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Tablets of Abdul-Baha Abbas

  • Author:
  • ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

  • Source:
  • Bahá’í Publishing Committee, 1909 edition
  • Pages:
  • 730
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Pages 549-550

“O thou dear friend!…”

O thou dear friend!
Although a person of good deeds is acceptable at the Threshold of the Almighty, yet it is first “to know,” and then “to do.” Although a blind man produceth a most wonderful and exquisite art, yet he is deprived of seeing it. Consider how most animals labor for man, draw loads and facilitate travel; yet, as they are ignorant, they receive no reward for this toil and labor. The cloud raineth, roses and hyacinths grow; the plain and meadow, the garden and trees become green and blossom; yet they do not realize the results and outcome of all these. The lamp is lighted, but as it hath not a conscious knowledge of itself, no one hath become glad because of it. Moreover, a soul of excellent deeds and good manners will undoubtedly advance from whatever horizon he beholdeth the lights radiating. Herein lies the difference: By faith is meant, first, conscious knowledge, and second, the practice of good deeds.
Thou hast asked concerning reincarnation: Reincarnation as understood by the people, is untrue; but in the Gospel, “return” is referred to, and that is the return of qualities 1 and not the return of entities. This 550 matter is explained in detail in the Book of Ighan, which is translated and published. Study that Book.
But the difference between Christ and others is this: Christ was the Spirit, others were bodies; Christ was the Sun, others were mirrors; Christ was the Truth and was bestowing eternal life, others were dead and imparting deadness and negligence.
Thou hast asked concerning the spirits of men: They are not at all annihilated—they are immortal. 2 The spirits of heavenly souls will find eternal life, that is, they will attain the highest and most great stations of perfection; but the spirits of the heedless souls, although they are eternal, yet they are in a world of imperfection, concealment and ignorance. This is a concise answer. Contemplate and meditate upon it, in order that thou mayest comprehend the reality of the mysteries in detail. For instance: No matter how much the mineral has an existence and life, yet in comparison to man, it is entirely non-existent and deprived of life. For where man is translated from life to death, his comparative station will be that of a mineral existence.
1. I.e., the return of the qualities, powers and attributes in another human being.   [ Back To Reference]
2. I.e., in the sense of continued existence after the death of the body.   [ Back To Reference]