Saturday, March 10, 2018

Gems of Divine Mysteries - Study, paragraphs 42 - 45

Wow. Paragraph 42 out of 117, or age 32 out of 78. Depends on how I want to count it. And another beautiful sunrise happening this morning.

In case you don't know, and I'm not sure how you would, I'm actually doing this while I'm eating my breakfast in the morning before sunrise. It slows down my eating, which is a good thing, and it gets me to consider what I'm going to type before putting pen to paper.... uhm..... fingers to keys.

Anyways, let's get to it.

Hast thou not heard: “No change is there in God’s creation”? Hast thou not read: “No change canst thou find in God’s mode of dealing”? Hast thou not borne witness to the truth: “No difference wilt thou see in the creation of the God of Mercy”? Yea, by My Lord! They that dwell within this Ocean, they that ride upon this Ark, witness no change in the creation of God and behold no differences upon His earth. And if God’s creation be not prone to change and alteration, how then could they who are the Manifestations of His own Being be subject to it? Immeasurably exalted is God above all that we may conceive of the Revealers of His Cause, and immensely glorified is He beyond all that they may mention in His regard! 42
Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

External appearances may seem different, but the inner realities are always the same. This is part of the reality that is meant by the "Return". The phenotypes are always there. The drama is always the played out in a similar manner. The choice of whether to cling to the past or work towards the future is an eternal question.

We, as puny individuals, are always caught up in the differences, the surface things, but the Manifestations are far more concerned with the heart of things.

And I love the reference to Noah here, that reminder of the importance of being within the Ark of safety when the storms disturb the surface of the ocean. Just remember what happened to those who decided not to join Him.

Great God! This sea had laid up lustrous pearls in store;
The wind hath raised a wave that casteth them ashore.
So put away thy robe and drown thyself therein,
And cease to boast of skill: it serveth thee no more!
It is only after the tempestuous storms that you can find these great pearls on the shore. Otherwise you have to dive deep in the ocean to even have a chance at finding one of the oysters that may carry one in its heart.

But here, He is also telling us to drown ourselves in this ocean, completely lose ourselves to God, for nothing else is worth mentioning.

If thou be of the inmates of this city within the ocean of divine unity, thou wilt view all the Prophets and Messengers of God as one soul and one body, as one light and one spirit, in such wise that the first among them would be last and the last would be first. For they have all arisen to proclaim His Cause and have established the laws of divine wisdom. They are, one and all, the Manifestations of His Self, the Repositories of His might, the Treasuries of His Revelation, the Dawning-Places of His splendour, and the Daysprings of His light. Through them are manifested the signs of sanctity in the realities of all things and the tokens of oneness in the essences of all beings. Through them are revealed the elements of glorification in the heavenly realities and the exponents of praise in the eternal essences. From them hath all creation proceeded and unto them shall return all that hath been mentioned. And since in their inmost Beings they are the same Luminaries and the self-same Mysteries, thou shouldst view their outward conditions in the same light, that thou mayest recognize them all as one Being, nay, find them united in their words, speech, and utterance. 44
"This city within the ocean"? This just brings to mind all the myths of Atlantis, that wonderous city beneath the waves. Perhaps He is alluding to spiritual reality here, reminding us that it is not a physical city that we can visit with our little travel guide. No, this city is spiritual in nature and it is through the rich language of metaphor that we can arrive at its gates.

And here, in this paragraph, we have such a beautiful stating of one of the most fundamental principles of Baha'u'llah's teachings: the unity of the Messengers. First, He describes what They have done, Their deeds. Then He describes Their Station. Next He describes Their effect on creation. Then He describes the effect of Their teachings on us, how They guide us. And then He finishes with how They are both the beginning and the end, how all-encompassing They are. Oh, and then, just in case we hadn't thought of it, He explains how we should react to what He just said. If you love one, you should love them all. If you follow one, you should follow them all.

Wert thou to consider in this station the last of them to be the first, or conversely, thou wouldst indeed be speaking the truth, as hath been ordained by Him Who is the Wellspring of Divinity and the Source of Lordship: “Say: Call upon God or call upon the All-Merciful: by whichsoever name ye will, invoke him, for He hath most excellent names.” For they are all the Manifestations of the name of God, the Dawning-Places of His attributes, the Repositories of His might, and the Focal Points of His sovereignty, whilst God—magnified be His might and glory—is in His Essence sanctified above all names and exalted beyond even the loftiest attributes. Consider likewise the evidences of divine omnipotence both in their Souls and in their human Temples, that thine heart may be assured and that thou mayest be of them that speed through the realms of His nearness. 45
But don't confuse Them with God, Himself. Everything we thought we knew about God is actually what we know about His Manifestations. If we revere Jesus, this is good, but God is exalted even above Him. If we love the names and attributes of God, we should remember that these are but a creation of His, and He is exalted above those. Everything we know and love about God we actually know and love about His Messengers. God is so much more.

Now, I was planning on doing a couple more paragraphs this morning, but the next one begins "I shall restate here My theme", so it is probably better to begin with that tomorrow.

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