The Modern Science of Breeding Better People 1
‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ WALKED WITH Agnes Parsons from Day-Spring up the hill towards Tiny May where he sat on the grass near some trees. They spoke about Agnes’s eldest son, Royall. Earlier, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá had met Royall, but the boy had bolted. “He flew away from me,” ‘Abdu’l-Bahá told her, “but I was very pleased with him.” Agnes wondered how he could be pleased with her son when he had acted so badly. Royall was mentally handicapped.
As Agnes and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá sat talking about Royall, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá explained why he had been pleased with her son. “He judged from what was within, not by externals,” Agnes heard him say, “that such people as Royall are pure, clear sighted, inspirational, even prophetic.” He assured Agnes that all are in God’s hands and that “there is a wisdom in this experience.”
Saturday, July 27, 1912 2
In the early morning ‘Abdu’l-Bahá went out onto the balcony. On one side was a view of an extensive field of some 40 miles and on the other a vista of green plains and verdant mountains ranging for some 16 miles. He remarked:
“If there is any justice, then what I have done for the friends will become apparent. I have done all this through the bounty and assistance of the Blessed Beauty. Otherwise, what have we Persians in common with the Americans on top of this mountain and valley in Dublin?”
A likeness of Táhirih which had been published by one of the Germans was presented to ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, who said, ‘This picture is not at all authentic.’ He then spoke of the life of Táhirih.
At the invitation of Mrs Parsons, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá went to her home for lunch. In the afternoon, several of Mrs Parsons’s friends came by and were deeply impressed by the Master’s talk. From this day forward, visitors began to come in great numbers. In the afternoon Mr Parsons brought his carriage to take the Master for a ride. They drove to Lake Dublin where ‘Abdu’l-Bahá spoke to the members of the club about spirituality and the progress of this new age. When He returned He instructed that cables be sent to the Assemblies of the East.
In the evening Mr [W. W.] Harmon, a leader of the Theosophists, came from Boston to see the Master, who spoke to him about divine civilization, the influence of the Word of God and about this great Bahá’í Dispensation:
“One of the martyrs of this Cause, at the time of his martyrdom exclaimed, ‘Christ said that the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak; but I say that my flesh is as happy as my spirit.’”
He spoke of the spread of civilization from the East to the West, saying:
“What a blessing God bestowed upon the Persians but they could not appreciate it! Had they not been ungrateful, the government of Persia would have ranked first in the world. I wrote to Muhammad ‘Alí Mírzá that if he would compensate for the spilled blood of the Bahá’ís and govern with justice, he would receive confirmation; otherwise, God doeth what He pleaseth. He did not listen to me. Again I wrote to Persia that so long as the nation and the government do not combine like milk and honey, prosperity and happiness are impossible. Persia will become desolate and the end result will be intervention by neighboring powers.”
Talk at Hotel Victoria, Boston, Massachusetts, 23 July 1912 3
The Bahá’í Cause covers all economic and social questions under the heading and ruling of its laws. The essence of the Bahá’í spirit is that, in order to establish a better social order and economic condition, there must be allegiance to the laws and principles of government. Under the laws which are to govern the world, the socialists may justly demand human rights but without resort to force and violence. The governments will enact these laws, establishing just legislation and economics in order that all humanity may enjoy a full measure of welfare and privilege; but this will always be according to legal protection and procedure. Without legislative administration, rights and demands fail, and the welfare of the commonwealth cannot be realized. Today the method of demand is the strike and resort to force, which is manifestly wrong and destructive of human foundations. Rightful privilege and demand must be set forth in laws and regulations.
’Abdu’l-Bahá in America, 1912-2012: Calling America to It’s Spiritual Destiny
Celebrating the Centenary: The Master in America
Curated by Anne Perry
- Menon, Morella. “The Modern Science of Breeding Better People.” 239 Days in America, 27 July 2012, https://239days.com/2012/07/27/eugenics/. ↩
- ’Abdu’l-Bahá, and Mirza Mahmud-i-Zarqani. Mahmúd’s Diary: The Diary of Mírzá Mahmúd-i-Zarqání Chronicling ’Abdu’l-Bahá’s Journey to America. Edited by Shirley Macias. Translated by Mohi Sobhani. Oxford: George Ronald, 1998. https://bahai-library.com/zarqani_mahmuds_diary&chapter=5#section125 ↩
- ʻAbduʼl-Bahá. The Promulgation of Universal Peace: Talks Delivered by ʻAbduʼl-Bahá during His Visit to the United States and Canada in 1912. Edited by Howard MacNutt. 2nd ed. Wilmette, Ill: Baháʼí Publishing Trust, 1982, 238. https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/abdul-baha/promulgation-universal-peace/17#691206303 ↩