transcending the limited reality of man

“…That celestial reality, the third reality of the microcosm, delivers man from the material world. Its power causes man to escape from nature’s world. Escaping, he will find an illuminating reality, transcending the limited reality of man and causing him to attain to the infinitude of God, abstracting him from the world of superstitions and imaginations, and submerging him in the sea of the rays of the Sun of Reality”.

~ ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

God is beyond being

“Someone beholding God and understanding what he saw has not actually seen God himself but rather something of his which has being and is knowable. For he himself solidly transcends mind and being. He is completely unknown and non-existent. He exists beyond being..”

Pseudo-Dionysus

Man needlessly kills a thousand fellow creatures

“Man needlessly kills a thousand fellow creatures, becomes a hero and is glorified through centuries of posterity. A great city is destroyed in one day by a commanding general. How ignorant, how inconsistent is humankind! If a man slays another man, we brand him as a murderer and criminal and sentence him to capital punishment, but if he kills one hundred thousand men, he is a military genius, a great celebrity, a Napoleon idolized by his nation. If a man steals one dollar, he is called a thief and put into prison; if he rapes and pillages an innocent country by military invasion, he is crowned a hero. How ignorant is humankind”!


~ ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

“we cannot know God in his nature”

“…we cannot know God in his nature, since this is unknowable and is beyond the reach of mind or of reason. But we know him from the arrangement of everything, because everything is, in a sense, projected out from him, and this order possesses certain images and semblances of his divine paradigms”.

~ Dionysius the Areopagite

(From Pseudo-Dionysius: The Complete Works (Classics of Western Spirituality)

‘the inscrutable One is out of the reach of every rational process’

…just as the senses can neither grasp nor perceive the things of the mind, just as representation and shape cannot take in the simple and the shapeless, just as corporal form cannot lay hold of the intangible and incorporeal, by the same standard of truth beings are surpassed by the infinity beyond being, intelligences by that oneness which is beyond intelligence. Indeed the inscrutable One is out of the reach of every rational process. Nor can any words come up to the inexpressible Good, this One, this Source of all unity, this supra-existent Being. Mind beyond mind, word beyond speech, it is gathered up by no discourse, by no intuition, by no name. It is and it is as no other being is. Cause of all existence, and therefore itself transcending existence, it alone could give an authoritative account of what it really is”.

Dionysius the Areopagite  (From Pseudo-Dionysius: The Complete Works (Classics of Western Spirituality)

‘mind is the matrix of all matter’

“As a man who has devoted his whole life to the most clear headed science, to the study of matter, I can tell you as a result of my research about atoms this much: There is no matter as such. All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particle of an atom to vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atom together. We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. This mind is the matrix of all matter.”

- Max Planck, Nobel Prize Winning Quantum Physicist

‘the springtime of the inner world’

” just as the solar cycle has its four seasons, the cycle of the Sun of Reality has its distinct and successive periods. Each brings its vernal season or springtime. When the Sun of Reality returns to quicken the world of mankind, a divine bounty descends from the heaven of generosity. The realm of thoughts and ideals is set in motion and blessed with new life. Minds are developed, hopes brighten, aspirations become spiritual, the virtues of the human world appear with freshened power of growth, and the image and likeness of God become visible in man. It is the springtime of the inner world”.

~ ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

‘Soul is the Receptacle of Intellect’

“The intellectual essence indeed, is impartible, uniform and eternal, but the essence of bodies is partible and multiplied, and is consubsistent with temporal representation. These therefore, exist contrarily with reference to each other, and are in want of a medium which may be able to collect them together; a medium, which is at one and the same time partible and impartible, composite and simple, eternal and generated. But according to Plato, the psychical order is a thing of this kind, intelligible, and at the same time the first of generated natures, eternal and temporal, impartible and partible. If therefore, it is necessary that the universe should be endued with intellect, it is also necessary that it should have a soul. For soul is the receptacle of intellect, and through it intellect exhibits itself to the masses of the universe…”

Proclus: ‘Commentary on the Timaeus of Plato’ Thomas Taylor Translation

‘In Attaining Likeness to God’

“Since Evil is here, “haunting this world by necessary law,” and it is the Soul’s design to escape from Evil, we must escape hence. But what is this escape? “In attaining Likeness to God,” we read. And this is explained as “becoming just and holy, living by wisdom,” the entire nature grounded in Virtue. But does not Likeness by way of Virtue imply Likeness to some being that has Virtue? To what Divine Being, then, would our Likeness be? To the Being- must we not think?- in Which, above all, such excellence seems to inhere, that is to the Soul of the Kosmos and to the Principle ruling within it, the Principle endowed with a wisdom most wonderful. What could be more fitting than that we, living in this world, should become Like to its ruler”?

~ Plotinus The First Ennead: Second Tractate (McKenna Translation)

“The Universal Cycles”

“Each one of the luminous bodies in this limitless firmament has a cycle of revolution which is of a different duration, and every one revolves in its own orbit, and again begins a new cycle. So the earth, every three hundred and sixty-five days, five hours, forty-eight minutes and a fraction, completes a revolution; and then it begins a new cycle—that is to say, the first cycle is again renewed. In the same way, for the whole universe, whether for the heavens or for men, there are cycles of great events, of important facts and occurrences. When a cycle is ended, a new cycle begins; and the old one, on account of the great events which take place, is completely forgotten, and not a trace or record of it will remain. As you see, we have no records of twenty thousand years ago, although we have before proved by argument that life on this earth is very ancient. It is not one hundred thousand, or two hundred thousand, or one million or two million years old; it is very ancient, and the ancient records and traces are entirely obliterated. 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. We have before stated proofs and evidences concerning this subject; there is no need of repetition. Briefly, we say a universal cycle in the world of existence signifies a long duration of time, and innumerable and incalculable periods and epochs. In such a cycle the Manifestations appear with splendor in the realm of the visible until a great and supreme Manifestation makes the world the center of His radiance. His appearance causes the world to attain to maturity, and the extension of His cycle is very great. Afterward, other Manifestations will arise under His shadow, Who according to the needs of the time will renew certain commandments relating to material questions and affairs, while remaining under His shadow. We are in the cycle which began with Adam, and its supreme Manifestation is Bahá’u’lláh”.

‘Abdu’l-Bahá

‘Some Answered Questions’