Haifa Notes of Shoghi Effendi's Word:
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[Editor's note: This online version of Volume II was hand-typed by Robert Stauffer and edited and reconciled by Vaughn Sheline to a good photocopy of the original typing. Spelling, underlining, and centering are as in original, except tab indents on pages 15 and 20 are approximate.]
(The classifying under headings was done by me in order
to keep the subjects often referred to together.) R.R.
Also Activities Related
Uniformity in principles and essentials and insist, not only allow, insist on diversity in secondary matters. There is a mysterious power within the administration that maintains this uniformity. The Germans tried to get changes for Germany, changes regarding the regime, etc., He just absolutely refused.
If an N.S.A. or local S.A. gives out instructions to teachers or groups, that are against the teachings, we must obey, but we can communicate with the Guardian. If we do not obey the ruling we would be weakening the administration. So the only way is to communicate with the Guardian and he must take it up with the N.S.A. or local S.A.
The duty of every American believer outside the United States is to keep reporting to their N.S.A. Working in German Territory the believers should report to both N.S.A.'s.
Justice in social relations, mercy in individual relations. Facing responsibility is a sort of spiritual sustenance. They (Assemblies) must welcome the difficulties, the problems, and not shrink or transfer them.
There are laws and principles in the Faith and the principles are sub-divided into spiritual and administrative.
The Divine Plan is the soul of the administration, but for the Divine Plan the administration would be stagnant. The administration is the body and now the soul must function in the body, the machinery of the administration. The Temple is an organ of the administration. Now that all these organs have been established the soul must animate the body. Had he (Shoghi Effendi) not stressed the Divine Plan the friends would spend all their time perfecting details of the administration. When this teaching work advances sufficiently a new stage of the administration will be reached which will be international. The "Bahá'í World" should be printed here in Haifa by an International Committee. Then we have to think of perfecting the International Administration.
However destructive, whatever is happening, in some mysterious way is helping us, helping the very administration we are building.
(Answering a question where all nine members of a local Assembly no longer functioned, he expressed this view:) Before everything else they (believers of that particular city) must deal with the situation of the S.A. It must be made complete - 9. The general principle of an Assembly is to be 9. Before everything else, even teaching, the local Assembly must be properly organized and function well. Prefers 15 members in a group and a strong S.A. than a hundred with a poorly working S.A., as it may all disappear over night.
The correct term is the Administrative Order, which will in future become the World Order. The Administrative Order as it functions has its own administration; in other words the machinery which the body of the Cause employs for its own development. Administrative Order
is the institution itself, the body of the Cause itself. The Administrative Order is born in the formative period of the Cause, it will evolve until it emerges into the World Order of Bahá'u'lláh in the Golden Age. The system of Bahá'u'lláh has upset the material equilibrium of the world, tremendous power has been released (science) but it will never be properly utilized until the world becomes spiritualized, and this will be done by the spread of the Cause.
Christmas ceases as an institution for us. We do not observe Christmas even as Baptism is quite out of place for us. Bahá'u'lláh has abrogated these sacraments, Communion, Baptism, the celebration of Easter, etc., also New Year. The Zoroastrian and Muhammadan, Bahá'ís have given up their former religious observances for the Bahá'í observances, why should not the Christian Bahá'ís do the same? We have our own feast days.
The Ordinances of the Church must not be associated with Jesus, they being man- made. A Bahá'í cannot identify himself with an ecclesiastical organization or post, as he then must support the ordinances of the Church.
Regarding membership in Free Masonry, etc., the Bahá'í should withdraw. Also they should ask the N.S.A. regarding membership in other societies, and if the N.S.A. is not aware of the aims, purpose, methods, etc., of a society they must investigate and then guide the individual.
We should refer to qualifications for members of the N.S.A. but never mention personalities, no application to individuals; even if we are asked for our opinion we should say, "I prefer not to mention any names." What we should remember is their qualifications. Almost everything in America is exemplary except their election, (refers to Bahá'í election here) the reason for it is that everything is so corrupt and it influences us, but we must fight against it (we American Bahá'ís.) It is a weak point in our community. That is why the relation of the Convention to the N.S.A. is very delicate; he revolts immediately at any attempt of the N.S.A. to interfere with the rights of the Convention. But if the N.S.A. considered a question and conscientiously decided by majority vote that the Convention shall not discuss such and such a thing, then they must obey (the Convention must.) The Convention ultimately must obey the N.S.A. but all he can do (Guardian) is to appeal to the conscience of the N.S.A. members to deal with the Convention justly. Delegates have the right to ask the N.S.A. to justify itself on any course that has been taken. This is the chief purpose of the Convention, but the N.S.A. has the right to refuse discussion if they feel it is premature or bad for the Cause. As a rule the delegates are free to bring any subject that they wish to the Convention, and it is very very rare that the N.S.A. might interfere or forbid it and their decision must not be prejudiced, they must not abuse that power of deciding if a subject can be discussed or not. It is a very sacred responsibility, especially when the Convention is in session, and to curtail the sacred rights of the Convention, is a great temptation to the N.S.A. to usurp the rights of the Convention, because ultimate authority abides with them because they have been
made the Interpreter of the By-Laws. They must ask themselves that question: Was there a sufficient need in the Cause for them to curtail the rights of the delegates? The friends must not think the N.S.A. does not err. We must not believe that they do not make mistakes - they make lots of them. The Master says they will commit mistakes, but they have to be obeyed even if they do make mistakes. Only the International House of Justice and the Guardian are under the direct guidance of God.
The greater their authority, the more careful they must be in exercising it.
(In answer to the question: Do the local and National Spiritual Assemblies pray enough?) "I would prefer they would curtail the program of the Convention and devote more time to prayer. To realizing they are not infallible. I agree they do not pray sufficiently."
We have to discuss the teachings informally among ourselves. But discussion must not lead to controversy. We should encourage one another to express ourselves. We must encourage all classes in the community to express their views; the most humble, the most illiterate, the least significant. Whatever they say we must listen to dispassionately. After all Peter was the most stupid of the Apostles and yet he was the successor.
Eventually all N.S.A.'s will have a Palestine Branch, owning property and this will show our unity and protect the property; also they will have other branches in other nations, giving great solidarity to the Bahá'ís all over the world.
The Bahá'ís must develop their fund until it can help in the community help non- Bahá'í interests, whether scientific, social, humanitarian, etc. The local fund must be divided into two sections: specifically Bahá'í, and community interests. At present this is not possible, but in the future the National Bahá'í Fund will be made up of these two things. If a friend, a non-Bahá'í wishes to contribute to the Bahá'í fund we must make it plain we accept it only for the second or municipal fund. We regard our Temple, Summer Schools, etc., as gifts to humanity. When you give a gift you do not accept money for it from the recipient. We want everyone to know that the Bahá'í institutions are supported by people who whole-heartedly accept Bahá'u'lláh, are believers. This protects the Cause from calumny, misrepresentation, etc. Non-believers are always welcome to give money to the fund for the humanitarian purposes directed by the believers. The Bahá'ís for instance, could establish where there was a need for it, a hospital, one run by them but not for Bahá'ís and not considered as a Bahá'í Institution.
Believers may inquire regarding both spiritual and material affairs from their local and national S.A.'s, encouraged to do so. There must be no interference however, under normal circumstances, in the affairs of the individual on the part of the S.A., but if they ask for help
the S.A. must not disappoint them, if they turn to them. The S.A. function is to help the community if they need advice, financial support, help, the S.A. must help, especially if the individual is alone. If appealed to they must settle disputes between individuals and non-Bahá'ís, between families. In Persia they go to one extreme, in America to the other, (in appealing to the S.A.) The S.A. has not only the right but the obligation to settle disputes if referred to them. If the individual, of his own accord, refers the matter to the S.A., they must handle it not shirk it. In Persia the friends go with any problem to the S.A. In America they do not do it enough, particularly if the dispute affects the Cause. The duty of the S.A. is to interfere in order to safeguard the Cause, the interests of the Cause have precedence over the interests of the individual and in such a conflict the individual must abide by the decision of the S.A., besides the S.A. must acquire enough experience to become a Bahá'í Court, a Bahá'í Government in the future. The greater the difficulties the stronger will be the spiritual constitution of the S.A. It nourishes them - the difficulties that arise. The first thing is to face, not shirk responsibilities; second is to base all their verdicts on justice, be animated by justice. Justice and not tempered by mercy. In future they will be called, not the House of Mercy, but the House of Justice. Bahá'u'lláh said: "But for the law of God, I would have kissed the hand of my would-be murderer and would have shared with him a part of my possessions, but the Law of God restrains me, and I have no possessions to share." This is a very significant statement, it indicates that as an individual He is personally inclined to forgive but the Law of God is higher than His Will and restrains Him. Even the Manifestation Himself has to forget His personal inclinations and obey the Law of God. This is an example to local, National and International Houses of Justice. Stability and order are based on two pillars, punishment and reward, and not on forgiveness; He excludes forgiveness. The person who has been injured, aggrieved, harmed, can beg for the forgiveness of his enemy. If on the part of the aggrieved person he pleads for mercy, then the Assembly can take the plea into account. Justice will solve all the problems of the world. "Righteousness and Justice filleth the earth as the waters cover the sea." Referred to in both the Gospels and Islamic tradition. Unerring, undeviating, uncompromising Justice. Nothing can bring the lamb and the lion together unless they are sure justice will rule. The small and big nations will never come together as in the League unless they are sure it is based on Justice.
He does not mind if the N.S.A. knew they can and do err in their judgements. Only the International House of Justice is infallible, under the guidance of God direct.
[In the margin of the next paragraph is the typed notation "B / See A."] The leaders in most of the countries (refers to the Bahá'ís) are weak, the masses are strong. (leaders: members of S.A.'s, etc.) They are often led by the masses without realizing it. But for the reaction of the masses they would have erred more.
The administrators (in the Cause) as a rule have capacity, ability, but their devotion to the Cause, their characters as Bahá'ís, is not as great as some of the others. Some of the others have the devotion, but not the education and experience required for administrators.
If a believer has any doubt as to what constitutes an alcoholic beverage, he must ask his N.S.A. who must enquire of the American Government what their ruling regarding prohibition was.
When the believers refer to the Guardian a decision of the N.S.A., if the question at stake is purely national he must refer it back to the N.S.A. and ask them to reconsider their decision. The N.S.A. must do the same with all local affairs, unless they are very important, refer them back to the local S.A.
The Bahá'ís don't stop to reflect whether their partisanship in some organization might not affect the Cause. Social organizations may or may not be suitable for us to belong to. We should refer these questions to the consideration of our local S.A. The Americans do not do this enough; the Persians too much.
The dangers that surround the Cause in these days are much greater. Ecclesiastical and political economics; these, as the Administrative Order develops, will oppose us more and more, vigorously and openly oppose the Cause. In the early days of the Cause, the Master chose certain individuals to act as an intermediary between the body of the believers, but now that we have the administration, the S.A.'s play this part. It is only logical, this new step has been made. Then one member of an Assembly makes a motion and it is carried, he must not say this was suggested by him, he must only let it be known as a decision of the S.A. Even in cases of teachers doing work, the more they associate their work with an Assembly, the better. He admires the person who, after making a splendid suggestion which was unanimously accepted by the others, leaves the meeting and says the S.A. have decided so and so, and gives no hint that he made it; just as the person who contributes a large sum to the community and does not mention it as being from him. Secrecy is a very bad thing, but some things must be kept absolutely secret *. The S.A. should decide after a meeting what is secret and then not mention this, but when they come to decide this they should not exercise undue secrecy. They must resist the temptation of undue secrecy. He is the first person to say that the local and National S.A.'s make mistakes, but he is the first also to say that the majority on the S.A. and the whole community must obey their decisions. We believe the International House of Justice is guided, the National and local make mistakes, the International is under the guidance of God. We must not live in a fool's paradise by thinking all their decisions (local and National S.A.'s) are guided.
* [Editor's note: see Vol. 2 page 8 paragraph 4 regarding confidentiality, and page 12 paragraph 3 regarding demands for disclosure by the authorities in Russia.]
When a spiritual Assembly is established, they can then establish the 19 Day Feasts. The S.A. is the first Bahá'í institution in any locality, before its establishment they can hold meetings with non-Bahá'ís, but as soon as the S.A. is established they start the 19 Day
Feasts for believers only. They can hold meetings before the establishment of the S.A., on the feast day, but it cannot be considered a 19 Day Feast. They must not be too harsh, if a non-believer happens to come to a 19 Day Feast we must not force him to leave. But generally the Feasts are for believers only.
But for our prejudice the progress of the Cause would have been much more rapid. (racial, etc.) If someone wishes to become a believer and accepts the station of Bahá'u'lláh, the Bab, the Master, and the Administrative Order, and all this implies, and they conscientiously make an effort to approach the standard of Bahá'u'lláh, we cannot ask more. Character has nothing to do with membership; if a person is willing to do their very best and strive, it is a question of good will. We should be satisfied with the bare statement, the resolution.
The 19 Day Feast is not something we have to be too rigid about, (attendance of Bahá'ís.)
Obedience to the N.S.A. and S.A. is required, even to the sacrifice of personal conscience. If a local case is reported to the N.S.A. they must ask, is this a local issue? If so, refer it back to the local S.A. The same thing applies to the National and International Body.
[In the margin of the next paragraph is the typed notation "A / See / B"] The rank and file of the Cause influence the spirituality of their N.S.A. by their own progress spiritually. The masses are strong, the leaders are weak, in most of the countries where the Cause is established.
The Bahá'í village as outlined by the Master is a more or less tentative scheme. There is a great danger in America to crystalise something that is fluid, tentative. It has not only 7 revenues but 7 expenditures.
The laws of inheritance were given by the Bab and modified by Bahá'u'lláh. He changed the percentage inherited by the children to 1/3 and thus increased the share of the children.
The Bahá'ís own one million dollars' worth of property on Mount Carmel, one quarter of this is owned by the American N.S.A., about 35 acres. Muhammad Ali's son, Moussa Bahá'í, had to sign all the deeds which went to America as he is on the land commission. When they wanted to transfer the property in the name of the N.S.A. of America, through a power of attorney, Moussa Bahá'í said the N.S.A. was not recognized legally in Palestine. Shoghi Effendi went to a lawyer, who recommended forming a Palestine Branch. A new power of attorney was sent and the property transferred. This pilgrim house (Western) belongs to the N.S.A. of America, also a plot of land near Akka. Shoghi Effendi's plan is to have all the N.S.A.'s of the Bahá'í world own property here on Mount Carmel. This will impress the authorities and protect the property. The "endowments of the Bahá'í Faith in America" would be a better name than "property of." There are National, International and
local endowments. The endowments here in Haifa (Akka, etc.,) are International. The Temple, etc. is a National endowment, and local endowments must also be obtained. The Haziratu'l-Quds is the Administrative center for a city. The N.S.A. should move their headquarters to Chicago - C (See D.) - and call it the National Headquarters of the Bahá'í Faith. The Temple is a spiritual building. The Haziratu'l- Quds is only one of the dependencies of the Temple. In future this will be built up. In the Temple only prayers will be offered and meditations in the form of prayer. Prayers from the Bab, Bahá'u'lláh, Abdul-Baha and the Qur'an, the Bible, etc., but only holy prayers and meditations.
As to music in the Temple, he is awaiting a tablet of the Master, written to the Bahá'í of Ishqabad on this subject. The S.A. of Tihran have bought 500 acres of land for a Temple. Now they must find an original design. If in Persia they cannot create something original, then instead of copying a former architectural style, they may have to copy the Chicago Temple.
The trouble with Greenacre is that it was an institution established before the Administration, it then had to be adopted, whereas Geyserville is a child of the administration. All Summer Schools are National institutions and should be owned by the N.S.A. Now is the time for the friends to offer if they feel the urge, local endowments, no matter how small; real estate or building or a fund, to the local incorporated S.A.'s. None as yet have local endowments. Now that the National endowments amount to over two million dollars, it is time the local endowments were made. - An N.S.A. can decide if an endowment is local or National. - In India it has already been done (local endowments.) It is preferable the endowments should be unlabelled. An endowment could take the form of a local headquarters. He thinks now the friends are justified in communities, especially where they are incorporated, to support the local fund and give it favour. It is a great service to the Cause to have local endowments established.
Every effort should be made by the local Assemblies to solve their own problems and not refer them to the N.S.A. He thinks contributions to the local fund should be as secret as voting. Is it necessary even for the treasurer to know? The name and amount of the contribution should be kept a secret by the local and National Spiritual Assemblies. There is nothing to be ashamed of in calling certain things a secret in a Spiritual Assembly. Secrecy [confidentiality?] is sometimes necessary for the efficient conduct of Bahá'í affairs. They must be secret in the true sense of the term. There is a danger, however, of introducing an atmosphere of secrecy into an Assembly, which would be very bad. He prefers that contributions should not be given at 19 Day Feasts, and if they are given, be kept a secret. We must learn to be discreet. The treasurer must keep nothing private, the unity of the Spiritual Assembly must be complete in all matters. There is too much National organization in the United States and not enough local. Why have they incorporated local Spiritual Assemblies? To enable them to own
property. Then why should not a local S.A. seek exemption from taxation on grounds of a place of worship? When a local community becomes the owner of a tax- bearing piece of land, etc., it stimulates it to meet taxation, to carry the burden. All local Spiritual Assemblies in the United States must eventually incorporate. First, have By-Laws copied on the New York Communities By-Laws then incorporate, then transfer property which becomes local endowments, then manage this property. This should be done in all local Spiritual Assemblies. If they cannot raise taxes, etc., why not apply to the Government and say this is not only an administrative headquarters, but a place of worship? If he, Shoghi Effendi, is pleased by local endowments, then why shouldn't a local S.A. have its Palestine Branch and own property here? It will neutralize the localization of power.
Individuals who wish to add to a Bahá'í institution can specify what they would like the money to be used for, but at the same time leave the N.S.A. free to decide and be willing to do so, and accept the N.S.A.'s decision gladly.
In every country the National Bahá'í Administration must come first and then the local (i.e., a National Temple, magazine, summer schools, etc., before the local ones.)
Geyserville is the child of the administration and reflects the spirit of the administration impersonally. This is essential, to the administration, that the Summer Schools should not be a burden to the National Fund. The National Fund must be fed by publications, summer schools, local funds, etc., and then go to the teaching fund, etc., and not vice versa.
Geyserville is an example to all summer schools, the way they have effaced themselves (those responsible for it.) Although they have financed the whole thing, committees do everything. An individual should offer his property to the Cause and then be satisfied with the way the committee handles it - be entirely severed from it.
The oneness and the wholeness of mankind are good to refer to. When we refer to unity we must be careful not to give the impression we mean uniformity, unity in essentials, diversity in non-essentials.
He thinks the Archives in the future will have a part that will be shown and a part that will not be shown, but the whole institution is under the N.S.A. Every believer who presents something to the Archives, should have it done in his name, the name of the giver - unless he does not wish it - the name of the person, town, and the country should be connected with the gift. Personalities should be given due recognition so long as they do not weaken or confuse the operation of the administration or a vital principle of the administration. Files, books, relics, etc., will not all be shown. Eventually there will be a local Archives in every nation, village and town; even in every hamlet there will be an Archives. We must not require individuals to offer their relics but urge them, when they do offer them, to offer their relics
without making any conditions such as where they will be exposed, if they shall be exposed or not, etc. There should be no pressure, even no hint, brought to bear on the individual to give their relics.
What the friends have not yet got in the West is a National Headquarters; one division a meeting place for the N.S.A., another division Archives, another for its Convention. The ideal thing would be to shift it to Chicago, - D. (See C.) - under the shadow of the Temple. The N.S.A. must first decide if it is practical to shift from New York to Chicago and then decide on the site, etc. There are three reasons why it should be in Chicago; first, the first Temple of the West is there; second, the first group of Bahá'ís was in Chicago; and third, it is the geographical center of America; just as Haifa is the heart of the world geographically, it is the meeting place of three continents: Europe, Asia and Africa.
He does not consider a local Bahá'í news wrong if they have first contributed to the National Fund; then to the local teaching work and the local administrative activities. Then if they have done all this and have a certain amount of money left, there is no reason why they should not have a local newsletter.
The N.S.A. of America is a model in regard to the way they keep in close touch with isolated believers. The friends must realize that not until the national institutions function and acquire both the administrative and spiritual capacity to elect the International House of Justice, can this election be held, especially is this true of newly organized countries. The administration is not enough, we must have the spiritual foundation. The Guardian said; "They send me my co-workers, I have no voice in it, I must give them full liberty, I have no voice in their election and have no right to intervene." Such a body is elected by the N.S.A.'s direct. Nor the Guardian, nor the delegates, nor the individual, have any right in this election. They must (the N.S.A.'s) do it conscientiously, think of the Cause alone, elect the most qualified irrespective of their country, even if they all come from one country. It is quite unique, nothing like it has ever been attempted before. His task is to watch very carefully that they do not get out of their sphere of activity, legislation. This is solely his responsibility: to define what is legislation. If the Master has said such and such must be done it is binding regardless of the fact it is not written by a Manifestation of God.
The principle is this: do not restrict the freedom of the individual unless the Manifestation has done it, and when he has laid down something, then by all means enforce it. There is nothing in the teachings for or against contraceptives. But Bahá'u'lláh has said the primary purpose of marriage is to have children. All these details are questions for the International House of Justice to decide. If there are States in the United States that require both civil and ecclesiastic marriage, then, through the N.S.A. we could state that we are not church members, and make an effort to obtain their consent of our use of a Bahá'í marriage certificate. In other words, it must be done by
the National Spiritual Assembly, who could communicate with the Guardian on the subject, etc.
[In the margin of the next paragraph is the typed notation "E / See / F"] The Bahá'ís think that the spirit suffers by coming in contact with non-Bahá'í experts, on the contrary, it benefits.
The legal committee is one of the most important to protect the Cause. The legal committee should have an advisory committee of legal experts, non-Bahá'ís. In fact many Bahá'í committees will need expert advice and they in turn must report to the N.S.A. They must not believe they will be guided, they must have expert advice, - F. (See E.) - and they must not feel that a non-Bahá'í cannot advise Bahá'ís. The consciousness of the orthodox element in the Cause has been banished by the administration. Both elements have made concessions. The orthodox element in the Cause gave the Master a station equal to the Manifestation, the liberal gave him practically no station or a confused one. The old problems have disappeared and now there are a new set of problems; the relation of the Cause as it evolves within the state. The first stage of oppression and persecution is passing, we are now in the second stage of emancipation. The stage of recognition will be the third stage. He has thought about this but not yet written about it. Oppression (persecution,) emancipation, recognition.
We are now in the second stage. When the Egyptian, Indian, or Persian Government accepts a Bahá'í Court, we will enter the third stage, recognition by civil authorities. When the International House of Justice is established, the formative period will be over.
Unification can only be established on a basis of equality. In the United States a small state has its rights just the same as a large state: equality. East and West, large and small powers, must all come together on a basis of equality. The West is declining, the East advancing. The Bahá'ís in Persia are being opposed because the Government thinks they are planning one day to seize power. We never use force, violence is against our principles, we never use it. The end does not justify the means, we never lie to protect the Cause, because the Cause is based
on truth and we must never revert to a method which is against the Cause to promote it. Immediately an institution, Islamic or Christian, begins to oppose the Cause it will release the forces that will lead to its own disintegration. Opposition strengthens the Cause and precipitates the down-fall of those who attack it. These are the two effects, whether religious, political or individual, in nature of attack.
In Persia the Bahá'í Faith was born, in America the beginnings of Bahá'í civilization. The beginnings of the Bahá'í civilization is the Bahá'í Administration.
The Administration first and foremost is the declaration of Trust which is international and applies to all countries. Whatever is not therein is secondary. Non-voting in political matters is universal. The German N.S.A. should have circulated a copy the American N.S.A.'s ruling in this matter. The Bahá'ís must not vote when their vote will identify them with a particular political party. There are things in the Nazi program that are splendid, but when we cannot wholly support a political party, then we cannot give it our support. If the Government should force the Bahá'ís to vote they must obey, but if it should force them to recant they must never do so. There is a difference between something that affects the progress of the Cause and something that affects its integrity. Even to the forbidding of the N.S.A. we should obey. Would it humiliate the Cause? No. But if one individual recants it is more humiliating to the Cause than to have all the institutions of the Cause forbidden. In Russia the authorities went to the members of the S.A. and said you must give us a detailed report, secretly, of all your S.A.'s transactions. The Russian Bahá'ís refused, Shoghi Effendi said they did wrong, they had nothing to deny, to be afraid of, they would only be telling the truth.
The Bahá'ís live in 40 countries all of which are opposed to each other. If the Bahá'ís identify themselves with the policy of one Government, the other Governments are displeased with the Bahá'ís.
An incident occurred in Moscow illustrating this: The central authorities summoned an S.A. member and said: "We have heard there are many Bahá'ís in Tihran, also some in the Persian Foreign Office, is this so?" At that time Persia and Russia were opposed to each other. The Russian Bahá'í guaranteed that no Persian Bahá'ís were in any way employed in political posts. This action (assurance) saved the destruction of the Temple in Ishqabad, and the assurance of our non-political stand enabled the friends in Russia to have more freedom.
If our government forbids us to teach the Cause, we must obey - but never recant. Anything that dishonours the Cause we must not obey, but anything that retards the Cause, we must obey. The only way we can reconcile the "obey our Government" and other things in the Cause is to see whether it is an administrative thing at issue or a spiritual one. We are not ashamed of what might retard the Cause, but we cannot have it humiliated.
If each one followed the dictates of his own conscience in war time, what would happen to the Government? The minority must submit to the majority. We as Bahá'ís advocate this, we must practice it. Even at the front lines there must be no half-hearted loyalty; then we would be traitors. We must go to war if required, if no other way is possible into active service, and there do our duty. If we give the right to the minority to challenge the rule of the majority, and if they, this minority should come into power, then they too must give the minority the right to challenge the majority; this would make society unstable, chaotic. Dictators appeal to the right of conscience and as soon as they come to power they deny that right to the minority who then might feel the same as they did when their party was the minority. Anyone who claims the right to follow his own conscience challenges the stability of society. Majority rule involves the stability of society. This does not mean the minority must not try, through legitimate means, to change and influence the majority; they must try to persuade the majority - let them be preachers. While the minority is carrying out the rule of the majority, they have the right to persuade the majority. When there is 1 against 8, he can try to persuade the 8. A member of a Committee can bring his point to the S.A., who can, if they deem fit, bring it up for discussion at a 19 Day Feast, or let him bring it up himself at the 19 Day Feast. Individuals can write to the S.A. and express their ideas or objections, or criticisms. When the time for election of the S.A. comes, the Community must not be swayed by the outgoing S.A.'s convictions, they, in their functions as electors, are responsible to the voice of their conscience alone. The electors are invested with the authority of independent election; the S.A. of independent decision. Bahá'í elections must be three things: 1, universal: 2, free - no one must influence or be influenced by another - and 3, secret, a written ballot.
The political stand of the Bahá'ís (nonparticipation in politics) was given by the Master first to the Persian Bahá'ís. At that time it would have been premature for the West. How could it be possible for a world-wide community to allow its members to participate in political affairs in other countries, often antagonistic to each other? Shoghi Effendi explained this to the Governor and he quite agreed, saying it would "split the Cause from top to bottom."
The Bahá'ís have every right to tell their Government, "We do not agree with all your principles," but this does not prevent our obeying our Government, it does not justify our disobeying them. We are loyal to them although we disagree with them. In other words, all other forms of government are deficient. Communism is militant atheism.
In administrative matters we must obey the Government, in spiritual matters we need not obey. If the Government says dont meet such a person, we must obey. It does not mean we have antagonism towards him, but if the Government requires us to denounce him, speak evil of him, this is violating a spiritual principle. The law may say we discourage you from doing such and such a thing - we need not obey - we must obey what is prohibited. We are weighing the two; discouragement by Government and a spiritual principle.
But as soon as you prohibit it, we obey, (if it does not dishonor the Faith in any way.) We will never obey in violating a spiritual principle, even if the law commands it. If the Government lays down a law that the Bahais must denounce a Jew, we will never do it, but if the Government says we must avoid him, we obey. We must not rely on the Interpretation of others. We must get the text of the law. Who has laid it down? A responsible person? It often happens in Persia that a law is laid down by a self-appointed authority, subordinate officials, etc. This is a corruption - we must be sure of the text of a law. "I must say that the Bahais have not got sufficient courage - but this does not mean they should be unwise." Look up the law, be sure it is a law. Let them be imprisoned. In spiritual matters we prefer to suffer martyrdom rather than obey our Government. That is why we have had twenty thousand martyrs in Persia. Obedience to the Government in spiritual matters dishonors the Cause, is a stain on the Cause. Let them be put to death - it will create excellent publicity for the Cause provided they are right. It would be a manifestation [humiliation?] for the Cause if they were in the wrong.
We should be ashamed if one individual sacrifices a vital spiritual principle in order to obey his Government, but there is no disgrace when the whole community obeys the government regarding Administrative principles if they close our meetings, forbid our correspondence, etc., we are weakened but not humiliated.
Individuals are free to vote in elections so far as they feel they can do so without riding with any party. His belief is that it is not possible to vote in America without involving identification with a political party, however, he leaves it to the individual to conscientiously decide[.] Party politics, party policies, it is clear we must keep out of. The individual must conscientiously decide if by voting they are not siding with a party, and if this can be done, they are free to vote. The general principle is that we must ride with no party. A Bahai can never be a Republican or a Democrat, because when we call ourselves a Republican or a Democrat, it means we sacrifice to the party platform, if there is one item only that does not coincide with the Cause, that precludes our supporting it. We believe in World State Authority, that is one thing that precludes a Bahai from supporting any party, because all Governments believe in their national sovereignty. So long as they do not identify themselves with the party in Germany by voting, they may exercise participation in the vote. Participation in the vote in political affairs is different from voting as a man, if we can vote for an individual and not identify ourselves with the party in so doing we may vote. If they vote for Hitler (in reference to the Bahais and the National vote of 1936 in Germany) it means they find him the least objectionable candidate. Although we are not departing from a Bahai principle by voting (in manner he specified) it is better not to vote, it is safer not to vote, because it might lead to complications. If a believer cannot make up his mind regarding voting and party complications, he can refer to his local S.A. We are above parties and not against parties. Sooner or later there will be a labor Party in the United States. We cannot belong to that either.
Vahid means unity in Arabic (literally "one".) And the word Vahid has a numerical value of 19, 19x19 Vahids making one Kull-i-shay. The Bab wished to emphasize the unity of God, the unity of the Prophets, the unity of man. Hence He chose this number, 19x19. The nineteen Letters of the Living were to emphasize this idea of unity. The numerical values are according to the Abjad System; each letter of the alphabet having a numerical value. It is Muslim in origin and has no relation to the teachings except that certain prophecies had words which gave dates when marked out according to this system. This was the inspiration of the prophet and not because the system in itself was divinely inspired.
The beginning of the Bahá'í Calendar is the Year 60.
The Bahá'í day starts at sunset, not at midnight, and is like the Muslim system and the Jewish system. If the normal equinox starts one minute before sunset on March 21st, then March 21st is Naw-Ruz, but if it is one minute after sunset, we celebrate the Bahá'í new year on March 22nd, and all the Bahá'í anniversaries as well as the first day of the month will shift accordingly. Our Greenwich time is Tihran, when the equinox occurs in Tihran will be the criterion for the whole Bahá'í world.
The month of Allah is the month of the Fast and under all circumstances is only 19 days long, therefore we start our Fast one day later if Naw-Ruz will fall one minute after sunset of the 21st Bahá'u'lláh says. Naw-Ruz immediately follows the last day of the Fast, therefore we must find out before the Fast when it is due; if due the 22nd of March, we begin fasting the 3rd instead of the 2nd of March. Then the intercalary days will have one more. All Bahá'í months have 19 days, any variation is taken up by the intercalary days. Abdu'l-Bahá in a letter to a believer in Nayriz has clearly defined our 9 Holy Days. In that same Tablet He says it is not obligatory to celebrate the 28th of November, Day of the Covenant. The Master did not want the friends to commemorate this day on the day the Kitab-i-Ahd was revealed, but six months later, in other words, the furthest day from the ascension of Bahá'u'lláh. In view of what the Master stated in this letter, Shoghi Effendi says the ascension of Abdu'l-Bahá is also not to be regarded as obligatory, a Holy Day, but not a holiday. The question was put to Bahá'u'lláh whether the friends should fast on the birthday of the Bab and of Himself, when they fell during the Fast. He replied no, not to fast on these days. Every thirty three years it shifts around again because these days are the 1st and 2nd days of the lunar month of Muharram. The Master says the question of these differences between dates in Eastern and Western calendars, lunar and solar months, must be settled by the International House of Justice. But Bahá'u'lláh in the Aqdas says that the birthdays of Bab and Himself are consecutive.
First of Ridvan
Ninth of Ridvan
Twelfth of Ridvan
Ascension of Bahá'u'lláh
Martyrdom of the Bab
Birthday of Bahá'u'lláh
Birthday of the Bab
Declaration of the Bab
(Day of the Covenant)
(Ascension of Abdu'l-Bahá)
are anniversaries which should be observed, but not days on which work is forbidden.
We must not allow the teaching fund to indefinitely postpone the Temple fund and its completion. The friends must not expect the prophecies of the Master regarding the Temple to be fulfilled until the entire superstructure is completed.
All he asks is that before the lapse of seven years the outside ornamentation be completed. Just that we think of it, not lose sight of it, so we cannot say he did not let us know in time. The Temple must have a body of experts to advise - non- Bahá'í experts - they may have one or two Bahá'í experts, if they are good enough. Three bodies: N.S.A., its Committee and the Committee's advisory body of experts. The Persian Temple will never be even started or considered before the outer ornamentation of the American Temple is finished. The Master referred to the 3rd Bahá'í Temple being in Persia. So it is in the hands of the American believers. The land is bought, but it will not be begun till after the American Temple's exterior is complete.
He would call the Temple and its dependencies the symbol of this new civilization of the Faith. The Faith is the begetter of this new civilization, its symbol, the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar.
Germany is the heart of Europe, Frankfort A/M the heart of Germany. If the German believers are forced to copy the American administration, He gives them absolute freedom to choose their own Temple design, but if they choose something unoriginal, then they will have to copy the American design. It is according to the Master's wish that the third Temple be built in Persia. After Persia will be either Palestine or Germany.
The completion of the Chicago Temple and the start of the first Persian Temple would be wonderful at the beginning of the second Bahá'í Century. The friends have purchased one million square meters of land near Tihran for their Temple. The first Temple is on a plain, the second by a lake and the third will be one a mountain side. The dependencies of the Temple are the administrative social and humanitarian side of the Cause. Worship and service are both symbolized in the Temple institution and dependencies of the Cause.
The Mashriqu'l-Adhkar is a place of prayer and meditation, even the Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh are quite out of place there.
The important thing is for the rich people to contribute to the extent of sacrifice. The rich give out of their abundance - but do they sacrifice? They should make some sacrifice, to forego some material comfort or benefit, some degree of sacrifice. When there is an element of sacrifice, however small, that contribution has a great spiritual effect. It is not only that the rich give more, it makes the element of sacrifice universal. Two requirements: it should be wholly supported by believers and entail sacrifices from rich and poor, then the Temple will exert a tremendous influence. Otherwise the influence will not be as great. It comes in a mysterious way both materially and spiritually: giving. If a contribution of one dollar has a great sacrifice behind it, and someone has given ten thousand dollars, the one dollar, if the sacrifice is greater, is greater.
The Egyptian Bahá'ís mission is to establish the Cause in Abyssinia, Sudan and Central Africa, thus uniting with South Africa and establishing a chain across Africa, just as the American Bahá'ís mission is to carry it to South America. The Persian's mission is Afghanistan, Baluchistan and Russia. The mission of the Irak Bahá'ís is to establish the Cause in Arabia, Yemen, Hijaz and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. China and Japan fall under the care of the Indian Bahá'ís and also the Americans, Germany, Scandinavia and the Balkans.
Research for the Germans, execution for the Americans, contemplation for the Persians.
The relation of children to parents and wives to husbands is too extreme in America.
The loyalty of the American believers is marvellous, exemplary. Germany is following, but we cannot say that of England. Our weak point (Americans) is race. The friends must not seek popularity, criticism is often good for the Cause.
The faults of America are lawlessness, prejudice and corruption. The salvation of America lies in her close association with the Nations of the world. Wilson in a way could not but fail; a man who is ahead of his times is doomed to failure. Wilson was inspired, not only through what he may have read from the Bahá'í books. He was an instrument of God's purpose. It is through Wilson's efforts that the dawn of the Most Great Peace has broken, but its sun will shine and appear through the teachings of Bahá'u'lláh. He clarifies these things so that the believers may have the courage to state these things. To realize that Wilson was misunderstood by this generation, who were unfair to him. The Bahá'ís who do not accept what the Master said about Wilson are fearful, of little faith, like the Muhammadans who changed the text of the Qur'an to agree with the Ptolemaic system - (see "Explanations of the Sacred Writings." [Vol. I page 30 paragraph 4] ) When the American people realize they must participate in world affairs, they will have a greater appreciation of Wilson. Through his (Wilson's) efforts the dawn of universal peace will arise. Wilson was the greatest man of his generation. He stood for a very high principle, but he failed to achieve it.
The Bahá'ís in America, due to the fact that they are tainted with race prejudice - and he understands this because of the general prejudice in America - overestimate the effect of public opinion. In Germany the prejudice is the Jews, in England against the lower classes, the commoners. We should associate informally, but not always on public platforms. Regarding races and other prejudices, we must
discriminate in our association and attract the better elements. (Referring to Louise and Louis Gregory's marriage.) The Master brought it about, was not what He did right? Can we criticise His actions? Is not He our example? But let them do what the Master did occasionally, just to stir people up. He didn't do these things every day, we must follow Him. The friends are only scratching the surface now with trembling hands. The thing to remember is that in spite of the imperfect instruments, the Cause is forging ahead.
Among new problems in America our most important one is non-participation in Political bodies, non-partisan political posts. Political offices are not to be accepted, etc. With political societies we must not accept affiliation, but association is good.
There is a great danger in America (in the Cause) to crystalize something that is fluid, tentative.
Considers that the Munroe doctrine has become obsolete. America cannot isolate herself from the world situation. America, to save herself and the world, must unite herself with the world and Europe. The sooner the better. The American Bahá'ís, like the believers of every other country, have become to a certain extent prejudiced by the traditional thoughts of their country. (Quoted Master's words to Congressman in "Goal of a New World Order.") Japan and Europe, on either side of America, will come closer and closer, she will find herself forced to adjust her relations to them. America will have to associate as closely with Europe as England has to the Continent. Science will force this to happen.
It is for the National Spiritual Assembly of America to appoint a committee to study where, in what States and how they can help the negroes and work in such a way as to not antagonize the whites and help the negroes.
The Persian believers, the Dawn Breakers, have ushered in the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh, now the American believers are ushering in the civilization of Bahá'u'lláh. The American believers chief mission is to issue in [usher in?] this civilization. They are the spiritual descendants of the Dawn Breakers, and usher in what they have commenced.
The Most Great Peace implies the political association of the United States with Europe. Has hopes that the United States will take the initiative after the coming war of establishing the true League of Nations. Any Bahá'í that thinks America will help the world by staying out of European affairs is acting contrary to the Spirit of the teachings on the subject. (See Master's words to a member of Congress on the subject in : "Goal of a New World Order.") When we say our salvation is in keeping aloof, it is exactly contrary to the Master's words. The very fact that the American people are now acting so differently from the Master's teachings may lead to a great reaction after the coming war and they may take the lead. We should observe without being misled the thought and tendencies of our nation. He believes we are quite wrong in being afraid to adopt [adapt?] the Constitution of the
United States. The economic changes require its change and modification. He should not be surprised if the United States became in future a unitary State, like Germany. In the United States principles are following personalities and not personalities following principles.
Germany is half Oriental, hence the Master's reference to them as being like the Persian Bahá'ís.
Anti-Semitism is a disease. Germany is the center of modern philosophy which is based on Socrates' wisdom who received it from the Jewish Prophets. The German Bahá'ís must accept this sequence: divine revelation from the Prophets of Israel; Socrates expounding them, the German philosophers elaborating Socrates.
Frankfort A/M will become in future the center of the national Bahá'í institutions. Stuttgart is like the Chicago of Germany: the oldest center. Berlin will become like the New York of Germany.
The Germans are too analytical, too inquisitive. It is good to be analytical but not too analytical.
The German race is a very promising race, they have a great future both materially and spiritually. Scandinavia is already receiving help from Germany, (Bahá'í) the Balkans from Germany. The knights of Bahá'u'lláh, the warriors of the Faith. But they must give up their pagan gods. He thinks the Germans may be able to help the Russians too. We have no Bahá'ís in Russia proper. The ones in Moscow dispersed after the revolution; in Caucasus and Turkistan there are believers, mostly Persian.
Germans are a happy medium between the East and the Far West. They are not as crude as the Orientals and not as sophisticated as the Far West. Munich and Innsbruck will act as links between Vienna and Germany. Salzbourg, Munich and Vienna are important centers and should become vital spiritual centers. They are destined to be powerful Bahá'í centers in the future. What we need are the young men in Germany who will enter the administration and seize the reins, battalions. A Bahá'í - a teacher - especially an International one, must teach the principles of the Cause, both spiritual and administrative. Germany will be the focal center of the spiritual forces, they will radiate from Germany to Europe. In Sofia, the one who really established the Cause (in Bulgaria) Herr Benke, was a German. Leipzig has already rendered a historical service in that Herr and Frau Benke established the Cause there and Herr Benke died there. Similar to Keith, sacrificing in a foreign land and dying there. So we see numbers do not count, it is the vitality of their souls rendering great services. German Bahá'ís must not get the tendency of making too many laws, copying
the system of their Government, making it too rigid - the administration of the Cause - being a slave of conventions and rules. The Bahá'ís must pray for their government, nor must they think this implies criticism or otherwise, if the N.S.A. tells Assemblies to pray for the Government this does not imply the Government is wrong and we are praying for correction. We must be clear in explaining a ruling or instruction when it is given.
He does not think the German believers help the Austrian believers enough in sending teachers and corresponding more frequently. When we do anything under false pretenses we are violating the principle laid down by the Master of loyalty to Government, (regarding the crossing of the frontier on an excuse, not the real reason.) The friends seem to think (not specifically just Germany,) that because a Government may be unjust or corrupt or dishonest, it changes their attitude of loyalty towards it. We must be loyal to any established form of government.
The North German centers must try and send at least one or two friends, delegates and non-delegates, to the Convention. The N.S.A. could perhaps arrange to help with train fare from the Northern Centers; the National Fund could easily defray this expense. On one hand we must emphasize the authority of the N.S.A. and on the other hand it is not infallible. It has taken almost fifteen years to establish the Administration in Germany. Germany had to have something equivalent to Dr. Khayru'llah in America. Germany did not have this until after the Master's passing, with Herrigal. In their teaching work there must be no hesitation whatever in going ahead with the fireside meetings, these, as they exist in America, are excellent. Publicity is unwise at present. Dresden is a very important center, the first thing is to have a local assembly there. Nurnberg is also important. Hanover should also have a center and Konigsberg in East Prussia. East Prussia is very important.
Centralization is now amounting to persecution in Germany. Hitler is under the influence of the extremes, whether military or regarding religion. Germany will remain a unitary state. Her destiny is to join the larger whole - Europe.
All courts in Egypt which deal with marriage, divorce, inheritance etc. are religious; Jewish, Christian or Muhammaden. Islam has now pronounced the Bahá'í Faith not a sect of itself but a separate religion believing in different founders, hence the Bahá'ís now have in these matters no local recourse. All Bahá'ís marrying now can only do so under the marriage certificate of the S.A. which has as yet no legal status, hence legally they do not exist. As missionaries are continually circulating the claim that we are an off-shoot of Islam, a sect of Islam, this denial of Islam and her casting us off officially is a great proof that we are not an Islamic sect. Islam is now doing in spite of us what the Bahá'ís should have achieved long ago but were too timid and hesitating.
The declaration of trust, a petition, and excerpts from the laws of the Aqdas, have been given to the Egyptian Government three years ago, but they refused to reply. The first step has been taken, the enemies of the Cause, the Muslim leaders, have proclaimed our independence - we should have done this. The Egyptian Bahá'ís difficulty is that they have no civil courts in Egypt. The authorities can either give us our religious court rights or tell us to go back to the old relationship with the Muslim ones, they may also, in the meantime establish civil courts. He hopes this will not be done, as he wishes our recognition as an independent religion with full rights.
The N.S.A. of Egypt is the first to own legal property in its name in the East.
The Zionists constitute a political movement. We should be very careful what we say regarding the prophecies in order that the Jews may not think that we sympathize or partake of their political aspirations. If we should show that passage (page 76 "Answered Questions") "All Palestine will become their home," to a Jew, a Muhammadan would say we are political. But in America it would be a great help in attracting the Jews to show them this passage written 40 years ago also a help in Germany. Believes the Jews will overflow in part of Syria and Trans-Jordania.
The Jews threaten that if the different Governments do not help regarding their regaining a Fatherland, they will promote revolution.
The Zionist Jews are a majority; they are in sympathy with the Cause. There is a section in the University library in Jerusalem devoted to Bahá'í literature from all countries. They are friendly toward the British Government who has helped them to establish a National Home. (See "Answered Questions," page 76, "All Palestine will become their
home.") Other Jews, (a minority in a Jewish state) are against the British Government and the Bahá'ís.
Hitler's policy is another link in the chain of the destiny of the Jews. The Balfour declaration made it possible for the Jews to build a home. The British Government drove away the Turks and the Mandate made it possible for the Jews to come.
Sir Herbert Samuel said he believed Palestine could support six millions. Now the population is a little over one million. There are about 13 or 14 million Jews in the world. Now if they concentrate on a small country like Palestine, think of the possibilities. In Gleanings, page 116-117 refers to the future, also "Spread thy Skirt, O Jerusalem" refers to the Christian Revelation, and when it spreads over the Jordan symbolizes it will reveal itself more fully through the Bahá'í Revelation, extending the bounds of previous Revelations. The Jews will be instrumental in laying down the material foundation which the spiritual structure of the Cause requires. The Jews are doing this for Palestine with Jewish blood, Jewish money and Jewish personnel.
There are two great forces working hand in hand to prepare this country for what it is going to become which is the world administrative center of the Cause, the British administration and Government, and Jewish capital and enterprise. The publicity which the Cause will attain here in the future through the visits of princes, prominent figures, etc., will open the eyes of the Jews to the Cause's importance and they will accept it. The war was the first, then the Balfour declaration and now Hitler's policy are the three factors in sending the Jews back to Palestine. The war made it possible for the British Government to be established in Palestine, to drive away the Turks. The Balfour declaration made it possible for the Jews to come and establish their home, Hitler is a means of making them migrate.
One of the benefits of the last war was the Jews' return to Palestine. Unlikely that Palestine will become a Jewish nation. There are three kinds of prophecies related to Palestine: one is fulfilled by Bahá'u'lláh's coming to Palestine, to Haifa and Akka. The second is the return of the Jews, this is in the process of fulfillment. The third is the establishment of universal peace, this is not yet fulfilled.
Haifa in the future will be the terminus of three great railway lines. To the south it will go to Cairo, then through Central Africa to Capetown. To the East to Calcutta, direct line from here to Baghdad, then across Persia to Afghanistan and then to Calcutta. A north line going to Beirut, Aleppo, Constantinople and linking with the European route to Calais, and the Jews have been raised up by God to construct such a material center. After 2000 years of punishment the boundy [bounty?] of
God will allow them to do this. England and the Jews are instruments raised by God to bring about the development of Palestine. The money of the Jews and the order of the British Government, law, order and experience in administration, and the well-known financial power of the Jews. This was foretold by the Master 40 years ago: "all Palestine will become their home." They will become the envy and admiration of their friends and their foes. This does not mean they will have a political state here, but a cultural one.
The Port of Haifa cost one million pounds, the money was raised in London and guaranteed by the British Government.
Haifa is the nerve center of the Cause. The more powerful the center the greater the tests. Anything in the Bahá'í World that happens is immediately felt here and vice versa.
The Bahá'ís should be very appreciative of all that the British Government has done for us here at the World Center of our Faith, ever since the British occupation of Palestine.
Mount Carmel is the heart of the world and the Shrine is in the heart of that heart. Haifa is the heart of the world geographically; it is the meeting place of three Continents - Europe, Asia and Africa. Akka and Haifa are the twin cities. They will be joined in the future. Akka is the heart of the Faith, the Qiblih of the Bahá'í Faith. The Arabs and the missionaries are against the Cause and make obstacles for it.
Bahá'u'lláh says that Arabic and Persians [the Arabic and Persian languages?] are like milk and honey. Bahá'u'lláh has set an example to the Persians in matters of language and style. This present generation in Persia is much too overwhelmed by the forces of nationalism to overcome the corruption of the language.
The state of emancipation (of Cause) in Persia and Irak will come when the state and church become separate.
Believes that the establishment of the administration in Persia is due to Keith's stirring them up spiritually. She died before seeing this achieved. Persia has 600 local Spiritual Assemblies. The National Spiritual Assembly has divided the entire country into 21 administrative units from which 95 delegates for the convention are elected. Truthfulness, the Persians are very weak in this respect. It is due to Saadi; (the poet) he has corrupted the Persian character. The principles of his philosophy are un-Bahá'í. (The Guardian copied out the following verse as an example of this:
"A lie which serves a particular interest is better than
the truth which causes turmoil."
After Lyons is an assembly, Lucienne must be sent elsewhere to establish a third S.A., and then he guaranteed France will have a National Spiritual Assembly. Then the French can take part in the international elections for the House of Justice. This does not mean a Bahá'í from France could not be elected to it in any case, but France would have no part in the elections. The elected members to the International House of Justice are to be chosen from the whole Bahá'í world. The important thing is to establish a local Spiritual Assembly in Lyons and see that it does not disintegrate.
France has to play her share in the great federation of nations, she is a great nation and has a vital part to play, an important share to contribute to the world civilization which Bahá'u'lláh will create. Germany, England, France, Russia, in the order of their future importance. First is national civilization, such as England and France have and Germany is developing, then comes European and Pan-American civilization, and then comes world civilization, world unification.
(To Mother) What she has done in Paris is the introduction of the Cause to the latin races.
Terrible corruption in French politics. Sooner or Later there may be revolt. Corruption may lead to revolt and civil war. The Communists are ready to ferment a civil war. They are more active in fermenting a civil war than in a larger war. As soon as they find factions, they work to create a civil war.
Czechoslovakia has a great future in the Cause, he is sure of that. There is relatively little prejudice there.
The President of Czechoslovakia is a great admirer of the Cause.
The Soviet Government published, three or four years ago, a pamphlet against the Cause. The Government, by attacking the Cause, its spiritual and social principles, was distributing the knowledge of the teachings. They claim that religion fosters superstition, also they believe in equality and we don't [Editor's note: See Vol. II page 31 paragraph 11]; the Master referred to society as an army needing generals, captains, privates, etc. The authorities have required the Bahá'ís for a number of years to not vote by secret ballot in their elections, which they obeyed, but now they have modified their constitution and allow the Bahá'ís to vote by secret ballot. The Bahá'ís now rent the Temple from the Government, who claim to be its legal owners. Many Bahá'ís have been imprisoned, deported and sentenced to death by the Government. He communicated with the American N.S.A. who through the Ambassador to Russia received commutation of the death sentence; (See "Bahá'í World.") There are a lot of Bahá'ís in Tihran now who may not return to Russia. In Russia it is improving; in Persia getting worse. This is a stage in the evolution of the Cause.
Canada will in the future have her own National Spiritual Assembly provided she is not politically united with the United States; she only needs to get strong enough to have one.
A canadian summer school would be a good thing, but the N.S.A. must be first consulted as to its locality, etc.
The National Spiritual Assembly of Egypt is incorporated as a commercial, not a religious body.
We should use the name of Tahirih in referring to her and not Qurratu'l-`Ayn. She translated the writings of the Bab from Arabic into Persian.
The Iqan was not written in one night.
We must always tell the truth, our first purpose we must say, in visiting Haifa is to visit our World Center, our sacred Sites, no reference to personalities. So when the Persian Bahá'ís say this they do not receive permission, but this is only temporary. "Tablet, revealed word, and revelation" should be confined to the writings of the Bab and Bahá'u'lláh and not applied to the Master's writings.
Shoghi Effendi was asked if it were not a waste of time to devote oneself to Art in these days, and he agreed that, unless one had genius, it should only be a pastime.
[In the margin of the next paragraph is the typed notation "A / See / B / And / C"] The New Commonwealth Society in England is perhaps the nearest to the Cause of any society, yet he has asked the friends not to identify themselves with it. He is having a newspaper clipping on the New Commonwealth Society translated into Persian for the Haifa Newsletter.
Ruth White sent a letter and cheque to the High Commissioner of Palestine, asking him to investigate the Master's will. He returned the cheque and said it was a purely private matter and she must hire a lawyer.
First Bahá'í school in Palestine is organized now in Adasiyyih. They are Zoroastrian Bahá'ís, they learn three languages, Persian, Arabic and English.
At the Shrines they have given out thousands of copies of pamphlets, but never one unless it was asked for.
Don't refer to the name of the system, Communism, Fascism, Nazi, etc., directly but indirectly; not by name and not to its political leader, but to general principles and compare them with ours such as that equality is impracticable in society and this is a rejection of communism, (in teaching and public.)
[In the margin of the next paragraph is the typed notation "B / See / A / And / C"] Regarding membership in W.S.D.A.P. Frauenschaft. Even the New Commonwealth Society in England, which is far nearer the ideals of the Cause than any other group, he has dissuaded very strongly the friends from joining. They may associate with groups if they like, exchange speakers, etc., but there must be no affiliation with either religious, political or social organizations. With scientific, humanitarian, industrial, educational and civic affairs we can affiliate.
What we really require are endowments for teaching to enable people to settle, travel and teach etc.
The superficialities of the West are spreading in the East.
The Dunns established a pillar of the universal House of Justice in Australia. We need workers in Poland, Czechoslovakia, the Baltic States, Finland, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia.
To us (Bahá'ís) the cross is a sacred symbol of the sufferings of Jesus, we do not worship it as the Christians do, we revere it.
He always encourages people to settle, not in favour of these short visits and voyages. Martha Root is an example of an itinerary teacher. The Dunns as settlers are exemplary. Mr. and Mrs. Dunn are unique in what they have achieved in Australia. They had no work and were friendless; they read the Divine Plan, sold their property in California and went to Australia and now we have centers in all the leading cities of Australia and in addition they have established an National Spiritual Assembly and have incorporated most of their local assemblies. India and Burma have all their National Spiritual Assemblies incorporated.
Asked whether the treatment of sexual perverts by imprisonment was right, Shoghi Effendi replied it was no use, that they must be converted, spiritual reform must take place.
Shoghi Effendi has received to date 12 volumes of Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh, the Bab and the Master, all authenticated by the local assemblies from Persia, etc.
The "Bahá'í Scriptures" are full of mistakes.
The shrine of the Greatest Holy Leaf will be the future center of the international buildings.
No buildings will ever be erected around the Shrine of the Bab, as a sign of respect. The Government has been assured that this land will never be sold, rented or built upon, hence they have made it tax exempt, also all the land from the top to the bottom of the mountain owned by Bahá'ís. The tomb of Bahá'u'lláh, the Mansion, the house of Bahá'u'lláh in Akka and the Garden of Ridvan and the Pilgrim House are exempt. These are the only properties in Palestine that are exempt.
All 20 Tablets (to Bahá'u'lláh and the 19 Letters of the Living) reproduced in Nabil's narrative, were among the Master's papers. How He got them we do not know.
Superstition is the negation of fact, while a miracle is a fact which we can never explain.
One's intention can often be almost as good as the deed itself.
Human motive is never entirely pure, one cannot expect it to be. We must not dwell on or grieve over things we did not do exactly right as it does no good.
Purity of heart, detachment and intention is more important to him than brilliancy of action.
Faith breeds courage, but when it is not well enough grounded it is timid. God's mercy over-shadows all kinds of criminals, even Covenant breakers.
The more teachers we have in Europe the better, He encourages friends to settle in Europe.
There is a tendency to introduce new mysteries into the Cause. We have a few mysteries in the Cause, we must not introduce any man-made ones; in order to satisfy our desires or emotions, we produce mysteries. Sometimes our emotions are bad, they can go too far. A desire is either corrupt or wholesome. But a wholesome desire, a love, a devotion to the Faith which is in itself a wholesome and good thing, even that if not restrained leads us to excesses. What is Fanaticism - it is devotion to the Cause carried to an extreme. Devotion to the Cause, if carried to excess leads to fanaticism. (Bahá'u'lláh refers to this in "Gleanings" Pages 216, 342-3, regarding excess.)
The relation of children to parents and wives to husbands is too extreme in America. Bahá'ís must have the consent of all four parents in marriage, whether the parents are Bahá'í or not. But obedience to parents in all things is not required by Bahá'u'lláh.
We must not identify ourselves with different systems; political beliefs, theories or evolution, etc.
Considers the separation of church and state in England inevitable. The last to fall will be the Catholic Church.
We must expect these things, our tests and trials, and when we get into these states of depression we must have confidence and persevere. It is the effort that one makes that gives one the susceptibility to receive more. Some suffering is self-inflicted, but that is sometimes providential. Martha's faith and effort, daily effort, is a magnet that attracts the confirmations suspended between earth and heaven. It removes the barriers between God and herself. Perseverance in effort will attract the power which will sustain us. Love is the greatest force and the mainspring of all effort.
The grandson of Nasiri'd-Din-Shah came to Haifa and begged, literally begged him, (Shoghi Effendi) to give him an introduction to the National Assembly of Persia. He informed him the Bahá'ís are absolutely non-political, explained their stand on this subject, etc., and the Shah's grandson went away satisfied, but never came back. The British Government asked the Guardian if this had happened, and he told them the whole story.
Also the grandson of Sultan Abdu'l Aziz, Sayfu'd-Din, called on the Guardian and asked for financial aid. Shoghi Effendi gave it to him - twice, and also gave him Esslemont in the Turkish language, printed in Latin characters. It is astonishing that the grandson of Sultan Abdul Aziz should come asking for financial help and the grandson of Nasiri'd-Din for political help. Abdul Aziz was the greatest enemy the Cause ever had.
If the followers of Muhammad Ali repent it will be due to the effect of the prayer in the Master's Testament: the prayer was the means of forgiveness, the denouncing of the enemies to point them out for our protection.
Sales Qur'an is the most authoritative, Radwells, the best.
The statement of Queen Marie, wherein she refers to "the Father" is the greatest test of all to the Christians. Also for Muhammadans her reference to Christ, Muhammad and Bahá'u'lláh as Prophets, is tremendous.
Numerology has no organic relation to the Cause but was used by the Seers to foretell the Bab's coming. Numerology, astrology, palmistry, etc., is left to the individuals. They should be left free as far as possible, as long as they don't associate these ideas with the Cause.
Queen Marie is both granddaughter to Queen Victoria and the Czar of Russia, to both of whom Bahá'u'lláh revealed Tablets.
The Iqan was written by the request of the father of the great Afnan (chief builder of the Temple in Ishqubad) who was the maternal uncle of the Bab. He went to Baghdad and asked Bahá'u'lláh certain questions which were answered in the Iqan.
Bahá'í ring stone has B and H on it, the Arabic letters for Baha. The five pointed star symbolizes the temple of man, head, arms, legs, the body of the Cause. When God willed it, His Revelation appeared "be and it is". (In a former translation of a prayer it says, "by which the letter kaf was linked with the letter noon.") Kaf and noon form the word "Kon" which means "be" - be and it is.
Many terms used by Bahá'u'lláh came from the Qur'an, also from the terms used by the Bab, Sun of Truth, Sun of Righteousness, World Order, are terms used by the Bab.
Trade is paralyzed between the nations, this is what makes them poor, politically they are divided, but economically they form an organism. The economists wish to unite the world, the politicians to divide it. Nationalism is causing this.
The standard of living in the East is too low, in the West too high, too much luxury. Germany is half way between. Comfort is different
from luxury. He objects to luxury, not comfort. Importance is attached to non- essentials and not essentials. Peoples differ as to what are essentials. It is alright to maintain a high standard when there is not want and destitution around you. People are the slaves of convention, they could reduce their standards and help the poor, but their conventions prevent them - they do not have the moral courage. Germans are a happy medium between East and far West. Not as crude as Orientals and not as sophisticated as the far West.
The "Most Exalted Leaf" is really the correct translation of the title of Khanum. The word Holy has been added, does not exist in the original. Her resting place has been chosen as the center of the International Institutions, a woman, not a man, has been chosen for this.
Apart from certain restrictions in the teachings, men and women are indistinguishable. As far as the teachings are concerned this is so. It is the immutable law of god and not for us to question; the Imams, the 12 Disciples, the Prophets in the Mosaic dispensation, etc., were all men. The Guardians are all men. In the West in almost every way, in teaching, in the administration, etc., the women are taking the lead, and this is the Will of Bahá'u'lláh. He would not be surprised if soon the Persian women become like their American sisters: "one of the distinguishing features of the Bahá'í dispensation is that the women are showing more courage, more initiative than the men," said the Master. We have Bahá'ís now in 40 countries and more than half of these have been opened, have been conquered by the American believers. Most of those who have opened these countries have been women, not men. Jackie in Bulgaria, Agnes in Japan, the Noblocks in Germany, Mrs. Hoagg in Italy, Martha in so many countries, Leonora in South America, Fanny Noblock in South Africa, Mother in Paris, Johnanna Shubarth in Norway, Mrs. Cropper in London, Mother in Canada, not only American believers, but women.
If anyone asks about the equality of the sexes, we must tell them equality, except in certain cases. (The Imams, the Guardians, etc.)
The 13th Letter of the Living came to Akka and met Bahá'u'lláh. He was the only one who called on Him after He revealed Himself. He also accepted Him.
Characteristic passages of the "Hidden Words," "The Iqan," and other books, should be committed to memory. The right quotations made at the psychological moment have a great effect, great power. He does not think the teachers do this enough.
When Bahá'ís have visions and try to get others to act accordingly, it is un-Bahá'í and very dangerous and pernicious. The individual himself is left free in such matters. We must tell them it is mostly imagination, but they are free. However they must not seek to influence others.
He wants the Catholic Church aroused but it must not be done artificially, but through the natural spread of the Cause. We have to combine courage with tact. We must not be unnecessarily provocative.
The Bahá'ís should adopt Esperanto at present as a universal language, even if only a temporary one.
Modern philosophy is based on the teachings of Socrates. Plato enlarged the philosophy of Socrates, Aristotle went further. Even the philosophy which Socrates established was based on the religious teachings of the Prophets of Israel, which proves that the essentials of philosophy were based on religious teachings. Socrates taught the existence of the immortality of the soul. (See same subject under "Germany." [Vol. II page 23] )
Regarding violators we must not be fanatical. It is going too far to believe we are contaminated by being in the same room, etc., with them. But we must not associate with them. There is no difference in civil rights. The rights of a violator are as sacred as those of any believer. If we have a business dealing with one we must settle our dealings with him. We must have no dealings with violators, but if circumstances should be such that we happen to have a dealing with one, we must settle it normally and have no future dealings. If they happen to have written a book, either on the Cause or anything else that has a value, we must admit the value of anything they may have accomplished, even if they are against the Cause. If they have rendered any service in any sphere, we must recognize it. "Justice, equity, is loved above all." But that does not mean we must associate with them under any circumstances. Herrigel rendered great services (in Germany) we must admit this, but also see that his later opposition nullified it; it has darkened the record of his previous services. We must not belittle what he did once accomplish, admit what was good and correct, but relate it to what he did later.
(Countries to be opened up to the Cause and developed.) First comes Germany, then the Balkans, then Scandinavia, then Western Europe, then Italy and Spain. Community life is now confined to Germany in Europe. In England it is just a skeleton, just beginning to move. England is similar to France, not as bad but similar. The English are very proud, very dry. They are very shy and conservative in matters of religion. Americans think too much of personality. Principles are not for personalities, personalities are under principles. It is a challenge to the Bahá'ís to rise above their environment, be totally different from it. The believers today are being adapted to the administration it is being imposed upon them. They are not born into it.
Hitler is a national leader, but does not have the sense of world politics that is required - such as Briand's, Stresemann's, who had much greater world vision. Stalin is not a man of principle he
is ruthless, unlike Lenin who had principle but whose principle was wrong. First Wilson, the greatest of the men of his generation; he stood for a very high principle, but he failed to achieve it. Second was Lenin, his principle was wrong but he carried it out with great vigour. Third Lloyd George who had no principle, neither right nor wrong. A leader must lead the people and not be led by them, he must have courage.
The trouble with the world is the leaders have great vigour, but their principles are wrong.
The Catholics and the Shiahs, the two most dogmatic sects in Christianity and Islam, claim that the study of abstract science is a waste of time.
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