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Discourse Of 'abdu'l-baha At St John's Westminster

September 17th, 1911.

O Noble Friends! O Seekers for the Kingdom of God! Man all over the world
is seeking for God. All that exists is God; but the Reality of Divinity is
holy above all understanding.

The pictures of Divinity that come to our mind are the product of our
fancy; they exist in the realm of our imagination. They are not adequate
to the Truth; truth in its essence cannot be put into words.

Divinity cannot by comprehended because it is comprehending.

Man, who has also a real existence, is comprehended by God; therefore, the
Divinity which man can understand is partial; it is not complete. Divinity
is actual Truth and real existence, and not any representation of it.
Divinity itself contains All, and is not contained.

Although the mineral, vegetable, animal and man all have actual being, yet
the mineral has no knowledge of the vegetable. It cannot apprehend it. It
cannot imagine nor understand it.

It is the same with the vegetable. Any progress it may make, however
highly it may become developed, it will never apprehend the animal, nor
understand it. It is, so to speak, without news of it. It has no ears, no
sight, no understanding.

It is the same with the animal. However much it may progress in its own
kingdom, however refined its feelings may become, it will have no real
notion of the world of man or of his special intellectual faculties.

The animal cannot understand the roundness of the earth, nor its motion in
space, nor the central position of the sun, nor can it imagine such a
thing as the all-pervading ether.

Although the mineral, vegetable, animal and man himself are actual beings,
the difference between their kingdoms prevents members of the lower degree
from comprehending the essence and nature of those of the superior degree.
This being so, how can the temporal and phenomenal comprehend the Lord of

It is clear that this is impossible!

But the Essence of Divinity, the Sun of Truth, shines forth upon all
horizons and is spreading its rays upon all things. Each creature is the
recipient of some portion of that power, and man, who contains the
perfection of the mineral, the vegetable and animal, as well as his own
distinctive qualities, has become the noblest of created beings. It stands
written that he is made in the Image of God. Mysteries that were hidden he
discovers; and secrets that were concealed he brings into the light. By
Science and by Art he brings hidden powers into the region of the visible
world. Man perceives the hidden law in created things and co-operates with

Lastly the perfect man, the Prophet, is one who is transfigured, one who
has the purity and clearness of a perfect mirror--one who reflects the Sun
of Truth. Of such a one--of such a Prophet and Messenger--we can say that
the Light of Divinity with the heavenly Perfections dwells in him.

If we claim that the sun is seen in the mirror, we do not mean that the
sun itself has descended from the holy heights of his heaven and entered
into the mirror! This is impossible. The Divine Nature is seen in the
Manifestations and its Light and Splendor are visible in extreme glory.

Therefore, men have always been taught and led by the Prophets of God. The
Prophets of God are the Mediators of God. All the Prophets and Messengers
have come from One Holy Spirit and bear the Message of God, fitted to the
age in which they appear. The One Light is in them and they are One with
each other. But the Eternal does not become phenomenal; neither can the
phenomenal become Eternal.

Saint Paul, the great Apostle, said: We all, with open face beholding as
in a mirror the glory of God, are changed into the same image from glory
to glory, as by the Spirit of the Lord.

O GOD the Forgiver! O Heavenly Educator! This assembly is adorned with the
mention of thy holy Name. Thy children turn their face towards thy
Kingdom, hearts are made happy and souls are comforted.

Merciful God! cause us to repent of our shortcomings! Accept us in thy
heavenly Kingdom and give unto us an abode where there shall be no error.
Give us peace; give us knowledge, and open unto us the gates of thy

Thou art the Giver of all! Thou art the Forgiver! Thou art the Merciful!

Next: Theosophical Society: Introduction

Previous: St John's Westminster: Introduction

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