Phenomenon of Newly Emerging Entities and the Twofold Process
First presented at the Irfan Colloquia Session #135
Louhelen Bahá'í School: Davison, Michigan
October 8–11, 2015
(see list of papers from #135)
Next presented at the Irfan Colloquia Session #137
Bosch Baha'i School: Santa Cruz, CA
May 26–30, 2016
(see list of papers from #137)
Next presented at the Irfan Colloquia Session #138
Centre for Baha'i Studies: Acuto, Italy
July 5–8, 2016
(see list of papers from #138)
The following words of Bahá'u'lláh launch this session:
I testify that no sooner had the First Word proceeded, through the potency of Thy will and purpose...than the whole creation was revolutionized, and all that are in the heavens and all that are on earth were stirred to the depths. Through that Word the realities of all created things were shaken, were divided, separated, scattered, combined and reunited, disclosing, in both the contingent world and the heavenly kingdom, entities of a new creation...
Newly emergent entities arise de novo; they introduce new possibilities and fresh propensities into a system: that which was impossible becomes possible; that which was highly improbable becomes probable. Two examples of newly emergent entities - metaphors - from natural sciences will be offered for reflection: (1) the emergence of oxygen, a significant product of the activity of photosynthetic molecules and (2) the birth of a new star in the physical universe.
The emergence of oxygen made animal life possible. Sentient beings evolved capable of consciousness and self awareness. The emergence of oxygen - that essential stuff of life - is an apt metaphor for the emergence of the life giving forces with their vivifying influence which are introduced into existence through Divine Revelations.
The birth of a new star in our physical universe is another insightful metaphor for the birth of a new Star, a new Revelation, in the spiritual universe. The birth of a star generates around itself a whole new field of gravitational forces which had not been there before. These forces pull, attract, and create tension - generating conditions hitherto unimagined. The birth of the Star of the Revelation, of the twin Manifestations, the Báb and Bahá'u'lláh in mid-nineteenth century inaugurated a new Dispensation. It unleashed powerful gravitational forces the onrushing forces - into creation. In a passage, Shoghi Effendi attributes: "The onrushing forces so miraculously released through the agency of two independent and swiftly successive Manifestations..." to the Báb and Bahá'u'lláh.
These forces attract, pull and also create turbulence with consequent disequilibrium and chaos. Their tumultuous effect may be discerned from the following statement of Bahá'u'lláh:
No sooner had that Revelation been unveiled to men's eyes than the signs of universal discord appeared among the peoples of the world, and commotion seized the dwellers of earth and heaven, and the foundations of all things were shaken. The forces of dissension were released.
Numerous passages in the Baha'i sacred texts, also bear the tidings of the quickening, vivifying and regenerating outcomes of that discord, commotion and dissension.
In conclusion, this session highlights a direct connection between the emergence of the new entities through the revelation of the twin Manifestations to the culmination of the twofold process in history. Two examples, of perception and physiology of vision, are offered as metaphors to illustrate and explain the assurance which the Baha'is evince in a glorious outcome of the titanic struggle between these two forces of disintegration and integration.
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