Friday, August 26, 2011

A Hidden Word (Number 66)

You know, I've spent a lot of time lately writing about all sorts of things that are bouncing around in my head, but I haven't spent a lot of time looking at the Writings here. Time to fix that. I think it's time that I get back to what I really wanted to write about when I first started this blog: the Faith.

I was reading through the Hidden Words the other day and ran across one of those pieces that just confused the bejeebies out me when I was investigating. Still does, actually.
Ye shall be hindered from loving Me and souls shall be perturbed as they make mention of Me. For minds cannot grasp Me nor hearts contain Me.

To start, who is He addressing? The "children of the divine and invisible essence"? I can only presume that this refers to all of us. After all, He does say that we are created noble, and speaks at length about our spiritual creation. So that's fairly easy. I'm certain He is referring to all of us.

Alright. That last paragraph sounded like I didn't really know that. Of course I did. I mean, as far as I can tell, Baha'u'llah only addressed us human-type people. But let's get back to that phrase for a moment: When you hear the phrase "child of the divine and invisible essence", do you really think of yourself? Can you actually picture yourself as a "child of the divine and invisible essence"? I don't know about you, but that sure doesn't sound like my image of myself.

It seems to me that this is yet another one of those moments in which Baha'u'llah is asking us to reconceptualize how we envision ourselves, not to mention others. If we were to truly see ourselves as a child of that "divine and invisible essence", wouldn't we act a bit differently than we usually do? And if we saw each other as those "children of the divine and invisible essence", wouldn't we generally treat each other a bit better than we do? I won't even go into the whole idea of how we would begin to really see ourselves as siblings if we recognize that we are all children of the same "divine and invisible" etcetera etcetera. (Come on, how many times do you want me to type that?)

But what about the next phrase? We will be hindered from loving Him? Ok. That just confuses me, so I might as well start where I usually do: with the definition of a word.

"Hindered" means to either delay or stop something from happening. As I don't think He means that we will never be able to love God, I can only presume He means the delaying aspect of the word. Or perhaps that we shall never be able to love God as much as we would like. Our hearts are just too small to be able to truly love God as He deserves.

But there may be another aspect to that, too: peer pressure.

In this world, where the "vitality of men's belief in God is dying out in every land", it is getting harder and harder to be able to believe in God. There are so many people who feel that it is archaic, or somehow non-scientific, to recognize God. There is this growing sense of feeling that it is somehow wrong to believe, without recognizing that what is really happening is that we are growing into a more mature understanding of our Creator and of creation.

On the other hand, there is also this growing pocket of fanaticism in various religious groups around the world. More and more are not only becoming increasingly judgemental, they are also threatening to inflict, or actually perpetuating, serious injury upon those believe differently. This not only has the effect of dividing people according to bizarre lines of belief, it also has the sense of ostracizing those of more moderate beliefs.

All of this becomes a hindrance in our ability to openly talk about God. Many become "perturbed as they make mention of Me".

Here in the West, we are told that the two things we should not openly talk about are religion and politics. Now, I can understand the latter, but the former? Just joking. Anything that causes people to speak angrily against each other is right out, but if we approach others with respect and love, we should be able to share our thoughts and views quite openly.

This is but one way in which we  can become perturbed when we mention God.

Another way is when we feel unworthy or ashamed of mentioning Him.

Aside: I remember, and have told before, the story of the member of the Universal House of Justice who was weeping because he felt he hadn't been able to do enough to serve the Cause. That is the type of "shame" I am speaking of here.
In the end, though, we know that God is too big for minds to grasp. Whatever we think God is, He is infinitely bigger. And anyone who says that they understand God has, as Baha'u'llah says, "testified to his own ignorance".

So even though I have a few meager thoughts about this Hidden Word, it still really is beyond me.

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