Who was `Abdu'l-Bahá, and why did He come to the West?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

October 10, 1912 Perfect and decisive proofs

San Francisco; Berkeley; Open Forum; cows

Mahmud writes: "In addition to the gatherings of the friends at the Master's residence, there were also meetings outside, which demonstrates the grandeur and power of the Centre of the Covenant. One took place at a high school in Berkeley where the Master spoke on the reality of God and the proofs of the revelation of the Manifestations and their teachings. Many from the area were enthused with His talk and came afterwards to receive illumination from Him.
Another meeting was held at the Open Forum in San Francisco. Although the audience was composed mostly of philosophers and professors, they were all humbled by the talk. The Master's profound words contrasted the philosophy of the East with that of the West, elucidated the power beyond nature and explained the inherent distinction between mankind and other creatures. He concluded with the assertion that if philosophers believed that the highest perfection was not to believe in abstract and spiritual truth, it would be preferable to go to the cow, who, without any formal training, already had this attribute. When the Master uttered these words, everyone burst into laughter. This kind of humor, delivered in such a light-hearted manner, is popular and accepted by the Americans and so brought smiles and joy to the audience. At the conclusion of the Master's talk, when a philosopher stood up, several were heard to say to one another that the cow takes the lead in not believing in intellectual thought. The result was that everyone, even the philosophers, bore witness to the might of the divine teachings and influence of the words of 'Abdu'l-Bahá. Indeed, the Master's address provided a perfect and decisive proof for such people."
Our "Charles Tinsley" (film)

I am not sure if the photo is from the UC Berkeley campus or the high school where He spoke.

Charleen Maghzi specifies in her compilation that the high school speech is on the 9th (yesterday). Oh, Mahmud. You've been such a great travel companion, but why do you get so many dates mixed up?  I have to practice forgiveness over this!

"Charles Tinsley" and neighbor
Charleen also mentions that 'Abdu'l-Bahá visited Charles Tinsley today. This story is not in Mahmud's Diary but in Star of the West.  Charles Tinsley was an African American who was confined to his bed on account of a broken leg. During His visit, the Master told a story of a ruler who had trained the subject he loved best in order to fit him for the most important place in his kingdom.

Do you suppose this helped Charles Tinsley feel better about the lot he received as a result of racial prejudice? I hope so!  We filmed a scene depicting Tinsley in his bedroom, listening to Abdu'l-Baha's guidance and then with his neighbor on the porch of a small house. 

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