January 22, 2011

“There are no whites and blacks before God. All colors are one, and that is the color of servitude to God.”

23 April 1912
Talk at Howard University
Washington, D.C.
Translated by Amin Banani

Today I am most happy, for I see here a gathering of the servants of God. I see white and black sitting together. There are no whites and blacks before God. All colors are one, and that is the color of servitude to God. Scent and color are not important. The heart is important. If the heart is pure, white or black or any color makes no difference. God does not look at colors; He looks at the hearts. He whose heart is pure is better. He whose character is better is more pleasing. He who turns more to the Abha Kingdom is more advanced.

In the realm of existence colors are of no importance. Observe in the mineral kingdom colors are not the cause of discord. In the vegetable kingdom the colors of multicolored flowers are not the cause of discord. Rather, colors are the cause of the adornment of the garden because a single color has no appeal; but when you observe many-colored flowers, there is charm and display.

The world of humanity, too, is like a garden, and humankind are like the many-colored flowers. Therefore, different colors constitute an adornment. In the same way, there are many colors in the realm of animals. Doves are of many colors; nevertheless, they live in utmost harmony. They never look at color; instead, they look at the species. How often white doves fly with black ones. In the same way, other birds and varicolored animals never look at color; they look at the species.

Now ponder this: Animals, despite the fact that they lack reason and understanding, do not make colors the cause of conflict. Why should man, who has reason, create conflict? This is wholly unworthy of him. Especially white and black are the descendants of the same Adam; they belong to one household. In origin they were one; they were the same color. Adam was of one color. Eve had one color. All humanity is descended from them. Therefore, in origin they are one. These colors developed later due to climates and regions; they have no significance whatsoever. Therefore, today I am very happy that white and black have gathered together in this meeting. I hope this coming together and harmony reaches such a degree that no distinctions shall remain between them, and they shall be together in the utmost harmony and love.

January 9, 2011

Baha’u’llah brought new teachings not found in previous sacred books

Paris 1913

This is my second visit to Paris and I meet you with great joy. On a third visit to Europe I hope to see a brilliant flame — the signal of the paradise of El-Abha. That this continent be flooded with rays streaming from the veritable sons of light — this is my hope.

There was a time when the light of Christ shone in the world; when the proclamation of the kingdom was widespread and many spirits and hearts were drawn heavenward; but the law of this world is evanescent. That lamp is lighted and again it is extinguished. This flower starts with a sprout which day by day becomes more verdant, finally bursting into leaves and blossoms. But flowers fade and fruitage yields its seed which is kept and planted again, for the dead tree bears no more fruit. New seeds must be sown and again trees and lowers will bloom.

The great splendor of the day of Christ has gradually merged into the night, so that in this age there is hardly a ray of that great spiritual luminary lighting the world; but after the drought of summer and the cold of winter comes the new life of spring. After each sunset comes a sunrise.

The spiritual light of the world has risen again from the eastern horizon. The night is finished; the day is come and the first rays of the dawn are destroying the shadows, dispersing the clouds, making the plants to grow, the trees to become verdant and ornamenting the flower-beds with roses. The sun of reality hath reappeared with tremendous power and soon the light of Baha’u’llah will be diffused throughout the world. See how the light of Christ's shining star took three hundred years to shed its rays on the world, whereas the light of Baha’u’llah has permeated all regions in less than half a century. His cause has been spread in every country and the mention of Baha’u’llah made in every tongue. In nearly every country there is an assembly of friends from Teheran to Paris, to San Francisco, to Japan. This is a different age and light is spreading with great rapidity.

January 3, 2011

The Universal Language of the Spirit – the last public talk given by ‘Abdu’l-Baha at His home in Haifa, November 19, 1921

A talk given by ‘Abdu’l-Baha in his home at Haifa, Palestine, November 19, 1921 at the regular six o'clock evening meeting called "The Persian Meeting. Mr. John D. Bosch of Geyserville, California, was the only occidental present among the sixty friends who met at this time, just nine days before the passing away of ‘Abdu’l-Baha. In fact, this was the last public talk given by ‘Abdu’l-Baha in the Persian meeting when an occidental attended. Interpreted by Mirza Mohammed Ali Afnan. Taken down in Persian by Dr. Lotfu’llah Hakim.

‘Abdu’l-Baha opened the meeting by saying to Mr. Bosch:

Although you are here with these assembled friends and cannot speak with them nor they with you, yet you can speak with one another through the heart. The language of the heart is even more expressive than the language of the tongue and is more truthful and has a wider reach and a more potent effect.

Mr. Bosch said: This is a wonderful spiritual experience to be here with the friends.

‘Abdu’l-Baha then said: When lovers meet it may be that they cannot exchange a single word, yet with their hearts they speak to one another. Thus do the clouds speak to the earth and the rain comes down; the breeze whispers to the trees; the sun speaks to the eyes of men. Although this is not actual speech yet this is the way in which the hearts of the friends talk together. It is the harmony between two persons, and this harmony is of the hearts. For instance, you were in America and I was in the Holy Land. Although our lips were still yet with our hearts we were conversing together. The friends here love you very much. They have a real attachment for you although with the tongue they cannot express it.

Mr. Bosch said: I am very glad. I love them too.

‘Abdu’l-Baha then said: If this love is real and true, if it is from the heart it will characterize itself by self sacrifice, When the attachment is superficial friends do not sacrifice themselves even to the extent of a hair's breadth.