Public Talks of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

The Human World is in Need of Guidance and Education

Red Room Hotel La Salle where 'Abdu'l-Baha addressed the Baha'i Women's Reception 2 May 1912
Published Source: 
The Promulgation of Universal Peace
May 2, 1912
2 May 1912
Talk at Bahá’í Women’s Reception
Hotel La Salle, Chicago, Illinois
Notes by Joseph H. Hannen

33.1 When we look upon the kingdoms of creation below man, we find three forms or planes of existence which await education and development. For instance, the function of a gardener is to till the soil of the mineral kingdom and plant a tree which under his training and cultivation will attain perfection of growth. If it be wild and fruitless, it may be made fruitful and prolific by grafting. If small and unsightly, it will become lofty, beautiful and verdant under the gardener’s training, whereas a tree bereft of his cultivation retrogresses daily, its fruit grows acrid and bitter as the trees of the jungle, or it may become entirely barren and bereft of its fruitage. Likewise, we observe that animals which have undergone training in their sphere of limitation will progress and advance unmistakably, become more beautiful in appearance and increase in intelligence. For instance, how intelligent and knowing the Arabian horse has become through training, even how polite this horse has become through education.

As to the human world: It is more in need of guidance and education than the lower creatures.

33.2As to the human world: It is more in need of guidance and education than the lower creatures. Reflect upon the vast difference between the inhabitants of Africa and those of America. Here the people have been civilized and uplifted; there they are in the utmost and abject state of savagery. What is the cause of their savagery and the reason of your civilization? It is evident that this difference is due to education and the lack of education. Consider, then, the effectiveness of education in the human kingdom. It makes the ignorant wise, the tyrant merciful, the blind seeing, the deaf attentive, even the imbecile intelligent. How vast this difference. How wide the chasm which separates the educated man from the man who lacks teaching and training. This is the effect when the teacher is merely an ordinary teacher.

Bahá’u’lláh,…has breathed the spirit of God into men.

33.3 But — praise be to God! — your Teacher and Instructor is Bahá’u’lláh. He is the Educator of the Orient and Occident. He is the Teacher of the very world of divinity and spirituality, the Sun of Truth, the Word of God. The lights of His education are radiating even as the sun. See what it has accomplished, how it is developing all humanity so that I, a Persian, have come to this meeting of revered souls upon the American continent and am standing here expounding to you in the greatest love. This is through the training of Bahá’u’lláh, which can unite and has united these hearts. In this way it has enlightened the world. Even so it has breathed the spirit of God into men. Even so it has resuscitated the hearts of men.

33.4 Therefore, praise be to God that you have been brought under the education of this One Who is the very Sun of Reality and Who is shining resplendently upon all humankind, endowing all with a life that is everlasting.

33.5 Praise be to God a thousand times!