Friday, March 9, 2012

Even More Ahd Thoughts

It's 12:30, in the middle of the Fast. As I said, I'm looking at the Kitab-i-Ahd during my lunchtime and hoping to get a slightly better understanding of it. Today, however, I'm not sure how that's going to go. (I was going to write "gonna go", but I thought I might as well try and be a bit more grammatically correct. I am well edumicated, after all.) I'm quite a bit hungrier than I expected, and cold. I suspect this afternoon is going to be tough. Ah well. It's good for the soul, right? Whatever doesn't kill us makes us stronger? (Or as a friend of mine used to say, "Whatever doesn't kill me better run faster than I do.") So if I begin babbling a bit, blame it on the Fast. That's what I do.

I'm not going to reprint any of the Tablet here because I did that yesterday. At least, I reprinted the first part of it, and if you don't know what that means, well, read the article because I don't want to repeat myself here. If you want to read the part of the Tablet I'm looking at today, and I highly recommend you do (of course you, dear Reader, probably have it memorized), then just scroll down a bit. It should be there in the next article down.

Now, where was I? Oh yes, the third paragraph.

In paragraph 1, He points out that His heritage is a spiritual one, not a material one. In the second paragraph, He describes how we are to act if we want to arise to claim this lofty station that should be ours. Now, in this third paragraph, He defines the "people of Baha". This is, I think, different from the people of the Book, or the people of some other adjective. Even though all the religions are, in a very deep sense, one, there is still a distinction between them in this realm. These "people of Baha" are specifically those who are receptive to the stirrings of the spirit and turned towards Baha'u'llah. This is, to me, what it means when He refers to inhaling the fragrance of His garment, and why we grasp that chalice in His name. It is interesting to me to note that He isn't condemning anyone else here. He isn't saying that everyone else has missed the boat, or anything else derogatory in any way whatsoever. It is obvious that people of other faiths can, of course, be receptive and stirred by the spirit. We only need to look at Gandhi or Mother Teresa to recognize that. But the people of Baha are specifically those who have recognized Baha'u'llah.

After this, in paragraph 4, He goes on and reminds us that religion is for love and unity. It should never be the cause of discord or enmity. While some may feel that He is specifically warning the unfaithful half-brothers of 'Abdu'l-Baha, I think He is also warning us. To start, He addresses this paragraph to all who dwell on earth, and we sure fit into that category. And while it is probably true that those unfaithful members of His family were raised by their mother to be jealous of the Master, they are by no means the only ones.

Everything we need to safeguard humanity, everything we need to learn to be truly and deeply happy has already been revealed. We just need to recognize it. And that doesn't mean just reading the words, but striving to understand them even more deeply, learning to apply them, making them a part of our heart and soul. But this is the last of what He has written. I think this is, in no uncertain terms, a clear reminder to go back and study what He has written. There is nothing else that He needed to write. He has done His job, and now it is up to us.

You see, dear Reader, virtually every time I have read this Tablet in the past, I have seen these paragraphs as separate from each other, distinct, incoherent in the order in which they were revealed. Today, now, I am striving to see the coherency in it, for I know it must be there.

By outlining the paragraphs and recalling what has come before, this coherency seems to be becoming more evident. But this is, of course, just me.

It is quite possible that this clarity is also a result of the Fast, for good or ill. I think it's time for me to get warm. Enjoy the rest of your day, and happy fasting.

No comments:

Post a Comment