July 15, 2021

“The spirit of man is the meeting between man and God. The spirit of man is the animus of human life and the collective center of all human virtues.”

24 July 1912

Boston, Massachusetts

Talk to Theosophical Society

In the world of existence there is nothing so important as spirit, nothing so essential as the spirit of man. The spirit of man is the most noble of phenomena. The spirit of man is the meeting between man and God. The spirit of man is the animus of human life and the collective center of all human virtues. The spirit of man is the cause of the illumination of this world. The world may be likened to the body; man is the spirit of the body, because the light of the world is the human spirit. Man is the life of the world, and the life of man is the spirit. The happiness of the world depends upon man, and the happiness of man is dependent upon the spirit. The world may be likened to the lamp chimney, whereas man is the light. Man himself may be likened to the lamp; his spirit is the light within the lamp. Therefore, we will speak of this spirit.

The philosophers of the world are divided into two classes: materialists, who deny the spirit and its immortality, and the divine philosophers, the wise men of God, the true illuminati who believe in the spirit and its continuance hereafter. The ancient philosophers taught that man consists simply of the material elements which compose his cellular structure and that when this composition is disintegrated the life of man becomes extinct. They reasoned that man is body only, and from this elemental composition the organs and their functions, the senses, powers and attributes which characterize man have proceeded, and that these disappear completely with the physical body. This is practically the statement of all the materialists.

The divine philosophers proclaim that the spirit of man is ever-living and eternal, and because of the objections of the materialists, these wise men of God have advanced rational proofs to support the validity of their statement. Inasmuch as the materialistic philosophers deny the Books of God, scriptural demonstration is not evidence to them, and materialistic proofs are necessary. Answering them, the men of divine knowledge have said that all existing phenomena may be resolved into grades or kingdoms, classified progressively as mineral, vegetable, animal and human, each of which possesses its degree of function and intelligence. When we consider the mineral, we find that it exists and is possessed of the power of affinity or combination. The vegetable possesses the qualities of the mineral plus the augmentative virtue or power of growth. It is, therefore, evident that the vegetable kingdom is superior to the mineral. The animal kingdom in turn possesses the qualities of the mineral and vegetable plus the five senses of perception whereof the kingdoms below it are lacking. Likewise, the power of memory inherent in the animal does not exist in the lower kingdoms.

June 30, 2021

“Divine Education is the sum total of all development. It is the safeguard of humanity.”

If a child is left to its own natural proclivities, without education, it will embody all human defects. Education makes of man a man. Religion is Divine Education. There are two pathways which have been pointed out by the Heavenly Educators. The first is Divine Guidance and reliance upon the Manifestations of God. The other is the road of Materialism and reliance upon the senses. These roads lead in opposite directions. The first leads to the world of the Kingdom; the other ends in the world of human vices, and is contrary to the cause of Divine Guidance. For example, consider a babe at the mother's breast, observe its natural aggressiveness, its instinctive antagonism. It claws and bites the mother, even attacks the fountain of life itself.

A barbarous and savage country is a country which has been deprived of education, where men are utter materialists like animals. Such a nation embodies all human defects and vices. They even kill and eat each other.

Divine Education is the sum total of all development. It is the safeguard of humanity. The world of nature is a world of defects and incompleteness. The world of the Kingdom is reached by the highway of Religion and is the Heaven of all Divine Virtues. 

(Words of Abdul-Baha delivered during his sojourn in America; Star of the West, vol. 4, no. 6, June 1913)

June 20, 2021

“man has descended from the Divine Spirit”

Material scientists endeavor to show the evolution of the species man from the monkey. The Prophets of God have been occupied in explaining that man has descended from the Divine Spirit. The professors and learned scientists of materialism glory in the evidences that the ape is the progenitor of humanity and make exhaustive efforts to discover proof of it. If we should ask the ape, he would say "Unquestionably we are all one,—of this I am certain without the aid of scientific inquiry, ethnological proof, biological deductions or geological findings; I believe what I see"—for the ape is a real, a true materialist. 

(Words of Abdul-Baha delivered during his sojourn in America; Star of the West, vol. 4, no. 6, June 1913)

June 10, 2021

“Baha’u’llah has said two steps are necessary for human development;—Material and Divine Education.”

The heart of man is a garden. The real garden is in order, well planted, watered and cultivated. This is not so with the jungle. The jungle gives no evidence of cultivation. Where there is no gardener disorder prevails. Wild growth produces nothing. Human education is of great importance. It is especially necessary to educate the children. They are the young tender trees of God's planting. But the supreme education is Divine Teaching. Through it the most ignorant become wise and the lowest are elevated to the loftiest heights. This transformation in man is made by the Manifestations of God. Through them the wicked become righteous, the weak firm, the barren fruitful. One day's education under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit is better than ten years material training in the universities of the world. Baha’u’llah has said two steps are necessary for human development;—Material and Divine Education. In the world of humanity, we see some seeking upward, some downward. 

(Words of Abdul-Baha delivered during his sojourn in America; Star of the West, vol. 4, no. 6, June 1913)

May 28, 2021

“You must become impervious to criticism, unconscious of attack and abuse…”

You must become impervious to criticism, unconscious of attack and abuse, nay, rather welcoming persecution, hostility and bitterness as the means of testing and increasing your supreme faith in God; even as His Holiness Christ instructed His disciples "Bless them that curse you; pray for them that despitefully use you." Be therefore as spiritual adamant against these darts, arrows and swords of infliction.

We will help each other to bear them. First by love and increased zeal in the Heavenly Cause. For by exercise the spirit grows stronger, more capable of withstanding, just as the muscle of the outer body increases its fiber through continual action. You must help me and I will help you to increase our service in the Cause of Baha’u’llah. Secondly, we will help each other grow more and more accustomed to punishment and persecution.

Years ago in Baghdad the usual punishment for offenders and lawbreakers was the bastinado. The governor noticed that a certain band of men came repeatedly before him for trial. They were regularly found guilty of breaking the law, sentenced and whipped upon the feet. While the bastinado was being inflicted they appeared quite comfortable and evidently unconscious of pain. In a few days these same offenders would be back again, going through the same process. The governor made careful inquiry about them. It was learned that they lived together in a house and that every day it was their custom to bastinado each other until the skin upon their feet had become so hardened to the whip that the legal bastinado gave them no inconvenience whatever.

Now we, as offenders against the opinions of our friends and enemies, must assist each other to become impervious to their criticism, unconscious of attack, welcoming their whips. You must beat me and I will beat you with the whips of love. The more we beat each other the more capable of withstanding we will become. When the enemies find they are increasing our love, enkindlement and service in the pathway of Baha’u’llah, they will wonder and say, "How is this? Our words have no effect upon them except to make them love us more and give thanks to God for our scourging."

The Blessed Beauty Baha’u’llah won the hearts of His jailers and tormentors. No one could withstand Him. The intense flame of His love melted the hardest stone of hearts. The more chains of iron they put upon His body, the more He imprisoned them in chains of love. They looked upon Him in wonder; they became His followers. 

(Words of Abdul-Baha delivered during his sojourn in America; Star of the West, vol. 4, no. 6, June 1913)

May 15, 2021

Walk “in the Pathway of God”

I wish to train you until you have no other thought, no other motive, no other wish than service in the Cause of Baha’u’llah.

The Divine Educators who have brought the Light of Guidance to this world found neither rest nor comfort by day or night. Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Mohammed, Baha’u’llah - all the Heavenly Messengers suffered the utmost privation and underwent extreme hardships in the Pathway of God. They were exiled from their native land, imprisoned, driven from city to city; they were homeless, hungry and found no rest; they lived in the fields and hid in caves among the mountains; the sky was their canopy, the hard earth their bed. But all these difficulties and hardships served only to increase their power and accomplishment. Through these privations and persecutions they were severed from the world. Although they walked upon the earth, they lived in Heaven. Deprived of material food they partook of the eternal fruits of Paradise. Homeless and forsaken in this world, they rested upon the Divine Couch of Nearness. Day and night they were unceasingly proclaiming the Call of the Kingdom and establishing the foundations of the Most Great Peace.

It was so likewise with their disciples and followers. All of them walked in the Pathway of God and drank the cup of martyrdom with thanksgiving. They sought no rest but service and hastened to the Supreme Concourse in the utmost joy and ecstasy.

April 28, 2021

“Thankfulness is of three kinds”

July 15, 1912

New York City, Home of Mrs. Florian Krug

I am greatly pleased to see you. Your hearts are illumined by the Lights of Baha. This meeting is in reality a divine, celestial assembly under the favor of God. All of us have no other purpose than praising and meeting God. The prayer you have just offered is a prayer of thankfulness; — a prayer of thankfulness did ye offer.

Thankfulness is of three kinds: First—verbal thanksgiving which is confined to a mere utterance of gratitude. This is of no importance because perchance the tongue may give thanks while the heart is unaware of it. Many who offer thanks to God are of this type, —their spirits and hearts unaware of thanksgiving. This is mere usage, just as when we meet, receive a gift and say "thank you," — speaking the words without significance. One may say "thank you" a thousand times, but the heart remain thankless, even sorry. Therefore mere verbal thanksgiving is without effect. But real thankfulness is a cordial thanksgiving from the heart. When man, in response to the favors of God, manifests susceptibilities of conscience, the heart is happy, the spirit is exhilarated. These spiritual susceptibilities are ideal thanksgiving.

But there is a cordial thanksgiving which comprises the deeds of man when he feels a heart gratitude which expresses itself in actions. For example, God has conferred upon man the gift of guidance and in thankfulness for this great gift certain deeds must emanate from man. To portray his gratitude for the favors of God, man must show forth deeds and actions. In response to these bestowals he must render good deeds, be self- sacrificing, kind to all the servants of God, forfeiting even life for them, showing kindness to all the creatures. He must be severed from the world, attracted to the Kingdom of Abha, the face radiant, the tongue eloquent, the ear attentive, day and night striving to attain the good pleasure of God. Whatsoever he wishes to do must correspond with the good pleasure of God. He must observe and see what is God's good pleasure and act accordingly. There can be no doubt that such commendable deeds are thankfulness for the favors of God.

April 18, 2021

“The Bahai Grand Army consists of the invisible angels of the Supreme Concourse.”


Stuttgart, Germany

While ‘Abdu’l-Baha was one day looking out of his hotel window he observed a regiment of soldiers passing by in great array, and He said:

"They are ready to fight for their fatherland. How barbarous it seems to send men, who do not even know each other, to the battlefield in order to shoot each other down.

"The Bahai Grand Army consists of the invisible angels of the Supreme Concourse. Our swords are the Words of Light. Our armament is the armament of heaven. We are fighting against the forces of darkness.

"O, my soldiers! My beloved soldiers! Forward! Forward! Have no fear of defeat—do not have failing hearts. Our Supreme Commander is Baha’u’llah. From the heights of Glory He is directing this dramatic engagement. He commands us! Rush forward! Rush Forward! Show the strength of your arms. Ye shall scatter the forces of ignorance!

"Your war confers Life; their war brings death. Your war is the cause of the illumination of all mankind; their war means the breaking and darkness of hearts. Your war means victory upon victory; their war is defeat upon defeat. Your war is the means of construction; their war is the origin of destruction.

"There are no dangers before you. Push forward! Push forward! Attack the enemy! Your efforts shall be crowned with the diadem of Eternal Peace and Brotherhood.

"His Holiness the Christ was fighting even upon the Cross, and His triumphant work continued through ages and cycles." 

(Star of the West, vol. 4, no. 4, May 17, 1913)

April 8, 2021

“The world of humanity is in the dark. Our aim is to illumine mankind.”

April 3, 1913

Stuttgart, Germany

I came from a distant land. I have travelled twenty thousand miles until I came to you in Stuttgart. Forty years I was a prisoner. I was young when I was put into prison and my hair was white when the prison doors opened. After all these long years of the sufferings of prison life I willingly took upon myself all the hardships of a long journey. Now I am here in order to be united with you, in order to meet you. My purpose is that perchance you may illumine the world of humanity; that all men may unite in perfect love and friendship; that religious prejudices, national prejudices, race distinctions, all may be completely abandoned. The religions of today consist of dogmas. Because these dogmas differ from each other, discord and even hatred is manifest. Religion must be the basis of all good fellowship. Think of the turmoil that today exists in the Balkans; how much blood is shed; how many thousands of mothers have lost their sons, how many children have become orphans, and how many buildings, villages, and cities have been destroyed! The Balkan states have become a volcano. All this ruin originates from the prejudices created by the different dogmas, called forth by superstitions and race prejudices.

The essence of the religion of God is love, and the Holy Books bear testimony to that, for the essence of the religion of God is the light of the world of humanity; but mankind today has forgotten what constitutes true religion. Each nation and each people today hold to some definite dogma.

March 20, 2021

“We must, like a candle, shine with the light of Baha’u’llah”: “Be loving to all mankind. Consort with all religions in amity and fragrance. You must be the cause of the education of the world of humanity.”

April 1st, 1913

Stuttgart, Germany

Praise be to God! that I have come to Stuttgart, that I could meet with you. Praise be to God! because your faces are radiant with the light of the Glory of God; your hearts are attracted to the Kingdom of Abha. Thank God that you have heard the call of God. You are living in the day of the Lord. You are living in the days of the radiances of the Sun of Reality. The rays of this Sun have poured into your hearts and souls. Your hearts are illuminated, your inner vision clear. Your spirit rejoiced in the glad tidings of the Kingdom of God. Thank God that you are the elect of God. He has elected you because of His own love. The mercies of God have surrounded you. You must live in accordance with the teachings of Baha’u’llah. Be loving to all mankind. Consort with all religions in amity and fragrance. You must be the cause of the education of the world of humanity. At present the world is still very dark. From one side there threatens the darkness of ignorance; from another side black enmity is visible; from the other side we hear of war and rumors of war. We must, like a candle, shine with the light of Baha’u’llah, in order that through your efforts this darkness may be dispelled. The light of the love of God can illumine the East and the West. It can change hatred and enmity into love and friendship. The clouds which veil the rays of the Sun of Reality must be dispelled and made to disappear. The world must be rejuvenated. Eternal life must be made possible. The rays of the Kingdom must shine forth. The breath of the Holy Spirit can quicken the dead. I shall always pray for you and I shall supplicate for divine confirmations for each one of you, in order that ye may become more enkindled day by day, more attracted, so that each one of you will become a herald of the Kingdom. This is the eternal glory. This is the eternal life. This is the entrance into the Kingdom of God, the dominion which will last forever.

I am very glad to be here. It is my hope that through the bounty of God you may become givers of life at this time. May God bless you all! May the blessings pour down upon you!

(Star of the West, vol. 4, no. 4, May 17, 1913)

March 10, 2021

“Oneness of the world of humanity insures the glorification of man. International Peace is the assurance of the welfare of all humankind.”

May 30, 1912

Address to theosophist of New York City

I am most pleased with these expressions of kindly feeling and evidences of spiritual susceptibility. Tonight I am very happy in the realization that our aims and purposes are one, our desires and longings are one. This is a reflection and evidence of the oneness of the world of humanity; intention toward accomplishment of the "Most Great Peace." Therefore we are united in intention and desire. In the world of existence there are no greater questions than these. Oneness of the world of humanity insures the glorification of man. International Peace is the assurance of the welfare of all humankind. There are no greater motives and purposes in the human soul. As we are agreed upon them the certainty of unity and concord between Baha’is and Theosophists is most hopeful. Their purposes are one, their desires one, and spiritual susceptibilities are common to both. Their attention is devoted to the Divine Kingdom; they partake alike of Its bounty.

Today the human world is in need of a great power by which these glorious principles and purposes may be executed. The Cause of Peace is a very great Cause; it is the Cause of God, and all the forces of the world are opposed to it. Governments, for instance, consider militarism as the step to human progress, that division among men and nations is the cause of patriotism and honor, that if one nation attack and conquer another, gaining wealth, territory and glory thereby, this warfare and conquest, this bloodshed and cruelty, is the cause of that victorious nation's advancement and prosperity. This is an utter mistake. Compare the nations of the world to the members of a family. A family is a nation in miniature. Simply enlarge the circle of the household and you have the nation. Enlarge the circle of nations and you have all humanity. The conditions surrounding the family surround the nation. The happenings in the family are the happenings in the life of the nation. Would it add to the progress and advancement of a family if dissensions should arise among its members, fighting, pillaging each other, jealous and revengeful of injury—seeking selfish advantage one over another? Nay, this would be the cause of the effacement of progress and advancement. So it is in the great family of nations, for nations are but an aggregate of families. Therefore as strife and dissension destroy a family and prevent its progress, so nations are destroyed and advancement hindered.

February 26, 2021

The surprising welcome that ‘Abdu’l-Baha received from clergy and religious societies of the West

One of the Bahai friends said to Abdu'l Baha: “What we expected in connection with your visit to America has not happened and what we did not expect to happen has indeed come to pass. We expected an attitude of hostility toward you by the clergy and theologians. Instead of this they have welcomed you in the spirit of fairness and sincerity. We did not expect the churches and religious societies would open their doors, but they have done so and most of your important public addresses have been delivered from pulpits of various denominations."

‘Abdu'l-Baha replied: 

"According to the record of three Gospels, His Holiness Jesus Christ went into the Temple of Jerusalem, rebuked the Jews for the degeneracy of their worship into materialistic forms and delivered the Message of Divine Glad tidings. For nineteen hundred years this has been pointed out by Christians as a most wonderful event that His Holiness without opposition from the Jews was permitted to enter their most sacred place of worship and proclaim the Word of God. Consider what has happened in this century. During the past year we have been welcomed in churches and pulpits of Europe and America by different denominations, upraising the Divine Standard of Unity, summoning mankind to the Glad Tidings of the Most Great Peace, proclaiming the Reality of the Kingdom of Abha. And this has been accomplished not only without opposition but by invitation, and in a spirit of the utmost love and fragrance. Consider therefore the wonderful influence and importance of this in the future." 

- 'Abdu'l-Baha  (Words of ‘Abdu’l-Baha recorded by Howard MacNutt; ‘Star of the West, vol. 4, no. 1, March 21, 1913)

February 10, 2021

“‘Abdu’l-Baha finds the note of harmony which vibrates in every human heart.”

In my talks with the reverend doctors of religion and men of the peace societies I have spoken the Glad tidings Baha’u’llah, but always according to their varying need and capacity. As capacities differ, the purpose must be to satisfy the degree of hunger, destroy all possible antagonism and establish a point of agreement. We cannot induce men to lay down their arms by fighting with them. War intensifies the spirit of strife. War begets war. We are peacemakers, not destroyers of peace. Therefore ‘Abdu’l-Baha finds the note of harmony which vibrates in every human heart. This is our subtle basis. Build upon it. Follow no other method. Talk about things upon which we agree and say nothing about things upon which we differ. We must disorganize humanism in order to construct a spiritual edifice in the world of humanity. This edifice is heavenly but its foundations are planted in the unity of human hearts. 

- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (Star of the West, vol. 4, no. 1, March 21, 1913)

January 25, 2021

Teachings of Baha'u'llah, spirituality, spirit and body

Alliance Spiritualise of Paris

November 9, 1911

I am very grateful for the words and sentiments expressed by the general secretary. I give thanks to God to find myself in Paris in such a spiritual assembly.

If we look at the atmosphere of this meeting, we see that the spirit floats in it, the bounties of God descend, the aid of the Holy Spirit is seen. Thanks to God, these hearts are endowed with spiritual sentiments; the vibrations of the soul make themselves felt.

The spirit is like the sea, this assembly like the waves -- though they are numerous, they all come from the same sea; though they apparently have different forms and aspects, the unity of the spirit is manifest.

All the prophets and Divine Manifestations have come to educate men, in order that the unity of the human world may shine clearly and distinctly, so that there remain no authority to the waves; that the authority be peculiar to the sea, for the spirit is like the sea and the bodies are like the waves.

It is said in the Gospels, “Jerusalem will come down out of heaven from God." This heavenly Jerusalem is not made of stone, of lime and of clay, but it is made of the divine teachings which shine among men by the power of the spirit. For a long time, the divine teachings had been forgotten, no trace remained of the light of the heavenl Jerusalem. When Baha’u’llah manifested Himself from the Orient, the light of His divine teachings shone forth in Persia unto otherer parts of the world. This divine teaching is the heavenly Jerusalem which has again “come down out of heaven." Although that edifice had fallen to pieces, it is founded anew. The corporal and material forces ruled over the Orient; now the spiritual forces have taken their place.

January 11, 2021

“Do the Will of God, do not only speak about it.”

I wish you to study the works of the Blessed Beauty and to live according to His teaching. The basis of the teaching of Baha’u’llah is as follows: "Bear in your heart great love to all races on earth, to the end that unity maybe established between them. Take an interest in everyone and find out how you can help them, so that all may see that your love is truly universal. Do the Will of God, do not only speak about it; the elect of God do this. People do much speaking to advance their own glory and to make themselves appear superior to their neighbors. But if you do the Will of God and do not blazon it abroad, then you will change the whole world. They who do most speak least.

Man must ever be thinking of drawing nearer to God.

Look at the Italians, they pretended to love humanity, yet they wished to seize Tripoli for their own advancement, not for the good of humanity.

I hope that you will some day be able to hinder such actions, and thus enable justice to reign everywhere. I hope you will be able to make all hearts pure and tender, all efforts sincere, so that everyone may work for the good of humanity. This is my prayer and desire. 

- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (From a talk in Paris, October 17, 1911; Star of the West, vol. 2, no. 16, December 31, 1911)

December 16, 2020

“The greatest working basis for bringing about unity and harmony among the nations is the teaching of a universal tongue.”

Paris Esperanto Group

February 12, 1913

In the material world of existence, human undertakings are divided into two kinds - universal and specific. The result of every universal effort is infinite and the outcome of every specific effort is finite.

In this age, those human problems which create a general interest are universal; their results are likewise universal, for humanity has become interdependent. The international laws of today are of vast importance since international politics are bringing nations nearer to one another. It is a general axiom that in the world of human endeavor, every universal affair commands attention and its results and benefits are limitless. Therefore let us say that every universal cause is divine and every specific matter is human.

The universal light for this planet is from the sun and the special light here tonight, which is electric, illumines this banquet hall through the invention of man. In like manner the activities which are trying to establish solidarity between the nations and infuse the spirit of universalism in the hearts of the children of men are like unto divine rays from the  Sun of Reality, and the brightest ray is the coming of the universal language. Its achievement is the greatest virtue of the age, for such an instrument will remove misunderstandings from among the peoples of the earth and will cement their hearts together. This medium will enable each individual member of the human family to be informed of the scientific accomplishments of all his fellowmen.

November 4, 2020

‘Abdu’l-Baha answers questions by Pasteur Monnier of Theological Seminary of Paris

Sunday Evening, February 17, 1913, 


[The audience was composed of professors, clergy and theological students]

‘Abdu’l-Baha: How are you?

Pasteur Monnier: We are all feeling well and are exceedingly pleased to have you bless our Seminary.

‘Abdu’l-Baha: I am likewise most happy to find myself amongst you, and associate with you.

Pasteur Monnier: We are very happy to find amongst us a person who has come on the part of God, and has brought to us a divine message.

‘Abdu’l-Baha: A person endowed with the power of hearing shall hear the mysteries of God from all things, and all creation will convey to him the divine message.

Pasteur Monnier: If you permit us, we would like to ask a question.

‘Abdu’l-Baha: Very well.

Pasteur Monnier: As we are students of theology, and are in the rank of clergy, we would like to know who was Christ, and what was He? What is your belief about Him?

‘Abdu’l-Baha: Our belief in regard to Christ is exactly what is recorded in the New Testament; however we elucidate this matter, and do not speak literally or in a manner based merely on the foundation of blind belief. For instance, it is recorded in the Gospel of St. John, that in the beginning there was the Word, the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Now the majority of Christians accept this principle as a matter of belief, but we give an explanation and exposition which is accepted by reason, and in such a way that no one may find occasion to reject it.

The Christians have made this statement the foundation of the Trinity—but philosophers deny it as mere superstition, stating that the Trinity as regards the identity of the Divinity is impossible; and in turn the Christians do not give a satisfactory explanation and interpretation to be accepted by philosophers.

October 10, 2020

Following the Pathway of the Disciples of Christ

June 11, 1912, at 309 West 78th Street,

New York City

[After instructions upon certain matters, ‘Abdu’l-Baha continued:]

The essence of the intention is that I wish you to pray for me and I will pray for you. The pathway we shall walk together is the pathway of the disciples of Christ.

After the departure of His Holiness to the Supreme Paradise, the disciples who had followed His teachings met together in consultation upon the summit of a mountain near Jaffa. Such a consultation was never before held. They said to each other:

"His Holiness Jesus Christ has been crucified. He offered His life in this way, gave up His rest and comfort, forfeited His happiness, renounced His possessions, family and life, and quaffed the chalice of martyrdom. He educated us in order that we might arise after Him in His Cause. He sacrificed His life that the oil in the lamps of our souls might become ignited and His Light shine forth from them. He suffered on the cross that we may irrigate the tree of His planting. He consented to a cruel death in order that the seed of His sowing might be cultivated and preserved by us. Now must we be loyal to His Holiness. If we wish to be loyal we must arise to carry out the duties of loyalty. Otherwise each of us will continue to seek after his own livelihood, rest and comfort; each, like other people, find repose, enjoy a family, have a household, provide food and strive to gain glory and power. Shall we do this?"

All said, "No! We must be loyal and faithful to His Holiness Jesus Christ. Therefore with our worldly attachments we cannot attend to His service in a true spirit of severance. We must either be occupied with ourselves or engaged in His service. This Cause is a very great Cause; a Cause that is weighty and important, not light and trivial; a Cause that is not easy to carry and serve. First, to be severed and free from all other occupation we must give up and relinquish our family ties and that which pertains thereto. Because the management of a household and family is a hindrance to service. God has not created two hearts for man, one for living in the world and one for service in His Cause. Therefore either must we be occupied with our own service and affairs or with service to Christ. Is not this the ultimate arrangement? Yes! it is the ultimate arrangement! He who is tied to a family, let him then arrange to leave it; he who is not should not take a wife and the duties of a family; then will he be free, severed and without burden or hindrance in the service of God. Is this right? Is this the ultimate arrangement? Are we united upon this? Yes!”

September 15, 2020

Individuality and Personality

February 14, 1913,

at 30 rue St. Didier, Paris

Today one of those present asked a question on personality. From what source does it come? What are its attributes? What are its characteristic features or aspects?

Personality is one of two kinds. One is the natural or God-given personality which the Western thinkers call individuality. Individuality is the inner aspect of man which is not subject to change. The second is personality based on the acquired virtues and perfections, with which man is adorned.

When the individuality of man, i.e., his God-given natural virtues, is adorned with acquired virtues and perfections then we have character. When the infinite effulgences of God are revealed in the individual, then divine perfections which are invisible in all creation will become manifest in him.

For instance, one man is the manifestor of knowledge, i.e., divine knowledge is revealed to him. Another man is the dawning place of power, a third is wealthy, another is generous. Again, a person is faithful, and another with whom you come in touch is merciful. All these attributes are God-given and natural in man.

These are the manifestations of the unchangeable individuality. All of them are praiseworthy, because they are divine in origin. All these qualifications are created by God, they are loved by every one, for they are the significances of His names and attributes. The rays of His names and attributes have illumined the very essence of these qualifications.

As regards the personality which is the result of acquired virtues, that is also good. For instance, this mirror had once an individuality of rock. The rock going through the processes of purification, has reached to its present status of transparency. Now the rock in its original state was praiseworthy, but having acquired the second state, which is personality, it has become a mirror. In the beginning it was a piece of black stone, now it has become a pure looking-glass. Therefore you can easily see that the personality or the acquired virtue has become the means of the appearance of greater perfections, which perfections are clearly visible in the mirror.

The rock was endowed by God with a distinct individuality. It acquired personality through the process of education. The individuality of all people is laudable, for every­thing God creates is based upon divine wisdom. In the creation of God there is no defect. However, personality has no element of permanence in it, it is a shifting, changeable quality in man which can be turned either way.