Husband & wife's soul combining...

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Husband & wife's soul combining...

Postby BritishBahai » Sun Feb 08, 2009 6:04 pm

My problem is I read too much and then forget where Ive read something.

Im looking for a particular quote, Im not sure who its by (either Abdul Baha or Shoghi Effendi)
But basically, a husband and wife's soul combines or something after they get married
Does anyone know what im talking about?

I was thinking the other day, what happens if you marry an atheist? So, one of you strongly believes in God whereas the other one totally opposes the idea and thinks its a load of rubbish. In the Bahai writings it says that your soul keeps progressing till it gets closer to God's.
So, if you and your spouse's souls combine, then would your spouse's (atheist) thoughts hinder you from progressing towards God?
Yes, I know, I think too much... :p
What are your thoughts on this?
Or is the answer obvious (something along the lines of "The progress of your soul is dependent on God who is generous, forgiving, bla bla, and who knows, God will forgive the atheist")

What do you think?
But first of all, please can someone post the quote (if they know what im referring to!)

p.s., I know Ill never be in that situation myself because I have to marry someone who believes in God. My future kids HAVE to be raised with that belief. I sound like a control freak, but thats how I want to raise my kids... <-- I know this last bit is going to spark some controversy, lol... :eek:
"I have desired only what Thou didst desire, and love only what Thou dost love"

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Re: Husband & wife's soul combining...

Postby brettz9 » Sun Feb 08, 2009 8:38 pm

While Baha'u'llah Himself wrote in the Kitab-i-Aqdas that it is permissible for Baha'is to marry non-Baha'is, the Baha'i Writings make clear that, the Baha'i wedding vow ("We will all, verily, abide by the Will of God.") must be recited by both parties:

"The laws conditioning Bahá'í marriage are found in the 'Synopsis and Codification of the Kitab-i-Aqdas' under C., Laws of Personal Status, beginning on Page 39 of that publication. No Bahá'í marriage can be valid without the recitation of the prescribed verse by both parties."

(From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice in answer to a letter from the National Spiritual Assembly of Ecuador regarding an atheist who agreed to the Bahá'í ceremony but since he did not believe in God did not wish to repeat the marriage verse using the name of God. Letter dated December 19, 1974, in Lights of Guidance, no. 1285)

There is also this passage of Baha'u'llah:

Know thou for a certainty that whoso disbelieveth in God is neither trustworthy nor truthful. This, indeed, is the truth, the undoubted truth. He that acteth treacherously towards God will, also, act treacherously towards his king. Nothing whatever can deter such a man from evil, nothing can hinder him from betraying his neighbor, nothing can induce him to walk uprightly.

(Gleanings, section 114, at ... b/114.html )

One might argue that the above is in the vein of the following paragraph which seems to join "those who disbelieve in God" with those who are "wayward" or "perverse":

"In the passage 'eschew all fellowship with the ungodly,' Bahá'u'lláh means that we should shun the company of those who disbelieve in God and are wayward. The word 'ungodly' is a reference to such perverse people. The words 'Be thou as a flame of fire to My enemies and a river of life eternal to My loved ones' should not be taken in their literal sense. Bahá'u'lláh's advice is that again we should flee from the enemies of God and instead seek the fellowship of His lovers."

(Shoghi Effendi: Dawn of a New Day, p. 200)

But I think we may understand from the above quotation and other Writings on the fear of God, that He asserts that to be wholly truthful, a belief in God--and a fear of Him--is necessary to bring out the best in our conduct as human beings and ensure that temptations do not lead us to manipulate the truth or be untrustworthy (having no fear of consequences):

"You ask him about the fear of God: perhaps the friends do not realize that the majority of human beings need the element of fear in order to discipline their conduct? Only a relatively very highly evolved soul would always be disciplined by love alone. Fear of punishment, fear of the anger of God if we do evil, are needed to keep people's feet on the right path. Of course we should love God--but we must fear Him in the sense of a child fearing the righteous anger and chastisement of a parent; not cringe before Him as before a tyrant, but know His mercy exceeds His Justice!"

(From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to an individual believer, July 26, 1946: Bahá'í Education, A Compilation, compiled by the Universal House of Justice)

Should an official, on the contrary, think that all responsibility for his actions must end with his earthly life, knowing and believing nothing of Divine favours and a spiritual kingdom of joy, he will lack the incentive to just dealing, and the inspiration to destroy oppression and unrighteousness.
When a ruler knows that his judgments will be weighed in a balance by the Divine Judge, and that if he be not found wanting he will come into the Celestial Kingdom and that the light of the Heavenly Bounty will shine upon him, then will he surely act with justice and equity. Behold how important it is that Ministers of State should be enlightened by religion!

With political questions the clergy, however, have nothing to do! Religious matters should not be confused with politics in the present state of the world (for their interests are not identical).

('Abdu'l-Baha, Paris Talks, p. 158)

If a king choosing his ministers should consider this, why should not a believer considering their spouse? It is not a matter of shame nor should it, I would say, really even be of controversy.

Now, there is a quotation I cannot find now which states that an unbeliever is like a diamond in the dark, and quotations enjoining us to have "complete freedom from prejudice in their dealings with peoples of a different race, class, creed, or color.", so the above should not be taken as justifying any kind of discrimination, ill will, sense of inherent superiority, etc. On the contrary, we are to have love for all, recognize merits in all, and not esteem ourselves better than others (also not knowing what our own end shall be). But the need for a fear of God, on at least some level, is recognized in our Writings as necessary--for all of us.

As far as married souls becoming one, while there are letters and Tablets about how the married souls must become as one (and maybe there is one which speaks figuratively about their becoming as one soul), other Writings make clear that the souls are independent. The following quotations express the former, and imply the latter:

Their purpose must be this: to become loving companions and comrades and at one with each other for time and eternity....

The true marriage of Bahá'ís is this, that husband and wife should be united both physically and spiritually, that they may ever improve the spiritual life of each other, and may enjoy everlasting unity throughout all the worlds of God. This is Bahá'í marriage.

("Selections from the Writings of `Abdu'l-Bahá", p. 118 at ... amily_life )

When, therefore, the people of Bahá undertake to marry, the union must be a true relationship, a spiritual coming together as well as a physical one, so that throughout every phase of life, and in all the worlds of God, their union will endure; for this real oneness is a gleaming out of the love of God.

("Selections from the Writings of `Abdu'l-Bahá", p. 117 at ... amily_life )

This prayer of 'Abdu'l-Baha, citing the Qur'an, might I think be taken as implying the above as well:

Wherefore, wed Thou in the heaven of Thy mercy these two birds of the nest of Thy love, and make them the means of attracting perpetual grace; that from the union of these two seas of love a wave of tenderness may surge and cast the pearls of pure and goodly issue on the shore of life. "He hath let loose the two seas, that they meet each other: Between them is a barrier which they overpass not. Which then of the bounties of your Lord will ye deny? From each He bringeth up greater and lesser pearls."

(cited in Baha'i Prayers, p. 106

and finally:

The following extract from a letter dated 4 December 1954, written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi in response to a question about the appropriateness of remarriage in light of 'Abdu'l-Bahá's statements about the spiritual nature of marriage, might assist Mr. ... in thinking about this subject:

There is no teaching in the Bahá'í Faith that 'soul mates' exist. What is meant is that marriage should lead to a profound friendship of spirit, which will endure in the next world, where there is no sex, and no giving and taking in marriage; just the way we should establish with our parents, our children, our brothers and sisters and friends a deep spiritual bond which will be everlasting, and not merely physical bonds of human relationship.

There is nothing against a person remarrying, the implication of unity in marriage being meant as a spiritual bond which will be everlasting, and not a sexual thing, in the quotation you cited.

It is suggested that Bahá'í marriage does not automatically 'lead to a profound friendship of spirit, which will endure in the next world'. Further, it would appear that the possibility of such an enduring 'friendship' is not limited to the relationship between husband and wife. Rather, it is dependent on the nurturance and development of 'a deep spiritual bond', which transcends the 'merely physical bonds of human relationship' and is conditional on the establishment of 'unity' in the particular relationship.

(at ... arriage#s4 )

best wishes,

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Re: Husband & wife's soul combining...

Postby BritishBahai » Thu Feb 12, 2009 12:16 am

thanks for this, brettz9.
ive been really busy with stuff,
i'll have a proper read through and post my reply later on some time
"I have desired only what Thou didst desire, and love only what Thou dost love"

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Re: Husband & wife's soul combining...

Postby nharandi » Mon Mar 02, 2009 7:21 pm

Read something that may be of interest to you. It doesn't exactly state that once married, a husband and wife's soul unite, but it expresses the possibility and its implications in the next world:

"Replying to another questioner, he said that when two people, husband and wife for instance, have been completely united in this life their souls being as one soul, then after one of them has passed away, this union of heart and soul would remain unbroken."

(Abdu'l-Baha, Abdu'l-Baha in London, p. 74)

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Re: Husband & wife's soul combining...

Postby BritishBahai » Mon Mar 02, 2009 7:31 pm

BINGO! yes, i think that's it!
Thanks :)

It also implies that the husband and wife's soul doesnt combine by default (so a lot of unhappy couples would be gladdened to hear that, lol)...
"I have desired only what Thou didst desire, and love only what Thou dost love"

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Re: Husband & wife's soul combining...

Postby TheCatLady » Thu Mar 05, 2009 1:51 pm

Thank you for sharing all of those! I'm going to write these down so we can have them for our wedding, I think that would be really beautiful :)

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