Archive for the ‘Socrates’ Tag

30 June ― 7 Raḥmat   Leave a comment

The sundering of science and religion is but one example of the tendency of the human mind (which is necessarily limited in its capacity) to concentrate on one virtue, one aspect of truth, one goal, to the exclusion of others. This leads, in extreme cases, to fanaticism and the utter distortion of truth, and in all cases to some degree of imbalance and inaccuracy. A scholar who is imbued with an understanding of the broad teachings of the Faith will always remember that being a scholar does not exempt him from the primal duties and purposes for which all human beings are created. All men, not scholars alone, are exhorted to seek out and uphold the truth, no matter how uncomfortable it may be. But they are also exhorted to be wise in their utterance, to be tolerant of the views of others, to be courteous in their behaviour and speech, not to sow the seeds of doubt in faithful hearts, to look at the good rather than at the bad, to avoid conflict and contention, to be reverent, to be faithful to the Covenant of God, to promote His Faith and safeguard its honour, and to educate their fellowmen, giving milk to babes and meat to those who are stronger.

Scholarship has a high station in the Bahá’í teachings, and Bahá’í scholars have a great responsibility. We believe that they would do well to concentrate upon the ascertainment of truth — of a fuller understanding of the subject of their scholarship, whatever its field — not upon exposing and attacking the errors of others, whether they be of non-Bahá’í or of their fellow believers. Inevitably the demonstration of truth exposes the falsity of error, but the emphasis and motive are important.

 

The Universal House of Justice

The Universal House of Justice, Messages 1963 to 1986, pp: 390-391


IMG_1484MORNING:

Again, consider the Mosque of Aqṣá and the other places which We have made sanctuaries unto the people in every land and region. The honour and distinction they enjoy is in no wise due to their own merit, but stemmeth from their relation to Our Manifestations, Whom We have appointed as the Daysprings of Our Revelation amidst mankind, if ye be of them that understand. In this there lieth a wisdom inscrutable to all save God. Inquire, that He may graciously make plain unto you His purpose. His knowledge, verily, embraceth all things. Detach yourselves, O people, from the world and all its vanities, and heed not the call of such as have disbelieved in God and joined partners with Him. Arise above the horizon of utterance to extol and praise your Lord, the All-Merciful. This is that which God hath purposed for you; well is it with them who perceive it.

—His Holiness Baháú’lláh

Súriy-i-Haykal

The Tablet of the Temple, ¶ 91

The Summons of the Lord of Hosts, p. 49

IMG_4252EVENING:

Say: O people! We have commanded you in Our Tablets to strive, at the time of the promised Revelation, to sanctify your souls from all names, and to purify them from all that hath been created in the heavens or on the earth, that therein may appear the splendours of the Sun of Truth which shineth forth above the horizon of the Will of your Lord, the Almighty, the Most Great. We have, moreover, commanded you to cleanse your hearts from every trace of the love or hate of the peoples of the world, lest aught should divert you from one course or impel you towards another. This, verily, is among the weightiest counsels I have vouchsafed unto you in the perspicuous Book, for whoso attacheth himself to either of these shall be prevented from attaining a proper understanding of Our Cause. To this beareth witness every just and discerning soul.

—His Holiness Baháú’lláh

Súriy-i-Haykal

The Tablet of the Temple, ¶ 92

The Summons of the Lord of Hosts, pp: 49-50

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

In the teaching of Bahá’u’lláh, it is written: ‘By the Power of the Holy Spirit alone is man able to progress, for the power of man is limited and the Divine Power is boundless.’ The reading of history brings us to the conclusion that all truly great men, the benefactors of the human race, those who have moved men to love the right and hate the wrong and who have caused real progress, all these have been inspired by the force of the Holy Spirit.

The Prophets of God have not all graduated in the schools of learned philosophy; indeed they were often men of humble birth, to all appearance ignorant, unknown men of no importance in the eyes of the world; sometimes even lacking the knowledge of reading and writing.

That which raised these great ones above men, and by which they were able to become Teachers of the truth, was the power of the Holy Spirit. Their influence on humanity, by virtue of this mighty inspiration, was great and penetrating.

The influence of the wisest philosophers, without this Spirit Divine, has been comparatively unimportant, however extensive their learning and deep their scholarship.

The unusual intellects, for instance, of Plato, Aristotle, Pliny and Socrates, have not influenced men so greatly that they have been anxious to sacrifice their lives for their teachings; whilst some of those simple men so moved humanity that thousands of men have become willing martyrs to uphold their words; for these words were inspired by the Divine Spirit of God! The prophets of Judah and Israel, Elijah, Jeremiah, Isaiah and Ezekiel, were humble men, as were also the apostles of Jesus Christ.

Paris Talks, pp: 163-164

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7 November ― 4 Qudrat   Leave a comment

MORNING:

After him came Socrates who was indeed wise, accomplished and righteous. He practised self-denial, repressed his appetites for selfish desires and turned away from material pleasures. He withdrew to the mountains where he dwelt in a cave. He dissuaded men from worshipping idols and taught them the way of God, the Lord of Mercy, IMG_2088until the ignorant rose up against him. They arrested him and put him to death in prison. Thus relateth to thee this swift-moving Pen. What a penetrating vision into philosophy this eminent man had! He is the most distinguished of all philosophers and was highly versed in wisdom. We testify that he is one of the heroes in this field and an outstanding champion dedicated unto it. He had a profound knowledge of such sciences as were current amongst men as well as of those which were veiled from their minds. Methinks he drank one draught when the Most Great Ocean overflowed with gleaming and life-giving waters. He it is who perceived a unique, a tempered, and a pervasive nature in things, bearing the closest likeness to the human spirit, and he discovered this nature to be distinct from the substance of things in their refined form. He hath a special pronouncement on this weighty theme. Wert thou to ask from the worldly wise of this generation about this exposition, thou wouldst witness their incapacity to grasp it. Verily, thy Lord speaketh the truth but most people comprehend not.

After Socrates came the divine Plato who was a pupil of the former and occupied the chair of philosophy as his successor. He acknowledged his belief in God and in His signs which pervade all that hath been and shall be. Then came Aristotle, the well-known man of knowledge. He it is who discovered the power of gaseous matter. These men who stand out as leaders of the people and are pre-eminent among them, one and all acknowledged their belief in the immortal Being Who holdeth in His grasp the reins of all sciences.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, pp: 146-147

 

EVENING:

IMG_9901This Wronged One hath invariably treated the wise with affection. By the wise is meant men whose knowledge is not confined to mere words and whose lives have been fruitful and have produced enduring results. It is incumbent upon everyone to honour these blessed souls. Happy are they that observe God’s precepts; happy are they that have recognized the Truth; happy are they that judge with fairness in all matters and hold fast to the Cord of My inviolable Justice.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 62

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

The conclusion is irresistible that the splendors of the Sun of Truth, the Word of God, have been the source and cause of human upbuilding and civilization. The world of nature is the kingdom of the animal. In its natural condition and plane of limitation the animal is perfect. The ferocious beasts of prey have been completely subject to the laws of nature in their development. They are without education or training; they have no power of abstract reasoning and intellectual ideals; they have no touch with the spiritual world and are without conception of God or the Holy Spirit. The animal can neither recognize nor apprehend the spiritual power of man and makes no distinction between man and itself, for the reason that its susceptibilities are limited to the IMG_1084plane of the senses. It lives under the bondage of nature and nature’s laws. All the animals are materialists. They are deniers of God and without realization of a transcendent power in the universe. They have no knowledge of the divine Prophets and Holy Books — mere captives of nature and the sense world. In reality they are like the great philosophers of this day who are not in touch with God and the Holy Spirit — deniers of the Prophets, ignorant of spiritual susceptibilities, deprived of the heavenly bounties and without belief in the supernatural power. The animal lives this kind of life blissfully and untroubled, whereas the material philosophers labor and study for ten or twenty years in schools and colleges, denying God, the Holy Spirit and divine inspirations. The animal is even a greater philosopher, for it attains the ability to do this without labor and study. For instance, the cow denies God and the Holy Spirit, knows nothing of divine inspirations, heavenly bounties or spiritual emotions and is a stranger to the world of hearts. Like the philosophers, the cow is a captive of nature and knows nothing beyond the range of the senses. The philosophers, however, glory in this, saying, “We are not captives of superstitions; we have implicit faith in the impressions of the senses and know nothing beyond the realm of nature, which contains and covers everything.” But the cow, without study or proficiency in the sciences, modestly and quietly views life from the same standpoint, living in harmony with nature’s laws in the utmost dignity and nobility.

The Promulgation of Universal Peace, pp: 311-312