Reality – as the ‘Changeless’ and ‘progressive revelation’



Changeless and Progressive

Baha’u’llah says that The Baha’i Faith is ‘The changeless faith of God, eternal in the past, eternal in the future.’’ – Gl p.136

If you combine this with what Abdu’l-Baha says here;

We should earnestly seek and thoroughly investigate realities, recognizing that the purpose of the religion of God is the education of humanity and the unity and fellowship of mankind.

Furthermore we will establish the point that the foundations of the religions of God are one foundation. This foundation is not multiple for it is reality itself. Reality does not admit of multiplicity although each of the divine religions is separable into two divisions.

One concerns the world of morality and the ethical training of human nature. It is directed to the advancement of the world of humanity in general; it reveals and inculcates the knowledge of God and makes possible the discovery of the verities of life. This is ideal and spiritual teaching, the essential quality of divine religion and not subject to change or transformation. It is the one foundation of all the religions of God. Therefore the religions are essentially one and the same.

The second classification or division comprises social laws and regulations applicable to human conduct. This is not the essential spiritual quality of religion. It is subject to change and transformation according to the exigencies and requirements of time and place. …………………

Time changes conditions, and laws change to suit conditions. We must remember that these changing laws are not the essentials; they are the accidentals of religion.

The essential ordinances established by a Manifestation of God are spiritual; they concern moralities, the ethical development of man and faith in God. They are ideal and necessarily permanent; expressions of the one foundation and not amenable to change or transformation.

Therefore the fundamental basis of the revealed religion of God is immutable, unchanging throughout the centuries, not subject to the varying conditions of the human world.

we can see that Abdu’l-Baha gives much greater emphasis to that which is changeless.

This, Abdu’l-Baha’s ‘two classifications or divisions’, is what I was taught, and can be found not only in Abdu’l-Baha’s Writings but also in such books as Hand of the Cause John Ferraby’s book ‘All Things Made New’. e.g. in pages 40-41

I became a Baha’i 52 years ago and I am now wondering if progressive revelation has been overemphasized and the changeless has been insufficiently emphasized. Might the changeless have appealed to larger numbers of seeking souls? During the last five decades, that the UK Baha’i community has remained tiny and stuck, Islam in the UK has had a meteoric rise so that today almost one in ten babies & toddlers are Muslim – see HERE  (Fecundity is not the only explanation!)

Connected is the possibility that ‘progressive revelation’ has a) been misunderstood or given emphasis over and above the ‘changeless’ and b) bad attitudes and misuse has been current amongst some/many Baha’is.


This I’m sure can be a major study but here I want to mention just a few points.

The Revelations over the last few millennia have spoken to larger & larger social units.

An argument might be made that the challenges set by the succession of Revelations increased.

Most of all the infusion of potential into human reality took an almighty leap upwards.


What do you think?