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Old 04-08-2018, 06:31 AM   #1
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Deepening: Hidden Words

Welcome to the first attempt at starting a forum-based deepening group. This thread/group will cover the Hidden Words of Bahá'u'lláh. Each week there will be an "assigned reading", set every Sunday, and over the following week we will discuss the verses we read within the thread.

If you need a copy of the Hidden Words, you can find one online here: The Hidden Words. If for some reason you can't access the above site, send me a private message and I'll see what I can do to get you the text!

I don't know what everyone's reading speed is like, so since this is the first week, we'll do five verses. As we go forward and get a better idea on how much we have to talk about, we can increase or decrease the number of verses per week as needed. For this week then (4/8/2018-4/14/2018 ~ Bahá 19/175-Jalál 6/175) our assignment will be the Arabic Verses 1-5, including the Arabic Preamble.

The Preamble is important, since it tells us in Bahá'u'lláh's own words exactly what this book is! Since it is helpful in understanding the whole of the text, I'll post it here:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bahá'u'lláh, Arabic Hidden Words, Preamble
HE IS THE GLORY OF GLORIES

This is that which hath descended from the realm of glory, uttered by the tongue of power and might, and revealed unto the Prophets of old. We have taken the inner essence thereof and clothed it in the garment of brevity, as a token of grace unto the righteous, that they may stand faithful unto the Covenant of God, may fulfill in their lives His trust, and in the realm of spirit obtain the gem of Divine virtue.
The contents of the book is the "inner essence" of "that which hath descended from the realm of glory, uttered by the tongue of power and might, and revealed unto the Prophets of old" given in a form of brevity, that we might understand and know God better!

The Words are the essence of every revelation, and so through these brief, simple verses, we can theoretically understand all religion and revelation. It's a pretty awesome book, then, knowing what it is.

Also if anyone caught it in the preamble, "GLORY OF GLORIES", if I'm not mistaken would be "Bahá’u’l-Abhá", the Greatest Name.

Feel free to share any thoughts you have about the Preamble or the verses. I'll do so as well, and then we can discuss!

Last edited by Walrus; 04-10-2018 at 05:49 AM.
 
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Old 04-08-2018, 06:52 AM   #2
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My thoughts on the individual verses:

Verse 1

This is, according to Bahá'u'lláh, the very first thing God wants us to know. "His first council."

I've been studying alchemy, so the words "imperishable and everlasting" make me think of the goal of spiritual immortality sought by the alchemists. It is interesting to me that the "first council", in a single sentence, spells out the key to eternal life and immortality, something people have been seeking out forever.

Verse 2

On this verse about justice, this line sticks out to me: "By its aid thou shalt see with thine own eyes and not through the eyes of others, and shalt know of thine own knowledge and not through the knowledge of thy neighbor."

It seems like it is saying that keeping justice in mind will protect us from the biases of others that might influence us.

Verse 3

This is a first in a series of verses on the topic of God's love.

The line "I created thee, have engraved on thee Mine image" reminds me of several passages in the Bible, namely "So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them." (Genesis 1:27) and one of the most mysterious (and thus, to me, interesting) verses I've ever read "I say you are gods, for you are all Sons of the Most High." (Psalm 82:6)

Verse 4

We know God must love us, for if he did not he would not have created us. An interesting message, and one I think can be built on (and I think the Hidden Words will build on it later).

Verse 5

I think this is stating that we ourselves choose whether to draw near God or distance ourselves from Him, and therefore determines whether or not we receive God's blessings (since much of His blessings are the result of being near God). But I have to ponder a bit more on Verses 4-5 I think.
 
Old 04-09-2018, 09:16 AM   #3
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Thanks for this dear soul, enlightening.
 
Old 04-09-2018, 09:18 AM   #4
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Some time ago, I compiled a file that illumines this Hidden Word. Here it is:

1. 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.
(Baha'u'llah: Arabic Hidden Words, page 1)

What a pure heart is:

When asked for a definition of a pure heart, 'Abdu'l-Bahá said, "The pure heart is one that is entirely cut away from self. To be selfless is to be pure."
(Abdu'l-Baha, Abdu'l-Baha in London, p. 107)

How to become pure:

7. O SON OF MAN!
If thou lovest Me, turn away from thyself; and if thou seekest My pleasure, regard not thine own; that thou mayest die in Me and I may eternally live in thee.
(Baha'u'llah, The Arabic Hidden Words)

O SON OF DUST! Blind thine eyes, that thou mayest behold My beauty; stop thine ears, that thou mayest hearken unto the sweet melody of My voice; empty thyself of all learning, that thou mayest partake of My knowledge; and sanctify thyself from riches, that thou mayest obtain a lasting share from the ocean of My eternal wealth. Blind thine eyes, that is, to all save My beauty; stop thine ears to all save My word; empty thyself of all learning save the knowledge of Me; that with a clear vision, a pure heart and an attentive ear thou mayest enter the court of My holiness.
(Baha'u'llah: Persian Hidden Words, page 11)

O COMPANION OF MY THRONE! Hear no evil, and see no evil, abase not thyself, neither sigh and weep. Speak no evil, that thou mayest not hear it spoken unto thee, and magnify not the faults of others that thine own faults may not appear great; and wish not the abasement of anyone, that thine own abasement be not exposed. Live then the days of thy life, that are less than a fleeting moment, with thy mind stainless, thy heart unsullied, thy thoughts pure, and thy nature sanctified, so that, free and content, thou mayest put away this mortal frame, and repair unto the mystic paradise and abide in the eternal kingdom for evermore.
(Baha'u'llah: Persian Hidden Words, page 44)

O My Brother! A pure heart is as a mirror; cleanse it with the burnish of love and severance from all save God, that the true sun may shine within it and the eternal morning dawn.
(Baha'u'llah: Seven Valleys and Four Valleys, page 21)

How purity can give us a sovereignty and what it can do for us:

Say: Human utterance is an essence which aspireth to exert its influence and needeth moderation. As to its influence, this is conditional upon refinement which in turn is dependent upon hearts which are detached and pure. As to its moderation, this hath to be combined with tact and wisdom as prescribed in the Holy Scriptures and Tablets.
(Baha'u'llah: Tablets of Baha'u'llah, page 143)

If one arise to promote the Word of God with a pure heart, overflowing with the love of God and severed from the world, the Lord of Hosts will assist him with such a power as will penetrate the core of the existent beings.
(Abdu'l-Baha, Tablets of Abdu'l-Baha v2, p. 348)

If a few souls gather together in a beloved meeting with the feelings of the Kingdom, with the divine attractions, with pure hearts and with absolute purity and holiness, to consort in spirit and fragrance, that gathering will have its effect upon all the world.
(Abdu'l-Baha, Tablets of Abdu'l-Baha v3, p. 508)

When it leaveth the body, however, it will evince such ascendancy, and reveal such influence as no force on earth can equal. Every pure, every refined and sanctified soul will be endowed with tremendous power, and shall rejoice with exceeding gladness.
(Baha'u'llah: Gleanings, page 154)

What a kindly heart can do to us, and how it leads to sovereignty.

Consort with all men, O people of Baha, in a spirit of friendliness and fellowship. If ye be aware of a certain truth, if ye possess a jewel, of which others are deprived, share it with them in a language of utmost kindliness and goodwill. If it be accepted, if it fulfill its purpose, your object is attained. If anyone should refuse it, leave him unto himself, and beseech God to guide him. Beware lest ye deal unkindly with him. A kindly tongue is the lodestone of the hearts of men. It is the bread of the spirit, it clotheth the words with meaning, it is the fountain of the light of wisdom and understanding.
(Baha'u'llah, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 15)

Under all conditions, the teaching must be carried forward, but with wisdom. If the work cannot proceed openly, then let them teach in private, and thus engender spirituality and fellowship among the children of men. If, for example, each and every one of the believers would become a true friend to one of the unheeding, and, conducting himself with absolute rectitude, associate with this soul, treat him with the utmost kindness, himself exemplify the divine instructions he hath received, the good qualities and behaviour patterns, and at all times act in accord with the admonitions of God - it is certain that little by little he will succeed in awakening that previously heedless individual, and in changing his ignorance to knowledge of the truth.
Souls are inclined toward estrangement. Steps should first be taken to do away with this estrangement, for only then will the Word take effect. If a believer showeth kindness to one of the neglectful, and, with great love, gradually leadeth him to an understanding of the validity of the Holy Cause, so that he may come to know the fundamentals of God's Faith and the implications thereof - such a one will certainly be transformed, excepting only those seldom-encountered individuals who are even as ashes, whose hearts are `hard as rocks, or harder still.'(1)
(`Abdu'l-Baha: Selections ... `Abdu'l-Baha, page 265)

How to become radiant:

O SON OF BEING! Thou art My lamp and My light is in thee. Get thou from it thy radiance and seek none other than Me. For I have created thee rich and have bountifully shed My favor upon thee.
(Baha'u'llah: Arabic Hidden Words, page 11)

Purity of heart leads to radiance:

If thou seekest to be intoxicated with the cup of the Most Mighty Gift, cut thyself from the world and be quit of self and desire. Exert thyself night and day until spiritual powers may penetrate thy heart and soul. Abandon the body and the material, until the merciful powers may become manifest; because not until the soil is become pure will it develop through the heavenly bounty; not until the heart is purified, will the radiance of the Sun of Truth shine therein. I beg of God that thou wilt day by day increase the purity of thy heart, the cheerfulness of thy soul, the light of thy insight and the search for Truth.
(Abdu'l-Baha, Baha'i World Faith - Abdu'l-Baha Section, p. 362)

Radiance in turn leads to purity:

365. Peruse My verses with joy and radiance. Verily they will attract you unto God and will enable you to detach yourselves from aught else save Him. Thus have ye been admonished in God's Holy Writ and in this resplendent Tablet.
(From a Tablet- translated from the Arabic)
(Compilations, The Compilation of Compilations vol. I, p. 188)

What radiance will do for us:

36. O SON OF MAN!
Rejoice in the gladness of thine heart, that thou mayest be worthy to meet Me and to mirror forth My beauty.
(Baha'u'llah, The Arabic Hidden Words)

Joy gives us wings! In times of joy our strength is more vital, our intellect keener, and our understanding less clouded. We seem better able to cope with the world and to find our sphere of usefulness. But when sadness visits us we become weak, our strength leaves us, our comprehension is dim and our intelligence veiled. The actualities of life seem to elude our grasp,the eyes of our spirits fail to discover the sacred mysteries, and we become even as dead beings.
(Abdu'l-Baha, Paris Talks, p. 109)

1920. When a speaker's brow shineth with the radiance of the love of God, at the time of his exposition of a subject, and he is exhilarated with the wine of true understanding, he becometh the centre of a potent force which like unto a magnet will attract the hearts. This is why the expounder must be in the utmost enkindlement.
(From a Tablet - translated from the Persian)
(Compilations, The Compilation of Compilations vol II, p. 299)

"The confirmations of the Spirit are all those powers and gifts which some are born with (and which men sometimes call genius), but for which others have to strive with infinite pains. They come to that man or woman who accepts his life with radiant acquiescence."
(Abdu'l-Baha, Abdu'l-Baha in London, p. 120)
 
Old 04-09-2018, 09:23 AM   #5
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I am convinced that purity of heart leads to kindliness and radiance based on the other Writings above. Purity is the most important teaching of all. This is confirmed in the Writings of the Bab.
 
Old 04-09-2018, 12:16 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duane View Post
Some time ago, I compiled a file that illumines this Hidden Word. Here it is:
Wow!! This is ridiculously awesome to see all the related Scriptures to that one verse!!
 
Old 04-09-2018, 09:57 PM   #7
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All of this is very beautiful! I have learned so much from the two of you already. I can't wait to see what others post --- and I will certainly be posting my thoughts on this tomorrow.
 
Old 04-10-2018, 12:25 PM   #8
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I've got another file on the 2nd Hidden Word. It's not as big as the other one but it will suffice. This is a very important Hidden Word, too:

2. O SON OF SPIRIT!
The best beloved of all things in My sight is Justice; turn not away therefrom if thou desirest Me, and neglect it not that I may confide in thee. By its aid thou shalt see with thine own eyes and not through the eyes of others, and shalt know of thine own knowledge and not through the knowledge of thy neighbor. Ponder this in thy heart; how it behooveth thee to be. Verily justice is My gift to thee and the sign of My loving-kindness. Set it then before thine eyes.
(Baha'u'llah, The Arabic Hidden Words)

The essence of all that We have revealed for thee is Justice, is for man to free himself from idle fancy and imitation, discern with the eye of oneness His glorious handiwork, and look into all things with a searching eye.
(Baha'u'llah, Tablets of Baha'u'llah, p. 156)

So He includes idle fancy as something that is in the way for seeing justice, not just imitation. Justice is the way we can discern the truth.

Man must cut himself free from all prejudice and from the result of his own imagination, so that he may be able to search for truth unhindered. Truth is one in all religions, and by means of it the unity of the world can be realized. All the peoples have a fundamental belief in common. Being one, truth cannot be divided, and the differences that appear to exist among the nations only result from their attachment to prejudice. If only men would search out truth, they would find themselves united.
(Abdu'l-Baha, Paris Talks, p. 129)

This is Abdu'l-Baha's famous independent search for the truth, which is derived from what Baha'u'llah said about justice. Abdu'l-Baha put this principle at the top of His principles. By it's means will we all become united.

The true seeker hunteth naught but the object of his quest, and the lover hath no desire save union with his beloved. Nor shall the seeker reach his goal unless he sacrifice all things. That is, whatever he hath seen, and heard, and understood, all must he set at naught, that he may enter the realm of the spirit, which is the City of God. Labor is needed, if we are to seek Him; ardor is needed, if we are to drink of the honey of reunion with Him; and if we taste of this cup, we shall cast away the world.
(Baha'u'llah, The Seven Valleys, p. 6)

I believe this is related, because this is all the search for truth. By this means will God confide in us.

But, O my brother, when a true seeker determineth to take the step of search in the path leading to the knowledge of the Ancient of Days, he must, before all else, cleanse and purify his heart, which is the seat of the revelation of the inner mysteries of God, from the obscuring dust of all acquired knowledge, and the allusions of the embodiments of satanic fancy. He must purge his breast, which is the sanctuary of the abiding love of the Beloved, of every defilement, and sanctify his soul from all that pertaineth to water and clay, from all shadowy and ephemeral attachments. He must so cleanse his heart that no remnant of either love or hate may linger therein, lest that love blindly incline him to error, or that hate repel him away from the truth.
(Baha'u'llah, The Kitab-i-Iqan, p. 192)

This relates the 2nd Hidden Word to the first Hidden Word. We need purity of heart to find the truth.
 
Old 04-10-2018, 12:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bahá'u'lláh, Arabic Hidden Words
Preamble

HE IS THE GLORY OF GLORIES

This is that which hath descended from the realm of glory, uttered by the tongue of power and might, and revealed unto the Prophets of old. We have taken the inner essence thereof and clothed it in the garment of brevity, as a token of grace unto the righteous, that they may stand faithful unto the Covenant of God, may fulfill in their lives His trust, and in the realm of spirit obtain the gem of Divine virtue.
I think the important quote in this introductory passage is in reference to being faithful unto the 'Covenant of God'.

I find that interesting.

Regards Tony
 
Old 04-10-2018, 06:46 PM   #10
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In all honesty, I have never directly read the Hidden Words, though I have probably seen most of it through quotes by now. As of about a month ago I have my own copy of the Hidden Words kindly gifted to me by a fellow Baha'i, so I sought out to read it today and give my thoughts.

I did not get very far. I don't know why but I kept flipping back to the preamble. I don't know why I love it so much but I do. It's mesmerizing. I must have read just the preamble alone a solid 30 times today. Baha'u'llah's introductory remarks are always so fascinating to me! I remember one of my favourites was the opening of Gems of Divine Mysteries as well.

What I love so much about Baha'u'llah's writings is that they usually have a function to them, in this case, it is a guidebook to the precepts of all revealed faiths, affirmed by the line "We have taken the inner essence thereof and clothed it in the garment of brevity". I remember when I first got this book I had read the opening preamble and first few counselings. I was amazed just a few lines in, seeing my set of the Vedas - weighing a hefty 12 pounds - and holding this diminutive book, able to squeeze between the space of my fingers in a closed fist, knowing that, what takes 4 books and 12 pounds of writing in times of old has been graciously summarized in an elegant and easy to read manner. It was truly eye opening to think that something as complex as the Vedas, their core messages could be summarized in such a perfect way.

And truly, having read much of the Vedas now, I can see a lot of the counselings of the Hidden Words within them. It is truly a "token of grace" unto us. Much prefer to read this and get the same effect rather than sift through the hefty Vedas (Not that they are unattractive by any means!)

And Baha'u'llah is certainly correct in saying that the Hidden Words will help one "stand faithful unto the Covenant of God" - I would say that, no matter the faith, the precepts found in this text would ring true to near every faith. Following the precepts of this text, one may tread the path God wishes us to tread.

I will need more time to think of the final line. "in the realm of spirit obtain the gem of Divine virtue." It certainly sounds as though it has mystical undertones to it.

The first counseling has what might be one of my all time favourite quotes. One of the few I have actively tried to memorize. Having purity of heart will (as expertly put together by Duane!) bring a bounty of good things to one's life. Particularly the ending reminds me of another Hindu text (Gee, can you tell what I'm studying lately?) the Vamana Purana, specifically the story of King Kuru told by the ancient sage Pulastya. A king sought to become eternal. He tried various things to no avail. He had decided that he would try to grow some form of plant, using the chakras of his body, in a field. Vishnu appears to King Kuru and had asked him what he was planning to do. Once he had been told, Vishnu said that he could help him in his quest to become eternal, and asked him to outstretch his right hand. When the king complied, his hand was destroyed by Vishnu and turned into seeds that were planted in the field. And yet, despite losing his hand, the king outstretched his other hand and allowed it to be destroyed. He let Vishnu destroy all his limbs, and even his entire body - he had realized Vishnu's way of making him eternal. The field was named after the king, and became a sacred place of pilgrimage. King Kuru became eternal, because the very spot named after him has been known ever since - Kurukshetra. King Kuru had become eternal because his legacy would live on forever.

His heart was full of pure love of God, and he was willing to sacrifice everything to God even if he did not understand at first. Truly he has become imperishable and everlasting because of his willingness to follow God.

The second counseling is also one of my favourites, because it seems to tap into human nature itself. "By it's aid ((Justice)) thou shalt see with thine own eyes and not through the eyes of others". Humans are a mimetic species. Our culture is essentially the result of a huge line of humans imitating other humans they were raised around. This line reminds me of the story of Sodom and Gommorah quite a bit actually! If a child is raised in a society of morally unsound people, it will grow up imitating morally unsound things. Baha'u'llah seems to say here that in keeping justice in our hearts, even if the people around us are morally unsound, we do not have to be. We can overcome our mimetic nature as human beings. The fact that others do wrong does not mean that we also have to.

This also reminds me of the Khalsa of Sikhism, in that they are meant to stand out and be known. They are told not to blend in. Even if those around them do wrong they must be the ones to do right. If following God's will sets us apart from others, so be it. If we live in a place of evil but stand out from the evil crowd by doing good, this is fine, because we do not need to see through the eyes of others. Essentially, to me it sounds like we are called to do good regardless of what those around us say.

To quote Psalms 118:8 "It is better to take refuge in the Lord
Than to trust in man."

Yep. That's about all I've read today. I read the preamble a lot, and the first 2. Hopefully will find a way to stop obsessing over the preamble before this deepening is over. I can't help but feel there is more to learn from it, I even found myself flipping back to it as I was writing this. I know this is really only my thoughts on the first 2 pages of the text, but it is food for thought nevertheless

EDIT:
For those of you that want to see the size of the Hidden Words compared to the Vedas, here's my shelf:
http://i66.tinypic.com/s67oyh.jpg
Funny how the Baha'i books at the end stop the entire set of books from toppling over. The Hidden Words is the small brown one, second from the end, and the Vedas are the first 5 books (the black one is the final one, the Yajurveda comes in 2 volumes, thus why there is 5 books but only 4 Vedas). Also featured is Budai and a veiled Buddha statue (Had this before becoming Baha'i but added the veil so as to not show his graven image, I know it's not perfect but it works well enough)

Last edited by Saveyist; 04-10-2018 at 07:10 PM.
 
Old 04-11-2018, 07:39 AM   #11
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3. O SON OF MAN!
Veiled in My immemorial being and in the ancient eternity of My essence, I knew My love for thee; therefore I created thee, have engraved on thee Mine image and revealed to thee My beauty.
(Baha'u'llah, The Arabic Hidden Words)

This shows that God loves all men and women. Also He loves all creation, otherwise He wouldn't have created it and given some of His attributes to them.

We know God by knowing those attributes within us, as Baha'u'llah says.

God revealed to us His beauty not only through the Word of God but through the person of the Manifestation and through contact with the Holy Spirit.

4. O SON OF MAN!
I loved thy creation, hence I created thee. Wherefore, do thou love Me, that I may name thy name and fill thy soul with the spirit of life.
(Baha'u'llah, The Arabic Hidden Words)

We should rightly love God back for our creation by a God who loves us. Without this love, we don't have eternal life.

5. O SON OF BEING!
Love Me, that I may love thee. If thou lovest Me not, My love can in no wise reach thee. Know this, O servant.
(Baha'u'llah, The Arabic Hidden Words)

We love God by loving His attributes. Those who love justice and mercy love God whether they know it or not. Also, there are degrees of our love for God. It's not like we either have it or we don't. To the extent that we love God, God's love can reach us.
 
Old 04-11-2018, 08:14 AM   #12
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All great posts so far!

One thing I'm noticing in trying to plan out the schedule for study going forward is that it's rather difficult to pick a good place to stop for the week. Each verse seems to be thematically related to the verse before and after it. So while a verse at the beginning may not be related to a verse in the middle, they are seemingly interconnected by a chain of related verses...

Hopefully as we go further I can try to demonstrate this a bit. I haven't yet been able to prove that every verse neatly links to the next verse ... but examination so far has shown this to be the case so far!!

Of course the inter-connected linking nature of these verses means there is no good stopping point, and so 5 per week or a set amount per week will just have to be the standard, even if the final verse of any given week is pretty much a cliffhanger for the first verse of the next week.
 
Old 04-15-2018, 06:37 AM   #13
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Alright, time for Week 2 to Start!!
4/15/2018-4/21/2018
Jalál 7/175-Jalál 13/175

Five seemed like a good number from last time, so this week will be the Arabic Verses, 6-10.
 
Old 04-15-2018, 06:43 AM   #14
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Verse 6

#6 “Thy Paradise is My love” has a very interesting contrast with #10 “Thou art My stronghold”, which speaks of an almost mutualistic relationship between self and God.

Verse 7

A verse about detachment!! The line “I may eternally live in thee” sticks out to me especially, and it reminds me of a Taoist scripture from the Zhuang Tzu about those who have attained the state of wei wu wei, translated as “action without action”, which is what we as Bahá’ís would call “detachment”: “Such men as they… wander beyond the realm... Even now they have joined with God as men to wander in the single breath of heaven and earth.”

Verse 8

So we have no peace, save through detachment. This is identical to the central theme of Guatama Buddha’s teachings, that the way to end suffering is through anatta, or “not self”, detachment.

Verse 9

This verse reminds me of, like, the entire book of Psalms. As just one example “The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” (Psalm 18:2)

The more I read the more verses I can relate to what I’ve read in other scriptures and other religions, again returning to the Preamble and reinforcing its weighty claims to be the very essence of all religion. I hear the resounding echoes of Zhuang Tzu, Guatama, and David within these verses!!

Verse 10

This is really interesting in context of #9. We are told “My love is My stronghold” and then we are told immediately after “Thou art My stronghold”. The obvious implication of pairing two statements like this, so obvious of an implication that the author must logically have intended for us to make it, is the very interesting implication that we and God’s love are one and the same. And this implication is then reinforced with the words “My love is in thee”.

Now combine from #6: “Thy Paradise is My love”.

So God’s Love is our Paradise. God’s Stronghold is God’s Love. God’s Stronghold is ourselves. So God’s Stronghold is our Paradise... and is also… ourselves. Now what does that all mean??

Remembering #3: “I knew My love for thee; therefore I created thee, have engraved on thee Mine image and revealed to thee My beauty”, I think helps put this all together. God’s love led to our creation, and God’s image engraved upon us, therefore we have the love of God engraved on our very person, and thus can be said to be identical to the love of God itself, and this engraving within us is the key to paradise.

Combining #3, #6, #9, and #10 ends up having a myriad of implications, all of which very, very interesting!! Yá Alláh!! Combining in #11 adds even more to this mix… but let’s save that for next week, this is complex enough as is!!
 
Old 04-15-2018, 10:51 AM   #15
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6. O SON OF BEING!
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.

I believe this is the first place that Baha'u'llah revealed that Paradise was closeness to God, and by implication that Hell was remoteness from God.

It is destined for everyone eventually, but some sooner than others. We only progress in the next world, though God does it for us there. He does it out of His mercy and grace.
 
Old 04-16-2018, 05:18 AM   #16
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O SON OF MAN! If thou lovest Me, turn away from thyself; and if thou seekest My pleasure, regard not thine own; that thou mayest die in Me and I may eternally live in thee.

This is about the death of self and detachment, in other words purity and detachment. This is very hard to do, and it takes a long time.

O SON OF SPIRIT! There is no peace for thee save by renouncing thyself and turning unto Me; for it behooveth thee to glory in My name, not in thine own; to put thy trust in Me and not in thyself, since I desire to be loved alone and above all that is.

God gives practical pointers of what death of self means. It means glorifying God instead of ourselves, and to trust in God rather than ourselves.
 
Old 04-18-2018, 10:32 AM   #17
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O SON OF BEING! My love is My stronghold; he that entereth therein is safe and secure, and he that turneth away shall surely stray and perish.

The last part is mysterious, what does it mean about perishing, when earlier He said God's love was all of ours destiny? This perishing must mean we will be dead spiritually. However God can bring us back to His love, if we plead enough with Him, and others intercede on our behalf. It must also mean that without God's love, all of our spiritual qualities deteriorate and become a dead thing. I hope I never turn away from God's love for whatever reason, because if I do I will be dead spiritually for a long time. The more we love God, the better off we will be.

O SON OF UTTERANCE! Thou art My stronghold; enter therein that thou mayest abide in safety. My love is in thee, know it, that thou mayest find Me near unto thee.

We are God's stronghold because God's love is in us, and His light is within us, as the next Hidden Word says. God's love is in us, but we must remove the veils so that we may know it.
 
Old 04-18-2018, 11:09 AM   #18
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O SON OF BEING! My love is My stronghold; he that entereth therein is safe and secure, and he that turneth away shall surely stray and perish.

The last part is mysterious, what does it mean about perishing, when earlier He said God's love was all of ours destiny? This perishing must mean we will be dead spiritually. However God can bring us back to His love, if we plead enough with Him, and others intercede on our behalf. It must also mean that without God's love, all of our spiritual qualities deteriorate and become a dead thing. I hope I never turn away from God's love for whatever reason, because if I do I will be dead spiritually for a long time. The more we love God, the better off we will be.
To immerse one self in God's Love also means one must submit to and abide by the Covenant and Laws.

When we enter the stronghold of that Love we will willingly and joyfully stay firm in the Covenant and embrace the laws as life itself. If we are neglectful of this, it is indeed as if one has perished, it is death. The great thing is that the stronghold of Love is always open and even if we stray, the path to return is never blocked.

Regards Tony
 
Old 04-18-2018, 11:24 AM   #19
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God gives practical pointers of what death of self means. It means glorifying God instead of ourselves, and to trust in God rather than ourselves.
Reminds me of the poet Rumi:

"Die! Die! Die in this love!
If you die in this love,Your soul will be renewed.
Die! Die! Don’t fear the death of that which is known
If you die to the temporal, You will become timeless."
 
Old 04-19-2018, 10:31 AM   #20
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To immerse one self in God's Love also means one must submit to and abide by the Covenant and Laws.

When we enter the stronghold of that Love we will willingly and joyfully stay firm in the Covenant and embrace the laws as life itself. If we are neglectful of this, it is indeed as if one has perished, it is death. The great thing is that the stronghold of Love is always open and even if we stray, the path to return is never blocked.

Regards Tony
Very Good analysis! Thank you for clarifying that.
 
Old 04-19-2018, 10:33 AM   #21
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Reminds me of the poet Rumi:

"Die! Die! Die in this love!
If you die in this love,Your soul will be renewed.
Die! Die! Don’t fear the death of that which is known
If you die to the temporal, You will become timeless."
I like that quote.
 
Old 04-23-2018, 06:01 AM   #22
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A day late, but time for Week 3!!
4/22/2018-4/28/2018
Jalál 14/175-Jamál 1/175

This week is the Arabic Verses, 11-15.
 
Old 04-23-2018, 06:09 AM   #23
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Verse 11

Remembering the last verse “Thou art My Stronghold” in relation to “Thou art My lamp”.

As well as the third verse “I created thee, have engraved on thee Mine image" and in relation to “My light is in thee”.

“For I have created thee rich and have bountifully shed My favor upon thee.” reminds me of the two Bible verses I mentioned earlier: "So God created mankind in his own image” (Genesis 1:27) and "I say you are gods, for you are all Sons of the Most High." (Psalm 82:6)

Verse 12

God has placed perfection within us, so why seek outside of this??

Also an interesting idea: A perfect creator must logically create perfect creations. An idea that will be explored further.

Also, one heck of a self-motivational verse!! God’s work (you) is perfect, that statement is binding, and do not question it!! It is forbidden that you question or doubt your own perfection as God's creation!!

Verse 13

We were created perfect, so why do we view ourselves as imperfect and why seek perfection from anyone but God? I find this line especially powerful, and profound: “Turn thy sight unto thyself, that thou mayest find Me standing within thee, mighty, powerful and self-subsisting.”

Selflessness seems to be surprisingly self-affirming.

Verse 14

Verse 15

This is really interesting to contemplate.

It seems based on the last three verses that selflessness is attained by turning inward, inside yourself. “Selflessness through Self”, an interesting, seemingly contradictory idea that I am now focusing my studies on, because as I stated, it is a very interesting idea (and I may love these sorts of “mystical contradictions” that veil deep truths)!!
 
Old 04-23-2018, 11:24 AM   #24
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11. O SON OF BEING! Thou art My lamp and My light is in thee. Get thou from it thy radiance and seek none other than Me. For I have created thee rich and have bountifully shed My favor upon thee.

In a sense, what is within our inner image of God is all we should seek, while we also should seek God. Because that inner light is all we can know of God. We recognize God through it.

12. O SON OF BEING! With the hands of power I made thee and with the fingers of strength I created thee; and within thee have I placed the essence of My light. Be thou content with it and seek naught else, for My work is perfect and My command is binding. Question it not, nor have a doubt thereof.

This is a mighty bulwark against envy. We only envy when we doubt the light within us or the perfection of it.
 
Old 04-24-2018, 08:59 PM   #25
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In celebration of Ridvan I had gone out to a park near me. I found a lovely spot with rocks, trees, and to my surprise, moss growing so soon after the snow had melted, right near the water. While I was here, I read aloud the Hidden Words from start to finish.

12 - "and within thee have I placed the essence of My Light" is a quote I think speaks volumes, as there are many different ways one could interpret this. To me, it seems reminiscent of the Srimad-Bhagavatam's sayings of the soul, how the soul is connected to God. God placed the essence of His Light inside of us, and to me that sounds like our souls are part of him in some way, a topic explored in the Srimad-Bhagavatam repeatedly, ultimately boiling down to everything being part of God in some way or another since he is the creator of all, God permeating all reality.

It also seems like 13 affirms that the soul is a part of God, with "Turn thy sight unto thyself, that thou mayest find Me standing within thee"
--- and 14 as well, with "Thou art My light and My light shall never be extinguished; why dost thou dread extinction?"

Overall, I would say 11-15 has a running theme of detachment. 11 "Get thou from it thy radiance and seek none other than Me." 12 "Be thou content with it and seek naught else" 13 "Out of the essence of knowledge I gave thee being, why seekest thou enlightenment from anyone beside Me?" 15 "Turn thy face unto Mine and renounce all save Me" all attest to this. I find that learning to detach myself from the material world at hand has been a tremendous help (and always ongoing!) in my life, and I certainly see why it is advocated for. Detachment seems to balance my perception much more, in that I may be able to think clearly since I am not absorbed in the situation constantly.
 
Old 04-25-2018, 07:32 AM   #26
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13. O SON OF SPIRIT! I created thee rich, why dost thou bring thyself down to poverty? Noble I made thee, wherewith dost thou abase thyself? Out of the essence of knowledge I gave thee being, why seekest thou enlightenment from anyone beside Me? Out of the clay of love I molded thee, how dost thou busy thyself with another? Turn thy sight unto thyself, that thou mayest find Me standing within thee, mighty, powerful and self-subsisting.

After the previous Hidden Words uplifted us, this Hidden Word brings us back to earth. Why indeed do we bring ourselves down to poverty and abase ourselves? We are material selfish beings as well as beings of light. We are constantly at war with ourselves. The material world is evident to us, while the spiritual world is invisible and often out of reach.

The third sentence reminds me of DNA. DNA is encoded knowledge. People all over the world are seeking enlightenment from other than the Manifestation of God.

The last sentence is a great goal to try to reach.
 
Old 04-25-2018, 11:47 AM   #27
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Quote:
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In celebration of Ridvan I had gone out to a park near me. I found a lovely spot with rocks, trees, and to my surprise, moss growing so soon after the snow had melted, right near the water. While I was here, I read aloud the Hidden Words from start to finish.
Cool!! We had very similar thoughts, I listened to an audio version of the Hidden Words while hiking through the local parks to Lake Michigan.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Saveyist View Post
12 - "and within thee have I placed the essence of My Light" is a quote I think speaks volumes, as there are many different ways one could interpret this. To me, it seems reminiscent of the Srimad-Bhagavatam's sayings of the soul, how the soul is connected to God. God placed the essence of His Light inside of us, and to me that sounds like our souls are part of him in some way, a topic explored in the Srimad-Bhagavatam repeatedly, ultimately boiling down to everything being part of God in some way or another since he is the creator of all, God permeating all reality.
I love how so much of this book seems to reflect the words of other religions!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Saveyist View Post
It also seems like 13 affirms that the soul is a part of God, with "Turn thy sight unto thyself, that thou mayest find Me standing within thee"
--- and 14 as well, with "Thou art My light and My light shall never be extinguished; why dost thou dread extinction?"

Overall, I would say 11-15 has a running theme of detachment. 11 "Get thou from it thy radiance and seek none other than Me." 12 "Be thou content with it and seek naught else" 13 "Out of the essence of knowledge I gave thee being, why seekest thou enlightenment from anyone beside Me?" 15 "Turn thy face unto Mine and renounce all save Me" all attest to this. I find that learning to detach myself from the material world at hand has been a tremendous help (and always ongoing!) in my life, and I certainly see why it is advocated for. Detachment seems to balance my perception much more, in that I may be able to think clearly since I am not absorbed in the situation constantly.
I agree, detachment is the goal.
 
Old 04-26-2018, 09:42 AM   #28
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15. O SON OF UTTERANCE! Turn thy face unto Mine and renounce all save Me; for My sovereignty endureth and My dominion perisheth not. If thou seekest another than Me, yea, if thou searchest the universe for evermore, thy quest will be in vain.

There is an interesting intersection of this with Hidden Words 11 and 12. Here He tells us to renounce all save God. In Hidden Words 11 and 12 He tells us to look inside of ourselves and see our own light which God put within ourselves. This which He put within us is of God and our material nature is flawed. We are to turn away from the animalistic part of ourselves which can be selfish and turn to the light within.
 
Old 04-30-2018, 06:10 AM   #29
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Week 4
4/30/2018-5/6/2018
Jamál 2/175-Jamál 8/175

This week is the Arabic Verses, 16-20.
 
Old 04-30-2018, 06:16 AM   #30
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Verse 16

Detachment is still the theme, and it reminds me of parts of the Valley of Knowledge section of the Seven Valleys.

Verse 17

Seek only the aid of God, since all else will be insufficient. More on detachment.

Verse 18

Here we learn that God's laws are not arbitrary, but are advice to aid and help us.

Verse 19

Reminds me of Genesis 2:7, "Then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being."

Verse 20

God's mark on us cannot be hidden.
 
Old 04-30-2018, 11:25 AM   #31
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16. O SON OF LIGHT! Forget all save Me and commune with My spirit. This is of the essence of My command, therefore turn unto it.

This is among my favorite Hidden Words. God wants us to commune with God at all times, and unfortunately most of us don't. But at least we should try to spend a little bit of time communing with God. To do this, I meditate each day, and during this meditation I try to commune with God. More times than not I don't. But when I do it is the highlight of my day, I feel a little bit of ecstasy.
 
Old 05-01-2018, 08:44 AM   #32
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17. O SON OF MAN! Be thou content with Me and seek no other helper. For none but Me can ever suffice thee.

This doesn't mean that we shouldn't get people to help us in our lives. This is within the context of accessing the Holy Spirit and understanding the Writings. Also we can ask for other people's opinions on the Writings, but in the end we have to decide ourselves based on all of the Holy Writings and the promptings of the Holy Spirit.
 
Old 05-02-2018, 07:07 AM   #33
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18. O SON OF SPIRIT! Ask not of Me that which We desire not for thee, then be content with what We have ordained for thy sake, for this is that which profiteth thee, if therewith thou dost content thyself.

I disagree this is about God's laws. It is about what happens to us in this life. For instance I am autistic, have ADHD, and lost my job. God wants me to be content with all that. On second thought, it could mean both.

A dictionary definition of ordain: 1. a. To invest with ministerial or priestly authority b. To authorize as a rabbi 2. To order by virtue of established authority: DECREE 3. To prearrange unalterably: PREDESTINE <a fate ordained by the gods>

It was 3 that I was thinking about, but He could mean 2 too.
 
Old 05-02-2018, 07:28 AM   #34
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This doesn't mean that we shouldn't get people to help us in our lives. This is within the context of accessing the Holy Spirit and understanding the Writings. Also we can ask for other people's opinions on the Writings, but in the end we have to decide ourselves based on all of the Holy Writings and the promptings of the Holy Spirit.
I agree.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Duane View Post
I disagree this is about God's laws. It is about what happens to us in this life. For instance I am autistic, have ADHD, and lost my job. God wants me to be content with all that. On second thought, it could mean both.
On seeing that interpretation, I am convinced you are correct!! Thank you for changing my mind and letting me see a new dimension to that verse!!
 
Old 05-02-2018, 09:34 AM   #35
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17. O SON OF MAN! Be thou content with Me and seek no other helper. For none but Me can ever suffice thee.

This doesn't mean that we shouldn't get people to help us in our lives. This is within the context of accessing the Holy Spirit and understanding the Writings. Also we can ask for other people's opinions on the Writings, but in the end we have to decide ourselves based on all of the Holy Writings and the promptings of the Holy Spirit.
Interesting way to look at it. What makes you believe this is about understanding the writings? Some say the writings are clear with what they want .. What do you think about that? I really like what you said .. Very interesting
 
Old 05-02-2018, 10:02 AM   #36
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excellent thread. I really enjoyed reading through the posts. I hope you continue this plan, and I'll be reading them. thanks
 
Old 05-03-2018, 11:14 AM   #37
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Interesting way to look at it. What makes you believe this is about understanding the writings? Some say the writings are clear with what they want .. What do you think about that? I really like what you said .. Very interesting
Immerse yourselves in the ocean of My words, that ye may unravel its secrets, and discover all the pearls of wisdom that lie hid in its depths.
(Baha'u'llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 136)

That should answer your question.
 
Old 05-03-2018, 11:28 AM   #38
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19. O SON OF THE WONDROUS VISION! I have breathed within thee a breath of My own Spirit, that thou mayest be My lover. Why hast thou forsaken Me and sought a beloved other than Me?

This is another analogy besides engraving on us His image. I have a melody in my head that I use with this. Remember with this that work in the service of humanity is worship.
 
Old 05-04-2018, 10:11 AM   #39
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20. O SON OF SPIRIT! My claim on thee is great, it cannot be forgotten. My grace to thee is plenteous, it cannot be veiled. My love has made in thee its home, it cannot be concealed. My light is manifest to thee, it cannot be obscured.

I don't know what He means by this. People veil themselves from God all the time, Baha'u'llah Himself says this. So what does He mean that God's grace cannot be veiled? Is He talking about what will happen eventually in the afterlife? Or does He mean something else with this?
 
Old 05-04-2018, 12:20 PM   #40
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20. O SON OF SPIRIT! My claim on thee is great, it cannot be forgotten. My grace to thee is plenteous, it cannot be veiled. My love has made in thee its home, it cannot be concealed. My light is manifest to thee, it cannot be obscured.

I don't know what He means by this. People veil themselves from God all the time, Baha'u'llah Himself says this. So what does He mean that God's grace cannot be veiled? Is He talking about what will happen eventually in the afterlife? Or does He mean something else with this?
I think this means that the unconstrained is always there. We can veil ourselves from acknowledging it, but we can never obscure the light.

I see that our veils do not prevent Gods Claim on us, does not prevent Gods Grace comming to us, prevent Gods Love reaching us, nor stop the light that shines upon us.

Regards Tony
 
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