The Many Faces of the Holy Spirit

Jun 2014
1,096
Wisconsin
So something interesting I've noticed.

I think there's enough evidence throughout the Faith and the History of the Prophets to conclude that a specific type of entity exists.

This entity is a spiritual being who brings a state of prophetic awakening to a Prophet. Such a type of being is REPEATEDLY seen at the moment that a Prophet becomes a Prophet.

For example, when Moses attained Prophethood, his revelations were first brought to him by a Burning Bush.

Zoroaster received his first revelation on the banks of a river by a shining being named Vohu Manah.

Jesus was gifted with wisdom and miraculous powers from a young age, but the moment he becomes a Prophet is when he is baptized by John, and the Holy Spirit in the bodily form of a Dove descended from the heavens onto Jesus.

Buddha, perhaps, had the Bodhi Tree, the tree under which Buddha was meditating when he attained enlightenment. I don't see any evidence that the Bodhi Tree served as any sort of spiritual guide, other than the fact the Buddha sought it out specifically to attain enlightenment under it, but a Tree associated with Prophethood is nothing new to the Baha'i Faith (see: the Lote Tree Beyond Which There Is No Passing).

Muhammad was given his initial Revelation in a cave by the angel Gabriel/Jibrayil. Jibrayil is often said to also be the Holy Spirit.

The Bab was awakened to Prophethood when he had a dream of the severed head of Imam Husayn ibn Ali, the Prince of Martyrs.

And Baha'u'llah was awakened to Prophethood in the depths of prison, by visions of a Maiden.

So, the Burning Bush, Vohu Manah, the Dove, the Bodhi Tree, Jibrayil, Husayn, and the Maiden. All spiritual beings that are used to awaken a person to Prophethood. It seems so frequent that Revelation is explicitly stated to have begun in such a way that it may very be a rule of how Revelation itself functions.

I do not pretend to know the significance of this, if there is any significance to be had. But it seems likely that these are not multiple entities, but rather they are one entity in many forms. The Dove and Jibrayil both are said to be the same as the Holy Spirit.

And if all these beings are facets of the Holy Spirit, then the Quran seems to support the theory that this being is what brings Revelation from God to a Prophet, as Quran 16:102 reads: "Say: the Holy Spirit has brought the Revelation from thy Lord in Truth, in order to strengthen those who believe, and as guidance and glad tidings to those who submit to God."

And it matches what 'Abdu'l-Baha says about the Holy Spirit as well: "So we can say there must be a Mediator between God and Man, and this is none other than the Holy Spirit, which brings the created earth into relation with the ‘Unthinkable One’, the Divine Reality. The Divine Reality may be likened to the sun and the Holy Spirit to the rays of the sun. As the rays of the sun bring the light and warmth of the sun to the earth, giving life to all created beings, so do the ‘Manifestations’ bring the power of the Holy Spirit from the Divine Sun of Reality to give light and life to the souls of men."

So the Holy Spirit brings Revelation to the Prophets and seems to take many different forms. It's very interesting to ponder why these forms are taken. Why a shining figure for Zoroaster, a dove for Jesus, a martyr's head for the Bab??

Just speculating, maybe it has to do with the "theme" of that revelation??

Baha'u'llah had a theme of great renewal, and saw a youthful incarnation of the Holy Spirit.
The Bab and his followers experienced much martyrdom, and the Bab saw the Holy Spirit as the Prince of Martyrs.
Muhammad brought forth a worldwide revelation, and received the Holy Spirit as the Angel most associated with prophetic revelation.
Jesus was a peacemaker, and saw the Holy Spirit in the form of a Dove.
Zoroaster had a message that focused on purity and truth, and encountered a shining individual whose name means "Righteous Thought".
Moses and his followers suffered trial and tribulations, but ultimately pulled through and were triumphant, sort of like a bush that, though engulfed in flames, doesn't seem to burn up.

That's speculation of course, but seems to me a fascinating subject to examine.
 
Sep 2010
4,589
Normanton, Far North West Queensland
Abdul'baha says Jesus was aware of His Mission from a young age and the Dove is simply a Metaphor.

"… The story about the dove is simply a metaphor. No dove came down".

From my understanding it was Baha'u'llah conversing with Moses in the Metaphor of the Burning Bush.

Have you read the Tablet of the Universe by Abdul'baha, that may spark a thought to which may help with your current ideas?

It is very interesting why there are these Metaphors, yes it would have great spiritual meaning to which would have been a good question to ask

Maybe someone did!

Regards Tony
 
Jun 2017
27
US
So something interesting I've noticed.

I think there's enough evidence throughout the Faith and the History of the Prophets to conclude that a specific type of entity exists.

This entity is a spiritual being who brings a state of prophetic awakening to a Prophet. Such a type of being is REPEATEDLY seen at the moment that a Prophet becomes a Prophet.

For example, when Moses attained Prophethood, his revelations were first brought to him by a Burning Bush.

Zoroaster received his first revelation on the banks of a river by a shining being named Vohu Manah.

Jesus was gifted with wisdom and miraculous powers from a young age, but the moment he becomes a Prophet is when he is baptized by John, and the Holy Spirit in the bodily form of a Dove descended from the heavens onto Jesus.

Buddha, perhaps, had the Bodhi Tree, the tree under which Buddha was meditating when he attained enlightenment. I don't see any evidence that the Bodhi Tree served as any sort of spiritual guide, other than the fact the Buddha sought it out specifically to attain enlightenment under it, but a Tree associated with Prophethood is nothing new to the Baha'i Faith (see: the Lote Tree Beyond Which There Is No Passing).

Muhammad was given his initial Revelation in a cave by the angel Gabriel/Jibrayil. Jibrayil is often said to also be the Holy Spirit.

The Bab was awakened to Prophethood when he had a dream of the severed head of Imam Husayn ibn Ali, the Prince of Martyrs.

And Baha'u'llah was awakened to Prophethood in the depths of prison, by visions of a Maiden.

So, the Burning Bush, Vohu Manah, the Dove, the Bodhi Tree, Jibrayil, Husayn, and the Maiden. All spiritual beings that are used to awaken a person to Prophethood. It seems so frequent that Revelation is explicitly stated to have begun in such a way that it may very be a rule of how Revelation itself functions.

I do not pretend to know the significance of this, if there is any significance to be had. But it seems likely that these are not multiple entities, but rather they are one entity in many forms. The Dove and Jibrayil both are said to be the same as the Holy Spirit.

And if all these beings are facets of the Holy Spirit, then the Quran seems to support the theory that this being is what brings Revelation from God to a Prophet, as Quran 16:102 reads: "Say: the Holy Spirit has brought the Revelation from thy Lord in Truth, in order to strengthen those who believe, and as guidance and glad tidings to those who submit to God."

And it matches what 'Abdu'l-Baha says about the Holy Spirit as well: "So we can say there must be a Mediator between God and Man, and this is none other than the Holy Spirit, which brings the created earth into relation with the ‘Unthinkable One’, the Divine Reality. The Divine Reality may be likened to the sun and the Holy Spirit to the rays of the sun. As the rays of the sun bring the light and warmth of the sun to the earth, giving life to all created beings, so do the ‘Manifestations’ bring the power of the Holy Spirit from the Divine Sun of Reality to give light and life to the souls of men."

So the Holy Spirit brings Revelation to the Prophets and seems to take many different forms. It's very interesting to ponder why these forms are taken. Why a shining figure for Zoroaster, a dove for Jesus, a martyr's head for the Bab??

Just speculating, maybe it has to do with the "theme" of that revelation??

Baha'u'llah had a theme of great renewal, and saw a youthful incarnation of the Holy Spirit.
The Bab and his followers experienced much martyrdom, and the Bab saw the Holy Spirit as the Prince of Martyrs.
Muhammad brought forth a worldwide revelation, and received the Holy Spirit as the Angel most associated with prophetic revelation.
Jesus was a peacemaker, and saw the Holy Spirit in the form of a Dove.
Zoroaster had a message that focused on purity and truth, and encountered a shining individual whose name means "Righteous Thought".
Moses and his followers suffered trial and tribulations, but ultimately pulled through and were triumphant, sort of like a bush that, though engulfed in flames, doesn't seem to burn up.

That's speculation of course, but seems to me a fascinating subject to examine.
I agree with most of what you said. It is nice to see someone humble enough to admit speculation.

At a glance I couldn't help but notice that the differing aspects of the Holy Spirit that you mentioned could too be seen as virtues of the Spirit as they relate to man.

Sorry for just kinda bursting into the conversation.

I'm new and don't really know the uhm... standard procedure or what have you.

peace

Sent from my Z983 using Tapatalk
 
Aug 2014
1,397
Blue Planet
From my understanding it was Baha'u'llah conversing with Moses in the Metaphor of the Burning Bush.
Not Bahaullah, but Bab, and He has mentioned it in many places. like this one:

"O YE kinsmen of the Most Great Remembrance! This Tree of Holiness, dyed crimson with the oil of servitude, hath verily sprung forth out of your own soil in the midst of the Burning Bush..."

and

"O peoples of the earth! Give ear unto God’s holy Voice proclaimed by this Arabian Youth Whom the Almighty hath graciously chosen for His Own Self. He is indeed none other than the True One, Whom God hath entrusted with this Mission from the midst of the Burning Bush."
 
Aug 2014
1,397
Blue Planet
Dear Walrus

it is an interesting topic you have brought forth.

As Tony mentioned correctly, as Abdul Baha has explained,

""… The story about the dove is simply a metaphor. No dove came down".

and about the quote you provided:

"So we can say there must be a Mediator between God and Man, and this is none other than the Holy Spirit, which brings the created earth into relation with the ‘Unthinkable One’, the Divine Reality."

the "Mediator" mentioned here is the same Manifestation of God in each dispensation. You can find its explanation on the Bahai view of different worlds of God. in one version, we say that there are three world: "Haq-Amr-Khalgh" which is "Truth, Revelation, Creation". God Himself, and He alone, is the World of Truth. the all created things (except for the manifestations) are dwellers of the world of creation. the Mediator between the World of Truth and the World of creation is the World of Revelation which are the Manifestations of God.

Thus, in my view, the Maiden seen by Bahaullah, tho very symbolic, can also be a symbol of the next Manifestation of God either within the Bahai cycle or the next, and again tho very symbolic, maybe the next Manifestation is a woman! who knows! :)

that is my view anyway. I would be glad to know more.
 
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Aug 2014
1,397
Blue Planet
oh and right now, I came upon this saying of Bab:

"O PEOPLE of the earth! By the righteousness of the One true God, I am the Maid of Heaven begotten by the Spirit of Bahá, "

So Bab says He is the Maid of Heaven (I do not know the explanation of it) and then it is possible that when Bahaullah saw the Maiden (Maid), He has in fact been visited by Bab.
 
Apr 2017
196
Mexico
As I understand it, we could examine these episodes literally or from a symbolic perspective.

From a literal perspective, it was neither Bah'a'u'llah, nor the Bab, nor Jesus who actually "talked" to Moses from the "burning bush". (I have added Jesus to the list as some Christians believe Him to be the agent behind the burning bush).

Now, from a symbolic perspective, any of them or all of them were.
The Logos of God, that Essence which is common to all Manifestations, was the one making contact with the mind of the human tabernacle in turn.

The visions of doves, maidens, burning bushes, angels, are no more than mental (or literary) representations, vehicles or aids of such exalted episode that is unique to each prophet.

Look, I found this letter from the UHJ:

"In the following statement written on his behalf, Shoghi Effendi offers important clarification on the question of the sameness of the essence of the Prophets and the comparative qualities of their Revelations in this world:

Bahá'u'lláh is not the intermediary between other Manifestations and God. Each has His own relation to the Primal Source. But in the sense that Bahá'u'lláh is the greatest Manifestation to yet appear, the One Who consummates the Revelation of Moses, He was the One Moses conversed with in the Burning Bush. In other words Bahá'u'lláh identifies the Glory of the Godhead on that occasion with Himself. No distinction can be made amongst the Prophets in the sense that They all proceed from one source, and are of one essence. But Their stations and functions in this world are different."​
 
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Aug 2014
1,397
Blue Planet
As I understand it, we could examine these episodes literally or from a symbolic perspective.

From a literal perspective, it was neither Bah'a'u'llah, nor the Bab, nor Jesus who actually "talked" to Moses from the "burning bush". (I have added Jesus to the list as some Christians believe Him to be the agent behind the burning bush).

Now, from a symbolic perspective, any of them or all of them were.
The Logos of God, that Essence which is common to all Manifestations, was the one making contact with the mind of the human tabernacle in turn.

The visions of doves, maidens, burning bushes, angels, are no more than mental (or literary) representations, vehicles or aids of such exalted episode that is unique to each prophet.

Look, I found this letter from the UHJ:

"In the following statement written on his behalf, Shoghi Effendi offers important clarification on the question of the sameness of the essence of the Prophets and the comparative qualities of their Revelations in this world:

Bahá'u'lláh is not the intermediary between other Manifestations and God. Each has His own relation to the Primal Source. But in the sense that Bahá'u'lláh is the greatest Manifestation to yet appear, the One Who consummates the Revelation of Moses, He was the One Moses conversed with in the Burning Bush. In other words Bahá'u'lláh identifies the Glory of the Godhead on that occasion with Himself. No distinction can be made amongst the Prophets in the sense that They all proceed from one source, and are of one essence. But Their stations and functions in this world are different."​
makes sense. I cannot do anything but to immediately accept it :) :yes:
 
Jun 2014
1,096
Wisconsin
Thanks, pops, and welcome to the forum, for bringing this old topic to life. :p

To clarify, I did not intend to imply that any of the above were of physical existence, as some are surmising (except the case of Siddhartha Buddha, of course, since the Bodhi Tree was indeed a real extant tree :p ).