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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 90-92

Necessity for a Mediator

According to ‘Abdu’l-Bahá:—
A mediator is necessary between man and the Creator—one who receives the full light of the Divine Splendor and radiates it over the human world, as the earth’s atmosphere receives and diffuses the warmth of the sun’s rays.

91 If we wish to pray, we must have some object on which to concentrate. If we turn to God, we must direct our hearts to a certain center. If man worships God otherwise than through His Manifestation, he must first form a conception of God, and that conception is created by his own mind. As the finite cannot comprehend the Infinite, so God is not to be comprehended in this fashion. That which man conceives with his own mind he comprehends. That which he can comprehend is not God. That conception of God which a man forms for himself is but a phantasm, an image, an imagination, an illusion. There is no connection between such a conception and the Supreme Being.

If a man wishes to know God, he must find Him in the perfect mirror, Christ or Bahá’u’lláh. In either of these mirrors he will see reflected the Sun of Divinity.

As we know the physical sun by its splendor, by its light and heat, so we know God, the Spiritual Sun, when He shines forth from the temple of Manifestation, by His attributes of perfection, by the beauty of His qualities and by the splendor of His light. (from a talk to Mr. Percy Woodcock, at ‘Akká, 1909).
Again He says:
Unless the Holy Spirit become intermediary, one cannot attain directly to the bounties of God. Do not overlook the obvious truth, for it is self-evident that a child cannot be instructed without a teacher, and knowledge is one of the bounties of God. The soil is not covered with grass and vegetation without the rain of the cloud; therefore the cloud is the intermediary between the divine bounties and the soil. … The light hath a center and if one desire to seek it otherwise than from the center, one can never attain to it. … Turn thine attention to the days of Christ; some people imagine that without the Messianic outpourings it was possible to attain to truth, but this very imagination became the cause of the deprivation. 92
A man who tries to worship God without turning to His Manifestation is like a man in a dungeon trying through his imagination to revel in the glories of the sunshine.