Baha’i Writings


3.     Material / Physical


3.1      The World of Creation & Human Station (Minerals, Plants, Animals & Human Beings) 


3.1.1             The World of Creation - Human Distinction & Capacity

            Having created the world and all that liveth and moveth therein, He, through the direct operation of His unconstrained and sovereign Will, chose to confer upon man the unique distinction and capacity to know Him and to love Him -- a capacity that must needs be regarded as the generating impulse and the primary purpose underlying the whole of creation....


            (Baha'u'llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 65)



3.1.2              The World of Creation - The Purpose of Human Creation

            All men have been created to carry forward an ever-advancing civilization. The Almighty beareth Me witness: To act like the beasts of the field is unworthy of man. Those virtues that befit his dignity are forbearance, mercy, compassion and loving-kindness towards all the peoples and kindreds of the earth.


            (Baha'u'llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 214)



3.1.3              The world of creation - The Purpose of the Creation of Man

            The purpose of the creation of man is the attainment of the supreme virtues of humanity through descent of the heavenly bestowals.


            (Abdu'l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 4)



3.1.4              The World of Creation - Knowledge of Self

            Could ye apprehend with what wonders of My munificence and bounty I have willed to entrust your souls, ye would, of a truth, rid yourselves of attachment to all created things, and would gain a true knowledge of your own selves -- a knowledge which is the same as the comprehension of Mine own Being.


            (Baha'u'llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 326)




3.1.5              The World of Creation - Human Station

            Say: O men! This is a matchless Day. Matchless must, likewise, be the tongue that celebrateth the praise of the Desire of all nations, and matchless the deed that aspireth to be acceptable in His sight. The whole human race hath longed for this Day, that perchance it may fulfil that which well beseemeth its station, and is worthy of its destiny.


            (Baha'u'llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 39)



3.1.6              The World of Creation - The Cause of Human Upliftment

It is incumbent upon thee to summon the people, under all conditions, to whatever will cause them to show forth spiritual characteristics and goodly deeds, so that all may become aware of that which is the cause of human upliftment, and may, with the utmost endeavor, direct themselves towards the most sublime Station and the Pinnacle of Glory.


            (Baha'u'llah, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 27)



3.1.7              The World of Creation - Words Befitting Human Station
            The Great Being saith: One word may be likened unto fire, another unto light, and the influence which both exert is manifest in the world. Therefore an enlightened man of wisdom should primarily speak with words as mild as milk, that the children of men may be nurtured and edified thereby and may attain the ultimate goal of human existence which is the station of true understanding and nobility. And likewise He saith: One word is like unto springtime causing the tender saplings of the rose-garden of knowledge to become verdant and flourishing, while another word is even as a deadly poison. It behoveth a prudent man of wisdom to speak with utmost leniency and forbearance so that the sweetness of his words may induce everyone to attain that which befitteth man's station.


            (Baha'u'llah, Tablets of Baha'u'llah, p. 172)



3.1.8              The World of Creation - Creation of man, Capacity & Volition

And now, concerning thy question regarding the creation of man. Know thou that all men have been created in the nature made by God, the Guardian, the Self-Subsisting. Unto each one hath been prescribed a pre-ordained measure, as decreed in God's mighty and guarded Tablets. All that which ye potentially possess can, however, be manifested only as a result of your own volition. Your own acts testify to this truth. Consider, for instance, that which hath been forbidden, in the Bayan, unto men. God hath in that Book, and by His behest, decreed as lawful whatsoever He hath pleased to decree, and hath, through the power of His sovereign might, forbidden whatsoever He elected to forbid. To this testifieth the text of that Book. Will ye not bear witness? Men, however, have wittingly broken His law. Is such a behavior to be attributed to God, or to their proper selves? Be fair in your judgment. Every good thing is of God, and every evil thing is from yourselves. Will ye not comprehend? This same truth hath been revealed in all the Scriptures, if ye be of them that understand. Every act ye meditate is as clear to Him as is that act when already accomplished. There is none other God besides Him. His is all creation and its empire. All stands revealed before Him; all is recorded in His holy and hidden Tablets. This fore-knowledge of God, however, should not be regarded as having caused the actions of men, just as your own previous knowledge that a certain event is to occur, or your desire that it should happen, is not and can never be the reason for its occurrence.


            (Baha'u'llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 149)



3.1.9              The World of Creation -The Four Kingdoms of the World of Existence

            In the differentiation of life in the world of existence, there are four degrees or kingdoms, -- the mineral, vegetable, animal, and human. The mineral kingdom is possessed of a certain virtue which we term cohesion. The vegetable kingdom possesses cohesive properties plus the power of growth or power augmentative. The animal kingdom is  possessed of the virtues of the mineral and vegetable plus the powers of the senses. But the animal although gifted with sensibilities is utterly bereft of consciousness, absolutely out of touch with the world of consciousness and spirit. The animal possesses no powers by which it can make discoveries which lie beyond the realm of the senses. It has no power of intellectual origination. For example, an animal located in Europe is not capable of discovering the continent of America. It understands only phenomena which come within the range of its senses and instinct. It cannot abstractly reason out anything. The animal cannot conceive of the earth being spherical or revolving upon its axis. It cannot apprehend that the little stars in the heavens are tremendous worlds vastly greater than the earth. The animal cannot abstractly conceive of intellect. Of these powers it is bereft. Therefore these powers are peculiar to man and it is made evident that in the human kingdom there is a reality of which the animal is minus. What is that reality? It is the spirit of man. By it man is distinguished above all the other phenomenal kingdoms. Although he possesses all the virtues of the lower kingdoms he is further endowed with the spiritual faculty, the heavenly gift of consciousness.


            (Abdu'l-Baha, Foundations of World Unity, p. 90)



3.1.10            The World of Creation - The Limitations of the World of Creation
… A mineral, however far it may progress in the mineral kingdom, cannot gain the vegetable power.  Also in a flower, however far it may progress in the vegetable kingdom, no power of the senses will appear.  So this silver mineral cannot gain hearing or sight; it can only improve in its own condition and become a perfect mineral, but it cannot acquire the power of growth, or the power of sensation, or attain to life; it can only progress in its own condition.

`Abdu'l-Baha:  Some Answered Questions       Pages 230-231)



3.1.11            The World of Creation - Man and Nature
            All material phenomena are subject to nature.  All material organisms are captives of nature.  None of them can deviate in the slightest from the laws of nature.  This earth, these great mountains, the animals with their wonderful powers and instincts cannot go beyond natural limitations.  All things are captives of nature except man.

`Abdu'l-Baha:  Promulgation of Universal Peace*  Pages 258)


3.1.12            The World of Creation - Comprehension of Higher Degree

            Although the mineral, vegetable, animal and man himself are actual beings, the difference between their kingdoms prevents members of the lower degree from comprehending the essence and nature of those of the superior degree. This being so, how can the temporal and phenomenal comprehend the Lord of Hosts?


            (Abdu'l-Baha, Abdu'l-Baha in London, p. 22)



3.1.13            The world of Creation - The beginning and …..the end

As to thy question concerning the origin of creation. Know assuredly that God's creation hath existed from eternity, and will continue to exist forever. Its beginning hath had no beginning, and its end knoweth no end. His name, the Creator, presupposeth a creation, even as His title, the Lord of Men, must involve the existence of a servant.


            (Baha'u'llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 150)



3.1.14            The world of Creation - The world of existence          

Know that it is one of the most abstruse spiritual truths that the world of existence - that is to say, this endless universe - has no beginning.
     We have already explained that the names and attributes of the Divinity themselves require the existence of beings.  Although this subject has been explained in detail, we will speak of it again briefly.  Know that an educator without pupils cannot be imagined; a monarch without subjects could not exist; a master without scholars cannot be appointed; a creator without a creature is impossible; a provider without those provided for cannot be conceived; for all the divine names and attributes demand the existence of beings.

`Abdu'l-Baha:  Some Answered Questions         Page 180


3.1.15            The world of Creation – The evolution of human form

… as man in the womb of the mother passes from form to form, from shape to shape, changes and develops, and is still the human species from the beginning of the embryonic period -- in the same way man, from the beginning of his existence in the matrix of the world, is also a distinct species -- that is, man -- and has gradually evolved from one form to another. Therefore, this change of appearance, this evolution of members, this development and growth, even though we admit the reality of growth and progress, does not prevent the species from being original. Man from the beginning was in this perfect form and composition, and possessed capacity and aptitude for acquiring material and spiritual perfections, and was the manifestation of these words, "We will make man in Our image and likeness." He has only become more pleasing, more beautiful and more graceful. Civilization has brought him out of his wild state, just as the wild fruits which are cultivated by a gardener become finer, sweeter and acquire more freshness and delicacy.

The gardeners of the world of humanity are the Prophets of God. 


            (Abdu'l-Baha, Some Answered Questions, p. 194)



3.1.16       The world of Creation - The development and growth of man 

…Thus it is evident and confirmed that the development and growth of man on this earth, until he reached his present perfection, resembled the growth and development of the embryo in the womb of the mother:  by degrees it passed from condition to condition, from form to form, from one shape to another, for this is according to the requirement of the universal system and Divine Law.

`Abdu'l-Baha:  Some Answered Questions       Pages 183-184

3.1.17       The world of Creation - Man….. a distinct species

… Man was always a distinct species, a man, not an animal.  So, if the embryo of man in the womb of the mother passes from one form to another so that the second form in no way resembles the first, is this a proof that the species has changed?

`Abdu'l-Baha:  Some Answered Questions       Pages 184-185


3.1.18       The world of Creation - The Universal Cycle of Manifestations

Each of the Divine Manifestations has likewise a cycle, and during the cycle His laws and commandments prevail and are performed. When His cycle is completed by the appearance of a new Manifestation, a new cycle begins. In this way cycles begin, end and are renewed, until a universal cycle is completed in the world, when important events and great occurrences will take place which entirely efface every trace and every record of the past; then a new universal cycle begins in the world, for this universe has no beginning.


            (Abdu'l-Baha, Some Answered Questions, p. 160)



3.1.19       The world of Creation - The Adamic Cycle

"The Adamic Cycle inaugurated 6000 years ago by the Manifestation of God called Adam is only one of the many bygone cycles. Bahá'u'lláh, as you say, is the culmination of the Adamic Cycle. He is also the Inaugurator of the Bahá'í Cycle.


"Obviously there must have been Prophets and Manifestations in the ages preceding the Adamic Cycle. This is supported by the following statement revealed by Bahá'u'lláh.


"And now regarding thy question, 'How is it that no records are to be found concerning the Prophets that have preceded Adam, the Father of Mankind, or of any reference to them is no proof that they did not actually exist. That no records concerning them are now available, should be attributed to their extreme remoteness, as well as to the vast changes which the earth hath undergone since their time."


            (Compilations, Lights of Guidance, p. 500)



 3.1.20      The world of Creation - Baha’i Cycle & Dispensation

"Concerning your question relative to the duration of the Bahá'í Dispensation. There is no contradiction between Bahá'u'lláh's statement in the Íqán about the renewal of the City of God once every thousand years, and that of the Guardian in the Dispensation to the effect that the Bahá'í cycle will extend over a period of at least 500,000 years. The apparent contradiction is due to the confusion of the terms cycle and dispensation. For while the Dispensation of Bahá'u'lláh will last for at least one thousand years, His Cycle will extend still farther, to at least 500,000 years.


"The Bahá'í cycle is, indeed, incomparable in its greatness. It includes not only the Prophets that will appear after Bahá'u'lláh, but all those who have preceded Him ever since Adam. These should, indeed, be viewed as constituting but preliminary stages leading gradually to the appearance of this supreme Manifestation of God."


            (Shoghi Effendi, Directives from the Guardian, p. 7)