Fleeting Shadow – quotes

O Fleeting Shadow!  Pass beyond the baser stages of doubt and rise to the exalted heights of certainty. Open the eye of truth, that thou mayest behold the veilless Beauty and exclaim: Hallowed be the Lord, the most excellent of all creators!  (Bahá’u’lláh / Part Two: From the Persian : Number 9)

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“O Thou, the One Whose Essence alone showeth the way to His Essence, and Who is sanctified above any likeness to His creatures.” How can utter nothingness gallop its steed in the field of preexistence, or a fleeting shadow reach to the everlasting sun? The Friend (Muhammad) hath said, “But for Thee, we had not known Thee,” and the Beloved (Muhammad) hath said, “nor attained Thy presence.” (Baha’u’llah, The Seven Valleys and the Four Valleys, “The Valley of Unity”

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Abandon these fleeting shadows, O Maryam, and turn towards the Day-Star of unfading splendour. Every shadow oweth its existence and motion to the presence of the sun; for were the latter to withhold its grace for a single moment, all things would sink beneath the veil of non-existence. How sad and regrettable indeed that one should occupy oneself with the transitory things of this world and be debarred from the Dayspring of eternal holiness! (Baha’u’llah, Days of Remembrance, “LAWḤ-I-MARYAM [TABLET TO MARYAM]“, Bahá’u’lláh / Selection 31 : paragraph 13)

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It is clear that life in this fast-fading world is as fleeting and inconstant as the morning wind, and this being so, how fortunate are the great who leave a good name behind them, and the memory of a lifetime spent in the pathway of the good pleasure of God. (‘Abdu’l‑Bahá / The Secret of Divine Civilization)

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Strive ye with all your hearts, raise up your voices and shout, until this dark world be filled with light, and this narrow place of shadows be widened out, and this dust heap of a fleeting moment be changed into a mirror for the eternal gardens of heaven, and this globe of earth receive its portion of celestial grace. (‘Abdu’l‑Bahá / 17: “O ye who are the chosen ones of the Abhá Kingdom!…”)

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Are we to allow our vision of so unique, so enduring, so precious a Cause to be clouded by the stain and dust of worldly happenings, which, no matter how glittering and far-reaching in their immediate effects, are but the fleeting shadows of an imperfect world? (Shoghi Effendi / Letter of February 23, 1924)

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In man, however, there is a discovering power that transcendeth the world of nature and controlleth and interfereth with the laws thereof…..even as the bird he flieth in the air, saileth speedily upon the seas and as the fish soundeth the deep and discovereth the things therein….So is the power of electrical energy: this unruly violent force that cleaveth mountains is yet imprisoned by man within a globe! This is manifestly interfering with the laws of nature….according to the law of nature all shadows are fleeting, whereas man fixeth them upon the plate, and this, too, is interference with a law of nature….In fine, that inner faculty in man, unseen of the eye, wresteth the sword from the hands of nature, and giveth it a grievous blow. All other beings, however great, are bereft of such perfections. Man hath the powers of will and understanding, but nature hath them not. Nature is constrained, man is free. (‘Abdu’l‑Bahá / Tablet to Dr. Auguste Forel)

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