Archive for September 10, 2017

10 September ― 3 ‘Izzat   Leave a comment

If thou art not seeing dreams (and visions), be thou not sad. Thou art going to see, whilst thou art awake. A wakeful eye is acceptable in the Threshold of the Almighty. Therefore, I hope that thou wilt open the eye of thine insight, travel in all the realms of God, see the splendor of the Kingdom and behold the effulgence of the Realm of might.

 

 

His Holiness ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá v3, pp: 531-532

 

 

MORNING:

The First Valley

If the travelers seek after the goal of the Intended One (maqṣúd), this station appertaineth to the self — but that self which is “The Self of God standing within Him with laws.”†

On this plane, the self is not rejected but beloved; it is well-pleasing and not to be shunned. Although at the beginning, this plane is the realm of conflict, yet it endeth in attainment to the throne of splendor. As they have said: “O Abraham of this day, O Friend Abraham of the Spirit! Kill these four birds of prey,”‡ that after death the riddle of life may be unraveled.

This is the plane of the soul who is pleasing unto God. Refer to the verse:

O thou soul who art well assured,

Return to thy Lord, well-pleased, and pleasing unto Him.1

which endeth:

Enter thou among My servants,

And enter thou My paradise.2

This station hath many signs, unnumbered proofs. Hence it is said: “Hereafter We will show them Our signs in the regions of the earth, and in themselves, until it become manifest unto them that it is the truth,”3 and that there is no God save Him.

One must, then, read the book of his own self, rather than some treatise on rhetoric. Wherefore He hath said, “Read thy Book: There needeth none but thyself to make out an account against thee this day.”4

The story is told of a mystic knower, who went on a journey with a learned grammarian as his companion. They came to the shore of the Sea of Grandeur. The knower straightway flung himself into the waves, but the grammarian stood lost in his reasonings, which were as words that are written on water. The knower called out to him, “Why dost thou not follow?” The grammarian answered, “O Brother, I dare not advance. I must needs go back again.” Then the knower cried, “Forget what thou didst read in the books of Síbávayh and Qawlavayh, of Ibn-i-Hajíb and Ibn-i-Málik,§ and cross the water.”

§ Famed writers on grammar and rhetoric

The death of self is needed here, not rhetoric:

Be nothing, then, and walk upon the waves.

Likewise is it written, “And be ye not like those who forget God, and whom He hath therefore caused to forget their own selves. These are the wicked doers.”5

 

† Hadith

The Mathnaví. Here Rúmí tells a story of four evil birds which, when put to death, changed into four birds of goodness. The allegory refers to subduing evil qualities and replacing them with good.

1 Qur’án 89:27-30

2Qur’án 89:27-30

3 Qur’án 41:53

4 Qur’án 17:15

5 Qur’án 59:19

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Four Valleys, pp: 49-52

EVENING:

The Second Valley

If the wayfarer’s goal be the dwelling of the Praiseworthy One (Maḥmúd),1 this is the station of primal reason which is known as the Prophet and the Most Great Pillar.2 Here reason signifieth the divine, universal mind, whose sovereignty enlighteneth all created things—nor doth it refer to every feeble brain; for it is as the wise Saná’í hath written:

How can feeble reason encompass the Qur’án,
Or the spider snare a phoenix in his web?
Wouldst thou that the mind should not entrap thee?
Teach it the science of the love of God!

On this plane, the traveler meeteth with many a trial and reverse. Now is he lifted up to heaven, now is he cast into the depths. As it hath been said: “Now Thou drawest me to the summit of glory, again Thou castest me into the lowest abyss.” The mystery treasured in this plane is divulged in the following holy verse from the Súrih of THE CAVE:3

“And thou mightest have seen the sun when it arose, pass on the right of their cave, and when it set, leave them on the left, while they were in its spacious chamber. This is one of the signs of God. Guided indeed is he whom God guideth; but for him whom He misleadeth, thou shalt by no means find a patron.”

If a man could know what lieth hid in this one verse, it would suffice him. Wherefore, in praise of such as these, He hath said: “Men whom neither merchandise nor traffic beguile from the remembrance of God….”4

This station conferreth the true standard of knowledge, and freeth man from tests. In this realm, to search after knowledge is irrelevant, for He hath said concerning the guidance of travelers on this plane, “Fear God, and God will instruct thee.”5 And again: “Knowledge is a light which God casteth into the heart of whomsoever He willeth.”6

Wherefore, a man should make ready his heart that it be worthy of the descent of heavenly grace, and that the bounteous Cup-Bearer may give him to drink of the wine of bestowal from the merciful vessel. “For the like of this let the travailers travail!”7

And now do I say, “Verily we are from God, and to Him shall we return.”8

1.

An attribute of God and one of the titles of Muḥammad.

2.

Maqám-i-Mahmúd—Praiseworthy Station—is the rank of Prophets endowed with constancy.

3.

Qur’án 18:16. This is a reference to the station of complete faith. The companions of the Cave are identified with early Christian martyrs.

4.

Qur’án 24:37

5.

Qur’án 2:282

6.

Hadíth

7.

Qur’án 37:59

8.

Qur’án 2:151

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Four Valleys, pp: 52-54

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