On this commemoration of the Crucifixion of Jesus, my thoughts return to its deeper significance for all humans. From within the Christian tradition I have recently found great inspiration from ‘A Course in Miracles’, supporting in a method for the mind, the teachings of Baha’u’llah and Abdu’l-Baha of the Baha’i Faith.
To understand the crucifixion of Christ, one needs to understand that the contingent reality is a vehicle for the development of a greater reality, the reality of the next world and of the soul, the reality of love. The contingent world is a vague reflection of the greater, through which the human being can strengthen the nature of the soul. This is the reality that Christ lives. It is living in this reality that made Christ’s actions seem so contrary to reality. It is this reality which had Baha’u’llah stand fearlessly amidst great and persistent attack. It is insight into this reality which Baha’u’llah shared with a youthful Badi who quietly and peacefully sacrificed his life in delivering Baha’u’llah’s message to the Shah of Persia.
ACIM p 36 “The crucifixion did not establish attonement, the resurrection did.”
ACIM P 91 “..crucifixion was the last useless journey the Sonship need to take, and that it represents release from fear to anyone who understands it. The real meaning of crucifixion lies in the apparent intensity of the assault of some of the Sons of God upon another. This is impossible…. Assault can only be made on the body. ..destruction itself is impossible, therefore what is destructible is not real. It’s destruction does not justify anger. The crucifixion is to teach that it is not necessary to perceive any form of assault in persecution. If you respond in anger, you must be equating yourself with the destructible, and therefore are regarding yourself insanely.
The crucifixion was the result of clearly opposed thought systems ..between the ego and the Son of God.”
Abdu’l-Baha, Divine Philosophy, p. 49 “All were shaken but Mary Magdalen. She was a veritable lioness. She gathered the others together and said, “Why do ye mourn? Did not the Christ foretell his crucifixion? Arise, and be assured. They have killed but the body; the reality can never die, for it is supreme, eternal, the word of God, the son of God. Why, therefore, are ye agitated?” Thus this heroine became the cause of re-establishing the faith of the apostles. My hope is that each one of you may become as Mary Magdalen – for this woman was superior to all the men of her time and her reality is ever shining from the horizon of Christ. Be pure – to be pure is to be selfless.”
ACIM P93 “.. if you react as if you are persecuted, you are teaching persecution. Rather teach your perfect immunity. Do not try to protect it or you are believing you are believing it is assailable. … In the face of less temptation to misperceive, do not accept them as false justifications for anger. What you believe you will teach… know you cannot be abandoned.”
ACIM P217 “.. attack from others and fear is an appeal for help, a call for love fear is a symptom of loss. When you perceive it in others, learn to supply the loss.”
Tablets of Abdu’l-Baha v1, p. 193, 194 “Know thou that the Messianic Spirit and the out-pouring of the Holy Spirit is always manifest, but capacity and ability (to receive it) is more in some and less in others. After the crucifixion the apostles had not in the beginning the capacity and ability of witnessing the Messianic reality. For they were agitated. But when they found firmness and steadfastness, their inner sight became opened, and thy saw the reality of the Messiah as manifest. For the body of Christ was crucified and vanished, but the Spirit of Christ is always pouring upon the contingent world, and is manifest before the insight of the people of assurance. O thou seeker of the kingdom of God! If thou wishest thy speech and utterance to take effect in the hardened hearts, be thou severed from all attachment to this world and turn unto the Kingdom of God. Enkindle the fire of the love of God in the heart with such intensity that thou mayest become a flame of fire and a luminous lamp of guidance. At that time thy speech will take effect within the hearts, through the confirmation of the Holy Spirit. O thou sincere servant of the Lord of the Kingdom!”
This week also marked the passing of 10,000 days in prison of the Iranian Baha’i leaders. Sarah Sourd, a hiker arrested when straying across the Iranian border, recalls meeting one of the imprisoned leaders, Fariba Kamalabadi.
“Fariba Kamalabadi and I were being led blindfolded to the prison clinic. We were walking in single file and the first thing she did was reach out and rub my back affectionately. She smiled at me, whispering that she was sorry that I was alone, then hastily told me who she was,” Shourd said. “Later, when I was released and was able to learn more about the seven Baha’i leaders, who are being held without proper legal representation or a fair trial, I was even more astounded by Fariba’s kindness and bravery that day.”
Shourd is joining the call for the release of Kamalabadi and her colleagues, Jamaloddin Khanjani, Afif Naeimi, Saeid Rezaie, Mahvash Sabet, Behrouz Tavakkoli, and Vahid Tizfahm.
“They are being held solely for their religious beliefs, for demanding the right of Baha’is to civil rights and an education,” Shourd said. “The Iranian government is in serious violation of international law regarding these cases and they must all be released immediately.”
Prior to their arrests in 2008, the seven were members of an informal national-level group that attended to the spiritual and social needs of Iran’s Baha’i community. They were each sentenced to 20 years imprisonment after six brief court sessions characterized by a lack of due process.