Baha’i Writings


3.     Material / Physical


3.2             The Human Body (Temple of the Spirit)



3.2.1                   The Human Body - The Throne of the Inner Temple
As this physical frame is the throne of the inner temple, whatever occurs to the former is felt by the latter.  In reality that which takes delight in joy or is saddened by pain is the inner temple of the body, not the body itself. Since this physical body is the throne whereon the inner temple is established, God hath ordained that the body be preserved to the extent possible, so that nothing that causeth repugnance may be experienced.  The inner temple beholdeth its physical frame, which is its throne.  Thus, if the latter is accorded respect, it is as if the former is the recipient. The converse is likewise true. Therefore, it hath been ordained that the dead body should be treated with the utmost honor and respect.

(The Bab:  Selections from the Writings of the Bab        Page 95)


3.2.2                  The Human Body – Purity & Cleanliness

GOD loveth those who are pure.  Naught in the Bayan and in the sight of God is more loved than purity and immaculate cleanliness....

The Bab:  Selections …       Page 80

3.2.3                   The Human Body - The Progress of Human Soul     
            And now concerning thy question regarding the soul of man and its survival after death. Know thou of a truth that the soul, after its separation from the body, will continue to progress until it attaineth the presence of God, in a state and condition which neither the revolution of ages and centuries, nor the changes and chances of this world, can alter.


                                   (Baha'u'llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 155)



3.2.4                   The Human Body – Cleanliness 

Be ye the very essence of cleanliness amongst mankind.  This, truly, is what your Lord, the Incomparable, the All-Wise, desireth for you.

Baha'u'llah:  The Kitab-i-Aqdas           Page 47

3.2.5                   The Human Body – Substance abuse

Beware of using any substance that induceth sluggishness and torpor in the human temple and inflicteth harm upon the body.


                                   (Baha'u'llah, The Kitab-i-Aqdas, p. 75)



3.2.6                   The Human Body – Physical well-being

            If a man is successful in his business, art, or profession he is thereby enabled to increase his physical well-being and to give his body the amount of ease and comfort in which it delights.  All around us today we see how man surrounds himself with every modern convenience and luxury, and denies nothing to the physical and material side of his nature.  But, take heed, lest in thinking too earnestly of the things of the body you forget the things of the soul:  for material advantages do not elevate the spirit of a man.  Perfection in worldly things is a joy to the body of a man but in no wise does it glorify his soul.

`Abdu'l-Baha:  Paris Talks*                Pages 62-63


3.2.7                   The Human Body – The Three Degrees of the World of Humanity

            There are in the world of humanity three degrees; those of the body, the soul, and spirit.
     The body is the physical or animal degree of man. From the bodily point of view man is a sharer of the animal kingdom.  The bodies alike of men and animals are composed of elements held together by the law of attraction.
     Like the animal, man possesses the faculties of the senses, is subject to heat, cold, hunger, thirst, etc.; unlike the animal, man has a rational soul, the human intelligence. This intelligence of man is the intermediary between his body and his spirit.
     When man allows the spirit, through his soul, to enlighten his understanding, then does he contain all Creation; because man, being the culmination of all that went before and thus superior to all previous evolutions, contains all the lower world within himself. Illumined by the spirit through the instrumentality of the soul, man's radiant intelligence makes him the crowning-point of Creation.

`Abdu'l-Baha:  Paris Talks*                Pages 96-97


3.2.8                   The Human Body -     Physical body and spiritual being

            In his physical body and its functions man is a captive of nature;  for instance, he cannot continue his existence without sleep, an exigency of nature; he must partake of food and drink, which nature demands and requires.  But in his spiritual being and intelligence man dominates and controls nature, the ruler of his physical being.

`Abdu'l-Baha:  Promulgation of Universal Peace*  Page 81

3.2.9                   The Human Body – Physical and mental energy

            The body of man is in need of physical and mental energy, but his spirit requires the life and fortification of the Holy Spirit.  Without its protection and quickening the human world would be extinguished.  Jesus Christ declared, "Let the dead bury their dead."  He also said, "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit."  It is evident, therefore, according to Christ that the human spirit which is not fortified by the presence of the Holy Spirit is dead and in need of resurrection by that divine power; otherwise, though materially advanced to high degrees, man cannot attain full and complete progress.

`Abdu'l-Baha:  Promulgation of Universal Peace*  Pages 182-183

3.2.10                   The Human Body – The physical body and the reality of man

            Another evidence or proof of the indestructibility of the reality of man is that it is not affected by the changes of the physical body. These changing conditions of the bodily composition are definite and continual.  At one time it is normal, at another time abnormal. Now it is weak, now strong.  It suffers injury, a hand may be amputated, a limb broken, an eye destroyed, an ear deafened or some defect appear in a certain organ, but these changes do not affect the human spirit, the soul of man.  If the body becomes stout or thin, decrepit or strong, the spirit or soul is unaffected thereby.  If a part of the bodily organism be destroyed, even if it be dismembered completely, the soul continues to function, showing that no changes of the body affect its operation.  We have seen that death and mortality are synonymous with change and disintegration.  As we find the soul unaffected by this change and disintegration of the body, we, therefore, prove it to be immortal; for that which is changeable is accidental, evanescent.

`Abdu'l-Baha:  Promulgation of Universal Peace*  Pages 415-416


3.2.11                   The Human Body – Purity & Cleanliness

            First in a human being's way of life must be purity, then freshness, cleanliness, and independence of spirit.  First must the stream bed be cleansed, then may the sweet river waters be led into it.
My meaning is this, that in every aspect of life, purity and holiness, cleanliness and refinement, exalt the human condition and further the development of man's inner reality.  Even in the physical realm, cleanliness will conduce to spirituality, as the Holy Writings clearly state.  And although bodily cleanliness is a physical thing, it hath, nevertheless, a powerful influence on the life of the spirit.

`Abdu'l-Baha:  Selections ...     Pages 146-147



3.2.12                   The Human Body – Cleanliness and effects on the spirit

            External cleanliness, although it is but a physical thing, hath a great influence upon spirituality. For example, although sound is but the vibrations of the air which affect the tympanum of the ear, and vibrations  of the air are but an accident among the accidents which depend upon the air, consider how much marvelous notes or a charming song influence the spirits! A wonderful song giveth wings to the spirit and filleth the heart with exaltation. To return to the subject, the fact of having a pure and spotless body likewise exerciseth an influence upon the spirit of man.


            (Abdu'l-Baha, Tablets of Abdu'l-Baha v3, p. 581)



3.2.13                   The Human Body – Perfections

            Cleanliness and sanctity in all conditions are characteristics of pure beings and necessities of free souls. The first perfection consists in cleanliness and sanctity and in purity from every defect. When man in all conditions is pure and immaculate, he will become the center of the reflection of the manifest Light. In all his actions and conduct there must first be purity, then beauty and independence. The channel must be cleansed before it is filled with sweet water. T


            (Abdu'l-Baha, Tablets of Abdu'l-Baha v3, p. 580)