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O SON OF MAN!
Divest not thyself of My beauteous robe, and forfeit not thy portion from My wondrous fountain, lest thou shouldst thirst for evermore.
O SON OF BEING!
Walk in My statutes for love of Me and deny thyself that which thou desirest if thou seekest My pleasure.
O SON OF MAN!
Neglect not My commandments if thou lovest My beauty, and forget not My counsels if thou wouldst attain My good pleasure. – Baha’u’llah, The Hidden Words, pp. 12-13.
Have you ever stood in a redwood forest? Climbed to a mountaintop? Hiked through Yosemite Valley? Flown over the vast ocean? Encountered a magnificent animal at rest, seen a whale swimming, watched an iridescent hummingbird hover?
If you’ve experienced any of those things, or anything else spectacular or awe-inspiring or delightful in nature, you’ve encountered the beauty of God. Created from the perfectly-combined dust of the stars and the interstellar wind and the gases that swirl through the universe, our sun and this exquisite earth and everything on it and in it come from one Creator.
The Baha’i writings tell us that God, the Creator, made this physical realm:
All praise to the unity of God, and all honor to Him, the sovereign Lord, the incomparable and all-glorious Ruler of the universe, Who, out of utter nothingness, hath created the reality of all things, Who, from naught, hath brought into being the most refined and subtle elements of His creation…. Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, pp. 64-65.
The Baha’i writings also tell us that the Creator has infused a sign of His knowledge into everything:
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. – Gleanings, p. 261.
All of the overwhelming, breathtaking splendor we can see in a gorgeous sunset or a rugged mountain range or in the mysterious ocean depths, Baha’u’llah says, reflects God’s “beauty in the world of creation.”
These three Hidden Words all focus on loving that awe-inspiring beauty and its source.
Baha’is believe that the physical world can only dimly reflect the true spiritual beauty of its Creator. Even more importantly, the Baha’i teachings say that the purpose of all the beauty of the entire physical creation is the “knowledge of Him Who is the Eternal Truth:”
…when the sanctified souls rend asunder the veils of all earthly attachments and worldly conditions, and hasten to the stage of gazing on the beauty of the Divine Presence and are honored by recognizing the Manifestation and are able to witness the splendor of God’s Most Great Sign in their hearts, then will the purpose of creation, which is the knowledge of Him Who is the Eternal Truth, become manifest. – Baha’u’llah, The Kitab-i-Aqdas, p. 176.
So the next time you gaze into a wonderful, captivating, awe-inspiring natural scene, remember its purpose – it is mirroring forth the knowledge and the beauty of God.
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