...humanity is submerged so utterly in imitations, although the Reality of Divine Religion is ever the same. Most regrettable is it that superstitions have obscured the Reality, so that the world has become darkened and the illumination of Religion is not apparent. This darkness is conducive to differences because dogmas and rites are various and have become the cause of discord between the religious systems whereas Religion is for the unification of mankind. Religion is the cause of love amongst men, the cause of amity, the cause of the acquisition of praiseworthy qualities, but people have become submerged in the sea of imitation, and holding to these counterfeits, are utterly negligent of the Reality which unifies and are bereft of the radiance of Religion. They are holding to superstitions which are a heritage from their fathers and ancestors. To the extent that these imitations have caused darkness, they have taken away the light of Religion. That which was meant to be conducive of life has become conducive of death; that which was an evidence of knowledge has become a proof of ignorance; that which was a factor in the sublimity of human nature has proved to be a cause of its degradation. Therefore, the realm of the religionist has gradually disappeared and become darkened and the world of the materialist has daily advanced. For that which the former held to was no other than counterfeit or imitation, while holiness and sacred Reality of Religion was neglected and discarded.
When the sun sets, it is the time for bats to fly. They soar because they are birds of the night. As the light of Religion became darkened, the materialistic birds began to fly. They are the bats of night. As the sun of religion sets it is their time for activity. The world has been darkened and clouds have spread over it.
His Holiness Baha’u’llah has appeared from the eastern horizon. Like unto a sun He has come into the world. He has reflected the Reality of Divine Religion and dispelled the darkness of imitation, He has laid down the foundation for new Teachings, and thereby resuscitated the earth.
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha (From a talk, June 9, 1912, Baptist Temple, Philadelphia; Star of the West, vol. 5, no. 7, July 13, 1914)