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Should there be ignited in thy heart the burning brand of the love of God, thou wouldst seek neither rest nor composure, neither laughter nor repose, but wouldst hasten to scale the highest summits in the realms of divine nearness, sanctity, and beauty. – Baha’u’llah, Gems of Divine Mysteries, p. 14.
The Baha’i teachings have a very strong emphasis on beauty—not just the physical beauty of a person or a work or art or nature itself, but the inner beauty and symmetry of spiritual truth.
The essence of the Baha’i teachings emphasizes the creation of beauty in both the inner and the outer reality, in the human heart and in human civilization:
We are striving with heart and soul, resting neither day nor night, seeking not a moment’s ease, to make this world of man the mirror of the unity of God. …love and good faith must so dominate the human heart that men will regard the stranger as a familiar friend, the malefactor as one of their own, the alien even as a loved one, the enemy as a companion dear and close. Who killeth them, him will they call a bestower of life; who turneth away from them, him will they regard as turning towards them; who denieth their message, him will they consider as one acknowledging its truth. The meaning is that they must treat all humankind even as they treat their sympathizers, their fellow-believers, their loved ones and familiar friends.
Should such a torch light up the world community, ye will find that the whole earth is sending forth a fragrance, that it hath become a delightsome paradise, and the face of it the image of high heaven. Then will the whole world be one native land, its diverse peoples one single kind, the nations of both east and west one household.
It is my hope that such a day will come, that such a splendour will shine forth, that such a vision will be unveiled in its full beauty. – Abdu’l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Baha, pp. 84-85.
When we look out into the universe and see the stars, the sight inspires us with its purity, its majesty, its glorious beauty. But that beauty, the Baha’i writings say, is only a dim material reflection of the beauty of the Creator:
How wondrous is the unity of the Living, the Ever-Abiding God — a unity which is exalted above all limitations, that transcendeth the comprehension of all created things! He hath, from everlasting, dwelt in His inaccessible habitation of holiness and glory, and will unto everlasting continue to be enthroned upon the heights of His independent sovereignty and grandeur. How lofty hath been His incorruptible Essence, how completely independent of the knowledge of all created things, and how immensely exalted will it remain above the praise of all the inhabitants of the heavens and the earth!
From the exalted source, and out of the essence of His favor and bounty He hath entrusted every created thing with a sign of His knowledge, so that none of His creatures may be deprived of its share in expressing, each according to its capacity and rank, this knowledge. This sign is the mirror of His beauty in the world of creation. – Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 261.
Have you noticed? Every created thing—every mineral, every plant, every animal and every human being—contains a sign of the knowledge of the Creator that mirrors God’s beauty.
You can see that great beauty in every landscape, in every forest, in every mountain range, in every stream and lake and ocean. You can see it in each animal, from the tiniest one-celled creature to the largest whale. You can see it in the eyes of every child. You can see it in the stars at night, spreading their magnificence across the skies.
You can see it most clearly in the beauty and unity of the prophets of God, the founders of the world’s great Faiths:
It is clear and evident to thee that all the Prophets are the Temples of the Cause of God, Who have appeared clothed in diverse attire. If thou wilt observe with discriminating eyes, thou wilt behold Them all abiding in the same tabernacle, soaring in the same heaven, seated upon the same throne, uttering the same speech, and proclaiming the same Faith. Such is the unity of those Essences of Being, those Luminaries of infinite and immeasurable splendor!
…in the eyes of them that are initiated into the mysteries of Divine wisdom, all their utterances are, in reality, but the expressions of one Truth. As most of the people have failed to appreciate those stations to which We have referred, they, therefore, feel perplexed and dismayed at the varying utterances pronounced by Manifestations that are essentially one and the same.
…viewed from the standpoint of their oneness and sublime detachment, the attributes of Godhead, Divinity, Supreme Singleness, and Inmost Essence, have been, and are applicable to those Essences of Being, inasmuch as they all abide on the throne of Divine Revelation, and are established upon the seat of Divine Concealment. Through their appearance the Revelation of God is made manifest, and by their countenance the Beauty of God is revealed.
For they are all but one person, one soul, one spirit, one being, one revelation. They are all the manifestation of the “Beginning” and the “End,” the “First” and the “Last,” the “Seen” and the “Hidden” — all of which pertain to Him Who is the Innermost Spirit of Spirits and Eternal Essence of Essences. – Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, pp. 51-53.
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