Reality, Soul and
the Worlds of God
III. The Reality of the Soul – Understanding Your True Self
G. Mind and Knowledge in the Soul’s Activities
2. Divine Mind, and How the Soul’s Knowing Power Reflects It
[from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh:]
….they that tread the path of faith, they that thirst for the wine of certitude, must cleanse themselves of all that is earthly—their ears from idle talk, their minds from vain imaginings, their hearts from worldly affections, their eyes from that which perisheth. They should put their trust in God, and, holding fast unto Him, follow in His way. Then will they be made worthy of the effulgent glories of the sun of divine knowledge and understanding, and become the recipients of a grace that is infinite and unseen,….
(Bahá’u’lláh: The Kitáb-i-Íqán, paragraph 2, p. 3)
Reflect thou, how, in one hand, He hath, by His mighty grasp, turned the earth of knowledge and understanding, previously unfolded, into a mere handful, and, on the other, spread out a new and highly exalted earth in the hearts of men, thus causing the freshest and loveliest blossoms, and the mightiest and loftiest trees to spring forth from the illumined bosom of man.
In like manner, reflect how the elevated heavens of the Dispensations of the past have, in the right hand of power, been folded together, how the heavens of divine Revelation have been raised by the command of God, and been adorned by the sun, the moon, and stars of His wondrous commandments. Such are the mysteries of the Word of God, which have been unveiled and made manifest, that haply thou mayest apprehend the morning light of divine guidance, mayest quench, by the power of reliance and renunciation, the lamp of idle fancy, of vain imaginings, of hesitation, and doubt, and mayest kindle, in the inmost chamber of thine heart, the new-born light of divine knowledge and certitude.
(Bahá’u’lláh: The Kitáb-i-Íqán, paragraphs 51-52, pp. 45-46)
When the channel of the human soul is cleansed of all worldly and impeding attachments, it will unfailingly perceive the breath of the Beloved across immeasurable distances, and will, led by its perfume, attain and enter the City of Certitude.
(Bahá’u’lláh: The Kitáb-i-Íqán, paragraph 217, p. 182)
Once in about a thousand years shall this City be renewed and re-adorned.
(Bahá’u’lláh: The Kitáb-i-Íqán, paragraph 218, p. 183)
That city is none other than the Word of God revealed in every age and dispensation.
(Bahá’u’lláh: The Kitáb-i-Íqán, paragraph 219, p. 184)
The understanding of His words and the comprehension of the utterances of the Birds of Heaven are in no wise dependent upon human learning. They depend solely upon purity of heart, chastity of soul, and freedom of spirit.
(Bahá’u’lláh: The Kitáb-i-Íqán, paragraph 233, p. 194)
We have caused the rivers of Divine utterance to proceed out of Our throne, that the tender herbs of wisdom and understanding may spring forth from the soil of your hearts.
(Bahá’u’lláh: Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, Selection XVIII, p. 43)
Would that ye had the power to perceive the things your Lord, the All-Merciful, doth see—things that attest the excellence of your rank, that bear witness to the greatness of your worth, that proclaim the sublimity of your station!
(Bahá’u’lláh: Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, Selection CXLVII, p. 317)
….God…hath made being to come forth from nothingness; graven upon the tablet of man the secrets of preexistence; taught him from the mysteries of divine utterance that which he knew not; made him a Luminous Book unto those who believed and surrendered themselves; caused him to witness the creation of all things (Kullu Sh
ay’) in this black and ruinous age, and to speak forth from the apex of eternity with a wondrous voice in the Excellent Temple1
: to the end that every man may testify, in himself, by himself, in the station of the Manifestation of his Lord, that verily there is no God save Him, and that every man may thereby win his way to the summit of realities, until none shall contemplate anything whatsoever but that he shall see God therein.
(Bahá’u’lláh: The Seven Valleys and The Four Valleys, pp. 1-2)
After passing through the Valley of Knowledge, which is the last plane of limitation, the wayfarer cometh to The Valley of Unity
and drinketh from the cup of the Absolute, and gazeth on the Manifestations of Oneness. In this station he pierceth the veils of plurality, fleeth from the worlds of the flesh, and ascendeth into the heaven of singleness. With the ear of God he heareth, with the eye of God he beholdeth the mysteries of divine creation.
(Bahá’u’lláh: The Seven Valleys and The Four Valleys, p. 17)
….Here reason signifieth the divine, universal mind, whose sovereignty enlighteneth all created things—nor doth it refer to every feeble brain; for it is as the wise Sana’i hath written:
How can feeble reason encompass the Qur’án,
Or the spider snare a phoenix in his web?
Wouldst thou that the mind should not entrap thee?
Teach it the science of the love of God!
(Bahá’u’lláh: The Seven Valleys and The Four Valleys, Second Valley of Four, p. 52)
Behold how the generality of mankind hath been endued with the capacity to hearken unto God’s most exalted Word—the Word upon which must depend the gathering together and spiritual resurrection of all men.
(Bahá’u’lláh: Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, “Lawḥ-i-Dunyá” or “Tablet of the World”, p. 89)
Know thou that he is truly learned who hath acknowledged My Revelation, and drunk from the Ocean of My knowledge, and soared in the atmosphere of My love, and cast away all else besides Me, and taken firm hold on that which hath been sent down from the Kingdom of My wondrous utterance. He, verily, is even as an eye unto mankind, and as the spirit of life unto the body of all creation.
(Bahá’u’lláh: Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, “Lawḥ-i-Burhán” or “Tablet of the Proof”, pp. 207-208)
[from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá:]
Praise and thanksgiving be unto Providence that out of all the realities in existence He has chosen the reality of man and has honored it with intellect and wisdom, the two most luminous lights in either world. Through the agency of this great endowment, He has in every epoch cast on the mirror of creation new and wonderful configurations. If we look objectively upon the world of being, it will become apparent that from age to age, the temple of existence has continually been embellished with a fresh grace, and distinguished with an ever-varying splendor, deriving from wisdom and the power of thought.
This supreme emblem of God stands first in the order of creation and first in rank, taking precedence over all created things. Witness to it is the Holy Tradition, “Before all else, God created the mind.” From the dawn of creation, it was made to be revealed in the temple of man.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá: The Secret of Divine Civilization, p. 1)
[from the talks of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá:]
….when the Holy Manifestation of God, Who is the sun of the world of His creation, shines upon the worlds of spirits, of thoughts and of hearts, then the spiritual spring and new life appear, the power of the wonderful springtime becomes visible, and marvelous benefits are apparent. As you have observed, at the time of the appearance of each Manifestation of God extraordinary progress has occurred in the world of minds, thoughts and spirits. For example, in this divine age see what development has been attained in the world of minds and thoughts, and it is now only the beginning of its dawn. Before long you will see that new bounties and divine teachings will illuminate this dark world and will transform these sad regions into the paradise of Eden.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Some Answered Questions, Chapter 42: “The Power and Influence of the Divine Manifestations”, p. 163)
….as the supreme Manifestations certainly possess essential infallibility, therefore whatever emanates from Them is identical with the truth, and conformable to reality.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Some Answered Questions, Chapter 45: “Explanation of the Verse of the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, ‘There is No Partner for Him Who is the Dayspring of Revelation in His Most Great Infallibility’”, p. 173)
The first thing which emanated from God is that universal reality, which the ancient philosophers termed the “First Mind,”….
Though the “First Mind” is without beginning, it does not become a sharer in the preexistence of God, for the existence of the universal reality in relation to the existence of God is nothingness, and it has not the power to become an associate of God and like unto Him in preexistence.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Some Answered Questions, Chapter 53: “The Relation between God and the Creature”, p. 203)
….the universal divine mind, which is beyond nature, is the bounty of the Preexistent Power. This universal mind is divine; it embraces existing realities, and it receives the light of the mysteries of God. It is a conscious power, not a power of investigation and of research. The intellectual power of the world of nature is a power of investigation, and by its researches it discovers the realities of beings and the properties of existences; but the heavenly intellectual power, which is beyond nature, embraces things and is cognizant of things, knows them, understands them, is aware of mysteries, realities and divine significations, and is the discoverer of the concealed verities of the Kingdom. This divine intellectual power is the special attribute of the Holy Manifestations and the Dawning-places of prophethood; a ray of this light falls upon the mirrors of the hearts of the righteous, and a portion and a share of this power comes to them through the Holy Manifestations.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Some Answered Questions, Chapter 58: “The Degree of Knowledge Possessed by Man and the Divine Manifestations”, p. 218)
[from the Writings or talks of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá (no authority):]
Thank God for guiding thee unto the Straight Path, manifesting unto thee the Evident Light. He shall give thee a draught of the cup whereby thy spiritual power will be increased. Thou shalt advance unto the Lofty Station, acquire heavenly qualities and attain knowledge of the significances of the words of God in this glorious day.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá in the compilation Bahá’í World Faith, p. 361)