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Old 09-09-2010, 05:30 PM   #1
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The Splendour, Glory, and Gifts of God

Tonight, I was mowing the yard. A monotonous task perscribed to me, yet one that I cheerfully accept. While doing this, my thoughts wandered to God and my new "official" religion. I went around the yard once, and was beginning to ponder the saying "allah-u-abha." Suddenly, I came to this large, beautifully healthy pine tree. The sound of my motor was disturbing some equally beautiful life in the pine tree- migrating Monarch butterflies. At least one hundred butterflies came into the clearing, and suddenly I felt like something else, something more, was in this secluded section of my yard. I turned my head to look at the section of the tree closest to me, and there was a beautiful specimen slowly stretching his wings in preparation for flight. The butterflies soared silently to a different tree, searching for safety. My soul soared.


This is truly a gift of the glorious, splendorous God.
 
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Old 09-09-2010, 07:53 PM   #2
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Well, you're in luck. It turns out that Baha'i books have some butterfly references. Butterflies and moths are considered symbols of true love because they love light so much that they will fly close to a flame even if it singes their wings. And the transformation of caterpillar into butterfly is a symbol of spiritual rebirth.


In the animal world we see the same on every hand,
as when the grub suddenly changes into a butterfly, the chick
emerges from its shell, or the babe is born from its mother's
womb. In the higher life of the soul we often see a similar transformation,
when a man is "born again" and his whole being becomes
radically changes in its aims, its character and activities.
Such critical stages often affect a whole species or multitude of
species simultaneously, as when vegetation of all kinds suddenly
bursts into new life in springtime.

(Dr. J.E. Esslemont, Baha'u'llah and the New Era, p. 118)

For example, once the Sun of Reality poured forth its rays from the sign of Abraham, and then it dawned from the sign of Moses and illuminated the horizon. Afterward it rose with the greatest power and brilliancy from the sign of Christ. Those who were the seekers of Reality worshiped that Reality wherever they saw it, but those who were attached to Abraham were deprived of its influences when it shone upon Sinai and illuminated the reality of Moses. Those who held fast to Moses, when the Sun of Reality shone from Christ with the utmost radiance and lordly splendor, were also veiled; and so forth.

Therefore, man must be the seeker after the Reality, and he will find that Reality in each of the Sanctified Souls. He must be fascinated and enraptured, and attracted to the divine bounty; he must be like the butterfly who is the lover of the light from whatever lamp it may shine, and like the nightingale who is the lover of the rose in whatever garden it may grow.

(Abdu'l-Baha, Some Answered Questions, p. 76)

In this blessed period, when the light of the endless bounties is illuminating the dark world, some souls, like the butterfly, circled round the Divine Lamp and with perfect yearning sacrificed their lives.

I ask of God that thou mayest be one of those souls, so that the rays of knowledge will shine forth from thy face to those regions and will be the cause of guiding the seekers of Reality.

(Abdu'l-Baha, Tablets of Abdu'l-Baha v2, p. 250)


The everlasting Candle shineth in its naked glory. Behold how it hath consumed every mortal veil. O ye moth-like lovers of His light! Brave every danger, and consecrate your souls to its consuming flame. O ye that thirst after Him! Strip yourselves of every earthly affection, and hasten to embrace your Beloved. With a zest that none can equal make haste to attain unto Him. The Flower, thus far hidden from the sight of men, is unveiled to your eyes. In the open radiance of His glory He standeth before you. His voice summoneth all the holy and sanctified beings to come and be united with Him. Happy is he that turneth thereunto; well is it with him that hath attained, and gazed on the light of so wondrous a countenance.

(Baha'u'llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 321)
 
Old 09-09-2010, 07:54 PM   #3
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Hmm. Might have this been a sign from God? May I interpret it that way?
 
Old 09-09-2010, 08:31 PM   #4
bwb
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You didn't need my help to find those quotations, by the way. Just download a copy of Ocean:
Ocean - World Religions Free Research Library

search terms: butterfly
moth(gleanings)
 
Old 09-12-2010, 04:44 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pheonixduprese View Post
Hmm. Might have this been a sign from God? May I interpret it that way?
Sorry, I have no way of knowing the answer to that question. It's possible.

"91 GUIDANCE (Question of)

"The question of Guidance is a very subtle one. We cannot be positive that an impulse or a dream is guidance. We can seek, through earnest prayer and longing, sincerely to do God's will, His guidance. We can try, as you say, to emulate the Master and at all times live up to the teachings, but we cannot be sure that doing these things we are still making no mistakes and are perfectly guided. These things help us not to make so many mistakes and to receive more directly the guidance God seeks to give us."

(Shoghi Effendi, Directives from the Guardian, p. 35)
 
Old 09-12-2010, 06:26 PM   #6
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Phoenix,

Mowing the lawn? My usual task.. I've yet to meet many Monarch butterflies but we do have some toad stools... Does that count?

:cool
 
Old 09-12-2010, 06:56 PM   #7
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Mowing the lawn? My usual task.. I've yet to meet many Monarch butterflies but we do have some toad stools... Does that count?
:cool
Sorry, but toad stools do not count as a sign from God, and you are therefore going to straight to hell. (Just kidding, of course.)
 
Old 09-13-2010, 12:17 PM   #8
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:O You said hell! That is a forbidden word, mister!
 
Old 09-13-2010, 12:35 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by pheonixduprese View Post
:O You said hell! That is a forbidden word, mister!
If a word like hell bothers you, you must have a hard time watching television. :wacko :lol
 
Old 09-17-2010, 10:20 AM   #10
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The everlasting Candle shineth in its naked glory. Behold how it hath consumed every mortal veil. O ye moth-like lovers of His light!
The paragraph before this quotation contains a worthwhile reminder of the importance of not wasting time (your own, or other people's), considering the relative brevity of our lives in this world:

"Night hath succeeded day, and day hath succeeded night, and the hours and moments of your lives have come and gone, and yet none of you hath, for one instant, consented to detach himself from that which perisheth. Bestir yourselves, that the brief moments that are still yours may not be dissipated and lost. Even as the swiftness of lightning your days shall pass, and your bodies shall be laid to rest beneath a canopy of dust. What can ye then achieve? How can ye atone for your past failure?"

(Baha'u'llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 321)
 
Old 09-17-2010, 11:11 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by pheonixduprese View Post
Hmm. Might have this been a sign from God? May I interpret it that way?
I think the response of your mind, body, and spirit to your experience answers that question for you - is not every rainbow both a sign and a promise from God that He will be with us always?

Baha'is are encouraged to pray and meditate on the Writings daily so that we may come to our own and personal understanding of their many meanings.
You don't need our permission to interpret it that way, all you can expect from us is only our warm gratitude for sharing your beautiful experience - it truly touched my heart!

Just another little sip from the "Wine of Astonishment" - the real thing this time - not my whiny wordplay!

And Baha'u'llah encourages you to "drink deep" because nothing pleased him more than being outdoors and communing with nature.
 
Old 09-17-2010, 11:17 AM   #12
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:O You said hell! That is a forbidden word, mister!
You should have heard me yesterday when I seriously stubbed my toe! Do the words 'like a foul-mouthed drunken Greek sailor' conjure up any images for you...?
So, ummm.... where is the 'embarassed' emoticon when you need it?
 
Old 09-17-2010, 11:30 AM   #13
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nothing pleased him more than being outdoors and communing with nature.
Nothing pleased Baha'u'llah more than being outdoors and communing with nature and mowing the lawn? LOL :rolleyes
 
Old 09-17-2010, 11:41 AM   #14
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Nothing pleased Baha'u'llah more than being outdoors and communing with nature and mowing the lawn? LOL :rolleyes
Who's to say He wouldn't have enjoyed 'mowing the lawn'? if He had a lawnmower....

I think we used to call them 'goats and sheep' back then - have you ever had good old-fashioned roasted lawnmower on a spit before? It's yummy! I'll bet it tastes much better than Cole's shiny lawnmower ....:wink
 
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