Habits of Thought-Speech

The heart must needs therefore be cleansed from the idle sayings of men, and sanctified from every earthly affection, so that it may discover the hidden meaning of divine inspiration, and become the treasury of the mysteries of divine knowledge.

Bahá’u’lláh, The Kitab-i-Iqan, p. 68

Apart from the spiritual requisites of a sanctified Bahá’í life, there are habits of thought that affect the unfoldment of the global Plan, and their development has to be encouraged at the level of culture.  There are tendencies, as well, that need to be gradually overcome.  Many of these tendencies are reinforced by approaches prevalent in society at large, which, not altogether unreasonably, enter into Bahá’í activity.

Universal House of Justice, 28 December 2010 to the Continental Boards of Counsellors

As a body of people who are being steadily freed by the Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh from the "gravitational pull", so to speak, of the cultures in which their habits of mind have been formed, the community already has a unique approach to the exploration of reality. This approach needs to be sharply honed as an ever more effective instrument of social transformation. The devising of the new scholarly paradigm called for by this circumstance offers a priceless opportunity of service and achievement to those Bahá’ís who enjoy the dual gifts of spiritual faith and intellectual faculties trained in the best that contemporary society has to offer.

Universal House of Justice, 1998 Mar 19, Complete Compilation on Scholarship

Peace of mind is gained by the centering of the spiritual consciousness on the Prophet of God; therefore you should study the spiritual Teachings, and receive the Water of Life from the Holy Utterances. Then by translating these high ideals into action, your entire character will be changed, and your mind will not only find peace, but your entire being will find joy and enthusiasm.

Universal House of Justice, Lights of Guidance, p. 112

This conversation of the Bahá’í world, grounded in allegiance to Bahá’u’lláh and safeguarded by firmness in His Covenant, increasingly transcends the habits of speech characteristic of an age preoccupied with trivial or misdirected interests. With time, accrued experience, and continued guidance, this ongoing conversation comes to be distinguished by a more worthy etiquette of expression and gradually clarifies ambiguities, expands participation, airs concerns, strengthens bonds of love and association, refocuses endeavour, reconciles differences, resolves problems, and contributes to happiness and well-being . . . Your contribution, though free and frank, is not characterized by insistence on personal opinion.

Universal House of Justice, to the delegates gathered at Bahá’í National Conventions, 16 May 2013

You know well that the habits of mind and spirit that you are nurturing in yourselves and others will endure, influencing decisions of consequence that relate to marriage, family, study, work, even where to live. Consciousness of this broad context helps to shatter the distorting looking glass in which everyday tests, difficulties, setbacks, and misunderstandings can seem insurmountable. And in the struggles that are common to each individual's spiritual growth, the will required to make progress is more easily summoned when one's energies are being channelled towards a higher goal—the more so when one belongs to a community that is united in that goal.

Universal House of Justice to the 114 Youth Conferences, 1 July 2013