Friday, March 21, 2008

Hopelessness . . .

This is not the resumption of daily posting—more healing is necessary for that. . .

Had to post about what's been burning on my heart:

Whensoever ye behold a person whose entire attention is directed toward the Cause of God; whose only aim is this, to make the Word of God to take effect; who, day and night, with pure intent, is rendering service to the Cause; from whose behaviour not the slightest trace of egotism or private motives is discerned -- who, rather, wandereth distracted in the wilderness of the love of God, and drinketh only from the cup of the knowledge of God, and is utterly engrossed in spreading the sweet savours of God, and is enamoured of the holy verses of the Kingdom of God -- know ye for a certainty that this individual will be supported and reinforced by heaven; that like unto the morning star, he will forever gleam brightly out of the skies of eternal grace. But if he show the slightest taint of selfish desires and self love, his efforts will lead to nothing and he will be destroyed and left hopeless at the last.

('Abdu'l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, p. 71)

This is the Day, O my Lord, whose brightness Thou hast exalted above the brightness of the sun and the splendors thereof. I testify that the light it sheddeth proceedeth out of the glory of the light of Thy countenance, and is begotten by the radiance of the morn of Thy Revelation. This is the Day whereon the hopeless have been clothed with the raiment of confidence, and the sick attired with the robe of healing, and the poor drawn nigh unto the ocean of Thy riches.

(Bahá’u’lláh, Prayers and Meditations by Bahá’u’lláh, p. 273)

That my tongue, my pen could thank thee were a hopeless task, nor can any praise of mine befit thine excellence. Not even a droplet of all thine endless love can I aspire to fathom, nor can I adequately praise and tell of even the most trifling out of all the events of thy precious life. In the courts of the Almighty, for this frail being thy sacred spirit intercedeth, and in this darksome world, the sweet memory of thee is the succourer and friend of this lowly one. Thy comely face is etched for ever on the tablet of my grieving soul, those smiles that refreshed my life are forever and safely imprinted in the innermost recesses of my stricken heart. Let me not be forgotten by thee in the glorious precincts on high; leave me not despairing, nor excluded from the never-ceasing reinforcements that come from the living Lord; and in this world and the Kingdom, help me to reach what thou knowest to be my dearest hope.

(Compilations, Bahiyyih Khanum, p. 29)

LET US ACKNOWLEDGE AT THE OUTSET the magnitude of the ruin that the human race has brought upon itself during the period of history under review. The loss of life alone has been beyond counting. The disintegration of basic institutions of social order, the violation -- indeed, the abandonment -- of standards of decency, the betrayal of the life of the mind through surrender to ideologies as squalid as they have been empty, the invention and deployment of monstrous weapons of mass annihilation, the bankrupting of entire nations and the reduction of masses of human beings to hopeless poverty, the reckless destruction of the environment of the planet -- such are only the more obvious in a catalogue of horrors unknown to even the darkest of ages past.

(Commissioned by The Universal House of Justice, Century of Light, p. 4)

Moreover, when a man looked about him and saw the vicissitudes of mortal existence -- nowhere more marked than in the East -- how conqueror succeeded conqueror and empire empire, how the humble was exalted and the mighty thrown from his seat, how swift was the vengeance of God in sweeping pestilence and resistless famine, and how unsparing the forces of nature, he turned to a philosophy which taught that all earthly things were alike vain-virtue and patriotism and the love of wife and child, power and beauty and the bold part played in a hopeless fight; he remembered what he had learnt from poets and story-tellers -- "Behold the world is as the shadow of a cloud and a dream of the night."

(Islamic Miscellaneous, Teachings of Hafiz (G. L. Bell tr))

Every one who seeks names, if he is a man of credulity,
Like thee, remains hopeless and frustrated of his aim.
Why cleavest thou to this mere name of tree,
So that thou art utterly balked and disappointed?
Pass over names and look to qualities,
So that qualities may lead thee to essence!

(Mathnavi of Rumi (E.H. Whinfield tr), The Masnavi Vol 2)

1 comment:

Cookiemouse said...

My God is a woman.
My church a tree.
My bible is written on the froth of the ocean.