The Holy Manifestations of God come into the world in order to effect the disappearance of the physical, the animal, dark aspect of man, so that the darkness in him may be dispelled, his imperfections be eradicated, his spiritual, heavenly phase may become manifest, his God like aspect may become paramount and his perfections might become visible, his innate great power may become known, and that all the virtues of the world of humanity potential within him may come to life. Thus these Holy Manifestations of God are the educators and trainers of the world of existence and they are the teachers of the world of humanity.
These Holy Manifestations of God liberate men from the world of darkness and nature. They deliver him from gloom, from error, from hideousness, from ignorance, from imperfections, and likewise from all the evil qualities. Then they cause him to be clad in the garment of perfection and high virtues. Men are ignorant; the Manifestations of God make them wise. They are animalistic; the Manifestations make them human. They are ferocious; the Manifestations cause them to become kingdoms of light. They are unjust; the Manifestations cause them to be just. Man is selfish; they cause him to be severed from self and desire. Men are haughty; the Manifestations cause them to become meek and amiable. They are earthly; the Manifestations cause them to be heavenly. They are material; They cause them to become divine. They are immature children; the Manifestations cause them to become mature. Men are poor; They cause them to become wealthy. They are base; they cause them to become noble. Men are mean, and They cause them to become lofty.
To be brief, these Holy Manifestations liberate the world of humanity from the imperfections which beset it and cause men to appear in the garment of heavenly perfections. Were it not for the coming of these Holy Manifestations of God, all men would be found on the plane of the animal. They would be similar to ignorant individuals who have never seen a school, who have never had a trainer. For such individuals will undoubtedly remain ignorant. (‘Abdu’l-Baha, from an address given at the Theosophical Society, 2228 Broadway, New York City, December 4, 1912; Star of the West, vol. VII, no. 8, August 1, 1916)