August 9, 2020

Through “the breaths and promptings of the Holy Spirit, which is light and knowledge itself” “the human mind is quickened and fortified into true conclusions and perfect knowledge.”

17 April 1912

New York

During my visit to London and Paris last year I had many talks with the materialistic philosophers of Europe. The basis of all their conclusions is that the acquisition of knowledge of phenomena is according to a fixed, invariable law—a law mathematically exact in its operation through the senses. For instance, the eye sees a chair; therefore, there is no doubt of the chair’s existence. The eye looks up into the heavens and beholds the sun; I see flowers upon this table; I smell their fragrance; I hear sounds outside, etc. This, they say, is a fixed mathematical law of perception and deduction, the operation of which admits of no doubt whatever; for inasmuch as the universe is subject to our sensing, the proof is self-evident that our knowledge of it must be gained through the avenues of the senses. That is to say, the materialists announce that the criterion and standard of human knowledge is sense perception. Among the Greeks and Romans the criterion of knowledge was reason—that whatever is provable and acceptable by reason must necessarily be admitted as true. A third standard or criterion is the opinion held by theologians that traditions or prophetic statement and interpretations constitute the basis of human knowing. There is still another, a fourth criterion, upheld by religionists and metaphysicians who say that the source and channel of all human penetration into the unknown is through inspiration. Briefly then, these four criteria according to the declarations of men are: first, sense perception; second, reason; third, traditions; fourth, inspiration.

In Europe I told the philosophers and scientists of materialism that the criterion of the senses is not reliable. For instance, consider a mirror and the images reflected in it. These images have no actual corporeal existence. Yet if you had never seen a mirror, you would firmly insist and believe that they were real. The eye sees a mirage upon the desert as a lake of water, but there is no reality in it. As we stand upon the deck of a steamer, the shore appears to be moving, yet we know the land is stationary and we are moving. The earth was believed to be fixed and the sun revolving about it, but although this appears to be so, the reverse is now known to be true. A whirling torch makes a circle of fire appear before the eye, yet we realize there is but one point of light. We behold a shadow moving upon the ground, but it has no material existence, no substance. In deserts the atmospheric effects are particularly productive of illusions which deceive the eye. Once I saw a mirage in which a whole caravan appeared traveling upward into the sky. In the far North other deceptive phenomena appear and baffle human vision. Sometimes three or four suns, called by scientists mock suns, will be shining at the same time, whereas we know that the great solar orb is one and that it remains fixed and single. In brief, the senses are continually deceived, and we are unable to separate that which is reality from that which is not.

July 25, 2020

Soul, Mind, and Spirit

January 30, 1913, at 30 rue St. Didier, Paris

One of the ladies present has asked me to speak on the subject of soul, mind and spirit. She desires an explanation of these terms.

The terminology of ancient philosophers differs from that of our time. In later ages certain terms have developed through which we see these subjects in a different light. According to some ancient philosophers, the words soul, mind and spirit imply the underlying principles of life, expressing the various phases of the one absolute reality. They were different names for the operations of one essence. For instance, we say a man sees, hears and speaks - seeing, hearing and speaking are the different performances of the same power which animates man.

Different schools of thought have given different names to the various operations of the one essence. For instance, when some speak of the emotions of consciousness, they call it soul; When they express the discovering power of man they call it mind, and when they refer to the animating essence of the world of creation, they call it spirit.

The differentiation which we make of these subjects is as follows: By soul we mean that power which is the mover of this physical body which is entirely under its control and lives in accordance with its dictates. The soul that lives in the material world is dark - for in the material world there is aggression, struggle, greed, vice and transgression. If the soul remains in this station, and moves along these paths it will receive no uplift, but if it becomes the recipient of the world of mind, its darkness will be transformed into light; its tyranny into justice, its ignorance into wisdom and its aggression into loving kindness. There will be no more struggle for existence and man will become free from egotism. He will be released from the material world and become the embodiment of justice, the personification of the virtues. He will become a sanctified soul and be the means of the illumination of the world of humanity and an honor to human kind. He will confer life upon the children of men so that all nations will attain to the station of perfection. To such a person we may apply the name of "a holy soul."

July 10, 2020

Condition of those who have passed on

Question: If one refuses the Cause of Baha’u’llah during his life time, may be hear of it after death?

‘Abdu’l-Baha: Yes, he will hear of it in his next life, but through the mercy of God alone, not through his own ability.

Question: Are we not able, through love and faith, to make those on the other side hear of the Cause who had not heard of it while on earth?

‘Abdu’l-Baha: Yes, surely sincere prayer always has its effect, and it has a great influence in the other world. We are never cut off from those who are there. The real and genuine influence is not in this world but in that other. 

(Star of the West, vol. 2, no. 16, December 31, 1911)

June 26, 2020

Thoughts & Action

You must not only think thoughts, but do actions. The reality of men is their thoughts and their spirits, not their material bodies. Man and animal with regard to matter are partners. The difference is that man has the power of thought.

Thoughts may be divided into two classes: 1. The world of thought alone. 2. The world of thought which expresses itself in action. For instance, philosophers belong to the first class, for they only think heavenly thoughts and do not do heavenly deeds. Whereas spiritual teachers belong to the second class, for they express their high and noble thoughts in actions as soon as they think them. 

(Star of the West, vol. 2, no. 16, December 31, 1911)

June 15, 2020

Physical sun resembles the spiritual Sun – the Manifestation of God

The sun shines upon the earth, giving light and warmth to all creatures. The Sun of Truth also shines, giving light and warmth to the souls of men.

All existing creatures need the sun to shine upon them and develop them that they may grow. The souls of men also need the Sun of Truth to shine upon them, to educate and encourage them. Circumstances that benefit the body do not benefit the soul, and the soul of man is his reality, not his body, i.e., there are some men who are perfected in material things and very backward in the spiritual. Likewise many who are at the bottom of the social and material ladder, are very much advanced spiritually.

Galen, a Greek Philosopher who died at the time when the Christian religion was in its growth - and was not himself a Christian - wrote many books about material civilization and development. He states as his belief that Religion is the basis of all true civilization, that is to say that not only must the brain and gifts of a nation be educated, but also the moral character. The Christians, he points out, are an example to show the truth of this theory, for theirs was the basis upon which the largest and most prosperous civilization of the world had been founded and their morals were very high. They were taught not to fear death, and to love their neighbors as themselves and live only for the good of humanity, and only to think of doing good to mankind.

If these principles had been carefully carried out by the followers of Jesus Christ, then there would be no need for the world to be reawakened. But winter fell upon the hearts of men, and God sent His prophets to shine upon them with the Spring of the Sun of righteousness that they may be again awakened and blossom forth and bear fruit. Because mankind has shut its ears to the Voice of God and has neglected His teachings, wars and tumults, unrest and misery have fallen upon them. Let us make every effort to reopen the hearts of men to the Will of God. I pray God to give you power to bring humanity beneath the rays of the Sun of Truth and Peace. 

(Star of the West, vol. 2, no. 16, December 31, 1911)

May 20, 2020

“Healing comes from God… Medicine is merely an outward form or means by which we obtain heavenly healing”

Healing comes from God. If the heavenly benediction be upon us while we are being healed, then only can we be truly healed. All depends upon God. Medicine is merely an outward form or means by which we obtain heavenly healing; without the Heavenly Benediction it is worth nothing.

If man looks at the nature of the world around him he will see that all created beings are dependent upon something, i.e. man is dependent for his life upon the air which he breathes, likewise the animals which are upon the earth, and each created being is dependent for its life upon some material circumstances. Man, therefore, and all creatures are prisoners of nature. The sun must follow its law, the earth must follow its law of motion, the sea also. But, by the spiritual power of God, which, through His Bounty, He has bestowed upon men alone, man is enabled to defy the laws of nature in many and wonderful ways, i.e. it is the law of nature that man should walk upon the earth, but he defies this law, for he sojourns upon the water and also flies, like the bird, through the air.

Through the wonderful spiritual power which God gives to man, man is enabled to reach the Kingdom of Heaven; but behold! man is not grateful and is careless of the great mercy which God has shown him. 

- 'Abdu'l-Baha  (Star of the West, vol. 2, no. 16, December 31, 1911)

April 9, 2020

Concerning the surprising welcome ‘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 11, 2020

“The Great Light of the Spirit has ever arisen in the East but it has shed forth its radiance into the West.”

October 23, 1911, Paris, France

When a man has found joy in one place he returns to that same place to find his joy again. When a man has found gold in a mine, he will return again to that mine to find more gold; this is a natural law and shows forth the vital and spiritual powers which God has bestowed upon man, and the natural instinct which is born in him. The Great Light of the Spirit has ever arisen in the East but it has shed forth its radiance into the West. And in the West has it found its greatest force of expansion.

The Christ rose like a star in the horizon of the East, but the Light of His influence has taken root more firmly in the West. This shows us how that the people of the West are very faithful in their hearts and they do not easily forget. The West is like a good plant. When the rain falls gently upon it to give it nourishment and the sun shines upon it to give it warmth, then does it blossom forth and bear good fruit.

It is a long time since the Sun of Righteousness has shed its Reliance upon the West, for the Face of God has been hidden by the sin and forgetfulness of man; but now, thanks be to God! the Sun shines forth in all its glory and the breath of the Holy Spirit is watchful over the nations.

Let us pray to God that the light and refreshment may awaken the people and give them new life, that they shall find a second life and there shall be a new creation. Humanity shall put on a new garment and the Mercy of God will be showered upon the people.

My earnest desire is that you will work for this end, that you may be the cause of it. It is certain that the Flag of Divinity has been raised and the Sun of Righteousness of God appears upon the horizon. Be faithful and loving workers that you may be among the blest of God and receive the benefits of the Kingdom of Abha. 

(Star of the West, vol. 2, no. 16, December 31, 1911)

December 4, 2018

‘Abdu’l-Baha’s amazement at being able to come to Paris

October 25, 1911, Paris, France

I regret that you have been kept waiting so long. Yet, I have waited so many years in prison before I could see you surely you do not mind waiting a little to see me. Our hearts are always together and the Bounty of the Kingdom of Abha binds our spirits in one. For have we not one aim, one desire and one prayer? Therefore we are always together.

Last night, when I returned home, I did not sleep. I lay awake thinking and I said to myself: "Here am I in Paris. O my God! what is Paris and who am I?" I never thought from the darkness of my prison that I should come here and be among you, for I was condemned to perpetual imprisonment. When I read the document which told me of my sentence, I said to the officials: ''It is impossible!'' And they were astonished. Then I said to them: "If Abdu'l-Hamid were immortal and I myself were immortal, then would it be possible for him to condemn me to be in prison forever, but as we are not immortal, then it is impossible. My spirit is free and that can no man imprison.”

Now you see the powers of God, that I am no longer in prison, but here in Paris, talking with yon. I am thankful to meet the spiritual friends and you also must be happy that God has allowed me to come among you. For who indeed would have thought it possible that I should be here talking in Paris? 

(Star of the West, vol. 2, no. 16, December 31, 1911)

November 12, 2018

‘Abdu’l-Baha’is farewell words to Europe

December 1, 1911, Paris, France 

I bid a loving farewell to the people of France and England. I am very much pleased with them. I counsel them that they may day by day strengthen the bond of love and amity to this end -  that they may become the sympathetic embodiment of one nation - that they may extend themselves to a universal Brotherhood to guard and protect the interests and rights of all the nations of the East - that they may unfurl the Divine Banner of justice - that they may realize and treat each nation as a family composed of the individual children of God and may know that before the sight of God the rights of all are equal.

For all of us are the children of one Father. God is at peace with all His children: why should they engage in strife and warfare among themselves? God is showering down kindness; why should the inhabitants of this world exchange unkindness and cruelty? "Ye are all the leaves of one tree and the fruits of one branch."

Beware! Beware! Lest ye offend any heart.

Beware! Beware! Lest ye hurt any soul.

Beware! Beware! Lest ye deal unkindly toward any person.

Beware! Beware! Lest ye be the cause of hopelessness to any creature.

(Star of the West, vol. 2, no. 16, December 31, 1911)

October 18, 2018

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

An address given at Alliance Spiritualise of Paris, France

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 heavenly 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.

 Thanks to God, I see at Paris a respectable assembly which lives by the breath of the soul. Man is not man by the body, he is man by the spirit, for by the body he is the associate of the animal; that which distinguishes him is the spirit. As the sun illumines the earth, so the spirit illumines the body. It renders man celestial; gives him kindness by the breath of the Holy Spirit; makes him understand the reality of things; discovers all sciences; offers eternal life; unites the nations; joins the Orient and the Occident, and changes the human world into a divine world. Consequently, those who receive the bounties of the Spirit give life to others.

August 20, 2018

The First Opposers

An address given at Mrs. Champney's, 309 West 78th Street, July 8, 1912.

I learn from incidents here and there that some of the priests are giving vent to the utmost condemnation of us, that is the Catholic priests, that they attribute any sort of thing to us, pronounce anathema, and say we are the cause of misleading the people. We say nothing as regards them, nothing at all. But we shall mention this much, and this is to awaken you that you may be aware that such conversations, such speeches, such calumnies and libels are not specialized to us. It has always been thus.

In the time of Abraham, religious leaders, Pharisees Haran, anathemized His Holiness Abraham, saying, "This person is satan, He misleads the people; He misguides them; He pronounces evil words with regard to our idols; this person must be killed." At best because the government was rather fair, the learned men assembled and decided that His Holiness Abraham should be rescued and they caused him to flee. Thus the alienation of Abraham from his native land was caused by the anathema of the priests. "Abraham," they said, "is misguided and misguiding the people."

Then we come to the. period of Moses. All the priests of Egypt pronounced anathema regarding Moses, saying, "This person is the cause of corruption and sedition and this person must be killed. He must be effaced."

Then we come to the time of Christ. When His Holiness Christ appeared, the first people who objected to His Holiness were the Jewish priests. They said, "This Christ is not the promised Christ, this Christ is an imposter." They then pronounced the name which means in the Arabic The Ugly One, and according to the text of the Gospel the name of His Holiness was made to read Beelzebub, and this is an explicit text of the Gospel.

That glorious personage was debased; that Heavenly Radiance they pronounced as darkness; that Guide of the nations was accounted as misguidance of the people; that personified Spirit they pronounced as sheer body. All the rabbis of the Jews assembled forming a great body of learned men famous among the Jews and they consulted together regarding the killing or martyrdom of His Holiness Christ. They left no calumny unapplied to Him. There was no word of detestation which they did not pronounce regarding Him. At last they pronounced His death sentence, saying that Christ is both misguided and misguiding the people and deserving of punishment or killing, that His blood should be spilled but after due trial.

June 13, 2018

The two lives of a human being

An address given at 309 West 78th Street, New York, July 7, 1912.

Very welcome, very welcome!

Man has two lives. He is possessed of a physical life and also a spiritual life. The physical life of man is that of the animal. Consider and you will find that the physical life of man comprises the following actions: eating, drinking, sleeping, and the other exigencies of the animal state, walking, visualizing tangible objects, like other beings, the stars, the sun, the springs and the woods. This life is the animal life. It is evident and manifest that therein man is a partner of the animal.

The animal in its physical life is very comfortable, and it is most convenient for it to live; whereas for man to obtain a livelihood, it is more arduous and difficult. Consider all the animals which graze in the prairies, which live in the mountains and in the seas obtain their livelihood with the greatest ease, without difficulty and hardship. The birds do not have a profession, no arts, no business, no agriculture, and no farming. They are without any trouble whatever. They sense the utmost delicate fresh air, building their nests on the highest or loftiest branches of the trees and partaking of the grains which they find in the fields. All the harvest of the fields is their wealth. As soon as they become hungry, the grain is ready. After picking up some grain, they perch on the loftiest branches, resting in their nests in the utmost state of comfort and ease. It is likewise with the other animals.

But man, for his physical livelihood, must bear great hardships. Day and night he is restless, either farming or practicing his profession or business, or toiling and laboring in the mines beneath the earth. Or with the greatest difficulties and hardships he traverses long distances. In short, he works on the surface of the earth or beneath the surface of the earth to earn his physical livelihood. But the animal has none of these hardships and he shares his physical life in common with man. 

Notwithstanding all this, there is no result forthcoming from the physical livelihood. If a man should live for one hundred years, his material life eventually would yield no result whatever. Ponder over this and see if there is any result forthcoming from the material life of man.

April 19, 2018

Scientific Proof of the Existence of God

Sunday, February 9, 1913, at 30 rue St. Didier, Paris.
(Translated from notes in Persian)

Today someone asked a question regarding the existence of God. What are the proofs throng through which one can establish the existence of God?

People are divided into two sections, one which is satisfied with the knowledge of the attributes of divinity, and the other which strives to establish the existence of divinity, and be informed of the fundamental principles of divine philosophy. Therefore today If will speak to you of the proofs which establish scientifically the existence of God. I will not quote to you the scriptural proofs from the Old and the New Testament or the Qur’an, for you are more or less familiar with those ideas. Consequently I will deal with this abject from an intellectual standpoint. As it is an abstruse subject I request you to give your utmost attention.

When we look upon all forms of phenomena we observe that they are the results of composition. For example, certain single atoms are brought together through the inherent law of elective affinity existing between these various particles, the result of which is the human being. A number of primordial atoms have gone into the makeup of a plant, the result of which is the flower.

Again looking into the mineral kingdom we observe that this law of cohesion is working in the same manner in that kingdom, for we see that many atoms go into the composition of a piece of stone which through purification may reach to the state of a mirror.

March 10, 2018

Prophecies of Baha'u'llah concerning Adrianople, Constantinople and Rumelia

November 7, 1912
Home of Mrs. Parsons, Washington, D. C.

Although this evening I feel quite fatigued, yet now that I am face to face with you I suddenly feel animated; therefore I shall speak to you.

Consider events in the Balkans today, where a great conflagration is furiously raging and so much blood is being shed. You can say the whole world of humanity is virtually lamenting and mourning because of the revival of this warfare Governments are in the process of change and transformation. The sovereignty of the Orient at large is tottering; it is subjet to the greatest uncertainty. I desire, therefore, to touch upon this subject.

Most especially do I wish to touch upon the phases of this war which Baha’u’llah prophesied forty years ago fully and completely. He addressed a letter to the sultan of Turkey during his exile and while he was under surveillance in the prison of Akka. He likewise addressed epistles to Napoleon III and to the Shah of Persia. All these letters which he sent to the crowns heads of the earth were compiled in a book which was published thirty-five years ago in Bombay, India.

It was published years ago. There are several editions of the book. The first edition was about thirty-five years ago, and another twenty-two years ago. I have with me a copy of the edition of twenty-two years ago.

February 2, 2018

The spirit ---> the “greatest power in the realm and range of human existence”, and the Divine Spirit ---> “Souls deprived of that Spirit are accounted as dead”

25 April 1912
Talk to Theosophical Society at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Parsons
Washington, D.C.

The greatest power in the realm and range of human existence is spirit—the divine breath which animates and pervades all things. It is manifested throughout creation in different degrees or kingdoms. In the vegetable kingdom it is the augmentative spirit or power of growth, the animus of life and development in plants, trees and organisms of the floral world. In this degree of its manifestation spirit is unconscious of the powers which qualify the kingdom of the animal. The distinctive virtue or plus of the animal is sense perception; it sees, hears, smells, tastes and feels but is incapable, in turn, of conscious ideation or reflection which characterizes and differentiates the human kingdom. The animal neither exercises nor apprehends this distinctive human power and gift. From the visible it cannot draw conclusions regarding the invisible, whereas the human mind from visible and known premises attains knowledge of the unknown and invisible. For instance, Christopher Columbus from information based upon known and provable facts drew conclusions which led him unerringly across the vast ocean to the unknown continent of America. Such power of accomplishment is beyond the range of animal intelligence. Therefore, this power is a distinctive attribute of the human spirit and kingdom. The animal spirit cannot penetrate and discover the mysteries of things. It is a captive of the senses. No amount of teaching, for instance, would enable it to grasp the fact that the sun is stationary, and the earth moves around it. Likewise, the human spirit has its limitations. It cannot comprehend the phenomena of the Kingdom transcending the human station, for it is a captive of powers and life forces which have their operation upon its own plane of existence, and it cannot go beyond that boundary.

January 17, 2018

The Life of Baha’u’llah

15 April, 1912
At a gathering of Baha’i friends at the home of Mrs. EmorNew York City

Tonight I wish to tell you something of the history of the Baha’i Revelation.

The Blessed Perfection Baha’u’llah belonged to the royal family of Persia. From His earliest childhood He became distinguished among His relatives and friends. "This child," they said, "has extraordinary power." Not only in wisdom, but in the realm of new knowledge He was superior to His age and time. All were astonished. Some remarked, "Such a precocious child will not survive," for it has been believed that children who are precocious cannot live very long.

Until the Blessed Perfection reached the age of maturity He had not entered any school. He was not willing to be taught by any teacher. This fact is well known among the Persians of Tehran. Nevertheless He solved the difficult problems of all who came and inquired. In short whatever the meeting, whether scientific gathering or theological discussion, He always explained the abstruse problems presented to Him.

Until the father of Baha’u’llah passed away He did not seek after position or political station. All were surprised at this. Notwithstanding His connection with the government, He would not accept any position. They remarked: "How is it that a young man so intelligent, so keen, so perceptive, so subtle, is not a candidate for lucrative appointments; as a matter of fact, every position is open to Him." The people of Persia are witnesses to this historical fact.

He was most generous; giving abundantly to the poor. He did not refuse any who asked Him. The doors of His house were open to all. He always had many guests. This generosity was conduce to greater astonishment from the fact that He did not seek position or prominence. In commenting upon this His friends said that all His wealth would be given away, for His expenses were many, while His wealth was becoming limited. All were amazed at His conduct and greatly astonished at His doings. Some remarked, "Why is He not thinking of His own affairs?" Some who were wise declared: “This Personage is connected with another world. He has something sublime within Him that is not evident row, but the day will come when that shall be manifested."

December 12, 2017

Firmness in Baha’u’llah’s Covenant concerning ‘Abdu’l-Baha


Today, the most important affair is firmness in The Covenant, because firmness in The Covenant wards off differences.

In former cycles no distinct Covenant was made in writing by the Supreme Pen; no distinct personage was appointed to be the Standard differentiating falsehood from truth, so that whatever he said was to stand as truth and that which he repudiated was to be known as falsehood. At most, His Holiness Jests Christ gave only an intimation, a symbol, and that was but an indication of the solidity of Peter's faith. When he mentioned his faith, His Holiness said, 'thou art Peter’ - which means rock - 'and upon this rock will I build my church.' This was a sanction of Peter's faith; it was not indicative of his (Peter) being the expounder of the Book, but was a confirmation of Peter's faith.

But in this Dispensation of the Blessed Beauty (Baha’u’llah) among its distinctions is that He did not leave people in perplexity. He entered into a Covenant and Testament with the people. He appointed a Center of the Covenant. He wrote with His own pen and revealed it in the Kitab-i-Aqdas, the Book of Laws, and Kitab-i-Ahd, the Book of the Covenant, appointing him (‘Abdu’l-Baha) the Expounder of the Book. You must ask him (‘Abdu’l-Baha) regarding the meanings of the texts of the verses. Whatsoever he says is correct.

Outside of this, in numerous Tablets He (Baha’u’llah) has explicitly recorded it, with clear, sufficient, valid and forceful statements. In the Tablet of the Branch He explicitly states: “Whatsoever the Branch says is right, or correct; and every person must obey the Branch with his life, with his heart, with his tongue. Without his will, not a word shall anyone utter.” This is an explicit text of the Blessed Beauty. So there is no excuse left for anybody. No soul shall, of himself, speak anything. [The words must be according to what has proceeded from the Mouth of the Will of God and is recorded in Tablets.] Whatsoever his (‘Abdu'l-Baha's) tongue utters, whatsoever his pen records, that is correct; according to the explicit text of Baha’u’llah in the Tablet of the Branch.

November 26, 2017

World War I – “…warnings on the part of God so that they may quicken the people and make them mindful.”

August 8, 1914

[This morning I was called into His presence, and after reading a few letters and dictating a number of Tablets, He spoke about the present war (World War I)]:

These dreadful events are as warnings on the part of God so that they may quicken the people and make them mindful. But the majority of mankind are like unto the children, who are being rocked in a cradle. The harder they are rocked to be awakened, the deeper they fall into sleep.

East and West the affairs of the people are in utter confusion and the markets of the world are afflicted with lethargy. The wheels of international transactions are at a standstill. We shall wait and see what God has decreed to be the outcome of this universal upheaval.

As for you, pray meanwhile in behalf of the people so that the forces of Peace may gain ascendancy over the powers of war. They are now in great distress. From all sides they are surrounded with difficulties and hardships. Perchance, God willing, they may become mindful and aware, be released from negligence, abandon tyranny and oppression, treat each other with justice and fairness, and give up the dictates of selfishness and personal interest.

Our hope is that they may be freed from the cruelty of passion and egoism; that these wicked powers may not overmaster them; that they may turn their faces toward God; that the hearts may become illumined; that the sphere of the minds be extended; that avarice and covetousness may not remain; that trust in Cod and self-reliance may take possession of their beings that they may be satisfied with their own rights and that they may not rise in aggression to trample under their feet the rights of others. May all of the causes of war and conflict, hardships and sufferings, be entirely removed!