Reports Show Communities Ignoring Ruhi

During the last Baha’i National Convention, Bill Davis addressed the convention attempting to re-direct their attention away from the NSA’s own annual report, which presented an honest assessment of the situation on the ground in Baha’i communities in the US, to the letter from the UHJ directing Baha’is to “stay the course”.

Towards the end of the remarks Bill Davis says (4:37):“We do not want to find ourselves pushing a rewind button and arguing over core curriculum and Ruhi.”

If you have no idea what this is about, then this short summary should be illuminating.

The reason that excerpt stands out for me is that it means there were disagreements over Ruhi and core curriculum with some obviously feeling very strongly against it. And so much so that the NSA as a body wrote that letter basically calling both Ruhi and core curriculum, bunk. But the UHJ came down on them like a tonne of bricks. Sending an enforcer to oversee the National Convention from the ITC as well as erasing the NSA’s own annual report and replacing it with their own.

I’ve uploaded the annual report for the largest Baha’i community in Canada. The most interesting part is Appendix 5 on page 3 which outlines the results of the implementation of the core activities for the past 5 Baha’i years, from 2004 to 2008.

I thought it may be fruitful in our discussions of Ruhi, the core curriculum and their acceptance by the community. According to the data in this report, there are

It is fascinating that after so many years and after such an intense focus and increasing insistence upon these rote activities, it has only resulted in about a third of the community to complete Book 1 of Ruhi and less than a tenth to complete Book 7.

Book 5 is also especially rejected/ignored by the community since only a handful have completed it. Book 5 is Raising up Animators of Junior Youth Groups. It may be because it was once a part of Book 3 and in 2005 inserted as its own ‘Book’.

“We welcome the decision of the Institute…to move the book currently occupying the fifth position in the sequence to a set of courses branching out from Book 3 for preparing Baha’i Children’s class teachers and to insert in the fifth place a new book for raising up animators of junior youth groups.”
- Letter from the Universal House of Justice to all National Spiritual Assemblies, 28 December 2005

Or perhaps because it is a specialized ‘course’ only a few people are interested to take it or need to take it to become ‘junior youth animators’.

In most communities, Ruhi is presented as a cumulative course and an individual can only take a subsequent book or course if they have done a previous one. So the fact that only about a hundred or so out of more than 1500 Baha’is (adults and youth) is very telling.

It is well known and accepted that for almost all Baha’i communities, there is a range of accuracy when it comes to membership data. The larger the community, the more difficult to get a truly accurate measure of membership. So instead of the 1560 number which includes all adults and youth, a more accurate number would be those with “good” addresses who still consider themselves Baha’is.

So lets be kind and estimate a more accurate measure of the population of Baha’is in this community by going with the number of people who have contributed to the Fund at least once during the year. This isn’t a perfect qualifier but it does mean that we are counting those who are, at minimum, involved with the community emotionally and physically. That number is roughly 40% or roughly 620 people. That gives us about 21% of these ‘active’ members having done the full Ruhi courses.

Is that a “success” or “failure”? Ultimately that will depend on your views about Ruhi and your built in biases. Some will say that is a resounding success while others will see it as utter failure. Since the conclusion relies on what or how we define success or failure, it is open to debate.

Personal I think that it would be a stretch to call this a success. After all, the active membership of the community would as easily and exuberantly take up tether ball or bird-watching if they were directed to do so in the same fervor and intensity that the ITC and UHJ has pushed Baha’is to take up Ruhi.

For me, among other measures, success should be demonstrated by how many regularly inactive Baha’is are drawn to Ruhi and finish it. After all, they are 60% of the community. As well, I have to wonder, if Ruhi is the bees knees, why haven’t 100% of ‘active’ Baha’is completed it. It has been ongoing for, what? 8 years now. How many years will it take to convince the most loyal and active membership? And if Ruhi can not hold their attention or inspire these most loyal and devoted Baha’is, what hope does it have for the less active? the less devoted?

While the above example comes from one of the wealthiest and most developed countries in the world, we have another from a very different part of the world which shows remarkably similar levels of rejection for Ruhi. I say this because many believe that while Ruhi may be ineffective for western cultures, it is useful for less developed ones.

From the international convention held recently to elect the membership of the Universal House of Justice, we have official reports that in India, more than 80,000 people have completed a Ruhi course, and some 6,000 people have completed all seven books in the series.

That number may seem amazingly large… until you consider that there are by some accounts 1.8 million Baha’is in India. So let’s see, that would mean that less than 4.5% have done one single Ruhi course and about 0.0033% have done all 7.

Another idea is that while there may have been growth in devotional meetings and other worship related social events, how do we know if this was brought about as a consequence of Ruhi or core curriculum? how do we separate causation with just correlation?

Finally, what no one can answer is what benefits and successes the community has given up by diverting attention to this end. How many individual initiatives were ignore? how many unrelated projects were sidelined in the single-minded quest to press everyone to walk in lock-step? Take a look at this 1987 document full of recommendations for the revitalization of the American Baha’i community.

I wonder how many more years of this we will have to endure until this latest fad is finally dropped for its obvious ineffectiveness and rejection by the Baha’i community?

The problem is that there is group think gripping the highest levels of Baha’i administration. This is not the same as unity. For unity allows diversity of thought, action and methods. Instead, through the trend of ITC members being elected to the UHJ, and then turning around and appointing ITC members… we have now a situation where there are many individuals at the highest levels of office who have a very personal vested interest in the success of Ruhi.

It is not an impartial question or concept. It is deeply embedded and deeply part of their contribution to the Baha’i world community. For it to be seen to have failed, or for them to admit that it has failed or been rejected by the membership, is not just a simple realization. It means accepting that their contribution has fallen short. Most people simply can not take that. Compound that by several like minded individuals and you have: group think.

No where is the death grip of group-think more apparent than the categorical denial by the UHJ/ITC of the report prepared by the NSA. Who is more adept at gathering, analyzing and reporting what is going on within a community? the community itself? or a body that is half-way around the world?

Oh, right. Silly me. I’m trying to see with my own eyes and hear with mine own ears.

Read this doc on Scribd: Core Curriculum Statistics
THE SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLY OF THE BAHA’IS OF TORONTO ANNUAL REPORT RIDVAN 164 – RIDVAN 165 21 April 2007 – 20 April 2008 APPENDIX 2 SIGNIFICANT EVENTS DURING PAST YEAR These include the following events, listed chronoligically, some of which were called by the National Spiritual Assembly or the Baha’i Council: â€? Meeting with Mr. Siamak Hariri regarding the Chile Temple project, June 2007 â€? BNASAA seminar on â€?Spirituality and Sexualityâ€?, September 2007 â€? Meeting of Counsellor Dan Scott with parents and teachers of children’s classes, October 2007 â€? Regional institutional conferences, May and November 2007 â€? National Memorial Service for Hand of the Cause of God â€?Ali-Muhammad Varqa, December 2007 â€? Winter School on â€?Divine Civilizationâ€? – December 2007 â€? Meetings in English and Persian with representative of the National Spiritual Assembly regarding the National Fund, February 2008 â€? Symposium on spiritual education of children and junior youth, March 2008 â€? Course on public speaking, January – February 2008 APPENDIX 3 COMMUNITY STATISTICS (as of 16 April 2008) Baha’i population: 1744 Adult Population: 1440 Youth Population: 120 Junior Youth: 41 Child Population: 131 Unknown Age: 8 Moved into Toronto: 51 Transferred out of Toronto: 20 Enrolments: 44 Youth Affirmations: 13 Child Registrations: 9 Marriages: 12 Deaths: 5 Births: 11 Resignations: 1 International Pioneers: 8 Pioneers within Toronto: 16 Travelling Teachers: data not available Assembly Meetings: 42 APPENDIX 4 LIST OF APPOINTED AGENCIES DURING B.E. 164 Assembly Appointed Agencies During Past Year Care Committee CABS (Campus Association for Baha’i Studies) Centre Management Committee Cluster Growth Committee Counseling Committee – East Counseling Committee – West Debriefing Taskforce (for pioneers) Deepening Committee Elections Taskforce External Affairs Committee Feast Committees (6 committees) Fundraising Taskforce (for Centre Renovation Debt) Funeral Resources Hiring Taskforce Holy Day Committee Information Technology Coordinator Integration Committee Toronto List Monitor (listserv) Muslim Enrolment Taskforce Newsletter Persian Gatherings Committee Pre-Marriage Preparation Taskforce Seasonal Schools Sector Teams/contact persons Statistics Team Number serving on agencies: 114 To contact the above agencies: see newsletter APPENDIX 5 STATISTICS ON THE CORE ACTIVITIES OVER 5 YEAR PERIOD Number of core activities and of attendance in core activities for each year shown: Junior Youth Program No. 3 Att. 23 Seekers No. 18 Devotional Gatherings Att. 55 Seekers Data as of: No. Ridvan 2004 Ridvan 2005 Ridvan 2006 Ridvan 2007 Ridvan 2008 62 Study Circles Att. 500 Seekers 7 Children’s Classes No. 10 Att. 70 Seekers 39 236 17 15 75 4 34 25 350 19 148 6 9 55 6+ 4 15 3 32 242 50 40 156 34 25 146 65 6 58 29 54 271 28 45 122 30 24 126 42 5 32 13 29 261 62 Total number who have taken Ruhi books by the date shown: Date as of: Ridvan 2004 Ridvan 2005 Ridvan 2006 Ridvan Book 1 422 Book 2 277 Book 3 158 Book 4 177 Book 5 3 Book 6 107 Book 7 117 Tutors Animators 466 305 188 201 3 158 134 482 449 322 311 195 193 225 228 11 32 171 169 147 149 94 149 13 32 2007 Ridvan 2008 503 326 214 249 41 183 130 Note: The data in the above table is somewhat inaccurate for earlier time periods (2004 and 2005). If a person moved into Toronto from out of province, having already completed books in the main sequence – the institute does not keep record of his/her time of arrival, or the start/end dates of the books they have completed. For this reason, a person who has just moved into Toronto may be counted in previous time periods, since we have no means of separating them. APPENDIX 6 QUOTATIONS RELATED TO ASSEMBLY’S ROLE IN THE FIVE YEAR PLAN 1. None of the accomplishments of the individual or the community could be sustained without the guidance, encouragement and support of the third participant in the Plan—the institutions of the Faith. It is heartening to see to what extent the institutions are promoting individual initiative, channelling energies into the teaching field, underscoring the value of systematic action, fostering the spiritual life of the community and nurturing a welcoming environment. In helping the community to remain focused on the aim of the Plan, they are learning in practical terms what it means to maintain unity of vision among the friends, to put mechanisms in place that facilitate their endeavours and to allocate resources in accordance with priorities wisely set…While tending to needs of this kind, the institutions find themselves increasingly capable of directing the thrust of the effort exerted by the generality of the believers towards the prosecution of the central tasks of the Plan. (Universal House of Justice, December 27, 2005, paragraph 17) 2. The role of the Local Spiritual Assembly is, like that of all other institutions, an evolutionary one, which will develop in relation to the processes of growth. Although observations in this area are still rather preliminary, certain broad conclusions are already discernible. Where Local Assemblies have acquired the new vision of growth and adjusted to the requirements of operating within the context of the cluster, they have greatly enhanced the teaching work. Conversely, where there has been resistance to the new realities, the process of growth has been adversely affected. (International Teaching Centre, Reflections on Growth #10, paragraph 11) 3. If the potential for growth is to be realized, however, it is imperative that the two movements which lie at the heart of the current series of global Plans receive further impetus from your institution by your eliciting the heartfelt support of the believers, ensuring that energies are not dissipated and making resources available as needed. In addition, as the elected representatives of the body of believers, your members will need to work shoulder to shoulder with their fellow Bah??’?­s in the forefront of activity, sharing their challenges and providing an example of wholehearted participation. At this critical moment in the fortunes of the Faith, no believer, whether veteran or newly enrolled, can regard passive acceptance of the activities of the Plan as an adequate response to the needs of the hour. (Universal House of Justice to a National Spiritual Assembly) 4. Beyond these considerations, the leadership role of the Spiritual Assemblies—be they national or local—is of profound importance. It has been observed in many clusters that the processes of growth are greatly enhanced where this leadership role is exercised through the Assemblies’ constant effort to maintain the vision of growth before the believers, allowing for the two essential movements to impact priorities, avoiding unnecessary distractions, providing the necessary resources, and reinforcing the plans and initiatives at the cluster level. Further, the dynamic force of individual example as the members of Assemblies themselves become personally involved in the cluster activities, actively supporting the efforts of the cluster agencies, is imperative. (International Teaching Centre, Reflections on Growth #10, paragraph 17) 5. In other instances, particularly in the context of intensive programmes of growth, Local Assemblies with a high level of functioning are rising to the challenges created by the programme. Such Assemblies have effectively reinforced the cluster plan formulated by the cluster agencies and assumed responsibility for certain elements of the endeavour within their own area. (International Teaching Centre, Reflections on Growth #10, paragraph 13) 6. Over the past four and a half years, as the believers throughout the world have striven to pursue the aim of advancing the process of entry by troops, it has become increasingly clear that the close of the present Five Year Plan will mark a decisive moment in the unfoldment of the historical enterprise on which the community of the Greatest Name is embarked. The elements required for a concerted effort to infuse the diverse regions of the world with the spirit of Bah??’u’ll??h’s Revelation have crystallized into a framework for action that now needs only to be exploited. Our 26 December 1995 message, which focused the Bah??’?­ world on a path of intense learning about the sustained, rapid growth of the Faith, described in general terms the nature of the work that would have to be undertaken in meeting the challenges ahead. As a first step, Bah??’?­ communities were urged to systematize their efforts to develop the human resources of the Cause through a network of training institutes. While every national community took measures to create institutional capacity to perform this essential function, it was not until the outset of the Five Year Plan that the significance of a well-conceived programme of training became widely appreciated. The introduction of the concept of the cluster made it possible for the friends to think about the accelerated growth of the community on a manageable scale and to conceive of it in terms of two complementary, reinforcing movements: the steady flow of individuals through the sequence of institute courses and the movement of clusters from one stage of development to the next. This image helped the believers to analyse the lessons being learned in the field and to employ a common vocabulary to articulate their findings. Never before have the means for establishing a pattern of activity that places equal emphasis on the twin processes of expansion and consolidation been better understood. Indeed, so consistent has been the experience with intensive programmes of growth, implemented on the basis of this understanding in divers clusters, that no cause for equivocation remains. The way forward is clear, and at Ridvan 2006 we will call upon the believers to steel their resolve and to proceed with the full force of their energies on the course that has been so decidedly set. In presenting to you the features of the coming Five Year Plan, the subject of your deliberations in this conference, we will review the record of recent accomplishments of the Bah??’?­ world and indicate how current approaches, methods and instruments should be carried to this next stage. What the analysis will make evident is that the wholehearted response of the individual believer, the community and the institutions to the guidance they received five years ago has raised their capacity to new levels. The continued development of this capacity will remain essential to the aim of advancing the process of entry by troops – the focus of the Bah??’?­ world through the final years of the first century of the Formative Age. (The Universal House of Justice, 27 December 2005, To the Conference of the Continental Boards of Counsellors, paragraphs 1-3)
  • farhan

    Baquia,

    Without discussing figures, it seems understandable that when you are implementing a structured activity, you cannot expect results immediately. When you pass from a kitchen garden to an industrial farm, you cannot collect a harvest straight away. I do not see enrolment is not the primary aim at this time; we need core activities to help the spiritualisation of the enrolled and the non enrolled.

    I belong to the individual teaching or kitchen garden generation and I have more fun digging my garden and sowing and watering my seeds than in managing stocks of seeds, preparing irrigation pipelines, preparing tractors and collecting gasoline. At the same time, If we want to feed millions, we have to become organised.

    In 1988 I volunteered with the French doctors for the Armenian earthquake. We never left; the organisation was so appalling that the relief materiel could not get to the victims and the planes even collided; thousands died of injury and disease. We were encouraged to study a 2 year course we call â€?m?©decine en situation de catastropheâ€?. The first doctor that arrives is not authorised to help the wounded, but only to estimate the numbers, the kind of injury and the exact requirements; then only will the whole structure of medical care and assistance be put into place.

    At one point in our collective enterprises we have to learn how to harmonise our efforts through within an adequate structure. This structure is not meant to replace the services, but to canalise and facilitate them and make them more efficient. The Institute is a structure; it should not be allowed to replace the spirit of the Faith, but we are accepting to sacrifice some time and energy so as to improve our results later on.

    Some years back, when we taught the Faith, we would be asked: what are you doing to help humanity? And the reply would that the problem facing humanity are spiritual in origin and we are helping towards spiritualisation. Now we can add that this spiritualisation is offered to humanity through the core activities organised all over the world.

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    Baquia,

    Without discussing figures, it seems understandable that when you are implementing a structured activity, you cannot expect results immediately. When you pass from a kitchen garden to an industrial farm, you cannot collect a harvest straight away. I do not see enrolment is not the primary aim at this time; we need core activities to help the spiritualisation of the enrolled and the non enrolled.

    I belong to the individual teaching or kitchen garden generation and I have more fun digging my garden and sowing and watering my seeds than in managing stocks of seeds, preparing irrigation pipelines, preparing tractors and collecting gasoline. At the same time, If we want to feed millions, we have to become organised.

    In 1988 I volunteered with the French doctors for the Armenian earthquake. We never left; the organisation was so appalling that the relief materiel could not get to the victims and the planes even collided; thousands died of injury and disease. We were encouraged to study a 2 year course we call â€?m?©decine en situation de catastropheâ€?. The first doctor that arrives is not authorised to help the wounded, but only to estimate the numbers, the kind of injury and the exact requirements; then only will the whole structure of medical care and assistance be put into place.

    At one point in our collective enterprises we have to learn how to harmonise our efforts through within an adequate structure. This structure is not meant to replace the services, but to canalise and facilitate them and make them more efficient. The Institute is a structure; it should not be allowed to replace the spirit of the Faith, but we are accepting to sacrifice some time and energy so as to improve our results later on.

    Some years back, when we taught the Faith, we would be asked: what are you doing to help humanity? And the reply would that the problem facing humanity are spiritual in origin and we are helping towards spiritualisation. Now we can add that this spiritualisation is offered to humanity through the core activities organised all over the world.

  • Randy Burns

    Farhan Yazdani said:

    “At one point in our collective enterprises we have to learn how to harmonise our efforts through within an adequate structure.”

    The real problem with all Baha’i related activities is that no learning ever takes place. What I mean is that the learning curve is never traversed to higher levels of competency. There must be a reason for this. This lack of “learning” is what discourages Baha’is from participating in activities. Everyone knows what the outcome will be, so why bother.

    “This structure is not meant to replace the services, but to canalise and facilitate them and make them more efficient.”

    We pay lip service to this idea but don’t follow it. In fact structure always replaces spirit or “services” in Baha’i activities, not naturally to be sure, but by force from those who prefer structure to content and who control the levers of power within the Administrative Order.

    “The Institute is a structure; it should not be allowed to replace the spirit of the Faith, but we are accepting to sacrifice some time and energy so as to improve our results later on.”

    Again these words ring hollow for those who have experienced the activities of the Faith over a period of decades. Institutionalization is the watchword of progress for those who desire “control” more than they desire “results.”

    “Some years back, when we taught the Faith, we would be asked: what are you doing to help humanity? And the reply would that the problem facing humanity are spiritual in origin and we are helping towards spiritualisation.”

    I do agree with this statement, but it is necessary that Baha’is actually themselves partake of this spiritual transformation, it is not something that can be faked. The problem is that Baha’i institutions seem to prefer to just fake it. Reality is messy, real transformation is hard work and also messy. Why not just fake it?

    “Now we can add that this spiritualisation is offered to humanity through the core activities organised all over the world.”

    The first requirement would be that Ruhi would actually have to be a transforming experience. Now it may be for a few, but apparently not for most Baha’is.

    Cheers, Randy

  • Randy Burns

    Farhan Yazdani said:

    “At one point in our collective enterprises we have to learn how to harmonise our efforts through within an adequate structure.”

    The real problem with all Baha’i related activities is that no learning ever takes place. What I mean is that the learning curve is never traversed to higher levels of competency. There must be a reason for this. This lack of “learning” is what discourages Baha’is from participating in activities. Everyone knows what the outcome will be, so why bother.

    “This structure is not meant to replace the services, but to canalise and facilitate them and make them more efficient.”

    We pay lip service to this idea but don’t follow it. In fact structure always replaces spirit or “services” in Baha’i activities, not naturally to be sure, but by force from those who prefer structure to content and who control the levers of power within the Administrative Order.

    “The Institute is a structure; it should not be allowed to replace the spirit of the Faith, but we are accepting to sacrifice some time and energy so as to improve our results later on.”

    Again these words ring hollow for those who have experienced the activities of the Faith over a period of decades. Institutionalization is the watchword of progress for those who desire “control” more than they desire “results.”

    “Some years back, when we taught the Faith, we would be asked: what are you doing to help humanity? And the reply would that the problem facing humanity are spiritual in origin and we are helping towards spiritualisation.”

    I do agree with this statement, but it is necessary that Baha’is actually themselves partake of this spiritual transformation, it is not something that can be faked. The problem is that Baha’i institutions seem to prefer to just fake it. Reality is messy, real transformation is hard work and also messy. Why not just fake it?

    “Now we can add that this spiritualisation is offered to humanity through the core activities organised all over the world.”

    The first requirement would be that Ruhi would actually have to be a transforming experience. Now it may be for a few, but apparently not for most Baha’is.

    Cheers, Randy

  • farhan

    Randy wrote:
    “The first requirement would be that Ruhi would actually have to be a transforming experience. Now it may be for a few, but apparently not for most Baha’is.”

    Randy, I agree with your comments, but to a point since I feel that you are describing the Baha’i community you know as the Baha’i community of the planet. I can well believe that you are meeting the problems that I have weathered and faced by a careful study of all the messages of the UHJ.

    Baquia has kindly posted some extracts from various letters of the UHJ and talks of Peter Khan on the Institute Process which is not mandatory for all, but for a �significant number� of Baha’is.

    We obviously need people who will engage in this urgent present priority, our short-term goals, but also some who will continue with the long-term goals. What proportion of the believers will engage in this or that is up to our tastes and talents.

    I know that we have had zealotry and power issues, and that adaptation is a challenge and changing people’s habits is a great task, but this is a normal community making challenge and not an inherent disorder of an administrative system. In the last 5 years, in all the communities I have visited, beyond these adaptation crisis I have seen tremendous progress in community members who were once shy and passive and who have been empowered into taking the floor, speaking up and organising individual initiatives, and also making some mistakes and making us all learn through them. You might have seen fake, but what I have witnessed is very real.

    To me it now seems obvious that by the end of the 1990s we had reached the saturation of our administrative structure and that new structures were needed to help the NSAs and LSAs with the teaching work.

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    Randy wrote:
    “The first requirement would be that Ruhi would actually have to be a transforming experience. Now it may be for a few, but apparently not for most Baha’is.”

    Randy, I agree with your comments, but to a point since I feel that you are describing the Baha’i community you know as the Baha’i community of the planet. I can well believe that you are meeting the problems that I have weathered and faced by a careful study of all the messages of the UHJ.

    Baquia has kindly posted some extracts from various letters of the UHJ and talks of Peter Khan on the Institute Process which is not mandatory for all, but for a �significant number� of Baha’is.

    We obviously need people who will engage in this urgent present priority, our short-term goals, but also some who will continue with the long-term goals. What proportion of the believers will engage in this or that is up to our tastes and talents.

    I know that we have had zealotry and power issues, and that adaptation is a challenge and changing people’s habits is a great task, but this is a normal community making challenge and not an inherent disorder of an administrative system. In the last 5 years, in all the communities I have visited, beyond these adaptation crisis I have seen tremendous progress in community members who were once shy and passive and who have been empowered into taking the floor, speaking up and organising individual initiatives, and also making some mistakes and making us all learn through them. You might have seen fake, but what I have witnessed is very real.

    To me it now seems obvious that by the end of the 1990s we had reached the saturation of our administrative structure and that new structures were needed to help the NSAs and LSAs with the teaching work.

  • http://kaweah.com/blog Dan Jensen

    In what sense is Ruhi infallible?
    Just curious.

  • http://kaweah.com/blog Dan Jensen

    In what sense is Ruhi infallible?
    Just curious.

  • Grover

    The difficulty in all this is that there is so limited information available, we’ve got a few statistics here and there, but nothing substantial. It would be great if some independent agency could actually conduct a survey of those that have or have not done Ruhi to gauge their opinion. Whenever I’ve suggested a survey before, no one has wanted to do it, either because they’re afraid of what they might find, or because they feel Feast is a valid way of gauging community opinion. But in education, surveys are a useful tool to gauge, for example, if a teaching method is useful and if the students gain anything from it.

  • Grover

    The difficulty in all this is that there is so limited information available, we’ve got a few statistics here and there, but nothing substantial. It would be great if some independent agency could actually conduct a survey of those that have or have not done Ruhi to gauge their opinion. Whenever I’ve suggested a survey before, no one has wanted to do it, either because they’re afraid of what they might find, or because they feel Feast is a valid way of gauging community opinion. But in education, surveys are a useful tool to gauge, for example, if a teaching method is useful and if the students gain anything from it.

  • farhan

    Dan wrote:
    “In what sense is Ruhi infallible?
    Just curious.”

    Dan, to my understanding, nothing and no one other than God is infallible, but can be the best compromise in a given situation at a given time, if it is inspired by God. It is God’s will reflected in our hearts or in a collective project that can be infallible, not us.

    Ruhi happens to be the imperfect curriculum that is the best we have at the moment for integrating a seekers into a systematic initiation of Baha’i teachings, on a _collective_ basis, and no longer on only individual basis.

    It is the most convenient tool now available for initiating this learning process, but the Ruhi books are only a small part of the institute process that is designed to enable large numbers of “human resources”, whether Baha’i or not, to help their neighbour into spiritualisation by the core activities.

    Interestingly, in the US the “church at home” movement is also taking momentum. People meet in each other’s houses for prayers. Again, in my mind I separate “spiritualisation” which is the premises of enrolment that implies becoming workers in a community, and hence submitted to laws and regulations of that community.

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    Dan wrote:
    “In what sense is Ruhi infallible?
    Just curious.”

    Dan, to my understanding, nothing and no one other than God is infallible, but can be the best compromise in a given situation at a given time, if it is inspired by God. It is God’s will reflected in our hearts or in a collective project that can be infallible, not us.

    Ruhi happens to be the imperfect curriculum that is the best we have at the moment for integrating a seekers into a systematic initiation of Baha’i teachings, on a _collective_ basis, and no longer on only individual basis.

    It is the most convenient tool now available for initiating this learning process, but the Ruhi books are only a small part of the institute process that is designed to enable large numbers of “human resources”, whether Baha’i or not, to help their neighbour into spiritualisation by the core activities.

    Interestingly, in the US the “church at home” movement is also taking momentum. People meet in each other’s houses for prayers. Again, in my mind I separate “spiritualisation” which is the premises of enrolment that implies becoming workers in a community, and hence submitted to laws and regulations of that community.

  • farhan

    Grover wrote:
    “But in education, surveys are a useful tool to gauge, for example, if a teaching method is useful and if the students gain anything from it.”

    I agree, Grover, and an important part of the Institute Process that bores people most is just that collecting of data and gauging the status of each cluster, but we have few workers all working on volunteer basis, and most people prefer to get into the water and swim, instead of standing outside and counting those who swim.

    At the same time, it is not so easy to gauge how much serving and less self-serving people have become. We can only gauge how many attend.

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    Grover wrote:
    “But in education, surveys are a useful tool to gauge, for example, if a teaching method is useful and if the students gain anything from it.”

    I agree, Grover, and an important part of the Institute Process that bores people most is just that collecting of data and gauging the status of each cluster, but we have few workers all working on volunteer basis, and most people prefer to get into the water and swim, instead of standing outside and counting those who swim.

    At the same time, it is not so easy to gauge how much serving and less self-serving people have become. We can only gauge how many attend.

  • Sincere Friend

    Its seems little has changed here. Still the mocking attitude, the venomous prose. For all the intelligence what value does it provide?

  • Sincere Friend

    Its seems little has changed here. Still the mocking attitude, the venomous prose. For all the intelligence what value does it provide?

  • Badhras

    To Sincere Friend:

    I’m not one to be throwing rocks at anyone, having recently returned to God, recently having departed from a dedication of sorts to a Left Hand Path. I am but one who would enter His Kingdom last if He so wisheth.

    There is intellect, wisdom, and an understanding of God in this forum, but it feels forged in a lack of humility that I am all too familiar with. Still, I have not experienced Ruhi. I cannot judge it, and I’m not about to endorse it simply because it is endorsed by the UHJ.

    So, I leave you with this challenge. Perhaps you can enlighten me (and perhaps others) as to the proper place of Ruhi. Can you with good conscience say it is not dogmatic and rote instruction? If it is not, then how is it not? And if it is dogmatic and rote, does it have a proper place? What responsibilities does one have to balance dogma with self discovery, diversity of opinion with deference?

    I certainly have my own opinions on the matter, including the belief that the inevitable success and inevitable downfall of a new religion is owed to dogma.

  • Badhras

    To Sincere Friend:

    I’m not one to be throwing rocks at anyone, having recently returned to God, recently having departed from a dedication of sorts to a Left Hand Path. I am but one who would enter His Kingdom last if He so wisheth.

    There is intellect, wisdom, and an understanding of God in this forum, but it feels forged in a lack of humility that I am all too familiar with. Still, I have not experienced Ruhi. I cannot judge it, and I’m not about to endorse it simply because it is endorsed by the UHJ.

    So, I leave you with this challenge. Perhaps you can enlighten me (and perhaps others) as to the proper place of Ruhi. Can you with good conscience say it is not dogmatic and rote instruction? If it is not, then how is it not? And if it is dogmatic and rote, does it have a proper place? What responsibilities does one have to balance dogma with self discovery, diversity of opinion with deference?

    I certainly have my own opinions on the matter, including the belief that the inevitable success and inevitable downfall of a new religion is owed to dogma.

  • farhan

    Badhras wrote:
    “Perhaps you can enlighten me (and perhaps others) as to the proper place of Ruhi. Can you with good conscience say it is not dogmatic and rote instruction? If it is not, then how is it not? And if it is dogmatic and rote, does it have a proper place? What responsibilities does one have to balance dogma with self discovery, diversity of opinion with deference?”

    Badhras, i have had problems with people promoting Ruhi, and i waded my way through every message i could find from the BWC on the subject and I realised that some well-meaning and misguided zealots had misinterpreted the messages.

    I have sent the references that helped me overcome these questions and they are available on this blog. I have also posted several messages on the subject on this blog.

    In short, Ruhi is designed as a teacher-training programme and as such has to be very simple, systematised and precise so that an inexperienced person can learn teaching talents, and then teach those talents to others that can then convey them to still others.

    It is specially useful for highly intellectual people who are not accustomed to speaking with people with only elementary education, those which form the vast majority of humanity and who are concerned with the essential aspects of spiritual life and not with the very sophisticated concepts with which the overdeveloped minority of humans play around with.

    Ruhi is a springboard into further research and service; it is not intended as a substitute for deepening, Baha’i studies etc. If you are only concerned with your own spiritual path, and have no ambition to help others in their paths, Ruhi is not for you.

    Those having been trained in the study circles are expected to use those talents in helping others through acts of service: children’s classes, devotional meetings, commemorations, visiting those who need help etc: in fact what priests did before and which are needed in our community. Those who do the 7 books have not finished the 7 valleys, but can tutor others into the acts of service.

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    Badhras wrote:
    “Perhaps you can enlighten me (and perhaps others) as to the proper place of Ruhi. Can you with good conscience say it is not dogmatic and rote instruction? If it is not, then how is it not? And if it is dogmatic and rote, does it have a proper place? What responsibilities does one have to balance dogma with self discovery, diversity of opinion with deference?”

    Badhras, i have had problems with people promoting Ruhi, and i waded my way through every message i could find from the BWC on the subject and I realised that some well-meaning and misguided zealots had misinterpreted the messages.

    I have sent the references that helped me overcome these questions and they are available on this blog. I have also posted several messages on the subject on this blog.

    In short, Ruhi is designed as a teacher-training programme and as such has to be very simple, systematised and precise so that an inexperienced person can learn teaching talents, and then teach those talents to others that can then convey them to still others.

    It is specially useful for highly intellectual people who are not accustomed to speaking with people with only elementary education, those which form the vast majority of humanity and who are concerned with the essential aspects of spiritual life and not with the very sophisticated concepts with which the overdeveloped minority of humans play around with.

    Ruhi is a springboard into further research and service; it is not intended as a substitute for deepening, Baha’i studies etc. If you are only concerned with your own spiritual path, and have no ambition to help others in their paths, Ruhi is not for you.

    Those having been trained in the study circles are expected to use those talents in helping others through acts of service: children’s classes, devotional meetings, commemorations, visiting those who need help etc: in fact what priests did before and which are needed in our community. Those who do the 7 books have not finished the 7 valleys, but can tutor others into the acts of service.

  • Badhras

    I am still learning to see with but one of eyes. It is my hope that I may one day serve The Cause, and if that includes teaching and Ruhi, so be it… although, if I lack the ambition to help others then that fact speaks very poorly for me.

  • Badhras

    I am still learning to see with but one of eyes. It is my hope that I may one day serve The Cause, and if that includes teaching and Ruhi, so be it… although, if I lack the ambition to help others then that fact speaks very poorly for me.

  • farhan

    Badhras wrote:
    “I am still learning to see with but one of eyes. It is my hope that I may one day serve The Cause, and if that includes teaching and Ruhi, so be it… although, if I lack the ambition to help others then that fact speaks very poorly for me.”

    Badhras, the lack of ambition to help others is not a poor characteristic, but a different one. We all have certain talents and gifts we can use to contribute.

    This kind of service is at this time the priority since the UHJ feels that the masses of humanity at grass roots need it most; they are our short-term goals. We have so many other talents that can be of service: poets, artists, money makers, administrators, philosophers, public speakers… all have talents for the just as essential long term goals.

    If you read Peter Khan’s speech I posted on this you will be reassured that the Faith needs all these complementary talents and that Ruhi is by no means as some zealots have understood _THE_ only right way to serve that Faith.

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    Badhras wrote:
    “I am still learning to see with but one of eyes. It is my hope that I may one day serve The Cause, and if that includes teaching and Ruhi, so be it… although, if I lack the ambition to help others then that fact speaks very poorly for me.”

    Badhras, the lack of ambition to help others is not a poor characteristic, but a different one. We all have certain talents and gifts we can use to contribute.

    This kind of service is at this time the priority since the UHJ feels that the masses of humanity at grass roots need it most; they are our short-term goals. We have so many other talents that can be of service: poets, artists, money makers, administrators, philosophers, public speakers… all have talents for the just as essential long term goals.

    If you read Peter Khan’s speech I posted on this you will be reassured that the Faith needs all these complementary talents and that Ruhi is by no means as some zealots have understood _THE_ only right way to serve that Faith.

  • Badhras

    Farhan:

    Thank you for the suggestion to read the speech and for pointing out the need for the Faith to have all kinds of skills. I was careful to include the “IF” in my original because what I think I should do and what God thinks I should do may differ. I will defer to the judgement I receive during prayer, whenever that judgement is delivered.

    In the meantime, I still believe with some conviction that if I lack the ambition to help others on their spiritual path, then it does speak poorly of me. I have a successful enough track record of having persuaded to pursue vice and sin, with full knowledge of where it could lead. I hope those same skills might be used towards opposite goals, in service to God.

  • Badhras

    Farhan:

    Thank you for the suggestion to read the speech and for pointing out the need for the Faith to have all kinds of skills. I was careful to include the “IF” in my original because what I think I should do and what God thinks I should do may differ. I will defer to the judgement I receive during prayer, whenever that judgement is delivered.

    In the meantime, I still believe with some conviction that if I lack the ambition to help others on their spiritual path, then it does speak poorly of me. I have a successful enough track record of having persuaded to pursue vice and sin, with full knowledge of where it could lead. I hope those same skills might be used towards opposite goals, in service to God.

  • farhan

    Badhras wrote:

    In the meantime, I still believe with some conviction that if I lack the ambition to help others on their spiritual path, then it does speak poorly of me.

    Badhras,

    There is this quote of Abdu’l-Baha, very dear to me, where He explains that it is not our level of achievement, but the choice of the right path that counts:

    He is a true Baha’i who strives by day and by night to progress and advance along the path of human endeavour, whose cherished desire is so to live and act as to enrich and illumine the world; whose source of inspiration is the Essence of Divine perfection; whose aim in life is so to conduct himself so as to be the cause of infinite progress. Only when he attains unto such perfect gifts can it be said of him that he is a Baha’i. (Abdu’l-Baha, Baha’i Revelation, p 285)

    The moment we turn our eyes from our material requirements and open them to our spiritual investment which is no other than love of God which in turn equates with the love of His creation and creatures, a love which is manifest in service, at that moment we are “born again” and we start to advance into the kingdom.

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    Badhras wrote:

    In the meantime, I still believe with some conviction that if I lack the ambition to help others on their spiritual path, then it does speak poorly of me.

    Badhras,

    There is this quote of Abdu’l-Baha, very dear to me, where He explains that it is not our level of achievement, but the choice of the right path that counts:

    He is a true Baha’i who strives by day and by night to progress and advance along the path of human endeavour, whose cherished desire is so to live and act as to enrich and illumine the world; whose source of inspiration is the Essence of Divine perfection; whose aim in life is so to conduct himself so as to be the cause of infinite progress. Only when he attains unto such perfect gifts can it be said of him that he is a Baha’i. (Abdu’l-Baha, Baha’i Revelation, p 285)

    The moment we turn our eyes from our material requirements and open them to our spiritual investment which is no other than love of God which in turn equates with the love of His creation and creatures, a love which is manifest in service, at that moment we are “born again” and we start to advance into the kingdom.

  • Nur

    You know something, I resigned from the Baha’i Faith in part, because of Ruhi; not because of its absence. It was Ruhi that first gave me the jolt of paranoia, and there was always something about it that felt like ‘brainwashing’ (that’s overstating it, but maybe ‘indoctrination’ is a better word to describe it). I also felt that it built false social solidarity, like a communist type of program. The feeling of being “a part of something larger than yourself” would only last so long as everyone was on board for the Ruhi. To me, that shows evidence of the fragility of the program itself. Any life-changing system should influence people regardless if they’re in the ‘club’ or not, and regardless if they skip a month off to do other things, or participate every week.

    I must admit that I liked Ruhi in the beginning, as a reference point for impromptu conversations with friends. Maybe some of the things we said were not official Baha’i doctrines, but we built a synergy amongst ourselves, and it has lasted even to this day, even though we don’t see each other often and some of us live in different states, etc. But with all of the people that I took Ruhi ‘classes’ with, and ‘graduated’, I don’t feel that synergy with them, or that feeling that we might come up with a really good idea if we sat and talked for a while, or that situation where you can pick up just where you left off with an old friend no matter how long it has been since you have seen them. I feel that those are real social bonds, and those grew out of honest conversations and being there for each other, without necessarily having a Ruhi book to mark down that we fulfilled our ‘plan’ of the month.

    It took about six months before I really started disliking Ruhi. I thought at first it was because of the moderators and that my personality clashed with theirs. But then they read the introduction to Ruhi book #1 that said the point of Ruhi is not to have long-winded discussions, and incessantly discuss your personal interpretation of the Baha’i writings, which is what I and some other people were doing in those classes. We weren’t doing it to hog the time or to try to act like we ‘knew something’. We were just on fire with spirituality at the time, and we were coming up with new ideas constantly. It was a very interesting time for all of us.

    I’ve considered coming back to the Faith a number of times, because I feel that the religion does have deep spiritual truths, and some of the writings of Baha’u’llah eloquently shine out like a glorious sun. But there are other elements that seem sinister to me, and seem rather authoritarian in nature. Maybe I am not seeing it ‘context’, I don’t know. But right now, I can’t come back to a religion with an organization like the Universal House of Justice as its Head, with all due respect to the members who serve on that institution. I have heard that they are great people from friends who have been on pilgrimage and met them personally.

  • Nur

    You know something, I resigned from the Baha’i Faith in part, because of Ruhi; not because of its absence. It was Ruhi that first gave me the jolt of paranoia, and there was always something about it that felt like ‘brainwashing’ (that’s overstating it, but maybe ‘indoctrination’ is a better word to describe it). I also felt that it built false social solidarity, like a communist type of program. The feeling of being “a part of something larger than yourself” would only last so long as everyone was on board for the Ruhi. To me, that shows evidence of the fragility of the program itself. Any life-changing system should influence people regardless if they’re in the ‘club’ or not, and regardless if they skip a month off to do other things, or participate every week.

    I must admit that I liked Ruhi in the beginning, as a reference point for impromptu conversations with friends. Maybe some of the things we said were not official Baha’i doctrines, but we built a synergy amongst ourselves, and it has lasted even to this day, even though we don’t see each other often and some of us live in different states, etc. But with all of the people that I took Ruhi ‘classes’ with, and ‘graduated’, I don’t feel that synergy with them, or that feeling that we might come up with a really good idea if we sat and talked for a while, or that situation where you can pick up just where you left off with an old friend no matter how long it has been since you have seen them. I feel that those are real social bonds, and those grew out of honest conversations and being there for each other, without necessarily having a Ruhi book to mark down that we fulfilled our ‘plan’ of the month.

    It took about six months before I really started disliking Ruhi. I thought at first it was because of the moderators and that my personality clashed with theirs. But then they read the introduction to Ruhi book #1 that said the point of Ruhi is not to have long-winded discussions, and incessantly discuss your personal interpretation of the Baha’i writings, which is what I and some other people were doing in those classes. We weren’t doing it to hog the time or to try to act like we ‘knew something’. We were just on fire with spirituality at the time, and we were coming up with new ideas constantly. It was a very interesting time for all of us.

    I’ve considered coming back to the Faith a number of times, because I feel that the religion does have deep spiritual truths, and some of the writings of Baha’u’llah eloquently shine out like a glorious sun. But there are other elements that seem sinister to me, and seem rather authoritarian in nature. Maybe I am not seeing it ‘context’, I don’t know. But right now, I can’t come back to a religion with an organization like the Universal House of Justice as its Head, with all due respect to the members who serve on that institution. I have heard that they are great people from friends who have been on pilgrimage and met them personally.

  • Grover

    Hey Nur, ever done a Christian truth study? It uses exactly the same methods as Ruhi: gives a quote, usually someone’s interpretation of the bible and selected bible quotes, you have to ask questions and answer using the quotes. Before long you’re singing their tune like a captain’s parrot. Brainwashing and indoctrination are appropriate terms for Ruhi. Thats what put me off. Also, as you said, they restricted discussion which made it pretty much a primary school basic english comprehension lesson. It all had to be the “Pure Word” and learning by rote. Such a shame :(

  • Grover

    Hey Nur, ever done a Christian truth study? It uses exactly the same methods as Ruhi: gives a quote, usually someone’s interpretation of the bible and selected bible quotes, you have to ask questions and answer using the quotes. Before long you’re singing their tune like a captain’s parrot. Brainwashing and indoctrination are appropriate terms for Ruhi. Thats what put me off. Also, as you said, they restricted discussion which made it pretty much a primary school basic english comprehension lesson. It all had to be the “Pure Word” and learning by rote. Such a shame :(

  • Anonnymouz

    [quote comment=""]It all had to be the “Pure Word” and learning by rote. Such a shame :([/quote]

    I think it has a lot to do with the tutor and how understanding and deepened they are. If someone who is just trying to go through the books to put notches on their belt then the experience may be a little awkward.

    Ideally, Ruhi is meant to be a starting point of discussion and search for truth. The discussions are really nice when the tutor uses the Writings to help guide the flow of insights. Let’s face it, some of our views are picked up by experiences and other circumstances and its always refreshing to learn what the writings say about it. Do adopt the position of the Faith hands down? No. My theory is have faith in the text, and work it backwards till you come to why it is you have come to the conclusions or ideas that you have and compare them with others…

    Its early in the process and I imagine that the structure and format will change.

    Nur, there are lots of other ways to take part. You don’t have to do Ruhi. Why not a fun prayer night with world music and appetizers? These core activities have been miss-interpreted as something imposed or rote. I don’t think so at all…They can be used to come up with great customized and unique experiences. Use your imagination!

  • Anonnymouz

    [quote comment=""]It all had to be the “Pure Word” and learning by rote. Such a shame :([/quote]

    I think it has a lot to do with the tutor and how understanding and deepened they are. If someone who is just trying to go through the books to put notches on their belt then the experience may be a little awkward.

    Ideally, Ruhi is meant to be a starting point of discussion and search for truth. The discussions are really nice when the tutor uses the Writings to help guide the flow of insights. Let’s face it, some of our views are picked up by experiences and other circumstances and its always refreshing to learn what the writings say about it. Do adopt the position of the Faith hands down? No. My theory is have faith in the text, and work it backwards till you come to why it is you have come to the conclusions or ideas that you have and compare them with others…

    Its early in the process and I imagine that the structure and format will change.

    Nur, there are lots of other ways to take part. You don’t have to do Ruhi. Why not a fun prayer night with world music and appetizers? These core activities have been miss-interpreted as something imposed or rote. I don’t think so at all…They can be used to come up with great customized and unique experiences. Use your imagination!

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    [quote comment=""]Ideally, Ruhi is meant to be a starting point of discussion and search for truth. [/quote]

    Ruhi can certainly be used that way but it is clear from reading the introductory text of the book, as Nur pointed out that it was not created by its authors to be used this way and they in fact discourage its use in this way.

    Personally I believe that Ruhi will be discarded in due time. The sooner, the better because there are many intelligent people like yourself who have been not only turned off Ruhi but also by extension the Faith. I personally know of many who have reacted in a variety of negative ways to Ruhi: from total exit to simply restricting their community participation so they do not feel the peer pressure of participating in Ruhi.

    The Baha’i Faith is certainly and infinitely greater than Ruhi – which is no more than a course cobbled together for rural illeterate folk in South America. It only gained international prominence within the Baha’i community because the authors gained important offices within the administration.

    As was also mentioned, the House of Justice has made it clear on several occasions, as have individual members speaking on behalf of themselves, that Ruhi is NOT obligatory nor a requirement to be a Baha’i.

    The problem with not participating in Ruhi and engaging in other activities, or as Anon suggests, starting a community event is that individual initiatives such as these are not supported by the community. I have myself attempted such activities and I have also seen friends attempt similar undertakings.

    Because the pervasive cultural norm within the Baha’i community right now is that “Ruhi is it”, most feel that to support or engage in anything other than Ruhi is not right. And that doing so would be “letting down the Faith”.

    Which means that those who dislike Ruhi are caught between a screeching parrot and an anvil.

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    [quote comment=""]Ideally, Ruhi is meant to be a starting point of discussion and search for truth. [/quote]

    Ruhi can certainly be used that way but it is clear from reading the introductory text of the book, as Nur pointed out that it was not created by its authors to be used this way and they in fact discourage its use in this way.

    Personally I believe that Ruhi will be discarded in due time. The sooner, the better because there are many intelligent people like yourself who have been not only turned off Ruhi but also by extension the Faith. I personally know of many who have reacted in a variety of negative ways to Ruhi: from total exit to simply restricting their community participation so they do not feel the peer pressure of participating in Ruhi.

    The Baha’i Faith is certainly and infinitely greater than Ruhi – which is no more than a course cobbled together for rural illeterate folk in South America. It only gained international prominence within the Baha’i community because the authors gained important offices within the administration.

    As was also mentioned, the House of Justice has made it clear on several occasions, as have individual members speaking on behalf of themselves, that Ruhi is NOT obligatory nor a requirement to be a Baha’i.

    The problem with not participating in Ruhi and engaging in other activities, or as Anon suggests, starting a community event is that individual initiatives such as these are not supported by the community. I have myself attempted such activities and I have also seen friends attempt similar undertakings.

    Because the pervasive cultural norm within the Baha’i community right now is that “Ruhi is it”, most feel that to support or engage in anything other than Ruhi is not right. And that doing so would be “letting down the Faith”.

    Which means that those who dislike Ruhi are caught between a screeching parrot and an anvil.

  • FJR

    [quote comment=""]The Baha’i Faith is certainly and infinitely greater than Ruhi – which is no more than a course cobbled together for rural illeterate folk in South America. It only gained international prominence within the Baha’i community because the authors gained important offices within the administration.[/quote]

    Baquia, know that so much of what you say and what you do is based on how you perceive things and how you choose to look at them.

    In any sort of organized religion, there have to be decisions made for the sake of the group by a governing body. I sense some kind of animosity or disagreement between yourself and Baha’i administrative bodies. Just because a group does things that you do not agree with, does not mean that it merits criticism. In one of your previous posts, you mention the idea of thinking for yourself as the source of your disagreement with the administrative bodies.

    The ego manifests itself in many ways and can serve as a veil or barrier between yourself and good. Rather than divide yourself and others over decisions which you do not understand or agree with, perhaps it would be good to strive to become a point of unity? To focus on understanding the depth of the UHJ’s decisions, and all the factors that went into them, rather than assuming that you know what is best and that all well informed decisions correspond with yours.

    In the quote from your comment, you state that Ruhi was merely a course designed for Illiterate South American folk. When you use the word “merely”, that means that is all you view it as and that it has no more capacity.

    Ruhi is not meant to be just one thing, and it is NOT what it seems you want it to be. Yes it does help with literacy, and is meant to be understand by people of all different groups. The point of Ruhi is not lengthy discussions, it is true. The point of Ruhi is the PRACTICE. The whole point of the Ruhi institute is to get individuals engaged in spiritual practices and in service. While you might not like the way ruhi is structured because it doesn’t allow you to explore concepts in depth, the whole POINT of Ruhi 1 is to get individuals to read quotations ON THEIR OWN, and to give them the skills necessary to interpret them, and deepen on them.

    Although Ruhi does not seem to be the deepening tool you need, there are plenty of other ways to get lengthy discussions such as firesides or deepenings on texts. And if the members of the Baha’i community are not interested in these, it may be largely because the UHJ has asked individuals to focus on Ruhi for the sake of getting everyone engaged in the same practice. If the Baha’is in your area cannot/will not deepen on themes with you, then perhaps you should invite non-baha’is! Of course they are not obligated to help you out, but if it is important to you, you should make that known.

    Baha’u’llah’s revelation is the word of God, and it is beautiful that many discerning souls such as yourself can recognize it. While we may not always know or understand the work that is being carried out in his name by the institutions of the faith, we should be very careful that our egos do not become barriers between ourselves and the practice of serving his cause.

  • FJR

    [quote comment=""]The Baha’i Faith is certainly and infinitely greater than Ruhi – which is no more than a course cobbled together for rural illeterate folk in South America. It only gained international prominence within the Baha’i community because the authors gained important offices within the administration.[/quote]

    Baquia, know that so much of what you say and what you do is based on how you perceive things and how you choose to look at them.

    In any sort of organized religion, there have to be decisions made for the sake of the group by a governing body. I sense some kind of animosity or disagreement between yourself and Baha’i administrative bodies. Just because a group does things that you do not agree with, does not mean that it merits criticism. In one of your previous posts, you mention the idea of thinking for yourself as the source of your disagreement with the administrative bodies.

    The ego manifests itself in many ways and can serve as a veil or barrier between yourself and good. Rather than divide yourself and others over decisions which you do not understand or agree with, perhaps it would be good to strive to become a point of unity? To focus on understanding the depth of the UHJ’s decisions, and all the factors that went into them, rather than assuming that you know what is best and that all well informed decisions correspond with yours.

    In the quote from your comment, you state that Ruhi was merely a course designed for Illiterate South American folk. When you use the word “merely”, that means that is all you view it as and that it has no more capacity.

    Ruhi is not meant to be just one thing, and it is NOT what it seems you want it to be. Yes it does help with literacy, and is meant to be understand by people of all different groups. The point of Ruhi is not lengthy discussions, it is true. The point of Ruhi is the PRACTICE. The whole point of the Ruhi institute is to get individuals engaged in spiritual practices and in service. While you might not like the way ruhi is structured because it doesn’t allow you to explore concepts in depth, the whole POINT of Ruhi 1 is to get individuals to read quotations ON THEIR OWN, and to give them the skills necessary to interpret them, and deepen on them.

    Although Ruhi does not seem to be the deepening tool you need, there are plenty of other ways to get lengthy discussions such as firesides or deepenings on texts. And if the members of the Baha’i community are not interested in these, it may be largely because the UHJ has asked individuals to focus on Ruhi for the sake of getting everyone engaged in the same practice. If the Baha’is in your area cannot/will not deepen on themes with you, then perhaps you should invite non-baha’is! Of course they are not obligated to help you out, but if it is important to you, you should make that known.

    Baha’u’llah’s revelation is the word of God, and it is beautiful that many discerning souls such as yourself can recognize it. While we may not always know or understand the work that is being carried out in his name by the institutions of the faith, we should be very careful that our egos do not become barriers between ourselves and the practice of serving his cause.

  • p

    This is interesting. So if someone points out that the AO is making mistakes, that Ruhi is not all its cracked up to be or just makes any honest criticism, then ego is the motivating factor for such criticism. But when a person sacrifices for the AO, shows utter love and respect to the AO and then gets online to the world how deeply committed he is to the AO and the Bahai community, then ego has nothing to do with it? I seriously doubt that. Some of the biggest egos are among the ‘dedicated’ Bahais that are making sure everyone knows how dedicated they are.

  • p

    This is interesting. So if someone points out that the AO is making mistakes, that Ruhi is not all its cracked up to be or just makes any honest criticism, then ego is the motivating factor for such criticism. But when a person sacrifices for the AO, shows utter love and respect to the AO and then gets online to the world how deeply committed he is to the AO and the Bahai community, then ego has nothing to do with it? I seriously doubt that. Some of the biggest egos are among the ‘dedicated’ Bahais that are making sure everyone knows how dedicated they are.

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    FJR,
    This charge of “ego” is part of the reason for my anonymity. Imagine the sort of ludicrous charges that fellow Baha’is would level at me if my thoughts weren’t shared anonymously!

    What you say has a ring of truth P. I attended a deepening lead by an NSA member where he not only reveled in holding court but also told us that he is proud that all his adult life he has been serving in one institution or another continuously. Egos within institutions has harmed many individuals, especially because of this prejudice that we have against persons (and for institutions). After all, what authority does an individual Baha’i have compared to an institution?

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    FJR,
    This charge of “ego” is part of the reason for my anonymity. Imagine the sort of ludicrous charges that fellow Baha’is would level at me if my thoughts weren’t shared anonymously!

    What you say has a ring of truth P. I attended a deepening lead by an NSA member where he not only reveled in holding court but also told us that he is proud that all his adult life he has been serving in one institution or another continuously. Egos within institutions has harmed many individuals, especially because of this prejudice that we have against persons (and for institutions). After all, what authority does an individual Baha’i have compared to an institution?

  • p

    I know what you mean Baquia. We may be talking about the same individual, but I also heard of one (almost life-long) NSA member who lamented about oh how he had sacrificed his professional career to serve the Faith. Ummm, well quit then. No one is telling you to live off Bahai donations for the rest of your life. It would actually be better if they only served a few years and then moved on. But worse than those in leadership that let it go to their heads, it’s the masses below them. Like my own dear mother. People that have to show you that they are putting money in the fund box, that let everyone know that without them feast probably wouldn’t get held, etc. etc. Ego defiinitely motivates these individuals a little bit- it’s not all love of God.

  • p

    I know what you mean Baquia. We may be talking about the same individual, but I also heard of one (almost life-long) NSA member who lamented about oh how he had sacrificed his professional career to serve the Faith. Ummm, well quit then. No one is telling you to live off Bahai donations for the rest of your life. It would actually be better if they only served a few years and then moved on. But worse than those in leadership that let it go to their heads, it’s the masses below them. Like my own dear mother. People that have to show you that they are putting money in the fund box, that let everyone know that without them feast probably wouldn’t get held, etc. etc. Ego defiinitely motivates these individuals a little bit- it’s not all love of God.

  • annonymouz

    P & Baquia,

    Are you perfect? Do you never let your ego didtate your actions? How on earth did you master yourself? Do tell.

    No one is perfect—not even you!

    God knows that but you both still feel the need to help God in reminding the rest of us…c’mon chaps if you are looking for manifestations of ego you will find it everywhere…so what. Is that what we are supposed to be doing? You both like to point out how haughty you think this or that person is. Why?

  • annonymouz

    P & Baquia,

    Are you perfect? Do you never let your ego didtate your actions? How on earth did you master yourself? Do tell.

    No one is perfect—not even you!

    God knows that but you both still feel the need to help God in reminding the rest of us…c’mon chaps if you are looking for manifestations of ego you will find it everywhere…so what. Is that what we are supposed to be doing? You both like to point out how haughty you think this or that person is. Why?

  • FJR

    @P: You raise an interesting point. Just because one serves the administrative order does not necessarily make them a “good Baha’i” and just because someone does not follow the plans outlined by the AO does not mean they are driven by Ego. However, it is important to recognize that ultimately Baha’is around the world are operating in the interests of the promotion of the word of God, and Ruhi, as of now, is the curriculum that, far and wide, is having the most success.

    @Baquia: My intention was never to attack or demonize you. But the reality is that the UHJ is operating in the best interests of the community, and I have been a part of teaching success as a direct result of Ruhi, so I can attest that the practice is important, but does provide room for growth. Often times, in my own case, I have found that when I do not like something, I find ways of tearing it down and discrediting it, rather than finding things I can learn from it to improve myself.

    @anonymouz: An excellent point to bring up. We all struggle with our egos daily, and rather than looking for flaws in others, it is all we can do to try and train ourselves, and develop spiritual qualities within ourselves.

    PLEASE, if you guys get a chance, register on these forums. They are Baha’i forums where I’m sure that you will be able to generate much discussion and explore many more Baha’i subjects in depth. It used to have a problem with people spamming and disrupting the forums, so it is moderately tightly, but intelligent discussion is always encouraged.

    http://bahai-library.com/forum/

  • FJR

    @P: You raise an interesting point. Just because one serves the administrative order does not necessarily make them a “good Baha’i” and just because someone does not follow the plans outlined by the AO does not mean they are driven by Ego. However, it is important to recognize that ultimately Baha’is around the world are operating in the interests of the promotion of the word of God, and Ruhi, as of now, is the curriculum that, far and wide, is having the most success.

    @Baquia: My intention was never to attack or demonize you. But the reality is that the UHJ is operating in the best interests of the community, and I have been a part of teaching success as a direct result of Ruhi, so I can attest that the practice is important, but does provide room for growth. Often times, in my own case, I have found that when I do not like something, I find ways of tearing it down and discrediting it, rather than finding things I can learn from it to improve myself.

    @anonymouz: An excellent point to bring up. We all struggle with our egos daily, and rather than looking for flaws in others, it is all we can do to try and train ourselves, and develop spiritual qualities within ourselves.

    PLEASE, if you guys get a chance, register on these forums. They are Baha’i forums where I’m sure that you will be able to generate much discussion and explore many more Baha’i subjects in depth. It used to have a problem with people spamming and disrupting the forums, so it is moderately tightly, but intelligent discussion is always encouraged.

    http://bahai-library.com/forum/

  • p

    [ You both like to point out how haughty you think this or that person is. Why?
    -------------
    Why anon? Because I don't want this religion to be some fundamentalist closed group of people who are told to groupthink. Or do you not care if the Faith because a bunch of sheep following some big-headed leaders (kind of like you see with evangelicals on tv). I have no problem that I have ego sometimes, but I'm also not trying to fool people with a sense of piety telling them what is right and wrong.

  • p

    [ You both like to point out how haughty you think this or that person is. Why?
    -------------
    Why anon? Because I don't want this religion to be some fundamentalist closed group of people who are told to groupthink. Or do you not care if the Faith because a bunch of sheep following some big-headed leaders (kind of like you see with evangelicals on tv). I have no problem that I have ego sometimes, but I'm also not trying to fool people with a sense of piety telling them what is right and wrong.

  • annonymouz

    [quote comment=""][ You both like to point out how haughty you think this or that person is. Why?
    -------------
    Why anon? Because I don't want this religion to be some fundamentalist closed group of people who are told to groupthink. Or do you not care if the Faith because a bunch of sheep following some big-headed leaders (kind of like you see with evangelicals on tv). I have no problem that I have ego sometimes, but I'm also not trying to fool people with a sense of piety telling them what is right and wrong.[/quote]

    P what you talk about is not what I experience or even can begin to imagine. So as I am sure you can understand why I disagree with you. I host Ruhi, devotions–my favorite, and I have been through the core curriculum training and the underlying message that I get with these is there is such a degree of flexibility and freedom in how we carry them out. You want to invite some people over for a devotions? Great! No one tells me what to read or how to read. Same goes for Ruhi. I like to think of it as very open source–in the technological sense. Someone can have a Ruhi that is sit and repeat and frankly those are boring. Someone with a little imagination can put together a very cool program with arts incorporated, music, and the chance for the participants to express their feelings in their own strengths. I am telling you man, get back into the game and you will see what I am talking about. Things are very open to play around with. As long as your intentions are pure, have fun!

    If you see it as rote then change it. Book 7, the one to help people become tutors talk about the danger of becoming routine and how to avoid patterns. Be open, artistic, fluid, experiment–if we are not then yes Ruhi becomes a mind numbingly dull exercise.

    One thing is for sure, negativity never produced anything.

  • annonymouz

    [quote comment=""][ You both like to point out how haughty you think this or that person is. Why?
    -------------
    Why anon? Because I don't want this religion to be some fundamentalist closed group of people who are told to groupthink. Or do you not care if the Faith because a bunch of sheep following some big-headed leaders (kind of like you see with evangelicals on tv). I have no problem that I have ego sometimes, but I'm also not trying to fool people with a sense of piety telling them what is right and wrong.[/quote]

    P what you talk about is not what I experience or even can begin to imagine. So as I am sure you can understand why I disagree with you. I host Ruhi, devotions–my favorite, and I have been through the core curriculum training and the underlying message that I get with these is there is such a degree of flexibility and freedom in how we carry them out. You want to invite some people over for a devotions? Great! No one tells me what to read or how to read. Same goes for Ruhi. I like to think of it as very open source–in the technological sense. Someone can have a Ruhi that is sit and repeat and frankly those are boring. Someone with a little imagination can put together a very cool program with arts incorporated, music, and the chance for the participants to express their feelings in their own strengths. I am telling you man, get back into the game and you will see what I am talking about. Things are very open to play around with. As long as your intentions are pure, have fun!

    If you see it as rote then change it. Book 7, the one to help people become tutors talk about the danger of becoming routine and how to avoid patterns. Be open, artistic, fluid, experiment–if we are not then yes Ruhi becomes a mind numbingly dull exercise.

    One thing is for sure, negativity never produced anything.

  • P

    Well anon, consider yourself lucky. Obviously many of us haven’t experienced the same as you or else we wouldn’t be “ranting” online, now would we? Oh yeah, I forogt it’s solely because of our egos that’s why.
    Anon said: “I am telling you man, get back into the game and you will see what I am talking about.”
    Umm, well I’d have to first declare that I have a spiritual disorder which I am waiting for medicine to help me overcome before I can “get back into the game” as you suggest. But that’s been discussed thoroughly on another thread so no need to start it up here. I’ll pass- thanks. Besides, for now, I think I’ve found my home online.

  • P

    Well anon, consider yourself lucky. Obviously many of us haven’t experienced the same as you or else we wouldn’t be “ranting” online, now would we? Oh yeah, I forogt it’s solely because of our egos that’s why.
    Anon said: “I am telling you man, get back into the game and you will see what I am talking about.”
    Umm, well I’d have to first declare that I have a spiritual disorder which I am waiting for medicine to help me overcome before I can “get back into the game” as you suggest. But that’s been discussed thoroughly on another thread so no need to start it up here. I’ll pass- thanks. Besides, for now, I think I’ve found my home online.

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    [quote comment="61038"]Often times, in my own case, I have found that when I do not like something, I find ways of tearing it down and discrediting it, rather than finding things I can learn from it to improve myself.[/quote]

    In the case of Ruhi, it is Baha’u’llah who doesn’t like it, not me. I simply follow what Baha’u’llah said regarding taqlid.

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    [quote comment="61038"]Often times, in my own case, I have found that when I do not like something, I find ways of tearing it down and discrediting it, rather than finding things I can learn from it to improve myself.[/quote]

    In the case of Ruhi, it is Baha’u’llah who doesn’t like it, not me. I simply follow what Baha’u’llah said regarding taqlid.

  • ep

    the reality is that bahai culture has turned away from the very intellectual integrity and honesty that bahai scripture (inconsistently) exhorts its followers to observe. everything you say in “defense” of the bahai mainstream-tribal-groupthink mentality is a testimonial to this fact.

    re: “One thing is for sure, negativity never produced anything.”

    AnonZZZ,

    welcome back.

    your absurd rhetorical tactics appear to have remained the same: any dissent, criticism or non-conformism is equated with some spiritual inadequacy or deformity.

    please note: people know that this is an old ruse used by fanatics to deflect attention from the substance of what the critics are saying. in other words – it is pure false posturing.

  • ep

    the reality is that bahai culture has turned away from the very intellectual integrity and honesty that bahai scripture (inconsistently) exhorts its followers to observe. everything you say in “defense” of the bahai mainstream-tribal-groupthink mentality is a testimonial to this fact.

    re: “One thing is for sure, negativity never produced anything.”

    AnonZZZ,

    welcome back.

    your absurd rhetorical tactics appear to have remained the same: any dissent, criticism or non-conformism is equated with some spiritual inadequacy or deformity.

    please note: people know that this is an old ruse used by fanatics to deflect attention from the substance of what the critics are saying. in other words – it is pure false posturing.

  • ep

    re: http://bahai-library.com/forum/

    “it is moderately tightly, but intelligent discussion is
    always encouraged.”

    fwiw~ I was one of the original (if minor) sponsors of the above site. It was originally an independent site, and still has a lot of excellent material, but it is no longer independent from the AO’s tentacles, IMO.

    The “moderation” process has been taken over by fanatics. Any deep ciriticism of bahai will be attacked viciously, with a shocking disregard for intellectual honesty.

  • ep

    re: http://bahai-library.com/forum/

    “it is moderately tightly, but intelligent discussion is
    always encouraged.”

    fwiw~ I was one of the original (if minor) sponsors of the above site. It was originally an independent site, and still has a lot of excellent material, but it is no longer independent from the AO’s tentacles, IMO.

    The “moderation” process has been taken over by fanatics. Any deep ciriticism of bahai will be attacked viciously, with a shocking disregard for intellectual honesty.

  • FJR

    “O SON OF BEING! Bring thyself to account each day, ere thou art summoned to a reckoning.”- Baha’u’llah

    Ultimately, my biggest problem with intellectual discussion online, in a medium such as this, is that there is something lost in the typed response medium. Ultimately, before most of the viewers have even read my comments, there is a large chance that they already know what they believe, and will approach my post based on how it relates to what they believe. There simply is not the opportunity to demonstrate your beliefs, and to exemplify your character, the person who is speaking, over the internet. That is no means meant to sound arrogant, as if I might sway someone if we were to consult in person, but I do believe that there is no substitute for real, human interaction.

    Ultimately, there will always be those who criticize the Administrative Order, and I do believe that independent investigation of the truth is extremely important. That entails that individuals will ASK QUESTIONS, when they find a situation they are not clear on. However, one area where many people I notice struggle is the process of asking a question, then fairly evaluating the responses. Rather than being caught in the dichotomy of one believing they are absolutely right, and others are wrong, we must recognize that each perspective is based out of some truth.

    I believe it was Abdul Baha who said that the belief of the individual that they are totally right, and another is totally wrong is the single greatest barrier to unity.

    As for the reference to taqlid, Baquia, I believe you are misinterpreting Baha’u’llah’s intention in the quotation. While it is definitely warned that any individual gain too large an influence, and individuals always independently discern what is true, there also must be institutions to provide guidance, as Baha’u’llah and Abdul-Baha repeatedly state. If you would like to further discuss the subject, you are more than welcome to bring it to the forums to which I have linked.

    Ultimately, many people on the internet already know what they believe and are not looking to change or enhance their perspectives. Every individual must walk their own path, and I only hope that when the hour strikes, every believer can honestly say that they did all in their power to work towards the unity of mankind.

  • FJR

    “O SON OF BEING! Bring thyself to account each day, ere thou art summoned to a reckoning.”- Baha’u’llah

    Ultimately, my biggest problem with intellectual discussion online, in a medium such as this, is that there is something lost in the typed response medium. Ultimately, before most of the viewers have even read my comments, there is a large chance that they already know what they believe, and will approach my post based on how it relates to what they believe. There simply is not the opportunity to demonstrate your beliefs, and to exemplify your character, the person who is speaking, over the internet. That is no means meant to sound arrogant, as if I might sway someone if we were to consult in person, but I do believe that there is no substitute for real, human interaction.

    Ultimately, there will always be those who criticize the Administrative Order, and I do believe that independent investigation of the truth is extremely important. That entails that individuals will ASK QUESTIONS, when they find a situation they are not clear on. However, one area where many people I notice struggle is the process of asking a question, then fairly evaluating the responses. Rather than being caught in the dichotomy of one believing they are absolutely right, and others are wrong, we must recognize that each perspective is based out of some truth.

    I believe it was Abdul Baha who said that the belief of the individual that they are totally right, and another is totally wrong is the single greatest barrier to unity.

    As for the reference to taqlid, Baquia, I believe you are misinterpreting Baha’u’llah’s intention in the quotation. While it is definitely warned that any individual gain too large an influence, and individuals always independently discern what is true, there also must be institutions to provide guidance, as Baha’u’llah and Abdul-Baha repeatedly state. If you would like to further discuss the subject, you are more than welcome to bring it to the forums to which I have linked.

    Ultimately, many people on the internet already know what they believe and are not looking to change or enhance their perspectives. Every individual must walk their own path, and I only hope that when the hour strikes, every believer can honestly say that they did all in their power to work towards the unity of mankind.

  • ep

    [quote comment="61075"]“O SON OF BEING! Bring thyself to account each day, ere thou art summoned to a reckoning.”- Baha’u’llah
    [/quote]

    FJR – bahai, like most religions, affirms the basic value of honesty and truth. it also calls up humanity to engage in self-examination.

    so far so good.

    unfortunately bahai culture is frequently dishonest. some of the folk versions of bahai are absurdly hostile to any expression of nonconformism. in such an atmosphere, exploitation begins to brew. all failures are projected onto the lowly followers, the leaders cultivate a false sense of perfection, and create a set of false interpretations designed to shield themselves from criticism. any further criticisms results in a vicious cycle of conflict and scapegoating where the critics are accused of being spiritually inferior or deficient. when they get angry about such accusations, this is then held up as “proof” that the abusive/corrupt leaders (or their apologists) are “right”, and the critics “wrong”.

    in the end, the failed leaders are of course shown to be the main source of error.

    this is an old, corrupt game that the leadership of all religions has descended into from time to time. it “all about attachment” – power, to importance.

    it is a sign of the need for a new paradigm, etc.

  • ep

    [quote comment="61075"]“O SON OF BEING! Bring thyself to account each day, ere thou art summoned to a reckoning.”- Baha’u’llah
    [/quote]

    FJR – bahai, like most religions, affirms the basic value of honesty and truth. it also calls up humanity to engage in self-examination.

    so far so good.

    unfortunately bahai culture is frequently dishonest. some of the folk versions of bahai are absurdly hostile to any expression of nonconformism. in such an atmosphere, exploitation begins to brew. all failures are projected onto the lowly followers, the leaders cultivate a false sense of perfection, and create a set of false interpretations designed to shield themselves from criticism. any further criticisms results in a vicious cycle of conflict and scapegoating where the critics are accused of being spiritually inferior or deficient. when they get angry about such accusations, this is then held up as “proof” that the abusive/corrupt leaders (or their apologists) are “right”, and the critics “wrong”.

    in the end, the failed leaders are of course shown to be the main source of error.

    this is an old, corrupt game that the leadership of all religions has descended into from time to time. it “all about attachment” – power, to importance.

    it is a sign of the need for a new paradigm, etc.

  • Joe

    Ruhi is a tool that can be used and abused. I wasn’t around when Ruhi started so I’m still trying to get an idea what it’s all about but one thing I’ve noticed is that I have people trying to force me to do it and telling me I’m no good or talking down at me because I haven’t done it. Some people are thinking that it gives them a license to control others and feel superior to them and this is similar to priesthood which we don’t have. I just ignore the person but they are very coercive and try to intimidate me and insult me to get me to take courses. I have already done Book 1 and almost finished book 2 but not going through this tutor. This person has already accused me of being insincere to the House of Justice and in my own mind I laugh back because they are attacking me and accusing me not knowing that I’m already doing the courses!! How pathetic and fickle-minded that without any knowledge of whether I’ve done any Ruhi courses or am doing any that a tutor who has ‘done all 7 books’ is only too willing to fault-find, intimidate and harrass and falsely accuse!!!! I’m going to keep laughing everytime I meet this person because they are making a fool out of themselves before myself and God and when I’ve finished about 5 of the books then I’ll tell them I’ve just about done the course and that they should be more concerned about their own spiritual growth if all they can do is intimidate and threaten.

  • Joe

    Ruhi is a tool that can be used and abused. I wasn’t around when Ruhi started so I’m still trying to get an idea what it’s all about but one thing I’ve noticed is that I have people trying to force me to do it and telling me I’m no good or talking down at me because I haven’t done it. Some people are thinking that it gives them a license to control others and feel superior to them and this is similar to priesthood which we don’t have. I just ignore the person but they are very coercive and try to intimidate me and insult me to get me to take courses. I have already done Book 1 and almost finished book 2 but not going through this tutor. This person has already accused me of being insincere to the House of Justice and in my own mind I laugh back because they are attacking me and accusing me not knowing that I’m already doing the courses!! How pathetic and fickle-minded that without any knowledge of whether I’ve done any Ruhi courses or am doing any that a tutor who has ‘done all 7 books’ is only too willing to fault-find, intimidate and harrass and falsely accuse!!!! I’m going to keep laughing everytime I meet this person because they are making a fool out of themselves before myself and God and when I’ve finished about 5 of the books then I’ll tell them I’ve just about done the course and that they should be more concerned about their own spiritual growth if all they can do is intimidate and threaten.

  • farhan

    Joe wrote : Ruhi is a tool that can be used and abused. I wasn't around when Ruhi started so I'm still trying to get an idea what it's all about but one thing I've noticed is that I have people trying to force me to do it and telling me I'm no good or talking down at me because I haven't done it.
    Joe, I have seen what you describe, and even worse. These are learning problems. A mass of previously inactive and inexperienced individuals were enabled into the field of service; the more experienced believers thought that they were not needed in this field, mistakes were made and we have learnt from them and moved forwards in huge steps. Here in France things have advanced immensely and the newly acquired talents are producing wonderful fruits; I have posted documents on the Ruhi pitfalls somewhere on this blog.

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

    Joe wrote : Ruhi is a tool that can be used and abused. I wasn't around when Ruhi started so I'm still trying to get an idea what it's all about but one thing I've noticed is that I have people trying to force me to do it and telling me I'm no good or talking down at me because I haven't done it.
    Joe, I have seen what you describe, and even worse. These are learning problems. A mass of previously inactive and inexperienced individuals were enabled into the field of service; the more experienced believers thought that they were not needed in this field, mistakes were made and we have learnt from them and moved forwards in huge steps. Here in France things have advanced immensely and the newly acquired talents are producing wonderful fruits; I have posted documents on the Ruhi pitfalls somewhere on this blog.

  • Pingback: Time for Ruhi to Show Us the Money: Part I at Baha’i Rants

  • World Citizen

    When we are posting about Ruhi what are we actually posting about? Yes it is a ‘course’ with a name called ‘Ruhi’ BUT the bottom line is that it is basically a compilation of the Holy Texts. It is replete with the Words of Baha’u’llah and Abdul-Baha as well as the Guardian. All that has been done is that certain topics essential for Baha’is to grasp have been included but basically Ruhi is about studying the Word of God with view to implementing the zteachings in our daily lives. What’s wrong with this? This is far better than the ad hoc deepenings we used to have where we only chose topics of interest and ignored topics we didn’t like. Ruhi is far more comprehensive than deepenings but still revolves around the Word of God!! The criticism that Ruhi is failing is a direct attack on the Sacred Writings of Baha’u’llah and Baha’u’llah Himself by claiming They lack potency for Ruhi is replete with His Words. You will find in Ruhi excerpts from the Most Holy Book, Gleanings etc and so called Baha’is here are comfortable attacking Ruhi under the name Ruhi when in reality they are really attacking the Writings of Baha’u’llah and the Blessed Beauty Himself. The guise and umbrella is the name ‘Ruhi’ but let’s be very clear here that Ruhi is only the name of the course not the content. The content is full of passages from Baha’u’llah’s Writings!! In reality people are using the name Ruhi as a cover to attack the Blessed Beauty’s Writings because that is what Ruhi contains and is all abut

  • Amado

    I’m sorry to beg to differ, but here is an example. The folks who took it on themselves to make a general deepening sequence for the world – a bit presumptuous? – write: “the way to God is straight and narrow”. This is not based on Baha’u’llah’s Words, but an embarrassing display of ignorance. King James’ version of the Bible says “strait” (i.e., constricted; not wide). My only point is that the flowers are strewn with litter, and people can have ALL the Ruhi texts and NO actual original text, in which they might peruse the context, and plunge into the depths of the Ocean of His Teachings. Understanding God’s Word depends on purity of heart, not workbook drudgery…

  • desir0101

    Hi Baquia,

    I would appreciate if this response to the attention of Mr. Senn been authorized on your blog.

    ”Mr Senn your are a politician, trying to win certain power and position in the Bahai Faith. In your book Church and state you have you reflected and confirm such position. And it’s not surprising that The UHJ have taken action against you. They are right or wrong I don’t know. You believe that you are always right.”

    Please see below my response to WHY DON”T TEACH IN ISRAEL.

    27.
    desir0101 said

    October 26, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    Hello Sen,

    Quote

    �These
    people of Israel are even unto the present day still expecting that
    Manifestation which the Bible hath foretold! How many Manifestations of
    Holiness, how many Revealers of the light everlasting, have appeared since the
    time of Moses, and yet Israel, wrapt in the densest veils of satanic fancy and
    false imaginings, is still expectant that the idol of her own handiwork will
    appear with such signs as she herself hath conceived! Thus hath God laid hold
    of them for their sins, hath extinguished in them the spirit of faith, and
    tormented them with the flames of the nethermost fire. And this for no other
    reason except that Israel refused to apprehend the meaning of such words as
    have been revealed in the Bible concerning the signs of the coming Revelation’
    Kitab i Iqan p. 18 Bahai Reference Library.

    Another
    self opinion different from the one earlier in the thread is that As Bahaullah
    considering Him GOD, He is punishing still more ISRAEL. And as a retribution
    debar them from accepting His faith even if they wish to do so.

    Where is
    the wisdom? I don’t know.

    Or did
    Bahaullah wished that Israel as a new built nation, as told in biblical
    prophesies, have a self recognition to his faith to break the curse laid on
    them.

    Thanks.

    Why GoD so
    cruel only against one nation in the whole world.????

    Thanks.

    Sen
    said

    October 27, 2012 at 9:00 am

    I think
    you are forgetting that, in the time of Baha’u’llah, the word Israel meant the
    Jewish people, particularly those practicing the Jewish faith, while the
    inhabitants of Palestine at the time were Muslim, Christian, Druze and a small
    minority of Jews and Samaritans, all living under the rule of the Ottoman
    Turks. So what he says in the Iqan about �Israel� has no apparent connection to
    the fact that Bahais did not teach in �Syria� (including Palestine) and that
    today do not teach any of the inhabitants of Israel — Jews and Muslims and
    secular people alike.

    In his
    article �The Young Turks and the Bahais in Palestine’ (published in Yuval
    Ben-Bassat and Eyal Ginio (eds), Late Ottoman Palestine: The period of Young
    Turk rule, Tauris, 2011) Necati Alkan writes:

    In a
    Turkish letter to Abd??lhamid – to my knowledge the only letter directly addressed
    to the Sultan – the Baha’i leader talks about the imperial decree ?that has
    been issued recently’ concerning his confinement in ?Akka. ?Abdu’l-Baha most
    probably wrote his letter as a response to the renewal of his imprisonment in
    1901. He says that ?no dishonorable condition and act contrary to the imperial
    will has manifested itself on my behalf or our community’ and assures the
    emperor that he and his followers are his loyal subjects who ?hesitate to
    meddle in the affairs of the government (umur-i h??k?met) and the transactions
    of the people (muamel??t-? ahali)’, as required by Baha’i principles
    (non-involvement in partisan politics). … ?nothing has been undertaken to
    attract and admit even a single individual from among the Ottoman subjects to
    join our tarikat during our lengthy stay in ?Akka for more than thirty years’.

    This does
    not directly prove that the original purpose of Baha’u’llah’s ruling was to
    avoid upsetting the Ottoman authorities. That point might be an incidental
    benefit, 30 years later. But it indicates (as I had suspected) that the ban on
    teaching the Faith was originally very broad — Ottoman subjects being most of
    the permanent residents of the Ottoman empire — and that does suggest to me
    that the reason had then (and still has) something to do with relations with
    the government. And God knows best.

    desir0101
    said

    Your
    comment is awaiting moderation.

    October 30, 2012 at 7:36 pm

    Quote Sen,

    �I think
    you are forgetting that, in the time of Baha’u’llah, the word Israel meant the
    Jewish people, particularly those practicing the Jewish faith,�

    I am not
    forgetting and you are right to say that the word Israel apply for the Jews.
    Only and only for the Jews. The land is the Promised land by God to the Jews as
    foretold in the Books. God have fulfill His promise and now is left to the
    people of Israel to do theirs. No other land on this entire planet has been
    promise to a particular nation and now they are a Nation. God through His
    messenger I think is expecting from the Jews a self and full recognition to His
    faith without having to �door knocking�,Ruhi session etc.

    And the quotation from the Iqan translation is clear cut.

    You know
    there are so many writings in the Bahai faith, authored by three central
    figures that someone can use some writings now to approve his points and latter
    use other writings to refute the same points in differents circumstances.

    Regards.

    Expressing my thanks.

    regards.

  • Craig Parke

    Ruhi does NOT contain the Writings of the Central Figures of the Faith AT ALL nor does it promote deep reflection. It has snippets from the Writings taken completely out of context and more often contains quotes from spurious Pilgrim’s notes. Through the idiotic exercises and guided multiple choice “answers” it is out and out rote indoctrination in the pet personal opinions of the deranged top down lifetime incumbent class that owns the Baha’i Faith as their personal satrap. It has set the progress of the once great potential of the Baha’i Faith back AT LEAST 800 years. Truly, one of the most fatal turn of events in human history. The idiots that did this will have plenty to answer for in the next World.

    Meanwhile, the Free and Unfettered Spirit of the New World Age is pouring into the consciousness of Mankind through completely free and open discussion, completely free and open publishing, film making, study of ideas of potential world financial re-structuring, and the study of community level economic resource organization across the World via the Global communication of the Internet. The sea change in humanity is happening in individual personal spheres of influence on every level of human endeavor quite apart from anything the Administrative Disorder of the Baha’i Faith could ever conceive to micro manage into the ground. The Baha’is are too restricted as individuals to ever take part in this free and open Planetary bottom up endeavor. The Baha’is are not players. They are more isolated, incestuous, and inward than ever thanks to total Ruhization in every land..

    But everyone be of good cheer! The New World Age will indeed unfold in great and beautiful power from the Realm of the Spirit across the Earth!

    Best to everyone!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BXf8oJq049w

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wf-J_sJB29Q