September 27, 2010

The station of the poor

19 April 1912

Talk at Bowery Mission
227 Bowery, New York
(From Stenographic Notes)


Tonight I am very happy, for I have come here to meet my friends. I consider you my relatives, my companions; and I am your comrade.

You must be thankful to God that you are poor, for Jesus Christ has said, “Blessed are the poor.” He never said, “Blessed are the rich.” He said, too, that the Kingdom is for the poor and that it is easier for a camel to enter a needle’s eye than for a rich man to enter God’s Kingdom. Therefore, you must be thankful to God that although in this world you are indigent, yet the treasures of God are within your reach; and although in the material realm you are poor, yet in the Kingdom of God you are precious. Jesus Himself was poor. He did not belong to the rich. He passed His time in the desert, traveling among the poor, and lived upon the herbs of the field. He had no place to lay His head, no home. He was exposed in the open to heat, cold and frost — to inclement weather of all kinds — yet He chose this rather than riches. If riches were considered a glory, the Prophet Moses would have chosen them; Jesus would have been a rich man. When Jesus Christ appeared, it was the poor who first accepted Him, not the rich. Therefore, you are the disciples of Jesus Christ; you are His comrades, for He outwardly was poor, not rich.

September 6, 2010

"Our desire is for spirituality and for union with God"; We must "give to all hearts the love of God"

        
September 13th, 1911
Discourse at Mrs. Thornburgh-Cropper's,
London, England


Thanks be to God, this is a good meeting. It is very enlightened, it is spiritual.

As a Persian Poet has written: -- "The Celestial Universe is so formed that the under world reflects the upper world." That is to say whatever exists in heaven is reflected in this phenomenal world. Now, praise be to God, this meeting of ours is a reflection of the heavenly concourse; it is as though we had taken a mirror and had gazed into it. This reflection from the heavenly concourse we know as love.

As heavenly love exists in the supreme concourse even so it is reflected here. The supreme concourse is filled with the desire for God -- thank God, this desire is also here. Therefore if we say that this meeting is heavenly, it is true. Why? Because we have no other desire except for that which comes from God. We have no other object save the commemoration of God.

Some of the people of the earth desire conquest over others: some of them are longing for rest and ease; others desire a high position; some desire to become famous: -- thank God our desire is for spirituality and for union with God.

September 2, 2010

Human beings are “the highest specialized organism of visible creation”; scientific knowledge and attainment are the “most noble and praiseworthy accomplishment of man”; the “faculty of intellectual investigation” is conferred by God to every human being; the “most important principle of divine philosophy is the oneness of the world of humanity”

     
19 April 1912

Talk at Earl Hall
Columbia University, New York
(From Stenographic Notes)


If we look with a perceiving eye upon the world of creation, we find that all existing things may be classified as follows: first, mineral -- that is to say, matter or substance appearing in various forms of composition; second, vegetable -- possessing the virtues of the mineral plus the power of augmentation or growth, indicating a degree higher and more specialized than the mineral; third, animal -- possessing the attributes of the mineral and vegetable plus the power of sense perception; fourth, human -- the highest specialized organism of visible creation, embodying the qualities of the mineral, vegetable and animal plus an ideal endowment absolutely absent in the lower kingdoms -- the power of intellectual investigation into the mysteries of outer phenomena. The outcome of this intellectual endowment is science, which is especially characteristic of man. This scientific power investigates and apprehends created objects and the laws surrounding them. It is the discoverer of the hidden and mysterious secrets of the material universe and is peculiar to man alone. The most noble and praiseworthy accomplishment of man, therefore, is scientific knowledge and attainment.