Chapter 18: Malignant Materialism Falls into a Greatest Depression

 

18.1After these visions, I saw another Angel with great authority landing from the sky. The globe was lit by his glory.
After these messages, I see Baha’u’llah as another Messenger with great authority coming from God. The world is lit by his glory.
2He cried out with a mighty voice, saying:
He cries out as a powerful Proclaimer, saying:
The Colossal Confusion has fallen, fallen! She has grown into a den of demons, a haunt for every foul spirit, and a haven for every foul and hateful bird, 3for
Monstrous Malignant Materialism is being destroyed, destroyed! It has afforded fronts for fiends, covers for every corrupt crook, and façades for every corrupt and vile soul, for
all nations have collapsed intoxicated from the wine from her furious fornicating,
all nations have plunged into a crazed frenzy from the grip of its furious exploitation,
the rulers of the globe have been fornicating with her, and
the leaders of humanity have been exploiting through it, and
the businessmen of the globe have gotten rich from the power of her extravagance.
the wheelers and dealers of the world have been profiteering from the power of its lavish waste.
4Next I heard another voice from the sky saying:
Next I hear also God saying:
Leave her, my people, lest you take part in her sins, and lest you take on her afflictions, 5for her very sins have scaled the sky.
Escape it, my followers, so that you stay free from its evils, and so that you stay safe from its afflictions, for its very sins infiltrate religious revelation.
Now God has recalled her crimes. 6To her pay back as she herself has paid out. Double and double again, according to her dealings, fix a double-draught for her in the cup that she has fixed.
Now I am calling up its crimes. To it deal back as it itself has dealt out. Deal its double-dealing double, as its dealings deserve, devise a double dose of debt for it as the destiny that it has devised.
7In as much as she has glorified herself and has lived extravagantly, inflict on her as much torment and grief.
In as much as it has exalted itself and has wasted lavishly, inflict on it as much affliction and sorrow.
For in her heart she gushes:
For in its soul it imagines:
¢I sit as Queen! I am no widow. I shall never see sorrow!¢
‘I rule Supreme! I manifest human partners. I can never face failure!’
8Due to this her afflictions shall come in a single day:
Due to this its afflictions have come in a single year:
Death! Misery! Starvation!
Destruction! Suffering! Shortage!
She shall be burnt up in a blaze, for the God judging her is a mighty Lord.
It is being ferociously destroyed, for I the God condemning it am a powerful Lord.
9The rulers of the globe who have been fornicating and living extravagantly with her will weep and mourn over her as they see the smoke from her burning—10standing far off for fear from her torment, calling out:
You leaders of the globe who have been exploiting and lavishly wasting through it are groaning and grieving over it as you feel the effects from its destruction—cringing from your guilt for its affliction, realizing too late:
Trump-Ta-Ra, Trump-Ta-Ra,you colossal city, you mighty city of Confusion—for this verdict on you has come in a single hour!’
The Double Bahá’í Era has wrought change,you monstrous economic system, you powerful economic system of Malignant Materialism—for this verdict on you has struck in a heartbeat!’
11The businessmen of the globe weep and wail over her, for nobody buys their merchandise any longer:
You wheelers and dealers of the world are sobbing and shrieking over it, for nobody buys your goods any more:
12Merchandise of gold and silver, precious gemstone and pearls, fine-linen and purple material, silk and scarlet material,
Goods reeking of wealth and riches, reeking with cultured might and cunning, stinking with self-righteousness and religiosity, redolent with opulence and pomp,
Every type of sweet-smelling wood, every kind of ivory, and every kind of most expensive wood, brass, iron, and marble,
Every type of matchless material, every kind of rare collectible, and every kind of priceless furnishing, machine, structure, and building,
13Cinnamon, cardamom, incenses (myrrh and frankincense), wine, oil, flour, wheat, cattle, and sheep,
Delicious spices, tasty treats, erotic fragrances (colognes and perfumes), heady wines, sensuous oils, sumptuous cereals, select fare, pedigree meats, and choice cheeses,
Merchandise of horses and carriages, and
Goods such as Lear jets and Mercedes limousines, and
Merchandise of bodies and souls of human-beings.
Goods such as wage-slave bodies and souls of humans being toiled away in field, factory, and facility.
14Now this fruit of your very soul’s lust has left you! Now all these splendid and sparkling things are lost to you!
Now this booty of your very soul’s lust is sliding through your fingers! Now all these gorgeous and glittering goods are slipping from your grasp!
15The traders in these same goods, who got rich from her, shall never find them again.
You wheelers and dealers in these same items, who have been profiteering from Malignant Materialism, shall never get them back.
They shall stand far off from fear from her torment,weeping and wailing, 16calling out:
You are cringing from your guilt for its affliction, sobbing and shrieking, realizing too late:
Trump-Ta-Ra, Trump-Ta-Ra, you colossal city decked in fine-linen, purple and scarlet material, and gilded with gold, precious gemstone, and pearl—17for all this wealth has been destroyed in a single hour!’
‘The Double Bahá’í Era has wrought change, you monstrous economic system flashing self-righteousness, religiosity and pomp, and flaunting wealth, might, and cunning—for all your wealth has evaporated in a whiff!’
Now every ship-captain, every person plying a passage to any place, sailors, and as many as work the sea, stood far off. 18Seeing the smoke from her burning, they cried out, demanding:
Now all you managers, all you workers wandering the world for work, you laborers, and all you toiling the land, sea, and air, are getting laid off. Feeling the effects of its destruction, you are yelling, screaming:
¢What city is like this colossal city!¢
‘What system has ever been like this monstrous system!’
19They threw dust on their heads and yelled, weeping and wailing, crying out:
You have been humiliated and are screaming, sobbing and shrieking, scolding:
Trump-Ta-Ra, Trump-Ta-Ra, you colossal city through whom all owners of ships at sea have grown rich from your supreme wealth—for you have been destroyed in a single hour!’
The Double Bahá’í Era has wrought change, you monstrous system by which all your owners of trucks and trains, ships and planes, have profiteered from your supreme wealth—for you have turned to trash in a single flash!’
20Rejoice over her, heaven, and you the faithful, emissaries, and Prophets, for God has condemned her condemnation of you!
Make merry over it, Faiths, and you the faithful, spiritual envoys, and Prophets, for God has condemned it for condemning you!
21A certain mighty Angel plucked up a boulder like a massive millstone and threw it into the sea, declaring:
The main powerful Messenger Baha’u’llah has confronted the massive burden of busywork strangling humanity and has destroyed it wisely, declaring:
Thus—with sudden violence—shall Confusion’s colossal city be thrown down and shall never be found again!
Thus—with sudden violence—is Malignant Materialism’s monstrous economic system destroyed and vanishing for ever!
22No music of harpists or minstrels, of flutists or trumpeters, shall ever be heard in you again! No craftsman in any craft shall ever be found in you again! No sound from a mill shall ever be heard in you again! 23No light from a lamp shall ever shine in you again! No whispering of bride and groom shall ever be heard in you again.
No concerts or operas, choirs or orchestras, shall you ever enjoy again! No specialists in any field shall you ever consult again! No cheap labor shall you ever use again! No lies shall you ever profiteer through again! No young couples shall you ever entrain again.
For your businessmen have been the top people of the globe. For all nations have been deluded by your spells (24in her has been found the blood of Prophets, the faithful, and all the people slain across the planet).
For your wheelers and dealers have risen to run the human race. For all nations have been taken in by your lying charms (in it is sourced the violence against Prophets, the faithful, and all the folk killed across the planet).
Comments:
18.1: So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth, and shine forth suddenly with the light of its Lord.[1]
18.2: Ye are…the bird which soareth…through the immensity of the heavens, until, impelled to satisfy its hunger, it turneth longingly to the water and clay of the earth below it, and, having been entrapped in the mesh of its desire, findeth itself impotent to resume its flight to the realms whence it came. Powerless to shake off the burden weighing on its sullied wings, that bird, hitherto an inmate of the heavens, is now forced to seek a dwelling-place upon the dust.…Defile not your wings with the clay of waywardness and vain desires, and suffer them not to be stained with the dust of envy and hate, that ye may not be hindered from soaring in the heavens of My divine knowledge.[2]
18.3 & 9: Humankind is at the mercy of rulers so drunk with pride that they cannot discern clearly their own best advantage.…Whenever any one of them hath striven to improve [the world’s] condition, his motive hath been his own gain.…The unworthiness of this motive hath The millstone of busyworklimited his power to heal or to cure.[3]
18.4: Time and again have We admonished Our beloved ones to avoid, nay to flee from, anything whatsoever from which the odor of mischief can be detected.[4]
18.17–20: Workers amid the Confusion of Babylon face its fall better than its rulers or its businessmen. These workers denounce it objectively, show no fear from her suffering, and prophetically stood, cried, and threw in the past-tense as if for something they expected.
18.21: Busywork: The millstone of busywork signifies all the wasted time and energy exacted by Malignant Materialism.
8.24: Alas, this mention of all the people slain across the planet fits modern times all too well.

[1] So powerful, Baha’u’llah, ESW 14; shine forth, Selections from the Writings of the Bab 7.9.92; with the light, Quran 39.69
[2] Baha’u’llah, GWB 153.327
[3] Baha’u’llah, Summons of Lord of Hosts, Temple, Queen Victoria 1.175, PB67
[4] Baha’u’llah, GWB 97.153