THE following words of Abdul Baha were uttered after his American sojourn on the occasion of his second visit to Europe, in 1913, when he stopped for some months on his way to the Orient.
During his stay in Paris Abdul Baha gave five public addresses (see Chapters 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8).
Each morning a group assembled at his apartment, 30 rue St. Didier, where he spoke informally; sometimes answering questions, or, on request, explaining points touched on in public addresses. In this way, although there are seeming repetitions, many abstruse subjects are elucidated in these informal conferences, which are to be found in the first few chapters of the book. (See chapters 1, 2 and 3.)
On these occasions Abdul Baha would sometimes sit by the window over-looking Paris and anon the majestic white-robed figure would pace the room as he discoursed.
Every Friday evening he addressed an assemblage at M. and Mme. Dreyfus-Barney's, 15 rue Greuze and every Monday afternoon he visited a group at the studio of Mr. Scott (an American artist), in the Latin quarter, 17 rue Boissonade.
After Abdul Baha had returned to Egypt, the writer visited him at Ramleh. Speaking of America one day, he said , "I have great hopes for the American people, but alas! as yet they do not understand the teachings of BAHA'O'LLAH.
"One of the veils is literal interpretation. To penetrate the inner significances a mighty effort is needed."
When one in reading substitutes the symbolic or spiritual title of the great ones, the human temple fades and only reality remains.
The spirit of faith, the beloved, the spiritual ego, the friend, the adored one, the desired one, the rays of the sun of truth, the flame of reality, the radiations of the celestial world, the lord, the nightingale, etc., are all synonyms of the one reality of man.
"This," says Abdul Baha, "has been the mission of all the divine messengers to make man conscious of his eternal part.
"By God, who is the only God and there is no God but he, this servant swears the masters did not come that man should adore them or worship
"Once again the dove of eternity hath descended from the rizwan* of nearness to sing the long-forgotten melody in this gloomy and disastrous age. O, when will one arise and while listening to this song don the garment of selflessness and hasten to the precinct of the friend!"
*Rizwan a Persian word which means garden or paradise and symbolizes a heavenly condition.
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