On May 4th, 2012, we were honored to welcome three representatives of the Bahá’í Center of San Francisco.
In their presentation, Charlene and Steve Magzhi, together with Anthony Hogan, not only eloquently articulated the principles of the Bahá’í, they beautiful manifested its heartfelt essence.
In the course of this poignant conversation, we celebrated both a mutual dedication to the universal power of love and a shared history of synergy stretching back over a century.
Charlene, Steve and Anthony brought with them several treasures from the San Francisco Bahá’í Center’s archives, including the W.J. Walters’ introductory remarks to a talk given by ‘Abdu’l-Baha at the San Francisco Lodge (October 1912), a letter from ‘Abdu’l-Baha to the Secretary of the Theosophical Society and the Editor of Scotland Theosophy, the text of a tablet praising Theosophical Society president Annie Besant, and the text of a discourse “upon the distinctive notes of Bahá’í teaching” that ‘Abdu’l-Baha delivered at Theosophical Headquarters (September 30th, 1911).
Here are a few brief excerpts from just two of the powerful documents.
From the text of a tablet of ‘Abdu’l-Baha praising Theosophical Society president Annie Besant:
“The ideal of Mrs. Besant, I say truly is very lofty. She is working and laboring most valiantly, and her utmost hope is to render a service to the world of humanity, and to be the means of the establishment of good-fellowship and love between all of the communities of the earth. At all times I am praying in her behalf … Consider how many important women have come into this world! How many queens have lied upon this earth! How many distinguished ladies have become the presidents of societies! But neither have their names nor any great account of their deeds been left behind! Yet Mary Magdalene, who was only a peasant woman — because she became inspired to serve the Kingdom of Christ and to scatter his seeds in productive ground — what a great crop she gathered!”
From the text of a discourse “upon the distinctive notes of Bahá’í teaching” that ‘Abdu’l-Baha delivered at Theosophical Headquarters (September 30th, 1911):
“Firstly: [Baha'u'llah] lays stress on the search for the Truth. This is most important, because the people are too easily led by tradition. It is because of this that they are often antagonistic toward each other, and dispute with one another. But the manifesting of Truth discovers the darkness and becomes the cause of Oneness of faith and belief: because Truth cannotbe two! That is not possible. Secondly: Baha’u'llah taught the Oneness of humanity; that is to say, all the children of men are under the mercy of the Great God. They are the sons of one God; they are trained by God … Therefore all nations and peoples must consider themselves brethren. They are all descendants from adam. They are branches, leaves, flowers and fruits on One Tree. They are pearls from one shell … Seventhly: The arrangements of the circumstances of the people must be such that poverty will disappear, and that every one as far as possible, according to his position and rank, shall be comfortable. Whilst the nobles and others in high rank are in easy circumstances, the poor also should be able to get their daily food and not be brought to the extremities of hunger. Eightly: Baha’u'llah declared the coming of the Most Great Peace. All the nations and peoples will come under the shadow of the Tent of the Great Peace and Harmony — that is to say, by general election a Great Board of Arbitration shall be established, to settle all differences and quarrels between the Powers; so that dispute shall not end in war.”