Sectarian Violence: Explosion in Shiraz Mosque

A home-made bomb exploded, killing at least 9 people, and injuring more than a 100 in Shiraz today. The site of the bombing was the Shohada (Martyrs) mosque, part of the Rahpouyan-e-Vesal cultural center.

My condolences and prayers to those who lost loved ones and for those who were injured.

No one has yet officially claimed responsibility but since the mosque is well known for its Saturday sermons against the Baha’i Faith and Wahabi Muslims, it is suspected that it is sectarian violence.

I have not read in any reports that the Baha’i community is even suspected of carrying out such an atrocity. Instead most reports cite a group of militant Sunni muslims who have carried out similar attacks.The Wahabis, a branch of Sunni Islam, view the Shi’ites as heretics.

The last instance of similar violence was in February 2007 when a bus carrying a group of Revolutionary Guards exploded, killing 11 and wounding 30 more.

It is not rare to hear sermons in Iran against the Baha’i Faith. Uniting the people against a common enemy, even if it happens to be a phantom one, and distracting them from real issues has been a very effective ploy used by the ruling clergy class.

I hope that the Baha’i community in Iran isn’t made to be the scapegoat of this tragedy and there are no repercussions to them. God knows they are already under enough persecution.

Looking on the bright side of things, if there can ever be one, is that news reports of this event highlight the Baha’i Faith and the plight of the Iranian community:

The Bahai faith was founded in the 1860s by a Persian nobleman, Baha’u’llah, who claimed to be a new prophet in the series that included Moses, Jesus and Muhammad. Islam considers Muhammad to be the last of the prophets.

Iran had been the cradle of the Bahai faith in the middle of the 19th century. After the 1979 Islamic revolution, the faith was banned and it is not recognized in the Iranian constitution as a religious minority.

Last year, Bahai communities abroad reported that a group of followers were detained in Shiraz while helping poor communities there.

  • sam

    Based on the recent update, there was no bombing involved and the explosive material inside the mosque got exploded.

    Remember that couple of months back some bombs were exploded in house of some bahais and they were threatened to death ..

  • sam

    Based on the recent update, there was no bombing involved and the explosive material inside the mosque got exploded.

    Remember that couple of months back some bombs were exploded in house of some bahais and they were threatened to death ..

  • [quote]Provincial Police Commander Ali Moaeyri later told Fars it “was not sabotage.”

    “Some live munitions may have been left behind at that location which could have been the cause of the explosion,” Moaeyri said.

    The police commander said the munitions were apparently left behind after a “Sacred Defense” exhibition was held at the mosque, which also serves as a cultural center.

    Local militia groups — known as Basij — often use the mosques for meeting places.

    Report: Deadly blast in Iran caused by munitions[/quote]

    Or, as The Elephant Bar puts it:

    [quote]Don’t you just hate it when you go to church and someone mishandles the munitions and the place blows up? God that annoys me.

    Iranian Mosque Blows Up During Service. Not a Bomb.[/quote]

  • [quote]Provincial Police Commander Ali Moaeyri later told Fars it “was not sabotage.”

    “Some live munitions may have been left behind at that location which could have been the cause of the explosion,” Moaeyri said.

    The police commander said the munitions were apparently left behind after a “Sacred Defense” exhibition was held at the mosque, which also serves as a cultural center.

    Local militia groups — known as Basij — often use the mosques for meeting places.

    Report: Deadly blast in Iran caused by munitions[/quote]

    Or, as The Elephant Bar puts it:

    [quote]Don’t you just hate it when you go to church and someone mishandles the munitions and the place blows up? God that annoys me.

    Iranian Mosque Blows Up During Service. Not a Bomb.[/quote]

  • Thanks for the follow up Sam & Steve. Perhaps I’m too cynical but I keep thinking this could be a cover up. Wouldn’t it be beneficial to the rule of law and the appearance of control to assert that it wasn’t an attack but an accident? I wouldn’t put it past the IRI.

  • Thanks for the follow up Sam & Steve. Perhaps I’m too cynical but I keep thinking this could be a cover up. Wouldn’t it be beneficial to the rule of law and the appearance of control to assert that it wasn’t an attack but an accident? I wouldn’t put it past the IRI.

  • Craig Parke

    Here is video of what happened:

    Yep. Storing weapons in a “place of worship” these days seems to be all the rage.

    Man, I will be glad when my time comes to get off this planet of spiritually illiterate morons.

    “Religious Revelation” given to the “dick measuring culture” of Bedouin desert raiders and a civilization that invented “crucifixion” as a form of state execution. Yeah. That’s the ticket.

    They can all keep praying five times a day. I hope it helps.

    Will any good lead rock guitarists ever come out of the Middle East?

    Maybe things will be saner in some other star system?

    You are here:

    On March 11, 2004 the Spirit rover on Mars took the first picture of Earth ever made from the surface of another planet:

    Maybe SOMEBODY OUT THERE has their head out of their ass?

    I certainly hope so.

  • Craig Parke

    Here is video of what happened:

    Yep. Storing weapons in a “place of worship” these days seems to be all the rage.

    Man, I will be glad when my time comes to get off this planet of spiritually illiterate morons.

    “Religious Revelation” given to the “dick measuring culture” of Bedouin desert raiders and a civilization that invented “crucifixion” as a form of state execution. Yeah. That’s the ticket.

    They can all keep praying five times a day. I hope it helps.

    Will any good lead rock guitarists ever come out of the Middle East?

    Maybe things will be saner in some other star system?

    You are here:

    On March 11, 2004 the Spirit rover on Mars took the first picture of Earth ever made from the surface of another planet:

    Maybe SOMEBODY OUT THERE has their head out of their ass?

    I certainly hope so.

  • Anonymous

    [quote comment=””]Here is video of what happened:[/quote]
    Here’s the video on YouTube

    Pretty chaotic scene. Viewer discretion advised.

  • [quote comment=””]Here is video of what happened:[/quote]
    Here’s the video on YouTube

    Pretty chaotic scene. Viewer discretion advised.

  • Craig Parke

    Yep. The Abrahamic religions are really something aren’t they!

    Violent, thoughtless, total automaton spiritually illiterate morons blowing themselves up!

    When will EVERYBODY ELSE else on Earth from many other much more superior and much more refined and thoughtful cultures just STOP ACCEPTING the PROPAGANDA that ANYONE from the Middle East knows ANYTHING WHATSOEVER about the concept we call “God”?

    Just watch that guy in the middle with his arms raised stutter stepping around. That guy just says it all in his manner and his demeanor.

    While these people blindly memorize the Koran and prepare to strap C4 pouches onto their bodies in the mindless self identity orgy of sectarian zero sum game violence and the Baha’is each keep taking the Ruhi Full Sequence of Courses over and over in an orgy of dysfunctional Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, the Hindus are studying the Microsoft Windows API and the latest version of the Sun Java API and will have ALL of the good jobs as both the Middle East nations and the U.S. economy destroy themselves in national suicide.

    Man is this a strange planet.

    Really, really, really strange.

    They can all keep praying five times a day, while the Hindus buy stocks on-line five times a day.

    So it goes.

  • Craig Parke

    Yep. The Abrahamic religions are really something aren’t they!

    Violent, thoughtless, total automaton spiritually illiterate morons blowing themselves up!

    When will EVERYBODY ELSE else on Earth from many other much more superior and much more refined and thoughtful cultures just STOP ACCEPTING the PROPAGANDA that ANYONE from the Middle East knows ANYTHING WHATSOEVER about the concept we call “God”?

    Just watch that guy in the middle with his arms raised stutter stepping around. That guy just says it all in his manner and his demeanor.

    While these people blindly memorize the Koran and prepare to strap C4 pouches onto their bodies in the mindless self identity orgy of sectarian zero sum game violence and the Baha’is each keep taking the Ruhi Full Sequence of Courses over and over in an orgy of dysfunctional Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, the Hindus are studying the Microsoft Windows API and the latest version of the Sun Java API and will have ALL of the good jobs as both the Middle East nations and the U.S. economy destroy themselves in national suicide.

    Man is this a strange planet.

    Really, really, really strange.

    They can all keep praying five times a day, while the Hindus buy stocks on-line five times a day.

    So it goes.

  • Craig,
    speaking of Abrahamic religions, have you seen the article Steve had about Karen Armstrong?

  • Craig,
    speaking of Abrahamic religions, have you seen the article Steve had about Karen Armstrong?

  • [quote comment=””]Craig,
    speaking of Abrahamic religions, have you seen the article Steve had about Karen Armstrong?[/quote]

    Brilliant talk I think!

    Many thanks Baquia for bringing it to our attention.

    I particularly like Karen’s disparagement of belief as the main focus of religion. Its really about behavior she says. Calling people believers is wrong in that believing is not what religion should be about. Rather its about changing behavior so that we behave in a compassionate way.

    She said “don’t confine your concern to your own group” rather have concern for the well being of everyone.

    I am turned off by wishes of Baha’i love. What is that, a special kind of love?

    I think her idea for a charter for compassion is a good one. I hope it catches on. I plan to do something about it in my church.

    Of course of equal importance is her comment that it is challenging to try to find messages of compassion in scripture when there is so much other stuff including calls to violence in them.

    We need to craft rules of behavior that work for people. This is being done and has been done historically picking and choosing from scripture being careful to leave out the incendiary bits.

    Someone left a comment on Steve’s blog (I think it was) that Karen Armstrong wants a compassionate, universal religion but not this one meaning Baha’i. Well it seems to me that Baha’i is not universal and is not consistently compassionate (particularly when it is being not universal) but Baha’i does often have more concern for the Baha’is than for humanity. And of course Baha’i is often centered on belief rather than action. While many Bahia’s are compassionate, others are intolerant and fearful particularly when it comes to matters concerning the cohesion of the group — that is of the covenant.

    I would love to read an article or book by Armstrong about Baha’i. I’m sure she would find much to praise but would also have much advice as well. Her perspective is so broad yet deep while being popular (a populist scholar I guess) as to be unique I think. Baha’is should pay close attention to her opinion, if she ever gives it.

    Do you think they will?

  • [quote comment=””]Craig,
    speaking of Abrahamic religions, have you seen the article Steve had about Karen Armstrong?[/quote]

    Brilliant talk I think!

    Many thanks Baquia for bringing it to our attention.

    I particularly like Karen’s disparagement of belief as the main focus of religion. Its really about behavior she says. Calling people believers is wrong in that believing is not what religion should be about. Rather its about changing behavior so that we behave in a compassionate way.

    She said “don’t confine your concern to your own group” rather have concern for the well being of everyone.

    I am turned off by wishes of Baha’i love. What is that, a special kind of love?

    I think her idea for a charter for compassion is a good one. I hope it catches on. I plan to do something about it in my church.

    Of course of equal importance is her comment that it is challenging to try to find messages of compassion in scripture when there is so much other stuff including calls to violence in them.

    We need to craft rules of behavior that work for people. This is being done and has been done historically picking and choosing from scripture being careful to leave out the incendiary bits.

    Someone left a comment on Steve’s blog (I think it was) that Karen Armstrong wants a compassionate, universal religion but not this one meaning Baha’i. Well it seems to me that Baha’i is not universal and is not consistently compassionate (particularly when it is being not universal) but Baha’i does often have more concern for the Baha’is than for humanity. And of course Baha’i is often centered on belief rather than action. While many Bahia’s are compassionate, others are intolerant and fearful particularly when it comes to matters concerning the cohesion of the group — that is of the covenant.

    I would love to read an article or book by Armstrong about Baha’i. I’m sure she would find much to praise but would also have much advice as well. Her perspective is so broad yet deep while being popular (a populist scholar I guess) as to be unique I think. Baha’is should pay close attention to her opinion, if she ever gives it.

    Do you think they will?

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=”48292″]

    Brilliant talk I think!

    [/quote]

    Frank,

    I completely agree with you. I have seen her speak on C-Span several times now. Always enjoyable to watch! I have also read several of her books. Excellent stuff!

    Her inquiry is to always try to find the spiritual kernel of truth in the “deep structure” (film term) messages of the Abrahamic religions. To my mind the “deep structure” message is esoteric and profoundly archetypal. The accounts are about Divine Judgment upon various human personality types. Should one be a “Jeremiah” or a “Pontius Pilate” in life in confronting the issues and urgent spiritual needs of one’s Era? Each person in each generation down through history must decide.

    In the present situation of the 164 year history of the Babi/Baha’i Faith in 2008 in the context of the long, strange, 3,000 year history of the Abrahamic religions it really comes down to this question:

    Was Shoghi Effendi a miserable moral failure because he just gave up and did not do what he was supposed to do? Or was he a spiritual genius of some sort because failing to do his job was in reality a SUPREMELY CREATIVE ACT from some other vision he had that caused him to just pull the plug on his entire life’s work?

    I alternate hourly in how I see it between tragic moral failure and amazingly profound genius.

    There are many massive catastrophic internal inconsistencies in the whole BAO concept as it now exists. Were they put there on purpose to set everything in another direction toward some even higher goal as a some kind of Divine “bank shot”? How can the UHJ be “infallible” in the sense that they are ALWAYS “factually correct” given the fact that IF there WAS a living Guardian he had the right and power to send ANY DECISION they made BACK TO THEM for RE-CONSIDERATION if it was NOT in the true spirit of the Teachings of Baha’u’llah? Wha? Huh? Duh! Yep! How can anyone EVER sort this mind bending cognitive dissonance out? The actual words all fiercely collide like pool balls on a professional break where some ghost like Minnesota Fats is just about to relieve everyone in some small town in Iowa of everything in their wallets. Someone always grinning ear to ear as they chalk their cue stick decade after decade now.

    Unless…there…is…another…reason…pertaining to the end of the dip shit (up until now in World History) sorry record of the “Abrahamic” religions?

    We have essentially 3,000 years of recorded history in the mind bending psychopathology of borderline personalities in human “organizations” via Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and finally the Babi and Baha’i Faiths. And the current BAO is doing ever and ever more further refined groundbreaking modern research in daily dysfunctionality every single day.

    I say it could all still turn out to be a GOLD MINE and end up being VERY, VERY USEFUL (especially when combined with the sorry political history of the 20th Century and now how the 21st Century is starting out in endless war and “ideological” suicide bomber carnage) because BEFORE there is some kind of planetary system of governance (which will most certainly evolve if we CAN survive the mounting planetary problems) EVERYONE on Earth MUST FIRST understand exactly HOW borderline personality psychopaths and sociopaths ALWAYS take over organizations at EVERY LEVEL. ALWAYS. Religions, political systems, political parties, business corporations, etc. We absolutely HAVE to understand these psychological mechanisms in play in organizations BEFORE ANY power WHATSOEVER can be given to ANYONE on the planetary level of governance.

    The history of the Abrahamic religions, therefore, on this sorry topic is an EXCELLENT study for the world. It is a treasure trove of mind bending psycho pathology for everyone to peruse.

    “From Jesus to Torquemada”…

    The same old, same old…

    The psychological steps MUST BE STUDIED by every man, woman, and child on Earth for the safety of the WORLD. I believe teaching the skills of CRITICAL THOUGHT WORLDWIDE COMBINED with the new amazingly powerful planetary system of intimate communication called the “Internet” will now COMPLETELY CHANGE THE EQUATION over the next 1,000 years.

    “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss” as the 3,000 year old paradigm was is now FINALLY GOING TO CHANGE.

    Either that, or the human race is going to destroy itself at the hands of fundamentalist psychopaths and sociopaths who had very, very unhappy childhoods and real issues with Mama and Dada.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zydAs5bRW1U

    I always did kind of like this version:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zlUlFvkQL0k

    Man, those were the days.

    I always enjoy your thoughtful posts!

    Everyone keep posting!

    Best regards,

    Craig

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=”48292″]

    Brilliant talk I think!

    [/quote]

    Frank,

    I completely agree with you. I have seen her speak on C-Span several times now. Always enjoyable to watch! I have also read several of her books. Excellent stuff!

    Her inquiry is to always try to find the spiritual kernel of truth in the “deep structure” (film term) messages of the Abrahamic religions. To my mind the “deep structure” message is esoteric and profoundly archetypal. The accounts are about Divine Judgment upon various human personality types. Should one be a “Jeremiah” or a “Pontius Pilate” in life in confronting the issues and urgent spiritual needs of one’s Era? Each person in each generation down through history must decide.

    In the present situation of the 164 year history of the Babi/Baha’i Faith in 2008 in the context of the long, strange, 3,000 year history of the Abrahamic religions it really comes down to this question:

    Was Shoghi Effendi a miserable moral failure because he just gave up and did not do what he was supposed to do? Or was he a spiritual genius of some sort because failing to do his job was in reality a SUPREMELY CREATIVE ACT from some other vision he had that caused him to just pull the plug on his entire life’s work?

    I alternate hourly in how I see it between tragic moral failure and amazingly profound genius.

    There are many massive catastrophic internal inconsistencies in the whole BAO concept as it now exists. Were they put there on purpose to set everything in another direction toward some even higher goal as a some kind of Divine “bank shot”? How can the UHJ be “infallible” in the sense that they are ALWAYS “factually correct” given the fact that IF there WAS a living Guardian he had the right and power to send ANY DECISION they made BACK TO THEM for RE-CONSIDERATION if it was NOT in the true spirit of the Teachings of Baha’u’llah? Wha? Huh? Duh! Yep! How can anyone EVER sort this mind bending cognitive dissonance out? The actual words all fiercely collide like pool balls on a professional break where some ghost like Minnesota Fats is just about to relieve everyone in some small town in Iowa of everything in their wallets. Someone always grinning ear to ear as they chalk their cue stick decade after decade now.

    Unless…there…is…another…reason…pertaining to the end of the dip shit (up until now in World History) sorry record of the “Abrahamic” religions?

    We have essentially 3,000 years of recorded history in the mind bending psychopathology of borderline personalities in human “organizations” via Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and finally the Babi and Baha’i Faiths. And the current BAO is doing ever and ever more further refined groundbreaking modern research in daily dysfunctionality every single day.

    I say it could all still turn out to be a GOLD MINE and end up being VERY, VERY USEFUL (especially when combined with the sorry political history of the 20th Century and now how the 21st Century is starting out in endless war and “ideological” suicide bomber carnage) because BEFORE there is some kind of planetary system of governance (which will most certainly evolve if we CAN survive the mounting planetary problems) EVERYONE on Earth MUST FIRST understand exactly HOW borderline personality psychopaths and sociopaths ALWAYS take over organizations at EVERY LEVEL. ALWAYS. Religions, political systems, political parties, business corporations, etc. We absolutely HAVE to understand these psychological mechanisms in play in organizations BEFORE ANY power WHATSOEVER can be given to ANYONE on the planetary level of governance.

    The history of the Abrahamic religions, therefore, on this sorry topic is an EXCELLENT study for the world. It is a treasure trove of mind bending psycho pathology for everyone to peruse.

    “From Jesus to Torquemada”…

    The same old, same old…

    The psychological steps MUST BE STUDIED by every man, woman, and child on Earth for the safety of the WORLD. I believe teaching the skills of CRITICAL THOUGHT WORLDWIDE COMBINED with the new amazingly powerful planetary system of intimate communication called the “Internet” will now COMPLETELY CHANGE THE EQUATION over the next 1,000 years.

    “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss” as the 3,000 year old paradigm was is now FINALLY GOING TO CHANGE.

    Either that, or the human race is going to destroy itself at the hands of fundamentalist psychopaths and sociopaths who had very, very unhappy childhoods and real issues with Mama and Dada.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zydAs5bRW1U

    I always did kind of like this version:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zlUlFvkQL0k

    Man, those were the days.

    I always enjoy your thoughtful posts!

    Everyone keep posting!

    Best regards,

    Craig

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=””]
    Was Shoghi Effendi a miserable moral failure because he just gave up and did not do what he was supposed to do? Or was he a spiritual genius of some sort because failing to do his job was in reality a SUPREMELY CREATIVE ACT from some other vision he had that caused him to just pull the plug on his entire life’s work?

    I alternate hourly in how I see it between tragic moral failure and amazingly profound genius.
    [/quote]

    To clarify, in my post I am talking about Shoghi Effendi’s personal failure as Guardian to appoint a living Guardian of the Baha’i Faith in HIS lifetime to carry on that Institution as designed and set forth in HIS OWN previous INFALLIBLE writings. His failure to carry out this duty was in direct violation of the clear words of the Will and Testament of Abdu’l-Baha. His failure to carry out this task was, in fact, a direct violation of the Covenant which he carried out himself. This historical fact is as “plain as the Sun at Noon” as they famously say in Baha’i circles in a copyrighted phrase. The clear historical facts speak for themselves. There is no way around this fact.

    But as any honest and fair assessment would acknowledge, Shoghi Effendi was very, very diligent and hard working all his life. His diligent writings and translations speak for themselves.

    This makes the mystery of this action even more Cosmic in potential.

    The fact is he COMPLETELY FORESAW the technology of what we now call the “Internet” in that now well known quote from the 1930’s. And two decades later he completely pulled the plug on his life’s work by failing to appoint a living Guardian in his lifetime before he suddenly passed away. Actually, leaving a Will and Testament in a safe to do so was not really a fulfillment to either the Spirit or the the Letter of what he was supposed to do even though it would have left the Faith with a better operational situation to try to salvage the impasse which might have worked out and saved the day.

    So in my opinion this course of events compared to his usual diligence tilts the whole equation towards an analysis that it was a profoundly creative act that has opened up how this all may go over the next 1,000 years on a completely different trajectory than initially envisioned.

    I believe that the Guardianship is now NOT A PERSON but a “planetary state of consciousness” that will now develop in the collective Earth and be intimately expressed worldwide over the Internet for the next 1,000 years. The card carrying Baha’is won’t be it’s expression. They currently exist in a straight jacket of self censorship. Current history shows the rank and file Baha’is themselves will never be able to use the vote to effect any kind of feedback for any change of any kind whatsoever within the Faith itself. Instead, the Guardianship consciousness will be expressed by EVERY NON-BAHA’I ON EARTH truly concerned about the vital planetary issues invoked by the Maid of Heaven through Baha’u’llah. The UHJ itself has NO “AUTHORITY” WHATSOEVER over the Non-Baha’i peoples of the world. But the Non-Baha’i peoples of the world may just have plenty to say to the UHJ over the next 1,000 years.

    Right here in River City on the planetary binary photonic light wave carrier that circles the Earth seven times a second.

    Every person on Earth is now a newspaper editorial staff with worldwide reach 24/7/365/1000 thanks to the power of the Internet.

    The Guardianship of the Baha’i Faith is, essentially, every person on Earth who is NOT a card carrying Baha’i.

    Baha’is themselves have to be too concerned with being declared CB’s or being auto-disenrolled by First Call Mail (not even Certified or Registered Mail!), or interrogated by Inquisitors about their private thoughts to ever be able to speak out about anything. But EVERYONE ELSE on Earth will. This could be an absolutely brilliant system of checks and balances. It should be a very interesting dialog over the next 1,000 years.

    Nine men and their staffs in Haifa getting e-mails from 6 billion people! The Faith can even pay for speed reading training for them and speed typing lessons too as they try to address the issues raised by NON-BAHA’IS all around the World if they think the UHJ is NOT living up to the Spirit of the Teachings of Baha’u’llah (and Krishna, Zoroaster, Buddha, Moses, Jesus, Mohammad, and the Bab too just to name a few).

    Fasten your seat belts, this could get very interesting over the centuries.

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=””]
    Was Shoghi Effendi a miserable moral failure because he just gave up and did not do what he was supposed to do? Or was he a spiritual genius of some sort because failing to do his job was in reality a SUPREMELY CREATIVE ACT from some other vision he had that caused him to just pull the plug on his entire life’s work?

    I alternate hourly in how I see it between tragic moral failure and amazingly profound genius.
    [/quote]

    To clarify, in my post I am talking about Shoghi Effendi’s personal failure as Guardian to appoint a living Guardian of the Baha’i Faith in HIS lifetime to carry on that Institution as designed and set forth in HIS OWN previous INFALLIBLE writings. His failure to carry out this duty was in direct violation of the clear words of the Will and Testament of Abdu’l-Baha. His failure to carry out this task was, in fact, a direct violation of the Covenant which he carried out himself. This historical fact is as “plain as the Sun at Noon” as they famously say in Baha’i circles in a copyrighted phrase. The clear historical facts speak for themselves. There is no way around this fact.

    But as any honest and fair assessment would acknowledge, Shoghi Effendi was very, very diligent and hard working all his life. His diligent writings and translations speak for themselves.

    This makes the mystery of this action even more Cosmic in potential.

    The fact is he COMPLETELY FORESAW the technology of what we now call the “Internet” in that now well known quote from the 1930’s. And two decades later he completely pulled the plug on his life’s work by failing to appoint a living Guardian in his lifetime before he suddenly passed away. Actually, leaving a Will and Testament in a safe to do so was not really a fulfillment to either the Spirit or the the Letter of what he was supposed to do even though it would have left the Faith with a better operational situation to try to salvage the impasse which might have worked out and saved the day.

    So in my opinion this course of events compared to his usual diligence tilts the whole equation towards an analysis that it was a profoundly creative act that has opened up how this all may go over the next 1,000 years on a completely different trajectory than initially envisioned.

    I believe that the Guardianship is now NOT A PERSON but a “planetary state of consciousness” that will now develop in the collective Earth and be intimately expressed worldwide over the Internet for the next 1,000 years. The card carrying Baha’is won’t be it’s expression. They currently exist in a straight jacket of self censorship. Current history shows the rank and file Baha’is themselves will never be able to use the vote to effect any kind of feedback for any change of any kind whatsoever within the Faith itself. Instead, the Guardianship consciousness will be expressed by EVERY NON-BAHA’I ON EARTH truly concerned about the vital planetary issues invoked by the Maid of Heaven through Baha’u’llah. The UHJ itself has NO “AUTHORITY” WHATSOEVER over the Non-Baha’i peoples of the world. But the Non-Baha’i peoples of the world may just have plenty to say to the UHJ over the next 1,000 years.

    Right here in River City on the planetary binary photonic light wave carrier that circles the Earth seven times a second.

    Every person on Earth is now a newspaper editorial staff with worldwide reach 24/7/365/1000 thanks to the power of the Internet.

    The Guardianship of the Baha’i Faith is, essentially, every person on Earth who is NOT a card carrying Baha’i.

    Baha’is themselves have to be too concerned with being declared CB’s or being auto-disenrolled by First Call Mail (not even Certified or Registered Mail!), or interrogated by Inquisitors about their private thoughts to ever be able to speak out about anything. But EVERYONE ELSE on Earth will. This could be an absolutely brilliant system of checks and balances. It should be a very interesting dialog over the next 1,000 years.

    Nine men and their staffs in Haifa getting e-mails from 6 billion people! The Faith can even pay for speed reading training for them and speed typing lessons too as they try to address the issues raised by NON-BAHA’IS all around the World if they think the UHJ is NOT living up to the Spirit of the Teachings of Baha’u’llah (and Krishna, Zoroaster, Buddha, Moses, Jesus, Mohammad, and the Bab too just to name a few).

    Fasten your seat belts, this could get very interesting over the centuries.

  • farhan

    Craig wrote:
    “I alternate hourly in how I see it between tragic moral failure and amazingly profound genius.”

    Thanks for this interesting post, Craig. My understanding is that the new world order that is taking form is progressively integrating elements of the old world order that is falling to pieces; this can only be done very progressively, according to the capacity of individuals and human societies to change.

    My understanding is that in time, personnal authority and leadership will disappear, and be replaced by collegial authority and power. We will perhaps have kings, but kings from which power has been withdrawn.

    The WOB is only the depositary of the gift of god to all humanity, whether Baha’is or not. Bahai’s instiutions are merely the channels through which the message is being delivered to all humanity, and being a Baha’i is merely being a gardener in the garden from which all humanity is deriving benefit.

    Shoghi Effendi was intellectually a genius, BUT what we admire is the light of Revelation reflected in Him acting as a pure and detached mirror perfectly oriented to teh Divine Revelation which is available to us all.

  • Farhan Yazdani

    Craig wrote:
    “I alternate hourly in how I see it between tragic moral failure and amazingly profound genius.”

    Thanks for this interesting post, Craig. My understanding is that the new world order that is taking form is progressively integrating elements of the old world order that is falling to pieces; this can only be done very progressively, according to the capacity of individuals and human societies to change.

    My understanding is that in time, personnal authority and leadership will disappear, and be replaced by collegial authority and power. We will perhaps have kings, but kings from which power has been withdrawn.

    The WOB is only the depositary of the gift of god to all humanity, whether Baha’is or not. Bahai’s instiutions are merely the channels through which the message is being delivered to all humanity, and being a Baha’i is merely being a gardener in the garden from which all humanity is deriving benefit.

    Shoghi Effendi was intellectually a genius, BUT what we admire is the light of Revelation reflected in Him acting as a pure and detached mirror perfectly oriented to teh Divine Revelation which is available to us all.

  • farhan

    Craig, you write:
    “Or was he a spiritual genius of some sort because failing to do his job was in reality a SUPREMELY CREATIVE ACT from some other vision he had that caused him to just pull the plug on his entire life’s work?”

    Craig,
    I believe that not all what is contained in god’s plan can be revealed at once. Shoghi Effendi’s choice of revaling and retaining information was obviously a deliberate wise move.

    I have a PPT presentation in French by Ali Nakhjavani on Shoghi Effendi’s vision of the twin process of disintegration and integration leading to the Lesser Peace, the Graet Peace, the Greatest Peace and ultimately to the World Commonwealth.

    The Lesser plan of God is illustrated as what goes on within the Baha’i community, and the Great plan of God is the resulting reaction in the world.

    If you are interested, I can send this 700kb presentation to you (or to Baquia for all). If you just ignore the accents, the French is easily understandable.

    warmest

    Farhan

  • Farhan Yazdani

    Craig, you write:
    “Or was he a spiritual genius of some sort because failing to do his job was in reality a SUPREMELY CREATIVE ACT from some other vision he had that caused him to just pull the plug on his entire life’s work?”

    Craig,
    I believe that not all what is contained in god’s plan can be revealed at once. Shoghi Effendi’s choice of revaling and retaining information was obviously a deliberate wise move.

    I have a PPT presentation in French by Ali Nakhjavani on Shoghi Effendi’s vision of the twin process of disintegration and integration leading to the Lesser Peace, the Graet Peace, the Greatest Peace and ultimately to the World Commonwealth.

    The Lesser plan of God is illustrated as what goes on within the Baha’i community, and the Great plan of God is the resulting reaction in the world.

    If you are interested, I can send this 700kb presentation to you (or to Baquia for all). If you just ignore the accents, the French is easily understandable.

    warmest

    Farhan

  • Dear Craig,

    Many thanks for your kind words.

    Man that was quite a post — as usual. But I think you are unnecessarily confused — on one hand you blast what we have inherited from the Abramic religions then you wonder if Shoghi Effendi was a failure or genius.

    Karen Armstrong got it right I think when she said something about needing to weed through all the stuff in sacred texts to get to the core message of compassion.

    So if she is right the facility of discernment is needed when we read the old texts. We need to figure it out!

    For example Baha’is always say that John 16:12 (“I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.) refers to Baha’ullah’s coming but others think that it refers to the holy spirit; I agree.

    If truth is being revealed by the holy spirit continuously and if we all can receive it (to one degree of another) it makes a much better story than truth coming one every thousand years or so through a divine intermediary who was human but also infallible (oxymoron).

    This is our job: to discern truth when we come across it.

    Shoghi Effendi did what he could. He was absorbed by his role, by bitter hatred for enemies of Bahai during its history, by the weight of work — some of it self generated as he felt it necessary to build castles in the sky of marble. I suspect he had weaknesses that made him human, just like most of us. He didn’t have kids, he didn’t leave a will — probably both because he didn’t know what to do.

    SE’s failure can’t be seen as a stroke of genius — it was simply a human failure. And BTW if Abdul Baha set the example for us why didn’t SE travel and visit Bahais and seekers around the world? (If he did I’d like to hear about it.)

    I haven’t read The Priceless Pearl and never met SE so I dealing with little information but my impression of SE is that of a person in way over his head who was fearful of attack and who didn’t provide very good leadership.

    Today the Bahai faith has no effective spokes person that I’m aware of. The UHJ issues boring pronouncements once in a while that seem to be ignored by the world…..sad state of affairs.

    Abdul Baha was a wonderful leader and exemplar. He was visible and comprehensible to the world. Beloved, knighted and well received every where he went. But his appointed successor fell well short and now the faith of god is rudderless. It makes no impact and has no solution other than to wait for the calamity without much compassion or concern.

    What a strange state of affairs!

    Many thanks for your posting efforts — I don’t need to tell you to keep posting!

    Frank

  • Dear Craig,

    Many thanks for your kind words.

    Man that was quite a post — as usual. But I think you are unnecessarily confused — on one hand you blast what we have inherited from the Abramic religions then you wonder if Shoghi Effendi was a failure or genius.

    Karen Armstrong got it right I think when she said something about needing to weed through all the stuff in sacred texts to get to the core message of compassion.

    So if she is right the facility of discernment is needed when we read the old texts. We need to figure it out!

    For example Baha’is always say that John 16:12 (“I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.) refers to Baha’ullah’s coming but others think that it refers to the holy spirit; I agree.

    If truth is being revealed by the holy spirit continuously and if we all can receive it (to one degree of another) it makes a much better story than truth coming one every thousand years or so through a divine intermediary who was human but also infallible (oxymoron).

    This is our job: to discern truth when we come across it.

    Shoghi Effendi did what he could. He was absorbed by his role, by bitter hatred for enemies of Bahai during its history, by the weight of work — some of it self generated as he felt it necessary to build castles in the sky of marble. I suspect he had weaknesses that made him human, just like most of us. He didn’t have kids, he didn’t leave a will — probably both because he didn’t know what to do.

    SE’s failure can’t be seen as a stroke of genius — it was simply a human failure. And BTW if Abdul Baha set the example for us why didn’t SE travel and visit Bahais and seekers around the world? (If he did I’d like to hear about it.)

    I haven’t read The Priceless Pearl and never met SE so I dealing with little information but my impression of SE is that of a person in way over his head who was fearful of attack and who didn’t provide very good leadership.

    Today the Bahai faith has no effective spokes person that I’m aware of. The UHJ issues boring pronouncements once in a while that seem to be ignored by the world…..sad state of affairs.

    Abdul Baha was a wonderful leader and exemplar. He was visible and comprehensible to the world. Beloved, knighted and well received every where he went. But his appointed successor fell well short and now the faith of god is rudderless. It makes no impact and has no solution other than to wait for the calamity without much compassion or concern.

    What a strange state of affairs!

    Many thanks for your posting efforts — I don’t need to tell you to keep posting!

    Frank

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=””]
    If truth is being revealed by the holy spirit continuously and if we all can receive it (to one degree of another) it makes a much better story than truth coming one every thousand years or so through a divine intermediary who was human but also infallible (oxymoron).

    This is our job: to discern truth when we come across it…

    …What a strange state of affairs!
    [/quote]

    Hi Frank,

    Thank you for your kind words to me also. I am pretty much on the same page with you regarding both Emerson (we must take PERSONAL responsibility for our own lives in spiritual matters and NEVER EVER under any circumstances turn our souls over to anyone else or any outside system of authority to do our thinking for us)and what you say about the Holy Spirit.

    There are plenty of quotations in the Baha’i Faith for a conception of direct individul contact with the free flowing Holy Spirit as being the engine of revelation in conscience to every person.

    It’s just that no one mentions them in the current system of Ruhiized automaton spiritual communism with the Organization and It’s “Plans” ITSELF the Supreme Manifestation of God for this World Age. The Faith has nothing to do any more with any kind of personal and individual spirituality. The system is now in free fall and all bets are off.

    But I am still somewaht fascinated by what Shoghi Effendi did as the seed for some kind of macro expansion “bank shot”. If comes from a famous lecture by Lord Acton in the 19th Century. He had a famous lecture on how the brotherhood of the priesthood of all believes eventually led to the coming into the world of our current concept of liberal democracy (if it still exists in 2008…) I wrote an essay on this once. If I can find it I’ll try to post some of it.

    The gist is this: an itinerant Jewish preacher is crucified by the Roman State and dies alone on a cross and it starts a series of bank shots working down through history that leads to a beneficial concept of self government – liberal democracy – after the discovery of the unknown continent of America.

    Could there be some as yet unforseen serindipity from the failure to have a Guardian Institution in the Baha’i Faith?

    I think there is. And I think it involves the rise of the Internet. The situation is kind of a living permanent Buddist koan.

    To my mind (and I have thought about this alot) the record of the incredibly dysfunctional Abrahamic religions was to prepare everyone on Earth for the necessity of REAL CLARITY OF WISDOM AND THOUGHT for the day when the human race would face the invention nuclear weapons.

    So far, things have not much changed. It’s the same old, same old.

    But I was once in the chain of command of nuclear weapons and it scared the living shit out of me. That is why I joined the Baha’i Faith in 1971. But it all just does not look very good right now.

    The U.S. is currently in a terrible war situation and the Baha’is are just interested in stepping over the bodies of the dead to go on “Advanced Pilgrimage” in Iraq. (See the UHJ Ridvan 2003 Message)

    It is all very, very, very strange.

    Craig

    “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
    – Lord Acton

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

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=””]
    If truth is being revealed by the holy spirit continuously and if we all can receive it (to one degree of another) it makes a much better story than truth coming one every thousand years or so through a divine intermediary who was human but also infallible (oxymoron).

    This is our job: to discern truth when we come across it…

    …What a strange state of affairs!
    [/quote]

    Hi Frank,

    Thank you for your kind words to me also. I am pretty much on the same page with you regarding both Emerson (we must take PERSONAL responsibility for our own lives in spiritual matters and NEVER EVER under any circumstances turn our souls over to anyone else or any outside system of authority to do our thinking for us)and what you say about the Holy Spirit.

    There are plenty of quotations in the Baha’i Faith for a conception of direct individul contact with the free flowing Holy Spirit as being the engine of revelation in conscience to every person.

    It’s just that no one mentions them in the current system of Ruhiized automaton spiritual communism with the Organization and It’s “Plans” ITSELF the Supreme Manifestation of God for this World Age. The Faith has nothing to do any more with any kind of personal and individual spirituality. The system is now in free fall and all bets are off.

    But I am still somewaht fascinated by what Shoghi Effendi did as the seed for some kind of macro expansion “bank shot”. If comes from a famous lecture by Lord Acton in the 19th Century. He had a famous lecture on how the brotherhood of the priesthood of all believes eventually led to the coming into the world of our current concept of liberal democracy (if it still exists in 2008…) I wrote an essay on this once. If I can find it I’ll try to post some of it.

    The gist is this: an itinerant Jewish preacher is crucified by the Roman State and dies alone on a cross and it starts a series of bank shots working down through history that leads to a beneficial concept of self government – liberal democracy – after the discovery of the unknown continent of America.

    Could there be some as yet unforseen serindipity from the failure to have a Guardian Institution in the Baha’i Faith?

    I think there is. And I think it involves the rise of the Internet. The situation is kind of a living permanent Buddist koan.

    To my mind (and I have thought about this alot) the record of the incredibly dysfunctional Abrahamic religions was to prepare everyone on Earth for the necessity of REAL CLARITY OF WISDOM AND THOUGHT for the day when the human race would face the invention nuclear weapons.

    So far, things have not much changed. It’s the same old, same old.

    But I was once in the chain of command of nuclear weapons and it scared the living shit out of me. That is why I joined the Baha’i Faith in 1971. But it all just does not look very good right now.

    The U.S. is currently in a terrible war situation and the Baha’is are just interested in stepping over the bodies of the dead to go on “Advanced Pilgrimage” in Iraq. (See the UHJ Ridvan 2003 Message)

    It is all very, very, very strange.

    Craig

    “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
    – Lord Acton

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

  • Carmen

    Frank wrote:

    “This is our job: to discern truth when we come across it… dealing with little information but my impression of SE is that of a person in way over his head who was fearful of attack and who didn’t provide very good leadership…he was full of bitter hatred for enemies of Baha’i…”

    Frank, if you want to discern the truth about Shoghi Effendi, why not read The Priceless pearl and other books by those who knew him? This “bitter hatred” you mention is quite out of character with the experiences of those who knew him. If he didn’t travel like Abdu’l- Baha you might want to look carefully at the massive workload (the number of translations, letters, books and other work is astounding not to mention his many other activities) he carried without the several hundred people to assist such as is now the case at the BWC. Still, as TPP demonstrates, he came to be very highly regarded by the authorities in Palestine/Israel. And all of this was done under extraordinarily intense suffering experienced from members of his family as Baha’u’llah and Abdu’l-Baha had experienced before him.

    In response to your post Craig quoted Lord Acton’s famous dictum that “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.? Has anyone considered how adamantly SE deferred to Central Figures of the Faith and refused to make any part of his life something to be commemorated by Baha’is? There is no official commemoration of his birthday or death because he wished it to be so.

    Here are two short comments from two books written by people who knew him well:
    Humility of a kind not yet known elsewhere was one of Shoghi Effendi’s many unique virtues, a humility which came from the conviction that man’s faculties are not self-created but are a precious trust from God, not to be displayed or used overbearingly or with vanity. And yet he emanated true pride and dignity, such a regal dignity that raised him far above any man I have yet met or known.

    When conversing with him, one could strongly sense this feeling of humility, while his ample brow and penetrating eyes reflected an inner light born of faith, courage and determination. One could feel an awareness that was amazing and rendered one speechless.

    Shoghi Effendi’s selflessness was not only outstanding but exemplary. He never placed his personal interests or desires ahead of his functions as Guardian. Those who were near to him inevitably felt that his life was something to be fully expended in the service of God and humanity, in a dedication unlike that of any other human being. When close to him I always felt the powerful process of his sublimation to the reality of the unseen world, while his body was there, near to me, like a visible, finely-tuned musical instrument whose melodies, imperceptible to the human ear, vibrated unseen through the ether.

    He was always ready to give comfort, verbally or in writing, to encourage, to praise and to stimulate to such a degree that one felt the urge to place at his disposal life, time and possessions within the range of one’s capacity and emotional exaltation. This was the essence of his detachment from worldly things. The less he thought of himself, the higher he soared in the sphere of spiritual authority and prestige. This was perhaps the secret of his tremendous attraction and influence upon those who came close to him.”

    (Ugo Giachery, Shoghi Effendi – Recollections, p. 18)

    The Guardian had a profound and innate humility. Whenever the Faith was involved, he was fiery in its defense, king-like in the loftiness of his bearing, the authority with which he spoke. But as a human being he was self-effacing, would brush aside our adulation and praise, turn everything we wished to shower on him towards the central figures of our Faith. We all know this characteristic of his how he would never allow any photographs to be 3 taken of himself, or give any of himself, but invariably encouraged the friends to place the Master’s picture in their rooms; how he would not allow anyone to have his clothes or personal things lest they be regarded as relics; how he disliked any signs of personal worship — though he could never control what was in our hearts for him!”

    (Amelia Collins, A Tribute to Shoghi Effendi, p. 1)

  • Carmen

    Frank wrote:

    “This is our job: to discern truth when we come across it… dealing with little information but my impression of SE is that of a person in way over his head who was fearful of attack and who didn’t provide very good leadership…he was full of bitter hatred for enemies of Baha’i…”

    Frank, if you want to discern the truth about Shoghi Effendi, why not read The Priceless pearl and other books by those who knew him? This “bitter hatred” you mention is quite out of character with the experiences of those who knew him. If he didn’t travel like Abdu’l- Baha you might want to look carefully at the massive workload (the number of translations, letters, books and other work is astounding not to mention his many other activities) he carried without the several hundred people to assist such as is now the case at the BWC. Still, as TPP demonstrates, he came to be very highly regarded by the authorities in Palestine/Israel. And all of this was done under extraordinarily intense suffering experienced from members of his family as Baha’u’llah and Abdu’l-Baha had experienced before him.

    In response to your post Craig quoted Lord Acton’s famous dictum that “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.? Has anyone considered how adamantly SE deferred to Central Figures of the Faith and refused to make any part of his life something to be commemorated by Baha’is? There is no official commemoration of his birthday or death because he wished it to be so.

    Here are two short comments from two books written by people who knew him well:
    Humility of a kind not yet known elsewhere was one of Shoghi Effendi’s many unique virtues, a humility which came from the conviction that man’s faculties are not self-created but are a precious trust from God, not to be displayed or used overbearingly or with vanity. And yet he emanated true pride and dignity, such a regal dignity that raised him far above any man I have yet met or known.

    When conversing with him, one could strongly sense this feeling of humility, while his ample brow and penetrating eyes reflected an inner light born of faith, courage and determination. One could feel an awareness that was amazing and rendered one speechless.

    Shoghi Effendi’s selflessness was not only outstanding but exemplary. He never placed his personal interests or desires ahead of his functions as Guardian. Those who were near to him inevitably felt that his life was something to be fully expended in the service of God and humanity, in a dedication unlike that of any other human being. When close to him I always felt the powerful process of his sublimation to the reality of the unseen world, while his body was there, near to me, like a visible, finely-tuned musical instrument whose melodies, imperceptible to the human ear, vibrated unseen through the ether.

    He was always ready to give comfort, verbally or in writing, to encourage, to praise and to stimulate to such a degree that one felt the urge to place at his disposal life, time and possessions within the range of one’s capacity and emotional exaltation. This was the essence of his detachment from worldly things. The less he thought of himself, the higher he soared in the sphere of spiritual authority and prestige. This was perhaps the secret of his tremendous attraction and influence upon those who came close to him.”

    (Ugo Giachery, Shoghi Effendi – Recollections, p. 18)

    The Guardian had a profound and innate humility. Whenever the Faith was involved, he was fiery in its defense, king-like in the loftiness of his bearing, the authority with which he spoke. But as a human being he was self-effacing, would brush aside our adulation and praise, turn everything we wished to shower on him towards the central figures of our Faith. We all know this characteristic of his how he would never allow any photographs to be 3 taken of himself, or give any of himself, but invariably encouraged the friends to place the Master’s picture in their rooms; how he would not allow anyone to have his clothes or personal things lest they be regarded as relics; how he disliked any signs of personal worship — though he could never control what was in our hearts for him!”

    (Amelia Collins, A Tribute to Shoghi Effendi, p. 1)

  • Carmen

    Frank: I had also wanted to comment on your description of Shoghi Effendi as being “fearful of attack” and as someone who “didn’t provide very good leadership.”

    I think reading some of the biographical accounts and pilgrim’s notes about him will readily dispel these notions. In fact, general Baha’i history should help. It was his leadership that impelled so many to leave their homes and traverse the globe to establish the Faith in so many countries during the Ten Year Crusade from 1953-1963. Martha Root corresponded with him regularly as did George Townshend and many others. Their achievements were in no small part based on the fillip they got from his inspiring leadership as their “true brother” (as he humbly signed so many of his letters to the Baha’i World).

  • Carmen

    Frank: I had also wanted to comment on your description of Shoghi Effendi as being “fearful of attack” and as someone who “didn’t provide very good leadership.”

    I think reading some of the biographical accounts and pilgrim’s notes about him will readily dispel these notions. In fact, general Baha’i history should help. It was his leadership that impelled so many to leave their homes and traverse the globe to establish the Faith in so many countries during the Ten Year Crusade from 1953-1963. Martha Root corresponded with him regularly as did George Townshend and many others. Their achievements were in no small part based on the fillip they got from his inspiring leadership as their “true brother” (as he humbly signed so many of his letters to the Baha’i World).

  • Craig Parke

    Carmen,

    Thank you very much for your two posts.

    This is certainly one view that is out there.

    And, yes, I have read the “Priceless Pearl” several times over the years.

    Why do YOU think Shoghi Effendi failed to appoint a living Guardian in his lifetime as he was specificly clearly required to do in the Will and Testament of Abdu’l-Baha?

    Thank you for any comment as to your theory.

    Best,

    Craig

  • Craig Parke

    Carmen,

    Thank you very much for your two posts.

    This is certainly one view that is out there.

    And, yes, I have read the “Priceless Pearl” several times over the years.

    Why do YOU think Shoghi Effendi failed to appoint a living Guardian in his lifetime as he was specificly clearly required to do in the Will and Testament of Abdu’l-Baha?

    Thank you for any comment as to your theory.

    Best,

    Craig

  • Hello Carmen,

    Thanks for stating the traditional Baha’i view of Shoghi Effendi. I’m sure there is much in it that is true.

    While I haven’t read the Priceless Pearl, I have read “God Passes By.” The bitterness I wrote about is expressed in that volume. Its also evidenced by the expulsion from the faith of many of his family members, a pattern of reaction to dissent that is mirrored in the actions of the UHJ today. It must be a puzzlement even to you — how could so many family members go ‘bad?’

    When I write that he was not a good leader I’m thinking of the choices he made. First of all he broke the administrative order of Baha’ullah by not leaving a successor. Secondly he made poor use of the resources of the faith throughout his life. He obviously felt it necessary to build with marble and create an impressive monument to Baha’i on mount Carmel. In my opinion this was a mistake, one that flies in the face of a spiritual movement. Perhaps its a matter of taste: I find the photos of the gardens etc to be in poor taste — perhaps if I visited in person I would feel differently — but I doubt it. Relatives recently did go on pilgrimage and what one said about it confirms my feeling to a degree. (He enjoyed hos visit but said it was like a long realtor’s open house — a telling side comment among mostly the usual praise for the beauty.)

    I also question the amount of time spent translating when SE should have been leading, visiting people around the world — at least a few times in his life. Isn’t translation something that could have been assigned to others and then supervised by the Guardian? Perhaps public appearances were not his strength. Perhaps he was not all that impressive in person. (I am tired of reading about ‘ample brows and piercing eyes — reminds me of some descriptions of fanatics.’)

    Today the Baha’i faith has weak leaders. That seem obvious to me. Who speaks for Baha’is? Are they effective? And is SE’s legacy in good shape? Or is the faith out of touch with the needs of people? Where is the compassion that is so desperately needed?

    In Bahai today it seems that if you disagree, if you are gay, if you believe in true equality of the sexes and speak out, if you try to help others understand the complex teachings of Baha’ullah, you run the risk of being kicked out. I think this is a direct result of SE’s leadership and legacy.

    Shoghi Effendi valued obedience very highly — maybe more highly than anything else. In that way he was an effective leader. But that is the way of tyrants.

    I never understood R??h?yyih Khanum. She seemed quite eccentric to me. Somehow I was not surprised that the couple did not have off spring — it would have crimped their style (as is the case with many couples) Again — poor leadership in this case by example — Bahai’s are enjoined to have children.

    Carmen I must thank you again. I have never written these feelings nor have I expressed most of them to anyone. Earlier this week I sent my resignation letter to the NSA. I declared 50 years ago and its taken me this long to shake Baha’i off. It is powerful and contains much truth and food for careful thought. But to me in sum it is half truth. Baha’ullah understood the nature of Spirit and had excellent recommendations for the World at large re: getting our collective act together. But after years of reflection I can say he did not understand human nature very well. Good people are not motivated by fear of God or fear of death or by hopes for a good place in the Abha Kingdom (whatever that is) Good people are motivated by the voice of their calling and the emotion and ideal of compassion, something I find strangely missing in Baha’i.

    So — I’m out!! In more ways than one. (No I’m not gay — but I think if I where I would be proud as all people should be! And if you are — go for it and don’t worry about what the Bahia’s think!!)

    Peace and Compassion,
    Frank

  • Hello Carmen,

    Thanks for stating the traditional Baha’i view of Shoghi Effendi. I’m sure there is much in it that is true.

    While I haven’t read the Priceless Pearl, I have read “God Passes By.” The bitterness I wrote about is expressed in that volume. Its also evidenced by the expulsion from the faith of many of his family members, a pattern of reaction to dissent that is mirrored in the actions of the UHJ today. It must be a puzzlement even to you — how could so many family members go ‘bad?’

    When I write that he was not a good leader I’m thinking of the choices he made. First of all he broke the administrative order of Baha’ullah by not leaving a successor. Secondly he made poor use of the resources of the faith throughout his life. He obviously felt it necessary to build with marble and create an impressive monument to Baha’i on mount Carmel. In my opinion this was a mistake, one that flies in the face of a spiritual movement. Perhaps its a matter of taste: I find the photos of the gardens etc to be in poor taste — perhaps if I visited in person I would feel differently — but I doubt it. Relatives recently did go on pilgrimage and what one said about it confirms my feeling to a degree. (He enjoyed hos visit but said it was like a long realtor’s open house — a telling side comment among mostly the usual praise for the beauty.)

    I also question the amount of time spent translating when SE should have been leading, visiting people around the world — at least a few times in his life. Isn’t translation something that could have been assigned to others and then supervised by the Guardian? Perhaps public appearances were not his strength. Perhaps he was not all that impressive in person. (I am tired of reading about ‘ample brows and piercing eyes — reminds me of some descriptions of fanatics.’)

    Today the Baha’i faith has weak leaders. That seem obvious to me. Who speaks for Baha’is? Are they effective? And is SE’s legacy in good shape? Or is the faith out of touch with the needs of people? Where is the compassion that is so desperately needed?

    In Bahai today it seems that if you disagree, if you are gay, if you believe in true equality of the sexes and speak out, if you try to help others understand the complex teachings of Baha’ullah, you run the risk of being kicked out. I think this is a direct result of SE’s leadership and legacy.

    Shoghi Effendi valued obedience very highly — maybe more highly than anything else. In that way he was an effective leader. But that is the way of tyrants.

    I never understood R??h?yyih Khanum. She seemed quite eccentric to me. Somehow I was not surprised that the couple did not have off spring — it would have crimped their style (as is the case with many couples) Again — poor leadership in this case by example — Bahai’s are enjoined to have children.

    Carmen I must thank you again. I have never written these feelings nor have I expressed most of them to anyone. Earlier this week I sent my resignation letter to the NSA. I declared 50 years ago and its taken me this long to shake Baha’i off. It is powerful and contains much truth and food for careful thought. But to me in sum it is half truth. Baha’ullah understood the nature of Spirit and had excellent recommendations for the World at large re: getting our collective act together. But after years of reflection I can say he did not understand human nature very well. Good people are not motivated by fear of God or fear of death or by hopes for a good place in the Abha Kingdom (whatever that is) Good people are motivated by the voice of their calling and the emotion and ideal of compassion, something I find strangely missing in Baha’i.

    So — I’m out!! In more ways than one. (No I’m not gay — but I think if I where I would be proud as all people should be! And if you are — go for it and don’t worry about what the Bahia’s think!!)

    Peace and Compassion,
    Frank

  • farhan

    Carmen,

    Thanks Carmen, for your defense of Shoghi Effendi;

    I do believe, without a shadow of a doubt, that if Shoghi Effendi did not appoint a sucessor, it was an obvious way of telling us that the era of interpretation of the writings was over and that the era of practical elucidations and legislation by the UHJ had started.

    The whole of Shoghi Effendi’s work is an immense Will and Testament.

    Why He did not point out to us the obvious, as He would have done for children, is perhaps linked with the will of God to test His servants; it was in the same way that all believers are tested at the coming of a Divine Manifestation and Muhammad tested his disciples in changing the Qiblih in the middle of a prayer. Here is how Baha’u’llah words it in the Gleanings XXIX:

    “He Who is the Day Spring of Truth is, no doubt, fully capable of rescuing from such remoteness wayward souls and of causing them to draw nigh unto His court and attain His Presence. ?If God had pleased He had surely made all men one people.? His purpose, however, is to enable the pure in spirit and the detached in heart to ascend, by virtue of their own innate powers, unto the shores of the Most Great Ocean, that thereby they who seek the Beauty of the All-Glorious may be distinguished and separated from the wayward and perverse. Thus hath it been ordained by the all-glorious and resplendent Pen….

    That the Manifestations of Divine justice, the Day Springs of heavenly grace, have when they appeared amongst men always been destitute of all earthly dominion and shorn of the means of worldly ascendancy, should be attributed to this same principle of separation and distinction which animateth the Divine Purpose. Were the Eternal Essence to manifest all that is latent within Him, were He to shine in the plentitude of His glory, none would be found to question His power or repudiate His truth. Nay, all created things would be so dazzled and thunderstruck by the evidences of His light as to be reduced to utter nothingness. How, then, can the godly be differentiated under such circumstances from the froward?

    This principle hath operated in each of the previous Dispensations and been abundantly demonstrated…. It is for this reason that, in every age, when a new Manifestation hath appeared and a fresh revelation of God’s transcendent power was vouchsafed unto men, they that misbelieved in Him, deluded by the appearance of the peerless and everlasting Beauty in the garb of mortal men, have failed to recognize Him. They have erred from His path and eschewed His company—the company of Him Who is the Symbol of nearness to God. They have even arisen to decimate the ranks of the faithful and to exterminate such as believed in Him.

  • Farhan Yazdani

    Carmen,

    Thanks Carmen, for your defense of Shoghi Effendi;

    I do believe, without a shadow of a doubt, that if Shoghi Effendi did not appoint a sucessor, it was an obvious way of telling us that the era of interpretation of the writings was over and that the era of practical elucidations and legislation by the UHJ had started.

    The whole of Shoghi Effendi’s work is an immense Will and Testament.

    Why He did not point out to us the obvious, as He would have done for children, is perhaps linked with the will of God to test His servants; it was in the same way that all believers are tested at the coming of a Divine Manifestation and Muhammad tested his disciples in changing the Qiblih in the middle of a prayer. Here is how Baha’u’llah words it in the Gleanings XXIX:

    “He Who is the Day Spring of Truth is, no doubt, fully capable of rescuing from such remoteness wayward souls and of causing them to draw nigh unto His court and attain His Presence. ?If God had pleased He had surely made all men one people.? His purpose, however, is to enable the pure in spirit and the detached in heart to ascend, by virtue of their own innate powers, unto the shores of the Most Great Ocean, that thereby they who seek the Beauty of the All-Glorious may be distinguished and separated from the wayward and perverse. Thus hath it been ordained by the all-glorious and resplendent Pen….

    That the Manifestations of Divine justice, the Day Springs of heavenly grace, have when they appeared amongst men always been destitute of all earthly dominion and shorn of the means of worldly ascendancy, should be attributed to this same principle of separation and distinction which animateth the Divine Purpose. Were the Eternal Essence to manifest all that is latent within Him, were He to shine in the plentitude of His glory, none would be found to question His power or repudiate His truth. Nay, all created things would be so dazzled and thunderstruck by the evidences of His light as to be reduced to utter nothingness. How, then, can the godly be differentiated under such circumstances from the froward?

    This principle hath operated in each of the previous Dispensations and been abundantly demonstrated…. It is for this reason that, in every age, when a new Manifestation hath appeared and a fresh revelation of God’s transcendent power was vouchsafed unto men, they that misbelieved in Him, deluded by the appearance of the peerless and everlasting Beauty in the garb of mortal men, have failed to recognize Him. They have erred from His path and eschewed His company—the company of Him Who is the Symbol of nearness to God. They have even arisen to decimate the ranks of the faithful and to exterminate such as believed in Him.

  • farhan

    Carmen,

    We know that we are to obey the commandments of God through “love of His Beauty” (love of his creation), and that the “fear of God” is what the tyrans are to experience in order to deter them from injustice, true lovers fearing the loss of the lover’s nearness. True lovers of light will be attracted by the light in whatever lamp it might appear, wheras by conformime and conservatisme, people stay attached to the transitory structure and to the appearance of things, fleeing any change like “affighted asses”. Here is the passage from Iqan concerning the reason why the servants are tested by God:

    “Know verily that the purpose underlying all these symbolic terms and abstruse allusions, which emanate from the Revealers of God’s holy Cause, hath been to test and prove the peoples of the world; that thereby the earth of the pure and illuminated hearts may be known from the perishable and barren soil. From time immemorial such hath been the way of God amidst His creatures, and to this testify the records of the sacred books.

    (…)when the Prophet, together with His companions, was offering the noontide prayer, (…) Mu?ammad suddenly turned His face away from Jerusalem and faced the Ka’bih. Whereupon, a profound dismay seized suddenly the companions of the Prophet. Their faith was shaken severely. So great was their alarm, that many of them, discontinuing their prayer, apostatized their faith. Verily, God caused not this turmoil but to test and prove His servants. Otherwise, He, the ideal King, could easily have left the Qiblih unchanged, and could have caused Jerusalem to remain the Point of Adoration unto His Dispensation, thereby withholding not from that holy city the distinction of acceptance which had been conferred upon it.

    (…) Notwithstanding the truth of these facts, why should the Qiblih have been changed, thus casting such dismay amongst the people, causing the companions of the Prophet to waver, and throwing so great a confusion into their midst? Yea, such things as throw consternation into the hearts of all men come to pass only that each soul may be tested by the touchstone of God, that the true may be known and distinguished from the false. Thus hath He revealed after the breach amongst the people: ?We did not appoint that which Thou wouldst have to be the Qiblih, but that We might know him who followeth the Apostle from him who turneth on his heels.? ?Affrighted asses fleeing from a lion.? (Iqan p 16)

  • Farhan Yazdani

    Carmen,

    We know that we are to obey the commandments of God through “love of His Beauty” (love of his creation), and that the “fear of God” is what the tyrans are to experience in order to deter them from injustice, true lovers fearing the loss of the lover’s nearness. True lovers of light will be attracted by the light in whatever lamp it might appear, wheras by conformime and conservatisme, people stay attached to the transitory structure and to the appearance of things, fleeing any change like “affighted asses”. Here is the passage from Iqan concerning the reason why the servants are tested by God:

    “Know verily that the purpose underlying all these symbolic terms and abstruse allusions, which emanate from the Revealers of God’s holy Cause, hath been to test and prove the peoples of the world; that thereby the earth of the pure and illuminated hearts may be known from the perishable and barren soil. From time immemorial such hath been the way of God amidst His creatures, and to this testify the records of the sacred books.

    (…)when the Prophet, together with His companions, was offering the noontide prayer, (…) Mu?ammad suddenly turned His face away from Jerusalem and faced the Ka’bih. Whereupon, a profound dismay seized suddenly the companions of the Prophet. Their faith was shaken severely. So great was their alarm, that many of them, discontinuing their prayer, apostatized their faith. Verily, God caused not this turmoil but to test and prove His servants. Otherwise, He, the ideal King, could easily have left the Qiblih unchanged, and could have caused Jerusalem to remain the Point of Adoration unto His Dispensation, thereby withholding not from that holy city the distinction of acceptance which had been conferred upon it.

    (…) Notwithstanding the truth of these facts, why should the Qiblih have been changed, thus casting such dismay amongst the people, causing the companions of the Prophet to waver, and throwing so great a confusion into their midst? Yea, such things as throw consternation into the hearts of all men come to pass only that each soul may be tested by the touchstone of God, that the true may be known and distinguished from the false. Thus hath He revealed after the breach amongst the people: ?We did not appoint that which Thou wouldst have to be the Qiblih, but that We might know him who followeth the Apostle from him who turneth on his heels.? ?Affrighted asses fleeing from a lion.? (Iqan p 16)

  • Farhan,

    I suggest you read The Tablets of Baha’ullah Revealed after the Aqdas and then rethink what he meant by the fear of God.

    Best Wishes,
    Frank

  • Farhan,

    I suggest you read The Tablets of Baha’ullah Revealed after the Aqdas and then rethink what he meant by the fear of God.

    Best Wishes,
    Frank

  • Carmen,
    I was rather shocked to learn that Shoghi Effendi declared a member of his family as Covenant Breakers for… I’m not making this up… sending a message via post rather than cable.
    In today’s world, sending a message via snail mail rather than email. I think there were some DEEP psychological stuff going on in that family. I mean D E E P stuff.
    I’ve already written two things which really puzzle me: metaphorically dancing on the grave of a 100 year old man. And this strange letter about his own brother which even in those times raised many an eyebrow – requiring unsatisfactory answers. But these are really tiny minuscule details compared to the obvious gigantic black hole that Shoghi Effendi left as a result of not fulfilling his responsibilities.

    Frank,
    umm… I just read your message and… wow, I’m, I’m speechless. I don’t know what to say. I wish you well my brother (from another mother).

  • Carmen,
    I was rather shocked to learn that Shoghi Effendi declared a member of his family as Covenant Breakers for… I’m not making this up… sending a message via post rather than cable.
    In today’s world, sending a message via snail mail rather than email. I think there were some DEEP psychological stuff going on in that family. I mean D E E P stuff.
    I’ve already written two things which really puzzle me: metaphorically dancing on the grave of a 100 year old man. And this strange letter about his own brother which even in those times raised many an eyebrow – requiring unsatisfactory answers. But these are really tiny minuscule details compared to the obvious gigantic black hole that Shoghi Effendi left as a result of not fulfilling his responsibilities.

    Frank,
    umm… I just read your message and… wow, I’m, I’m speechless. I don’t know what to say. I wish you well my brother (from another mother).

  • Andrew

    Frank wrote:

    “Baha’ullah understood the nature of Spirit and had excellent recommendations for the World at large re: getting our collective act together. But after years of reflection I can say he did not understand human nature very well.”

    I concur. Completely.

    “Good people are not motivated by fear of God or fear of death or by hopes for a good place in the Abha Kingdom (whatever that is) Good people are motivated by the voice of their calling and the emotion and ideal of compassion, something I find strangely missing in Baha’i.”

    Strangely indeed.

    Frank: I found your letter very powerful. Very powerful. It must have been a very difficult decision for you to withdraw from a religion to which you have devoted over five decades of your life. Such courage and conviction is very rare.

    Best wishes!

  • Andrew

    Frank wrote:

    “Baha’ullah understood the nature of Spirit and had excellent recommendations for the World at large re: getting our collective act together. But after years of reflection I can say he did not understand human nature very well.”

    I concur. Completely.

    “Good people are not motivated by fear of God or fear of death or by hopes for a good place in the Abha Kingdom (whatever that is) Good people are motivated by the voice of their calling and the emotion and ideal of compassion, something I find strangely missing in Baha’i.”

    Strangely indeed.

    Frank: I found your letter very powerful. Very powerful. It must have been a very difficult decision for you to withdraw from a religion to which you have devoted over five decades of your life. Such courage and conviction is very rare.

    Best wishes!

  • Frank,

    Thank you for your beautiful and honest letter. Your words here are appreciated.

    Best,
    Amanda

  • Frank,

    Thank you for your beautiful and honest letter. Your words here are appreciated.

    Best,
    Amanda

  • farhan

    Frank wrote:
    “I suggest you read The Tablets of Baha’ullah Revealed after the Aqdas and then rethink what he meant by the fear of God.”

    Frank, I once did a compilation on all referneces to the words “fear of God” ; The Tablets after Aqdas are quite abundant; could you please indicate the passage you would like to refer to?
    Thanks,
    Farhan

  • Farhan Yazdani

    Frank wrote:
    “I suggest you read The Tablets of Baha’ullah Revealed after the Aqdas and then rethink what he meant by the fear of God.”

    Frank, I once did a compilation on all referneces to the words “fear of God” ; The Tablets after Aqdas are quite abundant; could you please indicate the passage you would like to refer to?
    Thanks,
    Farhan

  • farhan

    Frank wrote:
    “I suggest you read The Tablets of Baha’ullah Revealed after the Aqdas and then rethink what he meant by the fear of God.”

    Frank, here is one of my favorite quotes on the fear of God:

    Be thou of the people of hell-fire,
    but be not a hypocrite.
    Be thou an unbeliever,
    but be not a plotter.
    Make thy home in taverns,
    but tread not the path
    of the mischief-maker.
    Fear thou God,
    but not the priest.
    Give to the executioner thy head,
    but not thy heart.
    Let thine abode be under the stone,
    but seek not the shelter of the cleric.
    (Baha’u’llah: Trustworthiness, Page: 337)

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    Frank wrote:
    “I suggest you read The Tablets of Baha’ullah Revealed after the Aqdas and then rethink what he meant by the fear of God.”

    Frank, here is one of my favorite quotes on the fear of God:

    Be thou of the people of hell-fire,
    but be not a hypocrite.
    Be thou an unbeliever,
    but be not a plotter.
    Make thy home in taverns,
    but tread not the path
    of the mischief-maker.
    Fear thou God,
    but not the priest.
    Give to the executioner thy head,
    but not thy heart.
    Let thine abode be under the stone,
    but seek not the shelter of the cleric.
    (Baha’u’llah: Trustworthiness, Page: 337)

  • Thanks Baquia, Amanda, Andrew, and Craig, for supportive messages.

    And thanks to Farhan and Carmen for holding up the traditional Baha’i view.

    Baquia, this blog is excellent — a wonderful place to rant and discuss and fume. Your posts are always so well reasoned and supported by real information.

    But I am surprised that you are surprised or even a little shocked by my withdrawal from Baha’i. Perhaps you don’t read everything I post (I would not blame you!) But if you have been reading what I write here and elsewhere you would know that I reject the divinity (infallibility) of Baha’ullah or any person or body in Baha’i (or outside it for that matter). I reject the idea that we need an intermediary between us and the creative force and that this only happens once in a thousand years.

    I also find it troubling that the Bahai Faith and its followers prefer (generally) to stand aside and wait for mankind to fail as a species before doing anything (except for prayer) to help out. I think behavior is more important than belief.

    I guess I have failed to make these points clear.

    I will continue to be interested in Baha’i. But I’m also interested in Zoroaster. I just read that he predicted(?) his return every thousand years or something along those lines. I think the study of ancient religion might give us insight into the origin of things we are told to believe now.

    Drawing on what Emerson called my genius — connection to the holy spirit or my muse or whatever you want to call it — I’ll continue to try to understand my life; without the constraints of a rigid, somewhat fear based and reactionary belief system.

    Peace and compassion,
    Frank

  • Thanks Baquia, Amanda, Andrew, and Craig, for supportive messages.

    And thanks to Farhan and Carmen for holding up the traditional Baha’i view.

    Baquia, this blog is excellent — a wonderful place to rant and discuss and fume. Your posts are always so well reasoned and supported by real information.

    But I am surprised that you are surprised or even a little shocked by my withdrawal from Baha’i. Perhaps you don’t read everything I post (I would not blame you!) But if you have been reading what I write here and elsewhere you would know that I reject the divinity (infallibility) of Baha’ullah or any person or body in Baha’i (or outside it for that matter). I reject the idea that we need an intermediary between us and the creative force and that this only happens once in a thousand years.

    I also find it troubling that the Bahai Faith and its followers prefer (generally) to stand aside and wait for mankind to fail as a species before doing anything (except for prayer) to help out. I think behavior is more important than belief.

    I guess I have failed to make these points clear.

    I will continue to be interested in Baha’i. But I’m also interested in Zoroaster. I just read that he predicted(?) his return every thousand years or something along those lines. I think the study of ancient religion might give us insight into the origin of things we are told to believe now.

    Drawing on what Emerson called my genius — connection to the holy spirit or my muse or whatever you want to call it — I’ll continue to try to understand my life; without the constraints of a rigid, somewhat fear based and reactionary belief system.

    Peace and compassion,
    Frank

  • Frank,
    Thank you. To explain, I was overcome with emotion because I can only imagine how intense it would be to go through what you have.

  • Frank,
    Thank you. To explain, I was overcome with emotion because I can only imagine how intense it would be to go through what you have.

  • farhan

    Frank wrote:
    “I think behavior is more important than belief.”

    Frank, thanks for your messages; this is one first point in your sincere posts with which I totally agree; in one of His tablets Abdu’l-baha says : chant the prayers, meditate on their meaning and put them into action. The age of passive adoration the Bab said is over; only actions are accepted at the Divine threshold.

    Belief should lead to motivation and action; inspiration not followed by action is abortive. But at the same time, action not preceded by inspiration and belief is inefficient. It is again the left/right brain issue.

    As to the technocratic behaviours we sometimes see around us, there is a materialistic tendancy of making the short cut, passing into action without first building up the love and inspiration which should precede action.

    The over-rationnalist societies in which we live have decided that emotions are wrong and should be discarded: this makes us “left brained”, isolating our emotionnal disorders with intellectual garbage that helps us forget the emotionnal wounds.

  • Farhan Yazdani

    Frank wrote:
    “I think behavior is more important than belief.”

    Frank, thanks for your messages; this is one first point in your sincere posts with which I totally agree; in one of His tablets Abdu’l-baha says : chant the prayers, meditate on their meaning and put them into action. The age of passive adoration the Bab said is over; only actions are accepted at the Divine threshold.

    Belief should lead to motivation and action; inspiration not followed by action is abortive. But at the same time, action not preceded by inspiration and belief is inefficient. It is again the left/right brain issue.

    As to the technocratic behaviours we sometimes see around us, there is a materialistic tendancy of making the short cut, passing into action without first building up the love and inspiration which should precede action.

    The over-rationnalist societies in which we live have decided that emotions are wrong and should be discarded: this makes us “left brained”, isolating our emotionnal disorders with intellectual garbage that helps us forget the emotionnal wounds.

  • Baquia wrote:

    “Frank,
    Thank you. To explain, I was overcome with emotion because I can only imagine how intense it would be to go through what you have.”

    No need to explain. From my view point I did not go through an extremely emotional time. This has been coming for a long time. I was ignoring Baha’i for about 25 years I guess then decided I wanted more spirituality in my life so i re-investigated it.

    My conclusion was that I could not call myself a Baha’i because I don’t accept enough of what it calls for unless you use Abdul Baha’s very loose definitions of what makes a Baha’i — but even then I do not want to be held to such things as the obligatory prayers, for example — I don’t care for the short one at all — I will not testify to my powerlessness. I am responsible for much of what happens to me.

    Bottom line — I am closer to Baha’i now than I was 15 years ago even after leaving the faith!

    Best Wishes,
    Frank

  • Baquia wrote:

    “Frank,
    Thank you. To explain, I was overcome with emotion because I can only imagine how intense it would be to go through what you have.”

    No need to explain. From my view point I did not go through an extremely emotional time. This has been coming for a long time. I was ignoring Baha’i for about 25 years I guess then decided I wanted more spirituality in my life so i re-investigated it.

    My conclusion was that I could not call myself a Baha’i because I don’t accept enough of what it calls for unless you use Abdul Baha’s very loose definitions of what makes a Baha’i — but even then I do not want to be held to such things as the obligatory prayers, for example — I don’t care for the short one at all — I will not testify to my powerlessness. I am responsible for much of what happens to me.

    Bottom line — I am closer to Baha’i now than I was 15 years ago even after leaving the faith!

    Best Wishes,
    Frank

  • Farhan,

    Great quote from Baha’ullah!

    I love it — was not aware of the book Trustworthiness. I will get a copy. (Is it available in English?)

    It sounds like “To thine own self be true!

    Best Wishes,
    Frank

    P.S. I’ll give you some references in The Tables soon.

  • Farhan,

    Great quote from Baha’ullah!

    I love it — was not aware of the book Trustworthiness. I will get a copy. (Is it available in English?)

    It sounds like “To thine own self be true!

    Best Wishes,
    Frank

    P.S. I’ll give you some references in The Tables soon.

  • farhan

    Frank wrote:

    “Great quote from Baha’ullah! I love it — was not aware of the book Trustworthiness. I will get a copy. (Is it available in English?)”

    Frank, it is a compilation you can download at:

    http://www.bahai-library.org/compilations/trustworthiness.html

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    Frank wrote:

    “Great quote from Baha’ullah! I love it — was not aware of the book Trustworthiness. I will get a copy. (Is it available in English?)”

    Frank, it is a compilation you can download at:

    http://www.bahai-library.org/compilations/trustworthiness.html

  • farhan

    Frank wrote:
    “I will not testify to my powerlessness. I am responsible for much of what happens to me.”

    Frank,
    the point is not what will happen to you and I, but what is happening to humanity and to this planet. We are all totally helpless and powerless in our efforts to avoid what Lewis Mumford described 30 years ago as the “programmed autodestruction” of this planet.

    The only way out is firstly a radical change in minds and hearts of all humanity, so that we organise our personal lives in harmony with humanity as a whole, and secondly a structure that will support and foster that new way of life unprecedented in human history. We need a “miracle” to do all that: God’s might and wealth.

    This miracle you and I cannot perform, but God can do so through our efforts as detached instruments.

    The whole business of laws, assembies, study circles, enrollments, prayer sessions etc are mere _tools_ and not ends in themselves, as some short sighted individuals imagine and for whom the tools supercede the goal. As you rightly say, the goal is none other than love, compassion and harmony, and the structure a necessary, but acessory tool.

    These tools are designed to foster those values and to help reflect them in our collective lives. Those tools bring us in contact and require us to collaborate with individuals as imperfect as ourselves whom we might have never met, let alone pray and collaborate together.

    This is why the BA is the painfull prototype of the future world commonwealth, a crucible where we get our corners rubbed off in preparation for a new race of humans involved in a new world social structure. When the pain becomes unbearable, we need to step back and look elsewhere.

    The whole Institute process is an opening towards the world. As we read in Building Momentum:

    “Having an “outward-looking orientation” also suggests that it is important for Baha’is to understand more deeply the forces operating on the world stage and the solutions offered by the Revelation of Baha’u’llah. Our task is to convey to seekers that we are all living in the same world, facing common trials, and striving to fulfill similar, long-held aspirations for the human race. Our expressions of solidarity with our fellow human beings must be sincerely voiced and genuinely felt.”

  • Farhan Yazdani

    Frank wrote:
    “I will not testify to my powerlessness. I am responsible for much of what happens to me.”

    Frank,
    the point is not what will happen to you and I, but what is happening to humanity and to this planet. We are all totally helpless and powerless in our efforts to avoid what Lewis Mumford described 30 years ago as the “programmed autodestruction” of this planet.

    The only way out is firstly a radical change in minds and hearts of all humanity, so that we organise our personal lives in harmony with humanity as a whole, and secondly a structure that will support and foster that new way of life unprecedented in human history. We need a “miracle” to do all that: God’s might and wealth.

    This miracle you and I cannot perform, but God can do so through our efforts as detached instruments.

    The whole business of laws, assembies, study circles, enrollments, prayer sessions etc are mere _tools_ and not ends in themselves, as some short sighted individuals imagine and for whom the tools supercede the goal. As you rightly say, the goal is none other than love, compassion and harmony, and the structure a necessary, but acessory tool.

    These tools are designed to foster those values and to help reflect them in our collective lives. Those tools bring us in contact and require us to collaborate with individuals as imperfect as ourselves whom we might have never met, let alone pray and collaborate together.

    This is why the BA is the painfull prototype of the future world commonwealth, a crucible where we get our corners rubbed off in preparation for a new race of humans involved in a new world social structure. When the pain becomes unbearable, we need to step back and look elsewhere.

    The whole Institute process is an opening towards the world. As we read in Building Momentum:

    “Having an “outward-looking orientation” also suggests that it is important for Baha’is to understand more deeply the forces operating on the world stage and the solutions offered by the Revelation of Baha’u’llah. Our task is to convey to seekers that we are all living in the same world, facing common trials, and striving to fulfill similar, long-held aspirations for the human race. Our expressions of solidarity with our fellow human beings must be sincerely voiced and genuinely felt.”

  • Dear Farhan,

    I don’t know how to reply to you — except to say I don’t see this working now or ever. The BA as a prototype for world commonwealth seems absurd.

    If the goal is compassion isn’t that within our power? Do we need to admit that we will autodistruct unless the all powerful god steps in?

    You say “This is why the BA is the painfull prototype of the future world commonwealth, a crucible where we get our corners rubbed off in preparation for a new race of humans involved in a new world social structure. When the pain becomes unbearable, we need to step back and look elsewhere.”

    If a new race is coming what happens to us? I guess you’ll say — oh that is us transformed?! Is that it? If so then I guess we do have some power. If not then what sense does it make?

    I think we need compassion and understanding along with education and enlightened self-interest. Whatever the solution is I don’t think its trusting in god to the extent that we declare, over and over again, that we are powerless. I think a solution lies — in part — in knowing what we can do, doing it while all the time relying on “the sustaining infinite.”

    Peace,
    Frank

  • Dear Farhan,

    I don’t know how to reply to you — except to say I don’t see this working now or ever. The BA as a prototype for world commonwealth seems absurd.

    If the goal is compassion isn’t that within our power? Do we need to admit that we will autodistruct unless the all powerful god steps in?

    You say “This is why the BA is the painfull prototype of the future world commonwealth, a crucible where we get our corners rubbed off in preparation for a new race of humans involved in a new world social structure. When the pain becomes unbearable, we need to step back and look elsewhere.”

    If a new race is coming what happens to us? I guess you’ll say — oh that is us transformed?! Is that it? If so then I guess we do have some power. If not then what sense does it make?

    I think we need compassion and understanding along with education and enlightened self-interest. Whatever the solution is I don’t think its trusting in god to the extent that we declare, over and over again, that we are powerless. I think a solution lies — in part — in knowing what we can do, doing it while all the time relying on “the sustaining infinite.”

    Peace,
    Frank

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  • Newfaith2007

    Would you please send that ppt file to my address newfaith2007@gmail.com?