1. The Seed Grows in the Heart of the World

Revealed truth is first ridiculed, later resisted, and finally accepted as self-evident. _Schopenhour

Truth…lies in the depth, where few are willing to search for it. _Goethe

The year is 1844. A young man called the Báb proclaims the onset of a New Age in the spiritual evolution of humanity. He declares He has come to prepare the way for the coming of a Teacher greater than Himself. The young Messenger is rejected, reviled, and at last executed.

The year is 1863. A nobleman, called Bahá’u’lláh proclaims Himself the expected Redeemer of the world promised by the Báb and all the great Messengers of the past. He calls Himself the Glory of the Lord, the Prince of Peace, the Lord of Hosts, Christ come in the Glory of the Father.

Bahá’u’lláh is rejected, exiled, and imprisoned. Yet His influence spreads, His word inspires, His charm captivates. “In the long run, truth is aided by nothing so much as by opposition.”

Bahá’u’lláh brings a new order for society and a new hope and vision for the soul. After four decades of teaching, He fulfills His earthly Mission and moves on to the next Kingdom, exerting His influence from the spiritual realm, nourishing the seed of faith He has sown in the heart of the world, helping it to grow and flourish, from a lowly seed to a sheltering and shading Tree.

At first, while the tender Tree is growing and gaining roots, the hungry masses hesitate to approach it, perhaps because of estrangement, fear, or uncertainty. This is how people usually respond to the unknown and the unfamiliar. “Truth always lags behind, limping along on the arm of time. Truth is often strange, stranger than fiction.”

Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocrities. _Einstein

All great truths began as blasphemies. _Bernard Shaw

Eventually, curiosity draws people near the forgotten or forsaken Tree. After tasting its fruit and finding it pure, fresh, and fragrant, they begin to flock to the Heavenly Vineyard, seeking to satisfy their hunger, spreading the seeds of certitude, and sharing them with others. Their efforts results in a decisive growth in the divine Tree; it attains full fruition and gains wide acceptance and recognition. The glory of truth is revealed by time. “Time, whose tooth gnaws away at everything else, is powerless against truth.”

Truth never need fear the light. Sunlight falling on a dead log may hasten the process of decay, but sunlight falling on a living tree makes it grow and become luxuriant. _Benjamin Franklin

Now we are at the end of the first stage and at the beginning of the second—the end of the period of obscurity and the beginning of recognition. People are just beginning to recognize the magnificent power and potential of the Heavenly Vineyard. The fruit is being passed around and shared by those athirst for knowledge, those seeking to nourish their souls and expand their visions. Christ foresaw this:

Again he said, “What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it? It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest seed you plant in the ground. Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds of the air can perch in its shade.” _Mark 4:30-32