Haifa Notes of Shoghi Effendi's Word:
Explanatory note by Robert Stauffer: The first set of notes are the Maxwell notes "Haifa Talks" of 1937. There are two parts or volumes of "Haifa Talks". I am working with a direct photocopy of the original typed notes I received years ago via Jamshid Fozdar and they are too grey and messing to scan. I've also attached as a preface to the notes a letter from May Maxwell to Ms. Baldwin in Honolulu which was not part of the original notes, but relates directly to them, and suggests they were circulated somewhat widely by May Maxwell. The original of this was done on a typewriter, presumably by May Maxwell herself. The headings it contains were supplied by her. I have kept all the misspellings. In email format it was impractical to keep the accents in words such as Bahá'í, Bahá'u'lláh and the Bab, so those are not retained. Capitalization and extra spaces are given as in the original. The notes were privately published without the benefit of an editor and typesetter. [-R.S.]
Never have I seen anyone work as hard as Shoghi Effendi, and it must be very trying to him with his universal creative energy, his world horizon, his soaring ideals, to say nothing of the unfathomable depths of knowledge and wisdom which flow like undulated waves through his sacred entity at all times, it must be a cruel restraint that he has not a greater vehicle or channel through which to pour all this power throughout the world...
These "notes" will rejoice and inspire you and show you once more, as all his writings reveal to us all, the sublime promise of the future, the world-sweeping cataclysm destined to reduce the present system to ashes, out of which will be born a new humanity, the promised Kingdom, the World Order of Bahá'u'lláh.
Mankind has sunk so low, has so utterly forgotten the source from which he sprang, has wandered from divine guidance following his will-o'-the-wisp of the feeble leadership in every country today even, as the Guardian says, "World leadership has failed," and only as we are directed back into the path of God is there any hope for this lost world...
Now is the spring of our life on this earth today the only living link and direct channel to the Supreme Being, concealed from our view, yet manifest as the sun in heaven in all the surging power and transformation of the world.
As I wrote Shoghi Effendi, she (Ruhiyyih Khanum) was transported almost in a breath from the world of humanity to the very threshold of God, and often I have felt left behind in her flight. Her life was cut off as by a sword and only God can do these things, and only He can sustain us and recreate us for that higher rarified air she now breathes.
In this last visit to Haifa I came to understand as never before something of the agony our Guardian has endured. He spoke of it very simply one night and his uplifted gaze, the white purity and beauty of his face are forever graven on my heart. Nothing is too great to suffer for him, no daily discipline, effort or sacrifice, no surrender of all that is upon this earth can even touch the hem of his sacred suffering, the depths of the cup from which he has drunk. With all my heart and soul I thank the Beloved that He gave us such a daughter for him, who is, in the words of the Master, "The apple of His eye and the jewel of His heart."
It is a great privilege to share these notes with those Bahá'ís who have asked for them both for themselves and to share with other Bahá'í friends. It will greatly simplify our understanding of their status if we bear in mind that they are not the official statements of our blessed Guardian, that he has not sent them through the Administrative, official channel, but that inasmuch as he sanctions both their recording in his presence and subsequent sharing with fellow Bahá'ís, they are of priceless value being his free and spontaneous utterances to those Bahá'ís who are actually in his beloved presence. These notes taken by Ruhiyyih Khanum (then Miss Mary Maxwell) have the same status, in a vast field of subjects, as the notes of all others.
[signed] May Maxwell
January, February, March.
One woman was always singled out in every religion.
The Greatest Holy Leaf's name will be added by Shoghi Effendi, The Virgin Mary (Maryan) did not recognize the full station of Christ till after His Crucifixion.
All things proceed from God. God is the origin of all things, including human characteristics.
Why did God allow evil to exist in the world? A satisfactory explanation has never, and can never be given. Surely God could have created some other scheme that would have allowed less evil. His motives, the way He works, are beyond us. It would cease to be a Revelation if Americans could resolve all these mysteries - it would be a product of the American mind.
The Protestant movement is a protest against the abuses of the Catholic Church and, being a protest, it is negative.
Social reform is of great value, but its area is very limited. It is the influence of religion on the individual that can bring about the results. Any philosophy that is based on materialism is fundamentally defective. This does not mean social reform has no value. Its value is restricted.
REVELATION has three aspects. God its Revealer, the Prophet, and then His successor appointed by Him.
Every religion has its mysteries - it must, because it is perfect from God and we are human, hence mysteries must exist for us because we cannot encompass religion, it not being man-made.
There are two Covenants; the Greater and the Lesser. The Greater Covenant of which God is the Author. The Manifestation the object, and the people of the world the ones covenanted with. The Lesser Covenant the Manifestation is the Author, His successor the object and the believers are the covenanted with group. Page 255, paragraph 527, of the Baha's Scriptures refers to the Greater Covenant.
Krishna was the Prophet of Hinduism; Buddha of Buddhaism. The religion of the Sabians exists but we do not know the name of its Prophet.
Confucius and Laotze were reformers, not Prophets. The remnants of Sabianism are the idolaters of Africa, it appeared in Mesopotamia. The religion of Abraham was revealed among the Sabians just as Jesus appeared among the Jews. All prophets have had followers; Hud, for instance, but the followers have ceased to exist.
There was a time when they not only existed but flourished. All these Prophets are within historic times. The followers of Hud lived in Petra, Transjordan. The religion of Abraham was revealed among the Sabians, whose original Prophet is unknown.
Buddha and Krishna were the Prophets of Buddhaism and Hinduism, but all their authentic teachings have been lost. In the case of Sabianism, we do not even have the name of the Prophet. Sabianism, Hinduism, Buddhaism, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity, Muhammadanism, the Babi religion, and now the Bahá'ís. These are the nine great religions, whose followers still exist. This does not mean that there were not many other religions. These 9 great religions are one of the significances of 9. Another is the name of Baha', symbolic of the name of Bahá'u'lláh; the third meaning is that it symbolizes perfection. 9 is symbolic, as it symbolizes the Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh, which is the culmination of all religions, even as 9 is the culmination of all numbers.
The Prophets retain their identity and authority in the next world. The Letters of the Living retain their identity, their position, in the next world, but we cannot tell in what way or manner these function. (See page 141 of Iqan.) There are three worlds. God lives in a world of His Own, but who can picture, who can conceive of that world; then the world of the Prophets and the world of Creation. God is immeasurably exalted above the comprehension of all the Prophets and Messengers. Words he is translating on meditation of Bahá'u'lláh. We retain in the next world our identity and self-consciousness, but our self-consciousness is greatly increased.
Prophets, "endowed with constancy," means that They are the bearers of a new law and that, having revealed the Law of God, they can endure every persecution. They are determined to uphold the Revelation of God against every opposition.
Christ's Words; "Why has Thou forsaken Me?" Bahá'u'lláh says Jesus was overwhelmed and the human element in Him became impatient. Jesus has His moments of fear and agitation, and this sentence reveals it. The Prophets have their moments of fear and agitation; the human element is always there in the Prophet.
The body of the Manifestation and His Soul have a beginning - because this part of them is human. But the spark of God in them partakes of the pre-existence of God.
The human element in the Prophets is human, but the power working through their atoms is from God, is stronger than in other humans. The soul works through our bodies...the Spirit of God through Theirs. If the Prophets were apart from us entirely how could we know them? They have something in common with us, in other words, Their human bodies, which are subject to sickness, etc.
The soul will see the Prophets in the next world. They have always existed as themselves.
Any specified science, etc, is outside of the province of the Prophet in the sense that He does not wish to pronounce upon it. We must always disassociate the human part of the Manifestation from His Spirit. It is the rule that the powers of the Manifestation are stronger; His sense of beauty; his memory; His power of endurance and strength. It is the Spirit in Him that is more powerful. This does not mean that the body of the Manifestation is of a different stuff - no, keen is the word, everything in Him is keener. This is due to His unique Spirit, but does not mean His atoms are different. His body is not of a different order than that of human beings, they are all the same. Although the body is the same the soul is not the same.
It is not a more intense reality, it is of a different order, quite different. If the body shows a keener perception it is due to this soul. The Master, the Guardian, the Saints, all else apart from the Prophets belong to the human order.
BAHA'I DISPENSATION A. A The Bab B Bahá'u'lláh C `Abdul-Baha D Administrative Order ( I. Guardianship ( a. Hands of Cause BAHA'I ( b. Other Hands ( DISPENSATION ( II. Universal House of Justice ( a. National Houses. ( b. Local Houses. (As drawn by Shoghi Effendi.)
The Bab, Bahá'u'lláh, Abdul-Baha and the administrative order are the correct way of mentioning the Cause. The administration was conceived by Bahá'u'lláh, but matured in the womb of the Master's mind. Bahá'u'lláh is its Father, Abdu'l-Bahá, its Mother. The Guardian is the interpreter, the House of Justice the legislator. Formerly all other Faiths had one person as these two things; the Caliphate, the Primate and the Pope. Revelation has three aspects: God the Revealer, the Prophet, and His successor appointed by Him. The Guardian may be the heart, but the heart is part of the body, the Administrative Order is the body.
Also References To
Bahá'u'lláh, The Bab, The Master
And Their Lives.
The World Order was anticipated as announced by the Bab, conceived by Bahá'u'lláh and formulated by the Master, and is now being built by the Bahá'ís.
Bahá'u'lláh abrogates, modifies and augments the Bab's laws. The laws of the Bab went into effect for about 19 years. Bahá'u'lláh revealed His laws only after His arrival in Akka. The interval must be short between a fore-runner and a Manifestation. It happened the fore-runner was a Prophet - a law-giver. Years are not of much importance. God can cause the fruit to ripen very fast. The first intimation was in the dungeon in Tihran. 19 years after the Bab's declaration He declared Himself in Baghdad. The most stirring, the most fiery of Bahá'u'lláh's Tablets were revealed in Adrianople (not yet translated.)
Christianity advocated union, Bahá'u'lláh unity. The world is ready for unity today.
In 1844 the Bab released the forces which were destined to enable mankind to attain maturity. (See "Gleanings" page 77, where Bahá'u'lláh refers to year 60.)
The Bab prophecied that His religion would spread to the whole world. One of the chief causes why this will be possible is because schism has been made impossible in the Cause due to the appointment of a successor in the "Book of the Covenant" and "Will and Testament" therefore there will be no opposition to its spread, such as Protestantism and Catholicism, Shi'ih and Sunni.
Previous religions have been more for the individual than society, whereas this religion is primarily for society.
The "Golden Age" is the maturity of the Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh and it will start with the unification of the world; that marks its beginning. We have passed the period of infancy and are now in the formative period. As far as this planet is concerned, there is nothing beyond this Golden Age (i.e. unification of entire world.) Thence its endurance for five hundred thousand years, just as the individual States in the U.S.A. united to form one federal government, so the nations of the world will unite to form one federal international government, which is the highest thing for this planet. Every five hundred thousand years a Revelation equal to that of Bahá'u'lláh will appear. The Prophet who next comes has the right to abrogate the whole of the Aqdas if He wishes to, but all Prophets will be under the shadow of Bahá'u'lláh. It is the spiritual influence of Bahá'u'lláh that will over-shadow for five hundred thousand years.
[In the margin of the next paragraph is the typed notation "A. / See / B." -ed]
He strongly feels we must safeguard the integrity of the Cause, its purity, in presenting it to the public. Not to make compromises, not to dilute the teachings to please the public. When you compromise you undermine the integrity of the Cause. Everything is being compromised in these days. In teaching we must start with the spiritual principles of the Cause, as the Master did. The laws are not mild, they are hard bread, we must wait until they have teeth for it.
In the Aqdas the House of Bahá'u'lláh, and the House of the Bab in Shiraz are established as the pilgrimage - the friends can choose one or the other. This is a law, obligatory for men, optional for women; this is a rule in favour of women. The institution of pilgrimage is to these two Houses. We visit Haifa and the Shrines. The House of Bahá'u'lláh takes precedence over that of the Bab. The Qiblih and the pilgrimage are the same in Islam, but in the Cause they are separate.
This is a stage in the evolution of the Cause, being persecuted by the politicians. They are afraid of the Administration . The reason why the German Government does not oppose the Cause is because their numbers are negligible. He does not think the Cause in the West will reach the stage of sufficient numbers and importance to be opposed by the Government before the next war. The fall of Western Civilization is really the destruction of the whole fabric of civilization, East and West. There will be a mass reaction in favour of the Cause - entering the Cause in troops. The Cause is now being consolidated, but not yet proclaimed. It will be proclaimed after the next war. This teaching work and construction of the Administration is only the first step to enable the Spirit to function in the body; it is more than a new religion, it is a new type of civilization. He prefers Bahá'í Faith to Bahaism. It is all so simply expressed by Bahá'u'lláh and the Master, that the friends have failed to realize its greatness.
Bahá'u'lláh has come primarily to organize humanity and this cannot be done without Justice.
The Cause is impelled forward through crises. The spread of the Cause precipitates crises, and the crises gives the spread of the Cause a chance to overcome it, and the solution of the crisis through the operation of the Cause facilitates the spread of the Cause.
Growth, crisis, and the manifestation of the spirit of the Cause; and then it starts again, further growth, crisis, triumph, etc.
The Bab's Revelation released the forces required to bring about the maturity of the human race. When we enter the Golden Age of this Cause, then this maturity becomes a fact. The Golden Age is when it yields its fruit. The culmination of a process, the consummation of a cycle, is what is meant by "Knowledge was contained in 27 Letters, two of which have been revealed before the coming of the Bab." When the world is unified it marks the beginning of a development, which is world civilization. The coming of age of humanity marks the beginning of the unfoldment of world civilization. How could the whole world be unified by the coming of Jesus? - America was not yet discovered. It was too early - premature. In the prayers of Bahá'u'lláh there is reference to: "His Sovereignty" and "His Government." This passage refers to the last stage in the Bahá'í evolution, when all nations are unified as a Bahá'í Commonwealth. Evil will almost disappear. There is nothing in the Teachings to make us believe there will be a decline. In previous Revelations there was the rise and fall, previous Revelations were preliminary. The character of this Revelation being fundamentally different, its results must be different - there was corruption in other Revelations, there cannot be any in this one, owing to the Administrative Order. Evil will cease to be the force it is at present, it will become negligible.
This is the Law of God. The Prophet appears amongst the most backward of people, they become the greatest. A Tablet of Bahá'u'lláh states that the Government of His land will become the most honored. He feels Persians are quite wrong when they claim, some of them, if not all of them, that it was their capacity that made them worthy of having Bahá'u'lláh appear in their midst; quite the opposite. They should be proud because Bahá'u'lláh has brought about such a change. He has no sympathy with the attitude, in fact very much resents it, that they admire the Cause, love the Cause, because of what it will mean to Persia; in other words a nationalistic viewpoint. The Orthodox standpoint is the Cause first, be ready to sacrifice the interests of Persia to those of the Cause. Not Bahá'u'lláh for Persia, but Persia for Bahá'u'lláh. The national interests must be subordinated to the interests of the Cause.
There is a Bahá'í standard to which everyone must make sacrifices. It is not an American thing. It is God's Will that America should happen to be the first to build up this new civilization (Bahá'í), it is not that America happens to be superior. The prejudice and corruption prevailing in America is responsible for the initiation of the Bahá'í Civilization in that country first, as the Faith first dawned in the darkness of Persia. Although the Cause was born in the East its proclamation was in the West. There is a Tablet of the Master where He says the mysteries of the Cause will be made manifest in America, etc. What they are establishing is not American,
it is Bahá'í, and the Americans themselves must make concessions to it. Is it American that nine people should conduct things and not be responsible to anyone? This is anything but American.
The friends of Persia do not realize it was Persia who lead in the Heroic Age, and now it is America's turn to make its contribution in the formative period. In the Golden Age they will all be merged into a mysterious entity.
The Bab had His first intimation of His Revelation when He had the dream of drinking the drops of blood that fell from the severed head of the Imam Husayn. The Bab was a descendant of Fatimih through Imam Husayn.
The Bab and Bahá'u'lláh were constantly in communication by letter. The first chapters of the Qayyumu'l-Asma were those papers which the Bab sent to Bahá'u'lláh by Mulla Husayn.
In the Name of Bahá'u'lláh the name of Husayn has precedence over the name of Ali. This precedence establishes the greatness of Husayn. Husayn was the 3rd Imam; Ali the first.
It is the worse form of heresy to identify Bahá'u'lláh with God, and when we say He is God, we must be careful to explain the relationship.
Bahá'u'lláh has come primarily to organize humanity and this cannot be done without Justice.
Sinlessness is like the rays of the Sun, inherent. It can be compared to the light of the Sun. Sinlessness means free from error, which is infallibility. There are two kinds of infallibility, one derived, the other inherent. In the case of the Sun, the Manifestation, it is inherent; the other, derived, is like the Moon and its Satelites. The Satelites revolve around the Moon. (Moon is like the Master; the Satelites, the Guardian and International House of Justice) but they receive their light from the Sun. The Master's statement in His Will makes it clear that they are under the direct guidance of Bahá'u'lláh and the Bab. In this connection we must not think of the Bab as part of the Bahá'í dispensation, but the Bab's Dispensation. As They are both Manifestations the infallibility is derived from two independent Sources. Because infallibility is of two kinds it does not necessarily imply being a Manifestation. The Master is all-knowing, but not the Satelites, the Guardian and the International House of Justice, they are neither all-knowing nor perfect as the Master was. Perfection and omniscience are the attributes of the Master and these are not inherent but derived.
The Master is essentially human, the Prophet essentially divine. The Prophet must assume human form, the human shape in order to reach us. Divinity is not incarnation. Divinity means manifestation, revelation, the mirror. The Master is essentially human but had the attributes of the Prophet. This is the thing that makes Him a mystery.
How can you believe a human being is perfect and all-knowing, this is the paradox - when one starts by saying the Master is human not divine and has the attributes of the Prophet. This is a mystery. The Guardian and the International House of Justice are also human, no divinity should be associated with them. Although they are human, as the Master is, they cannot claim to have the attributes of divinity as He had. They are fundamentally different from the Master as He was from the Manifestation.
The Guardianship and the International House of Justice are the two pillars that support the edifice of the Administrative Order. It is not supported by the members (or their calibre) of the International House of Justice; it has nothing to do with their being representative of the believers, of the National Assemblies, etc., it is the fact that they have been given this derived infallibility. Each of these two pillars has its Satelites; the International House of Justice has its local and national Houses of Justice. The Hands of the Cause are a corporate body, an organized body, these are the Satelites of the Guardian.
All the Prophets following Bahá'u'lláh for 500,000 years are Prophets of constancy, but under the shadow of Bahá'u'lláh and derive their authority from Him, and this authority is so great that they can abrogate the laws of the Aqdas in part or in whole. Their authority is not inherent but derived. See "Dispensation of Bahá'u'lláh, Page 19, par., "Under the Shadow of the Ancient Beauty."
[In the margin of the next paragraph is the typed notation "B / See /
Bahá'u'lláh is the greatest figure in this planet's past and future life because He is the supreme figure associated with the coming of age of the human race. They (future Prophets) are supreme over their generation and Bahá'u'lláh is supreme over them all.
The unique greatness of the Cause: that the Founder should have a forerunner who was a Prophet.
If the followers of Muhammad all repent, it will be the effect of the prayer in the Master's Will: the prayer was the means of forgiveness, the denouncing of the enemies to point them out for our protection. Purity of heart, of motive, is not sufficient. We must have faith, faith in God, be spiritually-minded, religiously-minded. One can have faith in God and not believe in the Administration and vice versa.
The influence of the believers is as mysterious as the mysterious way the Manifestations Themselves work. The nearer the believer is to the teachings, to the Manifestations, the more mysteriously he will work. The events taking place in the world react on the individual and help mature the seed of the Cause.
The leading Bahá'í countries are, first Palestine, the Qiblih, (point of prayer) of the Faith, the place of Ascension; second Irak (Baghdad) Center of Pilgrimage, the place of sojourn; third Persia, the
birthplace of the Faith. The Bab said the Manifestation, "He whom God will make manifest" should be the Qiblih, not the place He revealed Himself, not as in Islam, where Mecca is the Qiblih and not the resting place of Muhammad in Medina. These three countries are contiguous, geographically they touch each other.
The Cause of God has always been born in the East. The Administrative center has shifted to the West and then been reflected back into the East. The civilization begotten by the Faith was born in the West. Hence the Sun of Civilization appearing in the West: "O Beauty of God, unveil Thy Face that the Sun may arise from the West," says Bahá'u'lláh in one of His Odes. The unveiling took place in the East, but the Sun of the Civilization of the Faith arose in the West. There is a Muhammadan tradition that when the Promised One appears, the Sun will arise in the West.
Five hundred thousand years is an indication of the greatness of this Revelation.
Abraham Lincoln's vision for the United States is comparable to Bahá'u'lláh's vision for the whole world. Now it is possible for a man to conceive of a greater destiny for the United States, a destiny incorporating her in the Federation of World States, encompassing the whole world. This is comparable to that Prophet who may appear after 500,000 years, and who would do the same thing for the planets. Inter-planetary, which corresponds to the incorporation of the United States with other nations. A scientist says there can be beings, not human beings, outside this planet. The cosmos includes many universes, as these are infinite and space is infinite, so divine revelation is infinite. The Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh is the biggest thing for this planet, because it has united it and there is nothing beyond unity. Is there anything beyond world unity for this planet? That is the answer. That is why it marks the coming of age of humanity - world unity. If there were at least one more planet, if science had discovered it, gotten in close touch with it, then a greater Revelation than Bahá'u'lláh would be needed to create the unity of these two planets.
(See Page 163 of "Gleanings" reference to: "Fixed Star hath its Planets, and every planet its own creatures.") Revelation has had no beginning and will have no end. But divine revelation has had a beginning and will have an end on this earth. Isaiah prophesied 3,000 years ago the prophecy of the coming of age of humanity; the lamb and the lion will lie down together, the Kingdom of God on earth is nothing but the stage of maturity - the coming of age of humanity. It has also a political connotation and this will be fulfilled at the Coming of the Golden Age. This is for the German believers to realize (Isaiah being a Jewish Prophet.) Christ's prophecy of "Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will be Done, etc.," is a vague, hazy statement, compared to the prophecy of Isaiah. This does not mean Jesus did not make more definite prophecies, just that we did not have them. Justice is the hall-mark of the Kingdom. "Justice filleth the earth as
the waters cover the sea," can be a reference to the International House of Justice. World unity cannot be established unless it is founded on Justice. The lamb and the lion lying down together would require Justice. A strong nation might be a lion, and a weak one a lamb.
A man may be devoted to the Cause and not have a good character. A man may sacrifice his whole life to the Cause and yet have a despicable character. Character is different from faith, from devotion. Laxity in morals is as bad as thieving or lying or back-biting. A young Bahá'í may be devoted, sacrificing, but have moral laxity which is just as bad as stealing or lying. Not all the heroes of the heroic age led saintly lives. We must not confuse a hero with a saint. Hero primarily denotes the attitude of a person towards the Cause. We must not confuse loyalty to the Cause with character. A believer who is loyal, who will sacrifice for the Cause, is a tremendous asset and we must recognize it - but it is not enough. We must have character; a Saint who is a man of action becomes a hero too.
Bahá'u'lláh observed the Ramadan all His life and Abdul Baha for 25 years. The Master until the end of His life went to the Mosque and when He died the Muslims came and said the Muhammadan prayer for the dead for Him. But after His death they were forced to change their policy, because of the declaration of the Muhammadan religious court made in Egypt, that the Bahá'í Faith is independent; A Muslim is not a Bahá'í, a Bahá'í is not a Muslim. There was a difference of opinion among the Muslims as to the position of the Bahá'ís in relation to Islam, some contending we are a sect of Islam. In Egypt they proved we have laws that abrogate the laws of the Quran as their justification for our expulsion from Islam, they went too far. They consulted the Aqdas and then in their verdict quoted the laws of the Aqdas; pilgrimaged, Qiblih, fasting, etc. The Jews in their relation to us are neutral. We have sprung from Islam, it is the parent that opposes.
Bahá'u'lláh's Revelation synchronizes with inter-national unity.
Twenty-five people claimed to be the Promised One in Baghdad. This is the Master's statement. During the most troubled period when Bahá'u'lláh had left for Sulimaniyih, the Bab had appointed no successor. It was the most disturbed period in the history of the Cause. The Master was ten years old at that time. Nabil says he met the Master at this age, and the Master said; "I am a boy, but I feel old." Bahá'u'lláh sent Muhammad-Ali to India about 5 years before his passing, He knew what was going to happen. The Master was all alone with the Greatest Holy Leaf after the Ascension of Bahá'u'lláh. All the brothers sided with Muhammad-Ali. They expelled the Master and His family from the Mansion. There were almost a hundred people in the Mansion. The Master had no son, his daughters were young. It was only when the first American pilgrims came that it was changed.
After the turmoil of the Covenant breakers came the triumph in America of the Cause, its spiritual consequence was the rise of the Cause in the West. Every crisis in the Cause has its spiritual benefit, spiritual consequence. A crisis suffered by the Master or by the Cause has its direct spiritual effect in the Cause. It was a very severe test to the believers when the whole family sided with Muhammad-Ali. The Master had no Sons, no man in His family to send messages by to the believers. His sense of mourning for Bahá'u'lláh was deepened by His family turning against Him. This was dispersed by the arrival of the first pilgrims from the West. The rise of the Armenians in Egypt against the Spiritual Assembly which they tried to undermine by establishing a "Scientific Society" and which they fought against is an example of this law. They sought to fight against the Spiritual Assembly and after this, as a direct spiritual consequence of it, came the first Bahá'í Convention in Egypt, the establishment of the N.S.A., and the pronouncement of the Muslim authorities, of the independence of the Faith. He believes all this was the direct consequence of the affair of the Armenians. Like Herrigal and Mrs. White in Germany; now Germany has been resurrected. But for this bitter experience, this agony, the Administration would not have been established. Khayru'llah led to the beginning of the establishment of the Administration in America. The turmoil is the cause, and the rise and consolidation of the movement, the effect. Crises, trials and tests are like spiritual food - they feed the body of the Cause - they do not subvert it, because there is a foundation, the tempest does not uproot the Cause it reinforces its roots. The Cause works in a mysterious way. It has its ups and downs, its ups and downs. The Cause is growing and as it grows it must show signs of disorder. If there is no disturbance in the Cause it is a sign of stagnation. The greater the growth of the Cause the greater will be the disturbances which the Cause itself originates. This does not mean that every one of the disturbances is God-sent; the lesser disturbances are due less to the attacks of its enemies than to the unwisdom of its friends. We must not lose heart, get discouraged. The completion of the Temple (in America) will arouse agitation in the Cause. The achievement of such a triumph of the Cause will itself arouse turmoil; it will arouse its watchful enemies. The Muhammadans are destined to oppose the Cause very fiercely in India, the Hindus in the distant future. The wailing and lamenting of China and India, which the Master referred to - (These allusions are in a Tablet of the Master addressed to the Great Afnan, the cousin of the Bab,) is this opposition of the Hindus and Buddhists to the Cause. Opposition is not yet even born in America. It will spread from America to England. The declaration of Bahá'u'lláh in Baghdad, His banishment from Persia which preserved His life, were all the direct consequence of the martyrdom of the Bab. His Tablets to the kings and rulers were the result of His banishment to Constantinople and Adrianople just after He had declared Himself and things were better. The fulfillment of all biblical prophecies was again the result of His being exiled to Akka, where no one thought He would ever survive.
The violation of the Covenant of Bahá'u'lláh had as its first direct consequence, the establishment of the Cause in the West. As the Master was waiting for the ship to come and take Him away, He wrote the Tablet to the Great Afnan. (See: "World Order of Bahá'u'lláh," further considerations Page 5, "How Great, How Very Great, is the Cause!" etc.) He does not think the friends realize that the crisis begets the triumph, just as the coming war is the begetter of the Most Great Peace. Every crisis in God's plan is but the prelude to a triumph.
Luther could have never opposed the pope, nor Paul, Peter, if the terms of the Bible had been at all like this Dispensation. Peter was so simple he divided his food into seven portions and when he arrived at the last one he knew it was the day of rest. Forty days after the death of Muhammad the schism started in Islam. Sunni means democratic in Arabic: "Majority of the people," Shi'ih means "Upholding the family of the Prophet." Umar appealed to the democratic element, "He said the people have to elect the successor." We must become Shi'ih Muslims before becoming Bahá'ís. No Bahá'í in the West can be called a Bahá'í unless he is first Muslim (believer in Muhammad's revelation and teachings and the Imams) and a Sunni Muhammadan can never become a Bahá'í unless he becomes first a Shi'ih Muslim. The Sunnis were following a false line, they must recognize their error and accept the Shi'ih truth and then this Revelation. The fact that the Bab is a lineal descendant of Muhammad is sufficient proof for us that the line of the Imam Husayn (son of Ali, son-in-law of the Prophet) was the authentic one. Could the Bab have descended from a line of usurpers? In the light of Bahá'u'lláh's tribute to the Imam Husayn could we doubt it? So must the Jews first become Christians, then Shi'ih Muhammadans, then Bahá'ís. Paul usurped the right of Peter as the Caliphs usurped the right of Ali. The Bahá'ís must sympathize with Peter as they do with Ali, because both had their rights usurped.
In Christianity there are two weak points; There was no right of interpretation given definitely, and it was vague as far as the succession was concerned. Also no administrative Principles in the Gospels, no administrative order has been given. No statement that Peter is the sole successor and interpreter, thus giving a chance for Paul to say He is the co-successor; nor does the succession invest any successors after Him with the same authority. One of the reasons why we consider Islam an improvement on Christianity is because we have the laws, Pilgrimage, Fasting, Marriage, Inheritance; these were all in the Quran from the Founder and could not be corrupted by either Sunnis or Shi'ih. This was an improvement of Muhammadanism over Christianity, because of these administrative institutions and laws. There is not one reference in the Quran to succession, but traditions were enough to give the succession to Ali, but as no quotations could be found in the Quran to substantiate these, the Sunnis rebelled. Now comes the Bahá'í Revelation.
In the Bahá'í Revelation we have the institutions and laws and succession. The Bab referred to it, but it was vague again. In the Gospel there is a reference to succession, but no administrative principles, institutions or order. In the Quran there is reference to administrative principles, laws, etc., but no reference to the succession. The Babi Revelation referred to both, but vaguely. The Bahá'í Revelation has administrative institutions established by Bahá'u'lláh and made clear in the Master's Will and Testament. The Master's Will appointed both the successor and interpreter.
No other Revelation has this. Forty days after the death of Muhammad the schism occurred, the Caliph rejected Ali. The split in Christianity was not Luther, but Paul versus Peter. Decline is an inevitable result of schism. There can be no schism in this Cause, hence no decline. Differences are inevitable, but schism is impossible in the Cause. One is inevitable, the other impossible. The Cause is like the body of a man, growing continuously, and crises occur which are a sign of growth. There will always be crises even in the Golden age. The Golden Age will witness no decline. It is a new phase - the Golden Age. The Bab says: "All the world will accept My Revelation."
After all Peter was the most stupid among the Apostles, and yet he was the successor to Jesus - that is what it amounts to. Umar had more experience, was more powerful, and yet Muhammad chose Ali. The Bahá'ís must believe in the primacy of Peter as in the primacy of Ali. Many of the traditions quoted by Bahá'u'lláh which He considers as binding in authority as that of Muhammad (though the station of the Imams is not the same) are from the Imams. Peter's position in relation to Christianity and Ali's in relation to Islam is represented by two institutions in the Cause: the Guardianship and the International House of Justice.
He considers the mission of the Bahá'ís in the West, more particularly the Americans, is to establish Islam in the West. Even if this Movement had not sprung from Islam, we should establish it, vindicate it, establish its divine origin because it is the later Revelation than Christianity, a step further in Divine Revelation. For its own sake we should do this. Not convert people to its institutions, but to the truth of the Muhammadan Faith, the Imams, etc. Now it happens that this fuller Revelation is the parent of the Bahá'í Revelation. A believer can never be considered a believer unless he recognizes the truth of Islam and accepts it as a fuller one than Christianity.
A Bahá'í must first become a Muslim before he becomes a Bahá'í, and how can he do this unless he studies and knows Islam? Not only become a Muhammadan but a Shi'ih Muhammadan. We must be wholly detached from our feelings and beliefs, discard them, throw them away. People can appreciate the Cause much better if they are familiar with Islam. Islam is a fuller revelation. It is blasphemy to believe that Islam was not meant to be a universal religion. There is a point of similarity between our Faith and Islam that does not exist with Christianity because every word is a word of God, divinely revealed, this is not true of the Gospels. The Gospel is so fragmentary, so unreliable, we can scarcely trust everything in it. We cannot be sure these are the exact words of Jesus. The Trinity, for example, each a God and all three Gods are One - they call it a mystery, it is nothing but supposition. The "Beloved" is a new word used by Bahá'u'lláh, it is confined to the Bahá'í teachings.
Secularization will increase in Irak to such an extent that maybe the Holy Tombs of the Imams may be desecrated.
Islam will greatly suffer. The Jews were punished for two thousand years. The Muslims - Sunnis and Shi'ihs - will suffer for a long time (because of persecuting the Bab and Bahá'u'lláh, opposing the Cause, etc.) It is their turn now to suffer, they will suffer in proportion to their crime. Then it will be the role of the Bahá'ís to vindicate the glory of the Imams, establish their spiritual position and significance. The important thing to remember about the 12th Imam is that he died - not disappeared - died.
We must teach Islam with courage and not mind criticism.
Mustapha Kemal, an avowed Muslim, overthrew the Caliphate. That is very significant. The Temple of Solomon was destroyed by a Roman, but a Muslim, calling himself one, has dealt such a blow to Islam! The Caliphate and the Sultanate were both overthrown by him. How humiliating this is to the Faith of Islam. Mustapha Kemal did it; he overthrew the Caliphate and Sultanate, the arch-enemy of this Faith. To re-establish Islam from a spiritual point of view, will be one of the tasks of the Bahá'ís in the Golden Age. To vindicate the spiritual position of the Imams, not to re-establish the machinery of Islam. It is these crises in the world than unfold to us the importance of these events.
EXPLANATION OF SACRED WRITINGS.
Meanings of, "He is God," the identity of God with God, of the Prophet with God, of Bahá'u'lláh with God, of the Bab with Bahá'u'lláh.
The Bab in Chapter III of the Bayan, uses the word "Order": "Happy is the man who fixeth his gaze upon the Order of Bahá'u'lláh and renders thanks unto his Lord."
The Qayyumu'l-Asma was regarded as the Qur'an of the Babis.
The correct term is Babi dispensation and Bahá'í dispensation.
The Shaking in the Qur'an: "The earth shall tell her news," refers to The Most Great Peace. The Daybreak, in the Qur'an; "When the earth is made to crumble to pieces," refers to the next war and be taken literally. Bombs, etc.
Surih of Joseph was the only work of the Bab in the possession of those who were martyred in Zanjan, Nayriz and Tarbarsi. Tahirih was the one who translated it into Persian.
Iqan was written by Bahá'u'lláh while He was a follower of the Bab, before His own Revelation. The title page of Nabil is Bahá'u'lláh's reference to the Bab from the Iqan.
[In the margin of the next paragraph is the typed notation "A. / See /
Page 16 of "Gleanings" - 'Ere long He will sail His Ark upon thee,' etc., Ark symbolizes the legislative body - the International House of Justice who will sit in Haifa.
[In the margin of the next paragraph is the typed notation "B / See /
Page 16 of "Gleanings" - 'Call out to Zion,' Zion is a hill near Jerusalem and here it means Jerusalem the Holy City.
Page 9 of "Gleanings" - `Except them whom God was pleased to guide.' Predestination and free will will always be a mystery, we can never draw a clear line between them. Like the origin of evil, we cannot get at the bottom of it. We have a certain amount of free will, if we don't use it we are deprived of the flow of these forces, (i.e. promises made in the teachings regarding progress, etc.)
"The lamb and the lion will lie down together;" One explanation is big and little nations; they will have equal rights and representation in a world government, like the States in U.S.A.
[In the margin of the next paragraph is the typed notation "C / See
Pages 15-16 of "Gleanings," the terms "His Throne," "City of God," and "Celestial Kaaba," all refer to the Holy Shrine either of the Bab, or perhaps in the future of Bahá'u'lláh.
Bahá'u'lláh refers to two wholesome things in "Gleanings," (Pages 216, 342, 3) civilization ends liberty ["civilization and liberty"? -ed] which, if carried to excess, will exercise a pernicious influence on man, and also civilization which if allowed to overleap its bounds will bring evil upon men. So even devotion to the Cause, if carried to excess leads to fanaticism. References to Civilization .. "when its flame will devour the Cities.."
is a prophecy referring to the bombing of the cities in the next war. Western civilization will commit suicide in the next war because by the very weapons it has created it will destroy itself.
Suratu'l-Haykal is the fulfillment of the prophecy in the Bible, "the Branch shall build the Temple of the Lord." Bahá'u'lláh stated this after He had revealed it.
The "Evil One" is the self, the corrupt nature within man, (See 'Bahá'í Administration.')
The divorce law is made very easy by Bahá'u'lláh and marriage very difficult; but the Master, because of the ease of the divorce law, discourages divorces extremely. There is in Bahá'í divorce absolute equality. According to Bahá'í law the husband must pay the wife's expenses for the year they are separated, then they come together and if they still wish for divorce it becomes immediately effective. They can remarry. Regarding marriage, the parents must be quite detached and uninfluenced by the wishes, the standards and the ideas of the marrying ones. But in divorce they need consult no one. "We have a wisdom in requiring the consent of the parents. Our purpose is to promote unity and not disunity," says Bahá'u'lláh. Marriage is not something that concerns two people, it is a social institution.
In Bahá'í marriage they must go to the Spiritual Assembly, not to an individual - this is priesthood.
"The Cord that none can sever," referred to in the "Gleanings:" Cord in general means His love.
The Visitation Tablet for the Tombs of the Bab and Bahá'u'lláh is in three parts: first part was revealed by Bahá'u'lláh to a believer who could not make the Pilgrimage. A few days after the Ascension of Bahá'u'lláh The Master asked Nabil to arrange selections to be chanted in the Tomb of Bahá'u'lláh. Of the Tablet of Visitation the first part is not addressed to God but to Bahá'u'lláh Himself. The second part is a prayer revealed by Bahá'u'lláh addressing God and the remaining paragraphs refer again to Bahá'u'lláh and not to God direct. It has been used ever since as the Visitation Tablet.
The laws of the Aqdas can never be touched or changed by any International House of Justice. (See "Confusion of Tongues," - interesting in this connection.)
The Valley of the Indus in India is the cradle of the Arian race, says Bahá'u'lláh. (Pe ( Persian ( Indian ( Indo ( Teutonic ( European ( Anglo-Saxon ( ( Latin ( ( ( ( Jews CAUCASIAN ( Semetic ( Arabs WHITE ( ( Assyrians ( ( Babylonians ( Hamitic ( Egyptians BLACK ( Turks ( Japanese YELLOW MONGOLIAN ( Chinese ( Finns ( Laps ( Hungarian RED (From Chart indicated by Guardian)
Referring to the promises made in the "Son of the Wolf" in the last pages (he who says Allah-u-Abha and counts forty names [waves? -ed] on the shore of Akka, etc., etc.,) those promises are true forever, not only for Bahá'u'lláh's lifetime.
The confusion of tongues referred to in the "Gleanings" is true historically. Once there was one race, one tongue, in Northern India, which migrated and became parent race to Persia, parts of Europe, etc., but not of the whole world at once. The Prophet is not a scientist or a sociologist, he is however authoritative in whatever He states, but does not elaborate. (See chart attached)
Page 12. Epistle to the Son of the Wolf: Book of Fatimih referred to was a book which the daughter of the Prophet, Fatimih, saw revealed to her in a dream by Gabriel. She was overcome by grief after the death of her husband, Ali, the martyrdom of the 3rd Imam Husayn, and the death of the 2nd Imam Hasan, both of whom were her sons, as well as the death of her father the Prophet. The Angel Gabriel revealed words of consolation to her which, however, were never known; and also promised her that from her issue the Promised One would appear. Shi'ih tradition believed that the Promised One would bring these words again. When Bahá'u'lláh revealed the Hidden Words, He called them the "Book of Fatimih." They were revealed before His declaration. Later they became known as the "Hidden Words" because they were hidden all the centuries between Fatimih's vision of them and the appearance of the Promised One.
The prayer for the dead is the only congregational prayer in the Cause - (not yet translated.)
What the friends consider to be the Star Tablet is not the Star Tablet to which the Master refers. The Bab revealed many Tablets in the star shape, but the original Tablet with the 300 odd derivations of Baha is lost.
Quddus's station is higher than any other Letter of the Living.
The Bab's taking Quddus to Mekka with Him apparently invested him with that peculiar authority he later manifested.
The Epistle to the Son of the Wolf: Page 37; "He will stand by you and your Empire shall extend over all the lands lighted by the Sun." This is to be taken literally. If Napoleon the III had accepted the Cause his material empire would have extended over the whole earth. He (i.e. Manifestation) gives men the means to use what God has given them. Men are not born equal; that is a fundamental principle of the Cause.
The power of the Greatest Name can either mean power in the name of Bahá'u'lláh and His Attributes, or in the repetition of the Greatest Name, Ya-Baha'u'l-Abha.
"Hidden Words:" "Myriads of hidden mysteries are made vocal in a single speech, etc," refers to the manifold meanings of Bahá'u'lláh's utterance.
In the Christian dispensation that ray that proceeds from God is called the Holy Ghost. In the Quran, the Muslim dispensation, it was the Angel Gabriel. The trinity in Christianity was the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost was in the form of a dove. In the Muhammadan dispensation it was Allah, the Apostle and the Angel Gabriel who were the trinity. In the Bahá'í dispensation the Most Great Spirit is the Holy Ghost or ray. On page 17 of the "Dispensation of Bahá'u'lláh" it says: "The Holy Spirit itself hath been generated through the agency of a single letter revealed by this Most Great Spirit, (D. See E.) - "if ye be of them that comprehend..." This only means the superiority of the Bahá'í Revelation and is not to be taken literally. In the Bahá'í Revelation it is not symbolized as in the dove, in the Christian and the form of the Angel Gabriel in the Muhammadan dispensations. The term "Most Great" means the consummation of a cycle but not finality, finality is different from consummation and culmination of a cycle. Most Great in the sense of consummation and not finality.
We believe in the trinity; in God, the Prophet and the Holy Spirit, but not as the Christians do. To us it is heresy because we believe that the sun, the ray and the mirror always remain each themselves. The mirror never becomes the sun, or the ray the mirror, or the sun the ray. So God, the Holy Spirit and the Prophet are each distinct and Their relation that of the Sun, the ray and the mirror.
In the "Epistle to the Son of the Wolf," there is a reference to a hidden language and a hidden script. Shoghi Effendi himself asked the Master regarding this, and He said that no one ever asked Bahá'u'lláh regarding this, so it remained hidden in the stores of His knowledge.
"The shrill of the Supreme Pen," is Bahá'u'lláh's reference to the reed pen with which He wrote.
When the Aqdas is translated the Bahá'ís will realize to what extent Bahá'u'lláh has abrogated the laws of previous dispensations.
The spiritual significance of the resurrection we believe in absolutely on the authority of Bahá'u'lláh. It often happens that Bahá'u'lláh's quotations differ from that of the text of the Gospel. We must of course accept His words as the Gospels themselves do not agree and were written down many years later. The Gospel must not be taken literally. The text is not authoritative in the sense that the Qur'an is. The proof is that Bahá'u'lláh, when quoting Christ, quotes Him in a way that is different from the Gospels.
In the "Will and Testament" where it says, "Under the shelter and
guidance of His Holiness, the Exalted One," refers to the Bab. The Exalted One is always the Bab.
The friends in the West are familiar with the principles. There are two pillars of the Faith; principles and laws, they are the warp and woof of the fabric.
The principles are either spiritual or administrative; the spiritual ones are in the addresses of the Master, etc. The Administrative ones are in His Will. They are embodied in the Administrative Order. The friends in America, in the West, have faith. They are well grounded in both of these principles, but they are only just beginning to know the laws which are in the Aqdas, these are a greater challenge. The Cause is growing within the Administration. The VI volume of "Bahá'í World" will have the original reproductions of those portions of the Aqdas prepared by the Egyptian N.S.A. for presentation to their Government. This is a beginning, eventually it will lead to the publishing of the Aqdas. The laws are from Bahá'u'lláh's Ordinances, secondary laws are from the International House of Justice.
We must not be afraid to say we have doctrine; all that is in the "Dispensation" is doctrine. We have doctrine, but no dogmas; we have mysteries, but no superstition.
"Bahá'u'lláh and the New Era," "Some Answered Questions," and the "Iqan" are essential books in teaching.
All titles of the chapters of the Qur'an were given by those that compiled it and have nothing to do with Muhammad. He never divided them. They put the latter part of His Revelation at the beginning; those passages regarding the Promised One, those that announced the coming of the Day of God, which were revealed at the beginning of His Revelation they put at the end, just as the Bab, in the Qayyumu'l-Asma, His first book, was His most powerful one and is comparable to those Surihs of Muhammad at the end of the Qur'an.
The friends should read and study the "Will and Testament." We are too near to it to see it in its proper light. It is like a huge edifice, we cannot yet see it in perspective. This and the Aqdas are the two chief depositories of the truths enshrined in the World Order of Bahá'u'lláh. There are gaps in the Aqdas which the Will fills in as if the Master and Bahá'u'lláh had arranged it. An example of this complimentariness between the Will and the Aqdas is the Huquq. Huquq is referred to in the Aqdas, also endowments, fees, fines, enheritance, etc. Bahá'u'lláh specifies in the Aqdas that fines, fees, inheritance, if the heirs are dead the endowments are all payable to the House of Justice. He establishes the House of Justice and fixes its revenues. Regarding Huquq, He does not say in the Aqdas to whom it is to be paid, neither in the Aqdas text on questions and answers. Bahá'u'lláh says what Huquq is, emphasizes its importance, but does not say to whom it shall be given and does
not say that it goes to the House of Justice. In the Will the Master makes it clear. The ordinance of Huquq is established by Bahá'u'lláh in the Aqdas, but He never said whom it was to be payable to, so He left a gap which the Master, in His Will, fills. He anticipates an Institution but does not refer to what it may be anywhere. Were it not for the Will, this would be very perplexing.
`Will of Abdu'l-Bahá,' part I, page 8: by a "Just King," "Just Government," the Master means an established, legitimate form of Government; that we must give our allegiance to. Any established form of Government.
"Will," part I, page 13: referring to the Hands; they must report the delinquent member to the Guardian, he puts them out. Three elements in the Will: the Guardian is the Interpreter, the International House of Justice the Legislator; the Hands propagate and teach the Cause, through research work and the example of their lives and conduct. The Administrative Order would be paralyzed if one of these institutions should cease to function.
The friends do not realize that some of the passages in the "Gleanings" were written by Bahá'u'lláh as a Babi, before He declared Himself. "Gleanings," page 73, refers to Himself who will be manifest. When He says "We," He means we Babis; "As well as those who shall come after Him till the end that hath no end..." refers to the Prophets who will come after Him, once He has declared Himself.
In the "Gleanings," top paragraph, page 212, is an excellent quotation in relation to politics.
"The Epistle to the Son of the Wolf," is the last book revealed by Bahá'u'lláh. No doubt part at least of it was revealed in Akka.
Compare "Gleanings," page 285 with "The Epistle to the Son of the Wolf," page 75.
Jesus abrogated two laws of Moses, Sabbath and prohibited divorce. The Master explains - Tablet to Miss Rosenberg - that monogamy was not taught by Jesus. The Gospel prohibits divorce but says nothing about monogamy. The Fathers of the Church made it a law, but Christ never did. There was polygamy in His days, and it was not prohibited among the early Christians. Then they not only established monogamy, but said that celibacy should be the rule. When Jesus had not even enjoined monogamy, and had tolerated polygamy, the Church Fathers went so far as to establish celibacy.
The Qur'an prohibited polygamy, but the commentators misinterpreted the text. The text says polygamy is conditioned upon Justice, in another passage Muhammad says Justice in these circumstances (i.e. polygamy) is impossible. So we see that Islam is a step in advance of Christianity. The mission of the Bahá'ís in proving Islam is a further step in Revelation than Christianity, must cite this evidence.
These things should be taught in the summer schools in relation to comparative religion and Islam.
We have to consider the Aqdas in the light of the authorized interpreter, the Master. Bahá'u'lláh in a passage says marriage with two wives is conditioned upon Justice. The Master says in a Tablet to Miss Rosenberg, that Justice is impossible, (to be just to two wives). It is just like the Qur'an. Both the Qur'an and the Bahá'í teachings are a step further than the Gospels. The missionaries, the enemies of the Cause will quote the Aqdas and claim we do not advocate monogamy. Then we must quote the Master's Tablet. Bahá'u'lláh says in the Aqdas, "Refer ye to what is not in the Aqdas to the Most Great Branch;" and in the "Tablet of the Covenant, (Kitab-i-Ahd) He quotes this passage of His and says the Master is that Branch. The Church Fathers had no right to prohibit what Christ had not prohibited, and yet they went a step further and established celibacy.
Hidden words, Persian, verse 63; corresponds to the Words of Bahá'u'lláh; as to the Great Calamity; it is a punishment from God for their negligence and indifference to His Revelation. It is retribution. "Unforseen" agrees with "all of a sudden."
The text of the Qur'an does not agree with the Ptolemaic system and the commentators of the Qur'an misinterpreted the text in order to agree with the Ptolemaic system. Galilee ["Galileo" -ed] 1000 years later supported Qur'an's text.
We must not be afraid in stating truths in spite of the fact that they may run against what the biologist, the astronomer, the physicist, etc., say. His point is that we should not impose it on the scientist, but we should have the courage to make these statements and not be afraid of stating them and saying we have no proof. We must admit that we have no proof, but state these are our teachings and express the hope science will prove them. These statements are divine Revelation and we believe in them. We should not do what the Muslim and Christian leaders have done and compromise. It is a very subtle form of corruption that the Muslim leaders have introduced into the Qur'an (regarding marriage, astronomy, etc.,). If science discovers a fact contrary to the text of the teachings, the Bahá'ís must adhere to the text of the teachings, even if it takes a thousand years to prove it as it did with the text of the Qur'an, (Surih 36) and (Answered Questions page 28).
Tablet of Ishraqat, where it says, "God will inspire them," corresponds to the Will and Testament.
The Guardian and the House of Justice are under unerring guidance and protection. Experts, non-Bahá'ís, will have to examine the Aqdas so that it may be published with many notes and commentaries of a clear, explanatory nature. In the Aqdas there is modification, abrogation and addition to religious law. Fasting, Pilgrimage and Obligatory Prayer are modified. The Bahá'ís will not be prepared for the Aqdas with its wealth of technical notes, unless they study
Islam, its history and teachings. The summer schools are doing this now.
Bahá'u'lláh alludes to the Aqdas in the Iqan, where He enumerates the books of laws of the different Faiths, and then mentions the book of "Him Whom God will make Manifest."
The "Holy Book" is the Gospel, the "Most Holy Book" is the Aqdas. The "Holy Spirit" is in the Bible, the "Most Great Spirit" (E see D) in the Bahá'í Revelation. Always the superlative "Most." This Revelation cannot be surpassed, all future Prophets being under His shadow for five hundred thousand years.
We can increase our faith and strengthen it through observation, meditation, prayer and activity.
It is better not to change the personal pronouns in saying the prayers, (from me to us, my to her, etc.,) but leave them exactly as revealed. However before we say the prayer we can address a few words to God saying the prayer is on behalf of such a person or such a group, and then read or say it as it is in the text.
(In connection with translations of the teachings being misleading, confused, inaccurate.) Due to insufficient understanding of the Master's statements, inability to express it on the part of the translator and also whether the person it is translated to has understood it.
"Gleanings," page 114: "Spread thy skirt, oh Jerusalem," means a fuller revelation, His Revelation. (See also under Palestine.)
"The Kingdom is God's" alludes to that Kingdom which the Christians have been praying for and Christ announced. This is the Kingdom of Bahá'u'lláh which will be raised on the ruins of western civilization. It is referred to by Christ as the "Kingdom of God;" by the Jews as the "Reign of Righteousness;" and by Muhammad as the "Day of God."
The story of Joseph and his brothers is paralleled by the treatment by Suhb-i-Azal of Bahá'u'lláh, and His troubles. The Bab's commentary on the Qayyumu'l-Asma is about Joseph and his brothers, and was a prophecy of the treatment Bahá'u'lláh would receive from His brothers. It is the most significant, the most eloquent work revealed by the Bab. It is very intimate too, as He refers to His mother and His wife in it.
Baha's Scriptures, page 255, paragraph 527, "Verily the Tongue of the Ancient gives Glad Tidings to those who are in the world concerning the appearance of the Greatest Name, and who takes His Covenant among the nations." The "Who" in "Who takes His Covenant..." refers to the Tongue of the Ancient, i.e.: God. This is the Greater Covenant that God takes with all the people of the world regarding His Manifestation; in this case, Bahá'u'lláh. "Verily, He is myself, the
Shining-Place of My Identity; the East of My Cause," etc. All this part is God speaking; i.e. the Tongue of the Ancient, referring to Bahá'u'lláh and testifying to Bahá'u'lláh as God's Covenant. It has nothing to do with the Master.
"Some Answered Questions," page 42, chapter XII: "And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:" The words "rod" and "Branch" are one and the same thing in this sentence, it is a repetition of the same thing and refers to only one thing and this is Bahá'u'lláh. There are Tablets revealed by Bahá'u'lláh, (not yet translated,) in which He refers to Himself as the Branch, but He means by this the Branch of the Tree of Divinity. This chapter in Isaiah does not refer to the Master at all but to Bahá'u'lláh. The Manifestations are all branches that grow out of the Tree of Divinity, as They are all the Rays of the Sun. When Bahá'u'lláh refers to Himself as a Tree, then the Master is the Branch of that Tree, (see "Bahá'í Scriptures," page 256, paragraph 529;) "Verily the Branch of Command hath sprung from this Root." On page 76, in Chapter XII of "Some Answered Questions," the Master says: "Universal peace and concord will be realized between all the nations, and that incomparable Branch will gather..." etc. Surely the friends must see that He, Abdu'l-Bahá, could not refer to Himself as "that incomparable Branch." Mr Kinney knows more than anyone else the tone of the Master and that He would never refer to Himself as the "incomparable Branch." The term "Lordly Branch" refers to Bahá'u'lláh, (also page 76.) This means the Branch of Divinity, Abdu'l-Bahá is the Branch of the Manifestation. The friends read the writings but they do not ponder them enough.
In "Some Answered Questions," Chapter XII, page 73, we find that the Master shows that the prophecy of Isaiah, Chapter II, verses 1-10, not only proves that the "Branch" from the stem of Jesse did not refer to Christ but to Bahá'u'lláh, but also states the immaculate conception: "This rod out of the stem of Jesse might be correctly applied to Christ, for Joseph was one of the descendants of Jesse, the Father of David: but as Christ found existence through the Spirit of God, He called Himself the Son of God. If He had not done so, this description would refer to Him. " Moreover, the prophecies were not fulfilled at that time. Universal peace did not come into existence at the time of Christ. In the word "but" the Master makes the immaculate conception quite clear. In a Tablet that has not yet been translated from the original Persian, the Master says the conception of Christ was extraordinary, against the natural law. He defines the natural law and says it was not according to this law. The Bahá'ís must accept the immaculate conception. Every religion has its mysteries. The Virgin Mary's perplexity was not due to shame, but because she could not explain her condition. The Iqan, where Bahá'u'lláh refers to Mary as "that mild and immortal countenance", if she were not blameless, how could He refer to her in such terms?" "Mild" here means the essence of chastity. But even if Bahá'u'lláh and the Master had not said these things about the immaculate conception, to a Bahá'í the mention of it in the Qur'an
would be quite sufficient proof.
There are many references to the coming of Muhammad, in both the Old and New Testament, Deuteronomy, Chapter 33, verse 2; "And He said, the Lord came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; He shined forth from Mount Paran, and He came with ten thousands of Saints: from His right hand went a fiery law for them." "The Lord coming from Sinai" refers to the Mosaic dispensation. "Rose up from Seir unto them," refers to a mountain in Gallilee and means the Christian dispensation. "Shined forth from Mount Paran" refers to the Muhammadan dispensation; "and He came with ten thousands of Saints" is the Bahá'í dispensation. All references to Mount Paran refers to Muhammad. Paran is a mountain in Arabia. The word "Paraclete" also refers to Muhammad. Paraclete means "the Praiser" in Greek, and Muhammad means "the Praiser" in Arabic. Further references to Muhammad in the "Answered Questions," page 78, etc. Genesis, Chapter 21, verse 21: "And He dwelt in the Wilderness of Paran" refers to Muhammad. The Arabs are descendants of Ishmael, Numbers, Chapter 12, verse 16, "And afterwards the people removed from Hazeroth and pitched in the Wilderness of Paran," again in Numbers, Chapter 13, verse 3, the word Paran occurs. The wilderness of Paran is in Trans-Jordan. David could easily get to it. The reference in Deuteronomy is the most important reference, (Chapter 33, verse 2.) Genesis, Chapter 17, verse 20, "And as for Ishmael ... and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, etc." The twelve princes are the twelve Imams. Also in Deuteronomy, Chapter 18, verse 18, "I will raise them up a prophet from among their brethren." This refers to their cousins, the Arabs, brethren meaning cousin here in relationship, and the prophet is Muhammad. If it had meant Christ it would have said, "seed" and not "brethren."
The twenty four elders who will stand before the Throne of God refers to the 19 Letters of the Living and 5 others who will be made known, said Abdu'l-Bahá.
In Arabic there are two words:
The Master says death is when the mirror ceases to face the sun. The sun is the soul, the body is the mirror. The soul is the prime mover of the dream. The body reacts on the soul and the soul on the body. Dreams are due to various influences; fatigue, fear, etc., of the body reacting on the soul, also when the soul comes under an influence and reveals itself in a dream, is another; and the Holy Spirit influencing the soul, prophetic visions, an intimation from God to man in a dream. Three types of dreams: first the body influencing the soul; second the soul manifesting itself; third the Holy Spirit influencing the soul. But then we must be very careful, most of our dreams are the body influencing the soul. The soul starts when the embryo is formed. The soul has a beginning but no end. Man has a beginning but no end. God alone has no end and no beginning. The body of the Manifestation and His soul have a beginning too because this part of them is human, but the spark from God in them partakes of the pre-existence of God. Pre-existence is the sole prerogative of God. But man is immortal. Conception is the beginning of the soul. We cannot understand the nature of the world of the Manifestation because it is above us, as the mineral cannot understand the vegetables' state, etc.
The way we use our capacity in this world helps it to develop for the next world. If we misuse or neglect it, the progress of the soul in the next world will suffer.
We lose a great opportunity if we do not use the body in a way that will prepare the soul for the next life. The importance of the body lies in that it is an instrument for the preparation of the soul for the next world. The soul will enter the next world in an immature state if it does not use its opportunities in this world. To wish death is not a wholesome inclination. Discipline, struggle, suffering disappointments, these are the things that train the soul. Mental, physical, struggle is an exercise for the soul. If we fail we must not be disappointed, because if we fail we must exert our will to pull ourselves out of it. Think about what you have to do today, and not speculate about the past and future. Forget the past, don't brood over it, it paralyzes us.
The soul is in the center, the spirit is a Manifestation of the soul, so is the mind. The soul is the image of God. Embryonic evolution is the history of mankind.
There are certain limitations of the human mind that no science can transgress, otherwise we would not be human.
The soul has developed ever since the embryo; the embryonic world, this life and the future life are its three stages; hence there is no re-incarnation. God reveals Himself but never enters into anything. We retain in the next world our identity and self-consciousness, but our self-consciousness is greatly increased.
Imperfection is a mixture of good and evil. It manifests itself
differently in this world to its manifestations in the world beyond, because evil always exists: ego; because God alone and His Manifestations are perfect. We may have set-backs in the next world too.
There are mysteries in all the worlds of God. Ever deepening mysteries as we advance. God's mercy over-shadows all, even covenant breakers. His mercy and forgiveness are infinite. We must not dogmatize about these matters or set any limit on God.
What is imperfection? A mixture of good and evil. We are never perfect, but always becoming perfected. God works in a mysterious way not only in this world but in the next one. The more we understand the greater the mysteries are. In the next world as in this one there can be set-backs, they can be blessings in disguise as they are here.
The circumstances of the next war will produce the great peace-builders of the epoch to come. The change will come 100 years after Bahá'u'lláh's declaration. We can only try to localize the war which will be swift and destructive in its scope.
Japan is similar to Germany; youth, virility and not yet mature. The Japanese will have to suffer. The coming war is a providence to the whole world. The coming conflict will be sudden, swift, short.
What is now being done in the Cause is infinitesimal compared to what will come after the world conflict. They will come in by troops, create a new race of men. We must fear God's justice and love His mercy - these are the days of dread and fear, after will arise His mercy. First the punishment, then endless peace.
After the war Lord Lemington went to Persia, (he was much inspired by the Cause there.) He wrote and asked the Master about the future. The Master said the distant future is very bright. He meant the near future will be very dark.
They (nations of Europe) will be fused in this crucible of war. One year after the Armistice the Master foretold the next war. There will be no line between combatants and non-combatants in the next war.
Does not think the Cause will in the West reach stage of sufficient numbers and importance to be opposed by the governments before the next war. The fall of Western civilization is really the destruction of the whole fabric of civilization, East and West. There will be a mass reaction in favour of the Cause - people entering the Cause in troops. The Cause is now being consolidated but not yet proclaimed. It will be proclaimed after the next war.
All these cults, etc., are a natural outcome of the deterioration of society, giving rise to them. Cults, these fancies, these fashions, superstitions. All this is but the beginning of the decline. We are only just entering the fringe of darkness. People are drifting, perilously drifting. Society has lost its anchor, institutions are all drifting, drifting, drifting. The explosion is the next war. There is a slow process of destruction along with decay - what remains the explosion will destroy. There is a reason for this: explosion being a violent thing, it will produce a violent reaction. The forces of religion will be revived, released. It is what is left of the human race, the remnant, a powerful minority will arise to spread the Cause. We can only imagine the bare outlines of what will take place, but the result we know. One thing is certain, it will be very violent, very sudden. The last war was but a drop compared with it. The great war was but a prelude to the "Greater War," which will be the war to end war. America will suffer between two great storm centers, Europe and the far East. Compare the state of the early Christians and their institutions before
the fall of the Rome, and the Bahá'í institutions now, before the coming war.
Who knows, maybe the race prejudice will become worse. We are now only on the fringe of the darkest period in human history. The Cause is progressing in spite of these weaknesses of the Bahá'ís, but what would have been their progress if they had overcome these things? Their concentration on the administration has blinded them to their weaknesses. They think that because they are building it, that is enough.
First is national civilization, such as England and France have and Germany is developing. Then comes European and pan-American civilization and then comes world civilization, world unification. Prior to the conversion of nations, first the nations will establish, as non-Bahá'ís, the Lesser Peace. Then as great groups come into the Cause, gradually nations will become Bahá'í and then consciously develop the Most Great Peace. The Most Great Peace implies the political association of the United States with Europe.
The stage of mass conversion will come after the next war. Accepting the Cause in the days of the Manifestation when its glory is not yet manifest is one stage, and then conversion in the Golden Age which is very easy. Three stages, the heroic age, the days of the Bab, Bahá'u'lláh and the Master; next is the formative stage, consolidation of the administration; (now) and then the Golden Age and mass conversion.
Strange, the process of disintegration outside the Cause and integration inside it. These are the days of dread and fear, after will arise His Mercy. First the punishment, then endless peace. Morally people will become worse than ancient Rome and this is a result of irreligion. Irreligion will bring in its wake moral laxity and this will increase until the next war, the "unforseen calamity." There will be a tremendous protest, a reaction, after the next war.
China with Russia, Japan against Russia, Europe against China and Russia. Africa will revolt when she sees the decline of European civilization. The whole world will be involved, South America, - the whole world. Bahá'u'lláh says all of a sudden it will appear. In a sense it is correct to say this is a calamity that will visit the world because it failed to appreciate Bahá'u'lláh, as Rome failed to appreciate Christ. The present League of Nations is the outcome of the last war. Agony begets something, and as the last war was not war to end war, the next war will beget a true League of Nations, it will precipitate it. A result of the coming war will be to inaugurate peace, the true League of Nations. Just as the last war was a prelude to the coming war, the last League, begotten by the war, was the prelude to the future League of Nations. The Lesser Peace will be established by the nations not yet Bahá'í, and gradually develop into the Bahá'í World Order. The present League of Nations is the dawn of Universal Peace, but the sun is the future
League of Nations.
Dictatorship is an instrument that is hastening the next war. The dictators release forces which they cannot control. The masses are so organized, so controlled, that even the dictator cannot control them, he becomes a tool in their hands when they become out of control. If the next war is not fiercer than the last it will not stir the people enough. It must be much worse. He thinks the war will break out internationally and then there will be a series of civil wars. Probably the whole world will be involved in the next war. The Master said that when the women will arise for peace there will be peace. Then the true League of Nations will be born. There will be such a universal reaction in favour of peace that both small and big powers will work together to establish a real League. They will be converted through suffering, not the rulers but the masses, and the masses will force the rulers. Patriotism has been the ruling force in the past. Then there will be mass conversion to the Cause. The present mentality is un-Bahá'í; nationalism is the fashion at present and hence the Cause is extremely unpopular; when the masses, as the result of intense suffering, realize nationalism is not enough, then they will be ready for the Faith. Another thing that will attract them to the Cause is when they realize all this has been prophecied by Bahá'u'lláh. Suffering will purge and refine them, the new race of men will be raised up. It will be more than a new generation - a new race of men; not only with a new mentality, but with a new spiritual power, a new capacity. They must establish this peace through their hearts as well as their minds. The prophecy of one hundred years after the declaration of Bahá'u'lláh, 1953, (see Bahá'u'lláh and the New Era)* does not mean that the Bahá'ís will then become the world government, but that then will be the beginning of the Lesser Peace, that of the nations of the world without necessarily becoming Bahá'í. Gradually afterwards, the nations will become Bahá'ís. There will be a tremendous reaction in favour of the Cause, Bahá'í Government will be formed and then they will, conscious of the Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh, establish as Bahá'ís the Most Great Peace. The Lesser Peace will mark the coming of age of humanity and the inception of the Golden Age. The Most Great Peace is like the age of maturity which comes later, as in man. This new world civilization will supercede the Christian civilization, on the ruins of western civilization the world civilization will arise. It will be totally unlike all former civilizations; this is world civilization. From the dawn of history it was quite impossible to establish a world civilization because the whole world was not discovered. To the Romans it was not even discovered. Napoleon could have conquered it perhaps, but never have unified it because the physical means were not yet perfected. The world above the nations and not any particular nation first. Assuming the interest of a nation to be required to sacrifice itself for the good of the whole, it should be ready to do so. The peoples of the world must have such a love for this entity which is humanity, that they will be willing to sacrifice themselves for this entity. What will induce such love? Such a sense of human solidarity? The next war. Teaching campaigns, the Temple, committees,
* [Editor's Note: This date appears to be a typo for the year 1963. The reference is to page 250 of Bahá'u'lláh and the New Era, where Esslemont quotes 'Abdu'l-Bahá as follows:
" 'Abdu'l-Bahá's Tablets make it clear that this prophecy refers to the one hundredth anniversary of the Declaration of Bahá'u'lláh in Baghdad, or the year 1963:---T. Lovejoy and V. Sheline]
"Now concerning the verse in Daniel, the interpretation whereof thou didst ask, namely, 'Blessed is he who cometh unto the thousand, three hundred and thirty-five days.' These days must be reckoned as solar and not lunar years. For according to this calculation a century will have elapsed from the dawn of the Sun of Truth, then will the teachings of God be firmly established upon the earth, and the divine light shall flood the world from the East even unto the West. Then, on this day, will the faithful rejoice!"
will not be enough. It must suffer; humanity is like an unruly, tempestuous youth who must go to school, be trained. What will do this except the school of adversity, this is the next war.
The coming of age of the human race is the core of the Bahá'í teachings. Every Bahá'í teacher should stress this, the significance of the stage which the world is approaching: its highest stage. If the people say they don't see it, we must tell them after the next war they will see it clearly. He believes that after federal unity was achieved in the United States it marked the birth of American civilization. It would have been impossible without federal unity. The present League of Nations is a fore-runner only, not a nucleus. The League that which will be formed after the next war will be a nucleus, as it develops it will become a pattern. Western civilization will commit suicide in the next war, because by the very weapons it has created it destroys itself. He should not be surprised if this League of Nations will entirely disappear from Geneva, but will resurrect after the last war. (next one). The League will never die, it will evolve after the next war, it will establish the Lesser Peace and later the Most Great Peace. The world will be prepared after the next war for a still more Bahá'í League than than conceived by Wilson. The coming war is a providence to the whole world. The coming conflict will be sudden, quick, short. A federal international state can be established, a unitary state, as in Germany, is impossible for the whole world. The new world is so young and tender that one can hardly recognize it, but it was born after the world war.
There is a tremendous fight before the Cause. The friends do not realize it. It will spread as far as China. China and India will be the last to fall. "The wailing of China and India will be raised," said Abdu'l-Bahá; this refers to the religious leaders' opposition to the spread of the Cause. Who knows, perhaps Mussolini's conquest of Abyssinia will facilitate the spread of the Cause. First the Mullas of Islam arose against the Cause. Now the Protestant missionaries are beginning to oppose - this opposition will spread to the Anglican Church in England, and, if there is anything left, the Lutheran Church in Germany. Catholicism will be the last of all. The Pope, their head, will oppose and this will precipitate its downfall. After Catholicism Christianity is done. Then it will spread to the far East; two hundred million Hindus, then to China, the four million Buddhists. When we compare this great upheaval, when the Catholic Church will be aroused, to the scratchings of the New History Society, Fareed, etc! It is a twofold process, decline within the Church and opposition to the Cause. The Muhammadans are destined to oppose the Cause very fiercely in India, also the Hindus in the distant future. The wailing and lamenting of India and China which the Master referred to, is the opposition of the Hindus and Buddhists to the Cause.
After the lapse of a thousand years there will be a new prophet to give new laws. After five hundred thousand years, it may sound
preposterous but what he would describe as inter-planetary unity may be possible - it is even probable that in three or four thousand years there may begin inter-planetary communications with beings, not human beings.
Future generations will appreciate what is taking place now in the formative period of the Cause, even as we appreciate the Heroic Age. There is no doubt that all these cults that are springing up the world over, is because the foundations of religions are tottering. Europe must suffer something equivalent to the Civil War in the United States before they can be united; (its nations) they will be fused in this crucible of war.
In Will and Testament of Abdul-Baha the words "irremovable and expounder" are found (irremovable Head of International House of Justice and expounder of teachings). The Huquq is a fixed revenue for the Guardian payed direct, and has nothing to do with the administrative funds, local, National or International.
The Guardians are the equivalent in the Bahá'í Revelation to the Imams in the Muhammadan Revelation.
It is the Guardian's responsibility to prevent the International House of Justice from abrogating any of the laws of the Aqdas.
The Master shares with the Prophet His perfection, Shoghi Effendi shares with the Master the right of interpretation.
In a very vital issue the Guardian could know the true fact of a matter even if not told - or mis-informed. If it is essential for the Guardian's protection or the protection of the Cause, he will be guided.
The English King reigns, but the Guardian is active as the hereditary element in the Universal House of Justice. The aristocratic element exists in that the elect rule, not the people, not a dictator.
Referring to Will and Testament of Abdul-Baha to: "That Tree which overshadoweth all mankind." Through the influence of the Cause the Guardian overshadows all mankind. Infallibility is either inherent or derived. The Guardians and the International House of Justice's infallibility is acquired. The power that overshadows all mankind is nothing in the Guardian as himself. The integrity, the purity of the teachings is the most important thing.
Bahá'u'lláh purposely left a gap in the Aqdas which was filled by the Master's Will and Testament with the Guardianship. (Huquq)
There was a danger that the friends might misunderstand the Master's Will and so the "Dispensation of Bahá'u'lláh" was written, his (Shoghi Effendi's) spiritual testament in detail. He has fixed it in the relations of things to each other. We cannot go beyond what he has defined, however the second Guardian can interpret the "Dispensation" itself, he has the same promise to be the inspired interpreter. The Guardian is the interpreter, expounder of the Cause and the protector of the Cause.
The Guardian can over-rule a decision of the International House of Justice if he conscientiously feels it is not in accord with the teachings. This is the interpretive right. The second part of his work is participation in the legislative body. All endowments, international and local are to be deferred to the International House of Justice. The Guardian has no right what-so-ever in these matters. He has the Huquq. Fines specified in the Aqdas and inheritance, go to the International House.
Huquq is 19% of one's capital and 19% of
one's [surplus -ed.] income. The individual is free to decide what his expenditures are to be, if he expends his total income he does not need to pay Huquq, but if he does not, then on the surplus of income over expenditure he must pay 19% Huquq. It remains entirely with the individual, once he has paid the Huquq on his capital.
It is the duty of every Bahá'í that remembers statements of the Master that are confusing, to write to him about it, because that is his business, (Guardians) his chief work, to elucidate these things. Anything that confuses any believer, they must write to him so he can help them. The Master has not contradicted Himself, there is no duality in the teachings.
He does not mind if the friends think of him, concentrate on him, as long as they have the right concept of him. He is linked to the Administrative Order. He is not an independent entity, he is a part of a unit, not an entity as the Master was. (See "Dispensation.") He agrees that the institution of the Guardianship takes precedence over the International House of Justice.
The "Beloved" is a new word used by Bahá'u'lláh. It is confined to the Bahá'í teachings.
The will of the Master is like a huge edifice, we must recede from it to
properly grasp its import. "Even if I had time I could not do it," said
Shoghi Effendi regarding elaborating on it. It must recede from us. The
lapse of time and unfoldment of the Revelation will enable us to fully
appreciate it. The words of the Guardian are as binding, have the same
authority, as the words of the Bab, Bahá'u'lláh and the Master, but the
stations are different. He considers he has written his testament, his
statement, in "The Dispensation of Bahá'u'lláh." What he says about the
Guardianship is binding on future Guardians. The Will of the Master is a
third kind of convenant. Bahá'u'lláh's Will is the lesser covenant - (See
[Editor's note: This online version of Volume II was hand-typed by Robert Stauffer and edited and reconciled by Vaughn Sheline to a good photocopy of the original typing. Spelling, underlining, and centering are as in original, except tab indents on pages 15 and 20 are approximate.]
(The classifying under headings was done by me in order
to keep the subjects often referred to together.) R.R.
Also Activities Related
Uniformity in principles and essentials and insist, not only allow, insist on diversity in secondary matters. There is a mysterious power within the administration that maintains this uniformity. The Germans tried to get changes for Germany, changes regarding the regime, etc., He just absolutely refused.
If an N.S.A. or local S.A. gives out instructions to teachers or groups, that are against the teachings, we must obey, but we can communicate with the Guardian. If we do not obey the ruling we would be weakening the administration. So the only way is to communicate with the Guardian and he must take it up with the N.S.A. or local S.A.
The duty of every American believer outside the United States is to keep reporting to their N.S.A. Working in German Territory the believers should report to both N.S.A.'s.
Justice in social relations, mercy in individual relations. Facing responsibility is a sort of spiritual sustenance. They (Assemblies) must welcome the difficulties, the problems, and not shrink or transfer them.
There are laws and principles in the Faith and the principles are sub-divided into spiritual and administrative.
The Divine Plan is the soul of the administration, but for the Divine Plan the administration would be stagnant. The administration is the body and now the soul must function in the body, the machinery of the administration. The Temple is an organ of the administration. Now that all these organs have been established the soul must animate the body. Had he (Shoghi Effendi) not stressed the Divine Plan the friends would spend all their time perfecting details of the administration. When this teaching work advances sufficiently a new stage of the administration will be reached which will be international. The "Bahá'í World" should be printed here in Haifa by an International Committee. Then we have to think of perfecting the International Administration.
However destructive, whatever is happening, in some mysterious way is helping us, helping the very administration we are building.
(Answering a question where all nine members of a local Assembly no longer functioned, he expressed this view:) Before everything else they (believers of that particular city) must deal with the situation of the S.A. It must be made complete - 9. The general principle of an Assembly is to be 9. Before everything else, even teaching, the local Assembly must be properly organized and function well. Prefers 15 members in a group and a strong S.A. than a hundred with a poorly working S.A., as it may all disappear over night.
The correct term is the Administrative Order, which will in future become the World Order. The Administrative Order as it functions has its own administration; in other words the machinery which the body of the Cause employs for its own development. Administrative Order
is the institution itself, the body of the Cause itself. The Administrative Order is born in the formative period of the Cause, it will evolve until it emerges into the World Order of Bahá'u'lláh in the Golden Age. The system of Bahá'u'lláh has upset the material equilibrium of the world, tremendous power has been released (science) but it will never be properly utilized until the world becomes spiritualized, and this will be done by the spread of the Cause.
Christmas ceases as an institution for us. We do not observe Christmas even as Baptism is quite out of place for us. Bahá'u'lláh has abrogated these sacraments, Communion, Baptism, the celebration of Easter, etc., also New Year. The Zoroastrian and Muhammadan, Bahá'ís have given up their former religious observances for the Bahá'í observances, why should not the Christian Bahá'ís do the same? We have our own feast days.
The Ordinances of the Church must not be associated with Jesus, they being man- made. A Bahá'í cannot identify himself with an ecclesiastical organization or post, as he then must support the ordinances of the Church.
Regarding membership in Free Masonry, etc., the Bahá'í should withdraw. Also they should ask the N.S.A. regarding membership in other societies, and if the N.S.A. is not aware of the aims, purpose, methods, etc., of a society they must investigate and then guide the individual.
We should refer to qualifications for members of the N.S.A. but never mention personalities, no application to individuals; even if we are asked for our opinion we should say, "I prefer not to mention any names." What we should remember is their qualifications. Almost everything in America is exemplary except their election, (refers to Bahá'í election here) the reason for it is that everything is so corrupt and it influences us, but we must fight against it (we American Bahá'ís.) It is a weak point in our community. That is why the relation of the Convention to the N.S.A. is very delicate; he revolts immediately at any attempt of the N.S.A. to interfere with the rights of the Convention. But if the N.S.A. considered a question and conscientiously decided by majority vote that the Convention shall not discuss such and such a thing, then they must obey (the Convention must.) The Convention ultimately must obey the N.S.A. but all he can do (Guardian) is to appeal to the conscience of the N.S.A. members to deal with the Convention justly. Delegates have the right to ask the N.S.A. to justify itself on any course that has been taken. This is the chief purpose of the Convention, but the N.S.A. has the right to refuse discussion if they feel it is premature or bad for the Cause. As a rule the delegates are free to bring any subject that they wish to the Convention, and it is very very rare that the N.S.A. might interfere or forbid it and their decision must not be prejudiced, they must not abuse that power of deciding if a subject can be discussed or not. It is a very sacred responsibility, especially when the Convention is in session, and to curtail the sacred rights of the Convention, is a great temptation to the N.S.A. to usurp the rights of the Convention, because ultimate authority abides with them because they have been
made the Interpreter of the By-Laws. They must ask themselves that question: Was there a sufficient need in the Cause for them to curtail the rights of the delegates? The friends must not think the N.S.A. does not err. We must not believe that they do not make mistakes - they make lots of them. The Master says they will commit mistakes, but they have to be obeyed even if they do make mistakes. Only the International House of Justice and the Guardian are under the direct guidance of God.
The greater their authority, the more careful they must be in exercising it.
(In answer to the question: Do the local and National Spiritual Assemblies pray enough?) "I would prefer they would curtail the program of the Convention and devote more time to prayer. To realizing they are not infallible. I agree they do not pray sufficiently."
We have to discuss the teachings informally among ourselves. But discussion must not lead to controversy. We should encourage one another to express ourselves. We must encourage all classes in the community to express their views; the most humble, the most illiterate, the least significant. Whatever they say we must listen to dispassionately. After all Peter was the most stupid of the Apostles and yet he was the successor.
Eventually all N.S.A.'s will have a Palestine Branch, owning property and this will show our unity and protect the property; also they will have other branches in other nations, giving great solidarity to the Bahá'ís all over the world.
The Bahá'ís must develop their fund until it can help in the community help non- Bahá'í interests, whether scientific, social, humanitarian, etc. The local fund must be divided into two sections: specifically Bahá'í, and community interests. At present this is not possible, but in the future the National Bahá'í Fund will be made up of these two things. If a friend, a non-Bahá'í wishes to contribute to the Bahá'í fund we must make it plain we accept it only for the second or municipal fund. We regard our Temple, Summer Schools, etc., as gifts to humanity. When you give a gift you do not accept money for it from the recipient. We want everyone to know that the Bahá'í institutions are supported by people who whole-heartedly accept Bahá'u'lláh, are believers. This protects the Cause from calumny, misrepresentation, etc. Non-believers are always welcome to give money to the fund for the humanitarian purposes directed by the believers. The Bahá'ís for instance, could establish where there was a need for it, a hospital, one run by them but not for Bahá'ís and not considered as a Bahá'í Institution.
Believers may inquire regarding both spiritual and material affairs from their local and national S.A.'s, encouraged to do so. There must be no interference however, under normal circumstances, in the affairs of the individual on the part of the S.A., but if they ask for help
the S.A. must not disappoint them, if they turn to them. The S.A. function is to help the community if they need advice, financial support, help, the S.A. must help, especially if the individual is alone. If appealed to they must settle disputes between individuals and non-Bahá'ís, between families. In Persia they go to one extreme, in America to the other, (in appealing to the S.A.) The S.A. has not only the right but the obligation to settle disputes if referred to them. If the individual, of his own accord, refers the matter to the S.A., they must handle it not shirk it. In Persia the friends go with any problem to the S.A. In America they do not do it enough, particularly if the dispute affects the Cause. The duty of the S.A. is to interfere in order to safeguard the Cause, the interests of the Cause have precedence over the interests of the individual and in such a conflict the individual must abide by the decision of the S.A., besides the S.A. must acquire enough experience to become a Bahá'í Court, a Bahá'í Government in the future. The greater the difficulties the stronger will be the spiritual constitution of the S.A. It nourishes them - the difficulties that arise. The first thing is to face, not shirk responsibilities; second is to base all their verdicts on justice, be animated by justice. Justice and not tempered by mercy. In future they will be called, not the House of Mercy, but the House of Justice. Bahá'u'lláh said: "But for the law of God, I would have kissed the hand of my would-be murderer and would have shared with him a part of my possessions, but the Law of God restrains me, and I have no possessions to share." This is a very significant statement, it indicates that as an individual He is personally inclined to forgive but the Law of God is higher than His Will and restrains Him. Even the Manifestation Himself has to forget His personal inclinations and obey the Law of God. This is an example to local, National and International Houses of Justice. Stability and order are based on two pillars, punishment and reward, and not on forgiveness; He excludes forgiveness. The person who has been injured, aggrieved, harmed, can beg for the forgiveness of his enemy. If on the part of the aggrieved person he pleads for mercy, then the Assembly can take the plea into account. Justice will solve all the problems of the world. "Righteousness and Justice filleth the earth as the waters cover the sea." Referred to in both the Gospels and Islamic tradition. Unerring, undeviating, uncompromising Justice. Nothing can bring the lamb and the lion together unless they are sure justice will rule. The small and big nations will never come together as in the League unless they are sure it is based on Justice.
He does not mind if the N.S.A. knew they can and do err in their judgements. Only the International House of Justice is infallible, under the guidance of God direct.
[In the margin of the next paragraph is the typed notation "B / See A."] The leaders in most of the countries (refers to the Bahá'ís) are weak, the masses are strong. (leaders: members of S.A.'s, etc.) They are often led by the masses without realizing it. But for the reaction of the masses they would have erred more.
The administrators (in the Cause) as a rule have capacity, ability, but their devotion to the Cause, their characters as Bahá'ís, is not as great as some of the others. Some of the others have the devotion, but not the education and experience required for administrators.
If a believer has any doubt as to what constitutes an alcoholic beverage, he must ask his N.S.A. who must enquire of the American Government what their ruling regarding prohibition was.
When the believers refer to the Guardian a decision of the N.S.A., if the question at stake is purely national he must refer it back to the N.S.A. and ask them to reconsider their decision. The N.S.A. must do the same with all local affairs, unless they are very important, refer them back to the local S.A.
The Bahá'ís don't stop to reflect whether their partisanship in some organization might not affect the Cause. Social organizations may or may not be suitable for us to belong to. We should refer these questions to the consideration of our local S.A. The Americans do not do this enough; the Persians too much.
The dangers that surround the Cause in these days are much greater. Ecclesiastical and political economics; these, as the Administrative Order develops, will oppose us more and more, vigorously and openly oppose the Cause. In the early days of the Cause, the Master chose certain individuals to act as an intermediary between the body of the believers, but now that we have the administration, the S.A.'s play this part. It is only logical, this new step has been made. Then one member of an Assembly makes a motion and it is carried, he must not say this was suggested by him, he must only let it be known as a decision of the S.A. Even in cases of teachers doing work, the more they associate their work with an Assembly, the better. He admires the person who, after making a splendid suggestion which was unanimously accepted by the others, leaves the meeting and says the S.A. have decided so and so, and gives no hint that he made it; just as the person who contributes a large sum to the community and does not mention it as being from him. Secrecy is a very bad thing, but some things must be kept absolutely secret *. The S.A. should decide after a meeting what is secret and then not mention this, but when they come to decide this they should not exercise undue secrecy. They must resist the temptation of undue secrecy. He is the first person to say that the local and National S.A.'s make mistakes, but he is the first also to say that the majority on the S.A. and the whole community must obey their decisions. We believe the International House of Justice is guided, the National and local make mistakes, the International is under the guidance of God. We must not live in a fool's paradise by thinking all their decisions (local and National S.A.'s) are guided.
* [Editor's note: see Vol. 2 page 8 paragraph 4 regarding confidentiality, and page 12 paragraph 3 regarding demands for disclosure by the authorities in Russia.]
When a spiritual Assembly is established, they can then establish the 19 Day Feasts. The S.A. is the first Bahá'í institution in any locality, before its establishment they can hold meetings with non-Bahá'ís, but as soon as the S.A. is established they start the 19 Day
Feasts for believers only. They can hold meetings before the establishment of the S.A., on the feast day, but it cannot be considered a 19 Day Feast. They must not be too harsh, if a non-believer happens to come to a 19 Day Feast we must not force him to leave. But generally the Feasts are for believers only.
But for our prejudice the progress of the Cause would have been much more rapid. (racial, etc.) If someone wishes to become a believer and accepts the station of Bahá'u'lláh, the Bab, the Master, and the Administrative Order, and all this implies, and they conscientiously make an effort to approach the standard of Bahá'u'lláh, we cannot ask more. Character has nothing to do with membership; if a person is willing to do their very best and strive, it is a question of good will. We should be satisfied with the bare statement, the resolution.
The 19 Day Feast is not something we have to be too rigid about, (attendance of Bahá'ís.)
Obedience to the N.S.A. and S.A. is required, even to the sacrifice of personal conscience. If a local case is reported to the N.S.A. they must ask, is this a local issue? If so, refer it back to the local S.A. The same thing applies to the National and International Body.
[In the margin of the next paragraph is the typed notation "A / See / B"] The rank and file of the Cause influence the spirituality of their N.S.A. by their own progress spiritually. The masses are strong, the leaders are weak, in most of the countries where the Cause is established.
The Bahá'í village as outlined by the Master is a more or less tentative scheme. There is a great danger in America to crystalise something that is fluid, tentative. It has not only 7 revenues but 7 expenditures.
The laws of inheritance were given by the Bab and modified by Bahá'u'lláh. He changed the percentage inherited by the children to 1/3 and thus increased the share of the children.
The Bahá'ís own one million dollars' worth of property on Mount Carmel, one quarter of this is owned by the American N.S.A., about 35 acres. Muhammad Ali's son, Moussa Bahá'í, had to sign all the deeds which went to America as he is on the land commission. When they wanted to transfer the property in the name of the N.S.A. of America, through a power of attorney, Moussa Bahá'í said the N.S.A. was not recognized legally in Palestine. Shoghi Effendi went to a lawyer, who recommended forming a Palestine Branch. A new power of attorney was sent and the property transferred. This pilgrim house (Western) belongs to the N.S.A. of America, also a plot of land near Akka. Shoghi Effendi's plan is to have all the N.S.A.'s of the Bahá'í world own property here on Mount Carmel. This will impress the authorities and protect the property. The "endowments of the Bahá'í Faith in America" would be a better name than "property of." There are National, International and
local endowments. The endowments here in Haifa (Akka, etc.,) are International. The Temple, etc. is a National endowment, and local endowments must also be obtained. The Haziratu'l-Quds is the Administrative center for a city. The N.S.A. should move their headquarters to Chicago - C (See D.) - and call it the National Headquarters of the Bahá'í Faith. The Temple is a spiritual building. The Haziratu'l- Quds is only one of the dependencies of the Temple. In future this will be built up. In the Temple only prayers will be offered and meditations in the form of prayer. Prayers from the Bab, Bahá'u'lláh, Abdul-Baha and the Qur'an, the Bible, etc., but only holy prayers and meditations.
As to music in the Temple, he is awaiting a tablet of the Master, written to the Bahá'í of Ishqabad on this subject. The S.A. of Tihran have bought 500 acres of land for a Temple. Now they must find an original design. If in Persia they cannot create something original, then instead of copying a former architectural style, they may have to copy the Chicago Temple.
The trouble with Greenacre is that it was an institution established before the Administration, it then had to be adopted, whereas Geyserville is a child of the administration. All Summer Schools are National institutions and should be owned by the N.S.A. Now is the time for the friends to offer if they feel the urge, local endowments, no matter how small; real estate or building or a fund, to the local incorporated S.A.'s. None as yet have local endowments. Now that the National endowments amount to over two million dollars, it is time the local endowments were made. - An N.S.A. can decide if an endowment is local or National. - In India it has already been done (local endowments.) It is preferable the endowments should be unlabelled. An endowment could take the form of a local headquarters. He thinks now the friends are justified in communities, especially where they are incorporated, to support the local fund and give it favour. It is a great service to the Cause to have local endowments established.
Every effort should be made by the local Assemblies to solve their own problems and not refer them to the N.S.A. He thinks contributions to the local fund should be as secret as voting. Is it necessary even for the treasurer to know? The name and amount of the contribution should be kept a secret by the local and National Spiritual Assemblies. There is nothing to be ashamed of in calling certain things a secret in a Spiritual Assembly. Secrecy [confidentiality?] is sometimes necessary for the efficient conduct of Bahá'í affairs. They must be secret in the true sense of the term. There is a danger, however, of introducing an atmosphere of secrecy into an Assembly, which would be very bad. He prefers that contributions should not be given at 19 Day Feasts, and if they are given, be kept a secret. We must learn to be discreet. The treasurer must keep nothing private, the unity of the Spiritual Assembly must be complete in all matters. There is too much National organization in the United States and not enough local. Why have they incorporated local Spiritual Assemblies? To enable them to own
property. Then why should not a local S.A. seek exemption from taxation on grounds of a place of worship? When a local community becomes the owner of a tax- bearing piece of land, etc., it stimulates it to meet taxation, to carry the burden. All local Spiritual Assemblies in the United States must eventually incorporate. First, have By-Laws copied on the New York Communities By-Laws then incorporate, then transfer property which becomes local endowments, then manage this property. This should be done in all local Spiritual Assemblies. If they cannot raise taxes, etc., why not apply to the Government and say this is not only an administrative headquarters, but a place of worship? If he, Shoghi Effendi, is pleased by local endowments, then why shouldn't a local S.A. have its Palestine Branch and own property here? It will neutralize the localization of power.
Individuals who wish to add to a Bahá'í institution can specify what they would like the money to be used for, but at the same time leave the N.S.A. free to decide and be willing to do so, and accept the N.S.A.'s decision gladly.
In every country the National Bahá'í Administration must come first and then the local (i.e., a National Temple, magazine, summer schools, etc., before the local ones.)
Geyserville is the child of the administration and reflects the spirit of the administration impersonally. This is essential, to the administration, that the Summer Schools should not be a burden to the National Fund. The National Fund must be fed by publications, summer schools, local funds, etc., and then go to the teaching fund, etc., and not vice versa.
Geyserville is an example to all summer schools, the way they have effaced themselves (those responsible for it.) Although they have financed the whole thing, committees do everything. An individual should offer his property to the Cause and then be satisfied with the way the committee handles it - be entirely severed from it.
The oneness and the wholeness of mankind are good to refer to. When we refer to unity we must be careful not to give the impression we mean uniformity, unity in essentials, diversity in non-essentials.
He thinks the Archives in the future will have a part that will be shown and a part that will not be shown, but the whole institution is under the N.S.A. Every believer who presents something to the Archives, should have it done in his name, the name of the giver - unless he does not wish it - the name of the person, town, and the country should be connected with the gift. Personalities should be given due recognition so long as they do not weaken or confuse the operation of the administration or a vital principle of the administration. Files, books, relics, etc., will not all be shown. Eventually there will be a local Archives in every nation, village and town; even in every hamlet there will be an Archives. We must not require individuals to offer their relics but urge them, when they do offer them, to offer their relics
without making any conditions such as where they will be exposed, if they shall be exposed or not, etc. There should be no pressure, even no hint, brought to bear on the individual to give their relics.
What the friends have not yet got in the West is a National Headquarters; one division a meeting place for the N.S.A., another division Archives, another for its Convention. The ideal thing would be to shift it to Chicago, - D. (See C.) - under the shadow of the Temple. The N.S.A. must first decide if it is practical to shift from New York to Chicago and then decide on the site, etc. There are three reasons why it should be in Chicago; first, the first Temple of the West is there; second, the first group of Bahá'ís was in Chicago; and third, it is the geographical center of America; just as Haifa is the heart of the world geographically, it is the meeting place of three continents: Europe, Asia and Africa.
He does not consider a local Bahá'í news wrong if they have first contributed to the National Fund; then to the local teaching work and the local administrative activities. Then if they have done all this and have a certain amount of money left, there is no reason why they should not have a local newsletter.
The N.S.A. of America is a model in regard to the way they keep in close touch with isolated believers. The friends must realize that not until the national institutions function and acquire both the administrative and spiritual capacity to elect the International House of Justice, can this election be held, especially is this true of newly organized countries. The administration is not enough, we must have the spiritual foundation. The Guardian said; "They send me my co-workers, I have no voice in it, I must give them full liberty, I have no voice in their election and have no right to intervene." Such a body is elected by the N.S.A.'s direct. Nor the Guardian, nor the delegates, nor the individual, have any right in this election. They must (the N.S.A.'s) do it conscientiously, think of the Cause alone, elect the most qualified irrespective of their country, even if they all come from one country. It is quite unique, nothing like it has ever been attempted before. His task is to watch very carefully that they do not get out of their sphere of activity, legislation. This is solely his responsibility: to define what is legislation. If the Master has said such and such must be done it is binding regardless of the fact it is not written by a Manifestation of God.
The principle is this: do not restrict the freedom of the individual unless the Manifestation has done it, and when he has laid down something, then by all means enforce it. There is nothing in the teachings for or against contraceptives. But Bahá'u'lláh has said the primary purpose of marriage is to have children. All these details are questions for the International House of Justice to decide. If there are States in the United States that require both civil and ecclesiastic marriage, then, through the N.S.A. we could state that we are not church members, and make an effort to obtain their consent of our use of a Bahá'í marriage certificate. In other words, it must be done by
the National Spiritual Assembly, who could communicate with the Guardian on the subject, etc.
[In the margin of the next paragraph is the typed notation "E / See / F"] The Bahá'ís think that the spirit suffers by coming in contact with non-Bahá'í experts, on the contrary, it benefits.
The legal committee is one of the most important to protect the Cause. The legal committee should have an advisory committee of legal experts, non-Bahá'ís. In fact many Bahá'í committees will need expert advice and they in turn must report to the N.S.A. They must not believe they will be guided, they must have expert advice, - F. (See E.) - and they must not feel that a non-Bahá'í cannot advise Bahá'ís. The consciousness of the orthodox element in the Cause has been banished by the administration. Both elements have made concessions. The orthodox element in the Cause gave the Master a station equal to the Manifestation, the liberal gave him practically no station or a confused one. The old problems have disappeared and now there are a new set of problems; the relation of the Cause as it evolves within the state. The first stage of oppression and persecution is passing, we are now in the second stage of emancipation. The stage of recognition will be the third stage. He has thought about this but not yet written about it. Oppression (persecution,) emancipation, recognition.
We are now in the second stage. When the Egyptian, Indian, or Persian Government accepts a Bahá'í Court, we will enter the third stage, recognition by civil authorities. When the International House of Justice is established, the formative period will be over.
Unification can only be established on a basis of equality. In the United States a small state has its rights just the same as a large state: equality. East and West, large and small powers, must all come together on a basis of equality. The West is declining, the East advancing. The Bahá'ís in Persia are being opposed because the Government thinks they are planning one day to seize power. We never use force, violence is against our principles, we never use it. The end does not justify the means, we never lie to protect the Cause, because the Cause is based
on truth and we must never revert to a method which is against the Cause to promote it. Immediately an institution, Islamic or Christian, begins to oppose the Cause it will release the forces that will lead to its own disintegration. Opposition strengthens the Cause and precipitates the down-fall of those who attack it. These are the two effects, whether religious, political or individual, in nature of attack.
In Persia the Bahá'í Faith was born, in America the beginnings of Bahá'í civilization. The beginnings of the Bahá'í civilization is the Bahá'í Administration.
The Administration first and foremost is the declaration of Trust which is international and applies to all countries. Whatever is not therein is secondary. Non-voting in political matters is universal. The German N.S.A. should have circulated a copy the American N.S.A.'s ruling in this matter. The Bahá'ís must not vote when their vote will identify them with a particular political party. There are things in the Nazi program that are splendid, but when we cannot wholly support a political party, then we cannot give it our support. If the Government should force the Bahá'ís to vote they must obey, but if it should force them to recant they must never do so. There is a difference between something that affects the progress of the Cause and something that affects its integrity. Even to the forbidding of the N.S.A. we should obey. Would it humiliate the Cause? No. But if one individual recants it is more humiliating to the Cause than to have all the institutions of the Cause forbidden. In Russia the authorities went to the members of the S.A. and said you must give us a detailed report, secretly, of all your S.A.'s transactions. The Russian Bahá'ís refused, Shoghi Effendi said they did wrong, they had nothing to deny, to be afraid of, they would only be telling the truth.
The Bahá'ís live in 40 countries all of which are opposed to each other. If the Bahá'ís identify themselves with the policy of one Government, the other Governments are displeased with the Bahá'ís.
An incident occurred in Moscow illustrating this: The central authorities summoned an S.A. member and said: "We have heard there are many Bahá'ís in Tihran, also some in the Persian Foreign Office, is this so?" At that time Persia and Russia were opposed to each other. The Russian Bahá'í guaranteed that no Persian Bahá'ís were in any way employed in political posts. This action (assurance) saved the destruction of the Temple in Ishqabad, and the assurance of our non-political stand enabled the friends in Russia to have more freedom.
If our government forbids us to teach the Cause, we must obey - but never recant. Anything that dishonours the Cause we must not obey, but anything that retards the Cause, we must obey. The only way we can reconcile the "obey our Government" and other things in the Cause is to see whether it is an administrative thing at issue or a spiritual one. We are not ashamed of what might retard the Cause, but we cannot have it humiliated.
If each one followed the dictates of his own conscience in war time, what would happen to the Government? The minority must submit to the majority. We as Bahá'ís advocate this, we must practice it. Even at the front lines there must be no half-hearted loyalty; then we would be traitors. We must go to war if required, if no other way is possible into active service, and there do our duty. If we give the right to the minority to challenge the rule of the majority, and if they, this minority should come into power, then they too must give the minority the right to challenge the majority; this would make society unstable, chaotic. Dictators appeal to the right of conscience and as soon as they come to power they deny that right to the minority who then might feel the same as they did when their party was the minority. Anyone who claims the right to follow his own conscience challenges the stability of society. Majority rule involves the stability of society. This does not mean the minority must not try, through legitimate means, to change and influence the majority; they must try to persuade the majority - let them be preachers. While the minority is carrying out the rule of the majority, they have the right to persuade the majority. When there is 1 against 8, he can try to persuade the 8. A member of a Committee can bring his point to the S.A., who can, if they deem fit, bring it up for discussion at a 19 Day Feast, or let him bring it up himself at the 19 Day Feast. Individuals can write to the S.A. and express their ideas or objections, or criticisms. When the time for election of the S.A. comes, the Community must not be swayed by the outgoing S.A.'s convictions, they, in their functions as electors, are responsible to the voice of their conscience alone. The electors are invested with the authority of independent election; the S.A. of independent decision. Bahá'í elections must be three things: 1, universal: 2, free - no one must influence or be influenced by another - and 3, secret, a written ballot.
The political stand of the Bahá'ís (nonparticipation in politics) was given by the Master first to the Persian Bahá'ís. At that time it would have been premature for the West. How could it be possible for a world-wide community to allow its members to participate in political affairs in other countries, often antagonistic to each other? Shoghi Effendi explained this to the Governor and he quite agreed, saying it would "split the Cause from top to bottom."
The Bahá'ís have every right to tell their Government, "We do not agree with all your principles," but this does not prevent our obeying our Government, it does not justify our disobeying them. We are loyal to them although we disagree with them. In other words, all other forms of government are deficient. Communism is militant atheism.
In administrative matters we must obey the Government, in spiritual matters we need not obey. If the Government says dont meet such a person, we must obey. It does not mean we have antagonism towards him, but if the Government requires us to denounce him, speak evil of him, this is violating a spiritual principle. The law may say we discourage you from doing such and such a thing - we need not obey - we must obey what is prohibited. We are weighing the two; discouragement by Government and a spiritual principle.
But as soon as you prohibit it, we obey, (if it does not dishonor the Faith in any way.) We will never obey in violating a spiritual principle, even if the law commands it. If the Government lays down a law that the Bahais must denounce a Jew, we will never do it, but if the Government says we must avoid him, we obey. We must not rely on the Interpretation of others. We must get the text of the law. Who has laid it down? A responsible person? It often happens in Persia that a law is laid down by a self-appointed authority, subordinate officials, etc. This is a corruption - we must be sure of the text of a law. "I must say that the Bahais have not got sufficient courage - but this does not mean they should be unwise." Look up the law, be sure it is a law. Let them be imprisoned. In spiritual matters we prefer to suffer martyrdom rather than obey our Government. That is why we have had twenty thousand martyrs in Persia. Obedience to the Government in spiritual matters dishonors the Cause, is a stain on the Cause. Let them be put to death - it will create excellent publicity for the Cause provided they are right. It would be a manifestation [humiliation?] for the Cause if they were in the wrong.
We should be ashamed if one individual sacrifices a vital spiritual principle in order to obey his Government, but there is no disgrace when the whole community obeys the government regarding Administrative principles if they close our meetings, forbid our correspondence, etc., we are weakened but not humiliated.
Individuals are free to vote in elections so far as they feel they can do so without riding with any party. His belief is that it is not possible to vote in America without involving identification with a political party, however, he leaves it to the individual to conscientiously decide[.] Party politics, party policies, it is clear we must keep out of. The individual must conscientiously decide if by voting they are not siding with a party, and if this can be done, they are free to vote. The general principle is that we must ride with no party. A Bahai can never be a Republican or a Democrat, because when we call ourselves a Republican or a Democrat, it means we sacrifice to the party platform, if there is one item only that does not coincide with the Cause, that precludes our supporting it. We believe in World State Authority, that is one thing that precludes a Bahai from supporting any party, because all Governments believe in their national sovereignty. So long as they do not identify themselves with the party in Germany by voting, they may exercise participation in the vote. Participation in the vote in political affairs is different from voting as a man, if we can vote for an individual and not identify ourselves with the party in so doing we may vote. If they vote for Hitler (in reference to the Bahais and the National vote of 1936 in Germany) it means they find him the least objectionable candidate. Although we are not departing from a Bahai principle by voting (in manner he specified) it is better not to vote, it is safer not to vote, because it might lead to complications. If a believer cannot make up his mind regarding voting and party complications, he can refer to his local S.A. We are above parties and not against parties. Sooner or later there will be a labor Party in the United States. We cannot belong to that either.
Vahid means unity in Arabic (literally "one".) And the word Vahid has a numerical value of 19, 19x19 Vahids making one Kull-i-shay. The Bab wished to emphasize the unity of God, the unity of the Prophets, the unity of man. Hence He chose this number, 19x19. The nineteen Letters of the Living were to emphasize this idea of unity. The numerical values are according to the Abjad System; each letter of the alphabet having a numerical value. It is Muslim in origin and has no relation to the teachings except that certain prophecies had words which gave dates when marked out according to this system. This was the inspiration of the prophet and not because the system in itself was divinely inspired.
The beginning of the Bahá'í Calendar is the Year 60.
The Bahá'í day starts at sunset, not at midnight, and is like the Muslim system and the Jewish system. If the normal equinox starts one minute before sunset on March 21st, then March 21st is Naw-Ruz, but if it is one minute after sunset, we celebrate the Bahá'í new year on March 22nd, and all the Bahá'í anniversaries as well as the first day of the month will shift accordingly. Our Greenwich time is Tihran, when the equinox occurs in Tihran will be the criterion for the whole Bahá'í world.
The month of Allah is the month of the Fast and under all circumstances is only 19 days long, therefore we start our Fast one day later if Naw-Ruz will fall one minute after sunset of the 21st Bahá'u'lláh says. Naw-Ruz immediately follows the last day of the Fast, therefore we must find out before the Fast when it is due; if due the 22nd of March, we begin fasting the 3rd instead of the 2nd of March. Then the intercalary days will have one more. All Bahá'í months have 19 days, any variation is taken up by the intercalary days. Abdu'l-Bahá in a letter to a believer in Nayriz has clearly defined our 9 Holy Days. In that same Tablet He says it is not obligatory to celebrate the 28th of November, Day of the Covenant. The Master did not want the friends to commemorate this day on the day the Kitab-i-Ahd was revealed, but six months later, in other words, the furthest day from the ascension of Bahá'u'lláh. In view of what the Master stated in this letter, Shoghi Effendi says the ascension of Abdu'l-Bahá is also not to be regarded as obligatory, a Holy Day, but not a holiday. The question was put to Bahá'u'lláh whether the friends should fast on the birthday of the Bab and of Himself, when they fell during the Fast. He replied no, not to fast on these days. Every thirty three years it shifts around again because these days are the 1st and 2nd days of the lunar month of Muharram. The Master says the question of these differences between dates in Eastern and Western calendars, lunar and solar months, must be settled by the International House of Justice. But Bahá'u'lláh in the Aqdas says that the birthdays of Bab and Himself are consecutive.
First of Ridvan
Ninth of Ridvan
Twelfth of Ridvan
Ascension of Bahá'u'lláh
Martyrdom of the Bab
Birthday of Bahá'u'lláh
Birthday of the Bab
Declaration of the Bab
(Day of the Covenant)
(Ascension of Abdu'l-Bahá)
are anniversaries which should be observed, but not days on which work is forbidden.
We must not allow the teaching fund to indefinitely postpone the Temple fund and its completion. The friends must not expect the prophecies of the Master regarding the Temple to be fulfilled until the entire superstructure is completed.
All he asks is that before the lapse of seven years the outside ornamentation be completed. Just that we think of it, not lose sight of it, so we cannot say he did not let us know in time. The Temple must have a body of experts to advise - non- Bahá'í experts - they may have one or two Bahá'í experts, if they are good enough. Three bodies: N.S.A., its Committee and the Committee's advisory body of experts. The Persian Temple will never be even started or considered before the outer ornamentation of the American Temple is finished. The Master referred to the 3rd Bahá'í Temple being in Persia. So it is in the hands of the American believers. The land is bought, but it will not be begun till after the American Temple's exterior is complete.
He would call the Temple and its dependencies the symbol of this new civilization of the Faith. The Faith is the begetter of this new civilization, its symbol, the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar.
Germany is the heart of Europe, Frankfort A/M the heart of Germany. If the German believers are forced to copy the American administration, He gives them absolute freedom to choose their own Temple design, but if they choose something unoriginal, then they will have to copy the American design. It is according to the Master's wish that the third Temple be built in Persia. After Persia will be either Palestine or Germany.
The completion of the Chicago Temple and the start of the first Persian Temple would be wonderful at the beginning of the second Bahá'í Century. The friends have purchased one million square meters of land near Tihran for their Temple. The first Temple is on a plain, the second by a lake and the third will be one a mountain side. The dependencies of the Temple are the administrative social and humanitarian side of the Cause. Worship and service are both symbolized in the Temple institution and dependencies of the Cause.
The Mashriqu'l-Adhkar is a place of prayer and meditation, even the Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh are quite out of place there.
The important thing is for the rich people to contribute to the extent of sacrifice. The rich give out of their abundance - but do they sacrifice? They should make some sacrifice, to forego some material comfort or benefit, some degree of sacrifice. When there is an element of sacrifice, however small, that contribution has a great spiritual effect. It is not only that the rich give more, it makes the element of sacrifice universal. Two requirements: it should be wholly supported by believers and entail sacrifices from rich and poor, then the Temple will exert a tremendous influence. Otherwise the influence will not be as great. It comes in a mysterious way both materially and spiritually: giving. If a contribution of one dollar has a great sacrifice behind it, and someone has given ten thousand dollars, the one dollar, if the sacrifice is greater, is greater.
The Egyptian Bahá'ís mission is to establish the Cause in Abyssinia, Sudan and Central Africa, thus uniting with South Africa and establishing a chain across Africa, just as the American Bahá'ís mission is to carry it to South America. The Persian's mission is Afghanistan, Baluchistan and Russia. The mission of the Irak Bahá'ís is to establish the Cause in Arabia, Yemen, Hijaz and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. China and Japan fall under the care of the Indian Bahá'ís and also the Americans, Germany, Scandinavia and the Balkans.
Research for the Germans, execution for the Americans, contemplation for the Persians.
The relation of children to parents and wives to husbands is too extreme in America.
The loyalty of the American believers is marvellous, exemplary. Germany is following, but we cannot say that of England. Our weak point (Americans) is race. The friends must not seek popularity, criticism is often good for the Cause.
The faults of America are lawlessness, prejudice and corruption. The salvation of America lies in her close association with the Nations of the world. Wilson in a way could not but fail; a man who is ahead of his times is doomed to failure. Wilson was inspired, not only through what he may have read from the Bahá'í books. He was an instrument of God's purpose. It is through Wilson's efforts that the dawn of the Most Great Peace has broken, but its sun will shine and appear through the teachings of Bahá'u'lláh. He clarifies these things so that the believers may have the courage to state these things. To realize that Wilson was misunderstood by this generation, who were unfair to him. The Bahá'ís who do not accept what the Master said about Wilson are fearful, of little faith, like the Muhammadans who changed the text of the Qur'an to agree with the Ptolemaic system - (see "Explanations of the Sacred Writings." [Vol. I page 30 paragraph 4] ) When the American people realize they must participate in world affairs, they will have a greater appreciation of Wilson. Through his (Wilson's) efforts the dawn of universal peace will arise. Wilson was the greatest man of his generation. He stood for a very high principle, but he failed to achieve it.
The Bahá'ís in America, due to the fact that they are tainted with race prejudice - and he understands this because of the general prejudice in America - overestimate the effect of public opinion. In Germany the prejudice is the Jews, in England against the lower classes, the commoners. We should associate informally, but not always on public platforms. Regarding races and other prejudices, we must
discriminate in our association and attract the better elements. (Referring to Louise and Louis Gregory's marriage.) The Master brought it about, was not what He did right? Can we criticise His actions? Is not He our example? But let them do what the Master did occasionally, just to stir people up. He didn't do these things every day, we must follow Him. The friends are only scratching the surface now with trembling hands. The thing to remember is that in spite of the imperfect instruments, the Cause is forging ahead.
Among new problems in America our most important one is non-participation in Political bodies, non-partisan political posts. Political offices are not to be accepted, etc. With political societies we must not accept affiliation, but association is good.
There is a great danger in America (in the Cause) to crystalize something that is fluid, tentative.
Considers that the Munroe doctrine has become obsolete. America cannot isolate herself from the world situation. America, to save herself and the world, must unite herself with the world and Europe. The sooner the better. The American Bahá'ís, like the believers of every other country, have become to a certain extent prejudiced by the traditional thoughts of their country. (Quoted Master's words to Congressman in "Goal of a New World Order.") Japan and Europe, on either side of America, will come closer and closer, she will find herself forced to adjust her relations to them. America will have to associate as closely with Europe as England has to the Continent. Science will force this to happen.
It is for the National Spiritual Assembly of America to appoint a committee to study where, in what States and how they can help the negroes and work in such a way as to not antagonize the whites and help the negroes.
The Persian believers, the Dawn Breakers, have ushered in the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh, now the American believers are ushering in the civilization of Bahá'u'lláh. The American believers chief mission is to issue in [usher in?] this civilization. They are the spiritual descendants of the Dawn Breakers, and usher in what they have commenced.
The Most Great Peace implies the political association of the United States with Europe. Has hopes that the United States will take the initiative after the coming war of establishing the true League of Nations. Any Bahá'í that thinks America will help the world by staying out of European affairs is acting contrary to the Spirit of the teachings on the subject. (See Master's words to a member of Congress on the subject in : "Goal of a New World Order.") When we say our salvation is in keeping aloof, it is exactly contrary to the Master's words. The very fact that the American people are now acting so differently from the Master's teachings may lead to a great reaction after the coming war and they may take the lead. We should observe without being misled the thought and tendencies of our nation. He believes we are quite wrong in being afraid to adopt [adapt?] the Constitution of the
United States. The economic changes require its change and modification. He should not be surprised if the United States became in future a unitary State, like Germany. In the United States principles are following personalities and not personalities following principles.
Germany is half Oriental, hence the Master's reference to them as being like the Persian Bahá'ís.
Anti-Semitism is a disease. Germany is the center of modern philosophy which is based on Socrates' wisdom who received it from the Jewish Prophets. The German Bahá'ís must accept this sequence: divine revelation from the Prophets of Israel; Socrates expounding them, the German philosophers elaborating Socrates.
Frankfort A/M will become in future the center of the national Bahá'í institutions. Stuttgart is like the Chicago of Germany: the oldest center. Berlin will become like the New York of Germany.
The Germans are too analytical, too inquisitive. It is good to be analytical but not too analytical.
The German race is a very promising race, they have a great future both materially and spiritually. Scandinavia is already receiving help from Germany, (Bahá'í) the Balkans from Germany. The knights of Bahá'u'lláh, the warriors of the Faith. But they must give up their pagan gods. He thinks the Germans may be able to help the Russians too. We have no Bahá'ís in Russia proper. The ones in Moscow dispersed after the revolution; in Caucasus and Turkistan there are believers, mostly Persian.
Germans are a happy medium between the East and the Far West. They are not as crude as the Orientals and not as sophisticated as the Far West. Munich and Innsbruck will act as links between Vienna and Germany. Salzbourg, Munich and Vienna are important centers and should become vital spiritual centers. They are destined to be powerful Bahá'í centers in the future. What we need are the young men in Germany who will enter the administration and seize the reins, battalions. A Bahá'í - a teacher - especially an International one, must teach the principles of the Cause, both spiritual and administrative. Germany will be the focal center of the spiritual forces, they will radiate from Germany to Europe. In Sofia, the one who really established the Cause (in Bulgaria) Herr Benke, was a German. Leipzig has already rendered a historical service in that Herr and Frau Benke established the Cause there and Herr Benke died there. Similar to Keith, sacrificing in a foreign land and dying there. So we see numbers do not count, it is the vitality of their souls rendering great services. German Bahá'ís must not get the tendency of making too many laws, copying
the system of their Government, making it too rigid - the administration of the Cause - being a slave of conventions and rules. The Bahá'ís must pray for their government, nor must they think this implies criticism or otherwise, if the N.S.A. tells Assemblies to pray for the Government this does not imply the Government is wrong and we are praying for correction. We must be clear in explaining a ruling or instruction when it is given.
He does not think the German believers help the Austrian believers enough in sending teachers and corresponding more frequently. When we do anything under false pretenses we are violating the principle laid down by the Master of loyalty to Government, (regarding the crossing of the frontier on an excuse, not the real reason.) The friends seem to think (not specifically just Germany,) that because a Government may be unjust or corrupt or dishonest, it changes their attitude of loyalty towards it. We must be loyal to any established form of government.
The North German centers must try and send at least one or two friends, delegates and non-delegates, to the Convention. The N.S.A. could perhaps arrange to help with train fare from the Northern Centers; the National Fund could easily defray this expense. On one hand we must emphasize the authority of the N.S.A. and on the other hand it is not infallible. It has taken almost fifteen years to establish the Administration in Germany. Germany had to have something equivalent to Dr. Khayru'llah in America. Germany did not have this until after the Master's passing, with Herrigal. In their teaching work there must be no hesitation whatever in going ahead with the fireside meetings, these, as they exist in America, are excellent. Publicity is unwise at present. Dresden is a very important center, the first thing is to have a local assembly there. Nurnberg is also important. Hanover should also have a center and Konigsberg in East Prussia. East Prussia is very important.
Centralization is now amounting to persecution in Germany. Hitler is under the influence of the extremes, whether military or regarding religion. Germany will remain a unitary state. Her destiny is to join the larger whole - Europe.
All courts in Egypt which deal with marriage, divorce, inheritance etc. are religious; Jewish, Christian or Muhammaden. Islam has now pronounced the Bahá'í Faith not a sect of itself but a separate religion believing in different founders, hence the Bahá'ís now have in these matters no local recourse. All Bahá'ís marrying now can only do so under the marriage certificate of the S.A. which has as yet no legal status, hence legally they do not exist. As missionaries are continually circulating the claim that we are an off-shoot of Islam, a sect of Islam, this denial of Islam and her casting us off officially is a great proof that we are not an Islamic sect. Islam is now doing in spite of us what the Bahá'ís should have achieved long ago but were too timid and hesitating.
The declaration of trust, a petition, and excerpts from the laws of the Aqdas, have been given to the Egyptian Government three years ago, but they refused to reply. The first step has been taken, the enemies of the Cause, the Muslim leaders, have proclaimed our independence - we should have done this. The Egyptian Bahá'ís difficulty is that they have no civil courts in Egypt. The authorities can either give us our religious court rights or tell us to go back to the old relationship with the Muslim ones, they may also, in the meantime establish civil courts. He hopes this will not be done, as he wishes our recognition as an independent religion with full rights.
The N.S.A. of Egypt is the first to own legal property in its name in the East.
The Zionists constitute a political movement. We should be very careful what we say regarding the prophecies in order that the Jews may not think that we sympathize or partake of their political aspirations. If we should show that passage (page 76 "Answered Questions") "All Palestine will become their home," to a Jew, a Muhammadan would say we are political. But in America it would be a great help in attracting the Jews to show them this passage written 40 years ago also a help in Germany. Believes the Jews will overflow in part of Syria and Trans-Jordania.
The Jews threaten that if the different Governments do not help regarding their regaining a Fatherland, they will promote revolution.
The Zionist Jews are a majority; they are in sympathy with the Cause. There is a section in the University library in Jerusalem devoted to Bahá'í literature from all countries. They are friendly toward the British Government who has helped them to establish a National Home. (See "Answered Questions," page 76, "All Palestine will become their
home.") Other Jews, (a minority in a Jewish state) are against the British Government and the Bahá'ís.
Hitler's policy is another link in the chain of the destiny of the Jews. The Balfour declaration made it possible for the Jews to build a home. The British Government drove away the Turks and the Mandate made it possible for the Jews to come.
Sir Herbert Samuel said he believed Palestine could support six millions. Now the population is a little over one million. There are about 13 or 14 million Jews in the world. Now if they concentrate on a small country like Palestine, think of the possibilities. In Gleanings, page 116-117 refers to the future, also "Spread thy Skirt, O Jerusalem" refers to the Christian Revelation, and when it spreads over the Jordan symbolizes it will reveal itself more fully through the Bahá'í Revelation, extending the bounds of previous Revelations. The Jews will be instrumental in laying down the material foundation which the spiritual structure of the Cause requires. The Jews are doing this for Palestine with Jewish blood, Jewish money and Jewish personnel.
There are two great forces working hand in hand to prepare this country for what it is going to become which is the world administrative center of the Cause, the British administration and Government, and Jewish capital and enterprise. The publicity which the Cause will attain here in the future through the visits of princes, prominent figures, etc., will open the eyes of the Jews to the Cause's importance and they will accept it. The war was the first, then the Balfour declaration and now Hitler's policy are the three factors in sending the Jews back to Palestine. The war made it possible for the British Government to be established in Palestine, to drive away the Turks. The Balfour declaration made it possible for the Jews to come and establish their home, Hitler is a means of making them migrate.
One of the benefits of the last war was the Jews' return to Palestine. Unlikely that Palestine will become a Jewish nation. There are three kinds of prophecies related to Palestine: one is fulfilled by Bahá'u'lláh's coming to Palestine, to Haifa and Akka. The second is the return of the Jews, this is in the process of fulfillment. The third is the establishment of universal peace, this is not yet fulfilled.
Haifa in the future will be the terminus of three great railway lines. To the south it will go to Cairo, then through Central Africa to Capetown. To the East to Calcutta, direct line from here to Baghdad, then across Persia to Afghanistan and then to Calcutta. A north line going to Beirut, Aleppo, Constantinople and linking with the European route to Calais, and the Jews have been raised up by God to construct such a material center. After 2000 years of punishment the boundy [bounty?] of
God will allow them to do this. England and the Jews are instruments raised by God to bring about the development of Palestine. The money of the Jews and the order of the British Government, law, order and experience in administration, and the well-known financial power of the Jews. This was foretold by the Master 40 years ago: "all Palestine will become their home." They will become the envy and admiration of their friends and their foes. This does not mean they will have a political state here, but a cultural one.
The Port of Haifa cost one million pounds, the money was raised in London and guaranteed by the British Government.
Haifa is the nerve center of the Cause. The more powerful the center the greater the tests. Anything in the Bahá'í World that happens is immediately felt here and vice versa.
The Bahá'ís should be very appreciative of all that the British Government has done for us here at the World Center of our Faith, ever since the British occupation of Palestine.
Mount Carmel is the heart of the world and the Shrine is in the heart of that heart. Haifa is the heart of the world geographically; it is the meeting place of three Continents - Europe, Asia and Africa. Akka and Haifa are the twin cities. They will be joined in the future. Akka is the heart of the Faith, the Qiblih of the Bahá'í Faith. The Arabs and the missionaries are against the Cause and make obstacles for it.
Bahá'u'lláh says that Arabic and Persians [the Arabic and Persian languages?] are like milk and honey. Bahá'u'lláh has set an example to the Persians in matters of language and style. This present generation in Persia is much too overwhelmed by the forces of nationalism to overcome the corruption of the language.
The state of emancipation (of Cause) in Persia and Irak will come when the state and church become separate.
Believes that the establishment of the administration in Persia is due to Keith's stirring them up spiritually. She died before seeing this achieved. Persia has 600 local Spiritual Assemblies. The National Spiritual Assembly has divided the entire country into 21 administrative units from which 95 delegates for the convention are elected. Truthfulness, the Persians are very weak in this respect. It is due to Saadi; (the poet) he has corrupted the Persian character. The principles of his philosophy are un-Bahá'í. (The Guardian copied out the following verse as an example of this:
"A lie which serves a particular interest is better than
the truth which causes turmoil."
After Lyons is an assembly, Lucienne must be sent elsewhere to establish a third S.A., and then he guaranteed France will have a National Spiritual Assembly. Then the French can take part in the international elections for the House of Justice. This does not mean a Bahá'í from France could not be elected to it in any case, but France would have no part in the elections. The elected members to the International House of Justice are to be chosen from the whole Bahá'í world. The important thing is to establish a local Spiritual Assembly in Lyons and see that it does not disintegrate.
France has to play her share in the great federation of nations, she is a great nation and has a vital part to play, an important share to contribute to the world civilization which Bahá'u'lláh will create. Germany, England, France, Russia, in the order of their future importance. First is national civilization, such as England and France have and Germany is developing, then comes European and Pan-American civilization, and then comes world civilization, world unification.
(To Mother) What she has done in Paris is the introduction of the Cause to the latin races.
Terrible corruption in French politics. Sooner or Later there may be revolt. Corruption may lead to revolt and civil war. The Communists are ready to ferment a civil war. They are more active in fermenting a civil war than in a larger war. As soon as they find factions, they work to create a civil war.
Czechoslovakia has a great future in the Cause, he is sure of that. There is relatively little prejudice there.
The President of Czechoslovakia is a great admirer of the Cause.
The Soviet Government published, three or four years ago, a pamphlet against the Cause. The Government, by attacking the Cause, its spiritual and social principles, was distributing the knowledge of the teachings. They claim that religion fosters superstition, also they believe in equality and we don't [Editor's note: See Vol. II page 31 paragraph 11]; the Master referred to society as an army needing generals, captains, privates, etc. The authorities have required the Bahá'ís for a number of years to not vote by secret ballot in their elections, which they obeyed, but now they have modified their constitution and allow the Bahá'ís to vote by secret ballot. The Bahá'ís now rent the Temple from the Government, who claim to be its legal owners. Many Bahá'ís have been imprisoned, deported and sentenced to death by the Government. He communicated with the American N.S.A. who through the Ambassador to Russia received commutation of the death sentence; (See "Bahá'í World.") There are a lot of Bahá'ís in Tihran now who may not return to Russia. In Russia it is improving; in Persia getting worse. This is a stage in the evolution of the Cause.
Canada will in the future have her own National Spiritual Assembly provided she is not politically united with the United States; she only needs to get strong enough to have one.
A canadian summer school would be a good thing, but the N.S.A. must be first consulted as to its locality, etc.
The National Spiritual Assembly of Egypt is incorporated as a commercial, not a religious body.
We should use the name of Tahirih in referring to her and not Qurratu'l-`Ayn. She translated the writings of the Bab from Arabic into Persian.
The Iqan was not written in one night.
We must always tell the truth, our first purpose we must say, in visiting Haifa is to visit our World Center, our sacred Sites, no reference to personalities. So when the Persian Bahá'ís say this they do not receive permission, but this is only temporary. "Tablet, revealed word, and revelation" should be confined to the writings of the Bab and Bahá'u'lláh and not applied to the Master's writings.
Shoghi Effendi was asked if it were not a waste of time to devote oneself to Art in these days, and he agreed that, unless one had genius, it should only be a pastime.
[In the margin of the next paragraph is the typed notation "A / See / B / And / C"] The New Commonwealth Society in England is perhaps the nearest to the Cause of any society, yet he has asked the friends not to identify themselves with it. He is having a newspaper clipping on the New Commonwealth Society translated into Persian for the Haifa Newsletter.
Ruth White sent a letter and cheque to the High Commissioner of Palestine, asking him to investigate the Master's will. He returned the cheque and said it was a purely private matter and she must hire a lawyer.
First Bahá'í school in Palestine is organized now in Adasiyyih. They are Zoroastrian Bahá'ís, they learn three languages, Persian, Arabic and English.
At the Shrines they have given out thousands of copies of pamphlets, but never one unless it was asked for.
Don't refer to the name of the system, Communism, Fascism, Nazi, etc., directly but indirectly; not by name and not to its political leader, but to general principles and compare them with ours such as that equality is impracticable in society and this is a rejection of communism, (in teaching and public.)
[In the margin of the next paragraph is the typed notation "B / See / A / And / C"] Regarding membership in W.S.D.A.P. Frauenschaft. Even the New Commonwealth Society in England, which is far nearer the ideals of the Cause than any other group, he has dissuaded very strongly the friends from joining. They may associate with groups if they like, exchange speakers, etc., but there must be no affiliation with either religious, political or social organizations. With scientific, humanitarian, industrial, educational and civic affairs we can affiliate.
What we really require are endowments for teaching to enable people to settle, travel and teach etc.
The superficialities of the West are spreading in the East.
The Dunns established a pillar of the universal House of Justice in Australia. We need workers in Poland, Czechoslovakia, the Baltic States, Finland, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia.
To us (Bahá'ís) the cross is a sacred symbol of the sufferings of Jesus, we do not worship it as the Christians do, we revere it.
He always encourages people to settle, not in favour of these short visits and voyages. Martha Root is an example of an itinerary teacher. The Dunns as settlers are exemplary. Mr. and Mrs. Dunn are unique in what they have achieved in Australia. They had no work and were friendless; they read the Divine Plan, sold their property in California and went to Australia and now we have centers in all the leading cities of Australia and in addition they have established an National Spiritual Assembly and have incorporated most of their local assemblies. India and Burma have all their National Spiritual Assemblies incorporated.
Asked whether the treatment of sexual perverts by imprisonment was right, Shoghi Effendi replied it was no use, that they must be converted, spiritual reform must take place.
Shoghi Effendi has received to date 12 volumes of Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh, the Bab and the Master, all authenticated by the local assemblies from Persia, etc.
The "Bahá'í Scriptures" are full of mistakes.
The shrine of the Greatest Holy Leaf will be the future center of the international buildings.
No buildings will ever be erected around the Shrine of the Bab, as a sign of respect. The Government has been assured that this land will never be sold, rented or built upon, hence they have made it tax exempt, also all the land from the top to the bottom of the mountain owned by Bahá'ís. The tomb of Bahá'u'lláh, the Mansion, the house of Bahá'u'lláh in Akka and the Garden of Ridvan and the Pilgrim House are exempt. These are the only properties in Palestine that are exempt.
All 20 Tablets (to Bahá'u'lláh and the 19 Letters of the Living) reproduced in Nabil's narrative, were among the Master's papers. How He got them we do not know.
Superstition is the negation of fact, while a miracle is a fact which we can never explain.
One's intention can often be almost as good as the deed itself.
Human motive is never entirely pure, one cannot expect it to be. We must not dwell on or grieve over things we did not do exactly right as it does no good.
Purity of heart, detachment and intention is more important to him than brilliancy of action.
Faith breeds courage, but when it is not well enough grounded it is timid. God's mercy over-shadows all kinds of criminals, even Covenant breakers.
The more teachers we have in Europe the better, He encourages friends to settle in Europe.
There is a tendency to introduce new mysteries into the Cause. We have a few mysteries in the Cause, we must not introduce any man-made ones; in order to satisfy our desires or emotions, we produce mysteries. Sometimes our emotions are bad, they can go too far. A desire is either corrupt or wholesome. But a wholesome desire, a love, a devotion to the Faith which is in itself a wholesome and good thing, even that if not restrained leads us to excesses. What is Fanaticism - it is devotion to the Cause carried to an extreme. Devotion to the Cause, if carried to excess leads to fanaticism. (Bahá'u'lláh refers to this in "Gleanings" Pages 216, 342-3, regarding excess.)
The relation of children to parents and wives to husbands is too extreme in America. Bahá'ís must have the consent of all four parents in marriage, whether the parents are Bahá'í or not. But obedience to parents in all things is not required by Bahá'u'lláh.
We must not identify ourselves with different systems; political beliefs, theories or evolution, etc.
Considers the separation of church and state in England inevitable. The last to fall will be the Catholic Church.
We must expect these things, our tests and trials, and when we get into these states of depression we must have confidence and persevere. It is the effort that one makes that gives one the susceptibility to receive more. Some suffering is self-inflicted, but that is sometimes providential. Martha's faith and effort, daily effort, is a magnet that attracts the confirmations suspended between earth and heaven. It removes the barriers between God and herself. Perseverance in effort will attract the power which will sustain us. Love is the greatest force and the mainspring of all effort.
The grandson of Nasiri'd-Din-Shah came to Haifa and begged, literally begged him, (Shoghi Effendi) to give him an introduction to the National Assembly of Persia. He informed him the Bahá'ís are absolutely non-political, explained their stand on this subject, etc., and the Shah's grandson went away satisfied, but never came back. The British Government asked the Guardian if this had happened, and he told them the whole story.
Also the grandson of Sultan Abdu'l Aziz, Sayfu'd-Din, called on the Guardian and asked for financial aid. Shoghi Effendi gave it to him - twice, and also gave him Esslemont in the Turkish language, printed in Latin characters. It is astonishing that the grandson of Sultan Abdul Aziz should come asking for financial help and the grandson of Nasiri'd-Din for political help. Abdul Aziz was the greatest enemy the Cause ever had.
If the followers of Muhammad Ali repent it will be due to the effect of the prayer in the Master's Testament: the prayer was the means of forgiveness, the denouncing of the enemies to point them out for our protection.
Sales Qur'an is the most authoritative, Radwells, the best.
The statement of Queen Marie, wherein she refers to "the Father" is the greatest test of all to the Christians. Also for Muhammadans her reference to Christ, Muhammad and Bahá'u'lláh as Prophets, is tremendous.
Numerology has no organic relation to the Cause but was used by the Seers to foretell the Bab's coming. Numerology, astrology, palmistry, etc., is left to the individuals. They should be left free as far as possible, as long as they don't associate these ideas with the Cause.
Queen Marie is both granddaughter to Queen Victoria and the Czar of Russia, to both of whom Bahá'u'lláh revealed Tablets.
The Iqan was written by the request of the father of the great Afnan (chief builder of the Temple in Ishqubad) who was the maternal uncle of the Bab. He went to Baghdad and asked Bahá'u'lláh certain questions which were answered in the Iqan.
Bahá'í ring stone has B and H on it, the Arabic letters for Baha. The five pointed star symbolizes the temple of man, head, arms, legs, the body of the Cause. When God willed it, His Revelation appeared "be and it is". (In a former translation of a prayer it says, "by which the letter kaf was linked with the letter noon.") Kaf and noon form the word "Kon" which means "be" - be and it is.
Many terms used by Bahá'u'lláh came from the Qur'an, also from the terms used by the Bab, Sun of Truth, Sun of Righteousness, World Order, are terms used by the Bab.
Trade is paralyzed between the nations, this is what makes them poor, politically they are divided, but economically they form an organism. The economists wish to unite the world, the politicians to divide it. Nationalism is causing this.
The standard of living in the East is too low, in the West too high, too much luxury. Germany is half way between. Comfort is different
from luxury. He objects to luxury, not comfort. Importance is attached to non- essentials and not essentials. Peoples differ as to what are essentials. It is alright to maintain a high standard when there is not want and destitution around you. People are the slaves of convention, they could reduce their standards and help the poor, but their conventions prevent them - they do not have the moral courage. Germans are a happy medium between East and far West. Not as crude as Orientals and not as sophisticated as the far West.
The "Most Exalted Leaf" is really the correct translation of the title of Khanum. The word Holy has been added, does not exist in the original. Her resting place has been chosen as the center of the International Institutions, a woman, not a man, has been chosen for this.
Apart from certain restrictions in the teachings, men and women are indistinguishable. As far as the teachings are concerned this is so. It is the immutable law of god and not for us to question; the Imams, the 12 Disciples, the Prophets in the Mosaic dispensation, etc., were all men. The Guardians are all men. In the West in almost every way, in teaching, in the administration, etc., the women are taking the lead, and this is the Will of Bahá'u'lláh. He would not be surprised if soon the Persian women become like their American sisters: "one of the distinguishing features of the Bahá'í dispensation is that the women are showing more courage, more initiative than the men," said the Master. We have Bahá'ís now in 40 countries and more than half of these have been opened, have been conquered by the American believers. Most of those who have opened these countries have been women, not men. Jackie in Bulgaria, Agnes in Japan, the Noblocks in Germany, Mrs. Hoagg in Italy, Martha in so many countries, Leonora in South America, Fanny Noblock in South Africa, Mother in Paris, Johnanna Shubarth in Norway, Mrs. Cropper in London, Mother in Canada, not only American believers, but women.
If anyone asks about the equality of the sexes, we must tell them equality, except in certain cases. (The Imams, the Guardians, etc.)
The 13th Letter of the Living came to Akka and met Bahá'u'lláh. He was the only one who called on Him after He revealed Himself. He also accepted Him.
Characteristic passages of the "Hidden Words," "The Iqan," and other books, should be committed to memory. The right quotations made at the psychological moment have a great effect, great power. He does not think the teachers do this enough.
When Bahá'ís have visions and try to get others to act accordingly, it is un-Bahá'í and very dangerous and pernicious. The individual himself is left free in such matters. We must tell them it is mostly imagination, but they are free. However they must not seek to influence others.
He wants the Catholic Church aroused but it must not be done artificially, but through the natural spread of the Cause. We have to combine courage with tact. We must not be unnecessarily provocative.
The Bahá'ís should adopt Esperanto at present as a universal language, even if only a temporary one.
Modern philosophy is based on the teachings of Socrates. Plato enlarged the philosophy of Socrates, Aristotle went further. Even the philosophy which Socrates established was based on the religious teachings of the Prophets of Israel, which proves that the essentials of philosophy were based on religious teachings. Socrates taught the existence of the immortality of the soul. (See same subject under "Germany." [Vol. II page 23] )
Regarding violators we must not be fanatical. It is going too far to believe we are contaminated by being in the same room, etc., with them. But we must not associate with them. There is no difference in civil rights. The rights of a violator are as sacred as those of any believer. If we have a business dealing with one we must settle our dealings with him. We must have no dealings with violators, but if circumstances should be such that we happen to have a dealing with one, we must settle it normally and have no future dealings. If they happen to have written a book, either on the Cause or anything else that has a value, we must admit the value of anything they may have accomplished, even if they are against the Cause. If they have rendered any service in any sphere, we must recognize it. "Justice, equity, is loved above all." But that does not mean we must associate with them under any circumstances. Herrigel rendered great services (in Germany) we must admit this, but also see that his later opposition nullified it; it has darkened the record of his previous services. We must not belittle what he did once accomplish, admit what was good and correct, but relate it to what he did later.
(Countries to be opened up to the Cause and developed.) First comes Germany, then the Balkans, then Scandinavia, then Western Europe, then Italy and Spain. Community life is now confined to Germany in Europe. In England it is just a skeleton, just beginning to move. England is similar to France, not as bad but similar. The English are very proud, very dry. They are very shy and conservative in matters of religion. Americans think too much of personality. Principles are not for personalities, personalities are under principles. It is a challenge to the Bahá'ís to rise above their environment, be totally different from it. The believers today are being adapted to the administration it is being imposed upon them. They are not born into it.
Hitler is a national leader, but does not have the sense of world politics that is required - such as Briand's, Stresemann's, who had much greater world vision. Stalin is not a man of principle he
is ruthless, unlike Lenin who had principle but whose principle was wrong. First Wilson, the greatest of the men of his generation; he stood for a very high principle, but he failed to achieve it. Second was Lenin, his principle was wrong but he carried it out with great vigour. Third Lloyd George who had no principle, neither right nor wrong. A leader must lead the people and not be led by them, he must have courage.
The trouble with the world is the leaders have great vigour, but their principles are wrong.
The Catholics and the Shiahs, the two most dogmatic sects in Christianity and Islam, claim that the study of abstract science is a waste of time.