Sen McGlinn Unenrolled

The Universal House of Justice has sent a letter to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the Netherlands instructing them to remove Mr. Sen McGlinn from the membership rolls of their Baha’i community.

There is to be a meeting of the Local Spiritual Assembly (of which McGlinn is a member) without him on Thursday, December 1st 2005. I expect that after this meeting they will inform McGlinn officially.

It is still not definitively clear what reasons the House is using for this action. However, the purported letter to the NSA contains very much the same selective quotation of his words from the foreword of his recently published book, Church and State.

I will be writing more as more information becomes available.

Dear Mr. McGlinn,

The Universal House of Justice has advised us of its conclusion that, on the basis of your established pattern of behaviour and the
statements you have published, you cannot properly be considered as meeting the requirements of Baha’i membership.

Accordingly, we have removed your name from our membership roll and have informed the Baha’i institutions concerned.

Sincerely
…[signature]
The National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the Netherlands

Related Links:

Letter of the House of Justice to the NSAs regarding McGlinn’s book.

Alison’s commentary in three parts: one, two, three.

Juan Cole’s commentary from (H-Baha’i).

Karen’s commentary.

My commentary on takfir or ‘unenrollment’.

  • Sigmund Effendi

    To my mind Baha’u’llah and Abdu’l-Baha clearly taught that individuals should think in a morally and spiritually responsible way for themselves by individual conscience in the New Day and only in this was the safety of mankind to be established in the world. And that we should only function in groups when it is noble and highly effective to do so.

    This is how I read the Kitab-I-Iqan in Paris three decades ago. That all bets are now off and everyone must administer their own heart for themselves and
    not turn it over to some other agency on Earth to do one’s thinking. No ignorant Mullahs or self assigned Popes or Princes of the Church are needed in the new cycle of human development. No sullen organization of a spiritually dead self appointed clergy class who sends people to the stake for thought crimes. We have now therefore become a self defeating oxymoron. No true New World Age educated Baha’i would ever join the Baha’i Faith as it currently exists!

    Something is going to break and very, very soon. This level of cognitive dissonance cannot be sustained much longer by any system or organization. It is too great of a drain of intellectual, spiritual, and emotional energy. Living is hard enough without this completely unnecessary folly.

    Where is “entry-by-troops” happening anywhere in the world in the soulless and spiritually barren Ruhi Substitute Faith? Where?

    Ain’t going to happen. No spiritually advanced person or any thinking person anywhere in the world would ever join or stay in something run this poorly.

    So who will take the responsibility when there is not only zero growth but massive “exit-by-troops” clearly before the rank and file of the entire world by Ridvan of next year? Who?

    These men have essentially infallibly decreed that the Baha’i Faith is to be completely destroyed in the world. Even thiough it hurts after all these years of service as a BIGS I must accept their Divine Guidance and watch the Faith I served die.

    So be it.

  • Sigmund Effendi

    To my mind Baha’u’llah and Abdu’l-Baha clearly taught that individuals should think in a morally and spiritually responsible way for themselves by individual conscience in the New Day and only in this was the safety of mankind to be established in the world. And that we should only function in groups when it is noble and highly effective to do so.

    This is how I read the Kitab-I-Iqan in Paris three decades ago. That all bets are now off and everyone must administer their own heart for themselves and
    not turn it over to some other agency on Earth to do one’s thinking. No ignorant Mullahs or self assigned Popes or Princes of the Church are needed in the new cycle of human development. No sullen organization of a spiritually dead self appointed clergy class who sends people to the stake for thought crimes. We have now therefore become a self defeating oxymoron. No true New World Age educated Baha’i would ever join the Baha’i Faith as it currently exists!

    Something is going to break and very, very soon. This level of cognitive dissonance cannot be sustained much longer by any system or organization. It is too great of a drain of intellectual, spiritual, and emotional energy. Living is hard enough without this completely unnecessary folly.

    Where is “entry-by-troops” happening anywhere in the world in the soulless and spiritually barren Ruhi Substitute Faith? Where?

    Ain’t going to happen. No spiritually advanced person or any thinking person anywhere in the world would ever join or stay in something run this poorly.

    So who will take the responsibility when there is not only zero growth but massive “exit-by-troops” clearly before the rank and file of the entire world by Ridvan of next year? Who?

    These men have essentially infallibly decreed that the Baha’i Faith is to be completely destroyed in the world. Even thiough it hurts after all these years of service as a BIGS I must accept their Divine Guidance and watch the Faith I served die.

    So be it.

  • Pingback: Message from Above ? at Baha’i Rants()

  • farhan

    Thanks Baquia for providing us with the explanation.

    The following extract from the letter of the UHJ provides me with the answer:

    « …an individual has declared himself a ?Bah??’? theologian, writing from and for a religious community,? whose aim is ?to criticize, clarify, purify and strengthen the ideas of the Bah??’? community, to enable Bah??’?s to understand their relatively new Faith and to see what it can offer the world?. Assertions of this kind go far beyond expressions of personal opinion, which any Bah??’? is free to voice. As illustrated, here is a claim that lies well outside the framework of Bah??’? belief and practice. Bah??’u’ll??h has liberated human minds by prohibiting within His Faith any caste with ecclesiastical prerogatives that seeks to foist a self-assumed authority upon the thought and behavior of the mass of believers. Indeed, He has prescribed a system that combines democratic practices with the application of knowledge through consultative processes.”

    In 1976 I wrote my medical thesis on « an introduction to the Baha’i concept of Health ». Page after page I repeated that no one at this time could fully apprehend a concept that was projected into the future and that my purpose was to help future scholars by bringing side by side Baha’i writings and the current trends in medical concepts. Under no circumstances would I have dreamt of attempting « to criticize, clarify, purify and strengthen the ideas » of the Bah??’? or of the medical community, although I sincerely hope that my work has been of assistance to some people.

    Galileo Galilee did _indirectly_ “criticize, clarify, purify and strengthen the ideas of the Christian community”. I understand that he cautiously gave a version of facts that were at variance with the ideas current amongst his contemporaries, without telling the Pope that his purpose was to give a lesson to his contemporaries.

    I understand this as an unfortunate mistake in essai writing from Sen, and I sincerely hope that he will be forgiven for this.

  • Farhan Yazdani

    Thanks Baquia for providing us with the explanation.

    The following extract from the letter of the UHJ provides me with the answer:

    « …an individual has declared himself a ?Bah??’? theologian, writing from and for a religious community,? whose aim is ?to criticize, clarify, purify and strengthen the ideas of the Bah??’? community, to enable Bah??’?s to understand their relatively new Faith and to see what it can offer the world?. Assertions of this kind go far beyond expressions of personal opinion, which any Bah??’? is free to voice. As illustrated, here is a claim that lies well outside the framework of Bah??’? belief and practice. Bah??’u’ll??h has liberated human minds by prohibiting within His Faith any caste with ecclesiastical prerogatives that seeks to foist a self-assumed authority upon the thought and behavior of the mass of believers. Indeed, He has prescribed a system that combines democratic practices with the application of knowledge through consultative processes.”

    In 1976 I wrote my medical thesis on « an introduction to the Baha’i concept of Health ». Page after page I repeated that no one at this time could fully apprehend a concept that was projected into the future and that my purpose was to help future scholars by bringing side by side Baha’i writings and the current trends in medical concepts. Under no circumstances would I have dreamt of attempting « to criticize, clarify, purify and strengthen the ideas » of the Bah??’? or of the medical community, although I sincerely hope that my work has been of assistance to some people.

    Galileo Galilee did _indirectly_ “criticize, clarify, purify and strengthen the ideas of the Christian community”. I understand that he cautiously gave a version of facts that were at variance with the ideas current amongst his contemporaries, without telling the Pope that his purpose was to give a lesson to his contemporaries.

    I understand this as an unfortunate mistake in essai writing from Sen, and I sincerely hope that he will be forgiven for this.

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    Actually Farhan, there is no explanation. You and others are of course free to imagine one or try to “read the mind” of the UHJ, as you seem to have done here.

    The letter mentions “ecclesiastical prerogatives” which is downright preposterous in light of Sen’s work (if one bothers to read it). Sen can no more “hoist self-assumed authority” on other Baha’is than your essay could. All we can do is share and enter into dialogue. Am I hoisting “self-assumed authority” when I write this blog? are you when you comment?

    But even if one were to assume that Sen was somehow guilty of this charge – that is, if we ignore his clear words that he is only voicing his own understanding in the VERY FIRST SENTENCE OF THE BOOK!… you are still assuming that this is the reason because the House makes no such claim nor do they say this is why they unenrolled Sen.

    As well, whether you used the same words or not, your essay did in fact do all of those things – and if it didn’t, well, then it was a poor one. It is beyond ridiculous to require an academic work include repeated references of the kind you made. How many would be enough? one for every 5 pages? two per paragraph? please enlighten us!

    And again, this is assuming that the UHJ did indeed unenroll Sen because of this… which we don’t know… unless you somehow have the ability to read the mind of the 9 members as a collective when they made the decision.

    Oh and by the way, the elephant is restless and pooping in the corner… but I’m sure it will be alright if we just ignore it. Right?

    I am truly saddened to see an otherwise intelligent person put away their God given ability and responsibility to investigate the truth by at least reading the book before jumping to such preposterous conclusions. There is no other word for this than taqlid or imitation – well, so and so says this so well, it must be this. Sad. Truly. Sad.

    The letter presents the Faith in extremely bad light and as a Baha’i I lament that it was sent out in the first place because of this. It has taken a few sentences from Sen’s book out of context, and omitted his clear and unmistakable refusal to seek any such “authority” and charged Sen with the crime of wanting to become some sort of clergy within the Baha’i Faith:

    Assertions of this kind go far beyond expressions of personal opinion, which any Bah??’? is free to voice.

    Well, Sen does unequivocally say that the book or thesis is his opinion. But of course, that part is not included in the quoted text in the letter.

    In my view, anyone who can not see this is either willfully ignorant or simply devoid of intellectual capacity to begin with.

    Although it still does not explain why Sen was unenrolled, this book review may shed some light on the matter.

    But please… PUH-LEASE… do NOT let anything I or anyone else says persuade you in any way to actually read this book. Oh no… we can’t have that. Let’s just continue to slam the book and the author without having so much as cracked the covers. That is the Baha’i way, right?

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    Actually Farhan, there is no explanation. You and others are of course free to imagine one or try to “read the mind” of the UHJ, as you seem to have done here.

    The letter mentions “ecclesiastical prerogatives” which is downright preposterous in light of Sen’s work (if one bothers to read it). Sen can no more “hoist self-assumed authority” on other Baha’is than your essay could. All we can do is share and enter into dialogue. Am I hoisting “self-assumed authority” when I write this blog? are you when you comment?

    But even if one were to assume that Sen was somehow guilty of this charge – that is, if we ignore his clear words that he is only voicing his own understanding in the VERY FIRST SENTENCE OF THE BOOK!… you are still assuming that this is the reason because the House makes no such claim nor do they say this is why they unenrolled Sen.

    As well, whether you used the same words or not, your essay did in fact do all of those things – and if it didn’t, well, then it was a poor one. It is beyond ridiculous to require an academic work include repeated references of the kind you made. How many would be enough? one for every 5 pages? two per paragraph? please enlighten us!

    And again, this is assuming that the UHJ did indeed unenroll Sen because of this… which we don’t know… unless you somehow have the ability to read the mind of the 9 members as a collective when they made the decision.

    Oh and by the way, the elephant is restless and pooping in the corner… but I’m sure it will be alright if we just ignore it. Right?

    I am truly saddened to see an otherwise intelligent person put away their God given ability and responsibility to investigate the truth by at least reading the book before jumping to such preposterous conclusions. There is no other word for this than taqlid or imitation – well, so and so says this so well, it must be this. Sad. Truly. Sad.

    The letter presents the Faith in extremely bad light and as a Baha’i I lament that it was sent out in the first place because of this. It has taken a few sentences from Sen’s book out of context, and omitted his clear and unmistakable refusal to seek any such “authority” and charged Sen with the crime of wanting to become some sort of clergy within the Baha’i Faith:

    Assertions of this kind go far beyond expressions of personal opinion, which any Bah??’? is free to voice.

    Well, Sen does unequivocally say that the book or thesis is his opinion. But of course, that part is not included in the quoted text in the letter.

    In my view, anyone who can not see this is either willfully ignorant or simply devoid of intellectual capacity to begin with.

    Although it still does not explain why Sen was unenrolled, this book review may shed some light on the matter.

    But please… PUH-LEASE… do NOT let anything I or anyone else says persuade you in any way to actually read this book. Oh no… we can’t have that. Let’s just continue to slam the book and the author without having so much as cracked the covers. That is the Baha’i way, right?

  • http://www.sonjavank.com/sen Sen McGlinn

    Dear Farhan:
    this was not a mistake, but you have to read the whole sentence to understand it. What the UHJ quoted was only half a sentence, and gives quite the wrong impression.

    Either theology is one of those sciences which begin and end in words, or it serves a purpose. If theology does serve a purpose, then you need to know what its proper purpose is: the purpose gives you a standard to say whether a particular theology is a good one or not. For instance, if the purpose of medicine is to improve the quality of human life, then a medical discovery that serves only to make the discoverer rich and famous is not good medicine – even if it meets every clinical standard and is duly footnoted and referreed etc.

    Now, here’s what I really wrote in _Church and State_ pages 1 and 2:

    [quote comment=””]This book presents my own understanding of the Bahai teachings … I should declare at the outset that my stance is not that of a historian or academic scholar of the science of religion, but of a Bahai theologian, writing from and for a religious community, and I speak as if the reader shares the concerns of that community. As a Bahai theologian, I seek to criticize, clarify, purify and strengthen the ideas of the Bahai community, to enable Bahais to understand their relatively new faith and to see what it can offer the world. The approach is not value-free. I would be delighted if the Bahai Faith proved to have a synergy with post-modernity, if it prospered in the coming decades and had an influence on the world. The reader who is used to academic studies of religion that avoid such value judgements will have to make the necessary adjustments here and there….

    I should also say that I place myself somewhere towards the progressive end of the contemporary Bahai spectrum, in other words, that I feel quite at home in a differentiated, pluralistic, individualistic and globally integrating world, and I hope and expect to see post-modern society prosper. At the other end of the spectrum, there is a very different Bahai discourse which regards a postmodern society as a non-viable option since – according to traditionalist ideas of a ?what society is’ – differentiation and individualism are symptoms of the disintegration of society. Rather than looking forward to an unpredictable synergy with postmodernism, a really new world order, the conservative Bahai discourse hopes to re-establish a society in the traditional sense, once the progressive disintegration of society, as they perceive it, has run its course. The reader should be aware, then, that this is only one among the competing discourses within the contemporary western Bahai community. …

    The views offered here are not an authoritative view of the Bahai teachings, nor a definitive statement of my own views on these topics. These are samples from a work in progress, born out of an ongoing argument with myself. It is published now rather than at some other time partly because I have achieved a degree of certainty that at least the broad lines of these ideas do accurately represent the Bahai teachings, but chiefly because the issues dealt with here have become so pressing for the well-being of the Bahai communities in the west, and offer such potential for fruitful dialogue with the Jewish, Christian and Muslim traditions, that a start must be made.

    The present volume has been self-published as part of the requirements for a Master’s degree, and would in several respects be different if it was a more formal and market-oriented publication.
    […][/quote]

    So what I am saying is that this is a faith-based, value-orientated approach: it is theology, not the objective study of religion. That does not mean that the standards of proof are any lower. For comparison: a biologist who studies ecologies and extinction mechanisms could observe the decline and extinction of a species objectively, taking care not to interfere with the process he is studying. It would be a successful study if it yielded understanding. An ecological activist could study the same species — using exactly the same techniques, the same standards of proof — but with the purpose of saving the species. He will be delighted if the species survives: that is a value, which is not consistent with an objective, value-free approach. In the same way, I have a commitment and moral purpose in my study and, especially when writing in a university setting, the reader has a right to know what it is. That exonerates me, and my supervisor, from the accusation that we are doing theology but presenting it as the objective study of religion; it provides a standard for evaluation, and it identifies possible biases. I might for instance be overly optimistic about the future of the Bahai Faith in a postmodern society, simply because I want it to be a success.

    In Church and State I defined my purposes as ?to criticize, clarify, purify and strengthen the ideas of the Bahai community, to enable Bahais to understand their relatively new faith and to see what it can offer the world.? The list is not exhaustive, but I am not persuaded that it is wrong.

    Theology is critical, in the sense of testing its assumptions and looking for real weaknesses, but also in the sense of seeking to enhance appreciation. Literary criticism for example is not primarily devoted to denouncing bad writing, its positive role is to help us to appreciate good writing.

    Clarification follows from the systematic and critical method of theology, which exposes vague expressions used without thought about their meaning, and uncovers muddles. For instance, Bahai discourse — and my own thinking up to a certain point — have generally confused the issues of Shoghi Effendi’s not appointing a successor to the Guardianship, as required by Abdu’l-Baha’s Will and Testament, and the Guardian apparently not writing a Will as required by the Kitab-e Aqdas. The observation that these are two separate issues, because the terms of Abdu’l-Baha’s Will and Testament do not allow the appointment to be made in the Guardian’s own Will, clarifies both issues, by distinguishing things that had been confused. Similarly, Church and State addressed the Baha’i teachings concerning the House of Justice and the International Tribunal, which had been conflated in footnotes to the earliest translations of Some Answered Questions and in some influential early Baha’i books. As soon as it is noticed that two separate things are being discussed, the texts themselves become largely self-explanatory, because the apparent contradictions were due to approaching the texts with a confusion of concepts.

    Purification is an aspect of theology’s self-critical method: as we study the Bahai texts in a systematic way, it becomes evident that some of what we thought were ?Bahai teachings’ are contaminations, resulting from the adoption by Bahais, in various generations, of assumptions accepted in their various societies and political environments. It is difficult to detect and escape the gravitational pull of our philosophical, religious and cultural backgrounds, but we can try to do so by returning to the source texts in a systematic way.

    Finally, theology strengthens the ideas of the religious community, first by removing muddles, and then by locating the scriptural roots of the various teachings so distinguished. But more important is the role of any open discussion: whatever is discussed remains alive and lived, while what is merely taken for granted quickly becomes a dead letter. Thus a good theology is not necessarily one that brings about a change in ideas. A theology which takes what is known and ?makes it new’ has also strengthened the ideas of the community.

    For those who want to read the whole of the Foreword and Introduction to _Church and State_, I’ve put them up as a PDF at
    http://www.sonjavank.com/sen/articles.htm

    It’s the second on the list, click on the blue pdf button to start it

  • http://www.sonjavank.com/sen Sen McGlinn

    Dear Farhan:
    this was not a mistake, but you have to read the whole sentence to understand it. What the UHJ quoted was only half a sentence, and gives quite the wrong impression.

    Either theology is one of those sciences which begin and end in words, or it serves a purpose. If theology does serve a purpose, then you need to know what its proper purpose is: the purpose gives you a standard to say whether a particular theology is a good one or not. For instance, if the purpose of medicine is to improve the quality of human life, then a medical discovery that serves only to make the discoverer rich and famous is not good medicine – even if it meets every clinical standard and is duly footnoted and referreed etc.

    Now, here’s what I really wrote in _Church and State_ pages 1 and 2:

    [quote comment=””]This book presents my own understanding of the Bahai teachings … I should declare at the outset that my stance is not that of a historian or academic scholar of the science of religion, but of a Bahai theologian, writing from and for a religious community, and I speak as if the reader shares the concerns of that community. As a Bahai theologian, I seek to criticize, clarify, purify and strengthen the ideas of the Bahai community, to enable Bahais to understand their relatively new faith and to see what it can offer the world. The approach is not value-free. I would be delighted if the Bahai Faith proved to have a synergy with post-modernity, if it prospered in the coming decades and had an influence on the world. The reader who is used to academic studies of religion that avoid such value judgements will have to make the necessary adjustments here and there….

    I should also say that I place myself somewhere towards the progressive end of the contemporary Bahai spectrum, in other words, that I feel quite at home in a differentiated, pluralistic, individualistic and globally integrating world, and I hope and expect to see post-modern society prosper. At the other end of the spectrum, there is a very different Bahai discourse which regards a postmodern society as a non-viable option since – according to traditionalist ideas of a ?what society is’ – differentiation and individualism are symptoms of the disintegration of society. Rather than looking forward to an unpredictable synergy with postmodernism, a really new world order, the conservative Bahai discourse hopes to re-establish a society in the traditional sense, once the progressive disintegration of society, as they perceive it, has run its course. The reader should be aware, then, that this is only one among the competing discourses within the contemporary western Bahai community. …

    The views offered here are not an authoritative view of the Bahai teachings, nor a definitive statement of my own views on these topics. These are samples from a work in progress, born out of an ongoing argument with myself. It is published now rather than at some other time partly because I have achieved a degree of certainty that at least the broad lines of these ideas do accurately represent the Bahai teachings, but chiefly because the issues dealt with here have become so pressing for the well-being of the Bahai communities in the west, and offer such potential for fruitful dialogue with the Jewish, Christian and Muslim traditions, that a start must be made.

    The present volume has been self-published as part of the requirements for a Master’s degree, and would in several respects be different if it was a more formal and market-oriented publication.
    […][/quote]

    So what I am saying is that this is a faith-based, value-orientated approach: it is theology, not the objective study of religion. That does not mean that the standards of proof are any lower. For comparison: a biologist who studies ecologies and extinction mechanisms could observe the decline and extinction of a species objectively, taking care not to interfere with the process he is studying. It would be a successful study if it yielded understanding. An ecological activist could study the same species — using exactly the same techniques, the same standards of proof — but with the purpose of saving the species. He will be delighted if the species survives: that is a value, which is not consistent with an objective, value-free approach. In the same way, I have a commitment and moral purpose in my study and, especially when writing in a university setting, the reader has a right to know what it is. That exonerates me, and my supervisor, from the accusation that we are doing theology but presenting it as the objective study of religion; it provides a standard for evaluation, and it identifies possible biases. I might for instance be overly optimistic about the future of the Bahai Faith in a postmodern society, simply because I want it to be a success.

    In Church and State I defined my purposes as ?to criticize, clarify, purify and strengthen the ideas of the Bahai community, to enable Bahais to understand their relatively new faith and to see what it can offer the world.? The list is not exhaustive, but I am not persuaded that it is wrong.

    Theology is critical, in the sense of testing its assumptions and looking for real weaknesses, but also in the sense of seeking to enhance appreciation. Literary criticism for example is not primarily devoted to denouncing bad writing, its positive role is to help us to appreciate good writing.

    Clarification follows from the systematic and critical method of theology, which exposes vague expressions used without thought about their meaning, and uncovers muddles. For instance, Bahai discourse — and my own thinking up to a certain point — have generally confused the issues of Shoghi Effendi’s not appointing a successor to the Guardianship, as required by Abdu’l-Baha’s Will and Testament, and the Guardian apparently not writing a Will as required by the Kitab-e Aqdas. The observation that these are two separate issues, because the terms of Abdu’l-Baha’s Will and Testament do not allow the appointment to be made in the Guardian’s own Will, clarifies both issues, by distinguishing things that had been confused. Similarly, Church and State addressed the Baha’i teachings concerning the House of Justice and the International Tribunal, which had been conflated in footnotes to the earliest translations of Some Answered Questions and in some influential early Baha’i books. As soon as it is noticed that two separate things are being discussed, the texts themselves become largely self-explanatory, because the apparent contradictions were due to approaching the texts with a confusion of concepts.

    Purification is an aspect of theology’s self-critical method: as we study the Bahai texts in a systematic way, it becomes evident that some of what we thought were ?Bahai teachings’ are contaminations, resulting from the adoption by Bahais, in various generations, of assumptions accepted in their various societies and political environments. It is difficult to detect and escape the gravitational pull of our philosophical, religious and cultural backgrounds, but we can try to do so by returning to the source texts in a systematic way.

    Finally, theology strengthens the ideas of the religious community, first by removing muddles, and then by locating the scriptural roots of the various teachings so distinguished. But more important is the role of any open discussion: whatever is discussed remains alive and lived, while what is merely taken for granted quickly becomes a dead letter. Thus a good theology is not necessarily one that brings about a change in ideas. A theology which takes what is known and ?makes it new’ has also strengthened the ideas of the community.

    For those who want to read the whole of the Foreword and Introduction to _Church and State_, I’ve put them up as a PDF at
    http://www.sonjavank.com/sen/articles.htm

    It’s the second on the list, click on the blue pdf button to start it

  • farhan

    Baquia wrote:

    “Actually Farhan, there is no explanation. You and others are of course free to imagine one or try to ?read the mind? of the UHJ, as you seem to have done here.”

    Baquia,

    I am not explaining anything, but trying to understand a situation I am starting to discover and which I deeply regret. It would be impossible to judge from a few messages the situation of Sen. I am sharing my own experiences.

    Society is in a state of transition and the adaptation effort is a great strain for the majority of citizens not accustomed to intellectual exchange as we are. It takes time, patience and love to foster intellectual procedures in the masses of people. There is this French pilot who was arrested in LA for making a joke about his own shoes.

    Once in a Baha’i Medical association meeting in a university, a Baha’i lady stood up and said the Baha’i view point presented by myself was “too intellectual”; the chairperson, a non-Baha’i, defended my view point. To this person, anything beyond Paris talks must have been felt “dangerous”.

    Outstanding Baha’is in the 1970’s complained about me putting secular teachings side by side with Divine teachings… it took time for Copernicus, Bruno, Kepler and other heros to introduce their ideas into society; why should we expect humanity to accept these things in a flash? Is our generation more advanced in adaptation talents than those generations? Are we to reject those who are unable to adapt in an instant? The implementation of the Institute Process is a typical adaptation crisis for us, in terms that Alvin Toffler coined as the “future shock”.

    Baha’u’llah Himself insists that revelation, like the sun, rises progressively, allowing all things to adapt to it’s light. He even destroyed many tablets for which the world was not ready. There are so many verities that cannot be unveiled until the time is ripe. I know of a historian who prepared a dissertation, only to realise that it’s untimely publication would become a source of persecution for many Baha’is.

    I cannot say why the UHJ took this precaution, and this in no way means that Sen’s book is banned ; I will gladly study it, but I have no doubt whatsoever that the move of the UHJ must have been a painfull decision to them and only taken in the loving interests of humanity.

    Transformation of humanity it is a long, slow process: may God protect us from slipping during tests. Abdu’l-baha said his knees trembled when He thought of the tests of God. My loving compassion goes to all those who slip and fall.

  • Farhan Yazdani

    Baquia wrote:

    “Actually Farhan, there is no explanation. You and others are of course free to imagine one or try to ?read the mind? of the UHJ, as you seem to have done here.”

    Baquia,

    I am not explaining anything, but trying to understand a situation I am starting to discover and which I deeply regret. It would be impossible to judge from a few messages the situation of Sen. I am sharing my own experiences.

    Society is in a state of transition and the adaptation effort is a great strain for the majority of citizens not accustomed to intellectual exchange as we are. It takes time, patience and love to foster intellectual procedures in the masses of people. There is this French pilot who was arrested in LA for making a joke about his own shoes.

    Once in a Baha’i Medical association meeting in a university, a Baha’i lady stood up and said the Baha’i view point presented by myself was “too intellectual”; the chairperson, a non-Baha’i, defended my view point. To this person, anything beyond Paris talks must have been felt “dangerous”.

    Outstanding Baha’is in the 1970’s complained about me putting secular teachings side by side with Divine teachings… it took time for Copernicus, Bruno, Kepler and other heros to introduce their ideas into society; why should we expect humanity to accept these things in a flash? Is our generation more advanced in adaptation talents than those generations? Are we to reject those who are unable to adapt in an instant? The implementation of the Institute Process is a typical adaptation crisis for us, in terms that Alvin Toffler coined as the “future shock”.

    Baha’u’llah Himself insists that revelation, like the sun, rises progressively, allowing all things to adapt to it’s light. He even destroyed many tablets for which the world was not ready. There are so many verities that cannot be unveiled until the time is ripe. I know of a historian who prepared a dissertation, only to realise that it’s untimely publication would become a source of persecution for many Baha’is.

    I cannot say why the UHJ took this precaution, and this in no way means that Sen’s book is banned ; I will gladly study it, but I have no doubt whatsoever that the move of the UHJ must have been a painfull decision to them and only taken in the loving interests of humanity.

    Transformation of humanity it is a long, slow process: may God protect us from slipping during tests. Abdu’l-baha said his knees trembled when He thought of the tests of God. My loving compassion goes to all those who slip and fall.

  • P

    I cannot say why the UHJ took this precaution, and this in no way means that Sen’s book is banned ;
    ——————–
    Well I can. What religious authority in history has ever appreciated followers that think for themselves? (well maybe with the exception of Abdul-Baha encouraging the clash of opinions). Independent thinkers don’t follow with closed mouths and dropped heads. Indpendent thinkers question things like “what does infallibility mean?”, “were women really banned from the UHJ?”, “why are UHJ members consistantly elected from the teaching center?”, etc. etc. The Pope, the UHJ, the mullahs- it’s all the same.

  • P

    I cannot say why the UHJ took this precaution, and this in no way means that Sen’s book is banned ;
    ——————–
    Well I can. What religious authority in history has ever appreciated followers that think for themselves? (well maybe with the exception of Abdul-Baha encouraging the clash of opinions). Independent thinkers don’t follow with closed mouths and dropped heads. Indpendent thinkers question things like “what does infallibility mean?”, “were women really banned from the UHJ?”, “why are UHJ members consistantly elected from the teaching center?”, etc. etc. The Pope, the UHJ, the mullahs- it’s all the same.

  • Anonnymouz

    [quote comment=””][…] Well I can. What religious authority in history has ever appreciated followers that think for themselves?[…][/quote]

    This doesn’t make any sense. No what told Sen what to think, just that his conclusions and statements are incompatible with membership in the Baha’i community, moreover, when he begins telling others that these views are sound, cited and proven then it becomes a point of disagreement and dis-unity as opposed to faithful attitude untainted by contemporary political outlook–which is ultimately irreligious in nature.

  • Anonnymouz

    [quote comment=””][…] Well I can. What religious authority in history has ever appreciated followers that think for themselves?[…][/quote]

    This doesn’t make any sense. No what told Sen what to think, just that his conclusions and statements are incompatible with membership in the Baha’i community, moreover, when he begins telling others that these views are sound, cited and proven then it becomes a point of disagreement and dis-unity as opposed to faithful attitude untainted by contemporary political outlook–which is ultimately irreligious in nature.

  • farhan

    P wrote:
    “What religious authority in history has ever appreciated followers that think for themselves? (well maybe with the exception of Abdul-Baha encouraging the clash of opinions). Independent thinkers don’t follow with closed mouths and dropped heads.”

    P, there moderation, a time and a place for everything.

    We can at the same time encourage free thought, AND encourage obedience.

    A musicians can practice freely for hours, AND closely follow the maestro when he is in the orchestra;

    You can kick around the ball as you wish, feely on your own, AND stay in your position AND obey the referee when you are playing in a match.

    No one forbids you to empty your bladder, you are free and even encouraged to do so, AND there is a right time, method and place for doing it when you are in a society. They fined this guy for fouling the side walk in Paris and he complained that even dogs had more liberty than he did.

    Individual enterprise is encouraged in the Faith, AND if we wish to live and work with others, there are times when we have to follow rules for harmonising our collective enterprises.

    Read the compilation “Unlocking the Power of Action” posted on this site. I can provide further illustrations if needed.

  • Farhan Yazdani

    P wrote:
    “What religious authority in history has ever appreciated followers that think for themselves? (well maybe with the exception of Abdul-Baha encouraging the clash of opinions). Independent thinkers don’t follow with closed mouths and dropped heads.”

    P, there moderation, a time and a place for everything.

    We can at the same time encourage free thought, AND encourage obedience.

    A musicians can practice freely for hours, AND closely follow the maestro when he is in the orchestra;

    You can kick around the ball as you wish, feely on your own, AND stay in your position AND obey the referee when you are playing in a match.

    No one forbids you to empty your bladder, you are free and even encouraged to do so, AND there is a right time, method and place for doing it when you are in a society. They fined this guy for fouling the side walk in Paris and he complained that even dogs had more liberty than he did.

    Individual enterprise is encouraged in the Faith, AND if we wish to live and work with others, there are times when we have to follow rules for harmonising our collective enterprises.

    Read the compilation “Unlocking the Power of Action” posted on this site. I can provide further illustrations if needed.

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=”53323″][quote comment=””][…] Well I can. What religious authority in history has ever appreciated followers that think for themselves?[…][/quote]

    This doesn’t make any sense. No what told Sen what to think, just that his conclusions and statements are incompatible with membership in the Baha’i community, moreover, when he begins telling others that these views are sound, cited and proven then it becomes a point of disagreement and dis-unity as opposed to faithful attitude untainted by contemporary political outlook–which is ultimately irreligious in nature.[/quote]

    AMAN, you are a piece of work, brother! Have you ACTUALLY EVER READ Sen’s book yet before running off your Baha’i rote indoctrinated group think mouth? It is a plain, straight forward, very academic study. Read it and think about what Sen says. It is not any kind of revolutionary 300+ page tract AT ALL! No need to burn Sen at the stake yet as a threat to your mental “World Order”! As I told him, all his exhaustive research and quite excellent chapters on ideas of civil governance within Islamic history is wonderful. The spectacular failure of the Baha’i Faith in it’s current free fall is actually small potatoes. I served it for 32 straight years of total dedication in the hope that it would hit it’s stride, but now I have to face the horrible reality that the religion is hopelessly dysfunctional on every spiritual and human level and will never find it’s way unless there is courageous spiritual revolution from the bottom to the top.

    If he took all the issues regarding the Baha’i Faith completely out of the book and expanded the analysis of various ideas on civil governance within the various thought systems within Islam and the actual reality of the history of civil governance within Islam over 14 centuries he would have a WORLDWIDE BEST SELLER. The world right now is VERY INTERESTED in the actual world historical track record of these Islamic “ideas” in the current hapless age of deluded group think imitation suicide bombers and the slow burning fuse of World War III on the front page of every newspaper and Internet news portal and news blog out there with the ongoing Iraq War and the looming ideological confrontation with Iran.

    Sen should take the material about the Baha’i Faith out of the book, expand the rest, and he would find a public that would, unlike the FEARFUL and TREMBLING lifetime incumbent brain trust running the Baha’i Faith, find his effort very useful to understanding the history of the ideas now in play in the greater world in many countries.

    Sen’s chapters on this fascinating history (just like everybody else in the history of “organized religion” whatever the stripe Islamic societies very rarely practiced what they preached either!) don’t even mention the Baha’i Faith for a hundred pages! This material was very interesting to me. But current “Ruhi Baha’is”, even members of the UHJ, I am sure to a man do NOT read ANY books any more within the air tight cult bubble of the Baha’i Faith. If you read a book, you are (gasp) the enemy of God in the NEWTHINK Baha’i Faith. If you read non-pre-approved and non-pre-sanctioned books you just might NOT be keeping a “faithful attitude untainted by contemporary political outlook–which is ultimately irreligious in nature.”

    But keep writing your apoligist diatribes for posterity up here for the historical record as you send us all to the re-education camp to start YEAR ZERO in your mind! Marching everyone into the jungle to the re-education camps and starting YEAR ZERO to “re-create society” is the final brain chemistry of organized ideologies. Such thinking was Big Time in the 20th Century. It is all SO OVER now! Your mentality is on it’s way out among mankind. And the current version of the Baha’i Faith with it.

    So it goes.

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=sO8GhA8OdyQ

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=”53323″][quote comment=””][…] Well I can. What religious authority in history has ever appreciated followers that think for themselves?[…][/quote]

    This doesn’t make any sense. No what told Sen what to think, just that his conclusions and statements are incompatible with membership in the Baha’i community, moreover, when he begins telling others that these views are sound, cited and proven then it becomes a point of disagreement and dis-unity as opposed to faithful attitude untainted by contemporary political outlook–which is ultimately irreligious in nature.[/quote]

    AMAN, you are a piece of work, brother! Have you ACTUALLY EVER READ Sen’s book yet before running off your Baha’i rote indoctrinated group think mouth? It is a plain, straight forward, very academic study. Read it and think about what Sen says. It is not any kind of revolutionary 300+ page tract AT ALL! No need to burn Sen at the stake yet as a threat to your mental “World Order”! As I told him, all his exhaustive research and quite excellent chapters on ideas of civil governance within Islamic history is wonderful. The spectacular failure of the Baha’i Faith in it’s current free fall is actually small potatoes. I served it for 32 straight years of total dedication in the hope that it would hit it’s stride, but now I have to face the horrible reality that the religion is hopelessly dysfunctional on every spiritual and human level and will never find it’s way unless there is courageous spiritual revolution from the bottom to the top.

    If he took all the issues regarding the Baha’i Faith completely out of the book and expanded the analysis of various ideas on civil governance within the various thought systems within Islam and the actual reality of the history of civil governance within Islam over 14 centuries he would have a WORLDWIDE BEST SELLER. The world right now is VERY INTERESTED in the actual world historical track record of these Islamic “ideas” in the current hapless age of deluded group think imitation suicide bombers and the slow burning fuse of World War III on the front page of every newspaper and Internet news portal and news blog out there with the ongoing Iraq War and the looming ideological confrontation with Iran.

    Sen should take the material about the Baha’i Faith out of the book, expand the rest, and he would find a public that would, unlike the FEARFUL and TREMBLING lifetime incumbent brain trust running the Baha’i Faith, find his effort very useful to understanding the history of the ideas now in play in the greater world in many countries.

    Sen’s chapters on this fascinating history (just like everybody else in the history of “organized religion” whatever the stripe Islamic societies very rarely practiced what they preached either!) don’t even mention the Baha’i Faith for a hundred pages! This material was very interesting to me. But current “Ruhi Baha’is”, even members of the UHJ, I am sure to a man do NOT read ANY books any more within the air tight cult bubble of the Baha’i Faith. If you read a book, you are (gasp) the enemy of God in the NEWTHINK Baha’i Faith. If you read non-pre-approved and non-pre-sanctioned books you just might NOT be keeping a “faithful attitude untainted by contemporary political outlook–which is ultimately irreligious in nature.”

    But keep writing your apoligist diatribes for posterity up here for the historical record as you send us all to the re-education camp to start YEAR ZERO in your mind! Marching everyone into the jungle to the re-education camps and starting YEAR ZERO to “re-create society” is the final brain chemistry of organized ideologies. Such thinking was Big Time in the 20th Century. It is all SO OVER now! Your mentality is on it’s way out among mankind. And the current version of the Baha’i Faith with it.

    So it goes.

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=sO8GhA8OdyQ

  • Andrew

    Craig wrote:

    “But keep writing your apologist diatribes for posterity up here for the historical record as you send us all to the re-education camp to start YEAR ZERO in your mind!”

    “Apologist diatribes? What apologist diatribes?” (Alfred B. [Baha’i] Neuman)

  • Andrew

    Craig wrote:

    “But keep writing your apologist diatribes for posterity up here for the historical record as you send us all to the re-education camp to start YEAR ZERO in your mind!”

    “Apologist diatribes? What apologist diatribes?” (Alfred B. [Baha’i] Neuman)

  • Anonnymouz

    Here we go again Craig…

    “I served it for 32 straight years of total dedication in the hope that it would hit it’s stride, but now I have to face the horrible reality that the religion is hopelessly dysfunctional on every spiritual and human level and will never find it’s way unless there is courageous spiritual revolution from the bottom to the top.”

    From the bottom to the top…Exactly. That is the whole point of engaging the individual…Its clear that you havn’t done any of the Ruhi books, if you did any, it didn’t strike any spiritual chords. The bitterness and animosity you cling to is a testament not to the Baha’i Faith, but to your dysfunctional soul. Trying to institutionalize spiritual growth is no easy task and paranoiacs like you only see conspiracy. I feel liberated, free and moreover encouraged when I think about the initiative being advised by the Insitituions. You are the one that is way off base. You have no clue and like an untrained musician keep banging on the same chords in hoping of making music. Aint going to happen. The Baha’i Faith is reconsolidating and organizing its efforts, united and motivated to move forward and engage society on every level. 32 years in the history of a religion with only 160+ years is chicken scratch. By your unceasing critism, endless slander and misscharacterization you only toot your own horn.

    You seriously lack perspective and context.

  • Anonnymouz

    Here we go again Craig…

    “I served it for 32 straight years of total dedication in the hope that it would hit it’s stride, but now I have to face the horrible reality that the religion is hopelessly dysfunctional on every spiritual and human level and will never find it’s way unless there is courageous spiritual revolution from the bottom to the top.”

    From the bottom to the top…Exactly. That is the whole point of engaging the individual…Its clear that you havn’t done any of the Ruhi books, if you did any, it didn’t strike any spiritual chords. The bitterness and animosity you cling to is a testament not to the Baha’i Faith, but to your dysfunctional soul. Trying to institutionalize spiritual growth is no easy task and paranoiacs like you only see conspiracy. I feel liberated, free and moreover encouraged when I think about the initiative being advised by the Insitituions. You are the one that is way off base. You have no clue and like an untrained musician keep banging on the same chords in hoping of making music. Aint going to happen. The Baha’i Faith is reconsolidating and organizing its efforts, united and motivated to move forward and engage society on every level. 32 years in the history of a religion with only 160+ years is chicken scratch. By your unceasing critism, endless slander and misscharacterization you only toot your own horn.

    You seriously lack perspective and context.

  • Andrew

    “To institutionalize spiritual inspiration is to deaden it.” (Marla Brettschneider)

  • Andrew

    “To institutionalize spiritual inspiration is to deaden it.” (Marla Brettschneider)

  • Anonnymouz

    [quote comment=””][…] ?To institutionalize spiritual inspiration is to deaden it.? (Marla Brettschneider)[…][/quote]

    Only if it forced and imposed. Only an individual can move closer to God. Ruhi is a small tool. No where has the UHJ made it obligatory or required…

    Come now, get out of the cave and wake up.

    This Marla Brettschneider is a part of the The Nehirim spiritual retreat. Which on the website states is a “soulful, heartful gathering where you can connect with your community, relax and refresh, and explore your spiritual path, forming connections that last a lifetime.”

    Giving a venue toward spiritual growth and a means and method….hmmm…what is she talking about?

    You amaze me.

  • Anonnymouz

    [quote comment=””][…] ?To institutionalize spiritual inspiration is to deaden it.? (Marla Brettschneider)[…][/quote]

    Only if it forced and imposed. Only an individual can move closer to God. Ruhi is a small tool. No where has the UHJ made it obligatory or required…

    Come now, get out of the cave and wake up.

    This Marla Brettschneider is a part of the The Nehirim spiritual retreat. Which on the website states is a “soulful, heartful gathering where you can connect with your community, relax and refresh, and explore your spiritual path, forming connections that last a lifetime.”

    Giving a venue toward spiritual growth and a means and method….hmmm…what is she talking about?

    You amaze me.

  • Grover

    [quote post=”78″]?To institutionalize spiritual inspiration is to deaden it.? (Marla Brettschneider

    Only if it forced and imposed. Only an individual can move closer to God. Ruhi is a small tool. No where has the UHJ made it obligatory or required…[/quote]

    Not anymore. Anyone read what the UHJ sent New Zealand? Just got this from a friend of mine…

    “We are impelled to call upon all members of your Baha’i community to put aside any other concerns and join together in a united endeavour to pursue the objectives of the 5 year plan with the aim of increasing the number of intensive programmes of growth in New Zealand. With the guidance of your National Spiritual Assembly, reinforced by the Counsellors and Auxiliary Board members, a mighty effort must be made to ensure that the dear friends in New Zealand fulfil their commitment in this regard…”

    So it is forced and imposed, and the UHJ has pretty much made it obligatory. Remember what I said about the pressure to do all this is unrelenting, and you didn’t believe me? Well, sounds like its going to get worse for Baha’is in New Zealand. Apparently enrolments in New Zealand are one third to one tenth of what they were in the 80s and early 90s.

  • Grover

    [quote post=”78″]?To institutionalize spiritual inspiration is to deaden it.? (Marla Brettschneider

    Only if it forced and imposed. Only an individual can move closer to God. Ruhi is a small tool. No where has the UHJ made it obligatory or required…[/quote]

    Not anymore. Anyone read what the UHJ sent New Zealand? Just got this from a friend of mine…

    “We are impelled to call upon all members of your Baha’i community to put aside any other concerns and join together in a united endeavour to pursue the objectives of the 5 year plan with the aim of increasing the number of intensive programmes of growth in New Zealand. With the guidance of your National Spiritual Assembly, reinforced by the Counsellors and Auxiliary Board members, a mighty effort must be made to ensure that the dear friends in New Zealand fulfil their commitment in this regard…”

    So it is forced and imposed, and the UHJ has pretty much made it obligatory. Remember what I said about the pressure to do all this is unrelenting, and you didn’t believe me? Well, sounds like its going to get worse for Baha’is in New Zealand. Apparently enrolments in New Zealand are one third to one tenth of what they were in the 80s and early 90s.

  • http://www.sonjavank.com sonja

    Anonnymouz, it is obvious that you have not read Sen’s book nor anything he has written because of the statements you made. Fine, but it is slander (“the tongue is a smouldering fire,”) when you go around claiming he said things, he did not.

    [quote comment=””][…] moreover, when he begins telling others that these views are sound, cited and proven then it becomes a point of disagreement and dis-unity as opposed to faithful attitude untainted by contemporary political outlook–which is ultimately irreligious in nature. […][/quote]

    Some evidence please, written by Sen himself, or apologize for mistakingly attributing the above garbage to something associated with Sen. So when did Sen start telling others how to think?

    You may naively think anyone (I am speaking of myself here, not Sen) who aims to be politically aware is concerned with things [quote comment=””][…] ultimately irreligious in nature. […][/quote] but I assure you, I don’t think I’m the only follower of Baha’u’llah to be interested the world around me :)

    [quote comment=””][…]
    Be anxiously concerned with the needs of the age ye live in, and center your deliberations on its exigencies and requirements.”[…][/quote] Bah??’u’ll??h, Gleanings

  • http://www.sonjavank.com sonja

    Anonnymouz, it is obvious that you have not read Sen’s book nor anything he has written because of the statements you made. Fine, but it is slander (“the tongue is a smouldering fire,”) when you go around claiming he said things, he did not.

    [quote comment=””][…] moreover, when he begins telling others that these views are sound, cited and proven then it becomes a point of disagreement and dis-unity as opposed to faithful attitude untainted by contemporary political outlook–which is ultimately irreligious in nature. […][/quote]

    Some evidence please, written by Sen himself, or apologize for mistakingly attributing the above garbage to something associated with Sen. So when did Sen start telling others how to think?

    You may naively think anyone (I am speaking of myself here, not Sen) who aims to be politically aware is concerned with things [quote comment=””][…] ultimately irreligious in nature. […][/quote] but I assure you, I don’t think I’m the only follower of Baha’u’llah to be interested the world around me :)

    [quote comment=””][…]
    Be anxiously concerned with the needs of the age ye live in, and center your deliberations on its exigencies and requirements.”[…][/quote] Bah??’u’ll??h, Gleanings

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    If I remember correctly, Anon mentioned that he had ordered the book from Kalimat and was going to read it before commenting further. Seems logical to me. I’m sure he/she is still awaiting the arrival of the book.

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    If I remember correctly, Anon mentioned that he had ordered the book from Kalimat and was going to read it before commenting further. Seems logical to me. I’m sure he/she is still awaiting the arrival of the book.

  • Annonymouz

    [quote comment=””][…] If I remember correctly, Anon mentioned that he had ordered the book from Kalimat and was going to read it before commenting further. Seems logical to me. I’m sure he/she is still awaiting the arrival of the book.[…][/quote]

    Indeed.

  • Annonymouz

    [quote comment=””][…] If I remember correctly, Anon mentioned that he had ordered the book from Kalimat and was going to read it before commenting further. Seems logical to me. I’m sure he/she is still awaiting the arrival of the book.[…][/quote]

    Indeed.

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=”53340″]

    AMAN wrote:

    Here we go again Craig…

    From the bottom to the top…Exactly. That is the whole point of engaging the individual…Its clear that you havn’t done any of the Ruhi books, if you did any, it didn’t strike any spiritual chords. The bitterness and animosity you cling to is a testament not to the Baha’i Faith, but to your dysfunctional soul. Trying to institutionalize spiritual growth is no easy task and paranoiacs like you only see conspiracy. I feel liberated, free and moreover encouraged when I think about the initiative being advised by the Insitituions. You are the one that is way off base. You have no clue and like an untrained musician keep banging on the same chords in hoping of making music. Aint going to happen. The Baha’i Faith is reconsolidating and organizing its efforts, united and motivated to move forward and engage society on every level. 32 years in the history of a religion with only 160+ years is chicken scratch. By your unceasing critism, endless slander and misscharacterization you only toot your own horn.

    You seriously lack perspective and context.[/quote]

    AMAN,

    You are not reading my posts or you have not been through the archives here. I faithfully took Ruhi Book One on weekends over a six week period in early 2004. Amid all the controversy, I felt it was wrong to ever make a comment about Ruhi until I actually took a course. Up until then I never said a thing about it in any discussion or on-line because I had never taken any of it or knew anything about it. I tried to keep an open mind.

    I have been through a lot in my life, and I can honestly say it was one of the worst spiritual experiences of my life. I was just amazed over those six weeks. It was far, far worse than I could have ever felt imaginable. Right out of Chinese Communist Indoctrination under the worst mindset of Chairman Mao on LSD. Right out of the North Korean Communist Party. Right up there with Golden Eagle Party Badges under the Third Reich direct from the Fuhrer system right out of Central Casting.

    The night of the first experience I had to directly drive 60 miles to help my elderly Mother with something she needed to do in the town where she lives. I had to stop to get something to eat. I went through a fast food place and sat in my car in the parking lot and read ahead in Ruhi Book One.

    I am a grown man, but tears rolled down my cheeks as I read page after page for the next sessions. These people had utterly destroyed the Baha’i Faith. But I went back and faithfully completely the whole six weeks shaking inside. When it was finally over I knew that this was the end of the road for me. I had taught the Faith to hundreds and probably even thousands of people over 30 years. But I knew I would never bring another human soul into such a brutal system of coercive group think.

    I am a rational person. I fully recognize that in some places it could be done without iron fisted gloves like the wonderful Deepenings we had with the Daniel Jordan material back in the 70’s and 80’s where people could talk about their spiritual insights from their own life journey. People really enjoyed that kind of discussion back then.

    But when any of that started in these sessions it was quickly cut off. We had to stick to the lesson frames and get through the rote exercises. No talking or discussion as is clearly set forth in the NOTES TO THE COLLABORATORS in Book One. After completing it I then had to go through trying to be recruited into the next book to become a Tutor of this material myself. Getting out of that hook was as intense as getting out of someone trying to get you to sell Amway. That happened to me once where I had to go talk to someone’s “Director” to not have to sign up for Amyway! The guy let me escape as somehoe being “ideologically” untainted by slacker American society because I was, afterall, ALSO an entrepreneur like him and had another business going on the side! Yay! He let me go from the predatory gun sight. It was exactly the same trying to escape the organizational need by someone to recruit me into the new “Amway Faith”! Is this happening all across society now in everything? That everyone is in some kind of badly written “pod movie”?

    Both you and Farhan say there is no coercian in these matters. Have you read the historical account in the archives here of the UHJ’s Orwellian reaction to the US NSA Ridvan 2007 Convention Report that asked for reconsideration on the high handed methods. Read it. Read the words. How can you not say that issues about orgnaizational coercian are being raised by many people. Over 2400 people have formally left the Faith in the U.S. since 2001. Many of these were long time serving Baha’is.

    I am sure the New Zealand letter just mentioned will be in a similiar vein. “Get with the program…or else.”

    The Party has spoken. “Long Live Big Brother”. It has all been done before with much better fitting uniforms.

    So write was you want to say about me in your psychoanalysis of me. I don’t care. But I did take Ruhi Book One. I have witnesses.

    You write:

    “You have no clue and like an untrained musician keep banging on the same chords in hoping of making music. Aint going to happen.”

    Bad anology on me, my friend. I used to play rock and roll. I never got to this level but I could have played the bass line. But then again, I’d have to get some Viagra if I was dating Jennifer Aniston. More power to a young man in his prime.

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=4m0UnlrEI9Y

    You and everyone else on this top down manufactured trip can smoke your books every day. For me it’s just a simple daily endeavor of my prayer to the Cosmos to just “Keep me where the light is.”

    I did like these guys a lot too at Live Earth.

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=FOkEH3Dc50c

    They used that Classic Rock 101 garage band basic drop down chord slur quite nicely! Artistry!

    Do you think the BAO will ever get it together to that level?

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=”53340″]

    AMAN wrote:

    Here we go again Craig…

    From the bottom to the top…Exactly. That is the whole point of engaging the individual…Its clear that you havn’t done any of the Ruhi books, if you did any, it didn’t strike any spiritual chords. The bitterness and animosity you cling to is a testament not to the Baha’i Faith, but to your dysfunctional soul. Trying to institutionalize spiritual growth is no easy task and paranoiacs like you only see conspiracy. I feel liberated, free and moreover encouraged when I think about the initiative being advised by the Insitituions. You are the one that is way off base. You have no clue and like an untrained musician keep banging on the same chords in hoping of making music. Aint going to happen. The Baha’i Faith is reconsolidating and organizing its efforts, united and motivated to move forward and engage society on every level. 32 years in the history of a religion with only 160+ years is chicken scratch. By your unceasing critism, endless slander and misscharacterization you only toot your own horn.

    You seriously lack perspective and context.[/quote]

    AMAN,

    You are not reading my posts or you have not been through the archives here. I faithfully took Ruhi Book One on weekends over a six week period in early 2004. Amid all the controversy, I felt it was wrong to ever make a comment about Ruhi until I actually took a course. Up until then I never said a thing about it in any discussion or on-line because I had never taken any of it or knew anything about it. I tried to keep an open mind.

    I have been through a lot in my life, and I can honestly say it was one of the worst spiritual experiences of my life. I was just amazed over those six weeks. It was far, far worse than I could have ever felt imaginable. Right out of Chinese Communist Indoctrination under the worst mindset of Chairman Mao on LSD. Right out of the North Korean Communist Party. Right up there with Golden Eagle Party Badges under the Third Reich direct from the Fuhrer system right out of Central Casting.

    The night of the first experience I had to directly drive 60 miles to help my elderly Mother with something she needed to do in the town where she lives. I had to stop to get something to eat. I went through a fast food place and sat in my car in the parking lot and read ahead in Ruhi Book One.

    I am a grown man, but tears rolled down my cheeks as I read page after page for the next sessions. These people had utterly destroyed the Baha’i Faith. But I went back and faithfully completely the whole six weeks shaking inside. When it was finally over I knew that this was the end of the road for me. I had taught the Faith to hundreds and probably even thousands of people over 30 years. But I knew I would never bring another human soul into such a brutal system of coercive group think.

    I am a rational person. I fully recognize that in some places it could be done without iron fisted gloves like the wonderful Deepenings we had with the Daniel Jordan material back in the 70’s and 80’s where people could talk about their spiritual insights from their own life journey. People really enjoyed that kind of discussion back then.

    But when any of that started in these sessions it was quickly cut off. We had to stick to the lesson frames and get through the rote exercises. No talking or discussion as is clearly set forth in the NOTES TO THE COLLABORATORS in Book One. After completing it I then had to go through trying to be recruited into the next book to become a Tutor of this material myself. Getting out of that hook was as intense as getting out of someone trying to get you to sell Amway. That happened to me once where I had to go talk to someone’s “Director” to not have to sign up for Amyway! The guy let me escape as somehoe being “ideologically” untainted by slacker American society because I was, afterall, ALSO an entrepreneur like him and had another business going on the side! Yay! He let me go from the predatory gun sight. It was exactly the same trying to escape the organizational need by someone to recruit me into the new “Amway Faith”! Is this happening all across society now in everything? That everyone is in some kind of badly written “pod movie”?

    Both you and Farhan say there is no coercian in these matters. Have you read the historical account in the archives here of the UHJ’s Orwellian reaction to the US NSA Ridvan 2007 Convention Report that asked for reconsideration on the high handed methods. Read it. Read the words. How can you not say that issues about orgnaizational coercian are being raised by many people. Over 2400 people have formally left the Faith in the U.S. since 2001. Many of these were long time serving Baha’is.

    I am sure the New Zealand letter just mentioned will be in a similiar vein. “Get with the program…or else.”

    The Party has spoken. “Long Live Big Brother”. It has all been done before with much better fitting uniforms.

    So write was you want to say about me in your psychoanalysis of me. I don’t care. But I did take Ruhi Book One. I have witnesses.

    You write:

    “You have no clue and like an untrained musician keep banging on the same chords in hoping of making music. Aint going to happen.”

    Bad anology on me, my friend. I used to play rock and roll. I never got to this level but I could have played the bass line. But then again, I’d have to get some Viagra if I was dating Jennifer Aniston. More power to a young man in his prime.

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=4m0UnlrEI9Y

    You and everyone else on this top down manufactured trip can smoke your books every day. For me it’s just a simple daily endeavor of my prayer to the Cosmos to just “Keep me where the light is.”

    I did like these guys a lot too at Live Earth.

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=FOkEH3Dc50c

    They used that Classic Rock 101 garage band basic drop down chord slur quite nicely! Artistry!

    Do you think the BAO will ever get it together to that level?

  • http://bahaisonline.net Steve Marshall

    [quote comment=”53348″]Apparently enrolments in New Zealand are one third to one tenth of what they were in the 80s and early 90s.[/quote]

    I’m not aware of this and I live in New Zealand. I’d prefer to see the evidence. If you want to cite evidence of a quantitative decline in Baha’i identity in NZ, then the census figures are the place to look.

    Please note that these figures do not necessarily show a decline in recruitment, or even a decline in membership.

  • http://bahaisonline.net Steve Marshall

    [quote comment=”53348″]Apparently enrolments in New Zealand are one third to one tenth of what they were in the 80s and early 90s.[/quote]

    I’m not aware of this and I live in New Zealand. I’d prefer to see the evidence. If you want to cite evidence of a quantitative decline in Baha’i identity in NZ, then the census figures are the place to look.

    Please note that these figures do not necessarily show a decline in recruitment, or even a decline in membership.

  • Grover

    Hi Steve,

    My friend has been tracking enrolments reported in the NZ national newsletter since the 90s. Don’t know whether you keep all your newsletters.

  • Grover

    Hi Steve,

    My friend has been tracking enrolments reported in the NZ national newsletter since the 90s. Don’t know whether you keep all your newsletters.

  • Grover

    Those census statistics are very interesting. Has anyone compiled data on Baha’i demographics from other countries?

  • Grover

    Those census statistics are very interesting. Has anyone compiled data on Baha’i demographics from other countries?

  • farhan

    Grover quoted the UHJ:
    “…We are impelled to call upon all members of your Baha’i community…”

    Grover,
    since when “calling upon” is the same as “imposing”? Have a good look at the quotes baquia has kindly placed on this blog concerning Ruhi misconceptions, and you will notice that we are invited, advised, urged, encouraged, but by no means obliged to do Ruhi and in no way required to abandon what we were doing before.

    In fact the UHJ points out that those who have done and those who have not done Ruhi should feel no demarcation between themselves.

    However, some zealots did try to impose Ruhi on all, but this behaviour been clearly rejected by the UHJ.
    When we read the terms in which SE called upon the Baha’i world to go pioneering in 1952, the terms are far more impelling, and some thousands did arise to pioneer, but those staying home were in no way declared as disobedient Baha’is!

    This reminds me of Harlan Hober, the very active travel teacher, who Abdu’l-Baha advised to go to India. Hober did not fancy this move at that time and Abdu’l-Baha must have noticed, so a few days later He told Hober to go to the US. Surprised, Hober said that he thought he was going to India, to which Abdu’l-Baha replied: yes, so did Christopher Columbus.

  • Farhan Yazdani

    Grover quoted the UHJ:
    “…We are impelled to call upon all members of your Baha’i community…”

    Grover,
    since when “calling upon” is the same as “imposing”? Have a good look at the quotes baquia has kindly placed on this blog concerning Ruhi misconceptions, and you will notice that we are invited, advised, urged, encouraged, but by no means obliged to do Ruhi and in no way required to abandon what we were doing before.

    In fact the UHJ points out that those who have done and those who have not done Ruhi should feel no demarcation between themselves.

    However, some zealots did try to impose Ruhi on all, but this behaviour been clearly rejected by the UHJ.
    When we read the terms in which SE called upon the Baha’i world to go pioneering in 1952, the terms are far more impelling, and some thousands did arise to pioneer, but those staying home were in no way declared as disobedient Baha’is!

    This reminds me of Harlan Hober, the very active travel teacher, who Abdu’l-Baha advised to go to India. Hober did not fancy this move at that time and Abdu’l-Baha must have noticed, so a few days later He told Hober to go to the US. Surprised, Hober said that he thought he was going to India, to which Abdu’l-Baha replied: yes, so did Christopher Columbus.

  • Grover

    Lol Farhan, how else can you interpret this?

    impelled to call upon = forced to action

    put aside any other concerns = forget about anything else

    pursue the objectives of the 5 year plan = ruhi, children’s classes, devotional meetings

    mighty effort must be made to ENSURE that the dear friends in New Zealand FULFIL their COMMITMENT = you must do this, bring out the thumb screws, lit splints, the rack, and force the buggers to do our will.

  • Grover

    Lol Farhan, how else can you interpret this?

    impelled to call upon = forced to action

    put aside any other concerns = forget about anything else

    pursue the objectives of the 5 year plan = ruhi, children’s classes, devotional meetings

    mighty effort must be made to ENSURE that the dear friends in New Zealand FULFIL their COMMITMENT = you must do this, bring out the thumb screws, lit splints, the rack, and force the buggers to do our will.

  • http://bahaisonline.net Steve Marshall

    [quote comment=”53358″]
    My friend has been tracking enrolments reported in the NZ national newsletter since the 90s. Don’t know whether you keep all your newsletters.[/quote]

    If your friend is looking for somwhere to publish his or her figures, I’d be delighted to do so. No, I don’t keep my newsletters. If I had, the enrolment trends would already be published.

    It’s a bit of a struggle to find census data on minor religions without having to pay for the information. Generally, any religion that attracts under .1% of the population is lumped together with other minor faiths in broad categories such as “other-Christian” and “other-non-Christian”, in the summaries that are available for free download. Here’s an example – 20680-Religious Affiliation by Age – Time Series Statistics (1996, 2001, 2006 Census Years) – Australia.

    I was quite lucky to get the NZ data.

  • http://bahaisonline.net Steve Marshall

    [quote comment=”53358″]
    My friend has been tracking enrolments reported in the NZ national newsletter since the 90s. Don’t know whether you keep all your newsletters.[/quote]

    If your friend is looking for somwhere to publish his or her figures, I’d be delighted to do so. No, I don’t keep my newsletters. If I had, the enrolment trends would already be published.

    It’s a bit of a struggle to find census data on minor religions without having to pay for the information. Generally, any religion that attracts under .1% of the population is lumped together with other minor faiths in broad categories such as “other-Christian” and “other-non-Christian”, in the summaries that are available for free download. Here’s an example – 20680-Religious Affiliation by Age – Time Series Statistics (1996, 2001, 2006 Census Years) – Australia.

    I was quite lucky to get the NZ data.

  • Anonymouz

    Craig, It does sound as if you had a strange experience. I only wen’t through book one too and it was very light and fun. We had all the time time we wanted to talk about things and go off on tangents. It took us 6 months because we only did it once a week and were at a friends house for a couples hours. The facts are clear, the majority of people see through the surface purpose of Ruhi and a few on the fringe who have distorted perceptions and whimsical interpretations of how things should be done. Its too bad you didn’t stick to the sequence. The whole point is to have those who go through the training, at least be familiar with the basics, and then act. Go on service projects, devotions.

    It is truly amazing to me that you fail to see the light in this method. And I see now why that is. You call everything top down, communist, uniformed, rote, etc etc. Now I know, and the majority of people know that this is simply not true. However, the one institution that is like this, and one that I am sure you have had much experience in, is the US military. That my friend is brainwashing. The Marines are the worst affected by this savage mission. You cannot tell me they do not train you and pound into your sub-conscious how to be a killer. How does it go? “Marine first…”

    My observation here about how you have mistakenly transferred your sub-surface animosity toward such methods toward a spiritual endeavor has clearly proved fatal. It is you who feel this way and I assure you Ruhi is not the cause of widespread leave takers. Its from the UHJ, the Institution appointed by Baha’u’llah.

    When I say you lack perspective you clearly have not thought about all the consultation, mediation, opinions, drafts, advice, dissension, debate or discourse that must have taken place before Ruhi was rolled out. Don’t you think they knew the consequences and moreover, the benefits before doing it? Of course some people would kick and scream because they thought they knew how to do this or that. Ruhi is a simply tool toward a huge endeavor and if you would have stuck around, you might have saw the purpose and maybe even one of the books entitled “Arising to Serve”, that “Serve” part doesn’t mean being a lacky. It means getting out into the bush with the locals and keeping a smile on your face and in your soul.

  • Anonymouz

    Craig, It does sound as if you had a strange experience. I only wen’t through book one too and it was very light and fun. We had all the time time we wanted to talk about things and go off on tangents. It took us 6 months because we only did it once a week and were at a friends house for a couples hours. The facts are clear, the majority of people see through the surface purpose of Ruhi and a few on the fringe who have distorted perceptions and whimsical interpretations of how things should be done. Its too bad you didn’t stick to the sequence. The whole point is to have those who go through the training, at least be familiar with the basics, and then act. Go on service projects, devotions.

    It is truly amazing to me that you fail to see the light in this method. And I see now why that is. You call everything top down, communist, uniformed, rote, etc etc. Now I know, and the majority of people know that this is simply not true. However, the one institution that is like this, and one that I am sure you have had much experience in, is the US military. That my friend is brainwashing. The Marines are the worst affected by this savage mission. You cannot tell me they do not train you and pound into your sub-conscious how to be a killer. How does it go? “Marine first…”

    My observation here about how you have mistakenly transferred your sub-surface animosity toward such methods toward a spiritual endeavor has clearly proved fatal. It is you who feel this way and I assure you Ruhi is not the cause of widespread leave takers. Its from the UHJ, the Institution appointed by Baha’u’llah.

    When I say you lack perspective you clearly have not thought about all the consultation, mediation, opinions, drafts, advice, dissension, debate or discourse that must have taken place before Ruhi was rolled out. Don’t you think they knew the consequences and moreover, the benefits before doing it? Of course some people would kick and scream because they thought they knew how to do this or that. Ruhi is a simply tool toward a huge endeavor and if you would have stuck around, you might have saw the purpose and maybe even one of the books entitled “Arising to Serve”, that “Serve” part doesn’t mean being a lacky. It means getting out into the bush with the locals and keeping a smile on your face and in your soul.

  • farhan

    Grover wrote:
    “Lol Farhan, how else can you interpret this?
    impelled to call upon = forced to action”

    My dear Grover, Freud would say you read what you wish to understand. A Freudian slip in your reading:

    The UHJ said :
    “We are impelled to call upon all members of your Baha’i community…”

    They feel that THEY are impelled (by God, by their concience… )

    To CALL upon us .

    They do not say they are called upon to impell us, do they?

    warmest

    Farhan

  • Farhan Yazdani

    Grover wrote:
    “Lol Farhan, how else can you interpret this?
    impelled to call upon = forced to action”

    My dear Grover, Freud would say you read what you wish to understand. A Freudian slip in your reading:

    The UHJ said :
    “We are impelled to call upon all members of your Baha’i community…”

    They feel that THEY are impelled (by God, by their concience… )

    To CALL upon us .

    They do not say they are called upon to impell us, do they?

    warmest

    Farhan

  • Andrew

    Comic relief (courtesy of Bahais Online):

    “We are not like the Catholics or any other faith that says ‘this is it, you have to follow this or you are out of our church,'” Huber said. “It’s nothing like that at all.”

    http://www.northjersey.com/news/Gathering_of_faithful_will_honor_founder.html

    No, nothing like that at all!!! :-)

    “What, me Ruhi?” (Alfred B. Neuman)

  • Andrew

    Comic relief (courtesy of Bahais Online):

    “We are not like the Catholics or any other faith that says ‘this is it, you have to follow this or you are out of our church,'” Huber said. “It’s nothing like that at all.”

    http://www.northjersey.com/news/Gathering_of_faithful_will_honor_founder.html

    No, nothing like that at all!!! :-)

    “What, me Ruhi?” (Alfred B. Neuman)

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=”53371″]

    AMAN wrote:

    …It is truly amazing to me that you fail to see the light in this method. And I see now why that is. You call everything top down, communist, uniformed, rote, etc etc. Now I know, and the majority of people know that this is simply not true. However, the one institution that is like this, and one that I am sure you have had much experience in, is the US military. That my friend is brainwashing. The Marines are the worst affected by this savage mission. You cannot tell me they do not train you and pound into your sub-conscious how to be a killer. How does it go? “Marine first…”

    My observation here about how you have mistakenly transferred your sub-surface animosity toward such methods toward a spiritual endeavor has clearly proved fatal. It is you who feel this way and I assure you Ruhi is not the cause of widespread leave takers. Its from the UHJ, the Institution appointed by Baha’u’llah.

    …When I say you lack perspective you clearly have not thought about all the consultation, mediation, opinions, drafts, advice, dissension, debate or discourse that must have taken place before Ruhi was rolled out. Don’t you think they knew the consequences and moreover, the benefits before doing it? Of course some people would kick and scream because they thought they knew how to do this or that.[/quote]

    AMAN,

    I was in the U.S. Army not the Marines. I only made that “Semper Fi” comment as a general statement about the core value of military service since you said you served in the military too. Although it does seem like yesterday in my soul, it was a very long time ago. Thanks for the free psychoanalysis, but I won’t be paying you $140 an hour any time soon.

    As to how the UHJ embarked upon this plan, read the revelations in the archives here and on other web sites. There is plenty of commentary right from their own mouths as they seek passive-aggressive absolution in little vignettes of mea culpa drama here and there over time as they ALWAYS do if you read their speeches over the years. It was a British Consulting Firm that they hired that supposedly came up with the plan for the “Institute Process”. And they apparently blame the selection of Ruhi as the selected standard force fed material on the Continental Counselors! Douglas Martin said something to the effect “We aren’t in the educational materials business. They picked it, not us.” So it wasn’t them…! Yep. It was really thought out! Yep. Right! If these guys had planned the Allied Invasion of Normandy, we would all be speaking German and goose stepping around the aisles in Wal-Mart.

    Find and read the comments by some of them themselves on the subject in their speeches and lectures. I think Farhan posted one of the Clarification Letters and one of Peter Khan’s speeches on the matter here also. If this was all so thought out, then why didn’t they foresee any of the negative consequences from both their individual and collective group think Mt. Olympuses?

    I’ll tell you why, because they are clueless people with no REAL EXPERIENCE in life doing ANYTHING. Period. They never consulted with anyone in the Faith at any level outside of their own self appointed closed loop professional ITC clique. Put it all together and it is apparent that they didn’t think ANYTHING out whatsoever! No one at any level in the AO ever has thought anything out in 87 years and counting so why should they start now. And why would they have the talent and ability to do anything like that in the first place?

    These people to a man have no real experience in life running ANYTHING at all where you are held accountable for your decisions and your actions. Zero. Nada. Zippo. These are people from purely passive academic professions where you are never held accountable for anything like people are in the real world are every day. My computer programs that come completely out of my own head control millions of dollars that effect the lives of tens of thousands of people. If they don’t work, I am out on the street very fast looking for something else to do for a living. I am held accountable EVERY DAY (hummmm… where have I heard that concept?) In the sheltered academic world you don’t have to design, manufacture, and market a product where if you are wrong you lose your wife and family and eventually die in the gutter as stockholders stick pins in a voodoo doll of you. In that easy profession a person often doesn’t even have to have any original ideas in the Ivory Tower academic world. You often just parrot and traffic in OTHER PEOPLE’S ORIGINAL IDEAS and TRUE ORIGINAL TALENT and pick up a pay check from duped and swindled clueless inexperienced students who have to pay to sit at your feet. They don’t discover until years later that they were taught nothing at all while loaded with debt (at least in our system here in the U.S. – mileage may vary in other nations). You don’t have to provide a service someone will pay for where if the patient dies you can be sued or their family may pick you off from a high office building with a high powered rifle. Or if you piss off someone in the Mob your wife and kids don’t make it to their next birthday party but end up in a cement overcoat. You don’t have to make a payroll where people have to put food on the table. You just type your ideas into Microsoft Word and command other hapless souls to carry them out with no cost or consequence to you personally in ANY FORM whatsoever. The only thing these people were ever good at in their lives was gaming the electoral process to get elected and stay elected which they will most certainly achieve with breathtaking skill in the entire lifetime of every person here. I do give them credit for that ability but that is not a very original talent in organizations either. That IS THE SOLE AND ONLY TALENT of people who stay at the top of organizations in this world. Especially organizations that have no enforced term limits or any culture of term limits. They very often even though they are at the top, do not know the product, do not know the shop floor, do not know the customers, and do not know the sales force. I submit that this is true of the stacked deck that is currently leading the Baha’i Faith. They will never be held accountable for anything and THEY KNOW IT. That is the organizational culture of the Baha’i Faith. No one is ever held accountable for ANYTHING. ANYWHERE. EVER. It’s a sweet sweet deal! Until…maybe…the…Next…World…

    As to your spending six months on Ruhi Book One, you are in DIRECT VIOLATION of the clear and precise specific instructions in the “TO THE COLLABORATORS” section of the material. Your community is modifying the program as, well, self centered egotists, and, well, over educated effete Western liberals! Modifying anything in the NEWTHINK top down Baha’i Faith is tantamount to Covenant Breaking! I am shocked I tell you, shocked! I am going to have to report you and your entire community as subversive free thinkers and enemies of the Cause that must be rooted out. You have already made this revelation in Cyber Space so I am sure there is already a file opened on you personally in Haifa and your community is going to be closely monitored and watched. My God! SIX MONTHS ON RUHI BOOK ONE against the clear instructions in the preface text to DISCUSS NOTHING from anyone’s MERE PERSONAL OPINION on anything! This is out and out treason! This is worse than cats and dogs living together in the same house!

    Have a nice weekened everyone. I, myself, am going out for dinner and a movie tonight!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-xQoNDFwlE

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=”53371″]

    AMAN wrote:

    …It is truly amazing to me that you fail to see the light in this method. And I see now why that is. You call everything top down, communist, uniformed, rote, etc etc. Now I know, and the majority of people know that this is simply not true. However, the one institution that is like this, and one that I am sure you have had much experience in, is the US military. That my friend is brainwashing. The Marines are the worst affected by this savage mission. You cannot tell me they do not train you and pound into your sub-conscious how to be a killer. How does it go? “Marine first…”

    My observation here about how you have mistakenly transferred your sub-surface animosity toward such methods toward a spiritual endeavor has clearly proved fatal. It is you who feel this way and I assure you Ruhi is not the cause of widespread leave takers. Its from the UHJ, the Institution appointed by Baha’u’llah.

    …When I say you lack perspective you clearly have not thought about all the consultation, mediation, opinions, drafts, advice, dissension, debate or discourse that must have taken place before Ruhi was rolled out. Don’t you think they knew the consequences and moreover, the benefits before doing it? Of course some people would kick and scream because they thought they knew how to do this or that.[/quote]

    AMAN,

    I was in the U.S. Army not the Marines. I only made that “Semper Fi” comment as a general statement about the core value of military service since you said you served in the military too. Although it does seem like yesterday in my soul, it was a very long time ago. Thanks for the free psychoanalysis, but I won’t be paying you $140 an hour any time soon.

    As to how the UHJ embarked upon this plan, read the revelations in the archives here and on other web sites. There is plenty of commentary right from their own mouths as they seek passive-aggressive absolution in little vignettes of mea culpa drama here and there over time as they ALWAYS do if you read their speeches over the years. It was a British Consulting Firm that they hired that supposedly came up with the plan for the “Institute Process”. And they apparently blame the selection of Ruhi as the selected standard force fed material on the Continental Counselors! Douglas Martin said something to the effect “We aren’t in the educational materials business. They picked it, not us.” So it wasn’t them…! Yep. It was really thought out! Yep. Right! If these guys had planned the Allied Invasion of Normandy, we would all be speaking German and goose stepping around the aisles in Wal-Mart.

    Find and read the comments by some of them themselves on the subject in their speeches and lectures. I think Farhan posted one of the Clarification Letters and one of Peter Khan’s speeches on the matter here also. If this was all so thought out, then why didn’t they foresee any of the negative consequences from both their individual and collective group think Mt. Olympuses?

    I’ll tell you why, because they are clueless people with no REAL EXPERIENCE in life doing ANYTHING. Period. They never consulted with anyone in the Faith at any level outside of their own self appointed closed loop professional ITC clique. Put it all together and it is apparent that they didn’t think ANYTHING out whatsoever! No one at any level in the AO ever has thought anything out in 87 years and counting so why should they start now. And why would they have the talent and ability to do anything like that in the first place?

    These people to a man have no real experience in life running ANYTHING at all where you are held accountable for your decisions and your actions. Zero. Nada. Zippo. These are people from purely passive academic professions where you are never held accountable for anything like people are in the real world are every day. My computer programs that come completely out of my own head control millions of dollars that effect the lives of tens of thousands of people. If they don’t work, I am out on the street very fast looking for something else to do for a living. I am held accountable EVERY DAY (hummmm… where have I heard that concept?) In the sheltered academic world you don’t have to design, manufacture, and market a product where if you are wrong you lose your wife and family and eventually die in the gutter as stockholders stick pins in a voodoo doll of you. In that easy profession a person often doesn’t even have to have any original ideas in the Ivory Tower academic world. You often just parrot and traffic in OTHER PEOPLE’S ORIGINAL IDEAS and TRUE ORIGINAL TALENT and pick up a pay check from duped and swindled clueless inexperienced students who have to pay to sit at your feet. They don’t discover until years later that they were taught nothing at all while loaded with debt (at least in our system here in the U.S. – mileage may vary in other nations). You don’t have to provide a service someone will pay for where if the patient dies you can be sued or their family may pick you off from a high office building with a high powered rifle. Or if you piss off someone in the Mob your wife and kids don’t make it to their next birthday party but end up in a cement overcoat. You don’t have to make a payroll where people have to put food on the table. You just type your ideas into Microsoft Word and command other hapless souls to carry them out with no cost or consequence to you personally in ANY FORM whatsoever. The only thing these people were ever good at in their lives was gaming the electoral process to get elected and stay elected which they will most certainly achieve with breathtaking skill in the entire lifetime of every person here. I do give them credit for that ability but that is not a very original talent in organizations either. That IS THE SOLE AND ONLY TALENT of people who stay at the top of organizations in this world. Especially organizations that have no enforced term limits or any culture of term limits. They very often even though they are at the top, do not know the product, do not know the shop floor, do not know the customers, and do not know the sales force. I submit that this is true of the stacked deck that is currently leading the Baha’i Faith. They will never be held accountable for anything and THEY KNOW IT. That is the organizational culture of the Baha’i Faith. No one is ever held accountable for ANYTHING. ANYWHERE. EVER. It’s a sweet sweet deal! Until…maybe…the…Next…World…

    As to your spending six months on Ruhi Book One, you are in DIRECT VIOLATION of the clear and precise specific instructions in the “TO THE COLLABORATORS” section of the material. Your community is modifying the program as, well, self centered egotists, and, well, over educated effete Western liberals! Modifying anything in the NEWTHINK top down Baha’i Faith is tantamount to Covenant Breaking! I am shocked I tell you, shocked! I am going to have to report you and your entire community as subversive free thinkers and enemies of the Cause that must be rooted out. You have already made this revelation in Cyber Space so I am sure there is already a file opened on you personally in Haifa and your community is going to be closely monitored and watched. My God! SIX MONTHS ON RUHI BOOK ONE against the clear instructions in the preface text to DISCUSS NOTHING from anyone’s MERE PERSONAL OPINION on anything! This is out and out treason! This is worse than cats and dogs living together in the same house!

    Have a nice weekened everyone. I, myself, am going out for dinner and a movie tonight!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-xQoNDFwlE

  • Grover

    [quote post=”78″]?We are not like the Catholics or any other faith that says ?this is it, you have to follow this or you are out of our church,’? Huber said. ?It’s nothing like that at all.?[/quote]

    Yes its all voluntary, like being drafted for the army, until you don’t want to do it. Then the gloves come off.

  • Grover

    [quote post=”78″]?We are not like the Catholics or any other faith that says ?this is it, you have to follow this or you are out of our church,’? Huber said. ?It’s nothing like that at all.?[/quote]

    Yes its all voluntary, like being drafted for the army, until you don’t want to do it. Then the gloves come off.

  • Nur

    This is what it says in the section ‘To the Collaborators’ in the Ruhi Book One,

    ‘The second observation has to do with the participants who insist on giving their own opinions and strongly resist giving a simple repetition of the quotation as the answer to a question. Clearly, there is nothing wrong in having and expressing one’s own ideas; but an understanding of the Writings must begin by focusing the mind on what is being read before allowing one’s imagination to roam and personal opinions to flow freely. It is quite likely that by first developing in the believers, early in their study of the Faith, a capacity to focus attention on the immediate and explicit meaning of sentences they read from the Holy Writings, we will be contributing to the achievement of unity of thought in our communities, since such a unity can only be achieved when personal opinions are illuminated by Divine Wisdom.’

  • Nur

    This is what it says in the section ‘To the Collaborators’ in the Ruhi Book One,

    ‘The second observation has to do with the participants who insist on giving their own opinions and strongly resist giving a simple repetition of the quotation as the answer to a question. Clearly, there is nothing wrong in having and expressing one’s own ideas; but an understanding of the Writings must begin by focusing the mind on what is being read before allowing one’s imagination to roam and personal opinions to flow freely. It is quite likely that by first developing in the believers, early in their study of the Faith, a capacity to focus attention on the immediate and explicit meaning of sentences they read from the Holy Writings, we will be contributing to the achievement of unity of thought in our communities, since such a unity can only be achieved when personal opinions are illuminated by Divine Wisdom.’

  • Anonymouz

    Thank you Nur. This paragraph is gold. Craig is, im now convinced, a little bi-polar.

    His last rant was nothing but hysterical hoopla and my theory about his military experience and how he thinks organizations are out to “borg” everyone stand until I see something to the contrary.

    Frankly I think I like Craig and he could easily be one of the older Baha’is I make friends with and talk about the good old days and how things change…

    In any case, Craig one thing I think I will address is the origins of the Ruhi process. The roots of it lie in Colombia with FUNDACEC. It was the model of training that helped develop and train tens of thousands of people. Some members of the UHJ were part of FUNDACEC.

    That assumption about them all being academics is also misleading. DO a little research and you will see that is not the case. Yes, some have held academic posts, but some were with the UN, etc…

    Good day sir.

  • Anonymouz

    Thank you Nur. This paragraph is gold. Craig is, im now convinced, a little bi-polar.

    His last rant was nothing but hysterical hoopla and my theory about his military experience and how he thinks organizations are out to “borg” everyone stand until I see something to the contrary.

    Frankly I think I like Craig and he could easily be one of the older Baha’is I make friends with and talk about the good old days and how things change…

    In any case, Craig one thing I think I will address is the origins of the Ruhi process. The roots of it lie in Colombia with FUNDACEC. It was the model of training that helped develop and train tens of thousands of people. Some members of the UHJ were part of FUNDACEC.

    That assumption about them all being academics is also misleading. DO a little research and you will see that is not the case. Yes, some have held academic posts, but some were with the UN, etc…

    Good day sir.

  • Grover

    Want to hear the new Baha’i song? Available at all Baha’i Distribution Shops soon! (sung using the same tune as Come all ye faithful to Bethlehem)

    Come all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant!
    Come ye oh come ye to Ruhi!
    Ruhi is great! Ruhi is amazing!
    God bless Paul Lample!
    God bless Farzam Arbab!
    God bless the UHJ!
    For our lobotomy!

  • Grover

    Want to hear the new Baha’i song? Available at all Baha’i Distribution Shops soon! (sung using the same tune as Come all ye faithful to Bethlehem)

    Come all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant!
    Come ye oh come ye to Ruhi!
    Ruhi is great! Ruhi is amazing!
    God bless Paul Lample!
    God bless Farzam Arbab!
    God bless the UHJ!
    For our lobotomy!

  • Grover

    [quote post=”78″]These are people from purely passive academic professions where you are never held accountable for anything like people are in the real world are every day.[/quote]

    Oooh Craig, I would dispute that. For a start they trashed academics in their wonderful book “Century of Light”. Academics are generally free thinkers and anarchists (in a good way) and would never ever spout the kind of tripe that comes from the UHJ for fear of losing any kind of intellectual integrity. Liking the UHJ to academia is the biggest insult I could possibly think of when the two institutions are almost completely opposite to each other in nature, philosophy, and intellectual rigour. Academia have some standards and wouldn’t say anything without at least having some evidence to back their statements (apart from Moojan Momen who lost all his when he was busy trashing Baha’i apostates). Whereas the UHJ feels free to write whatever it likes about anything (divinely guided of course) without citing any evidence, statistics or whatever (of course sometimes it’ll refer to some writings here and there for whatever they’re worth).

    And Anonymouz, how can you say that quote is gold? It is the complete antithapy of any free thinking, critical minded, enlightened society. It is the big step backwards. There is no way the Faith should ever be allowed to expand with that kind of mindless attitude, it would be the biggest disaster to have ever befallen humanity. We would lose all the sciences, social sciences, anything that encourages independence of thought and critical investigation. The sciences would be crippled. It would be like having the creation scientists take over and suddenly no investigation into evolution or genetics allowed. And people like you would run around saying “we must think in conformity with God!” when you don’t even know if all this does come from God. I hope I’m not alive to see it happen, and I’m glad that the Faith hasn’t grown over the past 10 or so years, and I hope to God that it doesn’t grow. Ruhi is the shittiest thing that has ever happened and I hope to God that Paul Lample and co rot in hell (symbolic because I don’t believe in hell) for inflicting it upon us.

  • Grover

    [quote post=”78″]These are people from purely passive academic professions where you are never held accountable for anything like people are in the real world are every day.[/quote]

    Oooh Craig, I would dispute that. For a start they trashed academics in their wonderful book “Century of Light”. Academics are generally free thinkers and anarchists (in a good way) and would never ever spout the kind of tripe that comes from the UHJ for fear of losing any kind of intellectual integrity. Liking the UHJ to academia is the biggest insult I could possibly think of when the two institutions are almost completely opposite to each other in nature, philosophy, and intellectual rigour. Academia have some standards and wouldn’t say anything without at least having some evidence to back their statements (apart from Moojan Momen who lost all his when he was busy trashing Baha’i apostates). Whereas the UHJ feels free to write whatever it likes about anything (divinely guided of course) without citing any evidence, statistics or whatever (of course sometimes it’ll refer to some writings here and there for whatever they’re worth).

    And Anonymouz, how can you say that quote is gold? It is the complete antithapy of any free thinking, critical minded, enlightened society. It is the big step backwards. There is no way the Faith should ever be allowed to expand with that kind of mindless attitude, it would be the biggest disaster to have ever befallen humanity. We would lose all the sciences, social sciences, anything that encourages independence of thought and critical investigation. The sciences would be crippled. It would be like having the creation scientists take over and suddenly no investigation into evolution or genetics allowed. And people like you would run around saying “we must think in conformity with God!” when you don’t even know if all this does come from God. I hope I’m not alive to see it happen, and I’m glad that the Faith hasn’t grown over the past 10 or so years, and I hope to God that it doesn’t grow. Ruhi is the shittiest thing that has ever happened and I hope to God that Paul Lample and co rot in hell (symbolic because I don’t believe in hell) for inflicting it upon us.

  • Nur

    Anonymouz,

    You’re Welcome, in regards to posting the quote from the Ruhi introduction. But I was not posting it because I agree with that quote.

  • Nur

    Anonymouz,

    You’re Welcome, in regards to posting the quote from the Ruhi introduction. But I was not posting it because I agree with that quote.

  • Bird

    Comic relief (courtesy of Bahais Online):

    Andrew:

    ?We are not like the Catholics or any other faith that says ?this is it, you have to follow this or you are out of our church,’? Huber said. ?It’s nothing like that at all…No, nothing like that at all!!!?

    Hilarious indeed! Who needs the comic section of the newspaper when one can read the blogs in here….

    No, the BF is nothing like that, no way… the term non-Bah?’? is not insulting and the door to come and go and think on your own is so easy people do it every day with such physical and mental ease it ought to be documented as a marketing tool. Bah?’?’s are so up to date they can keep track by the swipe card numbers issued for each prayer and every dollar of their “free to think” members… You make the claim, “I think I am a Bah?’?” and you are thrusted a swipe card and enrolled in a community. Bah?’?’s will even keep files on you and assist you measure your spiritual development, that is what ABM are for…. They will even guide you through your spiritual development through “pre-approved” Ruhi Training… For joy! It’s all there: Freedom to THINK!!! Read it in the “approved” stuff…

    No one ever gets thrown out unless they are special anyway. I mean Sen, look at who your in a league with, the same boat as the Abdul’Baha’s daughters and all living descendants of the entire family…. lucky you to be handed your freedom from the insane and out of control…

    And Craig, you are a riot my brother and I adore your energy…

    Bird

  • Bird

    Comic relief (courtesy of Bahais Online):

    Andrew:

    ?We are not like the Catholics or any other faith that says ?this is it, you have to follow this or you are out of our church,’? Huber said. ?It’s nothing like that at all…No, nothing like that at all!!!?

    Hilarious indeed! Who needs the comic section of the newspaper when one can read the blogs in here….

    No, the BF is nothing like that, no way… the term non-Bah?’? is not insulting and the door to come and go and think on your own is so easy people do it every day with such physical and mental ease it ought to be documented as a marketing tool. Bah?’?’s are so up to date they can keep track by the swipe card numbers issued for each prayer and every dollar of their “free to think” members… You make the claim, “I think I am a Bah?’?” and you are thrusted a swipe card and enrolled in a community. Bah?’?’s will even keep files on you and assist you measure your spiritual development, that is what ABM are for…. They will even guide you through your spiritual development through “pre-approved” Ruhi Training… For joy! It’s all there: Freedom to THINK!!! Read it in the “approved” stuff…

    No one ever gets thrown out unless they are special anyway. I mean Sen, look at who your in a league with, the same boat as the Abdul’Baha’s daughters and all living descendants of the entire family…. lucky you to be handed your freedom from the insane and out of control…

    And Craig, you are a riot my brother and I adore your energy…

    Bird

  • Anonymouz

    Grover your last comment was really ironic since you say the UHJ does all those things and then you turn around and do just the same…”Academia have some standards and wouldn’t say anything without at least having some evidence to back their statements…We would lose all the sciences, social sciences, anything that encourages independence of thought and critical investigation. The sciences would be crippled.”

    You have lost your grip on reality. I am disheartened to read that this is what you truly believe. That is complete horse manure. All of you have mis-read the Ruhi paragraph…Each and everyone of you.

    This is how I read it…

    ?The second observation has to do with the participants who insist on giving their own opinions and strongly resist giving a simple repetition of the quotation as the answer to a question. (This refers to those who refuse to acknowledge a simple truth, and insist on twisting the words of the writings into something completely different. The writings are obvious and simple for the heart to understand, however, we tend to over-think it and pollute it with our own spin. Coming to terms with the divine essence is the first pre-requisite) There is nothing wrong in having and expressing one’s own ideas; but an understanding of the Writings must begin by focusing the mind on what is being read before allowing one’s imagination to roam and personal opinions to flow freely (This means the personal opinion and reflections are absolutely welcome and needed for their even to be a conversation in the study circle! How else would you talk to one another? The point, its asking you to use the writings for forming your opinions). It is quite likely that by first developing in the believers, early in their study of the Faith, a capacity to focus attention on the immediate and explicit meaning of sentences (As the writings themselves are full of meaning and applicable in so many contexts, we must become familiar with the essence of their divine origins. Personal reflections are the same as personal opinions and the dynamic of a study circle is wonderful when you see the effects of the writings working on the mind) they read from the Holy Writings, we will be contributing to the achievement of unity of thought in our communities, since such a unity can only be achieved when personal opinions are illuminated by Divine Wisdom.’ (Personal opinions are what we give to others in explaining our Faith, they are varying as the Baha’is themselves and I know people who say the same thing every time when asked about the Faith and I know people who come up with a different answer for everyone every time. However, a simple formula should be in place to remind us of the divine quality and characteristics of the text itself. I am always amazed at Baha’is who can recall from memory the quotes that are the essence of their explanations. It gives so much weight to their opinions.)

  • Anonymouz

    Grover your last comment was really ironic since you say the UHJ does all those things and then you turn around and do just the same…”Academia have some standards and wouldn’t say anything without at least having some evidence to back their statements…We would lose all the sciences, social sciences, anything that encourages independence of thought and critical investigation. The sciences would be crippled.”

    You have lost your grip on reality. I am disheartened to read that this is what you truly believe. That is complete horse manure. All of you have mis-read the Ruhi paragraph…Each and everyone of you.

    This is how I read it…

    ?The second observation has to do with the participants who insist on giving their own opinions and strongly resist giving a simple repetition of the quotation as the answer to a question. (This refers to those who refuse to acknowledge a simple truth, and insist on twisting the words of the writings into something completely different. The writings are obvious and simple for the heart to understand, however, we tend to over-think it and pollute it with our own spin. Coming to terms with the divine essence is the first pre-requisite) There is nothing wrong in having and expressing one’s own ideas; but an understanding of the Writings must begin by focusing the mind on what is being read before allowing one’s imagination to roam and personal opinions to flow freely (This means the personal opinion and reflections are absolutely welcome and needed for their even to be a conversation in the study circle! How else would you talk to one another? The point, its asking you to use the writings for forming your opinions). It is quite likely that by first developing in the believers, early in their study of the Faith, a capacity to focus attention on the immediate and explicit meaning of sentences (As the writings themselves are full of meaning and applicable in so many contexts, we must become familiar with the essence of their divine origins. Personal reflections are the same as personal opinions and the dynamic of a study circle is wonderful when you see the effects of the writings working on the mind) they read from the Holy Writings, we will be contributing to the achievement of unity of thought in our communities, since such a unity can only be achieved when personal opinions are illuminated by Divine Wisdom.’ (Personal opinions are what we give to others in explaining our Faith, they are varying as the Baha’is themselves and I know people who say the same thing every time when asked about the Faith and I know people who come up with a different answer for everyone every time. However, a simple formula should be in place to remind us of the divine quality and characteristics of the text itself. I am always amazed at Baha’is who can recall from memory the quotes that are the essence of their explanations. It gives so much weight to their opinions.)

  • Grover

    Sorry Anonymouz, that is exactly what I believe. Such servial devotion to religious literature will return society back to the dark ages when the Catholic church was in control. Religious scripture should be a guide, not the be all and end all of knowledge. Humanity must have the freedom to think, to choose for themselves, to interpret scripture as they see fit. I spend all my time teaching my students how to think. Ruhi takes all that away. Do you honestly know what a Baha’i sounds like when they’re regurgitating scripture? A parrot.

  • Grover

    Sorry Anonymouz, that is exactly what I believe. Such servial devotion to religious literature will return society back to the dark ages when the Catholic church was in control. Religious scripture should be a guide, not the be all and end all of knowledge. Humanity must have the freedom to think, to choose for themselves, to interpret scripture as they see fit. I spend all my time teaching my students how to think. Ruhi takes all that away. Do you honestly know what a Baha’i sounds like when they’re regurgitating scripture? A parrot.

  • http://bahaisonline.net Steve Marshall

    [quote comment=”53396″]This is how I read it…

    ?The second observation has to do with the participants who insist on giving their own opinions and strongly resist giving a simple repetition of the quotation as the answer to a question. (This refers to those who refuse to acknowledge a simple truth, and insist on twisting the words of the writings into something completely different. The writings are obvious and simple for the heart to understand, however, we tend to over-think it and pollute it with our own spin. Coming to terms with the divine essence is the first pre-requisite)[/quote]

    You are, of course, welcome to read it any way you like, but an understanding of the passage must begin by focusing the mind on what is being read before allowing one’s imagination to roam and personal opinions to flow freely.

    Let’s try a couple of Ruhi exercises to help you.

    1. Please fill in the blanks:
    The second observation has to do with the participants who ______ on giving their own ________ and strongly ______ giving a simple __________ of the quotation as the answer to a question.

    2. Please read the question and complete the answer:
    Q. Rather than insisting on giving their own opinions, what should participants do when answering questions?

    A. They should give a ______ __________ __ ___ __________ __ ___ _________ __ __ ______ __ ___ ________.

  • http://bahaisonline.net Steve Marshall

    [quote comment=”53396″]This is how I read it…

    ?The second observation has to do with the participants who insist on giving their own opinions and strongly resist giving a simple repetition of the quotation as the answer to a question. (This refers to those who refuse to acknowledge a simple truth, and insist on twisting the words of the writings into something completely different. The writings are obvious and simple for the heart to understand, however, we tend to over-think it and pollute it with our own spin. Coming to terms with the divine essence is the first pre-requisite)[/quote]

    You are, of course, welcome to read it any way you like, but an understanding of the passage must begin by focusing the mind on what is being read before allowing one’s imagination to roam and personal opinions to flow freely.

    Let’s try a couple of Ruhi exercises to help you.

    1. Please fill in the blanks:
    The second observation has to do with the participants who ______ on giving their own ________ and strongly ______ giving a simple __________ of the quotation as the answer to a question.

    2. Please read the question and complete the answer:
    Q. Rather than insisting on giving their own opinions, what should participants do when answering questions?

    A. They should give a ______ __________ __ ___ __________ __ ___ _________ __ __ ______ __ ___ ________.

  • farhan

    Steve wrote:
    “You are, of course, welcome to read it any way you like, but an understanding of the passage must begin by focusing the mind on what is being read before allowing one’s imagination to roam and personal opinions to flow freely.”

    Steve, Ruhi is intended not for educating people like you, but for helping you educate others. You and I are part of hardly a quarter of humanity. Three quartes of humanity for the moment have been denied education, but deserve some help from us towards better understanding of the teachings and litteracy.

    When you get to know and appreciate these simpler but pure hearted folks, those who are less privileged than we are, and who do not pollute the planet and destroy our common habitats as we do, you will learn to love them and would then appreciate having Ruhi courses as a tool for helping you help them, and then, eventually, helping them help eachother.

    If you are not interested in helping these people, then Ruhi is not for you, and you can do so many other interesting things.

  • Farhan Yazdani

    Steve wrote:
    “You are, of course, welcome to read it any way you like, but an understanding of the passage must begin by focusing the mind on what is being read before allowing one’s imagination to roam and personal opinions to flow freely.”

    Steve, Ruhi is intended not for educating people like you, but for helping you educate others. You and I are part of hardly a quarter of humanity. Three quartes of humanity for the moment have been denied education, but deserve some help from us towards better understanding of the teachings and litteracy.

    When you get to know and appreciate these simpler but pure hearted folks, those who are less privileged than we are, and who do not pollute the planet and destroy our common habitats as we do, you will learn to love them and would then appreciate having Ruhi courses as a tool for helping you help them, and then, eventually, helping them help eachother.

    If you are not interested in helping these people, then Ruhi is not for you, and you can do so many other interesting things.

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=”53387″]
    AMAN wrote:

    Thank you Nur. This paragraph is gold. Craig is, im now convinced, a little bi-polar.
    [/quote]

    AMAN,

    You seem somewhat strangely impaired on social cues. Nur posted that now world wide famous paragraph to support my comment not yours. How is it you did not grasp that simple obvious fact? Again, your brain functioning is fascinating.

    Somehow I just don’t envision you as being a particularly effective suicide bomber if your chosen religion was extremist Islam rather than the Baha’i Faith. To be an effective suicide bomber to actually achieve proper self-appointed martyrdom and get the 72 virgins you have to pay attention. You have to read the right signs to get to the market place right before or after the right daily prayer for maximum effect. You have to be able to properly gauge the blast effect to gain glorious martyrdom to get extra credit for the highest body count possible. You have to pay attention. Even look into the eyes of the victims you are taking with you to the all highest Paradise. So, yes, stick to the Baha’i Faith where there is never any penalty whatsoever for missed social cues and general lapses in social cue judgment. Plus it makes me feel a lot safer personally that you are not walking around out there as a fundamentalist human bomb in the wrong religion. I, too, am starting to like you also. I have a somewhat dogged admiration for you just like I have grown fond of Farhan. You are both like the little doll in the Chuckie movies. You keep coming back no matter what anyone says with endless cheerful platitudes and blanket statement to gloss over anyone’s agony. So it is kind of a gift and I do acknowledge the genius for this that both of you seem to have in abundance.

    As to your diagnosis of me as being bi-polar, again, I will not be paying you $140 an hour anytime soon. Not even with a free prescription for lifetime meds thrown in even if the U.S. (or the come to worldwide power Baha’i Faith) implements Universal heathcare for everyone! As I have said here before, my condition comes from the fact that I personally met Kurt Vonnegut back in 1983 in New York City. The encounter somehow changed my atomic structure in the time-space continuum and my resultant brain functioning. I’m like Randy Pipers character with those sun-glasses in “They Live”. Rent it some time. It might give you some insight into what we are trying to talk about here. It basically is that no human organization can be trusted. Ever. Especially any organization that thinks it speaks for Almighty God. The history of the human race is too terrible when it comes to group think in organizations. Period. But the great counter balance to this is now the amazing rise of the Internet. There are now about 1400 members of the UHJ and NSA’s worldwide and SIX BILLION of everyone else who will eventually have Internet access. Even the Yak Herders taking Ruhi for the 999th time will eventually be reading Shirley MacLain and broadening their thinking.

    Farhan,

    Your constant comments on how Ruhi is to help the poor, unfortunate downtrodden of the world is downright racist. It is a regressive mindset right out of colonialism and the “white man’s” burden. If the people of Columbia need such materials then it is up to the NSA of Columbia to develop them for their own people. Columbia is still the most violent failed narco state on Earth. Shouldn’t these materials have had some effect in that society after two decades of being implemented there? The U.S. is a very successful narco state. We can develop our own materials locally. If people want to improve their own condition and the condition of their own families they should check between their own legs to see if there is anything there, step up to the plate and get help learning to read, and then read what Baha’u’llah has to say directly from the horse’s mouth. Not some racist top down workbook for impaired dunces. the material is shockingly predatory, manipulative, and insulting. Every human being on Earth under the NEW LAW is worthy of dignity.

    His is a nice interpretation of Holy Scripture:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aNopQq5lWqQ

    This would all be prohibited in the Ruhi spiritual straight jacket.

    Everyone have a nice Sunday!

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=”53387″]
    AMAN wrote:

    Thank you Nur. This paragraph is gold. Craig is, im now convinced, a little bi-polar.
    [/quote]

    AMAN,

    You seem somewhat strangely impaired on social cues. Nur posted that now world wide famous paragraph to support my comment not yours. How is it you did not grasp that simple obvious fact? Again, your brain functioning is fascinating.

    Somehow I just don’t envision you as being a particularly effective suicide bomber if your chosen religion was extremist Islam rather than the Baha’i Faith. To be an effective suicide bomber to actually achieve proper self-appointed martyrdom and get the 72 virgins you have to pay attention. You have to read the right signs to get to the market place right before or after the right daily prayer for maximum effect. You have to be able to properly gauge the blast effect to gain glorious martyrdom to get extra credit for the highest body count possible. You have to pay attention. Even look into the eyes of the victims you are taking with you to the all highest Paradise. So, yes, stick to the Baha’i Faith where there is never any penalty whatsoever for missed social cues and general lapses in social cue judgment. Plus it makes me feel a lot safer personally that you are not walking around out there as a fundamentalist human bomb in the wrong religion. I, too, am starting to like you also. I have a somewhat dogged admiration for you just like I have grown fond of Farhan. You are both like the little doll in the Chuckie movies. You keep coming back no matter what anyone says with endless cheerful platitudes and blanket statement to gloss over anyone’s agony. So it is kind of a gift and I do acknowledge the genius for this that both of you seem to have in abundance.

    As to your diagnosis of me as being bi-polar, again, I will not be paying you $140 an hour anytime soon. Not even with a free prescription for lifetime meds thrown in even if the U.S. (or the come to worldwide power Baha’i Faith) implements Universal heathcare for everyone! As I have said here before, my condition comes from the fact that I personally met Kurt Vonnegut back in 1983 in New York City. The encounter somehow changed my atomic structure in the time-space continuum and my resultant brain functioning. I’m like Randy Pipers character with those sun-glasses in “They Live”. Rent it some time. It might give you some insight into what we are trying to talk about here. It basically is that no human organization can be trusted. Ever. Especially any organization that thinks it speaks for Almighty God. The history of the human race is too terrible when it comes to group think in organizations. Period. But the great counter balance to this is now the amazing rise of the Internet. There are now about 1400 members of the UHJ and NSA’s worldwide and SIX BILLION of everyone else who will eventually have Internet access. Even the Yak Herders taking Ruhi for the 999th time will eventually be reading Shirley MacLain and broadening their thinking.

    Farhan,

    Your constant comments on how Ruhi is to help the poor, unfortunate downtrodden of the world is downright racist. It is a regressive mindset right out of colonialism and the “white man’s” burden. If the people of Columbia need such materials then it is up to the NSA of Columbia to develop them for their own people. Columbia is still the most violent failed narco state on Earth. Shouldn’t these materials have had some effect in that society after two decades of being implemented there? The U.S. is a very successful narco state. We can develop our own materials locally. If people want to improve their own condition and the condition of their own families they should check between their own legs to see if there is anything there, step up to the plate and get help learning to read, and then read what Baha’u’llah has to say directly from the horse’s mouth. Not some racist top down workbook for impaired dunces. the material is shockingly predatory, manipulative, and insulting. Every human being on Earth under the NEW LAW is worthy of dignity.

    His is a nice interpretation of Holy Scripture:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aNopQq5lWqQ

    This would all be prohibited in the Ruhi spiritual straight jacket.

    Everyone have a nice Sunday!

  • Bird

    Steve –

    Let’s try a couple of Ruhi exercises to help you.
    1. Please fill in the blanks:
    The second observation has to do with the participants who insist on giving their own opinion and strongly disagree in giving a simple perception of the quotation as the answer to a question.
    2. Please read the question and complete the answer:
    Q. Rather than insisting on giving their own opinions, what should participants do when answering questions?
    A. They should give a Ruhi Roo on who they please, set the books down, be TRUE to themselves, drive, run, fly, or walk to the nearest mass body of water such as a lake or ocean, take their clothes off and skinny dip to get that surrounding feeling of God’s fluid presence all around them while pondering that ?Truthfullness? is the foundation of all human virtue starting with being truthful to themselves about how good skinny dipping really feels.

  • Bird

    Steve –

    Let’s try a couple of Ruhi exercises to help you.
    1. Please fill in the blanks:
    The second observation has to do with the participants who insist on giving their own opinion and strongly disagree in giving a simple perception of the quotation as the answer to a question.
    2. Please read the question and complete the answer:
    Q. Rather than insisting on giving their own opinions, what should participants do when answering questions?
    A. They should give a Ruhi Roo on who they please, set the books down, be TRUE to themselves, drive, run, fly, or walk to the nearest mass body of water such as a lake or ocean, take their clothes off and skinny dip to get that surrounding feeling of God’s fluid presence all around them while pondering that ?Truthfullness? is the foundation of all human virtue starting with being truthful to themselves about how good skinny dipping really feels.

  • Bird

    Craig-

    You are such the charactor in “They Live” one of my favorites…

    One of the best scenes…

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=1jPG_JEyt-M

  • Bird

    Craig-

    You are such the charactor in “They Live” one of my favorites…

    One of the best scenes…

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=1jPG_JEyt-M

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=”53426″]Craig-

    You are such the charactor in “They Live” one of my favorites…

    One of the best scenes…

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=1jPG_JEyt-M/quote

    Well, Bird, since I’m already taking more and more of a fancy to AMAN and Farhan, you know you have always been at the top of my fancy list on BR from Day One so you are moving up even higher!

    Thanks for thinking of me in that scene. But people might get a little nervous with AMAN’s bi-polar diagnosis of me if I am walking around with a fully automatic weapon. After all, I did have military training in my wayward youth at great taxpayer expense and I might start having AO sanctioned Diety like voices of Glenford Mitchell in my head telling me to “do God’s work…just do it…do it…do it…”
    So perhaps a more intellectual approach is best for me rather than the bank scene.

    My fave has always been the Magic Glasses scene:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-KU7MD_3Hk

    It looks like John Carpenter in his low budget film chops truly conjured up RUHI BOOK ZERO way back in 1988! The whole mind numbing concepts first depiction on film at 24 frames a second. Not bad work. Not bad at all! Filmmakers are always talking to the planes of the Universe just like the Holy Manifestations even if it is in DIRECT TO VHS mode as this cult classic was back then.

    The Sell Out/Traitor scene has always been a close second for me as well:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BXehjhHMwk0&NR=1

    The trailer was pretty damn good:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3rVbhSTzbsE

    I always wondered why John went direct to VHS on this one. It would have at least done some drive-in movie business in 1988.

    BTW, supposedly Roddy Piper ad libbed the “bubble gum” line in the bank right before the cameras were ready to roll! They went with it!

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=”53426″]Craig-

    You are such the charactor in “They Live” one of my favorites…

    One of the best scenes…

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=1jPG_JEyt-M/quote

    Well, Bird, since I’m already taking more and more of a fancy to AMAN and Farhan, you know you have always been at the top of my fancy list on BR from Day One so you are moving up even higher!

    Thanks for thinking of me in that scene. But people might get a little nervous with AMAN’s bi-polar diagnosis of me if I am walking around with a fully automatic weapon. After all, I did have military training in my wayward youth at great taxpayer expense and I might start having AO sanctioned Diety like voices of Glenford Mitchell in my head telling me to “do God’s work…just do it…do it…do it…”
    So perhaps a more intellectual approach is best for me rather than the bank scene.

    My fave has always been the Magic Glasses scene:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-KU7MD_3Hk

    It looks like John Carpenter in his low budget film chops truly conjured up RUHI BOOK ZERO way back in 1988! The whole mind numbing concepts first depiction on film at 24 frames a second. Not bad work. Not bad at all! Filmmakers are always talking to the planes of the Universe just like the Holy Manifestations even if it is in DIRECT TO VHS mode as this cult classic was back then.

    The Sell Out/Traitor scene has always been a close second for me as well:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BXehjhHMwk0&NR=1

    The trailer was pretty damn good:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3rVbhSTzbsE

    I always wondered why John went direct to VHS on this one. It would have at least done some drive-in movie business in 1988.

    BTW, supposedly Roddy Piper ad libbed the “bubble gum” line in the bank right before the cameras were ready to roll! They went with it!

  • Grover

    [quote post=”78″]Steve, Ruhi is intended not for educating people like you, but for helping you educate others. You and I are part of hardly a quarter of humanity. Three quartes of humanity for the moment have been denied education, but deserve some help from us towards better understanding of the teachings and litteracy. [/quote]

    I wouldn’t go using Ruhi to educate those people. I’d start off looking at their needs first, i.e. food, water, shelter, health, income, security. If those aren’t met first, there is no way any amount of badgering with Ruhi or anything else is going to help.

    Anyway, i think I’ve found my new religion! Woot! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow%27s_hierarchy_of_needs

  • Grover

    [quote post=”78″]Steve, Ruhi is intended not for educating people like you, but for helping you educate others. You and I are part of hardly a quarter of humanity. Three quartes of humanity for the moment have been denied education, but deserve some help from us towards better understanding of the teachings and litteracy. [/quote]

    I wouldn’t go using Ruhi to educate those people. I’d start off looking at their needs first, i.e. food, water, shelter, health, income, security. If those aren’t met first, there is no way any amount of badgering with Ruhi or anything else is going to help.

    Anyway, i think I’ve found my new religion! Woot! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow%27s_hierarchy_of_needs

  • http://bahaisonline.net Steve Marshall

    [quote comment=”53411″]
    Steve, Ruhi is intended not for educating people like you, but for helping you educate others.[/quote]

    Hi Farhan,

    I agree. Ruhi is an adaptation of the study circles concept, which has been around for centuries. As such it works fine for what it is intended to do.

    Can it be misused? Well madrassahs are a form of study circle, and nearly all of them do sterling work in educating children, mainly in the third world. However, a small percentage of them focus on rote memorisation of the Quran and literal understandings of scripture. And those I worry about.

    Which is why I worry about the same emphasis in Ruhi.

  • http://bahaisonline.net Steve Marshall

    [quote comment=”53411″]
    Steve, Ruhi is intended not for educating people like you, but for helping you educate others.[/quote]

    Hi Farhan,

    I agree. Ruhi is an adaptation of the study circles concept, which has been around for centuries. As such it works fine for what it is intended to do.

    Can it be misused? Well madrassahs are a form of study circle, and nearly all of them do sterling work in educating children, mainly in the third world. However, a small percentage of them focus on rote memorisation of the Quran and literal understandings of scripture. And those I worry about.

    Which is why I worry about the same emphasis in Ruhi.

  • Anonymouz

    Ahh…after a nice day to the beach, a nice evening on the Rant…Well Craig what can I say except I disagree. You say not to have faith in any man made institution, and I say that its not man made. You say you remind yourself of some dude with glasses in some movie…I say you remind me of one of my scout leaders who would sit around and talk about his submarine that almost got blasted in Nam. That’s all he ever did…

    Steve, your point about Ruhi and Madrassas is valid, but lets just examine that for a sec…

    All religious violence or belligerence has come from interpretation. If the Quran itself did not have violent depictions or accounts, I am almost as positive as a peach that they would find no justification for it. Now, as the UHJ has at its disposal a huge corpus of text, from everything on abortion to zanzibar, however no reference to violence, it would be hard to justify it somehow.

    If we want to carry this to say, for example, rote learning, which is something that you all seem so concerned about lets go for it…I am fairly confident that if you were to summarize the whole of the Baha’i writings and get to the essence of what its purpose is, I would say it is this: The purpose of man, aware of himself and his own free will, is to worship God and manifest His attributes, via his free will.

    Since Baha’u’llah did specifically create a government via the institutions, we cannot deny that this is part of the Baha’i Faith, just as much as the other principles such as harmony of science and religion, equality of the sexes, education for all and the rest we say we all believe. The Institutions are a fact of the Baha’i Faith created by its Prophet. It is their responsibilities that have come under criticism of late and their decisions moreover…I will bet my laptop that anyone would be hard pressed to find where a decision or directive taken by the UHJ doesn’t have a precedent or grounding in what was revealed by the central figures.

    In any case, I see Ruhi for what it is. A medium and means toward helping the Baha’is grow spiritually. Some may not need it to do so, some may. Some may see it as a refresher, some may see it as a good way to get together and socialize with the friends. I am going to be hosting a Book 7, Walking Together on a Path of Service, with my wife at our place starting soon and we are going to make it as hospitable as possible. With Persian food and a good portion toward devotions. Perhaps I will relay how it goes.

  • Anonymouz

    Ahh…after a nice day to the beach, a nice evening on the Rant…Well Craig what can I say except I disagree. You say not to have faith in any man made institution, and I say that its not man made. You say you remind yourself of some dude with glasses in some movie…I say you remind me of one of my scout leaders who would sit around and talk about his submarine that almost got blasted in Nam. That’s all he ever did…

    Steve, your point about Ruhi and Madrassas is valid, but lets just examine that for a sec…

    All religious violence or belligerence has come from interpretation. If the Quran itself did not have violent depictions or accounts, I am almost as positive as a peach that they would find no justification for it. Now, as the UHJ has at its disposal a huge corpus of text, from everything on abortion to zanzibar, however no reference to violence, it would be hard to justify it somehow.

    If we want to carry this to say, for example, rote learning, which is something that you all seem so concerned about lets go for it…I am fairly confident that if you were to summarize the whole of the Baha’i writings and get to the essence of what its purpose is, I would say it is this: The purpose of man, aware of himself and his own free will, is to worship God and manifest His attributes, via his free will.

    Since Baha’u’llah did specifically create a government via the institutions, we cannot deny that this is part of the Baha’i Faith, just as much as the other principles such as harmony of science and religion, equality of the sexes, education for all and the rest we say we all believe. The Institutions are a fact of the Baha’i Faith created by its Prophet. It is their responsibilities that have come under criticism of late and their decisions moreover…I will bet my laptop that anyone would be hard pressed to find where a decision or directive taken by the UHJ doesn’t have a precedent or grounding in what was revealed by the central figures.

    In any case, I see Ruhi for what it is. A medium and means toward helping the Baha’is grow spiritually. Some may not need it to do so, some may. Some may see it as a refresher, some may see it as a good way to get together and socialize with the friends. I am going to be hosting a Book 7, Walking Together on a Path of Service, with my wife at our place starting soon and we are going to make it as hospitable as possible. With Persian food and a good portion toward devotions. Perhaps I will relay how it goes.

  • farhan

    Steve wrote:
    “Can it be misused? Well madrassahs are a form of study circle, and nearly all of them do sterling work in educating children, mainly in the third world. However, a small percentage of them focus on rote memorisation of the Quran and literal understandings of scripture. And those I worry about. Which is why I worry about the same emphasis in Ruhi.”

    I fully agree with your reserve, Stve: Ruhi can be, has been and is still sometimes misused, I have been painfully though that; but almost everything else can also be misused. Some people will drink 10 litres of water a day to the point of having health problems (diab?te insipide in French). It is certainly up to us to:
    ” …prayerfully watch lest the tool should supersede the Faith itself, lest undue concern for the minute details arising from the administration of the Cause obscure the vision of its promoters, lest partiality, ambition, and worldliness tend in the course of time to becloud the radiance, stain the purity, and impair the effectiveness of the Faith of Baha’u’llah. (WOB p 10)

    This having been said, Ruhi is only a motor for introducing people into the core activities; only those who wish to become tutors would want to do the whole sequence, and new books are arriving for SED programmes, etc.

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    Steve wrote:
    “Can it be misused? Well madrassahs are a form of study circle, and nearly all of them do sterling work in educating children, mainly in the third world. However, a small percentage of them focus on rote memorisation of the Quran and literal understandings of scripture. And those I worry about. Which is why I worry about the same emphasis in Ruhi.”

    I fully agree with your reserve, Stve: Ruhi can be, has been and is still sometimes misused, I have been painfully though that; but almost everything else can also be misused. Some people will drink 10 litres of water a day to the point of having health problems (diab?te insipide in French). It is certainly up to us to:
    ” …prayerfully watch lest the tool should supersede the Faith itself, lest undue concern for the minute details arising from the administration of the Cause obscure the vision of its promoters, lest partiality, ambition, and worldliness tend in the course of time to becloud the radiance, stain the purity, and impair the effectiveness of the Faith of Baha’u’llah. (WOB p 10)

    This having been said, Ruhi is only a motor for introducing people into the core activities; only those who wish to become tutors would want to do the whole sequence, and new books are arriving for SED programmes, etc.

  • farhan

    Grover wrote:
    “I wouldn’t go using Ruhi to educate those people. I’d start off looking at their needs first, i.e. food, water, shelter, health, income, security. If those aren’t met first, there is no way any amount of badgering with Ruhi or anything else is going to help.”

    I know, Grover, this is exactly what most generous people would spontaneously do, but experience has widely shown that this kind of “help” is patronizing and hence counter-productive and creates dependency, feelings of inadequacy, resentment, corruption, revolt and violence. Real help is to provide the basis of moral development, and then allow people to help themselves.

    Showing nations that unity allows a bunch of outcasts to transform the desert into a luxurious garden on Mount Carmel has greater effect on social and economic development in the world than giving all that money directly to the poverty stricken world. Showing people how to cach a fish is better than giving them the fish.

    As the Iranians would say, debate is to catch de fish ;-)

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    Grover wrote:
    “I wouldn’t go using Ruhi to educate those people. I’d start off looking at their needs first, i.e. food, water, shelter, health, income, security. If those aren’t met first, there is no way any amount of badgering with Ruhi or anything else is going to help.”

    I know, Grover, this is exactly what most generous people would spontaneously do, but experience has widely shown that this kind of “help” is patronizing and hence counter-productive and creates dependency, feelings of inadequacy, resentment, corruption, revolt and violence. Real help is to provide the basis of moral development, and then allow people to help themselves.

    Showing nations that unity allows a bunch of outcasts to transform the desert into a luxurious garden on Mount Carmel has greater effect on social and economic development in the world than giving all that money directly to the poverty stricken world. Showing people how to cach a fish is better than giving them the fish.

    As the Iranians would say, debate is to catch de fish ;-)

  • farhan

    Grover wrote:
    “I spend all my time teaching my students how to think. Ruhi takes all that away. Do you honestly know what a Baha’i sounds like when they’re regurgitating scripture? A parrot.”

    Grover, I am not sure what subject you teach; we have different subjects to learn: when we learn philosophy, psychology, art, we have to liberate our minds; when we learn anatomy, and geography, we have to learn many things by heart before we can actually think and create. Even in poetry, music, maths and physics you might have to learn tedious concepts by heart before you can create.

    In the same way, we have many Baha’is thinking on the basis of hastily read concepts. We can continue Baha’i studies, of course, but those who wish to become tutors are required to gain a more disciplined and exacting attitude towards learning.

    One of my problems in Ruhi have been my aptitude to ?think?, and I would distract people from the curriculum with stories and examples, then we would realise that the course that should have been competed in some 50 hours would be taking 80 hours, and people would be unable to finish.

    The solution was to create a “fridge” where interesting questions are recorded in a book and we have extra sessions for those who want to deepen on them. As a teacher, i am sure you know that we also have to complete the programme before the term is over.

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    Grover wrote:
    “I spend all my time teaching my students how to think. Ruhi takes all that away. Do you honestly know what a Baha’i sounds like when they’re regurgitating scripture? A parrot.”

    Grover, I am not sure what subject you teach; we have different subjects to learn: when we learn philosophy, psychology, art, we have to liberate our minds; when we learn anatomy, and geography, we have to learn many things by heart before we can actually think and create. Even in poetry, music, maths and physics you might have to learn tedious concepts by heart before you can create.

    In the same way, we have many Baha’is thinking on the basis of hastily read concepts. We can continue Baha’i studies, of course, but those who wish to become tutors are required to gain a more disciplined and exacting attitude towards learning.

    One of my problems in Ruhi have been my aptitude to ?think?, and I would distract people from the curriculum with stories and examples, then we would realise that the course that should have been competed in some 50 hours would be taking 80 hours, and people would be unable to finish.

    The solution was to create a “fridge” where interesting questions are recorded in a book and we have extra sessions for those who want to deepen on them. As a teacher, i am sure you know that we also have to complete the programme before the term is over.

  • P

    All of you have mis-read the Ruhi paragraph…Each and everyone of you.

    This is how I read it…

    —————
    Is that how you read it, or was that the way you were taught to read it by Ruhi before you were allowed to freely allow your mind to roam….;o)

  • P

    All of you have mis-read the Ruhi paragraph…Each and everyone of you.

    This is how I read it…

    —————
    Is that how you read it, or was that the way you were taught to read it by Ruhi before you were allowed to freely allow your mind to roam….;o)

  • Grover

    True Farhan, but if people are having a rip snorting time debating a subject and their juices are flowing, would you really want to kill the spontanaeity of the moment by making them stop? I teach science, so there is a lot of material to get through, and within a set time, but if they know how to think and educate themselves, then they can do most of it themselves and I just act as a guide. With Ruhi, the time is recommended only, there are no exams, so if everyone is really getting into it, why not let it run a bit longer?

    The problem is (apart from other things) that Ruhi has no depth, it is really superficial in its approach. So if you have a tutor with excellent background knowledge who also has training as a university or high school teacher and they are really competent, logical, and can stimulate discussion, that adds a lot, it raises Ruhi from a dreary rote learning indoctrination course into a enjoyable, stimulating experience for everyone.

    The problem is most of the tutors don’t have much knowledge, intelligence or teaching ability at all, so all my Ruhi experiences have been dire. When we’ve had some juicy discussion, or it was just getting juicy, the tutor quashed it and we’re all going what the heck.

    So while I rant mostly about Ruhi and get all angus about it, really the problem lies with the tutors and their lack of training and ability. I could become a tutor, but I can’t be arsed trudging my way through all the books. Also I hate the crap that is interdispersed between the quotes, I hate being told what to think and believe, or how to act.

    If you’re adding stories and examples and people are enjoying it and having a good time, more power to you.

  • Grover

    True Farhan, but if people are having a rip snorting time debating a subject and their juices are flowing, would you really want to kill the spontanaeity of the moment by making them stop? I teach science, so there is a lot of material to get through, and within a set time, but if they know how to think and educate themselves, then they can do most of it themselves and I just act as a guide. With Ruhi, the time is recommended only, there are no exams, so if everyone is really getting into it, why not let it run a bit longer?

    The problem is (apart from other things) that Ruhi has no depth, it is really superficial in its approach. So if you have a tutor with excellent background knowledge who also has training as a university or high school teacher and they are really competent, logical, and can stimulate discussion, that adds a lot, it raises Ruhi from a dreary rote learning indoctrination course into a enjoyable, stimulating experience for everyone.

    The problem is most of the tutors don’t have much knowledge, intelligence or teaching ability at all, so all my Ruhi experiences have been dire. When we’ve had some juicy discussion, or it was just getting juicy, the tutor quashed it and we’re all going what the heck.

    So while I rant mostly about Ruhi and get all angus about it, really the problem lies with the tutors and their lack of training and ability. I could become a tutor, but I can’t be arsed trudging my way through all the books. Also I hate the crap that is interdispersed between the quotes, I hate being told what to think and believe, or how to act.

    If you’re adding stories and examples and people are enjoying it and having a good time, more power to you.

  • farhan

    Grover wrote

    “…but if people are having a rip snorting time debating a subject and their juices are flowing, would you really want to kill the spontaneity of the moment by making them stop? “…? so if everyone is really getting into it, why not let it run a bit longer??

    Thanks for the feed back; I agree, as a physician, I wouldn’t want to control, but then I am perhaps not a good tutor, as those participants wanting to complete the sequence so as to get on to another, might become impatient. When you have 5 or 6 participants, you have to cater for different tastes and needs, and letting people release their deep spiritual aspirations can change session into an exciting reality show, which is not the purpose of Ruhi. The purpose of Ruhi is an urgent upsurge in human resources so as to cater for the needs of humanity, and most of all, make participants capable of making others servants of humanity.

    We should keep and develop other meetings and deepening sessions for more liberal expression and thought and psychodrama and group therapy, which many of us need ;-)
    Grover: ?The problem is (apart from other things) that Ruhi has no depth, it is really superficial in its approach.?

    It has to be so as to provide the elementary basis for all; I call it the ?fast food? of deepening for mass teaching. Once your appetite has been developed, you can go on to more exciting menus with Baha’i studies, deepening’s etc.
    Grover: ?So if you have a tutor with excellent background knowledge who also has training as a university or high school teacher and they are really competent, logical, and can stimulate discussion, that adds a lot, it raises Ruhi from a dreary rote learning indoctrination course into a enjoyable, stimulating experience for everyone.?

    Of course, those kinds of tutors are now actually appearing, and people like you could be part of them. The fact that more experienced Baha’is, normally involved with their own spiritual advancement and not that of others, and looked down upon the purpose of the Institute Process of which Ruhi is merely a motor for involving inactive Baha’is, had initially brought Ruhi to inexperienced Baha’is; On one side this has proved the efficiency of Ruhi, for mobilising inactive Baha’is, and on the other side has brought into light all the ?learning? mistakes.
    Grover: ?I hate being told what to think and believe, or how to act.?

    You would no doubt make a good tutor.

    Grover: ?If you’re adding stories and examples and people are enjoying it and having a good time, more power to you.?
    The point is that we are seeking to impart more power to the participants, and finding ways of getting them tell stories instead of remaining passive participants.
    Wamest

    Farhan

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    Grover wrote

    “…but if people are having a rip snorting time debating a subject and their juices are flowing, would you really want to kill the spontaneity of the moment by making them stop? “…? so if everyone is really getting into it, why not let it run a bit longer??

    Thanks for the feed back; I agree, as a physician, I wouldn’t want to control, but then I am perhaps not a good tutor, as those participants wanting to complete the sequence so as to get on to another, might become impatient. When you have 5 or 6 participants, you have to cater for different tastes and needs, and letting people release their deep spiritual aspirations can change session into an exciting reality show, which is not the purpose of Ruhi. The purpose of Ruhi is an urgent upsurge in human resources so as to cater for the needs of humanity, and most of all, make participants capable of making others servants of humanity.

    We should keep and develop other meetings and deepening sessions for more liberal expression and thought and psychodrama and group therapy, which many of us need ;-)
    Grover: ?The problem is (apart from other things) that Ruhi has no depth, it is really superficial in its approach.?

    It has to be so as to provide the elementary basis for all; I call it the ?fast food? of deepening for mass teaching. Once your appetite has been developed, you can go on to more exciting menus with Baha’i studies, deepening’s etc.
    Grover: ?So if you have a tutor with excellent background knowledge who also has training as a university or high school teacher and they are really competent, logical, and can stimulate discussion, that adds a lot, it raises Ruhi from a dreary rote learning indoctrination course into a enjoyable, stimulating experience for everyone.?

    Of course, those kinds of tutors are now actually appearing, and people like you could be part of them. The fact that more experienced Baha’is, normally involved with their own spiritual advancement and not that of others, and looked down upon the purpose of the Institute Process of which Ruhi is merely a motor for involving inactive Baha’is, had initially brought Ruhi to inexperienced Baha’is; On one side this has proved the efficiency of Ruhi, for mobilising inactive Baha’is, and on the other side has brought into light all the ?learning? mistakes.
    Grover: ?I hate being told what to think and believe, or how to act.?

    You would no doubt make a good tutor.

    Grover: ?If you’re adding stories and examples and people are enjoying it and having a good time, more power to you.?
    The point is that we are seeking to impart more power to the participants, and finding ways of getting them tell stories instead of remaining passive participants.
    Wamest

    Farhan

  • Pingback: Adore Business Card Psychology. | 7Wins.eu()

  • http://www.senmcglinn.wordpress.com Sen McGlinn

    [quote comment=””][…] Since Baha’u’llah did specifically create a government via the institutions, we cannot deny that this is part of the Baha’i Faith,[…][/quote]

    Interesting. Could you give us a quote to back this idea up?
    Here’s a few to be going on with:

    “O ye the loved ones and the trustees of God! Kings are the manifestations of the power, and the daysprings of the might and riches, of God. Pray ye on their behalf. He hath invested them with the rulership of the earth and hath singled out the hearts of men as His Own domain…” (Baha’u’llah, Kitab-e `Ahd)

    “I have never aspired after worldly leadership. My sole purpose hath been to hand down unto men that which I was bidden to deliver by God,..” (Gleanings)

    … your Lord hath committed the world and the cities thereof to the care of the kings of the earth, and made them the emblems of His own power, by virtue of the sovereignty He hath chosen to bestow upon them. He hath refused to reserve for Himself any share whatever of this world’s dominion. To this He Who is Himself the Eternal Truth will testify. The things He hath reserved for Himself are the cities of men’s hearts … (Gleanings, CXXIX, p. 304.)

    “…The instruments which are essential to the immediate protection, the security and assurance of the human race have been entrusted to the hands, and lie in the grasp, of the governors of human society. This is the wish of God and His decree….” (Gleanings CII pp 206-7,

    The sovereigns of the earth have been and are the manifestations of the power, the grandeur and the majesty of God. This Wronged One hath at no time dealt deceitfully with anyone. Every one is well aware of this, and beareth witness unto it. Regard for the rank of sovereigns is divinely ordained, as is clearly attested by the words of the Prophets of God and His chosen ones. He Who is the Spirit (Jesus) — may peace be upon Him — was asked: “O Spirit of God! Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar or not?” And He made reply: “Yea, render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things  90  that are God’s.” He forbade it not. These two sayings are, in the estimation of men of insight, one and the same, for if that which belonged to Caesar had not come from God, He would have forbidden it. (Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 89)

    “O Supreme Pontiff! … Abandon thy kingdom unto the kings, … Exhort thou the kings and say: `Deal equitably with men. Beware lest ye transgress the bounds fixed in the Book.’ (Proclamation of Bah??’u’ll??h, p. 85.)

    “is it not your clear duty to restrain the tyranny of the oppressor, and to deal equitably with your subjects, that your high sense of justice may be fully demonstrated to all mankind? God hath committed into your hands the reins of the government of the people, that ye may rule with justice over them, safeguard the rights of the down-trodden, and punish the wrong-doers.”
    (Gleanings, CXVI)

    “Should any king take up arms against another, all should unitedly arise and prevent him. . . . We fain would hope that the kings and rulers of the earth, the mirrors of the gracious and almighty name of God, may attain unto this station, and shield mankind from the onslaught of tyranny. (Gleanings, CXVII)

    and from his son:

    …Constitutional Government, according to the irrefutable text of the Religion of God, is the cause of the glory and prosperity of the nation and the civilization and freedom of the people. (Tablets of `Abdu’l-Bah?? Abbas p 492)

    “… this sect have no worldly object nor any role in political matters [mudakhal? dar am?r-e siy?s?]. The fulcrum of their motion and rest and the pivot of their cast and conduct is restricted to spiritual things and confined to the doctrine of the unity of the prophets [hiq?’iq-e wahad-e anbiyyah]; it has no role to play in the affairs of the government nor any connection to the seat of sovereignty. Its principles are the proclamation of the praises of God, the investigation of signs, the education of souls, the reformation of characters, the purification of hearts, and illumination with the gleams of enlightenment. …
    [the Bahai scriptures] are entirely taken up with the prohibition of sedition, and with upright conduct amongst mankind, obedience, submission, loyalty, obeying the law, the acquisition of laudable qualities, and encouragements to become endowed with praiseworthy accomplishments and characteristics.
    They play absolutely no role in political questions, and do not raise opposition in matters which could cause disturbance or sedition. Under these circumstances the government cannot justly offer excuses, and possesses no pretext [for further persecuting this sect] except [a claim to the right of] interference in thought and conscience, which are the private possessions of the heart and soul. … ” (A traveler’s narrative)

    “The signature of that meeting should be the Spiritual Gathering (House of Spirituality) and the wisdom therein is that hereafter the government should not infer from the term ?House of Justice? that a court is signified, that it is connected with political affairs, or that at any time it will interfere with governmental affairs. Hereafter, enemies will be many. They would use this subject as a cause for disturbing the mind of the government and confusing the thoughts of the public. The intention was to make known that by the term Spiritual Gathering (House of Spirituality), that Gathering has not the least connection with material matters, and that its whole aim and consultation is confined to matters connected with spiritual affairs.” (Tablets of Abdu’l-Baha Abbas vol. 1, page 5, also printed with minor editorial changes in Baha’i World Faith 405.)

    And from the Guardian:

    “… The Faith which this order serves, safeguards and promotes, is, it should be noted in this connection, essentially supernatural, supranational, entirely non-political, ” (Statement to the Special UN Committee on Palestine, 1947)

    “Theirs is not the purpose, while endeavoring to conduct and perfect the administrative affairs of their Faith, to violate, under any circumstances, the provisions of their country’s constitution, much less to allow the machinery of their administration to supersede the government of their respective countries.” (World Order of Baha’u’llah)

  • http://www.senmcglinn.wordpress.com Sen McGlinn

    [quote comment=””][…] Since Baha’u’llah did specifically create a government via the institutions, we cannot deny that this is part of the Baha’i Faith,[…][/quote]

    Interesting. Could you give us a quote to back this idea up?
    Here’s a few to be going on with:

    “O ye the loved ones and the trustees of God! Kings are the manifestations of the power, and the daysprings of the might and riches, of God. Pray ye on their behalf. He hath invested them with the rulership of the earth and hath singled out the hearts of men as His Own domain…” (Baha’u’llah, Kitab-e `Ahd)

    “I have never aspired after worldly leadership. My sole purpose hath been to hand down unto men that which I was bidden to deliver by God,..” (Gleanings)

    … your Lord hath committed the world and the cities thereof to the care of the kings of the earth, and made them the emblems of His own power, by virtue of the sovereignty He hath chosen to bestow upon them. He hath refused to reserve for Himself any share whatever of this world’s dominion. To this He Who is Himself the Eternal Truth will testify. The things He hath reserved for Himself are the cities of men’s hearts … (Gleanings, CXXIX, p. 304.)

    “…The instruments which are essential to the immediate protection, the security and assurance of the human race have been entrusted to the hands, and lie in the grasp, of the governors of human society. This is the wish of God and His decree….” (Gleanings CII pp 206-7,

    The sovereigns of the earth have been and are the manifestations of the power, the grandeur and the majesty of God. This Wronged One hath at no time dealt deceitfully with anyone. Every one is well aware of this, and beareth witness unto it. Regard for the rank of sovereigns is divinely ordained, as is clearly attested by the words of the Prophets of God and His chosen ones. He Who is the Spirit (Jesus) — may peace be upon Him — was asked: “O Spirit of God! Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar or not?” And He made reply: “Yea, render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things  90  that are God’s.” He forbade it not. These two sayings are, in the estimation of men of insight, one and the same, for if that which belonged to Caesar had not come from God, He would have forbidden it. (Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 89)

    “O Supreme Pontiff! … Abandon thy kingdom unto the kings, … Exhort thou the kings and say: `Deal equitably with men. Beware lest ye transgress the bounds fixed in the Book.’ (Proclamation of Bah??’u’ll??h, p. 85.)

    “is it not your clear duty to restrain the tyranny of the oppressor, and to deal equitably with your subjects, that your high sense of justice may be fully demonstrated to all mankind? God hath committed into your hands the reins of the government of the people, that ye may rule with justice over them, safeguard the rights of the down-trodden, and punish the wrong-doers.”
    (Gleanings, CXVI)

    “Should any king take up arms against another, all should unitedly arise and prevent him. . . . We fain would hope that the kings and rulers of the earth, the mirrors of the gracious and almighty name of God, may attain unto this station, and shield mankind from the onslaught of tyranny. (Gleanings, CXVII)

    and from his son:

    …Constitutional Government, according to the irrefutable text of the Religion of God, is the cause of the glory and prosperity of the nation and the civilization and freedom of the people. (Tablets of `Abdu’l-Bah?? Abbas p 492)

    “… this sect have no worldly object nor any role in political matters [mudakhal? dar am?r-e siy?s?]. The fulcrum of their motion and rest and the pivot of their cast and conduct is restricted to spiritual things and confined to the doctrine of the unity of the prophets [hiq?’iq-e wahad-e anbiyyah]; it has no role to play in the affairs of the government nor any connection to the seat of sovereignty. Its principles are the proclamation of the praises of God, the investigation of signs, the education of souls, the reformation of characters, the purification of hearts, and illumination with the gleams of enlightenment. …
    [the Bahai scriptures] are entirely taken up with the prohibition of sedition, and with upright conduct amongst mankind, obedience, submission, loyalty, obeying the law, the acquisition of laudable qualities, and encouragements to become endowed with praiseworthy accomplishments and characteristics.
    They play absolutely no role in political questions, and do not raise opposition in matters which could cause disturbance or sedition. Under these circumstances the government cannot justly offer excuses, and possesses no pretext [for further persecuting this sect] except [a claim to the right of] interference in thought and conscience, which are the private possessions of the heart and soul. … ” (A traveler’s narrative)

    “The signature of that meeting should be the Spiritual Gathering (House of Spirituality) and the wisdom therein is that hereafter the government should not infer from the term ?House of Justice? that a court is signified, that it is connected with political affairs, or that at any time it will interfere with governmental affairs. Hereafter, enemies will be many. They would use this subject as a cause for disturbing the mind of the government and confusing the thoughts of the public. The intention was to make known that by the term Spiritual Gathering (House of Spirituality), that Gathering has not the least connection with material matters, and that its whole aim and consultation is confined to matters connected with spiritual affairs.” (Tablets of Abdu’l-Baha Abbas vol. 1, page 5, also printed with minor editorial changes in Baha’i World Faith 405.)

    And from the Guardian:

    “… The Faith which this order serves, safeguards and promotes, is, it should be noted in this connection, essentially supernatural, supranational, entirely non-political, ” (Statement to the Special UN Committee on Palestine, 1947)

    “Theirs is not the purpose, while endeavoring to conduct and perfect the administrative affairs of their Faith, to violate, under any circumstances, the provisions of their country’s constitution, much less to allow the machinery of their administration to supersede the government of their respective countries.” (World Order of Baha’u’llah)

  • farhan

    Sen wrote :

    Interesting. Could you give us a quote to back this idea up?

    Dear Sen,

    There are many subjects that can be confusing in the Baha’i revelation if we do not remember that it is a progressively unfolding revelation.

    For example, Baha’u’llah speaks of learning languages for teaching the Faith, but also of having one auxiliary language, taught together with the mother tongue, and then in time, having only one language. These apparently contradicting ideas refer to different periods in human history.

    The Bab allowed defensive wars, but Baha’u’llah forbade them; He observed the rules of His time by marrying several wives, but Abdu’l-Baha forbade it, dressed oriental, went to the mosque, gave money to the poor, required burials with the feet towards Mecca, and the observance of the Moslem fast. In later times, Shoghi Effendi changed all this.

    In the same way, at a certain time in the history of the Faith we are required to abstain from party politics, and then in the future, in the golden Age of the Faith, political institutions might have specific inspiration from the Faith.

    We try to be smart by looking for paradoxes in a Divine Revelation that is totally coherent, but in fact we only display our own lack of foresight.

  • Farhan Yazdani

    Sen wrote :

    Interesting. Could you give us a quote to back this idea up?

    Dear Sen,

    There are many subjects that can be confusing in the Baha’i revelation if we do not remember that it is a progressively unfolding revelation.

    For example, Baha’u’llah speaks of learning languages for teaching the Faith, but also of having one auxiliary language, taught together with the mother tongue, and then in time, having only one language. These apparently contradicting ideas refer to different periods in human history.

    The Bab allowed defensive wars, but Baha’u’llah forbade them; He observed the rules of His time by marrying several wives, but Abdu’l-Baha forbade it, dressed oriental, went to the mosque, gave money to the poor, required burials with the feet towards Mecca, and the observance of the Moslem fast. In later times, Shoghi Effendi changed all this.

    In the same way, at a certain time in the history of the Faith we are required to abstain from party politics, and then in the future, in the golden Age of the Faith, political institutions might have specific inspiration from the Faith.

    We try to be smart by looking for paradoxes in a Divine Revelation that is totally coherent, but in fact we only display our own lack of foresight.

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

    [quote comment=”57749″]We try to be smart by looking for paradoxes in a Divine Revelation that is totally coherent, but in fact we only display our own lack of foresight.[/quote]

    Yes, thanks for the sugary and completely unwarranted ad hominem. In case you haven’t noticed, Sen has been finding coherence in the revelation and has been pointing out the paradoxes inherent in other theological interpretations.

    Now can we have a quote to back your earlier assertion up?

    ka kite
    Steve

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

    [quote comment=”57749″]We try to be smart by looking for paradoxes in a Divine Revelation that is totally coherent, but in fact we only display our own lack of foresight.[/quote]

    Yes, thanks for the sugary and completely unwarranted ad hominem. In case you haven’t noticed, Sen has been finding coherence in the revelation and has been pointing out the paradoxes inherent in other theological interpretations.

    Now can we have a quote to back your earlier assertion up?

    ka kite
    Steve

  • p

    Farhan wrote: He observed the rules of His time by marrying several wives, but Abdu’l-Baha forbade it
    ———————————–
    This is false. Something I used to believe until I was corrected thanks to the creater of this forum. Abdul-Baha never forbade polygamy. He not only permitted, but took offence at the people in his time who tried to attack him by saying that he was forbidding polygame (I wish I could find that tablet again). So you are wrong on this Farhan, as you are wrong about the Bahaullah creating a government through the institutions. I just wish that these truths could be frankly discussed WITHIN the Bahai community. As long as they are not, then you will always find a community online of dissatisfied Bahais seeking the truth.

  • p

    Farhan wrote: He observed the rules of His time by marrying several wives, but Abdu’l-Baha forbade it
    ———————————–
    This is false. Something I used to believe until I was corrected thanks to the creater of this forum. Abdul-Baha never forbade polygamy. He not only permitted, but took offence at the people in his time who tried to attack him by saying that he was forbidding polygame (I wish I could find that tablet again). So you are wrong on this Farhan, as you are wrong about the Bahaullah creating a government through the institutions. I just wish that these truths could be frankly discussed WITHIN the Bahai community. As long as they are not, then you will always find a community online of dissatisfied Bahais seeking the truth.

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

    [quote comment=”57766″]He not only permitted, but took offence at the people in his time who tried to attack him by saying that he was forbidding polygamy (I wish I could find that tablet again).[/quote]

    Perhaps you’re thinking of a passage that Sen recently posted to the Unenrolled Baha’i list:

    “Concerning bigamy, this has been promulgated, and no one must abrogate it (mansusast nasikhi nadarad). ‘Abdu’l Baha has not abrogated this law. These are false accusations and lies (spread by) the friends. What I have said is that He [is that Baha’u’llah, or Muhammad?] has made bigamy bound on a precondition. As long as someone does not attain certitude regarding the capability to practice justice and his heart is not at rest that he can practice justice, he should not be intent upon a second marriage. But if he should be sure and attain certitude that he would practice justice on all levels (and conditions) (dar jami’ i maratib), then a second marriage is lawful. Just as has been the case in the Holy Land (Ardi i Maqsud): the Baha’i friends wished to marry a second wife, accepting this precondition, and this servant (i.e., ‘Abdu’l Baha) never abstained (from giving permission), but insisted that justice should be considered, and justice actually means here self restraint (daraji i imtina’); but they said, that they will practice justice and wished to marry a second wife. Such false accusations (concerning ‘Abdu’l Baha’s prohibition of bigamy) are the slanderous whisperings (zamzamih) of those who wish to spread doubts (in people’s hearts) and to what degree they already succeed in making matters ambiguous! (Our) purpose was to state that bigamy without justice is not lawful and that justice is very difficult (to achieve).” [Amr wa Khalq 4: 174f]

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

    [quote comment=”57766″]He not only permitted, but took offence at the people in his time who tried to attack him by saying that he was forbidding polygamy (I wish I could find that tablet again).[/quote]

    Perhaps you’re thinking of a passage that Sen recently posted to the Unenrolled Baha’i list:

    “Concerning bigamy, this has been promulgated, and no one must abrogate it (mansusast nasikhi nadarad). ‘Abdu’l Baha has not abrogated this law. These are false accusations and lies (spread by) the friends. What I have said is that He [is that Baha’u’llah, or Muhammad?] has made bigamy bound on a precondition. As long as someone does not attain certitude regarding the capability to practice justice and his heart is not at rest that he can practice justice, he should not be intent upon a second marriage. But if he should be sure and attain certitude that he would practice justice on all levels (and conditions) (dar jami’ i maratib), then a second marriage is lawful. Just as has been the case in the Holy Land (Ardi i Maqsud): the Baha’i friends wished to marry a second wife, accepting this precondition, and this servant (i.e., ‘Abdu’l Baha) never abstained (from giving permission), but insisted that justice should be considered, and justice actually means here self restraint (daraji i imtina’); but they said, that they will practice justice and wished to marry a second wife. Such false accusations (concerning ‘Abdu’l Baha’s prohibition of bigamy) are the slanderous whisperings (zamzamih) of those who wish to spread doubts (in people’s hearts) and to what degree they already succeed in making matters ambiguous! (Our) purpose was to state that bigamy without justice is not lawful and that justice is very difficult (to achieve).” [Amr wa Khalq 4: 174f]

  • farhan

    Steve wrote:

    Yes, thanks for the sugary and completely unwarranted ad hominem. In case you haven’t noticed, Sen has been finding coherence in the revelation and has been pointing out the paradoxes inherent in other theological interpretations.

    Now can we have a quote to back your earlier assertion up?

    Steve, I am not talking about Sen but about “WE” humans who try to judge Divine Revelation by our own human standards, and I have made no assertion to back up, except that to my understanding, Divine Revelation is progressive from one dispensation to another, and unfolds progressively within each dispensation itself.

    *We* want clear cut “yes” and “no” teachings, where we do not need to reflect and adapt to reality in each case, wheras in fact Divine Revelation adapts itself to a different reality in each culture and country and in each day and age.

    I remember a staunch and active believer who had a problem wityh alcohol. The Counsellor kindly brought his attention to the fact that he was depreciating his own efforts through this problem, and he could not understand why he who was an active believer was being “picked” upon and other wayward members not counselled;

    Then I remembered the Islamic quote: what is a good deed for a remote one, can be a sin for the near one. A wonderful effort for a weak student, can be a regression for the good student.

    For more details, you might want to look up my ethical presentation at the Baha’i Medical Association of Canada site in Nov 2007.

  • Farhan Yazdani

    Steve wrote:

    Yes, thanks for the sugary and completely unwarranted ad hominem. In case you haven’t noticed, Sen has been finding coherence in the revelation and has been pointing out the paradoxes inherent in other theological interpretations.

    Now can we have a quote to back your earlier assertion up?

    Steve, I am not talking about Sen but about “WE” humans who try to judge Divine Revelation by our own human standards, and I have made no assertion to back up, except that to my understanding, Divine Revelation is progressive from one dispensation to another, and unfolds progressively within each dispensation itself.

    *We* want clear cut “yes” and “no” teachings, where we do not need to reflect and adapt to reality in each case, wheras in fact Divine Revelation adapts itself to a different reality in each culture and country and in each day and age.

    I remember a staunch and active believer who had a problem wityh alcohol. The Counsellor kindly brought his attention to the fact that he was depreciating his own efforts through this problem, and he could not understand why he who was an active believer was being “picked” upon and other wayward members not counselled;

    Then I remembered the Islamic quote: what is a good deed for a remote one, can be a sin for the near one. A wonderful effort for a weak student, can be a regression for the good student.

    For more details, you might want to look up my ethical presentation at the Baha’i Medical Association of Canada site in Nov 2007.

  • farhan

    P wrote:

    This is false. Something I used to believe until I was corrected thanks to the creater of this forum. Abdul-Baha never forbade polygamy.

    P, you are further illustrating my point: the move from polygamy to monogamy was and had to be a progressive one: for obvious reasons it was not, and is still not possible in some parts of the world to forbid it altogether in one time. It takes time, love, patience and help to bring about observance of the laws.

    There is a compilation by the UHJ on how cultural traditions in developing countries should be progressively brought to Baha’i standards.

  • Farhan Yazdani

    P wrote:

    This is false. Something I used to believe until I was corrected thanks to the creater of this forum. Abdul-Baha never forbade polygamy.

    P, you are further illustrating my point: the move from polygamy to monogamy was and had to be a progressive one: for obvious reasons it was not, and is still not possible in some parts of the world to forbid it altogether in one time. It takes time, love, patience and help to bring about observance of the laws.

    There is a compilation by the UHJ on how cultural traditions in developing countries should be progressively brought to Baha’i standards.

  • p

    Farhan said: P, you are further illustrating my point:

    No Farhan, I’m not. You stated above and I quote you “but Abdul baha forbade (polygamy)”. So no I am NOT further illustrating your point. What I am illustrating is the misconceptions that are fed to us growing up as Bahais. Things that suddenly become truth- like Abdul-Baha forbidding polygamy. You made a mistake, and now you are backpeddling. You probably unknowingly made this mistake because you actually believed it. Don’t worry Farhan, I was fed a lot of half-truths as well. Shame I have to find the truth online instead of inside the Bahai community.

  • p

    Farhan said: P, you are further illustrating my point:

    No Farhan, I’m not. You stated above and I quote you “but Abdul baha forbade (polygamy)”. So no I am NOT further illustrating your point. What I am illustrating is the misconceptions that are fed to us growing up as Bahais. Things that suddenly become truth- like Abdul-Baha forbidding polygamy. You made a mistake, and now you are backpeddling. You probably unknowingly made this mistake because you actually believed it. Don’t worry Farhan, I was fed a lot of half-truths as well. Shame I have to find the truth online instead of inside the Bahai community.

  • farhan

    P wrote:
    You stated above and I quote you ?but Abdul baha forbade (polygamy)?. So no I am NOT further illustrating your point.

    P,
    The apparent paradox you bring up between different declarations of Abdu’l-Baha and the position of the UHJ concerning polygamy, further illustrate my point that the Baha’i Faith is a viable institution that adapts itself to the needs of each age and circumstance. In addition, Baha’is are required to respect the civil laws of the states where they reside and the UHJ can legislate any eventual exceptions that might arise in the future on that point. In the notes of Aqdas (Kitab-i-Aqdas 12:264) we read:

    “While the text of the Kitab-i-Aqdas appears to permit bigamy, Baha’u’llah counsels that tranquillity and contentment derive from monogamy. In another Tablet, He underlines the importance of the individual’s acting in such a way as to “bring comfort to himself and to his partner”. Abdu’l-Baha, the authorized Interpreter of the Baha’i Writings, states that in the text of the Aqdas monogamy is in effect enjoined. He elaborates this theme in a number of Tablets, including the following: Know thou that polygamy is not permitted under the law of God, for contentment with one wife hath been clearly stipulated. Taking a second wife is made dependent upon equity and justice being upheld between the two wives, under all conditions. However, observance of justice and equity towards two wives is utterly impossible. The fact that bigamy has been made dependent upon an impossible condition is clear proof of its absolute prohibition. Therefore it is not permissible for a man to have more than one wife.”

    As to half truths, we are all responsible or our own research and do not need to be fed by anyone. I can only agree with you on the lack of deepening amongst Baha’is. The Baha’i revelation is so vast, that no one can pretend to have read and understood it all.

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    P wrote:
    You stated above and I quote you ?but Abdul baha forbade (polygamy)?. So no I am NOT further illustrating your point.

    P,
    The apparent paradox you bring up between different declarations of Abdu’l-Baha and the position of the UHJ concerning polygamy, further illustrate my point that the Baha’i Faith is a viable institution that adapts itself to the needs of each age and circumstance. In addition, Baha’is are required to respect the civil laws of the states where they reside and the UHJ can legislate any eventual exceptions that might arise in the future on that point. In the notes of Aqdas (Kitab-i-Aqdas 12:264) we read:

    “While the text of the Kitab-i-Aqdas appears to permit bigamy, Baha’u’llah counsels that tranquillity and contentment derive from monogamy. In another Tablet, He underlines the importance of the individual’s acting in such a way as to “bring comfort to himself and to his partner”. Abdu’l-Baha, the authorized Interpreter of the Baha’i Writings, states that in the text of the Aqdas monogamy is in effect enjoined. He elaborates this theme in a number of Tablets, including the following: Know thou that polygamy is not permitted under the law of God, for contentment with one wife hath been clearly stipulated. Taking a second wife is made dependent upon equity and justice being upheld between the two wives, under all conditions. However, observance of justice and equity towards two wives is utterly impossible. The fact that bigamy has been made dependent upon an impossible condition is clear proof of its absolute prohibition. Therefore it is not permissible for a man to have more than one wife.”

    As to half truths, we are all responsible or our own research and do not need to be fed by anyone. I can only agree with you on the lack of deepening amongst Baha’is. The Baha’i revelation is so vast, that no one can pretend to have read and understood it all.

  • p

    And again Farhan, you twist and turn to fit your logic. You clearly told us that Abdul-Baha “forbade” polygamy. He did not. What he did is put out two conflicting quotes- one probably for a Western audience, and the other one for an Eastern. But he absolutely did not forbid polygamy in his lifetime- that is apparent. But this still doesn’t address the issue that the quote YOU provided is the one that I grew up learning. But I never was taught the other one- to give me the whole truth. Why?

  • p

    And again Farhan, you twist and turn to fit your logic. You clearly told us that Abdul-Baha “forbade” polygamy. He did not. What he did is put out two conflicting quotes- one probably for a Western audience, and the other one for an Eastern. But he absolutely did not forbid polygamy in his lifetime- that is apparent. But this still doesn’t address the issue that the quote YOU provided is the one that I grew up learning. But I never was taught the other one- to give me the whole truth. Why?

  • p

    I can only agree with you on the lack of deepening amongst Baha’is. The Baha’i revelation is so vast, that no one can pretend to have read and understood it all.
    —————————-
    So what you are saying is that if I open up a Ruhi book or whatever Bahai book right now, I would get a balanced view about polygamy in the Bahai Faith? I would read not only the quote that you gave me, but also the one that I put forth (that I had to find out the hard way, on the internet, from people that are tired of half-truths in the community).
    I highly doubt that. I highly doubt those who make the Bahai books are so undeepened that they somehow overlook giving a balanced view of Bahai history and laws. They have an agenda to follow- Polygamy is forbidden, Abdul-Baha forbade it and that’s the story we have to tell the world- period. So much for truth!

  • p

    I can only agree with you on the lack of deepening amongst Baha’is. The Baha’i revelation is so vast, that no one can pretend to have read and understood it all.
    —————————-
    So what you are saying is that if I open up a Ruhi book or whatever Bahai book right now, I would get a balanced view about polygamy in the Bahai Faith? I would read not only the quote that you gave me, but also the one that I put forth (that I had to find out the hard way, on the internet, from people that are tired of half-truths in the community).
    I highly doubt that. I highly doubt those who make the Bahai books are so undeepened that they somehow overlook giving a balanced view of Bahai history and laws. They have an agenda to follow- Polygamy is forbidden, Abdul-Baha forbade it and that’s the story we have to tell the world- period. So much for truth!

  • farhan

    P wrote:
    You clearly told us that Abdul-Baha “forbade” polygamy. He did not. What he did is put out two conflicting quotes- one probably for a Western audience, and the other one for an Eastern.

    I get your point, P: one for the West, and another for the East (and South) at a given time, in the same way that many laws of the Aqdas were first applicable in the East before becoming applicable in the West.

    As I said, the Baha’i writings are vast and no one can contain it all. What I have been familiar with is the quote in the Aqdas notes; the quote you provided was new to me and I am grateful to you for providing it.

    So I humbly withdraw the word “forbade” and replace it with:

    “Abdu’l-Baha pointed out that since absolute justice was impossible, we should understand that Baha’u’llah was leading us to progressively understand that polygamy was impossible and should be in time abandoned, at whatever time the UHJ would deem it necessary to forbid it altogether”

    The point I am attempting to convey to you is that whatever we consider as a paradox in the writings reveals the “nuances” that are relevant for different periods of humanity.

    That all writings are not presented to the mass of believers at a time, but left to searchers like you and I is a wise move to help us discover these writings as the need arises, without bogging down the believers with details not necessary to them at a given time.

    The pharmacist has thousands of medications in store; he does not present them all at a time to the person asking for aspirin.

  • Farhan Yazdani

    P wrote:
    You clearly told us that Abdul-Baha “forbade” polygamy. He did not. What he did is put out two conflicting quotes- one probably for a Western audience, and the other one for an Eastern.

    I get your point, P: one for the West, and another for the East (and South) at a given time, in the same way that many laws of the Aqdas were first applicable in the East before becoming applicable in the West.

    As I said, the Baha’i writings are vast and no one can contain it all. What I have been familiar with is the quote in the Aqdas notes; the quote you provided was new to me and I am grateful to you for providing it.

    So I humbly withdraw the word “forbade” and replace it with:

    “Abdu’l-Baha pointed out that since absolute justice was impossible, we should understand that Baha’u’llah was leading us to progressively understand that polygamy was impossible and should be in time abandoned, at whatever time the UHJ would deem it necessary to forbid it altogether”

    The point I am attempting to convey to you is that whatever we consider as a paradox in the writings reveals the “nuances” that are relevant for different periods of humanity.

    That all writings are not presented to the mass of believers at a time, but left to searchers like you and I is a wise move to help us discover these writings as the need arises, without bogging down the believers with details not necessary to them at a given time.

    The pharmacist has thousands of medications in store; he does not present them all at a time to the person asking for aspirin.

  • farhan

    P wrote:
    So what you are saying is that if I open up a Ruhi book or whatever Bahai book right now, I would get a balanced view about polygamy in the Bahai Faith?

    P, I am saying that if you only studied the Ruhi books, you would be getting a very unbalanced and narrow view of the Baha’i revelation.

    What I am also saying, is that the Ruhi books contain the essential minimum that allows the average inactive persons to become actively engaged in serving humanity.

    I am also saying that once this average person becomes actively engaged in serving humanity, he or she will be led into deepening on subjects that are most essential to those around him at a given time. The issue of how Baha’i law on polygamy has evolved and will do so in the future is not one of essential concern to a youth engage in book 3 or book 5. It might become relevant in the future for those engaged in book 15 or 18 or whatever, perhaps dealing with SED in African societies still practicing polygamy.

    When I see my patients, I provide them with information that is useful to them at that time. I do not bog them down with masses of information that will drown them in despair. Those who want to know more, can Google the information for themselves; I do not shovel it down their throats. This is wisdom and not dishonesty.

    I am hence implying that by throwing up masses of information, some of us are not seeking the good of humanity, but merely showing off our intellectual expertise and “disputing idly and seeking advancement on our brethren”

  • Farhan Yazdani

    P wrote:
    So what you are saying is that if I open up a Ruhi book or whatever Bahai book right now, I would get a balanced view about polygamy in the Bahai Faith?

    P, I am saying that if you only studied the Ruhi books, you would be getting a very unbalanced and narrow view of the Baha’i revelation.

    What I am also saying, is that the Ruhi books contain the essential minimum that allows the average inactive persons to become actively engaged in serving humanity.

    I am also saying that once this average person becomes actively engaged in serving humanity, he or she will be led into deepening on subjects that are most essential to those around him at a given time. The issue of how Baha’i law on polygamy has evolved and will do so in the future is not one of essential concern to a youth engage in book 3 or book 5. It might become relevant in the future for those engaged in book 15 or 18 or whatever, perhaps dealing with SED in African societies still practicing polygamy.

    When I see my patients, I provide them with information that is useful to them at that time. I do not bog them down with masses of information that will drown them in despair. Those who want to know more, can Google the information for themselves; I do not shovel it down their throats. This is wisdom and not dishonesty.

    I am hence implying that by throwing up masses of information, some of us are not seeking the good of humanity, but merely showing off our intellectual expertise and “disputing idly and seeking advancement on our brethren”

  • Pingback: You Might Be a Baha’i | Baha'i Rants()

  • Pingback: CESNUR Paper: Bahai Dissent by Bei Dawei | Baha'i Rants()

  • hami

    Hi, I have only recently been made aware of Sen and the nature of these complex issues that he brings to our attention.. My thoughts are that Sen has a wonderful intellectual ability but has sadly missed the Sarcred reality of this Faith. One must take the long difficult journey from head to heart. Sen could be awakened to the error of his methodogy but this is unlikely to happen to one so consumed by his own misguided attitude and assumptions. If Sen united with the body of this Faith, detaches himself from personal predudices and becomes a true servant of Baha’u’Allah, then he may evolve into the being that God has created. But, if he continues along this chosen path then I can only be saddened by such a waste of time and loss of opportunity.

  • Craig Parke

     Why? What is the “error of his methodology”? To my mind his “methodology” was “the individual investigation of truth” which once was a bedrock principle of the Baha’i Faith. Remember those long ago days?

    He investigated something and then wrote a very interesting book about it. But apparently it is now completely forbidden by the people in Haifa who require mindless blind faith and mindless blind obedience to whatever they say as the standard of the Faith. Sen was not trying set himself up as any kind of “leader” in the Faith if you investigate the true facts. That was a completely trumped up and fabricated charge by the Politburo. The man just thought about things, did historical research about the history of certain ideas and concepts within Islam and wrote a scholarly book on one viewpoint!

    It is said that Hollywood is “high school with money”! The Administrative Order of the Baha’i Faith is now apparently “high school without money”! It was all a clash of nervous teenage girls in sophomore year study hall who personally do not like Sen McGlinn very much. In fact that is what the Administrative Oder has now turned out to be. Just cliques of lifetime incumbent teenagers trying to stay popular. It has nothing whatsoever with helping humanity progress in any useful way. Absolutely nothing. Could the “Tablet of the Holy Mariner” now be in effect and severe Divine Judgement be in progress 24/7/360/1000?

    Could these people in their top down Pol Pot/North Korean Spiritual Communist Party (Tm) “Year Zero” thinking have essentially ordered the complete destruction of the Baha’i Faith in every land? By following them without any personal thought or spiritual reflection, you are apparently dong your part as a good Baha’i in carrying out this destruction by people who have overreached their station as Baha’u’llah warned. Keep admonishing people like Sen McGlinn in your Peter Khan Jungend Party Uniform.

    Meanwhile, the Kingdom of God on Earth will be built by people who have never even heard of Baha’u’ llah who actually get up every day and and actually DO SOMETHING REAL AND USEFUL FROM THE SPIRITUAL POWER OF THEIR OWN GOD GIVEN SOUL for the actual progress of the unfolding new World Age while the Baha’is will be smoking their pimped out Ruhi Books in a 500,000 year drug stupor decade after decade and century after century for the next 800 years of total ineptitude.

    In the Baha’i Faith of today, anyone who is an educated person is the “enemy of God” because they will not turn their thinking over to nine lifetime incumbent arrogant theorists who could not hold down a real job anywhere on Earth where you have to actually do something useful in life and be held accountabloe.

  • http://senmcglinn.wordpress.com/ Sen McGlinn

     Do we know each other Hami?