Archive for the ‘“Bahá’í World Faith”’ Category

31August ― 12 Asmá’   Leave a comment

The 105th Anniversary of the Visit of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

to Montréal, Québec, Canada in 1912

O ye friends of ‘Abdu’l-Baha! †

While reading your names I opened my tongue in thanksgiving in the Threshold of Oneness, that he hath granted such favor and bestowed such providence. He guided the souls and pointed out to them the entrance to the Kingdom. Such confirmation deserveth thanks and praise, and such guidance is the most great bounty of His Highness the One.

Likewise, you must be engaged day and night, with all your soul and heart, in thanksgiving and in the glorification of His Highness the Desired One who hath created you in such a glorious period, made you the manifestors of guidance in the Day of the Lord, imparted to you the insight and enkindled your souls and spirits with the fire of love. Today the grandeur, the majesty, the splendor and the magnitude of this station is not clear and manifest because it is the time of seed-sowing and  the beginning of the planting of trees in the orchard of the Merciful One. When that seed is grown and the tree reacheth the time of its fruition, then many harvests shall be gathered and all regions and kingdoms shall be adorned with its blossoms and fruits.

Ere long the Adored One of this providence will become the Beloved of the assemblages of the world and the rays of the Sun of Truth will illumine every house, every place and corner. At that time the greatness and superiority of the friends of God will become evident and demonstrated.

Consider ye! In the day of His Highness Christ, the grandeur and majesty of their Holiness the Apostles, was not known. After three-hundred years the loftiness of the station and the exaltation of their attainment became manifest. Ere long the result of the deeds in this cycle of Bahá’u’lláh will appear and every one of the friends and the maid-servants will be crowned with a diadem whose splendid gems will radiate brilliancy and effulgence throughout cycles and ages.

Therefore, O ye servants of God and the maid-servants of the Merciful One, do ye not rest for one moment! Do ye not seek any composure! Do ye not wish for any rest and ease! endeavor and make ye an effort with all your heart and soul to spread the fragrances of Paradise, to raise the eternal melody of the Kingdom of Abhá, to establish the gathering of fellowship, to become assisted with the confirmations of the Holy Spirit; to clothe the temple of existence with a new garment; to bestow eternal life upon the reality of souls; to become a cause of the civilization of the human world; to characterize the bloodthirsty animals with the heavenly attributes and divine commemorations; to pacify the world with peace and salvation, and to adorn man with the favors of His Highness the Merciful One; that perchance ignorance, animosity and strangeness may be removed entirely from among the denizens of the world, and the Banner of Reconciliation, Freedom, Nobleness and Oneness be hoisted; for the chains of existence contain countless links, each connected with the other. This connection is the cause of the appearance of the invisible powers of the world of the visible.

O ye real friends! Make ye an effort that this universe may become another universe and this darkened world find a ray of the Sun of Truth and become luminous and refulgent.

I entreat God that this favor may be realized and this unending outpouring become manifest and apparent, and the friends of God be confirmed by every bounty.

† To the Montreal (Canada) assembly

His Holiness. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá v3, pp: 531-533

 

‘Abdu’l-Bahá arrived in Montréal, Québec, Canada in 1912, one hundred and five years ago this evening.  He was greeted by the Friends at Windsor Station and went immediately to what was then the Maxwell Home and is now the only Bahá’í Shrine in the Western Hemisphere.

 

The Bahá’í Shrine in Montreal, Quebec

 

MORNING:

Say: Verily, the ocean of pre-existence hath branched forth from this most great Ocean. Blessed, therefore, is he who abides upon Its shores, and is of those who are established thereon. Verily, this most sacred temple of Abhá – the branch of Holiness† – hath branched forth from the Sadratu’l-Muntahá. Blessed is whosoever sought shelter beneath it and is of those who rest therein.

Say: Verily, the branch of command hath sprung forth from this root which God hath firmly planted in the ground of the will, the limb of which has been elevated to a station which encompasses all existence. Therefore, exalted be He for this creation, the lofty, the blessed, the inaccessible, the mighty!

†The Master, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Tablet of the Branch

Bahá’í World Faith, pp: 204-205

‘Abdu’l-Bahá

EVENING:

Inhale the fragrances of the Ridván from His roses and be not of those who are deprived. Appreciate the bounty of God upon you and be not veiled therefrom — and, verily, We have sent Him forth in the temple of man. Thus praise ye the Lord, the Originator of whatsoever He willeth through His wise and inviolable Command!

Verily, those who withhold themselves from the shelter of the Branch† are indeed lost in the wilderness of perplexity and are consumed by the heat of self-desire, and are of those who perish.

Hasten, O people, unto the shelter of God, in order that He may protect you from the heat of the Day whereon none shall find for himself any refuge or shelter except beneath the shelter of His Name, the clement, the forgiving! Clothe yourselves, O people, with the garment of assurance, in order that He may protect you from the dart of doubts and superstitions, and that ye may be of those who are assured in those days wherein none shall ever be assured and none shall be firmly established in the Cause, except by severing himself from all that is possessed by the people and turning unto the holy and radiant Outlook.

†The Master, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Tablet of the Branch

Bahá’í World Faith, pp: 205-206

 

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10 December ― 18 Qawl   Leave a comment

Other attributes of perfection are to fear God, to love God by loving His servants, to exercise mildness and forbearance and calm, to be sincere, amenable, clement and compassionate; to have resolution and courage, trustworthiness and energy, to strive and struggle, to be generous, loyal, without malice, to have zeal and a sense of honor, to be high-minded and magnanimous, and to have regard for the rights of others. Whoever is lacking in these excellent human qualities is defective. If We were to explain the inner meanings of each one of these attributes, “the poem would take up seventy maunds* of paper.”

* A measure of weight, in Tihran equivalent to six and two-thirds pounds.

His Holiness ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

The Secret of Divine Civilization, p. 40

MORNING:

The true seeker hunteth naught but the object of his quest, and the lover hath no desire save union with his beloved. Nor shall the seeker reach his goal unless he sacrifice all things. That is, whatever he hath seen, and heard, and understood, all must he set at naught, that he may enter the realm of the spirit, which is the City of God. Labor is needed, if we are to seek Him; ardor is needed, if we are to drink of the honey of reunion with Him; and if we taste of this cup, we shall cast away the world.

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Seven Valleys, p. 6

 IMG_2813

EVENING:

2. O SON OF SPIRIT!

The bird seeketh its nest; the nightingale the charm of the rose; whilst those birds, the hearts of men, content with transient dust, have strayed far from their eternal nest, and with eyes turned towards the slough of heedlessness are bereft of the glory of the divine presence. Alas! How strange and pitiful; for a mere cupful, they have turned away from the billowing seas of the Most High, and remained far from the most effulgent horizon.

3. O FRIEND!

In the garden of thy heart plant naught but the rose of love, and from the nightingale of affection and desire loosen not thy hold. Treasure the companionship of the righteous and eschew all fellowship with the ungodly.

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Persian Hidden Words

FROM THE CENTRE OF THE COVENANT  ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ:

 

Trust no man save him whose breast hath been dilated by God through the light of faith, whom God hath confirmed in His religion, and who is severed from all else save God and attracted by His fragrances.

In future, of course, certain people will come to you claiming faith; do not believe them nor trust them, unless after critical examination, search and investigation, and a long period of waiting, they shall appear to be faithful and truthful in word, confident in heart, attracted in spirit, pure in intention, patient in hardship, enduring the most severe tests; then associate with them. Because some sects will send certain men to mingle with you in order to throw suspicion upon those who are weak, therefore avoid them carefully. But let such be hidden that you may not become a cause of hindrance.

Bahá’í World Faith, p. 411

28 September ― 2 Mashíyyat   1 comment

MORNING:

He Who is the Heart and Center of the Bayán* hath written: “The germ that holdeth within itself the potentialities of the Revelation that is to come is endowed with a potency superior to the combined forces of all those who follow Me.” And, again, He saith: “Of all the tributes I have paid to Him Who is to come after Me, the greatest is this, My written confession, that no words of Mine can adequately describe Him**, nor can any reference to Him in My Book, the Bayán, do justice to His Cause.”

Whoso hath searched the depths of the oceans that lie hid within these exalted words, and fathomed their import, can be said to have discovered a glimmer of the unspeakable glory with which this mighty, this sublime, and most holy Revelation hath been endowed. From the excellence of so great a Revelation the honor with which its faithful followers must needs be invested can be well imagined. By the righteousness of the one true God! The very breath of these souls is in itself richer than all the treasures of the earth. Happy is the man that hath attained thereunto, and woe betide the heedless.

*The Báb

**Bahá-u-lláh

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Bahá’í World Faith, p. 9

EVENING:

IMG_0904He is the Everlasting Being!

This is a message which We have appointed as Our meeting for those who advance toward God in this Day in which all countries are changed.

The one who reads that which is revealed in this Tablet from the direction of the Throne, and doubts the reality of meeting his Lord; verily, he is of those who deny God, who causeth the mornings to break forth!

O birds of Paradise! Hear the voice of the Beloved in these days wherein the feet of the people deviate.

On account of your advancement the Supreme Concourse hath rejoiced; but because of your not having attained the meeting, and being thirsty while near the ocean, the cry of mourning and weeping has been raised by the inhabitants of the cities of eternity.

This is indeed good; that this rejoicing and sorrow seem to unite and to embrace one another in the Day of God, the Omnipresent, the Dear, the Chosen! 

The bellies of the polytheists are burned by that which We have uttered aforetime, and for this reason they dissemble day and night against My soul.

Blessed are you, since ye have entered the city and attained that which your Lord, the Dear, the Giver, desireth.

It is incumbent upon you that gladness and exultation shall be manifest in your faces; so that every soul may find in you submission and forbearance. Thus it is preordained from the Pen of El-Abhá. Verily, your Lord the Merciful is the knower of that which is secret and manifest!

Ye are in the shadow of My providence and under the Dome of My mercy. Verily, the sight of God is directed toward you, O ye possessors of clear insight.

Blessed are ye; those who love you and those who advance toward you sincerely, for the sake of God, the Dear, the Almighty!

God beareth witness, and those who are encircling the Throne, that ye have victoriously attained His meeting, and have circulated around the Holy of Holies of His Cause, and were present before His Face. Verily, He is the powerful over all that He wisheth! There is no God but He, the Dear, the Bestower!

By Myself! We have accepted from you that which ye desired, and We will be with you in all times.

El-Bahá be upon you on the part of the Dear, the Helper!Kindly disposition

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Bahá’í Scriptures, pp: 187-188

FROM HIS HOLINESS BAHÁ’U’LLÁH ABOUT THE TEACHING METHODS OF ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ RECORDED BY Hand of the Cause of God H.M. Balyuzi:

A pleasing, kindly disposition and a display of tolerance towards the people are requisites of teaching the Cause. Whatever a person says, hollow and product of vain imaginings and a parrot-like repetition of somebody else’s views though it be, one ought to let it pass. One should not engage in disputation leading to and ending with obstinate refusal and hostility, because the other person would consider himself worsted and defeated. Consequently further veils intervene between him and the Cause, and he becomes more negligent of it. One ought to say: right, admitted, but look at the matter in this other way, and judge for yourself whether it is true or false; of course it should be said with courtesy, with kindliness, with consideration. Then the other person will listen, will not seek to answer back and to marshal proofs in repudiation. He will agree, because he comes to realize that the purpose has not been to engage in verbal battle and to gain mastery over him. He sees that the purpose has been to impart the word of truth, to show humanity to bring forth heavenly qualities. His eyes and his ears are opened, his heart responds, his true nature unfolds and by the grace of God, he becomes a new creation.  The Most Great Branch gives a willing ear to any manner of senseless talk, to such an extent that the other person says to himself: He is trying to learn from me. Then, gradually, by such means as the other person cannot perceive, He gives him insight and understanding.

Hand of the Cause of God H.M. Balyuzi,

‘Abdu’l-Bahá – The Centre of the Covenant, p. 27

25 September ― 18 ‘Izzat   Leave a comment

MORNING:

IMG_9260Verily, God hath made it incumbent upon every soul to deliver His Cause according to his ability. Thus hath the command been recorded by the finger of might and power upon the Tablet of majesty and greatness.

Whosoever quickens one soul in this Cause is like unto one quickening all the servants and the Lord shall bring him forth in the day of resurrection into the Riḍván of oneness, adorned with the Mantle of Himself, the protector, the mighty, the generous! Thus will ye assist your Lord, and naught else save this shall ever be mentioned in this day before God, your Lord and the Lord of your forefathers.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Tablet of the Branch

Bahá’í World Faith, pp: 204-207

EVENING:

William II 004Say: O people, cause no corruption in the earth and dispute not with men; for, verily, this is not worthy of those who have chosen in the shelter of their Lord a station which shall indeed remain secure.

If ye find one athirst, give him to drink from the chalice of Kawthá and Tasneen; and if ye find one endowed with an attentive ear, read unto him the verses of God, the mighty, the merciful, the compassionate! Unloose the tongue with excellent utterance, then admonish the people if ye find them advancing unto the sanctuary of God; otherwise abandon them unto themselves and forsake them in the abyss of hell. Beware lest ye scatter the pearls of inner significance before every barren, dumb one. Verily, the blind are deprived of witnessing the lights and are unable to distinguish between the stone and the holy, precious pearl.

Verily, wert thou to read the most mighty, wonderful verses to the stone for a thousand years, will it understand, or will they take any effect therein? No! by thy Lord, the merciful, the clement! If thou readest all the verses of God unto the deaf, will he hear a single letter? No! Verily, by the beauty, the mighty, the ancient!

Thus have We delivered unto thee some of the jewels of wisdom and utterance, in order that thou mayest gaze unto the direction of thy Lord and be severed from all the creatures. May the spirit and glory rest upon thee, and upon those who dwell upon the plain of holiness and who remain in the Cause of their Lord in manifest steadfastness!

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Tablet of the Branch

Bahá’í World Faith, pp: 204-207

FROM THE CENTRE OF THE COVENANT ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ:

Calligraphy 034Consider how throughout history many a king has sat on his throne as a conqueror. Among them were Hulagu Khán and Tamerlane, who took over the vast continent of Asia, and Alexander of Macedon and Napoléon I, who stretched their arrogant fists over three of the earth’s five continents. And what was gained by all their mighty victories? Was any country made to flourish, did any happiness result, did any throne stand? Or was it rather that those reigning houses lost their power? Except that Asia went up in the flame of many battles and fell away to ashes, Changiz’s Hulagu, the warlord, gathered no fruit from all his conquests. And Tamerlane, out of all his triumphs, reaped only the peoples blown to the winds, and universal ruin. And Alexander had nothing to show for his vast victories, except that his son toppled from the throne and Philip and Ptolemy took over the dominions he once had ruled. And what did the first Napoléon gain from subjugating the kings of Europe, except the destruction of flourishing countries, the downfall of their inhabitants, the spreading of terror and anguish across Europe and, at the end of his days, his own captivity? So much for the conquerors and the monuments they leave behind them.

The Secret of Divine Civilization, pp. 67-68

FROM THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE:

During these same years, the Asian continent also saw the sudden emergence of the Malaysian Bahá’í community as an engine of the expansion work, winning its own goals with stunning speed and dispatching pioneers and travelling teachers to neighbouring lands. A development that made this dramatic advance possible was the bonds of spiritual partnership that had been woven between believers of Chinese and Indian backgrounds. Visitors to Malaysia spoke, with something approaching awe, of the way in which the Malaysian community, although working under many constraints and disabilities, seemed to be the very embodiment of the military metaphors with which Shoghi Effendi’s writings seek to capture the spirit of Bahá’í teaching efforts.

Bahá’í Temple in Uganda

Neither the world-wide growth of the Bahá’í community nor the process of learning it was experiencing, however, tell the whole story of these tumultuous and creative decades. When the history of the period is eventually written, one of its most brilliant chapters will recount the spiritual victories won by Bahá’í communities, in Africa particularly, who survived war, terror, political oppression and extreme privations, and who emerged from these tests with their faith intact, determined to resume the interrupted work of building a viable Bahá’í collective life. The community in Ethiopia, homeland of one of the world’s oldest and richest cultural traditions, succeeded in maintaining both the morale of its members and the coherence of its administrative structures under relentless pressure from a brutal dictatorship. Of the friends in other countries on the continent, it may be truly said that their path of faithfulness to the Cause led through a hell of suffering seldom equalled in modern history. The annals of the Faith possess few more moving testimonies to the sheer power of the spirit than the stories of courage and purity of heart emerging from the inferno that engulfed the friends in what was then Zaïre, stories that will inspire generations to come and represent priceless contributions to the creation of a global Bahá’í culture. Such countries as Uganda and Rwanda added unforgettable achievements of their own to this record of heroic struggle.

Century of Light

Bahá’í World Centre, 2001 edition, pp: 105-106

3 September ― 15 Asmá’   Leave a comment

MORNING:

IMG_2051O servant of God! Turn thou away from the stranger, that thou mayest recognize the Friend. He indeed is a stranger who leadeth you away from the Friend. This is not the day whereon the high priests can command and exercise their authority. In your Book it is stated that the high priests will, on that day, lead men far astray, and will prevent them from drawing nigh unto Him. He indeed is a high priest who hath seen the light and hastened unto the way leading to the Beloved. Such a man is a benevolent priest and a source of illumination to the whole world.

O servant of God! Any priest who leadeth thee away from this Fire, which is the reality of the Light and the mystery of divine Revelation, is indeed thine enemy. Suffer not the words of the foe to hold thee back from the Friend or the insinuations of the enemy to cause thee to forsake the Beloved.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Tabernacle of Unity, pp: 72-73

EVENING:

IMG_2053O servant of God! The day of deeds hath come: Now is not the time for words. The Messenger of God hath appeared: Now is not the hour for hesitation. Open thou thine inner eye that thou mayest behold the face of the Beloved, and hearken thou with thine inner ear that thou mayest hear the sweet murmur of His celestial voice.

O servant of God! The robe of divine bestowal hath been sewn and readied. Take hold of it and attire thyself therewith. Renounce and forsake the people of the world. O wise one! Shouldst thou heed the counsel of thy Lord, thou wouldst be released from the bondage of His servants and behold thyself exalted above all men.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Tabernacle of Unity, p. 73

FROM THE CENTRE OF THE COVENANT ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ:

IMG_8557O friend! Be set aglow with the fire of the love of God, so that the hearts of the people will become enlightened by the light of thy love.

Supplicate to God, pray to Him and invoke Him at midnight and at dawn. Be humble and submissive to God and chant the verses of thanksgiving at morn and eve, for that He guided thee unto the Manifest Light and showed to thee the straight Path and destined to thee the station of nearness in His wonderful Kingdom. Verily I ask God to augment for thee, every day, the light of guidance and His gift of virtue, comfort and ease. Thus thou mayest set a good example in that region; that He may lift up the veil from before the eyes of thy mother and father, so that they may witness the lights of the Kingdom of God, which have encompassed all regions.

Bahá’í World Faith, pp. 359-360

10 December ― 18 Qawl   Leave a comment

MORNING:

It follows, therefore, that every man hath been, and will continue to be, able of himself to appreciate the Beauty of God, the Glorified. Had he not been endowed with such a capacity, how could he be called to account for his failure? If, in the Day when all the peoples of the earth will be gathered together, any man should, whilst standing in the presence of God, be asked: “Wherefore hast thou disbelieved in My Beauty and turned away from My Self,” and if such a man should reply and say: “Inasmuch as all men have erred, and none hath been found willing to turn his face to the Truth, I, too, following their example, have grievously failed to recognize the Beauty of the Eternal,” such a plea will, assuredly, be rejected. For the faith of no man can be conditioned by any one except himself.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 143

EVENING:

IMG_2445For every land We have prescribed a portion, for every occasion an allotted share, for every pronouncement an appointed time and for every situation an apt remark. Consider Greece. We made it a Seat of Wisdom for a prolonged period. However, when the appointed hour struck, its throne was subverted, its tongue ceased to speak, its light grew dim and its banner was hauled down. Thus do We bestow and withdraw. Verily thy Lord is He Who giveth and divesteth, the Mighty, the Powerful.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 149

FROM THE MYSTERY OF GOD ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ:

IMG_1054Thou hast written of a verse in the Gospels, asking if at the time of Christ all souls did hear His call. Know that faith is of two kinds. The first is objective faith that is expressed by the outer man, obedience of the limbs and senses. The other faith is subjective, and unconscious obedience to the will of God. There is no doubt that, in the day of a Manifestation such as Christ, all contingent beings possessed subjective faith and had unconscious obedience to His Holiness Christ.

For all parts of the creational world are of one whole. Christ the Manifestor reflecting the divine Sun represented the whole. All the parts are subordinate and obedient to the whole. The contingent beings are the branches of the tree of life while the Messenger of God is the root of that tree. The branches, leaves and fruit are dependent for their existence upon the root of the tree of life. This condition of unconscious obedience constitutes subjective faith. But the discerning faith that consists of true knowledge of God and the comprehension of divine words, of such faith there is very little in any age. That is why His Holiness Christ said to His followers, “Many are called but few are chosen.”

Bahá’í World Faith, p. 364

8 December ― 16 Qawl   Leave a comment

That seeker must at all times put his trust in God, must renounce the peoples of the earth, detach himself from the world of dust, and cleave unto Him Who is the Lord of Lords. He must never seek to exalt himself above any one, must wash away from the tablet of his heart every trace of pride and vainglory, must cling unto patience and resignation, observe silence, and refrain from idle talk. For the tongue is a smouldering fire, and excess of speech a deadly poison. Material fire consumeth the body, whereas the fire of the tongue devoureth both heart and soul. The force of the former lasteth but for a time, whilst the effects of the latter endure a century.

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

IMG_0963

The Kitáb-i-Íqán, p. 193

IMG_0922MORNING:

Concerning the prerequisites of the learned, He saith: “Whoso among the learned guardeth his self, defendeth his faith, opposeth his desires, and obeyeth his Lord’s command, it is incumbent upon the generality of the people to pattern themselves after him….” Should the King of the Age reflect upon this utterance which hath streamed from the tongue of Him Who is the Dayspring of the Revelation of the All-Merciful, he would perceive that those who have been adorned with the attributes enumerated in this holy Tradition are scarcer than the philosopher’s stone; wherefore not every man that layeth claim to knowledge deserveth to be believed.

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Súriy-i-Haykal

The Tablet of the Temple, ¶: 229

The Summons of the Lord of Hosts, pp: 116-117

EVENING:IMG_3191

Set before thine eyes God’s unerring Balance and, as one standing in His Presence, weigh in that Balance thine actions every day, every moment of thy life. Bring thyself to account ere thou art summoned to a reckoning, on the Day when no man shall have strength to stand for fear of God, the Day when the hearts of the heedless ones shall be made to tremble.

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Súriy-i-Haykal

Suriy-i-Mulúk ¶ 69

The Summons of the Lord of Hosts, p. 213

FROM THE CENTRE OF THE COVENANT  ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ:

IMG_6750Finally, the perfection of each individual being, that is to say the perfection which you now see in man or apart from him, with regard to their atoms, members, or powers, is due to the composition of the elements, to their measure, to their balance, to the mode of their combination, and to mutual influence. When all these are gathered together, then man exists.

As the perfection of man is entirely due to the composition of the atoms of the elements, to their measure, to the method of their combination, and to the mutual influence and action of the different beings — then, since man was produced ten or a hundred thousand years ago from these earthly elements with the same measure and balance, the same method of combination and mingling, and the same influence of the other beings, exactly the same man existed then as now. This is evident and not worth debating. A thousand million years hence, if these elements of man are gathered together and arranged in this special proportion, and if the elements are combined according to the same method, and if they are affected by the same influence of other beings, exactly the same man will exist. For example, if after a hundred thousand years there is oil, fire, a wick, a lamp, and the lighter of the lamp — briefly, if there are all the necessaries which now exist, exactly the same lamp will be obtained.

These are conclusive and evident facts. But the arguments which these European philosophers have used raise doubtful proofs and are not conclusive.

Bahá’í World Faith, pp: 302-303

FROM THE INTERNATIONAL TEACHING CENTRE

Building Visions of Growth, Devising Strategies.

Establishing Lines of Action, and Inspiring Dedication to Service, 1992:

The organization of plans of action into continuous lines of action is not, in itself, a complex matter. But for such plans to be useful, certain basic principles have to be observed. Actions that are to follow each other must be reasonably consistent in their approach and their underlying rationale. In order to continue and increase its scope, a line of action should include activities that help increase the resources available for its implementation, especially human resources. Therefore, in charting a line of action consideration must be given to the available resources and to the means of increasing them, to the administrative support these actions will require, and to the methods that are to be used. Moving along a line of action implies setting specific, short-term goals and reviewing accomplishments, and then designing the next set of activities. But all of this has to be done while focussing mainly on action and the excellence with which each activity is carried out. As short-term goals are won and new ones are set along the line of action, its direction is modified and its methods evolve. Yet, there is continuity, and abrupt changes, which are usually counterproductive, are avoided.

– Inspiring dedication to service: Individuals and communities need to be accompanied as they follow lines of action. As difficulties arise and resolution weakens, the friends need to be inspired time and again to higher levels of dedication. This is where the concept of nurturing becomes pivotal to the work of the Auxiliary Board members and their assistants. Inspiring the hearts, increasing devotion, promoting good character, attracting the Holy Spirit, fostering love and unity among the friends, and imbuing the relationship between the individual believers and the institutions with the spirit of the Faith, these are the challenges which continuously face the Auxiliary Board members and their assistants. Consultation on the following ideas should help them meet these challenges:

– Relying on the power of prayer and the power of the Creative Word

– Mastering the art of effective encouragement

– Helping the friends to realize the need for consistent effort and perseverance

– Focusing energies and endowing community action with a sense of spiritual discipline