Quoting Bahá’u’lláh: As to thy question concerning the origin of creation. Know assuredly that God’s creation hath existed from eternity, and will continue to exist forever. (LXXVIII) The one true God hath everlastingly existed, and will everlastingly continue to exist. His creation, likewise, hath had no beginning, and will have no end. (LXXXII)
Know thou of a truth that the worlds of God are countless in their number, and infinite in their range. None can reckon or comprehend them except God, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise. (LXXIX) Know thou that every fixed star hath its own planets, and every planet its own creatures, whose number no man can compute. (LXXXII)
Behold how the dream thou hast dreamed is, after the lapse of many years, re-enacted before thine eyes. Consider how strange is the mystery of the world that appeareth to thee in thy dream. Ponder in thine heart upon the unsearchable wisdom of God, and meditate on its manifold revelations. (LXXXII) [T]he world in which thou livest is different and apart from that which thou hast experienced in thy dream. This latter world hath neither beginning nor end. (LXXIX)
And now, concerning thy question regarding the creation of man. Know thou that all men have been created in the nature made by God, the Guardian, the Self-Subsisting. Unto each one hath been prescribed a pre-ordained measure, as decreed in God’s mighty and guarded Tablets. All that which ye potentially possess can, however, be manifested only as a result of your own volition. Your own acts testify to this truth….God hath … decreed as lawful whatsoever He hath pleased to decree, and hath, through the power of His sovereign might, forbidden whatsoever He elected to forbid. …. Men, however, have wittingly broken His law. Is such a behavior to be attributed to God, or to their proper selves? Be fair in your judgment. Every good thing is of God, and every evil thing is from yourselves. Will ye not comprehend? This same truth hath been revealed in all the Scriptures, if ye be of them that understand. Every act ye meditate is as clear to Him as is that act when already accomplished. There is none other God besides Him. …. All stands revealed before Him; all is recorded in His holy and hidden Tablets. … (LXXVII)
AND now concerning thy question regarding the soul of man and its survival after death. Know thou of a truth that the soul, after its separation from the body, will continue to progress until it attaineth the presence of God, in a state and condition which neither the revolution of ages and centuries, nor the changes and chances of this world, can alter. It will endure as long as the Kingdom of God, His sovereignty, His dominion and power will endure. It will manifest the signs of God and His attributes, and will reveal His loving kindness and bounty. The movement of My Pen is stilled when it attempteth to befittingly describe the loftiness and glory of so exalted a station. (LXXXI)
The world beyond is as different from this world as this world is different from that of the child while still in the womb of its mother. (LXXXI)
Know, verily, that the soul is a sign of God, a heavenly gem whose reality the most learned of men hath failed to grasp, and whose mystery no mind, however acute, can ever hope to unravel. It is the first among all created things to declare the excellence of its Creator, the first to recognize His glory, to cleave to His truth, and to bow down in adoration before Him. If it be faithful to God, it will reflect His light, and will, eventually, return unto Him. (LXXXII) Every pure, every refined and sanctified soul will be endowed with tremendous power, and shall rejoice with exceeding gladness. (LXXX)
If it fail, howelver, in its allegiance to its Creator, it will become a victim to self and passion, and will, in the end, sink in their depths. (LXXXII)
It is clear and evident that all men shall, after their physical death, estimate the worth of their deeds, and realize all that their hands have wrought. I swear by the Day Star that shineth above the horizon of Divine power! They that are the followers of the one true God shall, the moment they depart out of this life, experience such joy and gladness as would be impossible to describe, while they that live in error shall be seized with such fear and trembling, and shall be filled with such consternation, as nothing can exceed. Well is it with him that hath quaffed the choice and incorruptible wine of faith through the gracious favor and the manifold bounties of Him Who is the Lord of all Faiths…. (LXXXVI) (I gleaned the preceeding from The Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá‘u’lláh, sections 78 through 86)
To sum up, Bahá’u’lláh teaches that creation has no beginning and no ending. It is infinite in scope and eternal in time. This does not contradict any verifiable scientific facts. We know that change, also, is constant. There are an infinite number of stars, planets, and creatures on them. There are an infinite number of realms, both physical and nonmaterial. We have a temporal body and an eternal soul, and the wonders of birth and death are truly mysterious, and the possibilities for our next state of existence are truly infinite. The harm, the tragedy, on this Earth, is the responsibility of ourselves, and it is up to us to create the world we want, God help us! And, as all the holy writings, from Zoroaster on, have stated, our experience in subsequent worlds of God will be determined by our actions in this one.
The Writings of Bahá’u’lláh have some specific things to say about spiritual practice:
O Son of Being!
Bring thyself to account each day ere thou art summoned to a reckoning; for death, unheralded, shall come upon thee and thou shalt be called to give account for thy deeds. (From The Hidden Words, part 1, number 31.)
This Hidden Word calls for daily contemplation, carefully going over the events and situations of the day, examining both material and energetic transactions that may have created debits or credits. Troubling memories from the past may bubble up, or the day’s events and persons may trigger older memories. A warm, loving relationship with the Lord will be essential. If we account for ourselves daily in prayer and meditation, we will be justified when we stand before God at our end-of-life review.
Quoting Bahá’u’lláh: O Son of Being!
Love Me, that I may love thee. If thou lovest Me not, My love can in no wise reach thee. Know this, O servant. (From The Hidden Words, part 1, number 5.)
Bahá’u’lláh is Founder of the most recent world religion, the Bahá’í Faith. Just as today’s sun is brighter then memories of the sun of former days, Bahá’u’lláh is the brightest spiritual light in this age. His earthly sojourn took place between 1817 and 1892. The Manifestation of God is a rare occurrence. It will be at least another 800 years before there is another. There is no reason why you cannot meditate on more than one Manifestation of God, although it is probably better to focus on one per meditation session. There is no reason why you should limit fellowship to any one group of believers. I have meditated with Buddhists, worshipped with diverse groups of Christians including Protestants, Catholics and Essenes, prayed with Bahá’ís, danced with Sufis, taken darshan with several different Hindu guru cults, shared with Recovery groups, observed Passover with Jews, sashayed with southern California natives, and look forward to more diverse fellowships in the future!