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Old 08-25-2017, 09:14 AM   #1
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Reflections on the First Counsel

O SON OF SPIRIT! My first counsel is this: Possess a pure, kindly and radiant heart, that thine may be a sovereignty ancient, imperishable and everlasting.

I guess that Hidden Words is one of the most popular books of Bahá'u'lláh... I received a beautiful copy when welcomed by my local spiritual Assembly. Through its apparent simplicity, I believe I'm starting to absorb different layers of meaning. I would like to share my reflections on the "First Counsel", the very opening of the book that has touched me and shaken me.



A Heart

My heart is the stage in which Hidden Words flow, verse after verse. All Sacred Writings in their perfection, all human history and its achievements, all the universe and its glory, cannot replace my heart as the place where the purpose of God for me finds fulfillment. Bahá'u'lláh will ask me to possess a heart with certain attributes, so that I can gain true ownership of my life. Let us see how His Blessed Beauty does it.


A Pure Heart


Purity means freedom from contamination. Anything that is not part of the nature of something, pollutes it. For example, lead or mercury are not part of the nature of water. Hence, pure water cannot have lead or mercury . My nature is Light (knowledge, rationality). My nature is Goodness (love, spirituality). My nature is such that, if revealed without interference , anyone could say "Truly, He was created in the image of God".
Bahá'u'lláh asks me to keep my heart free form pollutants that are not part of my nature so that my true nature may unfold and develop in all its potential.

A Kind Heart

Once I discover my nature, the logical thing is to discover the same nature in other people around me: those I interact at the workplace, at school, at home. Kindness entails treating them with the same love I treat myself. Kindness is the result of opening my eyes to the reality of the person in front of me, and reaching out to her, with the implicit purpose of loving her true self, whether I like or not her apparent self.

A Radiant Heart

Once I lit my lamp, I don't need to take it close to every single object I want to illuminate. A radiant lamp just shines upon everything within its reach. A radiant heart inspires other people not because I deliberately do something special for them but for the very sake of my existence. People witness the way I live, and this is enough: they profit from my light, even when I am not conscious of it.

Purity, Kindness, Radiance in sequence

These three attributes of the heart always come in the same order uttered by Bahá'u'lláh. To possess such a heart, I must go from loving myself to loving my neighbors, so that I can become Love for all beings, whether I know them or not. The light and the warmth of the lamp can only come from the combustion occurring inside.



Sovereignty

Sovereignty is the right to rule. I'm being promised by Bahá'u'lláh that if I possess a pure, kindly and radiant heart, I will get the right to rule .... but to rule over what?
I cannot rule over other people's mind or property. I cannot rule over the moons of Saturn... not even over the molecules of oxygen I am breathing.
I can only rule over what I possess. But then, my possessions are subject to fast decay and corruption, while the sovereignty I am being promised has certain attributes...

Ancient, imperishable and everlasting

The only thing I could truly possess is my soul (my heart, to follow the metaphor from Hidden Words).
However it is God, who knew me and loved me long before creating me, who possesses the ancient, unperishable and everlasting sovereignty of my soul.

Now it comes the miracle: God has decided to share that sovereignty with me. He invites me (the true me, not the polluted me) to dwell with Him in my heart and become as One. He says: "This is my throne: the throne of Existence. Come and sit, right next to me, so that you may live with me and rule with me forever. From now on, my Kingdom is Our Kingdom."
"Thy Paradise is My love; thy heavenly home, reunion with Me. Enter therein and tarry not. This is that which hath been destined for thee in Our kingdom above and Our exalted dominion."
"O, son of Man! Thou art My dominion and My dominion perisheth not"
"O Son of Man! The temple of being is My throne; cleanse it of all things, that there I may be established and there I may abide. Oh Son of Being! Thy heart is My home; sanctify it for My descent. Thy spirit is My place of revelation; cleanse it for My manifestation."
'He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne" (Revelation 3:21)
Sovereignty over my life requires a new heart

I used to believe I was the ruler of my destiny. That was true only in part... in a small part. In reality, I am still a slave of so many things!
My instincts, emotions and fears, my irrational beliefs... all of that controls good part of my behaviour. Those things, when not identified, end up polluting my heart, alienating me from others, dimming my light, bringing me suffering!

Where have I been all this time, O God, thinking that I am independent, manager of my own projects, creator of each one of my thoughts and acts! I am in no way self-subsisting.
Oh God, create in me a new heart: pure, kindly, radiant. Thou, and no other, art the Self-Subsistent, The Sovereign.


Last edited by camachoe; 08-25-2017 at 10:27 AM.
 
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Old 08-25-2017, 10:59 PM   #2
Tony Bristow-Stagg
 
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Thank you for the thoughts. Reading you thoughts brought this quote to mind.

Be thankful to God for having enabled you to recognise His Cause. Whoever has received blessing must, prior to his acceptance, have performed some deed which though he himself was unaware of its character, was ordained by God as a means whereby he has been guided to find and embrace the Truth. As to those who have remained deprived of such blessing, their acts alone have hindered them from recognising the truth of this Revelation. (Bahá’u’lláh, The Dawnbreakers, p. 586)

My thought is this must tie into the quoted Hidden Word.

Regards Tony
 
Old 09-03-2017, 05:45 AM   #3
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great great great .... thanks a million
 
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