The views expressed in our content reflect individual perspectives and do not represent the official views of the Baha'i Faith.
All men by nature desire to know. – Aristotle
There are certain pillars which have been established as the unshakeable supports of the Faith of God. The mightiest of these is learning and the use of the mind, the expansion of consciousness, and insight into the realities of the universe and the hidden mysteries of Almighty God. – Abdu’l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Baha, p. 126.
All scientists—and probably all people—love a mystery. The human race’s common trait—relentless curiosity—drives us to constantly want to know the things we don’t know. All learning, all discovery and all exploration rise out of this basic unstoppable instinct.
Mysteries challenge us to unlock their secrets. When an astronaut flies into space, when an anthropologist digs into the ground, when a philosopher or a seeker explores the metaphysical world of the soul, we gain knowledge, increase our understanding and open the doors of perception and spiritual growth. We unlock the mysteries of the universe, only to realize that each new insight, each advancement in knowledge, only brings us greater and more profound mysteries.
This unending path of discovery and knowledge and the solving of mysteries, beyond its fascinating scientific aspects, also serves as the largest possible metaphor: the creation seeking its Creator.
If we pay attention, the infinite universe and its infinite mysteries constantly remind us of the fathomless mystery of God:
To every discerning and illuminated heart it is evident that God, the unknowable Essence, the Divine Being, is immensely exalted beyond every human attribute, such as corporeal existence, ascent and descent, egress and regress. Far be it from His glory that human tongue should adequately recount His praise, or that human heart comprehend His fathomless mystery. He is, and hath ever been, veiled in the ancient eternity of His Essence, and will remain in His Reality everlastingly hidden from the sight of men. “No vision taketh in Him, but He taketh in all vision…” – Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, pp. 46-47.
The Baha’i teachings suggest that the creation is infinite because the Creator is even more infinite, more glorious, more unknowable. The awe and power and mystery we feel when we gaze out into the heavens, Abdu’l-Baha suggests, give us the ultimate proof that a universal Creator exists:
Likewise, look into this endless universe: a universal power inevitably existeth, which encompasseth all, directing and regulating all the parts of this infinite creation; and were it not for this Director, this Co-ordinator, the universe would be flawed and deficient. It would be even as a madman; whereas ye can see that this endless creation carrieth out its functions in perfect order, every separate part of it performing its own task with complete reliability, nor is there any flaw to be found in all its workings. Thus it is clear that a Universal Power existeth, directing and regulating this infinite universe. Every rational mind can grasp this fact. – Abdu’l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Baha, pp. 48-49.
…the wise and reflecting soul will know of a certainty that this infinite universe with all its grandeur and perfect order could not have come to exist by itself. – Abdu’l-Baha, Tablet to August Forel, p. 19.
When we carefully investigate the kingdoms of existence and observe the phenomena of the universe about us, we discover the absolute order and perfection of creation. – Abdu’l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 80.
And now consider this infinite universe. Is it possible that it could have been created without a Creator? Or that the Creator and cause of this infinite congeries of worlds should be without intelligence? – Ibid., p. 82.
Remember “As above, so below”? That ancient Hermetic wisdom proves true in scientific terms just like it does in spiritual terms:
‘Tis true without lying, certain and most true. That which is below is like that which is above and that which is above is like that which is below. – Isaac Newton
Science has proven that the internal structure of each atom mirrors the solar systems in the universe. The Baha’i teachings tell us, in the exact same way, that the physical universe mirrors the spiritual:
The worlds of God are in perfect harmony and correspondence one with another. Each world in this limitless universe is, as it were, a mirror reflecting the history and nature of all the rest. The physical universe is, likewise, in perfect correspondence with the spiritual or divine realm. The world of matter is an outer expression or facsimile of the inner kingdom of spirit. The world of minds corresponds with the world of hearts. – Abdu’l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 269.
Those who study metaphysics have a correlative to “As above, so below:” “As within, so without.” Our inner landscape, in other words, can mirror the heavenly one:
Seek with all your hearts this Heavenly Light, so that you may be enabled to understand the realities, that you may know the secret things of God, that the hidden ways may be made plain before your eyes.
This light may be likened unto a mirror, and as a mirror reflects all that is before it, so this Light shows to the eyes of our spirits all that exists in God’s Kingdom and causes the realities of things to be made visible. – Abdu’l-Baha, Paris Talks, pp. 70-71.
Next: Go Outside to See God