“…the celestial tree of love…”

I think we all have known the feeling that we finally understand love.

I think we all have known the feeling that we’ll never understand love.

I think most folks have had periods when they’ve oscillated between these states—sometimes within hours or minutes of each other…

My personal experience is that the only reliable and fertile understanding of love is what our highest spiritual traditions have bestowed.

Today’s Excerpts:

O SON OF LOVE! Thou art but one step away from the glorious heights above and from the celestial tree of love. Take thou one pace and with the next advance into the immortal realm and enter the pavilion of eternity. Give ear then to that which hath been revealed by the pen of glory.

Bahá’u’lláh: The Hidden Words, Persian #7

The essence of love is for man to turn his heart to the Beloved One, and sever himself from all else but Him, and desire naught save that which is the desire of his Lord.

Bahá’u’lláh: Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, “Asl-i-Kullu’l-Khayr” or “Words of Wisdom”, p. 155

Be most loving one to another. Burn away, wholly for the sake of the Well-Beloved, the veil of self with the flame of the undying Fire, and with faces joyous and beaming with light, associate with your neighbor.

Bahá’u’lláh: Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, Selection CXLVII, p. 316

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~ Unleash The Life Within ~
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Detachment Means Never Having To Say You’re Sorry…

“We can appreciate without attaching ourselves to the things of this world. It sometimes happens that if a man loses his fortune he is so disheartened that he dies or becomes insane. While enjoying the things of this world we must remember that one day we shall have to do without them.”

‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Divine Philosophy, p. 134

I’m featuring two recent posts from UrbanMonk.net, both dealing with the widely recognized (and, frequently misunderstood) spiritual principle of Detachment.

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The first post, Attachment: Understanding the Origen of Human Suffering, contains these ideas:

“This teaching is marvelous, for there is nothing in there that cannot be verified simply by looking into your own experience. Look deeply into your own life, the times you have cried, the times you have raged. What was the cause of it all? The next time you are in pain, pause, and look. Ask yourself – why? What am I holding on to?

“Without attachment, suffering does not exist. Let go of your attachments, little by little. By and by you will see the freedom, the happiness that is there.”

“We have spent so much of our lives, every waking moment, following desire. We expend huge amounts of energy and time; we make extreme sacrifices, in the hope of finding happiness by attaining them. But as Lorne Ladner says in The Lost Art of Compassion, rarely does it occur to us the very way we go about seeking happiness has been causing our problems.”

There is much more of interest !

Part Two, How Our Cravings and Attachments Cause Our Pain and Suffering, goes even deeper into this vital spiritual principle:

“…when we crave, when we cling, we do not see people as they are. We are projecting our neediness, our sorrows – all the garbage inside us – onto them. And it is an insult. For them not to be seen as a human being; but for what they can do for us. Make me feel good, make me feel loved, make me feel safe, feed me, take care of me, impress my friends. That is all they are reduced to – a function, a service.

“And it is just as likely they are doing it to us too, and then what do we have? Not two human beings together, but two images, two roles, two cardboard cut-outs. Where has the humanity gone? This is so cruel, and yet so painstakingly common that it simply seems normal.”

“A rich man could have everything he wanted, and enjoy them all the more without the cravings, the attachments. There is nothing wrong with having most of the things we desire. Naturally, some cravings are just plain nasty – wanting to hurt another person is a fine example. But if you want money, or love, or any of those, then go for it. Does removing your attachment to health mean you stop exercising, stop looking after yourself?

“Most definitely not! Chasing new joys, setting new goals, all of these can still be pursued, but from a place of freedom, and not from the unease of craving.”

There is also much more of interest in this second post of the series !

Reading the full articles would reap great spiritual profit;  just be careful you don’t become attached to what’s said… 

“Our greatest efforts must be directed towards detachment from the things of the world; we must strive to become more spiritual, more luminous, to follow the counsel of the Divine Teaching, to serve the cause of unity and true equality, to be merciful, to reflect the love of the Highest on all men, so that the light of the Spirit shall be apparent in all our deeds, to the end that all humanity shall be united, the stormy sea thereof calmed, and all rough waves disappear from off the surface of life’s ocean henceforth unruffled and peaceful.”

‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks, p. 87


“…strive to see pain as the mother of joy.”

Check out our most recent posts!

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Why so much suffering?

From Wikipedia:

“All sentient beings suffer during their lives, in diverse manners, and often dramatically. No field of human activity deals with the whole subject of suffering, but many are concerned with its nature and processes, its origin and causes, its meaning and significance, its related personal, social, and cultural behaviors, its remedies, management, and uses.”

Aldous Huxley:

“At least two thirds of our miseries spring from human stupidity, human malice and those great motivators and justifiers of malice and stupidity, idealism, dogmatism and proselytizing zeal on behalf of religious or political idols.”

Emily Dickinson:
“Parting is all we know of heaven and all we need of hell.”

Fritz Williams:

“Suffering and joy teach us, if we allow them, how to make the leap of empathy, which transports us into the soul and heart of another person. ln those transparent moments we know other people’s joys and sorrows, and we care about their concerns as if they were our own.”

Helen Keller:

“The world is full of suffering, it is also full of overcoming it.”

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“Men who suffer not, attain no perfection. The plant most pruned by the gardeners is that one which, when the summer comes, will have the most beautiful blossoms and the most abundant fruit.

“The labourer cuts up the earth with his plough, and from that earth comes the rich and plentiful harvest. The more a man is chastened, the greater is the harvest of spiritual virtues shown forth by him. A soldier is no good General until he has been in the front of the fiercest battle and has received the deepest wounds.”

‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks, p. 50


Digg!

The Value of Pain

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I’ve spent about as much time as most folks dealing with pain; recently, eleven months of debilitating drugs to clear a virus from my liver.

I’ve had my bumps and bruises from engaging with life on earth.

Now, at 62, my best advice is to strive to see pain as the mother of joy.

Like most philosophical or spiritual sayings, there’s a built-in, seeming-contradiction . . .

From William Shakespeare:

To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

Macbeth Act 5, scene 5, 19–28

From my free-to-download poetry book:

Forebear

The chains of hollow
Imitation clasp their sterile links on
Minds so lost in routinized
Intentions even
Love can spawn but
Crimes; and,
Faithless certainties, like
Clockwork, build their
Superstitious blinds so even
Faith becomes the Devil trading
Hope for fruitless
Rinds.

From the Nobel Prize Speech of the writer William Faulkner.

“…the young man or woman writing today has forgotten the problems of the human heart in conflict with itself which alone can make good writing because only that is worth writing about, worth the agony and the sweat. He must learn them again. He must teach himself that the basest of all things is to be afraid: and, teaching himself that, forget it forever, leaving no room in his workshop for anything but the old verities and truths of the heart, the universal truths lacking which any story is ephemeral and doomed–love and honor and pity and pride and compassion and sacrifice. Until he does so, he labors under a curse. He writes not of love but of lust, of defeats in which nobody loses anything of value, and victories without hope and worst of all, without pity or compassion. His griefs grieve on no universal bones, leaving no scars. He writes not of the heart but of the glands.”

From a prayer by the Prophet-Founder of the Bahá’í Faith:

“Thou art He Who, through a word of Thy mouth, hath so enravished the hearts of Thy chosen ones that they have, in their love for Thee, detached themselves from all except Thyself, and laid down their lives and sacrificed their souls in Thy path, and borne, for Thy sake, what none of Thy creatures hath borne.”

Bahá’u’lláh, Prayers and Meditations by Bahá’u’lláh, p. 163