Spiritual progress is through the breath…

Spiritual progress is through the breaths of the Holy Spirit and is
the awakening of the conscious soul of man to perceive the reality
of Divinity.
`Abdu’l-Baha:[1997] Promulgation of Universal Peace p.142-143 MARS

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How shall we attain the reality of knowledge? By the breaths and promptings of the Holy Spirit, which is light and knowledge itself. Through it the human mind is quickened and fortified into true conclusions and perfect knowledge.
`Abdu’l-Baha: [1997] Promulgation of Universal Peace pp.22-23 MARS

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Through the faculty of meditation man attains to eternal life; through it he receives the breath of the Holy Spirit — the bestowals of the Spirit are given during reflection and meditation.

The spirit of man is itself informed and strengthened during meditation; through it affairs of which man knew nothing are unfolded before his view. Through it he receives divine inspiration, and through it he partakes of heavenly food.

Meditation is the key for opening the doors of mysteries. In that state man abstracts himself; in that state man withdraws himself from all outside objects; in that subjective condition he is immersed in the ocean of spiritual life and can unfold the secrets of things in themselves. To illustrate this, think of man as endowed with two kinds of sight: when the power of insight is being used the power of outward vision does not function.
(Compilations, Baha’i Scriptures, p. 323)

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(b) The Love of God for His children. His servants.
Through this love man is endowed with physical existence,
until through the Breaths of the Holy Spirit-this
same Love-he receives eternal life and becomes the image
of the Living God. This love is the origin of all the
love in the world of creation.
(c) “The love of man for God. This is attraction to
the Divine World, entrance into the Kingdom of God,
receiving the Bounties of God, illumination with the
Lights of the Kingdom. This love is the origin of all
philanthropy; this love causes the heart of man to reflect
the rays of the Sun of Reality.
(Howard Colby Ives, Portals to Freedom, p. 110)

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Let them at all times refresh and restore themselves with the dews of heavenly grace, and with the breaths of the Holy Spirit revive and renew themselves from moment to moment.
(Abdu’l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Baha, p. 10)

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“The name of infinite and inexhaustible…

“The name of infinite and inexhaustible depth and ground of our being is God. That depth is what the word God means. And if that word has not much meaning for you, translate it, and speak of the depths of your life, of the source of your being, of your ultimate concern, of what you take seriously without any reservation. Perhaps, in order to do so, you must forget everything traditional that you have learned about God, perhaps even that word itself. For if you know that God means depth, you know much about Him. You cannot then call yourself an atheist or unbeliever. For you cannot think or say: Life has no depth! Life itself is shallow. Being itself is surface only. If you could say this in complete seriousness, you would be an atheist; but otherwise you are not.” – Paul Tillich, The Shaking of The Foundations

All blessings are divine in origin, but …

All blessings are divine in origin, but none can be compared with this power of intellectual investigation and research, which is an eternal gift producing fruits of unending delight. Man is ever partaking of these fruits. All other blessings are temporary; this is an everlasting possession. Even sovereignty has its limitations and overthrow; this is a kingship and dominion which none may usurp or destroy.

Briefly, it is an eternal blessing and divine bestowal, the supreme gift of God to man. Therefore, you should put forward your most earnest efforts toward the acquisition of science and arts. The greater your attainment, the higher your standard in the divine purpose. The man of science is perceiving and endowed with vision, whereas he who is ignorant and neglectful of this development is blind. The investigating mind is attentive, alive; the callous and indifferent mind is deaf and dead.

A scientific man is a true index and representative of humanity, for through processes of inductive reasoning and research he is informed of all that appertains to humanity, its status, conditions and happenings. He studies the human body politic, understands social problems and weaves the web and texture of civilization.
In fact, science may be likened to a mirror wherein the infinite forms and images of existing things are revealed and reflected. It is the very foundation of all individual and national development. Without this basis of investigation, development is impossible. Therefore, seek with diligent endeavour the knowledge and attainment of all that lies within the power of this wonderful bestowal. (`Abdu’l-Baha: PUP p. 50)

NB Cartier-Bresson – “To take a photograph is to hold one’s breath when all faculties converge in a face of fleeing reality. It is at that moment that mastering an image becomes a great physical and intellectual joy.”

1 In her review of Creationism by Michae…

1 In her review of Creationism by Michael Ruse, written for the New Scientist (2005) Karen Armstrong provides a summary of her view of ‘mythos and logos’

In the pre-modern world, it was generally understood that there were two ways of arriving at truth. Plato called them mythos and logos. Neither was superior to the other. Logos (reason; science) was exact, practical and essential to human life. To be effective, it had to correspond to external reality. Myth expressed the more elusive, puzzling aspects of human experience. It has often been called a primitive form of psychology, which helped people negotiate their inner world…

Myth could not help you create efficient technology or run your society. But logos had its limits too. If you became a refugee or witnessed a terrible natural catastrophe, you did not simply want a logical explanation; you also wanted myth to show you how to manage your grief. With the advent of our scientific modernity, however, logos achieved such spectacular results that myth was discredited, and now, in popular parlance a myth is something that did not happen, that is untrue. But some religious people also began to read religious myths as though they were logos.

The conflict between science and faith has thus been based on a misunderstanding of the nature of scriptural discourse. Many people, including those who are religious, find it difficult to think mythically, because our education and society is fuelled entirely by logos. This has made religion impossible for many people in the west, and it could be argued that much of the stridency of Christian fundamentalism is based on a buried fear of creeping unbelief.

In the pre-modern world, it was considered dangerous to mix mythos and logos, because each had a different sphere of competence. Much of the heat could be taken out of the evolution versus creation struggle if it were admitted that to read the first chapter of Genesis as though it were an exact account of the origins of life is not only bad science; it is also bad religion.

Over-soul

The soul is the perceiver and revealer of truth. We know truth when we see it, let skeptic and scoffer say what they choose. Foolish people ask you, when you have spoken what they do not wish to hear, ‘How do you know it is truth, and not an error of your own?’ We know truth when we see it, from opinion, as we know when we are awake that we are awake. It was a grand sentence of Emanuel Swedenborg, which would alone indicate the greatness of that man’s perception,–“It is no proof of a man’s understanding to be able to confirm whatever he pleases; but to be able to discern that what is true is true, and that what is false is false,–this is the mark and character of intelligence.” In the book I read, the good thought returns to me, as every truth will, the image of the whole soul. To the bad thought which I find in it, the same soul becomes a discerning, separating sword, and lops it away. We are wiser than we know. If we will not interfere with our thought, but will act entirely, or see how the thing stands in God, we know the particular thing, and every thing, and every man. For the Maker of all things and all persons stands behind us and casts his dread omniscience through us over things.