Friday, November 30, 2007

"...favors...limitless in their range."

Got this thing called "Life" figured out yet?

Even though I've gathered some profound knowledge in my life, I've been on the Path for over 60 years and I sure don't have it "figured out".

Yet, God's given us some remarkable Powers to apply to learning and growing . . .

"Know thou that, according to what thy Lord, the Lord of all men, hath decreed in His Book, the favors vouchsafed by Him unto mankind have been, and will ever remain, limitless in their range.

"First and foremost among these favors, which the Almighty hath conferred upon man, is the gift of understanding. His purpose in conferring such a gift is none other except to enable His creature to know and recognize the one true God — exalted be His glory. This gift giveth man the power to discern the truth in all things, leadeth him to that which is right, and helpeth him to discover the secrets of creation.

"Next in rank, is the power of vision, the chief instrument whereby his understanding can function....

"These gifts are inherent in man himself."

Bahá’u’lláh: Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, Selection XCV, pp. 194-195

Thursday, November 29, 2007

God's Gems

We humans are the apex of Creation, in spite of the horrendous actions of those blinded by their own selves...

Considering a word that can upset some folk, the use of "man" in English for "all of us" is explained in other Writings: "The biblical statement 'Let us make man in our image, after our likeness' does not mean that woman was not created. The image and likeness of God apply to her as well. In Persian and Arabic there are two distinct words translated into English as man: one meaning man and woman collectively, the other distinguishing man as male from woman the female. The first word and its pronoun are generic, collective; the other is restricted to the male. This is the same in Hebrew."

"When we consider beings with the seeing eye, we observe that they are limited to three sorts—that is to say, as a whole they are either mineral, vegetable or animal, each of these three classes containing species. Man is the highest species because he is the possessor of the perfections of all the classes — that is, he has a body which grows and which feels. As well as having the perfections of the mineral, of the vegetable and of the animal, he also possesses an especial excellence which the other beings are without—that is, the intellectual perfections. Therefore, man is the most noble of beings."

‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Some Answered Questions, Chapter 64: "The State of Man and His Progress after Death", p. 235

"Man is said to be the greatest representative of God, and he is the Book of Creation because all the mysteries of beings exist in him. If he comes under the shadow of the True Educator and is rightly trained, he becomes the essence of essences, the light of lights, the spirit of spirits; he becomes the center of the divine appearances, the source of spiritual qualities, the rising-place of heavenly lights, and the receptacle of divine inspirations. If he is deprived of this education, he becomes the manifestation of satanic qualities, the sum of animal vices, and the source of all dark conditions."

‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Some Answered Questions, Chapter 64: "The State of Man and His Progress after Death", p. 236

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

"...the object of existence is the appearance of the perfections of God."

Ever thought of yourself as the Center of the expression of the Names of God?

If you are that Center, are you working to manifest those Qualities?

"Without doubt each being is the center of the shining forth of the glory of God—that is to say, the perfections of God appear from it and are resplendent in it. It is like the sun, which is resplendent in the desert, upon the sea, in the trees, in the fruits and blossoms, and in all earthly things. The world, indeed each existing being, proclaims to us one of the names of God, but the reality of man is the collective reality, the general reality, and is the center where the glory of all the perfections of God shine forth—that is to say, for each name, each attribute, each perfection which we affirm of God there exists a sign in man.

"If it were otherwise, man could not
imagine these perfections and could not understand them. So we say that God is the seer, and the eye is the sign of His vision; if this sight were not in man, how could we imagine the vision of God? For the blind (that is, one born blind) cannot imagine sight; and the deaf (that is, one deaf from birth) cannot imagine hearing; and the dead cannot realize life.

"Consequently, the Divinity of God, which is the
sum of all perfections, reflects itself in the reality of man—that is to say, the Essence of Oneness is the gathering of all perfections, and from this unity He casts a reflection upon the human reality. Man, then, is the perfect mirror facing the Sun of Truth and is the center of radiation: the Sun of Truth shines in this mirror. The reflection of the divine perfections appears in the reality of man, so he is the representative of God, the messenger of God. If man did not exist, the universe would be without result, for the object of existence is the appearance of the perfections of God."

‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Some Answered Questions, Chapter 50: "Spiritual Proofs of the Origin of Man", pp. 195-196

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

"...intellect and wisdom, the two most luminous lights ..."

Today's quote claims that intellect and wisdom are Gifts of God to His creatures--Us...

Cultural use can warp many meanings and help folks make mistakes in judgement (and, the current predominant cultures can't seem to own the idea that everyone can use their "intellect" and manifest "wisdom".

Always good to check your dictionary...

Here's "intellect":
"The capacity for rational thought or inference or discrimination."

Here's "rational":
"Of or associated with or requiring the use of the mind."

Here's "wisdom":
"The trait of utilizing knowledge and experience with common sense and insight."

I should also add that the use of "man" meaning all people is consistent with English not have an appropriate word. In the original language, the word used doesn't make people see sexual differences...

And, here's the excerpt for today:

"Praise and thanksgiving be unto Providence that out of all the realities in existence He has chosen the reality of man and has honored it with intellect and wisdom, the two most luminous lights in either world. Through the agency of this great endowment, He has in every epoch cast on the mirror of creation new and wonderful configurations. If we look objectively upon the world of being, it will become apparent that from age to age, the temple of existence has continually been embellished with a fresh grace, and distinguished with an ever-varying splendor, deriving from wisdom and the power of thought."

‘Abdu’l-Bahá: The Secret of Divine Civilization, p. 1

Monday, November 26, 2007

"...He hath entrusted every created thing with a sign of His knowledge..."

God didn't just create us and set us free to wander the earth in ignorance.

He's sent His Manifestations to remind us that He's also implanted Gifts within us that can be laid bare through our efforts to acquire virtues...

"From the exalted source, and out of the essence of His favor and bounty He hath entrusted every created thing with a sign of His knowledge, so that none of His creatures may be deprived of its share in expressing, each according to its capacity and rank, this knowledge. This sign is the mirror of His beauty in the world of creation. The greater the effort exerted for the refinement of this sublime and noble mirror, the more faithfully will it be made to reflect the glory of the names and attributes of God, and reveal the wonders of His signs and knowledge. Every created thing will be enabled (so great is this reflecting power) to reveal the potentialities of its pre-ordained station, will recognize its capacity and limitations, and will testify to the truth that 'He, verily, is God; there is none other God besides Him.'....

"There can be no doubt whatever that, in consequence of the efforts
which every man may consciously exert and as a result of the exertion of his own spiritual faculties, this mirror can be so cleansed from the dross of earthly defilements and purged from satanic fancies as to be able to draw nigh unto the meads of eternal holiness and attain the courts of everlasting fellowship."

Bahá’u’lláh: Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, Selection CXXIV, p. 262

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Spiritual Evolution

Quite a debate can rage between scientific evolution and religious creationism.

Here's an excerpt from Reality dealing with the way God has created "Evolution" . . .

"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

Saturday, November 24, 2007

The Next Life

It's been said that lack of belief in a life after this earthly one is the prime reason for bad behavior.

If there's nothing after this, what's the use of struggling for virtues? Where's the reason to do any striving that reaches beyond death? And, since death will wipe the slate clean, do whatever you want...

As today's excerpt says, "...the ignorance of a thing is no proof of its non-existence."

"All divine philosophers and men of wisdom and understanding, when observing these endless beings, have considered that in this great and infinite universe all things end in the mineral kingdom, that the outcome of the mineral kingdom is the vegetable kingdom, the outcome of the vegetable kingdom is the animal kingdom and the outcome of the animal kingdom the world of man. The consummation of this limitless universe with all its grandeur and glory hath been man himself, who in this world of being toileth and suffereth for a time, with divers ills and pains, and ultimately disintegrates, leaving no trace and no fruit after him. Were it so, there is no doubt that this infinite universe with all its perfections has ended in sham and delusion with no result, no fruit, no permanence and no effect. It would be utterly without meaning. They were thus convinced that such is not the case, that this Great Workshop with all its power, its bewildering magnificence and endless perfections, cannot eventually come to naught. That still another life should exist is thus certain, and, just as the vegetable kingdom is unaware of the world of man, so we, too, know not of the Great Life hereafter that followeth the life of man here below. Our non-comprehension of that life, however, is no proof of its nonexistence. The mineral world, for instance, is utterly unaware of the world of man and cannot comprehend it, but the ignorance of a thing is no proof of its non-existence. Numerous and conclusive proofs exist that go to show that this infinite world cannot end with this human life."

‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Tablet to August Forel, pp. 13-14

Friday, November 23, 2007

God's "...endless mercy..."

In my struggles with my Self (these many years) the one thing I needed to learn, above all others, was the Infinite Greatness of my Creator. Most cultures just don't pass on the True Measure of God's All-Hallowed Existence...

"A drop of the billowing ocean of His endless mercy hath adorned all creation with the ornament of existence, and a breath wafted from His peerless Paradise hath invested all beings with the robe of His sanctity and glory. A sprinkling from the unfathomed deep of His sovereign and all-pervasive Will hath, out of utter nothingness, called into being a creation which is infinite in its range and deathless in its duration. The wonders of His bounty can never cease, and the stream of His merciful grace can never be arrested. 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. How all-encompassing are the wonders of His boundless grace! Behold how they have pervaded the whole of creation. Such is their virtue that not a single atom in the entire universe can be found which doth not declare the evidences of His might, which doth not glorify His holy Name, or is not expressive of the effulgent light of His unity. So perfect and comprehensive is His creation that no mind nor heart, however keen or pure, can ever grasp the nature of the most insignificant of His creatures; much less fathom the mystery of Him Who is the Day Star of Truth, Who is the invisible and unknowable Essence."

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

Thursday, November 22, 2007

God's "...gracious favor..."

Happy Thanks Giving !!!

"I can have no doubt that should the holy breaths of Thy lovingkindness and the breeze of Thy bountiful favor cease, for less than the twinkling of an eye, to breathe over all created things, the entire creation would perish, and all that are in heaven and on earth would be reduced to utter nothingness."

Bahá’u’lláh: Prayers and Meditations, Selection LVIII, p. 90

"The tie of servitude established between the worshiper and the adored One, between the creature and the Creator, should in itself be regarded as a token of His gracious favor unto men, and not as an indication of any merit they may possess. To this testifieth every true and discerning believer."

Bahá’u’lláh: Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, Selection XCIV, p. 194

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

"In the beginning was the Word"

Today's quote is so crystal clear to me I really can't comment . . .

"The solar system is dark and obscure, and in it the sun is the center of light, and all the planets of the system revolve around its might and are partakers of its bounty. The sun is the cause of life and illumination, and the means of the growth and development of all the beings of the solar system; for without the bounty of the sun no living being could exist: all would be dark and destroyed. Therefore, it is evident and clear that the sun is the center of light and the cause of the life of the beings of the solar system.

"In like manner, the Holy Manifestations of God are the centers of
the light of reality, of the source of mysteries, and of the bounties of love. They are resplendent in the world of hearts and thoughts, and shower eternal graces upon the world of spirits; They give spiritual life and are shining with the light of realities and meanings. The enlightenment of the world of thought comes from these centers of light and sources of mysteries. Without the bounty of the splendor and the instructions of these Holy Beings the world of souls and thoughts would be opaque darkness. Without the irrefutable teachings of those sources of mysteries the human world would become the pasture of animal appetites and qualities, the existence of everything would be unreal, and there would be no true life. That is why it is said in the Gospel: 'In the beginning was the Word,' meaning that it became the cause of all life."

‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Some Answered Questions, Chapter 42: "The Power and Influence of the Divine Manifestations", pp. 162-163

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

"...the mysteries of divine knowledge..."

Today's quote uses three other Spiritual Metaphors for God's Manifestations: "...the Wellspring of His knowledge, the Heaven of His wisdom, and the Ark of His mysteries..."

Other Writings show that the Manifestation--the Word of God--has, associated with His soul, the same Creative Energies that brought the Universe into existence. They are helping us from the inside-out and we are usually quit unaware of how much we depend on Their Power to sustain us:

"Shouldst thou desire to apprehend these celestial allusions, to witness the mysteries of divine knowledge, and to become acquainted with His all-encompassing Word, then it behoveth thine eminence to inquire into these and other questions pertaining to thine origin and ultimate goal from those whom God hath made to be the Wellspring of His knowledge, the Heaven of His wisdom, and the Ark of His mysteries. For were it not for those effulgent Lights that shine above the horizon of His Essence, the people would know not their left hand from their right, how much less could they scale the heights of the inner realities or probe the depths of their subtleties!"

Bahá’u’lláh: Gems of Divine Mysteries, paragraph 17, pp. 14-15

Monday, November 19, 2007

Divine Physicians

I've included many quotes here dealing with the Manifestations of God.

Down a bit in the right column (under the waving kitty) is a box called Jiglu Tags that you can use to find past posts about the "Manifestations" or "Prophets" [and, if your browser permits, the words just might be a different color and underlined and link right into the previous posts list!].

Today's quote employs the brilliant metaphor of the Divine "Physician" prescribing for us the Remedy for the Illnesses we encounter during our Journey here on Earth . . .

"The Prophets of God, the supreme Manifestations, are like skilled physicians, and the contingent world is like the body of man: the divine laws are the remedy and treatment. Consequently, the doctor must be aware of, and know, all the members and parts, as well as the constitution and state of the patient, so that he can prescribe a medicine which will be beneficial against the violent poison of the disease. In reality the doctor deduces from the disease itself the treatment which is suited to the patient, for he diagnoses the malady, and afterward prescribes the remedy for the illness. Until the malady be discovered, how can the remedy and treatment be prescribed? The doctor then must have a thorough knowledge of the constitution, members, organs and state of the patient, and be acquainted with all diseases and all remedies, in order to
a fitting medicine.

"Religion, then, is the necessary connection which emanates from
the reality of things; and as the supreme Manifestations of God are aware of the mysteries of beings, therefore, They understand this essential connection, and by this knowledge establish the
Law of

‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Some Answered Questions, Chapter 40: "The Knowledge of the Divine Manifestations", pp. 158-159

Sunday, November 18, 2007

God's Supreme Mercy

God doesn't "need" us; God "wants" us . . .

The greatest sages, thinkers, and philosophers have endeavored to reckon God's "Reasons" and they couldn't.

God Is . . .

We are...

Let's Celebrate !!!

"Consider the mercy of God and His gifts. He enjoineth upon you that which shall profit you, though He Himself can well dispense with all creatures."

Bahá’u’lláh: The Kitáb-i-Aqdas, paragraph 59, p. 40

Friday, November 16, 2007

How Powerful Are They ?

Today's quote is about the supernatural Power of the Manifestations of God.

These Manifestations include but are not limited to: Noah, Abraham, Zoroaster, Moses, Krishna, Buddha, Jesus, Muhammad, the Báb, and Bahá’u’lláh.

"The Holy Manifestations are the sources of miracles and the originators of wonderful signs. For Them, any difficult and impracticable thing is possible and easy. For through a supernatural power wonders appear from Them; and by this power, which is beyond nature, They influence the world of nature. From all the Manifestations marvelous things have appeared."

‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Some Answered Questions, Chapter 22: "Miracles", p. 100

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Don't Worry, Be Happy !

God Loves Laughter !

"O God! Refresh and gladden my spirit. Purify my heart.
Illumine my powers. I lay all my affairs in Thy hand.
Thou art my Guide and my Refuge. I will no longer be
sorrowful and grieved; I will be a happy and joyful being.

"O God! I will no longer be full of anxiety, nor will I let
trouble harass me. I will not dwell on the unpleasant
things of life.

"O God! Thou art more friend to me than I am to myself.
I dedicate myself to Thee, O Lord."

- 'Abdu'l-Bahá

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Purpose of Revelation

It's been said that the Revelation of the Manifestation of God is the Greatest Gift of our Creator.

Three short quotes today that sing the same Song in slightly different "keys"...

" not the object of every Revelation to effect a transformation in the whole character of mankind, a transformation that shall manifest itself both outwardly and inwardly, that shall affect both its inner life and external conditions? For if the character of mankind be not changed, the futility of God’s universal Manifestations would be apparent."

Bahá’u’lláh: The Kitáb-i-Íqán, paragraph 270, p. 222

"O my God, the God of bounty and mercy! Thou art that King by Whose commanding word the whole creation hath been called into being; and Thou art that All-Bountiful One the doings of Whose servants have never hindered Him from showing forth His grace, nor have they frustrated the revelations of His bounty."

Bahá’u’lláh: Prayers and Meditations, Selection CLIX, p. 251

"The purpose underlying Their revelation hath been to educate all men, that they may, at the hour of death, ascend, in the utmost purity and sanctity and with absolute detachment, to the throne of the Most High. The light which these souls radiate is responsible for the progress of the world and the advancement of its peoples. They are like unto leaven which leaveneth the world of being, and constitute the animating force through which the arts and wonders of the world are made manifest. Through them the clouds rain their bounty upon men, and the earth bringeth forth its fruits. All things must needs have a cause, a motive power, an animating principle. These souls and symbols of detachment have provided, and will continue to provide, the supreme moving impulse in the world of being."

Bahá’u’lláh: Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, Selection LXXXI, p. 157

Monday, November 12, 2007

But, Do We Understand ?

As soon as someone thinks they understand God, at that moment they begin to distance themselves from Him.

That's one reason God sends Manifestations and lets them live in a body for a few years: we humans get a lot more of the Message that way.

Yet, God's "Signature" is Everywhere.

"....whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth is a direct evidence of the revelation within it of the attributes and names of God, inasmuch as within every atom are enshrined the signs that bear eloquent testimony to the revelation of that most great Light. Methinks, but for the potency of that revelation, no being could ever exist. How resplendent the luminaries of knowledge that shine in an atom, and how vast the oceans of wisdom that surge within a drop! To a supreme degree is this true of man, who, among all created things, hath been invested with the robe of such gifts, and hath been singled out for the glory of such distinction. For in him are potentially revealed all the attributes and names of God to a degree that no other created being hath excelled or surpassed. All these names and attributes are applicable to him. Even as He hath said: 'Man is My mystery, and I am his mystery.' Manifold are the verses that have been repeatedly revealed in all the heavenly Books and the holy Scriptures, expressive of this most subtle and lofty theme. Even as He hath revealed: 'We will surely show them Our signs in the world and within themselves.'(Qur’án 41:53) Again He saith: 'And also in your own selves: will ye not then behold the signs of God?'(Qur’án 51:21) And yet again He revealeth: 'And be ye not like those who forget God, and whom He hath therefore caused to forget their own selves.'(Qur’án 59:29) In this connection, He Who is the eternal King—may the souls of all that dwell within the mystic Tabernacle be a sacrifice unto Him—hath spoken: 'He hath known God who hath known himself.'

"....From that which hath been said it becometh evident that all
things, in their inmost reality, testify to the revelation of the names and attributes of God within them. Each according to its capacity, indicateth, and is expressive of, the knowledge of God. So potent and universal is this revelation, that it hath encompassed all things, visible and invisible. Thus hath He revealed: 'Hath aught else save Thee a power of revelation which is not possessed by Thee, that it could have manifested Thee? Blind is the eye which doth not perceive Thee.' Likewise, hath the eternal King spoken: 'No thing have I perceived, except that I perceived God within it, God before it, or God after it.' Also in the tradition of Kumayl it is written: 'Behold, a light hath shone forth out of the Morn of eternity, and lo! its waves have penetrated the inmost reality of all men.' Man, the noblest and most perfect of all created things, excelleth them all in the intensity of this revelation, and is a fuller expression of its glory. And of all men, the most accomplished, the most distinguished and the most excellent are the Manifestations of the Sun of Truth."

Bahá’u’lláh: The Kitáb-i-Íqán, paragraphs 107, 109, pp. 92-94

Sunday, November 11, 2007

"...preeminent above all other gifts..."

What's the Greatest Gift of God?

What makes all His other Blessings possible?

What should be our Highest Joy?

"That which is preeminent above all other gifts, is incorruptible in nature, and pertaineth to God Himself, is the gift of Divine Revelation. Every bounty conferred by the Creator upon man, be it material or spiritual, is subservient unto this. It is, in its essence, and will ever so remain, the Bread which cometh down from Heaven. It is God’s supreme testimony, the clearest evidence of His truth, the sign of His consummate bounty, the token of His all-encompassing mercy, the proof of His most loving providence, the symbol of His most perfect grace. He hath, indeed, partaken of this highest gift of God who hath recognized His Manifestation in this Day."

Bahá’u’lláh: Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, Selection XCV, p. 195

Saturday, November 10, 2007

So, what about the Aliens ?

Every glowing object in today's image is a galaxy--an "island universe" with hundreds of billions of stars.

The more our astronomers look, the more planets they discover around other stars.

It All is God's Creation and He pours His Blessing on all worlds...

"Through His potency the Trees of Divine Revelation have yielded their fruits, every one of which hath been sent down in the form of a Prophet, bearing a Message to God’s creatures in each of the worlds whose number God, alone, in His all-encompassing Knowledge, can reckon."

Bahá’u’lláh: Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, Selection LI, p. 104

Friday, November 9, 2007


Let's assume for a moment that God only wants Good for us.

So, why can't He just leave us to our own devices?

Sorry to say it but, the Truth is, we just aren't able to handle Life all by ourselves .

If we're rigorously honest, we can admit we absolutely need God's Manifestations . . .

"These Essences of Detachment, these resplendent Realities are the channels of God’s all-pervasive grace. Led by the light of unfailing guidance, and invested with supreme sovereignty, They are commissioned to use the inspiration of Their words, the effusions of Their infallible grace and the sanctifying breeze of Their Revelation for the cleansing of every longing heart and receptive spirit from the dross and dust of earthly cares and limitations."

Bahá’u’lláh: Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, Selection XXVII, p. 67

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Three Levels of The TRUTH

We've been looking rather closely in the last few posts at the Nature of the Manifestations of God.

Today's excerpt is truly unique in religious literature because it explains how the Manifestations can have a physical body yet still wield the Creative Power of the Word of God.

"...the Manifestations have three planes. First, the physical reality, which depends upon the body; second, the individual reality, that is to say, the rational soul; third, the divine appearance, which is the divine perfections, the cause of the life of existence, of the education of souls, of the guidance of people, and of the enlightenment of the contingent world.

"The physical state is the human state which perishes because it is composed of elements, and all that is composed of elements will necessarily be decomposed and dispersed.

"But the individual reality of the Manifestations of God is a holy reality, and for that reason it is sanctified and, in that which concerns its nature and quality, is distinguished from all other things. It is like the sun, which by its essential nature produces light and cannot be compared to the moon, just as the particles that compose the globe of the sun cannot be compared with those which compose the moon. The particles and organization of the former produce rays, but the particles of which the moon is composed do not produce rays but need to borrow light.

"So other human realities
are those souls who,
like the moon, take light from the sun; but that
Holy Reality is luminous in Himself.

"The third plane of that Being is the Divine Bounty, the splendor of
the Preexistent Beauty, and the radiance of the light of the Almighty. The individual realities of the Divine Manifestations have no separation from the Bounty of God and the Lordly Splendor. In the same way, the orb of the sun has no separation from the light.

"Therefore, it may be said that the ascension of the Holy
Manifestation is simply the leaving of this elemental form. For example, if a lamp illumines this niche, and if its light ceases to illuminate it because the niche is destroyed,
the bounty of the lamp
is not cut off.

"Briefly, in the Holy Manifestations the Preexistent
Bounty is like the light, the individuality is represented by the glass globe, and the human body is like the niche: if the niche is destroyed, the lamp continues to burn. The Divine Manifestations are so many different mirrors because They have a special individuality, but that which is reflected in the mirrors is one sun."

‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Some Answered Questions, Chapter 39: "The Human Condition and the Spiritual Condition of the Divine Manifestations", pp. 154-155

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Divine Unity

Yesterday we saw a long yet critical excerpt here.

Today brings a similar excerpt--much shorter yet just as critical:

"If thou be of the inmates of this city within the ocean of divine unity, thou wilt view all the Prophets and Messengers of God as one soul and one body, as one light and one spirit, in such wise that the first among them would be last and the last would be first. For they have all arisen to proclaim His Cause and have established the laws of divine wisdom. They are, one and all, the Manifestations of his Self, the Repositories of His might, the Treasuries of His Revelation, the Dawning-Places of His splendour and the Daysprings of His light. Through them are manifested the signs of sanctity in the realities of all things and the tokens of oneness in the essences of all beings. Through them are revealed the elements of glorification in the heavenly realities and the exponents of praise in the eternal essences. From them hath all creation proceeded and unto them shall return all that hath been mentioned. And since in their inmost Beings they are the same Luminaries and the self-same Mysteries, thou shouldst view their outward conditions in the same light, that thou mayest recognize them all as one Being, nay, find them united in their words, speech, and utterance."

Bahá’u’lláh: Gems of Divine Mysteries, paragraph 44, pp. 33-34

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

One Common Faith

Today's quote is critical to an understanding of how to heal the wounds suffered by various "believers" and reconnect the bridges between the "faiths".

The Truth is that there is only One Religion of God that has had various Manifestations in various Ages bringing the Remedy for those Times.

The sad fact is that so much suffering has had to be born by so many, so senselessly.

The Manifestations agreed with each other; why can't we?

The excerpt below is long but Rich in Meaning. If you permit yourself the time and open your heart, you will be enlightened. Or, as it is written in the excerpt itself:
"...these sayings which We have quoted in support of Our argument must be attentively considered, that the divergent utterances of the Manifestations of the Unseen and Day Springs of Holiness may cease to agitate the soul and perplex the mind."

"These Manifestations of God have each a twofold station. One is the station of pure abstraction and essential unity. In this respect, if thou callest them all by one name, and dost ascribe to them the same attributes, thou hast not erred from the truth. Even as He hath revealed: 'No distinction do We make between any of His Messengers.' For they, one and all, summon the people of the earth to acknowledge the unity of God, and herald unto them the Kawthar [ A river in paradise that is the source of all other rivers.] of an infinite grace and bounty. They are all invested with the robe of prophethood, and are honored with the mantle of glory. Thus hath Muhammad, the Point of the Qur’án, revealed:' I am all the Prophets.' Likewise, He saith: 'I am the first Adam, Noah, Moses, and Jesus.' Similar statements have been made by Imám ‘Alí. Sayings such as these, which indicate the essential unity of those Exponents of Oneness, have also emanated from the Channels of God’s immortal utterance, and the Treasuries of the gems of Divine knowledge, and have been recorded in the Scriptures. These Countenances are the recipients of the Divine Command, and the Day Springs of His Revelation. This Revelation is exalted above the veils of plurality and the exigencies of number. Thus He saith: 'Our Cause is but One.' Inasmuch as the Cause is one and the same, the Exponents thereof also must needs be one and the same. Likewise, the Imáms of the Muhammadan Faith, those lamps of certitude, have said: 'Muhammad is our first, Muhammad is our last, Muhammad our all.'

"It is clear and evident to thee that all the Prophets are the Temples
of the Cause of God, Who have appeared clothed in divers attire. If thou wilt observe with discriminating eyes, thou wilt behold Them all abiding in the same tabernacle, soaring in the same heaven, seated upon the same throne, uttering the same speech, and proclaiming the same Faith. Such is the unity of those Essences of Being, those Luminaries of infinite and immeasurable splendor! Wherefore, should one of these Manifestations of Holiness proclaim saying: 'I am the return of all the Prophets,' He, verily, speaketh the truth. In like manner, in every subsequent Revelation, the return of the former Revelation is a fact, the truth of which is firmly established....

"The other station is the station of distinction, and pertaineth to the
world of creation, and to the limitations thereof. In this respect, each Manifestation of God hath a distinct individuality, a definitely prescribed mission, a predestined revelation, and specially designated limitations. Each one of them is known by a different name, is characterized by a special attribute, fulfils a definite mission, and is entrusted with a particular Revelation. Even as He saith: 'Some of the Apostles We have caused to excel the others. To some God hath spoken, some He hath raised and exalted. And to Jesus, Son of Mary, We gave manifest signs, and We strengthened Him with the Holy Spirit.'

"It is because of this difference in their station and mission that the
words and utterances flowing from these Well Springs of Divine knowledge appear to diverge and differ. Otherwise, in the eyes of them that are initiated into the mysteries of Divine wisdom, all their utterances are, in reality, but the expressions of one Truth. As most of the people have failed to appreciate those stations to which We have referred, they, therefore, feel perplexed and dismayed at the varying utterances pronounced by Manifestations that are essentially one and the same.

"It hath ever been evident that all these divergencies of utterance are attributable to differences of station. Thus, viewed from the standpoint of their oneness and sublime detachment, the attributes of Godhead, Divinity, Supreme Singleness, and Inmost Essence, have been, and are applicable to those Essences of Being, inasmuch as they all abide on the throne of Divine Revelation, and are established upon the seat of Divine Concealment. Through their appearance the Revelation of God is made manifest, and by their countenance the Beauty of God is revealed. Thus it is that the accents of God Himself have been heard uttered by these Manifestations of the Divine Being.

"Viewed in the light of their second station—the station of
distinction, differentiation, temporal limitations, characteristics and standards—they manifest absolute servitude, utter destitution, and complete self-effacement. Even as He saith: 'I am the servant of God. I am but a man like you.'....

"Were any of the all-embracing Manifestations of God to declare: 'I
am God,' He, verily, speaketh the truth, and no doubt attacheth thereto. For it hath been repeatedly demonstrated that through their Revelation, their attributes and names, the Revelation of God, His names and His attributes, are made manifest in the world. Thus, He hath revealed: 'Those shafts were God’s, not Thine.' And also He saith: 'In truth, they who plighted fealty unto Thee, really plighted that fealty unto God.' And were any of them to voice the utterance, 'I am the Messenger of God,' He, also, speaketh the truth, the indubitable truth. Even as He saith: 'Muhammad is not the father of any man among you, but He is the Messenger of God.' Viewed in this light, they are all but Messengers of that ideal King, that unchangeable Essence. And were they all to proclaim, 'I am the Seal of the Prophets,' they, verily, utter but the truth, beyond the faintest shadow of doubt. For they are all but one person, one soul, one spirit, one being, one revelation. They are all the manifestation of the 'Beginning' and the 'End,' the 'First' and the 'Last,' the 'Seen' and the 'Hidden'—all of which pertain to Him Who is the Innermost Spirit of Spirits and Eternal Essence of Essences. And were they to say, 'We are the Servants of God,' this also is a manifest and indisputable fact. For they have been made manifest in the uttermost state of servitude, a servitude the like of which no man can possibly attain. Thus in moments in which these Essences of Being were deep immersed beneath the oceans of ancient and everlasting holiness, or when they soared to the loftiest summits of Divine mysteries, they claimed their utterances to be the Voice of Divinity, the Call of God Himself.

"Were the eye of discernment to be opened, it would recognize that in
this very state, they have considered themselves utterly effaced and non-existent in the face of Him Who is the All-Pervading, the Incorruptible. Methinks, they have regarded themselves as utter nothingness, and deemed their mention in that Court an act of blasphemy. For the slightest whispering of self within such a Court is an evidence of self-assertion and independent existence. In the eyes of them that have attained unto that Court, such a suggestion is itself a grievous transgression. How much more grievous would it be, were aught else to be mentioned in that Presence, were man’s heart, his tongue, his mind, or his soul, to be busied with any one but the Well-Beloved, were his eyes to behold any countenance other than His beauty, were his ear to be inclined to any melody but His Voice, and were his feet to tread any way but His way....

"By virtue of this station they have claimed for themselves the Voice
of Divinity and the like, whilst by virtue of their station of Messengership, they have declared themselves the Messengers of God. In every instance they have voiced an utterance that would conform to the requirements of the occasion, and have ascribed all these declarations to Themselves, declarations ranging from the realm of Divine Revelation to the realm of creation, and from the domain of Divinity even unto the domain of earthly existence. Thus it is that whatsoever be their utterance, whether it pertain to the realm of Divinity, Lordship, Prophethood, Messengership, Guardianship, Apostleship, or Servitude, all is true, beyond the shadow of a doubt. Therefore these sayings which We have quoted in support of Our argument must be attentively considered, that the divergent utterances of the Manifestations of the Unseen and Day Springs of Holiness may cease to agitate the soul and perplex the mind."

Bahá’u’lláh: Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, Selection XXII, pp. 50-56

Monday, November 5, 2007


Some very "religious" people may take issue with the quote I've selected for today...

Some extremely "spiritual" people may feel they have personal proof that the quote is wrong...

About all I can say is that God, the All-Powerful Creator of the Universe, can, in No Way, be contained by His Creation.

This would be like a painting that could contain its artist--true, you can see traces and evidence of who the artist is but they surely can't crawl into that painting...

"Ten thousand Prophets, each a Moses, are thunderstruck upon the Sinai of their search at His forbidding voice, 'Thou shalt never behold Me!'; whilst a myriad Messengers, each as great as Jesus, stand dismayed upon their heavenly thrones by the interdiction, 'Mine Essence thou shalt never apprehend!'

"From time immemorial
He hath been veiled in the ineffable sanctity of His exalted Self, and will everlastingly continue to be wrapt in the impenetrable mystery of His unknowable Essence.

"Every attempt to attain to an
understanding of His inaccessible Reality hath ended in complete bewilderment, and every effort to approach His exalted Self and envisage His Essence hath resulted in hopelessness and failure."

Bahá’u’lláh: Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, Selection XXVI, pp. 62-63

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Manifestations of God

God's Messengers to Humanity have been called The Word of God, Prophets, and Manifestations.

The key cause of religious disunity is that people believe a particular Manifestation is "better" or "more God-like" or "stronger" or "more loving" or "________".

If we look closely at what these Manifestations have told us, we'll see Their Absolute Unity of Purpose:

"He Who is everlastingly hidden from the eyes of men can never be known except through His Manifestation, and His Manifestation can adduce no greater proof of the truth of His Mission than the proof of His own Person."

Bahá’u’lláh: Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, Selection XX, p. 49

"Beware, O believers in the Unity of God, lest ye be tempted to make any distinction between any of the Manifestations of His Cause, or to discriminate against the signs that have accompanied and proclaimed their Revelation. This indeed is the true meaning of Divine Unity, if ye be of them that apprehend and believe this truth.

"Be ye assured, moreover, that the works and acts of each and every one of these Manifestations of God, nay whatever pertaineth unto them, and whatsoever they may manifest in the future, are all ordained by God, and are a reflection of His Will and Purpose.

"Whoso maketh the slightest possible difference between their persons, their words, their messages, their acts and manners, hath indeed disbelieved in God, hath repudiated His signs, and betrayed the Cause of His Messengers."

Bahá’u’lláh: Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, Selection XXIV, pp. 59-60

Saturday, November 3, 2007

What Is The Word of God ?

No matter what Faith you claim, you have available to you a "Word of God".

If you are more open-minded than most people, you have available the Word of God from all religious persuations.

Various Writings spell out the idea that the Real "Word of God" is the living expression of the Manifestation of God.

There have been a number of Manifestations over the centuries and, contrary to the members of their various expressions of Faith, They never claimed special distinction over the other Manifestations...

"The vitality of men’s belief in God is dying out in every land; nothing short of His wholesome medicine can ever restore it.

"The corrosion
of ungodliness is eating into the vitals of human society; what else but the Elixir of His potent Revelation can cleanse and revive it?

"Is it
within human power, O Hakim, to effect in the constituent elements of any of the minute and indivisible particles of matter so complete a transformation as to transmute it into purest gold?

"Perplexing and
difficult as this may appear, the still greater task of converting satanic strength into heavenly power is one that We have been empowered to accomplish. The Force capable of such a transformation transcendeth the potency of the Elixir itself.

Word of God, alone, can claim the distinction of being endowed with the capacity required for so great and far-reaching a change."

Bahá’u’lláh: Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, Selection XCIX, p. 200

Friday, November 2, 2007

"The beginning of all things is the knowledge of God..."

Back on the 27th of October I posted, "Let's Not Kid Ourselves . . .", which explored the conception of God, The Creator.

That post contained these words:

"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."

Being a man living in the U.S.A. in the 21st Century causes no end of emotional pain. I mean, I might be a man but I'm very sensitive. Plus, when we have to bear not only the insane acts of Godlessness stalking this Globe but also the demeaning escapades of "spiritual" people who are trying to drag God down to their level so they can, well, make their materialistic way in the world, the situation becomes positively Oppressive !

So, once again, I urge us to "Not Kid Ourselves" and humbly attempt to understand and live out ideas like these:

"The beginning of all things is the knowledge of God, and the end of all things is strict observance of whatsoever hath been sent down from the empyrean of the Divine Will that pervadeth all that is in the heavens and all that is on the earth."

Bahá’u’lláh: Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, Selection II, p. 5

"None can escape the snares He setteth, and no soul can find release except through submission to His will."

Bahá’u’lláh: The Kitáb-i-Íqán, paragraph 278, p. 231

"The purpose of the one true God in manifesting Himself is to summon all mankind to truthfulness and sincerity, to piety and trustworthiness, to resignation and submissiveness to the Will of God, to forbearance and kindliness, to uprightness and wisdom."

Bahá’u’lláh: Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, Selection CXXXVII, p. 299

"The source of all good is trust in God, submission unto His command, and contentment with His holy will and pleasure."

Bahá’u’lláh: Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, "Asl-i-Kullu’l-Khayr" or "Words of Wisdom", p. 155

"The essence of understanding is to testify to one’s poverty, and submit to the Will of the Lord, the Sovereign, the Gracious, the

Bahá’u’lláh: Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, "Asl-i-Kullu’l-Khayr" or "Words of Wisdom", pp. 155-156

Thursday, November 1, 2007

A Breath of Wisdom

We so often ignore the potential for harm or healing in the words we utter.

From the Indian's gaining power over an animal when they discover its true name to all the varieties of Positive Thinking, people have found ways to tap into the tremendous influence of Speech.

"Utterance must needs possess penetrating power. For if bereft of this quality it would fail to exert influence.

"And this penetrating influence dependeth on the spirit being pure and the heart stainless.

"Likewise it needeth moderation, without which the hearer would be unable to bear it, rather he would manifest opposition from the very outset.

"And moderation will be obtained by blending utterance with the tokens of divine wisdom which are recorded in the sacred Books and Tablets.

"Thus when the essence of one’s utterance is endowed with these two requisites it will prove highly effective and will be the prime factor in transforming the souls of men. This is the station of supreme victory and celestial dominion. Whoso attaineth thereto is invested with the power to teach the Cause of God and to prevail over the hearts and minds of men."

Bahá’u’lláh: Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, "Tablet to Siyyid-i-Mihdíy-i-Dahají", pp. 198-199