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.]
C. Time: A Dimension of God’s Purpose
3. God’s Purpose Unfolding in Time
[from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh:]
In every age and century, the purpose of the Prophets of God and their chosen ones hath been no other but to affirm the spiritual significance of the terms “life,” “resurrection,” and “judgment.”
(Bahá’u’lláh: The Kitáb-i-Íqán, paragraph 128, p. 110)
….in every age the light of God hath, to outward seeming, been quenched by the peoples of the earth, and the Lamps of God extinguished by them.
(Bahá’u’lláh: The Kitáb-i-Íqán, paragraph 136, p. 117)
In every age and cycle He hath, through the splendorous light shed by the Manifestations of His wondrous Essence, recreated all things, so that whatsoever reflecteth in the heavens and on the earth the signs of His glory may not be deprived of the outpourings of His mercy, nor despair of the showers of His favors. How all-encompassing are the wonders of His boundless grace! Behold how they have pervaded the whole of creation.
(Bahá’u’lláh: Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, Selection XXVI, p. 62)
hath ordained that in every age and dispensation a pure and stainless Soul be made manifest in the kingdoms of earth and heaven.
(Bahá’u’lláh: Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, Selection XXVII, p. 66)
….in every age and dispensation the Prophets of God and His chosen Ones have appeared amongst men, and have evinced such power as is born of God and such might as only the Eternal can reveal.
(Bahá’u’lláh: Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, Selection XXVII, p. 68)
Ages rolled away, until they attained their consummation in this, the Lord of days,….
(Bahá’u’lláh: Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, Selection LXXVI, p. 145)
Inasmuch as for each day there is a new problem and for every problem an expedient solution, such affairs should be referred to the Ministers of the House of Justice that they may act according to the needs and requirements of the time.
(Bahá’u’lláh: Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, “Bishárát” or “Glad-Tidings”, p. 27)
[from the talks of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá (no authority):]
….there were many universal cycles preceding this one in which we are living. They were consummated, completed and their traces obliterated.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Promulgation of Universal Peace, “5 July 1912, Talk at 309 West Seventy-eighth Street, New York, Notes by Howard MacNutt”, p. 220)
….all the Holy Books contain these glad tidings. They announce that after the world is surrounded by darkness, radiance shall appear. For just as the night, when it becomes excessively dark, precedes the dawn of a new day, so likewise when the darkness of religious apathy and heedlessness overtakes the world, when human souls become negligent of God, when materialistic ideas overshadow spirituality, when nations become submerged in the world of matter and forget God—at such a time as this shall the divine Sun shine forth and the radiant morn appear.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Promulgation of Universal Peace, “5 July 1912, Talk at 309 West Seventy-eighth Street, New York, Notes by Emma C. Melick and Howard MacNutt”, p. 221)
The physical sun has its rising and its setting. The earthly world has its day and its night. After each sunset there is a sunrise and the coming of a new dawn. The Sun of Reality, likewise, has its rising and setting. There is a day and a night in the world of spirituality. After each departure there is a return and the dawning light of a new day.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Promulgation of Universal Peace, “17 August 1912, Talk at Green Acre, Eliot, Maine, Notes by Edna McKinney”, p. 271)
When the holy, divine Manifestations or Prophets appear in the world, a cycle of radiance, an age of mercy dawns. Everything is renewed. Minds, hearts and all human forces are reformed, perfections are quickened, sciences, discoveries and investigations are stimulated afresh, and everything appertaining to the virtues of the human world is revitalized. Consider this present century of radiance, and compare it with the past centuries. What a vast difference exists between them! How minds have developed! How perceptions have deepened! How discoveries have increased! What great projects have been accomplished! How many realities have become manifest! How many mysteries of creation have been probed and penetrated! What is the cause of this? It is through the efficacy of the spiritual springtime in which we are living. Day by day the world attains a new bounty. In this radiant century neither the old customs nor the old sciences, crafts, laws and regulations have remained. The old political principles are undergoing change, and a new body politic is in process of formation. Nevertheless, some whose thoughts are congealed and whose souls are bereft of the light of the Sun of Reality seek to arrest this development in the world of the minds of men.
(‘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)
The second classification or division comprises social laws and regulations applicable to human conduct. This is not the essential spiritual quality of religion. It is subject to change and transformation according to the exigencies and requirements of time and place. For instance, in the time of Noah certain requirements made it necessary that all seafood be allowable or lawful. During the time of the Abrahamic Prophethood it was considered allowable, because of a certain exigency, that a man should marry his aunt, even as Sarah was the sister of Abraham’s mother. During the cycle of Adam it was lawful and expedient for a man to marry his own sister, even as Abel, Cain and Seth, the sons of Adam, married their sisters. But in the law of the Pentateuch revealed by Moses these marriages were forbidden and their custom and sanction abrogated. Other laws formerly valid were annulled during the time of Moses.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Promulgation of Universal Peace, “12 October 1912, Talk at Temple Emmanu-El, 450 Sutter Street, San Francisco, California, Notes by Bijou Straun”, p. 365)