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O My Brother! When A True Seeker Determineth

O My brother! When a true seeker determineth to take the step of search in
the path leading unto the knowledge of the Ancient of Days, he must,
before all else, cleanse 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. He must
purge his breast, which is the sanctuary of the abiding love of the
Beloved, of every defilement, and sanctify his soul from all that
pertaineth to water and clay, from all shadowy and ephemeral attachments.
He must so cleanse his heart that no remnant of either love or hate may
linger therein, lest that love blindly incline him to error, or that hate
repel him away from the truth. Even as thou dost witness in this Day how
most of the people, because of such love and hate, are bereft of the
immortal Face, have strayed far from the Embodiments of the Divine
mysteries, and, shepherdless, are roaming through the wilderness of
oblivion and error.

That seeker must, at all times, put his trust in God, must renounce the
peoples of the earth, must detach himself from the world of dust, and
cleave unto Him Who is the Lord of Lords. He must never seek to exalt
himself above any one, must wash away from the tablet of his heart every
trace of pride and vain-glory, must cling unto patience and resignation,
observe silence and refrain from idle talk. For the tongue is a smoldering
fire, and excess of speech a deadly poison. Material fire consumeth the
body, whereas the fire of the tongue devoureth both heart and soul. The
force of the former lasteth but for a time, whilst the effects of the
latter endureth a century.

That seeker should, also, regard backbiting as grievous error, and keep
himself aloof from its dominion, inasmuch as backbiting quencheth the
light of the heart, and extinguisheth the life of the soul. He should be
content with little, and be freed from all inordinate desire. He should
treasure the companionship of them that have renounced the world, and
regard avoidance of boastful and worldly people a precious benefit. At the
dawn of every day he should commune with God, and, with all his soul,
persevere in the quest of his Beloved. He should consume every wayward
thought with the flame of His loving mention, and, with the swiftness of
lightning, pass by all else save Him. He should succor the dispossessed,
and never withhold his favor from the destitute. He should show kindness
to animals, how much more unto his fellow-man, to him who is endowed with
the power of utterance. He should not hesitate to offer up his life for
his Beloved, nor allow the censure of the people to turn him away from the
Truth. He should not wish for others that which he doth not wish for
himself, nor promise that which he doth not fulfil. With all his heart he
should avoid fellowship with evil-doers, and pray for the remission of
their sins. He should forgive the sinful, and never despise his low
estate, for none knoweth what his own end shall be. How often hath a
sinner attained, at the hour of death, to the essence of faith, and,
quaffing the immortal draught, hath taken his flight unto the Concourse on
high! And how often hath a devout believer, at the hour of his soul's
ascension, been so changed as to fall into the nethermost fire!

Our purpose in revealing these convincing and weighty utterances is to
impress upon the seeker that he should regard all else beside God as
transient, and count all things save Him, Who is the Object of all
adoration, as utter nothingness.

These are among the attributes of the exalted, and constitute the
hall-mark of the spiritually-minded. They have already been mentioned in
connection with the requirements of the wayfarers that tread the path of
Positive Knowledge. When the detached wayfarer and sincere seeker hath
fulfilled these essential conditions, then and only then can he be called
a true seeker. Whensoever he hath fulfilled the conditions implied in the
verse: "Whoso maketh efforts for Us," he shall enjoy the blessings
conferred by the words: "In Our Ways shall We assuredly guide him."

Only when the lamp of search, of earnest striving, of longing desire, of
passionate devotion, of fervid love, of rapture, and ecstasy, is kindled
within the seeker's heart, and the breeze of His loving-kindness is wafted
upon his soul, will the darkness of error be dispelled, the mists of
doubts and misgivings be dissipated, and the lights of knowledge and
certitude envelop his being. At that hour will the Mystic Herald, bearing
the joyful tidings of the Spirit, shine forth from the City of God
resplendent as the morn, and, through the trumpet-blast of knowledge, will
awaken the heart, the soul, and the spirit from the slumber of
heedlessness. Then will the manifold favors and outpouring grace of the
holy and everlasting Spirit confer such new life upon the seeker that he
will find himself endowed with a new eye, a new ear, a new heart, and a
new mind. He will contemplate the manifest signs of the universe, and will
penetrate the hidden mysteries of the soul. Gazing with the eye of God, he
will perceive within every atom a door that leadeth him to the stations of
absolute certitude. He will discover in all things the mysteries of Divine
Revelation, and the evidences of an everlasting Manifestation.

I swear by God! Were he that treadeth the path of guidance and seeketh to
scale the heights of righteousness to attain unto this glorious and
exalted station, he would inhale, at a distance of a thousand leagues, the
fragrance of God, and would perceive the resplendent morn of a Divine
guidance rising above the Day Spring of all things. Each and every thing,
however small, would be to him a revelation, leading him to his Beloved,
the Object of his quest. So great shall be the discernment of this seeker
that he will discriminate between truth and falsehood, even as he doth
distinguish the sun from shadow. If in the uttermost corners of the East
the sweet savors of God be wafted, he will assuredly recognize and inhale
their fragrance, even though he be dwelling in the uttermost ends of the
West. He will, likewise, clearly distinguish all the signs of God--His
wondrous utterances, His great works, and mighty deeds--from the doings,
the words and ways of men, even as the jeweler who knoweth the gem from
the stone, or the man who distinguisheth the spring from autumn, and heat
from cold. When the channel of the human soul is cleansed of all worldly
and impeding attachments, it will unfailingly perceive the breath of the
Beloved across immeasurable distances, and will, led by its perfume,
attain and enter the City of Certitude.

Therein he will discern the wonders of His ancient Wisdom, and will
perceive all the hidden teachings from the rustling leaves of the Tree
that flourisheth in that City. With both his inner and outer ear, he will
hear from its dust the hymns of glory and praise ascending unto the Lord
of Lords, and with his inner eye will he discover the mysteries of
"return" and "revival."

How unspeakably glorious are the signs, the tokens, the revelations, and
splendors which He, Who is the King of Names and Attributes, hath destined
for that City! The attainment unto this City quencheth thirst without
water, and kindleth the love of God without fire. Within every blade of
grass are enshrined the mysteries of an inscrutable Wisdom, and upon every
rose-bush a myriad nightingales pour out, in blissful rapture, their
melody. Its wondrous tulips unfold the mystery of the undying Fire in the
Burning Bush, and its sweet savors of holiness breathe the perfume of the
Messianic Spirit. It bestoweth wealth without gold, and conferreth
immortality without death. In each one of its leaves ineffable delights
are treasured, and within every chamber unnumbered mysteries lie hidden.

They that valiantly labor in quest of God, will, when once they have
renounced all else but Him, be so attached and wedded unto that City, that
a moment's separation from it would to them be unthinkable. They will
hearken unto infallible proofs from the Hyacinth of that assembly, and
will receive the surest testimonies from the beauty of its Rose, and the
melody of its Nightingale. Once in about a thousand years shall this City
be renewed and readorned....

That City is none other than the Word of God revealed in every age and
dispensation. In the days of Moses it was the Pentateuch; in the days of
Jesus, the Gospel; in the days of Muhammad, the Messenger of God, the
Qur'an; in this day, the Bayan; and in the Dispensation of Him Whom God
will make manifest, His own Book--the Book unto which all the Books of
former Dispensations must needs be referred, the Book that standeth
amongst them all transcendent and supreme.

Next: To Whatever Place We May Be Banished

Previous: How Wondrous Is The Unity Of The Living

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