PASSING THE TEST !
Baha'u'llah tells us in the Book of Certitude (Kitab-i-Iqan):
"Do men think when they say `We believe' they shall be let alone and not be put to proof?" (Baha'u'llah, Iqan, pp. 8-9)
Thus the people are to be tested upon their beliefs in the Plan of God.
God never changes the way that He tests the people. His method remains ever the same: He sends them a promised One, whether it is a Supreme Manifestation of God like Jesus Christ or Baha'u'llah; or a lowly servant like the Bible describes of Gideon. All the Guardians of the Baha'i Faith are promised ones in the Lesser Covenant, as the Guardianship is promised by God to never end (both in the explicit Baha'i writings and in the Bible, such as Psalms 89 cited in the acceptance of Mason Remey by the Quincy Illinois Baha'is who passed the first test of their day and stated that the Guardianship should never end).
One of the problems of many of the people is that they are in the wrong mindset. Instead of being ardent seekers who wish to seek out for God's promised ones, they remain lackluster and only accept the status quo or are simply not interested in the deep search for the truth. Thus many Jews never really investigate Jesus; Christians do not think to look for Baha'u'llah, the second coming of Christ; and the majority of "Baha'is" are not interested in Mason Remey, until maybe later when they get into some sort of trouble with the mainstream Haifa sans-guardian politics of corruption and deceit.
Unfortunately, therefore, the majority of people trapped in this lethargy are simply not interested in the truth about the Guardianship or any Promised one from God, and say:
“If he is, it is HIS responsibility to offer the proof.”
This is completely contrary to the explanation in the Baha'i revelation on the fact that God tests the people. This is true to such an extent that the Bab declared of "Him Whom God Shall Make Manifest" that the people were not to question Him at all, but were to immediately accept him. Baha'u'llah lifted this stipulation of the Bab on Questioning in the Aqdas, which is available to be referred to.
It is the peoples responsibility, therefore, to turn to God, and guided by the Promised Ones, to become educated to know the criteria for recognition as given by God in the explicit text of the Ones who came before. Thus the Jews had Moses instructions through prophecy for the acceptance of Jesus; and the Christians have Jesus instruction through prophecy on how to recognize Baha'u'llah, as did the Babis and all the people. The criteria for 'Abdu'l-Baha, Shoghi Effendi and Mason Remey, was also explicitly given but yet, also became a great test for the people, who wished to come out from under the Covenant for some reason of their own.
The same is exactly true within the Baha'i World today, as the criteria for recognition has been set down in the Baha'i Holy Writ, especially the provisions of the sacred Will and Testament of 'Abdu'l-Baha. Thus the Promised Ones and the guardians test the people. Some of these tests are conscious and deliberate, and others are simply a matter of course as ordained by God.
The purpose of these tests is not so that God should know where the people are at, but that the people should know where they are at. The tests benefits the person and their soul, as in passing the test the soul is LEARNING something new about itself its own station and receives its rays of the Holy Spirit as the reward and the goal that it seeks: reunion with God, the Beloved of All the Worlds.
This is the entire point of the Revelations of God, to spiritualize man through the receiving of the Holy Spirit (thus man becomes created in the spiritual image of God and takes on the qualities and attributes of God), which only comes to those who seek it out, fervently and ardently, and make the grade, and pass the test. Anyone and everyone with a pure heart and no ulterior motive that turns whole-heartedly to God will pass the test and be accepted. God never turns anyone away. Of the test Jesus explained:
"Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the Kingdom [Davidic] of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them. " (Mark 4: 10 KJV)
Here Jesus tells us that the message of the Revelation of God is given in such a way, style and manner, that the pure in heart will immediately accept it; while the same manner and style is given to deliberately exclude a certain type of person, not pure in heart, for the express purpose that they will not be "converted" and thus remain in their sins.
In this same way, Mason Remey was adopted and appointment in a manner and style contrary to what the majority of people wished and thus the majority rejected him, failed the test.
All those who have accepted Mason Remey and are loyal to the Guardianship continuing forever, and not ending, are praiseworthy in varying degrees. But as much as Christians may have passed the Test of Moses with sincerity in accepting Jesus, when it comes to their fundamentalist position on Baha'u'llah, they are sincerely wrong. This is due to indoctrination, for if they were to investigate the truth all would become believers in the truth of the thing—and only the matter of purity of heart would distinguish those who would accept it from those who would choose not to, for some inner reason of their own.
In order to help people to pass the various Tests, Dr. Jensen alerted the people. He wrote:
“It appears that the guardians of the Baha’i faith are trying to out-do each other in finding UNIQUE ways to appoint their successors. These are TESTS to TEST the believers to see if they really do believe.” (Dr. Leland Jensen, Selections. Vol. 1)
“Shoghi Effendi also was a test. He was not a male blood-line descendant of Baha’u’llah, or of King David. His line was not to succeed him, so God didn’t give an heir. Therefore he appointed one who was of the line of David, ‘Abdu’l-Baha’s adopted son to be his successor guardian. When he died God didn’t hesitate to remove all of the millions of the Baha’is that separated themselves from the guardian, and thus from Him; and when Mason died God didn’t hesitate to remove the rest of them who didn’t accept his son, from His sight except the two knights.”(Dr. Leland Jensen, An Open Epistle, Oct, Nov 1988. pg 2)
The Guardians test the people, and guard the faith, as God has it all set up in such a way that impure souls are kept out by their own volition, or pride or something else, while the aghsan Guardians continue and function as the point of unity in the Covenant for pure souls freely choosing to stay in.
“Mason explained to me that in the unique way that Shoghi Effendi appointed his successor the guardianship was tested. He said the believers would not be put through that test again. He said the next time they wouldn’t know who the guardian is for a while. This is through his unique way of appointing you. It seems that the guardians try to out-do each other in using unique ways in appointing their successors. For me I must be absolutely certain that the one that I support and give my allegiance is the true guardian. I must take no one’s word for this. I must see with my own eyes. Investigate with my own intellect and know with my own heart.
(Doc, Letter to Joseph Pepe July 19 1975, page 2)
Jealousy of others can often be main obstacle in winning our own stations therefore we all must teach the faith as given on page 10 of the sacred Will to win our own stations.
He pointed out:
“Take yourself for instance. To the best of my knowledge you have never brought anybody into the faith, and that is due to the fact that you never learned the proofs. Your problem is that by never taking the time to learn the proofs you never deepened enough into the faith to really comprehend my station and then like Satan you try to put yourself above the Promised One. Neal on the other hand mastered the proofs, recognized my station and has brought a number of people into the faith. Therefore he doesn’t have the problem you that you have. Thus he has gone forth and in cooperation with some his friends, has brought forth the most important thing in the Cause and that is THE GENEALOGY.” (Dr. Leland Jensen, An Open Epistle, Nov 1988. pg. 3)
"Then we have the violation of Donald, and I hope you are able to rescue him. He bases his claim on a handwritten document appointing him the Third Guardian of the Baha’i Faith (not the second). Some deem his handwritten document should be given priority over your appointment, because it is hand written. But here again this is extra to the Will and Testament. No place in the Will of ‘Abdu’l-Baha does it state that the appointment must be in a handwritten document. All that it states is that he must appoint a successor during his lifetime. It leaves the manner and style up to the guardian. Shoghi Effendi appointed his successor in a cablegram, but the “Hands” deemed that the appointment had to
be in a Will. To add or subtract from the Will interpolates it; then it is no longer the document sent down by God:" (Dr. Leland Jensen to Pepe, The Most Mighty Document, page 25).
Therefore, God never changes the test, He send a promised one to the people, and all the Guardians are Promised Ones, thus this type of testing (a manner and style contrary to people's expectations) is continued down throughout every generation in the Baha'i Faith as an integral component of the Lesser Covenant of Baha'u'llah.
"All that it states [The Will] is that he must appoint a successor during his lifetime. It leaves the manner and style up to the guardian."
Once we find the Promised One, for our day and Age, our role in the Covenant (W&T, p. 10) however is to teach. Those who have been sincere and wrote to Mason directly, crossing over the shun order, that had been foisted upon them by the "Hands"; those who were open and asked sincere questions to aid them to their goal, received the truth from Mason himself and were given FACTS and ANSWERS.
These then, fulfilled the three things as given by 'Abdu'l-Baha in The Tablets of the Divine Plan, 1) teach the faith; 2) live the life and 3) firmness in the Covenant. They then received their rays of the Holy Spirit directly from Baha'u'llah El Abha, as "Apostles of Baha'u'llah" and became independent of all save God.
And so we all should teach to win our own stations (as given on age 10 of the Sacred Will), and fulfill these same Three Things, whether others have ears to hear and eyes to see, or not.
Passing the test is as easy as falling off a log.
BEING MONTH OF NOVEMBER,THE MONTH OF COVENANT. THE BELOVED GUARDIAN HAS SENT THIS TABLET OF BAHA'ULLAH.
Lawh-i Salman I
In my name, the Sorrowful.
 Salman, waft the holy breezes of the All-Merciful upon the people of being and contingency from the city of the soul. Journey with the feet of rectitude, the wings of detachment, and a heart aflame with the fire of God's love, so that the cold of winter will have no effect on you and you will not be prevented from traveling in the valley of oneness.
 Salman, these days are the manifestation of the firm and incontrovertible phrase, "No God is there but He." For the negative particle modifying the positive noun is prior to and has taken precedence over the essence of affirmation. No one among the people of creation has so far become aware of this divine subtlety. What you have witnessed, that to outward seeming the letters of negation have triumphed over the letters of affirmation, is because of the influence of this phrase, the Revealer of which has, owing to a hidden wisdom, caused the negative particle to come first in this universal phrase. If I were to make mention of the convincing wisdom concealed therein, you would suddenly swoon, indeed, would fall dead. While what you witness on the earth is apparently contrary to the manifest will of the temples of the Cause, nevertheless, esoterically everything was and shall be according to the divine will. Were any soul, after reading this tablet, to contemplate the aforementioned phrase, he would become aware of a matter never before apparent. For the form of the words is the treasure hold of truth and the meanings lodged therein are the pearls of knowledge of the sovereign of oneness. The hand of divine purity hinders the people from recognizing this truth when the will of God suspends it, but when the hand of power lifts the seal therefrom, then the people will become aware of it.
 For instance, consider the words of the Qur'an, which were, every one, treasuries of the knowledge of the preexistent Beauty. All the learned clergy read them night and day and wrote commentaries on them. Even so, they were unable to make manifest the meaning of even one letter from among the pearls concealed in the treasure vaults of these words. But when the promised day arrived, the hand of might that belonged to the Manifestation of God who preceded me removed the seal in accordance with the condition and capacity of the people. Thus, the children of this era, who have never understood a word of the esoteric branches of knowledge, have become aware of hidden secrets, to the extent that they were able to do so, such that a child was able to compel one of the clergymen of this era by his discourse. This is the power of the divine hand and the sphere of influence exercised by the will of the sovereign of unity. Were anyone to contemplate the above-mentioned utterance, he would see that not an atom moves save by the will of the Absolute Truth, and no one learns a single letter save by his volition. Exalted be his station, power, dominion, greatness and cause, and exalted be his grace upon all who are in the kingdom of the heavens and the earth.
 Salman, the pen of the All-Merciful says in this dispensation: "I have removed the negative particle from before the affirmation, and the wisdom thereof will, should God desire, descend from the heaven of volition. We will send it later." Salman, sorrows have encompassed me to such a degree that the tongue of the All-Merciful has been forbidden to make mention of exalted matters. By the one who reared the contingent world, the gate of the garden of meaning has been bolted up by the oppression of the idolaters, and the breezes of knowledge have been prevented from blowing from the Yemen of the Glorious, the One.
 Salman, I have been afflicted by tribulations in this physical world both earlier and later; do not think they are limited to these days. A person whom we raised over months and years with the hand of compassion once attempted to kill me. Were I to make mention of the secrets of the past, you would become aware that some individuals who had been brought into being by a word of command have arisen to contend with God and have set back the wonders of his Cause. Consider Harut and Marut, who had been servants of God and near to him, so holy that they became known as angels. By the all-encompassing divine will, they came from non-existence into being, and their names and works became renowned in the kingdom of the heavens and the earth. They were so close to God that the tongue of grandeur spoke of them. They reached such a station that they came to consider themselves the most pious, most exalted, and most self-denying of all the people. Then a breeze blew from the land of tests and they returned to the nethermost flames. The details of the story of these two angels that are current among the people are for the most part false and distant from the shore of truth. With us is the knowledge of everything in glorious and guarded tablets. Nevertheless, no one among the peoples of that age protested against God that he - may his greatness be glorified - had bestowed upon those two angels the station of holiness and nearness that they had attained.
 Salman, say to the people of the Bayan: "You are trading salt water for the divine, everlasting stream and the eternal, heavenly fountain, and are stopping up your ears from hearing the melodies of the nightingale of immortality. Walk in the outstretched shade of the cloud of compassion and dwell in the shadow of the lote-tree of grace. Salman, the Absolute Truth has always judged the people according to outward appearances, and has commanded all the prophets and messengers to do the same. It is impermissible to do otherwise. For instance, consider a person who is at this moment a believer and a monotheist, such that the sun of divine unity is refulgent within him. He affirms and recognizes all the divine names and attributes and whatever the preexistent Beauty testifies to, he bears witness to that, for himself and by himself. In this station all descriptions are true and current in regard to him. Rather, no one is capable of describing him as he really is save God. All these descriptions refer to the effulgence that shone upon him from the sovereign of manifestation. In this station, should any of the people oppose him, they would be opposing God himself. For in him nothing can be seen save the divine effulgences, as long as he remains in this station. Should a bad word be said about him, the speaker would be a liar. After he rises in opposition, however, that effulgence that had been the basis for describing him, and all the other related attributes, depart to their own habitation. Now that individual is not the same person, for those attributes do not subsist in him. If you look with sharp eyes you will notice that not even his clothes are the same. For a believer, while he is believing in and affirming God, might be wearing clothes of cotton, but in God's eyes they are of heavenly silk. But when he rises in opposition, they are transformed into the flaming tar of Gehenna. At this point, should anyone praise such an individual, he would be a liar and would be mentioned by God as among the people of hellfire.
 Salman, the evidence for this statement is present intrinsically in everything. It is remarkable that nevertheless the people have remained unaware of it, and have stumbled at the appearance of such matters. Consider the lamp. As long as it is lit and its flame is radiant, were anyone to deny its light he would, naturally, be a liar. But after a gale has blown and snuffed out its light, if anyone were to say that it is shining, then he would be the liar - even though the niche and the candle, whether lit or not, are the same. Today you should consider all things to be mirrors. For all creation was brought into being by a single word, and is standing in one spot in the presence of God. If all would turn their attention to this glorious and eternal sun, which has dawned forth from the holy and most glorious horizon, the effulgence of the sun would be inscribed and imprinted on their forms. In this case, all the characteristics and attributes of the sun are also true of those mirrors, for nothing is apparent in those mirrors save the sun and its light. To the insightful mystic it is self-evident that these characteristics of the mirrors are not intrinsic to them, but rather pertain to the effulgence from the dawning daystar of grace that has become manifest and radiant in these mirrors. As long as this effulgence persists, the characteristics persist. After that effulgence has been erased from the mirrors' forms, those who continue to praise the mirrors are guilty of pure lies and falsehoods. For the names and attributes circle around an effulgence that dawned from the sun, not around the mirrors in and of themselves.
 Salman, the honor, exaltation, greatness, and renown of all names depend on their relationship to God. For instance, consider the religious edifices that have become exalted among the various peoples. They are all circumambulating around these buildings to which they make pilgrimage from distant lands. It is clear that the preexistent Beauty - may his splendor be glorified - has related himself to them, even though everyone knows that God has never and will never stand in need of a building, and his holy essence is related to all places equally. Rather, he has declared these houses of God and other such edifices to be the cause of the triumph and success of his servants, so that none of the people would be deprived of the wonders of his grace. Blessed are those who follow the command of God, implement his decree, and are among those who attain the goal. These buildings and those who circle round them are honored in the sight of God as long as this relationship is not severed. But after its link to God is abrogated, if anyone were to circumambulate such a structure, he would merely be circling his base self, and is considered by God as among the people of hell-fire. In the same way, consider the buildings of human souls, which, when they rise in opposition, are declared to be false idols, and all who bow down before them are idol worshippers in the eyes of God. Then contemplate how these structures possess the same physical form when they are related to God and when that relationship is abrogated, and their outward appearance in both of these conditions is identical. No change whatsoever can be noticed in them after the advent of a new dispensation. But after the abrogation, the hidden and concealed relationship of the spirit to those buildings is withdrawn. No one perceived it save the mystics. In the same way, consider all those who manifest names, who are buildings of the soul.
 Look upon the words of the All-Merciful with a pure heart and sanctified vision, and meditate, that perhaps you might attain to that which God desires. Salman, when we departed from Iraq, the tongue of God informed everyone that the pharaoh's magician, Samiri, was about to appear, that the golden calf would low, and that the birds of night would surely take flight once the sun had set. Soon these nocturnal fowl will arise to claim for themselves divinity. But we ask God to acquaint the people with their own selves, so that they might avoid trespassing beyond their bounds and their station, and might speak of God by means of this most great mention and might aid God with all their limbs and members. Thus might they become standards streaming between the heavens and the earth. Dwell, O people, in the shadow of God, then persevere in your seats of honor by means of the mysterious peace of God and his serene dignity. Hold firm to the cord of servitude. The creation is God's. This is a station unequaled by what he created between the heavens and the earth. Thereby God's command appears among his servants and his creatures. God will aid with true help the one who clings to it in these days. Whoever delays has shown arrogance toward God, and no one shows such arrogance save his sinful adversaries. God willing, all will dwell in tranquillity in the shade of the preexistent beauty and will gaze toward the regions of God. This is a mighty grace.
 You asked about the meaning of some lines of poetry. The pen of command does not ordinarily engage in explaining the meaning of poetry, since today the oceans of meaning, in its being and origin, are manifest, and there is no need for the words of previous times. Rather, everyone who possesses knowledge, wisdom and mystical insight, whether past or future, stands in need of these wondrous and billowing oceans. In view of your request, however, a brief mention will be made, and the preexistent pen will write in accordance with the will of God.
 The verse about which you asked is [this line from Rumi]:
"Because the colorless has fallen captive to color,
Moses has gone to war with Moses."
Salman, mystics have made many statements with regard to these lines. Some have supposed that God is the sea and the creation is the waves. They assert that the difference among the waves derives from outward forms, and forms are originated in time. After shedding their forms, all return to the sea. That is, they are the reality of the sea. With regard to their forms, some have explained things differently, the very mention of which is impermissible in this station. In the same way, some have asserted that God is the ink and all things are as the letters, which are the reality of the ink, and which in turn becomes manifest in the diverse forms of the letters. These forms are in reality the one ink. They call the first the station of oneness and the second the station of multiplicity. They also refer to God as the One and to things as the numbers, or to God as water and to things as ice. As one mystic wrote,
"The similitude of the creation is nothing but ice,
and you are to it as the water from which it originates.
But when the ice melts, its station is exalted -
it is given the station of water! Thus does it occur."
 Yes, they consider all things to be manifestations of the essential effulgence of God. They have divided effulgence itself into three types: having to do with the essence, having to do with attributes, and having to do with actions. They believe that things subsist in God manifestationally. If all these matters were set forth in their entirety, tedium would so overtake my listeners that they would be deprived of mystical insight into the essence of knowledge. Likewise, some have asserted that the subsisting essences are within the divine Essence. As one mystical philosopher put it, "The realities of things exist in God's essence in a most noble manner, and then he emanates them forth." For they hold that whoever bestows a thing cannot be said to lose it, a proposition they call impossible. Ibn `Arabi has written a lengthy commentary on this subject. Mystical philosophers and their modern successors, such as Mulla Sadra Shirazi, Mulla Muhsin Fayd Kashani, and others, have walked the road that Ibn `Arabi paved. But blessed are they who tread upon the crimson knoll on the shore of this ocean, which revives by one of its waves all forms and shades in a manner not imagined by the people. Blessed are they who strip themselves of all allusions and indications, and swim in this ocean and its depths, and arrive at the leviathan of meanings and the pearl of wisdom, which were created therein. Blessed are they who attain.
 Everyone who believed in the utterances of the mystics and became wayfarers on their path considered Moses and Pharaoh both to be manifestations of God. In the final analysis, they held that the former is a manifestation of the divine name, the Guide, the Great, and so forth, while the latter is a manifestation of the divine name, the Misleading, the Abaser, et cetera. Therefore, the command that these two come into conflict was implemented. They further believed that after shedding their human specificities, both are one for they hold that originally all things are one. A summary of this idea was presented above.
 But, Salman, the pen of the All-Merciful says, "Today, those who affirm and those who deny these utterances are on the same level." For the sun of reality is itself resplendent and is shining from the horizon of the heavens. All those who busy themselves with such sayings are, of course, deprived of mystical insight into the beauty of the Compassionate. The prime time for investigating illusions is the time when no divine guidance is present. Today is the springtime of unveiling and attainment. Roam, O people, in the garden of revealment and disclosure, and forsake illusions. Thus are you commanded by the pen of God, the Guardian, the Eternal. All branches of knowledge were set forth only for the sake of establishing that which is valid. Now, praise be to God that the sun of the object of knowledge has dawned above the horizon of the sky of eternity, and the moon of validity is shining in the heavens of command. Sanctify your heart from all allusions and gaze with your outward eyes toward the daystar of meanings in the holy and spiritual firmament. Note well his effulgence of names and attributes in what is other than he, so that you might attain to all knowledge, and to its origin, mine, and wellspring.
 Salman, by the preexistent beauty! At every moment in these days new branches of knowledge are descending from the heavens of mystical insight into the Lord of the worlds. Blessed are they who arrive at this spring, and sever themselves from all else. People of mystical ecstasy and yearning, be just. There are now among the people endless numbers of books treating the utterances of the mystics that were summarized above. If anyone desired to read them all, two lifetimes would be insufficient.
 Salman, say: "God is manifest above all things and that day the dominion is God's. Leave the people to what is with them." Yes, leave the sciences of the past to the past. According to the mystics, Moses, who is among the greatest of prophets, during the first ten of thirty days annihilated his own deeds in the deeds of God. In the next ten days he annihilated his own attributes in those of God. In the final ten days he annihilated his own essence in the essence of God. They said that since a remnant of being remained in him, therefore God said to him, "You shall never see me." Now the tongue of God is speaking. Say, "Show me!" once, and attain to the presence of the All-Glorious a hundred thousand times! Compare the grace inherent in these days with that of the past.
 Salman, all that which the mystics have mentioned refers to the plane of creation. For however high exalted souls and purified hearts soar into the heaven of knowledge and mystical insight, they can never escape the plane of contingent being or go beyond what was created in their own souls by their own souls. All the mystical insights of every mystic, all the mentions made by everyone who praises God, all the depictions of everyone who describes him, refer to the effulgence of his Lord that was created in his soul. All, in short, who meditate upon this matter will agree that creation cannot exceed the bounds of its own contingent being. All likenesses and all mystical insight refer, from the beginning that has no beginning, to his creation, which was created from nothing by the contingent will, by itself and for itself. Exalted be God above anyone's ability to know him by virtue of mystical insight, and above having the likeness of any soul refer to him. Between him and his creation there is no relationship, no link, no direction, no allusion, and no indication. He created contingent beings by means of a will that encompassed the worlds. The Absolute Truth remains in the heights of the sovereignty of exaltation, and his unity is sanctified above the knowledge of contingent beings. He shall ever be purified, in the sublimity of his own unattainable and sovereign nobility, from the perception of all beings. All who are in the heavens and on earth were created by a word from him, and thereby emerged from unadulterated nothingness into the realm of being. How could a creature that was fashioned by a word ascend to the essence of pre-existence?
 Salman, the path of all to the essence of pre-existence is blocked, and the way of all shall forever be cut off. God only made manifest among the people the grace and loving-kindness of the suns shining from the horizon of oneness. He equated the knowledge of these holy souls with the knowledge of himself. Whoever knows them knows God; whoever hears their words hears the words of God; and whoever affirms them affirms God. But whoever rises in opposition to them has risen in opposition to God; whoever opposes them opposes God, and whoever denies them denies God. They are the path of God between the heavens and the earth, the balance of God in the kingdoms of command and creation. They are the manifestations and the proofs of God among his servants and his guides among his creation.
 Sever yourself from all that which is renowned among the people, and soar with the wings of detachment into the most glorious and sacred heavens. By God, if you fly into it, and reach the pole of meaning therein, you shall never see in existence anything but the countenance of the divine beloved, and shall never see the opposers save as a day whereon none of them is mentioned. The mention of this station requires another tongue, and another ear is necessary in order to hear it. It is best that we now leave the secrets of the soul and the wonders of the mention of souls that are deposited in the heavens of the will of the All-Merciful, and turn to the meaning of the poetry.
 Know that Rumi's intent in the Mathnavi in mentioning Moses and Pharaoh was to invoke a similitude. It was not that these two were one in essence. We take refuge in God from that! For Pharaoh and his like were created by a word from Moses, if you did but know. The very outward dispute between them is proof that they were opposed to one another in all the worlds. This is a secret utterance that none but the mystic with insight knows. Rumi has cast all persons in the realm of names as Moses, for all have been created from dust, and shall return to dust. Likewise, all are named by means of letters. In the world of spirits, which is a monochrome world, there was never any conflict or struggle, nor is there now. For the underlying causes of conflict are not visible. But after the spirits entered into bodies and they appeared in this world, the causes for contention came to exist, whether for good or evil. If this dispute and wrangling occurs in order to vindicate the cause of the All-Glorious, it is good. Otherwise, it is evil. This contention, conflict, love, hypocrisy, acceptance and opposition all derive from causes. For instance, note that cause becomes apparent by reason of a causal agent. The cause is one. But in each soul it is transformed by the nature of that soul, and its effects appear. But in each station they appear under a different aspect.
 For instance, consider the divine name, "the Self-Sufficient." In its own kingdom, this name is unified. But after its effulgence in the mirrors of human existence, the effects of that effulgence appear in each soul according to that soul's exigencies. For instance, in the generous it appears as generosity, whereas in the miserly it takes the form of avarice. In the ill-omened it becomes abasement, and in the blessed it appears as good fortune. For in the condition of poverty, souls and what is in them are concealed. For example, the generosity and avarice of someone who does not possess a single penny is hidden. Likewise, in such a condition his good or bad fortune would as yet be impossible to discern. After becoming self-sufficient, every soul shows forth what is within it. For instance, one might expend what he possesses in the path of God. Another might organize war materiel and arise to engage in battle with the truth. One might safeguard others to the point where he denies his wealth to himself and his family. Consider how from one effulgence so many different and contradictory things appear. But before that effulgence all these souls were subdued, concealed and languid. With one ray from the sun of the name, "the Self-Sufficient," how he has resurrected these souls and made visible and manifest what was hidden within them! If you contemplate this utterance with the eye of insight, you will become aware of hidden mysteries.
 Consider the pharaoh of this age, who, if it were not for his outward wealth and power, would never have arisen to wage war against the beauty of divine unity. For had he lacked the means, he would have been powerless to do so, and his unbelief would have remained concealed within him. Therefore, happy are the souls who have not become prisoners of the multi-colored world and what was created therein, but rather attained to the hue of God, that is, who have taken on the color of the Absolute Truth in this wondrous dispensation. This estate is sanctification above all the diverse colors of the world. Only those who are detached have knowledge of this color, insofar as today the people of Baha, who are passengers on the ark of eternity and who ply the ocean of glory, recognize one another. Aside from these companions, no one else is aware, and even if others should come to know that color, it would only be to the same extent that the blind can perceive the sun.
 Salman, tell the servants to come to the shore of the sea of pre-existence, so that they might become sanctified above all colors and arrive at the most pure and holy seat and the most great panorama. The various colors of this world have deprived the servants of the holy and most glorious shore. Consider the individual (Subh-i Azal) who rose up to battle against me. I swear by the sun of the horizon of meanings that night and day he was in my orbit, and in the evenings when I was in bed, he was standing at its head. I recited to him the verses of God and he was standing in my presence at all hours of the day. When the cause was raised aloft and he saw that his name became visible, then the color of that name and love of leadership so overtook him that he was deprived of the sacred shore of unity. By the one in whose hand is my soul, the creation had never before seen the like of this soul in his love of leadership and high station. By the one who caused all things to speak forth in praise of God! If all the people of creation determine to reckon his envy and hatred, they would, every one, discover themselves incapable of doing so. We beseech God to purify his breast and return him to himself and to aid him in affirming God, the powerful, the exalted, the mighty.
 Salman, consider the cause of God. One word is made to appear from the tongue of the manifestation of divine unity, and this word was intrinsically one, coming from a single wellspring. But after the sun of the word dawns from the horizon of God's mouth upon his servants, it manifests itself in each soul according to its condition. For instance, in one person it becomes opposition, in another acceptance. In the same way, in others it becomes love or hatred, and so forth. Afterwards, this lover and this hater arise to struggle and do battle with one another. Color has tinged both of them, for before the appearance of the word, they were friends to one another and united. After the dawn of the sun of the word, the term "adherent" was embellished with the color of God, while "opponent" was tinted with self and passion. The radiance of this same divine word in the soul of an adherent was manifested with the color of acceptance, while in the soul of the opponent it appeared in the hues of opposition - even though the original ray was sanctified above colors. Consider the sun, which with one burst of light sheds its effulgence in mirrors and glasses. But in every pane of glass it appears with the color of that glass, as is apparent and as all have witnessed.
 Yes, the reason for the battle of the opponent and the adherent is color. But between these two colors lies an inestimable difference. One is tinged with God, and the other with base passion. The believer who advances and struggles is tinted with the All-Merciful, while the hypocritical opponent is tinted with Satan. The former color causes and brings about the purification of souls from the hue of anything but God. The latter causes souls to be sullied with the manifold colors of self and passion. The former bestows the grace of eternal life, and the latter unending death. The former guides those who are detached to the heavenly spring of immortality, while the latter causes the veiled ones to taste the fruit of the infernal tree. From the former the scent of the Compassionate wafts, and from the latter the odor of the prince of darkness.
 Rumi's intent in these words was not that Moses and Pharaoh were on the same level. We take refuge in God from that! But some of the ignorant have thus understood him. Moses' actions with regard to his own religion bear true witness, for he struggled on behalf of God, with the goal of delivering Pharaoh from the colors of annihilation and of allowing him to attain the hues of God, and so that he himself might taste the sweet waters of martyrdom in the path of the friend. Pharaoh struggled, on the contrary, in order to preserve himself and his power. Moses' goal was to light the lamp of God among the people, and Pharaoh's goal was to put it out. Is one who sacrifices his life in the way of God like one who keeps himself safe behind seventy thousand veils? What is their difficulty, that they do not understand at all an utterance of God, the Knowing, the Wise?
 Rather, Rumi's intent was that the cause of the war between Moses and Pharaoh was color. But Moses' color was a hue for the sake of which the people of the concourse on high sacrificed themselves. Pharaoh's color was one that even the people of the lowest rung of hell avoid. Rumi himself, in many places, mentioned Pharaoh. If you examine these verses closely, you will perceive that his intent was not that which some have attributed to him. What yearning he exhibited, that he might associate intimately with the divine friends and attain the honor of serving the companions of God. This is what he wrote in one place:
"If he is without God's grace and his chosen ones,
his page is black (siyah hastash varaq) though he be an angel."
 Yes, Salman, tell the beloved of God to look at anyone's words not with the eyes of opposition, but rather with the eyes of compassion and mercy--except for the words of those persons who, today, have written fiery treatises in refutation of God. It is absolutely incumbent on all persons to write whatever they can in rebuttal of those who have sought to refute God. Thus has it been decreed by the Mighty, the All-Powerful. For today, all must aid God by words and utterances, not with the sword and its like. This is what we have revealed before, as well as at this time, if you but knew. By the one who is now saying in all things that there is no God but him! Should anyone pen a single word in rebuttal of a polemic against God, a station would be bestowed upon him such as would be the envy of the concourse on high. All the pens in creation are powerless to describe this station, and the tongues of all beings are inadequate to depict it. For any individual who today perseveres in this most holy, exalted and sublime cause is equal to all who are in the heavens and the earth. God knows and bears witness to this. Beloved of God, do not recline on the carpets of ease. When you recognize your creator and hear what has befallen him, arise to aid him. Speak, and do not remain silent for an instant. In truth, this is better for you than the treasures of all that was and shall be, if you only knew. This is the counsel of the pen of the most high to the servants of God.
 Salman, know that no one among God's servants who had any wisdom at all has asserted that adherents and opponents, and monotheists and idolaters, are all on the same level. The real intent of that which you have heard, or seen in some books of the ancients, lies in the holy court of God. As for the assertion that names are one in the kingdom of names, you must not think that the metaphysical realms of the kingdom, dominion and divinity are today circling the throne. The dimensions of divinity, dominion and the kingdom, as well as realms above these, exist and subsist by virtue of the emanation from the planes and worlds that are visible in this station. It is impermissible to give the details of these stations, which are suspended in the heavens of the divine will until such time as God reveals them by his grace. He is, in truth, powerful over all things. Yes, in the court of the Absolute Truth, all names are one. But this is before the appearance of the differentiating word. For instance, note that today all manifestations of the names in their own kingdom are present before God. The same is true of the dawning-points of attributes and of all existing things. That the temple of pre-existence seated himself upon the throne of justice required that his grace be bestowed equally upon all. But afterwards, the distinguishing and discriminating word came into existence and became visible to the servants. Thus, all persons who answered "Yes," attained to all good. I swear by the sorrow of the divine Beauty that a station has been foreordained for the believer, such that were it revealed to the people of the earth to less than the extent of the eye of a needle, all would die yearning for it. In this physical life the stations of believers are hidden from the believers themselves. Any persons who were not confirmed in replying, "Yes," are not mentioned in God's presence. We take refuge in God from the unremitting torment predestined for such a one.
 Salman, deliver the words of the All-Merciful to the servants and say, "Safeguard yourselves from the wolves of the earth. Do not listen to the deceitful discourse in which some engage. Purify your ears so that you might listen to my words. Refine your heart from all that has been created in preparation for its mystical knowledge of my beauty." Say: "How many a morning has the effulgence of the beauty of the chosen one passed over your hearts, and found you busy with another, and returned to its fixed abode!" Say: "Walk, O servants, in the footsteps of God. Meditate on the deeds of the manifestation of pre-existence, and contemplate his words. For thereby perhaps you will attain to the heavenly and inexhaustible divine spring of the All-Glorious."
 If believers and unbelievers had the same station, and the worlds of God were limited to this world, the manifestation who preceded me would never have given himself into the hands of his enemies, nor would he have sacrificed his life. I swear by the dawning sun of command that if the people were aware to the slightest degree of the longing and pining of the chosen beauty at the time when they suspended that divine body in the air, all would out of yearning give their lives for the sake of this great and divine revelation. "They gave sugar to the parrot and dung to the beetle. The crow is bereft of the nightingale's song, and the bat flees from the rays of the sun."
 Salman, my tribulations among the nations and states is powerful evidence and unassailable proof. For a period of twenty years we have not so much as taken a drink of water in peace, or rested all night. Sometimes we were bound with chains and fetters, and at others we were arrested and made prisoner. If our gaze had been fixed upon this world and what is on it, we would never have fallen victim to these afflictions. Blessed is the soul who is nourished by the fruit of this station, and tastes of its sweetness. Beseech God for eyes to see, and ask for sound taste, for to one deprived of sight the forms of Joseph and the wolf seem identical, and to the taste buds of one ill, the bitter gourd and sugar taste the same. I maintain the hope, however, that from the holy breezes of these days souls will become manifest who would not pay a penny for this world and all that it contains. Shorn of all else but him, they will gaze toward the precincts of God and consider sacrificing their lives in the path of the All-Merciful to be the easiest of things. They will not stumble on the way because of the opposition of opponents, and will choose to seat themselves under the shade of the friend. Blessed be the former and happy are the latter. How glorious are the former and how noble are the latter. By God, the houris in the most exalted chambers find no rest because of their pining to meet these souls. The concourse of immortals cannot sleep because of their yearning. Thus has God singled those out for himself and rendered them detached from all the worlds.
 Salman, the sorrows befalling the pen of the All-Merciful have prevented it from mentioning the stations of oneness. This injury to the seat of glory has reached the point that if all existence came to the table of his bounties and partook of its fare until the end that has no end, no one could say a word. They have made charges of miserliness against me, writing to the ends of the earth, saying "Our stipend has been cut off." Consider their vileness and abasement, and how they have written and dispatched such calumnies everywhere in order to attract to themselves earthly vanities from the people and in order to slander the ancient beauty. Since you were here, you saw that this servant never even saw the monthly stipend provided by the state with his own eyes. Whatever money does exist is divided up outside and distributed to each individual. Even though it surely undermines the cause of God, they have established this practice of taking the money, as you have heard. By the beauty of the preexistent, the first tribulation that befell this youth was that he took a monthly stipend from the Ottoman state. Had these companions not been my fellow-travelers, I would, of course, never have accepted it. You are well informed as to how difficult matters were for the exiles. Even so, all showed forth nobility and patiently acquiesced in the divine decree. Nothing can befall us save what God decrees for us. We have put our trust in him in every affair. This group that has complained to all regions about the stipends, and who have fallen to begging, claim divinity and have risen in opposition to the Eternal Truth. Again, contemplate those persons who followed this group here. Woe unto them and to all those who support them, for they shall be seized by the angels of wrath at the behest of the All-Glorious, the mighty, the eternal. They shall not find for themselves any ally or helper. Thus has it been revealed in truth from the kingdom of God, the help in peril, the mighty, the beloved. Glory be upon you, Salman, and upon those who have not sold the words of God for the vain imaginings of a reprobate.
Verses of the Divine Reality
To every discerning and illuminated heart it is evident that God, the unknowable Essence, the Divine Being, is immensely exalted beyond every human attribute, such as corporeal existence, ascent and descent, egress and regress. Far be it from His glory that human tongue should adequately recount His praise, or that human heart comprehend His fathomless mystery. He is, and hath ever been, veiled in the ancient eternity of His Essence, and will remain in His Reality everlastingly hidden from the sight of men. "No vision taketh in Him, but He taketh in all vision; He is the Subtile, the All-Perceiving."...
The door of the knowledge of the Ancient of Days being thus closed in the face of all beings, the Source of infinite grace, according to His saying, "His grace hath transcended all things; My grace hath encompassed them all," hath caused those luminous Gems of Holiness to appear out of the realm of the spirit, in the noble form of the human temple, and be made manifest unto all men, that they may impart unto the world the mysteries of the unchangeable Being, and tell of the subtleties of His imperishable Essence.
These sanctified Mirrors, these Day Springs of ancient glory, are, one and all, the Exponents on earth of Him Who is the central Orb of the universe, its Essence and ultimate Purpose. From Him proceed their knowledge and power; from Him is derived their sovereignty. The beauty of their countenance is but a reflection of His image, and their revelation a sign of His deathless glory. They are the Treasuries of Divine knowledge, and the Repositories of celestial wisdom. Through them is transmitted a grace that is infinite, and by them is revealed the Light that can never fade.... These Tabernacles of Holiness, these Primal Mirrors which reflect the light of unfading glory, are but expressions of Him Who is the Invisible of the Invisibles. By the revelation of these Gems of Divine virtue all the names and attributes of God, such as knowledge and power, sovereignty and dominion, mercy and wisdom, glory, bounty, and grace, are made manifest.
These attributes of God are not, and have never been, vouchsafed specially unto certain Prophets, and withheld from others. Nay, all the Prophets of God, His well-favored, His holy and chosen Messengers are, without exception, the bearers of His names, and the embodiments of His attributes. They only differ in the intensity of their revelation, and the comparative potency of their light. Even as He hath revealed: "Some of the Apostles We have caused to excel the others."
It hath, therefore, become manifest and evident that within the tabernacles of these Prophets and chosen Ones of God the light of His infinite names and exalted attributes hath been reflected, even though the light of some of these attributes may or may not be outwardly revealed from these luminous Temples to the eyes of men. That a certain attribute of God hath not been outwardly manifested by these Essences of Detachment doth in no wise imply that they who are the Day Springs of God's attributes and the Treasuries of His holy names did not actually possess it. Therefore, these illuminated Souls, these beauteous Countenances have, each and every one of them, been endowed with all the attributes of God, such as sovereignty, dominion, and the like, even though to outward seeming they be shorn of all earthly majesty....(Baha'u'llah, Gleanings, XIX)
God, verily, created the Will from nothing through itself, then He created through it all that to which the name "thing" can be applied. The cause of its existence, in truth, is its own self and naught else. Those who believe that the Essence is the cause of creation have made themselves partners with Him….It is established in philosophy that cause and effect are alike. Therefore, the Imám hath declared: "The cause of things is His fashioning, but He is not its cause." (The Bab, Amr va Khalq, vol. 1, pp. 100-101)
"God created the Will through itself, then He created all things through the Will." (sixth Imám, Ja`far á¹¢ádiq, cf. Idris Hamid, Metaphysics, p. 174, footnote. See also, Gilson, History of Christian Philosophy, pp. 73, 463).
"The simple truth is all things, but it is not any one of them."(Aristotle, cf. 'Abdu'l-Baha, SAQ, chapter LXXXII, p. 333)
"The Divine Reality is sanctified from singleness, then how much more from plurality. " ('Abdu'l-Baha, SAQ, chapter XXVII, p.129)
"In truth, the Essence hath no connection with anything. Verily, the cause of the contingent existences is one creation of God, and it is the Will. God created the Will, from itself without a fire coming to it from the Divine Essence. All of the existences were created by the intermediary of this Will, and this Will always telleth of God's own being and reflecteth nothing but Him. In the contingent existences, however, there is not a single sign which demonstrateth the essence of God, for the Reality of God alienateth all of the contingent existences from His knowledge and the Essence of God rendereth impossible comprehension by all the essences. In truth, the relation of the Will with God is like that of the House (the Ka'bih) with the Supreme Being. This relation is a relation of honor for the creature, but not for the essence, for God is pure.... Thus the saying of the philosophers that 'the cause of all the existences is the essence of God' is a falsehood. There is no connection between God and His creatures. It is not admissible that the essence of God be a place of change. To be so there must be a similitude between the cause and the effect. Therefore the truth is this: The cause of things is the First Remembrance that God created from nothing. And He made in it the cause of all the creatures. As the Imam revealeth, upon Him be blessings, 'The cause of things is the Handiwork of God and this Handiwork hath no cause." (The Bab, cf. Nicholas' French translation in Le Beyan Arabe, pp. 10-12; 26-27).
O Salmán! All that the sages and mystics have said or written have never exceeded, nor can they ever hope to exceed, the limitations to which man's finite mind hath been strictly subjected. To whatever heights the mind of the most exalted of men may soar, however great the depths which the detached and understanding heart can penetrate, such mind and heart can never transcend that which is the creature of their own conceptions and the product of their own thoughts. The meditations of the profoundest thinker, the devotions of the holiest of saints, the highest expressions of praise from either human pen or tongue, are but a reflection of that which hath been created within themselves, through the revelation of the Lord, their God. Whoever pondereth this truth in his heart will readily admit that there are certain limits which no human being can possibly transgress. Every attempt which, from the beginning that hath no beginning, hath been made to visualize and know God is limited by the exigencies of His own creation--a creation which He, through the operation of His own Will and for the purposes of none other but His own Self, hath called into being. Immeasurably exalted is He above the strivings of human mind to grasp His Essence, or of human tongue to describe His mystery. No tie of direct intercourse can ever bind Him to the things He hath created, nor can the most abstruse and most remote allusions of His creatures do justice to His being. Through His world-pervading Will He hath brought into being all created things. He is and hath ever been veiled in the ancient eternity of His own exalted and indivisible Essence, and will everlastingly continue to remain concealed in His inaccessible majesty and glory. All that is in heaven and all that is in the earth have come to exist at His bidding, and by His Will all have stepped out of utter nothingness into the realm of being. How can, therefore, the creature which the Word of God hath fashioned comprehend the nature of Him Who is the Ancient of Days? (Baha'u'llah, Gleanings, CXLVIII)
Foundations of World Unity
December 17, 1919
There is not one soul whose conscience does not testify that in this day there is no more important matter in the world than that of Universal Peace. Every just one bears witness to this and adores that esteemed Assembly because its aim is that this darkness may be turned into light, this bloodthirstiness into kindness, this torment into bliss, this hardship into ease and this enmity and hatred into fellowship and love. Therefore the effort of those esteemed souls is worthy of praise and commendation.
But the wise souls who are aware of the essential relationships emanating from the realities of things consider that one single matter cannot, by itself, influence the human reality as it ought and should, for until the minds of men become united, no important matter can be accomplished. At present Universal Peace is a matter of great importance, but unity of conscience is essential, so that the foundation of this matter may become secure, its establishment firm and its edifice strong.
Therefore His Holiness Bahá'u'lláh fifty years ago, expounded this question of Universal Peace at a time when he was confined in the fortress of Akka and was wronged and imprisoned. He wrote about this matter of Universal Peace to all the great sovereigns of the world, and established it among his friends in the Orient. The horizon of the East was in utter darkness, nations displayed the utmost hatred and enmity towards each other, religions thirsted for each other's blood, and it was darkness upon darkness. At such a time His Holiness Bahá'u'lláh shone forth like the sun from the horizon of the East and illumined Persia with the light of these teachings.
Among his teachings was the declaration of Universal Peace. People of different nations, religions and sects, who followed him, came together to such an extent that remarkable gatherings were instituted, consisting of the various nations and religions of the East. Every soul who entered those gatherings saw but one nation, one pathway, one teaching, one order; for the teachings of His Holiness Bahá'u'lláh were not limited to the establishment of Universal Peace. They embraced many teachings which supplemented and supported that of Universal Peace.
Among these teachings is the independent investigation of reality, so that the world of humanity might be saved from the darkness of imitation and attain to the truth; might tear off and cast away this ragged and outworn garment of one thousand years ago and put on the robe woven in the utmost purity and holiness in the loom of reality. As reality is one and cannot admit of multiplicity, therefore different opinions must ultimately become fused into one.
And among the teachings of His Holiness Bahá'u'lláh is the oneness of the world of humanity; that all human beings are the sheep of God and He is the kind Shepherd. This Shepherd is kind to all the sheep, because He created them all, trained them, provided for them and protected them. There is no doubt that the Shepherd is kind to all the sheep; and should there be among these sheep ignorant ones, they must be educated; if there be children, they must be trained until they reach maturity; if there be sick ones, they must be healed. There must be no hatred and enmity, for as by a kind physician these ignorant, sick ones should be treated.
And among the teachings of His Holiness Bahá'u'lláh is that religion must be the cause of fellowship and love. If it becomes the cause of estrangement, then it is not needed, for religion is like a remedy: if it aggravates the disease, then it becomes unnecessary.
And among the teachings of Bahá'u'lláh is that religious, racial, political, economic and patriotic prejudices destroy the edifice of humanity. As long as these prejudices prevail, the world of humanity will have no rest. For a period of six thousand years history informs us about the world of humanity. During these six thousand years the world of humanity has not been free from war, strife, murder and bloodthirstiness. In every period war has been waged in one country or another, and that war was due to either religious prejudice, racial prejudice, political prejudice or patriotic prejudice. It has, therefore, been ascertained and proved that all prejudices are destructive of the human edifice. As long as these prejudices persist, the struggle for existence must remain dominant, and bloodthirstiness and rapacity continue. Therefore, even as was the case in the past, the world of humanity cannot be saved from the darkness of nature, and cannot attain illumination, except through the abandonment of prejudices and the acquisition of the morals of the Kingdom....
And among the teachings of His Holiness Bahá'u'lláh is the origination of one language that may be spread universally among the people. This teaching was revealed from the pen of Bahá'u'lláh in order that this universal language may eliminate misunderstandings from among mankind.
And among the teachings of His Holiness Bahá'u'lláh is the equality of women and men. The world of humanity has two wings-- one is woman and the other man. Not until both wings are equally developed can the bird fly. Should one wing remain weak, flight is impossible. Not until the world of woman becomes equal to the world of man in the acquisition of virtues and perfections, can success and prosperity be attained as they ought to be.
And among the teachings of Bahá'u'lláh is voluntary sharing of one's property with others among mankind. This voluntary sharing is greater than equality, and consists in this: that man should not prefer himself to others, but rather should sacrifice his life and property for others. But this should not be introduced by coercion so that it becomes a law and man is compelled to follow it. Nay, rather should man voluntarily and of his own choice sacrifice his property and life for others, and spend willingly for the poor, just as is done in Persia among the Bahá'ís.
And among the teachings of His Holiness Bahá'u'lláh is man's freedom: that through the Ideal Power he should be emancipated and free from the captivity of the world of nature; for as long as man is captive to nature he is a ferocious animal, as the struggle for existence is one of the exigencies of the world of nature. This matter of the struggle for existence is the fountain-head of all calamities, and is the supreme affliction.
And among the teachings of Bahá'u'lláh is that religion is a mighty bulwark. If the edifice of religion shakes and totters, commotion and chaos will ensue and the order of things will be utterly upset, for in the world of mankind there are two safeguards that protect man from wrongdoing. One is the law which punishes the criminal; but the law prevents only the manifest crime and not the concealed sin; whereas the ideal safeguard, namely, the religion of God, prevents both the manifest and the concealed crime, trains man, educates morals, compels the adoption of virtues and is the all-inclusive power which guarantees the felicity of the world of mankind. But by religion is meant that which is ascertained by investigation and not that which is based on mere imitation, the foundation of divine religions and not human imitations.
And among the teachings of Bahá'u'lláh is that although material civilization is one of the means for the progress of the world of mankind, yet until it becomes combined with divine civilization the desired result, which is the felicity of mankind, will not be attained. Consider! These battleships that reduce a city to ruins within the space of an hour are the result of material civilization; likewise the Krupp guns, the Mauser rifles, dynamite, submarines, torpedo boats, armed aircraft and bombing aeroplanes--all these weapons of war are malignant fruits of material civilization. Had material civilization been combined with divine civilization, these fiery weapons would never have been invented. Nay, rather human energy would have been wholly devoted to useful inventions and concentrated on praiseworthy discoveries. Material civilization is like a globe of glass. Divine civilization is the light itself, and the glass without the light is dark. Material civilization is like the body. No matter how infinitely graceful, elegant and beautiful it may be, it is dead. Divine civilization is like the spirit, and the body gets its life from the spirit, otherwise it becomes a corpse. It has thus been made evident that the world of mankind is in need of the breaths of the Holy Spirit. Without the spirit the world of mankind is lifeless, and without this light the world of mankind is in utter darkness. For the world of nature is an animal world. Until man is born again from the world of nature--that is to say, becomes detached from the world of nature, he is essentially an animal, and it is the teachings of God which convert this animal into a human soul.
And among the teachings of Bahá'u'lláh is the promotion of education. Every child must be instructed in sciences as much as is necessary. If the parents are able to provide the expenses of this education, it is all right; otherwise the community must provide the means for the teaching of that child.
And among the teachings of His Holiness Bahá'u'lláh are justice and right. Until these are realized on the plane of existence, all things will be in disorder and remain imperfect. The world of mankind is a world of oppression and cruelty, and a realm of aggression and error.
In fine, such teachings are numerous. These manifold principles, which constitute the greatest basis for the felicity of mankind and are of the bounties of the Merciful, must be added to the matter of Universal Peace and combined with it, so that results may accrue. Otherwise the realization of Universal Peace in the world of mankind is difficult. As the teachings of His Holiness Bahá'u'lláh are combined with Universal Peace, they are like a table provided with every kind of fresh and delicious food. Every soul can find at that table of infinite bounty that which he desires. If the question is restricted to Universal Peace alone, the remarkable results which are expected and desired will not be attained. The scope of Universal Peace must be such that all the communities and religions may find their highest wish realized in it. At present the teachings of His Holiness Bahá'u'lláh are such that all the communities of the world, whether religious, political or ethical, ancient or modern, find in the teachings of Bahá'u'lláh the expression of their highest wish.
For example, the people of religions find, in the teachings of His Holiness Bahá'u'lláh, the establishment of Universal Religion--a religion that perfectly conforms with present conditions, which in reality effects the immediate cure of the incurable disease, which relieves every pain and bestows the infallible antidote for every deadly poison. For if we wish to arrange and organize the world of mankind in accordance with the present religious imitations and thereby to establish the felicity of mankind, it is impossible and impracticable: for example, the enforcement of the laws of the Old Testament and also of the other religions in accordance with present imitations. But the essential basis of all the divine religions which pertains to the virtues of the world of mankind and is the foundation of the welfare of the world of man, is found in the teachings of His Holiness Bahá'u'lláh in the most perfect presentation.
Similarly, with regard to the people who clamor for freedom: the moderate freedom which guarantees the welfare of the world of man, is found in the teachings of His Holiness Bahá'u'lláh.
So with regard to political parties: that which is the greatest policy directing the world of mankind, nay, rather the divine policy, is found in the teachings of His Holiness Bahá'u'lláh.
Likewise with regard to the party of "equality" which seeks the solution of the economic problems: until now all proposed solutions have proved impracticable except the economic proposals in the teachings of His Holiness Bahá'u'lláh, which are practicable and cause no distress to society.
So with the other parties: when ye look deeply into this matter, ye will discover that the highest aims of those parties are found in the teachings of Bahá'u'lláh. These teachings constitute the all-inclusive power among all men, and are practicable....
For example, the question of Universal Peace, about which His Holiness Bahá'u'lláh says that the Supreme Tribunal must be established; although the League of Nations has been brought into existence, yet it is incapable of establishing Universal Peace. But the Supreme Tribunal which His Holiness Bahá'u'lláh has described will fulfill this sacred task with the utmost might and power. And his plan is this: that the national assemblies of each country and nation--that is to say, their parliaments--should elect two or three persons who are the choicest men of that nation, and are well informed concerning international laws and the relations between governments and aware of the essential needs of the world of humanity in this day. The number of these representatives should be in proportion to the number of inhabitants of that country. The election of these souls who are chosen by the national assembly--that is, the parliament--must be confirmed by the upper house, the congress and the cabinet and also by the president or monarch so that these persons may be the elected ones of all the nation and the government. From among these people the members of the Supreme Tribunal will be elected, and all mankind will thus have a share therein, for every one of these delegates is fully representative of his nation. When the Supreme Tribunal gives a ruling on any international question, either unanimously or by majority rule, there will no longer be any pretext for the plaintiff or ground of objection for the defendant. In case any of the governments or nations, in the execution of the irrefutable decision of the Supreme Tribunal, be negligent or dilatory, the rest of the nations will rise up against it, because all the governments and nations of the world are the supporters of this Supreme Tribunal. Consider what a firm foundation this is! But by a limited and restricted League the purpose will not be realized as it ought and should. This is the truth about the situation which has been stated....
Today nothing but the power of the Word of God which encompasses the realities of things can bring the thoughts, minds, hearts and spirits under the shade of one Tree. He is the potent in all things, the vivifier of souls, the preserver and the controller of the world of mankind. Praise be to God, in this day the light of the Word of God has shone forth upon all regions; and from all sects, communities, nations, tribes, peoples, religions and denominations, souls have gathered together under the shadow of the Word of Oneness, and have in the utmost fellowship united and harmonized!
“Any soul from among the believers of Baha’u’llah who attains to this station will become known as the Apostle of Baha’u’llah...
“To attain to this supreme station is, however, dependent on the realization of certain conditions: The first condition is Firmness in the Covenant of God... The second condition is Living the Life... The third condition is Teaching the Faith...”
(‘Abdu’l-Baha, Tablet to the Apostles of Baha’u’llah)
The Commands of Our Blessed MASTER, ABDUL-BAHA,
as revealed in Tablets and Instructions through the beloved in America.
To live the life.
To be no cause of grief to any one.
To love each other very much.
To be kind to all people and to love them with a pure spirit.
Should opposition or injury happen to us, we must bear it and be as kind as ever we can be, and through all, we must love the people. Should calamity exist in the greatest degree, we must rejoice, and be exceedingly glad, for these things are the Gifts and Favors of GOD.
To be silent concerning the faults of others, to pray for them, and help them–through kindness–to correct their faults.
To look always at the good and not at the bad. If a man has ten good qualities and one bad one, we must look at the ten and forget the one. And if a man has ten bad qualities and one good one, we must look at the one and forget the ten.
To never allow ourselves to speak one unkind word about another, even though that other be our enemy.
To rebuke those who speak to us of the faults of others.
All of our deeds must be done in kindness.
To be occupied in spreading the Teachings, for only through obedience to this Command, our Master has said, will we receive the power and confirmation of the Spirit; and that whosoever is granted this power and confirmation of the Spirit, is under the Favor of GOD, but, otherwise, he is as a lamp without light. The Master also said that: “Every seed cast in this great and magnificent century (i.e., period) will be cultivated by GOD, and produce plants, through the abundance of the clouds of His Mercy.
To cut our hearts from ourselves and from the world.
To be humble.
To be servants of each other and to know that we are less than any one else.
To be firm in the Covenant.
To be as one soul in many bodies; for the more we love each other, the nearer we will be to GOD; but that our love, our unity, our obedience, must not be by confession but of reality.
To act with cautiousness and wisdom.
To be truthful.
To be hospitable.
To be reverent.
To be a cause of healing for every sick one; a comforter for every sorrowful one; a pleasant water for every thirsty one; a Heavenly Table for every hungry one; a guide for every seeker; rain for cultivation; a star to every horizon; a light for every lamp; a herald to every yearning one for the Kingdom of GOD.
Our Blessed Master said: “By these things you know the faithful servant of GOD.”
TABLET TO THE APOSTLES OF BAHA’U’LLAH!
He is God!
O ye Apostles of Baha’u’llah! May my life be sacrificed for you!
THE BLESSED Person of the Promised One is interpreted in the Holy Book as the Lord of Hosts--the heavenly armies. By heavenly armies those souls are intended who are entirely freed from the human world, transformed into celestial spirits and have become divine angels. Such souls are the rays of the Sun of Reality who will illumine all the continents. Each one is holding in his hand a trumpet, blowing the breath of life over all the regions. They are delivered from human qualities and the defects of the world of nature, are characterized with the characteristics of God, and are attracted with the fragrances of the Merciful. Like unto the apostles of Christ, who were filled with Him, these souls also have become filled with His Holiness Baha’u’llah; that is, the love of Baha’u’llah has so mastered every organ, part and limb of their bodies, as to leave no effect from the promptings of the human world.
These souls are the armies of God and the conquerors of the East and the West. Should one of them turn his face toward some direction and summon the people to the Kingdom of God, all the ideal forces and lordly confirmations will rush to his support and reinforcement. He will behold all the doors open and all the strong fortifications and impregnable castles razed to the ground. Singly and alone he will attack the armies of the world, defeat the right and left wings of the hosts of all the countries, break through the lines of the legions of all the nations and carry his attack to the very center of the powers of the earth. This is the meaning of the Hosts of God.
Any soul from among the believers of Baha’u’llah who attains to this station will become known as the Apostle of Baha’u’llah. Therefore strive ye with heart and soul so that ye may reach this lofty and exalted position, be established on the throne of everlasting glory, and crown your heads with the shining diadem of the Kingdom, whose brilliant jewels may irradiate upon centuries and cycles.
O ye kind friends! Uplift your magnanimity and soar high toward the apex of heaven so that your blessed hearts may become illumined more and more, day by day, through the rays of the Sun of Reality, that is, His Holiness Baha’u’llah; at every moment the spirits may obtain a new life, and the darkness of the world of nature may be entirely dispelled; thus you may become incarnate light and personified spirit, become entirely unaware of the sordid matters of this world and in touch with the affairs of the divine world.
Behold the portals which Baha’u’llah hath opened before you! Consider how exalted and lofty is the station you are destined to attain; how unique the favors with which you have been endowed. Should we become intoxicated with this cup, the sovereignty of this globe of earth will become lower in our estimation than children's play. Should they place in the arena the crown of the government of the whole world, and invite each one of us to accept it, undoubtedly we shall not condescend, and shall refuse to accept it.
To attain to this supreme station is, however, dependent on the realization of certain conditions:
The first condition is Firmness in the Covenant of God. For the power of the Covenant will protect the Cause of Baha’u’llah from the doubts of the people of error. It is the fortified fortress of the Cause of God and the firm pillar of the religion of God. Today no power can conserve the oneness of the Baha’i world save the Covenant of God; otherwise differences like unto a most great tempest will encompass the Baha’i world. It is evident that the axis of the oneness of the world of humanity is the power of the Covenant and nothing else. Had the Covenant not come to pass, had it not been revealed from the Supreme Pen and had not the Book of the Covenant, like unto the ray of the Sun of Reality, illuminated the world, the forces of the Cause of God would have been utterly scattered and certain souls who were the prisoners of their own passions and lusts would have taken into their hands an axe, cutting the root of this Blessed Tree. Every person would have pushed forward his own desire and every individual aired his own opinion! Notwithstanding this great Covenant, a few negligent souls galloped with their chargers into the battlefield, thinking perchance they might be able to weaken the foundation of the Cause of God: but praise be to God all of them were afflicted with regret and loss, and erelong they shall see themselves in poignant despair. Therefore, in the beginning the believers must make their steps firm in the Covenant so that the confirmations of Baha’u’llah may encircle them from all sides, the cohorts of the Supreme Concourse may become their supporters and helpers, and the exhortations and advices of `Abdu’l-Baha, like unto the pictures engraved on stone, may remain permanent and ineffaceable in the tablets of all hearts.
The second condition is Living the Life: Fellowship and love amongst the believers. The divine friends must be attracted to and enamored of each other and ever be ready and willing to sacrifice their own lives for each other. Should one soul from amongst the believers meet another, it must be as though a thirsty one with parched lips has reached to the fountain of the water of life, or a lover has met his true beloved. For one of the greatest divine wisdoms regarding the appearance of the holy Manifestations is this: The souls may come to know each other and become intimate with each other; the power of the love of God may make all of them the waves of one sea, the flowers of one rose garden, and the stars of one heaven. This is the wisdom for the appearance of the holy Manifestations! When the most great bestowal reveals itself in the hearts of the believers, the world of nature will be transformed, the darkness of the contingent being will vanish, and heavenly illumination will be obtained. Then the whole world will become the Paradise of Abhá, every one of the believers of God will become a blessed tree, producing wonderful fruits.
O ye friends! Fellowship, fellowship! Love, love! Unity, unity!--so that the power of the Baha’i Cause may appear and become manifest in the world of existence. My thoughts are turned towards you, and my heart leaps within me at your mention. Could ye know how my soul glows with your love, so great a happiness would flood your hearts as to cause you to become enamored with each other.
The third condition is Teaching the Faith: Teachers must continually travel to all parts of the continent, nay, rather, to all parts of the world, but they must travel like `Abdu’l-Baha, who journeyed throughout the cities of America. He was sanctified and free from every attachment and in the utmost severance. Just as His Holiness Christ says: Shake off the very dust from your feet (Mat. 10:14).
You have observed that while in America many souls in the utmost of supplication and entreaty desired to offer some gifts, but this servant, in accord with the exhortations and behests of the Blessed Perfection, never accepted a thing, although on certain occasions we were in most straitened circumstances. But on the other hand, if a soul for the sake of God, voluntarily and out of his pure desire, wishes to offer a contribution (toward the expenses of a teacher) in order to make the contributor happy, the teacher may accept a small sum, but must live with the utmost contentment.
The aim is this: The intention of the teacher must be pure, his heart independent, his spirit attracted, his thought at peace, his resolution firm, his magnanimity exalted and in the love of God a shining torch. Should he become as such, his sanctified breath will even affect the rock; otherwise there will be no result whatsoever. As long as a soul is not perfected, how can he efface the defects of others? Unless he is detached from aught else save God, how can he teach severance to others?
In short, O ye believers of God! Endeavor ye, so that you may take hold of every means in the promulgation of the religion of God and the diffusion of the fragrances of God.
ALL THE PEOPLE HAVE THE FRANCHISE TO TEACH!
Amongst other things is the holding of the meetings for teaching so that blessed souls and the old ones from amongst the believers may gather together the youths of the love of God in schools of instruction and teach them all the divine proofs and irrefragable arguments, explain and elucidate the history of the Cause, and interpret also the prophecies and proofs which are recorded and are extant in the divine books and epistles regarding the manifestation of the Promised One, so that the young ones may go in perfect knowledge in all these degrees.
Likewise, whenever it is possible a committee must be organized for the translation of the Tablets. Wise souls who have mastered and studied perfectly the Persian, Arabic, and other foreign languages, or know one of the foreign languages, must commence translating Tablets and books containing the proofs of this Revelation, and publishing those books, circulate them throughout the five continents of the globe.
Similarly, the magazine, the Star of the West, must be edited with the utmost regularity, but its contents must be the promulgation of the Cause of God that both East and West may become informed of the most important events.
In short, in all the meetings, whether public or private, nothing should be discussed save that which is under consideration and all the articles be centered around the Cause of God. Promiscuous talk must not be dragged in and contention is absolutely forbidden.
The teachers traveling in different directions must know the language of the country in which they will enter. For example, a person being proficient in the Japanese language may travel to Japan, or a person knowing the Chinese language may hasten to China, and so forth.
In short, after this universal war, the people have obtained extraordinary capacity to hearken to the divine teachings, for the wisdom of this war is this: That it may become proven to all that the fire of war is world-consuming, whereas the rays of peace are world-enlightening. One is death, the other is life; this is extinction, that is immortality; one is the most great calamity, the other is the most great bounty; this is darkness, that is light; this is eternal humiliation and that is everlasting glory; one is the destroyer of the foundation of man, the other is the founder of the prosperity of the human race.
Consequently, a number of souls may arise and act in accordance with the aforesaid conditions, and hasten to all parts of the world, especially from America to Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia, and travel through Japan and China. Likewise, from Germany teachers and believers may travel to the continents of America, Africa, Japan and China; in brief, they may travel through all the continents and islands of the globe. Thus in a short space of time, most wonderful results will be produced, the banner of universal peace will be waving on the apex of the world and the lights of the oneness of the world of humanity may illumine the universe.
In brief, O ye believers of God! The text of the divine Book is this: If two souls quarrel and contend about a question of the divine questions, differing and disputing, both are wrong. The wisdom of this incontrovertible law of God is this: That between two souls from amongst the believers of God, no contention and dispute may arise; that they may speak with each other with infinite amity and love. Should there appear the least trace of controversy, they must remain silent, and both parties must continue their discussions no longer, but ask the reality of the question from the Interpreter. This is the irrefutable command!
Upon you be Baha’u'l-Abha!
O GOD, my God! Thou seest how black darkness is enshrouding all regions, how all countries are burning with the flame of dissension, and the fire of war and carnage is blazing throughout the East and the West. Blood is flowing, corpses bestrew the ground, and severed heads are fallen on the dust of the battlefield.
O Lord! Have pity on these ignorant ones and look upon them with the eye of forgiveness and pardon. Extinguish this fire, so that these dense clouds which obscure the horizon may be scattered, the Sun of Reality shine forth with the rays of conciliation, this intense gloom be dispelled and the resplendent light of peace shed its radiance upon all countries.
O Lord! Draw up the people from the abyss of the ocean of hatred and enmity, and deliver them from this impenetrable darkness. Unite their hearts, and brighten their eyes with the light of peace and reconciliation. Deliver them from the depths of war and bloodshed, and free them from the darkness of error. Remove the veil from their eyes, and enlighten their hearts with the light of guidance. Treat them with Thy tender mercy and compassion, and deal not with them according to Thy justice and wrath which cause the limbs of the mighty to quake.
O Lord! Wars have persisted. Distress and anxiety have waxed great and every flourishing region is laid waste.
O Lord! Hearts are heavy, and souls are in anguish. Have mercy on these poor souls and do not leave them to the excesses of their own desires.
O Lord! Make manifest in Thy lands humble and submissive souls, their faces illumined with the rays of guidance, severed from the world, extolling Thy Name, uttering Thy praise, and diffusing the fragrance of Thy holiness amongst mankind.
O Lord! Strengthen their backs, gird up their loins, and enrapture their hearts with the most mighty signs of Thy love.
O Lord! Verily, they are weak, and Thou art the Powerful and the Mighty; they are impotent, and Thou art the Helper and the Merciful.
O Lord! The ocean of rebellion is surging, and these tempests will not be stilled save through Thy boundless grace which hath embraced all regions.
O Lord! Verily, the people are in the abyss of passion, and naught can save them but Thine infinite bounties.
O Lord! Dispel the darkness of these corrupt desires, and illumine the hearts with the lamp of Thy love through which all countries will erelong be enlightened. Confirm, moreover, Thy loved ones, those who, leaving their homelands, their families and their children, have, for the love of Thy Beauty, traveled to foreign countries to diffuse Thy fragrances and promulgate Thy teachings. Be Thou their companion in their loneliness, their helper in a strange land, the remover of their sorrows, their comforter in calamity. Be Thou a refreshing draught for their thirst, a healing medicine for their ills and a balm for the burning ardor of their hearts.
Verily, Thou art the Most Generous, the Lord of grace abounding, and, verily, Thou art the Compassionate and the Merciful.
“Reflections such as these should steel the resolve of the entire Baha’i community, should dissipate their forebodings, and arouse them to rededicate themselves to every single provision of that Divine Charter -- the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Baha --whose outline has been delineated for them by the pen of `Abdu’l-Baha.” (Shoghi Effendi, The Advent of Divine Justice, p. 72)
On behalf of the Council,