Two by two
Posted by Sen on November 14, 2008
There is a delightful story – which I have reason to think is true, in broad lines at least — about the martyr and Hand of the Cause Mirza `Ali-Muhammad Varqa (Grandfather of the Hand of the Cause of the same name who died in 2007). Mr. Varqa made the pilgrimage to the Holy Land during the lifetime of Baha’u’llah. He found himself with fellow pilgrims in the presence of the Manifestation. He watched as Baha’u’llah spoke to the gathering, and thought to himself, “How fortunate I am! To have recognized the Manifestation of God for this Day, and to be in His very presence!”
Then he thought to himself, “I believe that He is the Manifestation of God. But I want to really believe. What could Baha’u’llah do, that would make me know beyond all doubt that He is the Manifestation of God?”
He thought for a time, and then thought, “I have always wondered about the verse in the Holy Qur’an, where it says that Noah brought the animals into the Ark in pairs. This can’t mean a pair of giraffes and a pair of gnats. I have always wondered what this verse means, and if right now Baha’u’llah departs from His comments and explains that verse — then I will know that He is truly the Manifestation of God.”
In the next instant, Baha’u’llah looked at Varqa, and interrupting the flow of His discourse said, “In the Holy Qur’an it says that Noah brought the animals into the Ark in pairs. This does not refer to the beasts of the field…” Baha’u’llah then went on to explain that throughout the universe, at every level of existence God has created two great forces. Baha’u’llah also explained that in the Cause of God, and in the human soul — in all of existence, God has created this dynamic.
When He finished his comments, Baha’u’llah returned to His previous discourse. Varqa was lost in wonder at the profundity of Baha’u’llah’s explanation. He thought to himself, “And He did this, at the very instant I asked that He do so.” He reflected on this for a moment, and then asked himself, “I wonder if that was just a coincidence?”
Instantly, Baha’u’llah looked at Varqa and said, “Varqa! Was that not enough?”
Glory be to Him
Who has created all the pairs,
of such things as earth produces,
and out of men themselves,
and of things beyond their ken.
Dhikrul’llah Khadem, in The Vision of Shoghi Effendi recalls;
I remember the time I was in the presence of Shoghi Effendi when he spoke about the significance of twin things in the Cause. In fact, he sent a cable about this to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the British Isles. … After explaining these things, he paused and looked at me deeply and said, “In the Cause of God everything is twin.”
You can see the cable itself, in Shoghi Effendi’s, Messages to the Baha’i World, page 8.
I once had a vision of the twoness of all things, in which I saw the two forces in all things, curling around each other but not touching, and dancing ! Absolutely enchantingly beautiful. At the time I was standing in front of an audience giving a talk, and I’m told that from that point on it didn’t make much sense. Fortunately the audience was forgiving. Out of that came some thoughts on pairs and organic unity, which is the heart and goal of my book Church and State. For as interesting as Church and State is in itself, for me it is simply the twoness that is most clearly described in the Bahai scriptures.
What we learn about oneness-through-twoness, by reading what the Bahai Writings say about church and state, can be applied in understanding the House of Justice and the House of Worship; science and religion; government and the market, the Guardianship and the House of Justice.
Nationalism, communism, fascism, racism and religious fundamentalism have presented us with monist models of society, or of micro-society. But when Jesus sent his disciples out to change the world, he sent them two by two. (Mark 6:6-13).