Thursday, October 25, 2012

‘Abdu’l-Bahá Speaks To The Home Of Truth

“‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ HARDLY REQUIRES an introduction, as nearly all who are present have been looking forward to his coming to Sacramento.” The speaker was Christine Fraser from The Home of Truth, a branch of the New Thought movement gaining momentum in America at the turn of the twentieth century. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá had left San Francisco that morning, on October 25, 1912, arriving in Sacramento by noon. At 8:30 p.m. that same evening, an audience gathered in the Assembly Hall of the Hotel Sacramento to hear him speak. 
 First, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá distinguished what he called “true religion” from the “dogmatic interpretations and imitations of ancestral forms of belief.” True religion caused unity, peace, and love, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá remarked, while religious imitations led to war and strife. Bahá’u’lláh wrote that all should investigate reality for themselves, for, as ‘Abdu’l-Bahá explained, “Reality is one; and when found, it will unify all mankind.”

The last principle ‘Abdu’l-Bahá spoke about was humanity’s need for both material and spiritual civilization. “Material civilization,” he explained, “concerns the world of matter or bodies, but divine civilization is the realm of ethics and moralities.” The Prophets of God, such as Christ, are the founders of divine civilization, without which, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá said, “eternal happiness cannot be realized.”