A prayer that is dear to me is the one in which ‘Abdu’l-Bahá speaks about the transformation of souls, using the metaphors of moths becoming royal falcons, and brooks becoming seas. Such powerful imagery! What is it that transforms souls to this extent? And what is the aim of this transformation?
The Master addresses this question twice during his stay in Paris. He explains that the Holy Spirit is the intermediary between the Infinite, Unthinkable, Eternal and the finite and mortal. This intermediary is brought to us by God’s Manifestations throughout history and is, as the rays of the sun, crucial to man’s existence:
The Holy Spirit is the Light from the Sun of Truth, bringing, by its infinite power, life and illumination to all mankind, flooding all souls with Divine Radiance, conveying the blessings of God’s Mercy to the whole world. The earth, without the medium of the warmth and light of the rays of the sun, could receive no benefits from the sun.
This “life and illumination”, He elaborates, is expressed in man’s intellect, spiritual virtues and eternal life. But what can and must we do with this knowledge in our daily lives? How can we be open to receiving the bounty of becoming royal falcons? Again the Masters uses the image of the earth:
The earth of itself has no properties of life, it is barren and dry, until fertilized by the sun and the rain; still the earth need not bewail its own limitations.
This position of selflessly receiving and giving is not one often or easily spoken about in our current lives where we feel we must do, must act, must prove ourselves. Yet, letting go of self and our preoccupation with our own (human) limitations is the door to being our true selves – souls that are vessels for that which is higher – and to the true mission and deepest yearning of each one of us: contributing to a peaceful and unified world. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá states:
If thou thus keep yourselves in readiness, you will become to the world of humanity a burning flame, a star of guidance, and a fruitful tree, changing all its darkness and woe into light and joy by the shining of the Sun of Mercy and the infinite blessings of the Glad Tidings.
Tablets of the Divine Plan, p. 104
Paris Talks: The Holy Spirit, the Intermediary Power between God and Man
Paris Talks: The Eleventh Principle – The Power of the Holy Spirit
Photo by Shahriar Erfanian, www.nineteenmonths.com