"The afflictions which come to humanity sometimes tend to center
the consciousness upon the limitations. This is a veritable prison. Release
comes by making of the will a door through which the confirmations of the
spirit come. They come to a man or woman who accepts his life with Radiant
BAHÁ'Í PUBLISHING COMMITTEE
Reprint from World Order, September, 1937
THE BAHÁ'Í FAITH
revelation proclaimed by Baháulláh, his followers
believe, is divine in origin, all-embracing in scope, broad in its
outlook, scientific in its method, humanitarian in its principles and
dynamic in the influence it exerts on the hearts and minds of men.
The Bahá'í Faith recognizes
the unity of God and of His Prophets, upholds the principle of the
unfettered search after truth, condemns all forms of superstition and
prejudice, teaches that the fundamental purpose of religion is to promote
concord and harmony, that it must go hand-in-hand with science, and that it
constitutes the sole and ultimate basis of a peaceful, and ordered and
progressive society. It inculcates the principle of equal opportunity,
rights and privileges for both sexes, exalts work performed the spirit of
service to the rank of worship, recommends the adoption of an auxiliary
international language, and provides the necessary agencies for the
establishment and safeguarding of a permanent and universal peace.
Copyright 1937 Printed In U. S. A.
ACQUIESCENCE means to "give
in," to drop resistance, to tacitly agree. Divine acquiescence
means to be submissive to the divine will. Everything in nature is
acquiescent to the plan of the Universe and works in harmony with it
except man. "Radiant acquiescence" means not only to give up
your will to the Divine Will, but to do so joyfully and with radiance,
knowing it is the best way in the end. The ordinary way of meeting
the circumstances of life is to have a negative, passive submission to
God's will and to blame every circumstance that was unfortunate on the &
"Will of God" and to be unwillingly resigned to this condition and to do
nothing to change it. Many become bitter and at enmity with life because
of obstacles and calamities, and their faces register discontent and
"The death of one thing is the birth of another," said Marcus Aurelius.
"Watch the eternal course of destruction and realize that the universe
itself sustains no harm amidst all this change. The only true good is
religion, which teaches us to keep our guiding principles pure and
untainted by bodily impressions. Nothing external can influence us unless
we pronounce it good or evil. Cease your complaint and you are not hurt."
Epictetus advised: "Dare to look up to God and say, Deal with me
for the future as thou wilt, I am of the same mind as Thou art; I am Thine;
I refuse nothing that pleases Thee; lead me where Thou wilt, clothe me in
any dress Thou choosest; is it Thy will that I should hold the office of
a magistrate; that I should be in the condition of a private man; stay
here; or be an exile; be rich; be poor, I will make Thy defense to men in
behalf of all these conditions."
"He who frets himself because things do not happen just as he would
have them, and secedes and separates himself from the law of the universal
nature, is but a sort of an ulcer of the world."
Be acquiescent and things will change. God closes one door and opens
"Is anyone afraid of change?" asked Aurelius "I would gladly know what
can be done without it? And what is dearer and more suitable to your
universal nature? Pray, must not your wood be transformed (i.e., into fire)
before your bath can be ready for you? Must not your meat be changed to
make it fit to nourish you? Indeed what part of life can go forward
without alteration? Now in all likelihood a change in your condition may
be as serviceable to the world in general as those alterations above
mentioned are to you."
When we are radiantly acquiescent our fears and worries disappear,
what we ourselves cannot overcome or accomplish, we place in the hands of
God, living in the faith that God can and will make all things well, and
as our faith is, so is it always done unto us. When you feel that you
live within God's protection you will never fear, you know you are safe and
secure; fully protected at all times and nothing but good can come to you.
If we would only learn radiant acquiescence. Since things cannot always
be as we wish them it is better for us to acquiesce to realize that after
all in the great Divine plan it may be better for us that they are changed,
therefore let us be glad!
When things do not give you pleasure, proceed instead to create pleasure
in your own heart and soul, and you can if you will always be glad. Besides
things will change for the better if you continue in the spirit of
rejoicing. When things do not please you, resolve to please yourself
by being glad. When evil befalls you consider the fact that the
good that is yet in your possession is many times as great as all the evil
you could ever know.
"It is a great thing to feel, when our small plans are in a moment
destroyed, our own ambitions in a moment thwarted forever, that instead
of losing we are exchanging a lower for a higher thing; that the fall of
the blossom means the coming of the fruit; the opening up a soul to newer
and greater truth."
Radiant acquiescence means "not my will but Thine be done." Let us
approach our disappointments, our failures with the thought, "This is all
right but different," and how much better it would be.
A famous doctor who radiated sympathy and gladness had as his motto,
"That's all right, that's the way it should be." Nothing ever upset him.
He would work quietly to accomplish results and leave them in God's hands,
perfectly willing to accept the ends as justifiable to the means.
"Magnify the faith in yourself and you will minimize the obstacles in
your way," Marden has said.
"With God nothing shall be impossible."
When difficulties are to be met they should be met in the attitude of
radiant acquiescence and joy, so that we may look upon them as a privilege
through which the power of the Holy Spirit may be brought into action;
this generates strong thought currents and attracts strong forces to help
A wonderful way to show your love for God and His Cause is to radiate
from your personality the sunlight of His love. To be it is to
"Resist not evil" has been sounded by all the prophets and a
thoughtful perusal of their lives indicates how they met the
circumstances in which they were placed-how they treated their
enemies. To resist, to use force is against the law of harmony. All
nature practices this law. In a storm when the wind is blowing, the
trees in its path bend before its fury, those that resist it are
snapped in two and broken off. It is better to let others learn through
experience that they are on the wrong path than to force them to see it
The best way to rise above the petty irritations and delays which
attack the nervous system is to meet them with non-resistance. All the
prophets have taught us not to resist evil. 'Abdu'l-Bahá calls
it "radiant acquiescence." This is the most practical way to handle the
affairs of life, to drop resistance to things we cannot change, be
willing (and that happily) that circumstances should go against us, that
others shall be unkind, unjust, impolite or disagreeable. Through this
practice the mind is kept quiet and clear and greater power to go through
life successfully is engendered. Resistance produces poisonous toxins in
the glands which undermune the health. Most of the nervous illness in the
world today (and there is much of it) is caused by resistance to
circumstances or to people, which has kept the nerves and brain in such
a state of tension and irritation that a breakdown is the only ultimate
result. In order to get rest and healing, we should say to ourselves,
"Drop it, what difference does it make?"
Whether we are aware of it or not we always arouse in others what is
in our own mind. Anger in you will provoke anger in another, while love
begets love. So there is a great scientific principle involved in the
command, "love your enemies;" Hate begets hate, and in no way can
it be changed except through love. Fear begets fear and confidence
increases confidence. The cheerfulness of one person can affect a roomful
of people and if persistently practiced may affect the whole neighborhood.
When you feel others irritating or disturbing you, get quiet, be
tranquil, summon the spirit of joy and harmonyask for guidance and
strength from the Holy Spirit. Send out harmonious thoughts and soon you
will find the attitudes of others will change toward you, if you have
only love in your heart. Love can melt the meanest heart. It takes two
to quarrel. If one of the angry parties will practice non-resistance and
puts away all discordant thinking from himself, and waits without
impatience, the anger of the other must subside for it will have nothing
on which to feed. Keep your mind in a condition of harmony toward the
other and wait. In waiting you will accomplish wonders with the right
mental attitude. "They serve who only stand and wait."
Faith is patience to wait. There should not be any attempt at verbal
reconciliation unless it comes naturally and without a truce of inharmony.
The important thing is in attempting to correct one's own faults and never
interfering with another unless help is asked.
"However he treats me, I am to act rightly with regard to him; for the
one is my concern, the other is not," Epictetus wrote.
"Nothing another does can ever make it right for me to do wrong,
because wrong is never right, and no combination of circumstances can
ever make it so," declared Aaron Crane.
True self-control must not be thought to be a repression of the desire
to do wrong but it must go farther and remove the desire in the thinking
which will thereby remove all necessity for resistance or restraint.
Substitute one thought or feeling for another.
Self-control in the spiritual sense is freedom from all control of
things outside the spiritual self and of all those things that provoke
discordant thoughts. The person who allows himself to be mentally
disturbed is in the degree of the disturbance in the power of whatever
suggested it. By relaxing the mind, by being willing that certain things
should occur, by keeping the mind centered in the Holy Spirit through
practicing radiant acquiescence, one will establish such habits that no
attention need be given even to the control of self, because habits tend
to act automatically, without conscious care or attention. This is the
freedom of mind of little children. It is the freedom of heaven. "Except
ye become as little children ye cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven." As
thoughts precede actions, then to stop thinking certain thoughts is to
cease doing certain things. Resistance always interferes with freedom of
thought and action.
"Who has more soul than I masters me, though he should not raise his
finger. Round him I must revolve by the gravitation of spirits. Who has
less, I rule with like facility."
"The power men possess to annoy me I give them by a weak curiosity.
No man can come near me but through my act," Emerson realized.
Are you in the habit of "blowing up," of "going to pieces," when
things don't suit you? If you are, you are indulging in an "emotional
spree," a "nervous jag." These can be quite as disastrous to the body
as an alcoholic one, due to the poisons poured out into the blood stream
by the adrenalin glands. Victims of deficient self-control in time become
sick, mentally.. It is their excuse that something that was said or some
past experience is responsible for these upsets, but the breakdown in
nervous morale is due to an inflated ego, an inferiority complex or the
wrong attitude toward the speech and actions of other people.
A doctor made a list of some of the things that upset some of his
patients. He found as many as forty causes in the list, most of them
foolish. One man was continually upset because a business partner was
always saying "listen," as an introduction to his sentences. A business
man became furious if anyone in his office arrived a moment late in the
morning, and he saw to it that be was there early enough to indulge in
his favorite nervous jag."
These nervous types must remember that no matter where the blame rests,
it is better to ignore things that can't be helped, to be "radiantly
acquiescent." You can't allow other people and the circumstances of
life to "get on your nerves." You cannot control the habits of the
rest of the world, and therefore in self-protection you must develop,
an attitude toward them that is less vehement. You will have to teach
yourself to live in a world as it is, not as you wish it might be. Do
not take yourself and circumstances so seriously. Laugh at yourself.
What difference will it make in a hundred years, whether the dinner is
on time or not? Decide that you will be the master of your own environment
and don't expect to go through life and escape the experience of "self-
abasement." We can't expect to. ride on the crest of the wave always
but we can direct ourselves so that we can ride more smoothly. With
understanding, love; tolerance, sympathy and cooperation many of these
conditions can be "ironed out." They do not affect the man who has the
"light of the Holy Spirit in his life."
Next to radiant acquiescence, the next best cure for "nerves" is the
habit of self-examination and of looking to one's own faults. The Divine
Manifestations have ever pointed out the need for man to examine his
own motives first before be presumed to judge the actions of another.
"Why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but
considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye.
first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see
clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye."
Bahá'u'lláh in this day admonishes us:
"If the fire of self overcome you, remember your own faults and not
the faults of My creatures."
Real freedom from these irritations must begin within, the motives
must be changed. If we only outwardly control the appearance of anger
and irritability and are a seething furnace within we have no control.
We must get free from the emotion itself to be free and to be master of
the situation. So everyone must look within first and be relaxed there
before he can act without. "Everyone," says Bahá'u'lláh
in Hidden Words, "must show forth deeds that are pure and holy, for
words are the property of all alike, whereas such deeds as these belong
only to Our loved ones."
No matter where we find ourselves in life, all sickness, either of
the mind or body, comes from the breaking of cosmic laws.1
When we walk in the ray of the Holy Spirit we learn to live positively
and actively, to go about doing good and radiating the light of God's gift.
Let our light shine upon those who live in the shadows, let us radiate
that light of the Holy Spirit so that the moment others come into our
presence they will sense our power, our sincerity, our love, and that
we have something they need.
As human beings we unconsciously radiate those inner forces which
we possess and we influence those who come in contact by our radiations
for good or ill. 'Abdu'l-Bahá felt the importance of this so
keenly that in His correspondence He placed great emphasis on radiance
of expression. He says: "The face is the mirror of the heart," and also:
"Let all people see that you have the Light, that they may recognize
something in you which they themselves do not possess."
Christian O. Larson
Hamilton Wright Mabie
1Except those ills and misfortunes
visited upon the holy ones, whose patience and sacrifice are the example
©Copyright 1937, World Order Magazine
Page last updated/revised 010200
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