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Paris Talks

  • Author:
  • ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

  • Source:
  • UK Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1972 eleventh edition reprint
  • Pages:
  • 184
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Pages 178-179


‘Does the soul progress more through sorrow or through the joy in this world?’
‘Abdu’l-Bahá.—‘The mind and spirit of man advance when he is tried by suffering. The more the ground is ploughed the better the seed will grow, the better the harvest will be. Just as the plough furrows the earth deeply, purifying it of weeds and thistles, so suffering and tribulation free man from the petty affairs of this worldly life until he arrives at a state of complete detachment. His attitude in this world will be that of divine happiness. Man is, so to speak, unripe: the heat of the fire of suffering will mature him. Look back to the times past and you will find that the greatest men have suffered most.’
‘He who through suffering has attained development, should he fear happiness?’
‘Abdu’l-Bahá.—‘Through suffering he will attain to an eternal happiness which nothing can take from him. The apostles of Christ suffered: they attained eternal happiness.’ 179
‘Then it is impossible to attain happiness without suffering?’
‘Abdu’l-Bahá.—‘To attain eternal happiness one must suffer. He who has reached the state of self-sacrifice has true joy. Temporal joy will vanish.’
‘Can a departed soul converse with someone still on earth?’
‘Abdu’l-Bahá.—‘A conversation can be held, but not as our conversation. There is no doubt that the forces of the higher worlds interplay with the forces of this plane. The heart of man is open to inspiration; this is spiritual communication. As in a dream one talks with a friend while the mouth is silent, so is it in the conversation of the spirit. A man may converse with the ego within him saying: “May I do this? Would it be advisable for me to do this work?” Such as this is conversation with the higher self.’