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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.
O SON OF BEING!
Love Me, that I may love thee. If thou lovest Me not, My love can in no wise reach thee. Know this, O servant.
O SON OF BEING!
Thy Paradise is My love; thy heavenly home, reunion with Me. Enter therein and tarry not. This is that which hath been destined for thee in Our kingdom above and Our exalted dominion. – Baha’u’llah, The Hidden Words, pp. 4-5.
These three striking passages from Baha’u’llah’s Hidden Words ask us to reciprocate for God’s bounties; to return God’s love; and to seek reunion with the mystical Creator.
“Thy Paradise is My love,” Baha’u’llah tells us. But what does that mean? You can discover a hint of its meaning in some of Baha’u’llah’s other writings:
In every age and century, the purpose of the Prophets of God and their chosen ones hath been no other but to affirm the spiritual significance of the terms “life,” “resurrection,” and “judgment.” If one will ponder but for a while… one will surely discover all mysteries hidden in the terms “grave,” “tomb,” “the straight path,” “paradise” and “hell.” But oh! how strange and pitiful! Behold, all the people are imprisoned within the tomb of self, and lie buried beneath the nethermost depths of worldly desire! Wert thou to attain to but a dewdrop of the crystal waters of divine knowledge, thou wouldst readily realize that true life is not the life of the flesh but the life of the spirit. For the life of the flesh is common to both men and animals, whereas the life of the spirit is possessed only by the pure in heart who have quaffed from the ocean of faith and partaken of the fruit of certitude. This life knoweth no death, and this existence is crowned by immortality. – Baha’u’llah, The Book of Certitude, p. 120.
In these three brief Hidden Words, we can ponder the basis of all Baha’i theology and mystical knowledge – that God created humanity out of love; that we naturally desire to return that love with gratitude and joy; and that our true destiny, our ultimate heavenly existence, in this world and the next, depends on our own spiritual life, the extent to which we develop our souls.
For Baha’is, no better definition of the immortality of the soul exists. Baha’is believe that Baha’u’llah suffered through forty years of exile, torture and imprisonment so that the hearts of humanity could become enkindled and radiant, spiritually receptive and alive. Baha’u’llah taught that this deeply important transformation, which involves transcending the physical self and awakening the spiritual one, will enkindle our hearts, glorify our souls, transform our faults into virtues and make ignorance into knowledge. He said that although all people are pilgrims on this earth temporarily, we should seek out, discover and travel the road of the heavenly kingdom and discover eternal life.
We only travel here for a while, the Baha’i writings say. Our true purpose does not end when our bodies fail us, as everyone’s inevitably does. That physical death, the greatest and most profound mystery of life, transmits our essence, our soul, into another, more spiritual realm, a paradise of reunion and love.
Download the free The Hidden Words eBook.