What does this mean?

Dec 2015
378
N Ireland
#1
"All these brutal qualities exist in the nature of man. A man who has not had a spiritual education is a brute. Like the savages of Africa, whose actions, habits and morals are purely sensual, they act according to the demands of nature to such a degree that they rend and eat one another. Thus it is evident that the physical world of man is a world of sin. In this physical world man is not distinguished from the animal."

‘Abdu’l-Bahá

Some Answered Questions (p.119)
 
Oct 2014
1,794
Stockholm
#3
The core message is "A man who has not had a spiritual education is a brute", meaning that a man whose inner seed has not been nurtured in any way is no more than an animal, or even worse.

One cannibal to the other, when sitting at the dinner table: "How do you like my wife?" And the other replies "Not bad, but you could have added more garlic".

Oh, those Russian anecdotes - I know a lot of them. :)

gnat
 
Nov 2015
279
France
#4
We have taken such a bad habit of believing that the role of spiritual beings is to think so that we haven't to think by ourseleves.

When you read a religious text, the purpose of that text is never to explain an outward reality. Really, why do I care if Hazrat Moshé split the Red Sea in half ? I don't. It doesn't change my life.
But I do care that the crossing of the Red Sea by the Bani Israël is an image of baptism. The inner baptism is my crossing of the Red Sea, is my flee from Egypt.

I have just stumbled upon a blog from a Baha'i apostate, where she quotes and discusses Abdul Baha :

He goes on to say that the world and specifically man are perfect as they are; therefore if they were different from how they are now they would not be perfect. And since existence must have the quality of perfection, it must always have been like this. This kind of merry-go-round logic takes you for a ride but gets you nowhere. And as if he realizes this, he contradicts himself later when he says,

Then it is clear that original matter, which is in the embryonic state, and the mingled and composed elements which were its earliest forms, gradually grew and developed during many ages and cycles, passing from one shape and form to another, until they appeared in this perfection, this system, this organization and this establishment, through the supreme wisdom of God.

—Some Answered Questions, page 183.

That sounds a little promising, like there might be grounds for the Bahá’í claim to accept evolution. But ‘Abdu’l Bahá reiterates his rejection of the evolution of species in a letter:

Some of the philosophers of Europe think that one species evolves into another species. For example, that the animal evolved until it became a human being. But the prophets teach that this theory is erroneous, as we have explained already in the book Some Answered Questions.

—Má’idiy-i Asmáni 2: 69; quoted in Keven Brown, “Are ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Views on Evolution Original?”, Bahá’í Studies Review 7 (1997), available at bahai-library.com/articles/evolution.html.

Oh, my. Some people should learn to read.
Seriously, did Abdul Baha care about biology ? He is being spiritual, not scientific.

"For example, that the animal evolved until it became a human being. But the prophets teach that this theory is erroneous"

Of course it is !
The animal part of man is his dark side, his passions. The purpose of a man is to grow out of his passions and to "be born" in a way that is not animal. We all are born the animal way, when our mother ejected us from her womb, but GOD asks us to be born in spirit. And we become HUMAN when we work on ourselves to receive the SPIRIT.

A human that is born in spirit is not a bigger animal. He has defeated his animal spirit. That is why Abdul Baha says :

But the prophets teach that this theory is erroneous

It's about our spiritual evolution. How can't you see that ?
It's a warning that we won't accomplish ourselves as humans by becoming bigger animals (by getting more technologic, more urban, more sophisticated. More buildings, more cars, smarter phones won't make us evolve anymore).

So people, be careful when you read a text. It has an inner meaning, that is adressed to you personnally, to make you grow.

Who are these savages from Africa, if not we ? Don't we originate from Africa ? Aren't we savages ?
 
Last edited:
Oct 2014
1,794
Stockholm
#5
Who are these savages from Africa, if not we ? Don't we originate from Africa ? Aren't we savages ?
Oh, GoaForce,

Now you have even out-GoaForced GoaForce. I really enjoy your concusion. It's too late (or early) to make a lengthy comment, though. But that's the kind of reading that is stimulating.

gnat
 
Sep 2010
4,461
Normanton Far North Queensland
#6
So people, be careful when you read a text. It has an inner meaning, that is adressed to you personnally, to make you grow.

Who are these savages from Africa, if not we ? Don't we originate from Africa ? Aren't we savages ?
GoaForce - This is very important advice. There was a time when one read scriptures but glossed over the hard lessons :noob:

The Hidden Words are a good example - There is a lot of those that really hit the core of our soul. A lot you could read and think not applicable......but each in its own way is applicable to each one of us, each of us has something to change within to live each of those snippets of Faith.

Materialism has got deep into our way of life. I see on many levels still but a beast within that veils God standing within with Laws.....But Abdul'baha gives us the key, Little by Little Day by Day we pray ask for change and then....Please can we Change? ;)

Regards Tony
 
Aug 2014
1,368
Blue Planet
#7
To me it doesn't matter if Abdul Baha had metaphorically used the example of savages of Africa or He really had meant to make an example of them; whatever it is I agree with even the outward meaning of the sentence and it is not even racist. even if one hundred people come and say that it is racist I disagree. what is racist about it????
it is a very well known concept in religion and also in Persian Mysticism that what we call knowledge, the worldly knowledge we learn at school and in books, is only a means to help us live in this world but the real knowledge, that heavenly knowledge, comes to us only through making some kind of connection with God, through His messengers or men of God. as long as a person has gained no Godly knowledge, even if he/she has a master degree from the best university of the world, yet from point of view of spirituality he is uneducated and blind. moreover, even if we don't mention people of some tribes in Africa (or any other people, like say Daesh) , if we don't call them savage, then what can we call them? people who kill and eat one another as soon as they are hungry and as soon as they get angry, aren't they savage????
I love this quotation and it is NOT racist.
 

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