God is Love! God’s Love is the origin of His creation. It is the power to hold and connect every part of His creation together. Everybody is seeking for true love in this earthly world. Where can we find it? In reality, it is through learning about God and His Love for mankind, and building a realtionship with Him to be able to love Him back. Here let’s look at what Abdu’l-Baha told us about the eternal love from God.
The Four Kinds of Love (Paris Talks by Abdu’l-Baha)
What a power is love! It is the most wonderful, the greatest of all living powers.
Love gives life to the lifeless. Love lights a flame in the heart that is cold. Love brings hope to the hopeless and gladdens the hearts of the sorrowful.
In the world of existence there is indeed no greater power than the power of love. When the heart of man is aglow with the flame of love, he is ready to sacrifice all—even his life. In the Gospel it is said God is love.
There are four kinds of love. The first is the love that flows from God to man; it consists of the inexhaustible graces, the Divine effulgence and heavenly illumination. Through this love the world of being receives life. Through this love man is endowed with physical existence, until, through the breath of the Holy Spirit—this same love—he receives eternal life and becomes the image of the Living God. This love is the origin of all the love in the world of creation.
The second is the love that flows from man to God. This is faith, attraction to the Divine, enkindlement, progress, entrance into the Kingdom of God, receiving the Bounties of God, illumination with the lights of the Kingdom. This love is the origin of all philanthropy; this love causes the hearts of men to reflect the rays of the Sun of Reality.
The third is the love of God towards the Self or Identity of God. This is the transfiguration of His Beauty, the reflection of Himself in the mirror of His Creation. This is the reality of love, the Ancient Love, the Eternal Love. Through one ray of this Love all other love exists.
The fourth is the love of man for man. The love which exists between the hearts of believers is prompted by the ideal of the unity of spirits. This love is attained through the knowledge of God, so that men see the Divine Love reflected in the heart. Each sees in the other the Beauty of God reflected in the soul, and finding this point of similarity, they are attracted to one another in love. This love will make all men the waves of one sea, this love will make them all the stars of one heaven and the fruits of one tree. This love will bring the realization of true accord, the foundation of real unity.
But the love which sometimes exists between friends is not (true) love, because it is subject to transmutation; this is merely fascination. As the breeze blows, the slender trees yield. If the wind is in the East the tree leans to the West, and if the wind turns to the West the tree leans to the East. This kind of love is originated by the accidental conditions of life. This is not love, it is merely acquaintanceship; it is subject to change.
Today you will see two souls apparently in close friendship; tomorrow all this may be changed. Yesterday they were ready to die for one another, today they shun one another’s society! This is not love; it is the yielding of the hearts to the accidents of life. When that which has caused this “love” to exist passes, the love passes also; this is not in reality love.
Love is only of the four kinds that I have explained. (a) The love of God towards the identity of God. Christ has said God is Love. (b) The love of God for His children—for His servants. (c) The love of man for God and (d) the love of man for man. These four kinds of love originate from God. These are rays from the Sun of Reality; these are the Breathings of the Holy Spirit; these are the Signs of the Reality.
Love is not simply some abstract principle that one talks about. It is real, and it is directed towards something or someone. If we love someone, we need not continually speak of our love — others will know without any words. On the other hand if we do not love others, they will know it — and they would not believe us if we were to tell them in a thousand words that we loved them. And when love is a reality, when one truly loves anothers, a bond is created between hearts through which noble feelings and lofty ideas can flow. One soul can uplift the others and joy fills them both. Can we really experience this kind of love in our earthly world? Sure we do. But it won’t happen until we know how much God love us and also be able to love Him back. When the blockage of our love flow to God has been removed, joy and noble feelings occur, the love toward brothers will arise naturally. That is true love to others.
There are conditions for true love to occur. They include sincerity and truthfulness, generosity and liberality, forgiveness and trustworthiness. These are necessary for love to exist. For what is insincere love but hypocrisy? What is the outcome of love when it is ruled by jealousy and control, and not by open-heartedness and generosity? What kind of love is assoicated with vengeance rather than forgiveness? How can anyone trust in our love, if we are not trustworthy? This is the kind of love all Manifestations of God try to show us. if we really follow them on the path, than we should all strive to cultivate these good virtues. And let God’s love fill our heart.
O thou son of the Kingdom! All things are beneficial if joined with the love of God; and without His love all things are harmful, and act as a veil between man and the Lord of the Kingdom. When His love is there, every bitterness turneth sweet, and every bounty rendereth a wholesome pleasure. For example, a melody, sweet to the ear, bringeth the very spirit of life to a heart in love with God, yet stanieth with lust a soul engrossed in sensual desires. And every branch of learning, conjoined with the love of God, is approved and worthy of praise; but bereft of His love, learning is barren —indeed, it bringeth on madness. Every kind of knowledge, every science, is as a tree: if the fruit of it be the love of God, then is it a blessed tree, but if not, that tree is but dried-up wood, and shall only feed the fire. (Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Baha , no 154, P.190)