Problem: Many New Agers (30 to 50 million in the U.S.) would be interested in the Faith, and Baha'i books (even Bahá'í sections) can be sold in New Age bookstores (unlike Christian or Mormon bookstores where Bahá'í books are absolutely forbidden). PAs (prospecting advertisements) about the Faith can go in New Age newspapers and magazines (not Christian or Catholic or Mormon ones). The Bahá'í Faith can be promoted in the New Age community! New Agers are Mystical Seekers, but 99 out of every 100 New Age "Seeker" is turned off from the Faith once they are told that the Faith teaches that "reincarnation is not true".
Solution: 'Abdu'l-Bahá did indeed teach that the reincarnation of human souls back to this material planet was impossible! However, He never said that the Manifestations of God have "human" souls. Also, He never said that human souls cannot have other mortal lives on other material planets!
In Some Answered Questions, the Master comments on the Druze and Nusayri belief regarding reincarnation (many mortal lives on this planet):
"Those who believe in reincarnation think that the spiritual worlds are restricted to the worlds of human imagination. Moreover, some of them, like the Druzes and the Nusayris, think that existence is restricted to this physical world. What an ignorant supposition! For in this universe of God, which appears in the most complete perfection, beauty and grandeur, the luminous stars of the material universe are innumerable! Then we must reflect how limitless and infinite are the spiritual worlds, which are the essential foundation." (SAQ pp.288-89)'Abdu'l-Bahá chides the Druze and Nusayris for thinking that "existence is restricted to this physical world" and counts as evidence the innumerable stars of the material universe (this does not make sense unless He is referring to the planets around these stars), and to the spiritual worlds as well.
'Abdu'l-Bahá was not calling the Druze and Nusayris "ignorant" because they believed in multiple mortal existences, but because they believed that those multiple mortal existences were restricted to this one planet.
Lady Bloomfield once asked the Master if she could return to this planet (reincarnate) in order to continue to help mankind (she was a founder of Feed the Children). The Master purportedly replied:
"Why should you wish to return here? In my Father's house are many mansions, many worlds! Why should you desire to return to this planet?" (The Chosen Highway 3:1)The reply of the Master does not make sense unless He was speaking of other existences (lives) on other planets.
The Seer, Shaykh Ahmad al-Ahsa'i, wrote many books. He taught the existence of the Five Divine Presences:
Heyhoot (Realm of the Essence of God)
Lawhoot (Realm of Names and Attributes)
Jawbawroot (Realm of the Immortals)
Mawllawkoot (Realm of the Angels)
Nawshoot (Realm of the Humans)
No soul can reach Hayhoot, the Realm of the Essence. That is eternally blocked. But the final destination of a soul is to reach the Realm of Lawhoot. In other words, there is one Physical Realm (Nawsoot), and three Spiritual Realms (Mawllawkoot, Jawbawroot, and Lawhoot). The Mormons also believe in "Three Heavens". This is not a mere coincidence.
Souls that, in this life, on this planet, walk the Path of Holiness and become "born again" enter into one of the Spiritual Realms: which is "Heaven". But Souls who cannot detach themselves from the Physical Realm, "return" to it; not on this material planet, but on another.
The Physical Realm is Hell, and Hell-fire is literally the "fire" of the Sun that burns and wears-out (ages) our skin. It is the place where souls experience pain, injustice, disappointment, and death. This is why the Qur'an says of Hell:
"And when their skins have been worn out by hell-fire We shall give them new skins in order that they may continue to feel the punishment." (4:56)
...We shall give them new skins in order that they may continue to feel the punishment." (4:56)
There is no "returning" of the human soul to this material planet. Like the womb of our mother, we exist in this matrix for one time only.
Many will say, "Ah, I have a good life, I do not mind coming another life on a material world!" They had a good life on this planet, but that is no guarantee one will have a "good life" on another planet; unless of course their good deeds have outweighted their bad deeds. If we do not "merit" the inheritance the Kingdom of Heaven (Spiritual Realms), then we shall remain in Nawsoot (the Physical Realm); not on this planet, but on another. As the Master said, the luminous stars of God are innumerable, and all or most of them have planets that, at one time or another, can bear life.
In other words, Hitler and Stalin will not be singing "Koom Bay Yah" with Mother Teresa and Mahatma Gandhi in the Next World! They are not going to the same place!
The Master was asked if evil souls can influence people living. He said:
"There are no earth-bound souls. When the souls that are not good die they go entirely away from this earth and so cannot influence anyone. They are spiritually dead. Their thoughts can have influence only while they are alive on the earth... But the good souls are given eternal life and sometimes God permits their thoughts to reach the earth to help the people."The Master said that "souls that are not good" will not remain on this planet, but go "nowhere near this planet". This is , in my opinion, a reference to "evil souls" going to other material planets, for a life there.
"There is no power exercised over people by evil souls that have passed away. Good is stronger than evil and even when alive they had very little power. How much less have they after they are dead, and besides nowhere near this planet."(Questions answered by 'Abdu'l-Baha in Akka: Daily Lessons, Received at Akka, 1979 ed., pp. 35-36)
By "souls that are not good" the Master is not merely refering to Hitler, Stalin, Mao, and child-raptists. In His view, no soul was "good" until it had been "born again"; that it had transformed from an animal soul into a human soul. That means most human souls!
Indeed, 'Abdu'l-Baha taught that one must transform one's soul from an animal soul into a human soul, and from a human soul into an angelic soul. Only angelic couls escape for the Realm of Nawsoot and enter the Spiritual Realms.
The Master taught that human beings can have an "animal soul" (like the savages of Central Africa, or the Arabs before Muhammad, or the Europeans before Christ), or a rational human soul, but if they are "born again" (baptism of the fire of the love of God) then they receive an "Angelic Soul"; which, in the afterlife, allows them to enter "Heaven" (the Spiritual Realms).
The Five Presences are:
HEYHOOT--the Realm of the Essence
LAWHOOT--the Realm of the Divinities (Names and Attributes)
JAWBAWRROOT--the Realm of the Powers (Immortals)
MAWLAWKOOT--the Realm of the Angels
NAWSOOT--the Realm of the Human Souls (includes the Human Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Plant Kingdom, and Minteral Kingdom).
Heyhoot is occupied eternally only by the Essence (ALLAH): He Who begets not nor is begotten, and HE Who has no son and no consort. This Realm is eternally closed to all save the Essence.
Lawhoot is occupied by the Names and Attributes and is called the Eternal Paradise, or the Abha Paradise. This is the "Furthestmost Tree"--the ultimate station of the Soul.
Jawbawrroot is occupied by the Immortals, those who are higher than the angels, and this is called Paradise or the Empyrean Heaven; souls in this Realm (dimension) enjoy all the joys of an earthly existence, but none of its sorrows. This is the Realm of the Archtypes (i.e. the intelligent proto-types of all earthly species that guide the evolution of their particular species); according to Shaykhi doctrine.
Mawllawkoot is occupied by the Angels, or those with angelic souls, the holy ones or "saints" or "sants". They neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are eunuchs for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven.
Nawsoot is occupied by human souls (the human kingdom), and the lower kingdoms of animals, plants, and minerals.
This the Shaykhi meaning of Nawsoot (the Material Realm); the place where the Sun burns the sky, and we experience Divine Punishments such as pain, sorrow, loss, injustice, racism, sexism, opression; recommonpence (rewards and punishments) for deeds done on another material planet.
On another material planet, the soul would have another "opportunity" to walk the Path of Holiness. Another life where the Sun burns and wears out the skin; a place of disease, injustice, pain (physical and emotional), and attachment. One mortal life per planet in the Realm of Nawsoot. This is called consecutive incarnation. It applies to all souls that are not "good" (the only "good" souls being those who inherit the Kingdom of Heaven i.e. one of the three Spiritual Realms: Lawhoot, Jawbawroot, Mawllawkoot).
Good souls, however, will remain on this planet; but not in the Realm of Nawsoot. Surrounds us is the Unseen World; which contains the Spiritual Realms: one higher than the other.
In the Holy Writings, Heyhoot is called "The Divine Ipseity". Lawhoot is called "the Eternal Paradise". Jawbawroot is called "The Empyrean Heaven". Mawllawkoot is called "The Heavenly Kingdom".
Al-Gayb (the Unseen World) is all around us, and literally shares the space with us. It includes the Three Spiritual Worlds as well as the Alam-i-Mithal (the World of Images).
In Memorials of the Faithful, the Master tells of a dream He has of a Believer who had died named Molla Ali-Akbar; who was a Shi'ite, then Shaykhi, then a Bábí, then finally a Bahá'í before he was martyred. He was a Seeker of Truth. The Master sees Him in vision, and sees that Molla Ali-Akbar was fatter in "Paradise" than while he was alive. The Master asks him why he is fatter in "Paradise" than he was in this world, and Molla Ali-Akbar responds that the food and drink was much better in Paradise than in the physical world (Memorials of the Faithful, pages 9-12).
This was a true vision of the Master; not some "parabolic story" invented by Him to make a point!
Food and drink are available in Jawbawrroot (Paradise), and also the other "joys" of earthly existence!
The Shaykhis (sheyg-kees) taught that Paradise was Jaw-bawr-root; only the most spiritual souls went to Jawbawrroot. They taught that Jawbawrroot was very similar to our world, but there was no "death" no aging, no pain; but all the joys of Nawsoot without the negative things about Nawsoot (i.e. pain, disease, deformity, injustice, cruelty, opression, labor, etc.).
Those who went to Mawl-law-koot (the Kingdom) would become like the Angels; who marry not nor are given in marriage. But, those souls who merited Jawbawrroot (Paradise), would be married there, as the Qur'an promises the Faithful:
"As for those that have faith and do good works, We shall admit them to Gardens watered by running streams where, wedded to chaste spouses, they shall abide khaliduun ("immortals"). To a cool shade We shall admit them. (4:57 Dawood Translation)Many of the Friends "interpret" these Verses to mean merely "husbands and wives will recognize each other in the Afterlife". No! God is Exalted High above such blasphemies! That is not what these Verses mean!
"Say: Shall I tell you of better things than these, with which the righteous shall be rewarded by their Lord? Theirs shall be Gardens watchered by running streams, where they shall dwell khaliduun ["immortals"]: spouses of perfect chastity, and grace from God. (3:15) And We shall wed them unto fair ones with wide lovely eyes (45:54) "Such as persevere in seeking their Lord's countenance and are regular in prayer and spend (on the poor) of that which We bestow upon them secretly and openly, and overcome evil with good, theirs will be the sequel to the (heavenly) Home, Gardens of Eden wich they enter, along with all who do right of their fathers and their helpmeets (wives) and their seed (children). (13:22-23)
Lo! those who merit Paradise this day are happily employed. They and their wives, in pleasant shade, on thrones reclining.... (36:55)
If their interpretation is true, then Hitler and Eva Braun would be in Paradise together! This will not happen. This applies only to those who "merit" (earn) Paradise! "Lo! those who merit Paradise this day [while on Earth] are happily employed [in good works]. They and their wives, in pleasant shade [the Sun does not burn and age their skin], on thrones [ethereal bodies], reclinding [not engaging in harsh labor]." (36:55).
The Master saw Molla Ali-Akbar in Paradise, fatter than he was in life; confirming the Shaykhi belief that Paradise has all the joys of earth life, but none of its sorrows.
What Jesus meant by "there is no marriage in the Resurrection" is this: He was referring to the World of Resurrection; a lower spiritual world than Paradise. The Sadduccees (who denied the Afterlife and the resurrection of the dead) would be "as the angels in heaven who marry not nor are given in marriage" because they would inherit the World of Resurrection, but not Paradise; which was a higher realm.
The final destination of human souls is to become Divine Souls; dwellers of the Abhá Paradise, the Most High Paradise, the Eternal Paradise; which is Lawhoot. This Realm is even higher than Jawbawroot, and is restricted to the Prophets and "Chosen Ones". The Hebrew word for "Chosen One" is Qodesh; which in Latin is Santos and in English is Saint. In Lawhoot is where the Soul shall "Manifest the Names and Attributes of God" according to Bahá'u'lláh:
"It will manifest the signs of God and His attributes, and will reveal His loving-kindness and bounty. The movement of My Pen is stilled when it attempteth to befittingly describe the loftiness and glory of so exalted a station." (Gleanings, p.155)In other words, when a soul reaches the Realm of Lawhoot, it becames a Divine Soul: a Name/Attribute of God.
But, not all souls from this planet go to the Spiritual Realms. "Evil souls" go away from this planet! Where? To other planets; to experience "Hell-fire" again. Another opportunity to repent and obey the Will of God. If they "merit" the Spiritual Realms surrounding that planet, they will inherit them. But, if not, they will, yet again, get "new skins" so that they may "continue to feel the punishment":
"And when their skins have been worn out by hell-fire We shall give them new skins in order that they may continue to feel the punishment." (4:56)Some people are born deformed either in body or mind. Others are born with innate diseases. Why are some people born with deformities of genitals? Bahá'u'lláh wrote of the Next World punishment for those who commit zina (adultery):
"God hath imposed a fine on every adulterer and adulteress, to be paid to the House of Justice: nine mithquals of gold, to be doubled if they should repeat the offence. Such is the penalty which He Who is the Lord of Names hath assigned them in this world; and in the world to come He hath ordained for them a humiliating torment. Should anyone be afflicted by a sin, it behoveth him to repent thereof and return unto his Lord. He, verily, granteth forgiveness unto whomsoever He willeth, and none may question that which it pleaseth Him to ordain. He is, in truth, the Ever-Forgiving, the Almighty, the All-Praised." (Baha'u'llah, Kitab-i-Aqdas, par. 49)The phrase "in the World to Come" means the next world. In the next world adulterers will have "a humiliating torment".
What does this "humiliating torment" mean?
We do not know. Most of the Friends would interpret the "humiliating torment" to mean to be "embarassment" when others discover they are were fined for adultery by a House of Justice.
I disagree. I think the "humiliating torment" refers to those who, in the next life, if they commit adultery, shall have their sexual desire changed to one that is "humiliating" or causes torment to that soul. Certainly, for every homosexual, their orientation has caused "humiliation" at least during their youth if not later. In other words, if one cannot remain faithful to a woman, then God changes one's desire for women into men, and vice versa, in the next incarnation on the next material planet one incarnates upon in Nawsoot (the Physical Realm). That is my opinion, anyway, of what He meant by "a humiliating torment" in the World-to-Come.
Only those Souls that "merit" Paradise shall inherit it. And in Paradise, wives and husbands are together as husbands and wives (if they merit it). The Master taught eternal marriage for those who reach an "exalted state" of spirituality in this life. He wrote:
3 In a true Baha'i marriage the two parties must become fully united both spiritually and physically, so that they may attain eternal union throughout all the worlds of God, and improve the spiritual life of each other. This is Baha'i matrimony.This is NOT merely "recognizing each other" in the Afterlife! The souls must become "real Believers"; meaning what the Qur'an calls the "Faithful" (momen) and the "Companions of the Right Hand".
4 Among the majority of the people marriage consists of physical relationship and this union and relationship is temporary for at the end physical separation is destined and ordained. But the marriage of the people of Baha'i must consist of both physical and spiritual relationship for both of them are intoxicated with the wine of one cup, are attracted by one Peerless Countenance, are quickened with one Life and are illumined with one Light. This is the spiritual relationship and everlasting union. Likewise in the physical world they are bound together with strong and unbreakable ties.
5 When relationship, union and concord exist between the two from a physical and spiritual standpoint, that is the real union, therefore everlasting. But if the union is merely from the physical point of view, unquestionably it is temporal and at the end separation is inevitable.
6 Consequently when the people of Baha desire to enter the sacred union of marriage, eternal connection and ideal relationship, spiritual and physical association of thoughts and conceptions of life must exist between them, so that in all the grades of existence and all the worlds of God this union may continue forever and ever for this real union is a splendor of the light of the love of God.
7 Likewise if the souls become real believers they will find themselves ushered into this exalted state of relationship, becoming the manifestors of the love of the Merciful and exhilarated with the cup of the love of God. Undoubtedly that union and relationship is eternal. (Selections from the Writings of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, p.86)
In Jesus' day, the Jews were divided into three groups:
*The Persians (Pharisees): those Jews who followed the religion of the Persian prophet Zoroaster.
*The Righteous Ones (Sadducees): those Jews who rejected the religion of Zoroaster, denied the existence of life after death, and were concerned only with this life and living the Law of Moses.
*The Doers (Essenes): those Jews who believed as the Pharisees but were more strict and disciplined. The Essenes were divided into unmarried and a married order called the Nazarenes ("Observers").
Jesus belonged to the married order of Essenes: the Nazarenes ("Observers" of the Law of Moses).
The Pharisees spoke of three types of people:
*The Perfectly Righteous who would inherit Paradise (Pardes).
*The In-between who would inherit the World of Resurrection (Olam Hat-chiah).
*The Perfectly Wicked who would inherit Gehenna (Hell-fire).
The Essenes (including the Nazarenes) spoke of three types of people:
*The Children of Light
*The Children of this World
*The Children of the Devil.
The Children of Light would inherit Paradise.
The Children of this World would inherit the World of Resurrection (and be like the angels who marry not nor are given in marriage)
The Children of the Devil would inherit Gehenna (hell-fire).
The Qu'ran speaks of three types of people:
*The Companions of the Right Hand (inheritors of Paradise|the Faithful)
*The Companions of the Left Hand (inheritors of the Resurrection|the Believers)
*The Companions of the Fire (inheritors of hell-fire|the Unbelievers)
So too, Shaykh Ahmad spoke of the following:
*The Faithful who shall inherit Jawbawroot (kingdom of the immortals).
*The Believers who shall inherit Mawlawkoot (kingdom of the angels).
*The Unbelievers who shall inerit Nawsoot (hell-fire).
The Unbelievers include the Hypocrites who say "We are Bahá'ís" but who are really not, who "pick and choose" what Holy Laws to keep and which to ignore because they do not fancy them.
Law-hoot (the Abhá Paradise) is reserved for the Prophets and certain "Chosen Ones" (Moos-taw-feen). These are the "Concourse on High". But not even the Prophets ever get to Hey-hoot! That Realm is for the Essence of God, and nothing else eternally.
Souls that are not "good" (like Hitler and Eve Braun) will not "recognize each other" in the Afterlife, because their souls are going far away from this planet! They will not know each other again, because their souls were "not good" and they will have other existences in "Hell-fire" until their souls are finally purified. Only those souls who inherit the Spiritual Realms will be with each other again after death; which should be a good motivational factor in itself for people to strive to be "born again"; which the Master interpreted as "to change from an animal soul into a human soul". That comes only when we "peacefully surrender" (islaam) to the Will of God. Our "will" (ego) is satan. God's Will is Divine. In fact, the Universal Will of God is a Divine Being, called the WORD. The WORD exists as the Mediator between God and His Creation, and the Universal Will is the Creator, the "Be!" when ALLÁH said "Be!" and created the Cosmos. The WORD (Universal Will) became incarnate in Jesus, and He came a second time..."in a cloud".
But Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, and Ted Bundy, are not the only souls who will inherit Naw-soot in the World-to-Come. All souls that are not "good" will inherit Nawsoot (hell-fire); not just truly evil souls, but all souls that are not "good" and most souls are not "good". Any soul that has not been "born again" (changed from a human soul into a angelic soul) shall inherit Hell-fire (Nawsoot).
Those who inherit "Heaven" (any one of the Three Spiritual Realms) shall be "immortals" (no longer subject to death---not mortal), and thus will not have to suffer again where the Sun burns and ages the skin in a place of suffering and injustice.
Jesus did not say that "there is no marriage in Heaven". He denied there was marriage for those who inherited the World of Resurrection (Olam Hat'chiah); which was meant for the Children of This World. The Children of Light would inherit Paradise; a higher Spiritual Realm! Jesus referred to Paradise by the Zoroastrian term: "Pardes". He said to the "thief on the Cross" (probably an Essene--they refused to pay tribute to Rome and were killed as "thieves"--but they were very spiritual men!):
"Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise." (Luke 23:43)In the original Aramaic, Jesus tells him that he shall be with Him in "Pardes" (the Zoroastrian word for Paradise).
Olam Hat'chiah=Mawllawkoot=for the Children of This World (Companions of the Left Hand)
Pardes (Paradise)=Jawbawroot=for the Children of Light (Companions of the Right Hand)
The Holy Qur'an says that "those who merit Paradise" will be married to their wives, and those among their fathers, mothers, relatives, and children who merit Paradise will be with them in "Gardens":
Lo! those who merit Paradise this day are happily employed. They and their wives, in pleasant shade, on thrones reclining..." (36:55)1) Those who merit Paradise (i.e. it is a reward for good deeds and accepting and obeying the Will of God as revealed via the Manifestaion).
2) this day (while in life)
3) are happinly engaged (i.e. in good works)
4) They and their wives (couples)
5) in pleasant shade (i.e. shall inherit a world where the Sun does not burn and age their skin)
6) on thrones (i.e. ethreal bodies)
7) reclining (i.e. not engaged in heavy labor as they were in mortal life)
Those whose souls "are not good" shall go far away from this planet, according to the Master. They will not be with their wives or husbands. They will not be in pleasant shade, on thrones, reclining!
This is consecutive incarnation. It is not a "good" thing, but a punishment, as the Qu'ran says:
"And when their skins have been worn out by hell-fire We shall give them new skins in order that they may continue to feel the punishment." (4:56)*How many New Agers (30 million U.S.) will accept the Faith after they are told "the Faith teaches against reincarnation"? About 1 in 10,000.
*How many New Agers will accept the Faith after they are told "the Faith teaches consecutive incarnation--one mortal life per planet for those who do not inherit the Kingdom of Heaven on this planet"? About 1 in 10.
The Friends cannot place P.A.s (Prospecting Advertisements) in Christian, Catholic, or Mormon newspapers. But they can in New Age newspapers and magazines! Bahá'í books cannot be placed in Christian, Catholic, or Mormon bookstores. But they can in New Age bookstores! About 1 in 10 New Agers will accept the concept of consecutive incarnation.
This is pure Shaykhi doctrine! Is Hell-fire a "mere metaphor" of "feeling bad" in the Afterlife for not working for World Peace or Race Unity in this life (as so many of the Friends believe), or is Hell-fire any mortal existence on any material planet where the Sun burns and wares-out our skin?
Think about it.
There is no sex in Mawl-law-koot, but there is in Jaw-bawr-root! In Jaw-bawr-root are all the joys of this world, but none of its sorrows. This is why the Qur'an says of the Garden (Jaw-bawr-root):
"Such as perservere in seeking their Lord's countenance and are regular in prayer and spend (on the poor) of that which We bestow upon them secretly and openly, and overcome evil with good, theirs will be the sequel to the (heavenly) Home, Gardens of Eden which they enter, along with all who do rights of their fathers, and their wives, and their seed." (13:22-23)In other words, in order to create an Eternal Family in Paradise, to be with your wife and children (if they are also Faithful), one must "overcome evil with good".
The Seer Joseph Smith spoke of marriage in the "Celestial Kingdom"; marriage was only for the "Elect" who were "exalted".
The Seer Emmanuel Swedenborg spoke of "Spiritual Angels" and "Celestial Angels". The Spiritual Angels would not be married, but the Celestial Angels would be.
The Friends love to tell Seekers: "Heaven and Hell are within us, they are not geographical locations, but conditions of the soul!"
Many will say, "Ah, well, I'm happy now! I live without God and religion, and my soul-condition is quite good!"
Shayh Ahmad taught that those who are spiritually blind in life (i.e. knew the Truth but ignored it for selfish reasons); the meaning is that he will, in the next material world, be physically blind, as the Qur'an says:
"But whosoever turns away from My Message, verily, for him is a life narrowed down, and We shall raise him up blind on the Day of Judgment. He will say, O My Lord! Why hast thou raised me up blind, while I had sight? (God will say) Thou didst then, when all Signs came unto thee, disregard them; so wilt thou this Day, be disregarded." (Qur'an 20:124-126)The "Day of Judgment" refers to the next mortal life on another planet where a person is born "judged" (punished) in some form: blind, deaf, dumb, diseased, perverted, retarded, deformed, etc. How many people are born on "this" material planet with a genetic defect of one sort or another? Are these accidental, or according to the Will of God--a punishment for actions and intentions done on another planet previous to this one?
Consecutive incarnation means "one mortal life per planet". It is not a reward but a punishment for those who dwell in Naw-soot (the material/physical Realm).
The Qu'ran says that those who call the Message of God a "lie" will be dragged through scalding water, and will have iron collars on their necks connected to chains. The Qur'an says of those who inherit the Fire:
"Those who treat the Book, and the Message WE have sent through OUR Messengers, as a lie, will know the truth hereafter, with chains around their necks and collars around their necks, they shall be dragged through scalding water and burned in the fire of Hell." (Qur'an surah 40 verse 71)*Muslims would interpreted it literally: literal demons will place literal iron collars around literal necks tied to literal chains and literally drag Kafirs (unbelievers) through literal boiling water into literal burning Fire for all eternity.
**Baháís would interpret it metaphorically: that if you reject the Faith one day, perhaps in the Afterlife, you will have a "burning conscience"--meaning you'll "feel bad" about not becoming a Bahá'í and working for race unity and world peace and the establishment of Esperanto universally when you had the opportunity to do so in life, and this burning conscience will be like a iron collar around one's neck that drags one down into depression.
***The Shaykhis interpreted it differently: the "boiling water" refers to the amniotic fluid (99.7 degrees) that the new born must pass through in order to get to "The Fire" (i.e. out of the protective womb and into a world where a Sun burns and wares-out the skin) which means another mortal existence on a material planet. The "iron collar" and "chains" refer to those who are Moojreemoon (Apostates) who have have become Covenant-Breakers in this life will become literal slaves of others in the next.
Which interpretation do you agree with?
Personally, I think the Shaykhi interpretation is most logical. I do not see anything in the Holy Texts that would justify the popular "Baha'i" interpretation.
What is the meaning of the iron collars and chains?
Again, the Moojreemoon (Covenant-Breakers) shall, on the next material planet (since they will not inherit the Kingdom of Heaven---the Spiritual Realms) will literally become "slaves" of others.
"The Moojreemoon [Covenant-Breakers] shall be known by their marks (some translations insert here-"black faces") and they will be seized by their heads and their feet. (55:41)Muslim interpretation: On the Day of Judgment those who were Believers but have become Unbelievers (apostates) shall literally have black faces, and literally be grabbed by large demons and tossed around by their heads and feet. Those with white faces will be in Paradise and so will NOT be dragged around by the demons for all eternity.
"On the Day when some faces will be white and some faces will be black: To those whose faces will be black, will be said: "Did ye reject Faith after accepting it? Taste then the penalty for rejecting Faith!" But those whose faces will be white, they will be in ALLAH's mercy; therein to dwell." (3:106-107)
Bahá'í interpretation: The Day of Judgment is the Day of Resurrection, that is the appearance of a new Manifestation. We are living in the Day of Judgment now. Those who are Believers but then become Covenant-Breakers will have "down-cast" (metaphor="black") faces because they are sad they no longer working to establish The Principles, and they shall be seized with doubt (metaphor="heads") and and indecision ("feet seized"--not knowing where to run to work for world peace and race unity). Those who retained belief and did not become Covenant-Breakers shall have happy (metaphor="white") faces because they never doubted but are happy to continue to work for the establishment of The Principles daily.
Shaykhi interpretation: The Day of Judgment refers to the "mortal life" wherein one shall be "judged" for the evil deeds done in their previous mortal life in Nawsoot. Those who were once Believers but have forsaken Belief shall, in the next mortal existence (the next life in Nawsoot--another material planet), have black faces because they will be where the Fire is most intense (where the Ultra-violet rays of the Sun are strongest), and on that world they will become the slaves of others (seized by their heads and feet).
Which interpretation do you agree with?
I like the Shaykhi interpretation.
Some of the Friends who read this will cry, "Oh, this is RACIST...this is RACIST!"
That is true. But if Nawsoot (the material/physical realm) is Hell, where the UV rays of the Suns burn and wear-out the skin, then Earth is a place of punishment! And "racism" is one of the punishments upon the Moojreemoon (covenant-breakers). Baha'u'llah came to "redeem" Mankind from those punishments, and atoned for them in the Siyah Chal. He was chained so that Mankind may be freed from chains! He suffered for the Moojreemoon; atoned for their past-planet sins so that they may no longer suffer the Justice of God upon them on this material planet.
'Abdu'l-Baha did indeed say that reincarnation was "impossible" for human souls. But, He also said that those who are born again (baptized by the Fire of the Love of God) no longer have "human" souls, but they now have angelic souls:
"Angels are also those holy souls who have severed attachment to the earthly world, who are free from the fetters of self and passion and who have attached their hearts to the divine realm and the merciful kingdom." (The Spiritual Kingdom, p.409)A human soul doesn't "become" an angel at death. Rather, a human soul that purifies itself becomes an "angelic soul" (change of the condition of soul) while they are still alive. In the next world they can "return" to this realm (naw-soot); not as a human being, but as an ethereal being (ghost/apparition) like the appearances of Mary to three children at Fatimah, Portugal, in 1917.
He was NOT merely giving a "metaphor". He meant that literally. A human soul can literally "change" into an angelic soul by being "born again".
In Shaykhi doctrine, there are mineral souls, plant souls, animal souls, human souls, angelic souls, Lordly Souls, and Divine Souls. What "condition" your soul is "in" (animal/human/angelic/lordly/Divine) determines what Realm you go to after death. Men with animal souls and human souls go away from this planet, to another material planet. Those men and women with animal souls (i.e. whose are so depraved that they changed the condition of their own soul from human soul into animal soul) are promised:
"Say: O people of the Book! Do ye disapprove of us for no other reason than that we believe in Allah, and the revelation that hath come to us and that which came before (us), and (perhaps) that most of you are rebellious and disobedient?Most Baha'is will of course "poo=poo" this Verse, meaning it is some sort of "metaphor"; NOT that Allah would "literal" change human beings into apes and swine! Absurd! Right?
Say: Shall I point out to you something much worse than this, (as judged) by the treatment it received from Allah? those who incurred the curse of Allah and His wrath, those of whom some He transformed into apes and swine, those who worshipped evil -- these are (many times) worse in rank, and far more astray from the even path!" (Quran 5:59-60)
But the Shaykhis interpret it to mean what it says: Allah changed them into "apes and swine"; not on this world, but on another.
In other words, those who were "cursed" by Allah on another materal world because they "worshipped evil" would come to this material world not as humans (since they forfeited their human condition by changing their human souls into animal souls), so that they would be born on this planet as "apes" and "swine".
Indeed, on this planet "apes" are 98% human, and "swine" are so genetically close to humans that their skin and organs are often transplanted into humans. These souls were once "human" but had "worshipped evil" and were now, on our planet, under the "curse" of ALLAH.
'Abdu'l-Baha preached against the belief that humans could "return" as animals; He meant they could not "return" as animals to "this material world".
And by "apes" not only are "apes" meant but also the various species of ape-men that roamed this planet for millions of years.
Those men and women with human souls (unpurified souls), will again become humans (or humanoids), not on this planet, but on another material planet; to face "the second death" (to literally "die" again physically), and to face the "fire" of a new Sun which burns and wears-out the skin, where there is disease, injustice (like racism or chaste), pain, sorrow, disease, defect, perversion, and death. Naw-soot is a punishment on unpurified souls!
Those with angelic souls will go to the Kingdom (Mawl-law-koot), those with lordly souls will go to the Empyrean Heaven (Jaw-bawr-root), and those with Divine Souls will go to the Eternal Paradise (Law-hoot). These Three Spiritual Kingdoms are not away from this planet, but in fact share the same space as this planet, but in other (higher) dimensions.
Angelic souls can "return" to our Realm (Naw-soot), but only as "angels" (non-physical beings who come to inform or help us).
Lordly souls can "return" to our Realm (Naw-soot) as "Chosen Ones" (Moos-staw-feen).
Divine Souls can "return" to our Realm (Naw-soot) as "Prophets".
So, Consecutive Incarnation is the punishment for all souls that are not "purified" by the Fire of the Love of God (i.e. not "born again") in this world. They are "attached" to the Physical/Material Realm, so, they return to it; not on this planet, but on another.
Those who become "detached" from the Physical/Material Realm (Naw-soot) do not return to it unless they want to: as Angels, or Chosen Ones, or Prophets.
This is what Shaykh Ahmad al-Ahsa'i taught. This is the meaning of "return"; that the Prophets and Chosen Ones "return" in every Dispensation. The Báb was the "return" of the Spirit (Perfections/Qualities) of the Imaam Mehdi. Quddús was the "return" of the Soul (individuality) of the Imaam Mehdi. Mollah Husayn (the First Letter of the Living) was the "return" of the Soul (individuality) of the Prophet Muhammad. Even Tahirih was the "return" of Fatimah.
About 1 in 10,000 New Ages will be attracted to the Faith after they hear it teaches reincarnation is "not true".
About 1 in 10 New Agers will be attracted to the Faith when they are told about "consecutive incarnation" and for those who do not "merit" the Spiritual Realms (Heaven) on this planet and "return" for those who merit the Spiritual Realms.
Do you want the New Agers? 30 million in the U.S. alone. Yes, or no? Their bookstores are ready--TODAY-- to sell Bahá'í books. Their newspapers and magazines are realy--TODAY-- to accept P.A.s (Prospecting Advertisements). Do you want 1 in 10,000 New Agers to be attracted to the Faith, or one in 10?
The choice is yours.