Mahmud writes: "Some clergymen and professors came to visit `Abdu'l-Bahá in the morning in His second-floor room. Some of the Master's words to the pastor of the First Congregational Church in Oakland were these: `If a man is not a clergyman and is unprejudiced, it is not a cause for wonder. But if a man is a clergyman and is not prejudiced, he certainly deserves praise and glory.'
At the public meeting `Abdu'l-Bahá spoke about the material progress of the world:
These countries have reached the apex of material progress. They are like bodies in the utmost health and form which are, however, devoid of spirit. A spiritless body is a dead one. Indeed, its perfection depends on the acquisition of spiritual capacity and divine civilization.
The Master remarked repeatedly:
The people of America have a great capacity for the acquisition of spiritual qualities but they are immersed in material affairs. They are like machines which move uncontrollably; they move but are devoid of spirit. They will attain perfection when the spirit of divine civilization is breathed into them and this material civilization becomes infused with spiritual refinement.
Lloyd Lake, Golden Gate Park
The Master went to the public park [Golden Gate] in the afternoon, which He appreciated very much, especially when He went near the [Lloyd] lake and saw the remnants of a few marble pillars left over from the destruction caused by the great earthquake of 1906. He remarked, `The world and its condition will change to such a degree and the Bahá'í Cause will prevail to such an extent that nothing but a remnant -- like these pillars -- will remain of the previous order.' Sitting on a bench, the Master spoke about the sensitivity of the vegetable kingdom:
Although sensitivity in plants is slight as compared with that manifested in animals, within their own kingdom they have sensitivity and vegetable spirit. Cut across a conical shape, sprinkle a little sulphate of copper on it, add a little water and then observe it with a magnifier. You will find its components rushing toward the center. Their sensitivity is apparent in their effort to reach the center until they form a cylinder.
In the evening the Master spoke to the assembled friends at His residence about the ascendancy of spiritual power and the divine life of humanity. The friends, both new and old, were deeply impressed and attracted to Him. At the end of each meeting the friends, one by one, came into His presence to beg His assistance and blessings. Their state was such that it cannot be described."
I know that Mahmud struggles with describing such things--we need Juliet's eyes and voice here.
Interesting how the Master alludes to such changes on the earth--and here we are living through some of them!
He showed such profound insight about America--both its dearth of spirituality and its potential to lead the world spiritually. A paradox!