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O SON OF BEING! My love is My stronghold; he that entereth therein is safe and secure, and he that turneth away shall surely stray and perish. O SON OF UTTERANCE! Thou art My stronghold; enter therein that thou mayest abide in safety. My love is in thee, know it, that thou mayest find Me near unto thee. O SON OF BEING! Thou art My lamp and My light is in thee. Get thou from it thy radiance and seek none other than Me. For I have created thee rich and have bountifully shed My favor upon thee. - Baha'u'llah, The Hidden Words, pp. 5-6.Bursting with symbols and filled with allusion and mystical meaning, Baha’u’llah’s book The Hidden Words uses the age-old concept of metaphor to present us with a vision of the unseeable. “My love is My stronghold” and “Thou art My lamp and My light is in thee” – both of these beautiful metaphorical statements give us a way to visualize what God means when He asks us for our love. Like a baby naturally and instinctively loves its mother, these short Hidden Words tell us, the creation will always turn to and love the Creator. As human beings, we naturally desire the love and connection with God that our souls impel us towards. “My love is in thee,” Baha’u’llah tells us. That God-given love represents our creative impulse, the power of growth, the very attraction between the disparate elements of the molecules that make up our cells. The Baha’i writings say that all phenomena are composed of single elements. Each atom that comprises each molecule comes together to create a larger element – oxygen, for example, is a single element made up of two oxygen atoms. Baha’u’llah makes it clear that the human soul is one single, indestructible element:
Thou hast asked Me concerning the nature of the soul. Know, verily, that the soul is a sign of God, a heavenly gem whose reality the most learned of men hath failed to grasp, and whose mystery no mind, however acute, can ever hope to unravel. It is the first among all created things to declare the excellence of its Creator, the first to recognize His glory, to cleave to His truth, and to bow down in adoration before Him. If it be faithful to God, it will reflect His light, and will, eventually, return unto Him. If it fail, however, in its allegiance to its Creator, it will become a victim to self and passion, and will, in the end, sink in their depths. - Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, pp. 158-159.Mystical Sufi themes suffuse The Hidden Words, especially the quest for deeper understanding and then a longing for reunion with God. In the Sufi tradition, the seeker searches passionately, as a lover pursues his beloved, for unity with God. The soul, seen as lost and separated in this physical world, must journey through the successive stages of spiritual growth to find its true home. In this tradition, God exists both everywhere and in everything, and at the same time is mysterious, unseen and hidden. Down through the centuries poets and mystics have attempted to find expression for the deep yearning every spiritual soul feels in this existence. We all have a profound desire at our core, and we endeavor throughout our lives to satisfy that desire for meaning, for connection, for pure love. Some people try to find it in their relationships, their profession, their children or their avocations. Others experience it in nature or art. Here, in The Hidden Words, Baha’u’llah tells us “Thou art My lamp and My light is in thee,” guiding us to the Zen-like understanding that what we seek already exists within us. In The Hidden Words, Baha’u’llah uses these ecstatic, poetic themes again and again, emphasizing our human connection to our Creator as the source of our love, radiance and life. Download the free The Hidden Words eBook.