Universal House of Justice: Ridvan Message 2008

Here is the Universal House of Justice’s Ridvan Message for 2008.

If you have trouble reading it below, you can follow the above link to download the document to your computer. You can also use the menu to print it out.

  • Christie

    Hi Baquia,
    As this Ridvan Message obviously places great importance on the “core activities”, Ruhi etal, I thought you would also be interested in the latest requirements for international pioneers, as outlined in our last Feast letter.
    “It is clear that, at this time, the deployment of pioneers is more systematic and also more geared towards supporting growth through the new processes…in many ways, the age of Assembly forming has given way to a more focused effort to establish community activities open to all and to develop a SYSTEMATIC APPROACH TO TEACHING (my emphasis). For this reason, pioneer requirements are generally for those well-versed in …this process.”
    In other words, international pioneers should have been through the Ruhi course for starters. I wonder what some of the early Baha’i pioneers would have made of it?

  • Christie

    Hi Baquia,
    As this Ridvan Message obviously places great importance on the “core activities”, Ruhi etal, I thought you would also be interested in the latest requirements for international pioneers, as outlined in our last Feast letter.
    “It is clear that, at this time, the deployment of pioneers is more systematic and also more geared towards supporting growth through the new processes…in many ways, the age of Assembly forming has given way to a more focused effort to establish community activities open to all and to develop a SYSTEMATIC APPROACH TO TEACHING (my emphasis). For this reason, pioneer requirements are generally for those well-versed in …this process.”
    In other words, international pioneers should have been through the Ruhi course for starters. I wonder what some of the early Baha’i pioneers would have made of it?

  • “That such receptivity will increase as the agonies of humanity deepen is certain.”

    They’re still rootin’ on Armageddon?

    “Just wait until things get REALLY f&$@ed up! Then they’ll be really desperate, and sh&t, they fall for anything!”

    I can hardly imagine a more counterproductive world view. What kind of victory are they hoping for?

  • “That such receptivity will increase as the agonies of humanity deepen is certain.”

    They’re still rootin’ on Armageddon?

    “Just wait until things get REALLY f&$@ed up! Then they’ll be really desperate, and sh&t, they fall for anything!”

    I can hardly imagine a more counterproductive world view. What kind of victory are they hoping for?

  • Grover

    All I can say is regarding the Ridvan letter, what a load of crap. Disciplined my arse. Its cause we haven’t been given any freedom in our “individual initiative”, its either Ruhi, devotional meetings, or kiddies classes, and thats drummed into us at Feast, cluster meetings, summer schools, conferences, and in the newsletters. You can show individual initiative, so long as it is in those three.

    Soon we’ll be going around knocking on doors (oh hang on they’re doing that already) and asking “do you believe the world is getting worse today?” And the people at the doors will go “excuse me, are you the Jehova’s Witnesses?”

    The stupid thing about it was the world was really in the crapper with World War One and Two. Anyone who knows their history knows about the mad dictators etc running around being nasty little sods to all and sundry during that time. How can anything that is happening today even possibly compare?

  • Grover

    All I can say is regarding the Ridvan letter, what a load of crap. Disciplined my arse. Its cause we haven’t been given any freedom in our “individual initiative”, its either Ruhi, devotional meetings, or kiddies classes, and thats drummed into us at Feast, cluster meetings, summer schools, conferences, and in the newsletters. You can show individual initiative, so long as it is in those three.

    Soon we’ll be going around knocking on doors (oh hang on they’re doing that already) and asking “do you believe the world is getting worse today?” And the people at the doors will go “excuse me, are you the Jehova’s Witnesses?”

    The stupid thing about it was the world was really in the crapper with World War One and Two. Anyone who knows their history knows about the mad dictators etc running around being nasty little sods to all and sundry during that time. How can anything that is happening today even possibly compare?

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=””]”That such receptivity will increase as the agonies of humanity deepen is certain.”

    They’re still rootin’ on Armageddon?

    “Just wait until things get REALLY f&$@ed up! Then they’ll be really desperate, and sh&t, they fall for anything!”

    I can hardly imagine a more counterproductive world view. What kind of victory are they hoping for?[/quote]

    I am going to stay out of cyber space for a few days. I just can’t take it anymore. Is it just me or is this stuff just pure congitive dissonance or am I losing my mind? When I took Ruhi Book One over a six week period I thought I was going to lose my job as a professional software engineer and Java/xHarbour programmer. My powers of reasoning and gognitive functioning deterioriated so shockingly that I really feared that my mental job skills would be permanently damaged. To reiterate in mental Ruhi Speak to my statement so far:

    “When I took Ruhi ____ ___ over _ ___ ___ ____ I ______ I was ______ to _____ my job as a __________ _______ ________ and _____/_________ _______. My _______ of _________ and __________ __________ ___________ so shockingly ______ __ ________ ________ that __ _______ _____ ______ _______ be permanently _________.”

    Is everyone getting this so far?

    If I had to take all of the Ruhi books in the “Full Sequence of Courses” I would surely end up homeless and in the gutter. I just could not do it. I am NOT joking. I found the whole experience completely mentally disturbing to my reasoning ability like a dangerous substance of some sort causing mind altering changes. Maybe it is age? I just don’t know? Did anyone else here experience anything like this in the functioning of their brain chemistry during the agony of the ordeal?

    It does appear that they have bet the entire Baha’i Faith on this fate lock stock and barrell. If you are not a “Ruhi Certified Baha’i” you are now completely out of the “AO system”.

    I found this sad letter just a common garden variety “editorial prayer” that you would hear in any church or business organization at any time of the day or night. Just a list of the things the “organization” wants you to believe. “Read the list. Repeat. Read it again. Repeat. Etc.”

    With the Armageddon tone it rings oddly like Official German Wehrmacht Messages to the Front as the last troops fell back in April 1945. It does have that odd “bet the farm” and “take no prisoners” tone.

    It also had that Pol Pot “Year Zero” tone to us. Just march everybody into the jungle and start building the “New Society” COMPLETELY DISCONNECTED from anything REALLY HUMAN HAPPENING in the world. All emotional contact of ANY KIND with the “world” is to ALWAYS be THROUGH the “official” plans of the “ORGANIZATION”.

    It is the lizard brain chemistry stem 101. The same old, same old. Everyone has seen this movie in human history. It was really big in the 20th Century.

    But in terms of a “religion” it is all very wishful thinking for one very simple reason: it has nothing whatsoever to do with spirituality and it has nothing whatsoever to do with God. They say the Ruhi methods are built on the “Word of God”. That is a total bold faced “organizational” lie. They aren’t! They are just based upon the personal interpetations of a tiny clique of people. These materials are based on absolutely nothing Baha’u’llah or Abdu’l-Baba taught. Nor Jesus. Nor Buddha. Nor anyone. Zero. Nada. Zippo. It’s just air guitar from apparatchiks in badly fitting suits and it is all going to fail miserably.

    The link below was the reality of this world in 1945 (WARNING: be advised not to investigate if you want to avoid seeing the horrors of war).

    The Baha’is have had 63 years to get to the facts of the matter. For a few brief wonderful years in the 1960’s and 1970’s they once began to move. The the AO took all control back over the next several decades. The rest is history.

    And Shoghi Effendi sadly failed to honor the suffering of the world in World War II by completely failing to appoint a Living Guardian in his lifetoime or at the very least write a Will or Testament to leave some jind of written instructions to keep the great work of the Faith on track.

    http://faculty.ucmerced.edu/smalloy/atomic_tragedy/photos.html

    So now in 2008 there is no living Guardian of the Baha’i Faith to tell these deranged people that they are destroying the seed corn. Everything the Baha’i Faith is doing now is in an emotionally incestuous vacuum that is growing ever larger with each passing day.

    Just incredible.

    I, for one, am done after 32 years of steadfast service and 4 more years of just laying in the road stunned after getting thrown under the bus. I am still alive and I will find a way to go on with life. The Universe/Multiverse is big. But it truly is an incredible tragedy how the Baha’i Faith is being led to mind bending catastrophe.

    I’m taking a rest from cyber space. I have alot of critical tasks at work. I’ll be back in a week when I feel better.

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=””]”That such receptivity will increase as the agonies of humanity deepen is certain.”

    They’re still rootin’ on Armageddon?

    “Just wait until things get REALLY f&$@ed up! Then they’ll be really desperate, and sh&t, they fall for anything!”

    I can hardly imagine a more counterproductive world view. What kind of victory are they hoping for?[/quote]

    I am going to stay out of cyber space for a few days. I just can’t take it anymore. Is it just me or is this stuff just pure congitive dissonance or am I losing my mind? When I took Ruhi Book One over a six week period I thought I was going to lose my job as a professional software engineer and Java/xHarbour programmer. My powers of reasoning and gognitive functioning deterioriated so shockingly that I really feared that my mental job skills would be permanently damaged. To reiterate in mental Ruhi Speak to my statement so far:

    “When I took Ruhi ____ ___ over _ ___ ___ ____ I ______ I was ______ to _____ my job as a __________ _______ ________ and _____/_________ _______. My _______ of _________ and __________ __________ ___________ so shockingly ______ __ ________ ________ that __ _______ _____ ______ _______ be permanently _________.”

    Is everyone getting this so far?

    If I had to take all of the Ruhi books in the “Full Sequence of Courses” I would surely end up homeless and in the gutter. I just could not do it. I am NOT joking. I found the whole experience completely mentally disturbing to my reasoning ability like a dangerous substance of some sort causing mind altering changes. Maybe it is age? I just don’t know? Did anyone else here experience anything like this in the functioning of their brain chemistry during the agony of the ordeal?

    It does appear that they have bet the entire Baha’i Faith on this fate lock stock and barrell. If you are not a “Ruhi Certified Baha’i” you are now completely out of the “AO system”.

    I found this sad letter just a common garden variety “editorial prayer” that you would hear in any church or business organization at any time of the day or night. Just a list of the things the “organization” wants you to believe. “Read the list. Repeat. Read it again. Repeat. Etc.”

    With the Armageddon tone it rings oddly like Official German Wehrmacht Messages to the Front as the last troops fell back in April 1945. It does have that odd “bet the farm” and “take no prisoners” tone.

    It also had that Pol Pot “Year Zero” tone to us. Just march everybody into the jungle and start building the “New Society” COMPLETELY DISCONNECTED from anything REALLY HUMAN HAPPENING in the world. All emotional contact of ANY KIND with the “world” is to ALWAYS be THROUGH the “official” plans of the “ORGANIZATION”.

    It is the lizard brain chemistry stem 101. The same old, same old. Everyone has seen this movie in human history. It was really big in the 20th Century.

    But in terms of a “religion” it is all very wishful thinking for one very simple reason: it has nothing whatsoever to do with spirituality and it has nothing whatsoever to do with God. They say the Ruhi methods are built on the “Word of God”. That is a total bold faced “organizational” lie. They aren’t! They are just based upon the personal interpetations of a tiny clique of people. These materials are based on absolutely nothing Baha’u’llah or Abdu’l-Baba taught. Nor Jesus. Nor Buddha. Nor anyone. Zero. Nada. Zippo. It’s just air guitar from apparatchiks in badly fitting suits and it is all going to fail miserably.

    The link below was the reality of this world in 1945 (WARNING: be advised not to investigate if you want to avoid seeing the horrors of war).

    The Baha’is have had 63 years to get to the facts of the matter. For a few brief wonderful years in the 1960’s and 1970’s they once began to move. The the AO took all control back over the next several decades. The rest is history.

    And Shoghi Effendi sadly failed to honor the suffering of the world in World War II by completely failing to appoint a Living Guardian in his lifetoime or at the very least write a Will or Testament to leave some jind of written instructions to keep the great work of the Faith on track.

    http://faculty.ucmerced.edu/smalloy/atomic_tragedy/photos.html

    So now in 2008 there is no living Guardian of the Baha’i Faith to tell these deranged people that they are destroying the seed corn. Everything the Baha’i Faith is doing now is in an emotionally incestuous vacuum that is growing ever larger with each passing day.

    Just incredible.

    I, for one, am done after 32 years of steadfast service and 4 more years of just laying in the road stunned after getting thrown under the bus. I am still alive and I will find a way to go on with life. The Universe/Multiverse is big. But it truly is an incredible tragedy how the Baha’i Faith is being led to mind bending catastrophe.

    I’m taking a rest from cyber space. I have alot of critical tasks at work. I’ll be back in a week when I feel better.

  • Anonymuz

    Craig my I suggest the Fire Tablet.

  • Anonymuz

    Craig my I suggest the Fire Tablet.

  • Farhan Yazdani

    Craig wrote:
    “If I had to take all of the Ruhi books in the ?Full Sequence of Courses? I would surely end up homeless and in the gutter.”

    Craig, I am sorry you have had such negative experiences with Ruhi and perhaps with some “zealots” that the UHJ condemned.

    Ruhi is not intended for deepening experienced Baha’is, but for providing experienced baha’is with a simplified curriculum that they can use with new-comers, and help these new-comers not only to seek further into the writings, but also to organiose core activities in order to make our communities more lively.

    We will never have priests, so the service once rendered by priests has to be done by each one of us. Those who do the courses will in turn to become teachers. This is the idea of yeast that “leaveneth the lump”.

    When the US university professor comes to the islands of French Polynesia, the Ruhi book in English in one hand and in French in the other, he starts his work the same day and those he has taught will not be waiting for his return, but will start the same curriculum by themselves the day he leaves;

    The courses are made to fit the low educational level of the vast masses of humanity, not ony in the third world, but also in the streets behind your house. I had a look at the litteracy statistics in the US: shocking…

    Ruhi is designed to make “human ressources” out of us: teachers who will teach would be teachers how to teach future would be teachers… not to deepen us.

  • farhan

    Craig wrote:
    “If I had to take all of the Ruhi books in the ?Full Sequence of Courses? I would surely end up homeless and in the gutter.”

    Craig, I am sorry you have had such negative experiences with Ruhi and perhaps with some “zealots” that the UHJ condemned.

    Ruhi is not intended for deepening experienced Baha’is, but for providing experienced baha’is with a simplified curriculum that they can use with new-comers, and help these new-comers not only to seek further into the writings, but also to organiose core activities in order to make our communities more lively.

    We will never have priests, so the service once rendered by priests has to be done by each one of us. Those who do the courses will in turn to become teachers. This is the idea of yeast that “leaveneth the lump”.

    When the US university professor comes to the islands of French Polynesia, the Ruhi book in English in one hand and in French in the other, he starts his work the same day and those he has taught will not be waiting for his return, but will start the same curriculum by themselves the day he leaves;

    The courses are made to fit the low educational level of the vast masses of humanity, not ony in the third world, but also in the streets behind your house. I had a look at the litteracy statistics in the US: shocking…

    Ruhi is designed to make “human ressources” out of us: teachers who will teach would be teachers how to teach future would be teachers… not to deepen us.

  • Dan Wrote:

    ?That such receptivity will increase as the agonies of humanity deepen is certain.?

    They’re still rootin’ on Armageddon?

    ?Just wait until things get REALLY f&$@ed up! Then they’ll be really desperate, and sh&t, they fall for anything!?

    I can hardly imagine a more counterproductive world view. What kind of victory are they hoping for?”

    Right no Dan!

    Are Baha’is Looking forward to more agony? Great; just what a spiritually enlightened person would do.

    I have an idea — why not help!?

    Nah, I guess Baha’is are just above all that. After all this isn’t the world of reality so the pain can’t be real. Right?

    Peace everyone — work and pray for peace. Or study Ruhi and pray for more agony — you choose.

    Frank

  • Dan Wrote:

    ?That such receptivity will increase as the agonies of humanity deepen is certain.?

    They’re still rootin’ on Armageddon?

    ?Just wait until things get REALLY f&$@ed up! Then they’ll be really desperate, and sh&t, they fall for anything!?

    I can hardly imagine a more counterproductive world view. What kind of victory are they hoping for?”

    Right no Dan!

    Are Baha’is Looking forward to more agony? Great; just what a spiritually enlightened person would do.

    I have an idea — why not help!?

    Nah, I guess Baha’is are just above all that. After all this isn’t the world of reality so the pain can’t be real. Right?

    Peace everyone — work and pray for peace. Or study Ruhi and pray for more agony — you choose.

    Frank

  • farhan

    Frank wrote:

    “Peace everyone — work and pray for peace. Or study Ruhi and pray for more agony — you choose.”

    Frank, this is not how I understand it;

    Baha’is are working and praying for peace, not for more agony; and Ruhi is designed to make them better servants of humanity ; Baha’is are not seeking personnal victory, but the collective security of humankind, in which they live;

    At the same time, they are saying that until and unless spiritual values are adopted, humanity will continue to suffer, and unless and until religious strife is removed, humanity will not attain spiritual development. In Building Momentum, p 19 we read:

    “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:

    “Peace everyone — work and pray for peace. Or study Ruhi and pray for more agony — you choose.”

    Frank, this is not how I understand it;

    Baha’is are working and praying for peace, not for more agony; and Ruhi is designed to make them better servants of humanity ; Baha’is are not seeking personnal victory, but the collective security of humankind, in which they live;

    At the same time, they are saying that until and unless spiritual values are adopted, humanity will continue to suffer, and unless and until religious strife is removed, humanity will not attain spiritual development. In Building Momentum, p 19 we read:

    “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

    Frank wrote:

    “I can hardly imagine a more counterproductive world view. What kind of victory are they hoping for??(…) Are Baha’is Looking forward to more agony? Great; just what a spiritually enlightened person would do (…) Peace everyone — work and pray for peace. Or study Ruhi and pray for more agony — you choose.”

    Frank, this is not how I understand it;

    Baha’is are working and praying for peace, not for more agony; and Ruhi is designed to make them better servants of humanity and not a victorious minority; Baha’is are not seeking personnal victory, but the collective security of humankind, of which they are a part;

    At the same time, they are saying that until and unless spiritual values are adopted, humanity will continue to suffer, and unless and until religious strife is removed, humanity will not attain spiritual development. As the human efforts twards peace fall short, humanity will turn to God. In Building Momentum, p 19 we read:

    « 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 can hardly imagine a more counterproductive world view. What kind of victory are they hoping for??(…) Are Baha’is Looking forward to more agony? Great; just what a spiritually enlightened person would do (…) Peace everyone — work and pray for peace. Or study Ruhi and pray for more agony — you choose.”

    Frank, this is not how I understand it;

    Baha’is are working and praying for peace, not for more agony; and Ruhi is designed to make them better servants of humanity and not a victorious minority; Baha’is are not seeking personnal victory, but the collective security of humankind, of which they are a part;

    At the same time, they are saying that until and unless spiritual values are adopted, humanity will continue to suffer, and unless and until religious strife is removed, humanity will not attain spiritual development. As the human efforts twards peace fall short, humanity will turn to God. In Building Momentum, p 19 we read:

    « 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. »

  • [quote comment=””]Frank, this is not how I understand it;

    Baha’is are working and praying for peace, not for more agony; and Ruhi is designed to make them better servants of humanity and not a victorious minority; Baha’is are not seeking personnal victory, but the collective security of humankind, of which they are a part…[/quote]

    Oh yeah? Then what are you doing — doing about it? IOW — actions speak louder than words.

    Studying Ruhi and having meetings while staying out of politics and doing almost no out reach almost no community service will not cut the mustard, no matter how holy you look with googly eyes set deep in your spiritual sockets.

    Expressions of solidarity I don’t see. I see them and us. We have the truth the others need to suffer so they will wake up.

    Right — huh? — isn’t that what it all nets out to?

    Frank

  • [quote comment=””]Frank, this is not how I understand it;

    Baha’is are working and praying for peace, not for more agony; and Ruhi is designed to make them better servants of humanity and not a victorious minority; Baha’is are not seeking personnal victory, but the collective security of humankind, of which they are a part…[/quote]

    Oh yeah? Then what are you doing — doing about it? IOW — actions speak louder than words.

    Studying Ruhi and having meetings while staying out of politics and doing almost no out reach almost no community service will not cut the mustard, no matter how holy you look with googly eyes set deep in your spiritual sockets.

    Expressions of solidarity I don’t see. I see them and us. We have the truth the others need to suffer so they will wake up.

    Right — huh? — isn’t that what it all nets out to?

    Frank

  • farhan

    Christie wrote:
    “In other words, international pioneers should have been through the Ruhi course for starters. I wonder what some of the early Baha’i pioneers would have made of it?”

    Christie, times change and the community needs and structures evolve; what was required during the Bab’s lifetime, Baha’u’llah’s and Abdu’l-Baha’s time, SE’s epoque etc are not what we needed 30 years ago and now. When electric lighting arrived in Europe, the candle manufacturers rioted because of the unfair competition electricity were producing. One day ironmongers stopped making horse-shoes and sold tyres…In WOB p 9-10 Shoghi Effendi writes:

    “…that the whole machinery of assemblies, of committees and conventions is to be regarded as a means, and not an end in itself; that they will rise or fall according to their capacity to further the interests, to co-ordinate the activities, to apply the principles, to embody the ideals and execute the purpose of the Baha’i Faith.”

    When my parents went pioneering to Tanganyika in 1952, Shoghi Effendi asked us to set up Teacher Training Institutes so that the indigenous populations would be able to carry on the teaching work once the pioneers had left.

    This is the whole purpose of the Institute Process now: enabling people at grass roots to carry on their own teaching work by themselves, in tune with their own culture, without the help of paternalising missionnaries.

    We have been having communities structured around LSA’s with 19 day’s feasts and little to offer the outside world. Now theses LSA’s will progressively become Local Houses of Justice and much of the teaching work will be organised throught the institute process, with new institutions, and open to all, enrolled or not within what is now called “the community of interest”.

    We dont have professionnal priests, but every one, Baha’i or not is welcome into becoming a human ressource in the process of “spiritualising” humanity; in some places, more non-Baha’is than Baha’is are tutoring the Ruhi books; here is how Shoghi Effendi expressed it:

    “Baha’u’llah has enjoined upon the Baha’is the sacred obligation of teaching. We have no priests, therefore the service once rendered by priests to their religions is the service every single Baha’i is expected to render individually to his religion. He must be the one who enlightens new souls, confirms them, heals the wounded and the weary upon the road of life, and gives them to quaff from the chalice of everlasting life – the knowledge of the Manifestation of God in His Day.”
    (From a letter dated 5 July 1957 written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the Bah??’?s of the Benelux)

  • Farhan Yazdani

    Christie wrote:
    “In other words, international pioneers should have been through the Ruhi course for starters. I wonder what some of the early Baha’i pioneers would have made of it?”

    Christie, times change and the community needs and structures evolve; what was required during the Bab’s lifetime, Baha’u’llah’s and Abdu’l-Baha’s time, SE’s epoque etc are not what we needed 30 years ago and now. When electric lighting arrived in Europe, the candle manufacturers rioted because of the unfair competition electricity were producing. One day ironmongers stopped making horse-shoes and sold tyres…In WOB p 9-10 Shoghi Effendi writes:

    “…that the whole machinery of assemblies, of committees and conventions is to be regarded as a means, and not an end in itself; that they will rise or fall according to their capacity to further the interests, to co-ordinate the activities, to apply the principles, to embody the ideals and execute the purpose of the Baha’i Faith.”

    When my parents went pioneering to Tanganyika in 1952, Shoghi Effendi asked us to set up Teacher Training Institutes so that the indigenous populations would be able to carry on the teaching work once the pioneers had left.

    This is the whole purpose of the Institute Process now: enabling people at grass roots to carry on their own teaching work by themselves, in tune with their own culture, without the help of paternalising missionnaries.

    We have been having communities structured around LSA’s with 19 day’s feasts and little to offer the outside world. Now theses LSA’s will progressively become Local Houses of Justice and much of the teaching work will be organised throught the institute process, with new institutions, and open to all, enrolled or not within what is now called “the community of interest”.

    We dont have professionnal priests, but every one, Baha’i or not is welcome into becoming a human ressource in the process of “spiritualising” humanity; in some places, more non-Baha’is than Baha’is are tutoring the Ruhi books; here is how Shoghi Effendi expressed it:

    “Baha’u’llah has enjoined upon the Baha’is the sacred obligation of teaching. We have no priests, therefore the service once rendered by priests to their religions is the service every single Baha’i is expected to render individually to his religion. He must be the one who enlightens new souls, confirms them, heals the wounded and the weary upon the road of life, and gives them to quaff from the chalice of everlasting life – the knowledge of the Manifestation of God in His Day.”
    (From a letter dated 5 July 1957 written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the Bah??’?s of the Benelux)

  • Christie,
    the pioneers that I know, either in person or through biographies and stories, are characterized by stalwart faith and a tenacious individualistic streak. How else would they venture into the unknown by themselves?

    Regarding the main thrust of the Ridvan message, it is no different than the myriad other messages. If one chooses to look for the disintegrative elements in society, one will find them. If one chooses to look for the constructive and inspirational elements, one will likewise find many examples. I think this is true for the past, present and the future.

    As Abdu’l-Baha says in a prayer: “I will not dwell on the unpleasant things of life.”

  • Christie,
    the pioneers that I know, either in person or through biographies and stories, are characterized by stalwart faith and a tenacious individualistic streak. How else would they venture into the unknown by themselves?

    Regarding the main thrust of the Ridvan message, it is no different than the myriad other messages. If one chooses to look for the disintegrative elements in society, one will find them. If one chooses to look for the constructive and inspirational elements, one will likewise find many examples. I think this is true for the past, present and the future.

    As Abdu’l-Baha says in a prayer: “I will not dwell on the unpleasant things of life.”

  • Carm-again

    Frank wrote: “Oh yeah? Then what are you doing — doing about it? IOW — actions speak louder than words.Studying Ruhi and having meetings while staying out of politics and doing almost no out reach almost no community service will not cut the mustard..”

    You can always focus on a glass that is half full or half empty. When you say almost no outreach no community service what do you mean? There is a Baha’i Office of Social and Economic Development. Despite the fact that Baha’is don’t have a clergy so we do not have the resources of full-time volunteers except on a limited basis (e.g. youth who are on a year of service) Baha’i communities all over the world have started more than 1,500 development projects especially throughout Asia, Latin America, and Africa during the last ten years.

    Baha’is operate more than 600 schools and seven radio stations broadcasting educational, health and agricultural programs as well as information about Baha’i community activities. They include tutorial schools, local clinics, classes in health care, agricultural projects, reforestation, alcoholism counselling, and children’s hostels. The community service programming of Bah??’? radio stations embraces not only such practical concerns but also the recognition of native culture. Isn’t all of this an indication of out reach and community service?

    You can choose to focus on whatever you want but some Baha’is are trying to assist in their local communities. It isn’t easy when you have a full time job, family, 19 Day feast, etc etc and other responsibilities like being an LSA or committee member but they are still trying. Maybe if we had a clergy we could do more but we are trying with the limited resources we have to implement constructive community service in different part of the world where it is most needed.

    Here is one of many examples: http://www.onecountry.org/e191/e19101as_Ghana_literacy_story.html

    Carmen

  • Carm-again

    Frank wrote: “Oh yeah? Then what are you doing — doing about it? IOW — actions speak louder than words.Studying Ruhi and having meetings while staying out of politics and doing almost no out reach almost no community service will not cut the mustard..”

    You can always focus on a glass that is half full or half empty. When you say almost no outreach no community service what do you mean? There is a Baha’i Office of Social and Economic Development. Despite the fact that Baha’is don’t have a clergy so we do not have the resources of full-time volunteers except on a limited basis (e.g. youth who are on a year of service) Baha’i communities all over the world have started more than 1,500 development projects especially throughout Asia, Latin America, and Africa during the last ten years.

    Baha’is operate more than 600 schools and seven radio stations broadcasting educational, health and agricultural programs as well as information about Baha’i community activities. They include tutorial schools, local clinics, classes in health care, agricultural projects, reforestation, alcoholism counselling, and children’s hostels. The community service programming of Bah??’? radio stations embraces not only such practical concerns but also the recognition of native culture. Isn’t all of this an indication of out reach and community service?

    You can choose to focus on whatever you want but some Baha’is are trying to assist in their local communities. It isn’t easy when you have a full time job, family, 19 Day feast, etc etc and other responsibilities like being an LSA or committee member but they are still trying. Maybe if we had a clergy we could do more but we are trying with the limited resources we have to implement constructive community service in different part of the world where it is most needed.

    Here is one of many examples: http://www.onecountry.org/e191/e19101as_Ghana_literacy_story.html

    Carmen

  • Carm-again

    Frank, I forgot to add some more examples of Baha’i community service activities: http://www.onecountry.org/listdev.html

    Carmen

  • Carm-again

    Frank, I forgot to add some more examples of Baha’i community service activities: http://www.onecountry.org/listdev.html

    Carmen

  • Carmen wrote:

    “When you say almost no outreach no community service what do you mean?”

    In my Baha’i experience I have seen almost none. When I read the Baha’i scripture or the letters from UHJ I see references to human agony as a sign of the coming of the new world order under Baha’i. So if agony is a good thing why help? With an attitude like that there will not be much community service from most Baha’is.

    The activities in Africa or other places in need are laudable but the glass is far from half full. Its mostly empty as far as I can see.

    I don’t hold myself up as a shining example either but I can choose the guidance I follow and the Baha’i attitude of ‘oh boy great — things are getting worse” is one of the most negative aspects of the faith.

    Ironically — and too bad for Baha’i — things aren’t getting worse. Our wars still kill but they kill fewer people. There is more freedom in the world (some of us think that’s a good thing) and less disease. While we are still at risk of self destruction at least more of us are aware of the problems associated with weapons of mass destruction and climate change.

    So I am hopeful. I’m also involved in the government of my town and help people who need it once in a while. But I know I should do much much more. I don’t think most Baha’is feel the same way. That’s because they are told that human agony is a sign of the coming kingdom of God.

    Thing is — the Kingdom of God is within you, did you but know (sorry Baha’ullah)

    Frank

  • Carmen wrote:

    “When you say almost no outreach no community service what do you mean?”

    In my Baha’i experience I have seen almost none. When I read the Baha’i scripture or the letters from UHJ I see references to human agony as a sign of the coming of the new world order under Baha’i. So if agony is a good thing why help? With an attitude like that there will not be much community service from most Baha’is.

    The activities in Africa or other places in need are laudable but the glass is far from half full. Its mostly empty as far as I can see.

    I don’t hold myself up as a shining example either but I can choose the guidance I follow and the Baha’i attitude of ‘oh boy great — things are getting worse” is one of the most negative aspects of the faith.

    Ironically — and too bad for Baha’i — things aren’t getting worse. Our wars still kill but they kill fewer people. There is more freedom in the world (some of us think that’s a good thing) and less disease. While we are still at risk of self destruction at least more of us are aware of the problems associated with weapons of mass destruction and climate change.

    So I am hopeful. I’m also involved in the government of my town and help people who need it once in a while. But I know I should do much much more. I don’t think most Baha’is feel the same way. That’s because they are told that human agony is a sign of the coming kingdom of God.

    Thing is — the Kingdom of God is within you, did you but know (sorry Baha’ullah)

    Frank

  • farhan

    Frank wrote:

    “Thing is — the Kingdom of God is within you, did you but know (sorry Baha’ullah)”

    Dear Frank,
    Of course it is, and of course we know, but that kingdom of God within us is the reflection of the one brought by Divine Manifestations, when and if we turn to God, and that kingdom of God within us should now come IN EARTH, as it is in the heaven of our ideals, and as the Lord promised.

  • Farhan Yazdani

    Frank wrote:

    “Thing is — the Kingdom of God is within you, did you but know (sorry Baha’ullah)”

    Dear Frank,
    Of course it is, and of course we know, but that kingdom of God within us is the reflection of the one brought by Divine Manifestations, when and if we turn to God, and that kingdom of God within us should now come IN EARTH, as it is in the heaven of our ideals, and as the Lord promised.

  • farhan

    Carm wrote:
    “I forgot to add some more examples of Baha’i community service activities: http://www.onecountry.org/listdev.html

    And Dear Carm, I would like to add that the greatest of Baha’i services is to propagate the idea that together with all other wonderful organisations, we are all contributing to the _same_ goal, unified and complementary in our efforts, and in no way competing or rivalising with others.

  • Farhan Yazdani

    Carm wrote:
    “I forgot to add some more examples of Baha’i community service activities: http://www.onecountry.org/listdev.html

    And Dear Carm, I would like to add that the greatest of Baha’i services is to propagate the idea that together with all other wonderful organisations, we are all contributing to the _same_ goal, unified and complementary in our efforts, and in no way competing or rivalising with others.

  • farhan

    Dear Frank,

    “So if agony is a good thing why help? With an attitude like that there will not be much community service from most Baha’is.”

    No Frank, agony is a terrible thing we have to overcome, just like a physician like myself has to overcome pain and would be sued if he did not.

    At the same time, to those who believe that medicine is a point less science, I can reply that one day they will have pain and this will help them understand the need for medicine.

  • Farhan Yazdani

    Dear Frank,

    “So if agony is a good thing why help? With an attitude like that there will not be much community service from most Baha’is.”

    No Frank, agony is a terrible thing we have to overcome, just like a physician like myself has to overcome pain and would be sued if he did not.

    At the same time, to those who believe that medicine is a point less science, I can reply that one day they will have pain and this will help them understand the need for medicine.

  • [quote comment=””]At the same time, to those who believe that medicine is a point less science, I can reply that one day they will have pain and this will help them understand the need for medicine.[/quote]

    Dear Farhan,

    Please don’t resort to your Old Testament prophet voice — it doesn’t suit a physician. And BTW you have just proven my point with your fatuous warning of coming pain. Of course there is pain in life but it is not a result of ignoring Baha’ullah, it is part of the human condition.

    I’m sorry but the analogy doesn’t work. The Baha’i teachings are not the medicine the world needs. They are not always practical, they are not always true and they lead to fundamentalism.

    Baha’ullah calls himself the ‘divine physician’ and you accept that. I do not.

    I often think of the Hidden Word that says: “Love me that I may love Thee, if thou lovest me not my love can in no wise reach thee.” This is good advice — love God — or love the creation or love life or love spirit — this sort of love is good medicine. And love one another. These are eternal lessons found in almost all religions and Baha’ullah did a masterful job retelling them in the Hidden Words.

    But then I think of the exhortations to live in fear of God to beseech God for eternal life, to live this life focused on the next rather than in the moment — this I find objectionable and far too left brained. I reject the idea that this world we live in is not real. While the point may be useful in philosophical discussions it doesn’t help most people struggling in real pain in this very real life.

    Then I think of the state of affairs in the world today and the Baha’i response — and I repeat — some Baha’is beleve and are encouraged to believe that the agony of people is a good sign because it means that the time when Baha’is will rule the world is near. I have heard this repeated many times in my Baha’i experience.

    You call this good medicine? I call this delusions of a sick kind of grandeur.

    So please save your warning of pain for someone who is afraid.

    BTW are you afraid of being sued — is that your motivation? I hope not because if so I’d choose another profession.

    Cheers,
    Frank

  • [quote comment=””]At the same time, to those who believe that medicine is a point less science, I can reply that one day they will have pain and this will help them understand the need for medicine.[/quote]

    Dear Farhan,

    Please don’t resort to your Old Testament prophet voice — it doesn’t suit a physician. And BTW you have just proven my point with your fatuous warning of coming pain. Of course there is pain in life but it is not a result of ignoring Baha’ullah, it is part of the human condition.

    I’m sorry but the analogy doesn’t work. The Baha’i teachings are not the medicine the world needs. They are not always practical, they are not always true and they lead to fundamentalism.

    Baha’ullah calls himself the ‘divine physician’ and you accept that. I do not.

    I often think of the Hidden Word that says: “Love me that I may love Thee, if thou lovest me not my love can in no wise reach thee.” This is good advice — love God — or love the creation or love life or love spirit — this sort of love is good medicine. And love one another. These are eternal lessons found in almost all religions and Baha’ullah did a masterful job retelling them in the Hidden Words.

    But then I think of the exhortations to live in fear of God to beseech God for eternal life, to live this life focused on the next rather than in the moment — this I find objectionable and far too left brained. I reject the idea that this world we live in is not real. While the point may be useful in philosophical discussions it doesn’t help most people struggling in real pain in this very real life.

    Then I think of the state of affairs in the world today and the Baha’i response — and I repeat — some Baha’is beleve and are encouraged to believe that the agony of people is a good sign because it means that the time when Baha’is will rule the world is near. I have heard this repeated many times in my Baha’i experience.

    You call this good medicine? I call this delusions of a sick kind of grandeur.

    So please save your warning of pain for someone who is afraid.

    BTW are you afraid of being sued — is that your motivation? I hope not because if so I’d choose another profession.

    Cheers,
    Frank

  • Farhan Wrote:

    [quote comment=””]Dear Frank,
    Of course it is, and of course we know, but that kingdom of God within us is the reflection of the one brought by Divine Manifestations, when and if we turn to God, and that kingdom of God within us should now come IN EARTH, as it is in the heaven of our ideals, and as the Lord promised.[/quote]

    Dear Farhan,

    I agree except I believe the Kingdom is here and now; within us here and now. Don’t look for it in the future or in the Holy Land or anywhere else. Look within yourself. In fact it was always within people. We can have heaven — or hell — on earth if we want it. That is the teaching of Buddha and Christ. I’m not so sure about Baha’ullah — I think he got confused toward the end of his life and focused on fear and the future.

    Peace (of mind),
    Frank

  • Farhan Wrote:

    [quote comment=””]Dear Frank,
    Of course it is, and of course we know, but that kingdom of God within us is the reflection of the one brought by Divine Manifestations, when and if we turn to God, and that kingdom of God within us should now come IN EARTH, as it is in the heaven of our ideals, and as the Lord promised.[/quote]

    Dear Farhan,

    I agree except I believe the Kingdom is here and now; within us here and now. Don’t look for it in the future or in the Holy Land or anywhere else. Look within yourself. In fact it was always within people. We can have heaven — or hell — on earth if we want it. That is the teaching of Buddha and Christ. I’m not so sure about Baha’ullah — I think he got confused toward the end of his life and focused on fear and the future.

    Peace (of mind),
    Frank

  • Christie

    [quote post=”492″]This is the whole purpose of the Institute Process now: enabling people at grass roots to carry on their own teaching work by themselves, in tune with their own culture, without the help of paternalising missionnaries.[/quote]
    Farhan, how can a systematic, simplistic teaching course with a “one-size-fits-all” mentality be considered an individualistic, culturally sensitive programme suitable for all? No, there are no paternalising missionaries, but the Ruhi course is similarly paternalistic, no matter who teaches it.
    My main problem with the letter I quoted above, though, is my fear that those not familiar with or not in sympathy with the Ruhi process will not be allowed/encouraged to pioneer or be involved in community projects. I think of a Doctor I know, now in his 80s, whose teaching work has been significant in the spread of the Faith, in England, Asia and in Australia. He prides independent investigation of truth above all else, and from his own readings of the Writings has taken certain courses of action accordingly eg. become a vegan. What if such a brave, knowledgeable soul had been excluded from pioneering just because he had not participated in the Ruhi process?

  • Christie

    [quote post=”492″]This is the whole purpose of the Institute Process now: enabling people at grass roots to carry on their own teaching work by themselves, in tune with their own culture, without the help of paternalising missionnaries.[/quote]
    Farhan, how can a systematic, simplistic teaching course with a “one-size-fits-all” mentality be considered an individualistic, culturally sensitive programme suitable for all? No, there are no paternalising missionaries, but the Ruhi course is similarly paternalistic, no matter who teaches it.
    My main problem with the letter I quoted above, though, is my fear that those not familiar with or not in sympathy with the Ruhi process will not be allowed/encouraged to pioneer or be involved in community projects. I think of a Doctor I know, now in his 80s, whose teaching work has been significant in the spread of the Faith, in England, Asia and in Australia. He prides independent investigation of truth above all else, and from his own readings of the Writings has taken certain courses of action accordingly eg. become a vegan. What if such a brave, knowledgeable soul had been excluded from pioneering just because he had not participated in the Ruhi process?

  • farhan

    Frank wrote :

    “I believe the Kingdom is here and now; within us here and now. Don’t look for it in the future or in the Holy Land or anywhere else. Look within yourself. In fact it was always within people. We can have heaven — or hell — on earth if we want it.”

    Dear Frank, our views are a little different here; I believe that the prototype of the Kingdom of God is within me, only because I have turned to Baha’u’llah and not to the leaders in the tradition of the country where I was born.

    This ideal can be put into practice if enough people, enrolled or not, are willing to enact it with me in order to transform the prevailing mess into a heaven.

    I see this kingdom appearing in me and becoming reality in two steps: 1) us turning to a specific source of inspiration,
    2) us collaborating with others in order to enact it.

    We make an orchestra by reading the same page of music, and accepting the rhythm of the same maestro. Otherwise we play solo in a one-man-show and we are happy with our personnal peace of mind, with speculation and imagination, without bringing our ideals into reality and helping the masses that ar in agony.

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    Frank wrote :

    “I believe the Kingdom is here and now; within us here and now. Don’t look for it in the future or in the Holy Land or anywhere else. Look within yourself. In fact it was always within people. We can have heaven — or hell — on earth if we want it.”

    Dear Frank, our views are a little different here; I believe that the prototype of the Kingdom of God is within me, only because I have turned to Baha’u’llah and not to the leaders in the tradition of the country where I was born.

    This ideal can be put into practice if enough people, enrolled or not, are willing to enact it with me in order to transform the prevailing mess into a heaven.

    I see this kingdom appearing in me and becoming reality in two steps: 1) us turning to a specific source of inspiration,
    2) us collaborating with others in order to enact it.

    We make an orchestra by reading the same page of music, and accepting the rhythm of the same maestro. Otherwise we play solo in a one-man-show and we are happy with our personnal peace of mind, with speculation and imagination, without bringing our ideals into reality and helping the masses that ar in agony.

  • Farhan wrote :

    “We make an orchestra by reading the same page of music, and accepting the rhythm of the same maestro. Otherwise we play solo in a one-man-show and we are happy with our personal peace of mind, with speculation and imagination, without bringing our ideals into reality and helping the masses that are in agony.”

    Of course we disagree! And you have used another false analogy! We are not in an orchestra! And I love to work with people, am not a one-man-show. I just don’t like the same leaders you do.

    What is in you is not a prototype — its the only kingdom of God there is — the human heart. If enough of us follow it and live lives of compassion we will have a new heaven and new earth. In fact our earth and heaven are constantly being renewed.

    And please don’t accuse every thoughtful person of ‘speculation and imagination’ I think you know better than that — its a cheap shot meant to control people and thought.

    Frank

  • Farhan wrote :

    “We make an orchestra by reading the same page of music, and accepting the rhythm of the same maestro. Otherwise we play solo in a one-man-show and we are happy with our personal peace of mind, with speculation and imagination, without bringing our ideals into reality and helping the masses that are in agony.”

    Of course we disagree! And you have used another false analogy! We are not in an orchestra! And I love to work with people, am not a one-man-show. I just don’t like the same leaders you do.

    What is in you is not a prototype — its the only kingdom of God there is — the human heart. If enough of us follow it and live lives of compassion we will have a new heaven and new earth. In fact our earth and heaven are constantly being renewed.

    And please don’t accuse every thoughtful person of ‘speculation and imagination’ I think you know better than that — its a cheap shot meant to control people and thought.

    Frank

  • Christie

    [quote post=”492″]the pioneers that I know, either in person or through biographies and stories, are characterized by stalwart faith and a tenacious individualistic streak.[/quote]
    Individualistic. My point exactly.[quote post=”492″]If one chooses to look for the constructive and inspirational elements, one will likewise find many examples.[/quote]

    I agree totally and I don’t want anyone to think that I only have negative feelings about the Faith. If anything, your blog has had the opposite effect on me, it has confirmed to me that whatever happens with the Admin Order I am still a Baha’i – my underlying faith is still strong. Now any time I get frustrated by the state of the Faith today I can look on the lighter side of it, knowing there are some fantastic fellow Baha’is out there who have thoughts very similar to my own. So thanks!

  • Christie

    [quote post=”492″]the pioneers that I know, either in person or through biographies and stories, are characterized by stalwart faith and a tenacious individualistic streak.[/quote]
    Individualistic. My point exactly.[quote post=”492″]If one chooses to look for the constructive and inspirational elements, one will likewise find many examples.[/quote]

    I agree totally and I don’t want anyone to think that I only have negative feelings about the Faith. If anything, your blog has had the opposite effect on me, it has confirmed to me that whatever happens with the Admin Order I am still a Baha’i – my underlying faith is still strong. Now any time I get frustrated by the state of the Faith today I can look on the lighter side of it, knowing there are some fantastic fellow Baha’is out there who have thoughts very similar to my own. So thanks!

  • farhan

    Christie wrote:

    ?how can a systematic, simplistic teaching course with a “one-size-fits-all” mentality be considered an individualistic, culturally sensitive programme suitable for all? ?

    Christie, this course is an INTRODUCTION to the essential aspects of Baha’i life, a springboard that will introduce us not only to Baha’i knowledge, but to SERVICE. We have very knowledgeable Baha’is who cannot transmit their knowledge to others, let alone set an example of Bah??’? life or provide people with the essential tools that will help them become better teachers.

    You write: ?No, there are no paternalising missionaries, but the Ruhi course is similarly paternalistic, no matter who teaches it.?

    You must have only met inexperienced tutors like some of those I have met; people like you should participate and set new examples; the whole purpose of the course is to enable common people become more efficient teacher trainers in a short time on a large scale. Fast food, side by side with sophisticated menus elsewhere, I jokingly say 😉

    ?Love and efficiency? were the two words used by the UHJ describing the process. This will open to the portals of participants to further study and service. After some appalling mistakes I saw at the onset, it is working better and better now.

    You write: ?My main problem with the letter I quoted above, though, is my fear that those not familiar with or not in sympathy with the Ruhi process will not be allowed/encouraged to pioneer or be involved in community projects.?

    Christie, This is a very real danger resulting from a poor understanding of the purpose of Ruhi and a lack of study of the abundant messages of the UHJ. Of course no one can discourage a Baha’I from settling down and being active somewhere, but I know some people who would try. The Ridvan 2008 message clearly warns against excess and fanaticism. This quote would reassure you:

    ?At the same time the House of Justice has explained that no special designation should be accorded to those who are studying in the institute or serving as tutors, nor should the friends feel any demarcation based on participation in the institute:
    It is quite reasonable to expect that, as far as training by the institute is concerned, certain courses would have as their prerequisite the completion of other courses. However, this notion should not be carried over into other Baha’i activities, and clearly no distinction should be made between “trained” and “untrained” believers in the country. That for certain types of service the qualifications of the believers would need to be taken into account is natural. Yet the way should be open for all the friends, irrespective of the degree of their knowledge and experience, to participate in the affairs of the Faith….
    (Letter dated 4 October 2000 written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the Spiritual Assembly of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. In Building Momentum p4)

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    Christie wrote:

    ?how can a systematic, simplistic teaching course with a “one-size-fits-all” mentality be considered an individualistic, culturally sensitive programme suitable for all? ?

    Christie, this course is an INTRODUCTION to the essential aspects of Baha’i life, a springboard that will introduce us not only to Baha’i knowledge, but to SERVICE. We have very knowledgeable Baha’is who cannot transmit their knowledge to others, let alone set an example of Bah??’? life or provide people with the essential tools that will help them become better teachers.

    You write: ?No, there are no paternalising missionaries, but the Ruhi course is similarly paternalistic, no matter who teaches it.?

    You must have only met inexperienced tutors like some of those I have met; people like you should participate and set new examples; the whole purpose of the course is to enable common people become more efficient teacher trainers in a short time on a large scale. Fast food, side by side with sophisticated menus elsewhere, I jokingly say 😉

    ?Love and efficiency? were the two words used by the UHJ describing the process. This will open to the portals of participants to further study and service. After some appalling mistakes I saw at the onset, it is working better and better now.

    You write: ?My main problem with the letter I quoted above, though, is my fear that those not familiar with or not in sympathy with the Ruhi process will not be allowed/encouraged to pioneer or be involved in community projects.?

    Christie, This is a very real danger resulting from a poor understanding of the purpose of Ruhi and a lack of study of the abundant messages of the UHJ. Of course no one can discourage a Baha’I from settling down and being active somewhere, but I know some people who would try. The Ridvan 2008 message clearly warns against excess and fanaticism. This quote would reassure you:

    ?At the same time the House of Justice has explained that no special designation should be accorded to those who are studying in the institute or serving as tutors, nor should the friends feel any demarcation based on participation in the institute:
    It is quite reasonable to expect that, as far as training by the institute is concerned, certain courses would have as their prerequisite the completion of other courses. However, this notion should not be carried over into other Baha’i activities, and clearly no distinction should be made between “trained” and “untrained” believers in the country. That for certain types of service the qualifications of the believers would need to be taken into account is natural. Yet the way should be open for all the friends, irrespective of the degree of their knowledge and experience, to participate in the affairs of the Faith….
    (Letter dated 4 October 2000 written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the Spiritual Assembly of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. In Building Momentum p4)

  • farhan

    Frank wrote:

    “And please don’t accuse every thoughtful person of ’speculation and imagination’ I think you know better than that — its a cheap shot meant to control people and thought.”

    Dear frank, i didn’t mean to offend any one, but just to point out that there is a huge problem when we attempt to enact our internal ideal in collaboration with others. This is particularly true between many Baha’is who are the greatest tests for each other. Devoted believers when by themselves, but painfull in team-work.

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    Frank wrote:

    “And please don’t accuse every thoughtful person of ’speculation and imagination’ I think you know better than that — its a cheap shot meant to control people and thought.”

    Dear frank, i didn’t mean to offend any one, but just to point out that there is a huge problem when we attempt to enact our internal ideal in collaboration with others. This is particularly true between many Baha’is who are the greatest tests for each other. Devoted believers when by themselves, but painfull in team-work.

  • Frank wrote:

    “And please don’t accuse every thoughtful person of ’speculation and imagination’ I think you know better than that — its a cheap shot meant to control people and thought.”

    Dear frank, i didn’t mean to offend any one, but just to point out that there is a huge problem when we attempt to enact our internal ideal in collaboration with others. This is particularly true between many Baha’is who are the greatest tests for each other. Devoted believers when by themselves, but painfull in team-work.

    Hi Farhan,

    I don’t understand your last sentence — was it cut off?

    You don’t offend but I do get tried of the old ‘vain imaginings’ spin that Baha’ullah used in an attempt to shut thinking down. Our minds are important tools that we must use. We need to engage them when we work together and when we journey inward.

    Thanks,
    Frank

  • Frank wrote:

    “And please don’t accuse every thoughtful person of ’speculation and imagination’ I think you know better than that — its a cheap shot meant to control people and thought.”

    Dear frank, i didn’t mean to offend any one, but just to point out that there is a huge problem when we attempt to enact our internal ideal in collaboration with others. This is particularly true between many Baha’is who are the greatest tests for each other. Devoted believers when by themselves, but painfull in team-work.

    Hi Farhan,

    I don’t understand your last sentence — was it cut off?

    You don’t offend but I do get tried of the old ‘vain imaginings’ spin that Baha’ullah used in an attempt to shut thinking down. Our minds are important tools that we must use. We need to engage them when we work together and when we journey inward.

    Thanks,
    Frank

  • farhan

    Frank wrote :
    « Of course there is pain in life but it is not a result of ignoring Baha’u’llah, it is part of the human condition. »

    Frank, sometimes pain, which is inherent to human condition, is avoidable, and sometimes it is not. In the case of religious strife, which is perhaps the major source of anguish today, the resulting pain is avoidable and as far as I am concerned, can be avoided through the prescriptions of Baha’u’llah. In the case of natural disasters, they could be eased through better collaboration and harmony. I would be delighted to hear your remedies; spiritual introspection is certainly one good start, but I believe that we ALSO need to convey that idea to others and collaborate with them, and that is where we fail.

    You write :
    « This is good advice — love God — or love the creation or love life or love spirit — this sort of love is good medicine. And love one another.

    We clearly agree here ; my point is that we have to carry on this personal injunction into our social lives.

    You write :
    « But then I think of the exhortations to live in fear of God to beseech God for eternal life, to live this life focused on the next rather than in the moment — this I find objectionable and far too left brained. »

    Again i agree, except that Baha’u’llah’s message is not ONLY that although ALSO that. We have writings addressing our left AND right brains and helping us to harmonise the two.

    You write :
    « I reject the idea that this world we live in is not real. »
    Again I agree : it is real but transitory, just like the life in the womb is real but transitory and insignificant compared to this one, although just as essential…

    You write :
    « some Baha’is believe and are encouraged to believe that the agony of people is a good sign because it means that the time when Baha’is will rule the world is near. I have heard this repeated many times in my Baha’i experience. »

    This is a morbid interpretation on their part that I also reject. One of the characteristics of Baha’u’llah’s commentary on Attar’s seven Valleys is that Baha’u’llah’s commentary is joyous, whereas Attar’s is morbid.

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    Frank wrote :
    « Of course there is pain in life but it is not a result of ignoring Baha’u’llah, it is part of the human condition. »

    Frank, sometimes pain, which is inherent to human condition, is avoidable, and sometimes it is not. In the case of religious strife, which is perhaps the major source of anguish today, the resulting pain is avoidable and as far as I am concerned, can be avoided through the prescriptions of Baha’u’llah. In the case of natural disasters, they could be eased through better collaboration and harmony. I would be delighted to hear your remedies; spiritual introspection is certainly one good start, but I believe that we ALSO need to convey that idea to others and collaborate with them, and that is where we fail.

    You write :
    « This is good advice — love God — or love the creation or love life or love spirit — this sort of love is good medicine. And love one another.

    We clearly agree here ; my point is that we have to carry on this personal injunction into our social lives.

    You write :
    « But then I think of the exhortations to live in fear of God to beseech God for eternal life, to live this life focused on the next rather than in the moment — this I find objectionable and far too left brained. »

    Again i agree, except that Baha’u’llah’s message is not ONLY that although ALSO that. We have writings addressing our left AND right brains and helping us to harmonise the two.

    You write :
    « I reject the idea that this world we live in is not real. »
    Again I agree : it is real but transitory, just like the life in the womb is real but transitory and insignificant compared to this one, although just as essential…

    You write :
    « some Baha’is believe and are encouraged to believe that the agony of people is a good sign because it means that the time when Baha’is will rule the world is near. I have heard this repeated many times in my Baha’i experience. »

    This is a morbid interpretation on their part that I also reject. One of the characteristics of Baha’u’llah’s commentary on Attar’s seven Valleys is that Baha’u’llah’s commentary is joyous, whereas Attar’s is morbid.

  • farhan

    Yes, frank, the last sentence meant to say They are devoted Baha’is working by themselves, but they are not good at team work.

    Vain imaginings are impractical ideas. Discrepencies between the left and right brains, if you like.

    “Fear of God”, like fear of the teacher is addressing bad students: tyrants, unmotivated, naughty students; the good students function through love of the teacher and/or of the subject.

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    Yes, frank, the last sentence meant to say They are devoted Baha’is working by themselves, but they are not good at team work.

    Vain imaginings are impractical ideas. Discrepencies between the left and right brains, if you like.

    “Fear of God”, like fear of the teacher is addressing bad students: tyrants, unmotivated, naughty students; the good students function through love of the teacher and/or of the subject.

  • burning

    There’s no problem with a bit of Ruhi. Let the Baha’i Teaching Committees/BAO get on with what ever they think is useful.

    Moderation in all things though. You’d expect more than just Ruhi. And there probably is, although my national newsletter doesn’t reflect that moderation but that’s because it’s the voice of the BAO (and far too happy-clappy – none of Baha’u’llahs writings were so unswervingly optimistic). And the newsletter is bland and boring but there you go. I can’t find a non-BAO Baha’i newsletter/magazine, anyone know of one?

    It’ll be interesting to see how the Ruhi pans out.

    I wish some small country or territory somewhere would hand over executive authority to the BAO. It would be informative to see how the practicalities of governing impact the BAO ideas.

    Sympathise with Craig tho. The religion is getting a bit same old , same old. I’m not as passionate as Craig tho.

    Does anyone pay Huq’u’llah? I don’t. Is it a requirement now in the west?

  • burning

    There’s no problem with a bit of Ruhi. Let the Baha’i Teaching Committees/BAO get on with what ever they think is useful.

    Moderation in all things though. You’d expect more than just Ruhi. And there probably is, although my national newsletter doesn’t reflect that moderation but that’s because it’s the voice of the BAO (and far too happy-clappy – none of Baha’u’llahs writings were so unswervingly optimistic). And the newsletter is bland and boring but there you go. I can’t find a non-BAO Baha’i newsletter/magazine, anyone know of one?

    It’ll be interesting to see how the Ruhi pans out.

    I wish some small country or territory somewhere would hand over executive authority to the BAO. It would be informative to see how the practicalities of governing impact the BAO ideas.

    Sympathise with Craig tho. The religion is getting a bit same old , same old. I’m not as passionate as Craig tho.

    Does anyone pay Huq’u’llah? I don’t. Is it a requirement now in the west?

  • [quote comment=”49959″]I agree totally and I don’t want anyone to think that I only have negative feelings about the Faith. If anything, your blog has had the opposite effect on me…[/quote]

    Glad to hear it 🙂 I was beginning to think everyone misunderstood my aims here. It is mollifying to hear that my true intentions are understood by some at least.

    [quote comment=”49974″]There’s no problem with a bit of Ruhi. Let the Baha’i Teaching Committees/BAO get on with what ever they think is useful.

    Moderation in all things though. You’d expect more than just Ruhi. And there probably is, although my national newsletter doesn’t reflect that moderation …I can’t find a non-BAO Baha’i newsletter/magazine, anyone know of one?

    It’ll be interesting to see how the Ruhi pans out.[/quote]

    burning,
    If Ruhi had been allowed to fend for itself and to compete for the honor of inspiring Baha’is within a “marketplace” of similar ideas, I wouldn’t have any problems with it at all. But when it is jammed down our gullets to produce the fois gras of “entry by troops”… well, I get a little ticked off. I think Ruhi is already panning out. I’ll write soon about that with some hard data to back it up. So much to write about, so little time!

    What we, in the civilized world, call a free press does not exist within the international or national Baha’i community right now. The closest thing is the blogosphere and even then for every blog like mine or Karen or Alison’s there are ten more that gush a fountain of saccharin propaganda, totally bereft of any substance or intellectual discourse. This void is one reason why the Baha’i Faith has turned insular and unfortunately, even corrupt at times. A free press is a vital component of any advanced community.

  • [quote comment=”49959″]I agree totally and I don’t want anyone to think that I only have negative feelings about the Faith. If anything, your blog has had the opposite effect on me…[/quote]

    Glad to hear it 🙂 I was beginning to think everyone misunderstood my aims here. It is mollifying to hear that my true intentions are understood by some at least.

    [quote comment=”49974″]There’s no problem with a bit of Ruhi. Let the Baha’i Teaching Committees/BAO get on with what ever they think is useful.

    Moderation in all things though. You’d expect more than just Ruhi. And there probably is, although my national newsletter doesn’t reflect that moderation …I can’t find a non-BAO Baha’i newsletter/magazine, anyone know of one?

    It’ll be interesting to see how the Ruhi pans out.[/quote]

    burning,
    If Ruhi had been allowed to fend for itself and to compete for the honor of inspiring Baha’is within a “marketplace” of similar ideas, I wouldn’t have any problems with it at all. But when it is jammed down our gullets to produce the fois gras of “entry by troops”… well, I get a little ticked off. I think Ruhi is already panning out. I’ll write soon about that with some hard data to back it up. So much to write about, so little time!

    What we, in the civilized world, call a free press does not exist within the international or national Baha’i community right now. The closest thing is the blogosphere and even then for every blog like mine or Karen or Alison’s there are ten more that gush a fountain of saccharin propaganda, totally bereft of any substance or intellectual discourse. This void is one reason why the Baha’i Faith has turned insular and unfortunately, even corrupt at times. A free press is a vital component of any advanced community.

  • Grover

    Farhan wrote:

    [quote post=”492″]much of the teaching work will be organised throught the institute process, with new institutions, and open to all, enrolled or not within what is now called ?the community of interest?. [/quote]

    The horror! Its bad enough now with a bunch of bright eyed enthusiasts running around clacking on about “The Healing Medicine of Baha’u’llah”, “The Pure Word”, and “Spiritual Insights”. There is only one way this will end, badly.

    World in agony? It’s a hell of a lot better now than what it was in the 1940s. Receptive population? Dunno about that, maybe towards Buddhism, charismatic christian groups, and other forms of spirituality. Entry by troops? Enrolments down by 66% or less compared to 1980s, no indications of enrolments going back up (Its all about process now). Teaching using Ruhi? Last I checked, it was unsuccessful in my howntown, 75% of non-Baha’is who started Ruhi never finished the first book, and most of those never wanted anything to do with the Baha’is again. Healing Message of Baha’i? >50% inactivity in my community. Apparently divorce rate amongst Baha’is in the western world is greater than general population.

    I would say the Faith has been spectacularly unsuccessful. A good product should be able to sell itself. Yet we’re being asked to rush around the neighbourhoods, friends, colleagues etc, and fill their ears with the “Pure Word”. I don’t know about you, but I respect my friends too much to inflict all this upon them.

  • Grover

    Farhan wrote:

    [quote post=”492″]much of the teaching work will be organised throught the institute process, with new institutions, and open to all, enrolled or not within what is now called ?the community of interest?. [/quote]

    The horror! Its bad enough now with a bunch of bright eyed enthusiasts running around clacking on about “The Healing Medicine of Baha’u’llah”, “The Pure Word”, and “Spiritual Insights”. There is only one way this will end, badly.

    World in agony? It’s a hell of a lot better now than what it was in the 1940s. Receptive population? Dunno about that, maybe towards Buddhism, charismatic christian groups, and other forms of spirituality. Entry by troops? Enrolments down by 66% or less compared to 1980s, no indications of enrolments going back up (Its all about process now). Teaching using Ruhi? Last I checked, it was unsuccessful in my howntown, 75% of non-Baha’is who started Ruhi never finished the first book, and most of those never wanted anything to do with the Baha’is again. Healing Message of Baha’i? >50% inactivity in my community. Apparently divorce rate amongst Baha’is in the western world is greater than general population.

    I would say the Faith has been spectacularly unsuccessful. A good product should be able to sell itself. Yet we’re being asked to rush around the neighbourhoods, friends, colleagues etc, and fill their ears with the “Pure Word”. I don’t know about you, but I respect my friends too much to inflict all this upon them.

  • Grover:

    You wrote:

    “I would say the Faith has been spectacularly unsuccessful. A good product should be able to sell itself. Yet we’re being asked to rush around the neighbourhoods, friends, colleagues etc, and fill their ears with the ?Pure Word?. I don’t know about you, but I respect my friends too much to inflict all this upon them.”

    I agree 100%. But I do tell people about Baha’i when it comes up (as in — what is your religious background? — a question asked at my UU church) Except that I give the full story. Spiritual insights along with harassment of homosexuals and free thinkers.

    Baha’i was once believable as a modern form of traditional religion; its has become so fundamentalist, fear mongering and insular (maybe it always was) that it has become a curiosity — not much more.

    The Bahai’s in our town as invited to speak at church every once in a while. They are highly regarded based on their enthusiastic presentations. But our brilliant young pastor said to me a while ago that while she enjoys meeting with the Baha’is she is put off by them ultimately because in every conversation they try to convert her! Yet they are not involved in many efforts to improve our community. What they have forgotten is that deeds not words should be their adorning. Its an easy trap to fall into and that’s where many Baha’is have been led.

    Frank

  • Grover:

    You wrote:

    “I would say the Faith has been spectacularly unsuccessful. A good product should be able to sell itself. Yet we’re being asked to rush around the neighbourhoods, friends, colleagues etc, and fill their ears with the ?Pure Word?. I don’t know about you, but I respect my friends too much to inflict all this upon them.”

    I agree 100%. But I do tell people about Baha’i when it comes up (as in — what is your religious background? — a question asked at my UU church) Except that I give the full story. Spiritual insights along with harassment of homosexuals and free thinkers.

    Baha’i was once believable as a modern form of traditional religion; its has become so fundamentalist, fear mongering and insular (maybe it always was) that it has become a curiosity — not much more.

    The Bahai’s in our town as invited to speak at church every once in a while. They are highly regarded based on their enthusiastic presentations. But our brilliant young pastor said to me a while ago that while she enjoys meeting with the Baha’is she is put off by them ultimately because in every conversation they try to convert her! Yet they are not involved in many efforts to improve our community. What they have forgotten is that deeds not words should be their adorning. Its an easy trap to fall into and that’s where many Baha’is have been led.

    Frank

  • Thanks Grover and Frank.

    I’m trying to find a way to be constructive here. Maybe this is nuts, but perhaps if the Baha’i Faith could recast itself as a peace movement inspired my a Muslim mystic, it might be able to gain some traction, and might even do the world some good. The world could use a few more Muslims for peace. The political good will and spiritual vitality could be preserved and even invigorated. No more conversions; no more creed. All the Covenant and Manifestation crap has got to be left behind. Baha’is don’t need to worship Baha’u’llah to be inspired by him. He doesn’t need to be seen as perfect or some kind of mirror or incarnation of God for his movement to do some good. To the contrary: all that idolatrous nonsense will only suffocate the Baha’i Faith, and leave it sinking into the mire and decaying as an archaeological curiosity. I’m not suggesting they abandon their prayers, pilgrimages, administrative pretensions, or architectural excesses entirely; only that they adopt some modesty about their religion, and see it as just one more group of people trying to do some good.

    Dan

  • Thanks Grover and Frank.

    I’m trying to find a way to be constructive here. Maybe this is nuts, but perhaps if the Baha’i Faith could recast itself as a peace movement inspired my a Muslim mystic, it might be able to gain some traction, and might even do the world some good. The world could use a few more Muslims for peace. The political good will and spiritual vitality could be preserved and even invigorated. No more conversions; no more creed. All the Covenant and Manifestation crap has got to be left behind. Baha’is don’t need to worship Baha’u’llah to be inspired by him. He doesn’t need to be seen as perfect or some kind of mirror or incarnation of God for his movement to do some good. To the contrary: all that idolatrous nonsense will only suffocate the Baha’i Faith, and leave it sinking into the mire and decaying as an archaeological curiosity. I’m not suggesting they abandon their prayers, pilgrimages, administrative pretensions, or architectural excesses entirely; only that they adopt some modesty about their religion, and see it as just one more group of people trying to do some good.

    Dan

  • P

    Good luck with that Dan. I was discussing Bahaullah’s status with a Persian Bahai who had just come from Iran (I am Persian too btw). I was telling him how in my eyes Bahaullah was equal in status to all other messengers, and he got very angry with me. He said NO, Bahaullah was the culmination of all of them- he is greater than them. Then I got pissed, and I said NO, that would be the antithesis of everything I’ve been taught, and I would not accept the Faith otherwise. Then he just got even madder- there was a fundamentalist anger in his eyes that really worried me. These nuts run the Bahai community and they want all to think like them. That’s why I haven’t been active (that and being gay). I think I’ll do like Frank and just join my local UU.

  • P

    Good luck with that Dan. I was discussing Bahaullah’s status with a Persian Bahai who had just come from Iran (I am Persian too btw). I was telling him how in my eyes Bahaullah was equal in status to all other messengers, and he got very angry with me. He said NO, Bahaullah was the culmination of all of them- he is greater than them. Then I got pissed, and I said NO, that would be the antithesis of everything I’ve been taught, and I would not accept the Faith otherwise. Then he just got even madder- there was a fundamentalist anger in his eyes that really worried me. These nuts run the Bahai community and they want all to think like them. That’s why I haven’t been active (that and being gay). I think I’ll do like Frank and just join my local UU.

  • Hi P,

    That’s a nice change. A Persian Baha’i complaining about Persian Baha’is. You sure know how to make us oppressed Anglo-Baha’is smile. 😉

    I presume that your Persian Baha’i friend isn’t quite so emphatic around Iranian Muslims. I wouldn’t want the word to get out in Iran that Muhammad was a mere forerunner to Baha’u’llah.

    Humata Hukhta Hvarshta
    Dan

  • Hi P,

    That’s a nice change. A Persian Baha’i complaining about Persian Baha’is. You sure know how to make us oppressed Anglo-Baha’is smile. 😉

    I presume that your Persian Baha’i friend isn’t quite so emphatic around Iranian Muslims. I wouldn’t want the word to get out in Iran that Muhammad was a mere forerunner to Baha’u’llah.

    Humata Hukhta Hvarshta
    Dan

  • Hi P,

    “I think I’ll do like Frank and just join my local UU.”

    Do you live in Massachusetts? We have a great church in Westford — love to have you join!!

    Best Wishes,
    Frank

  • Hi P,

    “I think I’ll do like Frank and just join my local UU.”

    Do you live in Massachusetts? We have a great church in Westford — love to have you join!!

    Best Wishes,
    Frank

  • Carm-again

    P wrote: ” These nuts run the Bahai community and they want all to think like them.”

    Sometimes I just have to smile when I read these posts. Okay, so based on your conversation with this Iranian Baha’i you can therefore conclude that ALL of them are like this and that they run the community? What if someone inferred based on a conversation with Fred Glaysher that ALL US Baha’is are like him? The Iranian Baha’is I’ve met have a range of beliefs which includes Baha’u’llah being just like all the other Manifestations and that there will, as He makes very clear, be many fuiuture Manifestations. There are also many who are highly educated and cultured and quite open minded.

    The ability to generalize about an entire community based on discussion with one or two people is truly amazing and its not just limited to religious belief systems. I have a lot of respect for Dawkins as a scientist. However, he is very well known to express his views of religion and God rather vehemently (to put it mildly)and he concedes that he can be rather provacative. Do we draw the conclusion that ALL atheists are as militant as he is?

    But this ia rant site. So we must rant!

    Carmen

  • Carm-again

    P wrote: ” These nuts run the Bahai community and they want all to think like them.”

    Sometimes I just have to smile when I read these posts. Okay, so based on your conversation with this Iranian Baha’i you can therefore conclude that ALL of them are like this and that they run the community? What if someone inferred based on a conversation with Fred Glaysher that ALL US Baha’is are like him? The Iranian Baha’is I’ve met have a range of beliefs which includes Baha’u’llah being just like all the other Manifestations and that there will, as He makes very clear, be many fuiuture Manifestations. There are also many who are highly educated and cultured and quite open minded.

    The ability to generalize about an entire community based on discussion with one or two people is truly amazing and its not just limited to religious belief systems. I have a lot of respect for Dawkins as a scientist. However, he is very well known to express his views of religion and God rather vehemently (to put it mildly)and he concedes that he can be rather provacative. Do we draw the conclusion that ALL atheists are as militant as he is?

    But this ia rant site. So we must rant!

    Carmen

  • We’ve got a better UU church here in San Jose!

    That’s UUs for you. Always scrapping over converts.

    (Sorry Frank. Temptation got the better of me.)

    BTW I must do my pilgrimage to Concord one of these years.

  • We’ve got a better UU church here in San Jose!

    That’s UUs for you. Always scrapping over converts.

    (Sorry Frank. Temptation got the better of me.)

    BTW I must do my pilgrimage to Concord one of these years.

  • Carm-again

    Last week I met a Sunni Moslem and when I was discussing Muhammad with him he got angry when I said the Bab and Baha’u’llah fulfilled the prophecies in the Koran. There was a disturbing fundamentalist look in his eyes. All of these Moslems are fundamentalists and terrorists and they all run and beleieve in totalitarian religious communities. I better avoid them in the future. Yes, all of the almost 2 billion of them! Right now, those living in the US, Canada and Europe are all just pretending to be peaceful and law abiding citizens. Beneath their civilized veneer are all plotting to destroy us. Beware! Even Tariq Ramadan is sharpening his sword in his office at Oxford University. That’s why he had to be banned from entering the US.

    Just kidding. I couldn’t resist it 🙂

    Carmen

  • Carm-again

    Last week I met a Sunni Moslem and when I was discussing Muhammad with him he got angry when I said the Bab and Baha’u’llah fulfilled the prophecies in the Koran. There was a disturbing fundamentalist look in his eyes. All of these Moslems are fundamentalists and terrorists and they all run and beleieve in totalitarian religious communities. I better avoid them in the future. Yes, all of the almost 2 billion of them! Right now, those living in the US, Canada and Europe are all just pretending to be peaceful and law abiding citizens. Beneath their civilized veneer are all plotting to destroy us. Beware! Even Tariq Ramadan is sharpening his sword in his office at Oxford University. That’s why he had to be banned from entering the US.

    Just kidding. I couldn’t resist it 🙂

    Carmen

  • [quote comment=””]We’ve got a better UU church here in San Jose!

    That’s UUs for you. Always scrapping over converts.

    (Sorry Frank. Temptation got the better of me.)

    BTW I must do my pilgrimage to Concord one of these years.[/quote]

    Your UU might be better — ours also has an affiliation with the United Church of Christ so we have communion and some times some of us think of Christ as the incarnation of God. (The Pastor never does)

    As to Concord I highly recommend it. A visit to Emerson’s house (left as it was when he died) and the Concord Museum is goose-bump making for me. Walden Pond is very well kept and they found the original cabin remains a few years ago.

    Just down the road is the Museum of our National Heritage with the surroundings and the road restored to have a colonial feel. Also near by is the North Bridge and Old Manse. If you come it will give me an excuse to visit it all again.

    Frank

  • [quote comment=””]We’ve got a better UU church here in San Jose!

    That’s UUs for you. Always scrapping over converts.

    (Sorry Frank. Temptation got the better of me.)

    BTW I must do my pilgrimage to Concord one of these years.[/quote]

    Your UU might be better — ours also has an affiliation with the United Church of Christ so we have communion and some times some of us think of Christ as the incarnation of God. (The Pastor never does)

    As to Concord I highly recommend it. A visit to Emerson’s house (left as it was when he died) and the Concord Museum is goose-bump making for me. Walden Pond is very well kept and they found the original cabin remains a few years ago.

    Just down the road is the Museum of our National Heritage with the surroundings and the road restored to have a colonial feel. Also near by is the North Bridge and Old Manse. If you come it will give me an excuse to visit it all again.

    Frank

  • farhan

    Carm wrote:

    “Just kidding. I couldn’t resist it :)”

    Carm, over the last 6 months, reading the posts here, I have come to the understanding that I am often reading emotional and not rational issues. It is a discovery to me; most of the ex-Baha’is I had met up to now were friendly to the Faith, and just a little embarrassed at not being active; here we are reading the pain and suffering of people who are not indifferent to the Faith. I somehow feel that this struggle with the concepts of the Faith might be more meritorious than indifference and sometimes I realise to what point we might be held as responsible before God when our behaviour as a Baha’i becomes detrimental for those who are around us.

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    Carm wrote:

    “Just kidding. I couldn’t resist it :)”

    Carm, over the last 6 months, reading the posts here, I have come to the understanding that I am often reading emotional and not rational issues. It is a discovery to me; most of the ex-Baha’is I had met up to now were friendly to the Faith, and just a little embarrassed at not being active; here we are reading the pain and suffering of people who are not indifferent to the Faith. I somehow feel that this struggle with the concepts of the Faith might be more meritorious than indifference and sometimes I realise to what point we might be held as responsible before God when our behaviour as a Baha’i becomes detrimental for those who are around us.

  • farhan

    Frank wrote:

    “Studying Ruhi and having meetings while staying out of politics and doing almost no out reach almost no community service will not cut the mustard, no matter how holy you look with googly eyes set deep in your spiritual sockets.”

    Frank at the moment I am doing Ruhi book 4 about 8 hours a month, some reserch work and I am very busy with work meetings trying to save a hospital in a rural area. we have a few devotionnal meetings a month.

    I might be no better than others, but I can say for sure that had it not been for the BF, I would be a scoundrel doing some nasty things in the country I was born in; Yes, I do owe a lot to the Baha’i faith.

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    Frank wrote:

    “Studying Ruhi and having meetings while staying out of politics and doing almost no out reach almost no community service will not cut the mustard, no matter how holy you look with googly eyes set deep in your spiritual sockets.”

    Frank at the moment I am doing Ruhi book 4 about 8 hours a month, some reserch work and I am very busy with work meetings trying to save a hospital in a rural area. we have a few devotionnal meetings a month.

    I might be no better than others, but I can say for sure that had it not been for the BF, I would be a scoundrel doing some nasty things in the country I was born in; Yes, I do owe a lot to the Baha’i faith.

  • [quote]most of the ex-Baha’is I had met up to now were friendly to the Faith, and just a little embarrassed at not being active[/quote]

    Yes, it must be embarrassing to be an inactive ex-Baha’i. What an absurd state to be in!

    [quote]here we are reading the pain and suffering of people who are not indifferent to the Faith.[/quote]

    That’s not pain, Farhan. This is pain:

    http://edition.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2007/news/myanmar.crisis/

  • [quote]most of the ex-Baha’is I had met up to now were friendly to the Faith, and just a little embarrassed at not being active[/quote]

    Yes, it must be embarrassing to be an inactive ex-Baha’i. What an absurd state to be in!

    [quote]here we are reading the pain and suffering of people who are not indifferent to the Faith.[/quote]

    That’s not pain, Farhan. This is pain:

    http://edition.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2007/news/myanmar.crisis/

  • Grover

    Dan wrote:

    [quote post=”492″]I’m trying to find a way to be constructive here. Maybe this is nuts, but perhaps if the Baha’i Faith could recast itself as a peace movement inspired my a Muslim mystic, it might be able to gain some traction, and might even do the world some good. The world could use a few more Muslims for peace. The political good will and spiritual vitality could be preserved and even invigorated. No more conversions; no more creed. All the Covenant and Manifestation crap has got to be left behind. Baha’is don’t need to worship Baha’u’llah to be inspired by him. He doesn’t need to be seen as perfect or some kind of mirror or incarnation of God for his movement to do some good. To the contrary: all that idolatrous nonsense will only suffocate the Baha’i Faith, and leave it sinking into the mire and decaying as an archaeological curiosity. I’m not suggesting they abandon their prayers, pilgrimages, administrative pretensions, or architectural excesses entirely; only that they adopt some modesty about their religion, and see it as just one more group of people trying to do some good.[/quote]

    Indeed. The only trouble is the Faith is stuck in a quagmire of principles, rules and laws, and writings that contradict themselves on a myriad of themes, and a whole stack of thoroughly indoctrinated and not overly bright people that would be highly resistant to change. It would take a genius with the combined IQ of Einstein, Stephen Hawking and all the other great scientists etc to resolve it all.

    There is really only one solution, reformation. Put all the endless books and scriptures in a dusty corner somewhere and leave them there for the brave and hardy souls that might like to take a look. Abandon the administrative order, the “arm of the learned”, all the rules and regulations about the fund, all the crap elevating the AO to sainthood, and as Dan says, all the fluff about the Covenant.

    Reinvision the Faith as a social network for like minded people concerned about social development and peace, without the rigid insistence on people following rules or adhering to a set of principles. Focus on the key social principles that made the Faith attractive in the first place, and keep administration as low key, low budget and inobtrusive as possible. Keep everything as fluid, pragmatic and practical as possible. Allow diversity of action and thought. Encourage free and critical thinking, rely on outside sources of knowledge such as other religions, universities, etc to inform or develop key ideas and principles, allow different approaches to education and administration depending on culture, etc. Let people be involved in politics, protest groups, etc. Somehow arrange it so the Faith can generate its own revenue from assets and small businesses so in the long run it becomes financially independent and not dependent on the fund, and allow donations from outside groups. Keep everything as transparent and honest as possible, everyone should have ready access to statistics and fund data, and the accounts should be audited every year by accountants outside the Faith.

    Bascially, the Faith should be unshackled and allowed to evolve, and the direction should be influenced by the people, social circumstances, and current ideas within academia.

    It probably sounds horrible to those who think its all about dedication and obedience to a manifestation of God, but society has been tracking towards self determination for a long time now.

  • Grover

    Dan wrote:

    [quote post=”492″]I’m trying to find a way to be constructive here. Maybe this is nuts, but perhaps if the Baha’i Faith could recast itself as a peace movement inspired my a Muslim mystic, it might be able to gain some traction, and might even do the world some good. The world could use a few more Muslims for peace. The political good will and spiritual vitality could be preserved and even invigorated. No more conversions; no more creed. All the Covenant and Manifestation crap has got to be left behind. Baha’is don’t need to worship Baha’u’llah to be inspired by him. He doesn’t need to be seen as perfect or some kind of mirror or incarnation of God for his movement to do some good. To the contrary: all that idolatrous nonsense will only suffocate the Baha’i Faith, and leave it sinking into the mire and decaying as an archaeological curiosity. I’m not suggesting they abandon their prayers, pilgrimages, administrative pretensions, or architectural excesses entirely; only that they adopt some modesty about their religion, and see it as just one more group of people trying to do some good.[/quote]

    Indeed. The only trouble is the Faith is stuck in a quagmire of principles, rules and laws, and writings that contradict themselves on a myriad of themes, and a whole stack of thoroughly indoctrinated and not overly bright people that would be highly resistant to change. It would take a genius with the combined IQ of Einstein, Stephen Hawking and all the other great scientists etc to resolve it all.

    There is really only one solution, reformation. Put all the endless books and scriptures in a dusty corner somewhere and leave them there for the brave and hardy souls that might like to take a look. Abandon the administrative order, the “arm of the learned”, all the rules and regulations about the fund, all the crap elevating the AO to sainthood, and as Dan says, all the fluff about the Covenant.

    Reinvision the Faith as a social network for like minded people concerned about social development and peace, without the rigid insistence on people following rules or adhering to a set of principles. Focus on the key social principles that made the Faith attractive in the first place, and keep administration as low key, low budget and inobtrusive as possible. Keep everything as fluid, pragmatic and practical as possible. Allow diversity of action and thought. Encourage free and critical thinking, rely on outside sources of knowledge such as other religions, universities, etc to inform or develop key ideas and principles, allow different approaches to education and administration depending on culture, etc. Let people be involved in politics, protest groups, etc. Somehow arrange it so the Faith can generate its own revenue from assets and small businesses so in the long run it becomes financially independent and not dependent on the fund, and allow donations from outside groups. Keep everything as transparent and honest as possible, everyone should have ready access to statistics and fund data, and the accounts should be audited every year by accountants outside the Faith.

    Bascially, the Faith should be unshackled and allowed to evolve, and the direction should be influenced by the people, social circumstances, and current ideas within academia.

    It probably sounds horrible to those who think its all about dedication and obedience to a manifestation of God, but society has been tracking towards self determination for a long time now.

  • Anonymouz

    [quote] Bascially, the Faith should be unshackled and allowed to evolve, and the direction should be influenced by the people, social circumstances, and current ideas within academia.

    It probably sounds horrible to those who think its all about dedication and obedience to a manifestation of God, but society has been tracking towards self determination for a long time now.[/quote]

    I would agree with you if we were in the 1200s. There is something peculiar about this faith though, to truly partake of its beauty and wisdom, one must shed all things worldly, i.e., human political ideology and notions of ethics that have been fundamentally miss-interpreted for the last few hundred years.

    Let me give you an example. There is the idea that freedom is the best and most productive thing conducive to human development and attainment. However this is not the case.

    “We find some men desiring liberty, and priding themselves therein. Such men are in the depths of ignorance. Liberty must, in the end, lead to sedition, whose flames none can quench…. That which beseemeth man is submission unto such restraints as will protect him from his own ignorance, and guard him against the harm of the mischief-maker. Liberty causeth man to overstep the bounds of propriety, and to infringe on the dignity of his station. It debaseth him to the level of extreme depravity and wickedness.” -Bah??’u’ll??h

    The most accomplished and bountiful things man has accomplished was because of teamwork; and on the individual level, with the arts, literature and learning, it has been with the practice of virtue that truly beneficial strides have been made.

    It still is amazing to me how people who SAY they believe in Bah??’u’ll??h still insist on voicing and advocating their own and often contradictory opinions, despite the inherent and obvious positions of Bah??’u’ll??h. I am not accusing anyone so please take my statements with a grain of salt. I respect everyones opinions and indeed they are entitled to them. All of this seems very simple to me, despite my liberal education, my growing up in a skeptical and questioning atmosphere, I always take comfort that faith in Bah??’u’ll??h and His words is the only real answer. The rest is just interesting.

  • Anonymouz

    [quote] Bascially, the Faith should be unshackled and allowed to evolve, and the direction should be influenced by the people, social circumstances, and current ideas within academia.

    It probably sounds horrible to those who think its all about dedication and obedience to a manifestation of God, but society has been tracking towards self determination for a long time now.[/quote]

    I would agree with you if we were in the 1200s. There is something peculiar about this faith though, to truly partake of its beauty and wisdom, one must shed all things worldly, i.e., human political ideology and notions of ethics that have been fundamentally miss-interpreted for the last few hundred years.

    Let me give you an example. There is the idea that freedom is the best and most productive thing conducive to human development and attainment. However this is not the case.

    “We find some men desiring liberty, and priding themselves therein. Such men are in the depths of ignorance. Liberty must, in the end, lead to sedition, whose flames none can quench…. That which beseemeth man is submission unto such restraints as will protect him from his own ignorance, and guard him against the harm of the mischief-maker. Liberty causeth man to overstep the bounds of propriety, and to infringe on the dignity of his station. It debaseth him to the level of extreme depravity and wickedness.” -Bah??’u’ll??h

    The most accomplished and bountiful things man has accomplished was because of teamwork; and on the individual level, with the arts, literature and learning, it has been with the practice of virtue that truly beneficial strides have been made.

    It still is amazing to me how people who SAY they believe in Bah??’u’ll??h still insist on voicing and advocating their own and often contradictory opinions, despite the inherent and obvious positions of Bah??’u’ll??h. I am not accusing anyone so please take my statements with a grain of salt. I respect everyones opinions and indeed they are entitled to them. All of this seems very simple to me, despite my liberal education, my growing up in a skeptical and questioning atmosphere, I always take comfort that faith in Bah??’u’ll??h and His words is the only real answer. The rest is just interesting.

  • farhan

    Dan wrote:

    ?That’s not pain, Farhan. This is pain:
    http://edition.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2007/news/myanmar.crisis/%5B/quote%5D?
    Thank you Dan for drawing our attention this double disaster: natural accrued by fanaticism…
    However, I can assure you that some people in existentialist despair would prefer physical pain and even death to psychological pain. We used to say that car accidents claimed as many lives as suicide in France. The death toll through accidents has been reduced almost by half through strict traffic regulations, but the suicide rate remains unchanged by whatever regulations. The remedy would be _spiritual_ and not administrative

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    Dan wrote:

    ?That’s not pain, Farhan. This is pain:
    http://edition.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2007/news/myanmar.crisis/%5B/quote%5D?
    Thank you Dan for drawing our attention this double disaster: natural accrued by fanaticism…
    However, I can assure you that some people in existentialist despair would prefer physical pain and even death to psychological pain. We used to say that car accidents claimed as many lives as suicide in France. The death toll through accidents has been reduced almost by half through strict traffic regulations, but the suicide rate remains unchanged by whatever regulations. The remedy would be _spiritual_ and not administrative

  • farhan

    Grover wrote:
    “There is really only one solution, reformation. Put all the endless books and scriptures in a dusty corner somewhere and leave them there for the brave and hardy souls that might like to take a look. Abandon the administrative order, the “arm of the learned”, all the rules and regulations about the fund, all the crap elevating the AO to sainthood, and as Dan says, all the fluff about the Covenant.”

    Grover, here I find an interestingly diametrically different approach to religion between you and I. I come to religion to see how I can advance and progress, how religion can help me improve, you are giving advise as how religion would best meet your specifications, how you can make religion improve.

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    Grover wrote:
    “There is really only one solution, reformation. Put all the endless books and scriptures in a dusty corner somewhere and leave them there for the brave and hardy souls that might like to take a look. Abandon the administrative order, the “arm of the learned”, all the rules and regulations about the fund, all the crap elevating the AO to sainthood, and as Dan says, all the fluff about the Covenant.”

    Grover, here I find an interestingly diametrically different approach to religion between you and I. I come to religion to see how I can advance and progress, how religion can help me improve, you are giving advise as how religion would best meet your specifications, how you can make religion improve.

  • farhan

    Anonymouz wrote :
    « It still is amazing to me how people who SAY they believe in Bah??’u’ll??h still insist on voicing and advocating their own and often contradictory opinions, despite the inherent and obvious positions of Bah??’u’ll??h. »

    Anonymouz, most people here are _not_ saying they believe in Baha’u’llah or are only accepting a part of His revelation. This is quite normal; Baha’is believe that God has set his banquet table and all are welcome to partake; some pick and choose, others wish to become kitchen staff. Those who want to serve in the kitchen like myself need to meet special specifications and then enrol as Baha’is.
    Throughout my years of research, since my medical thesis approaching medical science and the Baha’i teachings in 1976 every time I thought I have noticed a contradiction in the Baha’i teachings, I have come upon unsuspected new horizons; I see a total coherence in God’s revelation. Every time I thought that there was a mistake, I finally discovered that the mistake was my own. I know that this profession of Faith will make me a ?silly fundie? in the eyes of some people, but it is my sincere contribution.

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    Anonymouz wrote :
    « It still is amazing to me how people who SAY they believe in Bah??’u’ll??h still insist on voicing and advocating their own and often contradictory opinions, despite the inherent and obvious positions of Bah??’u’ll??h. »

    Anonymouz, most people here are _not_ saying they believe in Baha’u’llah or are only accepting a part of His revelation. This is quite normal; Baha’is believe that God has set his banquet table and all are welcome to partake; some pick and choose, others wish to become kitchen staff. Those who want to serve in the kitchen like myself need to meet special specifications and then enrol as Baha’is.
    Throughout my years of research, since my medical thesis approaching medical science and the Baha’i teachings in 1976 every time I thought I have noticed a contradiction in the Baha’i teachings, I have come upon unsuspected new horizons; I see a total coherence in God’s revelation. Every time I thought that there was a mistake, I finally discovered that the mistake was my own. I know that this profession of Faith will make me a ?silly fundie? in the eyes of some people, but it is my sincere contribution.

  • burning

    Farhan, can you give us a few specific examples of what you talk about (repeated below)?
    “Throughout my years of research, since my medical thesis approaching medical science and the Baha’i teachings in 1976 every time I thought I have noticed a contradiction in the Baha’i teachings, I have come upon unsuspected new horizons; I see a total coherence in God’s revelation.”

  • burning

    Farhan, can you give us a few specific examples of what you talk about (repeated below)?
    “Throughout my years of research, since my medical thesis approaching medical science and the Baha’i teachings in 1976 every time I thought I have noticed a contradiction in the Baha’i teachings, I have come upon unsuspected new horizons; I see a total coherence in God’s revelation.”

  • Grover

    Farhan wrote:

    [quote post=”492″]Grover, here I find an interestingly diametrically different approach to religion between you and I. I come to religion to see how I can advance and progress, how religion can help me improve, you are giving advise as how religion would best meet your specifications, how you can make religion improve.[/quote]

    I used to think otherwise 🙁 When I first came across the Faith, it was like a breath of fresh air because it was new and interesting. But a lot of issues that have been cited here and in other blogs are ones that I’ve seen firsthand, having been on LSAs and an assistant. Ruhi showed me how fundamental and dogmatic the Faith had become (or perhaps always was). Going on pilgrimage showed me how much the Faith was just an act, a show with fancy words.

    I realised that as much as we’d like it to, religion will never provide all the answers. At best it is a guide, and that we have to take responsiblity for our own morality and spirituality and find our own path as best we can with the faculties we were given.

  • Grover

    Farhan wrote:

    [quote post=”492″]Grover, here I find an interestingly diametrically different approach to religion between you and I. I come to religion to see how I can advance and progress, how religion can help me improve, you are giving advise as how religion would best meet your specifications, how you can make religion improve.[/quote]

    I used to think otherwise 🙁 When I first came across the Faith, it was like a breath of fresh air because it was new and interesting. But a lot of issues that have been cited here and in other blogs are ones that I’ve seen firsthand, having been on LSAs and an assistant. Ruhi showed me how fundamental and dogmatic the Faith had become (or perhaps always was). Going on pilgrimage showed me how much the Faith was just an act, a show with fancy words.

    I realised that as much as we’d like it to, religion will never provide all the answers. At best it is a guide, and that we have to take responsiblity for our own morality and spirituality and find our own path as best we can with the faculties we were given.

  • [quote comment=””]I can assure you that some people in existentialist despair would prefer physical pain and even death to psychological pain.[/quote]

    Farhan. “Physical pain”? I can think of no pain more existential than watching ones family and community devoured by merciless, almighty sea. In contrast, the pain you speak of is of virtual people on the Internet of whom you know nothing. The poor miserable sods you claim to have sympathy for might just be having a good time of this exchange.

    It seems to me, and I’ve been wrong before, that all this talk of the “existential” fear of the spiritually deprived is an imaginary Hell that you conjure up for your own self-satisfaction. This is just like the UHJ anticipating their Abhageddon.

    [quote comment=””]this double disaster: natural accrued by fanaticism[/quote]

    Fanaticism, perhaps. Totalitarianism certainly seems to be involved. Let’s not forget “God”. In a world awash in woe at the hands of a merciless God, you somehow choose to draw attention to “fanaticism”. Do you think fanatics invented typhoons? It’s all their fault. You would do so much better, because you’ve got God on your side.

    (I speak to your persona on this forum, of course. For all I know, the “real you” could be a crafty atheist making sport of making Baha’is look fanatical)

    Thanks Farhan, and thank you B-Rants, for the opportunity to discuss these matters in an open forum.
    Dan

  • [quote comment=””]I can assure you that some people in existentialist despair would prefer physical pain and even death to psychological pain.[/quote]

    Farhan. “Physical pain”? I can think of no pain more existential than watching ones family and community devoured by merciless, almighty sea. In contrast, the pain you speak of is of virtual people on the Internet of whom you know nothing. The poor miserable sods you claim to have sympathy for might just be having a good time of this exchange.

    It seems to me, and I’ve been wrong before, that all this talk of the “existential” fear of the spiritually deprived is an imaginary Hell that you conjure up for your own self-satisfaction. This is just like the UHJ anticipating their Abhageddon.

    [quote comment=””]this double disaster: natural accrued by fanaticism[/quote]

    Fanaticism, perhaps. Totalitarianism certainly seems to be involved. Let’s not forget “God”. In a world awash in woe at the hands of a merciless God, you somehow choose to draw attention to “fanaticism”. Do you think fanatics invented typhoons? It’s all their fault. You would do so much better, because you’ve got God on your side.

    (I speak to your persona on this forum, of course. For all I know, the “real you” could be a crafty atheist making sport of making Baha’is look fanatical)

    Thanks Farhan, and thank you B-Rants, for the opportunity to discuss these matters in an open forum.
    Dan

  • farhan

    Grover wrote:

    “I realised that as much as we’d like it to, religion will never provide all the answers. At best it is a guide, and that we have to take responsiblity for our own morality and spirituality and find our own path as best we can with the faculties we were given.”

    Grover, I agree entirely; religion is only a guideline, albeit a vital one, an orientation for interiorising physical and factual reality, a global appreciation of reality by the right brain, whereas where science has no explanation to provide. We know that all learning is vehiculed by an emotive factor; A child learns facts through love ?by heart? ; When you draw perspectives, you define infinity, and then the whole drawing makes sense, even though the “infinity” point you define has no physical existence. Religion provides the purpose, the “why we are doing it”, whereas science teaches us how we are to do it.

    What you define as “our own morality” is a moral system unconsciously absorbed through your social experience, by “osmosis” and once interiorised, it becomes your standard, which will evolve and advance with your experience beyond whatever you were provided with initially. The faculties you were give at birth are potentialities that can grow and develop; like a hard disc that has potential to accept programmes in which we can integrate data.

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    Grover wrote:

    “I realised that as much as we’d like it to, religion will never provide all the answers. At best it is a guide, and that we have to take responsiblity for our own morality and spirituality and find our own path as best we can with the faculties we were given.”

    Grover, I agree entirely; religion is only a guideline, albeit a vital one, an orientation for interiorising physical and factual reality, a global appreciation of reality by the right brain, whereas where science has no explanation to provide. We know that all learning is vehiculed by an emotive factor; A child learns facts through love ?by heart? ; When you draw perspectives, you define infinity, and then the whole drawing makes sense, even though the “infinity” point you define has no physical existence. Religion provides the purpose, the “why we are doing it”, whereas science teaches us how we are to do it.

    What you define as “our own morality” is a moral system unconsciously absorbed through your social experience, by “osmosis” and once interiorised, it becomes your standard, which will evolve and advance with your experience beyond whatever you were provided with initially. The faculties you were give at birth are potentialities that can grow and develop; like a hard disc that has potential to accept programmes in which we can integrate data.

  • farhan

    Burning wrote:

    “Farhan, can you give us a few specific examples of what you talk about (repeated below)?”

    Burning, if you Google my name, you will find several papers on this subject, unfortunately in French. Throughout my medical studies I noticed medical data interpreted towards applications different from the practical aspects of the Baha’i way of life.

    When examined in the light of the fact that human existence in this world is dependant on a social structure, and this structure dependant on moral laws, and moral laws dependant on the concept of “the sacred”, we realise that the Baha’i principles are promoting a society that does not yet exist and that these laws being progressively adopted by humanity require a new human mind in a new social structure the kind of which we have never yet imagined. This whole interaction between revelation, human mind and psychology, human behaviour and the social structure now appear totally coherent to me.

    The bio-psych-social definition of health by the WHO is perfectly coherent with the Baha’i revelation. Divine revelation, comparable to the “grain” used in Christian revelation, intervenes from a supra-natural source and organises human society in exactly the same way as a grain transforms compost into a flower. The laws of entropy apply equally to the galaxies and to human societies.

    One small practical example; I was puzzled to read Abdu’l-Baha say in London that a person could be a Baha’i AND belong to a church, whereas Shoghi effendi said the contrary; Or again the Baha’is in the Holy land being required to perform the Muslim fast during Abdu’l-Baha’s time, or His going to the mosque on Fridays, or Muhammad suggesting to reduce excision of women without prohibiting it entirely, or Jesus quoting Isaiah to claim He had come to liberate the captives, without prohibiting slavery straight away, or Baha’u’llah complying with the social laws of his time by having several wives, or Shoghi Effendi saying in one place that abortion was totally prohibited and elsewhere saying that it was up to the UHJ to decide…

    All these apparent contradictions boil down to the necessity of _time_ before we can transform human society, the necessity to allow for humanity to adapt and evolve, just as the teacher gives time to the students to learn new concepts. Viewed in this perspective, the contradictions disappear.

    As the author of the Ecclesiast said, there is a time for throwing stones, and a time for gathering stones.

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    Burning wrote:

    “Farhan, can you give us a few specific examples of what you talk about (repeated below)?”

    Burning, if you Google my name, you will find several papers on this subject, unfortunately in French. Throughout my medical studies I noticed medical data interpreted towards applications different from the practical aspects of the Baha’i way of life.

    When examined in the light of the fact that human existence in this world is dependant on a social structure, and this structure dependant on moral laws, and moral laws dependant on the concept of “the sacred”, we realise that the Baha’i principles are promoting a society that does not yet exist and that these laws being progressively adopted by humanity require a new human mind in a new social structure the kind of which we have never yet imagined. This whole interaction between revelation, human mind and psychology, human behaviour and the social structure now appear totally coherent to me.

    The bio-psych-social definition of health by the WHO is perfectly coherent with the Baha’i revelation. Divine revelation, comparable to the “grain” used in Christian revelation, intervenes from a supra-natural source and organises human society in exactly the same way as a grain transforms compost into a flower. The laws of entropy apply equally to the galaxies and to human societies.

    One small practical example; I was puzzled to read Abdu’l-Baha say in London that a person could be a Baha’i AND belong to a church, whereas Shoghi effendi said the contrary; Or again the Baha’is in the Holy land being required to perform the Muslim fast during Abdu’l-Baha’s time, or His going to the mosque on Fridays, or Muhammad suggesting to reduce excision of women without prohibiting it entirely, or Jesus quoting Isaiah to claim He had come to liberate the captives, without prohibiting slavery straight away, or Baha’u’llah complying with the social laws of his time by having several wives, or Shoghi Effendi saying in one place that abortion was totally prohibited and elsewhere saying that it was up to the UHJ to decide…

    All these apparent contradictions boil down to the necessity of _time_ before we can transform human society, the necessity to allow for humanity to adapt and evolve, just as the teacher gives time to the students to learn new concepts. Viewed in this perspective, the contradictions disappear.

    As the author of the Ecclesiast said, there is a time for throwing stones, and a time for gathering stones.

  • farhan

    Dan wrote:
    “In a world awash in woe at the hands of a merciless God, you somehow choose to draw attention to “fanaticism”. Do you think fanatics invented typhoons? It’s all their fault. You would do so much better, because you’ve got God on your side.”

    Dan, i am referring to political fanaticism that is withholding international relief.

    The natural disaster is perhaps unavoidable, if we set aside the unproved but highly probable part played by global warming. The withholding of international assistance is nauseatingly criminal.

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    Dan wrote:
    “In a world awash in woe at the hands of a merciless God, you somehow choose to draw attention to “fanaticism”. Do you think fanatics invented typhoons? It’s all their fault. You would do so much better, because you’ve got God on your side.”

    Dan, i am referring to political fanaticism that is withholding international relief.

    The natural disaster is perhaps unavoidable, if we set aside the unproved but highly probable part played by global warming. The withholding of international assistance is nauseatingly criminal.

  • P

    “Sometimes I just have to smile when I read these posts. Okay, so based on your conversation with this Iranian Baha’i you can therefore conclude that ALL of them are like this and that they run the community?”

    Well it also helps to have a old Iranian Bahai mother who espouses the same thoughts. Or are my credentials as generations Bahai not good enough for ya Carmen? Ok waiting for you to find some other way to descredit me instead of maybe acknowledging there is some truth to what I say. But I don’t expect such from you, why would I? I saw the world through a fundemantalist mindset not long ago (although not as bad as my family). But thankfully God opened my eyes. Maybe God will do the same for you some day. Ishallah Carmen.

  • P

    “Sometimes I just have to smile when I read these posts. Okay, so based on your conversation with this Iranian Baha’i you can therefore conclude that ALL of them are like this and that they run the community?”

    Well it also helps to have a old Iranian Bahai mother who espouses the same thoughts. Or are my credentials as generations Bahai not good enough for ya Carmen? Ok waiting for you to find some other way to descredit me instead of maybe acknowledging there is some truth to what I say. But I don’t expect such from you, why would I? I saw the world through a fundemantalist mindset not long ago (although not as bad as my family). But thankfully God opened my eyes. Maybe God will do the same for you some day. Ishallah Carmen.

  • [quote comment=”50103″]Thanks Farhan, and thank you B-Rants, for the opportunity to discuss these matters in an open forum.
    Dan[/quote]

    You’re welcome. And thank you all for being such wonderful guests and visitors 🙂

  • [quote comment=”50103″]Thanks Farhan, and thank you B-Rants, for the opportunity to discuss these matters in an open forum.
    Dan[/quote]

    You’re welcome. And thank you all for being such wonderful guests and visitors 🙂

  • Bird

    Wish I had the pixie dust for solving the mysteries…However through the deep imbedded teaching by a departed soul, I can not appear to shake off, wash off or loose the ?essence? of the BR however good luck to those going door to door using words, labels, ect… and cheerio to the UHJ’s authoring department on the latest ?message?.

    I was blessed with a true friend, teacher, historian with visible love that permeated his every thought on the ?essence? of the Bah?’? Revelation and his vast accumulation of understanding religion and theology for the first 10 years of my enrollment. How he lit up discussing the possible effect on humanity of it’s potency and potential for good when the ?essence? of the BR is actually 1ived. Thanks CL

    He taught me the way to win hearts was to live the ?essence?, the ?spirit? of the message not pass out books and pamphlets. ?Don’t tell people you are a Bah?’?, show them you have received some improved guidelines of achieving peace both internally and on earth in your ever day life.? ?Memorize prayers and attach to the souls of your loved ones and not their physical garment for your prayers and the souls of your loved ones is forever? ?Start under the roof of your house, then into the community, then the world?, ?Be patient? ?You will be asked what drives you… no need to herald it unsolicited? ?It will be seen?. ?Each one should just teach one? ?Take your whole life time to unravel it.? ?The laws are there to protect not judge, remember this always, never worry of judgment, focus on prevention for your protection?. ?There will come a day when you will not believe anything you will read of the Bah?’? Revelation, but whatever you do, do not loose only add to the ?essence? because I promise you Bird, there is divinity in it’s ?essence? not always it it’s words.? ?Never let the fire go out? He was right… and still is. The ?essence? lives on in me.

    The ?I will not dwell on the unpleasant things of life..? set off all the triggers Baquia. One of my dear departed friend’s favorite quotes of the ?essence? he referred to in living the life. Your pages here serve a great purpose to people of all backgrounds, opinions and resources. I am able to feel the ?essence? of the life of the bloggers that participate, what passion and light animates from mirrors removed or removing of dross. TY

    I have thought for sometime now I will serve humanity with an ?essence? of goodwill and not a label, leaving my real understanding of a higher power open to suggestion…

    I am however not opposed to share I am an RIGS, a Rotarian in good standings, and there is a really incredible initiative going on called shelter in a box for those interested in helping Burma:

    ?MSN described the situation as a “race against time” as poor families on the delta, who were already in poor health, are seeing their drinking water contaminated by salt water and/or rotting carcasses. The government is making it hard for aid workers to even get into the country, but Shelter Box HAS gotten in and is providing aid as quickly as shipments can be made.
    http://www.shelterbox.org/
    http://www.rotary.org

  • Bird

    Wish I had the pixie dust for solving the mysteries…However through the deep imbedded teaching by a departed soul, I can not appear to shake off, wash off or loose the ?essence? of the BR however good luck to those going door to door using words, labels, ect… and cheerio to the UHJ’s authoring department on the latest ?message?.

    I was blessed with a true friend, teacher, historian with visible love that permeated his every thought on the ?essence? of the Bah?’? Revelation and his vast accumulation of understanding religion and theology for the first 10 years of my enrollment. How he lit up discussing the possible effect on humanity of it’s potency and potential for good when the ?essence? of the BR is actually 1ived. Thanks CL

    He taught me the way to win hearts was to live the ?essence?, the ?spirit? of the message not pass out books and pamphlets. ?Don’t tell people you are a Bah?’?, show them you have received some improved guidelines of achieving peace both internally and on earth in your ever day life.? ?Memorize prayers and attach to the souls of your loved ones and not their physical garment for your prayers and the souls of your loved ones is forever? ?Start under the roof of your house, then into the community, then the world?, ?Be patient? ?You will be asked what drives you… no need to herald it unsolicited? ?It will be seen?. ?Each one should just teach one? ?Take your whole life time to unravel it.? ?The laws are there to protect not judge, remember this always, never worry of judgment, focus on prevention for your protection?. ?There will come a day when you will not believe anything you will read of the Bah?’? Revelation, but whatever you do, do not loose only add to the ?essence? because I promise you Bird, there is divinity in it’s ?essence? not always it it’s words.? ?Never let the fire go out? He was right… and still is. The ?essence? lives on in me.

    The ?I will not dwell on the unpleasant things of life..? set off all the triggers Baquia. One of my dear departed friend’s favorite quotes of the ?essence? he referred to in living the life. Your pages here serve a great purpose to people of all backgrounds, opinions and resources. I am able to feel the ?essence? of the life of the bloggers that participate, what passion and light animates from mirrors removed or removing of dross. TY

    I have thought for sometime now I will serve humanity with an ?essence? of goodwill and not a label, leaving my real understanding of a higher power open to suggestion…

    I am however not opposed to share I am an RIGS, a Rotarian in good standings, and there is a really incredible initiative going on called shelter in a box for those interested in helping Burma:

    ?MSN described the situation as a “race against time” as poor families on the delta, who were already in poor health, are seeing their drinking water contaminated by salt water and/or rotting carcasses. The government is making it hard for aid workers to even get into the country, but Shelter Box HAS gotten in and is providing aid as quickly as shipments can be made.
    http://www.shelterbox.org/
    http://www.rotary.org

  • [quote comment=”50107″]The withholding of international assistance is nauseatingly criminal.[/quote]

    The military regime that runs Burma initially signaled it would accept outside relief, but has imposed so many conditions on those who would actually deliver it that barely a trickle has made it through. Aid workers have been held at airports. U.N. food shipments have been seized. U.S. naval ships packed with food and medicine idle in the Gulf of Thailand, waiting for an all-clear that may never come.

    From Time Magazine

  • [quote comment=”50107″]The withholding of international assistance is nauseatingly criminal.[/quote]

    The military regime that runs Burma initially signaled it would accept outside relief, but has imposed so many conditions on those who would actually deliver it that barely a trickle has made it through. Aid workers have been held at airports. U.N. food shipments have been seized. U.S. naval ships packed with food and medicine idle in the Gulf of Thailand, waiting for an all-clear that may never come.

    From Time Magazine

  • Craig Parke

    I just watched the documentary “No End In Sight” tonight about the monumental mistakes made by the Bush Administration in the decision to go to war and the catastrophic decisions and blunders of the occupation. These were the mistakes of crack addicted ideologues. maybe it is the drinking water these days. Maybe it is the Cosmic alignments of the various planes of the Universe that Baha’u’llah does mention.

    The parallels of the arrogant U.S. NeoCon theorists with no personal military experience in actually being on the ground in a war in their sheltered lives making life and death decisions and the professional cadre theorist class of the ITC Faith are quite striking. Both elitist. Both rule by those who bestow upon themselves the badge of “true insight” above everyone else. Both never challenged by anyone. Both making harebrained and dunderheaded major decisions in secrecy in a tiny completely insular group without consulting anyone else solely on the basis that “they” know what is best and absolutely no one else does. Period.

    The parallels are amazing. I recommend this documentary as both a lesson on what is currently happening in Iraq and how we got here on the planet and a parable about the current leadership of the Baha’i Faith.

    Neither the Neocons nor the ITC Politburo Cadre are people who have been out for dinner and a movie for 40 years to try to get a different perspective on life.

    It is the exact same brain chemistry. The toxic brain chemistry of ideologues. There is absolutely nothing spiritual in either mentality. there is absolutely nothing open to any further thought and reason.

    Tomorrow I am going to re-read “The Age of Reason” by Thomas Paine just to loosen up a bit. I hope no one here will report me for “thought crimes” because I have “misinterpreted” seditious ideas about “liberty”.

    Everyone have a pleasant weekend.

    Craig

  • Craig Parke

    I just watched the documentary “No End In Sight” tonight about the monumental mistakes made by the Bush Administration in the decision to go to war and the catastrophic decisions and blunders of the occupation. These were the mistakes of crack addicted ideologues. maybe it is the drinking water these days. Maybe it is the Cosmic alignments of the various planes of the Universe that Baha’u’llah does mention.

    The parallels of the arrogant U.S. NeoCon theorists with no personal military experience in actually being on the ground in a war in their sheltered lives making life and death decisions and the professional cadre theorist class of the ITC Faith are quite striking. Both elitist. Both rule by those who bestow upon themselves the badge of “true insight” above everyone else. Both never challenged by anyone. Both making harebrained and dunderheaded major decisions in secrecy in a tiny completely insular group without consulting anyone else solely on the basis that “they” know what is best and absolutely no one else does. Period.

    The parallels are amazing. I recommend this documentary as both a lesson on what is currently happening in Iraq and how we got here on the planet and a parable about the current leadership of the Baha’i Faith.

    Neither the Neocons nor the ITC Politburo Cadre are people who have been out for dinner and a movie for 40 years to try to get a different perspective on life.

    It is the exact same brain chemistry. The toxic brain chemistry of ideologues. There is absolutely nothing spiritual in either mentality. there is absolutely nothing open to any further thought and reason.

    Tomorrow I am going to re-read “The Age of Reason” by Thomas Paine just to loosen up a bit. I hope no one here will report me for “thought crimes” because I have “misinterpreted” seditious ideas about “liberty”.

    Everyone have a pleasant weekend.

    Craig

  • farhan

    Thanks, Bird, for this welcome posting

    much love

    Farhan

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    Thanks, Bird, for this welcome posting

    much love

    Farhan

  • farhan

    Craig wrote:

    “Both making harebrained and dunderheaded major decisions in secrecy in a tiny completely insular group without consulting anyone else solely on the basis that “they” know what is best and absolutely no one else does.”

    Thanks Craig, for this interesting post.

    I am living similar situations in a small rural hospital, serving some 30 000 beautiful souls at 60 to 90 minutes by road to the next hospital. The birth rate and operating theatre activities being low, they want to close it down for financial reasons, transferring us to a bigger hospital where these agricultural workers could not readily go.

    We only deliver some 250 babies a year; they have set the standard at a minimum 300, and preferably 1000, some obstetrical wards now boasting 5000 deliveries a year. There is no scientific proof that outcome is better, but economically, it is worthwhile.

    Only 5% of the national health budget goes to 400 small hospitals that serve the population, but are not to the scientific standards of university hospitals.

    In order to squelch the opposition of the population by discrediting the services offered by this hospital, they have published manipulated statistics in the papers, but several small hospitals have mandated counter experts and the cheating has become apparent and a major controversy is at hand in which the deciders want safeguard their authority by applying their decision, without at all consulting the physicians who know the fragile medical situation for decades.

    If the hospital closes down, the GP will not venture settling down here and the medical density here is already half below elsewhere in France.

    Dismantling the small structures will inevitably lead to a medical desert with increased population moves from the rural areas to problematic suburbs, further destroying the agricultural society which is the very basis of all economy.

    Brittany is a Celtic culture; their motto is rather die than be sullied. Devout Catholics and historically sailors open to the outside world, the situation is heating up. If you Google ?Hopital Carhaix? you will see some photos and articles on the subject.

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    Craig wrote:

    “Both making harebrained and dunderheaded major decisions in secrecy in a tiny completely insular group without consulting anyone else solely on the basis that “they” know what is best and absolutely no one else does.”

    Thanks Craig, for this interesting post.

    I am living similar situations in a small rural hospital, serving some 30 000 beautiful souls at 60 to 90 minutes by road to the next hospital. The birth rate and operating theatre activities being low, they want to close it down for financial reasons, transferring us to a bigger hospital where these agricultural workers could not readily go.

    We only deliver some 250 babies a year; they have set the standard at a minimum 300, and preferably 1000, some obstetrical wards now boasting 5000 deliveries a year. There is no scientific proof that outcome is better, but economically, it is worthwhile.

    Only 5% of the national health budget goes to 400 small hospitals that serve the population, but are not to the scientific standards of university hospitals.

    In order to squelch the opposition of the population by discrediting the services offered by this hospital, they have published manipulated statistics in the papers, but several small hospitals have mandated counter experts and the cheating has become apparent and a major controversy is at hand in which the deciders want safeguard their authority by applying their decision, without at all consulting the physicians who know the fragile medical situation for decades.

    If the hospital closes down, the GP will not venture settling down here and the medical density here is already half below elsewhere in France.

    Dismantling the small structures will inevitably lead to a medical desert with increased population moves from the rural areas to problematic suburbs, further destroying the agricultural society which is the very basis of all economy.

    Brittany is a Celtic culture; their motto is rather die than be sullied. Devout Catholics and historically sailors open to the outside world, the situation is heating up. If you Google ?Hopital Carhaix? you will see some photos and articles on the subject.

  • Taco

    Let’s say I’m an ex-bahai although I don’t even want to be labelled as such. I’m just a 26 years old boy who had the chance to know the baha’i faith when little.

    What made me tired of the label “baha’i” was purely a matter of personal development and maturing. When I reached my twenties, and got out of my parent’s house, I discovered the world wasn’t such the pretty place they have described. It wasn’t also that simple as I thought. It was extremely complex, people were, their opinions, and there also were several “world-views” available other than the one I took for granted: the world is doomed and the Faith is the only light. I just thought it was too pretentious to think I was the only one right. It fed my ego a lot and it made me feel good, yes. But as I was a “black and white” person much committed to the religion, for few years, some people made me notice how useless my efforts were.

    So I started to notice the “martyr” complex of the community – believing we were misunderstood people who owned the truth, and everybody will know some day – meanwhile, the world will suffer. WHY would I think that? Wasn’t that pretentious? And who tells me the guy who said that was right?
    Then began my spiritual crisis. I wanted to mature, and I thought my own personal development and my life was more important than any religion. Religion was just an abstract concept while I was real. That suffering in the name of something that you can’t be sure exists, wasn’t worth doing.

    I realize those thoughts were some of those “who knows?” stuff. I just can’t give a certain answer to the existence of God, religion and if such a thing as a Manifestation of God exists. It is not in my reach. I can only simplify my life and look after myself. Eventually, in the meditative state induced by earning food and survival, I’d get enlightened on the nature of life. I’ll have my own intuitions on life, that I can never think they’re absolutely right. They’re just my modest discover, maybe I’ll share it with people, not expecting they’ll agree. This is a right way to live. I would not be wise to make a movement out of it, a package of instructions on how one should live. Because that is MY solution, and even though I can explain it to somebody, they have to get it with their own effort – it’s not buyable! If they do, however they apply it it won’t be genuine. There are several right ways to live. And as the beauty of the world stays in differences, there is no reason to unify all of world’s religions. That would be a pity.

    But, you know, to all these things I may say: why not? To every truth it seems the opposite can be equally true.
    So what shall I do, go mad because there’s no solution? No. I shall listen to myself. I will shut my inner dialogue for a while, as brooding will just feed me with anxiety, and anxiety will not make me happy, nor enlightened. I must accept things as they are, my limitations, my inability to have a perfect answer to the big problems.

    I am not AGAINST the Faith. My mind, with its cultural set-up and other intrusions, tends to think Ruhi is ridiculous for ME and I shouldn’t be doing it, it’s not up to my intelligence. That I better use my potential on something else. My mind also tells me the tone in the letters of the UHJ is strangely militaristic and business-like – so not human, so not religious at all – and that those who label themselves as “baha’is” tend to look like megalomaniacs to many intelligent people, and as they get used to it, they’re not really aware.

    But still, it’s just my mind. If my intuition will tell me it’s right to be in the faith, excellent. My mum is an active baha’i and I will not encourage her to leave tha faith, although I wish she could be a little more open to other ideas, interested to life. She’s lost that interest, I think the Faith didn’t encourage her to challenge herself in new ways, so that I could talk of a cooler, more lively mother who allows herself to say what she thinks – she never does that. She obviously has many good qualities and maybe for some of them I can thank the religion. So again, I won’t say religion is absolutely wrong. But shutting down people’s opinions? Come on? What kind of world would that be? Organizations always tried to do that because then it would be easier to control. Well, damn, I don’t wanna be controlled! Not if it’s my choice to be free!

    As consequence, the Baha’i movement is losing a LOT of telented individuals, and I don’t feel any good spirit in reunions anymore.

    I must observe, and live life my way, granting happiness for me and who’s close to me – that’s all I have to do. All the rest is just opinions, and they don’t trouble me.

    This approach to life probably takes more inspiration from Buddhism than anything else, but if this approach is not accepted into the Faith that reunions all, then, I don’t know why it should keep pretending to be THE faith creating actually more division than unity. Unfortunately, I saw much snobbery even towards buddhism in the baha’i community, convinced as they are that the New Revelation is much more significant than the others, and so Buddhism is not enough nowadays. This is another bout of arrogance that doesn’t make the faith look better to my eyes.

  • Taco

    Let’s say I’m an ex-bahai although I don’t even want to be labelled as such. I’m just a 26 years old boy who had the chance to know the baha’i faith when little.

    What made me tired of the label “baha’i” was purely a matter of personal development and maturing. When I reached my twenties, and got out of my parent’s house, I discovered the world wasn’t such the pretty place they have described. It wasn’t also that simple as I thought. It was extremely complex, people were, their opinions, and there also were several “world-views” available other than the one I took for granted: the world is doomed and the Faith is the only light. I just thought it was too pretentious to think I was the only one right. It fed my ego a lot and it made me feel good, yes. But as I was a “black and white” person much committed to the religion, for few years, some people made me notice how useless my efforts were.

    So I started to notice the “martyr” complex of the community – believing we were misunderstood people who owned the truth, and everybody will know some day – meanwhile, the world will suffer. WHY would I think that? Wasn’t that pretentious? And who tells me the guy who said that was right?
    Then began my spiritual crisis. I wanted to mature, and I thought my own personal development and my life was more important than any religion. Religion was just an abstract concept while I was real. That suffering in the name of something that you can’t be sure exists, wasn’t worth doing.

    I realize those thoughts were some of those “who knows?” stuff. I just can’t give a certain answer to the existence of God, religion and if such a thing as a Manifestation of God exists. It is not in my reach. I can only simplify my life and look after myself. Eventually, in the meditative state induced by earning food and survival, I’d get enlightened on the nature of life. I’ll have my own intuitions on life, that I can never think they’re absolutely right. They’re just my modest discover, maybe I’ll share it with people, not expecting they’ll agree. This is a right way to live. I would not be wise to make a movement out of it, a package of instructions on how one should live. Because that is MY solution, and even though I can explain it to somebody, they have to get it with their own effort – it’s not buyable! If they do, however they apply it it won’t be genuine. There are several right ways to live. And as the beauty of the world stays in differences, there is no reason to unify all of world’s religions. That would be a pity.

    But, you know, to all these things I may say: why not? To every truth it seems the opposite can be equally true.
    So what shall I do, go mad because there’s no solution? No. I shall listen to myself. I will shut my inner dialogue for a while, as brooding will just feed me with anxiety, and anxiety will not make me happy, nor enlightened. I must accept things as they are, my limitations, my inability to have a perfect answer to the big problems.

    I am not AGAINST the Faith. My mind, with its cultural set-up and other intrusions, tends to think Ruhi is ridiculous for ME and I shouldn’t be doing it, it’s not up to my intelligence. That I better use my potential on something else. My mind also tells me the tone in the letters of the UHJ is strangely militaristic and business-like – so not human, so not religious at all – and that those who label themselves as “baha’is” tend to look like megalomaniacs to many intelligent people, and as they get used to it, they’re not really aware.

    But still, it’s just my mind. If my intuition will tell me it’s right to be in the faith, excellent. My mum is an active baha’i and I will not encourage her to leave tha faith, although I wish she could be a little more open to other ideas, interested to life. She’s lost that interest, I think the Faith didn’t encourage her to challenge herself in new ways, so that I could talk of a cooler, more lively mother who allows herself to say what she thinks – she never does that. She obviously has many good qualities and maybe for some of them I can thank the religion. So again, I won’t say religion is absolutely wrong. But shutting down people’s opinions? Come on? What kind of world would that be? Organizations always tried to do that because then it would be easier to control. Well, damn, I don’t wanna be controlled! Not if it’s my choice to be free!

    As consequence, the Baha’i movement is losing a LOT of telented individuals, and I don’t feel any good spirit in reunions anymore.

    I must observe, and live life my way, granting happiness for me and who’s close to me – that’s all I have to do. All the rest is just opinions, and they don’t trouble me.

    This approach to life probably takes more inspiration from Buddhism than anything else, but if this approach is not accepted into the Faith that reunions all, then, I don’t know why it should keep pretending to be THE faith creating actually more division than unity. Unfortunately, I saw much snobbery even towards buddhism in the baha’i community, convinced as they are that the New Revelation is much more significant than the others, and so Buddhism is not enough nowadays. This is another bout of arrogance that doesn’t make the faith look better to my eyes.

  • Taco

    Some more thoughts came up – with permission…

    Also I remember the community to be much more vibrant and lively in the 80s/90s with the whole youth workshop/artistic craze. Sure a little out there in its exploit, but very fun and it gave me some of the most beautiful experiences in my life – activities, tours and the sorts.

    Then came Ruhi.

    What I like about the community and the administration is that they don’t give up. Ruhi has taken over as something so brilliant that everybody should do it, while it’s obvious not only engineers and scientists all over the world, but also pretty normally educated people, can not manage to do it because as someone pointed they’d kind of lose their jobs!! (Maybe not really, but c’mon let’s see the point here). It’s sort of disrespectful towards them!

    I think the administration WANTS them out. After all, they’re the THINKERS! That could be a reason they’re still stuck with those seven books. It’s crazy!

    Also artists have got to leave the faith if they take seriously – but in case I didn’t say it before THAT is the real problem, taking it seriously. Because if you don’t, everything’s alright. You can even be a baha’i, not giving the administration too much weight (in facts that’s what one does with the current world’s system), and be fine – that baha’i actor in the Office seems to do so. Otherwise, should he be constantly concerned of violating a law of the faith? Maybe in the set he will be asked to drink a glass of wine – no he shouldn’t do it, that’s what the baha’is taught me – maybe he’s supposed to send a letter to the UHJ and ask if it’s fine to keep his job?

    I wish there wasn’t that solemn tone in the letters, that there was more laughter and less self-importance in the community. Don’t we all? That would be a beautiful community. I’m not saying the messages of the House should all be “hah-hah-hah” but maybe calling up stuff like the Concourse of High is a bit too much.

    Since things like Ruhi has been taken so incredibly seriously “The Beach” has lost its appeal!
    So I left it for I smelled something ugly going on, and a big world had to be discovered, although scary at first. That is life, isn’t it? No solutions, you make it what you want.

    Now I’m in the “ugly” world managing to live somehow. It has been hard, really hard. It has taken a lot of courage. But I did it.

  • Taco

    Some more thoughts came up – with permission…

    Also I remember the community to be much more vibrant and lively in the 80s/90s with the whole youth workshop/artistic craze. Sure a little out there in its exploit, but very fun and it gave me some of the most beautiful experiences in my life – activities, tours and the sorts.

    Then came Ruhi.

    What I like about the community and the administration is that they don’t give up. Ruhi has taken over as something so brilliant that everybody should do it, while it’s obvious not only engineers and scientists all over the world, but also pretty normally educated people, can not manage to do it because as someone pointed they’d kind of lose their jobs!! (Maybe not really, but c’mon let’s see the point here). It’s sort of disrespectful towards them!

    I think the administration WANTS them out. After all, they’re the THINKERS! That could be a reason they’re still stuck with those seven books. It’s crazy!

    Also artists have got to leave the faith if they take seriously – but in case I didn’t say it before THAT is the real problem, taking it seriously. Because if you don’t, everything’s alright. You can even be a baha’i, not giving the administration too much weight (in facts that’s what one does with the current world’s system), and be fine – that baha’i actor in the Office seems to do so. Otherwise, should he be constantly concerned of violating a law of the faith? Maybe in the set he will be asked to drink a glass of wine – no he shouldn’t do it, that’s what the baha’is taught me – maybe he’s supposed to send a letter to the UHJ and ask if it’s fine to keep his job?

    I wish there wasn’t that solemn tone in the letters, that there was more laughter and less self-importance in the community. Don’t we all? That would be a beautiful community. I’m not saying the messages of the House should all be “hah-hah-hah” but maybe calling up stuff like the Concourse of High is a bit too much.

    Since things like Ruhi has been taken so incredibly seriously “The Beach” has lost its appeal!
    So I left it for I smelled something ugly going on, and a big world had to be discovered, although scary at first. That is life, isn’t it? No solutions, you make it what you want.

    Now I’m in the “ugly” world managing to live somehow. It has been hard, really hard. It has taken a lot of courage. But I did it.

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=””] Taco wrote:

    I think the administration WANTS them out. After all, they’re the THINKERS! That could be a reason they’re still stuck with those seven books. It’s crazy![/quote]

    Taco, thank you for your heartfelt, sensitive, and deeply personal post. Your candor is both respected and appreciated soul to soul.

    As to you above quote snippet. Bingo!

    MANY people worldwide have come to this conclusion. There are now people with literally THOUSANDS of years of combined lifetime service on NSA’s, LSA’s, various committees in their local and greater Baha’i communities, AABM’s, and once long serving, dedicated, members of the rank and file who have now left the Faith. I even know of one Knight of Baha’u’llah who was deeply disgusted before his death.

    Some have written letters of resignation. Others have just simply walked out of the Faith in total contempt without even bothering to write a formal letter. But many people now speak more in sadness than in anger. Human beings simply KNOW in their hearts when they are no longer wanted in an organization or their service and insights valued any longer. For many, it is the end of the road after a lifetime of dedicated selfless service. I know personally of people with 15, 20, 25, 30, 40, and EVEN 50 YEARS of dedicated service that have left. The US NSA reports in it’s official publications over the last few years that more than 2400 people
    have formally left the Faith in the U.S. since 2001. Every one also knows by now that the Administrative Order of the Baha’i Faith will do absolutely nothing to ever address any of the issues being brought up. So it is the end of the road for many after a lifetime of dedicated and selfless service. The Faith is now completely predatory and no one can do anything about it.

    But know this, you are NOT alone in your feelings and observations. There are thousands of people all around the world who feel like you, have now gone underground, and communicate privately on private sites and by private e-mail. I suggest that you join unenrolled
    Baha’is and begin to read the archives from 2000 forward for the last 8 years. When I found that site 4 years ago, it saved my mental health to find out there are many people who have banded together worldwide to help each other deal with what has happened to the
    Baha’i Faith.

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/unenrolledbahai/

    You heartfelt post is appreciated. There are many people here and on these other sites who understand. You are not alone. You will find many friends who will understand exactly where you are coming form. I suggest reading the archives on many of these sites at your
    leisure over time for psychological and emotional support.

    The Baha’i Faith has become a morally and spiritually bankrupt, completely dysfunctional predatory fundamentalist cult that is now going to go to mind numbing Divine Judgment. It will not be pretty.

    But the Teachings of the World Age will go on in the hearts of many enlightened souls in many different movements worldwide.

    I really like these people:

    http://www.abwoon.com

    They are doing the work the Baha’is were supposed to be doing to bring peace first to the Middle East and then to the world.

    But instead, we turned into a system of incredibly harebrained and dreary mindless “spiritual” communism. The same old, same old. Nothing original in this toxic bubble land brain chemistry. It has all been done before. The same old tired movie.

    But the World Age will go on.

    I suggest starting with these books to prepare for the ascent of the human race:

    The Kitab-I-Iqan
    by Baha’u’llah

    Then see how it fits into these below books at the deepest Sufi esoteric level of the “spiritual archetypes” concept of “Eternal Return”.

    Hamlet’s Mill: An Essay Investigating the Origins of Human Knowledge And Its Transmission Through Myth
    by Giorgio De Santillana and Hertha Von Dechend
    http://phoenixandturtle.net/excerptmill/santillana.htm

    The Temple of Man
    by R. A. Schwaller de Lubicz
    http://www.robertschoch.net/The%20Temple%20of%20Man.htm

    Cosmos and Psyche: Intimations of a New World View
    by Richard Tarnas
    http://www.cosmosandpsyche.com/

    The Passion of the Western Mind: Understanding the Ideas that Have Shaped Our World View
    by Richard Tarnas
    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1282/is_n21_v43/ai_11597179

    It Must Be Beautiful: Great Equations of Modern Science
    by Graham Farmelo (Editor)
    http://www.ams.org/notices/200303/rev-faris.pdf

    While you’re at it, I just love this guy’s insights on the wonders of the Dirac Sea:
    http://openseti.org/Docs/HotsonPart1.pdf
    http://openseti.org/Docs/HotsonPart2.pdf

    The Road to Reality: A Complete Guide to the Laws of the Universe
    by Roger Penrose
    http://tinyurl.com/yquc84

    The Conference of the Birds
    by Farid al-Din Attar
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Conference_of_the_Birds

    The Masnavi
    by Jalal al-Din Muhammad Rumi
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masnavi

    Prayers of the Cosmos: Meditations on the Aramaic Words of Jesus
    by Neil Douglas-Klotz
    http://tinyurl.com/yqwlfz

    The Seven Mysteries of Life
    by Guy Murchie
    http://tinyurl.com/24ej8c

    The Intention Experiment: Using Your Thoughts to Change Your Life and the World
    by Lynne McTaggart
    http://tinyurl.com/2ce38k

    Soar in these above rare refined works of human intellectual and spiritual exploration and realize that all of us have currently been born onto a planet of total complete talentless idiots and morons in both vast electorates and in high places of unchecked power in our
    time on Earth.

    Try to make the best of it.

    Perhaps This Great Day will yet come for All Mankind when every person on Earth will begin to see through their OWN eyes and not through the eyes of OTHERS as Baha’u’llah taught direct from the Maid of Heaven:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYecfV3ubP8

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

    http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/jpegMod/PIA05547_modest.jpg

    First meditate on this photograph to try to begin to change your consciousness from all of the endless bullshit you have been taught.

    Then start reading really good stuff from Amazon.com to learn about both the human evolution of consciousness and how the Universe really works.

    We have all currently been born onto a tiny planet of people who are at the present time a great danger to themselves and each other. But from this tiny dot of light in the above photo, we are now going to go to this consciousness of our place in the Cosmos:

    http://www.solstation.com/x-objects/and2disk.jpg

    It is a long road, but the invention of the Internet will now change everything.

    Even though you may be deeply hated in the TOP DOWN NEW THINK and NEW SPEAK ORWELLIAN BAHA’I COMMUNITY for reading real books and risk being charged with speaking from “self” and “ego” if you voice an opinion on particle physics NOT sanctioned by “THE COMMUNITY”, I say live absolutely fearlessly! These people and their ilk can go to hell.

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=””] Taco wrote:

    I think the administration WANTS them out. After all, they’re the THINKERS! That could be a reason they’re still stuck with those seven books. It’s crazy![/quote]

    Taco, thank you for your heartfelt, sensitive, and deeply personal post. Your candor is both respected and appreciated soul to soul.

    As to you above quote snippet. Bingo!

    MANY people worldwide have come to this conclusion. There are now people with literally THOUSANDS of years of combined lifetime service on NSA’s, LSA’s, various committees in their local and greater Baha’i communities, AABM’s, and once long serving, dedicated, members of the rank and file who have now left the Faith. I even know of one Knight of Baha’u’llah who was deeply disgusted before his death.

    Some have written letters of resignation. Others have just simply walked out of the Faith in total contempt without even bothering to write a formal letter. But many people now speak more in sadness than in anger. Human beings simply KNOW in their hearts when they are no longer wanted in an organization or their service and insights valued any longer. For many, it is the end of the road after a lifetime of dedicated selfless service. I know personally of people with 15, 20, 25, 30, 40, and EVEN 50 YEARS of dedicated service that have left. The US NSA reports in it’s official publications over the last few years that more than 2400 people
    have formally left the Faith in the U.S. since 2001. Every one also knows by now that the Administrative Order of the Baha’i Faith will do absolutely nothing to ever address any of the issues being brought up. So it is the end of the road for many after a lifetime of dedicated and selfless service. The Faith is now completely predatory and no one can do anything about it.

    But know this, you are NOT alone in your feelings and observations. There are thousands of people all around the world who feel like you, have now gone underground, and communicate privately on private sites and by private e-mail. I suggest that you join unenrolled
    Baha’is and begin to read the archives from 2000 forward for the last 8 years. When I found that site 4 years ago, it saved my mental health to find out there are many people who have banded together worldwide to help each other deal with what has happened to the
    Baha’i Faith.

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/unenrolledbahai/

    You heartfelt post is appreciated. There are many people here and on these other sites who understand. You are not alone. You will find many friends who will understand exactly where you are coming form. I suggest reading the archives on many of these sites at your
    leisure over time for psychological and emotional support.

    The Baha’i Faith has become a morally and spiritually bankrupt, completely dysfunctional predatory fundamentalist cult that is now going to go to mind numbing Divine Judgment. It will not be pretty.

    But the Teachings of the World Age will go on in the hearts of many enlightened souls in many different movements worldwide.

    I really like these people:

    http://www.abwoon.com

    They are doing the work the Baha’is were supposed to be doing to bring peace first to the Middle East and then to the world.

    But instead, we turned into a system of incredibly harebrained and dreary mindless “spiritual” communism. The same old, same old. Nothing original in this toxic bubble land brain chemistry. It has all been done before. The same old tired movie.

    But the World Age will go on.

    I suggest starting with these books to prepare for the ascent of the human race:

    The Kitab-I-Iqan
    by Baha’u’llah

    Then see how it fits into these below books at the deepest Sufi esoteric level of the “spiritual archetypes” concept of “Eternal Return”.

    Hamlet’s Mill: An Essay Investigating the Origins of Human Knowledge And Its Transmission Through Myth
    by Giorgio De Santillana and Hertha Von Dechend
    http://phoenixandturtle.net/excerptmill/santillana.htm

    The Temple of Man
    by R. A. Schwaller de Lubicz
    http://www.robertschoch.net/The%20Temple%20of%20Man.htm

    Cosmos and Psyche: Intimations of a New World View
    by Richard Tarnas
    http://www.cosmosandpsyche.com/

    The Passion of the Western Mind: Understanding the Ideas that Have Shaped Our World View
    by Richard Tarnas
    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1282/is_n21_v43/ai_11597179

    It Must Be Beautiful: Great Equations of Modern Science
    by Graham Farmelo (Editor)
    http://www.ams.org/notices/200303/rev-faris.pdf

    While you’re at it, I just love this guy’s insights on the wonders of the Dirac Sea:
    http://openseti.org/Docs/HotsonPart1.pdf
    http://openseti.org/Docs/HotsonPart2.pdf

    The Road to Reality: A Complete Guide to the Laws of the Universe
    by Roger Penrose
    http://tinyurl.com/yquc84

    The Conference of the Birds
    by Farid al-Din Attar
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Conference_of_the_Birds

    The Masnavi
    by Jalal al-Din Muhammad Rumi
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masnavi

    Prayers of the Cosmos: Meditations on the Aramaic Words of Jesus
    by Neil Douglas-Klotz
    http://tinyurl.com/yqwlfz

    The Seven Mysteries of Life
    by Guy Murchie
    http://tinyurl.com/24ej8c

    The Intention Experiment: Using Your Thoughts to Change Your Life and the World
    by Lynne McTaggart
    http://tinyurl.com/2ce38k

    Soar in these above rare refined works of human intellectual and spiritual exploration and realize that all of us have currently been born onto a planet of total complete talentless idiots and morons in both vast electorates and in high places of unchecked power in our
    time on Earth.

    Try to make the best of it.

    Perhaps This Great Day will yet come for All Mankind when every person on Earth will begin to see through their OWN eyes and not through the eyes of OTHERS as Baha’u’llah taught direct from the Maid of Heaven:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYecfV3ubP8

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

    http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/jpegMod/PIA05547_modest.jpg

    First meditate on this photograph to try to begin to change your consciousness from all of the endless bullshit you have been taught.

    Then start reading really good stuff from Amazon.com to learn about both the human evolution of consciousness and how the Universe really works.

    We have all currently been born onto a tiny planet of people who are at the present time a great danger to themselves and each other. But from this tiny dot of light in the above photo, we are now going to go to this consciousness of our place in the Cosmos:

    http://www.solstation.com/x-objects/and2disk.jpg

    It is a long road, but the invention of the Internet will now change everything.

    Even though you may be deeply hated in the TOP DOWN NEW THINK and NEW SPEAK ORWELLIAN BAHA’I COMMUNITY for reading real books and risk being charged with speaking from “self” and “ego” if you voice an opinion on particle physics NOT sanctioned by “THE COMMUNITY”, I say live absolutely fearlessly! These people and their ilk can go to hell.

  • farhan

    Craig,

    Craig, I also appreciate taco’s sincerity with his own self, the premises of any spiritual journey and i am preparing my comments on some of the interesting points he has raised.

    You write:
    “I think the administration WANTS them out. After all, they’re the THINKERS! That could be a reason they’re still stuck with those seven books. It’s crazy!”

    Craig, there is no such thing as “the administration”. We have all kind of Baha’is, some of them serving on an administration, and these having veru different attitudes and behaviours.

    In my view, the “shell opening” of the Faith in the institute process has been so new in religious history, that many of us are struggling with the concept. The aim of “Baha’i administration” in the numerous messages of the UHJ is to empower each and every Baha’i to become active; the aim is most certainly not to exclude anyone, but to empower all, it is not aimed at excluding those who think, but to bring to thoughts those who are acting without thought, although if we want to finish the curriculum in time, we do have to transfer long answers to questions involving deep thoughts to depenings sessions elsewhere.

    When these individuals realise that as Baha’u’llh says, that power has been withdrawn from priests and kings, they will calm down to the position of humble servants or will leave.

    Where you are perfectly right is that some_ghastly individuals who as Peter Khan puts it ate really enthused about pushing others around found a convenient short-cut to becoming self appointed priests.

    The tool has in such cases supersceded the spirit as meant to serve. The UHJ called for an institute process established on “love nad efficiency”, some unloving individuals understood “bigotry and efficiency”. What was meant as a springboard towards service, study and research, became a powerseeking enterprise to these people.

    I once organised a deepening session on the document “Building Momentum” which is a compilation from the very abundant messages of the UHJ. We did one cession, and then Ruhi fans decided that it was a waste of time: too intellectual…

    I think that the crux of the probem is that many of the intellcctual Baha’is not understanding that these courses are _teaching aids_ for helping in teaching new-comers, and not deepening sessions, thought that the intitute could be left to non-intellectuals.

    This massive entry into service of inexperienced individuals has brought into light “learning propblems” which existed but which were not apparent before.

    warmest

    Farhan

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    Craig,

    Craig, I also appreciate taco’s sincerity with his own self, the premises of any spiritual journey and i am preparing my comments on some of the interesting points he has raised.

    You write:
    “I think the administration WANTS them out. After all, they’re the THINKERS! That could be a reason they’re still stuck with those seven books. It’s crazy!”

    Craig, there is no such thing as “the administration”. We have all kind of Baha’is, some of them serving on an administration, and these having veru different attitudes and behaviours.

    In my view, the “shell opening” of the Faith in the institute process has been so new in religious history, that many of us are struggling with the concept. The aim of “Baha’i administration” in the numerous messages of the UHJ is to empower each and every Baha’i to become active; the aim is most certainly not to exclude anyone, but to empower all, it is not aimed at excluding those who think, but to bring to thoughts those who are acting without thought, although if we want to finish the curriculum in time, we do have to transfer long answers to questions involving deep thoughts to depenings sessions elsewhere.

    When these individuals realise that as Baha’u’llh says, that power has been withdrawn from priests and kings, they will calm down to the position of humble servants or will leave.

    Where you are perfectly right is that some_ghastly individuals who as Peter Khan puts it ate really enthused about pushing others around found a convenient short-cut to becoming self appointed priests.

    The tool has in such cases supersceded the spirit as meant to serve. The UHJ called for an institute process established on “love nad efficiency”, some unloving individuals understood “bigotry and efficiency”. What was meant as a springboard towards service, study and research, became a powerseeking enterprise to these people.

    I once organised a deepening session on the document “Building Momentum” which is a compilation from the very abundant messages of the UHJ. We did one cession, and then Ruhi fans decided that it was a waste of time: too intellectual…

    I think that the crux of the probem is that many of the intellcctual Baha’is not understanding that these courses are _teaching aids_ for helping in teaching new-comers, and not deepening sessions, thought that the intitute could be left to non-intellectuals.

    This massive entry into service of inexperienced individuals has brought into light “learning propblems” which existed but which were not apparent before.

    warmest

    Farhan

  • farhan

    Dan wrote:
    “This is just like the UHJ anticipating their Abhageddon”

    Dan, the battle of Armageddon took place according to abdu’l-Baha’s explanation in the plin of Megiddo next to mt Carmel when Allenby took Palestine during WW1. There is a very interesting paper back book on his subject written by a Baha’i soldier I have somewhere called the General, the Servant and Armageddon. The Arabs supported Allenby as his name sounded exactly like their prphecies concerning Ali Elnabi

    As to the crisis that is building up, it has been foreseen by the religions of the past, an amply commented by Baha’u’llah, Abdu’l-Baha and shoghi effendi; the UHj is just drawing our attention to these predictions.

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    Dan wrote:
    “This is just like the UHJ anticipating their Abhageddon”

    Dan, the battle of Armageddon took place according to abdu’l-Baha’s explanation in the plin of Megiddo next to mt Carmel when Allenby took Palestine during WW1. There is a very interesting paper back book on his subject written by a Baha’i soldier I have somewhere called the General, the Servant and Armageddon. The Arabs supported Allenby as his name sounded exactly like their prphecies concerning Ali Elnabi

    As to the crisis that is building up, it has been foreseen by the religions of the past, an amply commented by Baha’u’llah, Abdu’l-Baha and shoghi effendi; the UHj is just drawing our attention to these predictions.

  • Grover

    Farhan wrote:

    [quote post=”492″]I once organised a deepening session on the document ?Building Momentum? which is a compilation from the very abundant messages of the UHJ. We did one cession, and then Ruhi fans decided that it was a waste of time: too intellectual… [/quote]

    Hahahahaha, that is the absolute crux of the problem. The Baha’is who love Ruhi have an IQ of less than 80 and couldn’t think their way out of a brown paper bag “Duh, whats that light? Lets all sit round and talk about our spiritual insights! Yay!”. A frontal lobotomy would fix anyone who is reluctant to do Ruhi, it would make you a dribbling mess, but what sacrifices we make in the name of Ruhi.

    Ruhi is only going to attract a certain demographic, the spuds and vegetables. Not quite what ‘Abdu’l-Baha and Shoghi Effendi had in mind to “carry forth an ever advancing civilisation”. In the famous words of Murphy, “make something that even fools can use, and only fools will use it.”

  • Grover

    Farhan wrote:

    [quote post=”492″]I once organised a deepening session on the document ?Building Momentum? which is a compilation from the very abundant messages of the UHJ. We did one cession, and then Ruhi fans decided that it was a waste of time: too intellectual… [/quote]

    Hahahahaha, that is the absolute crux of the problem. The Baha’is who love Ruhi have an IQ of less than 80 and couldn’t think their way out of a brown paper bag “Duh, whats that light? Lets all sit round and talk about our spiritual insights! Yay!”. A frontal lobotomy would fix anyone who is reluctant to do Ruhi, it would make you a dribbling mess, but what sacrifices we make in the name of Ruhi.

    Ruhi is only going to attract a certain demographic, the spuds and vegetables. Not quite what ‘Abdu’l-Baha and Shoghi Effendi had in mind to “carry forth an ever advancing civilisation”. In the famous words of Murphy, “make something that even fools can use, and only fools will use it.”

  • farhan

    Grover wrote:

    ?Ruhi is only going to attract a certain demographic, the spuds and vegetables. Not quite what ‘Abdu’l-Baha and Shoghi Effendi had in mind to “carry forth an ever advancing civilisation”. In the famous words of Murphy, “make something that even fools can use, and only fools will use it.”

    Grover, when you look at the literacy rates in the US, let alone in other parts of the world, you will realise that for some decades to come, the vast majority of humanity will need help from highly educated persons like yourself so that those that you consider like fools, vegetables and spuds might slowly improve and reach your standard of understanding.

    I have the literacy rates in the US, those not just in the third world, but just round the corner, somewhere and I will post them for you.

    Ruhi is intended to be used by intellectuals like yourself or myself who wish to help less advantaged citizens to help themselves, and in turn, help others like themselves.

    Obviously, Ruhi is not intended for people who only want to be engaged in their own personal researches and have no ambition to help others who are encouraged to continue their deepening and Baha’i studies.

    Anyone can participate, by organising devotionals, children’s classes, commemoration meetings, youth activities etc., i.e.: non-Baha’is, ex-Baha’is, enrolled, dis-enrolled, S, M, L, XXL Baha’is, even agonistics and atheists.

    If wish to help towards the spiritualisation of the planet and feel inadequate and you want to improve your performances in these services, you can do book 1 for devotionals, book 2 to help you visit people, book 3 to organise children’s classes, book 4 to organise commemorations, book 5 for junior youth classes, book 6 for teaching campaigns and book 7 if you wish to tutor people who want to be given all these skills. Other books for social and economic actions are on the way.

    If you feel you have evolved beyond these tools and skills, you can already do these core activities, just do them! We have too many people talking about those who do them and not enough people just doing them, although I do admit that _a few_ of those people doing them just now are _sometimes_ arrogant, conceited, clumsy and inexperienced, but I see them improving very fast.

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    Grover wrote:

    ?Ruhi is only going to attract a certain demographic, the spuds and vegetables. Not quite what ‘Abdu’l-Baha and Shoghi Effendi had in mind to “carry forth an ever advancing civilisation”. In the famous words of Murphy, “make something that even fools can use, and only fools will use it.”

    Grover, when you look at the literacy rates in the US, let alone in other parts of the world, you will realise that for some decades to come, the vast majority of humanity will need help from highly educated persons like yourself so that those that you consider like fools, vegetables and spuds might slowly improve and reach your standard of understanding.

    I have the literacy rates in the US, those not just in the third world, but just round the corner, somewhere and I will post them for you.

    Ruhi is intended to be used by intellectuals like yourself or myself who wish to help less advantaged citizens to help themselves, and in turn, help others like themselves.

    Obviously, Ruhi is not intended for people who only want to be engaged in their own personal researches and have no ambition to help others who are encouraged to continue their deepening and Baha’i studies.

    Anyone can participate, by organising devotionals, children’s classes, commemoration meetings, youth activities etc., i.e.: non-Baha’is, ex-Baha’is, enrolled, dis-enrolled, S, M, L, XXL Baha’is, even agonistics and atheists.

    If wish to help towards the spiritualisation of the planet and feel inadequate and you want to improve your performances in these services, you can do book 1 for devotionals, book 2 to help you visit people, book 3 to organise children’s classes, book 4 to organise commemorations, book 5 for junior youth classes, book 6 for teaching campaigns and book 7 if you wish to tutor people who want to be given all these skills. Other books for social and economic actions are on the way.

    If you feel you have evolved beyond these tools and skills, you can already do these core activities, just do them! We have too many people talking about those who do them and not enough people just doing them, although I do admit that _a few_ of those people doing them just now are _sometimes_ arrogant, conceited, clumsy and inexperienced, but I see them improving very fast.

  • [quote comment=”50175″]As to the crisis that is building up, it has been foreseen by the religions of the past, an amply commented by Baha’u’llah, Abdu’l-Baha and shoghi effendi; the UHj is just drawing our attention to these predictions.[/quote]

    Yes, Farhan, that’s the Abhageddon that I was referring to. I’m glad that you got around to it, and it seems obvious to me that you are quite right. The central figures of the Baha’i Faith spoke repeatedly about the fall of the Old Order, often in very frightening terms. Some other religious leaders have also delighted in telling such tales, and I do not deny that a bad end is a real possibility. On the contrary, I think it’s likely. I agree that the UHJ is faithfully following the lead of their forefathers in patiently waiting for Abhageddon, though I also happen to believe that they are being led in a counterproductive direction.

    Humata Hukhta Hvarshta
    Dan

  • [quote comment=”50175″]As to the crisis that is building up, it has been foreseen by the religions of the past, an amply commented by Baha’u’llah, Abdu’l-Baha and shoghi effendi; the UHj is just drawing our attention to these predictions.[/quote]

    Yes, Farhan, that’s the Abhageddon that I was referring to. I’m glad that you got around to it, and it seems obvious to me that you are quite right. The central figures of the Baha’i Faith spoke repeatedly about the fall of the Old Order, often in very frightening terms. Some other religious leaders have also delighted in telling such tales, and I do not deny that a bad end is a real possibility. On the contrary, I think it’s likely. I agree that the UHJ is faithfully following the lead of their forefathers in patiently waiting for Abhageddon, though I also happen to believe that they are being led in a counterproductive direction.

    Humata Hukhta Hvarshta
    Dan

  • Carm-again

    Grover wrote: “Hahahahaha, that is the absolute crux of the problem. The Baha’is who love Ruhi have an IQ of less than 80 and couldn’t think their way out of a brown paper bag “Duh, whats that light? Lets all sit round and talk about our spiritual insights! Yay!”. A frontal lobotomy would fix anyone who is reluctant to do Ruhi, it would make you a dribbling mess, but what sacrifices we make in the name of Ruhi.”

    You cannot make these kinds of generalizations based on Farhan’s Ruhi group. The participants in Ruhi who completed the entire course in our home included three lawyers (one has a Ph.D in international law), a medical doctor and a professional interpreter and translator who also has an MBA and has worked in senior management. I know that several of these people including myself also study other books by the Central Figures, the Guardian, messages from the UHJ and academic non-Baha’i books. The atmosphere in our Ruhi classes was very spiritual and loving and we all found it very uplifting.

    I have several friends who are doing Ruhi who are intellectuals including one who is a member of the Association for Baha’i Studies and is a professor of anthropology at a respected American university.

    Before he passed away the late Dr.William Hatcher, who has writtten several academic Baha’i and non-Baha’i books, wrote a glowing letter about his experiences with Ruhi.

    It’s easy to assume only low IQ people love Ruhi but that’s certainly not the case based on my personal experience. Ruhi is not only about the content but the spirit in which the content is approached. If that spirit is arrogant and dismissive such people might see nothing of value in Ruhi.

    Carmen

  • Carm-again

    Grover wrote: “Hahahahaha, that is the absolute crux of the problem. The Baha’is who love Ruhi have an IQ of less than 80 and couldn’t think their way out of a brown paper bag “Duh, whats that light? Lets all sit round and talk about our spiritual insights! Yay!”. A frontal lobotomy would fix anyone who is reluctant to do Ruhi, it would make you a dribbling mess, but what sacrifices we make in the name of Ruhi.”

    You cannot make these kinds of generalizations based on Farhan’s Ruhi group. The participants in Ruhi who completed the entire course in our home included three lawyers (one has a Ph.D in international law), a medical doctor and a professional interpreter and translator who also has an MBA and has worked in senior management. I know that several of these people including myself also study other books by the Central Figures, the Guardian, messages from the UHJ and academic non-Baha’i books. The atmosphere in our Ruhi classes was very spiritual and loving and we all found it very uplifting.

    I have several friends who are doing Ruhi who are intellectuals including one who is a member of the Association for Baha’i Studies and is a professor of anthropology at a respected American university.

    Before he passed away the late Dr.William Hatcher, who has writtten several academic Baha’i and non-Baha’i books, wrote a glowing letter about his experiences with Ruhi.

    It’s easy to assume only low IQ people love Ruhi but that’s certainly not the case based on my personal experience. Ruhi is not only about the content but the spirit in which the content is approached. If that spirit is arrogant and dismissive such people might see nothing of value in Ruhi.

    Carmen

  • farhan

    Grover, here is as promised some data concerning illiteracy in the US and elsewhere: UNESCO announced a few years ago that there were 900 million illiterates in developing countries, representing nearly 25 per cent of the world’s youth and adults. 113 million children around the world have no access to primary education.

    Nearly a quarter of 16 to 65-year-olds in the world’s _richest_ countries are functionally illiterate. The most recent National Adult Literacy Survey (NALS) found that four percent of American adults could not perform even the simplest literacy tasks on the survey. Literacy also contributes to the economic and social performance of society. Other studies conducted by non-US agencies have placed the estimate of adult illiteracy at closer to 10%. In Britain, the latest Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) study on 16 to 65-year-olds, finds that 22% of the population in England and Wales is functionally illiterate compared to 25% in Ireland and 20% in France.

    According to a new report by the State Education Agency, only 8 percent of District residents with the lowest literacy skills get the remedial assistance they need. The State of Adult Literacy Report, scheduled to be delivered to the mayor and D.C. Council members today, found that nearly 36 percent, or 170,000, of the District’s residents are functionally illiterate, compared with 21 percent nationally. The agency bills the report as ?the first comprehensive review on the District’s state of adult literacy.? Adults who have trouble doing such things as comprehending bus schedules, reading maps and filling out job applications are considered functionally illiterate.

    The illiteracy rate also has direct economic consequences. The D.C. Chamber of Commerce, which contributed to the report, said the District lost up to $107 million in taxes annually between 2000 and 2005 because of a lack of qualified job applicants. Here are some figures in the US in 2003 (below basic/ basic/intermediate/proficient):

    Prose litteracy
    men 15/29/43/13,
    women 12/29/46/14

    Document litteracy (filling in administrative forms)
    Men 14/23/51/13
    Women 11/22/54/13

    Quantitative litteracy (calculating a home budget)
    Men 21/31/33/16
    Women 22/35/32/11

    Hence only less than 20% of US citizens are in the category in which you and I might consider ourselves, and some 50% only have basic skills or below. Ruhi level is for one US citizen in 2, and for helping you and I if we choose to spend some time helping such people.

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    Grover, here is as promised some data concerning illiteracy in the US and elsewhere: UNESCO announced a few years ago that there were 900 million illiterates in developing countries, representing nearly 25 per cent of the world’s youth and adults. 113 million children around the world have no access to primary education.

    Nearly a quarter of 16 to 65-year-olds in the world’s _richest_ countries are functionally illiterate. The most recent National Adult Literacy Survey (NALS) found that four percent of American adults could not perform even the simplest literacy tasks on the survey. Literacy also contributes to the economic and social performance of society. Other studies conducted by non-US agencies have placed the estimate of adult illiteracy at closer to 10%. In Britain, the latest Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) study on 16 to 65-year-olds, finds that 22% of the population in England and Wales is functionally illiterate compared to 25% in Ireland and 20% in France.

    According to a new report by the State Education Agency, only 8 percent of District residents with the lowest literacy skills get the remedial assistance they need. The State of Adult Literacy Report, scheduled to be delivered to the mayor and D.C. Council members today, found that nearly 36 percent, or 170,000, of the District’s residents are functionally illiterate, compared with 21 percent nationally. The agency bills the report as ?the first comprehensive review on the District’s state of adult literacy.? Adults who have trouble doing such things as comprehending bus schedules, reading maps and filling out job applications are considered functionally illiterate.

    The illiteracy rate also has direct economic consequences. The D.C. Chamber of Commerce, which contributed to the report, said the District lost up to $107 million in taxes annually between 2000 and 2005 because of a lack of qualified job applicants. Here are some figures in the US in 2003 (below basic/ basic/intermediate/proficient):

    Prose litteracy
    men 15/29/43/13,
    women 12/29/46/14

    Document litteracy (filling in administrative forms)
    Men 14/23/51/13
    Women 11/22/54/13

    Quantitative litteracy (calculating a home budget)
    Men 21/31/33/16
    Women 22/35/32/11

    Hence only less than 20% of US citizens are in the category in which you and I might consider ourselves, and some 50% only have basic skills or below. Ruhi level is for one US citizen in 2, and for helping you and I if we choose to spend some time helping such people.

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=”50194″]
    You cannot make these kinds of generalizations based on Farhan’s Ruhi group. The participants in Ruhi who completed the entire course in our home included three lawyers (one has a Ph.D in international law), a medical doctor and a professional interpreter and translator who also has an MBA and has worked in senior management…

    I have several friends who are doing Ruhi who are intellectuals including one who is a member of the Association for Baha’i Studies and is a professor of anthropology at a respected American university.
    Carmen[/quote]

    Carm-again,

    I am very glad you have highly educated friends that can read books. Good for you. Impressive. Your personal cache has just gone up on this site.

    I completed Ruhi Book One. It was one of the worst spiritual experiences of my life. It was horrible. It was an insult to my personal dignity as a human being and a personal insult from the UHJ to every soul there. It was pure coercian and absolutely Orwellian in tone. It was like witnessing child abuse and not being able to do anything but sit there. It was like being spiritually water boarded.

    Looks like I just had a bad experience? Is that it? Just took it with some highly impaired people.

    But I am glad your group loved it.

    But I think you are missing the real point of many of the comments on Ruhi in the archives here and on many underground sites out there.

    I think Ruhi may be just fine in many situations in certain countries and parts of countries even my own. I also think it is fine to have some kind of basic catechism for twelve year olds in every Baha’i Community. I would be glad to teach it.

    But here is the question: All these friends of yours took the course in your home and it was a splendid experience. So NOW how many fellow lawyers, fellow Ph.D’s, fellow medical doctors, fellow professional interpreters, fellow translators, fellow MBA’s, and fellow anthropology professors have they ALL brought into ROUND TWO to take the courses and “share the Faith” in this wonderful experience?

    I would venture the answer is ZERO.

    Because this is NOT the way to teach the Faith to those kinds of people and these people know it. And this is happening worldwide in every community. People are being forced to use methods that are not appropriate for their situations in life. If you do not use these methods you are not with the program. If your are not with the program, YOU ARE THE ENEMY OF GOD. I don’t care what apologetics Farham trots out from letters and speeches. This is what has happened.

    So people are leaving the Faith in droves.

    It is as simple as that.

    You had a nice experience. Many have not.

    And once any of these people ever brought someone in who joined the Faith, THEY would now be MARKS to be forced into doing things this way too. II IS ALL PREDATORY. It is abuse of human souls. And it is not going to work.

    Only incredibly inexperienced BOYS (NOT MATURED AND EXPERIENCED GROWN MEN)living inside a Cult Bubble would have dreamed up a top down scheme this harebrained. If you are infallible and have infallible ideas, should’t you think out how to infallibly implement your infallible ideas too? If they are infallible then why do we need “learnings” when we carry out their infallible ideas? Shouldn’t someone think the whole thing out first? No one ever consulted with me about anything.

    So how many of your friends have brought other people in to smoke some more books on the water pipe?

    Craig

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=”50194″]
    You cannot make these kinds of generalizations based on Farhan’s Ruhi group. The participants in Ruhi who completed the entire course in our home included three lawyers (one has a Ph.D in international law), a medical doctor and a professional interpreter and translator who also has an MBA and has worked in senior management…

    I have several friends who are doing Ruhi who are intellectuals including one who is a member of the Association for Baha’i Studies and is a professor of anthropology at a respected American university.
    Carmen[/quote]

    Carm-again,

    I am very glad you have highly educated friends that can read books. Good for you. Impressive. Your personal cache has just gone up on this site.

    I completed Ruhi Book One. It was one of the worst spiritual experiences of my life. It was horrible. It was an insult to my personal dignity as a human being and a personal insult from the UHJ to every soul there. It was pure coercian and absolutely Orwellian in tone. It was like witnessing child abuse and not being able to do anything but sit there. It was like being spiritually water boarded.

    Looks like I just had a bad experience? Is that it? Just took it with some highly impaired people.

    But I am glad your group loved it.

    But I think you are missing the real point of many of the comments on Ruhi in the archives here and on many underground sites out there.

    I think Ruhi may be just fine in many situations in certain countries and parts of countries even my own. I also think it is fine to have some kind of basic catechism for twelve year olds in every Baha’i Community. I would be glad to teach it.

    But here is the question: All these friends of yours took the course in your home and it was a splendid experience. So NOW how many fellow lawyers, fellow Ph.D’s, fellow medical doctors, fellow professional interpreters, fellow translators, fellow MBA’s, and fellow anthropology professors have they ALL brought into ROUND TWO to take the courses and “share the Faith” in this wonderful experience?

    I would venture the answer is ZERO.

    Because this is NOT the way to teach the Faith to those kinds of people and these people know it. And this is happening worldwide in every community. People are being forced to use methods that are not appropriate for their situations in life. If you do not use these methods you are not with the program. If your are not with the program, YOU ARE THE ENEMY OF GOD. I don’t care what apologetics Farham trots out from letters and speeches. This is what has happened.

    So people are leaving the Faith in droves.

    It is as simple as that.

    You had a nice experience. Many have not.

    And once any of these people ever brought someone in who joined the Faith, THEY would now be MARKS to be forced into doing things this way too. II IS ALL PREDATORY. It is abuse of human souls. And it is not going to work.

    Only incredibly inexperienced BOYS (NOT MATURED AND EXPERIENCED GROWN MEN)living inside a Cult Bubble would have dreamed up a top down scheme this harebrained. If you are infallible and have infallible ideas, should’t you think out how to infallibly implement your infallible ideas too? If they are infallible then why do we need “learnings” when we carry out their infallible ideas? Shouldn’t someone think the whole thing out first? No one ever consulted with me about anything.

    So how many of your friends have brought other people in to smoke some more books on the water pipe?

    Craig

  • Grover

    Hi Carmen and Farhan, unfortunately, I can make some generalisations because its exactly what I see in my community and country. Thats why Farhan’s anecdote about his building momentum study class had me roaring with laughter. I will freely admit though that there are some bright sparks trudging their way through the dreary muck that is Ruhi because they can’t bring themselves to believe that it is a waste of time. I mean if the UHJ told the Baha’is that eating cow dung had marvelous health benefits, I’m sure some would happily start scoffing into it, no matter how foul it tasted. And then all the cow dung nazis would start trying to tell everyone else how wonderful it was and then start going on the whole you should be obedient, you should be supportive, you’re not being faithful to the Covenant etc etc etc. Then cow dung would be made an article of faith, just like Ruhi has become. I’ve sat through several Ruhi books, so I’ve experienced enough to know how crap it is. I don’t believe the hype.

  • Grover

    Hi Carmen and Farhan, unfortunately, I can make some generalisations because its exactly what I see in my community and country. Thats why Farhan’s anecdote about his building momentum study class had me roaring with laughter. I will freely admit though that there are some bright sparks trudging their way through the dreary muck that is Ruhi because they can’t bring themselves to believe that it is a waste of time. I mean if the UHJ told the Baha’is that eating cow dung had marvelous health benefits, I’m sure some would happily start scoffing into it, no matter how foul it tasted. And then all the cow dung nazis would start trying to tell everyone else how wonderful it was and then start going on the whole you should be obedient, you should be supportive, you’re not being faithful to the Covenant etc etc etc. Then cow dung would be made an article of faith, just like Ruhi has become. I’ve sat through several Ruhi books, so I’ve experienced enough to know how crap it is. I don’t believe the hype.

  • farhan

    Carm wrote:

    “I have several friends who are doing Ruhi who are intellectuals including one who is a member of the Association for Baha’i Studies and is a professor of anthropology at a respected American university.”

    Carm, I am no university professor, but I have done some books sevaral times and at each session, I learn something new from the comments of participants. I know one law professor from the US, who comes to french Polynesia to help with Ruhi.

    Not having priests, all Baha’is are expected to contribute to the educative efforts of society to make these people autonomous. This activity requires acquiring : not only knowledge, but also humility, patience, forebearance and pedagogical skills. When you do Ruhi book 3, it is obviously not for teaching you facts, but for teaching you how to capture the attention of kids.

    In a letter dated 5 July 1957 on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the Bah??’?s of the Benelux countries we read:

    Baha’u’llah has enjoined upon the Baha’is the sacred obligation of teaching. We have no priests, therefore the service once rendered by priests to their religions is the service every single Baha’i is expected to render individually to his religion. He must be the one who enlightens new souls, confirms them, heals the wounded and the weary upon the road of life, and gives them to quaff from the chalice of everlasting life – the knowledge of the Manifestation of God in His Day.

    This obligation of service was already prescribed by Baha’u’llah, for example in Gleanings CXLVII we read :
    …Be most loving one to another. Burn away, wholly for the sake of the Well-Beloved, the veil of self with the flame of the undying Fire, and with faces joyous and beaming with light, associate with your neighbor. … Let your principal concern be to rescue the fallen from the slough of impending extinction, and to help him embrace the ancient Faith of God.

    Or again in Gleanings CLVI:
    ?Address yourselves to the promotion of the well-being and tranquillity of the children of men. Bend your minds and wills to the education of the peoples and kindreds of the earth, that haply the dissensions that divide it may, through the power of the Most Great Name, be blotted out from its face, and all mankind become the upholders of one Order, and the inhabitants of one City. … Blessed is he who mingleth with all men in a spirit of utmost kindliness and love.?

    We live in a consumer society, infested with agressive competition. People go to religion to see what they can get out of it, something pleasurable; they want religion to be customised to serve them better; the Baha’i Faith is invitig people to help them become servants of humanity. This cannot appeal to everyone.

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    Carm wrote:

    “I have several friends who are doing Ruhi who are intellectuals including one who is a member of the Association for Baha’i Studies and is a professor of anthropology at a respected American university.”

    Carm, I am no university professor, but I have done some books sevaral times and at each session, I learn something new from the comments of participants. I know one law professor from the US, who comes to french Polynesia to help with Ruhi.

    Not having priests, all Baha’is are expected to contribute to the educative efforts of society to make these people autonomous. This activity requires acquiring : not only knowledge, but also humility, patience, forebearance and pedagogical skills. When you do Ruhi book 3, it is obviously not for teaching you facts, but for teaching you how to capture the attention of kids.

    In a letter dated 5 July 1957 on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the Bah??’?s of the Benelux countries we read:

    Baha’u’llah has enjoined upon the Baha’is the sacred obligation of teaching. We have no priests, therefore the service once rendered by priests to their religions is the service every single Baha’i is expected to render individually to his religion. He must be the one who enlightens new souls, confirms them, heals the wounded and the weary upon the road of life, and gives them to quaff from the chalice of everlasting life – the knowledge of the Manifestation of God in His Day.

    This obligation of service was already prescribed by Baha’u’llah, for example in Gleanings CXLVII we read :
    …Be most loving one to another. Burn away, wholly for the sake of the Well-Beloved, the veil of self with the flame of the undying Fire, and with faces joyous and beaming with light, associate with your neighbor. … Let your principal concern be to rescue the fallen from the slough of impending extinction, and to help him embrace the ancient Faith of God.

    Or again in Gleanings CLVI:
    ?Address yourselves to the promotion of the well-being and tranquillity of the children of men. Bend your minds and wills to the education of the peoples and kindreds of the earth, that haply the dissensions that divide it may, through the power of the Most Great Name, be blotted out from its face, and all mankind become the upholders of one Order, and the inhabitants of one City. … Blessed is he who mingleth with all men in a spirit of utmost kindliness and love.?

    We live in a consumer society, infested with agressive competition. People go to religion to see what they can get out of it, something pleasurable; they want religion to be customised to serve them better; the Baha’i Faith is invitig people to help them become servants of humanity. This cannot appeal to everyone.

  • farhan

    Dan wrote:

    “The central figures of the Baha’i Faith spoke repeatedly about the fall of the Old Order, often in very frightening terms. Some other religious leaders have also delighted in telling such tales, and I do not deny that a bad end is a real possibility.”

    Dan, the central figures of the BF commented the age old predicions concerning the fall of one civilisation and the rise of the Golden age of humanity.

    The Baha’i teachings are infinitely optimistic about the outcome of this process, but foretll the pangs of birth for this new world, and promise us that teh sooner humanity is spiritualised, teh less it will suffer in this process of change.

    In any case, the near advent of Armageddon was foretold to a journalist by Abdu’l-Baha in the US (see the book referenced below) and the battle is definitely behind us.

    The word Armageddon is a Greek form of the Hebrew name Har Megiddon. It means “hill (or mountain) of Megiddo and has always referred to a plain in Palestine just outside of the town of Megiddo, bordered on then Northwest by the ridge called Mount Carmel. Several historical battles have taken place there and the latest by the Brotish in WWI between was to free Palestine from Turks and Germans.

    Islamic prophecies stated that the Arabs would hold Palestine until the Nile was brought to Mt. Sinai and that Al-i-Nabi would defeat the Arab armies. British General Allenby, whose name sounded precicely like Al-i-Nabi marched toward Jerusalem and constructed a water pipeline which brought water from the Nile to the foot of Mt. Sinai. After conquering Jerusalem he proceeded northwards toward Mt. Carmel and Haifa, entrusted with the specific mission to ensure the safety of Abdu’l-Baha by the British Parliament wich had been informed His precarious situation by Lady Blomfield, a British Baha’i.

    The Turks and Germans fled before Allenby and decided to make their final stand on the plain of Megiddo. Here the armies of comprising of English, Australian, New Zealand, India, Hong Kong, Singapore, France, Italy, South Africa, West Indies, Egypt, and Rarotongan Islands led by Allenby defeated the Turks, Germans, Austrians and Arabs after a short battle, taking 25 000 prisonners.

    Allenby cabled the British Government in London that Abdu’l-Baha was safe and He was knighted by the British for his humanitarian aid to the cities of Akka & Haifa during W.W.I.

    Allenby became known by the title « Allenby of Armageddon ».

    See “The Servant, The General & Armageddon by Roderic & Derwent Maude published by George Ronald.”

    For details of the battle see Rickard, J (6 September 2007), Battle of Megiddo, 19-25 September 1918 , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/battles_megiddo1918.html

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    Dan wrote:

    “The central figures of the Baha’i Faith spoke repeatedly about the fall of the Old Order, often in very frightening terms. Some other religious leaders have also delighted in telling such tales, and I do not deny that a bad end is a real possibility.”

    Dan, the central figures of the BF commented the age old predicions concerning the fall of one civilisation and the rise of the Golden age of humanity.

    The Baha’i teachings are infinitely optimistic about the outcome of this process, but foretll the pangs of birth for this new world, and promise us that teh sooner humanity is spiritualised, teh less it will suffer in this process of change.

    In any case, the near advent of Armageddon was foretold to a journalist by Abdu’l-Baha in the US (see the book referenced below) and the battle is definitely behind us.

    The word Armageddon is a Greek form of the Hebrew name Har Megiddon. It means “hill (or mountain) of Megiddo and has always referred to a plain in Palestine just outside of the town of Megiddo, bordered on then Northwest by the ridge called Mount Carmel. Several historical battles have taken place there and the latest by the Brotish in WWI between was to free Palestine from Turks and Germans.

    Islamic prophecies stated that the Arabs would hold Palestine until the Nile was brought to Mt. Sinai and that Al-i-Nabi would defeat the Arab armies. British General Allenby, whose name sounded precicely like Al-i-Nabi marched toward Jerusalem and constructed a water pipeline which brought water from the Nile to the foot of Mt. Sinai. After conquering Jerusalem he proceeded northwards toward Mt. Carmel and Haifa, entrusted with the specific mission to ensure the safety of Abdu’l-Baha by the British Parliament wich had been informed His precarious situation by Lady Blomfield, a British Baha’i.

    The Turks and Germans fled before Allenby and decided to make their final stand on the plain of Megiddo. Here the armies of comprising of English, Australian, New Zealand, India, Hong Kong, Singapore, France, Italy, South Africa, West Indies, Egypt, and Rarotongan Islands led by Allenby defeated the Turks, Germans, Austrians and Arabs after a short battle, taking 25 000 prisonners.

    Allenby cabled the British Government in London that Abdu’l-Baha was safe and He was knighted by the British for his humanitarian aid to the cities of Akka & Haifa during W.W.I.

    Allenby became known by the title « Allenby of Armageddon ».

    See “The Servant, The General & Armageddon by Roderic & Derwent Maude published by George Ronald.”

    For details of the battle see Rickard, J (6 September 2007), Battle of Megiddo, 19-25 September 1918 , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/battles_megiddo1918.html

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    Dan wrote,

    “Thats why Farhan’s anecdote about his building momentum study class had me roaring with laughter.”

    Dan, I am sorry that I made you laugh, I certainly did not intend to; there is nothing to laugh at when we meet people who have not been privileged with the same educationnal facilites as us; what I believe is that in time these “backward” but pure hearted peasants will outshine the so called developped and civilised countries.

    You will be amazed at the intellectual capacities of kids who from youth have learnt to share spiritual insight and help others in their spiritual path. Here is how the Bab in His speach to the letters of the living (Nabil’s Narrative) descibes the proficiency of kids in times to come:

    “The secret of the Day that is to come is now concealed. It can neither be divulged nor estimated. The newly born babe of that Day excels the wisest and most venerable men of this time, and the lowliest and most unlearned of that period shall surpass in understanding the most erudite and accomplished divines of this age.”

  • farhan

    Dan wrote,

    “Thats why Farhan’s anecdote about his building momentum study class had me roaring with laughter.”

    Dan, I am sorry that I made you laugh, I certainly did not intend to; there is nothing to laugh at when we meet people who have not been privileged with the same educationnal facilites as us; what I believe is that in time these “backward” but pure hearted peasants will outshine the so called developped and civilised countries.

    You will be amazed at the intellectual capacities of kids who from youth have learnt to share spiritual insight and help others in their spiritual path. Here is how the Bab in His speach to the letters of the living (Nabil’s Narrative) descibes the proficiency of kids in times to come:

    “The secret of the Day that is to come is now concealed. It can neither be divulged nor estimated. The newly born babe of that Day excels the wisest and most venerable men of this time, and the lowliest and most unlearned of that period shall surpass in understanding the most erudite and accomplished divines of this age.”

  • Dear Farhan,

    Please let me make this clear: I’m not talking about Armageddon; I’m talking about *Abhageddon*. Why? Because that is what the present UHJ letter is alluding to, the letter’s point being that the world will become more and more miserable until it comes rushing to the Baha’is for relief. Only after that mass-conversion will we return to Eden.

    As you have noted, Shoghi Effendi alluded to great misery in the future. He seemed to be quite sure that things would get much worse, and he lived through WWI and WWII. Again, as you have noted, the UHJ is merely continuing the Baha’i emphasis of this theme.

    That dark period will be dark enough for everybody, but it will be particularly hard on the Baha’is, who will be opposed, persecuted, oppressed, called silly names, robbed of their lunch money, etc.

    I read the Dawn Breakers as a child. I even won an award for my knowledge of the history of the Faith as a child. I won it because I knew about the Baha’i kid who got stoned on his way home. I knew his name. I absorbed all this cautionary information as a Baha’i youth, and have taken the appropriate corrective action: I recanted! 🙂

    Yours,
    Dan

  • Dear Farhan,

    Please let me make this clear: I’m not talking about Armageddon; I’m talking about *Abhageddon*. Why? Because that is what the present UHJ letter is alluding to, the letter’s point being that the world will become more and more miserable until it comes rushing to the Baha’is for relief. Only after that mass-conversion will we return to Eden.

    As you have noted, Shoghi Effendi alluded to great misery in the future. He seemed to be quite sure that things would get much worse, and he lived through WWI and WWII. Again, as you have noted, the UHJ is merely continuing the Baha’i emphasis of this theme.

    That dark period will be dark enough for everybody, but it will be particularly hard on the Baha’is, who will be opposed, persecuted, oppressed, called silly names, robbed of their lunch money, etc.

    I read the Dawn Breakers as a child. I even won an award for my knowledge of the history of the Faith as a child. I won it because I knew about the Baha’i kid who got stoned on his way home. I knew his name. I absorbed all this cautionary information as a Baha’i youth, and have taken the appropriate corrective action: I recanted! 🙂

    Yours,
    Dan

  • Carm-again

    Farhan wrote:

    “Not having priests, all Baha’is are expected to contribute to the educative efforts of society to make these people autonomous. This activity requires acquiring : not only knowledge, but also humility, patience, forebearance and pedagogical skills… This obligation of service was already prescribed by Baha’u’llah…
    We live in a consumer society, infested with agressive competition. People go to religion to see what they can get out of it, something pleasurable; they want religion to be customised to serve them better; the Baha’i Faith is inviting people to help them become servants of humanity. This cannot appeal to everyone.”

    I think you make some excellent points. It’s not just Ruhi that cannot appeal to everyone. Many people have the attitude that the writings of Baha’u’llah or the Bab or Abdu’l-Baha are “cow dung” or they have some other negative label. It’s not just about Ruhi. Some people think very negatively of various Baha’i writings. This is not a problem for me as each person has their own spiritual and intellectual understanding.

    There have always been and will always be people who come to dislike or even hate some aspect of a religion they have joined. It’s not only the Faith. People drop out of churches or stop going to synagogues etc for various reasons orthey become disillusioned with other beliefs they may have had. It’s a very personal matter.

    One point I would like to make is that the faith is growing fast in countries where many people in villages or even towns have only a basic level of education. For example, one of the delegates at the international convention this year mentioned that in India for example, more than 80,000 people have completed a study circle
    and some 6,000 people have advanced to Ruhi book 7. As a result many people have become interested in the Faith and thousands have become Bah??’?s since last May. So this might not hae been possible without Ruhi courses to provide a systematic learning environment for so many.

    Regarding the importance of service which you rghtly noted, another delegate, Gregory Dahl, who I know was an economist with the IMF for decades, explained that the new emphasis on a few core activities, along with a systematic process of learning and reflection, is indeed aimed at building up the Bah??’? community’s capacity for such service. He said:?The whole orientation of the Bah??’? Faith is service to humankind, and we can do that better if we can do that systematically.”

    As you note, this cannot “appeal to everyone.” At whatever stage of the Faith’s growth I examine, there are always people who have vehemently disagreed with either the Head and/or certain policies and directions. This is inescapable. However, I accept that we are still learning and I was heartened to see that some participants at the latest international convention found that the “diversity was unprecedented.” As the UHJ has noted several times, there is a very significant relationship between crisis and victory. For more on the convention delegates here’s an inspiring link: http://news.bahai.org/story/631

    Carmen

  • Carm-again

    Farhan wrote:

    “Not having priests, all Baha’is are expected to contribute to the educative efforts of society to make these people autonomous. This activity requires acquiring : not only knowledge, but also humility, patience, forebearance and pedagogical skills… This obligation of service was already prescribed by Baha’u’llah…
    We live in a consumer society, infested with agressive competition. People go to religion to see what they can get out of it, something pleasurable; they want religion to be customised to serve them better; the Baha’i Faith is inviting people to help them become servants of humanity. This cannot appeal to everyone.”

    I think you make some excellent points. It’s not just Ruhi that cannot appeal to everyone. Many people have the attitude that the writings of Baha’u’llah or the Bab or Abdu’l-Baha are “cow dung” or they have some other negative label. It’s not just about Ruhi. Some people think very negatively of various Baha’i writings. This is not a problem for me as each person has their own spiritual and intellectual understanding.

    There have always been and will always be people who come to dislike or even hate some aspect of a religion they have joined. It’s not only the Faith. People drop out of churches or stop going to synagogues etc for various reasons orthey become disillusioned with other beliefs they may have had. It’s a very personal matter.

    One point I would like to make is that the faith is growing fast in countries where many people in villages or even towns have only a basic level of education. For example, one of the delegates at the international convention this year mentioned that in India for example, more than 80,000 people have completed a study circle
    and some 6,000 people have advanced to Ruhi book 7. As a result many people have become interested in the Faith and thousands have become Bah??’?s since last May. So this might not hae been possible without Ruhi courses to provide a systematic learning environment for so many.

    Regarding the importance of service which you rghtly noted, another delegate, Gregory Dahl, who I know was an economist with the IMF for decades, explained that the new emphasis on a few core activities, along with a systematic process of learning and reflection, is indeed aimed at building up the Bah??’? community’s capacity for such service. He said:?The whole orientation of the Bah??’? Faith is service to humankind, and we can do that better if we can do that systematically.”

    As you note, this cannot “appeal to everyone.” At whatever stage of the Faith’s growth I examine, there are always people who have vehemently disagreed with either the Head and/or certain policies and directions. This is inescapable. However, I accept that we are still learning and I was heartened to see that some participants at the latest international convention found that the “diversity was unprecedented.” As the UHJ has noted several times, there is a very significant relationship between crisis and victory. For more on the convention delegates here’s an inspiring link: http://news.bahai.org/story/631

    Carmen

  • Farhan writes:
    [quote comment=”50210″]Dan, I am sorry that I made you laugh, I certainly did not intend to; there is nothing to laugh at when we meet people who have not been privileged with the same educationnal facilites as us;[/quote]

    Farhan, my brother, please don’t ever apologize for making me laugh. That is always a good deed. Just for the record though, I think perhaps in this case it was Grover whom you caused to laugh. As for yours truly, I am too busy laughing at my own jokes to appreciate anyone else’s humor!

  • Farhan writes:
    [quote comment=”50210″]Dan, I am sorry that I made you laugh, I certainly did not intend to; there is nothing to laugh at when we meet people who have not been privileged with the same educationnal facilites as us;[/quote]

    Farhan, my brother, please don’t ever apologize for making me laugh. That is always a good deed. Just for the record though, I think perhaps in this case it was Grover whom you caused to laugh. As for yours truly, I am too busy laughing at my own jokes to appreciate anyone else’s humor!

  • Carm-again

    Craig wrote: “I am very glad you have highly educated friends that can read books. Good for you. Impressive. Your personal cache has just gone up on this site.”

    Craig, I certainly hope that my “personal cache” you put it has not gone up because I have highly educated friends. One of the most wonderful lessons of my life as a Baha’i is that I have learned some of the greatest spiritual lessons in my life, and listened to the most profound insights, from Baha’i and non-Baha’i friends who are not well educated but who have a level of understanding that does not come only from degrees, diplomas and books! This was the experience the great Baha’i scholar, Mirza Abu’l Fadl had when he encountered an illiterate blacksmith.

    Over the last month I have been marveling at the insights of an English Christian carpenter who I met when he came to do some work at my house. We have become great friends. he left school at 14but I find that many of his observations are more profound than those of my intellectual friends. I do have quite a high number of friends who are in academia and are highly intelligent. However, I hope you will not think this is impressive. In the time of Christ his followers were mostly lowly fishermen. The highly educated priests of his time rejected him.

    Intellectual learning and spiritual learning, which involves qualities such as humility and love, are not the same things. Mirza Abu’l Fadl said he read the Kitab-I-Iqan several times with the eye of the intellect and found nothing of value. When he read it with the eye of faith, each time he did so, many wonderful truths were revealed to him. So kindly knock me back down from the impressive pedastal 🙂

    I know people with Summa Cum Laude or First Class Honours degrees who lack common sense – something else that you cannot learn in books!

    Carmen

  • Carm-again

    Craig wrote: “I am very glad you have highly educated friends that can read books. Good for you. Impressive. Your personal cache has just gone up on this site.”

    Craig, I certainly hope that my “personal cache” you put it has not gone up because I have highly educated friends. One of the most wonderful lessons of my life as a Baha’i is that I have learned some of the greatest spiritual lessons in my life, and listened to the most profound insights, from Baha’i and non-Baha’i friends who are not well educated but who have a level of understanding that does not come only from degrees, diplomas and books! This was the experience the great Baha’i scholar, Mirza Abu’l Fadl had when he encountered an illiterate blacksmith.

    Over the last month I have been marveling at the insights of an English Christian carpenter who I met when he came to do some work at my house. We have become great friends. he left school at 14but I find that many of his observations are more profound than those of my intellectual friends. I do have quite a high number of friends who are in academia and are highly intelligent. However, I hope you will not think this is impressive. In the time of Christ his followers were mostly lowly fishermen. The highly educated priests of his time rejected him.

    Intellectual learning and spiritual learning, which involves qualities such as humility and love, are not the same things. Mirza Abu’l Fadl said he read the Kitab-I-Iqan several times with the eye of the intellect and found nothing of value. When he read it with the eye of faith, each time he did so, many wonderful truths were revealed to him. So kindly knock me back down from the impressive pedastal 🙂

    I know people with Summa Cum Laude or First Class Honours degrees who lack common sense – something else that you cannot learn in books!

    Carmen

  • Carm-again

    Grover wrote:” I’ve sat through several Ruhi books, so I’ve experienced enough to know how crap it is. I don’t believe the hype.”

    I understand that this is your experience. I also understand that, as you said (if I recall correctly), when you went on pilgrimage you didn’t feel anything special. These experiences are all very personal. My experience of pilgrimage is one of the most precious and cherished memories of my life as a Baha’i. It happened only two years after I became a Baha’i. It didn’t happen because the House of Justice told me that it should be special – just like those in our group didn’t feel Ruhi was wonderful because the House said it is. We just enjoyed the whole preocess tremendously. I know people who have come back from pilgrimage or a year of service in Haifa with a wonderful spiritual feeling they cherish forever. On the other hand, Dan’s year of service experience was part of losing his faith in Baha’u’llah and the Faith. Different strokes for different folks including two former atheist friends of mine who ar now Christians. Belief and a life of religious or anti-religious commitment is an intensely personal thing.

    Carmen

  • Carm-again

    Grover wrote:” I’ve sat through several Ruhi books, so I’ve experienced enough to know how crap it is. I don’t believe the hype.”

    I understand that this is your experience. I also understand that, as you said (if I recall correctly), when you went on pilgrimage you didn’t feel anything special. These experiences are all very personal. My experience of pilgrimage is one of the most precious and cherished memories of my life as a Baha’i. It happened only two years after I became a Baha’i. It didn’t happen because the House of Justice told me that it should be special – just like those in our group didn’t feel Ruhi was wonderful because the House said it is. We just enjoyed the whole preocess tremendously. I know people who have come back from pilgrimage or a year of service in Haifa with a wonderful spiritual feeling they cherish forever. On the other hand, Dan’s year of service experience was part of losing his faith in Baha’u’llah and the Faith. Different strokes for different folks including two former atheist friends of mine who ar now Christians. Belief and a life of religious or anti-religious commitment is an intensely personal thing.

    Carmen

  • [quote comment=””]On the other hand, Dan’s year of service experience was part of losing his faith in Baha’u’llah and the Faith.[/quote]

    It was also a great experience; a very spiritual, beautiful experience.

  • [quote comment=””]On the other hand, Dan’s year of service experience was part of losing his faith in Baha’u’llah and the Faith.[/quote]

    It was also a great experience; a very spiritual, beautiful experience.

  • farhan

    Carm wrote:

    “I know people with Summa Cum Laude or First Class Honours degrees who lack common sense – something else that you cannot learn in books!”

    I agree, Carm; i have noticed this true wisdom in many humble people.

    also, I couldn’t help remembering a famous quote from Voltaire:
    “Common sense is the most fairly distributed gift: no one complains of not having received enough.”

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    Carm wrote:

    “I know people with Summa Cum Laude or First Class Honours degrees who lack common sense – something else that you cannot learn in books!”

    I agree, Carm; i have noticed this true wisdom in many humble people.

    also, I couldn’t help remembering a famous quote from Voltaire:
    “Common sense is the most fairly distributed gift: no one complains of not having received enough.”

  • farhan

    Grover wrote:
    I mean if the UHJ told the Baha’is that eating cow dung had marvelous health benefits, I’m sure some would happily start scoffing into it, no matter how foul it tasted.

    Grover, there is some misunderstanding: first of all it’s horse shit and not cow dung, and secondly, it is to be used as fertilizer for the garden and not for eating: open your eyes, dear friend!

    You must have misread the messages from the UHJ ; Coherence is one essential aspect of God’s revelation.

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    Grover wrote:
    I mean if the UHJ told the Baha’is that eating cow dung had marvelous health benefits, I’m sure some would happily start scoffing into it, no matter how foul it tasted.

    Grover, there is some misunderstanding: first of all it’s horse shit and not cow dung, and secondly, it is to be used as fertilizer for the garden and not for eating: open your eyes, dear friend!

    You must have misread the messages from the UHJ ; Coherence is one essential aspect of God’s revelation.

  • Grover

    Carmen wrote:

    [quote post=”492″]I also understand that, as you said (if I recall correctly), when you went on pilgrimage you didn’t feel anything special. [/quote]

    Not exactly true, I did enjoy pilgrimage, but all the formalism and “reverence” detracted from the experience. They were so extravagant in showing their reverence in the shrines that it just seemed ludicrous. Everyone has their own ways of showing or feeling reverence, but to imitate one group because thats the way they do it seemed silly to me. It’s like a person reciting ten million prayers when one is enough, who is that person doing it for? So everyone else thinks how great that person is? It’s like the Bahai Faith all over, its got a flash glossy cover that promises heaps, but in the end its all show and words and little else. Why can’t people be honest for once instead of being caught up in the words? E.g. Local Spiritual Assembly = Channels of Divine Guidance. Reality, a very inefficient community group committee. Ruhi = The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread. Reality, a boring indoctrination tool. If people were just honest instead of clacking on because it is whats expected of them as a “dedicated Baha’i” the Faith would be a hell of a lot better. You’d probably argue, who am I to judge? And that would be fair enough. I just want something honest without all the hype, jargon and buzzwords.

  • Grover

    Carmen wrote:

    [quote post=”492″]I also understand that, as you said (if I recall correctly), when you went on pilgrimage you didn’t feel anything special. [/quote]

    Not exactly true, I did enjoy pilgrimage, but all the formalism and “reverence” detracted from the experience. They were so extravagant in showing their reverence in the shrines that it just seemed ludicrous. Everyone has their own ways of showing or feeling reverence, but to imitate one group because thats the way they do it seemed silly to me. It’s like a person reciting ten million prayers when one is enough, who is that person doing it for? So everyone else thinks how great that person is? It’s like the Bahai Faith all over, its got a flash glossy cover that promises heaps, but in the end its all show and words and little else. Why can’t people be honest for once instead of being caught up in the words? E.g. Local Spiritual Assembly = Channels of Divine Guidance. Reality, a very inefficient community group committee. Ruhi = The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread. Reality, a boring indoctrination tool. If people were just honest instead of clacking on because it is whats expected of them as a “dedicated Baha’i” the Faith would be a hell of a lot better. You’d probably argue, who am I to judge? And that would be fair enough. I just want something honest without all the hype, jargon and buzzwords.

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=”50216″]

    Craig, I certainly hope that my “personal cache” you put it has not gone up because I have highly educated friends. One of the most wonderful lessons of my life as a Baha’i is that I have learned some of the greatest spiritual lessons in my life, and listened to the most profound insights, from Baha’i and non-Baha’i friends who are not well educated but who have a level of understanding that does not come only from degrees, diplomas and books!…

    So kindly knock me back down from the impressive pedastal 🙂

    I know people with Summa Cum Laude or First Class Honours degrees who lack common sense – something else that you cannot learn in books!

    Carmen[/quote]

    Carmen,

    I was joking.

    But thanks for the lecture.

    You and Farhan are the most amazing platitude machines I have encountered in quite some time. I could have written EVERYTHING both of you have said line for line for the last 10-15 posts. Don’t you realize that we are all long time Baha’is here? Where is your social acumen and sensitivity? We know all this. We have heard all this. We have said all this ourselves for decades!

    It doesn’t wash anymore because the Baha’i Faith is going nowhere decade after decade. It has failed.

    You have both reframed what all of us have said as the typical platitude reframe that we are not selfless humble people. We are eductated so we are judging the poor, poor, poor unfortunate uneducated. It is all the same mindless Baha’i bullshit platitudes. Yes I know the “unletter ones” quote… WE ALL KNOW IT HERE, because WE HAVE ALL BEEN LONG LONG TIME BAHA’IS! I have been to 10,000 Firesides. I have given 10,000 Firesides. Why can’t you guys get this picture into your heads in your endless stream of amazing knee jerk hack platitudes?

    I guarantee you I have more friends from more levels of society educated and uneducated than either you or Farhan. I will also fully say that every person on Earth educated or uneducated is a genius at something. Every person. I also have many friends from the crimonal element of society. Why? Because I write film scripts. If you write film scripts you have to have good friends in the criminal element of scoiety. I have taught the Faith to many of them. I have even gotten some to change their ways. Buddhism, however, does seem to work better on them. Explaining things in karmic terms has caused some lasting change in some.

    For what it’s worth, I have an Ivy League degree from the Wharton School of Finance and Commerce of the University of Pennsylvania. But after my military service in the 1960’s and 1970’s I completely dropped out of that level of society. I should have spent my entire life working at J.P. Morgan Chase in NYC, but I had no ambition for that world after my experience in the U.S. military.

    I started my own business where I worked with my hands to try to regain my mental health. I rented and sold construction machinery to the public. I helped small businessmen and home owners with their projects. I repaired lawn mowers with my hands. I talked with people daily about life. I taught the Faith from my shop and was well known where I live. So your little lectures and endless platitudes I truly find amusing. You guys have a platitude story for everything. You know nothing about the lives of anyone here. In the 1980’s I got into microcomputers. I am self taught in several computer languages. That is how I earn my living now. I support the livlihoods of about 400 people and their families. If I earn my living by intellectual skill, am I the enemy of God in the NEW THINK Baha’i Faith?

    As to actually helping people, my sister, for example, has been in Afghanistan on the ground for seven years getting medical help to 600,000 families in 16 provances. Does that count for selfless service? Have any of you every done anything of that magnitude? And in a war zone where you can be killed by armed men? She and her husband actually sought out and employed as many Baha’is as they could find to work on the project. They found three Baha’is in Kabul and employed them. The Baha’is did a good job. Have you ever employed any Baha’is in a war zone who had suffered greatly through 23 years of horrible war? Does that count as some kind of socio-economic project? Or is my sister, because she is educated, the NEW THINK Enemy of God in the GROUP THINK Baha’i Faith? Is she an Enemy of God because she has accoumplised something outside of the Ruhi Full Sequence of Courses on the planet Earth?

    So your platitude stories amuse me. You know absolutely nothing about anyone here and what their lives have been like yet it is endless, thoughtless, platitude lectures at every keyboard session. I am sure you are nice people. Most Baha’is are very nice people. But they have often really accomplished nothing ever but talk. Have you ever been a combat soldier where you killed a man for your country? Have you ever tried to help someone who did that deal with it spiritually? Where have you ever been? What have you ever seen?

    Armageddon has actually happened over and over. Weren’t the photos of Hiroshima enough for any of you? There is Armageddon in Iraq tonight. Why don’t you Carman and you Farhan start coming to the U.S. on your spare time to visit wounded soldiers in V.A. hospistals? Afterall, they were sent to “do God’s work” on behalf of the Baha’is as Glenford Mitchell said.

    All you two can do is lecture everyone with platitudes. As Baha’is what have you ever done but talk?

    And Carmen, you came on here lecturing everyone about being effete “Western intellecturals” right from the get go. Yawn. The same old, same old.

    Maybe both of you need to change religions for the remaining years of your lives. Maybe you need to look with different eyes at everything?

    The Baha’i Faith has failed every man, woman, and child on Earth for the 36 years I have been in it. I tried as hard as I could in the things I was told we were supposed to do. Now I am told all of those things were wrong by the VERY SAME people that told me I was supposed to be doing them BACK THEN!

    So I’m done. I don’t believe them anymore. The game is over.

    But the Teachings of the Maid of Heaven that Baha’u’llah channelled WILL definitely go on in other people’s hearts and minds. I believe that. The human race has suffered too much for them not to. But the “official” Baha’i Faith organization as it now exists is a religion of losers who cannot tie their own shoes.

    So it goes.

    And by-the-way, neither of you have answered me in our little discussion on conscience. On the morning of March 16th, 1968, who do either of your shoot – my friend CWO Hugh Thompson Jr. or Lieutenant Calley? Remember, they were BOTH sent to “do God’s work” in Baha’i terms in Glenford Mitchell BAHA’I NEW THINK. So which one do you shoot in that moment that Hugh Thompson Jr. flew into?

    Let’s hear your answers from your safe living rooms with your Ruhi classes in 2008.

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=”50216″]

    Craig, I certainly hope that my “personal cache” you put it has not gone up because I have highly educated friends. One of the most wonderful lessons of my life as a Baha’i is that I have learned some of the greatest spiritual lessons in my life, and listened to the most profound insights, from Baha’i and non-Baha’i friends who are not well educated but who have a level of understanding that does not come only from degrees, diplomas and books!…

    So kindly knock me back down from the impressive pedastal 🙂

    I know people with Summa Cum Laude or First Class Honours degrees who lack common sense – something else that you cannot learn in books!

    Carmen[/quote]

    Carmen,

    I was joking.

    But thanks for the lecture.

    You and Farhan are the most amazing platitude machines I have encountered in quite some time. I could have written EVERYTHING both of you have said line for line for the last 10-15 posts. Don’t you realize that we are all long time Baha’is here? Where is your social acumen and sensitivity? We know all this. We have heard all this. We have said all this ourselves for decades!

    It doesn’t wash anymore because the Baha’i Faith is going nowhere decade after decade. It has failed.

    You have both reframed what all of us have said as the typical platitude reframe that we are not selfless humble people. We are eductated so we are judging the poor, poor, poor unfortunate uneducated. It is all the same mindless Baha’i bullshit platitudes. Yes I know the “unletter ones” quote… WE ALL KNOW IT HERE, because WE HAVE ALL BEEN LONG LONG TIME BAHA’IS! I have been to 10,000 Firesides. I have given 10,000 Firesides. Why can’t you guys get this picture into your heads in your endless stream of amazing knee jerk hack platitudes?

    I guarantee you I have more friends from more levels of society educated and uneducated than either you or Farhan. I will also fully say that every person on Earth educated or uneducated is a genius at something. Every person. I also have many friends from the crimonal element of society. Why? Because I write film scripts. If you write film scripts you have to have good friends in the criminal element of scoiety. I have taught the Faith to many of them. I have even gotten some to change their ways. Buddhism, however, does seem to work better on them. Explaining things in karmic terms has caused some lasting change in some.

    For what it’s worth, I have an Ivy League degree from the Wharton School of Finance and Commerce of the University of Pennsylvania. But after my military service in the 1960’s and 1970’s I completely dropped out of that level of society. I should have spent my entire life working at J.P. Morgan Chase in NYC, but I had no ambition for that world after my experience in the U.S. military.

    I started my own business where I worked with my hands to try to regain my mental health. I rented and sold construction machinery to the public. I helped small businessmen and home owners with their projects. I repaired lawn mowers with my hands. I talked with people daily about life. I taught the Faith from my shop and was well known where I live. So your little lectures and endless platitudes I truly find amusing. You guys have a platitude story for everything. You know nothing about the lives of anyone here. In the 1980’s I got into microcomputers. I am self taught in several computer languages. That is how I earn my living now. I support the livlihoods of about 400 people and their families. If I earn my living by intellectual skill, am I the enemy of God in the NEW THINK Baha’i Faith?

    As to actually helping people, my sister, for example, has been in Afghanistan on the ground for seven years getting medical help to 600,000 families in 16 provances. Does that count for selfless service? Have any of you every done anything of that magnitude? And in a war zone where you can be killed by armed men? She and her husband actually sought out and employed as many Baha’is as they could find to work on the project. They found three Baha’is in Kabul and employed them. The Baha’is did a good job. Have you ever employed any Baha’is in a war zone who had suffered greatly through 23 years of horrible war? Does that count as some kind of socio-economic project? Or is my sister, because she is educated, the NEW THINK Enemy of God in the GROUP THINK Baha’i Faith? Is she an Enemy of God because she has accoumplised something outside of the Ruhi Full Sequence of Courses on the planet Earth?

    So your platitude stories amuse me. You know absolutely nothing about anyone here and what their lives have been like yet it is endless, thoughtless, platitude lectures at every keyboard session. I am sure you are nice people. Most Baha’is are very nice people. But they have often really accomplished nothing ever but talk. Have you ever been a combat soldier where you killed a man for your country? Have you ever tried to help someone who did that deal with it spiritually? Where have you ever been? What have you ever seen?

    Armageddon has actually happened over and over. Weren’t the photos of Hiroshima enough for any of you? There is Armageddon in Iraq tonight. Why don’t you Carman and you Farhan start coming to the U.S. on your spare time to visit wounded soldiers in V.A. hospistals? Afterall, they were sent to “do God’s work” on behalf of the Baha’is as Glenford Mitchell said.

    All you two can do is lecture everyone with platitudes. As Baha’is what have you ever done but talk?

    And Carmen, you came on here lecturing everyone about being effete “Western intellecturals” right from the get go. Yawn. The same old, same old.

    Maybe both of you need to change religions for the remaining years of your lives. Maybe you need to look with different eyes at everything?

    The Baha’i Faith has failed every man, woman, and child on Earth for the 36 years I have been in it. I tried as hard as I could in the things I was told we were supposed to do. Now I am told all of those things were wrong by the VERY SAME people that told me I was supposed to be doing them BACK THEN!

    So I’m done. I don’t believe them anymore. The game is over.

    But the Teachings of the Maid of Heaven that Baha’u’llah channelled WILL definitely go on in other people’s hearts and minds. I believe that. The human race has suffered too much for them not to. But the “official” Baha’i Faith organization as it now exists is a religion of losers who cannot tie their own shoes.

    So it goes.

    And by-the-way, neither of you have answered me in our little discussion on conscience. On the morning of March 16th, 1968, who do either of your shoot – my friend CWO Hugh Thompson Jr. or Lieutenant Calley? Remember, they were BOTH sent to “do God’s work” in Baha’i terms in Glenford Mitchell BAHA’I NEW THINK. So which one do you shoot in that moment that Hugh Thompson Jr. flew into?

    Let’s hear your answers from your safe living rooms with your Ruhi classes in 2008.

  • David

    Craig, I’d also like Carmen to answer this question of yours:

    “But here is the question: All these friends of yours took the course in your home and it was a splendid experience. So NOW how many fellow lawyers, fellow Ph.D’s, fellow medical doctors, fellow professional interpreters, fellow translators, fellow MBA’s, and fellow anthropology professors have they ALL brought into ROUND TWO to take the courses and ?share the Faith? in this wonderful experience?”

  • David

    Craig, I’d also like Carmen to answer this question of yours:

    “But here is the question: All these friends of yours took the course in your home and it was a splendid experience. So NOW how many fellow lawyers, fellow Ph.D’s, fellow medical doctors, fellow professional interpreters, fellow translators, fellow MBA’s, and fellow anthropology professors have they ALL brought into ROUND TWO to take the courses and ?share the Faith? in this wonderful experience?”

  • Grover

    Farhan wrote:

    [quote post=”492″]Grover wrote:
    I mean if the UHJ told the Baha’is that eating cow dung had marvelous health benefits, I’m sure some would happily start scoffing into it, no matter how foul it tasted.

    Grover, there is some misunderstanding: first of all it’s horse shit and not cow dung, and secondly, it is to be used as fertilizer for the garden and not for eating: open your eyes, dear friend!

    You must have misread the messages from the UHJ ; Coherence is one essential aspect of God’s revelation.[/quote]

    Hahaha, I’m sure you’re yanking my chain. My analogy stands.

  • Grover

    Farhan wrote:

    [quote post=”492″]Grover wrote:
    I mean if the UHJ told the Baha’is that eating cow dung had marvelous health benefits, I’m sure some would happily start scoffing into it, no matter how foul it tasted.

    Grover, there is some misunderstanding: first of all it’s horse shit and not cow dung, and secondly, it is to be used as fertilizer for the garden and not for eating: open your eyes, dear friend!

    You must have misread the messages from the UHJ ; Coherence is one essential aspect of God’s revelation.[/quote]

    Hahaha, I’m sure you’re yanking my chain. My analogy stands.

  • Carm-again

    Craig wrote: ” And Carmen, you came on here lecturing everyone about being effete “Western intellecturals” right from the get go. Yawn. The same old, same old.”

    Craig, I never at any time said any such thing about western intellectuals! You are confusing me with anony-muz (if I’ve spelled the nic correctly). I remember him or her making that comment and I agree with anyone who says that comment (and some others of his/her I can think of) was wrong.

    Craig wrote: “I was joking.”

    I’m sorry if I misunderstood you were joking. This is cyber space and we do not have body language to guide us. I thought you were being sarcastic and negative as all your other comments about the Faith, Ruhi, the UHJ, Baha’is like me and Farhan, etc etc are highly negative and sarcastic. Your comment that you were joking comes as a real surprise.

    As for your other points, we can agree to disagree. We obviously have very different opinions regarding not only our experiences as Baha’is but where the Baha’i Faith is going. Just because you have heard it all before does not mean I do not have the right to say what I have to say. I have read and heard your comments and others like them many times before also. You can’t force me to accept your viewpoint and vice versa. We are only exchanging opinions.

    I firmly believe not only in Baha’u’llah but also in the legacy of leadership He left for the guidance of humanity. This includes the Universal House of Justice. “The sacred and youthful branch, the guardian of the cause of God as well as the Universal House of Justice, to be universally elected and established, are bot under the car and protection of the Abha beauty, under the shelter and unerring guidance of His Holiness, the Exalted One (may my life be offered up for them both). Abdu’l-Baha

    Only time time will tell which of us is right. I believe the Ruhi process, like other initiatives of the UHJ, are part of God’s plan for humanity. Whatever you may believe or say will never change my firm belief or the belief of millions of Baha’is like myself. Baha’is have been leaving the Faith for one reason or another ever since it began. This does not mean that the views of those who leave are correct.

    Only time will if the Faith is going in the wrong direction and will wither and die as you think or if it will continue to grow in unity and diversity as the recent international convention so wonderfully demonstrated with delegates from 153 countries.

    I am not going to get into a word for word contentious dispute with you about Ruhi or any other topic. Such a discussion would be futile since we already know each other’s perpectives. I only responded to your ‘joke’ because I thought you were being negative about my friends being able to read books and me having highly eductaed friends.

    Carmen

  • Carm-again

    Craig wrote: ” And Carmen, you came on here lecturing everyone about being effete “Western intellecturals” right from the get go. Yawn. The same old, same old.”

    Craig, I never at any time said any such thing about western intellectuals! You are confusing me with anony-muz (if I’ve spelled the nic correctly). I remember him or her making that comment and I agree with anyone who says that comment (and some others of his/her I can think of) was wrong.

    Craig wrote: “I was joking.”

    I’m sorry if I misunderstood you were joking. This is cyber space and we do not have body language to guide us. I thought you were being sarcastic and negative as all your other comments about the Faith, Ruhi, the UHJ, Baha’is like me and Farhan, etc etc are highly negative and sarcastic. Your comment that you were joking comes as a real surprise.

    As for your other points, we can agree to disagree. We obviously have very different opinions regarding not only our experiences as Baha’is but where the Baha’i Faith is going. Just because you have heard it all before does not mean I do not have the right to say what I have to say. I have read and heard your comments and others like them many times before also. You can’t force me to accept your viewpoint and vice versa. We are only exchanging opinions.

    I firmly believe not only in Baha’u’llah but also in the legacy of leadership He left for the guidance of humanity. This includes the Universal House of Justice. “The sacred and youthful branch, the guardian of the cause of God as well as the Universal House of Justice, to be universally elected and established, are bot under the car and protection of the Abha beauty, under the shelter and unerring guidance of His Holiness, the Exalted One (may my life be offered up for them both). Abdu’l-Baha

    Only time time will tell which of us is right. I believe the Ruhi process, like other initiatives of the UHJ, are part of God’s plan for humanity. Whatever you may believe or say will never change my firm belief or the belief of millions of Baha’is like myself. Baha’is have been leaving the Faith for one reason or another ever since it began. This does not mean that the views of those who leave are correct.

    Only time will if the Faith is going in the wrong direction and will wither and die as you think or if it will continue to grow in unity and diversity as the recent international convention so wonderfully demonstrated with delegates from 153 countries.

    I am not going to get into a word for word contentious dispute with you about Ruhi or any other topic. Such a discussion would be futile since we already know each other’s perpectives. I only responded to your ‘joke’ because I thought you were being negative about my friends being able to read books and me having highly eductaed friends.

    Carmen

  • Carm-again

    Dan wrote: “Farhan, my brother, please don’t ever apologize for making me laugh. That is always a good deed. Just for the record though, I think perhaps in this case it was Grover whom you caused to laugh. As for yours truly, I am too busy laughing at my own jokes to appreciate anyone else’s humor!”

    Dan, how much I agree with you! I think thea bility to laugh (especially at myself) is a great blessing. I know I have tons of faults and flaws as a human being and should never take myself too seriously. I was just reading my several typographical errors in a reply to Craig I just posted and got a good chuckle at my own expense 🙂

    Carmen
    p.s. I hope you’ll enjoy the following which a friend sent me.

    ENGLISH
    Let’s face it — English is a crazy language. There is no egg in eggplant nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren’t invented in England or French fries in France. Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren’t sweet, are meat.

    We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.

    And why is it that writers write but fingers don’t fing, grocers don’t groce and hammers don’t ham? If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn’t the plural of booth beeth? One goose, 2 geese. So one moose, 2 meese? One index, 2 indices?

    Doesn’t it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend, that you comb through annals of history but not a single annal? If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?

    If teachers taught, why didn’t preachers praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat? If you wrote a letter, perhaps you bote your tongue?

    Sometimes I think all the English speakers should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane. In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital? Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell?

    How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man
    and wise guy are opposites? How can overlook and oversee be opposites, while quite a lot and quite a few are alike? How can the weather be hot as hell one day and cold as hell another?

  • Carm-again

    Dan wrote: “Farhan, my brother, please don’t ever apologize for making me laugh. That is always a good deed. Just for the record though, I think perhaps in this case it was Grover whom you caused to laugh. As for yours truly, I am too busy laughing at my own jokes to appreciate anyone else’s humor!”

    Dan, how much I agree with you! I think thea bility to laugh (especially at myself) is a great blessing. I know I have tons of faults and flaws as a human being and should never take myself too seriously. I was just reading my several typographical errors in a reply to Craig I just posted and got a good chuckle at my own expense 🙂

    Carmen
    p.s. I hope you’ll enjoy the following which a friend sent me.

    ENGLISH
    Let’s face it — English is a crazy language. There is no egg in eggplant nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren’t invented in England or French fries in France. Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren’t sweet, are meat.

    We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.

    And why is it that writers write but fingers don’t fing, grocers don’t groce and hammers don’t ham? If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn’t the plural of booth beeth? One goose, 2 geese. So one moose, 2 meese? One index, 2 indices?

    Doesn’t it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend, that you comb through annals of history but not a single annal? If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?

    If teachers taught, why didn’t preachers praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat? If you wrote a letter, perhaps you bote your tongue?

    Sometimes I think all the English speakers should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane. In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital? Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell?

    How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man
    and wise guy are opposites? How can overlook and oversee be opposites, while quite a lot and quite a few are alike? How can the weather be hot as hell one day and cold as hell another?

  • Carm-again

    Grover wrote: “Not exactly true, I did enjoy pilgrimage, but all the formalism and “reverence” detracted from the experience. They were so extravagant in showing their reverence in the shrines that it just seemed ludicrous.”

    Thanks very much for the clarification. I did remember you didn’t like something but couldn’t recall precisely what it was. I didn’t mind the way others behaved when I was on pilgrimage. The impression I got was they genuinely had a heartfelt reverent feeling which is why they were behevaing in that way. That’s just my opinion. Like I said, these experiences are intensely personal.

    Carmen

  • Carm-again

    Grover wrote: “Not exactly true, I did enjoy pilgrimage, but all the formalism and “reverence” detracted from the experience. They were so extravagant in showing their reverence in the shrines that it just seemed ludicrous.”

    Thanks very much for the clarification. I did remember you didn’t like something but couldn’t recall precisely what it was. I didn’t mind the way others behaved when I was on pilgrimage. The impression I got was they genuinely had a heartfelt reverent feeling which is why they were behevaing in that way. That’s just my opinion. Like I said, these experiences are intensely personal.

    Carmen

  • Dear Craig,

    Man o man — you have energy and brilliance! But I respectfully suggest that you calm down before you do yourself harm.

    When you write:

    “But the Teachings of the Maid of Heaven that Baha’u’llah channelled WILL definitely go on in other people’s hearts and minds. I believe that. The human race has suffered too much for them not to. But the ?official? Baha’i Faith organization as it now exists is a religion of losers who cannot tie their own shoes.”

    I am amazed. Amazed because there is and was no Maid of Heaven (you know this, right?). What Baha’ullah channeled was the human race getting ready to meet the challenge of the new age. And as he grew older he mixed in lots of his own fear and transfered it on us, advising us to pray for eternal life as if nothing else really mattered.

    Baha’is look for answers in the text but the questions and answers must come from us, the human race or they will not come at all.

    Armies ‘doing Gods work’ mostly just create more questions (useful but at too high a price). But if anyone thinks we must have continuous violent death after violent death they don’t understand what free will is all about.

    Being convinced that all the answers are in the perfect revelation from god makes smart people dumb. Makes ’em twist themselves into knots to explain away the inadequate text.

    Your anger is directed at yourself. For years you followed something that can’t work. The platitudes that some of our friends here rely on must be comforting to them — maybe they can’t face the truth so they spout what they have been taught. Too bad your ability to face that truth has made you so angry!

    Maid of Heaven, Abha Kingdom, Concourse on High, blah, blah, blah.

    I guess these things must mean something, but I haven’t a clue as to what. Its more clouds, smoke and mirrors (perfectly polished ones at that) The books still need to be deciphered — by each one of us.

    We can pick through the Baha’i revelation and find useful nuggets and even an over riding theme or two but to think you can take it whole and justify your life that way just ain’t my cup of tea. For those who have found peace there — let ’em be — they mean no harm.

    In fact a question: do the devout, literalist Bahais do harm? Or is their prayerful approach helping us ‘on the spiritual plain?’ Or are they just members of yet another religion, albeit one with a particulary high sense of self importance?

    Peace,
    Frank

  • Dear Craig,

    Man o man — you have energy and brilliance! But I respectfully suggest that you calm down before you do yourself harm.

    When you write:

    “But the Teachings of the Maid of Heaven that Baha’u’llah channelled WILL definitely go on in other people’s hearts and minds. I believe that. The human race has suffered too much for them not to. But the ?official? Baha’i Faith organization as it now exists is a religion of losers who cannot tie their own shoes.”

    I am amazed. Amazed because there is and was no Maid of Heaven (you know this, right?). What Baha’ullah channeled was the human race getting ready to meet the challenge of the new age. And as he grew older he mixed in lots of his own fear and transfered it on us, advising us to pray for eternal life as if nothing else really mattered.

    Baha’is look for answers in the text but the questions and answers must come from us, the human race or they will not come at all.

    Armies ‘doing Gods work’ mostly just create more questions (useful but at too high a price). But if anyone thinks we must have continuous violent death after violent death they don’t understand what free will is all about.

    Being convinced that all the answers are in the perfect revelation from god makes smart people dumb. Makes ’em twist themselves into knots to explain away the inadequate text.

    Your anger is directed at yourself. For years you followed something that can’t work. The platitudes that some of our friends here rely on must be comforting to them — maybe they can’t face the truth so they spout what they have been taught. Too bad your ability to face that truth has made you so angry!

    Maid of Heaven, Abha Kingdom, Concourse on High, blah, blah, blah.

    I guess these things must mean something, but I haven’t a clue as to what. Its more clouds, smoke and mirrors (perfectly polished ones at that) The books still need to be deciphered — by each one of us.

    We can pick through the Baha’i revelation and find useful nuggets and even an over riding theme or two but to think you can take it whole and justify your life that way just ain’t my cup of tea. For those who have found peace there — let ’em be — they mean no harm.

    In fact a question: do the devout, literalist Bahais do harm? Or is their prayerful approach helping us ‘on the spiritual plain?’ Or are they just members of yet another religion, albeit one with a particulary high sense of self importance?

    Peace,
    Frank

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=”50240″]Craig wrote: ” And Carmen, you came on here lecturing everyone about being effete “Western intellecturals” right from the get go. Yawn. The same old, same old.”

    Craig, I never at any time said any such thing about western intellectuals! You are confusing me with anony-muz (if I’ve spelled the nic correctly). I remember him or her making that comment and I agree with anyone who says that comment (and some others of his/her I can think of) was wrong.

    Carmen[/quote]

    Carmen,

    You are entirely right to point this out. I was in error. And you have my sincere apology. It was a senior moment on my part.

    Frank,

    Yes. I should try to take your advice and calm down. I need to go into Walden Pond mode for sure. My oldest sister and her husband will be back from Afghanistan for a month in two weeks so that should get my mind off of all of this soon. They are coming to visit me. She does have a lot of respect for the Baha’i Faith. The three Baha’is that worked for them did a very fine job in Kabul. They actually sought out Baha’is to try to help them find a livlihood on the big project. Many of the Muslim women also did fine work. Many were the sole support of their families because their husbands had been killed in the long years of warfare. Some nearly starved to death under the Taliban at the end. But it is still pretty hard going even in Kabul.

    Best regards to all,

    Craig

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=”50240″]Craig wrote: ” And Carmen, you came on here lecturing everyone about being effete “Western intellecturals” right from the get go. Yawn. The same old, same old.”

    Craig, I never at any time said any such thing about western intellectuals! You are confusing me with anony-muz (if I’ve spelled the nic correctly). I remember him or her making that comment and I agree with anyone who says that comment (and some others of his/her I can think of) was wrong.

    Carmen[/quote]

    Carmen,

    You are entirely right to point this out. I was in error. And you have my sincere apology. It was a senior moment on my part.

    Frank,

    Yes. I should try to take your advice and calm down. I need to go into Walden Pond mode for sure. My oldest sister and her husband will be back from Afghanistan for a month in two weeks so that should get my mind off of all of this soon. They are coming to visit me. She does have a lot of respect for the Baha’i Faith. The three Baha’is that worked for them did a very fine job in Kabul. They actually sought out Baha’is to try to help them find a livlihood on the big project. Many of the Muslim women also did fine work. Many were the sole support of their families because their husbands had been killed in the long years of warfare. Some nearly starved to death under the Taliban at the end. But it is still pretty hard going even in Kabul.

    Best regards to all,

    Craig

  • Carm-again

    Craig wrote: “Carmen,You are entirely right to point this out. I was in error. And you have my sincere apology. It was a senior moment on my part.”

    Craig, it’s not easy to keep track of so many posts by several different people so it’s not such a big deal. I think the impersonal nature of the internet makes communication more difficult at times and it can often be misunderstood. To be completely honest, from the bottom of my heart, when I referred to what I had learned from uneducated people and my carpenter friend the thought NEVER once crossed my mind as this being anything other than recounting something of value that I and I alone had benefited from. When you stated that I had “reframed what all of us have said as the typical platitude reframe that we are not selfless humble people…so we are judging the poor, poor, poor unfortunate uneducated…” that sincerely was not my intention at all. I wasn’t trying to reframe anything or judge you or anyone else implicitly or explicitly as not being humble selfless etc in even the slightest way. I am very sorry you got that impression.

    I am sure that if you and I sat down and had a chat about your experiences and perspectives while we might not agree on many or most points the discussion would probably be very cordial and even warm. I had good relationships with people in Jamaica who had left the Faith but with whom I was still in contact due to their being the relative or spouse of a Baha’i or mutual friend. The same carpenter I mentioned is quite adamant that Jesus is his preferred path and he is rather skeptical of the Faith. Still, we are great friends and were even talking about going 10k running together today as we are both avid runners. Our theological disagreement doesn’t affect our interpersonal relationship.

    One thing I am aware of this is that these kind of discussions can only air differences in viewpoints and beliefs. They cannot address other issues like, for example, the deep scars war must have left on you which is something I would never presume to understand. I have read about ills like PTSD affecting combat veterans but it’s easy for me to sit and type about it but completely different to experience the horrific experience and effects of war on veterans! So I appreciate your very sincere and heartfelt concerns for such people based on your own combat experiences and you are right to point out that I could never understand such a reality. Also, disengaging from a religion or any belief system you have given your life to is not an experience I have had so the intense emotions which that can engender is something I realize I need to be more sensitive to and empathetic about.

    Carmen

  • Carm-again

    Craig wrote: “Carmen,You are entirely right to point this out. I was in error. And you have my sincere apology. It was a senior moment on my part.”

    Craig, it’s not easy to keep track of so many posts by several different people so it’s not such a big deal. I think the impersonal nature of the internet makes communication more difficult at times and it can often be misunderstood. To be completely honest, from the bottom of my heart, when I referred to what I had learned from uneducated people and my carpenter friend the thought NEVER once crossed my mind as this being anything other than recounting something of value that I and I alone had benefited from. When you stated that I had “reframed what all of us have said as the typical platitude reframe that we are not selfless humble people…so we are judging the poor, poor, poor unfortunate uneducated…” that sincerely was not my intention at all. I wasn’t trying to reframe anything or judge you or anyone else implicitly or explicitly as not being humble selfless etc in even the slightest way. I am very sorry you got that impression.

    I am sure that if you and I sat down and had a chat about your experiences and perspectives while we might not agree on many or most points the discussion would probably be very cordial and even warm. I had good relationships with people in Jamaica who had left the Faith but with whom I was still in contact due to their being the relative or spouse of a Baha’i or mutual friend. The same carpenter I mentioned is quite adamant that Jesus is his preferred path and he is rather skeptical of the Faith. Still, we are great friends and were even talking about going 10k running together today as we are both avid runners. Our theological disagreement doesn’t affect our interpersonal relationship.

    One thing I am aware of this is that these kind of discussions can only air differences in viewpoints and beliefs. They cannot address other issues like, for example, the deep scars war must have left on you which is something I would never presume to understand. I have read about ills like PTSD affecting combat veterans but it’s easy for me to sit and type about it but completely different to experience the horrific experience and effects of war on veterans! So I appreciate your very sincere and heartfelt concerns for such people based on your own combat experiences and you are right to point out that I could never understand such a reality. Also, disengaging from a religion or any belief system you have given your life to is not an experience I have had so the intense emotions which that can engender is something I realize I need to be more sensitive to and empathetic about.

    Carmen

  • farhan

    Grover wrote:

    “Hahaha, I’m sure you’re yanking my chain. My analogy stands.”

    Grover, there is the story of this lady who opens the door to a sales man selling a highly efficient vacuum cleaner.

    “I already have one”, she protests

    “No, not like this one; it catches everything look I am pouring all this dirt on your carpet, if a spec remains, I will eat it.

    “You better start straight away” she replies “we have no electricity today.”

    Seriously, Grover, if the Institute Process fails, I will eat my hat and the ayatollah’s turban 😉

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    Grover wrote:

    “Hahaha, I’m sure you’re yanking my chain. My analogy stands.”

    Grover, there is the story of this lady who opens the door to a sales man selling a highly efficient vacuum cleaner.

    “I already have one”, she protests

    “No, not like this one; it catches everything look I am pouring all this dirt on your carpet, if a spec remains, I will eat it.

    “You better start straight away” she replies “we have no electricity today.”

    Seriously, Grover, if the Institute Process fails, I will eat my hat and the ayatollah’s turban 😉

  • farhan

    David and Craig,

    “… have they ALL brought into ROUND TWO to take the courses and ?share the Faith? in this wonderful experience?”

    I will give my reply if I may. When I first did book 6, there was this lady come a great distance. We started the book by giving the reasons why we had come and she calmly said that she knew it was only to be obedient to the UHJ and that she expected no benefit from the study circle. As time rolled by, she became more and more enthusiastic and wished that it would never end.

    Teaching the Faith is not a marketing enterprise; we offer the message and each heart follows it’s own destiny. ?Detached as a cloud pouring rain? is the idea. We are not responsible for the results: God does not need our help; we are just a message bearer, offered the opportunity to serve as a go-between before someone else does it.

    Some fall in love, others don’t; some have a tumultuous love affair, some pretend they are in love, some pretend they are not in love. It is not a rational or economic enterprise. Only that soul knows its own relation with God; only God knows the value of that soul and the whole creation is a helpless witness in that majestic romance, the summit of attraction in the universe. What others might think of that love affair is irrelevant

    It is not Ibn Arabi, but Farhan who writes this.

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    David and Craig,

    “… have they ALL brought into ROUND TWO to take the courses and ?share the Faith? in this wonderful experience?”

    I will give my reply if I may. When I first did book 6, there was this lady come a great distance. We started the book by giving the reasons why we had come and she calmly said that she knew it was only to be obedient to the UHJ and that she expected no benefit from the study circle. As time rolled by, she became more and more enthusiastic and wished that it would never end.

    Teaching the Faith is not a marketing enterprise; we offer the message and each heart follows it’s own destiny. ?Detached as a cloud pouring rain? is the idea. We are not responsible for the results: God does not need our help; we are just a message bearer, offered the opportunity to serve as a go-between before someone else does it.

    Some fall in love, others don’t; some have a tumultuous love affair, some pretend they are in love, some pretend they are not in love. It is not a rational or economic enterprise. Only that soul knows its own relation with God; only God knows the value of that soul and the whole creation is a helpless witness in that majestic romance, the summit of attraction in the universe. What others might think of that love affair is irrelevant

    It is not Ibn Arabi, but Farhan who writes this.

  • Carmen inquires:

    [quote comment=””]what does a humanitarian eat?[/quote]

    :-)) I’ve heard of these “humanitarians”. I shall give them a wide berth from here on out! -Dan

  • Carmen inquires:

    [quote comment=””]what does a humanitarian eat?[/quote]

    :-)) I’ve heard of these “humanitarians”. I shall give them a wide berth from here on out! -Dan

  • farhan

    Friends, have a look at this prescription for life:

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

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    Friends, have a look at this prescription for life:

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

  • Grover

    [quote post=”492″]Seriously, Grover, if the Institute Process fails, I will eat my hat and the ayatollah’s turban[/quote]

    Farhan, you’ve got it bad. The difficulty in accepting a bet like that is how do you define failure or success and in what context? It seems to me the criteria for success get redefined every few years. Back in the 90’s it was “entry by troops”, now its “a significant advance in the process of entry by troops”.

  • Grover

    [quote post=”492″]Seriously, Grover, if the Institute Process fails, I will eat my hat and the ayatollah’s turban[/quote]

    Farhan, you’ve got it bad. The difficulty in accepting a bet like that is how do you define failure or success and in what context? It seems to me the criteria for success get redefined every few years. Back in the 90’s it was “entry by troops”, now its “a significant advance in the process of entry by troops”.

  • farhan

    Grover wrote :

    « The difficulty in accepting a bet like that is how do you define failure or success and in what context? It seems to me the criteria for success get redefined every few years. Back in the 90’s it was “entry by troops”, now its “a significant advance in the process of entry by troops”.

    Grover, entry by troops does not mean troops signing declaration cards and going home. It implies forming ?human resources? of devoted servants with skills aimed serving their neighbour, moving from a consumer society to a society of service.

    The Institute Process means moving from individual tutoring to classroom teaching. It can be compared to adding to the kitchen gardening, an enterprise of industrial farming. You cannot replace the one by the other, but you estimate the success in the enterprise by counting tractors, barns, bags of seeds, harvesters and grain storage facilities before you can estimate your harvest. We can see the advance of the Institute Process by counting devotionals, children’s classes, study circles, commemorative meetings, volunteers visiting the sick, ailing, isolated or new believers, the number of believers having completed books and those having become facilitators or tutors. We are instating a _structure_ for teaching not the personal teaching work that has to continue at the same time.

    Of course during this time, we are distracting people out of the kitchen gardens and the product of kitchen gardening might temporarily decline until the time when the whole structure will become functional and productive.

    The statistics are available from year to year and I can find them for you although collecting figures are boring to me. I have enough of them in surveying infections in our hospital so as to reduce infectious complications in the patients we operate.

    As a doctor I could also compare this Institute enterprise to social or community medicine as compared to private practice. The one and the other are complementary and both are essential. The Chinese bare-foot doctor’s experience was a significant one. They saved millions of lives building latrines and teaching hygiene to fellow peasants; they were highly commended by the WHO at the Alma Alta conference, but the system at one point went out of control; the bare-foot doctors one day realised that they had saved more lives at grass roots than professors in the universities, although their impact was only visible on large scale statistics on the number of vaccinations accomplished, latrines built, water adduction accomplished or hygiene courses dispensed, and not on spectacular saving of individual lives.

    Accusing these « bourgeois » counter-revolutionary doctors of doing luxury medicine in the universities, the apparatchiks actually asked the professors to come and work with them in the fields. Some actually did, but in the end, the bare-foot doctors were led to sitting exams to become doctors or medical assistants and the experience ended in the 1980’s, state structures taking up community medicine and many other countries adopting community and preventive medicine.

    The Institute Process is the brightest spiritual production of human minds, unique in religious history, producing rank by rank a spiritual « army of life and light », mobilised by divine love. To me it can only have been divinely inspired. The degree of advancement is in counting the legions being constituted.

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    Grover wrote :

    « The difficulty in accepting a bet like that is how do you define failure or success and in what context? It seems to me the criteria for success get redefined every few years. Back in the 90’s it was “entry by troops”, now its “a significant advance in the process of entry by troops”.

    Grover, entry by troops does not mean troops signing declaration cards and going home. It implies forming ?human resources? of devoted servants with skills aimed serving their neighbour, moving from a consumer society to a society of service.

    The Institute Process means moving from individual tutoring to classroom teaching. It can be compared to adding to the kitchen gardening, an enterprise of industrial farming. You cannot replace the one by the other, but you estimate the success in the enterprise by counting tractors, barns, bags of seeds, harvesters and grain storage facilities before you can estimate your harvest. We can see the advance of the Institute Process by counting devotionals, children’s classes, study circles, commemorative meetings, volunteers visiting the sick, ailing, isolated or new believers, the number of believers having completed books and those having become facilitators or tutors. We are instating a _structure_ for teaching not the personal teaching work that has to continue at the same time.

    Of course during this time, we are distracting people out of the kitchen gardens and the product of kitchen gardening might temporarily decline until the time when the whole structure will become functional and productive.

    The statistics are available from year to year and I can find them for you although collecting figures are boring to me. I have enough of them in surveying infections in our hospital so as to reduce infectious complications in the patients we operate.

    As a doctor I could also compare this Institute enterprise to social or community medicine as compared to private practice. The one and the other are complementary and both are essential. The Chinese bare-foot doctor’s experience was a significant one. They saved millions of lives building latrines and teaching hygiene to fellow peasants; they were highly commended by the WHO at the Alma Alta conference, but the system at one point went out of control; the bare-foot doctors one day realised that they had saved more lives at grass roots than professors in the universities, although their impact was only visible on large scale statistics on the number of vaccinations accomplished, latrines built, water adduction accomplished or hygiene courses dispensed, and not on spectacular saving of individual lives.

    Accusing these « bourgeois » counter-revolutionary doctors of doing luxury medicine in the universities, the apparatchiks actually asked the professors to come and work with them in the fields. Some actually did, but in the end, the bare-foot doctors were led to sitting exams to become doctors or medical assistants and the experience ended in the 1980’s, state structures taking up community medicine and many other countries adopting community and preventive medicine.

    The Institute Process is the brightest spiritual production of human minds, unique in religious history, producing rank by rank a spiritual « army of life and light », mobilised by divine love. To me it can only have been divinely inspired. The degree of advancement is in counting the legions being constituted.

  • [quote comment=”50415″]We can see the advance of the Institute Process by counting devotionals, children’s classes, study circles, commemorative meetings, volunteers visiting the sick, ailing, isolated or new believers, the number of believers having completed books and those having become facilitators or tutors.[/quote]

    Interesting discussion. Of course success and failure have different definitions for different people. But from looking at the data, things don’t look that great. I do wish there was more to go by than the glowing anecdotes one usually finds through the official Baha’i news channels. But I’ve long gone given up on finding any objectivity there.

  • [quote comment=”50415″]We can see the advance of the Institute Process by counting devotionals, children’s classes, study circles, commemorative meetings, volunteers visiting the sick, ailing, isolated or new believers, the number of believers having completed books and those having become facilitators or tutors.[/quote]

    Interesting discussion. Of course success and failure have different definitions for different people. But from looking at the data, things don’t look that great. I do wish there was more to go by than the glowing anecdotes one usually finds through the official Baha’i news channels. But I’ve long gone given up on finding any objectivity there.

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=”50246″]

    Carmen wrote:

    I am sure that if you and I sat down and had a chat about your experiences and perspectives while we might not agree on many or most points the discussion would probably be very cordial and even warm.

    Carmen[/quote]

    Carmen, thank you for your very kind and thoughtful post to me on the 13th. I could not reply until now.

    I do not want to misrepresent myself as I have stated in other posts here before. In my military service as a 1st Lieutenant from 1969-1971 I was not a combat soldier. I took my chances like everyone else. I was trained for it. But I was very lucky. In my duty assignments I never had to take a human life or send anyone to their death. But I know many other human beings who did. I have tried to help them shoulder their burden. I have written about many of these things in the archives here and in the archives of unenrolled Baha’is. I joined the Baha’i Faith six months after I got out of the service because I thought this beautiful message was the answer. I served it with everything I had for 32 straight years. Now for 4 years I have been stunned. I have had to rethink everything for the reasons I have set out here.

    There are many fine people in the Baha’i Faith. I served in it every day for 32 years. Most everyone here on Baquia’s Blog comes across as very fine people. So I agree that we must keep this perspective in all things in spirit. We are all flesh and blood. I wish you well. Your posts are thoughtful and well expressed and your POV is certainly a valid one.

    I know I need to take Frank’s advise and tone down. It is good advice. I need to get my Buddhist and Sufi books out and muse on them.

    I hope that the Baha’i Faith will eventually be run in a thoughtful and prosperous future by NINE RUMI’S and *NOT* NINE POL POT’S. This is the issue for me as it is for many here. I think the counter balancing effect of the Internet WILL effect the Institutions of the Baha’i Faith just as it is now effecting ALL INSTITUTIONS ON EARTH in every land and every system of thought and consciousness. There will be PLANETARY checks and balances on everyone and everything on Earth through this medium as it’s explosive reach continues to unfold.

    We shall see.

    Meanwhile, I believe the Spirit of the World Age vortex cannot be held back or stopped by anyone. If the Baha’is cannot do the job, I believe other people will fully arise who will.

    http://www.global-commons.org

    Again, I thank you for your very kind post to me. I am going to try to take a break from these passions and try to get a better perspective.

    Best wishes to everyone.

    Have a nice weekend.

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=”50246″]

    Carmen wrote:

    I am sure that if you and I sat down and had a chat about your experiences and perspectives while we might not agree on many or most points the discussion would probably be very cordial and even warm.

    Carmen[/quote]

    Carmen, thank you for your very kind and thoughtful post to me on the 13th. I could not reply until now.

    I do not want to misrepresent myself as I have stated in other posts here before. In my military service as a 1st Lieutenant from 1969-1971 I was not a combat soldier. I took my chances like everyone else. I was trained for it. But I was very lucky. In my duty assignments I never had to take a human life or send anyone to their death. But I know many other human beings who did. I have tried to help them shoulder their burden. I have written about many of these things in the archives here and in the archives of unenrolled Baha’is. I joined the Baha’i Faith six months after I got out of the service because I thought this beautiful message was the answer. I served it with everything I had for 32 straight years. Now for 4 years I have been stunned. I have had to rethink everything for the reasons I have set out here.

    There are many fine people in the Baha’i Faith. I served in it every day for 32 years. Most everyone here on Baquia’s Blog comes across as very fine people. So I agree that we must keep this perspective in all things in spirit. We are all flesh and blood. I wish you well. Your posts are thoughtful and well expressed and your POV is certainly a valid one.

    I know I need to take Frank’s advise and tone down. It is good advice. I need to get my Buddhist and Sufi books out and muse on them.

    I hope that the Baha’i Faith will eventually be run in a thoughtful and prosperous future by NINE RUMI’S and *NOT* NINE POL POT’S. This is the issue for me as it is for many here. I think the counter balancing effect of the Internet WILL effect the Institutions of the Baha’i Faith just as it is now effecting ALL INSTITUTIONS ON EARTH in every land and every system of thought and consciousness. There will be PLANETARY checks and balances on everyone and everything on Earth through this medium as it’s explosive reach continues to unfold.

    We shall see.

    Meanwhile, I believe the Spirit of the World Age vortex cannot be held back or stopped by anyone. If the Baha’is cannot do the job, I believe other people will fully arise who will.

    http://www.global-commons.org

    Again, I thank you for your very kind post to me. I am going to try to take a break from these passions and try to get a better perspective.

    Best wishes to everyone.

    Have a nice weekend.

  • Loren

    Carmen, thank you for your very kind and thoughtful post to me on the 13th. I could not reply until now.

    I do not want to misrepresent myself as I have stated in other posts here before. In my military service as a 1st Lieutenant from 1969-1971 I was not a combat soldier. I took my chances like everyone else. I was trained for it. But I was very lucky. In my duty assignments I never had to take a human life or send anyone to their death. But I know many other human beings who did. I have tried to help them shoulder their burden. I have written about many of these things in the archives here and in the archives of unenrolled Baha’is. I joined the Baha’i Faith six months after I got out of the service because I thought this beautiful message was the answer. I served it with everything I had for 32 straight years. Now for 4 years I have been stunned. I have had to rethink everything for the reasons I have set out here.

    There are many fine people in the Baha’i Faith. I served in it every day for 32 years. Most everyone here on Baquia’s Blog comes across as very fine people. So I agree that we must keep this perspective in all things in spirit. We are all flesh and blood. I wish you well. Your posts are thoughtful and well expressed and your POV is certainly a valid one.

    I know I need to take Frank’s advise and tone down. It is good advice. I need to get my Buddhist and Sufi books out and muse on them.

    I hope that the Baha’i Faith will eventually be run in a thoughtful and prosperous future by NINE RUMI’S and *NOT* NINE POL POT’S. This is the issue for me as it is for many here. I think the counter balancing effect of the Internet WILL effect the Institutions of the Baha’i Faith just as it is now effecting ALL INSTITUTIONS ON EARTH in every land and every system of thought and consciousness. There will be PLANETARY checks and balances on everyone and everything on Earth through this medium as it’s explosive reach continues to unfold.

    We shall see.

    Meanwhile, I believe the Spirit of the World Age vortex cannot be held back or stopped by anyone. If the Baha’is cannot do the job, I believe other people will fully arise who will.

    http://www.global-commons.org

    Again, I thank you for your very kind post to me. I am going to try to take a break from these passions and try to get a better perspective.

    Best wishes to everyone.

    Have a nice weekend.[/quote]
    [quote comment=”49951″]Farhan Wrote:

    [quote comment=””]Dear Frank,
    Of course it is, and of course we know, but that kingdom of God within us is the reflection of the one brought by Divine Manifestations, when and if we turn to God, and that kingdom of God within us should now come IN EARTH, as it is in the heaven of our ideals, and as the Lord promised.[/quote]

    Dear Farhan,

    I agree except I believe the Kingdom is here and now; within us here and now. Don’t look for it in the future or in the Holy Land or anywhere else. Look within yourself. In fact it was always within people. We can have heaven — or hell — on earth if we want it. That is the teaching of Buddha and Christ. I’m not so sure about Baha’ullah — I think he got confused toward the end of his life and focused on fear and the future.

    Peace (of mind),
    Frank[/quote]

    If you have in your heart recognized Bah??’u’ll??h as the Messenger of God then all is resolved. Every letter is right, every space between. If not then you have an endless critical eye which people are entitled to. People come to the recognition of the Manifestations of God individually deep inside at best. Some are floating more on the surface and feel the outward things mainly. The world and our programming from schooling, the media, military and all forms of superficial ideas invented by a myriad of practitioners is a forest of cognitive dissonance. In the end you choose your ultimate guide and savior of all mankind. No matter how developed I become I am like everyone else, born into this darkness and willing myself to turn or return to the light. That light comes like the sun rising. Otherwise I live in a box of my own construction. No Manifestation of God in the histories I have read came from darkness to the light. They appear amongst mankind in human form and the spiritual sun rises. We learn from others, but how utterly apart are these Beings. Sure we gain by our own personal development. But not one of us is going to individually save this human species over a long period. That is why the movement of an omnipotent Being is growing midst an accumulating global crisis that is unfolding before our eyes 24/7. Who’s the real leader of the world? Who, as Tolstoy pointed out has “the secret”? Rather than going after the details of any one temporal study system or annual statement start at the very Source. The droplets spraying out from the fountainhead, to offer another metaphor, can be distracting. Go directly to the Source and accept or deny. Is this the Wellspring of Guidance or the impostor of all time? 40 years of hardship, exile and imprisonment when totally comfortable alternatives in Russia were at hand indicates something. But we have to forget about it and just seek out the new Messenger from God. I did so at 19 because I knew for sure that God would not leave us alone like this. Are they the Words of God or not? That is the question. If we do not respond as such then anyone is free to turn away. That’s what it’s all about, and all the rest follows. There will be new plans, new phases, new messages from the World Center. Change is going to happen. People are going to be people with imperfections and egos anywhere. And consultation is king. But the core is the Manifestation of God and we all have our private mountain top on which to think about it. The authenticity is at the core because, from moment-to-moment, the intellect wanders and questions. And the heart can be weak.

  • Loren

    Carmen, thank you for your very kind and thoughtful post to me on the 13th. I could not reply until now.

    I do not want to misrepresent myself as I have stated in other posts here before. In my military service as a 1st Lieutenant from 1969-1971 I was not a combat soldier. I took my chances like everyone else. I was trained for it. But I was very lucky. In my duty assignments I never had to take a human life or send anyone to their death. But I know many other human beings who did. I have tried to help them shoulder their burden. I have written about many of these things in the archives here and in the archives of unenrolled Baha’is. I joined the Baha’i Faith six months after I got out of the service because I thought this beautiful message was the answer. I served it with everything I had for 32 straight years. Now for 4 years I have been stunned. I have had to rethink everything for the reasons I have set out here.

    There are many fine people in the Baha’i Faith. I served in it every day for 32 years. Most everyone here on Baquia’s Blog comes across as very fine people. So I agree that we must keep this perspective in all things in spirit. We are all flesh and blood. I wish you well. Your posts are thoughtful and well expressed and your POV is certainly a valid one.

    I know I need to take Frank’s advise and tone down. It is good advice. I need to get my Buddhist and Sufi books out and muse on them.

    I hope that the Baha’i Faith will eventually be run in a thoughtful and prosperous future by NINE RUMI’S and *NOT* NINE POL POT’S. This is the issue for me as it is for many here. I think the counter balancing effect of the Internet WILL effect the Institutions of the Baha’i Faith just as it is now effecting ALL INSTITUTIONS ON EARTH in every land and every system of thought and consciousness. There will be PLANETARY checks and balances on everyone and everything on Earth through this medium as it’s explosive reach continues to unfold.

    We shall see.

    Meanwhile, I believe the Spirit of the World Age vortex cannot be held back or stopped by anyone. If the Baha’is cannot do the job, I believe other people will fully arise who will.

    http://www.global-commons.org

    Again, I thank you for your very kind post to me. I am going to try to take a break from these passions and try to get a better perspective.

    Best wishes to everyone.

    Have a nice weekend.[/quote]
    [quote comment=”49951″]Farhan Wrote:

    [quote comment=””]Dear Frank,
    Of course it is, and of course we know, but that kingdom of God within us is the reflection of the one brought by Divine Manifestations, when and if we turn to God, and that kingdom of God within us should now come IN EARTH, as it is in the heaven of our ideals, and as the Lord promised.[/quote]

    Dear Farhan,

    I agree except I believe the Kingdom is here and now; within us here and now. Don’t look for it in the future or in the Holy Land or anywhere else. Look within yourself. In fact it was always within people. We can have heaven — or hell — on earth if we want it. That is the teaching of Buddha and Christ. I’m not so sure about Baha’ullah — I think he got confused toward the end of his life and focused on fear and the future.

    Peace (of mind),
    Frank[/quote]

    If you have in your heart recognized Bah??’u’ll??h as the Messenger of God then all is resolved. Every letter is right, every space between. If not then you have an endless critical eye which people are entitled to. People come to the recognition of the Manifestations of God individually deep inside at best. Some are floating more on the surface and feel the outward things mainly. The world and our programming from schooling, the media, military and all forms of superficial ideas invented by a myriad of practitioners is a forest of cognitive dissonance. In the end you choose your ultimate guide and savior of all mankind. No matter how developed I become I am like everyone else, born into this darkness and willing myself to turn or return to the light. That light comes like the sun rising. Otherwise I live in a box of my own construction. No Manifestation of God in the histories I have read came from darkness to the light. They appear amongst mankind in human form and the spiritual sun rises. We learn from others, but how utterly apart are these Beings. Sure we gain by our own personal development. But not one of us is going to individually save this human species over a long period. That is why the movement of an omnipotent Being is growing midst an accumulating global crisis that is unfolding before our eyes 24/7. Who’s the real leader of the world? Who, as Tolstoy pointed out has “the secret”? Rather than going after the details of any one temporal study system or annual statement start at the very Source. The droplets spraying out from the fountainhead, to offer another metaphor, can be distracting. Go directly to the Source and accept or deny. Is this the Wellspring of Guidance or the impostor of all time? 40 years of hardship, exile and imprisonment when totally comfortable alternatives in Russia were at hand indicates something. But we have to forget about it and just seek out the new Messenger from God. I did so at 19 because I knew for sure that God would not leave us alone like this. Are they the Words of God or not? That is the question. If we do not respond as such then anyone is free to turn away. That’s what it’s all about, and all the rest follows. There will be new plans, new phases, new messages from the World Center. Change is going to happen. People are going to be people with imperfections and egos anywhere. And consultation is king. But the core is the Manifestation of God and we all have our private mountain top on which to think about it. The authenticity is at the core because, from moment-to-moment, the intellect wanders and questions. And the heart can be weak.

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