Monday, June 1, 2009
A new week,
And I feel like this:
Yes, it is a new week, and this Monday is starting with number 1. Inspired by a post from beautiful Kristin Espinasse, I suddenly decided to share this passage from my favorite book, Portals to Freedom.
He swept the room with a glance at once enfolding and abstracted. He raised His hands, palm upwards, level with His waist. His eyes closed and He chanted a prayer for the souls united by Him and by me. By Him that morning according to the Laws of the New World Order in which the spirit of man is to be trained to function harmoniously with its brief material environment; by me this evening as the representative of the passing regime in which ancient superstitions and outworn shibboleths often tinge the most sacred observances, yet which, being customary, are to be observed "lest offense be given to any soul." This prayer of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, chanted in tones to me unequalled in all experience, mellifluous (honey-like), is the nearest descriptive word, but how inadequate, is the keenest of all my memories of that evening. In spite of the fact that the language was Persian, and so, of course, unfamiliar to me, the impression I received was that of understanding. So vivid was this that the interpreter's translation came as a shock. What need to translate language addressed to the spirit? A flash of comprehension came to me. Perhaps here was the explanation of the incident recorded of that far-off Day of Pentecost when each listener to the words of the disciples heard his own tongue. There is a story told of an illiterate miner who made a long journey on foot to meet 'Abdu'l-Bahá when He was in San Francisco, which further illustrates the same spiritual phenomenon. This man, though uneducated, had great spiritual capacity. He attended a meeting at which 'Abdu'l-Bahá spoke. He seemed enthralled as the measured, bell-like tones fell from the Master's lips. When the interpreter took up the passage in English this miner started as if awakening. "Why does that man interrupt?" He whispered. Then again 'Abdu'l-Bahá spoke, and again the visitor was lost in attention. Again the interpreter translated as the speaker paused. At this the miner's indignation was aroused. "Why do they let that man interrupt? He should be put out." "He is the official interpreter," one sitting beside him explained. "He translates the Persian into English."
"Was He speaking in Persian?" was the naive answer, "Why anyone could understand that." As for me: my heart was certainly moved far more by the chanting Voice and the flowing, musical periods, than by the interpreter's version of the wedding prayer, beautiful as it is.
"Glory be unto Thee, O my God! Verily this Thy servant and this Thy maid-servant have gathered under the shadow of Thy Mercy and they are united through Thy Favor and Generosity. 0 Lord! Assist them in this Thy world and Thy Kingdom, and destine for them every good through Thy bounty and Grace. "Cause them to become the signs of harmony and unity until the end of time. Verily Thou art the Omnipotent, the Omnipresent and the Almighty!"
Have a mellifluous Monday!