SPRING 2012 ISSUE
"Its only army is the love of God, its only joy the clear wine of His knowledge, its only battle the expounding of the Truth; its one crusade is against the insistent self, the evil promptings of the human heart. Its victory is to submit and yield, and to be selfless is its everlasting glory."
"He who expresses an opinion should not voice it as correct and right but set it forth as a contribution to the consensus of opinion; for the light of reality becomes apparent when two opinions coincide."
Dear Friends Firm in the Covenant and Striving in the Cause of God:
For every symbol we see a double usage. For example Jesus has "the cup," chalice or holy grail (Mt. 26:27-28) in which is the wine of the "blood of the Covenant." In Revelation 18:6 it speaks of "the cup she hath filled" and of the "wine of fornication" (Rev 17:2 KJV). Revelation chapters 21:2 and chapter 12 speaks of the Maid of Heaven, "the woman" and "the bride;" whereas chapter 17 and 18 speak of "the harlot." Then there is the "mystery." The "Mystery of Babylon the Great" (Rev. 17:5); "Mystery of Iniquity" (2 Thess 2:7); and that of the "Mystery of the Kingdom" (Mark 4:11 KJV); and the "Mystery of Christ" (Eph. 3:4 ). In the Baha'i scriptures 'Abdu'l-Baha is entitled Sirru'llah--which is the "The Mystery of God".
In any case the same type of plurality of meanings for the symbols and imagery in the body of prophetic vision can be classified. Each symbol, sign, image, likeness, and comparison has its own mirror opposite as well as a great diversity of meaning and application in contexts and life's circumstances to be experience as the living WORD. This is why it is written:
"First of all you must understand this, that no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one's own interpretation, because no prophecy ever came by the impulse of man, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God" (1 Pet. 1:20-21 RSV). Footnote: "Other authorities read "moved by the Holy Spirit holy men of God spoke."
These prophetic symbols, signs, imagery, portents, visions are the comparisons and likenesses by which the soul is able to either ascend into the all highest paradise of his presence, or become entombed in the prison of the insistent-self from eternity to eternity.
Firmness in the Covenant, therefore implies lack of inferiority and absence of insecurity in the Covenant, that is, firmness implies a deep and profound sense of security in the Covenant, and in our relationship with God and in the Divine Confirmation of our receipt of our rays of the Holy Spirit. This breaks down when we find ourselves in stubborn opposition to Jesus in Jerusalem, Moses in Egypt, Muhammad in Mecca, Abraham in the fires of Ur of the Chaldees, and Baha'u'llah in Baghdad and upon Mt. Carmel. Thus in the kindness and mercy of God, and by His Essence of Humility, He does not prevent the people from opposing, killing, disputing, imprisoning, burning, shooting, stabbing, decapitating, poisoning, and crucifying His messengers; or even on that same path of opposition their own selves in war, poverty, ignorance, hatred, and the innumerable depravities of their own making. Such is the destructiveness of man and his insistent-self! The failure of Pharaoh, Caiaphas, Sufian, Nimrod, and Azal and many many more is the victory of the pure in heart, whose cool heads shall prevail coming together like crystal in the spirit of true consultation--meeting to solve the difficult problems of every day and age.
If we were all one and the same person than we would all have one and the same perspective, and we would have one and the same view, and one and the same opinion. If that is what God wanted than God would have created only one person. Instead God created over 6 billion people and more alive at present. Even in our receipt of our individual rays of the holy spirit we will still see the truth from our own unique different perspective from our own spiritual vantage point. This is why we are instructed by Shoghi Effendi to be RIGID in principle and FLEXIBLE in details.
Overall the female perspective is either suppressed or rejected and 'Abdu'l-Baha points out in some of his writings that some sects have even equated this with the manifestation of satan. On the other hand the male perspective should be open and accepting to hear out the female perspective in full. Unfortunately male and female perspectives are also symbolic on other levels, such as the first level where the male represents the material and the female represents the spiritual as "Adam" means "Red Earth" and "Eve" means "Mother of the Living." Thus we see today where a material domineering concept is used to control and shut down the expression of the spiritual society. In the name of "freedom" the Baha'is got rid of the guardianship of the throne-line of King David and went outside of the Will and Testament to be free from it. This is because the Revelation of Baha'u'llah is of the Divine Feminine, being the Maid in Heaven that appeared to Baha'u'llah in his dream and in his vision (see God passes by page 100 ff).
Shoghi Effendi points out that the symbols of the awakening to Being are given in increasing degrees of spiritual comparisons of existence beginning with the mineral Kingdom with the breath of God upon the dust of the earth at the time of Adam; to the vegetable Kingdom of the bush that burns but is not consumed; to the animal kingdom of the Holy Spirit lightening upon Jesus like unto a dove; to the appearance of the man Gabriel of the human kingdom to the prophet Muhammad; finally culminating in its highest form of perfection and spirituality in the Revelation like unto the Maid of Heaven appearing to Baha'u'llah.
Before the appearance of Nimrod and Semiramis, the concept of the Maid of Heaven, the Veil of Isis, and many other names pre-existed the hijacking of the faith. The female symbols were then hijacked by Semiramis and the male symbols by Nimrod (see Hyslop, Two Babylons for more). This hijacking then effected the symbols, comparisons, and likenesses used by the succeeding Manifestations of God in the discharge of their particular Revelations and missions. Thus all the Divine Revelations of the world became hijacked by the same impulse of man. Statutes of Semiramis and baby Nimrod for example in Egypt and Babylon were renamed "Mary" and "Jesus." Thus the Spiritual of the true Faith fell from grace along with its adherents like the many stars from heaven, and the unorganized religion of God became the many organizations of unspiritual men. Thus the Spiritual of the religion of God fell from grace and became the carnal reductionalistic religion of man, that is, of Nimrod and Semiramis. These two people who violated the everlasting covenant for personal reasons of their own in various ways are two examples in the Adamic Cycle of how not to be, and of what not to do ("through one man [Nimrod] sin entered into the world" Rom. 5:12). In either case they were the JEALOUS enemy of the throne-line because it was not to pass down through them and their family line. They are the historical embodiments and impoverished male and female archetypes of the insistent-self.
In the Koran it states that "God has exalted some of the prophets above the others and to David he gave the psalms" and again that "knowledge is a light that God casts in the heart of whom he willeth." We see this truth in the various Baha'i meetings and gatherings as God has exalted the messages, talks, presentations, and posts of some of the friends above the others; that are those imbued with the light of kindness, radiance of being. As a group we all need to arise to the point we are all as a pure polished mirror reflecting this light. In order to fulfill this mission in a group we have been given guidance to follow Baha'i consultation procedures.
The spiritual is not "freedom" for false ideas to triumph over the people, or for the loudest opinion of "might to make right." This is why it states that:
"For without are dogs [absence of frontal lobe usage, Hebrew; gentiles] and sorcerers [Greek: pharmakos--false medication prescriptions], and whoremongers [organized religions of man selling Jesus Christ on the Cross for the all-mighty dollar], and murderers [those that kill the prophets--Rev 17:6; 18:24], and idolaters [insistent-self servers], and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie." (Rev. 22:14).
These are all categories which impair the frontal lobe of the brain, attack or derail the intellect, arrest development in the spiritual, and prevent understanding:
"The wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand; but those who are wise shall understand." (Dan. 12:10 RSV)
The wise shall understand because they use their intellects to see the truth. The wicked are therefore those who refuse to use their intellect--and therefore refuse to see the truth. Therefore without using their intellect they are without understanding. They are outside understanding. They are outside of the Kingdom, for the Kingdom is a spiritual understanding of right thinking and right treatment of your neighbor that is then established on earth as it is in heaven. It is not the good things you do that get you in. It is the bad things you do that keep you out. Those that refuse to use their intellect think they are saved by Grace, because it is written that we are saved by grace and not works. That is true. It is not our good works that get us in. We are accepted in as a grace. But it is our bad works that kick us back out. They asked Paul about the forgiveness of sins, even as they asked Jesus. Paul said "You fool. Stop your sinning!". In other words when these wrong behaviors, wrong thinking, and wrong words are in the past, then we are no longer in our sins. By grace (literally "good-grace" which is eu-charist in Greek which is the Covenant of the bread and wine) our auras are then washed clean and made white. Thus it is not our good deeds that gets us in, it is our bad deeds that keep us out. The people have to clean up their act or perish as Jesus and 'Abdu'l-Baha have said, "a fruitless tree is fit for fire" and again "you will know them by their fruits." It is not your good fruits that get you in, but your bad fruits--or fruitless altogether--that keeps you out.
"O ye loved ones of God! In this, the Bahá'í dispensation, God's Cause is spirit unalloyed. His Cause belongeth not to the material world. It cometh neither for strife nor war, nor for acts of mischief or of shame; it is neither for quarrelling with other Faiths, nor for conflicts with the nations. Its only army is the love of God, its only joy the clear wine of His knowledge, its only battle the expounding of the Truth; its one crusade is against the insistent self, the evil promptings of the human heart. Its victory is to submit and yield, and to be selfless is its everlasting glory. In brief, it is spirit upon spirit:
"Unless ye must,
Bruise not the serpent in the dust,
How much less wound a man.
And if ye can,
No ant should ye alarm,
Much less a brother harm." ('Abdu'l-Baha: Selections)
"'Abdu'l-Bahá was once asked, 'What is Satan?' He replied in three words: 'The insistent self'." ('Abdu'l-Baha: Vignettes, 10)
"The vitality of men's belief in God is dying out in every land; nothing short of His wholesome medicine can ever restore it. The corrosion of ungodliness is eating into the vitals of human society; what else but the Elixir of His potent Revelation can cleanse and revive it? Is it within human power, O Hakím, to effect in the constituent elements of any of the minute and indivisible particles of matter so complete a transformation as to transmute it into purest gold? Perplexing and difficult as this may appear, the still greater task of converting satanic strength into heavenly power is one that We have been empowered to accomplish. The Force capable of such a transformation transcendeth the potency of the Elixir itself. The Word of God, alone, can claim the distinction of being endowed with the capacity required for so great and far-reaching a change." (Baha'u'llah: GL, XCIX)
These insistent selves--even as they physically mingle amongst the people--are without, because they are without UNDERSTANDING. They are outside of direct and immediate experience of the Kingdom. It is like a person when the punchline goes over their head. They just don't get it. If you have to explain it then it has none of the humour left in it. Thus even when they can "see it" they still didn't get it when it was happening. As the time is gone they missed the boat. Thus they are outside of the humour of it. "He who sits in heaven laughs" but "all the world is in derision" (Psalm 2)
Thus Revelation chapter 22 verse 14 lists several reasons why people don't get it, cannot understand it, and are numbed to the experience of it. In some of these cases listed it is because they don't want it for instead they "loveth and maketh a lie" and therefore they are "condemned already" (Jn. 3:18 RSV)
On the other hand this is why God sent His Manifestations and Guardians to help guide and educate the people to develop and cultivate that "inner reality" that God has engraved upon the soul of everyone.
"Veiled in My immemorial being and in the ancient eternity of My essence, I knew My love for thee: therefore I created thee, have engraved on thee Mine image and revealed to thee My beauty." (Baha'u'llah: HW 3 from the Arabic)
"O My servants! Could ye apprehend with what wonders of My munificence and bounty I have willed to entrust your souls, ye would, of a truth, rid yourselves of attachment to all created things, and would gain a true knowledge of your own selves -- a knowledge which is the same as the comprehension of Mine own Being." (Baha'u'llah: GL, CLIII)
"This other and inner reality is called the heavenly body, the ethereal form which corresponds to this body. This is the conscious reality which discovers the inner meaning of things, for the outer body of man does not discover anything. The inner ethereal reality grasps the mysteries of existence, discovers scientific truths and indicates their technical application. It discovers electricity, produces the telegraph, the telephone and opens the door to the world of arts. If the outer material body did this, the animal would likewise be able to make scientific and wonderful discoveries, for the animal shares with man all physical powers and limitations. What then is that power which penetrates the realities of existence and which is not to be found in the animal? It is the inner reality which comprehends things, throws light upon the mysteries of life and being, discovers the heavenly Kingdom, unseals the mysteries of God and differentiates man from the brute. Of this there can be no doubt." ('Abdu'l-Baha: Foundations, 109)
"Unless these divine bestowals be revealed from the inner self of humankind, the bounty of the Manifestation will prove barren, and the dazzling rays of the Sun of Truth will have no effect whatever." (Abdu'l-Baha: Selections, 10)
But on the other hand is the idol of the insistent self"
"They that are the worshipers of the idol [of the insistent self] which their imaginations have carved, and who call it Inner Reality, such men are in truth accounted among the heathen. To this hath the All-Merciful borne witness in His Tablets. He, verily, is the All-Knowing, the All-Wise." (Baha'u'llah: GL, CLX)
The comparisons of the prophetic images are given so that we can overcome and transcend the insistent-self and enter within the true inner reality of the true self which is the same as the comprehension of God's "own Being" ((Baha'u'llah: GL, CLIII). The prophetic imagery and the comparisons such as "the cup," "the woman," and the "the mystery" and all the rest are there for the ascension of the self into the higher and more refined grades of the soul and its immediate experience in the presence of God.
"He is indeed a true believer in the unity of God who, in this Day, will regard Him as One immeasurably exalted above all the comparisons and likenesses with which men have compared Him. He hath erred grievously who hath mistaken these comparisons and likenesses for God Himself." (Baha'u'llah: GL, CLX)
Therefore in all modes of Baha'i consultation we have this guide:
"The first condition is absolute love and harmony amongst the members of the assembly. They must be wholly free from estrangement and must manifest in themselves the Unity of God, for they are the waves of one sea, the drops of one river, the stars of one heaven, the rays of one sun, the trees of one orchard, the flowers of one garden. Should harmony of thought and absolute unity be non-existent, that gathering shall be dispersed and that assembly be brought to naught. The second condition: - They must when coming together turn their faces to the Kingdom on High and ask aid from the Realm of Glory. They must then proceed with the utmost devotion, courtesy, dignity, care and moderation to express their views. They must in every matter search out the truth and not insist upon their own opinion, for stubbornness and persistence in one's views will lead ultimately to discord and wrangling and the truth will remain hidden. The honoured members must with all freedom express their own thoughts, and it is in no wise permissible for one to belittle the thought of another, nay, he must with moderation set forth the truth" ('Abdu'l-Baha, Adminstration, 22)
"The purpose is to emphasize the statement that consultation must have for its object the investigation of truth. He who expresses an opinion should not voice it as correct and right but set it forth as a contribution to the consensus of opinion; for the light of reality becomes apparent when two opinions coincide." ('Abdu'l-Baha: Promulgation, 72-73)
"The shining spark of truth cometh forth only after the clash of differing opinions."('Abdu'l-Baha: Administration, 22)
This is the Judgement:
"And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does what is true comes to the light, that it may be clearly seen that his deeds have been wrought in God." (THE LIGHT VERSE John 3:19-21 RSV)
Thus God separates the servants from the servants as it is written:
"Iniquity must come but woe betide him by whom it comes!"
The remover of this difficulty?
"Is there any remover of difficulties save God? Say: Praised be God! He is God! All are His servants. And all abide by His bidding!"
An again: "All the forces of the universe, in the last analysis serve the Covenant"
"but woe betide him by whom it comes"
Thus while the believers arise to the CALL to assemble in Local, National, and International Council our world now marches into WAR!
Guardian on behalf of the Council,Neal.