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O friends! Be not careless of the virtues with which ye have been endowed, neither be neglectful of your high destiny… Ye are the stars of the heaven of understanding, the breeze that stirreth at the break of day, the soft-flowing waters upon which must depend the very life of all men… – Baha’u’llah, Gleanings, p. 196.
Spirituality cannot be purchased, inherited, or passively absorbed. It requires the application of will. No formula for spirituality exists – it grows when we nurture it within ourselves. Like all true treasures, unearthing our spirituality takes searching and effort. But that search brings us to great, immortal rewards. The Baha’i writings assure us that only the path of a spiritual life can discover and polish the gems within our souls.
To make that spiritual development a reality in our souls, the Baha’i writings say, we can start by trying to understand God’s relationship to humanity — the call of the Beloved to His loved ones. From the Hidden Words of Baha’u’llah:
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. – p. 4.
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? – p. 8.
O Son of Justice!
Whither can a lover go but to the land of his beloved? and what seeker findeth rest away from his heart’s desire? To the true lover reunion is life, and separation is death. His breast is void of patience and his heart hath no peace. – p. 23.
If we accept the existence of a loving Creator, then how does God reveal His love to us? How should we respond to His love? And what does that mean for how we should live? Baha’u’llah teaches us how, in poetic passages such as this:
Be generous in prosperity, and thankful in adversity. Be worthy of the trust of thy neighbor, and look upon him with a bright and friendly face. Be a treasure to the poor, an admonisher to the rich, an answerer to the cry of the needy, a preserver of the sanctity of thy pledge. Be fair in thy judgment, and guarded in thy speech. Be unjust to no man, and show all meekness to all men. Be as a lamp unto them that walk in darkness, a joy to the sorrowful, a sea for the thirsty, a haven for the distressed, an upholder and defender of the victim of oppression. Let integrity and uprightness distinguish all thine acts. Be a home for the stranger, a balm to the suffering, a tower of strength for the fugitive. Be eyes to the blind, and a guiding light unto the feet of the erring. Be an ornament to the countenance of truth, a crown to the brow of fidelity, a pillar of the temple of righteousness, a breath of life to the body of mankind, an ensign of the hosts of justice, a luminary above the horizon of virtue, a dew to the soil of the human heart, an ark on the ocean of knowledge, a sun in the heaven of bounty, a gem on the diadem of wisdom, a shining light in the firmament of thy generation, a fruit upon the tree of humility. We pray God to protect thee from the heat of jealousy and the cold of hatred. He verily is nigh, ready to answer. – Baha’u’llah, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 93.
Adapted from One With All The Earth, © Kalimat Press 2003, All Rights Reserved.