From Concealment: Twin Revelations and a Biological Metaphor

Images used with permission from the BIC Copyright © Bahá’í International Community

 

The nascent world civilization set forth in the vision and writings of Bahá’u’lláh, Author of the Bahá’í Faith, may be seen as a unitary living organism, unprecedented, unparalleled, and incomparable, of global scope, of evolving perfection, and of transcendent and enduring power. Until the coming of the Báb in 1844, ushering in the appearance of Bahá’u’lláh to the world’s eyes in 1863, this inconceivable organism lay concealed, encoded, encrypted in the divine realm from which its generating pattern was at last unfolded.  All human knowledge of the past, all precedent civilizations, all historical accomplishments and advancements, have seemed little more than echoic hints of the content of that mighty pattern.

 

Contemplation of the Twin Revelations of the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh brings to mind a modest projection of their meaning. Reflection on the Revelation of the Báb suggests a unique beginning: the process whereby the genetic code that is coiled up within the hidden nucleus of a new, living cell is first uncoiled and transcribed into a form that can be itself deciphered into the elements of the living organism. Continuing the flow of the idea, reflection on the Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh evokes the process whereby the transcribed genetic code is then translated – unpacked and decrypted – into the proteins that constitute those elements, a process superbly orchestrated in its sequences and locales that results in a new and vital created being. Lifting our thoughts from the humble roots of the metaphor, we can see unfolding now the living result of this supra-genetic process: the World Order of Bahá’u’lláh.

 

 

We are ourselves minuscule elements of this divine process, finding ourselves entrained, connected, enjoined into constantly-changing, endlessly-developing assemblages and networks constituting the embryonic institutional components performing their functions in this astonishing global entity of true, just, embracing, stable, lasting civilization.

 

What can be the consciousness, the thought-process, the contemplations, the directions to be taken by such a vast and deeply-aware entity? We ourselves, as mere cells or cell components in its makeup, can have very little idea. Emerging from nonexistence to nascence, an individual can only follow the traces of possibility to find one’s own place and purpose in such a transcendent organism.

 

 

One single human brain contains an estimated 100 billion nerve cells, or neurons; just one of those neurons can have up to 10,000 connections to other neurons in the brain. For the final reflection of this essay, one must consider the potentials of the harmonized, stabilized, energized connections among billions of such brains – each one of which comprises a mere cell in the living global organism seeded and growing in Bahá’u’lláh’s Revelation. We are gradually coming to a fuller appreciation of human consciousness and its purpose in a conscious world entity, and our shared appreciation is itself an essential element of that supreme entity.

 

What lies beyond? We can wonder at that question in our reflective moments, but we are leavening, energizing elements of the advancing world civilization, and in that process of advancement each one of us has a great deal of work to do.

 

(The author of this essay claims no independent knowledge of the ideas it contains. Most of the ideas appear in their true, potent forms in the Writings of the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh, and their interpretation and explication in the words of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and Shoghi Effendi; some others are drawn from the fast-expanding modern realm of molecular biology. Some annotation for sources would no doubt be useful – the author will attempt to develop the essay further with such content.)

 

This essay and others on the Bahá’í Faith appear on Dana Paxson’s blog innermostbridges.blogspot.com. He also maintains a blog on a wide range of other topics at innermostcrossings.blogspot.com.