19 Dec
Posted in: ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, France, Paris Talks, Spiritual Qualities
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Paris Talks Revisited: The Relation Between Man and God

What is the relation between man and God?  I find this to be a ‘big’ question because, as ‘Abdu’l-Bahá explains, God is the Infinite, the Unknowable:

Things which are understood by men cannot be outside their capacity for understanding, so that it is impossible for the heart of man to comprehend the nature of the Majesty of God.  Our imagination can only picture that which it is able to create… That which we imagine, is not the Reality of God; He, the Unknowable, the Unthinkable, is far beyond the highest conception of man.

What is even more daunting is that the Master links this question to a quest we are all on:  God is the Infinite, the Unknowable, and the Door to our happiness and progress.  How can that which is Infinite and Unknowable allow us access to these most prized states of being while our intellect (one of the gifts God bestowed upon mankind) does not suffice? 

Luckily God provides a scaffold, as it were, to move beyond the limitations of human imagination and it is this scaffold that allows us to be our true selves.  ‘Abdu’l-Bahá explains that all religions attest that we are made in God’s image and that, in order to mirror God’s qualities, God has sent us His Manifestations throughout history who have revealed Holy Books full of moral guidance. 

God sent all His Prophets into the world with one aim, to sow in the hearts of men love and goodwill, and for this great purpose they were willing to suffer and to die.  All the sacred Books were written to lead and direct man into the ways of love and unity…

It seems crucial then to turn to the original Writings, not to the social practices and power structures man has built around these eternal Gems. Thinking about the relation between man and God as the key for finding happiness and bringing about progress in one’s life and that of one’s loved ones, one’s community and mankind as a whole makes our quest more attainable and, at the same time, more practical.  It is still a ‘big’ question, but in a different way: it is not a question one struggles to address, but one that inspires wonderment and awe.



Photo by Chad Mauger, www.nineteenmonths.com

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