Religious leaders answer on blindness

Editors note: Every Friday a question is printed at the end of this column inviting a response. If you are a religious leader on Kaua‘i please send in your thoughts or suggestions for future topics. Next week’s topic is on wonder. The topic at the end of the column is for the following week.

The Spiritual Assembly

of the Baha’is of Koloa

“Whenever it is recorded in the holy books that one was blind and recovered his sight, the meaning is that he was inwardly blind, and that he obtained spiritual vision . . .” — Abdu’l-Baha, Some Answered Questions, p. 102

“The retina of outer vision, though sensitive and delicate, may, nevertheless, be a hindrance to the inner eye which alone can perceive. The bestowals of God which are manifest in all phenomenal life are sometimes hidden by intervening veils of mental and mortal vision which render man spiritually blind and incapable but when those scales are removed and the veils rent asunder, then the great signs of God will become visible and he will witness the eternal light filling the world. The bestowals of God are all and always manifest. The promises of heaven are ever present. The favors of God are all-surrounding but should the conscious eye of the soul of man remain veiled and darkened he will be led to deny these universal signs and remain deprived of these manifestations of divine bounty. Therefore we must endeavor with heart and soul in order that the veil covering the eye of inner vision may be removed, that we may behold the manifestations of the signs of God, discern His mysterious graces, and realize that material blessings as compared with spiritual bounties are as nothing. The spiritual blessings of God are greatest.”

— Abdu’l-Baha,

The Promulgation

of Universal Peace, p. 89.

“Therefore, we must investigate the foundation of divine religion, discover its reality . . . so that it may become the source of illumination and enlightenment to mankind, the spiritually dead become alive, the spiritually blind receive sight and those who are inattentive to God become awakened.”

— Abdu’l-Baha,

The Promulgation

of Universal Peace, p. 444.

 “Pray that God may assist in this heavenly undertaking, that the world of mankind shall be saved from the ordeals of ignorance, blindness and spiritual death. Then will you behold light upon light, joy upon joy, absolute happiness reigning everywhere, the people of the religions consorting together in fragrance and felicity, this world in its maturity becoming the reflection of the eternal kingdom and this terrestrial abode of man the very paradise of God. Pray for this! Pray for this!”

— Abdu’l-Baha,

The Promulgation

of Universal Peace, p. 441.

Rev. Rita MeKila Herring

Universal Brotherhood Movement

Blindness can encompass much more than just whether or not we have physical sight. Often times those without physical sight are far more sensitive and actually “see” more than those of us blessed with the gift of sight. Sometimes those of us with physical sight are blind to so many things. We’re blind to the effect our actions have on others. We’re blind to the manner in which we speak to our loved ones. Sometimes we’re blind to the way others are being treated in our presence.

To overcome this blindness we have to make a conscious effort to be more aware. To see things we don’t usually see. To pay attention to what happens in our wake. Do we leave people feeling good about themselves and happy to have spent time with us? Or is there sadness, frustration, anger or some other less than pleasant atmosphere remaining when we depart.

When we can smile as our head hits the pillow at night because we know we’ve spent the day aware of our thoughts, actions and words, then we will have overcome the blindness that plagues so many.

Next week’s question:

• Will you speak to us on accountability?

• Spiritual leaders are invited to e-mail responses of three to five paragraphs to pwoolway@kauaipubco.com.

• Deadline each week is Tuesday at 5 p.m.

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