April 24, 2010

Holy Spirit is the intermediary that brings God to man

(Notes from an address given by ‘Abdu’l-Baha in Paris in 1911)

The Divine Reality is far removed from man. It is absolutely remote and independent in its essence -- beyond the comprehension of man -- abstract, limitless and impersonal.

Man is limited, weak, fearful, poverty-stricken and helpless. The Divine Reality represents the Power Absolute, capacity for all things, fulfillment for all the needs of man.

The Divine Reality is to man what the sun is to the earth. The sun is life, radiance, heat, energy, power. The earth is dead, inert, helpless, incapable of initiative or change. It is poor, cold, and without resources.

The sun in its remoteness could never reach the earth, and the earth, wretched indifferent clod, could never attain to the glory and splendor of the sun. In order that one may gain the other, that life and fragrance may come to the helpless earth floating alone in dim space, there must be an intermediary. In some way the life-giving power of the radiant sun must be brought to the sodden earth, and this becomes possible through the media of light and heat. Through their means the glory of the distant luminary is transmitted to the dark ball of earth, and instantly it becomes the home of fragrance and blooming life. The glory of the magnificent source of light touches our dim planet and banishes death and darkness.

April 15, 2010

God Comprehends All, He Cannot be Comprehended

Friday evening, October 20th, 1911
Paris, France

Numerous meetings are held in Paris every day for different purposes, to discuss politics, commerce, education, art, science and many other subjects. All these meetings are good, but this assembly has met together to turn their faces towards God, to learn how best to work for the good of humanity, to seek how prejudices may be abolished, and the seed of love and universal brotherhood sown in the heart of man. God approves of the motive of our gathering together and gives us His blessing.

In the Old Testament we read that God said, 'Let us make man in Our own image'. In the Gospel, Christ said, 'I am in the Father, and the Father in Me'. [St. John xiv, II] In the Qur'án, God says, 'Man is my Mystery and I am his'. Bahá'u'lláh writes that God says, 'Thy heart is My home; purify it for My descent. Thy spirit is My place of revelation; cleanse it for My manifestation'.

All these sacred words show us that man is made in God's image: yet the Essence of God is incomprehensible to the human mind, for the finite understanding cannot be applied to this infinite Mystery. God contains all, He cannot be contained. That which contains is superior to that which is contained. The whole is greater than its parts.

April 5, 2010

Proofs of the Immortality of the Soul

9 November 1912
1700 Eighteenth Street, NW, Washington, D. C.
Notes by Joseph H. Hannen

Every composition is necessarily subject to destruction or disintegration. For instance, this flower is a composition of various elements; its decomposition is inevitable. When this composed form undergoes decomposition -- in other words, when these elements separate and disintegrate -- that is what we call the death of the flower. For inasmuch as it is composed of single elements, the grouping of multitudinous cellular atoms, it is subject to disintegration. This is the mortality of the flower. Similarly, the body of man is composed of various elements. This composition of the elements has been given life. When these elements disintegrate, life disappears, and that is death. Existence in the various planes, or kingdoms, implies composition; and nonexistence, or death, is decomposition.
But the inner and essential reality of man is not composed of elements and, therefore, cannot be decomposed. It is not an elemental composition subject to disintegration or death. A true and fundamental scientific principle is that an element itself never dies and cannot be destroyed for the reason that it is single and not composed. Therefore, it is not subject to decomposition.

April 1, 2010

Short Summary of the Teachings of Bahá'u'lláh

September 30th, 1911
At the Theosophical Head Quarters
London, England

O respected Assembly! O friends of Truth! The inherent nature of fire is to burn, the inherent nature of electricity is to give light, the inherent nature of the sun is to shine, and the inherent nature of the organic earth is the power of growth. There is no separation between a thing and its inherent qualities.

It is the inherent nature of things on this earth to change, thus we see around us the change of the seasons. Every spring is followed by a summer and every autumn brings a winter -- every day a night and every evening a morning. There is a sequence in all things.

Thus when hatred and animosity, fighting, slaughtering, and great coldness of heart were governing this world, and darkness had overcome the nations, Bahá'u'lláh, like a bright star, rose from the horizon of Persia and shone with the great Light of Guidance, giving heavenly radiance and establishing the new Teaching. He declared the most human virtues; He manifested the Spiritual powers, and put them into practice in the world around Him.