Iranians Curious About “Bahai”, Americans Not

Google, being the most widely used search engine, collects an unbelievably large amount of data about how we use the internet and what we search for. Since their motto is “Don’t be evil” they are rather transparent and open up a lot of this data, offering an intriguing view into what people around the world are curious about.

According to Google, a lot of folks are interested to learn more about the Baha’i Faith on the internet. The keyword “bahai” ranks at around 80, which is relatively high (out of 100). The trend over the past 4 years is moderately decreasing however.

Google also breaks down the search volume for keywords by geography. Perhaps you would be surprised to learn that, by far, the most curious, are Iranians:

bahai-internet-interest

According to Google, Iran’s search volume for the keyword Baha’ is 100 (the highest). I’m amazed to see such unbridled curiosity from the cradle of the Faith. Not just because I tend to read from most parts that people there are generally apathetic but also because of the technological limitations imposed by a nationwide firewall which rivals China’s.

If you drill down into the Iranian data, you discover that there has been a dramatic drop off in search volume for Baha’i in the past 4 years. It has gone from 100 to low double digits. Maybe that’s when the firewall went into effect. Or perhaps it was ratcheted up.

Understandably, the second spot goes to Israel, at a respectable 67. I don’t know about you, but I would be a tiny bit interested to learn more about this “Baha’i” thing if I had scores of Baha’is in my backyard every year.

Unfortunately for the proclamation efforts of the NSA of the United States, Americans are apathetic at an index reading of just 39. However, the people in the state of Illinois, for some strange reason, show the highest interest. Followed very closely by Alaska.

Another country scraping the bottom of the barrel in terms of interest is Chile. Hopefully once the Santiago Temple is finished, that will change things.

If you want to tinker with the data, here is the link for the Google Insight worldwide, and Iran specific search data.

  • ep

    Maybe all the searches on “bahai” from Iran were just the Shi’a thought police on the prowl looking to cleanse the universe of bahai impurity? after a while they probably realized now incompetent bahais are around the world, and turned their attention to more important things, like making sure the peasants and oppressed classes can get drunk as easily as possible so as to not bother the autoritarians in power in iran.

  • ep

    Maybe all the searches on “bahai” from Iran were just the Shi’a thought police on the prowl looking to cleanse the universe of bahai impurity? after a while they probably realized now incompetent bahais are around the world, and turned their attention to more important things, like making sure the peasants and oppressed classes can get drunk as easily as possible so as to not bother the autoritarians in power in iran.

  • David

    Hi Baquia,

    I think your description of what Google Insights tells us is a bit off. This is all normalized and scaled data that gives us info about a search term only *in relation to itself*. In other words, Google finds the day that the ratio of the key term to overall searches is highest, makes that equal to 100 and then tells you how all other days related to it. So, for example, the overall rank for Baha’i of 76 just means that in the average month the search volume is 76% of the highest month (March 2004). It gives no information about the actual number of searches, or how the key word compares to other key words (which I understand to be what you imply) – just how it compares to itself as a ratio over time. Same thing with regions – the region with the highest volume (not absolute number) becomes 100, everywhere else is compared against it.

    To get a sense of this, type in ‘Islam’ instead of ‘Baha’i’. The overall number is 67, but despite the temptation to compare this to the Baha’i 76, these numbers in fact aren’t comparable at all. The 67 only means, again, that the average month is 67% of the volume of the peak month (February 2006). The 76 and 67 are meaningless when compared to each other b/c they only make sense relative to themselves.

    What all this means is that Insights gives us a sense of internal movement, but absolutely no way of making comparisons or seeing absolute numbers. So the claim that Americans are apathetic because of the 39 doesn’t follow – all that tells us is that the volume (i.e., a normalized ratio not absolute number) is approximately 39% of Iran’s. That might be a huge number, it might be a small number – point is we don’t know from this data.

    What we can say is that the volume has decreased over time, but try Islam, Christianity or any other religion as a key-word instead and you get the same type of dip. I’d be suspicious of a claim that the absolute number of searches about religions is going down, so I suspect there’s something else going on having to do with the increase in overall searches of all kinds (so the ratio goes down) or changes in search habits (e.g., more use of wikipedia type sites).

    Best,
    David

  • David

    Hi Baquia,

    I think your description of what Google Insights tells us is a bit off. This is all normalized and scaled data that gives us info about a search term only *in relation to itself*. In other words, Google finds the day that the ratio of the key term to overall searches is highest, makes that equal to 100 and then tells you how all other days related to it. So, for example, the overall rank for Baha’i of 76 just means that in the average month the search volume is 76% of the highest month (March 2004). It gives no information about the actual number of searches, or how the key word compares to other key words (which I understand to be what you imply) – just how it compares to itself as a ratio over time. Same thing with regions – the region with the highest volume (not absolute number) becomes 100, everywhere else is compared against it.

    To get a sense of this, type in ‘Islam’ instead of ‘Baha’i’. The overall number is 67, but despite the temptation to compare this to the Baha’i 76, these numbers in fact aren’t comparable at all. The 67 only means, again, that the average month is 67% of the volume of the peak month (February 2006). The 76 and 67 are meaningless when compared to each other b/c they only make sense relative to themselves.

    What all this means is that Insights gives us a sense of internal movement, but absolutely no way of making comparisons or seeing absolute numbers. So the claim that Americans are apathetic because of the 39 doesn’t follow – all that tells us is that the volume (i.e., a normalized ratio not absolute number) is approximately 39% of Iran’s. That might be a huge number, it might be a small number – point is we don’t know from this data.

    What we can say is that the volume has decreased over time, but try Islam, Christianity or any other religion as a key-word instead and you get the same type of dip. I’d be suspicious of a claim that the absolute number of searches about religions is going down, so I suspect there’s something else going on having to do with the increase in overall searches of all kinds (so the ratio goes down) or changes in search habits (e.g., more use of wikipedia type sites).

    Best,
    David

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=””]

    David wrote:

    I’d be suspicious of a claim that the absolute number of searches about religions is going down, so I suspect there’s something else going on having to do with the increase in overall searches of all kinds (so the ratio goes down) or changes in search habits (e.g., more use of wikipedia type sites).

    Best,
    David[/quote]

    I would say that changes in search habits ARE happening and this very well could be a cause in the framework of this initial Google tracking methodology. People are often going directly to Wikipedia and other such search sites to search DIRECTLY there now. If someone put a Wikipedia link button directly into a browser tool bar (does anyone have this feature yet? I’ll have to check on the new Firefox 3? it WOULD have an effect over time on search patterns. So, I agree, this change is more a result of a change pattern in system usage than actual behavior.

    But people ARE getting sick of “religion” these days however. Too much bloodshed by fanatics, sociopaths, and not terribly bright people. People seem to search more on what celebrity is having a nervous breakdown this week. Better that than studying the nervous breakdowns of the world in general. It is on a more understandable human scale.

    Here is where “religion” goes these days on this planet of cosmically illiterate morons:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zMseIGe-YvE

    I myself believe there IS a God, but the beings on this planet are utterly incapable of understanding or discussing anything about even the concept. And that includes the “Divine Manifestations”. I believe every soul sent to this world has committed some terrible, unspeakable crime in some other Universe and that is why all of us have been sent here to start over and try to figure things out. As of yet our grade as a species is “F” for failure.

    The only good thing we have yet achieved on this planet in all these millions of years of evolution is Rock and Roll. That’s it.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hjy7RAu8TJ4

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=””]

    David wrote:

    I’d be suspicious of a claim that the absolute number of searches about religions is going down, so I suspect there’s something else going on having to do with the increase in overall searches of all kinds (so the ratio goes down) or changes in search habits (e.g., more use of wikipedia type sites).

    Best,
    David[/quote]

    I would say that changes in search habits ARE happening and this very well could be a cause in the framework of this initial Google tracking methodology. People are often going directly to Wikipedia and other such search sites to search DIRECTLY there now. If someone put a Wikipedia link button directly into a browser tool bar (does anyone have this feature yet? I’ll have to check on the new Firefox 3? it WOULD have an effect over time on search patterns. So, I agree, this change is more a result of a change pattern in system usage than actual behavior.

    But people ARE getting sick of “religion” these days however. Too much bloodshed by fanatics, sociopaths, and not terribly bright people. People seem to search more on what celebrity is having a nervous breakdown this week. Better that than studying the nervous breakdowns of the world in general. It is on a more understandable human scale.

    Here is where “religion” goes these days on this planet of cosmically illiterate morons:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zMseIGe-YvE

    I myself believe there IS a God, but the beings on this planet are utterly incapable of understanding or discussing anything about even the concept. And that includes the “Divine Manifestations”. I believe every soul sent to this world has committed some terrible, unspeakable crime in some other Universe and that is why all of us have been sent here to start over and try to figure things out. As of yet our grade as a species is “F” for failure.

    The only good thing we have yet achieved on this planet in all these millions of years of evolution is Rock and Roll. That’s it.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hjy7RAu8TJ4

  • Craig Parke

    Here is another goodie from Leon.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7sXGT0WhFnU

    LR looks good here. Willie does too. And RC.

    After all these years of having once played a lot of Leon’s music, I finally got to see him in person just two weeks before 9/11 back in 2001. It was in a little town arts festival in rural PA. His tour bus was the biggest vehicle parked in the town that night. He played on the front porch of a old red brick YMCA to no more than 600 people across an open lawn on a starry night. Leon Russell was the greatest touring rock act in the world in 1974. His music is very spiritual. There are many Sufi like levels of cosmic insight in his music. That is why he has such a huge lifetime following to the people who get it. He plays probably well over 120 dates a year in small clubs and theaters. He still has a very dedicated life long following of fans who just love him. The Master of Time and Space on the keyboard.

    I was standing about twenty-five feet from him when he arrived. Both his son and daughter played in the band. They helped him up onto the stage. He played song after song for a solid two hours. I finally got to see him in person after all these years.

    It was fabulous!

    Every one have a nice weekend!

    And if you are in the way of any Russian or Georgian tanks tonight and go under the steel treads to your death, just remember it is just “God’s work” as the All Highest GMAN said.

  • Craig Parke

    Here is another goodie from Leon.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7sXGT0WhFnU

    LR looks good here. Willie does too. And RC.

    After all these years of having once played a lot of Leon’s music, I finally got to see him in person just two weeks before 9/11 back in 2001. It was in a little town arts festival in rural PA. His tour bus was the biggest vehicle parked in the town that night. He played on the front porch of a old red brick YMCA to no more than 600 people across an open lawn on a starry night. Leon Russell was the greatest touring rock act in the world in 1974. His music is very spiritual. There are many Sufi like levels of cosmic insight in his music. That is why he has such a huge lifetime following to the people who get it. He plays probably well over 120 dates a year in small clubs and theaters. He still has a very dedicated life long following of fans who just love him. The Master of Time and Space on the keyboard.

    I was standing about twenty-five feet from him when he arrived. Both his son and daughter played in the band. They helped him up onto the stage. He played song after song for a solid two hours. I finally got to see him in person after all these years.

    It was fabulous!

    Every one have a nice weekend!

    And if you are in the way of any Russian or Georgian tanks tonight and go under the steel treads to your death, just remember it is just “God’s work” as the All Highest GMAN said.

  • Steven

    you can compare Islam and Baha’i in approximate, but concrete terms

  • Steven

    you can compare Islam and Baha’i in approximate, but concrete terms

  • Sincere Friend

    As pointed out in the earlier post regarding how the numbers are arrived at, I think the conclusion that the overall numbers of searches is declining, is indicative of the bias of the articles author, which seems to be to diminish the Faith at every opportunity, as anyone who reads earlier articles will see.

  • Sincere Friend

    As pointed out in the earlier post regarding how the numbers are arrived at, I think the conclusion that the overall numbers of searches is declining, is indicative of the bias of the articles author, which seems to be to diminish the Faith at every opportunity, as anyone who reads earlier articles will see.

  • Concourse on Low

    Sincere Friend,

    In your view, is it possible that Baquia simply made a mistake, that s/he simply misunderstood the numbers?

    It seems to me that your claim is indicative of the Bahai knee-jerk response to cast aspersions on anyone who doesn’t march in lockstep with Bahai officaldom.

  • Concourse on Low

    Sincere Friend,

    In your view, is it possible that Baquia simply made a mistake, that s/he simply misunderstood the numbers?

    It seems to me that your claim is indicative of the Bahai knee-jerk response to cast aspersions on anyone who doesn’t march in lockstep with Bahai officaldom.

  • Bird

    Thank you for the new subject Baquia!

    My first intuition of the information of the high % of hits in Iran is that there is where the actual bloodline of Baha’u’llah lives. Maybe the living blood being excommunicated from within it’s own, combined the interpretation that Bah?’? religion is to the followers the omega of God’s word for the next 900+ years, naturally sparks the curiously of those who seek to understand what is going on, especially people tied with Zionist according to their own government. One consideration for sure must be that the source is close to the source, the bloodline.

    I would like to see the statistics or a report that graphs the content increase per ?key word? data over the last 10 years. In 1996 when one would key word ?Bah?’?? it was all pretty cool stuff from around the world, teaching stories, successes … Then something happened in late 97’ and it just spiraled into a mega, 2,150,000 hits as of 08/08/08 (infinity day, not another one like it for 100 years ~~~(cool huh)~~~. The scanned actual documents of Ruth White’s efforts to authenticate the LWT of Abul’Baha from the Library of Congress were not available then, now they are. Everything conceivable an inconceivable is being added daily, especially in here 😉

    NO HOLDS BAR and BAR NONE that is the internet!

    There is still a lot of unanswered questions and as long as that exist, so apropos to post it on infinity day, to infinity and beyond for them.

    Much obliged for your efforts and reporting skills.

    Bird
    * I ment to post this yesterday 08/08/08

  • Bird

    Thank you for the new subject Baquia!

    My first intuition of the information of the high % of hits in Iran is that there is where the actual bloodline of Baha’u’llah lives. Maybe the living blood being excommunicated from within it’s own, combined the interpretation that Bah?’? religion is to the followers the omega of God’s word for the next 900+ years, naturally sparks the curiously of those who seek to understand what is going on, especially people tied with Zionist according to their own government. One consideration for sure must be that the source is close to the source, the bloodline.

    I would like to see the statistics or a report that graphs the content increase per ?key word? data over the last 10 years. In 1996 when one would key word ?Bah?’?? it was all pretty cool stuff from around the world, teaching stories, successes … Then something happened in late 97’ and it just spiraled into a mega, 2,150,000 hits as of 08/08/08 (infinity day, not another one like it for 100 years ~~~(cool huh)~~~. The scanned actual documents of Ruth White’s efforts to authenticate the LWT of Abul’Baha from the Library of Congress were not available then, now they are. Everything conceivable an inconceivable is being added daily, especially in here 😉

    NO HOLDS BAR and BAR NONE that is the internet!

    There is still a lot of unanswered questions and as long as that exist, so apropos to post it on infinity day, to infinity and beyond for them.

    Much obliged for your efforts and reporting skills.

    Bird
    * I ment to post this yesterday 08/08/08

  • Craig Parke

    Hi Bird,

    Good observation.

    The Internet is adding information good and bad about EVERY ORGANIZATION on Earth minute by minute daily. The ONLY PUBLIC DEFENSE for ANY ORGANIZATION for the next one thousand years is scrupulous justice, fair dealing, and WORLD CLASS COMPETENCE in EVERYTHING the organization does at EVERY LEVEL 24/7/365/1000. This will be the simple truth. It will be merciless. It is from the Maid of Heaven – the Spirit of the World Age. She is One Tough Iron Lady. Everyone better get used to this level of worldwide public scrutiny. Absolutely nothing can be hidden now.

    You get elected or appointed to ANY organization ON EARTH ANYWHERE for the NEXT ONE THOUSAND YEARS and you had better bring your A GAME and know what you are doing. You better have morals and ethics, you had better practice what you preach, and most of all, you had better be ONE HUNDRED PERCENT COMPETENT AS A HUMAN BEING.

    Otherwise, it will be curtains and MERCILESS WORLDWIDE PUBLIC EVALUATION at any time just like how an LSA evaluates a person for service on a Committee as part of their official duties. Term limits will eventually come in the Baha’i Faith (two terms of five years each max on the UHJ – eight years total lifetime service on an NSA worldwide) because THE FIERCE PUBLIC HEAT OF THE INTERNET WILL BE TOO MUCH. The closed bubble these people are living in will eventually pop.

    I also predict that the individual members of the UHJ will also eventually stop giving public speeches of their own personal opinions to captive audiences using their “elected” positions because the heat will just be too much. Traveling the world giving one’s personal opinions in speeches just isn’t in their job description and never was and the UHJ will eventually recognize that themselves when fully mature people start getting elected to that body.

    Deeds not words. If you are an idiot and if you are incredibly incompetent in your elected or appointed office IN ANY ORGANIZATION ON EARTH the world will now learn about it overnight at the speed of light.

    Every person on Earth now has the editorial power of the New York Times. Even having a good lawyer on retainer won’t help.

    Times have changed from 1994 when the BAO apparently tried to control what anyone said in every “Baha’i” moment of Internet access on the early List Servers. It’s all kind of quaint now.

    Welcome to the New Day.

    The thing that matters most now in this new world of information overload is the ability to manifest mature critical thought to discern truth from falsity. There is very little of that now in the dumbed down Ruhiized Faith. But there once was plenty of it in the once great free thinking, free wheeling bottom up Baha’i Faith. It was once one of our greatest assets. No more. All that ability and skill is completely dissipated and wasted now. Anyone capable of critical thinking will be hounded out of the top down NEWTHINK Baha’i Faith now. You have to check your mind at the door once you sign a card. That is the new price of membership. Truly, a terrible, terrible human tragedy. Only organizations of people capable of ruthlessly skilled critical thought will achieve and retain any kind of power in the real world now.

    Everyone have a nice weekend!

  • Craig Parke

    Hi Bird,

    Good observation.

    The Internet is adding information good and bad about EVERY ORGANIZATION on Earth minute by minute daily. The ONLY PUBLIC DEFENSE for ANY ORGANIZATION for the next one thousand years is scrupulous justice, fair dealing, and WORLD CLASS COMPETENCE in EVERYTHING the organization does at EVERY LEVEL 24/7/365/1000. This will be the simple truth. It will be merciless. It is from the Maid of Heaven – the Spirit of the World Age. She is One Tough Iron Lady. Everyone better get used to this level of worldwide public scrutiny. Absolutely nothing can be hidden now.

    You get elected or appointed to ANY organization ON EARTH ANYWHERE for the NEXT ONE THOUSAND YEARS and you had better bring your A GAME and know what you are doing. You better have morals and ethics, you had better practice what you preach, and most of all, you had better be ONE HUNDRED PERCENT COMPETENT AS A HUMAN BEING.

    Otherwise, it will be curtains and MERCILESS WORLDWIDE PUBLIC EVALUATION at any time just like how an LSA evaluates a person for service on a Committee as part of their official duties. Term limits will eventually come in the Baha’i Faith (two terms of five years each max on the UHJ – eight years total lifetime service on an NSA worldwide) because THE FIERCE PUBLIC HEAT OF THE INTERNET WILL BE TOO MUCH. The closed bubble these people are living in will eventually pop.

    I also predict that the individual members of the UHJ will also eventually stop giving public speeches of their own personal opinions to captive audiences using their “elected” positions because the heat will just be too much. Traveling the world giving one’s personal opinions in speeches just isn’t in their job description and never was and the UHJ will eventually recognize that themselves when fully mature people start getting elected to that body.

    Deeds not words. If you are an idiot and if you are incredibly incompetent in your elected or appointed office IN ANY ORGANIZATION ON EARTH the world will now learn about it overnight at the speed of light.

    Every person on Earth now has the editorial power of the New York Times. Even having a good lawyer on retainer won’t help.

    Times have changed from 1994 when the BAO apparently tried to control what anyone said in every “Baha’i” moment of Internet access on the early List Servers. It’s all kind of quaint now.

    Welcome to the New Day.

    The thing that matters most now in this new world of information overload is the ability to manifest mature critical thought to discern truth from falsity. There is very little of that now in the dumbed down Ruhiized Faith. But there once was plenty of it in the once great free thinking, free wheeling bottom up Baha’i Faith. It was once one of our greatest assets. No more. All that ability and skill is completely dissipated and wasted now. Anyone capable of critical thinking will be hounded out of the top down NEWTHINK Baha’i Faith now. You have to check your mind at the door once you sign a card. That is the new price of membership. Truly, a terrible, terrible human tragedy. Only organizations of people capable of ruthlessly skilled critical thought will achieve and retain any kind of power in the real world now.

    Everyone have a nice weekend!

  • [quote comment=”54441″]you can compare Islam and Baha’i in approximate, but concrete terms[/quote]

    Thank you. I didn’t know you could compare two keywords like that.

    [quote comment=”54463″]As pointed out in the earlier post regarding how the numbers are arrived at, I think the conclusion that the overall numbers of searches is declining, is indicative of the bias of the articles author, which seems to be to diminish the Faith at every opportunity, as anyone who reads earlier articles will see.[/quote]

    SF, what I wrote were simply facts, as best as I could discern them at the time. If I was wrong, I’m glad to learn and change my position. This is how I try to operate. What do you do?

  • [quote comment=”54441″]you can compare Islam and Baha’i in approximate, but concrete terms[/quote]

    Thank you. I didn’t know you could compare two keywords like that.

    [quote comment=”54463″]As pointed out in the earlier post regarding how the numbers are arrived at, I think the conclusion that the overall numbers of searches is declining, is indicative of the bias of the articles author, which seems to be to diminish the Faith at every opportunity, as anyone who reads earlier articles will see.[/quote]

    SF, what I wrote were simply facts, as best as I could discern them at the time. If I was wrong, I’m glad to learn and change my position. This is how I try to operate. What do you do?

  • Craig Parke
  • Craig Parke
  • Grover

    That’s a really handy tool Google have provided. Thanks Steve for mentioning being able to compare search data for Islam and Baha’i. I tried it for a range of different religions and noted that Baha’i was consistently getting low results compared to Buddhism or Buddhist, Hinduism or Hindu, Islam and Christianity, not surprising considering that all those religions are much much large than the Baha’i Faith. You can do it for more than two search terms, so I tried it for all five:

    http://www.google.com/insights/search/#cat=&q=hindu%2Cbuddhist%2Cislam%2Cchristian%2Cbaha'i&geo=&date=&clp=&cmpt=q

    and if you go down the page a bit you can check regions of interest for particular religions, and the Baha’i Faith doesn’t really feature in any of them.

    So much for entry by troops.

    [quote post=”518″]As pointed out in the earlier post regarding how the numbers are arrived at, I think the conclusion that the overall numbers of searches is declining, is indicative of the bias of the articles author, which seems to be to diminish the Faith at every opportunity, as anyone who reads earlier articles will see.[/quote]

    Honestly Sincere Friend, how can you interpret it otherwise? If there was growing receptivity as the UHJ claims in its letters, surely that would be reflected in increasing internet searches for the Faith. What Baquia has put up is really good evidence to prove otherwise.

  • Grover

    That’s a really handy tool Google have provided. Thanks Steve for mentioning being able to compare search data for Islam and Baha’i. I tried it for a range of different religions and noted that Baha’i was consistently getting low results compared to Buddhism or Buddhist, Hinduism or Hindu, Islam and Christianity, not surprising considering that all those religions are much much large than the Baha’i Faith. You can do it for more than two search terms, so I tried it for all five:

    http://www.google.com/insights/search/#cat=&q=hindu%2Cbuddhist%2Cislam%2Cchristian%2Cbaha'i&geo=&date=&clp=&cmpt=q

    and if you go down the page a bit you can check regions of interest for particular religions, and the Baha’i Faith doesn’t really feature in any of them.

    So much for entry by troops.

    [quote post=”518″]As pointed out in the earlier post regarding how the numbers are arrived at, I think the conclusion that the overall numbers of searches is declining, is indicative of the bias of the articles author, which seems to be to diminish the Faith at every opportunity, as anyone who reads earlier articles will see.[/quote]

    Honestly Sincere Friend, how can you interpret it otherwise? If there was growing receptivity as the UHJ claims in its letters, surely that would be reflected in increasing internet searches for the Faith. What Baquia has put up is really good evidence to prove otherwise.

  • TerrB

    Grover stated: [quote comment=””]
    So much for entry by troops.
    .[/quote]

    “Entry by troops” doesn’t necessarily have to be reflected in internet queries does it?

    If one wants to select a reflection of what makes the world go around via internet methods, then the world would be viewed as simply concerned with sex as that industry has proven to be the most successful enterprise on the internet. But that idea isn’t so when looking at the entire use of the internet.

    David provides a rather good explanation of internet statistics rendered by the common data gathering machine when he states the searches are based upon a reference “peak”. What the trends may indicate is either an interest that is climbing, or one declining according to a recent standard, and those trends may be relative and influenced by current political events. Basically, people want to know the truth about something and when told that something is bad. Because the internet is close, they will search. In this case (Iran) perhaps it would be interesting to examine the Baha’i political persecution aspects in Iran vs. internet search. Do they correspond? It’s the same with all search stats. That is, the type of events that are compelling people to search for any truth may be events happening around them. In the case of Iran, it is well known that the Iranian gov’t has a “programme” of subjecting the Baha’is to wholesale instances of persecution.

    “Entry by troops” is not a simple statement that stands alone without viewing all aspects. I would suggest an expansion of understanding be generated and the centering of thought toward only the obvious be discarded.

  • TerrB

    Grover stated: [quote comment=””]
    So much for entry by troops.
    .[/quote]

    “Entry by troops” doesn’t necessarily have to be reflected in internet queries does it?

    If one wants to select a reflection of what makes the world go around via internet methods, then the world would be viewed as simply concerned with sex as that industry has proven to be the most successful enterprise on the internet. But that idea isn’t so when looking at the entire use of the internet.

    David provides a rather good explanation of internet statistics rendered by the common data gathering machine when he states the searches are based upon a reference “peak”. What the trends may indicate is either an interest that is climbing, or one declining according to a recent standard, and those trends may be relative and influenced by current political events. Basically, people want to know the truth about something and when told that something is bad. Because the internet is close, they will search. In this case (Iran) perhaps it would be interesting to examine the Baha’i political persecution aspects in Iran vs. internet search. Do they correspond? It’s the same with all search stats. That is, the type of events that are compelling people to search for any truth may be events happening around them. In the case of Iran, it is well known that the Iranian gov’t has a “programme” of subjecting the Baha’is to wholesale instances of persecution.

    “Entry by troops” is not a simple statement that stands alone without viewing all aspects. I would suggest an expansion of understanding be generated and the centering of thought toward only the obvious be discarded.

  • Grover

    Well, I would have thought that increased receptivity towards the Faith would have increased internet searches regarding the Faith. In fact you would also expect to see increased searches for material against the Faith by those who percieve the Faith to be a threat. Its simple and measurable. Likewise with entry by troops, you would expect people to be finding out as much as they could (using the internet as one easily accessible source of information) before and after signing the cards.

    On the plus sde, we are doing better than Zoroastrianism…

  • Grover

    Well, I would have thought that increased receptivity towards the Faith would have increased internet searches regarding the Faith. In fact you would also expect to see increased searches for material against the Faith by those who percieve the Faith to be a threat. Its simple and measurable. Likewise with entry by troops, you would expect people to be finding out as much as they could (using the internet as one easily accessible source of information) before and after signing the cards.

    On the plus sde, we are doing better than Zoroastrianism…

  • Sincere Friend

    What Do I Do?

    I observe what is written over time and see the contexts, the agendas, and where the biases lay. You are not entirely about truth as you pretend to be but about promoting your agenda of corrosive criticism because of some offense you have taken.

    You cant claim to be all about truth when you react to any personal criticism by pulling out polemics like, “knee jerk reactions”, etc.

  • Sincere Friend

    What Do I Do?

    I observe what is written over time and see the contexts, the agendas, and where the biases lay. You are not entirely about truth as you pretend to be but about promoting your agenda of corrosive criticism because of some offense you have taken.

    You cant claim to be all about truth when you react to any personal criticism by pulling out polemics like, “knee jerk reactions”, etc.

  • Concourse on Low

    Insincere Friend,

    If you’re addressing Baquia, I was the one who used the term “knee jerk reaction.”

    Your comment speaks for itself.

  • Concourse on Low

    Insincere Friend,

    If you’re addressing Baquia, I was the one who used the term “knee jerk reaction.”

    Your comment speaks for itself.

  • Sincere Friend

    With respect to the posts declaring this the age of great internet information freedom. Are you watching what is going on in China, Iran, Tunisia and other totalitarian states? This is coming to your hometown ISP soon too. The plans are underway to for all subscription ISPs to carry only large “content providers”(read main stream media) available for the base subscription with access to other sites that are not mainstream to have access only on an additional fee basis. With ISPs being bought up by media conglomerates this is the new future of the internet my friends. See if it doenst happen within the lifetime of this blog. For those of you who doubt this prediction read my posts from 10 months ago about the looming mortgage crisis. Everyone who responded, particularly our host, said I was out of my mind that no everything is fine economically.

    The lesson of history is the bureaucrats always win. Unless there is a revolution where they are swept away or they collapse due to their own corruption or incompetence, but then we humans just build them up again. As so many have said, the price of freedom is vigilance. As long as religion is organized we will have the problems that we complain about here in our Faith. It is simply the nature of the beast.

    Would someone find an organization – commercial, religious, educational, governmental, etc. – that one can not make the same complaints about? Please tell me I would like to study it. For God’s sake even our own parents screw things up.

    As soon as dealing with people becomes systematized there is no more dealing with individuals only with categories. Dealing with categories makes it more efficient for particular purposes(i.e. sending packages, serving meals, doing day surgery), but less responsive to the individualized realities that are part of real life.

  • Sincere Friend

    With respect to the posts declaring this the age of great internet information freedom. Are you watching what is going on in China, Iran, Tunisia and other totalitarian states? This is coming to your hometown ISP soon too. The plans are underway to for all subscription ISPs to carry only large “content providers”(read main stream media) available for the base subscription with access to other sites that are not mainstream to have access only on an additional fee basis. With ISPs being bought up by media conglomerates this is the new future of the internet my friends. See if it doenst happen within the lifetime of this blog. For those of you who doubt this prediction read my posts from 10 months ago about the looming mortgage crisis. Everyone who responded, particularly our host, said I was out of my mind that no everything is fine economically.

    The lesson of history is the bureaucrats always win. Unless there is a revolution where they are swept away or they collapse due to their own corruption or incompetence, but then we humans just build them up again. As so many have said, the price of freedom is vigilance. As long as religion is organized we will have the problems that we complain about here in our Faith. It is simply the nature of the beast.

    Would someone find an organization – commercial, religious, educational, governmental, etc. – that one can not make the same complaints about? Please tell me I would like to study it. For God’s sake even our own parents screw things up.

    As soon as dealing with people becomes systematized there is no more dealing with individuals only with categories. Dealing with categories makes it more efficient for particular purposes(i.e. sending packages, serving meals, doing day surgery), but less responsive to the individualized realities that are part of real life.

  • ep

    SD-

    You are neither sincere, or friendly. As such, you appear to just another predictable, boring, dishonest bahai hypocrit defending stasis, dysfunctional organization, etc.

    In other words, look at yourself for an “agenda” that is biased.

    The simple proof of your bias is the use of the word “corrosive”, which is internal bahai “code” for “a nonconformist that has to be attacked”.

    You are simply providing another example, on top of a giant mountain of similar examples, of the ritualized violence that takes place within bahai culture against any critic, dissident, or nonconformist.

    The world is moving away, very rapidly for the most part, from these kind of ritualized medieval inquisitions that take place as part of “normal” bahai life.

    One of the reasons that there aren’t “entry by troops” is because of the many bahais like youself that are stuck in the Dark Ages.

    [quote comment=””]What Do I Do?

    I observe what is written over time and see the contexts, the agendas, and where the biases lay. You are not entirely about truth as you pretend to be but about promoting your agenda of corrosive criticism because of some offense you have taken.

    You cant claim to be all about truth when you react to any personal criticism by pulling out polemics like, “knee jerk reactions”, etc.[/quote]

  • ep

    SD-

    You are neither sincere, or friendly. As such, you appear to just another predictable, boring, dishonest bahai hypocrit defending stasis, dysfunctional organization, etc.

    In other words, look at yourself for an “agenda” that is biased.

    The simple proof of your bias is the use of the word “corrosive”, which is internal bahai “code” for “a nonconformist that has to be attacked”.

    You are simply providing another example, on top of a giant mountain of similar examples, of the ritualized violence that takes place within bahai culture against any critic, dissident, or nonconformist.

    The world is moving away, very rapidly for the most part, from these kind of ritualized medieval inquisitions that take place as part of “normal” bahai life.

    One of the reasons that there aren’t “entry by troops” is because of the many bahais like youself that are stuck in the Dark Ages.

    [quote comment=””]What Do I Do?

    I observe what is written over time and see the contexts, the agendas, and where the biases lay. You are not entirely about truth as you pretend to be but about promoting your agenda of corrosive criticism because of some offense you have taken.

    You cant claim to be all about truth when you react to any personal criticism by pulling out polemics like, “knee jerk reactions”, etc.[/quote]

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=”54492″]

    Sincere Friend wrote:

    … The lesson of history is the bureaucrats always win. Unless there is a revolution where they are swept away or they collapse due to their own corruption or incompetence, but then we humans just build them up again. As so many have said, the price of freedom is vigilance. As long as religion is organized we will have the problems that we complain about here in our Faith. It is simply the nature of the beast.

    …As soon as dealing with people becomes systematized there is no more dealing with individuals only with categories. Dealing with categories makes it more efficient for particular purposes(i.e. sending packages, serving meals, doing day surgery), but less responsive to the individualized realities that are part of real life.[/quote]

    SF,

    Holy Shite!

    You are starting to sound like, well, ME!

    Soon you may be quoting, well, uh, Thomas Jefferson, then, well, uh, maybe even Lord Acton! Damn! Then I will know you have really drunk the Divine Rational Anti-Kool Aid of post Renaissance political enlightenment (which is really practical observational analysis of organizational psychology in terms of the 18th Century which basically says ALL human beings are TOTALLY INSANE and CANNOT be individually trusted with ANY kind of power whatsoever so there HAVE to be checks and balances put upon them in some kind of formal mutually agreed upon system for the safety of all citizens.

    I am very heartened to see you coming around to the viewpoint of many here among the rebel underground! The checks and balances on the immature lifetime incumbent embarrassing boys and girls now currently running the Baha’i Faith in a very badly written hack version of “Lord of the Flys” will be the mature educated men and women that will post on the Internet over the next 1,000 years. People who understand the brass knuckles of checks and balances by the sword of the pen. People who understand that sometimes you have to be able to administer a knee kick to someone’s privates to get them to snap out of their derangement. It will be merciless.

    You are entirely right to indirectly imply in your analogy that the Baha’i Faith will itself, MOST CERTAINLY, try to shut down the Internet if and when the Faith ever comes to any real power in the world just like the mindset of the self appointed control freaks running the Chinese Communist Party and the dip shit sociopaths of the clergy systems of Islam. It goes with the archetypal projection mindset of the Super Mommy – Super Daddy top down Super Ideological Projection Nanny State. Just read Peter Khan’s speeches. Get nine Peter Khan’s running the show somewhere down the road in the future and every keyboard on Earth will be monitored and people will be arrested by the Thought Police and sent to the camps and eventually up the chimneys.

    But to counter all that some radical I heard about once taught that we should see through our own eyes and not through the eyes of others. Some radical I heard about once taught that religious and political leaders that are full of shit are going to have their power taken from them.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Px3nBTLZCQ

    So I am proud of you SF! It seems by this post today that you are secretly starting to put your glasses on sometimes. You are even starting to sound a little paranoid. It is a nice charming touch to your post!

    “Unless there is a revolution where they are swept away or they collapse due to their own corruption or incompetence, but then we humans just build them up again. As so many have said, the price of freedom is vigilance. As long as religion is organized we will have the problems that we complain about here in our Faith. It is simply the nature of the beast.”

    Wow! Wow! Wow!

    Best regards and have a nice weekend!

    Your true brother,

    Craig

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=”54492″]

    Sincere Friend wrote:

    … The lesson of history is the bureaucrats always win. Unless there is a revolution where they are swept away or they collapse due to their own corruption or incompetence, but then we humans just build them up again. As so many have said, the price of freedom is vigilance. As long as religion is organized we will have the problems that we complain about here in our Faith. It is simply the nature of the beast.

    …As soon as dealing with people becomes systematized there is no more dealing with individuals only with categories. Dealing with categories makes it more efficient for particular purposes(i.e. sending packages, serving meals, doing day surgery), but less responsive to the individualized realities that are part of real life.[/quote]

    SF,

    Holy Shite!

    You are starting to sound like, well, ME!

    Soon you may be quoting, well, uh, Thomas Jefferson, then, well, uh, maybe even Lord Acton! Damn! Then I will know you have really drunk the Divine Rational Anti-Kool Aid of post Renaissance political enlightenment (which is really practical observational analysis of organizational psychology in terms of the 18th Century which basically says ALL human beings are TOTALLY INSANE and CANNOT be individually trusted with ANY kind of power whatsoever so there HAVE to be checks and balances put upon them in some kind of formal mutually agreed upon system for the safety of all citizens.

    I am very heartened to see you coming around to the viewpoint of many here among the rebel underground! The checks and balances on the immature lifetime incumbent embarrassing boys and girls now currently running the Baha’i Faith in a very badly written hack version of “Lord of the Flys” will be the mature educated men and women that will post on the Internet over the next 1,000 years. People who understand the brass knuckles of checks and balances by the sword of the pen. People who understand that sometimes you have to be able to administer a knee kick to someone’s privates to get them to snap out of their derangement. It will be merciless.

    You are entirely right to indirectly imply in your analogy that the Baha’i Faith will itself, MOST CERTAINLY, try to shut down the Internet if and when the Faith ever comes to any real power in the world just like the mindset of the self appointed control freaks running the Chinese Communist Party and the dip shit sociopaths of the clergy systems of Islam. It goes with the archetypal projection mindset of the Super Mommy – Super Daddy top down Super Ideological Projection Nanny State. Just read Peter Khan’s speeches. Get nine Peter Khan’s running the show somewhere down the road in the future and every keyboard on Earth will be monitored and people will be arrested by the Thought Police and sent to the camps and eventually up the chimneys.

    But to counter all that some radical I heard about once taught that we should see through our own eyes and not through the eyes of others. Some radical I heard about once taught that religious and political leaders that are full of shit are going to have their power taken from them.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Px3nBTLZCQ

    So I am proud of you SF! It seems by this post today that you are secretly starting to put your glasses on sometimes. You are even starting to sound a little paranoid. It is a nice charming touch to your post!

    “Unless there is a revolution where they are swept away or they collapse due to their own corruption or incompetence, but then we humans just build them up again. As so many have said, the price of freedom is vigilance. As long as religion is organized we will have the problems that we complain about here in our Faith. It is simply the nature of the beast.”

    Wow! Wow! Wow!

    Best regards and have a nice weekend!

    Your true brother,

    Craig

  • TerrB

    [quote comment=”54488″]Well, I would have thought that increased receptivity towards the Faith would have increased internet searches regarding the Faith. In fact you would also expect to see increased searches for material against the Faith by those who percieve the Faith to be a threat. Its simple and measurable. Likewise with entry by troops, you would expect people to be finding out as much as they could (using the internet as one easily accessible source of information) before and after signing the cards.

    On the plus sde, we are doing better than Zoroastrianism…[/quote]

    Yes, and no. Yes, I agree, one would expect to see an increase. On the other hand it seems as if the people who are sincere in their search may be going to the “official” Baha’i websites – rather than just searching. You can tell that by the messages put out by the Universal House of Justice as they document activity and membership increases. What this may mean is that there is a growing body of people not “searching” but typing the URL in directly.

    As for those hostile to the Faith, perhaps they are searching. Perhaps, however, viewing the opinion from traditional clergy as complete truth (without investigating it themselves) they tend to stay away from what they believe as heresy.

    I’m sorry, but I do not understand what you are referencing when you state “we are doing better than Zoroastrianism”. Does that mean the stats and reasons for what is cursory and addressed prior are being ignored? Defining what “better” is with respect to political drama, physical conditions, and monetary abilities may be needed don’t you think?

  • TerrB

    [quote comment=”54488″]Well, I would have thought that increased receptivity towards the Faith would have increased internet searches regarding the Faith. In fact you would also expect to see increased searches for material against the Faith by those who percieve the Faith to be a threat. Its simple and measurable. Likewise with entry by troops, you would expect people to be finding out as much as they could (using the internet as one easily accessible source of information) before and after signing the cards.

    On the plus sde, we are doing better than Zoroastrianism…[/quote]

    Yes, and no. Yes, I agree, one would expect to see an increase. On the other hand it seems as if the people who are sincere in their search may be going to the “official” Baha’i websites – rather than just searching. You can tell that by the messages put out by the Universal House of Justice as they document activity and membership increases. What this may mean is that there is a growing body of people not “searching” but typing the URL in directly.

    As for those hostile to the Faith, perhaps they are searching. Perhaps, however, viewing the opinion from traditional clergy as complete truth (without investigating it themselves) they tend to stay away from what they believe as heresy.

    I’m sorry, but I do not understand what you are referencing when you state “we are doing better than Zoroastrianism”. Does that mean the stats and reasons for what is cursory and addressed prior are being ignored? Defining what “better” is with respect to political drama, physical conditions, and monetary abilities may be needed don’t you think?

  • ep

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Integral_theory_(philosophy)

    SF-

    Your prediction about the sub-prime meltdown was good, but not too hard. Paul Gigot was writing about it 5 years ago in the WSJ, but the banking industry lobbyists bought off most of congress to stop investigations and hearings. both major political parties were/are complicit.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121677050160675397.html?mod=fpa_editors_picks

    50% of the population in industrialized/modern “orange meme” socieities such as the usa are at lower levels of development, so when the dominant paradigm fails, there is a tendency to regress to earlier values-ideas-beliefs. thus when progressivism failed to deliver on its promises of social reform (1960s-1980s), peple turned to neoconservatism, with all the ill effects we see today.

    so, the rise of monopolistic capitalism that erodes democratizing politics is unfortunate and widely understood, and has to be fought.

    history is cyclical.

    as a libertarian, I deplore both corrupt big business and corrupt big government (the “nanny state”). As history demonstrates, you can’t have corrupt big business without corrupt big government.

    allowing mass media companies to sell open bandwidth at higher prices than restricted bandwidth is a bad sign – it seems like it turns the internet into something like TV networks, or “the phone company”, or “talk radio”. an ISP version of PBS/NPR will probably be needed if the internet’s business model moves in the direction of restricting open access? Or citizen cooperatives?

    unfortunately a dumbing-down has occurred, and the lack of an independent, well-informed citizenry makes it easy for sleazy big business to get away with such stuff.

    I VOTED FOR RON PAUL.

    [quote comment=”54492″]With respect to the posts declaring this the age of great internet information freedom. Are you watching what is going on in China, Iran, Tunisia and other totalitarian states? This is coming to your hometown ISP soon too. The plans are underway to for all subscription ISPs to carry only large “content providers”(read main stream media) available for the base subscription with access to other sites that are not mainstream to have access only on an additional fee basis. With ISPs being bought up by media conglomerates this is the new future of the internet my friends. See if it doenst happen within the lifetime of this blog. For those of you who doubt this prediction read my posts from 10 months ago about the looming mortgage crisis. Everyone who responded, particularly our host, said I was out of my mind that no everything is fine economically.

    The lesson of history is the bureaucrats always win.

    Would someone find an organization – commercial, religious, educational, governmental, etc. – that one can not make the same complaints about? Please tell me I would like to study it.
    [/quote]

  • ep

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Integral_theory_(philosophy)

    SF-

    Your prediction about the sub-prime meltdown was good, but not too hard. Paul Gigot was writing about it 5 years ago in the WSJ, but the banking industry lobbyists bought off most of congress to stop investigations and hearings. both major political parties were/are complicit.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121677050160675397.html?mod=fpa_editors_picks

    50% of the population in industrialized/modern “orange meme” socieities such as the usa are at lower levels of development, so when the dominant paradigm fails, there is a tendency to regress to earlier values-ideas-beliefs. thus when progressivism failed to deliver on its promises of social reform (1960s-1980s), peple turned to neoconservatism, with all the ill effects we see today.

    so, the rise of monopolistic capitalism that erodes democratizing politics is unfortunate and widely understood, and has to be fought.

    history is cyclical.

    as a libertarian, I deplore both corrupt big business and corrupt big government (the “nanny state”). As history demonstrates, you can’t have corrupt big business without corrupt big government.

    allowing mass media companies to sell open bandwidth at higher prices than restricted bandwidth is a bad sign – it seems like it turns the internet into something like TV networks, or “the phone company”, or “talk radio”. an ISP version of PBS/NPR will probably be needed if the internet’s business model moves in the direction of restricting open access? Or citizen cooperatives?

    unfortunately a dumbing-down has occurred, and the lack of an independent, well-informed citizenry makes it easy for sleazy big business to get away with such stuff.

    I VOTED FOR RON PAUL.

    [quote comment=”54492″]With respect to the posts declaring this the age of great internet information freedom. Are you watching what is going on in China, Iran, Tunisia and other totalitarian states? This is coming to your hometown ISP soon too. The plans are underway to for all subscription ISPs to carry only large “content providers”(read main stream media) available for the base subscription with access to other sites that are not mainstream to have access only on an additional fee basis. With ISPs being bought up by media conglomerates this is the new future of the internet my friends. See if it doenst happen within the lifetime of this blog. For those of you who doubt this prediction read my posts from 10 months ago about the looming mortgage crisis. Everyone who responded, particularly our host, said I was out of my mind that no everything is fine economically.

    The lesson of history is the bureaucrats always win.

    Would someone find an organization – commercial, religious, educational, governmental, etc. – that one can not make the same complaints about? Please tell me I would like to study it.
    [/quote]

  • TerrB

    Craig Parke wrote:

    [quote comment=”54468″]

    The thing that matters most now in this new world of information overload is the ability to manifest mature critical thought to discern truth from falsity. There is very little of that now in the dumbed down Ruhiized Faith. But there once was plenty of it in the once great free thinking, free wheeling bottom up Baha’i Faith. It was once one of our greatest assets. No more. All that ability and skill is completely dissipated and wasted now. Anyone capable of critical thinking will be hounded out of the top down NEWTHINK Baha’i Faith now. You have to check your mind at the door once you sign a card. That is the new price of membership. Truly, a terrible, terrible human tragedy. Only organizations of people capable of ruthlessly skilled critical thought will achieve and retain any kind of power in the real world now.

    Everyone have a nice weekend![/quote]

    If you believe that critical thinking is not welcome in the Faith, then you do not really understand the Faith. I would also suggest that your thought process is “western” based as it gives weight to the individual rather than the thought pattern generally seen in the “eastern”, communal activities.

    To comment on your statement: “Only organizations of people capable of ruthlessly skilled critical thought will achieve and retain any kind of power in the real world now.” The terms “ruthlessly skilled critical thought” and “any kind of power” along with “the real world” suggests a mono like, power based, activity is needed to appease your version of “the real world”. I would wonder what happens when the hearts of people reach a critical mass to change the definition of “power”. Remember Mahatma Gandhi and the methodology that changed India’s power form?

    I am starting to believe by your words you have difficulty adapting to any formalized religion as the term “critical thinking” seems to need to fit a single definition – yours. This is stated because of the comment “Ruhiized Faith”. To trivialize methods of teaching basic facts and ideas suggest someone that rejects the validity of opinion beyond ones own. If you recall, and believe, that God sends down teachers to give us information in a progressive manner, then you would understand that “critical” thinking is something that evolves and is based many times on experience and supposition. It is not defined by definition itself.

  • TerrB

    Craig Parke wrote:

    [quote comment=”54468″]

    The thing that matters most now in this new world of information overload is the ability to manifest mature critical thought to discern truth from falsity. There is very little of that now in the dumbed down Ruhiized Faith. But there once was plenty of it in the once great free thinking, free wheeling bottom up Baha’i Faith. It was once one of our greatest assets. No more. All that ability and skill is completely dissipated and wasted now. Anyone capable of critical thinking will be hounded out of the top down NEWTHINK Baha’i Faith now. You have to check your mind at the door once you sign a card. That is the new price of membership. Truly, a terrible, terrible human tragedy. Only organizations of people capable of ruthlessly skilled critical thought will achieve and retain any kind of power in the real world now.

    Everyone have a nice weekend![/quote]

    If you believe that critical thinking is not welcome in the Faith, then you do not really understand the Faith. I would also suggest that your thought process is “western” based as it gives weight to the individual rather than the thought pattern generally seen in the “eastern”, communal activities.

    To comment on your statement: “Only organizations of people capable of ruthlessly skilled critical thought will achieve and retain any kind of power in the real world now.” The terms “ruthlessly skilled critical thought” and “any kind of power” along with “the real world” suggests a mono like, power based, activity is needed to appease your version of “the real world”. I would wonder what happens when the hearts of people reach a critical mass to change the definition of “power”. Remember Mahatma Gandhi and the methodology that changed India’s power form?

    I am starting to believe by your words you have difficulty adapting to any formalized religion as the term “critical thinking” seems to need to fit a single definition – yours. This is stated because of the comment “Ruhiized Faith”. To trivialize methods of teaching basic facts and ideas suggest someone that rejects the validity of opinion beyond ones own. If you recall, and believe, that God sends down teachers to give us information in a progressive manner, then you would understand that “critical” thinking is something that evolves and is based many times on experience and supposition. It is not defined by definition itself.

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=”54499″]

    TerrB wrote:

    I am starting to believe by your words you have difficulty adapting to any formalized religion as the term “critical thinking” seems to need to fit a single definition – yours. This is stated because of the comment “Ruhiized Faith”. To trivialize methods of teaching basic facts and ideas suggest someone that rejects the validity of opinion beyond ones own. If you recall, and believe, that God sends down teachers to give us information in a progressive manner, then you would understand that “critical” thinking is something that evolves and is based many times on experience and supposition. It is not defined by definition itself.[/quote]

    TerrB,

    Thank you for your post to me.

    As I have explained here in the past, since I took Ruhi Book One in 2004 my mental functioning decreased. The experience caused me to become impaired in my ability to think and reason and to even follow the syntax of a sentence.

    To demonstrate, after taking the course over a six week period I started to experience fade outs in being able to follow a thought. It is something like my above mental effort being suddenly experienced this way where there are drop outs in connection to the idea being conveyed.

    “As I have _________ ____ __ ___ ___, since I ___ ___ ____ ___ __n ___ my ____ _____ _______. The _______ _______ __ __ ___ __________ in ___ _______to ______ and _______ and __ ____ follow the syntax of a sentence.”

    I am not kidding.

    I feared for being able to stay in my profession as a computer programmer and software engineer because my ability to follow syntax and logic so deteriorated.

    So I must confess (and I am being straight forward honest here) I cannot follow the meaning of your post.

    Can you explain at least this last paragraph. Or at least the sentence “It is not defined by definition itself.” I am somewhat confused, or, I guess more accurately totally confused.

    Thank you.

    PS
    I took the training in Ruhi Book One as best I could understand it to mean that no one in the Baha’i Faith is now allowed to have an opinion on anything at all. ONLY the UHJ is permitted to have an opinion on anything. Only their “elucidations” count. Period. End of discussion. If anyone in the Faith is discovered to have an opinion on anything at all it is to be reported so a file can be opened on them in Haifa so they can be watched as a potential trouble maker. What any individual thinks does not count. And to put forth any individual opinion makes yo the “enemy of God”. I don’t see how critical thought of any kind can exist in such a controlling culture. But maybe my tutor went too far overboard? I don’t know. Do tutors have to take psychological tests to be certified to be given the power to give the course?

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=”54499″]

    TerrB wrote:

    I am starting to believe by your words you have difficulty adapting to any formalized religion as the term “critical thinking” seems to need to fit a single definition – yours. This is stated because of the comment “Ruhiized Faith”. To trivialize methods of teaching basic facts and ideas suggest someone that rejects the validity of opinion beyond ones own. If you recall, and believe, that God sends down teachers to give us information in a progressive manner, then you would understand that “critical” thinking is something that evolves and is based many times on experience and supposition. It is not defined by definition itself.[/quote]

    TerrB,

    Thank you for your post to me.

    As I have explained here in the past, since I took Ruhi Book One in 2004 my mental functioning decreased. The experience caused me to become impaired in my ability to think and reason and to even follow the syntax of a sentence.

    To demonstrate, after taking the course over a six week period I started to experience fade outs in being able to follow a thought. It is something like my above mental effort being suddenly experienced this way where there are drop outs in connection to the idea being conveyed.

    “As I have _________ ____ __ ___ ___, since I ___ ___ ____ ___ __n ___ my ____ _____ _______. The _______ _______ __ __ ___ __________ in ___ _______to ______ and _______ and __ ____ follow the syntax of a sentence.”

    I am not kidding.

    I feared for being able to stay in my profession as a computer programmer and software engineer because my ability to follow syntax and logic so deteriorated.

    So I must confess (and I am being straight forward honest here) I cannot follow the meaning of your post.

    Can you explain at least this last paragraph. Or at least the sentence “It is not defined by definition itself.” I am somewhat confused, or, I guess more accurately totally confused.

    Thank you.

    PS
    I took the training in Ruhi Book One as best I could understand it to mean that no one in the Baha’i Faith is now allowed to have an opinion on anything at all. ONLY the UHJ is permitted to have an opinion on anything. Only their “elucidations” count. Period. End of discussion. If anyone in the Faith is discovered to have an opinion on anything at all it is to be reported so a file can be opened on them in Haifa so they can be watched as a potential trouble maker. What any individual thinks does not count. And to put forth any individual opinion makes yo the “enemy of God”. I don’t see how critical thought of any kind can exist in such a controlling culture. But maybe my tutor went too far overboard? I don’t know. Do tutors have to take psychological tests to be certified to be given the power to give the course?

  • Bird

    You know it is kind of predictable that no one really gave any merit to my intuition that the actual bloodline lives in Iran. Here you folks, or at least some of you as Bah?’?’s, actually believe this is the word of God for this day and run from the sources seed. What does that say? It speaks for itself. I am quite disturbed obviously about the subject and the lack of information as to WHY this is makes it even worse. With new info each day, maybe someone’s hand written memories at the time will define what the actual break down was and I’ll locate one of those unanswered questions…

    Folks what is so funny to me is who this room makes me think of the movie Network with Peter Finch, ?I’m mad as hell? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dib2-HBsF08 , there are so many good scenes but I think this one is one of my particular favorites, ?there is no democracy? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RzSj1yNZdY8&feature=related , I believe it is even truer to this day.

    Bird

  • Bird

    You know it is kind of predictable that no one really gave any merit to my intuition that the actual bloodline lives in Iran. Here you folks, or at least some of you as Bah?’?’s, actually believe this is the word of God for this day and run from the sources seed. What does that say? It speaks for itself. I am quite disturbed obviously about the subject and the lack of information as to WHY this is makes it even worse. With new info each day, maybe someone’s hand written memories at the time will define what the actual break down was and I’ll locate one of those unanswered questions…

    Folks what is so funny to me is who this room makes me think of the movie Network with Peter Finch, ?I’m mad as hell? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dib2-HBsF08 , there are so many good scenes but I think this one is one of my particular favorites, ?there is no democracy? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RzSj1yNZdY8&feature=related , I believe it is even truer to this day.

    Bird

  • Spanish-speaking people search for “fe bahai”, which means “bahai faith”. They don’t search just the word “bahai”.

    “fe bahai” ranks Chile as numero uno, followed by Brazil and Spain.

  • Spanish-speaking people search for “fe bahai”, which means “bahai faith”. They don’t search just the word “bahai”.

    “fe bahai” ranks Chile as numero uno, followed by Brazil and Spain.

  • TerrB

    Craig Parke stated:

    [quote comment=”54501″]

    Can you explain at least this last paragraph. Or at least the sentence ?It is not defined by definition itself.?

    “If anyone in the Faith is discovered to have an opinion on anything at all it is to be reported so a file can be opened on them in Haifa so they can be watched as a potential trouble maker.”
    [/quote]

    Craig, thank you for your honest reply. If I may comment on the first quote highlighted above; when I said critical thinking is not defined by definition, I meant that the process of critical thinking is fluid and cannot be condensed into what one believes it should be. It is an evolution of thought based upon many things and its “weight” is, in part, determined by the subject. We cannot “critically think” about the makeup of God, but only the manifestations of what is presented to us. We can, therefore, critically think about something, as an example, called “love”. Not what we believe it to be, but truly what God means it to be. The thought evolves and we consider carefully and deeply about what it means with the current knowledge we possess. Perhaps that is why there have been some many essays on the subject by many authors – critical thinking not by prior definition, but rather by acknowledging other thought processes and combining one’s own with others.

    Now to comment on the other quote seen above; yes, it is true, BUT not as you intend it. When there are people who attempt schism, that action is reported and ambassadors are sent to ascertain the validity of such. At that point actions are taken to communicate what the Writings say but if that has no effect then the particulars of the event are taken to the UHJ. “Normal” thought by individuals, thoughts that do not attempt to instigate schism, are fully allowed and debated. If one has the question, one can ask and expect reasonable reactions. The Faith is open to, and encourages, debate. That you must acknowledge from your own studies. Debate is, in my opinion, even more open than Christianity or Islam as viewed from historical observations. Should one have a question one can always write the UHJ and request an answer. When that is done, the request goes to a special investigative branch where they research the writings and issue a reply using those writings. I have done this and was amazed at the thought and completeness of their reply. Now, should the subject not be answered directly from within the Baha’i Holy writings, then the UHJ will give their opinion and direction. By doing this process the Faith becomes dynamic and allows for change according to the needs of the time. Remember, everything is based upon the Writings, so that final characteristic of direction will never change and the “politics” that have historically plagued religion will not exist within those opinions.

    I hope I’ve answered your statements in a form you can understand. Should you wish further continuance, just write.

  • TerrB

    Craig Parke stated:

    [quote comment=”54501″]

    Can you explain at least this last paragraph. Or at least the sentence ?It is not defined by definition itself.?

    “If anyone in the Faith is discovered to have an opinion on anything at all it is to be reported so a file can be opened on them in Haifa so they can be watched as a potential trouble maker.”
    [/quote]

    Craig, thank you for your honest reply. If I may comment on the first quote highlighted above; when I said critical thinking is not defined by definition, I meant that the process of critical thinking is fluid and cannot be condensed into what one believes it should be. It is an evolution of thought based upon many things and its “weight” is, in part, determined by the subject. We cannot “critically think” about the makeup of God, but only the manifestations of what is presented to us. We can, therefore, critically think about something, as an example, called “love”. Not what we believe it to be, but truly what God means it to be. The thought evolves and we consider carefully and deeply about what it means with the current knowledge we possess. Perhaps that is why there have been some many essays on the subject by many authors – critical thinking not by prior definition, but rather by acknowledging other thought processes and combining one’s own with others.

    Now to comment on the other quote seen above; yes, it is true, BUT not as you intend it. When there are people who attempt schism, that action is reported and ambassadors are sent to ascertain the validity of such. At that point actions are taken to communicate what the Writings say but if that has no effect then the particulars of the event are taken to the UHJ. “Normal” thought by individuals, thoughts that do not attempt to instigate schism, are fully allowed and debated. If one has the question, one can ask and expect reasonable reactions. The Faith is open to, and encourages, debate. That you must acknowledge from your own studies. Debate is, in my opinion, even more open than Christianity or Islam as viewed from historical observations. Should one have a question one can always write the UHJ and request an answer. When that is done, the request goes to a special investigative branch where they research the writings and issue a reply using those writings. I have done this and was amazed at the thought and completeness of their reply. Now, should the subject not be answered directly from within the Baha’i Holy writings, then the UHJ will give their opinion and direction. By doing this process the Faith becomes dynamic and allows for change according to the needs of the time. Remember, everything is based upon the Writings, so that final characteristic of direction will never change and the “politics” that have historically plagued religion will not exist within those opinions.

    I hope I’ve answered your statements in a form you can understand. Should you wish further continuance, just write.

  • Grover

    Hi TerrB,

    Critical thinking involves being able to think logically and honestly, knowing what is proven by evidence, what is fabrication or wishful thinking, and what is unsubstantiated, and understanding limitations or exceptions. I would argue it can be applied to any subject, including “the make up of God”.

    [quote post=”518″]We can, therefore, critically think about something, as an example, called ?love?. Not what we believe it to be, but truly what God means it to be. [/quote]

    I would argue the opposite, we can always think about “love” and what we believe it to be, but we’ll never understand what God truly means it to be as that would require comprehending God and infinite knowledge. Seeing as we will never know whether or not God exists, just what we believe or take on faith, and our brains are only finite, understanding what God truly means anything to be is an impossible task.

  • Grover

    Hi TerrB,

    Critical thinking involves being able to think logically and honestly, knowing what is proven by evidence, what is fabrication or wishful thinking, and what is unsubstantiated, and understanding limitations or exceptions. I would argue it can be applied to any subject, including “the make up of God”.

    [quote post=”518″]We can, therefore, critically think about something, as an example, called ?love?. Not what we believe it to be, but truly what God means it to be. [/quote]

    I would argue the opposite, we can always think about “love” and what we believe it to be, but we’ll never understand what God truly means it to be as that would require comprehending God and infinite knowledge. Seeing as we will never know whether or not God exists, just what we believe or take on faith, and our brains are only finite, understanding what God truly means anything to be is an impossible task.

  • P

    Would someone find an organization – commercial, religious, educational, governmental, etc. – that one can not make the same complaints about?
    ———————
    The difference is that these organizations don’t pretend to be perfect and straight from God; unless of course they are fundamentalist religious ones. So in these other organizations there is some room for dissent or you can pick up and go to another organization. Where do people go outside of the Bahai community? Some little screwed up splinter group? What’s sad is that take a religion like Catholicism. At the top hierarchy it is very much like the Bahai AO. But Catholics at grass-roots levels have learned to be more open/liberal regardless of the Vatican. And somehow, the Vatican has some tolerance of all this. YET in the official Bahai Faith there is absolutely no tolerance. As you SF have shown.

  • P

    Would someone find an organization – commercial, religious, educational, governmental, etc. – that one can not make the same complaints about?
    ———————
    The difference is that these organizations don’t pretend to be perfect and straight from God; unless of course they are fundamentalist religious ones. So in these other organizations there is some room for dissent or you can pick up and go to another organization. Where do people go outside of the Bahai community? Some little screwed up splinter group? What’s sad is that take a religion like Catholicism. At the top hierarchy it is very much like the Bahai AO. But Catholics at grass-roots levels have learned to be more open/liberal regardless of the Vatican. And somehow, the Vatican has some tolerance of all this. YET in the official Bahai Faith there is absolutely no tolerance. As you SF have shown.

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=”54506″]
    TerrB wrote:

    I hope I’ve answered your statements in a form you can understand. Should you wish further continuance, just write.[/quote]

    I now understand what you meant. Thank you for your clarification.

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=”54506″]
    TerrB wrote:

    I hope I’ve answered your statements in a form you can understand. Should you wish further continuance, just write.[/quote]

    I now understand what you meant. Thank you for your clarification.

  • TerrB

    Grover wrote:

    [quote comment=”54507″]Hi TerrB,

    Critical thinking involves being able to think logically and honestly, knowing what is proven by evidence, what is fabrication or wishful thinking, and what is unsubstantiated, and understanding limitations or exceptions. I would argue it can be applied to any subject, including “the make up of God”.

    [quote post=”518″]We can, therefore, critically think about something, as an example, called ?love?. Not what we believe it to be, but truly what God means it to be. [/quote]

    I would argue the opposite, we can always think about “love” and what we believe it to be, but we’ll never understand what God truly means it to be as that would require comprehending God and infinite knowledge. Seeing as we will never know whether or not God exists, just what we believe or take on faith, and our brains are only finite, understanding what God truly means anything to be is an impossible task.[/quote]

    Are you really arguing the opposite? Was it stated that we will know what love is, or was it stated that critical thinking was the process of the attempt? Shortly after the part you’ve quoted I’ve suggested it is the process of adaptation of knowledge. Is that really “opposite”?

    You’ve made the statement that “we will never know whether or not God exists”. How is it possible to state an infinite belief (“never”) based on ones present and finite knowledge of today? You, yourself admit that our capabilities are finite (“our brains are only finite”) so to state an infinite seems to be at odds with your stated belief.

    I agree that the idea of “understanding what God truly means” seems impossible from our present view, but it seems to me that the spiritual gifts of knowledge may be fuller once we leave these bodies. (As my “proof” of what we have after “death” is rather nebulas and relies on “hear say” from religious writings, I realize this view is subject to debate.) I would suggest that we will know the qualities of God, such as “love”, but will never comprehend the essence, or make-up of God. How can the created understand the essence of the creator?

  • TerrB

    Grover wrote:

    [quote comment=”54507″]Hi TerrB,

    Critical thinking involves being able to think logically and honestly, knowing what is proven by evidence, what is fabrication or wishful thinking, and what is unsubstantiated, and understanding limitations or exceptions. I would argue it can be applied to any subject, including “the make up of God”.

    [quote post=”518″]We can, therefore, critically think about something, as an example, called ?love?. Not what we believe it to be, but truly what God means it to be. [/quote]

    I would argue the opposite, we can always think about “love” and what we believe it to be, but we’ll never understand what God truly means it to be as that would require comprehending God and infinite knowledge. Seeing as we will never know whether or not God exists, just what we believe or take on faith, and our brains are only finite, understanding what God truly means anything to be is an impossible task.[/quote]

    Are you really arguing the opposite? Was it stated that we will know what love is, or was it stated that critical thinking was the process of the attempt? Shortly after the part you’ve quoted I’ve suggested it is the process of adaptation of knowledge. Is that really “opposite”?

    You’ve made the statement that “we will never know whether or not God exists”. How is it possible to state an infinite belief (“never”) based on ones present and finite knowledge of today? You, yourself admit that our capabilities are finite (“our brains are only finite”) so to state an infinite seems to be at odds with your stated belief.

    I agree that the idea of “understanding what God truly means” seems impossible from our present view, but it seems to me that the spiritual gifts of knowledge may be fuller once we leave these bodies. (As my “proof” of what we have after “death” is rather nebulas and relies on “hear say” from religious writings, I realize this view is subject to debate.) I would suggest that we will know the qualities of God, such as “love”, but will never comprehend the essence, or make-up of God. How can the created understand the essence of the creator?

  • [quote comment=”54505″]Spanish-speaking people search for “fe bahai”, which means “bahai faith”. They don’t search just the word “bahai”.

    “fe bahai” ranks Chile as numero uno, followed by Brazil and Spain.[/quote]

    Yes, good point. Although I’ve found that when people know very little, the keyword remains “bahai”. The correct terminology, or perhaps better put, the Baha’i vernacular is “Baha’i Faith” however, others may simply say Baha’i, Baha’ism, Baha’i religion, etc. As you can see, the keyword “fe bahai” is not used at all in Chile. Or maybe I’m missing something?

    [quote comment=”54489″]I observe what is written over time and see the contexts, the agendas, and where the biases lay. You are not entirely about truth as you pretend to be but about promoting your agenda of corrosive criticism because of some offense you have taken.[/quote]

    SF, none of us are without bias or agenda simply by virtue of being human. I have my bias, you have yours and I assume my parakeet hers. I “pretend” to be about truth as hard as the next person, or maybe a tiny bit harder. In the end, that remains for ultimate judgement.

    If what I write is offensive or repellent to you, you are certainly free to choose to stop reading. For the record, I welcome your feedback.

  • [quote comment=”54505″]Spanish-speaking people search for “fe bahai”, which means “bahai faith”. They don’t search just the word “bahai”.

    “fe bahai” ranks Chile as numero uno, followed by Brazil and Spain.[/quote]

    Yes, good point. Although I’ve found that when people know very little, the keyword remains “bahai”. The correct terminology, or perhaps better put, the Baha’i vernacular is “Baha’i Faith” however, others may simply say Baha’i, Baha’ism, Baha’i religion, etc. As you can see, the keyword “fe bahai” is not used at all in Chile. Or maybe I’m missing something?

    [quote comment=”54489″]I observe what is written over time and see the contexts, the agendas, and where the biases lay. You are not entirely about truth as you pretend to be but about promoting your agenda of corrosive criticism because of some offense you have taken.[/quote]

    SF, none of us are without bias or agenda simply by virtue of being human. I have my bias, you have yours and I assume my parakeet hers. I “pretend” to be about truth as hard as the next person, or maybe a tiny bit harder. In the end, that remains for ultimate judgement.

    If what I write is offensive or repellent to you, you are certainly free to choose to stop reading. For the record, I welcome your feedback.

  • Grover

    Hi TerrB,

    [quote post=”518″]Are you really arguing the opposite? Was it stated that we will know what love is, or was it stated that critical thinking was the process of the attempt? Shortly after the part you’ve quoted I’ve suggested it is the process of adaptation of knowledge. Is that really ?opposite??[/quote]

    Yes, I’m suggesting critical thinking is a means by which you can gain a deeper understanding.

    [quote post=”518″]You’ve made the statement that ?we will never know whether or not God exists?. How is it possible to state an infinite belief (?never?) based on ones present and finite knowledge of today? You, yourself admit that our capabilities are finite (?our brains are only finite?) so to state an infinite seems to be at odds with your stated belief.[/quote]

    Quite right, maybe in the future we will have the means to definitively prove God exists, but I doubt it.

    [quote post=”518″]I agree that the idea of ?understanding what God truly means? seems impossible from our present view, but it seems to me that the spiritual gifts of knowledge may be fuller once we leave these bodies. (As my ?proof? of what we have after ?death? is rather nebulas and relies on ?hear say? from religious writings, I realize this view is subject to debate.) I would suggest that we will know the qualities of God, such as ?love?, but will never comprehend the essence, or make-up of God. How can the created understand the essence of the creator?[/quote]

    Exactly, I was just arguing from a purely physical existance only, not what happens in the afterlife.

  • Grover

    Hi TerrB,

    [quote post=”518″]Are you really arguing the opposite? Was it stated that we will know what love is, or was it stated that critical thinking was the process of the attempt? Shortly after the part you’ve quoted I’ve suggested it is the process of adaptation of knowledge. Is that really ?opposite??[/quote]

    Yes, I’m suggesting critical thinking is a means by which you can gain a deeper understanding.

    [quote post=”518″]You’ve made the statement that ?we will never know whether or not God exists?. How is it possible to state an infinite belief (?never?) based on ones present and finite knowledge of today? You, yourself admit that our capabilities are finite (?our brains are only finite?) so to state an infinite seems to be at odds with your stated belief.[/quote]

    Quite right, maybe in the future we will have the means to definitively prove God exists, but I doubt it.

    [quote post=”518″]I agree that the idea of ?understanding what God truly means? seems impossible from our present view, but it seems to me that the spiritual gifts of knowledge may be fuller once we leave these bodies. (As my ?proof? of what we have after ?death? is rather nebulas and relies on ?hear say? from religious writings, I realize this view is subject to debate.) I would suggest that we will know the qualities of God, such as ?love?, but will never comprehend the essence, or make-up of God. How can the created understand the essence of the creator?[/quote]

    Exactly, I was just arguing from a purely physical existance only, not what happens in the afterlife.

  • Sincere Friend

    Dear Friends,

    My earlier comments do seem to have stirred things up a bit among the regulars.

    I think that when one becomes a Bahai there is a deep spiritual emotional connection that takes place with Baha u llah. There is an aura of Divine Love that emerges from that connection that is so sweet that nothing on earth compares to it. It transcends all description and analysis, all philosophy or explanation. It permits one to bath in a spiritual light that transmits the essence of virtue and the knowledge of hidden meanings, as one encounters the Holy Writings and then communes with God and with ones fellow Bahais in this sanctified atmosphere.

    This kind of spiritual experience is what I think the Bahai Faith is all about. This is what I understand it was like to be in Baha u llahs presence.

    Where we depart from this is when the ego and the intellect begin to square dance with each other, and so when they enter these sanctified gatherings with their usual attention seeking, and critical witticisms, they tend to disperse the spiritual atmosphere and in this manner have a corrosive effect on the spiritual life of those who participate in them. This is what I speak of when I mention the word “corrosive” Its not something that is a secret code, but a well defined and distinctive effect that brings in its wake disillusion, disappointment, and alienation, essentially disunity.

    So to those who welcome my contributions (Baquia) I thank you, and to those who invite me to read elsewhere…I have been for some time. And to those of you who respond with nonsense I give Thomas Jeffersons response who realized that the only appropriate response to it is………. (silence).

    The use of critical thinking is best regulated by the application of spiritual maturity. Critical thinking is for things of this world that can be divided and reduced to smaller parts. As a mental process it does not serve well to establish unity. Unity, in the Bahai community, is first established in the sacred atmosphere of Baha u llahs Presence and then it emanates to each persons heart and then to the mind. If a person does not engage this spiritual process, and insists on staying in a state where the critical mind is paramount there is no entering the “City of Unity”, and many of the problems that I read complaints about here actually come from it. I think that many of the posters I read here who exalt critical thinking would do well to consider what I am writing.

    I hope you will forgive me for I am neither very tactful or humble, but I do love Baha u llah with all of my heart, mind and soul. I have made some sacrifices for Him and His Cause and bear scars on my body because of it. I have seen the scars on the bodies of old pioneers in rest homes who were stoned because they were teaching the Faith in Latin America and I have read the stories of Fort Tabarsi as a child and so when I see the wonderful Faith being disrespected I am aroused very deeply to respond, as I think other old time Bahais are as well.

    Many of you I realize have probably encountered this Faith in the discussion rooms of universities where there is an intellectual atmosphere where one gains peer or professor approval by how clever one can criticize something, but how many of you have put aside literally everything and embarked on a journey or task where your only friend and helper was Baha u llah? In times like that you come to know the reality of your faith, of this Faith, and you are purified by it. You come to realize how helpless you are in this world and how little what you think or do makes much difference, except that it be aligned with a higher power.

    Well God bless all of you. Hope this doesnt stir up any trouble for anyone. Good night.

  • Sincere Friend

    Dear Friends,

    My earlier comments do seem to have stirred things up a bit among the regulars.

    I think that when one becomes a Bahai there is a deep spiritual emotional connection that takes place with Baha u llah. There is an aura of Divine Love that emerges from that connection that is so sweet that nothing on earth compares to it. It transcends all description and analysis, all philosophy or explanation. It permits one to bath in a spiritual light that transmits the essence of virtue and the knowledge of hidden meanings, as one encounters the Holy Writings and then communes with God and with ones fellow Bahais in this sanctified atmosphere.

    This kind of spiritual experience is what I think the Bahai Faith is all about. This is what I understand it was like to be in Baha u llahs presence.

    Where we depart from this is when the ego and the intellect begin to square dance with each other, and so when they enter these sanctified gatherings with their usual attention seeking, and critical witticisms, they tend to disperse the spiritual atmosphere and in this manner have a corrosive effect on the spiritual life of those who participate in them. This is what I speak of when I mention the word “corrosive” Its not something that is a secret code, but a well defined and distinctive effect that brings in its wake disillusion, disappointment, and alienation, essentially disunity.

    So to those who welcome my contributions (Baquia) I thank you, and to those who invite me to read elsewhere…I have been for some time. And to those of you who respond with nonsense I give Thomas Jeffersons response who realized that the only appropriate response to it is………. (silence).

    The use of critical thinking is best regulated by the application of spiritual maturity. Critical thinking is for things of this world that can be divided and reduced to smaller parts. As a mental process it does not serve well to establish unity. Unity, in the Bahai community, is first established in the sacred atmosphere of Baha u llahs Presence and then it emanates to each persons heart and then to the mind. If a person does not engage this spiritual process, and insists on staying in a state where the critical mind is paramount there is no entering the “City of Unity”, and many of the problems that I read complaints about here actually come from it. I think that many of the posters I read here who exalt critical thinking would do well to consider what I am writing.

    I hope you will forgive me for I am neither very tactful or humble, but I do love Baha u llah with all of my heart, mind and soul. I have made some sacrifices for Him and His Cause and bear scars on my body because of it. I have seen the scars on the bodies of old pioneers in rest homes who were stoned because they were teaching the Faith in Latin America and I have read the stories of Fort Tabarsi as a child and so when I see the wonderful Faith being disrespected I am aroused very deeply to respond, as I think other old time Bahais are as well.

    Many of you I realize have probably encountered this Faith in the discussion rooms of universities where there is an intellectual atmosphere where one gains peer or professor approval by how clever one can criticize something, but how many of you have put aside literally everything and embarked on a journey or task where your only friend and helper was Baha u llah? In times like that you come to know the reality of your faith, of this Faith, and you are purified by it. You come to realize how helpless you are in this world and how little what you think or do makes much difference, except that it be aligned with a higher power.

    Well God bless all of you. Hope this doesnt stir up any trouble for anyone. Good night.

  • ep

    Bird,

    Blessed free soul of light, truth and goodness – thanks for your comments.

    I’m not sure what you mean by “bloodline”?

    Baha’i clearly has ties to persian/shia/sufi culture since that is where it originated, and so iranian bahai culture is intertwined, weirdly, with larger iran.

    my father told me that in the 60s/70s, they had some experts on history, sociology, etc., in the pentagon. when I became a bahai in the early 70s, he asked the “iran expert” about it (bahai). the pentagon’s iran expert said that bahai was a valid reform movement in iran’s history, but that it had failed to actually transform iran in any significant way – similar to most of the sad history of attempts at reform in the middle east/muslim world.

    (this presumably would be in contrast to the protestant reformation, or at least the anglo-american version of it, probably the “exceptionalism” interpretation).

    anyways, at the time of babism, iranian society was making a painful adjustment to domination by western colonial powers. to state the obvious: one mode of thought was to accommodate the west, one mode was to shut down any such reform. there were probably many more internal variants and conflicts that captured people’s attention then, and possibly now.

    most of the liberalizers/reformists were in the south (such as the bab). it was somewhat unusual for a northerner like bahaullah to embrace reform, the northeners were further away from the influences of coastal colonial trade, and were more “conservative”.

    so, bahai is wrapped up in a twisted tale within iran. non-bahai leftist iranians that I know who grew up in the 60s/70s told me that all iranians of non-bahai background were raised, and schooled, with the idea that bahai was part of a “zionist plot”. I took this to mean something like the “anti-communist” reactionary hysteria of the 50s. “The Other”, Jungian Shadow, etc.

    All horrible, but possibly fascinating, “premodern paradigm” stuff.

    I can see how iranians might want to rerun the myths about babaism/bahai in their minds and hearts, to go down an old pathway of one possible approach to reform and change within iran, to mull the propaganda, and look for something from the shadows of history that has resonance, poignance, mystery, and maybe forbidenness.
    ???

    Those were excellent videos, thanks.

    Eric P.
    Sacramento
    (ex-bahai, after 30+ years)

    [quote comment=”54504″]You know it is kind of predictable that no one really gave any merit to my intuition that the actual bloodline lives in Iran. Here you folks, or at least some of you as Bah?’?’s, actually believe this is the word of God for this day and run from the sources seed. What does that say? It speaks for itself. I am quite disturbed obviously about the subject and the lack of information as to WHY this is makes it even worse. With new info each day, maybe someone’s hand written memories at the time will define what the actual break down was and I’ll locate one of those unanswered questions…

    Folks what is so funny to me is who this room makes me think of the movie Network with Peter Finch, ?I’m mad as hell? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dib2-HBsF08 , there are so many good scenes but I think this one is one of my particular favorites, ?there is no democracy? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RzSj1yNZdY8&feature=related , I believe it is even truer to this day.

    Bird[/quote]

  • ep

    Bird,

    Blessed free soul of light, truth and goodness – thanks for your comments.

    I’m not sure what you mean by “bloodline”?

    Baha’i clearly has ties to persian/shia/sufi culture since that is where it originated, and so iranian bahai culture is intertwined, weirdly, with larger iran.

    my father told me that in the 60s/70s, they had some experts on history, sociology, etc., in the pentagon. when I became a bahai in the early 70s, he asked the “iran expert” about it (bahai). the pentagon’s iran expert said that bahai was a valid reform movement in iran’s history, but that it had failed to actually transform iran in any significant way – similar to most of the sad history of attempts at reform in the middle east/muslim world.

    (this presumably would be in contrast to the protestant reformation, or at least the anglo-american version of it, probably the “exceptionalism” interpretation).

    anyways, at the time of babism, iranian society was making a painful adjustment to domination by western colonial powers. to state the obvious: one mode of thought was to accommodate the west, one mode was to shut down any such reform. there were probably many more internal variants and conflicts that captured people’s attention then, and possibly now.

    most of the liberalizers/reformists were in the south (such as the bab). it was somewhat unusual for a northerner like bahaullah to embrace reform, the northeners were further away from the influences of coastal colonial trade, and were more “conservative”.

    so, bahai is wrapped up in a twisted tale within iran. non-bahai leftist iranians that I know who grew up in the 60s/70s told me that all iranians of non-bahai background were raised, and schooled, with the idea that bahai was part of a “zionist plot”. I took this to mean something like the “anti-communist” reactionary hysteria of the 50s. “The Other”, Jungian Shadow, etc.

    All horrible, but possibly fascinating, “premodern paradigm” stuff.

    I can see how iranians might want to rerun the myths about babaism/bahai in their minds and hearts, to go down an old pathway of one possible approach to reform and change within iran, to mull the propaganda, and look for something from the shadows of history that has resonance, poignance, mystery, and maybe forbidenness.
    ???

    Those were excellent videos, thanks.

    Eric P.
    Sacramento
    (ex-bahai, after 30+ years)

    [quote comment=”54504″]You know it is kind of predictable that no one really gave any merit to my intuition that the actual bloodline lives in Iran. Here you folks, or at least some of you as Bah?’?’s, actually believe this is the word of God for this day and run from the sources seed. What does that say? It speaks for itself. I am quite disturbed obviously about the subject and the lack of information as to WHY this is makes it even worse. With new info each day, maybe someone’s hand written memories at the time will define what the actual break down was and I’ll locate one of those unanswered questions…

    Folks what is so funny to me is who this room makes me think of the movie Network with Peter Finch, ?I’m mad as hell? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dib2-HBsF08 , there are so many good scenes but I think this one is one of my particular favorites, ?there is no democracy? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RzSj1yNZdY8&feature=related , I believe it is even truer to this day.

    Bird[/quote]

  • ep

    SF – “unity” in bahai is really pseudo unity, or false unity, worshipped in a temple of pristine, ethereal, bureaucracy, unconcerned about the actual problems faced by real human beings in the “snake pits” of day to day existence.

    http://www.context.org/ICLIB/IC29/Peck.htm

    excerpt:
    | But according to psychiatrist and author M. Scott Peck, for
    | any group to achieve community in the truest sense, it must
    | undertake a journey that involves four stages:
    | “pseudocommunity,” where niceness reigns; “chaos,” when the
    | emotional skeletons crawl out of the closet; “emptiness,” a
    | time of quiet and transition; and finally, true community,
    | marked both by deep honesty and deep caring.

    bahai culture has neither deep honesty or deep caring. both are fake, and on display by the leadership elites and their volunteer propagandists and apologists.

    it is “conveniently” forgotton by people like you that the early working class and social justice activists in the american bahai community were marginalized and then forgotten when the elitists and racists took over the community (and started rewriting history). for merely staying neutral, Louis Gregory, may his luminous soul be ever in the warm embrace of peace and light, was viciously attacked by the elitists on the US NSA.

    Love, compassion, altruism existed long before religion, prophets, or so called “revelations”. Religions appropriated “good, beauty and truth” as part of the politics of controlling populations. Your statements are just the old mind-control game that priests have been using for at least 5,000 years to make the slave classes submit to the will of the “refined” (spiritually superior) elites.

    in case you dont know – thousands of people are killed and attacked around the world every year (every month?) because they are committed to freedom of thought and belief, and social justice. why do you exalt a few bahais?

    and why do you refuse to admit that people are attacked within bahai for simply asking why the religion doesn’t operate according to its own scriptures (“ALL FREEDOM” of “EXPRESSION”).

    ????????????????????????
    ????????????????????????
    ????????????????????????

    You are asking people to turn into spiritual turnips, unthinking, etc., and get pulled down into the “gravity well” of shiism. you are invoking the bahai purity myth. it fits into western myths about industrial progress, and eliminating “uncivilized” cultures by promoting am elite class of “experts” and “transnational pedagogues, therapists and planners” (Ivan Illich) who will rule over “nanny states”.

    your distain (which is contrary to many points of bahai scripture and AO guidance), for rational thought and intellectual development, is typical of traditional bahais. it is weak on proof, and rests on a foundation of poorly conceived mysticism, which was probably a false appropriation from sufism by iranian bahais that wanted to hold into the superficial aspects of sufi mysticism while adopting “bowler hats” and other misappropriated, ill-fitting, images of progress from the west.

    the sad reality is that iranian bahai culture became domininated by authoritarianism and fundamentalism early on, as the case of the suppression of Mazandarani’s history project clearly demonstrates.

    the disconnect with the real history of how the dominant interpretations of bahai meaning came to be is one of many examples of the underlying dysfunctionality and mind control that exist in bahai culture.

    you raise the false issue of “intellect” (a thinly veiled attack on western culture) in order to cover up the real issue which is “construction of meaning”.

    bahais are not allowed to construct meaning outside a narrow, conformist context that is wrapped in fake “purist” spirituality enshrined in a mausoleum of dysfunctional bureacuracy. that is especially true if any “alternate meaning” either directly or indirectly raises the possibility that the current “bahai way” (which largely revolves around the idea that “assemblies are perfect”) has anything wrong with it.

    If you haven’t read it, Karen Baquet’s article on conformism, dissent and criticism is a good summary of that really went on in the usa bahai community over the last 25 years:

    http://www.angelfire.com/ca3/bigquestions/enemies.html

    (I have long criticised Baquet, Cole, etc., for mixing outmoded liberal ideology with their criticism, but other than that, I tend to agree with their basic analysis of dysfunctional bahai orthodoxy and administration.)

    [quote comment=”54535″]Dear Friends,

    My earlier comments do seem to have stirred things up a bit among the regulars.

    I think that when one becomes a Bahai there is a deep spiritual emotional connection that takes place with Baha u llah. There is an aura of Divine Love that emerges from that connection that is so sweet that nothing on earth compares to it. It transcends all description and analysis, all philosophy or explanation. It permits one to bath in a spiritual light that transmits the essence of virtue and the knowledge of hidden meanings, as one encounters the Holy Writings and then communes with God and with ones fellow Bahais in this sanctified atmosphere.

    This kind of spiritual experience is what I think the Bahai Faith is all about. This is what I understand it was like to be in Baha u llahs presence.

    Where we depart from this is when the ego and the intellect begin to square dance with each other, and so when they enter these sanctified gatherings with their usual attention seeking, and critical witticisms, they tend to disperse the spiritual atmosphere and in this manner have a corrosive effect on the spiritual life of those who participate in them. This is what I speak of when I mention the word “corrosive” Its not something that is a secret code, but a well defined and distinctive effect that brings in its wake disillusion, disappointment, and alienation, essentially disunity.

    So to those who welcome my contributions (Baquia) I thank you, and to those who invite me to read elsewhere…I have been for some time. And to those of you who respond with nonsense I give Thomas Jeffersons response who realized that the only appropriate response to it is………. (silence).

    The use of critical thinking is best regulated by the application of spiritual maturity.

    [/quote]

  • ep

    SF – “unity” in bahai is really pseudo unity, or false unity, worshipped in a temple of pristine, ethereal, bureaucracy, unconcerned about the actual problems faced by real human beings in the “snake pits” of day to day existence.

    http://www.context.org/ICLIB/IC29/Peck.htm

    excerpt:
    | But according to psychiatrist and author M. Scott Peck, for
    | any group to achieve community in the truest sense, it must
    | undertake a journey that involves four stages:
    | “pseudocommunity,” where niceness reigns; “chaos,” when the
    | emotional skeletons crawl out of the closet; “emptiness,” a
    | time of quiet and transition; and finally, true community,
    | marked both by deep honesty and deep caring.

    bahai culture has neither deep honesty or deep caring. both are fake, and on display by the leadership elites and their volunteer propagandists and apologists.

    it is “conveniently” forgotton by people like you that the early working class and social justice activists in the american bahai community were marginalized and then forgotten when the elitists and racists took over the community (and started rewriting history). for merely staying neutral, Louis Gregory, may his luminous soul be ever in the warm embrace of peace and light, was viciously attacked by the elitists on the US NSA.

    Love, compassion, altruism existed long before religion, prophets, or so called “revelations”. Religions appropriated “good, beauty and truth” as part of the politics of controlling populations. Your statements are just the old mind-control game that priests have been using for at least 5,000 years to make the slave classes submit to the will of the “refined” (spiritually superior) elites.

    in case you dont know – thousands of people are killed and attacked around the world every year (every month?) because they are committed to freedom of thought and belief, and social justice. why do you exalt a few bahais?

    and why do you refuse to admit that people are attacked within bahai for simply asking why the religion doesn’t operate according to its own scriptures (“ALL FREEDOM” of “EXPRESSION”).

    ????????????????????????
    ????????????????????????
    ????????????????????????

    You are asking people to turn into spiritual turnips, unthinking, etc., and get pulled down into the “gravity well” of shiism. you are invoking the bahai purity myth. it fits into western myths about industrial progress, and eliminating “uncivilized” cultures by promoting am elite class of “experts” and “transnational pedagogues, therapists and planners” (Ivan Illich) who will rule over “nanny states”.

    your distain (which is contrary to many points of bahai scripture and AO guidance), for rational thought and intellectual development, is typical of traditional bahais. it is weak on proof, and rests on a foundation of poorly conceived mysticism, which was probably a false appropriation from sufism by iranian bahais that wanted to hold into the superficial aspects of sufi mysticism while adopting “bowler hats” and other misappropriated, ill-fitting, images of progress from the west.

    the sad reality is that iranian bahai culture became domininated by authoritarianism and fundamentalism early on, as the case of the suppression of Mazandarani’s history project clearly demonstrates.

    the disconnect with the real history of how the dominant interpretations of bahai meaning came to be is one of many examples of the underlying dysfunctionality and mind control that exist in bahai culture.

    you raise the false issue of “intellect” (a thinly veiled attack on western culture) in order to cover up the real issue which is “construction of meaning”.

    bahais are not allowed to construct meaning outside a narrow, conformist context that is wrapped in fake “purist” spirituality enshrined in a mausoleum of dysfunctional bureacuracy. that is especially true if any “alternate meaning” either directly or indirectly raises the possibility that the current “bahai way” (which largely revolves around the idea that “assemblies are perfect”) has anything wrong with it.

    If you haven’t read it, Karen Baquet’s article on conformism, dissent and criticism is a good summary of that really went on in the usa bahai community over the last 25 years:

    http://www.angelfire.com/ca3/bigquestions/enemies.html

    (I have long criticised Baquet, Cole, etc., for mixing outmoded liberal ideology with their criticism, but other than that, I tend to agree with their basic analysis of dysfunctional bahai orthodoxy and administration.)

    [quote comment=”54535″]Dear Friends,

    My earlier comments do seem to have stirred things up a bit among the regulars.

    I think that when one becomes a Bahai there is a deep spiritual emotional connection that takes place with Baha u llah. There is an aura of Divine Love that emerges from that connection that is so sweet that nothing on earth compares to it. It transcends all description and analysis, all philosophy or explanation. It permits one to bath in a spiritual light that transmits the essence of virtue and the knowledge of hidden meanings, as one encounters the Holy Writings and then communes with God and with ones fellow Bahais in this sanctified atmosphere.

    This kind of spiritual experience is what I think the Bahai Faith is all about. This is what I understand it was like to be in Baha u llahs presence.

    Where we depart from this is when the ego and the intellect begin to square dance with each other, and so when they enter these sanctified gatherings with their usual attention seeking, and critical witticisms, they tend to disperse the spiritual atmosphere and in this manner have a corrosive effect on the spiritual life of those who participate in them. This is what I speak of when I mention the word “corrosive” Its not something that is a secret code, but a well defined and distinctive effect that brings in its wake disillusion, disappointment, and alienation, essentially disunity.

    So to those who welcome my contributions (Baquia) I thank you, and to those who invite me to read elsewhere…I have been for some time. And to those of you who respond with nonsense I give Thomas Jeffersons response who realized that the only appropriate response to it is………. (silence).

    The use of critical thinking is best regulated by the application of spiritual maturity.

    [/quote]

  • P

    SF said: And to those of you who respond with nonsense I give Thomas Jeffersons response who realized that the only appropriate response to it is………. (silence).
    —————–
    Well obviously by pointing the above out, you are not being “silent”, now are you? So much for you departing from your ego. Maybe someday you’ll wake up and realize that those who don’t think like you may very well love Bahaullah even more than you profess.

  • P

    SF said: And to those of you who respond with nonsense I give Thomas Jeffersons response who realized that the only appropriate response to it is………. (silence).
    —————–\
    Well obviously by pointing the above out, you are not being “silent”, now are you? So much for you departing from your ego. Maybe someday you’ll wake up and realize that those who don’t think like you may very well love Bahaullah even more than you profess.

  • Werdna the Wizard

    “There is an aura of Divine Love that emerges from that connection that is so sweet that nothing on earth compares to it.”

    Entry by troops!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s2F4ZWTjwTU

  • Werdna the Wizard

    “There is an aura of Divine Love that emerges from that connection that is so sweet that nothing on earth compares to it.”

    Entry by troops!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s2F4ZWTjwTU

  • Concourse on Low

    Sincere Friend,

    You’ve offered reasoned argumentation, however poorly and flawed, for the abandonment of reasoned argumentation.

  • Concourse on Low

    Sincere Friend,

    You’ve offered reasoned argumentation, however poorly and flawed, for the abandonment of reasoned argumentation.

  • Sincere Friend

    Dear EP,

    What I am trying to point out is that the spiritual nature and experience is transcendent over the intellectual in the Bahai experience.

    The mysticism I refer to is when the Holy Spirit touches you and there is a change in consciousness. There is nothing in the intellectual experience to compare it to and no way for the intellectually oriented person to know it unless they drop their intellectualism. Baha u llah talks about that in the 7 Valleys and the 4 Valleys when He relates the story of the grammarian and the mystic knower meeting on the shore of the ocean of love.

    I feel that to get past the problems that this blog seems to harp on that the Bahai community needs to cultivate this mystical experience so that there is a greater connection to the spiritual realities that emanate life. I feel that Baha u llahs intent was to transform character by contact with this Spirit and so to realize the ideals He had for His community, one where astonishing virtue would rule each person and the most virtuous would assemble to attend the affairs of the community in His Name.

    We seem to be in a half life transition where as you say, “elites have taken over”, and this is inevitable as the pioneers of most change are usually ill equipped and ill disposed to organize or sustain institutions, and seldom do they remain past their first generation.

    I was interested to read of Pecks stages of community development.
    I will read that more, it seems to be a very useful concept and could probably help alot of Bahais who run into disharmony in some of the consultations to see that its part of a process that will eventually produce some very beneficial results. It seems my experience of Bahai community was one of the first things I remember as a child and certainly then with those people it was honest and caring, and I felt that as a child I could trust them all, and did and that they cared for me. But as I grew up and moved from place to place that experience was rarer, usually happening just at the summer schools we used to have. Now I feel people in the communities I contact want to have it but dont know how. I think a new constructive theme might be, “Community Building Through Emotional Conflict In The Presence Of The Holy Spirit” maybe we are doing that here?

    Well reasoned arguments dont solve spiritual problems. They dont produce love, and they dont satisfy the needs of spiritually ailing people. Turning to God through prayer and study of the sacred Writings does and then acting on the inspiration received in prayer does too. As much as most of you and I dislike the Ruhi, that is what it facilitates, the encounter with the Holy Spirit through the study of the Word and prayer.

    I hope you dont mind if I make assumptions about you as you seem to like to make them about me, some of which I find most amusing and if you knew me I know you would be quite surprised, as I probably would with you.

    One comment about those that interpret my comments as anti intellectual. The great god of intellectuals, Albert Einstein said that, intuition is more important than intellect. I think it was because he had received most of his best ideas while in an intuitive state and that they were not the product of exhaustive reasoning, but rather reason was the means of proving them to those who did not perceive those realities intuitively as he did. Mysticism enhances intuition and that is what leads to the discovery of new things, so please do not compare what I speak of as being some form of pseudo mysticism or imitation of Sufism to be discarded in favor of intellectualism.

    I am glad nobody made fun of the physical pain and sacrifices that were mentioned in my last post. I feel that perhaps you all do respect the martyrs from which the Concourse On High are mostly composed, and whom this old man I mentioned could also see.

  • Sincere Friend

    Dear EP,

    What I am trying to point out is that the spiritual nature and experience is transcendent over the intellectual in the Bahai experience.

    The mysticism I refer to is when the Holy Spirit touches you and there is a change in consciousness. There is nothing in the intellectual experience to compare it to and no way for the intellectually oriented person to know it unless they drop their intellectualism. Baha u llah talks about that in the 7 Valleys and the 4 Valleys when He relates the story of the grammarian and the mystic knower meeting on the shore of the ocean of love.

    I feel that to get past the problems that this blog seems to harp on that the Bahai community needs to cultivate this mystical experience so that there is a greater connection to the spiritual realities that emanate life. I feel that Baha u llahs intent was to transform character by contact with this Spirit and so to realize the ideals He had for His community, one where astonishing virtue would rule each person and the most virtuous would assemble to attend the affairs of the community in His Name.

    We seem to be in a half life transition where as you say, “elites have taken over”, and this is inevitable as the pioneers of most change are usually ill equipped and ill disposed to organize or sustain institutions, and seldom do they remain past their first generation.

    I was interested to read of Pecks stages of community development.
    I will read that more, it seems to be a very useful concept and could probably help alot of Bahais who run into disharmony in some of the consultations to see that its part of a process that will eventually produce some very beneficial results. It seems my experience of Bahai community was one of the first things I remember as a child and certainly then with those people it was honest and caring, and I felt that as a child I could trust them all, and did and that they cared for me. But as I grew up and moved from place to place that experience was rarer, usually happening just at the summer schools we used to have. Now I feel people in the communities I contact want to have it but dont know how. I think a new constructive theme might be, “Community Building Through Emotional Conflict In The Presence Of The Holy Spirit” maybe we are doing that here?

    Well reasoned arguments dont solve spiritual problems. They dont produce love, and they dont satisfy the needs of spiritually ailing people. Turning to God through prayer and study of the sacred Writings does and then acting on the inspiration received in prayer does too. As much as most of you and I dislike the Ruhi, that is what it facilitates, the encounter with the Holy Spirit through the study of the Word and prayer.

    I hope you dont mind if I make assumptions about you as you seem to like to make them about me, some of which I find most amusing and if you knew me I know you would be quite surprised, as I probably would with you.

    One comment about those that interpret my comments as anti intellectual. The great god of intellectuals, Albert Einstein said that, intuition is more important than intellect. I think it was because he had received most of his best ideas while in an intuitive state and that they were not the product of exhaustive reasoning, but rather reason was the means of proving them to those who did not perceive those realities intuitively as he did. Mysticism enhances intuition and that is what leads to the discovery of new things, so please do not compare what I speak of as being some form of pseudo mysticism or imitation of Sufism to be discarded in favor of intellectualism.

    I am glad nobody made fun of the physical pain and sacrifices that were mentioned in my last post. I feel that perhaps you all do respect the martyrs from which the Concourse On High are mostly composed, and whom this old man I mentioned could also see.

  • Sincere Friend

    Dear EP,

    I read the references that you left in the last post. thank you they were interesting and helpful.

  • Sincere Friend

    Dear EP,

    I read the references that you left in the last post. thank you they were interesting and helpful.

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=””]Dear EP,

    I read the references that you left in the last post. thank you they were interesting and helpful.[/quote]

    Sincere Friend,

    You have to understand that people are not attacking you here. What astonishes people is your high handedness which is now a prevailing mentality in the BF that people just never thought would happen. This was once an opened minded religion. Now it is for people with closed minds. This is why people here are so angry and bitter.

    For instance, WHY do you assume people here have NEVER had profound mystical or intuitive experience themselves because they also say critical thinking is very important to actually functioning effectively in life? INDIVIDUALS have profound mystical and intuitive experiences, ORGANIZATIONS DON’T. Organizations must be run on critical thought, full open communication, and organizational responsibility and accountability at every level.

    Why can’t you understand there are LONG TIME Baha’is here who put heart and soul into this religion over DECADES only to now see it is going to be COMPLETELY destroyed? Or do you just take the line of your Apparatchik Lifetime Incumbent Heroes that we just “did not understand the Faith in the first place” and should just be dis-enrolled by 3rd Class Bulk Mail to end our involvement?

    And mark my words, THE FAITH IS BEING COMPLETELY DESTROYED by these idiots. Because it is now being COMPLETELY cut off from the empowering individual energies of the New World Age that Baha’u’llah channeled.

    You seem to weep for people hit with stones while “teaching the Faith” in South America. There are hundreds of millions of war dead in the last 100 years WHO ARE THE REAL MARTYRS of this Age. 2,000 more got added to the graveyards in the last five days. And you, like automaton ideologues like All Highest Grand Master Pooh Bah Glenford Mitchell and the rest of the Brooks Brothers Suit Spiritual Communist Baha’is could care less as they live out their lives in their tiny little self serving incestuous cult bubble where no one is ever held accountable for anything. Ever. They can say whatever they want on what the proper Baha’i Faith belief is and no one bats a glazed eyelid.

    There are people here who dedicated their lives to something that is now going to be completely destroyed everywhere on Earth as decreed by the top down UHJ.

    A lot of us are completely sickened, have had enough, and are speaking out.

    Ruthless Term Limits.

    Now.

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=””]Dear EP,

    I read the references that you left in the last post. thank you they were interesting and helpful.[/quote]

    Sincere Friend,

    You have to understand that people are not attacking you here. What astonishes people is your high handedness which is now a prevailing mentality in the BF that people just never thought would happen. This was once an opened minded religion. Now it is for people with closed minds. This is why people here are so angry and bitter.

    For instance, WHY do you assume people here have NEVER had profound mystical or intuitive experience themselves because they also say critical thinking is very important to actually functioning effectively in life? INDIVIDUALS have profound mystical and intuitive experiences, ORGANIZATIONS DON’T. Organizations must be run on critical thought, full open communication, and organizational responsibility and accountability at every level.

    Why can’t you understand there are LONG TIME Baha’is here who put heart and soul into this religion over DECADES only to now see it is going to be COMPLETELY destroyed? Or do you just take the line of your Apparatchik Lifetime Incumbent Heroes that we just “did not understand the Faith in the first place” and should just be dis-enrolled by 3rd Class Bulk Mail to end our involvement?

    And mark my words, THE FAITH IS BEING COMPLETELY DESTROYED by these idiots. Because it is now being COMPLETELY cut off from the empowering individual energies of the New World Age that Baha’u’llah channeled.

    You seem to weep for people hit with stones while “teaching the Faith” in South America. There are hundreds of millions of war dead in the last 100 years WHO ARE THE REAL MARTYRS of this Age. 2,000 more got added to the graveyards in the last five days. And you, like automaton ideologues like All Highest Grand Master Pooh Bah Glenford Mitchell and the rest of the Brooks Brothers Suit Spiritual Communist Baha’is could care less as they live out their lives in their tiny little self serving incestuous cult bubble where no one is ever held accountable for anything. Ever. They can say whatever they want on what the proper Baha’i Faith belief is and no one bats a glazed eyelid.

    There are people here who dedicated their lives to something that is now going to be completely destroyed everywhere on Earth as decreed by the top down UHJ.

    A lot of us are completely sickened, have had enough, and are speaking out.

    Ruthless Term Limits.

    Now.

  • Sincere Friend

    I dont share your point of view on most of the points you made. I think for the most part the people in the institutions are sincere Bahais as you are, trying to do the best they can, not automatons or
    heartless elitists. Have you met any of the people you speak of?

    I do acknowledge that there is a group mind at work among the administration types and I have been bitten by it on occasion. I think it is a cultural artifact from Persian Imperialism. I believe as you do that there needs to be a spiritual connection to God for the Bahai institutions to function properly. I dont accept or believe your catastrophic predictions of the complete failure of the whole world religion. In light of Baha u llahs promises I dont see how anyone, having a knowledge of the Covenant, could believe that, at least at this stage of the game – 164 years.

    I did enjoy reading more of the Context articles that EP pointed out. Particularly the ones on how indigenous communities handle crime and social problems. They have a very organic approach where every body gets a say and everybody is equal. They are practical and responsible and dont create more problems with their solutions than they solve, as our “civilized” institutions tend to do. It would seem the wisdom of Shoghi Effendi is apparent in his references to the spiritual effect that Native American societies would have on the Faith.

    With respect to spiritual experiences. I have not met any Bahai mystics who are acquainted with the mystic states and can explain the mysteries, such as exist in other spiritual groups I have encountered or just as individuals. I think the Writings explain all you could want to know about religion but next to nothing about mysticism at least explicitly, that is unless one already the mysteries then it is apparent. There are tests for these understandings.

  • Sincere Friend

    I dont share your point of view on most of the points you made. I think for the most part the people in the institutions are sincere Bahais as you are, trying to do the best they can, not automatons or
    heartless elitists. Have you met any of the people you speak of?

    I do acknowledge that there is a group mind at work among the administration types and I have been bitten by it on occasion. I think it is a cultural artifact from Persian Imperialism. I believe as you do that there needs to be a spiritual connection to God for the Bahai institutions to function properly. I dont accept or believe your catastrophic predictions of the complete failure of the whole world religion. In light of Baha u llahs promises I dont see how anyone, having a knowledge of the Covenant, could believe that, at least at this stage of the game – 164 years.

    I did enjoy reading more of the Context articles that EP pointed out. Particularly the ones on how indigenous communities handle crime and social problems. They have a very organic approach where every body gets a say and everybody is equal. They are practical and responsible and dont create more problems with their solutions than they solve, as our “civilized” institutions tend to do. It would seem the wisdom of Shoghi Effendi is apparent in his references to the spiritual effect that Native American societies would have on the Faith.

    With respect to spiritual experiences. I have not met any Bahai mystics who are acquainted with the mystic states and can explain the mysteries, such as exist in other spiritual groups I have encountered or just as individuals. I think the Writings explain all you could want to know about religion but next to nothing about mysticism at least explicitly, that is unless one already the mysteries then it is apparent. There are tests for these understandings.

  • Grover

    SF wrote:

    [quote post=”518″]I think that when one becomes a Bahai there is a deep spiritual emotional connection that takes place with Baha u llah. There is an aura of Divine Love that emerges from that connection that is so sweet that nothing on earth compares to it. It transcends all description and analysis, all philosophy or explanation. It permits one to bath in a spiritual light that transmits the essence of virtue and the knowledge of hidden meanings, as one encounters the Holy Writings and then communes with God and with ones fellow Bahais in this sanctified atmosphere.[/quote]

    I’m sorry SF, I really hate any sentences with “spiritual” in it now, and this is mainly due to people rabbiting on about “spiritual insights” at Feast. “Spiritual” is a vague fluffy term for absolutely nothing, Baha’is lap it up like it was chocolate.

    Why not say what really happens? I.e. a person becomes a Baha’i and they get all keen and enthusiastic and that enthusiasm rubs off on other Baha’is. Simple, practical, without all the fluffy bunny stuff about vague ephimeral connections with Baha’u’llah, etc etc etc, and all the baggage and assumptions that come with it.

    [quote post=”518″]The use of critical thinking is best regulated by the application of spiritual maturity. Critical thinking is for things of this world that can be divided and reduced to smaller parts. As a mental process it does not serve well to establish unity. Unity, in the Bahai community, is first established in the sacred atmosphere of Baha u llahs Presence and then it emanates to each persons heart and then to the mind. If a person does not engage this spiritual process, and insists on staying in a state where the critical mind is paramount there is no entering the ?City of Unity?, and many of the problems that I read complaints about here actually come from it. I think that many of the posters I read here who exalt critical thinking would do well to consider what I am writing. [/quote]

    This is an absolutely typical attitude in my Baha’i community, if there is a dispute lets have a round of prayers.

    IT DOESN’T WORK.

    The people may be peerless devoties of Baha’u’llah, but while the prayers are going on they’re still simmering away, and after the prayers are done, they repeat exactly what they said before. Why? Because they don’t get down to the crux of the issue by thinking about it or working it out in a structured way, and the wonderfully spiritual chairperson who is usually as thick as a brick (blame Ruhi) can’t direct the meeting so the issues are resolved.

    Disunity if dealt with correctly, intelligently and respectfully can lead to far greater progress than if the Baha’is were all sitting round holding hands and singing kum-bay-yah.

    [quote post=”518″]Well reasoned arguments dont solve spiritual problems. They dont produce love, and they dont satisfy the needs of spiritually ailing people. Turning to God through prayer and study of the sacred Writings does and then acting on the inspiration received in prayer does too. As much as most of you and I dislike the Ruhi, that is what it facilitates, the encounter with the Holy Spirit through the study of the Word and prayer. [/quote]

    So you are saying you prefer not to understand what is going on. Haven’t you heard the saying “understanding is the first step to wisdom”? Critical thinking and well reasoned arguments is the best way to reach that understanding.

    The Baha’i Writings are at best a guide, but for the most part, completely useless, because all people do is quote them, they don’t try to apply them, or figure out whether or not they can be applied. You can go on and on quoting about unity, consultation and the covenant until you’re blue in the face, they’ll nod sagely and carry on doing what they were previously doing, i.e. ripping into each other with gleeful abandon.

    THE PURE WORD DOES NOT WORK! Its the biggest farce in the history of humanity. Baha’i communities all around the world are testimony to this sad sorry fact. Sorry to all the puritans out there, but the sooner you all realise this and wake up, the sooner the Baha’i Faith will be able to grow.

  • Grover

    SF wrote:

    [quote post=”518″]I think that when one becomes a Bahai there is a deep spiritual emotional connection that takes place with Baha u llah. There is an aura of Divine Love that emerges from that connection that is so sweet that nothing on earth compares to it. It transcends all description and analysis, all philosophy or explanation. It permits one to bath in a spiritual light that transmits the essence of virtue and the knowledge of hidden meanings, as one encounters the Holy Writings and then communes with God and with ones fellow Bahais in this sanctified atmosphere.[/quote]

    I’m sorry SF, I really hate any sentences with “spiritual” in it now, and this is mainly due to people rabbiting on about “spiritual insights” at Feast. “Spiritual” is a vague fluffy term for absolutely nothing, Baha’is lap it up like it was chocolate.

    Why not say what really happens? I.e. a person becomes a Baha’i and they get all keen and enthusiastic and that enthusiasm rubs off on other Baha’is. Simple, practical, without all the fluffy bunny stuff about vague ephimeral connections with Baha’u’llah, etc etc etc, and all the baggage and assumptions that come with it.

    [quote post=”518″]The use of critical thinking is best regulated by the application of spiritual maturity. Critical thinking is for things of this world that can be divided and reduced to smaller parts. As a mental process it does not serve well to establish unity. Unity, in the Bahai community, is first established in the sacred atmosphere of Baha u llahs Presence and then it emanates to each persons heart and then to the mind. If a person does not engage this spiritual process, and insists on staying in a state where the critical mind is paramount there is no entering the ?City of Unity?, and many of the problems that I read complaints about here actually come from it. I think that many of the posters I read here who exalt critical thinking would do well to consider what I am writing. [/quote]

    This is an absolutely typical attitude in my Baha’i community, if there is a dispute lets have a round of prayers.

    IT DOESN’T WORK.

    The people may be peerless devoties of Baha’u’llah, but while the prayers are going on they’re still simmering away, and after the prayers are done, they repeat exactly what they said before. Why? Because they don’t get down to the crux of the issue by thinking about it or working it out in a structured way, and the wonderfully spiritual chairperson who is usually as thick as a brick (blame Ruhi) can’t direct the meeting so the issues are resolved.

    Disunity if dealt with correctly, intelligently and respectfully can lead to far greater progress than if the Baha’is were all sitting round holding hands and singing kum-bay-yah.

    [quote post=”518″]Well reasoned arguments dont solve spiritual problems. They dont produce love, and they dont satisfy the needs of spiritually ailing people. Turning to God through prayer and study of the sacred Writings does and then acting on the inspiration received in prayer does too. As much as most of you and I dislike the Ruhi, that is what it facilitates, the encounter with the Holy Spirit through the study of the Word and prayer. [/quote]

    So you are saying you prefer not to understand what is going on. Haven’t you heard the saying “understanding is the first step to wisdom”? Critical thinking and well reasoned arguments is the best way to reach that understanding.

    The Baha’i Writings are at best a guide, but for the most part, completely useless, because all people do is quote them, they don’t try to apply them, or figure out whether or not they can be applied. You can go on and on quoting about unity, consultation and the covenant until you’re blue in the face, they’ll nod sagely and carry on doing what they were previously doing, i.e. ripping into each other with gleeful abandon.

    THE PURE WORD DOES NOT WORK! Its the biggest farce in the history of humanity. Baha’i communities all around the world are testimony to this sad sorry fact. Sorry to all the puritans out there, but the sooner you all realise this and wake up, the sooner the Baha’i Faith will be able to grow.

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=””]

    Sincere Friend wrote:

    I dont share your point of view on most of the points you made. I think for the most part the people in the institutions are sincere Bahais as you are, trying to do the best they can, not automatons or
    heartless elitists. Have you met any of the people you speak of?
    [/quote]

    Sure I have. I’ve been in the Faith 36 years! I have met tons of people. Some of these people I have met in person over the years have come across as pure phoneys that you cold spot a mile away if you have any real experience in life around people and organizations. Especially in life and death situations. Some of them absolutely reek of being people that had very, very, very unhappy childhoods and major issues with Mom and Dad and are using the Baha’i Faith organization as their psychological system of self definition in their emotional struggle to try to stay sane. I swear physical light actually seems to bend around the bodies of some of them in person. Like there is a mirage of warped space around them. It is a very disconcerting phenomenon. Like they are a disembodied holographic projection in time and space from some other dimension beyond this world. It has always shocked me. It gives me the willies.

    Maybe it is my military training as a commissioned officer, but I believe that when you are given Institutional power over other people’s lives it is NOT to be an experiment. You are to know EXACTLY what you are doing by extensive and thoughtful training from the broad personal experience and the experience of the entire human race and human history to function at your authorized level.

    How can an Institution claim Factual Infallibility and Divine Factual Inerrant Decisions when they themselves say everything that they tell us to do is a “learning experiment”? How do you explain that?

    If it is a genuinely open “learning experiment” then fine and they must then accept full and open feedback from everyone involved in the “experiment”! If it is an “infallible learning experiment” then WHAT you are supposed to “learn” has been apparently infallibly PRE-DETERMINED and you then take no feedback from anyone whatsoever! Infallibility is then loaded dice! Anything that entails loaded dice is a racket by definition. What if the thing you are actually going to learn from Almighty God is that you as an Institution are idiots who are in way over your hollow heads? Is that final realization permitted too if this is all an “infallible learning experiment”?

    [quote comment=””]

    Sincere Friend wrote:

    I do acknowledge that there is a group mind at work among the administration types and I have been bitten by it on occasion. I think it is a cultural artifact from Persian Imperialism. I believe as you do that there needs to be a spiritual connection to God for the Bahai institutions to function properly.
    [/quote]

    Bingo.

    [quote comment=””]

    Sincere Friend wrote:

    With respect to spiritual experiences. I have not met any Bahai mystics who are acquainted with the mystic states and can explain the mysteries, such as exist in other spiritual groups I have encountered or just as individuals.[/quote]

    There used to be many people who could discuss spiritual experiences in the Baha’i Faith. Back in the 1970’s you had many students of various Sufi schools, Gurdjieff, Yoga, and TM in the Baha’is Faith. But many are now gone. They did not stay because it was too limited an environment. You certainly don’t now in 2008 because all systems of esoteric spiritual understanding are essentially forbidden by the AO. It’s Ruhi fundamentalism as the ONLY sanctioned system of understanding now permitted in the Baha’i Faith and for discussion amongst the Friends. Anything spoken outside of the Ruhi straight jacket will bring you to the attention of the AABM’s and you will be investigated. Who in their right mind would want to be bothered with going through that? So the Faith is now a huge system of psychological self censorship. People now seek free and open deep spiritual discussion elsewhere in their private lives. This is the current environment of the Baha’i Faith in many places. You have to look outside the Baha’i Faith for any free and open deep spiritual discussion now like these people are doing:

    http://www.Abwoon.com

    Because of this environment you will find no mystics in the Baha’i Faith any more. Or any real artists, musicians, or poets. No art can exist where there is no process of spiritual discovery permitted.

    A person said it best recently in a discussion about the current culture of the Baha’i Faith on another site:

    SOMEONE WROTE:

    “As my Ruhi 1 tutor said to me yesterday, the discovery process is as much about self as about Baha’u’llah.”

    THIS WAS SOMEONE’S REPLY:

    “It used to all be about the discovery process, not about a process conceived of as a means to teach semi-literate people in South America about the Baha’i Faith: Ruhi.

    It used to be about deepening; but genuine deepening is a ungovernable thing, an unadministerialble thing; it is active and requires engaging spirit as well as the intellect in a genuine openness to new ideas, to progressiveness.

    In organized religion new ideas are looked upon as a pain, as a bane, as heresy; as simply another excuse to be exclusive instead of inclusive.”

    That is petty much it as far as how I see it. This is what the current version of the Baha’i Faith has come to. It is, therefore, the end of the road for many. You cannot govern spirituality. Organized religion so far in human experience absolutely murders spirituality because spirituality REQUIRES FREE AND OPEN DISCOVERY in the independent investigation of truth.

    Another person, a seeker, wrote this in the discussion:

    “I hear that UHJ members are mostly doctors, lawyers and professors. Results might be better if more of them were CEOs,
    action-oriented leaders rather than book-ish people whose professions emphasize the cultivation of monopolies on information. I’ve heard that some have been there 30 years. I know nothing of these individuals, but I think that’s too long.”

    This phrase really hits the nail on the head: “…book-ish people whose professions emphasize the CULTIVATION OF MONOPOLIES ON INFORMATION.”

    Again, bingo.

    This pretty much describes the mindset of this very tiny clique of extremely spiritually corrosive people who have hijacked the highest Institutions of the Faith. And this insight from a seeker just beginning to investigate the Baha’i Faith!

    Has anyone given any thought to the fact that your average seeker out there these days just might be a whole lost more spiritual and insightful regarding life and it’s real processes than the infallible “leaders” leading us?

    What then?

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=””]

    Sincere Friend wrote:

    I dont share your point of view on most of the points you made. I think for the most part the people in the institutions are sincere Bahais as you are, trying to do the best they can, not automatons or
    heartless elitists. Have you met any of the people you speak of?
    [/quote]

    Sure I have. I’ve been in the Faith 36 years! I have met tons of people. Some of these people I have met in person over the years have come across as pure phoneys that you cold spot a mile away if you have any real experience in life around people and organizations. Especially in life and death situations. Some of them absolutely reek of being people that had very, very, very unhappy childhoods and major issues with Mom and Dad and are using the Baha’i Faith organization as their psychological system of self definition in their emotional struggle to try to stay sane. I swear physical light actually seems to bend around the bodies of some of them in person. Like there is a mirage of warped space around them. It is a very disconcerting phenomenon. Like they are a disembodied holographic projection in time and space from some other dimension beyond this world. It has always shocked me. It gives me the willies.

    Maybe it is my military training as a commissioned officer, but I believe that when you are given Institutional power over other people’s lives it is NOT to be an experiment. You are to know EXACTLY what you are doing by extensive and thoughtful training from the broad personal experience and the experience of the entire human race and human history to function at your authorized level.

    How can an Institution claim Factual Infallibility and Divine Factual Inerrant Decisions when they themselves say everything that they tell us to do is a “learning experiment”? How do you explain that?

    If it is a genuinely open “learning experiment” then fine and they must then accept full and open feedback from everyone involved in the “experiment”! If it is an “infallible learning experiment” then WHAT you are supposed to “learn” has been apparently infallibly PRE-DETERMINED and you then take no feedback from anyone whatsoever! Infallibility is then loaded dice! Anything that entails loaded dice is a racket by definition. What if the thing you are actually going to learn from Almighty God is that you as an Institution are idiots who are in way over your hollow heads? Is that final realization permitted too if this is all an “infallible learning experiment”?

    [quote comment=””]

    Sincere Friend wrote:

    I do acknowledge that there is a group mind at work among the administration types and I have been bitten by it on occasion. I think it is a cultural artifact from Persian Imperialism. I believe as you do that there needs to be a spiritual connection to God for the Bahai institutions to function properly.
    [/quote]

    Bingo.

    [quote comment=””]

    Sincere Friend wrote:

    With respect to spiritual experiences. I have not met any Bahai mystics who are acquainted with the mystic states and can explain the mysteries, such as exist in other spiritual groups I have encountered or just as individuals.[/quote]

    There used to be many people who could discuss spiritual experiences in the Baha’i Faith. Back in the 1970’s you had many students of various Sufi schools, Gurdjieff, Yoga, and TM in the Baha’is Faith. But many are now gone. They did not stay because it was too limited an environment. You certainly don’t now in 2008 because all systems of esoteric spiritual understanding are essentially forbidden by the AO. It’s Ruhi fundamentalism as the ONLY sanctioned system of understanding now permitted in the Baha’i Faith and for discussion amongst the Friends. Anything spoken outside of the Ruhi straight jacket will bring you to the attention of the AABM’s and you will be investigated. Who in their right mind would want to be bothered with going through that? So the Faith is now a huge system of psychological self censorship. People now seek free and open deep spiritual discussion elsewhere in their private lives. This is the current environment of the Baha’i Faith in many places. You have to look outside the Baha’i Faith for any free and open deep spiritual discussion now like these people are doing:

    http://www.Abwoon.com

    Because of this environment you will find no mystics in the Baha’i Faith any more. Or any real artists, musicians, or poets. No art can exist where there is no process of spiritual discovery permitted.

    A person said it best recently in a discussion about the current culture of the Baha’i Faith on another site:

    SOMEONE WROTE:

    “As my Ruhi 1 tutor said to me yesterday, the discovery process is as much about self as about Baha’u’llah.”

    THIS WAS SOMEONE’S REPLY:

    “It used to all be about the discovery process, not about a process conceived of as a means to teach semi-literate people in South America about the Baha’i Faith: Ruhi.

    It used to be about deepening; but genuine deepening is a ungovernable thing, an unadministerialble thing; it is active and requires engaging spirit as well as the intellect in a genuine openness to new ideas, to progressiveness.

    In organized religion new ideas are looked upon as a pain, as a bane, as heresy; as simply another excuse to be exclusive instead of inclusive.”

    That is petty much it as far as how I see it. This is what the current version of the Baha’i Faith has come to. It is, therefore, the end of the road for many. You cannot govern spirituality. Organized religion so far in human experience absolutely murders spirituality because spirituality REQUIRES FREE AND OPEN DISCOVERY in the independent investigation of truth.

    Another person, a seeker, wrote this in the discussion:

    “I hear that UHJ members are mostly doctors, lawyers and professors. Results might be better if more of them were CEOs,
    action-oriented leaders rather than book-ish people whose professions emphasize the cultivation of monopolies on information. I’ve heard that some have been there 30 years. I know nothing of these individuals, but I think that’s too long.”

    This phrase really hits the nail on the head: “…book-ish people whose professions emphasize the CULTIVATION OF MONOPOLIES ON INFORMATION.”

    Again, bingo.

    This pretty much describes the mindset of this very tiny clique of extremely spiritually corrosive people who have hijacked the highest Institutions of the Faith. And this insight from a seeker just beginning to investigate the Baha’i Faith!

    Has anyone given any thought to the fact that your average seeker out there these days just might be a whole lost more spiritual and insightful regarding life and it’s real processes than the infallible “leaders” leading us?

    What then?

  • ep

    LOL!

    Kind of like asking a slave to explain why being a slave is such a great thing.

    [quote comment=”54551″]Sincere Friend,

    You’ve offered reasoned argumentation, however poorly and flawed, for the abandonment of reasoned argumentation.[/quote]
    [quote comment=””][quote comment=””]

    Sincere Friend wrote:

    I dont share your point of view on most of the points you made. I think for the most part the people in the institutions are sincere Bahais as you are, trying to do the best they can, not automatons or
    heartless elitists. Have you met any of the people you speak of?
    [/quote]

    … Some of them absolutely reek of being people that had very, very, very unhappy childhoods and major issues with Mom and Dad and are using the Baha’i Faith organization as their psychological system of self definition in their emotional struggle to try to stay sane. I swear physical light actually seems to bend around the bodies of some of them in person. Like there is a mirage of warped space around them.

  • ep

    LOL!

    Kind of like asking a slave to explain why being a slave is such a great thing.

    [quote comment=”54551″]Sincere Friend,

    You’ve offered reasoned argumentation, however poorly and flawed, for the abandonment of reasoned argumentation.[/quote]
    [quote comment=””][quote comment=””]

    Sincere Friend wrote:

    I dont share your point of view on most of the points you made. I think for the most part the people in the institutions are sincere Bahais as you are, trying to do the best they can, not automatons or
    heartless elitists. Have you met any of the people you speak of?
    [/quote]

    … Some of them absolutely reek of being people that had very, very, very unhappy childhoods and major issues with Mom and Dad and are using the Baha’i Faith organization as their psychological system of self definition in their emotional struggle to try to stay sane. I swear physical light actually seems to bend around the bodies of some of them in person. Like there is a mirage of warped space around them.

  • ep

    for a “business oriented” version of organizational birth/death, see: http://www.adizes.com/corporate_lifecycle.html

    Move your mouse over the dots to see “more information” bubbles, e.g.:

    http://www.adizes.com/corporate_lifecycle_earlybureaucracy.html

    | When an Aristocracy is unable to reverse its downward spiral and
    | the artificial repairs finally stop working, management’s mutual
    | admiration society abruptly ends. The good-old-buddy days of the
    | Aristocracy are gone, and the witch-hunts of Recrimination
    | begin. Companies in this stage exhibit the following behaviors:
    |
    | People focus on who caused the problems, rather than on what to
    | do about the problems.
    |
    | Problems get personalized. Rather than dealing with the
    | organization’s problems, people are involved in interpersonal
    | conflicts, backstabbing, and discrediting each other.
    |
    | Paranoia freezes the organization.
    |
    | Personal survival and turf wars absorb all available energy
    | leaving precious little to deal with the needs of customers or
    | the world outside the organization.

    SF-

    Yes. I was “investigated” by the Auxiliary Bored three times, basically for telling “undeepened” bahais the “wrong things”.

    I knew several people in the “LA Study Group”, “Kalimat Press”, “Dialogue Magazine”, was subscribed to the notorious “talisman1” email list about 4 months after it was started, attended several of the “talisman” mysticism conferences at Bosch in the 90s, etc.

    I overthrew a “conservative” LSA in the 90s (due to complaints of racism). Which I discovered made pretty much “no difference”.

    I’ve personally seen many other abuses of power by bahai administration when people I know were attacked (and even more really dumb mistakes that had profound, negative consequences of a personal nature – including “mass teaching” projects – which I’ve documented elsewhere on this blog).

    As I said, even a Hand of the Cause, Mazandarani, was subject to abuse by the iranian nsa. And, another Hand of the Cause, Louis Gregory, peace be upon his blessed luminous soul, was subject to abuse and racism by the usa nsa.

    So, the pattern is real.

    I get the sense that you are willing to at least try to think “open mindedly” about the possible validity of what nonconformists, dissidents, and critics have to say.

    That is refreshing.

    It is very depressing to see so many bahais become accustomed to group think and conformity. I guess it the only way they can hang on to some shred of hope that reminds them of what being a decent human being was once like.

    bahaullah wrote a lot of mystical stuff, especially early. it is patterned on sufism and other forms of “revolutionary” esoteric islamic philosophy, such as Ibn-al-Arabi, mulla Sadra, etc.

    as you may know, the problem is that sufi mysticism is basically about having “sex with god”. (mystical union)

    Shoghi Effendi did not want to translate bahaullah’s writings about having mystical sex with god because that would “freak out” squeamish westerners not familiar with “eastern literary forms”. (suppressed chuckle).

    so, you have to find “unauthorized” translations, or read the “good stuff” in the original languages.

    but really, it doesn’t matter. there are a lot of spiritual centers where the basics of meditation and detachment can be learned, especially yoga, buddhist, sufi, shamanism and new age centers. bahais are not usually very oriented towards discipline in meditation, and don’t know why it is important, which is sad.

    (Salvador Dali, the great Catalan surrealist, was fascinated by science and inspired by the theme of the fluidity of “material” time/space.)

    http://www.integralworld.net/edwards13.html

    | …an attempt to bring evolutionary theory out of its traditional
    | biological home and to apply to all levels of existence – from
    | matter to spirit. Wilber does this through the identification of
    | the holon as his core explanatory device.

    | the concept of the “holon” does away with the endless quest of
    | trying to find the fundamental parts or wholes that constitute
    | reality and it releases us from the basis mythologies inherent
    | in materialistic, mentalistic, animistic, relativistic, or
    | idealistic conceptions of reality. Quantum physics, that most
    | advanced of all natural sciences, now overtly recognises the
    | completely mythological nature of “matter” (Davies & Gribble,
    | 1992), and of ideas that regard reality as simply permutations
    | of solid substance, empty space, and linear time. The AQAL
    | model, when it is used as an interpretive schema, extends this
    | demythologising awareness across all explanatory systems
    | (including itself) and brings to the fore the holarchic and
    | developmental nature of reality. With the idea of a nested
    | holarchy of holons, Wilber has opened a vision of reality that
    | does not fall into the errors associated with various forms of
    | reductionism, elevationism or relativisim.

    | The basic unit of analysis for Integral theory is not the atom,
    | or the molecule, or the mathematical unit, or the interpretive
    | perspective, or the cognitive pattern, or the historical event,
    | or the spiritual revelation. For Integral theory the unit of
    | analysis, it’s basic point of explanation, analysis, reference
    | and “measurement” is the holon.

    | Everybody, i.e. all major theorists, philosophies and stores of
    | cultural knowledge, are right (within context) and it is the
    | holon construct that allows Integral theory to move without
    | prejudice around these vast domains of human knowledge and
    | pursue its agenda of holistic exploration and analysis. This
    | process of acknowledging the validity and value of established
    | personal and cultural knowledge quests can be viewed from a
    | broader perspective than simply that of Wilber’s integral
    | theory. Wilber has recently termed any such endeavour as
    | Integral Methodological Pluralism (IMP). Integral theory is an
    | example of such an approach to the investigation of events,
    | experiences, and knowledge.

    | Wilber maintains that any future over-arching model of knowledge
    | will have posses the main principles that define an IMP. These
    | principles are non-exclusion, enfoldment/unfoldment, and
    | enactment.

    Tradition and the (rationalist) Enlightenment explained:

    http://www.integralworld.net/wilpert0.html

    | That is the great irony of liberalism. Theorists have long
    | agreed that traditional liberalism is inherently
    | self-contradictory, because it champions equality and freedom,
    | and you can have one or the other of those, not both. I would
    | put this contradiction as follows: Liberalism is itself the
    | product of a whole series of interior stages of consciousness
    | development—from egocentric to ethnocentric to
    | worldcentric—whereupon it turned around and denied the
    | importance or even the existence of those interior levels of
    | development! Liberalism, in championing only objective causation
    | (i.e., flatland), denied the interior path that produced
    | liberalism.[3] The liberal stance itself is the product of
    | stages that it then denies—and there is the inherent
    | contradiction of liberalism.

    So, you might find the AQAL/holons theory useful to understanding the relationship between reason (science) and spirituality (religion). It is similar to Jungian archetypes and other models in consciousness studies (“I”, “We”, “It”).

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/slark/44612365/sizes/l/

    A classic integral statement is by Clare Graves:

    | Briefly, what I am proposing is that the psychology of the mature
    | human being is an unfolding, emergent, oscillating, spiraling
    | process marked by progressive subordination of older, lower-
    | order behavior systems to newer, higher-order systems as man’s
    | existential problems change.

    I’m not a bahai, I’m an ex-bahai. I was coerced into signing a declaration card in the early 70s, when mass teaching was popular, so technically, my “declaration” was not valid. Certainly no one really cared about “mass taught” bahais after they “signed cards” in those days, at least not in general. (before the mantras of “consolidation” and “social/economic development” were invented.)

    I do not believe in Prophets or “Revelation”, I believe in Evolution, which applies to both “material” and “spiritual” (and “social” things) things.

    Side note: the Covenant is not well understood by most bahais. parts of the Covenant revolutionize society, and invert “power relationships”. In current bahai culture, the “prevailing understanding” of “what community is” is “collapsed” into the Covenant. The “prevailing understanding” is based on a flawed model of social progress (social engineering, bureaucracy, false hope, addictive/damaging emotional behavior, lack of discipline) that tends to go through “paradigm regression” and become authoritarian.

    If you ever come across some of Baha’i theologian Terry Culhane’s writing on the subject of Covenant, please pay LOTS of attention. It will be the most important thing you read in your life up to that point.

    The bahai cliche about an abyss between “materialistic” western science, rationalism, intellect, and “spiritual” eastern religion and culture is outmoded.

    “Western culture” has evolved very rapidly, and has almost totally left bahai in the dust.

    [quote comment=”54559″]I dont share your point of view on most of the points you made. I think for the most part the people in the institutions are sincere Bahais as you are, trying to do the best they can, not automatons or
    heartless elitists. Have you met any of the people you speak of?

    I do acknowledge that there is a group mind at work among the administration types and I have been bitten by it on occasion. I think it is a cultural artifact from Persian Imperialism. I believe as you do that there needs to be a spiritual connection to God for the Bahai institutions to function properly. I dont accept or believe your catastrophic predictions of the complete failure of the whole world religion. In light of Baha u llahs promises I dont see how anyone, having a knowledge of the Covenant, could believe that, at least at this stage of the game – 164 years.

    With respect to spiritual experiences. I have not met any Bahai mystics who are acquainted with the mystic states and can explain the mysteries, such as exist in other spiritual groups I have encountered or just as individuals. I think the Writings explain all you could want to know about religion but next to nothing about mysticism at least explicitly, that is unless one already the mysteries then it is apparent. There are tests for these understandings.[/quote]

    [quote comment=”54551″]Sincere Friend,

    You’ve offered reasoned argumentation, however poorly and flawed, for the abandonment of reasoned argumentation.[/quote]

    … Some of them absolutely reek of being people that had very, very, very unhappy childhoods and major issues with Mom and Dad and are using the Baha’i Faith organization as their psychological system of self definition in their emotional struggle to try to stay sane. I swear physical light actually seems to bend around the bodies of some of them in person. Like there is a mirage of warped space around them.
    …[/quote]

  • ep

    for a “business oriented” version of organizational birth/death, see: http://www.adizes.com/corporate_lifecycle.html

    Move your mouse over the dots to see “more information” bubbles, e.g.:

    http://www.adizes.com/corporate_lifecycle_earlybureaucracy.html

    | When an Aristocracy is unable to reverse its downward spiral and
    | the artificial repairs finally stop working, management’s mutual
    | admiration society abruptly ends. The good-old-buddy days of the
    | Aristocracy are gone, and the witch-hunts of Recrimination
    | begin. Companies in this stage exhibit the following behaviors:
    |
    | People focus on who caused the problems, rather than on what to
    | do about the problems.
    |
    | Problems get personalized. Rather than dealing with the
    | organization’s problems, people are involved in interpersonal
    | conflicts, backstabbing, and discrediting each other.
    |
    | Paranoia freezes the organization.
    |
    | Personal survival and turf wars absorb all available energy
    | leaving precious little to deal with the needs of customers or
    | the world outside the organization.

    SF-

    Yes. I was “investigated” by the Auxiliary Bored three times, basically for telling “undeepened” bahais the “wrong things”.

    I knew several people in the “LA Study Group”, “Kalimat Press”, “Dialogue Magazine”, was subscribed to the notorious “talisman1” email list about 4 months after it was started, attended several of the “talisman” mysticism conferences at Bosch in the 90s, etc.

    I overthrew a “conservative” LSA in the 90s (due to complaints of racism). Which I discovered made pretty much “no difference”.

    I’ve personally seen many other abuses of power by bahai administration when people I know were attacked (and even more really dumb mistakes that had profound, negative consequences of a personal nature – including “mass teaching” projects – which I’ve documented elsewhere on this blog).

    As I said, even a Hand of the Cause, Mazandarani, was subject to abuse by the iranian nsa. And, another Hand of the Cause, Louis Gregory, peace be upon his blessed luminous soul, was subject to abuse and racism by the usa nsa.

    So, the pattern is real.

    I get the sense that you are willing to at least try to think “open mindedly” about the possible validity of what nonconformists, dissidents, and critics have to say.

    That is refreshing.

    It is very depressing to see so many bahais become accustomed to group think and conformity. I guess it the only way they can hang on to some shred of hope that reminds them of what being a decent human being was once like.

    bahaullah wrote a lot of mystical stuff, especially early. it is patterned on sufism and other forms of “revolutionary” esoteric islamic philosophy, such as Ibn-al-Arabi, mulla Sadra, etc.

    as you may know, the problem is that sufi mysticism is basically about having “sex with god”. (mystical union)

    Shoghi Effendi did not want to translate bahaullah’s writings about having mystical sex with god because that would “freak out” squeamish westerners not familiar with “eastern literary forms”. (suppressed chuckle).

    so, you have to find “unauthorized” translations, or read the “good stuff” in the original languages.

    but really, it doesn’t matter. there are a lot of spiritual centers where the basics of meditation and detachment can be learned, especially yoga, buddhist, sufi, shamanism and new age centers. bahais are not usually very oriented towards discipline in meditation, and don’t know why it is important, which is sad.

    (Salvador Dali, the great Catalan surrealist, was fascinated by science and inspired by the theme of the fluidity of “material” time/space.)

    http://www.integralworld.net/edwards13.html

    | …an attempt to bring evolutionary theory out of its traditional
    | biological home and to apply to all levels of existence – from
    | matter to spirit. Wilber does this through the identification of
    | the holon as his core explanatory device.

    | the concept of the “holon” does away with the endless quest of
    | trying to find the fundamental parts or wholes that constitute
    | reality and it releases us from the basis mythologies inherent
    | in materialistic, mentalistic, animistic, relativistic, or
    | idealistic conceptions of reality. Quantum physics, that most
    | advanced of all natural sciences, now overtly recognises the
    | completely mythological nature of “matter” (Davies & Gribble,
    | 1992), and of ideas that regard reality as simply permutations
    | of solid substance, empty space, and linear time. The AQAL
    | model, when it is used as an interpretive schema, extends this
    | demythologising awareness across all explanatory systems
    | (including itself) and brings to the fore the holarchic and
    | developmental nature of reality. With the idea of a nested
    | holarchy of holons, Wilber has opened a vision of reality that
    | does not fall into the errors associated with various forms of
    | reductionism, elevationism or relativisim.

    | The basic unit of analysis for Integral theory is not the atom,
    | or the molecule, or the mathematical unit, or the interpretive
    | perspective, or the cognitive pattern, or the historical event,
    | or the spiritual revelation. For Integral theory the unit of
    | analysis, it’s basic point of explanation, analysis, reference
    | and “measurement” is the holon.

    | Everybody, i.e. all major theorists, philosophies and stores of
    | cultural knowledge, are right (within context) and it is the
    | holon construct that allows Integral theory to move without
    | prejudice around these vast domains of human knowledge and
    | pursue its agenda of holistic exploration and analysis. This
    | process of acknowledging the validity and value of established
    | personal and cultural knowledge quests can be viewed from a
    | broader perspective than simply that of Wilber’s integral
    | theory. Wilber has recently termed any such endeavour as
    | Integral Methodological Pluralism (IMP). Integral theory is an
    | example of such an approach to the investigation of events,
    | experiences, and knowledge.

    | Wilber maintains that any future over-arching model of knowledge
    | will have posses the main principles that define an IMP. These
    | principles are non-exclusion, enfoldment/unfoldment, and
    | enactment.

    Tradition and the (rationalist) Enlightenment explained:

    http://www.integralworld.net/wilpert0.html

    | That is the great irony of liberalism. Theorists have long
    | agreed that traditional liberalism is inherently
    | self-contradictory, because it champions equality and freedom,
    | and you can have one or the other of those, not both. I would
    | put this contradiction as follows: Liberalism is itself the
    | product of a whole series of interior stages of consciousness
    | development—from egocentric to ethnocentric to
    | worldcentric—whereupon it turned around and denied the
    | importance or even the existence of those interior levels of
    | development! Liberalism, in championing only objective causation
    | (i.e., flatland), denied the interior path that produced
    | liberalism.[3] The liberal stance itself is the product of
    | stages that it then denies—and there is the inherent
    | contradiction of liberalism.

    So, you might find the AQAL/holons theory useful to understanding the relationship between reason (science) and spirituality (religion). It is similar to Jungian archetypes and other models in consciousness studies (“I”, “We”, “It”).

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/slark/44612365/sizes/l/

    A classic integral statement is by Clare Graves:

    | Briefly, what I am proposing is that the psychology of the mature
    | human being is an unfolding, emergent, oscillating, spiraling
    | process marked by progressive subordination of older, lower-
    | order behavior systems to newer, higher-order systems as man’s
    | existential problems change.

    I’m not a bahai, I’m an ex-bahai. I was coerced into signing a declaration card in the early 70s, when mass teaching was popular, so technically, my “declaration” was not valid. Certainly no one really cared about “mass taught” bahais after they “signed cards” in those days, at least not in general. (before the mantras of “consolidation” and “social/economic development” were invented.)

    I do not believe in Prophets or “Revelation”, I believe in Evolution, which applies to both “material” and “spiritual” (and “social” things) things.

    Side note: the Covenant is not well understood by most bahais. parts of the Covenant revolutionize society, and invert “power relationships”. In current bahai culture, the “prevailing understanding” of “what community is” is “collapsed” into the Covenant. The “prevailing understanding” is based on a flawed model of social progress (social engineering, bureaucracy, false hope, addictive/damaging emotional behavior, lack of discipline) that tends to go through “paradigm regression” and become authoritarian.

    If you ever come across some of Baha’i theologian Terry Culhane’s writing on the subject of Covenant, please pay LOTS of attention. It will be the most important thing you read in your life up to that point.

    The bahai cliche about an abyss between “materialistic” western science, rationalism, intellect, and “spiritual” eastern religion and culture is outmoded.

    “Western culture” has evolved very rapidly, and has almost totally left bahai in the dust.

    [quote comment=”54559″]I dont share your point of view on most of the points you made. I think for the most part the people in the institutions are sincere Bahais as you are, trying to do the best they can, not automatons or
    heartless elitists. Have you met any of the people you speak of?

    I do acknowledge that there is a group mind at work among the administration types and I have been bitten by it on occasion. I think it is a cultural artifact from Persian Imperialism. I believe as you do that there needs to be a spiritual connection to God for the Bahai institutions to function properly. I dont accept or believe your catastrophic predictions of the complete failure of the whole world religion. In light of Baha u llahs promises I dont see how anyone, having a knowledge of the Covenant, could believe that, at least at this stage of the game – 164 years.

    With respect to spiritual experiences. I have not met any Bahai mystics who are acquainted with the mystic states and can explain the mysteries, such as exist in other spiritual groups I have encountered or just as individuals. I think the Writings explain all you could want to know about religion but next to nothing about mysticism at least explicitly, that is unless one already the mysteries then it is apparent. There are tests for these understandings.[/quote]

    [quote comment=”54551″]Sincere Friend,

    You’ve offered reasoned argumentation, however poorly and flawed, for the abandonment of reasoned argumentation.[/quote]

    … Some of them absolutely reek of being people that had very, very, very unhappy childhoods and major issues with Mom and Dad and are using the Baha’i Faith organization as their psychological system of self definition in their emotional struggle to try to stay sane. I swear physical light actually seems to bend around the bodies of some of them in person. Like there is a mirage of warped space around them.
    …[/quote]

  • Sincere Friend

    Dear EP,

    I agree with you regarding integral thought. Holism, as opposed to reductionist materialistic thought, in whatever form or from whatever philosophy you derive it is functionally superior in engaging living systems(communities, people, etc.).

  • Sincere Friend

    Dear EP,

    I agree with you regarding integral thought. Holism, as opposed to reductionist materialistic thought, in whatever form or from whatever philosophy you derive it is functionally superior in engaging living systems(communities, people, etc.).

  • Sincere Friend

    Dear Craig,

    How do you feel about one of the new professionals on the UHJ being a homeopathic doctor? That philosophy is integral.

    The lack of mystics in the Faith is in part due to what you say as they find no community or resonance in the majority of the Friends, but also due to lack of a coherent systematic language about mystical states. Yes making love to God is the essence of spiritual mysticism but try to explain that to 19th century American Puritans. The Guardian was right to not put that in their face then, as it would not have served the best interests of the Faith then.

    There is a stated emphasis at the present time on “doctrinal purity” and what I understand the UHJ is concerned with is avoiding what happened to Christianity in the time of Constantine when the Catholic form emerged in a way that was a compromise with the Mithral Cults of the time. It was enforced by the state and became the official religion. What is understood by mystics is that concepts are not destinations but vehicles for consciousness to move. Doctrinal purity should be self enforcing in a literate community that has access to the Writings. All you have to do to know what the doctrines are is read them. If there is an argument about it then ask for an opinion. If outside beliefs not actually in the Writings pop up and gain a foothold then make an authoritative statement about it, distribute it and that should be that, no need to harass anyone.

    What is evident though is that most of the mystically oriented beliefs are confirmed in the Writings. They are rarely expressed explicitly and I think that that is by design, but the mystical references are nevertheless there. There is an undeniable vibration associated with the Writings that induces exalted states of mind and spirit.

  • Sincere Friend

    Dear Craig,

    How do you feel about one of the new professionals on the UHJ being a homeopathic doctor? That philosophy is integral.

    The lack of mystics in the Faith is in part due to what you say as they find no community or resonance in the majority of the Friends, but also due to lack of a coherent systematic language about mystical states. Yes making love to God is the essence of spiritual mysticism but try to explain that to 19th century American Puritans. The Guardian was right to not put that in their face then, as it would not have served the best interests of the Faith then.

    There is a stated emphasis at the present time on “doctrinal purity” and what I understand the UHJ is concerned with is avoiding what happened to Christianity in the time of Constantine when the Catholic form emerged in a way that was a compromise with the Mithral Cults of the time. It was enforced by the state and became the official religion. What is understood by mystics is that concepts are not destinations but vehicles for consciousness to move. Doctrinal purity should be self enforcing in a literate community that has access to the Writings. All you have to do to know what the doctrines are is read them. If there is an argument about it then ask for an opinion. If outside beliefs not actually in the Writings pop up and gain a foothold then make an authoritative statement about it, distribute it and that should be that, no need to harass anyone.

    What is evident though is that most of the mystically oriented beliefs are confirmed in the Writings. They are rarely expressed explicitly and I think that that is by design, but the mystical references are nevertheless there. There is an undeniable vibration associated with the Writings that induces exalted states of mind and spirit.

  • Sincere Friend

    Dear Grover,

    I agree the word spiritual can be overused and like any overused word then become meaningless, but essentially engaging anything spiritually involves the deeper part of ourselves from which feeling, imagination, intellect, mind, memory and will come from.

    When these things are stimulated in a positive way, or challenged in a negative way so that we have a growth opportunity we are doing something spiritual.

  • Sincere Friend

    Dear Grover,

    I agree the word spiritual can be overused and like any overused word then become meaningless, but essentially engaging anything spiritually involves the deeper part of ourselves from which feeling, imagination, intellect, mind, memory and will come from.

    When these things are stimulated in a positive way, or challenged in a negative way so that we have a growth opportunity we are doing something spiritual.

  • TerrB

    There have been so many things to comment upon that seems to be based upon the authors own limited knowledge base of humanity in general that I will simply state the uneducated biases written in some of the posts are deep.

    To comment on a few:

    “Because of this environment you will find no mystics in the Baha’i Faith any more. Or any real artists, musicians, or poets. No art can exist where there is no process of spiritual discovery permitted.” “Mystics … any more”? I was a Spiritualist prior to becoming a Baha’i. What I found for myself is that, in general, people within the Faith are probably more sensitive to unseen forces then most. Do they brag, go on great oratory expeditions, or even have “mystic” circles? No, they attribute it to a God given life and though they state their beliefs they do so in a manner more befitting compassion rather than honoring ego. They exist, but are not “dramatic” in operation.

    “bahai culture has neither deep honesty or deep caring. both are fake, and on display by the leadership elites and their volunteer propagandists and apologists.” First, regardless of your subject, please take the time to designate a proper noun using a capital. In this case “bahai” is to be “Baha’i”. After that I would suggest that your personal belief is uneducated. The Baha’i “culture” has produced a very well respected presence in the United Nations NGO list, have produced schools that have had various governments request the Baha’i lead their country in that model, have had people subject to torture and death because they refuse to recant their beliefs, and have had numerous awards presented to them for numerous activities ranging from the arts to science. This activity is not something that comes because of a lack of “deep honesty or deep caring” and certainly cannot be considered as “fake”.

    Another issue I’d like to mention is the idea that Baha’is do not make mistakes. Frankly, they do. They are developing human beings with their own limitations. Their organizations are also developing. To condemn the whole Faith because of inadequacies in development while upholding other’s ideas or institutions as superior seems to be somewhat hypocritical and again is based on a lack of education. What makes the Baha’i different is the written guidelines that emanated from Baha’u’llah (the originator of the Baha’i Faith) himself. It’s a goal. A path to correct the misshaped theology of current thought. It’s the purpose of the concept of progressive revelation and that generates the “warm” feeling of what attracts people to the Faith. This goal is the reason people keep trudging toward its’ light.

    Finally, to reply to this statement: “Some of them absolutely reek of being people that had very, very, very unhappy childhoods and major issues with Mom and Dad and are using the Baha’i Faith organization as their psychological system of self definition in their emotional struggle to try to stay sane.” Are you saying that only people without psychological problems are to be admitted in an exclusive belief system? Are you that much elitist to not realize that in any group of people you will find particular needs? If you are then I suspect you’ll not be happy with any group until they conform to your expectations of a superior being. What level does that put you at? Are you superior, or believe you are? What about the stories that revolve around any representative of God (“manifestation” to use the proper term) as they have shown those with less faculties (physical or mental) kindness. To condemn others, should you believe in “Evolution, which applies to both ?material? and ?spiritual? things” then you must acknowledge by condemning others you condemn yourself. For “evolution” (in your terms) does not act singly but rather as a whole and you are a part of the whole. Is that why there seems to be so much favor to the Golden Rule? To do unto others as you would have them do unto you is multiple in application. But then, that may not “fit” what you believe would it?

  • TerrB

    There have been so many things to comment upon that seems to be based upon the authors own limited knowledge base of humanity in general that I will simply state the uneducated biases written in some of the posts are deep.

    To comment on a few:

    “Because of this environment you will find no mystics in the Baha’i Faith any more. Or any real artists, musicians, or poets. No art can exist where there is no process of spiritual discovery permitted.” “Mystics … any more”? I was a Spiritualist prior to becoming a Baha’i. What I found for myself is that, in general, people within the Faith are probably more sensitive to unseen forces then most. Do they brag, go on great oratory expeditions, or even have “mystic” circles? No, they attribute it to a God given life and though they state their beliefs they do so in a manner more befitting compassion rather than honoring ego. They exist, but are not “dramatic” in operation.

    “bahai culture has neither deep honesty or deep caring. both are fake, and on display by the leadership elites and their volunteer propagandists and apologists.” First, regardless of your subject, please take the time to designate a proper noun using a capital. In this case “bahai” is to be “Baha’i”. After that I would suggest that your personal belief is uneducated. The Baha’i “culture” has produced a very well respected presence in the United Nations NGO list, have produced schools that have had various governments request the Baha’i lead their country in that model, have had people subject to torture and death because they refuse to recant their beliefs, and have had numerous awards presented to them for numerous activities ranging from the arts to science. This activity is not something that comes because of a lack of “deep honesty or deep caring” and certainly cannot be considered as “fake”.

    Another issue I’d like to mention is the idea that Baha’is do not make mistakes. Frankly, they do. They are developing human beings with their own limitations. Their organizations are also developing. To condemn the whole Faith because of inadequacies in development while upholding other’s ideas or institutions as superior seems to be somewhat hypocritical and again is based on a lack of education. What makes the Baha’i different is the written guidelines that emanated from Baha’u’llah (the originator of the Baha’i Faith) himself. It’s a goal. A path to correct the misshaped theology of current thought. It’s the purpose of the concept of progressive revelation and that generates the “warm” feeling of what attracts people to the Faith. This goal is the reason people keep trudging toward its’ light.

    Finally, to reply to this statement: “Some of them absolutely reek of being people that had very, very, very unhappy childhoods and major issues with Mom and Dad and are using the Baha’i Faith organization as their psychological system of self definition in their emotional struggle to try to stay sane.” Are you saying that only people without psychological problems are to be admitted in an exclusive belief system? Are you that much elitist to not realize that in any group of people you will find particular needs? If you are then I suspect you’ll not be happy with any group until they conform to your expectations of a superior being. What level does that put you at? Are you superior, or believe you are? What about the stories that revolve around any representative of God (“manifestation” to use the proper term) as they have shown those with less faculties (physical or mental) kindness. To condemn others, should you believe in “Evolution, which applies to both ?material? and ?spiritual? things” then you must acknowledge by condemning others you condemn yourself. For “evolution” (in your terms) does not act singly but rather as a whole and you are a part of the whole. Is that why there seems to be so much favor to the Golden Rule? To do unto others as you would have them do unto you is multiple in application. But then, that may not “fit” what you believe would it?

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=”54573″]

    SF Wrote:

    What is understood by mystics is that concepts are not destinations but vehicles for consciousness to move.
    [/quote]

    Excellent post SF.

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=”54573″]

    SF Wrote:

    What is understood by mystics is that concepts are not destinations but vehicles for consciousness to move.
    [/quote]

    Excellent post SF.

  • Grover

    Hi TerrB,

    What makes you think people who post on this site are uneducated? Because their opinions don’t match current popular Baha’i thought or what is drummed into people during Ruhi sessions? Most had been heavily involved in the Faith until they got disillusioned.

    [quote post=”518″]What makes the Baha’i different is the written guidelines that emanated from Baha’u’llah (the originator of the Baha’i Faith) himself. It’s a goal. A path to correct the misshaped theology of current thought. [/quote]

    The Baha’i Faith doesn’t work. I much prefer the “mishaped theology of current thought” than the fluffy bunny spiritual nonsense that gets trotted out in current Baha’i circles. I suppose you’ll reply that I’m uneducated. I’ve been a Baha’i for about 14 years, served on many local and national committees, been in more teaching projects than you can shake a stick at, have half a ton of Baha’i books, and been on both the appointed and elected arms of the administration. The Baha’i Faith doesn’t work, its just a glorified, very arrogant and horribly disorganised coffee and donuts club with delusions of grandeur. The proof is in the pudding.

  • Grover

    Hi TerrB,

    What makes you think people who post on this site are uneducated? Because their opinions don’t match current popular Baha’i thought or what is drummed into people during Ruhi sessions? Most had been heavily involved in the Faith until they got disillusioned.

    [quote post=”518″]What makes the Baha’i different is the written guidelines that emanated from Baha’u’llah (the originator of the Baha’i Faith) himself. It’s a goal. A path to correct the misshaped theology of current thought. [/quote]

    The Baha’i Faith doesn’t work. I much prefer the “mishaped theology of current thought” than the fluffy bunny spiritual nonsense that gets trotted out in current Baha’i circles. I suppose you’ll reply that I’m uneducated. I’ve been a Baha’i for about 14 years, served on many local and national committees, been in more teaching projects than you can shake a stick at, have half a ton of Baha’i books, and been on both the appointed and elected arms of the administration. The Baha’i Faith doesn’t work, its just a glorified, very arrogant and horribly disorganised coffee and donuts club with delusions of grandeur. The proof is in the pudding.

  • TerrB

    Reply to Grover:

    “What makes you think people who post on this site are uneducated?”

    I never stated just because people post here they are uneducated. I did say the comments denote an uneducated viewpoint.

    “Because their opinions don’t match current popular Baha’i thought or what is drummed into people during Ruhi sessions?”

    “Current” thought? Before (in another post) you heavily stated that the Baha’i relied upon “THE PURE WORD” (“THE PURE WORD” DOES NOT WORK! Its the biggest farce in the history of humanity. Baha’i communities all around the world are testimony to this sad sorry fact.”) How does one rely upon the “Pure Word” and have “current” thought? You state one thing in one sentence and another in another sentence. Would you mind clarifying for your audience?

    “Most had been heavily involved in the Faith until they got disillusioned.”

    Who are “most”? What group are you referring to? If you make a statement delineating a group like you seem to prefer here, I’m quite sure you can provide a reference point for this data – right? If not isn’t this a statement of opinion? Something like ‘a dog has hair, people have hair, therefore people must be a dog”? Opinion should not be stated as fact unless you are ready to be challenged. Please provide your reference for your statement.

    “The Baha’i Faith doesn’t work.”

    Again, an opinion. Work for who? Define “work”. Cite your reference please.

    “I much prefer the ?mishaped theology of current thought? than the fluffy bunny spiritual nonsense that gets trotted out in current Baha’i circles.”

    Here we go….. a statement about your preferences. That’s fine, you have the right to have personal preferences. Just try to not use them to convince someone else. They are your feelings and others may not subscribe to them as you prefer not to subscribe to theirs.

    “I suppose you’ll reply that I’m uneducated.”

    Here we go once again, you “suppose”. To be educated is a general term. Some have been so through experience, others through formal education, still others through inherent knowledge. My supposition is that you have problems with understanding something beyond your personal view. Cultural differences are among prime examples. A person can be “educated” in one field but when presenting a “thumbs up” sign in a different culture, “education” means little. Are you educated? Does spelling “disorganized” (as American’s standard) or “disorganised” (as the British do) make you educated or not? It depends upon your view. My “educated” (formally and through experience) opinion of your abilities do not matter, just your statements showing false interpretations and judgments. Oh, by the way, if you quote me please quote correctly. I did not spell “misshaped” as you state I did (“mishaped”). After all, a misspelled word like that may indicate I was not educated.

    “I’ve been a Baha’i for about 14 years, served on many local and national committees, been in more teaching projects than you can shake a stick at, have half a ton of Baha’i books, and been on both the appointed and elected arms of the administration.”

    Does being a Baha’i for so many years mean an individual is without fault? That the individual knows much more about what it is “supposed” to be? How about, in Christian times, an individual being at the side of Jesus? Remember Judas? How about the brother of Baha’u’llah? Time serving some ideal has no influence upon the heart. If so let me tell you that I became a Baha’i in 1975 (a little more time then 14 years). Since 1975 I too have had service in various aspects. At this time I still feel as if my “record” is much much less then it should be. But I continue to attempt the goal.

    “The Baha’i Faith doesn’t work, its just a glorified, very arrogant and horribly disorganised coffee and donuts club with delusions of grandeur.”

    And the statement you make here calling another “arrogant, disorganized, club” is not arrogant? You call yourself educated so I suggest you throw a little analysis on your own statements. The study of linguistics is very telling about the individual.

    “The proof is in the pudding.”

    Yes it is. All one has to do is examine that “pudding” individually for the truth. It’s called “independent investigation of truth”. You have found your path to God. So be it, but do not attempt to insist others believe your viewpoint. The most you can do is to provide it and allow others their own belief.

  • TerrB

    Reply to Grover:

    “What makes you think people who post on this site are uneducated?”

    I never stated just because people post here they are uneducated. I did say the comments denote an uneducated viewpoint.

    “Because their opinions don’t match current popular Baha’i thought or what is drummed into people during Ruhi sessions?”

    “Current” thought? Before (in another post) you heavily stated that the Baha’i relied upon “THE PURE WORD” (“THE PURE WORD” DOES NOT WORK! Its the biggest farce in the history of humanity. Baha’i communities all around the world are testimony to this sad sorry fact.”) How does one rely upon the “Pure Word” and have “current” thought? You state one thing in one sentence and another in another sentence. Would you mind clarifying for your audience?

    “Most had been heavily involved in the Faith until they got disillusioned.”

    Who are “most”? What group are you referring to? If you make a statement delineating a group like you seem to prefer here, I’m quite sure you can provide a reference point for this data – right? If not isn’t this a statement of opinion? Something like ‘a dog has hair, people have hair, therefore people must be a dog”? Opinion should not be stated as fact unless you are ready to be challenged. Please provide your reference for your statement.

    “The Baha’i Faith doesn’t work.”

    Again, an opinion. Work for who? Define “work”. Cite your reference please.

    “I much prefer the ?mishaped theology of current thought? than the fluffy bunny spiritual nonsense that gets trotted out in current Baha’i circles.”

    Here we go….. a statement about your preferences. That’s fine, you have the right to have personal preferences. Just try to not use them to convince someone else. They are your feelings and others may not subscribe to them as you prefer not to subscribe to theirs.

    “I suppose you’ll reply that I’m uneducated.”

    Here we go once again, you “suppose”. To be educated is a general term. Some have been so through experience, others through formal education, still others through inherent knowledge. My supposition is that you have problems with understanding something beyond your personal view. Cultural differences are among prime examples. A person can be “educated” in one field but when presenting a “thumbs up” sign in a different culture, “education” means little. Are you educated? Does spelling “disorganized” (as American’s standard) or “disorganised” (as the British do) make you educated or not? It depends upon your view. My “educated” (formally and through experience) opinion of your abilities do not matter, just your statements showing false interpretations and judgments. Oh, by the way, if you quote me please quote correctly. I did not spell “misshaped” as you state I did (“mishaped”). After all, a misspelled word like that may indicate I was not educated.

    “I’ve been a Baha’i for about 14 years, served on many local and national committees, been in more teaching projects than you can shake a stick at, have half a ton of Baha’i books, and been on both the appointed and elected arms of the administration.”

    Does being a Baha’i for so many years mean an individual is without fault? That the individual knows much more about what it is “supposed” to be? How about, in Christian times, an individual being at the side of Jesus? Remember Judas? How about the brother of Baha’u’llah? Time serving some ideal has no influence upon the heart. If so let me tell you that I became a Baha’i in 1975 (a little more time then 14 years). Since 1975 I too have had service in various aspects. At this time I still feel as if my “record” is much much less then it should be. But I continue to attempt the goal.

    “The Baha’i Faith doesn’t work, its just a glorified, very arrogant and horribly disorganised coffee and donuts club with delusions of grandeur.”

    And the statement you make here calling another “arrogant, disorganized, club” is not arrogant? You call yourself educated so I suggest you throw a little analysis on your own statements. The study of linguistics is very telling about the individual.

    “The proof is in the pudding.”

    Yes it is. All one has to do is examine that “pudding” individually for the truth. It’s called “independent investigation of truth”. You have found your path to God. So be it, but do not attempt to insist others believe your viewpoint. The most you can do is to provide it and allow others their own belief.

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=”54578″]

    TerrB wrote:

    There have been so many things to comment upon that seems to be based upon the authors own limited knowledge base of humanity in general that I will simply state the uneducated biases written in some of the posts are deep.

    To comment on a few:

    “Because of this environment you will find no mystics in the Baha’i Faith any more. Or any real artists, musicians, or poets. No art can exist where there is no process of spiritual discovery permitted.” “Mystics … any more”? I was a Spiritualist prior to becoming a Baha’i. What I found for myself is that, in general, people within the Faith are probably more sensitive to unseen forces then most. Do they brag, go on great oratory expeditions, or even have “mystic” circles? No, they attribute it to a God given life and though they state their beliefs they do so in a manner more befitting compassion rather than honoring ego. They exist, but are not “dramatic” in operation…

    …Finally, to reply to this statement:

    “Some of them absolutely reek of being people that had very, very, very unhappy childhoods and major issues with Mom and Dad and are using the Baha’i Faith organization as their psychological system of self definition in their emotional struggle to try to stay sane.” Are you saying that only people without psychological problems are to be admitted in an exclusive belief system? Are you that much elitist to not realize that in any group of people you will find particular needs? If you are then I suspect you’ll not be happy with any group until they conform to your expectations of a superior being. What level does that put you at? Are you superior, or believe you are? What about the stories that revolve around any representative of God (“manifestation” to use the proper term) as they have shown those with less faculties (physical or mental) kindness. To condemn others, should you believe in “Evolution, which applies to both ?material? and ?spiritual? things” then you must acknowledge by condemning others you condemn yourself. For “evolution” (in your terms) does not act singly but rather as a whole and you are a part of the whole. Is that why there seems to be so much favor to the Golden Rule? To do unto others as you would have them do unto you is multiple in application. But then, that may not “fit” what you believe would it?[/quote]

    TerrB,

    In the first portion you addressed I was merely replying to Sincere Friend’s basic comment that he could not seem to be able to find anyone in the Baha’i Faith for a deep discussion on mysticism. I never said there were never any deeply spiritual and sensitive people in the Baha’i Faith. There were plenty back in the 1960’s and 1970’s. In fact I would say that of most of the Baha’is I knew back then. Especially soldiers who had served in the Vietnam War Era and Anti-War and Civil Rights protestors. Deeply spiritual people that had faced both death and the great political questions of life (Do you take a human life because your government tells you to? Do you stay prejudiced against people because of the color of their skin in your society?) People faced all this at the age of ***19***. It concentrated the mind wonderfully.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3I1y3jHgxA

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NIJZGR2FaDA

    I was only commenting that SF cannot find anyone because many people like that ARE NOW GONE from the Baha’i Faith because they did not want to waste their entire lives in the incredible “DO NOTHING” apparatchik Baha’i Faith. People started to drift away after 7-10 years of total dedication. I know. I lived throigh those days. Many mystics and artists and social activists left completely disillusioned.

    Regarding the second portion, I am not condemning anyone in the rank and file. I am condeming the lifetime incumbent usurpers who are addicted to their lifetime positions in the AO as their psychological system of addictive self identity. The most dedicated people at the top are often the most obsessed and the most mentally ill. The fact that there have NEVER been term limits established for the UHJ and NSA’s tells you all you ever need to know. Many of these people are seriously mentally ill and I for one will no longer enable them to serve in any position. Not even dog catcher in the Baha’i Faith. In the hour of their deaths these people will see the falsity of their incompetent service and promptly be escorted to the innermost rings of hell. In their ego obsession they failed all mankind. They are not leaders. They are not thinkers. They are not managers. They are not anything whatsoever other than obsessive-compulsive addicts. History will prove it.

    Read the Tablet of the Holy Mariner. Baha’u’llah clearly foretold this Archetypal Judgment. It is the first order of business of the New World Age. The self apppointed Chief priests, Scribes, and Pharisees of the ITC Faith must first go to planetary Divine Judgment.

    Read the speeches of self obsessed Peter Khan and weep. A man who travels the world on the money of widows and orphans and gives his opinions to everyone about everything when it is not part of his job description. What more can anyone say? His insights don’t mean a thing and it is time for this man to STFU.

    I know I am apparently uneducated. And because I am speaking out, I am probably by your AO mindset a “Western intellectual egotist full of self who will sink in the depths.” Yawn. But I have had enough after 36 years of service.

    Term Limits.

    Now.

    We’ll see how it looks to you in another 40 years of the mind numbing incompetent and dysfunctional horror.

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=”54578″]

    TerrB wrote:

    There have been so many things to comment upon that seems to be based upon the authors own limited knowledge base of humanity in general that I will simply state the uneducated biases written in some of the posts are deep.

    To comment on a few:

    “Because of this environment you will find no mystics in the Baha’i Faith any more. Or any real artists, musicians, or poets. No art can exist where there is no process of spiritual discovery permitted.” “Mystics … any more”? I was a Spiritualist prior to becoming a Baha’i. What I found for myself is that, in general, people within the Faith are probably more sensitive to unseen forces then most. Do they brag, go on great oratory expeditions, or even have “mystic” circles? No, they attribute it to a God given life and though they state their beliefs they do so in a manner more befitting compassion rather than honoring ego. They exist, but are not “dramatic” in operation…

    …Finally, to reply to this statement:

    “Some of them absolutely reek of being people that had very, very, very unhappy childhoods and major issues with Mom and Dad and are using the Baha’i Faith organization as their psychological system of self definition in their emotional struggle to try to stay sane.” Are you saying that only people without psychological problems are to be admitted in an exclusive belief system? Are you that much elitist to not realize that in any group of people you will find particular needs? If you are then I suspect you’ll not be happy with any group until they conform to your expectations of a superior being. What level does that put you at? Are you superior, or believe you are? What about the stories that revolve around any representative of God (“manifestation” to use the proper term) as they have shown those with less faculties (physical or mental) kindness. To condemn others, should you believe in “Evolution, which applies to both ?material? and ?spiritual? things” then you must acknowledge by condemning others you condemn yourself. For “evolution” (in your terms) does not act singly but rather as a whole and you are a part of the whole. Is that why there seems to be so much favor to the Golden Rule? To do unto others as you would have them do unto you is multiple in application. But then, that may not “fit” what you believe would it?[/quote]

    TerrB,

    In the first portion you addressed I was merely replying to Sincere Friend’s basic comment that he could not seem to be able to find anyone in the Baha’i Faith for a deep discussion on mysticism. I never said there were never any deeply spiritual and sensitive people in the Baha’i Faith. There were plenty back in the 1960’s and 1970’s. In fact I would say that of most of the Baha’is I knew back then. Especially soldiers who had served in the Vietnam War Era and Anti-War and Civil Rights protestors. Deeply spiritual people that had faced both death and the great political questions of life (Do you take a human life because your government tells you to? Do you stay prejudiced against people because of the color of their skin in your society?) People faced all this at the age of ***19***. It concentrated the mind wonderfully.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3I1y3jHgxA

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NIJZGR2FaDA

    I was only commenting that SF cannot find anyone because many people like that ARE NOW GONE from the Baha’i Faith because they did not want to waste their entire lives in the incredible “DO NOTHING” apparatchik Baha’i Faith. People started to drift away after 7-10 years of total dedication. I know. I lived throigh those days. Many mystics and artists and social activists left completely disillusioned.

    Regarding the second portion, I am not condemning anyone in the rank and file. I am condeming the lifetime incumbent usurpers who are addicted to their lifetime positions in the AO as their psychological system of addictive self identity. The most dedicated people at the top are often the most obsessed and the most mentally ill. The fact that there have NEVER been term limits established for the UHJ and NSA’s tells you all you ever need to know. Many of these people are seriously mentally ill and I for one will no longer enable them to serve in any position. Not even dog catcher in the Baha’i Faith. In the hour of their deaths these people will see the falsity of their incompetent service and promptly be escorted to the innermost rings of hell. In their ego obsession they failed all mankind. They are not leaders. They are not thinkers. They are not managers. They are not anything whatsoever other than obsessive-compulsive addicts. History will prove it.

    Read the Tablet of the Holy Mariner. Baha’u’llah clearly foretold this Archetypal Judgment. It is the first order of business of the New World Age. The self apppointed Chief priests, Scribes, and Pharisees of the ITC Faith must first go to planetary Divine Judgment.

    Read the speeches of self obsessed Peter Khan and weep. A man who travels the world on the money of widows and orphans and gives his opinions to everyone about everything when it is not part of his job description. What more can anyone say? His insights don’t mean a thing and it is time for this man to STFU.

    I know I am apparently uneducated. And because I am speaking out, I am probably by your AO mindset a “Western intellectual egotist full of self who will sink in the depths.” Yawn. But I have had enough after 36 years of service.

    Term Limits.

    Now.

    We’ll see how it looks to you in another 40 years of the mind numbing incompetent and dysfunctional horror.

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=”54573″]

    Sincere Friend wrote:

    How do you feel about one of the new professionals on the UHJ being a homeopathic doctor? That philosophy is integral.
    [/quote]

    That’s great. But what we really need is someone who has an understanding of the science of materials.

    We also need term limits. Two 5 year terms on the UHJ is it. Two 4 year terms on an NSA and that is it. Then you have to go out and get a real job where your gonads are on the line 24/7 in real accountability in life.

    It is as simple as that.

    No more private satraps for lifetime incumbent self styled Lard Christs. All Grand High Pooh Bah Self Appointed Theorists who have had just one pontification too many in their completely unaccountable lives.

    It is not that Judgment Day is coming for the AO. Judgment Day has come.

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=”54573″]

    Sincere Friend wrote:

    How do you feel about one of the new professionals on the UHJ being a homeopathic doctor? That philosophy is integral.
    [/quote]

    That’s great. But what we really need is someone who has an understanding of the science of materials.

    We also need term limits. Two 5 year terms on the UHJ is it. Two 4 year terms on an NSA and that is it. Then you have to go out and get a real job where your gonads are on the line 24/7 in real accountability in life.

    It is as simple as that.

    No more private satraps for lifetime incumbent self styled Lard Christs. All Grand High Pooh Bah Self Appointed Theorists who have had just one pontification too many in their completely unaccountable lives.

    It is not that Judgment Day is coming for the AO. Judgment Day has come.

  • P

    TErrB said:
    Who are ?most?? What group are you referring to? If you make a statement delineating a group like you seem to prefer here, I’m quite sure you can provide a reference point for this data – right?
    ———–
    Well I’m one of those- fifth generation, brought up in it all my life, served on LSA, door to door teaching, pioneered, etc etc. and I see a lot of truth in what these individuals say. But of course when you believe 100% that something is absolute truth, then you will never allow yourself to understand any of the criticism here.

  • P

    TErrB said:
    Who are ?most?? What group are you referring to? If you make a statement delineating a group like you seem to prefer here, I’m quite sure you can provide a reference point for this data – right?
    ———–
    Well I’m one of those- fifth generation, brought up in it all my life, served on LSA, door to door teaching, pioneered, etc etc. and I see a lot of truth in what these individuals say. But of course when you believe 100% that something is absolute truth, then you will never allow yourself to understand any of the criticism here.

  • Grover

    TerrB, don’t be pompous and anal, you know exactly what I am talking about.

    The arrogance in the Baha’i Faith comes through every time whenever they talk about being humanity’s salvation with the wonderful healing message of Baha’u’llah, the latest and greatest thing to befall mankind, the herald of the golden age, the wonderful transforming power, a new spiritual consciousness, blah blah blah, and believing that the Baha’i Faith has all the answers for the world’s woes.

    In reality it is the opposite, the Baha’i community is tainted with child abuse, affairs, domestic violence, discrimination against homosexuals or anyone who has a different opinion, racism, divorces, drug and alcohol abuse, people who can’t even practice basic principles of consultation (which everyone in business seems to do so well without the Baha’i Faith’s wonderful guidance), power plays, corrupt LSA and NSA officers, treasurers busy plundering NSA coffers, the list goes on and on and on.

    Save the world? Baha’is can’t even save themselves. Baha’is are no better than anyone else in the world.

  • Grover

    TerrB, don’t be pompous and anal, you know exactly what I am talking about.

    The arrogance in the Baha’i Faith comes through every time whenever they talk about being humanity’s salvation with the wonderful healing message of Baha’u’llah, the latest and greatest thing to befall mankind, the herald of the golden age, the wonderful transforming power, a new spiritual consciousness, blah blah blah, and believing that the Baha’i Faith has all the answers for the world’s woes.

    In reality it is the opposite, the Baha’i community is tainted with child abuse, affairs, domestic violence, discrimination against homosexuals or anyone who has a different opinion, racism, divorces, drug and alcohol abuse, people who can’t even practice basic principles of consultation (which everyone in business seems to do so well without the Baha’i Faith’s wonderful guidance), power plays, corrupt LSA and NSA officers, treasurers busy plundering NSA coffers, the list goes on and on and on.

    Save the world? Baha’is can’t even save themselves. Baha’is are no better than anyone else in the world.

  • TerrB

    [quote comment=””]TerrB, don’t be pompous and anal, you know exactly what I am talking about.

    The arrogance in the Baha’i Faith comes through every time whenever they talk about being humanity’s salvation with the wonderful healing message of Baha’u’llah, the latest and greatest thing to befall mankind, the herald of the golden age, the wonderful transforming power, a new spiritual consciousness, blah blah blah, and believing that the Baha’i Faith has all the answers for the world’s woes.

    In reality it is the opposite, the Baha’i community is tainted with child abuse, affairs, domestic violence, discrimination against homosexuals or anyone who has a different opinion, racism, divorces, drug and alcohol abuse, people who can’t even practice basic principles of consultation (which everyone in business seems to do so well without the Baha’i Faith’s wonderful guidance), power plays, corrupt LSA and NSA officers, treasurers busy plundering NSA coffers, the list goes on and on and on.

    Save the world? Baha’is can’t even save themselves. Baha’is are no better than anyone else in the world.[/quote]

    You have the right to your view however wrong it may be.

  • TerrB

    [quote comment=””]TerrB, don’t be pompous and anal, you know exactly what I am talking about.

    The arrogance in the Baha’i Faith comes through every time whenever they talk about being humanity’s salvation with the wonderful healing message of Baha’u’llah, the latest and greatest thing to befall mankind, the herald of the golden age, the wonderful transforming power, a new spiritual consciousness, blah blah blah, and believing that the Baha’i Faith has all the answers for the world’s woes.

    In reality it is the opposite, the Baha’i community is tainted with child abuse, affairs, domestic violence, discrimination against homosexuals or anyone who has a different opinion, racism, divorces, drug and alcohol abuse, people who can’t even practice basic principles of consultation (which everyone in business seems to do so well without the Baha’i Faith’s wonderful guidance), power plays, corrupt LSA and NSA officers, treasurers busy plundering NSA coffers, the list goes on and on and on.

    Save the world? Baha’is can’t even save themselves. Baha’is are no better than anyone else in the world.[/quote]

    You have the right to your view however wrong it may be.

  • TerrB

    [quote comment=”54590″]TErrB said:
    Who are ?most?? What group are you referring to? If you make a statement delineating a group like you seem to prefer here, I’m quite sure you can provide a reference point for this data – right?
    ———–
    Well I’m one of those- fifth generation, brought up in it all my life, served on LSA, door to door teaching, pioneered, etc etc. and I see a lot of truth in what these individuals say. But of course when you believe 100% that something is absolute truth, then you will never allow yourself to understand any of the criticism here.[/quote]

    Constructive criticism is always appreciated, but it better be defined by more then opinion should attacking the personality of any individual or group be considered. Should it not, then be open to criticism of methodology.

    You state I will “never” allow myself to understand what is written here. How do you know that? Do I have to “understand” in your terms? I understand viewpoints (like those seen here) exist. Do I have to believe them to understand them? You wish to define me as someone without independent thought (“when you believe 100% that something is absolute truth”…etc.) but fail to recognize the idea that independent thought allows for thought differing from those here.

    The difficulty with your ideas, as well as what is seen throughout this thread, is the group thought process that is strongly developed. Should a fresh idea be injected then the “group” shifts from the ideas being discussed to focus on the “new guy” stating otherwise. Such a result brings the fairly civil discussion going on prior to the “new guy” to a point that the more socially challenged start posts by stating terms like “pompous and anal”. What this indicates is the refusal to debate intelligently by shifting the focus from ideas to personality. Though not as course as Grover, your statement “But of course when you believe 100% that something is absolute truth, then you will never allow yourself to understand any of the criticism here.” attempts to define my personality also.

    As stated before, do not equate time served with development of sainthood. It does not matter if one has served in any or all of every committee or institution. It does not matter if you are the 100th generation. What matters is the degree of sincerity, knowledge, and understanding that this is a process rather than an event. As such the ability to understand and work with others to achieve a particular goal is the key. Your choice is belief is your choice. There are different paths to God.

  • TerrB

    [quote comment=”54590″]TErrB said:
    Who are ?most?? What group are you referring to? If you make a statement delineating a group like you seem to prefer here, I’m quite sure you can provide a reference point for this data – right?
    ———–
    Well I’m one of those- fifth generation, brought up in it all my life, served on LSA, door to door teaching, pioneered, etc etc. and I see a lot of truth in what these individuals say. But of course when you believe 100% that something is absolute truth, then you will never allow yourself to understand any of the criticism here.[/quote]

    Constructive criticism is always appreciated, but it better be defined by more then opinion should attacking the personality of any individual or group be considered. Should it not, then be open to criticism of methodology.

    You state I will “never” allow myself to understand what is written here. How do you know that? Do I have to “understand” in your terms? I understand viewpoints (like those seen here) exist. Do I have to believe them to understand them? You wish to define me as someone without independent thought (“when you believe 100% that something is absolute truth”…etc.) but fail to recognize the idea that independent thought allows for thought differing from those here.

    The difficulty with your ideas, as well as what is seen throughout this thread, is the group thought process that is strongly developed. Should a fresh idea be injected then the “group” shifts from the ideas being discussed to focus on the “new guy” stating otherwise. Such a result brings the fairly civil discussion going on prior to the “new guy” to a point that the more socially challenged start posts by stating terms like “pompous and anal”. What this indicates is the refusal to debate intelligently by shifting the focus from ideas to personality. Though not as course as Grover, your statement “But of course when you believe 100% that something is absolute truth, then you will never allow yourself to understand any of the criticism here.” attempts to define my personality also.

    As stated before, do not equate time served with development of sainthood. It does not matter if one has served in any or all of every committee or institution. It does not matter if you are the 100th generation. What matters is the degree of sincerity, knowledge, and understanding that this is a process rather than an event. As such the ability to understand and work with others to achieve a particular goal is the key. Your choice is belief is your choice. There are different paths to God.

  • TerrB

    To All,

    I am saying goodbye to this board. Do not believe it is because of anyone “winning” or that I “cannot take it”, for that is not the reason. I have more to do than confine myself to a discussion on what is wrong with something. It is an element I simply do not consider worthwhile.

    I urge everyone here to consider the idea that not everyone thinks the same.

    Good luck in your search.

  • TerrB

    To All,

    I am saying goodbye to this board. Do not believe it is because of anyone “winning” or that I “cannot take it”, for that is not the reason. I have more to do than confine myself to a discussion on what is wrong with something. It is an element I simply do not consider worthwhile.

    I urge everyone here to consider the idea that not everyone thinks the same.

    Good luck in your search.

  • P

    Though not as course as Grover, your statement ?But of course when you believe 100% that something is absolute truth, then you will never allow yourself to understand any of the criticism here.? attempts to define my personality also.
    ————————
    No your comments define your personality perfectly. It wasn’t much of a stretch on my part. And like most who think like you, you can only discuss for a little while before you throw your hands up and run. I guess the cloistered Bahai community is where you belong. The rest of us find true community here on the internet. But thanks for spending a little time with us.

  • P

    Though not as course as Grover, your statement ?But of course when you believe 100% that something is absolute truth, then you will never allow yourself to understand any of the criticism here.? attempts to define my personality also.
    ————————
    No your comments define your personality perfectly. It wasn’t much of a stretch on my part. And like most who think like you, you can only discuss for a little while before you throw your hands up and run. I guess the cloistered Bahai community is where you belong. The rest of us find true community here on the internet. But thanks for spending a little time with us.

  • Grover

    hear hear P

  • Grover

    hear hear P

  • Concourse on Low

    What a trip, reading TerrB’s comments. Interesting how different characters show up periodically, spew incoherent screeds, and then retreat.

    Thank God for Grover, P, EP, Craig and other sane, intelligent people on here.

  • Concourse on Low

    What a trip, reading TerrB’s comments. Interesting how different characters show up periodically, spew incoherent screeds, and then retreat.

    Thank God for Grover, P, EP, Craig and other sane, intelligent people on here.

  • Grover

    Speaking of which, we haven’t heard from Anonymouz or Farhan in a long time. I was wondering if Anonymouz and Masud were the same person. Farhan is probably still on a high afer his pilgrimage.

  • Grover

    Speaking of which, we haven’t heard from Anonymouz or Farhan in a long time. I was wondering if Anonymouz and Masud were the same person. Farhan is probably still on a high afer his pilgrimage.

  • Sincere Friend

    Baha’is are instructed to pray and meditate daily. How do Baha’is meditate and what are the intended effects?
    Like prayer, meditation ?puts man in touch with God,? said Abdu’l-Baha. During meditation, ?The spirit of man is itself informed and strengthened . . . through it affairs of which man knew nothing are unfolded before his view. Through it he receives Divine inspiration, through it he receives heavenly food . . .Meditation is the key for opening the doors of mysteries.? As to how to meditate, there is no prescribed form. Baha’is are enjoined to meditate, but the manner in which they do so is left entirely to the individual. More on this topic can be found in Abdu’l-Baha’s 1913 talk in London.

  • Sincere Friend

    Baha’is are instructed to pray and meditate daily. How do Baha’is meditate and what are the intended effects?
    Like prayer, meditation ?puts man in touch with God,? said Abdu’l-Baha. During meditation, ?The spirit of man is itself informed and strengthened . . . through it affairs of which man knew nothing are unfolded before his view. Through it he receives Divine inspiration, through it he receives heavenly food . . .Meditation is the key for opening the doors of mysteries.? As to how to meditate, there is no prescribed form. Baha’is are enjoined to meditate, but the manner in which they do so is left entirely to the individual. More on this topic can be found in Abdu’l-Baha’s 1913 talk in London.

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=””]Baha’is are instructed to pray and meditate daily. How do Baha’is meditate and what are the intended effects?
    [/quote]

    Meditation is INDEED a daily door or gate to a Universe of higher consciousness. It is definitely a worthy life-long practice. But because it is an INDIVIDUAL practice it is very, very dangerous in the NEWTHINK entirely TOP DOWN GROUP THINK oriented Baha’i Faith of 2008. People who actually meditate will be looked upon as subversives and have files opened on them in Haifa for the thought police watch list.

    Peter Khan said in a speech that ALL esoteric interpretations in the Baha’i Faith are now prohibited and no one has the right to express any of them even as a personal opinion.

    The Baha’is of Toronto have study classes on the speeches of Peter Khan so that is now a major trend in the NEWTHINK Faith. What these guys on the UHJ say GOES in EVERY human matter. They are the Supreme Manifestations in the NEWTHINK Baha’i Faith.

    So, yes, meditation is a very profound daily practice, but be very, very careful WHO you tell your private thoughts to in the Baha’i Faith now if you don’t want to be singled out and put under surveillance as a trouble maker. Self-censorship is the watch word in the Baha’i Faith now.

    I have met very few people in the Baha’i Faith anymore who actually meditate. Even though one’s body is often sitting still or in slight movement, meditation is a profoundly proactive act. Instead of this mindset the Baha’i Faith wants completely passive people now who will fill out the spiritual coloring books as silent zombies and then climb back into the limited coffins of their daily life consciousness.

    So it goes.

    But daily private meditation IS definitely one of the main reasons to be on this planet.

    Mediate on the great and profound wisdom of this teaching:

    “Never give your respect to people who do not respect you”.
    Jason ‘Furious’ Styles (Laurence Fishburne)
    The Father to his Son
    Boyz-N-The Hood (1991)

    Everyone have a nice weekend!

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=””]Baha’is are instructed to pray and meditate daily. How do Baha’is meditate and what are the intended effects?
    [/quote]

    Meditation is INDEED a daily door or gate to a Universe of higher consciousness. It is definitely a worthy life-long practice. But because it is an INDIVIDUAL practice it is very, very dangerous in the NEWTHINK entirely TOP DOWN GROUP THINK oriented Baha’i Faith of 2008. People who actually meditate will be looked upon as subversives and have files opened on them in Haifa for the thought police watch list.

    Peter Khan said in a speech that ALL esoteric interpretations in the Baha’i Faith are now prohibited and no one has the right to express any of them even as a personal opinion.

    The Baha’is of Toronto have study classes on the speeches of Peter Khan so that is now a major trend in the NEWTHINK Faith. What these guys on the UHJ say GOES in EVERY human matter. They are the Supreme Manifestations in the NEWTHINK Baha’i Faith.

    So, yes, meditation is a very profound daily practice, but be very, very careful WHO you tell your private thoughts to in the Baha’i Faith now if you don’t want to be singled out and put under surveillance as a trouble maker. Self-censorship is the watch word in the Baha’i Faith now.

    I have met very few people in the Baha’i Faith anymore who actually meditate. Even though one’s body is often sitting still or in slight movement, meditation is a profoundly proactive act. Instead of this mindset the Baha’i Faith wants completely passive people now who will fill out the spiritual coloring books as silent zombies and then climb back into the limited coffins of their daily life consciousness.

    So it goes.

    But daily private meditation IS definitely one of the main reasons to be on this planet.

    Mediate on the great and profound wisdom of this teaching:

    “Never give your respect to people who do not respect you”.
    Jason ‘Furious’ Styles (Laurence Fishburne)
    The Father to his Son
    Boyz-N-The Hood (1991)

    Everyone have a nice weekend!

  • Grover

    I sometimes get into a meditative state before or after saying prayers in the evening. I’m not sure if you could call it meditative in the true sense though because it isn’t structured or disciplined. I get into a relaxed state, my mind is quiet and I kind of enter a dream state, it becomes almost like lucid dreaming. Nothing much fancy comes out of it though, its usually just random dreams as you would have while sleeping, but sometimes if I’ve been thinking about a scientific problem for a while, the answer pops in my head while I’m in that state.

  • Grover

    I sometimes get into a meditative state before or after saying prayers in the evening. I’m not sure if you could call it meditative in the true sense though because it isn’t structured or disciplined. I get into a relaxed state, my mind is quiet and I kind of enter a dream state, it becomes almost like lucid dreaming. Nothing much fancy comes out of it though, its usually just random dreams as you would have while sleeping, but sometimes if I’ve been thinking about a scientific problem for a while, the answer pops in my head while I’m in that state.

  • Concourse on Low

    I find Buddhist mindfullness meditation techniques to be simple and effective, free of pretentious window dressing. You can utilize them without necessarily subscribing to Buddhist metaphysics. It definitely helps develop an inner sense of calm and sharp lucid thinking. I find it to be more useful than prayer, where I find myself uttering things that I feel uncomfortable uttering – sometimes it feels like I’m just uttering falsehoods, or perjuring myself (i.e. “I bear witness, O my God, that Thou hast created me to know Thee and to Worship Thee…I testify…) I don’t know if I believe that, much less find it appealing.

  • Concourse on Low

    I find Buddhist mindfullness meditation techniques to be simple and effective, free of pretentious window dressing. You can utilize them without necessarily subscribing to Buddhist metaphysics. It definitely helps develop an inner sense of calm and sharp lucid thinking. I find it to be more useful than prayer, where I find myself uttering things that I feel uncomfortable uttering – sometimes it feels like I’m just uttering falsehoods, or perjuring myself (i.e. “I bear witness, O my God, that Thou hast created me to know Thee and to Worship Thee…I testify…) I don’t know if I believe that, much less find it appealing.

  • Craig Parke

    I think when you are deeply practicing your trained craft in life you are meditating. You are communing with the various planes of consciousness in the Universe when you try to create something. Anyone who has to design a product that has to sell, or carry people down a road or in the sky, or write a computer program that has to do what it is supposed to do or you and your entire family starve and you are of a job and in the street is meditating as they seek insight and guidance from the vehicle of their mind outward. Talk to any screenwriter in Hollywood who has ever sold their movie script and had it made how inspiration works and they will tell you about their inner powers of meditation in openness before the limitless Cosmos. Talk to musicians. Talk to people who work a band saw on an assembly line. They will all tell you about heights of meditation in their mind as they go about their repetitive work. Everyone has these transcendent powers. It cannot be managed or dictated or intruded upon by other people. It is private to every person’s individual soul. It is every person’s birthright to explore it themselves in daily discovery. It is probably the most personal gift of being human: the way each person meditates in their own way from the experience of their own life.

  • Craig Parke

    I think when you are deeply practicing your trained craft in life you are meditating. You are communing with the various planes of consciousness in the Universe when you try to create something. Anyone who has to design a product that has to sell, or carry people down a road or in the sky, or write a computer program that has to do what it is supposed to do or you and your entire family starve and you are of a job and in the street is meditating as they seek insight and guidance from the vehicle of their mind outward. Talk to any screenwriter in Hollywood who has ever sold their movie script and had it made how inspiration works and they will tell you about their inner powers of meditation in openness before the limitless Cosmos. Talk to musicians. Talk to people who work a band saw on an assembly line. They will all tell you about heights of meditation in their mind as they go about their repetitive work. Everyone has these transcendent powers. It cannot be managed or dictated or intruded upon by other people. It is private to every person’s individual soul. It is every person’s birthright to explore it themselves in daily discovery. It is probably the most personal gift of being human: the way each person meditates in their own way from the experience of their own life.

  • Grover

    I’ve often wondered what it meant when there has been some perplexing problem and it gets resolved when either you’re in a relaxed state such as meditation, in the shower, or doing some recreational exercise. Where does the answer come from? Has it always been sitting in our heads waiting for us to be in a suitable state for it to come out, or is it because we have some helpful guardians or whatever from the afterlife busy prompting us, and their prompting doesn’t work until we are in a relaxed state? I’ve always liked the idea of having a guardian or two from the afterlife.

    Regarding prayers, CoL, I know what you mean. In holy places such as the shrines, churches or temples, I’ve always prefered to sit quietly and not say much in the way of prayers. I always felt reciting prayers was rather mechanical, got in the way of the moment, and didn’t make the most of being in such an environment. It was always more about enjoying the feeling of being in those places. I’ve always wondered if Baha’is would appreciate the shrines more if they just sat there and let their minds open rather than mumbling some prayers.

  • Grover

    I’ve often wondered what it meant when there has been some perplexing problem and it gets resolved when either you’re in a relaxed state such as meditation, in the shower, or doing some recreational exercise. Where does the answer come from? Has it always been sitting in our heads waiting for us to be in a suitable state for it to come out, or is it because we have some helpful guardians or whatever from the afterlife busy prompting us, and their prompting doesn’t work until we are in a relaxed state? I’ve always liked the idea of having a guardian or two from the afterlife.

    Regarding prayers, CoL, I know what you mean. In holy places such as the shrines, churches or temples, I’ve always prefered to sit quietly and not say much in the way of prayers. I always felt reciting prayers was rather mechanical, got in the way of the moment, and didn’t make the most of being in such an environment. It was always more about enjoying the feeling of being in those places. I’ve always wondered if Baha’is would appreciate the shrines more if they just sat there and let their minds open rather than mumbling some prayers.

  • Grover

    Actually it just occured to me, you know the heighted spiritual consciousness that Peter Khan was always rabbitting on about, aka, obedience, knowing your place, firmness in the Covenant, etc, etc. To me, the real heightened spiritual consciousness is a feeling of close association with the departed in the afterlife, being able to enjoy the moment and feelings of being in holy places, loving your partner and friends, appreciating what you have, enjoying life to the full, being able to help out wherever possible, not being caught up in society’s fads, and being true to yourself.

  • Grover

    Actually it just occured to me, you know the heighted spiritual consciousness that Peter Khan was always rabbitting on about, aka, obedience, knowing your place, firmness in the Covenant, etc, etc. To me, the real heightened spiritual consciousness is a feeling of close association with the departed in the afterlife, being able to enjoy the moment and feelings of being in holy places, loving your partner and friends, appreciating what you have, enjoying life to the full, being able to help out wherever possible, not being caught up in society’s fads, and being true to yourself.

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=””]Actually it just occured to me, you know the heighted spiritual consciousness that Peter Khan was always rabbitting on about, aka, obedience, knowing your place, firmness in the Covenant, etc, etc. To me, the real heightened spiritual consciousness is a feeling of close association with the departed in the afterlife, being able to enjoy the moment and feelings of being in holy places, loving your partner and friends, appreciating what you have, enjoying life to the full, being able to help out wherever possible, not being caught up in society’s fads, and being true to yourself.[/quote]

    Grover,

    I agree with you completely. Also your previous quote. I have experienced it many times in my life where you walk away from something and take a break and hours or days later out of the blue the solution comes to you. It is one of the deep experiences of life.

    In software engineering/programming as I am sure many people here know who are in this profession, there are often three or four different ways to do something. Often you are trying to figure out which is the best way for the particular situation. You see no best way. You go to lunch or for a walk. Suddenly the reason to do it a certain way for the situation comes to you and you have the best way to do it. Months later it becomes apparent that the other ways would have led to problems. Some of them perhaps major problems that could have led to performance disaster requiring a time consuming or expensive major re-write.

    I think the help does come from the other side. All the software engineers who have crossed over are at the ready to help you! I always say a prayer of thanks and gratitude and marvel at their acumen. I always thank my Father who passed away in 1992 for giving me the genes to have the brains to do this. He loved mathematical puzzles and cryptography. He made serious money in the South Pacific in WWII shooting Craps and playing Blackjack. He had books on card counting and computing betting odds when those books first came out. He had a horse race betting system that was published in 1947 in a magazine. I know he is always helping me. I always thank him when the answer comes! It is truly marvelous to experience. There have been times when I have been TOTALLY STUMPED without a clue and I start deciphering actual images that come to me in my mind that eventually tell me how to write a line of Java code that is spot on. Even when it is something I have NEVER seen before or even knew existed in the Sun Java API!

    In one place I worked my programming partner smoked. I did not smoke but I always went with him on his smoke break because when you hung out with the smokers outside the building across departments in all kinds of weather you ALWAYS found out what was REALLY going on in the company! The smokers ALWAYS have the best intelligence network in a company. The mail room people are ALWAYS a close second. And the cleaning staff ALWAYS a close third in a business organization. Between these three sources we ALWAYS knew when a corporate “re-organization” was coming, who was being laid off, and who was sleeping with who in the management ranks. Based upon our intel we often predicted marital problems in the top management up to a full year in advance!

    My programming partner and I would go on a smoke break and always talk about something else NOT pertaining to what we were working on. We would talk about a movie plot and how we would have written it differently, or how the director could have done it differently to get a different effect, his daughter in college and her major, his wife’s job as a nurse. How the Pittsburgh Steelers did in the last game. Sometimes we discussed various Egyptian dynasties, C.G. Jung, and Joseph Campbell all on the same smoke break!

    We once had a very difficult project involving a $3 million dollar contract with Boeing. We had to write the system solely ourselves. We had to fly to Huntsville, Alabama and have a meeting with their people. We came back clarified on one set of problems and more confused than ever on another set of problems. This was in 1998.

    On one smoke break we started discussing how Brian De Palma could have saved the 1990 film “Bonfire of the Vanities” if he just would have reversed how he came into several major scenes. (Woody Allen often does and is famous for it as a major signature technique. He often cuts a scene backwards from how he originally shot it. Study “Radio Days” sometimes. Absolutely brilliant!). Brian de Palma in “Bonfire of the Vanities” essentially came in narrow on a subject in the key scenes we were questioning and ended with a wide expansive shot when he should have come into the scene and ended it in the EXACT OPPOSITE WAY! He could have saved that film by just re-cutting those scenes. Read the book “The Devil’s Candy”. The film was a colossal bomb! Especially when you consider the cast he had!

    Suddenly BINGO! We both saw it! This was our exact branching problem with the software we were trying to write. How can you explain this effect? You never want to limit ANYONE’S approach to anything. You never want to kill intuition and the potential for serendipity. This is why I found Ruhi Book One completely baffling as a sane why to unleash the powers of the New World Age? No one outside of top down Academia would ever conceive of such an approach to “teach” anyone anything? If you have people filling in pre-digested blanks in a business, you will eventually kill all innovation and go bankrupt. You will lose a battle if you are leading an armed force and you will eventually lose the war. You will get tens of thousands of people killed.

    When I read Peter Khan’s “heighted spiritual consciousness” speech in 2000 where he essentially compared a New Zealand business woman and house wife, Alison Marshall, to THE CALAMITY OF THE AGES (ie. which most people would envision something more like Hiroshima and Nagasaki…) I knew the Baha’i Faith was in very, very, very big trouble. Drama queens just don’t make very good leaders of men. Especially people who have served in the actual military of a nation or actually been in a war. I thought, wow, next thing ya know the UHJ members will be wearing eye shadow like Mick Jagger in 1966 for dramatic transgendered effect. It worked for a rock band of the caliber of the Rolling Stones. I just don’t think it would work very well for dramatic effect for them.

    So, yes, I completely agree. When this happens you are talking to the other side. That is how the Universe works. Baha’u’llah wrote all about it. Jesus too.

    These are fabulous books on how the Universe/Multiverse actually seems to work. Good stuff!

    Cosmos and Psyche: Intimations of a New World View
    by Richard Tarnas
    http://www.cosmosandpsyche.com/

    Prayers of the Cosmos: Meditations on the Aramaic Words of Jesus
    by Neil Douglas-Klotz
    http://tinyurl.com/yqwlfz

    Everyone keep posting!

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=””]Actually it just occured to me, you know the heighted spiritual consciousness that Peter Khan was always rabbitting on about, aka, obedience, knowing your place, firmness in the Covenant, etc, etc. To me, the real heightened spiritual consciousness is a feeling of close association with the departed in the afterlife, being able to enjoy the moment and feelings of being in holy places, loving your partner and friends, appreciating what you have, enjoying life to the full, being able to help out wherever possible, not being caught up in society’s fads, and being true to yourself.[/quote]

    Grover,

    I agree with you completely. Also your previous quote. I have experienced it many times in my life where you walk away from something and take a break and hours or days later out of the blue the solution comes to you. It is one of the deep experiences of life.

    In software engineering/programming as I am sure many people here know who are in this profession, there are often three or four different ways to do something. Often you are trying to figure out which is the best way for the particular situation. You see no best way. You go to lunch or for a walk. Suddenly the reason to do it a certain way for the situation comes to you and you have the best way to do it. Months later it becomes apparent that the other ways would have led to problems. Some of them perhaps major problems that could have led to performance disaster requiring a time consuming or expensive major re-write.

    I think the help does come from the other side. All the software engineers who have crossed over are at the ready to help you! I always say a prayer of thanks and gratitude and marvel at their acumen. I always thank my Father who passed away in 1992 for giving me the genes to have the brains to do this. He loved mathematical puzzles and cryptography. He made serious money in the South Pacific in WWII shooting Craps and playing Blackjack. He had books on card counting and computing betting odds when those books first came out. He had a horse race betting system that was published in 1947 in a magazine. I know he is always helping me. I always thank him when the answer comes! It is truly marvelous to experience. There have been times when I have been TOTALLY STUMPED without a clue and I start deciphering actual images that come to me in my mind that eventually tell me how to write a line of Java code that is spot on. Even when it is something I have NEVER seen before or even knew existed in the Sun Java API!

    In one place I worked my programming partner smoked. I did not smoke but I always went with him on his smoke break because when you hung out with the smokers outside the building across departments in all kinds of weather you ALWAYS found out what was REALLY going on in the company! The smokers ALWAYS have the best intelligence network in a company. The mail room people are ALWAYS a close second. And the cleaning staff ALWAYS a close third in a business organization. Between these three sources we ALWAYS knew when a corporate “re-organization” was coming, who was being laid off, and who was sleeping with who in the management ranks. Based upon our intel we often predicted marital problems in the top management up to a full year in advance!

    My programming partner and I would go on a smoke break and always talk about something else NOT pertaining to what we were working on. We would talk about a movie plot and how we would have written it differently, or how the director could have done it differently to get a different effect, his daughter in college and her major, his wife’s job as a nurse. How the Pittsburgh Steelers did in the last game. Sometimes we discussed various Egyptian dynasties, C.G. Jung, and Joseph Campbell all on the same smoke break!

    We once had a very difficult project involving a $3 million dollar contract with Boeing. We had to write the system solely ourselves. We had to fly to Huntsville, Alabama and have a meeting with their people. We came back clarified on one set of problems and more confused than ever on another set of problems. This was in 1998.

    On one smoke break we started discussing how Brian De Palma could have saved the 1990 film “Bonfire of the Vanities” if he just would have reversed how he came into several major scenes. (Woody Allen often does and is famous for it as a major signature technique. He often cuts a scene backwards from how he originally shot it. Study “Radio Days” sometimes. Absolutely brilliant!). Brian de Palma in “Bonfire of the Vanities” essentially came in narrow on a subject in the key scenes we were questioning and ended with a wide expansive shot when he should have come into the scene and ended it in the EXACT OPPOSITE WAY! He could have saved that film by just re-cutting those scenes. Read the book “The Devil’s Candy”. The film was a colossal bomb! Especially when you consider the cast he had!

    Suddenly BINGO! We both saw it! This was our exact branching problem with the software we were trying to write. How can you explain this effect? You never want to limit ANYONE’S approach to anything. You never want to kill intuition and the potential for serendipity. This is why I found Ruhi Book One completely baffling as a sane why to unleash the powers of the New World Age? No one outside of top down Academia would ever conceive of such an approach to “teach” anyone anything? If you have people filling in pre-digested blanks in a business, you will eventually kill all innovation and go bankrupt. You will lose a battle if you are leading an armed force and you will eventually lose the war. You will get tens of thousands of people killed.

    When I read Peter Khan’s “heighted spiritual consciousness” speech in 2000 where he essentially compared a New Zealand business woman and house wife, Alison Marshall, to THE CALAMITY OF THE AGES (ie. which most people would envision something more like Hiroshima and Nagasaki…) I knew the Baha’i Faith was in very, very, very big trouble. Drama queens just don’t make very good leaders of men. Especially people who have served in the actual military of a nation or actually been in a war. I thought, wow, next thing ya know the UHJ members will be wearing eye shadow like Mick Jagger in 1966 for dramatic transgendered effect. It worked for a rock band of the caliber of the Rolling Stones. I just don’t think it would work very well for dramatic effect for them.

    So, yes, I completely agree. When this happens you are talking to the other side. That is how the Universe works. Baha’u’llah wrote all about it. Jesus too.

    These are fabulous books on how the Universe/Multiverse actually seems to work. Good stuff!

    Cosmos and Psyche: Intimations of a New World View
    by Richard Tarnas
    http://www.cosmosandpsyche.com/

    Prayers of the Cosmos: Meditations on the Aramaic Words of Jesus
    by Neil Douglas-Klotz
    http://tinyurl.com/yqwlfz

    Everyone keep posting!

  • ep

    There is a classic problem with confusing “categories of meaning” by attributing all sorts of stuff to an ill-defined category of “spirituality”.

    This appears to be what Khan is doing: assign “all good” to some bahai category, then pour anything/everything else imaginable in there that will make it sound like a “bigger and better” mousetrap. People have a “feel good” moment (the “God’s chosen people” archetype is “reaffirmed” via groupthink). And nothing else gets done. The bureaucracy has reinvented the context. No need to complain or want, or ask about, “something better”.

    You will rarely hear anything specifically useful about the direct experience of transcendence from bahai leadership elites. I know of several cases where people (not of the elites) that were good at teaching transformation (via meditation and leading edge psychology) were viciously attacked by those leadership elites.

    In one case, the rationale that the bureaucrats gave was that having a natural leader around that actually taought people how to make major, rapid progress toward a spiritually transformative life was “confusing” since people would not know if they should turn to the teacher for “guidance” or to “assemblies”.

    So, what the bureaucrats told the community was that it was better to turn to an incompetent assembly than an accomplished individual teacher of spiritual discipline/healing.

    *********************
    *** I KID YOU NOT ***
    *********************

    So, as Craig says with his usual penetrating insight, the pattern is there: offer people that “good stuff” (specific steps to consistently engage in self-healing, self-learning that lead to direct transcendence) at the grass roots level, and you just got a gigantic target painted on your back that the mediocre bahai bureaucrats will align their “sights” on, and squeeze the trigger. Shoot first, ask questions later. Ritualized violence of the most appalling sort.

    Meanwhile, all sorts of scientists are doing brain scans to figure out what is really going on when people experience transcendence, and are comparing notes with those in the mysticism traditions (especially those that do not place a lot of middle-man stuff in the way of directly attaining transcendence).

    However, there is something very difficult involved in this topic. Before democracy came about, along with “rationalist” and populist middle class values and along with industrialization and commodification of the economy, things like spirituality, meditation, etc., were usually for a small elite of literate people, usually from the upper classes.

    Modernity brings many good things (e.g., the end of slavery), but the downside is that people become “disconnected” from natural cycles, are no longer able to live in a self-sufficient, local manner that is ecologically “sustainable”, and even lose the ability to produce *anything* when consumerism is taken too far. Part of that is the loss of “authencity” in culture, including the knowedge systems that traditionally were available to help people progress through meditative/mystical disciplines. Fortunately a lot of this knowedge has been retained by different communities, and has started to spread through various healing/retreat centers, new age think tanks, and so forth. There is even a controversy in the Yoga community about how Yoga is “too popular”, and “not enough” people are practicing the real (“deep”) yoga. Hilarious!

    In any case, a great deal of east-west fusion is taking place, and in the second generation of “alternative” spirituality since the 1960s, people take the idea of “spiritual capitalism” pretty seriously, which means that it is gaining a lot of “traction”. Not having practiced meditation and spiritual discipline may eventually become a “social liability” in some business circles.

    In the following talks at JFK Univ. (which offers Integral Studies degrees) in 2003, Wilber mentions something vague about data which supports the critical role that meditation plays in furthering paradigm shifts within individuals.

    Young people can typically meditate their way from a Postmodern (“green meme”) paradigm to significantly Integral (Holistic pluralism) in a couple of years if extremely focused on the task. Middle aged people will usually take 5+ years, and later in life the transition will take at least 10 years.

    http://www.formlessmountain.com/kw_audio/KW_13.mp3

    (linked from http://www.formlessmountain.com/audio.html

    To be precise, Willber states that meditation is the “engine” of personal transformation that will allow humanity to leap to the new “memes” and paradigms needed to bring about higher consciousness, new solutions to political, economic, social, educational, religious (etc.) problems.

    To oversimplify, meditation is the key issue that will move humanity toward greater peace, altruism, compassion, harmony, etc.

    In software terms, it allows one to upgrade to the Human Integral Operating System (AKA “the “brain”) that is most attuned to the leading edge of the Evolutionary Kosmos.

    The Integral Brain, when running the correct upgrade, can use the power of both rationalism and transcendence, through specific disciplines/forms of practice, to make major progress towards world peace and social justice.

    Currently, the “meaning” that is being constructed around that theme is either located within the communities of the mysticism traditions, which frequently are about ready to burst their seams under the pressure of Kosmic Evolution, or in various hybrid communities that depend on the “new age” economy. Which of course rests atop the foundation of the “old” economcy.

    A couple of examples of the possibilities:

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

    excerpts:

    | Humans are … embodied theories of self & world, seeking a
    | Sisyphian balance — a “dynamilbria” — between old and new
    | activity patterns. Dynamilibria refers to a moving balance,
    | which is different than the static balance typical of
    | equilibria. Michael uses Sisyphus as a metaphor because we
    | never quite get there; we are always leaning into the next
    | moment. A major contention of constructivists is that novelty
    | is necessary for development. We need new perspectives and
    | experiences to keep exploring that edge. Too little novelty
    | –> no change. Too much –> systemic contraction or a lack of
    | functioning. All living systems have a natural and healthy
    | resistance to change. We can only take so much change at one
    | time. The long term view resembles respiration, with cycles
    | of breathing in and out.
    | …
    |
    | Evolutionary processes are usually described as external to us,
    | but internal psychological patterns reflect those same
    | evolutionary processes. The essence of Darwinian evolution
    | involves three things: variation, selection, and retention.
    | The psychospiritual analogues are creative exploration or
    | flexibility (variation), virtue (selection), and practice
    | (retention). Development is a process of continuous edging.
    | One fact emerging from recent studies in neurosciences is that
    | variability precedes the next step in development. Chaos is
    | thus a good thing at times. Some scientists even suggest that
    | the brain creates chaos as a means of identifying patterns.
    |
    | This approach … depathologizes disorder and disorganization.
    | So much of our culture has been orderly and fearful of
    | disorder. From a complex systems perspective, episodes of
    | disorder are a necessary and healthy expression of an open
    | system. In fact, he thinks it is odd how we label some
    | psychological patterns “disorders” when they are, in fact,
    | marked by excessive order. Obsessive compulsive disorder is
    | a case in point. In such situations, there is a restriction
    | of exploratory behavior. Michael noted that instances of
    | enduring transformation are often preceded by episodes of
    | dropping away of previous order. Functioning will take a
    | temporary dip, then move up to the next step. Finally, he
    | stated his belief that we teach wisdom by patience,
    | perseverance, and practice.

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

    “Places to intervene in a system” to maximize change at the appropriate level of context.

    – – –

    Ken Wilber’s “Kosmos”

    (also known as the “holistic enchilada”)

    http://wilber.shambhala.com/html/books/kosmos/index.cfm/

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

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

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

    http://wilber.shambhala.com/html/books/kosmos/excerptA/intro.cfm

    Let us begin this overview by first noting what appears to be a rather dismal fact: today we hear a lot about Cultural Creatives and the new and exciting rise of an Integral Culture–a holistic, balanced, inclusive, caring culture that moves beyond the traditional and the modern and into a postmodern transformation. But, in fact, significant psychological evidence indicates that in today’s world, less than 2% of the population is at anything that could be called an “integral” wave of awareness (where “integral” means something like Gebser’s integral-aperspectival, Loevinger’s autonomous and integrated stages, Spiral Dynamics’ yellow and turquoise memes, Wade’s authentic, Arlin’s postformal, the centauric self and mature vision-logic, etc.).

    The same evidence suggests, however, that a very large percentage of the population–close to 25%–is at the immediately preceding wave of development (which is Loevinger’s individualistic stage, Spiral Dynamics’ green meme, Paul Ray’s cultural creatives, Wade’s affiliative, Sinnott’s relativistic, etc.). Moreover, because most of this population has been at the green-meme wave for several decades, it appears that a large portion–perhaps up to one-third–are ready to move forward to the next wave of expanding consciousness–which means, move forward to a truly integral wave of awareness.

    In other words, that modest 2% of the population that is now integral might soon swell to 5%, 10%, or more. I believe that, as with any evolutionary unfolding, we will especially start to see evidence of this increasingly integral consciousness at the growing tip, or at the leading edge, or in the avant garde (by whatever appellation)–in academia, the arts, social movements, spirituality, thought leaders. “Integral theories”–or attempts at such–are already starting to emerge across the board in academia, especially as the leading-edge theorists continue to throw off the yoke of extreme postmodern pluralism (and the green meme) and start finding not just the incommensurabilities but the integral commonalities of cultures. There seems to be little doubt that in so many ways the growing tip is reaching toward the integral light….

    In short, we appear to be entering an integral age at the leading edge (with significant portions of the culture at large to follow).

    classical functionalism was the product of a conceptualization capacity whose center of gravity was still formal operational (orange-meme), which tends to cognize universal systems, but only insofar as they are more static and unchanging, and not in their dialectical, chaotic, and transformative modes (which tend to be best captured by postformal cognition). Still, the insights and contributions of Parsons were so profound and so far-reaching that all present-day theories, if they hope to be adequate, attempt to “include and transcend” Parsons (as has Habermas, Luhmann, Alexander, Bailey, etc.). Parsons, for example, had an unerring intuition of the necessity to include all four quadrants in any social theory, which he called “four generic types of subsystems”: the organism (UR), the social system (LR), the cultural system (LL), and the personality (UL). Still, classic functionalism was doomed in its original form, and it began, especially in the late sixties and early seventies, to be eclipsed by the next wave of social theory, that of microsociology.

    the modernism of orange universalism gave way to the postmodernism of green pluralism. Where the former was marked by static universal systems governing all cultures, the latter was marked by relativism, multiculturalism, diversity studies, and incommensurabilities of every imaginable variety. This was, in many ways, the first move from formalism to postformalism, and the result was a much-needed turn away from abstract grand theories, big pictures, metanarratives, and universal formalism, toward a detailed attention to particulars, to cultural nuances and important differences, with an emphasis on marginalized sectors and heterogeneity.

    Whereas the “big pictures” of the orange “universal systems” harshly excluded an appropriate sensitivity to cultural diversity, to world-making intersubjectivity, to the enactive (not merely representational) activity of cognition, and to the irreducible heterogeneity of many systems, the post-green big pictures that are starting to emerge at the dawn of the age of synthesis all explicitly include and build upon the green-meme contributions of microsociology, but without getting lost in an attention to trees so fierce that it denies the existence of forests.

    An integral age at the leading edge, a big picture of many forests, an age of synthesis arising from the ruins of pluralism washed ashore.

    With a few qualifications, I strongly agree with that general Whiteheadian view of the nature of moment-to-moment existence. Whitehead actually discovered the inescapable reason that the Kosmos is holarchical in its very nature: each moment transcends and includes its predecessors, the very definition of holarchy.

    But we add a crucial item: this is a four-quadrant affair, all the way down–a view we also call quadratic. That is, each holon or actual occasion has subjective (I), intersubjective (we), objective (it), and interobjective dimensions (its)–the four quadrants. Whitehead brilliantly described moment-to-moment manifestation in the subjective and (to some degree) intersubjective dimensions. But we will be adding non-prehensive inheritance in the objective and interobjective dimensions, as well as fleshing out the intersubjective realms in a way that is clearly not found in Whitehead.

  • ep

    There is a classic problem with confusing “categories of meaning” by attributing all sorts of stuff to an ill-defined category of “spirituality”.

    This appears to be what Khan is doing: assign “all good” to some bahai category, then pour anything/everything else imaginable in there that will make it sound like a “bigger and better” mousetrap. People have a “feel good” moment (the “God’s chosen people” archetype is “reaffirmed” via groupthink). And nothing else gets done. The bureaucracy has reinvented the context. No need to complain or want, or ask about, “something better”.

    You will rarely hear anything specifically useful about the direct experience of transcendence from bahai leadership elites. I know of several cases where people (not of the elites) that were good at teaching transformation (via meditation and leading edge psychology) were viciously attacked by those leadership elites.

    In one case, the rationale that the bureaucrats gave was that having a natural leader around that actually taought people how to make major, rapid progress toward a spiritually transformative life was “confusing” since people would not know if they should turn to the teacher for “guidance” or to “assemblies”.

    So, what the bureaucrats told the community was that it was better to turn to an incompetent assembly than an accomplished individual teacher of spiritual discipline/healing.

    *********************
    *** I KID YOU NOT ***
    *********************

    So, as Craig says with his usual penetrating insight, the pattern is there: offer people that “good stuff” (specific steps to consistently engage in self-healing, self-learning that lead to direct transcendence) at the grass roots level, and you just got a gigantic target painted on your back that the mediocre bahai bureaucrats will align their “sights” on, and squeeze the trigger. Shoot first, ask questions later. Ritualized violence of the most appalling sort.

    Meanwhile, all sorts of scientists are doing brain scans to figure out what is really going on when people experience transcendence, and are comparing notes with those in the mysticism traditions (especially those that do not place a lot of middle-man stuff in the way of directly attaining transcendence).

    However, there is something very difficult involved in this topic. Before democracy came about, along with “rationalist” and populist middle class values and along with industrialization and commodification of the economy, things like spirituality, meditation, etc., were usually for a small elite of literate people, usually from the upper classes.

    Modernity brings many good things (e.g., the end of slavery), but the downside is that people become “disconnected” from natural cycles, are no longer able to live in a self-sufficient, local manner that is ecologically “sustainable”, and even lose the ability to produce *anything* when consumerism is taken too far. Part of that is the loss of “authencity” in culture, including the knowedge systems that traditionally were available to help people progress through meditative/mystical disciplines. Fortunately a lot of this knowedge has been retained by different communities, and has started to spread through various healing/retreat centers, new age think tanks, and so forth. There is even a controversy in the Yoga community about how Yoga is “too popular”, and “not enough” people are practicing the real (“deep”) yoga. Hilarious!

    In any case, a great deal of east-west fusion is taking place, and in the second generation of “alternative” spirituality since the 1960s, people take the idea of “spiritual capitalism” pretty seriously, which means that it is gaining a lot of “traction”. Not having practiced meditation and spiritual discipline may eventually become a “social liability” in some business circles.

    In the following talks at JFK Univ. (which offers Integral Studies degrees) in 2003, Wilber mentions something vague about data which supports the critical role that meditation plays in furthering paradigm shifts within individuals.

    Young people can typically meditate their way from a Postmodern (“green meme”) paradigm to significantly Integral (Holistic pluralism) in a couple of years if extremely focused on the task. Middle aged people will usually take 5+ years, and later in life the transition will take at least 10 years.

    http://www.formlessmountain.com/kw_audio/KW_13.mp3

    (linked from http://www.formlessmountain.com/audio.html

    To be precise, Willber states that meditation is the “engine” of personal transformation that will allow humanity to leap to the new “memes” and paradigms needed to bring about higher consciousness, new solutions to political, economic, social, educational, religious (etc.) problems.

    To oversimplify, meditation is the key issue that will move humanity toward greater peace, altruism, compassion, harmony, etc.

    In software terms, it allows one to upgrade to the Human Integral Operating System (AKA “the “brain”) that is most attuned to the leading edge of the Evolutionary Kosmos.

    The Integral Brain, when running the correct upgrade, can use the power of both rationalism and transcendence, through specific disciplines/forms of practice, to make major progress towards world peace and social justice.

    Currently, the “meaning” that is being constructed around that theme is either located within the communities of the mysticism traditions, which frequently are about ready to burst their seams under the pressure of Kosmic Evolution, or in various hybrid communities that depend on the “new age” economy. Which of course rests atop the foundation of the “old” economcy.

    A couple of examples of the possibilities:

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

    excerpts:

    | Humans are … embodied theories of self & world, seeking a
    | Sisyphian balance — a “dynamilbria” — between old and new
    | activity patterns. Dynamilibria refers to a moving balance,
    | which is different than the static balance typical of
    | equilibria. Michael uses Sisyphus as a metaphor because we
    | never quite get there; we are always leaning into the next
    | moment. A major contention of constructivists is that novelty
    | is necessary for development. We need new perspectives and
    | experiences to keep exploring that edge. Too little novelty
    | –> no change. Too much –> systemic contraction or a lack of
    | functioning. All living systems have a natural and healthy
    | resistance to change. We can only take so much change at one
    | time. The long term view resembles respiration, with cycles
    | of breathing in and out.
    | …
    |
    | Evolutionary processes are usually described as external to us,
    | but internal psychological patterns reflect those same
    | evolutionary processes. The essence of Darwinian evolution
    | involves three things: variation, selection, and retention.
    | The psychospiritual analogues are creative exploration or
    | flexibility (variation), virtue (selection), and practice
    | (retention). Development is a process of continuous edging.
    | One fact emerging from recent studies in neurosciences is that
    | variability precedes the next step in development. Chaos is
    | thus a good thing at times. Some scientists even suggest that
    | the brain creates chaos as a means of identifying patterns.
    |
    | This approach … depathologizes disorder and disorganization.
    | So much of our culture has been orderly and fearful of
    | disorder. From a complex systems perspective, episodes of
    | disorder are a necessary and healthy expression of an open
    | system. In fact, he thinks it is odd how we label some
    | psychological patterns “disorders” when they are, in fact,
    | marked by excessive order. Obsessive compulsive disorder is
    | a case in point. In such situations, there is a restriction
    | of exploratory behavior. Michael noted that instances of
    | enduring transformation are often preceded by episodes of
    | dropping away of previous order. Functioning will take a
    | temporary dip, then move up to the next step. Finally, he
    | stated his belief that we teach wisdom by patience,
    | perseverance, and practice.

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

    “Places to intervene in a system” to maximize change at the appropriate level of context.

    – – –

    Ken Wilber’s “Kosmos”

    (also known as the “holistic enchilada”)

    http://wilber.shambhala.com/html/books/kosmos/index.cfm/

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

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

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

    http://wilber.shambhala.com/html/books/kosmos/excerptA/intro.cfm

    Let us begin this overview by first noting what appears to be a rather dismal fact: today we hear a lot about Cultural Creatives and the new and exciting rise of an Integral Culture–a holistic, balanced, inclusive, caring culture that moves beyond the traditional and the modern and into a postmodern transformation. But, in fact, significant psychological evidence indicates that in today’s world, less than 2% of the population is at anything that could be called an “integral” wave of awareness (where “integral” means something like Gebser’s integral-aperspectival, Loevinger’s autonomous and integrated stages, Spiral Dynamics’ yellow and turquoise memes, Wade’s authentic, Arlin’s postformal, the centauric self and mature vision-logic, etc.).

    The same evidence suggests, however, that a very large percentage of the population–close to 25%–is at the immediately preceding wave of development (which is Loevinger’s individualistic stage, Spiral Dynamics’ green meme, Paul Ray’s cultural creatives, Wade’s affiliative, Sinnott’s relativistic, etc.). Moreover, because most of this population has been at the green-meme wave for several decades, it appears that a large portion–perhaps up to one-third–are ready to move forward to the next wave of expanding consciousness–which means, move forward to a truly integral wave of awareness.

    In other words, that modest 2% of the population that is now integral might soon swell to 5%, 10%, or more. I believe that, as with any evolutionary unfolding, we will especially start to see evidence of this increasingly integral consciousness at the growing tip, or at the leading edge, or in the avant garde (by whatever appellation)–in academia, the arts, social movements, spirituality, thought leaders. “Integral theories”–or attempts at such–are already starting to emerge across the board in academia, especially as the leading-edge theorists continue to throw off the yoke of extreme postmodern pluralism (and the green meme) and start finding not just the incommensurabilities but the integral commonalities of cultures. There seems to be little doubt that in so many ways the growing tip is reaching toward the integral light….

    In short, we appear to be entering an integral age at the leading edge (with significant portions of the culture at large to follow).

    classical functionalism was the product of a conceptualization capacity whose center of gravity was still formal operational (orange-meme), which tends to cognize universal systems, but only insofar as they are more static and unchanging, and not in their dialectical, chaotic, and transformative modes (which tend to be best captured by postformal cognition). Still, the insights and contributions of Parsons were so profound and so far-reaching that all present-day theories, if they hope to be adequate, attempt to “include and transcend” Parsons (as has Habermas, Luhmann, Alexander, Bailey, etc.). Parsons, for example, had an unerring intuition of the necessity to include all four quadrants in any social theory, which he called “four generic types of subsystems”: the organism (UR), the social system (LR), the cultural system (LL), and the personality (UL). Still, classic functionalism was doomed in its original form, and it began, especially in the late sixties and early seventies, to be eclipsed by the next wave of social theory, that of microsociology.

    the modernism of orange universalism gave way to the postmodernism of green pluralism. Where the former was marked by static universal systems governing all cultures, the latter was marked by relativism, multiculturalism, diversity studies, and incommensurabilities of every imaginable variety. This was, in many ways, the first move from formalism to postformalism, and the result was a much-needed turn away from abstract grand theories, big pictures, metanarratives, and universal formalism, toward a detailed attention to particulars, to cultural nuances and important differences, with an emphasis on marginalized sectors and heterogeneity.

    Whereas the “big pictures” of the orange “universal systems” harshly excluded an appropriate sensitivity to cultural diversity, to world-making intersubjectivity, to the enactive (not merely representational) activity of cognition, and to the irreducible heterogeneity of many systems, the post-green big pictures that are starting to emerge at the dawn of the age of synthesis all explicitly include and build upon the green-meme contributions of microsociology, but without getting lost in an attention to trees so fierce that it denies the existence of forests.

    An integral age at the leading edge, a big picture of many forests, an age of synthesis arising from the ruins of pluralism washed ashore.

    With a few qualifications, I strongly agree with that general Whiteheadian view of the nature of moment-to-moment existence. Whitehead actually discovered the inescapable reason that the Kosmos is holarchical in its very nature: each moment transcends and includes its predecessors, the very definition of holarchy.

    But we add a crucial item: this is a four-quadrant affair, all the way down–a view we also call quadratic. That is, each holon or actual occasion has subjective (I), intersubjective (we), objective (it), and interobjective dimensions (its)–the four quadrants. Whitehead brilliantly described moment-to-moment manifestation in the subjective and (to some degree) intersubjective dimensions. But we will be adding non-prehensive inheritance in the objective and interobjective dimensions, as well as fleshing out the intersubjective realms in a way that is clearly not found in Whitehead.

  • Sincere Friend

    Very interesting thoughts on meditation.

    I am shocked to read Craig, that Dr. Khan would say that esoteric interpretation in the Bahai Faith is forbidden. That sounds like reaction to Douglas Martins statement something to the effect that “conscience is a dangerous delusion”, his point being that using conscience as a reason to disobey the UHJ has no place in Bahai practice or rationale. Perhaps Dr. Khan is addressing an issue related to authoritative statements, as it seems that what usually
    challenges religious authorities the most is when people claim the authority of visions or mystic states, or political exception of conscience, both of which tend to have polarizing effects in any body politic. Controlling doctrinal purity now seems to be a major focus of the UHJ for which the Ruhi is serving as an effective vehicle.

    Doctrinal purity is a cohesive force in any organization or society while esotericism and conscience tends to release creative forces that are not controllable by a hierarchical structure but are harmonizable through ritual(see comments on brain wave entrainment below).

    The comment about the individual persons teaching transformation and meditation brings to mind some comment by a currently popular Bahai scholar whos name escapes me at the moment. Its a persian name that begins with M, Mome or something like that. But their statement was in some summary work about the Bahai Faith that “all mystical experience in the new religion has been institutionalized in the assemblies”. I wish I could find the quote, but it strikes me as excessively biased in favor of the institutional structure as opposed to the capacity of individuals to experience anything of a mystical nature, which I think anyone who has had a mystical experience will see on the face is patently false. Institutions after all are made up of individuals but there is a group effect noted by some researchers of entrainment of the brain waves when people pray or meditate or dance or sing together. The groups brainwaves syncronize.

    If you Craig could be so kind as to provide a reference for Dr. Khans statement on esotericism I would very much like to read that statement by him.

    Thank you.

    P.S. Please dont use any of my statements as jumping off points for the usual complaints, okay friends. I am interested at getting to the heart of this issue about esotericism, we can examine the Writings on this one.

  • Sincere Friend

    Very interesting thoughts on meditation.

    I am shocked to read Craig, that Dr. Khan would say that esoteric interpretation in the Bahai Faith is forbidden. That sounds like reaction to Douglas Martins statement something to the effect that “conscience is a dangerous delusion”, his point being that using conscience as a reason to disobey the UHJ has no place in Bahai practice or rationale. Perhaps Dr. Khan is addressing an issue related to authoritative statements, as it seems that what usually
    challenges religious authorities the most is when people claim the authority of visions or mystic states, or political exception of conscience, both of which tend to have polarizing effects in any body politic. Controlling doctrinal purity now seems to be a major focus of the UHJ for which the Ruhi is serving as an effective vehicle.

    Doctrinal purity is a cohesive force in any organization or society while esotericism and conscience tends to release creative forces that are not controllable by a hierarchical structure but are harmonizable through ritual(see comments on brain wave entrainment below).

    The comment about the individual persons teaching transformation and meditation brings to mind some comment by a currently popular Bahai scholar whos name escapes me at the moment. Its a persian name that begins with M, Mome or something like that. But their statement was in some summary work about the Bahai Faith that “all mystical experience in the new religion has been institutionalized in the assemblies”. I wish I could find the quote, but it strikes me as excessively biased in favor of the institutional structure as opposed to the capacity of individuals to experience anything of a mystical nature, which I think anyone who has had a mystical experience will see on the face is patently false. Institutions after all are made up of individuals but there is a group effect noted by some researchers of entrainment of the brain waves when people pray or meditate or dance or sing together. The groups brainwaves syncronize.

    If you Craig could be so kind as to provide a reference for Dr. Khans statement on esotericism I would very much like to read that statement by him.

    Thank you.

    P.S. Please dont use any of my statements as jumping off points for the usual complaints, okay friends. I am interested at getting to the heart of this issue about esotericism, we can examine the Writings on this one.

  • Sincere Friend

    This might be an interesting read for some…
    Dr Baars is a Christian therapist who has identified something called Emotional Deprivation Disorder that might be behind some of the psychosocial phenomena that everyone seems to like to dig into around here.

    http://www.conradbaars.com/Baars-books.htm

    ______________

    How to Treat and Prevent The Crisis in the Priesthood:

    This booklet discusses the role of the Church in the causation, treatment and prevention of the crisis in the priesthood. Pamphlet—50 pages.

    Please note that this is the same as Dr. Baars’ monograph titled: “The Role of the Church in the Causation, Treatment, and Prevention of the Crisis in the Priesthood .”

    Baars, Conrad W. How to Treat and Prevent The Crisis in the Priesthood. Chicago, Ill: Franciscan Press, 1972.

  • Sincere Friend

    This might be an interesting read for some…
    Dr Baars is a Christian therapist who has identified something called Emotional Deprivation Disorder that might be behind some of the psychosocial phenomena that everyone seems to like to dig into around here.

    http://www.conradbaars.com/Baars-books.htm

    ______________

    How to Treat and Prevent The Crisis in the Priesthood:

    This booklet discusses the role of the Church in the causation, treatment and prevention of the crisis in the priesthood. Pamphlet—50 pages.

    Please note that this is the same as Dr. Baars’ monograph titled: “The Role of the Church in the Causation, Treatment, and Prevention of the Crisis in the Priesthood .”

    Baars, Conrad W. How to Treat and Prevent The Crisis in the Priesthood. Chicago, Ill: Franciscan Press, 1972.

  • Sincere Friend

    ep….you wrote

    “IF we can generate the essentials of a spiritual worldview without the metaphysical baggage, then we can generate a spiritual worldview that will survive in a modern and postmodern world.”

    I share your perception that there is a lot of confusion that needs to be cleared away to get to a really clear and functional universal system of spiritual paradigm and development. What you were saying ,without realizing it perhaps, by pointing out the various names that various authors have given to states and stages of consciousness, etc. is that there is a fragmentation due to differences of terminology, in that there is not now one common mystical spiritual language.

    What I think would be the best solution both to your stated problem in the quote of your previous post above and to the problem of a common language is to use scientific or proven means to attain and measure these various states. Then the first problem will be solved because people will know these things of their own knowledge, and not by intellectual abstraction, and then whatever tag of reference they want to put on it can be agreed in the same way that conventions for nomenclature is handled in scientific and technological fields, by forming a committee that compares all the systems and either invents or reduces the confusion to something workable.

    So the Bahai principle of one universal language can be applied to mystic states, and perhaps through that exoteric authoritative doctrinal religion can find unity with esoteric experiencial religion. I think that that is truly possible and destined for our Faith.

    I know there are references in the Writings to saints and sages that will come in following centuries to inspire, uplift and clarify these mystical things, but perhaps that time is beginning now with this new generations revival of interest in the subject.

    Another thought regarding critical mass of consciousness, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, may Gods Grace fall upon Him forever and ever(my sincere and personal wish expressed therein and not any kind of formal devoteeish thing – as I truly respect him and his work He is a saint), often pointed out that the square root of one percent of the worlds population was all that was necessary to effect a transformation of consciousness in the entire world. It comes to about 7 or 8000 people I think. That is what they practice when they have their group meditations in the TM movement.

  • Sincere Friend

    ep….you wrote

    “IF we can generate the essentials of a spiritual worldview without the metaphysical baggage, then we can generate a spiritual worldview that will survive in a modern and postmodern world.”

    I share your perception that there is a lot of confusion that needs to be cleared away to get to a really clear and functional universal system of spiritual paradigm and development. What you were saying ,without realizing it perhaps, by pointing out the various names that various authors have given to states and stages of consciousness, etc. is that there is a fragmentation due to differences of terminology, in that there is not now one common mystical spiritual language.

    What I think would be the best solution both to your stated problem in the quote of your previous post above and to the problem of a common language is to use scientific or proven means to attain and measure these various states. Then the first problem will be solved because people will know these things of their own knowledge, and not by intellectual abstraction, and then whatever tag of reference they want to put on it can be agreed in the same way that conventions for nomenclature is handled in scientific and technological fields, by forming a committee that compares all the systems and either invents or reduces the confusion to something workable.

    So the Bahai principle of one universal language can be applied to mystic states, and perhaps through that exoteric authoritative doctrinal religion can find unity with esoteric experiencial religion. I think that that is truly possible and destined for our Faith.

    I know there are references in the Writings to saints and sages that will come in following centuries to inspire, uplift and clarify these mystical things, but perhaps that time is beginning now with this new generations revival of interest in the subject.

    Another thought regarding critical mass of consciousness, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, may Gods Grace fall upon Him forever and ever(my sincere and personal wish expressed therein and not any kind of formal devoteeish thing – as I truly respect him and his work He is a saint), often pointed out that the square root of one percent of the worlds population was all that was necessary to effect a transformation of consciousness in the entire world. It comes to about 7 or 8000 people I think. That is what they practice when they have their group meditations in the TM movement.

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=”54672″]

    SF wrote:

    I am shocked to read Craig, that Dr. Khan would say that esoteric interpretation in the Bahai Faith is forbidden. That sounds like reaction to Douglas Martins statement something to the effect that “conscience is a dangerous delusion”, his point being that using conscience as a reason to disobey the UHJ has no place in Bahai practice or rationale. Perhaps Dr. Khan is addressing an issue related to authoritative statements, as it seems that what usually
    challenges religious authorities the most is when people claim the authority of visions or mystic states, or political exception of conscience, both of which tend to have polarizing effects in any body politic. Controlling doctrinal purity now seems to be a major focus of the UHJ for which the Ruhi is serving as an effective vehicle.

    Doctrinal purity is a cohesive force in any organization or society while esotericism and conscience tends to release creative forces that are not controllable by a hierarchical structure but are harmonizable through ritual(see comments on brain wave entrainment below).

    The comment about the individual persons teaching transformation and meditation brings to mind some comment by a currently popular Bahai scholar whos name escapes me at the moment. Its a persian name that begins with M, Mome or something like that. But their statement was in some summary work about the Bahai Faith that “all mystical experience in the new religion has been institutionalized in the assemblies”. I wish I could find the quote, but it strikes me as excessively biased in favor of the institutional structure as opposed to the capacity of individuals to experience anything of a mystical nature, which I think anyone who has had a mystical experience will see on the face is patently false. Institutions after all are made up of individuals but there is a group effect noted by some researchers of entrainment of the brain waves when people pray or meditate or dance or sing together. The groups brainwaves syncronize.

    If you Craig could be so kind as to provide a reference for Dr. Khans statement on esotericism I would very much like to read that statement by him.

    Thank you.

    P.S. Please dont use any of my statements as jumping off points for the usual complaints, okay friends. I am interested at getting to the heart of this issue about esotericism, we can examine the Writings on this one.[/quote]

    Hi SF,

    Here is the link. It is a typical Peter Khan speech about how we MUST ALWAYS BE FILLED WITH FEAR about ourselves as Baha’is and, therefore, ALWAYS practice ruthless self censorship of every thought 24/7365/1000. I guess that is the price of being in the new top down science project of “Recreating Man” (Tm) with the UHJ at the controls giving their personal elucidations and interpretations on everything.

    His speeches are always very, very curious psychological projection documents where he is always addressing a unique psychological AUDIENCE OF ONE: himself. His speeches are always a lecture to the mine canary of himself worrying if he, himself, will be found dead on the newspapers in his cage if he does not heed his own device.

    Absolutely fascinating stuff!

    His interpretation of that passage by Baha’u’llah is not my personal interpretation. I think it is about something else altogether. His interpretation of that passage by Baha’u’llah is, well, uh, down right esoteric! But I won’t give mine here lest perhaps another charge be added to the file surely opened on me by now in Haifa for on-going thought crimes. Someone may think I am “out-esotericizing” him and report me for thought crimes against the Covenant. That someone will say I am not, to use your term, “doctrinally pure” enough and it will be the Iron Maiden or the Rack for me in the NEWTHINK Baha’i Faith as opposed to the OLDTHINK Baha’i Faith.

    http://www.bci.org/nnby/essays/need_for_bahais_of_capacity.htm

    The KMAN says:

    “There’s also a challenge to avoid the kinds of things that the Kit??b-i-Aqdas warns us about. The Kit??b-i-Aqdas has some really funny passages, and I find I laugh whenever I read them. There is one verse where Bah??’u’ll??h speaks about the person who has great desire for leadership. He describes that person walking and hearing the tread of sandals of the devotees following in his footsteps, and Bah??’u’ll??h then says something very nasty about him. I forget what it was but he obviously, he says to him this is nothing, you’re just consumed by your own ego in your desire for leadership.

    And there is a delightful passage where Bah??’u’ll??h speaks about the character with false humility who turns up in the room and sits with the sandals. We don’t have a lot of sandals around here tonight. Normally, from my understanding in Eastern homes, you leave your shoes at the door, the place of honour is deep in the room, and the person sitting by the sandals is in the cheap seats, where the hoi-polloi sit. This person comes and deliberately sits by the sandals saying: ?I’m just nothing’ ?I’m just sitting by the sandals’ but Bah??’u’ll??h describes him as thinking: ?I should be up there with the big guys.’ ?I really belong up there in the seat of honour. But I’m just down here so people will see me and say: ?look how humble he is, sitting down by the sandals. Let’s whistle him up here.’ And Bah??’u’ll??h again condemns this person.

    And the third one I remember from the Kit??b-i-Aqdas is where Bah??’u’ll??h refers to the person who feels he has esoteric knowledge. He knows what the stuff really means, the real secret depths that you and I have no idea about. He really understands it. Bah??’u’ll??h refers to this person who feels he has a level of insight that no one else has. And He says, what you have is just the ?husks left to dogs’. You know when you have a pet dog that bites away at the bone and if he doesn’t bury it, there is a dead bone lying around; Bah??’u’ll??h is saying that that is what you have, you don’t have fancy secret deep insights that no-one else has.

    So Bah??’?s of expertise have those 3 dangers that Bah??’u’ll??h speaks off. The danger of becoming a guru and feeling that you should be a guru and everyone else should hang on your every word. The danger of false humility, where you come in and say you’re no more than everyone else, but in fact you really think you are. And the third one, the danger of you believing that you have deep insights that the hoi-polloi don’t have and therefore you are in some way superior to them.

    That is the second of the 3 general ideas of the dangers one faces.”

    DANGER DANGER DANGER WILL ROBINSON! DANGER! BE ON ALERT AT ALL TIMES TO *NEVER* HAVE ANY THOUGHTS ABOUT ANYTHING LEST YOU BE SENT TO THE RE-EDUCATION CAMPS WHEN THE BAHA’I FAITH COMES TO POWER IN THE WORLD! NO INDIVIDUAL THOUGHT! NO INDIVUDUAL THOUGHT! NO INDIVIDUAL THOUGHT! ALLOWED! EVER! Must…self…censor…myself…now…(gasp)

    …lest you believe “that you have deep insights that the hoi-polloi don’t have and therefore you are in some way superior to them.”

    He is, of course, speaking to himself.

    The whole top down “Ruhi Full Sequence of Courses” is ALL about telling the hoi-polloi in living color that the people that wrote these courses and the people that authorized their use HAVE deep insights that the rank and file don’t have!

    Go figure?

    So it goes.

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=”54672″]

    SF wrote:

    I am shocked to read Craig, that Dr. Khan would say that esoteric interpretation in the Bahai Faith is forbidden. That sounds like reaction to Douglas Martins statement something to the effect that “conscience is a dangerous delusion”, his point being that using conscience as a reason to disobey the UHJ has no place in Bahai practice or rationale. Perhaps Dr. Khan is addressing an issue related to authoritative statements, as it seems that what usually
    challenges religious authorities the most is when people claim the authority of visions or mystic states, or political exception of conscience, both of which tend to have polarizing effects in any body politic. Controlling doctrinal purity now seems to be a major focus of the UHJ for which the Ruhi is serving as an effective vehicle.

    Doctrinal purity is a cohesive force in any organization or society while esotericism and conscience tends to release creative forces that are not controllable by a hierarchical structure but are harmonizable through ritual(see comments on brain wave entrainment below).

    The comment about the individual persons teaching transformation and meditation brings to mind some comment by a currently popular Bahai scholar whos name escapes me at the moment. Its a persian name that begins with M, Mome or something like that. But their statement was in some summary work about the Bahai Faith that “all mystical experience in the new religion has been institutionalized in the assemblies”. I wish I could find the quote, but it strikes me as excessively biased in favor of the institutional structure as opposed to the capacity of individuals to experience anything of a mystical nature, which I think anyone who has had a mystical experience will see on the face is patently false. Institutions after all are made up of individuals but there is a group effect noted by some researchers of entrainment of the brain waves when people pray or meditate or dance or sing together. The groups brainwaves syncronize.

    If you Craig could be so kind as to provide a reference for Dr. Khans statement on esotericism I would very much like to read that statement by him.

    Thank you.

    P.S. Please dont use any of my statements as jumping off points for the usual complaints, okay friends. I am interested at getting to the heart of this issue about esotericism, we can examine the Writings on this one.[/quote]

    Hi SF,

    Here is the link. It is a typical Peter Khan speech about how we MUST ALWAYS BE FILLED WITH FEAR about ourselves as Baha’is and, therefore, ALWAYS practice ruthless self censorship of every thought 24/7365/1000. I guess that is the price of being in the new top down science project of “Recreating Man” (Tm) with the UHJ at the controls giving their personal elucidations and interpretations on everything.

    His speeches are always very, very curious psychological projection documents where he is always addressing a unique psychological AUDIENCE OF ONE: himself. His speeches are always a lecture to the mine canary of himself worrying if he, himself, will be found dead on the newspapers in his cage if he does not heed his own device.

    Absolutely fascinating stuff!

    His interpretation of that passage by Baha’u’llah is not my personal interpretation. I think it is about something else altogether. His interpretation of that passage by Baha’u’llah is, well, uh, down right esoteric! But I won’t give mine here lest perhaps another charge be added to the file surely opened on me by now in Haifa for on-going thought crimes. Someone may think I am “out-esotericizing” him and report me for thought crimes against the Covenant. That someone will say I am not, to use your term, “doctrinally pure” enough and it will be the Iron Maiden or the Rack for me in the NEWTHINK Baha’i Faith as opposed to the OLDTHINK Baha’i Faith.

    http://www.bci.org/nnby/essays/need_for_bahais_of_capacity.htm

    The KMAN says:

    “There’s also a challenge to avoid the kinds of things that the Kit??b-i-Aqdas warns us about. The Kit??b-i-Aqdas has some really funny passages, and I find I laugh whenever I read them. There is one verse where Bah??’u’ll??h speaks about the person who has great desire for leadership. He describes that person walking and hearing the tread of sandals of the devotees following in his footsteps, and Bah??’u’ll??h then says something very nasty about him. I forget what it was but he obviously, he says to him this is nothing, you’re just consumed by your own ego in your desire for leadership.

    And there is a delightful passage where Bah??’u’ll??h speaks about the character with false humility who turns up in the room and sits with the sandals. We don’t have a lot of sandals around here tonight. Normally, from my understanding in Eastern homes, you leave your shoes at the door, the place of honour is deep in the room, and the person sitting by the sandals is in the cheap seats, where the hoi-polloi sit. This person comes and deliberately sits by the sandals saying: ?I’m just nothing’ ?I’m just sitting by the sandals’ but Bah??’u’ll??h describes him as thinking: ?I should be up there with the big guys.’ ?I really belong up there in the seat of honour. But I’m just down here so people will see me and say: ?look how humble he is, sitting down by the sandals. Let’s whistle him up here.’ And Bah??’u’ll??h again condemns this person.

    And the third one I remember from the Kit??b-i-Aqdas is where Bah??’u’ll??h refers to the person who feels he has esoteric knowledge. He knows what the stuff really means, the real secret depths that you and I have no idea about. He really understands it. Bah??’u’ll??h refers to this person who feels he has a level of insight that no one else has. And He says, what you have is just the ?husks left to dogs’. You know when you have a pet dog that bites away at the bone and if he doesn’t bury it, there is a dead bone lying around; Bah??’u’ll??h is saying that that is what you have, you don’t have fancy secret deep insights that no-one else has.

    So Bah??’?s of expertise have those 3 dangers that Bah??’u’ll??h speaks off. The danger of becoming a guru and feeling that you should be a guru and everyone else should hang on your every word. The danger of false humility, where you come in and say you’re no more than everyone else, but in fact you really think you are. And the third one, the danger of you believing that you have deep insights that the hoi-polloi don’t have and therefore you are in some way superior to them.

    That is the second of the 3 general ideas of the dangers one faces.”

    DANGER DANGER DANGER WILL ROBINSON! DANGER! BE ON ALERT AT ALL TIMES TO *NEVER* HAVE ANY THOUGHTS ABOUT ANYTHING LEST YOU BE SENT TO THE RE-EDUCATION CAMPS WHEN THE BAHA’I FAITH COMES TO POWER IN THE WORLD! NO INDIVIDUAL THOUGHT! NO INDIVUDUAL THOUGHT! NO INDIVIDUAL THOUGHT! ALLOWED! EVER! Must…self…censor…myself…now…(gasp)

    …lest you believe “that you have deep insights that the hoi-polloi don’t have and therefore you are in some way superior to them.”

    He is, of course, speaking to himself.

    The whole top down “Ruhi Full Sequence of Courses” is ALL about telling the hoi-polloi in living color that the people that wrote these courses and the people that authorized their use HAVE deep insights that the rank and file don’t have!

    Go figure?

    So it goes.

  • Sincere Friend

    Thanks Craig for the reference I will read it.

    Thanks also for reminding us of the types of games that self seeking false humility human beings constantly pursue. I have seen it from time to time in many groups.

    Baha u llah speaks also many times of “idle fancy, vain imaginings, and blind imitation” as being human traits that mislead the one involved in them and those who follow them. These are present in all human societies without exception. I am sure you can see them in the political theater of the election campaign.

    The trait that you describe Dr. Khan as having, of this sense of fearfulness about his inner life: intentions, thoughts, desires, etc. is appropriate I think for someone in his position. I have seen it present in all of the Hands of the Cause that I have met, and most of the NSA members and UHJ members. In religion there is a genuine fear of God that is mentioned in the scriptures as a desirable thing. Scriptures also mention particularly undesirable states of being such as:

    hypocrisy (a pretense of having a virtuous character, moral or religious beliefs or principles, etc., that one does not really possess.),

    apostasy (the formal abandonment or renunciation of one’s religion, especially if the motive is deemed unworthy),

    blasphemy ( contemptuous or profane act, utterance, or writing concerning God or a sacred entity. b. The act of claiming for oneself the attributes and rights of God. 2. An irreverent or impious act, attitude, or utterance in regard to something considered inviolable or sacrosanct.)

    these acts are committed first in thought and then by speech or action.

    The disorienting effect of our western culture with its materialism and irreligious secular humanist base is that these three words for the most part – except perhaps for hypocrisy in a political sense, along with “perversion” have lost any significant meaning to the masses of people. This I believe is a cardinal sign of the degenerate moral and spiritual state of society with respect to religion.

    All three of these conditions undermine the state of religion and the institutions of religion have an obligation to address them effectively or they will be swept away.

    The problem remains of how to balance the obviously desirable purity of a religious life with honest freedom of thought and expression of an inquiring mind engaged in a search for reality within a religious society that has to maintain prescribed standards of teaching and morality without succumbing to psychological repression or human social dominance dynamics.

    How do we do that? Please posters I think this is the essential question of this website?

    I would say: Daily conscientious reflection on our acts and motives is one effective way. Meditation which we have discussed recently. Prayer. Recitation of the Writings. Service. Consultation. Teaching. Extreme loving kindness to all beings. That is the Bahai life. That was Abdul Baha’s life. He did not seek status or followers of himself, or personal wealth at someone elses expense.

  • Sincere Friend

    Thanks Craig for the reference I will read it.

    Thanks also for reminding us of the types of games that self seeking false humility human beings constantly pursue. I have seen it from time to time in many groups.

    Baha u llah speaks also many times of “idle fancy, vain imaginings, and blind imitation” as being human traits that mislead the one involved in them and those who follow them. These are present in all human societies without exception. I am sure you can see them in the political theater of the election campaign.

    The trait that you describe Dr. Khan as having, of this sense of fearfulness about his inner life: intentions, thoughts, desires, etc. is appropriate I think for someone in his position. I have seen it present in all of the Hands of the Cause that I have met, and most of the NSA members and UHJ members. In religion there is a genuine fear of God that is mentioned in the scriptures as a desirable thing. Scriptures also mention particularly undesirable states of being such as:

    hypocrisy (a pretense of having a virtuous character, moral or religious beliefs or principles, etc., that one does not really possess.),

    apostasy (the formal abandonment or renunciation of one’s religion, especially if the motive is deemed unworthy),

    blasphemy ( contemptuous or profane act, utterance, or writing concerning God or a sacred entity. b. The act of claiming for oneself the attributes and rights of God. 2. An irreverent or impious act, attitude, or utterance in regard to something considered inviolable or sacrosanct.)

    these acts are committed first in thought and then by speech or action.

    The disorienting effect of our western culture with its materialism and irreligious secular humanist base is that these three words for the most part – except perhaps for hypocrisy in a political sense, along with “perversion” have lost any significant meaning to the masses of people. This I believe is a cardinal sign of the degenerate moral and spiritual state of society with respect to religion.

    All three of these conditions undermine the state of religion and the institutions of religion have an obligation to address them effectively or they will be swept away.

    The problem remains of how to balance the obviously desirable purity of a religious life with honest freedom of thought and expression of an inquiring mind engaged in a search for reality within a religious society that has to maintain prescribed standards of teaching and morality without succumbing to psychological repression or human social dominance dynamics.

    How do we do that? Please posters I think this is the essential question of this website?

    I would say: Daily conscientious reflection on our acts and motives is one effective way. Meditation which we have discussed recently. Prayer. Recitation of the Writings. Service. Consultation. Teaching. Extreme loving kindness to all beings. That is the Bahai life. That was Abdul Baha’s life. He did not seek status or followers of himself, or personal wealth at someone elses expense.

  • Sincere Friend

    Well Craig,

    I read the entire talk by Dr. Khan and actually found it inspiring, even to the degree the degree that he seems to be honestly addressing some of the questions that this blog is hot about.

    I think your conclusion from an earlier post that all esoteric interpretation is forbidden is not supported. He does address the issue of the necessity at this stage of the development of the Faith of keeping it free from the co-mingling of ideas from other lines of thought not based in some part in the Writings.

    “Nevertheless, the Faith is subject to disproportionate influence due to superstitions, to pilgrim notes, to various fads and ideas, to the mixing of particular cultures with the basic teachings, and we need to avoid that. It’s difficult but it is a challenge to us. ”

    I think think this is valid. I have been in multicultural Bahai communities where the people were using the teachings to justify their own cultural perspective of how to act, with the inevitable results of a culture clash wherein each cultural group accused the others of not being Bahai.

    The part about esotericism is true that some people read a bunch of books and maybe attend some lectures or study with someone and then think they are somebody special. That is a problem but it doesnt imply forbidding esoteric interpretation. What is a problem is distinguishing those who have genuine exalted states of mind or spirit from those that just think they do. Those with genuine experience have authority just like someone who has eminence in a profession or trade. that is the difference.

    The rest of the talk was very interesting, inspiring and sensible and I felt that he concerned with many of the same questions as this blog, as per the following examples (TITLES ARE MINE).

    ISSUES OF POLICE STATE LIKE RIGIDITY
    “I remember when I first went to the USA, I worked for a brilliant scientist, my supervisor for a while, who was a Jehovah’s Witness. He believed the earth was created in 4004 BC and it was an instantaneous thing. He and I became good friends and I asked him: ? How in the world can you believe that stuff when you have such eminence in your professional field of science and engineering?? He and I would discuss it very openly and very warmly with each other, as very good friends. I realised he had compartmentalised his mind. He had one set of thinking for religious things that had said 4004 BC, and another set of thinking for scientific things for which he was professionally very competent. I learnt from the danger of that approach, and how important it is for us as Bah??’?s not to compartmentalise our thinking.
    The House of Justice has described some of the material written by these disaffected people as ?spiritually corrosive?. And so one needs to be aware of that. Every so often I travel around, and I meet some Bah??’? who is very anxious to prove something or other and they say ?you know I’ve studied whatever (name one of these disaffected ex-Bah??’?s) writings on the Internet?. And I can see they are challenging me to read a disapproving lecture to them; of course one doesn’t do that but one tries to politely point out to them: ?It’s your funeral, baby.? That is spiritually corrosive material. You want to have spiritually corrosive things, go for it. You want to rot your teeth with Coca-Cola, go for it. It’s up to you.
    The third area is given this kind of movement outside the Bah??’? community, how do we avoid the creation of a counter-reaction which would give us some kind of a police state? How do we avoid reacting to these kind of nasty statements and criticism from these ex-Bah??’?s or turned off Bah??’?s or whatever, by becoming so tough and so tight that nobody dares say a word because of fear that they will get their head chopped off?
    You find that that has occurred in history. You may find it interesting to study the history of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the 17th century. From what I understand, free settlers came over from England and settled in Massachusetts and they were very liberal and full of ideas. They got away from the constriction of the church in England. And then, lo and behold, their extreme ideas and creativity led to a counter reaction, and that counter reaction led to a puritanical tone in Massachusetts in those days: the scarlet letter and the Salem witch trials of 1692 and all the rest of it. I found the study of that period fascinating as an indication of how a vibrant dynamic society which aims to foster creativity finds that the creativity can get so far out of control that the only thing to do is to slam on the brakes hard, and you end up with the Salem witch trials and the scarlet letter and all the rest of it, a very rigid puritanical, tightly controlled society. How do we avoid that happening in the Bah??’? community, in reaction to the nasty things said by some of these so-called dissidents outside the Bah??’? community?
    What is freedom within a Covenantal framework? What kind of freedom does the Covenant allow us? Janet wrote an article in the Journal of Bah??’? Studies in North America in March 2000, in which she relates the principles of the Covenant to the equality of the sexes. She makes an interesting point that the Covenant has a liberating effect upon creativity of thought, which is the very opposite from what you’d expect. You’d expect the Covenant to be intrinsically inhibiting to creativity of thought because of its ?restrictions?.
    We need more discussion amongst Bah??’?s of what are legitimate forms of disagreement in a Bah??’? community? How do you disagree without creating disaster, contention, disorder? What does it mean? What can you say at the Feast? What can you say about the National Assembly? What can you say about the Institutions of the Faith without getting into hot water. What is the legitimate limit on disagreement? If you say there is none, then I’ll say you have conceptualised a police state. There has to be disagreement, there has to be creativity of thought, there has to be the legitimacy of the expression of a diversity of views for there to be growth and development. How do you have this without creating havoc and factions and tensions and people throwing chairs at each other and the like?”

    FREEDOM OF SPEECH, APPROPRIATE SPEECH.
    “Finally on this point, how do you politely but legitimately disagree with a figure of eminence in the Bah??’? community? The only Hands of the Cause remaining are Dr. Varq?? and Mr. Furutan who are both very elderly, but say a Counsellor comes here and makes a presentation to us and he or she speaks from their own perspective. We all know that they’re not infallible, authoritative and the like, but how do you disagree with what he or she said? What are the legitimate forms, given the fact that we should show respect for rank in the Bah??’? community. How do you express a different point of view within the limits of Bah??’? courtesy? If you say you can’t do it, then I say you’ve got a big problem. Because we’ve got to distinguish between the authoritative statements of the Universal House of Justice and the views of individuals – including House of Justice members – who are no more than individuals in their degree of authority in the expression of views.
    How can we create a Bah??’? community in which respect does not inhibit creativity of thought and diversity of viewpoint? I submit to you that this is a difficult question. It’s great in theory. On this point also, I think one needs to anticipate and have more work going on by Bah??’?s such as yourself and others on what are the future opposition to the Faith. Let me give you a few examples.
    What do we do about accusations of restrictions on freedom of speech in the Administrative Order? What do we do about restrictions on getting up and saying that a particular individual should not be on the National Spiritual Assembly and that we should chase him out of town? This kind of statement is not permissible in the Administrative Order. We do not allow it. Are we not restricting freedom of speech? Are not the Bah??’?s people who, on the one hand, appeal for freedom, human rights, liberation, yet, on the other hand, restrict what you can say? These are very good answers to such questions, and we need to identify and discuss them.”

    THIS IS THE EFFECT OF THIS BLOG TO SOME DEGREE I BELEIVE
    “You mentioned that certain individuals have set up Internet sites being opposed to the Faith, and you mentioned that by doing that they are digging their own grave. Aren’t they helping other individuals to dig their own graves too even though some of them are not Covenant-breakers?
    They could help extinguish ones faith even though they are not Covenant-breakers. They are not violating the Covenant. They are saying in various forms the Faith is all nonsense. It’s not a violation of the Covenant, where you accept Bah??’u’ll??h but not His provisions for authority. But, it can be spiritually corrosive. It’s similar in some ways to pornography. I mean what do you do about pornography? There are various Internet filters. You basically depend on bringing up your kids so that they have the degree of internal restraint, so they won’t get wrapped up in pornographic sites. So it is in developing the self-restraint not to get involved in spiritually corrosive materials on the Internet.”

    HONESTLY ADDRESSING REAL PROBLEMS.

    “As professionals, we’re all striving for excellence in our various fields and so spiritually we’re bound to do that, and we want to do that. Then comes the responsibility of a family and the need of the partner to interact. The children need their parents to be with them, to be examples and be reasonably sane after a hard day of work to devote to them the time and the attention that is needed. And then comes our responsibilities to the Faith and being involved in the community. My challenge with children, is how does one strike the balance and not neglect the children and still progress in our career and give to the Faith as well?

    It is a problem that a lot of Bah??’? families have had, and in many instances it has been solved disastrously. Generally, it is the kids that get the short end of the stick. If you don’t want to have nightmares over Pacific Island archives, you can have nightmares over kids of Bah??’? families who grow up non-Bah??’?. Our batting record is pretty miserable in this regard.

    We can identify Bah??’? families where generation after generation has remained committed to the Faith, but they are not as common as they should be. What is common is that we have super busy and active parents where the kids grow up burdened with resentment at the Faith at what it did to their family life, so when they’re old enough they get as far away from it as possible.

    So we can easily see what not to do. The difficulty is to determine what to do. I think it centres around several things. One is the equality of the relationship of the couple in terms of their cooperative willingness; generally it depends on the willingness of the male to do mundane things to help out. If the male is willing to help with some of the cooking, the sweeping, to run the dishwasher and to help with the ironing. That sort of thing is a part of it, in resolving this issue.”

  • Sincere Friend

    Well Craig,

    I read the entire talk by Dr. Khan and actually found it inspiring, even to the degree the degree that he seems to be honestly addressing some of the questions that this blog is hot about.

    I think your conclusion from an earlier post that all esoteric interpretation is forbidden is not supported. He does address the issue of the necessity at this stage of the development of the Faith of keeping it free from the co-mingling of ideas from other lines of thought not based in some part in the Writings.

    “Nevertheless, the Faith is subject to disproportionate influence due to superstitions, to pilgrim notes, to various fads and ideas, to the mixing of particular cultures with the basic teachings, and we need to avoid that. It’s difficult but it is a challenge to us. ”

    I think think this is valid. I have been in multicultural Bahai communities where the people were using the teachings to justify their own cultural perspective of how to act, with the inevitable results of a culture clash wherein each cultural group accused the others of not being Bahai.

    The part about esotericism is true that some people read a bunch of books and maybe attend some lectures or study with someone and then think they are somebody special. That is a problem but it doesnt imply forbidding esoteric interpretation. What is a problem is distinguishing those who have genuine exalted states of mind or spirit from those that just think they do. Those with genuine experience have authority just like someone who has eminence in a profession or trade. that is the difference.

    The rest of the talk was very interesting, inspiring and sensible and I felt that he concerned with many of the same questions as this blog, as per the following examples (TITLES ARE MINE).

    ISSUES OF POLICE STATE LIKE RIGIDITY
    “I remember when I first went to the USA, I worked for a brilliant scientist, my supervisor for a while, who was a Jehovah’s Witness. He believed the earth was created in 4004 BC and it was an instantaneous thing. He and I became good friends and I asked him: ? How in the world can you believe that stuff when you have such eminence in your professional field of science and engineering?? He and I would discuss it very openly and very warmly with each other, as very good friends. I realised he had compartmentalised his mind. He had one set of thinking for religious things that had said 4004 BC, and another set of thinking for scientific things for which he was professionally very competent. I learnt from the danger of that approach, and how important it is for us as Bah??’?s not to compartmentalise our thinking.
    The House of Justice has described some of the material written by these disaffected people as ?spiritually corrosive?. And so one needs to be aware of that. Every so often I travel around, and I meet some Bah??’? who is very anxious to prove something or other and they say ?you know I’ve studied whatever (name one of these disaffected ex-Bah??’?s) writings on the Internet?. And I can see they are challenging me to read a disapproving lecture to them; of course one doesn’t do that but one tries to politely point out to them: ?It’s your funeral, baby.? That is spiritually corrosive material. You want to have spiritually corrosive things, go for it. You want to rot your teeth with Coca-Cola, go for it. It’s up to you.
    The third area is given this kind of movement outside the Bah??’? community, how do we avoid the creation of a counter-reaction which would give us some kind of a police state? How do we avoid reacting to these kind of nasty statements and criticism from these ex-Bah??’?s or turned off Bah??’?s or whatever, by becoming so tough and so tight that nobody dares say a word because of fear that they will get their head chopped off?
    You find that that has occurred in history. You may find it interesting to study the history of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the 17th century. From what I understand, free settlers came over from England and settled in Massachusetts and they were very liberal and full of ideas. They got away from the constriction of the church in England. And then, lo and behold, their extreme ideas and creativity led to a counter reaction, and that counter reaction led to a puritanical tone in Massachusetts in those days: the scarlet letter and the Salem witch trials of 1692 and all the rest of it. I found the study of that period fascinating as an indication of how a vibrant dynamic society which aims to foster creativity finds that the creativity can get so far out of control that the only thing to do is to slam on the brakes hard, and you end up with the Salem witch trials and the scarlet letter and all the rest of it, a very rigid puritanical, tightly controlled society. How do we avoid that happening in the Bah??’? community, in reaction to the nasty things said by some of these so-called dissidents outside the Bah??’? community?
    What is freedom within a Covenantal framework? What kind of freedom does the Covenant allow us? Janet wrote an article in the Journal of Bah??’? Studies in North America in March 2000, in which she relates the principles of the Covenant to the equality of the sexes. She makes an interesting point that the Covenant has a liberating effect upon creativity of thought, which is the very opposite from what you’d expect. You’d expect the Covenant to be intrinsically inhibiting to creativity of thought because of its ?restrictions?.
    We need more discussion amongst Bah??’?s of what are legitimate forms of disagreement in a Bah??’? community? How do you disagree without creating disaster, contention, disorder? What does it mean? What can you say at the Feast? What can you say about the National Assembly? What can you say about the Institutions of the Faith without getting into hot water. What is the legitimate limit on disagreement? If you say there is none, then I’ll say you have conceptualised a police state. There has to be disagreement, there has to be creativity of thought, there has to be the legitimacy of the expression of a diversity of views for there to be growth and development. How do you have this without creating havoc and factions and tensions and people throwing chairs at each other and the like?”

    FREEDOM OF SPEECH, APPROPRIATE SPEECH.
    “Finally on this point, how do you politely but legitimately disagree with a figure of eminence in the Bah??’? community? The only Hands of the Cause remaining are Dr. Varq?? and Mr. Furutan who are both very elderly, but say a Counsellor comes here and makes a presentation to us and he or she speaks from their own perspective. We all know that they’re not infallible, authoritative and the like, but how do you disagree with what he or she said? What are the legitimate forms, given the fact that we should show respect for rank in the Bah??’? community. How do you express a different point of view within the limits of Bah??’? courtesy? If you say you can’t do it, then I say you’ve got a big problem. Because we’ve got to distinguish between the authoritative statements of the Universal House of Justice and the views of individuals – including House of Justice members – who are no more than individuals in their degree of authority in the expression of views.
    How can we create a Bah??’? community in which respect does not inhibit creativity of thought and diversity of viewpoint? I submit to you that this is a difficult question. It’s great in theory. On this point also, I think one needs to anticipate and have more work going on by Bah??’?s such as yourself and others on what are the future opposition to the Faith. Let me give you a few examples.
    What do we do about accusations of restrictions on freedom of speech in the Administrative Order? What do we do about restrictions on getting up and saying that a particular individual should not be on the National Spiritual Assembly and that we should chase him out of town? This kind of statement is not permissible in the Administrative Order. We do not allow it. Are we not restricting freedom of speech? Are not the Bah??’?s people who, on the one hand, appeal for freedom, human rights, liberation, yet, on the other hand, restrict what you can say? These are very good answers to such questions, and we need to identify and discuss them.”

    THIS IS THE EFFECT OF THIS BLOG TO SOME DEGREE I BELEIVE
    “You mentioned that certain individuals have set up Internet sites being opposed to the Faith, and you mentioned that by doing that they are digging their own grave. Aren’t they helping other individuals to dig their own graves too even though some of them are not Covenant-breakers?
    They could help extinguish ones faith even though they are not Covenant-breakers. They are not violating the Covenant. They are saying in various forms the Faith is all nonsense. It’s not a violation of the Covenant, where you accept Bah??’u’ll??h but not His provisions for authority. But, it can be spiritually corrosive. It’s similar in some ways to pornography. I mean what do you do about pornography? There are various Internet filters. You basically depend on bringing up your kids so that they have the degree of internal restraint, so they won’t get wrapped up in pornographic sites. So it is in developing the self-restraint not to get involved in spiritually corrosive materials on the Internet.”

    HONESTLY ADDRESSING REAL PROBLEMS.

    “As professionals, we’re all striving for excellence in our various fields and so spiritually we’re bound to do that, and we want to do that. Then comes the responsibility of a family and the need of the partner to interact. The children need their parents to be with them, to be examples and be reasonably sane after a hard day of work to devote to them the time and the attention that is needed. And then comes our responsibilities to the Faith and being involved in the community. My challenge with children, is how does one strike the balance and not neglect the children and still progress in our career and give to the Faith as well?

    It is a problem that a lot of Bah??’? families have had, and in many instances it has been solved disastrously. Generally, it is the kids that get the short end of the stick. If you don’t want to have nightmares over Pacific Island archives, you can have nightmares over kids of Bah??’? families who grow up non-Bah??’?. Our batting record is pretty miserable in this regard.

    We can identify Bah??’? families where generation after generation has remained committed to the Faith, but they are not as common as they should be. What is common is that we have super busy and active parents where the kids grow up burdened with resentment at the Faith at what it did to their family life, so when they’re old enough they get as far away from it as possible.

    So we can easily see what not to do. The difficulty is to determine what to do. I think it centres around several things. One is the equality of the relationship of the couple in terms of their cooperative willingness; generally it depends on the willingness of the male to do mundane things to help out. If the male is willing to help with some of the cooking, the sweeping, to run the dishwasher and to help with the ironing. That sort of thing is a part of it, in resolving this issue.”

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=””]

    SF wrote:

    “THIS IS THE EFFECT OF THIS BLOG TO SOME DEGREE I BELEIVE”

    “You mentioned that certain individuals have set up Internet sites being opposed to the Faith, and you mentioned that by doing that they are digging their own grave. Aren’t they helping other individuals to dig their own graves too even though some of them are not Covenant-breakers?
    They could help extinguish ones faith even though they are not Covenant-breakers. They are not violating the Covenant. They are saying in various forms the Faith is all nonsense. It’s not a violation of the Covenant, where you accept Bah??’u’ll??h but not His provisions for authority. But, it can be spiritually corrosive. It’s similar in some ways to pornography. I mean what do you do about pornography? There are various Internet filters. You basically depend on bringing up your kids so that they have the degree of internal restraint, so they won’t get wrapped up in pornographic sites. So it is in developing the self-restraint not to get involved in spiritually corrosive materials on the Internet.”
    [/quote]

    In my view this site is not opposed to the Baha’i Faith. This site is oppsed to what these usurpers who have gamed the electoral processes of the Baha’i Faith have done to it.

    History will decided who where the “spiritual pornographers”. History will decide who polluted the Faith. Mark my words, history will decide. We will see who “dug their own graves” as the World Age unfolds.

    Study the Tablet of the Holy Mariner. What is Baha’u’llah talking about? I am with Jesus of Nazareth on this insight conveyed in the picture story of the Gospels: All Divine Judgment is Archetypal.

    But, then, maybe that is a little too esoteric to state in public.

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=””]

    SF wrote:

    “THIS IS THE EFFECT OF THIS BLOG TO SOME DEGREE I BELEIVE”

    “You mentioned that certain individuals have set up Internet sites being opposed to the Faith, and you mentioned that by doing that they are digging their own grave. Aren’t they helping other individuals to dig their own graves too even though some of them are not Covenant-breakers?
    They could help extinguish ones faith even though they are not Covenant-breakers. They are not violating the Covenant. They are saying in various forms the Faith is all nonsense. It’s not a violation of the Covenant, where you accept Bah??’u’ll??h but not His provisions for authority. But, it can be spiritually corrosive. It’s similar in some ways to pornography. I mean what do you do about pornography? There are various Internet filters. You basically depend on bringing up your kids so that they have the degree of internal restraint, so they won’t get wrapped up in pornographic sites. So it is in developing the self-restraint not to get involved in spiritually corrosive materials on the Internet.”
    [/quote]

    In my view this site is not opposed to the Baha’i Faith. This site is oppsed to what these usurpers who have gamed the electoral processes of the Baha’i Faith have done to it.

    History will decided who where the “spiritual pornographers”. History will decide who polluted the Faith. Mark my words, history will decide. We will see who “dug their own graves” as the World Age unfolds.

    Study the Tablet of the Holy Mariner. What is Baha’u’llah talking about? I am with Jesus of Nazareth on this insight conveyed in the picture story of the Gospels: All Divine Judgment is Archetypal.

    But, then, maybe that is a little too esoteric to state in public.

  • ep

    Khan is obviously out of his depth. He is basically a cheerleader that tells people what they want to hear so he can continue getting elected. Unfortunately what he says inspires a lot of evil people to attack nonconformists, critics and dissidents. He “gives permission” to bahai fascists to attack nonconformists by using certain “code words”.

    As such, he dooms bahai to backwardness.

    Nothing he says gives the impression that he understands the real extent or nature of the problems within bahai culture.

    Khan, the other UHJ members, the UHJ itself and its letter writers, have mostly said the same incomprehensible stuff for several decades since the “Dialogue Magazine” fiasco. They correctly, but incompletely, diagnose the ills of “liberalism”, “secularism”, etc., while failing to recognise the slide of 99% of the rest of bahai culture into far worse conditions.

    It is simply maddening that they can’t see how obvious their own incompetence is to the rest of the world.

    Khan is just babbling the usual mantra of bureaucratic reinvention of failed plans, ideas, paradigms without any concrete connection to the memory of how meaning has been constructed within bahai culture.

    The “disconnect” between what Khan is presenting and the reality of a massive patten of dysfunctionality within the bahai system is stunning.

    The reality is that bahai itself is its own worst enemy. Khan is just like all the other people that make stupid excuses for a system of belief that has collapsed and has become pervasively toxic to real change (for the better).

    In order for any solution to work, the problem has to be examined in an unvarnished manner. Khan instead is worried about the balance between “saving face” (showing respect for decripit thinkers) and “dissent”.

    Same old matra of “us vs. them”.

    I’ve personally seen the BWC rescue “nondangerous” bahai nonconformists from vicious attacks by fundamentalists. The only reason it happened is because of the “special” relationships involved, not because the bahai system is capable of systematic correction of abuses of authority.

    SF – I am very concerned that what I’ve seen happen to so many bright, well-meaning people who try to assume the best, and think that pushing reforms (new ideas) through the bahai system is possible and a good idea, will happen to you. I hope I’m wrong, but everything I’ve seen says that the probability of you being allowed to make anything other than very minor, insignificant change is almost ZERO.

    The more likely scenario is that you will be marginalized. If you “get uppity” and push something against the “powers that be”, you will be targeted for an attack.

    Even if you survive such an attack, you will be so emotionally destroyed over the fact that your pure spiritual contribution to the advancement of civilization was turned into someone’s sick little game of sociopathic power manipulation that you may not be able to sustain your interest in throwing more pearls before the swine.

    There is a long list of egregious examples of abuse of authority within bahai that I’ve heard of, or seen. One pure woman was railroaded into CB status in the 60s/70s simply because her music was better than someone that had a relative on the NSA who could not stand the competition.

    Most bahais here turned their backs on the “CB” for decades.

    Upon her death, the BWC investigated the incident, and posthumously reinstated her membership/”good standing”, etc.

    The “perpetrators” (in the AO) were gone, or went unpunished.

    Disgusting and appalling.

    No one will ever remember.

    This is the problem when a system has no real accountability.

    Regards,
    ep

  • ep

    Khan is obviously out of his depth. He is basically a cheerleader that tells people what they want to hear so he can continue getting elected. Unfortunately what he says inspires a lot of evil people to attack nonconformists, critics and dissidents. He “gives permission” to bahai fascists to attack nonconformists by using certain “code words”.

    As such, he dooms bahai to backwardness.

    Nothing he says gives the impression that he understands the real extent or nature of the problems within bahai culture.

    Khan, the other UHJ members, the UHJ itself and its letter writers, have mostly said the same incomprehensible stuff for several decades since the “Dialogue Magazine” fiasco. They correctly, but incompletely, diagnose the ills of “liberalism”, “secularism”, etc., while failing to recognise the slide of 99% of the rest of bahai culture into far worse conditions.

    It is simply maddening that they can’t see how obvious their own incompetence is to the rest of the world.

    Khan is just babbling the usual mantra of bureaucratic reinvention of failed plans, ideas, paradigms without any concrete connection to the memory of how meaning has been constructed within bahai culture.

    The “disconnect” between what Khan is presenting and the reality of a massive patten of dysfunctionality within the bahai system is stunning.

    The reality is that bahai itself is its own worst enemy. Khan is just like all the other people that make stupid excuses for a system of belief that has collapsed and has become pervasively toxic to real change (for the better).

    In order for any solution to work, the problem has to be examined in an unvarnished manner. Khan instead is worried about the balance between “saving face” (showing respect for decripit thinkers) and “dissent”.

    Same old matra of “us vs. them”.

    I’ve personally seen the BWC rescue “nondangerous” bahai nonconformists from vicious attacks by fundamentalists. The only reason it happened is because of the “special” relationships involved, not because the bahai system is capable of systematic correction of abuses of authority.

    SF – I am very concerned that what I’ve seen happen to so many bright, well-meaning people who try to assume the best, and think that pushing reforms (new ideas) through the bahai system is possible and a good idea, will happen to you. I hope I’m wrong, but everything I’ve seen says that the probability of you being allowed to make anything other than very minor, insignificant change is almost ZERO.

    The more likely scenario is that you will be marginalized. If you “get uppity” and push something against the “powers that be”, you will be targeted for an attack.

    Even if you survive such an attack, you will be so emotionally destroyed over the fact that your pure spiritual contribution to the advancement of civilization was turned into someone’s sick little game of sociopathic power manipulation that you may not be able to sustain your interest in throwing more pearls before the swine.

    There is a long list of egregious examples of abuse of authority within bahai that I’ve heard of, or seen. One pure woman was railroaded into CB status in the 60s/70s simply because her music was better than someone that had a relative on the NSA who could not stand the competition.

    Most bahais here turned their backs on the “CB” for decades.

    Upon her death, the BWC investigated the incident, and posthumously reinstated her membership/”good standing”, etc.

    The “perpetrators” (in the AO) were gone, or went unpunished.

    Disgusting and appalling.

    No one will ever remember.

    This is the problem when a system has no real accountability.

    Regards,
    ep

  • Craig Parke

    I must admit that I find the KMAN absolutely fascinating! Within 45 years of the election of the UHJ in 1963 a man got to the top who is right out of Dostoevsky. Given the various holon like esoteric archetypal currents in Jewish Midrash, the Parables of Jesus, and the various Schools and Orders of Sufism, this is really a Cosmic occurrence in my view. His very existence at the top is a major Cosmic theatrical release deep structure film. It is not a made-for-TV movie.

    As a big fan of the great Robert G.L. Waite, I am very much tempted to write a psychoanalytic analysis of the KMAN’s very telling public speeches all now laid out in living color on the Internet. In his endless personal opinions on every topic imaginable they are all an extremely public veritable Rorschach Ink Blot Test of this man’s very soul. An absolutely fascinating revelation of where the Institutions of the BF are a little over four decades in since getting to the Cosmic Exodus Moment.

    The Baha’i Faith is now headed for a Joseph Conrad moment right out of “Heart of Darkness”. It is fascinating.

  • Craig Parke

    I must admit that I find the KMAN absolutely fascinating! Within 45 years of the election of the UHJ in 1963 a man got to the top who is right out of Dostoevsky. Given the various holon like esoteric archetypal currents in Jewish Midrash, the Parables of Jesus, and the various Schools and Orders of Sufism, this is really a Cosmic occurrence in my view. His very existence at the top is a major Cosmic theatrical release deep structure film. It is not a made-for-TV movie.

    As a big fan of the great Robert G.L. Waite, I am very much tempted to write a psychoanalytic analysis of the KMAN’s very telling public speeches all now laid out in living color on the Internet. In his endless personal opinions on every topic imaginable they are all an extremely public veritable Rorschach Ink Blot Test of this man’s very soul. An absolutely fascinating revelation of where the Institutions of the BF are a little over four decades in since getting to the Cosmic Exodus Moment.

    The Baha’i Faith is now headed for a Joseph Conrad moment right out of “Heart of Darkness”. It is fascinating.

  • Grover

    Hi everyone, fascinating discussion.

    [quote post=”518″]Dr. Khan would say that esoteric interpretation in the Bahai Faith is forbidden.[/quote]

    What is meant by esoteric? If he is meaning dreams and visions, didn’t the early Babis have a lot of these? Sometimes insights to any matter or problem can come through dreams, but if you’re thinking you’re being divinely guided and everyone should give credance to your vision etc, you should probably think again.

    [quote post=”518″]Douglas Martins statement something to the effect that ?conscience is a dangerous delusion?, his point being that using conscience as a reason to disobey the UHJ has no place in Bahai practice or rationale. [/quote]

    Conscience is the reason we got into the Faith in the first place, we were using our intuition, intellect, or it just felt good. If we used our conscience to get us into the Faith, there is no reason why it can’t get us out again when things are happening that make us go “hang on!”. Douglas Martin can think again if I’ll put the UHJ ahead of my conscience.

    [quote post=”518″]Doctrinal purity is a cohesive force in any organization or society [/quote]

    Its only cohesive so long as you agree with the doctrine being expounded. In science we know that there are no real absolutes, just shades of grey and interpretations of phenomena depending on tools used, results gained, and the person doing the interpreting. Why not take a relativistic approach to Baha’i doctrine as well?

    [quote post=”518″]Its a persian name that begins with M, Mome or something like that. But their statement was in some summary work about the Bahai Faith that ?all mystical experience in the new religion has been institutionalized in the assemblies?. I wish I could find the quote, but it strikes me as excessively biased in favor of the institutional structure as opposed to the capacity of individuals to experience anything of a mystical nature, which I think anyone who has had a mystical experience will see on the face is patently false. [/quote]

    Not Moojan Momen was it? I must confess, sometimes when I’ve met with the NSA and LSA, the feeling was almost mystical. Was that a psychological response to the situation or the feeling of there being something divine happening? Who knows? But I’ve also had personal mystical experiences at the shrines, temples and in churches, the feeling of being close to the divine. So I agree wholeheartedly, the institutions do not have a monopoly on mystical experience. Its like saying the only people who can talk to God on your behalf are the Catholic priests.

    [quote post=”518″]Another thought regarding critical mass of consciousness, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, may Gods Grace fall upon Him forever and ever(my sincere and personal wish expressed therein and not any kind of formal devoteeish thing – as I truly respect him and his work He is a saint), often pointed out that the square root of one percent of the worlds population was all that was necessary to effect a transformation of consciousness in the entire world. It comes to about 7 or 8000 people I think. That is what they practice when they have their group meditations in the TM movement.[/quote]

    You’re thinking about the phenomena of morphic resonance, where new ideas or skills get easier to comprehend or learn as more and more people have adopted it or learnt it previously. Interesting idea, it suggests that we’re all linked or part of one great conscience. Its one that I really like.

    Re Peter Khan, re the need for people of capacity:

    [quote post=”518″]Second reason is the fact that the world is in a bigger mess than it was some years ago, which means our administrative bodies have to deal with far more complex problems than ever before. [/quote]

    How anyone say the world is in a bigger mess today than what it was in World War II? Anyone who knows their history knows that was a shitter of a time, let alone during the cold war with the nuke threat. Its pretty peaceful these days, except when old George Bush and certain radical Muslims are busy stirring the pot. Its all kind of like the Jehova’s witnesses coming knocking on your door asking “do you think the world is getting worse today?”. Of course not!

    Its also interesting that he is wanting people of capacity when the institutions have pissed off anyone with some semblance of capacity (which usually means they’re independent thinkers).

    Regarding drifting away from the Faith, I don’t think the price is high at all, provided your motives are pure. Only you can know that and God upstairs, if we get judged when we die as the writings say we do (I’m kind of suspecting now it’ll all be quite different to what any writings say).

    [quote post=”518″]I would say: Daily conscientious reflection on our acts and motives is one effective way. Meditation which we have discussed recently. Prayer. Recitation of the Writings. Service. Consultation. Teaching. Extreme loving kindness to all beings. That is the Bahai life. That was Abdul Baha’s life. He did not seek status or followers of himself, or personal wealth at someone elses expense.[/quote]

    Indeed, but I would say wisdom comes from many sources, not just Baha’i writings. E.g. Yoda and Luke Skywalker: Yoda, “Judge me by my size would you?” Luke, “No” Yoda, “And well you should not. Luminous beings are we, not this crude flesh.” Lets thank his holiness George Lucas or his writers for that wonderful piece of wisdom! What about the epic fantasies such as Lord of the Rings, or David Gemmell’s novels and their commentary on bravery, courage, strength of character and hope.

    [quote post=”518″]I learnt from the danger of that approach, and how important it is for us as Bah??’?s not to compartmentalise our thinking.[/quote]

    I have to compartmentalise all the time. The Baha’i writings on evolution are absolutely hopeless and out of date. Scientific evidence available is sufficient to disprove them.

    Must dash! Great stuff!

  • Grover

    Hi everyone, fascinating discussion.

    [quote post=”518″]Dr. Khan would say that esoteric interpretation in the Bahai Faith is forbidden.[/quote]

    What is meant by esoteric? If he is meaning dreams and visions, didn’t the early Babis have a lot of these? Sometimes insights to any matter or problem can come through dreams, but if you’re thinking you’re being divinely guided and everyone should give credance to your vision etc, you should probably think again.

    [quote post=”518″]Douglas Martins statement something to the effect that ?conscience is a dangerous delusion?, his point being that using conscience as a reason to disobey the UHJ has no place in Bahai practice or rationale. [/quote]

    Conscience is the reason we got into the Faith in the first place, we were using our intuition, intellect, or it just felt good. If we used our conscience to get us into the Faith, there is no reason why it can’t get us out again when things are happening that make us go “hang on!”. Douglas Martin can think again if I’ll put the UHJ ahead of my conscience.

    [quote post=”518″]Doctrinal purity is a cohesive force in any organization or society [/quote]

    Its only cohesive so long as you agree with the doctrine being expounded. In science we know that there are no real absolutes, just shades of grey and interpretations of phenomena depending on tools used, results gained, and the person doing the interpreting. Why not take a relativistic approach to Baha’i doctrine as well?

    [quote post=”518″]Its a persian name that begins with M, Mome or something like that. But their statement was in some summary work about the Bahai Faith that ?all mystical experience in the new religion has been institutionalized in the assemblies?. I wish I could find the quote, but it strikes me as excessively biased in favor of the institutional structure as opposed to the capacity of individuals to experience anything of a mystical nature, which I think anyone who has had a mystical experience will see on the face is patently false. [/quote]

    Not Moojan Momen was it? I must confess, sometimes when I’ve met with the NSA and LSA, the feeling was almost mystical. Was that a psychological response to the situation or the feeling of there being something divine happening? Who knows? But I’ve also had personal mystical experiences at the shrines, temples and in churches, the feeling of being close to the divine. So I agree wholeheartedly, the institutions do not have a monopoly on mystical experience. Its like saying the only people who can talk to God on your behalf are the Catholic priests.

    [quote post=”518″]Another thought regarding critical mass of consciousness, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, may Gods Grace fall upon Him forever and ever(my sincere and personal wish expressed therein and not any kind of formal devoteeish thing – as I truly respect him and his work He is a saint), often pointed out that the square root of one percent of the worlds population was all that was necessary to effect a transformation of consciousness in the entire world. It comes to about 7 or 8000 people I think. That is what they practice when they have their group meditations in the TM movement.[/quote]

    You’re thinking about the phenomena of morphic resonance, where new ideas or skills get easier to comprehend or learn as more and more people have adopted it or learnt it previously. Interesting idea, it suggests that we’re all linked or part of one great conscience. Its one that I really like.

    Re Peter Khan, re the need for people of capacity:

    [quote post=”518″]Second reason is the fact that the world is in a bigger mess than it was some years ago, which means our administrative bodies have to deal with far more complex problems than ever before. [/quote]

    How anyone say the world is in a bigger mess today than what it was in World War II? Anyone who knows their history knows that was a shitter of a time, let alone during the cold war with the nuke threat. Its pretty peaceful these days, except when old George Bush and certain radical Muslims are busy stirring the pot. Its all kind of like the Jehova’s witnesses coming knocking on your door asking “do you think the world is getting worse today?”. Of course not!

    Its also interesting that he is wanting people of capacity when the institutions have pissed off anyone with some semblance of capacity (which usually means they’re independent thinkers).

    Regarding drifting away from the Faith, I don’t think the price is high at all, provided your motives are pure. Only you can know that and God upstairs, if we get judged when we die as the writings say we do (I’m kind of suspecting now it’ll all be quite different to what any writings say).

    [quote post=”518″]I would say: Daily conscientious reflection on our acts and motives is one effective way. Meditation which we have discussed recently. Prayer. Recitation of the Writings. Service. Consultation. Teaching. Extreme loving kindness to all beings. That is the Bahai life. That was Abdul Baha’s life. He did not seek status or followers of himself, or personal wealth at someone elses expense.[/quote]

    Indeed, but I would say wisdom comes from many sources, not just Baha’i writings. E.g. Yoda and Luke Skywalker: Yoda, “Judge me by my size would you?” Luke, “No” Yoda, “And well you should not. Luminous beings are we, not this crude flesh.” Lets thank his holiness George Lucas or his writers for that wonderful piece of wisdom! What about the epic fantasies such as Lord of the Rings, or David Gemmell’s novels and their commentary on bravery, courage, strength of character and hope.

    [quote post=”518″]I learnt from the danger of that approach, and how important it is for us as Bah??’?s not to compartmentalise our thinking.[/quote]

    I have to compartmentalise all the time. The Baha’i writings on evolution are absolutely hopeless and out of date. Scientific evidence available is sufficient to disprove them.

    Must dash! Great stuff!

  • Grover

    [quote post=”518″]They are not violating the Covenant. They are saying in various forms the Faith is all nonsense. It’s not a violation of the Covenant, where you accept Bah??’u’ll??h but not His provisions for authority. But, it can be spiritually corrosive. It’s similar in some ways to pornography. I mean what do you do about pornography? There are various Internet filters. You basically depend on bringing up your kids so that they have the degree of internal restraint, so they won’t get wrapped up in pornographic sites. So it is in developing the self-restraint not to get involved in spiritually corrosive materials on the Internet.?[/quote]

    What do you think is better and more honest? A clean sanitised version of the Faith or a warts and all version? I think I prefer the warts and all version. Everyone has the right to know what goes on in the Faith so they can make an informed choice and so when they go teaching the Faith to others, they are honest about the status of the Faith.

    Is it really spiritually corrosive to see the darker side of the Faith? What is spirituality anyway? Like I said before, I would say a spiritual person is someone who has mastered the base side of their nature, is honest, trustworthy, and helpful, has a sense of the divine and a close feeling of association with the departed in the afterlife. All Peter Khan is worried about is people turning away from the Faith or getting put off. All he cares about is conversion and retention. If thats the case, he really should address all the Baha’i fanatics that routinely swamp the solitary non-Baha’i at Baha’i events and give them the Baha’i bash.

    The UHJ could take a systems approach to some of the problems within the Faith like business and industry does instead of playing the blame game (i.e. its all the believer’s fault, they’re not believing enough, they don’t love Baha’u’llah enough, they’re not faithful enough, they’re not spiritual enough, they’re not deepened enough, or they’re not firm enough in the Covenant). If there is a problem in industry there is a problem with the system and they try and address that problem by instituting appropriate changes or additions to the system. Sometimes it gets a bit silly, for example when someone comes in drunk to a processing plant and gets themselves killed, there isn’t a lot you can do apart from mandatory alcohol testing before they enter the door and putting up a ridiculous amount of safety equipment. Maybe if the UHJ took the stance “perhaps the person does have a legitimate gripe, what can we do to fix the problem?” you wouldn’t have all the grumbling on the internet.

    Why is it that business, through evolution, natural selection and academic research, has advanced far beyond the Baha’i Faith in terms of people and systems management, when the Faith has the “pure word” all the way from God himself and the infallible guidance of the UHJ?

    Another approach that could be taken with the Faith instead of doctrinal purity is letting everyone cherry pick and interpret for themselves. Its a scientific approach to any phenomena, people will pick a theory from a plethora of possibilities, one that can be tested, sounds the best, and provides good insight into the problem. Eventually science and scientific community comes to the truth of the matter. Why not do the same for the Faith? We have a set of guidelines, eventually people will come round if the guidelines and official interpretations are workable and provide the best explanation. Why structure everything to death so that evolution is impossible?

  • Grover

    [quote post=”518″]They are not violating the Covenant. They are saying in various forms the Faith is all nonsense. It’s not a violation of the Covenant, where you accept Bah??’u’ll??h but not His provisions for authority. But, it can be spiritually corrosive. It’s similar in some ways to pornography. I mean what do you do about pornography? There are various Internet filters. You basically depend on bringing up your kids so that they have the degree of internal restraint, so they won’t get wrapped up in pornographic sites. So it is in developing the self-restraint not to get involved in spiritually corrosive materials on the Internet.?[/quote]

    What do you think is better and more honest? A clean sanitised version of the Faith or a warts and all version? I think I prefer the warts and all version. Everyone has the right to know what goes on in the Faith so they can make an informed choice and so when they go teaching the Faith to others, they are honest about the status of the Faith.

    Is it really spiritually corrosive to see the darker side of the Faith? What is spirituality anyway? Like I said before, I would say a spiritual person is someone who has mastered the base side of their nature, is honest, trustworthy, and helpful, has a sense of the divine and a close feeling of association with the departed in the afterlife. All Peter Khan is worried about is people turning away from the Faith or getting put off. All he cares about is conversion and retention. If thats the case, he really should address all the Baha’i fanatics that routinely swamp the solitary non-Baha’i at Baha’i events and give them the Baha’i bash.

    The UHJ could take a systems approach to some of the problems within the Faith like business and industry does instead of playing the blame game (i.e. its all the believer’s fault, they’re not believing enough, they don’t love Baha’u’llah enough, they’re not faithful enough, they’re not spiritual enough, they’re not deepened enough, or they’re not firm enough in the Covenant). If there is a problem in industry there is a problem with the system and they try and address that problem by instituting appropriate changes or additions to the system. Sometimes it gets a bit silly, for example when someone comes in drunk to a processing plant and gets themselves killed, there isn’t a lot you can do apart from mandatory alcohol testing before they enter the door and putting up a ridiculous amount of safety equipment. Maybe if the UHJ took the stance “perhaps the person does have a legitimate gripe, what can we do to fix the problem?” you wouldn’t have all the grumbling on the internet.

    Why is it that business, through evolution, natural selection and academic research, has advanced far beyond the Baha’i Faith in terms of people and systems management, when the Faith has the “pure word” all the way from God himself and the infallible guidance of the UHJ?

    Another approach that could be taken with the Faith instead of doctrinal purity is letting everyone cherry pick and interpret for themselves. Its a scientific approach to any phenomena, people will pick a theory from a plethora of possibilities, one that can be tested, sounds the best, and provides good insight into the problem. Eventually science and scientific community comes to the truth of the matter. Why not do the same for the Faith? We have a set of guidelines, eventually people will come round if the guidelines and official interpretations are workable and provide the best explanation. Why structure everything to death so that evolution is impossible?

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