Reality, Soul and
the Worlds of God
IV. The Workshop of Interacting Souls
[Compiler: “The Workshop of Interacting Souls” is a continuation of the “Life Path of the Soul
” in Section III. E., but emphasizing the macrocosmic repercussions and macrocosmic environment of souls’ lives interacting with each other.]
B. “Worlds, Holy and Spiritually Glorious”, Traversed Progressively
3. World of Human Affairs: What Human Reacting Produces
[from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh:]
What “oppression” is more grievous than that a soul seeking the truth, and wishing to attain unto the knowledge of God, should know not where to go for it and from whom to seek it? For opinions have sorely differed, and the ways unto the attainment of God have multiplied. This “oppression” is the essential feature of every Revelation. Unless it cometh to pass, the Sun of Truth will not be made manifest. For the break of the morn of divine guidance must needs follow the darkness of the night of error.
(Bahá’u’lláh: The Kitáb-i-Íqán, paragraph 29, p. 29)
Out of My loving-kindness, ‘neath the shade of My mercy I nurtured thee, and guarded thee by the essence of My grace and favor. And My purpose in all this was that thou mightest attain My everlasting dominion and become worthy of My invisible bestowals. And yet heedless thou didst remain, and when fully grown, thou didst neglect all My bounties and occupied thyself with thine idle imaginings….
(Bahá’u’lláh: The Hidden Words, Persian #29)
[from the talks of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá:]
….to those souls who are veiled from God, although they have life, it is dark, and in comparison with the life of believers it is nonexistence.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Some Answered Questions, Chapter 67: “Eternal Life and Entrance into the Kingdom of God”, p. 243)
[from the talks of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá (no authority):]
….unless the moral character of a nation is educated, as well as its brain and its talents, civilization has no sure basis.
As religion inculcates morality, it is therefore the truest philosophy, and on it is built the only lasting civilization….
Because man has stopped his ears to the Voice of Truth and shut his eyes to the Sacred Light, neglecting the Law of God, for this reason has the darkness of war and tumult, unrest and misery, desolated the earth.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Paris Talks, “The Sun of Truth, October 22nd”, pp. 31, 32-33)
Our greatest efforts must be directed towards detachment from the things of the world; we must strive to become more spiritual….
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Paris Talks, “Discourse at ‘L’Alliance Spiritualiste’, Salle de l'Athenee, St. Germain, Paris, November 9th”, p. 87)
In this world we are influenced by two sentiments, Joy and Pain….
There is no human being untouched by these two influences; but all the sorrow and the grief that exist come from the world of matter—the spiritual world bestows only the joy!
If we suffer it is the outcome of material things, and all the trials and troubles come from this world of illusion.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Paris Talks, “Pain and Sorrow, November 22nd”, pp. 109, 110)
….the trials which beset our every step, all our sorrow, pain, shame and grief, are born in the world of matter; whereas the spiritual Kingdom never causes sadness.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Paris Talks, “Pain and Sorrow, November 22nd”, p. 110)
Today, humanity is bowed down with trouble, sorrow and grief, no one escapes; the world is wet with tears; but, thank God, the remedy is at our doors. Let us turn our hearts away from the world of matter and live in the spiritual world!
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Paris Talks, “Pain and Sorrow, November 22nd”, p. 110)
Souls who focus their vision upon the Sun of Reality will be the recipients of light….
Furthermore, just as the solar cycle has its four seasons, the cycle of the Sun of Reality has its distinct and successive periods. Each brings its vernal season or springtime. When the Sun of Reality returns to quicken the world of mankind, a divine bounty descends from the heaven of generosity. The realm of thoughts and ideals is set in motion and blessed with new life. Minds are developed, hopes brighten, aspirations become spiritual, the virtues of the human world appear with freshened power of growth, and the image and likeness of God become visible in man. It is the springtime of the inner world. After the spring, summer comes with its fullness and spiritual fruitage; autumn follows with its withering winds which chill the soul; the Sun seems to be going away, until at last the mantle of winter overspreads, and only faint traces of the effulgence of that divine Sun remain. Just as the surface of the material world becomes dark and dreary, the soil dormant, the trees naked and bare and no beauty or freshness remains to cheer the darkness and desolation, so the winter of the spiritual cycle witnesses the death and disappearance of divine growth and extinction of the light and love of God. But again the cycle begins and a new springtime appears. In it the former springtime has returned; the world is resuscitated, illumined and attains spirituality; religion is renewed and reorganized, hearts are turned to God, the summons of God is heard, and life is again bestowed upon man. For a long time the religious world had been weakened and materialism had advanced; the spiritual forces of life were waning, moralities were becoming degraded, composure and peace had vanished from souls, and satanic qualities were dominating hearts; strife and hatred overshadowed humanity, bloodshed and violence prevailed. God was neglected; the Sun of Reality seemed to have gone completely; deprivation of the bounties of heaven was a fact; and so the season of winter fell upon mankind. But in the generosity of God a new springtime dawned, the lights of God shone forth, the effulgent Sun of Reality returned and became manifest, the realm of thoughts and kingdom of hearts became exhilarated, a new spirit of life breathed into the body of the world, and continuous advancement became apparent.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Promulgation of Universal Peace, “5 May 1912, Talk at Plymouth Congregational Church, 935 East Fiftieth Street, Chicago, Illinois, Notes by Marzieh Moss”, pp. 94, 95)
In the unmistakable and universal reformation we are witnessing, when outer conditions of humanity are receiving such impetus, when human life is assuming a new aspect, when sciences are stimulated afresh, inventions and discoveries increasing, civic laws undergoing change and moralities evidencing uplift and betterment, is it possible that spiritual impulses and influences should not be renewed and reformed? Naturally, new spiritual thoughts and inclinations must also become manifest. If spirituality be not renewed, what fruits come from mere physical reformation? For instance, the body of man may improve, the quality of bone and sinew may advance, the hand may develop, other limbs and members may increase in excellence, but if the mind fails to develop, of what use is the rest? The important factor in human improvement is the mind. In the world of the mind there must needs be development and improvement. There must be reformation in the kingdom of the human spirit; otherwise, no result will be attained from betterment of the mere physical structure.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Promulgation of Universal Peace, “25 August 1912, Talk at the New Thought Forum, Metaphysical Club, Boston, Massachusetts, Notes by Edna McKinney”, p. 278)
….as long as man is in the matrix of the human world, as long as he is the captive of nature, he is out of touch and without knowledge of the universe of the Kingdom.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Promulgation of Universal Peace, “1 September 1912, Talk at Home of Mr. and Mrs. William Sutherland Maxwell, 716 Pine Avenue West, Montreal, Canada, From Stenographic Notes”, p. 304)
Mankind is submerged in the sea of materialism and occupied with the affairs of this world. They have no thought beyond earthly possessions and manifest no desire save the passions of this fleeting, mortal existence.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Promulgation of Universal Peace, “24 September 1912, Talk at Home of Mrs. Roberts, Denver, Colorado, From Stenographic Notes”, p. 335)