Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Seven League Boots

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
Seven-league boots are an element in European folklore. The boots allow the wearer to take great strides—seven leagues each step—resulting in great speed. The boots are often presented by a magical character to the protagonist to aid in the completion of a significant task. (A league is three miles, so seven leagues is 21 miles or just under 35 kilometres.)”

It is as if the following message was sent by the beloved Guardian this morning from his place on High:

He wishes you all every success in the discharge of your arduous duties, and is praying for a marked quickening in the pace of the Five Year Plan.

(From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi, 30 October, 1951, Messages to Canada, p. 24)

Recent announcements of developments in the Baha’i world, (Ridvan, 2012), such as the initiation of projects for seven more Mashriqu’l-Adhkars worldwide, and the increase of the number of Regional Baha’i Councils in the United States to ten, lead one to consider the pace at which individual, community, and institutional growth and development can and will continue to accelerate.

[Emphasis added in the quotes below.]

Our fervent desire, bolstered by witnessing your consecrated efforts during the past year, is that you will intensify your sure-footed application of the knowledge you are acquiring through experience. Now is not the time to hold back; too many remain unaware of the new dawn. Who but you can convey the divine message?

(The Universal House of Justice, Ridvan 2012, “To the Baha’is of the World,” paragraph four.)

At every moment he offereth a hundred lives in the path of the Loved One, at every step he throweth a thousand heads at the feet of the Beloved.
      (Baha'u'llah, The Seven Valleys, p. 7)

These statements are made in the sphere of that which is relative, because of the limitations of men. Otherwise, those personages who in a single step have passed over the world of the relative and the limited, and dwelt on the fair plane of the Absolute, and pitched their tent in the worlds of authority and commandhave burned away these relativities with a single spark, and blotted out these words with a drop of dew. And they swim in the sea of the spirit, and soar in the holy air of light. Then what life have words, on such a plane, that "first" and "last" or other than these be seen or mentioned! In this realm, the first is the last itself, and the last is but the first.
      (Baha'u'llah, The Seven Valleys, p. 27-28)

These journeys have no visible ending in the world of time, but the severed wayfarerif invisible confirmation descend upon him and the Guardian of the Cause assist himmay cross these seven stages in seven steps, nay rather in seven breaths, nay rather in a single breath, if God will and desire it. And this is of "His grace on such of His servants as He pleaseth."
      (Baha'u'llah, The Seven Valleys, p. 40)

Thou art but one step away from the glorious heights above and from the celestial tree of love. Take thou one pace and with the next advance into the immortal realm and enter the pavilion of eternity. Give ear then to that which hath been revealed by the pen of glory.

(Baha'u'llah, The Persian Hidden Words, No.6)

Be swift in the path of holiness, and enter the heaven of communion with Me. Cleanse thy heart with the burnish of the spirit, and hasten to the court of the Most High.
    (Baha'u'llah, The Persian Hidden Words, No.7)

Know, moreover, that should one who hath attained unto these stations and embarked upon these journeys fall prey to pride and vainglory, he would at that very moment come to naught and return to the first step without realizing it.
    (Baha'u'llah, Gems of Divine Mysteries, p. 74)

O my brother! Take thou the step of the spirit, so that, swift as the twinkling of an eye, thou mayest flash through the wilds of remoteness and bereavement, attain the Ridvan of everlasting reunion, and in one breath commune with the heavenly Spirits. For with human feet thou canst never hope to traverse these immeasurable distances, nor attain thy goal. Peace be upon him whom the light of truth guideth unto all truth, and who, in the name of God, standeth in the path of His Cause, upon the shore of true understanding.
      (Baha'u'llah, The Kitab-i-Iqan, p. 43)

For instance, consider the substance of copper. Were it to be protected in its own mine from becoming solidified, it would, within the space of seventy years, attain to the state of gold. There are some, however, who maintain that copper itself is gold, which by becoming solidified is in a diseased condition, and hath not therefore reached its own state.

Be that as it may, the real elixir will, in one instant, cause the substance of copper to attain the state of gold, and will traverse the seventy-year stages in a single moment. Could this gold be called copper? Could it be claimed that it hath not attained the state of gold, whilst the touch-stone is at hand to assay it and distinguish it from copper?

Likewise, these souls, through the potency of the Divine Elixir, traverse, in the twinkling of an eye, the world of dust and advance into the realm of holiness; and with one step cover the earth of limitations and reach the domain of the Placeless. It behooveth thee to exert thine utmost to attain unto this Elixir which, in one fleeting breath, causeth the west of ignorance to reach the east of knowledge, illuminates the darkness of night with the resplendence of the morn, guideth the wanderer in the wilderness of doubt to the well-spring of the Divine Presence and Fount of certitude, and conferreth upon mortal souls the honour of acceptance into the Ridvan of immortality. Now, could this gold be thought to be copper, these people could likewise be thought to be the same as before they were endowed with faith.
      (Baha'u'llah, The Kitab-i-Iqan, p. 157)

The foot and the step, for example, are connected to the ear and the eye; the eye must look ahead before the step is taken.

(Abdu'l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu'l-Baha, p. 48)

The Cause in England seems, in spite of financial handicaps, to be going forward in Seven League boots. He (the Guardian) is truly proud of the British believers, and this is more than he could say in the past, when the work for years seemed to be stagnating! Those days are now passed forever, he feels sure.

(From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi, 17 October 1948, The Unfolding Destiny of the British Baha'i Community, p. 452)

The Faith of God does not advance at one uniform pace. Sometimes it is like the advance of the sea when the tide is rising. Meeting a sandbank the water seems to be held back, but, with a new wave, it surges forward, flooding past the barrier which checked it for a little while. If the friends will but persist in their efforts, the cumulative effect of years of work will suddenly appear.

(The Universal House of Justice to a National Spiritual Assembly, 27 July 1980,) (“Promoting Entry by Troops,” p. 11)

…There is a proverb among the Arabs that whoever wears King Solomon's ring, when he turns it everything in the twinkling of an eye will be changed. Some of the Arab workers used to say Shoghi Effendi had found King Solomon's ring!
    It is hard to understand why most people do things so slowly when Shoghi Effendi did them so fast. Just to twitter faithfully that he was "guided by God" does not seem to me a sufficient explanation. I believe great people see things in great dimensions…
 (Ruhiyyih Khanum, The Priceless Pearl, p. 87)