Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Gems of Divine Mysteries - Study, paragraphs 21 - 25

Having imparted unto thee, beneath countless veils of concealment, certain hidden mysteries, We now return to Our elucidation of the Books of old, that perchance thy feet may not slip and thou mayest receive with complete certitude the portion which We shall bestow upon thee of the billowing oceans of life in the realm of the names and attributes of God. 21
This is an interesting paragraph. He seems to be telling the reader that He has already told him some of the divine mysteries. So what were they? There are probably layers upon layers of meaning to this. It could refer to the point about remembering why people denied the Messengers of the past. It could refer to some of those subtle pathways in the poetical descriptors. It could refer to His own oblique references to His Station. Either way, what He has already revealed here is "beneath countless veils of concealment". To me, this is a good indication to keep reading, keep looking, keep studying. There is far more here than meets the eye.

It is recorded in all the Books of the Gospel that He Who is the Spirit spoke in words of pure light unto His disciples, saying: “Know that heaven and earth may pass away, but my words shall never pass away.” As is clear and evident to thine eminence, these words outwardly mean that the Books of the Gospel will remain in the hands of people till the end of the world, that their laws shall not be abrogated, that their testimony shall not be abolished, and that all that hath been enjoined, prescribed, or ordained therein shall endure forever. 22
Now we're going back to the Gospel, and He is drawing our attention to this singular quote, and even gives us the outward meaning, that meaning which has been such a veil to so many people for so long.

O My brother! Sanctify thy heart, illumine thy soul, and sharpen thy sight, that thou mayest perceive the sweet accents of the Birds of Heaven and the melodies of the Doves of Holiness warbling in the Kingdom of eternity, and perchance apprehend the inner meaning of these utterances and their hidden mysteries. For otherwise, wert thou to interpret these words according to their outward meaning, thou couldst never prove the truth of the Cause of Him Who came after Jesus, nor silence the opponents, nor prevail over the contending disbelievers. For the Christian divines use this verse to prove that the Gospel shall never be abrogated and that, even if all the signs recorded in their Books were fulfilled and the Promised One appeared, He would have no recourse but to rule the people according to the ordinances of the Gospel. They contend that if He were to manifest all the signs indicated in the Books, but decree aught besides that which Jesus had decreed, they would neither acknowledge nor follow Him, so clear and self-evident is this matter in their sight. 23
"Sanctify thy heart..." This is the beginning of the Kitab-i-Iqan, later on in His writings. It is, in so many ways, the starting point on the path to truth. If we sanctify our heart, then we have a chance of illuminating our soul. And only then can our eyesight be truly sharp. Only then can we hear those divine Birds, the Manifestations of God. And only when we truly hear Them, listen to what They say with an open mind, striving to understand, can we begin to understand the meaning behind these words. Without the sanctification of our soul, we never even have the chance of stepping on this path.

Here Baha'u'llah is not only referring to the Christians denying Muhammad, but He is also alluding to the Muslims denying the Bab, just in case that wasn't obvious. but yes, I'm sure it was. That's just me, Mr Obvious, during the Fast.

This is an instance, according to Baha'u'llah, where they have "tied up the hands" of God, trying to force Him to act according to their standards, never realizing that Jesus, Himself, did not accord to the standards of men.

Thou canst indeed hear the learned and the foolish amongst the people voice the same objections in this day, saying: “The sun hath not risen from the West, nor hath the Crier cried out betwixt earth and heaven. Water hath not inundated certain lands; the Dajjál hath not appeared; Sufyání hath not arisen; nor hath the Temple been witnessed in the sun.” I heard, with Mine own ears, one of their divines proclaim: “Should all these signs come to pass and the long-awaited Qá’im appear, and should He ordain, with respect to even our secondary laws, aught beyond that which hath been revealed in the Qur’án, we would assuredly charge Him with imposture, put Him to death, and refuse forever to acknowledge Him”, and other statements such as these deniers make. And all this, when the Day of Resurrection hath been ushered in, and the Trumpet hath been sounded, and all the denizens of earth and heaven have been gathered together, and the Balance hath been appointed, and the Bridge hath been laid, and the Verses have been sent down, and the Sun hath shone forth, and the stars have been blotted out, and the souls have been raised to life, and the breath of the Spirit hath blown, and the angels have been arrayed in ranks, and Paradise hath been brought nigh, and Hell made to blaze! These things have all come to pass, and yet to this day not a single one of these people hath recognized them! They all lie as dead within their own shrouds, save those who have believed and repaired unto God, who rejoice in this day in His celestial paradise, and who tread the path of His good-pleasure. 24
Ah, there we go. See? What did I tell you? The objections of the Christians to Muhammad are the same objections of the Muslims to the Bab.

But there is more to it than just that, of course. Once again, He is not just tossing off random phrases alluding to the End Times. He is laying out a path for us. The Day has dawned, and the Trumpet is calling the people to gather together. The Balance is marching them forward, dividing them into their respective groups. How? By their reaction to the divine Verses. As the Day progresses from sunrise towards full morning, as the stars once visible in the dark night-sky are no longer seen, everyone is coming to join this throng. And as they join, they are all being divided into their groups. The Spiritual breezes are gently blowing in the morning and those that are deemed "angels", those that have reacted favorably to these manifest Verses, are arrayed as an army, the Army of Light. They are the ones that will bring into being Paradise, here on earth.

But there is one last phrase: "...and Hell made to blaze!" We often read this as if some people go off to heaven and others go down to hell. But I don't think that's what He is saying. It seems to me that a truer Hell is right here in our midst, blazing away, consuming those that are caught up in the fires of their own passions. Whether these passions find their origin in political or religious fanaticism, whether they are the effect of greed or lust, addiction or ego, these passions are destroying all they effect. We see it so clearly around us today, not just in the time of the Blessed Beauty. "These things have all come to pass..." As we read the news, or our social media feeds, or even talk to those people on the streets, we see countless masses who appear as if dead to the true world of the spirit. It really does seem to be only a few "who rejoice in this day".

Veiled as they remain within their own selves, the generality of the people have failed to perceive the sweet accents of holiness, inhale the fragrance of mercy, or seek guidance, as bidden by God, from those who are the custodians of the Scriptures. He proclaimeth, and His word, verily, is the truth: “Ask ye, therefore, of them that have the custody of the Scriptures, if ye know it not.” Nay rather, they have turned aside from them and followed instead the Sámirí of their own idle fancies. Thus have they strayed far from the mercy of their Lord and failed to attain unto His Beauty in the day of His presence. For no sooner had He come unto them with a sign and a testimony from God than the same people who had eagerly awaited the day of His Revelation, who had called upon Him in the daytime and in the night season, who had implored Him to gather them together in His presence and to grant that they may lay down their lives in His path, be led aright by His guidance and illumined by His light—this very people condemned and reviled Him, and inflicted upon Him such cruelties as transcend both My capacity to tell and thine ability to hear them. My very pen crieth out at this moment and the ink weepeth sore and groaneth. By God! Wert thou to hearken with thine inner ear, thou wouldst in truth hear the lamentations of the denizens of heaven; and wert thou to remove the veil from before thine eyes, thou wouldst behold the Maids of Heaven overcome and the holy souls overwhelmed, beating upon their faces and fallen upon the dust. 25
Once again, He tells us to not take His word for it. Check with those whose job it is to know the scriptures. You will see that He really is telling the truth. These things He is saying really are in the Gospels. The Christians really have said these things in regard to Islam. The Muslims really are saying these things about the Bab. It's still true today.

This, in so many ways, is the ultimate expression of the importance of the independent investigation of truth. A Messenger of God is telling us, in His own words, to not take His word for it. See what He is pointing out, and then verify it for yourself.

Wonderful. Truly wonderful.

No comments:

Post a Comment