- Jun 2014
Err, that verse should in no way be taken literally.“Should the fire of the love of God be kindled in Greenland, all the ice of that country will be melted, and its cold weather become temperate—that is, if the hearts be touched with the heat of the love of God, that territory will become a divine rose garden and a heavenly paradise, and the souls, even as fruitful trees, will acquire the utmost freshness and beauty. Effort, the utmost effort, is required. Should you display an effort, so that the fragrances of God may be diffused among the Eskimos, its effect will be very great and far-reaching.”
The phraseology of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá often blends the symbolic with the literal. This is why our understanding of the Bahá'í Writings is constantly in a state of transition. While this Tablet would have been hard to believe in a literal context when it was first made public, now, around a century later, we can begin to read it with a very different insight. However, we are still faced with a dilemma. Namely is global warming actually down to the “fire of the love of God” spread by the Eskimos, or is it due to human negligence? It really depends on how people wish to view it.
Even at its warmest, I don't think one would apply the word "temperate" to Greenland.
Symbolic meaning is clear: Draw parallels with "a lover is he who is chill in hellfire" or conversely one who is temperate in a glacial tundra.
Literal interpretations would not make any sense. The expanding virtues of the Kalaallit people would lead to global warming?? No, I don't think these people are responsible for climate change: The Bahá’í Community of Greenland
It seems like an attempt to take half of the quote literally as an attempt to show it predicting scientific events, much like how some will claim "Split the atom's heart and lo! Within it thou wilt find a sun!" is a prediction of nuclear power, even though that quote is not a direct quote of Baha'u'llah, but was the words of a poet that Baha'u'llah cited in Seven Valleys.
I think both the 'Abdu'l-Baha quote and that part of Seven Valleys are much the same: symbolic and illustrative statements that we, if we look at it sideways, can potentially read into using some modern scientific understandings, but that is a coincidental connection at best, and the symbolic meaning is quite at odds with the literal interpretations, so they are best discarded.