Baha Udlahs Epistle To The Son Of The Wolf

Monday, February 28, 2022 12:30:59 AM

Baha Udlahs Epistle To The Son Of The Wolf



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Exploring Baha'u'llah's Last Major Work: Epistle to the Son of the Wolf

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If he say no? He had already lifted the skin flap to depart, when a low exclamation brought him back to the girl's side. She brought herself to her knees on the bearskin mat, her face aglow with true Eve-light, and shyly unbuckled his heavy belt. He looked down, perplexed, suspicious, his ears alert for the slightest sound without. But her next move disarmed his doubt, and he smiled with pleasure.

She took from her sewing-bag a moosehide sheath, brave with bright beadwork, fantastically designed. She drew his great hunting-knife, gazed reverently along the keen edge, half tempted to try it with her thumb, and shot it into place in its new home. Then she slipped the sheath along the belt to its customary resting-place, just above the hip. For all the world, it was like a scene of olden time,—a lady and her knight. Mackenzie drew her up full height and swept her red lips with his mustache,—the, to her, foreign caress of the Wolf.

It was a meeting of the stone age and the steel. Children were running about in the open, dragging dry wood to the scene of the potlach , a babble of women's voices was growing in intensity, the young men were consulting in sullen groups, while from the Shaman's lodge rose the eerie sounds of an incantation. The chief was alone with his blear-eyed wife, but a glance sufficed to tell Mackenzie that the news was already old. So he plunged at once into the business, shifting the beaded sheath prominently to the fore as advertisement of the betrothal. The White Man is before thee with a great purpose. Many moons has his lodge been empty, and he is lonely. And his heart has eaten itself in silence, and grown hungry for a woman to sit beside him in his lodge, to meet him from the hunt with warm fire and good food.

He has heard strange things, the patter of baby moccasins and the sound of children's voices. And the Raven spake to the lonely White Man, saying: 'Bind thou thy moccasins upon thee, and gird thy snowshoes on, and lash thy sled with food for many sleeps and fine tokens for the Chief Thling-Tinneh. For thou shalt turn thy face to where the midspring sun is wont to sink below the land, and journey to this great chief's hunting-grounds. There thou shalt make big presents, and Thling-Tinneh, who is my son, shall become to thee as a father. In his lodge there is a maiden into whom I breathed the breath of life for thee. This maiden shalt thou take to wife.

The old man drew his furs about him with crude consciousness of royalty, but delayed reply while a youngster crept in, delivered a quick message to appear before the council, and was gone. But met you one Mason and his squaw? He came ten ice-runs ago,—the first of all the Wolves. And with him there was a mighty man, straight as a willow-shoot, and tall; strong as the bald-faced grizzly, with a heart like the full summer moon; his"—. But his love was great, and he had much gold. With this, and her boy, she journeyed countless sleeps toward the winter's noonday sun, and there she yet lives,—no biting frost, no snow, no summer's midnight sun, no winter's noonday night.

A second messenger interrupted with imperative summons from the council. As Mackenzie threw him into the snow, he caught a glimpse of the swaying forms before the council-fire, heard the deep basses of the men in rhythmic chant, and knew the Shaman was fanning the anger of his people. Time pressed. He turned upon the chief. I wish thy child. And now. They will not have this marriage. Ere the night has passed into the day, the Wolf shall face his dogs to the Mountains of the East and fare forth to the Country of the Yukon. And Zarinska shall break trail for his dogs.

It was threat and counter-threat. Mackenzie's bronzed face flushed darkly. He raised his voice. The old squaw, who till now had sat an impassive spectator, made to creep by him for the door. The song of the men broke suddenly, and there was a hubbub of many voices as he whirled the old woman roughly to her couch of skins. The Wolf dies with teeth fast-locked, and with him there shall sleep ten of thy strongest men,—men who are needed, for the hunting is but begun, and the fishing is not many moons away. And again, of what profit should I die?

Grant me thy child, and it shall all be thine. And yet again, my brothers will come, and they are many, and their maws are never filled; and the daughters of the Raven shall bear children in the lodges of the Wolf. My people are greater than thy people. It is destiny. Grant, and all this wealth is thine. Moccasins were crunching the snow without. Mackenzie threw his rifle to cock, and loosened the twin Colts in his belt. Mackenzie passed over the goods, taking care to clog the rifle's ejector, and capping the bargain with a kaleidoscopic silk kerchief. The Shaman and half a dozen young braves entered, but he shouldered boldly among them and passed out.

He took his place at the upper end of the oblong, by the side of the chief. To his left, a step to the rear, he stationed Zarinska,—her proper place. Besides, the time was ripe for mischief, and there was need to guard his back. On either side, the men crouched to the fire, their voices lifted in a folk-chant out of the forgotten past. Full of strange, halting cadences and haunting recurrences, it was not beautiful.

At the lower end, under the eye of the Shaman, danced half a score of women. Stern were his reproofs to those who did not wholly abandon themselves to the ecstasy of the rite. Half hidden in their heavy masses of raven hair, all disheveled and falling to their waists, they slowly swayed to and fro, their forms rippling to an ever-changing rhythm. It was a weird scene; an anachronism. To the south, the nineteenth century was reeling off the few years of its last decade; here flourished man primeval, a shade removed from the prehistoric cave-dweller, a forgotten fragment of the Elder World. The woods, in ghostly shroud, slept on unheeding. The White Silence, for the moment driven to the rimming forest, seemed ever crushing inward; the stars danced with great leaps, as is their wont in the time of the Great Cold; while the Spirits of the Pole trailed their robes of glory athwart the heavens.

Scruff Mackenzie dimly realized the wild grandeur of the setting as his eyes ranged down the fur-fringed sides in quest of missing faces. They rested for a moment on a newborn babe, suckling at its mother's naked breast. It was forty below,—seventy and odd degrees of frost. He thought of the tender women of his own race, and smiled grimly. Yet from the loins of some such tender woman had he sprung with a kingly inheritance,—an inheritance which gave to him and his dominance over the land and sea, over the animals and the peoples of all the zones.

Single-handed against fivescore, girt by the Arctic winter, far from his own, he felt the prompting of his heritage, the desire to possess, the wild danger-love, the thrill of battle, the power to conquer or to die. Through the sinuosities of their vast mythology, he worked cunningly upon the credulity of his people. The case was strong. Opposing the creative principles as embodied in the Crow and the Raven, he stigmatized Mackenzie as the Wolf, the fighting and the destructive principle.

Not only was the combat of these forces spiritual, but men fought, each to his totem. They were the children of Jelchs, the Raven, the Promethean fire-bringer; Mackenzie was the child of the Wolf, or, in other words, the Devil. For them to bring a truce to this perpetual warfare, to marry their daughters to the arch-enemy, were treason and blasphemy of the highest order. No phrase was harsh, nor figure vile, enough in branding Mackenzie as a sneaking interloper and emissary of Satan. There was a subdued, savage roar in the deep chests of his listeners as he took the swing of his peroration. Did he not bring heaven-born fire that we might be warm?

Did he not teach us that we might fight the Spirits of Famine and of Frost? But now Jelchs is angry with his children, and they are grown to a handful, and he will not help. For they have forgotten him, and done evil things, and trod bad trails, and taken his enemies into their lodges to sit by their fires. And the Raven is sorrowful at the wickedness of his children; but when they shall rise up and show they have come back, he will come out of the darkness to aid them.

O brothers! Let the young men take the young women to their lodges; let them fly at the throat of the Wolf; let them be undying in their enmity! Then shall their women become fruitful, and they shall multiply into a mighty people! And the Raven shall lead great tribes of their fathers and their fathers' fathers from out of the North; and they shall beat back the Wolves till they are as last year's camp-fires; and they shall again come to rule over all the land!

Mackenzie slipped the thumbs of his mittens, and waited. There was a clamor for the Fox, not to be stilled till one of the young men stepped forward to speak. The Shaman has spoken wisely. The Wolves have taken our women, and our men are childless. This appears to be Paul's meaning when he ranks prophets below the Apostles of Christ 1 Cor. Paul here means, Apostles in the sense of Jesus' appointed disciples. In Islam the term Apostle is applied to Prophets like Muhammad and Jesus, and while it fits meaning one "sent forth" by God such usage is uncommon to Christian thought.

Jesus' warning seems to be similar to that of the Hebrew Prophets who spoke out against such "prophets" among the people who claims that God was speaking to them or that certain things would happen. Elsewhere Jesus says "Behold, I send you [Christians] out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. This warning concerns "wolves" among the Christian community and we can observe in the early writings of the Church Fathers that they understood this warning as well as Jesus' warning about false prophets to refer to corrupt persons within the Church. One of the first of the Church fathers, St Justin the Martyr, for example, in his famous "Dialogue with Trypho" writes in reply to the objections of Trypho about the teachings purported by some Christians : "The fact that there are such men confessing themselves to be Christians, and admitting the crucified Jesus to be both Lord and Christ, yet not teaching His doctrines, but those of the spirits of error, causes us who are disciples of the true and pure doctrine of Jesus Christ, to be more faithful and steadfast in the hope announced by Him.

For what things He predicted would take place in His name, these we do see being actually accomplished in our sight. For he [Jesus] said, 'Many shall come in My name, clothed outwardly in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. This is a great question and your answers were very interesting and thoughtful. Its a hard question too. These reasons are clearly based on determinations we can verify from the contents of the Epistle. Why this should occur at the end of His ministry is harder to determine.

That is, we have two questions: Why He revealed this Epistle to the Shaykh and why He revealed it in ? Concerning why revealed the Epistle for the Shaykh: We also know that the Epistle serves a number of purposes that are subsets of the above two. The Shaykh, by the way, would have been the best man for this job, had he listened. All of these request are inter-related. But if viewed separately, the first of these requests, the suggestion that the Shaykh should assist Him to deliver any undelivered Tablets, is the most far-reaching in significance.

There is, of course, more, but these are some of the particular purposes that are explicit in the texts The exact number is hard to determine since the sources for a few paragraphs have not, to my knowledge, yet been identified. One is the reverent belief that the words flowing from His Exalted Pen or spoken by Him are always revelation. The point has been debated down the ages.

In contrast with such a view was the way of life in Calvin's Geneva, where according to laws regulating inns, no one was permitted "to sit up after nine o'clock at night, except spies. Obviously, both individual and group will have to give up something of what they now have, just as the nations will have to yield some of their present sovereignty in favor of the world commonwealth, but this will prove no more of a hardship than the sacrifice of bait to catch fish. Here is a world religion to match the new world. It has no priesthood; it accepts no funds except from registered adherents. It has solved the problems of successorship, administration and schism, factors which virtually destroyed, almost at their inception, the unity of all previous faiths.

Study of the writings is a lifetime occupation. Although the tenets of the Faith are readily grasped, the Teachings are vast, disclosing new horizons as the individual's experience develops. All other blessings are temporary; this is an everlasting possession. They consist of laws, principles, and exhortations; of warnings and prophecies; of prayers and meditations; of commentaries, interpretations, discourses, and homilies; of the proclamation of His mission to kings, ministers, and ecclesiastics of both East and West; of writings addressed specifically to leaders in intellectual, political, literary, mystical, commercial and humanitarian fields.

His last major Tablet is this present book. It was revealed about one year before His death in From this time on it became clear from the tone of His remarks, although He made no open reference to it, that the end of His life on earth was approaching. It is the last one. It is besides, a kind of anthology, and one particularly valuable, the material having been selected by the Author Himself. It includes some of the best-known and most characteristic of His writings, as well as proofs establishing the validity of His Cause. He knew exactly what this would mean.

Their beautiful houses were at once given over to the mob and stripped, and even the trees and flowers in their gardens were torn away. Whatever they had was taken. The brothers were chained. Their heads were severed. Their bodies were dragged to the great open square of the city, and there they were exposed to every indignity the mob could inflict. Now he saw him again, on the terrace of the hotel. Dreyfus described the meeting to Juliet Thompson, who arrived the following day, and she has recorded it in her diary: "The Master too was on the terrace, pacing up and down at a little distance. The prince approached and greeted him, then turned a startled look toward the Master.

Hippolyte told me all about it. Never think of them again. They are also referred to as the Twin Shining Lights. Not many days afterwards she fell ill of smallpox and died, and her body was brought back and laid in the neighborhood of theirs. This present book is addressed to the son of the man who murdered the Twin Shining Lights, the Son of the Wolf. He is often addressed in this text as "O Sh ay kh!.

For example the Arabic verse on p. This is the "Divine Lote-Tree," the "Sidrah Tee, which marks the boundary," the "Lote-Tree of the extremity," the "Tree beyond which neither men nor angels can pass," and which stands in the Seventh Heaven, the highest Paradise, at the right hand of the Throne of God. Later he was freed, and although he stammered Mu h ammad appointed him the first muezzin.

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