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TAGS: Lawh-i-Mallahul-Quds (Tablet of the Holy Mariner); Lesser prophets; Maid of Heaven; Words and phrases
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Tablet of the Holy Mariner (Lawh-i-Malláhu'l-Quds):
Study Compilations

by Aziz Mboya

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Chapter 44

The true seeker

CXXV. O My brother!When a true seeker determineth to take the step of
search in the path leading unto the knowledge of the Ancient of Days, he
must, before all else, cleanse his heart, which is the seat of the
revelation of the inner mysteries of God, from the obscuring dust of all
acquired knowledge, and the allusions of the embodiments of satanic fancy.
He must purge his breast, which is the sanctuary of the abiding love of
the Beloved, of every defilement, and sanctify his soul from all that
pertaineth to water and clay, from all shadowy and ephemeral attachments.
He must so cleanse his heart that no remnant of either love or hate may
linger therein, lest that love blindly incline him to error, or that hate
repel him away from the truth. Even as thou dost witness in this Day how
most of the people, because of such love and hate, are bereft of the
immortal Face, have strayed far from the Embodiments of the Divine
mysteries, and, shepherdless, are roaming through the wilderness of oblivion
and error.

That seeker must, at all times, put his trust in God, must renounce the
peoples of the earth, must detach himself from the world of dust, and cleave
unto Him Who is the Lord of Lords. He must never seek to exalt himself above
any one, must wash away from the tablet of his heart every trace of pride
and vain-glory, must cling unto patience and resignation, observe silence
and refrain from idle talk. For the tongue is a smoldering fire, and excess
of speech a deadly poison. Material fire consumeth the body, whereas the
fire of the tongue devoureth both heart and soul. The force of the former
lasteth but for a time, whilst the effects of the latter endureth a century.

That seeker should, also, regard backbiting as grievous error, and keep
himself aloof from its dominion, inasmuch as backbiting quencheth the light
of the heart, and extinguisheth the life of the soul. He should be content
with little, and be freed from all inordinate desire. He should treasure
the companionship of them that have renounced the world, and regard
avoidance of boastful and worldly people a precious benefit. At the dawn
of every day he should commune with God, and, with all his soul, persevere
in the quest of his Beloved. He should consume every wayward thought with
the flame of His loving mention, and, with the swiftness of lightning, pass
by all else save Him. He should succor the dispossessed, and never withhold
his favor from the destitute. He should show kindness to animals, how much
more unto his fellow-man, to him who is endowed with the power of utterance.
He should not hesitate to offer up his life for his Beloved, nor allow the
censure of the people to turn him away from the Truth. He should not wish
for others that which he doth not wish for himself, nor promise that which
he doth not fulfil. With all his heart he should avoid fellowship with
evil-doers, and pray for the remission of their sins. He should forgive the
sinful, and never despise his low estate, for none knoweth what his own
end shall be. How often hath a sinner attained, at the hour of death, to
the essence of faith, and, quaffing the immortal draught, hath taken his
flight unto the Concourse on high! And how often hath a devout believer,
at the hour of his soul's ascension, been so changed as to fall into the
nethermost fire!

Our purpose in revealing these convincing and weighty utterances is to
impress upon the seeker that he should regard all else beside God as
transient, and count all things save Him, Who is the Object of all
adoration, as utter nothingness.

These are among the attributes of the exalted, and constitute the hall-mark
of the spiritually-minded. They have already been mentioned in connection
with the requirements of the wayfarers that tread the path of Positive
Knowledge. When the detached wayfarer and sincere seeker hath fulfilled
these essential conditions, then and only then can he be called a true
seeker. Whensoever he hath fulfilled the conditions implied in the verse:
"Whoso maketh efforts for Us," he shall enjoy the blessings conferred by
the words: "In Our Ways shall We assuredly guide him."

Only when the lamp of search, of earnest striving, of longing desire, of
passionate devotion, of fervid love, of rapture, and ecstasy, is kindled
within the seeker's heart, and the breeze of His loving-kindness is wafted
upon his soul, will the darkness of error be dispelled, the mists of doubts
and misgivings be dissipated, and the lights of knowledge and certitude
envelop his being. At that hour will the Mystic Herald, bearing the joyful
tidings of the Spirit, shine forth from the City of God resplendent as the
morn, and, through the trumpet-blast of knowledge, will awaken the heart,
the soul, and the spirit from the slumber of heedlessness. Then will the
manifold favors and outpouring grace of the holy and everlasting Spirit
confer such new life upon the seeker that he will find himself endowed
with a new eye, a new ear, a new heart, and a new mind. He will
contemplate the manifest signs of the universe, and will penetrate the
hidden mysteries of the soul. Gazing with the eye of God, he will perceive
within every atom a door that leadeth him to the stations of absolute
certitude. He will discover in all things the mysteries of Divine
Revelation, and the evidences of an everlasting Manifestation.

I swear by God! Were he that treadeth the path of guidance and seeketh to
scale the heights of righteousness to attain unto this glorious and exalted
station, he would inhale, at a distance of a thousand leagues, the fragrance
of God, and would perceive the resplendent morn of a Divine guidance rising
above the Day Spring of all things. Each and every thing, however small,
would be to him a revelation, leading him to his Beloved, the Object of his
quest. So great shall be the discernment of this seeker that he will
discriminate between truth and falsehood, even as he doth distinguish the
sun from shadow. If in the uttermost corners of the East the sweet savors of
God be wafted, he will assuredly recognize and inhale their fragrance, even
though he be dwelling in the uttermost ends of the West. He will, likewise,
clearly distinguish all the signs of God--His wondrous utterances, His great
works, and mighty deeds--from the doings, the words and ways of men, even as
the jeweler who knoweth the gem from the stone, or the man who
distinguisheth the spring from autumn, and heat from cold. When the channel
of the human soul is cleansed of all worldly and impeding attachments, it
will unfailingly perceive the breath of the Beloved across immeasurable
distances, and will, led by its perfume, attain and enter the City of
Certitude.

Therein he will discern the wonders of His ancient Wisdom, and will perceive
all the hidden teachings from the rustling leaves of the Tree that
flourisheth in that City. With both his inner and outer ear, he will hear
from its dust the hymns of glory and praise ascending unto the Lord of
Lords, and with his inner eye will he discover the mysteries of "return"
and "revival."

How unspeakably glorious are the signs, the tokens, the revelations, and
splendors which He, Who is the King of Names and Attributes, hath destined
for that City! The attainment unto this City quencheth thirst without water,
and kindleth the love of God without fire. Within every blade of grass are
enshrined the mysteries of an inscrutable Wisdom, and upon every rose-bush
a myriad nightingales pour out, in blissful rapture, their melody. Its
wondrous tulips unfold the mystery of the undying Fire in the Burning Bush,
and its sweet savors of holiness breathe the perfume of the Messianic Spirit.
It bestoweth wealth without gold, and conferreth immortality without death.
In each one of its leaves ineffable delights are treasured, and within every
chamber unnumbered mysteries lie hidden.

They that valiantly labor in quest of God, will, when once they have
renounced all else but Him, be so attached and wedded unto that City, that
a moment's separation from it would to them be unthinkable. They will
hearken unto infallible proofs from the Hyacinth of that assembly, and will
receive the surest testimonies from the beauty of its Rose, and the melody
of its Nightingale. Once in about a thousand years shall this City be
renewed and readorned....

That City is none other than the Word of God revealed in every age and
dispensation. In the days of Moses it was the Pentateuch; in the days of
Jesus, the Gospel; in the days of Muhammad, the Messenger of God,
the Qur'án; in this day, the Bayán; and in the Dispensation of Him Whom
God will make manifest, His own Book--the Book unto which all the Books of
former Dispensations must needs be referred, the Book that standeth amongst
them all transcendent and supreme.
-- Bahá'u'lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 264

The Valley of Search - first stage
And further: The stages that mark the wayfarer's journey from the abode of
dust to the heavenly homeland are said to be seven. Some have called these
Seven Valleys, and others, Seven Cities. And they say that until the
wayfarer taketh leave of self, and traverseth these stages, he shall never
reach to the ocean of nearness and union, nor drink of the peerless wine.
The first is

THE VALLEY OF SEARCH

The steed of this Valley is patience; without patience the wayfarer on
this journey will reach nowhere and attain no goal. Nor should he ever be
downhearted; if he strive for a hundred thousand years and yet fail to
behold the beauty of the Friend, he should not falter. For those who seek
the Ka'bih of "for Us" rejoice in the tidings: "In Our ways will We guide
them." In their search, they have stoutly girded up the loins of service,
and seek at every moment to journey from the plane of heedlessness into the
realm of being. No bond shall hold them back, and no counsel shall deter
them.

It is incumbent on these servants that they cleanse the heart--which is
the wellspring of divine treasures--from every marking, and that they turn
away from imitation, which is following the traces of their forefathers and
sires, and shut the door of friendliness and enmity upon all the people of
the earth.
-- Bahá'u'lláh, The Seven Valleys and the Four Valleys, p. 4

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