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

Saturday, August 6, 2011

August 5, 1912

Dublin: day 12 of 23; a "trap" that frees; cows as philosophers
North and South Pack Monadnock are visible from the
grounds of Dublin Inn, Dublin, New Hampshire.
This breath-taking view is seen from the highest town
in New England (1400 feet above sea level).
Mahmud writes: "Standing on the lawn and facing the green and verdant hills and valleys, `Abdu'l-Bahá said:
How calm it is. No disturbing sound is heard. When a man observes the wafting of the breeze among these trees, he hears the rustling of the leaves and sees the swaying of the trees, it is as though all are praising and acknowledging the one true God.
Before the afternoon meeting a devoted lady told the Master that one of her friends, when informed that she was planning to attend the meeting, strongly advised her not to go lest she fall into a trap. He said to her:
It has always been the practice of the heedless to hold back the sincere ones from the Cause of God. As for a trap, praise be to God that we have been trapped happily for sixty years and we have no desire to escape. It is a trap that frees people from the shackles of prejudice and superstitions and delivers them from the prison of self and desire. It makes them the captives of the love of God and of service to the Cause of the oneness of humanity.
After delivering the message of God and explaining the divine teachings, the Master spoke humorously about the philosophers.
They say that had there been a spiritual world they would have sensed it. But, as a matter of fact, inability to sense a thing is not a proof of the nonexistence of that thing. If inability to sense constitutes proof of perfection, the cow must be the greatest philosopher, for she does not realize anything beyond the animal world.
This amusing statement that the cow is the greatest of all philosophers caused everyone to laugh. After the meeting, some men and women invited Him to go for a ride in their automobile. While driving, a herd of cows passed in front of the automobile and, becoming frightened, began to run about every which way. The ladies in the car cried out, `Oh Master, see the crowd of philosophers. How frightened they are running away from us.' `Abdu'l-Bahá laughed so heartily that He tired Himself. As the Americans like such jests, it became an oft- repeated remark."
A note said that on this day, Abdu'l-Bahá spoke at the Dublin Inn (now owned by the Faith).  The text of the talk is in PUP, 245–47.  Agnes does not mention it, though. Her diary only says, "Abdul Baha spoke here as usual today." An editor's note says that Mr. Howard MacNutt took down the talks, but that "Mrs. Parsons wishes no record of his visit." 
Perhaps Agnes did not appreciate the levity of the cow references!  Usually she is trying to remember all that He said. . . . 
His talk at the Dublin Inn was about Christianity, prayer, and healing. No cows were mentioned. 
On a personal note, in 2005 I made a trip to the Dublin Inn and took a tour of the building. This was when it was first purchased and given to the NSA. It was marvelous, walking through it and sensing the Master's presence. 
He stayed there for some nights--and perhaps that is why it is not mentioned in the diaries. One source suggests He wanted to get away from the constant company of His Persian entourage. Whatever the case, He seemed to sleep better there. 
SEE newsreel story on Dublin, linked under "Resources" to the right. . . . 

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