29 October 2021
Istiqlál, 15 ‘Ilm (Knowledge), 178 B.E.
Red leaf—one of thousands brought down by the rain!
Played with new features of Monterey. I have more to learn than I anticipated.
Compared productivity on iPad Pro to MacBook Air—the Air still wins, but barely.
Marc Bosserman on Instagram and YouTube—The Girl from Ipanema
Astral Prospecting on Instagram:
A day off due to rain—what better time to go …
The Bahá’í teachings on the twofold nature of human beings help to explain the broad range of behaviors and characters among people, from those who embody goodness and selflessness to those who are filled with hatred and selfishness. Through the exercise of free will to develop his or her spiritual or material qualities, each person has the potential to be either the light of the world or its darkness: “God Himself does not compel the soul to become spiritual. The exercise of the free human will is necessary.”
Being spiritually inclined does not mean forsaking all material possessions, foregoing the pleasures of this world or forgetting about the practical necessities of life. One can have possessions, yet not be possessed by them. One can enjoy the physical pleasures of this early life, but not make them the object of life. And one can, and should, maintain one’s health and attend to life’s practical needs without being obsessed with world necessities. As the Bahá’í teachings point out:
Life is a load which must be carried on while we are on earth, but the cares of the lower things of life should not be allowed to monopolize all the thoughts and aspirations of a human being. The heart’s ambitions should ascend to a more glorious goal, mental activity should rise to higher levels! Men should hold in their souls the vision of celestial perfection, and there prepare a dwelling-place for the inexhaustible bounty of the Divine Spirit. 1
From the Bahá’í perspective, one may partake of the benefits of the material world so long as those benefits do not interfere with one’s relationship with God. Bahá’u’lláh explained:
Should a man wish to adorn himself with the ornaments of the earth, to wear its apparels, or partake of the benefits it can bestow, no harm can befall him, if he alloweth nothing whatever to intervene between him and God, for God hath ordained every good thing, whether created in the heavens or in the earth, for such of His servants as truly believe in Him. 2 3
My sister and brother-in-law recently relocated and chose to donate several books in their library rather than move them. Many of these volumes are not well-known, but due to the topics they cover and the manner in which their authors explore them, they warrant a nod of recognition before being sent on their way. Accordingly, most quotes referenced in the “Quoted” section come from these books. Maybe they will stir (or renew) your interest, too.
- ʻAbduʼl-Bahá. Paris Talks: Addresses given by ʻAbduʼl-Bahá in Paris in 1911-1912. 11th British Ed. 1912. Reprint, London, England: Baháʼí Publishing Trust, 1972, 99. https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/abdul-baha/paris-talks/3#247298635 [return]
- Baháʼuʼlláh. Gleanings from the Writings of Baháʼuʼlláh. Translated by Shoghi Effendi. Rev Ed. Wilmette, Ill: Baháʼí Publishing Trust, 1952, 276. https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/bahaullah/gleanings-writings-bahaullah/7#155228598. [return]
- Vafai, Shahin. The Bahá’í Faith: Teachings, History and Practices. 1st ed., Palabra Publications, 2011, 16-17. [return]