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Selections from the Writings of His Holiness ‘Abdu'l-Bahá'

by Abdu'l-Bahá

translated by Khazah Fananapazir.
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Chapter 2

On the Meaning of Progress


[1]Thou hast written that you had heard from the friends that should a man not make spiritual progress he will be utterly non-existent and nothing. The purpose in this statement is not absolute non-existence; rather by it is meant that the being of a heedless person relative to the being of the person endowed with perfections is like non-being. For example, the stone is non being in relationship to the human being but the stone does have an existence in the world of the mineral. Thus all men are existing but the existence of a heedless ignorant soul with respect to a knowledgeable perfect human being is like non-existence. This matter has been described in detail in reply to the questions of Mrs. Barney;[2] doubtless you will read that text. The essence of that explanation is that the ignorant one exists and the knowledgeable one also exists but the existence of the ignorant is like unto a stone and the existence of a perfect one is that of man and so in this case the mineral, relative to the human, is non-existent.

  1. Original recipient of this Tablet and the date are unknown. (MW’s note).
  2. See Part 4, Some Answered Questions (MW’s note).
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