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In this material world, time has changing cycles and place is subject to varying conditions. Seasons follow one another and individuals progress, regress and develop. … The very existence of things must ever depend upon, and be perpetuated through, these cycles and successions…The spiritual cycles associated with the Prophets of God proceed in like manner. – Some Answered Questions, newly revised edition, pp. 82-83.The well-known passage from Ecclesiastes 3:1 underscores not only the reality of seasons but also that everything has its time: “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” If a physical year has seasons and if every thing has its time, then even spiritual practice and religion has its seasons and cycles. Abdu'l-Baha referred to the Baha'i Faith as bringing a spiritual springtime through its principles, practices, and institutions:
Now the new age is here and creation is reborn. Humanity hath taken on new life … and the reviving spring is here. All things are now made new. Arts and industries have been reborn, there are new discoveries in science, and there are new inventions … Renewal is the order of the day. – Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Baha, p. 252.Depending on where we live, the physical experience of the seasons will differ. Regardless of these variations, in our daily lives we see the gradual changes in our physical environment. Changes in the spiritual climate may be subtler, but they are real. Even though we know that our world is experiencing serious problems, we can also perceive indications of a new spirit of optimism, dignity, faith, and well-being. It doesn’t happen at the same rate everywhere, and progress doesn’t have linear forward movement. But overall we have reason to be hopeful. Whatever the calendar may say, we are in a period of renewal. Much like a bulb appearing through the snow, we ourselves are living in a time of transition—with better weather and better times ahead.