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Create in me a pure heart, O my God, and renew a tranquil conscience within me, O my Hope! Through the spirit of power confirm Thou me in Thy Cause, O my Best-Beloved, and by the light of Thy glory reveal unto me Thy path, O Thou the Goal of my desire! Through the power of Thy transcendent might lift me up unto the heaven of Thy holiness, O Source of my being, and by the breezes of Thine eternity gladden me, O Thou Who art my God! –Baha’u’llah, Baha’i Prayers, p. 141.
Every day of our lives, a choice stands before each of us – deciding on the degree to which we will live in the material world or in the spiritual world. In this plane of our existence, each of us has a physical body and a material life — but we can begin to transcend that state of consciousness by making the spiritual world a priority in our daily lives.
To live for the world of the spirit is to drink from the river of everlasting life. Baha’u’llah wrote:
O My Servant!
Abandon not for that which perisheth an everlasting dominion, and cast not away celestial sovereignty for a worldly desire. This is the river of everlasting life that hath flowed from the well-spring of the pen of the merciful; well is it with them that drink! – Hidden Words, p. 35.
O Son of Worldliness!
Pleasant is the realm of being, wert thou to attain thereto; glorious is the domain of eternity, shouldst thou pass beyond the world of mortality; sweet is the holy ecstasy if thou drinkest of the mystic chalice from the hands of the celestial Youth. Shouldst thou attain this station, thou wouldst be freed from destruction and death, from toil and sin. – Hidden Words, p. 46.
Can you imagine what would happen if a fetus in the womb had free will, and decided not to develop its capabilities there? You can probably understand the logic – “I’m warm and well-fed and comfortable here – why should I grow arms and legs and eyes and my brain? Why do I need those things in this place?”
In the same way, all of us who live here on Earth, in this material plane of existence, live in our spiritual womb. Our eternal spiritual lives stretch out ahead of us, filled with wonders, delights and experiences we cannot perceive or even imagine. And we have an advantage over that nascent, developing child in the womb – we know we will soon leave this plane of existence. A baby has no idea it will eventually be born into this huge, wide world of possibilities and potential. But we know. No human being has ever stayed in this material life forever, so it’s inevitable that we will all depart for the next world. Abdu’l-Baha puts it this way:
May the light of divine advancement shine upon you. This is the glory and progress of man. This is eternal life…. Here we comprehend according to environment and adaptation. This world is not much of a place for the realization of truth. This world is but the womb of the world of reality. – Abdu’l-Baha, Divine Philosophy, p. 112.
“The womb of the world of reality,” the Baha’i teachings call this world. Soon, that womb will deliver all of us into a sea of light.
Adapted from One With All The Earth, © Kalimat Press 2003, All Rights Reserved.
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