And this is clear: a power above and beyond the powers of nature must needs be brought to bear, to change this black darkness into light, and these hatreds and resentments, grudges and spites, these endless wrangles and wars, into fellowship and love amongst all the peoples of the earth. This power is none other than the breathings of the Holy Spirit and the mighty inflow of the Word of God.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 53)
Clearly the concept of power as a means of domination, with the accompanying notions of contest, contention, division and superiority, must be left behind. This is not to deny
the operation of power; after all, even in cases where institutions of society have received their mandates through the consent of the people, power is involved in the exercise of authority. But political processes, like other processes of life, should not remain unaffected by the powers of the human spirit that the Bahá’í Faith--for that matter, every great religious tradition that has appeared throughout the ages--hopes to tap: the power of unity, of love, of humble service, of pure deeds. Associated with power in this sense are words such as “release", “encourage", “channel", “guide” and “enable”. Power is not a finite entity which is to be “seized” and “jealously guarded";
it constitutes a limitless capacity to transform that resides in the human race
as a body.
(Universal House of Justice, To the Bahá’ís of Iran, 2 March 2013)
He who hath knowledge and power will rather seek out the glory of heaven, and spiritual distinction, and the life that dieth not. And such a one longeth to approach the sacred Threshold of God; for in the tavern of this swiftly-passing world the man of God will not lie drunken, nor will he even for a moment take his ease, nor stain himself with any fondness for this earthly life.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 221)
How shall he obtain these merciful gifts and powers? First, through the knowledge of God. Second, through the love of God. Third, through faith. Fourth, through philanthropic deeds. Fifth, through self-sacrifice. Sixth, through severance from this world. Seventh, through sanctity and holiness. Unless he acquires these forces and attains to these requirements, he will surely be deprived of the life that is eternal. But if he possesses the knowledge of God, becomes ignited through the fire of the love of God, witnesses the great and mighty signs of the Kingdom, becomes the cause of love among mankind and lives in the utmost state of sanctity and holiness, he shall surely attain to second birth, be baptized by the Holy Spirit and enjoy everlasting existence.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 226)
In man five outer powers exist, which are the agents of perception, that is to say, through these five powers man perceives material beings. These are sight, which perceives visible forms; hearing, which perceives audible sounds; smell, which perceives odors; taste, which perceives foods; and feeling, which is in all parts of the body, and perceives tangible things. These five powers perceive outward existences.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Bahá’í World Faith, p. 317)
It is in Our power, should We wish it, to enable a speck of floating dust to generate, in less than the twinkling of an eye, suns of infinite, of unimaginable splendour, to cause a dewdrop to develop into vast and numberless oceans, to infuse into every letter such a force as to empower it to unfold all the knowledge of past and future ages. This, in truth, is a matter simple of accomplishment. Such have been the evidences of My power from the beginning that hath no beginning until the end that hath no end. My creatures, however, have been oblivious of My power, have repudiated My sovereignty, and contended with Mine own Self, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise.
(Bahá’u’lláh, The Summons of the Lord of Hosts, p. 39-40)
Let them [the followers of Bahá’u’lláh] not underestimate the power inherent in the system they are putting in place for the propagation of His Faith, nor mistake the true purpose of the global enterprise on which they have embarked. Let them not deviate from the path of learning on which they are set, nor be distracted by the ephemeral pursuits of a bewildered society.
(Universal House of Justice, 20 October 2008, to the Bahá’ís of the World)
Man has also spiritual powers: imagination, which conceives things; thought, which reflects upon realities; comprehension, which comprehends realities, memory, which retains whatever man imagines, thinks, and comprehends. The intermediary between the five outward powers and the inward powers, is the sense which they possess in common, that is to say, the sense which acts between the outer and inner powers, conveys to the inward powers whatever the outer powers discern. It is termed the common faculty, because it communicates between the outward and inward powers, and thus is common to the outward and inward powers. For instance, sight is one of the outer powers; it sees and perceives this flower, and conveys this perception to the inner power—the common faculty—which transmits this perception to the power of imagination, which in its turn conceives and forms this image and transmits it to the power of thought; the power of thought reflects, and having grasped the reality, conveys it to the power of comprehension; the comprehension, when it has comprehended it, delivers the image of the object perceived to the memory, and the memory keeps it in its repository. The outward powers are five: the power of sight, of hearing, of taste, of smell, and of feeling. The inner powers are also five: the common faculty, and the powers of imagination, thought, comprehension, and memory.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Bahá’í World Faith, p. 317)
Man has two powers, and his development two aspects. One power is connected with the material world and by it he is capable of material advancement. The other power is spiritual and through its development his inner, potential nature is awakened. These powers are like two wings. Both must be developed, for flight is impossible with one wing.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Bahá’í World Faith, p. 261)
Though man has powers and outer senses in common with the animal, yet an extraordinary power exists in him of which the animal is bereft. The sciences, arts, inventions, trades, and discoveries of realities, are the results of this spiritual power. This is a power which encompasses all things, comprehends their realities, discovers all the hidden mysteries of beings, and through this knowledge controls them: it even perceives things which do not exist outwardly; that is to say, intellectual realities which are not sensible, and which have no outward existence, because they are invisible; so it comprehends the mind, the spirit, the qualities, the characters, the love and sorrow of man, which are intellectual realities.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Bahá’í World Faith, p. 304)
Thus have the mysteries of the Revelation of God been decreed by virtue of the Will of Him Who is the Source of power and wisdom.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 295)
Verily, I beg God to confirm thee by a power by which thou mayest be enabled to worship God and to serve His Cause and to be submissive and lowly before the beloved of God.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá v1, p. 120)
What a heavenly potentiality God has deposited within us! What a power God has given our spirits! He has endowed us with a power to penetrate the realities of things.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 186)
… the power in the Faith is such that it can sustain Bahá’ís, whatever their ailments may be, on a much higher level than is given to others who are denied its healing grace.
(The Universal House of Justice, 1985 Dec 02, Child Abuse, Psychology and Knowledge of Self)