Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Paragraph 102

Verily He Who is the Day-star of Truth and Revealer of the Supreme Being holdeth, for all time, undisputed sovereignty over all that is in heaven and on earth, though no man be found on earth to obey Him. He verily is independent of all earthly dominion, though He be utterly destitute. Thus We reveal unto thee the mysteries of the Cause of God, and bestow upon thee the gems of divine wisdom, that haply thou mayest soar on the wings of renunciation to those heights that are veiled from the eyes of men.

Thus begins Part 2 of this remarkable book.

Evidently this paragraph, like paragraph 1, is written in pure Arabic. The rest of the Book, as we're sure you are aware, is written mostly in Persian. (Not that it makes a difference to us. We can't read either one. We just thought it was interesting.)

This paragraph, though, we find intriguing in that it is filled with these seeming contradictions. He has sovereignty, "though no man be found... to obey Him"; He is independent of all things, but appears destitute. These seem like they would be incompatible, but they state a basic reality of the Manifestations of God.

In some ways this reminds us of the apparent contradictions between Genesis 1 and Genesis 2, in which there are some notable differences in the stories of creation. While some might try to cite this as somehow being a flaw, we think of it, instead, as reminding us of the fundamentally mystical nature of religion. He is, after all, revealing to us "the mysteries of the Cause of God". In other words, there is far more here than meets the eye.

In other ways, it reminds us of paragraph 1 of this very book. While paragraph 1 begins with the importance of detachment, this one begins with the sovereignty that is the Manifestation's, contrasting His utter independence with His "utterly destitute" state.

In yet another way, it also reminds us of the very beginning of the Kitab-i-Aqdas. We can easily see Part 1 of this book as being about recognition, and Part 2 being about obedience. The very first paragraph of the Kitab-i-Aqdas reads:
The first duty prescribed by God for His servants is the recognition of Him Who is the Dayspring of His Revelation and the Fountain of His laws, Who representeth the Godhead in both the Kingdom of His Cause and the world of creation. Whoso achieveth this duty hath attained unto all good; and whoso is deprived thereof hath gone astray, though he be the author of every righteous deed. It behoveth every one who reacheth this most sublime station, this summit of transcendent glory, to observe every ordinance of Him Who is the Desire of the world. These twin duties are inseparable. Neither is acceptable without the other. Thus hath it been decreed by Him Who is the Source of Divine inspiration.
In many ways it seems as if He is foreshadowing the entirety of His Most Holy Book with this one, which the Guardian referred to as being of "unsurpassed pre-eminence", which you may recall from way back in the very first article of this blog. In fact, this passage from the Aqdas also reminds us that it does us no good to recognize Baha'u'llah if we don't act on it. It is like Mark Twain said: "The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read." Here, the man who is not changed by recognition of the Manifestation has no advantage over the man who does not recognize. "These twin duties", as Baha'u'llah says, "are inseparable." And Part 2 of this book is inseparable from Part 1.

It is also worth noting that both paragraphs 1 and 102 have that pivotal word "haply". In paragraph 1, as you recall, you have to sanctify your soul that "haply" you might attain that station God wants for you, and go into that divine Tabernacle that was "raised in the firmament of the Bayan". By the end of Part 1, if you have been able to maintain that level of detachment He recommends, then you have likely recognized the new Manifestation. Now, in Part 2, He is offering us His writings and teachings. After all, the first proof of the Manifestation is His own Self. His second proof is His teachings. Here He has offered us this second proof that, with luck, or haply, we might "soar on the wings of renunciation" and accomplish that which He desires us to do.

This seems to be one of the overarching themes of Part 2: Now that we have recognized, what are we going to do about it? He gives us incredible examples of the great heroes of the Babi Dispensation, whom the Uncle of the Bab would have likely known, or at least heard of. (Remember the Uncle of the Bab? He's the one to whom this whole Book was written.) These are the exemplars of what we can do when we demonstrate that renunciation which they exemplified. If Part 1 is about recognizing, then we feel that Part 2 is about what to do after we have recognized.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Outline of the Paragraphs, Part 2

This is our preliminary outline for Part 2 of the Kitab-i-Iqan. We are fairly certain that it will change a bit as we go through this part paragraph by paragraph. But for now, this is our working outline. Any comments are most welcome.

Samuel and Mead

Part 2

  • 102-3 Manifestations reveal God and have sovereignty
Revealer of the Supreme Being
  • 104-5 No direct knowledge of God
    • 106 We know God through His Manifestations
  • 107-8 Everything shows a sign of God, but humanity shows all the signs
    • 109 Manifestations show these signs to the highest degree
    • 110 All the Manifestations embody all the attributes of God
    • 111 - 112  People have strayed from the Manifestations
  • 113 - 132 True Sovereignty
    • 113 Sovereignty of the Qa'im real, but not as we imagine
    • 114 Sovereignty is Their spiritual influence
    • 115 Remember Muhammad's sufferings
    • 116 No escaping these attacks
    • 117 Time proves Their sovereignty
    • 118-120 Passing judgement
      • 121 Resurrection and judgement, life and death
      • 122-9 All the Manifestations demonstrate this
    • 130 Ponder (difficult concept just shared)
    • 131 Spiritual sovereignty superior to earthly sovereignty
    • 132 This is just one meaning
  • 133 - 145 Spiritual versus Earthly
    • 133 Spiritual Sovereignty vs earthly sovereignty
    • 134 Qur'anic verification
    • 135 Husayn, as an example
      • 136 Manifestations as another example
      • 137 Dust associated with Husayn as an example
      • 138 - 139 Husayn - From martyrdom to majesty
    • 140 Summary
    • 141 Jesus - True riches
    • 142 Sadiq's example
    • 143 Poverty and Riches
    • 144 - 145 Jesus' examples of spiritual versus earthly
  • 146 - The Presence of God
    • 146 Repeated history of cavilings
    • 147 "No more Messengers"
    • 148 God can always raise another Messenger
    • 149 - 152   Attainment to the Divine Presence
      • 149 A universal revelation? No. Already happened
      • 150 Attaining the inner-most reality of God? Impossible
      • 151 - 152 Attaining the presence of the Manifestation? Yes.
    • 153 Strive to understand this
    • 154 - 155 True learning - Recognizing the Manifestation in His day
  • 156 - 174 Return of phenotypes
    • 156 History repeated
    • 157 - 158 Manifestation answers ? but people think it's irrelevant
    • 159 - 160 "Return" explicated
    • 161 - Oneness of Messenger
    • 162 - 163 Oneness of Their chosen ones
    • 164 - 167 Transmutation
    • 168 - 169 "Return" continued - attributes
    • 170 - Return of Companions - Muhammad to the Bab
    • 171 - 174 - The "First" and the "Last"
  • 175 - 210 - Some "Veils of Glory"
    • 175 - 177 - Hypocritical leaders
    • 178 - 184 - Traditional terms, such as "Seal of the Prophets"
    • 185 - 187 - Examples of some veiled people
    • 187 - 197 -  Describing the Station of Him Whom God Shall Make Manifest
      • 187 - 190 - References to His own Station
      • 191 - 195 - Their Two-fold Station
      • 196 - Many aspects of Their Spiritual Station
      • 197 Reference to Himself
    • 198 - More aspects of Their Spiritual Station
    • 199 - 202 - Seek knowledge from the knowing
    • 203 -206 - Knowledge as a veil
    • 207 - 210 - People flock to the ignorant
  • 211 - 219 The True Seeker
    • 211 - 212 - Seek guidance from the pure in heart
    • 213 - 214 Criteria for a true seeker
    • 215 - 217 The results of truly seeking
    • 218 - 219 Renewal of religion
  • 220 - 225 Truth of Muhammad and the Qur'an
    • 226 - 227 Supreme station of the Qur'an
    • 228 - 231 The ignorant reject the Qur'an
    • 232 - 233 The Qur'an is for everyone, not dependent on human learning
    • 234 - 235 Denied that Muhammad brought something new
    • 236 - 237 The deniers said "No Prophet shall come after..."
  • 238 - 245 Paralleling Muhammad and the Bab
    • 238 - 241 Some declared the Messenger a calumniator
      • 238 - 239 Muhammad
      • 240 - 241 The Bab
    • 242 - 243 Persecution of followers who honour the old Messenger
      • 242 Muhammad
      • 243 The Bab
    • 244 - 245 They deny newly revealed verses
      • 244 Muhammad
      • 245 The Bab
  • 246 - 255 The Followers
    • 246 Some always seek Him out, usually unknown and unlearned
    • 247 Today, they are the learned who follow
      • 248 Names of some of them
      • 249 - 250 The proof of what they endured
      • 251 Comparison to the Imam Husayn
    • 252 - 255 The Divine Touchstone, separating the true from the false
  • 256 - 285 Proofs of the Bab's Mission
    • 256 - The Bab outlines the denials He faced
    • 257 - 261 Proof - The Bab's steadfastness
    • 262 - The Bab's life
    • 263 - 264 - His followers suffer persecution similar to previous Messengers
    • 265 Consider their sufferings and become firmer in the Faith (cf paragraph 6)
    • 266 - 275 Traditions
    • 276 - Caution to the Babi leaders
    • 277 - 279 Baha'u'llah's recent experiences
    • 280 The pure will understand, the covetous will not
    • 281 - 283 More traditions
    • 284 - 285 Interpreting traditions
  • 286 - 290 Conclusion
    • 286 Caution
    • 287-290 References to Baha'u'llah's Station

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Paragraph 101

And now, We beseech the people of the Bayán, all the learned, the sages, the divines, and witnesses amongst them, not to forget the wishes and admonitions revealed in their Book. Let them, at all times, fix their gaze upon the essentials of His Cause, lest when He, Who is the Quintessence of truth, the inmost Reality of all things, the Source of all light, is made manifest, they cling unto certain passages of the Book, and inflict upon Him that which was inflicted in the Dispensation of the Qur’án. For, verily, powerful is He, the King of divine might, to extinguish with one letter of His wondrous words, the breath of life in the whole of the Bayán and the people thereof, and with one letter bestow upon them a new and everlasting life, and cause them to arise and speed out of the sepulchres of their vain and selfish desires. Take heed, and be watchful; and remember that all things have their consummation in belief in Him, in attainment unto His day, and in the realization of His divine presence. “There is no piety in turning your faces toward the east or toward the west, but he is pious who believeth in God and the Last Day.” Give ear, O people of the Bayán, unto the truth whereunto We have admonished you, that haply ye may seek the shelter of the shadow extended, in the Day of God, upon all mankind.

Well, dear Reader, here we are: the last paragraph of Part 1. What a journey.

Now, to be honest, looking back at the previous paragraph, we would have ended it there. It sure seems like a nice conclusion. We would have been very satisfied with it. But then, we're not Manifestations of God. (See paragraphs 1 - 100 for more details.)

Not only does Baha'u'llah give us the basic parameters for truly searching for truth (see paragraphs 1 - 6), some examples of previous Manifestations that the reader already recognizes (see paragraphs 7 - 23), and expound upon a single verse of that holy Person, Jesus, (see paragraphs 24 - 98), He also places the feet of the reader upon that path that will surely lead to the recognition of that Manifestation of God for this Day, the Bab (see paragraphs 99 and 100). Beyond that, He also lays the foundation for the recognition of Him Whom God shall make Manifest, helping us understand that the criteria for recognizing the Bab will be the same as those criteria for recognizing His own Station.

Surely that must be enough.

But really, one of those amazing things about Manifestations is that They see vistas we can't even dream about. Here, in paragraph 101, He lifts us up to that greater vista.

Now that it is fairly certain that the uncle to whom this book is addressed will recognize that high station of his Nephew and become a Babi, Baha'u'llah takes a moment to address all the Babis, those "people of the Bayan".

And what does He say? It is not enough to recognize the Bab.

We must be supremely heedful of that most important message the Bab gave. When the Pivot of the Bab's teachings declares His Mission, when Him Whom God shall make Manifest appears, we must not fall into those same old errors. We should not cling to certain verses and deny Him due to our own limited understanding, and inflict great harm to Him. For He is supreme. Baha'u'llah, after all this time helping raise our vision of Jesus, Muhammad and the Bab, helping us get a better vision of Their greatness, reminds us that the One to come is far greater.

Now, that being said, this, too, would make a great ending point. But remember, we're not Manifestations. (See above.)

Now that we can recognize the Bab, and have the tools to recognize Baha'u'llah, the question remains, "So what?" How does that change our life? What do we do about it?

That, dear Reader, is Part 2.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Paragraph 100

O affectionate seeker! Shouldst thou soar in the holy realm of the spirit, thou wouldst recognize God manifest and exalted above all things, in such wise that thine eyes would behold none else but Him. “God was alone; there was none else besides Him.” So lofty is this station that no testimony can bear it witness, neither evidence do justice to its truth. Wert thou to explore the sacred domain of truth, thou wilt find that all things are known only by the light of His recognition, that He hath ever been, and will continue for ever to be, known through Himself. And if thou dwellest in the land of testimony, content thyself with that which He, Himself, hath revealed: “Is it not enough for them that We have sent down unto Thee the Book?” This is the testimony which He, Himself, hath ordained; greater proof than this there is none, nor ever will be: “This proof is His Word; His own Self, the testimony of His truth.”

To start our look at this paragraph, we would like to look again at the last sentence of paragraph 99. "It is incumbent upon thee, by the permission of God, to cleanse the eye of thine heart from the things of the world, that thou mayest realize the infinitude of divine knowledge, and mayest behold Truth so clearly that thou wilt need no proof to demonstrate His reality, nor any evidence to bear witness unto His testimony." Our goal is to be so certain that we need no proof. But really, we just ain't there. Here, in recognition of this truth of our own state, He addresses us as an "affectionate seeker". We are still seeking. We are still looking for proof. Perhaps it is proof of the claim of the Bab, or maybe even proof of our own faith. Time and again throughout this book, Baha'u'llah has talked about the various proofs that people are seeking.

Everyone asks for proofs, but really, is there any greater proof than His own life? The Messenger's own Words? What more can we offer? Nothing.

Isn't that what faith in Them has always been based on? Their life and their words?

As we pause and consider this, we notice that Baha'u'llah has given us, yet again, another path which we can walk. We notice that this paragraph describes three states in which we can find ourselves.

First, if we are to "soar in the holy realm of the spirit", then we would recognize that God is above all things.

Second, if we are to "explore the sacred domain of truth", then we will discover that everything is only recognizable in light of the recognition of God.

Third, if we are to dwell "in the land of testimony", then we should be content with what God has revealed.

As we have said, over and over, all of Part 1 seems to be about recognizing a Manifestation of God. The questions that the Uncle of the Bab, which led to the revelation of this incredible work, were all about various proofs that he was trying to understand. But Baha'u'llah doesn't seem to be content with this. It is as if He is saying, "Great. You've recognized. Now what? What are you going to do about it?"

How many countless people throughout history have recognized a Messenger but not done anything about it? In a very real sense, this reminds us of the beginning of Ruhi Book 1. "The betterment of the world can be accomplished through pure and goodly deeds..." "Let deeds, not words, be your adorning."

This paragraph, in one sense, is the ultimate point of Part 1. It is the culmination of recognition. We have recognized. Good for us. What are we going to do about it? And that, dear Reader, is Part 2.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Paragraph 99

Dear friend! Now when the light of God’s everlasting Morn is breaking; when the radiance of His holy words: “God is the light of the heavens and of the earth” is shedding illumination upon all mankind; when the inviolability of His tabernacle is being proclaimed by His sacred utterance: “God hath willed to perfect His light;” and the Hand of omnipotence, bearing His testimony: “In His grasp He holdeth the kingdom of all things,” is being outstretched unto all the peoples and kindreds of the earth; it behooveth us to gird up the loins of endeavour, that haply, by the grace and bounty of God, we may enter the celestial City: “Verily, we are God’s,” and abide within the exalted habitation: “And unto Him we do return.” It is incumbent upon thee, by the permission of God, to cleanse the eye of thine heart from the things of the world, that thou mayest realize the infinitude of divine knowledge, and mayest behold Truth so clearly that thou wilt need no proof to demonstrate His reality, nor any evidence to bear witness unto His testimony.

Wow. Here we are. After more than six dozen paragraphs devoted to looking at one passage from Matthew 24, we are at the tail-end of Part 1. This whole section, from the very beginning to this point, has all been about how we can begin to recognize a Manifestation of the Divine Spirit.

It all began with cleansing our heart, and looking again at some of the Messengers we already recognize. Once we see some of the things They have in common, Baha'u'llah turned our attention to that beautiful passage, that promise from Jesus Himself, and how it applied to Muhammad, and hence, how it applies to all Messengers. He showed us how much more there was in these lines than we ever imagined. There truly are more things in heaven and hell, Horatio, then we ever dreamed of.

Here, with this first paragraph of the conclusion of Part 1, He is suddenly very intimate with us again. "Dear Friend." This is someone who is close to us, We are close to Him. If we have made it this far, we must be an intimate of His, and He is helping us see how to become even closer.

There are two paths that we notice within this paragraph. Likely there are more, but we will concern ourselves with only two of them.

First, looking at the active parts within this paragraph, we can see that morning has arrived. "The light of God's everlasting Morn is breaking." We can easily see ourselves lost in the desert, like the Jewish peoples at the time of Moses, and the warm light of the sun is beginning to shed its splendor over the horizon.

Second, it is specifically the light of God's Word that is causing this light to appear, and it is appearing to everyone.

Third, we have that reference to the tabernacle again. We are reminded of its sacredness, and the fact that nothing can break or corrupt it. We were just reminded of the sacred nature of the holy Bible in the previous few paragraphs, and can apply this to all sacred Texts.

Fourth, while the Tabernacle is a specific reference to the Jewish peoples, Baha'u'llah is telling us that this time, God is reaching out to all the peoples and kindreds of the earth. He is talking to all. Nobody is excluded.

Finally, it is in our best interest to not sit back and merely look at or study the sacred Texts, important as study is, but to endeavour. We are to get up and work. We are to strive and labour, to do our utmost to reach this station. And if we are lucky, then we might be blessed enough to "enter the celestial City". Furthermore, not only are trying to get into that city, but our actual goal is "the exalted habitation". And with luck, we may be allowed to abide within it.

Of course, this adds another dimension of struggle. Abide, as you know, means to remain with in times of great trouble.

So here we are, in the wilderness of the desert, watching the sun come up. We are aware of the importance of the sacred tent behind us, and we are moving towards the Promised Land, that great city. We enter it, and with great difficulty, seek out the holy household. At the same time, we are also learning about the importance of remaining in this house even when it is difficult.

By the way, we don't feel that this is all merely in relation to Muhammad, even though it has all been about how the uncle of the Bab has come to recognize the Prophet of God. We don't feel that this is even solely about the Bab, Whom Baha'u'llah is helping this uncle to recognize. Nor do we feel that this is directly or indirectly about Baha'u'llah, Himself. We feel that all of this, from the very beginning up to this point of the book, has been about how we can recognize any Manifestation of the Divine Spirit. We feel that this has been about all of Them.

Anyways, on to that second path.

We get the feeling that there is another path hidden within these beautiful Words, namely through the quotes that He uses. In order, they read:

  • God is the light of the heavens and of the earth
  • God hath willed to perfect His light
  • In His grasp He holdeth the kingdom of all things
  • Verily, we are God’s
  • And unto Him we do return

The light is breaking, and that light is God. He is the true light of both the heavens and the earth. But let's face it, that light is blinding. It is difficult for us to see. In order for the light to be more effective, to be more "perfect", He is helping us acclimatize to it. He is giving us the means by which we can better see it. After all, if the light is out there, but we cannot bear it, what good is it to us?

No. God wants us to be able to see it, and this is one of the reasons He has sent us the Messengers.

But let's not forget, everything is within His grasp, and that includes us. It includes both the heavens and the earth. It even includes the Messengers Themselves.

Everything is God's. And to Him do we all, eventually, return.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Paragraph 98

We have also heard a number of the foolish of the earth assert that the genuine text of the heavenly Gospel doth not exist amongst the Christians, that it hath ascended unto heaven. How grievously they have erred! How oblivious of the fact that such a statement imputeth the gravest injustice and tyranny to a gracious and loving Providence! How could God, when once the Day-star of the beauty of Jesus had disappeared from the sight of His people, and ascended unto the fourth heaven, cause His holy Book, His most great testimony amongst His creatures, to disappear also? What would be left to that people to cling to from the setting of the day-star of Jesus until the rise of the sun of the Muḥammadan Dispensation? What law could be their stay and guide? How could such people be made the victims of the avenging wrath of God, the omnipotent Avenger? How could they be afflicted with the scourge of chastisement by the heavenly King? Above all, how could the flow of the grace of the All-Bountiful be stayed? How could the ocean of His tender mercies be stilled? We take refuge with God, from that which His creatures have fancied about Him! Exalted is He above their comprehension!

This basically ends His analysis of Matthew 24. And it's interesting, isn't it, that He has spent all this time referring to this text, deriving such insights and wisdom from it, and only now, at the very end, refutes the silly idea that the true Gospel may not exist? After all this, there really isn't any doubt, but still, He has to address it anyways.

Then there is the way in which He addresses this, with this list of rhetorical questions. As we could expect, it seems that there is a path of guidance within these very questions. They begin with the Book of God, one of the very proofs of the Messenger, His teachings. Once He mentions the Book, He points out that we should cling to it. From there, He introduces the Law, the very heart and essence of the book itself. Then He points out that without giving us the Law, the wrath, which is the punishment for the violation of said law, would be unjust, as would His chastisement. And since God is the very essence of justice, this notion itself is ridiculous. All grace and bounty flow from God, and the very thought that it could be stopped, even for a moment, is beyond absurd.

Again, it is very interesting. Baha'u'llah is seen here not only defending the validity of the Christian texts, but is also using them to show these profound truths. He is demonstrating not only a familiarity with them, but the incredible depth of wisdom contained within them. He is validating their authenticity and their accuracy, and by doing so is reminding us of the importance of our own study of them.

While it is, of course, important for us to know the teachings of the Baha'i Faith, it is also crucial for us to have a very good understanding and familiarity of the sacred texts of all faiths. 'Abdu'l-Baha, Himself, is reported to have said, "It is the religious duty of every Bahá'í to read and comprehend the meanings of the Old and New Testaments." Baha'u'llah has just spent over 70 paragraphs helping us comprehend the meaning of just this one singular passage from the New Testament. Imagine how much more there is to understand.

To us, this is a call to action. It is a very stark reminder of our duty to strive to understand better and better the holy texts of all faiths in light of the teachings of Baha'u'llah. It is also a reminder to us to stand up and defend not only their authenticity, but also their accuracy and relevance. As we encounter religious prejudice in our society, we are called upon to not only overcome it, but to show the profound beauty and depth of truth within every faith.

While we could go on for a long time on this extremely important theme., we will just point out one more thing that has caught our attention in this paragraph. No doubt we will be expanding on this theme in our study of Part 2 of this book, but for now, we will just point out a tidbit of it here.

Almost of all of Part 1 has been about how to recognize a Messenger of God. The first two questions in this paragraph also deal with this very important theme. We need to recognize the Messenger, and after They have ascended, it is through Their teachings that we can do this. Then, with the third question, He talks about the importance of the Law, and our obedience to it.

Recognition and Obedience.

This brings to mind, of course, the very first paragraph of the Kitab-i-Aqdas: The first duty prescribed by God for His servants is the recognition of Him Who is the Dayspring of His Revelation and the Fountain of His laws, Who representeth the Godhead in both the Kingdom of His Cause and the world of creation. Whoso achieveth this duty hath attained unto all good; and whoso is deprived thereof, hath gone astray, though he be the author of every righteous deed. It behoveth every one who reacheth this most sublime station, this summit of transcendent glory, to observe every ordinance of Him Who is the Desire of the world. These twin duties are inseparable. Neither is acceptable without the other. Thus hath it been decreed by Him Who is the Source of Divine inspiration.

And our obedience is something that we give to our sovereign, our king and ruler.

All of Part 2, as we shall soon see, is about that station of sovereignty held by the Manifestation of God.

But that's getting ahead of ourselves.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Paragraph 97

Our purpose in relating these things is to warn you that were they to maintain that those verses wherein the signs referred to in the Gospel are mentioned have been perverted, were they to reject them, and cling instead to other verses and traditions, you should know that their words were utter falsehood and sheer calumny. Yea “corruption” of the text, in the sense We have referred to, hath been actually effected in particular instances. A few of these We have mentioned, that it may become manifest to every discerning observer that unto a few untutored holy Men hath been given the mastery of human learning, so that the malevolent opposer may cease to contend that a certain verse doth indicate “corruption” of the text, and insinuate that We, through lack of knowledge, have made mention of such things. Moreover, most of the verses that indicate “corruption” of the text have been revealed with reference to the Jewish people, were ye to explore the isles of Qur’ánic Revelation.

Here is the twelfth paragraph, of thirteen, concerning the words, "And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet."

He begins by saying that He is "relating these things" to us to warn us. What things? Well, He is saying that if people were to say that certain signs in the Gospel were actually perversions of the text, they're bozos. He is giving us the history, and a way to respond, besides saying that they're bozos.

So let's look back at this whole section. What is it that Baha'u'llah is doing? What is His argument?

He begins by defining angels, and then reminds us that the Word of God is "abstruse, bewilderingly abstruse". He points out to us the conditions for bearing it, and demonstrates quite clearly that the divines of His day do not meet any of those qualifications. Instead, these divines argue that the text must be corrupt. Baha'u'llah goes on to explain that "what is meant by corrupting the text" is very specific. First, it refers to a simple misunderstanding when the Jewish people, for example, rescinded a law when they did not have the authority to do so. Second, it refers to the divines unconsciously interpreting the text according to their own imagination or vain desires. Third, it refers to this same interpretation, but this time consciously. Finally, it refers to these same people consciously transcribing the Text incorrectly and claiming it is from God, in order to get money or other benefits.

Now, this is all well and good, this pattern that He is pointing out to us, but why is He putting it here? Why does He put it here in this book, and why in this section?

Quite simply, He is warning us that these accusations of perverting the text will be made of Him, and are being made of the Bab. But if we examine it, we will see that they are mistaken. The Bab and Baha'u'llah are, instead, offering a new understanding of the text, one that is both fresh and invigorating. They are offering a truth that has been right in front of us all along, and we have just missed it. And Their new message is resounding through the world like a trumpet blast, waking up the people of the world, helping them see that this is a new day. But those in charge, the various divines and such, are trying to lull the people back to sleep.

And these angels, well, they can easily be seen as those Babis who have given their lives for their Faith. So now we can clearly see how He did in fact send His angels with a trumpet blast in order to wake us up, and hopefully allow us to become like angels, too.

Finally, He finishes off with this beautiful metaphor of exploring "the isles of Qur'anic Revelation", which are presumably floating within the "ocean of true understanding", referred to way back in the very first sentence of this book.