Chapter 16 – Living in Harmony With One’s Self

Gaining the Spiritual Gift

Man is, in reality, a spiritual being, and only when he lives in the spirit is he truly happy.426 _ ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

While possessing physical life, he should lay hold of the life spiritual…Then is man worthy of the title man; then will he be “after the image and likeness of God…”427 _ ‘Abdu’l-Bahá


All the sorrow and grief that exist come from the world of matter—the spiritual world bestows only the joy!428 _ ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

The people must be so attracted to you that they will exclaim, “What happiness exists among you!” and will see in your faces the lights of the kingdom; then in wonderment they will turn to you and seek the cause of your happiness.429 _ ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

Happiness is a great healer to those who are ill.430 _ ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

Let not the world and its vileness grieve you. Happy is he whom riches fill not with vain-glory, nor poverty with sorrow.431 _Bahá’u’lláh

Not Being Content With Worldly Comforts

Abandon not the incorruptible benefits, and be not content with that which perisheth.432 _Bahá’u’lláh

Be not content with the ease of a passing day…433 _Bahá’u’lláh

Coping With Adversity

Rely upon God. Trust in Him. Praise Him, and call Him continually to mind. He verily turneth trouble into ease, and sorrow into solace, and toil into utter peace. He verily hath dominion over all things.434 _ ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

Clinging to Patience

He, verily, shall increase the reward of them that endure with patience.435 _Bahá’u’lláh

He will, certainly, repay all them that endure with patience and put their confidence in Him.436 _Bahá’u’lláh

Be patient, for thy Lord is patient.437 _Bahá’u’lláh

Understanding the Purpose of Tests and Trials

Nothing save that which profiteth them can befall My loved ones.438 _Bahá’u’lláh

The mind and spirit of man advance when he is tried by suffering. The more the ground is ploughed the better the seed will grow, the better the harvest will be. Just as the plough furrows the earth deeply, purifying it of weeds and thistles, so suffering and tribulation free man from the petty affairs of this worldly life until he arrives at a state of complete detachment. His attitude in this world will be that of divine happiness. Man is, so to speak, unripe: the heat of the fire of suffering will mature him…the greatest men have suffered most.439 _ ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

Do not grieve at the afflictions and calamities that have befallen thee. All calamities and afflictions have been created for man so that he may spurn this mortal world— a world to which he is much attached. When he experienceth severe trials and hardships, then his nature will recoil and he will desire the eternal realm—a realm which is sanctified from all afflictions and calamities.440 _ ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

Recognizing the True Purpose and Worth of Earthly Possessions

Thou dost wish for gold and I desire thy freedom from it. Thou thinkest thyself rich in its possession, and I recognize thy wealth in thy sanctity therefrom.441 _Bahá’u’lláh

In earthly riches fear is hidden and peril is concealed.442 _Bahá’u’lláh

If the whole earth were to be converted into silver and gold, no man who can be said to have truly ascended into the heaven of faith and certitude would deign to regard it, much less to seize and keep it.443 _Bahá’u’lláh

Recognizing the True Standards of Glory and Distinction

…ye must conduct yourselves in such a manner that ye may stand out distinguished and brilliant as the sun among other souls. Should any one of you enter a city, he should become a center of attraction by reason of his sincerity, his faithfulness and

love, his honesty and fidelity, his truthfulness and loving-kindness towards all the peoples of the world, so that the people of that city may cry out and say: “This man is unquestionably a Bahá’í, for his manners, his behavior, his conduct, his morals, his nature, and disposition reflect the attributes of the Bahá’ís.” Not until ye attain this station can ye be said to have been faithful to the Covenant and Testament of God.444 _ ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

In the darkness of the world be ye radiant flames…445 _ ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

Exchanging Fancy for Reality

O friend, the heart is the dwelling of eternal mysteries, make it not the home of fleeting fancies…446 _Bahá’u’lláh

…when a true seeker determineth to take the step of search in the path leading to the knowledge of the Ancient of Days, he must, before all else, cleanse and purify his heart, which is the seat of the revelation of the inner mysteries of God, from the obscuring dust of all acquired knowledge, and the allusions of the embodiments of satanic fancy.447 _Bahá’u’lláh

…they that thirst for the wine of certitude, must cleanse themselves of all that is earthly—their ears from idle talk, their minds from vain imaginings…448 _Bahá’u’lláh

Conquering the Self

Thine heart is My treasury, allow not the treacherous hand of self to rob thee of the pearls which I have treasured therein.449 _Bahá’u’lláh

Concern yourselves with the things that benefit mankind, and not with your corrupt and selfish desires.450 _Bahá’u’lláh

The candle of thine heart is lighted by the hand of My power, quench it not with the contrary winds of self and passion.451 _Bahá’u’lláh

…no veil is greater than egotism and no matter how thin that covering may be, yet it will finally veil man entirely and prevent him from receiving a portion from the eternal bounty.452 _ ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

Purifying the Heart

The pure heart is the one that is entirely cut away from self.453 _ ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

We must make the soil of our hearts receptive and fertile by tilling in order that the rain of divine mercy may refresh them and bring forth roses and hyacinths.454 _ ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

The more pure and sanctified the heart of man becomes, the nearer it draws to God…455 _ ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

…the heart is the throne, in which the Revelation of God the All-Merciful is centered… “Earth and heaven cannot contain Me; what can alone contain Me is the heart of him that believeth in Me, and is faithful to My Cause.”456 _ Bahá’u’lláh

Adorning One’s Self With Noble Deeds and Attributes

Be fair to yourselves and to others, that the evidence of justice may be revealed, through your deeds, among Our faithful servants.457 _ Bahá’u’lláh

Be ye a refuge to the fearful; bring ye rest and peace to the disturbed…be a healing medicine for those who suffer pain…458 _ ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

Be fair in thy judgment, and guarded in thy speech.459 _ Bahá’u’lláh

O ye loved ones of God! Drink your fill from the well-spring of wisdom, and soar ye into the atmosphere of wisdom, and speak forth with wisdom and eloquence.460 _ Bahá’u’lláh

Truthfulness is the foundation of all the virtues of the world of humanity. Without truthfulness, progress and success in all of the worlds of God are impossible for a soul. When this holy attribute is established in man, all the divine qualities will also become realized.461 _ ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

Be worthy of the trust of thy neighbor, and look upon him with a bright and friendly face. Be a treasure to the poor, an admonisher to the rich, an answerer to the cry of the needy, a preserver of the sanctity of thy pledge…462 _ Bahá’u’lláh

Appreciating Divine Blessings

A dewdrop out of the fathomless ocean of My mercy I have shed upon the peoples of the world… _ 463Bahá’u’lláh

This most great, this fathomless and surging Ocean is near, astonishingly near, unto you. Behold it is closer to you than your life-vein! Swift as the twinkling of an eye ye can, if ye but wish it, reach and partake of this imperishable favor, this God- given grace, this incorruptible gift, this most potent and unspeakably glorious bounty.464 _ Bahá’u’lláh