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’)