Pictures of Abdu’l-Baha

I wish I knew Abdu’l-Baha better.

Since He lived before I did, the only way I can attempt to know the man, the person, the Center of the Covenant, the Master, the Servant of God (that’s what Abdu’l-Baha means in Arabic) is through the writings He left behind… and maybe through His pictures.

Thanks to the internet, we can all look at these rare pictures of Abdu’l-Baha… so that perhaps they whisper some insight about Him.

You can navigate using the little icons at the bottom (just move your mouse over the bottom of the black rectangle. Or you can let the slideshow flip to the next picture (customize the speed at the top left hand side).

Enjoy.

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

    Thanks for the photos — great ones they are.

    Re: the meaning of Abdul Baha I’m surprised to read that you say Servant of God. Abdul means servant but Baha means glory — it was also Baha’ullah’s name before he added the ullah (Allah). I believe Baha was given as an honorific to Mirza Husayn Ali by the Bab.

    Anyway Abdul Baha means servant of Baha or servant of glory.

    This is important because Abdul Baha served his father Baha’ullah and Baha’ullah was not and did not claim to be god.

    Peace,
    Frank

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

    Thanks for the photos — great ones they are.

    Re: the meaning of Abdul Baha I’m surprised to read that you say Servant of God. Abdul means servant but Baha means glory — it was also Baha’ullah’s name before he added the ullah (Allah). I believe Baha was given as an honorific to Mirza Husayn Ali by the Bab.

    Anyway Abdul Baha means servant of Baha or servant of glory.

    This is important because Abdul Baha served his father Baha’ullah and Baha’ullah was not and did not claim to be god.

    Peace,
    Frank

  • Anonymous

    Frank,

    I wanted to correct your history of names, if I could. The title “Bah??’u’ll??h” was given by Mirza Husayn-Ali to himself at the conference at Badasht. That’s right. He gave it to himself. Impressive, eh?

    Now, the next time someone waxes incredulous in front of you about the amazing fulfilment of Biblical prophecies that invoke the name “Glory of God” by Bah??’u’ll??h, you can tell them, “I would fulfill many prophecies too, if I could choose my own name after I read the Bible!” ;-)

  • http://mavaddat.livejournal.com Mavaddat

    Frank,

    I wanted to correct your history of names, if I could. The title “Bah??’u’ll??h” was given by Mirza Husayn-Ali to himself at the conference at Badasht. That’s right. He gave it to himself. Impressive, eh?

    Now, the next time someone waxes incredulous in front of you about the amazing fulfilment of Biblical prophecies that invoke the name “Glory of God” by Bah??’u’ll??h, you can tell them, “I would fulfill many prophecies too, if I could choose my own name after I read the Bible!” ;-)

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

    :)

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

    :)

  • Anonymous

    Actually, little known fact: Under the robes, there is just another, smaller ‘Abdu’l-Bah??.

    Under the robes of that ‘Abdu’l-Bah??? Another ‘Abdu’l-Bah??.

    And so on, ad infinitum.

    Yes. ‘Abdu’l-Bah?? was a living Matryoshka doll.

  • http://mavaddat.livejournal.com Mavaddat

    Actually, little known fact: Under the robes, there is just another, smaller ‘Abdu’l-Bah??.

    Under the robes of that ‘Abdu’l-Bah??? Another ‘Abdu’l-Bah??.

    And so on, ad infinitum.

    Yes. ‘Abdu’l-Bah?? was a living Matryoshka doll.

  • Kate

    He would have worn trousers underneath. In the recollections about ‘Abdu’-l-Baha there is an account of how he once took his trousers off from beneath his robe and gave them to a poor man on the streets whose trousers were torn. There is a prayer of ‘Abdul-Baha where He mentions what He wants to be clothed in:
    ‘Lord! Give me to drink from the chalice of selflessness; with its robe clothe me, and in its ocean immerse me. Make me as dust in the pathway of Thy loved ones, and grant that I may offer up my soul for the earth ennobled by the footsteps of Thy chosen ones in Thy path, O Lord of Glory in the Highest.’

  • Kate

    He would have worn trousers underneath. In the recollections about ‘Abdu’-l-Baha there is an account of how he once took his trousers off from beneath his robe and gave them to a poor man on the streets whose trousers were torn. There is a prayer of ‘Abdul-Baha where He mentions what He wants to be clothed in:
    ‘Lord! Give me to drink from the chalice of selflessness; with its robe clothe me, and in its ocean immerse me. Make me as dust in the pathway of Thy loved ones, and grant that I may offer up my soul for the earth ennobled by the footsteps of Thy chosen ones in Thy path, O Lord of Glory in the Highest.’

  • Anonymous

    Although I’m aware that the “trousers” theory is also popular among hardcore naturalists, I believe it is on par with the Matryoshka doll hypothesis in explanatory power. It’s really a toss up, as far as I’m concerned.

  • http://mavaddat.livejournal.com Mavaddat

    Although I’m aware that the “trousers” theory is also popular among hardcore naturalists, I believe it is on par with the Matryoshka doll hypothesis in explanatory power. It’s really a toss up, as far as I’m concerned.

  • Anonymous

    Frank writes,

    This is important because Abdul Baha served his father Baha’ullah and Baha’ullah was not and did not claim to be god.

    Really? Then How are we to explain Bah??’u’ll??h’s explicit proclamation in The Summons, p. 23-4:

    Say: Naught is seen in My temple but the Temple of God, and in My beauty but His Beauty, and in My being but His Being, and in My self but His Self, and in My movement but His Movement, and in My acquiescence but His Acquiescence, and in My pen but His Pen, the Mighty, the All-Praised. There hath not been in My soul but the Truth, and in Myself naught could be seen but God.

    Beware lest ye speak of duality in regard to My Self, for all the atoms of the earth proclaim that there is none other God but Him, the One, the Single, the Mighty, the Loving. From the beginning that hath no beginning I have proclaimed, from the realm of eternity, that I am God, none other God is there save Me, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting; and unto the end that hath no end I shall proclaim, amidst the kingdom of names, that I am God, none other God is there beside Me, the All-Glorious, the Best-Beloved.

    And let us not forget his letter to Jamal-i Burujirdi:

    There are those who have attained to the highest levels of spiritual comprehension while others are different therefrom. For example, one person envisages the Unseen the Transcendent, the Inaccessible One in the Person of the Manifestation without making any distinction or connection between them. Others there are who recognize the Person of the Manifestation as the Appearance of God Himself and consider the commands and prohibitions of the Manifestation to be identical with such as originate with the one True God. These two positions are both acceptable before the throne of God (sic.).

    There are also passages in the Seven Valleys that make similar claims. What are we to do with these? Doesn’t it seem that Bah??’u’ll??h equates himself with God?

  • http://mavaddat.livejournal.com Mavaddat

    Frank writes,

    This is important because Abdul Baha served his father Baha’ullah and Baha’ullah was not and did not claim to be god.

    Really? Then How are we to explain Bah??’u’ll??h’s explicit proclamation in The Summons, p. 23-4:

    Say: Naught is seen in My temple but the Temple of God, and in My beauty but His Beauty, and in My being but His Being, and in My self but His Self, and in My movement but His Movement, and in My acquiescence but His Acquiescence, and in My pen but His Pen, the Mighty, the All-Praised. There hath not been in My soul but the Truth, and in Myself naught could be seen but God.

    Beware lest ye speak of duality in regard to My Self, for all the atoms of the earth proclaim that there is none other God but Him, the One, the Single, the Mighty, the Loving. From the beginning that hath no beginning I have proclaimed, from the realm of eternity, that I am God, none other God is there save Me, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting; and unto the end that hath no end I shall proclaim, amidst the kingdom of names, that I am God, none other God is there beside Me, the All-Glorious, the Best-Beloved.

    And let us not forget his letter to Jamal-i Burujirdi:

    There are those who have attained to the highest levels of spiritual comprehension while others are different therefrom. For example, one person envisages the Unseen the Transcendent, the Inaccessible One in the Person of the Manifestation without making any distinction or connection between them. Others there are who recognize the Person of the Manifestation as the Appearance of God Himself and consider the commands and prohibitions of the Manifestation to be identical with such as originate with the one True God. These two positions are both acceptable before the throne of God (sic.).

    There are also passages in the Seven Valleys that make similar claims. What are we to do with these? Doesn’t it seem that Bah??’u’ll??h equates himself with God?

  • Andrew

    “Barney Leith explains why he believes Bah??’u’ll??h the founder of Bahai faith was the ultimate manifestation of God in human form. Sunil Shivdasani argues that Jesus is the only true revelation of God in human flesh, and is joined by Eric Stetson who converted to Christian Universalism from Bahai faith.”

    “We have nothing to hide.” — Barney Leith

    A very informative and insightful dialogue about Bah??’u’ll??h and the Bah??’? religion. Eric Stetson acquits himself well. And Barney Leith makes the Kitty Fatass sound even more horrific than it reads. Wonderful! Conversions will multiply tenfold overnight, I’m sure. It’s an evolutionary process, you see.

    “If our theology is static, we will shrivel into a religion of legalism, judgmentalism and spiritual stagnation.” — Karl Barth

    “A religion of legalism and moralism turns people who could be free and loving into mean little Puritans, into blue-nosed busybodies.” — William Sloane Coffin

  • Andrew

    “Barney Leith explains why he believes Bah??’u’ll??h the founder of Bahai faith was the ultimate manifestation of God in human form. Sunil Shivdasani argues that Jesus is the only true revelation of God in human flesh, and is joined by Eric Stetson who converted to Christian Universalism from Bahai faith.”

    “We have nothing to hide.” — Barney Leith

    A very informative and insightful dialogue about Bah??’u’ll??h and the Bah??’? religion. Eric Stetson acquits himself well. And Barney Leith makes the Kitty Fatass sound even more horrific than it reads. Wonderful! Conversions will multiply tenfold overnight, I’m sure. It’s an evolutionary process, you see.

    “If our theology is static, we will shrivel into a religion of legalism, judgmentalism and spiritual stagnation.” — Karl Barth

    “A religion of legalism and moralism turns people who could be free and loving into mean little Puritans, into blue-nosed busybodies.” — William Sloane Coffin

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for that, Andrew. It’s always fun to hear dogmas collide. Oh wait. No, sorry. I meant “brain racking,” not fun.

  • http://mavaddat.livejournal.com Mavaddat

    Thanks for that, Andrew. It’s always fun to hear dogmas collide. Oh wait. No, sorry. I meant “brain racking,” not fun.

  • Andrew

    What impressed me most about the interview was the open acknowledgment by Barney Leith that the Baha’i religion is primarily one of law and regulation, i.e., one that emphasizes the morality of law rather than the ethics of value. I offer this observation by the late feminist theologian Madonna Kolbenschlag:

    “Berdyaev’s vision of the ‘Third Age’ has implications for personal spirituality as well as for the evolution of Christianity. In respect to the individual, he claims that a higher creative being is unattainable when God is seen as transcendent to man, and that it is only possible in another stage of religious life, ‘when God in man is immanent.’ In cultural terms, the ‘Third Age’ will mean the exodus of humanity from religious guardianship, from a Church that has been more intellectual and physical than spiritual, concretizing itself in institutional structures and dogmatic codes. He insists that the first task of a Christian renaissance, of religious maturity, is ‘to overcome this heteronomous consciousness.’ In the new age, humanity will turn ‘not to the physical but to the spiritual body of the Church.’”

    Barney Leith also expressed his conviction that one day the entire world will embrace the Baha’i faith, at which point the laws of the Kitty will be implemented as part of the new civilization that will arise.

    “The laws of the Kit??b-i-Aqdas are explicit and not open to any ambiguity at all.” — Shoghi Effendi

    Well, it takes more than faith to maintain a belief in something that evidence discredits; it takes *willful denial* of the evidence that contradicts a belief. For most people this requires an authoritative support group and dogma to encourage and sustain the denial. Thus … organized religion, a.k.a. institutionalized mysticism.

    “Religion is nothing but institutionalized mysticism. The catch is, mysticism does not lend itself to institutionalization. The moment we attempt to organize mysticism, we destroy its essence. Religion, then, is mysticism in which the mystical has been killed. Or, at least diminished.” — Tom Robbins

    I was once swayed by the idealism and casuistry of certain Baha’i writers who insist that Baha’u’llah was actually a teacher of inner freedom and transformation. I no longer believe this. No matter how one gilds the lily, Baha’u’llah was not a spiritual guide, but rather a religious dictator, and the religion he created expresses the thematic continuity of his authoritarianism. No, the UHJ is not bound by its own history, nor is it accountable to any constituency; it is free from the influence of any ulama, just as it is free from the influence of anyone at all (notably those whom it would govern).

    ?I thank heaven for a man like Adolf Hitler, who built a front line of defense against the anti-Christ of Communism. Think what it would mean to the world if Hitler surrendered to the control of God. Or Mussolini. Or any dictator. Through such a man God could control a nation overnight and solve every last, bewildering problem. The world needs the dictatorship of the spirit of God. They (social problems) could be solved within a God-controlled democracy, or perhaps I should say theocracy, and they could be solved through a God-controlled fascist dictatorship … This lies in a faith in God which includes an experiment. It lies in believing that God is, that He has a plan, and that He will reveal that plan to us. It lies in fitting in with that plan ourselves, and finding that God will take care of us when we dare to make that experiment.? — Frank Buchman

    Baha’u’llah set out little that was original to him. The Irtifiqat of Shah Wali Allah (b. 1702 C.E.) reflects the theory of the Baha’i “New World Order” except that it predates the Baha’i theory by 100 years. (Shah Wali Allah was a Naqshbandi of the type that Baha’u’llah studied with in Sulaymaniyya.)

    Of interest in Shah Wali Allah’s theory is his call for a “League of Nations” in the mid-17th century. As one author relates:

    “As Waliullah believes in the essential and organic
    unity of humanity (the Insan al-Kabir), his system of
    socio-political evolution has its logical end in
    internationalism or a league of nations, which is the
    fourth stage (irtifqa) of society, desirable but not
    yet realized. With due increase of human population,
    just as at the natinal level there are smaller units
    of administration with their own administrations
    subservient to the central executive power, in the
    same way a higher level of human progress and
    development of relations between several nations are
    inevitible…” (pg. 125, Islamic Rationalism in the Subcontinent, Iqbal, University of Notre Dame Press, 1984)

    For Shah Wali Allah, the Baha’i philosophy is mirrored in such concepts as Muslah al-Kulliyat (Communal Well-Being), Adminstration (Tadbir), and Prophetic Offices (Nubuwwa). It would seem that Baha’u’llah adopted the literary genre and reform philosophy of Wali Allah to contextualize his “own” teachings.

    Even the devotional writings of Baha’u’llah seem to reflect the hymnody of such luminaries as Ephrem of Syria, among others. The originals are often far more inspiring … less garrulous, more concise and economical, more nuanced and subtle.

    Religions never really disappear completely; something always remains. There will always be those who follow Baha’u’llah, just as there will always be those who follow Joseph Smith, Jr., or Charles Taze Russell, or L. Ron Hubbard, or Sun Myung Moon. Let’s hope these religions remain as marginal as their apostates are said to be.

  • Andrew

    What impressed me most about the interview was the open acknowledgment by Barney Leith that the Baha’i religion is primarily one of law and regulation, i.e., one that emphasizes the morality of law rather than the ethics of value. I offer this observation by the late feminist theologian Madonna Kolbenschlag:

    “Berdyaev’s vision of the ‘Third Age’ has implications for personal spirituality as well as for the evolution of Christianity. In respect to the individual, he claims that a higher creative being is unattainable when God is seen as transcendent to man, and that it is only possible in another stage of religious life, ‘when God in man is immanent.’ In cultural terms, the ‘Third Age’ will mean the exodus of humanity from religious guardianship, from a Church that has been more intellectual and physical than spiritual, concretizing itself in institutional structures and dogmatic codes. He insists that the first task of a Christian renaissance, of religious maturity, is ‘to overcome this heteronomous consciousness.’ In the new age, humanity will turn ‘not to the physical but to the spiritual body of the Church.’”

    Barney Leith also expressed his conviction that one day the entire world will embrace the Baha’i faith, at which point the laws of the Kitty will be implemented as part of the new civilization that will arise.

    “The laws of the Kit??b-i-Aqdas are explicit and not open to any ambiguity at all.” — Shoghi Effendi

    Well, it takes more than faith to maintain a belief in something that evidence discredits; it takes *willful denial* of the evidence that contradicts a belief. For most people this requires an authoritative support group and dogma to encourage and sustain the denial. Thus … organized religion, a.k.a. institutionalized mysticism.

    “Religion is nothing but institutionalized mysticism. The catch is, mysticism does not lend itself to institutionalization. The moment we attempt to organize mysticism, we destroy its essence. Religion, then, is mysticism in which the mystical has been killed. Or, at least diminished.” — Tom Robbins

    I was once swayed by the idealism and casuistry of certain Baha’i writers who insist that Baha’u’llah was actually a teacher of inner freedom and transformation. I no longer believe this. No matter how one gilds the lily, Baha’u’llah was not a spiritual guide, but rather a religious dictator, and the religion he created expresses the thematic continuity of his authoritarianism. No, the UHJ is not bound by its own history, nor is it accountable to any constituency; it is free from the influence of any ulama, just as it is free from the influence of anyone at all (notably those whom it would govern).

    ?I thank heaven for a man like Adolf Hitler, who built a front line of defense against the anti-Christ of Communism. Think what it would mean to the world if Hitler surrendered to the control of God. Or Mussolini. Or any dictator. Through such a man God could control a nation overnight and solve every last, bewildering problem. The world needs the dictatorship of the spirit of God. They (social problems) could be solved within a God-controlled democracy, or perhaps I should say theocracy, and they could be solved through a God-controlled fascist dictatorship … This lies in a faith in God which includes an experiment. It lies in believing that God is, that He has a plan, and that He will reveal that plan to us. It lies in fitting in with that plan ourselves, and finding that God will take care of us when we dare to make that experiment.? — Frank Buchman

    Baha’u’llah set out little that was original to him. The Irtifiqat of Shah Wali Allah (b. 1702 C.E.) reflects the theory of the Baha’i “New World Order” except that it predates the Baha’i theory by 100 years. (Shah Wali Allah was a Naqshbandi of the type that Baha’u’llah studied with in Sulaymaniyya.)

    Of interest in Shah Wali Allah’s theory is his call for a “League of Nations” in the mid-17th century. As one author relates:

    “As Waliullah believes in the essential and organic
    unity of humanity (the Insan al-Kabir), his system of
    socio-political evolution has its logical end in
    internationalism or a league of nations, which is the
    fourth stage (irtifqa) of society, desirable but not
    yet realized. With due increase of human population,
    just as at the natinal level there are smaller units
    of administration with their own administrations
    subservient to the central executive power, in the
    same way a higher level of human progress and
    development of relations between several nations are
    inevitible…” (pg. 125, Islamic Rationalism in the Subcontinent, Iqbal, University of Notre Dame Press, 1984)

    For Shah Wali Allah, the Baha’i philosophy is mirrored in such concepts as Muslah al-Kulliyat (Communal Well-Being), Adminstration (Tadbir), and Prophetic Offices (Nubuwwa). It would seem that Baha’u’llah adopted the literary genre and reform philosophy of Wali Allah to contextualize his “own” teachings.

    Even the devotional writings of Baha’u’llah seem to reflect the hymnody of such luminaries as Ephrem of Syria, among others. The originals are often far more inspiring … less garrulous, more concise and economical, more nuanced and subtle.

    Religions never really disappear completely; something always remains. There will always be those who follow Baha’u’llah, just as there will always be those who follow Joseph Smith, Jr., or Charles Taze Russell, or L. Ron Hubbard, or Sun Myung Moon. Let’s hope these religions remain as marginal as their apostates are said to be.

  • Anonymous

    Ah! That was a brilliant analysis. I’m especially thankful for your quotations from Tom Robbins and tracing back of Bah??’u’ll??h’s teachings to Waliullah. Not recently, it has occurred to me that nothing in Bah??’u’ll??h was original, but I didn’t know all the sources of his thinking. Now I have one more! Thank you for that.

    Regarding the confusion of personal autonomy with the need for dictatorship, may I recommend a brief essay by the esteemed 20th century philosopher Isaiah Berlin entitled “Two Concepts of Liberty”? I’m sure you will find it more than enlightening.

    “Two Concepts of Liberty” by Isaiah Berlin.

  • http://mavaddat.livejournal.com Mavaddat

    Ah! That was a brilliant analysis. I’m especially thankful for your quotations from Tom Robbins and tracing back of Bah??’u’ll??h’s teachings to Waliullah. Not recently, it has occurred to me that nothing in Bah??’u’ll??h was original, but I didn’t know all the sources of his thinking. Now I have one more! Thank you for that.

    Regarding the confusion of personal autonomy with the need for dictatorship, may I recommend a brief essay by the esteemed 20th century philosopher Isaiah Berlin entitled “Two Concepts of Liberty”? I’m sure you will find it more than enlightening.

    “Two Concepts of Liberty” by Isaiah Berlin.

  • Kate

    ‘Even as the swiftness of lightning ye have passed by the Beloved One, and have set your hearts on satanic fancies. Ye bow the knee before your vain imagining, and call it truth. Ye turn your eyes towards the thorn, and name it a flower. Not a pure breath have ye breathed, nor hath the breeze of detachment been wafted from the meadows of your hearts. Ye have cast to the winds the loving counsels of the Beloved and have effaced them utterly from the tablet of your hearts, and even as the beasts of the field, ye move and have your being within the pastures of desire and passion.’

  • Kate

    ‘Even as the swiftness of lightning ye have passed by the Beloved One, and have set your hearts on satanic fancies. Ye bow the knee before your vain imagining, and call it truth. Ye turn your eyes towards the thorn, and name it a flower. Not a pure breath have ye breathed, nor hath the breeze of detachment been wafted from the meadows of your hearts. Ye have cast to the winds the loving counsels of the Beloved and have effaced them utterly from the tablet of your hearts, and even as the beasts of the field, ye move and have your being within the pastures of desire and passion.’

  • Anonymous

    Kate,

    Actually, I’d say that most of the teachings of Bah??’u’ll??h are fine by me.

    I’m just opposed to totalitarianism. Is that satanic fancy?

    I reject the notion that anyone is infallible. Is that vain imagining?

    I believe we should remain humble and keep our beliefs open to revision. Is that moving within the pasture of desire and passion?

    If so, then your conception of “good” and your conception of “God” aren’t worthy of consideration.

  • http://mavaddat.livejournal.com Mavaddat

    Kate,

    Actually, I’d say that most of the teachings of Bah??’u’ll??h are fine by me.

    I’m just opposed to totalitarianism. Is that satanic fancy?

    I reject the notion that anyone is infallible. Is that vain imagining?

    I believe we should remain humble and keep our beliefs open to revision. Is that moving within the pasture of desire and passion?

    If so, then your conception of “good” and your conception of “God” aren’t worthy of consideration.

  • Andrew

    “There is little need to stress the fact that monism, and faith in a single criterion, has always proved a deep source of satisfaction both to the intellect and to the emotions. Whether the standard of judgment derives from the vision of some future perfection, as in the minds of the philosophes in the eighteenth century and their technocratic successors in our own day; or is rooted in the past–la terre et les morts–as maintained by German historicists or French theocrats, or neo-Conservatives in English speaking countries; it is bound, provided it is inflexible enough, to encounter some unforeseen and unforeseeable human development, which it will not fit; and will then be used to justify the a priori barbarities of Procrustes–the vivisection of actual societies into some fixed pattern dictated by our fallible understanding of a largely imaginary past or a wholly imaginary future. To preserve our absolute categories or ideals at the expense of human lives offends equally against the principles of science and of history; it is an attitude found in equal measure on the right and left wings in our days, and is not reconcilable with the principles accepted by those who respect the facts.”

    Ah, if only Isaiah Berlin had claimed to be the Manifestation of God!

    William James’s argument in “The Varieties of Religious Experience” seems to view religion as an aesthetic phenomenon with an ethical payoff—it is a particular sort of story about the world that enables the individual to adjust to ethical obligations. For a temperamental individual, religion takes the form of a ?dark night of the soul,? followed by a spiritual rebirth. For someone like Emerson, on the other hand, religion serves as a safeguard against anxiety about his own contentedness; religious doctrine confirms his intuition that the world is a blessed place. Thus religion, according to James, not only might make people better and happier, but is especially effective at doing so because of its ability to incorporate subjective experiences of guilt, contentedness, error, alienation, and so on.

    In his book “Theology and the Arts,” Richard Viladesau asks: “Is religious sentiment attractive simply as an aesthetic object: one that people like to look at but do not share, just as adults delight in childrens’ belief in Santa Claus or as modern people appreciate the myths of the Greeks as literature and art because of, not despite, their lack of existential religious meaning?”

    In other words, symbolic systems (such as formal religious ones) encompass networks of meaning that infuse speech, action, and other forms of representation with significance and coherence, irrespective of whether or not one “believes” in them in an unqualified or absolute sense. All religious systems, all cerebral acrobatic speculations, have little to do with reality itself, no more than the finger that points to the moon. The form is the finger that points to the moon; which form best represents an aesthetic of awakened humanity? Charles P?guy notes that, for him, the figure of Jesus Christ represents “the very maximum of man and, so to speak, the very maximum of God … Now there is only a maximum of God if there is a maximum of love.” Martha Nussbaum suggests that authentic love is radically antinomian, and that religions are at their most interesting when they set themselves against the dominant norms of society. Like the radical Jesus of the Gospel of Matthew, R?bi?a al-?Adawiyya al-Qaysiyya in Islam and T??hirih Qurratu’l-`Ayn in B??bism seem to bear witness to this, implicitly in the former case, explicitly in the latter.

    I recently read a blog entry about “a bunch of Baha’i youth” who are trying to “bolster” themselves against “an onslaught of criticisms and religious attacks from a secular, humanistic, decidedly unspiritual populace at large, bent on its own material and physical gratification.” Good Lord. To say that such rhetoric completely misses the entire point would be an understatement (pass the Prozac, please). As Henri Nouwen notes, “A mature religion is integral in nature — that means that it is flexible enough to integrate all new knowledge within its frame of reference and keep pace with all the new discoveries of the human mind … Going to school means starting on the road to science, and if religion does not follow the same road with an open and critical eye, the grown adult who flies the ocean in superjets might be religiously still content with a tricycle. Essential for mature religion is the constant willingness to shift gears, to integrate new insights, and to revise our positions.” I’m not so optimistic about these Baha’i youth.

  • Andrew

    “There is little need to stress the fact that monism, and faith in a single criterion, has always proved a deep source of satisfaction both to the intellect and to the emotions. Whether the standard of judgment derives from the vision of some future perfection, as in the minds of the philosophes in the eighteenth century and their technocratic successors in our own day; or is rooted in the past–la terre et les morts–as maintained by German historicists or French theocrats, or neo-Conservatives in English speaking countries; it is bound, provided it is inflexible enough, to encounter some unforeseen and unforeseeable human development, which it will not fit; and will then be used to justify the a priori barbarities of Procrustes–the vivisection of actual societies into some fixed pattern dictated by our fallible understanding of a largely imaginary past or a wholly imaginary future. To preserve our absolute categories or ideals at the expense of human lives offends equally against the principles of science and of history; it is an attitude found in equal measure on the right and left wings in our days, and is not reconcilable with the principles accepted by those who respect the facts.”

    Ah, if only Isaiah Berlin had claimed to be the Manifestation of God!

    William James’s argument in “The Varieties of Religious Experience” seems to view religion as an aesthetic phenomenon with an ethical payoff—it is a particular sort of story about the world that enables the individual to adjust to ethical obligations. For a temperamental individual, religion takes the form of a ?dark night of the soul,? followed by a spiritual rebirth. For someone like Emerson, on the other hand, religion serves as a safeguard against anxiety about his own contentedness; religious doctrine confirms his intuition that the world is a blessed place. Thus religion, according to James, not only might make people better and happier, but is especially effective at doing so because of its ability to incorporate subjective experiences of guilt, contentedness, error, alienation, and so on.

    In his book “Theology and the Arts,” Richard Viladesau asks: “Is religious sentiment attractive simply as an aesthetic object: one that people like to look at but do not share, just as adults delight in childrens’ belief in Santa Claus or as modern people appreciate the myths of the Greeks as literature and art because of, not despite, their lack of existential religious meaning?”

    In other words, symbolic systems (such as formal religious ones) encompass networks of meaning that infuse speech, action, and other forms of representation with significance and coherence, irrespective of whether or not one “believes” in them in an unqualified or absolute sense. All religious systems, all cerebral acrobatic speculations, have little to do with reality itself, no more than the finger that points to the moon. The form is the finger that points to the moon; which form best represents an aesthetic of awakened humanity? Charles P?guy notes that, for him, the figure of Jesus Christ represents “the very maximum of man and, so to speak, the very maximum of God … Now there is only a maximum of God if there is a maximum of love.” Martha Nussbaum suggests that authentic love is radically antinomian, and that religions are at their most interesting when they set themselves against the dominant norms of society. Like the radical Jesus of the Gospel of Matthew, R?bi?a al-?Adawiyya al-Qaysiyya in Islam and T??hirih Qurratu’l-`Ayn in B??bism seem to bear witness to this, implicitly in the former case, explicitly in the latter.

    I recently read a blog entry about “a bunch of Baha’i youth” who are trying to “bolster” themselves against “an onslaught of criticisms and religious attacks from a secular, humanistic, decidedly unspiritual populace at large, bent on its own material and physical gratification.” Good Lord. To say that such rhetoric completely misses the entire point would be an understatement (pass the Prozac, please). As Henri Nouwen notes, “A mature religion is integral in nature — that means that it is flexible enough to integrate all new knowledge within its frame of reference and keep pace with all the new discoveries of the human mind … Going to school means starting on the road to science, and if religion does not follow the same road with an open and critical eye, the grown adult who flies the ocean in superjets might be religiously still content with a tricycle. Essential for mature religion is the constant willingness to shift gears, to integrate new insights, and to revise our positions.” I’m not so optimistic about these Baha’i youth.

  • Craig Parke

    Andrew,

    You wrote:

    “Martha Nussbaum suggests that authentic love is radically antinomian, and that religions are at their
    most interesting when they set themselves against the dominant norms of society. Like the radical Jesus of the Gospel of Matthew, Ra-bi?a al-?Adawiyya al-Qaysiyya in Islam and T??hirih Qurratu’l-`Ayn in B??bism seem to bear witness to this, implicitly in the former case, explicitly in the latter.”

    Very nice post! Excellent points. I have been reading many different spiritual and esoteric books lately in the path of my screen writing projects as I try to move forward in life spiritually.

    I find your posts most helpful along with the posts of several other thinking and searching posters here trying to make sense of their experience.

    But lately since I am a former rock musician I am going back to my spiritual roots in my right brain communion with the Universe. I have now switched over to this as my obligatory noon day prayer and mediation. I have three versions:

    Monday and Tuesday Medium Obligatory Noon Meditation:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nghdLS8wMfI

    Wednesday and Thursday Long Obligatory Noon Meditation:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rp6-wG5LLqE&NR=1

    Friday and Saturday Long Obligatory Noon Meditation
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zydAs5bRW1U

    Sunday Short Obligatory Meditation
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zydAs5bRW1U&feature=related

    I recommend my new spiritual practice to everyone here.

    Because unless we are mindful on a DAILY BASIS, it appears this is where the human race ALWAYS ENDS UP:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hdMk3BEBWn0

    Stay awake. Do not falter. Think critically.

    I myself am now fully back to my primary duty in life in accordance with the mission of the World Age.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYecfV3ubP8

    Today I am going to play my vintage Guild Blues Bird with the bridge lowered pick-ups set completely out of phase and the volume set at 10 and drive my next door neighbors crazy.

    Everyone keep posting!

    Best regards,

    Craig

  • Craig Parke

    Andrew,

    You wrote:

    “Martha Nussbaum suggests that authentic love is radically antinomian, and that religions are at their
    most interesting when they set themselves against the dominant norms of society. Like the radical Jesus of the Gospel of Matthew, Ra-bi?a al-?Adawiyya al-Qaysiyya in Islam and T??hirih Qurratu’l-`Ayn in B??bism seem to bear witness to this, implicitly in the former case, explicitly in the latter.”

    Very nice post! Excellent points. I have been reading many different spiritual and esoteric books lately in the path of my screen writing projects as I try to move forward in life spiritually.

    I find your posts most helpful along with the posts of several other thinking and searching posters here trying to make sense of their experience.

    But lately since I am a former rock musician I am going back to my spiritual roots in my right brain communion with the Universe. I have now switched over to this as my obligatory noon day prayer and mediation. I have three versions:

    Monday and Tuesday Medium Obligatory Noon Meditation:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nghdLS8wMfI

    Wednesday and Thursday Long Obligatory Noon Meditation:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rp6-wG5LLqE&NR=1

    Friday and Saturday Long Obligatory Noon Meditation
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zydAs5bRW1U

    Sunday Short Obligatory Meditation
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zydAs5bRW1U&feature=related

    I recommend my new spiritual practice to everyone here.

    Because unless we are mindful on a DAILY BASIS, it appears this is where the human race ALWAYS ENDS UP:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hdMk3BEBWn0

    Stay awake. Do not falter. Think critically.

    I myself am now fully back to my primary duty in life in accordance with the mission of the World Age.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYecfV3ubP8

    Today I am going to play my vintage Guild Blues Bird with the bridge lowered pick-ups set completely out of phase and the volume set at 10 and drive my next door neighbors crazy.

    Everyone keep posting!

    Best regards,

    Craig

  • Craig Parke

    Oops!

    Here is the proper Sunday Short Obligatory Meditation link:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7WYq3iON8KQ

    Or if you want to go with the REALLY SHORT electric version to keep you head tuned if you are in a hurry in a busy day:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=77vmg3F7HMo

  • Craig Parke

    Oops!

    Here is the proper Sunday Short Obligatory Meditation link:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7WYq3iON8KQ

    Or if you want to go with the REALLY SHORT electric version to keep you head tuned if you are in a hurry in a busy day:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=77vmg3F7HMo

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

    Andrew,

    What a fine post. I think in these issues it becomes clear that “religion” does not have a universal meaning at all. Even anthropologists of religion have started to realize their original definitions of it as some universal attempt to commune with or control the supranatural (or anything outside of human control) are rooted in European primitivism and are, in fact, not universal. It is interesting to me that under the old anthropological definition of religion as “trying to control the uncontrollable,” that the psychological denial at the root of so many addictions, like alcoholism, is actually a “religious” act. In an individual psyche, great harm usually comes from imagined power over what we can’t control. When that impulse becomes institutionalized, even greater harm is born.

    At the same time, though, I appreciate Robert Johnson’s depiction of religion as being LITERALLY the practice of “re-” -”ligere.” To re-connect, like a ligament, to bind together.

    But, again, to connect with WHAT becomes the question. I think institutional and legalistic religion is rooted in the attempt to control human beings, to “bind” them to an indoctrinated position of subservience.

    But there is also the innate human inclination to interact, to connect meaningfully with our environment. At the most basic level, to let your eye fall on something and adjust to the light and register it’s image in your retina is a “re-connection” with that object, it is the ability to perceive. To touch something or someone with your skin and let your sensory nerves communicate “re-connection” to your brain, is to “re-ligere.” Even, and maybe especially, the most fundamental act of forming a question is a sacrament in that vein. You acknowledge and create a receptive place in your mind that is open to input. Open to information.

    I believe that these basic connections we make within ourselves about the meaning of our particular context, both physically and intellectually and emotionally, represent the gestational root of the mystical experience. In order to then try to communicate that felt/perceived experience to ANOTHER, requires the creation and use of symbols. The symbol can be as simple as a grunt, a smile, a cave painting, or a finger pointing at the moon. Or it can be as complicated as a story, an archetype. I think that those 2 fundamental, most basic human capacties to “re-ligere:” 1) To perceive/discern/feel/connect, to “know of our own knowledge,” so to speak & 2) To create (symbols that depict these perceptions/connections) have been hijacked by “Religion.” And I don’t think that’s an accident of history. If human beings have an innate power to perceive, and then to communicate that perception to each other through the act of creation, then Hegemonic Institutions can only gain/keep power by 1)Outlawing/controlling that individual capacity to perceive and 2)Outlaw/Control the ability to create/speak your perceptions to others. We see that in religious legalism routinely. Not unlike a Marxist analysis of controlling the means of production.

    But, I feel the deeper, more insidious “hood-winking/control” isn’t even in the laws themselves, but in the fundamental appropriation by religion of the human capacities of perception/information gathering and creation. To claim that truth is “revealed/sourced” in an external power, rather than in human interaction with the environment is the most disempowering thing I can imagine. To locate the production of knowledge in an infallible external locus of control, and then claim to be the only one selling tickets to access to that source, is a manipulation of the most basic human need for “ligere.” To then locate the human power of creation in that external source, to hijack symbol-making and speech and sexuality and ascribe authorship of those human abilities and doings is what the house of cards is built on. It’s so insidious. Anytime a person commits the acts of perception or creation, the “Creator” and “Perceiver/All-Knowing” gets credit for the job.

    “Religion” is the hijacker of the human need/capacity to “ligere.”

    Anyway, thanks for your post and for making me think about this stuff,
    Amanda

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

    Andrew,

    What a fine post. I think in these issues it becomes clear that “religion” does not have a universal meaning at all. Even anthropologists of religion have started to realize their original definitions of it as some universal attempt to commune with or control the supranatural (or anything outside of human control) are rooted in European primitivism and are, in fact, not universal. It is interesting to me that under the old anthropological definition of religion as “trying to control the uncontrollable,” that the psychological denial at the root of so many addictions, like alcoholism, is actually a “religious” act. In an individual psyche, great harm usually comes from imagined power over what we can’t control. When that impulse becomes institutionalized, even greater harm is born.

    At the same time, though, I appreciate Robert Johnson’s depiction of religion as being LITERALLY the practice of “re-” -”ligere.” To re-connect, like a ligament, to bind together.

    But, again, to connect with WHAT becomes the question. I think institutional and legalistic religion is rooted in the attempt to control human beings, to “bind” them to an indoctrinated position of subservience.

    But there is also the innate human inclination to interact, to connect meaningfully with our environment. At the most basic level, to let your eye fall on something and adjust to the light and register it’s image in your retina is a “re-connection” with that object, it is the ability to perceive. To touch something or someone with your skin and let your sensory nerves communicate “re-connection” to your brain, is to “re-ligere.” Even, and maybe especially, the most fundamental act of forming a question is a sacrament in that vein. You acknowledge and create a receptive place in your mind that is open to input. Open to information.

    I believe that these basic connections we make within ourselves about the meaning of our particular context, both physically and intellectually and emotionally, represent the gestational root of the mystical experience. In order to then try to communicate that felt/perceived experience to ANOTHER, requires the creation and use of symbols. The symbol can be as simple as a grunt, a smile, a cave painting, or a finger pointing at the moon. Or it can be as complicated as a story, an archetype. I think that those 2 fundamental, most basic human capacties to “re-ligere:” 1) To perceive/discern/feel/connect, to “know of our own knowledge,” so to speak & 2) To create (symbols that depict these perceptions/connections) have been hijacked by “Religion.” And I don’t think that’s an accident of history. If human beings have an innate power to perceive, and then to communicate that perception to each other through the act of creation, then Hegemonic Institutions can only gain/keep power by 1)Outlawing/controlling that individual capacity to perceive and 2)Outlaw/Control the ability to create/speak your perceptions to others. We see that in religious legalism routinely. Not unlike a Marxist analysis of controlling the means of production.

    But, I feel the deeper, more insidious “hood-winking/control” isn’t even in the laws themselves, but in the fundamental appropriation by religion of the human capacities of perception/information gathering and creation. To claim that truth is “revealed/sourced” in an external power, rather than in human interaction with the environment is the most disempowering thing I can imagine. To locate the production of knowledge in an infallible external locus of control, and then claim to be the only one selling tickets to access to that source, is a manipulation of the most basic human need for “ligere.” To then locate the human power of creation in that external source, to hijack symbol-making and speech and sexuality and ascribe authorship of those human abilities and doings is what the house of cards is built on. It’s so insidious. Anytime a person commits the acts of perception or creation, the “Creator” and “Perceiver/All-Knowing” gets credit for the job.

    “Religion” is the hijacker of the human need/capacity to “ligere.”

    Anyway, thanks for your post and for making me think about this stuff,
    Amanda

  • Craig Parke

    Amanda,

    I agree with you 110% in your analysis. I am saying the exact same thing in my post today but in another way.

    I believe that whoever hijacks another individual soul’s SACRED PERSONAL CONNECTION with the INNER REVELATIONS of the Cosmos within the Earth of their own heart (SOURCE) has committed the greatest of Cosmic sins.

    To me this was the teaching of Jesus about the Archetypal spiritual state of being of the Chief Priests, Scribes, and Pharisees. These types of people are pure spiritual calamity. They will kill you spiritually. But this warning apparently went completely over the heads of “Christians” at various times in theirvhistory. Muhammad did not teach that there should be a clergy. But one formed immediately. Baha’u’llah has many well know explicit warnings about this ever recurring sorry spiritual Archetype, but one has obviously formed in the Baha’i religion now. The Ruhi full sequence of course is nothing more than the Baha’i (gasp) appalling “Baltimore Catechism” (sigh) of the Roman Catholic Church. Here we go again. The same old, same old. I want no part of this.

    I think it is a genetic dysfunctional brain chemistry in a certain percentage of any population at any time in human history. It is a low grade mental illness or a full blown personality disorder genetic pre-disposition. I believe it has something to do with family issues and psychological systems of projection to deal with insecurity in someone’s upbringing.

    I now feel that it just cannot be avoided and will ALWAYS be with us. In my life experience it appears in EVERY kind of “organization” to include business corporations, religions, and governmental systems. The only way to counter it is a system of electoral checks and balances AT ALL TIMES. The first line of defense is strict term limits in any organizational system. But it appears the Baha’i Faith could not get this fundamental check in place in time, and , alas, the rest is now history. It is a very great tragedy.

    The zeitgeist of this World Age is the empowerment of the understanding of the individual human heart in the search for connection with the Cosmos. It is direct and is not through any organization or personage. Witness all the incredibly insightful spiritual books on Amazon now coming from every conceivable direction.

    I am not angry at Baha’u’llah like many people here of late and on other sites because I never saw Baha’u’llah as a person from day one. I saw the message in the Writings as being about a STATE OF CONSCIOUSNESS for a new World Age. Many will have this innate state of consciousness without having ever heard of Baha’u’llah AT ALL! This is how I saw the teachings of Jesus also. The Teachings are stories of Archetypal Judgment in the Tarot deck of Owlrd Ages. Nothing more. Nothing less. It is all very simple. It is a very clear Warning.

    I just loved the Kitab-I-Iqan and I still do. I saw it as a system of very practical daily Sufi insight on who you may meet on the road of life and how to read them.

    But apparently I am odd man out in seeing this way. It appears for most Baha’is these days Baha’u’llah is both New Mommy and New Daddy combined in their psyches. It is all on a low grasping and needy emotional level now. Perhaps it is generational. This apparently works for a lot of people (especially Persians) but it does not work for me.

    As I have said, this is the fork in the road for any religion. New Mommy/Daddy personal idolatry vs a Teaching on a Cosmic State of Consciousness that opens a liberation system of insight to the individual human soul. It is the same long running movie in human history. And here we go again.

    “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.”

    But I had hoped for something better.

    At least I can appreciate the nice chord progressions and Pete Townshend’s riff chops in “We Don’t get Fooled Again” as my consolation. And I do have my own electric guitar as a system of creative individual expression. YAY! But I do study other people’s guitar chops just like I study other people’s ideas to improve my own playing creativity. But I do not turn over my own personal creativity to someone else’s top down control. Again, YAY!

    I enjoyed your post very much. It is spot on from my viewpoint.

    Best regards,

    Craig

  • Craig Parke

    Amanda,

    I agree with you 110% in your analysis. I am saying the exact same thing in my post today but in another way.

    I believe that whoever hijacks another individual soul’s SACRED PERSONAL CONNECTION with the INNER REVELATIONS of the Cosmos within the Earth of their own heart (SOURCE) has committed the greatest of Cosmic sins.

    To me this was the teaching of Jesus about the Archetypal spiritual state of being of the Chief Priests, Scribes, and Pharisees. These types of people are pure spiritual calamity. They will kill you spiritually. But this warning apparently went completely over the heads of “Christians” at various times in theirvhistory. Muhammad did not teach that there should be a clergy. But one formed immediately. Baha’u’llah has many well know explicit warnings about this ever recurring sorry spiritual Archetype, but one has obviously formed in the Baha’i religion now. The Ruhi full sequence of course is nothing more than the Baha’i (gasp) appalling “Baltimore Catechism” (sigh) of the Roman Catholic Church. Here we go again. The same old, same old. I want no part of this.

    I think it is a genetic dysfunctional brain chemistry in a certain percentage of any population at any time in human history. It is a low grade mental illness or a full blown personality disorder genetic pre-disposition. I believe it has something to do with family issues and psychological systems of projection to deal with insecurity in someone’s upbringing.

    I now feel that it just cannot be avoided and will ALWAYS be with us. In my life experience it appears in EVERY kind of “organization” to include business corporations, religions, and governmental systems. The only way to counter it is a system of electoral checks and balances AT ALL TIMES. The first line of defense is strict term limits in any organizational system. But it appears the Baha’i Faith could not get this fundamental check in place in time, and , alas, the rest is now history. It is a very great tragedy.

    The zeitgeist of this World Age is the empowerment of the understanding of the individual human heart in the search for connection with the Cosmos. It is direct and is not through any organization or personage. Witness all the incredibly insightful spiritual books on Amazon now coming from every conceivable direction.

    I am not angry at Baha’u’llah like many people here of late and on other sites because I never saw Baha’u’llah as a person from day one. I saw the message in the Writings as being about a STATE OF CONSCIOUSNESS for a new World Age. Many will have this innate state of consciousness without having ever heard of Baha’u’llah AT ALL! This is how I saw the teachings of Jesus also. The Teachings are stories of Archetypal Judgment in the Tarot deck of Owlrd Ages. Nothing more. Nothing less. It is all very simple. It is a very clear Warning.

    I just loved the Kitab-I-Iqan and I still do. I saw it as a system of very practical daily Sufi insight on who you may meet on the road of life and how to read them.

    But apparently I am odd man out in seeing this way. It appears for most Baha’is these days Baha’u’llah is both New Mommy and New Daddy combined in their psyches. It is all on a low grasping and needy emotional level now. Perhaps it is generational. This apparently works for a lot of people (especially Persians) but it does not work for me.

    As I have said, this is the fork in the road for any religion. New Mommy/Daddy personal idolatry vs a Teaching on a Cosmic State of Consciousness that opens a liberation system of insight to the individual human soul. It is the same long running movie in human history. And here we go again.

    “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.”

    But I had hoped for something better.

    At least I can appreciate the nice chord progressions and Pete Townshend’s riff chops in “We Don’t get Fooled Again” as my consolation. And I do have my own electric guitar as a system of creative individual expression. YAY! But I do study other people’s guitar chops just like I study other people’s ideas to improve my own playing creativity. But I do not turn over my own personal creativity to someone else’s top down control. Again, YAY!

    I enjoyed your post very much. It is spot on from my viewpoint.

    Best regards,

    Craig

  • Andrew

    Amanda and Craig …

    Thank you for your comments. The points I made come from my perspective as “a now firmly established counter-initiate of the pseudo-Naqshbandi heritage of the fraud Irina Tweedie,” as Nima Hazini so economically puts it. Unlike Mr. Hazini, who assures us in his erudite tome that he is (definitely) the Mirror of the Godhead, the Return of Menakhare Nefertem (and Melchizedek, and Thrice-Great Hermes, and Subh-i-Azal), the True Face of the Sphinx at Giza, and (possibly) the great-great-great grandson of Tahirih Qurra’tul-’Ayn, I remain a mere mortal with limited understanding, apparently unaware that I am also someone named Lobo Siete Truenos, as well as someone else named Kenji Konichi. I am, it would appear, able to reside simultaneously in the northern vastness of Canada while dispensing dollops of ahayuasca in the posher suburbs of San Diego. How marvelous! Thank you, God Headmirror!

    http://counterinitiatesexposed.blogspot.com/

    The appreciative comment attached to his blog is especially touching, seeming as it does to endorse Mr. Hazini’s particular “weltanschung,” so to speak. If only I could inspire such devotion!

    Of particular interest to me is Mr. Hazini’s endorsement of Charles Upton’s “recent spirited hatchet job of this most great fraud, ” i.e., Mrs. Tweedie. An on-line literature survey of Mr. Upton’s works fails to turn up a single reference to her, but I did locate an enthusiastic review of a recent book by him here:

    http://www.carrietomko.blogspot.com/2005_01_09_archive.html

    The review is called “If I’m Not Catholic, I Don’t Know Who I Am,” and starts about a fifth of the way down.

    The author of the blog, Carrie Tomko, wisely observes: “Ultimately I came to the conclusion that Upton believes in the religion of Charles Upton … that Upton has become his own god.”

    Mr. Hazini seems to hold the same opinion about himself. What a delectable idea! How scrumptious! If only I could aspire to such heights!

    Perhaps Mr. Hazini will one day favor us with a new book: “If I’m Not Who I Claim To Be, And If You’re Not Who I Claim You Are, Then I Don’t Know Who I Am, So I Must Be Someone Else.”

  • Andrew

    Amanda and Craig …

    Thank you for your comments. The points I made come from my perspective as “a now firmly established counter-initiate of the pseudo-Naqshbandi heritage of the fraud Irina Tweedie,” as Nima Hazini so economically puts it. Unlike Mr. Hazini, who assures us in his erudite tome that he is (definitely) the Mirror of the Godhead, the Return of Menakhare Nefertem (and Melchizedek, and Thrice-Great Hermes, and Subh-i-Azal), the True Face of the Sphinx at Giza, and (possibly) the great-great-great grandson of Tahirih Qurra’tul-’Ayn, I remain a mere mortal with limited understanding, apparently unaware that I am also someone named Lobo Siete Truenos, as well as someone else named Kenji Konichi. I am, it would appear, able to reside simultaneously in the northern vastness of Canada while dispensing dollops of ahayuasca in the posher suburbs of San Diego. How marvelous! Thank you, God Headmirror!

    http://counterinitiatesexposed.blogspot.com/

    The appreciative comment attached to his blog is especially touching, seeming as it does to endorse Mr. Hazini’s particular “weltanschung,” so to speak. If only I could inspire such devotion!

    Of particular interest to me is Mr. Hazini’s endorsement of Charles Upton’s “recent spirited hatchet job of this most great fraud, ” i.e., Mrs. Tweedie. An on-line literature survey of Mr. Upton’s works fails to turn up a single reference to her, but I did locate an enthusiastic review of a recent book by him here:

    http://www.carrietomko.blogspot.com/2005_01_09_archive.html

    The review is called “If I’m Not Catholic, I Don’t Know Who I Am,” and starts about a fifth of the way down.

    The author of the blog, Carrie Tomko, wisely observes: “Ultimately I came to the conclusion that Upton believes in the religion of Charles Upton … that Upton has become his own god.”

    Mr. Hazini seems to hold the same opinion about himself. What a delectable idea! How scrumptious! If only I could aspire to such heights!

    Perhaps Mr. Hazini will one day favor us with a new book: “If I’m Not Who I Claim To Be, And If You’re Not Who I Claim You Are, Then I Don’t Know Who I Am, So I Must Be Someone Else.”

  • farhan

    Mavaddat wrote:

    <This is important because Abdul Baha served his father <Baha’ullah and Baha’ullah was not and did not claim to <be god.

    <Really? Then How are we to explain Bah??’u’ll??h’s <explicit proclamation in The Summons, p. 23-4:

    <Say: Naught is seen in My temple but the Temple of God, <and in My beauty but His Beauty

    Mavaddat,

    I am sure that you are smart enough to know the reply to that question: Baha’u’llah compares all the Manifestation of God to a perfect mirror in which, as far as our eyes can see, all the perfections of God are reflected, just like a mirror turned to teh sun. So if They say “I am God” it is true, if they say i am the son (image) of God it is true, and they say “I am son of man”, it is equally true; they can also say “the Holy spirit is resplendent in me”, they are right.

    You know that Baha’u’llah refers to himself as “coarser than clay”, but also observes that God is resplendent in Himself ; to Nasiridin Shah He wrote :

    This is but a leaf which the winds of the will of thy Lord, the Almighty, the All-Praised, have stirred. Can it be still when the tempestuous winds are blowing? Nay, by Him Who is the Lord of all Names and Attributes! They move it as they list. The evanescent is as nothing before Him Who is the Ever-Abiding. His all-compelling summons hath reached Me, and caused Me to speak His praise amidst all people. I was indeed as one dead when His behest was uttered. The hand of the will of thy Lord, the Compassionate, the Merciful, transformed Me.
    Bah??’u’ll??h describes the station of ?Divinity? which He shares with all the Manifestations of God as

    …the station in which one dieth to himself and liveth in God. Divinity, whenever I mention it, indicateth My complete and absolute self-effacement. This is the station in which I have no control over mine own weal or woe nor over my life nor over my resurrection.
    And, regarding His own relationship to God, He testifies:

    When I contemplate, O my God, the relationship that bindeth me to Thee, I am moved to proclaim to all created things ?verily I am God?; and when I consider my own self, lo, I find it coarser than clay!
    (Aqdas notes 160, Shoghi Effendi, Dispensation of baha’u’llah)

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    Mavaddat wrote:

    <This is important because Abdul Baha served his father <Baha’ullah and Baha’ullah was not and did not claim to <be god.

    <Really? Then How are we to explain Bah??’u’ll??h’s <explicit proclamation in The Summons, p. 23-4:

    <Say: Naught is seen in My temple but the Temple of God, <and in My beauty but His Beauty

    Mavaddat,

    I am sure that you are smart enough to know the reply to that question: Baha’u’llah compares all the Manifestation of God to a perfect mirror in which, as far as our eyes can see, all the perfections of God are reflected, just like a mirror turned to teh sun. So if They say “I am God” it is true, if they say i am the son (image) of God it is true, and they say “I am son of man”, it is equally true; they can also say “the Holy spirit is resplendent in me”, they are right.

    You know that Baha’u’llah refers to himself as “coarser than clay”, but also observes that God is resplendent in Himself ; to Nasiridin Shah He wrote :

    This is but a leaf which the winds of the will of thy Lord, the Almighty, the All-Praised, have stirred. Can it be still when the tempestuous winds are blowing? Nay, by Him Who is the Lord of all Names and Attributes! They move it as they list. The evanescent is as nothing before Him Who is the Ever-Abiding. His all-compelling summons hath reached Me, and caused Me to speak His praise amidst all people. I was indeed as one dead when His behest was uttered. The hand of the will of thy Lord, the Compassionate, the Merciful, transformed Me.
    Bah??’u’ll??h describes the station of ?Divinity? which He shares with all the Manifestations of God as

    …the station in which one dieth to himself and liveth in God. Divinity, whenever I mention it, indicateth My complete and absolute self-effacement. This is the station in which I have no control over mine own weal or woe nor over my life nor over my resurrection.
    And, regarding His own relationship to God, He testifies:

    When I contemplate, O my God, the relationship that bindeth me to Thee, I am moved to proclaim to all created things ?verily I am God?; and when I consider my own self, lo, I find it coarser than clay!
    (Aqdas notes 160, Shoghi Effendi, Dispensation of baha’u’llah)

  • farhan

    Mavaddat, you write:

    < The title “Bah??’u’ll??h” was given by Mirza Husayn-Ali to himself

    <”I would fulfill many prophecies too, if I could choose my own name after I read <the Bible!” ;-)

    Interesting coincidence, Jesus fulfilled the prophecy when He took up the title of “CHRIST”, “the anointed one” after reading the Bible (Luke 4:16-22):

    And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.
    And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,
    The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
    To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
    And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.
    And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.
    And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. And they said, Is not this Joseph’s son?

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    Mavaddat, you write:

    < The title “Bah??’u’ll??h” was given by Mirza Husayn-Ali to himself

    <”I would fulfill many prophecies too, if I could choose my own name after I read <the Bible!” ;-)

    Interesting coincidence, Jesus fulfilled the prophecy when He took up the title of “CHRIST”, “the anointed one” after reading the Bible (Luke 4:16-22):

    And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.
    And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,
    The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
    To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
    And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.
    And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.
    And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. And they said, Is not this Joseph’s son?

  • Anonymous

    [quote comment="Farhan YAZDANI"]Interesting coincidence, Jesus fulfilled the prophecy when He took up the title of “CHRIST”, “the anointed one” after reading the Bible (Luke 4:16-22)…[/quote]

    Indeed. All prophecies are equally ridiculous upon scrutiny.

  • http://mavaddat.livejournal.com Mavaddat

    [quote comment="Farhan YAZDANI"]Interesting coincidence, Jesus fulfilled the prophecy when He took up the title of “CHRIST”, “the anointed one” after reading the Bible (Luke 4:16-22)…[/quote]

    Indeed. All prophecies are equally ridiculous upon scrutiny.

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  • Mr. Insaf

    [quote comment=""][...] Abdu’l-Baha wasn’t trying to become more conscious or spiritual. He simply served and loved all. Perhaps there’s something in such a life that can inspire us to live the life: [...][/quote]
    [quote comment="43590"]Frank,

    I wanted to correct your history of names, if I could. The title “Bah??’u’ll??h” was given by Mirza Husayn-Ali to himself at the conference at Badasht. That’s right. He gave it to himself. Impressive, eh?

    Now, the next time someone waxes incredulous in front of you about the amazing fulfilment of Biblical prophecies that invoke the name “Glory of God” by Bah??’u’ll??h, you can tell them, “I would fulfill many prophecies too, if I could choose my own name after I read the Bible!” ;-)[/quote]

    Baha’u’llah gave Himself that title while living in Persia, in the 1840′s, nearly 30 years before He was banished to the Holy Land, and living with Christians and Jews. If His intent had been to match a Scriptural name, He would have assumed a title from Islam, (as Mirza Yahya did when he took the title Subh-i-Azal, from a Muslim Hadith.)

  • Mr. Insaf

    [quote comment=""][...] Abdu’l-Baha wasn’t trying to become more conscious or spiritual. He simply served and loved all. Perhaps there’s something in such a life that can inspire us to live the life: [...][/quote]
    [quote comment="43590"]Frank,

    I wanted to correct your history of names, if I could. The title “Bah??’u’ll??h” was given by Mirza Husayn-Ali to himself at the conference at Badasht. That’s right. He gave it to himself. Impressive, eh?

    Now, the next time someone waxes incredulous in front of you about the amazing fulfilment of Biblical prophecies that invoke the name “Glory of God” by Bah??’u’ll??h, you can tell them, “I would fulfill many prophecies too, if I could choose my own name after I read the Bible!” ;-)[/quote]

    Baha’u’llah gave Himself that title while living in Persia, in the 1840′s, nearly 30 years before He was banished to the Holy Land, and living with Christians and Jews. If His intent had been to match a Scriptural name, He would have assumed a title from Islam, (as Mirza Yahya did when he took the title Subh-i-Azal, from a Muslim Hadith.)

  • Anonymous

    [quote post="253"]Baha’u’llah gave Himself that title while living in Persia, in the 1840’s, nearly 30 years before He was banished to the Holy Land, and living with Christians and Jews. If His intent had been to match a Scriptural name, He would have assumed a title from Islam, (as Mirza Yahya did when he took the title Subh-i-Azal, from a Muslim Hadith.)[/quote]
    Bah??’u’ll??h’s self-assumed title was designed to line up with the prophecies of the B??b, not those of Isl??m. When you look at the writings of the B??b, there is great deal of weight and mystery given to the “Glory of God”, and Bah??’u’ll??h would have been keen to this. His main concern was evidently to take the reigns of control of the B??b? religion, and his assumption of that title was effectively a public announcement of that intent.

  • http://mavaddat.livejournal.com Mavaddat

    [quote post="253"]Baha’u’llah gave Himself that title while living in Persia, in the 1840’s, nearly 30 years before He was banished to the Holy Land, and living with Christians and Jews. If His intent had been to match a Scriptural name, He would have assumed a title from Islam, (as Mirza Yahya did when he took the title Subh-i-Azal, from a Muslim Hadith.)[/quote]
    Bah??’u’ll??h’s self-assumed title was designed to line up with the prophecies of the B??b, not those of Isl??m. When you look at the writings of the B??b, there is great deal of weight and mystery given to the “Glory of God”, and Bah??’u’ll??h would have been keen to this. His main concern was evidently to take the reigns of control of the B??b? religion, and his assumption of that title was effectively a public announcement of that intent.

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  • Laura Rakhimova

    Allah-u-Abho! Thank you soo much for the photos. I had never seen many of them before! Khoda khofiz! Laura from Uzbekistan

  • Laura Rakhimova

    Allah-u-Abho! Thank you soo much for the photos. I had never seen many of them before! Khoda khofiz! Laura from Uzbekistan

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Baquia Baquia

    I'm glad you enjoyed them. Allahu-Abha to you and all in Uzebekistan!

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Baquia Baquia

    I'm glad you enjoyed them. Allahu-Abha to you and all in Uzebekistan!

  • Pey

    These are great photos. Don't know how I missed them. Thanks for sharing. There is also a cool film clip of Him that I had seen a while back. Peace!

  • Pey

    These are great photos. Don't know how I missed them. Thanks for sharing. There is also a cool film clip of Him that I had seen a while back. Peace!

  • Bill Garbett

    Dear Baquia,
    Thank you so much for this amazing collage of pictures of the Master. The most extensive group of photos of him that I've ever seen.
    In Peace,
    Bill Garbett

  • Bill Garbett

    Dear Baquia,
    Thank you so much for this amazing collage of pictures of the Master. The most extensive group of photos of him that I've ever seen.
    In Peace,
    Bill Garbett

  • http://www.intensedebate.com/people/Baquia Baquia

    You’re welcome! There’s quite a bit of stuff here, actually. You can use the “random” button or check the archives.

  • http://www.intensedebate.com/people/Baquia Baquia

    You’re welcome! There’s quite a bit of stuff here, actually. You can use the “random” button or check the archives.

  • farhan

    Baquia, thanks so much for this show. Do you know who prepared it and where i can get information on one of the photos?

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Baquia, thanks so much for this show. Do you know who prepared it and where i can get information on one of the photos?

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  • Ana

    it is not the fact of the name, Baha u llah, perhaps you have read in the bible prophecies that He would go from mountain to mountain, and from river to sea, and the most important from fortified city to fortress…. Baha u llah could not plan His imprisionment that took Him through this journey written in the bible…I thimk you shoud read the book chief in the night, so you would see the truth in different way

  • Anonymous

    On the contrary, Bah??’u’ll??h was largely able to choose where he was exiled to. Also, the Bible is full of such scriptures that can be retrospectively labelled “prophecies” as one finds convenient. The fact that no one considered them prophesies until they were seen as matching the life of Bah??’u’ll??h is more problematic, however. Thief in the Night is a book for children and entertainment, not a serious history book.

  • Anonymous

    I think you meant to say Thief in the Night. But Chief in the Night is kind of catchy too!

  • Mehr kalami

    Abdul Baha, perhaps one of the greatest name in mankind’s history and the Hisotry of Religions. Serenity and grandeur of the soul, mind and boldy is what He radiated and will always continue to radiate. To comprehend the inner-beauty of his teachings, one has to study them with total and absolute calm and willingness to learn.

    Mehr Kalami…….USA

  • neah

    What a wonderful trove of encapsulated history… thank you so much Baquia for this service… it’s much appreciated.

  • Gloria Mazlum

    Thank you for posting this. It’s beautiful and an immeasurable blessing to see His face.

  • A.Lutchmaya

    fantastic photos

  • Jogonathi

    ya, its a very fantastic photos of the Beloved Master

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