Baha’i Writings

 

2.     Human / Mental

 

 

2.4           Arts and Sciences (Resources)

 

 

2.4.1                   Arts and Sciences – Knowledge

            Knowledge is as wings to man's life, and a ladder for his ascent. Its acquisition is incumbent upon everyone. The knowledge of such  sciences, however, should be acquired as can profit the peoples of the earth, and not those which begin with words and end with words. Great indeed is the claim of scientists and craftsmen on the peoples of the world.

 

            (Baha'u'llah, Tablets of Baha'u'llah, p. 51)

 

 

2.4.2                   Arts and Sciences – Arts, crafts and sciences

            Arts, crafts and sciences uplift the world of being, and are conducive to its exaltation. Knowledge is as wings to man's life, and a ladder for his ascent. Its acquisition is incumbent upon everyone.

 

            (Baha'u'llah, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 26)

 

 

2.4.3                   Arts and Sciences – Knowledge as source of joy

            knowledge is a veritable treasure for man, and a source of glory, of bounty, of joy, of exaltation, of cheer and gladness unto him.

 

            (Baha'u'llah, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 26)

 

 

2.4.4                   Arts and Sciences – The power of reflection  

The source of crafts, sciences and arts is the power of reflection. Make ye every effort that out of this ideal mine there may gleam forth such pearls of wisdom and utterance as will promote the well-being and harmony of all the kindreds of the earth.

 

            (Baha'u'llah, Tablets of Baha'u'llah, p. 72)

 

 

2.4.5                   Arts and Sciences – Useful arts and sciences

In His Tablets Bahá'u'lláh counsels the believers to study such sciences and arts as are "useful" and would further "the progress and advancement" of society, and He cautions against sciences which "begin with words and end with words", the pursuit of which leads to "idle disputation".

 

            (Baha'u'llah, The Kitab-i-Aqdas, p. 214)

 

 

2.4.6                   Arts and Sciences – Music

            We, verily, have made music as a ladder for your souls, a means whereby they may be lifted up unto the realm on high; make it not, therefore, as wings to self and passion.

 

            (Baha'u'llah, The Kitab-i-Aqdas, p. 38)

 

 

2.4.7                   Arts and Sciences – Intoning divine words

            ... set to music the verses and the divine words so that they may be sung with soul-stirring melody in the Assemblies and gatherings, and that the hearts of the listeners may become tumultuous and rise towards the Kingdom of Abha in supplication and prayer.

 

            (Abdu'l-Baha, Baha'i World Faith - Abdu'l-Baha Section, p. 378)

 

 

2.4.8                   Arts and Sciences – The Bounds of Moderation

The civilization, so often vaunted by the learned exponents of arts and sciences, will, if allowed to overleap the bounds of moderation, bring great evil upon men. Thus warneth you He Who is the All-Knowing. If carried to excess, civilization will prove as prolific a source of evil as it had been of goodness when kept within the restraints of moderation.

 

            (Baha'u'llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 342)

 

 

2.4.9                   Arts and Sciences – Strange and astonishing things

In all matters moderation is desirable. If a thing is carried to excess, it will prove a source of evil. Consider the civilization of the West, how it hath agitated and alarmed the peoples of the world. An infernal engine hath been devised, and hath proved so cruel a weapon of destruction that its like none hath ever witnessed or heard. The purging of such deeply-rooted and overwhelming corruptions cannot be effected unless the peoples of the world unite in pursuit of one common aim and embrace one universal faith. Incline your ears unto the Call of this Wronged One and adhere firmly to the Lesser Peace.

 

Strange and astonishing things exist in the earth but they are hidden from the minds and the understanding of men. These things are capable of changing the whole atmosphere of the earth and their contamination would prove lethal.

 

            (Baha'u'llah, Tablets of Baha'u'llah, p. 69)

 

 

2.4.10                   Arts and Sciences – The hidden secrets of nature

            Ponder and reflect: all sciences, arts, crafts, inventions and discoveries, have been once the secrets of nature and in conformity with the laws thereof must remain hidden; yet man through his discovering power interfereth with the laws of nature and transfereth these hidden secrets from the invisible to the visible plane. This again is interfering with the laws of nature.

 

            (Abdu'l-Baha, Baha'i World Faith - Abdu'l-Baha Section, p. 339)

 

 

2.4.11                   Arts and Sciences – The intellect of man

            The sciences and arts, all inventions, crafts, trades and their products have come forth from the intellect of man. It is evident that within the human organism the intellect occupies the supreme station. Therefore, if religious belief, principle or creed is not in accordance with the intellect and the power of reason, it is surely superstition.

 

            (Abdu'l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 63)

 

 

2.4.12                   Arts and Sciences – Future applications

            The enormous energy dissipated and wasted on war, whether economic or political, will be consecrated to such ends as will extend the range of human inventions and technical development, to the increase of the productivity of mankind, to the extermination of disease, to the extension of scientific research, to the raising of the standard of physical health, to the sharpening and refinement of the human brain, to the exploitation of the unused and unsuspected resources of the planet, to the prolongation of human life, and to the furtherance of any other agency that can stimulate the intellectual, the moral, and spiritual life of the entire human race.

 

A world federal system, ruling the whole earth and exercising unchallengeable authority over its unimaginably vast resources, blending and embodying the ideals of both the East and the West, liberated from the curse of war and its miseries, and bent on the exploitation of all the available sources of energy on the surface of the planet, a system in which Force is made the servant of Justice, whose life is sustained by its universal recognition of one God and by its allegiance to one common Revelation -- such is the goal towards which humanity, impelled by the unifying forces of life, is moving."

 

            (Baha'u'llah, The Proclamation of Baha'u'llah, p. xii)

 

 

2.4.13                   Arts and Sciences – Religion and Science

            Religion is the outer expression of the divine reality. Therefore it must be living, vitalized, moving and progressive. If it be without motion and non-progressive it is without the divine life; it is dead. The divine institutes are continuously active and evolutionary; therefore the revelation of them must be progressive and continuous. All things are subject to re-formation. This is a century of life and renewal. Sciences and arts, industry and invention have been reformed. Law and ethics have been reconstituted, reorganized. The world of thought has been regenerated. Sciences of former ages and philosophies of the past are useless today. Present exigencies demand new methods of solution; world problems are without precedent.

 

            (Abdu'l-Baha, Baha'i World Faith - Abdu'l-Baha Section, p. 224)

 

 

2.4.14                   Arts and Sciences – The changing foundation of society

            Reflect upon the miracles of accomplishment which have already characterized it, the discoveries in every realm of human research, inventions, scientific knowledge, ethical reforms and regulations established for the welfare of humanity, mysteries of nature explored, invisible forces brought into visibility and subjection, a veritable wonder-world of new phenomena and conditions heretofore unknown to man now open to his uses and further investigation. The east and west can communicate instantly. A human being can soar in the skies or speed in submarine depths. The power of steam has linked the continents. Trains cross the deserts and pierce the barriers of mountains; ships find unerring pathways upon the trackless oceans. Day by day discoveries are increasing. What a wonderful century this is! It is an age of universal reformation. Laws and statutes of governments civil and federal are in process of change and transformation. Sciences and arts are being moulded anew. Thoughts are metamorphosed. The foundations of human society are changing and strengthening.

 

            (Abdu'l-Baha, Baha'i World Faith - Abdu'l-Baha Section, p. 228)

 

 

2.4.15                   Arts and Sciences – America and the “Most Great Peace”

            Just as America has become renowned because of her discoveries, inventions and skill; famous for the equity of her government and colossal undertakings, -- may she also become noted for the "Most Great Peace." Let this be her undertaking, and let it spread from her to other countries. And I pray for all of you that you may render this service to the world of humanity.

 

            (Compilations, Baha'i Scriptures, p. 318)

 

 

2.4.16                   Arts and Sciences – The faculty of meditation

Meditation is the key for opening the doors of mysteries. In that state man abstracts himself; in that state man withdraws himself from all outside objects; in that subjective condition he is immersed in the ocean of spiritual life and can unfold the secrets of things in themselves. To illustrate this, think of man as endowed with two kinds of sight: when the power of insight is being used the power of outward vision does not function.

 

This faculty of meditation frees man from the animal nature, discerns the reality of things, puts man in touch with God.

 

This faculty brings forth the sciences and arts from the invisible plane. Through the meditate faculty inventions are made possible, colossal undertakings are carried out. Through it governments can run smoothly. Through this faculty man enters into the very Kingdom of God.

 

            (Compilations, Baha'i Scriptures, p. 323)

 

 

2.4.17                   Arts and Sciences – Scientific knowledge

            Scientific knowledge is the highest attainment upon the human plane, for science is the discoverer of realities. It is of two kinds: material and spiritual. Material science is the investigation of natural phenomena; divine science is the discovery and realization of spiritual verities. The world of humanity must acquire both. A bird has two wings; it cannot fly with one. Material and spiritual science are the two wings of human uplift and attainment. Both are necessary -- one the natural, the other supernatural; one material, the other divine. By the divine we mean the discovery of the mysteries of God, the comprehension of spiritual realities, the wisdom of God, inner significances of the heavenly religions and foundation of the law.

 

            (Abdu'l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 138)

 

 

2.4.18                   Arts and Sciences – Mineral, Vegetable, Animal & Human

If we look with a perceiving eye upon the world of creation, we find that all existing things may be classified as follows: First -- Mineral -- that is to say matter or substance appearing in various forms of composition. Second -- Vegetable -- possessing the virtues of the mineral plus the power of augmentation or growth, indicating a degree higher and more specialized than the mineral. Third -- Animal -- possessing the attributes of the mineral and vegetable plus the power of sense perception. Fourth -- Human -- the highest specialized organism of visible creation, embodying the qualities of the mineral, vegetable and animal plus an ideal endowment absolutely minus and absent in the lower kingdoms -- the power of intellectual investigation into the mysteries of outer phenomena. The outcome of this intellectual endowment is science which is especially characteristic of man. This scientific power investigates and apprehends created objects and the laws surrounding them. It is the discoverer of the hidden and mysterious secrets of the material universe and is peculiar to man alone. The most noble and praiseworthy accomplishment of man therefore is scientific knowledge and attainment.

 

            (Abdu'l-Baha, Foundations of World Unity, p. 47)