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The Four Valleys
The Seven Valleys Of Baha'u'llah


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Ponder A While What Is It That Prompted
Ponder a while. What is it that prompted, in every Di...

9: O Fleeting Shadow! Pass Beyond The Baser Stages Of Doubt And Rise To
O FLEETING SHADOW! Pass beyond the baser stages of do...

29
O thou who art mentioned in this outspread roll and who,...

The Beginning Of All Things Is The Knowledge
The beginning of all things is the knowledge of God, ...

O Thou Whose Remembrance Is The Delight Of The
O Thou Whose remembrance is the delight of the souls ...

The Release
With the advent of the Young Turks' supremacy, realiz...

9 We Have Set Forth The Details Of Obligatory Prayer In Another Tablet#8
The original Obligatory Prayer had for reasons of wis...





The Valley Of Unity






and drinketh from the cup of the Absolute, and gazeth on the
Manifestations of Oneness. In this station he pierceth the veils of
plurality, fleeth from the worlds of the flesh, and ascendeth into the
heaven of singleness. With the ear of God he heareth, with the eye of God
he beholdeth the mysteries of divine creation. He steppeth into the
sanctuary of the Friend, and shareth as an intimate the pavilion of the
Loved One. He stretcheth out the hand of truth from the sleeve of the
Absolute; he revealeth the secrets of power. He seeth in himself neither
name nor fame nor rank, but findeth his own praise in praising God. He
beholdeth in his own name the name of God; to him, all songs are from the
King,(32) and every melody from Him. He sitteth on the throne of Say,
all is from God,(33) and taketh his rest on the carpet of There is no
power or might but in God.(34) He looketh on all things with the eye of
oneness, and seeth the brilliant rays of the divine sun shining from the
dawning-point of Essence alike on all created things, and the lights of
singleness reflected over all creation.

It is clear to thine Eminence that all the variations which the wayfarer
in the stages of his journey beholdeth in the realms of being, proceed
from his own vision. We shall give an example of this, that its meaning
may become fully clear: Consider the visible sun; although it shineth with
one radiance upon all things, and at the behest of the King of
Manifestation bestoweth light on all creation, yet in each place it
becometh manifest and sheddeth its bounty according to the potentialities
of that place. For instance, in a mirror it reflecteth its own disk and
shape, and this is due to the sensitivity of the mirror; in a crystal it
maketh fire to appear, and in other things it showeth only the effect of
its shining, but not its full disk. And yet, through that effect, by the
command of the Creator, it traineth each thing according to the quality of
that thing, as thou observest.

In like manner, colors become visible in every object according to the
nature of that object. For instance, in a yellow globe, the rays shine
yellow; in a white the rays are white; and in a red, the red rays are
manifest. Then these variations are from the object, not from the shining
light. And if a place be shut away from the light, as by walls or a roof,
it will be entirely bereft of the splendor of the light, nor will the sun
shine thereon.

Thus it is that certain invalid souls have confined the lands of knowledge
within the wall of self and passion, and clouded them with ignorance and
blindness, and have been veiled from the light of the mystic sun and the
mysteries of the Eternal Beloved; they have strayed afar from the jewelled
wisdom of the lucid Faith of the Lord of Messengers, have been shut out of
the sanctuary of the All-Beauteous One, and banished from the Ka'bih(35)
of splendor. Such is the worth of the people of this age!

And if a nightingale(36) soar upward from the clay of self and dwell in
the rose bower of the heart, and in Arabian melodies and sweet Iranian
songs recount the mysteries of God--a single word of which quickeneth to
fresh, new life the bodies of the dead, and bestoweth the Holy Spirit upon
the moldering bones of this existence--thou wilt behold a thousand claws of
envy, a myriad beaks of rancor hunting after Him and with all their power
intent upon His death.

Yea, to the beetle a sweet fragrance seemeth foul, and to the man sick of
a rheum a pleasant perfume is as naught. Wherefore, it hath been said for
the guidance of the ignorant:

Cleanse thou the rheum from out thine head
And breathe the breath of God instead.(37)

In sum, the differences in objects have now been made plain. Thus when the
wayfarer gazeth only upon the place of appearance--that is, when he seeth
only the many-colored globes--he beholdeth yellow and red and white; hence
it is that conflict hath prevailed among the creatures, and a darksome
dust from limited souls hath hid the world. And some do gaze upon the
effulgence of the light; and some have drunk of the wine of oneness and
these see nothing but the sun itself.

Thus, for that they move on these three differing planes, the
understanding and the words of the wayfarers have differed; and hence the
sign of conflict doth continually appear on earth. For some there are who
dwell upon the plane of oneness and speak of that world, and some inhabit
the realms of limitation, and some the grades of self, while others are
completely veiled. Thus do the ignorant people of the day, who have no
portion of the radiance of Divine Beauty, make certain claims, and in
every age and cycle inflict on the people of the sea of oneness what they
themselves deserve. Should God punish men for their perverse doings, He
would not leave on earth a moving thing! But to an appointed term doth He
respite them....(38)

O My Brother! A pure heart is as a mirror; cleanse it with the burnish of
love and severance from all save God, that the true sun may shine within
it and the eternal morning dawn. Then wilt thou clearly see the meaning of
Neither doth My earth nor My heaven contain Me, but the heart of My
faithful servant containeth Me.(39) And thou wilt take up thy life in
thine hand, and with infinite longing cast it before the new Beloved One.

Whensoever the light of Manifestation of the King of Oneness settleth upon
the throne of the heart and soul, His shining becometh visible in every
limb and member. At that time the mystery of the famed tradition gleameth
out of the darkness: A servant is drawn unto Me in prayer until I answer
him; and when I have answered him, I become the ear wherewith he
heareth.... For thus the Master of the house hath appeared within His
home, and all the pillars of the dwelling are ashine with His light. And
the action and effect of the light are from the Light-Giver; so it is that
all move through Him and arise by His will. And this is that spring
whereof the near ones drink, as it is said: A fount whereof the near unto
God shall drink....(40)

However, let none construe these utterances to be anthropomorphism, nor
see in them the descent of the worlds of God into the grades of the
creatures; nor should they lead thine Eminence to such assumptions. For
God is, in His Essence, holy above ascent and descent, entrance and exit;
He hath through all eternity been free of the attributes of human
creatures, and ever will remain so. No man hath ever known Him; no soul
hath ever found the pathway to His Being. Every mystic knower hath
wandered far astray in the valley of the knowledge of Him; every saint
hath lost his way in seeking to comprehend His Essence. Sanctified is He
above the understanding of the wise; exalted is He above the knowledge of
the knowing! The way is barred and to seek it is impiety; His proof is His
signs; His being is His evidence.(41)

Wherefore, the lovers of the face of the Beloved have said: O Thou, the
One Whose Essence alone showeth the way to His Essence, and Who is
sanctified above any likeness to His creatures.(42) How can utter
nothingness gallop its steed in the field of preexistence, or a fleeting
shadow reach to the everlasting sun? The Friend(43) hath said, But for
Thee, we had not known Thee, and the Beloved(44) hath said, nor attained
Thy presence.

Yea, these mentionings that have been made of the grades of knowledge
relate to the knowledge of the Manifestations of that Sun of Reality,
which casteth Its light upon the Mirrors. And the splendor of that light
is in the hearts, yet it is hidden under the veilings of sense and the
conditions of this earth, even as a candle within a lantern of iron, and
only when the lantern is removed doth the light of the candle shine out.

In like manner, when thou strippest the wrappings of illusion from off
thine heart, the lights of oneness will be made manifest.

Then it is clear that even for the rays there is neither entrance nor
exit--how much less for that Essence of Being and that longed-for Mystery.
O My Brother, journey upon these planes in the spirit of search, not in
blind imitation. A true wayfarer will not be kept back by the bludgeon of
words nor debarred by the warning of allusions.

How shall a curtain part the lover and the loved one?
Not Alexander's wall can separate them!(45)

Secrets are many, but strangers are myriad. Volumes will not suffice to
hold the mystery of the Beloved One, nor can it be exhausted in these
pages, although it be no more than a word, no more than a sign. Knowledge
is a single point, but the ignorant have multiplied it.(46)

On this same basis, ponder likewise the differences among the worlds.
Although the divine worlds be never ending, yet some refer to them as
four: The world of time (zaman), which is the one that hath both a
beginning and an end; the world of duration (dahr), which hath a
beginning, but whose end is not revealed; the world of perpetuity
(sarmad), whose beginning is not to be seen but which is known to have an
end; and the world of eternity (azal), neither a beginning nor an end of
which is visible. Although there are many differing statements as to these
points, to recount them in detail would result in weariness. Thus, some
have said that the world of perpetuity hath neither beginning nor end, and
have named the world of eternity as the invisible, impregnable Empyrean.
Others have called these the worlds of the Heavenly Court (Lahut), of the
Empyrean Heaven (Jabarut), of the Kingdom of the Angels (Malakut), and of
the mortal world (Nasut).

The journeys in the pathway of love are reckoned as four: From the
creatures to the True One; from the True One to the creatures; from the
creatures to the creatures; from the True One to the True One.

There is many an utterance of the mystic seers and doctors of former times
which I have not mentioned here, since I mislike the copious citation from
sayings of the past; for quotation from the words of others proveth
acquired learning, not the divine bestowal. Even so much as We have quoted
here is out of deference to the wont of men and after the manner of the
friends. Further, such matters are beyond the scope of this epistle. Our
unwillingness to recount their sayings is not from pride, rather is it a
manifestation of wisdom and a demonstration of grace.

If Khidr did wreck the vessel on the sea,
Yet in this wrong there are a thousand rights.(47)

Otherwise, this Servant regardeth Himself as utterly lost and as nothing,
even beside one of the beloved of God, how much less in the presence of
His holy ones. Exalted be My Lord, the Supreme! Moreover, our aim is to
recount the stages of the wayfarer's journey, not to set forth the
conflicting utterances of the mystics.

Although a brief example hath been given concerning the beginning and
ending of the relative world, the world of attributes, yet a second
illustration is now added, that the full meaning may be manifest. For
instance, let thine Eminence consider his own self; thou art first in
relation to thy son, last in relation to thy father. In thine outward
appearance, thou tellest of the appearance of power in the realms of
divine creation; in thine inward being thou revealest the hidden mysteries
which are the divine trust deposited within thee. And thus firstness and
lastness, outwardness and inwardness are, in the sense referred to, true
of thyself, that in these four states conferred upon thee thou shouldst
comprehend the four divine states, and that the nightingale of thine heart
on all the branches of the rosetree of existence, whether visible or
concealed, should cry out: He is the first and the last, the Seen and the
Hidden....(48)

These statements are made in the sphere of that which is relative, because
of the limitations of men. Otherwise, those personages who in a single
step have passed over the world of the relative and the limited, and dwelt
on the fair plane of the Absolute, and pitched their tent in the worlds of
authority and command--have burned away these relativities with a single
spark, and blotted out these words with a drop of dew. And they swim in
the sea of the spirit, and soar in the holy air of light. Then what life
have words, on such a plane, that first and last or other than these
be seen or mentioned! In this realm, the first is the last itself, and the
last is but the first.

In thy soul of love build thou a fire
And burn all thoughts and words entire.(49)

O my friend, look upon thyself: Hadst thou not become a father nor
begotten a son, neither wouldst thou have heard these sayings. Now forget
them all, that thou mayest learn from the Master of Love in the
schoolhouse of oneness, and return unto God, and forsake the inner land of
unreality(50) for thy true station, and dwell within the shadow of the
tree of knowledge.

O thou dear one! Impoverish thyself, that thou mayest enter the high court
of riches; and humble thy body, that thou mayest drink from the river of
glory, and attain to the full meaning of the poems whereof thou hadst
asked.

Thus it hath been made clear that these stages depend on the vision of the
wayfarer. In every city he will behold a world, in every Valley reach a
spring, in every meadow hear a song. But the falcon of the mystic heaven
hath many a wondrous carol of the spirit in His breast, and the Persian
bird keepeth in His soul many a sweet Arab melody; yet these are hidden,
and hidden shall remain.

If I speak forth, many a mind will shatter,
And if I write, many a pen will break.(51) ,(52)

Peace be upon him who concludeth this exalted journey and followeth the
True One by the lights of guidance.

And the wayfarer, after traversing the high planes of this supernal
journey, entereth





Next: The Valley Of Contentment

Previous: The Valley Of Knowledge



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