Reality, Soul and
the Worlds of God
III. The Reality of the Soul – Understanding Your True Self
E. The Life Path of the Soul
2. The Soul’s Relationship with Creation
a. Man’s Dominion Over Nature
[from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh:]
Out of the wastes of nothingness, with the clay of My command I made thee to appear, and have ordained for thy training every atom in existence and the essence of all created things.
(Bahá’u’lláh: The Hidden Words, Persian #29)
[from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá:]
The animal is the captive of nature and cannot transgress the rules and laws thereof. In man, however, there is a discovering power that transcendeth the world of nature and controlleth and interfereth with the laws thereof.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Tablet to August Forel, p. 10)
[from the talks of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá (no authority):]
Man alone has freedom, and, by his understanding or intellect, has been able to gain control of and adapt some of those natural laws to his own needs. By the power of his intellect he has discovered means by which he not only traverses great continents in express trains and crosses vast oceans in ships, but, like the fish he travels under water in submarines, and, imitating the birds, he flies through the air in airships.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Paris Talks, “God’s Greatest Gift to Man, Thursday, October 26th”, p. 42)
….man, although in body a part of nature, nevertheless in spirit possesses a power transcending nature; for if he were simply a part of nature and limited to material laws, he could possess only the things which nature embodies. God has conferred upon and added to man a distinctive power—the faculty of intellectual investigation into the secrets of creation…
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Promulgation of Universal Peace, “19 April 1912, Talk at Earl Hall, Columbia University, New York, From Stenographic Notes”, p. 31)
….man is ruler over nature’s sphere and province. Nature is inert; man is progressive. Nature has no consciousness; man is endowed with it. Nature is without volition and acts perforce, whereas man possesses a mighty will. Nature is incapable of discovering mysteries or realities, whereas man is especially fitted to do so. Nature is not in touch with the realm of God; man is attuned to its evidences. Nature is uninformed of God; man is conscious of Him. Man acquires divine virtues; nature is denied them. Man can voluntarily discontinue vices; nature has no power to modify the influence of its instincts. Altogether it is evident that man is more noble and superior, that in him there is an ideal power surpassing nature. He has consciousness, volition, memory, intelligent power, divine attributes and virtues of which nature is completely deprived and bereft; therefore, man is higher and nobler by reason of the ideal and heavenly force latent and manifest in him.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Promulgation of Universal Peace, “9 June 1912, Talk at Baptist Temple, Broad and Berks Streets, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Notes by Edna McKinney”, p. 178)