The Splendour of God, by Eric Hammond, , at sacred-texts.com
The written word of Baha‘u‘llah is possessed of much direct instruction, conveyed very beautifully, having always a helpful and inspiring note.
Let us wander, if you will, for a little time, with him in "The Seven Valleys," seven stations, so to speak, on the Divine Way. We shall find these stations in a veritable Garden of the Soul. They are described in the form of answers to questions put by a mystic Sufi, a Mohammedan named Sheik Abdur Rahman. Our gleanings from these answers, or tablets, will be gathered from Ali Kuli Khan's translation, issued by the Bahai Publishing Society in 1906. We will note that these answers are further described as "revealed"; that, naturally they are presented with a glowing and ornate Oriental wealth of imagery. Much of this we must leave ungarnered, contenting ourselves with enough of the real fineness of the work to give us a clear conception of the thought behind it.
It begins thus
Praise be unto God, who caused existence to appear from non-existence, inscribed the mysteries of the existence on the tablet of Man and taught him the explanation of that which he knoweth not. . . . I mention unto thee holy, brilliant allusions from the Stations of Glory; so that they may attract thee unto the court of holiness, nearness, and beauty, and draw thee unto a state wherein thou shalt see naught in existence but the countenance of His Highness thy Beloved One. . . . That is the station of which the nightingale of unity hath sung, viz., 'And there shall appear upon the tablet of thine heart the traces of the subtle mysteries of 'fear God and God will instruct you.' . . . May it do good unto me, unto thee, unto whomsoever may ascend to the heaven of knowledge, and to him whose heart is fascinated by the zephyr of assurance wafting upon the garden of his innate heart, from the Sheba of the Merciful.
Peace be unto those who follow guidance."
It must be remarked that "the stages of the journey of travellers from the earthly dwelling to the Divine House have been designated to be Seven; some have spoken of these as 'Seven
[paragraph continues] Valleys' . . . and they have said, 'Not until the traveller migrates from self and accomplishes these journeys, will he arrive at the sea of nearness and union.'