What Is the Soul?
"Verily I say, the human soul is, in its essence, one of the signs of God, a mystery among His mysteries."
"God has created... man and endowed him with powers of advancement towards spiritual and transcendent heights."
"Thou hast asked me concerning the nature of the soul. 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 recognise His glory, to cleave to His truth, and to bow down in adoration before Him."
The Progress of the Soul
"...know verily all the souls are created according to the nature of God and all are in the state of purity at the time of their births. But afterward they differ from one another insofar as they acquire excellencies or defects."
"If a man's thought is constantly aspiring towards heavenly subjects then does he become saintly; if on the other hand his thought does not soar, but is directed downwards to centre itself upon the things of this world, he grows more and more material..."
"...with the human soul, its... movement is towards perfection...Divine perfection is infinite, therefore the progress of the soul is also infinite."
"Men should hold in their souls the vision of celestial perfection."
"If it (the soul) be faithful to God, it will reflect His glory, and will, eventually, return to Him."
The Purpose of Our Life on Earth
"The wisdom of the appearance of the spirit in the body is this: the human spirit is a Divine Trust, and it must traverse all conditions; for its passage and movement through the conditions of existence will be the means of its acquiring perfections."
"Therefore in this world he (man) must prepare himself for the life beyond. That which he needs in the world of the Kingdom must be obtained here...The world beyond is a world of sanctity and radiance; therefore it is necessary that in this world he should acquire these divine attributes. In that world there is need of spirituality, faith, assurance, the knowledge and love of God. These he must attain in this world so that after his ascension from the earthly to the heavenly Kingdom he shall find all that is needful in that life eternal waiting for him. By what means can man acquire these things? How shall he obtain these merciful gifts and powers? First, through the knowledge of God. Second, through the love of God. Third, through faith. Fourth, through philanthropic deeds. Fifth, through self-sacrifice. Sixth, through severance from this world. Seventh, through sanctity and holiness."
"The Prophets and Messengers of God have been sent down for the sole purpose of guiding mankind to the straight Path of Truth. The purpose underlying their revelation hath been to educate all men, that they may, at the hour of death, ascend, in the utmost purity and sanctity and with absolute detachment, to the throne of the Most High."
"Know thou that all men have been created in the nature made by God, the Guardian, the Self-Subsisting. Unto each one has been prescribed a pre-ordained measure.... All that which ye potentially possess can, however, be manifested only as a result of your own volition."
"The whole duty of man in this day is to attain the share of grace which God poureth out for him."
Passing Through Death
"...To consider that after the death of the body the spirit perishes, is like imagining that a bird in a cage will be destroyed if
the cage is broken, though the bird has nothing to fear from the destruction of the cage."
"Blessed is the soul which, at the hour of its separation from the body, is sanctified from the vain imaginings of the people of the world. Such a soul liveth and moveth in accordance with the Will of its Creator, and entereth the all-highest Paradise."
Life in the Next World
"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."
"The difference and distinction between men will naturally become realised after their departure from this mortal world. But this distinction is not in respect to place, but in respect to the soul and conscience. For the Kingdom of God is sanctified (or free) from time and place; it is another world and another universe."
"As to the soul of man after death, it remains in the degree of purity to which it has evolved during life in the physical body, and after it is freed from the body it remains plunged in the ocean of God's mercy."
"The progress of man's spirit in the divine world... is through the bounty and grace of the Lord alone, or through the intercession and the sincere prayers of other human souls, or through the charities and important good works which are performed in its name."
"The rewards of the other world are peace, the spiritual graces, the various spiritual gifts in the Kingdom of God, the gaining of the desires of the heart and soul, and the meeting of God in the world of eternity. In the same way the punishments of the other world, that is to say, the torments of the other world, consist in being deprived of the special divine blessings and the absolute bounties, and falling into the lowest degrees of existence. He who is deprived of these divine favours, though he continues after death, is considered as dead by the people of truth."
"The wealth of the other world is nearness to God...The rich in the other world can help the poor, as the rich can help the poor here. In every world, all are the creatures of God. They are always dependen on Him."
Souls Will Recognise One Another
"As for thy question whether the souls will recognise each other in the spiritual world: This fact is certain; for the Kingdom is the world of vision where all concealed realities will become disclosed."
" Likewise a love that one may have entertained for anyone will not be forgotten in the world of the Kingdom, nor wilt thou forget there the life thou hadst in the material world."
"In prayer there is a mingling of stations, a mingling of conditions. Pray for them as they pray for you."
The Soul Lives for Ever
"Just as the conception of faith hath existed from the beginning that hath no beginning, and will endure till the end that hath no end, in like manner will the true believer eternally live and endure. His spirit will everlastingly circle round the Will of God. He will last as long as God, Himself, will last."
The Power of the Soul
"When it leaveth the body... it will evince such ascendency, and reveal such influence as no force on earth can equal. Every pure, every refined and sanctified soul will be endowed with tremendous power, and shall rejoice with exceeding gladness."
"Know thou of a truth that if the soul of man hath walked in the ways of God, it will assuredly return and be gathered to the glory of the Beloved. By the righteousness of God! It shall attain such a station as no pen can depict, or tongue describe. The soul that hath remained faithful to the Cause of God, and stood unwaveringly firm in His path, shall, after his ascension, be possessed of such power that all the worlds which the Almighty hath created can benefit through him."
"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."
Published by, and copyright of, the Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Warwick.
Approved by the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United Kingdom,
27 Rutland Gate, London, SW7 1PD.
All quotations are from the Bahá'í writings.
Reproduced with the permission of the copyright holders