Century of the Light? …or Self?

Is this the Century of Light, or of the self?

Here’s what the Universal House of Justice said a few years ago in the foreword to the Century of Light:

The conclusion of the twentieth century provides Bah??’?s with a unique vantage point. During the past hundred years our world underwent changes far more profound than any in its preceding history, changes that are, for the most part, little understood by the present generation. These same hundred years saw the Bah??’? Cause emerge from obscurity, demonstrating on a global scale the unifying power with which its Divine origin has endowed it. As the century drew to its close, the convergence of these two historical developments became increasingly apparent.

Century of Light, prepared under our supervision, reviews these two processes and the relationship between them, in the context of the Bah??’? Teachings. We commend it to the thoughtful study of the friends, in the confidence that the perspectives it opens up will prove both spiritually enriching and of practical help in sharing with others the challenging implications of the Revelation brought by Bah??’u’ll??h.

The Universal House of Justice — Naw-R??z, 158 B.E.

Not long after this publication, the BBC’s award winning documentary Century of the Self aired.

Jump to watch it.

It explores the “deeper questions about the roots and methods of modern consumerism, representative democracy” and the implications of the wide application of psychological techniques to manipulate people, especially as used by politicians.

Perhaps because of it we now have a strange concoction brewing in society’s cauldron. The deep rooted instinct to search for meaning, or as some would call it, spirituality, has mingled with a fierce focus on the individual and the self to create an ugly compound.

For example, last year all the rage among the new-agey people was the ridiculous book, The Secret. It being that if you want something, just desire it and repeat it like a mantra and it will be given to you! Whatever you focus on, the law of attraction will draw to you. It was pushed hard by the queen trend setter of such nonsense in popular culture: Oprah.

And this year, Oprah is pushing Eckhart Tolle’s vapid “A New Earth”. Apparently The Secret isn’t enough. We need more Eastern thought repackaged to masquerade as spiritual enlightenment. Perhaps though I’m being too harsh. After all, all these people are yearning for the same thing, they are “sore athirst” for Baha’u’llah who is the new Manifestation for our age. Yet, they forgo the pure water fountain to drink from a filthy ditch.

There is now a whole industry that has sprung up to try and satiate the need of the Baby Boomer generation for spiritual enlightenment – they are after all, approaching the end of their natural life and as all humans their thoughts turn to less material spheres.

But such a focus on the self is self-defeating. The more we concentrate on ourselves and attempt to gain “spiritual enlightenment” the more it will elude us. It is like trying to hold on to a fistful of sand by clenching your fingers tighter and tighter.

As Shoghi Effendi said:

The more we search for ourselves, the less likely we are to find ourselves; and the more we search for God, and to serve our fellow-men, the more profoundly will we become acquainted with ourselves, and the more inwardly assured. This is one of the great spiritual laws of Life.

Here’s an excerpt from The Culture of Narcissism by Christopher Lasch which sums up what we are seeing now:

“Having no hope of improving their lives in any of the ways that matter, people have convinced themselves that what matters is psychic self-improvement: getting in touch with their feelings, eating health foods, taking lessons in ballet or belly-dancing, immersing themselves in the wisdom of the East, jogging, learning to ‘relate’, overcoming the ‘fear of pleasure’

Such an approach to life is, in essence, chaotic. All endeavors are aimed at the avoidance of pain, and more importantly, at achieving gratification and pleasure. Any other objective would require discipline, hard work, postponement of gratification, willingness to suffer and experience pain, the ability to work in harmony and cooperation with others and to be of service to one’s fellow man. Such qualities are needed for the creation of a healthy relationship but are almost nonexistent in the life of an indulgent person.

In addition to the promotion of pleasure-orientation and a chaotic lifestyle, the indulgent mode of human communication creates anarchy and disorder both in the individual and in society. The only source of authority and power that the indulgent person acknowledges is gratification. He seeks freedom similar to that which animals possess: the freedom to gratify biological and instinctual needs and desires, without according due consideration to the other realities of complex human relationships. These individuals rationalize all of their self-centered activities in the name of individual freedom, the freedom to do whatever one pleases as long as it does not interfere with the rights of others. In reality, however, at one level, all people are interrelated. There is a universal ecology of life, which, at the level of human relationships, creates a universal interdependence similar to the organs and parts of a body. Thus, for example, the health or illness of one individual ultimately affects others as well. Consequently the actions of the indulgent individual do interfere with the rights and lives of others. The indulgent individual ignores this fact and, subsequently, introduces anarchy into interpersonal relationships.

Finally, the intellectual and emotional characteristics of an indulgent individual have serious consequences for both the individual and society at large. The continuous pursuit of pleasure often results in a lifestyle characterized by the quest for instant gratification, which, in turn, requires a willingness to sacrifice fundamental principles of quality, integrity, and beauty. In the indulgent lifestyle, emotions are an end in themselves. The individual seeks joy and happiness but refuses to submit to the self-discipline and control required for creativity and growth, prerequisites for true joy and happiness. The indulgent person avoids the pain and discomfort of growth and thus hampers the progress of this maturity and development.”

Abdu’l-Baha wasn’t trying to become more conscious or spiritual. He simply served and loved all. Perhaps there’s something in such a life that can inspire us to live the life:

“The great thing is to ‘Live the Life’ to have our lives so saturated with the Divine teaching and the Baha’i Spirit that people cannot fail to see a joy, a power, a love, a purity, a radiance, an efficiency in our character and work that will distinguish us from worldly-minded people and make people wonder what is the secret of this new life in us. We must become entirely selfless and devoted to God so that every day and every moment we see to do only what God would have us do and in the way He would have us do it.”

Reminds me of The Valley of True Poverty and Absolute Nothingness:

This station is the dying from self and the living in God, the being poor in self and rich in the Desired One. Poverty as here referred to signifieth being poor in the things of the created world, rich in the things of God’s world. For when the true lover and devoted friend reacheth to the presence of the Beloved, the sparkling beauty of the Loved One and the fire of the lover’s heart will kindle a blaze and burn away all veils and wrappings. Yea, all he hath, from heart to skin, will be set aflame, so that nothing will remain save the Friend.






















Here is the BBC’s four part miniseries (each is about an hour long):

Jump back to post

Happiness Machines

The Engineering of Consent

There is a Policeman Inside All Our Heads: He Must Be Destroyed

Eight People Sipping Wine in Kettering

  • Andrew

    “We need more Eastern thought repackaged to masquerade as spiritual enlightenment.”

    Or do we need more Middle Eastern theocratic mysticism repackaged to masquerade as a world-wide meta-religion?

    “After all, all these people are yearning for the same thing, they are ‘sore athirst’ for Baha’u’llah who is the new Manifestation for our age.”

    These people don’t seem to get this. Argument weak, scream louder: preach rebuke, admonition, guilt, and law. Especially law. People will absolutely love the laws and ordinances of the Aqdas. Arson, you say? Where’s the barbecue sauce?

    As Stanley Rothman notes (in his essay “Ideology, Authoritarianism, and Mental Health”), “While Lasch makes some trenchant observations, the evidence he offers is weak, and his argument contains inconsistencies of logic.” The older the whine, the more sour the grapes.

    “Abdu’l-Baha wasn’t trying to become more conscious or spiritual. He simply served and loved all.”

    The chasm that separates the quest to become more conscious and a life of service to others is, of course, completely unbridgeable. What we truly need is to become less conscious and more sacrificial, especially in a monetary sense, as well as in a financial sense, particularly insofar as the material bases of religious institutions are concerned. The Laschian fulminations against self-pleasuring are correct: the sleeper must never awaken.

  • Andrew

    “We need more Eastern thought repackaged to masquerade as spiritual enlightenment.”

    Or do we need more Middle Eastern theocratic mysticism repackaged to masquerade as a world-wide meta-religion?

    “After all, all these people are yearning for the same thing, they are ‘sore athirst’ for Baha’u’llah who is the new Manifestation for our age.”

    These people don’t seem to get this. Argument weak, scream louder: preach rebuke, admonition, guilt, and law. Especially law. People will absolutely love the laws and ordinances of the Aqdas. Arson, you say? Where’s the barbecue sauce?

    As Stanley Rothman notes (in his essay “Ideology, Authoritarianism, and Mental Health”), “While Lasch makes some trenchant observations, the evidence he offers is weak, and his argument contains inconsistencies of logic.” The older the whine, the more sour the grapes.

    “Abdu’l-Baha wasn’t trying to become more conscious or spiritual. He simply served and loved all.”

    The chasm that separates the quest to become more conscious and a life of service to others is, of course, completely unbridgeable. What we truly need is to become less conscious and more sacrificial, especially in a monetary sense, as well as in a financial sense, particularly insofar as the material bases of religious institutions are concerned. The Laschian fulminations against self-pleasuring are correct: the sleeper must never awaken.

  • http://frankwinters.wordpress.com/ Frank Winters

    Dear Baquia,

    I’m pleased to hear your voice in this blog entry. You are a devoted Baha’i (sometimes I’m not sure) and this is a good thing for you I imagine.

    You point out the chaos in the modern spiritual movement that includes silly fads like The Secret but I think your Baha’i ranting is due to the chaos within Baha’i as well.

    This chaos is due to people — its people doing the searching and people being Bahia’s. In fact protestations to the contrary not with standing people created the Baha’i faith especially in its present state of chaos.

    I recently visited two of the ‘Spiritual’ shops nearby. I found them unfriendly and full of preconceptions. Confused. Yet some of the books and ‘stuff’ they are selling are useful. I had a similar experience visiting Greenacre a few years ago. Dogma mixed in with true spirituality. Praise for a course that deserve none right before someone chanted in the most sublime way.

    I have rarely attended a Baha’i meeting when some Bahai didn’t criticize or ridicule another religion. Selflessness? I don’t see it. I do see it in the soup kitchen where my wife volunteers. I also see it in her dedication to teaching four graders — a task she does as a master. (She is my heroine in case you haven’t guessed)

    But I hesitate to criticize seekers or believers. I do it (I find it hard to resist) but I hesitate and often regret my critical eye. In the search for meaning and true truth — true true true truth — we should always try to cast a sin covering eye.

    But when it comes to the secret of attraction or that other bozo who preaches to thousands that god wants then to be rich (or something like that) I loose patience.

    On the other hand I love Tibetan shops and sometimes feel a strong spirit in one. So maybe the spirit like love is where you find it.

    What do you think?

    Many thanks for your excellent Bahai Blog (too bad you need to rant but you do it so well…)

    Frank

  • http://frankwinters.wordpress.com/ Frank Winters

    Dear Baquia,

    I’m pleased to hear your voice in this blog entry. You are a devoted Baha’i (sometimes I’m not sure) and this is a good thing for you I imagine.

    You point out the chaos in the modern spiritual movement that includes silly fads like The Secret but I think your Baha’i ranting is due to the chaos within Baha’i as well.

    This chaos is due to people — its people doing the searching and people being Bahia’s. In fact protestations to the contrary not with standing people created the Baha’i faith especially in its present state of chaos.

    I recently visited two of the ‘Spiritual’ shops nearby. I found them unfriendly and full of preconceptions. Confused. Yet some of the books and ‘stuff’ they are selling are useful. I had a similar experience visiting Greenacre a few years ago. Dogma mixed in with true spirituality. Praise for a course that deserve none right before someone chanted in the most sublime way.

    I have rarely attended a Baha’i meeting when some Bahai didn’t criticize or ridicule another religion. Selflessness? I don’t see it. I do see it in the soup kitchen where my wife volunteers. I also see it in her dedication to teaching four graders — a task she does as a master. (She is my heroine in case you haven’t guessed)

    But I hesitate to criticize seekers or believers. I do it (I find it hard to resist) but I hesitate and often regret my critical eye. In the search for meaning and true truth — true true true truth — we should always try to cast a sin covering eye.

    But when it comes to the secret of attraction or that other bozo who preaches to thousands that god wants then to be rich (or something like that) I loose patience.

    On the other hand I love Tibetan shops and sometimes feel a strong spirit in one. So maybe the spirit like love is where you find it.

    What do you think?

    Many thanks for your excellent Bahai Blog (too bad you need to rant but you do it so well…)

    Frank

  • http://www.letters-of-the-living.blogspot.com Amanda

    [quote comment="44875"]
    Selflessness? I don’t see it. I do see it in the soup kitchen where my wife volunteers. I also see it in her dedication to teaching four graders — a task she does as a master. (She is my heroine in case you haven’t guessed)”

    Yay. :)

    You wrote, “What do you think?”

    I love that you end all your comments with a question, it’s so neighborly.
    :)
    Amanda

  • http://www.letters-of-the-living.blogspot.com Amanda

    [quote comment="44875"]
    Selflessness? I don’t see it. I do see it in the soup kitchen where my wife volunteers. I also see it in her dedication to teaching four graders — a task she does as a master. (She is my heroine in case you haven’t guessed)”

    Yay. :)

    You wrote, “What do you think?”

    I love that you end all your comments with a question, it’s so neighborly.
    :)
    Amanda

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    Frank, thank you for your thoughts.

    My criticism is leveled towards those who take advantage of people’s yearning of meaning for their own personal gain. I don’t believe we can approach God by climbing a ladder made by mortals. It is also that I compare the writings of these so called “gurus” with those of Baha’u’llah and find them laughably childish. Just listen to this video.

    And yes, I have little patience for “crap”, whether they be manifest within Baha’i communities (as you say, a lack of selflessness or criticism of other religions) or outside it. I don’t think that either of those is a very Baha’i sentiment. But just because you call yourself a Baha’i doesn’t mean that you suddenly become the embodiment of perfect virtues.

    [quote comment="44875"]But I hesitate to criticize seekers or believers. I do it (I find it hard to resist) but I hesitate and often regret my critical eye. In the search for meaning and true truth — true true true truth — we should always try to cast a sin covering eye.[/quote]

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    Frank, thank you for your thoughts.

    My criticism is leveled towards those who take advantage of people’s yearning of meaning for their own personal gain. I don’t believe we can approach God by climbing a ladder made by mortals. It is also that I compare the writings of these so called “gurus” with those of Baha’u’llah and find them laughably childish. Just listen to this video.

    And yes, I have little patience for “crap”, whether they be manifest within Baha’i communities (as you say, a lack of selflessness or criticism of other religions) or outside it. I don’t think that either of those is a very Baha’i sentiment. But just because you call yourself a Baha’i doesn’t mean that you suddenly become the embodiment of perfect virtues.

    [quote comment="44875"]But I hesitate to criticize seekers or believers. I do it (I find it hard to resist) but I hesitate and often regret my critical eye. In the search for meaning and true truth — true true true truth — we should always try to cast a sin covering eye.[/quote]

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    [quote comment="44865"]Or do we need more Middle Eastern theocratic mysticism repackaged to masquerade as a world-wide meta-religion?

    These people don’t seem to get this. Argument weak, scream louder: preach rebuke, admonition, guilt, and law. Especially law. People will absolutely love the laws and ordinances of the Aqdas. Arson, you say? Where’s the barbecue sauce?

    The chasm that separates the quest to become more conscious and a life of service to others is, of course, completely unbridgeable. What we truly need is to become less conscious and more sacrificial, especially in a monetary sense, as well as in a financial sense, particularly insofar as the material bases of religious institutions are concerned. The Laschian fulminations against self-pleasuring are correct: the sleeper must never awaken.[/quote]

    Andrew, thank you for your thoughts.

    The Baha’i Faith does not preach theocracy. I suggest you read Sen McGlinn’s “Church and State” for an indepth treatment of this topic.

    The laws of the Aqdas are for the future. They are not in effect now. Only a few of them have been actually implemented by the UHJ. And the Aqdas provides for the alternative of lifetime imprisonment in lieu of capital punishment.

    Baha’u’llah and Abdu’l-Baha wrote miles and miles of ink about love, unity, sacrifice, etc. but one sentence that seems to you to be harsh.

    The evidence for Lasch’s argument is there for anyone to see upon turning on their TV or magazine or any medium that panders to the common denominator in society.

    But in the end, it seems we agree, the path of enlightenment is to forget the self and to serve. As Abdu’l-Baha did and as He hoped others would too.

    All the best :-)

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    [quote comment="44865"]Or do we need more Middle Eastern theocratic mysticism repackaged to masquerade as a world-wide meta-religion?

    These people don’t seem to get this. Argument weak, scream louder: preach rebuke, admonition, guilt, and law. Especially law. People will absolutely love the laws and ordinances of the Aqdas. Arson, you say? Where’s the barbecue sauce?

    The chasm that separates the quest to become more conscious and a life of service to others is, of course, completely unbridgeable. What we truly need is to become less conscious and more sacrificial, especially in a monetary sense, as well as in a financial sense, particularly insofar as the material bases of religious institutions are concerned. The Laschian fulminations against self-pleasuring are correct: the sleeper must never awaken.[/quote]

    Andrew, thank you for your thoughts.

    The Baha’i Faith does not preach theocracy. I suggest you read Sen McGlinn’s “Church and State” for an indepth treatment of this topic.

    The laws of the Aqdas are for the future. They are not in effect now. Only a few of them have been actually implemented by the UHJ. And the Aqdas provides for the alternative of lifetime imprisonment in lieu of capital punishment.

    Baha’u’llah and Abdu’l-Baha wrote miles and miles of ink about love, unity, sacrifice, etc. but one sentence that seems to you to be harsh.

    The evidence for Lasch’s argument is there for anyone to see upon turning on their TV or magazine or any medium that panders to the common denominator in society.

    But in the end, it seems we agree, the path of enlightenment is to forget the self and to serve. As Abdu’l-Baha did and as He hoped others would too.

    All the best :-)

  • http://mavaddat.livejournal.com Mavaddat

    [quote post="369"]For example, last year all the rage among the new-agey people was the ridiculous book, The Secret. It being that if you want something, just desire it and repeat it like a mantra and it will be given to you! Whatever you focus on, the law of attraction will draw to you. It was pushed hard by the queen trend setter of such nonsense in popular culture: Oprah.[/quote]
    Wow, this does sound familiar! I seem to recall some similar nonsense in the Bah??’? writings…[quote]Does it matter who prays? God will answer the prayer of every servant if that prayer is urgent. His mercy is vast, illimitable. He answers the prayers of all His servants. …But whatever we ask for which is in accord with divine wisdom, God will answer. Assuredly! (‘Abdu’l-Bah??)[/quote]Ah yes! That’s it. Thank you, ‘Abdu’l-Bah??.
    [quote post="369"]And this year, Oprah is pushing Eckhart Tolle’s vapid ?A New Earth?. Apparently The Secret isn’t enough. We need more Eastern thought repackaged to masquerade as spiritual enlightenment. Perhaps though I’m being too harsh. After all, all these people are yearning for the same thing, they are ?sore athirst? for Baha’u’llah who is the new Manifestation for our age. Yet, they forgo the pure water fountain to drink from a filthy ditch.[/quote]
    If Eastern thought repackaged to masquerade as spiritual enlightenment isn’t what we need, then how is Sufi mysticism repackaged to masquerade as Western liberalism any better? Bah??’?s, have you not yet noticed that there is nothing original or revolutionary in the writings of Bah??’u’ll??h? It was all said before Bah??’u’ll??h by minds much greater than his and with much more clarity and insight. Bah??’u’ll??h merely channelled the light of Western wisdom into a land darkened by dogmatism, and we praise him for that. But let’s not kid ourselves. These were not original insights, nor is it necessary to think they were somehow given to him by God. They were clearly gleaned by him in his travels and conversations with various Platonist thinkers, either on the Silk trade route or elsewhere in his relations with educated men.

    No one is “thirsting” for Bah??’u’ll??h’s wisdom. Bah??’u’ll??h is neither the author nor the owner of the wisdom he spoke. He merely borrowed the wisdom of others and brought it to bear on the situation in which he found himself. Unfortunately, however, he couched that wisdom in the same unquestioning dogmatism that he was trying to route from people’s minds in the first place, thereby failing as miserably in his attempt to enlighten humanity as those Muslim clerics who had gone before him.

    Despite these objections, I do fundamentally agree with the thesis of this post, which is that we are better off seeking deeper sources of fulfilment rather than immediate gratification. Spirituality and depth of character have nothing, however, to do with religion. This fact can be seen in the eloquently spoken words of Sam Harris in his address to the Atheist Alliance conference in Washington D.C. on September 28th, 2007:

  • Anonymous

    [quote post="369"]For example, last year all the rage among the new-agey people was the ridiculous book, The Secret. It being that if you want something, just desire it and repeat it like a mantra and it will be given to you! Whatever you focus on, the law of attraction will draw to you. It was pushed hard by the queen trend setter of such nonsense in popular culture: Oprah.[/quote]
    Wow, this does sound familiar! I seem to recall some similar nonsense in the Bah??’? writings…[quote]Does it matter who prays? God will answer the prayer of every servant if that prayer is urgent. His mercy is vast, illimitable. He answers the prayers of all His servants. …But whatever we ask for which is in accord with divine wisdom, God will answer. Assuredly! (‘Abdu’l-Bah??)[/quote]Ah yes! That’s it. Thank you, ‘Abdu’l-Bah??.
    [quote post="369"]And this year, Oprah is pushing Eckhart Tolle’s vapid ?A New Earth?. Apparently The Secret isn’t enough. We need more Eastern thought repackaged to masquerade as spiritual enlightenment. Perhaps though I’m being too harsh. After all, all these people are yearning for the same thing, they are ?sore athirst? for Baha’u’llah who is the new Manifestation for our age. Yet, they forgo the pure water fountain to drink from a filthy ditch.[/quote]
    If Eastern thought repackaged to masquerade as spiritual enlightenment isn’t what we need, then how is Sufi mysticism repackaged to masquerade as Western liberalism any better? Bah??’?s, have you not yet noticed that there is nothing original or revolutionary in the writings of Bah??’u’ll??h? It was all said before Bah??’u’ll??h by minds much greater than his and with much more clarity and insight. Bah??’u’ll??h merely channelled the light of Western wisdom into a land darkened by dogmatism, and we praise him for that. But let’s not kid ourselves. These were not original insights, nor is it necessary to think they were somehow given to him by God. They were clearly gleaned by him in his travels and conversations with various Platonist thinkers, either on the Silk trade route or elsewhere in his relations with educated men.

    No one is “thirsting” for Bah??’u’ll??h’s wisdom. Bah??’u’ll??h is neither the author nor the owner of the wisdom he spoke. He merely borrowed the wisdom of others and brought it to bear on the situation in which he found himself. Unfortunately, however, he couched that wisdom in the same unquestioning dogmatism that he was trying to route from people’s minds in the first place, thereby failing as miserably in his attempt to enlighten humanity as those Muslim clerics who had gone before him.

    Despite these objections, I do fundamentally agree with the thesis of this post, which is that we are better off seeking deeper sources of fulfilment rather than immediate gratification. Spirituality and depth of character have nothing, however, to do with religion. This fact can be seen in the eloquently spoken words of Sam Harris in his address to the Atheist Alliance conference in Washington D.C. on September 28th, 2007:

  • Anonymous

    Sam Harris at the Atheist Alliance conference:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ok2oJgsGR6c

  • http://mavaddat.livejournal.com Mavaddat

    Sam Harris at the Atheist Alliance conference:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ok2oJgsGR6c

  • Andrew

    “The Baha’i Faith does not preach theocracy. I suggest you read Sen McGlinn’s ?Church and State? for an indepth treatment of this topic.”

    This is meant to be ironic, right? Sen McGlinn was disenrolled: he is no longer a member of the Baha’i Faith. While I am sympathetic to his attempt to place a different construction on the implications of the Aqdas, etc., the theocratic implications and intentions of the Baha’i Faith are clear to any non-Baha’i who takes the trouble to examine the teachings of the Faith for him- or herself.

    “The laws of the Aqdas are for the future. They are not in effect now.”

    Nor will they ever be in effect on a world-wide basis. That’s an opium dream. They’re absurd and barbaric. Only a race of mindless slaves would acquiesce to such ridiculous laws. In which case, popular entertainment may actually help your Cause!

    “Baha’u’llah and Abdu’l-Baha wrote miles and miles of ink about love, unity, sacrifice, etc. but one sentence that seems to you to be harsh.”

    Give me a break. See:

    http://www.kaweah.com/Bahai/aqdas.html

    Baha’u’llah and Abdu’l-Baha wrote miles and miles and miles and miles of ink on just about everything, most of it self-contradictory and highly contingent on the interpretation of the leaders of the Faith. One can find a counsel for almost any situation … subject to interpretation, of course.

    “The evidence for Lasch’s argument is there for anyone to see upon turning on their TV or magazine or any medium that panders to the common denominator in society.”

    That’s not evidence, that’s an assertion. In the non-Baha’i world, assertions do not count as evidence. As far as mediums of popular entertainment pandering to the common denominator in society: thus has it always been. In every civilization, and throughout every historical period. The new element is the means of communication: electronic and instantaneous.

    Why are Tolle’s books popular? Because they strike a chord. Their popularity is not just a symptom of the “dumbing-down” of Eastern spirituality for mass consumption; it’s also in response to the rejection of legalistic spiritualities by people who’ve noticed, for example, that God hasn’t turned the inhabitants of the Netherlands or San Francisco into pillars of salt, nor is he likely to, fond wishes to the contrary notwithstanding.

    In other words, “You’re sellin’ but I aint buyin.” The fulminations of Christopher Lasch against the culture of narcissism, the condemnations of traditionalists like Charles Upton against the New Age, the critiques by Baha’is against the materialism of the modern world … that’s all very nice. All very earnest. Shout it from the rooftops. My neighbors are watching Oprah.

  • Andrew

    “The Baha’i Faith does not preach theocracy. I suggest you read Sen McGlinn’s ?Church and State? for an indepth treatment of this topic.”

    This is meant to be ironic, right? Sen McGlinn was disenrolled: he is no longer a member of the Baha’i Faith. While I am sympathetic to his attempt to place a different construction on the implications of the Aqdas, etc., the theocratic implications and intentions of the Baha’i Faith are clear to any non-Baha’i who takes the trouble to examine the teachings of the Faith for him- or herself.

    “The laws of the Aqdas are for the future. They are not in effect now.”

    Nor will they ever be in effect on a world-wide basis. That’s an opium dream. They’re absurd and barbaric. Only a race of mindless slaves would acquiesce to such ridiculous laws. In which case, popular entertainment may actually help your Cause!

    “Baha’u’llah and Abdu’l-Baha wrote miles and miles of ink about love, unity, sacrifice, etc. but one sentence that seems to you to be harsh.”

    Give me a break. See:

    http://www.kaweah.com/Bahai/aqdas.html

    Baha’u’llah and Abdu’l-Baha wrote miles and miles and miles and miles of ink on just about everything, most of it self-contradictory and highly contingent on the interpretation of the leaders of the Faith. One can find a counsel for almost any situation … subject to interpretation, of course.

    “The evidence for Lasch’s argument is there for anyone to see upon turning on their TV or magazine or any medium that panders to the common denominator in society.”

    That’s not evidence, that’s an assertion. In the non-Baha’i world, assertions do not count as evidence. As far as mediums of popular entertainment pandering to the common denominator in society: thus has it always been. In every civilization, and throughout every historical period. The new element is the means of communication: electronic and instantaneous.

    Why are Tolle’s books popular? Because they strike a chord. Their popularity is not just a symptom of the “dumbing-down” of Eastern spirituality for mass consumption; it’s also in response to the rejection of legalistic spiritualities by people who’ve noticed, for example, that God hasn’t turned the inhabitants of the Netherlands or San Francisco into pillars of salt, nor is he likely to, fond wishes to the contrary notwithstanding.

    In other words, “You’re sellin’ but I aint buyin.” The fulminations of Christopher Lasch against the culture of narcissism, the condemnations of traditionalists like Charles Upton against the New Age, the critiques by Baha’is against the materialism of the modern world … that’s all very nice. All very earnest. Shout it from the rooftops. My neighbors are watching Oprah.

  • Bird out of the Cage

    Century of Light?….

    ?This station is the dying (?) from self and the living in God, the being poor (?) in self and rich in the Desired One. Poverty as here referred to signifieth being poor in the things of the created world (?), rich in the things of God’s world. For when the true lover and devoted friend reacheth to the presence of the Beloved, the sparkling beauty of the Loved One and the fire of the lover’s heart will kindle a blaze and burn away all veils and wrappings. Yea, all he hath, from heart to skin, will be set aflame, so that nothing will remain save the Friend. (?)?

    (1) I don’t understand why God created something that must have something die while it is still alive?
    (2) This seems to really underscore the Pew Report, in why the poor are rich in Faith but they are instructed to remain poor and contradicts some what of how one may interpret the SWBF in the HW. ?O SON OF SPIRIT! Noble have I created thee, yet thou hast abased thyself. Rise then unto that for which thou wast created.?
    (3) How can one rise and be noble when one is instructed to remain poor save God over and over again?
    (4) Isn’t everything on this planet outside of nature* (not including GMO’s*) made by the hands of man of the created world? Even a milkshake?
    (5) Will the Friend feed your physical body and nourish your bones and muscles which strengthens you? Will the Friend cloth you in the cold with physical garments, all of which will aide in service to others in the first place?

    The matrix of complexities of what real selfishness / selflessness is vast. The ?have’s? control the world because the ?have not’s? don’t know that they were really created equal, all in the same class of ?noble? and should therefore strive to rise. It’s okay to desire a milkshake, it taste good. You’ll never forget the first time you taste one. Is that selfish?

  • Bird out of the Cage

    Century of Light?….

    ?This station is the dying (?) from self and the living in God, the being poor (?) in self and rich in the Desired One. Poverty as here referred to signifieth being poor in the things of the created world (?), rich in the things of God’s world. For when the true lover and devoted friend reacheth to the presence of the Beloved, the sparkling beauty of the Loved One and the fire of the lover’s heart will kindle a blaze and burn away all veils and wrappings. Yea, all he hath, from heart to skin, will be set aflame, so that nothing will remain save the Friend. (?)?

    (1) I don’t understand why God created something that must have something die while it is still alive?
    (2) This seems to really underscore the Pew Report, in why the poor are rich in Faith but they are instructed to remain poor and contradicts some what of how one may interpret the SWBF in the HW. ?O SON OF SPIRIT! Noble have I created thee, yet thou hast abased thyself. Rise then unto that for which thou wast created.?
    (3) How can one rise and be noble when one is instructed to remain poor save God over and over again?
    (4) Isn’t everything on this planet outside of nature* (not including GMO’s*) made by the hands of man of the created world? Even a milkshake?
    (5) Will the Friend feed your physical body and nourish your bones and muscles which strengthens you? Will the Friend cloth you in the cold with physical garments, all of which will aide in service to others in the first place?

    The matrix of complexities of what real selfishness / selflessness is vast. The ?have’s? control the world because the ?have not’s? don’t know that they were really created equal, all in the same class of ?noble? and should therefore strive to rise. It’s okay to desire a milkshake, it taste good. You’ll never forget the first time you taste one. Is that selfish?

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    [quote comment="44886"]
    Wow, this does sound familiar! I seem to recall some similar nonsense in the Bah??’? writings…[quote]Does it matter who prays? God will answer the prayer of every servant if that prayer is urgent. His mercy is vast, illimitable. He answers the prayers of all His servants. …But whatever we ask for which is in accord with divine wisdom, God will answer. Assuredly! (‘Abdu’l-Bah??)[/quote]

    Mavaddat, you are intelligent enough to see the marked difference in the two approaches, so I won’t patronize you by pointing them out.

    I get it. You grew up in a Baha’i family, you investigated the truth and your search lead you to atheism. That’s fine by me. I have no quarrel with you my friend :-)

    [quote comment="44893"]This is meant to be ironic, right? Sen McGlinn was disenrolled: he is no longer a member of the Baha’i Faith.[/quote]

    Andrew,
    The reason for Sen’s un-enrollment was never given by the UHJ. You and I may guess that it had to do with his thesis but we simply don’t know. In any case, it is a non sequitur. His un-enrollment, whatever the reason, has nothing to do with the fact that Baha’i scripture does not endorse nor promote a theocracy.

    [quote comment="44899"](2) This seems to really underscore the Pew Report, in why the poor are rich in Faith but they are instructed to remain poor and contradicts some what of how one may interpret the SWBF in the HW. ?O SON OF SPIRIT! Noble have I created thee, yet thou hast abased thyself. Rise then unto that for which thou wast created.?[/quote]

    BooC,
    I think the adjective “poor” is symbolic, as in forsaking all for God, not literal as in living in a hut or a cave with no possessions. Detachment, in other words. One can be poor (literal) but yearn for riches, for their own sake. While one can be rich, and spend that literal wealth for the betterment of humanity and if circumstances change, to not be perturbed by the decrease in financial wealth.

    Nobility is to me, the capacities that God has given us. The potentialities that we all embody. We are asked to strive to fulfill them. To realize that we were created to perfect our virtues.

    Likewise, The Friend will feed your soul and nourish your spirit. This world is a material world and the struggle to live is part and parcel of our attempts to practice and attempt to perfect our virtues.

    I agree, it is okay to desire a milkshake (unless Daniel Day-Lewis has drunk them all up). No it isn’t selfish. The selfishness I was referring to is the constant and insistent preoccupation with me, me, me. Taking care of your body, emotions, and your soul isn’t selfish. Being only busy with yourself so much so that you ignore your fellow man, that is selfishness. At least, that’s my definition.

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    [quote comment="44886"]
    Wow, this does sound familiar! I seem to recall some similar nonsense in the Bah??’? writings…[quote]Does it matter who prays? God will answer the prayer of every servant if that prayer is urgent. His mercy is vast, illimitable. He answers the prayers of all His servants. …But whatever we ask for which is in accord with divine wisdom, God will answer. Assuredly! (‘Abdu’l-Bah??)[/quote]

    Mavaddat, you are intelligent enough to see the marked difference in the two approaches, so I won’t patronize you by pointing them out.

    I get it. You grew up in a Baha’i family, you investigated the truth and your search lead you to atheism. That’s fine by me. I have no quarrel with you my friend :-)

    [quote comment="44893"]This is meant to be ironic, right? Sen McGlinn was disenrolled: he is no longer a member of the Baha’i Faith.[/quote]

    Andrew,
    The reason for Sen’s un-enrollment was never given by the UHJ. You and I may guess that it had to do with his thesis but we simply don’t know. In any case, it is a non sequitur. His un-enrollment, whatever the reason, has nothing to do with the fact that Baha’i scripture does not endorse nor promote a theocracy.

    [quote comment="44899"](2) This seems to really underscore the Pew Report, in why the poor are rich in Faith but they are instructed to remain poor and contradicts some what of how one may interpret the SWBF in the HW. ?O SON OF SPIRIT! Noble have I created thee, yet thou hast abased thyself. Rise then unto that for which thou wast created.?[/quote]

    BooC,
    I think the adjective “poor” is symbolic, as in forsaking all for God, not literal as in living in a hut or a cave with no possessions. Detachment, in other words. One can be poor (literal) but yearn for riches, for their own sake. While one can be rich, and spend that literal wealth for the betterment of humanity and if circumstances change, to not be perturbed by the decrease in financial wealth.

    Nobility is to me, the capacities that God has given us. The potentialities that we all embody. We are asked to strive to fulfill them. To realize that we were created to perfect our virtues.

    Likewise, The Friend will feed your soul and nourish your spirit. This world is a material world and the struggle to live is part and parcel of our attempts to practice and attempt to perfect our virtues.

    I agree, it is okay to desire a milkshake (unless Daniel Day-Lewis has drunk them all up). No it isn’t selfish. The selfishness I was referring to is the constant and insistent preoccupation with me, me, me. Taking care of your body, emotions, and your soul isn’t selfish. Being only busy with yourself so much so that you ignore your fellow man, that is selfishness. At least, that’s my definition.

  • Andrew

    “Baha’i scripture does not endorse nor promote a theocracy.”

    No, of course it doesn’t. It’s all just a misinterpretation, right?

    “Many Baha’is believe that their ecclesiastical institutions will eventually supplant the U.S. government (and other governments), so that a Baha’i theocracy will abolish the separation of religion and state. This belief is contested by Western Baha’i liberals, but has recently been favored by the Universal House of Justice (Universal House of Justice 1996c; Haukness 1996; Watler 1996; Johnson 1997). Only Baha’is may vote in Baha’i elections, and presumably only Baha’is would be allowed to vote in the unlikely event of a theocratic Baha’i government being established in the U.S. … The theocratic ideal is clearly a radical Middle Eastern one, and is paralleled in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Most contemporary Baha’is do not realize that the various stances taken on this issue over the period of a century by Baha’u’llah, `Abdu’l-Baha and Shoghi Effendi contain some contradictions, and it is a late theocratic vision, present most radically in pilgrim’s notes of remarks attributed to Shoghi Effendi in the 1950s, that many Baha’i institutions now uphold (Robarts 1993). … Baha’is invest their religious institutions with great authority, since many do not see them–as Protestants would–as a mere church, but rather as an embryonic theocracy (in this they resemble the Khomeinists).” (Juan Cole, “Panopticon”)

    “Modem Baha’i theology tends to envisage the Baha’i institutions as the nuclei of a future world government-a vision that is theocratic in its essence.” (Margit Warburg, Review of Cole’s “Modernity”)

    “While persons with a sectarian outlook certainly came into the faith in the 1970s, so too did many religious liberals from the youth culture. The latter for a time created many local liberal communities and contributed to liberal Baha’i publishing enterprises, but most eventually left the religion, out of frustration with the conservative national and international administration. At the turn of the twenty-first century, the tendency of the movement is less open. Fundamentalists in the international center and their appointees in the ?institutions of the learned? dislike the democratic system of governance, are committed to establishing an ultimate Baha’i theocracy, and wish to prohibit academic modes of discourse about the core areas of the religion. All of these themes, if widely adopted, would bring the religion into greater tension with the surrounding U.S. society. (The U.S. is after all a democracy committed to the separation of religion and state where nearly half of citizens go on to some form of higher education). Demands that liberal members avoid discussing their personal views of the faith on public email lists, and threats or sanctions launched at those who demur from the fundamentalist orthodoxy and become ?prominent,? all point to an increasing exclusivism more characteristic of the sect than of the church. Whereas `Abdu’l-Baha had forbidden in the tolerant Baha’i faith the Muslim custom of issuing rulings that a believer had departed into disbelief, and whereas Shoghi Effendi had insisted that believers be extensively counseled before being punished, the current leadership has initiated a new practice of summary expulsion from the rolls. The community is becoming more ready to exclude, impelled by developments in the religion’s world center, by the increasing influence of fundamentalism in American religion generally, and perhaps also by the influx of immigrants, especially some Iranians, from the Third World, as well as by the transparency and consequent open conflict introduced into community discourse by the internet. The community is small and needs its resources, and so the purges have centered on a few vocal individuals rather than being more general, apparently in hopes that the remaining liberals will take the hint and keep their silence in public. In a church, a member born into it might be punished but there would never be any question that he or she was a member. In a sectarian organization, membership is dependent on strict doctrinal and behavioral criteria. In the contemporary Baha’i community, those criteria increasingly consist of assent to, or at least avoiding public dissent from, the fundamentalist tenets discussed above.” (Juan Cole, “Modernity”)

    “Followers of Baha’u’llah are called Baha’is. Baha’is believe, according to the prophecies and exhortations of Baha’u’llah, that one day all the nations and governments of the world should come under the authority of the Baha’i Faith, Baha’i institutions, and Baha’i law. The goal is perfect unity, to be achieved by spreading the Baha’i Faith and eventually establishing it as the state religion, with secular leaders ultimately answering to the Baha’i international legislative body, the Universal House of Justice (UHJ), which most Baha’is already answer to as their highest religious institution. Similar to Islam, the Baha’i Faith does not teach the separation of church and state, but a form of theocracy in which religious and civil law are closely connected. Baha’is do not actively seek to implement Baha’i law in society at this time because their numbers are so small, but their vision of the future includes a peaceful, democratic takeover of the world by Baha’is and a civilization ruled by Baha’i principles and institutions.” (Eric Stetson)

    “In what many believe is a misguided and fruitless attempt to purify the beliefs of their religion, the Baha’i controlling spiritual assemblies have placed some limits on freedom of expression. Their punishment for unapproved writing by their members is of the same genre as excommunication in the Catholic or shunning in the Mormon religion.” (William Uttal, “Dualism: The Original Sin of Cognitivism”)

    “In line with this teaching the Baha’is have developed various global agencies and have stressed the importance of universalistic plans such as world citizenship, an international language, education for all, the development of world government and ultimately of a world theocracy.” (Terence Thomas, “The British: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices”)

    “Sen McGlinn’s article “Theocratic Assumptions in Bah??’? Literature” argues that, contrary to the belief commonly held by Bah??’?s and reflected in secondary literature to the effect that our Teachings support the eventual establishment of a theocratic government, a close examination of the scriptures would lend support for the Western notion of a separation of church and state … The Guardian regarded it as within the purview of the function of the Universal House of Justice to determine what is the proper relationship between the Bah??’? and political institutions … The Central Figures called for a separation of the ‘ulama from the state, not a Western-style separation of ‘church and state.’” (Susan Maneck, Review of McGlinn)

    “The April 7, 1999 later condemned the position being promoted by Sen that dismissed ‘Shoghi Effendi’s explanation of Baha’u’llah’s vision of the future Baha’i World Commonwealth that will unite spiritual and civil authority’ and instead suggested that Baha’u’llah established a ‘modern political concept’ of ‘separation of church and state’ … Sen, however, was informed more than a decade ago that his theories were wrong yet he has continued to promote that same position in two published articles and a book.” (Susan Maneck)

    “The Baha’i theocracy, on the contrary, is both divinely ordained as a system and, of course, based on the teachings of the Prophet (Baha’u’llah) Himself.” (Shoghi Effendi)

    “When I see a bird that walks like a duck and swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, I call that bird a duck.” (James Whitcomb Riley)

  • Andrew

    “Baha’i scripture does not endorse nor promote a theocracy.”

    No, of course it doesn’t. It’s all just a misinterpretation, right?

    “Many Baha’is believe that their ecclesiastical institutions will eventually supplant the U.S. government (and other governments), so that a Baha’i theocracy will abolish the separation of religion and state. This belief is contested by Western Baha’i liberals, but has recently been favored by the Universal House of Justice (Universal House of Justice 1996c; Haukness 1996; Watler 1996; Johnson 1997). Only Baha’is may vote in Baha’i elections, and presumably only Baha’is would be allowed to vote in the unlikely event of a theocratic Baha’i government being established in the U.S. … The theocratic ideal is clearly a radical Middle Eastern one, and is paralleled in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Most contemporary Baha’is do not realize that the various stances taken on this issue over the period of a century by Baha’u’llah, `Abdu’l-Baha and Shoghi Effendi contain some contradictions, and it is a late theocratic vision, present most radically in pilgrim’s notes of remarks attributed to Shoghi Effendi in the 1950s, that many Baha’i institutions now uphold (Robarts 1993). … Baha’is invest their religious institutions with great authority, since many do not see them–as Protestants would–as a mere church, but rather as an embryonic theocracy (in this they resemble the Khomeinists).” (Juan Cole, “Panopticon”)

    “Modem Baha’i theology tends to envisage the Baha’i institutions as the nuclei of a future world government-a vision that is theocratic in its essence.” (Margit Warburg, Review of Cole’s “Modernity”)

    “While persons with a sectarian outlook certainly came into the faith in the 1970s, so too did many religious liberals from the youth culture. The latter for a time created many local liberal communities and contributed to liberal Baha’i publishing enterprises, but most eventually left the religion, out of frustration with the conservative national and international administration. At the turn of the twenty-first century, the tendency of the movement is less open. Fundamentalists in the international center and their appointees in the ?institutions of the learned? dislike the democratic system of governance, are committed to establishing an ultimate Baha’i theocracy, and wish to prohibit academic modes of discourse about the core areas of the religion. All of these themes, if widely adopted, would bring the religion into greater tension with the surrounding U.S. society. (The U.S. is after all a democracy committed to the separation of religion and state where nearly half of citizens go on to some form of higher education). Demands that liberal members avoid discussing their personal views of the faith on public email lists, and threats or sanctions launched at those who demur from the fundamentalist orthodoxy and become ?prominent,? all point to an increasing exclusivism more characteristic of the sect than of the church. Whereas `Abdu’l-Baha had forbidden in the tolerant Baha’i faith the Muslim custom of issuing rulings that a believer had departed into disbelief, and whereas Shoghi Effendi had insisted that believers be extensively counseled before being punished, the current leadership has initiated a new practice of summary expulsion from the rolls. The community is becoming more ready to exclude, impelled by developments in the religion’s world center, by the increasing influence of fundamentalism in American religion generally, and perhaps also by the influx of immigrants, especially some Iranians, from the Third World, as well as by the transparency and consequent open conflict introduced into community discourse by the internet. The community is small and needs its resources, and so the purges have centered on a few vocal individuals rather than being more general, apparently in hopes that the remaining liberals will take the hint and keep their silence in public. In a church, a member born into it might be punished but there would never be any question that he or she was a member. In a sectarian organization, membership is dependent on strict doctrinal and behavioral criteria. In the contemporary Baha’i community, those criteria increasingly consist of assent to, or at least avoiding public dissent from, the fundamentalist tenets discussed above.” (Juan Cole, “Modernity”)

    “Followers of Baha’u’llah are called Baha’is. Baha’is believe, according to the prophecies and exhortations of Baha’u’llah, that one day all the nations and governments of the world should come under the authority of the Baha’i Faith, Baha’i institutions, and Baha’i law. The goal is perfect unity, to be achieved by spreading the Baha’i Faith and eventually establishing it as the state religion, with secular leaders ultimately answering to the Baha’i international legislative body, the Universal House of Justice (UHJ), which most Baha’is already answer to as their highest religious institution. Similar to Islam, the Baha’i Faith does not teach the separation of church and state, but a form of theocracy in which religious and civil law are closely connected. Baha’is do not actively seek to implement Baha’i law in society at this time because their numbers are so small, but their vision of the future includes a peaceful, democratic takeover of the world by Baha’is and a civilization ruled by Baha’i principles and institutions.” (Eric Stetson)

    “In what many believe is a misguided and fruitless attempt to purify the beliefs of their religion, the Baha’i controlling spiritual assemblies have placed some limits on freedom of expression. Their punishment for unapproved writing by their members is of the same genre as excommunication in the Catholic or shunning in the Mormon religion.” (William Uttal, “Dualism: The Original Sin of Cognitivism”)

    “In line with this teaching the Baha’is have developed various global agencies and have stressed the importance of universalistic plans such as world citizenship, an international language, education for all, the development of world government and ultimately of a world theocracy.” (Terence Thomas, “The British: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices”)

    “Sen McGlinn’s article “Theocratic Assumptions in Bah??’? Literature” argues that, contrary to the belief commonly held by Bah??’?s and reflected in secondary literature to the effect that our Teachings support the eventual establishment of a theocratic government, a close examination of the scriptures would lend support for the Western notion of a separation of church and state … The Guardian regarded it as within the purview of the function of the Universal House of Justice to determine what is the proper relationship between the Bah??’? and political institutions … The Central Figures called for a separation of the ‘ulama from the state, not a Western-style separation of ‘church and state.’” (Susan Maneck, Review of McGlinn)

    “The April 7, 1999 later condemned the position being promoted by Sen that dismissed ‘Shoghi Effendi’s explanation of Baha’u’llah’s vision of the future Baha’i World Commonwealth that will unite spiritual and civil authority’ and instead suggested that Baha’u’llah established a ‘modern political concept’ of ‘separation of church and state’ … Sen, however, was informed more than a decade ago that his theories were wrong yet he has continued to promote that same position in two published articles and a book.” (Susan Maneck)

    “The Baha’i theocracy, on the contrary, is both divinely ordained as a system and, of course, based on the teachings of the Prophet (Baha’u’llah) Himself.” (Shoghi Effendi)

    “When I see a bird that walks like a duck and swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, I call that bird a duck.” (James Whitcomb Riley)

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    Andrew, thanks for all those quotes. Why don’t we go to the source? After all, the only thing that really matters is what Baha’u’llah said. Even the UHJ can’t change that. This is why I referred you to Sen’s book. He goes to the source. If you are ever interested to learn what Baha’u’llah actually said about this, buy the book from Kalimat or borrow it from a friend.

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    Andrew, thanks for all those quotes. Why don’t we go to the source? After all, the only thing that really matters is what Baha’u’llah said. Even the UHJ can’t change that. This is why I referred you to Sen’s book. He goes to the source. If you are ever interested to learn what Baha’u’llah actually said about this, buy the book from Kalimat or borrow it from a friend.

  • Sincere Friend

    Theocracy is more the historical norm than the current relatively modern notion of the separation of church and state which was a practical compromise necessitated by the fragmentation of Christianity after the Protestant Reformation, and although Roman civilization permitted the religions of their conquered nations to continue parallel to the state religion of the Romans, when they were in the final times of crisis they tried to enforce their rites on all of their citizens.
    Historically most civilizations have not separated their religion from the administration of the state unless they have expanded rapidly and find a necessity to absorb diverse populations or they are trying to integrate diverse peoples in a new land.
    The most liberal countries and cities tend to be those where the greatest variety of people come together, such as Holland, Hong Kong, New York, London.

    My point being that as much as we might prefer the current conditions of separation of church and state and believe it to be a good idea it is something that is more an historical anomaly than a new plateau of progressive thought. Religions tend to become culturally dominant and when they do they become politically dominant. No doubt that is the trend that is progressing in most of the current world.

  • Sincere Friend

    Theocracy is more the historical norm than the current relatively modern notion of the separation of church and state which was a practical compromise necessitated by the fragmentation of Christianity after the Protestant Reformation, and although Roman civilization permitted the religions of their conquered nations to continue parallel to the state religion of the Romans, when they were in the final times of crisis they tried to enforce their rites on all of their citizens.
    Historically most civilizations have not separated their religion from the administration of the state unless they have expanded rapidly and find a necessity to absorb diverse populations or they are trying to integrate diverse peoples in a new land.
    The most liberal countries and cities tend to be those where the greatest variety of people come together, such as Holland, Hong Kong, New York, London.

    My point being that as much as we might prefer the current conditions of separation of church and state and believe it to be a good idea it is something that is more an historical anomaly than a new plateau of progressive thought. Religions tend to become culturally dominant and when they do they become politically dominant. No doubt that is the trend that is progressing in most of the current world.

  • Sincere Friend

    Oh by the way who was it I had the difference of opinion with a few months ago about the pending economic crisis? Present appearances will not usually predict future conditions. Economic trends will change just as certainly will cultural and religious trends although on a longer time frame.

  • Sincere Friend

    Oh by the way who was it I had the difference of opinion with a few months ago about the pending economic crisis? Present appearances will not usually predict future conditions. Economic trends will change just as certainly will cultural and religious trends although on a longer time frame.

  • Andrew

    Does the UHJ believe that the only thing that really matters is what Baha’u’llah said (provided anyone can actually agree on what he “really meant”)? Did he say this, but really mean that? Or did he say that, but really mean this? And why would anyone privilege the opinions of a former member of the Baha’i Faith (who “was informed more than a decade ago that his theories were wrong”) over the authority of the House of Justice (a.k.a. “the legitimate elected leader of the world Baha’i community,” as Alison Marshall correctly calls it)? Or even over the authority of an actual Baha’i scholar, i.e., Susan Maneck, who is a Baha’i member in good standing? After all, are not Baha’is reminded that receiving mandates from the Universal House of Justice is essentially as if they are receiving mandates from God?

    What Baha’u’llah actually said is open to interpretation. What the “worldwide Baha’i community” administered in Haifa, Israel, by the Universal House of Justice, its supreme governing council, is told to believe is not so much a matter of interpretation as of doctrine.

    http://www.ccgm.org.au/articles/ARTICLE-0003.htm

    As the above article indicates, there is at least a perception that the Baha’i Faith (quite apart from what individual members might choose to believe) is theocratic in nature. People make religion: liberal Christians and Jews can say “We used to believe this, but we no longer do,” and they re-define their religion and the nature of the supposed “revelation” — as every culture has done throughout history — according to their own lights. Can Baha’is do likewise? It seems unlikely. It seems that Sen McGlinn’s interpretations aren’t likely to be accepted by the UHJ, much as one might like them to be. An individual Baha’i may hold whatever private beliefs he or she wishes, but if those beliefs run up against administrative constraints, the party’s over. You’re removed from the rolls, and your vote no longer counts.

  • Andrew

    Does the UHJ believe that the only thing that really matters is what Baha’u’llah said (provided anyone can actually agree on what he “really meant”)? Did he say this, but really mean that? Or did he say that, but really mean this? And why would anyone privilege the opinions of a former member of the Baha’i Faith (who “was informed more than a decade ago that his theories were wrong”) over the authority of the House of Justice (a.k.a. “the legitimate elected leader of the world Baha’i community,” as Alison Marshall correctly calls it)? Or even over the authority of an actual Baha’i scholar, i.e., Susan Maneck, who is a Baha’i member in good standing? After all, are not Baha’is reminded that receiving mandates from the Universal House of Justice is essentially as if they are receiving mandates from God?

    What Baha’u’llah actually said is open to interpretation. What the “worldwide Baha’i community” administered in Haifa, Israel, by the Universal House of Justice, its supreme governing council, is told to believe is not so much a matter of interpretation as of doctrine.

    http://www.ccgm.org.au/articles/ARTICLE-0003.htm

    As the above article indicates, there is at least a perception that the Baha’i Faith (quite apart from what individual members might choose to believe) is theocratic in nature. People make religion: liberal Christians and Jews can say “We used to believe this, but we no longer do,” and they re-define their religion and the nature of the supposed “revelation” — as every culture has done throughout history — according to their own lights. Can Baha’is do likewise? It seems unlikely. It seems that Sen McGlinn’s interpretations aren’t likely to be accepted by the UHJ, much as one might like them to be. An individual Baha’i may hold whatever private beliefs he or she wishes, but if those beliefs run up against administrative constraints, the party’s over. You’re removed from the rolls, and your vote no longer counts.

  • ep

    Excellent topic and commentary.

    Andrew, there is a lot of “proof”, but there is also a lot of cruft, on the topic.

    The cruft is being put forward by confused defenders of narrow, modernist, flatland tradition, people that have not accepted that post-modernism is here to stay, like it or not.

    Mark Turner’s “Cognitive Dimensions of Social Science” might be a good starting point. Turner and George Lakoff, a leading Linguist at UC Berkeley, and social critic, have done a lot of work attempting to show how a lack of “spirituality” (“search for meaning”) in scholarship and modernist culture is limiting to the expansion of human knowledge.

    Ken Wilber of course gets right to the heart of the matter in his “Kosmos” web pages and voluminous related commentary.

    The “mean green meme” controversy in the integral-thought and spiral-dynamics communities is probably the best example of leaders of thought and critics in the “new age”, or similar, movements have tried to grapple with the problem.

    Jean Gebser was the pioneer in the Integral movement (Gebser was also at the Jung institute in Switzerland) who originated the idea of “paradigm regression”.

    An understanding Gebserian “paradigm regression” is critical to this issue.

    The culture of narcissism is all about paradigm regression: postmodern new age narcissism that is fueled by regression to premodern tribalism.

    Don Beck has done some preliminary analysis which indicates that half of the human population of planet earth could be eliminated because of degeneration of social order caused by self-absorbsion, etc.

    Note: little of this maps into the traditional “liberal vs. conservative” debate that much of ex/bahai protest is rooted in.

    Anyways,

    —excerpt—

    http://www.esalenctr.org/display/confpage.cfm?confid=1&pageid=33&pgtype=1

    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—

    I look forward to your ruthless and thoughtful analysis and deconstruction.

    Regards,
    Eric P.
    Sacramento

  • ep

    Excellent topic and commentary.

    Andrew, there is a lot of “proof”, but there is also a lot of cruft, on the topic.

    The cruft is being put forward by confused defenders of narrow, modernist, flatland tradition, people that have not accepted that post-modernism is here to stay, like it or not.

    Mark Turner’s “Cognitive Dimensions of Social Science” might be a good starting point. Turner and George Lakoff, a leading Linguist at UC Berkeley, and social critic, have done a lot of work attempting to show how a lack of “spirituality” (“search for meaning”) in scholarship and modernist culture is limiting to the expansion of human knowledge.

    Ken Wilber of course gets right to the heart of the matter in his “Kosmos” web pages and voluminous related commentary.

    The “mean green meme” controversy in the integral-thought and spiral-dynamics communities is probably the best example of leaders of thought and critics in the “new age”, or similar, movements have tried to grapple with the problem.

    Jean Gebser was the pioneer in the Integral movement (Gebser was also at the Jung institute in Switzerland) who originated the idea of “paradigm regression”.

    An understanding Gebserian “paradigm regression” is critical to this issue.

    The culture of narcissism is all about paradigm regression: postmodern new age narcissism that is fueled by regression to premodern tribalism.

    Don Beck has done some preliminary analysis which indicates that half of the human population of planet earth could be eliminated because of degeneration of social order caused by self-absorbsion, etc.

    Note: little of this maps into the traditional “liberal vs. conservative” debate that much of ex/bahai protest is rooted in.

    Anyways,

    —excerpt—

    http://www.esalenctr.org/display/confpage.cfm?confid=1&pageid=33&pgtype=1

    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—

    I look forward to your ruthless and thoughtful analysis and deconstruction.

    Regards,
    Eric P.
    Sacramento

  • ep

    Sorry, forgot to copy the web pages for Turner:

    http://markturner.org/cdss.html
    -
    http://markturner.org/lm.html

    excerpt:

    In The Literary Mind, Turner ranges from the tools of modern linguistics, to the recent work of neuroscientists such as Antonio Damasio and Gerald Edelman, to literary masterpieces by Homer, Dante, Shakespeare, and Proust, as he explains how story and projection – and their powerful combination in parable – are fundamental to everyday thought. In simple and traditional English, he reveals how we use parable to understand space and time, to grasp what it means to be located in space and time, and to conceive of ourselves, other selves, other lives, and other viewpoints. He explains the role of parable in reasoning, in categorizing, and in solving problems. He develops a powerful model of conceptual construction and, in a far-reaching final chapter, extends it to a new conception of the origin of language that contradicts proposals by such thinkers as Noam Chomsky and Steven Pinker. Turner argues that story, projection, and parable precede grammar, that language follows from these mental capacities as a consequence. Language, he concludes, is the child of the literary mind.

    Offering major revisions to our understanding of thought, conceptual activity, and the origin and nature of language, The Literary Mind presents a unified theory of central problems in cognitive science, linguistics, neuroscience, psychology, and philosophy. It gives new and unexpected answers to classic questions about knowledge, creativity, understanding, reason, and invention.

  • ep

    Sorry, forgot to copy the web pages for Turner:

    http://markturner.org/cdss.html
    -
    http://markturner.org/lm.html

    excerpt:

    In The Literary Mind, Turner ranges from the tools of modern linguistics, to the recent work of neuroscientists such as Antonio Damasio and Gerald Edelman, to literary masterpieces by Homer, Dante, Shakespeare, and Proust, as he explains how story and projection – and their powerful combination in parable – are fundamental to everyday thought. In simple and traditional English, he reveals how we use parable to understand space and time, to grasp what it means to be located in space and time, and to conceive of ourselves, other selves, other lives, and other viewpoints. He explains the role of parable in reasoning, in categorizing, and in solving problems. He develops a powerful model of conceptual construction and, in a far-reaching final chapter, extends it to a new conception of the origin of language that contradicts proposals by such thinkers as Noam Chomsky and Steven Pinker. Turner argues that story, projection, and parable precede grammar, that language follows from these mental capacities as a consequence. Language, he concludes, is the child of the literary mind.

    Offering major revisions to our understanding of thought, conceptual activity, and the origin and nature of language, The Literary Mind presents a unified theory of central problems in cognitive science, linguistics, neuroscience, psychology, and philosophy. It gives new and unexpected answers to classic questions about knowledge, creativity, understanding, reason, and invention.

  • http://www.letters-of-the-living.blogspot.com Amanda

    I’m not sure how anyone who as read the Kitab-i-Aqdas and the writings of Shoghi Effendi about the future Baha’i World Commonwealth could imagine them as anything BUT theocratic?

    Baquia, would you mind explaining your view that there is somehow an alternate NOT theocracy in the Baha’i design? I think Andrew is clearly backed up by the ritings on this issue. Unfortunately.

  • http://www.letters-of-the-living.blogspot.com Amanda

    I’m not sure how anyone who as read the Kitab-i-Aqdas and the writings of Shoghi Effendi about the future Baha’i World Commonwealth could imagine them as anything BUT theocratic?

    Baquia, would you mind explaining your view that there is somehow an alternate NOT theocracy in the Baha’i design? I think Andrew is clearly backed up by the ritings on this issue. Unfortunately.

  • http://www.letters-of-the-living.blogspot.com Amanda

    Baquia,

    Thanks for your continuing efforts with this blog. I think it’s a real service.

    You wrote:
    [quote comment="44911"][quote comment="44886"]
    Mavaddat, you are intelligent enough to see the marked difference in the two approaches, so I won’t patronize you by pointing them out.

    I get it. You grew up in a Baha’i family, you investigated the truth and your search lead you to atheism. That’s fine by me. I have no quarrel with you my friend :-)”

    I’m always glad to read when people “don’t have a quarrel” with others based just on their differences, but I was wondering if you COULD take the time to answer Mavaddat’s question/point as it is a good one; rather than pointing out that he is an ex-Baha’i and an atheist. I don’t see that as a reason to blow his his point, which I think it was aan interesting one.

    Maybe the difference between prayer and “the Secret” is SO marked, I just don’t see it. Could you spell it out for me?

    Thanks,
    Amanda

    BooC,
    I agree, it is okay to desire a milkshake (unless Daniel Day-Lewis has drunk them all up). No it isn’t selfish. The selfishness I was referring to is the constant and insistent preoccupation with me, me, me. Taking care of your body, emotions, and your soul isn’t selfish. Being only busy with yourself so much so that you ignore your fellow man, that is selfishness. At least, that’s my definition.[/quote]

  • http://www.letters-of-the-living.blogspot.com Amanda

    Baquia,

    Thanks for your continuing efforts with this blog. I think it’s a real service.

    You wrote:
    [quote comment="44911"][quote comment="44886"]
    Mavaddat, you are intelligent enough to see the marked difference in the two approaches, so I won’t patronize you by pointing them out.

    I get it. You grew up in a Baha’i family, you investigated the truth and your search lead you to atheism. That’s fine by me. I have no quarrel with you my friend :-)”

    I’m always glad to read when people “don’t have a quarrel” with others based just on their differences, but I was wondering if you COULD take the time to answer Mavaddat’s question/point as it is a good one; rather than pointing out that he is an ex-Baha’i and an atheist. I don’t see that as a reason to blow his his point, which I think it was aan interesting one.

    Maybe the difference between prayer and “the Secret” is SO marked, I just don’t see it. Could you spell it out for me?

    Thanks,
    Amanda

    BooC,
    I agree, it is okay to desire a milkshake (unless Daniel Day-Lewis has drunk them all up). No it isn’t selfish. The selfishness I was referring to is the constant and insistent preoccupation with me, me, me. Taking care of your body, emotions, and your soul isn’t selfish. Being only busy with yourself so much so that you ignore your fellow man, that is selfishness. At least, that’s my definition.[/quote]

  • http://www.letters-of-the-living.blogspot.com Amanda

    Oops!

    I forgot to delete this section from the quoted material in my last comment:

    “BooC,
    I agree, it is okay to desire a milkshake (unless Daniel Day-Lewis has drunk them all up). No it isn’t selfish. The selfishness I was referring to is the constant and insistent preoccupation with me, me, me. Taking care of your body, emotions, and your soul isn’t selfish. Being only busy with yourself so much so that you ignore your fellow man, that is selfishness. At least, that’s my definition.”

    A happy accident- I wanted to mention that I’m glad you clarified this, Baquia, because the language in your original post was very “us” versus “them,” with “them” seemingly being people who do not segregate their physical selves and pleasures from the totality of their spiritual experience. I was also uncomfortable with the distinction you seemed to be making that hard work and discipline, important parts of a moral character, are at odds with the body. I think there is a perception of people who DO reject the sexual and physical moralism of the Baha’i Faith (or any external moral decision maker) as being selfish gluttons. That these people, in opting to not let Baha’u’llah make their decisions for them, are then choosing to make absolutely no discerning choices and just putting handfuls of candy in their mouths and having sex with every stranger they come across. That may not have been your intention, but it is a common response to ex-Baha’is (and even “non-Baha’is) from current Baha’is. And it’s made up. Different standards does not = no standards.

    Thanks.

  • http://www.letters-of-the-living.blogspot.com Amanda

    Oops!

    I forgot to delete this section from the quoted material in my last comment:

    “BooC,
    I agree, it is okay to desire a milkshake (unless Daniel Day-Lewis has drunk them all up). No it isn’t selfish. The selfishness I was referring to is the constant and insistent preoccupation with me, me, me. Taking care of your body, emotions, and your soul isn’t selfish. Being only busy with yourself so much so that you ignore your fellow man, that is selfishness. At least, that’s my definition.”

    A happy accident- I wanted to mention that I’m glad you clarified this, Baquia, because the language in your original post was very “us” versus “them,” with “them” seemingly being people who do not segregate their physical selves and pleasures from the totality of their spiritual experience. I was also uncomfortable with the distinction you seemed to be making that hard work and discipline, important parts of a moral character, are at odds with the body. I think there is a perception of people who DO reject the sexual and physical moralism of the Baha’i Faith (or any external moral decision maker) as being selfish gluttons. That these people, in opting to not let Baha’u’llah make their decisions for them, are then choosing to make absolutely no discerning choices and just putting handfuls of candy in their mouths and having sex with every stranger they come across. That may not have been your intention, but it is a common response to ex-Baha’is (and even “non-Baha’is) from current Baha’is. And it’s made up. Different standards does not = no standards.

    Thanks.

  • Craig Parke

    Andrew wrote:

    [quote comment=""]Does the UHJ believe that the only thing that really matters is what Baha’u’llah said (provided anyone can actually agree on what he “really meant”)? Did he say this, but really mean that? Or did he say that, but really mean this?…An individual Baha’i may hold whatever private beliefs he or she wishes, but if those beliefs run up against administrative constraints, the party’s over. You’re removed from the rolls, and your vote no longer counts.[/quote]

    In the current mindset of the Baha’i Faith, you are correct.

    The UHJ quite clearly believes that the only thing that really matters is what they top down say Baha’u’llah said. Period. End of discussion. Under this new top down paradigm the Writings of the Bab, Baha’u’llah, Abdu’l-Baha, and Shoghi Effendi can be skillfully overridden AT ANY TIME by the nine members of the Universal House of Justice in Haifa who have gamed the system to achieve lifetime incumbency in their positions with no accountability whatsoever to anyone on Earth. Ever. Period. Whatever they decide about “Baha’i belief” and “Baha’i doctrine” is the “Voice of God on Earth” and the “Voice of God on Earth” can change what the Baha’i Faith is about AT ANY TIME for ANY REASON. Period. This is the new order of the Baha’i Faith. If they decide the file kept on you in Haifa or by the Continental Counselors has enough material to kick you out of the Faith AT ANY TIME for ANY REASON they decide with no recourse whatsoever that is pretty much it. What the Baha’i Faith believes and teaches can change AT ANY TIME for ANY REASON they decide and if you are odd man out, you’re done. I put 32 out of 36 years in with fierce dedication. But it doesn’t make too much sense now to go that extra mile to do another ten committee meetings a month because the reason you think you are dedicated to the Faith for in your own soul can be changed AT ANY TIME for ANY REASON.

    There are many quotes by Baha’u’llah, the Master, and Shoghi Effendi supporting the sanctity of individual personal human conscience. But quotes on the Internet by individual present and former members of the new UHJ lifetime incumbent theorist class like Glenford Mitchell, Dougals Martin, and Peter Khan are clearly against the sanctity of individual personal human conscience.

    There are many anti-war quotes by the Master but the new, modern, Baha’i Faith is profoundly pro-war and pro-the use of military force in the talks of Glenford Mitchell and Douglas Martin.

    http://bahai-library.com/talks/mitchell.watson.html

    http://bahai-library.com/talks/martin.watson.html

    War now appears to be the ticket in “letting God do His work”, of course, as long as other people’s sons and other people’s daughters are sent to kill or be killed in the horrors of war as the Baha’is are conveniently exempt from rendering personal military service themselves in the “economic draft” MVA (Modern Volunteer Army) of the United States.

    http://projects.washingtonpost.com/fallen/

    So there really is no sacred Baha’i Scripture now. There really is no core beliefs of the Faith other than to believe that the nine members of the UHJ and their collective personal opinions presented as official “elucidations” are the standard for everyone’s immortal soul. As the Ruhi Full Sequence of Courses implies, anyone who thinks for themselves is the cause of trouble in the community and is disruptive to more streamlined “consultation” in the “community”. Everyone must read the words and tend to their meaning in no other context than the sentence they are in and give no personal spiritual opinions whatsoever from their own personal life experience as to any other possible meaning. Period. Or to put in in Ruhi Speak:

    Everyone must ____ the _____ and tend to their meaning in no other _____ than the _________ they are in and give no ______ ________ opinions whatsoever from their own _______ _____ _________ as to any other ______ _________.

    That is where the Baha’i Faith is now. Such a religion will never grow and thrive in such a top down micro managed straight jacket in an enlightened age of worldwide Internet communication and higher and higher levels of education. Such a state of affairs will only attract severely mentally ill and emotionally impaired people looking for fundamentalist psychological security. So the current UHJ as the Supreme Body has essentially infallibly decreed that the Baha’i Faith must go down to shattering worldwide failure.

    As a member of the rank and file for 36 years and a Baha’i in good standing it is, therefore, my duty in the Faith to fully support them in this decree of infallible spectacular failure worldwide and I will. I am using these exclusively fundamentalist methods to “teach the Faith” and no one I know is responding. They have the infallible power to decree this and no one else on Earth can oppose them. Everyone must accept it as good and faithful Baha’is. This is our fate.

    The new motto is apparently “Think incompetently, act incompetently”.

    Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

    I had truly hoped for something better all these years.

    But this is how it turned out.

    So it goes.

  • Craig Parke

    Andrew wrote:

    [quote comment=""]Does the UHJ believe that the only thing that really matters is what Baha’u’llah said (provided anyone can actually agree on what he “really meant”)? Did he say this, but really mean that? Or did he say that, but really mean this?…An individual Baha’i may hold whatever private beliefs he or she wishes, but if those beliefs run up against administrative constraints, the party’s over. You’re removed from the rolls, and your vote no longer counts.[/quote]

    In the current mindset of the Baha’i Faith, you are correct.

    The UHJ quite clearly believes that the only thing that really matters is what they top down say Baha’u’llah said. Period. End of discussion. Under this new top down paradigm the Writings of the Bab, Baha’u’llah, Abdu’l-Baha, and Shoghi Effendi can be skillfully overridden AT ANY TIME by the nine members of the Universal House of Justice in Haifa who have gamed the system to achieve lifetime incumbency in their positions with no accountability whatsoever to anyone on Earth. Ever. Period. Whatever they decide about “Baha’i belief” and “Baha’i doctrine” is the “Voice of God on Earth” and the “Voice of God on Earth” can change what the Baha’i Faith is about AT ANY TIME for ANY REASON. Period. This is the new order of the Baha’i Faith. If they decide the file kept on you in Haifa or by the Continental Counselors has enough material to kick you out of the Faith AT ANY TIME for ANY REASON they decide with no recourse whatsoever that is pretty much it. What the Baha’i Faith believes and teaches can change AT ANY TIME for ANY REASON they decide and if you are odd man out, you’re done. I put 32 out of 36 years in with fierce dedication. But it doesn’t make too much sense now to go that extra mile to do another ten committee meetings a month because the reason you think you are dedicated to the Faith for in your own soul can be changed AT ANY TIME for ANY REASON.

    There are many quotes by Baha’u’llah, the Master, and Shoghi Effendi supporting the sanctity of individual personal human conscience. But quotes on the Internet by individual present and former members of the new UHJ lifetime incumbent theorist class like Glenford Mitchell, Dougals Martin, and Peter Khan are clearly against the sanctity of individual personal human conscience.

    There are many anti-war quotes by the Master but the new, modern, Baha’i Faith is profoundly pro-war and pro-the use of military force in the talks of Glenford Mitchell and Douglas Martin.

    http://bahai-library.com/talks/mitchell.watson.html

    http://bahai-library.com/talks/martin.watson.html

    War now appears to be the ticket in “letting God do His work”, of course, as long as other people’s sons and other people’s daughters are sent to kill or be killed in the horrors of war as the Baha’is are conveniently exempt from rendering personal military service themselves in the “economic draft” MVA (Modern Volunteer Army) of the United States.

    http://projects.washingtonpost.com/fallen/

    So there really is no sacred Baha’i Scripture now. There really is no core beliefs of the Faith other than to believe that the nine members of the UHJ and their collective personal opinions presented as official “elucidations” are the standard for everyone’s immortal soul. As the Ruhi Full Sequence of Courses implies, anyone who thinks for themselves is the cause of trouble in the community and is disruptive to more streamlined “consultation” in the “community”. Everyone must read the words and tend to their meaning in no other context than the sentence they are in and give no personal spiritual opinions whatsoever from their own personal life experience as to any other possible meaning. Period. Or to put in in Ruhi Speak:

    Everyone must ____ the _____ and tend to their meaning in no other _____ than the _________ they are in and give no ______ ________ opinions whatsoever from their own _______ _____ _________ as to any other ______ _________.

    That is where the Baha’i Faith is now. Such a religion will never grow and thrive in such a top down micro managed straight jacket in an enlightened age of worldwide Internet communication and higher and higher levels of education. Such a state of affairs will only attract severely mentally ill and emotionally impaired people looking for fundamentalist psychological security. So the current UHJ as the Supreme Body has essentially infallibly decreed that the Baha’i Faith must go down to shattering worldwide failure.

    As a member of the rank and file for 36 years and a Baha’i in good standing it is, therefore, my duty in the Faith to fully support them in this decree of infallible spectacular failure worldwide and I will. I am using these exclusively fundamentalist methods to “teach the Faith” and no one I know is responding. They have the infallible power to decree this and no one else on Earth can oppose them. Everyone must accept it as good and faithful Baha’is. This is our fate.

    The new motto is apparently “Think incompetently, act incompetently”.

    Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

    I had truly hoped for something better all these years.

    But this is how it turned out.

    So it goes.

  • Andrew

    “I look forward to your ruthless and thoughtful analysis and deconstruction.”

    Me, ruthless?

    “The culture of narcissism is all about paradigm regression: postmodern new age narcissism that is fueled by regression to premodern tribalism.”

    I wouldn’t completely disagree with this. But I’ve also known many, many individuals who have started their journey in the New Age and ended up somewhere else entirely. They might begin with Mr. Tolle, but end up in a Catholic contemplative religious order. You never know. Critiques of New Age thought are certainly valid, but they warrant more light and less heat, particularly if a well-financed competitor is fanning the flames.

    “Don Beck has done some preliminary analysis which indicates that half of the human population of planet earth could be eliminated because of degeneration of social order caused by self-absorption, etc.”

    Oh, stop teasing me!!!

  • Andrew

    “I look forward to your ruthless and thoughtful analysis and deconstruction.”

    Me, ruthless?

    “The culture of narcissism is all about paradigm regression: postmodern new age narcissism that is fueled by regression to premodern tribalism.”

    I wouldn’t completely disagree with this. But I’ve also known many, many individuals who have started their journey in the New Age and ended up somewhere else entirely. They might begin with Mr. Tolle, but end up in a Catholic contemplative religious order. You never know. Critiques of New Age thought are certainly valid, but they warrant more light and less heat, particularly if a well-financed competitor is fanning the flames.

    “Don Beck has done some preliminary analysis which indicates that half of the human population of planet earth could be eliminated because of degeneration of social order caused by self-absorption, etc.”

    Oh, stop teasing me!!!

  • http://frankwinters.wordpress.com/ Frank Winters

    [quote comment=""]The Bahai faith belongs only to a small number of Iranians. The rest of you people are cultists, unable to find happiness within your own culture/society.[/quote]

    Hello Abdul,

    In case you haven’t noticed the world is fast becoming one. One culture that will soon include all cultures.

    Religion used to be tethered to geography, ethnicity, time frame and local culture. I think that is of the past, do you?

    Have a nice day!
    Frank

  • http://frankwinters.wordpress.com/ Frank Winters

    [quote comment=""]The Bahai faith belongs only to a small number of Iranians. The rest of you people are cultists, unable to find happiness within your own culture/society.[/quote]

    Hello Abdul,

    In case you haven’t noticed the world is fast becoming one. One culture that will soon include all cultures.

    Religion used to be tethered to geography, ethnicity, time frame and local culture. I think that is of the past, do you?

    Have a nice day!
    Frank

  • ep

    Sorry for any confusion, I meant ruthless in the sense of “discarding all crapola”.

    Also sorry for the teasing. :)

    “Ken Wilber audio – The JKF Weekend 2003″

    (JFK University has degree programs in Integral Theory, in partnership with Wilber’s Integral Institute.)

    http://www.formlessmountain.com/audio

    There are over 70 audio files.

    Here is the audio file that has the item about collapse of order/discipline leading to massive collapse of infrastructure, economic systems, and so forth:

    “11. Integral world federation possibility”

    http://www.formlessmountain.com/kw_audio/KW_11.mp3

    There is a reference to a dialogue Wilber had with Ken Beck on the “Integral Naked” web site just before the JFK talk. It would presumably be archived at IN from sometime in 2003.

    A simplified version of the theme is where George Lakoff explicates the old cliche that liberalism is about “nurturing mommy” archetype stuff and conservatism is “strict daddy” stuff.

    The New Age movement has some good stuff. 60s counterculture was a necessary stage of evolution, it just went bad very very very fast. Boomeritis/MGM is prevalent in all forms of postmodern culture, a good example is David Brooks’ “BoBos in Paradise”, in which the tendency for confusion of bourgoise (modernist-capitalist) and bohemian (romanticist) tendencies.

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/001/102gwtnf.asp

    The “MGM” (mean green meme) thing was all about how counterculture became an inquisition based on political correctness (thought policing).

    So, Whole Foods is full of organic/sustainable snobbery and elitism. Perhaps more sinister are the feminazis and people that defend “diversity” and tolerance by being intolerant of anyone that doesn’t agree with the version of tolerance that the “diversity” people advocate.

    The term used for at least some of the people going through new age thought is “exiting green”.

    They are leaving behind the confusion of relativism and are seeking “authenticity” within the discipline of older mysticism traditions. That has its own problems (see _Esoteric Anthropology: “Devolutionary” and “Evolutionary” Orientations in Perennial Philosophy_
    Sheldon R. Isenberg and Gene R. Thursby)

    For dear brother Abdul: being happy with western culture is what materialism is all about. It is also what freedom of thought and belief is all about. Western culture is evolving at the leading edge of universal human consciousness untethered from traditional authority, and the best of western culture is universal, so the rest of the planet is on the way to the same general set of problems. Otherwise the west would have obliterated backward people with nuclear bombs long ago and put up american oil wells to make money. oops, thats sorta what has been going on anyway. urgh…. paradigm regression on both “sides”…..

    [quote comment="44965"]“I look forward to your ruthless and thoughtful analysis and deconstruction.”

    Me, ruthless?

    “The culture of narcissism is all about paradigm regression: postmodern new age narcissism that is fueled by regression to premodern tribalism.”

    I wouldn’t completely disagree with this. But I’ve also known many, many individuals who have started their journey in the New Age and ended up somewhere else entirely. They might begin with Mr. Tolle, but end up in a Catholic contemplative religious order. You never know. Critiques of New Age thought are certainly valid, but they warrant more light and less heat, particularly if a well-financed competitor is fanning the flames.

    “Don Beck has done some preliminary analysis which indicates that half of the human population of planet earth could be eliminated because of degeneration of social order caused by self-absorption, etc.”

    Oh, stop teasing me!!![/quote]

  • ep

    Sorry for any confusion, I meant ruthless in the sense of “discarding all crapola”.

    Also sorry for the teasing. :)

    “Ken Wilber audio – The JKF Weekend 2003″

    (JFK University has degree programs in Integral Theory, in partnership with Wilber’s Integral Institute.)

    http://www.formlessmountain.com/audio

    There are over 70 audio files.

    Here is the audio file that has the item about collapse of order/discipline leading to massive collapse of infrastructure, economic systems, and so forth:

    “11. Integral world federation possibility”

    http://www.formlessmountain.com/kw_audio/KW_11.mp3

    There is a reference to a dialogue Wilber had with Ken Beck on the “Integral Naked” web site just before the JFK talk. It would presumably be archived at IN from sometime in 2003.

    A simplified version of the theme is where George Lakoff explicates the old cliche that liberalism is about “nurturing mommy” archetype stuff and conservatism is “strict daddy” stuff.

    The New Age movement has some good stuff. 60s counterculture was a necessary stage of evolution, it just went bad very very very fast. Boomeritis/MGM is prevalent in all forms of postmodern culture, a good example is David Brooks’ “BoBos in Paradise”, in which the tendency for confusion of bourgoise (modernist-capitalist) and bohemian (romanticist) tendencies.

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/001/102gwtnf.asp

    The “MGM” (mean green meme) thing was all about how counterculture became an inquisition based on political correctness (thought policing).

    So, Whole Foods is full of organic/sustainable snobbery and elitism. Perhaps more sinister are the feminazis and people that defend “diversity” and tolerance by being intolerant of anyone that doesn’t agree with the version of tolerance that the “diversity” people advocate.

    The term used for at least some of the people going through new age thought is “exiting green”.

    They are leaving behind the confusion of relativism and are seeking “authenticity” within the discipline of older mysticism traditions. That has its own problems (see _Esoteric Anthropology: “Devolutionary” and “Evolutionary” Orientations in Perennial Philosophy_
    Sheldon R. Isenberg and Gene R. Thursby)

    For dear brother Abdul: being happy with western culture is what materialism is all about. It is also what freedom of thought and belief is all about. Western culture is evolving at the leading edge of universal human consciousness untethered from traditional authority, and the best of western culture is universal, so the rest of the planet is on the way to the same general set of problems. Otherwise the west would have obliterated backward people with nuclear bombs long ago and put up american oil wells to make money. oops, thats sorta what has been going on anyway. urgh…. paradigm regression on both “sides”…..

    [quote comment="44965"]“I look forward to your ruthless and thoughtful analysis and deconstruction.”

    Me, ruthless?

    “The culture of narcissism is all about paradigm regression: postmodern new age narcissism that is fueled by regression to premodern tribalism.”

    I wouldn’t completely disagree with this. But I’ve also known many, many individuals who have started their journey in the New Age and ended up somewhere else entirely. They might begin with Mr. Tolle, but end up in a Catholic contemplative religious order. You never know. Critiques of New Age thought are certainly valid, but they warrant more light and less heat, particularly if a well-financed competitor is fanning the flames.

    “Don Beck has done some preliminary analysis which indicates that half of the human population of planet earth could be eliminated because of degeneration of social order caused by self-absorption, etc.”

    Oh, stop teasing me!!![/quote]

  • http://frankwinters.wordpress.com/ Frank Winters

    “We are all different and that is a good thing–without diversity of mind, body, spirit and opinion we are subject to totalitarian control.”

    Abdul — I agree. Our differences must be preserved.

    However — we are now sharing the planet. How should we do this? Keep fighting? Or learn to appreciate each other?

    BTW — I do not represent the Baha’i faith either. I’m a former Baha’i who just joined the Unitarian/Universalist church partly because it is more suitable to me given my cultural background and appreciation of American sages such as Ralph Waldo Emerson. I do not accept the dictates of any theocratic body, Muslim, Christian or Baha’i and believe they are all wrong headed — just to set the record straight between you and me.

    What about you — do you accept any theocratic authority?

    Peace,
    Frank

  • http://frankwinters.wordpress.com/ Frank Winters

    “We are all different and that is a good thing–without diversity of mind, body, spirit and opinion we are subject to totalitarian control.”

    Abdul — I agree. Our differences must be preserved.

    However — we are now sharing the planet. How should we do this? Keep fighting? Or learn to appreciate each other?

    BTW — I do not represent the Baha’i faith either. I’m a former Baha’i who just joined the Unitarian/Universalist church partly because it is more suitable to me given my cultural background and appreciation of American sages such as Ralph Waldo Emerson. I do not accept the dictates of any theocratic body, Muslim, Christian or Baha’i and believe they are all wrong headed — just to set the record straight between you and me.

    What about you — do you accept any theocratic authority?

    Peace,
    Frank

  • Justin

    Babism made a complete break with Islamic thought in that the words were clothed with new meaning and the claim of Babism being an Independent Religion was proclaimed.

    ?B??b?sm, entailed the use of Islamic terminology for purposes fundamentally alien to the Islamic faith.13?
    “The Other Side of the Bridge”

    On the other hand, Bah??’u’ll??h built a ?bridge? back to Islam which connected the Baha’I Faith to the Muhammadan Dispensation in a parent-child relationship. In no way can the century of Light be viewed completely apart from the limitations of the Muhammadan Dispensation which was focused on nation building as a primary world goal as expressed by Denis MacEion:

    ?I have tried to show that there was some sort of interaction between Islam and Christendom which brought mankind, by the nineteenth century to the point where nation states could become the universal political unit in readiness for the next stage of political development, that of world unification?

    Baquia: The Baha’i Faith does not preach theocracy. I suggest you read Sen McGlinn’s ?Church and State? for an indepth treatment of this topic.

    When did Baha’i liberals declare McGlinn as their new godhead/uhj? Who knows what influence McGlinn’s ?Church and State? has had, will have and does have among Baha’is and those who take an interest in the Baha’i Faith? Maybe the whole exercise is a deflection to take the teeth out of the Baha’i Faith being perceived as a threat while indeed its doctrine isn’t too much different from its parent religion (Muhammadan Dispensation which is a World Theocracy Doctrine).

    Supporting quotes:
    1. ?The conception of nationality, the attainment to the state of nationhood, may, therefore, be said to be the distinguishing characteristics of the Muhammadan Dispensation, in the course of which the nations and races of the world, and particularly in Europe and America, were unified and achieved political independence.? (Shoghi Effendi [1941], The Promised Day is Come, p. 120)

    2. Baha’i Influence on world governance:
    ?The creative energies, mysteriously generated by the first stirrings of the embryonic World Order of Baha’u’llah (world unity), have, as soon as released within a nation destined to become its cradle and champion, endowed that nation with the worthiness, and invested it with the powers and capacities, and equipped it spiritually, to play the part foreshadowed in these prophetic words. The potencies which this God-given mission has infused into its people are, on the one hand, beginning to be manifested through the conscious efforts and the nationwide accomplishments, in both the teaching and administrative spheres of Baha’i activity, of the organized community of the followers of Baha’u’llah in the North American continent. These same potencies, apart from, yet collateral with these efforts and accomplishments, are, on the other hand, insensibly shaping, under the impact of the world political and economic forces, the destiny of that nation, and are influencing the lives and actions of both its government and its people. ?

    3. Baha’is must uphold Islam as a divine Dispensation including Imamate.
    ?…every faithful follower of the Faith to accept the divine origin and uphold the independent status of the Muhammadan Dispensation. The validity of the Imamate is, moreover, implicitly recognized in these same passages…? (Taken from Shoghi Effendi’s letter- Dispensation of Bah??’u’ll??h written February 8th, 1934 from Haifa, Palestine. This letter was intimately signed ?Shoghi’)

    4. The Study of Islam necessary to understand Baha’i:
    ?Perused ye not the Qur’an? Read it, that haply ye may find the Truth, for this Book is verily the Straight Path. This is the Way of God unto all who are in the heavens and all who are on the earth.? (Baha’u’llah: Gleanings, p. 44)

    5. First is the importance of the study of Islam – which subject is still new to the majority of the believers, but whose importance for a proper and sound understanding of the Cause is absolutely indispensible.(Shoghi Effendi: Lights of Guidance, p. 562)

    6. From the standpoint of institutionalism Islam far surpasses true Christianity as we know it in the Gospels. There are infinitely more laws and institutions in the Qur’an than in the Gospel. While the latter’s emphasis is mainly, not to say wholly, on individual and personal conduct, the Qur’an stresses the importance of society. This social emphasis acquires added importance and significance in the Baha’i Revelation. When carefully and impartially compared, the Qur’an marks a definite advancement on the Gospel, from the standpoint of spiritual and humanitarian progress. (Shoghi Effendi: Lights of Guidance, p. 496)

    7. The Faith of Islam, the succeeding link in the chain of Divine Revelation, introduced, as Baha’u’llah Himself testifies, the conception of the nation as a unit and a vital stage in the organization of human society, and embodied it in its teaching.
    (Shoghi Effendi: The Promised Day is Come, p. 120)

    8.Over a period of 23 years Muhammad revealed The Holy Qur’an, which–besides the Baha’i Writings–is the only other absolutely authentic Holy Book of the nine surviving religions.

    9..Shoghi Effendi states that “apart from the sacred scriptures of the Babi and Baha’i Revelations,” the Qur’an constitutes “the only Book which can be regarded as an absolutely authenticated Repository of the Word of God” (*Advent of Divine Justice,* 49). The Baha’i Faith thus recognizes the revelation of God through Muhammad (as preserved in the Qur’an) as authentic…”

    The point is that the nonbeliever was/is an infidel in the Muhammad Dispensation and some of this has carried over from the parent to the child (Baha’i Faith) which speaks loudly of a Baha’i Commonwealth Theocracy. In one breath Baha’is are enjoined to consort with all and in the next breath they are to shun those who don’t believe in God or are considered not firm in the Covenant. In fact Bah??’u’ll??h calls for those who are not firm to be degraded.

    ?Know thou for a certainty that whoso disbelieveth in God is neither trustworthy nor truthful. ? Proclamation of Bah??’u’ll??h, pp. 47-48

    ?Most regrettable of all is the state of difference and divergence we have created between each other in the name of religion imagining that a paramount duty in our religious belief is that of alienation and estrangement, that we should shun each other and consider each other contaminated with error and infidelity. In reality the foundations of the divine religions are one and the same. The differences which have arisen between us are due to blind imitations of dogmatic beliefs and adherence to ancestral forms of worship.? Foundations of World Unity, by `Abdu’l-Bah??, p. 92

    ?In all His Books and Tablets He has praised those who are firm in the Covenant and rebuked those who are not. He said, “Verily, shun those who are shaken in the Covenant. Verily, God is the Confirmer of the firm ones.” In His prayers He has said, “O God! Render those who are firm in the Covenant blessed, and degrade those who are not. O God! Be the Protector of him who protecteth Him, and confirm him who confirms the Center of the Covenant.” Many utterances are directed against the violators of the Covenant, the purpose being that no dissension should arise in the blessed Cause; that no one should say, “My opinion is this”; and that all may know Who is the authoritative expounder and whatsoever He says is correct. Bah??’u’ll??h has not left any possible room for dissension. Naturally, there are some who are antagonistic, some who are followers of self-desire, others who hold to their own ideas and still others who wish to create dissension in the Cause. The Promulgation of Universal Peace, by `Abdu’l-Bah??, p. 382
    Conclusion: The Century of Light gave humanity the opportunity to mature and recognize divine Self within which was/is controlled by religious shepherds through the fear implanted in the ego self.

    Baquia: The laws of the Aqdas are for the future. They are not in effect now.

    If people refuse to recognize their divine qualities they deserve the laws of the Aqdas which are fit for those who do not wish to engage their own thinking processes/Self-Consciousness (which is mighty, powerful, and self-subsisting). I agree with Craig about the uhj doing and saying whatsoever it willeth with Baha’i and the Holy writ.

    Justin

  • Justin

    Babism made a complete break with Islamic thought in that the words were clothed with new meaning and the claim of Babism being an Independent Religion was proclaimed.

    ?B??b?sm, entailed the use of Islamic terminology for purposes fundamentally alien to the Islamic faith.13?
    “The Other Side of the Bridge”

    On the other hand, Bah??’u’ll??h built a ?bridge? back to Islam which connected the Baha’I Faith to the Muhammadan Dispensation in a parent-child relationship. In no way can the century of Light be viewed completely apart from the limitations of the Muhammadan Dispensation which was focused on nation building as a primary world goal as expressed by Denis MacEion:

    ?I have tried to show that there was some sort of interaction between Islam and Christendom which brought mankind, by the nineteenth century to the point where nation states could become the universal political unit in readiness for the next stage of political development, that of world unification?

    Baquia: The Baha’i Faith does not preach theocracy. I suggest you read Sen McGlinn’s ?Church and State? for an indepth treatment of this topic.

    When did Baha’i liberals declare McGlinn as their new godhead/uhj? Who knows what influence McGlinn’s ?Church and State? has had, will have and does have among Baha’is and those who take an interest in the Baha’i Faith? Maybe the whole exercise is a deflection to take the teeth out of the Baha’i Faith being perceived as a threat while indeed its doctrine isn’t too much different from its parent religion (Muhammadan Dispensation which is a World Theocracy Doctrine).

    Supporting quotes:
    1. ?The conception of nationality, the attainment to the state of nationhood, may, therefore, be said to be the distinguishing characteristics of the Muhammadan Dispensation, in the course of which the nations and races of the world, and particularly in Europe and America, were unified and achieved political independence.? (Shoghi Effendi [1941], The Promised Day is Come, p. 120)

    2. Baha’i Influence on world governance:
    ?The creative energies, mysteriously generated by the first stirrings of the embryonic World Order of Baha’u’llah (world unity), have, as soon as released within a nation destined to become its cradle and champion, endowed that nation with the worthiness, and invested it with the powers and capacities, and equipped it spiritually, to play the part foreshadowed in these prophetic words. The potencies which this God-given mission has infused into its people are, on the one hand, beginning to be manifested through the conscious efforts and the nationwide accomplishments, in both the teaching and administrative spheres of Baha’i activity, of the organized community of the followers of Baha’u’llah in the North American continent. These same potencies, apart from, yet collateral with these efforts and accomplishments, are, on the other hand, insensibly shaping, under the impact of the world political and economic forces, the destiny of that nation, and are influencing the lives and actions of both its government and its people. ?

    3. Baha’is must uphold Islam as a divine Dispensation including Imamate.
    ?…every faithful follower of the Faith to accept the divine origin and uphold the independent status of the Muhammadan Dispensation. The validity of the Imamate is, moreover, implicitly recognized in these same passages…? (Taken from Shoghi Effendi’s letter- Dispensation of Bah??’u’ll??h written February 8th, 1934 from Haifa, Palestine. This letter was intimately signed ?Shoghi’)

    4. The Study of Islam necessary to understand Baha’i:
    ?Perused ye not the Qur’an? Read it, that haply ye may find the Truth, for this Book is verily the Straight Path. This is the Way of God unto all who are in the heavens and all who are on the earth.? (Baha’u’llah: Gleanings, p. 44)

    5. First is the importance of the study of Islam – which subject is still new to the majority of the believers, but whose importance for a proper and sound understanding of the Cause is absolutely indispensible.(Shoghi Effendi: Lights of Guidance, p. 562)

    6. From the standpoint of institutionalism Islam far surpasses true Christianity as we know it in the Gospels. There are infinitely more laws and institutions in the Qur’an than in the Gospel. While the latter’s emphasis is mainly, not to say wholly, on individual and personal conduct, the Qur’an stresses the importance of society. This social emphasis acquires added importance and significance in the Baha’i Revelation. When carefully and impartially compared, the Qur’an marks a definite advancement on the Gospel, from the standpoint of spiritual and humanitarian progress. (Shoghi Effendi: Lights of Guidance, p. 496)

    7. The Faith of Islam, the succeeding link in the chain of Divine Revelation, introduced, as Baha’u’llah Himself testifies, the conception of the nation as a unit and a vital stage in the organization of human society, and embodied it in its teaching.
    (Shoghi Effendi: The Promised Day is Come, p. 120)

    8.Over a period of 23 years Muhammad revealed The Holy Qur’an, which–besides the Baha’i Writings–is the only other absolutely authentic Holy Book of the nine surviving religions.

    9..Shoghi Effendi states that “apart from the sacred scriptures of the Babi and Baha’i Revelations,” the Qur’an constitutes “the only Book which can be regarded as an absolutely authenticated Repository of the Word of God” (*Advent of Divine Justice,* 49). The Baha’i Faith thus recognizes the revelation of God through Muhammad (as preserved in the Qur’an) as authentic…”

    The point is that the nonbeliever was/is an infidel in the Muhammad Dispensation and some of this has carried over from the parent to the child (Baha’i Faith) which speaks loudly of a Baha’i Commonwealth Theocracy. In one breath Baha’is are enjoined to consort with all and in the next breath they are to shun those who don’t believe in God or are considered not firm in the Covenant. In fact Bah??’u’ll??h calls for those who are not firm to be degraded.

    ?Know thou for a certainty that whoso disbelieveth in God is neither trustworthy nor truthful. ? Proclamation of Bah??’u’ll??h, pp. 47-48

    ?Most regrettable of all is the state of difference and divergence we have created between each other in the name of religion imagining that a paramount duty in our religious belief is that of alienation and estrangement, that we should shun each other and consider each other contaminated with error and infidelity. In reality the foundations of the divine religions are one and the same. The differences which have arisen between us are due to blind imitations of dogmatic beliefs and adherence to ancestral forms of worship.? Foundations of World Unity, by `Abdu’l-Bah??, p. 92

    ?In all His Books and Tablets He has praised those who are firm in the Covenant and rebuked those who are not. He said, “Verily, shun those who are shaken in the Covenant. Verily, God is the Confirmer of the firm ones.” In His prayers He has said, “O God! Render those who are firm in the Covenant blessed, and degrade those who are not. O God! Be the Protector of him who protecteth Him, and confirm him who confirms the Center of the Covenant.” Many utterances are directed against the violators of the Covenant, the purpose being that no dissension should arise in the blessed Cause; that no one should say, “My opinion is this”; and that all may know Who is the authoritative expounder and whatsoever He says is correct. Bah??’u’ll??h has not left any possible room for dissension. Naturally, there are some who are antagonistic, some who are followers of self-desire, others who hold to their own ideas and still others who wish to create dissension in the Cause. The Promulgation of Universal Peace, by `Abdu’l-Bah??, p. 382
    Conclusion: The Century of Light gave humanity the opportunity to mature and recognize divine Self within which was/is controlled by religious shepherds through the fear implanted in the ego self.

    Baquia: The laws of the Aqdas are for the future. They are not in effect now.

    If people refuse to recognize their divine qualities they deserve the laws of the Aqdas which are fit for those who do not wish to engage their own thinking processes/Self-Consciousness (which is mighty, powerful, and self-subsisting). I agree with Craig about the uhj doing and saying whatsoever it willeth with Baha’i and the Holy writ.

    Justin

  • ep

    follow-up:

    Here is a pithy critique of “The Secret” (new age pathology) from an integralist perspective:

    It gives a reasonable approximation of how “non-bahai” spiritual communities are attempting to balance magic-mythic paradigm thinking with rational-scientific thinking.

    It is not an easy problem to solve. In “Triune brain” theory, most magic-mythic consciousness comes from the middle “monkey brain”, which is the most powerful area in the brain where emotional-social-bonding activity takes place.

    The “trick” is to redirect/integrate monkey-brain with the neocortext, where “higher thought” (rationalism) takes places. This will presumably consist of very specific forms of (VOLUNTARY) meditative discipline and social service (paradigm ENACTION, not “just” theory), which are alien to the prevalent cults of narcissism/nihilism in mass culture/media.

    as univeralized sufi metaphysics, bahai scripture (bs) of course variously references all this, but bs is not cutting edge, and not robust or flexible (as the previous blog entry/discussion on science and religion indicates).

    within ex/bahai communities that are exploring related theory, there is a strong paradigm-regression tendency, e.g., allison marshall’s nature-worship “divine feminine” stuff, which is very interesting, but doesn’t go as far as it could (see Ken Wilber on the collapse of the “transpersonal psychology” {tp} movement for a taxonomy of the collapse of the exploration of mysticism within tp).

    Sorry I haven’t neatly tied all this back to “century of blight”, my computer is needed for the Skypers in the household.

    I did listen to two of the four BBC broadcasts, unfortunately I was tired and napped through about half of each. It seems like excellent material, and I’ll watch again and try to stay awake.

    There is a good web site that has a similar approach to mass media and manipulation of public opinion from one of the “Whole Earth Catalog” people called “Disinformocracy”, which can easily be found via google.

    Later today I’m off on a business trip for most of the week later today (and little or no internet access), adios muchachitos!

    Eric P.
    Sacramento

    note: the uhj’s letter writers told Dr. Susan Maneck (history, middle eastern studies) several years ago that bahai scholars should be working on “integrative” paradigms or somesuch, which presumably was a reference to integral theory and related areas of study, instead of “liberal vs. conservative” conflicts. Maneck apparently didn’t understand.

  • ep

    follow-up:

    Here is a pithy critique of “The Secret” (new age pathology) from an integralist perspective:

    It gives a reasonable approximation of how “non-bahai” spiritual communities are attempting to balance magic-mythic paradigm thinking with rational-scientific thinking.

    It is not an easy problem to solve. In “Triune brain” theory, most magic-mythic consciousness comes from the middle “monkey brain”, which is the most powerful area in the brain where emotional-social-bonding activity takes place.

    The “trick” is to redirect/integrate monkey-brain with the neocortext, where “higher thought” (rationalism) takes places. This will presumably consist of very specific forms of (VOLUNTARY) meditative discipline and social service (paradigm ENACTION, not “just” theory), which are alien to the prevalent cults of narcissism/nihilism in mass culture/media.

    as univeralized sufi metaphysics, bahai scripture (bs) of course variously references all this, but bs is not cutting edge, and not robust or flexible (as the previous blog entry/discussion on science and religion indicates).

    within ex/bahai communities that are exploring related theory, there is a strong paradigm-regression tendency, e.g., allison marshall’s nature-worship “divine feminine” stuff, which is very interesting, but doesn’t go as far as it could (see Ken Wilber on the collapse of the “transpersonal psychology” {tp} movement for a taxonomy of the collapse of the exploration of mysticism within tp).

    Sorry I haven’t neatly tied all this back to “century of blight”, my computer is needed for the Skypers in the household.

    I did listen to two of the four BBC broadcasts, unfortunately I was tired and napped through about half of each. It seems like excellent material, and I’ll watch again and try to stay awake.

    There is a good web site that has a similar approach to mass media and manipulation of public opinion from one of the “Whole Earth Catalog” people called “Disinformocracy”, which can easily be found via google.

    Later today I’m off on a business trip for most of the week later today (and little or no internet access), adios muchachitos!

    Eric P.
    Sacramento

    note: the uhj’s letter writers told Dr. Susan Maneck (history, middle eastern studies) several years ago that bahai scholars should be working on “integrative” paradigms or somesuch, which presumably was a reference to integral theory and related areas of study, instead of “liberal vs. conservative” conflicts. Maneck apparently didn’t understand.

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    [quote comment="45032"]When did Baha’i liberals declare McGlinn as their new godhead/uhj?[/quote]

    Justin, thanks for the hyperbole. Sen McGlinn has devoted himself to discovering what Baha’u’llah said re church and state. IOW, theocracy. He is just a scholar or theologian, if you prefer. Someone who studies the Baha’i Faith formally. I bring him up because he goes to the root = Baha’u’llah. You and others quote everyone and everything under the sun except the Person who really matters! Sen does the opposite.

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    [quote comment="45032"]When did Baha’i liberals declare McGlinn as their new godhead/uhj?[/quote]

    Justin, thanks for the hyperbole. Sen McGlinn has devoted himself to discovering what Baha’u’llah said re church and state. IOW, theocracy. He is just a scholar or theologian, if you prefer. Someone who studies the Baha’i Faith formally. I bring him up because he goes to the root = Baha’u’llah. You and others quote everyone and everything under the sun except the Person who really matters! Sen does the opposite.

  • ep

    re: century of lies / light / self

    Seems ironic that what Sen is doing is to try to fit bahai theology into a “western” (so called “secular/materialist”) paradigm.

    The problem of course is that the “real” ever-advancing-civilization has very little to do with bahai faith, so as heroic as Sen’s work is, it is ultimately going to prove futile as far as a “reformist” process within the bf is concerned. Even if the bf was able to abdon such silliness as “infallability” and become more “democratic”, it isn’t obvious that bahai scripture (bs) is “really” any better than lots of other traditions/schools that undergoing evolution (such as buddhism, yoga, etc.).

    Also, there is a famous quote from a letter writer of the Guardian that states that bahais should keep current on science/philosophy in the “non-bahai” world.

    There is a great deal to be learned from the non-bahai world, including post-new-age social critics and philosophers about the “century of self”. My personal experience is that a curious person will find a lot more information from non-bahai sources about the current conditions in the world than from bahai sources.

    that said, I was introduced to integral philosophy by bahais (not that its that hard to find otherwise).

    and of course I ought to mention that the bahai integralists have been hounded by fundamentalists.

    back to the main topic: narcissism is seen by integralists as a sign that humanity has started to abandon the formalism of “flatland” mondernism. the whole discussion should be about a post-narcissiist culture, not about reverting to unexamined medieval metaphysics such as prophetology (which is a cruel, dehumanizing, backward scam – which I thought was the whole point of your blog!?!?).

    [quote comment=""][quote comment="45032"]When did Baha’i liberals declare McGlinn as their new godhead/uhj?[/quote]

    Justin, thanks for the hyperbole. Sen McGlinn has devoted himself to discovering what Baha’u’llah said re church and state. IOW, theocracy. He is just a scholar or theologian, if you prefer. Someone who studies the Baha’i Faith formally. I bring him up because he goes to the root = Baha’u’llah. You and others quote everyone and everything under the sun except the Person who really matters! Sen does the opposite.[/quote]

  • ep

    re: century of lies / light / self

    Seems ironic that what Sen is doing is to try to fit bahai theology into a “western” (so called “secular/materialist”) paradigm.

    The problem of course is that the “real” ever-advancing-civilization has very little to do with bahai faith, so as heroic as Sen’s work is, it is ultimately going to prove futile as far as a “reformist” process within the bf is concerned. Even if the bf was able to abdon such silliness as “infallability” and become more “democratic”, it isn’t obvious that bahai scripture (bs) is “really” any better than lots of other traditions/schools that undergoing evolution (such as buddhism, yoga, etc.).

    Also, there is a famous quote from a letter writer of the Guardian that states that bahais should keep current on science/philosophy in the “non-bahai” world.

    There is a great deal to be learned from the non-bahai world, including post-new-age social critics and philosophers about the “century of self”. My personal experience is that a curious person will find a lot more information from non-bahai sources about the current conditions in the world than from bahai sources.

    that said, I was introduced to integral philosophy by bahais (not that its that hard to find otherwise).

    and of course I ought to mention that the bahai integralists have been hounded by fundamentalists.

    back to the main topic: narcissism is seen by integralists as a sign that humanity has started to abandon the formalism of “flatland” mondernism. the whole discussion should be about a post-narcissiist culture, not about reverting to unexamined medieval metaphysics such as prophetology (which is a cruel, dehumanizing, backward scam – which I thought was the whole point of your blog!?!?).

    [quote comment=""][quote comment="45032"]When did Baha’i liberals declare McGlinn as their new godhead/uhj?[/quote]

    Justin, thanks for the hyperbole. Sen McGlinn has devoted himself to discovering what Baha’u’llah said re church and state. IOW, theocracy. He is just a scholar or theologian, if you prefer. Someone who studies the Baha’i Faith formally. I bring him up because he goes to the root = Baha’u’llah. You and others quote everyone and everything under the sun except the Person who really matters! Sen does the opposite.[/quote]

  • Craig Parke

    Eric,

    Thank you for another excellent post!

    You wrote:

    “Here is a pithy critique of “The Secret” (new age pathology) from an integralist perspective:”

    I find his perspective very well said but the guy is a little too much Berlin 1934 in tone for my liking. Even people in the Integralist and Yoga communities should get out for dinner and a movie once in a while. Come down off Mt. Sinai, imbibe some inner or outer intoxicant of some sort, and dance in a Golden Calf moment sometime before the Earth opens up and swallows them. After my almost four decade experience in the Baha’i Faith, fiercely grim Johnny-One-Note people scare the living s**t out of me. All of you folks out West should make a real effort to get out of California or Oregon once in a while. Vist me in Pennsylvania and we’ll have a nice plate of kie?basa before a Steelers game.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4xi7eA68og

    But Julian Walker does make his argument quite well.

    I don’t think any thinking person these days would argue at all against the idea that studying human consciousness in the Cosmos is what everything is now all about. It IS what it is all about at least in nations where people are above the immediate daily struggle to find enough food and shelter for survival. It is the cutting edge question of our evolution. This is the core issue of our time: what is consciousness, what are it’s powers, and how does it really work?

    Sure. “The Secret” is kindergarten because it is self centered, but that is better than nothing. I hope some guy makes ten million dollars. I hope some man or woman out there finds the person of their dreams and gets laid really, really good. And on a regular basis too! Good for them! But make no mistake about it. On a much deeper level somewhere in the Cosmos ALL religions are thinly concealed occult teachings about the Cosmic powers of intention.

    Baquia, I think you are being a bit too hard on Oprah and the Larry King Show’s bookings special assistant. Every person in the world is seeking a transformational consciousness. Why not put various ideas up on the air? The Baha’is once had a very hot ticket in 1912. Abdu’l-Baha was Deepak Chopra on steroids. The Man with the Plan with Rock Star status. The Baha’is had 87 years since Shoghi Effendi took over in 1921 to NOT run everything they touched completely into the ground with top down formal institutional review of every book and article. So it’s far too late now. Other’s have stolen the thunder of the spiritual, scientific, and technological paradigm shift of the World Age. We are out of the game and out of the stadium. We have no game uniforms, helmets, shoes, or balls. So what we could have done is now all going to others. So why not let them run with it in the ebb and flow of ideas in the world while we languish in straight jacketed silence? Something is better than nothing.

    I would say though that a much more interesting and deeper book than “The Secret” is the 1996 book “Synchronicity” by Allan Combs and Mark Holland which I think is now out of print. And to make matters still more complicated, nobody apparently started first thinking about this in the California Big Sur country in 1968. You have to start in Sumer, Babylon, and Egypt to study the 5,000 year old systems of thought on these things!

    As above, so below.

    Hermes carried the messages of the gods…

    If anyone here wants to pursue this investigation for themselves, I’d start with Googleing “RA Schaller de Lubicz”. Start studying the Cosmic esoteric insights contained in the Temple of Luxor. Have fun!

    Considering life in general, I’ll make the same offer to any of you fine people posting here that I just made to Eric. If you are ever in Pittsburgh contact me through my e-mail link on UeB, and we’ll go out and get spaghetti or a nice plate of something good to eat and discuss Cosmic knowledge. The city has many colorful neighborhoods. They are filming four different movies here right now because there are so many colorful locations. I work just two blocks from where they filmed the union riot in the 1992 film “Hoffa”. Jack Nicholson did drink a few Iron City beers while on location in the city.

    As to Myron Cope, he passed away on February 29th. He was a little Jewish man that the whole city and region of every race, ethnicity, and religion just loved. We should all be so remembered!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QtynHSnxC-U

    The Multiverse is Huge. Think about the full implications every morning and evening.

    http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/jpegMod/PIA05547_modest.jpg

    http://www.solstation.com/x-objects/and2disk.jpg

    Craig

  • Craig Parke

    Eric,

    Thank you for another excellent post!

    You wrote:

    “Here is a pithy critique of “The Secret” (new age pathology) from an integralist perspective:”

    I find his perspective very well said but the guy is a little too much Berlin 1934 in tone for my liking. Even people in the Integralist and Yoga communities should get out for dinner and a movie once in a while. Come down off Mt. Sinai, imbibe some inner or outer intoxicant of some sort, and dance in a Golden Calf moment sometime before the Earth opens up and swallows them. After my almost four decade experience in the Baha’i Faith, fiercely grim Johnny-One-Note people scare the living s**t out of me. All of you folks out West should make a real effort to get out of California or Oregon once in a while. Vist me in Pennsylvania and we’ll have a nice plate of kie?basa before a Steelers game.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4xi7eA68og

    But Julian Walker does make his argument quite well.

    I don’t think any thinking person these days would argue at all against the idea that studying human consciousness in the Cosmos is what everything is now all about. It IS what it is all about at least in nations where people are above the immediate daily struggle to find enough food and shelter for survival. It is the cutting edge question of our evolution. This is the core issue of our time: what is consciousness, what are it’s powers, and how does it really work?

    Sure. “The Secret” is kindergarten because it is self centered, but that is better than nothing. I hope some guy makes ten million dollars. I hope some man or woman out there finds the person of their dreams and gets laid really, really good. And on a regular basis too! Good for them! But make no mistake about it. On a much deeper level somewhere in the Cosmos ALL religions are thinly concealed occult teachings about the Cosmic powers of intention.

    Baquia, I think you are being a bit too hard on Oprah and the Larry King Show’s bookings special assistant. Every person in the world is seeking a transformational consciousness. Why not put various ideas up on the air? The Baha’is once had a very hot ticket in 1912. Abdu’l-Baha was Deepak Chopra on steroids. The Man with the Plan with Rock Star status. The Baha’is had 87 years since Shoghi Effendi took over in 1921 to NOT run everything they touched completely into the ground with top down formal institutional review of every book and article. So it’s far too late now. Other’s have stolen the thunder of the spiritual, scientific, and technological paradigm shift of the World Age. We are out of the game and out of the stadium. We have no game uniforms, helmets, shoes, or balls. So what we could have done is now all going to others. So why not let them run with it in the ebb and flow of ideas in the world while we languish in straight jacketed silence? Something is better than nothing.

    I would say though that a much more interesting and deeper book than “The Secret” is the 1996 book “Synchronicity” by Allan Combs and Mark Holland which I think is now out of print. And to make matters still more complicated, nobody apparently started first thinking about this in the California Big Sur country in 1968. You have to start in Sumer, Babylon, and Egypt to study the 5,000 year old systems of thought on these things!

    As above, so below.

    Hermes carried the messages of the gods…

    If anyone here wants to pursue this investigation for themselves, I’d start with Googleing “RA Schaller de Lubicz”. Start studying the Cosmic esoteric insights contained in the Temple of Luxor. Have fun!

    Considering life in general, I’ll make the same offer to any of you fine people posting here that I just made to Eric. If you are ever in Pittsburgh contact me through my e-mail link on UeB, and we’ll go out and get spaghetti or a nice plate of something good to eat and discuss Cosmic knowledge. The city has many colorful neighborhoods. They are filming four different movies here right now because there are so many colorful locations. I work just two blocks from where they filmed the union riot in the 1992 film “Hoffa”. Jack Nicholson did drink a few Iron City beers while on location in the city.

    As to Myron Cope, he passed away on February 29th. He was a little Jewish man that the whole city and region of every race, ethnicity, and religion just loved. We should all be so remembered!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QtynHSnxC-U

    The Multiverse is Huge. Think about the full implications every morning and evening.

    http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/jpegMod/PIA05547_modest.jpg

    http://www.solstation.com/x-objects/and2disk.jpg

    Craig

  • Justin

    [quote comment="45047"][quote comment="45032"]When did Baha’i liberals declare McGlinn as their new godhead/uhj?[/quote]

    Justin, thanks for the hyperbole. Sen McGlinn has devoted himself to discovering what Baha’u’llah said re church and state. IOW, theocracy. He is just a scholar or theologian, if you prefer. Someone who studies the Baha’i Faith formally. I bring him up because he goes to the root = Baha’u’llah. You and others quote everyone and everything under the sun except the Person who really matters! Sen does the opposite.[/quote]

    Hi Baquia

    Thank you for the hagiography of Sen McGlinn as the new age Interpreter/Elucidator/scholar of Bah??’u’ll??h’s Writings. Sounds like I wasn’t exaggerating after all.

    One of the Writings I submitted was from Bah??’u’ll??h. It was a Writing in which He calls for all those who are not firm in the Covenant to be degraded while those who are firm to be blessed. Firm in the Covenant implies following the interpretations of Abdu’l-baha, the Guardian, and the elucidations of the UHJ.

    ?In all His Books and Tablets (Bah??’u’ll??h) He has praised those who are firm in the Covenant and rebuked those who are not. He said, “Verily, shun those who are shaken in the Covenant. Verily, God is the Confirmer of the firm ones.” In His prayers He has said, “O God! Render those who are firm in the Covenant blessed, and degrade those who are not.? Promulgation of Universal Peace, p, 382

    When a person considers the Baha’i Faith is supposed to be the primary impetus of life in the world it sounds like a formula for a Baha’i Theocracy to me, therefore, I can not bring myself to ignore the Baha’i World Commonwealth intentions of its founder regardless of the McGlinn spin in ?Church and State’. Does McGlinn in his book explain the fate of those who are not blessed by the Manifestation of the Day? Why must religion always degrade those who don’t fall in line?

    Is there ever a time projected when people are expected to think and be guided by the Self within, or are they always under the scholarly interpretations/elucidations of Baha’u’llah’s writ, be it the UHJ or a McGlinn?

    I think Craig has it right when he suggests Baha’is look into scientific exploration in these matters being discussed here as there is a lot of information which is showing the connection between old and new age awareness and passages leading to all knowledge. David Wilcock has a lot of interesting things to say about the function of the pineal gland, something well known among the ancients. But beware he mentions DMT!!!

    Justin

  • Justin

    [quote comment="45047"][quote comment="45032"]When did Baha’i liberals declare McGlinn as their new godhead/uhj?[/quote]

    Justin, thanks for the hyperbole. Sen McGlinn has devoted himself to discovering what Baha’u’llah said re church and state. IOW, theocracy. He is just a scholar or theologian, if you prefer. Someone who studies the Baha’i Faith formally. I bring him up because he goes to the root = Baha’u’llah. You and others quote everyone and everything under the sun except the Person who really matters! Sen does the opposite.[/quote]

    Hi Baquia

    Thank you for the hagiography of Sen McGlinn as the new age Interpreter/Elucidator/scholar of Bah??’u’ll??h’s Writings. Sounds like I wasn’t exaggerating after all.

    One of the Writings I submitted was from Bah??’u’ll??h. It was a Writing in which He calls for all those who are not firm in the Covenant to be degraded while those who are firm to be blessed. Firm in the Covenant implies following the interpretations of Abdu’l-baha, the Guardian, and the elucidations of the UHJ.

    ?In all His Books and Tablets (Bah??’u’ll??h) He has praised those who are firm in the Covenant and rebuked those who are not. He said, “Verily, shun those who are shaken in the Covenant. Verily, God is the Confirmer of the firm ones.” In His prayers He has said, “O God! Render those who are firm in the Covenant blessed, and degrade those who are not.? Promulgation of Universal Peace, p, 382

    When a person considers the Baha’i Faith is supposed to be the primary impetus of life in the world it sounds like a formula for a Baha’i Theocracy to me, therefore, I can not bring myself to ignore the Baha’i World Commonwealth intentions of its founder regardless of the McGlinn spin in ?Church and State’. Does McGlinn in his book explain the fate of those who are not blessed by the Manifestation of the Day? Why must religion always degrade those who don’t fall in line?

    Is there ever a time projected when people are expected to think and be guided by the Self within, or are they always under the scholarly interpretations/elucidations of Baha’u’llah’s writ, be it the UHJ or a McGlinn?

    I think Craig has it right when he suggests Baha’is look into scientific exploration in these matters being discussed here as there is a lot of information which is showing the connection between old and new age awareness and passages leading to all knowledge. David Wilcock has a lot of interesting things to say about the function of the pineal gland, something well known among the ancients. But beware he mentions DMT!!!

    Justin

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    Justin, why don’t we come back to the book once you have, you know, read it?

    It may just answer your questions to actually crack open the covers. You may alternatively correspond with Sen.

    Don’t you think it is a tiny wee bit disingenuous to judge an author and a book without first giving them the benefit of a read?

    all the best :-)

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    Justin, why don’t we come back to the book once you have, you know, read it?

    It may just answer your questions to actually crack open the covers. You may alternatively correspond with Sen.

    Don’t you think it is a tiny wee bit disingenuous to judge an author and a book without first giving them the benefit of a read?

    all the best :-)

  • Andrew

    “On a much deeper level somewhere in the Cosmos ALL religions are thinly concealed occult teachings about the Cosmic powers of intention.”

    Craig, have you read the book “Black Order” by James Rollins? Its subject matter includes intension, quantum physics, zero point energy, and Nazi occultism, all written for a mass-market audience. It would make a fun movie.

    You might also find this interesting:

    “Bald Ambition: A Critique of Ken Wilbur’s Theory of Everything” by Jeff Meyerhoff

    http://www.integralworld.net/index.html?criticism.html

    A precis of Meyerhoff’s criticisms:

    http://www.integralworld.net/index.html?criticism.html

    Top 50 reading room essays:

    http://www.integralworld.net/index.html?criticism.html

    Tim Boucher offers a critique as well:

    “Before you come at me with a big explanation of how I don’t understand Wilber’s system, consider that the very thing I don’t like about Wilber is that all his arguments are based on a system (3rd semantic circuit, for Leary-ites). You won’t get anywhere with me arguing from that perspective. And whatever you do, do not try to peg me according to which meme-color you think I belong to.”

    http://www.timboucher.com/journal/2005/07/18/ken-wilber-critique-part-1/

    The comments and links to the rest of his articles on Wilbur follow at the bottom of the page.

    Ah, the limitations of meta-theories. The more one writes, the more one contradicts oneself. This applies to alleged Manifestations of God and Meta-Theorists alike. Better a few cryptic remarks, some poetic parables, and a life that speaks its beliefs through noble action. As one critic has written, “Why do we need to have endless screeds of pseudoscience and eschelons of angels dancing on pinheads to unite around such basic ethical philosophies as mercy and peace?” Indeed. They’re all mythopoetic models of reality. Emphasis on models. There are no mailboxes in Hurqalya.

    Carl Rennie has written:

    “It’s not so much that Platonic ideals don’t exist, that there is no individual chair that embodies ‘chair-ness’ in such a way that all other chairs are only chairs to the degree that they reflect this ideal, but that many many such ideals exist; indeed, there are as many platonic ideals as there are minds to create them. The problem is reconciling the different ideals, and their shifting nature.

    “Put simply, everyone has their own set of such ideal models, and determining whose are ‘correct’ is a losing game.”

    Atheism is the fastest-growing religious identity in America and the fastest-growing ideology in the world. Thank God!

    It’s the time when my religion is madness for idols;
    This affair is joy to my grief-stricken heart.
    –Hafiz

  • Andrew

    “On a much deeper level somewhere in the Cosmos ALL religions are thinly concealed occult teachings about the Cosmic powers of intention.”

    Craig, have you read the book “Black Order” by James Rollins? Its subject matter includes intension, quantum physics, zero point energy, and Nazi occultism, all written for a mass-market audience. It would make a fun movie.

    You might also find this interesting:

    “Bald Ambition: A Critique of Ken Wilbur’s Theory of Everything” by Jeff Meyerhoff

    http://www.integralworld.net/index.html?criticism.html

    A precis of Meyerhoff’s criticisms:

    http://www.integralworld.net/index.html?criticism.html

    Top 50 reading room essays:

    http://www.integralworld.net/index.html?criticism.html

    Tim Boucher offers a critique as well:

    “Before you come at me with a big explanation of how I don’t understand Wilber’s system, consider that the very thing I don’t like about Wilber is that all his arguments are based on a system (3rd semantic circuit, for Leary-ites). You won’t get anywhere with me arguing from that perspective. And whatever you do, do not try to peg me according to which meme-color you think I belong to.”

    http://www.timboucher.com/journal/2005/07/18/ken-wilber-critique-part-1/

    The comments and links to the rest of his articles on Wilbur follow at the bottom of the page.

    Ah, the limitations of meta-theories. The more one writes, the more one contradicts oneself. This applies to alleged Manifestations of God and Meta-Theorists alike. Better a few cryptic remarks, some poetic parables, and a life that speaks its beliefs through noble action. As one critic has written, “Why do we need to have endless screeds of pseudoscience and eschelons of angels dancing on pinheads to unite around such basic ethical philosophies as mercy and peace?” Indeed. They’re all mythopoetic models of reality. Emphasis on models. There are no mailboxes in Hurqalya.

    Carl Rennie has written:

    “It’s not so much that Platonic ideals don’t exist, that there is no individual chair that embodies ‘chair-ness’ in such a way that all other chairs are only chairs to the degree that they reflect this ideal, but that many many such ideals exist; indeed, there are as many platonic ideals as there are minds to create them. The problem is reconciling the different ideals, and their shifting nature.

    “Put simply, everyone has their own set of such ideal models, and determining whose are ‘correct’ is a losing game.”

    Atheism is the fastest-growing religious identity in America and the fastest-growing ideology in the world. Thank God!

    It’s the time when my religion is madness for idols;
    This affair is joy to my grief-stricken heart.
    –Hafiz

  • Bird out of the Cage

    Excellent Post Andrew and could not have come at a better time for me in my mourning. I was recently in an airport and some how found my self in a lovely conversation with some people from another country here on missionary work. Confronted for the first time with the (?) of what religion I am since moving past the BF, I was speechless for a moment then honestly shared that I had no religion and I fight becoming an atheist on a moment to moment basis… She smiled confidently and started her pitch on God through being a Unitarian and how open it is to all… All the sudden I broke out in tears, hiding my face in my shirt for these profound words animated from my heart, and out of my lips, piercing on their way out, as I had no other words to add to her kind gestures, to me the whole…
    “Put simply, everyone has their own set of such ideal models, and determining whose are ‘correct’ is a losing game.” …is spot on, #1 reason I gave up religion… no sense raining on her parade either, she was so happy to think she was saving me, but these were my words that brought me to grief…

    ?I miss knowing and loving God?

    It’s the time when my religion is madness for idols;
    This affair is joy to my grief-stricken heart.
    –Hafiz

    It is in fact an interesting journey into the joy for it is currently hard to see when my grief stricken heart will heal. I’ve never healed from any death of a true loved one and my whole life I have loved and believed in a ?God?. This alleged COSMIC COMFORTOR?

    Where for art thou O Lord if Ye really exist? I, your humble servant, am not able to find You any where; You disappeared. I have looked under every rock, both light and dark corners, over lands and seas and I can not see You anymore, I only see man made and nature. I can not feel You anymore, I only feel man made and nature. I can not hear You anymore, I only hear man made and nature. Only yesterday You were in everything, Glorified by Your Name?… Where the heck did You go? Is it really possible You were only a figment of my organic imagination and conditioning from mankind? Or has all these different religions and theories been Your way of creating a muse, providing You odds and options to wager on which one will coral the most adherents or kiil the most in battle over You? Only the game never ends and no one ever wins? What could You possibly gain in this but eventual extinction of either us, mankind, or you, “God”?

  • Bird out of the Cage

    Excellent Post Andrew and could not have come at a better time for me in my mourning. I was recently in an airport and some how found my self in a lovely conversation with some people from another country here on missionary work. Confronted for the first time with the (?) of what religion I am since moving past the BF, I was speechless for a moment then honestly shared that I had no religion and I fight becoming an atheist on a moment to moment basis… She smiled confidently and started her pitch on God through being a Unitarian and how open it is to all… All the sudden I broke out in tears, hiding my face in my shirt for these profound words animated from my heart, and out of my lips, piercing on their way out, as I had no other words to add to her kind gestures, to me the whole…
    “Put simply, everyone has their own set of such ideal models, and determining whose are ‘correct’ is a losing game.” …is spot on, #1 reason I gave up religion… no sense raining on her parade either, she was so happy to think she was saving me, but these were my words that brought me to grief…

    ?I miss knowing and loving God?

    It’s the time when my religion is madness for idols;
    This affair is joy to my grief-stricken heart.
    –Hafiz

    It is in fact an interesting journey into the joy for it is currently hard to see when my grief stricken heart will heal. I’ve never healed from any death of a true loved one and my whole life I have loved and believed in a ?God?. This alleged COSMIC COMFORTOR?

    Where for art thou O Lord if Ye really exist? I, your humble servant, am not able to find You any where; You disappeared. I have looked under every rock, both light and dark corners, over lands and seas and I can not see You anymore, I only see man made and nature. I can not feel You anymore, I only feel man made and nature. I can not hear You anymore, I only hear man made and nature. Only yesterday You were in everything, Glorified by Your Name?… Where the heck did You go? Is it really possible You were only a figment of my organic imagination and conditioning from mankind? Or has all these different religions and theories been Your way of creating a muse, providing You odds and options to wager on which one will coral the most adherents or kiil the most in battle over You? Only the game never ends and no one ever wins? What could You possibly gain in this but eventual extinction of either us, mankind, or you, “God”?

  • Craig Parke

    Bird,

    You wrote:

    “It is in fact an interesting journey into the joy for it is currently hard to see when my grief stricken heart will heal. I’ve never healed from any death of a true loved one and my whole life I have loved and believed in a ‘God.”

    It is very interesting what you posted here today because since one of first posts I have written a long post to you in my mind on your saying to me that the ultimate exchange is with … death. Remember that post of yours?

    In my long post to you in my head last week as I sat in traffic in my ever deepening muse, I thought of this on many levels. Aren’t there many psychological deaths by all of us in our lives? Many forms lost from which we emerge to another?

    Yes. I will get a major motion picture film script out of a a deep study on this if I can just find the right story. In fact every film ever made on some level is this story.

    Crisis, Death and Rebirth.

    Last week I was feverishly on-line on my “work-from-home” day working with my IP headset and microphone on on a very hard engineering project over the Internet with my work mates. In the middle of this hearing a stirring on my front porch, I went into hyper alert mode and rushed to the door. (A problem with me of late like I am having some kind of hyper vigilence military flash back which is really starting to unnerve me – WTF is going on with me?) My cat is terrified and runs out of the room.

    I open the front door and there on the front porch are two 18-20 year old young men who are obvioulsy Mormon missionaries. “Would you like to hear about Jesus Christ?” the older looking one says.

    I said I couldn’t right now because I was on line. They said “Could we come back?” I didn’t say yes. I didn’t say no. I just stood there dumb struck in my muse on the scene.

    I could only think about the recent letter about the Baha’is now going door to door too. I flashed on me 36 years ago. Is that what I looked like? Me fresh out of having lived through the U.S. Army then trying to save people from nuclear war through my understanding of the Baha’i Faith and Pilgrims Notes after having been in the chain of command of tacticle battlefiend nuclear weapons on the border with East Germany while waiting for orders to Vietnam to kill or be killed in a small arms war. Facing both the prospect of death by atomic vaporization and death by shit on an infected punji stick. I came out of my military service with eyes as big as half dollars. I saw no way that the human race would make it. I joined the Baha’i Faith within 3 months of having learned of it. All this flashed through my mind as I just stood there looking at them. My mind 18,000 miles and 36 years away. I also flashed on my father loading the MASH units for Tarawa in the Pacific in WWII. I flashed on his passing in 1992. I flashed on why the 20th Century all happened, I flashed on what did it all mean? I flashed on my fury at the Baha’i Faith now. That I spent all this time in something that was completely run into the ground by clearly mentally disturbed people. Perhaps for an instant I was in tears in my soul. Weeping like that infant in that famous pre WWII photo of a Chinese baby crying beside it’s dead mother in the rubble of Nanking. All this passed through me in an instant.

    “Can we get your name?”

    “Craig” I said. “My name is Craig.”

    “Could we come back?” he says again.

    “Well, I guess. I am very busy now. I am working on-line today” I say with my mind distant as I listen on my headset to what is being said at work.

    I have always been kind to Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses. At times in my life I sit politely and let them talk. Give their speil. Felt boards and everything. Asking questions about the Angel Moroni.

    They smile, turn, and leave my porch as the older one writes down my first name. “C-R-A-I-G” he writes down. I am now a mark.

    So for the rest of the day as I worked I weighed their appearance in terms of synchroniscity. My thinking tilting New Agey. Tea with Shirley MacClaine in my mind. Did I manifest them? Is this a TEST I now have to face in life before going forward? Some bad karma I must level? What will I do when they come back? I think over my whole life. I think over all those years in the Baha’i Faith. Driving to Firesides and endless, endless, endless meetings all those decades where you fervently prayed and then the Faith was completely ineffective again until the next meeting where you fervently prayed again. Trying over and over. Then finding out when it comes to war we must all “be quiet and let God do His work.”

    I think and I muse. It comes to me. NO. I will NOT talk with them. I will politely ask them to leave my property. If they do not leave I may burst out in tears and I am becoming an old man. No. I will not talk about “Jesus Christ” or “God” with anyone. I’m done talking about “God” with fevered people with cross hairs in their eyes. No more. It saddens me. But I do not have it in my human frame anymore. “Can we come back?” The next time I will tell them “NO.”

    So you and me Bird. We have to have our discussion. Perhaps I will start to write my muse to you on the exchange with…Death.

    Death is Cosmic. Maybe we will get some insights now in our grief?

    Craig

  • Craig Parke

    Bird,

    You wrote:

    “It is in fact an interesting journey into the joy for it is currently hard to see when my grief stricken heart will heal. I’ve never healed from any death of a true loved one and my whole life I have loved and believed in a ‘God.”

    It is very interesting what you posted here today because since one of first posts I have written a long post to you in my mind on your saying to me that the ultimate exchange is with … death. Remember that post of yours?

    In my long post to you in my head last week as I sat in traffic in my ever deepening muse, I thought of this on many levels. Aren’t there many psychological deaths by all of us in our lives? Many forms lost from which we emerge to another?

    Yes. I will get a major motion picture film script out of a a deep study on this if I can just find the right story. In fact every film ever made on some level is this story.

    Crisis, Death and Rebirth.

    Last week I was feverishly on-line on my “work-from-home” day working with my IP headset and microphone on on a very hard engineering project over the Internet with my work mates. In the middle of this hearing a stirring on my front porch, I went into hyper alert mode and rushed to the door. (A problem with me of late like I am having some kind of hyper vigilence military flash back which is really starting to unnerve me – WTF is going on with me?) My cat is terrified and runs out of the room.

    I open the front door and there on the front porch are two 18-20 year old young men who are obvioulsy Mormon missionaries. “Would you like to hear about Jesus Christ?” the older looking one says.

    I said I couldn’t right now because I was on line. They said “Could we come back?” I didn’t say yes. I didn’t say no. I just stood there dumb struck in my muse on the scene.

    I could only think about the recent letter about the Baha’is now going door to door too. I flashed on me 36 years ago. Is that what I looked like? Me fresh out of having lived through the U.S. Army then trying to save people from nuclear war through my understanding of the Baha’i Faith and Pilgrims Notes after having been in the chain of command of tacticle battlefiend nuclear weapons on the border with East Germany while waiting for orders to Vietnam to kill or be killed in a small arms war. Facing both the prospect of death by atomic vaporization and death by shit on an infected punji stick. I came out of my military service with eyes as big as half dollars. I saw no way that the human race would make it. I joined the Baha’i Faith within 3 months of having learned of it. All this flashed through my mind as I just stood there looking at them. My mind 18,000 miles and 36 years away. I also flashed on my father loading the MASH units for Tarawa in the Pacific in WWII. I flashed on his passing in 1992. I flashed on why the 20th Century all happened, I flashed on what did it all mean? I flashed on my fury at the Baha’i Faith now. That I spent all this time in something that was completely run into the ground by clearly mentally disturbed people. Perhaps for an instant I was in tears in my soul. Weeping like that infant in that famous pre WWII photo of a Chinese baby crying beside it’s dead mother in the rubble of Nanking. All this passed through me in an instant.

    “Can we get your name?”

    “Craig” I said. “My name is Craig.”

    “Could we come back?” he says again.

    “Well, I guess. I am very busy now. I am working on-line today” I say with my mind distant as I listen on my headset to what is being said at work.

    I have always been kind to Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses. At times in my life I sit politely and let them talk. Give their speil. Felt boards and everything. Asking questions about the Angel Moroni.

    They smile, turn, and leave my porch as the older one writes down my first name. “C-R-A-I-G” he writes down. I am now a mark.

    So for the rest of the day as I worked I weighed their appearance in terms of synchroniscity. My thinking tilting New Agey. Tea with Shirley MacClaine in my mind. Did I manifest them? Is this a TEST I now have to face in life before going forward? Some bad karma I must level? What will I do when they come back? I think over my whole life. I think over all those years in the Baha’i Faith. Driving to Firesides and endless, endless, endless meetings all those decades where you fervently prayed and then the Faith was completely ineffective again until the next meeting where you fervently prayed again. Trying over and over. Then finding out when it comes to war we must all “be quiet and let God do His work.”

    I think and I muse. It comes to me. NO. I will NOT talk with them. I will politely ask them to leave my property. If they do not leave I may burst out in tears and I am becoming an old man. No. I will not talk about “Jesus Christ” or “God” with anyone. I’m done talking about “God” with fevered people with cross hairs in their eyes. No more. It saddens me. But I do not have it in my human frame anymore. “Can we come back?” The next time I will tell them “NO.”

    So you and me Bird. We have to have our discussion. Perhaps I will start to write my muse to you on the exchange with…Death.

    Death is Cosmic. Maybe we will get some insights now in our grief?

    Craig

  • Andrew

    The following is an extract from the book “The Female Face of God in Auschwitz” by Melissa Raphael:

    “From a feminist perspective, even though the catastrophe *did* occur in the world created by God, what is to be distrusted is not God but a particular model or figure of God. It is certain notions of power that are abusive, not God, who, if he is abusive is demonstrably not God. That is why Jewish feminists recovering from abuse have rejected the masculine God who not only failed to protect them from men, but also sanctioned and hypostasized some of the latter’s privileges and powers … A hierarchy of powerful parent and powerless child … belongs to a patriarchal notion of covenant which, as an expression of sovereignty, does not nurture compassion towards others or inspire a sense of mutual obligation. Authentic covenant is, by contrast, intrinsically non-hierarchical and premised on mutuality and solidarity … God’s hiddenness is not to be crudely equated with absence but may be more an elusive form of immanence (hence [the] insistence that God is present in his absence). God is there, somewhere, but he is hidden … In Auschwitz to have seen only God’s back as it receded into the distance was to see God walking away from suffering because only the face turned to the other acknowledges the desperate need of the other. In Auschwitz, to have seen only God’s back was no longer to witness a God whose power and glory is too mighty to behold, it was to see a God whose humiliation and sorrow was such that he could not face us; could not bear the sight of us.”

    This bears repeating:

    “Authentic covenant is, by contrast, intrinsically non-hierarchical and premised on mutuality and solidarity.”

    The following is from “On the Way to Death” by Arthur Roy Eckardt:

    “God is also to be reproached for his failure, told that it is neither inevitable nor excusable: no limited God here, no God stymied by invincible evil … The truth abides that Judaism is not optimistic but redemptive, and the creation of humanity with its powerful, innate and persistent will to evil is part of the vision of redemption … Such a passage as Genesis 1:26-27 endures to do precisely what some say is impossible: it appoints the entire human race as God’s royal stand-in.”

    In other words … “God” is answerable to us precisely because we are responsible for one another. This is a terrible disappointment to many people. To people like Rene Guenon, a self-loathing, conflicted homosexual, a society based on such suppositions (i.e., a society without a closet to hide in or a religion to enforce its morality) would be doomed to annihilation. Postmodernism is the nightmare of patriarchy: it must be completely anathematized and denied all legitimacy.

    I highly recommend the following essay; it might help to shed some light on the current situation in the Baha’i religion:

    http://www.naturesrights.com/knowledge%20power%20book/guenon.asp

    Finally, the following is from “The Theology of Dorothy Soelle” by Dorothy Soelle and Sarah Pinnock:

    “For Dorothy Soelle, there is no omnipotent God. No God Almighty. No Father above it all. The one and only God of the universe … is vulnerable and limited in what she or he can do in the world and still be a loving God. For Soelle, God cannot be both loving and almighty in this world. God is like us — we truly are in her image — able to love only through our vulnerability and able thereby to embody a sacred power that is completely countercultural to the dominant social and political forces that rule the world.”

    Bird: Your thoughts are very touching. However, Unitarians aren’t really out to “save” anyone … you can be agnostic or even atheist and still be Unitarian. Unitarians like to quote Ferenc D??vid, the first leader and revered figure of Transylvanian Unitarianism, when he said: “We need not think alike to love alike.” And no, he wasn’t a vampire (although some believe that all religions are blood-sucking vampires).

  • Andrew

    The following is an extract from the book “The Female Face of God in Auschwitz” by Melissa Raphael:

    “From a feminist perspective, even though the catastrophe *did* occur in the world created by God, what is to be distrusted is not God but a particular model or figure of God. It is certain notions of power that are abusive, not God, who, if he is abusive is demonstrably not God. That is why Jewish feminists recovering from abuse have rejected the masculine God who not only failed to protect them from men, but also sanctioned and hypostasized some of the latter’s privileges and powers … A hierarchy of powerful parent and powerless child … belongs to a patriarchal notion of covenant which, as an expression of sovereignty, does not nurture compassion towards others or inspire a sense of mutual obligation. Authentic covenant is, by contrast, intrinsically non-hierarchical and premised on mutuality and solidarity … God’s hiddenness is not to be crudely equated with absence but may be more an elusive form of immanence (hence [the] insistence that God is present in his absence). God is there, somewhere, but he is hidden … In Auschwitz to have seen only God’s back as it receded into the distance was to see God walking away from suffering because only the face turned to the other acknowledges the desperate need of the other. In Auschwitz, to have seen only God’s back was no longer to witness a God whose power and glory is too mighty to behold, it was to see a God whose humiliation and sorrow was such that he could not face us; could not bear the sight of us.”

    This bears repeating:

    “Authentic covenant is, by contrast, intrinsically non-hierarchical and premised on mutuality and solidarity.”

    The following is from “On the Way to Death” by Arthur Roy Eckardt:

    “God is also to be reproached for his failure, told that it is neither inevitable nor excusable: no limited God here, no God stymied by invincible evil … The truth abides that Judaism is not optimistic but redemptive, and the creation of humanity with its powerful, innate and persistent will to evil is part of the vision of redemption … Such a passage as Genesis 1:26-27 endures to do precisely what some say is impossible: it appoints the entire human race as God’s royal stand-in.”

    In other words … “God” is answerable to us precisely because we are responsible for one another. This is a terrible disappointment to many people. To people like Rene Guenon, a self-loathing, conflicted homosexual, a society based on such suppositions (i.e., a society without a closet to hide in or a religion to enforce its morality) would be doomed to annihilation. Postmodernism is the nightmare of patriarchy: it must be completely anathematized and denied all legitimacy.

    I highly recommend the following essay; it might help to shed some light on the current situation in the Baha’i religion:

    http://www.naturesrights.com/knowledge%20power%20book/guenon.asp

    Finally, the following is from “The Theology of Dorothy Soelle” by Dorothy Soelle and Sarah Pinnock:

    “For Dorothy Soelle, there is no omnipotent God. No God Almighty. No Father above it all. The one and only God of the universe … is vulnerable and limited in what she or he can do in the world and still be a loving God. For Soelle, God cannot be both loving and almighty in this world. God is like us — we truly are in her image — able to love only through our vulnerability and able thereby to embody a sacred power that is completely countercultural to the dominant social and political forces that rule the world.”

    Bird: Your thoughts are very touching. However, Unitarians aren’t really out to “save” anyone … you can be agnostic or even atheist and still be Unitarian. Unitarians like to quote Ferenc D??vid, the first leader and revered figure of Transylvanian Unitarianism, when he said: “We need not think alike to love alike.” And no, he wasn’t a vampire (although some believe that all religions are blood-sucking vampires).

  • Bird out of the Cage

    Andrew

    “Saving” is Freudian slip, totally my own word as “saving” (lol) is what I need. I am drowning in the madness of my unsettling thoughts. Thus is why I went looking for a place to rant and feel comfortable here. The woman at the airport was an angel. I enjoyed her “love” and I envied her conviction. I am clueless to the Unitarian concepts as I have not been out of the cage long enough to see what else is out there. It felt like she had given me the Heimlich maneuver to help the words come out that are chocking me up. I appreciate the post about Auschwitz for I have become wrenched with this very unbecoming self pity lately which is totally out of my character to be so weak and self absorbed.

  • Bird out of the Cage

    Andrew

    “Saving” is Freudian slip, totally my own word as “saving” (lol) is what I need. I am drowning in the madness of my unsettling thoughts. Thus is why I went looking for a place to rant and feel comfortable here. The woman at the airport was an angel. I enjoyed her “love” and I envied her conviction. I am clueless to the Unitarian concepts as I have not been out of the cage long enough to see what else is out there. It felt like she had given me the Heimlich maneuver to help the words come out that are chocking me up. I appreciate the post about Auschwitz for I have become wrenched with this very unbecoming self pity lately which is totally out of my character to be so weak and self absorbed.

  • Bird out of the Cage

    Craig,
    ?No more. It saddens me. But I do not have it in my human frame anymore. ?Can we come back?? The next time I will tell them ?NO.?
    It sounds good but we both know you will always show kindness, it is the dominant in you, I can tell… despite the atrocities of fighting a war ?Not today but TY? sounds more like what will occur because you know they love ?God? as do you, whatever that means.
    ?So you and me Bird. We have to have our discussion. Perhaps I will start to write my muse to you on the exchange with…Death.? Sign me up, there’s nothing more pleasurable then a good discussion with a friend.
    ?Death is Cosmic. Maybe we will get some insights now in our grief?? Since Death is not at my door, and hopefully not yours, then we do share in common some form of grief, and that, at least for myself, is comforting to know I am not grieving alone.
    I gathered a short hope this am of my rebirth in here, privately yet openly where I can bare all my babble and relate and learn from others in this mysterious reality called Life.

  • Bird out of the Cage

    Craig,
    ?No more. It saddens me. But I do not have it in my human frame anymore. ?Can we come back?? The next time I will tell them ?NO.?
    It sounds good but we both know you will always show kindness, it is the dominant in you, I can tell… despite the atrocities of fighting a war ?Not today but TY? sounds more like what will occur because you know they love ?God? as do you, whatever that means.
    ?So you and me Bird. We have to have our discussion. Perhaps I will start to write my muse to you on the exchange with…Death.? Sign me up, there’s nothing more pleasurable then a good discussion with a friend.
    ?Death is Cosmic. Maybe we will get some insights now in our grief?? Since Death is not at my door, and hopefully not yours, then we do share in common some form of grief, and that, at least for myself, is comforting to know I am not grieving alone.
    I gathered a short hope this am of my rebirth in here, privately yet openly where I can bare all my babble and relate and learn from others in this mysterious reality called Life.

  • Justin

    [quote comment="45081"]Justin, why don’t we come back to the book once you have, you know, read it?

    It may just answer your questions to actually crack open the covers. You may alternatively correspond with Sen.

    Don’t you think it is a tiny wee bit disingenuous to judge an author and a book without first giving them the benefit of a read?[/quote]

    Baquia – I have read a good deal of his argument, don’t you think it disingenuous to assume I’m coming from an uninformed position?

    On the positive side McGlinn has attempted to separate the author’s intent from the Holy writing. It is a balsy path to embark upon when the author whose writings are being reinterpreted claims to be a Universal Manifestation whose Holy writ is meant to influence civilizatin for five hundred thousand years into the future. If it wasn’t for McGlinn’s razor sharp tongue, which protects his own interests, I might have read more of his arguments and reinterpretations to see if they could be useful to generating anything positive.

    However, like the life of Baha’u’llah, when the author in life practice, has proven not to be a pretty sight spiritually or intellectually from my pov, and his argument twiddled to reflect personal preference and or self glorification there is no need to read any further into the vain imaginations. That is, uless you want to use the material to counter the cult of belief in a ‘totally’ benign Baha’i doctrine.

    Don’t get too upset at my comments here because this discussion should generate more interest in his ?theology?, which was your original point.

    But my advice is to get another hero or be one yourself.

    Justin

  • Justin

    [quote comment="45081"]Justin, why don’t we come back to the book once you have, you know, read it?

    It may just answer your questions to actually crack open the covers. You may alternatively correspond with Sen.

    Don’t you think it is a tiny wee bit disingenuous to judge an author and a book without first giving them the benefit of a read?[/quote]

    Baquia – I have read a good deal of his argument, don’t you think it disingenuous to assume I’m coming from an uninformed position?

    On the positive side McGlinn has attempted to separate the author’s intent from the Holy writing. It is a balsy path to embark upon when the author whose writings are being reinterpreted claims to be a Universal Manifestation whose Holy writ is meant to influence civilizatin for five hundred thousand years into the future. If it wasn’t for McGlinn’s razor sharp tongue, which protects his own interests, I might have read more of his arguments and reinterpretations to see if they could be useful to generating anything positive.

    However, like the life of Baha’u’llah, when the author in life practice, has proven not to be a pretty sight spiritually or intellectually from my pov, and his argument twiddled to reflect personal preference and or self glorification there is no need to read any further into the vain imaginations. That is, uless you want to use the material to counter the cult of belief in a ‘totally’ benign Baha’i doctrine.

    Don’t get too upset at my comments here because this discussion should generate more interest in his ?theology?, which was your original point.

    But my advice is to get another hero or be one yourself.

    Justin

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    Justin, I’m not upset at you or your comments. I’m glad we are here in this dialogue. ok so it is clear, you haven’t read his book. I’m glad you admit that because perhaps by actually reading it with an inquisitive mind you may come to grasp his message.

    As for (hero)worship, I’ve got that covered, He goes by many names but I like “Architect of the Universe” :-)

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    Justin, I’m not upset at you or your comments. I’m glad we are here in this dialogue. ok so it is clear, you haven’t read his book. I’m glad you admit that because perhaps by actually reading it with an inquisitive mind you may come to grasp his message.

    As for (hero)worship, I’ve got that covered, He goes by many names but I like “Architect of the Universe” :-)

  • Andy

    Hi Bird

    Bird writes: ?I miss knowing and loving God?

    I went through this myself once but have come out the other side knowing and loving God again.

    I think Baha’is, like Christians and Muslims have been subjected to the false doctrine that ?God’ is an unknowable essence and is extrinsic from us. The only way Baha’is can know God is through Bah??’u’ll??h and his ‘good’ qualities.

    Andrew, in quoting Dorothy Soelle, talks about our being in Her (God’s) image.

    ?For Soelle, God cannot be both loving and almighty in this world. God is like us — we truly are in her image — able to love only through our vulnerability and able thereby to embody a sacred power that is completely countercultural to the dominant social and political forces that rule the world.?

    The power that Soelle is talking about is the Love of Self or Her image working through the little self. How often have you experienced Self viewing and listening to your own personality? It happens to me a lot. How often have you thought of shunning someone and then listened to a voice that shows you compassion towards that person? My experience is that the compassionate voice is the Self in Her/His image.

    The other day I read a quote which hit home for me (I forget who wrote it). It simply said:

    ?We have to learn to LOVE SELF before we can unconditionally love another.?

    Of course ?Self? in the above quote is God, not the ego self. If God’s Love is pervasive in all things then it follows that we are Love too. It just takes a conscious effort to discern the difference between self and Self.

    The conclusion is that to know your Self is to know and love God.

    During the century of light some have got caught up in self-centeredness, but all on the path and freedom to discover the Self or God within. It sure breaks with the debilitating false doctrine of separation of humanity and God that has been fostered by religion and the prophets who want the hearts and souls for their own.

    Great topic!

    Andy

  • Andy

    Hi Bird

    Bird writes: ?I miss knowing and loving God?

    I went through this myself once but have come out the other side knowing and loving God again.

    I think Baha’is, like Christians and Muslims have been subjected to the false doctrine that ?God’ is an unknowable essence and is extrinsic from us. The only way Baha’is can know God is through Bah??’u’ll??h and his ‘good’ qualities.

    Andrew, in quoting Dorothy Soelle, talks about our being in Her (God’s) image.

    ?For Soelle, God cannot be both loving and almighty in this world. God is like us — we truly are in her image — able to love only through our vulnerability and able thereby to embody a sacred power that is completely countercultural to the dominant social and political forces that rule the world.?

    The power that Soelle is talking about is the Love of Self or Her image working through the little self. How often have you experienced Self viewing and listening to your own personality? It happens to me a lot. How often have you thought of shunning someone and then listened to a voice that shows you compassion towards that person? My experience is that the compassionate voice is the Self in Her/His image.

    The other day I read a quote which hit home for me (I forget who wrote it). It simply said:

    ?We have to learn to LOVE SELF before we can unconditionally love another.?

    Of course ?Self? in the above quote is God, not the ego self. If God’s Love is pervasive in all things then it follows that we are Love too. It just takes a conscious effort to discern the difference between self and Self.

    The conclusion is that to know your Self is to know and love God.

    During the century of light some have got caught up in self-centeredness, but all on the path and freedom to discover the Self or God within. It sure breaks with the debilitating false doctrine of separation of humanity and God that has been fostered by religion and the prophets who want the hearts and souls for their own.

    Great topic!

    Andy

  • Justin

    [quote comment="45113"]?I miss knowing and loving God?[/quote]

    Hi Bird

    Bird writes: ?I miss knowing and loving God?

    I went through this myself once but have come out the other side knowing and loving God again.

    I think Baha’is, like Christians and Muslims have been subjected to the false doctrine that ?God’ is an unknowable essence and is extrinsic from people and the only way they can know God is through Bah??’u’ll??h and his good qualities.

    Andrew, in quoting Dorothy Soelle, talks about our being in Her (God’s) image.

    ?For Soelle, God cannot be both loving and almighty in this world. God is like us — we truly are in her image — able to love only through our vulnerability and able thereby to embody a sacred power that is completely countercultural to the dominant social and political forces that rule the world.?

    The power that Soelle is talking about is the Love of Self or Her image working through the little self. How often have you experienced Self viewing and listening to your own personality? It happens to me a lot. How often have you thought of shunning someone and then listened to a voice that shows you compassion towards that person. My experience is that the compassionate voice is the Self in Her image.

    The other day I read a quote which hit home for me (I forget who wrote it). It simply said:

    ?We have to learn to LOVE SELF before we can unconditionally love another.?

    Of course ?Self? in the above quote is God, not the ego self. If God’s Love is pervasive in all things then it follows that we are Love too. It just takes a conscious effort to discern the difference between self and Self.

    The conclusion is that to know your Self is to know and love God.

    During the century of light some have got caught up in self-centeredness, but all on the path and freedom to discover the Self or God within. It sure breaks with the debilitating false doctrine of separation of humanity and God that has been fostered by religion.

    Great topic.

  • Justin

    [quote comment="45113"]?I miss knowing and loving God?[/quote]

    Hi Bird

    Bird writes: ?I miss knowing and loving God?

    I went through this myself once but have come out the other side knowing and loving God again.

    I think Baha’is, like Christians and Muslims have been subjected to the false doctrine that ?God’ is an unknowable essence and is extrinsic from people and the only way they can know God is through Bah??’u’ll??h and his good qualities.

    Andrew, in quoting Dorothy Soelle, talks about our being in Her (God’s) image.

    ?For Soelle, God cannot be both loving and almighty in this world. God is like us — we truly are in her image — able to love only through our vulnerability and able thereby to embody a sacred power that is completely countercultural to the dominant social and political forces that rule the world.?

    The power that Soelle is talking about is the Love of Self or Her image working through the little self. How often have you experienced Self viewing and listening to your own personality? It happens to me a lot. How often have you thought of shunning someone and then listened to a voice that shows you compassion towards that person. My experience is that the compassionate voice is the Self in Her image.

    The other day I read a quote which hit home for me (I forget who wrote it). It simply said:

    ?We have to learn to LOVE SELF before we can unconditionally love another.?

    Of course ?Self? in the above quote is God, not the ego self. If God’s Love is pervasive in all things then it follows that we are Love too. It just takes a conscious effort to discern the difference between self and Self.

    The conclusion is that to know your Self is to know and love God.

    During the century of light some have got caught up in self-centeredness, but all on the path and freedom to discover the Self or God within. It sure breaks with the debilitating false doctrine of separation of humanity and God that has been fostered by religion.

    Great topic.

  • Bird out of the Cage

    [quote comment="45186"]You people spend an inordinate amount of time and energy discussing silly social constructs.[/quote]

    Abdul-

    You just spent the time to read it… So your comment is a muse? A rant? Hmmmmmm

  • Bird out of the Cage

    [quote comment="45186"]You people spend an inordinate amount of time and energy discussing silly social constructs.[/quote]

    Abdul-

    You just spent the time to read it… So your comment is a muse? A rant? Hmmmmmm

  • http://www.secret2joy.com secret2joy

    My comments won’t be as intelligent as others, nor backed up by quotes. Well, maybe one since I came across it this very morn. I think should should research a little further before slamming something. The Secret, though a corny title, is very much real and, furthermore, in line with the Faith. Trust me, I struggled for weeks to come to terms with something that made so much sense to me on so many levels, and my Faith. I get nothing but confirmations. The Writings are full of references to it, if you look. Here’s that quote:

    “?Consider: Unity is necessary to existence. Love is the very cause of life; on the other hand, separation brings death. In the world of material creation, for instance, all things owe their actual life to unity. The elements, which compose wood, mineral, or stone, are held together by the law of attraction. If this law should cease for one moment to operate these elements would not hold together; they would fall apart, and the object would, in that particular form, cease to exist. The law of attraction has brought together certain elements in the form of this beautiful flower, but when that attraction is withdrawn from this center the flower will decompose, and, as a flower, cease to exist. So it is with the great body of humanity. The wonderful Law of Attraction, Harmony and Unity hold together this marvelous Creation. As with the whole, so with the parts, whether a flower or a
    human body, when the attracting principle is withdrawn from it, the flower or the man dies. It is therefore clear that attraction, harmony, unity and Love, are the cause of life, whereas repulsion, discord, hatred and separation bring death.? (Abd??’l-B??h??)

    Now, besides THAT – the Beloved says that ANYTHING that increases perception and understanding is good. I have to put what you negate as ‘new age’ whatever into such a category. The world is waking up, in all ways. We know that eventually that will lead them to the Faith, but in the meantime, if something promotes Unity (and if you READ New Earth or investigated LOA at all you would see WE ARE ONE as a fundamental principle)…anything that promotes oneness, gratitude, and love is good.

    Just my 2 pence for the morning. Thanks for opening up discussion. I ‘d love you to study LOA and then find me something in the Writings that disputes it. I’d love to see something from the House about it. In fact I’m planning on writing them about it myself.

    In His Service….ZLE

  • http://www.secret2joy.com secret2joy

    My comments won’t be as intelligent as others, nor backed up by quotes. Well, maybe one since I came across it this very morn. I think should should research a little further before slamming something. The Secret, though a corny title, is very much real and, furthermore, in line with the Faith. Trust me, I struggled for weeks to come to terms with something that made so much sense to me on so many levels, and my Faith. I get nothing but confirmations. The Writings are full of references to it, if you look. Here’s that quote:

    “?Consider: Unity is necessary to existence. Love is the very cause of life; on the other hand, separation brings death. In the world of material creation, for instance, all things owe their actual life to unity. The elements, which compose wood, mineral, or stone, are held together by the law of attraction. If this law should cease for one moment to operate these elements would not hold together; they would fall apart, and the object would, in that particular form, cease to exist. The law of attraction has brought together certain elements in the form of this beautiful flower, but when that attraction is withdrawn from this center the flower will decompose, and, as a flower, cease to exist. So it is with the great body of humanity. The wonderful Law of Attraction, Harmony and Unity hold together this marvelous Creation. As with the whole, so with the parts, whether a flower or a
    human body, when the attracting principle is withdrawn from it, the flower or the man dies. It is therefore clear that attraction, harmony, unity and Love, are the cause of life, whereas repulsion, discord, hatred and separation bring death.? (Abd??’l-B??h??)

    Now, besides THAT – the Beloved says that ANYTHING that increases perception and understanding is good. I have to put what you negate as ‘new age’ whatever into such a category. The world is waking up, in all ways. We know that eventually that will lead them to the Faith, but in the meantime, if something promotes Unity (and if you READ New Earth or investigated LOA at all you would see WE ARE ONE as a fundamental principle)…anything that promotes oneness, gratitude, and love is good.

    Just my 2 pence for the morning. Thanks for opening up discussion. I ‘d love you to study LOA and then find me something in the Writings that disputes it. I’d love to see something from the House about it. In fact I’m planning on writing them about it myself.

    In His Service….ZLE

  • Andrew

    “Quantum mechanics, the centerpiece of modern physics, is misinterpreted as implying that the human mind controls reality and that the universe is one connected whole that cannot be understood by the usual reduction to parts.”

    http://csicop.org/si/9701/quantum-quackery.html

    “The real Law of Attraction as documented by science is that OPPOSITES attract; opposing energies will be drawn to one another and like energies will be repelled. Light attracts darkness … a positive charged proton is only going to be attracted to a negatively drawn electron.”

    http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/451078/five_new_age_lies.html

  • Andrew

    “Quantum mechanics, the centerpiece of modern physics, is misinterpreted as implying that the human mind controls reality and that the universe is one connected whole that cannot be understood by the usual reduction to parts.”

    http://csicop.org/si/9701/quantum-quackery.html

    “The real Law of Attraction as documented by science is that OPPOSITES attract; opposing energies will be drawn to one another and like energies will be repelled. Light attracts darkness … a positive charged proton is only going to be attracted to a negatively drawn electron.”

    http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/451078/five_new_age_lies.html

  • http://www.secret2joy.com secret2joy

    I asked for quotes from the Writings, not mortals.
    How about the Bible – “Ask and it is given.”
    The Master again, “”The universal divine mind, which is beyond nature, is the bounty of the Preexistent Power. This universal mind is divine; it embraces existing realities, and it receives the light of the mysteries of God. It is a conscious power , not a power of investigation and of research. The intellectual power of the world of nature is a power of investigation, and by its researches it discovers the realities of beings and the properties of existences; but the heavenly intellectual power, which is beyond nature, embraces things and is cognizant of things, knows them, understands them, is aware of mysteries, realities and divine significations, and is the discoverer of the concealed verities of the Kingdom. This divine intellectual power is the special attribute of the Holy Manifestations and the Dawning-places of prophethood; a ray of this light falls upon the mirrors of the hearts of the righteous, and a portion and a share of this power comes to them through the Holy Manifestations.” (Some Answered Questions, page 218)

    “Whatsoever instilleth assurance into the hearts of men, whatsoever exalteth their station or promoteth their contentment, is acceptable in the sight of God. How lofty is the station which man, if he but choose to fulfill his high destiny, can attain!? Baha’u’llah

    “All that we are is the result of what we have thought.” – Buddha

    “So I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” ~ Matthew 21:22

    “Actions are judged by intentions, so each man will have what he intended.”
    ~ Islam (collection of famous 40 sayings)

    “I charge you all that each one of you concentrate all the thoughts of your heart on love and unity. When a thought of war comes, oppose it by a stronger thought of peace. A thought of hatred must be destroyed by a more powerful thought of love. Thoughts of war bring destruction to all harmony, well-being, restfulness and content.

    …Thoughts of love are constructive of brotherhood, peace, friendship, and happiness.

    …Do not think the peace of the world an ideal impossible to attain! Nothing is impossible to the Divine Benevolence of God.

    …If you desire with all your heart, friendship with every race on earth, your thought, spiritual and positive, will spread; it will become the desire of others, growing stronger and stronger, until it reaches the minds of all men.

    Let your hearts be filled with the strenuous desire that tranquility and harmony may encircle all this warring world. So will success crown your efforts, and with the universal brotherhood will come the Kingdom of God in peace and goodwill.”

    ~ Abdu’l-Baha: Paris Talks

    So…again. Not being facetious – do you have scripture quotes that dispute LOA or the secret? And again, if you study the Secret, etc – it’s not about STUFF. It’s about what’s within. Your refusal to be at all open minded reminds me of those who dismiss the Faith as ‘an offshoot of Islam’ and the like.
    Love and Light,
    Zia
    http://www.secret2joy.com

    [quote comment=""]“Quantum mechanics, the centerpiece of modern physics, is misinterpreted as implying that the human mind controls reality and that the universe is one connected whole that cannot be understood by the usual reduction to parts.”

    http://csicop.org/si/9701/quantum-quackery.html

    “The real Law of Attraction as documented by science is that OPPOSITES attract; opposing energies will be drawn to one another and like energies will be repelled. Light attracts darkness … a positive charged proton is only going to be attracted to a negatively drawn electron.”

    http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/451078/five_new_age_lies.html/quote

  • http://www.secret2joy.com secret2joy

    I asked for quotes from the Writings, not mortals.
    How about the Bible – “Ask and it is given.”
    The Master again, “”The universal divine mind, which is beyond nature, is the bounty of the Preexistent Power. This universal mind is divine; it embraces existing realities, and it receives the light of the mysteries of God. It is a conscious power , not a power of investigation and of research. The intellectual power of the world of nature is a power of investigation, and by its researches it discovers the realities of beings and the properties of existences; but the heavenly intellectual power, which is beyond nature, embraces things and is cognizant of things, knows them, understands them, is aware of mysteries, realities and divine significations, and is the discoverer of the concealed verities of the Kingdom. This divine intellectual power is the special attribute of the Holy Manifestations and the Dawning-places of prophethood; a ray of this light falls upon the mirrors of the hearts of the righteous, and a portion and a share of this power comes to them through the Holy Manifestations.” (Some Answered Questions, page 218)

    “Whatsoever instilleth assurance into the hearts of men, whatsoever exalteth their station or promoteth their contentment, is acceptable in the sight of God. How lofty is the station which man, if he but choose to fulfill his high destiny, can attain!? Baha’u’llah

    “All that we are is the result of what we have thought.” – Buddha

    “So I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” ~ Matthew 21:22

    “Actions are judged by intentions, so each man will have what he intended.”
    ~ Islam (collection of famous 40 sayings)

    “I charge you all that each one of you concentrate all the thoughts of your heart on love and unity. When a thought of war comes, oppose it by a stronger thought of peace. A thought of hatred must be destroyed by a more powerful thought of love. Thoughts of war bring destruction to all harmony, well-being, restfulness and content.

    …Thoughts of love are constructive of brotherhood, peace, friendship, and happiness.

    …Do not think the peace of the world an ideal impossible to attain! Nothing is impossible to the Divine Benevolence of God.

    …If you desire with all your heart, friendship with every race on earth, your thought, spiritual and positive, will spread; it will become the desire of others, growing stronger and stronger, until it reaches the minds of all men.

    Let your hearts be filled with the strenuous desire that tranquility and harmony may encircle all this warring world. So will success crown your efforts, and with the universal brotherhood will come the Kingdom of God in peace and goodwill.”

    ~ Abdu’l-Baha: Paris Talks

    So…again. Not being facetious – do you have scripture quotes that dispute LOA or the secret? And again, if you study the Secret, etc – it’s not about STUFF. It’s about what’s within. Your refusal to be at all open minded reminds me of those who dismiss the Faith as ‘an offshoot of Islam’ and the like.
    Love and Light,
    Zia
    http://www.secret2joy.com

    [quote comment=""]“Quantum mechanics, the centerpiece of modern physics, is misinterpreted as implying that the human mind controls reality and that the universe is one connected whole that cannot be understood by the usual reduction to parts.”

    http://csicop.org/si/9701/quantum-quackery.html

    “The real Law of Attraction as documented by science is that OPPOSITES attract; opposing energies will be drawn to one another and like energies will be repelled. Light attracts darkness … a positive charged proton is only going to be attracted to a negatively drawn electron.”

    http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/451078/five_new_age_lies.html/quote

  • Andrew

    “Your refusal to be at all open minded reminds me of those who dismiss the Faith as ?an offshoot of Islam’ and the like.”

    How open-minded of you!

    I wasn’t responding to your request for “quotes from the writings.” I added the links and quotes for the benefit of anyone who might just be interested in an alternative point of view. Of course, you felt the need to attack me, to accuse me of failing to be “open-minded.” This is why I would like to see all religion wiped off the face of the earth: I’m tired of hearing about love, love, love from people who have little else to offer the world but hate, hate, hate, and a few charitable crumbs here and there to cover up the messes their socio-religious policies have helped to create in the first place. That’s why I’m so supportive of the efforts of atheists to turn the world into a religion-free zone.

    Oh, and by the way, since God seems completely incapable of speaking for himself, except through MORTALS who CLAIM to speak on God’s behalf — so far as I’m aware, ALL BOOKS ARE WRITTEN BY MORTALS. If you can offer something other than a religious assurance that “God” has written anything DIRECTLY, other than through a so-called “human intermediary,” I’d love to see it!

  • Andrew

    “Your refusal to be at all open minded reminds me of those who dismiss the Faith as ?an offshoot of Islam’ and the like.”

    How open-minded of you!

    I wasn’t responding to your request for “quotes from the writings.” I added the links and quotes for the benefit of anyone who might just be interested in an alternative point of view. Of course, you felt the need to attack me, to accuse me of failing to be “open-minded.” This is why I would like to see all religion wiped off the face of the earth: I’m tired of hearing about love, love, love from people who have little else to offer the world but hate, hate, hate, and a few charitable crumbs here and there to cover up the messes their socio-religious policies have helped to create in the first place. That’s why I’m so supportive of the efforts of atheists to turn the world into a religion-free zone.

    Oh, and by the way, since God seems completely incapable of speaking for himself, except through MORTALS who CLAIM to speak on God’s behalf — so far as I’m aware, ALL BOOKS ARE WRITTEN BY MORTALS. If you can offer something other than a religious assurance that “God” has written anything DIRECTLY, other than through a so-called “human intermediary,” I’d love to see it!

  • http://www.secret2joy.com secret2joy

    Ah, well – therein lies the mistake. I was under the impression you were a Baha’i and might actually have some quotes to increase my knowledge and understanding. I apoligize for seeming to ‘accuse you’, I didn’t mean to. I don’t think refusing to examine something without investigation is open minded. I hold myself to the same standard. So, yes, I am open minded in looking at your point of view.

    Second error seems to be thinking this was an open discussion! I apologize again for the misunderstanding. I like dialogue, even of contrasting views. It wasn’t my intent to attack or anger you. Clashing ideas bring about truth, no? I’m sorry you’ve taken it that way.

    Thank you.

  • http://www.secret2joy.com secret2joy

    Ah, well – therein lies the mistake. I was under the impression you were a Baha’i and might actually have some quotes to increase my knowledge and understanding. I apoligize for seeming to ‘accuse you’, I didn’t mean to. I don’t think refusing to examine something without investigation is open minded. I hold myself to the same standard. So, yes, I am open minded in looking at your point of view.

    Second error seems to be thinking this was an open discussion! I apologize again for the misunderstanding. I like dialogue, even of contrasting views. It wasn’t my intent to attack or anger you. Clashing ideas bring about truth, no? I’m sorry you’ve taken it that way.

    Thank you.

  • Anonymous

    secret2joy does seem to have a point: Is there anything in any religion that gives us a reason to doubt the obvious nonsense presented by New Age philosophy? It seems not! In fact, all religions seem to be complicit in the same sort of nonsense and superstition themselves (as shown, not least of all, by the quotations provided by secret2joy).

    The Baha’i Faith is not free of this collaboration in superstition, and its faith in prayer, numerology, and irrational fear of psychics (as somehow interfering with God’s will by revealing God’s hand before he’s good and ready) show us this.

    So how does a Baha’i justifiably reject the manifest scientific retardation (I mean the word in a technical sense) presented by “The Secret” and other New Age religion? Why is Baha’i superstition any better? And on what (religious) ground do they reject the other superstitions while maintaining their own?

  • http://mavaddat.livejournal.com Mavaddat Javid

    secret2joy does seem to have a point: Is there anything in any religion that gives us a reason to doubt the obvious nonsense presented by New Age philosophy? It seems not! In fact, all religions seem to be complicit in the same sort of nonsense and superstition themselves (as shown, not least of all, by the quotations provided by secret2joy).

    The Baha’i Faith is not free of this collaboration in superstition, and its faith in prayer, numerology, and irrational fear of psychics (as somehow interfering with God’s will by revealing God’s hand before he’s good and ready) show us this.

    So how does a Baha’i justifiably reject the manifest scientific retardation (I mean the word in a technical sense) presented by “The Secret” and other New Age religion? Why is Baha’i superstition any better? And on what (religious) ground do they reject the other superstitions while maintaining their own?

  • Andrew

    “Your refusal to be at all open-minded” followed by “It wasn’t my intent to attack or anger you” seems somewhat disingenuous. “I don’t think refusing to examine something without investigation is open minded.” Well, what constitutes your criteria for investigation? Mere acceptance or scientific validity? When reputable scientific studies fail to validate a hypothesis, is qualified skepticism an inappropriate response? I don’t wish to believe something simply for the sake of believing it, however attractive I might find it from a theoretical point of view. Human consciousness and the universe form an interconnected, irreducible whole? Lovely idea, but perhaps more serviceable as mythopoetic metaphor than literal truth. It may be “true” in a metaphorical sense, but not necessarily in a scientific sense. It seems a bit reductionistic to try to equate a spiritual metaphor with a scientific model.

  • Andrew

    “Your refusal to be at all open-minded” followed by “It wasn’t my intent to attack or anger you” seems somewhat disingenuous. “I don’t think refusing to examine something without investigation is open minded.” Well, what constitutes your criteria for investigation? Mere acceptance or scientific validity? When reputable scientific studies fail to validate a hypothesis, is qualified skepticism an inappropriate response? I don’t wish to believe something simply for the sake of believing it, however attractive I might find it from a theoretical point of view. Human consciousness and the universe form an interconnected, irreducible whole? Lovely idea, but perhaps more serviceable as mythopoetic metaphor than literal truth. It may be “true” in a metaphorical sense, but not necessarily in a scientific sense. It seems a bit reductionistic to try to equate a spiritual metaphor with a scientific model.

  • http://www.secret2joy.com secret2joy

    [quote comment=""] It seems a bit reductionistic to try to equate a spiritual metaphor with a scientific model.[/quote]

    I remember something about ‘religion and science needing to go hand in hand’? Okay, now I’m being facetious. My supposition that you are not being openminded came from your obvious ignorance of the actual message of the ‘Secret’. You reduced it to something it is not. As you do religion, I must conclude also. To be open minded, in my opinion (and that’s all this is) is to be willing to examine something before making a snap judgement. You took what I first said and came to some clear (and in my opinion incorrect) conclusions about me – “attack. spewing hate. felt the need.”

    There’s a theory – even meeting scientific criteria that I think even you might approve of – that we choose how we react to something. Your reaction to what I had to say was your choice. I apologized not for my words (which I’ve explained have a pretty valid logic considering your original post) but that they offended you. That was not my intention. I’m allowed to say that! As you are allowed to say all the stuff you say.

    So, allow me to extract myself from this strange conversation by saying, if there are any Baha’is out there who have investigated the Law of Attraction or are interested in it, and/or have anything to calmly and without anger issues to discuss – I’d be happy to hear from you!

    Meanwhile, a philosophical question and answer for ALL this – WHY NOT?

    Love and Light,

    Z

  • http://www.secret2joy.com secret2joy

    [quote comment=""] It seems a bit reductionistic to try to equate a spiritual metaphor with a scientific model.[/quote]

    I remember something about ‘religion and science needing to go hand in hand’? Okay, now I’m being facetious. My supposition that you are not being openminded came from your obvious ignorance of the actual message of the ‘Secret’. You reduced it to something it is not. As you do religion, I must conclude also. To be open minded, in my opinion (and that’s all this is) is to be willing to examine something before making a snap judgement. You took what I first said and came to some clear (and in my opinion incorrect) conclusions about me – “attack. spewing hate. felt the need.”

    There’s a theory – even meeting scientific criteria that I think even you might approve of – that we choose how we react to something. Your reaction to what I had to say was your choice. I apologized not for my words (which I’ve explained have a pretty valid logic considering your original post) but that they offended you. That was not my intention. I’m allowed to say that! As you are allowed to say all the stuff you say.

    So, allow me to extract myself from this strange conversation by saying, if there are any Baha’is out there who have investigated the Law of Attraction or are interested in it, and/or have anything to calmly and without anger issues to discuss – I’d be happy to hear from you!

    Meanwhile, a philosophical question and answer for ALL this – WHY NOT?

    Love and Light,

    Z

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    There is absolutely no science in ‘the law of attraction’ – there is oodles and oodles of pseudo-science though. Actual science shows that opposites attract, not like.

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    There is absolutely no science in ‘the law of attraction’ – there is oodles and oodles of pseudo-science though. Actual science shows that opposites attract, not like.

  • Anonymous

    [quote comment=""]There is absolutely no science in ‘the law of attraction’ – there is oodles and oodles of pseudo-science though. Actual science shows that opposites attract, not like.[/quote]
    [quote post="369"]There is absolutely no science in ?the law of attraction’[/quote]
    A skeptic’s guide to “The Secret”, by Ingrid Hansen Smythe.

  • http://mavaddat.livejournal.com Mavaddat

    [quote comment=""]There is absolutely no science in ‘the law of attraction’ – there is oodles and oodles of pseudo-science though. Actual science shows that opposites attract, not like.[/quote]
    [quote post="369"]There is absolutely no science in ?the law of attraction’[/quote]
    A skeptic’s guide to “The Secret”, by Ingrid Hansen Smythe.

  • Bird out of the Cage

    Andrew-
    “Oh, and by the way, since God seems completely incapable of speaking for himself, except through MORTALS who CLAIM to speak on God’s behalf — so far as I’m aware, ALL BOOKS ARE WRITTEN BY MORTALS. If you can offer something other than a religious assurance that ?God? has written anything DIRECTLY, other than through a so-called ?human intermediary,? I’d love to see it!”

    Me too

    But I don’t know if Atheism is the answer. I remember a friend I once shared about 16 years ago, after the death of my mother, that I didn’t believe in God anymore suggested I barrow hers till I found God again. Maybe I didn’t believe in him/her/it but he/she/it believes in me. It’s an interesting story but the end it kept me going thinking she lent me her God, whom she designed loving and merciful. She told me I need to design my own God for God to really be God to me (still trying to figure out that one) …. Instead I took the easy road and found a design already in place. What was I thinking? (lol) So I am back to the drawing board, and it is really not as bad as I thought it would be, in fact, it’s getting exciting!.

    The views in this room, as well as others is quite refreshing.

  • Bird out of the Cage

    Andrew-
    “Oh, and by the way, since God seems completely incapable of speaking for himself, except through MORTALS who CLAIM to speak on God’s behalf — so far as I’m aware, ALL BOOKS ARE WRITTEN BY MORTALS. If you can offer something other than a religious assurance that ?God? has written anything DIRECTLY, other than through a so-called ?human intermediary,? I’d love to see it!”

    Me too

    But I don’t know if Atheism is the answer. I remember a friend I once shared about 16 years ago, after the death of my mother, that I didn’t believe in God anymore suggested I barrow hers till I found God again. Maybe I didn’t believe in him/her/it but he/she/it believes in me. It’s an interesting story but the end it kept me going thinking she lent me her God, whom she designed loving and merciful. She told me I need to design my own God for God to really be God to me (still trying to figure out that one) …. Instead I took the easy road and found a design already in place. What was I thinking? (lol) So I am back to the drawing board, and it is really not as bad as I thought it would be, in fact, it’s getting exciting!.

    The views in this room, as well as others is quite refreshing.

  • Bird out of the Cage

    Andy-
    “I went through this myself once but have come out the other side knowing and loving God again.”

    I value the input, and I know I know God is in there some where.

    Bird

  • Bird out of the Cage

    Andy-
    “I went through this myself once but have come out the other side knowing and loving God again.”

    I value the input, and I know I know God is in there some where.

    Bird

  • Andrew

    “My supposition that you are not being openminded came from your obvious ignorance of the actual message of the ‘Secret’.”

    How, precisely, was my “ignorance” of the “actual message” of the ‘Secret’ “obvious” to you, given that I provided links to sites that directly addressed the contents of its “message”?

    “You reduced it to something it is not.”

    In what way, precisely, did I (I, personally, not the links I provided) “reduce it” to something it is not?

    “As you do religion, I must conclude also.”

    Upon what evidence do you base this conclusion? Is there any warrant for this conclusion based upon the links I provided in my initial post? Is there any warrant for the conclusion that I generally take a reductionist approach to religion?

    “To be open minded, in my opinion (and that’s all this is) is to be willing to examine something before making a snap judgement.”

    Upon what basis did you determine that I failed to examine the ‘Secret’ before making a “snap judgement”?

    “You took what I first said and came to some clear (and in my opinion incorrect) conclusions about me.”

    Given that my initial post was not directed to you, but simply supplied quotes and links, upon what basis do you justify your initial remark that I “refused” to be “open-minded”?

    “There’s a theory – even meeting scientific criteria that I think even you might approve of – that we choose how we react to something.”

    Indeed. I’ve often observed that “spiritual” people tend to attack or accuse, then apologize, then attack or accuse again, then apologize again, and so on. I believe this conceals the sadistic tendencies underlying defensive religious beliefs, and think it would be more honest and more helpful for such people to admit to their sadistic inclinations and actually enjoy them, rather than attempting to make excuses for them. I don’t mind that you seem to have felt it necessary to take a swipe at me: I just ask that you admit it, and that you enjoyed doing it. It’s a first step.

    “That was not my intention.” Don’t you think it would be more helpful for you to admit that was precisely what you intended to do? The links I provided critiqued the worldview you were advocating, and you decided to point out a “refusal” on my part to be “open-minded.” It was clearly your intention to offend. And why not? You should enjoy such impulses, instead of trying to explain them away. Admit that you wanted to attack me, to offend me, to take a swipe and me, and ENJOY it. Why the need to pretend otherwise? Embrace your inner religious sadist. ;-)

  • Andrew

    “My supposition that you are not being openminded came from your obvious ignorance of the actual message of the ‘Secret’.”

    How, precisely, was my “ignorance” of the “actual message” of the ‘Secret’ “obvious” to you, given that I provided links to sites that directly addressed the contents of its “message”?

    “You reduced it to something it is not.”

    In what way, precisely, did I (I, personally, not the links I provided) “reduce it” to something it is not?

    “As you do religion, I must conclude also.”

    Upon what evidence do you base this conclusion? Is there any warrant for this conclusion based upon the links I provided in my initial post? Is there any warrant for the conclusion that I generally take a reductionist approach to religion?

    “To be open minded, in my opinion (and that’s all this is) is to be willing to examine something before making a snap judgement.”

    Upon what basis did you determine that I failed to examine the ‘Secret’ before making a “snap judgement”?

    “You took what I first said and came to some clear (and in my opinion incorrect) conclusions about me.”

    Given that my initial post was not directed to you, but simply supplied quotes and links, upon what basis do you justify your initial remark that I “refused” to be “open-minded”?

    “There’s a theory – even meeting scientific criteria that I think even you might approve of – that we choose how we react to something.”

    Indeed. I’ve often observed that “spiritual” people tend to attack or accuse, then apologize, then attack or accuse again, then apologize again, and so on. I believe this conceals the sadistic tendencies underlying defensive religious beliefs, and think it would be more honest and more helpful for such people to admit to their sadistic inclinations and actually enjoy them, rather than attempting to make excuses for them. I don’t mind that you seem to have felt it necessary to take a swipe at me: I just ask that you admit it, and that you enjoyed doing it. It’s a first step.

    “That was not my intention.” Don’t you think it would be more helpful for you to admit that was precisely what you intended to do? The links I provided critiqued the worldview you were advocating, and you decided to point out a “refusal” on my part to be “open-minded.” It was clearly your intention to offend. And why not? You should enjoy such impulses, instead of trying to explain them away. Admit that you wanted to attack me, to offend me, to take a swipe and me, and ENJOY it. Why the need to pretend otherwise? Embrace your inner religious sadist. ;-)

  • Anonymous

    [quote post="369"]It was clearly your intention to offend. And why not? You should enjoy such impulses, instead of trying to explain them away. Admit that you wanted to attack me, to offend me, to take a swipe and me, and ENJOY it. Why the need to pretend otherwise? Embrace your inner religious sadist. ;-)[/quote]
    LOL! This is hilarious stuff, Andrew. You are a talented individual.

  • http://mavaddat.livejournal.com Mavaddat

    [quote post="369"]It was clearly your intention to offend. And why not? You should enjoy such impulses, instead of trying to explain them away. Admit that you wanted to attack me, to offend me, to take a swipe and me, and ENJOY it. Why the need to pretend otherwise? Embrace your inner religious sadist. ;-)[/quote]
    LOL! This is hilarious stuff, Andrew. You are a talented individual.

  • Andrew

    Bird wrote: “But I don’t know if Atheism is the answer.”

    Well, for you, maybe not. Maybe you’re an agnostic THEIST:

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

    Or maybe an agnostic ATHEIST:

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

    Or maybe you’re a CHIHUAHUAIST:

    http://www.dogchurch.org/index.shtml

    Many paths, many choices!

  • Andrew

    Bird wrote: “But I don’t know if Atheism is the answer.”

    Well, for you, maybe not. Maybe you’re an agnostic THEIST:

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

    Or maybe an agnostic ATHEIST:

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

    Or maybe you’re a CHIHUAHUAIST:

    http://www.dogchurch.org/index.shtml

    Many paths, many choices!

  • Andrew

    LOL! This is hilarious stuff, Andrew. You are a talented individual.

    By the Grace of the Great Chihuahua, the Manifestation of Dog for this Age, I are, and so is you. Worship the Chi.

  • Andrew

    LOL! This is hilarious stuff, Andrew. You are a talented individual.

    By the Grace of the Great Chihuahua, the Manifestation of Dog for this Age, I are, and so is you. Worship the Chi.

  • Anonymous

    Bird, you wrote:
    [quote post="369"]But I don’t know if Atheism is the answer.[/quote]
    I don’t think even atheists think that atheism is an answer, let alone the answer. As an atheist, I can tell you I do not, for example.

    Atheism is simply the recognition that those who claim to have God on their side, or who claim to know God’s commands have confused their hopes with their reality. As Sam Harris writes,[quote]Atheism is not a philosophy; it is not even a view of the world; it is simply an admission of the obvious…. Atheism is nothing more than the noises that reasonable people make in the presence of unjustified religious beliefs.[/quote]

  • http://mavaddat.livejournal.com Mavaddat

    Bird, you wrote:
    [quote post="369"]But I don’t know if Atheism is the answer.[/quote]
    I don’t think even atheists think that atheism is an answer, let alone the answer. As an atheist, I can tell you I do not, for example.

    Atheism is simply the recognition that those who claim to have God on their side, or who claim to know God’s commands have confused their hopes with their reality. As Sam Harris writes,[quote]Atheism is not a philosophy; it is not even a view of the world; it is simply an admission of the obvious…. Atheism is nothing more than the noises that reasonable people make in the presence of unjustified religious beliefs.[/quote]

  • http://www.secret2joy.com secret2joy

    “And why not? You should enjoy such impulses, instead of trying to explain them away. Admit that you wanted to attack me, to offend me, to take a swipe and me, and ENJOY it. Why the need to pretend otherwise? Embrace your inner religious sadist.” I’m torn between the indignation of being called a liar, and refusing to dignify this with comment. Hmmm. Not sure which will win yet.

    Nah…yhe former. If I enjoyed offending I would say so. While I wouldn’t dream of saying anything near a judgement for people so callous as to not care about offending others with their comments, I am not one of them. Each to their own. Personally it hurts me to hurt people – though again, since every word seems to be dissected – I’m not suggesting you were ‘hurt’. However, again, if it were true I would admit it. Don’t really care if you believe that, my previous assertions or not. YOUR CHOICE, as is all.

    I’m also not afraid to admit when I’m wrong. Truthfully, I mistook you for the author of the original post. So again, it’s all quite a big misunderstanding. Bottom line, whomever I was addressing, I was expressing my thoughts and opinions in a pretty neutral way. The ‘openminded’ comment comes from thinking you wrote the first post, and then when asked for quotes from a shared faith was only given scientific ones. The analogy of being compared to Islam was for the same audience, and one the majority of Baha’is would understand. So again, especially with the admitted (and yes, stupid) mix up Andrew – I APOLOGIZE. No hidden agenda. No swipe taking. No hate spewing. Just innocently trying to find Baha’i dialog on something that’s important to me and stumbling upon this blog. I’m sure you will have your own sneers at this, this based on your OWN lovely posts and opinions, but there it is. I’ll be praying for you, even though I suspect you might hate that. Why? No, not some superior feeling that you need to be ‘enlightened’ or anything that you would deem sinister….it’s just you seem so angry at the world and I know on many levels what such anger does to the world. I happen to believe in both prayer and fellowship.

    Oh, and I agree with you – anyone that talks love and then spews hate is wrong. That darn anger thing again… gets the best of the best of us from time to time. Ironically it’s since learning about LOA that I’ve come strides in mine. Make of that what you will. To me, if something doesn’t hurt others, but makes someone happy or helps them – it’s good. I think what attracted me to this post/blog/issue is just that…there seems to be the intent to mock, deride, and otherwise disprove something that doesn’t actually hurt anyone. Not like say, religion has, or at least people/individuals in its name. So again – why not?

  • http://www.secret2joy.com secret2joy

    “And why not? You should enjoy such impulses, instead of trying to explain them away. Admit that you wanted to attack me, to offend me, to take a swipe and me, and ENJOY it. Why the need to pretend otherwise? Embrace your inner religious sadist.” I’m torn between the indignation of being called a liar, and refusing to dignify this with comment. Hmmm. Not sure which will win yet.

    Nah…yhe former. If I enjoyed offending I would say so. While I wouldn’t dream of saying anything near a judgement for people so callous as to not care about offending others with their comments, I am not one of them. Each to their own. Personally it hurts me to hurt people – though again, since every word seems to be dissected – I’m not suggesting you were ‘hurt’. However, again, if it were true I would admit it. Don’t really care if you believe that, my previous assertions or not. YOUR CHOICE, as is all.

    I’m also not afraid to admit when I’m wrong. Truthfully, I mistook you for the author of the original post. So again, it’s all quite a big misunderstanding. Bottom line, whomever I was addressing, I was expressing my thoughts and opinions in a pretty neutral way. The ‘openminded’ comment comes from thinking you wrote the first post, and then when asked for quotes from a shared faith was only given scientific ones. The analogy of being compared to Islam was for the same audience, and one the majority of Baha’is would understand. So again, especially with the admitted (and yes, stupid) mix up Andrew – I APOLOGIZE. No hidden agenda. No swipe taking. No hate spewing. Just innocently trying to find Baha’i dialog on something that’s important to me and stumbling upon this blog. I’m sure you will have your own sneers at this, this based on your OWN lovely posts and opinions, but there it is. I’ll be praying for you, even though I suspect you might hate that. Why? No, not some superior feeling that you need to be ‘enlightened’ or anything that you would deem sinister….it’s just you seem so angry at the world and I know on many levels what such anger does to the world. I happen to believe in both prayer and fellowship.

    Oh, and I agree with you – anyone that talks love and then spews hate is wrong. That darn anger thing again… gets the best of the best of us from time to time. Ironically it’s since learning about LOA that I’ve come strides in mine. Make of that what you will. To me, if something doesn’t hurt others, but makes someone happy or helps them – it’s good. I think what attracted me to this post/blog/issue is just that…there seems to be the intent to mock, deride, and otherwise disprove something that doesn’t actually hurt anyone. Not like say, religion has, or at least people/individuals in its name. So again – why not?

  • Bird out of the Cage

    Folks -

    Doesn’t it seem that religion has become a growing consumer driven Starbucks menu? Caffeine free, soy latte? Double Choco frappuccino? Flavor of the Day? Don’t want coffee, try some tea? Pretty hilarious and quite profitable to the shareholders insuring each customer can have it there way? That must be the answer, have it your way because it’s all right and it’s all wrong. What ever makes you feel good…

  • Bird out of the Cage

    Folks -

    Doesn’t it seem that religion has become a growing consumer driven Starbucks menu? Caffeine free, soy latte? Double Choco frappuccino? Flavor of the Day? Don’t want coffee, try some tea? Pretty hilarious and quite profitable to the shareholders insuring each customer can have it there way? That must be the answer, have it your way because it’s all right and it’s all wrong. What ever makes you feel good…

  • Anonymous

    [quote post="369"]Doesn’t it seem that religion has become a growing consumer driven Starbucks menu?[/quote]
    I think this shift parallels the imposing of religion on the masses by one powerful group (Greece, Rome, Arabia, etc.) to the picking-and-choosing attitude that follows from Western liberalism.

    When you combine these two attitudes, what you get is a sort of tyranny of individualism. That is, the individual thinks for him or her self in accordance with the ideals of liberalism, but they also ascribe the validity of their conclusions to some ultimate authority, whose infallibility is assured.

  • Mavaddat

    [quote post="369"]Doesn’t it seem that religion has become a growing consumer driven Starbucks menu?[/quote]
    I think this shift parallels the imposing of religion on the masses by one powerful group (Greece, Rome, Arabia, etc.) to the picking-and-choosing attitude that follows from Western liberalism.

    When you combine these two attitudes, what you get is a sort of tyranny of individualism. That is, the individual thinks for him or her self in accordance with the ideals of liberalism, but they also ascribe the validity of their conclusions to some ultimate authority, whose infallibility is assured.

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=""]Folks -
    Doesn’t it seem that religion has become a growing consumer driven Starbucks menu? Caffeine free, soy latte? Double Choco frappuccino? Flavor of the Day? Don’t want coffee, try some tea? Pretty hilarious and quite profitable to the shareholders insuring each customer can have it there way? That must be the answer, have it your way because it’s all right and it’s all wrong. What ever makes you feel good…[/quote]

    Bird,

    Again, I think the best insight in 2008 in BOTH so called “religion”
    and so called “retail politics” these days is to look at the psychological systems of EXCHANGE going on. All are variations on some kind of pimping for “hope”. All have become shell games where whatever walnut shell you choose, YOU LOSE. And YOU LOSE BIG TIME. It is “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss” over and over 24/7/365/1000 if you have lived long enough to have your eyes opened.

    I do have to give myself credit in that I, in Beach Boys music terms, stayed “True to My School” for 32 straight years of complete dedicated service in the Baha’i Faith to 2004 until I just could not take one more step like that female marathoner 30 years ago who came into the stadium with blood, urine, and shit running down her legs staggering through the last lap to the finish line and collapsing as they rushed her water.

    When I found out that the Baha’i Faith was completely pro-war when it suited their apparent geo-political ends and very much politically manipulative all along when you see the very disturbing personal comments on the Internet of the current top leaders of the Faith my old varsity letter sweater just did not feel right any more. I threw my surf board and pushed the 1947 Woody off a cliff into the sea. I took off the varsity letter sweater more in sadness than in anger. I had been duped for almost my entire adult lifetime. The psychological exchange had tricked me into a lifetime of dedicated service.

    I was for striving for world peace after my own military experience and the severe brain injury a relative received in World War I where he lived for 35 years with the mind of a small child. This had a very thoughtful effect on my family as the decades rolled on. This was my great psychological need and was my psychological exchange with joining “the Faith” and serving it. But now I see that the other side was just using my psychological need for their own psychological ends. I honestly now believe this has been the on-going system of psychological exchange in the Administrative Order since Shoghi Effendi took over in 1921 and shaped the Message into a mere human organization and nothing more. Horace Holly, as one egocentric example, used the BAO as a personal private vanity press. Mason Remey seems not to have learned anything profoundly “spiritual” at all in his lifetime of top down “service”.

    Many people because of their shattering personal life experiences or personal circumstances have a psychological need to seek hope to better the world. They may have served in armed conflict and are searching for meaning as a survivor. They may have been shamefully mistreated with racial prejudice in their life. They may be seeking to help their children or their community to improve the lot of everyone. They hear of the Baha’i Faith. They read the Writings of Baha’u’llah. Something appeals to them in their search for hope. They think there is hope in the Faith. But as it turns out they have only now become a mark for the profound psychologically grasping need of the people addicted to the AO.

    The unstable addictive psychological need of the people who have shamefully accepted lifetime incumbency is to perpetuate their on-going personal system of self definition. It is not at all a quest for pathological personal power. That is completely beside the point in the present almost comical circumstances. The BAO at this point in time has absolutely zero power of any kind in the entire world! Zero. Zilch. Zippo. Nada. The Faith in the form of the AO has at present accomplished nothing in the world for 87 years and counting. The prospects of accomplishing anything for the next 100 years at least and counting are fading with every sunrise and sunset. This makes the present system of top down obsession even more strange. So much real opportunity has been squandered that it makes the mind reel.

    The poster child for a relentless pathological quest for deranged personal power in the 20th Century was Adolph Hitler. But read his psychological history. Read Robert G.L. Waite’s famous book: “Adolph Hitler: The Psychopathic God”. Hitler was an unstable borderline personality who set out in life to find a system of self definition. His addiction to the psychological system of Nazism he created for himself was so destructive that it took the lives of millions and millions of innocent human beings and has affected our world down until the present hour. War is now just business as usual on this planet for everyone. Look at the profound waste of the current U.S. 460 billion dollar “defense” budgets which are breaking the country financially.

    The main question to ask to address the true depth of the psychopathology of the current Administrative Order of the Baha’i Faith is this: why has no one ever enacted term limits to the UHJ and NSA’s worldwide. Why? Human history shows that if you don’t have term limits and a clear process to exact full accountability in any system of “organization” you are asking for mathematically ensured slow demise.

    How can any person on the current UHJ or the current US NSA not want to get up in the morning, take a loaded gun and put it to their head, and pull the trigger? How can anyone live with themselves with this sorry, sorry record of blunders and squandered opportunity decade after decade through some of the most terrible times in human history? Some of these people have served for 40 years on the US NSA and the UHJ. Their personal record shows that they have gotten everything wrong for decade after decade and have taken to ruin everything they have ever touched! Any honest personal assessment could lead to no otheir conclusion. The fortunes of the Faith have declined minute by minute under their personal stewardship. If they truly loved the Faith how can they go on in their service year after year?

    But the sorry slowly revealed truth is that they do not care a whit about the Faith or they would be out in the world fact finding with the rank and file right now from the bottom up. They should be personally reading and studying every blog and server list out there. That is what any honest person would be doing. But their service is a sham. They are only interested in their psychological exchange with easy marks like me looking for hope to keep their psychological system of self definition going. Only borderline personalities would serve for forty years and never take any personal responsibility as an individual human being for anything at all. In their mind their own personal lifetime incumbency is just “God…doing His work”.

    This quest for psychological self definition through the psychological exchanges in an organization whether down at the local Mega Church, the local branch of Al Qaeda, or the BAO IS the main choice on the menu at the Starbucks of “organized” religion. It IS the same psychological process in many different organizations. It has NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with spirituality. True spirituality comes from direct connection with one’s inner Source and one’s personal spiritual door to the inner Universe/Multiverse.

    I will vote in the upcoming U.S. Presidential election and I will be there when my local polls open at 7AM this coming November and I am still a BIGS after four years of encrusted blood, urine, and shit as I lay on the ground used and exhausted but still silently praying for lightning to strike some time over the next 10,000 years.

    But I do try to stay hydrated as I lay on the ground by reading many books and talking to many diverse people after the loss of so many precious bodily fluids for so long.

    The hapless “Administrative Order” of the Baha’i Faith completely failed these people for 87 years and counting who had to bear arms and suffer the terrible horrors of war:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uPU4p7UQOtU
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_fukNwvVyDo&NR=1
    http://projects.washingtonpost.com/fallen/

    Hope does spring eternal until one’s dying day…

    Sigh.

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=""]Folks -
    Doesn’t it seem that religion has become a growing consumer driven Starbucks menu? Caffeine free, soy latte? Double Choco frappuccino? Flavor of the Day? Don’t want coffee, try some tea? Pretty hilarious and quite profitable to the shareholders insuring each customer can have it there way? That must be the answer, have it your way because it’s all right and it’s all wrong. What ever makes you feel good…[/quote]

    Bird,

    Again, I think the best insight in 2008 in BOTH so called “religion”
    and so called “retail politics” these days is to look at the psychological systems of EXCHANGE going on. All are variations on some kind of pimping for “hope”. All have become shell games where whatever walnut shell you choose, YOU LOSE. And YOU LOSE BIG TIME. It is “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss” over and over 24/7/365/1000 if you have lived long enough to have your eyes opened.

    I do have to give myself credit in that I, in Beach Boys music terms, stayed “True to My School” for 32 straight years of complete dedicated service in the Baha’i Faith to 2004 until I just could not take one more step like that female marathoner 30 years ago who came into the stadium with blood, urine, and shit running down her legs staggering through the last lap to the finish line and collapsing as they rushed her water.

    When I found out that the Baha’i Faith was completely pro-war when it suited their apparent geo-political ends and very much politically manipulative all along when you see the very disturbing personal comments on the Internet of the current top leaders of the Faith my old varsity letter sweater just did not feel right any more. I threw my surf board and pushed the 1947 Woody off a cliff into the sea. I took off the varsity letter sweater more in sadness than in anger. I had been duped for almost my entire adult lifetime. The psychological exchange had tricked me into a lifetime of dedicated service.

    I was for striving for world peace after my own military experience and the severe brain injury a relative received in World War I where he lived for 35 years with the mind of a small child. This had a very thoughtful effect on my family as the decades rolled on. This was my great psychological need and was my psychological exchange with joining “the Faith” and serving it. But now I see that the other side was just using my psychological need for their own psychological ends. I honestly now believe this has been the on-going system of psychological exchange in the Administrative Order since Shoghi Effendi took over in 1921 and shaped the Message into a mere human organization and nothing more. Horace Holly, as one egocentric example, used the BAO as a personal private vanity press. Mason Remey seems not to have learned anything profoundly “spiritual” at all in his lifetime of top down “service”.

    Many people because of their shattering personal life experiences or personal circumstances have a psychological need to seek hope to better the world. They may have served in armed conflict and are searching for meaning as a survivor. They may have been shamefully mistreated with racial prejudice in their life. They may be seeking to help their children or their community to improve the lot of everyone. They hear of the Baha’i Faith. They read the Writings of Baha’u’llah. Something appeals to them in their search for hope. They think there is hope in the Faith. But as it turns out they have only now become a mark for the profound psychologically grasping need of the people addicted to the AO.

    The unstable addictive psychological need of the people who have shamefully accepted lifetime incumbency is to perpetuate their on-going personal system of self definition. It is not at all a quest for pathological personal power. That is completely beside the point in the present almost comical circumstances. The BAO at this point in time has absolutely zero power of any kind in the entire world! Zero. Zilch. Zippo. Nada. The Faith in the form of the AO has at present accomplished nothing in the world for 87 years and counting. The prospects of accomplishing anything for the next 100 years at least and counting are fading with every sunrise and sunset. This makes the present system of top down obsession even more strange. So much real opportunity has been squandered that it makes the mind reel.

    The poster child for a relentless pathological quest for deranged personal power in the 20th Century was Adolph Hitler. But read his psychological history. Read Robert G.L. Waite’s famous book: “Adolph Hitler: The Psychopathic God”. Hitler was an unstable borderline personality who set out in life to find a system of self definition. His addiction to the psychological system of Nazism he created for himself was so destructive that it took the lives of millions and millions of innocent human beings and has affected our world down until the present hour. War is now just business as usual on this planet for everyone. Look at the profound waste of the current U.S. 460 billion dollar “defense” budgets which are breaking the country financially.

    The main question to ask to address the true depth of the psychopathology of the current Administrative Order of the Baha’i Faith is this: why has no one ever enacted term limits to the UHJ and NSA’s worldwide. Why? Human history shows that if you don’t have term limits and a clear process to exact full accountability in any system of “organization” you are asking for mathematically ensured slow demise.

    How can any person on the current UHJ or the current US NSA not want to get up in the morning, take a loaded gun and put it to their head, and pull the trigger? How can anyone live with themselves with this sorry, sorry record of blunders and squandered opportunity decade after decade through some of the most terrible times in human history? Some of these people have served for 40 years on the US NSA and the UHJ. Their personal record shows that they have gotten everything wrong for decade after decade and have taken to ruin everything they have ever touched! Any honest personal assessment could lead to no otheir conclusion. The fortunes of the Faith have declined minute by minute under their personal stewardship. If they truly loved the Faith how can they go on in their service year after year?

    But the sorry slowly revealed truth is that they do not care a whit about the Faith or they would be out in the world fact finding with the rank and file right now from the bottom up. They should be personally reading and studying every blog and server list out there. That is what any honest person would be doing. But their service is a sham. They are only interested in their psychological exchange with easy marks like me looking for hope to keep their psychological system of self definition going. Only borderline personalities would serve for forty years and never take any personal responsibility as an individual human being for anything at all. In their mind their own personal lifetime incumbency is just “God…doing His work”.

    This quest for psychological self definition through the psychological exchanges in an organization whether down at the local Mega Church, the local branch of Al Qaeda, or the BAO IS the main choice on the menu at the Starbucks of “organized” religion. It IS the same psychological process in many different organizations. It has NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with spirituality. True spirituality comes from direct connection with one’s inner Source and one’s personal spiritual door to the inner Universe/Multiverse.

    I will vote in the upcoming U.S. Presidential election and I will be there when my local polls open at 7AM this coming November and I am still a BIGS after four years of encrusted blood, urine, and shit as I lay on the ground used and exhausted but still silently praying for lightning to strike some time over the next 10,000 years.

    But I do try to stay hydrated as I lay on the ground by reading many books and talking to many diverse people after the loss of so many precious bodily fluids for so long.

    The hapless “Administrative Order” of the Baha’i Faith completely failed these people for 87 years and counting who had to bear arms and suffer the terrible horrors of war:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uPU4p7UQOtU
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_fukNwvVyDo&NR=1
    http://projects.washingtonpost.com/fallen/

    Hope does spring eternal until one’s dying day…

    Sigh.

  • Anonymous

    Craig, there is so much depth and profundity in your post, I wouldn’t be able to do it justice with the little time that I have to respond.

    I only had a couple questions.

    You said you are still BIGS? I don’t understand this: You’re still a Bah??’? in good standing, even after transcending the shadows?

    Also, did you mean the following literally? [quote post="369"]The BAO at this point in time has absolutely zero power of any kind in the entire world! Zero. Zilch. Zippo. Nada. The Faith in the form of the AO has at present accomplished nothing in the world for 87 years and counting.[/quote]
    What about the few significant accomplishments of Bah??’?s and Bah??’? institutions? These seem sufficient to me to say at least that the Bah??’? Faith is making some positive social change. It may be cancelling with its left hand what change it commits with its right hand, but I think it’s fair to say that it is getting some things done. No? Am I wrong here?

    You write,
    [quote post="369"]But the sorry slowly revealed truth is that they do not care a whit about the Faith or they would be out in the world fact finding with the rank and file right now from the bottom up. They should be personally reading and studying every blog and server list out there. That is what any honest person would be doing. But their service is a sham. They are only interested in their psychological exchange with easy marks like me looking for hope to keep their psychological system of self definition going. [/quote]
    I think you attribute intention here where the effective force is accidental. By that I mean, I think that those who think that they “serve the Faith” really do intend to bring about what they feel is the greatest possible good. They feel doubts from time-to-time, but they silence those doubts in the hope that the benefit of their being right would far outweigh the probability of their being wrong. And let’s not forget that they have already committed so much time and energy to the Cause: to entertain doubts now would be to abandon a life time of work toward what still may be a good goal. Better to shut one’s eyes, stop one’s thoughts, and keep on working toward the goal. I don’t think there is a conscious intention to manipulate people’s hopes and fears. That, I think, is a strategy they use without actually realizing it (or with some guilt when they do realize).

    As I said, there is so much in what you wrote that I agree with, relate to, and wish I could contribute my thoughts to, but I have no time these days. I wish I could send your thoughts here to all my Bah??’? friends and just have them sit and think for a little while…

  • http://mavaddat.livejournal.com Mavaddat

    Craig, there is so much depth and profundity in your post, I wouldn’t be able to do it justice with the little time that I have to respond.

    I only had a couple questions.

    You said you are still BIGS? I don’t understand this: You’re still a Bah??’? in good standing, even after transcending the shadows?

    Also, did you mean the following literally? [quote post="369"]The BAO at this point in time has absolutely zero power of any kind in the entire world! Zero. Zilch. Zippo. Nada. The Faith in the form of the AO has at present accomplished nothing in the world for 87 years and counting.[/quote]
    What about the few significant accomplishments of Bah??’?s and Bah??’? institutions? These seem sufficient to me to say at least that the Bah??’? Faith is making some positive social change. It may be cancelling with its left hand what change it commits with its right hand, but I think it’s fair to say that it is getting some things done. No? Am I wrong here?

    You write,
    [quote post="369"]But the sorry slowly revealed truth is that they do not care a whit about the Faith or they would be out in the world fact finding with the rank and file right now from the bottom up. They should be personally reading and studying every blog and server list out there. That is what any honest person would be doing. But their service is a sham. They are only interested in their psychological exchange with easy marks like me looking for hope to keep their psychological system of self definition going. [/quote]
    I think you attribute intention here where the effective force is accidental. By that I mean, I think that those who think that they “serve the Faith” really do intend to bring about what they feel is the greatest possible good. They feel doubts from time-to-time, but they silence those doubts in the hope that the benefit of their being right would far outweigh the probability of their being wrong. And let’s not forget that they have already committed so much time and energy to the Cause: to entertain doubts now would be to abandon a life time of work toward what still may be a good goal. Better to shut one’s eyes, stop one’s thoughts, and keep on working toward the goal. I don’t think there is a conscious intention to manipulate people’s hopes and fears. That, I think, is a strategy they use without actually realizing it (or with some guilt when they do realize).

    As I said, there is so much in what you wrote that I agree with, relate to, and wish I could contribute my thoughts to, but I have no time these days. I wish I could send your thoughts here to all my Bah??’? friends and just have them sit and think for a little while…

  • Andrew

    “I’m torn between the indignation of being called a liar, and refusing to dignify this with comment. Hmmm. Not sure which will win yet.”

    Apparently both! But who called you a liar? Is the suggestion that you might not acknowledge your inclination to take a swipe at someone the same as calling you a liar?

    “If I enjoyed offending I would say so.”

    Would you? Would such an acknowledgment accord with your spiritual ideals? Or would an admission of the desire to offend need to be denied in the interests of maintaining “spiritual” face?

    “I APOLOGIZE.”

    “I’m sure you will have your own sneers at this, this based on your OWN lovely posts and opinions, but there it is.”

    “I’ll be praying for you … it’s just you seem so angry at the world and I know on many levels what such anger does to the world.”

    Too funny! You “apologize,” then characterize my “lovely” posts as “sneers,” inform me that you’ll be “praying” for me, because I’m so “angry” at the world (not “angry” about anything in particular, mind you, but “angry” at the entire “world”!), the effects of which you “know” on “many levels.” An apology, followed by some sarcasm, some condescension, some patronization, and a generalized character assassination, with the implication that “anger” is “bad,” of course! Again, too funny! Swipe thwack! Swipe thwack! Oh, too hilarious! By all means, pray!

    “I happen to believe in both prayer and fellowship.”

    Of course! Of course!

    “There seems to be the intent to mock, deride, and otherwise disprove something that doesn’t actually hurt anyone.”

    There is an intent on the part of some to QUESTION THE VALIDITY of the claims made by the authors of “The Secret.” Is the application of the ideas advocated by “The Secret” harmless, or is there some (maybe considerable) possibility of harm? The link provided by Mavaddat to the article that questions the science of “The Secret” certainly suggests that some of its ideas may be less than harmless. My own skepticism toward some of the more tenuous claims attributed to quantum theory is “qualified,” i.e., I don’t completely reject the claims, but I don’t totally accept them either. You might say that where quantum theory is concerned, I’m an agnostic.

  • Andrew

    “I’m torn between the indignation of being called a liar, and refusing to dignify this with comment. Hmmm. Not sure which will win yet.”

    Apparently both! But who called you a liar? Is the suggestion that you might not acknowledge your inclination to take a swipe at someone the same as calling you a liar?

    “If I enjoyed offending I would say so.”

    Would you? Would such an acknowledgment accord with your spiritual ideals? Or would an admission of the desire to offend need to be denied in the interests of maintaining “spiritual” face?

    “I APOLOGIZE.”

    “I’m sure you will have your own sneers at this, this based on your OWN lovely posts and opinions, but there it is.”

    “I’ll be praying for you … it’s just you seem so angry at the world and I know on many levels what such anger does to the world.”

    Too funny! You “apologize,” then characterize my “lovely” posts as “sneers,” inform me that you’ll be “praying” for me, because I’m so “angry” at the world (not “angry” about anything in particular, mind you, but “angry” at the entire “world”!), the effects of which you “know” on “many levels.” An apology, followed by some sarcasm, some condescension, some patronization, and a generalized character assassination, with the implication that “anger” is “bad,” of course! Again, too funny! Swipe thwack! Swipe thwack! Oh, too hilarious! By all means, pray!

    “I happen to believe in both prayer and fellowship.”

    Of course! Of course!

    “There seems to be the intent to mock, deride, and otherwise disprove something that doesn’t actually hurt anyone.”

    There is an intent on the part of some to QUESTION THE VALIDITY of the claims made by the authors of “The Secret.” Is the application of the ideas advocated by “The Secret” harmless, or is there some (maybe considerable) possibility of harm? The link provided by Mavaddat to the article that questions the science of “The Secret” certainly suggests that some of its ideas may be less than harmless. My own skepticism toward some of the more tenuous claims attributed to quantum theory is “qualified,” i.e., I don’t completely reject the claims, but I don’t totally accept them either. You might say that where quantum theory is concerned, I’m an agnostic.

  • ep

    The problem is that bahai scripture (bs) seeks to establish a political (“new world”) order, based on silly metaphysics: prophetology, infallibility, etc., and other similar drivel.

    “The Secret” is full of even more egregiously superstitious garbage than bs, but as his thread shows, mindlessly superstitious adherents of bs are more than willing to adopt such horrifying mindlessness in search of a justification for the twisted, corrupt version of transcendance offered by bs (sucked back down into the gravity well of shiism).

    Sen’s work on bahai Church/State separation inevitably gets into a big ol’ pile of trouble with the bahai fundamentalist-fascist-establishment because he exposes the bs to the same “rationalist” rejection of “traditional authority” that “western” culture subjected silly judeo-christian metaphysics to over the last several hundred years.

    As history abundantly shows, Lord Acton’s dictum that “power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely” is in full force in the neurological wiring of human consciousness.

    Infallibility, prophetology, etc., are flimsy and ineffective in the face of raw human corruption and evil, as the collapse of reality and honesty within bahai culture amply demonstrates.

    Bahai culture is at root corrupt, dishonest and dysfuntional. There are however, people within the bahai faith that are outstanding examples of the search for transcendance and “meaning”, which is what religion is good for. The good people could potentially find similar venues thare are less fundamentalist-fascistic, such as yoga, buddhism, integral movement, etc.

    When religion (the search for meaning/transcendance) infringes into “science” and “politics”, ESPECIALLY when religion imposes its “authority” (sphere of influence), the human race is forced into backwardness (“paradigm regression” in consciousness studies terminology, such as Jean Gebser’s integral theory).

    bahai scripture (bs) is simply incapable of the flexibility required to keep up with the leading edge of human consciousness, but especially to keep up with the leading edge of development in the area of reconciling the search for “truth” (scientific/rational) with the search for “meaning” (“goodness”, “beauty” – transcendance).

    So, the problem is that the silly metaphysics that bs is based on inevitably results in a degenerate form of “religious” culture, folowing the pattern that has been in existence since the beginning of agrarian “civilization”, which had a need to codify laws, beliefs and metaphysics in order to control irrigation systems and create extreme forms of social hierarchy, with resulting “oppression” of the “lower classes” (slaves).

    bs explicitly abolishes the external form of slavery, but not the internal (psychic) form of slavery to silly, premodern metaphysics. abolishing slavery to silly metaphysics is required for humanity to elevate itself to the next great paradigm shift needed to actually attain a cultural state beyond both decrepit traditions and the “flatland” (epistimelogically arid/vacuous) version of “modernist” culture.

    it has been known for thousands of years that a golden age of freedom and enlightenment was in humanity’s future, and we are now at a point where humanity is becoming free and is on the verge of having a “science” of consciousness (enlightenment). traditional belief contains partial/approximate truth, and points to complete truth, but in a quasi-superstitious way (prophetology scam).

    neither bs or “The Secret”, in themselves, take humanity across that threshold of postmodern/integral freedom and englightenment, on the contrary, they maintain the psychic bonds of slavery to traditional beliefs and superstition.

    [quote comment="45322"]secret2joy does seem to have a point: Is there anything in any religion that gives us a reason to doubt the obvious nonsense presented by New Age philosophy? It seems not! In fact, all religions seem to be complicit in the same sort of nonsense and superstition themselves (as shown, not least of all, by the quotations provided by secret2joy).

    The Baha’i Faith is not free of this collaboration in superstition, and its faith in prayer, numerology, and irrational fear of psychics (as somehow interfering with God’s will by revealing God’s hand before he’s good and ready) show us this.

    So how does a Baha’i justifiably reject the manifest scientific retardation (I mean the word in a technical sense) presented by “The Secret” and other New Age religion? Why is Baha’i superstition any better? And on what (religious) ground do they reject the other superstitions while maintaining their own?[/quote]
    [quote comment=""]“I’m torn between the indignation of being called a liar, and refusing to dignify this with comment. Hmmm. Not sure which will win yet.”

    Apparently both! But who called you a liar? Is the suggestion that you might not acknowledge your inclination to take a swipe at someone the same as calling you a liar?

    “If I enjoyed offending I would say so.”

    Would you? Would such an acknowledgment accord with your spiritual ideals? Or would an admission of the desire to offend need to be denied in the interests of maintaining “spiritual” face?

    “I APOLOGIZE.”

    “I’m sure you will have your own sneers at this, this based on your OWN lovely posts and opinions, but there it is.”

    “I’ll be praying for you … it’s just you seem so angry at the world and I know on many levels what such anger does to the world.”

    Too funny! You “apologize,” then characterize my “lovely” posts as “sneers,” inform me that you’ll be “praying” for me, because I’m so “angry” at the world (not “angry” about anything in particular, mind you, but “angry” at the entire “world”!), the effects of which you “know” on “many levels.” An apology, followed by some sarcasm, some condescension, some patronization, and a generalized character assassination, with the implication that “anger” is “bad,” of course! Again, too funny! Swipe thwack! Swipe thwack! Oh, too hilarious! By all means, pray!

    “I happen to believe in both prayer and fellowship.”

    Of course! Of course!

    “There seems to be the intent to mock, deride, and otherwise disprove something that doesn’t actually hurt anyone.”

    There is an intent on the part of some to QUESTION THE VALIDITY of the claims made by the authors of “The Secret.” Is the application of the ideas advocated by “The Secret” harmless, or is there some (maybe considerable) possibility of harm? The link provided by Mavaddat to the article that questions the science of “The Secret” certainly suggests that some of its ideas may be less than harmless. My own skepticism toward some of the more tenuous claims attributed to quantum theory is “qualified,” i.e., I don’t completely reject the claims, but I don’t totally accept them either. You might say that where quantum theory is concerned, I’m an agnostic.[/quote]

  • ep

    The problem is that bahai scripture (bs) seeks to establish a political (“new world”) order, based on silly metaphysics: prophetology, infallibility, etc., and other similar drivel.

    “The Secret” is full of even more egregiously superstitious garbage than bs, but as his thread shows, mindlessly superstitious adherents of bs are more than willing to adopt such horrifying mindlessness in search of a justification for the twisted, corrupt version of transcendance offered by bs (sucked back down into the gravity well of shiism).

    Sen’s work on bahai Church/State separation inevitably gets into a big ol’ pile of trouble with the bahai fundamentalist-fascist-establishment because he exposes the bs to the same “rationalist” rejection of “traditional authority” that “western” culture subjected silly judeo-christian metaphysics to over the last several hundred years.

    As history abundantly shows, Lord Acton’s dictum that “power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely” is in full force in the neurological wiring of human consciousness.

    Infallibility, prophetology, etc., are flimsy and ineffective in the face of raw human corruption and evil, as the collapse of reality and honesty within bahai culture amply demonstrates.

    Bahai culture is at root corrupt, dishonest and dysfuntional. There are however, people within the bahai faith that are outstanding examples of the search for transcendance and “meaning”, which is what religion is good for. The good people could potentially find similar venues thare are less fundamentalist-fascistic, such as yoga, buddhism, integral movement, etc.

    When religion (the search for meaning/transcendance) infringes into “science” and “politics”, ESPECIALLY when religion imposes its “authority” (sphere of influence), the human race is forced into backwardness (“paradigm regression” in consciousness studies terminology, such as Jean Gebser’s integral theory).

    bahai scripture (bs) is simply incapable of the flexibility required to keep up with the leading edge of human consciousness, but especially to keep up with the leading edge of development in the area of reconciling the search for “truth” (scientific/rational) with the search for “meaning” (“goodness”, “beauty” – transcendance).

    So, the problem is that the silly metaphysics that bs is based on inevitably results in a degenerate form of “religious” culture, folowing the pattern that has been in existence since the beginning of agrarian “civilization”, which had a need to codify laws, beliefs and metaphysics in order to control irrigation systems and create extreme forms of social hierarchy, with resulting “oppression” of the “lower classes” (slaves).

    bs explicitly abolishes the external form of slavery, but not the internal (psychic) form of slavery to silly, premodern metaphysics. abolishing slavery to silly metaphysics is required for humanity to elevate itself to the next great paradigm shift needed to actually attain a cultural state beyond both decrepit traditions and the “flatland” (epistimelogically arid/vacuous) version of “modernist” culture.

    it has been known for thousands of years that a golden age of freedom and enlightenment was in humanity’s future, and we are now at a point where humanity is becoming free and is on the verge of having a “science” of consciousness (enlightenment). traditional belief contains partial/approximate truth, and points to complete truth, but in a quasi-superstitious way (prophetology scam).

    neither bs or “The Secret”, in themselves, take humanity across that threshold of postmodern/integral freedom and englightenment, on the contrary, they maintain the psychic bonds of slavery to traditional beliefs and superstition.

    [quote comment="45322"]secret2joy does seem to have a point: Is there anything in any religion that gives us a reason to doubt the obvious nonsense presented by New Age philosophy? It seems not! In fact, all religions seem to be complicit in the same sort of nonsense and superstition themselves (as shown, not least of all, by the quotations provided by secret2joy).

    The Baha’i Faith is not free of this collaboration in superstition, and its faith in prayer, numerology, and irrational fear of psychics (as somehow interfering with God’s will by revealing God’s hand before he’s good and ready) show us this.

    So how does a Baha’i justifiably reject the manifest scientific retardation (I mean the word in a technical sense) presented by “The Secret” and other New Age religion? Why is Baha’i superstition any better? And on what (religious) ground do they reject the other superstitions while maintaining their own?[/quote]
    [quote comment=""]“I’m torn between the indignation of being called a liar, and refusing to dignify this with comment. Hmmm. Not sure which will win yet.”

    Apparently both! But who called you a liar? Is the suggestion that you might not acknowledge your inclination to take a swipe at someone the same as calling you a liar?

    “If I enjoyed offending I would say so.”

    Would you? Would such an acknowledgment accord with your spiritual ideals? Or would an admission of the desire to offend need to be denied in the interests of maintaining “spiritual” face?

    “I APOLOGIZE.”

    “I’m sure you will have your own sneers at this, this based on your OWN lovely posts and opinions, but there it is.”

    “I’ll be praying for you … it’s just you seem so angry at the world and I know on many levels what such anger does to the world.”

    Too funny! You “apologize,” then characterize my “lovely” posts as “sneers,” inform me that you’ll be “praying” for me, because I’m so “angry” at the world (not “angry” about anything in particular, mind you, but “angry” at the entire “world”!), the effects of which you “know” on “many levels.” An apology, followed by some sarcasm, some condescension, some patronization, and a generalized character assassination, with the implication that “anger” is “bad,” of course! Again, too funny! Swipe thwack! Swipe thwack! Oh, too hilarious! By all means, pray!

    “I happen to believe in both prayer and fellowship.”

    Of course! Of course!

    “There seems to be the intent to mock, deride, and otherwise disprove something that doesn’t actually hurt anyone.”

    There is an intent on the part of some to QUESTION THE VALIDITY of the claims made by the authors of “The Secret.” Is the application of the ideas advocated by “The Secret” harmless, or is there some (maybe considerable) possibility of harm? The link provided by Mavaddat to the article that questions the science of “The Secret” certainly suggests that some of its ideas may be less than harmless. My own skepticism toward some of the more tenuous claims attributed to quantum theory is “qualified,” i.e., I don’t completely reject the claims, but I don’t totally accept them either. You might say that where quantum theory is concerned, I’m an agnostic.[/quote]

  • RosterBIGS

    Craig, (your 3/15/08 response to Bird) An interesting if not in part, a scathing commentary on the Faith. As I have often seen you refer to yourself as “still a BIGS,” two guestions are begged: Are you looking for someone else (UHJ) to be proactive for you, thus drumming you out of the corps with that insane CB status and equally insane consequent of shunning? Or, secondly, do you perceive that you are more effective remaining BIGS and working within the system to effect change?

    [Apropos of nothing, and just as an fyi type of thing: I was born into/raised in the Faith and despite my repeated requests subsequent to resigning to remove my name, I am still carried on the roster of BIGS. My access to the inner sanctum of the USBNC site, wherein one submits their Baha'i ID# and last name which perpetuates that psueo-elitisic appeal that so many find so self- satisfying, has not been denied and I still receive all manner of those cluster and local mass mailings.]

    [quote comment=""]The problem is that bahai scripture (bs) seeks to establish a political (“new world”) order, based on silly metaphysics: prophetology, infallibility, etc., and other similar drivel.

    “The Secret” is full of even more egregiously superstitious garbage than bs, but as his thread shows, mindlessly superstitious adherents of bs are more than willing to adopt such horrifying mindlessness in search of a justification for the twisted, corrupt version of transcendance offered by bs (sucked back down into the gravity well of shiism).

    Sen’s work on bahai Church/State separation inevitably gets into a big ol’ pile of trouble with the bahai fundamentalist-fascist-establishment because he exposes the bs to the same “rationalist” rejection of “traditional authority” that “western” culture subjected silly judeo-christian metaphysics to over the last several hundred years.

    As history abundantly shows, Lord Acton’s dictum that “power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely” is in full force in the neurological wiring of human consciousness.

    Infallibility, prophetology, etc., are flimsy and ineffective in the face of raw human corruption and evil, as the collapse of reality and honesty within bahai culture amply demonstrates.

    Bahai culture is at root corrupt, dishonest and dysfuntional. There are however, people within the bahai faith that are outstanding examples of the search for transcendance and “meaning”, which is what religion is good for. The good people could potentially find similar venues thare are less fundamentalist-fascistic, such as yoga, buddhism, integral movement, etc.

    When religion (the search for meaning/transcendance) infringes into “science” and “politics”, ESPECIALLY when religion imposes its “authority” (sphere of influence), the human race is forced into backwardness (“paradigm regression” in consciousness studies terminology, such as Jean Gebser’s integral theory).

    bahai scripture (bs) is simply incapable of the flexibility required to keep up with the leading edge of human consciousness, but especially to keep up with the leading edge of development in the area of reconciling the search for “truth” (scientific/rational) with the search for “meaning” (“goodness”, “beauty” – transcendance).

    So, the problem is that the silly metaphysics that bs is based on inevitably results in a degenerate form of “religious” culture, folowing the pattern that has been in existence since the beginning of agrarian “civilization”, which had a need to codify laws, beliefs and metaphysics in order to control irrigation systems and create extreme forms of social hierarchy, with resulting “oppression” of the “lower classes” (slaves).

    bs explicitly abolishes the external form of slavery, but not the internal (psychic) form of slavery to silly, premodern metaphysics. abolishing slavery to silly metaphysics is required for humanity to elevate itself to the next great paradigm shift needed to actually attain a cultural state beyond both decrepit traditions and the “flatland” (epistimelogically arid/vacuous) version of “modernist” culture.

    it has been known for thousands of years that a golden age of freedom and enlightenment was in humanity’s future, and we are now at a point where humanity is becoming free and is on the verge of having a “science” of consciousness (enlightenment). traditional belief contains partial/approximate truth, and points to complete truth, but in a quasi-superstitious way (prophetology scam).

    neither bs or “The Secret”, in themselves, take humanity across that threshold of postmodern/integral freedom and englightenment, on the contrary, they maintain the psychic bonds of slavery to traditional beliefs and superstition.

    [quote comment="45322"]secret2joy does seem to have a point: Is there anything in any religion that gives us a reason to doubt the obvious nonsense presented by New Age philosophy? It seems not! In fact, all religions seem to be complicit in the same sort of nonsense and superstition themselves (as shown, not least of all, by the quotations provided by secret2joy).

    The Baha’i Faith is not free of this collaboration in superstition, and its faith in prayer, numerology, and irrational fear of psychics (as somehow interfering with God’s will by revealing God’s hand before he’s good and ready) show us this.

    So how does a Baha’i justifiably reject the manifest scientific retardation (I mean the word in a technical sense) presented by “The Secret” and other New Age religion? Why is Baha’i superstition any better? And on what (religious) ground do they reject the other superstitions while maintaining their own?[/quote]
    [quote comment=""]“I’m torn between the indignation of being called a liar, and refusing to dignify this with comment. Hmmm. Not sure which will win yet.”

    Apparently both! But who called you a liar? Is the suggestion that you might not acknowledge your inclination to take a swipe at someone the same as calling you a liar?

    “If I enjoyed offending I would say so.”

    Would you? Would such an acknowledgment accord with your spiritual ideals? Or would an admission of the desire to offend need to be denied in the interests of maintaining “spiritual” face?

    “I APOLOGIZE.”

    “I’m sure you will have your own sneers at this, this based on your OWN lovely posts and opinions, but there it is.”

    “I’ll be praying for you … it’s just you seem so angry at the world and I know on many levels what such anger does to the world.”

    Too funny! You “apologize,” then characterize my “lovely” posts as “sneers,” inform me that you’ll be “praying” for me, because I’m so “angry” at the world (not “angry” about anything in particular, mind you, but “angry” at the entire “world”!), the effects of which you “know” on “many levels.” An apology, followed by some sarcasm, some condescension, some patronization, and a generalized character assassination, with the implication that “anger” is “bad,” of course! Again, too funny! Swipe thwack! Swipe thwack! Oh, too hilarious! By all means, pray!

    “I happen to believe in both prayer and fellowship.”

    Of course! Of course!

    “There seems to be the intent to mock, deride, and otherwise disprove something that doesn’t actually hurt anyone.”

    There is an intent on the part of some to QUESTION THE VALIDITY of the claims made by the authors of “The Secret.” Is the application of the ideas advocated by “The Secret” harmless, or is there some (maybe considerable) possibility of harm? The link provided by Mavaddat to the article that questions the science of “The Secret” certainly suggests that some of its ideas may be less than harmless. My own skepticism toward some of the more tenuous claims attributed to quantum theory is “qualified,” i.e., I don’t completely reject the claims, but I don’t totally accept them either. You might say that where quantum theory is concerned, I’m an agnostic.[/quote][/quote]

  • RosterBIGS

    Craig, (your 3/15/08 response to Bird) An interesting if not in part, a scathing commentary on the Faith. As I have often seen you refer to yourself as “still a BIGS,” two guestions are begged: Are you looking for someone else (UHJ) to be proactive for you, thus drumming you out of the corps with that insane CB status and equally insane consequent of shunning? Or, secondly, do you perceive that you are more effective remaining BIGS and working within the system to effect change?

    [Apropos of nothing, and just as an fyi type of thing: I was born into/raised in the Faith and despite my repeated requests subsequent to resigning to remove my name, I am still carried on the roster of BIGS. My access to the inner sanctum of the USBNC site, wherein one submits their Baha'i ID# and last name which perpetuates that psueo-elitisic appeal that so many find so self- satisfying, has not been denied and I still receive all manner of those cluster and local mass mailings.]

    [quote comment=""]The problem is that bahai scripture (bs) seeks to establish a political (“new world”) order, based on silly metaphysics: prophetology, infallibility, etc., and other similar drivel.

    “The Secret” is full of even more egregiously superstitious garbage than bs, but as his thread shows, mindlessly superstitious adherents of bs are more than willing to adopt such horrifying mindlessness in search of a justification for the twisted, corrupt version of transcendance offered by bs (sucked back down into the gravity well of shiism).

    Sen’s work on bahai Church/State separation inevitably gets into a big ol’ pile of trouble with the bahai fundamentalist-fascist-establishment because he exposes the bs to the same “rationalist” rejection of “traditional authority” that “western” culture subjected silly judeo-christian metaphysics to over the last several hundred years.

    As history abundantly shows, Lord Acton’s dictum that “power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely” is in full force in the neurological wiring of human consciousness.

    Infallibility, prophetology, etc., are flimsy and ineffective in the face of raw human corruption and evil, as the collapse of reality and honesty within bahai culture amply demonstrates.

    Bahai culture is at root corrupt, dishonest and dysfuntional. There are however, people within the bahai faith that are outstanding examples of the search for transcendance and “meaning”, which is what religion is good for. The good people could potentially find similar venues thare are less fundamentalist-fascistic, such as yoga, buddhism, integral movement, etc.

    When religion (the search for meaning/transcendance) infringes into “science” and “politics”, ESPECIALLY when religion imposes its “authority” (sphere of influence), the human race is forced into backwardness (“paradigm regression” in consciousness studies terminology, such as Jean Gebser’s integral theory).

    bahai scripture (bs) is simply incapable of the flexibility required to keep up with the leading edge of human consciousness, but especially to keep up with the leading edge of development in the area of reconciling the search for “truth” (scientific/rational) with the search for “meaning” (“goodness”, “beauty” – transcendance).

    So, the problem is that the silly metaphysics that bs is based on inevitably results in a degenerate form of “religious” culture, folowing the pattern that has been in existence since the beginning of agrarian “civilization”, which had a need to codify laws, beliefs and metaphysics in order to control irrigation systems and create extreme forms of social hierarchy, with resulting “oppression” of the “lower classes” (slaves).

    bs explicitly abolishes the external form of slavery, but not the internal (psychic) form of slavery to silly, premodern metaphysics. abolishing slavery to silly metaphysics is required for humanity to elevate itself to the next great paradigm shift needed to actually attain a cultural state beyond both decrepit traditions and the “flatland” (epistimelogically arid/vacuous) version of “modernist” culture.

    it has been known for thousands of years that a golden age of freedom and enlightenment was in humanity’s future, and we are now at a point where humanity is becoming free and is on the verge of having a “science” of consciousness (enlightenment). traditional belief contains partial/approximate truth, and points to complete truth, but in a quasi-superstitious way (prophetology scam).

    neither bs or “The Secret”, in themselves, take humanity across that threshold of postmodern/integral freedom and englightenment, on the contrary, they maintain the psychic bonds of slavery to traditional beliefs and superstition.

    [quote comment="45322"]secret2joy does seem to have a point: Is there anything in any religion that gives us a reason to doubt the obvious nonsense presented by New Age philosophy? It seems not! In fact, all religions seem to be complicit in the same sort of nonsense and superstition themselves (as shown, not least of all, by the quotations provided by secret2joy).

    The Baha’i Faith is not free of this collaboration in superstition, and its faith in prayer, numerology, and irrational fear of psychics (as somehow interfering with God’s will by revealing God’s hand before he’s good and ready) show us this.

    So how does a Baha’i justifiably reject the manifest scientific retardation (I mean the word in a technical sense) presented by “The Secret” and other New Age religion? Why is Baha’i superstition any better? And on what (religious) ground do they reject the other superstitions while maintaining their own?[/quote]
    [quote comment=""]“I’m torn between the indignation of being called a liar, and refusing to dignify this with comment. Hmmm. Not sure which will win yet.”

    Apparently both! But who called you a liar? Is the suggestion that you might not acknowledge your inclination to take a swipe at someone the same as calling you a liar?

    “If I enjoyed offending I would say so.”

    Would you? Would such an acknowledgment accord with your spiritual ideals? Or would an admission of the desire to offend need to be denied in the interests of maintaining “spiritual” face?

    “I APOLOGIZE.”

    “I’m sure you will have your own sneers at this, this based on your OWN lovely posts and opinions, but there it is.”

    “I’ll be praying for you … it’s just you seem so angry at the world and I know on many levels what such anger does to the world.”

    Too funny! You “apologize,” then characterize my “lovely” posts as “sneers,” inform me that you’ll be “praying” for me, because I’m so “angry” at the world (not “angry” about anything in particular, mind you, but “angry” at the entire “world”!), the effects of which you “know” on “many levels.” An apology, followed by some sarcasm, some condescension, some patronization, and a generalized character assassination, with the implication that “anger” is “bad,” of course! Again, too funny! Swipe thwack! Swipe thwack! Oh, too hilarious! By all means, pray!

    “I happen to believe in both prayer and fellowship.”

    Of course! Of course!

    “There seems to be the intent to mock, deride, and otherwise disprove something that doesn’t actually hurt anyone.”

    There is an intent on the part of some to QUESTION THE VALIDITY of the claims made by the authors of “The Secret.” Is the application of the ideas advocated by “The Secret” harmless, or is there some (maybe considerable) possibility of harm? The link provided by Mavaddat to the article that questions the science of “The Secret” certainly suggests that some of its ideas may be less than harmless. My own skepticism toward some of the more tenuous claims attributed to quantum theory is “qualified,” i.e., I don’t completely reject the claims, but I don’t totally accept them either. You might say that where quantum theory is concerned, I’m an agnostic.[/quote][/quote]

  • Bird out of the Cage

    Mavaddat

    ?Craig, there is so much depth and profundity in your post, I wouldn’t be able to do it justice with the little time that I have to respond.

    I only had a couple questions.

    You said you are still BIGS? I don’t understand this: You’re still a Bah?’? in good standing, even after transcending the shadows?….?

    1st, I must share after reading Craig’s post then yours Mavaddat I felt an incredible overwhelming serge of this profound love in you both. I am honored to be in your company.

    Craig-

    ?I just could not take one more step like that female marathoner 30 years ago who came into the stadium with blood, urine, and shit running down her legs staggering through the last lap to the finish line and collapsing as they rushed her water.?

    Why is the woman or a man for that matter in the race at all but to set a challenging personal goal and accomplish it? Her motives may vary indeed and so are the results of her efforts. Maybe she likes or needs to hear her name yelled from the sideline and cheer her on and tell her how great she is and how good she is doing, and for her to keep pushing because she is almost there, (where-ever the hell ?there? is), or get her picture in the paper for her scrap book or a shinny trophy put on her shelf. Maybe she gets to flip off the men who told her she was incapable of being in the race in the first place let alone finish. Maybe she just loves to run because when she does she feels alive and the finish line was actually a mile back but who cares, SHE wanted to see how far she could go?

    In any race there has to be a finish line and a winner. The question is at the end of the line with the blood, urine, shit, exhausting, dehydration, and sore feet, did she get what she signed up for, was it some of the best pain she ever felt? Was she glad she participated no matter where she places? Did she pat her own back for how far she took herself? Or because she didn’t win a trophy was she envious of the one who had taken it home? Did she walk away thinking she failed? The fact she finished as a women, was she proud of the picture of her with shit all over herself in the paper, or did she wake up early in the morning, still sore and go out and try to buy all the newspapers so no one would see her looking like shit?

    Now that she finished it, and she is rested and understands the rules and conditions of these kinds of marathons, does she decide she needs to stay in the race? Or does she decide to hold this one out, yet now take up standing in the street cheering on those who are in the race? Or is it possible she can be content knowing she defiantly knows how to run, the side lines are no where as exciting as the race itself and pick up a new past time that brings her an equal joy, such as roller skating or hang gliding off cliffs over the Grand Canyon? I’ve been considering wind surfing myself. ©

  • Bird out of the Cage

    Mavaddat

    ?Craig, there is so much depth and profundity in your post, I wouldn’t be able to do it justice with the little time that I have to respond.

    I only had a couple questions.

    You said you are still BIGS? I don’t understand this: You’re still a Bah?’? in good standing, even after transcending the shadows?….?

    1st, I must share after reading Craig’s post then yours Mavaddat I felt an incredible overwhelming serge of this profound love in you both. I am honored to be in your company.

    Craig-

    ?I just could not take one more step like that female marathoner 30 years ago who came into the stadium with blood, urine, and shit running down her legs staggering through the last lap to the finish line and collapsing as they rushed her water.?

    Why is the woman or a man for that matter in the race at all but to set a challenging personal goal and accomplish it? Her motives may vary indeed and so are the results of her efforts. Maybe she likes or needs to hear her name yelled from the sideline and cheer her on and tell her how great she is and how good she is doing, and for her to keep pushing because she is almost there, (where-ever the hell ?there? is), or get her picture in the paper for her scrap book or a shinny trophy put on her shelf. Maybe she gets to flip off the men who told her she was incapable of being in the race in the first place let alone finish. Maybe she just loves to run because when she does she feels alive and the finish line was actually a mile back but who cares, SHE wanted to see how far she could go?

    In any race there has to be a finish line and a winner. The question is at the end of the line with the blood, urine, shit, exhausting, dehydration, and sore feet, did she get what she signed up for, was it some of the best pain she ever felt? Was she glad she participated no matter where she places? Did she pat her own back for how far she took herself? Or because she didn’t win a trophy was she envious of the one who had taken it home? Did she walk away thinking she failed? The fact she finished as a women, was she proud of the picture of her with shit all over herself in the paper, or did she wake up early in the morning, still sore and go out and try to buy all the newspapers so no one would see her looking like shit?

    Now that she finished it, and she is rested and understands the rules and conditions of these kinds of marathons, does she decide she needs to stay in the race? Or does she decide to hold this one out, yet now take up standing in the street cheering on those who are in the race? Or is it possible she can be content knowing she defiantly knows how to run, the side lines are no where as exciting as the race itself and pick up a new past time that brings her an equal joy, such as roller skating or hang gliding off cliffs over the Grand Canyon? I’ve been considering wind surfing myself. ©

  • Anonymous

    [quote post="369"]As I have often seen you refer to yourself as ?still a BIGS,? two guestions are begged: …[/quote]
    Two questions are raised. To “beg the question” is an informal logical fallacy wherein the conclusion is assumed in the premises. This may seem like a trivial matter, but for the sake of clarity, it is better to keep these two phrases separate.

    See George Orwell’s Politics and the English Language.

  • http://mavaddat.livejournal.com Mavaddat

    [quote post="369"]As I have often seen you refer to yourself as ?still a BIGS,? two guestions are begged: …[/quote]
    Two questions are raised. To “beg the question” is an informal logical fallacy wherein the conclusion is assumed in the premises. This may seem like a trivial matter, but for the sake of clarity, it is better to keep these two phrases separate.

    See George Orwell’s Politics and the English Language.

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=""]
    Bird wrote:

    1st, I must share after reading Craig’s post then yours Mavaddat I felt an incredible overwhelming serge of this profound love in you both. I am honored to be in your company.
    ©[/quote]

    Thank you Bird for such a nice comment. As far as I am concerned, I am in good company here with such fiery women as you and Amanda! In the event of the collapse of civilization (which is an ever growing possibility these days with the current crop of spiritually illiterate dunces running this present world into the ground) you can both bring yourselves and your families to where I am near the mountains here and we can all try to restart civilization under more enlightened management. You are both tough women and I really respect and honor that.

    I understand the metaphor of your little essay back to me, but I should have been a little clearer about the specifics of my example of end of the road total exhaustion. I had to merely Google the famous incident and refresh my memory with the specifics.

    It was the Woman’s Marathon in the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. The runner was Gabriela Andersen-Scheis who was running for Switzerland. She was a world class athlete. She was in the Olympics!

    http://www.olympic.org/uk/athletes/profiles/bio_uk.asp?PAR_I_ID=30369

    The race was won by the great Joan Benoit as I recall now. At a little deeper level there was something historic at stake for women in a sense I believe because it was the first time the Women’s Marathon had been added back into the modern Olympics Games. Two women had died running it in the 1920′s or 1930′s I believe and it had been banned as a women’s event for several decades. So I think this made what happened even more poignant and truly stirring. But these were very safely highly trained and conditioned world class athletes. These were conditioned athletes who could have run 98% of all men into the ground in a 26 mile marathon run both then and now!

    The conditions that day were not overly hot either. But I think what happened was that Gabriela somehow missed one or even two of her water stations, lost hydration, and went into heat stroke. If you ever were a competitive conditioned athlete at one time in your life you know that in endurance situations your body must be able to regenerate strength in progress. If you lose hydration, it can’t, even in moderate temperatures you can go into heat stroke and you are in very big trouble as your system starts to shut down to lower the core temperature in your organs.

    The race had already been ended for 20 minutes when Gabriela entered the L.A. Coliseum in front of 77,000 people on national television. It was an amazing display of guts and I remember it clearly to this day. She staggered one step at a time. The doctors and nurses on the field rushed to her. They walked with her every step as people held their breath. It took something like five or six minutes for her to complete the lap looking like she would collapse on any step. But they did not intervene because they detected she was sweating and was not at the final point of heat stroke. I played Division IA college football and went to that point twice in my life. A truly strange feeling of entering into La La Land. Your skin dry and seemingly cold to the touch. Everything fading into crystal clear hi-def blur-o-vision. Collapse imminent. That is why I used that analogy for how I felt at the end of the road for me after 31 years of total dedication in the Baha’i Faith. That point where you just can’t go on any longer.

    Gabriela Andersen-Scheis finished that race on that day in the Fall of 1984. She collapsed after crossing the finish line. They got her fluids. As a world class conditioned athlete she recovered within two hours.

    So take heart.

    All of us will recover spiritually.

    Just keep helping each other become hydrated.

    I guess from my male experience in life having played college football at a high level this is more of the analogy for me:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B8S4OnlrC2U

    We all just have to suck it up and soldier on.

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=""]
    Bird wrote:

    1st, I must share after reading Craig’s post then yours Mavaddat I felt an incredible overwhelming serge of this profound love in you both. I am honored to be in your company.
    ©[/quote]

    Thank you Bird for such a nice comment. As far as I am concerned, I am in good company here with such fiery women as you and Amanda! In the event of the collapse of civilization (which is an ever growing possibility these days with the current crop of spiritually illiterate dunces running this present world into the ground) you can both bring yourselves and your families to where I am near the mountains here and we can all try to restart civilization under more enlightened management. You are both tough women and I really respect and honor that.

    I understand the metaphor of your little essay back to me, but I should have been a little clearer about the specifics of my example of end of the road total exhaustion. I had to merely Google the famous incident and refresh my memory with the specifics.

    It was the Woman’s Marathon in the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. The runner was Gabriela Andersen-Scheis who was running for Switzerland. She was a world class athlete. She was in the Olympics!

    http://www.olympic.org/uk/athletes/profiles/bio_uk.asp?PAR_I_ID=30369

    The race was won by the great Joan Benoit as I recall now. At a little deeper level there was something historic at stake for women in a sense I believe because it was the first time the Women’s Marathon had been added back into the modern Olympics Games. Two women had died running it in the 1920′s or 1930′s I believe and it had been banned as a women’s event for several decades. So I think this made what happened even more poignant and truly stirring. But these were very safely highly trained and conditioned world class athletes. These were conditioned athletes who could have run 98% of all men into the ground in a 26 mile marathon run both then and now!

    The conditions that day were not overly hot either. But I think what happened was that Gabriela somehow missed one or even two of her water stations, lost hydration, and went into heat stroke. If you ever were a competitive conditioned athlete at one time in your life you know that in endurance situations your body must be able to regenerate strength in progress. If you lose hydration, it can’t, even in moderate temperatures you can go into heat stroke and you are in very big trouble as your system starts to shut down to lower the core temperature in your organs.

    The race had already been ended for 20 minutes when Gabriela entered the L.A. Coliseum in front of 77,000 people on national television. It was an amazing display of guts and I remember it clearly to this day. She staggered one step at a time. The doctors and nurses on the field rushed to her. They walked with her every step as people held their breath. It took something like five or six minutes for her to complete the lap looking like she would collapse on any step. But they did not intervene because they detected she was sweating and was not at the final point of heat stroke. I played Division IA college football and went to that point twice in my life. A truly strange feeling of entering into La La Land. Your skin dry and seemingly cold to the touch. Everything fading into crystal clear hi-def blur-o-vision. Collapse imminent. That is why I used that analogy for how I felt at the end of the road for me after 31 years of total dedication in the Baha’i Faith. That point where you just can’t go on any longer.

    Gabriela Andersen-Scheis finished that race on that day in the Fall of 1984. She collapsed after crossing the finish line. They got her fluids. As a world class conditioned athlete she recovered within two hours.

    So take heart.

    All of us will recover spiritually.

    Just keep helping each other become hydrated.

    I guess from my male experience in life having played college football at a high level this is more of the analogy for me:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B8S4OnlrC2U

    We all just have to suck it up and soldier on.

  • http://www.letters-of-the-living.blogspot.com Amanda

    Craig:
    You wrote: “You are both tough women and I really respect and honor that.”

    Thank you, sir. Right back at you.

    Amanda

  • http://www.letters-of-the-living.blogspot.com Amanda

    Craig:
    You wrote: “You are both tough women and I really respect and honor that.”

    Thank you, sir. Right back at you.

    Amanda

  • Bird out of the Cage

    Craig-
    ?We all just have to suck it up and soldier on.?
    No we don’t.
    It’s like the African American celebration in Texas, Junteenth. The war having been over and emancipation established but none of the Texas slave owners wanted their slaves to know they were free. The slave that may have known didn’t say a word because a slave is programmed not to piss off the master or be punished. Thank G-d there were brave rebel slaves who spread the word despite the repercussions of the wrath of their masters.
    My friend, the only battle you & I and the rest of us is fighting, is the one in our head and heart. That is why we have found one another.

    Invincible is a great movie but so was Good Will Hunting

  • Bird out of the Cage

    Craig-
    ?We all just have to suck it up and soldier on.?
    No we don’t.
    It’s like the African American celebration in Texas, Junteenth. The war having been over and emancipation established but none of the Texas slave owners wanted their slaves to know they were free. The slave that may have known didn’t say a word because a slave is programmed not to piss off the master or be punished. Thank G-d there were brave rebel slaves who spread the word despite the repercussions of the wrath of their masters.
    My friend, the only battle you & I and the rest of us is fighting, is the one in our head and heart. That is why we have found one another.

    Invincible is a great movie but so was Good Will Hunting

  • http://www.letters-of-the-living.blogspot.com Amanda

    Hello, all. I want to put a question (or two) on the floor. The question (or two) was thought up by one Virginia Woolf. Here, I will quote her, and picture in my minds eye her asking this of all of you SPECIFICALLY regarding why women cannot be elected to the UHJ:

    “Even when the path is nominally open—when there is nothing to prevent a woman from being a doctor, a lawyer, a civil servant—there are many phantoms and obstacles, as I believe, looming in her way. To discuss and define them is I think of great value and importance; for thus only can the labour be shared, the difficulties be solved. But besides this, it is necessary also to discuss the ends and the aims for which we are fighting, for which we are doing battle with these formidable obstacles. Those aims cannot be taken for granted; they must be perpetually questioned and examined.”

    So, what are the “phantoms and obstacles” we are facing?
    What are the “ends and the aims for which we are fighting, for which we are doing battle with these formidable obstacles?”

    Thanks.
    Amanda

  • http://www.letters-of-the-living.blogspot.com Amanda

    Hello, all. I want to put a question (or two) on the floor. The question (or two) was thought up by one Virginia Woolf. Here, I will quote her, and picture in my minds eye her asking this of all of you SPECIFICALLY regarding why women cannot be elected to the UHJ:

    “Even when the path is nominally open—when there is nothing to prevent a woman from being a doctor, a lawyer, a civil servant—there are many phantoms and obstacles, as I believe, looming in her way. To discuss and define them is I think of great value and importance; for thus only can the labour be shared, the difficulties be solved. But besides this, it is necessary also to discuss the ends and the aims for which we are fighting, for which we are doing battle with these formidable obstacles. Those aims cannot be taken for granted; they must be perpetually questioned and examined.”

    So, what are the “phantoms and obstacles” we are facing?
    What are the “ends and the aims for which we are fighting, for which we are doing battle with these formidable obstacles?”

    Thanks.
    Amanda

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia
  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia
  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment="45637"]Craig-
    ?We all just have to suck it up and soldier on.?

    No we don’t.

    …Invincible is a great movie but so was Good Will Hunting[/quote]

    Bird,

    I will get a major motion picture out of you yet as an idea person! Our misunderstandings are very, very creative from your side. This is a plus. This was a quite cinematic reply. But my point of saying that we all must “suck it up and soldier on” was not to mean people must accept the current cheap dollar store vasolined state of the Baha’i Faith, or the mind numbing criminal mismanagement and third rate debacle of the Iraq or Afghanistan Wars (my oldest sister and brother-in-law have been in Afghanistan on the ground for almost seven years now – they with other very brave Americans ran the entire medical relief effort to the Afghan people for the United States of America), or the dumbing down of the entire world right now while criminal idiots and self-appointed hack secondary school teacher usurpers (read the mindless hack “Ruhi” authors) seek to control the hearts and minds of other human souls by taking away their sacred inner personal connection to Source and their sacred inner personal doorway to the infinite Cosmos in an obscene orgy of mindlessly top down imposed hack Orwellian group think.

    I meant that we all have to get up off the ground and get back in the huddle for the next play…even after 14 years and even after 36 years. The next play may be an eighty yard pass for a touchdown. Someone with an NFL arm may show up at any time. Many people worldwide are now beginning to be able to read the field.

    Women have power in everything around them! Women are a very mysterious Cosmic Form Vortex in the Universe/Multiverse. All esoteric spiritual insight is about the birthing power of the Cosmos. Read the New Testament in the earliest Aramaic text. It is very profound when viewed with this insight.

    My oldest sister has a very high opinion of the Baha’i Faith. But she would never join a religion where women cannot sit at the very highest counsel. She would never join anything where women cannot command troops in battle. She is ALL HANDS ON DEEDS NOT WORDS so it really is an irrelevant issue given the current level of the “DO NOTHING” current version of the hapless Baha’i Faith.

    On the project of medical relieve at the village level they tried to hire as many Afghan Baha’is as they could find on the project to get them in the game. They found three Baha’is in Kabul who had survived the 23 years of continuous war in Afghanistan and the last six years of Taliban rule and hired them to put them to work. The three Baha’is did an excellent job! They also tried to put as many Afghan Muslim women as possible into positions of power even over men in daily operations. The motor pool dispatcher was a young Afghan woman they put in charge and the men just had to get used to it. And they did! She did an absolutely wonderful job. Yay! They employed over 500 Afghans over 16 provinces at the height of the project. Even in the dangerous areas south of Kandahar and near the frontier area with Pakistan. My sister speaks self taught fluent Farsi. In the great run up of the Pittsburgh Steelers to Super Bowel XL she was running around Afghanistan in her Muslim garb with a Pittsburgh Steelers jersey on underneath.

    I believe that the Universal House of Justice is all men so that they will be shamed by the much more effective actions of women over the next 1,000 years to really DO something practical on a day to day basis to ACTUALLY CHANGE THE WORLD rather than just a bunch of guys sitting around pulling on their puds and merely talking about it.

    Deeds not words.

    So there ARE souls out there telling the slaves they are now free and to now go and find life where they want.

    As I said on that link to that footage of D-Day, the Administrative Order of the Baha’i Faith in it’s incredible and amazing criminal incompetence has up until now completely failed those men and their sacrifice.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uPU4p7UQOtU

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment="45637"]Craig-
    ?We all just have to suck it up and soldier on.?

    No we don’t.

    …Invincible is a great movie but so was Good Will Hunting[/quote]

    Bird,

    I will get a major motion picture out of you yet as an idea person! Our misunderstandings are very, very creative from your side. This is a plus. This was a quite cinematic reply. But my point of saying that we all must “suck it up and soldier on” was not to mean people must accept the current cheap dollar store vasolined state of the Baha’i Faith, or the mind numbing criminal mismanagement and third rate debacle of the Iraq or Afghanistan Wars (my oldest sister and brother-in-law have been in Afghanistan on the ground for almost seven years now – they with other very brave Americans ran the entire medical relief effort to the Afghan people for the United States of America), or the dumbing down of the entire world right now while criminal idiots and self-appointed hack secondary school teacher usurpers (read the mindless hack “Ruhi” authors) seek to control the hearts and minds of other human souls by taking away their sacred inner personal connection to Source and their sacred inner personal doorway to the infinite Cosmos in an obscene orgy of mindlessly top down imposed hack Orwellian group think.

    I meant that we all have to get up off the ground and get back in the huddle for the next play…even after 14 years and even after 36 years. The next play may be an eighty yard pass for a touchdown. Someone with an NFL arm may show up at any time. Many people worldwide are now beginning to be able to read the field.

    Women have power in everything around them! Women are a very mysterious Cosmic Form Vortex in the Universe/Multiverse. All esoteric spiritual insight is about the birthing power of the Cosmos. Read the New Testament in the earliest Aramaic text. It is very profound when viewed with this insight.

    My oldest sister has a very high opinion of the Baha’i Faith. But she would never join a religion where women cannot sit at the very highest counsel. She would never join anything where women cannot command troops in battle. She is ALL HANDS ON DEEDS NOT WORDS so it really is an irrelevant issue given the current level of the “DO NOTHING” current version of the hapless Baha’i Faith.

    On the project of medical relieve at the village level they tried to hire as many Afghan Baha’is as they could find on the project to get them in the game. They found three Baha’is in Kabul who had survived the 23 years of continuous war in Afghanistan and the last six years of Taliban rule and hired them to put them to work. The three Baha’is did an excellent job! They also tried to put as many Afghan Muslim women as possible into positions of power even over men in daily operations. The motor pool dispatcher was a young Afghan woman they put in charge and the men just had to get used to it. And they did! She did an absolutely wonderful job. Yay! They employed over 500 Afghans over 16 provinces at the height of the project. Even in the dangerous areas south of Kandahar and near the frontier area with Pakistan. My sister speaks self taught fluent Farsi. In the great run up of the Pittsburgh Steelers to Super Bowel XL she was running around Afghanistan in her Muslim garb with a Pittsburgh Steelers jersey on underneath.

    I believe that the Universal House of Justice is all men so that they will be shamed by the much more effective actions of women over the next 1,000 years to really DO something practical on a day to day basis to ACTUALLY CHANGE THE WORLD rather than just a bunch of guys sitting around pulling on their puds and merely talking about it.

    Deeds not words.

    So there ARE souls out there telling the slaves they are now free and to now go and find life where they want.

    As I said on that link to that footage of D-Day, the Administrative Order of the Baha’i Faith in it’s incredible and amazing criminal incompetence has up until now completely failed those men and their sacrifice.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uPU4p7UQOtU

  • http://www.secret2joy.com secret2joy

    Andrew – I don’t think it would matter what I said, you would find a reason to pick it apart. Again, notice, you call me a liar. Clearly you have such a set-in-stone view of life, people, and so-called religious people that you can not take a statement at face value. If I say/write something, it’s the truth. If that turns out to be wrong or regretted, I say so. So yes, I would admit any enjoyment in ‘attacking’ you, I meant what I said about being sorry, and questioning both those is (not even all that indirectly) my honesty. Fine. You have your views, I have mine. Difference is I respect that and accept my views of the world are not the only truth or path to truth. I didn’t, to my recollection, make any sweeping, prejudiced statements about ‘wiping’ anyone or anything off the face of the earth. To me that’s pretty angry and extreme. I could be wrong. I could be wrong about a lot of things. That doesn’t scare me or threaten me. My integrity? well, that’s important to me, thus my repeated, though futile, attempts to defend it. I suppose in the end truth doesn’t need to be defended, so I’ll have to leave it at that.

  • http://www.secret2joy.com secret2joy

    Andrew – I don’t think it would matter what I said, you would find a reason to pick it apart. Again, notice, you call me a liar. Clearly you have such a set-in-stone view of life, people, and so-called religious people that you can not take a statement at face value. If I say/write something, it’s the truth. If that turns out to be wrong or regretted, I say so. So yes, I would admit any enjoyment in ‘attacking’ you, I meant what I said about being sorry, and questioning both those is (not even all that indirectly) my honesty. Fine. You have your views, I have mine. Difference is I respect that and accept my views of the world are not the only truth or path to truth. I didn’t, to my recollection, make any sweeping, prejudiced statements about ‘wiping’ anyone or anything off the face of the earth. To me that’s pretty angry and extreme. I could be wrong. I could be wrong about a lot of things. That doesn’t scare me or threaten me. My integrity? well, that’s important to me, thus my repeated, though futile, attempts to defend it. I suppose in the end truth doesn’t need to be defended, so I’ll have to leave it at that.

  • ep

    [quote comment=""]Andrew – I don’t think it would matter what I said, you would find a reason to pick it apart. Again, notice, you call me a liar. Clearly you have such a set-in-stone view of life, people, and so-called religious people that you can not take a statement at face value.[/quote]

    This is style over substance. You lost the argument, and are now playing the “victim” card. The whole point of this blog site is to criticise and ***make fun*** of typical stooopid/boring/ridiculous bahai stuff (bs), but you apparently don’t “get it”.

    fwiw, Andrew is very smart, and very well informed as to the current state of philosophies/paradigms in the world., which makes him 99.999% ahead of people in the bahai faith. You may not be used to people that are very smart, honest or brave. Andrew is seeking truth and is discarding silliness, of which there is a lot in the bahai faith. Andrew is rejecting the dysfunctional patterns of thought and action that exist in the bahai faith. You could think of him as a “Dawn Breaker” of the postmodern bahai era, discarding rigid orthodoxy, incompetence and corruption.

    There is no place in the bahai faith for the Andrews of the world, they will always be punished for being too smart, too honest, and too brave.

    As long as the pollyannas of the bahai faith seek to convert the world (zipper-down missionary style) with false optimism, there will be Andrews “out there” warning the human race about profound evils inherent in corrupt forms of religion (&philosophies, &paradigms).

    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Pollyannas

    Again, the problem is style over substance.

    The conformist in-group/out-group dynamic that is in effect within most of bahai culture is pure paradigm regression, and (amongst many things) grows out of the very real tendency that human beings have to fall into a “comfort zone” of fundamentalism/authoritarianism when faced with something new or “unsettling” to the status quo. All the “feel good” dumbed-down utopian bahai lip service to social justice and social change and similar PR-spin won’t change that.

    Many “spiritual” people and groups have put forward (at least partially) valid critiques of the paradigm of modernity (science, democracy, industrialization, capitalism), usually on the basis that modernity has banished or marginalized transcendance (“spirituality”). The “big problem” is that the next step in the process usually consists of regressing to backward paradigms in search of “meaning” (transcendance/spirituality).

    Here are some in-depth descriptions of (mostly western buddhist) philosophers journies along the “integral” path of search for meaning, spirituality and transcendance in a modernist world:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Integral_theory_(philosophy)
    -
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_Institute_of_Integral_Studies
    -
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Esalen_Institute
    -
    http://www.esalenctr.org/display/confpage.cfm?confid=1&pageid=33&pgtype=1
    -
    http://www.esalenctr.org/display/bios.cfm
    -
    http://www.gaia.com/community/
    -

    The “holistic enchilada”:

    http://wilber.shambhala.com/html/books/kosmos/index.cfm/

    —excerpt—


    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://wilber.shambhala.com/html/books/kosmos/excerptA/intro.cfm

    Let us begin this overview by first noting what appears to be a rather dismal fact: today we hear a lot about Cultural Creatives and the new and exciting rise of an Integral Culture–a holistic, balanced, inclusive, caring culture that moves beyond the traditional and the modern and into a postmodern transformation. But, in fact, significant psychological evidence indicates that in today’s world, less than 2% of the population is at anything that could be called an “integral” wave of awareness (where “integral” means something like Gebser’s integral-aperspectival, Loevinger’s autonomous and integrated stages, Spiral Dynamics’ yellow and turquoise memes, Wade’s authentic, Arlin’s postformal, the centauric self and mature vision-logic, etc.).

    The same evidence suggests, however, that a very large percentage of the population–close to 25%–is at the immediately preceding wave of development (which is Loevinger’s individualistic stage, Spiral Dynamics’ green meme, Paul Ray’s cultural creatives, Wade’s affiliative, Sinnott’s relativistic, etc.). Moreover, because most of this population has been at the green-meme wave for several decades, it appears that a large portion–perhaps up to one-third–are ready to move forward to the next wave of expanding consciousness–which means, move forward to a truly integral wave of awareness.

    In short, we appear to be entering an integral age at the leading edge (with significant portions of the culture at large to follow).

    As the green meme started to emerge on a more widespread scale, it began to displace the orange meme at the leading edge of the academic elite, and thus the modernism of orange universalism gave way to the postmodernism of green pluralism. Where the former was marked by static universal systems governing all cultures, the latter was marked by relativism, multiculturalism, diversity studies, and incommensurabilities of every imaginable variety. This was, in many ways, the first move from formalism to postformalism, and the result was a much-needed turn away from abstract grand theories, big pictures, metanarratives, and universal formalism, toward a detailed attention to particulars, to cultural nuances and important differences, with an emphasis on marginalized sectors and heterogeneity.

    Thus we arrive at today: a project of synthesis, an integral age at the leading edge, which is only a few years old. As a larger movement (spreading outward beyond a handful of pioneers over the last few decades), it is really just now beginning with the dawn of the new millennium. What this larger movement very likely represents is the transformation from green to yellow, from intra-cultural to trans-cultural, from ethnocentric pluralism to global integralism, from relativistic to holistic. Whereas the “big pictures” of the orange “universal systems” harshly excluded an appropriate sensitivity to cultural diversity, to world-making intersubjectivity, to the enactive (not merely representational) activity of cognition, and to the irreducible heterogeneity of many systems, the post-green big pictures that are starting to emerge at the dawn of the age of synthesis all explicitly include and build upon the green-meme contributions of microsociology, but without getting lost in an attention to trees so fierce that it denies the existence of forests.

    An integral age at the leading edge, a big picture of many forests, an age of synthesis arising from the ruins of pluralism washed ashore. This integral age at the leading edge is one of the essential themes of the following presentation.

    —end—

    Also see:

    http://markturner.org/cdss.html
    -
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Lakoff

    —excerpt—


    Metaphor has been seen within the Western scientific tradition as purely a linguistic construction. The essential thrust of Lakoff’s work has been the argument that metaphors are primarily a conceptual construction, and indeed are central to the development of thought. He says, “Our ordinary conceptual system, in terms of which we both think and act, is fundamentally metaphorical in nature.” Non-metaphorical thought is for Lakoff only possible when we talk about purely physical reality. For Lakoff the greater the level of abstraction the more layers of metaphor are required to express it. People do not notice these metaphors for various reasons. One reason is that some metaphors become ‘dead’ and we no longer recognize their origin.

    —end—

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Bohm#The_holonomic_model_of_the_brain
    -
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Embodied_philosophy

    The reality is that the bahai faith is “barely” keeping its head above water in terms of doing leading edge research on transformative social change linked to neuroscience. All the arrogance and false optimism in the universe can’t change that fact.

    The bahai marathon is over and no one finished, but the next marathon is already underway. Feel free to join the race, but don’t get pissed off if someone tells you that you are running backwards and upside down.

    Regards,
    Eric P.
    Sacramento

    [quote comment=""]Andrew – I don’t think it would matter what I said, you would find a reason to pick it apart. Again, notice, you call me a liar. Clearly you have such a set-in-stone view of life, people, and so-called religious people that you can not take a statement at face value. If I say/write something, it’s the truth. If that turns out to be wrong or regretted, I say so. So yes, I would admit any enjoyment in ‘attacking’ you, I meant what I said about being sorry, and questioning both those is (not even all that indirectly) my honesty. Fine. You have your views, I have mine. Difference is I respect that and accept my views of the world are not the only truth or path to truth. I didn’t, to my recollection, make any sweeping, prejudiced statements about ‘wiping’ anyone or anything off the face of the earth. To me that’s pretty angry and extreme. I could be wrong. I could be wrong about a lot of things. That doesn’t scare me or threaten me. My integrity? well, that’s important to me, thus my repeated, though futile, attempts to defend it. I suppose in the end truth doesn’t need to be defended, so I’ll have to leave it at that.[/quote]

  • ep

    [quote comment=""]Andrew – I don’t think it would matter what I said, you would find a reason to pick it apart. Again, notice, you call me a liar. Clearly you have such a set-in-stone view of life, people, and so-called religious people that you can not take a statement at face value.[/quote]

    This is style over substance. You lost the argument, and are now playing the “victim” card. The whole point of this blog site is to criticise and ***make fun*** of typical stooopid/boring/ridiculous bahai stuff (bs), but you apparently don’t “get it”.

    fwiw, Andrew is very smart, and very well informed as to the current state of philosophies/paradigms in the world., which makes him 99.999% ahead of people in the bahai faith. You may not be used to people that are very smart, honest or brave. Andrew is seeking truth and is discarding silliness, of which there is a lot in the bahai faith. Andrew is rejecting the dysfunctional patterns of thought and action that exist in the bahai faith. You could think of him as a “Dawn Breaker” of the postmodern bahai era, discarding rigid orthodoxy, incompetence and corruption.

    There is no place in the bahai faith for the Andrews of the world, they will always be punished for being too smart, too honest, and too brave.

    As long as the pollyannas of the bahai faith seek to convert the world (zipper-down missionary style) with false optimism, there will be Andrews “out there” warning the human race about profound evils inherent in corrupt forms of religion (&philosophies, &paradigms).

    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Pollyannas

    Again, the problem is style over substance.

    The conformist in-group/out-group dynamic that is in effect within most of bahai culture is pure paradigm regression, and (amongst many things) grows out of the very real tendency that human beings have to fall into a “comfort zone” of fundamentalism/authoritarianism when faced with something new or “unsettling” to the status quo. All the “feel good” dumbed-down utopian bahai lip service to social justice and social change and similar PR-spin won’t change that.

    Many “spiritual” people and groups have put forward (at least partially) valid critiques of the paradigm of modernity (science, democracy, industrialization, capitalism), usually on the basis that modernity has banished or marginalized transcendance (“spirituality”). The “big problem” is that the next step in the process usually consists of regressing to backward paradigms in search of “meaning” (transcendance/spirituality).

    Here are some in-depth descriptions of (mostly western buddhist) philosophers journies along the “integral” path of search for meaning, spirituality and transcendance in a modernist world:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Integral_theory_(philosophy)
    -
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_Institute_of_Integral_Studies
    -
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Esalen_Institute
    -
    http://www.esalenctr.org/display/confpage.cfm?confid=1&pageid=33&pgtype=1
    -
    http://www.esalenctr.org/display/bios.cfm
    -
    http://www.gaia.com/community/
    -

    The “holistic enchilada”:

    http://wilber.shambhala.com/html/books/kosmos/index.cfm/

    —excerpt—


    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://wilber.shambhala.com/html/books/kosmos/excerptA/intro.cfm

    Let us begin this overview by first noting what appears to be a rather dismal fact: today we hear a lot about Cultural Creatives and the new and exciting rise of an Integral Culture–a holistic, balanced, inclusive, caring culture that moves beyond the traditional and the modern and into a postmodern transformation. But, in fact, significant psychological evidence indicates that in today’s world, less than 2% of the population is at anything that could be called an “integral” wave of awareness (where “integral” means something like Gebser’s integral-aperspectival, Loevinger’s autonomous and integrated stages, Spiral Dynamics’ yellow and turquoise memes, Wade’s authentic, Arlin’s postformal, the centauric self and mature vision-logic, etc.).

    The same evidence suggests, however, that a very large percentage of the population–close to 25%–is at the immediately preceding wave of development (which is Loevinger’s individualistic stage, Spiral Dynamics’ green meme, Paul Ray’s cultural creatives, Wade’s affiliative, Sinnott’s relativistic, etc.). Moreover, because most of this population has been at the green-meme wave for several decades, it appears that a large portion–perhaps up to one-third–are ready to move forward to the next wave of expanding consciousness–which means, move forward to a truly integral wave of awareness.

    In short, we appear to be entering an integral age at the leading edge (with significant portions of the culture at large to follow).

    As the green meme started to emerge on a more widespread scale, it began to displace the orange meme at the leading edge of the academic elite, and thus the modernism of orange universalism gave way to the postmodernism of green pluralism. Where the former was marked by static universal systems governing all cultures, the latter was marked by relativism, multiculturalism, diversity studies, and incommensurabilities of every imaginable variety. This was, in many ways, the first move from formalism to postformalism, and the result was a much-needed turn away from abstract grand theories, big pictures, metanarratives, and universal formalism, toward a detailed attention to particulars, to cultural nuances and important differences, with an emphasis on marginalized sectors and heterogeneity.

    Thus we arrive at today: a project of synthesis, an integral age at the leading edge, which is only a few years old. As a larger movement (spreading outward beyond a handful of pioneers over the last few decades), it is really just now beginning with the dawn of the new millennium. What this larger movement very likely represents is the transformation from green to yellow, from intra-cultural to trans-cultural, from ethnocentric pluralism to global integralism, from relativistic to holistic. Whereas the “big pictures” of the orange “universal systems” harshly excluded an appropriate sensitivity to cultural diversity, to world-making intersubjectivity, to the enactive (not merely representational) activity of cognition, and to the irreducible heterogeneity of many systems, the post-green big pictures that are starting to emerge at the dawn of the age of synthesis all explicitly include and build upon the green-meme contributions of microsociology, but without getting lost in an attention to trees so fierce that it denies the existence of forests.

    An integral age at the leading edge, a big picture of many forests, an age of synthesis arising from the ruins of pluralism washed ashore. This integral age at the leading edge is one of the essential themes of the following presentation.

    —end—

    Also see:

    http://markturner.org/cdss.html
    -
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Lakoff

    —excerpt—


    Metaphor has been seen within the Western scientific tradition as purely a linguistic construction. The essential thrust of Lakoff’s work has been the argument that metaphors are primarily a conceptual construction, and indeed are central to the development of thought. He says, “Our ordinary conceptual system, in terms of which we both think and act, is fundamentally metaphorical in nature.” Non-metaphorical thought is for Lakoff only possible when we talk about purely physical reality. For Lakoff the greater the level of abstraction the more layers of metaphor are required to express it. People do not notice these metaphors for various reasons. One reason is that some metaphors become ‘dead’ and we no longer recognize their origin.

    —end—

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Bohm#The_holonomic_model_of_the_brain
    -
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Embodied_philosophy

    The reality is that the bahai faith is “barely” keeping its head above water in terms of doing leading edge research on transformative social change linked to neuroscience. All the arrogance and false optimism in the universe can’t change that fact.

    The bahai marathon is over and no one finished, but the next marathon is already underway. Feel free to join the race, but don’t get pissed off if someone tells you that you are running backwards and upside down.

    Regards,
    Eric P.
    Sacramento

    [quote comment=""]Andrew – I don’t think it would matter what I said, you would find a reason to pick it apart. Again, notice, you call me a liar. Clearly you have such a set-in-stone view of life, people, and so-called religious people that you can not take a statement at face value. If I say/write something, it’s the truth. If that turns out to be wrong or regretted, I say so. So yes, I would admit any enjoyment in ‘attacking’ you, I meant what I said about being sorry, and questioning both those is (not even all that indirectly) my honesty. Fine. You have your views, I have mine. Difference is I respect that and accept my views of the world are not the only truth or path to truth. I didn’t, to my recollection, make any sweeping, prejudiced statements about ‘wiping’ anyone or anything off the face of the earth. To me that’s pretty angry and extreme. I could be wrong. I could be wrong about a lot of things. That doesn’t scare me or threaten me. My integrity? well, that’s important to me, thus my repeated, though futile, attempts to defend it. I suppose in the end truth doesn’t need to be defended, so I’ll have to leave it at that.[/quote]

  • ep

    [quote comment=""]Andrew – I don’t think it would matter what I said, you would find a reason to pick it apart. Again, notice, you call me a liar. Clearly you have such a set-in-stone view of life, people, and so-called religious people that you can not take a statement at face value.
    [/quote]

    This is style over substance. You lost the argument, and are now playing the “victim” card. The whole point of this blog site is to criticise and ***make fun*** of typical stooopid/boring/ridiculous bahai stuff (bs), but you apparently don’t “get it”.

    fwiw, Andrew is very smart, and very well informed as to the current state of philosophies/paradigms in the world., which makes him 99.999% ahead of people in the bahai faith. You may not be used to people that are very smart, honest or brave. Andrew is seeking truth and is discarding silliness, of which there is a lot in the bahai faith. Andrew is rejecting the dysfunctional patterns of thought and action that exist in the bahai faith. You could think of him as a “Dawn Breaker” of the postmodern bahai era, discarding rigid orthodoxy, incompetence and corruption.

    There is no place in the bahai faith for the Andrews of the world, they will always be punished for being too smart, too honest, and too brave.

    As long as the pollyannas of the bahai faith seek to convert the world (zipper-down missionary style) with false optimism, there will be Andrews “out there” warning the human race about profound evils inherent in corrupt forms of religion (&philosophies, &paradigms).

    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Pollyannas

    Again, the problem is style over substance.

    The conformist in-group/out-group dynamic that is in effect within most of bahai culture is pure paradigm regression, and (amongst many things) grows out of the very real tendency that human beings have to fall into a “comfort zone” of fundamentalism/authoritarianism when faced with something new or “unsettling” to the status quo. All the “feel good” dumbed-down utopian bahai lip service to social justice and social change and similar PR-spin won’t change that.

    Many “spiritual” people and groups have put forward (at least partially) valid critiques of the paradigm of modernity (science, democracy, industrialization, capitalism), usually on the basis that modernity has banished or marginalized transcendance (“spirituality”). The “big problem” is that the next step in the process usually consists of regressing to backward paradigms in search of “meaning” (transcendance/spirituality).

    Here are some in-depth descriptions of (mostly western buddhist) philosophers journies along the “integral” path of search for meaning, spirituality and transcendance in a modernist world:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Integral_theory_(philosophy)
    -
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_Institute_of_Integral_Studies
    -
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Esalen_Institute
    -
    http://www.esalenctr.org/display/confpage.cfm?confid=1&pageid=33&pgtype=1
    -
    http://www.esalenctr.org/display/bios.cfm
    -
    http://www.gaia.com/community/
    -

    The “holistic enchilada”:

    http://wilber.shambhala.com/html/books/kosmos/index.cfm/

    —excerpt—


    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://wilber.shambhala.com/html/books/kosmos/excerptA/intro.cfm

    Let us begin this overview by first noting what appears to be a rather dismal fact: today we hear a lot about Cultural Creatives and the new and exciting rise of an Integral Culture–a holistic, balanced, inclusive, caring culture that moves beyond the traditional and the modern and into a postmodern transformation. But, in fact, significant psychological evidence indicates that in today’s world, less than 2% of the population is at anything that could be called an “integral” wave of awareness (where “integral” means something like Gebser’s integral-aperspectival, Loevinger’s autonomous and integrated stages, Spiral Dynamics’ yellow and turquoise memes, Wade’s authentic, Arlin’s postformal, the centauric self and mature vision-logic, etc.).

    The same evidence suggests, however, that a very large percentage of the population–close to 25%–is at the immediately preceding wave of development (which is Loevinger’s individualistic stage, Spiral Dynamics’ green meme, Paul Ray’s cultural creatives, Wade’s affiliative, Sinnott’s relativistic, etc.). Moreover, because most of this population has been at the green-meme wave for several decades, it appears that a large portion–perhaps up to one-third–are ready to move forward to the next wave of expanding consciousness–which means, move forward to a truly integral wave of awareness.

    In short, we appear to be entering an integral age at the leading edge (with significant portions of the culture at large to follow).

    As the green meme started to emerge on a more widespread scale, it began to displace the orange meme at the leading edge of the academic elite, and thus the modernism of orange universalism gave way to the postmodernism of green pluralism. Where the former was marked by static universal systems governing all cultures, the latter was marked by relativism, multiculturalism, diversity studies, and incommensurabilities of every imaginable variety. This was, in many ways, the first move from formalism to postformalism, and the result was a much-needed turn away from abstract grand theories, big pictures, metanarratives, and universal formalism, toward a detailed attention to particulars, to cultural nuances and important differences, with an emphasis on marginalized sectors and heterogeneity.

    Thus we arrive at today: a project of synthesis, an integral age at the leading edge, which is only a few years old. As a larger movement (spreading outward beyond a handful of pioneers over the last few decades), it is really just now beginning with the dawn of the new millennium. What this larger movement very likely represents is the transformation from green to yellow, from intra-cultural to trans-cultural, from ethnocentric pluralism to global integralism, from relativistic to holistic. Whereas the “big pictures” of the orange “universal systems” harshly excluded an appropriate sensitivity to cultural diversity, to world-making intersubjectivity, to the enactive (not merely representational) activity of cognition, and to the irreducible heterogeneity of many systems, the post-green big pictures that are starting to emerge at the dawn of the age of synthesis all explicitly include and build upon the green-meme contributions of microsociology, but without getting lost in an attention to trees so fierce that it denies the existence of forests.

    An integral age at the leading edge, a big picture of many forests, an age of synthesis arising from the ruins of pluralism washed ashore. This integral age at the leading edge is one of the essential themes of the following presentation.

    —end—

    Also see:

    http://markturner.org/cdss.html
    -
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Lakoff

    —excerpt—


    Metaphor has been seen within the Western scientific tradition as purely a linguistic construction. The essential thrust of Lakoff’s work has been the argument that metaphors are primarily a conceptual construction, and indeed are central to the development of thought. He says, “Our ordinary conceptual system, in terms of which we both think and act, is fundamentally metaphorical in nature.” Non-metaphorical thought is for Lakoff only possible when we talk about purely physical reality. For Lakoff the greater the level of abstraction the more layers of metaphor are required to express it. People do not notice these metaphors for various reasons. One reason is that some metaphors become ‘dead’ and we no longer recognize their origin.

    —end—

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Bohm#The_holonomic_model_of_the_brain
    -
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Embodied_philosophy

    The reality is that the bahai faith is “barely” keeping its head above water in terms of doing leading edge research on transformative social change linked to neuroscience. All the arrogance and false optimism in the universe can’t change that fact.

    The bahai marathon is over and no one finished, but the next marathon is already underway. Feel free to join the race, but don’t get pissed off if someone tells you that you are running backwards and upside down.

    Regards,
    Eric P.
    Sacramento

  • ep

    [quote comment=""]Andrew – I don’t think it would matter what I said, you would find a reason to pick it apart. Again, notice, you call me a liar. Clearly you have such a set-in-stone view of life, people, and so-called religious people that you can not take a statement at face value.
    [/quote]

    This is style over substance. You lost the argument, and are now playing the “victim” card. The whole point of this blog site is to criticise and ***make fun*** of typical stooopid/boring/ridiculous bahai stuff (bs), but you apparently don’t “get it”.

    fwiw, Andrew is very smart, and very well informed as to the current state of philosophies/paradigms in the world., which makes him 99.999% ahead of people in the bahai faith. You may not be used to people that are very smart, honest or brave. Andrew is seeking truth and is discarding silliness, of which there is a lot in the bahai faith. Andrew is rejecting the dysfunctional patterns of thought and action that exist in the bahai faith. You could think of him as a “Dawn Breaker” of the postmodern bahai era, discarding rigid orthodoxy, incompetence and corruption.

    There is no place in the bahai faith for the Andrews of the world, they will always be punished for being too smart, too honest, and too brave.

    As long as the pollyannas of the bahai faith seek to convert the world (zipper-down missionary style) with false optimism, there will be Andrews “out there” warning the human race about profound evils inherent in corrupt forms of religion (&philosophies, &paradigms).

    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Pollyannas

    Again, the problem is style over substance.

    The conformist in-group/out-group dynamic that is in effect within most of bahai culture is pure paradigm regression, and (amongst many things) grows out of the very real tendency that human beings have to fall into a “comfort zone” of fundamentalism/authoritarianism when faced with something new or “unsettling” to the status quo. All the “feel good” dumbed-down utopian bahai lip service to social justice and social change and similar PR-spin won’t change that.

    Many “spiritual” people and groups have put forward (at least partially) valid critiques of the paradigm of modernity (science, democracy, industrialization, capitalism), usually on the basis that modernity has banished or marginalized transcendance (“spirituality”). The “big problem” is that the next step in the process usually consists of regressing to backward paradigms in search of “meaning” (transcendance/spirituality).

    Here are some in-depth descriptions of (mostly western buddhist) philosophers journies along the “integral” path of search for meaning, spirituality and transcendance in a modernist world:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Integral_theory_(philosophy)
    -
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_Institute_of_Integral_Studies
    -
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Esalen_Institute
    -
    http://www.esalenctr.org/display/confpage.cfm?confid=1&pageid=33&pgtype=1
    -
    http://www.esalenctr.org/display/bios.cfm
    -
    http://www.gaia.com/community/
    -

    The “holistic enchilada”:

    http://wilber.shambhala.com/html/books/kosmos/index.cfm/

    —excerpt—


    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://wilber.shambhala.com/html/books/kosmos/excerptA/intro.cfm

    Let us begin this overview by first noting what appears to be a rather dismal fact: today we hear a lot about Cultural Creatives and the new and exciting rise of an Integral Culture–a holistic, balanced, inclusive, caring culture that moves beyond the traditional and the modern and into a postmodern transformation. But, in fact, significant psychological evidence indicates that in today’s world, less than 2% of the population is at anything that could be called an “integral” wave of awareness (where “integral” means something like Gebser’s integral-aperspectival, Loevinger’s autonomous and integrated stages, Spiral Dynamics’ yellow and turquoise memes, Wade’s authentic, Arlin’s postformal, the centauric self and mature vision-logic, etc.).

    The same evidence suggests, however, that a very large percentage of the population–close to 25%–is at the immediately preceding wave of development (which is Loevinger’s individualistic stage, Spiral Dynamics’ green meme, Paul Ray’s cultural creatives, Wade’s affiliative, Sinnott’s relativistic, etc.). Moreover, because most of this population has been at the green-meme wave for several decades, it appears that a large portion–perhaps up to one-third–are ready to move forward to the next wave of expanding consciousness–which means, move forward to a truly integral wave of awareness.

    In short, we appear to be entering an integral age at the leading edge (with significant portions of the culture at large to follow).

    As the green meme started to emerge on a more widespread scale, it began to displace the orange meme at the leading edge of the academic elite, and thus the modernism of orange universalism gave way to the postmodernism of green pluralism. Where the former was marked by static universal systems governing all cultures, the latter was marked by relativism, multiculturalism, diversity studies, and incommensurabilities of every imaginable variety. This was, in many ways, the first move from formalism to postformalism, and the result was a much-needed turn away from abstract grand theories, big pictures, metanarratives, and universal formalism, toward a detailed attention to particulars, to cultural nuances and important differences, with an emphasis on marginalized sectors and heterogeneity.

    Thus we arrive at today: a project of synthesis, an integral age at the leading edge, which is only a few years old. As a larger movement (spreading outward beyond a handful of pioneers over the last few decades), it is really just now beginning with the dawn of the new millennium. What this larger movement very likely represents is the transformation from green to yellow, from intra-cultural to trans-cultural, from ethnocentric pluralism to global integralism, from relativistic to holistic. Whereas the “big pictures” of the orange “universal systems” harshly excluded an appropriate sensitivity to cultural diversity, to world-making intersubjectivity, to the enactive (not merely representational) activity of cognition, and to the irreducible heterogeneity of many systems, the post-green big pictures that are starting to emerge at the dawn of the age of synthesis all explicitly include and build upon the green-meme contributions of microsociology, but without getting lost in an attention to trees so fierce that it denies the existence of forests.

    An integral age at the leading edge, a big picture of many forests, an age of synthesis arising from the ruins of pluralism washed ashore. This integral age at the leading edge is one of the essential themes of the following presentation.

    —end—

    Also see:

    http://markturner.org/cdss.html
    -
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Lakoff

    —excerpt—


    Metaphor has been seen within the Western scientific tradition as purely a linguistic construction. The essential thrust of Lakoff’s work has been the argument that metaphors are primarily a conceptual construction, and indeed are central to the development of thought. He says, “Our ordinary conceptual system, in terms of which we both think and act, is fundamentally metaphorical in nature.” Non-metaphorical thought is for Lakoff only possible when we talk about purely physical reality. For Lakoff the greater the level of abstraction the more layers of metaphor are required to express it. People do not notice these metaphors for various reasons. One reason is that some metaphors become ‘dead’ and we no longer recognize their origin.

    —end—

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Bohm#The_holonomic_model_of_the_brain
    -
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Embodied_philosophy

    The reality is that the bahai faith is “barely” keeping its head above water in terms of doing leading edge research on transformative social change linked to neuroscience. All the arrogance and false optimism in the universe can’t change that fact.

    The bahai marathon is over and no one finished, but the next marathon is already underway. Feel free to join the race, but don’t get pissed off if someone tells you that you are running backwards and upside down.

    Regards,
    Eric P.
    Sacramento

  • RosterBIGS

    Mavaddat, As a professor of philosophy your erudite explication, ‘To ?beg the question? is an informal logical fallacy….’ may have been important in my classroom, however I failed to see it’s relevancy here other than to self-aggrandize. The phrase used in the post to Craig, “begged two question” is simply as it was; an alert that one is thinking about something. As fallacious reasoning seems to appeal to you, it would be important then to remember to not deflect attention away from the issue by tossing in a “red herring.”

    [quote comment=""]Andrew – I don’t think it would matter what I said, you would find a reason to pick it apart. Again, notice, you call me a liar. Clearly you have such a set-in-stone view of life, people, and so-called religious people that you can not take a statement at face value. If I say/write something, it’s the truth. If that turns out to be wrong or regretted, I say so. So yes, I would admit any enjoyment in ‘attacking’ you, I meant what I said about being sorry, and questioning both those is (not even all that indirectly) my honesty. Fine. You have your views, I have mine. Difference is I respect that and accept my views of the world are not the only truth or path to truth. I didn’t, to my recollection, make any sweeping, prejudiced statements about ‘wiping’ anyone or anything off the face of the earth. To me that’s pretty angry and extreme. I could be wrong. I could be wrong about a lot of things. That doesn’t scare me or threaten me. My integrity? well, that’s important to me, thus my repeated, though futile, attempts to defend it. I suppose in the end truth doesn’t need to be defended, so I’ll have to leave it at that.[/quote]

  • RosterBIGS

    Mavaddat, As a professor of philosophy your erudite explication, ‘To ?beg the question? is an informal logical fallacy….’ may have been important in my classroom, however I failed to see it’s relevancy here other than to self-aggrandize. The phrase used in the post to Craig, “begged two question” is simply as it was; an alert that one is thinking about something. As fallacious reasoning seems to appeal to you, it would be important then to remember to not deflect attention away from the issue by tossing in a “red herring.”

    [quote comment=""]Andrew – I don’t think it would matter what I said, you would find a reason to pick it apart. Again, notice, you call me a liar. Clearly you have such a set-in-stone view of life, people, and so-called religious people that you can not take a statement at face value. If I say/write something, it’s the truth. If that turns out to be wrong or regretted, I say so. So yes, I would admit any enjoyment in ‘attacking’ you, I meant what I said about being sorry, and questioning both those is (not even all that indirectly) my honesty. Fine. You have your views, I have mine. Difference is I respect that and accept my views of the world are not the only truth or path to truth. I didn’t, to my recollection, make any sweeping, prejudiced statements about ‘wiping’ anyone or anything off the face of the earth. To me that’s pretty angry and extreme. I could be wrong. I could be wrong about a lot of things. That doesn’t scare me or threaten me. My integrity? well, that’s important to me, thus my repeated, though futile, attempts to defend it. I suppose in the end truth doesn’t need to be defended, so I’ll have to leave it at that.[/quote]

  • Andrew

    secret2joy wrote:

    “I don’t think it would matter what I said, you would find a reason to pick it apart.”

    I don’t think it would matter what I write, you would find a reason to react to it.

    “Again, notice, you call me a liar.”

    Again, notice, you’ve falsely accused me of calling you a liar.

    “Clearly you have such a set-in-stone view of life, people, and so-called religious people that you can not take a statement at face value.”

    Swipe! Thwack! Please try to be more creative with your insults!

    “Difference is I respect that and accept my views of the world are not the only truth or path to truth.”

    Absolutely! And such statements as “your refusal to be at all open-minded,” “your obvious ignorance,” “I’m sure you will have your own sneers at this, based on your own lovely posts and opinions,” “I’ll be praying for you,” “you seem so angry at the world,” and (my personal favorite) “you have such a set-in-stone view of life” amply testify to the depth of your respect.

    “I suppose in the end truth doesn’t need to be defended, so I’ll have to leave it at that.”

    Now is that a promise, or are you just teasing me?

    ep wrote:

    “Andrew is very smart.”

    Well, I like to think I’m a smart dresser!

    “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.”

    To quote someone else: “Life is short, and to waste it searching for some false spiritual drivel is obscene. Life is for living, and loving.” This is why I prefer to waste it searching for some *true* spiritual drivel … or at least a few mythopoetic thought-diddles and theological constructs that might inspire rather than demand obedience.

    “As long as the pollyannas of the bahai faith seek to convert the world (zipper-down missionary style) with false optimism, there will be Andrews ‘out there’ warning the human race about profound evils inherent in corrupt forms of religion.”

    It seems to me that the Baha’i Faith is an authoritarian religion of pious moralism and rigid institutional structures that markets itself as if it were a liberal movement that imposes no dogmas, but encourages each to develop for oneself the individual interpretation and self-expression that is most suited to him or her. I’ve known a number of people who’ve been through that particular wringer, and none of them have thought that it was time well wasted. Potential converts to Catholicism are taught about the Magisterium before they take the plunge; potential converts to Baha’ism should be taught about uncritical obedience to the UHJ and firmness in the Covenant (“the shortest path to equality,” as Justice St. Rain cheerily calls it) before doing likewise. It would at least meet the criteria of “truth in advertising.”

    Unenrolled Baha’is are not immune from residual authoritarianism either. Criticism of the Writings is seen by some of them as an anti-Baha’i, acontextual view of scripture (if only it were that simple). If you should come to believe that you no longer believe Baha’u’llah was a Manifestation, you’re apt to be singled out for special mention in someone’s blog, or called “mercurial” as a kind of back-handed compliment. This is the price one pays for not acquiescing to the mindless surrender of the self via the mutilation of the intellect, for not being satisfied with easy interpretations. After having read “Resurrection and Renewal: The Making of the Babi Movement in Iran, 1844-1850″ by Abbas Amanat, the scales started to fall from the eyes of myself and my fellow-travelers. Perhaps if more Baha’is were more “mercurial,” they’d be less invested in not having their own errors in judgment reflect back on themselves.

    “If man gives up his illusion of a fatherly God, if he faces his aloneness and insignificance in the universe, he will be like a child that has left his father’s house. But it is the very aim of human development to overcome this infantile fixation. Man must educate himself to face reality … Only the free man who has emancipated himself from authority–authority which threatens and protects–can make use of the power of reason and grasp the world and his role in it objectively, without illusion but also with the ability to develop and make use of the capacities inherent in him.” (Erich Fromm)

  • Andrew

    secret2joy wrote:

    “I don’t think it would matter what I said, you would find a reason to pick it apart.”

    I don’t think it would matter what I write, you would find a reason to react to it.

    “Again, notice, you call me a liar.”

    Again, notice, you’ve falsely accused me of calling you a liar.

    “Clearly you have such a set-in-stone view of life, people, and so-called religious people that you can not take a statement at face value.”

    Swipe! Thwack! Please try to be more creative with your insults!

    “Difference is I respect that and accept my views of the world are not the only truth or path to truth.”

    Absolutely! And such statements as “your refusal to be at all open-minded,” “your obvious ignorance,” “I’m sure you will have your own sneers at this, based on your own lovely posts and opinions,” “I’ll be praying for you,” “you seem so angry at the world,” and (my personal favorite) “you have such a set-in-stone view of life” amply testify to the depth of your respect.

    “I suppose in the end truth doesn’t need to be defended, so I’ll have to leave it at that.”

    Now is that a promise, or are you just teasing me?

    ep wrote:

    “Andrew is very smart.”

    Well, I like to think I’m a smart dresser!

    “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.”

    To quote someone else: “Life is short, and to waste it searching for some false spiritual drivel is obscene. Life is for living, and loving.” This is why I prefer to waste it searching for some *true* spiritual drivel … or at least a few mythopoetic thought-diddles and theological constructs that might inspire rather than demand obedience.

    “As long as the pollyannas of the bahai faith seek to convert the world (zipper-down missionary style) with false optimism, there will be Andrews ‘out there’ warning the human race about profound evils inherent in corrupt forms of religion.”

    It seems to me that the Baha’i Faith is an authoritarian religion of pious moralism and rigid institutional structures that markets itself as if it were a liberal movement that imposes no dogmas, but encourages each to develop for oneself the individual interpretation and self-expression that is most suited to him or her. I’ve known a number of people who’ve been through that particular wringer, and none of them have thought that it was time well wasted. Potential converts to Catholicism are taught about the Magisterium before they take the plunge; potential converts to Baha’ism should be taught about uncritical obedience to the UHJ and firmness in the Covenant (“the shortest path to equality,” as Justice St. Rain cheerily calls it) before doing likewise. It would at least meet the criteria of “truth in advertising.”

    Unenrolled Baha’is are not immune from residual authoritarianism either. Criticism of the Writings is seen by some of them as an anti-Baha’i, acontextual view of scripture (if only it were that simple). If you should come to believe that you no longer believe Baha’u’llah was a Manifestation, you’re apt to be singled out for special mention in someone’s blog, or called “mercurial” as a kind of back-handed compliment. This is the price one pays for not acquiescing to the mindless surrender of the self via the mutilation of the intellect, for not being satisfied with easy interpretations. After having read “Resurrection and Renewal: The Making of the Babi Movement in Iran, 1844-1850″ by Abbas Amanat, the scales started to fall from the eyes of myself and my fellow-travelers. Perhaps if more Baha’is were more “mercurial,” they’d be less invested in not having their own errors in judgment reflect back on themselves.

    “If man gives up his illusion of a fatherly God, if he faces his aloneness and insignificance in the universe, he will be like a child that has left his father’s house. But it is the very aim of human development to overcome this infantile fixation. Man must educate himself to face reality … Only the free man who has emancipated himself from authority–authority which threatens and protects–can make use of the power of reason and grasp the world and his role in it objectively, without illusion but also with the ability to develop and make use of the capacities inherent in him.” (Erich Fromm)

  • Anonymous

    [quote post="369"]As fallacious reasoning seems to appeal to you, it would be important then to remember to not deflect attention away from the issue by tossing in a ?red herring.?[/quote]
    A red herring? You think I’m trying to divert the conversation just because I pointed out an error of language? Do you understand that a red herring can only arise if someone is actually making an argument? Do you see that I wasn’t making an argument at all, but merely pointing out a mistaken usage of an English phrase? You should really look these things up before you throw around unfamiliar jargon, RBIGS. It would save you a lot of energy in the long-run.
    [quote post="369"]Mavaddat, As a professor of philosophy your erudite explication, ?To ?beg the question? is an informal logical fallacy….’ may have been important in my classroom, however I failed to see it’s relevancy here other than to self-aggrandize. [/quote]
    Would you consider my pointing out a spelling error also an attempt to “self-aggrandize”? What about if it was a grammatical error? A historical error? Would it be merely stroking my ego to point out any error whatsoever?

    Who has the ego problem? Is it me for pointing out the error? Or is it the one who gets offended at having the error pointed out in the first place?

    Again, if you want to understand why the correct usage of language is important, and what consequences it can have, I highly recommend you see George Orwell’s Politics and the English Language.

  • http://mavaddat.livejournal.com Mavaddat

    [quote post="369"]As fallacious reasoning seems to appeal to you, it would be important then to remember to not deflect attention away from the issue by tossing in a ?red herring.?[/quote]
    A red herring? You think I’m trying to divert the conversation just because I pointed out an error of language? Do you understand that a red herring can only arise if someone is actually making an argument? Do you see that I wasn’t making an argument at all, but merely pointing out a mistaken usage of an English phrase? You should really look these things up before you throw around unfamiliar jargon, RBIGS. It would save you a lot of energy in the long-run.
    [quote post="369"]Mavaddat, As a professor of philosophy your erudite explication, ?To ?beg the question? is an informal logical fallacy….’ may have been important in my classroom, however I failed to see it’s relevancy here other than to self-aggrandize. [/quote]
    Would you consider my pointing out a spelling error also an attempt to “self-aggrandize”? What about if it was a grammatical error? A historical error? Would it be merely stroking my ego to point out any error whatsoever?

    Who has the ego problem? Is it me for pointing out the error? Or is it the one who gets offended at having the error pointed out in the first place?

    Again, if you want to understand why the correct usage of language is important, and what consequences it can have, I highly recommend you see George Orwell’s Politics and the English Language.

  • Anonymous

    [quote comment=""]Mavaddat, It is futile to get into these types of “pissing up a rope” conversations which quickly disintegrate into ad hominem mode as you aptly demonstrated.[/quote]
    Ah, of course. I’m sure everyone will agree that it was I who degenerated the conversation into ad hominem mode by claiming that any pointing out of linguistic errors amounts to nothing more than “self-aggrandizement”. Right.
    [quote post="369"]Any topic of interest that requires cogent thought and articulation would be far more welcome and subsequently addressed.[/quote]
    Yes, because it is never legitimate to ask for the correct usage of the English language. Such a thing is far below us, is it?

    Geez, man. I think they kept you on the BIGS roster because of your unique inability to take any criticism lightheartedly. You were just-too-Bah??’? to let go…

  • http://mavaddat.livejournal.com Mavaddat

    [quote comment=""]Mavaddat, It is futile to get into these types of “pissing up a rope” conversations which quickly disintegrate into ad hominem mode as you aptly demonstrated.[/quote]
    Ah, of course. I’m sure everyone will agree that it was I who degenerated the conversation into ad hominem mode by claiming that any pointing out of linguistic errors amounts to nothing more than “self-aggrandizement”. Right.
    [quote post="369"]Any topic of interest that requires cogent thought and articulation would be far more welcome and subsequently addressed.[/quote]
    Yes, because it is never legitimate to ask for the correct usage of the English language. Such a thing is far below us, is it?

    Geez, man. I think they kept you on the BIGS roster because of your unique inability to take any criticism lightheartedly. You were just-too-Bah??’? to let go…

  • http://www.letters-of-the-living.blogspot.com Amanda

    RBIGS,

    Did you read the Orwell piece Mavaddat linked to in his initial critique of your word choice? It makes pretty plain why issues like this are important, having real bearing on any discussion of belief systems, politics, or ideology.

    Accusing someone of “self-aggrandizement,” “pissing up a rope,” and “a fondness for fallacious reasoning” ironically reeks of the “ad hominem mode” you are accusing him of. You probably wouldn’t have felt the need to be defensive if you had read and responded to his actual link.

    But, I’m only assuming you didn’t read it based on your response.

  • http://www.letters-of-the-living.blogspot.com Amanda

    RBIGS,

    Did you read the Orwell piece Mavaddat linked to in his initial critique of your word choice? It makes pretty plain why issues like this are important, having real bearing on any discussion of belief systems, politics, or ideology.

    Accusing someone of “self-aggrandizement,” “pissing up a rope,” and “a fondness for fallacious reasoning” ironically reeks of the “ad hominem mode” you are accusing him of. You probably wouldn’t have felt the need to be defensive if you had read and responded to his actual link.

    But, I’m only assuming you didn’t read it based on your response.

  • Bird out of the Cage

    Craig-

    ?I meant that we all have to get up off the ground and get back in the huddle for the next play…even after 14 years and even after 36 years. The next play may be an eighty yard pass for a touchdown. Someone with an NFL arm may show up at any time. Many people worldwide are now beginning to be able to read the field.?

    So I agree, we are both incurable optimist, however, let’s take a look at history and optimism just for fun – k. I just watched the HBO special John Adams, 1775 tonight, a little history reminder on how I became an American. What a pitch that guy made to create a ?free? country. Even in the original Constitution we were given the right to over throw an injustice government, (who’s gonna take that on?)… Where the hell did they go? These inalienable rights? The whole liberty and freedom for all concept? Just rip up the Constitution and replace it with the new and improved Patriot Act. Yeah buddy, I can’t wait to see some QB come in and save the day with that deplorable document with an amendment to burn it but I won’t give up on the optimism that some day someone will. In the meantime I will pay my taxes, vote (for who G-d only knows since I ain’t seen a candidate who’s got it yet) and rid myself of anything I hold dear in my home, that detachment concept I learned while in the BF, of silly things such as privacy, freedom & justice. ( All the stuff Adams pitched)

    And by the way, I thank G-d and pray for the safety for people like your sister and brother-in-law who are fighting (following orders) for justice(?). I know they are not it it for the fun like the commercials show in the whole “Be all you can be” with $$ for school and helping the less fortunate. G-d forbid the day they need to come to my house because someone suspects I am a suspect. (No disrespect)

  • Bird out of the Cage

    Craig-

    ?I meant that we all have to get up off the ground and get back in the huddle for the next play…even after 14 years and even after 36 years. The next play may be an eighty yard pass for a touchdown. Someone with an NFL arm may show up at any time. Many people worldwide are now beginning to be able to read the field.?

    So I agree, we are both incurable optimist, however, let’s take a look at history and optimism just for fun – k. I just watched the HBO special John Adams, 1775 tonight, a little history reminder on how I became an American. What a pitch that guy made to create a ?free? country. Even in the original Constitution we were given the right to over throw an injustice government, (who’s gonna take that on?)… Where the hell did they go? These inalienable rights? The whole liberty and freedom for all concept? Just rip up the Constitution and replace it with the new and improved Patriot Act. Yeah buddy, I can’t wait to see some QB come in and save the day with that deplorable document with an amendment to burn it but I won’t give up on the optimism that some day someone will. In the meantime I will pay my taxes, vote (for who G-d only knows since I ain’t seen a candidate who’s got it yet) and rid myself of anything I hold dear in my home, that detachment concept I learned while in the BF, of silly things such as privacy, freedom & justice. ( All the stuff Adams pitched)

    And by the way, I thank G-d and pray for the safety for people like your sister and brother-in-law who are fighting (following orders) for justice(?). I know they are not it it for the fun like the commercials show in the whole “Be all you can be” with $$ for school and helping the less fortunate. G-d forbid the day they need to come to my house because someone suspects I am a suspect. (No disrespect)

  • RosterBIGS

    Dear Amanda and Mavaddat,
    As I have neither the time nor inclination to engage in the puerile rhetoric which evidently delights you both, my reads will be confined to those interesting others who are erudite contributors.

  • RosterBIGS

    Dear Amanda and Mavaddat,
    As I have neither the time nor inclination to engage in the puerile rhetoric which evidently delights you both, my reads will be confined to those interesting others who are erudite contributors.

  • Anonymous

    [quote comment=""]Dear Amanda and Mavaddat,
    As I have neither the time nor inclination to engage in the puerile rhetoric which evidently delights you both,[/quote]How ironic. Puerile rhetoric is what we were trying to save you from. Why do you deny your saviour, RBIGS? [quote comment=""] my reads will be confined to those interesting others who are erudite contributors.[/quote]
    Ah, I’m sorry. Now I understand why you refuse to read George Orwell. Not “erudite” enough.

  • http://mavaddat.livejournal.com Mavaddat

    [quote comment=""]Dear Amanda and Mavaddat,
    As I have neither the time nor inclination to engage in the puerile rhetoric which evidently delights you both,[/quote]How ironic. Puerile rhetoric is what we were trying to save you from. Why do you deny your saviour, RBIGS? [quote comment=""] my reads will be confined to those interesting others who are erudite contributors.[/quote]
    Ah, I’m sorry. Now I understand why you refuse to read George Orwell. Not “erudite” enough.

  • http://www.letters-of-the-living.blogspot.com Amanda

    Hello, All.

    I just wanted to take a second to genuinely thank the individuals who I have had the opportunity to discuss IDEAS with here. Especially the people who hold different views than mine, but who have been open to discussing our different ideas without resorting to personal attacks or other conversational dishonesty. Thanks for that. I think honest dialogue is really important- ESPECIALLY when you disagree.

    I also wanted to say, WOW. Why is there so much sniping here lately? Do people not believe it’s ok to openly state your disagreement with views/ideas? I have noticed SO MANY instances of individuals responding to their IDEAS being disagreed with as if they are being personally attacked. What is that about? Can’t we hear HONEST, SINCERE criticism of our ideas without assuming that the bearer of that criticism is of poor character? Weren’t ALL of us raised better than this? We MUST develop the ability to distinguish between a critique of our IDEAS and an attack on our person. I would be impoverished intellectually and spiritually if I had not been the recipient of divergent ideas that often contradicted mine throughout my life.

    With Baquias permission, can we possibly aspire to some conversational ground rules here? Like 1) Feel FREE to articulately state your views, including open disagreement 2) Do so respectfully 3) Be accountable to what you say here.

    I am particularly aware of the frequency those who voice disagreement with aspects of the Baha’i Faith are accused of all manner of ill motives. That is simply not acceptable in an honest discussion.

    I also wanted to apologize to Farhan for not seeing this comment until today:

    “Amanda,
    you write:
    For whatever reason, Farhan decided to characterize my words in that informal discussion as inappropriate. If I had chosen to make an official allegation of a specific party and use this blog as a platform, you are right that I should expect to provide documentation.
    Seeing that you are engaged in the prevention of domestic violence, I withdraw my words. The impression I got from your post was that you were mainly concerned with trying to discredit the Baha’i AO and not defend the victims. i apologise for my mistake.
    Since you are engaged in preventing domestic violence, please tell us how you feel about the directives of the NSA of the US to the Baha’i administration. Have you opposed this document to Baha’i institutions that were violating its rules? The document in case you have not studied it is available at : http://www.bahai.us/domestic-violence
    Thanks for giving us your opinion.
    warmest
    Farhan”

    THANK YOU, Farhan. Sincerely. I didn’t see that because sometimes so many comments post all at once that if I don’t check regularly, some new ones don’t show up in the little window.

    But I do thank you.

    I want to use some good conversational boundaries, okay? So I am not going to respond when I feel I would be mindlessly repeating myself. I also hope we can both be accountable to the CONTENT and MOTIVE of what we say to each other, staying on topic, and simply honestly discuss our IDEAS with intellectual integrity when we engage. If I feel that is not happening, I am simply not going to respond.

    Respectfully,
    Amanda

  • http://www.letters-of-the-living.blogspot.com Amanda

    Hello, All.

    I just wanted to take a second to genuinely thank the individuals who I have had the opportunity to discuss IDEAS with here. Especially the people who hold different views than mine, but who have been open to discussing our different ideas without resorting to personal attacks or other conversational dishonesty. Thanks for that. I think honest dialogue is really important- ESPECIALLY when you disagree.

    I also wanted to say, WOW. Why is there so much sniping here lately? Do people not believe it’s ok to openly state your disagreement with views/ideas? I have noticed SO MANY instances of individuals responding to their IDEAS being disagreed with as if they are being personally attacked. What is that about? Can’t we hear HONEST, SINCERE criticism of our ideas without assuming that the bearer of that criticism is of poor character? Weren’t ALL of us raised better than this? We MUST develop the ability to distinguish between a critique of our IDEAS and an attack on our person. I would be impoverished intellectually and spiritually if I had not been the recipient of divergent ideas that often contradicted mine throughout my life.

    With Baquias permission, can we possibly aspire to some conversational ground rules here? Like 1) Feel FREE to articulately state your views, including open disagreement 2) Do so respectfully 3) Be accountable to what you say here.

    I am particularly aware of the frequency those who voice disagreement with aspects of the Baha’i Faith are accused of all manner of ill motives. That is simply not acceptable in an honest discussion.

    I also wanted to apologize to Farhan for not seeing this comment until today:

    “Amanda,
    you write:
    For whatever reason, Farhan decided to characterize my words in that informal discussion as inappropriate. If I had chosen to make an official allegation of a specific party and use this blog as a platform, you are right that I should expect to provide documentation.
    Seeing that you are engaged in the prevention of domestic violence, I withdraw my words. The impression I got from your post was that you were mainly concerned with trying to discredit the Baha’i AO and not defend the victims. i apologise for my mistake.
    Since you are engaged in preventing domestic violence, please tell us how you feel about the directives of the NSA of the US to the Baha’i administration. Have you opposed this document to Baha’i institutions that were violating its rules? The document in case you have not studied it is available at : http://www.bahai.us/domestic-violence
    Thanks for giving us your opinion.
    warmest
    Farhan”

    THANK YOU, Farhan. Sincerely. I didn’t see that because sometimes so many comments post all at once that if I don’t check regularly, some new ones don’t show up in the little window.

    But I do thank you.

    I want to use some good conversational boundaries, okay? So I am not going to respond when I feel I would be mindlessly repeating myself. I also hope we can both be accountable to the CONTENT and MOTIVE of what we say to each other, staying on topic, and simply honestly discuss our IDEAS with intellectual integrity when we engage. If I feel that is not happening, I am simply not going to respond.

    Respectfully,
    Amanda

  • http://www.letters-of-the-living.blogspot.com Amanda

    Oh! Farhan, I forgot to answer your question:

    I think the document you mentioned on violence written by the U.S. NSA is outstanding.

    Thanks,
    Amanda

  • http://www.letters-of-the-living.blogspot.com Amanda

    Oh! Farhan, I forgot to answer your question:

    I think the document you mentioned on violence written by the U.S. NSA is outstanding.

    Thanks,
    Amanda

  • http://www.letters-of-the-living.blogspot.com Amanda

    RBIGS:

    You wrote: “Dear Amanda and Mavaddat,
    As I have neither the time nor inclination to engage in the puerile rhetoric which evidently delights you both, my reads will be confined to those interesting others who are erudite contributors.”

    So, what have I said that you think is “puerile rhetoric?” I’d be interested in specifics. Thanks.

    And, I am erudite enough to know when I am being insulted. Why do find the need to do that? I was sincerely recommending that Orwell read to you. Not surprisingly, Orwell had alot to say about the ways we use language in ideological contexts to OBSCURE our meaning rather than clarify it. What’s puerile about that? Where’s the rhetoric? I found his ideas really useful.

  • http://www.letters-of-the-living.blogspot.com Amanda

    RBIGS:

    You wrote: “Dear Amanda and Mavaddat,
    As I have neither the time nor inclination to engage in the puerile rhetoric which evidently delights you both, my reads will be confined to those interesting others who are erudite contributors.”

    So, what have I said that you think is “puerile rhetoric?” I’d be interested in specifics. Thanks.

    And, I am erudite enough to know when I am being insulted. Why do find the need to do that? I was sincerely recommending that Orwell read to you. Not surprisingly, Orwell had alot to say about the ways we use language in ideological contexts to OBSCURE our meaning rather than clarify it. What’s puerile about that? Where’s the rhetoric? I found his ideas really useful.

  • farhan

    [quote comment="45849"]Oh! Farhan, I forgot to answer your question:

    I think the document you mentioned on violence written by the U.S. NSA is outstanding.

    Thanks Amanda, I see we cordially agree on some points

    warmest

    Farhan

  • Farhan Yazdani

    [quote comment="45849"]Oh! Farhan, I forgot to answer your question:

    I think the document you mentioned on violence written by the U.S. NSA is outstanding.

    Thanks Amanda, I see we cordially agree on some points

    warmest

    Farhan

  • Andrew

    Baquia wrote:

    “It being that if you want something, just desire it and repeat it like a mantra and it will be given to you! Whatever you focus on, the law of attraction will draw to you.”

    There is a corollary to this in the area of sickness and health: the notion that health is a free flow of “divine” energies throughout the body whereas sickness is a blockage of energies caused by “imperfect thoughts” or “pranic blockage.” As if there is a divine blueprint of perfect health.

    Laurence Galian has written eloquently about this here:

    http://home.earthlink.net/~drmljg/id7.html

    “We must not deify health and make it into an idol. Our television screens are filled with exercise machines, ads for weight loss supplements, and workout shows. We are in awe of a 50-year-old woman who can wear a bikini, as if this were the greatest achievement a woman in her fifties can attain.”

  • Andrew

    Baquia wrote:

    “It being that if you want something, just desire it and repeat it like a mantra and it will be given to you! Whatever you focus on, the law of attraction will draw to you.”

    There is a corollary to this in the area of sickness and health: the notion that health is a free flow of “divine” energies throughout the body whereas sickness is a blockage of energies caused by “imperfect thoughts” or “pranic blockage.” As if there is a divine blueprint of perfect health.

    Laurence Galian has written eloquently about this here:

    http://home.earthlink.net/~drmljg/id7.html

    “We must not deify health and make it into an idol. Our television screens are filled with exercise machines, ads for weight loss supplements, and workout shows. We are in awe of a 50-year-old woman who can wear a bikini, as if this were the greatest achievement a woman in her fifties can attain.”

  • farhan

    Sincere Friend,

    I found the quote I was seeking about the future political system that might be inspired by the Baha’i teachings.
    Democracy as Churchill put it is the least unfavorable form of government. One flaw is that it can result in continual tension which is not feasable in a poor country, leading politicians to seek only short term solutions that can benefit their reelection.

    Ali Nakhjavani outlines the differenct caracteristics of a possible Baha’i system which will be very different from anything we have seen up to now :

    DEMOCRATIC ASPECTS of the Bah??’? Administrative Order.

    -The Bah??’? electoral system determining the membership of the local, national and international administrative bodies.

    -The feature of parliamentary debate incorporated into Bah??’? consultation.

    -The degree of autonomy provided to elected councils at the local and national levels.

    Dissimilarities: under the Bah??’? system the elected are not responsible to those who elect them, but must follow the dictates of their own conscience. Partisanship and campaigning for office are likewise forbidden.

    ARISTOCRATIC ASPECTS of the Bah??’? Administrative Order.

    -The appointed branch of the administration, comprising the institution of the Counsellors on the international and continental levels, and the Auxiliary Board members and their Assistants.

    -The principle of freedom from outside control that governs the functioning of the Universal House of Justice.

    Dissimilarities: The Counsellors and Auxiliary Board Members are not appointed for life, but for a fixed term. They also do not possess decision-making authority, as this power is vested in the elected branch. No position now existing in the Administrative Order is based on birth and its inherited privileges.

    AUTOCRATIC ASPECTS of the Bah??’? Administrative Order.

    -The absolute and binding authority given to the Writings of Bah??’u’ll??h, and his two authorised Interpreters, Abdul-Baha and Shoghi Effendi.

    Dissimilarities: Flexibility is guaranteed by the fact that there is an unlimited field of legislation to implement, and supplement in subsidiary matters, the Laws revealed by Bah??’u’ll??h. This responsibility is discharged by an elected body, the Universal House of Justice.

    Source: Six Talks on the Various Aspects of the World Order of Baha’u’llah. by Ali Nakhjavani. 2004-02.

    bahai-library.com/?file=nakhjavani_talks_world_order

  • Farhan Yazdani

    Sincere Friend,

    I found the quote I was seeking about the future political system that might be inspired by the Baha’i teachings.
    Democracy as Churchill put it is the least unfavorable form of government. One flaw is that it can result in continual tension which is not feasable in a poor country, leading politicians to seek only short term solutions that can benefit their reelection.

    Ali Nakhjavani outlines the differenct caracteristics of a possible Baha’i system which will be very different from anything we have seen up to now :

    DEMOCRATIC ASPECTS of the Bah??’? Administrative Order.

    -The Bah??’? electoral system determining the membership of the local, national and international administrative bodies.

    -The feature of parliamentary debate incorporated into Bah??’? consultation.

    -The degree of autonomy provided to elected councils at the local and national levels.

    Dissimilarities: under the Bah??’? system the elected are not responsible to those who elect them, but must follow the dictates of their own conscience. Partisanship and campaigning for office are likewise forbidden.

    ARISTOCRATIC ASPECTS of the Bah??’? Administrative Order.

    -The appointed branch of the administration, comprising the institution of the Counsellors on the international and continental levels, and the Auxiliary Board members and their Assistants.

    -The principle of freedom from outside control that governs the functioning of the Universal House of Justice.

    Dissimilarities: The Counsellors and Auxiliary Board Members are not appointed for life, but for a fixed term. They also do not possess decision-making authority, as this power is vested in the elected branch. No position now existing in the Administrative Order is based on birth and its inherited privileges.

    AUTOCRATIC ASPECTS of the Bah??’? Administrative Order.

    -The absolute and binding authority given to the Writings of Bah??’u’ll??h, and his two authorised Interpreters, Abdul-Baha and Shoghi Effendi.

    Dissimilarities: Flexibility is guaranteed by the fact that there is an unlimited field of legislation to implement, and supplement in subsidiary matters, the Laws revealed by Bah??’u’ll??h. This responsibility is discharged by an elected body, the Universal House of Justice.

    Source: Six Talks on the Various Aspects of the World Order of Baha’u’llah. by Ali Nakhjavani. 2004-02.

    bahai-library.com/?file=nakhjavani_talks_world_order

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Stephen-Gray/100001692531472 Stephen Gray

    Democracy is bad. There are no actual democracies in the world, but constitutional republics and constitutional monarchies.

    Constitutional republics and constitutional monarchies are the best forms of government.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Stephen-Gray/100001692531472 Stephen Gray

    Yes, I’m a former Baha’i as well, but I blog about random things mostly. I’m a Nichiren Buddhist now (affiliated with Nichiren Shoshu). http://www.nst.org/