Persia by a Persian

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Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009 - 486 pages
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This historic book may have numerous typos, missing text or index. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. 1906. Not illustrated. Excerpt: ... friend and follower of the Bab, declares that this doctrine of the return means neither incarnation, absorption, nor transmigration. But he admits that "none knoweth it save those who have returned," and, if it is not substantially a doctrine of soul-transmigration it is difficult to say what it is. Not only in the Apostles of the Unity, but also in the bosoms of all the faithful, according to their respective careers and missions, does this communication of the divine and reincarnation of the great of the past occur. When one of them was found fulfilling a certain role which recalled that of some holy saint preceding him, it was said among the Babis, "That is the Imam-Riza, or Ali, or Jesus Christ, returned." Although the Babis constantly affirm their fidelity to the doctrine of divine unity, it is plain that we have here very potent germs of a luxuriant polytheism, and if the religion goes on we shall one day have personal cults, symbols and temples. Is it, after all, the long smothered spirit of ancient paganism that is reasserting itself so strangely against the too bare and hard monotheism of Islam which had been imposed upon it by force of arms? A second peculiar doctrine of Babism is the sacred character of the number 19. As the word almy, "he who gives life," has 19 for its numerical equivalent, this, it was argued, is the divine number. As the world is only a divine emanation and rests on these same principles of life, this number 19 is found at the basis of all things rightly organized. Over the whole world this number should reign. Accordingly the Bab ordered his followers to reconstitute all divisions of time and space according to the sacred number. In the Babi year there were to be 19 months; and every month to have 19 days, every day 19 hours, and...

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