I have come to believe that faith has the power to create new realities. This theme recurred to me after watching the film “Artificial Intelligence”, in which a robot boy’s wish to become real – so his found-mother would love him – begins a chain of events that lead him ultimately to his goal. That “responsiveness” on the part of life to our wishes is something I’ve reflected on for some time now, having seen its effect again and again. Nor do I think faith alone has this power, but that the yearnings of the soul are somehow heard – and answered. From the Bahá’í Writings:
Spirit has influence; prayer has spiritual effect. Therefore, we pray, “O God! Heal this sick one!” Perchance God will answer. Does it matter who prays? God will answer the prayer of every servant if that prayer is urgent. His mercy is vast, illimitable. He answers the prayers of all His servants. He answers the prayer of this plant. The plant prays potentially, “O God! Send me rain!” God answers the prayer, and the plant grows. God will answer anyone. He answers prayers potentially. Before we were born into this world did we not pray, “O God! Give me a mother; give me two fountains of bright milk; purify the air for my breathing; grant me rest and comfort; prepare food for my sustenance and living”? Did we not pray potentially for these needed blessings before we were created? When we came into this world, did we not find our prayers answered? Did we not find mother, father, food, light, home and every other necessity and blessing, although we did not actually ask for them? Therefore, it is natural that God will give to us when we ask Him. His mercy is all-encircling.1
Prayer being the expression of faith, the certitude of an answer, the certainty of being heard: and yet, even if not in prayer, and only the heart’s longing – if sincere – I wonder that life doesn’t relish such spirit, and in return do whatever it can to make our hopes real…
Life these past months, though fraught with change and pain and some anxiety, has been like a dream constantly unfolding. Am I the dreamer, watching events come open like petals of flowers – or am I the dream, and the life I see around me, the truest definition of myself?
`Abdu’l-Bahá, Promulgation of Universal Peace, pp. 246-7↩