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O SON OF MAN!
Magnify My cause that I may reveal unto thee the mysteries of My greatness and shine upon thee with the light of eternity.
O SON OF MAN!
Humble thyself before Me, that I may graciously visit thee. Arise for the triumph of My cause, that while yet on earth thou mayest obtain the victory.
O SON OF BEING!
“Magnify My cause”, “Humble thyself before Me”, and “Make mention of Me” – what do you think Baha’u’llah means when he addresses us this way?
To understand this kind of communication it helps to know about two important ways Baha’u’llah proclaims his message in The Hidden Words.
First: when Baha’u’llah uses a capitalized personal pronoun like “Me” or “My,” it refers directly to God. With this mode of spiritual discourse, Baha’u’llah speaks as both the Manifestation of God – the Prophet of a new Faith – and, through that exalted station, as the mouthpiece of the Creator.
Second: despite the fact that the Founders of the great Faiths speak God’s truths, the Baha’i teachings absolutely do not conflate or confuse those Prophets with God in any way. To Baha’is the station of God, far above any human understanding or comprehension, will always remain completely unknowable – which is why God sends us new messengers as intermediaries.
Here, Baha’u’llah refers to the vast distance that separates the Creator from the creation:
How bewildering to me, insignificant as I am, is the attempt to fathom the sacred depths of Thy knowledge! How futile my efforts to visualize the magnitude of the power inherent in Thine handiwork — the revelation of Thy creative power! When I contemplate, O my God, the relationship that bindeth me to Thee, I am moved to proclaim to all created things ‘verily I am God!’; and when I consider my own self, lo, I find it coarser than clay! – Shoghi Effendi, The World Order of Baha’u’llah, p. 113.
One of the mystical and metaphorical ways to understand the relationship between God and the Prophets involves the relationship of a sun to a mirror – we can see the brilliant reflection of the sun in a perfectly-polished mirror, but we can’t even imagine that power of that sun up close. Abdu’l-Baha explains:
Behold how the sun shines upon all creation, but only surfaces that are pure and polished can reflect its glory and light. The darkened soul has no portion of the revelation of the glorious effulgence of reality; and the soil of self, unable to take advantage of that light, does not produce growth. The eyes of the blind cannot behold the rays of the sun; only pure eyes with sound and perfect sight can receive them. Green and living trees can absorb the bounty of the sun; dead roots and withered branches are destroyed by it.
Therefore, man must seek capacity and develop readiness. As long as he lacks susceptibility to divine influences, he is incapable of reflecting the light and assimilating its benefits. Sterile soil will produce nothing, even if the cloud of mercy pours rain upon it a thousand years. We must make the soil of our hearts receptive and fertile by tilling in order that the rain of divine mercy may refresh them and bring forth roses and hyacinths of heavenly planting. We must have perceiving eyes in order to see the light of the sun. We must cleanse the nostril in order to scent the fragrances of the divine rose garden. We must render the ears attentive in order to hear the summons of the supreme Kingdom. No matter how beautiful the melody, the ear that is deaf cannot hear it, cannot receive the call of the Supreme Concourse. The nostril that is clogged with dust cannot inhale the fragrant odors of the blossoms. Therefore, we must ever strive for capacity and seek readiness. – Abdu’l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, pp. 148-149.
So when Baha’u’llah asks humanity to “Magnify My cause” and “Make mention of Me on My earth”, he actually asks each of us to foster and grow God’s spirit of love, oneness and harmony in this world. He asks us to learn that nearness to God happens through devotion, through unity and through service to others. He wants us to know that we can become mirrors of the light of the sun by investigating the truth, by acquiring praiseworthy human virtues and traits, by working for the cause of universal peace.