Fidál, 12 Rahmat (Mercy), 179 B.E
Our big saucer magnolia (Magnolia soulangeana) tree threw caution to the wind and budded out with the warmer than usual weather in early March. Unfortunately, it was a bad bet as the overnight temperatures dipped below freezing before the month was out and nipped them all. Well, almost all, as it turns out. Unbelievably, there are a handful of buds on taller branches which opened up some three months later. Here’s one of them I could barely reach even on a ladder:
Not the best in shape or condition, but decent coloration even when blooming this late. Wonders never cease — including the fact that I didn’t fall off the ladder trying to take the photo ;-)
My project time today was dedicated to catching up on correspondence with dear friends. I had neglected doing so earlier in an effort to get the now posted presentations done. Next, I can turn my attention to adding more content to Framework for Understanding the World and take advantage of the prep work I did over the holiday weekend.
Consider to what a remarkable extent the spirituality of people has been overcome by materialism so that spiritual susceptibility seems to have vanished, divine civilization become decadent, and guidance and knowledge of God no longer remain. All are submerged in the sea of materialism. Although some attend churches and temples of worship and devotion, it is in accordance with the traditions and imitations of their fathers and not for the investigation of reality. For it is evident they have not found reality and are not engaged in its adoration. They are holding to certain imitations which have descended to them from their fathers and ancestors. They have become accustomed to passing a certain length of time in temple worship and conforming to imitations and ceremonies. The proof of this is that the son of every Jewish father becomes a Jew and not a Christian; the son of every Muslim becomes a follower of Islám; the son of every Christian proves to be a Christian; the son of every Zoroastrian is a Zoroastrian, etc. Therefore, religious faith and belief is merely a remnant of blind imitations which have descended through fathers and ancestors. Because this man’s father was a Jew, he considers himself a Jew. Not that he has investigated reality and proved satisfactorily to himself that Judaism is right—nay, rather, he is aware that his forefathers have followed this course; therefore, he has held to it himself.
The purpose of this is to explain that the darkness of imitations encompasses the world. Every nation is holding to its traditional religious forms. The light of reality is obscured. Were these various nations to investigate reality, there is no doubt they would attain to it. As reality is one, all nations would then become as one nation. So long as they adhere to various imitations and are deprived of reality, strife and warfare will continue and rancor and sedition prevail. If they investigate reality, neither enmity nor rancor will remain, and they will attain to the utmost concord among themselves. 1
- ʻAbduʼl-Bahá. The Promulgation of Universal Peace: Talks Delivered by ʻAbduʼl-Bahá during His Visit to the United States and Canada in 1912. Edited by Howard MacNutt. 2nd ed. Wilmette, Ill: Baháʼí Publishing Trust, 1982, 221. https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/abdul-baha/promulgation-universal-peace/16#695281489 [return]