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Posted: Wed Sep 07, 2005 9:04 pm
Posted: Thu Sep 08, 2005 8:17 am
I read the preamble to the Seven Valleys five-six times and came to a quite different conclusion about the opening paragraph. Consider: How does an Ali Muhammad transform into the Bab? And a Husayn Ali transform into Baha'ullah? How does flesh transform into the Word?
The first paragraph is about a process, I agree, but the process of becoming a Manifestation of God.
I sometimes find it helpful to compare Baha'u'llah's early works to the Writings of the Bab. Consider the following quotes from the Bab:
The substance wherewith God hath created Me is not the clay out of which others have been formed. He hath conferred upon Me that which the worldly-wise can never comprehend, nor the faithful discover...I am one of the sustaining pillars of the Primal Word of God. (1) (...made being to come forth from nothingness: graven upon the tablet of man the secrets of preexistence; taught him from the mysteries of divine utterance that which he knew not;...)
I am the Primal Point from which have been generated all created things. I am the Countenance of God Whose splendour can never be obscured, the Light of God Whose radiance can never fade. (2) (...caused him to witness the creation of all things in this black and ruinous age...)
I am the Mystic Fane (temple) which the Hand of Omnipotence hath reared. I am the Lamp which the Finger of God hath lit within its niche and caused to shine with deathless splendour. (3) (...made him a Luminous Book unto those who believed the surrendered themselves;...)
O peoples of the earth! Verily the respendent Light of God hath appeared in your midst, invested with this unerring Book, that ye may be guided aright to the ways of peace and, by the leave of God, step out of the darkness into the light and onto this far-extended Path of Truth...(4)
The references to man in the first paragraph of the preamble are references to the Manifestations themselves. The every man is the rest of us. The there is no God save Him refers to recognizing the Light, Truth and Purpose of God reflected in the face of the Manifestation. Once that Light is perceived, one comtemplates that Light in everything.
That is enough for now. Thanks for your translation and insights.
(1) p 11, Epistle to Muhammad Shah, Selections from the Writings of the Bab
(2) p 12, ibid
(3) p 74, Qayyum'l-Asma, Selections from the Writings of the Bab
(4) p 61, ibid
Posted: Thu Sep 08, 2005 7:42 pm
Posted: Thu Sep 08, 2005 8:59 pm
Your rendering of the second paragraph of the preamble is how I was reading it too. Proceed please. - Curt
Posted: Fri Sep 09, 2005 1:49 pm
I am happy that we are doing something serious and thanks to you Majun for initiating it.
I still have to read the whole thing in posts, so this is just for now:
As you remember, Majnun, we talked before about "creation out of nothingness", and I quoted this then:
"The statement in the `Gleanings', pp. 64-65, `who out of utter nothingness...', etc., should be taken in a symbolic and not a literal sense. It is only to demonstrate the power and greatness of God."
(From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi: Letters from the
Guardian to Australia and New Zealand 1923-1957, p. 41)
(Multiple Authors: Lights of Guidance, Page: 483)
IF you remember, Bahaullah interprets the following verse of koran this way:
(this is the verse in arabic and the enligh is my translation)
Kanallaho va lam yakon maahoo shei:
(there was a time when)there was only God, and nothing else was with him(=nothing else exsited)
Bahaullha interprets it this way (my words, hopefully I will find the quote later and post it):
it does not mean that there was a time when nothing existed, since God is the ceator and a creator cannot be without creature(created). Since if we assume there was a time when God hadn't created anything yet, then in that particular time, the quality of creativitiy of God would be lacking , which is not possible. So what this means is that the Greatness of God is such that everything else compared to him is nothing. Then Bahaullha says this is even true today. In other words, he says that this verse of koran is not limited to a particular time of the past, but is true always.
Now as you see, Bahaulah's interpretation is that this verse is about greatness of God, and the Guardian's interpretaion is the same in the case of seven valley.
In other words, nothing can be made out of absolute nothingness, but things can be made out of relative nothingness. It means that there are things that when you see them from human's perspective, they seem nothingess, but they are not in fact nothing.
In his interpretaion, Bahaulah is talking about two perspectives, human's and God's. When you want to see things relative to God(compared to God), it's as though nothithig exists, but when you see them from our human's perspective, they exist.
consider a fraction with something at the numerator and infinity at the denominator, no matter how big the numerator is for us humans, the answer will always be zero, since we can't imagine anything even close to infinity.
Now creation out of nothingness is the same. Let's say e.g. that God has created everything out of energy. In the mind of us humans, energy is not matter. It does not have weight and does not occupy any place. But modern physics has shown that matter can be changed to energy. So maybe the inverse of this can also be true. If you are familiar with string theory , then its not hard to see this. So in this example( and this is just an example, not what we know for sure), material things have been created out of an immaterial thing i.e. energy. So even if we want to analyze this scientiticly, it makes sense. In other words, the question that what existed before big bang , and where all the matter came from, is answered in this theory, that all the matter was created out of the energy released from God. it's important to notice that this does not mean that before big bang God had'nt created anything. We know that there are differnt spiritual worlds. Also in our example, we can say that God had made the energy, or something like that, so the quality of creativity has always been with him.
Posted: Fri Sep 09, 2005 10:23 pm
Posted: Sat Sep 10, 2005 10:53 am
Majnun, I suggest moving a little slower if that is fine with you and others. thanks
Posted: Sat Sep 10, 2005 12:53 pm
Posted: Tue Sep 13, 2005 10:00 pm
It was with much appreciation in reading this post, thank you very much.
Hoping there will be more coming ?