Chapter 15   Notes

Chapter Sixteen


"The holy Manifestations of God come into the world to dispel the darkness of the animal, or physical, nature of man, to purify him from his imperfections, in order that his heavenly and spiritual nature may become quickened, his divine qualities awakened, his perfections visible, his potential powers revealed and all the virtues of the world of humanity latent within him may come to life." [75]


So here is the story. Not what it should be as an attempt towards the portrayal of what, to me, has seemed the perfect life, but so far as the influence which that Life has had upon my own, it has been unreserved. For eight months that Figure moved before me. In spite of the 25 years that have elapsed, still is it distinct and vital. Memory has pictures which words may never paint. However sadly incomplete and inadequate the endeavor to portray that Life may be, it has been a great happiness to make the attempt. I lay it before the reader with sincere humility and love.

How could such a picture be complete? The brief span of years which we dare to speak of as "life" is so confused with details foreign to the true issues involved that when there enters upon this scene One who lives with calm assurance in a World in which confusion is unknown, yet who understands the turmoil of men's hearts and knows the remedy, how could it be possible for one still in that anarchy of thought and action adequately to portray Him who brings illumination? How draw the picture graphically? How make others see and hear as He did?

To me there is only one way in which that Life may even feebly be understood. An assumption must be made and a clear-cut conviction arrived at. This may be simply stated. It is this:

The world of phenomena, the "contingent world," the world as ordinarily accepted, is not the real world. The life we live from day to day with its monotonous round of eating and drinking; its sleeping and waking hours; its routine of work, play, study, birth and death; its varieties of poverty and wealth, of learned and ignorant, of powerful and weak--all this is a mask hiding the face of Reality. The endless attempts to solve the riddle clothed in high-sounding titles--Philosophy, Education, Science, Statesmanship--are all a species of groping in the dark.

Life does not "begin at 40," it begins in God. We do not "live on 24 hours a day"; "In Him we live and move and have our being," and ages of preparation precede this little "life," and ages to come are its fulfillment.

Scholasticism provides no answer to the demands of men for a satisfaction of those primal needs of the spirit. Religion, as generally understood--being, as it is, a mixture of tradition, social convention, and more or less correct estimates of the immediate problems confronting the people, and all savored with a salt which has lost its savor--provides no satisfaction to the hungry souls of men. In all this confusion of thought and action no rock is found upon which man may plant his spiritual feet and be confident in his treading.

If this is not the real world where is it? What is it? How find it? As I have intimated, the answer is plain enough to those who are not entirely "submerged in the sea of materialism." Most of mankind may be likened to a man lost in a London fog so that the well-known way to his own door is blotted out. The fog which blinds our spiritual vision is composed of the "selfish disorders, intellectual maladies, spiritual sicknesses, imperfections and vices" which surround us and hold us in thralldom. The Prophets of God, the Will and Love of God enshrined in the temple of man, have brought the Light of the Sun of Reality which alone can dissipate the fog, place man upon the right path and free him from that thralldom.

The Eternal Christ coming to the aid of distracted humanity about once in every thousand years alone is the Portal to Freedom. Ever to the keen of vision, the quick of hearing, the possessors of heart, His Divine Voice calling to enter, His loving hands pointing and assisting, have been apparent.

Again, in this Day in which we live our little span of years, has the latest of these "Sign-Posts" to the Path declared His Mission and issued His Call.

It was my inestimable privilege to watch and talk with, for a period of eight months, the Son of Bahá'u'lláh, the Center of His Covenant, the perfect exemplar of His Word and Life; the One by whom "He hath caused to appear the traces of the Glory of His Kingdom upon the earth."

Here I saw a man who, outwardly, like myself, lived in the world of confusion, yet, inwardly, beyond the possibility of doubt, lived and worked in that higher and real world. All His concepts, all His motives, all His actions, derived their springs from that "World of Light." And, which is to me a most inspiring and encouraging fact. He took it for granted that you and I, the ordinary run-of-the-mill humanity, could enter into and live and move in that world if we would.

To those who have read this chronicle with the "eye of heart" some glimmer of conviction may have come that such a world is open to them, such a life may be approximated for themselves, such a portal may be entered by their feet, such a freedom be attained. It is with this hope that my story has been told.

January 7, 1937.

Chapter 15   Notes

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