May 25, 2016

Attributes of the Spiritual World

… the spiritual world … is the Kingdom of complete attraction and affinity. It is the Kingdom of the One Divine Spirit, the Kingdom of God. 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (From a talk on 12 April 1912 at Home of Mr. and Mrs. Howard MacNutt; ‘The Promulgation of Universal Peace: Talks Delivered by 'Abdu'l-Bahá during His Visit to the United States and Canada in 1912’)

May 5, 2016

“In truth were that lofty and glorious station to be revealed to an extent smaller than a needle's eye…”

O Mother! Grieve not over the loss of thy son; rather pride thyself therein. Indeed this is an occasion for gladness and rejoicing, not for despondency and sorrow.

I swear by the Day-Star of the morn of Truth that thy son hath attained a station such as no pen can depict, nor words adequately describe. His habitation is the realm on high, his associates and companions are sanctified and detached souls, and his sustenance the imperishable and hidden blessings of the Lord. In truth were that lofty and glorious station to be revealed to an extent smaller than a needle's eye before the eyes of them that dwell on earth, they would, one and all, be so filled with joy and ecstasy as to be consumed thereby. Therefore think not that he hath perished. Indeed he will endure in the heavenly kingdom as long as God Himself endureth. And this calleth for gratitude, not grieving. When he findeth that thou art happy he becometh more cheerful, but when he perceiveth that thou art disconsolate, this provoketh anguish in his heart. 
- Baha’u’llah  (Compilation: ‘Fire and Light’, prepared by the Research Department of the Universal House of Justice; The Baha’i World 1979-1983)

April 20, 2016

The “only movement” of the human soul “is towards perfection; growth and progress alone constitute the motion of the soul.”

…it is evident that movement is essential to all existence. All material things progress to a certain point, then begin to decline. This is the law which governs the whole physical creation. Now let us consider the soul. We have seen that movement is essential to existence; nothing that has life is without motion. All creation, whether of the mineral, vegetable or animal kingdom, is compelled to obey the law of motion; it must either ascend or descend. But with the human soul, there is no decline. Its only movement is towards perfection; growth and progress alone constitute the motion of the soul.

Divine perfection is infinite, therefore the progress of the soul is also infinite. From the very birth of a human being the soul progresses, the intellect grows and knowledge increases. When the body dies the soul lives on. All the differing degrees of created physical beings are limited, but the soul is limitless! 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (From a talk, November 10th, Paris, France; ‘Paris Talks’)

April 5, 2016

We have “three aspects of our humanness, so to speak, a body, a mind and an immortal identity—soul or spirit”

When studying at present, in English, the available Bahá’í writings on the subject of body, soul and spirit, one is handicapped by a certain lack of clarity because not all were translated by the same person, and also there are, as you know, still many Bahá’í writings untranslated. But there is no doubt that spirit and soul seem to have been interchanged in meaning sometimes; soul and mind have, likewise, been interchanged in meaning, no doubt due to difficulties arising from different translations. What the Bahá’ís do believe though is that we have three aspects of our humanness, so to speak, a body, a mind and an immortal identity—soul or spirit. We believe the mind forms a link between the soul and the body, and the two interact on each other.
- Shoghi Effendi  (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi, June 7th, 1946; ‘Arohanui: Letters from Shoghi Effendi to New Zealand’)

March 26, 2016

Human spirit finds “eternal life” in the breath of the Holy Spirit

This spirit is one of the divine bounties, a manifestation of the Sun of Truth; but if the human spirit receives the breath of the Holy Spirit, then it is a pure spirit. The breath of the Holy Spirit is the divine teaching; in it the spirit finds eternal life. It is the heavenly light and illumines the human world by the divine qualities. Hence we must endeavour to act according to the teachings of Bahá'u'lláh. 
‘Abdu’l-Baha  (From a talk at Alliance Spiritualiste of Paris, 9 November 1911; Star of the West, vol. 2, no. 17, January 19, 1912)

March 15, 2016

Soul "manifests itself in... material forms and visages" in the world of vision

When the souls leave the bodies they do not assume elemental bodies. Whatever man thinks regarding this is but his own imagination.

When man desires help and communication from holy souls, he puts himself in a condition of self-unconsciousness and becomes submerged in a sea of meditation; then a spiritual state, which is sanctified from matter and all material things, becomes visible and apparent to him. Then he thinks he beholds a form. Its appearance is like unto a vision.

Man beholds in the world of vision various images, communicates with them and receives benefits, and in that world of vision he thinks they are physical temples and material bodies, while they are purely immaterial.

Briefly, the reality of the soul is sanctified and purified above matter and material things, but, like unto the world of vision, it manifests itself in these material forms and visages. Likewise in the psychic condition, one beholds the spirits like unto the physical forms and visages.
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (From a Tablet; Star of the West, vol. 2, no. 15, December 12, 1911)

March 1, 2016

Condition of the soul before connecting with the body

Question:  In what condition is the soul before entering the body?

‘Abdu’l-Baha: In a state of potentiality, possessing no consciousness as we understand it. 
(Notes of ‘Abdu’l-Baha’s answer, October 18, 1911, Paris, France; Star of the West’, vol.2, no. 16, December 31, 1911)

February 25, 2016

Can souls in this life help those in the next life to hear about the Baha’i Faith?

Question:  Are we not able, through love and faith, to make those on the other side hear of the Cause who had not heard of it while on earth?

‘Abdu’l-Baha: Yes, surely sincere prayer always has its effect, and it has a great influence in the other world.  We are never cut off from those who are there. The real and genuine influence is not in this world but in that other. 
(Notes of ‘Abdu’l-Baha’s answer, October 18, 1911, Paris, France; Star of the West’, vol.2, no. 16, December 31, 1911)

February 13, 2016

Will souls hear about Baha’u’llah in the next life?

Question: If one refuses the Cause of Bahá'u'lláh during his lifetime, may he hear of it after death?

‘Abdu’l-Baha: Yes, he will hear of it in his next life, but through the mercy of God alone, not through his own ability.
(Notes of ‘Abdu’l-Baha’s answer, October 18, 1911, Paris, France; Star of the West’, vol.2, no. 16, December 31, 1911)

February 5, 2016

“materializing of spirits through mediums”

Regarding the materializing of spirits through mediums: A person finding himself in a state of trance, or unconsciousness, is like one who sleeps; whatever he feels and sees he imagines to be matter and of material things, but in reality they are wholly immaterial. 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (From a Tablet to Ella Goodall Cooper; Star of the West, vol. 2, no. 15, December 12, 1911) 
(To read the entire Tablet please visit Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Baha in Star of the West)

January 26, 2016

The “progress of the spirit” after death – “it is wholly beyond space and time”

But regarding the progress of the spirit in the world of the Kingdom after its ascension, it is wholly beyond space and time, and developments, after leaving this body, are spiritual and not terrestrial. It is like unto the progress of the child from the world of the foetus to the world of maturity and intelligence, from the world of ignorance to the world of knowledge, from the station of imperfection to the pinnacle of perfection. As Divine Perfections are infinite, therefore the progress of the spirit is limitless. 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (From a Tablet to Ella Goodall Cooper; Star of the West, vol. 2, no. 15, December 12, 1911) 
(To read the entire Tablet please visit Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Baha in Star of the West)

January 15, 2016

The “spiritual reality” of humanity is “penetrative in all things” – It is “the discoverer of things, the seer of things and the comprehender of things”

Humanity consists of the spiritual reality, and that reality is penetrative in all things and it is that reality which discovers the invisible mysteries, and through that reality all sciences, arts and inventions become known and manifest.  Whatever thou beholdest of the works of man is but a faint ray of that reality. It encircles all things and comprehends all things.

Reflect thou, that all these existent sciences, crafts, industries and arts were at one time in the world of invisibility, unknown and unconcealed mysteries. As the spirit of man environs all things, therefore he has discovered them and brought them from the unknown world into the arena of manifestation. Therefore it is evident and established that the human spirit is the discoverer of things, the seer of things and the comprehender of things. 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (From a Tablet to Ella Goodall Cooper; Star of the West, vol. 2, no. 15, December 12, 1911) 
(To read the entire Tablet please visit Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Baha in Star of the West)

January 10, 2016

The “physical body is an instrument over which the human spirit spreads a luminosity.”

Ponder ye, that during sleep the human body and the five physical senses, viz., sight, smell, taste, hearing and touch are passive, i.e., all physical forces are inactive. Notwithstanding this, human reality has spiritual life and the spiritual powers are penetrative, and wonderful disclosures are made in both the East and the West, and perchance one may discover some matters, which, after a long time, may become apparent in the physical world. Therefore it has become evident that the continuity and influence of the human reality does not depend upon the physical instrumentality; nay, rather, the physical body is an instrument over which the human spirit spreads a luminosity.  It is like unto the sun, which shining upon the mirror, causes its brilliancy, and when the reflection is withdrawn from the mirror, it becomes dark.  Likewise, when the luminosity of the human spirit is withdrawn from the body, that instrument becomes useless. 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (From a Tablet to Ella Goodall Cooper; Star of the West, vol. 2, no. 15, December 12, 1911) 
(To read the entire Tablet please visit Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Baha in Star of the West)

December 20, 2015

“evil spirits” have no influence on human beings – “holy souls have great influence and intense effect”

You have asked regarding the influence of evil spirits. Evil spirits are deprived of Eternal Life. How, then, can they exercise any influence?  But as Eternal Life is ordained for holy spirits, therefore their influence exists in all the divine worlds

…the holy souls have great influence and intense effect, and their influence and continuity do not depend upon physical existence and elemental composition. 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (From a Tablet to Ella Goodall Cooper; Star of the West, vol. 2, no. 15, December 12, 1911) 
(To read the entire Tablet please visit Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Baha in Star of the West)

December 12, 2015

Soul and the world of vision

When the souls leave the bodies they do not assume elemental bodies. Whatever man thinks regarding this is but his own imagination.

When man desires help and communication from holy souls, he puts himself in a condition of self-unconsciousness and becomes submerged in a sea of meditation; then a spiritual state, which is sanctified from matter and all material things, becomes visible and apparent to him. Then he thinks he beholds a form. Its appearance is like unto a vision.

Man beholds in the world of vision various images, communicates with them and receives benefits, and in that world of vision he thinks they are physical temples and material bodies, while they are purely immaterial.

Briefly, the reality of the soul is sanctified and purified above matter and material things, but, like unto the world of vision, it manifests itself in these material forms and visages. Likewise in the psychic condition, one beholds the spirits like unto the physical forms and visages. 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (From a Tablet to Ella Goodall Cooper; Star of the West, vol. 2, no. 15, December 12, 1911)
(To read the entire Tablet please visit Tablets of 'Abdu'l-Baha in Star of the West)

November 22, 2015

Establishing “spiritual links”

When man’s soul is rarified and cleansed, spiritual links are established, and from these bonds sensations felt by the heart are produced. The human heart resembleth a mirror. When this is purified human hearts are attuned and reflect one another, and thus spiritual emotions are generated. This is like the world of dreams when man is detached from things which are tangible and experienceth those of the spirit. What amazing laws operate, and what remarkable discoveries are made! And it may even be that detailed communications are registered... 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (‘Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Baha’)

October 18, 2015

“…the loftiest height which is never-ending in the Kingdom of God”

O thou who art patient and resigning thyself to the judgment (of God)!

Be not grieved at the calamity which hath unexpectedly come upon thee and for the misfortune which heavily weigheth upon thee. It behooveth one like thee to endure every trial, to be pleased with the decree and to commit all thy affairs to God, so that thou mayest be a calm, approved and pleasing soul before God. Know thou that thy beloved son hath soared, with the wing of soul, up to the loftiest height which is never-ending in the Kingdom of God. Rejoice at this great prosperity which the chosen ones were longingly asking from the Holy and Exalted Threshold (of God). Truly, I say unto thee, wert thou informed of the position in which is thy son, thy face would be illuminated by the lights of happiness and thou wouldst thank thy forgiving Lord therefor and thou wouldst long for ascending to that praiseworthy position. 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (‘Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Baha, vol. 1)

October 4, 2015

“…separation belongeth to the characteristics of the body”

O thou who art tested with a great calamity!

Be not grieved nor troubled because of the loss which hath befallen thee -- a loss which caused the tears to flow, sighs to be produced, sorrow to exist and hearts to burn in great agony; but know, this hath reference only to the physical body, and if thou considerest this matter with a discerning and intelligent eye, thou wilt find that it hath no power whatsoever, for separation belongeth to the characteristics of the body. But concerning the spirit, know that thy pure son shall be with thee in the Kingdom of God and thou shalt witness his smiling face, illumined brow, handsome spirit and real happiness. Accordingly, thou wilt then be comforted and thank God for His favor upon thee. 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (‘Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Baha, vol. 1)

September 5, 2015

Rational soul has a beginning but no end. It “is endowed with everlasting life”

As to the station of the rational soul, despite having a beginning, it has no end and is endowed with everlasting life. 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (Excerpt from a table talk, authenticated by ‘Abdu’l-Baha; ‘Some Answered Questions’ – 2014 revised translation by the Baha’i World Centre. To see the entire talks please visit ‘Talks of ‘Abdu’l-Baha)

August 15, 2015

Human soul has a beginning but no end

Know that, although human souls have existed upon the earth for a myriad ages and cycles, the human soul is nonetheless originated. And since it is a sign of God, once it has come into being it is everlasting. The human spirit has a beginning but no end: It endures forever. 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (Excerpt from a table talk, authenticated by ‘Abdu’l-Baha; ‘Some Answered Questions’ – 2014 revised translation by the Baha’i World Centre. To see the entire talks please visit Talks of ‘Abdu’l-Baha’)

July 26, 2015

The “divine Spirit giveth life to the souls and conferreth eternal life upon those who are attracted to the fragrances of God.”

O maid-servant of God! The human spirit hath an impression and effect in the world, but the divine Spirit giveth life to the souls and conferreth eternal life upon those who are attracted to the fragrances of God. This is the Great Cause from the Kingdom of thy Lord. Be attached to this New Spirit which hath effective power in the realities of things and creates new creatures. 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (‘Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Baha, vol. 1)

July 19, 2015

The human spirit needs the assistance of the Holy Spirit to “uncover realities, and unravel mysteries”

The human spirit possesseth wondrous powers, but it should be reinforced by the Holy Spirit. What thou hearest other than this is pure imagination. If, however, it be assisted by the bounty of the Holy Spirit, then will its strength be a thing to marvel at. Then will that human spirit uncover realities, and unravel mysteries. Turn thy heart fully to the Holy Spirit, and invite others to do the same; then shall ye witness wonderful results. 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (‘Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Baha’)

July 11, 2015

Stations of believers in the next world

Question: Will the stations of the believers continue to be different hereafter? 

'Abdu'l-Baha answered, "Yes, it will be necessarily so, for the Kingdom requires it. 

"The King appoints one to be his prime minister, another to be his greatest general, another a soldier, and so on from the highest to the lowest. If all were generals or all were soldiers, there would be no kingdom. 

"God created the mineral, the vegetable, the animal, and man. Had He created only man there would be no world."
- 'Abdu'l-Baha  (Words of ‘Abdu’l-Baha, recorded by Helen Goodall and Ella Goodall Cooper during their pilgrimage in 1908; ‘Daily Lessons Received at Akka January 1908’)

July 1, 2015

How a human soul can “obtain everlasting life”

The Book of God is wide open, and His Word is summoning mankind unto Him…No man can obtain everlasting life, unless he embraceth the truth of this inestimable, this wondrous, and sublime Revelation.
- Baha’u’llah  (‘Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah’)

June 21, 2015

The soul is independent of any sickness or disability of body or mind

Know thou that the soul of man is exalted above, and is independent of all infirmities of body or mind. That a sick person showeth signs of weakness is due to the hindrances that interpose themselves between his soul and his body, for the soul itself remaineth unaffected by any bodily ailments. Consider the light of the lamp. Though an external object may interfere with its radiance, the light itself continueth to shine with undiminished power. In like manner, every malady afflicting the body of man is an impediment that preventeth the soul from manifesting its inherent might and power. When it leaveth the body, however, it will evince such ascendancy, and reveal such influence as no force on earth can equal. Every pure, every refined and sanctified soul will be endowed with tremendous power, and shall rejoice with exceeding gladness. 
- Baha’u’llah  (‘Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh’)