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Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Bahá'í Month of Honor

The Bahá'í Month of Honor is the nineteen day period beginning December 31.

“They who are the beloved of God, in whatever place they gather and whomsoever they may meet, must evince, in their attitude towards God, and in the manner of their celebration of His praise and glory, such humility and submissiveness that every atom of the dust beneath their feet may attest the depth of their devotion. The conversation carried by these holy souls should be informed with such power that these same atoms of dust will be thrilled by its influence. They should conduct themselves in such manner that the earth upon which they tread may never be allowed to address to them such words as these: "I am to be preferred above you. For witness, how patient I am in bearing the burden which the husbandman layeth upon me. I am the instrument that continually imparteth unto all beings the blessings with which He Who is the Source of all grace hath entrusted me. Notwithstanding the honor conferred upon me, and the unnumbered evidences of my wealth--a wealth that supplieth the needs of all creation--behold the measure of my humility, witness with what absolute submissiveness I allow myself to be trodden beneath the feet of men...."

-- Bahá'u'lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 7, 8

Only the eloquence of Bahá'u'lláh could permeate the most basic platform of human life with such power and spirituality, to the degree of becoming a reality check for all who would listen. Do not the words of that quote give one pause? I should hope so, since we are living in an age of awareness that has already rallied many humans to recognize that we must alter our destructive and wasteful ways which currently do little to benefit our Planet. In fact, most of our actions have a negative result on the physical qualities of the world we depend upon for life itself. Bahá'ís recognize that the foremost contributing factor to the world’s pollution is humanity’s spiritual shortcomings. While many sound the alarm of global warming, pointing to material solutions as the answer to solve the problem, we know that a change in the hearts of men, as foretold by Bahá'u'lláh, is the only true solution to the physical maladies of global imbalance.

Although I may have read the above quote at some point in my Bahá'í life, I have no recollection of it. When finding it recently, I was struck with its elemental goodness. This very paragraph would be a wonderful place to start for all those who want to do something about their world and themselves. “The conversation carried by these holy souls (remember, it the Baha’is of the world to whom this is addressed) should be informed with such power that these same atoms of dust will be thrilled by its influence.” Did you ever consider that the very earth we trod upon might be thrilled by the spiritual power of our influence? I never had. To me, Bahá'u'lláh is admonishing us in the very basest of terms, the degree that we should all aspire to in our reflection of His Teachings.

Our World’s composure was radically changed by the vibrating influence of Bahá'u'lláh’s Message for this Day, altering the life processes that our fathers and fore-fathers had learned to rely upon. We, as citizens of this recently altered world have not a clue of the magnitude of that alteration. No doubt, many of the Baha’is would find fault with that assessment. But do we really have a clue? Do we really understand the nuances of this Revelation that is the result of the release of 25 Letters of (God’s) Knowledge upon a hapless society? According to Holy Writ, the entire Adamic Cycle had released only two of those Letters. Along with the release of those 25 remaining Letters, humans became endowed with the capacity to live within the bounds of the marvels of that new presentation. I would presently opine that although humans will eventually be able to handle the new guidelines, at this point we are in what may be described as an embryonic status of understanding; we will eventually understand the requirements, but only have a glimmering of it now. As children go through succeeding levels of learning before understanding the complexities of life, adults now have new lessons to learn as well.

And so it is with all of us; we must first overcome our fear of water in order to progressively learn how to swim. I submit that meditating upon the enormity of the above paragraph could eventually guide us in the direction of beginning to understand the magnitude of grandeur that has been presented to us, and more importantly, the role that we must all present, to the best of our ability, in our acceptance and furtherance of the principles of this New World Order.

Hand of the Cause of God, Nosrat Bahremand, recently reminded us that we need to understand that believers of Bahá'u'lláh and followers of Bahá'u'lláh are two distinct categories. Do I dare suggest that the above quoted paragraph provides a further distinction for us to be aware of in our quest: that is that we must additionally become students of Bahá'u'lláh, beginning with the most basic truths of This Revelation. Acceptance of Bahá'u'lláh is only the beginning of a completely new avenue of life for us, and we need to begin at the most basic level of understanding to be able to truly comprehend its magnitude.

Hand of the Cause of God David Maxwell

3 comments:

Vonda said...

Thank you Mr. Maxwell for this thoughtful essay. I appreciate that it gave me perspective on the source and the magnitude of this present day political, economical and social mess that the world is in. Yes...we see that the world's equilibrium hath been shaken by the vibrating influence of Bahau'a'llah's Revelation. I appreciate that you have reminded me that responsibility ultimately rests upon the individual to "learn to live within the bounds of the marvels of that new presentation."

Sadly, the exceeding of the bounds of moderation can be everywhere discerned. We witness an extreme carelessness and wrecklessness with the Bounty of God on His earth. The prolific evil that has resulted, is smothering and oppressive to the human spirit. I personally am suffering with a debilitating depression, longing to be free of this Maya, this grand illusion.

Your essay offers me a brighter perspective. Thank you for this guidance. When I realize that I have "a role to present, to the best of my ability, in my acceptance and furtherance of the principles of this New World Order," then I see that I can only be responsible for how I live with the knowledge that He has so graciously bestowed upon me.

I have tendency to dwell critically upon the negative. I beleive that what we are experiencing spiritually in this world is the disclosing and purging of a greed that for centuries had been concealed from the masses. I am furious about this greed...It behooves me to become a student of Bahaullah,because I recognize that He is the source of this shaking out of greed on the earth. As long as I am His student, I can stand unshaken from the world's upset equilibrium.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Vonda, for your measured and insightful comments. I have been a Baha'i for many years, and am always so taken by the small gems I glean periodically from the Writings of the Three Central Figures of the Faith.

The Writings are so powerful that we may always find something of greater depth than we found before.

That in itself is a proof of the Station of Baha'u'llah and His Message. His Message has something for everyone, regardless of the time or situation of each who wants to enter therein.

David Maxwell

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