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

Just 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



Know 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

Thou hast asked about ordeal, adversities and tribulations, whether they are of God or the result of man’s 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 one’s 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

Life 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