O FRIEND! In the garden of thy heart plant naught but the rose of love, and from the nightingale of affection and desire loosen not thy hold. – Bahá’u’lláh, The Hidden Words
Can you paint upon the page of the world the ideal pictures of the Celestial Concourse? The pictures which are in the ideal world are eternal. I wish you to become such an artist. Man can paint those ideal picures upon the tablet of existence with the brush of deeds.
The holy, divine Manifestations are all heavenly artists. Upon the canvas of creation, with the brush of their deeds and lives they paint immortal pictures which cannot be found in any art museum of Europe or America. But you find the masterpieces of these spiritual artists in the hearts.
– ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Star of the West, Vol. V, p. 149
If a man* engageth with all his power in the acquisition of a science or in the perfection of an art, it is as if he has been worshipping God in churches and temples. Thus as thou enterest a school of agriculture and strivest in the acquisition of that science thou art day and night engaged in acts of worship – acts that are accepted at the threshold of the Almighty. What bounty greater than this that science should be considered as an act of worship and art as service to the Kingdom of God.
‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, 126, pp. 144-45
* [man or woman] The Persian language is gender neutral.