Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Paragraph 37

And now, O seeker, it behooveth us firmly to cling unto the Urvatu'l-Vuthqa, that perchance we may leave behind the darksome night of error, and embrace the dawning light of divine guidance. Shall we not flee from the face of denial, and seek the sheltering shadow of certitude? Shall we not free ourselves from the horror of satanic gloom, and hasten towards the rising light of the heavenly Beauty? In such wise, we bestow upon you the fruit of the Tree of divine knowledge, that ye may gladly and joyously abide in the Ridvan of divine wisdom.

This is another point in the Text where Baha'u'llah allows us the opportunity to pause and catch our breath. In some ways the questions He asks here are rhetorical, and He is reminding us of what appears to be obvious.

Of course it behooves us to cling to the strong cord of God teachings. Of course we should seek the divine guidance, and the shelter of certitude. Who, in their right mind, would not run towards the rising light of heavenly Beauty?

But why is it here? Why now?

Perhaps He understands our inherent reluctance to hear something new. Perhaps He is allowing that initial reflex of pushing away something different to subside so that we can catch our breath and take a moment to think that, just maybe, He is right. Remember, we are still in the section of the Text in which He is talking about the sun, the moon and the stars. He has just given us multiple definitions of these terms which are quite contrary to what the common understanding of these terms is, at least in the context of this quote from Jesus.

Also, as just an aside, this paragraph is so rich with metaphor. On the one hand, He is moving us along that continuum from 0 to infinity, from darkness to light, from denial to certitude, from horror to beauty. He also brings together two different gardens: Eden, through the reference to the Tree of divine knowledge, and Ridvan. In terms of the garden, we can ask ourselves what else is growing there. If it is a garden, surely there is more than just a single tree. We can also note that it is the summer time, for the tree is giving its fruit. The last time we know that this tree bore fruit was in the time of Adam, for He ate of it in Genesis. This foreshadows the idea that we are at the beginning of yet another Cycle, moving from the Adamic Cycle to the Baha'i Cycle, from the time when this fruit was forbidden to a new age in which it is freely given to us. Originally we were cast out of this garden, but now we are being welcomed back.

Oh, and in case you cannot recall (we forgot, so we're mentioning it here), we talked about the Urvatu'l-Vuthqa way back in paragraph 28, when Baha'u'llah first mentioned it.

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