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
5. Human Nature Aware only of Its Own World
a. What the Human Creature “Sees”
[from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh:]
It is incumbent on these servants1
that they cleanse the heart—which is the wellspring of divine treasures—from every marking, and that they turn away from imitation, which is following the traces of their forefathers and sires, and shut the door of friendliness and enmity upon all the people of the earth.
(Bahá’u’lláh: The Seven Valleys and The Four Valleys, “Valley of Search”, p. 5)
1(in the Valley of Search)
And if a place be shut away from the light, as by walls or a roof, it will be entirely bereft of the splendor of the light, nor will the sun shine thereon.
(Bahá’u’lláh: The Seven Valleys and The Four Valleys, “Valley of Unity”, p. 19)
1059.Alas! Alas! O Lovers of Worldly Desire
! Even as the swiftness of lightning ye have passed by the Beloved One, and have set your hearts on satanic fancies. Ye bow the knee before your vain imagining, and call it truth. Ye turn your eyes towards the thorn, and name it a flower.
(Bahá’u’lláh: The Hidden Words, Persian #45)
[from the talks of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá (no authority):]
Some men’s lives are solely occupied with the things of this world; their minds are so circumscribed by exterior manners and traditional interests that they are blind to any other realm of existence, to the spiritual significance of all things! They think and dream of earthly fame, of material progress. Sensuous delights and comfortable surroundings bound their horizon, their highest ambitions centre in successes of worldly conditions and circumstances! They curb not their lower propensities; they eat, drink, and sleep! Like the animal, they have no thought beyond their own physical well-being. It is true that these necessities must be despatched. Life is a load which must be carried on while we are on earth, but the cares of the lower things of life should not be allowed to monopolize all the thoughts and aspirations of a human being. The heart’s ambitions should ascend to a more glorious goal, mental activity should rise to higher levels! Men should hold in their souls the vision of celestial perfection, and there prepare a dwelling-place for the inexhaustible bounty of the Divine Spirit.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Paris Talks, “Concerning Body, Soul and Spirit, 4 Avenue de Camoens, Paris, Friday morning, November 17th”, pp. 98-99)
God has created in man the power of reason, whereby man is enabled to investigate reality. God has not intended man to imitate blindly his fathers and ancestors. He has endowed him with mind, or the faculty of reasoning, by the exercise of which he is to investigate and discover the truth, and that which he finds real and true he must accept. He must not be an imitator or blind follower of any soul. He must not rely implicitly upon the opinion of any man without investigation; nay, each soul must seek intelligently and independently, arriving at a real conclusion and bound only by that reality. The greatest cause of bereavement and disheartening in the world of humanity is ignorance based upon blind imitation. It is due to this that wars and battles prevail; from this cause hatred and animosity arise continually among mankind.
(‘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. 291)
….in the human organism there is a center of intellection, a power of intellectual operation which is the discoverer of the realities of things. This power can unravel the mysteries of phenomena. It can comprehend that which is knowable, not alone the sensible….But the animal is deprived of its operations.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Promulgation of Universal Peace, “9 November 1912, Talk at Home of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur J. Parsons, 1700 Eighteenth Street, NW, Washington, D. C., Notes by Joseph H. Hannen”, p 417)
….man is possessed of two realities, as it were: a reality connected with the senses which is shared in common with the animal, and another reality which is conscious and ideal in character. This latter is the collective reality and the discoverer of mysteries.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Promulgation of Universal Peace, “9 November 1912, Talk at Home of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur J. Parsons, 1700 Eighteenth Street, NW, Washington, D. C., Notes by Joseph H. Hannen”, p. 418)
Tests are a means by which the soul is measured as to its fitness, and proven out by its own acts. God knows its fitness beforehand, and also its unpreparedness, but man, with an ego, would not believe himself unfit unless proof were given him. Consequently his susceptibility to evil is proven to him when he falls into the tests, and the tests are continued until the soul realizes its own unfitness, then remorse and regret tend to root out the weakness.
(Star of the West, Vol. 6, No. 6, “The Worst Enemies of the Cause are in the Cause: Utterances of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in answer to questions asked by Dr. Edward C. Getsinger during a few brief meetings at Haifa, Syria, January 26 to February 5, 1915, and recorded by Dr. Getsinger at the time”, p. 45)