Leaf of the Tree

Finding the Divine in the Details


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“The path that is my duty now”

“I must pray more and more for courage, as I certainly have neither the courage or strength to follow the path that is certainly my duty now.

With the fears and rages, that possess many confused people, if I say things that seem to threaten their interests or conflict with obsessions, then I will surely get it.

I need patience to listen, to learn, to try to understand, and courage to take all the consequences and be really faithful.

This alone is a full-time job.

I dread it, but it must be done, and I don’t quite know how.

To save my soul, by trying to be one of those who spoke and worked for peace, not for madness and destruction.”

~ Thomas Merton, November 12, 1961

Image courtesy Judy Wright

“Man has two aspects: the physical, which is subject to nature, and the merciful or divine, which is connected with God. If the physical or natural disposition in him should overcome the heavenly and merciful, he is, then, the most degraded of animal beings; and if the divine and spiritual should triumph over the human and natural, he is, verily, an angel.

The Prophets come into the world to guide and educate humanity so that the animal nature of man may disappear and the divinity of his powers become awakened. The divine aspect or spiritual nature consists of the breaths of the Holy Spirit.

The second birth of which Jesus has spoken refers to the appearance of this heavenly nature in man. It is expressed in the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and he who is baptized by the Holy Spirit is a veritable manifestation of divine mercy to mankind. Then he becomes just and kind to all humanity; he entertains prejudice and ill will toward none; he shuns no nation or people.”

~ ʻAbdu’l-Bahá, Talk in Washington, D.C., April 21, 1912

 

“The foundations of the divine religions are one. If we investigate these foundations, we discover much ground for agreement, but if we consider the imitations of forms and ancestral beliefs, we find points of disagreement and division; for these imitations differ, while the sources and foundations are one and the same. That is to say, the fundamentals are conducive to unity, but imitations are the cause of disunion and dismemberment.

Whosoever is lacking in love for humanity or manifests hatred and bigotry toward any part of it violates the foundation and source of his own belief and is holding to forms and imitations.

Jesus Christ declares that the sun rises upon the evil and the good, and the rain descends upon the just and the unjust—upon all humanity alike. Christ was a divine mercy which shone upon all mankind, the medium for the descent of the bounty of God, and the bounty of God is transcendent, unrestricted, universal.”  ~ ʻAbdu’l-Bahá, Ibid.


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Awareness needs both giving and receiving

Little Lamb Laying Low 31

Photo: Kathy Gilman

Can I recognize in my encounters with imperfection an invitation to accept that there is much I don’t know, or can’t change, especially about others?

How might I discover the limitless possibilities of love, of being open to the new possibilities in a situation or a moment? Might willingness to meet the present, rather than automatically imitate or recreate the past, be what it most truly means to “occupy” my self?

EB pix Germany and more 118The two service questions are conceived as a mechanism to help me focus on and clarify reality for myself in the decisions with which I am faced each day. Those junctures of possibility arrive moment by moment, and the goal of this pair of questions is to help me meet each one consciousl:

~ At this moment in time, what is the act of service I am capable of giving that the other person is capable of receiving?

~ At this moment in time, what is the act of service I am capable of receiving that the other person is capable of giving?

WTOEimage.phpEvery human interaction is either an act of giving or an act of receiving. By asking questions that encompass both giving and receiving, my sensitivity to and awareness of my own needs and those of others is increased daily. Both questions are equally important because giving depends on someone willing and capable of receiving, and receiving depends on someone willing and capable of giving.

Adapted from With Thine Own Eyes: Why Imitate the Past, When We Can Investigate Reality?

Find the book at: http://www.amazon.com/With-Thine-Own-Eyes-Investigate-ebook/dp/B00I1JPC7I/ref=pd_sim_kstore_11?ie=UTF8&refRID=0TQC490J7FVBRTJWM70H

Also available in print version from: http://www.bahairesources.com/with-thine-own-eyes.html