Finding Hidden Purposes in Obedience

Here is an interesting post made by fellow Baha’i blogger, Neghan. For some reason he decided to erase his writing after publishing it on the web.

Similar to the previous occasion where a fellow blogger decided to self-censor themselves, I’ve plucked the content from Google Cache and present it here for your reading pleasure. I’m not sure why Neghan decided to remove this because to me it doesn’t cross any lines, nor does it reveal anything which others have not already expressed.

Of particular interest is this excerpt:

Until we realize that what worked in 1950’s and 1960’s Latin American countries, in homogeneous and often poorly educated communities with a completely different concept of time and with very different learning styles is not the best solution for bringing in the masses everywhere (especially in the West). Mix in the overzealous (bordering on fundamentalist) zeal encouraged in the training programs that appears to clash with much of Baha’i culture and alienates many of the existing Baha’is and you’ve got a real mess. I’m not sure how long it may take for the issues here to be realized, but we as Baha’is should be supportive and let things play out as they will. Perhaps one day we will be open to ideas about adapting content and delivery to different audiences, having a more customer-centered approach in our community relations, and more effectively and strategically using technology, messaging, and marketing tools to communicate, train, and empower believers to change the world.

You need not look far for my own take on Ruhi.

So it is published again in the interest of sharing and encouraging dialogue (with minimal changes to correct spelling & grammar). I hope that Neghan does not take offense since none is intended.

Enjoy

[START DOCUMENT]

Finding Hidden Purpose in Obedience
November 5, 2007 on 12:56 pm | In Community Life | No Comments

Finding Hidden Purposes in Obedience

It has been a while since I posted anything so here is something extra spicy for you all to chew on.

I read an article in the latest issue of the American Baha’i newspaper and it got me to thinking. In the article, written by the eminent John Hatcher, we are reminded that receiving mandates from the Universal House of Justice is essentially as if we are receiving mandates from God. Therefore, the article tells us essentially to do our Ruhi study classes, and whatever else the House asks of us, in a spirit of loving obedience. I really liked the article; I just have a bit of a twisted spin on it. Let me explain.

God works in mysterious ways — we mortals have a bad track record in figuring out His methods

If we look at religious history, and we look at those who were divinely guided and the choices they had to make, we see that infallibility is often not understood by the people of the time. Think about Abraham who was told to sacrifice His son. Abraham did not understand why He was being asked to do this. Clearly, infanticide was not going to be good for growth in the community. But this was a task that God asked Him to do, so He was willing to do it, and this taught us all a lesson about true obedience. Think about Noah who was told to sacrifice everything and get branded a fool by his people to build an ark. Think about how then he was promised by God when the Flood would arrive. The day came and the flood didn’t happen. Did Noah freak out and abandon God? No, he kept his faith and admitted that He did not understand. Sometimes the reasons for certain decisions won’t become clear until 5, 10, 50, or 100 years from now. Sometimes certain infallible decisions of divinely guided people (and today Institutions) may not lead to the results we expect in the way we want. In fact, sometimes those results may even be the opposite of what we expect, but they may have some bigger lesson to teach us in the process that turns out to be critical to achieving the ultimate ends we desire.

Example from the Old World

Let me give you an example. Beware, I’m now going to go into some politics here on the DailyBaha’i blog. This is just my individual interpretation of events going on in the world around us and it is no reflection on any kind of official Baha’i interpretation of events. These are just my musings. Here goes: I understand that the Lesser Peace (the political peace of the world where nations essentially band together to outlaw war) is prophesied to happen in the ?near’ future. I also understand that America is prophesied to lead the world to this new reality. For that to happen, America needs to realize that it is incapable of running the world with bullying tactics and of always getting its way with brute force. For this realization to happen, certain groups in America who have visions of American Global Dominance (or Pax Americana) which is a vision of our country being ordained (by God or something) to rule over the world as a benevolent master, need to be discredited. These ultra nationalists have at last had their chance to run the affairs of this country the way they have always wanted. They have had their cowboy president who uses force first and asks questions later. These America-First folks may not ever change their views themselves, but their views have been largely discredited in this country. Now that they have been discredited, they will have less influence and be less of a hindrance in the path to the Lesser Peace. Had they not been discredited, they may have used their powerful lobbying organizations, thinktanks, and media outlets to block any attempts to create a Peaceful New World Order. And yes, I know how it makes them go into a wild frenzy when I use that last term…New World Order.

Ruhi as a Cleansing Force

This brings us back to the Baha’i Faith. Perhaps the current initiatives will play out as we hope, and study circles will lead to ?A’ clusters which will lead to intensive programs of growth which will lead to entry by troops and on and on. Or, perhaps the current initiatives will not work out the way we believe they will? Perhaps we have some key lessons to learn yet as a community? Perhaps the current process will, as some suspect, lead to great tests for believers who have any kind of relevant experience and who may see this massive endeavor as flawed if it expects to immediately increase the ranks of the believers. In fact, some even think it might lead to less active and less enthusiastic Baha’is, in the West in particular. But perhaps this needs to happen? Perhaps Ruhi is a cleansing of the ranks of the Baha’is of those who are not willing to suck up their ego and do things their experience and intellect tells them will not work? What greater test than this could a professional with years of experience and insight have?

Perhaps building the Ark is more about clearing the forest then building a ship

Perhaps Ruhi is a cleansing force sent to clear out our communities and institutions of past initiatives and efforts? If this is true, then I see three possible effects of this process.

(1.) A certain well-meaning ?school of thought’ about how to bring in the masses that is the driving force behind the Ruhi training program will need to be exhausted. Unfortunately, I fear that until these ideas have been tried and tried again, without achieving the desired results, we won’t be able to change the way we do things. I’m not trying to sound cynical here, but I feel that we are putting too much emphasis on past experiences that occurred in very different circumstances and not learning from what is available in today’s world. Therefore we need to support these efforts so that we can learn to break from the past and get to the next level. Until we realize that what worked in 1950’s and 1960’s Latin American countries, in homogeneous and often poorly educated communities with a completely different concept of time and with very different learning styles is not the best solution for bringing in the masses everywhere (especially in the West). Mix in the overzealous (bordering on fundamentalist) zeal encouraged in the training programs that appears to clash with much of Baha’i culture and alienates many of the existing Baha’is and you’ve got a real mess. I’m not sure how long it may take for the issues here to be realized, but we as Baha’is should be supportive and let things play out as they will. Perhaps one day we will be open to ideas about adapting content and delivery to different audiences, having a more customer-centered approach in our community relations, and more effectively and strategically using technology, messaging, and marketing tools to communicate, train, and empower believers to change the world.

(2.) The second effect may be that our communities are being cleansed of all the old institutions (such as National Teaching Committee in the United States which was recently disbanded), so that we can focus more on Ruhi classes and the Institute Process. This cleansing is wiping away all the old ways of doing things and opening the way for new solutions in the future. We may continue to gut programs and offices that do not appear to help ?the focus’ until all that is left is a bare bones operation. At that point we may be ready for creative, dramatic, and critical changes to the way we do things that can then get this show on the road and start effective and sustainable growth.

(3.) Finally, those of us with logic- and evidence-based educational backgrounds, real-world organization building experience, open-minded and creative approaches to spiritual development, and individualistic thinking tendencies will continue to be severely tested by the current Plans of our communities. Those of us who cannot learn to be obedient when every fiber of our experience tells us that this won’t work and may actually be accomplishing the opposite effects in the community (in the near term), will likely flush ourselves into inactivity, or even out of the community. But those of us who can see the bigger picture and humble ourselves and admit that there may be things going on that we just don’t understand at this time may find that our obedience muscles stronger than ever and ready for any new tests that life will throw at us. This may in turn create a smaller but more effective core of believers ready to implement the dramatic and powerful campaigns that may be introduced in the future.

The Whirlwind Doesn’t Have to Explain Itself to Little Old Me

This is just one scenario. I don’t know what will happen. Perhaps I am wrong and things will not play out like this? I hope I am wrong, because the scenario painted above is rather grim. I have no crystal ball. All I know is that I love the Baha’i Faith and that I don’t understand God’s methods. There are many times that I, perhaps a little bit like Job, look into the Whirlwind and have to admit that I just don’t understand what is going on. I know that I love the Universal House of Justice, and that I cherish Their every word, and that I pray for the strength to manifest the loving obedience required in our times.

[END DOCUMENT]

  • Grover

    To be honest, right now I wish the Faith had split into some significantly large demoninations so then I could go and join the one that was a bit more rational, less fundamentalist and airy-fairy than what we have now. I can’t join any other religion because nothing else at the moment matches my core beliefs, but the Baha’i Faith as it is is no longer attractive. I don’t believe that God would go out of His way to make what was supposed to be a latest and greatest in religions such crap. ‘Abdu’l-Baha said that whatever was not in conformity with science and reason was not the truth and was superstition. For the life of me, I cannot reconcile what is currently happening with any kind of logic. At every step in the Baha’i community we are being forced, through Feast, Cluster meetings, newsletters, to do this crap, and to pressure our friends, whom we know would hate it, into it as well. People hate religion in the western world, they hate having Mormon’s, Christians, Jehova’s witnesses, and now us, descend upon them with the Book and “Truth” in hand. If we could just offer them something concrete and real instead of the current disfunctional and thirsty-for-souls like some hungry vampire Baha’i community, they would go for it. We can’t keep offering empty promises about spiritual growth in the next world if you join now.

    I was at a social science school seminar, and the presenter said:

    “there is nothing more corrupting than to use people to market products to their friends”

    And thats what we are doing, selling some shonky product, aka the Baha’i Faith, to our friends because there is no other way. If the Faith was any good, it would stand on its own. Right now I think the Faith should just rot and die and God try again. The Faith is nothing more than a bunch of people with delusions of grandeur.

    Anyway, thats my rant.

  • Grover

    To be honest, right now I wish the Faith had split into some significantly large demoninations so then I could go and join the one that was a bit more rational, less fundamentalist and airy-fairy than what we have now. I can’t join any other religion because nothing else at the moment matches my core beliefs, but the Baha’i Faith as it is is no longer attractive. I don’t believe that God would go out of His way to make what was supposed to be a latest and greatest in religions such crap. ‘Abdu’l-Baha said that whatever was not in conformity with science and reason was not the truth and was superstition. For the life of me, I cannot reconcile what is currently happening with any kind of logic. At every step in the Baha’i community we are being forced, through Feast, Cluster meetings, newsletters, to do this crap, and to pressure our friends, whom we know would hate it, into it as well. People hate religion in the western world, they hate having Mormon’s, Christians, Jehova’s witnesses, and now us, descend upon them with the Book and “Truth” in hand. If we could just offer them something concrete and real instead of the current disfunctional and thirsty-for-souls like some hungry vampire Baha’i community, they would go for it. We can’t keep offering empty promises about spiritual growth in the next world if you join now.

    I was at a social science school seminar, and the presenter said:

    “there is nothing more corrupting than to use people to market products to their friends”

    And thats what we are doing, selling some shonky product, aka the Baha’i Faith, to our friends because there is no other way. If the Faith was any good, it would stand on its own. Right now I think the Faith should just rot and die and God try again. The Faith is nothing more than a bunch of people with delusions of grandeur.

    Anyway, thats my rant.

  • Craig Parke

    Grover,

    Very well said. You have expressed what many people now feel.

    In fact, there are hundreds of people worldwide who feel this way now. Many long time dedicated Baha’is who have now come to the end of the road and just can’t go on in this hapless Orwellian farce any longer.

    There are many support groups in cyber space discussing the issues you have raised.

    Here are three:

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/unenrolledbahai/

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/talisman9/

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ex-bahai/

    Thank you for your heartfelt post. Many people worldwide feel very much the same and are helping each other deal with their grief. You would be most welcome joining any of these publicly closed sites. The discussions are often quite good.

    Best regards,

    Craig

  • Craig Parke

    Grover,

    Very well said. You have expressed what many people now feel.

    In fact, there are hundreds of people worldwide who feel this way now. Many long time dedicated Baha’is who have now come to the end of the road and just can’t go on in this hapless Orwellian farce any longer.

    There are many support groups in cyber space discussing the issues you have raised.

    Here are three:

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/unenrolledbahai/

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/talisman9/

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ex-bahai/

    Thank you for your heartfelt post. Many people worldwide feel very much the same and are helping each other deal with their grief. You would be most welcome joining any of these publicly closed sites. The discussions are often quite good.

    Best regards,

    Craig

  • http://mowoz.blogspot.com Justin

    Thank you for this post. Sincerely.

  • http://mowoz.blogspot.com Justin

    Thank you for this post. Sincerely.

  • Hugh J Church

    So we are to understand Ruhi as a “test,” among those other tests for which we should try to be grateful and from which we can learn? If that’s what this means, then it fits perfectly with my own view. But it isn’t just Ruhi. It’s the fact that for a religious community which has no priesthood or ministry, we are currently in a situation in which it would appear to many that we have a very hierarchical and very rigid form of governance. In some ways it seems to rival that of the Roman Catholic Church, although I don’t mean to cast aspersions on that or any other faith.
    I am trying to remember the good Baha’i people I have known and know, and I must say that in our own community everyone now knows how I feel about Ruhi and not one person has been other than sympathetic. This has been of special value because I know as well that they don’t agree with me. And I try to remember the Baha’is of Iran and the martyrs of the faith, who had and have to put up with a lot more tests than merely intellectual ones.
    I’m not planning on dropping out or going away, but I’m not planning to be other than comletely honest if and when I’m asked about my views either. I hope one day to be able to see how the Baha’i community worldwide has profited from the Ruhi bandwagon, and this comment has given me some hope that I will see it – although perhaps not the way anyone in Haifa currently thinks.
    Sincerely,
    Hugh

  • Hugh J Church

    So we are to understand Ruhi as a “test,” among those other tests for which we should try to be grateful and from which we can learn? If that’s what this means, then it fits perfectly with my own view. But it isn’t just Ruhi. It’s the fact that for a religious community which has no priesthood or ministry, we are currently in a situation in which it would appear to many that we have a very hierarchical and very rigid form of governance. In some ways it seems to rival that of the Roman Catholic Church, although I don’t mean to cast aspersions on that or any other faith.
    I am trying to remember the good Baha’i people I have known and know, and I must say that in our own community everyone now knows how I feel about Ruhi and not one person has been other than sympathetic. This has been of special value because I know as well that they don’t agree with me. And I try to remember the Baha’is of Iran and the martyrs of the faith, who had and have to put up with a lot more tests than merely intellectual ones.
    I’m not planning on dropping out or going away, but I’m not planning to be other than comletely honest if and when I’m asked about my views either. I hope one day to be able to see how the Baha’i community worldwide has profited from the Ruhi bandwagon, and this comment has given me some hope that I will see it – although perhaps not the way anyone in Haifa currently thinks.
    Sincerely,
    Hugh

  • Craig Parke

    Hugh,

    There are many good people in the Baha’i Faith. But over 380 officially left the Baha’i Faith last year in the U.S. Baha’i community alone as officially reported by the US NSA in the Ridvan 2007 Convention Report before the report was banned by the UHJ and suppressed worldwide. Many more very dedicated Baha’is have left the Faith in total disgust without even bothering to write a letter. I have been a Baha’i for 36 years and served in many different capacities and have spoken with several old friends across the country who are now gone.

    People are now required to “sell” the Faith as an MLM (Multi-Level Marketing scheme) to their friends and family. The idea is to get people into the top down Ruhi Courses where no open discussion of anything is permitted in the amazing rote lessons. Anyone not with the program is basically singled out as an enemy of God.

    Such a presentation of the Faith is just not going to work in many cultural situations. It certainly won’t work with educated people. And it certainly won’t work with very spiritually advanced people. Many seekers today are far more spiritually advanced than Baha’is (!) because they are free to pursure the Teachings of Baha’u’llah that are IN THE AIR and being expressed FREELY and BRILLIANTLY by advanced spiritual communities and systems of thought that have never heard of Baha’u’llah but are expressing the spiritual insights of Baha’u’llah beautifully. Look at all the very advanced spiritual books on Amazon!

    If you can’t teach what Baha’u’llah taught in freedom and open discussion there is really no reason to stay. So people aren’t staying. It is simple as that.

    The Faith is in crisis. No one will do anything. It is now a religion of cowards. The Faith is going to collapse. But out of this something else will be called into being spiritually by the Powers of the Cosmos of the Almighty. There are already many spiritual discussion forming all around the world in closed underground groups to try to deal with the greatb grief many are feeling. Many people are trying to help each other. They are out there. you are not alone.

    Best regards,

    Craig

  • Craig Parke

    Hugh,

    There are many good people in the Baha’i Faith. But over 380 officially left the Baha’i Faith last year in the U.S. Baha’i community alone as officially reported by the US NSA in the Ridvan 2007 Convention Report before the report was banned by the UHJ and suppressed worldwide. Many more very dedicated Baha’is have left the Faith in total disgust without even bothering to write a letter. I have been a Baha’i for 36 years and served in many different capacities and have spoken with several old friends across the country who are now gone.

    People are now required to “sell” the Faith as an MLM (Multi-Level Marketing scheme) to their friends and family. The idea is to get people into the top down Ruhi Courses where no open discussion of anything is permitted in the amazing rote lessons. Anyone not with the program is basically singled out as an enemy of God.

    Such a presentation of the Faith is just not going to work in many cultural situations. It certainly won’t work with educated people. And it certainly won’t work with very spiritually advanced people. Many seekers today are far more spiritually advanced than Baha’is (!) because they are free to pursure the Teachings of Baha’u’llah that are IN THE AIR and being expressed FREELY and BRILLIANTLY by advanced spiritual communities and systems of thought that have never heard of Baha’u’llah but are expressing the spiritual insights of Baha’u’llah beautifully. Look at all the very advanced spiritual books on Amazon!

    If you can’t teach what Baha’u’llah taught in freedom and open discussion there is really no reason to stay. So people aren’t staying. It is simple as that.

    The Faith is in crisis. No one will do anything. It is now a religion of cowards. The Faith is going to collapse. But out of this something else will be called into being spiritually by the Powers of the Cosmos of the Almighty. There are already many spiritual discussion forming all around the world in closed underground groups to try to deal with the greatb grief many are feeling. Many people are trying to help each other. They are out there. you are not alone.

    Best regards,

    Craig

  • Hugh J Church

    Craig,
    Well, I’ve certainly never encountered anyone who has suggested I’m an “enemy of God” because I think that Ruhi “sucketh badly.” As I said, my closest Baha’i friends all know exactly and precisely what I think about Ruhi, and although they don’t agree with me, they’ve remained very supportive and uncritical (of me, I mean.) That’s what I like about Neghan’s commentary – his suggestion that although neither he nor I believe that Ruhi is going to work out the way the UHJ thinks it’s going to, it still may “work out.” It may be the very “test” which the Faith needs to mature and become what it should be – a faith whose “administrators” genuinely respect its adherents as most individual Baha’is already do.
    On the other hand, I agree most emphatically with you that all this emphasis on “teaching,” and particularly using Ruhi to “teach,” is getting quite close to proselytizing and is definitely not working. We have a community of about a dozen adults. One of our most effective teachers – EVEN when she’s using Ruhi – is an Iranian lady whose husband is, to put it mildly, extremely doubtful about the efficacy of Ruhi. Their relationship remains rock-solid, thank God and common sense – and I don’t see them shouting “enemy of God” at each other. (But a lot of Iranians have a sense of proportion which western Baha’is often lack.)
    Neghan obviously has a sense of humour. I’ve always felt that to be content in life one needs both a faith of some kind (and not necessarily a religious faith) and a sense of humour. Baha’u’llah and ‘Abdu’l-Baha both had senses of humour. I’m trying to have one – rather than a sense of despair and/or anger – about this Ruhi stuff. It’s just so patently nonsense to regard it as sound, at least in the Western world. One can laugh or cry or, I suppose, shout. I’m trying to laugh. I think to have faith is to have some degree of optimism, and I won’t give up on that. I wish you wouldn’t or hadn’t, too. I don’t know you but I certainly have a sense that you’re a valuable person to have around.
    Hugh

  • Hugh J Church

    Craig,
    Well, I’ve certainly never encountered anyone who has suggested I’m an “enemy of God” because I think that Ruhi “sucketh badly.” As I said, my closest Baha’i friends all know exactly and precisely what I think about Ruhi, and although they don’t agree with me, they’ve remained very supportive and uncritical (of me, I mean.) That’s what I like about Neghan’s commentary – his suggestion that although neither he nor I believe that Ruhi is going to work out the way the UHJ thinks it’s going to, it still may “work out.” It may be the very “test” which the Faith needs to mature and become what it should be – a faith whose “administrators” genuinely respect its adherents as most individual Baha’is already do.
    On the other hand, I agree most emphatically with you that all this emphasis on “teaching,” and particularly using Ruhi to “teach,” is getting quite close to proselytizing and is definitely not working. We have a community of about a dozen adults. One of our most effective teachers – EVEN when she’s using Ruhi – is an Iranian lady whose husband is, to put it mildly, extremely doubtful about the efficacy of Ruhi. Their relationship remains rock-solid, thank God and common sense – and I don’t see them shouting “enemy of God” at each other. (But a lot of Iranians have a sense of proportion which western Baha’is often lack.)
    Neghan obviously has a sense of humour. I’ve always felt that to be content in life one needs both a faith of some kind (and not necessarily a religious faith) and a sense of humour. Baha’u’llah and ‘Abdu’l-Baha both had senses of humour. I’m trying to have one – rather than a sense of despair and/or anger – about this Ruhi stuff. It’s just so patently nonsense to regard it as sound, at least in the Western world. One can laugh or cry or, I suppose, shout. I’m trying to laugh. I think to have faith is to have some degree of optimism, and I won’t give up on that. I wish you wouldn’t or hadn’t, too. I don’t know you but I certainly have a sense that you’re a valuable person to have around.
    Hugh

  • Craig Parke

    Hi Hugh,

    Thank you for your thoughtful post and kind note.

    To my mind the root of the problem is that ALL of the UHJ members and ITC members in Haifa have not had a “non-Baha’i” social interaction of any kind in 40 years.

    These people, therefore, live in an emotional bunker on their own inner Mt. Olympus and as a result of their mental and emotional isolation from the human race they have created the absurd “Fuhrer Bunker Faith” or “Politburo Faith”. Cold. Isolated. Totally emotionally distant. They are all pure theorists who live in their limited but self- intoxicating mental fantasy.

    The final stop, of course, is the mass psychosis of people who can
    interact with other human beings ONLY through “the organization”. They are all now there.

    Absolutely nothing new here. The same old same old. “Meet the new
    boss same as the old boss”. This brain chemistry has been duly noted and has been written about for decades now. It was, after all, the big common social research project of the 20th (and now 21st)
    Century.

    From communists to fascists to arrogant neocon theorists and now,
    sadly, to the top down air tight suffocating Administrative Order of
    the Baha’i Faith. To my mind it merits scientific study and is
    surely a right brain vs left brain thing. It seems to be in our
    genes. The dangerous delusion of the idolatry of an organization
    that becomes one’s God. A very dangerous drug in human history
    empowering the greatest crimes against humanity.

    At present the Baha’i Faith is very tiny after all this effort of so
    many fine and dedicated people (when I think of how hard I myself
    tried for 32 years up until 4 years ago I just want to cry). Since
    the Faith is tiny, the actions of the current somber, self-obsessed,
    mind numbingly incompetent leadership is just pure comedy. But if
    the Faith had any real power in the world would it all quickly
    expand to this?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7Kznmrc3o4

    When I cast my lot in with the Baha’i Faith in my youth I NEVER
    thought this would EVER be possible! I thought the Faith ITSELF
    safeguarded the individual human being as a sacred spiritual quite
    exoteric (not even esoteric) teaching simply because Baha’u’llah
    Himself WAS MERCILESSLY PERSECUTED by the entrenched conventional thought systems of His own time for speaking out. Same with Jesus Christ.

    Now I am not so sure about anything. It seems anything could happen and there are no safeguards of any kind from any kind of belief spiritual or not in the hands of anyone. It appears human beings are nuts. My theory now is that EVERY human being is insane (including myself) and that the ONLY workable solution is a system of massive checks and balances in everyone’s daily life to keep them from having absolute power over anyone else on Earth. I now see that the Baha’i Faith does NOT have any such internal mechanism AT ALL. Except perhaps the incredible rise of the power of the Internet for individual intimate communication which will perhaps yet safeguard human rights around the world in every kind of organization including one that is supposed to be “Divine” in origin. I think the Internet is part of something truly “Divine” that is coming into being. Perhaps this is the remedy for the newly born World age?

    What is really quite comical about the leadership of the current
    version of the Baha’i Faith is that ANY of these people can take
    themselves seriously AT ALL in ANY WAY? They have accomplished
    nothing but ruin their whole lives. They have destroyed EVERYTHING
    they have ever touched decade after decade. One step forward. Five
    hundred steps back. They have brutalized the rank and file. They
    show absolutely no respect whatsoever for the spirituality of others
    worldwide in any other organization or at any other level of their
    own Faith! How can you be a member of the current Administrative
    order of the Baha’i Faith everywhere in the world and not want to
    take a loaded gun, put it to your head, and pull the trigger? The
    Faith in it’s current form has completely failed every man, woman,
    and child on Earth decade after decade in a orgy of incompetence and mind bending dysfunctional third rate dumbed down garbled thought.

    But when I read the Tablet of the Holy Mariner I believe Baha’u’llah
    foretold ALL of this. If so, then we are going through Cosmic
    Archetypal Divine Judgment and it is necessary for all future
    progress. The rise of the Internet is going to clean house on many
    institutions of the human race worldwide. And the BAO is going to be
    one of them just like all the others. The days of “meet the new
    boss, same as the old boss” are eventually going to come to an end
    as everyone in the world can speak their mind at the speed of light
    to anyone else on Earth.

    Clearly the spirituality of the Baha’i Faith is going underground
    now all across the world as the spiritual people in the rank and
    file flee the AO. How it eventually reemerges in 100-500 years will
    be quite interesting. But for now the Baha’i Faith is Done. Toast.
    Under the current administration this dog won’t hunt. But death will
    eventually come one by one for all of them and the Universe may have a few tricks yet up It’s Cosmic sleeve.

    I believe this Great Day will eventually come in the Baha’i Faith:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYecfV3ubP8

    So everyone keep posting everywhere in the world!

    Best regards,

    Craig

  • Craig Parke

    Hi Hugh,

    Thank you for your thoughtful post and kind note.

    To my mind the root of the problem is that ALL of the UHJ members and ITC members in Haifa have not had a “non-Baha’i” social interaction of any kind in 40 years.

    These people, therefore, live in an emotional bunker on their own inner Mt. Olympus and as a result of their mental and emotional isolation from the human race they have created the absurd “Fuhrer Bunker Faith” or “Politburo Faith”. Cold. Isolated. Totally emotionally distant. They are all pure theorists who live in their limited but self- intoxicating mental fantasy.

    The final stop, of course, is the mass psychosis of people who can
    interact with other human beings ONLY through “the organization”. They are all now there.

    Absolutely nothing new here. The same old same old. “Meet the new
    boss same as the old boss”. This brain chemistry has been duly noted and has been written about for decades now. It was, after all, the big common social research project of the 20th (and now 21st)
    Century.

    From communists to fascists to arrogant neocon theorists and now,
    sadly, to the top down air tight suffocating Administrative Order of
    the Baha’i Faith. To my mind it merits scientific study and is
    surely a right brain vs left brain thing. It seems to be in our
    genes. The dangerous delusion of the idolatry of an organization
    that becomes one’s God. A very dangerous drug in human history
    empowering the greatest crimes against humanity.

    At present the Baha’i Faith is very tiny after all this effort of so
    many fine and dedicated people (when I think of how hard I myself
    tried for 32 years up until 4 years ago I just want to cry). Since
    the Faith is tiny, the actions of the current somber, self-obsessed,
    mind numbingly incompetent leadership is just pure comedy. But if
    the Faith had any real power in the world would it all quickly
    expand to this?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7Kznmrc3o4

    When I cast my lot in with the Baha’i Faith in my youth I NEVER
    thought this would EVER be possible! I thought the Faith ITSELF
    safeguarded the individual human being as a sacred spiritual quite
    exoteric (not even esoteric) teaching simply because Baha’u’llah
    Himself WAS MERCILESSLY PERSECUTED by the entrenched conventional thought systems of His own time for speaking out. Same with Jesus Christ.

    Now I am not so sure about anything. It seems anything could happen and there are no safeguards of any kind from any kind of belief spiritual or not in the hands of anyone. It appears human beings are nuts. My theory now is that EVERY human being is insane (including myself) and that the ONLY workable solution is a system of massive checks and balances in everyone’s daily life to keep them from having absolute power over anyone else on Earth. I now see that the Baha’i Faith does NOT have any such internal mechanism AT ALL. Except perhaps the incredible rise of the power of the Internet for individual intimate communication which will perhaps yet safeguard human rights around the world in every kind of organization including one that is supposed to be “Divine” in origin. I think the Internet is part of something truly “Divine” that is coming into being. Perhaps this is the remedy for the newly born World age?

    What is really quite comical about the leadership of the current
    version of the Baha’i Faith is that ANY of these people can take
    themselves seriously AT ALL in ANY WAY? They have accomplished
    nothing but ruin their whole lives. They have destroyed EVERYTHING
    they have ever touched decade after decade. One step forward. Five
    hundred steps back. They have brutalized the rank and file. They
    show absolutely no respect whatsoever for the spirituality of others
    worldwide in any other organization or at any other level of their
    own Faith! How can you be a member of the current Administrative
    order of the Baha’i Faith everywhere in the world and not want to
    take a loaded gun, put it to your head, and pull the trigger? The
    Faith in it’s current form has completely failed every man, woman,
    and child on Earth decade after decade in a orgy of incompetence and mind bending dysfunctional third rate dumbed down garbled thought.

    But when I read the Tablet of the Holy Mariner I believe Baha’u’llah
    foretold ALL of this. If so, then we are going through Cosmic
    Archetypal Divine Judgment and it is necessary for all future
    progress. The rise of the Internet is going to clean house on many
    institutions of the human race worldwide. And the BAO is going to be
    one of them just like all the others. The days of “meet the new
    boss, same as the old boss” are eventually going to come to an end
    as everyone in the world can speak their mind at the speed of light
    to anyone else on Earth.

    Clearly the spirituality of the Baha’i Faith is going underground
    now all across the world as the spiritual people in the rank and
    file flee the AO. How it eventually reemerges in 100-500 years will
    be quite interesting. But for now the Baha’i Faith is Done. Toast.
    Under the current administration this dog won’t hunt. But death will
    eventually come one by one for all of them and the Universe may have a few tricks yet up It’s Cosmic sleeve.

    I believe this Great Day will eventually come in the Baha’i Faith:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYecfV3ubP8

    So everyone keep posting everywhere in the world!

    Best regards,

    Craig

  • momen

    It’s very interesting to hear that this ruhi thing which I think more like MLM did not come from UHJ or ITC… When I was in pilgrimage in Haifa one night Mr. Paul Lample told us how this ruhi came along. Apparently there was a concern about slow growth of the faith at the world center so they turned to a major British Consulting Co. After one month of studying they came up with the result that the Baha’is keep their faith to themselves and just give out small introductory pamphlets to others. They suggested that people need to go out there and include everyone in every aspect of their belief in which this ruhi system came along.

  • momen

    It’s very interesting to hear that this ruhi thing which I think more like MLM did not come from UHJ or ITC… When I was in pilgrimage in Haifa one night Mr. Paul Lample told us how this ruhi came along. Apparently there was a concern about slow growth of the faith at the world center so they turned to a major British Consulting Co. After one month of studying they came up with the result that the Baha’is keep their faith to themselves and just give out small introductory pamphlets to others. They suggested that people need to go out there and include everyone in every aspect of their belief in which this ruhi system came along.

  • Craig Parke

    Hi Momen,

    If what you say is true (and I believe you if this is what happened on your Pilgrimage) then it shows that these guys are like the top management of some corporation heading for mind bending bankruptcy that doesn’t know the product, the shop floor, the client base, or the sales force and then wonder why everything is failing!

    OMG, how can you be “infallible” if you have to call in an “outside consulting firm” to tell you what to do!!! Just unbelievable.

    YOU are supposed to know what to do by getting out there and fact finding what is going on with the troops. YOU are supposed to know your own organization in your own soul. YOU are supposed to have lifelong developed internal spiritual guidance before you get put into such a high position.

    This only goes to show what I have suspected for the last several years. The people at the top of the Baha’i Faith in their lifetime incumbent positions have not had any interaction with the real world for 40 years. It is just that bad. People in their air tight bunker on some inner Mt. Olympus. Completely clueless to everything so they came up with the incredible “Corporate Sales” MLM McFaith!

    The way we used to teach the Faith was find people who are doing the work of the World Age without having ever heard of Baha’u’llah from THEIR OWN INNER DIRECTION and tell them what they are! It was very simple! There are tons of activist people out there like that. They all are people that can manifest critical thought for themselves. But NO ORGANIZATION on Earth wants THAT now! Having people in your organization who can think for themselves is just too damn dangerous. The Government of the United States does not want citizens who can think critically. Neither does the Baha’i Faith. They only want people they can control.

    But to find people doing the work of the World Age from their own inner motivation you had to get off your fat ass in your little comfort zone meetings of planetary administrative masturbation and go out into the world and meet new people and make new friends. You had to follow the spiritual energy in your locality. You had to be an activist yourself, and not some passive gelded coward in life sitting in some passive Mega Church pew.

    Here is where we are:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7Kznmrc3o4

    Here is where we are going:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYecfV3ubP8

    The wrath of the rank and file upon the 1400 people now holding UHJ and NSA positions in the AO worldwide is coming and it is going to be devastating.

    It may take 100 years but the rise of the Internet will bring it worldwide. In the future if you are elected or appointed to ANY position in the AO you had better know what you are doing because your feet and the feet of your entire family name are going to be held to the fire 24/7/365/1000. Yep. For a THOUSAND YEARS. The whole world will be watching without mercy. I guarantee when that day comes there will be firm term limits established in the Faith by these very same Chief Priests, Scribes, and Pharisees archetypal people because no one will be able to survive more than 10 years physically intact with that kind of world wide around the clock scrutiny via the Internet.

    When will these people do anything spiritual or have any spiritual insight in life? No person “teaches” the coming of Baha’u’llah. The Spirit of God teaches that. An individual is just a vessel. It is not a mechanical process at all.

    Thanks for your account from your Pilgrimage.

    Best regards.

    Craig

  • Craig Parke

    Hi Momen,

    If what you say is true (and I believe you if this is what happened on your Pilgrimage) then it shows that these guys are like the top management of some corporation heading for mind bending bankruptcy that doesn’t know the product, the shop floor, the client base, or the sales force and then wonder why everything is failing!

    OMG, how can you be “infallible” if you have to call in an “outside consulting firm” to tell you what to do!!! Just unbelievable.

    YOU are supposed to know what to do by getting out there and fact finding what is going on with the troops. YOU are supposed to know your own organization in your own soul. YOU are supposed to have lifelong developed internal spiritual guidance before you get put into such a high position.

    This only goes to show what I have suspected for the last several years. The people at the top of the Baha’i Faith in their lifetime incumbent positions have not had any interaction with the real world for 40 years. It is just that bad. People in their air tight bunker on some inner Mt. Olympus. Completely clueless to everything so they came up with the incredible “Corporate Sales” MLM McFaith!

    The way we used to teach the Faith was find people who are doing the work of the World Age without having ever heard of Baha’u’llah from THEIR OWN INNER DIRECTION and tell them what they are! It was very simple! There are tons of activist people out there like that. They all are people that can manifest critical thought for themselves. But NO ORGANIZATION on Earth wants THAT now! Having people in your organization who can think for themselves is just too damn dangerous. The Government of the United States does not want citizens who can think critically. Neither does the Baha’i Faith. They only want people they can control.

    But to find people doing the work of the World Age from their own inner motivation you had to get off your fat ass in your little comfort zone meetings of planetary administrative masturbation and go out into the world and meet new people and make new friends. You had to follow the spiritual energy in your locality. You had to be an activist yourself, and not some passive gelded coward in life sitting in some passive Mega Church pew.

    Here is where we are:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7Kznmrc3o4

    Here is where we are going:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYecfV3ubP8

    The wrath of the rank and file upon the 1400 people now holding UHJ and NSA positions in the AO worldwide is coming and it is going to be devastating.

    It may take 100 years but the rise of the Internet will bring it worldwide. In the future if you are elected or appointed to ANY position in the AO you had better know what you are doing because your feet and the feet of your entire family name are going to be held to the fire 24/7/365/1000. Yep. For a THOUSAND YEARS. The whole world will be watching without mercy. I guarantee when that day comes there will be firm term limits established in the Faith by these very same Chief Priests, Scribes, and Pharisees archetypal people because no one will be able to survive more than 10 years physically intact with that kind of world wide around the clock scrutiny via the Internet.

    When will these people do anything spiritual or have any spiritual insight in life? No person “teaches” the coming of Baha’u’llah. The Spirit of God teaches that. An individual is just a vessel. It is not a mechanical process at all.

    Thanks for your account from your Pilgrimage.

    Best regards.

    Craig

  • http://www.whitehanky.blogspot.com White Hanky

    Craig;
    you wrote
    ‘The way we used to teach the Faith was find people who are doing the work of the World Age without having ever heard of Baha’u’llah from THEIR OWN INNER DIRECTION and tell them what they are! It was very simple! There are tons of activist people out there like that. They all are people that can manifest critical thought for themselves. But NO ORGANIZATION on Earth wants THAT now! Having people in your organization who can think for themselves is just too damn dangerous. The Government of the United States does not want citizens who can think critically. Neither does the Baha’i Faith. They only want people they can control.”

    How very true and I am reminded of a story I was told by a Hawaiian NSA member while in Haifa, about Hand of the Cause Agnes Alexander.
    The NSA approched her to ask her help in organizing a teaching project and thinking to give her a break because of her age, laid it all out nice and neat for her.
    When the morning came for the NSA member to pick Ms ALexander up and take her to her first meeting or whatever it was, she said to him blithely ‘ you run along dear, I have already had my instructions from Abdu’l-Baha today.’ and off she went in HER OWN DIRECTION!

    Can you imagine an NSA or even an LSA attempting to leash a Hand of the Cause?
    Agnes, Martha, Dorothy or Lua would not have STOOD for it for one second! and note these were WOMEN..ah hem..
    I am sad but actually relieved they are not around to witness the trampling of Spiritual Rights which our AO seems determined to do.
    WhiteHanky

  • http://www.whitehanky.blogspot.com White Hanky

    Craig;
    you wrote
    ‘The way we used to teach the Faith was find people who are doing the work of the World Age without having ever heard of Baha’u’llah from THEIR OWN INNER DIRECTION and tell them what they are! It was very simple! There are tons of activist people out there like that. They all are people that can manifest critical thought for themselves. But NO ORGANIZATION on Earth wants THAT now! Having people in your organization who can think for themselves is just too damn dangerous. The Government of the United States does not want citizens who can think critically. Neither does the Baha’i Faith. They only want people they can control.”

    How very true and I am reminded of a story I was told by a Hawaiian NSA member while in Haifa, about Hand of the Cause Agnes Alexander.
    The NSA approched her to ask her help in organizing a teaching project and thinking to give her a break because of her age, laid it all out nice and neat for her.
    When the morning came for the NSA member to pick Ms ALexander up and take her to her first meeting or whatever it was, she said to him blithely ‘ you run along dear, I have already had my instructions from Abdu’l-Baha today.’ and off she went in HER OWN DIRECTION!

    Can you imagine an NSA or even an LSA attempting to leash a Hand of the Cause?
    Agnes, Martha, Dorothy or Lua would not have STOOD for it for one second! and note these were WOMEN..ah hem..
    I am sad but actually relieved they are not around to witness the trampling of Spiritual Rights which our AO seems determined to do.
    WhiteHanky

  • momen

    ? If what you say is true (and I believe you if this is what happened on your Pilgrimage) then it shows that these guys are like the top management of some corporation heading for mind bending bankruptcy that doesn’t know the product, the shop floor, the client base, or the sales force and then wonder why everything is failing! OMG, how can you be ?infallible? if you have to call in an ?outside consulting firm? to tell you what to do!!! Just unbelievable.
    ? YOU are supposed to know what to do by getting out there and fact finding what is going on with the troops. YOU are supposed to know your own organization in your own soul. YOU are supposed to have lifelong developed internal spiritual guidance before you get put into such a high position.
    ? This only goes to show what I have suspected for the last several years. The people at the top of the Baha’i Faith in their lifetime incumbent positions have not had any interaction with the real world for 40 years. It is just that bad. People in their air tight bunker on some inner Mt. Olympus. Completely clueless to everything so they came up with the incredible ?Corporate Sales? MLM McFaith!

    And that’s everyone’s concern. After all these years and works and sacrifices we came to MLM solution for selling the faith and that idea has to come from a corporate consulting firm!!! well this systme is the law of nature in human organization and Socrates was the first to explain it!! there is no escape from it. it’s like the laws of physics. Well, any idea over time if survives becomes an organizational bureaucracy…..

  • momen

    ? If what you say is true (and I believe you if this is what happened on your Pilgrimage) then it shows that these guys are like the top management of some corporation heading for mind bending bankruptcy that doesn’t know the product, the shop floor, the client base, or the sales force and then wonder why everything is failing! OMG, how can you be ?infallible? if you have to call in an ?outside consulting firm? to tell you what to do!!! Just unbelievable.
    ? YOU are supposed to know what to do by getting out there and fact finding what is going on with the troops. YOU are supposed to know your own organization in your own soul. YOU are supposed to have lifelong developed internal spiritual guidance before you get put into such a high position.
    ? This only goes to show what I have suspected for the last several years. The people at the top of the Baha’i Faith in their lifetime incumbent positions have not had any interaction with the real world for 40 years. It is just that bad. People in their air tight bunker on some inner Mt. Olympus. Completely clueless to everything so they came up with the incredible ?Corporate Sales? MLM McFaith!

    And that’s everyone’s concern. After all these years and works and sacrifices we came to MLM solution for selling the faith and that idea has to come from a corporate consulting firm!!! well this systme is the law of nature in human organization and Socrates was the first to explain it!! there is no escape from it. it’s like the laws of physics. Well, any idea over time if survives becomes an organizational bureaucracy…..

  • truebeliver

    I think God with his freaking prophets, religions and confusing holy books has been fucking us in the ass since the beginning of time and laughing his ass off while we just keep blaming each other for this faulty crap.

    while we are pulling our hair to get this religion work George Carlin said it well in 10 minutes
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MeSSwKffj9o

  • truebeliver

    I think God with his freaking prophets, religions and confusing holy books has been fucking us in the ass since the beginning of time and laughing his ass off while we just keep blaming each other for this faulty crap.

    while we are pulling our hair to get this religion work George Carlin said it well in 10 minutes
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MeSSwKffj9o

  • Inge Barthel

    Dear Bacquia,

    thanks for you interesting blog!

    Your hope for the future development of the Baha’i Faith and the potential blessing of cleansing to make room for renewal in the disguise of apparent decline speaks for you and your love and passion for God’s cause. As I was told in Chinese writing the word for “crisis” is made up of the characters for “challenge” and “opportunity” and my mother has a quote, which she uses a lot, that says for the lovers of God ALL circumstances must and will yield a benefit. –

    However, I have come to a position where I feel that the cause of God, the development of a peaceful society, the promised golden age of maturity where we humans get to live on the good side of our potential cannot ever be promoted and ushered in by the Baha’i Faith, not now and not after it has dropped the Ruhi Rote. The Ruhi agenda may be the work of an outside consulting firm, but it’s adoption is the logical consequence of the underlying program that’s been set in motion by Baha’u’llah himself and continued since then.

    When I read the Aqdas or look at the actual means employed to deal with dissent, when I read between the lines of much of Baha’u’llah’s writings I find a languishing for power, an iron fist threatening people into surrender, a longterm vision of worldly control, really an incapacitation of people rather than a vision of a mature and responsible humanity, supposedly all in the service of peace and well-being for humanity. Such a spirit is less and less attractive no matter how hard one tries – and I don’t mean core activities. In the 70′s the attraction of the faith must have been largely due to the fact that the shiny side was up and the dark side kept hidden. To this day many people cling to the dream they once dreamt and are reluctant to connect with what’s been coming to light since.

    As time goes on people progress wildly and independently of religious instruction. Certainly there was an outpouring of a new revelation and we live in a time of transition into a radically different world order. The spirit of it comes through all pores. People are more polarised than before, either lost in the netherworld of the mainstream or wonderfully intuitive, sharp and inquiring. Unlike people who in the 70′s became Baha’i because they saw the Faith reflecting their own dreams, todays social-spiritual elite won’t touch it with a stick or a ten foot pole. Not because of Ruhi but because of what it truly is and always was: a creation of the shadow, another lure to the human desire for power and control, a last glorious and aesthetic monument to the old paradigm.

    Maybe I’m wrong. The events will speak for themselves. Perhaps an enlightened UHJ will decide to get in touch with the spirit of the age and the people to go with it, scrap the Aqdas, rewrite the laws and at last become home base as well as a vehicle for the greatest of all causes. The way I see it, God would certainly send His angels to support such endeavors. Be it as it may, His purpose cannot be thwarted.

    Greetings
    Inge

  • Inge Barthel

    Dear Bacquia,

    thanks for you interesting blog!

    Your hope for the future development of the Baha’i Faith and the potential blessing of cleansing to make room for renewal in the disguise of apparent decline speaks for you and your love and passion for God’s cause. As I was told in Chinese writing the word for “crisis” is made up of the characters for “challenge” and “opportunity” and my mother has a quote, which she uses a lot, that says for the lovers of God ALL circumstances must and will yield a benefit. –

    However, I have come to a position where I feel that the cause of God, the development of a peaceful society, the promised golden age of maturity where we humans get to live on the good side of our potential cannot ever be promoted and ushered in by the Baha’i Faith, not now and not after it has dropped the Ruhi Rote. The Ruhi agenda may be the work of an outside consulting firm, but it’s adoption is the logical consequence of the underlying program that’s been set in motion by Baha’u’llah himself and continued since then.

    When I read the Aqdas or look at the actual means employed to deal with dissent, when I read between the lines of much of Baha’u’llah’s writings I find a languishing for power, an iron fist threatening people into surrender, a longterm vision of worldly control, really an incapacitation of people rather than a vision of a mature and responsible humanity, supposedly all in the service of peace and well-being for humanity. Such a spirit is less and less attractive no matter how hard one tries – and I don’t mean core activities. In the 70′s the attraction of the faith must have been largely due to the fact that the shiny side was up and the dark side kept hidden. To this day many people cling to the dream they once dreamt and are reluctant to connect with what’s been coming to light since.

    As time goes on people progress wildly and independently of religious instruction. Certainly there was an outpouring of a new revelation and we live in a time of transition into a radically different world order. The spirit of it comes through all pores. People are more polarised than before, either lost in the netherworld of the mainstream or wonderfully intuitive, sharp and inquiring. Unlike people who in the 70′s became Baha’i because they saw the Faith reflecting their own dreams, todays social-spiritual elite won’t touch it with a stick or a ten foot pole. Not because of Ruhi but because of what it truly is and always was: a creation of the shadow, another lure to the human desire for power and control, a last glorious and aesthetic monument to the old paradigm.

    Maybe I’m wrong. The events will speak for themselves. Perhaps an enlightened UHJ will decide to get in touch with the spirit of the age and the people to go with it, scrap the Aqdas, rewrite the laws and at last become home base as well as a vehicle for the greatest of all causes. The way I see it, God would certainly send His angels to support such endeavors. Be it as it may, His purpose cannot be thwarted.

    Greetings
    Inge

  • Andrew

    “The prophet’s gift might well be called a curse, for prophets are doomed to failure. Possessed of a vision not shared by other men, they must speak of it relentlessly, for it is essential to their being that they try to bring others into the world of their perceptions. They are defined by their mission; and their mission inevitably fails, for the fact is that other men, not being prophets, cannot share the prophetic vision. To them, the prophet seems to be speaking of some other world: as indeed he is, with the difference that to the prophet this other world, the world of potential fulfilled, is the real one, while to ordinary men it appears to be illusion. All prophets from Moses onward have had to accommodate themselves to failure.” (Jeffrey Meyers)

    The prophet is a person struck by the glory and presence of God, overpowered by the hand of God. He lives not only his personal life, but also the life of God. The fact that he has received a truth powerful enough to affect others is supreme in his existence.

    The prophet is placed in a relationship transcending his own total community, and even the realm of other nations and kingdoms. The measure of his station is that of universality.

    The prophet feels tremendous responsibility for carrying and advancing the message of God. His life is not his own. He claims to be far more than a messenger. He is a person who stands in the presence of God, who stands, not just as a bearer of dispatches whose functions is limited to being sent on errands. It is impossible for the ordinary person to intuit the grandeur of the prophetic consciousness. A person to whom the spirit of God comes, becomes radically transformed. It is the gift he is blessed with, or cursed with, or both.

    Prophets are scandalized, and rave as if the whole world were a slum. They show immoderate excitement and intense indignation over the fate of poor people or the materialism of the middle class. To us injustice is injurious to the welfare of the people; to the prophets it is a deathblow to existence: to us, an episode: to them, a catastrophe, a threat to the world.

    To the average person, the prophets are characterized by extreme impetuosity. The prophet’s words are outbursts of violent emotions. He is stunned at man’s fierce greed.

    The prophet is upset with what ordinary people regard as trivialities. Three things ancient society cherished, above all else: wisdom, wealth, and might. (Modern society worships wealth primarily.) To prophets, such infatuation is ludicrous and idolatrous. To prophet, humans are rebellious and full of iniquity; God is mightily displeased with man’s selfish materialism.

    The ordinary person often sees the prophets’ statements as grossly inaccurate. But what seems to be exaggeration is often only a deeper penetration, for the prophets see the world from the point of view of God, as transcendent, not immanent truth.

    The prophet’s style is poetic; he uses emotional and imaginative language that is concrete in diction, rhythmical in movement, artistic in form. His prose is charged with agitation, anguish, and a spirit of nonacceptance.

    The prophet is intent on intensifying responsibility and impatient of excuses. The prophet is contemptuous of pretense and self-pity. The tone of the prophet is rarely sweet or caressing, and his words are often slashing, designed to shock the ordinary person out of his or her complacency.

    People don’t usually like prophets, because they have accommodated to the structure of injustice in order to advance economically. People cannot accept the message of the prophet because their self-interests are in the way. To patriots, they seem pernicious; to the pious, blasphemous; to men in authority, seditious. Reading the words of prophets is a strain on the emotions, wrenching one’s conscience from the state of suspended animation. But most people of the prophet’s own time do not pay attention to the prophet. They are too tied up in their own pettiness and selfishness, busily pursuing materialistic gains.

    I don’t believe that Baha’u’llah was languishing for power, I believe he was languishing for the Glory of God. It is we humans (especially his self-described official interpreters) who have interpreted his vision in narrow, petty, self-absorbed, bourgeois and bureaucratic ways. It is not the shadow of Baha’u’llah that is responsible for this; it is the shadow of human nature.

    Baha’u’llah was the first Manifestation of God to receive revelation from a feminine Being. The feminization of the Divine (the self-disclosure of God) is not found in any other existing religion within the Abrahamic stream of revelation. The first words of the revelation of Baha’u’llah were uttered by the Houri, the Maid of Heaven. The tragedy is that the official interpreters of the Baha’i Faith, as well as their blindly obedient followers, have yet to grasp the spiritual significance of this shift; nor, given the patriarchal dynamics of the Baha’i “system,” are they ever likely to.

  • Andrew

    “The prophet’s gift might well be called a curse, for prophets are doomed to failure. Possessed of a vision not shared by other men, they must speak of it relentlessly, for it is essential to their being that they try to bring others into the world of their perceptions. They are defined by their mission; and their mission inevitably fails, for the fact is that other men, not being prophets, cannot share the prophetic vision. To them, the prophet seems to be speaking of some other world: as indeed he is, with the difference that to the prophet this other world, the world of potential fulfilled, is the real one, while to ordinary men it appears to be illusion. All prophets from Moses onward have had to accommodate themselves to failure.” (Jeffrey Meyers)

    The prophet is a person struck by the glory and presence of God, overpowered by the hand of God. He lives not only his personal life, but also the life of God. The fact that he has received a truth powerful enough to affect others is supreme in his existence.

    The prophet is placed in a relationship transcending his own total community, and even the realm of other nations and kingdoms. The measure of his station is that of universality.

    The prophet feels tremendous responsibility for carrying and advancing the message of God. His life is not his own. He claims to be far more than a messenger. He is a person who stands in the presence of God, who stands, not just as a bearer of dispatches whose functions is limited to being sent on errands. It is impossible for the ordinary person to intuit the grandeur of the prophetic consciousness. A person to whom the spirit of God comes, becomes radically transformed. It is the gift he is blessed with, or cursed with, or both.

    Prophets are scandalized, and rave as if the whole world were a slum. They show immoderate excitement and intense indignation over the fate of poor people or the materialism of the middle class. To us injustice is injurious to the welfare of the people; to the prophets it is a deathblow to existence: to us, an episode: to them, a catastrophe, a threat to the world.

    To the average person, the prophets are characterized by extreme impetuosity. The prophet’s words are outbursts of violent emotions. He is stunned at man’s fierce greed.

    The prophet is upset with what ordinary people regard as trivialities. Three things ancient society cherished, above all else: wisdom, wealth, and might. (Modern society worships wealth primarily.) To prophets, such infatuation is ludicrous and idolatrous. To prophet, humans are rebellious and full of iniquity; God is mightily displeased with man’s selfish materialism.

    The ordinary person often sees the prophets’ statements as grossly inaccurate. But what seems to be exaggeration is often only a deeper penetration, for the prophets see the world from the point of view of God, as transcendent, not immanent truth.

    The prophet’s style is poetic; he uses emotional and imaginative language that is concrete in diction, rhythmical in movement, artistic in form. His prose is charged with agitation, anguish, and a spirit of nonacceptance.

    The prophet is intent on intensifying responsibility and impatient of excuses. The prophet is contemptuous of pretense and self-pity. The tone of the prophet is rarely sweet or caressing, and his words are often slashing, designed to shock the ordinary person out of his or her complacency.

    People don’t usually like prophets, because they have accommodated to the structure of injustice in order to advance economically. People cannot accept the message of the prophet because their self-interests are in the way. To patriots, they seem pernicious; to the pious, blasphemous; to men in authority, seditious. Reading the words of prophets is a strain on the emotions, wrenching one’s conscience from the state of suspended animation. But most people of the prophet’s own time do not pay attention to the prophet. They are too tied up in their own pettiness and selfishness, busily pursuing materialistic gains.

    I don’t believe that Baha’u’llah was languishing for power, I believe he was languishing for the Glory of God. It is we humans (especially his self-described official interpreters) who have interpreted his vision in narrow, petty, self-absorbed, bourgeois and bureaucratic ways. It is not the shadow of Baha’u’llah that is responsible for this; it is the shadow of human nature.

    Baha’u’llah was the first Manifestation of God to receive revelation from a feminine Being. The feminization of the Divine (the self-disclosure of God) is not found in any other existing religion within the Abrahamic stream of revelation. The first words of the revelation of Baha’u’llah were uttered by the Houri, the Maid of Heaven. The tragedy is that the official interpreters of the Baha’i Faith, as well as their blindly obedient followers, have yet to grasp the spiritual significance of this shift; nor, given the patriarchal dynamics of the Baha’i “system,” are they ever likely to.

  • Inge Barthel

    Yes, I agree, prophets have God’s message burning in their hearts while their eyes seem to get scorched by the hellfire of human inadequacy. It’s a special kind of torture we can only faintly imagine.

    Still, the “remedies” (the laws) he gave, his own conduct (polygamy for example) are not an embodiment of the message he sometimes gave in his writings. He may have received a revelation from the divine feminine, but he betrayed the women in his life, didn’t provide the role model, that was sorely needed. Let deeds not words be your adorning he admonished us but he himself was a manifestation of God only by his words not by his actions.

    I find it unfair to blame all the failure on the followers. I think the successive leaders of the faith did a good job and followed the path he set out, just not the words that are used to sway the idealistic and enthusiastic potential converts but the hard core laws and provisions for a world-dominating-by-control-Religion. – I know he talked differently, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t have a shadow. I find it interesting how people struggle to keep their pure vision of the prophet alive despite all evidence to the contrary. I know many of the wonderful things he wrote. I LOVE them. BUT this is not the end of his story, it is not all there was to him. I don’t blame him either, nor do I blame God for allowing him to be such a controversial and dark force. But I cannot close my eyes and pretend it’s not so. He gave us all the necessary instructions to deal with the problem: Independent investigation of truth. Truthfulness is the foundation of all human virtues. Justice is the best beloved in God’s sight. The women and his own children condemned as covenant breakers because they were not able to rise above the emotional challenge of his unlawful polygamy. If anything, they are owed an apology, not a condemnation. His proposed treatment of thieves and arsonists, his inheritance laws, his idea of the overriding power of the local, national and international houses of justice, not sharing power with any other institution. That’s very totalitarian. Ok. I can attribute those ideas to his ardent desire to establish the kingdom of God on earth. But it’s unsuitable. It’s his dream but it’s counterproductive to a peaceful and just society. In the meantime I have come to the conclusion that we are meant to become what he said we were: mature and able to discern the truth independently. To me it’s a test. Will we cling to the childhood dream of the perfect prophet whom we only need to follow and all will be well, who gave us laws so that we never need to think again what’s right and what’s wrong or are we able to wake up and see that it’s our projection, our wishful thinking and not reality. Are we sober and courageous enough to say: This is right and that is not.

    regards
    Inge

  • Inge Barthel

    Yes, I agree, prophets have God’s message burning in their hearts while their eyes seem to get scorched by the hellfire of human inadequacy. It’s a special kind of torture we can only faintly imagine.

    Still, the “remedies” (the laws) he gave, his own conduct (polygamy for example) are not an embodiment of the message he sometimes gave in his writings. He may have received a revelation from the divine feminine, but he betrayed the women in his life, didn’t provide the role model, that was sorely needed. Let deeds not words be your adorning he admonished us but he himself was a manifestation of God only by his words not by his actions.

    I find it unfair to blame all the failure on the followers. I think the successive leaders of the faith did a good job and followed the path he set out, just not the words that are used to sway the idealistic and enthusiastic potential converts but the hard core laws and provisions for a world-dominating-by-control-Religion. – I know he talked differently, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t have a shadow. I find it interesting how people struggle to keep their pure vision of the prophet alive despite all evidence to the contrary. I know many of the wonderful things he wrote. I LOVE them. BUT this is not the end of his story, it is not all there was to him. I don’t blame him either, nor do I blame God for allowing him to be such a controversial and dark force. But I cannot close my eyes and pretend it’s not so. He gave us all the necessary instructions to deal with the problem: Independent investigation of truth. Truthfulness is the foundation of all human virtues. Justice is the best beloved in God’s sight. The women and his own children condemned as covenant breakers because they were not able to rise above the emotional challenge of his unlawful polygamy. If anything, they are owed an apology, not a condemnation. His proposed treatment of thieves and arsonists, his inheritance laws, his idea of the overriding power of the local, national and international houses of justice, not sharing power with any other institution. That’s very totalitarian. Ok. I can attribute those ideas to his ardent desire to establish the kingdom of God on earth. But it’s unsuitable. It’s his dream but it’s counterproductive to a peaceful and just society. In the meantime I have come to the conclusion that we are meant to become what he said we were: mature and able to discern the truth independently. To me it’s a test. Will we cling to the childhood dream of the perfect prophet whom we only need to follow and all will be well, who gave us laws so that we never need to think again what’s right and what’s wrong or are we able to wake up and see that it’s our projection, our wishful thinking and not reality. Are we sober and courageous enough to say: This is right and that is not.

    regards
    Inge

  • http://www.tobstv.blog.co.uk Toby Doncaster

    Interesting comments throughout; is the genuine study circle taking place on-line I wonder?

    Since a young man declared in front of me almost 20 years back, and his subsequent rejection by the local Baha’i community I was in, for not being deepened enough, I have refused to entice or talk people into becoming Baha’is. The further my spiritual journey, the more I believe firmly in teaching as a means to help those who are ready to make the next spiritual leap; hopefully to be able to reflect those spiritual virtues even more truthfully and faithfully than I am able to myself.

    For me, teaching is as effortless as breathing, particularly since I have come to gratefully accept that not a single individual I meet shall ever join the Baha’i community I socialise with, seeing as I never invite them to attend any Baha’i functions. And why not? Because I am ashamed of this community, in much the same way a person is ashamed of his dysfunctional family Christmas dinner, though he loves his family dearly.

    Individually, the Bahai’s are wonderful, as a community, they can be irksome sometimes.

  • http://www.tobstv.blog.co.uk Toby Doncaster

    Interesting comments throughout; is the genuine study circle taking place on-line I wonder?

    Since a young man declared in front of me almost 20 years back, and his subsequent rejection by the local Baha’i community I was in, for not being deepened enough, I have refused to entice or talk people into becoming Baha’is. The further my spiritual journey, the more I believe firmly in teaching as a means to help those who are ready to make the next spiritual leap; hopefully to be able to reflect those spiritual virtues even more truthfully and faithfully than I am able to myself.

    For me, teaching is as effortless as breathing, particularly since I have come to gratefully accept that not a single individual I meet shall ever join the Baha’i community I socialise with, seeing as I never invite them to attend any Baha’i functions. And why not? Because I am ashamed of this community, in much the same way a person is ashamed of his dysfunctional family Christmas dinner, though he loves his family dearly.

    Individually, the Bahai’s are wonderful, as a community, they can be irksome sometimes.

  • Andrew

    “Are we sober and courageous enough to say: This is right and that is not.”

    Absolutely!

    “I say unto you: weigh carefully in the balance of reason and science everything that is presented to you as religion. If it passes this test, then accept it, for it is truth! If, however, it does not conform, then reject it, for it is ignorance!” — ‘Abdu’l-Baha

    “His proposed treatment of thieves and arsonists, his inheritance laws, his idea of the overriding power of the local, national and international houses of justice, not sharing power with any other institution. That’s very totalitarian.”

    It has been argued that the Aqdas itself indicates that Baha’u’llah wrote it to appease the many contemporary Baha’i who saw great importance in addressing Islamic shariah law. There is a term in elementary schoolteaching: “scaffolding” — the idea that you start with what the student knows, then build on that to introduce new concepts. Karen Bacquet has argued that Baha’u’llah was doing something similar, and I find this a compelling argument and a reasonable explanation.

    “Let deeds not words be your adorning he admonished us but he himself was a manifestation of God only by his words not by his actions.”

    Esslemont tells us:

    “As Jesus washed His disciples’ feet, so Bah??’u’ll??h used sometimes to cook food and perform other lowly offices for his followers, he was a servant of the servants, and gloried only in servitude, content to sleep on a bare floor if need be, to live on bread and water, or even, at times, on what He called ‘the divine nourishment, that is to say, hunger!’”

    In the Middle East, foot washing is a common courtesy hosts offer their guests. Jesus rebuked Martha, but he didn’t offer to help with the cooking and cleaning.

    A footnote in the Oxford English Bible puts it thus: “With delicate ambiguity Jesus rebuked Martha’s choice of values; Jesus approved Mary’s preference for listening to his teaching as contrasted with Martha’s unneeded acts of hospitality.”

    There is no such dichotomy with Baha’u’llah: he cooks food for His household and He serves His servants. In this, he exemplified the “perfect” role model.

    “I think the successive leaders of the faith did a good job and followed the path he set out.”

    I see matters differently. I don’t believe they did a good job; I believe they engaged in the practice of taqlid (blind imitation) and betrayed both the vision of Baha’u’llah and the mission of `Abdu’l-Bah??. There were religious communities in Europe and America at the turn of the twentieth century that embraced modernity, such as Reform Judaism and Liberal Protestantism. `Abdu’l-Bah?? was personally familiar with many of these movements (such as Unitarianism) and spoke highly of them, encouraging them in their efforts. Dual religious affiliation used to be common in the early days of the Baha’i Faith: ‘Abdu’l-Baha’ used to worship at the local mosque every Friday. He used to speak of the Baha’i Movement: people attracted to it didn’t think of it as being a separate religion, but rather “the Spirit of the Age”.

    It was Shoghi Effendi who first said that the Baha’i could not be members of any other religion. Those who supported him seem to have been committed to a militant defense of “orthodoxy” against what they saw (and continue to see) as liberalizing influences in Protestant faith communities and modernist religious institutions. There’s simply no excuse except willful intransigence that resists modernity because it resists the secular.

    “I find it unfair to blame all the failure on the followers.”

    The moderates of each religion enable the extremists through the implicit permission they extend for others to act on their behalf through the authority of the institutions they direct. Unless individuals own their own actions, or lack thereof, ethical behavior is not possible. Responsible ethical judgment and action must be reasoned to, committed to, and/or willed by a conscious agent, not by those who allow themselves to be rendered unconscious under the guise of unity, a false unity that is really uniformity.

    “Will we cling to the childhood dream of the perfect prophet whom we only need to follow and all will be well.”

    No prophet is perfect. As Alison Marshall has written: “Baha’u’llah explains that the manifestation has two dimensions. In the first dimension, he is a person made up of the elements of the world. From this perspective, he is like other humans. He experiences the limitations that living in a human body entails, such as oppression, poverty and sickness.” Limitation implies imperfection. What is limited is not absolute. But God is not imperfect and bound by the chain of necessity; therefore He is unlimited. The infinity of God implies that He is perfect in every respect in which He is infinite.

  • Andrew

    “Are we sober and courageous enough to say: This is right and that is not.”

    Absolutely!

    “I say unto you: weigh carefully in the balance of reason and science everything that is presented to you as religion. If it passes this test, then accept it, for it is truth! If, however, it does not conform, then reject it, for it is ignorance!” — ‘Abdu’l-Baha

    “His proposed treatment of thieves and arsonists, his inheritance laws, his idea of the overriding power of the local, national and international houses of justice, not sharing power with any other institution. That’s very totalitarian.”

    It has been argued that the Aqdas itself indicates that Baha’u’llah wrote it to appease the many contemporary Baha’i who saw great importance in addressing Islamic shariah law. There is a term in elementary schoolteaching: “scaffolding” — the idea that you start with what the student knows, then build on that to introduce new concepts. Karen Bacquet has argued that Baha’u’llah was doing something similar, and I find this a compelling argument and a reasonable explanation.

    “Let deeds not words be your adorning he admonished us but he himself was a manifestation of God only by his words not by his actions.”

    Esslemont tells us:

    “As Jesus washed His disciples’ feet, so Bah??’u’ll??h used sometimes to cook food and perform other lowly offices for his followers, he was a servant of the servants, and gloried only in servitude, content to sleep on a bare floor if need be, to live on bread and water, or even, at times, on what He called ‘the divine nourishment, that is to say, hunger!’”

    In the Middle East, foot washing is a common courtesy hosts offer their guests. Jesus rebuked Martha, but he didn’t offer to help with the cooking and cleaning.

    A footnote in the Oxford English Bible puts it thus: “With delicate ambiguity Jesus rebuked Martha’s choice of values; Jesus approved Mary’s preference for listening to his teaching as contrasted with Martha’s unneeded acts of hospitality.”

    There is no such dichotomy with Baha’u’llah: he cooks food for His household and He serves His servants. In this, he exemplified the “perfect” role model.

    “I think the successive leaders of the faith did a good job and followed the path he set out.”

    I see matters differently. I don’t believe they did a good job; I believe they engaged in the practice of taqlid (blind imitation) and betrayed both the vision of Baha’u’llah and the mission of `Abdu’l-Bah??. There were religious communities in Europe and America at the turn of the twentieth century that embraced modernity, such as Reform Judaism and Liberal Protestantism. `Abdu’l-Bah?? was personally familiar with many of these movements (such as Unitarianism) and spoke highly of them, encouraging them in their efforts. Dual religious affiliation used to be common in the early days of the Baha’i Faith: ‘Abdu’l-Baha’ used to worship at the local mosque every Friday. He used to speak of the Baha’i Movement: people attracted to it didn’t think of it as being a separate religion, but rather “the Spirit of the Age”.

    It was Shoghi Effendi who first said that the Baha’i could not be members of any other religion. Those who supported him seem to have been committed to a militant defense of “orthodoxy” against what they saw (and continue to see) as liberalizing influences in Protestant faith communities and modernist religious institutions. There’s simply no excuse except willful intransigence that resists modernity because it resists the secular.

    “I find it unfair to blame all the failure on the followers.”

    The moderates of each religion enable the extremists through the implicit permission they extend for others to act on their behalf through the authority of the institutions they direct. Unless individuals own their own actions, or lack thereof, ethical behavior is not possible. Responsible ethical judgment and action must be reasoned to, committed to, and/or willed by a conscious agent, not by those who allow themselves to be rendered unconscious under the guise of unity, a false unity that is really uniformity.

    “Will we cling to the childhood dream of the perfect prophet whom we only need to follow and all will be well.”

    No prophet is perfect. As Alison Marshall has written: “Baha’u’llah explains that the manifestation has two dimensions. In the first dimension, he is a person made up of the elements of the world. From this perspective, he is like other humans. He experiences the limitations that living in a human body entails, such as oppression, poverty and sickness.” Limitation implies imperfection. What is limited is not absolute. But God is not imperfect and bound by the chain of necessity; therefore He is unlimited. The infinity of God implies that He is perfect in every respect in which He is infinite.

  • Inge Barthel

    Hi Andrew,

    you wrote:

    “Baha’u’llah wrote it (the Aqdas) to appease the many contemporary Baha’i who saw great importance in addressing Islamic shariah law.”

    It’s a thought. To me it feels like apologetics. Such a motive is inferior if he wants to write a binding book of law for the next 1000 years that should serve for all of humanity. Either he is very shortsighted or hasn’t got his priorities right or is a leader who looks over his shoulder to his followers to find out where they want to be led. All of which is not consistent with his claim that he was revealing purely God’s word.

    The fact that he did household chores is nice but doesn’t balance his polygamy. I don’t want to go into a character study. Humility can’t be judged by anyone except God and ourselves. Just read this account of Monereeh Khanum of her first encounter with Baha’u’llah:

    Attended by the Greatest Holy Leaf, I listened to the words of the Blessed Perfection, who was resting under a mosquito net. He said:
    ?You are welcome! You are welcome! O thou my Blessed Leaf and Maid Servant! We have chosen thee and accepted thee to be the companion of the Greatest Branch and to serve him. This is from My Bounty, to which there is no equal; the treasures of the earth and heaven cannot be compared with it.?

    After speaking in this manner, and showering His Mercy upon me, he referred to Baghdad, Adrianople and the Most Great Prison, saying that many girls had hoped for this great bounty, but they were not accepted.

    ?Thou must be very thankful for thou hast attained to this most great favor and bestowal:?

    Baha’u’llah then sent us away with the words: ?May you always be under the Protection of God,? You can easily imagine, after listening to these heavenly words, and beholding these lordly bestowals, in what glorious atmosphere I was soaring.

    I think here you find the core of his attitude to women and unfortunately he did serve as a role model, couldn’t help but..

    I tend to be generally suspicious of “lowly” people. I was like that long before I became a Baha’i. Any kind of demonstrative “humility” always turns me off. Sorry. Just my way of feeling. I must admit that for similar reasons I’m no great fan of his writing style and I never was. Though initially I put this aside and attributed it to culture and time, which certainly play a role too. But after my pilgrimage in March 2006 all the issues erupted like boils and I now look at my first hand reactions as intuitively guided.

    Many things are ambiguous and not easy to clearly interpret. Only the issue with his three concurrent wives, their children and their subsequent CB status (for 2nd and 3rd wife) is like a thorn that twists itself deeper and deeper into the flesh the more one tries to pull it out. It’s the fixed point around which I swung and it changed my mind by force. Now I am horrified of myself and of all the “pure and gentle souls” that pride themselves of their elevated consciousness as the ones who have recognised the new revelation, hold the key to salvation for humanity and so on, blah, blah, blah.. AND have all these years lived with such a glaring and horrid injustice, never questioned it, colluded with it, never wasted a moments thought about those women and children. Perhaps thought they must be bad people, not like us, they are the “others”. We wouldn’t have done that, we wouldn’t have made any troubles. It’s them and they are dangerous and evil enemies, antagonists of God, condemned to the nethermost fire. Huh???? – He was supposed to protect this woman. I’m sure she would have preferred hunger, misery and degradation to a fate of being an antagonist of God. Except i think she wasn’t, nor were her children. He was the one who broke the law and he didn’t own it, didn’t take responsibility for the consequences but blamed the fall-out on the victims.

    The story is bad enough in itself. But it has another insidious side effect: Everybody who ever heard it and that is all of the Baha’i alive and dead, must by the very nature of the human brain ( mirror neurons) have experienced compassion and a natural sense of upset over their plight. But this had to be suppressed and it was probably done before the awareness could reach the light of consciousness. It was locked into the deep recesses of the subconscious mind. But such a suppression has long term effects. It makes people emotionally incompetent and prone to insensitivity. It is impossible to selectively suppress our sense of justice. If we suppress it won’t be available in other circumstances either. This is part of the demise of the leadership in the faith. How can they lead properly if they have been forced to cripple their natural senses.

    This is partly why I am pretty certain that the Faith will not succeed unless they completely clean up the old acts and that’s very unlikely. I don’t grieve about this. I feel happy that this crazy scheme won’t work out. It’s not God’s plan that’s failing. It’s only castles burning, it’s only the perverted human desire for power that reveals itself. We live in a time where light and darkness un-mix. Everyone is called to choose.

    greetings
    Inge

  • Inge Barthel

    Hi Andrew,

    you wrote:

    “Baha’u’llah wrote it (the Aqdas) to appease the many contemporary Baha’i who saw great importance in addressing Islamic shariah law.”

    It’s a thought. To me it feels like apologetics. Such a motive is inferior if he wants to write a binding book of law for the next 1000 years that should serve for all of humanity. Either he is very shortsighted or hasn’t got his priorities right or is a leader who looks over his shoulder to his followers to find out where they want to be led. All of which is not consistent with his claim that he was revealing purely God’s word.

    The fact that he did household chores is nice but doesn’t balance his polygamy. I don’t want to go into a character study. Humility can’t be judged by anyone except God and ourselves. Just read this account of Monereeh Khanum of her first encounter with Baha’u’llah:

    Attended by the Greatest Holy Leaf, I listened to the words of the Blessed Perfection, who was resting under a mosquito net. He said:
    ?You are welcome! You are welcome! O thou my Blessed Leaf and Maid Servant! We have chosen thee and accepted thee to be the companion of the Greatest Branch and to serve him. This is from My Bounty, to which there is no equal; the treasures of the earth and heaven cannot be compared with it.?

    After speaking in this manner, and showering His Mercy upon me, he referred to Baghdad, Adrianople and the Most Great Prison, saying that many girls had hoped for this great bounty, but they were not accepted.

    ?Thou must be very thankful for thou hast attained to this most great favor and bestowal:?

    Baha’u’llah then sent us away with the words: ?May you always be under the Protection of God,? You can easily imagine, after listening to these heavenly words, and beholding these lordly bestowals, in what glorious atmosphere I was soaring.

    I think here you find the core of his attitude to women and unfortunately he did serve as a role model, couldn’t help but..

    I tend to be generally suspicious of “lowly” people. I was like that long before I became a Baha’i. Any kind of demonstrative “humility” always turns me off. Sorry. Just my way of feeling. I must admit that for similar reasons I’m no great fan of his writing style and I never was. Though initially I put this aside and attributed it to culture and time, which certainly play a role too. But after my pilgrimage in March 2006 all the issues erupted like boils and I now look at my first hand reactions as intuitively guided.

    Many things are ambiguous and not easy to clearly interpret. Only the issue with his three concurrent wives, their children and their subsequent CB status (for 2nd and 3rd wife) is like a thorn that twists itself deeper and deeper into the flesh the more one tries to pull it out. It’s the fixed point around which I swung and it changed my mind by force. Now I am horrified of myself and of all the “pure and gentle souls” that pride themselves of their elevated consciousness as the ones who have recognised the new revelation, hold the key to salvation for humanity and so on, blah, blah, blah.. AND have all these years lived with such a glaring and horrid injustice, never questioned it, colluded with it, never wasted a moments thought about those women and children. Perhaps thought they must be bad people, not like us, they are the “others”. We wouldn’t have done that, we wouldn’t have made any troubles. It’s them and they are dangerous and evil enemies, antagonists of God, condemned to the nethermost fire. Huh???? – He was supposed to protect this woman. I’m sure she would have preferred hunger, misery and degradation to a fate of being an antagonist of God. Except i think she wasn’t, nor were her children. He was the one who broke the law and he didn’t own it, didn’t take responsibility for the consequences but blamed the fall-out on the victims.

    The story is bad enough in itself. But it has another insidious side effect: Everybody who ever heard it and that is all of the Baha’i alive and dead, must by the very nature of the human brain ( mirror neurons) have experienced compassion and a natural sense of upset over their plight. But this had to be suppressed and it was probably done before the awareness could reach the light of consciousness. It was locked into the deep recesses of the subconscious mind. But such a suppression has long term effects. It makes people emotionally incompetent and prone to insensitivity. It is impossible to selectively suppress our sense of justice. If we suppress it won’t be available in other circumstances either. This is part of the demise of the leadership in the faith. How can they lead properly if they have been forced to cripple their natural senses.

    This is partly why I am pretty certain that the Faith will not succeed unless they completely clean up the old acts and that’s very unlikely. I don’t grieve about this. I feel happy that this crazy scheme won’t work out. It’s not God’s plan that’s failing. It’s only castles burning, it’s only the perverted human desire for power that reveals itself. We live in a time where light and darkness un-mix. Everyone is called to choose.

    greetings
    Inge

  • Andrew

    “The fact that he did household chores is nice but doesn’t balance his polygamy.”

    I’m not certain what this refers to. The second and third wives of Bah??’u’ll??h were declared Covenant-breakers after His death. He married His first wife in Tehran when they both were Muslims; He married His second wife also in Tehran, when He, His first wife and His new wife were all B??b? and no longer Muslims. Bah??’? marriage laws were written in the Kit??b-i-Aqdas more than ten years after His last marriage. These set a limit to two wives and no concubines on the condition of justice. This was later interpreted by `Abdu’l-Bah?? as impossible, thus establishing monogamy.

    There is no record of Jesus ever having done any household chores. Muhammad’s wife, Aa’isha, said of her husband: ?He always helped with the housework and would at times mend His clothes, repair His shoes and sweep the floor. He would milk, protect and feed His animals and do household chores.” During His life Muhammad married 11 or 13 women depending upon the differing accounts of who were His wives (not all at one time).

    “We wouldn’t have done that, we wouldn’t have made any troubles. It’s them and they are dangerous and evil enemies, antagonists of God, condemned to the nethermost fire.”

    I concur. This is classic projection of the shadow. Robert Masters writes: “The shadow of most nondualism is its unacknowledged dualism, the key symptoms of which include spiritual constipation, ego-transcending egoity, and resolute aversion to acknowledging the need to do any shadow-work.” The Baha’i Faith does not encourage authentic shadow-work. If it did, it would be “a path with a heart.” A path without heart is not to be trusted. A path without heart offers no life at all. The most important task of anyone on their path, is to choose the path from their heart, without fear, without doubt, for only the heart can truly know the way.

    In his epochal book, “Depth Psychology and a New Ethic,” Neumann shows that scapegoats are the result of the projection of the shadow, that unconscious part of the psyche we would prefer not to recognize. Because the individual (and the collective) shadow cannot be accepted by the ego, the individual (or the community or nation at large) attributes his or her own shadow defects to the scapegoat. Neumann divides scapegoats into three categories: “aliens,” who include “religious, national, racial and social variations”; the “‘ethically inferior’ — that is to say, those persons who fail to live up to the absolute values of the collective and who are also incapable of achieving ethical adaptation by the formation of a ‘fa?ade personality’” — these include “psychopaths and other pathological and atavistic persons”; and, finally, “personalities who are actually superior — for example, leaders and men of genius,” of whom examples are “Socrates, Jesus and Galileo”. The victims of the Inquisition fall into the first category. Of them, Neumann writes: “The fight against heretics, political opponents, and national enemies is actually the fight against our own religious doubts, the insecurity of our own political position, and the one-sidedness of our own national viewpoint.” Hence the Baha’i preoccupation with rules and regulations, the facade uniformity, and with uniformity of organization under the banner of visible unity.

    See also:

    http://www.kheper.net/topics/gurus/thought_control.html

    “It’s not God’s plan that’s failing. It’s only castles burning, it’s only the perverted human desire for power that reveals itself. We live in a time where light and darkness un-mix. Everyone is called to choose.”

    Exactly. Jean Shinoda Bolen writes:

    “What will I be doing tomorrow? Where will I be? With whom will I be? While I can’t predict the future, of course, I do know that the answers to these questions to a great extent depend on what I do today, on decisions I make about which road to get on right here, right now. There is, of course, no right or wrong road, and we may end up going down several different roads for different aspects of our lives, but we do have many decisions to make.

    “The idea of paths having heart, though, for that gives us a very important criterion for choosing the paths that will take us into our futures. To me, the idea of a path having heart means that the path is one that will lead me to compassion, to love, to caring, to the better parts of myself. If a path has no heart, then it will be empty and barren, and while it may lead me to a certain outcome, I will learn very little there and I’ll be able to share little of who I am.

    “We choose paths every day. Today I will choose certain paths in certain relationships, in my job, in my personal life, in my education. And if I can look at those paths closely and objectively, I can make a difference in how my tomorrows turn out when they become todays, for if I’m on heart-filled path, it will bring out the better parts of who I am. And that, to me, is the most important part of anything I do.

    “Questions to ponder:

    “1. Do the paths that you’re on right now have heart?

    “2. What are some of the differences between paths with heart and those without?

    “3. How can we see whether or not a path has heart?

    “For further thought:

    “If we are spiritual beings on a human path rather than human beings who may be on a spiritual path, then life is not only a journey but a pilgrimage or quest as well.”

  • Andrew

    “The fact that he did household chores is nice but doesn’t balance his polygamy.”

    I’m not certain what this refers to. The second and third wives of Bah??’u’ll??h were declared Covenant-breakers after His death. He married His first wife in Tehran when they both were Muslims; He married His second wife also in Tehran, when He, His first wife and His new wife were all B??b? and no longer Muslims. Bah??’? marriage laws were written in the Kit??b-i-Aqdas more than ten years after His last marriage. These set a limit to two wives and no concubines on the condition of justice. This was later interpreted by `Abdu’l-Bah?? as impossible, thus establishing monogamy.

    There is no record of Jesus ever having done any household chores. Muhammad’s wife, Aa’isha, said of her husband: ?He always helped with the housework and would at times mend His clothes, repair His shoes and sweep the floor. He would milk, protect and feed His animals and do household chores.” During His life Muhammad married 11 or 13 women depending upon the differing accounts of who were His wives (not all at one time).

    “We wouldn’t have done that, we wouldn’t have made any troubles. It’s them and they are dangerous and evil enemies, antagonists of God, condemned to the nethermost fire.”

    I concur. This is classic projection of the shadow. Robert Masters writes: “The shadow of most nondualism is its unacknowledged dualism, the key symptoms of which include spiritual constipation, ego-transcending egoity, and resolute aversion to acknowledging the need to do any shadow-work.” The Baha’i Faith does not encourage authentic shadow-work. If it did, it would be “a path with a heart.” A path without heart is not to be trusted. A path without heart offers no life at all. The most important task of anyone on their path, is to choose the path from their heart, without fear, without doubt, for only the heart can truly know the way.

    In his epochal book, “Depth Psychology and a New Ethic,” Neumann shows that scapegoats are the result of the projection of the shadow, that unconscious part of the psyche we would prefer not to recognize. Because the individual (and the collective) shadow cannot be accepted by the ego, the individual (or the community or nation at large) attributes his or her own shadow defects to the scapegoat. Neumann divides scapegoats into three categories: “aliens,” who include “religious, national, racial and social variations”; the “‘ethically inferior’ — that is to say, those persons who fail to live up to the absolute values of the collective and who are also incapable of achieving ethical adaptation by the formation of a ‘fa?ade personality’” — these include “psychopaths and other pathological and atavistic persons”; and, finally, “personalities who are actually superior — for example, leaders and men of genius,” of whom examples are “Socrates, Jesus and Galileo”. The victims of the Inquisition fall into the first category. Of them, Neumann writes: “The fight against heretics, political opponents, and national enemies is actually the fight against our own religious doubts, the insecurity of our own political position, and the one-sidedness of our own national viewpoint.” Hence the Baha’i preoccupation with rules and regulations, the facade uniformity, and with uniformity of organization under the banner of visible unity.

    See also:

    http://www.kheper.net/topics/gurus/thought_control.html

    “It’s not God’s plan that’s failing. It’s only castles burning, it’s only the perverted human desire for power that reveals itself. We live in a time where light and darkness un-mix. Everyone is called to choose.”

    Exactly. Jean Shinoda Bolen writes:

    “What will I be doing tomorrow? Where will I be? With whom will I be? While I can’t predict the future, of course, I do know that the answers to these questions to a great extent depend on what I do today, on decisions I make about which road to get on right here, right now. There is, of course, no right or wrong road, and we may end up going down several different roads for different aspects of our lives, but we do have many decisions to make.

    “The idea of paths having heart, though, for that gives us a very important criterion for choosing the paths that will take us into our futures. To me, the idea of a path having heart means that the path is one that will lead me to compassion, to love, to caring, to the better parts of myself. If a path has no heart, then it will be empty and barren, and while it may lead me to a certain outcome, I will learn very little there and I’ll be able to share little of who I am.

    “We choose paths every day. Today I will choose certain paths in certain relationships, in my job, in my personal life, in my education. And if I can look at those paths closely and objectively, I can make a difference in how my tomorrows turn out when they become todays, for if I’m on heart-filled path, it will bring out the better parts of who I am. And that, to me, is the most important part of anything I do.

    “Questions to ponder:

    “1. Do the paths that you’re on right now have heart?

    “2. What are some of the differences between paths with heart and those without?

    “3. How can we see whether or not a path has heart?

    “For further thought:

    “If we are spiritual beings on a human path rather than human beings who may be on a spiritual path, then life is not only a journey but a pilgrimage or quest as well.”

  • Craig Parke

    Abdu’l-Baha taught the independent investigation of truth. It was once one of the Great Teachings and strengths of the Faith. But what the Central Figures taught is now completely forbidden by the arrogant elitist usurpers of the ITC Faith. Just read the utter criminal drivel in the “To the Collaborators” section of Ruhi Book One.

    Consequently, here is where the Faith currently is:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7Kznmrc3o4

    Here is where it is going:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYecfV3ubP8

    And here is why:

    “Our species is the only creative species, and it has only one creative instrument, the individual mind and spirit of a man (and woman). Nothing was ever created by two men. There are no good collaborations, whether in music, in art, in poetry, in mathematics, in philosophy. Once the miracle of creation has taken place, the group can build and extend it, but the group never invents anything. The preciousness lies in the lonely mind of a man. And now the forces marshaled around the concept of the group have declared a war of extermination on that preciousness, the mind of man. By disparagement, by starvation, by repressions, forced direction, and the stunning hammerblows of conditioning, the free, roving mind is being pursued, roped, blunted, drugged. It is a sad suicidal course our species seems to have taken.

    And this I believe: that the free, exploring mind of the individual human is the most valuable thing in the world. And this I would fight for: the freedom of the mind to take any direction it wishes, undirected. And this I must fight against: any idea, religion, or government which limits or destroys the individual This is what I am and what I am about. I can understand why a system built on a pattern must try to destroy the free mind, for that is the one thing which can by inspection destroy such a system. Surely I can understand this, and I hate it and I will fight against it to preserve the one thing that separates us from the uncreative beasts. If the glory can be killed, we are lost.”

    - John Steinbeck, East of Eden

    If there are any members of the current Universal House of Justice reading this blog, know that you have taken yourselves, your wives, and your families to utter disgrace and the Faith to utter ruin. You as individuals will be cursed for centuries. Your record will speak for itself. Nothing more will ever need be said.

    But out of this may yet eventually come such a wave of individual revulsion that it may yet restore the fortunes of the Faith through the terrible, terrible, terrible swift sword of Almighty God called The Vote.

    The rise of the Internet will be the great equalizer by which Divine Judgment will come to the affairs of ALL MANKIND in every nation, every religion, and every organization across the planet Earth.

    The secrets of every individual human heart put into high places of power over others will now become known before the whole world second by second. Everyone’s feet will be mercilessly held to the fire. You can run, but you can’t hide.

    THIS is the new power of the Divine Covenant of this newly born World Age: the latest 64 bit Dual Core chip sets with ever more refined Internet packet switching. It cannot be stopped nor controlled in any way by ANYONE. Behold, the old world has passed away. Proclaim the new!

    There will be no more mindless endless free rides without full burning and searing terrible, terrible accountability. And consequently very soon there will be self imposed term limits because the heat will be just to much for the vanity and delusion of lifetime incumbency addicts.

    Truly, The Promised Day *HAS* Come.

  • Craig Parke

    Abdu’l-Baha taught the independent investigation of truth. It was once one of the Great Teachings and strengths of the Faith. But what the Central Figures taught is now completely forbidden by the arrogant elitist usurpers of the ITC Faith. Just read the utter criminal drivel in the “To the Collaborators” section of Ruhi Book One.

    Consequently, here is where the Faith currently is:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7Kznmrc3o4

    Here is where it is going:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYecfV3ubP8

    And here is why:

    “Our species is the only creative species, and it has only one creative instrument, the individual mind and spirit of a man (and woman). Nothing was ever created by two men. There are no good collaborations, whether in music, in art, in poetry, in mathematics, in philosophy. Once the miracle of creation has taken place, the group can build and extend it, but the group never invents anything. The preciousness lies in the lonely mind of a man. And now the forces marshaled around the concept of the group have declared a war of extermination on that preciousness, the mind of man. By disparagement, by starvation, by repressions, forced direction, and the stunning hammerblows of conditioning, the free, roving mind is being pursued, roped, blunted, drugged. It is a sad suicidal course our species seems to have taken.

    And this I believe: that the free, exploring mind of the individual human is the most valuable thing in the world. And this I would fight for: the freedom of the mind to take any direction it wishes, undirected. And this I must fight against: any idea, religion, or government which limits or destroys the individual This is what I am and what I am about. I can understand why a system built on a pattern must try to destroy the free mind, for that is the one thing which can by inspection destroy such a system. Surely I can understand this, and I hate it and I will fight against it to preserve the one thing that separates us from the uncreative beasts. If the glory can be killed, we are lost.”

    - John Steinbeck, East of Eden

    If there are any members of the current Universal House of Justice reading this blog, know that you have taken yourselves, your wives, and your families to utter disgrace and the Faith to utter ruin. You as individuals will be cursed for centuries. Your record will speak for itself. Nothing more will ever need be said.

    But out of this may yet eventually come such a wave of individual revulsion that it may yet restore the fortunes of the Faith through the terrible, terrible, terrible swift sword of Almighty God called The Vote.

    The rise of the Internet will be the great equalizer by which Divine Judgment will come to the affairs of ALL MANKIND in every nation, every religion, and every organization across the planet Earth.

    The secrets of every individual human heart put into high places of power over others will now become known before the whole world second by second. Everyone’s feet will be mercilessly held to the fire. You can run, but you can’t hide.

    THIS is the new power of the Divine Covenant of this newly born World Age: the latest 64 bit Dual Core chip sets with ever more refined Internet packet switching. It cannot be stopped nor controlled in any way by ANYONE. Behold, the old world has passed away. Proclaim the new!

    There will be no more mindless endless free rides without full burning and searing terrible, terrible accountability. And consequently very soon there will be self imposed term limits because the heat will be just to much for the vanity and delusion of lifetime incumbency addicts.

    Truly, The Promised Day *HAS* Come.

  • Andrew

    Thank you, Craig, for those WONDERFUL words from Steinbeck!!! They’re incredible words, and incredibly inspiring! AMAZING! They should be read again and again, by schoolchildren everywhere, and by “adults” as well.

  • Andrew

    Thank you, Craig, for those WONDERFUL words from Steinbeck!!! They’re incredible words, and incredibly inspiring! AMAZING! They should be read again and again, by schoolchildren everywhere, and by “adults” as well.

  • Inge Barthel

    Much appreciation for the Steinbeck quote. Actually i would venture a hypothesis: Because it is so, as Steinbeck says, that the single human in his or her singleness possesses such a quality of phenomenal and unbounded creativity, it could be viewed as an indirect proof of the existence of a single creator. According to the understanding that the drop is a metaphor for the ocean and within each part is reflected the whole.

    Aside from that, Andrew, the game with dates and laws is IMO part of the apologetics exercise. Tahiri had already removed her veil, the word of the equality of man and woman was out. To claim that monogamy hasn’t been explicitly requested by law is like saying that you should hang your washing in the attic but fail to mention that you need to go up the stairs.

    xxinge

  • Inge Barthel

    Much appreciation for the Steinbeck quote. Actually i would venture a hypothesis: Because it is so, as Steinbeck says, that the single human in his or her singleness possesses such a quality of phenomenal and unbounded creativity, it could be viewed as an indirect proof of the existence of a single creator. According to the understanding that the drop is a metaphor for the ocean and within each part is reflected the whole.

    Aside from that, Andrew, the game with dates and laws is IMO part of the apologetics exercise. Tahiri had already removed her veil, the word of the equality of man and woman was out. To claim that monogamy hasn’t been explicitly requested by law is like saying that you should hang your washing in the attic but fail to mention that you need to go up the stairs.

    xxinge

  • Andrew

    “Aside from that, Andrew, the game with dates and laws is IMO part of the apologetics exercise.”

    A game with dates and laws? What game? This is entirely your own interpretation. The dates and laws are there whether one recognizes them or not. It is not an exercise in apologetics but a matter of the historical record and the religious and cultural practices prevalent at the time. I don’t necessarily agree with these laws, but I can understand how they might have provided an excuse (if not a justification) for Baha’u’llah’s behavior at the time.

    I don’t see that Tahirih’s removal of her veil was anything other than a statement of spiritual liberation on her own behalf. Who appointed her the one to determine when the equality of man and woman was “out”? No one. If one chooses to interpret her actions in this manner, that is entirely one’s personal opinion, and valid as such, but hardly definitive.

    “Monogamy explicitly request by law”? Which so-called “law”? If you truly believe that the Baha’i religion is “a creation of the shadow, another lure to the human desire for power and control, a last glorious and aesthetic monument to the old paradigm,” what does Baha’i law matter anyway?

    Personally, I don’t give a fig for religious law, Baha’i or otherwise. I trust that mature adults in this day and age are quite capable of determining their relationships for themselves, without recourse to ancient laws or abstruse head-centered metaphysical concepts that are little other than justifications for one’s own predetermined point of view. If they’re not capable, then they shouldn’t attempt to exercise a responsibility they’re unequipped or unprepared to fulfill.

    The world has been drowning in religious “laws” and metaphysical “concepts” for hundreds and hundreds of years and most of those who have benefited from them are the ones who either invented the laws or created the concepts. People need to be educated, not indoctrinated, however alluring the “concepts” and “paradigms” and “laws” might be. If a man chooses to have three wives, or a woman chooses to have three partners, and if they agree to this arrangement among themselves, far be it from me to give them a pious lecture on which religious laws they may be breaking, or which metaphysical conditions they might be violating. It’s past high time the human race moved out of the insane asylum and into the world of its own mature decision-making, unencumbered by the useless clutter of “this is right and this is wrong because it’s against the revealed law of God/upsets the equilibrium of the monad/disturbs the balance of the eternal tao,” or some other entirely subjective speculation. This is just more crazy-making in a world that has become ill with it, perhaps ill to the point of fatality.

  • Andrew

    “Aside from that, Andrew, the game with dates and laws is IMO part of the apologetics exercise.”

    A game with dates and laws? What game? This is entirely your own interpretation. The dates and laws are there whether one recognizes them or not. It is not an exercise in apologetics but a matter of the historical record and the religious and cultural practices prevalent at the time. I don’t necessarily agree with these laws, but I can understand how they might have provided an excuse (if not a justification) for Baha’u’llah’s behavior at the time.

    I don’t see that Tahirih’s removal of her veil was anything other than a statement of spiritual liberation on her own behalf. Who appointed her the one to determine when the equality of man and woman was “out”? No one. If one chooses to interpret her actions in this manner, that is entirely one’s personal opinion, and valid as such, but hardly definitive.

    “Monogamy explicitly request by law”? Which so-called “law”? If you truly believe that the Baha’i religion is “a creation of the shadow, another lure to the human desire for power and control, a last glorious and aesthetic monument to the old paradigm,” what does Baha’i law matter anyway?

    Personally, I don’t give a fig for religious law, Baha’i or otherwise. I trust that mature adults in this day and age are quite capable of determining their relationships for themselves, without recourse to ancient laws or abstruse head-centered metaphysical concepts that are little other than justifications for one’s own predetermined point of view. If they’re not capable, then they shouldn’t attempt to exercise a responsibility they’re unequipped or unprepared to fulfill.

    The world has been drowning in religious “laws” and metaphysical “concepts” for hundreds and hundreds of years and most of those who have benefited from them are the ones who either invented the laws or created the concepts. People need to be educated, not indoctrinated, however alluring the “concepts” and “paradigms” and “laws” might be. If a man chooses to have three wives, or a woman chooses to have three partners, and if they agree to this arrangement among themselves, far be it from me to give them a pious lecture on which religious laws they may be breaking, or which metaphysical conditions they might be violating. It’s past high time the human race moved out of the insane asylum and into the world of its own mature decision-making, unencumbered by the useless clutter of “this is right and this is wrong because it’s against the revealed law of God/upsets the equilibrium of the monad/disturbs the balance of the eternal tao,” or some other entirely subjective speculation. This is just more crazy-making in a world that has become ill with it, perhaps ill to the point of fatality.

  • Inge Barthel

    The Game of Laws and dates…not entirely my own interpretation.

    Perhaps you underestimate Tahiri’s significance:

    Conference of Badasht
    One Islamic law was abrogated during each day of the conference
    After the B??b’s arrest in 1848, Bah??’u’ll??h made arrangements for T??hirih to leave Tehran and attend a conference of B??b? leaders in Badasht. She is perhaps best remembered for appearing in public without her veil in the course of this conference signalling that the Islamic Sharia law was abrogated and superseded by B??b? law. It was at the Badasht conference that she was given the title T??hirih which means “the Pure One”.

    regards

    Inge

  • Inge Barthel

    The Game of Laws and dates…not entirely my own interpretation.

    Perhaps you underestimate Tahiri’s significance:

    Conference of Badasht
    One Islamic law was abrogated during each day of the conference
    After the B??b’s arrest in 1848, Bah??’u’ll??h made arrangements for T??hirih to leave Tehran and attend a conference of B??b? leaders in Badasht. She is perhaps best remembered for appearing in public without her veil in the course of this conference signalling that the Islamic Sharia law was abrogated and superseded by B??b? law. It was at the Badasht conference that she was given the title T??hirih which means “the Pure One”.

    regards

    Inge

  • Andrew

    “Perhaps you underestimate T??hirih’s significance.”

    Perhaps.

    “It was at the Badasht conference that she was given the title T??hirih which means ?the Pure One?.”

    Bah??’? sources indicate she was given the title by Bah??’u’ll??h. Is this true? I thought she was given the title by the B??b.

    The Conference of Badasht was held in June-July 1848.

    Bah??’u’ll??h married Fatimih Khanum in 1849.

    He married Gawhar Khanum “some time before He declared His mission.”

    “T??hirih is perhaps best remembered for appearing in public without her veil in the course of this conference signaling that the Islamic Sharia law was abrogated and superseded by B??b? law.”

    The Wikipedia article states that “One Islamic law was abrogated during each day of the conference.”

    Presuming for the sake of argument that one of the laws that was abrogated at the Badasht conference was the law that permitted polygynous marriage, Bah??’u’ll??h’s marriage to Gawhar Khanum may not have been licit (according to B??b? law).

    The counter-argument to this would be that since Bah??’u’ll??h was the Manifestation of God, He was authorized by God to change the religious law; the law-giver stands “outside and above” the law, thus His decisions cannot be judged by its standards:

    “Were He to pronounce water to be wine or heaven to be earth or light to be fire, He speaketh the truth and no doubt would there be about it; and unto no one is given the right to question His authority or to say why or wherefore.”

    Were He to pronounce murder to be righteous or captivity to be freedom or infanticide to be honorable, well …

    Was M?rz?? ?usayn-`Al?, the physical form of the Manifestation of God (Bah??’u’ll??h), the emissary of Divine Wisdom, the Maid of Heaven?

    “If Allah is the male aspect of God, the Houri is clearly the female aspect, and it is important that Bah??’u’ll??h recognized the divine as having a feminine side.” (Juan Cole)

    Is it a matter of either Bah??’u’ll??h or T??hirih? Or is it both T??hirih and Bah??’u’ll??h?

    At the meditation I attended today, one of our members received an “impression” during the reflection period, an “impression” she shared with us:

    “Through Bah??’u’ll??h to T??hirih, through T??hirih to God.”

    Make of it what you will.

    “The influence of individual souls is and always will be beloved. For the influence of each soul is its fruit, and a soul without influence is considered a tree without fruit in the most great realm. Speak forth for the sake of God, and spread the cause for his sake. Do not look at whether others accept or deny, but rather at the service you are commanded to perform by God.”

  • Andrew

    “Perhaps you underestimate T??hirih’s significance.”

    Perhaps.

    “It was at the Badasht conference that she was given the title T??hirih which means ?the Pure One?.”

    Bah??’? sources indicate she was given the title by Bah??’u’ll??h. Is this true? I thought she was given the title by the B??b.

    The Conference of Badasht was held in June-July 1848.

    Bah??’u’ll??h married Fatimih Khanum in 1849.

    He married Gawhar Khanum “some time before He declared His mission.”

    “T??hirih is perhaps best remembered for appearing in public without her veil in the course of this conference signaling that the Islamic Sharia law was abrogated and superseded by B??b? law.”

    The Wikipedia article states that “One Islamic law was abrogated during each day of the conference.”

    Presuming for the sake of argument that one of the laws that was abrogated at the Badasht conference was the law that permitted polygynous marriage, Bah??’u’ll??h’s marriage to Gawhar Khanum may not have been licit (according to B??b? law).

    The counter-argument to this would be that since Bah??’u’ll??h was the Manifestation of God, He was authorized by God to change the religious law; the law-giver stands “outside and above” the law, thus His decisions cannot be judged by its standards:

    “Were He to pronounce water to be wine or heaven to be earth or light to be fire, He speaketh the truth and no doubt would there be about it; and unto no one is given the right to question His authority or to say why or wherefore.”

    Were He to pronounce murder to be righteous or captivity to be freedom or infanticide to be honorable, well …

    Was M?rz?? ?usayn-`Al?, the physical form of the Manifestation of God (Bah??’u’ll??h), the emissary of Divine Wisdom, the Maid of Heaven?

    “If Allah is the male aspect of God, the Houri is clearly the female aspect, and it is important that Bah??’u’ll??h recognized the divine as having a feminine side.” (Juan Cole)

    Is it a matter of either Bah??’u’ll??h or T??hirih? Or is it both T??hirih and Bah??’u’ll??h?

    At the meditation I attended today, one of our members received an “impression” during the reflection period, an “impression” she shared with us:

    “Through Bah??’u’ll??h to T??hirih, through T??hirih to God.”

    Make of it what you will.

    “The influence of individual souls is and always will be beloved. For the influence of each soul is its fruit, and a soul without influence is considered a tree without fruit in the most great realm. Speak forth for the sake of God, and spread the cause for his sake. Do not look at whether others accept or deny, but rather at the service you are commanded to perform by God.”

  • Hugh J Church

    I have been hoping for more reaction to “Finding Hidden Purposes in Obedience,” which was the starting point, supposedly, for all these messages. Unfortunately, the accumulating comments remind me of all the “cluster” meetings I’ve ever attended, where the original subject is more-or-less forgotten while everybody makes statements or even speeches about their own particular problems or experiences or views. The meeting gets further and further away from its supposed purpose, and ends up being frustrating, disappointing and sometimes – depending upon one’s patience – quite funny. In fact, I find it rather amusing that some of the participants in this so-called “discussion” are so much like the Baha’is they claim to have left behind – completely unable to stick to the topic at hand and/or discuss it. As a Baha’i, I wish people would give their views on “Finding Hidden Purposes in Obedience.” And since some of the participants have implied or explicitly stated that they are NOT Baha’i any more, they aren’t really ranting as Baha’is, are they? Shouldn’t they go to Ex-Baha’i Rants? What the Faith needs desperately are more ranting Baha’is!
    Hugh

  • Hugh J Church

    I have been hoping for more reaction to “Finding Hidden Purposes in Obedience,” which was the starting point, supposedly, for all these messages. Unfortunately, the accumulating comments remind me of all the “cluster” meetings I’ve ever attended, where the original subject is more-or-less forgotten while everybody makes statements or even speeches about their own particular problems or experiences or views. The meeting gets further and further away from its supposed purpose, and ends up being frustrating, disappointing and sometimes – depending upon one’s patience – quite funny. In fact, I find it rather amusing that some of the participants in this so-called “discussion” are so much like the Baha’is they claim to have left behind – completely unable to stick to the topic at hand and/or discuss it. As a Baha’i, I wish people would give their views on “Finding Hidden Purposes in Obedience.” And since some of the participants have implied or explicitly stated that they are NOT Baha’i any more, they aren’t really ranting as Baha’is, are they? Shouldn’t they go to Ex-Baha’i Rants? What the Faith needs desperately are more ranting Baha’is!
    Hugh

  • Inge Barthel

    Andrew, now I recognise the way you look at religious and spiritual laws and legitimacy. You see it very much in the same terms as in worldly life. Like up until Jan 07 donations to worthy causes up to 5% of your total income were tax deductable and since then it’s up to 20% and it takes a written law with a date of commencement etc. to be in effect.

    With spiritual or religious – ought to be the same – law I think it’s a bit different. As soon as the new revelation was issued from God and The Bab had transmitted it to human consciousness the essential changes were manifest. Later they were clarified – or watered down – by actual written statements. The first to obey those laws would have to be the prophets who revealed them.

    (Yes, and I am grieved to say, The Bab also took a second wife, even though he was already separated by circumstances from his first wife and he apparently made some attempts to decline the offer. But in the end he consented. )

    The written word is inferior to actions and behaviour. All arguing about dates and written law and what was in effect, “culture” and what the general public expected and what the men would have been outraged about is IMO apologetics. The new revelation from God stated that the time had come to enact the equality of men and women, period. Tahirih had understood and acted accordingly. At the conference of Badasht she manifested that very law. The fact that monogamy must be implied is obvious to the sincere. Only the apologetics seem to be confused about this.

    BTW, Mr Momen, I do not in any way secretly aspire to your values.

    To Hugh, I feel sorry that you seem to expect that people ought to serve your thread like they would if they’d work out a thesis about a certain topic. If the discussion strays from your hoped for path, why not re-establish the connection? – If you use a bit of lateral thinking you can easily link the discussion with the topic yourself. Like “who obeys what?” What’s the purpose of us obeying a manifestation who doesn’t obey God’s law? – What’s the purpose of obeying a law that has been watered down in oder to serve a reluctant manifestation and his followers? –
    best regards
    inge

  • Inge Barthel

    Andrew, now I recognise the way you look at religious and spiritual laws and legitimacy. You see it very much in the same terms as in worldly life. Like up until Jan 07 donations to worthy causes up to 5% of your total income were tax deductable and since then it’s up to 20% and it takes a written law with a date of commencement etc. to be in effect.

    With spiritual or religious – ought to be the same – law I think it’s a bit different. As soon as the new revelation was issued from God and The Bab had transmitted it to human consciousness the essential changes were manifest. Later they were clarified – or watered down – by actual written statements. The first to obey those laws would have to be the prophets who revealed them.

    (Yes, and I am grieved to say, The Bab also took a second wife, even though he was already separated by circumstances from his first wife and he apparently made some attempts to decline the offer. But in the end he consented. )

    The written word is inferior to actions and behaviour. All arguing about dates and written law and what was in effect, “culture” and what the general public expected and what the men would have been outraged about is IMO apologetics. The new revelation from God stated that the time had come to enact the equality of men and women, period. Tahirih had understood and acted accordingly. At the conference of Badasht she manifested that very law. The fact that monogamy must be implied is obvious to the sincere. Only the apologetics seem to be confused about this.

    BTW, Mr Momen, I do not in any way secretly aspire to your values.

    To Hugh, I feel sorry that you seem to expect that people ought to serve your thread like they would if they’d work out a thesis about a certain topic. If the discussion strays from your hoped for path, why not re-establish the connection? – If you use a bit of lateral thinking you can easily link the discussion with the topic yourself. Like “who obeys what?” What’s the purpose of us obeying a manifestation who doesn’t obey God’s law? – What’s the purpose of obeying a law that has been watered down in oder to serve a reluctant manifestation and his followers? –
    best regards
    inge

  • Sincere Friend

    Baha u Llah is the Primal Point. The meaning of this as I understand it is that He is the point through which creation manifests. This implies that the reality that we know through our senses is a construct rather than substantial, one that is constantly being recreated. Quantum physics also supports this view of reality being a construct constantly being renewed.

    The Writings speak of how at the moment the Manifestation appears that all things are recreated. This, I believe, is not just a metaphorical “spiritual” act with no bearing on the physical world but an actual real physical fact, although one so subtle that it can not be detected by either our senses or our scientific instruments. The elements of creation instantly obey the new law that emanates from the Primal Point, it has no choice. Human beings, on the other hand, continue to behave in their spheres of influence and awareness according to their will and so the acceptance of a new Manifestations
    law is a matter of choice.

    It seems to me that the manifestations, by their nature are like a transformer, standing between the seen and the Unseen and by the nature of their being transforming and transmitting a hidden energy into visible change the same way that a light bulb takes invisible electricity and transforms it into visible light and heat.

    The consequencs of the Law are however irresistable as soon as they are enacted because the application of Divine Justice turns on the new law and not the old law, with the only mitigating influence being mercy such as God may wish to apply to individual circumstances. “He verily doeth whatsoever He pleaseth and none may ask Him of His doings.”

    The foregoing is my own personal view to which I welcome any amendments, challenges, refutations, debate, etc., although all in the spirit of fellowship and loving kindness.

  • Sincere Friend

    Baha u Llah is the Primal Point. The meaning of this as I understand it is that He is the point through which creation manifests. This implies that the reality that we know through our senses is a construct rather than substantial, one that is constantly being recreated. Quantum physics also supports this view of reality being a construct constantly being renewed.

    The Writings speak of how at the moment the Manifestation appears that all things are recreated. This, I believe, is not just a metaphorical “spiritual” act with no bearing on the physical world but an actual real physical fact, although one so subtle that it can not be detected by either our senses or our scientific instruments. The elements of creation instantly obey the new law that emanates from the Primal Point, it has no choice. Human beings, on the other hand, continue to behave in their spheres of influence and awareness according to their will and so the acceptance of a new Manifestations
    law is a matter of choice.

    It seems to me that the manifestations, by their nature are like a transformer, standing between the seen and the Unseen and by the nature of their being transforming and transmitting a hidden energy into visible change the same way that a light bulb takes invisible electricity and transforms it into visible light and heat.

    The consequencs of the Law are however irresistable as soon as they are enacted because the application of Divine Justice turns on the new law and not the old law, with the only mitigating influence being mercy such as God may wish to apply to individual circumstances. “He verily doeth whatsoever He pleaseth and none may ask Him of His doings.”

    The foregoing is my own personal view to which I welcome any amendments, challenges, refutations, debate, etc., although all in the spirit of fellowship and loving kindness.

  • Inge Barthel

    The Primal Point from which all creation came forth is God. I strongly dispute that any living person can claim to be that Primal Point. To me it is personality cult. It has nothing to do with accepting that Baha’u’llah was the transmitter of God’s latest revelation. I can accept this and yet reserve the Primal Point from which all creation issued for God alone.

    I imagine – with all awareness of my limited imagination – that Baha’u’llah “experienced” complete absorption into the mind of God and therefore began to believe himself that he is identical with God. This, I think was his greatest stumbling block and downfall. Going by the accounts of Buddhist teachers and accomplished mystics it is very plausible that such a thing might have happened. But a Buddhist has usually practised for many years and received many instructions and teachings describing this state of union with the divine. Among those teachings are also safeguards against over-identification and awareness of the pitfalls.

    Then again, Baha’u’llah’s mission and purpose was different from that of a Buddhist. He was chosen by an act of God and had to deal with his experience as best he could. Please don’t misunderstand me. I’m not saying that he should have done differently. I think whatever he did was within God’s plan including his obvious “mistakes”. Those mistakes serve as tests for us.

    From my perspective I find it chilling to see how many sincere and high-minded people can be brought to repeat in mindless fashion, that Baha’u’llah was this and that and beyond human judgment when he committed absolutely glaring injustice against his own family not to speak of constructing a barbaric and backward code of laws and initiates a totalitarian and controlling administration both of which are counterproductive to his own stated claim that he has the peace, tranquility and well-being of humanity at his heart.

    For example in Dzogchen teachings the teacher will not give you any rule of conduct other than the exhortation of being present and aware and act according to circumstance. All virtuous conduct flows from that. It requires that a practitioner be awake and grounded in unity consciousness or non-dual vision of reality. Of course this is not so easy. The deciding factor is whether or not a practitioner will create problems for himself or others. If he does, then his awareness was lacking.

    We could certainly assume that Baha’u’llah should have possessed such an awareness. However he created terrible problems for his second and third wife and their children. His was the obligation to protect this lady and the way to do that was to marry her. What would have stopped him to marry her in the eyes of the world but not consume the marriage? – Perhaps the woman would have felt rejected but I’m sure she would have been open to reason, if he had explained that equality of men and women entails that a man ought to have only one wife. Plus she would then have had a chance to later marry another man who really could care for her. What a tremendous role model he would have been. If he really had all-encompassing vision he would have had to see that the women and the future children could not master the situation emotionally and strife would follow.

    Baha’u’llah broke the God’s law of the new revelation and the women and his children were condemned for it. In Dzogchen there would be no such law but a requirement to correctly assess the situation. Many famous Buddhist teachers had several consorts and those women were often very accomplished teachers or practitioners themselves. So if there are no problems there is no necessity to abide by a certain rule. In Baha’u’llah’s case however he broke the rule AND he created problems. He would need to be expected to have seen the negative consequences of his actions for the women and their children, his children. After all he fathered them in an earthly way.

    Again, it is not my intention to say Baha’u’llah or any of his followers should have done differently. I only want to show that they could have done differently and that it is reasonable to think that some problems would not have occurred in that case. However, I personally see a superior benefit from the seemingly unsatisfactory situation. It gives us the chance and the challenge to rely on our own mind, our own powers of judgment and sense of justice, just as Baha’u’llah said elsewhere.

    regards
    Inge

  • Inge Barthel

    The Primal Point from which all creation came forth is God. I strongly dispute that any living person can claim to be that Primal Point. To me it is personality cult. It has nothing to do with accepting that Baha’u’llah was the transmitter of God’s latest revelation. I can accept this and yet reserve the Primal Point from which all creation issued for God alone.

    I imagine – with all awareness of my limited imagination – that Baha’u’llah “experienced” complete absorption into the mind of God and therefore began to believe himself that he is identical with God. This, I think was his greatest stumbling block and downfall. Going by the accounts of Buddhist teachers and accomplished mystics it is very plausible that such a thing might have happened. But a Buddhist has usually practised for many years and received many instructions and teachings describing this state of union with the divine. Among those teachings are also safeguards against over-identification and awareness of the pitfalls.

    Then again, Baha’u’llah’s mission and purpose was different from that of a Buddhist. He was chosen by an act of God and had to deal with his experience as best he could. Please don’t misunderstand me. I’m not saying that he should have done differently. I think whatever he did was within God’s plan including his obvious “mistakes”. Those mistakes serve as tests for us.

    From my perspective I find it chilling to see how many sincere and high-minded people can be brought to repeat in mindless fashion, that Baha’u’llah was this and that and beyond human judgment when he committed absolutely glaring injustice against his own family not to speak of constructing a barbaric and backward code of laws and initiates a totalitarian and controlling administration both of which are counterproductive to his own stated claim that he has the peace, tranquility and well-being of humanity at his heart.

    For example in Dzogchen teachings the teacher will not give you any rule of conduct other than the exhortation of being present and aware and act according to circumstance. All virtuous conduct flows from that. It requires that a practitioner be awake and grounded in unity consciousness or non-dual vision of reality. Of course this is not so easy. The deciding factor is whether or not a practitioner will create problems for himself or others. If he does, then his awareness was lacking.

    We could certainly assume that Baha’u’llah should have possessed such an awareness. However he created terrible problems for his second and third wife and their children. His was the obligation to protect this lady and the way to do that was to marry her. What would have stopped him to marry her in the eyes of the world but not consume the marriage? – Perhaps the woman would have felt rejected but I’m sure she would have been open to reason, if he had explained that equality of men and women entails that a man ought to have only one wife. Plus she would then have had a chance to later marry another man who really could care for her. What a tremendous role model he would have been. If he really had all-encompassing vision he would have had to see that the women and the future children could not master the situation emotionally and strife would follow.

    Baha’u’llah broke the God’s law of the new revelation and the women and his children were condemned for it. In Dzogchen there would be no such law but a requirement to correctly assess the situation. Many famous Buddhist teachers had several consorts and those women were often very accomplished teachers or practitioners themselves. So if there are no problems there is no necessity to abide by a certain rule. In Baha’u’llah’s case however he broke the rule AND he created problems. He would need to be expected to have seen the negative consequences of his actions for the women and their children, his children. After all he fathered them in an earthly way.

    Again, it is not my intention to say Baha’u’llah or any of his followers should have done differently. I only want to show that they could have done differently and that it is reasonable to think that some problems would not have occurred in that case. However, I personally see a superior benefit from the seemingly unsatisfactory situation. It gives us the chance and the challenge to rely on our own mind, our own powers of judgment and sense of justice, just as Baha’u’llah said elsewhere.

    regards
    Inge

  • Andrew

    “Andrew, now I recognise the way you look at religious and spiritual laws and legitimacy. You see it very much in the same terms as in worldly life.”

    Nice broadside, Inge, but this is simply your own jaundiced interpretation, not a representation of my views. Your caricature of how I “look at religious and spiritual laws and legitimacy” betrays your presumption.

    “As soon as the new revelation was issued from God and The Bab had transmitted it to human consciousness the essential changes were manifest.”

    As recognized by whom?

    “What is received into anything must be received according to the condition of the receiver. If, therefore, my intellect is distinct from yours, what is understood by me must be distinct from what is understood by you; and consequently it will be reckoned as something individual, and be only potentially something understood.” (Newman)

    “The fact that monogamy must be implied is obvious to the sincere. Only the apologetics seem to be confused about this.”

    This implies yet another form of spiritual totalitarianism. God “issues” the new revelation, the B??b “transmits” the revelation to human consciousness, and the changes become “manifest.” But this is just rule by fiat in the name of God. Since God seems incapable of speaking for Himself, the claims of those who would speak on God’s behalf must be tested, not blindly received; otherwise, it is only patriarchy in drag, Moses or Muhammad dressed as T??hirih. If it isn’t obvious to the “sincere,” i.e., the spiritual elite, then to hell with them!, because any attempt to understand or implement the revelation through any means other than blind acceptance is simply argumentative “apologetics.”

    Humanity is coming of age; the sheep will no longer blindly follow the shepherd, whether the shepherd is Moses, Jesus, Muhammad, Bah??’u’ll??h, or T??hirih, or those who claim to perfectly understand the revelations they received.

  • Andrew

    “Andrew, now I recognise the way you look at religious and spiritual laws and legitimacy. You see it very much in the same terms as in worldly life.”

    Nice broadside, Inge, but this is simply your own jaundiced interpretation, not a representation of my views. Your caricature of how I “look at religious and spiritual laws and legitimacy” betrays your presumption.

    “As soon as the new revelation was issued from God and The Bab had transmitted it to human consciousness the essential changes were manifest.”

    As recognized by whom?

    “What is received into anything must be received according to the condition of the receiver. If, therefore, my intellect is distinct from yours, what is understood by me must be distinct from what is understood by you; and consequently it will be reckoned as something individual, and be only potentially something understood.” (Newman)

    “The fact that monogamy must be implied is obvious to the sincere. Only the apologetics seem to be confused about this.”

    This implies yet another form of spiritual totalitarianism. God “issues” the new revelation, the B??b “transmits” the revelation to human consciousness, and the changes become “manifest.” But this is just rule by fiat in the name of God. Since God seems incapable of speaking for Himself, the claims of those who would speak on God’s behalf must be tested, not blindly received; otherwise, it is only patriarchy in drag, Moses or Muhammad dressed as T??hirih. If it isn’t obvious to the “sincere,” i.e., the spiritual elite, then to hell with them!, because any attempt to understand or implement the revelation through any means other than blind acceptance is simply argumentative “apologetics.”

    Humanity is coming of age; the sheep will no longer blindly follow the shepherd, whether the shepherd is Moses, Jesus, Muhammad, Bah??’u’ll??h, or T??hirih, or those who claim to perfectly understand the revelations they received.

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    SF,
    the “Primal Point” is one of the titles of the Bab, not Baha’u’llah.

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    SF,
    the “Primal Point” is one of the titles of the Bab, not Baha’u’llah.

  • Inge Barthel

    Sure. Thanks Baquia for pointing it out. I believe though Baha’u’llah claimed for himself to be the supreme manifestation, superseding all previous prophets. From whatever limited perspective is available to me I do believe this new age is so phenomenally radically different and must move us as people through such an incredible revolution of consciousness that it seems credible to me that Baha’u’llah as the one with the ear to the ground described the source of the knowledge in those terms. Also many of his writings are wonderful expressions of this shift. However I think he over-identified himself with the source and therefore produced a melange of useful and useless information. Useless IMO is the grandstanding, the projection of enemies, the tirades, the threats, the laws and the world-order visions mainly. It’s like he was given the vision of the transformation of consciousness and then he couldn’t see how this can logically happen and tried to make rules and laws and control systems. It’s like there are two distinct personalities present in his writings. One is the prophet and the other one is the aristocrat who can’t help himself but dream of ruling people.
    regards
    Inge

  • Inge Barthel

    Sure. Thanks Baquia for pointing it out. I believe though Baha’u’llah claimed for himself to be the supreme manifestation, superseding all previous prophets. From whatever limited perspective is available to me I do believe this new age is so phenomenally radically different and must move us as people through such an incredible revolution of consciousness that it seems credible to me that Baha’u’llah as the one with the ear to the ground described the source of the knowledge in those terms. Also many of his writings are wonderful expressions of this shift. However I think he over-identified himself with the source and therefore produced a melange of useful and useless information. Useless IMO is the grandstanding, the projection of enemies, the tirades, the threats, the laws and the world-order visions mainly. It’s like he was given the vision of the transformation of consciousness and then he couldn’t see how this can logically happen and tried to make rules and laws and control systems. It’s like there are two distinct personalities present in his writings. One is the prophet and the other one is the aristocrat who can’t help himself but dream of ruling people.
    regards
    Inge

  • Sincere Friend

    Anything that can be attributed to one Manifestation can be attributed to all of Them.

  • Sincere Friend

    Anything that can be attributed to one Manifestation can be attributed to all of Them.

  • Sincere Friend

    Dear Friend Inge,

    God is above all attribution, so the Primal Point is created by God to act as the agency of creation. Certainly God is the creator and there is no other, but it is said repeatedly in the Writings that God is above any connection or attribution of creation.

    I appreciate your comments on Dzogchen and I quite agree, most of law can be discerned intuitively by those who choose to be conscious and have some capacity for reflection, but Baha u llahs revelation is a universal revelation and some people have to be governed by an outer authority that lays down rules of conduct, not every one can follow the Dzogchen or Dzogchen like mystic paths that involve the conscious development of consciousness and the consideration that comes with it.

    Time will tell on your perception of Baha u llah, althought I dont think it fair to blame everything that followers do on the founder of a religion. For Gods sake look how much injustice was perpetrated in the name of Christ. Surely His Holiness Jesus did not intend for those things to occur. “And Jesus wept.”, as should we all, but life and Divine revelation goes on as it must.

  • Sincere Friend

    Dear Friend Inge,

    God is above all attribution, so the Primal Point is created by God to act as the agency of creation. Certainly God is the creator and there is no other, but it is said repeatedly in the Writings that God is above any connection or attribution of creation.

    I appreciate your comments on Dzogchen and I quite agree, most of law can be discerned intuitively by those who choose to be conscious and have some capacity for reflection, but Baha u llahs revelation is a universal revelation and some people have to be governed by an outer authority that lays down rules of conduct, not every one can follow the Dzogchen or Dzogchen like mystic paths that involve the conscious development of consciousness and the consideration that comes with it.

    Time will tell on your perception of Baha u llah, althought I dont think it fair to blame everything that followers do on the founder of a religion. For Gods sake look how much injustice was perpetrated in the name of Christ. Surely His Holiness Jesus did not intend for those things to occur. “And Jesus wept.”, as should we all, but life and Divine revelation goes on as it must.

  • Sincere Friend

    “Know then that all thou hast heard and witnessed that Daystar of Truth, the Primal Point, ascribe to Himself from the designations of former times is only on account of the weakness of men and the scheme of the world of creation. Otherwise, all names and attributes revolve round His Essence and circle about the threshold of His sanctuary. For He it is Who traineth all names, revealeth all attributes, conferreth life 66 upon all beings, proclaimeth the divine verses, and arrayeth the heavenly signs. Nay, shouldst thou gaze with thine inner eye, thou wouldst find that all save Him fade into utter nothingness and are as a thing forgotten in His holy presence. “God was alone; there was none else besides Him. He remaineth now what He hath ever been.” Since it hath been established that God – hallowed and glorified be He! – was alone and there was none besides Him, how can the law of change and transformation apply here? Shouldst thou reflect upon that which We have disclosed unto thee, the daystar of guidance would shine resplendent before thee in this everlasting morn, and thou wouldst be numbered therein with the pious.

    (Baha’u’llah, Gems of Divine Mysteries, p. 65)

    Perhaps it would seem from this that all the Names of God revolve around all the Manifestations.

  • Sincere Friend

    “Know then that all thou hast heard and witnessed that Daystar of Truth, the Primal Point, ascribe to Himself from the designations of former times is only on account of the weakness of men and the scheme of the world of creation. Otherwise, all names and attributes revolve round His Essence and circle about the threshold of His sanctuary. For He it is Who traineth all names, revealeth all attributes, conferreth life 66 upon all beings, proclaimeth the divine verses, and arrayeth the heavenly signs. Nay, shouldst thou gaze with thine inner eye, thou wouldst find that all save Him fade into utter nothingness and are as a thing forgotten in His holy presence. “God was alone; there was none else besides Him. He remaineth now what He hath ever been.” Since it hath been established that God – hallowed and glorified be He! – was alone and there was none besides Him, how can the law of change and transformation apply here? Shouldst thou reflect upon that which We have disclosed unto thee, the daystar of guidance would shine resplendent before thee in this everlasting morn, and thou wouldst be numbered therein with the pious.

    (Baha’u’llah, Gems of Divine Mysteries, p. 65)

    Perhaps it would seem from this that all the Names of God revolve around all the Manifestations.

  • Craig Parke

    Dear SF,

    To me the current Cosmic Test among the Baha’is is the same error that the human race keeps making over and over in that the REALITY of a Manifestation is a STATE OF CONSCIOUSNESS and ***NOT*** A PERSON. It is the UNIVERSAL LIGHT and NOT the SPECIFIC LAMP.

    The one common way of seeing is limited to the constrained effects of light as a PARTICLE. The other more insightful way of seeing awakens the quantum effects of light as a WAVE.

    The current BF has fallen into completely cheap, completely dumbed down, completely embarrassing disempowered dime store idolatry and has no liberating empowering spiritual power to advance the arts and sciences of the world with great skill and insight to solve the absolutely vital and pressing dire problems among all Mankind because people are “followers of Baha’u’llah” rather than”followers of Baha’u’llah’s CONSCIOUSNESS”.

    The difference in perception is as great an expanse in the effects of a “religion” amongst the affairs Mankind as between Heaven and Hell. The current dreary mistake is the same old, same old.

    After being amazed at the empowering insights of “Eternal Archetypal Return” in the Kitab-I-Iqan, I joined the Faith and cast my lot in with the Baha’is 36 years ago because I thought this religion could overcome the ancient curse. I was wrong. It couldn’t. It is a terrible, terrible tragedy.

    The Power of the Revelation will now go onto people who manifest the WAVE EFFECTS of Baha’ullah’s CONSCIOUSNESS whether they ever heard of Him or not. That community is no longer what is called the “Baha’i Faith”. The current spiritually illiterate version of the “Baha’i Faith” can only manifest completedly dumbed down limited PARTICLE EFFECTS.

    I am sorry, but my observation is that Divine Judgment has come. Amid the horrors of Two World Wars on the brink of a Third the Baha’is shot themselves in the foot decade after decade. To my mind “Partys over. Out of time”. It’s over for the so called “Baha’i Administartive Order”.

    But the Cosmic Power of the World Age WILL GO ON to other peoples and other spiritual communities across the wide planet who can manifest the WAVE EFFECTS of the new empowering CONSCIOUSNESS of the newly born World Age. That comes from the souls of individuals. Not “groups” of people who can DO NO REAL WORK of any kind. The text said “God loves thouse who work in groups”. Not those who are “incompetent in groups”.

    The difference is bottom up individual empowering and liberating “CONSCIOUSNESS” *NOT* dead organizational top down group stage managed worship of “A PERSON”.

    Best regards,

    Craig

  • Craig Parke

    Dear SF,

    To me the current Cosmic Test among the Baha’is is the same error that the human race keeps making over and over in that the REALITY of a Manifestation is a STATE OF CONSCIOUSNESS and ***NOT*** A PERSON. It is the UNIVERSAL LIGHT and NOT the SPECIFIC LAMP.

    The one common way of seeing is limited to the constrained effects of light as a PARTICLE. The other more insightful way of seeing awakens the quantum effects of light as a WAVE.

    The current BF has fallen into completely cheap, completely dumbed down, completely embarrassing disempowered dime store idolatry and has no liberating empowering spiritual power to advance the arts and sciences of the world with great skill and insight to solve the absolutely vital and pressing dire problems among all Mankind because people are “followers of Baha’u’llah” rather than”followers of Baha’u’llah’s CONSCIOUSNESS”.

    The difference in perception is as great an expanse in the effects of a “religion” amongst the affairs Mankind as between Heaven and Hell. The current dreary mistake is the same old, same old.

    After being amazed at the empowering insights of “Eternal Archetypal Return” in the Kitab-I-Iqan, I joined the Faith and cast my lot in with the Baha’is 36 years ago because I thought this religion could overcome the ancient curse. I was wrong. It couldn’t. It is a terrible, terrible tragedy.

    The Power of the Revelation will now go onto people who manifest the WAVE EFFECTS of Baha’ullah’s CONSCIOUSNESS whether they ever heard of Him or not. That community is no longer what is called the “Baha’i Faith”. The current spiritually illiterate version of the “Baha’i Faith” can only manifest completedly dumbed down limited PARTICLE EFFECTS.

    I am sorry, but my observation is that Divine Judgment has come. Amid the horrors of Two World Wars on the brink of a Third the Baha’is shot themselves in the foot decade after decade. To my mind “Partys over. Out of time”. It’s over for the so called “Baha’i Administartive Order”.

    But the Cosmic Power of the World Age WILL GO ON to other peoples and other spiritual communities across the wide planet who can manifest the WAVE EFFECTS of the new empowering CONSCIOUSNESS of the newly born World Age. That comes from the souls of individuals. Not “groups” of people who can DO NO REAL WORK of any kind. The text said “God loves thouse who work in groups”. Not those who are “incompetent in groups”.

    The difference is bottom up individual empowering and liberating “CONSCIOUSNESS” *NOT* dead organizational top down group stage managed worship of “A PERSON”.

    Best regards,

    Craig

  • Sincere Friend

    Dear Friend Craig,

    I agree with you about your comments on consciousness. In my mind thats what its all about, and in that respect you are certainly ahead of most people in your realizations.

    I think that with respect to the rest of the Bahai world and your observations of what is going on that perhaps we may yet all be surprised as I do not believe any one mind, except that of Its Author, can truly comprehend It. So I pray that you and I may have our hopes yet fulfilled by the Faith that you have come to love.

  • Sincere Friend

    Dear Friend Craig,

    I agree with you about your comments on consciousness. In my mind thats what its all about, and in that respect you are certainly ahead of most people in your realizations.

    I think that with respect to the rest of the Bahai world and your observations of what is going on that perhaps we may yet all be surprised as I do not believe any one mind, except that of Its Author, can truly comprehend It. So I pray that you and I may have our hopes yet fulfilled by the Faith that you have come to love.

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    I don’t wish to enter into a theological debate, really. There is an establish nomenclature if you will and different Prophets have different titles. For example, one of the Bab’s is the Primal Point, Baha’u’llah’s Blessed Beauty, Christ’s the Son, Mohammad’s the Seal, etc….

    If we start to apply the titles randomly to other Prophets, then it will only result in confusion. Furthermore, Baha’u’llah never referred to Himself as the Primal Point.

    However, this is a minor point among the larger discussion. I don’t wish to take a fruitful dialogue on a tangent.

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    I don’t wish to enter into a theological debate, really. There is an establish nomenclature if you will and different Prophets have different titles. For example, one of the Bab’s is the Primal Point, Baha’u’llah’s Blessed Beauty, Christ’s the Son, Mohammad’s the Seal, etc….

    If we start to apply the titles randomly to other Prophets, then it will only result in confusion. Furthermore, Baha’u’llah never referred to Himself as the Primal Point.

    However, this is a minor point among the larger discussion. I don’t wish to take a fruitful dialogue on a tangent.

  • Sincere Friend

    Dear Baquia you are correct in scholastic form but in essence They are all one, that is the point They make when they say, “He it is Who traineth all names, revealeth all attributes, conferreth life 66 upon all beings”. The Primal Point is not a title but a Name which reveals a reality that They all share.

    Not to digress only to clarify. Peace be upon Them and upon all of us who through Their grace we have been created.

  • Sincere Friend

    Dear Baquia you are correct in scholastic form but in essence They are all one, that is the point They make when they say, “He it is Who traineth all names, revealeth all attributes, conferreth life 66 upon all beings”. The Primal Point is not a title but a Name which reveals a reality that They all share.

    Not to digress only to clarify. Peace be upon Them and upon all of us who through Their grace we have been created.

  • bernie cain

    “One thing,and only one thing, will unfailingly and alone secure the undoubted triumph of this Sacred Cause,namely:the extent to which our own inner life and private character mirror forth, in their manifold aspects, the splendor of those eternal principles proclaimed by Baha’u’llah.”
    Shoghi Effendi.

    You Craig and I (each individual)must determine and cling to whatever we believe to be God’s desire for us. WE need to be triumphant, God is Self-sufficient.
    bernie.

  • bernie cain

    “One thing,and only one thing, will unfailingly and alone secure the undoubted triumph of this Sacred Cause,namely:the extent to which our own inner life and private character mirror forth, in their manifold aspects, the splendor of those eternal principles proclaimed by Baha’u’llah.”
    Shoghi Effendi.

    You Craig and I (each individual)must determine and cling to whatever we believe to be God’s desire for us. WE need to be triumphant, God is Self-sufficient.
    bernie.

  • Sincere Friend

    Yes there seems to be a magnetic influence when one lives the Bahai principles in ones life that imparts its effect even without speaking. Abdul Baha was noted for this kind of effect on people.

  • Sincere Friend

    Yes there seems to be a magnetic influence when one lives the Bahai principles in ones life that imparts its effect even without speaking. Abdul Baha was noted for this kind of effect on people.

  • http://twitter.com/otakuproxy Stephen Kent Gray

    Actually, Grover you don’t need a religion to be large to join unless you’re doing it because of the social dimension. I would still be a Guardianist, even if I was the only person on Earth besides the Gaurdian of the Cause of God, the Hands of the Cause of God, the International Baha’i Council, etc.