by Ben Levy1953-03-09
The following notes as set forth are in not [sic] authentic, and are merely impressions and comments which I thought were stated by our beloved Guardian, and should be considered as such.
Guardian's comments at dinner table, Western Pilgrim House, 7:00 - 8:30 P.M. March 9, 1953
1. Bonn is a very important center. The Germans are trying to build an Assembly there by April (Note: an Assembly was established Ridvan 1953)
2. I mentioned the adornment of the Hazira (German) with the rug from Bahá'u'lláh's tomb, and the Guardian said "Yes, this is a very precious gift and is not only a blessing but an adornment as well."
3. Guardian asked "How is the Hazira (German) is it fully completed?" I said it's beautiful, and of course the outside is yet to be stuccoed. He said that was fine. I said the inside is ultra-modern and He said - "the German believers are very fond of it, aren't they?" I replied "yes, they are, Guardian."
4. The Guardian said "What do the Germans think of a new Temple being built in Frankfurt?" . it doesn't have to be built near the Hazira, but in the city of Frankfurt. It can be built even on its outskirts, just so it's the city, and within close range of the Administrative Institutions. It must fulfill two conditions (1) must be nine-sided (2) must be circular. first the site must be selected; second the land must be purchased and a design made. It doesn't have to be designed by a Bahá'í but it is preferable. The more original th better. It doesn't have to be large - like the Temple in Wilmette, but it must be original and carefully designed. He hopes it can be built before the completion of the 10 year Crusade. The NSA must consider it very carefully. Their reward for the completion of the Temple construction will be a portrait of the Bab, a priceless treasure.
5. I said the Bahais all over Germany are excitedly talking about going to Stockholm. They haven't much money, but they will get there somehow. Probably even hitchhike. He said "Yes, the Germans have their bicycles, don't they? They can ride to the North Sea and then go by ship or train." We all laughed heartily. The Guardian said "Their (Germany's) role is very great - at the Stockholm Conference, during the Ten Year Crusade, and especially after it. It is most important they attend."
6. "It is sad that Dr. Grossman couldn't go to Kampala" (he planned to but became ill), the Guardian said, and asked if I had seen him before I left. I said no, but talked with him over the phone and understood he was much better now. The Guardian said of Kampala - "the Germans were not represented and they were missed - and needed there.
It's a pity the German Bahá'ís couldn't be there. Their presence at all these conferences are very important. It wasn't so bad they weren't at Kampala, because their field is in the North, and in Stockholm it is most important they attend. Their destiny is to struggle with the Russians.
7. America, Persia and Germany will collaborate in the field of Russia; Germany from the West, Persia from the South, and America from all directions - the Guardian said. Then he spoke of Alaska and went on to say - Alaska has a very important position, spiritually as well as Administratively. It is most important that Alaska get to Russia. Alaska is a base of operations - that is why we are developing it there; Alaska from the East, Germany from the West, Persia from the South - all converging on Russia.
8. Our Guardian then said "You know Alaska is the back-door to Russia." I said in exclamatory tones"My gosh, Guardian, You know I just received a letter from Frances Wells in Fairbanks several weeks ago, and she remarked how strange it was that I was (with the Germans) at Russia's front-door and they in Alaska at her back-door." The Guardian just smiled.
9. The Guardian said "Frau Schwarz - she is a pillar of the Cause in Germany. She is staunch - yes a pillar - a very devoted believer."
10. And our Guardian asked about Edith Horn - how she was; I said - fine - and she is very much loved in Germany. Then the Guardian said; "You know, Edith was here in 1938 (I believe the Guardian said that year) and I sent her to Frankfurt from Stuttgart, at a time when there was no Cause there - and she persevered - she held the fort - and look now, Frankfurt has its Hazira and is the administrative Center. The German Bahá'í should honor Edith Horn."
11. Herr benke attained the station of Martyr in Bulgaria - said the Guardian. The Guardian then asked about Frau Benke and I said I never met her, but understood that she was living with Dr. & Mrs. Grossman at Neckargemund. I asked Ruhiyyih Khanum if that was correct, and she said, yes, it was.
12. Then the Guardian said "Germany and Austria - their mission is to work together," He said "I have urged Germany and Austria to attend the Stockholm Conference. And also the British Isles, Ireland, Scotland and France. They should send one representative (and mentioned several other countries). The conferences are paving the way for the launching of the Ten-Year Crusade - a preliminary step."
13... as many visitors to Stockholm as possible, in passing through Norway, should try to visit the grave of Johanna Schubart. The Guardian said "She was not only a pioneer but the Mother Bahá'í of Norway - a mother pioneer. Dagmar Dole was a pioneer - but Johanna Schubert was a mother pioneer, her station is much higher."
14. I said that Dr. Muhlschlegel and Dr. Schmidt said it was all right to mention the death of Frau Herrigal, and that Herma Muhlschlegel said for the last ten years she was old and really harmless. The Guardian commented "She was misled by her husband, and Herr Herrigal was misled by Mrs. White." Ruhiyyih Khanum said that the husband of Mrs. White wrote a few years ago and said he did not believe all his wife said, and that she was not sane, and the Guardian replied, "Yes, she was unbalanced."
15. .The Portrait (of the Bab) must be put away (speaking of its being viewed at Wilmette) before prayers and meditations begin. Otherwise in due time it might develop into a Christian service. Once prayers begin - there must be no pictures exposed. Bahá'u'lláh has forbidden this - no ornaments or pictures are to be hung.
16. I said to the Guardian that all the friends, and particularly mentioned the Youth, were all excited about the possibility of pioneering in Russia and the Eastern countries and that several have expressed their desire to go one day, and replied that it is too early to think of Russia - but rather direct their eyes upon and think of Germany. Germany must make itself a base upon which to launch the Crusade to the East - expand existing centers - strengthen and consolidate present communities.
17. Germany has a great destiny in the Baltic States, the Balkans and Scandinavia. They will proceed to the Ukraine and as far as the heart of Russia. The Master said that Germany has a great destiny, and revealed it at a time when little was known of the Cause in the North. Now look at it today. The light of the Faith will radiate to the North, East and South.
18. Marion Jack is a great soul - a pride of the pioneers in the East and the West; an example to all pioneers; she has persevered long and hard. The Master called her "General Jack." She has the spirit of Martha Root - combination of heroism and saintliness; some are either heroic or saintly: Persians aren't all saints. They are pious but not all saintly. Martha Root combined three qualities - martyr, heroine, and saint - a unique distinction. Saintliness is very rare - it comes from purity of motive.
19. In speaking of the Africans - the Guardians said they are pure, unsophisticated, unspoiled.
20. The Holy Land, Persia, and America are in very great danger. Persia is the cradle of the Faith - it is in constant danger. America is the stronghold of the Administrative Order in the West. The cradle and the stronghold are both in danger. The Holy Land is the spiritual center - it too is in great danger. But in spite of that, we launch a Ten Year Crusade. Look at the Second Seven-Year Plan and Europe. It was conceived alike. There were very few centers before it began. Europe was groaning and impoverished.
21. He hopes there will be sixty NSAS after the Ten-Year Crusade. They are like pillars of the Universal House of Justice. First the pillars - then the Universal House of Justice as the dome (i.e. Monument of the Greatest Holy Leaf). Amelia Bowman asked if the Universal House of Justice would be established by 1963 - he said, not necessarily. The Greatest Holy Leaf is the symbol of the Administrative Order. The main thing is - teach the Cause - extend its range - consolidate its foundation. First the local, then the National, later the International.
22. Goal countries - won't have outside pioneering in the Ten-Year Plan. - only within their own countries, First, will establish Regional National Assemblies.
23. Alaska will have its own NSA - in the Ten-Year Plan. Will be a pillar of the Universal House of Justice in the North. Will have its own National Endowments and Hazira. Alaska is the back-door of Russia. I asked where the Hazira would be located and the Guardian replied that it would be decided when the NSA is formed. First two things; One multiply LSAs. Second establish NSA.
24. Fairbanks is near the Arctic Circle. There is a spiritual competition between Canada and Alaska, who will go beyond the Arctic Circle first. They are aiming beyond the Arctic Circle.
25. The Guardian said "You know, Alaska is going to have its its own NSA during the Ten Year Crusade" ."there is good news from Alaska - they have property now - their own endowment. This is very fine - near anchorage, I believe." I said yes, I know - and Ruhiyyih Khanum asked where - and I told them of the Huffmans and Gregorys donating the land - 10 acres each, I believe.
Guardian's comments Western Pilgrim House, March 11, 1953
1. I asked about the peacock and if it was true it was a sign of immortality. Guardian said yes - and was recognized most doubtedly as the most beautiful bird in the world. Bahá'u'lláh referred to it as the bird of paradise in many Tablets.
2. Spoke about the eagle, and how majestic they were. The eagle is the symbol of ascendancy - hence, ascendancy of the Cause - that is why many eagles adorn the surroundings of the Shrines, at Bahji, at the Shrine of the Bab. It represents the ascendancy of the Cause in the world - not imperialism - but power and ascent.
3. It (the Year nine) commemorates the Birth of Bahá'u'lláh's Revelation. The Centenary of the Bab nine years ago commemorated the Birth of the Babi Revelation which announced the Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh. Bahá'u'lláh kept it a secret from mankind for ten years.
4. I mentioned to the Guardian how beautiful the gardens at Bahji were, and that the grass lawn surrounding the shrine itself was like a velvet carpet, with lights at evening casting a shimmering profusion of soft shadows and light around the landscape. He smiled and was pleased. He asked "How is the grass in Germany? Is it as beautiful as the grass here?" I smiled and said, I knew Germany was famous for its landscaping and gardening and flowers, but didn't think it was as beautiful.
5. Mentioned to our Guardian how different it was for me, an American, coming to Germany; that it was a great change; that Germans think so differently. Our Guardian said in reply, that the Germans are very painstaking - painstaking and methodical - deep. And that they are loyal; are anything but superficial. They don't just read - they study. They pay great attention to detail. Germans have a great capacity - great endurance - great vitality.
6. German, Persia, and American - through Alaska, borders Russia. That is why they have a great mission there.
7. The Year Nine is the Birth of Bahá'í'llah's Revelation. Bahá'u'lláh kept it a secret for ten years. First intimation - He disclosed it to His companions who were exiled with Him. In Adrianople He proclaimed His mission to the Rulers of the World. First direct intimation; then declaration to companions; then proclamation to all mankind. Proclamation began in Adrianople - ended in Akka.
8. Reply of Queen Victoria "If this is of God .etc" - is hearsay - we are not sure she said this. No Kings or Rulers replied to His Tablets. Some completely disregarded His Summons. Napoleon was reported to have said - "If this man is God, I'm two Gods" - one year later he was defeated in the Franco-Prussian war his only son was killed in the Zulu war. The Pope lost his temporal power and retreated to the Vatican where he imprisoned himself.
9. Amelia Bowman spoke of "Lamentations of Berlin." Our Guardian pointed out that during the first World War this prophecy was fulfilled - the people lamented their loss of the war - their poverty and abasement.
10. Monarchies are being overthrown; accelerated since the time of the Master's death as he predicted. France and Germany became a Republic - also China became a Republic; in Portugal the monarch became a Republic. The Czar fell - later Germany and Austria. The decline of monarchy increased after the Master's death. Then Turkey fell - then the Qajar dynasty - which is still tottering in Persia. A series of monarchies have fallen - Bulgaria, Albania, Hungary, Serbia, all became republics (then listed more). Later came Italy. Fourteen monarchies have fallen since Bahá'u'lláh gave His Message. The process still continues. Kingdoms were abased. Some lost their thrones - others were humiliated - other humiliated themselves by their own acts (Farouk was mentioned and the Guardian agreed that as a recent example).
11. There is the decline in the East and West. Princes of India have lost their Princedoms. They were protected by England and finally most of them were absorbed by the Republic of India. Hundreds of princes have lost their position and provinces to the Republic of India. Amelia Bowman asked about Pakistan and the Guardian explained that though Moslem - this is no doubt temporary and will be absorbed later by the Republic of India. The Bahá'ís have a very great struggle there in the East. The process of princedoms being lost will continue.
12. Just as the Jews have crucified Christ - they suffered 2000 years of persecution - so also will the Moslems suffer a similar fate. The Jews rejected Christ - the Moslems Bahá'u'lláh and His Cause.
13. I mentioned that I always thought of the German people having great minds and that I've seen much narrow-mindedness in the people. The Guardian said most Catholics are in southern Germany - Lutherns in the north. He said that the opposition from the Moslem is now spreading to the Christian Church; it began in America with the Presbyterians and Anglican Church in England. There are many Presbyterian and Anglican Missionaries in Persia. The Anglican Church has attacked the Faith in Persia; - gradually it will spread to the Orthodox Russian Church - they are very strong. And - eventually it will go to the Catholic Church. Its culmination will end with the Pope. His opposition will lead to his downfall. By opposing the Faith he will plant the seeds to his own downfall.
14. In the Fiji Islands the Moslems have officially denounced the Bahá'ís as Infidels. They are very influential there. They are dominant there.
15. Godlessness and unbelief - decline of religion. People are becoming more nationalists and less religious. The Jews in Israel are nationalists. Religious leaders are interfering with politics. Catholics in America - Moslems in Persia - also in India. Bahá'u'lláh urges His believers to keep away from politics. Religious leaders are becoming subservient to the State, instead of the State becoming subservient to religion.
16. Uphold non-interference in politics. We are above parties - we are God's Party. We promote God's policy - not God's politics. I lay down the principle and the NSA'S apply it. The NSA has the responsibility to determine if believers can vote for a given party without being identified with it. Bahá'ís must be completely free in voting - detached from any party.
17. There is the material world and the spiritual world. We must not confuse the two. In the next world we do not lose our identity - our individuality - we retain it. We become more perceptive - but there is nothing physical about it. It is spiritual. In the material world there is much yet to be revealed, - there may be life on other planets. Still, the material world must not be identified with the spiritual world. Bahá'u'lláh tells us that we have a great effect on the souls who have passed on - that is why we pray for them - to help their progress in the next world. there is always progress for the soul - there is always progression in the next world also. It is both through the Mercy of God and the acts of the souls also. The soul can, through its own self progress, by its deeds. We know that Bahá'u'lláh says that the soul in the next world can reflect on life in this world and whether it lived a good life or not. Earthly life is but one stage in the journey of the soul. On earth the value is that the soul has the opportunity to develop itself. Now we must look at to-day, and the Ten- Year Crusade. Each person must do his part, and God will take care of the rest.
18. The unity of mankind is now approaching - the stage of maturity. Maturity means responsibility - and all men are responsible to God for their acts on earth. Great responsibility - both as an individual and as leaders of men. Suffering for mankind is inevitable. Man suffers - he is cleansed. It is a cleansing force.
19. The coming ten years is a very crucial period for the Cause. It precedes the establishment of the Cause. Humanity as a whole must establish the unity of mankind. The more it delays - the greater the suffering. Unity is the keynote - the great need in the world of today - not union but unity - union is quite different.
We require organic unity. First - the Lesser Peace - next the Most Great Peace - a new civilization will be born. The birth of this world civilization is dependent wholly on the Bahá'í principles based on Bahá'u'lláh's writings. The Laws of Bahá'u'lláh must be applied to community life. We must not worry about the future now - everyone must play his part in the coming Ten-Year Crusade - insure its success.
20. I asked the Guardian about his oft repeated mentioning in varied letters about the Hosts of the Abha Kingdom, and the Maid of Heaven, as mentioned by Bahá'u'lláh, and he explained that these are completely allegorical and should not be taken literally. there is nothing physical about it. It means the Power of God working through Bahá'u'lláh. This Power from Bahá'u'lláh working through pure hearts. They become channels of His Grace.
21. I pointed out to our beloved Guardian how as a Bahá'í we are human and full of error, and whatever we do, we know many times - even though our best - that it many times is wrong too. He said we should do our best and even if we are wrong - if we are sincere and pure, God will decide for us. We must look at the tasks at hand and accomplish these.
22. Amelia Bowman mentioned, in reply to our Guardian's question about how Norway feels about monarchies, that "They love their King" and the Guardian said, "yes, they love their King" - "Scandinavia is like that. Bahais must be careful not to say anything against their King in those countries. another day (Mar. 9) The Guardian said - the Norwegians were like the English - very slow to catch on - very slow - but once they caught on, they were very staunch.
Guardian's comments on March 2, 1953
1. Mashriqu'l-Adhkar on Mount Carmel will not be built above the Shrine - but to the side - preferably west of the Shrine - and should have a commanding view of the land and sea.
2. I mentioned to our Guardian about the codification of the Aqdas, which he wrote of in a recent cable and asked what he meant. The Guardian replied that excerpts of the Aqdas are to be published in different languages - to present to officials of the land. This will help to establish the independent status of the Faith.
3. In regard to translation of Bahá'í writings into various languages, as stipulated in the Ten-Year Crusade, the Guardian said - translations can vary from the Bahá'í principles to the Dawn-Breakers. It does not necessarily mean Bahá'u'lláh and the New Era only. It can be any pamphlet.
4. When asked when will be the beginning of the Golden Age - Guardian said the Golden Age may be in 70 to 100 years. Leroy Ioas commented that the establishment of the Universal House of Justice does not mean the beginning of the Golden age.
5. Speaking of the Greatest Holy Leaf and of the glow of her eyes on the large photo at Bahji - Guardian said the Greatest Holy Leaf could be described as the fragrance of the robe of Bahá'u'lláh.
6. He called Panama the heart of the Americas.
7. There will be an Asian Committee appointed - in addition to the European, African and Inter-America (to be re-instated) committee.
8. "We own the heart of Carmel - we want to have the head too." (toward western part of Mt. C. Bay of Haifa leads away from)
9. In buying the land of Mt. Carmel we accepted the provision that we cannot sell produce from the land (must give to poor and needy), cannot build, sell or rent. Only Bahá'ís pay no taxes on land (for religious purposes) in Israel - no other religious communities will accept these conditions - not the Muhammadans, the Christians, not even the Jews.
Guardian's comments on March 13, 1953 at dinner table, Western Pilgrim House
1. Asked of our impressions of the portraits of the Bab and Bahá'u'lláh (in Shrine, Major Archives) and spoke of their preciousness. Said to me "The Portrait of the Bab will be shown in Stockholm. You must tell the German friends about this - for it will act as a stimulus for them to attend. The Portrait of the Bab is to be shown at Wilmette, then Stockholm, and also at New Delhi in India.
2. Read news article from Ethiopian newspaper about Bahá'ís and recent publicity there connected with the visit of Mason Remey, Mildred Mottadadek and others from Kampala and the article said all about the uniqueness of this Conference and of the basic principles of the Bahá'í Faith. The Guardian went on to say how important Ethiopia was, and that the American friends should concern themselves with this and other territories, not only Liberia. encouraged Ludmila von Sombeck to communicate with New York friends and encourage pioneers to this land. Pioneers to here must be capable, devoted, and it would be advantageous to speak Italian. and - Negro, if possible. Orientals don't impress them very much there, but anyone from the West especially Americans. Said it would be very meritorious for those pioneers going there.
3. .Our Guardian went on to say that "Tibet is the roof of the world" - then smiling he said "the nearest place to Abha Kingdom" - we all roared with laughter. Our Guardian is very witty, and has a terrific sense of humor. It is very difficult for the Cause there. It has a theocratic government - a government run by monks. It is a stronghold of religious orthodoxy - a stronghold of the Buddhist Faith. It will be difficult to enter there - and doubt if any one can just now. It has been overrun by communists, and is difficult to cross the border. The Soviets are in control there. But it is a very important land.
4. Then our beloved Guardian spoke of the Islands of the South Pacific. There we must have the greatest concentration of effort. There the islands are scattered - numerous - backward - and are virgin territories. Look at Europe, look at America - there aren't many places which haven't been at some time opened to the Faith or established there, - but in the islands of the South Pacific there are hundreds of virgin territories. They are inhabited by the Brown Race. They are very important, very promising. the Cause has been revealed to the white, the yellow and black - but little amongst the brown. look at its significance in the Ten-Year Crusade. The New Delhi will find eight NSAs cooperating. This is more than the participation of all the other individual conferences. the responsibility is very great. They will deal with propagation of Faith to So. East Asia and the Islands of the So. Pacific. The Master mentioned this in His tablets of the Divine Plan. The area is wide and extensive. It is the heart of the Pacific Ocean. It is surrounded by three continents - three continents - Asia, So. America, Australia. It has a great future.
5. The amount of Bahá'ís in Kenya is becoming so great that I'll have to ask them to disperse there - establish new centers. Whenever there is a surplus of Bahá'ís - over 15 - I like them to disperse to other surrounding areas. I don't like regulations - but I like to say whenever there is a surplus - I like to see the Bahá'ís move to new locations.
6. I brought photos taken at Bahji, Mar. 10-11 when we first sat down, to the Guardian, and said he should fell free to keep whatever he would like. He looked through them and spoke of the work being done at Bahji. To all of us and particularly to Ludmila von Sombeck, who was having her last night of pilgrimage there - and said "you must take these photos to all the friends wherever you go - especially Vienna and show them the progress which is going on at the world Center. They are very much isolated, and it is important they know of the progress, and be contacted, for they have a great task during the Ten-Year Crusade - that of establishing a NSA there."
7. The Guardian went on to say - regarding teaching - we must not look for or expect official and outstanding people to become Bahá'ís - we must look for capable people - not necessarily outstanding. Officials and important people can be our friends - but they are tied to their politics or to other obligations. They cannot separate themselves from their ties - they will always remain involved. They can accept the principles of Bahá'u'lláh and the Cause but usually not wholly converted to the Cause. They come in with reservations. We must not sacrifice the principles of the Cause for popularity - never sacrifice our principles to be popular. We should proceed wisely - cautious - slowly - We must look for pure souls - capable souls not necessarily important people. They are important but we must concentrate on pure souls.
8. The spirit of Martha Root touched the heart of Queen Marie. We need more active supporters of the Faith - not sympathizers - but people who support the Institutions of the faith. Martha had that ability to meet important people in high places. But now we need active supporters - not sympathizers.
9. The stronghold of materialism is in America. We must avoid total concentration of teaching in the cities. There the people are immersed in their own surroundings - are distracted - disinterested in things pertaining to the spirit. The more primitive the people are - the nearer they are to the spirit - to the Faith. People speak of the so-called civilized world. The more primitive the nearer they are - the more civilized - the father away.
10. The Moslems are exerting a very great effort in America - allying themselves with the Christians - they are not sincere - but compromise their principles. The building of the Mosque in Washington D.C. is a direct result from our building the Temple. Diplomats and Ambassadors from the East, from Egypt - went back and told their people - if the few Bahá'ís can build such a beautiful Temple - why can't we of the Moslem world do better. They will do everything they can to attract people - but they compromise their principles. Even to the extent of forming ties with the Christians - even with the Catholics, their bitter enemies. To Bahá'ís, principles are first, popularity second. The Moslems and Christians are forming a religious front against a common foe - Communism. They join in an unholy alliance. The Pope is inviting the Egyptians and Moslems to help in the fight against the common foe - Communism. All are
compromising their principles. Their fundamental beliefs are directly opposed to one another. The American government is glad to see the alliance - anything to consolidate their ranks. They have all been besieged by fear - fear has entered then and they don't know where to turn. They cannot even think clearly - they are confused, they are afraid. They call it the "barbarian from the East" - a "history repeating itself" they are losing their balance - fear seizes them. Of course, this does not mean that Communism is good. The U.S. is afraid - none more afraid than they, the richer the state - the more afraid. The poorer - the less afraid. The old order is dying - the New Order is not yet born. The Administrative Order is not the World Order - one is the embryo of the other. Now we have the embryo. The world must be organized and spiritualized - a spiritualization of mankind. Now the world suffers from organization and materialism.
11. In respect to teaching, our Guardian speaks of the difficulty in bringing officials into the Cause. They are bound by official bond - materialistic bonds. We must look for our souls, we must search for them. Bahá'ís must go places where it is easy to find them. (Ruhiyyih Khanum injected the thought that the Guardian says we must go from the easy to the hard). We find them in their modest homes - villages - small towns. We establish the Administration in the cities - concentrate teaching outside the cities. Think what would happen if New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles would do this. Bahá'ís can spend years in the cities but many times to no avail; people there are preoccupied. Bahá'ís must propagate the Faith in small centers. We want localities in the Faith, not cities. We must go with the people - live among them - search for them. Bahá'ís must go to the villages - they are important.
12. It is a great mistake for pioneers to get into capitals and stay there. We must scatter - there we reap a rich harvest. It is highly meritorious - very effectual. This does not mean to abandon cities. We must have a firm functioning Assembly, but the surplus Bahá'ís must scatter. Of course, there are many difficulties involved - many problems to overcome - but it means sacrifice. Many have families - homes -ties. I lay down the principles - the Bahá'ís must try to apply them. All required of them is to make an effort - they must make an effort.
13. I spoke to our Guardian of the fact of having Goal cities in Germany - and the importance of the Five-Year Plan - but asked about all the other places. The Guardian said: We are interested in Goal Centers - not Goal Cities. In making plans - NSAs must study the situation - determine receptive centers - not choose from a map the important cities. They must consider which points are receptive - which is the easiest place to establish a center, and then include it in a plan. It doesn't have to be an important city. We must study where we have a rich and quick harvest. Our main consideration is to propogate the Faith. As soon as a center is established - the surplus must disperse. We must husband our resources - must be careful how we dispose of them. Places like Germany and the goal countries can't do this yet. If they dispersed there would nothing left. But a general rule to follow is to have at least 15 believers - then the surplus must disappear and establish new centers. If one tenth of the Bahá'ís in Teheran alone would disperse - the Bahá'ís would have the Faith all over the world. They have learned in Persia the importance of villages. We cannot compel Bahá'ís to disperse - there are many hindrances and difficulties - but people must make the effort. The pioneering spirit must be created in the friends.
14. To Ludmila von Sombeck - the Guardian said - when you go to Vienna - try to contact Bahá'ís in some way - in Hungary - Czechoslovalia, Yugoslavia. Vienna is a very important center. During the coming Ten-Year Crusade it has a great task - to establish an NSA of their own. Austria must collaborate with the German NSA but must make new centers. Otherwise they will be indefinitely attached to the German NSA. They must collaborate with the German NSA, but begin extensive teaching - in cities like Graz, Linz, Innsbruck. Encourage friends in Austria to attend the Conference.
15. The Conference in Stockholm has the purpose to stimulate activity in Europe. The Bahá'ís must discover ways and means to spread the Faith on the Continent of Europe - not the goal countries only - all countries. The map (refers to the map the Guardian made to outline full scope of the Ten- Year Crusade) is no secret now. Tell the friends if they only want the maps alone - to communicate with Geneva. They are getting a supply of them. If pamphlets and maps are wanted, they can obtain them from England or America. It would be cheaper if they would get them from England. During the Ten- Year Crusade, tell the friends the effort must
be continuous - not spasmodic. If there is any sceptic you meet (to Ludmila) tell him to look at Kampala, and the Conference there- the success in Africa.
16. The dome has been started and the Guardian goes on to say he hopes for the guilded tiles in another month. Tell them (Ludmila) of the Gardens - and the progress at the World Center - especially Vienna - for they are isolated.
Guardian's Comments March 15, 1953, at dinner in Western Pilgrim House
1. Our Guardian said to me that he has read the Tablets I brought from the friends in Germany (from the Master) .. Also read the diaries (17 vol.) from Mr. Samandari sent from Persia. Yesterday the Guardian said he had read for 14 hours straight - the latter over 70 pages long in Persian (in his own hand) to be sent by pilgrim to Iran, reviewing and checking it. This letter, as he previously said at dinner table the evening before - was the Significances of the Year Nine and a review of happenings in the Bahai world during the previous two years. He went on to say "whenever I do something extraordinary like this letter, all the routine work piles up and I must then begin to catch up on this routine material," referring to letters, Tablets, Samandari's diaries, and all other data.
2. There will be an Israeli Branch of the NSA established during the coming Ten-Year Crusade for the NSAs I have designated on the map with a star. Germany is one of them. You must tell the German friends that. The first step is incorporation - every NSA must incorporate first. Next - through a lawyer in the Holy Land - a Branch is established - as a Religious society. When the government accepts the incorporation documents - I will transfer land to them. At present America and India have an Israeli Branch. The Branch is a legal bond to unite the NSAs of the world to the World Center - this is unique in religious history. This will add to the prestige of the Faith in Israel - and will consolidate the International endowments. Then this property has the backing of the respective governments. If someone wishes to encroach on our property - we refer them to the legal owners - which are the NSA's of the various countries who are not here (in the Holy Land). The Branches add to the prestige of the Faith - consolidate its ties to the World Center. Later on - the historic sites in Persia. Persia will establish branches. Other NSAs will own some of the land - NSAs will own land in the cradle of the Faith and the Holy Land. First Persia must show its national constitution to the Persian Government and become incorporated before Branches can be established there.
3. All NSAs now have the same constitution - this is unique. Spain and Portugal will have the constitution translated. First the national Constitutions must be presented to the government - then receive recognition. I asked the Guardian how Persia will get recognition and be incorporated and he said this will be very difficult - for it must be presented to the Persian government and the Shah.
4. I mentioned seeing the Bahá'í school of India on his map - for the Ten- Year Crusade, and asked if it will be like the Summer Schools. The Guardian explained that it is quite different. It is to be opened all year round - maybe non-Bahá'ís will be admitted also.
5. The nature of the Dependency of the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar in Wilmette during the Ten- Year Crusade is not yet decided.
6. In regard to my questions regarding Buddha, the Guardian said His Teachings are based upon Divine Revelation - the Master told us so. There is nothing in writing - we don't know exactly what He taught. Scholars and Priests say He taught immortality. The religion of Zoroaster, the Indians - Buddha - are alike in this respect. We do not know exactly what they said. The books of laws have been written by the priests. The priests deviated from the path. Wrote about Buddha's teachings years after His death - like the Catholic Church. Scholars say Buddha taught the middle way of Nirvana - of the state of blessedness and peace on earth - that He taught little of the after-life. We know this is wrong. All Divine Manifestations taught of life after death. He had to have spoken more than just the life on earth.
7. Divinity of Bahá'u'lláh is a stumbling block in the West. The best answer is as written in the Iqan. Bahá'u'lláh tells what He means by Divinity. Bahá'u'lláh is Divine - we believe this - but we must explain what is meant by Divinity. The Catholics are correct when they teach the Divinity of Christ - but they have the mistake of confusing the God-Head with the Prophet. Only God and the Prophet are Divine. When people question when Bahá'u'lláh says "I am God" - refer them to Christ's statement "I am (in) the Father" - it is the same thing. All Prophets have said the same thing. Bahá'u'lláh has said the same thing in the Iqan. Catholics believe that God and the Son are the same - this is fundamentally wrong. It is like saying the ray is the sun. To say that Bahá'u'lláh is greater than other prophets is wrong - they are all Divine - all mirror the Light - but in Bahá'u'lláh - his mirror deflects the Light greater - not because He is intrinsically superior - rather because the capacity of the people is greater to receive the Light.
8. The soul has tremendous experience in the other world - we know this but we cannot understand how.
9. I asked our beloved Guardian if there isn't some ties between the germans and the Greeks (Germany has Greece during the Crusade). He said the Germans have a greater appreciation for the Greek culture and their art. You know, the Germans had their eyes on Greece during the last war and had Crete.
10. A letter was received from Shanghai - the believers are very active there - even under the Communists. The question is whether or not to tell the authorities. If they do - they may be expelled - if they do not, they risk being imprisoned and sent to Siberia.
11. The sub-continent of India is very vast - there is a great deal of work to do beyond its frontiers. The India Bahá'ís have had 3 plans - more than any other country - America has had only two. Now India is finishing its 19-month Plan. They have sent a pioneer to Nepal. In Burma there is great progress.
12. I asked our Guardian of the nature of the auxiliary boards to be appointed during the Ten-Year Crusade. They are designed to help the Hands to complete the Plans. There are not many Hands so they need help - and the Plans are vast. These auxiliary boards are the first extension of the Institution of the Hands of the Cause --are elected by the Hands - assists the NSAs to fulfill plans.
13. The function of the Hands is to protect and propagate the Cause - its two chief functions. Now the NSAs function is also to protect and propagate the Faith - later these functions will be fully handled by the Institutions of the Hands. Like the NSAs - they will have their own boards - committees and sub-committees. They will have Institutions parallel to the present NSAs committees, etc. The Institution of the Hands and the NSA functions are complimentary - not at odds with one another. The NSAs will become more and more legislative - will handle the affairs of the community - they will first legislate - then apply laws.
14. I asked the Guardian if the Hands of the Cause were unerring in their functions of propagation and protection of the Cause and he replied - they receive instructions from the Guardian. The Hands of the Cause and the Administrative Order complement one another. Function of the Guardian - interpretation; Hands, protect and propagate; Universal house of Justice - legislate; National SAs - administrate these laws. Bahá'u'lláh established the Institution of the Hands of the Cause; the Master embodied it in His Will and Testament. The machinery is established for the establishment and propagation of the Faith.
15. Revenues for the Guardianship and Hands - and Universal House of Justice, has been clearly established in the Aqdas. Huquk - 19% - is for the Guardian and Hands of the Cause. Fines and taxes etc. are for the Universal House of Justice.
16. The Pope in Rome has the same - has an organization for the propagation of the Gospel throughout the world. The Cardinals administer the affairs of the church throughout the world. Some distinction exists in the Bahá'í Faith. The difference is in the Bahá'í Faith the individual administers his own affairs - bodies are elected by the believers - which has in it a democratic element - whereas in the Church the priests and Cardinals administer it. Fundamental difference - ours comes from the Source - the Author of the Faith - a split will never be caused. We have had terrible crises - great differences of opinion - tests and difficulties have been greater - yet they never caused a split, a cleavage. The problems are momentary, never lasting.
17. Amerila Bowman asked if it wasn't so that if the Prophets like Christ and Muhammed had given more explicit instructions - wouldn't the nature of the Churches and religious hierarchy be different. The Guardian explained - if Christ would have said that only Peter could interpret - Paul would never have injected his ideas. In all Dispensations a Center was appointed - but vaguely so - and the Center was never given full authority.
18. There will always be a number - a minority - who will not accept the Prophet - who will never submit - but only a few - even in the Golden Age. But these few can cause trouble. The overwhelming number will embrace the Faith.
19. Opposition is a driving force - it is a propelling force - opposition and criticism. Crises will move the Cause ahead. The Time will come when missionaries will openly attack us. The civil and religious will form a common front - we may have to face a common front. It all depends upon the progress of the Faith. The progress of the Faith depends on the friends, the individual believers. They must hasten the progress of the Faith to get opposition so this opposition will lead to crises which in turn will lead to triumph. It is like a motor. The motor produces electricity. Progress of the Faith causes the spark. The spark accelerates motion - motion created another spark - a series of sparks and motions - victories and crises - victories and crises.
The Arab-Israel war seemed to threaten the Faith - but the Arabs - the real enemies - were defeated. We were in grave danger - both from external and internal from within.
20. Look at Germany, the Bahá'ís have had a great victory. There was great suffering in Germany and Japan, and now the people are more ready for the Faith. During the past - the Party threatened to extinguish the Faith in Germany. They read in the Books what Bahá'u'lláh has said about the Jews. They sought the Bahá'ís - they wanted to extirpate the Cause. When the Germans were approaching Palestine through Egypt - the Bahá'ís were already on their blacklist. The Cause of the World Center was in great danger. As the Germans approached - the Arabs were already speaking of getting revenge - of joining the Germans - and the Covenant Breakers were
waiting. The Arabs would have joined them. The Germans were coming near Palestine - from Egypt in the south - they had Crete - and through Syria and Lebanon in the north. Suddenly Rommel was defeated, in the African campaign. If they would have come - they would have sent me to a concentration camp - and would have seized the Archives and destroyed the Shrines. But they were defeated.
Guardian's comments at dinner, March 16, 1953 at Western Pilgrim House
1. (regarding pilgrimage) . it is not the extent of your stay here, but the spirit you carry away with you.
2. Urge the German friends to order the map (of the Crusade) from England. They should immediately translate the pamphlet into German. This will not be difficult because there is little to translate. Of course, the countries on the map need to be translated. It should be widely distributed. First they must become familiar with the plan - study carefully. Second see what they do to promote it.
3. Majid Din is sinking. He is 98 years old - the incited of Muhammad Ali. He lives adjacent to the Mansion at Bahji. The Master has referred to him in his Will and Testament. He has called him the "manifestation of Satan" he was worse than Muhammad Ali - for he incited Muhammad Ali. almost 100 years old - and God has kept him so he might witness the rise of the Faith. He was worse than the Arch-Breaker of the Covenant. He is half- paralyzed.
4. A grand-daughter of the maternal uncle of the Bab - 90 years of age - has asked to come on pilgrimage with her son. The son will go to Africa. South Africa will have a descendant of the Bab as a pioneer.
5. The Founder of our Faith - besides establishing spiritual principles - established first, Institutions - second, Administrative principles. Christ did neither. He did establish spiritual principles - but no institutions - no Administrative principles. Muhammed went a step further. He established spiritual and administrative principles - but no institution. Bahá'u'lláh gave us both - plus, established a definite institution. That is why the unity of the Faith is assured. There can be no schism.
Guardian said - comparative religion - Bahá'ís should study in their summer schools - to be able to compare the different dispensations of the past.
6. Question was brought up by Ruhiyyih Khanum . a Bahá'í pioneer who defied the Assemblies rulings and freedom of action when they failed to recognize him as being the first pioneer and therefore they must listen to him. Our Guardian said - pioneers should set the example. They must abide by the Assemblies rulings - especially the pioneers, should set the example for their spiritual children.
7. The Guardian asked me "Are the Germans making any regulations? I replied - I don't know for sure, but I've heard they have a tendency to do so. The Guardian then said - the Germans are a disciplined people - they must guard against making too many regulations. The Administration as developed sufficiently for now - we must not try to perfect the Administration. It is an instrument for teaching the Cause, propagating the Faith, if we only perfect the instrument we forget many times its purpose. It becomes the end instead of the means. Too many regulations kill the spirit. There should be less administration and more teaching. That doesn't mean we disregard the Administration - all must obey. The Administrative Order is a channel for teaching. We must use this instrument - not perfect it.
8. I asked our Guardian how about Bahá'ís who can justify their making a career of the military and he replied - Bahá'ís must try to keep free from entanglements in the Army - the Government and the Church. They are not completely free to promote the Cause. They should disentangle themselves from these positions - because there are always some restraints. They should keep themselves free to teach.
9. I said to the Guardian - the German friends always have you on their lips. They love you very much. He said "Yes, I am fond of the German friends - their spirituality - their ability - their thoroughness and concentration. They have a great capacity for work - a great future in the field of scholarship. They will provide the Bahá'í historians of the future - the Bahá'í scholars. also in research work. The Master said whenever I see the German friends, I am reminded of the Persians. I have very great hopes for the future of the German believers. their suffering during the last war has been great - perhaps a blessing in disguise."
10. They (Germany) must have their own National Archives.. urge them to establish a Nat'l. Archives in one room of the Hazira - as soon as possible. Urge the friends to offer their Tablets and relics as soon as possible. They must be placed in the name of those who offer them - just as I do here.
11. Guardian asked me "Will you stop at Geneva?" I replied "Yes" and he said - "You must tell Mrs. Lynch I appreciate very much her services to the Faith. She is very loyal - very painstaking - a true pioneer - long before the ETC plan began. She is in the same category as Johanna Schubart - she worked alone. The Bahá'ís of Switzerland must be very appreciative of her. Also Miss Kempton - representative of the ETC - she is very energetic - very efficient.
12. I told the Guardian I plan to visit the friends of Luxembourg and the Guardian commented the friends of Luxembourg are very active, very successful. Urge them to be in close contact with the Paris friends - the Paris Assembly - especially in matters of publication. Refer to them on these matters. There are many French in Luxembourg.
13. I mentioned the Regional Conference to be held in Rotterdam in early April during the Eater week-end there, and our Guardian said - the Regional Conferences are very important. They must be prepared for the formation of Regional NSAs - follow the example of the Italo-Swiss - First they must multiply their cneters in the Low countries. The Regional Conferences pave the way for establishing the foundation of the Faith. They are very helpful.