This post was inspired by a comment left by “jaap”. S/he said:
Thank you for your thoughts, claiming that indepedent investigation of truth â€?precedes everythingâ€? is an absolute statement and therefore it excludes all other arguments.Donâ€™t you see that this argument bites itself in itâ€™s tail?
Obviously I am not able to provide conclusive answers, but I do feel that independant investigation of truth can be used to determine in which direction you want your soul to travel.Once your direction is chosen do you need to continue questioning your direction through indep. invest.?
I sincerely hope and pray that I never join fellow Baha’is who seem to be sleep walking through it all. Never questioning, never thinking, never wondering ‘what if?’, never contemplating change or improvement, never doing anything different, etc. This is spiritual apathy. It is being ‘dead’ while seemingly alive. It is being stuck in a rut: go to Ruhi, memorize some quotes, come home, go to feast, go to devotionals, etc. Wash, rinse, repeat. But never actually devote any time to critical thinking… what exactly am I doing? and more importantly, why?
This is taqlid – an anachronism abolished by Baha’u’llah. Alison was kind enough to find some specific quotes from Baha’u’llah regarding this topic.
Aside from Baha’u’llah’s eradication of this Shi’ite tradition, simple logic will show the fallacy in “jaap”‘s thinking:
If it were not for continuous questioning and an unceasing search for truth, no one is history would have ever found the Manifestation of God!
They would instead think and act, as “jaap” proposes: I already have the truth. I have conviction. Why do I need to question? why do I need to think? why do I need to continue searching?
Think of itâ€¦ hundreds of years later when the next Manifestation of God comes to this world, should Bahaâ€™is of that time do as other humans have done in the past? deny, torture, and ultimately kill Her/Him? saying, â€?we have set our souls on their journey, we no longer need independent investigation of truth to determine the validity of your claimâ€™?
Independant investigation of truth is not a destination, it is a journey with no endâ€¦ for its ultimate goal is the attainment of God, Truth, the Essence of Reality.
How sad, how sad, to be so blinded by prejudice and ignorance while professing to possess true understanding.
You know, this reminds me of an anecdote from a friend who was travel teaching in a remote part of the world. He was talking to a simple farmer out in the poor country side of a third world country about the Baha’i Faith. After his ‘schpeil’, the farmer turned to the idealistic young man facing him and said, ‘Look all that is very well, but I have everything I need. I have my farm, my wife, my children are healthy, I have food to eat, and a good life. I don’t need this’.
My friend stood there debating with himself how to answer and before he knew it, he had blurted out, ‘Well, how then are you different from this cow? (pointing to a content cow munching on grass) It also has food, a nice stable, and a good life.’
After he realized what he had just said, his heart skipped a beat. He couldn’t believe it! He’s supposed to be teaching the Faith! And he’d gone and insulted a stranger who would think all Baha’is are rude. He wanted to bolt but stood there nailed to the ground by the fear that the farmer just might take a swing at him.
Instead, the farmer looked him in the eye and after a few beats said, ‘Let me see that pamphlet again. And leave one of those declaration cards.’