If a man eats too much, he ruins his,digestion; if he takes poison
he becomes ill or dies. If a person gambles he will lose his money;
if he drinks too much he will lose his equilibrium. All these sufferings
are caused by the man himself, it is quite clear therefore that
certain sorrows are the result of our own deeds.18
as there are laws governing our physical lives, requiring that we
must supply our bodies with certain foods, maintain them within
a certain range of temperatures, and so forth, if we wish to avoid
physical disabilities, so also there are laws governing our spiritual
lives. These laws are revealed to mankind in each age by the Manifestation
of God, and obedience to them is of vital importance if each human
being, and mankind in general, is to develop properly and harmoniously.
Moreover, these various aspects are interdependent. If an individual
violates the spiritual laws for his own development he will cause
injury not only to himself but to the society in which he lives.19
that there are two kinds of torment: subtile and gross. For example,
ignorance itself is a torment, but it is a subtile torment; indifference
to God is itself a torment; so also are falsehood, cruelty and treachery.
All the imperfections are torments, but they are subtile torments.
Certainly for an intelligent man death is better than sin, and a
cut tongue is better than lying or calumny. The other kind of torment
is gross such as penalties, imprisonment, beating, expulsion
and banishment. But for the people of God separation from God is
the greatest torment of all.20
hast asked about ordeal, adversities and tribulations, whether they
are of God or the result of mans evil deeds.
Know thou that ordeals are of two kinds. One is for tests, and the
other for punishment of misdeeds. That which is for testing is for
ones education and development, and that which is for punishment
of deeds is severe retribution.
The father and the teacher sometimes show tenderness towards the
children and at other times deal harshly with them. Such severity
is for educational purposes; it is true tenderness and absolute
bounty and grace. Although in appearance it is wrath, in reality
it is kindness. Although outwardly it is an ordeal, inwardly it
is a cooling draught.21
is based on laws: physical, man-made, and spiritual. As you have
broken the laws of the society in which you live, you will have
to stand up like a man and take your punishment. The spirit in which
you do this is the most important thing, and constitutes a great
opportunity for you. ..until your sentence is up, you must live
within yourself in a way not to spoil the new future awaiting you.
You must not become bitter - for after all you are only reaping
what you planted.22