March 29, 2015

‘Abdu’l-Baha’s health and happiness

My health and happiness are in this, when I see the friends of God engaged in spreading the divine fragrances, arising to serve the Cause of God, forgetting every thought save that of teaching, casting into the corner of forgetfulness every matter but that of unity and harmony. Consider in every age what confirmation and assistance were received by those souls who devoted their time to serving the Cause and spreading the divine fragrances. On the contrary, those who were absorbed by personal interests or political affairs degraded not only themselves but their associates. Thus, in this day, the friends of God should see that all glory lies in teaching the Cause of God and that every happiness is found in the shadow of the Word of God. 
~ 'Abdu'l-Baha  (Words of ‘Abdu’l-Baha after His return to the Holy Land from America, recorded by Dr. Zia Baghdadi, December 9, 1913; ‘Star of the West, vol. 9, no. 2, April 9, 1918)

March 8, 2015

Question: What is the significance of the word "He is God" which appears as the heading of every Tablet and Prayer of ‘Abdu’l-Baha?

'Abdu'l-Baha’s answer: This is a usage of the people of the East; it is of Islam. Their purpose is that in every matter the commencement should be in the Name of God (i.e., everything we do must begin with the Name of God). As to its observance in the divine tablets, the purport is this: The reality of the Divine Entity is holy above comprehension, beyond definition, and far from the reach of imagination, for that which is imagined is finite, of man, and thereto man is infinite; and certainly the infinite is greater than the finite. Therefore, it is made evident that what is imagined is a creation and not the Creator, for the Essence of Divinity is beyond human imagination. 

Now all people worship an imagination, for they have created a God in the realm of imagination and him they worship. If you ask a soul, when he is praying, who art thou worshiping? He will say, God. Which God? The God of my conception. When, in truth, what he imagines is not God. Hence, all people are worshippers of imaginations and ideals. Consequently, there is no pathway or escape for man except the Holy Manifestations, for, as we said the Essence of Divinity is pure, is holy and cannot be brought into the world of ideas. That which can be brought to ideation are the Holy and Divine Manifestations. Further than this, man has no other point for concentration. If he exceed that bound, it will be an imagination.

Therefore, the purpose of the word "He is God" is this: That visible Majesty (the prophet) is the Promised Beauty of the Sun of Reality, the Manifestation of the mysteries of Divinity and Deity, the Revealer of the mysteries of the Merciful, the Origin of the signs of singleness. And I begin with His Blessed Name. 
~ ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (From a table talk in Akka in 1907, notes taken by Corinne True; ‘Notes Taken at Acca’, booklet published by Baha’i Publishing Society, Chicago 1907)