Contemplating "true loss" : "How do you know you know your self?" (Any one care to answer?)

True loss is for him whose days have been spent in utter ignorance of his self.

Baha'u'llah, "Words of Wisdom" [ASL-I-KULLU’L-KHAYR], Tablets of Baha'u'llah, p. 155


Anonymous said...

if i shoot from the hip here:

I read in passing this week and i actually thought of you :

seek not knowledge ,seek a thirst
(for knowledge) Rumi

because knowledge is everywhere water.

>>sorry no sources at the mo' for this quote but I think if we apply this idea to all things and

especially knowing our selves,

and therefore God,if we WANT to know (key)then its easier to make that the central theme of gaining any/all other knowledge

i think its winning formula because if we have a desire to do anything we will give it 110% ...and we can then perhpas apply it practically with this newfound knowledge of ourselves- and to know ourselves and educate ourselves...true gain.

Anonymous said...

so in summary or answer to that question are you saying that>

if you know more about what you want to know more about
then you know yourself?

or in other words if you know what love and why and you cultivate that love by finding out more
than you can say you are now knowing yourself better?

Anonymous said...

Try this: imagine you without your body. You without physical preferences or passions, needs, cravings -- you the observer, the lover, the "luminous light-seeking" soul... Know that...

Anonymous said...

needs and cravings..aren't those non existing things in the mind which is associated in but not contained in the body? expression of the soul.. the seeker and the lover of luminous light.

Anonymous said...

Seek ye not water,
Seek ye thirst,
and waters from the very ground shall burst!

A similar verse:

Seek ye not water,
for water is everywhere,
seek thirst!

i saw this on

Gaijin21 said...

To know oneself is to know your strengths and weaknesses. To know your weaknesses is to be honest to yourself. Another word for honesty is truthfulness.

“Truthfulness is the foundation of all the virtues of the world of humanity. Without truthfulness, progress and success in all of the worlds of God are impossible for a soul. When this holy attribute is established in man, all the divine qualities will also become realized.”

(Abdu'l-Baha, Baha'i World Faith - Abdu'l-Baha Section, p. 384)

If we cannot admit to ourselves where and what we need to improve, we are not able to acquire or polish virtues.

The virtues that we acquire are what defines who we are. If we do not know our own virtues, in other words, we do not know our selves. If we do know what we lack, we at least have honesty and if we at least work on that, we have the will to improve and refine.

Knowing virtues also means learning the qualities of God. This is what we are to manifest in our lives. This in fact is one of our main purposes in life.

"Noble have I created thee, yet thou hast abased thyself. Rise then unto that for which thou wast created."
(Baha'u'llah, The Arabic Hidden Words)

"In truth, we come from God and unto Him do we return!"(The Dawn-Breakers)

(If we borrow something from a friend, a library or any place, is it not common courtesy for us to return it in good condition? If we are to return to God, should we also not return ourselves in its original good –or better- condition?)

We do know that acquired virtues become part of us forever. Virtues are not only about social skills and personal endeavors in this world. This life is only the preparation and practice round.

"All physical perfections come to an end; but the divine virtues are infinite." (Abdu'l-Baha, Divine Philosophy, p. 137)

If we do not know ourselves, we do not grow. If we do not grow, what are we going to carry over to the next life?

We are told that in this world we do have the chance to improve ourselves, while in the next, it is up to the bounty and grace of God or by other's prayers and actions:

“The progress of man’s spirit in the divine world, after the severance of its connection with the body of dust, is through the bounty and grace of the Lord alone, or through the intercession and the sincere prayers of other human souls, or through the charities and important good works which are performed in its name.”

(Abdu'l-Baha, Some Answered Questions, p. 240)

“Know thou of a truth that the soul, after its separation from the body, will continue to progress until it attaineth the presence of God, in a state and condition which neither the revolution of ages and centuries, nor the changes and chances of this world, can alter. It will endure as long as the Kingdom of God, His sovereignty, His dominion and power will endure. It will manifest the signs of God and His attributes, and will reveal His loving kindness and bounty. The movement of My Pen is stilled when it attempteth to befittingly describe the loftiness and glory of so exalted a station. The honor with which the Hand of Mercy will invest the soul is such as no tongue can adequately reveal, nor any other earthly agency describe. Blessed is the soul which, at the hour of its separation from the body, is sanctified from the vain imaginings of the peoples of the world. Such a soul liveth and moveth in accordance with the Will of its Creator, and entereth the all-highest Paradise. The Maids of Heaven, inmates of the loftiest mansions, will circle around it, and the Prophets of God and His chosen ones will seek its companionship. With them that soul will freely converse, and will recount unto them that which it hath been made to endure in the path of God, the Lord of all worlds. If any man be told that which hath been ordained for such a soul in the worlds of God, the Lord of the throne on high and of earth below, his whole being will instantly blaze out in his great longing to attain that most exalted, that sanctified and resplendent station.... The nature of the soul after death can never be described, nor is it meet and permissible to reveal its whole character to the eyes of men. The Prophets and Messengers of God have been sent down for the sole purpose of guiding mankind to the straight Path of Truth. The purpose underlying Their revelation hath been to educate all men, that they may, at the hour of death, ascend, in the utmost purity and sanctity and with absolute detachment, to the throne of the Most High. The light which these souls radiate is responsible for the progress of the world and the advancement of its peoples. They are like unto leaven which leaveneth the world of being, and constitute the animating force through which the arts and wonders of the world are made manifest. Through them the clouds rain their bounty upon men, and the earth bringeth forth its fruits. All things must needs have a cause, a motive power, an animating principle. These souls and symbols of detachment have provided, and will continue to provide, the supreme moving impulse in the world of being. The world beyond is as different from this world as this world is different from that of the child while still in the womb of its mother. When the soul attaineth the Presence of God, it will assume the form that best befitteth its immortality and is worthy of its celestial habitation. Such an existence is a contingent and not an absolute existence, inasmuch as the former is preceded by a cause, whilst the latter is independent thereof. Absolute existence is strictly confined to God, exalted be His glory. Well is it with them that apprehend this truth. Wert thou to ponder in thine heart the behavior of the Prophets of God thou wouldst assuredly and readily testify that there must needs be other worlds besides this world. The majority of the truly wise and learned have, throughout the ages, as it hath been recorded by the Pen of Glory in the Tablet of Wisdom, borne witness to the truth of that which the holy Writ of God hath revealed. Even the materialists have testified in their writings to the wisdom of these divinely-appointed Messengers, and have regarded the references made by the Prophets to Paradise, to hell fire, to future reward and punishment, to have been actuated by a desire to educate and uplift the souls of men. Consider, therefore, how the generality of mankind, whatever their beliefs or theories, have recognized the excellence, and admitted the superiority, of these Prophets of God. These Gems of Detachment are acclaimed by some as the embodiments of wisdom, while others believe them to be the mouthpiece of God Himself. How could such Souls have consented to surrender themselves unto their enemies if they believed all the worlds of God to have been reduced to this earthly life? Would they have willingly suffered such afflictions and torments as no man hath ever experienced or witnessed?

(Baha'u'llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 155-158)

So imagine if we deprive ourselves of spiritual progress by not knowing ourselves, that indeed would be "true loss."

What do you think?