Just as the earth attracts everything to the centre of gravity, and every object thrown upward into space will come down, so also material ideas and worldly thoughts attract man to the centre of self. Anger, passion, ignorance, prejudice, greed, envy, covetousness, jealousy and suspicion prevent man from ascending to the realms of holiness, imprisoning him in the claws of self and the cage of egotism. The physical man, unassisted by the divine power, trying to escape from one of these invisible enemies, will unconsciously fall into hands of another. No sooner does he attempt to soar upward than the density of the love of self, like the power of gravity, draws him to the centre of the earth. The only power that is capable of delivering man from this captivity is the power of the Holy Spirit. The attraction of the power of the Holy Spirit is so effective that it keeps man ever on the path of upward ascension. (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Bahá’í Scriptures, p. 241)
This is one of my very favorite analogies in the Faith and I’m always sorry I can’t find it in a more acceptable translation. It may just be that it’s there and I’m just using the wrong search terms to find it, so if anyone has an equivalent quote in something more authoritative, please let me know.
In the meantime, this seems to be the Bahá’í equivalent of the Christian “7 Deadly Sins” (anger, passion, ignorance, prejudice, greed, envy, covetousness, jealousy and suspicion). It makes sense that each of this prevents us from ascending to the realms of holiness. I’ve certainly found that when I try to master one, another pops up and I fall into hands of another. It feels a bit like God’s playing “whack a mole” with me!
Just as man is incapable of defying gravity, so too are we unable to escape from one of these invisible enemies without assistance from a divine power. It’s not that we need help from the Holy Spirit, but it seems to be that all that’s required from me is that I’m attracted to the power of the Holy Spirit.
Knowing that the attraction of the power of the Holy Spirit is effective in keeping me on the path of upward ascension, I am grateful!
What jumped out for you as you read through today’s meditation? I’d love it if you would share so we can all expand our knowledge of the Writings!
If you liked this meditation, you might also like my book Letting Go of Anger and Bitterness