We make choices. It is the only method for a common human to nurture a pure heart “Sow the seeds of My divine wisdom in the pure soil of the heart, and water them with the waters of certitude, that the hyacinths of knowledge and wisdom may spring up fresh and green from the holy city of the heart.” (Baha’u’llah, The Persian Hidden Words) and, in doing, so soothe the requests and proddings of an older worldlier creature that speaks to our breasts.
Yet of those vehicles of purity that are born into the world for our guidance, the word, ‘choice’ is simple distinction of the clay for which they have no vernacular. “I was but a man like others, asleep upon My couch, when lo, the breezes of the All-Glorious were wafted over Me, and taught Me the knowledge of all that hath been. This thing is not from Me, but from One Who is Almighty and All-Knowing. This is but a leaf which the winds of the will of thy Lord, the Almighty, the All-Praised, have stirred. Can it be still when the tempestuous winds are blowing? Nay, by Him Who is the Lord of all Names and Attributes! They move it as they list. The evanescent is as nothing before Him Who is the Ever-Abiding. His all-compelling summons hath reached Me, and caused Me to speak His praise amidst all people. I was indeed as one dead when His behest was uttered. The hand of the will of thy Lord, the Compassionate, the Merciful, transformed Me.” (Baha’u’llah, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 11)
Theirs is not a place for choosing, theirs is a place of knowing and being and powerfulness. Theirs is a reality in which the world is a shadow of ‘unawareness’. “Know thou that the Kingdom is the real world, and this nether place is only its shadow stretching out. A shadow hath no life of its own; its existence is only a fantasy, and nothing more; it is but images reflected in water, and seeming as pictures to the eye.” (Abdu’l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Baha, p. 177) “Know ye that by “the world” is meant your unawareness of Him Who is your Maker, and your absorption in aught else but Him. The “life to come,” on the other hand, signifieth the things that give you a safe approach to God, the All-Glorious, the Incomparable. Whatsoever deterreth you, in this Day, from loving God is nothing but the world.” (Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 275)
For we common humans, we need words of ‘sacrifice’, to distinguish between the dull demands of that old creature and the illumined treasure room of love. Those vehicles of love, born in the world to map the way to the treasure room, have no vernacular for sacrifice. “I have renounced My desire for Thy desire, O my God, and My will for the revelation of Thy Will. By Thy glory! I desire neither Myself nor My life except for the purpose of serving Thy Cause, and I love not My being save that I may sacrifice it in Thy path. (Baha’u’llah, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 36) They are the treasure room of love. “We, verily, have come for your sakes, and have borne the misfortunes of the world for your salvation. Flee ye the One Who hath sacrificed His life that ye may be quickened? Fear God, O followers of the Spirit, and walk not in the footsteps of every divine that hath gone far astray. Do ye imagine that He seeketh His own interests, when He hath, at all times, been threatened by the swords of the enemies; or that He seeketh the vanities of the world, after He hath been imprisoned in the most desolate of cities?” (Baha’u’llah, Tablets of Baha’u’llah, p. 10)
For we common humans, we need words of ‘justice’, to claim a right among the stronger old creatures among us. Those vehicles of justice, seeing the shadow beneath them, casts a law to protect the embryonic humility and insightfulness growing within our being. Theirs is a chastisment of the unjust from a place of power where imprisonment has no meaning. “My imprisonment doeth Me no harm, neither the tribulations I suffer, nor the things that have befallen Me at the hands of My oppressors. That which harmeth Me is the conduct of those who, though they bear My name, yet commit that which maketh My heart and My pen to lament.” (Baha’u’llah, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 23)
I could go on in this vein, through all the characteristics of progressive civilisation and virtuous humanity. For the philosophy of the human being is founded in the desire to have an equitable place, a place with choice, a place without domination. While the Manifestation of God lives in a place of power beyond such philosophy of equity. On one hand they submit to a position of the greatest inequity. On the other hand, they prove that this position, far from being powerless, is the position from which the empowerment of all humanity can emanate. This is their way and their proof.