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Report of meeting on 23rd September 2014

Scriptural Reasoning - The Baha'i Scriptures

On this occasion John Longcroft-Neal, of the Baha’i community in Nuneaton, introduced us to a text from the Baha’i Scriptures. This was one of our continuing series of Scriptural Reasoning, where we share together our reactions to a text from the faith of one of our members.

The text chosen by John was as follows:

'Today the one overriding need is unity and harmony among the beloved of the Lord, for they should have among them but one heart and soul and should, so far as in them lieth, unitedly withstand the hostility of all the peoples of the world; they must bring to an end the benighted prejudices of all nations and religions and must make known to every member of the human race that all are the leaves of one branch, the fruits of one bough.

Until such time, however, as the friends establish perfect unity among themselves, how can they summon others to harmony and peace?
That soul which hath itself not come alive, Can it then hope another to revive?

Reflect ye as to other than human forms of life and be ye admonished thereby: those clouds that drift apart cannot produce the bounty of the rain, and are soon lost; a flock of sheep, once scattered, falleth prey to the wolf, and birds that fly alone will be caught fast in the claws of the hawk. What greater demonstration could there be that unity leadeth to flourishing life, while dissension and withdrawing from the others, will lead only to misery; for these are the sure ways to bitter disappointment and ruin. '

Selection of the Writings of Abdu'l-Baha p277

Some of the points discussed were:

- why is it translated from the Persian in a kind of Shakespearian English?
- who are ‘the beloved of the Lord’?
- how can ‘perfect unity’ be established?

The discussion was lively!

Christopher Lamb

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