By Someone who Wishes to Remain Anonymous
My Dearly Beloved Child!
As you know, I am at peace with and grateful for the ending of my lifetime in this world; eagerly awaiting my next great adventure, which comes with my birth into the next world.
I am confident in these 3 things:
1. This world passes in the twinkling of an eye:
The fleeting hours of man’s life on earth pass swiftly by and the little that still remaineth shall come to an end, but that which endureth and lasteth for evermore is the fruit that man reapeth from his servitude at the Divine Threshold. Behold the truth of this saying, how abundant and glorious are the proofs thereof in the world of being! (Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 233)
2. I now have different attributes from those who are still on earth, yet there is no real separation between you and I:
Those who have ascended have different attributes from those who are still on earth, yet there is no real separation. (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in London, p. 95)
3. I will see you again soon and our union will be everlasting!
Why should thou be sad and heartbroken? This separation is temporal; this remoteness and sorrow is counted only by days. Thou shalt find him in the Kingdom of God and thou wilt attain to the everlasting union. Physical companionship is ephemeral, but heavenly association is eternal. Whenever thou rememberest the eternal and never ending union, thou wilt be comforted and blissful. (Abdu’l-Baha, Tablets of Abdu’l-Baha v1, p. 99)
I can’t leave you much in the way of material goods, and I’m grateful, knowing they aren’t important anyway.
In earthly riches fear is hidden and peril is concealed. (Baha’u’llah, Tablets of Baha’u’llah, p. 219)
So here are the spiritual lessons I’d like to pass on:
Your purpose in this life is to prepare you for the next world:
One must remember that the purpose of this life is to prepare the soul for the next. (Universal House of Justice, Lights of Guidance, p. 359)
There are 3 things you need to do here:
1. To know God and be obedient to His commandments:
The purpose of God in creating man hath been, and will ever be, to enable him to know his Creator and to attain His Presence. To this most excellent aim, this supreme objective, all the heavenly Books and the divinely-revealed and weighty Scriptures unequivocally bear witness. (Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 70-71)
If you accomplish this, you will be in paradise:
Whoso hath recognized the Day Spring of Divine guidance and entered His holy court hath drawn nigh unto God and attained His Presence, a Presence which is the real Paradise, and of which the loftiest mansions of heaven are but a symbol. Such a man hath attained the knowledge of the station of Him Who is “at the distance of two bows,” Who standeth beyond the Sadratu’l-Muntaha. (Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 70-71)
If you don’t, you will have condemned yourself to the misery of remoteness and the nethermost fire, no matter what your earthly life looks like. I do not want this fate for you!
Whoso hath failed to recognize Him will have condemned himself to the misery of remoteness, a remoteness which is naught but utter nothingness and the essence of the nethermost fire. Such will be his fate, though to outward seeming he may occupy the earth’s loftiest seats and be established upon its most exalted throne. (Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 70-71)
Remember this prayer I taught you to say? Please say it every day, whether you become a Bahá’í or not, to remind you of your purpose:
I bear witness, O my God, that Thou hast created me to know Thee and to worship Thee. I testify, at this moment, to my powerlessness and to Thy might, to my poverty and to Thy wealth. There is none other God but Thee, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting. (Bahá’u’lláh, Baha’i Prayers, p. 3)
2. To acquire the virtues you will need in the next life:
Just as a baby in womb doesn’t know why it’s developing arms, legs, eyelashes etc; we can’t understand why we need to develop virtues for the next world either. We have to take it on faith, trusting that, just as it became apparent soon after birth, it will become clearly apparent in our next birth too:
As the child in the womb does not yet know the use of its members, it does not know what its eyes are for, neither its nose, nor ears, nor tongue — so also it is with the soul on earth. It cannot understand here the uses and powers of its spiritual gifts, but directly it enters the eternal kingdom, it will become clearly apparent. (‘Abdul-Bahá, Bahá’í Prayers 9, p. 48)
What are the virtues that are important?
The virtues and attributes pertaining unto God are all evident and manifest, and have been mentioned and described in all the heavenly Books. Among them are trustworthiness, truthfulness, purity of heart while communing with God, forbearance, resignation to whatever the Almighty hath decreed, contentment with the things His Will hath provided, patience, nay, thankfulness in the midst of tribulation, and complete reliance, in all circumstances, upon Him. These rank, according to the estimate of God, among the highest and most laudable of all acts. All other acts are, and will ever remain, secondary and subordinate unto them. (Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 290)
To put it another way:
In this world he must prepare himself for the life beyond. That which he needs in the world of the Kingdom must be obtained here. Just as he prepared himself in the world of the matrix by acquiring forces necessary in this sphere of existence, so, likewise, the indispensable forces of the divine existence must be potentially attained in this world. What is he in need of in the Kingdom which transcends the life and limitation of this mortal sphere? That world beyond is a world of sanctity and radiance; therefore, it is necessary that in this world he should acquire these divine attributes. In that world there is need of spirituality, faith, assurance, the knowledge and love of God. These he must attain in this world so that after his ascension from the earthly to the heavenly Kingdom he shall find all that is needful in that eternal life ready for him. That divine world is manifestly a world of lights; therefore, man has need of illumination here. That is a world of love; the love of God is essential. It is a world of perfections; virtues, or perfections, must be acquired. That world is vivified by the breaths of the Holy Spirit; in this world we must seek them. That is the Kingdom of everlasting life; it must be attained during vanishing existence. (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 226)
How can you acquire those things, you ask?
By what means can man acquire these things? How shall he obtain these merciful gifts and powers? First, through the knowledge of God. Second, through the love of God. Third, through faith. Fourth, through philanthropic deeds. Fifth, through self-sacrifice. Sixth, through severance from this world. Seventh, through sanctity and holiness. (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 226)
If you do these things, you will enjoy everlasting existence and more:
But if he possesses the knowledge of God, becomes ignited through the fire of the love of God, witnesses the great and mighty signs of the Kingdom, becomes the cause of love among mankind and lives in the utmost state of sanctity and holiness, he shall surely attain to second birth, be baptized by the Holy Spirit and enjoy everlasting existence. (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 226)
If you don’t, you will surely be deprived of eternal life! I don’t want that fate for you!
Unless he acquires these forces and attains to these requirements, he will surely be deprived of the life that is eternal. (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 226)
3. To acquire all the bounties and grace that are continually streaming down from God to you:
The whole duty of man in this Day is to attain that share of the flood of grace which God poureth forth for him. (Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 8)
Here are some other ideas I want to leave with you.
Don’t let the clamour of those who have turned away from God deter you from achieving your purpose:
Beware that the clamor of them that have repudiated this Most Great Announcement shall not deter thee from achieving thy purpose. (Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 307)
What God has to offer you is better than all of your earthly possessions:
Fear thou God and pride not thyself on thine earthly possessions, inasmuch as what God doth possess is better for them that tread the path of righteousness. (The Báb, Selections from the Writings of the Báb, p. 19)
Now that I’m gone and it’s too late to do anything else, I’d like you to:
1. Thank God for your conception:
It behooveth man . . . to render thanksgiving for the day of his conception as an embryo. For had the embryo not existed, how could he have reached his present state? (The Báb: Selections from the Writings of the Báb, p. 89)
2. Implore God for the pardon and remission of my sins, and ask Him to bestow mercy and forgiveness on me, trusting that for every prayer you say for me, you will be recompensed thousands and thousands of times:
It is seemly that the servant should, after each prayer, supplicate God to bestow mercy and forgiveness upon his parents. Thereupon God’s call will be raised: ‘Thousand upon thousand of what thou hast asked for thy parents shall be thy recompense!’ Blessed is he who remembereth his parents when communing with God. (The Báb, Lights of Guidance, p. 230)
Therefore, children, in return for this care and trouble, must . . . with greatest submission and humility implore pardon and remission of sins, and ask for the supreme mercy. (Abdu’l-Bahá, Some Answered Questions, p. 231-232)
Here’s a prayer you could say:
O Lord! In this Most Great Dispensation Thou dost accept the intercession of children in behalf of their parents. This is one of the special infinite bestowals of this Dispensation. Therefore, O Thou kind Lord, accept the request of this Thy servant at the threshold of Thy singleness and submerge his father in the ocean of Thy grace, because this son hath arisen to render Thee service and is exerting effort at all times in the pathway of Thy love, Verily, Thou art the Giver, the Forgiver and the Kind! (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Baha’i Prayers, p. 64)
3. Give to the poor for my sake:
Therefore, children, in return for this care and trouble, must show forth charity and beneficence . . . and give to the poor. (Abdu’l-Bahá, Some Answered Questions, p. 231-232)
I eagerly await our reunion! In the meantime, I’ll love you forever!