A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Power - Inner and Outer

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 odours; taste, which perceives foods; and feeling, which is in all parts of the body, and perceives tangible things. These five powers perceive outward existences. 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 … 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.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Bahá’í World Faith, pp. 317-318).


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)