March 26, 2010

Existing criteria or avenues of human knowledge are not sufficient. They are faulty and unreliable. The reality of knowledge can be attained by the breaths and promptings of the Holy Spirit.

 17 April 1912
Talk at Hotel Ansonia
Broadway and Seventy-third Street, New York
Notes by Howard MacNutt

During my visit to London and Paris last year I had many talks with the materialistic philosophers of Europe. The basis of all their conclusions is that the acquisition of knowledge of phenomena is according to a fixed, invariable law -- a law mathematically exact in its operation through the senses. For instance, the eye sees a chair; therefore, there is no doubt of the chair's existence. The eye looks up into the heavens and beholds the sun; I see flowers upon this table; I smell their fragrance; I hear sounds outside, etc. This, they say, is a fixed mathematical law of perception and deduction, the operation of which admits of no doubt whatever; for inasmuch as the universe is subject to our sensing, the proof is self-evident that our knowledge of it must be gained through the avenues of the senses. That is to say, the materialists announce that the criterion and standard of human knowledge is sense perception. Among the Greeks and Romans the criterion of knowledge was reason -- that whatever is provable and acceptable by reason must necessarily be admitted as true. A third standard or criterion is the opinion held by theologians that traditions or prophetic statement and interpretations constitute the basis of human knowing. There is still another, a fourth criterion, upheld by religionists and metaphysicians who say that the source and channel of all human penetration into the unknown is through inspiration. Briefly then, these four criteria according to the declarations of men are: first, sense perception; second, reason; third, traditions; fourth, inspiration.

March 11, 2010

At a Memorable Feast Hosted by ‘Abdu’l-Baha in West Englewood, New Jersey, USA

June 29th, 1912
Address from stenographic notes by E. Foster
[To see some pictures of this historic event please visit: 'Abdu'l-Baha Visits the West]

This is a good gathering. With sincere intentions have you all gathered here. The intention of all is the attainment of the virtues of God. The purpose of all is unity and agreement. The desire of all is attraction to the Kingdom of God. Since the intention of all is toward unity and agreement, it is certain that this gathering will be productive of great results. It will be the cause of attracting a New Bounty. This is a New Day and this hour is a New Hour wherein we have come together here; all are turning to the Kingdom of Abha, seeking the Infinite bounties of the Lord. Surely the Sun of Reality, with its great and full effulgence, will illuminate us and all dark disagreements will surely disappear. The utmost of love shall result. The favors of God shall encompass us. The pathway of the Kingdom will be made easy. The souls like unto candles will be ignited and made radiant through the lights of the Great Guidance.

This gathering has no peer or likeness upon the surface of the earth, for all other gatherings and assemblages are due to some physical basis or material interests. This outward meeting is a prototype of the inner and complete spiritual meeting; likewise are the other meetings and assemblages in different parts of the world which are thus held.

March 10, 2010

The Flag of Divinity has been raised

October 23, 1911, Paris, France

When a man has found joy in one place he returns to that same place to find his joy again. When a man has found gold in a mine he will return again to that mine to find more gold; this is a natural law and shows forth the vital and spiritual powers which God has bestowed upon man, and the natural instinct which is born in him. The Great Light of the Spirit has ever arisen in the East, but it has shed forth its radiance into the West. And in the West has it found its greatest force of expansion.

Christ rose like a star in the horizon of the East, but the Light of His influence has taken root more firmly in the West. This shows us how the people of the West are very faithful in their hearts and that they do not easily forget. The West is like a good plant. When the rain falls gently upon it to give it nourishment and the sun shines upon it to give it warmth, then does it blossom forth and bear good fruit.

It is a long time since the Sun of Righteousness has shed its Radiance upon the West, for the Face of God has been hidden by the sin and forgetfulness of man; but now, thanks be to God! The Sun shines forth in all its glory and the breath of the Holy Spirit is watchful over the nations. Let us pray to God that the light and refreshment may awaken the people and give them new life, that they shall find a second life and there shall he a new creation. Humanity shall put on a new garment and the Mercy of God will be bestowed upon the people. My earnest desire is that you will work for this end, that you may be the cause of it. It is certain that the Flag of Divinity has been raised and the Sun of Righteousness of God appears upon the horizon. Be faithful and loving workers that you may be among the blest of God and receive the benefits of the Kingdom of Abha.  (Star of the West, vol. II, No. 16)