What we are created for...

...Man is not created for the life of this ephemeral world - nay, rather, is he created for the acquirement of infinite perfections, for the attainment to the sublimity of the world of humanity, to be drawn nigh unto the divine threshold, and to sit on the throne of everlasting sovereignty!

12 comments:

Gaijin21 said...

I also like the sentence that leads into the part I quoted.

"No matter how much man gains wealth, riches and opulence in this world, he will not become as independent as a cow."

'Abdu'l-Baha, Tablets of the Divine Plan, p. 44

Sanisha said...

it reminds me of this sentence i was reading in W.O. B page 51, which i did not know where to put to share it as it goes one step further to say>

"That the Cause associated with the name of Bahá’u’lláh feeds itself upon those hidden springs of celestial strength which no force of human personality, whatever its glamour, can replace; that its reliance is solely upon that mystic Source with which no worldly advantage, be it wealth, fame, or learning can compare; that it propagates itself by ways mysterious and utterly at variance with the standards accepted by the generality of mankind, will, if not already apparent, become increasingly manifest as it forges ahead towards fresh conquests in its struggle for the spiritual regeneration of mankind. "

Gaijin21 said...

Thank you for your wonderful contribution. This quote you have selected is very important for us to contemplate on. First, it reflects the essence of our understanding that any notice, importance or significance we are given in association to the Faith is only by His grace, and the moment we start to think it is because of our own selves, our own downfall begins. Second, it states our purpose very clearly, that we are trying to regenerate mankind spiritually. In my opinion, when this becomes a reality, two things should happen: a) Religions fanaticism would die down, blind imitations of the past should gradually disappear, and mankind would return to the essence of their religion. b)Commercial enterprises' actions and focus, national spending priorities, policies, discussions and decision making will be guided by the sense of justice, fairness, equality, compassion, love, understanding, service, moderation, responsibility, and thoughtfulness, unbounded by artificial bounder ties of race, nationality or religion. In other words, if oneness of the humankind was understood as a reality, unsustainable, self serving, destructive decisions would be avoided. Companies or countries would work not to improve the lives of the very few, but act based on how best to improve the lives of all they can. Some claim that this is their motive, but they take actions that are not just, not moral, and not responsible. We cannot build happiness based on suffering of others. Spiritual blindness has caused so much suffering in the world, we are at the point were we think "it has always been this way, and there is nothing we can do about it." "Such is life,” and "history will repeat itself." This will be true only if we become apathetic. It will be true if we continue doing things the same way. We are at a point in history that for the first time we have the tools to alleviate many of the sufferings experienced by many impoverished nations as well as to provide education for all, the first time in history that we can prove that both material or religious extremism does not work, and the first time we can take global action to make changes locally, nationally, and internationally. However, nothing will work unless and until spiritual regeneration takes place and we get our priorities straight. The problem is, I guess, people are not learning from history or from their current sufferings, because they still do not see a clear alternative.

"So blind hath become the human heart that neither the disruption of the city, nor the reduction of the mountain in dust, nor even the cleaving of the earth, can shake off its torpor. The allusions made in the Scriptures have been unfolded, and the signs recorded therein have been revealed, and the prophetic cry is continually being raised...
Witness how the world is being afflicted with a fresh calamity every day. Its tribulation is continually deepening.... At one time it hath been agitated by contentions and disputes, at another it hath been convulsed by wars, and fallen a victim to inveterate diseases. Its sickness is approaching the stage of utter hopelessness, inasmuch as the true Physician is debarred from administering the remedy, whilst unskilled practitioners are regarded with favor, and are accorded full freedom to act. ...The dust of sedition hath clouded the hearts of men, and blinded their eyes. Erelong, they will perceive the consequences of what their hands have wrought in the Day of God. Thus warneth you He Who is the All-Informed, as bidden by One Who is the Most Powerful, the Almighty.

(Bahá'u'lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 39)

So for those of us that recognize the true Physician, we must be the untainted tools and to allow Him do His work.

Sanisha said...

Gaijin, the above you quoted really makes me feel, that by recognizing teh true Physician we each have a weight to bear,and which the pure and enlightened will be happy to sacrifice their comfort and even their lives to carry ...

The book I am reading however, W.O.B, makes a clear distinction between us and the 'rulers of the world' be thay the Kings and Queens or the mullahs,who have that power to influence more directly. does the above relate to them? and if not, how do you think we can practically be more active in teh world, apart form putting into practise a Bahai way of life:

ie. praying everyday, fasting,show love each other,educate children etc.

Gaijin21 said...

The way I understand the part that refers to the "true Physician" being "debarred from administering the remedy, whilst unskilled practitioners are regarded with favor, and are accorded full freedom to act"... is that a whole deal has to do with leaders and rulers of the world, but I also see the regular people like us who (Baha'i or not) often get in the way.

How often do we seek for solutions that are provided by "unskilled practitioners?" For example, let us take a look at the realm of psychology. The study of psychology is very interesting and sure we can learn alot. But what is psychology used for? How often do we see it used for the marketing of goods, services or ideas? How often is it used to explain away and excuse our weaknesses as human beings? Have you ever heard it being used to claim that religion and God comes from our minds because psychologically we always want something to depend on or because we are weak or inmature? How many people will use this knowledge and understanding of human behavior for selfish gain? How many people will use it to claim that men are incapable of behaving chaste or non-violently? Other examples may include beliefs and understandings that shape our world view. How many peolple believe that this world is a dog-eat-dog world that only the fittest survives? How many people think and believe that independantly pursued selfish activities of the mass will produce the greatest advancement and economic gain for the masses? Or, how many people out there are told that their race, religion or its domination, gender, nationality, country, or land is better because of verious reasons? Who taught them that? The media, friends, school books, churches, etc, etc... So, how many things do we believe that actually hinder the Physician from doing His Work?

"... man can never hope to attain unto the knowledge of the All-Glorious, can never quaff from the stream of divine knowledge and wisdom, can never enter the abode of immortality, nor partake of the cup of divine nearness and favour, unless and until he ceases to regard the words and deeds of mortal men as a standard for the true understanding and recognition of God and His Prophets."

(Baha'u'llah, The Kitab-i-Iqan, p. 3)

Clearly there is the responsibility of the individual here. If more of us recognize the Devine Physician individually and let Him work on us, the better the world will be.
Adib Taherzadeh discusses this very issue.

"Only when mankind as a whole has recognized Baha'u'llah as the Divine Physician and has embraced His Faith will these words of His, addressed to Queen Victoria, be universally fulfilled:

That which the Lord hath ordained as the sovereign remedy
and mightiest instrument for the healing of all the world is
the union of all its peoples in one universal Cause, one
common Faith. This can in no wise be achieved except
through the power of a skilled, an all-powerful and inspired
Physician. This, verily, is the truth, and all else naught but
error.(18)

The followers of Baha'u'llah, therefore, do not subscribe to the view, commonly held by the peoples of the world everywhere, that the grave problems besetting mankind may be resolved by administering the usual remedies which the minds of men are devising. They conscientiously believe that the appalling world conditions will not be totally improved by any scientific, economic or political measures, and that none of the expedient methods used during the past century, nor those that are currently being pursued, can succeed in healing the diseased body of mankind. A discerning unbiased person can also come to the same conclusion. For it is very clear that in spite of all the efforts being made by the generality of mankind, its rulers; and its wise men, to improve the world situation, and in spite of all their knowledge and accomplishments, the plight of humanity is worsening day by day.

Shoghi Effendi, as far back as 1931, wrote:

Humanity, whether viewed in the light of man's individual
conduct or in the existing relationships between organized
communities and nations, has, alas, strayed too far and
suffered too great a decline to be redeemed through the
unaided efforts of the best among its recognized rulers and
statesmen--however disinterested their motives, however
concerted their action, however unsparing in their zeal and
devotion to its cause. No scheme which the calculations of
the highest statesmanship may yet devise; no doctrine
which the most distinguished exponents of economic
theory may hope to advance; no Principle which the most
ardent of moralists may strive to inculcate, can provide, in
the last resort, adequate foundations upon which the future
of a distracted world can be built.

No appeal for mutual tolerance which the worldly-wise
might raise, however compelling and insistent, can calm its
passions or help restore its vigour. Nor would any general
scheme of mere organized international cooperation, in
whatever sphere of human activity, however ingenious in
conception, or extensive in scope, succeed in removing the
root cause of the evil that has so rudely upset the
equilibrium of present-day society. Not even, I venture to
assert, would the very act of devising the machinery
required for the political and economic unification of the
world--a principle that has been increasingly advocated in
recent times--provide in itself the antidote against the
poison that is steadily undermining the vigour of organized
peoples and nations.

What else, might we not confidently affirm, but the
unreserved acceptance of the Divine Programme enunciated,
with such simplicity and force as far back as sixty
years ago, by Baha'u'llah, embodying in its essentials
God's divinely appointed scheme for the unification of
mankind in this age, coupled with an indomitable
conviction in the unfailing efficacy of each and all of its
provisions, is eventually capable of withstanding the forces
of internal disintegration which, if unchecked, must needs
continue to eat into the vitals of a despairing society. It is
towards this goal--the goal of a new World Order, Divine
In origin, all-embracing in scope, equitable in principle,
challenging in its features--that a harassed humanity must
strive.

To claim to have grasped all the implications of
Baha'u'llah's prodigious scheme for world-wide human
solidarity, or to have fathomed its import, would be
presumptuous on the part of even the declared supporters of
His Faith. To attempt to visualize it in all its possibilities, to
estimate its future benefits, to picture its glory, would be
premature at even so advanced a stage in the evolution of
mankind.(19)"


(Adib Taherzadeh, Primarily quoting Shoghi Effendi from "World Order of Baha'ullah" here in "The Revelation of Baha'u'llah v 3", pp.128-130)

More interesting quotes relating to this can be found in a letter from the International Teaching Centre, dated 1984 Jul 01 and titled "Concerns about Retributive Calamity".

“We have no indication of exactly what nature the apocalyptic
upheaval will be: it might be another war ... but as students of our
Baha’i writings it is clear that the longer the ‘Divine Physician’
(i.e. Baha'u'llah) is withheld from healing the ills of the world, the
more severe will be the crises, and the more terrible the sufferings
of the patient.”

(From a letter dated 21 November 1949, written on behalf of
Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer)



“The world with the various calamities that have befallen it,
will be completely ravaged and its civilization demolished, if the
Baha'is do not come to its help and embue it with the spirit that
Baha'u'llah has brought to the world. The economic factions, political
parties, national hatreds, racial prejudices, and religious antagonisms,
will continue to bring about devastating wars until the spirit of the
Cause permeates the heart of man, and its universal teachings pull
down the existing barriers. Let us be reminded of our duty by the
misery we see around us, and arise for the prosecution of our noble
duty.”

(From a letter dated 24 November 1931 written on behalf of
Shoghi Effendi to the American National Spiritual Assembly)

“The House of Justice points out that calamities have been and
are occurring and will continue to happen until mankind has been
chastened sufficiently to accept the Manifestation for this day.
‘Abdu’l-Baha anticipated that the Lesser Peace could be established before
the end of the twentieth century. However, Baha'is should not be
diverted from the work of the Cause by the fear of catastrophes but
should try to understand why they occur. The beloved Guardian, in
innumerable places, has explained the reasons for these occurrences, and
since they happen from time to time as explained above we should not
be concerned as to when they occur.” (From a letter written on
behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer, 15
April 1976)



So, my opinion about what we can "practically be more active in the world, apart form putting into practise a Bahai way of life:ie. praying everyday, fasting,show love each other,educate children etc."?

Well, of course Teaching the Faith is a big part. But we are told that teaching should take place with our tongue and by our deeds, with more emphesis on deeds. Those deeds should be in everything we do, at school, work or anything we do. How about focusing on "refinement"? That will have influence on every part of our lives if implimented. One other thing that I keep thinking about is trying to find my unique way to contribute to this world. How can I do something that will promote the unity of mankind and bring tranquility to the world?

“There are no solitaries and no hermits among the Baha'is. Man must work with his fellows. Everyone should have some trade, or art or profession, be he rich or poor, and with this he must serve humanity. This service is acceptable as the highest form of worship.”

(Abdu'l-Baha, Abdu'l-Baha in London, p. 93)

"Lay fast hold on whatever will profit you, and profit the peoples of the world."

(Baha'u'llah, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 24)



So to me, the question is how am I serving humanity thorugh my profession? Does my current job profit the peoples of the world? Maybe yes, maybe no, depending on how I look at it. Supplying plastic materials to encapsulate semiconducotors may not sound interesting, but my job brings the world closer together by establishing trade accross the globe, increase cooperation among people of different nations and backgrounds, establish trust among them, provide income for families directly and indirectly etc, etc. But at the same time, I wish I could do something more direct with people, in touching peoples hearts and minds.

No matter what, it is through our everyday effort to make each day better than yesterday, focusing on aquireing and manifesting virtue and devine qualities in out lives, that we become people that can truly attract the hearts of others. When asked what makes us that way, then we have a chance to open up and share our Source of Inspiration. We need to keep in mind though that improving oneself does not mean we become proud or errogant by thinking that we are better than others. The efforts should cause us to become more humble and meek. I am still so far from attracting other souls; I feel ashamed to write. But I do know that is the direction we must strive towards.

Sanisha said...

thank you for this Gaijin.

I also went back to Gleanings page 39 ,after the question was posed and found that it says: O men.

" Say: O men! This is a matchless Day. Matchless must, likewise, be the tongue that celebrateth the praise of the Desire of all nations, and matchless the deed that aspireth to be acceptable in His sight. The whole human race hath longed for this Day, that perchance it may fulfil that which well beseemeth its station, and is worthy of its destiny. Blessed is the man whom the affairs of the world have failed to deter from recognizing Him Who is the Lord of all things.
So blind hath become the human heart that neither the disruption of the city, nor the reduction of the mountain in dust, nor even the cleaving of the earth, can shake off its torpor. The allusions made in the Scriptures have been unfolded, and the signs recorded therein have been revealed, and the prophetic cry is continually being raised. And yet all, except such as God was pleased to guide, are bewildered in the drunkenness of their heedlessness! "


To think that only the rulers and presidents have part to play would be tantamount to negligence which will result in a more slow and more painful death of the world,

but if each one teach one,starting with ourselves (refinement) then perhaps that is already an improvement in the condition of the diseased society we live in.

Sanisha said...

ps: i am so enjoying the WOB letters. I hope we can discuss more about the concept of

the Divine Programme

and

the Divine Economy

which the Guradian speaks of.

I am on page 60 now.

Gaijin21 said...

There is much to contemplate on what these two topics you raised mean. The Divine Programme, I am trying to determine what it means exactly, but it seems to be in a nutshell 'The teachings of Baha'u'llah, and the process we must engage in to make it a reality'. This includes the concept of the twin processes. This my understanding, but I would very much like like to hear your's.

As to the Divine Economy, I also need to further study what it means. The way I understand it is to be the pattern of the future society that will be established, which will facilitate and also enhance the unification of mankind. The pattern will be influenced by the Baha'i beliefs and principles, because it will be the most logical and sound system. I am not sure if interpreting the word Economy in the same sense as what is often thought of would fit the actual meaning or not, but I wish to further investigate that. I am sure, however, that at its core would be the the understanding of the oneness of mankind, and not one nation would feel at peace or tranquility untill peoples of other nations are lifted up in poverty. No one nation would act out of selfish interest and to burden the subjects of its own or other nations. If the current economy operated under the understanding of Oneness of Mankind, and learn moderation in all things, as well as understand justice, fairness and focus on sustainable development and improvement, we will have long solved many of the ailments and sufferings of mankind. We have the money and ability to do it, but we seem to rather spend the money on war and destruction. I think the starting point would be to follow these instructions of Baha'u'llah:

"Compose your differences and reduce your armaments, that the burden of your expenditures may be lightened, and that your minds and hearts may be tranquillized. Heal the dissensions that divide you, and ye will no longer be in need of any armaments except what the protection of your cities and territories demandeth. Fear ye God, and take heed not to outstrip the bounds of moderation and be numbered among the extravagant.

We have learned that ye are increasing your outlay every year, and are laying the burden thereof on your subjects. This, verily, is more than they can bear, and is a grievous injustice. Decide ye justly between men, O kings, and be ye the emblems of justice amongst them. This, if ye judge fairly, is the thing that behoveth you, and beseemeth your station.

(Baha'u'llah, The Summons of the Lord of Hosts, p. 188)


But for us, our work is a bit different:


"Because love for our fellowmen and anguish at their plight are essential parts of a true Baha'i’s life, we are continually drawn to do what we can to help them. It is vitally important that we do so whenever the occasion presents itself, for our actions must say the same thing as our words--but this compassion for our fellows must not be allowed to divert our energies into channels which are ultimately doomed to failure, causing us to neglect the most important and fundamental work of all. There are hundreds of thousands of well-wishers of mankind who devote their lives to works of relief and charity, but a pitiful few to do the work which God Himself most wants done: the spiritual awakening and regeneration of mankind. Our task--building up the Baha'i system."

(The Universal House of Justice, Messages 1963 to 1986, p. 127)

Sanisha said...

G, the quotes you choose are all so very enlightening, but i really like to hear your personal opinions , and agree totally with
what you see as the Divine Economy


The way I understand it is to be the pattern of the future society that will be established, which will facilitate and also enhance the unification of mankind. The pattern will be influenced by the Baha'i beliefs and principles, because it will be the most logical and sound system


you are very clear in constructing your thoughts and i am sure this is fed by an understanding of the Writings, but i like to hear what you think, and how you apply it.

Yesterday I was watching a soccer match,and the captain fell and was hurt, but it was not the fault of the man he tripped over, nevertheless, that injury is fundamental to his his career success and one can imagine the tempers that flew,they swore at each other, very agressive men, adrenalin of course, he was treated and then went back to playing .and people continue to cheer for these men, as heroes,
as it is after all just a game right?

how do you expect them to be all loving and civil in the playing field? is that impossible at that level ? its sportsmanship , and they all understand the rules of the game, and they will shake hands afterwards and be friends.

buti feel, this is where we are at,in life, the bigger the stakes involved, then the more we are alowed to have 'double standards', maybe thisis not a god example, but sometimes it feels like the worls is saying that when it does not really count tehn everyone can afford to play fair and be nice,

but when it involves alot of money or power or status, then the same rules of ethics dont seem to apply,so we dont all have to follow that Divine Programme we are given.To what deree is it really applicable is what I am asking myself,in future it will maybe even extend to games that involve ALOT of money , and then we can perhaps say we are at some level of maturity > when we don't revere agression in the name of fun? will some people always be allowed to make up the rules ?

do i make sense using a soccer game as an example ? i dont know.

Gaijin21 said...

Sanisha,

I will get back to you on this in the next couple of days, becuase as I started writing my answer, it has become long...(bad habit of mine) and I have not finished it yet. But I am going away for the weekend where I will loose my internet connection...

But, I take your question as that of one Bahá'í to another, asking "what do you make of the Writings, Tablets and letters and their perdictions such as those in W.O.B, for example -- and how different and far from our vision is the reality of this day -- how would it influence the world, how widespread and accepted and rooted is it really going to be in the future, and to that end,in your own words what are you doing here and now?"

Is that what you are asking? I want to make sure I understand your question before I post my answer.

Sanisha said...

yes, those are the questions I am asking.Take your time, thank you.

Anonymous said...

I don't think there is an answer to these questions...and others,such as why children die and overall, fear and sadness reign over these times...

so, dont worry about trying to find an answer...your spot is somthing i read daily and look forward to, I guess thats as much as we can really ever hope for > that the moments inbetween pain and suffering are happy ones, spiritually uplifting ones.San