This February I went on a three day visit to Haifa. This is a snapshot of the prayerbook cover I bought at the Dan Carmel Hotel in Sara Papo’s wonderful lobby shop. It’s the first picture I took with my new Canon digital SLR. The symbol in the center is made with gold colored threads that are about 1mm thick.
What does the symbol on the cover represent?
This part of the symbol comprises three levels, each level indicated by a number. Together they represent the underlying belief which is the basis of all the religions of God. They are as follows:
(1) The World of God – The Creator
(2) The World of the Prophets or Manifestation – Cause, or Command
(3) The World of Man – Creation.
The followers of all religions believe that man, left to himself, can never recognize God and attain His presence; nor is man able to fathom the mystery and purpose of his own creation. God, in His unlimited bounty has singled out His Chosen Ones and will continue to do so, sending them to man at different times and ages in order to grant him penetrating insight and to enable him to have a glimpse of the unfading glories of the innumerable worlds beyond.
The Prophets accept descent from their realms on high and suffer the abasement of living in human temples, walking amongst men and speaking their languages. The Manifestations are invariably denied, ridiculed, humiliated and even put to death. Were it not for their spiritual upliftment and leadership, man would have continued to live as a wild beast and would have been eternally doomed to deprivation and loss.
These functions of the Prophets are clearly demonstrated in the design of the Greatest Name by having the world of the Prophets (shown in horizontal line) repeated in vertical line, thus joining the world of the Creator to that of His creation.
From the same book (halfway down the page in Section 3) are Hand of the Cause A.Q. Faizi’s letters written to me about my photography and artwork.
Two of his letters were beautifully hand illuminated with designs and calligraphy. I should really scan them and put them up here or on my website. Better yet! — I will take pictures of them with my new digital camera, a 10mp Canon EOS 40D. I just unwrapped it this morning and am still charging the battery and waiting to try it out. There’s a small matter of reading the 200-page manual first. The camera accepts the four great Canon lenses I already own. The rolls of film I shot in Haifa were badly fogged due to repeated X-ray exposure. TSA personnel at Atlanta’s airport refused to hand inspect anyone’s film. There are much better pictures of the holy places online anyway but I would have liked to keep a few of my own images as souvenirs. When and if I go on pilgrimage again I’ll be all digital. My first pilgrimage was way back in 1973. I had already been a Bahá’í for ten years then. These are the 11 best of almost 1000 pictures that I took back then.