Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The Symbols of Denial

(Photo of a man reacting to the bombing in Tel Aviv)

The sun rises on another day of blood spilled in the name of God. Another day of anguished cries of grief raised up around the world. Another day of overheated rhetoric and moral relativity on all sides. Another day of political paralysis and finger pointing. Another day that did not have to be this way! Those who engage in violence in the promotion of "religion" would do well to ponder deeply the exhortations of Baha'u'llah:

Sanctify your ears from the idle talk of them that are the symbols of denial and the exponents of violence and anger.
(Baha'u'llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 72)

Beware lest ye shed the blood of anyone. Unsheathe the sword of your tongue from the scabbard of utterance, for therewith ye can conquer the citadels of men's hearts. We have abolished the law to wage holy war against each other. God's mercy, hath, verily, encompassed all created things, if ye do but understand. Aid ye your Lord, the God of Mercy, with the sword of understanding. Keener indeed is it, and more finely tempered, than the sword of utterance, were ye but to reflect upon the words of your Lord.
(Baha'u'llah, The Summons of the Lord of Hosts, p. 22)

It followeth, therefore, that rendering assistance unto God, in this day, doth not and shall never consist in contending or disputing with any soul; nay rather, what is preferable in the sight of God is that the cities of men's hearts, which are ruled by the hosts of self and passion, should be subdued by the sword of utterance, of wisdom and of understanding. Thus, whoso seeketh to assist God must, before all else, conquer, with the sword of inner meaning and explanation, the city of his own heart and guard it from the remembrance of all save God, and only then set out to subdue the cities of the hearts of others. Such is the true meaning of rendering assistance unto God. Sedition hath never been pleasing unto God, nor were the acts committed in the past by certain foolish ones acceptable in His sight. Know ye that to be killed in the path of His good pleasure is better for you than to kill. The beloved of the Lord must, in this day, behave in such wise amidst His servants that they may by their very deeds and actions guide all men unto the paradise of the All-Glorious.
(Baha'u'llah, The Summons of the Lord of Hosts, p. 108)