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
5. Thought: A Vital Power in Soul Development
[from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh:]
O people of God! Do not busy yourselves in your own concerns; let your thoughts be fixed upon that which will rehabilitate the fortunes of mankind and sanctify the hearts and souls of men. This can best be achieved through pure and holy deeds, through a virtuous life and a goodly behaviour.
(Bahá’u’lláh: Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, “Lawḥ-i-Dunyá” or “Tablet of the World”, p. 86)
Center your thoughts in the Well-Beloved, rather than in your own selves.
(Bahá’u’lláh: Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, Selection LXXXV, p. 168)
[from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá:]
The publication of high thoughts is the dynamic power in the arteries of life; it is the very soul of the world. Thoughts are a boundless sea, and the effects and varying conditions of existence are as the separate forms and individual limits of the waves; not until the sea boils up will the waves rise and scatter their pearls of knowledge on the shore of life.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá: The Secret of Divine Civilization, pp. 109-110)
[from the talks of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá:]
….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)
wishes, he can pass his time in praising God, or he can be occupied with other thoughts. He can be an enkindled light through the fire of the love of God, and a philanthropist loving the world, or he can be a hater of mankind, and engrossed with material things. He can be just or cruel. These actions and these deeds are subject to the control of the will of man himself; consequently, he is responsible for them.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Some Answered Questions, Chapter 70: “Free Will”, p. 248)
….many things come to the mind of man which are like the waves of the sea of imaginations; they have no fruit, and no result comes from them.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Some Answered Questions, Chapter 71: “Visions and Communication with Spirits”, p. 253)
Know that there are four kinds of curing and healing without medicine. Two are due to material causes, and two to spiritual causes….
Of the two other kinds of healing which are spiritual—that is to say, where the means of cure is a spiritual power—one results from the entire concentration of the mind of a strong person upon a sick person, when the latter expects with all his concentrated faith that a cure will be effected from the spiritual power of the strong person, to such an extent that there will be a cordial connection between the strong person and the invalid. The strong person makes every effort to cure the sick patient, and the sick patient is then sure of receiving a cure. From the effect of these mental impressions an excitement of the nerves is produced, and this impression and this excitement of the nerves will become the cause of the recovery of the sick person. So when a sick person has a strong desire and intense hope for something and hears suddenly the tidings of its realization, a nervous excitement is produced which will make the malady entirely disappear. In the same way, if a cause of terror suddenly occurs, perhaps an excitement may be produced in the nerves of a strong person which will immediately cause a malady. The cause of the sickness will be no material thing, for that person has not eaten anything, and nothing harmful has touched him; the excitement of the nerves is then the only cause of the illness. In the same way the sudden realization of a chief desire will give such joy that the nerves will be excited by it, and this excitement may produce health….
….But all this has effect only to a certain extent, and that not always. For if someone is afflicted with a very violent disease, or is wounded, these means will not remove the disease nor close and heal the wound….
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Some Answered Questions, Chapter 72: “Healing by Spiritual Means”, pp. 254, 255-256)
[from the talks of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá (no authority):]
What profit is there in agreeing that universal friendship is good, and talking of the solidarity of the human race as a grand ideal? Unless these thoughts are translated into the world of action, they are useless.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Paris Talks, “The Duty of Kindness and Sympathy towards Strangers and Foreigners, October 16th and 17th, 1911”, p. 16)
If a man’s thought is constantly aspiring towards heavenly subjects then does he become saintly; if on the other hand his thought does not soar, but is directed downwards to centre itself upon the things of this world, he grows more and more material until he arrives at a state little better than that of a mere animal.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Paris Talks, “The Power and Value of True Thought Depend upon Its Manifestation in Action, October 18th, 1911”, pp. 17-18)
Thoughts may be divided into two classes:
(1st) Thought that belongs to the world of thought alone.
(2nd) Thought that expresses itself in action.
Some men and women glory in their exalted thoughts, but if these thoughts never reach the plane of action they remain useless: the power of thought is dependent on its manifestation in deeds.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Paris Talks, “The Power and Value of True Thought Depend upon Its Manifestation in Action, October 18th, 1911”, p. 18)
I charge you all that each one of you concentrate all the thoughts of your heart on love and unity. When a thought of war comes, oppose it by a stronger thought of peace. A thought of hatred must be destroyed by a more powerful thought of love. Thoughts of war bring destruction to all harmony, well-being, restfulness and content.
Thoughts of love are constructive of brotherhood, peace, friendship, and happiness….
If you desire with all your heart, friendship with every race on earth, your thought, spiritual and positive, will spread; it will become the desire of others, growing stronger and stronger, until it reaches the minds of all men.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Paris Talks, “The Pitiful Causes of War, and the Duty of Everyone to Strive for Peace, October 21st, 1911”, pp. 29-30)
While looking from the window, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá said, We hear the murmur of the sea always continuing. It never ceases. Were it to cease the world would be dead, stagnant, lifeless. But the waves of the mind of man are far greater than those of the sea, they also are ceaseless. They never stop for an instant. This movement is good. If these waves of the mind are few, the man is dull and quiet. What pearls and jewels are contained in the depths of the sea! But the pearls and jewels hidden in the mind of man are the knowledge, virtues, capabilities, etc. These pearls can grow and increase in luster forever, but the pearls of the sea remain always the same. These waves from our minds go forth and create movement and thought in other minds. From one strong thought of love what great results may be produced!
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá quoted in “Notes of Miss Ethel J. Rosenberg”, London, England, taken in ‘Akká, January 1909, Star of the West, Vol. 7, No. 11, p. 107)