Reality, Soul and
the Worlds of God
 
III.   The Reality of the Soul – Understanding Your True Self
I.   The Soul as Man Reacts and Lives
2.   Growing and Reacting Influenced by One’s Perception of Reality
[from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh:]
1018.…. all the variations which the wayfarer in the stages of his journey beholdeth in the realms of being, proceed from his own vision.
(Bahá’u’lláh: The Seven Valleys and The Four Valleys, “Valley of Unity”, p. 18)
1019.Thus it hath been made clear that these stages depend on the vision of the wayfarer.
(Bahá’u’lláh: The Seven Valleys and The Four Valleys, “Valley of Unity”, p. 28)
1020.If the loving seekers wish to live within the precincts of the Attracting One (Majdhúb)1, no soul may dwell on this Kingly Throne save the beauty of love. This realm is not to be pictured in words.
 Love shunneth this world and that world too,
In him are lunacies seventy-and-two.
The minstrel of love harpeth this lay:
Servitude enslaveth, kingship doth betray.2
 This plane requireth pure affection and the bright stream of fellowship. In telling of these companions of the Cave He saith: “They speak not till He hath spoken; and they do His bidding.”3
 On this plane, neither the reign of reason is sufficient nor the authority of self. Hence, one of the Prophets of God hath asked: “O my Lord, how shall we reach unto Thee?” And the answer came, “Leave thyself behind, and then approach Me.”
(Bahá’u’lláh: The Seven Valleys and The Four Valleys, Third Valley of Four, pp. 54-55)
1(that attribute of God which draws all creatures to Him)
2(The Mathnaví)
3(Qur’án 21:27)
1021.This is not a Cause which may be made a plaything for your idle fancies, nor is it a field for the foolish and faint of heart. By God, this is the arena of insight and detachment, of vision and upliftment, where none may spur on their chargers save the valiant horsemen of the Merciful, who have severed all attachment to the world of being. These, truly, are they that render God victorious on earth, and are the dawning-places of His sovereign might amidst mankind.
(Bahá’u’lláh: The Kitáb-i-Aqdas, paragraph 178, p. 84)
[from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá:]
1022.If a believer showeth kindness to one of the neglectful, and, with great love, gradually leadeth him to an understanding of the validity of the Holy Cause, so that he may come to know the fundamentals of God’s Faith and the implications thereof—such a one will certainly be transformed, excepting only those seldom-encountered individuals who are even as ashes, whose hearts are “hard as rocks, or harder still.”1
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selection #209, p. 265)
1(Qur’án 2:69)
[from the talks of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá (no authority):]
1023.The reality of man is his thought, not his material body. The thought force and the animal force are partners. Although man is part of the animal creation, he possesses a power of thought superior to all other created beings.
 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.
 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. A philosopher’s thought may, however, in the world of progress and evolution, translate itself into the actions of other people, even when they themselves are unable or unwilling to show forth their grand ideals in their own lives. To this class the majority of philosophers belong, their teachings being high above their actions. This is the difference between philosophers who are Spiritual Teachers, and those who are mere philosophers: the Spiritual Teacher is the first to follow His own teaching; He brings down into the world of action His spiritual conceptions and ideals. His Divine thoughts are made manifest to the world. His thought is Himself, from which He is inseparable. When we find a philosopher emphasizing the importance and grandeur of justice, and then encouraging a rapacious monarch in his oppression and tyranny, we quickly realize that he belongs to the first class: for he thinks heavenly thoughts and does not practise the corresponding heavenly virtues.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Paris Talks, “The Power and Value of True Thought Depend upon Its Manifestation in Action, October 18th”, pp. 17-18)
1024.Bahá’u’lláh has announced that no matter how far the world of humanity may advance in material civilization, it is nevertheless in need of spiritual virtues and the bounties of God. The spirit of man is not illumined and quickened through material sources. It is not resuscitated by investigating phenomena of the world of matter. The spirit of man is in need of the protection of the Holy Spirit. Just as he advances by progressive stages from the mere physical world of being into the intellectual realm, so must he develop upward in moral attributes and spiritual graces. In the process of this attainment he is ever in need of the bestowals of the Holy Spirit.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Promulgation of Universal Peace, “27 August 1912, Talk at Metaphysical Club, Boston, Massachusetts, Notes by Edna McKinney”, p. 288)
1025.….the journey of the soul is necessary. The pathway of life is the road which leads to divine knowledge and attainment. Without training and guidance the soul could never progress beyond the conditions of its lower nature, which is ignorant and defective.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Promulgation of Universal Peace, “29 August 1912, Talk at Home of Madame Morey, 34 Hillside Avenue, Malden, Massachusetts, Notes by Edna McKinney”, p. 296)