This is an excerpt from a letter to the Bahá'i community of Ireland from Counsellor Adib Taherzadeh.
THE SOUL CAN ONLY ACQUIRE GOOD QUALITIES
We notice that in the physical world, the embryo in the womb of the mother starts its life with one cell. With the passage of time the cell multiplies, limbs and organs come into existence, eventually the embryonic life comes to an end, and the child is born as a perfect being. Here we see the vast contrast between the first cell at the beginning and its consummation at the time of birth.
The same phenomenon occurs with the soul. At its inception it is without experience, and its qualities and powers lie latent within it. As a result of its association with the body in this womb-world, its individuality develops and it later acquires spirtual qualities and divine attributes which it carries to the next world. But the soul cannot take with it bad qualities, for in fact these are but the lack of good qualities and do not exist, just as poverty is the lack of riches. If a man has lived an ungodly life, his soul is impoverished and can take only a small measure of goodness with it to the next world.
From study of the Writings we gather that similar to this world where there are degrees of existence such as the mineral, the vegetable, the animal and man -- and even in each kingdom there are many divisions--in the spiritual worlds of God the souls of man will also progress on different levels depending on what good qualities they take with them to the next world. Those on a lower level will not be able to understand those on a higher one. Here we see an example of how the same principle which operates in the physical world, namely the diversity of God's creation, is also operative in the spiritual realms.