Sunday, July 01, 2007

On Simplicity: 'Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be

The year 1848 figures prominently in the history of the Baha'i Faith. It was also the year, according to Wikipedia, that the song "Simple Gifts" was written. (I have the Yo-Yo Ma/Allison Krause' version of the song on my Ipod.)

Simplicity is highly extolled in the Baha'i Writings. Hand of the Cause Mr. Faizi noted the significance of a simple life in the talk he gave to American Baha'is back in 1973. -gw

"Simple Gifts" was written by Elder Joseph while he was at the Shaker community in Alfred, Maine in 1848. These are the lyrics to his one verse song:

'Tis the gift to be simple, 'tis the gift to be free,
'Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
'Twill be in the valley of love and delight.
When true simplicity is gain'd,
To bow and to bend we shan't be asham'd,
To turn, turn will be our delight,
Till by turning, turning we come round right.

Caption: Inside the main entrance of the House of ‘Abbúd in ‘Akká (Acre), Israel
ID #: 6617
Photographer: Lacey J Crawford
Location: ‘Akká (Acre), Israel
Baha'i Media Bank

Simplicity is the basis and order of Bahá'u'lláh's life. It rules throughout His ways and manners of living, including garments, residence, furniture, His approach to His friends and followers, and as a matter of fact, to all the people of the world. The same order applies to His Writings. All are easy to read, to follow and understand. Almost every Tablet starts with the praise of God, and immediately after that, He starts to answer questions put to Him by the believers. His answers are always direct, frank, to the point, and concise. There are, however, some exceptions to this rule and there are obvious reasons for such exceptional cases.

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