​Inter-spirituality and the words I engraved upon my father’s gravestone

​On my father’s gravestone I had these words engraved; ‘a pure, kindly and radiant heart‘, for that is what he was, in a shy way, pure, kind and radiant.

The words of course come from the first of Baha’u’llah’s Arabic Hidden Words​;


My first counsel is this: Possess a pure, kindly and radiant heart, that thine may be a sovereignty ancient, imperishable and everlasting.

​Before that Baha’u’llah tells us that the Hidden Words are;

This is that which hath descended from the realm of glory, uttered by the tongue of power and might, and revealed unto the Prophets of old. We have taken the inner essence thereof and clothed it in the garment of brevity, as a token of grace unto the righteous, that they may stand faithful unto the Covenant of God, may fulfil in their lives His trust, and in the realm of spirit obtain the gem of Divine virtue.

So the first Hidden Word is about the central importance of purity, kindness and radiance as qualities of a person through s/he might gain ‘a sovereignty ancient, imperishable and everlasting’

Interestingly the current Dalai Lama says

My true religion is Kindness – in Kindness, Clarity, and Insight (1984)

If we are interested in inter-spirituality, that is discovering what it is that makes of the different traditions one spiritual path what might be the ‘centre-pole’ of such a tent?

Is it kindness?

Is it love?

Is it truth, beauty and goodness + justice?

Is it the triad of challenges to the individual – the challenges of 1) awakening (to the mystical nature of reality), 2) detaching from the egoistic self and from the world + 3) serving others. These three I concluded are the essential teachings of all of the great traditions – The Eternal Faith as Baha’u’llah and all of the other Prophets taught.

It can be all and any of these. What is certain for me is that peace requires greater and greater acceptance of the Oneness that lies behind the dogma, theology and belief-systems.

Silence, to sit in silence with others, is one place to ensure cessation of competing words – a good starting point surely?

What also seems certain is, as with the Dalai Lama, kindness is a ‘centre-pole’ and we should strive to live and speak as simply as the occasion demands;