Thursday, December 13, 2007

"...the good, the sinners and the wicked..."

Because of the past Manifestations of God and the Messages They brought humanity, we have a rather deep "pool" of ethical action that becomes, after a few generations, accepted social etiquette.

Today's quote indicates that "being good" by following social etiquette (even though necessary for civilization) is not sufficient for a truly Spiritual Life:

"Question.—It is said in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas "...whoso is deprived thereof, hath gone astray, though he be the author of every righteous deed." What is the meaning of this verse?

"Answer.—This blessed verse means that the foundation of success and salvation is the knowledge of God, and that the results of the knowledge of God are the good actions which are the fruits of faith.

"If man has not this knowledge, he will be separated from God, and when this separation exists, good actions have not complete effect. This verse does not mean that the souls separated from God are equal, whether they perform good or bad actions. It signifies only that the foundation is to know God, and the good actions result from this knowledge. Nevertheless, it is certain that between the good, the sinners and the wicked who are veiled from God there is a difference. For the veiled one who has good principles and character deserves the pardon of God, while he who is a sinner, and has bad qualities and character, is deprived of the bounties and blessings of God. Herein lies the difference.

"Therefore, the blessed verse means that good actions alone, without the knowledge of God, cannot be the cause of eternal salvation, everlasting success, and prosperity, and entrance into the Kingdom of God."

‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Some Answered Questions, Chapter 65: "Explanation of a Verse in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas", p. 238

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