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Old 07-24-2017, 08:19 AM   #1
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How can I tell I love my neighbour?

I would like to reflect of this breathtaking quote from Abdul'Bahá, from Paris Talks:

The fourth is the love of man for man. The love which exists between the hearts of believers is prompted by the ideal of the unity of spirits. This love is attained through the knowledge of God, so that men see the Divine Love reflected in the heart.

Each sees in the other the Beauty of God reflected in the soul, and finding this point of similarity, they are attracted to one another in love. This love will make all men the waves of one sea, this love will make them all the stars of one heaven and the fruits of one tree. This love will bring the realization of true accord, the foundation of real unity.

But the love which sometimes exists between friends is not (true) love, because it is subject to transmutation; this is merely fascination. As the breeze blows, the slender trees yield. If the wind is in the East the tree leans to the West, and if the wind turns to the West the tree leans to the East. This kind of love is originated by the accidental conditions of life. This is not love, it is merely acquaintanceship; it is subject to change.

Today you will see two souls apparently in close friendship; tomorrow all this may be changed. Yesterday they were ready to die for one another, today they shun one another’s society! This is not love; it is the yielding of the hearts to the accidents of life. When that which has caused this “love” to exist passes, the love passes also; this is not in reality love.


When I read it, I realize that Love is indeed not an attraction driven by the sex appeal, or the intellect, or the temper, hobbies or interests of the other person. All of this changes, or disappears from our horizon, or ceases to exist.

Love is about finding God in the other person ("The Beauty of God reflected in the soul") and treating her as such.
If I love with that kind of Love, it will not matter if the other person turns fat, or old, or angry, or poor, or sentenced, or dead.
Such kind of Love can only proceed from the other three kinds of Love that Abdul Bahá refers to in his wonderful talk.

Following from another thread in which I mentioned the story of Jesus and the blind from birth, I've found another meaning to the answer of Jesus when asked on whether it had been that man or his parents who had committed a sin. Jesus answered that neither he nor his parents... such blindness was there so that "the glory of God" (Bahá'u'llah, in Arabic) could be manifested.

While the blindness and poverty of that man was transient, the Glory of God present in him was permanent. Jesus saw that glory, loved him with that kind of Love, and so that moved Him to help him.

It is no coincidence that Mizrá Hussein Ali bears the name of Bahá'u'lláh or Blessed Beauty. In the current dispensation, he prompts us to love mankind by identifying in each one of our human fellows the spark of the Beauty and Glory (Bahá) of God, and treating them as such.
Accepting Bahá'u'lláh is not only about revering an individual born in Teheran and ascended in Akká. It is about revering Him in everyone.

Last edited by camachoe; 07-24-2017 at 08:45 AM.
 
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Old 07-24-2017, 01:02 PM   #2
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Yes, it is seeing the Beauty of Baha'u'llah in everyone. To do so, we need to overlook their faults and be attracted to their good points.
 
Old 07-24-2017, 01:09 PM   #3
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Thank you for posting, a good topic to discuss.

This is the advice in the Holy Books of God. Christ said look for good in all things and hold fast to what is good and Christ then also says there is none good but God.

It is good when all the pearls that lay in the Ocean of Gods Words can be found the more we search.
 
Old 07-24-2017, 04:28 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duane View Post
Yes, it is seeing the Beauty of Baha'u'llah in everyone. To do so, we need to overlook their faults and be attracted to their good points.
The Cause of God hath never had any place for denouncing others as infidel or profligate, nor hath it allowed anyone to humiliate or belittle another. Contend and wrangle not with any man, and seek ye not the abasement of any soul. Disparage not anyone’s name, and wish no harm upon anyone. Defile not your tongues with calumny, and engage ye not in backbiting. Lift not the veil from the doings of others, and so long as a person professeth to be steadfast, remonstrate not with him, nor expose him. (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, provisional translation quoted in the Universal House of Justice, 2001 Apr 18, Clarification of Various Issues Raised by Provisional Translations, p. 2)

The most hateful characteristic of man is fault-finding. (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Star of the West, Vol. IV, No.11, p. 192)

Vicious criticism is indeed a calamity. But its root is lack of faith in the system of Bahá’u’lláh, i.e., the Administrative Order — and lack of obedience to Him — for He has forbidden it! If the Bahá’ís would follow the Bahá’í laws . . . all this waste of strength through criticizing others could be diverted into cooperation and achieving the Plan. (Shoghi Effendi, Lights of Guidance, p. 91)

. . . abstain from criticizing and disparaging the manners, customs and beliefs of other individuals, peoples and nations. (Shoghi Effendi, Scholarship, p. 7)

Beware lest ye offend the feelings of anyone, or sadden the heart of any person, or move the tongue in reproach of and finding fault with anybody, whether he is friend or stranger, believer or enemy . . . Beware, beware that any one rebuke or reproach a soul, though he may be an ill-wisher and an ill-doer.
(Abdu’l-Bahá, Tablets of Abdu’l-Bahá v1, p. 44)

All religions teach that we should love one another; that we should seek out our own shortcomings before we presume to condemn the faults of others, that we must not consider ourselves superior to our neighbours! We must be careful not to exalt ourselves lest we be humiliated. (Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks, p. 147)

The Bahá’ís must learn to forget personalities and to overcome the desire – so natural in people – to take sides and fight about it. (Shoghi Effendi, The Light of Divine Guidance v I, p. 151)

From: Finding Fault and Blaming Others | Susan Gammage: Bahai-inspired Author
 
Old 07-25-2017, 04:07 AM   #5
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very beautiful and thought provoking topic. it gives me energy and felicity to think about this kind of love. thank you Camachoe.
 
Old 07-25-2017, 04:44 AM   #6
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I still think this love thing is overrated. Tolerance and really trying to understand the other person, to my mind at least, come first.

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Old 07-25-2017, 06:08 AM   #7
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I still think this love thing is overrated. Tolerance and really trying to understand the other person, to my mind at least, come first.

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gnat
I agree with you, gnat, in that tolerance and understanding come first. Then I would add action (resulting from such understanding).
Tolerance, understanding, and action constitute the core of Love.

Perhaps what is overrated is the kind of emotions popular culture try to place at the core of Love.

Love is about principles: the principles you stated. Emotions many times help but sometimes interfere or are neutral.
Little by little, after exercising Love enough, emotions come to align with principles, so that we start feeling naturally moved to do the right thing.

Last edited by camachoe; 07-25-2017 at 06:54 AM.
 
Old 07-26-2017, 03:44 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camachoe View Post
I agree with you, gnat, in that tolerance and understanding come first. Then I would add action (resulting from such understanding).
Tolerance, understanding, and action constitute the core of Love.

Perhaps what is overrated is the kind of emotions popular culture try to place at the core of Love.

Love is about principles: the principles you stated. Emotions many times help but sometimes interfere or are neutral.
Little by little, after exercising Love enough, emotions come to align with principles, so that we start feeling naturally moved to do the right thing.
We seem to be in perfect agreement. :-)

gnat
 
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