December 17, 1911, Sunday evening
California Club Hall, San Francisco, California
(Stenographically reported by B.S. Straum)
One time in Acca, when 'Abdu'l-Baha was trying to make us understand the possibility of man more clearly knowing God, He used this chart.
(The chart is dark one side, light on the other and consists of circles. At the top a circle labeled INFINITE ESSENCE - GOD. Next circle to the right and on the light side written "Highest possible attainment by man - the Prophets". Circles descending to the bottom circle which is half in the dark and half in the light labeled "Human Kingdom." Three circles on the left labeled (ascending) “Animal Kingdom", "Vegetable Kingdom", "Mineral Kingdom". From the large circle at the top are rays going out labeled "Love, Life, Knowledge, Faith, Forgiveness, justice, Mercy, Primal Will, Beauty, Power, Generosity, Munificence, Peace, Righteousness, Purity". The chart is circular in itself with words written upon the rays at the top "Word of God", along the side "Spirit", at the bottom "The Christ Holy Spirit", and to the left "Matter".)
Just a word of explanation regarding the chart itself.
He likened the Infinite Essence, the Incomprehensible, unto the sun, the substance of which we do not know save through the analyzation of the waves of light emanating therefrom.
The first Effulgence emanating from the Infinite Essence, is the Word of God, the Creator. The rays of light emanating from the First Effulgence constitute the Holy Spirit, or the Christ.
The darkened half of the chart represents the world of matter, and the other half the world of Spirit, or the Heavenly Kingdom.
We have, then, the Illuminator, the Illumination, and that which is to be illuminated.
Taking it for granted that the statements made in mythic or God-given writings must be absolutely true, however anomalous or irreconcilable with the facts of modem science and the deductions of enlightened reason they may appear to the natural mind, we affirm that the sacred scriptures are true in their own domain - the soul. By the sacred scriptures we mean the Word of God, the revealed Word of God, considered apart from its setting of Man's interpretation, or interpretations of that Word. And, farther, that they are equally true in respect to physical science; that through them Deity speaks to men, who may thus learn, if their comprehension will allow them, the secret nature of things, whether pertaining to the life of earth or of the hereafter.
According to the sacred Scripture, we are told: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." But before this, there was no beginning, because that which existed before this beginning of the Word, and the manifestation thereof, always was the Infinite Essence, the Unknowable, Incomprehensible, Almighty God, for we are told that all That is is as a result of the Word, that by the Word were all things made that are made.