Thought Experiment

If you are willing to play a little game, I want to try something.

I want you to think back and try to remember all the times you have either read or heard of letters from your National Spiritual Assembly. Ofcourse, you won’t recall every single incident but rather try to get an over all idea of what you do remember.

Now, think back and recall how many times they spoke about the financial needs of the Baha’i funds.

And how many times they talked about teaching the Faith.

ok…got it?

Now I want you to try something else.

Cast your thoughts back and recall how many times you have read a letter from your NSA reinforcing the many Writings about charity and the exhortations for the Baha’is to arise and serve their fellow man.

And how many times have you read from your NSA about the importance of helping the needy, feeding the hungry, healing the sick, befriending the marginalized, as Baha’u’llah instructed all Baha’is to do, and as Abdu’l-Baha demonstrated as the perfect exemplar?

ok… Done? Alright.

Now, imagine what sort of community you would have and what sort of effect on the world the Baha’is would have if we inverted the priorities of the NSAs around the world.

Go ahead, play along…its just a thought experiment. Close your eyes for one moment and imagine the kind of community you would see.

That’s it. Yup, pretty short thought experiment.

I’ll leave it to you to decide if it has any merit.

And if you like, you can leave a little response (even anonymously) in the comments section below to share what your personal thought experiment was like.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve never contributed dollar one to the Fund, choosing instead to support local charities and global charities that are more accountable for the money they receive.

    There is no reason I should be expected to fund the bozos that tell me I can’t support Amnesty Frigging International. My money is better spent fighting for justice and unity, rather than funding the Baha’i industry.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve never contributed dollar one to the Fund, choosing instead to support local charities and global charities that are more accountable for the money they receive.

    There is no reason I should be expected to fund the bozos that tell me I can’t support Amnesty Frigging International. My money is better spent fighting for justice and unity, rather than funding the Baha’i industry.

  • Anonymous

    I have tried this experiment myself on a few occasions. All I got in return was: ” First things first! We have to become visible to the world!”

    How do buildings help humanity? Why is it so important to build Baha’i Self Esteem by using concrete? Is it marketing – or what??

    I haven’t given any money to the funds – ever – and as long as they keep begging for it I won’t be giving them any!

    I sometimes dream about what the Baha’i Faith would be like if we spent all that money on stuff that would have made a difference in the lives of millions who lives on less than $ 2 a day! Haifa is pure megolamania! It sickens me! It’s embarrassing! All we have to show for are these buildings!! What a track record…

  • Anonymous

    I have tried this experiment myself on a few occasions. All I got in return was: ” First things first! We have to become visible to the world!”

    How do buildings help humanity? Why is it so important to build Baha’i Self Esteem by using concrete? Is it marketing – or what??

    I haven’t given any money to the funds – ever – and as long as they keep begging for it I won’t be giving them any!

    I sometimes dream about what the Baha’i Faith would be like if we spent all that money on stuff that would have made a difference in the lives of millions who lives on less than $ 2 a day! Haifa is pure megolamania! It sickens me! It’s embarrassing! All we have to show for are these buildings!! What a track record…

  • farhan

    Beautiful song and beautiful intentions, but let us remember that all the money that has been going into all the religious structures in the world is a drop compared to the needs of humanity. During this time, Nine hundred billion dollars are officially spent every year in arms; an estimation of unofficial arms sales would be more like 10 000 billions of dollars.

    These arms are required by the world’s nations in order to defend themselves from each other. Only 50 billions (less than 6%) could end hunger and poverty and 10% of that sum would provide schools and hospitals for all. ( UNESCO)
    The debt of developing countries amounts to 2500 billion dollars. To the rich countries this would cost some 5 dollars a year per person for 10 years.

    Unfortunately, giving money does not bring about prosperity and sustainable development. The money donated rarely benefits those who need it most. Some of these debts are �odious� debts, the money being collected by leaders and used against its own population. During apartheid, South Africa collected 18 billion dollars to uphold its policy and the neighbouring countries collected 28 billion dollars to face the destabilisation caused by apartheid.

    In order to bring about that reduction in the military expenses, we have to create new hearts and new minds through a spiritual education; creating beauty instead of distributing poverty to all humanity is part of that change.

    When we see what Mount Carmel looked like at the time when the bunch of helpless prisoners set foot in that land, and what it has become now, we realise the sheer power that lies latent in spirituality.
    One reality is what we see and what humans can do, and he other reality is what spirituality can allow us to do if we replace scepticism by faith.
    The 250 million dollars needed for the construction of the world centre represent a sacrifice of 41 dollars per Baha’i. By this sacrifice the Baha’is proved to the world that unity can achieve the impossible.
    Let us strive to carry the beauty of Mount Carmel to the rest of the world, rather than to share poverty and conflict with the rest of the world. See these links:
    http://www.millenniumcampaign.org/site/pp.asp?c=grKVL2NLE&b=496217
    http://www.globalissues.org/TradeRelated/Debt/Causes.asp

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    Beautiful song and beautiful intentions, but let us remember that all the money that has been going into all the religious structures in the world is a drop compared to the needs of humanity. During this time, Nine hundred billion dollars are officially spent every year in arms; an estimation of unofficial arms sales would be more like 10 000 billions of dollars.

    These arms are required by the world’s nations in order to defend themselves from each other. Only 50 billions (less than 6%) could end hunger and poverty and 10% of that sum would provide schools and hospitals for all. ( UNESCO)
    The debt of developing countries amounts to 2500 billion dollars. To the rich countries this would cost some 5 dollars a year per person for 10 years.

    Unfortunately, giving money does not bring about prosperity and sustainable development. The money donated rarely benefits those who need it most. Some of these debts are �odious� debts, the money being collected by leaders and used against its own population. During apartheid, South Africa collected 18 billion dollars to uphold its policy and the neighbouring countries collected 28 billion dollars to face the destabilisation caused by apartheid.

    In order to bring about that reduction in the military expenses, we have to create new hearts and new minds through a spiritual education; creating beauty instead of distributing poverty to all humanity is part of that change.

    When we see what Mount Carmel looked like at the time when the bunch of helpless prisoners set foot in that land, and what it has become now, we realise the sheer power that lies latent in spirituality.
    One reality is what we see and what humans can do, and he other reality is what spirituality can allow us to do if we replace scepticism by faith.
    The 250 million dollars needed for the construction of the world centre represent a sacrifice of 41 dollars per Baha’i. By this sacrifice the Baha’is proved to the world that unity can achieve the impossible.
    Let us strive to carry the beauty of Mount Carmel to the rest of the world, rather than to share poverty and conflict with the rest of the world. See these links:
    http://www.millenniumcampaign.org/site/pp.asp?c=grKVL2NLE&b=496217
    http://www.globalissues.org/TradeRelated/Debt/Causes.asp

  • farhan

    Baquia,

    you write:

    “And how many times have you read from your NSA about the importance of helping the needy, feeding the hungry, healing the sick, befriending the marginalized, as Baha’u’llah instructed all Baha’is to do, and as Abdu’l-Baha demonstrated as the perfect exemplar?”

    Baquia, Abdu’l-Baha gave an example of adapting our efforts to the needs of our day and age. During the Master’s lifetime, it was necessary to go to the mosque, observe the Moslem fast, give coins to the poor and for women to cover their heads. We know that begging is forbidden in the Baha’i Faith ; elimination poverty is a right and not a privilege for all citizens of this planet. In our days, we have to influence the rich nations into a fair economical structure. Humanity is outstandingly rich, but the riches are being unfairly used by the rich nations who are being subsidized by poor nations. The interests of some national debts amounts to 27 billion dollars a year. (see:
    http://www.millenniumcampaign.org/site/pp.asp?c=grKVL2NLE&b=496217
    http://www.globalissues.org/TradeRelated/Debt/Causes.asp)

    Only a spiritual change can bring about a sustainable solution. Even if you distributed all your belongings to the poor, you would be unable to help if the world’s economy is not based upon equity. Here is how Abdu’l-Baha suggests solving economical problems:

    « Strive, therefore, to create love in the hearts in order that they may become glowing and radiant. When that love is shining, it will permeate other hearts even as this electric light illumines its surroundings. When the love of God is established, everything else will be realized. This is the true foundation of all economics. Reflect upon it. Endeavor to become the cause of the attraction of souls rather than to enforce minds. Manifest true economics to the people. Show what love is, what kindness is, what true severance is and generosity. This is the important thing for you to do. Act in accordance with the teachings of Baha’u’llah. All His Books will be translated. Now is the time for you to live in accordance with His words. Let your deeds be the real translation of their meaning. Economic questions will not attract hearts. The love of God alone will attract them. Economic questions are most interesting; but the power which moves, controls and attracts the hearts of men is the love of God. (Abdu’l-Baha, Promulgation Universal Peace 91:5)

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    Baquia,

    you write:

    “And how many times have you read from your NSA about the importance of helping the needy, feeding the hungry, healing the sick, befriending the marginalized, as Baha’u’llah instructed all Baha’is to do, and as Abdu’l-Baha demonstrated as the perfect exemplar?”

    Baquia, Abdu’l-Baha gave an example of adapting our efforts to the needs of our day and age. During the Master’s lifetime, it was necessary to go to the mosque, observe the Moslem fast, give coins to the poor and for women to cover their heads. We know that begging is forbidden in the Baha’i Faith ; elimination poverty is a right and not a privilege for all citizens of this planet. In our days, we have to influence the rich nations into a fair economical structure. Humanity is outstandingly rich, but the riches are being unfairly used by the rich nations who are being subsidized by poor nations. The interests of some national debts amounts to 27 billion dollars a year. (see:
    http://www.millenniumcampaign.org/site/pp.asp?c=grKVL2NLE&b=496217
    http://www.globalissues.org/TradeRelated/Debt/Causes.asp)

    Only a spiritual change can bring about a sustainable solution. Even if you distributed all your belongings to the poor, you would be unable to help if the world’s economy is not based upon equity. Here is how Abdu’l-Baha suggests solving economical problems:

    « Strive, therefore, to create love in the hearts in order that they may become glowing and radiant. When that love is shining, it will permeate other hearts even as this electric light illumines its surroundings. When the love of God is established, everything else will be realized. This is the true foundation of all economics. Reflect upon it. Endeavor to become the cause of the attraction of souls rather than to enforce minds. Manifest true economics to the people. Show what love is, what kindness is, what true severance is and generosity. This is the important thing for you to do. Act in accordance with the teachings of Baha’u’llah. All His Books will be translated. Now is the time for you to live in accordance with His words. Let your deeds be the real translation of their meaning. Economic questions will not attract hearts. The love of God alone will attract them. Economic questions are most interesting; but the power which moves, controls and attracts the hearts of men is the love of God. (Abdu’l-Baha, Promulgation Universal Peace 91:5)