Friday, February 18, 2011


Marielle and I were talking about her teaching work, and she said something very interesting. You see, we've been studying the 28 December 2010 message, as well as Ruhi Book 6, and she's been putting all of what we've been learning into action. Her primary concern is the heart of the individual with whom she is talking, and she has developed this knack, or perhaps opened herself up to the possibility, of seeing what that person's most cherished desire is.

Anyways, she has said that on a few occasions now, she was talking with someone, trying to figure out how to overcome some obstacle in the conversation. Beforehand, she had said prayers about this, and then, during the conversation, she found herself inspired with what to say. Every time this happened, the individual really opened up and things went quite well.

In our conversation, we explored what happened, and tried to learn from it.

First of all, the reliance on prayer was crucial. She has truly come to recognize the importance of this reliance and she is fearful that she may begin to think that these successes are her own, for she understands that the ego is the one sure thing to block the inspiration coming from the Concourse on High.

And so, the second thing that stood out was the need to cultivate humility. It is humility that is being talked about so much in these recent letters from the World Centre as a key for all that we do.


Well, I like to think of the flow of divine inspiration as water. I mean really, how many other things can you think of that flow? Lava? Not quite the right metaphor. (I'm not even going to mention my nose during hay fever season. Nope. Won't go there.)

So let's look at water, and the Ocean of His Revelation. Why is the ocean so mighty? Because it places itself beneath all other bodies of water and allows them to flow down into it. If the ocean held itself above the others, the waters would flow away from it.

Similarly, when we are truly humble, placing ourselves beneath others, then we actually allow those divine forces to flow towards us. When we hold ourselves in high esteem, then those waters flow away from us and we are left high and dry. (Hey, I never noticed that turn of phrase was so appropriate before.)

This sense of humility being a source of strength has come up before: in the Siyyah-Chal. I wrote about this concept before, in a different way, but would like to introduce it again here. After all, repetition is a good tool.

Aside - There is a story of Hand of the Cause, William Sears, who was giving a talk somewhere. In his presentation, he evidently said the same thing a number of times. He would say it once, and then again. A few minutes later he returned to the same point. According to one person, he repeated himself at least a dozen times in the space of thirty minutes. The listener was actually beginning to get concerned that the Hand was going senile, or something. Afterwards, one of the friends went up to him and commented on it.

"Don't you think", he said, "you may have repeated yourself a few too many times there?"

Mr Sears looked at him and asked, "What did I repeat so often?"

The other man was a bit surprised and then realized that he didn't know. "I'm not sure."

And Mr Sears looked at him, sadly, and said, "I knew I should've said it again."

Oh, and to this day, I still don't know what it was that he repeated so often. End of aside.

One of the unique things about this Dispensation is that we actually have, in Baha'u'llah's own words, a record of how the Holy Spirit descended upon a Messenger of God. In this wonderful description, He said, "...I felt as if something flowed from the crown of My head over My breast, even as a mighty torrent that precipitateth itself upon the earth from the summit of a lofty mountain."

There He was, in the depths of the dungeon. It was practically impossible for Him to be any lower, even though He didn't refer to it as the Most Great Prison, a designation He saved for Akka. And what did He do? Did He complain because He was "too high" for such treatment, used to the silk brocades and good foods offered Him as a nobleman? No. He comforted those around Him, taught them to sing the verses of God in such circumstances, and accepted whatever came His way. He was the very essence of humility in circumstances that were meant to humiliate.

Oh, it is worth noting that humility comes from within, while humiliation is imposed from outside. They are not the same at all. We can place ourselves in a position of humility, while humiliation comes from others trying to impose it upon us.

And it was while He was in that prison, humble before all creation, that those powers flowed from the crown of His head over His breast. It was while He was in that position, in that circumstance, that all power flowed to Him.

This is where I believe we are created in His image.

If we recognize our own position in life, lowly before God, then the chance that these same forces will aid us is good. But if we brag about what little we have done, boast before the world our meager accomplishments, then those same powers will flow away from us.

I believe that Marielle is correct. We need to prepare ourselves, study and work hard to accomplish what we do, whether it is in the teaching realm or in our daily lives. But if we think that it all comes from us, if we let our insistent ego get out of control, then those mysterious forces that give us the inspiration we require will flee from our very presence.

Yeah, this is definitely an area I need to study more: the relationship between the ego and humility. Thanks Marielle.

Oh, and you, too, mysterious forces on high. Thanks.

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