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Spirituality

What If You Have a Soul?

David Langness | Apr 14, 2015

PART 1 IN SERIES What If?

The views expressed in our content reflect individual perspectives and do not represent the official views of the Baha'i Faith.

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David Langness | Apr 14, 2015

PART 1 IN SERIES What If?

The views expressed in our content reflect individual perspectives and do not represent the official views of the Baha'i Faith.

What if you found out that no one ever really dies?

…it behooves man to abandon thoughts of nonexistence and death, which are absolutely imaginary, and see himself ever-living, everlasting in the divine purpose of his creation. He must turn away from ideas which degrade the human soul so that day by day and hour by hour he may advance upward and higher to spiritual perception of the continuity of the human reality. If he dwells upon the thought of nonexistence, he will become utterly incompetent; with weakened willpower his ambition for progress will be lessened and the acquisition of human virtues will cease.

What if you learned, at the same time, that you, personally, would exist forever?

…the human soul…, when once it has come into existence, is eternal. The spirit of man has a beginning, but it has no end; it continues eternally. – Abdu’l-Baha, Some Answered Questions, pp. 151-152.

Therefore, you must thank God that He has bestowed upon you the blessing of life and existence in the human kingdom. Strive diligently to acquire virtues befitting your degree and station. Be as lights of the world which cannot be hid and which have no setting in horizons of darkness. Ascend to the zenith of an existence which is never beclouded by the fears and forebodings of nonexistence. – Abdu’l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 89.

What if, as a consequence of your new understanding of immortality, you came to believe that your inner being, your soul, is your true reality?

…although the body of man is material, his reality is spiritual; although his body is darkness, his soul is light; although his body may seem to imprison him, his soul is essentially free. – Abdu’l-Baha, Star of the West, Volume 2, p. 3.

What if you found out that your own soul could grow and develop?

Man-meditatingWhen we speak of the soul we mean the motive power of this physical body which lives under its entire control in accordance with its dictates. If the soul identifies itself with the material world it remains dark, for in the natural world there is corruption, aggression, struggles for existence, greed, darkness, transgression and vice. If the soul remains in this station and moves along these paths it will be the recipient of this darkness; but if it becomes the recipient of the graces of the world of mind, its darkness will be transformed into light, its tyranny into justice, its ignorance into wisdom, its aggression into loving kindness; until it reach the apex. Then there will not remain any struggle for existence. Man will become free from egotism; he will be released from the material world; he will become the personification of justice and virtue, for a sanctified soul illumines humanity and is an honor to mankind, conferring life upon the children of men and suffering all nations to attain to the station of perfect unity. – Abdu’l-Baha, Divine Philosophy, pp. 120-121.

Spiritual progress is through the breaths of the Holy Spirit and is the awakening of the conscious soul of man to perceive the reality of divinity. Material progress insures the happiness of the human world. Spiritual progress insures the happiness and eternal continuance of the soul. – Abdu’l-Baha, Foundations of World Unity, p. 85.

What if, after learning about the reality of your soul, you began to understand what originally caused your soul to exist?

The one true God hath everlastingly existed, and will everlastingly continue to exist. His creation, likewise, hath had no beginning, and will have no end. All that is created, however, is preceded by a cause. This fact, in itself, establisheth, beyond the shadow of a doubt, the unity of the Creator. – Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 162.

Know thou of a truth that the soul, after its separation from the body, will continue to progress until it attaineth the presence of God, in a state and condition which neither the revolution of ages and centuries, nor the changes and chances of this world, can alter. It will endure as long as the Kingdom of God, His sovereignty, His dominion and power will endure. It will manifest the signs of God and His attributes, and will reveal His loving kindness and bounty. – Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 155.

Since everything that exists has a cause, what if you discovered and began to believe in the ultimate cause?

As we… reflect with broad minds upon this infinite universe, we observe that motion without a motive force, and an effect without a cause are both impossible; that every being hath come to exist under numerous influences and continually undergoeth reaction. These influences, too, are formed under the action of still other influences. For instance, plants grow and flourish through the outpourings of vernal showers, whilst the cloud itself is formed under various other agencies and these agencies in their turn are reacted upon by still other agencies. For example, plants and animals grow and develop under the influence of what the philosophers of our day designate as hydrogen and oxygen and are reacted upon by the effects of these two elements; and these in turn are formed under still other influences. The same can be said of other beings whether they affect other things or be affected. Such process of causation goes on, and to maintain that this process goes on indefinitely is manifestly absurd. Thus such a chain of causation must of necessity lead eventually to Him who is the Ever-Living, the All-Powerful, who is Self-Dependent and the Ultimate Cause. This Universal Reality cannot be sensed, it cannot be seen. It must be so of necessity, for it is All-Embracing, not circumscribed, and such attributes qualify the effect and not the cause. – Abdu’l-Baha, Tablet to August Forel, p. 18.

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Comments

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  • Apr 15, 2015
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    This is a wonderful compilation of illumining excerpts from the Writings of Abdul-Baha and Baha'u'llah. Thank you, so much.
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