Know that procession is of two kinds: procession and appearance through emanation, and procession and appearance through manifestation. Emanational procession is like the procession of the handiwork from its author. For example, the writing proceeds from the writer. Now, just as the writing emanates from the writer and the discourse from the speaker, so does the human spirit emanate from God. …… As for manifestational procession, it is the manifestation of the reality of a thing in other forms, like the procession of this tree or this flower from their seeds, for it is the seed itself that has become manifested in the form of the branches, leaves, and flowers. This is called manifestational procession. The spirits of men proceed from God by emanation, …… The procession of human spirits from God is therefore an emanational procession. When it is said in the Torah that God breathed His spirit into man, this spirit is even as speech that has emanated from the true Speaker and taken effect in the reality of man. (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Some Answered Questions 54)
These words tell us that we can learn to know God through our own reality. God’s will can be “emanated” through the human soul when we are willing to submit our will to God. When our soul becomes the instrument of God, God’s Will can emanate through it, then we can learn about God through His emanation of procession and appearance in us. A man has two natures, one is the ego-self, which is earthly; the other is the divine self, which is heavenly. The divine self is like a seed hidden in the reality of a man. Through divine grace and care by the divine gardener, the seed can become a plant and grow. This process only can happen when we are willing to obey the laws of God and let our ego die, be obedient and let the divine gardener take care of us in His way. The divine attributes of a man are his fruits of the life of the spirit. They are a manifestation of procession and appearance. Through these divine characteristics, a man sees the image of God in himself. This is the other way from his own reality to know God. We will learn more about God through our own reality by submision, obedience, and seeking perfection.
Therefore, if we truly follow the teachings of a Divine Messenger and do whatever as the Holy Writings tell us, then a sanctified soul can lead to the emanation of the Will of God and a purified heart can manifest (reflect) the divine attributes of God. In both ways we learn about God through our own reality. This is the mystery of creation and is within us.
O Son of Being! Thy heart is My home; sanctify it for My descent. Thy spirit is My place of revelation; cleanse it for My manifestation.(Bahá’u’lláh, The Hidden Words, Arabic 59)
O SON OF MAN! If thou lovest Me, turn away from thyself; and if thou seekest My pleasure, regard not thine own; that thou mayest die in Me and I may eternally live in thee. (Bahá’u’lláh, The Hidden Words, Arabic 7)
… Could ye apprehend with what wonders of My munificence and bounty I have willed to entrust your souls, ye would of a truth, rid yourselves of attachment to all created things, and would gain a true knowledge of you own selves– a knowledge which is the same as the comprehension of Mine own Being. (Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, page 230)