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Bahá’u’lláh and the New Era

  • Author:
  • J. E. Esslemont

  • Source:
  • US Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1980 edition
  • Pages:
  • 286
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Pages 89-90

The Devotional Attitude

In order that we may attain the spiritual condition in which conversation with God becomes possible, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá says:—
We must strive to attain to that condition by being separated from all things and from the people of the world and by turning to God alone. It will take some effort on the part of man to attain to that condition, but he must work for it, strive for it. We can attain to it by thinking and caring less for material things and more for the spiritual. The further we go from the one, the nearer we are to the other. The choice is ours.

Our spiritual perception, our inward sight must be opened, so that we can see the signs and traces of God’s spirit in everything. Everything can reflect to us the light of the Spirit. (from a talk reported by Miss Ethel J. Rosenberg). 90
Bahá’u’lláh has written:—“That seeker … at the dawn of every day … should commune with God, and, with all his soul, persevere in the quest of his Beloved. He should consume every wayward thought from the flame of His loving mention. …”—Gleaning from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 265.
In the same way, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá declares:—
When man allows the spirit, through his soul, to enlighten his understanding, then does he contain all creation. … But on the other hand, when man does not open his mind and heart to the blessing of the spirit, but turns his soul towards the material side, towards the bodily part of his nature, then his he fallen from his high place and he becomes inferior to the inhabitants of the lower animal kingdom.
Again, Bahá’u’lláh writes:—
Deliver your souls, O people, from the bondage of self, and purify them from all attachment to anything besides Me. Remembrance of Me cleanseth all things from defilement, could ye but perceive it. …

Intone, O My servant, the verses of God that have been received by thee, … that the sweetness of thy melody may kindle thine own soul, and attract the hearts of all men. Whoso reciteth, in the privacy of his chamber, the verses revealed by God, the scattering angels of the Almighty shall scatter abroad the fragrance of the words uttered by his mouth. …—Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp. 294–295.