Unity of East and West

August 20, 2021
Unity of East and West

Virtues | Unity

Unity of East and West

Source: ‘Abdu’l-Baha in New York: the City of the Covenant, Elaine Lacroix-Hopson

Speaking in New York City on 1 July 1912, ‘Abdu’l-Baha said

“I desire to make manifest among the friends in America a new light that they may become a new people, that a new foundation may be established and complete harmony be realized; for the foundation of Baha’u’llah is love.” 

Instructing the audience about the character needed, “…you must have infinite love for each other, each preferring the other before himself. The people must be so attracted to you that they will exclaim, “What happiness exists among you!” and will see in your faces the lights of the Kingdom; then in wonderment they will turn to you and seek the cause of your happiness. You must give the message through action and deed, not alone by word. Word must be conjoined with deed. You must love your friend better than yourself; yes, be willing to sacrifice yourself. The Cause of Baha’u’llah has not yet appeared in this country. I desire that you be ready to sacrifice everything for each other, even life itself; then I will know that the Cause of Baha’u’llah has been established. I will pray for you that you may become the cause of upraising the lights of God. May everyone point to you and ask, “Why are these people so happy?” I want you to be happy in Green Acre, to laugh, smile and rejoice in order that others may be made happy by you. I will pray for you.” 

Another evening, answering the Persian friends’ questions, the Master confided that He was staying a long time in New York because “it is the meeting place of the East and the West. I desire to make it a Center of Signs. I stay here so the friends may advance in spirituality and gain precedence.” 

‘Abdu’l-Baha knew of New York City’s potential for greatness. He was heartened by the love and vitality of the Baha’i community but saddened by the display of lavish luxury. As He was invited to the Hotel Plaza, He chose to sit in one of the smallest rooms of the hotel. He told the Persian friends that whenever He encountered magnificent buildings He was reminded of the dark pit of Tehran, the desolate barracks of Akka and the sufferings of Baha’u’llah.”


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