“Pre-Approved” Individual Investigation of Truth?

Neysan Zoelzer-Mehrabkhani, a Baha’i from Germany has created a Baha’i search engine (through Google Co-Op) named Majn??n.

Regular Google search already does a great job of providing information, Baha’i related or otherwise.

So why do we need this service? Well, as Neysan’s site explains, Majn??n:

Searches approved Baha’i-related websites only…

Searches approved Baha’i-related blogs only.

Searches approved Baha’i Book Stores only.

You may ask, “approved”? Approved by whom, exactly?

Well it seems by “Majn??n editors”. Whoever they may be.

The site then goes on to quote from Baha’u’llah’s mystical work, The Seven Valleys to explain the inspiration behind the name of the site (please read carefully):

It is related that one day they came upon Majn??n sifting the dust, and his tears flowing down. They said, ‘What doest thou?’ He said, ‘I seek for Layla­.’ They cried, ‘Alas for thee! Layla­ is of pure spirit, and thou seekest her in the dust!’ He said, ‘I seek her everywhere that some editors have pre-approved for me; haply somewhere within those limits I shall find her.’ Yea, although to the wise it be shameful to seek the Lord of Lords in the dust, yet this betokeneth intense ardor in searching. ‘Whoso seeketh out a thing among pre-approved websites with zeal shall find it.’

ok, that was tongue-in-cheek (for those that are bereft of a sense of humor). But I hope you get my drift.

Among the most powerful animating principles of the Baha’i Faith is the unfettered individual investigation of truth.

It is truly sad that some Baha’is do not understand this fundamental feature of their Faith and through ignorance of it, do things like this.

If history teaches us anything, it is that anyone who has ever attempted to “fetter” information in any way, has failed most spectacularly.

majnun-bahai-search

  • Craig Parke

    Absolutely amazing!

    Is there anybody left in the free falling Baha’i Faith that is a student of history?

    Anyone in history who has ever tried to limit free inquiry and free access to ideas has gone to TOTAL COMPLETE COSMIC DESTRUCTION IN HISTORY!

    And “INDEPENDENT investigation of truth” is an ACTUAL TEACHING of the Faith according to Abdu’l-Baha!

    Go figure?

    In the name of all that is Sacred and Holy, what in the world has happened to the current version of the Baha’i Faith?

    In the history of American film there have been many profound and very well crafted “deep structure” messages about the passage of World Ages and the coming of a Divine Teacher.

    Some were about as literally in your face as a film could get. See the last two minutes of “The Best Years of Our Lives” (Academy Award 1946). Duh! There were a lot of Baha’is in the Hollywood film community in the 1940′s.

    Study the famous “Bingo Scene” in “The Deer Hunter” (MCA-Universal 1978). This tour de force film uses every device possible from Christian Scripture to tell an allegory of the Second Coming of Christ based upon Danial 12:1-4. It was the fruit of the anguish of the 12 year ordeal of the Vietnam War. Completely of the heads of the American Baha’i community. A beautiful allegory of the Two Advents. And wow did they have the “Linko Hall” down!

    Study the meaning of the railroad tracks in the wonderful film “O Brother Where Art Thou?” Study the ending (Isaiah 4:1) Since it is the tale of Ulysses set to Depression Era America, it is about the classic spiritual states of the ascent of the human soul in the passage between World Ages.

    The Cyclops is the Chief Priests, Scribes, and Pharisees at the turn of EVERY World Age whose spirituality brutality robs the people of their right to Divine insight knowledge. John Goodman was just great as the “Bible salesman” beneath the “old tree”. Duh! Taking that roll of dollars have the “Man of Constant Sorrow” of the Soggy Bottom Boys hit record.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OF5OtSO3j6I

    I just loved the symbol of the sheriff (the Devil in the Zoroastrian sense) speaking to the Soggy Bottom Boys when they try to protest being executed by telling him “we was on the radio” and the Devil says “we ain’t got no radio”. Brilliant Cosmic dialog! Absolutely first rate use of feature film to have some darn good fun completely over the heads of everyone!

    But despite the beautiful representations in film in the past of these once very advanced and refined ideas, on some Cosmic level here is where the new hijacked Administrative Order of the Baha’i Faith might be symbolized in American film right now.

    I went to see the film “Cloverfield” yesterday. (It will be a huge success.) The monster just about says it all on where the Administrative Order of my once beloved Faith is coming from now.

    An apparatus of total mind bending massive destruction.

    http://www.cloverfieldmovie.com/?gclid=CM6Mu56WhpECFQFxHgodoht0-Q

  • Craig Parke

    Absolutely amazing!

    Is there anybody left in the free falling Baha’i Faith that is a student of history?

    Anyone in history who has ever tried to limit free inquiry and free access to ideas has gone to TOTAL COMPLETE COSMIC DESTRUCTION IN HISTORY!

    And “INDEPENDENT investigation of truth” is an ACTUAL TEACHING of the Faith according to Abdu’l-Baha!

    Go figure?

    In the name of all that is Sacred and Holy, what in the world has happened to the current version of the Baha’i Faith?

    In the history of American film there have been many profound and very well crafted “deep structure” messages about the passage of World Ages and the coming of a Divine Teacher.

    Some were about as literally in your face as a film could get. See the last two minutes of “The Best Years of Our Lives” (Academy Award 1946). Duh! There were a lot of Baha’is in the Hollywood film community in the 1940′s.

    Study the famous “Bingo Scene” in “The Deer Hunter” (MCA-Universal 1978). This tour de force film uses every device possible from Christian Scripture to tell an allegory of the Second Coming of Christ based upon Danial 12:1-4. It was the fruit of the anguish of the 12 year ordeal of the Vietnam War. Completely of the heads of the American Baha’i community. A beautiful allegory of the Two Advents. And wow did they have the “Linko Hall” down!

    Study the meaning of the railroad tracks in the wonderful film “O Brother Where Art Thou?” Study the ending (Isaiah 4:1) Since it is the tale of Ulysses set to Depression Era America, it is about the classic spiritual states of the ascent of the human soul in the passage between World Ages.

    The Cyclops is the Chief Priests, Scribes, and Pharisees at the turn of EVERY World Age whose spirituality brutality robs the people of their right to Divine insight knowledge. John Goodman was just great as the “Bible salesman” beneath the “old tree”. Duh! Taking that roll of dollars have the “Man of Constant Sorrow” of the Soggy Bottom Boys hit record.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OF5OtSO3j6I

    I just loved the symbol of the sheriff (the Devil in the Zoroastrian sense) speaking to the Soggy Bottom Boys when they try to protest being executed by telling him “we was on the radio” and the Devil says “we ain’t got no radio”. Brilliant Cosmic dialog! Absolutely first rate use of feature film to have some darn good fun completely over the heads of everyone!

    But despite the beautiful representations in film in the past of these once very advanced and refined ideas, on some Cosmic level here is where the new hijacked Administrative Order of the Baha’i Faith might be symbolized in American film right now.

    I went to see the film “Cloverfield” yesterday. (It will be a huge success.) The monster just about says it all on where the Administrative Order of my once beloved Faith is coming from now.

    An apparatus of total mind bending massive destruction.

    http://www.cloverfieldmovie.com/?gclid=CM6Mu56WhpECFQFxHgodoht0-Q

  • Anonymous

    Why is this even an issue?! The Bah??’? Faith itself explicitly promotes dogmatism. Don’t you get it? “Investigation of the truth” is just a ruse. In reality, it is only something “seekers” are expected to do. Do you want to be counted among the merely seeking, or have you found the truth?

    Check it out, dogmatism is more celebrated than investigation of truth in the Bah??’? Faith:

    Blessed are they that stand firm and immovable as the rock, and brave the storm and stress of this tempestuous hour.

    The danger Bah??’? scholars must avoid is the distortion of religious truth, almost forcibly at times, to make it conform to understandings and perceptions current in the scientific world. True Bah??’? scholars should guard against this.

    While it may often be the part of wisdom to approach individuals or an audience from a standpoint of current knowledge, it should never be overlooked that the Revelation of the Manifestation of God is the standard for all knowledge, and scientific statements and theories, no matter how close they may come to the eternal principles proclaimed by God’s Messenger, are in their very nature ephemeral and limited. Likewise, attempting to make the Bah??’? Faith relevant to modern society is to incur the grave risk of compromising the fundamental verities of our Faith in an effort to make it conform to current theories and practices.

    Is not faith but another word for implicit obedience, whole-hearted allegiance, uncompromising adherence to that which we believe is the revealed and express will of God, however perplexing it might first appear, however at variance with the shadowy views, the impotent doctrines, the crude theories, the idle imaginings, the fashionable conceptions of a transient and troublous age?

    To follow Bah??’u’ll??h does not mean accepting some of His teachings and rejecting the rest. Allegiance to His Cause must be uncompromising and whole-hearted.

    A dogma is a principle, tenet or teaching, especially an authoritative teaching, and in these senses it is apparent that the Faith has ‘dogmas’.

    You see our whole approach to each matter is based on the belief that God sends us divinely inspired Educators; what they tell us is fundamentally true, what science tells us today is true; tomorrow may be entirely changed to better explain a new set of facts.

    Were He to decree as lawful the thing which from time immemorial had been forbidden, and forbid that which had, at all times, been regarded as lawful, to none is given the right to question His authority. Whoso will hesitate, though it be for less than a moment, should be regarded as a transgressor.

    Whenever My laws appear like the sun in the heaven of Mine utterance, they must be faithfully obeyed by all, though My decree be such as to cause the heaven of every religion to be cleft asunder. He doth what He pleaseth. He chooseth; and none may question His choice.

    Blessed is the man that hath acknowledged his belief in God and in His signs, and recognized that ?He shall not be asked of His doings’. Such a recognition hath been made by God the ornament of every belief and its very foundation. Upon it must depend the acceptance of every goodly deed. Fasten your eyes upon it, that haply the whisperings of the rebellious may not cause you to slip.

    O SON OF BEING! With the hands of power I made thee and with the fingers of strength I created thee; and within thee have I placed the essence of My light. Be thou content with it and seek naught else, for My work is perfect and My command is binding. Question it not, nor have a doubt thereof.

    Consider, if one does not partake of the bounty of Meeting or the knowledge of the Manifestations of God, how can he be truly called learned, although he may have studied a thousand years, and possess all the limited and outward sciences. It is plainly evident that he cannot be said to possess knowledge. But if one hath not seen a single letter of learning, and hath attained to this mighty honor, he is undoubtedly accounted one of the divine men of learning, for he hath reached the furthermost point of knowledge and its highest degree.

    So, really. What is the problem? Once you become a Bah??’?, your goal is to preserve your faith at all costs. After all, if Bah??’u’ll??h is right, then the cost of letting your faith slip is immeasurable! Neysan Zoelzer-Mehrabkhani seems to be more in line with the real teachings of the Bah??’? Faith than any of us.

  • http://mavaddat.livejournal.com Mavaddat

    Why is this even an issue?! The Bah??’? Faith itself explicitly promotes dogmatism. Don’t you get it? “Investigation of the truth” is just a ruse. In reality, it is only something “seekers” are expected to do. Do you want to be counted among the merely seeking, or have you found the truth?

    Check it out, dogmatism is more celebrated than investigation of truth in the Bah??’? Faith:

    Blessed are they that stand firm and immovable as the rock, and brave the storm and stress of this tempestuous hour.

    The danger Bah??’? scholars must avoid is the distortion of religious truth, almost forcibly at times, to make it conform to understandings and perceptions current in the scientific world. True Bah??’? scholars should guard against this.

    While it may often be the part of wisdom to approach individuals or an audience from a standpoint of current knowledge, it should never be overlooked that the Revelation of the Manifestation of God is the standard for all knowledge, and scientific statements and theories, no matter how close they may come to the eternal principles proclaimed by God’s Messenger, are in their very nature ephemeral and limited. Likewise, attempting to make the Bah??’? Faith relevant to modern society is to incur the grave risk of compromising the fundamental verities of our Faith in an effort to make it conform to current theories and practices.

    Is not faith but another word for implicit obedience, whole-hearted allegiance, uncompromising adherence to that which we believe is the revealed and express will of God, however perplexing it might first appear, however at variance with the shadowy views, the impotent doctrines, the crude theories, the idle imaginings, the fashionable conceptions of a transient and troublous age?

    To follow Bah??’u’ll??h does not mean accepting some of His teachings and rejecting the rest. Allegiance to His Cause must be uncompromising and whole-hearted.

    A dogma is a principle, tenet or teaching, especially an authoritative teaching, and in these senses it is apparent that the Faith has ‘dogmas’.

    You see our whole approach to each matter is based on the belief that God sends us divinely inspired Educators; what they tell us is fundamentally true, what science tells us today is true; tomorrow may be entirely changed to better explain a new set of facts.

    Were He to decree as lawful the thing which from time immemorial had been forbidden, and forbid that which had, at all times, been regarded as lawful, to none is given the right to question His authority. Whoso will hesitate, though it be for less than a moment, should be regarded as a transgressor.

    Whenever My laws appear like the sun in the heaven of Mine utterance, they must be faithfully obeyed by all, though My decree be such as to cause the heaven of every religion to be cleft asunder. He doth what He pleaseth. He chooseth; and none may question His choice.

    Blessed is the man that hath acknowledged his belief in God and in His signs, and recognized that ?He shall not be asked of His doings’. Such a recognition hath been made by God the ornament of every belief and its very foundation. Upon it must depend the acceptance of every goodly deed. Fasten your eyes upon it, that haply the whisperings of the rebellious may not cause you to slip.

    O SON OF BEING! With the hands of power I made thee and with the fingers of strength I created thee; and within thee have I placed the essence of My light. Be thou content with it and seek naught else, for My work is perfect and My command is binding. Question it not, nor have a doubt thereof.

    Consider, if one does not partake of the bounty of Meeting or the knowledge of the Manifestations of God, how can he be truly called learned, although he may have studied a thousand years, and possess all the limited and outward sciences. It is plainly evident that he cannot be said to possess knowledge. But if one hath not seen a single letter of learning, and hath attained to this mighty honor, he is undoubtedly accounted one of the divine men of learning, for he hath reached the furthermost point of knowledge and its highest degree.

    So, really. What is the problem? Once you become a Bah??’?, your goal is to preserve your faith at all costs. After all, if Bah??’u’ll??h is right, then the cost of letting your faith slip is immeasurable! Neysan Zoelzer-Mehrabkhani seems to be more in line with the real teachings of the Bah??’? Faith than any of us.

  • Craig Parke

    I always thought that one of the “dogmas” of the Baha’i Faith was that we were not supposed to have any, well, “dogmas” in the Baha’i Faith…

    Go figure!

    Is anyone getting this?

    To me it is actually a kind of mathematical thing like solving a simultaneous equation only in a Sufi general transcendent consciousness in daily life sort of way.

    If you get to that level of consciousness you don’t need any “dogmas”. Dogma is for very weak people who exist in a sort of very cowardly, very weak, short term sissy consciousness.

    I always thought Baha’u’llah’s tougher statements were really against the arrogant entrenched broomstickified clergy of both Shia and Sunni Islam. there seems to be alot of that still going on these days. And not just in Shia and Sunni Islam either…

    Well, if only the people in the top down Administrative Order of the Baha’i Faith are permitted to think for themselves for the next 1,000 years on Earth, can anyone from the UHJ or the ITC Faith Apparatus Community (ITCFAC) reading this post please explain to me these TWO BELOW SCIENTIFIC PAPERS in terms of the Writings of Baha’u’llah or for that matter… the Writings of anyone?

    We need some independent thought here.

    We need some independent investigation of truth.

    Please post your “dogma” derived insights from the Baha’i Writings here on BR regarding the ideas set forth in these two (gasp) “scientific” papers.

    I need some help especially on the math. I need some help with this math for a film script I am writing.

    http://openseti.org/Docs/HotsonPart1.pdf

    http://openseti.org/Docs/HotsonPart2.pdf

    I am sure all of the top people in the Baha’i Faith are up to speed on these ideas and their encyclopedic knowledge of the Writings can help me.

    Please. Operators are standing by. Please post your insights. Especially now that none of us little people can engage in the independent investigation of truth ourselves.

    Please explain the math.

  • Craig Parke

    I always thought that one of the “dogmas” of the Baha’i Faith was that we were not supposed to have any, well, “dogmas” in the Baha’i Faith…

    Go figure!

    Is anyone getting this?

    To me it is actually a kind of mathematical thing like solving a simultaneous equation only in a Sufi general transcendent consciousness in daily life sort of way.

    If you get to that level of consciousness you don’t need any “dogmas”. Dogma is for very weak people who exist in a sort of very cowardly, very weak, short term sissy consciousness.

    I always thought Baha’u’llah’s tougher statements were really against the arrogant entrenched broomstickified clergy of both Shia and Sunni Islam. there seems to be alot of that still going on these days. And not just in Shia and Sunni Islam either…

    Well, if only the people in the top down Administrative Order of the Baha’i Faith are permitted to think for themselves for the next 1,000 years on Earth, can anyone from the UHJ or the ITC Faith Apparatus Community (ITCFAC) reading this post please explain to me these TWO BELOW SCIENTIFIC PAPERS in terms of the Writings of Baha’u’llah or for that matter… the Writings of anyone?

    We need some independent thought here.

    We need some independent investigation of truth.

    Please post your “dogma” derived insights from the Baha’i Writings here on BR regarding the ideas set forth in these two (gasp) “scientific” papers.

    I need some help especially on the math. I need some help with this math for a film script I am writing.

    http://openseti.org/Docs/HotsonPart1.pdf

    http://openseti.org/Docs/HotsonPart2.pdf

    I am sure all of the top people in the Baha’i Faith are up to speed on these ideas and their encyclopedic knowledge of the Writings can help me.

    Please. Operators are standing by. Please post your insights. Especially now that none of us little people can engage in the independent investigation of truth ourselves.

    Please explain the math.

  • David

    I think, Baquia, you largely miss the point of Neysan’s search engine. The idea is not to avoid challenging material, but to make searches easier so the user does not have to weed through so much information that clearly is unrelated to their search. I’ll assume it was unintended, but in your post you pasted part of Neysan’s description of the search engine, but left out his rationale for creating it which is:

    “I was always unsatisfied, having to search various Bahai websites to find the content I needed. Google always mixed in unnecessary and irrelevant results.”

    The unfettered investigation of truth doesn’t require me to be unsystematic or inefficient in my quest for knowledge. It certainly doesn’t require me to try to navigate through 100s of millions of web pages, like Google does, to find information I know can only possibly be on a small fraction of them. I don’t pretend that the issue of figuring out what to include and exclude in a specialized search engine isn’t problematic, but the point of Neysan’s engine is really about avoiding false hits. Searching on Google is like trying to find something in a sea. Majnun (and the others like it) help cut down on the irrelevant so its more like searching in a lake. Almost all of the irrelevant being cut out has absolutely nothing to do with the Faith, good or bad. Thousands of people have created Google custom search engines to help make specific kinds of searches easier and more efficient.

    Here is one that lets you search through environmentally conscious websites
    http://www.greenmaven.com

    Or information for small businesses
    http://jumpup.intuit.com/

    Or Macintosh related websites
    http://www.macworld.com

    Like Majnun, these are about helping to make finding relevant information easier. Neysan isn’t stifling independent investigation of truth anymore than these other sites.

  • David

    I think, Baquia, you largely miss the point of Neysan’s search engine. The idea is not to avoid challenging material, but to make searches easier so the user does not have to weed through so much information that clearly is unrelated to their search. I’ll assume it was unintended, but in your post you pasted part of Neysan’s description of the search engine, but left out his rationale for creating it which is:

    “I was always unsatisfied, having to search various Bahai websites to find the content I needed. Google always mixed in unnecessary and irrelevant results.”

    The unfettered investigation of truth doesn’t require me to be unsystematic or inefficient in my quest for knowledge. It certainly doesn’t require me to try to navigate through 100s of millions of web pages, like Google does, to find information I know can only possibly be on a small fraction of them. I don’t pretend that the issue of figuring out what to include and exclude in a specialized search engine isn’t problematic, but the point of Neysan’s engine is really about avoiding false hits. Searching on Google is like trying to find something in a sea. Majnun (and the others like it) help cut down on the irrelevant so its more like searching in a lake. Almost all of the irrelevant being cut out has absolutely nothing to do with the Faith, good or bad. Thousands of people have created Google custom search engines to help make specific kinds of searches easier and more efficient.

    Here is one that lets you search through environmentally conscious websites
    http://www.greenmaven.com

    Or information for small businesses
    http://jumpup.intuit.com/

    Or Macintosh related websites
    http://www.macworld.com

    Like Majnun, these are about helping to make finding relevant information easier. Neysan isn’t stifling independent investigation of truth anymore than these other sites.

  • Randy Burns

    Hi David

    The problem with your comment is pretty obvious–the search is only of what is pre-approved sites. The whole idea behind Majnun does not seem to be simply improving the process of search for Bahai related material (which, as you indicate, might be a good idea), but a restriction of the search for Bahai related material to a pre-approved list of sites.

    The goal is to eliminate material that someone, somewhere, doesn’t like. You simply can’t fit that into Bahai ideals if those ideals are based on the writings of Baha’u’llah.

    Cheers, Randy

  • Randy Burns

    Hi David

    The problem with your comment is pretty obvious–the search is only of what is pre-approved sites. The whole idea behind Majnun does not seem to be simply improving the process of search for Bahai related material (which, as you indicate, might be a good idea), but a restriction of the search for Bahai related material to a pre-approved list of sites.

    The goal is to eliminate material that someone, somewhere, doesn’t like. You simply can’t fit that into Bahai ideals if those ideals are based on the writings of Baha’u’llah.

    Cheers, Randy

  • concourse_on_low

    With all due respect Baquia, Mavaddat is 100% right.

    I’m tired of people whining about the AO and the dogmatic ways of many Bahais. These people have not perverted or distorted the religion in any way; in fact, they’re being completely FAITHFUL to it!

    Behind the Bahai Faith’s veneer of progressive, intellectual open-mindedness is a rigid, dogmatic belief-system as flawed as any other religious system – and it’s rooted in the its scripture!

    This whole “independent investigation of truth” nonsense is a great marketing tool for public presentation, and looks great on a brochure, but each central figure, as well as the UHJ, contradict and undermine it, as illustrated by Mavaddat’s small sample of quotes. Sure, we can start getting into apolgetics here, and say, well Baha’u’llah spoke in different voices and to different audiences and..blah blah blah…I tried that historicist angle myself, but it’s just another strained mental contortion. And besides, we don’t even have enough reliable historical material on the Faith to take that route, unless you consider Taherzadeh and et al’s unapologetically biased haggiographies as historical documentation.

    The Bahai Faith can cause a great deal of cognitive dissonance, and I’m glad to be done with it.

    It’s not the AO people, it’s the RELIGION itself!

  • concourse_on_low

    With all due respect Baquia, Mavaddat is 100% right.

    I’m tired of people whining about the AO and the dogmatic ways of many Bahais. These people have not perverted or distorted the religion in any way; in fact, they’re being completely FAITHFUL to it!

    Behind the Bahai Faith’s veneer of progressive, intellectual open-mindedness is a rigid, dogmatic belief-system as flawed as any other religious system – and it’s rooted in the its scripture!

    This whole “independent investigation of truth” nonsense is a great marketing tool for public presentation, and looks great on a brochure, but each central figure, as well as the UHJ, contradict and undermine it, as illustrated by Mavaddat’s small sample of quotes. Sure, we can start getting into apolgetics here, and say, well Baha’u’llah spoke in different voices and to different audiences and..blah blah blah…I tried that historicist angle myself, but it’s just another strained mental contortion. And besides, we don’t even have enough reliable historical material on the Faith to take that route, unless you consider Taherzadeh and et al’s unapologetically biased haggiographies as historical documentation.

    The Bahai Faith can cause a great deal of cognitive dissonance, and I’m glad to be done with it.

    It’s not the AO people, it’s the RELIGION itself!

  • Anonymous

    Craig, do you really want someone to explain the mathematics behind quantum mechanics and Einstein’s general relativity to you on this blog? I would guess not, but if you’re interested, I can give you an idea of the university classes you would need to take in order to understand the background to the papers you posted.

    Dogma is for very weak people who exist in a sort of very cowardly, very weak, short term sissy consciousness.

    Amen!

    I always thought Baha’u’llah’s tougher statements were really against the arrogant entrenched broomstickified clergy of both Shia and Sunni Islam.

    They are. Bah??’u’ll??h intended to free society from the binding dogmas of Islamic fundamentalism… so that he could introduce his own equally binding dogmas. Until we all start demanding reasons for their beliefs (rather than mere believing as a kind of homage or thanks to their favourite prophet), we implicitly demand to be constrained and controlled by whatever arbitrary power comes along next. In short, the cycle of dogma renewal ensures that we will need “progressive revelation” for thousands of years to come.

  • http://mavaddat.livejournal.com Mavaddat

    Craig, do you really want someone to explain the mathematics behind quantum mechanics and Einstein’s general relativity to you on this blog? I would guess not, but if you’re interested, I can give you an idea of the university classes you would need to take in order to understand the background to the papers you posted.

    Dogma is for very weak people who exist in a sort of very cowardly, very weak, short term sissy consciousness.

    Amen!

    I always thought Baha’u’llah’s tougher statements were really against the arrogant entrenched broomstickified clergy of both Shia and Sunni Islam.

    They are. Bah??’u’ll??h intended to free society from the binding dogmas of Islamic fundamentalism… so that he could introduce his own equally binding dogmas. Until we all start demanding reasons for their beliefs (rather than mere believing as a kind of homage or thanks to their favourite prophet), we implicitly demand to be constrained and controlled by whatever arbitrary power comes along next. In short, the cycle of dogma renewal ensures that we will need “progressive revelation” for thousands of years to come.

  • http://ncag.org.nz/blog Steve Marshall

    Oh Baquia, we don’t want to be those people that want to see God with their own eyes or hear his melody with their own ears. Because we have been given the gift of being able to see through the eyes of Majnun and listen through the ears of Majnun.

  • http://ncag.org.nz/blog Steve Marshall

    Oh Baquia, we don’t want to be those people that want to see God with their own eyes or hear his melody with their own ears. Because we have been given the gift of being able to see through the eyes of Majnun and listen through the ears of Majnun.

  • Craig Parke

    No I am not. I am being sarcastic. I am trying to make the point that if you (rhetorical “you”) are a rabid dogmatist in the Baha’i Writings and/or you have turned your soul over to nine men in Haifa or the local BAO TO TOTALLY RUN YOUR LIFE AND DO ALL OF YOUR THINKING FOR YOU IN LIFE, you are not going to be much help on the cutting edge of thinking about ANYTHING in your lifetime!

    I myself REFUSE to turn my mind or my soul over to anyone else. I will study the teachings of everyone who has ever lived on Earth, including Lord Baha’u’llah. But I am Lord of my God Given mind and my soul.

    I am saying that if people think they are smarter because they have dominant dogmatic insight on everything on Earth from their hand-me-down thought system, then explain to me the math in D. Hotson’s two very insightful papers on his new theory of the Dirac Sea off the top of their dogmatic head. I say they can’t do it because they can’t think nor study anything with that foundation.

    I actually am doing pretty good on the math by reading these two excellent books that give you a lot of the hard core math:

    “It Must Be Beautiful: Great Equations of Modern Science”
    by Graham Farmelo (Editor)

    http://www.ams.org/notices/200303/rev-faris.pdf

    “The Road to Reality: A Complete Guide to the Laws of the Universe”
    by Roger Penrose

    http://tinyurl.com/yquc84

    Both are quite good. Penrose’s book is used by many college and University level courses now.

    My point is that if a person stops thinking for a seccond just because they have accepted Baha’u’llah (like many of the high mucky mucks in the BAO and the Ruhi automatons) they are just plain lazy in life and are using this doctrine as an excuse for their amazingly indolent life styles.

    I say as a human being you MUST re-think EVERYTHING every 15 minutes of your life from birth to death including your understanding of quantum mechanics. To me this is the Law and the Prophets in the energies of the New World Age.

    All bets are now off.

    THINK!

    Thinking is hard. People it seems always want to get out of thinking and taking action based upon thought and deep meditation.

    This is what I meant in my sarcasm!

  • Craig Parke

    No I am not. I am being sarcastic. I am trying to make the point that if you (rhetorical “you”) are a rabid dogmatist in the Baha’i Writings and/or you have turned your soul over to nine men in Haifa or the local BAO TO TOTALLY RUN YOUR LIFE AND DO ALL OF YOUR THINKING FOR YOU IN LIFE, you are not going to be much help on the cutting edge of thinking about ANYTHING in your lifetime!

    I myself REFUSE to turn my mind or my soul over to anyone else. I will study the teachings of everyone who has ever lived on Earth, including Lord Baha’u’llah. But I am Lord of my God Given mind and my soul.

    I am saying that if people think they are smarter because they have dominant dogmatic insight on everything on Earth from their hand-me-down thought system, then explain to me the math in D. Hotson’s two very insightful papers on his new theory of the Dirac Sea off the top of their dogmatic head. I say they can’t do it because they can’t think nor study anything with that foundation.

    I actually am doing pretty good on the math by reading these two excellent books that give you a lot of the hard core math:

    “It Must Be Beautiful: Great Equations of Modern Science”
    by Graham Farmelo (Editor)

    http://www.ams.org/notices/200303/rev-faris.pdf

    “The Road to Reality: A Complete Guide to the Laws of the Universe”
    by Roger Penrose

    http://tinyurl.com/yquc84

    Both are quite good. Penrose’s book is used by many college and University level courses now.

    My point is that if a person stops thinking for a seccond just because they have accepted Baha’u’llah (like many of the high mucky mucks in the BAO and the Ruhi automatons) they are just plain lazy in life and are using this doctrine as an excuse for their amazingly indolent life styles.

    I say as a human being you MUST re-think EVERYTHING every 15 minutes of your life from birth to death including your understanding of quantum mechanics. To me this is the Law and the Prophets in the energies of the New World Age.

    All bets are now off.

    THINK!

    Thinking is hard. People it seems always want to get out of thinking and taking action based upon thought and deep meditation.

    This is what I meant in my sarcasm!

  • Anonymous

    I understand what you were getting at now. I agree with your analysis of dogmatism. I think the points you raise constitute a devastating response to those who would say that humanity can (potentially) make progress faster by simply obeying the so-called manifestations of God without going through the work of understanding the imperatives they give us. That is, even if we make quick progress in the short term by obeying the manifestations, we will have handicapped ourselves for the future. We will not know how to deal with any new problems that arise if we are dogmatists.

    Of course, all this is assuming that those who we think are manifestations of God really are so. I think that where you and I would disagree is about whether Bah??’u’ll??h really was a manifestation of God. I think we would also disagree that Bah??’u’ll??h did not mean for his teachings to be accepted dogmatically. I think it’s pretty clear that he was as much of a dogmatist as any of his contemporaries. It’s just that his dogmas were in better alignment with our modern morals.

  • http://mavaddat.livejournal.com Mavaddat

    I understand what you were getting at now. I agree with your analysis of dogmatism. I think the points you raise constitute a devastating response to those who would say that humanity can (potentially) make progress faster by simply obeying the so-called manifestations of God without going through the work of understanding the imperatives they give us. That is, even if we make quick progress in the short term by obeying the manifestations, we will have handicapped ourselves for the future. We will not know how to deal with any new problems that arise if we are dogmatists.

    Of course, all this is assuming that those who we think are manifestations of God really are so. I think that where you and I would disagree is about whether Bah??’u’ll??h really was a manifestation of God. I think we would also disagree that Bah??’u’ll??h did not mean for his teachings to be accepted dogmatically. I think it’s pretty clear that he was as much of a dogmatist as any of his contemporaries. It’s just that his dogmas were in better alignment with our modern morals.

  • Matt

    “To follow Bah??’u’ll??h does not mean accepting some of His teachings and rejecting the rest. Allegiance to His Cause must be uncompromising and whole-hearted.”

    “So, really. What is the problem? Once you become a Bah??’?, your goal is to preserve your faith at all costs. After all, if Bah??’u’ll??h is right, then the cost of letting your faith slip is immeasurable! Neysan Zoelzer-Mehrabkhani seems to be more in line with the real teachings of the Bah??’? Faith than any of us.”

    Underneath that logic, then, everyone is Faithful to “His Cause.” The “totality” of “His Teachings” includes all of the fun-loving, tolerant, free-thinking passages as well as the “fundamentalist” passages. It seems to me that this “strong” statement coming from the Guardian I suppose, is to let everyone know (not just so-called liberals, whom seem to think the Baha’i Administration is only trying to bash them and not their conservative counter-parts) that they can’t pick and choose either side, and that includes the “fundamentalist, conservative” side. What I see is a lot of mind-games being played by both “sides.”

    Each “group” thinks they can pick and choose the Writings of the Faith they like, and throw them at the “others” and say “This is what the Faith REALLY teaches. You’re a bunch of stupid morons!” Mud-slinging. Politics. All against the Teachings of the Faith.

    Now, if someone is honestly critical of the Faith in its Totality and wants to speak against it honestly, then that is one thing. But I think the majority of all of this bickering going on in the Baha’i communities (especially on cyberspace) has more to do with internal politics than it does “independent investigation of Truth.” The real ruse is the claim that “We just want to independently investigate the truth” when all they really want to do is bash the Administrative Order. And then they get mad when the Administrative Order bashes them back. If I condemn others, I myself will be condemned. It’s natural law. And before anyone accuses me of being a “cronie” for the AO, let it be known that I am not even a Baha’i. Not an “enrolled”, “unenrolled”, “Orthodox”, “Post-Orthodox”, or any other kind of stupid label.

    I just see through the political game and notice that all of this is a bunch of politics, none of which has anything to do with the “integrity of the Faith”, but each and everyone’s own individual egos. And that INCLUDES the “fundamentalists” AND the “liberals.”

    (Awaiting a lot of punches for this, but I had to say it.)

  • Matt

    “To follow Bah??’u’ll??h does not mean accepting some of His teachings and rejecting the rest. Allegiance to His Cause must be uncompromising and whole-hearted.”

    “So, really. What is the problem? Once you become a Bah??’?, your goal is to preserve your faith at all costs. After all, if Bah??’u’ll??h is right, then the cost of letting your faith slip is immeasurable! Neysan Zoelzer-Mehrabkhani seems to be more in line with the real teachings of the Bah??’? Faith than any of us.”

    Underneath that logic, then, everyone is Faithful to “His Cause.” The “totality” of “His Teachings” includes all of the fun-loving, tolerant, free-thinking passages as well as the “fundamentalist” passages. It seems to me that this “strong” statement coming from the Guardian I suppose, is to let everyone know (not just so-called liberals, whom seem to think the Baha’i Administration is only trying to bash them and not their conservative counter-parts) that they can’t pick and choose either side, and that includes the “fundamentalist, conservative” side. What I see is a lot of mind-games being played by both “sides.”

    Each “group” thinks they can pick and choose the Writings of the Faith they like, and throw them at the “others” and say “This is what the Faith REALLY teaches. You’re a bunch of stupid morons!” Mud-slinging. Politics. All against the Teachings of the Faith.

    Now, if someone is honestly critical of the Faith in its Totality and wants to speak against it honestly, then that is one thing. But I think the majority of all of this bickering going on in the Baha’i communities (especially on cyberspace) has more to do with internal politics than it does “independent investigation of Truth.” The real ruse is the claim that “We just want to independently investigate the truth” when all they really want to do is bash the Administrative Order. And then they get mad when the Administrative Order bashes them back. If I condemn others, I myself will be condemned. It’s natural law. And before anyone accuses me of being a “cronie” for the AO, let it be known that I am not even a Baha’i. Not an “enrolled”, “unenrolled”, “Orthodox”, “Post-Orthodox”, or any other kind of stupid label.

    I just see through the political game and notice that all of this is a bunch of politics, none of which has anything to do with the “integrity of the Faith”, but each and everyone’s own individual egos. And that INCLUDES the “fundamentalists” AND the “liberals.”

    (Awaiting a lot of punches for this, but I had to say it.)

  • Anonymous

    Matt,

    You are arbitrarily labelling the sometimes heated dicussions that go on between us and Bah??’?s with the pejoritive title of “politics” so that you can claim to “see through” it all and realize its essentially subversive nature. This is exactly the kind of rhetoric that Bah??’?s use to end free inquiry by arrogantly judging others as “insincere” or “dishonest”.

    But in reality, this is just a genetic fallacy in play. The “honesty” or “sincerity” of the interlocutors is completely irrelevant to the truth of their claims (even if we assume that we could judge such a thing). It’s like dismissing Isaac Newton’s physics on the grounds that he was overly-ambitious and egotistical. Though these accusations are historically true of Netwon (he was known to be a narcissistic ego-maniac), they are wholly and completely irrelevant when it comes to the content of Newton’s work. As the Arab says, “Examine what is said, not him who speaks.” That is your imperative, if you sincerely seek the truth.

  • http://mavaddat.livejournal.com Mavaddat

    Matt,

    You are arbitrarily labelling the sometimes heated dicussions that go on between us and Bah??’?s with the pejoritive title of “politics” so that you can claim to “see through” it all and realize its essentially subversive nature. This is exactly the kind of rhetoric that Bah??’?s use to end free inquiry by arrogantly judging others as “insincere” or “dishonest”.

    But in reality, this is just a genetic fallacy in play. The “honesty” or “sincerity” of the interlocutors is completely irrelevant to the truth of their claims (even if we assume that we could judge such a thing). It’s like dismissing Isaac Newton’s physics on the grounds that he was overly-ambitious and egotistical. Though these accusations are historically true of Netwon (he was known to be a narcissistic ego-maniac), they are wholly and completely irrelevant when it comes to the content of Newton’s work. As the Arab says, “Examine what is said, not him who speaks.” That is your imperative, if you sincerely seek the truth.

  • David

    Sorry Randy, but I see nothing obvious about this at all. The editors of the site approve the sites as being relevant, as would the editors of *every single other Google custom search* (or a newspaper or any other information media). As you say, improving the search of Baha’i material is a good idea. If you can think of a way to do it that doesn’t involve filtering out most websites by the editors I and, I’m sure, Google would love to hear it. What I find troubling is the lack of thought about all the complexities involved in building something like this. So let’s be concrete here – someone who is bothered by this tell me how the engine could be set up so that it satisfies your concern about investigation of truth while still allowing the editors to filter out irrelevant material, which is after all the whole point of the thing.

  • David

    Sorry Randy, but I see nothing obvious about this at all. The editors of the site approve the sites as being relevant, as would the editors of *every single other Google custom search* (or a newspaper or any other information media). As you say, improving the search of Baha’i material is a good idea. If you can think of a way to do it that doesn’t involve filtering out most websites by the editors I and, I’m sure, Google would love to hear it. What I find troubling is the lack of thought about all the complexities involved in building something like this. So let’s be concrete here – someone who is bothered by this tell me how the engine could be set up so that it satisfies your concern about investigation of truth while still allowing the editors to filter out irrelevant material, which is after all the whole point of the thing.

  • TJ

    David, as Baquia said, majnun is unnecessary. Can you show me one concrete example of its usefulness? whoever complains that they get “irrelevant” results simply doesn’t know how to use google.

    Let’s get specific. Give us a search term which is ambiguous and would not be made relevant by adding the obvious “bahai” string. Then perhaps your argument wouldn’t ring so hollow.

  • TJ

    David, as Baquia said, majnun is unnecessary. Can you show me one concrete example of its usefulness? whoever complains that they get “irrelevant” results simply doesn’t know how to use google.

    Let’s get specific. Give us a search term which is ambiguous and would not be made relevant by adding the obvious “bahai” string. Then perhaps your argument wouldn’t ring so hollow.

  • concourse_on_low

    The problem is “irrelevant material” is unauthorized material. Be honest.

  • concourse_on_low

    The problem is “irrelevant material” is unauthorized material. Be honest.

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    “all the complexities involved in building something like this”

    LoL

    yeah, it is rocket surgery to plug into Google Co-op a list of sites you want it to draw the search results from!

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    “all the complexities involved in building something like this”

    LoL

    yeah, it is rocket surgery to plug into Google Co-op a list of sites you want it to draw the search results from!

  • Matt

    “You are arbitrarily labelling the sometimes heated dicussions that go on between us and Bah??’?s with the pejoritive title of ?politics? so that you can claim to ?see through? it all and realize its essentially subversive nature. This is exactly the kind of rhetoric that Bah??’?s use to end free inquiry by arrogantly judging others as ?insincere? or ?dishonest?.”

    Yes, you’re right. All I’m saying is that I’m seeing this game being played by Baha’is. Some like the more “liberal” writings in the faith, and others like the more “law and doctrine” writings in the faith…And some from each “camp” go around throwing quotes at each other and saying “This is the TRUE message of the Faith” when in reality, the Baha’i Faith encompasses both of these aspects and more. So yeah, I do think it is “politics” to engage in such a game. That’s my opinion on the matter. The part of calling others insincere and dishonest is also part of the political game.

    Peace be with You,

  • Matt

    “You are arbitrarily labelling the sometimes heated dicussions that go on between us and Bah??’?s with the pejoritive title of ?politics? so that you can claim to ?see through? it all and realize its essentially subversive nature. This is exactly the kind of rhetoric that Bah??’?s use to end free inquiry by arrogantly judging others as ?insincere? or ?dishonest?.”

    Yes, you’re right. All I’m saying is that I’m seeing this game being played by Baha’is. Some like the more “liberal” writings in the faith, and others like the more “law and doctrine” writings in the faith…And some from each “camp” go around throwing quotes at each other and saying “This is the TRUE message of the Faith” when in reality, the Baha’i Faith encompasses both of these aspects and more. So yeah, I do think it is “politics” to engage in such a game. That’s my opinion on the matter. The part of calling others insincere and dishonest is also part of the political game.

    Peace be with You,

  • Brendan Cook

    David,

    If the point of Majnun is to filter out irrelevant material, why doesn’t Baha’i Rants come up? Why has it been cut out? You obviously don’t feel it’s irrelevant, otherwise you wouldn’t be posting on it. The truth is that BR, and Steve Marshall’s Bahaisonline.net don’t show up because they don’t pass the ideological litmus test. So Majnun isn’t sorting for relevance, which would be good, it’s sorting out the things it’s editors don’t feel comfortable with. This is especially odious in the case of bookstores. What gives them the right to ignore Kalimat and yet to promote other Baha’i booksellers? Are they trying to prove that what the USA and Canadian NSAs are doing is really a boycott?

    Brendan

  • Brendan Cook

    David,

    If the point of Majnun is to filter out irrelevant material, why doesn’t Baha’i Rants come up? Why has it been cut out? You obviously don’t feel it’s irrelevant, otherwise you wouldn’t be posting on it. The truth is that BR, and Steve Marshall’s Bahaisonline.net don’t show up because they don’t pass the ideological litmus test. So Majnun isn’t sorting for relevance, which would be good, it’s sorting out the things it’s editors don’t feel comfortable with. This is especially odious in the case of bookstores. What gives them the right to ignore Kalimat and yet to promote other Baha’i booksellers? Are they trying to prove that what the USA and Canadian NSAs are doing is really a boycott?

    Brendan

  • Anonymous

    Matt,

    It’s clear that the word “political” means nothing more than “bad” to you. Your comments are merely emotional reactions without any substance. They aren’t even real arguments.

    And anyway, for you to call others insincere is itself “political” according to you, which makes you just as engaged in “politics” as any of us.

    So please peddle your conversation-stifling emotional doctrines elsewhere. We are interested in discussion here, not how to avoid it.

  • http://mavaddat.livejournal.com Mavaddat

    Matt,

    It’s clear that the word “political” means nothing more than “bad” to you. Your comments are merely emotional reactions without any substance. They aren’t even real arguments.

    And anyway, for you to call others insincere is itself “political” according to you, which makes you just as engaged in “politics” as any of us.

    So please peddle your conversation-stifling emotional doctrines elsewhere. We are interested in discussion here, not how to avoid it.

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    Mavaddat and Matt, I’m glad that you brought up this point of “picking and choosing” because there is something related that I wanted to bring up. Hopefully it will help resolve this matter. Or at least shed some light on it. It is a very important and too often ignored idea.

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    Mavaddat and Matt, I’m glad that you brought up this point of “picking and choosing” because there is something related that I wanted to bring up. Hopefully it will help resolve this matter. Or at least shed some light on it. It is a very important and too often ignored idea.

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

    Baquia, yes some ideas about picking and choosing or ‘cherry picking’ as it is sometimes called would be welcomed. Soooo, what’s the idea?

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

    Baquia, yes some ideas about picking and choosing or ‘cherry picking’ as it is sometimes called would be welcomed. Soooo, what’s the idea?

  • David

    The most obvious usefulness is for searching Baha’i blogs. With Majnun you search several hundred directly. Google would intersperse those few hundred blogs with literally tens of thousands of other pages that contained whatever key words you use, say ‘Baha’i’ and ‘blog’ along with some other things. Choose a random blog you find on Majnun and then, without cheating and using what you read on it, try to re-find it using Google. Moreover, though, the point isn’t just to find them but to search within them.

    Setting aside the issue of ‘challenging’ sites, I’m not clear on why its not understandable that by eliminating irrelevant websites, which is most of them, searching automatically becomes easier. It’s the difference between searching for a needle in a haystack and in a small pile of hay.

  • David

    The most obvious usefulness is for searching Baha’i blogs. With Majnun you search several hundred directly. Google would intersperse those few hundred blogs with literally tens of thousands of other pages that contained whatever key words you use, say ‘Baha’i’ and ‘blog’ along with some other things. Choose a random blog you find on Majnun and then, without cheating and using what you read on it, try to re-find it using Google. Moreover, though, the point isn’t just to find them but to search within them.

    Setting aside the issue of ‘challenging’ sites, I’m not clear on why its not understandable that by eliminating irrelevant websites, which is most of them, searching automatically becomes easier. It’s the difference between searching for a needle in a haystack and in a small pile of hay.

  • David

    Perhaps what I meant wasn’t clear, though a ‘LOL’ is certainly unnecessary. I wasn’t referring to the technical aspects (which is still more complicated than what you describe), but rather that being an editor is more complicated. You may, no doubt, find that equally laughable, but the point remains I don’t think there is an obvious way to create something like this that serves its purpose and doesn’t entail making editorial decisions about what is excluded.

  • David

    Perhaps what I meant wasn’t clear, though a ‘LOL’ is certainly unnecessary. I wasn’t referring to the technical aspects (which is still more complicated than what you describe), but rather that being an editor is more complicated. You may, no doubt, find that equally laughable, but the point remains I don’t think there is an obvious way to create something like this that serves its purpose and doesn’t entail making editorial decisions about what is excluded.

  • David

    I think Brendan you confuse the *point* with the consequences. Again, the point is to allow searches that filter out irrelevant material. A consequence is a disagreement about what is relevant, as is happening here. I’m saying that the intention and rationale for the search engine is filtering out irrelevant material, regardless of disagreement about what qualifies as such.

    As for thinking this site is relevant, for me it is right now in so far as someone is being accused of stifling independent investigation of truth by creating a search engine and I find that hard to understand. For me, at least, this doesn’t make it relevant in any other sense.

  • David

    I think Brendan you confuse the *point* with the consequences. Again, the point is to allow searches that filter out irrelevant material. A consequence is a disagreement about what is relevant, as is happening here. I’m saying that the intention and rationale for the search engine is filtering out irrelevant material, regardless of disagreement about what qualifies as such.

    As for thinking this site is relevant, for me it is right now in so far as someone is being accused of stifling independent investigation of truth by creating a search engine and I find that hard to understand. For me, at least, this doesn’t make it relevant in any other sense.

  • TJ

    David, ever heard of this little company started by 2 Russian guys? they have this specialized search engine:

    http://blogsearch.google.com/

    Might want to use it next time you want to search for something in a blog. Oh and if you want to find Baha’i related stuff, just add “Bahai” to your search string.

    Anything else? This is search engine usage 101

    class dismissed for recess

  • TJ

    David, ever heard of this little company started by 2 Russian guys? they have this specialized search engine:

    http://blogsearch.google.com/

    Might want to use it next time you want to search for something in a blog. Oh and if you want to find Baha’i related stuff, just add “Bahai” to your search string.

    Anything else? This is search engine usage 101

    class dismissed for recess

  • TJ

    David, this blog is about the Baha’i faith, it discusses relevant material. That there should be a question to the relevancy of such a blog is laughable. It is listed as the top 60 some search results in google when you search for the general term “Bahai”. ok? Have we got that established?
    There is no subjective argument or personal opinion to bring into this question. Unless ignorance is now an opinion.
    So the fact that it is “not approved” by the self-appointed Majnun editors, who ever they may be, is quite clearly due to the editors not sharing the opinions of the author of this blog.
    In the end, as Baquia stated, it doesn’t matter. Everyone and anyone in the history of humanity has fallen flat on their face when they’ve tried to limit knowledge.
    It is a bit ironic that a Baha’i – or someone claiming to be a Baha’i – and trying to do “good” within that definition would do something so bone headed.
    That, I think is what Baquia was trying to point out.

  • TJ

    David, this blog is about the Baha’i faith, it discusses relevant material. That there should be a question to the relevancy of such a blog is laughable. It is listed as the top 60 some search results in google when you search for the general term “Bahai”. ok? Have we got that established?
    There is no subjective argument or personal opinion to bring into this question. Unless ignorance is now an opinion.
    So the fact that it is “not approved” by the self-appointed Majnun editors, who ever they may be, is quite clearly due to the editors not sharing the opinions of the author of this blog.
    In the end, as Baquia stated, it doesn’t matter. Everyone and anyone in the history of humanity has fallen flat on their face when they’ve tried to limit knowledge.
    It is a bit ironic that a Baha’i – or someone claiming to be a Baha’i – and trying to do “good” within that definition would do something so bone headed.
    That, I think is what Baquia was trying to point out.

  • Craig Parke

    TJ,

    You make several excellent points here. But, unfortunately, always remember that on the present planet we are living on ignorance IS often an opinion. In fact, ignorance IS often an entire life long sustained point of view for some people. Cognitive dissonance is, in fact, a major growth industry in the present world as is witnessed every day by every one who is awake and thinking.

    I am astonished every day of my life at the full spectacle of this phenomenon. My continuous inner mantra from sunrise to sunset on my life journey is “Say what?” and “WTF are you talking about?” I found the Ruhi Books just amazing and at a whole new level of Cosmic dysfunction.

    So the concept of top down “pre-approved” “independent investigation of truth” is to be expected on this planet although the concept is a bit startling I must admit when you encounter it as came up on Baquia’s post.

    “Stupid is as stupid does”.

    -Forest Gump

    This is where “pre-approved” “independent investigation of truth” always ends up.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0bJSwKZ8PmM

  • Craig Parke

    TJ,

    You make several excellent points here. But, unfortunately, always remember that on the present planet we are living on ignorance IS often an opinion. In fact, ignorance IS often an entire life long sustained point of view for some people. Cognitive dissonance is, in fact, a major growth industry in the present world as is witnessed every day by every one who is awake and thinking.

    I am astonished every day of my life at the full spectacle of this phenomenon. My continuous inner mantra from sunrise to sunset on my life journey is “Say what?” and “WTF are you talking about?” I found the Ruhi Books just amazing and at a whole new level of Cosmic dysfunction.

    So the concept of top down “pre-approved” “independent investigation of truth” is to be expected on this planet although the concept is a bit startling I must admit when you encounter it as came up on Baquia’s post.

    “Stupid is as stupid does”.

    -Forest Gump

    This is where “pre-approved” “independent investigation of truth” always ends up.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0bJSwKZ8PmM

  • concourse_on_low

    David,

    Name one “irrelevant” website that comes up when Googling Bahai through the normal Google.

  • concourse_on_low

    David,

    Name one “irrelevant” website that comes up when Googling Bahai through the normal Google.

  • Matt

    “Your comments are merely emotional reactions without any substance. They aren’t even real arguments.”

    (Cleaning the wounds from that verbal bite. I suppose those are the rules of “combat.”)

    Actually, I wasn’t feeling hyper emotional while writing anything thus far. I WAS using “political” to mean something negative, but I don’t just use words with a dictionary definition to write. I also use words that have a “popular” definition. It might not be a scholar’s style of writing. But I am not a scholar, so there’s that.

    Also, It is unclear to me how I am using “conversation-stifling emotional doctrines” and that I should take it elsewhere, as if I don’t want to be a part of this discussion? Just because I don’t speak in the conventional tones that you or anyone else does, does not mean that I am trying to stifle any conservation. If introducing a disliked or unpopular idea into a discussion is considered “stifling”, then that is a no different action than what the “institutions” take upon the religious liberals.

    I see everyone else is going on with the conversation. Nothing has been disrupted. And I never called anyone “insincere.” By saying “Yes, you’re right” I was referring to one part of your writing. That did not go through perfectly because it wasn’t a verbal conversation. I was not calling anyone insincere.

    But in any case, I am going to bed. I saw your latest video YouTube video, btw. I thought it was very stimulating.

  • Matt

    “Your comments are merely emotional reactions without any substance. They aren’t even real arguments.”

    (Cleaning the wounds from that verbal bite. I suppose those are the rules of “combat.”)

    Actually, I wasn’t feeling hyper emotional while writing anything thus far. I WAS using “political” to mean something negative, but I don’t just use words with a dictionary definition to write. I also use words that have a “popular” definition. It might not be a scholar’s style of writing. But I am not a scholar, so there’s that.

    Also, It is unclear to me how I am using “conversation-stifling emotional doctrines” and that I should take it elsewhere, as if I don’t want to be a part of this discussion? Just because I don’t speak in the conventional tones that you or anyone else does, does not mean that I am trying to stifle any conservation. If introducing a disliked or unpopular idea into a discussion is considered “stifling”, then that is a no different action than what the “institutions” take upon the religious liberals.

    I see everyone else is going on with the conversation. Nothing has been disrupted. And I never called anyone “insincere.” By saying “Yes, you’re right” I was referring to one part of your writing. That did not go through perfectly because it wasn’t a verbal conversation. I was not calling anyone insincere.

    But in any case, I am going to bed. I saw your latest video YouTube video, btw. I thought it was very stimulating.

  • Anonymous

    Matt,

    Why “hyper emotional”? I didn’t say you were hyper- anything. I only said your words lacked any real substance; that they were merely sophistical, aimed at evoking disdain and apathy of the current dialogue.

    And in case you are wondering how you are stifling conversation and accusing others of being insincere, allow me to quote you:

    What I see is a lot of mind-games being played by both ?sides.?

    Each ?group? thinks they can pick and choose the Writings of the Faith they like, and throw them at the ?others? and say ?This is what the Faith REALLY teaches. You’re a bunch of stupid morons!? Mud-slinging. Politics. All against the Teachings of the Faith.

    You explicitly say that we are playing “mind games,” which means we are bent on manipulating one another into submission to our particular perspective instead of actually seeking the truth. Couple this with the fact that we all would deny such a claim (that is, if anyone else cared about your ideas besides me), and what you have is an accusation of insincerity.

    Lastly, I want you to notice that I write these words as someone who stands outside the target of your criticism, since I (in fact) accept that Bah??’?s really ought to accept all of the teachings, or else stop calling themselves Bah??’?s. So in a sense, I agree with you. But I don’t agree with you assesment that anyone is being insincere or playing mind games. This is because, as I said, to make such a judgement of intent is both beyond me, and is itself as political and subversive as the supposed tactics of those you are accusing.

  • http://mavaddat.livejournal.com Mavaddat

    Matt,

    Why “hyper emotional”? I didn’t say you were hyper- anything. I only said your words lacked any real substance; that they were merely sophistical, aimed at evoking disdain and apathy of the current dialogue.

    And in case you are wondering how you are stifling conversation and accusing others of being insincere, allow me to quote you:

    What I see is a lot of mind-games being played by both ?sides.?

    Each ?group? thinks they can pick and choose the Writings of the Faith they like, and throw them at the ?others? and say ?This is what the Faith REALLY teaches. You’re a bunch of stupid morons!? Mud-slinging. Politics. All against the Teachings of the Faith.

    You explicitly say that we are playing “mind games,” which means we are bent on manipulating one another into submission to our particular perspective instead of actually seeking the truth. Couple this with the fact that we all would deny such a claim (that is, if anyone else cared about your ideas besides me), and what you have is an accusation of insincerity.

    Lastly, I want you to notice that I write these words as someone who stands outside the target of your criticism, since I (in fact) accept that Bah??’?s really ought to accept all of the teachings, or else stop calling themselves Bah??’?s. So in a sense, I agree with you. But I don’t agree with you assesment that anyone is being insincere or playing mind games. This is because, as I said, to make such a judgement of intent is both beyond me, and is itself as political and subversive as the supposed tactics of those you are accusing.

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  • ep

    the Majnun site is obviously fascist bahai cr*p

    (as previously observed by somebody selse, if they have a stunning new way of using search technology, google has lots of money to pay them for their ideas. I know someone that can directly connect them to google employee #14 to collect their $.)

    and !Yes!, bahais and exbahais take sides and have food fights. ALL THE TIME.

    foodfights look silly to people that don’t like (or care about) food fights. if they then say they think food fights are silly, then the foodfighters get “offended”. then the anti-foodfighters get offended that the foodfighters don’t understand how being an anti-foodfighter is better than foodfighting.

    someone else will get offended that they are offending each other.

    urgh.

    in terms of “universal archetypes”:

    liberal=nurturing mommy (peace/love)
    conservative=strict daddy (order/structure)

    guess what?

    brain scans show that different areas of the human brain light up for each archetype.

    both are needed.

    the real problem that neither side in the liberal-conservative foodfights addresses is postmodern narcicissism/nihilism (boomeritis, “mean green meme”).

    I agree TOTALLY with Mavaddat about getting out. most of the warm/fuzzy cool progressive stuff in bahai theology will be overtaken by the thought policing mentality that is found elsewhere in bahai theology.

    gawd bless people that still believe in warm/fuzzy stuff, but they will lose the fight with the fascists. when being bahai is no longer fun or “meaningful”, they might realize how cr*ppy bahai theology really is. or they might go on ignoring the silliness, and drift into nothingness and go shopping.

    Integral philosophy pioneer Jean Gebser talked about “paradigm regression”. (google “wiki gebser”)

    postmodernists will be the worst fascists because they regress to tribal conformism and brutality in the name of compassion, tolerance and “diversity”. (talisman was a precursor)

    as society regresses through postmodernism (boomeritis), it will increasingly “infect” the bahai community, and the paradigm regression will always lead back to fascism, not forward to warm/fuzzy/peace/love.

    one integral philosopher, Don Beck, recently estimated that 1/2 of the human population of planet earth will be exterminated from lack of order that will result from postmodernists (liberals that revert to tribal fascism) increasingly coming to “power”.

    e.g., the anti-global-warming “green fascists” are already telling poor people to stay poor, hungry and sick (no factories/cars/medicine/democracy/education) so the green fascists can enjoy their wealthy consumer economy without a bad climate.

    Bye!
    Eric P.
    Sacramento

  • ep

    the Majnun site is obviously fascist bahai cr*p

    (as previously observed by somebody selse, if they have a stunning new way of using search technology, google has lots of money to pay them for their ideas. I know someone that can directly connect them to google employee #14 to collect their $.)

    and !Yes!, bahais and exbahais take sides and have food fights. ALL THE TIME.

    foodfights look silly to people that don’t like (or care about) food fights. if they then say they think food fights are silly, then the foodfighters get “offended”. then the anti-foodfighters get offended that the foodfighters don’t understand how being an anti-foodfighter is better than foodfighting.

    someone else will get offended that they are offending each other.

    urgh.

    in terms of “universal archetypes”:

    liberal=nurturing mommy (peace/love)
    conservative=strict daddy (order/structure)

    guess what?

    brain scans show that different areas of the human brain light up for each archetype.

    both are needed.

    the real problem that neither side in the liberal-conservative foodfights addresses is postmodern narcicissism/nihilism (boomeritis, “mean green meme”).

    I agree TOTALLY with Mavaddat about getting out. most of the warm/fuzzy cool progressive stuff in bahai theology will be overtaken by the thought policing mentality that is found elsewhere in bahai theology.

    gawd bless people that still believe in warm/fuzzy stuff, but they will lose the fight with the fascists. when being bahai is no longer fun or “meaningful”, they might realize how cr*ppy bahai theology really is. or they might go on ignoring the silliness, and drift into nothingness and go shopping.

    Integral philosophy pioneer Jean Gebser talked about “paradigm regression”. (google “wiki gebser”)

    postmodernists will be the worst fascists because they regress to tribal conformism and brutality in the name of compassion, tolerance and “diversity”. (talisman was a precursor)

    as society regresses through postmodernism (boomeritis), it will increasingly “infect” the bahai community, and the paradigm regression will always lead back to fascism, not forward to warm/fuzzy/peace/love.

    one integral philosopher, Don Beck, recently estimated that 1/2 of the human population of planet earth will be exterminated from lack of order that will result from postmodernists (liberals that revert to tribal fascism) increasingly coming to “power”.

    e.g., the anti-global-warming “green fascists” are already telling poor people to stay poor, hungry and sick (no factories/cars/medicine/democracy/education) so the green fascists can enjoy their wealthy consumer economy without a bad climate.

    Bye!
    Eric P.
    Sacramento

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

    "Pre-approved" says it all. What an oxymoron when coupled with "individual investigation of truth." Can you imagine doing science with pre-screened data to select for the results you want? It's called "fraud."

    "This is a brilliant tool for your research or scholarship projects."

    Only if you don't give a damn or are ignorant about quality research and scholarship in the first place.

    No doubt the site is an asset to most Baha'is, who have already stopped thinking for themselves anyway. Why waste time and energy thinking when there are plenty of institutions and learned administrators to tell you what to think.

    Perhaps it can serve as a helpful warning site for potential converts who can still think for themselves and recognize Orwellian double-speak before it's too late.

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

    "Pre-approved" says it all. What an oxymoron when coupled with "individual investigation of truth." Can you imagine doing science with pre-screened data to select for the results you want? It's called "fraud."

    "This is a brilliant tool for your research or scholarship projects."

    Only if you don't give a damn or are ignorant about quality research and scholarship in the first place.

    No doubt the site is an asset to most Baha'is, who have already stopped thinking for themselves anyway. Why waste time and energy thinking when there are plenty of institutions and learned administrators to tell you what to think.

    Perhaps it can serve as a helpful warning site for potential converts who can still think for themselves and recognize Orwellian double-speak before it's too late.

  • farhan

    Phagocyte wrote: a helpful warning site for potential converts who can still think for themselves and recognize Orwellian double-speak before it's too late.

    Too late for what, Phogocyte? Anyone can freely leave the Baha'i faith. If you read this blog, you will find that it is easier to leave than to stay in.

    It is wise to provide seekers with whatever is a priority at a given time, just as a supermarket will expose more conspicuously the season's products. The seeker is to perform his own research, but this doesn’t mean that the knower should blurt out everything he knows into people’s faces, all at the same time. The aim of sharing information is to assist seekers and not overwhelm them. It is obvious that all Baha'is do not meet the high standard set by Baha'u'llah, but do you expose your flowers or your waste bins to your guests? Here is how Baha’u’llah advises us to share knowledge:

    “Not everything that a man knoweth can be disclosed, nor can everything that he can disclose be regarded as timely, nor can every timely utterance be considered as suited to the capacity of those who hear it.” (Gleanings LXXXIX)

    "The Lord of celestial wisdom saith: A harsh word is even as a sword thrust; a gentle word as milk. The latter leadeth the children of men unto knowledge and conferreth upon them true distinction."(TU p 4)

    "Say: O people! These words are being uttered in due measure, that the newly born may thrive and the tender shoot flourish. Milk should be given in suitable proportion, that the children of the world may attain to the station of maturity and abide in the court of oneness." (Tabernacle of Unity p 5)

    "The suckling child must be nourished with milk. If it be given meat it will assuredly perish, and this would be naught but sheer injustice and unwisdom. Blessed are they that understand."(Tabernacle of Unity, p 13)

    "…if the Sun of Truth were suddenly to reveal, at the earliest stages of its manifestation, the full measure of the potencies which the providence of the Almighty hath bestowed upon it, the earth of human understanding would waste away and be consumed; for men’s hearts would neither sustain the intensity of its revelation, nor be able to mirror forth the radiance of its light. Dismayed and overpowered, they would cease to exist."(Gleanings XXXVIII)

    "Should the Word be allowed to release suddenly all the energies latent within it, no man could sustain the weight of so mighty a Revelation. Nay, all that is in heaven and on earth would flee in consternation before it." (Gleanings XXXIII)

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

    Phagocyte wrote: a helpful warning site for potential converts who can still think for themselves and recognize Orwellian double-speak before it's too late.

    Too late for what, Phogocyte? Anyone can freely leave the Baha'i faith. If you read this blog, you will find that it is easier to leave than to stay in.

    It is wise to provide seekers with whatever is a priority at a given time, just as a supermarket will expose more conspicuously the season's products. The seeker is to perform his own research, but this doesn’t mean that the knower should blurt out everything he knows into people’s faces, all at the same time. The aim of sharing information is to assist seekers and not overwhelm them. It is obvious that all Baha'is do not meet the high standard set by Baha'u'llah, but do you expose your flowers or your waste bins to your guests? Here is how Baha’u’llah advises us to share knowledge:

    “Not everything that a man knoweth can be disclosed, nor can everything that he can disclose be regarded as timely, nor can every timely utterance be considered as suited to the capacity of those who hear it.” (Gleanings LXXXIX)

    "The Lord of celestial wisdom saith: A harsh word is even as a sword thrust; a gentle word as milk. The latter leadeth the children of men unto knowledge and conferreth upon them true distinction."(TU p 4)

    "Say: O people! These words are being uttered in due measure, that the newly born may thrive and the tender shoot flourish. Milk should be given in suitable proportion, that the children of the world may attain to the station of maturity and abide in the court of oneness." (Tabernacle of Unity p 5)

    "The suckling child must be nourished with milk. If it be given meat it will assuredly perish, and this would be naught but sheer injustice and unwisdom. Blessed are they that understand."(Tabernacle of Unity, p 13)

    "…if the Sun of Truth were suddenly to reveal, at the earliest stages of its manifestation, the full measure of the potencies which the providence of the Almighty hath bestowed upon it, the earth of human understanding would waste away and be consumed; for men’s hearts would neither sustain the intensity of its revelation, nor be able to mirror forth the radiance of its light. Dismayed and overpowered, they would cease to exist."(Gleanings XXXVIII)

    "Should the Word be allowed to release suddenly all the energies latent within it, no man could sustain the weight of so mighty a Revelation. Nay, all that is in heaven and on earth would flee in consternation before it." (Gleanings XXXIII)

  • Craig Parke

    Farhan,

    It's what, 165 years into the New World Age now? The potentials of human consciousness have greatly expanded on all levels of human endeavor. The Baha'is should have been on the forefront of everything. They weren't. Other communities of thought and exploration pursuing the independent investigation of truth have now far outstripped the flat footed and completely restrained and fettered group think oriented worldwide Baha'i Community in accomplishment. One thinking person carrying out spiritually empowered individual initiative is worth 1,000 group think automaton drones in actually accomplishing something useful in the world.

    No apparatchik hacks in the current Administrative Order of the Baha'i Faith could ever do my software engineering job every day because I am fiercely held personally accountable for by job performance. I have to be brought to account each day. I am sure that is true of every person who posts here in their profession. There is no where to hide in the real world. You have to do your job effectively or you are eventually out on the street looking for something else to do.

    But the cradle to the grave lifetime incumbent "professional educator" theorist class that currently runs the Baha'i Faith is NEVER held accountable for anything by anyone. Ever. The worldwide Baha'i electorate is a shocking embarrassment of passive group think planetary cowards.

    As I have said here before, if I had been a lifetime incumbent member of the UHJ or the US NSA for the last 40 years of my life, I would take a loaded gun, put it to my head, and pull the trigger. The record is just that pitiful. How can ANY of these people look at themselves in a mirror each morning when they get up? They have taken the Baha'i Faith to mind bending disaster and catastrophe. Their lame incestuous cliquish leadership has completely destroyed the bridge community in the Faith worldwide. The cameras of history are running at 24 frames a second in Dolby stereo sound. The sorry, hapless, completely ineffective record is there for all to see in human history. Bottom up grass roots consultation is no longer permitted by the top down ruling apparatchik class in the Baha'i Faith. No new ideas, new initiatives, and new energies are permitted. Everyone must now pimp for the MLM Plan and recruit more automatons to go door to door and also pimp for the LML Plan. Put "Anna's Presentation" on mp3 auto replay. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. If you actually read Baha'u'llah's Writings and discuss them you will be marked for surveillance as reeking of self and ego corrupted by "Western ideas". You will be marked for extra work in the Year Zero camps. The dumbed down Ruhi Books are the new McFaith. The burgher, fries, and diet coke Baha'i Faith is the Holy Writ. True, unfettered, "independent investigation of truth" will never be tolerated in such a system now. People that actually read non-Baha'i books and discuss them will be marginalized as the enemies of God in the new orthodox Orwellian group think. Peter Khan has clearly warned everyone in his speeches that everyone must mistrust all fellow Baha'is lest they be led astray from properly authorized orthodox thinking. And, remember, there are now actual study circles on his speeches so that everyone will get with the new doctrines of the Faith.

    http://bahai-library.com/talks/khan.nz.html
    http://bahai-library.com/talks/mental.tests.html

  • Craig Parke

    Farhan,

    It's what, 165 years into the New World Age now? The potentials of human consciousness have greatly expanded on all levels of human endeavor. The Baha'is should have been on the forefront of everything. They weren't. Other communities of thought and exploration pursuing the independent investigation of truth have now far outstripped the flat footed and completely restrained and fettered group think oriented worldwide Baha'i Community in accomplishment. One thinking person carrying out spiritually empowered individual initiative is worth 1,000 group think automaton drones in actually accomplishing something useful in the world.

    No apparatchik hacks in the current Administrative Order of the Baha'i Faith could ever do my software engineering job every day because I am fiercely held personally accountable for by job performance. I have to be brought to account each day. I am sure that is true of every person who posts here in their profession. There is no where to hide in the real world. You have to do your job effectively or you are eventually out on the street looking for something else to do.

    But the cradle to the grave lifetime incumbent "professional educator" theorist class that currently runs the Baha'i Faith is NEVER held accountable for anything by anyone. Ever. The worldwide Baha'i electorate is a shocking embarrassment of passive group think planetary cowards.

    As I have said here before, if I had been a lifetime incumbent member of the UHJ or the US NSA for the last 40 years of my life, I would take a loaded gun, put it to my head, and pull the trigger. The record is just that pitiful. How can ANY of these people look at themselves in a mirror each morning when they get up? They have taken the Baha'i Faith to mind bending disaster and catastrophe. Their lame incestuous cliquish leadership has completely destroyed the bridge community in the Faith worldwide. The cameras of history are running at 24 frames a second in Dolby stereo sound. The sorry, hapless, completely ineffective record is there for all to see in human history. Bottom up grass roots consultation is no longer permitted by the top down ruling apparatchik class in the Baha'i Faith. No new ideas, new initiatives, and new energies are permitted. Everyone must now pimp for the MLM Plan and recruit more automatons to go door to door and also pimp for the LML Plan. Put "Anna's Presentation" on mp3 auto replay. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. If you actually read Baha'u'llah's Writings and discuss them you will be marked for surveillance as reeking of self and ego corrupted by "Western ideas". You will be marked for extra work in the Year Zero camps. The dumbed down Ruhi Books are the new McFaith. The burgher, fries, and diet coke Baha'i Faith is the Holy Writ. True, unfettered, "independent investigation of truth" will never be tolerated in such a system now. People that actually read non-Baha'i books and discuss them will be marginalized as the enemies of God in the new orthodox Orwellian group think. Peter Khan has clearly warned everyone in his speeches that everyone must mistrust all fellow Baha'is lest they be led astray from properly authorized orthodox thinking. And, remember, there are now actual study circles on his speeches so that everyone will get with the new doctrines of the Faith.

    http://bahai-library.com/talks/khan.nz.html

    http://bahai-library.com/talks/mental.tests.html

  • Amado

    We recently had a lovely wedding, and the owner of the locale was so impressed by the fun that Bahá'ís and friends of Bahá'ís had without liquor (and the beauty of the readings, perhaps some diversity of the guests…) that he looked us up on Internet. There are some sites that would not be included on Majnún – should I be worried that he will undoubtedly be beguiled by the strayed sheep and never reach the one true fold? Or can I trust in the principle that 'Abdu'l-Bahá says is the number one ("although I have mentioned it in fourth place, it is really the foremost"): the independent investigation of truth?

  • Amado

    We recently had a lovely wedding, and the owner of the locale was so impressed by the fun that Bahá'ís and friends of Bahá'ís had without liquor (and the beauty of the readings, perhaps some diversity of the guests…) that he looked us up on Internet. There are some sites that would not be included on Majnún – should I be worried that he will undoubtedly be beguiled by the strayed sheep and never reach the one true fold? Or can I trust in the principle that 'Abdu'l-Bahá says is the number one ("although I have mentioned it in fourth place, it is really the foremost"): the independent investigation of truth?

  • farhan

    Amado wrote : Or can I trust in the principle that 'Abdu'l-Bahá says is the number one ("although I have mentioned it in fourth place, it is really the foremost"): the independent investigation of truth?

    Amadeo, I see a difference between the duties of the seeker, and the duties of a provider. The provider, without censoring the seeker, is to attract his attention to what he himself considers as essential. If some people wish to attract attention to the waste bins of the Faith, it is OK for them. I wish to attract people to the beauties of the Faith. Some go to Paris or NY and come back with stories of museums, restaurants and art galleries; others go to the same cities and come back with stories of slums and brothels. Each person is revealing his true self.

    When a patient consults I first give him an idea of what science can do for him, before explaining to him the possible pitfalls he will be facing. Before I operate, I have to obtain what we call an “enlightened consent” (informed consent in the US). I have to make sure he has understood, but I don’t start with a booklet at the hospital entrance giving all the dangers of surgery before people even come to a diagnosis. Giving the priority to the good news, recounting the positive side of reality first, does not mean we should indefinitely hide and not warn against the pitfalls. Hence at each stage of the discovery of the Faith the provider will adapt his information to the seekers needs, and as we know, many temporary administrative measures such as control over Baha’i literature, and I would include Internet materials here, will disappear. As Shoghi Effendi writes:

    « …the administration of the Cause is to be conceived as an instrument and not a substitute for the Faith of Baha'u'llah, that it should be regarded as a channel through which His promised blessings may flow, that it should guard against such rigidity as would clog and fetter the liberating forces released by His Revelation. … that the financial support accorded to a very few workers in the teaching and administrative fields is of a temporary nature; that the present restrictions imposed on the publication of Baha'i literature will be definitely abolished; »(World Order Baha'u'llah (p10)

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

    Amado wrote : Or can I trust in the principle that 'Abdu'l-Bahá says is the number one ("although I have mentioned it in fourth place, it is really the foremost"): the independent investigation of truth?

    Amadeo, I see a difference between the duties of the seeker, and the duties of a provider. The provider, without censoring the seeker, is to attract his attention to what he himself considers as essential. If some people wish to attract attention to the waste bins of the Faith, it is OK for them. I wish to attract people to the beauties of the Faith. Some go to Paris or NY and come back with stories of museums, restaurants and art galleries; others go to the same cities and come back with stories of slums and brothels. Each person is revealing his true self.

    When a patient consults I first give him an idea of what science can do for him, before explaining to him the possible pitfalls he will be facing. Before I operate, I have to obtain what we call an “enlightened consent” (informed consent in the US). I have to make sure he has understood, but I don’t start with a booklet at the hospital entrance giving all the dangers of surgery before people even come to a diagnosis. Giving the priority to the good news, recounting the positive side of reality first, does not mean we should indefinitely hide and not warn against the pitfalls. Hence at each stage of the discovery of the Faith the provider will adapt his information to the seekers needs, and as we know, many temporary administrative measures such as control over Baha’i literature, and I would include Internet materials here, will disappear. As Shoghi Effendi writes:

    « …the administration of the Cause is to be conceived as an instrument and not a substitute for the Faith of Baha'u'llah, that it should be regarded as a channel through which His promised blessings may flow, that it should guard against such rigidity as would clog and fetter the liberating forces released by His Revelation. … that the financial support accorded to a very few workers in the teaching and administrative fields is of a temporary nature; that the present restrictions imposed on the publication of Baha'i literature will be definitely abolished; »(World Order Baha'u'llah (p10)

  • farhan

    Craig wrote: It's what, 165 years into the New World Age now? The potentials of human consciousness have greatly expanded on all levels of human endeavor. The Baha'is should have been on the forefront of everything.

    Craig, compared to the situation of Christianity in the year 165 AD, the situation of the Baha’i Faith is brilliant.
    And why should the Baha’is be in the forefront of everything? Why see our position with humanity as one of domination and competition, and not one of selfless service, acting as pure channels that convey God's message to all? I remember at one time the Iranian pioneers were in the forefront in one country. The UHJ advised them to be as the breeze moving the flowers of a garden but at the same time remaining invisible. This is the new standard: the outstanding servant is one who has become a source of infinite progress for humanity, not the one who has used humanity as a footstool to his own fame and renown.

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

    Craig wrote: It's what, 165 years into the New World Age now? The potentials of human consciousness have greatly expanded on all levels of human endeavor. The Baha'is should have been on the forefront of everything.

    Craig, compared to the situation of Christianity in the year 165 AD, the situation of the Baha’i Faith is brilliant.
    And why should the Baha’is be in the forefront of everything? Why see our position with humanity as one of domination and competition, and not one of selfless service, acting as pure channels that convey God's message to all? I remember at one time the Iranian pioneers were in the forefront in one country. The UHJ advised them to be as the breeze moving the flowers of a garden but at the same time remaining invisible. This is the new standard: the outstanding servant is one who has become a source of infinite progress for humanity, not the one who has used humanity as a footstool to his own fame and renown.

  • Craig Parke

    Farhan,

    You always seem to imply the Baha'i Faith and it's entrenched lifetime incumbent leadership machine is "completely selfless". I am sure everyone likes to personally think they are as their own Simon pure platitude self image. But on a subconscious level any straightforward analysis of the entrenched professional leadership of the Baha'i Faith will show that it is absolutely ruthless. Even completely hysterical and utterly radical!

    The Baha'i Faith is riddled with a quest for fame and renown. Read the personal breathless "theory-of-everything" lecture speeches of the people running the Faith. Everything is a fierce lecture upon the Baha'i rank and file of the world by completely egotistical theorists obsessed with themselves and their personal theories as lifetime incumbents who are not held accountable to anyone or anything in Heaven or Earth. These people to a man have shameful feet of clay. The sorry record speaks for itself.

    So where do you get this "selfless" meme about the Faith that you seem to try to make an example about in your posts here over and over? I just don't understand where you are getting this? Quite to the contrary, the current top down version of the Baha'i Faith is one of the most desperately ego driven organizations on Earth. It is a classic "my way or the high way" leadership. Many long time Baha'is have left and will continue to leave in this current environment until there is free and open consultation at every level of the Baha'i Faith and not the fiat dictates of an election gamed moribund personal satrap professional theorist clergy. There will never be true selflessness in the Baha'i Faith until there are fiercely enforce term limits in place across the board at every level worldwide.

    Fame and renown in their own megalomania personal fantasies of obsessed organizational service immortality is driving everything. EVERYTHING!

    But in reality it is all endless disgrace in world history and means nothing at all.

  • Craig Parke

    Farhan,

    You always seem to imply the Baha'i Faith and it's entrenched lifetime incumbent leadership machine is "completely selfless". I am sure everyone likes to personally think they are as their own Simon pure platitude self image. But on a subconscious level any straightforward analysis of the entrenched professional leadership of the Baha'i Faith will show that it is absolutely ruthless. Even completely hysterical and utterly radical!

    The Baha'i Faith is riddled with a quest for fame and renown. Read the personal breathless "theory-of-everything" lecture speeches of the people running the Faith. Everything is a fierce lecture upon the Baha'i rank and file of the world by completely egotistical theorists obsessed with themselves and their personal theories as lifetime incumbents who are not held accountable to anyone or anything in Heaven or Earth. These people to a man have shameful feet of clay. The sorry record speaks for itself.

    So where do you get this "selfless" meme about the Faith that you seem to try to make an example about in your posts here over and over? I just don't understand where you are getting this? Quite to the contrary, the current top down version of the Baha'i Faith is one of the most desperately ego driven organizations on Earth. It is a classic "my way or the high way" leadership. Many long time Baha'is have left and will continue to leave in this current environment until there is free and open consultation at every level of the Baha'i Faith and not the fiat dictates of an election gamed moribund personal satrap professional theorist clergy. There will never be true selflessness in the Baha'i Faith until there are fiercely enforce term limits in place across the board at every level worldwide.

    Fame and renown in their own megalomania personal fantasies of obsessed organizational service immortality is driving everything. EVERYTHING!

    But in reality it is all endless disgrace in world history and means nothing at all.

  • Craig Parke

    Farhan,

    You are dreaming! The restrictions imposed on the publication of Baha'i literature will NEVER be abolished. NEVER! It is here to stay forever as the last stop example of the permanent mindset of another "Chief Priests, Scribes, and Pharisees" Abrahamaic religion from the authoritarian cultures of the Middle East.

    The Administration of the cause IS a total completely synthetic substitute for the Faith of Baha'u'llah. SE's warning was not heeded. Ever. It is brain OCD chemistry and it can never be overcome on this planet. Mark my words. Restrictions of any kind will NEVER be lifted in the Baha'i Faith by the completely entrenched institutionalized brain chemistry "Administrative Order" for the next 500,000 years! These lifetime incumbent royalty are the Voice of God on Earth and they answer to no one in Heaven and Earth including Almighty God at any time! Why would ANYONE ever give THAT gig up? No individual will EVER be voted out of office in the Baha'i Faith for the next 500,000 years by the completely passive chloroformed sheep electorate! just smoke another Ruhi book and turn their soul off. No one will ever be held accountable for anything so who is going to countenance or enforce SE's warning in this system of complete organizational Orwellian irresponsibility? Who?

  • Craig Parke

    Farhan,

    You are dreaming! The restrictions imposed on the publication of Baha'i literature will NEVER be abolished. NEVER! It is here to stay forever as the last stop example of the permanent mindset of another "Chief Priests, Scribes, and Pharisees" Abrahamaic religion from the authoritarian cultures of the Middle East.

    The Administration of the cause IS a total completely synthetic substitute for the Faith of Baha'u'llah. SE's warning was not heeded. Ever. It is brain OCD chemistry and it can never be overcome on this planet. Mark my words. Restrictions of any kind will NEVER be lifted in the Baha'i Faith by the completely entrenched institutionalized brain chemistry "Administrative Order" for the next 500,000 years! These lifetime incumbent royalty are the Voice of God on Earth and they answer to no one in Heaven and Earth including Almighty God at any time! Why would ANYONE ever give THAT gig up? No individual will EVER be voted out of office in the Baha'i Faith for the next 500,000 years by the completely passive chloroformed sheep electorate! just smoke another Ruhi book and turn their soul off. No one will ever be held accountable for anything so who is going to countenance or enforce SE's warning in this system of complete organizational Orwellian irresponsibility? Who?

  • farhan

    Craig wrote: It's what, 165 years into the New World Age now? The potentials of human consciousness have greatly expanded on all levels of human endeavor. The Baha'is should have been on the forefront of everything.

    Craig, compared to the situation of Christianity in the year 165 AD, the situation of the Baha’i Faith is brilliant.
    And why should the Baha’is be in the forefront of everything? Why see our position with humanity as one of domination and competition, and not one of selfless service, acting as pure channels that convey God's message to all? I remember at one time the Iranian pioneers were in the forefront in one country. The UHJ advised them to be as the breeze moving the flowers of a garden but at the same time remaining invisible. This is the new standard: the outstanding servant is one who has become a source of infinite progress for humanity, not the one who has used humanity as a footstool to his own fame and renown.

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

    Craig wrote: It's what, 165 years into the New World Age now? The potentials of human consciousness have greatly expanded on all levels of human endeavor. The Baha'is should have been on the forefront of everything.

    Craig, compared to the situation of Christianity in the year 165 AD, the situation of the Baha’i Faith is brilliant.
    And why should the Baha’is be in the forefront of everything? Why see our position with humanity as one of domination and competition, and not one of selfless service, acting as pure channels that convey God's message to all? I remember at one time the Iranian pioneers were in the forefront in one country. The UHJ advised them to be as the breeze moving the flowers of a garden but at the same time remaining invisible. This is the new standard: the outstanding servant is one who has become a source of infinite progress for humanity, not the one who has used humanity as a footstool to his own fame and renown.

  • farhan

    Craig wrote : The Baha'i Faith is riddled with a quest for fame and renown

    Craig, the present world is indeed still dominated by power issues. The Baha’is are to some extent contaminated by this. The « great reversal » promised in all the books of the past and announced by Tahirih at Badasht will in time abase the arrogant and raise the down-trodden ; I see the institute process as part of this, accelerating the move towards a generalised empowerment : from individual tutorship for a few privileged we are going to public schools, from chauffeurs and taxis for the rare aristocrat, we are moving to trains.

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

    Craig wrote : The Baha'i Faith is riddled with a quest for fame and renown

    Craig, the present world is indeed still dominated by power issues. The Baha’is are to some extent contaminated by this. The « great reversal » promised in all the books of the past and announced by Tahirih at Badasht will in time abase the arrogant and raise the down-trodden ; I see the institute process as part of this, accelerating the move towards a generalised empowerment : from individual tutorship for a few privileged we are going to public schools, from chauffeurs and taxis for the rare aristocrat, we are moving to trains.

  • Amado

    Dear Farhan – Thanks for the interesting analogy. Like any model, let's try it out, even in the science of teaching:
    I can imagine myself saying: "I hope like my city. Be careful if you go anywhere near X sector, where they will want to snatch your camera!"
    However, I can't imagine myself giving my tourist friend a map that does not include X sector, or saying "We must never refer to X sector because you may be swept away into vice and become a camera snatcher!"
    Just as sexist language (in Bahá'í materials, too, of course) gives us a chance to discuss the importance of 51% of the human race, I think the existence of people trying to destroy the Faith to bolster their own ego (or whatever) may usefully be discussed. If Covenant-breaker sites are treated as the forbidden fruit, THEN maybe someone might independently investigate it, swallow too much bile, and be repulsed from the flowers lying among the garbage of this world. I do give seekers a list of sites I like, such as Ocean, but I think a blindered search engine does give the wrong impression.

  • Amado

    Dear Farhan – Thanks for the interesting analogy. Like any model, let's try it out, even in the science of teaching:
    I can imagine myself saying: "I hope like my city. Be careful if you go anywhere near X sector, where they will want to snatch your camera!"
    However, I can't imagine myself giving my tourist friend a map that does not include X sector, or saying "We must never refer to X sector because you may be swept away into vice and become a camera snatcher!"
    Just as sexist language (in Bahá'í materials, too, of course) gives us a chance to discuss the importance of 51% of the human race, I think the existence of people trying to destroy the Faith to bolster their own ego (or whatever) may usefully be discussed. If Covenant-breaker sites are treated as the forbidden fruit, THEN maybe someone might independently investigate it, swallow too much bile, and be repulsed from the flowers lying among the garbage of this world. I do give seekers a list of sites I like, such as Ocean, but I think a blindered search engine does give the wrong impression.

  • farhan

    Craig wrote: You are dreaming!

    Dear Craig, forget your nightmares and come dream with me, beacuse believe it or not, with God's help, we can make dreams come true!

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

    Craig wrote: You are dreaming!

    Dear Craig, forget your nightmares and come dream with me, beacuse believe it or not, with God's help, we can make dreams come true!

  • farhan

    Amado wrote : THEN maybe someone might independently investigate it, swallow too much bile, and be repulsed from the flowers lying among the garbage of this world

    Amado, you are describing a typical youth attitude, at an age where we are specially attracted to whatever is forbidden. One of the May 1968 slogans was « it is forbidden to forbid ». We are speaking here of responsible adults, to whom a complete picture is offered through internet. I didn’t discover Baha’i Rants because I was warned against it, but by Googling for Ruhi materials! The UHJ offers no special guidance against reading questions and indeed encourages Baha’is to seek answers. This doesn’t mean that we are to overwhelm people for questions that have not arisen in people’s minds.

    Back to my professional analogy, when a person seeks my advice, and before he gives consent for the treatment I am suggesting, I give him just that, mentioning possible alternatives and evaluating other techniques, without overwhelming him with exceptional outcomes or techniques. We have plenty of anti-science associations doing a wonderful job of terrifying the patients for us. There is a variance between the French and US requirements: we have to make sure the patient has understood before giving his consent; in the US they overwhelm patients with information and make him responsible to sort it out.

    Back to your analogy, when a person is looking for art galleries, I don’t wipe out part of the map, but I recommend a list of addresses and the way to get there, without including the address of slums, unless I wish to warn him areas to avoid.

    I do agree that at some point, a seeker should, one day or another, as Shoghi Effendi clearly recommends, be initiated to the implications of the Covenant he is entering into with God when he enrolls, so as not to waste time moving in and out of the community if he is not yet prepared for the implications and frustrations implied in community life. One of the purposes of what has become known as "Anna’s presentation" is to have a check-list to make sure that the fundamental teachings have been grasped enrolling, but this doesn’t mean that we should only restrict information to those fundamentals.

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

    Amado wrote : THEN maybe someone might independently investigate it, swallow too much bile, and be repulsed from the flowers lying among the garbage of this world

    Amado, you are describing a typical youth attitude, at an age where we are specially attracted to whatever is forbidden. One of the May 1968 slogans was « it is forbidden to forbid ». We are speaking here of responsible adults, to whom a complete picture is offered through internet. I didn’t discover Baha’i Rants because I was warned against it, but by Googling for Ruhi materials! The UHJ offers no special guidance against reading questions and indeed encourages Baha’is to seek answers. This doesn’t mean that we are to overwhelm people for questions that have not arisen in people’s minds.

    Back to my professional analogy, when a person seeks my advice, and before he gives consent for the treatment I am suggesting, I give him just that, mentioning possible alternatives and evaluating other techniques, without overwhelming him with exceptional outcomes or techniques. We have plenty of anti-science associations doing a wonderful job of terrifying the patients for us. There is a variance between the French and US requirements: we have to make sure the patient has understood before giving his consent; in the US they overwhelm patients with information and make him responsible to sort it out.

    Back to your analogy, when a person is looking for art galleries, I don’t wipe out part of the map, but I recommend a list of addresses and the way to get there, without including the address of slums, unless I wish to warn him areas to avoid.

    I do agree that at some point, a seeker should, one day or another, as Shoghi Effendi clearly recommends, be initiated to the implications of the Covenant he is entering into with God when he enrolls, so as not to waste time moving in and out of the community if he is not yet prepared for the implications and frustrations implied in community life. One of the purposes of what has become known as "Anna’s presentation" is to have a check-list to make sure that the fundamental teachings have been grasped enrolling, but this doesn’t mean that we should only restrict information to those fundamentals.

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  • http://bahaisonline.net Steve

    …Except Majnun did sift through the dust and it was seen as a praiseworthy thing.