Don’t speak out for them, they’re not Baha’is

What follows was posted to a UK-based mailing list called “Iran Press Watch: the Baha’i Community”.

I’ve been following it closely, as it contains precious information on the persecution of Iranian Baha’is. In the beginning, I had mixed feelings about it. I suspected it of being a Baha’i propaganda tool disguised as an independent media watch, which disturbed me.

I would see nothing wrong in Baha’is openly protesting against the treatment we get in Iran. Then why not state it clearly?
But in recent weeks, my prejudices started to melt away, as Iran Press Watch’s posts started to warm up to the opposition’s protest.

I even kind of hoped for a new official attitude against the regime. I dreamt of seeing Baha’u’llah’s fiery words to the Shiite clerics launched as rockets against the bearded and turbaned oppressors.

Would we, in the end, take our right place �in the forefront of all progressive movements�?

Alas, here comes the clarion call. Announcing a crackdown on those who side with those we ask to side with us when we’re the ones being beaten up or dragged to prison.

—————–From Iran Press Watch—————————————

Non-involvement in Discussions on Iran’s Elections
June 23rd, 2009
Editor’s Note: In light of recent events in Iran, we wish to bring to our
readers attention the following letter from the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the United Kingdom, the highest administrative body of the British Baha’is, on the non-involvement of Baha’is in discussions on the current state of affairs in Iran.

June 22, 2009

Dearly loved Friends

Events taking place in the Islamic Republic of Iran in recent days have
naturally been occupying the minds of the believers here in the United Kingdom, especially those of us concerned for the safety of our loved ones in that land, and for the well-being of our sorely-tried brethren and others facing oppression.

The National Spiritual Assembly would like to share with the friends the following guidance, contained in a letter dated 4 February 2008 written by the Universal House of Justice, which states that the believers’ “avoidance of any form of partisan alignment and non-involvement in political affairs, whether as individuals or as groups, should be the basis of their activities in order that they become the icons of trust of the people, of government officials and of the leaders of the nation, as was the wish of the beloved Guardian.”

“Participation in civil elections”, the House of Justice reminds us, is permissible “provided the elector can do so without any attachment to any political party or demonstrating any partisan inclination”. The Supreme Body continues: “But this participation is voluntary and not compulsory.

Bah??’?­ institutions and the Bah??’?­ community have nothing to do with it. The believers do not consult with each other about whom they vote for and the community does not act in any way to influence the participation of individuals and whom they vote for. Avoidance of any discussion on this matter is necessary and the preservation of the unity in the community of Bah??’u’ll??h is, at all times, of utmost importance.”

In light of this guidance, the friends should not be discussing matters to do with the Iranian election result and its aftermath on social networking sites such as Facebook, on their personal weblogs and other online media. Such unwise and wholly inappropriate actions may only serve to reinforce the misconception in the eyes of the Faith’s detractors that our long-suffering, persecuted friends in Iran have some form of political agenda or allegiances.

With loving Baha’i greetings

National Spiritual Assembly

————-End of quoted post————————-

The words attributed to pastor Martin Niemoller spring to my mind:

“When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.
Then they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
I did not protest;
I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews,
I did not speak out;
I was not a Jew.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out for me”.

When they come for our friends (and come they will) there may be no one left to speak out for them

daniela pinna

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  • http://iranpresswatch.org/ Ahang Rabbani

    There are a number of factual errors in this blog that should be pointed out. I offer the following thoughts as a contributor to Iran Press Watch (IPW) and someone informed of IPW's practices.

    1. IPW is not a UK based site. The site is registered elsewhere and no one on the editorial board resides in the UK.

    2. IPW is not a “Baha'i propaganda tool”. IPW is an independent research project of several concerned individuals and human rights activists. It has no ties whatsoever to any organization or entity.

    3. IPW is not “warming up to opposition's protests”. IPW has not and will not comment on Iran's political affairs. IPW's concern is with human and civil rights of the Baha'i community of that country and documenting atrocities perpetrated against the Baha'is of that nation. IPW hopes that all provisions of Universal Declaration of Human Rights would be fully implemented in Iran.

    4. The final comment in this blog about IPW siding with “crackdown” is such a blanat falsehood that we will not dignify it with a rebuttal.

    IPW stands by its reputation and reporting.

    Ahang Rabbani
    Iran Press Watch (http://iranpresswatch.org/)

  • Karmaniac

    Why must the Baha'i authorities tell the Baha'is what to do in every instance such as this? Can't they think for themselves? It's like the Baha'is are being treated like schoolchildren.

  • Pey

    Well they may not say anything about the plight of others, but I will. Here is what I wrote on my facebook page. One Bahai at least will give voice when the AO may not:
    “I've been thinking a lot about what is happening in Iran. What I hope for is that what we see unfolding is not just a desire for regime change or more freedom. I pray that what is happening is a cultural change among the new generation of Iranian youth. A cultural change that will once and for all purge the prejudices and deep hatreds inside Persian culture that allowed the Islamic regime to come to power 30 years ago. Now that mainstream Iranians have tasted the brutality of the regime, maybe their eyes and hearts will have opened up to the plight of religioius minorities, feminists, gays and lesbians, ethnic groups and others who have suffered for decades under the Islamic regime.
    There is so much that I love about my culture, but there is also so much that I despise. I despise the sexism that treats women as unequal. A misogyny so evil that it sees the stoning of a woman for adultery, yet gives a man a slap on the hand for the same “crime”. I despise the homophobia that inflicts such shame and self-loathing on so many gays and lesbians in that culture. A homophobia that will sit back and allow teenagers to be flogged and executed in public squares for the “crime” of homosexuality. I despise the religious intolerance that executes, imprisons and tortures Baha'is and calls it justice towards apostates. Prejudice that treats Jews and Christians as second class citizens. I despise a culture that glorifies Persian nationalism to such an extent that it wants to eliminate the cultural diversity of other ethnic groups within its borders. These evil acts were committed by the Islamic regime of Iran, but that regime did not come to power in a bubble. It came to power by stoking the fires of prejudice and hatred in the Iranian people as did Hitler with the Germans.
    I pray the new generation of Iranian youth is different from mine or my parent's. May their bravery in the streets be not only about freedom and politics, but more about a cultural revolution that will usher in a society that accepts and values diversity.”

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  • Craig Parke

    Pey,

    Excellent post! I commend you. The technology of the New World Age changed the recent U.S. Presidential election. It is going to change Iran. And it is going to change the processes within the Baha'i Faith.

    Political and religious Institutions and backward un-democratic and non-consultative cultures that do not understand the end use of these technologies are are going to be completely obliterated from the face of the Earth by their own hand. They cannot compete in the marketplace of new ideas and in the new energies and new potentials of the world. They are completely doomed.

    Because the end result of these technologies is that EVERY PERSON ON EARTH CAN INTIMATELY COMMUNICATE WITH EVERY OTHER PERSON ON EARTH!!! Huge intelligent, rational, and very SPIRITUAL (NOT RELIGIOUS – THERE IS A DIFFERENCE) electorates in every human endeavor in every society are now going to come into play. If a person is an idiot they are not gping to be elected dog catcher in anything on Earth. If they are ignorant, if they are a sociopath, if they are a mindless knee jerk ideologue, if they are incompetent they are not going to be given power in the world.

    The very FIRST to fall in this World Age are the Chief Priests, Scribes, and Pharisees (the archetype of phoney-baloney experts) in every human endeavor. Jesus Christ was murdered by an “organization”. We have now had 2,000 years to study the mind bending psycho pathology of human organizations whether they be governments, religions, or businesses. People are taking notes. People are learning. From World Wars to economic depressions to religions being hijacked by psychopaths and third rate neurotic hacks, people that are going to be the electorates of the future are adding things up. It is all being recorded on the Internet. Each generation can study the hapless archetypes of human folly now. The fools and buffoons of every land and every system are now under a microscope 24/7/365/1000.

    It may take 300-500 years but in the human future the only protection for any human being that has been given governmental, economic, or “management” power of any kind in society is total fair dealing, justice, and competence. Anyone who messes up will be mercilessly ridiculed forever in the annals of human history. Judgment Day has come upon every human soul and – most of all – upon every human organization. It is lead, follow, or get out of the way. A lot of people are going to turn out to be on the wrong side of history.

    Everyone keep posting. Everyone keep going to work and doing their job. The Promised Day has come. Judgment Day has come upon all tyrants and ideological murderers whether it be physical or spiritual.

    Every person on Earth is now the New York Times. The people that do not fully understand the full implications of this are going into the dust bin of history.

    I do not morn the passing of human stupidity and incompetence. I preach the New World Age.

  • Barb Ruth-Wright

    If IPW is independent why is it concerned only with atrocities against Baha'is, and not against others? No ties whatsoever to any organization or entity, you say?

    Iran's political affairs are not the question here. Human and civil rights of Iranians is the issue being addressed. Is IPW not concerned about the violation of basic human and civil rights of Iranians, any Iranians?

    If one stands silent in the face of brutality, one is complicit in that brutality.

    Where is IPW registered? Are you a Baha'i?

    Barb

  • Baquia

    Barb, of course Ahang is a fellow Baha'i. His heart is in the right place (give or take a few inches). But you're asking way too many questions. Just sit over there in the corner and do Ruhi.

    And if you've already done it, no problem, just do it all over again.

  • http://visibleinthedark.wordpress.com/ A Canadian

    Thank you so much for this post. I was very bothered when I received a similar email.

    I think the administration is confused about what it is the people of Iran are fighting for. They voted, and their votes weren't counted. The majority of the world believes there was election fraud, and the people of Iran are taking a stand. Just like we want people to take a stand against the imprisonment of Baha'is.

    Baha'is are big believers in world government. The UN is the closest thing to world government we have.

    Article 21 of the UN Declaration of Human Rights states that humans have the right to vote. Iranians have been this denied this right. Is it not our responsibility to stand up and ensure these rights are upheld?

  • farhan

    Once again, Baquia, Baha'is believe that the ultimate solution to the world's ills is the fostering of love and unity between all, and not taking sides in the numerous conflicts. It is unfortunately not enough to speak up and point out to injustice to cure it. We also have to look for it's roots and treat it.

    In a world that historically has ALWAYS been established on force and conflict, this is a new era and an entirely new outlook on social cohesion, the forging of swords into ploughs.

    It has never existed before and we cannot blame people, even very bright ones, for not understanding this new approach and slipping back to the age old reactions that call for opposition and violence in a poor attempt to quench violence. They are unfortunately trying to fight hatred instead of fostering love and unity through spiritualisation at grass roots: something which as you rightly say, the Institute Process is bringing about.

  • http://www.wahidazal.blogspot.com/ Wahid Azal

    No surprise that when the push has come to shove in Iran the official Baha'i leadership has wussed out, yet again! After all this was also the official position of Abbas Effendi in the face of the Constitutional Revolution in 1905-09, which he decided at the crucial hour not to support it. While prior to the (farcical) election on June 12th the Green Movement had been chanting on the streets of Tehran slogans such as, “Baha'i, Baha'i Hemayatat Mikonim” (Bahais Bahais, We Will Defend You!), as the post-election fracas gained momentum, and especially this week when protestors were being butchered by the regime's brutal para-military forces in Baharestan, Vali Asr Avenue and Vanak Square, the Baha'i leadership, as usual, recoiled into itself and went completely silent.

    Now prior to this false election, I was (as were many other Iranian nationalists) on record as an advocate of dialogue with the Islamic republic in the hopes of a long-term reform agenda of the Islamic Republic itself, as Iran was then perceived to be moving into a post-Revolutionary phase. As as of June 12th it is now obvious that all talk of dialogue (let alone reform of the Islamic Republic) is completely out of the question and that nothing short of overthrowing this regime is going to work anymore. One of the reasons, which is not being widely reported, is this: the current ascendent rightwing clique, represented by Khamenei, Ahmadinejad and the military leadership of the IRGC (Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps), are in the process of systematically unravelling the IRI's republicanism and civil participatory institutions step by step. They do not even speak of republic (jomhuri) in their discourse any longer but of governing regime (hokumat) or order (nezam). Khamenei has gone out of his way over the past two and a half years to only speak of *hukumat-i-islami* and *nezam-i-islami* rarely referring to *jomhuri-i-islami* in the present tense. In effect, should these people succeed, this would turn Iran into a Taliban-style theocratic nightmare with all consultative institutions of the state either diluted to a mere ornamental formality or dismissed altogether. This is what *Ahmadinejadism* represents, and this is why you have so many former insiders of the regime now turning sharply against it.

    Whether they wish to openly join the Green Movement or not, is their business. But the Baha'is should understand that things are only going to get a lot, lot worse in Iran from here on out if this regime is not overthrown – and soon! Given this, they can either stand with the disenfranchised masses – even if they decide to do so quietly and behind the scenes – or be relegated to inconsequentiality when the inevitable does arrive and this murderous, illegitmate regime is finally dispatched straight into the dustbin of history – and it will.

    Where you stand right now is what counts; not yesterday or tomorrow. Do not be like the Iranian Baha'i leadership of the 1970s who genuflected to the Shah while he was in power but then sent the Ayatollah Khomeini and his Revolutionary Council a congratulatory message when the Shah's regime fell, complaining in it about the persecution of the Baha'i community under the Pahlavi regime.

    ALLAHU AKBAR! DEATH TO THE DICTATOR!

    Wahid Azal

  • farhan

    Karmaniac wrote: It's like the Baha'is are being treated like schoolchildren.

    Karmaniac, some people think they still learn, improve and progress all their lives, maintaining this elasticity of the spirit that characterises kids. So once they have done their best, they look up to a source of inspiration so as to do still better. Baha'is look up to their teachings and institutions for inspiration. Those who believe they have already attained the summit of accomplishment and no longer need spiritual guidance, only rely on their own selves.

  • farhan

    Baquia, in which way do you believe the Baha'is can best help their fellow citizens in Iran, if not in helping towards reconciliation and spiritualisation? Not so long ago, on this blog, you were advocating that they should all flee their country!

  • Baquia

    Farhan, yes, I continue to urge my fellow Baha'is in Iran to leave as many have already and live productive lives in free countries that will welcome them with open arms. Choosing to remain in a place of danger when you have an option is not martyrdom but simply wrong.

  • farhan

    Baquia wrote: Choosing to remain in a place of danger when you have an option is not martyrdom but simply wrong.

    Baquia, you would also encourage medical teams to leave places of catastrophe and war to be welcomed to safer countries?

    As I have already pointed out, being a �martyr�, as the etymology suggests, is witnessing with our life of engagement in favour of our unrestricted love for the whole of humanity. Whether we die or not is accessory. In the case of Iran, it means staying there, serving all and reconciling all parties, without taking sides in the conflict.

    You want Baha'is to fan the flames by taking sides in a conflict they are trying to appease. How can you consider them as “fellow” Baha'is when the line of action you are advocating is the exact opposite to the teachings of the Baha'i Faith? Here is one of numerous examples :

    �The Most Great Peace cannot be assured through racial force and effort; it cannot be established by patriotic devotion and sacrifice; for nations differ widely and local patriotism has limitations. Furthermore, it is evident that political power and diplomatic ability are not conducive to universal agreement, for the interests of governments are varied and selfish; nor will international harmony and reconciliation be an outcome of human opinions concentrated upon it, for opinions are faulty and intrinsically diverse. Universal peace is an impossibility through human and material agencies; it must be through spiritual power. There is need of a universal impelling force which will establish the oneness of humanity and destroy the foundations of war and strife. None other than the divine power can do this; therefore, it will be accomplished through the breath of the Holy Spirit.� (Abdu’l-Baha, Promulgation Universal Peace 48:14)

  • Baquia

    Farhan, your reply should be addressed to the author of the message above. I didn't write it.

    btw, where does Daniela advocate violence? I continue to stand in awe of you ability to twist and contort people's words and to put your own in their mouth. As I said, you have missed your true calling! Karl Rove couldn't wish for a better protege.

  • farhan

    Baquia, I apologise for having mistaken you for the author. I never said the author advocated violence, but taking sides in a conflict by �fiery� official statements, which would be in itself unacceptable from a community that is attempting to share the spiritual basis for reconciliation.

  • Baquia

    “You want Baha'is to fan the flames by taking sides in a conflict they are trying to appease.”

    I said no such thing. As always you spin and put words in people's mouths. Keep this up and you'll Dr. Maneck a run for her money!

    What I did say is that we should not be afraid to stand up for the values that we believe in such as freedom, justice, democracy, etc.

    btw PUP is not an authoritative source. You yourself agreed with me when I pointed this out not 1 week ago to Jonah.

  • farhan

    Baquia, I have already apologised for having mistaken you as the author of Daniela’s post which you adopted as a header on your blog; do we now understand that you disagree with this posting? Do you intend to send tablets to world's leaders to rebuke them, as Baha'u'llah did?

    As to the quote from PUP that you consider unreliable, any seeker having superficially studied the writings can recall thousands of similar passages that draw attention to our duty to lovingly provide the basis for spiritual reconciliation to all those concerned instead of taking sides in conflicts. Here is one from Baha’u’llah (ESW, p 14):

    â€?Gird up the loins of your endeavor, O people of Baha, that haply the tumult of religious dissension and strife that agitateth the peoples of the earth may be stilled, that every trace of it may be completely obliterated. For the love of God, and them that serve Him, arise to aid this sublime and momentous Revelation. Religious fanaticism and hatred are a world-devouring fire, whose violence none can quench. The Hand of Divine power can, alone, deliver mankind from this desolating affliction… Consort with all men, O people of Baha, in a spirit of friendliness and fellowship. If ye be aware of a certain truth, if ye possess a jewel, of which others are deprived, share it with them in a language of utmost kindliness and goodwill. If it be accepted, if it fulfill its purpose, your object is attained. If anyone should refuse it, leave him unto himself, and beseech God to guide him. Beware lest ye deal unkindly with him. A kindly tongue is the lodestone of the hearts of men. It is the bread of the spirit, it clotheth the words with meaning, it is the fountain of the light of wisdom and understanding.â€?
    You will find a whole compilation from Baha’i writings on how religion has to be a source of reconciliation and not of opposition and conflict here:
    http://www.bahai-biblio.org/centre-doc/etude/re

  • farhan

    Daniella wrote: Would we, in the end, take our right place �in the forefront of all progressive movements�?

    Daniella, you seem to be surprised at the raections of Baha'i institutions react when Baha'is, who are by belief and principle never involved in any party politics are persecuted, and yet do not take sides in a political conflict in Iran.

    I would like to point out that to Baha'is, the “forefront of all progressive movements” at this time is not an outdated old-world dualistic attitude of “speaking up” and taking sides with whomever we might imagine as “less responsible” for these conflicts, but on the contrary, as I have quoted in this discussion, the sharing with all of the “universal impelling force which will establish the oneness of humanity and destroy the foundations of war and strife” contained in the words of God's revelation.

  • Craig Parke

    Farhan,

    You quote:

    â€?Religious fanaticism and hatred are a world-devouring fire, whose violence none can quench. The Hand of Divine power can, alone, deliver mankind from this desolating affliction….â€? (GWB CXXXII)

    Religious fanaticism and hatred is a form of mental illness. It is a very peculiar form of deranged brain chemistry. All “organized religions” in history have demonstrated being very highly prone to this form of deranged mental illness. Why do you think the Baha'i Faith would be exempt form this form of deranged neurotransmitter brain chemistry either? I believe the core factor is people living in a cult bubble where all their family, friends, and social interactions are in a closed loop. Explain to me why you think the Baha'i Faith will never be prone to this mental and emotional condition? After 38 years, I say we are well on our way to needing permanent electro convulsive therapy for everyone. All of our endless lifetime incumbent leadership appears to be in need of portable battery pack units. It would be a very high electric bill. Maybe free Prozac for everyone would be better? The endless Junior G-Man Politburo “Plans” of the Baha'i Faith is like a continuous “Skype Hunt” at teenage summer camp on an endless cosmic Groundhog Day. Endless meetings and endless workbook exercises by people who sit on their fat asses in circles and accomplish nothing in life year after year and decade after decade and century after century. Meanwhile, the whole free thinking world is moving on and implementing the energies of the New World Age and leaving the official Baha'i Administrative Order in the dust. The way to teach the Faith is to find people who are ACTUALLY DOING the work of the World Age on the road of life UNDER THEIR OWN POWER and tell them what they are! But the AO does not want people like that. It is to scary for the chromosome impaired lifetime incumbent weak sisters at the top running the top down show. They cannot control such people. The thought of such talented and inspired in the Faith who can function on their own initiative is causing certain people shrinkage. The Baha'i Administrative Order is in chains and will continue to be in chains while everyone else is in touch with the direct energies of the Maid of Heaven (the Spirit of the World Age) from within their own being. Everyone else is opening hearts and minds with new energies while the Baha'is are closing hearts and minds with their insane top down straight jacketed methods of mind bending incompetence. I tell you even the Yack Herders are going to eventually burn out because people are now forbidden by the AO to be in touch with their own thoughts and the musings of their own heart, spirit, and conscience. The result is going to be mind bending catastrophe.

    Right now the free thinking progressive atheists and agnostics of the world are doing the best job at stopping religious fanaticism and hatred with their much higher morals and system of thought and competence in human affairs. They currently have the best writers and thinkers and are influencing more people for good. Deeds not words. The irony is that the Hand of Divine power seems to currently be with them NOT the Baha'is. The Baha'is are living in chains in the current version of the Faith where a person can be accused of thought crimes and thrown out of the Faith by First Class Post at any time for any reason with no due process of any kind whatsoever. What right does an organized religion have to open a surveillance file on any member? What kind of a “religion” is that? It is baloney. The same old, same old in human history. Many had hoped for something much better this time out. I certainly did.

    Again, DEEDS NOT WORDS. Whoever DOES the good works of the new energies of the New World Age with the new paradigm in human potential IS the true Baha'i whether they ever heard of the Bab, Baha'u'llah, or Abdu'l-Baha or not. That actually used to be one of the original Teachings of the Faith.

    Meanwhile the Baha'is hold another fruitless and barren meeting that produces no result whatsoever while people are shot down in the streets of the world.

    At least I broke ranks after all these barren years and worked for this for my country and so I can die now feeling I did some good and did not completely waste my life living among gnats. It is time to fly with eagles where ever one can find them.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VjnygQ02aW4

    Like the youths of Iran, the whole world is yearning for change while the Baha'is put their once beautiful religion in a straight jacket of mind bending pompous arrogant leadership incompetence.

  • farhan

    Craig wrote: Religious fanaticism and hatred is a form of mental illness. It is a very peculiar form of deranged brain chemistry. All “organized religions” in history have demonstrated being very highly prone to this form of deranged mental illness.

    Craig, I agree with many points, and I love your sincerity, although as usual I do not share a pessimistic outlook and continue to believe in God's grace. Fanaticism is certainly a trap into which we can all fall, in religion, politics, power, ambition, pride and many other behaviours. The Baha’i Faith is no exception. It is so much easier to be excessive than to be loyal and precise to specific needs; over cooking and under cooking a meal are easier than just the right cooking time. The damage occurs when we move away from the golden mean, just as sugar is a vital constituent of blood but can destroy us if in excess. I feel that the guide line should be as you say service, avoiding that the tool should supersede the goal.

  • Baquia

    Farhan said: …not an outdated old-world dualistic attitude of “speaking up” and taking sides with whomever we might imagine as “less responsible” for these conflicts…

    I don't want to speak for Daniela but I suspect that she is saying that we should speak up for the values that we as Baha'is believe in, no matter what the situation. You continue to ignore this point and make it about politics or about taking sides in a political debate. Think of the Apartheid era. While it, like almost every facet of history, can be seen as political, it was also about spiritual values. We as Baha'is were told to go and sit in a corner while our values were trampled. If you think others do not see the naked hypocrisy in such a pattern of behavior then you are sorely mistaken.

  • farhan

    Baquia wrote: We as Baha'is were told to go and sit in a corner while our values were trampled.
    Baquia, we are not told to sit in a corner. We are told that it is urgent and of vital importance to work towards the spiritualisation of the planet, which to a Baha’i, is treating the illness at it’s roots. It is of course already an asset to be awake and aware of the problems, and speaking up and drawing attention. Hoping �someone will do something about it� although essential, is not enough. We also have to do something about it, and as Baha’is, we believe that we have to concentrate on sharing with humanity God’s message. Of course if we are not convinced that sharing God’s message is not useful, then by all means other ways of action are relevant.

    We know that uprooting a tyrant, although necessary, is not enough for elaborating a peaceful society in its wake. Long before Apartheid fell, Baha’is all over Africa were already laying the basis for a multiracial society that would follow colonialism, without shouting it out on the roofs and publicising their efforts.

  • Craig Parke

    Farhan,

    This story about your dear mother is absolutely wonderful. That is what it is all about. But I say the current version of the Administrative Order of the Baha'i Faith has completely betrayed the beautiful efforts of those Baha'is in that time. There must now be an absolutely fierce movement for enforced term limits in the Baha'i Faith or the efforts of everyone are going to be lost to history. Everyone must be held accountable for their actions on their watch.

    The current incompetent leadership of the Baha'i Faith at every level has failed every man, woman, and child on Earth. It is time for the rank and file Baha'is of the world to be inspired by the citizens of Iran and vote all self appointed lifetime incumbent “clergy” who have gamed the electoral process into total oblivion. It may take 300-500 years but that Day will come in the Baha'i Faith when the rank and file of the planet Earth take up their GREAT POWER with the free vote that Baha'u'llah gave them. The Internet will eventually change everything. Term Limits. Accountability. Every Day. No. Lifetime. Incumbency.In. Permanent. Disgrace.

    There should never be anybody from the UHJ traveling the world on Baha'u'llah's money giving their pet personal opinions on ANY topic under Heaven and Earth whatsoever to captive Baha'i audiences. People will eventually see this type of behavior for the egotistical spiritual disgrace it is. No lectures from ANY of them on ANY pet topic EVER BOTH while they are in office and after they leave office. They are to do their jobs making real decisions and stop trying to be Holy Manifestations of God themselves telling every individual person on Earth what to do in anything. People are to read and study the Writings on their own and interpret them and follow them for themselves as they see fit. There should never be any top down enforced groupthink in the Baha'i Faith. That is not their sphere. They should be dealing with governments and organizations NOT individuals. But to function in their proper sphere in the world requires personal courage. Bullying individuals doesn't.

    I will be glad to discuss this with any of them face to face. Any time. Any where. Any place.

  • farhan

    Craig wrote: But I say the current version of the Administrative Order of the Baha'i Faith has completely betrayed the beautiful efforts of those Baha'is in that time

    Craig, I don’t share this view; what is going on in the world is the Major Plan of God; the AO is a not a substitute for it; it is a mere structure, albeit a necessary one; it is the minor plan of God, manned by people like you and I with our professional and family burdens, doing the best they can. Pioneers of those days in Africa feel that the universal fermentation in the world is the result of the efforts during the heroic times (BTW, thanks for the ceremony link. I will never get tired of seeing that event). God’s plans are ahead of our needs. Before we knock, He has already started to open the door. You are welcome to come and meet me in France.

  • Craig Parke

    Thanks for the invite, Farhan. If I ever get back to France, I'll look you up. The French are without question the best cooks in the world, so I had best not be on a diet if I ever visit again.

  • pey

    We know that uprooting a tyrant, although necessary, is not enough for elaborating a peaceful society in its wake
    ——————————-
    Then why do you noisily fight for the rights of the downtrodden Bahais in Iran (but only the Bahais in Iran)? Just let God take care of it. Bahais should continue to suffer in Iran and all we need to do is pray and teach the Faith- that's all. No need to speak to governments on their behalf. No need to contact the media and protest on their behalf. No. Just let them be Farhan. As you suggest we should let it be for feminists, gays/lesbians, ethnic minorities and others in Iran.
    Btw, I am at Toronto Pride this weekend and there was a booth with an organization sharing with the world the atrocities happening in Iran. I signed their petition- ooops, I hope that wasn't getting involved in politics!

  • fubar

    farhan,

    where is the evidence that more bad religion is the solution to the problem of bad religion?

    what we learn from the conditions of modernity is that less religion is the solution, and the ultimate outcome of social evolution.

    what is needed to to integrate spirituality with modernity and postmodernity. there is little or nothing in bahai that specifically guides humanity in a constructive direction that would accomplish such integration.

    outmoded metaphysics and various other failed ideas, which is what bahai is full of, are a dead end, and will accomplish little, or nothing.

    bahai is an empty utopian promise.

    please show evidence that there is any significant bahai contribution to the world federation movement, integral movement, etc., which are the real movements that the progress of humanity will come from.

  • fubar

    farhan,

    thanks for so clearly showing, again, that any nonconformance, dissent, or criticism is seen by the BACKWARD bahai “mainstream” as being SPIRITUALLY UNWORTHY.

    You have proved, once again, that (mainstream) bahai ideas, values, beliefs and metaphysics are outmoded, and disconnected from humanity.

    You have proved once again that no human sacrifice is too great on the alter of the worhip of bahai administration.

    universalized tribalism is still tribalism.

    universalized “saving face” is still “saving face”.

    universalized arrogance and elitism is still arrogance and elitism.

  • fubar

    Nima, is that you!?! (joke.)

    Anyways …. thanks for the excellent analysis. As far as I can tell, the bahai posture on “politics” has always been pretty incoherent, and thanks to you we can see the predictable historical origins.

    The idea that any paradigm shift in consciousness can be separated from political activism (however defined) is contradicted at a basic level by world history. To lack an objective understanding of politics is to lack an nuderstanding of society, culture, psychology, and so forth. It dooms bahai to impracticality. The political “crucible” of proving the validity of bahai beliefs, ideas and methods is almost entirely absent. It is a recipe for “powerlessness” at the levels of both the “I” and the “We”.

    One possible source of the problem is romanticist etherealism – in the wake of the vulgar (spiritually unworthy) capitalists taking over the world, the “refined, spiritual classes” chose to withdraw from the fracas.

    Ken Wilber on world politics and paradigm shifts:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tQRUu_4W2j8

  • fubar

    Bahai is derived from islamic culture. Islamic culture declined for 500 years, and was then beaten down by the west, and then largely withdrew from running the world. As a result, there is a lack of practical knowledge in bahai about actually running things. Come to think of it, there is also a corresponding lack of theoretical knowedge.

    The key word is “materialistic”. It is simply a expression of distain for the way that the “unworthy” people (capitalists, westerners) currently run the world, largely oblivious of the old, outmoded metaphysical systems, premodern/medieval cultures, and so forth.

    The worst possible disaster would be if bahais came to run the world.

    The crucible of politics would immediately demolish most bahai ideas. leaving chaos.

  • farhan

    Pey wrote : Then why do you noisily fight for the rights of the downtrodden Bahais in Iran (but only the Bahais in Iran)?

    Farhan: it is normal that an institution should defend its members when attacked as such. Also, it so happens that the Baha’is in Iran are engaged in sharing teachings that defend religious, racial, gender and economical rights for every one and need support as human rights activists, even though you find it unfair that the restriction for sexuality to within marriage applies for gays and non gays alike… as part of the characteristics of the peaceful society for which we are to prepare.

    Pey: I signed their petition- ooops, I hope that wasn't getting involved in politics!

    Farhan: Why not, if you feel that you have outgrown the need for guidance from the UHJ?

  • farhan

    Fubar wrote: there is a lack of practical knowledge in bahai about actually running things.

    You are right, Fubar. Baha’i Faith is a religious system and not a political association, so they are not so good at organising, and this is why they need an institute process to learn how to put the Baha’i teachings into practice in everyday life.

    They don’t intend to run the world, but to inspire those who run the world and they are confident that these people will not only eventually adopt Baha’i principles in running the world but eventually one day many of them will enrol in the far future as Baha’is.

  • farhan

    Fubar wrote: hanks for so clearly showing, again, that any nonconformance, dissent, or criticism is seen by the BACKWARD bahai “mainstream” as being SPIRITUALLY UNWORTHY.

    Wow, Fubar, who said all this if not yourself?

  • pey

    Beautiful Farhan. “teachings that defend religioius, racial, gender and economical rights for every one”. Hmm, who are we missing in that sentence? Oh yes, gays and lesbians who are flogged and executed in public squares in Iran. I guess defending them against death in your mind is the same as allowing them to get married. Funny, my mother made the same comment to me a few years ago- devout Persian Bahai that she is. Baquia is right- you really are the Karl Rove of the AO. I never mentioned anything about gay marriage. I was talking about basic human rights to just live (not be executed) by the Islamic regime. You are happy to support the Bahais from such a fate and want the rest of the world to support it as well, but God forbid you do the same for others. So at least Farhan, please make some noise for the women, ethnic groups and other religious minorities in Iran. But you don't have to for the gays, since it would go against your twisted form of the Bahai faith.

  • farhan

    Pey: So at least Farhan, please make some noise for the women, ethnic groups and other religious minorities in Iran
    Farhan: once again, Pey, �making noise� will not be much help. What will be helpful is the spiritual development of minds and hearts. This is of a vital importance right now. Once noise has been made and tyrants uprooted, we will again find ourselves with the self same problems if the spiritual foundations of society have not been developed. Someone said that a revolution is making a wide tour and coming back to the same spot.

  • pey

    Then please stop making noise for the Bahais in Iran. Unless you are trying to perfect the art of hypocrisy.

  • pey

    Who is that “someone” Farhan? YOU?! The youth of Iran I pray are courageous enough to be fighting not only for regime change, not only for freedom, but also for a more tolerant accepting society- for ALL. Something that you would think the Bahais would be in the forefront of doing, but I guess not anymore.

  • Barb Ruth-Wright

    A central question, Farhan, is Do the Baha'is believe that democracy (i.e. a system of government in which supreme power rests with the people) is a good thing, or do they believe they have something better? I am a Baha'i, and I am a deep believer in democracy, because democracy allows us, the people, to correct “mistakes” such as ingrained prejudice (for instance, prejudice against gays). Religion has in the past supported many things (slavery, for example, or the rule of men over women) which have been determined by “the people” to be wrong, and which have been corrected through the practice of democracy.

    One summer, at a Baha'i conference, I asked another very active Baha'i (because of comments which brought questions to my mind) – “But we do believe in democracy, right?”, and he answered that we do until we someday put a Baha'i political system into place – we have a better system.

    I repeat, I am a Baha'i, and I also believe deeply and without reservation in the concept of democracy, a system in which supreme power rests ultimately with the people. As they say, it is imperfect, but it's way ahead of whatever is in second place. I also believe deeply in separation of Church and State, for obvious reasons.

    What say you?

  • farhan

    Pey wote: Then please stop making noise for the Bahais in Iran. Unless you are trying to perfect the art of hypocrisy.
    Pey, we are not making unruly �noise� but condemning the persecutions through the democratic channels available, including the declarations of the BIC, just as we are defending gender rights, ecology, prejudice, poverty etc . Have you seen Baha’is making noise in the streets for their own rights? No, they are defending a sustainable social structure based on spirituality where all these ills can be globally eliminated permanently by developing a new way of life at grass roots.
    Once again it is not enough to break the silence; it is like the lady saying �I have told my husband a thousand times, he still smokes.� Obviously �telling him� is not enough. We have to find the roots of a behaviour and act at that level instead of merely �speaking up�, like a baby crying about his wet nappy, hoping someone will do something about it. Baha'is are in the forefront preparing a substitute society based on spiritual values.

  • pey

    And I'm not asking for the Bahais to go protest on the streets on behalf of anyone, including themselves- THAT would be suicide for Bahais in that society. BUT, I am asking that if you say you believe in justice and the AO is about justice, then everytime they ask for letter writing campaigns to congressmen, or they ask for us to send off some PR to the local press about the Bahais in Iran, that they also mention the feminists being rounded up, the ethnic minorities being harrassed by the regime, their jewish brothers and sisters. But don't worry, I won't ask them to mention the “g” word (gay) since justice for gays and lesbians isn't within the parameters of your version of the Bahai Faith.

  • farhan

    Barb, I too am a staunch believer and supporter of democracy which Winston Churchill described as the least imperfect system at this time. Baha’is believe that democracy will only succeed if it is elaborated on a spiritual basis, through a change in mind and heart and will advance and improve in years to come. I also believe that the world will continue to change and evolve, and one day science will teach us how to prevent and cure disease through food, and the earth will truly become as one country, and the Golden Age of humanity will arrive, but we are no where there yet. I don’t treat my patients with food, I present my passport at customs and I value democracy as it now exists, pending the spiritual maturity of humanity and the Golden age in some centuries.

  • farhan

    I fully agree with this, Pey; in fact the last message of the UHJ did include everyone in Iran, and I do agree with defending the rights of gays, as I respect the rules of a community that apply to all members.

  • Barb Ruth-Wright

    Farhan,

    1. Democracy IS a change of mind and heart.

    2. The trick with you is to look at what you do not say, what you avoid responding to.

    3. I hope that protesters in Iran will be unaware of your remark about people “speaking out” being compared to babies crying about their wet nappys (this from a separate post of yours). Low, Farhan, low.

    Barb

  • Barb Ruth-Wright

    Farhan,

    My dear husband, who is a pediatrician, reminds me that it is important for babies to cry about their wet nappies, otherwise they would get rot.

    Just a thought, Farhan.

    Barb

  • farhan

    There is no trick, Barb, keep questioning, and I will give you my opinion point by point as I have already done so, and thanks for expressing a different opinion. Again IMO, democracy is a form of government that IMPLIES a state of mind, and the upheavals we encounter around the world are IMO the result and the symptoms of a spiritually immature society. You are right, an adolescence crisis would be more appropriate image than a wet nappy.

  • Craig Parke

    Farhan,

    Why do you seem to repeatedly keep saying that the Baha'is are “spiritually mature” or even capable of ever attaining “spiritual maturity” both as individuals and as an organization?

    I have been a Baha'i for 38 years. I served with everything I had. This religion does not have the horses. It does not have the chops. It is one step forward and ten thousand steps back. The electorate is pathetic. The leadership is a continuous embarrassment year after year, decade after decade. It is a religion of passive-aggressive gnats. The world desperately needs eagles. There is no sign that anything can ever change.

    The Ruhi Full Sequence of Courses is top down spiritual groupthink masturbation. It is completely predatory. It is venal. It attacks the dignity of the human being. It will produce no living state of consciousness that is in contact with the free and open powers of the Universe. It is an insult to the intelligence of every person on Earth.

    The way to teach the Baha;i Faith is to find free thinking people in every society across the world that are already acting like Kitab-I-Iqan Baha'is from within their own hearts and minds directly from the Cosmos and just tell them what they are. But to do this Baha'is have to get out of their incestuous admin-o-centric cult bubble and get out into the life of the world. They will never do that because it requires actual guts. And the top leadership for decades at every level will never allow them to do that because they are filled with fear and trembling that they will lose control of the organization. So this is the cycle since 1912.

    (1) Free spiritual thinkers and seekers in every society across the world find the Faith.

    (2) They are on fire to express their own hearts and minds from their own life experience in the path of the Teachings.

    (3) They are told that is forbidden. They must submit to organizational groupthink.

    (4) Many then try very hard and are destroyed by the mind bending total over administration of the AO. I have known two LSA Secretaries and one DTC Secretary in my life that had total nervous breakdowns requiring hospitalization.

    (5) Many cannot bear it and leave in disgust after seven to ten years of effort that is completely run into the ground by the incompetent entrenched lifetime incumbent leadership at every level.

    Each generation comes in with their hopes for real change in the world and the affairs of men (WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Gulf War I, Iraq, Afghanistan just in the path of my one nation – there are many other oceans of blood upon many nations – add in the amazing Civil Rights movement here in the U.S. – the Great Depression – now the Crash of 2008) and are completely destroyed by the mind bending incompetence and incredible impaired immaturity of the system.

    Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

    Generation after generation.

    A new “Plan” and new top down manufactured change in what the focus is, a new definition of the “core beliefs” of the Baha'i Faith. All implemented by the same clueless idiots that now say the last Plan they devised was all wrong and the “friends” have mis-understood everything.

    I am sick of it. I am fed up. I will go to my dying day trying to get fixed term limits (no more then 10 years on the UHJ in a lifetime – no more than 8 years on any NSA's in a lifetime) in the Baha'i Faith. i will post it all over the Internet so in 300 years people will get the picture of all that was lost in the hopes of our time due to sheer entrenched mental illness and incompetence in the Administrative Order of the Baha'i Faith.

    If you have read the archives of many of the private dissident sites over the last ten years, Baha'is all over the world have gone underground. They communicate privately over the Internet. Those thoughtful discussions will be discovered in the future. If the Baha'i Faith does not totally financially collapse in the immediate future, the fire of insight may still stay lit and some kind of useful revival appear in the far future.

    Meanwhile, everyone else on Earth that is much more spiritually mature than the Baha'is under their own individual God given free and open initiatives from their own hearts and minds is implementing every day what the Baha'is were supposed to be doing.

    Those mature souls banded together and politically organized themselves and elected a black man President of the United States. And those mature souls even in young bodies are now in the streets of Iran.

    You don't need a Ruhi Course to paint-by-numbers “teach” you how to act in a situation like this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hG19CgFmtvY

    Everyone was indeed spiritually mature in this very dangerous situation. We have a civilization here because we follow the Divine Teachings of the Rock and Rollers – they are the true educators of mankind compared to the murderous incompetent and impaired religions of the Middle East.

    I had hoped for something much better from the Baha'i Faith than the entrenched incompetence and institutionalized lifetime incumbent mental illness that we got.

    Many people I have known were far more spiritually advanced, devoted, and talented people than the leadership they got.

    The Baha'i Faith needs a healthy dose of public free speech and it is now going to get it with the rise of the Internet. The people at the top had better start to get used to it. In the future the entire world will be holding their feet to the fire 24/7/365/1000.

    They will be held very publicly accountable for their decisions, their actions, their reasons for doing them, and their asinine pet personal opinions as expressed in their speeches.

    Everyone continue to preach The New Day in deeds not words.

    Everyone keep posting.

  • http://www.wahidazal.blogspot.com/ Wahid Azal

    Ken Wilber's work is basically a popularized redaction of Jean Gebser's: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean_Gebser
    especially the latters, THE EVER PRESENT ORIGIN:
    http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=62177211

    I encourage people who are seriously interested in the ideas Ken Wilber writes about to look at Gebser as well. THE EVER PRESENT ORIGIN is not an easy book, however, and is full of terminological jargon. But it is worth working through.

    Anyway, as to unfolding Iranian politics: I encourage people to follow the Green Briefs by Josh Shahryar on his site devoted to the Iranian Green Revolution:
    http://iran.whyweprotest.net/

    And post these briefs far and wide. We are indeed witnessing a tectonic world-historical shift in Iran of even greater magnitude than 1979. The events are unfolding rapidly and also opening discourses amongst the liberal to leftwing Shi'ite clerical hierocracy in Iran (as well as in neighboring Iraq, eg. Ali Sistani) that once this Revolution reaches its climactic conclusion will re-shape the Islamic world as we know it and begin completely discrediting Islamism everywhere as a result.

    Senior Grand Ayatollahs like Yussefi-Sanaa'i are openly challenging the system now, talking about secularism and the separation of religion from politics. Believe it, you have Grand Ayatollahs spearheading the movement for democratic change and secularism in Iran now. It doesn't get any more ironic than that! Where are the Baha'is in all this, as usual nowehere to be found, sucking on their thumbs endlessly talking the talk ever-firming up the windmills of their covenant.

    By the way, I recently took the liberty of changing the wording around of one of the uhj's messages from 2001. The orginal can be found here,
    http://bahai-library.com/published.uhj/counsell… (pp. 15-16)

    Although indoctrinating the Iranian Muslim nations' understanding of
    the Islamic Revolution and increasing their love and loyalty to it are
    of paramount importance, the duties of the Revolutionary Guards do not end here. The Guard members must remain ever vigilant, monitoring the actions of those who, driven by the promptings of counter-revolutionary ego, seek to sow the seeds of doubt in the minds of the valiant Muslim people of Iran and undermine the Islamic Revolution. In general, whenever Muslim compatriots become aware of such problems, they should immediately contact whatever institution of the Islamic Republic they feel moved to turn to, whether it be a Islamic Revolutionary cadre member, a Revolutionary Guard member, the Islamic Guardian Council or their own local Komiteh. It then becomes the duty of that institution to ensure that the report is fed into the correct channels and that all the other Islamic institutions affected are promptly informed. Not infrequently, the responsibility will fall on a Revolutionary Guard member, in coordination with the Islamic council concerned, to take some form of action in response to the situation. This involvement will include counselling the Muslim compatriot in question; warning him, if necessary, of the consequences of his counter-revolutionary activities; and bringing to the attention of the Revolutionary Guard the gravity of the situation, which may call for their intervention. Naturally, the Revolutionary Guard member has to exert every effort to counteract the schemes and arrest the spread of the influence of those few who, despite attempts to guide them, eventually turn against the Islamic Revolution.

    The need to protect Islam from the attacks of its enemies may not be
    generally appreciated by the valiant Muslim compatriots, particularly
    in places where attacks have been infrequent. However, it is certain
    that such opposition will increase, become concerted, and eventually
    universal. The writings of Imam Khomeini clearly foreshadow not only
    an intensification of the machinations of internal enemies, but a rise
    in the hostility and opposition of its external enemies, whether religious or secular, as the Islamic Revolution pursues its onward
    march towards ultimate victory. Therefore, in the light of the
    warnings of the Imam, the Revolutionary Guards corps should keep
    “constantly” a “watchful eye” on those “who are known to be enemies,
    or to have been put out of the Islamic Republic”, discreetly investigate their activities, alert intelligently Muslim compatriots
    to the opposition inevitably to come, explain how each crisis in the
    Islamic Revolution has always proved to be a blessing in disguise, and prepare them for the “dire contest which is destined to range the Army of Islam against the forces of the Great Satan”.

  • Grover

    Farhan, I just love the way you say everything is due to a spiritually immature society. Very scientific. Said without the slightest bit of understanding. Blame it on the people! Its all our fault! What about the system?

    Regarding treating diseases with foods – I'm sure as a doctor, you must be aware that most medicines active ingredients are derived from foods, plants and other organisms. Thats basic biochemistry taught in 1st and 2nd year med school – or did you happen to miss that? Or was it all French to you? But wait, you're a “doctor”, you must've passed basic med.

  • farhan

    I totally agree with your dear husband, and at the same time, we have to provide means for the baby’s future autonomy and even next, consider that one day he will have to change nappies for others and that he should not sink back to enuresis.

  • farhan

    Fubar wrote: The worst possible disaster would be if bahais came to run the world.

    Fubar, i think the world will run Baha'i

  • farhan

    Grover wrote: What about the system?

    Totally agree, Grover, the system is in the image of the people AND vice versa. The change in mind and heart HAS to be accompanied by a change in structure; the one without the other will fail. This explains the convulsions that accompany change.

    As to the medical part, my medical thesis in 1976 was on the subject. You can Google to it.

  • farhan

    Craig wrote: Why do you seem to repeatedly keep saying that the Baha'is are “spiritually mature” or even capable of ever attaining “spiritual maturity” both as individuals and as an organization?

    I am not saying Baha'is are more mature; I am saying Gods message baha'is are trying to share can help us to all maturity.

  • Baquia

    There is a lot of medicine which is derived from nasty stuff. Definitely not stuff you would want to eat! The problem with this 'food as medicine' that Farhan mentioned is that it is folklore dressed up as science. Rather unfortunate that well meaning Baha'is take something said in passing by one of the central figures and perceive it sacrosanct.
    Diet is of course important but the future of medicine in treating complex illnesses like cancer or disabilities like blindness is not in food but rather in the new fields of study such as stem cells.
    Baha'u'llah gave the best advice when it comes to health: consult a competent physician.

  • Baquia

    Interesting thought. Made me think of the world as the hardware and religion as the software.

    Now, are we microsoft or linux?

  • Grover

    The Baha'i Faith is DOS, lol

  • farhan

    Baquia wrote: the future of medicine in treating complex illnesses like cancer or disabilities like blindness is not in food but rather in the new fields of study such as stem cells.

    Baquia, there is no doubt exciting possibilities theer, but statistically, the major part of wide spread diseases arrive on a nutritional disequilibrium on which diseases flourish. Just consider that 1/2 of humanity is under nourished and 1/3 over fed. A vast number of diseases can be avoided and in their early stages cured by adequate food, and in time science will advance and highly competent doctors will include nutrition as a complement and not an alternative in their prescriptions.

  • Barb Ruth-Wright

    Farhan,

    Ah, so now those who speak out against injustice are adolescents, not babies. Perhaps as we move along you will admit that they are spiritually mature adults acting on conscience against brutality.

    Exactly what state of mind do you think is implied by democracy? An immature one?

    I warn you, Farhan, to stop putting words in my mouth. I am quite capable of speaking for myself.

    Evil may not exist as a positive force, but it does exist, and it gathers strength through the silence and inaction of “good” people. Remember Hitler's Third Reich.

    You have a few blind spots, Farhan, but don't feel too bad – we all do.

    Barb

  • fubar

    farhan said: “Baha'is are in the forefront preparing a substitute society based on spiritual values.”

    WRONG, WRONG, WRONG.

    The only thing bahais are in the “forefront” about is PAYING LIP SERVICE to the idea of “eventually” having a “spiritual society”.

    In actual practice, the dysfunctional organizational culture of bahai is largely devoid of honesty, and its mechanisms of self-correction are almost completely broken by a paradigm regressive leadership that has sought to lock itself into power.

    How can an organization that has become highly dysfunctional, and averse to reform, that suppresses nonconformity, dissent and criticism possibly have any sort of legitimate claim to a viable alternative/substitute social model?

    THIS IS JUST MORE MADNESS.

    STOP THE INSANITY.

  • fubar

    CP/M, or a REALLY old IBM mainframe OS?

  • fubar

    farhan,

    sorry, but it isn't clear to me what you are trying to say. please try to clarify.

    as far as I can tell, bahai organization has inherited, from a systems theory perspective, many of the dysfunctional aspects of islamic-shiia culture. it has tended to become more rigidly orthodox, the leadership elites within bahai have become insularized, and a system of self-referential logic/rhetoric is firmly in place that breaks attempts at self-correction, and internal reforms. bahai culture had assimilated the insularization, and has become hostile to anyone that questions the tedency toward groupthink that exists in the bahai mainstream.

    all of the major evolutionary trends that carried culture towards democracy, modernity, postmodernity and integralism are negated, in actual practice, to a very large extent by bahai organization, and the mainstream-dominant culture within bahai.

    bahai does not have the internal organizational structures needed to throw off bad scriptural metaphysics, such as the idiotic idea of “progressive revelation”, and replace it with a developmental model that is more “scientific”, such as AQAL.

    bahai leadership is defending a set of postmodern/medieval structures of consciouness.

    IT IS UTTER MADNESS TO THINK THAT SUCH A SITUATION CAN BE SUSTAINED IN A POSTMODERN WORLD.

    The forces of evolution are causing the foundation of outmoded paradigms imbedded in bahai to crumble to dust.

    The game is over. bahais still stay on the field, playing a silly game of words, while everyone else has gone home. the grandstand is empty. the other teams have left. the only thing left is denial, deception and delusional motives.

  • fubar

    The institute process is simply the latest form of dumbed-down bureaucratic reinvention used by a highly dysfunctional bahai leadership system to protect itself from reform.

    the world has seen it all before, and has had enough bad religion.

    It is ironic that bahais used to talk in grand, confirdent terms about how they were going to bring about world peace, a new world order (odor?), and so forth.

    now, all they talk about is a muted version of some obsure, foundationally abberant, and dysfunctional attempt at internal bureaucratic reinvention, and vague, meaningless “feel good” platitudes about ethereal “spirituality”.

    the reason that the dominant form of bahai culture increasingly refuses to engage with the “real world” is that doing so would cause all of the backward, failed aspects of bahai to become obvious to the rest of the world in the full light of day.

  • fubar

    Farhan – Again, a complete lack of honesty.

    You are accusing anyone that is a critic, nonformist or dissident of being “spiritually unworthy”.

    What you are doing is straight out of the playbook of medieval inquisitors.

    IT IS TOTALLY CONTRARY TO THE STATE OF CONSCIOUSNESS NECESSARY FOR CULTURE MOVING TOWARD DEMOCRATIZATION.

    You studied indifference to the emerging theories of social change, consciousness studies, indeed your “instrumentalization” of the mantra of “multiple intelligences” (etc.) is a perfect example of how a dysfunctional, self-referential system is held together by polemicists and apparatchiks.

  • fubar

    LOL! good stuff.

    As you probably know, Paolo Friere (in “Pedagogy of the Oppressed”?) wrote of how the oppressed adopt the mentalities (memetic subcomponents) of the oppressors.

    As far as I can tell, “it is just that simple”.

    bahai bureaucracy has “reanimated” and “re-enacted” many of the worst apects of islamic-shiia culture, complete with totalitarianism-lite (a culture of self-censorship).

    the same “end game” is inevitable:

    organizational cultures that are incapable of self-correction always succumb to reverse evolution, and become “paradigm regressive” (Gebser) and “suffer a crisis of legitimization” (Habermas) when faced with problems emerging at a “higher level of existence” (Graves).

    bahai institutions are a good example of how organizations that become incapable of carrying out their original purposes and fail in their original goals, invariably develop “shadows” (Jung), and engage in futile attempts at reinvention in order to survive – at a degraded state.

    bahais are doing nothing different than all the other paradigm regressive organizations/cultures in the world.

    there is little or no evidence that a significant movement exists within the bahai mainstream towards adopting any of the vast quantity of material, ideas, or methods over the last several decades by a number of other movements around the themes of consciousness studies (Turner/Lakoff), transformational change (Esalen), memetics, integral theory (Gebser, Clare Graves, Sri Aurobindo), intentional community (M. Scott Peck), learning organizations (Peter Senge), and so forth. A very long list could be made up of all the good ideas that bahais have studiously ignored and blocked out during the birth of postmodern culture over the last generation (since the 60s).

    the only appropriate image that come to mind is of the ostrich burying its head in the sand.

    Something I read in a book on systems analysis years ago:

    “if people don't have time to do things right, why do they have time to do things wrong?”

  • fubar

    The obvious, common-sense solution is for there to be a bahai structure of some kind devoted to political sociology and related fields, especially at the leading edge of “integral studies”.

    The lack of such a structure, which would presumably include a significant bahai committment to supporting the “appropriate aspects” of the world federation movement, indicates that bahai is largely an absurd, irrelevant player on the organizational level.

    any real study of organizational dynamics, political sociology or consciousness studies would quickly show bahai to be a highly dysfunctional, regressive and inneffective structure.

    bahai's most valuable contribution would be as a “case study” of a universalist, spiritual, reform movement “gone bad”.

    bahai can't face the truth about itself. it is dishonest, and cowardly.

    no one should take it seriously.

  • Craig Parke

    Wow, fubar, you and I apparently go back a long way with computers! BTW, I just loved CP/M back in 1979. Great stuff! It was an incredible quantum leap for the time. Same with the good old absolutely horrible TRS-80 DOS!

    Loading from a cassette tape was thrilling! It would take my breath away! You could run Q-Basic or GW-Basic and do something really useful without having to do punch cards. It was the start of real computer power for the common man. Look where we are today!

    How about Ohio Scientific OS-65U for the 6502 instruction set too? It was killer stuff back in the days before CP/M. Those guys did not know who would eventually win so they built their system to use 3 CPU's. (6502,8080, and whatever Motorola or National Semiconductor had I think). The Intel 8080 won out and the rest is history. It's multi-generational decedent is what we are ALL communicating on with CPU instruction set power to this day! What a ride!

    I would say the BAO is stuck in punch cards in 1965 as a more apt analogy. Card readers were all the rage. The PDP-8 with a paper tape reader was still un-thought of. The “C” computer language wasn't even yet “B” (named after Dennis Ritchie wife “Bea”)! You have to go back before disk drives or cassette tapes or even paper tape readers to really get the feel of the analogy right.

    Punching paper cards fits the situation nicely.

    When I was in the U.S. Army back in those long ago days all trans-Atlantic military cargo manifests were created and read using punch cards. Once the main CONUS command system broke down completely and they just sent all the cards in big suitcases all jumbled together without a printed manifest for a few weeks until they got it fixed! Not good if one of those cards was a nuclear weapon. Not good at all.

    It is only by the grace of some higher probability shift survival scheme that the human race is even here now almost 40 years later. We were amazingly lucky. I have a few more stories and you being from a military family I am sure have a few too.

    I honestly never thought the human race would get this far. The apocalyptic side of the Baha'i Faith really got traction with me. But now that it is just all apparatchik business as usual, the Faith is like a company that geared everything for an IPO that never happened. Now the company must really show up and do business with a real product rather than the top people selling their vested IPO shares on Day One and retiring to the Bahamas.

    So it goes.

  • fubar

    Farhan,

    you have admitted that bahai is bad at organization.

    (note: this appears to contradict the stated aim in bahai scripture – of creating a new civilization, world peace, etc., with corresponding political {in the broad definition} structures and institutions.)

    yet, here, you appear to argue the opposite – that bahai has a better structure (of some kind. typically, the description is left vague and nebulous.)

    in memetics, there are “pathologies” that “infect” how people think, believe and act. such memetic (paradigm) pathologies spread under specific, known conditions of dysfunctional culture.

    bahai choses to remain ignorant.

    bahai is a failed culture because it has been “infected” by “bad memes”, and can not “take the necessary medicine”.

    the “medicine” that will “cure” dishonesty is called “truth”.

    the “medicine” that will “cure” oppression is called “compassion and altruism” (including pluralism, tolerance of criticism, dissent, nonconformity).

    the “medicine” that will “cure” cowardice is to place bahai ideas and beliefs into the crucible of “social activism” (“politics” in the broad sense).

    and so forth, and so on.

    no one will think bahai is a legitimate alternative model unless it is willing to take the same “medicines” as the rest of the world.

    otherwise it is pure “B.S”.

  • fubar

    farhan,

    I agree. the key is to see the legitimate aspects of “folk medicine” as a complimentary form of medicine. As such, they are subject to scientific scrutiny and proof.

    as far as I can tell, in europe, the term is “complimentary” in the usa is is “integral” or “integrative” medicine. generally speaking, europe seems to be more advanced.

    one of the best known advocates of integrative-complementary medicine in the USA is Dr. Andrew Weil.

    there is a lot of “quackery” involved with “new age”, “organic”, “herbal” medicine and related movements. this is one of the best areas in which true forms of “harmonization of science and spirituality” can be put to the test, and either be proved or disproved by evidence and critical thinking.

    the first example of alternative cardiac care that was funded by medical insurance was in the San Francisco Bay area of northern california. Dr. Dean Ornesch's work (15 years ago?) using macrobiotic diet, meditation and group/emotional therapy and lifestyle assessment resulted in a 80% reduction in high risk bypass surgeries.

    The results of Ornesch's work is still controversial.

    http://www.aetna.com/cpb/medical/data/200_299/0

    There will doubtless be many similar experiments that will lead to progress.

  • fubar

    LOL! punch cards – so right, that is the best analogy. a “mechanical” glitch put all the cards on the floor in a random mess, and like humpty-dumpty, all the king's horses and all the king's men can't put humpty-dumpty back together again!

    I was just talking to a someone high in the defense establishment who said that the software lifecycle and procurement process is even more relentlessly driven by hardware refresh than ever. the latest chips are resistant to radiation damage but need new code.

    there is still no viable way of managing (in an engineering sense) much of the organizational culture to implement “off the shelf” modularization/standardization of code in an efficient manner.

    As you may know, some of IBM's object code technology is documented with an awareness of “management anti-patterns”.

    It is amazing that such work was an outgrowth of the “Pattern Language” projects that the Whole Earth Catalog helped to popularize back in the 60s/70s!

    http://www.patternlanguage.com/
    -
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pattern_language

    There are some very good examples of integral memetic subcomponent (culture) technologies in that stuff.

  • Grover

    hahaha, the really creaky old mainframe trying to interpret a 64, 128 or more bit world in an 8 bit way lol

  • Craig Parke

    That might even be more apt of an analogy. Alot of the ideas in the BF were certainly very progressive in their time. Even cutting edge. But just like the 8 bit 6502, 8080, and Motorola 6800 (I finally remembered the name!)

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

    being a great start for the new device invention called the microprocessor, the data word started to improve on the boolean concepts to what we have today.

    With the great surge in the BF in the 1960's and 1970's from the energy of the street the Faith got to the Z80. Maybe even to the 80286 at times with two step fetch 16 bit memory capability. But there it all stopped as the entrenched permanent professional AO wrestled back traditional apparatchik control from those free and open experimental energies. It is odd that I never saw it before until now using the CPU analogy, but I still say the Faith was outward and thriving up until 1986/1988 (8086/8088 Intel CPU architecture). At the San Francisco Conference in 1986 all the speakers were NOT Baha'is! They were best selling authors out in the world writing on ideas that fit in nicely with the best ideas and energies in the Baha'i Faith. You had free and open intellectual ferment with the rise of Dialogue Magazine. That all got shut down in 1988 and the rest is history. The Internet was invented in 1989. Windows 3.11 started to get decent in 1990. memory started to get cheaper and cheaper. The rise of the Internet got serious in 1994. By then any bottom up grass roots intellectual legs in the Baha'i Faith had been shut down. We had no dialogue with any of the new ideas actually beginning to become empowered in the world and being communicated by the rapid synergistic advance of these amazing technologies.

    With thought review on everything we had no books. the New Agers kicked are asses with the rise of Amazon. People took many original 8-bit Baha'i ideas from 80 years before and began to expand on the to 16-bit and then 32-bit thought words. People made financial fortunes off of these expanded ideas in all kinds of independent investigations of many ideas and concepts.

    With the Faith in a top down straight jacket we had no books to sell on the explosion of Amazon and now electronic publishing. Rumi became the best selling poet on Earth. Nobody was allowed to tie Baha'ullah's connection with Rumi to that surge in any meaningful way. The Baha'is were completely unprepared for everything and never got in the game. Could you imagine trying to seriously sell the Ruhi Full Sequence of Courses on Amazon now as our flagship product and have any effect in the rich world of ideas flowing in the hearts and minds of mankind on-line every day? The record is just heartbreaking. We had no writers. We had no film makers. We had nothing because it was never permitted to flower. It was choked off in 1988 and so we have missed the last 20 years in total stagnation. Now the world is trafficking in 64 bit word concept thinking in Internet 2.0 delivery and we have nothing. It is too late now. It takes decades to develop that richness of culture. It was all cut down by the AO. The irony is that with the Internet publishing review is irrelevant anyway. They killed everything for a completely irrelevant reason. Now anyone can say anything at the speed of light while typing in their underwear. The Faith missed everything and it is now far too late to develop the culture needed to compete in the 64-bit thought concept world with card readers that read on 8-bit words. Everything is garbled into an incredibly tragic comedy.

    We fall further and further behind while everyone else on Earth runs with our original ideas to huge audiences who use their 64-bit expression. While we ourselves are forbidden to use anything beyond 80-bit expression. It is just amazing. We had the worst leadership of any organization I have ever heard of until the Bush Administration, Federal Reserve, and the SEC as revealed by the events of September 2008 onward. Just an orgy of flat footed ceaselessness. Has anyone at the highest levels of the Baha'i Faith on the UHJ or any NSA since 1988 ever played chess or any sport or had a subscription to Popular Mechanics in their life? Anyone at all? Does anyone know?

    We had no perceptive strategy in place for anything that has happened over the last 20 years. The rise of all this technology did not benefit us at all in trying to communicate effectively and interactively with the entire world of human thought and dialogue on the problems facing the human race. This was supposed to be our job. Others cleaned our clock.

    Yes. We dropped the punch cards into a big heap. Then tried to read 64-bit words with 8-bit technology.

    It was all absolutely horrible.

    So it goes.

    But I still loved the Z80 register set. It was sheer boolean and mathematical beauty in it's time. It ran dBase just great and that got the whole magnificent ride started to this day! A friend of mine knew George Tate very well until his untimely passing. I saw the microcomputer business all unfold up close and personal. What was lost from the Baha'i Faith in missed opportunity through tragic entrenched top down leadership in all these years is incalculable. Just pathetic.

  • farhan

    Barb, I am only saying that we need a global and sustainable vision of society if we dont want to go through cycles of violence and return to the same situation every 30 years.

    You need a spiritually healthy soul for a healthy body and healthy individuals for a healthy society, with interactions both ways.

    Societies also go through periods of growth, just as individuals do. We have immature societies in some places, and senile societies elsewhere. I prefer immature societies to senile ones. Your dear husband will explain this to you.

  • farhan

    Fubar, thanks for expressiong a view different to mine.

  • farhan

    Fubar wrote: sorry, but it isn't clear to me what you are trying to say. please try to clarify.

    Fubar, kindly reformulate your question.

  • farhan

    What is dishonest in your view?

  • farhan

    Interesting analogy, Baquia. We can afurther compare the paleocortex to the read only memory (innate, instincts) and the neocortex to random access memory with a potentiality that can remain underdeveloped or developed when software (culture, education, religion and experience) are inscribed.

  • http://www.wahidazal.blogspot.com/ Wahid Azal

    John Bon Jovi sings “Stand By Me” In Support of the Iranian People
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5VzNnjizIGk

    Joan Baez “We Shall Overcome” (2009)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kVCqPAzI-JY

    FYI

  • fubar

    Craig Parke said “Has anyone at the highest levels of the Baha'i Faith on the UHJ or any NSA since 1988 ever played chess or any sport or had a subscription to Popular Mechanics in their life? Anyone at all? Does anyone know?”

    LOL! Dunno.

    Even if they did, the conformist/groupthink pressures within the AO would make successful enactment of any practical ideas very unlikely. Unless they were chained to the latest project of mindless bureaucratic reinvention. in which case, they would get misappropriated, gutted, and eventually made futile and pointless.

    The usual “social change” analogy I make to social activists, union people (etc.) is that when someone decides to rise out of the evolutionary slime pit and do something different and better, they automatically put a big, fat, target on their back that all the dysfunctional types take immediate aim at.

    All of the dysfunctionals/incompetents begin to seeth because some upstart dared to do something innovative that requires them to move out of the “comfort zone” of their slime pit.

    In some cases, a social justice project is such a powerful conduit of altruism that it creates a highly charged reality field containing viral-advertising memes.

    http://www.vastsky.org/Audio_Video.html
    -
    http://www.integralleadershipreview.com/index.php

    fwiw ~ I programmed register shifts by hand – using mechanical switches – learning how a very small part of CP/M Z-80 assembler worked. brutal stuff.

  • fubar

    http://multiplex.integralinstitute.org/Public/c

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shadow_(psychology)

    —excerpt—

    In Jungian psychology, the shadow or “shadow aspect” is a part of the unconscious mind consisting of repressed weaknesses, shortcomings, and instincts. It is one of the three most recognizable archetypes, the others being the anima and animus and the persona. “Everyone carries a shadow,” Jung wrote, “and the less it is embodied in the individual's conscious life, the blacker and denser it is.” It may be (in part) one's link to more primitive animal instincts, which are superseded during early childhood by the conscious mind.

    According to Jung, the shadow, in being instinctive and irrational, is prone to project: turning a personal inferiority into a perceived moral deficiency in someone else. Jung writes that if these projections are unrecognized “The projection-making factor (the Shadow archetype) then has a free hand and can realize its object–if it has one–or bring about some other situation characteristic of its power.” These projections insulate and cripple individuals by forming an ever thicker fog of illusion between the ego and the real world.

    Jung also believed that “in spite of its function as a reservoir for human darkness—or perhaps because of this—the shadow is the seat of creativity.”
    . . .

  • fubar

    | Fubar wrote: The worst possible disaster would be if
    | bahais came to run the world.

    farhan wrote:
    | Fubar, i think the world will run Baha'i for themselves

    Questions: what does that mean? are you trying to make triumphalism cute? what is the point? how has the “running of bahai” up to now been different from the “running of bahai” that you seem to expect the “world” yo do in the future? why would the world widely adopt, assuming you are suggesting that it will, a religion that is currently in a state of massive organizational dysfunctionality, that exploits people's search for truth and meaning, that has produced little, certainly much less than it advertises?

    after seeing 30 years of hearing (mostly) empty bahai platitudes, the silliness of watching bahai polemicists try to “save face” by repeating the same ol' empty promises and platitudes becomes mind-numbing.

    the world needs less religious madness (including bahai), not more.

    the best way to do that would be to engage the world, by placing bahai beliefs and methods into the crucible of social activism, which will require at least peripheral involvement in “politics”.

    the old “unity” mantra (“politics is divisive) is silly, and at best contains a small, partial truth. unfortunately that one small, partial truth has been artificially inflated into a “one truth above all” anti-pattern.

    bahais avoid politics because of cowardice, and because there is no real faith that bahai ideas will survive in the crucible of the human struggle to escape from suffering and overcome injustice.

    why should so many people suffer from a dysfunctional form of religion just to placate persian arrogance and cultural emperialism? that is madness!

  • fubar

    ok, same here.
    have a nice day.

  • farhan

    I agree and if you read French I have a few papers on the subject. Unfortunately there is a lot of this OR that instead of this AND that; People try to oppose “alternative” means of treatment, instead of trying to reconcile complementary means.

  • Bird

    If that is the case Baquia- To me, Bah?’?­â€™s themselves are like DOS applications users that require multiple floppy disks to reference “actually approved data” using a trademark protected MS-DOS operating systems not yet adapted to USB ports (the programmers want to prevent any king of foreign virus entering the mainframe and inventors want to insure royalties on the purchases of equipment that will require continued operation). Right now I think they are trying to get a special fiber optic line approved through a trademark dispute that will grant them a direct line straight to God. Let's hope they don't win because it will give them a monopoly on who can dial in. These days it requires a corporate issued bar coded scan card to even log in and to top it all off it has to be launched through the “new and improved” VISTA*. Oh the joy.
    *Victory
    *Instilling
    *Subordinate
    *Thinking
    *Aristocrats

    Hey did you see the Iphone has a Bah?’?­ Writing Application?

  • farhan

    Barb wrote: Evil may not exist as a positive force, but it does exist,

    Barb, I totally agree; in fact the chapter in SAQ entitled “non existence of evil” should have been read “God did not create evil”. Augustine has abundantly commented the issue, so has Ibn Arabi who considers evil as a “hole in the whole” of God's creation. Unfortunately, Augustine who was a Manichean as a youth expounded the idea of original sin as an explanaition for the irruption of evil in God's good creation. In practice we need to undetrstand that to “destroy” evil in a sustainable manner, we have to promote good, so to destroy hatred, we have to foster love.

  • Bird

    Bird 0 minutes ago
    If that is the case Baquia- To me, Bah?’?­â€™s themselves are like DOS applications users that require multiple floppy disks to reference “actually approved data” using a trademark protected MS-DOS operating systems not yet adapted to USB ports (the programmers want to prevent any king of foreign virus entering the mainframe and inventors want to insure royalties on the purchases of equipment that will require continued operation). Right now I think they are trying to get a special fiber optic line approved through a trademark dispute that will grant them a direct line straight to God. Let's hope they don't win because it will give them a monopoly on who can dial in. These days it requires a corporate issued bar coded scan card to even log in and to top it all off it has to be launched through the “new and improved” VISTA*. Oh the joy.
    *Victory
    *Instilling
    *Subordinate
    *Thinking
    *Aristocrats

    Hey did you see the Iphone has a Bah?’?­ Writing Application?

    ooops I posted to wrong comment

  • farhan

    Craig wrote: We fall further and further behind while everyone else on Earth runs with our original ideas to huge audiences who use their 64-bit expression.

    Craig there is no race between Baha'is and everyone else; i know that teh western world teaches competition instead of collaboration from the cradle onwards. We have discovered a message that we are trying to share with those interested. For free, as we got it for free, for our common survival.

  • fubar

    farhan,

    outmoded constructs like “God's message” (prophets/revelation) aren't needed for consciousness to evolve toward maturity. evolution just happens.

    Or as Jean Gebser stated, consciousness “unfolds”. “perception” shifts to “perspective” and becomes complete. partial truth is transcended.

    outmoded/false ideas, like the existence of unitive mysticism, are not needed in a post-imperialist culture that embraces pluralism.

    unitive mysticism, revelation, prophetology (old metaphysics) were expressions of limited, partial truths that took root in culturally specific historical contexts.

    thay are not needed in postmodern, or integral, culture (and they are not rejected as invalid, just partial).

    new contexts in which meaning is constructed have come about that make the old, partially-true religious memes outmoded.

    old memes are a valuable source of study for mapping the cultural origins of the construction of meaning, but are less valuable as a source of current meaning given the existential dilemmas of postmodern culture.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zT9y1YEUjy0

    Immature to healthy consciousness:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WEaJHI7nKes&NR=1

    addiction to seeking:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M2Zjb-r31f0

  • farhan

    Fubar asked : how has the “running of bahai” up to now been different from the “running of bahai” that you seem to expect the “world” yo do in the future?

    Fubar, there is a difference between a community enrolling more and more people, becoming influent and changing the course of world affairs, and a community displaying teachings that the world will progressively adopt. When I arrived in France in 1964, my colleagues would laugh at the Baha’i principles as being remote to religion. Now the EU charter is widely inspired by those principles.

    Your belief might be that Baha’i is a failure and a disappearing ideal, and I thank you for expressing it. I believe that the world will more and more adopt these teachings. Time will tell. Who cares whodunit, as long as the planet is saved?

  • fubar

    farhan,

    what you are calling “competition” is really the “achievement meme”.

    without it, democratic, industrialized, middle class culture would not exist, and slavery would still be the dominant economic structure in the world.

    in this age of humanity, conformity is not conducive to liberation, on the contrary, and “collaboration” is frequently a word that is misappropriated when what is really intended is “conformity”.

    (the “one truth above all” anti-pattern.)

    bahai is not “free” – becoming a bahai, in the official sense, requires that a person volunteer to be coerced in various ways, most of which have nothing to do with real “spirituality”, and little to do with any sane social-ethical/moral perspective.

  • fubar

    english and some catalan (“una mica”), but unfortunately no french.

    really, this all becomes a matter of what the “harmony of science and religion” really means. which in consciousness studies terms, is about how perception and perspective operate differently at various levels (stages) of existence and culture.

    the stage of modernity is characterized by the disassociation of the main four quadrants of consciousness in the AQAL model:
    “I”, “We”, “It”, “Its”.

    in premodern culture, they are fused into a state of mythic “oneness”.

    in modern culture, “It” (rational, critical thought, “material”, “science” is separate from “spirit”.)

    the problem is that the paradigm of modernity, including the cultural “lens” created by the paradigm of rationalism and science, has its unique “regressive” features. “It” tries to “colonize” “I” – the inner-individual, mystical, aesthetic forms of consciousness – as well as the “We” – the collective, moral forms, emotional bonds and belonging, construction of meaning and purpose of life.

    The general problem is how to make the seeking of transcendance (and the construction of meaning) “complementary” with rational/material science?

    Modernity, including democracy and liberalism, is “hostile” to spirit/transcendance for specific, historical reasons, many of them good reasons: superstition, religious oppression, ethnocentrism, etc.

    The problem is how to remove the “bad”, culturally-bound elements of transcendence, and keeo the good? Once that is done, it becomes possible to see how the “good” forms of spirit, and mutual reciprocity (social bonding), are complementary to rational, critical thought.

    Indeed, as Mark Turner and George Lakoff have shown, the conventional model of science leaves out the all-important aspect of “metaphoric” awareness, story-telling, and so forth.

    http://markturner.org/cdss.html

    So, what is needed is not only complementary (integral) medicine, but more broadly, integral (complementary) science.

    http://markturner.org/cdss/cdss1.html

    “Biology's historical achievements are not associated with the problem of meaning–the discovery of the basic neurocognitive mechanisms that human beings use to create new meanings, the specific principles that govern those mechanisms, and how those mechanisms might have evolved during the phylogenetic descent that produced cognitively modern human beings. “

    “Yet meaning is fully biological. It is made by brains, often groups of brains, always in bodies, always in environments. Recently–this is a reversal–neuroscience has begun to take up the study of meaning, and, to an extent, the problem of meaning. During my undergraduate years at Berkeley, it seemed to me that all but a few neurobiologists considered questions of meaning to be in scientific bad taste, premature, given the poverty of our scientific knowledge about the brain.”

    “Just lately, however, both social science and cognitive neuroscience have started to take a new turn: both have rapidly begun to take note of the problem of meaning. “

  • fubar

    What you are “really” saying below is that people that engage in dissent, criticism, nonconformance, or any other lesser form of disagreement with the AO, are “selfish” (egocentric) and arrogant, and thus spiritually unworthy/inferior.

    This is an old tactic of conformist cultures.

    farhan said: “Those who believe they have already attained the summit of accomplishment and no longer need spiritual guidance, only rely on their own selves.”

  • farhan

    Fubar, I am saying that Baha'i Faith offers a spiritual outlook on life in this world, and a structure that can canalise it. Those who like it adopt it.

  • farhan

    Fubar wrote: what you are calling “competition” is really the “achievement meme”.

    Fubar, I agree when competition leads to stimulation, but not to the point where competition destroys collaboration and cooperation or leads to conflict.

  • http://bahaisonline.net/tcb/?p=441 Steve Marshall

    Hi Ahang,

    My take is that what Iran Press Watch is doing — and doing well, I might add — is advocacy journalism.

    You say it has no ties whatsoever to any organization or entity, but if the Universal House of Justice asked it to close down I'd be very surprised if it kept going. In other words, the ties are there — they're simply not formal ones.

  • farhan

    Fubar, This is what you are saying. I am saying that Baha'i Faith offers a spiritual outlook on life in this world, and a structure that can canalise it. Those who like it adopt and apply it, without worrying about those who prefer doing something else.

    I have no time to waste calling other people names or giving free lessons. I am interested in exchanging ideas so as to cure my “blind spots”; How others accept my ideas or who they are are not relevant to me in Internet exchanges as they are in every day life.

  • Karmaniac

    Farhan,

    And you are saying the EU charter is inspired directly by Baha'i teachings? See, I can't go in that direction. I don't believe that. Frankly, Baha'is want to have it both ways. When they see good things happening in the world, they say the good things are a result of Baha'u'llah. When they see bad things happening in the world, they say the bad things are the result of the 'old world order' declining. So everything is covered. Whatever happens in the world, it fits into Baha'i prophecy. Pretty tidy. Oh, I am a Baha'i in good standing. But, it I were to reveal my name, I'd get a midnight phone call from one of the Baha'i enforcers.

  • pey

    Maybe we all should come out of hiding and start yelling “Allah-u-Abha” from our rooftops. :o)

  • farhan

    Karmaniac wrote: And you are saying the EU charter is inspired directly by Baha'i teachings? See, I can't go in that direction.

    No, Karmaniac, I certainly did not say directly. But does it matter? It could be partly directly, partly indirectly, and partly as a direct inspiration because the time is now ripe.

    What I am saying is that Baha'i teachings have been far in advance for their time and the world is now adopting ideas that seemed strange in other times. I remember how amazed my friends became when shortly after they rejected Baha'i teachings as alien to religion, they studied “Pacem in Terris” of Pope John XXIII which carried the same ideas.

    It is not important whether he was directly inspired by God or indirectly through the Baha’i teachings; what I am saying is that we have reason to believe that other ideas in Baha'i teaching that now seem strange will be adopted in the future. However, as Abdu'l-Baha stated, these ideas will not succeed without spirituality.

  • Craig Parke

    Great idea! And we can start with every member of the UHJ himself and every member of the ITC and all the people at the World Center in Haifa!

    All at the top of their lungs every single night! Night after night!

    There should also be a 100 page Ruhi Book of Instruction too where you have to shout it just right. You have to fill your lungs with air within the exact pre thought out volume limits for your age, sex, and body type (there will be a chart) and shout at just the right decibel level as measured by some kind of scientific device administered by the Councilors or an ABM or AABM.

    Only people that have taken the authorized course and successfully passed and been officially certified will be authorized to shout. Even any Jews in Haifa that want to shout with us will have to be certified too.

    We have to top down administrate this properly so everyone will sound perfect to the world. Otherwise, I think your suggestion is an absolutely fabulous idea.

  • Bob

    Ahang

    Would you kindly tell us who finances IPW? Who helps pay the bills?

  • Barb Ruth-Wright

    Hello all you very interesting people -

    I have been absent for the past 24 hours or so, and return to note an astonishing number of new comments in my in-box. I have not read them yet, but will – after my nap, perhaps. I doubt I will respond further to any of them – I have voiced my thoughts, inconsequential as they are in the larger scheme of things. I don't usually rant around here, or anywhere else, that much – but because I feel as if I am a vanishing breed of Baha'i, it seemed important to give the view from my particular window on the world. And enough is enough, except…

    Two other points beg to be offered, and then I'm outta here. I feel a vanishing breed because, apparently unlike many (most?) Baha'is, I am wary and weary of what seems to be utopian thinking – the Baha'i Revelation will fix everything – we need not heed the lessons of history – we are headed toward perfection, folks – compliments of Baha'u'llah. Perfection being the enemy of the good, as I believe, I am of course worried. Along with the utopian thinking is a corresponding passivity – we don't need to see with our own eyes, hear with our own ears, speak our own truth – we have Divine Guidance, and can safely follow in blind, unquestioning obedience – indeed it is a virtue to do so. My, my, the alarm bells do go off in my soul when I hear that.

    Yesterday afternoon I watched the play of light and shadow on our living room wall, reflecting the wind blowing through the foliage of a hanging begonia on our porch, and the trees beyond that. Exquisite. Suddenly I had such an intense awareness of the beauty of this world, and how lucky I am to be alive in it, on this planet, at this time, in the place that I am. And of the beauty of the human race, despite the suffering we cause one another. In all our imperfection (perhaps because of it), we are an incredibly beautiful, though strange and often dangerous, species.

    And on that note, goodbye – I love to hear all your voices. Our diversity is precious – let's not mistake uniformity for unity. Let us hold precious those among us who are different, in whatever way – the more different, the more precious.

    Barb

  • Craig Parke

    Diversity may some day return to the Baha'i Faith. We can only hope. Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. Best wishes to you and your family.

  • Grover

    I like the way Baha'is say “moving”, it implies a bowel movement. “Lovingly” usually means enforced with a sledgehammer and some brainless bashers.

    Karmaniac is right though – Baha'is are very good at attributing every happenstance in the world to Baha'u'llah's revelation – something Baha'is can't prove in the slightest but is very nice to believe because it gives them a reason to have all their prayer meetings and do nothing but mutter or caterwaul prayers.

  • farhan

    You are both right, Grover; your points are well taken: From its very inception by the Bab, the Baha’i faith explains the upheavals and the chaos we are going through: the rolling up of the old world order and the unrolling of a new one in its place, the revolution of names, the disequilibrium brought about by god’s revelation, leading to a new creation.

    This is why Baha’is are optimistic: in each event they see the unfolding of God’s promise to mankind, and instead of associating themselves with the natural entropic movement breaking the old world order apart, where their help is not needed, they associate themselves with the constructive movement elaborating the new sustainable world order according to God’s teachings.

  • farhan

    Barb and Karmaniac, here is an example of how Shoghi Effendi describes the age of transition we are experiencing, the emerging of an embryonic civilisation, “speaking up”, as each baha'i is supposed to do, for the whole of creation and humanity and not only the Baha'is:

    “We stand on the threshold of an age whose convulsions proclaim alike the death-pangs of the old order and the birth-pangs of the new. Through the generating influence of the Faith announced by Bah??'u'll??h this New World Order may be said to have been conceived. We can, at the present moment, experience its stirrings in the womb of a travailing age–an age waiting for the appointed hour at which it can cast its burden and yield its fairest fruit. “The whole earth,” writes Bah??'u'll??h, “is now in a state of pregnancy. The day is approaching when it will have yielded its noblest fruits, when from it will have sprung forth the loftiest trees, the most enchanting blossoms, the most heavenly blessings…. “The Call of God,” `Abdu'l-Bah?? has written, “when raised, breathed a new life into the body of mankind, and infused a new spirit into the whole creation. It is for this reason that the world hath been moved to its depths, and the hearts and consciences of men been quickened. As we view the world around us, we are compelled to observe the manifold evidences of that universal fermentation which, in every continent of the globe and in every department of human life, be it religious, social, economic or political, is purging and reshaping humanity in anticipation of the Day when the wholeness of the human race will have been recognized and its unity established. A twofold process, however, can be distinguished, each tending, in its own way and with an accelerated momentum, to bring to a climax the forces that are transforming the face of our planet. The first is essentially an integrating process, while the second is fundamentally disruptive. The former, as it steadily evolves, unfolds a System which may well serve as a pattern for that world polity towards which a strangely-disordered world is continually advancing; while the latter, as its disintegrating influence deepens, tends to tear down, with increasing violence, the antiquated barriers that seek to block humanity's progress towards its destined goal. The constructive process stands associated with the nascent Faith of Bah??'u'll??h, and is the harbinger of the New World Order that Faith must erelong establish. The destructive forces that characterize the other should be identified with a civilization that has refused to answer to the expectation of a new age, and is consequently falling into chaos and decline.

    A titanic, a spiritual struggle, unparalleled in its magnitude yet unspeakably glorious in its ultimate consequences, is being waged as a result of these opposing tendencies, in this age of transition through which the organized community of the followers of Bah??'u'll??h and mankind as a whole are passing.” (Shoghi Effendi, World Order of Baha’u’llah, p 169-171)

  • Craig Parke

    Farhan,

    Thank you for posting this famous majestic quote. I had not read it for quite some time. It is indeed why I joined the Baha'i Faith in 1971 and gave it everything I had over almost four decades. The problem is that the world held up it's side of the equation. The Baha'is didn't. The machinery of the Faith became the end itself rather than a means to an end. The electorate failed. It elected the same people over and over into these positions. Everything became entrenched into a system of administrative idolatry. It all became some sort of psychological parental system of authority for very psychologically weak people. There was no sustained meaningful consultation skill developed at any level. It all turned inward into a narrow psychological cult that has now become abusive to people in how it operates. There is nothing in it now that is even remotely spiritual. It is now a worldwide organization of the worst level of self censorship cowards that is a terrible, terrible tragedy. It has consequently failed all mankind. It is the same old, same old in human history. A tiny clique of self appointed clergy have hijacked it for their own petty entrenched psychological needs. The only hope would be that every person in the Administrative Order of the Baha'i Faith in every elected and appointed position would resign worldwide and we start all over with a system of term limits in place. That is not going to happen so the Faith is now an organization of slowly boiled frogs for human beings. People will just keep smoking their Ruhi Books into top down micro managed oblivion. The Faith is now too incredibly dysfunctional to meet even one atom of the sacrifice that transpired and is continuing to transpire with the courage of the world. The Baha'is did not keep their side of the transaction. They did not keep their house in order. They elected completely incompetent people to lifetime incumbency. This is our fate. I see no way back.

    But thanks for that quote. It was wonderful to contemplate if even for a moment how I once believed in that majestic mission statement. That was indeed what kept me going for many, many years of dedicated service until I eventually wore down into silent and hopeless tears.

  • pey

    Yes Farhan, but Bahaullah also gave a VERY clear practical blueprint of what the Bahais must do in the world. Remember the Mashriq Farhan? Where are the orphanages? Where is the home for the aged? Charity Farhan- something that Abdul-Baha made central to His life. Instead we have an AO- at least in the US- that closes the home for the aged, but maintains a very nice building for their meetings. Nearby Chicago is a city in the US full of social troubles- what has the Mother Temple of the West done in Chicago all these decades? And please don't start with- our funds are limited, we are a small group, etc etc. Those are just excuses. Here is a Mashriq situation with a city filled with problems nearby and it has NOTHING to show. It's been in existance for decades and NOTHING. Why?

  • farhan

    Craig wrote: A tiny clique of self appointed clergy have hijacked it for their own petty entrenched psychological needs.

    Craig, I have occasionally met individuals who are as you describe, but no “clique”, be it tiny. In contrast, the surge of well meaning and well doing people attracted to this ideal, be they enrolled or not is huge. The table is set and the banquet is served for all humanity. Baha'is are also part of those invited who in addition, are supposed to serve others at this table. Why bother about the occasional self-serving individuals? Enjoy and help others enjoy!

  • farhan

    Pey, the Baha'i Faith is run by people like you and I who are not saints, who make mistakes and learn from them, have their other problems and hang-ups. Had our fore-fathers adequately responded to Baha'u'llah's call 150 years ago, we would not be in our present condition, and if we collaborate to do better, the world situation will be remedied swifter.

  • pey

    Nice spin as usual Farhan. But imagine if Abdul-Baha used the same excuses you just did- just sharing the message without actually doing anything to help the poor. You've had decades Farhan, how much more time do you need?

  • Grover

    Farhan, you should put this quote into context. This was written back in 1938 before World War II, 'Abdu'l-Baha's stuff even earlier, probably during World War I. All this has past, been and gone, yet you guys keep on going “the world is in travail” like mindless zombies from the Mummy. Bollocks! Whats happening now is nothing compared to World War II. You would be messing your panties if you were around while World War II was happening. We're in the aftermath…

  • farhan

    You consider my opinion as a “spin” so you not only disagree, which is your right, but you question my sincerity. Perhaps you can tell us how in your agenda this could have been done?

  • farhan

    Yes, Grover; I see that the bowel movement of your earlier post has finally reached below the belt.

  • pey

    ??? In my agenda? You mean like following the teachings of the Faith to build charities around the Mashriq? The beautiful building in which the NSA meets is maintained in opulance, yet the home for the aged is closed down because of lack of funds. Maybe you can explain to me why we have reached such a sad state of affairs. Spin away….

  • Grover

    What, you don't like it because I've pointed out that your marvelous quote isn't particularly relevant and a man as smart as you, a doctor no less, doesn't have a decent comeback? Farhan! I'm shocked.

    Oh yes, it is very difficult living in western society today with all our much lauded values and principles. The only thing we have to worry about is where our next feed of McDonalds is coming from. Oh the travesty! The turmoil! Oh the spiritual wars that we have to fight! Quite a lot different to having the place overrun by tyrants and their cronies, living in fear all the time, waiting for bombs to drop on you from on high, soldiers to come crashing through your door. Yes living today is very difficult.

  • farhan

    Yes, Pey agenda: God's plans are to be deployed in a certain sequence over a long period of time. I don’t see any mention of doing them when Pey considers them timely. As for the “spin”, you are projecting what you are yourself.

  • farhan

    Grover wrote: What, you don't like it because I've pointed out that your marvelous quote isn't particularly relevant

    Grover, I didn't “dislike”. This quote was offered as a reply on the query of someone about the twin process of integration and disintegration which is a universal law scientists call entropy.

  • Grover

    Oh no! I've bruised your ego! The mighty Farhan comes plummeting to earth. You what they say about those who seek to rise above their station…

  • Grover

    Ooooh, Farhan is angry!

  • farhan

    Fubar wrote: The institute process is simply the latest form of dumbed-down bureaucratic reinvention used by a highly dysfunctional bahai leadership system to protect itself from reform.

    Fubar, the institute process is all about enabling those who wish to become serve humanity to become producers instead of remaining consumers. People who can offer services instead of waiting for someone to help them. IOW, acting as adults instead of acting as helpless babies:
    This was what Kennedy referred to when he said see what you can do for your country, instead of expecting your country to do things for you. Baha’is are called upon to take initiatives and engage in the real world instead of passively sitting around expecting someone to make a moving speech for them. The exact opposite of an up-down process, even though those who wish to serve have to learn how to do so by integrating their efforts into team work and thought-out plans, instead of doing it according to their own whims.

  • pey

    Oh I see. So God's plan is for a nice building to be maintained for NSA members to meet in a cozy atmoshpere and eat good meals served by the staff at National. But God's plan doesn't involve opening up an orphanage or a home for the elderly. Ok, gotta thanks Farhan.

  • farhan

    Pey wrote: God's plan doesn't involve opening up an orphanage or a home for the elderly

    Pey, I pay taxes in France so that the needy are cared for, and as the retirement plans are collapsing, I am not sure if I will one day benefit from what I have contributed. I would have preferred paying this money to a Baha’i institution for the same purpose. The US community contributes to US taxes and to its NSA, and the NSA uses this money as best suits its plans decided by its elected institutions. As you know the foremost plan we are all engaged in is on the basis of the tablets of the Divine Plan. If you have suggestions concerning the use or misuse of funds in your country, you should refer to that community; I am in no position to judge.

  • pey

    Cahtolics pay taxes too. Yet somehow they manage to also run orphanages and other charities. They are not specifically required to do so by their religion (except to care for the poor in a general way). The Bahaullah specifically asked that charities be established around the Mashriq, but Bahais and especially the AO are not complying (just making excuses as you are). Interesting that for someone who is so adamant ab out the laws of the Faith and who can or can not call themselves a Bahai, that YOU would be so leniant regarding these specific Writings about charities being built around the Mashriq.

  • fubar

    Farhan,

    I'm assuming you are attempting some sort of economic analogy? If so, the concept, as vague as it is, is valid, but I seriously doubt that that is what is “really” intended by the institute process. I do agree that some sort of attempt at a paradigm shift was intended. It completely failed *in practice*. No “empowerment of grass roots” (or whatever jargon was used) happened. Instead, existing “pathological” bahai culture caused the reform meme to mutate back into the same ol', same ol', for predictable reasons: cowardice, dishonesty, hunger for power, lack of faith in the basic decency of human beings when dysfunctional organizations “get out of the way of the people”.

    I do remember (since the honesty was so uncharacteristic) one part of one early institute letter from the BWC that stated that existing national assembly practices were in need of major improvement. Unfortunately I have lost that reference. An old bahai friend of mine who has reformist tendencies spent several *years* trying to get the local/regional “institute” leadership to pay attention to that specific guidance, and became incredibly frustrated when no one would listen to the BWC! Eventually a few key traditionalists acknowleged the issue, but then a “new” form of institute process became preferred (Ruhi), and even the glacial pace of change that had come about slowed to a stop. With Ruhi, the lemmings took off in great haste for the edge of the cliff.

    bahais such as scientists and scholars that publicly protested the appalling literalism, etc., of Ruhi were told that they weren't “real bahais”.

    So, as far as I can tell, anyone that “acts like an adult” and tells the truth, stands for principles, expresses any hint of dissent, criticism or nonconformance will be subject to marginalization, ignored, and so forth. The sad reality is that few bahai communities are willing to “get out of their comfort zones” and allow meaningful criticism.

    Since you are from some kind of presumably “important” or “connected” bahai family (thus insularized from some of the ugly stuff), you may not have “seen” how things “really work”.

    Anyways, social science research confirms that, because of some evolutionary wiring for conformism (which had survival value), people frequently act significantly more “stupid” and “unethical” in groups than they would if making choices about controversial/risky issues individually.

    Even if the BWC was actually trying to create an atmosphere at one early point in the institute process that was more tolerant of people calling for deep, unvarnished examination of problems in bahai culture and administration, I do not see it as having been sustained, at least not on a practical level. bahais generally have become more conformist, and more intolerant of nonconformism, criticism and dissent since the mid-90s and the “talisman” controversies (which started out being resashes of the “LA Study Group” and “Dialogue Magazine” controversies.)

    Again, social science research shows that the kinds of people that have personality types that “question the status quo”, are “innovators” or “entrepreneurs” are usually driven out of organizations such as bahai, which have become more conformist (politically correct) at the same time they have become (superficially) more “warm and fuzzy”.

    This is a widespread phenomena, bahai has the same problems as many other institutions and organizations.

    Most important social critics/theorists (e.g., Habermas), have accepted the idea that there are structural, memetic, (psychosocial) causes for the “crisis of legitimization” that most institutions are currently suffering.

    I see little or no interest from bahais in learning about how other people have started identifying and solving the problem. The bahais that do have such an interest risk marginalization (frequently intense) if they are seen as proposing solutions that have not been “approved” by the bahai leadership elites.

    As such, there is a “vicious cycle” of dysfunctional organizational culture. It is ironic that an institute process was designed by a “top down” cluture that was intended to function from the “bottom up”.

    I think it is an invariable rule in organizational theory that “top down” proposals for how “bottom up” empowerment should work, are usually doomed.

    The paradigm shift has to arise from what Habermas called “lifeworld”, not “systems”:

    “lifeworld” is “bottom up”.

    “systems” are, in this case, “top down”.

    the dominant memetic fabric of bahai culture is “systems” oriented (administrative/institutional), and only tolerates “lifeworld” when “lifeworld” agrees to be “colonized by” “systems” (subsumed to the needs of “systems”)

    bahai culture, in its memetic structure, is not accepting of significant change. as such, it has begun to decay and become increasingly conformist, dysfunctional, defensive, insularized against the very “outside” knowledge and methods of organizational change that could bring about a significant internal paradigm shift.

    bahai organizational culture is risk averse and hostile to “real” change.

    “grass roots” efforts that (implicitly or explicitly) deeply brig into question existing modes and mindsets are subject to being “infected” by dysfunctional bahai memes, or undermined and attacked if resistant to assimilation.

    I have previously posted many, varied examples of all this, which tragicially and negatively affected many outstanding and dedicated bahais that I knew for 30 years.

    in some cases, the attacks by NSA members, Auxilliary Bored members, etc., on such “grass roots” activist bahais were so vicious and sustained that the UHJ had to fly in representatives to halt the attacks and remind bahais that they should stop acting like evil fascists.

    so, what you are saying has almost nothing to do with the “real” manner in which bahai actually functions.

    that you prevail in your erroneous views is an insult and deep offense to many decent, dedicated people that have been “trashed” by the evil influences in the bahai system.

    you can't get away with attempting to impugn people's integrity and imply that the reason that they were trashed by the bahai system is because they are “spiritually inferior”.

    that tactic is simply an old way that the power elites in medieval slave cultures try to oppress the masses.

    the entire reason that western culture “invented” democracy was to stop such backward and oppressive forms of social interaction.

    unfortunately such oppressive “shadow” memes are still with humanity, and come to the surface all too frequently.

    the integral movement has developed spiritual technologies that people can use to “heal” themselves of such shadows, and the dark fears that they grow out of:

    http://www.shambhala.com/html/catalog/items/isb

    as I've previously written here, an independent, grass roots, bahai spiritual transformation movement along those lines began to form in califrnia in the early 1980s (around the time of the LA Study Group), and it was brutally marginalized and shut down by evil elements of bahai administration.

    I do not think you have any idea of the attacks and real pain that decent people have experienced trying to do what you say the “institutue” process was designed to encourage.

    it seems like you exist in a very strange little bubble, largely removed from reality.

    the only thing that I can speculate on is that your persian tendency to want to avoid the ambarassment of having bahai shown to be a sham (need to “saving face”), completely overwhelmes any sense of basic human decency, honesty, or compassion that you might otherwise have for the people whose sacrifices have been thrown in the trash by an evil bahai system.

    you have some seriously bad karma dude. where your ancestors slave owners?

    have a nice day.

  • fubar

    Farhan,

    The structure of bahai rhetoric about “competition” is completely ot of balance, and does not reflect reality.

    It exists simply to reinforce the paradigm regressive features of dysfunctional bahai culture.

    The rest of the world is rapidly moving on, and adopting integral ideas about “harmonizing” achievement memes with “collectivist” (collaborative, cooperative) memes.

    The world has had thousands of years of collectivist memes: tribal and medieval societies and a world of slavery.

    Achievement memes, not some idiotic “revelation” by confused middle eastern mystics, brought about widespread numeracy/literacy, rational criticism, scientific culture, technology, industry,capitalism and democracy.

    Machines (the main product of the “modernist” achievement meme) stopped slavery, not some so called “prophet”.

    In the context of backward, middle eastern culture, the changes that were becoming evident in the world were “interpreted” by some so called “prophets” through the lens of shia mysticism/esotericism.

    That, in its most simple terms, is what bahai is: a reformist rehash of an outmoded paradigm.

    It is just as much of a “middle man scam” as all of the other religions in the patriarchal judeo-christian-islamic tradition.

    The world does not need another “bad” religion that maintains the memes of bygone slave civilizations.

  • fubar

    bahai polemicists are full of lies and distortions.

    The changes that are occurring in the world are very poorly described, or predicted, by bahai.

    bahai is an inferior way of seeing the world.

    The conditions of modernity began to evolve in the 1700s, primarily at the “leading edge”, in northern europe.

    That was at least 50 to 75 years BEFORE bahai.

    bahai was just copying stuff from europe.

    there is no “progressive revelation”.

    what makes sense is to look at social change from an evolutionary perspective (or, at a more subtle level, Jean Gebser's “unfoldment”).

    what does not make sense is to look at social change from the prespective of outmoded, paradigm regressive metaphysics, which is primarily what bahai scripture contains.

    haev a nice day!

  • fubar

    Barb,

    I am awed by your insights. Your decency and compassion are inspiring beyond words.

    At the same time, I'm saddened with the memory of so many people like you that have struggled in a stifling bahai system, many of them demeaned, or viciously attacked, for trying to do the right thing.

  • farhan

    Barb, I found the reference on evolution of politics in “The Secret of Divine Civilisation” p 44:

    “The world of politics is like the world of man; he is seed at first, and then passes by degrees to the condition of embryo and foetus, acquiring a bone structure, being clothed with flesh, taking on his own special form, until at last he reaches the plane where he can befittingly fulfill the words: â€?the most excellent of Makers.â€? Just as this is a requirement of creation and is based on the universal Wisdom, the political world in the same way cannot instantaneously evolve from the nadir of defectiveness to the zenith of rightness and perfection. Rather, qualified individuals must strive by day and by night, using all those means which will conduce to progress, until the government and the people develop along every line from day to day and even from moment to moment.

    When, through the Divine bestowals, three things appear on earth, this world of dust will come alive, and stand forth wondrously adorned and full of grace. These are first, the fruitful winds of spring; second, the welling plenty of spring clouds; and third, the heat of the bright sun. When, out of the endless bounty of God, these three have been vouchsafed, then slowly, by His leave, dry trees and branches turn fresh and green again, and array themselves with many kinds of blossoms and fruits. It is the same when the pure intentions and the justice of the ruler, the wisdom and consummate skill and statecraft of the governing authorities, and the determination and unstinted efforts of the people, are all combined; then day by day the effects of the advancement, of the far-reaching reforms, of the pride and prosperity of government and people alike, will become clearly manifest.”

  • Craig Parke

    It is indeed a very beautiful and majestic quote and a very useful way of seeing the flow of human political progress. This is EXACTLY what fubar is saying in his perceptive and timely posts!

    Other systems of thought out there (like the Integralists and others) are actually DOING what Abdu'l-Baha says here. The Baha'is are NOT because they are in a top down completely dumbed down YEAR ZERO MENTALITY straight jacket cut off from all the other available powerful spiritual energies in the world. The Baha'is think they are the only game in town. Newsflash. They aren't! The Baha'is now dwell in a pit of groupthink. The Baha'is are in chains while everyone else is stealing our thunder and running with it as completely free thinkers and completely free peoples.

    All religions were founded by INDIVIDUAL REFORMERS! Not by committees and people smoking groupthink propaganda. The story of every religion is individual thought defeating groupthink thought in some era of mass human incompetence and mass human unjustness! Why can't the sociopaths always running so called “religious organizations” every get the message of this repeated movie in human affairs that is repeated over and over?

    Abdu'l-Baha's insightful quote is NOT being practiced by the Baha'i system so far EVER! The reason is because the people do not understand the spiritual teachings of their own now completely dumbed down religion.

    I honestly don't think Shoghi Effendi was apparently ever familiar with this quote from his Grandfather. Apparently he did not get the memo and the teachings of his Great Grandfather have consequently been run completely into the ground by the people that are supposed to be following them.

    But it doesn't really matter because everyone else who can speak freely in the world is building the liberated World Age of great human potential with contributions from the hearts and minds of EVERY freed soul on Earth. This daily progress is being made in greater and greater effectiveness. Witness all the books on Amazon while the Baha'is have to have bureaucratic review of every thought, every song, every idea where someone sets forth a new and better way for people to wipe their bottoms. All this whule the baha'is try to make every person on Earth wipe their bottoms in the exact same way at the same time every day in unison. Four sheets. Wipe up on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Wipe down on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. On Sunday you have to guess. And if you guess wrong by an analysis of your toilet footage at the Ministry of Wiping you will be kicked out of the Faith by First Class mail.

  • fubar

    re: entropy and the “twin processes”

    Farhan,

    Ok, so the question is:

    did the concept of entropy arise from universal, liberated human perception (evolution), or from “revelation” caused by a “prophet” (access to special secret knowledge)?

    Do you see the basic problem with the confusion of origins, definitions and categories as attributed to “revelation” in the mainstream bahai mindset?

    Do you see that the continuing dysfunctional aspects of the “secrecy” meme is toxic, and holds humanity back from spiritual liberation and social, economic and political freedom?

    Outmoded metaphysical constructs (such as “progressive revelation”) simply reinforce the very forces of oppressive backwardness that progressive people in Iran are struggling against right now.

  • fubar

    Ken Wilber (1996) “the unsettling thing about direct mystical experience is that it has a nasty habit of going straight from Spirit to you, thus bypassing the middleman, namely, the bishop, not to mention the middleman's collection plate. This is the same reason the oil companies do not like solar power…”

    —-

    Farhan,

    humans, and other sentient beings, have been sitting at the table/banquet (or bar-b-q pit) of transcendence for far longer than so called “prophets” (including bahaullah) have existed.

    one of the seriously backward aspects of western religion (including bahai) is that the route to enlightenment has to be through prophets, priests, religious bureaucracies (systems), etc.

    (please carefully consider Habermas' statement that “systems colonize lifeworld”.)

    history of the religious “middle man scam”:

    it is the main corrupting force that arises between “politics” and “religion”.

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

    excerpt:

    [screen 3 of 6]

    [Q] One of the most confusing things about being a practitioner of Asian mystical traditions is the fact that before the Enlightenment the West had a thousand year tradition of civilization based on a highly mystical religion, Christianity. And yet in S e x , Ecology, Spirituality you characterize this thousand year period as one that promised but did not deliver genuine transcendence. Why do you say that? How could a whole civilization miss the point for so long when it had expressions of the idea in Plato, the Corpus Hermeticum, Neoplatonism, mystical Christianity, and so on?

    [A] Imagine if, the very day Buddha attained his enlightenment, he was taken out and hanged precisely because of his realization. and if any of his followers claimed to have the same realization, they were also hanged. Speaking for myself, I would find this something of a disincentive to practice.

    But that's exactly what happened with Jesus of Nazareth. “Why do you stone me?” he asks at one point. “Is it for good deeds?” And the crowd responds, “No, it is because you, being a man, make yourself out to be God.” The individual Atman is not allowed to realize that it is one with Brahman. “I and my Father are One”-among other complicated factors that realization got this gentleman crucified.

    The reasons for this are involved, but the fact remains: as soon as any spiritual practitioner began to get too close to the realization that Atman and Brahman are one-that one's own mind is intrinsically one with primordial Spirit-then frighteningly severe repercussions usually followed.

    Of course there were wonderful currents of Neoplatonic and other very high teachings operating in the background (and underground) in the West, but wherever the Church had political influence-and it dominated the Western scene for a thousand years-if you stepped over that line between Atman and Brahman, you were in very dangerous waters. St. John of the Cross and his friend St. Teresa of Avila stepped over the line, but couched their journeys in such careful and pious language they pulled it off, barely. Meister Eckhart stepped over the line, a little too boldly, and had his teachings officially condemned, which meant he wouldn't fry in hell but his words apparently would. Giordano Bruno stepped way over the line, and was burned at the stake. This is a typical pattern.

    The early history of the Church was dominated by traveling “pneumatics,” those in whom “spirit was alive.” Their spirituality was based largely on direct experience, a type of Christ consciousness, we might suppose (“Let this consciousness be in you which was in Christ Jesus”). We might charitably say that the nirmanakaya physical body] of each pneumatic realized the dharmakaya [absolute body] of Christ via the sambhogakaya [body of bliss] of the transformative fire of the Holy Ghost-not to put too fine a point on it. But they were clearly alive to some very real, very direct experiences.

    But over a several hundred year span, with the codification of the Canon and the Apostle's Creed, a series of necessary beliefs replaced actual experience. The Church slowly switched from the pneumatics to the ekklesia, the ecclesastic assembly of Christ, and the governor of the ekklesia was the local bishop, who possessed “right dogma,” and not the pneumatic or prophet, who might possess spirit but couldn't be “controlled.” The Church was no longer defined as the assembly of realizers but as the assembly of bishops.

    With Tertullian the relationship becomes almost legal, and with Cyprian spirituality actually is bound to the legal office of the Church. You could become a priest merely by ordination, not by awakening. A priest was no longer holy (sanctus) if he was personally awakened or enlightened or sanctified, but if he held the office. Likewise, you could become “saved” not by waking up yourself, but merely by taking the legal sacraments. As Cyprian put it, “He who does not have the Church as Mother cannot have God as Father.”

    Well, that puts a damper on it, what? Salvation now belonged to the lawyers. And the lawyers said, basically, we will allow that one megadude became fully one with God, but that's it! No more of that pure Oneness crap.

    [Q] But why?

    [A] This part of it was simple, raw, political power. Because, you know, the unsettling thing about direct mystical experience is that it has a nasty habit of going straight from Spirit to you, thus bypassing the middleman, namely, the bishop, not to mention the middleman's collection plate. This is the same reason the oil companies do not like solar power, if you get my drift.

    And so, anybody who had a direct pipeline to God was thus pronounced guilty not only of religious heresy, or the violation of the legal codes of the Church, for which you could have your heavenly soul eternally damned, but also of political treason, for which you could have your earthly body separated into several sections.

    For all these reasons, the summum bonum of spiritual awareness-the supreme identity of Atman and Brahman, or ordinary mind and intrinsic spirit-was officially taboo in the West for a thousand years, more or less. All the wonderful currents that you mention, from Neoplatonism to Hermeticism, were definitely present but severely marginalized, to put it mildly. And thus the West produced an extraordinary number of subtle-level (or sambhogakaya) mystics, who only claimed that the soul and God can share a union; but very few causal (dharmakaya) and very few nondual (svabhavikakaya) mystics, who went further and claimed not just a union but a supreme identity of soul and God in pure Godhead, just that claim got you toasted.

  • fubar

    Farhan,

    the bahai “spiritual outlook” is a rehash of islamic esotericism, not much new except bahaullah was attempting to reconcile islamic-shia esotericism with the forces of modernity (european colonialism, parliamentary democracy, etc.).

    spirituality existed long before civilizations came about and long before religion was invented by the so called “prophets”.

    the “structure” that bahai proposes is goofy, ill-defined, and will never work unless some other evolutionary paradigm shift occurs at a basic level of human existence FIRST, in which case, there would be no reason for a “bahai” structure anyway – all the work would have already be done by others.

  • farhan

    Craig wrote: The Baha'is are in chains while everyone else is stealing our thunder and running with it as completely free thinkers and completely free peoples.

    Craig, Shoghi Effendi's World Order of Baha'u'llah is the structure given to the embryo, and the plans that followed and continue are the application of The Tablets of the Divine Plan. Many of the well-meaning propositions I read are attempts at putting a beard on an embryo. Beautiful projects, but premature and impractical at the present situation of the Faith.

    Also, I disagree with the dualism Baha'i vs non-Baha'i worlds; we are all in one world, God's message has been given to all humanity, even though those who discipline themselves in participating in the establishment of the structure, are helping creating the back-spine and nervous system of the future world order.

  • fubar

    “Political” revolutionaries like Nelson Mandela and Gandhi were the reason that Apartheid fell, not obscure bahais.

    Farhan,

    It is odd that you fail to mention the overall contours of the political national liberation movements in Africa, and appear to “hijack” that history to somehow imply that an tiny, obscure group of bahais had some great influence, or played a significant role.

    if you go to the following web site, click “search”, and put in “baha”, YOU WILL FIND NOTHING.

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

    If there had never been one single bahai in africa, or the world, nothing different would have happened as far as the end of Apartheid is concerned.

    google “south africa apartheid baha”, and you will find the following strange bahai propaganda:

    http://www.onecountry.org/e113/e11301as.htm

    excerpt:
    | Without the Church and religious institutions, I would never
    | be here today,” said President Mandela, explaining that it was
    | Christian, Muslim, Hindu and Jewish religious groups that
    | were instrumental in providing him and other young blacks
    | with an education – and later in giving comfort to political
    | prisoners and their families.

    No mention of bahais supporting political revolutionaries, just other religions.

    please note that the bahais LITERALLY “showed up for the parade” after the dirty work was sone by “political” revolutionaries (who bahais had been afraid to protect)!

    The issue of political (non/)involvement is whitewashed:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bah%C3%A1'%C3%AD_F

    There is actual evidence that the opposite was at least partly the case, and that bahai philosophy is “non political” for self-serving reasons:

    In his later (bitter and disappointed) writing on global themes Shoghi Effendi condemned national liberation movements and praised the great imperial systems of christendom and islam as the hybrid model for future bahai civilization.

    it is amazing how wrong you get most things. it is also how wrong bahai thinking in general is, so I guess you are at least consistent.

  • fubar

    Agreed.
    The best french fries I ever ate were in a small french spa town in the south of france near the border with andorra/catalunya.

    I would peronally always rather eat good chinese/thai food than french (sublime vs. perfection), but you are still right, the french system of cooking is the best.

  • Craig Parke

    Spot on post, fubar! Remarkable stuff. This is the EXACT ESSENCE of the main dysfunctional mind bending spiritual confusion of the last 2,000 years: “organized religions” of hysterical sociopaths repeatedly will NOT ever let anyone come up with “Atman is Brahman” for themselves! It is ALWAYS the same old, same old. Control freaks ALWAYS manifest themselves in this space. Baha'u'llah actually addresses this in the Kitab-I-Iqan! They repeatedly make a religious organization into some kind of suffocating Linus Security Blanket (LSB) in a frantic Super Mommy or Super Daddy psychological projection and have, therefore, hijacked zeitgeist energy over and over. The record is almost mathematical. It is Cosmically Archetypal. The Chief priests, Scribes, and Pharisees are some kind of galactic franchise it appears that just cannot be stopped. They are the McDonalds's Golden Arches of chained orthodox thought. Everything always gets dumbed down into some kind of straight jacketed insipid Baltimore Catechism. Now we have the McFaith as the new Happy Meal. All the spiritual nutrition for the World Age boiled down into a burgher, fries, and diet coke with a big fat straw.

    People are now sick of this. The problem in the Baha'i Faith is that NOWHERE in the Writings does it say the Baha'i institutions have ANY say WHATSOEVER over the inner spiritual insights of anyone on Earth! That is not their authorized sphere of activity and purpose and it never was. That is not part and parcel of the collective sphere at all. They are supposed to be talking to other COLLECTIVE human structures on the planet like nations, governments, and other organizations. But THAT function requires actual guts, skill, courage, and intelligence and might get you killed yourself! It is much easier to bully individuals and think you are actually doing something useful as an organization at your lifetime incumbent pay grade. You aren't. Read Sen McGlinn's (gasp) forbidden book.

    He clearly makes the case from Baha'u'llah's Writings and not someone's Pilgrim's Notes or pet theories that the machinery of the Faith (which any reasonable person would certainly agree could indeed be quite useful after the bloody 20th Century if it was put to the task of actually doing something REAL in life instead of dreaming up endless administrative “one step forward – ten thousand steps back” zero sum theories and plans for itself forever.)

    Everything everybody needs to know is in the Writings and quite usefully the new books and insights being written by enlightened thinkers and explorers of consciousness concerning the new unleashed zeitgeist. How to organize around that is a matter to be decided locally everywhere in the world – not in the insane folly of top down.

    All the Administrative Order has ever done in it's sorry censored history is trade on people's “hopium” generation after generation and re-arrange deck chairs on each new generational edition of the Titanic. It is still the metaphor that just keeps on giving!

    The tragedy of so much opportunity lost so far through entrenched “inside-the-box” straight jacketed orthodox administrative stupidity in an ocean of human misery and suffering is beyond calculable.

    Meanwhile the people out across the world that are learning Atman is Brahman their own way and in their own life from their own study and searching are going to kick everyone's ass including the Baha'i Faith. That is happening as they begin to communicate via the Internet and communities of free discussion and shared learning form. Many rank and file thinkers in the Baha'i Faith have now gone underground and many streams of thought will not surface now to the apparatchik collective for the next 300 years. Does the current impaired and dysfunctional AO lifetime incumbent narrow apparatus really think long time Baha'is who actually served in the trenches are really this dumb to passively accept the hijacking of many of the remarkable insights that do exist in the Faith?

    Life and spiritual thought will go on out in the wasteland beyond the walled cities. They will just never hear about it in the top down hyper micro-managed Faith.

    So it goes.

    Meanwhile, everyone keep posting!

  • farhan

    Fubar wrote: …appear to “hijack” that history to somehow imply that an tiny, obscure group of bahais had some great influence, or played a significant role.

    Yes, Fubar, liberation movements did bring down tyrannical societies (as Craig would put it, �doing God’s work�), but have never been able to produce a civilisation in their wake.

    The purpose of God’s message is to provide the society that will replace the chaos they leave in their wake. The purpose of religion is not to overthrow tyrants but to provide a peaceful society to replace them, and for far reaching reasons I cannot detail here, the Baha’i pioneers did accomplish beautifully this work. In Gleanings CX Baha'u'llah defines this:

    “The fundamental purpose animating the Faith of God and His Religion is to safeguard the interests and promote the unity of the human race, and to foster the spirit of love and fellowship amongst men. Suffer it not to become a source of dissension and discord, of hate and enmity. This is the straight Path, the fixed and immovable foundation. Whatsoever is raised on this foundation, the changes and chances of the world can never impair its strength, nor will the revolution of countless centuries undermine its structure. Our hope is that the world's religious leaders and the rulers thereof will unitedly arise for the reformation of this age and the rehabilitation of its fortunes.”

  • farhan

    Fubar wrote: did the concept of entropy arise from universal, liberated human perception (evolution), or from “revelation” caused by a “prophet” (access to special secret knowledge)?

    Farhan : I would say concept of entropy is a universal law dating back to Aristotle and formulated in Carnot’s second law; it takes place spontaneously. God’s revelation is a source of negative entropy, just as a grain in the soil reverses the entropy that has led plants to decomposition. However, Baha’u’llah seems to claim that God’s revelation has accelerated this process:
    â€?The world's equilibrium hath been upset through the vibrating influence of this most great, this new World Order. Mankind's ordered life hath been revolutionized through the agency of this unique, this wondrous System–the like of which mortal eyes have never witnessed.â€? (Kitab-i-Aqdas 2:182) or again:

    â€?That God-born Force, irresistible in its sweeping power, incalculable in its potency, unpredictable in its course, mysterious in its workings, and awe-inspiring in its manifestations—a Force which, as the Bab has written, “vibrates within the innermost being of all created things,” and which, according to Baha'u'llah, has through its “vibrating influence,” “upset the equilibrium of the world and revolutionized its ordered life”—such a Force, acting even as a two-edged sword, is, under our very eyes, sundering, on the one hand, the age-old ties which for centuries have held together the fabric of civilized society, and is unloosing, on the other, the bonds that still fetter the infant and as yet unemancipated Faith of Baha'u'llah.â€? (Shoghi Effendi, ADJ, p 47)

  • fubar

    farhan,

    thanks for the excellent quotes, which demonstrate the incoherence present in bahai scripture.

    there are much more rational ways of seeing how social change processes operate.

    in science, including social science, the best solution is usually the one that requires the least superstition and metaphysical fluff.

    in that sense, progressive revelation is bogus, and emotive.

    from the perspective of how meaning is constructed around the theme of revelation, the “truth statements” in bahai scripture can be “bracketed” and as such, give insight into the psychosocial dynamics of a declined culture.
    gotta run.
    have a nice day.

  • farhan

    Baquia, as I see it, the task of Baha'is has been precisely outlined by its author himself:

    “It is incumbent upon every man of insight and understanding to strive to translate that which hath been written into reality and action.” (Tab Baha’u’llah, Lawhi Maqsud)

    When we translate His writings into action, nowhere are we asked to take sides in conflicting issues, but clearly to flee them:

    “The distinguishing feature that marketh the preeminent character of this Supreme Revelation consisteth in that We have, on the one hand, blotted out from the pages of God's holy Book whatsoever hath been the cause of strife, of malice and mischief amongst the children of men, and have, on the other, laid down the essential prerequisites of concord, of understanding, of complete and enduring unity. Well is it with them that keep My statutes.

    Time and again have We admonished Our beloved ones to avoid, nay to flee from, anything whatsoever from which the odor of mischief can be detected. The world is in great turmoil, and the minds of its people are in a state of utter confusion.” (Gleanings XLIII)

    Our whole mission being to allow the writings of God transform the character of mankind:

    “And yet, is not the object of every Revelation to effect a transformation in the whole character of mankind, a transformation that shall manifest itself both outwardly and inwardly, that shall affect both its inner life and external conditions? For if the character of mankind be not changed, the futility of God's universal Manifestations would be apparent.” (Iqan p 241)

    You might feel that the Baha'is would gain popularity by taking sides in various issues, but this is not the mission with which Baha'u'llah has entrusted us.

  • Fred

    It's fair to remember that political upheaval is nothing new to Iran. There were similar quests for freedom and consitutional reform even during the time of the Bab and Baha'u'llah, often bloody and violent. It could be argued that some of these movements, had they succeeded, would have brought an end to the persecution of the early Baha'is in Iran as well as bettered the lives of Iranians as a whole. But neither the Bab or Baha'u'llah ever instructed their followers to align themselves with any political movement. Where they wrong?

    Even as late as the 1950s the Shah of Iran was deposed by a popular revolution which was entirely secular in nature. Should Baha'is have demonstrated their political support for the liberal and democratic government that deposed him? If yes, then should Baha'is have subsequently taken to the streets a second time when the same government was overthrown by a foreign backed coup which reinstated the shah? What should the level of our involvement of be and where do we draw the line? Is it even up to us to make these decisions? Well, I think not.

    As for the words of pastor Niemoller, well, they've been 'coming' for the Baha'is for a long time! And finally, in the land of its birth, people ARE speaking out. And while the rest of the world is flaying around in a state of upheaval and confusion we've been gifted with a divine model which we believe will ultimately best serve mankind. We are not mere spectators. Everytime we teach the faith in the spirit of unifying mankind, we ARE speaking out against every injustice and inhumanity in the world.

  • Craig Parke

    This is a quite thoughtful post. You make very good points and I commend you on it. You write:

    “And while the rest of the world is flaying around in a state of upheaval and confusion we've been gifted with a divine model which we believe will ultimately best serve mankind. We are not mere spectators. Everytime we teach the faith in the spirit of unifying mankind, we ARE speaking out against every injustice and inhumanity in the world.”

    But is that actually true?

    Amid Two World Wars, a Great Depression, the Cold War, Korea, Vietnam, the Civil Rights Movement, Gulf War I, Iraq, and Afghanistan just in the history of one country alone – the United States – and there are many other nations – the Baha'i Faith has repeatedly taken one step forward and ten thousand steps back generation after generation. For every person you teach and bring into the Faith, you negate ten thousand others with every mindless automaton vote for lifetime incumbency for a very tiny clique of people at the top who personally own and control the Baha'i Faith as their personal lifetime groupthink theorist experiment.

    Shoghi Effendi said that one of the main functions of the Guardian of the Baha'is Faith was to ask a sitting Universal House of Justice to reconsider a decision they made that a Guardian deemed was against the Spirit of the Teachings of Baha'u'llah! So exactly WHO is supposed to perform that vital check and balance function now that there is and can never be a living Guardian in the Faith again ever? Who has the power and authority to ask them to reconsider anything?

    Who?

    The answer is no one.

    So they can do whatever they want with no checks and balances whatsoever. Because of this, if they go off the rails and completely destroy the Faith, then they have failed all mankind and have not achieved one iota of anything whatsoever in speaking out and eventually stopping every injustice and inhumanity in the world. Zero. Nada. Zippo. How many thousands of years do you think it is going to take? I sadly say from hard experience that the Baha'is do not have the chops. Again, I am very sad to say this. But we are not players. It will take the current top down Baha'i system hundreds of thousands of years to achieve the simplest thing while the entire rest of the messy bottom up system of the world will easily accomplish in 100 years the things we are supposed to do. So I am putting the efforts I have left into the world itself directly. The Baha'is do not understand how to use spiritual multiplier forces in a society. Everyone else does for both good and evil. Your points are very well take, but I see no hope whatsoever of the Baha'i Faith ever achieving any kind of systemic competency. The rise of the internet could still be a factor. But so far I see no competence in how to use the Internet to progress the Teachings of Baha'u'llah via the current locked down Admin-o-Centric culture of the Faith. It is just not spiritual enough to have any effect on the course of events.

    What has the Baha'i Faith done for veterans coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan and their families in the U.S. where there is real spiritual need? What has it done for the slain and the maimed sent to “do God's work”. The answer is Zero. Nada. Zippo. the Faith is too soft. It is too weak. it is too insufferably Middle Class. It is made up of people who have never been anywhere in life and never seen anything from within the depth of their own souls. But that could all change. But so far I see little chance.

    The Ruhi gambit is just the new scratching on the floor 15 feet from the kitty litter. It is just going through the motions and will not work. One step forward, ten thousand steps back. Millions will be born, live out their lives, and die while the Baha'is hold their endless meetings that produce nothing. Their prayers are not heard by any God. Ever. I honestly tried for decades. How can a community of people this individually and collectively impaired ever hope to be successful? At this point might it not be better to move on to find the people actually DOING the work of the New World Age and directly help THEM!

  • Fred

    It's fair to remember that political upheaval is nothing new to Iran. There were similar quests for freedom and consitutional reform even during the time of the Bab and Baha'u'llah, often bloody and violent. It could be argued that some of these movements, had they succeeded, would have brought an end to the persecution of the early Baha'is in Iran as well as bettered the lives of Iranians as a whole. But neither the Bab or Baha'u'llah ever instructed their followers to align themselves with any political movement. Where they wrong?

    Even as late as the 1950s the Shah of Iran was deposed by a popular revolution which was entirely secular in nature. Should Baha'is have demonstrated their political support for the liberal and democratic government that deposed him? If yes, then should Baha'is have subsequently taken to the streets a second time when the same government was overthrown by a foreign backed coup which reinstated the shah? What should the level of our involvement of be and where do we draw the line? Is it even up to us to make these decisions? Well, I think not.

    As for the words of pastor Niemoller, well, they've been 'coming' for the Baha'is for a long time! And finally, in the land of its birth, people ARE speaking out. And while the rest of the world is flaying around in a state of upheaval and confusion we've been gifted with a divine model which we believe will ultimately best serve mankind. We are not mere spectators. Everytime we teach the faith in the spirit of unifying mankind, we ARE speaking out against every injustice and inhumanity in the world.

  • Craig Parke

    This is a quite thoughtful post. You make very good points and I commend you on it. You write:

    “And while the rest of the world is flaying around in a state of upheaval and confusion we've been gifted with a divine model which we believe will ultimately best serve mankind. We are not mere spectators. Everytime we teach the faith in the spirit of unifying mankind, we ARE speaking out against every injustice and inhumanity in the world.”

    But is that actually true?

    Amid Two World Wars, a Great Depression, the Cold War, Korea, Vietnam, the Civil Rights Movement, Gulf War I, Iraq, and Afghanistan just in the history of one country alone – the United States – and there are many other nations – the Baha'i Faith has repeatedly taken one step forward and ten thousand steps back generation after generation. For every person you teach and bring into the Faith, you negate ten thousand others with every mindless automaton vote for lifetime incumbency for a very tiny clique of people at the top who personally own and control the Baha'i Faith as their personal lifetime groupthink theorist experiment.

    Shoghi Effendi said that one of the main functions of the Guardian of the Baha'is Faith was to ask a sitting Universal House of Justice to reconsider a decision they made that a Guardian deemed was against the Spirit of the Teachings of Baha'u'llah! So exactly WHO is supposed to perform that vital check and balance function now that there is and can never be a living Guardian in the Faith again ever? Who has the power and authority to ask them to reconsider anything?

    Who?

    The answer is no one.

    So they can do whatever they want with no checks and balances whatsoever. Because of this, if they go off the rails and completely destroy the Faith, then they have failed all mankind and have not achieved one iota of anything whatsoever in speaking out and eventually stopping every injustice and inhumanity in the world. Zero. Nada. Zippo. How many thousands of years do you think it is going to take? I sadly say from hard experience that the Baha'is do not have the chops. Again, I am very sad to say this. But we are not players. It will take the current top down Baha'i system hundreds of thousands of years to achieve the simplest thing while the entire rest of the messy bottom up system of the world will easily accomplish in 100 years the things we are supposed to do. So I am putting the efforts I have left into the world itself directly. The Baha'is do not understand how to use spiritual multiplier forces in a society. Everyone else does for both good and evil. Your points are very well take, but I see no hope whatsoever of the Baha'i Faith ever achieving any kind of systemic competency. The rise of the internet could still be a factor. But so far I see no competence in how to use the Internet to progress the Teachings of Baha'u'llah via the current locked down Admin-o-Centric culture of the Faith. It is just not spiritual enough to have any effect on the course of events.

    What has the Baha'i Faith done for veterans coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan and their families in the U.S. where there is real spiritual need? What has it done for the slain and the maimed sent to “do God's work”. The answer is Zero. Nada. Zippo. the Faith is too soft. It is too weak. it is too insufferably Middle Class. It is made up of people who have never been anywhere in life and never seen anything from within the depth of their own souls. But that could all change. But so far I see little chance.

    The Ruhi gambit is just the new scratching on the floor 15 feet from the kitty litter. It is just going through the motions and will not work. One step forward, ten thousand steps back. Millions will be born, live out their lives, and die while the Baha'is hold their endless meetings that produce nothing. Their prayers are not heard by any God. Ever. I honestly tried for decades. How can a community of people this individually and collectively impaired ever hope to be successful? At this point might it not be better to move on to find the people actually DOING the work of the New World Age and directly help THEM!