Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Watch It!

One of these days I will get an essay finished for Baha'i the Way.  One of these days.  In the meantime...

Continuing my series on good things Baha'is are doing, here is a beautiful video about a project in Cambodia.  I can't actually see it on my screen embedded here (I have an old system).  So if you can't see it either follow this link to YouTube.

While we're chatting here...I have a couple questions/ requests too.  Long ago I picked up a supposed quote from the Bab, "The mystery of sacrifice is there is no sacrifice." Now I can't find a source.  Does anybody know if it is authentic or has another documented origin?

Also, if anybody knows of any articles, essays, books, passages of scripture, etc. pertinent to the subject of Baha'i theology of body, illness, or disability I would be grateful for the tips.  You can mention them in a comment or email me at ms leaf at wildblue dot net.


Anonymous said...

‘The mystery of sacrifice is that there is no sacrifice’
I am afraid this another of those kitab-e hearsay sources. It enters Bahai lore in 1916, in the words of one of the delegates to the National Convention, Mrs Elizabeth Greenleaf (1863-1941). An account of the proceedings says:

Mrs. Greenleaf: As I have listened, my thoughts have crystallized themselves into three sentences. The first is, "Lift up thy heart with delight that thou mayest be fitted to meet me and to mirror forth my beauty" (the voice of God speaking in the Hidden Words. The second is what Abdul Baha said to Isabel Fraser: Attainment is not through renunciation but through radiant acquiescence. The third is the word "'sacrifice."' We use the great word and have heard much about the "mystery of sacrifice." Now what is the mystery of sacrifice? The mystery of sacrifice is that there is no sacrifice.

(Reported in Star of the West, Vol. 7, p. 66.)

In 1927 the hymn-writer Louise ‘Shahnaz’ Waite uses the phrase in an article called ‘Meditation, Supplication and Service’ published in Star of the West Vol. 17, p. 345. Again, it is not presented as a quotation, but as her own words. Then the phrase is included in a Seals and Crofts lyric (lyrics and music by Dash Crofts and Wayne Newitt, 1984):

She's a mystery, she can shine her light on me.
She can soar like a dove -- She's the mystery of love.
She's got mastery, perfect human qualities.
Can you hear her call, benevolent to all.
Look at the majesty in her eyes, the window of her soul.
Oh how you sacrifice for all -- mystery of love.
Humility, tenderness so sweet.
Wish that I could be the dust beneath her feet.
Do you realize the compassion in her eyes?
It's the essence of good that her whole life glorifies.
Look at the loftiness of the dove, the joyfulness she brings.
I would do anything for you -- mystery of love.
The mystery of sacrifice is that there is no sacrifice.
Oblivious to fire and ice, make the world a paradise.
Light of unity, brings the joy of harmony.
Let it come to me -- oh mystery of love.
You're a priceless gem of mysterious force.
You're irreplaceable -- mystery of love.


Priscilla said...

Thanks so much, Sen. I was suspicious, and it is good to have the real tale. I wasn't able to find this info on the web before so I'm glad that there is a public record here now.

Anonymous said...

Ever thought of looking for quotes related to having been in prison? Abdu'l-Baha speaks of the attitude of laughter in prison, or being free when manifestly not free, yet there was once a moment of Him striking someone. I think being defined by circumstances, even life long ones, are just part of the story - but perhaps the only part of the story accessible at the time.

And if He was prescient then knowing the coming millions to die in war and disease yet He turned endlessly reaching out when allowed and some saw Him as foolish while others were moved beyond words and a lifetime of one choice or another.

Does this speak to the struggle you seek?