 2007

"Worlds, Holy and Spiritually Glorious"

It takes Faith to read Scripture and firmly believe that, in spite of the severity of our suffering in the body, our souls can realize supreme happiness.

It takes Faith like a rooted mountain!

This quote from Reality says it much better than I can:

"O My servants! Sorrow not if, in these days and on this earthly plane, things contrary to your wishes have been ordained and manifested by God, for days of blissful joy, of heavenly delight, are assuredly in store for you. Worlds, holy and spiritually glorious, will be unveiled to your eyes. You are destined by Him, in this world and hereafter, to partake of their benefits, to share in their joys, and to obtain a portion of their sustaining grace. To each and every one of them you will, no doubt, attain."

Bahá’u’lláh: Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, Selection CLIII, p. 329

Sunday, October 14, 2007


I remember, about 40 years ago, a social "movement" whose dogma was: Tell The Extreme Truth, No Matter What.

For a short while I tried it and encouraged others to be this "Honest".

What a fiasco!

How great the hurt and harm.

Even though the "truth" often needs moderation, we must not fall into the trap of abandoning the "Truth".

What a gem today's quote from Reality is:

"How great the multitude of truths which the garment of words can never contain! How vast the number of such verities as no expression can adequately describe, whose significance can never be unfolded, and to which not even the remotest allusions can be made! How manifold are the truths which must remain unuttered until the appointed time is come! Even as it hath been said: 'Not everything that a man knoweth can be disclosed, nor can everything that he can disclose be regarded as timely, nor can every timely utterance be considered as suited to the capacity of those who hear it.'"

Baha'u'llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 176

Saturday, October 13, 2007

No Greater Bliss

Today's quote from Reality is beautifully clear and complete to me.


No comment...

"Is any larger bounty conceivable than this, that an individual, looking within himself, should find that by the confirming grace of God he has become the cause of peace and well-being, of happiness and advantage to his fellow men? No, by the one true God, there is no greater bliss, no more complete delight."

‘Abdu’l-Bahá: The Secret of Divine Civilization, pp. 2-3

Friday, October 12, 2007

Spiritual Road Map

I just love the way this excerpt from Reality begins with rather specific methods and actions for our Spiritual Journey; then, it begins to fly; and then, soars in Realms Beyond...

"Be generous in prosperity, and thankful in adversity. Be worthy of the trust of thy neighbor, and look upon him with a bright and friendly face. Be a treasure to the poor, an admonisher to the rich, an answerer of the cry of the needy, a preserver of the sanctity of thy pledge. Be fair in thy judgment, and guarded in thy speech. Be unjust to no man, and show all meekness to all men. Be as a lamp unto them that walk in darkness, a joy to the sorrowful, a sea for the thirsty, a haven for the distressed, an upholder and defender of the victim of oppression. Let integrity and uprightness distinguish all thine acts. Be a home for the stranger, a balm to the suffering, a tower of strength for the fugitive. Be eyes to the blind, and a guiding light unto the feet of the erring. Be an ornament to the countenance of truth, a crown to the brow of fidelity, a pillar of the temple of righteousness, a breath of life to the body of mankind, an ensign of the hosts of justice, a luminary above the horizon of virtue, a dew to the soil of the human heart, an ark on the ocean of knowledge, a sun in the heaven of bounty, a gem on the diadem of wisdom, a shining light in the firmament of thy generation, a fruit upon the tree of humility."

Bahá’u’lláh: Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, Selection CXXX, p. 285

Thursday, October 11, 2007

True Unity

There's way too much dissension, discord, confrontation, division, and dissonance in our poor ol' world...

Where will it lead?

I firmly believe that God is in charge and all this suffering will purge humanity's selfishness so we all can experience the Spiritual State extolled in today's excerpt from Reality:


"Know ye not why We created you all from the same dust? That no one should exalt himself over the other. Ponder at all times in your hearts how ye were created. Since We have created you all from one same substance it is incumbent on you to be even as one soul, to walk with the same feet, eat with the same mouth and dwell in the same land, that from your inmost being, by your deeds and actions, the signs of oneness and the essence of detachment may be made manifest. Such is My counsel to you, O concourse of light! Heed ye this counsel that ye may obtain the fruit of holiness from the tree of wondrous glory."

Bahá’u’lláh: The Hidden Words, Arabic #68

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Perfections are without Limit

Get ready to Soar!

Today's quote from Reality continues a focus on prayer but takes its effects to the Next World and Back Again!!

"As we have power to pray for these souls here, so likewise we shall possess the same power in the other world, which is the Kingdom of God. Are not all the people in that world the creatures of God? Therefore, in that world also they can make progress. As here they can receive light by their supplications, there also they can plead for forgiveness and receive light through entreaties and supplications. Thus as souls in this world, through the help of the supplications, the entreaties and the prayers of the holy ones, can acquire development, so is it the same after death. Through their own prayers and supplications they can also progress, more especially when they are the object of the intercession of the Holy Manifestations."

‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Some Answered Questions, Chapter 62: "Perfections are without Limit", p. 232

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

A Proper Attitude

There is a Very Special Person I've been quoting quite a bit in this blog: ‘Abdu’l-Bahá.

He was the son of the Prophet-Founder of the Bahá'í Faith.

He visited Europe and the USA in the early 1900s; but, that was after 40 years of imprisonment in the Middle East.

He was imprisoned for his Spiritual Beliefs...

Today's excerpt from Reality is a prayer He wrote:

"Whoso reciteth this prayer with lowliness and fervour will bring gladness and joy to the heart of this Servant; it will be even as meeting Him face to face.

"He is the All-Glorious!

"O God, my God! Lowly and tearful, I raise my suppliant hands to Thee and cover my face in the dust of that Threshold of Thine, exalted above the knowledge of the learned, and the praise of all that glorify Thee. Graciously look upon Thy servant, humble and lowly at Thy door, with the glances of the eye of Thy mercy, and
immerse him in the Ocean of Thine eternal grace.

"Lord! He is a poor and lowly servant of Thine, enthralled and imploring Thee, captive in Thy hand, praying fervently to Thee, trusting in Thee, in tears before Thy face, calling to Thee and beseeching Thee, saying:

"O Lord, my God! Give me Thy grace to serve Thy loved ones, strengthen me in my servitude to Thee, illumine my brow with the light of adoration in Thy court of holiness, and of prayer to Thy Kingdom of grandeur. Help me to be selfless at the heavenly entrance of Thy gate, and aid me to be detached from all things within Thy holy precincts. Lord! Give me to drink from the chalice of selflessness; with its robe clothe me, and in its ocean immerse me. Make me as dust in the pathway of Thy loved ones, and grant that I may offer up my soul for the earth ennobled by the footsteps of Thy chosen ones in Thy path, O Lord of Glory in the Highest.

"With this prayer doth Thy servant call Thee, at dawntide and in the night-season. Fulfil his heart's desire, O Lord! Illumine his heart, gladden his bosom, kindle his light, that he may serve Thy Cause and Thy servants.

"Thou art the Bestower, the Pitiful, the Most Bountiful, the Gracious, the Merciful, the Compassionate."

‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, pp. 319-320

Monday, October 8, 2007

Staying Far From God

In my life's struggles to understand God's Will and Purpose [ 61 years worth of effort ], I've repeatedly come up against my own false opinions, arrogant attitudes, and selfish blindness.

We really can't fight God--it's impossible!

What we do is construct complex barriers to keep Him away.

The True Wonder is that He Remains So Close To Us...

Here's the quote from Reality:

"Arise, O people, and, by the power of God’s might, resolve to gain the victory over your own selves, that haply the whole earth may be freed and sanctified from its servitude to the gods of its idle fancies—gods that have inflicted such loss upon, and are responsible for the misery of their wretched worshippers. These idols form the obstacle that impedeth man in his efforts to advance in the path of perfection."

Bahá’u’lláh: Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, "Lawh-i-Dunyá" or "Tablet of the World", p. 86

Sunday, October 7, 2007

What's the Use of Praying ?

Today's selection from Reality is another one that compels me to keep my commentary brief.

Seems to be extremely clear advice...

"As to thy question, 'Why pray? What is the wisdom thereof, for God has established everything and executes all affairs after the best order and He ordains everything according to a becoming measure and puts things in their places with the greatest of perfection— therefore what is the wisdom in beseeching and supplicating and in stating one’s wants and seeking help?'

"Know thou, verily, it is becoming in a weak one to supplicate to the
Strong One, and it behooveth a seeker of bounty to beseech the Glorious Bountiful One. When one supplicates to his Lord, turns to Him and seeks bounty from His Ocean, this supplication brings light to his heart, illumination to his sight, life to his soul and exaltation to his being.

"During thy supplications to God and thy reciting, 'Thy Name is my healing,' consider how thine heart is cheered, thy soul delighted by the spirit of the love of God, and thy mind attracted to the Kingdom of God! By these attractions one’s ability and capacity increase. When the vessel is enlarged the water increases, and when the thirst grows the bounty of the cloud becomes agreeable to the taste of man. This is the mystery of supplication and the wisdom of stating one’s wants."

‘Abdu’l-Bahá, quoted in Esslemont: Bahá’u’lláh and the New Era, p. 93

Saturday, October 6, 2007

We Are Eternal Souls !

Most of you have undoubtedly heard the saying, "We are souls with a physical body, not physical bodies with a soul."

I feel today's quote from Reality could be chanted as spiritual therapy when we're having trouble accessing our Higher Selves...

"Thou comest from the world of holiness—bind not thine heart to the earth; thou art a dweller in the court of nearness—choose not the homeland of the dust."

Bahá’u’lláh: The Seven Valleys and The Four Valleys, "Valley of Contentment", p. 35

Friday, October 5, 2007

Renewal of Religion

It's quite understandable to me how a person could look at the current religions and decide they want none of the organized brands of spirituality.

Thing is, as long as someone is judging the religions by the member's actions, they'll only see the differences and lack of unity.

Today's excerpt from Reality gives us a means to reconcile the differences by looking to the Essence...

"In the beginning the tree was in all its beauty, and full of blossoms and fruits, but at last it became old and entirely fruitless, and it withered and decayed. This is why the True Gardener plants again an incomparable young tree of the same kind and species, which grows and develops day by day, and spreads a wide shadow in the divine garden, and yields admirable fruit. So it is with religions; through the passing of time they change from their original foundation, the truth of the Religion of God entirely departs, and the spirit of it does not stay; heresies appear, and it becomes a body without a soul. That is why it is renewed."

‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Some Answered Questions, Chapter 43: "The Two Classes of Prophets", p. 166

Thursday, October 4, 2007

What, Really, Is Worship ?

Today's quote from Reality is easy enough to understand but may be hard to "imagine".

We've been told that worship must be in a building, or that it can only be done at a specific time, or, even, sometimes, that living right is worship.

But, learning an art or science...?

"If a man engageth with all his power in the acquisition of a science or in the perfection of an art, it is as if he has been worshipping God in churches and temples."

Abdu'l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu'l-Baha, p. 144

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Which Education Is Better ?

Here's another quote from Reality that some (especially some educators) may want to challenge.

As you read, ask yourself which child you would want to relate to...

"Training in morals and good conduct is far more important than book learning. A child that is cleanly, agreeable, of good character, well-behaved -- even though he be ignorant -- is preferable to a child that is rude, unwashed, ill-natured, and yet becoming deeply versed in all the sciences and arts. The reason for this is that the child who conducts himself well, even though he be ignorant, is of benefit to others, while an ill-natured, ill-behaved child is corrupted and harmful to others, even though he be learned. If, however, the child be trained to be both learned and good, the result is light upon light."

Abdu'l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu'l-Baha, p. 135

Monday, October 1, 2007

Science & Religion

It's interesting to me how personal bias in understanding can result in vastly different interpretations of Scripture.

The quote from Reality for today, if presented to a typical scientist, would be deemed to be far too limiting on the freedom they need to do science.

If it were presented to a typical religious person, they would judge it too liberal!


"O thou true friend! Read, in the school of God, the lessons of the spirit, and learn from love's Teacher the innermost truths. Seek out the secrets of Heaven, and tell of the overflowing grace and favour of God.

"Although to acquire the sciences and arts is the greatest glory of mankind, this is so only on condition that man's river flow into the mighty sea, and draw from God's ancient source His inspiration. When this cometh to pass, then every teacher is as a shoreless ocean, every pupil a prodigal fountain of knowledge. If, then, the pursuit of knowledge lead to the beauty of Him Who is the Object of all Knowledge, how excellent that goal; but if not, a mere drop will perhaps shut a man off from flooding grace, for with learning cometh arrogance and pride, and it bringeth on error and
indifference to God.

"The sciences of today are bridges to reality; if then they lead not to reality, naught remains but fruitless illusion. By the one true God! If learning be not a means of access to Him, the Most Manifest, it is nothing but evident loss."

Abdu'l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu'l-Baha, p. 110