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O My servants! Could ye apprehend with what wonders of My munificence and bounty I have willed to entrust your souls, ye would of a truth, rid yourselves of attachment to all created things, and would gain a true knowledge of your own selves — a knowledge which is the same as the comprehension of Mine own Being. Ye would find yourselves independent of all else but Me, and would perceive, with your inner and outer eye, and as manifest as the revelation of My effulgent name, the seas of My loving-kindness and bounty moving within you. Suffer not your idle fancies, your evil passions, your insincerity and blindness of heart to dim the lustre, or stain the sanctity, of so lofty a station.  (Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 326)

In these soul-stirring words, Bahá’u’lláh tells us in one small paragraph why He wants us to detach, how to do it, what gets in the way, and what waits the soul who manages to achieve it!

Detachment is an important virtue to acquire, particularly in a discussion about letting go of the lies from our lower nature.  Detachment or letting go of age-old beliefs is the key.  So it’s important to understand what the Bahá’í Faith teaches about detachment.

The subject of detachment occurs in numerous Tablets. Perhaps it may be said that there are few, if any, among Bahá’u’lláh’s exhortations which have been stressed so much as detachment from this world and from every selfish desire. (Adib Taherzadeh, The Revelation of Baha’u’llah v 2, p. 214 -216)

What is Detachment?

The meaning of detachment is to do everything for the sake of God and to seek no recompense.

To be detached means to do everything for the sake of God and to seek no recompense.  (Adib Taherzadeh, The Covenant of Baha’u’llah, p. 25)

Detachment is not letting our possessions possess us.

Detachment does not consist in setting fire to one’s house, or becoming bankrupt or throwing one’s fortune out of the window, or even giving away all of one’s possessions. Detachment consists in refraining from letting our possessions possess us. A prosperous merchant who is not absorbed in his business knows severance. A banker whose occupation does not prevent him from serving humanity is severed. A poor man can be attached to a small thing.  (Abdu’l-Bahá, Divine Philosophy, p. 135-136)

Detachment from material things is often misunderstood. Many people think that the way to detachment is to shut oneself away in a monastery, lead an ascetic life, or live as a mendicant, careless of one’s personal affairs and responsibilities.  None of these practices conform with the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh.

This concept of detachment from material things is often misunderstood and is taken to mean renouncing the world. Many people think that the way to detachment is to shut oneself away in a monastery, lead an ascetic life, or live as a mendicant, careless of one’s personal affairs and responsibilities.  None of these practices conform with the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh.   (Adib Taherzadeh, The Covenant of Baha’u’llah, p. 20)

Genuine detachment from earthly things is achieved when we make the Cause of God the pivot of our lives, so that all of our personal and material interests revolve around the Faith.  Every step we take in our daily activities is in harmony with the commandments of God.

On the other hand, genuine detachment from earthly things is achieved when the individual makes the Cause of God the pivot of his life, so that all his personal and material interests may revolve around his Faith. In this case, he can benefit from his material possessions without being attached to them. And since the Cause of God is the prime motivating influence in his life, he will never act against the teachings of his Faith.  Every step he takes in his daily activities will be in harmony with the commandments of God.  (Adib Taherzadeh, The Covenant of Baha’u’llah, p. 22-23)

In case you think you don’t have a problem letting go, Bahá’u’lláh speaks to all of us in pretty harsh terms, saying that not one of us have ever detached ourselves from the things that perish.

Night hath succeeded day, and day hath succeeded night, and the hours and moments of your lives have come and gone, and yet none of you hath, for one instant, consented to detach himself from that which perisheth. (Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, pp. 321-322)

He then speaks to us with some urgency about the need to do so:

Bestir yourselves, that the brief moments that are still yours may not be dissipated and lost. Even as the swiftness of lightning your days shall pass, and your bodies shall be laid to rest beneath a canopy of dust. What can ye then achieve? How can ye atone for your past failure?  (Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, pp. 321-322)

What do we need to detach from?

He wants us to let go of our attachment to this world:

Now is the time for you to divest yourselves of the garment of attachment to this world that perisheth, to be wholly severed from the physical world, become heavenly angels, and travel to these countries.  (Abdu’l-Bahá, Tablets of the Divine Plan, p. 34)

He wants us to let go of all mortal things

I hope thou hast abandoned all such (mortal) things.  (Abdu’l-Bahá, Tablets of Abdu’l-Bahá v2, p. 358)

He wants us to let go of the things of the world and its vain ornaments and let our reliance be on remembering God instead:

Delight not yourselves in the things of the world and its vain ornaments, neither set your hopes on them. Let your reliance be on the remembrance of God, the Most Exalted, the Most Great. He will, erelong, bring to naught all the things ye possess. Let Him be your fear, and forget not His covenant with you, and be not of them that are shut out as by a veil from Him.  (Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 127-128)

He wants us to let go of our attachment to all created things:

Could ye apprehend with what wonders of My munificence and bounty I have willed to entrust your souls, ye would, of a truth, rid yourselves of attachment to all created things, and would gain a true knowledge of your own selves — a knowledge which is the same as the comprehension of Mine own Being. Ye would find yourselves independent of all else but Me, and would perceive, with your inner and outer eye, and as manifest as the revelation of My effulgent Name, the seas of My loving-kindness and bounty moving within you.   (Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 326-327)

He wants us to let go of the peoples of the earth, and put our trust in God:

That seeker must, at all times, put his trust in God, must renounce the peoples of the earth, must detach himself from the world of dust, and cleave unto Him Who is the Lord of Lords. (Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 264-265)

That sounds strange – if he wants us to let go of all the peoples of the earth, why does He want us to marry and have families; or to work together in groups.  Is this really what He’s saying?

It does seem to be, as the following quotes are even more specific.  They suggest that we need to sever ourselves from all desires, expecting no help or aid from anyone, not even family members:

It behoveth thee to sever thyself from all desires save thy Lord, the Supreme, expecting no help or aid from anyone in the universe, not even from thy father or children. Resign thyself to God! (Abdu’l-Bahá, Baha’i World Faith, p. 374-375)

He wants us to be freed from strangers and friends; disengaged from this world so we can become attached to the divine world:

I ask God that it may become realized, and day by day, thou mayest walk more and more in the path of the Kingdom, in order that thou mayest be freed from the strangers and friends, be disengaged from attachment to the material world and be attached wholly to the divine Kingdom. At that time thou wilt behold the lights of the most great gift.  (Abdu’l-Bahá, Tablets of Abdu’l-Bahá v3, p. 545)

He wants us to let go of all attachments including rest, quietude and to the mortal life.

In this day, whatever soul intendeth to raise the voice of the Kingdom, and to draw people under the Tree of Life in the ideal paradise, and to invite them to eternal life, must first be delivered from all attachments, must even shut his eyes to rest, quietude and to the mortal life of this world.  (Abdu’l-Bahá, Tablets of Abdu’l-Bahá v2, p. 358)

He wants us to stop depending on this world and its concerns:

Greeting and high respects to the maid-servant of God Miss . . . . , who is attracted, enkindled, hath spoken and called out, and hath stripped herself from the garment of dependence of this mortal world and its concerns and is clothed with the embroidered garments of separation (from the world) in this great Paradise.  (Abdu’l-Bahá, Tablets of Abdu’l-Bahá v3, p. 606-607)

He wants us to become detached from all that’s good or bad:

The people of God have no dependence upon the conditions of this world; they neither become bittered with the bitterness of the cup, nor do they become intoxicated if the cup be sweet.  (Compilations, Baha’i Scriptures, p. 501)

He wants us to give up the important for the most important:

The Guardian attaches the greatest importance to your work; and is delighted to see that you are carrying on your various projects with so much enthusiasm and devotion. It would be ideal if an offer, such as that made, could be accepted; but as the Cause has so many burdens to bear at this time, we are forced to do as ‘Abdu’l-Bahá said — give up the important for the most important.  (Shoghi Effendi, The Compilation of Compilations vol II, p. 116)

He wants us to let go of the “things we have devised”, which suggests idle fancies and vain imaginings to me.  We need to let go of all thoughts arising from our lower nature, and take hold on what God wants for us:

The days of your life are far spent, O people, and your end is fast approaching. Put away, therefore, the things ye have devised and to which ye cleave, and take firm hold on the precepts of God, that haply ye may attain that which He hath purposed for you, and be of them that pursue a right course. (Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 127-128)

If we can achieve all of this, then the highest form of detachment seems almost easy by comparison:  It’s to be occupied with some profession and be self-supporting:

In one of His Tablets Bahá’u’lláh says that the highest form of detachment in this day is to be occupied with some profession and be self-supporting. (Universal House of Justice, The Importance of the Arts in Promoting the Faith)

What gets in the way of our ability to detach?

Idle fancies, evil passions, insincerity and blindness of heart:

Suffer not your idle fancies, your evil passions, your insincerity and blindness of heart to dim the lustre, or stain the sanctity, of so lofty a station.  (Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 326)

Why do we need to detach?

God has given us many bounties and wants us to enjoy them all.  The key is to make sure that nothing gets between us and God.  If it does, we need to let it go.

Should a man wish to adorn himself with the ornaments of the earth, to wear its apparels, or partake of the benefits it can bestow, no harm can befall him, if he alloweth nothing whatever to intervene between him and God, for God hath ordained every good thing, whether created in the heavens or in the earth, for such of His servants as truly believe in Him. Eat ye, O people, of the good things which God hath allowed you, and deprive not yourselves from His wondrous bounties. Render thanks and praise unto Him, and be of them that are truly thankful.  (Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 276)

We don’t want anything to tarnish the purity, or embitter the sweetness, of the grace which flows through us.

Beseech the Lord your God to grant that no earthly entanglements, no worldly affections, no ephemeral pursuits, may tarnish the purity, or embitter the sweetness, of that grace which flows through you. (Lady Blomfield, The Chosen Highway, p. 17)

Letting go helps us understand the wonders of God’s generosity and bounty:

Could ye apprehend with what wonders of My munificence and bounty I have willed to entrust your souls, ye would of a truth, rid yourselves of attachment to all created things.  (Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 326)

Letting go is the first step into the court of eternity.

Attach not thyself to anything unless in it thou seest the reality of God – this is the first step into the court of eternity. (Abdu’l-Bahá, Divine Philosophy, p. 135-136)

Letting go enables us to be severed from the world so we can achieve God’s ultimate grace:

Only he who is severed from the world shall achieve this ultimate grace, he who is a captive of divine love, empty of passion and self, from every aspect true unto his God, humble, lowly, supplicating, in tears, submissive in the presence of the Lord.  (Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 242)

Letting go of our preoccupations with work and with the world is human perfection.

Yet, in spite of being so occupied [with work], if the heart is not chained and tied to this world, and is not troubled by current events, neither hindered by wealth from rendering service to mankind, nor grieved because of poverty, – then this is human perfection.  (‘Abdul-Bahá, Star of the West, Vol. 19, No. 7, p. 219)

Letting go wins us God’s great favour.

No one will obtain this great favor save he who cuts himself from this world, being attracted by the love of God, who is dead to the desires and appetites of self, sincere to God in all things and meek, humble, imploring, pleading and lowly before God.  (Abdu’l-Bahá, Tablets of Abdu’l-Bahá v1, p. 5)

Letting go enables us to become true servants, guiding others to the right path:

I beg of God to ordain for thee all that which thou desirest and grant thee the honors of meeting, and that thou mayest be a true maid-servant, emptied of all save Him, that thou mayest be apt in serving in his vineyard and in guiding thy two children into His Right Path.  (Abdu’l-Bahá, Tablets of Abdu’l-Bahá v1, p. 133)

Letting go frees us from worldliness so that through God’s gifts we become a great sign among the servants of God; our hearts are cheered and our spirits rested:

. . . put on the garment of sanctity and continence, which is free from worldliness, to [become] transfigured in the mantle of the gifts of the kingdom of God and to be a great sign among the maid-servants of God; that the Supreme Concourse may send out through thee a fragrance by which hearts may be cheered and spirits rested.  Give this Truth to every pliable soul that thou mayest deem ready to harken unto the voice of God.  (Abdu’l-Bahá, Tablets of Abdu’l-Bahá v1, p. 233-234)

Letting go is better for us than anything on earth:

. . . for this is better unto thee than the earth and that which is thereupon.  (Abdu’l-Bahá, Tablets of Abdu’l-Bahá v1, p. 233-234)

Letting go clothes us with the garment of holiness and the mantle of purity.

Verily, I pray God to sanctify thee from the material and thus clothe thee with the garment of holiness and the mantle of purity and send through thee the glad-tidings of thy Lord from the Kingdom of Heaven.  (Abdu’l-Bahá, Tablets of Abdu’l-Bahá v2, p. 269)

While enjoying the things of this world we must remember that one day we shall have to do without them.

But there is something else: detachment. We can appreciate without attaching ourselves to the things of this world. It sometimes happens that if a man loses his fortune he is so disheartened that he dies or becomes insane. While enjoying the things of this world we must remember that one day we shall have to do without them.  (Abdu’l-Bahá, Divine Philosophy, p. 135-136)

The earth life lasts but a short time, even its benefits are transitory; that which is temporary does not deserve our heart’s attachment.

Attach not thyself to anything unless in it thou seest the reality of God – this is the first step into the court of eternity. The earth life lasts but a short time, even its benefits are transitory; that which is temporary does not deserve our heart’s attachment.  (Abdu’l-Bahá, Divine Philosophy, p. 135-136)

What happens if we don’t detach?

We can’t attain God’s presence or benefit from tests without first letting go:

Today, the followers of Bahá’u’lláh cannot attain His presence in this life and therefore the tests which were particularly associated with His person do not seem to affect them. (Adib Taherzadeh, The Revelation of Baha’u’llah v 2, p. 214 -216)

Holding on is a great barrier which prevents us from fulfilling our part in the Covenant.

Since attachment to this world is a great barrier which prevents man from fulfilling his part in the Covenant of God.  (Adib Taherzadeh, The Covenant of Baha’u’llah, p. 20)

This next one made a lot of sense to me!

We’ll feel a measure of doubt in our hearts about the Faith and experience great conflicts in our mind and we won’t be able to have the certitude which endows us with divine attributes as well as perpetual contentment, serenity and happiness.

If he fails to do this, although he may not be faced with the same perils that surrounded Bahá’u’lláh’s companions, he is bound to feel a measure of doubt in his innermost heart concerning the Faith and may experience great conflicts in his mind. Although intellectually he may accept Bahá’u’lláh as a Manifestation of God and may be well versed in His Writings, he will not be able to have that absolute certitude which endows a human being with divine attributes and confers upon him perpetual contentment, serenity and happiness.  (Adib Taherzadeh, The Revelation of Baha’u’llah v 2, p. 214 -216)

What should our attitude towards detachment be:

As with everything in the Faith, the standard is very high:

And were they to pass through a valley of pure gold and mines of precious silver, they should regard them as wholly unworthy of their attention.  (Baha’u’llah, Gems of Divine Mysteries, p. 59-60)

Satisfy ourselves with very little and sing God’s praise:

The people of God are like the birds, who satisfy themselves with a few crumbs, and sit the whole time on the branches of the tree singing the praises of God.  (Compilations, Baha’i Scriptures, p. 501)

Not expect anything

Such must be the degree of your detachment, that into whatever city you enter to proclaim and teach the Cause of God, you should in no wise expect either meat or reward from its people. Nay, when you depart out of that city, you should shake the dust from off your feet. As you have entered it pure and undefiled, so must you depart from that city.  (Shoghi Effendi, The Dawn-Breakers, p. 92-93)

What are the benefits of detachment?

When we learn to let go and walk in God’s ways, we’ll recognize that true wisdom is to know and fear God, and recognize His messengers:

Know ye that true wisdom is to fear God, to know Him, and to recognize His Manifestations. This wisdom, however, can be attained only by those who detach themselves from the world, and who walk in the ways of the good pleasure of their Lord.  (Baha’u’llah, The Summons of the Lord of Hosts, p. 234-235)

When we learn to let go we can step into the Kingdom and become a herald of God

When thou hast attained to this great bounty, that is, when thou art delivered from the attachments of this mortal world . . . then canst thou step into the path of the Kingdom and become the herald of God.  (Abdu’l-Bahá, Tablets of Abdu’l-Bahá v2, p. 358)

When we learn to let go we’ll find confirmations arising from all sides:

. . . so that thou mayest behold the hosts of confirmation from thy Lord arising from all sides.  (Abdu’l-Bahá, Tablets of Abdu’l-Bahá v3, p. 650)

When we learn to let go we’ll be independent of anything except God and see his loving-kindness move within us:

Ye would find yourselves independent of all else but Me, and would perceive, with your inner and outer eye, and as manifest as the revelation of My effulgent name, the seas of My loving-kindness and bounty moving within you. (Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 326)

When we learn to let go we’ll be able to truly appreciate the awe-inspiring station of Bahá’u’lláh and become a worthy servant of His Cause.

. . . in order that he may truly appreciate the awe-inspiring station of Bahá’u’lláh and become a worthy servant of His Cause. (Adib Taherzadeh, The Revelation of Baha’u’llah v 2, p. 214 -216)

How do we detach?

We let go by gaining a true knowledge of our own selves:

. . . ye would of a truth, rid yourselves of attachment to all created things, and would gain a true knowledge of your own selves — a knowledge which is the same as the comprehension of Mine own Being. (Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 326)

We let go by beseeching God to strengthen us with His power, and enabling us to recognize Him:

We beseech God to strengthen thee with His power, and enable thee to recognize Him Who is the Source of all knowledge, that thou mayest detach thyself from all human learning, for, ‘what would it profit any man to strive after learning when he hath already found and recognized Him Who is the Object of all knowledge?’  Cleave to the Root of Knowledge, and to Him Who is the Fountain thereof, that thou mayest find thyself independent of all who claim to be well versed in human learning, and whose claim no clear proof, nor the testimony of any enlightening book, can support.  (Adib Taherzadeh, The Revelation of Baha’u’llah v 1, p. 33-34)

We let go by turning to God and obey His commandments.

Bahá’u’lláh and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá have exhorted their followers in many of their Tablets to become detached from earthly desires, to turn instead to God and obey His commandments.  (Adib Taherzadeh, The Covenant of Baha’u’llah, p. 20)

We let go by turning ourselves to God and severing ourselves from everything save Him:

It is incumbent upon thee to turn thyself wholly to the kingdom of God, to sever thyself from aught else but Him, to be filled by the love of God.  (Abdu’l-Bahá, Tablets of Abdu’l-Bahá v1, p. 233-234)

We let go by detaching ourselves from all human learning:

. . . thou mayest detach thyself from all human learning, for, ‘what would it profit any man to strive after learning when he hath already found and recognized Him Who is the Object of all knowledge?’  Cleave to the Root of Knowledge, and to Him Who is the Fountain thereof, that thou mayest find thyself independent of all who claim to be well versed in human learning, and whose claim no clear proof, nor the testimony of any enlightening book, can support.  (Adib Taherzadeh, The Revelation of Baha’u’llah v 1, p. 33-34)

We let go by separating ourselves from all thoughts, stripping ourselves from all attachment to this earthly world and arise for the service of God:

Separate thyself from all thoughts, strip thyself from the unclean garment of attachment to this drossful (or earthly) world, arise for the service of thy Lord, the Clement, and be clothed with the robe of assurance (or certainty) so that thou mayest behold the hosts of confirmation from thy Lord arising from all sides.  (Abdu’l-Bahá, Tablets of Abdu’l-Bahá v3, p. 650)

We let go by stripping ourselves of all old beliefs and past customs and seek after God’s kingdom:

It is incumbent upon you to strip yourselves of every old garment (i. e., old beliefs and past customs). It is incumbent upon you to be severed from this contemptible earthly world. It is incumbent upon you (to seek after) the Kingdom, in this great Day!  (Abdu’l-Bahá, Tablets of Abdu’l-Bahá v1, p. 144)

We let go with seeing eyes and hearing ears, which allow us to sever ourselves from all desires and attach our hearts entirely to the light of truth:

The light of truth hath made thine eyes to see, the voice of God hath made thine ears to hear and the lights emanating from the beauty of the Light of the World both made thine heart attracted and astonished. I hope that thou wilt cut thyself from all that is in this world; wilt sever thyself from all desires of this transitory world; wilt attach thy heart entirely to the light of truth and wilt, at all times, rise in the service of truth in the rose-garden of God.  (Abdu’l-Bahá, Tablets of Abdu’l-Bahá v1, p. 131)

We let go by by purifying and cleaning ourselves of all worldly things:

When thou wilt purify and clarify thy spiritual nostrils from every worldly moisture, then thou wilt inhale the holy fragrances diffusing from the merciful gardens of these worlds.  (Abdu’l-Bahá, Baha’i World Faith, p. 392)

We let go by banishing all traces of passion, desire, ego and self-glorification:

But the requirements of faith and the path to Bahá’u’lláh remain unchanged. It is necessary for the believer of today, as in the days of Bahá’u’lláh, to detach himself from all earthly things and to banish from his soul the traces of passion and desire, of ego and  self-glorification.  (Adib Taherzadeh, The Revelation of Baha’u’llah v 2, p. 214 -216)

We let go through sacrifice and purity of motives:

To offer up one’s time, to labour for the establishment of the Faith in a locality, to give up the comforts of home and to go as a pioneer to foreign lands, to offer up one’s substance for the promotion of the Cause, to be persecuted for one’s faith, and even to give one’s life at the end — all these sacrifices are meritorious in the sight of God and will undoubtedly bring victory to His Cause, provided one’s motives are pure and sincere. That is the essential condition of loyalty and steadfastness in the Covenant of God — purity of motive. Without it one’s deeds are not acceptable by God. Bahá’u’lláh testifies to this truth in these words:

“O Children of Adam!  Holy words and pure and goodly deeds ascend unto the heaven of celestial glory. Strive that your deeds may be cleansed from the dust of self and hypocrisy and find favour at the court of glory; for ere long the assayers of mankind shall, in the holy presence of the Adored one, accept naught but absolute virtue and deeds of stainless purity. This is the day-star of wisdom and of divine mystery that hath shone above the horizon of the divine will. Blessed are they that turn thereunto.  (Adib Taherzadeh, The Covenant of Baha’u’llah, p. 22-23)

How will we know if we’ve become detached?

We’ll know we’ve achieved it when the interests of the Faith take precedence over our personal interests, when we arise to serve the Cause of God, and are ready to meet the challenge whatever the cost.

When a person reaches this exalted position, the interests of the Faith take precedence over his personal interests. And when he arises to serve the Cause of God, he will be ready to meet the challenge whatever the cost. Such a person has reached the summit of detachment.  (Adib Taherzadeh, The Covenant of Baha’u’llah, p. 22-23)

This is often a painful process and involves sacrifice, but when we do it, mysterious forces are released which will cause the Faith to grow.

Becoming detached from the things of this world is often a painful process and involves sacrifice. But when the believer gives up something dear to him for the sake of the Cause of God, mysterious forces will be released which will cause the Faith to grow. (Adib Taherzadeh, The Covenant of Baha’u’llah, p. 22-23)

We’ll know we’ve achieved it when we never stain ourselves with the world; never look for financial reward from anyone; bear poverty in a state where we can be happy with little; seeking no reward or recompense and freely giving and receiving:

This matter of teachers requires the greatest condition; that is, they should never stain themselves with the world, they should not look for the least pecuniary reward from any soul; nay, rather they should bear the utmost poverty and with the perfect wealth of nature [a state wherein man can dispense with things and be happy in their absence], through the bounty of God, may they associate with the people. They should seek no reward nor recompense. Freely have thy received, freely should they give. His Holiness Christ sayeth: “When ye leave the city, clean off from your shoes the dust thereof.” The holiness of the teachers must reach this degree. Thus may they utter with eloquence, while in ecstasy and great joy, and guide the people to the manifest light.  (Abdu’l-Bahá, Tablets of Abdu’l-Bahá v2, p. 359-360)

We’ll know we’ve achieved it when when we intend to endure all calamities in the path of God; when reproaches on the part of the enemy will seem to us as praise and glorification, when the blame of those who hate us appear like admiration and applause, when the bitterness of afflictions will taste like the honey of favor and when all hardships be regarded as sweetness, then we’ll have truly let go.

When thou art delivered from the attachments of this mortal world, and hast intended to endure all calamities in the path of God — in such wise that reproaches on the part of the enemy will seem to thee as praise and glorification, and the blame of the people of hatred will appear like unto admiration and applause, and the bitterness of afflictions will taste as the honey of favor and all hardships be as sweetness — then canst thou step into the path of the Kingdom and become the herald of God.  (Abdu’l-Bahá, Tablets of Abdu’l-Bahá v2, p. 358)

YIKES!  No wonder Bahá’u’lláh says no one has attained this standard!

Fortunately there have been a few souls who have been able to achieve this distinction, which bodes well for those of us trying to follow in their footsteps:

That a few souls have been able to achieve such distinction, to soar into the realms of detachment, and to humble themselves before their Lord, augurs well for the human race which, in the fullness of time, is destined to follow in their footsteps. (Adib Taherzadeh, The Revelation of Baha’u’llah v 2, p. 214 -216)

How has this helped you understand the topic of detachment?  Post your comments here: