Saturday, July 13, 2019

p24og, p10, p17 The Bab's Chiasm of King Philosopher, Philosopher King

by John Taylor
2019 July 13

"Speak truth to power," you often hear. This comes, perhaps, from Plato, who held that there is a natural affinity between the learned and the powerful. Plato himself attempted to personally act as counselor to a young king, and he failed spectacularly, at great personal cost. Nonetheless, the ideal utopia, he held, would be when it would be possible for the most learned, philosophers that is, to gain power. That would be the best kind of rule, rule of those who know, or philosopher kings. Or conversely, the powerful could learn to become philosophers, king philosophers, as it were.

This crossover between truth and power, then, was understood to be symbolized in the Greek letter chi (pronounced like the "ch" in loch), which looks like an "X". From that we get the word "chiasm," like the philosopher king, king philosopher, that we just discussed. One side is reflected in the other, which is highly attractive. God loves Himself more than anything else, since nothing else is worthy or capable of withstanding such intense adoration. This, God's self-love, is the uber-love, from which all other loves are mere derivations. Christianity latched on to this phenomenon in their symbolism of the cross, correctly divining that the affinity between the power and the love of God, omnipotence and munificence, met and commingled in the Person of His Manifestation.

The longing for linkage between love and power permeates all of nature. For example, it shows itself in the phenomenon of polarity in magnetism. An attraction is set up between opposite poles, negative and positive, while repulsion takes place whenever the polarities are the same, negative to negative, or positive to positive. Truth and power's crossover point always induces a field of attraction and repulsion, attraction of the opposite, repulsion from whatever is, or aspires to be, or purports to be, the same as it.

The Bab introduced the very word "Manifestation," or direct showing, of God. Before, the role of God's Messengers was to prophesy the coming of that sometime in the future. The Bab's title is Arabic for "gate." This Gate opens up a new chiasm, a world of spiritual revelation where the polarity opens up into twin Manifestations, whose love for one another was of an intensity not yet seen on this planet. The sign of this intensification of divine love will be a new liberality coming out of the confluence of those who know and those who act, philosopher kings and king philosophers. That may be why Baha'u'llah in the Suriy-i-Muluk, which was itself the ultimate "truth to power" statement, this section being addressed to Sultan Aziz, the proximate oppressor of the Manifestation, advised that all kings must, like God, be both just and liberal in compassionate action.

"It behoveth every king to be as bountiful as the sun, which fostereth the growth of all beings, and giveth to each its due, whose benefits are not inherent in itself, but are ordained by Him Who is the Most Powerful, the Almighty. The King should be as generous, as liberal in his mercy as the clouds, the outpourings of whose bounty are showered upon every land, by the behest of Him Who is the Supreme Ordainer, the All-Knowing." (Summons, 5.70, p. 213,

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