Visualizing the Hidden Words of Baha’u’llah

I’m not sure what to call this, an exercise in artistic meditation?

Here are the 99 most prominent words within Baha’u’llah’s Hidden Words (both Arabic and Persian):

hidden-words-of-bahaullah-visualization

The Hidden Words are the essence of Baha’u’llah’s teachings. The distillation of God’s commandments, eternal. Unchanging.

Lovely words. Wouldn’t mind having that on my wall as a reminder. Hmmm… it seems to be mostly about you (me… you know what I mean!). Not the other guy, or the gal walking down the street.

How does it make you feel?

  • DCO in Sacto

    This is interesting… what software allows you to do this?

  • DCO in Sacto

    This is interesting… what software allows you to do this?

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    click on the image

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    click on the image

  • DCO in Sacto

    thanks… this is cool… hours of fun!

  • DCO in Sacto

    thanks… this is cool… hours of fun!

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=""]click on the image[/quote]

    I always loved the Hidden Words of Baha’u’llah and meditated on them often back in the days when the Baha’i Faith was a private matter free of thought police interrogations, doctrinal inquisitions, and the resulting self censorship and chilling interpersonal fear among the rank and file. It was between my soul and the limitless Cosmos speaking the words far beyond the mere person of MHA as Baha’u’llah. It was Macro Limitless Spirit communing with Micro Fractal Spirit with no one having the right to interfere in that inner dialogue. “As above, so below.” Throw in knowledge of musical chords and Dirac’s Equation of 1928 and it could be very powerful. It was daily spiritual exploration and discovery. I always got a lot out of those free form meditations. I always read the Hidden Words in that Cosmic expansion context like I would read the little book “Prayers of the Cosmos” which I loved just as much.

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

    This book really worked for me too. It still brings tears to my eyes. Back in those days you were allowed to read other books and peruse other spiritual methods in the Baha’i Faith and not be frowned upon or turned in to the AO Stasi.

    Now, pray tell, what is preventing the Baha’i Faith from turning into this below link too if the Baha’is ever get any real power in the world even if at this point that seems highly unlikely to ever happen in five hundred thousand years? My observation of life now after having lived this long is that there are no checks and balances in totalitarian brain chemistry in human organizations. Does anyone have any thoughts on this from your own observations of the human race if you have lived long enough?

    http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/10/24/172233/21/475/641262

    What is to keep the Baha’is from flying airplanes into buildings or decapitating people in the name of God too? I myself would never do such things either in or not in the name of God. But I had already formed a conscience as a Christian before I ever became a Baha’i. I always thought the Baha’i Faith DID completely teach the sacred value and worth of personal individual conscience to prevent people from groupthink incitement to murder. But now, as Douglas Martin teaches, individual human conscience is NOT part of the Baha’i Teaching and is anathema to the Faith. The Faith is now about turning your personal will and personal responsibility in life to Nine Men in Haifa, Israel to tell you what to do in every personal aspect of human life. Any personal thinking or exploration of truth is strictly forbidden in the now totally Ruhiized Workbook Faith.

    So what is to prevent the “new” top down indoctrinated Ruhiized Baha’is from becoming groupthink induced murders too?

    What is the psychological firewall on this?

    The record of the human race regarding murderous organized religions has been completely pathological in our pathetic and ruinous human history. What is to prevent that same thing from happening in the Baha’i Faith? I never thought it would ever come to this question, but I think it is a very valid question in 2008 when you look at the caliber of the people now leading us.

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=""]click on the image[/quote]

    I always loved the Hidden Words of Baha’u’llah and meditated on them often back in the days when the Baha’i Faith was a private matter free of thought police interrogations, doctrinal inquisitions, and the resulting self censorship and chilling interpersonal fear among the rank and file. It was between my soul and the limitless Cosmos speaking the words far beyond the mere person of MHA as Baha’u’llah. It was Macro Limitless Spirit communing with Micro Fractal Spirit with no one having the right to interfere in that inner dialogue. “As above, so below.” Throw in knowledge of musical chords and Dirac’s Equation of 1928 and it could be very powerful. It was daily spiritual exploration and discovery. I always got a lot out of those free form meditations. I always read the Hidden Words in that Cosmic expansion context like I would read the little book “Prayers of the Cosmos” which I loved just as much.

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

    This book really worked for me too. It still brings tears to my eyes. Back in those days you were allowed to read other books and peruse other spiritual methods in the Baha’i Faith and not be frowned upon or turned in to the AO Stasi.

    Now, pray tell, what is preventing the Baha’i Faith from turning into this below link too if the Baha’is ever get any real power in the world even if at this point that seems highly unlikely to ever happen in five hundred thousand years? My observation of life now after having lived this long is that there are no checks and balances in totalitarian brain chemistry in human organizations. Does anyone have any thoughts on this from your own observations of the human race if you have lived long enough?

    http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/10/24/172233/21/475/641262

    What is to keep the Baha’is from flying airplanes into buildings or decapitating people in the name of God too? I myself would never do such things either in or not in the name of God. But I had already formed a conscience as a Christian before I ever became a Baha’i. I always thought the Baha’i Faith DID completely teach the sacred value and worth of personal individual conscience to prevent people from groupthink incitement to murder. But now, as Douglas Martin teaches, individual human conscience is NOT part of the Baha’i Teaching and is anathema to the Faith. The Faith is now about turning your personal will and personal responsibility in life to Nine Men in Haifa, Israel to tell you what to do in every personal aspect of human life. Any personal thinking or exploration of truth is strictly forbidden in the now totally Ruhiized Workbook Faith.

    So what is to prevent the “new” top down indoctrinated Ruhiized Baha’is from becoming groupthink induced murders too?

    What is the psychological firewall on this?

    The record of the human race regarding murderous organized religions has been completely pathological in our pathetic and ruinous human history. What is to prevent that same thing from happening in the Baha’i Faith? I never thought it would ever come to this question, but I think it is a very valid question in 2008 when you look at the caliber of the people now leading us.

  • Andrew

    “Does anyone have any thoughts on this from your own observations of the human race if you have lived long enough?”

    Palin’s “church”? She’s a Baha’i, isn’t she?

    I know Baha’is are directed to think rationally, it’s just that there often seems to be scant evidence of this, so one shouldn’t blame Mrs. Palin for her fascination with irrationality.

  • Andrew

    “Does anyone have any thoughts on this from your own observations of the human race if you have lived long enough?”

    Palin’s “church”? She’s a Baha’i, isn’t she?

    I know Baha’is are directed to think rationally, it’s just that there often seems to be scant evidence of this, so one shouldn’t blame Mrs. Palin for her fascination with irrationality.

  • Sonja

    Responding to the image. No! this is not artistic.
    I say, ‘no’ because information aesthetics (new fad: google this and you’ll see) is the term used to describe this type of stuff.
    The bigger letters are the result of higher hits, but I ask, is it more meaningful? Also, for example, the word “son” and “man” are larger words, reminding me that this is based on 1950′s translations and again, to question the meaningfulness of size and number. I am surprised that words such as “the” and “O” do not feature, so in this selection, I assume, some words have been filtered out. It is visually interesting if you haven’t seen this much before (I have, and it’s not the first time someone has called this art, forgetting that artists make selections based on factors other than the highest hit – though, yes, someone will tell me that this is an artistic act, but I bet you that that person will not be a practising artist :).

  • Sonja

    Responding to the image. No! this is not artistic.
    I say, ‘no’ because information aesthetics (new fad: google this and you’ll see) is the term used to describe this type of stuff.
    The bigger letters are the result of higher hits, but I ask, is it more meaningful? Also, for example, the word “son” and “man” are larger words, reminding me that this is based on 1950′s translations and again, to question the meaningfulness of size and number. I am surprised that words such as “the” and “O” do not feature, so in this selection, I assume, some words have been filtered out. It is visually interesting if you haven’t seen this much before (I have, and it’s not the first time someone has called this art, forgetting that artists make selections based on factors other than the highest hit – though, yes, someone will tell me that this is an artistic act, but I bet you that that person will not be a practising artist :).

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    Sonja, I guess art is in the eye of the beholder :)
    The larger the letter, the more it was mentioned, so yes, that does have informational value. You mention 1950′s translation, is there another translation of the Hidden Words?
    One could argue that the artists here is Baha’u’llah since the words and how often they are repeated depend on Him.

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    Sonja, I guess art is in the eye of the beholder :)
    The larger the letter, the more it was mentioned, so yes, that does have informational value. You mention 1950′s translation, is there another translation of the Hidden Words?
    One could argue that the artists here is Baha’u’llah since the words and how often they are repeated depend on Him.

  • http://www.senmcglinn.wordpress.com Sonja

    [quote comment=""]The larger the letter, the more it was mentioned, so yes, that does have informational value. [/quote]

    Not here I would argue, because how meaningful it is to see the word “man” so many times, out of context, or any other isolated word. Aqua browsers (which I have been aware of since about 2001) have larger letters for more hits, but then these hits are also related to other ‘similiarly’ tagged words, so there’s some informational value there. In the example you gave are just isolated words.

    Meanings come from context. All this tells me is that there is a programme that has taken a number of words (and it seems that some words like:,with, the, a, or O, have been ommited) so these are not all words. And then words from an English translation, not even the original. Any translation is partly based on the translator’s subjectivity and the period it was translated in and its purpose.

    These words might be of some use to a linguist in looking at word occurances for this translation, but in terms of meaning? for inspiration? or meditation?

    Take it another way, for me as a feminist, I see the words “son” and “man” larger than any word that refers to the neutral “mankind” or “humanity” or whatever, am I supposed to take this as proof of something informational about this visual display of the Hidden Words?

    Sure:
    [quote comment=""]Sonja, I guess art is in the eye of the beholder :)[/quote]

    and Gilbert K. Chesterton wrote:
    “Art, like morality, consists in drawing the line somewhere.”

    So sure, art is in the eye of the beholder, but there’s no art at all, just as there is no morality, unless you make some distinction. Although morality is just as difficult to define as is art, there are some clear distinctions.

    One I would argue is just a display of occurances of words is not artistic in itself. Ignoring their meaning and aesthetic factors such as where words occur.

    It might be artistically interesting, if this was unique – or a unique approach. However I’ve come across these types of visualisations for the past 5 years or so – check out Stephen Wilson’s book on Information arts. So having seen so many types of visualizations (ones where something more is done than just making occurance the dynamic factor), for me this is not artistically interesting, yet alone an artistic meditation.

    As for the idea that this visualization is useful as an artistic meditation, I actually find it off-putting, because here, the focus is on the materiality of out-of-context words rather than the spirit of the messages/metaphors/meanings of the translations of Baha’u’llah’s intent.
    Nice that on this forum I can be so direct, thanks B.

  • http://www.senmcglinn.wordpress.com Sonja

    [quote comment=""]The larger the letter, the more it was mentioned, so yes, that does have informational value. [/quote]

    Not here I would argue, because how meaningful it is to see the word “man” so many times, out of context, or any other isolated word. Aqua browsers (which I have been aware of since about 2001) have larger letters for more hits, but then these hits are also related to other ‘similiarly’ tagged words, so there’s some informational value there. In the example you gave are just isolated words.

    Meanings come from context. All this tells me is that there is a programme that has taken a number of words (and it seems that some words like:,with, the, a, or O, have been ommited) so these are not all words. And then words from an English translation, not even the original. Any translation is partly based on the translator’s subjectivity and the period it was translated in and its purpose.

    These words might be of some use to a linguist in looking at word occurances for this translation, but in terms of meaning? for inspiration? or meditation?

    Take it another way, for me as a feminist, I see the words “son” and “man” larger than any word that refers to the neutral “mankind” or “humanity” or whatever, am I supposed to take this as proof of something informational about this visual display of the Hidden Words?

    Sure:
    [quote comment=""]Sonja, I guess art is in the eye of the beholder :)[/quote]

    and Gilbert K. Chesterton wrote:
    “Art, like morality, consists in drawing the line somewhere.”

    So sure, art is in the eye of the beholder, but there’s no art at all, just as there is no morality, unless you make some distinction. Although morality is just as difficult to define as is art, there are some clear distinctions.

    One I would argue is just a display of occurances of words is not artistic in itself. Ignoring their meaning and aesthetic factors such as where words occur.

    It might be artistically interesting, if this was unique – or a unique approach. However I’ve come across these types of visualisations for the past 5 years or so – check out Stephen Wilson’s book on Information arts. So having seen so many types of visualizations (ones where something more is done than just making occurance the dynamic factor), for me this is not artistically interesting, yet alone an artistic meditation.

    As for the idea that this visualization is useful as an artistic meditation, I actually find it off-putting, because here, the focus is on the materiality of out-of-context words rather than the spirit of the messages/metaphors/meanings of the translations of Baha’u’llah’s intent.
    Nice that on this forum I can be so direct, thanks B.

  • Andrew

    Sonja wrote:

    “So sure, art is in the eye of the beholder, but there’s no art at all, just as there is no morality, unless you make some distinction. Although morality is just as difficult to define as is art, there are some clear distinctions.”

    Indeed. If a symbol can mean anything, then it means nothing. Even Helen Frankenthaler (one of my artistic heroes) understood this.

  • Andrew

    Sonja wrote:

    “So sure, art is in the eye of the beholder, but there’s no art at all, just as there is no morality, unless you make some distinction. Although morality is just as difficult to define as is art, there are some clear distinctions.”

    Indeed. If a symbol can mean anything, then it means nothing. Even Helen Frankenthaler (one of my artistic heroes) understood this.

  • http://www.letters-of-the-living.blogspot.com Amanda

    Hmmm… I think art is about intention, though. Even if a work of art is banal or doesn’t speak to you directly, if the intention of it’s maker was artistic expression, it’s art. I know nothing about the intentions behind programs that can generate this kind of image, but if the programmer intended a possible application of it as art, or if anyone uses it to create art, it’s art. We use other technology to create art, why not this?

    And it does say “something.” I think it’s often the meaning of art that’s in the eye of the beholder. But certainly not whether or not something IS art, if it was intended to be.

    And the prominence of son/man is certainly meaningful. Any word on what the terminology in the original Arabic and Persian is?

  • http://www.letters-of-the-living.blogspot.com Amanda

    Hmmm… I think art is about intention, though. Even if a work of art is banal or doesn’t speak to you directly, if the intention of it’s maker was artistic expression, it’s art. I know nothing about the intentions behind programs that can generate this kind of image, but if the programmer intended a possible application of it as art, or if anyone uses it to create art, it’s art. We use other technology to create art, why not this?

    And it does say “something.” I think it’s often the meaning of art that’s in the eye of the beholder. But certainly not whether or not something IS art, if it was intended to be.

    And the prominence of son/man is certainly meaningful. Any word on what the terminology in the original Arabic and Persian is?

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    Don’t know if this will settle the question but you can tell wordle not only what weight to put on what word, but also the color of the word: wordle advanced.

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    Don’t know if this will settle the question but you can tell wordle not only what weight to put on what word, but also the color of the word: wordle advanced.

  • farhan

    Sa surprising as it might sound, Baha’u’llah’s Words have been posted on Billboards in Isfahan:

    In Isfahan, a couple of billboards now display the words of Baha’u’llah, Prophet-founder of the Baha’i Faith, from the ?Hidden Words?. On one it says, ?In the garden of thy heart plant naught but the rose of love? and the other says, ?Speak no evil, that thou mayest not hear it spoken unto thee?. The billboards are placed on the main city circle by Sazman Farhang Tahrifi Shahrdari Isfahan (Isfahan’s municipality’s Organization for spread of culture).

    http://www.iranpresswatch.org/

  • Farhan

    Sa surprising as it might sound, Baha’u’llah’s Words have been posted on Billboards in Isfahan:

    In Isfahan, a couple of billboards now display the words of Baha’u’llah, Prophet-founder of the Baha’i Faith, from the ?Hidden Words?. On one it says, ?In the garden of thy heart plant naught but the rose of love? and the other says, ?Speak no evil, that thou mayest not hear it spoken unto thee?. The billboards are placed on the main city circle by Sazman Farhang Tahrifi Shahrdari Isfahan (Isfahan’s municipality’s Organization for spread of culture).

    http://www.iranpresswatch.org/

  • I-k2-sbrighton

    cool, using this 4 ICT :-) Thanx