December 29, 2013

The “verities of the Faith”

By 'verities of the Faith' he[Shoghi Effendi] means the great teachings and fundamentals enshrined in our Bahá'í literature; these we can find by reading the books, studying under Bahá'í scholars at summer schools and in classes, and through the aid of study outlines. (From a letter dated April 19, 1947 written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer; compilation: Lights of Guidance)

December 25, 2013

The cause of sickness

Sickness reveals a lack of balance in human organism, an absence of equilibrium in the forces essential for the normal functioning of the human body." (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, March 8, 1936; compilation: ‘Lights of Guidance’)

December 20, 2013

To become “armed with the love of God and imbued with His purpose for a struggling mankind”

Our prayers ascend at the Holy Threshold that every session of this historic meeting will attract Divine Blessings, and that each soul, armed with the love of God and imbued with His purpose for a struggling mankind, will arise to activate, beyond all present hope, the vast spiritual potentialities of the Americas. (The Universal House of Justice, excerpt from a message dated May 1971, to the Friends of God gathered in the Caribbean Conference; Messages from the Universal House of Justice, 1963-1986) (To read the entire message please visit Messages to the Baha’i World Community – by the Universal House of Justice)

December 16, 2013

December 15, 2013

Entities addressed by Baha’u’llah in the Hidden Words -- selectively grouped

Arabic Hidden Words:

O SON OF THE SUPREME!
O SON OF THE THRONE!
O SON OF SPIRIT!
O SON OF LIGHT!
O SON OF BEAUTY!
O SON OF UTTERANCE!
O SON OF THE WONDROUS VISION!
O SON OF HIM THAT STOOD BY HIS OWN ENTITY IN THE KINGDOM OF HIS SELF!
O SON OF BEING!
O SON OF MAN!

O YE SONS OF SPIRIT!

O CHILDREN OF THE DIVINE AND INVISIBLE ESSENCE!
O CHILDREN OF MEN!

Persian Hidden Words:

December 14, 2013

Translations of the Writings

Concerning the different translations of the words. It is surely the original text that should never be changed. The translations will continue to vary as more & better translations are made. Shoghi Effendi does not consider even his own translations as final, how much more translations made in the early days of the Cause in the West when no competent translators existed. (From a letter dated 14 August 1930 written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer; ‘Shoghi Effendi, Messages to the Antipodes’)

December 8, 2013

A “melting pot and a meeting place for the races of men”

The Americas have been a melting pot and a meeting place for the races of men, and the need is acute for the fulfillment of God's promises of the realization of the oneness of mankind. (The Universal House of Justice, excerpt from a message dated May 1971, to the Friends of God gathered in the Caribbean Conference; Messages from the Universal House of Justice, 1963-1986) (To read the entire message please visit Messages to the Baha’i World Community – by the Universal House of Justice)

December 4, 2013

“…the greatest magnet for attracting people to the Faith and confirming them.”

All the Bahá'ís, new and old alike, should devote themselves as much as possible to teaching the Faith; they should also realize that the atmosphere of true love and unity which they manifest within the Bahá'í Community will directly affect the public, and be the greatest magnet for attracting people to the Faith and confirming them. (From a letter dated 4 April 1947 written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the Local Spiritual Assembly of Stuttgart, Germany; The Compilation of Compilations, vol. II, Guidelines for Teaching)

December 1, 2013

‘Abdu’l-Baha’s commentary on this well-known Islamic tradition concerning God and His creation: “I was a Hidden Treasure. I wished to be made known, and thus I called creation into being in order that I might be known.”

“O wayfarer in the path of the Beloved! Know thou that the main purpose of this holy tradition is to make mention of the stages of God’s concealment and manifestation within the Embodiments of Truth, They who are the Dawning-places of His All-Glorious Being. For example, before the flame of the undying Fire is lit and manifest, it existeth by itself within itself in the hidden identity of the universal Manifestations, and this is the stage of the “Hidden Treasure”. And when the blessed Tree is kindled by itself within itself, and that Divine Fire burneth by its essence within its essence, this is the stage of “I wished to be made known”. And when it shineth forth from the Horizon of the universe with infinite Divine Names and Attributes upon the contingent and placeless worlds, this constituteth the emergence of a new and wondrous creation which correspondeth to the stage of “Thus I called creation into being”. And when the sanctified souls rend asunder the veils of all earthly attachments and worldly conditions, and hasten to the stage of gazing on the beauty of the Divine Presence and are honoured by recognizing the Manifestation and are able to witness the splendour of God’s Most Great Sign in their hearts, then will the purpose of creation, which is the knowledge of Him Who is the Eternal Truth, become manifest.” (‘Abdu’l-Baha, quoted in the ‘Notes” section of the Kitab-i-Aqdas, prepared by the Research Department of the Universal House of Justice)

November 27, 2013

Enoch Olinga with Elsie Austin, Knight of Baha’u’llah for Morocco

Enoch Olinga, later to be appointed a Hand of the Cause of God (second left), and Elsie Austin (right) with other Baha'is at the African Intercontinental Baha'i Conference, Kampala, Uganda, 1953. (Baha’i World News Service)

November 26, 2013

Baha’u’llah’s "Most Great Tablet" - the "Crimson Book"

To direct and canalize these forces let loose by this Heaven-sent process, and to insure their harmonious and continuous operation after His ascension, an instrument divinely ordained, invested with indisputable authority, organically linked with the Author of the Revelation Himself, was clearly indispensable. That instrument Bahá'u'lláh had expressly provided through the institution of the Covenant, an institution which he had firmly established prior to His ascension. This same Covenant He had anticipated in His Kitáb-i-Aqdas, had alluded to it as He bade His last farewell to the members of His family, who had been summoned to His bed-side, in the days immediately preceding His ascension, and had incorporated it in a special document which He designated as "the Book of My Covenant," and which He entrusted, during His last illness, to His eldest son 'Abdu'l-Bahá. Written entirely in His own hand ... this unique and epoch- making Document, designated by Bahá'u'lláh as His "Most Great Tablet," and alluded to by Him as the "Crimson Book" in His "Epistle to the Son of the Wolf," can find no parallel in the Scriptures of any previous Dispensation, not excluding that of the Báb Himself. For nowhere in the books pertaining to any of the world's religious systems, not even among the writings of the Author of the Báb' Revelation, do we find any single document establishing a Covenant endowed with an authority comparable to the Covenant which Bahá'u'lláh had Himself instituted. (Shoghi Effendi, ‘God Passes By’; The Compilation of Compilations, vol. I, The Covenant)

November 22, 2013

A rule to guide one’s life – a believer sought advice from ‘Abdu’l-Baha

O thou dear handmaid of God! Thy letter hath been received and its contents noted. Thou didst ask for a rule whereby to guide thy life.

Believe thou in God, and keep thine eyes fixed upon the exalted Kingdom; be thou enamoured of the Abhá Beauty; stand thou firm in the Covenant; yearn thou to ascend into the Heaven of the Universal Light. Be thou severed from this world, and reborn through the sweet scents of holiness that blow from the realm of the All-Highest. Be thou a summoner to love, and be thou kind to all the human race. Love thou the children of men and share in their sorrows. Be thou of those who foster peace. Offer thy friendship, be worthy of trust. Be thou a balm to every sore, be thou a medicine for every ill. Bind thou the souls together. Recite thou the verses of guidance. Be engaged in the worship of thy Lord, and rise up to lead the people aright. Loose thy tongue and teach, and let thy face be bright with the fire of God’s love. Rest thou not for a moment, seek thou to draw no easeful breath. Thus mayest thou become a sign and symbol of God’s love, and a banner of His grace. (‘Abdu’l-Baha, ‘Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Baha’)

November 19, 2013

1989: Hand of the Cause of God Collis Featherstone and his wife, Madge, with some friends in Thailand

The Hand of the Cause of God Collis Featherstone and his wife, Madge, are pictured with some of the friends at a refugee camp in Thailand during their tour of Southeast Asia in 1989. Mr. Featherstone was taken ill while visiting Nepal in September and passed away on September 29 in Kathmandu. (Baha'i News, September/October 1990)

November 18, 2013

When the “seed of the spirit” starts to “grow in the human soul”

When a person becomes a Baha'i, actually what takes place is that the seed of the spirit starts to grow in the human soul. This seed must be watered by the outpourings of the Holy Spirit. These gifts of the spirit are received through prayer, meditation, study of the Holy Utterances and service to the Cause of God. The fact of the matter is that service in the Cause is like the plough which ploughs the physical soil when seeds are sown. It is necessary that the soil be ploughed up, so that it can be enriched, and thus cause a stronger growth of the seed. In exactly the same way the evolution of the spirit takes place through ploughing up the soil of the heart so that it is a constant reflection of the Holy Spirit. In this way the human spirit grows and develops by leaps and bounds.

Naturally there will be periods of distress and difficulty, and even severe tests; but if that person turns firmly toward the divine Manifestation, studies carefully His spiritual teachings and receives the blessings of the Holy Spirit, he will find that in reality these tests and difficulties have been the gifts of God to enable him to grow and develop." (From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to an individual believer, October 6, 1954; compilation: Living the Life; compilation: Lights of Guidance)

November 13, 2013

The “double task of simultaneously building an ideal society and perfecting the behavior of individuals”

At the very core of the aims of the Faith are the establishment of justice and unity in the world, the removal of prejudice and enmity from among all people, the awakening of compassion and understanding in the hearts of all men and women, and the raising of all souls to a new level of spirituality and behavior through the vitalizing influence of divine Revelation. The course set forth by Bahá'u'lláh for the attainment of these aims is the double task of simultaneously building an ideal society and perfecting the behavior of individuals. For this dual and reciprocal transformation He has not only revealed laws, principles and truths attuned to the needs of this age, but has established the very nucleus and pattern of those institutions which are to evolve into the structure of the divinely purposed world society. (From a letter dated July 2, 1996 written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer)

November 10, 2013

The secret to knowing one’s self

The more we search for ourselves, the less likely we are to find ourselves; and the more we search for God, and to serve our fellow-men, the more profoundly will we become acquainted with ourselves, and the more inwardly assured. This is one of the great spiritual laws of life. (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, February 18, 1954; Lights of Guidance)

November 7, 2013

Worldwide Plans issued by the Guardian and the Universal House of Justice are “phases in the implementation of the Divine Plan of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, set out in fourteen of His Tablets to North America”

... we should never forget that the beloved Guardian's Ten Year Crusade, the current Nine Year Plan, other plans to follow throughout successive epochs of the Formative Age of the Faith, are all phases in the implementation of the Divine Plan of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, set out in fourteen of His Tablets to North America. (The Universal House of Justice, Ridvan 1971 message to the Baha’i World; ‘Messages from the Universal House of Justice, 1963-1986’) (To read the entire message please visit Messages to the Baha’i World Community– by the Universal House of Justice)

November 5, 2013

The release of the “spiritual powers” of Afro-Americans and Amerindians

Particularly do the Master and the Guardian point to the Afro-Americans and the Amerindians, two great ethnic groups whose spiritual powers will be released through their response to the Creative Word. (The Universal House of Justice, excerpt from a message dated May 1971, to the Friends of God gathered in the Caribbean Conference; Messages from the Universal House of Justice, 1963-1986) (To read the entire message please visit Messages to the Baha’i World Community – by the Universal House of Justice)

October 31, 2013

October 29, 2013

No need to stand and face the Qiblih when the Tablets of Visitation are recited

Nothing has been found in the Bahá'í Writings requiring the friends to stand and face the Qiblih whenever the Tablets of Visitation are recited. No issue should be made of this matter when a Holy Day observance is being held. However, when one is actually in, or within the precincts of one of the Holy Shrines, it is an act of simple reverence to stand and face that Shrine when the Tablet of Visitation is recited. (From a letter dated 19 August 1992 written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer)

October 27, 2013

The “worst human quality and the most great sin”

... the worst human quality and the most great sin is backbiting; more especially when it emanates from the tongues of the believers of God. If some means were devised so that the doors of backbiting could be shut eternally and each one of the believers of God unsealed his tongue in the praise of the other, then the teachings of His Holiness Baha'u'llah would be spread, the hearts illuminated, the spirits glorified and the human world would attain to everlasting felicity.

I hope that the believers of God will shun completely backbiting, each one praising the other cordially and believe that backbiting is the cause of Divine wrath, to such an extent that if a person backbites to the extent of one word, he may become dishonored among all the people, because the most hateful characteristic of man is fault-finding. One must expose the praiseworthy qualities of the souls and not their evil attributes. The friends must overlook their shortcomings and faults and speak only of their virtues and not their defects.

October 20, 2013

What is Consolidation? – The House of Justice explains

Consolidation is as vital a part of the teaching work as expansion. It is that aspect of teaching which assists the believers to deepen their knowledge and understanding of the Teachings, and fans the flame of their devotion to Baha'u'llah and His Cause, so that they will, of their own volition, continue the process of their spiritual development, promote the teaching work, and strengthen the functioning of their administrative institutions. Proper consolidation is essential to the preservation of the spiritual health of the community, to the protection of its interests, to the upholding of its good name, and ultimately to the continuation of the work of expansion itself. (17 April 1981, written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to all National Spiritual Assemblies; Compilation ‘Entry By Troops’, prepared by the Research Department of the Universal House of Justice) 

October 15, 2013

Prayer for Protection by Bahá'u'lláh -- originally written as "Du’á-yi Hifz"

(The following prayer of protection for the bearer has recently (July/August 1996) been translated into English from Arabic at the Bahá'í World Centre)

In His Name, the Exalted, the All-Highest, the Most Sublime!

Glorified art Thou, O Lord my God! O Thou Who art my God, and my Master, and my Lord, and my Support, and my Hope, and my Refuge, and my Light. I ask of Thee, by Thine Hidden and Treasured Name, that none knoweth save Thine own Self, to protect the bearer of this Tablet from every calamity and pestilence, and from every wicked man and woman; from the evil of the evil-doers, and from the scheming of the unbelievers. Preserve him, moreover, O my God, from every pain and vexation, O Thou Who holdest in Thy hand the empire of all things. Thou, truly, art powerful over all things. Thou doest as Thou willest, and ordainest as Thou pleasest.

O Thou King of Kings! O Thou kind Lord! O Thou Source of ancient bounty, of grace, of generosity and bestowal! O Thou Healer of sicknesses! O Thou Sufficer of needs! O Thou Light of Light! O Thou Light above all Lights! O Thou Revealer of every Manifestation! O Thou the Compassionate! O Thou the Merciful! Do Thou have mercy upon the bearer of this Tablet, through Thy most great mercy and Thine abundant grace, O Thou the Gracious, Thou the Bounteous. Guard him, moreover, through Thy protection, from whatsoever his heart and mind may find repugnant. Of those endued with power, Thou, verily, art the most powerful. 

The Glory of God rest upon thee, O thou rising sun! Do thou testify unto that which God hath testified of His own Self, that there is none other God besides Him, the Almighty, the Best-Beloved. (Bahá'u'lláh; included in a letter dated 12 August 1996 written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer)

Background information contained in the 12 August 1996 letter:

October 10, 2013

Attributes of the sincere and truthful – ‘Abdu’l-Baha explains

Wherefore, O my loving friends! Consort with all the peoples, kindreds and religions of the world with the utmost truthfulness, uprightness, faithfulness, kindliness, good-will and friendliness, that all the world of being may be filled with the holy ecstasy of the grace of Bahá, that ignorance, enmity, hate and rancor may vanish from the world and the darkness of estrangement amidst the peoples and kindreds of the world may give way to the Light of Unity. Should other peoples and nations be unfaithful to you show your fidelity unto them, should they be unjust toward you show justice towards them, should they keep aloof from you attract them to yourselves, should they show their enmity be friendly towards them, should they poison your lives, sweeten their souls, should they inflict a wound upon you, be a salve to their sores. Such are the attributes of the sincere! Such are the attributes of the truthful. (‘Abdu’l-Baha, ‘The Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Baha’)

September 30, 2013

Attributes of perfection for a human being – ‘Abdu’l-Baha identifies

The first attribute of perfection is learning and the cultural attainments of the mind, and this eminent station is achieved when the individual combines in himself a thorough knowledge of those complex and transcendental realities pertaining to God, of the fundamental truths of Qur’ánic political and religious law, of the contents of the sacred Scriptures of other faiths, and of those regulations and procedures which would contribute to the progress and civilization of this distinguished country… The second attribute of perfection is justice and impartiality. This means to have no regard for one’s own personal benefits and selfish advantages, and to carry out the laws of God without the slightest concern for anything else... The third requirement of perfection is to arise with complete sincerity and purity of purpose to educate the masses: to exert the utmost effort to instruct them in the various branches of learning and useful sciences, to encourage the development of modern progress, to widen the scope of commerce, industry and the arts, to further such measures as will increase the people’s wealth... Other attributes of perfection are to fear God, to love God by loving His servants, to exercise mildness and forbearance and calm, to be sincere, amenable, clement and compassionate; to have resolution and courage, trustworthiness and energy, to strive and struggle, to be generous, loyal, without malice, to have zeal and a sense of honor, to be high-minded and magnanimous, and to have regard for the rights of others. Whoever is lacking in these excellent human qualities is defective. (‘Abdu’l-Baha, ‘The Secret of Divine Civilization’)

September 23, 2013

The “Will and Testament of 'Abdu'l-Bahá and of the Tablets of the Divine Plan” are “the two charters provided by the Master for the administration and the teaching of the Cause of God.”

As we contemplate the fruits of the Master's Ministry harvested during the first fifty years of the Formative Age, a period dominated by the dynamic and beloved figure of Shoghi Effendi, whose life was dedicated to the systematic implementation of the provisions of the Will and Testament of 'Abdu'l-Bahá and of the Tablets of the Divine Plan -- the two charters provided by the Master for the administration and the teaching of the Cause of God - we may well experience a sense of awe at the prospect of the next fifty years. (The Universal House of Justice, Ridvan 1971 message to the Baha’i World; ‘Messages from the Universal House of Justice, 1963-1986’) (To read the entire message please visit Messages to the Baha’i World Community – by the UniversalHouse of Justice)

September 18, 2013

“…dispute not with anybody over anything”

I ask God to help thee to become humble and submissive to all of beloved of God. Be kind and easy and compassionate to all. And dispute not with anybody over anything. Speak of the Divine Word. But if contradicted by a certain person, do not argue with him, follow my steps in all matters and take my disposition as an example for you in dealing with all persons. Rely upon God, the Living, the Self Existent. (‘Abdu’l-Baha, excerpt from a Tablet to Arthur Dodge, quoted by his son, William in a talk) (To hear and read the entire talk please visit Baha’i Talks, Messages and Articles)

September 13, 2013

The “deeds” of the Hands of the Cause “eclipse the acts of the apostles of old”

The travels and other services of the Hands of the Cause of God continually evoke our thankfulness and delight, even wonder and astonishment. Their deeds are such as to eclipse the acts of the apostles of old and to confer eternal splendour on this period of the Formative Age. On behalf of all the friends everywhere, we offer them our reverent love and gratitude. It is fitting to record here the passing, after seventy years' exemplary service to the Faith, of the Hand of the Cause Agnes Alexander, whose early services in Hawaii were said by the Master to be greater than if she had founded an empire. (The Universal House of Justice, Ridvan 1971 message to the Baha’i World; ‘Messages from the Universal House of Justice, 1963-1986’) (To read the entire message please visit Messages to the Baha’i World Community –by the Universal House of Justice)

September 8, 2013

Some highlights from the 2013 Ridvan Message of the Universal House of Justice -- part 2

…becoming aware that the three-month cycles of activity in a cluster is the “rhythmic pulse of the programme of growth”
“… the three-month cycles of activity —  rhythmic pulse of the programme of growth …”

…realizing that there are “two complementary perspectives on the pattern of action” that develop in a cluster
“… to keep two complementary perspectives on the pattern of action developing in the cluster firmly in view: one, the three-month cycles of activity—the rhythmic pulse of the programme of growth—and the other, the distinct stages of a process of education for children, for junior youth, and for youth and adults.”

…understanding that the process of education in a cluster contains “three stages”
While understanding clearly the relationship that connects these three stages, [“for children, for junior youth, and for youth and adults”] the friends are aware that each has its own dynamics, its own requirements, and its own inherent merit.

…becoming “conscious” of the “operation of powerful spiritual forces”
Above all, they are conscious of the operation of powerful spiritual forces, whose workings can be discerned as much in the quantitative data that reflect the community's progress as in the array of accounts that narrate its accomplishments.

…deepening our capacity for fostering a “rich and intricate pattern of life” within a cluster
As the experience of the friends has deepened, their capacity for fostering within a cluster a rich and intricate pattern of life, embracing hundreds or even thousands of people, has risen. How pleased we are to note the many insights the believers are gaining from their endeavours.

…realizing the dynamic nature of the Plan at cluster level and trying not to simplify it
… the Plan's gradual unfoldment at the level of the cluster is a dynamic process, one that is necessarily complex and does not lend itself to ready simplification.

September 3, 2013

August 31, 2013

“When there is a quarrel all are wrong. But when there is love all are right.”

Some years ago two believers became excited over a discussion as to the station of the Blessed Perfection. One of them declaring that Baha’u’llah was the holy identity of God. To settle the dispute they submitted the matter to the holy presence and the Blessed Perfection answered: “When there is a quarrel all are wrong. But when there is love all are right.” The Blessed Perfection said: the only thing that is not beloved is discord. And all that is beloved is love. The believers must love each other, and must reflect the love of God. Some may say the lamp is the light, others may say the lamp is the place of the manifestation of the light. Both statements are correct. But what is wrong is the quarrel. Because it is contrary to the foundation laid by God. (‘Abdu’l-Baha, from a table talk; excerpt from the transcript of a talk given by William Copeland Dodge relating the account of his pilgrimage to ‘Akka in 1901) (To listen to and read the entire talk please visit Baha’i Talks, Messages and Articles) 

August 22, 2013

What to do if one sees “fellow believers violating Bahá'í laws or engaging in conduct inimical to the welfare and best interests of the Faith”

While it can be a severe test to a Bahá'í to see fellow believers violating Bahá'í laws or engaging in conduct inimical to the welfare and best interests of the Faith, there is no fixed rule that a believer must follow when such conduct comes to his notice. A great deal depends upon the seriousness of the offence and upon the relationship which exists between him and the offender.

If the misconduct is blatant and flagrant or threatens the interests of the Faith the believer to whose attention it comes should immediately report it to the Local Spiritual Assembly. Once it is in the hands of the Assembly the believer's obligation is discharged and he should do no more than pray for the offender and continue to show him friendship and encouragement - unless, of course, the Spiritual Assembly asks him to take specific action.

Sometimes, however, the matter does not seem grave enough to warrant reporting to the Spiritual Assembly, in which case it may be best to ignore it altogether. There are also other things that can be done by the Bahá'í to whose notice such things come. For example he could foster friendly relations with the individual concerned, tactfully drawing him into Bahá'í activities in the hope that, as his knowledge of the teachings and awareness of the Faith deepens, he will spontaneously improve his patterns of conduct. Or perhaps the relationship is such that he can tactfully draw the offender's attention to the teachings on the subject - but here he must be very careful not to give him the impression of prying into a fellow-believer's private affairs or of telling him what he must do, which would not only be wrong in itself but might well produce the reverse of the desired reaction.

August 19, 2013

The Twentieth Century: ‘Abdu’l-Baha identifies it as “the miracle of centuries”

Praise be to God! The springtime of God is at hand. This century is, verily, the spring season. The world of mind and kingdom of soul have become fresh and verdant by its bestowals. It has resuscitated the whole realm of existence. On one hand, the lights of reality are shining; on the other, the clouds of divine mercy are pouring down the fullness of heavenly bounty. Wonderful material progress is evident, and great spiritual discoveries are being made. Truly, this can be called the miracle of centuries, for it is replete with manifestations of the miraculous. The time has come when all mankind shall be united, when all races shall be loyal to one fatherland, all religions become one religion, and racial and religious bias pass away. It is a day in which the oneness of humankind shall uplift its standard and international peace, like the true morning, flood the world with its light. Therefore, we offer supplications to God, asking Him to dispel these gloomy clouds and uproot these imitations in order that the East and West may become radiant with love and unity, that the nations of the world shall embrace each other and the ideal spiritual brotherhood illumine the world like the glorious sun of the high heavens. This is our hope, our wish and desire. We pray that through the bounty and grace of God we may attain thereto. I am very happy to be present at this meeting which has innate radiance, intelligence, perception and longing to investigate reality. Such meetings are the glory of the world of mankind. I ask the blessing of God in your behalf. (‘Abdu’l-Baha, excerpt from a talk, 28 May 1912, New York; ‘The Promulgation of Universal Peace’)(To read the entire talk please visit ‘Talks of ‘Abdu’l-Baha’)

August 16, 2013

Nearness to God -- what a human being needs to do in order to attain it

But nearness to God is not an easy accomplishment. During the time Jesus Christ was upon the earth mankind sought nearness to God, but in that day no one attained it save a very few—His disciples. Those blessed souls were confirmed with divine nearness through the love of God. Divine nearness is dependent upon attainment to the knowledge of God, upon severance from all else save God. It is contingent upon self-sacrifice and to be found only through forfeiting wealth and worldly possessions. It is made possible through the baptism of water and fire revealed in the Gospels. Water symbolizes the water of life, which is knowledge, and fire is the fire of the love of God; therefore, man must be baptized with the water of life, the Holy Spirit and the fire of the love of the Kingdom. Until he attains these three degrees, nearness to God is not possible. (‘Abdu’l-Baha, excerpt from a talk, May 26, 1912, New York; ‘The Promulgation of the Universal Peace’) (To read the entire talk please visit ‘Talks of ‘Abdu’l-Baha’)

August 11, 2013

How we can help ourselves not to become angry or impatient with others – ‘Abdu’l-Baha explains

Be in perfect unity. Never become angry with one another. Let your eyes be directed toward the kingdom of truth and not toward the world of creation. Love the creatures for the sake of God and not for themselves. You will never become angry or impatient if you love them for the sake of God. Humanity is not perfect. There are imperfections in every human being, and you will always become unhappy if you look toward the people themselves. But if you look toward God, you will love them and be kind to them, for the world of God is the world of perfection and complete mercy. Therefore, do not look at the shortcomings of anybody; see with the sight of forgiveness. The imperfect eye beholds imperfections. The eye that covers faults looks toward the Creator of souls. He created them, trains and provides for them, endows them with capacity and life, sight and hearing; therefore, they are the signs of His grandeur. You must love and be kind to everybody, care for the poor, protect the weak, heal the sick, teach and educate the ignorant. (‘Abdu’l-Baha, from a talk, 5 May 1912, Chicago, Illinois; ‘The Promulgation of the Universal Peace’)

August 9, 2013

John Eichenauer - the youngest pioneer of the Baha'i Faith as of 1939

John Eichenauer, the youngest pioneer of the Baha'i Faith, who in 1939, at the age of seventeen, went to San Salvador to establish a Baha'i center. (The Baha'i World 1938-1940)

August 5, 2013

‘Abdu’l-Baha defines “Love”

Know thou of a certainty that Love is the secret of God's holy Dispensation, the manifestation of the All-Merciful, the fountain of spiritual outpourings. Love is heaven's kindly light, the Holy Spirit's eternal breath that vivifieth the human soul. Love is the cause of God's revelation unto man, the vital bond inherent, in accordance with the divine creation, in the realities of things. Love is the one means that ensureth true felicity both in this world and the next. Love is the light that guideth in darkness, the living link that uniteth God with man, that assureth the progress of every illumined soul. Love is the most great law that ruleth this mighty and heavenly cycle, the unique power that bindeth together the divers elements of this material world, the supreme magnetic force that directeth the movements of the spheres in the celestial realms. Love revealeth with unfailing and limitless power the mysteries latent in the universe. Love is the spirit of life unto the adorned body of mankind, the establisher of true civilization in this mortal world, and the shedder of imperishable glory upon every high-aiming race and nation. ('Abdu'l-Bahá: Selections from the Writings of 'Abdu'l-Bahá)

August 1, 2013

An early view of the resting-place of Baha'u'llah at Bahji

An early view of the resting-place of Baha'u'llah at Bahji, Haifa (The Baha'i World 1936-1938)

July 28, 2013

Every natural thing we see should remind us of God’s “signs, … tokens, and …testimonies.”

… whatever I behold I readily discover that it maketh Thee known unto me, and it remindeth me of Thy signs, and of Thy tokens, and of Thy testimonies. By Thy glory! Every time I lift up mine eyes unto Thy heaven, I call to mind Thy highness and Thy loftiness, and Thine incomparable glory and greatness; and every time I turn my gaze to Thine earth, I am made to recognize the evidences of Thy power and the tokens of Thy bounty. And when I behold the sea, I find that it speaketh to me of Thy majesty, and of the potency of Thy might, and of Thy sovereignty and Thy grandeur. And at whatever time I contemplate the mountains, I am led to discover the ensigns of Thy victory and the standards of Thine omnipotence. (Baha’u’llah, ‘Prayers and Meditations by Baha’u’llah’; The Compilation of Compilations vol. I, Conservation of Earth’s Resources)

July 25, 2013

The reason number nine is considered by the Bahá'ís as being sacred

The number nine, which in itself is the number of perfection, is considered by the Bahá'ís as sacred because it is symbolic of the perfection of the Bahá'í Revelation, which constitutes the ninth in the line of existing religions, the latest and fullest Revelation which mankind has ever known. The eighth is the Religion of the Báb, and the remaining seven are: Hinduism, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam and the religion of the Sabaeans. These religions are not the only true religions that have appeared in the world, but are the only ones which are still existing. There have always been divine prophets and messengers, to many of whom the Qur'án refers. But the only ones existing are those mentioned above. (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, dated 28 July 1936; The Compilation of Compilations, vol. I, Extracts from the Baha’i Writings on Buddha, Krishna, Zoroaster, and related subjects) 

July 21, 2013

114 Youth Conferences Worldwide

This web site lists all 114 youth conferences called for by the Universal House of Justice, their locations, conference reports and pictures of participant at those already held.

http://news.bahai.org/community-news/youth-conferences/

July 20, 2013

Prayer for the wife of the Báb, Khadijih Bagum – revealed by Baha’u’llah

O my God! I beseech Thee by Thy Beauty Whom Thou hast revealed and made manifest in truth, He Whom Thou hast sent to all the inhabitants of the world. Among the Highest Concourse Thou hast called Him the Most Great Announcement, and among the people of the world Thou named Him 'Ali. I beseech Thee moreover by His next appearance in the vesture of Abha, to deprive me not of the fragrances of the glory of Thy mercy and suffer me not to be far from the shore of the bounty of Thy nearness and beneficence. Thou verily rulest over all things.

O my God! Give me to drink from the Kawthar of Thy favour and from the outpourings of Thy bounty and bestowal, that I may be purified from all that is abhorrent to me and freed from this malady which hath afflicted me. Thou art verily to Thy servants the Most Forgiving and the Most Merciful. O my God! Rend asunder the veils that have intervened between me and Thee. Heal me then with the Kawthar of healing proffered from the fingers of Thy mercy that hath overtaken all things and encompassed all the dwellers of the world. O my God, disappoint me not of the wonders of Thy bounty and grace. Nourish me then from the everlasting chalices that Thou dost possess, and make me firm in Thy Cause. Thou art verily Powerful over all things. (Baha’u’llah, provisional translation, approved by the Universal House of Justice for inclusion in the book: ‘Leaves of the Twin Divine Trees’)

July 9, 2013

How should husband and wife view their relationship with each other -- advice from ‘Abdu’l-Baha

The man and wife must dedicate their knowledge, their talents, their fortunes, their titles, their bodies and their spirits, first to Baha’u’llah and then to each other. Their thoughts must be lofty, their ideals luminous, their hearts spiritual, and their souls the dawning-places of the rays of the Sun of Reality. They must not become ill-disposed toward each other on account of the ephemeral incidents and accidents of this changeful life. Their hearts must be spacious, as spacious as the universe of God. In case any difference of opinion should arise between them, they must do their utmost to settle it by themselves, and not let its knowledge go out of the family; for people are apt to change a speck into a mountain. Again, in case a circumstance causes a real offense between the two, they must not keep it in their hearts, but rather explain its nature to each other and try to remove it as soon as possible. They must prefer fellowship and amity to jealousy and hypocrisy, and be like two pure mirrors reflecting the light of the stars of love and beauty to each other.

July 6, 2013

A new social form in future as a result of the justice of God: “The rich…owing to certain provisions and restrictions they will not be able to accumulate so much as to be burdened by its management…”

Among the results of the manifestation of spiritual forces will be that the human world will adapt itself to a new social form, the justice of God will become manifest throughout human affairs, and human equality will be universally established. The poor will receive a great bestowal, and the rich attain eternal happiness. For although at the present time the rich enjoy the greatest luxury and comfort, they are nevertheless deprived of eternal happiness; for eternal happiness is contingent upon giving, and the poor are everywhere in the state of abject need. Through the manifestation of God’s great equity the poor of the world will be rewarded and assisted fully, and there will be a readjustment in the economic conditions of mankind so that in the future there will not be the abnormally rich nor the abject poor. The rich will enjoy the privilege of this new economic condition as well as the poor, for owing to certain provisions and restrictions they will not be able to accumulate so much as to be burdened by its management, while the poor will be relieved from the stress of want and misery. The rich will enjoy his palace, and the poor will have his comfortable cottage. (‘Abdu’l-Baha, from a talk, 19 May 1912, New Jersey; ‘The Promulgation of Universal Peace’)

July 2, 2013

Táhirih – a description by Shoghi Effendi

A poetess, less than thirty years of age, of distinguished birth, of bewitching charm, of captivating eloquence, indomitable in spirit, unorthodox in her views, audacious in her acts, immortalized as Táhirih (the Pure One) by the “Tongue of Glory,” and surnamed Qurratu’l-‘Ayn (Solace of the Eyes) by Siyyid Kázim, her teacher, she had, in consequence of the appearance of the Báb to her in a dream, received the first intimation of a Cause which was destined to exalt her to the fairest heights of fame, and on which she, through her bold heroism, was to shed such imperishable luster. (Shoghi Effendi, ‘God Passes By’)

June 25, 2013

National and Local Temples called for by the Universal House of Justice in 2012 Ridvan Message

National and Local Temples called for by the Universal House of Justice in 2012 Ridvan Message (The American Baha'i, May-June 2013)

June 20, 2013

'Abdu'l-Baha counsels us to ”manifest such attributes and ethical conduct as to embody and personify the teachings of Bahá'u'lláh.”

… in this cycle of Bahá'u'lláh verbal confessions and acknowledgements, literal faith and certainty and external relations are of no avail. Nay, rather, the beloved of God and the maid-servants of the Merciful must manifest such attributes and ethical conduct as to embody and personify the teachings of Bahá'u'lláh. They must promulgate the law of the Kingdom with deeds and not words. Thus may they become the quintessence of being, the signs of the Kingdom of God, standards of the Supreme Concourse. May ye be salutary water for the thirsty, an evidence of guidance for the seeker, protection and support for the helpless, a shelter and home for the wanderers, the treasury of the Kingdom for the poor; the source of hope and happiness for the disappointed; the remedy of the heart and soul for the ailing. May you manifest the utmost of kindness to the human race; to weep with him who mourneth and to laugh with him who rejoiceth; sympathizing with the helpless; in communion with the wanderer; a friend to the friend and foe. (‘Abdu'l-Baha, Star of the West, vol. 1, no. 4, May 17, 1910)

June 15, 2013

Shoghi Effendi, before his appointment as Guardian

Shoghi Effendi, before his appointment as Guardian, at his small typewriter on the balcony of the room he occupied next to that of 'Abdu'l-Baha. (The Baha’i World 1996-1997)

June 9, 2013

The condition of those who belong to the Kingdom …

A Western Baha’i lady once asked Haji Mirza Haydar-‘Ali why the Bahá'ís all looked so happy (she was thinking especially of the radiant joy in his face). He replied, "Sometimes we have surface troubles, but that cannot touch our happiness. The hearts of those who belong to the Kingdom are like the sea. When the wind is rough it troubles the surface of the water; but two meters down there is perfect calmness." (The Baha’i Magazine (Star of the West), vol. 22, no. 8, November 1931)

June 2, 2013

One’s “bad morals and misconduct” would bring “calamities”!

Calamities are of two kinds. One kind results from bad morals and misconduct such as falsehood, dishonesty, treachery, cruelty and the like. Surely, misdeeds bring forth evil consequences. The other kind is the result of the exigencies of the contingent world, of consummate divine law, and of universal relationships, and is that which is bound to happen, as, for instance, changes, alterations, life and death. It is impossible that a tree should not wither or that life should not end in death. (‘Abdu’l-Baha, from a talk, New York, July 16, 1912; ‘Mahmud’s Diary’)

May 20, 2013

What should a Baha’i center his/her thoughts on and yearn for?

Consequently, one must close his eyes wholly to these thoughts, [“material rest, tranquillity, luxury and attachment to this corporeal world”] long for eternal life, the sublimity of the world of humanity, the celestial developments, the Holy Spirit, the promotion of the Word of God, the guidance of the inhabitants of the globe, the promulgation of universal peace and the proclamation of the oneness of the world of humanity! This is the work! Otherwise like unto other animals and birds one must occupy himself with the requirements of this physical life, the satisfaction of which is the highest aspiration of the animal kingdom, and one must stalk across the earth like unto the quadrupeds. (‘Abdu’l-Baha, ‘Tablets of the Divine Plan’)

May 10, 2013

Some highlights from the 2013 Ridvan Message of the Universal House of Justice -- part 1

--- becoming aware of the “power possessed by the Word of God”
"To those who pause to reflect on the unfoldment of the Divine Plan, it becomes impossible to ignore how the power possessed by the Word of God is ascendant in the hearts of women and men, children and youth, in country after country, in cluster after cluster.”

--- refining our ability to read our “immediate reality”
“A worldwide community is refining its ability to read its immediate reality, analyse its possibilities, and apply judiciously the methods and instruments of the Five Year Plan.”

--- enabling “… an ever-rising number of individuals to strengthen their capacity for service”
“… in clusters where the frontiers of learning are being consciously advanced … the means for enabling an ever-rising number of individuals to strengthen their capacity for service are well understood.”

--- realizing that a “vibrant training institute” is the “mainstay of the community's efforts to advance the Plan”
“A vibrant training institute functions as the mainstay of the community's efforts to advance the Plan and, as early as possible, skills and abilities developed through participation in institute courses are deployed in the field. Some, through their everyday social interactions, encounter souls who are open to the exploration of spiritual matters carried out in a variety of settings; some are in a position to respond to receptivity in a village or neighbourhood, perhaps by having relocated to the area. Growing numbers arise to shoulder responsibility, swelling the ranks of those who serve as tutors, animators, and teachers of children; who administer and coordinate; or who otherwise labour in support of the work.”

May 1, 2013

“..Mental faculties .. are in truth of the inherent properties of the soul ..”

Now concerning mental faculties, they are in truth of the inherent properties of the soul, even as the radiation of light is the essential property of the sun. The rays of the sun are renewed but the sun itself is ever the same and unchanged. Consider how the human intellect develops and weakens, and may at times come to naught, whereas the soul changeth not. For the mind to manifest itself, the human body must be whole; and a sound mind cannot be but in a sound body, whereas the soul dependeth not upon the body. It is through the power of the soul that the mind comprehendeth, imagineth and exerteth its influence, whilst the soul is a power that is free. The mind comprehendeth the abstract by the aid of the concrete, but the soul hath limitless manifestations of its own. The mind is circumscribed, the soul limitless. It is by the aid of such senses as those of sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch, that the mind comprehendeth, whereas the soul is free from all agencies. The soul as thou observest, whether it be in sleep or waking, is in motion and ever active. Possibly it may, whilst in a dream, unravel an intricate problem, incapable of solution in the waking state. The mind, moreover, understandeth not whilst the senses have ceased to function, and in the embryonic stage and in early infancy the reasoning power is totally absent, whereas the soul is ever endowed with full strength. In short, the proofs are many that go to show that despite the loss of reason, the power of the soul would still continue to exist. (‘Abdu’l-Baha, ‘Tablet to August Forel’)

April 21, 2013

“… the Purpose and Promise of all the Prophets of God, and the most cherished Desire of His Messengers…”

The Revelation which, from time immemorial, hath been acclaimed as the Purpose and Promise of all the Prophets of God, and the most cherished Desire of His Messengers, hath now, by virtue of the pervasive Will of the Almighty and at His irresistible bidding, been revealed unto men. The advent of such a Revelation hath been heralded in all the sacred Scriptures. Behold how, notwithstanding such an announcement, mankind hath strayed from its path and shut out itself from its glory.

Say: O ye lovers of the One true God! Strive, that ye may truly recognize and know Him, and observe befittingly His precepts. This is a Revelation, under which, if a man shed for its sake one drop of blood, myriads of oceans will be his recompense. Take heed, O friends, that ye forfeit not so inestimable a benefit, or disregard its transcendent station. Consider the multitude of lives that have been, and are still being, sacrificed in a world deluded by a mere phantom which the vain imaginations of its peoples have conceived. Render thanks unto God, inasmuch as ye have attained unto your heart's Desire, and been united to Him Who is the Promise of all nations. Guard ye, with the aid of the one true God -- exalted be His glory -- the integrity of the station which ye have attained, and cleave to that which shall promote His Cause. He, verily, enjoineth on you what is right and conducive to the exaltation of man's station. Glorified be the All-Merciful, the Revealer of this wondrous Tablet. (Baha'u'llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah)
Happy Ridván 2013!!
 

April 13, 2013

The reason the consent of all living parents is required for a Bahá'í marriage

Bahá'u'lláh has clearly stated the consent of all living parents is required for a Bahá'í marriage. This applies whether the parents are Bahá'ís or non-Bahá'ís, divorced for years or not. This great law He has laid down to strengthen the social fabric, to knit closer the ties of the home, to place a certain gratitude and respect in the hearts of children for those who have given them life and sent their souls out on the eternal journey towards their Creator. We Bahá'ís must realize that in present-day society the exact opposite process is taking place: young people care less and less for their parents' wishes, divorce is considered a natural right, and obtained on the flimsiest and most unwarrantable and shabby pretexts. People separated from each other, especially if one of them has had full custody of the children, are only too willing to belittle the importance of the partner in marriage also responsible as a parent for bringing those children into this world. The Bahá'ís must, through rigid adherence to the Bahá'í laws and teachings, combat these corrosive forces which are so rapidly destroying home life and the beauty of family relationships, and tearing down the moral structure of society. (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to a National Spiritual Assembly, 25 October 1947; The Compilation of Compilations, vol. I, Preserving Baha’i Marriages)

April 10, 2013

October 2011: Iconic "Lotus Temple" focus of worldwide campaign

A poster of the Baha'i House of Worship in New Delhi depicted on the side of a bus in Ottawa, Canada, as part of the Indian government's global "Incredible India" campaign. (Baha’i World News Service)

April 6, 2013

How we can all protect the Cause against any “division and disruption” – responsibilities of electors and elected

In order to avoid division and disruption, that the Cause may not fall a prey to conflicting interpretations, and lose thereby its purity and pristine vigor, that its affairs may be conducted with efficiency and promptness, it is necessary that every one should conscientiously take an active part in the election of these Assemblies, abide by their decisions, enforce their decree, and cooperate with them wholeheartedly in their task of stimulating the growth of the Movement throughout all regions. The members of these Assemblies, on their part, must disregard utterly their own likes and dislikes, their personal interests and inclinations, and concentrate their minds upon those measures that will conduce to the welfare and happiness of the Bahá’í Community and promote the common weal. (Excerpt from a letter written by Shoghi Effendi, dated March 12, 1923, to the Baha’is throughout America, Great Britain, Germany, France, Switzerland, Italy, Japan and Australasia; ‘Baha’i Administration’ pp. 34-43) (To read the entire letter please visit Messages to the Baha’i World Community -- by Shoghi Effendi)

April 4, 2013

The backbone of the Fund

The backbone of the Fund must be the regular contributions of every believer. Even though such contributions may be small because of the poverty of the donors, large numbers of small sums combine into a mighty river that can carry along the work of the Cause. Moreover the unity of the friends in sacrifice draws upon them the confirmations of the Blessed Beauty. (The Universal House of Justice, from a letter dated 29 December 1970, ‘Messages from the Universal House of Justice, 1963-1986’) (To see the entire message please visit Messages to the Baha’i World Community – by the Universal House of Justice)

March 29, 2013

Shoghi Effendi's Birth Place

The room in the House of Abdu'llah Pasha, in Akka, in which the beloved Guardian was born.

March 25, 2013

How each Baha’i community can become the recipient of divine strength to “overcome the forces of spiritual disintegration which are engulfing the non-Baha'i world…”

The universal participation of the believers in every aspect of the Faith -- in contributing to the Fund, in teaching, deepening, living the Baha'i life, administering the affairs of the community, and, above all, in the life of prayer and devotion to God -- will endow the Baha'i community with such strength that it can overcome the forces of spiritual disintegration which are engulfing the non-Baha'i world, and can become an ocean of oneness that will cover the face of the planet. (The Universal House of Justice, from a letter dated 29 December 1970, ‘Messages from the Universal House of Justice, 1963-1986’) (To see the entire message please visit Messages to the Baha’i World Community – by the Universal House of Justice)

March 23, 2013

The purpose of the devotional portion of the Nineteen Day Feast

The beloved Guardian described that portion of the Feast in which prayers and other passages of the Sacred Scriptures of the Faith are read as being “devotional” in character and stated that its purpose is to inspire a prayerful attitude and stimulate a spirit of reverence in the hearts of the friends. (From a letter dated March 15, 2011 written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer)

March 20, 2013

The spiritual world is the “exact counterpart” of the physical world

The spiritual world is like unto the phenomenal world. They are the exact counterpart of each other. Whatever objects appear in this world of existence are the outer pictures of the world of heaven. When we look upon the phenomenal world, we perceive that it is divided into four seasons; one is the season of spring, another the season of summer, another autumn and then these three seasons are followed by winter. When the season of spring appears in the arena of existence, the whole world is rejuvenated and finds new life. The soul-refreshing breeze is wafted from every direction; the soul-quickening bounty is everywhere; the cloud of mercy showers down its rain, and the sun shines upon everything. Day by day we perceive that the signs of vegetation are all about us. Wonderful flowers, hyacinths and roses perfume the nostrils. The trees are full of leaves and blossoms, and the blossoms are followed by fruit. The spring and summer are followed by autumn and winter. The flowers wither and are no more; the leaves turn gray and life has gone. Then comes another springtime; the former springtime is renewed; again a new life stirs within everything.

The appearances of the Manifestations of God are the divine springtime. (‘Abdu’l-Baha, ‘The Promulgation of Universal Peace: Talks Delivered by 'Abdu'l-Bahá during His Visit to the United States and Canada in 1912’)

Happy Naw-Rúz!!

March 12, 2013

Condition of the world and our responsibility

O ye friends of God! The world is like the body of man—it hath become sick, feeble and infirm. Its eye is devoid of sight, its ear hath become destitute of hearing and its faculties of sense are entirely dissolved. The friends of God must become as wise physicians and care for and heal this sick person, in accord with the divine teachings, in order that—God willing—it may perchance gain health, find eternal healing and that its lost powers may be restored; and that the person of the world may find such health, freshness and purity that it will appear in the utmost beauty and charm.

The first remedy is to guide the people, so that they may turn unto God, hearken unto the divine commandments and go forth with a hearing ear and seeing eye. After this swift and certain remedy hath been applied, then according to the divine teachings, they ought to be trained in the conduct, morals and deeds of the Supreme Concourse, encouraged and inspired with the gifts of the Kingdom of ABHA. The hearts should be purified and cleansed from every trace of hatred and rancor and enabled to engage in truthfulness, conciliation, uprightness and love toward the world of humanity; so that the East and the West may embrace each other like unto two lovers, enmity and animosity may vanish from the human world and the universal peace be established! (‘Abdu’l-Baha, ‘Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Baha’, vol. 1)

March 10, 2013

“The secrets of the whole economic question are divine in nature, and are concerned with the world of the heart and spirit.” – ‘Abdu’l-Baha explains

The disease which afflicts the body politic is a lack of love and absence of altruism.[1] In the hearts of men no real love is found, and the condition is such that unless their susceptibilities are quickened by some power so that unity, love and accord develops within them, there can be no healing, no relief among mankind. Love and unity are the needs of the body politic today. Without these no progress nor prosperity can be attained. Therefore, the friends of God must adhere to that Power which will create this love and unity in the hearts of the sons of men."

This is an exigency of the times, and the divine remedy has been provided. The spiritual Teachings of the Religion of God alone can create this love, unity and accord in human hearts. Therefore, hold to these heavenly agencies which God has provided so that through the love of God this soul-bond may be established, this heart-attachment realized and the light of the reality of unity be reflected from you throughout the universes.

The secrets of the whole economic question are divine in nature, and are concerned with the world of the heart and spirit. In the Baha'i Teachings this is most completely explained, and without the consideration of the Baha'i Teachings it is impossible to bring about a better state. (‘Abdu’l-Baha, Baha’i Scriptures)
[1] altruism: unselfish concern for or devotion to the welfare of others