Our Daily Bread: Ultimate Idols

Today’s slice of divine guidance begins with the obvious: we humans can never have universal, divine knowledge. This is not a problem for those of us who have come to terms with the fact that we cannot know everything.

O Salmán! The door of the knowledge of the Ancient Being hath ever been, and will continue for ever to be, closed in the face of men. No man’s understanding shall ever gain access unto His holy court. …

There are those among us, however, who continue to harbor ambitions for the unattainable. For them, we have religion:

As a token of His mercy, however, and as a proof of His loving-kindness, He hath manifested unto men the Day Stars of His divine guidance, the Symbols of His divine unity, and hath ordained the knowledge of these sanctified Beings to be identical with the knowledge of His own Self. …

There you have it: the solution. God can be known by knowing these special messengers the Baha’i Faith calls “Manifestations of God.” These Manifestations are specially created by God to be the perfect images of God, tuned with precision to the capacities of our minds at any given time. For instance: Jesus was perfect for the Roman era, and Muhammad was perfect for the MIddle Ages. These images of God are so perfect that as humans, the only appropriate response is for us to regard them as God himself:

Whoso recognizeth them hath recognized God. Whoso hearkeneth to their call, hath hearkened to the Voice of God, and whoso testifieth to the truth of their Revelation, hath testified to the truth of God Himself. Whoso turneth away from them, hath turned away from God, and whoso disbelieveth in them, hath disbelieved in God.

—Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh

That’s the ultimate in idolatry, right there. Feast your eyes.

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