Can a Woah-man! Serve on the UHJ?

I was talking to a friend recently about her volunteer work within the GLBT community and something she said caught my attention: “gender is so over!”.

Now that statement may seem ridiculous, especially when you consider that everything in our Western society demonstrates and magnifies the divide between the two sexes.

Boys are given toy trucks, girls? Barbies. Even if the politically correct parents of today have moved beyond such cliches, I’m willing to bet that they may have read books like, Men are from Mars, Women from Venus.

There are two sexes: men and women. But is it that clear cut?

Turns out… no.

Science is slowly beginning to come to grips with the question of gender and the discoveries are nothing short of astonishing. Whereas we once thought of the world divided between two halves, the new paradigm is one where there is a continuum.

intersex

Recently I stumbled on this article: We’re all intersex where Gerald N. Callahan, the author of Between XX and XY: Intersexuality and the Myth of Two Sexes is interviewed about his research:

In between what we call the ideal biological male or ideal biological female, there’s a whole range of other possibilities that don’t differ from our basic preconceptions to the extent that we have names for them or call them a disorder. Just like with every other human trait, there are an infinite number of possibilities.

Of course this is nothing really new. There are other books, like Gender: An Ethnomethodological Approach, from 1978 which expound more or less the same ideas.

We’ve all heard of ‘hermaphrodites’ – persons which have both sexes. By the way, recently, intersexuality has replaced the more familiar, hermaphrodite, as the word of choice within the medical field. In any case, all of this made me think of an uncomfortable question:

Of what significant is the limitation of women’s capacity to serve on the House of Justice when the very definition of ‘woman’ is not black and white?

Can an intersex person be eligible? what if a person has both sets of genitalia? and biologically is both man and woman?

Would that mean that they are eligible? or ineligible? or both?

Huh?

If the Baha’i Faith didn’t have the principle of the unity of religion and science, we could easily brush this off; just like a fundamentalist Christian decrying the fossil records as ‘Satan’s trickery’. But, as Baha’is we have an incredibly high standard which requires us to abide by scientific truths, just as much as religious truths. They are, after all, twin paths to the same truth (or is it Truth?).

I’m not sure if this question has already been asked of the Universal House of Justice. If anyone knows, drop me a note so I don’t have to bother them by asking again. I’ve looked around the internet and haven’t been able to find anything substantial but that doesn’t mean something of significance isn’t out there somewhere floating about.

The only things I’ve found are others over the years wondering the same question and one Baha’i blogger who wrote such a bigoted tripe of an ‘essay’ that it deserves to not even be dignified with detailed mention.

For those that are new to this topic, currently, membership to the Universal House of Justice is restricted to male adults. But there is some disagreement with others believing that there is a sound theological basis for both women and men being eligible for membership to this institution.

But if science shows that gender isn’t that clearly defined into two subsections, doesn’t that make all this a moot point? that is, rendered irrelevant?

Let me know what you think about all this. I’m sure someone out there knows much more about this than I do.

  • raz

    Hypocrisy pure and simple. Bahai's claim to believe in gender equality, yet prohibit women from service on their highest legislative council. Furthermore, no reason is provided other than the convenient prediction that eventually, the wisdom of this restriction will become as obvious as “the noonday sun”. This merits contemplation: the implication is that there is some critical deficiency in the female sex which bars them from serving in this capacity. In fact, the explanation is as banal as the reason for similar injunctions in other faith: misogyny.

  • pey

    Maybe the Bahai community should be as “progressive” as the Islamic Republic of Iran. If a Bahai woman wants to serve that badly on the UHJ, then the Bahais should help pay for her transition to a man. Then as a man she can serve and the dogma of the Bahai Faith stays in place. I am joking of course. But seriously, what other recourse is there? If dogma transcends reason/science, then the Bahai community is now absolutely no different from all the rest of the rigid orthodox religious communities out there.

  • Craig Parke

    TV gameshow offers atheists 'salvation'

    “Contestants will be judged by a panel of eight theologians and religious experts prior to going on the show to make sure their lack of faith is genuine.

    But the show has been condemned by Turkish religious leaders. The head of the country's supreme council of religious affairs, Hamza Aktan, told CNN Turk that it was “disrespectful” to place different faiths in competition with each other and accused Kanal T of using religion to boost ratings.”

    http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/europe/07/03/

    What is sad is that we did not even get asked to be on the show! It couldn't be any less dignified than banging on doors and having to compete for turf with JW's and Mormons could it? The Scientologists have taken over the celebrity meme and their well placed web campaign has great graphics. Meanwhile, getting media exposure through the unstable political refugee derangement meme is not a very good idea.

    So I say just go with rock and roll to promote enlightened deeds not words right from spirit. That really is the best thing we have going on this planet at the present time.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mtGD6t75HS8

    PS
    Sorry for hogging the topics display because I had to break up my long economics post!

  • pey

    But to answer your question: “Can an intersex person be eligible? what if a person has both sets of genitalia? and biologically is both man and woman?”
    The answer I would think is NO, unless they have taken on the role of being a man in society and received the recognition as a man by the society. So for instance if the UHJ allowed such a person to live as a man and abide by the sexual/social roles expected of a man, then they would be a man who could serve on the UHJ regardless of what appendages that they have. I mean if appendages are what makes a man eligble, then what happens if a current UHJ member gets his cut off in an accident- must he resign? Of course if that happens, I bet not being able to serve on the UHJ is the least of his concern. :o)

  • Baquia

    Exactly, this is the type of questions that become really challenging. If not appendages, then chromosomes? But no, it can't be chromosomes because as the book above shows, it isn't black and white (XX, XY). Which leaves us where we started. I know that the chances of an intersex Baha'i being elected to the UHJ is remote but the question itself is as important, if not more so than any answers.

  • pey

    But basically it goes back to the role that person plays and how they are accepted. As much as the Bahai community thinks it is progressive when it comes to the equality of the sexes- it is not. It has roles for each sex in the society that it wants to build- similar to an Islamic state. It is these roles that must be adhered to. So I can see the Bahai community “evolving” to the point that it would accept a woman who is willing to dress and act like a man as a man, as long as she doesn't rock the boat. I can see the Bahai community accepting this ridiculous scenario before it actually would accept a full-fledged woman (XX and all) to sit on the House. That is of course unless the Bahai community is willing to seriously look at itself and see where it has gone wrong…

  • raz

    Your hypothetical scenario is actually of great importance here, because it highlights the arbitrariness and inequality of the injunction prohibiting women from service on the UHJ. There are several such possibilities:
    – Transgender person (i.e. sex change F->M)
    – Testicular feminization (XY chromosomes but female appearance)
    – Hermaphrodite as you mention.

  • fubar

    when I started one of my first database jobs 25 years ago, there was a discussion of the SEVEN gender codes used by the state of california medical records systems.

    as baquia points out, there are people with various mixed genders, no gender, etc.

    frequently the highly “intersexed” person suffers greatly as a result of social stigmas, and various very tragic stories about confused, uneducated parents subjecting their children to HORRIBLE medical treatments intended to “force” an intersex child into a “standard” gender.

    very sad.

  • fubar

    raz,

    the hypocrisy is certainly jarring, as it is silly.

    I was given an early hardcopy of the LA Study Group's “Service of Women” paper many years ago by one of the authors/signatories. I've heard many different arguments about the topic, including the discussion on the “talisman1″ email list, etc. I discussed the issue and her research on it with Dr. Susan Maneck, and read many email threads over the years.

    After all that, the reality is that no one knows what the “noon day sun” reference is really about with 100% certainty. According to Dr. Tony Lee (Kalimat Press), “clear as noonday sun” meant that when Abdu'l-Baha showed up in Chicago, he was going to set the men straight, and force them to allow women to be elected to the “House of Justice” (which later became the NSA!). That interpretation is of course 180 degrees opposite of the conventional wisdom. A lot of things (definitions/interpretations) were in flux in the early days that were presumably left ambiguous for a reason.

    Susan Maneck came to the conclusion that the whole thing was mostly about protecting women in Iran from persecution in 1910. Any mixing of women and men on “assemblies” (which would have been known then as “houses of justice”) would have excited intense scrutiny and hatred from the mullas running the towns where bahais lived, and in many cases, would have resulted in bahai women being brutally punished, or killed.

    Unfortunately there was a “disconnect” from those early days, and no one really cared about the obscure references to “rijal” and the “houses of justice” for a long long long time, until the guardian died, and the first universal house of justice had to be formed.

    So, 50 years after the fact (of the supposed “interpretations” that carved the issue into stone), no “interpreter” was around at the crucial moment that the “interpretation” needed to be revised.

    In effect, the structure of bahai administration as it evolved in the early post-guardian era made it impossible to “unfreeze” the earlier, fuzzy, unclear “interpretations”.

    In other words, Abdu'l-Baha's early cautions, that were meant to avoid women being brutalized in Iran if they were allowed to serve on assemblies/HJs, were “frozen in time”, and could not be undone since the universal house of justice is prohibited from “interpretation”.

    Dr. Maneck speculates that in about 1,000 years, the next manifestation will reverse the ruling, but that of course will be far too late.

    As an ex-bahai, this all simply illustrates how silly the bahai admin system is, and how rigid dogma has overtaken the “progressive” aspects of bahai.

  • Baquia

    “…ere long…” means before long, shortly, or gimme a sec guys!

    It does not mean 1,000 years (next manifestation). Unless you want to go loopy and expect people to believe that all of a sudden Abdu'l-Baha went all metaphysical and mystical on us in the middle of a very pragmatic issue.

  • Baquia

    raz, exactly.

  • http://twitter.com/adam_gurno Adam Gurno

    Allah'u'abha, Baquia.

    Baha'u'llah knew of the upheaval and difficulties his revelations would cause the human race and we are no where near out of the woods wrt the equality of races and men and women. Science changes faster than societies, this is a given. Human societies are adapting, but slowly. This is a drag on the mission of equality, but perhaps an important check on the speed of science. There is nothing wrong with textbooks changing from edition to edition, but to expect that rate of change in people is impossible.

    That being said, whether some groups like it or not, the idea of roles being tied strictly to gender is dying a (generationally) fast death. I would be a fool to expect my wife to cook and clean and raise the children simply because she is a woman, whereas my father-in-law thinks I'm insane for not demanding as such.

    Baha'u'llas revelation of the equality of men and women signalled the beginning of the next phase of human kind, where people are free to choose the roles that they wish. This is clear to everyone.

    The sparks that we see are merely the grinding gears between the post-Baha'u'llah societies and the pre-Baha'u'llah societies. The Baha'i have feet in both worlds and this causes no end of strife, but it is strife that we must overcome – it is our mission.

  • pey

    Baquia, I think someone should post this question to the UHJ. I'm sure there will be some standardized response from a secretary quoting Shoghi Effendi's secretaries, but hey it would be interesting to see how they respond. Would a hermaphrodite for instance be allowed on the UHJ? I would venture to guess that they would if they were playing the role of a male in society. Of course I would understand why you wouldn't pose such a question since you need to keep your anonymity.

  • farhan

    Baquia, to the best of my knowledge, the UHJ refers to the person's civil gender attribution. In case of transsexuality, the person is to refer to competent physicians who decide which gender attribution is to be adopted.

  • Baquia

    Adam, thanks for dropping by. How do you propose we deal with having “feet in both worlds”?

  • farhan

    Pey, from what I know, no civil state accepts a status other than male or female; the UHJ accepts the civil gender of persons and in cases of transexuality refers to medical advise and the civil decision in enrolling the person after a change in gender.

  • Baquia

    Farhan, although most legal jurisdictions have a binary understanding of gender, this is far from a solution and is instead a symptom of the ignorance regarding gender that science is now remedying. Therefore, to refer to civil law, which is always behind science is at best a cop out. Shoving our head in the sand of civil law and ignoring the truths that science reveals are no way to build a society. If we had done that think of all the advancements and freedoms that we would be without! Science has always dragged law kicking and screaming behind it.

    Your comment regarding the doctor to decide gender attribution is indicative that you are stuck in the 1950's paradigm. This is an extremely challenging issue but it is not for anyone but the person themselves to decide their gender. This is a rather obscure corner of medicine but things have changed since you got your degree.

  • Daniela

    This article does not make a clear distinction between sex and gender. Our sex is comprised of physical characteristics; gender is our sexual identity. Gender indeed exists on a continuum.

    Sex less so, although as you point out, there are ambiguities. The occurrence of intersexes is quite low (approx 1 person in 2000 is born w/ an ambiguous gender [Kalat, 2008]) – this can happen as a result of genetic mutation or atypical hormone levels. A person who is an intersex generally chooses an indetity (either male or female), although this identity may differ from the way this person was raised.

    Many forms that we have to fill in in this world have binary category, so the person has to choose one way or the other (I am not saying this is perfect, but that's just the way it is). So, I am assuming they would make a choice what gender they are, and this choice would be respected by the Baha'i institutions.

    When it comes to harmony of religion and science, I don't think it means we (Baha'is) have to unquestioningly accept the current scientific theories: science is ever evolving, and when it comes to sexuality, it really still knows very little. We have to be open to it, we have to study it, we have to respect it. But, we also have to be aware of its limitations.

  • farhan

    Baquia wrote: although most legal jurisdictions have a binary understanding of gender, this is far from a solution and is instead a symptom of the ignorance regarding gender that science is now remedying.

    Thanks for the link that I will explore. I have been involved with such subjects for the last 20 years in our ethical committee in Lyon and our efforts were towards the interaction between law and ethics: no kicking, no screaming, but collaboration. Do you know of any jurisdiction that gives an alternative to the binary understanding of gender?

  • pey

    So from what you are saying Farhan, I think you are confirming what I earlier posted. Like the Iranian regime, the UHJ basically would want a person to choose the role of male or female in a bahai society in order to comply with the set rules that are expected of that gender. Correct? So if a Bahai woman chooses to be a man and is recognized as such in her/his civil jurisdiction, then that is the only way she would have a chance at being on the UHJ. Interesting.

  • farhan

    Pey wrote: So from what you are saying Farhan, I think you are confirming what I earlier posted.

    Farhan: what I am saying is that as in many other circumstances, the Baha'i teachings ask us to comply with the laws of the state where we live and to work at sharing God’s message with all. Baha'is are not like Don Quichotte, directly opposing injustice and dysfunctions everywhere they meet them. Instead of propping up withering plants, they are making provisions for irrigation.

    Baha’is believe for the need of a spiritual foundation on which human societies can then elaborate the civil society they need, and they specialise and concentrate their efforts on that instead of dispersing their energies. There are plenty of competent people pulling down the outdated world order, and too few working at the spiritual foundations of the new one.

    IOW, Baha’is are not telling people what to do with sexual ambiguity, but they are saying that the people concerned, associations, law makers, psychologists and doctors should come together and lovingly and respectfully, without screaming at and kicking each other, consult so as to find the best solution for all. Since science advances every day, we need to keep up this reconciliation work indefinitely. I have been working at this in Lyon since my thesis 1976.

    The idea of a multidisciplinary decision making in ethics was adopted by Nicole Lery in Lyon, and later nationally in France in 1983. I have no idea if I were instrumental in helping inspire this evolution or if we were all inspired by a common source. What imports is that it is advancing in this direction. I have no intention of wasting my time opposing this government or another or comparing a random decision with any other decision.

    Once agin, in my experience, once a person has changed his or her civil gender, the UHJ requires the Baha'i institutions to apply the state decision. The UHJ does not intervene to say whether or not a person should change gender but refers the person to doctors in order to to decide.

  • farhan

    Raz, women are not “prohibited” but exempted from a specific field of service, and Baha'i institutions apply whatever decision has been taken by science and civil authorities.

    I know of no civil state that declares a person without gender and does not help the person choose one.

    The true question would then be how would the UHJ rule if a state did decide to accepte a person as not having a gender.

  • pey

    Interesting. I consider it as servitude for which many other options are available to all without surgery.
    ———-
    A servitude that is denied 1/2 of the world's population. Based on what? Dogma.

  • pey

    The true question would then be how would the UHJ rule if a state did decide to accept a person as not having a gender.
    Jump to »
    ——————
    The UHJ would point to some secretary's letter written on behalf of shoghi effendi in the 1950's saying that trasngenderism is a disease. Farhan you know better than anyone else that dogma is so entrenched now in the Bahai system, that civil authority means absolutely nothing to the Bahai authorities. Only when it is convenient to uphold Bahai dogma, then civil authority is accepted. Civil authority grants a lot of rights and priveleges in many socieities (including woman being allowed to serve in an executive seat of service in government), but THAT means absolutely nothing to the AO.

  • Baquia

    Daniela, yes, that is correct; with the exception that many intersex persons actually do not want to be categorized as men or women. They see themselves as being perfectly normal and happy without being forced to adhere to one of the binary categories that are so prominent in our society.

  • Baquia

    Yes fubar, many organizations and governments on different levels have already moved to account for the variations beyond the binary of male/female. For example, take a look at the Harvard's entrance form. Go to the pull down menu for gender to see what I mean.

  • raz

    Give me a break. Of course “chance” is the appropriate word. UHJ members are respected, almost-worshipped, and have the ability to exert power over the rest of the community. There is no real sense in which it is considered “servitude” to be a UHJ member. Rather, it is very explicitly “leadership” in every sense of the word. To conflate the two is Orwellian, which, would not be surprising when discussing Baha'i dogma.

  • farhan

    Raz wrote: Of course “chance” is the appropriate word. UHJ members are respected, almost-worshipped, and have the ability to exert power over the rest of the community. There is no real sense in which it is considered “servitude” to be a UHJ member.

    Thank you, Raz. You are expressing the typical old-world concept that you are projecting on Baha'i institutions, one that has no place within the new-world paradigm. We very obviously come to the Baha’i Faith to offer our time, substance and lives, not to gain respect, worship and power. Those who come to the faith with such ambitions have totally misunderstood what the Faith is about; they are wasting their time and that of others and will ultimately exclude themselves. Take your break Raz, and let us agree to disagree on that fallacy.

  • Craig Parke

    Farhan,

    Have you ever read any of the speeches that can be found on-line now of UHJ member Peter Khan? This pompous and arrogant man thinks he is the Galactic Center of the Universe! How did a man of that demonstrated sneering and domineering character ever get elected even dog catcher in anything? He has an opinion on everything and every body. A few years back the Baha'is in Toronto actually held “study classes” on his insufferable speeches! It is sheer idolatry to permit that sort of cult of personality in the Baha'i Faith.

    These men have now become mentally ill buffoons because they have led their entire adult lives in an insular cult bubble. Their God is Shoghi Effendi. Their Universe is the hollow Administration. There is nothing spiritual in any of it at all. Zero. The means to an end became the end itself. So the spiritual power that once belonged to the Baha'is as a potential truly bottom up global spiritual movement has been squandered and will now pass on to others. It is the same old, same old.

    These people own the Baha'is Faith as their own personal “theorist” satrap with no countervailing spiritual force. As long as they live, there will be no change. What they personally say goes top down and anyone who does not personally turn their souls over to them will have a file opened on them by the KGB in Haifa and be investigated by the global apparatus and eventually kicked out of the Faith and everyone knows it. Baquia has to keep his/her identity concealed or risk this fate! How's THAT for a religion in the 21st Century! No such fear based organization will ever succeed or flower in the Internet Age. To think so is absolutely ludicrous!

    Meanwhile the Teachings of the World Age as channeled from the Maid of Heaven will be implemented by free thinking souls not placed in chains like the Baha'is under the current lifetime incumbent self styled “we are the Center-of-the-Universe” so called “leadership”.

    They aren't.

    So it goes.

  • Pey

    Yep. Tidbits from the UHJ's constitution:
    “Among the POWERS and duties with which the Universal House of Justice has been invested are:”
    “The members of the Universal House of Justice, designated by Bah??'u'll??h “the Men of Justice”, “the people of Bah?? who have been mentioned in the Book of Names”, “The Trustees of God amongst His servants and the daysprings of authority in His countries”,
    Seems to me they have A LOT of POWER and AUTHORITY. Not just simple humble servants equal to all the rest of the Bahais as Farhan is making them out to be.

  • fubar

    re: more slime from farhan: this is what “bahai” is really about.

    Farhan,

    There is nothing “new-world” about how people are “elected” in the bahai system, you are proposing that a “theory”, which has been proven to *not* work on a practical level for 50 years, still somehow has merit.

    Your attitude about the corrupt, incompetent bahai election system is what is “old-world”.

    Any basic text on organizational culture, or systems theory, will list “authenticity” and “open feedback loops” in the “top ten” things that are required to avoid massive dysfunctionality. In systems theory, this is called the principle of “self learning”, “self organization”, “self correction”, and so forth.

    IT IS WIRED INTO HUMAN NATURE BY EVOLUTION.

    NO SILLY PROPHETOLOGY IS REQUIRED.

    bahai administration is run along the lines of conformism and “group think”, and has been so deeply infected by pathological memes that massive reform is needed to return RATIONAL people's faith in bahai administration to even a beginning state of “health”.

    bahai administration could easily be a textbook “case study” in how abuse of authority (including inept/corrupt election systems) is used to stifle criticism, nnonconformance and dissent, for the purpose of protecting a system based on regressed paradigms, from calls for reform.

    You usual, absurd, demeaning and insulting “tactic” here is to impugn the reputation of a critic by implying that they are spiritually unworthy, and have an intellectually deficient understanding of principles.

    On the contrary, you are the one that is incapable of seeing the plain reality that the bahai system is full of lies about the ambitions and PATHOLOGICAL hunger for control/power of people in the bahai system.

    IT IS INFECTED WITH ETHNOCENTRISM AND REGULARLY EXHIBITS CULTURAL IMPERIALISM.

    Your lack of honesty and “authenticity” is a perfect example of the corrupt attitudes that are the foundation upon which dysfunctional organizational bahai culture rests on.

    You absurd attempt to “defend” the bahai system actually does the opposite, it clearly demonstrates that the bahai system produces dishonesty amongst “followers”, and a corresponding need to attack critics using lies and slimy, distortionary polemics.

    have a nice day.

  • fubar

    baquia,

    thanks.

    what really jumps out at me on this issue is how little concern for the basic dignity of human beings is being expressed by the people attempting to uphold the bahai “system”.

    it is just another example of the “disconnect” that exists in the current form of bahai culture and organization, in which as Habermas states “systems colonize lifeworld”.

    all the weepy, flowery, mystical language by bahais ultimately means little or nothing (in practice) if “systems” memes are given so much privilege that basic human decency (lifeworld) gets ignored/marginalized.

    one of the problems here is that bahai is full of outmoded metaphysics. instead of getting rid of the junk metaphysics, as per modernism/postmodernism, the upholders of rigid dogma insist on its totalitarian validity. otherwise their fragile bubble of narrow belief gets broken.

  • farhan

    Dear Craig,

    I actually value greatly Peter Khan's talks and transcripts as very informative, but I have never met him, nor will I ever attempt to judge him.

    I understand that as Baha'is we appreciate each other to various degrees and are more or less attracted to a person depending on which of our favourite teachings they exemplify.

    We all have misgivings, but in each other we can find a spark of God's beauty at which we marvel and from which we derive benefit, and which would not be there had we not been touched by God's teachings.

    We can't expect UHJ members to be perfect, but to administer: IOW serve humanity by harmonising our efforts, as selflessly and as close as possible to God's message. How well they are managing is their own problem to tackle with God.

    At one time we have to become engaged in the orchestra instead of sitting back as spectators where we can best evaluating all the mistakes we see in others.

  • farhan

    Fubar, thank you for considering my post and replying. Your insults do not help our communication and discredit your views.

  • farhan

    Pey, their _personal_ power and authority, individually, are no more than yours and mine, but the love of God is reflected in their midst when they meet.

    Their highest possible _personal_ rank would be that of utter self effacement and servitude, as that of Abdu'l-Baha who would be hurt and infuriated when the Baha'is venerated him beyond this station of servitude.

    If you doubt about my understanding, transfer our exchange to the UHJ and share the reply for the benefit of all of us.

  • pey

    Why bother? I'll just a secretary to write back to me on their behalf. But yes, I fully understand your fundamentalist administration worship in regards to the AO.

  • raz

    Why do Baha'is stand when a UHJ member enters the room? Why is personal criticism of UHJ members absolutely frowned upon? Why do Baha'is perseverate on how “hard-working” and “sacrificial” the UHJ members are? Many, many people work much harder than they do. Cardiac surgeons for example frequently put in brutal 18-20 hour days all the time saving lives. Besides, living in an all-expenses paid, highly reverential city-state on the Mediterranean coast doesn't sound too bad to me. Wake up! The Baha'i administrative order is a power structure like any other. And its misogynistic and obsessed with thought control to boot. I wish Orwell were alive to comment.

  • pey

    Yep been there done that. Pilgrimage when I was younger. They also were seated at a podium that was elevated from the audience (I'm sure Farhan will say it is so we can just see them better). My problem with this whole thing is that people like Farhan really believe that these 9 men when together somehow have a direct connection to the Almighty. That they can literally make no mistakes and they are almost the only divine connection we have on this earth. That's bogus. If that was the case- then they wouldn't have needed a Guardian to tell them where they have gone wrong and made mistakes. They are human beings who arbitrers to keep the community united- that's all. And unfortunately the present nine are stuck in a bunch of letters written by secretaries of Shoghi Effendi decades ago. Thus no women on the House.

  • farhan

    Raz, The holy Land is at this time far from a safe and serene holiday resort. I also see a difference between the reverence people are impelled to offer, be they right or wrong in doing so, the reverence that Abdu’l-Baha resented when in excess, and the ambition of people. Beethoven, Mozart and Picasso were passionately involved in their art, and were not motivated or discouraged by reverence or rejection from the public. That people love the members of the UHJ and wish to show it is their personal choice. This doesn’t mean that the UHJ members enjoy or seek this attention, and if incidentally some Baha’i administrators did become addicted to such attention, that they are on the right path. This quote from Abdu’l-Baha from Mahmud’s Diary, 2 April 1912, aboard the Cedric is revealing to me:

    ?The Master again spoke on the subject of the spiritual illness and self-serving motives of the heads of various religions. One of the friends asked Him about the leaders and Hands of the Cause in this Dispensation. He said:
    The Blessed Perfection has extirpated superstitions, root and branch. The Hands of the Cause in this dispensation are not heirs to any name or title; rather, they are sanctified souls, the rays of whose holiness and spirituality throw light on the hearts of all. Hearts are attracted by the beauty of their morals, the sincerity of their intentions, and their sense of equity and justice. Souls are involuntarily enamored of their praiseworthy morals and laudable attributes. Faces turn in spontaneous attraction to their outstanding qualities and actions. `Hand of the Cause' is not a title that may be awarded to whomever it may please to have it, nor is it a chair of honor upon which whoever wishes may sit. The Hands of the Cause are the hands of God. Therefore, whomsoever is the servant and promoter of the Word of God, he is the hand of God. The object is a matter of the spirit and not one of letters or words. The more self-effacing one is, the more assisted he is in the Cause of God; and the more meek and humble, the nearer he is to God.?

  • farhan

    Pey wrote: people like Farhan really believe that these 9 men when together somehow have a direct connection to the Almighty

    Bingo, Pey. This is Baha’u’llah’s promise in which Baha’is like me believe: not inherently infallible, but under God’s guidance.

  • raz

    Yes, well you will find that Ayatollahs Khomeini and Khamenei are also full of humble sentiments about their lowliness and servitude. Just stating it doesn't make it so.

  • PEy

    Nope. THAT is your fundamentalist interpretation of what Baha'u'llah said. Other Bahais, like me, think differently. YOU get to voice your opinion openly in the community. WE have to hide. That's the difference. Why do I feel like goign to my rooftop and yelling Allah'u'abha right now? grrrrr

  • farhan

    Yes, Raz, and just slandering people doesn't make them guilty either; equity implies seeing with one's own eyes and hearing with one's own ears. We choose our friends and here we explain why.

  • Craig Parke

    Farhan,

    It sounds like you didn't get the memo from the US National Convention a few years back. Seeing with your “own eyes” and hearing with your “own ears” is now COMPLETELY OUT in NEWTHINK Baha'i Faith. You must see and hear through the eyes and ears of the UHJ because they are omniscient and totally factually infallible in all things. Period.

    Just search the archives here for an update. What Baha'u'llah said on this issue does not count anymore. Nada. Zippo. Zilch.

  • Baquia

    “not inherently infallible, but under God’s guidance”

    Farhan, what is the difference? And would you agree that we are all under God's guidance? If not, can you explain? Thanks.

  • farhan

    Baquia, from my personal experience in ethical decision making, many issues in the « grey » area where ?right? and ?wrong? are not clearly and automatically established, we are sometimes confronted with no ?good? decision available. So we make a decision which is the least unfavourable one at that time and in those precise circumstances. This compromise is not a mistake. It is inspired by principles and established through a multidisciplinary consultation and liable to change as circumstances evolve.

    From what I understand from Paul Lample’s last talk at Baha’i Studies (I have the tape and not the transcript) this is how the Shoghi Effendi functioned and the UHJ functions: by trial and error and adopting the best compromise. They did not have a crystal ball to look into. Baha’u’llah revealed by inspiration.

  • farhan

    Craig, there is a difference between what we see and understand as individuals, and a common goal we collectively adopt and in the direction of which we collectively persevere.

  • farhan

    Craig, I found the quote I was seeking from Abdu'l-Baha in part in The Glad Tidings of Baha'u'llah, George Townsend, p 41-42. (If anyone has the whole tablet of which I only found my own French translation, I would be grateful)

    We see that perfection is neither required from the individual, nor from institutions: a true Baha'i is defined as the one who _strives_ towards an ideal :

    “The cornerstone of the religion of God is the acquisition of divine perfections and the sharing of his Manifold bestowals. The essential purpose of faith and belief is to ennoble the inner being of man with the outpourings of grace from on high. If this be not attained, it is, indeed, deprivation. It is the realization of this deprivation that is the true eternal fire.

    Therefore, it is incumbent upon all Baha'is to ponder this delicate and vital matter in their hearts, that, unlike other religions, they may not content themselves with the noise, the clamor, the hollowness of religious doctrine. Nay, rather, they should exemplify in every aspect of their lives the attributes and virtues that are born of God, and should arise to distinguish themselves by their godly behavior. They should justify their claim to be Baha'is by deed, not by name.

    He is a true Baha'i who strives by day and by night to progress and advance along the path of human endeavor, whose cherished desire is so to live and act as to enrich and illumine the world; whose source of inspiration is the Essence of Divine perfection; whose aim in life is to conduct himself so as to be the cause of infinite progress. Only when he attains unto such perfect gifts can it be said of him that he is a Baha'i.”

    Here we have the definition of a “true” Baha’i; When we see imperfection in ourselves or in others, it is the fact that we _strive_ to grow towards an ideal that defines us as a Baha’i and not how we compare to others.

    We can fool others, but what point is there in fooling ourselves, calling ourselves Baha'is if we disagree with the ideals?

    This is entirely different from rules designed for maintaining law and order in a community and which can lead to the withdrawal of voting rights if someone, as he is entirely free and even encouraged to do so, announces beliefs that are diametrically opposed to Baha'i ideals, showing that he does not wish to strive in that direction, implying that he no more considers himself a Baha'i.

  • fubar

    re: more absurd drivel.

    Farhan,

    You regularly insult people, specifically for the purpose of undermining ideas that do not conform to current rigid bahai dogma.

    And here, you openly state that you are far more interested in engaging in polemics rather than unbiased investigation of truth.

    You are a perfect symbol of most of what is wrong with the people that arrogantly think of themselves as some sort of bahai aristocracy.

    As I 've stated many times, your tactic is to use twisted, dishonest rhetoric to imply that the critic is spiritually “unworthy”, has a “deficient” understanding of some so-called esoteric principle, etc.

    This is obviously cultural imperialism, as has been commented upon by many )especially non-persian) people in the bahai community for decades.

    If you want to persist in being almost indistinguishable from a racist, deel free, it just makes clear how dysfunctional and rigidly dogmatic mainstream mentalities in bahai culture are.

  • farhan

    what do you find insulting?

  • PEy

    I don't know about Fubar, but here is all I've found insulting:
    1) Your incessant need to identify those who disagree as being children who need to be educated in God's word (and by God's word you mean your fundamentalist interpretation of the Faith)
    2) The time you compared the desire of gay people to fight for their rights as reminding you of children on a playground who complain that they don't have what others do
    3) Your identifying anyone who doesn't share your fundemantalist view of the Faith as non-Bahais. THAT is the biggest insult and shows your deep seated arrogance under a facade of humility.

  • Craig Parke

    I don't think we should be having “study classes” on any personal speeches by members of the UHJ. Period.

  • Craig Parke

    A beautiful, beautiful speech. It is why I gladly joined the Faith many, many years ago and served it with everything I had. But, Farhan, WHEN are you going to realize that the “Baha'is” of this world are NOT people walking around with membership cards in their pants?

    The “Baha'is” are the people doing the work of the World Age in Spirit from within their own hearts. Such people are everywhere. They dwell in Spirit.

    Meanwhile, the people that currently call themselves “Baha'is” these days can accomplish absolutely nothing Spiritual in nature because they are merely worshiping Shoghi Effendi as the Supreme Manifestation of God for this World Age and the system he created. To these souls THE PLAN ITSELF IS ALMIGHTY GOD. WRONG! The means to an end has become the end in itself and they are totally cut off from Spirit just smoking the Ruhi Books and pimping for more hapless souls to be recruited to go door to door in the machine. There is nothing free and of the Spirit at all. It is grim and it is endless.

    Everyone have a nice weekend!

  • farhan

    Pey, IOW you feel insulted because my opinions differ from yours and not because I express them in an insulting manner?

  • farhan

    Craig wrote: But, Farhan, WHEN are you going to realize that the “Baha'is” of this world are NOT people walking around with membership cards in their pants?

    Farhan: I fully understand this, Craig. It is a matter of definition and words. At God’s banquet all are taking benefit. In my understanding, some are also trying to help in the kitchen and serve at table; those are the ones I call enrolled Baha’is.

  • farhan

    I agree to a point. We should have study classes on important subjects such as those suggested by the well informed members of the UHJ

  • farhan

    Pey, here is one example amongst many of how we all need to be born into the spiritual kingdom and advance in maturity:

    “It is a self-evident truth that all humanity is the creation of God. All are His servants and under His protection. All are recipients of His bestowals. God is kind to all His servants. At most it is this: that some are ignorant; they must be educated in order that they may become intelligent. Some are immature as children; they must be aided and assisted in order that they may become mature. Some are sick and ailing; they must be healed. But the suffering patient must not be tested by false treatment. The child must not be warped and hindered in its development. The ignorant must not be restricted by censure and criticism. We must look for the real, true remedy.

    All the Prophets of God, including Jesus Christ, appeared in the world for the education of humanity, to develop immature souls into maturity, to transform the ignorant of mankind into the knowing, thereby establishing love and unity through divine education and training. The Prophets have not come to cause discord and enmity. For God has wished all good for His servants, and he who wishes the servants of God evil is against God; he has not obeyed the will and emulated the example of God; he has followed Satanic leadings and footprints. The attributes of God are love and mercy; the attribute of Satan is hate. Therefore, he who is merciful and kind to his fellowmen is manifesting the divine attribute, and he who is hating and hostile toward a fellow creature is satanic. God is absolute love, even as Jesus Christ has declared, and Satan is utter hatred. Wherever love is witnessed, know that there is a manifestation of God’s mercy; whenever you meet hatred and enmity, know that these are the evidences and attributes of Satan. The Prophets have appeared in this world with the mission that human souls may become the expressions of the Merciful, that they may be educated and developed, attain to love and amity and establish peace and agreement. (Abdu'l-Baha PUP p 31)

  • PEy

    And Farhan is our father- always ready to feed us our daily bread. God you are arrogant!

  • fubar

    “he who wishes the servants of God evil is against God”

    Farhan, thanks for an excellent scriptural example of bahai tribalism, ethnocentrism, elitism, arrogance, and cultural emperialism!

    You must have thought it was light and fluffy, but it is the opposite: more sugar coated poo.

    This is why the self-organizing/learning/correcting mechanisms that exist in “healthy” organizational culture is absent in bahai: any criticism (internal or external), nonconformism or dissent can be “labeled” as “wishing the servants of God evil”, and dispensed with by bahai fanatics and corrupt bureaucrats. Thus the kinds of reforms that have led to such great civilizational advances in “western” democracies, which contain protections on free speech, especially for those that criticise the use of state or religious power and authority to form public opinion, ARE IMPOSSIBLE IN BAHAI.

    Let me repeat that: POPULIST REFORMS OF CORRUPT ORGANIZATION ARE IMPOSSIBLE IN BAHAI. BAHAI IS ANTI-DEMOCRATIC AND ANTI-REFORM.

    After reading such scripture (and this is by absolutely no means an isolated example – bahai scripture is full of such “us vs. them” drivel), it becomes obvious why bahai is not, and never will be, a truly “universal” religion.

    This is the kind of thing that is the basis for the vast failures that are evident in bahai: massive contradictions and inconsistencies that make it impossible the think of bahai as a religion that balances rational and spiritual consciousness.

    Again, thanks for providing such an excellent example of the kind of dysfunctional, outmoded metaphysics that make bahai an example of “bad religion”.

    Again, thanks for providing such an excellent example of the kind of dysfunctional, outmoded metaphysics that make bahai an example of “bad religion”.

    Again, thanks for providing such an excellent example of the kind of dysfunctional, outmoded metaphysics that make bahai an example of “bad religion”.

  • farhan

    Pey wrote: And Farhan is our father- always ready to feed us our daily bread.

    Wrong, Pey, completely wrong: God is our father, we are all his children, we are brethren, in need of His guidance. I do not recommend following my advice, but submitting to that of God and of the UHJ to which I submit myself and which you would seem to wish submit to your requirements. And you find me arrogant and insulting for having dared contradict your ideas.

  • alonso

    To come back to the beginning of this article, the problem if a intersex person can serve at the UHJ seems possible if we agree that sex or gender are not clear divided. So the question if a women can be elected should be irrelevant and the future will prove it. Hopefully !

  • fubar

    re: [Ken Wilber] “But one thing is absolutely certain: all the talk of a new spirituality in America is largely a waste of time unless those two central dialogues are engaged and answered. Unless spirituality can pass through the gate of science, then of liberalism, it will never be a significant force in the modern world, but will remain merely as the organizing power for the prerational levels of development around the world.”

    D&B,

    Since scientists don't unquestioningly accept “current scientific theories” either, this isn't of much significance.

    From a consciousness studies perspective (e.g., integral theory), the limitations of science are that: it is rooted in a cultural paradigm (modernity) that was historically “hostile” to transcendence/spirit/mysticism. There were a lot of good reasons for that hostility: religion was in most cases resistant to progress of almost any kind, especially in the early modern era when the Enlightenment (and related events) was producing so many amazing paradigm shifts (which bahai frequently attempts to misappropriate).

    http://www.shambhalasun.com/index.php?option=co

    excerpt:

    Shambhala Sun | July 1999
    Liberalism and Religion – We Should Talk
    By: Ken Wilber

    Liberalism's objections to mythic forms do not apply to formless awareness. Thus liberalism and authentic spirituality can walk hand in hand.There are two major dialogues in the modern world that I believe must take place, one between science and religion, and then one between religion and liberalism.

    The way it is now, the modern world really is divided into two major and warring camps, science and liberalism on the one hand, and religion and conservatism on the other. And the key to getting these two camps together is first, to get religion past science, and then second, to get religion past liberalism, because both science and liberalism are deeply anti-spiritual. And it must occur in that order, because liberalism won’t even listen to spirituality unless it has first passed the scientific test. (Showing how that might happen was a major theme of my book, Sense and Soul.)
    In one sense, of course, science and liberalism are right to be anti-spiritual, because most of what has historically served as spirituality is now prerational, magic or mythic, implicitly ethnocentric, fundamentalist dogma. Liberalism traditionally came into existence to fight the tyranny of prerational myth and that is one of its enduring and noble strengths (the freedom, liberty, and equality of individuals in the face of the often hostile or coercive collective). And this is why liberalism was always allied with science against fundamentalist, mythic, prerational religion (and the conservative politics that hung on to that religion).
    But neither science nor liberalism is aware that in addition to prerational myth, there is transrational awareness. There are not two camps here: liberalism versus mythic religion. There are three: mythic religion, rational liberalism, and transrational spirituality.

    The main strength of liberalism is its emphasis on individual human rights. The major weakness is its rabid fear of Spirit. Modern liberalism came into being, during the Enlightenment, largely as a counterforce to mythic religion, which was fine. But liberalism committed a classic pre/trans fallacy: it thought that all spirituality was nothing but prerational myth, and thus it tossed any and all transrational spirituality as well, which was absolutely catastrophic. (As Ronald Reagan would say, it tossed the baby with the dishes.) Liberalism attempted to kill God and replace transpersonal Spirit with egoic humanism, and as much as I am a liberal in many of my social values, that is its sorry downside, this horror of all things Divine. Liberalism can be rightfully distrustful of prerational myth, and yet still open itself to transrational awareness. Its objections to mythic forms do not apply to formless awareness, and thus liberalism and authentic spirituality can walk hand in hand into a greater tomorrow. If this can be demonstrated to them using terms they find acceptable, then we would have, I believe for the first time, the possibility of a postliberal spirituality, which combines the strengths of conservatism and liberalism but moves beyond both in a transrational, transpersonal integration. The trick is to take the best of both, individual rights plus a spiritual orientation, and to do so by finding liberal humanistic values plugged into a transrational, not prerational, Spirit. This spirituality is transliberal, evolutionary and progressive, not preliberal, reactionary and regressive. It is also political, in the very broadest sense, in that its single major motivation, compassion, is pressed into social action. However, a postconservative, postliberal spirituality is not pressed into service as public policy, transrational spirituality preserves the rational separation of church and state, as well as the liberal demand that the state will neither protect nor promote a favorite version of the good life. Those who would transform the world by having all of us embrace their new paradigm, or particular God or Goddess, or their version of Gaia, or their favorite mythology, these are all, by definition, reactionary and regressive in the worst of ways: preliberal, not transliberal, and thus their particular versions of the witch hunt are never far removed from their global agenda. A truly transliberal spirituality exists instead as a cultural encouragement, a background context that neither prevents nor coerces, but rather allows genuine spirituality to arise.

    But one thing is absolutely certain: all the talk of a new spirituality in America is largely a waste of time unless those two central dialogues are engaged and answered. Unless spirituality can pass through the gate of science, then of liberalism, it will never be a significant force in the modern world, but will remain merely as the organizing power for the prerational levels of development around the world.

    Material in this column appears in One Taste: The Journals of Ken Wilber, from Shambhala Publications Inc., Boston. © Ken Wilber, 1998.

  • fubar

    re: “The Left Hand of Darkness”?

    alonso, thanks for the excellent observation.

    there is a bizarro and grotesque element to this (possible) “loophole” in bahai scripture:

    the only “women” (non-men) that would be allowed to serve on the uhj would be those that “somehow” decided to pretend to be “men”. Presumably this “pretending” would have had to have been going on for quiet some time, otherwise it would seem unlikely they would get enough votes.

    one weird scenario would be: “important” bahai families would “train” their girls to be “'men” while they were growing up in hopes of getting them on the uhj.

    such a bizarro scenario kinda reminds me of a sci/fi plot of a phillip k. dick book, or ursula k. le guin:

    excerpt:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Left_Hand_of_D

    The Left Hand of Darkness is the account of the efforts of a man named Genly Ai, a representative from a galactic federation of worlds (the Ekumen), who seeks to bring the world of Gethen into that society.

    The backstory to Le Guin's Hainish cycle is founded in the concept of the expansion of human culture through the galaxy, thanks to the development of near-light-speed travel, which in turns leads to the rise and eventual collapse of a Galactic Empire. Following the demise of the empire, many outlying colonies like Gethen become isolated, losing any record or social memory of their former contact with Hainish culture. Eventually, a new and more egalitarian social order, the Ekumen, arises in its place, and begins to reach out to former outposts of the Empire. In an effort to minimise the effects of culture shock, Ekumen policy dictates that newly-rediscovered worlds should first be secretly observed from space and the approached by a roving individual envoy, the First Mobile. Once contact has been successfully established and the new world agrees to join the Ekumen, the First Mobile is replaced by a permanent mission, led by a Stabile.

    [*] The inhabitants of Gethen are sequentially hermaphroditic humans; for
    [*] twenty-four days of each twenty-six day lunar cycle they are sexually
    [*] latent androgynes, and for the remaining two days (kemmer) are male
    [*] or female, as determined by pheromonal negotiation with an interested
    [*] sex partner. Thus each individual can both sire and bear children.
    . . .

  • fubar

    Farhan,

    You are playing silly games and taking absurd postures, for the millionth time.

    Here is a typical example of your insults:

    “Raz. You are expressing the typical old-world concept that you are projecting on Baha'i institutions, one that has no place within the new-world paradigm.”

    The be precise: calling someone “old-word” in a bahai context is a severe insult.

    The “Key Words” in such culturally imperialistic rhetoric are:

    “has no place within the new-world paradigm”

    Here, you are EXCLUDING the CRITIC, and attempting to use PSYCHOLOGICAL VIOLENCE to marginalize that person's viewpoint.

    You have posted a very large number of such insults.

    I personally do not care about insults, and do not care about “tone” and other such cruft and absurd posturing.

    What is important is how such “face saving” rhetoric is typical of the form of cultural imperialism and psychological violence that is frequently found in bahai culture.

    Again, the primary reason that such “deceptive” rhetoric exists in bahai culture is to enforce conformism, and to create an insularized attitude.

    “old-world” vs. “new-world” is simply an absurd form of us-vs-them “shadow”
    and Jungian “projection”.

    the bahai “spiritual foundations of world peace” that you so frequently refer to are obviously nothing but dysfunctional fairy tale silly-sand that rational, mature human beings would never take seriously.

  • fubar

    farhan,

    part of what is insulting is the appalling level of dishonesty that you frequently demonstrate when people point out that you are WRONG WRONG WRONG.

    your posturing is absurdo in the extreme, and defies logic.

    have a nice day.

  • fubar

    baquia,

    “that is correct, sir!”

    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Ere+long

    re: ” Know thou, 0 handmaid, that in the sight of Baha, women are accounted the same as men, and God hath created all humankind in his own image, and after His own likeness. That is, men and women alike are the revelers of His names and attributes, and from the spiritual viewpoint there is no difference between them…. The House of justice, however, according to the explicit text of the Law of God, is confined to men, this for a wisdom of the Lord God's, which will ere long be made manifest as clearly as the sun at high noon. As to you, 0 ye other handmaids who are enamored of the heavenly fragrances, arrange ye holy gatherings, and found ye Spiritual Assemblies, for these are the basis for spreading the sweet savors of God, exalting His Word, uplifting the lamp of His grace, promulgating His religion and promoting His Teachings, and what bounty is there greater than this.”
    (cited in http://www.bahai-library.org/articles/women.fai…)

    baquia,

    I think Dr. Maneck goes through contortions to try to redeem (otherwise “evil, godless, materialistic”) liberalism within a “conventional”, “mainstream” bahai context. As such, her project is to somehow fit feminism (or at least “women's rights”) into a conformist bahai perspective that would be acceptable to the “best minds” in the upper echelon of bahai administration, scholarship, etc.

    What Dr. Maneck does, in a convoluted manner, IMO, is maintain a semblance of intellectual honesty by admitting that this issue was a GIANT HISTORICAL F*CK UP (by citing unusual, interesting, and mostly unknown historical circumstances about western women going to Iran around the same time as the “noon day sun” remark). She goes on to say that the screw up can't be reversed because it is “frozen in time” – in the absence of a “authorized interpreter” (guardian).

    Dr. Maneck then SPECULATES that the only way that the issue will be “LEGALLY “unfrozen” will be by the next woah-manifestation. :)

    I think that you would like for the uhj to “legislate” the issue away, and I personally would not have a problem with them doing so.

    I would like them to go much further and “legislate” away vast areas of bahai metaphysics that keep bahai a backward religion.

    Part of that would be “legislating” away the current, corrupt, system of bahai administration, bahai elections, etc.. and replacing it with something that makes it ILLEGAL to attack and marginalize critics, dissidents, and nonconformists.

  • fubar

    re: “that assembly be brought to naught.”

    farhan said “We should have study classes not on the opinions of UHJ members, but on important subjects such as those suggested by them. “

    Actually the uhj members (with all their fake humility) don't want bahais to think about a lot of things “outside their comfort zone”, so no, it is unlikely that they would suggest study of anything except topics that maintain the status quo.

    Here is a quote from the bahai writings that predicts that God will withdraw support from bahai administration when its purposes are corrupted. Needless to say, this quote perfectly predicts the manner that bahai administration has become “unspiritual”, and thus, ineffective and incompetent.

    According to the internal logic of bahai scripture itself:

    ANYONE THAT UPHOLDS THE CURRENT SYSTEM OF ADMINISTRATION IS VIOLATING WHAT GOD SAYS FOR PEOPLE TO DO.

    a “real” bahai would call for (and work for) the end of bahai administration as it is current known, since it has been “brought to naught” by Goddess herself:

    excerpt:
    | ?The first condition is absolute love and harmony amongst the members
    | of the assembly. They must be wholly free from estrangement and must
    | manifest in themselves the Unity of God,…Should harmony of thought
    | and absolute unity be non-existent, that gathering shall be dispersed
    | and that assembly be brought to naught. “

    Clearly, most bahai assemblies (including the uhj itself) are in a deep, bureaucratic quagmire of “estrangement”, and are very far from any “real” form of unity.

    The “estrangement” is rooted in the lies and “disconnects from our humanity” that exist all over the place in bahai.

    “Real” unity requires authenticity, which requires honesty and trust.

    The current, dominant form of bahai culture and administration has no authenticity, and is premised on lies, distortions and deception, and anyone that is naive to “trust” bahai administration will become of victim of the system on some level or another. Bahai elevates the subtle forms of dehumanization (micro-inequities) to a high art.

  • pey

    You are allowed to express your ideas openly and arrogantly to all. WE have to hide in YOUR new world order. Contradict all you want, but allow the Bahai community to thrive with true consultation not muted consultation that accepts only your views.

  • Grover

    What can I say? Still don't believe that there is something psychologically wrong with Farhan?

  • Grover

    Actually, a curious thought – while there are obvious physical differences between the two genders in western society “masculine” and “feminine” roles are no longer restricted to their respective genders – men are increasingly taking on “feminine” roles – aka house husband, and women are increasingly taking on “masculine” roles – e.g. sports, managerial positions and so on. It seems to me that initially these gender defined roles were created so “man” could retain or have control or power over “woman”, and now its becoming more egalitarian. Some have said that for women to adopt roles such as being managers they have to “lose” their femininity. Yet it seems to me that a good manager has a combination of both masculine and feminine attributes – agressiveness, caring, nurturing and so on. Do you think that eventually society will discard “masculine” and “feminine” to define roles?

    What does this mean for the Baha'i Faith? I know of many women in leadership roles that don't like the idea of a man only UHJ. I think it really demonstrates how backwards the Baha'i Faith is – when both genders (and whatever in between) are perfectly capable of being on the UHJ. Western society wouldn't have a problem having women on the UHJ, but I would imagine there'd be a whole lot of men in the middle east (and Farhan) jumping up and down complaining bitterly.

  • http://bahaisonline.net/tcb/ Steve Marshall

    Farhan wrote:
    “I do not recommend following my advice, but submitting to that of God and of the UHJ to which I submit myself and which you would seem to wish submit to your requirements.”

    In other words:

    “We don't judge you, but God knows you are a whore”

  • pey

    Grover. This is not about Farhan. When he posts- he reperesents to me those die-hard fundamentalist Bahais that I have met inside the Bahai community that make life so unbearable for so many that they pack up their bags and go. Here I don't and won't pack up my bags and go. Here I am free to express myself and not let him get away with his facade. Pyschologically wrong or not? Don't know and don't care.

  • pey

    The real problem Grover is that it no longer is about logic, reason or whatever. THe individual who would have a problem with women on the House (Persian or not) would have a problem because they believe that dogma trumps reason/science. That's really what it is about. The 9 men sitting up there in Haifa believe that the words of the secretaries of Shoghi Effendi are God's word until the next manifestation of God comes along. So scholars and free-thinkers in the Bahai community be screwed. Dogma is more entrenched in teh Bahai community that in the Catholic hierarchy. BUT, I still have Faith and hope that those 9 men will change one day and we actually get a leadership that wants to save the Faith from dwindling away. We'll see….

  • fubar

    This doesn't have any direct relevance to sex/gender issues as far as I know, but it does show that evolution is a vastly better way of thinking about what our humanity “is” than outmoded metaphysics (religious creation myths, manifestationology):

    http://www.edge.org/discourse/mirror_neurons.html

  • farhan

    Fubar wrote:Here is a typical example of your insults:

    Fubar, referring to the ?old-world? and ?new-world? concepts of leadership is not an insult to anyone, be it to Raz, but an opinion. The Baha’i concept of leadership for the new world order refers to service and not to domination. This concept is not widely accepted outside the Baha’i world, so it is not surprising that it might have been new to you.

    If you feel that my messages are insults to anyone, you should flag them so that the mpderator might intervene.
    Fubar: Here, you are EXCLUDING the CRITIC, and attempting to use PSYCHOLOGICAL VIOLENCE to marginalize that person's viewpoint.
    Farhan: Not at all, I am merely voicing a different point of view, which differs from yours and which you dislike.

  • fubar

    Farhan said:
    | Fubar, referring to the ?old-world? and ?new-world? concepts of
    | leadership is not an insult to anyone, be it to Raz, but an opinion. The
    | Baha’i concept of leadership for the new world order refers to service
    | and not to domination.

    Facile, boring.

    Your attempt to introduce such mindless and silly apologetics by COMPLETELY distorting a conversation is yet another example of the manner in which basic honesty and human decency is typically absent from bahai culture.

    The concept of leadership that “lacks domination” was around for a long time before bahai. bahai probably appropriated it from sufism, which appropriated it from buddhism/yoga/shakti.

    Or, at a more basic level, it is simply the expression of the “nurturing mommy” archetype (in contrast to the “strict daddy” archetype) that is wired into human brains by evolution, and which has bloomed in postmodern culture as pluralism/relativism.

    SURELY YOU ARE FAMILIAR WITH THE PROBLEMS THAT BAHAI THEOLOGY HAS ADJUSTING TO SUCH RELATIVISM!?!?!?!?

    If you objectively look at either the practice of, or the theoretical bahai concept, of governance, you will find domination at the most basic level, and on up from there (e.g., shoghi effendi's embrace of imperialism after WWII as a result of his opposition to national liberation movements).

    In order to bring about the bahai version of “peace”, people have to be forced into a rigid, dogmatic bahai belief system that centers around an absurd premodern belief in manifestationology, which is both culturally imperialistic and little more than a boring rehash of the old religious “middle man scam”.

    Plerase note that the first paragraph of the kitabi-i-aqdas provides a perfect example of the cultural imperialism that is at the core of bahai belief.

    At a more mundane level, bahai administration provides huge opportunities for people to “dominate”, and thus authority tends to be easily abused in the bahai administration system. There is a vast network of spying and collection of personal information within bahai administration that is impervious to anything remotely resembling “open/transparent” processes.

    If you consider the centrality of “justice” as a utopian concept in bahai theology, the situation that exists on a practical level in bahai administration (abuse of authority, lack of transparency) is simply an absurd contradiction. The system has been hijacked by evil elements, and has no real/meaningful mechanism for reform of such abuses.

    | This concept is not widely accepted outside
    | the Baha’i world, so it is not surprising that it might have been new
    | to you.

    This is pure drivel, and, ironically, contains !yet! !another! of your absurd, insulting distortions: you assume that :

    1) the concept is “new to me”, (a pompous, arrogant assumption), and
    2) it is so “self evident” as a utopian ideal that it is beyond question.

    Your conversation method is simply, and infuriatingly, STUPID.

    And you converse in a STUPID manner for a specific purpose: by getting people angry at your stupid utterances, you can then “flip the sh*t” on them, and insult them !yet! !again! by implying that they are “spiritually unworthy” (for becoming angry at your intentional distortions and baiting).

    Your “method” (of false posturing) is pointless, superficial and vacuous. It is ethereal purism taken to its monumentally empty logical conclusion.

    Farhan said:
    | If you feel that my messages are insults to anyone, you should flag
    | them so that the mpderator might intervene.

    More pompous, arrogant silliness. I do not need you telling me to flag anything for moderator intervention. You were whining about “insults”, and I simply pointed out your typical HYPOCRISY: you were doing exactly what you were whining about.

    Your response was typical: more lies, insults and distortions.

    || Fubar: Here, you are EXCLUDING the CRITIC, and attempting to use
    || PSYCHOLOGICAL VIOLENCE to marginalize that person's viewpoint.

    Farhan:
    | Not at all, I am merely voicing a different point of view, which differs
    | from yours and which you dislike.

    Obstuse gibberish. Sugar coated poo.

    The reason people don't like what you are saying is that you constantly distort, lie and play silly games with words in ordeer to “save face” when the bahai status quo is shown to be absurdly contradictory, hypocritical, and so forth.

    Thanks for again demonstrating that it is impossible to get bahais (of typical polemic orientation) to think outside of a dishonest, narrow, rigidly orthodox, and conformist mindset.

    have a nice day.

  • fubar

    re:
    | ?The first condition is absolute love and harmony amongst the members
    | of the assembly. They must be wholly free from estrangement and must
    | manifest in themselves the Unity of God,…Should harmony of thought
    | and absolute unity be non-existent, that gathering shall be dispersed
    | and that assembly be brought to naught. “

    Farhan,

    The above quote from “bahai administration” confirms that, according to the internal logic of bahai theology, when bahai assemblies, including the uhj, screw up, God will “disperse” them and “bring them to naught”.

    according to an internet dictionary, “naught” is equivalent in meaning to:
    1) the word “nothing”, or
    2) “complete failure”

    (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/naught)

    So, God promises that when bahai assemblies/uhj screw up (fail to meet spiritual prerequisites), they are “complete failures”, and have been brought to “nothingness”.

    This quite simply explains how the typical massive incompetence and ineffectiveness of bahai administration is contradictory to the very scripture that the system of administration is supposed to uphold!

    Now, to try to keep this at least tangentially on-topic, how can an assembly/uhj avoid “estrangement” and “disunity” when it fails to deal with such a basic issue in human rights as “gender stigmatization”???

    Please note that simply calling on people that have been subject to social injustice via gender stigmatization, to “sacrifice” by ignoring the problem for the “greater good of the cause” (of similar drivel) is not an available option: the quote guarantees that God will cause the assembly/uhj that attempts to avoid dealing injustice in such an “inauthentic” manner to be, “dispersed”, a “complete failure” and bring it to “nothing”.

    So, there you have it:

    GOD IS DESTROYING BAD BAHAI ADMINISTRATION, AND HAS BEEN DOING SO FOR AT LEAST 100 YEARS.

    You, and of course many other “status quo” bahais, simply ignore your own religion, and trudge on through the winter tundra of meaninglessness and tribal ethnocentrism, oblivious to even the basic reality of your own scripture.

  • pei

    Fubar said: “And you converse in a STUPID manner for a specific purpose: by getting people angry at your stupid utterances, you can then “flip the sh*t” on them, and insult them !yet! !again! by implying that they are “spiritually unworthy” (for becoming angry at your intentional distortions and baiting).”
    AMEN- that is the facade of humility that I speak of. Farhan displays it really well here. It is exactly what you find inside the Bahai community. Outwardly you are told there is to be true consultation, but in reality you have people sweet talking you into conforming and if that doesn't work, throw a bunch of quotes at you (which they conveniently use out of context to back their fundmentalist view) and IF THAT doesn't work, then turn you into the the Bahai authorities to silence you views once and for all. Of course before the individual ever gets to this point, they get so fed up with the pomp of the farhans in the community, that they just get up and leave never looking back at the years they wasted in a dysfunctional dwindling community. Some enjoy their time here to make sure the Farhans never get the last word- the last word they triumphantly brandish inside the Bahai community.

  • Grover

    Amen from me too.

  • farhan

    Pey wrote : This is not about Farhan. When he posts- he represents to me those die-hard fundamentalist Bahais that I have met inside the Bahai community that make life so unbearable for so many that they pack up their bags and go

    Thank you, Pey. You are showing that we can discuss opinions, instead of judging people who hold those opinions. If we stop commenting on people, and keep on the opinions, we can help each other to better understanding.

  • farhan

    Grover, this kind of language and sentiments are entirely foreign to Baha'i thoughts and words.

  • Grover

    Beware the ravening wolf dressed as a lamb, or a bucket full of arseholes making a noise.

    No, I'm pretty forthright in what I think. You however like to hide it in insulting, patronizing, flowery language and then play martyr when you get flamed. What do people prefer I wonder?

  • Grover

    Quite right. You have far more faith than I do.

  • pey

    Farhan, of course Farhan I will always be here to judge your arrogant, righteous, self-flagellating opinions enclothed in a bogus air of humility, because they are pretty much what you will find from those in charge inside the Bahai community when they want to silence and keep members in order. I guess I have a higher tolerance for your opinions because, being generations Persian Bahai, I understand the modus operandi inside the Bahai

  • farhan

    Pey wrote: they are pretty much what you will find from those in charge inside the Bahai community when they want to silence and keep members in order.

    Pey, neither I, nor those administrators who serve the Baha’i community have any time to waste ?keeping members in order?. The world is going to pieces and those who wish to serve humanity on the lines of Baha’i principles are welcomed to do so. Those who wish to serve humanity in other ways are also free to do so. No one is in the least interested or concerned with what others are doing, unless they are disturbing the community efforts.
    As I have often said, I don’t judge others, neither personally, nor professionally. As you know the writings are very emphatic in condemning fault-finding. Believe it or not, I am interested in the questions brought up here, which lead me to responses within the writings. I can stay on ?read only mode?, but that would deprive me of your reactions.

  • pey

    “Pey, neither I, nor those administrators who serve the Baha’i community have any time to waste ?keeping members in order?. “
    Oh really farhan? Tell that to the editors of Dialouge magazine. Tell that to any scholar in the Faith who has been threatened to keep their mouth shut or else for publishing materials that may show the history of the Faith in a different light from that of Shoghi Effendi or may not deify the AO as you do. Tell that to a gay person who has married their loved one in a legal binding act. Yeah the world is going to pieces and the fundamentalists in the Faith insist on their narrow view as the only way- a view that is dwindling the numbers inside the Bahai community. Help open up the Bahai community Farhan so that it can be a vibrant, dynamic, GROWING community, if you really want to do something for Bahaullah. But if all you care about is to uphold the AO and keep the status quo as you have been missioned to do so… well then I'll just ahve to keep responding to your posts.

  • pey

    “As I have often said, I don’t judge others,”

    Yes you've said that quite often. Just like you've said people who don't hold your fundamentalist view are children that need educating or people who fight for the same rights that you take for granted, are like children in a playground that make a fuss 'cause they don't have the same things that you do… yeah you've said a lot..

  • Craig Parke

    Long time Baha'is no matter how long the served on Local Spiritual Assemblies trying to advance the Faith in society can now be thrown out of the Baha'i Faith at ANY TIME for ANY REASON for “thought crimes” with no rights or due process or formal court martial proceedings. You say the wrong thing to the wrong person with major AO connections n the system and you can be called in for questioning at any time for any reason and told that your never really were a Baha'i anyway by the N E W T H I N K standards and you must leave. It is totally full blown Orwellian now.

    There is nothing anyone can do about it. It is the sealed fate of the Baha'i Faith now. The deed is done. It is a now a completely zero sum game in the entire world. All energy sums to zero. Insuring doctrinal uniformity of thought is very energy intensive and always zeroes out all energy in a system over time everywhere.

    Zero. Nada. Zippo. Zilch. One step forward. 10,000 steps back.

    So the thunder that once belonged to the Baha'is will now pass with each incredible passing impaired minute on to others who are FREE THINKERS and, therefore, FREE TO ACT under their own personal bottom up S P I R I T U A L initiative to manifest the Cosmic Powers of the newly born World Age.

    So it goes.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zydAs5bRW1U

  • farhan

    Pey wrote: But if all you care about is to uphold the AO and keep the status quo as you have been missioned to do so…

    I have no mission, Pey. I see the Baha’i community is an embryonic structure made of imperfect people like you and me who are liable to improvement through the spiritual teachings enshrined in God’s revelation. This growth takes place by confronting the problems we encounter with the teachings. Individuals, including myself and those serving on the AO are liable to growth and so are the institutions they serve on, but through loving consultation and not through harsh criticism and slander. I see imperfection around me, just as you do, but I believe that it requires time and efforts for us to grow and to help the community grow in quality and not only in numbers. The fact that we have imperfect people around us, including in the AO does not mean that we cannot improve anymore.

    Pey: may not deify the AO as you do
    I agree that this is an important point. It is a matter of faith. Not faith in that the AO or those who serve on it are to be deified as perfect, but that they are perfectible through illumination from the teachings, through loving consultation and not through suspicion, hatred and defiance that lead to destruction.

  • farhan

    Craig wrote: Long time Baha'is no matter how long the served on Local Spiritual Assemblies trying to advance the Faith in society can now be thrown out of the Baha'i Faith at ANY TIME for ANY REASON for “thought crimes” with no rights or due process or formal court

    Craig, I have never seen this in all my life as a Baha'i. If you have seen it, it is a dysfunction in that part of the world due to immature people functioning with old-world attitudes that they have not yet learned to abandon and who have not yet attained the same level of understanding as you in that particular field, people that you might be able to help understand you way of thought if you set about it lovingly and through consultation.

  • farhan

    Pey, from the abundant quotes I have provided, you can see, if you wish to see, that I am not referring to YOU as a child, but to ALL of us, including humanity and our AO as being capable of improvement under the loving attention of our Heavenly Father.

  • pey

    No Farhan, you did refer to ME as a child when you said that gay people fighting for their rights reminds you of children fighting over what they don't have. Unless of course YOU are a self-hating closeted gay man inside the Bahai community and you were referring to yourself as well. But I don't think that's the case. I think as always, you are just back peddling.

  • pey

    but I believe that it requires time and efforts for us to grow and to help the community grow in quality and not only in numbers.
    ————-
    And by quality you mean what? I venture to guess your definition of quality is going to be very different from mine. Mine gets me kicked out of the Bahai community, yours keeps it spiraling down and dwindling into nothing.

  • fubar

    as is always the case, farhan has to turn to more and more absurd dissembling/lies/distortions to “save face” when it finally comes down to dealing with the unvarnished truth (sugar is off the poo).

    the AO has viciously attacked many people over a long history. Mazandarani, Louis Gregory are some of the more visible examples. More recently, the “Dialog Magazine” and “talisman” email list people.

    on a local level here, auxilliary bored assistants actually kept track of how many “hippy” bahais they were able to attack and drive out of the community, they openly described each such “victory” as a “notch on their gun handle”.

    the pattern of the attack is simple: anyone that dares to criticise the status quo, fails to conform, or engages in dissent will be first marginalized using the same “tactics” that farhan uses here (implying that they have “problems” and are “spiritually inferior” or “childlike/immature”), then if they persist in calling for reforms, they are attacked more openly via LSA inquisitions, NSA/Auxilliary Bored inquisitions/attacks, etc.

    farhan lives in little bubble.

    the real world of bahai is full of digusting people doing disgusting things BECAUSE THEY KNOW THE FARHANS OF BAHAI WILL LOOK THE OTHER WAY ABOUT *ANY* ABUSE AS LONG AS THE ABUSERS SAY THEY ARE “DEFENDING” THE FAITH (AO).

    what matters isn't flowery poo rhetoric at firesides and conferences when times are easy, what matters is how a group of people responds to injustice, and collectively engages in self-correction when tmies are hard.

    in both cases, bahai is a falied , dysfunctional system.

    the farhans of bahai are lazy, cowardly, lack strong belief in our common humanity (evolution), and are primarily motivated by self-serving interests and a need to “save face”.

    all of which are gross contradictions of the more utipian aspects of bahai scripture.

    hypocrisy.

  • pey

    farhan lives in little bubble.
    —————
    He doesn't live in a bubble. He has a mission here- defend the AO on this site. It's really that simple. Which is good. The hundreds who may be reading, but not commenting on this site can decide for themselves what he is up to and why he is here. But you are right, a truly mature community is one that can be honest, open and held accountable… which is not the case in the Bahai community right now. It is all about saving face (ahh yes Persian ABERU). But I still hold out hope for some better future….

  • pey

    ANd here is a quote for you Farhan from Abdul-Baha:
    “The worst enemies of the Cause are in the Cause and mention the Name of God. We need not fear the enemies on the outside for such can be easily dealt with. But the enemies who call themselves friends and who persistently violate every fundamental law of love and unity, are difficult to be dealt with in this day, for the mercy of God is still great. But ere long this merciful door will be closed and such enemies will be attacked with a madness….”
    So I'm outside of the community as are the rest here. The owner of the site is inside the community, but has to express his thoughts anonymously. YOU are the only one INSIDE the community. YOU and the host of other fundamentalist Bahais, including the ones in the AO, are the ones that keep others out of the Faith. What you consider “keeping law and order”. So I can't see how this quote from Abdul-Baha can apply to anyone else but you all.

  • http://bahaisonline.net/tcb/ Steve Marshall

    I'm inside the community, and I express my thoughts openly — but I think I'm a special case. :-)

  • Craig Parke

    Pey,

    Do you have a link or reference to that quote by Abdu'l-Baha? Or should I just look in Ocean?

    Anyone who ever read the Kitab-I-Iqan or studied the long traditions of esoteric Sufism knows that Baha'u'llah was talking about Archetypal Divine Judgment at the end of one World Age and the the beginning of a New One. It is the one solid and most useful basic “esoteric” narrative of all of the Abrahamic religions for anyone with, as Jesus taught, 'ears to hear”.

    I just loved the Kitab-I-Iqan when I read it in Paris in 1971. This one single insight clearly stated in that wonderful mystical book explains ALL OF HUMAN HISTORY and certainly explained everything that had happened in the 20th Century up to 1971. It also explains everything that has happened since right up to present hour of the murderous buffoon “Clerics” of Iran! That current photo of the “Supreme Leader” even overriding Imadinnerjacket is completely looney tunes. Worse than the pope in his endless Elvis style white suits. (He needs a nice diamond studded belt to look even better! Maybe some silk white bell bottoms too!) These guys just don't realize how ludicrous they will all look in World History. Utter spiritually illiterate morons.

    All are going to be drowned by the Zeitgeist (do the clergy of Islam study the various esoteric allegorical meanings of the account of the Exodus in the Old Testament in the passage of World Ages in their palaces in Qom?

    The Chief Priests, Scribes, and Pharisees of EVERY ORGANIZATION on Earth right now BOTH East and West whether governmental, religious, or economic are being taken to mind bending Divine Judgment. That includes the Chinese Communist Party, the current Federal Reserve System of the United States, and the Self Appointed Dolt Clergy of Islam! Every thinking person on Earth who understands Cosmic Spiritual Archetypes can understand the Cosmic Warning by Baha'u'llah as plain as day!

    But the current people at the top of the Baha'i Faith somehow THEMSELVES missed this basic insight too! Somehow they even missed Christian Sunday School or basic Bible Camp where you at least learn about the Archetypes of “Pharaoh” and “Nimrod”! DUH! This turn of events is so astounding that it HAS to be on purpose by the Cosmos Itself. These people are utterly spiritually blind and have mysteriously been brought into lifetime incumbent power as an example to the Ages and their heads are going to metaphorically end up on a plate if you study the esoteric message of the fate of John the Baptist.

    Back then the head of that Spiritual Archetype rolled. But in the next World Age (NOW!) the heads of the Chief Priests Scribes and Pharisees will roll in Mind Bending Divine Karma Payback. It is called Divine Judgment – Cosmic Judgment – where your fate is carried out by your own spiritual stupidity and blindness.

    Why isn't anyone getting this?

    It is plain as day! Our people have zero spiritual insight. The Powers of the New World Age belong to the inner hearts and minds of the rank and file people of the world. NOT to the people at the top if THEY are spiritually clueless morons who do not fear the awesome powers of the Cosmos.

    Hitler thought HE was a big deal! He thought it was HIM doing it!! But HE wasn't! He was just a clueless spiritually illiterate sod walking into an evolutionary trap set upon the Heart of Man for 7,000 years. His head ended up on a pole in World History in living color.

    This was common spiritual insight among the Baha'is of the 1970's who came from the streets and had studied every esoteric spiritual tradition.

    Then the Baha'i Faith somehow became the button down little “Shoghi Effendi AO Jugend” yuppified completely dumbed down Spiritual Communist Party in hapless cookie cutter Brooks Brother suits.

    What the hell happened?

    How did the Baha'i Faith end up so un-spiritual and totally clueless in any spiritual insight at all?

    Does anyone in the Ruhiized Workbook synthetic substitute Holy Scripture Baha'i Faith of today ever read the Kitab-I-Iqan anymore or is THAT now completely forbidden too?

    It is all just completely unbelievable as to how this has all turned out! Just Amazing.

    It has to be on purpose by the Cosmos to make an example with the cameras of Wold History rolling at 24 frames a second in Internet Time!

    Everyone keep posting!

    Tomorrow morning I get to go to work and write some more computer code and get a another pay check in a week to take down the pompous clueless asses of the world in whatever organization they reside!

    Right now the people running Goldman Sachs are Topic A. The day of retribution will eventually come for them too.

  • raz

    He sounds brainwashed to me. Completely lacking in rational faculties. His groupthink doublespeak stuff gives me the creeps now, although I used to parrot it with the best of them.

  • pey

    'Abdu'l-Baha in Star of the West, Vol.VI, NO.6, p.45:

    Found it on another thread; where a Bahai was pushed out of her community and the AO did nothing about it. You know, the things that Farhan says NEVER happens inside the Bahai community. http://bahairants.com/financial-scandal-rocks-i

  • pey

    Here is her blog: http://nonotbountytowelsgetalife.blogspot.com/

    She's actually written a book. Might be time for me to order it. I haven't bought a “bahai” book in years. :o)

  • fubar

    the “bubble” consists of being in denial of the human wreckage and chaos caused by the fascistic actions of the “defenders”.

    the “denial” consists of both an individual component, the “defender” ignores/marginalizes/dehumanizes nonconformists in their own mind, and then there is a collective aspect where the “defenders” make specific statements/actions against nonconformists to marginalize them in the community,

    for people “serving” in the AO, the need for such “defence” usually ends up being an abuse of authority.

    basically they are “belief nazis”.

    this is all a well-worn rut by now, a series of “anti-patterns” that can be easily conjured throught from collective (abused) memory of the members of the organization.

  • farhan

    Pey wrote: But the enemies who call themselves friends and who persistently violate every fundamental law of love and unity, are difficult to be dealt with in this day, for the mercy of God is still great. But ere long this merciful door will be closed and such enemies will be attacked with a madness….”

    Pey, do I gather that you consider me as having persistently violated every fundamental law of love and unity?? If so, was it in my actions or in my words??

  • pey

    “At God’s banquet all are taking benefit. In my understanding, some are also trying to help in the kitchen and serve at table; those are the ones that have to comply by rules and regulations that I call enrolled Baha’is. “
    Flowery way of saying: “It is my (fundamentalist) way or the highway. ” or “You don't have to stay a Bahai if you don't want to comply to the way I think, here let me show you the door, but I'll show it to you in a loving, flowery manner. Thank you for playing, but you are no longer a Bahai. Good bye!”

  • farhan

    Fubar, I have lost the initial message, but your comment on bourgoisphobia was well taken. Here in France it is common to say that the French worker dreams of the day when his boss will come to work on a bike like himself, and the US worker dreams of the day when he will have a Cadillac like his boss.

    As to evolution, we can summarize by saying that in biology and nature it is by Darwinian natural selection, but socially it is by education, closer to Lamark's theory which was rejected for biology.

    If we don't want to wait for societies to destroy themselves, we have to foretell social disasters and remedy them in advance by education. You have the right to reject revelation, but this happens to be the idea that a great many citizens of our planet uphold. The future will tell who was right.

  • farhan

    Pey, if you find my exact words, I will willingly apologize if I implied that you were a child, What I insist on conveying is the idea what God, as a loving Father has revealed is the best for us, for us all, as in this quote:
    ?Know verily that the essence of justice and the source thereof are both embodied in the ordinances prescribed by Him Who is the Manifestation of the Self of God amongst men, if ye be of them that recognize this truth. He doth verily incarnate the highest, the infallible standard of justice unto all creation. Were His law to be such as to strike terror into the hearts of all that are in heaven and on earth, that law is naught but manifest justice. The fears and agitation which the revelation of this law provokes in men's hearts should indeed be likened to the cries of the suckling babe weaned from his mother's milk, if ye be of them that perceive. Were men to discover the motivating purpose of God's Revelation, they would assuredly cast away their fears, and, with hearts filled with gratitude, rejoice with exceeding gladness? (Gleanings LXXXVIII)

    As to my origins to which you refer frequently, comparing me to people you know, I was in fact weaned very early from my Persian origins as I went to boarding school at 13 and then to medical school with little contact with Iranians ever since.

  • farhan

    Pey, I am not sure if i have been lucky or unlucky, but the small handful of people I have seen losing voting rights in France for the last 40 years, sometimes temporarily, were because of marriage without parent's consent or similar reasons; I am not sure what is going on in your part of the Baha'i world.

  • pey

    YOu can go back and find it yourself. It's in the first thread on homosexuality. And farhan, I could careless about getting an apology from you. That's not what I am seeking. I just want people to see that you do insult others, in a subtle, flowery way. You do Farhan, but getting you to admit that, well…, it would be like getting you to admit that you are also a hypocrite when it comes to fighting for human rights (you only fight for your own). Anyway, I'm off for a tradeshow for a few glorioius days in San francisco so you won't be seeing me on here for a bit. I'll let the others respond to your misleading comments. Cheers!

  • farhan

    Pey, I will try and find it. All I can repeat that i had no intent of hurting anyone's feeling but to state that in my “fundamentalist” frame of mind, whether mistaken or right, I sincerely believe that God's teachings, even when they are contrary to our whims, were a source of progress to us all, gay or non gay. This is not new, since The seven Valleys which is a commentary on Attar's conference of the birds, itself a variation of Hippocrate's and other works on intellectual development, show how we develop intellectually (spiritually) in subsequent steps.

  • farhan

    Fubar wrote: the “bubble” consists of being in denial of the human wreckage and chaos caused by the fascistic actions of the “defenders”.

    Farhan: who are ?the defenders? ? Who are the ?assailants? ? What are their requests? I am posting here my own personal understanding of Baha’i teachings to which I refer as frequently as possible, and which do not necessarily reflect the understanding of other Baha’is who have often advised me not to waste my time here.

    Fubar wrote: for people “serving” in the AO, the need for such “defence” usually ends up being an abuse of authority basically they are “belief nazis”…

    Farhan: This sounds like paranoia. I am interested in questions brought up here. If Baquia asks me to stop giving my ?fundamentalist? ?Nazi? views that give ?creeps? to people here, I will stop doing so.

  • farhan

    Pey wrote: But you are right, a truly mature community is one that can be honest, open and held accountable… which is not the case in the Bahai community right now. It is all about saving face (ahh yes Persian ABERU).

    I fully agree with you here, Pey, except that you cannot generalise the immature “Baha'i community” you might have experienced with the Baha'i community in general and whatever that Baha'i community is destined to become once it has grown in maturity i.e. in becoming closer with the ideal described in our writings.

  • farhan

    Craig wrote: Does anyone in the Ruhiized Workbook synthetic substitute Holy Scripture Baha'i Faith of today ever read the Kitab-I-Iqan anymore or is THAT now completely forbidden too?

    Craig we have all sorts of study sessions on various Baha’i books, and at the same time, we now also have all sorts of study circles, devotionals, children’s classes, youth and many other activities, Baha'i studies, SED projects etc for those who want a less esoteric approach to their religious lives. Ask your national centre for the programmes; you have a wide choice now.

  • fubar

    oh, yeah. just like going to a spiritual amusement park. crossed with a surrealistic dali painting where nothing quite seems real. enjoy the medications!!!

  • pey

    Hey Farhan. Get out of your safe zone of ruhi classes and the norm and do something a little different. Then get back to us about how wonderful/loving/accepting your Bahai community and AO are in your part of the world. YOu can start here: http://www.h-net.org/~bahai/docs/vol2/lastudy/l
    Bring up some topics like this and lets see what happens in your community. Cheers!

  • fubar

    grover is right, the psychological damage is obviously too acute. nothing outside the cult programming penetrates the bubble. the zenith of insularization has been attained. nothing is real, medications are presumably being utilized in exponentially increasing doses to banish the reality of futility and pointlessness. the call of the wild zombies was heeded. needs to eat some bran, have a big movement. at least metaphorically.

  • fubar

    farhan,

    you are, apparently, psychologically incapable of dealing with reality.

    I listed a series of specific abuses and problems.

    your reply was completely “non-responsive”, and distortionary. as such, it was profoundly dismissive and disrespectful. as has been the case in the past.

    I am afraid that I no longer think that you are capable of rational thought.

    please get professional help with your mental/cognitive problems.

  • Ray

    In many ways the Baha'i Faith is more conservative than liberal. And if you look at the Abrahamic religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, you'll notice that the conservative faction dominates in each. Sure, there are liberal Jews and Christians, and a small amount of liberal Muslims, but mainline Abrahamic believers are generally conservative. And let's be honest, the Bible, Quran, and even the Baha'is writings, assign different roles to men and women. Yes, the Baha'i writings are more favorable to women, but Baha'is still see their religion as a continuation of the “religion of God,” and view the Bible and Quran as divine revelation. I don't think there are many Baha'is who are truly misogynistic, because there is a huge difference between believing that men and woman have different roles in society and believing that women are incapable of serving on the Universal House of Justice. How many women Rabbis, Mullahs, and Priests do we see today? Very few, but people accept that without pulling the misogyny red card. I say that religion tends to be very conservative whether we like it or not.

  • raz

    You couldn't be more wrong. It's totally misogynistic. There are indeed few female Rabbis, Mullahs, and Priests, and I, for one, certainly do pull the misogyny red card on them too. Put more simply: “conservative” in the religious context, ALWAYS implies misogyny.

  • fubar

    ray said: “I say that religion tends to be very conservative whether we like it or not.”

    this is largely true, at least for the “mainstream/dominant” versions of western religion, which are all artifacts of premodern culture (and thus “conservative”).

    reconciling religion with 1) science, and 2) liberalism is the major challenge of the time, and a primary concern of integralists.

    http://www.shambhalasun.com/index.php?option=co

    excerpt:
    Shambhala Sun | July 1999

    Liberalism and Religion – We Should Talk

    By: Ken Wilber

    Liberalism's objections to mythic forms do not apply to formless awareness. Thus liberalism and authentic spirituality can walk hand in hand.There are two major dialogues in the modern world that I believe must take place, one between science and religion, and then one between religion and liberalism.

    The way it is now, the modern world really is divided into two major and warring camps, science and liberalism on the one hand, and religion and conservatism on the other. And the key to getting these two camps together is first, to get religion past science, and then second, to get religion past liberalism, because both science and liberalism are deeply anti-spiritual. And it must occur in that order, because liberalism won’t even listen to spirituality unless it has first passed the scientific test. (Showing how that might happen was a major theme of my book, Sense and Soul.)

    In one sense, of course, science and liberalism are right to be anti-spiritual, because most of what has historically served as spirituality is now prerational, magic or mythic, implicitly ethnocentric, fundamentalist dogma. Liberalism traditionally came into existence to fight the tyranny of prerational myth and that is one of its enduring and noble strengths (the freedom, liberty, and equality of individuals in the face of the often hostile or coercive collective). And this is why liberalism was always allied with science against fundamentalist, mythic, prerational religion (and the conservative politics that hung on to that religion).

    But neither science nor liberalism is aware that in addition to prerational myth, there is transrational awareness. There are not two camps here: liberalism versus mythic religion. There are three: mythic religion, rational liberalism, and transrational spirituality.

    The main strength of liberalism is its emphasis on individual human rights. The major weakness is its rabid fear of Spirit. Modern liberalism came into being, during the Enlightenment, largely as a counterforce to mythic religion, which was fine. But liberalism committed a classic pre/trans fallacy: it thought that all spirituality was nothing but prerational myth, and thus it tossed any and all transrational spirituality as well, which was absolutely catastrophic. (As Ronald Reagan would say, it tossed the baby with the dishes.) Liberalism attempted to kill God and replace transpersonal Spirit with egoic humanism, and as much as I am a liberal in many of my social values, that is its sorry downside, this horror of all things Divine. Liberalism can be rightfully distrustful of prerational myth, and yet still open itself to transrational awareness. Its objections to mythic forms do not apply to formless awareness, and thus liberalism and authentic spirituality can walk hand in hand into a greater tomorrow. If this can be demonstrated to them using terms they find acceptable, then we would have, I believe for the first time, the possibility of a postliberal spirituality, which combines the strengths of conservatism and liberalism but moves beyond both in a transrational, transpersonal integration. The trick is to take the best of both, individual rights plus a spiritual orientation, and to do so by finding liberal humanistic values plugged into a transrational, not prerational, Spirit. This spirituality is transliberal, evolutionary and progressive, not preliberal, reactionary and regressive. It is also political, in the very broadest sense, in that its single major motivation, compassion, is pressed into social action. However, a postconservative, postliberal spirituality is not pressed into service as public policy, transrational spirituality preserves the rational separation of church and state, as well as the liberal demand that the state will neither protect nor promote a favorite version of the good life. Those who would transform the world by having all of us embrace their new paradigm, or particular God or Goddess, or their version of Gaia, or their favorite mythology, these are all, by definition, reactionary and regressive in the worst of ways: preliberal, not transliberal, and thus their particular versions of the witch hunt are never far removed from their global agenda. A truly transliberal spirituality exists instead as a cultural encouragement, a background context that neither prevents nor coerces, but rather allows genuine spirituality to arise.
    . . .

    http://wilber.shambhala.com/html/books/kosmos/i


    Integral Post-Metaphysics–and its corollary, integral methodological pluralism–is important, I believe, for many reasons. First and foremost, no system (spiritual or otherwise) that does not come to terms with modern Kantian and postmodern Heideggerian thought can hope to survive with any intellectual respectability (agree with them or disagree with them, they have to be addressed)–and that means all spirituality must be post-metaphysical in some sense. Second, as Einsteinian physics applied to objects moving slower than the speed of light collapses back into Newtonian physics, so an Integral Post-Metaphysics can generate all the essentials of premodern spiritual and metaphysical systems but without their now-discredited ontological baggage. This, to my mind, is the central contribution of an Integral Post-Metaphysics–it does not itself contain metaphysics, but it can generate metaphysics as one possible AQAL matrix configuration under the limit conditions of premodern cultures. That is, the AQAL matrix, when run using premodern parameters, collapses into the old metaphysics (as Einsteinian collapses into Newtonian, even though it itself is non-Newtonian). On the other hand, alter the holonic conditions of the matrix by adjusting it to the parameters of the postmodern world, and the metaphysics drops out entirely, even though there still remains an entire spectrum of consciousness, waves of development, evolution and involution, and a rainbow of awareness that runs unbroken from dust to Deity–but without relying on any pregiven, archetypal, or independently existing ontological structures, levels, planes, etc. In fact, the entire “great chain of being” disappears entirely from reality, but its essential features can be generated by the matrix if certain mythic-era assumptions are plugged into its parameters.

    Of course, some sort of “great chain of being” has been central to spiritual traditions from time immemorial, whether it appears in the general shamanic form as the existence of higher and lower worlds, the Neoplatonic version of levels of reality (e.g., the amazing Plotinus), the Taoist version of realms of being (e.g., Lieh Tzu), the Buddhist version of a spectrum of consciousness (e.g., the 8 vijnanas), or the Kabbalah sefirot–and down to today's newer wisdom traditions, from Aurobindo to Adi Da to Hameed Almaas. All of them, without exception, postulate the existence of levels or dimensions of reality or consciousness, including higher or wider or deeper dimensions of being and knowing–some sort of rainbow of existence, whose waves, levels, or bands possess an independent reality that can be accessed by sufficiently evolved or developed souls. In other words, they all postulate the existence of metaphysical realities–which is exactly what is challenged (and thoroughly rejected) by modern and postmodern currents.

    Therefore, what is required is a way to generate that essential rainbow of existence but without any metaphysical or ontological postulates. In other words, IF we can generate the essentials of a spiritual worldview without the metaphysical baggage, then we can generate a spiritual worldview that will survive in a modern and postmodern world. That, in any event, is one of the central aims of Integral Post-Metaphysics (and its practical application, called “integral methodological pluralism”), both of which will be outlined in these excerpts. If we can succeed in this endeavor, then all of those spiritual worldviews (from shamanism to Plotinus to Padmasambhava to Aurobindo) can be reanimated and utilized within a broader, non-metaphysical AQAL matrix, which can generate the same rainbow of existence but without the discredited metaphysical accoutrements, and thus one can still utilize their profound wisdom without succumbing to the devastating attacks of modern and postmodern currents.
    . . .

    http://www.formlessmountain.com/aqal.htm

    http://www.vastsky.org/Home.html

  • davids1

    Fubar, with all due respect, the best thing you can do for your mind is to stop reading Wilber. Wilber's New Age popular philosophy as it relates to history and science is neither original nor academically credible.

  • johnbrowne

    I am a bahai,and the more I read blogs like this one,the more my brain shuts out the endless ego driven chatter of this age.I recently visited with some native american bahais,and what a pleasure it was being with them.Their spirits are so calm,and still.Not filled with ego generated noise.For me,they are miles ahead of us spiritually.Bahai looks more like them,than blogs like this one.Sorry to be so mean,but this internet chat is a total waste of time.

  • http://bahaisonline.net/tcb/ Steve Marshall

    Hi Johnbrowne,

    Thanks for your opinions and insults. I trust you won't waste your time any more on blogs such as this.

    ka kite
    Steve

  • pey

    I'm sorry, I'm having a hard time understanding you. What are you saying? YOUR ego is loud that I can barely hear you. That's what it was like inside the Bahai community too- a few with really big egos and even bigger facades of humility overpowering anyone else that actually wanted to speak openly and honestly about the issues facing Bahais. Ok johnbrowne go back to feeling good about wasting time inside the bahai community.

  • Craig Parke

    There are many very fine Native American persons both “Baha'i” and “Non-Baha'i”. I have known many. I went to grade school with some. I served in the Armed Forces of the United States with some. I have met some in my professional work. I have known some very fine Baha'i Travel Teachers who were Native American. So what is your point?

    There are people here who choose to post on this Blog that are trying to help solve the problems of the world who have perhaps been involved in the Baha'i Faith a lot longer than you have been walking around on the planet Earth and may have seen a lot more in life than you.

    People are not here speaking from “ego”. What a hoot to say such a hapless knee jerk thing! (Yawn.) People are here speaking from very real pain.

    So fill out your Ruhi Books and run along. You ARE mean! You DID get that right! We don't need any further insults. Thank you very much.

    And, besides, why aren't you in Iraq or Afghanistan right now on the front lines fighting for your country doing “God's work” as Glenford Mitchell has stated?

    Why aren't your Native American friends there too? Let's go. Lock and load. Let's get out there with an M-16 implementing “God's Greater Plan” on fully automatic.

    Meanwhile, some of us are trying to deal with the real carnage in the world while you may be dealing with it by taking another deep hit on your Ruhi Book bong.

    That drug no longer works on many here. Please just leave us alone.

    Thank you and … have a nice day!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zydAs5bRW1U

  • pey

    Hi Farhan. I'm baaaack. And here is your quote from 10 months ago on the first thread on homosexuality. It's an insult Farhan to compare me to a child at school jealouse of why others have it easier than me. You are belittling the fight for gay rights, to protect gay teens from YOUR ab use inside the Bahai community as nothing more than child's play. But no need to apologize. I just want everyone to know that YES humble devout Farhan DOES indeed insult in the most subtle of ways. :o)
    ———–
    There is nothing wrong with living a great life;
    what we are saying is that at this stage of the Faith we need people who live the Baha'i life
    as an example to others, and gay marriage is not part of this. Reading your messages makes me remember kids at school argueing why some other studen did worse and had better scores;
    they orget that the whole purpose of scores is to help us rise to better standards of attainments for our future professionnal lives.

  • pey

    And here are just a few other “non-insulting” tidbits from Farhan in that first thread. I have to admit Farhan, you have cleaned up your act quite a bit since then. I guess you must have attended some rush Ruhi courses on how to deal with online dissent. ;o)
    ——————-
    “there is a huge amount of pain, passion and concern
    when it comes to whatever takes place in people's underpants, and less concern about what goes on in hearts and minds,”
    “He does not say homosexuals are ?satanic? any more than slanderers, backbiters, adulterers and lechers.”
    “Homosexuality is considered as one form of sexual activity not directed towards family making,”
    “The Baha'i institutions are very definitely concentrating on how to improve Baha'i families.
    Homosexuality is a minute part of those efforts. (aka GETTING RID OF GAY COUPLES OR MAKING THEM GO BACK IN THE CLOSET!)

  • fubar

    johnbrowne,

    ok, thanks. that was deep. appreciate the chuckle. you have lightened the loads of the bitter old f-rts here, for a few minutes at least. I say turn bahai completely over the the native americans. let them have the usa government as well. that will keep them busy for a while, and keep the peace pipe industry going.

    of perhaps just slightly greater significance:

    saw a blog on how you can get a iPhone app for toilet paper. at first I thought it was a joke about using cell phones to “wipe” (in an emergency?), then I read more, and discovered the iPhone app gives people advice while shopping about better ecological choices in TP.

    what does bahai tell us about the leading edge of culture, and how such “spiritual capitalism” is evolving?

    answer: not much. but something will be clear as the noonday sun in 1000 years.

    so, based on your observations, (from a cultural perspective) shamanism is probably a much better choice of religion than “western” religions, such as bahai, that have “authenticity” problems?

    (if bahais would follow native american cultural practices on consultation, similar to quakers, thinhs would be a LOT BETTER in bahai communities.)

    I partly grew up in Japan, and as an ex-bahai, prefer buddhist perspectives on “detachment” since they tend to be more “authentic”.

    btw, some native american bahais I know think bahai administration is silly, for about the same the reasons given on this blog.

  • fubar

    davids1,

    so the elitists clearly know best? as a populist, I say “bs”.

    academic culture is, $ociologically, medieval in many respects (and thus, a corrupt/dinosaur), so it isn't surprising that people make fun of academics, and their frequently inflatedm snobby sense of “credibility”. anyways…

    integralism started with Jean Gebser and Sri Aurobindo (and Clare Graves), which Wilber points out all the time. Aurobindo's stuff followed several paths, one of which leads to Esalen:

    http://www.esalenctr.org/display/confpage.cfm?c

    —excerpt—
    Transformative Practices
    An Esalen Invitational Conference
    November 28 – December 2, 1999

    Human Change Processes
    Michael Mahoney

    Michael began by discussing how humans classify and organize as a way of structuring experience. His goal is to become more aware of the categories and constructs. He is especially interested in the role of crisis and disorder to motivate someone to discover new ways of constructing meaning and experience.
    Constructivism has roots in both Eastern and Western philosophies. It is related to evolutionary epistemology (Popper, Don Campbell) as well as complexity studies (chaos, self-organizing, autopoeisis, dissipative structures of Prigogine). A lot of the recent intellectual climate has tended to deconstruction, which can be destructive. Michael loves Wilber's comment that the deconstructive post-modernists are driven by the Tag Team from Hell: Nihilism and Narcissism. Hence, he is trying to work from a more constructive post-modern platform.

    —end—

    http://books.google.com/books?id=fzSP6BRFBzIC

    Note: Kripal wrote the intro to Garlington's book on bahai.

    http://books.google.com/books?id=AzCV2jC35WsC

    “If there is anything which human history demonstrates, it is the extreme slowness with which the ordinary academic and critical mind acknowledges facts to exist which present themselves as wild facts with no stall or pigeonhole, or as facts which threaten to break up the accepted system”.
    William James “What Psychical Research Has Accomplished

    Albanese has also written on Esalen, and the role of “popular” counterculture influences on academia, and vice versa:

    http://books.google.com/books?id=WirfED_-YnUC

    Wilber's “Boomeritis” and other stuff on the “mean green meme” is valuable for those wondering what has gone wrong in academia
    (political correctness, thought policing, inquisitions, conformism, corporatism).

    you of course being far more brilliant, will explain all that much better. i look forward to such.

    (google “one truth above all anti-pattern”)

  • fubar

    Kripal on Albanese:
    “Magisterial. An astonishing gift from one of our most accomplished historians of American religion, definitively demonstrating the creative combinative nature of American religion and its half-millennium weaving of mystical, Hermetic, alchemical, occult, African, Native American, Mesmeric, magical, Spiritualist, psychical, and Asian strands to create the mature tapestry of American metaphysical religion. The final result is a work of both profound scholarship and historical hope for all those who would prefer to live in a mystical Republic of Spirit and Mind rather than a religious State of Faith and Belief. . . . For those who study or participate in that broad sweep of alternative religious movements that have gone under the rubrics of human potential, New Age, or just 'spirituality,' this is a must-read.”—Jeffrey J. Kripal, Shift: At The Frontiers of Consciousness

    Note: Albanese states that spirituality has vast potential to expand, in a good way, what “Democracy” means.

    Q: where does that leave bahais, who are afraid of “political involvement”, and whose vocabulary of meaning about social change is dogmatic/stale, and does not match new existential problems (Graves)?

  • davids1

    Does evidence and research support the spectrum of human conceptual capacity being so simplistic and limited that it can be divided into the dual adversarial categories of elitists and populists? Can academic institutions throughout the world and affiliated individuals–professors, researchers, professional staff, students–really be reduced to a monolithic entity and be dismissed as not making any significant contributions that comparisons to medievalism and dinosaurs are accurate and fair? Is credibility in the scholarly sense nothing more than snobbery or is it understood as a significant correspondence between words and evidence? Are people who examine evidence and do research elitists or is this simply a snobbish, derogatory label to dismiss others who might be aware of evidence that contradicts your own dearly held beliefs?

    Some spiritual people think that reasoning, fair judgment, and human intellectual capacity are some of God's greatest gifts, that it is a worthy goal to try to understand evidence on its own terms, instead of what only conforms and confirms to their own psychologically invested beliefs, regardless of contradictory evidence.

    If you think gross generalizations, black-or-white/either-or categorizations, and derogatory labels represent the apex of human ability, then I doubt anyone can offer you anything that does not coincide with your own certainty. Continue reading Wilber and everything else which doesn't challenge you and makes you feel comfortable. If this makes you happy, then perhaps that is good enough.

  • fubar

    fantastically condescending, snobby, muddled “shadow” stuff! jungian projection at its best. bravo! nature abhors a vacuum. with farhan on vacation, someone had to take up the task of ritually attacking the nonconformists in cyberspace.

    anyways…. instead of the usual, tedious mind games, and attempting to misappropriate intellectual pursuits for the usual narrow/rigidly orthodox, self-referential, insularized, polemic/apologist bahai purposes, please comment on Gebser, Aurobindo, Graves. Or Esalen, Kripal, Albanese, Garlington.

    Or discuss Julian Walker on Sam Harris.

    Or Lakoff/Turner on cognitive linguistics:

    something …… real ….. for ….. once …. please……

    http://74.125.155.132/search?q=cache:cZIYJ680Mn

    … Lakoff takes aim at “Enlightenment reason,” the belief that reason is conscious, logical, and unemotional. Harnessing together work from several fields, particularly psychology, neuroscience, and linguistics, he mounts a polemical assault on the notion that people think rationally — which, he argues, is fundamentally at odds with how the brain actually functions.

    Approximately 2 percent of the millions of pieces of information the brain absorbs every minute are processed consciously. The remaining 98 percent are handled by the unconscious brain. The mind, in other words, is like a tiny island of conscious reasoning afloat in a vast sea of automatic processes. In that sea, which Lakoff calls “the cognitive unconscious,” most people's ideas about morality and politics are formed. We are all, in many respects, strangers to ourselves. Lakoff's book grandly describes what he believes are the revolutionary implications of his findings: “a new understanding of what it means to be a human being; of what morality is and where it comes from; of economics, religion, politics, and nature itself; and even of what science, philosophy, and mathematics really are.” (He singles Chomsky out as “the ultimate figure of the Old Enlightenment.”)
    . . .

    etc.

    yes, integralism is hard, risky work (not easy “feel good” slogans) on how to find an authentic balance of rational skepticism with faith/transcendence/spirit.

    unlike bahai, it is fluid, evolving, self-critical, and adaptive.

    —excerpt—

    http://coolmel.gaia.com/blog/2007/3/bad_science

    — Ken Wilber had eloquently asked this question in One Taste: “If the majority of the “spiritual market” is drawn to prerational magic and myth, how do you reach the small group who are involved in genuine, laborious, demanding, transrational spiritual practice? This is very difficult, because both markets are referred to as “spiritual,” but these two camps really don't get along very well–one is mostly translative, the other is mostly transformative, and they generally disapprove of each other–so how do you put them into one magazine without alienating them both?”

    —end—

    it resists cultural imperialism instead of being “infected” by it.

    the comfort zone of conventional archetypes and categories is gone. which upsets people. boo hoo.

    yes, wilber supposedly is known to have had sex with a bahai woman, and admits to being a jerk, and full of cr*p (you know those zen buddhists, gluttons for punishment). he wrote a book about the whole topic: “boomeritis”, and talks about it all the time.

    unfortunately bahais rarely model that level of unvarnished self-examination.

    wilber grew up in an air force family in the 50s, threw himself into the 60s counterculture mysticism movement (while studying light physics), recoiled in horror at the narcissism/nihilism of the counterculture, exited transpersonal psychology after daring to critique romanticists and postmodernism and making enemies of the “green meme” crowd.

    (that is almost exactly the same path as my life, so wilber's explanations have more resonance to me than to people with other perspectives/experiences. to me, bahai became increasingly irrelevant the more I came to “understand” it. and the more I talked about that lack of meaning, the more hostile the bahai establishmentarians/fundies became. their mentality was “none of that authentic truth stuff”.)

    as well, the liberal/academic establishment isn't open to having its sacred relics smashed, so when they get a whiff of wilber saying that the military/traditionalists are “right” about the lack of “personal responsibility” in postmodernism, the usual PC inquisitions, thought policing, etc. kicks into high gear.

    your victimist “wounded inner child stuff” is probably better discussed with a competent therapist than a bitter old libertarian/populist f*rt that has seen far more PC silliness in academia than any human being should have ever had to tolerate.

    human cognition is a result of EVOLUTION. “God” is a culturally limited, partial truth.

    | There is, monks, an unborn, unbecome, unmade,
    | unconditioned. If, monks, there were no unborn… no
    | escape would be discerned from what is born, become,
    | made, conditioned. But because there is an unborn…,
    | therefore an escape is discerned from what is born,
    | become, made, conditioned.?
    The Buddha
    Ud 8:3
    Translator: Bhikkhu Bodhi
    Udana 8:3
    In the Buddha’s Words, Bhikkhu Bodhi (ed), Wisdom
    2005, p. 366

    ps, to the “IT crowd” – I'm now on Win7 RC 64bit, IE8.

  • Grover

    Very eloquent, Davids1!

    “Some spiritual people think that reasoning, fair judgment, and human intellectual capacity are some of God's greatest gifts, that it is a worthy goal to try to understand evidence on its own terms, instead of what only conforms and confirms to their own psychologically invested beliefs, regardless of contradictory evidence.”

    You're right, it is a worthy goal, but interpreting evidence and the conclusions we draw from that evidence and what we regard as credible can sometimes be influenced by our upbringing, beliefs, politics, peers and education. In the “basic” sciences where the experiments and so on are easily repeatable and people can investigate for themselves provided they have the appropriate equipment, the social influence is pretty limited. Examples where social influence has been problematic are well resourced tobacco company trying to “prove” smoking doesn't cause problems (relying on people's addiction) or oil companies sticking their oar into the climate change debate, or creationists (well meaning “spiritual” god fearing people) trying to pick holes in evolutionary theory and trying to promote intelligent design (and winning on a purely emotive level). There will only be a few out of the many that will transcend all the bs, hype and jargon, and that will only be in a field that they are proficient in. The rest of the time we are all “playthings of the ignorant” – victims of media, politicians, companies, and so on, with their own agendas. That applies to Baha'is as well.

  • Craig Parke

    I think the first level of analysis in any inquiry into human mindsets is to determine peoples addictions to “psychological Mommy Systems” and “psychological Daddy Systems” and , of course, the anti of these. The “anti-psychological Mommy Systems” and the “anti-psychological Daddy Systems”. These four factors are pretty much 98% of the history of the world in religion and politics. there is nothing any deeper going on. But there is the 2% that cannot be explained. There is the 2% that is the White Swan event that opens a new portal of consciousness. That 2% is worthy of study and that 2% is where any spiritual and thinking person wants to be. That 2% is the manifestation of the Revelation of Cosmic Law. Right now it appears particle physics is cutting edge Spirit. The Archetypal Sufi teachings of Baha'u'llah were the 2% that led to a new door. But that door has been completely closed now within the “official” Baha'i Faith. But I think it is still going gang busters out with everyone else in the world who is free to independently search and think. I think the “Integralist” material is a very useful viewpoint to try to gain an understanding of what is really going on in the human race right now. Identifying the “meme dynamics” in play at any given point is very useful.

  • fubar

    Ok folks, lets be clear.

    Academia is in a mess. It is increasingly hostile and indifferent and “disconnected” from the humanity of many of the people involved in the enterprise of study, research, teaching. It has become enslaved to risk aversion, is more afraid of lawyers than willing to challenge the status quo. It has become another “cost center”.

    It has become a huge ripoff/scam, and similar to other institutions in postmodern culture, is plagued by a weird combination of the “worst of both worlds: big business and big government”.

    (Habermas refers to this as “colonization of lifeworld by systems”.)

    Corporatism (big business) and establishment “liberalism” (big government) are both increasingly corrupt and “paradigm regressive”.

    What the OP initially did was insult “popular new age” ideas. Thus, the assumption that the OP was setting down a marker, a defense of the elitist, corrupt element of the academic establishment.

    As the material from Esalen indicates, if carefully studied(!?!), there has always been a valuable interaction between the “leading edge” of “popular new age culture” and anti-establishment forms of “academic” work.

    The California Institute of Integral Studies (the Aurobindo branch of integralism), which greatly influenced Esalen, is an example.
    (http://www.thesunmagazine.org/issues/404/across…)

    Those kinds of groups resulted from the movement in the “popular new age” culture around exploring eastern religions, mysticism, and attempts at integrating science and mysticism (non-ordinary states).

    IT IS COMPLETELY ABSURD TO THINK THAT CONVENTIAL ACADEMICS EMBRACED THE INNOVATIONS EXPLORED IN POPULAR (COUNTER)CULTURE.

    Just read Albanese, formerly the Chair of the AAR, who had done a great deal of research on the unconventional elements of american (POPULAR) religion.

    The problem in new age culture (as well as the culture at large, but different variations) is EXACTLY WHAT KEN WILBER DISCUSSES AT LENGTH:

    The mean green meme.

    The tag team from hell: narcissism and nihilism.

    The OP however choses to obscure this simple, but important point. Why? Because Wilber's ideas clearly show that orthodox/western religions, such as bahai, are COMPLETLY FULL OF GARBAGE, and mostly useless in addressing the new existential problems facing the culture.

    IN REALITY THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ACADEMICS, BUSINESS, AND POPULAR CULTURE IS A COMPLEX SOCIAL ECOSYSTEM.

    davids1 is promoting the usual bahai hate meme towards yoga/buddhism/etc., and hiding like a typical bahai coward, behind a facade of academic elitism.

    —reposted material follows—

    “If there is anything which human history demonstrates, it is the extreme slowness with which the ordinary academic and critical mind acknowledges facts to exist which present themselves as wild facts with no stall or pigeonhole, or as facts which threaten to break up the accepted system”.
    William James “What Psychical Research Has Accomplished

    Albanese has also written on Esalen, and the role of “popular” counterculture influences on academia, and vice versa:

    http://books.google.com/books?id=WirfED_-YnUC

  • fubar

    here is what happens when the world is run by a combination of big business and big government, in the thrall of corporatist lawyers:

    http://commerce.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?Fus

    where are the academics???

  • fubar

    Other than rehashed sufi metaphysics, can someone, including davids1, please explain exactly WHAT bahai offers humanity on the following topic???

    http://www.scottlondon.com/reviews/hustonsmith….

    Beyond the Post-Modern Mind

    Smith observes that although the modern mind took its cues from the Enlightenment, 20th century science has moved beyond the worldview of Newton and Descartes. “Contemporary science has crashed through the cosmology which the 17th-to-19th century scientists constructed as if through a sound barrier, leaving us without replacement,” he writes. “The absence of a new cosmology is due to the fact that physics has cut away so radically from our capacity to imagine the way things are that we do not see how the two can get back together.” He quotes a striking comment by Harvard's P.W. Bridgman: “The structure of nature may eventually be such that our processes of thought do not correspond to it sufficiently to permit us to think about it at all.”

    The postmodern predicament, as Smith defines it, is one in which we no longer believe that reality is personal and ordered in a way that reason can comprehend. Unlike both the modern mind, which assumed that reality is objectively ordered, and the Christian mind, which assumed it to be regulated by God's will, the postmodern mind eschews all belief in an embracing outlook. While it acknowledges the validity of partial truths, socially constructed narratives, and “situated” knowledge, it is fundamentally “blurred and amorphous.” “There are merits in seeing things this way,” Smith says, “the obvious one being the tolerance which, on the surface at least it seems to augur. If there is no reality in the singular but only realities, each sponsored by its respective society, these multiple realities would seem to be on an equal footing and therefore deserving of equal respect. Beneath this genial view, though, lurk problems which can be gathered under an inclusive head: the pendulum has swung too far in the direction of multiplicity.” Ultimately, he says, postmodernism may turn out to be a transitional phase. “A meaningful life is not finally possible in a meaningless world. It is provisionally possible — there can be a temporary standoff between self and world — but finally it is not possible.”

    If postmodernism turns out to be provisional, as Smith believes, then what lies beyond it is most likely a return to what he calls the “perennial philosophy” — an outlook which “in its broad outlines is carried in the bloodstream of the human race.” Aldous Huxley, in his classic 1945 anthology on the subject, defined it as “the ethic that places man's final end in the knowledge of the immanent and transcendent Ground of all being.” This, Smith says, is the philosophy of the “human majority.” No culture save our own has disjoined the individual from the world, life from what is presumed to be nonlife, in the alienating way that we have.

    If the modern mind is characterized by a loss of faith in transcendence and a sense of the sacred, in a reality that encompasses but surpasses our quotidian affairs, and the postmodern mind is rooted in a rejection of that worldview, then what lies “beyond the postmodern mind” can only be an attempt to reestablish our link with the primordial tradition and embrace a more expansive view of ourselves and our place in nature, one that leaves room for transcendence and for the ageless insights of the perennial philosophy. Science can still play an important role in this new epistemology, but it will no longer be seen as the ultimate source of authority. Since science has no place for intrinsic and normative values, for purposes, for quality, and for ultimate and existential meanings, the view of the world it gives us is inherently limited and partial.

    Some of the most interesting essays in this collection deal with the turn in recent years toward deconstructive postmodernism in philosophy and the humanities. Smith points out that contemporary social philosophers such as Richard Rorty, Jurgen Habermas, and Hans-Georg Gadamer recognize that philosophy can no longer address itself chiefly to the problems of science, to metaphysics, or to politics. But their turn to social science, or to what Smith refers to as “social holism” — to collective predicaments, cultural-linguistic wholes, and the realization that thinking is invariably “situated” — also turns out to be problematic. There is no court of appeal for adjudicating the various claims to truth when reality is conceived in terms of “narratives” or socially constructed realities. This perspective is at best a “way-station on philosophy's sojourn,” he says. “The roots of thinking do not stop with collectivities. They extend deeper into soil that human collectivities share in common.”

  • Grover

    “Academia is in a mess. It is increasingly hostile and indifferent and “disconnected” from the humanity of many of the people involved in the enterprise of study, research, teaching. It has become enslaved to risk aversion, is more afraid of lawyers than willing to challenge the status quo. It has become another “cost center”.”

    You should be careful here, if by academia you actually mean the bureaucracy that runs universities then fair enough, but if you mean joe average academic that has to put up with the bureaucracy, well thats untrue. The average academic is becoming more and more annoyed with the burdens that government and the pc brigade place upon them and the shift of money from the front end of universities – ie teaching and research – to the back end – faceless bureaucrats on par with his highness, the lord of the UHJ – Peter Khan, that “manage” (ie expensive tea parties and refurbishment of the management suite) universities, who expect the same servile devotion to their manifest wisdom that our Auzzie mate from hisbollah (Baha'i Faith) does.

  • fubar

    Grover,

    That is partly correct. I see few social justice activists, or other innovators/entrepenurial types having much success in academia. That is my main point: conventionalism and paradigm regression are in full sway. The toxic aftermath of the 80s/90s “culture wars” has set in like ugly unfinished concrete at a construction zone that got caught up in the middle of a war.

    Rank, unprincipled opportunists always flourish in the midst of decay.

    (The best single image to me of how culture has gone wrong is the “selling of cool”. e.g., 60s protest songs used to advertise investments to baby-boomers.)

    There are some “bahai” exceptions, such as Orey/Cole/etc., and other/nonbahai: Kripal, Albanese, Groff, that I find particularly interesting in that they are at the cross roads of academia and “counterculture”, including “new age” counterculture (postconventional/postformal culture).

    To be clear: integralists such as Ken Wilber either came directly out of the transpersonal psychology movement, or from some hybrid of academia and similar influences.

    As I mentioned previously, the California Institute of Integral Studies, where Grof has taught for a long time, was one of the primary sites where the Aurobindo branch of integralism flourished. Wilber had a big fight with the CIIS people, to some extent probably including Grof, when Wilber “went anti-romanticist” on the CIIS folks.

    Esalen was/is in the far orbit of CIIS, but its founders (one of whom wa a WWII bomber pilot in the Pacific – thus the asian connection), who had significant interaction with “counterculture” academics (Kripal/Albanese have documented this), were somewhat independent of CIIS. Esalen, being in Big Sur, is almost otherworldly by its rural/wildland nature, whereas CIIS is in San Francisco, which is urban counterculture.

    Of course bahais are largely absent from the discussion. An up and coming bahai scholar that was in the process of building a community of bahai integralists was viciously attacked by the AO/fundies several years ago.

    Hilariously, in a letter to Dr. Susan Maneck several years ago about the conflicts between “liberals and conservatives” in the bahai community, one of the UHJ's letter writers stated that bahai scholars should “contribute to new integrative paradigms” (slightly paraphrased).

    So, any “loyal” bahai scholars should presumably have become integralists by now!

    BIG QUESTION ====>>>
    Why is davids1 coming on this blog and conducting character assasination of integralists when the UHJ itself has directed bahai scholars to adopt integralism??!!??

    My personal experience is that the bahai community is largely incapable of adopting “integrative paradigms”. Indeed integralists will be barely tolerated, at best.

    Which is another say of saying that bahai is doomed to being enslaved to old/outmoded ideas and backwardness.

    Make no mistake, a number of high quality bahai scholars have completely whored themselves out to the elitists/corporatists/fundies in the AO.

    I was personally stunned to see such complete failure of personal integrity, and am still profoundly disgusted by the inability of many such people in the bahai community to stand up for any kind of real (“authentic”) principles. To say that such people have utterly failed to provide any kind of effective leadership in the area of social justice, nonconforism, etc. in the bahai community is a vast understatement.

    on the contrary, vapid cowardice is the norm. most bahai scholars that have any interest in “controversial” topics learned long ago that they will be marginalized, lose jobs, appointments, etc. if they dare to challenge the AO/fundies, and they either stopped doing any work on bahai, or do so “underground”.

    so, the great enlightened scholars have been reduced to secrecy. “absurd and pathetic” are the only words that come to mind.

    I look forward to hearing from davids1 on any of the points above, and of course highly value any criticism or comment from yourself.

  • fubar

    Just to remind people, this is what was being discussed when the attack on wilber started:

    ray said: “I say that religion tends to be very conservative whether we like it or not.”

  • davids1

    While I agree with your comment about research in basic sciences, I disagree that we cannot attain increasing rigor and objectivity beyond the latter domain because of unconscious bias or conscious influence–your own statements support that these can be identified and corrected. One of the central goals of scholarship is to train researchers to recognize and compensate for their own biases, predispositions, conflicts of interest, and cognitive deficiencies. All of the necessary skills and qualities–critical thinking, logic, scientific method, intersubjective agreement, sincerity, integrity, rigor, fair-mindedness, humility–can be learned and practiced by anyone with the will to do so. Someone once said that scientific methodology was rigorously applied common sense. Unfortunately, educational standards are so lax and teachers not always qualified that many students never appreciate the true capacities of their own minds. We do not have to accept being victims of propaganda or “playthings of the ignorant.” On the contrary, moral integrity requires that we strive for increasingly accurate comprehension.

    However, as you point out, there are many who have neither the training nor the interest to separate from the dross of popular discourse. Then there are others who tenaciously cling to unreasonable beliefs out of self-interest or from psychological insecurity.

    While fubar's overreaching generalizations are distortions, he isn't too wide of the target when supposing that experts can be condescending–some truly are and this behavior can have deadly consequences. But by effectively imagining this is always the case and dividing people into good or bad categories based on uninformed subjective judgments borders on a kind of intellectual racism and is self-limiting. Consider what Joseph Epstein said in his book Snobbery (page:

    “High standards generally — about workmanship in the creation of objects, about what is owed in friendship, about the quality of art, and much else — far from being snobbish, are required to maintain decency in life. When the people who value these things are called snobs, the word is usually being used in a purely sour-grapes way. ?Elitist,? a politically supercharged word, is almost invariably another sour-grapes word, at least when used to denigrate people who insist on a high
    standard. The distinction, I believe, is that the elitist desires the best; the snob wants other people to think he has, or is associated with, the best. Delight in excellence is easily confused with snobbery.”

    At the risk of over-generalizing and based on not just the comments here alone, disdaining prejudice and advocating for the oneness of humanity while at the same time creating and applying all manner of denigrating labels–covenant breakers, apostates, dissidents, marginals–followed by personal attacks, censorship, exclusion, and shunning, effectively refutes religious influence as being superior to the secular humanism.

  • davids1

    Who issues the invitations to testify before US Senate Committees?

  • davids1

    Quoting a partial sentence out of context composed in the last decade of the 19th century by James does not support your conclusion, especially since most of what James addressed here was demonstrated to be inaccurate after a couple of decades into the 20th century.

  • davids1

    First, Smith's grasp of the history of science isn't much better than Wilber's. Smith mistakenly conflates cosmology with cosmogony. Like Wilber, Smith also mistakenly conflates science and scientism. Smith's misconceptions about science have been noted by a number of philosophers of science and religion (see the journal Zygon).

    Second, Bridgment's statement isn't accurate (he died almost 48 years ago).

    Third, the reviewer London goes on to describe how he understand Smith's conception of the “postmodern predicament,” which really isn't a problem. Neither London nor Smith seem to realize that there are a number of philosophers of religion and science who reject both modern duality and postmodernism (for example, John F. Haught), but Smith is accurate when describing the decline of postmodernism, the poverty of some contemporary philosophical schools, and the limitations of science.

    Fourth, as far as Baha'i is concerned, it depends on what and who you read. The texts support that objective knowledge of the external existence of the physical world can be known, in contrast to postmodernism; the harmony of science and religion; and the meaning of life. Some House members speak disparagingly of postmodern while at the same time–apparently unknowingly–embracing some of its popular aspects, suggesting their inconsistencies result from a superficial understanding. There are only a few individual Baha'is that can offer a coherent, informed view–no different than looking for a needle in a haystack. Comprehension of these historical and philosophical issues is best sought from sources external to Baha'i.

  • Craig Parke

    davids1, fubar, and grover,

    I wish to commend all of you on this excellent discussion. You are all brilliant and the points you are all making are worthy of consideration. I am thinking about all of them.

    Thank you.

  • Grover

    Thanks Craig, however I am just a science teacher, but davids1 is very well versed in philosophy and makes excellent arguments.

    Davids1, for fear of breaching your anonymity, might I ask your background?

  • Grover

    I must confess that I am somewhat of a dualist if you're meaning separation between mind and body (although somewhat lacking in scientific evidence to prove my belief – its purely emotive) – but postmodernism I've never really understood well and attempts to try and understand it have failed because postmodernists don't seem to define it in a way that the layperson can understand – confuse and obfuscate seem to be the operative terms (although a social scientist might say the same about organic chemistry, reaction rates and so on).

    I'm a naturalist – i.e. scientific methods are great for obtaining knowledge about the world around us (although there are limitations), and a positivist (knowledge obtained from doing experiments) constructivist (we make the knowledge by interpreting data, giving it meaning, and presenting it in a certain way).

  • fubar

    I'm gone on vacation (Santa Cruz->Bend, Ore.) through Mon. August 17. Be well.

  • fubar

    bs.

  • davids1

    If you disagree with a conclusion, then explain why. Here is a link to the entire essay for you to read for yourself:
    http://www.readbookonline.net/readOnLine/23336/
    For historical context see Janet Oppenheim, The Other World: Spiritualism and Psychical Research in England, 1850-1914 (Cambridge UP, 1985).

  • davids1

    The dualism I was responding to was that in the article cited by fubar: “the modern mind, which assumed that reality is objectively ordered, and the Christian mind, which assumed it to be regulated by God's will.” This is different from the dualism you mentioned. Clearly, mind is part of body in the natural world. If the body of the mind–the central nervous system–is affected, the mind is affected.

    Yes, I agree that methodological naturalism is the best for obtaining knowledge about the natural world, and it is limited to that realm.

    Understanding postmodernism is important for a science teacher, especially because you have unknowingly and mistakenly incorporated one of its principles–constructionism–into naturalism, despite their incompatibility.

    The description you offer–“we make the knowledge by interpreting data, giving it meaning, and presenting it in a certain way”–is a good one because it shows the pervasive influence of postmodernism. Scientists do not make or create knowledge consistent with the subjectivity of constructionism. The structure and processes of nature exist independently of what scientists think. Scientists perform experiments to determine structure and understand processes, not to make or construct knowledge that subjectively varies from researcher to researcher. An exceptional book that would clarify these issues and assist in presenting scientific methodology to students as scientists practice it is Hugh G. Gauch, Scientific Method in Practice (Cambridge UP, 2002). It is very readable and clarifies the confusion surrounding the interpretation of Kuhn's work.

  • farhan

    Alonso wrote: the future will prove it. Hopefully !
    Yes, alonso, the future will tell. Meanwhile, my hunch is that the quest for power is a sign of immaturity, and in the future, individual and social maturity will bring us to no longer seek the heavy responsibilities of leadership, and no one will consider gender reassignment so as to win membership to the UHJ. As we read in Aqdas notes 194:

    ?One of the signs of the maturity of the world is that no one will accept to bear the weight of kingship. Kingship will remain with none willing to bear alone its weight. That day will be the day whereon wisdom will be manifested among mankind.?

  • Grover

    “especially because you have unknowingly and mistakenly incorporated one of its principles–constructionism–into naturalism, despite their incompatibility.”

    Like I said, I don't understand postmodernism well :) (Thanks for the reference, I'll check it out), and maybe because of the limited understanding I don't see an incompatibility between naturalism and constructivism.

    For example, say if you've done a whole bunch of experiments investigating a chemical reaction, you have a lot of data, and done many replicates so you know exactly what happens under different conditions. This is naturalism and positivism in action when you do the experiments and report the results (using the language and jargon, and tools to present those results commonly used by fellow scientists – socially constructed over time I might add). Where I see constructivism come in is where you try to understand that reaction further by creating some mathematical models to represent the reaction. Often times there are more than one model that work well for the reaction. This is usually because we don't have the tools to analyse the reaction in great detail (limitations in current technology), so we don't understand precisely what goes on, so we make educated guesses, assumptions or approximations. If we did have the tools to understand the reaction precisely then it would be 100% positivism because there could be no other explanation for it. But because we don't there are a range of explanations or approximations that do the job in the meantime – which one you choose depends on the circumstances and preference.

    Another example in chemistry is the two models used to understand covalent bonding between atoms: the octet rule and orbital theory (which actually describes regions where electrons are likely to be around an atom). Both work well, orbital theory is better, but most students use the octet rule because its easy to remember. We're using a human construction to understand and predict what happens in reality. The model may not represent what actually happens at all but because it has predictive value and its easy to remember we use it.

    Regarding the mind “Clearly, mind is part of body in the natural world. If the body of the mind–the central nervous system–is affected, the mind is affected. ” Perhaps, or could the brain and central nervous system be a tool for projecting from and reporting to our “mind” which actually lies elsewhere? Do we just assume our mind is in our brain because thats where we feel our thinking takes place, like we assume our spirit or soul is in our heart or chest because that is where we feel emotion? From a strict scientific point of view, we have to assume it is in our body because thats all we can physically observe and measure at this point in time. But maybe in the future in a Lovecraftian way, someone might be able to create something that can be used to analyse the soul or spirit if it does exist? Just some thoughts…

  • Grover

    Farhan – again you're trotting out the “immaturity” line…

    Some people want “power” because they believe they can actually do something to fix whatever they think might be wrong with society e.g. Barak Obama – have you ever thought about that? Not all people want “power” just for prestige and fame. “Power” is a doubled edged sword, with it comes greater consequences and infamy if you foul things up. Have you ever thought about that? No probably not. Take Hitler for example – he got power, temporarily, and then the world crapped all over him after he slaughtered a whole lot of people and he shot himself. I would have loved to have been there when he was asking St Peter to let him in through heaven's gates. “Nah sorry mate – down to hell with you!” Take Peter Khan – our beloved stone faced fundamentalist Auzzie mate from hisbollah on the UHJ – do you think he is using his position appropriately? Well I know what you would say – but hands up everyone else who thinks he's off his rocker. Have you ever thought about that? No definitely not.

  • farhan

    Pey wrote : I just want everyone to know that YES humble devout Farhan DOES indeed insult in the most subtle of ways. :o)

    Pey, if your aim to discredit Farhan, readers of this blog will make up their minds for themselves. If you wish to exchange views, by reading my message carefully you will notice that I was pointing out to your own complaint about ?aberou? which boils down to comparing ourselves to others and not to our ideal. Yes, I do believe that all religions are means for spiritual education for us all, me included amongst God’s children. I do believe that what imports, is the spiritual benefit we derive from this education and not the marks we get on our reports and which school children might compare to that of others. These marks are necessary for the educational structure to function, and we might even get excluded from a school if we are misjudged, but what I am saying is that how others might judge us is less important than the educational benefit we are getting from God’s revelation. What I am saying is that as painful as it might be, how others consider us is less important than how we relate to our own true self, which is the same as our relation with our creator. An essential aspect of our spiritual journey is becoming detached from what others might think or say of us, as Baha’u’llah points out:

    ?..man can never hope to attain unto the knowledge of the All-Glorious, can never quaff from the stream of divine knowledge and wisdom, can never enter the abode of immortality, nor partake of the cup of divine nearness and favour, unless and until he ceases to regard the words and deeds of mortal men as a standard for the true understanding and recognition of God and His Prophets.? (Iqan p 2) Or again:

    ?Be of them whom the tumult of the world, however much it may agitate them in the path of their Creator, can never sadden, whose purpose the blame of the blamer will never defeat.? (Gleanings CXXIX)

    Again, this has nothing to do with the rules and regulations necessary for the organizing of community life;

  • davids1

    You raise a number of good points I would like to discuss in greater detail, but this discussion is not relevant to the topic here. Could we continue this off-list by email? This way I could also send you relevant readings.

  • farhan

    Pey wrote: Get out of your safe zone of ruhi classes and the norm and do something a little different.

    Pey, as I have said before, having often lived as an isolated Baha'i, I have spent much more time outside Baha'i activities than inside, and far more time the last two years on Baha'i Rants, trying to understand the problems you might be facing and providing my views than in Ruhi classes or whatever activity you might describe as “safe zone”.

    You continually draw the distinction between “fundies”, “mainstream” etc, which is understandable given the problems you have faced, but I have no idea who is a Baha'i, non-Baha'i or ex-Baha'i here, nor am I trying to guess.

    Contrary to you, I try to understand views different from mine and share my views with them, trying to evaluate ideas and not persons holding them and do not interpret ideas different from mine as personal attacks or ?subtle insults? on a ?us? vs ?them? basis.

    I will immediately cease posting here if this blog is reserved for people unlike me or if Baquia invites me to stop so as to give more time to what you call ?safe zone? activities.

    I don’t see how the link you provide is relevant to the subject of gender and service on the UHJ. Perhaps you might like to explain.

  • Grover

    Sure – but I'm not willing to put up my email on an open blog like this.

    Baquia – whats the best way to exchange emails?

  • pey

    “Craig wrote: Long time Baha'is no matter how long the served on Local Spiritual Assemblies trying to advance the Faith in society can now be thrown out of the Baha'i Faith at ANY TIME for ANY REASON for “thought crimes” with no rights or due process or formal court”

    Farhan said: “Craig, I have never seen this from any community in all my life as a Baha'i, “

    I suggest again Farhan that you look at my link, start discussing topics like in that link in your community and get out of your Ruhi safe zone. Then come back and tell me if you and your community (like the Los Angeles community) will not get that dreaded call from the powers that be in the Bahai AO. It's not relevant to the topic at hand, but most of your responses never really either. :o) Just more flowery talk to show a facade of the Bahai community that is not true. Oh well… you are right the readers can decide for themselves. Cheers!

  • farhan

    Pey wrote: I suggest again Farhan that you look at my link, start discussing topics like in that link in your community and get out of your Ruhi safe zone.

    Pey, I looked at your link and the subjects are certainly interesting for Baha’i studies sessions in which I participate regularly, but not the kind of activity that our community needs urgently at this time.
    There is an appropriate time for everything. Doing the right thing at the wrong time or not dispatching our time appropriately to each priority can have disastrous effects. It would be like a fire-man drawing attention to deficient paintwork on a fire engine during a catastrophe instead of participating in saving the victims. At this time in the history of humanity we are in dire need for reconciliation, harmony and collaboration. If we introduce a red herring for the purpose of establishing our own intellectual transcendence instead of focalising our efforts to urgent issues, we are disabling our common efforts. At this time Ruhi activities are by no means a ?safe zone? and take a minor part of my time because of my present activities and isolation which will hopefully change in the near future. However, I firmly believe that Institute activities are a vital and urgent part of our efforts towards community building, but in no way the only activities needed.

    As to how fire men who draw attention to paintwork on fire engines during a catastrophe are treated in the US community, all I can say that I have never seen such a thing in my community and I cannot judge what happens in another community.

  • farhan

    Pey wrote : I suggest again Farhan that you look at my link

    Pey I did look at your link; the documents are difficult to read on my screen and date back to 1976. I certainly would not like to bring up a stale subject with people who are not interested, but I would be happy to discuss these issues in Baha’i Studies or on a relevant thread.

    My contribution to the present thread has been very clear and to the point: Yes gender is not always clearly established between ?male? and ?female?, the vast majority of societies do attribute one gender or another and have never yet made a special status for ambiguous genders, the UHJ complies with whatever gender science and society attributes to a person.

    I also believe that for the present time we are power oriented because we have learnt that this is the way to survive in a hostile society. In time when society will be more mature, we will become service oriented, more concerned with ?taarof? than with ?aberou? and no one would envy those serving on the UHJ to the point of requesting gender reassignment in order to enact their dreams for leadership.

    As usual, when my responses contradict other opinions, I get comments on my personal life or someone comes up with an entirely different subject like how the AO reacted in LA to someone 33 years ago.

  • fubar

    O.M.G. – davids1: you are unwilling to relate a basic definition (available on wikipedia) of postmodernism to the subject of this blog post?!?!? Un-freaking-believable! more arrogant “bs” and deception/secrecy.

    The postmodern influence in bahai culture will clearly not tolerate the kind of absurd “sexism” that the whole issue of the exclusion of women (defined in conventional or postmodern terms) from member on the UHJ represents.

    the “fickle finger of fate” clearly had bahai in the cross-hairs of oblivion when the UHJ was first formed, and shortly after that a large expansion of bahai membership took place in the USA that was significantly composed of people with postmodern tendencies.

    side note: again, I protest your arrogant, pathological posts that are full of lies and distortions, and appear to be perfect examples of Jungian “projection/transference” (shadow). get a therapist.

    Integralism requires scepticism. It is “so sceptical” that it is “sceptical of scepticism”. (joke)

    Wilber is an industry.

    Anti-Wilber is the corresponding industry. The Anti-Wilbereans are usually (but not always) boring, narrow, and unwilling to attempt to come down from their ivory towers long enough to
    apply philosophy/transcendence to social problems or relate it to “popular culture”. Many of them are sad that they never got to go to one of Wilber's naked pool parties, or other similar post-counterculture gatherings, and are simply being pissy little nit-pickers. This can be largely explained by basic primate (monkey) behavior, and the need that some snob-academics have to be “dominant” and “smarter” (“pricks”).

    Wilber will be far more successful/influential, and more widely read, than most “narrow” philosophers that are too cowardly to apply their philosophy to problems of injustice, “popular culture”, “paradigm regression”, etc. (or for that matter – the bahai dads)

    Is that good? bad? irrelevant?

    Answer: it depends on your PERSPECTIVE.

    Some “pricks” in academia make a living terrorizing students and anyone else that they can because they are jealous of people that are actually brave enough to try to change the world on a significant scale.

    anyways ….. postmodernism is all about pluralism/relativism (which can only exist in post-industrial cultures: “information cultures”.)

    After WWII, the USA (similar for europe) moved from a society where most people worked on farms or in factories to one in which most people worked in offices.

    This economic shift had a profound impact on culture, which made a corresponding shift – away from premodernism (farm) and modernism (factory) toward postmodernism (office).

    As the absolutes of pre/modern life were cast aside (1st by beatniks, hippies), pluralism/relativism become increasingly possible, then was integrated into the mainstream – via the counterculture, arts, academia, mass media, etc.

    Grover – google “sokal affair” for a good description of the “real world” problem of postmodernism (lit. crit./deconstructionism) and science – as it relates to the “culture wars” – attacks by the academic far left/feminism/socialism on the “culturally constructed nature” of science. Deconstructionist postmodernists basically think that “science” is an instrument of “european racist/imperialist/capitalist phallocentric culture”. blah blah blah. lots of pure manoora.

    Note: the “good” part of postmodernism is that it rejects the “absolutes” of modernism (the idea that male/european industrial/capitalist civilization is “superior”, and is the ultimate form of culture, etc.).

    the “bad” part of postmodernism, in its “paradigm regressive” form (Gebser) is that it attempts to state that “there are no absolutes” – as an absolute!

    YES, IT REALLY IS THAT SILLY.

    the postmodern (pluralist/relativist) basis of stating that “there are no absolutes” is that since all “reality” is “culturally constructed”, everything is “local” and can not be considered “universal”. absolutes/universals are vestiges of “imperialist projects”.

    zzzzzzzz.

    Again, read Albanese on the “dominant” (non-metaphysical) forms of religious culture in the usa, and how they have been ***ignored by the mainstream***.

    If you have access to the material, the following article contains a (simpatico) “academic” analysis of Wilber and some similiar theorists:

    Isenberg, S., and Thursby, G. (1984-6). Esoteric Anthropology: ?Devolutionary? and ?Evolutionary? Orientations in Perennial Philosophy. Religious Traditions, 7(9), 177-226.

    (note: no online “www” version exists anymore)

    Or:

    http://integral-review.org/current_issue/docume

    Alternate URL:

    http://66.102.1.104/scholar?q=cache:0PvLSkyiH6s

    Described at:
    http://www.doaj.org/doaj?func=abstract&id=260488

    Title: The Evolution of Consciousness as a Planetary Imperative:An Integration of Integral Views
    Author: Jennifer Gidley

    Abstract: In this article I aim to broaden and deepen the evolution of consciousness discourse by integrating the integral theoretic narratives of Rudolf Steiner, Jean Gebser,and Ken Wilber, who each point to the emergence of new ways of thinking that could address the complex, critical challenges of our planetary moment. I undertake a widescan of the evolution discourse, noting it is dominantly limited to biology-based notions of human origins that are grounded in scientific materialism. I then broaden the discourseby introducing integral evolutionary theories using a transdisciplinary epistemology to work between, across and beyond diverse disciplines. I note the conceptual breadth ofWilber's integral evolutionary narrative in transcending both scientism and epistemological isolationism. I also draw attention to some limitations of Wilber’sintegral project, notably his undervaluing of Gebser's actual text, and the substantial omission of the pioneering contribution of Steiner, who, as early as 1904 wrote extensively about the evolution of consciousness, including the imminent emergence of a new stage. I enact a deepening of integral evolutionary theory by honoring the significant yet undervalued theoretic components of participation/enactment and aesthetics/artistry via Steiner and Gebser, as a complement to Wilber. To this end, I undertake an in-depth hermeneutic dialogue between their writings utilizing theoretic bricolage, a multi-mode methodology that weaves between and within diverse and overlapping perspectives. The hermeneutic methodology emphasizes interpretive textual analysis with the aim of deepening understanding of the individual works and the relationships among them. This analysis is embedded in an epic but pluralistic narrative that spans the entire human story through various previous movements of consciousness, arriving at a new emergence at the present time. I also discuss the relationship between these narratives and contemporary academic literature, culminating in a substantial consideration of research that identifies and/or enacts new stage(s) or movements of consciousness. In particular, I highlight the extensive adult developmental psychology research that identifies several stages of postformal thinking, and recent critical, ecological and philosophical literature that identifies an emerging planetary consciousness. In summary, my research reveals an interpretation of scientific and other evidence that points beyond the formal, modernist worldview to an emerging postformal-integral-planetary consciousness. I posit that a broader academic consideration of such an integration of integral theoretic narratives could potentially broaden the general evolution discourse beyond its current biological bias. The article concludes with a rewinding of narrative threads, reflecting on the narrators, the journey, and the language of the discourse. Appendixes A and B explore the theoretical implications of the emergence of postformal-integral-planetary consciousness for a reframing of modernist conceptions of time and space. Appendix C holds an aesthetic lens to the evolution of consciousness through examples from the genealogy of writing.
    Journal: Integral Review
    Issn: 15533069
    EIssn:
    Year: 2007
    Volume:
    Issue: 5
    pages/rec.No: 4-226

    ——–

    I'm off to oregon tomorrow on vacation, will be back at the end of the week.

  • fubar

    more silly bs.

    there is no “context” required to understand a statement about “human history” and how the “establishment” form of academic culture is hostile to innovation (or outside scrutiny).

    anyone familiar with basic organizational theory (people in academia are “smart lemmings”and vicious conformists), or primate behavior, or how tribal culture works, understands the real “context”:

    you are simply unwilling to get off your high horse, and are full of appalling snob attitude and lies/deception/attacks.

    you have failed, so far, to state some very basic information that people want clarified:

    1) are you a bahai, and if so, how long, etc.

    1a) if bahai – do you actually believe something as stoopid as that “progressive relevation” (as taken at face value) explains human social development
    /progress/evolution?

    2) do you have a position (of any kind) in the AO? did you help the AO attack Cole/Lee/Dialog/Kalimat/talisman? if not, did you protest the AO's attacks on nonconformists, critics, dissidents? if not, why?

    3) in simple, HONEST terms, why do you hate Wilber?

    4) did the owner of this blog solicit your participation? if so, for what purpose?

    5) did someone else request your participation? if so, who/why?

    please – no more lies/attacks, just the truth.

    note: a “good” answer to #3 could include admitting that Wilber is loved by far more people than you are. (which may simply make him a “ho”.)

  • fubar

    invitations are presumably issued by the senators on the committee, or at least the leaders.

    fwiw ~ Ronald Reagan introduced greed into the medical system in the USA. at the time, the intentions were at least partly honorable: free market
    “competition” was thought to be a driver of “more efficiency”.

    of course that was a stupid idea, and now “those bastards on wall street” (Richard Nixon) are running the system into the ground in order to maintain profits and inflated stock valuations.

    Obama's “socialist” solution will also create corruption (unions, etc.), just not corruption by wall street b*stards.

  • fubar

    re: “Fourth” …

    LOL! thanksfor the chuckle.

    so, bahai leadership doesn't know what it is talking about, and one has to go outside bahai to understand developments in culture (or, as you say “historical and philosophical” issues).

    I could not agree more.

    thanks for confirming that bahai is run by incompetent bureaucrats, and has few competent scholars, at least ones willing to stand up against the thought police in the AO and local communities.

    so, what next?

    Is MEANINGFUL, REAL “reform” possible in bahai? if so, how?

    (can any such reform be sustained given the dominant cultural imperialism, outmoded metaphysics and pervasive paradigm regression in bahai culture?)

  • fubar

    if I understand it correctly, this sounds kinda like cr*p:

    davids1 said:
    “Scientists perform experiments to determine structure and understand processes, not to make or
    construct knowledge that subjectively varies from researcher to researcher. “

    please explain how a completely-perfectly unitary perception of scientific structure/process would be possible – as a general proposition.

    example 1: an experiment seeks to measure/confirm the speed of light.

    example 2: an experiment seeks to measure/confirm how butterflies and milkweed co-evolved.

    example 3: an experiment seeks to measure/confirm that human (or other) brain scans can measure the “experience” of heightened spirituality (e.g., during prayer/meditation)

    (feel free to use better examples)

    who would decide what the “one truth above all” consisted of?

    how would they come to power?

    what would happen if they used their power for evil purposes (to suppress dissident)?

    in general, why is having variations in perspective bad?

    is postmodernism, pluralism, relativism all bad, or is it just that it has come to be characterized by regressive forms that are so extreme that all other types of variation in perception of “science” have to be banned to avoid the evil excesses of postmodernism?

    !!!TIA!!!

  • Grover

    Hi Fubar,

    Sorry to be an apologist but if you took a look at my reply to David you would see some sort of an answer to your question:

    “in general, why is having variations in perspective bad? is postmodernism, pluralism, relativism all bad, or is it just that it has come to be characterized by regressive forms that are so extreme that all other types of variation in perception of “science” have to be banned to avoid the evil excesses of postmodernism?”

    My argument was that variation in scientific explanation about a specific system arises due to limited knowledge about that system. This is due to limitations in technology and current understanding available to analyse that system. Variations in perspective isn't bad – its good (unless you're a crackpot who proposes theories without any kind of logic or rationale) – it gives students and researchers theories to test. As more information becomes available, the range of explanations get narrowed down and refined. i.e you go from a “constructivist” type of understanding to a “positivist” type. Another way of looking at it is as the system becomes more defined, the degrees of freedom in explanation decrease. Its pretty much how science progresses. A new field in science is opened, a plethora of explanations are proposed, a bunch of students get stuck in and do the donkey work testing the theories while the professors have tea and biscuits, and eventually, 100 or so years later, you have a pretty good theory. Sometimes you have a quantum leap in understanding because someone has a unique insight that allows a whole arena of science to be opened – e.g. Einstein, Schrodinger and so on.

    “who would decide what the “one truth above all” consisted of?”

    Its the “truth” that works best in describing a system and predicting what happens under different conditions. If it doesn't work, then you have some bright spark writing a paper bitching about it and proposing a new theory or “truth”. Most times certain explanations only work under certain circumstances and the grand unified theory has always remained elusive.

    The fact that all theories in science are not sacrosanct (well except to the one who proposed the theory in the first place and wrote 100 publications on it) in my mind raises science above religion. In my mind, science is more infallible than any religion precisely because it doesn't pretend to be infallible (By the way I'm a science teacher so naturally I'm blinkered lol).

  • davids1

    Historical context refers to when and where–the original time and place–from which the James excerpt was taken. The sentence you quoted was not complete, while ignoring James' other positive remarks about academia:

    “Facts are there only for those who have a mental affinity with them. When once they are indisputably ascertained and admitted, the academic and critical minds are by far the best fitted ones to interpret and discuss them,–for surely to pass from mystical to scientific speculations is like passing from lunacy to sanity; but on the other hand if there is anything which human history demonstrates, it is the extreme slowness with which the ordinary academic and critical mind acknowledges facts to exist which present themselves as wild facts, with no stall or pigeon-hole, or as facts which threaten to break up the accepted system. In psychology, physiology, and medicine, wherever a debate between the mystics and the scientifics has been once for all decided, it is the mystics who have usually proved to be right about the _facts_, while the scientifics had the better of it in respect to the theories. The most recent and flagrant example of this is 'animal magnetism,' whose facts were stoutly dismissed as a pack of lies by academic medical science the world over, until the non-mystical theory of 'hypnotic suggestion' was found for them,–when they were admitted to be so excessively and dangerously common that special penal laws, forsooth, must be passed to keep all persons unequipped with medical diplomas from taking part in their production. Just so stigmatizations, invulnerabilities, instantaneous cures, inspired discourses, and demoniacal possessions, the records of which were shelved in our libraries but yesterday in the alcove headed 'superstitions,' now, under the brand-new title of 'cases of hystero-epilepsy,' are republished, reobserved, and reported with an even too credulous avidity.

    Repugnant as the mystical style of philosophizing maybe (especially when self-complacent), there is no sort of doubt that it goes with a gift for meeting with certain kinds of phenomenal experience. The writer of these pages has been forced in the past few years to this admission; and he now believes that he who will pay attention to facts of the sort dear to mystics, while reflecting upon them in academic-scientific ways, will be in the best possible position to help philosophy. It is a circumstance of good augury that certain scientifically trained minds in all countries seem drifting to the same conclusion.”

    I criticized Wilber's conceptions about history and science, which have been discredited for decades and his shallow, New Age popular philosophy, neither of which is equivalent to hating him. Nobody solicited my participation. Baha'i is an interesting case study.

  • davids1

    You can simply create an anonymous email account. Feel free to contact me after you have created one. notabeneloq[at]live[dot]com

  • davids1

    Reform from a religion similar to Shi'a?

  • Grover

    I've sent you an email.

  • johnbrowne

    I didn’t mean to insult you all, but seriously guys, you so need to get away from each other. Your replies are dripping with anger from immature egos.
    I am not a great bahai. Haven’t attended a bahai thing in my local area in years. Virtually all my friends are non bahais.
    But I do hope and pray that people that are more involved with the bahai faith, never let people like you lot take over the cause of God, because you would so seriously wreck it.
    My visit with native americans awaken in me the need to totally distance myself from the ego driven, which blogs and chat on the net has a good share of. Good luck guys. We all have our problem, and ways of dealing with them.I will leave you to your method, and keep to my own ways, and the good friends I have. We aren’t kindred spirits, and are on totally different paths.

  • pey

    Yes you did mean to insult us, so don't apologize. Just like saying that people “like us” would so seriously wreck the cause of God. More pompous insults on your part. You should become active again because you understand the modus operandi inside the Bahai community really well, that is subtly insult someone but keep a facade of humility and detachment. You are a bogus person and definitely not my kindred spirit. I like honest people, not flat out liers. Cheers!

  • Craig Parke

    Good luck on your path!

  • farhan

    Baquia, after the controversy about the gender of the SA athlete, Caster Semenya, I wondered if you feel that we should do away with gender in sports as well.

  • Baquia

    Interesting article about a recent brouhaha in the sporting arena. >Is a Female Track Star a Man?

  • Baquia

    Interesting article about a recent brouhaha in the sporting arena. Is a Female Track Star a Man?

  • rhapsodist

    Hey John, I'd like to talk to you. I'm pioneering in Russia right now, and expect to be here for about 4-5 years. For a long time I disassociated myself with Baha'i life and it was only following the conferences a year ago that I strove to live a life increasingly more in line with the qualities edified in the Writings, and it was at that time I arose to serve the Cause.

    That you visit with the native americans fascinates me. I've always been attracted to the culture, the spiritual philosophy, and the history. And it would be lovely to discuss and share experiences with eachother.

    My email is rhapsodistnine@gmail.com

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  • Baquia

    Stephen, Welcome to the internets: please don’t cut/paste long text when you can just submit a link that contains that text.

  • http://www.justabahai.wordpress.com sonjavank

    thanks B,
    I agree, I found Stephen’s essay on their website easier to read.

    I assume he wrote it, although the website gives the impression that this essay is some sort of offical document.
    Perhaps is it for this group calling themselves the “offical U.H.J.”, and because of this indirectness or lack of clarity, it has made me suspicious.

    Many of the arguments about ‘rigal’ and the service of women are stated in this 1988 paper,
    http://www.h-net.org/~bahai/docs/vol3/wmnuhj.htm
    which sticks to reliable sources (some of Stephen’s references are not, of course I’m not suggesting that makes the argument wrong, just that I would like it if I was directed to a paper that did stick to only using sources that were certainly what Baha’u’llah or ‘Abdul-Baha expressed).

    However the essay is also filled with the author’s interpretations about Shoghi Effendi’s motives and then 3/4 of the way through this essay is a reference to a true or appointed U.J.H. made in 1991 and then I realised that the point of the essay was not to discuss the issue of the membership of women on the U.H.J., but is promotion for a splinter group which have their own committee calling themselves the ‘official U.H.J.’.
    Now I thought, why write such a very long essay, full of various arguments, some good, some I would research before I would dismiss, except as an exercise in deception.

    Not a very good way to promote the idea of equality in my view.

  • Anonymous

    Interesting developments from Australia:

    “The changes mean Australians can identify their sex of choice and select
    Male, Female or X. The ‘X’ choice is available to intersex Australians.”

    So legally there is no longer a binary distinction when it comes to gender in Australia. This is exactly the point made above which in turn renders the whole issue of male/female permitted/restricted membership moot.

  • Baquia

    Canada to follow Australia’s lead on gender ID on passports: genderless passports under review in Canada

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  • Justice

     This is great news – that humanity is moving into Wholeness – still one wonders how the BF will deal with people and uhj elections in regards to genderless people?

  • Rocket

    Some critical deficiency in the female sex? I know some guys who are convinced that only men can serve on the House because only women can have babies (basically, they would want to do that if they could) and it evens out. I speculate that perhaps in the future, men will constitute the Universal House of Justice, and women will by great majority constitute secular government. Women are less likely to want to kill their neighbors…

  • http://starrsaffa.com/ Starr*

    Recently, a friend of a friend’s son committed suicide because of confusion regarding his transsexual nature. My friend sent the Mother links to the “Androgyny Limitless Variety” film (which supports the potentiality mentioned in this blog in the book: Between XX and Xy and gives some other perspectives including the fluidity of DNA, DNA alignment with Source, and Humanity moving into a state of Wholeness through balanced awareness.

    http://www.imdb.com/video/wab/vi3869219865/

    The Mother of the son who took his life said the film, although having a light-hearted approach, gave her a lot of insight and understanding and she could now pinpoint some of her own variations within. She also said she felt a God that kept people ignorant of those variations would just be being cruel.

    In times unfolding the brain will not have to work in separation and acceptance will be a natural state within civilization.

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