Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Power of Love

In my human nature course my students collect quotations and aphorisms.  I was extremely impressed with their work, and many of them found especially inspiring quotes.  I want to share one here.  It's one I think I'd seen before years ago when I myself was an undergraduate student taking a course on Gandhi:

Scientists tell us that without the presence of the cohesive force amongst the atoms that comprise this globe of ours, it would crumble to pieces and we cease to exist; and even as there is cohesive force in blind matter, so must there be in all things animate and the name for that cohesive force among animate beings is Love. We notice it between father and son, between brother and sister, friend and friend. But we have to learn to use that force among all that lives, and in the use of it consists our knowledge of God. Where there is love there is life; hatred leads to destruction.
(this is either from Young India of May 5, 1920, page 7, or else from Young India of October 6, 1921, sources differ and I haven't tracked down the original).

The student actually only shared, "where there is love there is life," but I remembered there was more to it than that, so I found the context of the original. 
The quotation certainly reminded me of this one from 'Abdu'l-Baha:

…Love is the mystery of divine revelations! Love is the effulgent manifestation! Love is the spiritual fulfillment! Love is the breath of the Holy Spirit inspired into the human spirit! Love is the cause of the manifestation of the Truth (God) in the phenomenal world! Love is the necessary tie proceeding from the realities of things through divine creation! Love is the means of the most great happiness in both the material and spiritual worlds! Love is a light of guidance in the dark night! Love is the bond between the Creator and the creature in the inner world! Love is the cause of development to every enlightened man! Love is the greatest law in this vast universe of God! Love is the one law which causeth and controleth order among the existing atoms! Love is the universal magnetic power between the planets and stars shining in the lofty firmament!...
 That's taken out of a letter from ‘Abdu’l-Baha to an unidentified American woman in the Bahá'í Community, and first published in 1915 in Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá Abbas, Volume III, page 525. Available online at http://bahai-library.com/writings/abdulbaha/tab/3.html.

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