A Child's Yearning: "O God, Write Upon the Tablet of My Heart!"
Does a "New Race.." (of human beings) begin with a new generation of parents as educators?
14th Annual International Conference / Association for Bahá'í Studies / Keynote Address (Education Section)
by Gregory D. Watson, M.S.Ed., Ed.M.

"O SON OF MAN! Write all that We have revealed unto thee with the ink of light upon the tablet of thy spirit."


The following quotes and passages are among those which inspired the talk (given at the 1989 ABS Conference), soon to be posted:  [emphasis added to the following texts is mine]    Inspiration from the Universal House of Justice below.

"... It is incumbent upon Spiritual Assemblies to provide the mothers with a well-planned programme for the education of children, showing how from infancy, the child must be watched over and taught.  These instructions must be given to every mother to serve as her guide. . ." (Selections from the Writings of `Abdu'l-Bahá, p. 138.)

"To promote knowledge is thus an inescapable duty imposed on every one of the friends of God.  It is incumbent upon that Spiritual Assembly, that assemblage of God, to exert every effort to educate the children, so that from infancy they will be trained..." (Ibid., p. 25)

"These children must be given a good training from their earliest childhood.  They must be given a systematic training which will further their development from day to day, in order that they may receive greater insight, so that their spiritual receptivity be broadened.  Beginning in childhood they must receive instruction. . . Many elementary sciences must be made clear to them in the nursery. . ." (Bahá'í Education: A Compilation, p. 73.)

"Every child without exception must from his earliest years make a thorough study of the art of reading and writing, and according to his own tastes and inclinations and the degree of his capacity and powers, devote extreme diligence to the acquisition of learning, beneficial arts and skills, various languages, speech, and contemporary technology." (Ibid, p. 58.)

"Encourage the children from their earliest years to master every kind of learning, and make them eager to become skilled in every art--the aim being that through the favoring grace of God, the heart of each one may become even as a mirror disclosing the secrets of the universe, penetrating the innermost reality of all things; and that each may earn worldwide fame in all branches of knowledge, science and the arts." (Ibid., p. 27.)

"While the children are yet in their infancy. . .give them the advantage of every useful kind of knowledge.  Let them share in every new and wondrous craft and art.  Bring them up to work and strive, and accustom them to hardship.  Teach them to  dedicate their lives to matters of great import, and inspire them to undertake studies that will benefit mankind." (Ibid., p. 30.)

"Whatever other children learn in a year, let the Bahá'í children learn in a month.  The heart of `Abdu'l-Bahá longeth, in its love, to find that Bahá'í young people, each and all, are known throughout the world for their intellectual attainments..."
(Selections from the Writings of `Abdu'l-Bahá, p. 141.)

From the Ridván Message from the Universal House of Justice, May, 1989 we can clearly see the fundamental importance of literacy to spiritual progress.

The Universal House of Justice wrote a subsequent letter on the need for literacy education to all National Spiritual Assemblies, dated July 10th, 1989, and I wish to quote from it at some length: Back to top
Ponder the blessed verse, so that the meaning of the words:  "There is neither a thing green nor sere but it is noted in the unerring Book," may be imprinted upon the tablet of thy heart. . .  They have rejected the Moses of knowledge and justice, and clung to the Samiri of ignorance.  They have turned away their eyes from the Day-star of truth which shineth in the divine and everlasting heaven, and have utterly ignored its splendour.
     O my brother!  A divine Mine only can yield the gems of divine knowledge, and the fragrance of the mystic Flower can be inhaled only in the ideal Garden, and the lilies of ancient wisdom can blossom nowhere except in the city of a stainless heart.  "In a rich soil, its plants spring forth abundantly by permission of its Lord, and in that soil which is bad, they spring forth but scantily."
 (Baha'u'llah:  The Kitab-i-Iqan, Pages: 190-191)

     Of this hath the nightingale of oneness sung in the garden . . .   He saith:  "And there shall appear upon the tablet of thine heart a writing of the subtle mysteries of `Fear God and God will give you knowledge'; and the bird of thy soul shall recall the holy sanctuaries of preexistence and soar on the wings of longing in the heaven of `walk the beaten paths of thy Lord', and gather the fruits of communion in the gardens of `Then feed on every kind of fruit.'"
     By My life, O friend, wert thou to taste of these fruits, from the green garden of these blossoms which grow in the lands of knowledge, beside the orient lights of the Essence in the mirrors of names and attributes - yearning would seize the reins of patience and reserve from out thy hand, and make thy soul to shake with the flashing light, and draw thee from the earthly homeland to the first, heavenly abode in the Center of Realities, and lift thee to a plane wherein thou wouldst soar in the air even as thou walkest upon the earth, and move over the water as thou runnest on the land. Wherefore, may it rejoice Me, and thee, and whosoever mounteth into the heaven of knowledge, and whose heart is refreshed by this, that the wind of certitude hath blown over the garden of his being, from the Sheba of the All-Merciful.
     Peace be upon him who followeth the Right Path!
(Baha'u'llah:  Seven Valleys and Four Valleys, Pages: 3-4)

O SON OF MAN! Write all that We have revealed unto thee with the ink of light upon the tablet of thy spirit.  Should this not be in thy power, then make thine ink of the essence of thy heart.  If this thou canst not do, then write with that crimson ink that hath been shed in My path.  Sweeter indeed is this to Me than all else, that its light may endure for ever.
(Baha'u'llah: Hidden Words, Page: 71)

"... santify them [the hearts] from every defilement, that the things for which they were created may be engraven upon them..." (Baha'u'llah: TDP, p. 6)

. . .like unto pictures engraved on stone, may remain permanent and ineffaceable in the tablets of the hearts.
(`Abdu'l-Bahá, TDP, p. 19)
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