The Treasured Symbol (LOP X, Notes 87-91)

Photo by Leonid Rastorguev

He Who hath been manifested is the Hidden Mystery, the Treasured Symbol, through Whom the letters B and E (Be) have been joined and knit together.

87) "...He Who now speaketh is, in truth, the Well-guarded Treasure, and the Hidden Secret, and the Preserved Tablet, and the Impenetrable Mystery, and the Sealed Book."

(Baha'u'llah, Prayers and Meditations, p. 286)

‘Shoghi Effendi, in letters written on his behalf, has explained the significance of the "letters B and E". They constitute the word "Be", which, he states, “means the creative Power of God Who through His command causes all things to come into being” and “the power of the Manifestation of God, His great spiritual creative force.”

'The imperative "Be" in the original Arabic is the word "kun", consisting of the two letters "kaf” and "nun". Shoghi Effendi has translated them in the above manner. This word has been used in the Qur'án as God's bidding calling creation into being.'

(The Kitab-i-Aqdas, Notes, p. 247)
Using but a few words, Hand of the Cause of God George Townshend shared an interpretation, in a parenthetical remark--italicized below--that is startling in its insight.
'The Obligatory Prayers imply and declare that the Kingdom of God has come: for instance..."He who hath been manifested is the Hidden Mystery...through Whom the Letters 'B' and 'E' have have been joined and knit together..." (that is, mankind's true existence begins in the New Era).'

(George Townshend, "The Call to God," The Mission of Baha'u'llah and other literary pieces, p. 72) [Emphasis added.]
[October 28, 2012: Please see "Comments" section below!]

Baha'u'llah, The Kitab-i-Aqdas, paragraph 15: “Say: God hath made My hidden love the key to the Treasure…”

The following passage from The Kitab-i-Aqdas, Notes, pp. 174-76, pertaining to the above verses from both The Aqdas and the Long Obligatory Prayer, provides invaluable substance for study and meditation:

‘There is a well-known Islamic tradition concerning God and His creation:

"I was a Hidden Treasure. I wished to be made known, and thus I called creation into being in order that I might be known."

'References and allusions to this tradition are found throughout the Bahá'í Writings. For example, in one of His prayers, Bahá'u'lláh reveals:

"Lauded be Thy name, O Lord my God! I testify that Thou wast a hidden Treasure wrapped within Thine immemorial Being and an impenetrable Mystery enshrined in Thine own Essence. Wishing to reveal Thyself, Thou didst call into being the Greater and the Lesser Worlds, and didst choose Man above all Thy creatures, and didst make Him a sign of both of these worlds, O Thou Who art our Lord, the Most Compassionate!

"Thou didst raise Him up to occupy Thy throne before all the people of Thy creation. Thou didst enable Him to unravel Thy mysteries, and to shine with the lights of Thine inspiration and Thy Revelation, and to manifest Thy names and Thine attributes. Through Him Thou didst adorn the preamble of the book of Thy creation, O Thou Who art the Ruler of the universe Thou hast fashioned!"

(Prayers and Meditations by Baha'u'llah, XXXVIII)

'Likewise, in the Hidden Words, He states:

"O Son of Man! I loved thy creation, hence I created thee. Wherefore, do thou love Me, that I may name thy name and fill thy soul with the spirit of life."

'Abdu'l-Baha, in His commentary on the above-cited tradition, wrote:

"O wayfarer in the path of the Beloved! Know thou that the main purpose of this holy tradition is to make mention of the stages of God's concealment and manifestation within the Embodiments of Truth, They who are the Dawning-places of His All-Glorious Being. For example, before the flame of the undying Fire is lit and manifest, it existeth by itself within itself in the hidden identity of the universal Manifestations, and this is the stage of the "Hidden Treasure". And when the blessed Tree is kindled by itself within itself, and that Divine Fire burneth by its essence within its essence, this is the stage of "I wished to be made known". And when it shineth forth from the Horizon of the universe with infinite Divine Names and Attributes upon the contingent and placeless worlds, this constituteth the emergence of a new and wondrous creation which correspondeth to the stage of "Thus I called creation into being". And when the sanctified souls rend asunder the veils of all earthly attachments and worldly conditions, and hasten to the stage of gazing on the beauty of the Divine Presence and are honoured by recognizing the Manifestation and are able to witness the splendour of God's Most Great Sign in their hearts, then will the purpose of creation, which is the knowledge of Him Who is the Eternal Truth, become manifest."’

The Kitab-i-Aqdas, Notes pp. 174-76

I testify that it is He whose name hath been set down by the Pen of the Most High [X]
88) ‘"Pen of the Most High"...[refers] to Baha'u'llah, illustrating His function as Revealer of the Word of God.’

(Baha'u'llah, The Kitab-i-Aqdas, Notes, p. 176)

Who hath been mentioned in the Books of God [X]
89) “He, the divine King, hath proclaimed the undisputed supremacy of the verses of His Book over all things that testify to His truth.”

(Baha'u'llah, The Kitab-i-Iqan, p. 205)

I testify that it is He whose name hath been set down by the Pen of the Most High and Who hath been mentioned in the Books of God [X]

90) This testimony appears to be an acknowledgment of predestination and the inexorable fulfillment of scriptural prophecy.
"This is the promised Land in which He Who is the Revelation of God was destined to be made manifest. This is the Vale of God's unsearchable decree, the snow-white Spot, the Land of unfading splendor. Whatever hath come to pass in this Day hath been foretold in the Scriptures of old."

(Baha'u'llah, Gleanings, p. 344) [Emphasis added.]

the Lord of the Throne on High and of earth below [X]
91) “…the one true God, alone and single, is established upon His Throne, a Throne which is beyond the reaches of time and space, is sanctified above all utterance or expression, intimation, description and definition, and is exalted beyond all notion of abasement and glory.”

(Baha'u'llah, The Summons of the Lord of Hosts, pp. 110-11)

Next: "Possessor of All Things"

1 comment:

  1. In his wonderful book, 'The Forces of Our Time, The Dynamics of Light and Darkness,' Hooper Dunbar shares the following on pages 10-11:

    Primal will is defined in the Baha'i writings as the first creation of God, the first emanation from the Supreme Essence. It is a vast ocean of potentiality, with nothing in it yet distinguishable. Through the command and purpose and intention of God it resolves its own substance into the form and nature of all created things. Baha'u'llah expresses this when stating that 'the letters B and E have been joined and knit together' in the divine command 'Be!' In Arabic these letters are 'kaf' and 'nun,' which together make the imperative 'kun,' meaning 'be' or 'do.' The Guardian rendered these letters in English as 'B' and 'E.' The 'B' has been identified with the primal will and the 'E' with the divine purpose, which is the subsequent stage of unfoldment. The first emanation from God is this primal will, the first will. Divine purpose issues forth from divine will, and together, we are told, they give rise to all the worlds and to the endless generations of souls in the infinite realms of God.

    "This universal spiritual substance shapes itself into worlds and systems of worlds. It progressively gives rise to this outer physical realm, as well as to the unseen realms of God, which are likewise part of His creation. Abdu'l-Baha refers to the primal will as that universal reality which begets the connections between all created things. He describes this primal will, the will of God, in nearly identical terms with nature and religion.* The implications of these overlapping definitions are mysterious and profound..."

    *Abdu'l-Baha, 'Some Answered Questions,' ch.53.