Have you noticed how many times love is associated with fire, kindling, and burning?
Baha’u’llah, in The Seven Valleys wrote:
“Wherefore must the veils of the satanic self be burned away at the fire of love, that the spirit may be purified and cleansed and thus may know the station of the Lord of the Worlds. Kindle the fire of love and burn away all things.”
Abdul-Baha advised us to “concentrate all the thoughts of our heart on love and unity.” So let’s each ask ourselves that question. Am I concentrating all my thoughts on LOVE??? If so, great! Please click on the comment bubble above right, to share some of your success stories. If not however, here are a few reasons why you may want to reconsider disobeying His advice.
SO, WHAT ARE SOME CHARACTERISTICS OF LOVE?
One thing that people deeply in love share in common, is that they are all deliriously happy and they derive great joy from serving each other and seeing the other person happy.
‘Abdul-Baha was always asking people if they were happy because God wants us to be happy, BECAUSE HE LOVES US. When you love someone, making and seeing the other person happy is not a duty or imposition, it is joy itself. Love is the key to happiness. That is why it is so important to make love our primary state of being.
Reflect on the following guidance on how to have your soul filled with the spirit of life?
“O SON OF MAN! I loved thy creation, hence I created thee. Wherefore, do thou love Me, that I may name thy name and fill thy soul with the spirit of life.” (1)
Clearly, our first love must be for our Creator, who rescued us from the wretchedness of nothingness and placed us at the apex of creation. How can we not be happy and grateful?
“All that has been created is for man who is at the apex of creation and who must be thankful for the divine bestowals, so that through his gratitude he may learn to understand life as a divine benefit. (2)
“O SON OF SPIRIT! There is no peace for thee save by renouncing thyself and turning unto Me; for it behooveth thee to glory in My name, not in thine own; to put thy trust in Me and not in thyself, since I desire to be loved alone and above all that is.” (3)
We are taught that God’s love is all encompassing, so why do we sometimes feel lonely, unloved, and unhappy? Perhaps it’s because we have to open our hearts and be attracted to that love in order to receive it. God’s love can not reach us unless we love Him first. If God’s powerful love cannot reach us, than perhaps no other human’s love can reach us either. Think about that, especially with our conflicting relationships where love is conditional. It may not be the world that is souring our relationships and blocking our blessings; since love is the carrier, could it possibly be us?
Ponder this vital point: We must love others first in order to receive their love, just as we are told we must love God first to receive His unconditional love. This is a critical distinction in the service work. You can’t love and serve God without loving and serving humanity. And, you can’t reach people you do not love. And you can’t love people if you don’t really know them and have a relationship with them.
“O SON OF BEING! Love Me, that I may love thee. If thou lovest Me not, My love can in no wise reach thee. Know this, O servant.” (4)
Love is an energy that needs a receiver. If God sends His love and we are not open to receiving it, then it cannot influence our lives. This is also true in any relationship.
Real love is not conditional; you don’t fall in and out of it, because you are loving the God (spiritual qualities) you see in the person, not how they satisfy some immediate material, physical, spiritual, or emotional need of yours.
Similar to the Baha’i marriage vow, in which you make the promise to God and not the other person, your vow to God is to abide by His Will in relationship to the other person. If either person does not love and obey God, why would either expect love and loyalty from each other?
Abdu’l-Baha warns us,
“But, if the hearts of the people become void of the divine grace-the love of God-they
1) wander in the desert of ignorance,
2) descend to the depths of ruin and
3) fall to the abyss of despair where there is no refuge.
4)They are like insects living on the lowest plane.“(5)
We find it hard to love people when we are angry, jealous, hurt, excluded, or have hatred in our hearts. Baha’u’llah warns us,
“Say: Jealousy eats the body and anger burns the liver. Refrain from these two as you would avoid a lion.” (6)
1. Baha’u’llah, The Arabic Hidden Words)
2. (Abdu’l-Baha, Divine Philosophy, p. 134)
3. (Baha’u’llah, The Arabic Hidden Words)
4. (Baha’u’llah, The Arabic Hidden Words)
5. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Tablets of Abdul-Baha Abbas, Vol. III, p. 325.
6. (Cited in “Bahá’u’lláh and the New Era”, p. 108)
(Compilations, The Compilation of Compilations vol. I, p. 460)
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