The choice

We have learned from Abdu'l-Baha that, in meditation, we abstract ourselves from this world and focus on the spiritual world - the Sun of Reality that is Baha'u'llah. We do this because the soul is like a mirror, which reflects whatever is put in front of it. So in meditation and worship, we put the Word in front of us and, in that way, come to reflect the Sun of Reality.

At the heart of this scenario is the fact that we have to make a choice about what to focus our attention on. We can't reflect both worlds at the same time. Remember the analogy Abdu'l-Baha gave us: a person who is meditating has their outer eyes closed; you can't see with your inner sight if your outer one is still working.

Baha'u'llah puts an interesting slant on this idea that we have to choose:

"O son of earth! Wouldst thou have Me, seek none other than Me; and wouldst thou gaze upon My beauty, close thine eyes to the world and all that is therein; for My will and the will of another than Me, even as fire and water, cannot dwell together in one heart." (PHW no 31)

An interesting thing here is that Baha'u'llah ascribes a 'will' to this world. He says that its will and his will cannot abide in one heart. They are two mutually exclusive realities, like fire and water. Jesus alludes to this idea too. He says in John 15:19: "If ye were of the world, the world love its own. But because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you."

So you can see that there are dire consequences for making the choice Baha'u'llah asks us to make in favour of him. It will inevitably lead to your being hated by the world. Baha'u'llah puts it this way: "For the head raised up in the love of God will certainly fall by the sword, and the life that is kindled with longing will surely be sacrificed, and the heart which remembereth the Loved One will surely brim with blood." (Seven Valleys and Four Valleys, p 42) But this is how God distinguishes between people. Those who truly love Baha'u'llah will demonstrate this by being willing to sacrifice all things for him.

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