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Old 11-15-2016, 08:20 AM   #1
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Are We Using the Word "Baha'i" Correctly??

Thinking about Unity and Division has gotten me thinking deeply about how much Division is out there, and about its root cause.

Humans like to categorize each other into groups. This is a very old survival instinct. Naturally, humans seek to identify an in-group and out-groups, and give preference to the group they see themselves as a part of. In older times, this helps to survive. If everyone in your in-group helps each other and ignores the out-groups, then your in-group has a better shot at survival. The cooperation of the group ensures each member has a better chance of survival. The exclusion of other groups means that scarce resources can be concentrated in that single group.

Like many things, however, just because group-thinking is an innate human trait doesn't necessarily make it a good thing.

The teachings of the Prophets seek to reduce such thinking. We are instructed not to group people in categories of race, nation, or heritage. We are to avoid joining exclusionary groups, and avoid the group-divisions of modern party politics.

Humanity, in general, is moving along with us in the right direction. Less and less, for example, do people view the world in terms of race groups. Less and less, with the proliferation of worldwide communication, do people view the world in terms of national groups.

Humanity still has that group-thinking instinct, though, so I suspect we're going to see some weird things in the future. As people reject the more "traditional" group divides, I think we're going to see people trying to fill that gap with other people-grouping divisions that were once minor. Currently, in my country, it seems differences in political philosophy is becoming the new major divide in place of the old.

Ultimately, there are many, many categories that people use to divide one another, and only by rejecting the divides and groups can we come to Unity. Ultimately, we free ourselves from Division by ceasing to think about humans in terms of differing groups. 'Abdu'l-Baha has said that there will, in the future, be no divide between rich and poor, but this will not be because everyone has the same amount of stuff, but because people will not group themselves based on how much stuff they own. There will be differences in the quantity of wealth, but we'll not consider people "rich" or "poor" because of it.

But, of course, of the "big divides" and groups we see society in terms of, there isn't just race, nation, and economic class, but another big group-divide is religious identity.

Which gets me thinking about how we, including myself, commonly use the term "Baha'i" in common parlance. Our Faith teaches that there is Unity of Religion, which means there is no true divide between Muslim, Christian, Zoroastrian, Sikh, or Pagan, and we should strive not to see the world in such a way.

Which brings me to the word "Baha'i". Now I myself have used the term in context of a religious identity, and I've seen many others do that. But for true Unity of Religion to be realized, I don't think it should be that.

After all, if we view the people of the world in terms of "fellow Baha'is" and members of "different religions", how can we establish a true Unity of Religion??

Abdu'l-Baha says "to be a Bahá’í simply means to love all the world; to love humanity and try to serve it; to work for universal peace and universal brotherhood."

According to the Master, the term "Baha'i" isn't meant as a religious identity, but should be a term that applies to any person who works towards Unity.

So maybe there needs to be rethinking on how the very word "Baha'i" is approached and understood.

Granted, it's very natural to use the term as a religious identity. We as human beings have for centuries used terms and group-thinking to establish religious identity and its many labels and divisions. Since we're all used to having a group-term religious identity, I know at the very least I personally just started naturally and automatically using the term to refer to my own religious identity without giving it much thought.

But the more and more I think about it, the more and more I think using it this way is, well, incorrect.

I don't think this lesson started with the Babi/Baha'i dispensation, either. Looking back at the term "Muslim" and how it was originally used by Muhammad, I think it wasn't intended as a religious identifier at the time either.

"Muslim" literally just means "one who submits to God" which is why Muhammad said that Abraham, Moses, and Jesus were all Muslims. With Muhammad's uses, a "Muslim" was just any person who followed God.

But, over the past 1400ish years, the term has evolved due to how it was used. It is now not seen as just a term for any person who submits to God, but it is now seen as, specifically, a term to define the group of people who believe in one God and Muhammad as God's Prophet. The term didn't start as a group-identifier, but it became one because that was how people used it.

I wonder if we're not accidentally doing the same thing to the word "Baha'i" now. Perhaps we need to start embracing the spirit of 'Abdu'l-Baha's words and start using the term more liberally, to refer to people who don't believe in or maybe don't even know about the Dispensation of Baha'u'llah, but who nevertheless strive for Unity.

Based on the definition of "Baha'i" we are given, it seems like 'Abdu'l-Baha is saying the only division among people we are allowed to make in this age is that of "people seeking unity" and those who are not. Perhaps this single permitted group is meant to "fill the void" and settle the urge for human group-thinking as we move away from other groups.

Right now it seems like, assuming our vision for Unity is met, the next Prophet will only have one societal divide left to Unify. If we use the term "Baha'i" correctly, that divide will probably just be the divide between those who seek Unity and those who do not. If we don't, then perhaps there will still be division among religious identity groups in the future.

Well, that's enough rambling and wondering for now.

Last edited by Walrus; 11-15-2016 at 08:23 AM.
 
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Old 11-15-2016, 02:26 PM   #2
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I agree with the understanding you are sharing here. At the same time, Baha'is is also our religious identity, and religion is also important (although less important than the oneness of humanity!)
 
Old 11-15-2016, 09:32 PM   #3
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Greetings Walrus,

The correct definition of our faith is simply being a member of the Bahá'í Faith. This is because Bahá'í is public domain by secular law and this means that anyone is free to use it relative to their personal beliefs. The Bahá'í Faith in contrast is both public domain and the registered name of our religion. As it has not deviated from the instructions of the Central Figures and the Guardian this is why it still bears its root name and why we can rightly justify that there is no religious division within it. This does not mean that other Bahá'í religious groups do not exist, but rather they are not permitted to give the impression they are members of the Bahá'í Faith. They are however perfectly within their legal rights to call themselves Bahá'ís. Indeed the same goes for anyone that chooses to do so even if they are not a member of any Bahá'í religious organisation.

A Bahá'í - as you have correctly identified - is a way of life. Anyone can profess to be a Bahá'í, but this does not mean that they have obtained such a station. This is why the term "friends" is often used to refer to the believers themselves. However, we do not always use this term because this subject is not well enough understood at this time outside of the Bahá'í Faith. This is why the term Bahá'í and friend are also synonymous with one another at this time too. It is simply a matter of reading material in context.

When people question you about your faith try sharing the fact that you are a member of the Bahá'í Faith and that you are simply striving to become a Bahá'í. You might be rather surprised with the positive response that you receive in contrast to claiming to be a Bahá'í. In my personal life I do this all the time and it generally results in a series of opens discussions because people welcome being in the presence of those that do not think too highly of themselves. This is one of the difficulties with claiming to be a Bahá'í.

In my first ever teaching experience I was taught a very valuable lesson. I had been invited to my friends home to meet his future wife. I had been involved in the Faith for less than a month at that time. They proceeded to ask me what the Bahá'í Faith was. I simply explained it in a manner similar to some literature at that time. They helped me to understand that the station of a Bahá'í was so high it was not possible to claim to be one because in doing so one would need to countermanded the teachings themselves. They also assisted me to understand the common types of mistake made when presenting the Bahá'í Faith to others. Namely to use your own understanding, not the understanding of others because only this is truly sincere. Listeners can quickly identify insincerity because they naturally sense it in peoples hearts. Language is like a sword and if wielded without sufficient care it will decapitate the very people you are seeking to attract. This is why some that claim to be Bahá'ís have never succeeded in taking a declaration from a single soul. Their rhetoric is only fit for the fire. So continue to learn how to walk this spiritual path with your own intuition, because in doing this you will find it and before you realise people will become drawn to you. Always remember people obtain no spiritual comfort from those that believe they are the embodiment of perfection...

Earth
 
Old 11-16-2016, 06:08 AM   #4
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But is making it a term for a group identity counterproductive??

I suppose I did not use as specific terminology as I should have in the initial post. There is a difference, perhaps, in a “religious identity” and a “religious group identity”. My religious identity, for example, is something like “Monotheist. Believes in the prophethood of Adam, Abraham, Moses, Daniel, Jesus, Muhammad, Krishna, Zoroaster, Buddha, the Bab, Baha’u’llah, Confucius, Laozi, and Zhuangzi. Doesn’t believe in death. Believes in intercession. Favorite scriptures are the Seven Valleys, Tao Teh Ching, Hidden Words, Bayan-i-Farsi.” (and on and on like that, that is the short version at the very least).

Religious group identities on the other hand are used to literally divide all peoples in the world into different categories, categories reading things like “Jew”, “Christian”, “Muslim”, “Atheist”, “Zoroastrian”, and “Baha’i”. Can we recognize literal division and attain its opposite, Unity?? I mean, no person apart from myself shares my exact religious identity. No person other than yourself shares your exact religious identity. If this is the case, how helpful is it even to try to group people by rough approximation??

So now I must ask:

Can a person who insists on categorizing everyone in the world as either “white” or “colored” attain true Unity of race??

Can a person who insists on categorizing everyone in the world as either “fellow countrymen” or “foreigners” attain true Unity of nations??

Can a person who insists on categorizing everyone in the world as either “haves” or “have-nots” attain true Unity of economic class??

Can a person who insists on categorizing everyone in the world as either “liberals” or “conservatives” attain true Unity of man??

Can a person who insists on categorizing everyone in the world as either “Freemasons” or “non-Masons” attain true Unity of man?? And is not the fact this is not possible the very reason we as Baha’is refrain from joining such societies??

And if all of the above is not possible, can a person who insists on categorizing everyone in the world as either “members of the Baha’i Faith” or “not members of the Baha’i Faith” attain true Unity of religion??
 
Old 11-16-2016, 03:09 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Earth View Post
Greetings Walrus,

The correct definition of our faith is simply being a member of the Bahá'í Faith. This is because Bahá'í is public domain by secular law and this means that anyone is free to use it relative to their personal beliefs. The Bahá'í Faith in contrast is both public domain and the registered name of our religion. As it has not deviated from the instructions of the Central Figures and the Guardian this is why it still bears its root name and why we can rightly justify that there is no religious division within it. This does not mean that other Bahá'í religious groups do not exist, but rather they are not permitted to give the impression they are members of the Bahá'í Faith. They are however perfectly within their legal rights to call themselves Bahá'ís. Indeed the same goes for anyone that chooses to do so even if they are not a member of any Bahá'í religious organisation.

A Bahá'í - as you have correctly identified - is a way of life. Anyone can profess to be a Bahá'í, but this does not mean that they have obtained such a station. This is why the term "friends" is often used to refer to the believers themselves. However, we do not always use this term because this subject is not well enough understood at this time outside of the Bahá'í Faith. This is why the term Bahá'í and friend are also synonymous with one another at this time too. It is simply a matter of reading material in context.

When people question you about your faith try sharing the fact that you are a member of the Bahá'í Faith and that you are simply striving to become a Bahá'í. You might be rather surprised with the positive response that you receive in contrast to claiming to be a Bahá'í. In my personal life I do this all the time and it generally results in a series of opens discussions because people welcome being in the presence of those that do not think too highly of themselves. This is one of the difficulties with claiming to be a Bahá'í.

In my first ever teaching experience I was taught a very valuable lesson. I had been invited to my friends home to meet his future wife. I had been involved in the Faith for less than a month at that time. They proceeded to ask me what the Bahá'í Faith was. I simply explained it in a manner similar to some literature at that time. They helped me to understand that the station of a Bahá'í was so high it was not possible to claim to be one because in doing so one would need to countermanded the teachings themselves. They also assisted me to understand the common types of mistake made when presenting the Bahá'í Faith to others. Namely to use your own understanding, not the understanding of others because only this is truly sincere. Listeners can quickly identify insincerity because they naturally sense it in peoples hearts. Language is like a sword and if wielded without sufficient care it will decapitate the very people you are seeking to attract. This is why some that claim to be Bahá'ís have never succeeded in taking a declaration from a single soul. Their rhetoric is only fit for the fire. So continue to learn how to walk this spiritual path with your own intuition, because in doing this you will find it and before you realise people will become drawn to you. Always remember people obtain no spiritual comfort from those that believe they are the embodiment of perfection...

Earth
Earth, to say some Baha's have never "taken a single declaration " and that "their rhetoric is only fit for the fire" would make be believe that getting people to declare is the be all and end all". I find this a trifle worrying , to be perfectly honest Earth
 
Old 11-17-2016, 02:16 PM   #6
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Greetings Aiden,

I think you may misunderstand. Not to worry because your response is perfectly acceptable because Bahá'í teaching concepts are the reverse of what they are in many religious cultures. This means it can be just as difficult and confusing for some members of the Bahá'í Faith to understand too. I have faced my own challenges here, so I know where you are coming from brother.

The subject of teaching is arguably the largest source of contention within the Bahá'í Faith and it has become even more contentious in recent years. It is also one of the key reasons why some believers choose to leave the Bahá'í Faith. Teaching is a fundamental right for all Bahá'ís and learning how to do this successfully is a right of passage.

Teaching works not by exhorting to be a great and knowledgable or by seeking to elevate the Bahá'í Faith into being what it is not, but rather by striving towards obtaining poverty and humility of character. Only when poverty and humility overtakes one's desires does it become possible to teach with sincerity. The Guardian used a number of phrases to help the believers come to understand this process, 'Abdu'l-Bahá demonstrated this process within His personal life and Bahá'u'lláh indicated that the Bahá'ís should teach like 'Abdu'l-Bahá.

'Abdu'l-Bahá explained that a Bahá'í should bring one person into the Bahá'í Faith every year. However, as a word of caution, this needs to be understood in the context of living the life rather than proselytising or employing religious pressure to convert a person. This can be hard for some to understand. However, at this time the Bahá'í Community is not only failing to grow in some locations around the world, but it has also gone into numerical decline. You do not not need to take my word for this because the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United States has been one of the first Bahá'í Institutions to allegedly admit this on public domain. It was originally cited on the Bahaikipedia, an officially owned Bahá'í domain. This is an extremely honest statement from a Bahá'í Institution to make if of course its citation was correct and I would expect other Bahá'í National Spiritual Assemblies in the western world to be in a very similar position.

It is already likely that former members of the Bahá'í Faith outnumber registered members. Indeed to help you understand what it looks like from my perspective, in the area where I first became involved in the Bahá'í Faith there were originally five highly active Local Spiritual Assemblies, now there is but one and this is likely to lapse soon. Yet despite this some still seek to propagate the idea that the Bahá'í Faith is growing in numerical strength like never before. When a person or organisation chooses to make a statement on public domain they can be held liable for it because it is bound by international publishing law. This is why some believers have no interest in being party to a number unqualified teaching claims that could be viewed as post-truths. Deception has become habitual in recent years and we are all prone towards its influence.

The believers should be immensely grateful for any honest comments that Bahá'í Institutions choose to make in matters of teaching. However deception needs to be seen for what it is. The Bahá'í Faith will survive any foolishness shown by its believers and its numerical strength can comfortable drop to half a million people without feeling much impact. This is because some believers naturally teach a number of people each year and they do not even speak about it to others because they believe to do so would draw unnecessary attention to themselves. Teaching is not about finding a person to declare, it is about raising them to such a standard whereby they can survive within the Bahá'í Community as it stands today. These people and those that they teach rarely leave the Bahá'í Faith. They are, as the Guardian once suggested in an apt analogy with big personalities being like bricks, the concrete that holds everything together.

I hope this might help you to understand that religious fundamentalism is not a term people usually associate with me. But I thank you for your concerns all the same because we can always work on improving ourselves.

Earth
 
Old 11-17-2016, 04:19 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Earth View Post
Greetings Aiden,

I think you may misunderstand. Not to worry because your response is perfectly acceptable because Bahá'í teaching concepts are the reverse of what they are in many religious cultures. This means it can be just as difficult and confusing for some members of the Bahá'í Faith to understand too. I have faced my own challenges here, so I know where you are coming from brother.

The subject of teaching is arguably the largest source of contention within the Bahá'í Faith and it has become even more contentious in recent years. It is also one of the key reasons why some believers choose to leave the Bahá'í Faith. Teaching is a fundamental right for all Bahá'ís and learning how to do this successfully is a right of passage.

Teaching works not by exhorting to be a great and knowledgable or by seeking to elevate the Bahá'í Faith into being what it is not, but rather by striving towards obtaining poverty and humility of character. Only when poverty and humility overtakes one's desires does it become possible to teach with sincerity. The Guardian used a number of phrases to help the believers come to understand this process, 'Abdu'l-Bahá demonstrated this process within His personal life and Bahá'u'lláh indicated that the Bahá'ís should teach like 'Abdu'l-Bahá.

'Abdu'l-Bahá explained that a Bahá'í should bring one person into the Bahá'í Faith every year. However, as a word of caution, this needs to be understood in the context of living the life rather than proselytising or employing religious pressure to convert a person. This can be hard for some to understand. However, at this time the Bahá'í Community is not only failing to grow in some locations around the world, but it has also gone into numerical decline. You do not not need to take my word for this because the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United States has been one of the first Bahá'í Institutions to allegedly admit this on public domain. It was originally cited on the Bahaikipedia, an officially owned Bahá'í domain. This is an extremely honest statement from a Bahá'í Institution to make if of course its citation was correct and I would expect other Bahá'í National Spiritual Assemblies in the western world to be in a very similar position.

It is already likely that former members of the Bahá'í Faith outnumber registered members. Indeed to help you understand what it looks like from my perspective, in the area where I first became involved in the Bahá'í Faith there were originally five highly active Local Spiritual Assemblies, now there is but one and this is likely to lapse soon. Yet despite this some still seek to propagate the idea that the Bahá'í Faith is growing in numerical strength like never before. When a person or organisation chooses to make a statement on public domain they can be held liable for it because it is bound by international publishing law. This is why some believers have no interest in being party to a number unqualified teaching claims that could be viewed as post-truths. Deception has become habitual in recent years and we are all prone towards its influence.

The believers should be immensely grateful for any honest comments that Bahá'í Institutions choose to make in matters of teaching. However deception needs to be seen for what it is. The Bahá'í Faith will survive any foolishness shown by its believers and its numerical strength can comfortable drop to half a million people without feeling much impact. This is because some believers naturally teach a number of people each year and they do not even speak about it to others because they believe to do so would draw unnecessary attention to themselves. Teaching is not about finding a person to declare, it is about raising them to such a standard whereby they can survive within the Bahá'í Community as it stands today. These people and those that they teach rarely leave the Bahá'í Faith. They are, as the Guardian once suggested in an apt analogy with big personalities being like bricks, the concrete that holds everything together.

I hope this might help you to understand that religious fundamentalism is not a term people usually associate with me. But I thank you for your concerns all the same because we can always work on improving ourselves.

Earth
I don't think I accused you of fundamentalism, did I?
 
Old 11-17-2016, 04:20 PM   #8
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Here is something else to consider, from the statement "One Common Faith" from the Universal House of Justice:

"Bahá’u’lláh has not brought into existence a new religion to stand beside the present multiplicity of sectarian organizations. Rather has He recast the whole conception of religion as the principal force impelling the development of consciousness. As the human race in all its diversity is a single species, so the intervention by which God cultivates the qualities of mind and heart latent in that species is a single process. Its heroes and saints are the heroes and saints of all stages in the struggle; its successes, the successes of all stages. This is the standard demonstrated in the life and work of the Master and exemplified today in a Bahá’í community that has become the inheritor of humanity’s entire spiritual legacy, a legacy equally available to all the earth’s peoples."
 
Old 11-18-2016, 01:12 AM   #9
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Greetings Aiden,

Of course not. It was used simply to prevent any misunderstanding.

Just to conclude. In the 1980's the Catholic Church made some statements about the need to protect their youth from those that apply a universalist approach towards religion. Naturally this was viewed as being an inference towards the Bahá'í Faith.

At that time I was assisting some priests with educating youth. So naturally I was called into a meeting to discuss my aims and intentions because they were aware that I was a member of the Bahá'í Faith and possibly viewed me as a threat. As odd as it might appear they wanted to know how Bahá'ís teach their religion. So to answer their question I presented them with the four stage process that was recommended by 'Abdu'l-Bahá. They then asked if I would be prepared to apply this open approach towards presenting Christianity to their youth. I consented because 'Abdu'l-Bahá's approach is about fostering a universal attitude. In the end the Priests employed the same approach too and the Catholic community connected with the school actually grew in strength that year. They never had any concerns about the Bahá'í Faith after this.

The point to understand here is that religion grows and declines through the way people reflect spirituality within their own lives. This is why choosing to serve others can have such a powerful impact on people. As I have personal witnessed 'Abdu'l-Bahá's teaching approach work within another religion, hopefully you can begin to understand some of my comments in a better light. If Catholics have the capacity to employ 'Abdu'l-Bahá's teaching methods to obtain numerical growth then it is quite clear that other religions can do the same too. Members of the Bahá'í Faith face a choice. Either they choose to teach like 'Abdu'l-Bahá has instructed or they do not. As with all things in life, people get what they deserve.

Earth
 
Old 11-18-2016, 07:41 AM   #10
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Greetings everyone.


There happens, in my mind, to be three kinds of people. One of them possesses the ability to purify the subject that they are talking about. Their words seem to cleanse the very reality of what they discuss. Another one, on the contrary, possesses the ability to soil the subject of their conversation. They insidiously make the light dirty, and their word has a power of profanation. And the third kind is neutral. What they discuss of doesn't influence the reality.

It seems to me that Earth belongs to the first category. And that is why I feel very humbled by people of his kind, because my speech is much tasteless, void, next to that of such persons, and I realize the lack of weight and meaningfulness that my words have, that they are but the product of a limited human intelligence, and that silence, on my behalf, appears to be much preferable.

However, I would like to react to some things that have been said here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Earth
This can be hard for some to understand. However, at this time the Bahá'í Community is not only failing to grow in some locations around the world, but it has also gone into numerical decline.
Thank you for saying that out loud. This was one of my concerns, but it is not anymore.
There are many things that I feel are taboos in this community, and that the antidote is to speak openly, and that is for sure one of them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Earth
the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United States has been one of the first Bahá'í Institutions to allegedly admit this on public domain.
Can someone provide a source to this statement, please ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Earth
The believers should be immensely grateful for any honest comments that Bahá'í Institutions choose to make in matters of teaching.
If this is true (and even if I'm yet to be declared), I do am.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Earth
However deception needs to be seen for what it is. The Bahá'í Faith will survive any foolishness shown by its believers and its numerical strength can comfortable drop to half a million people without feeling much impact.
I have the impression (I am not sure it is worth mentionning) that the people of Baha is a bit like the people of Israël when they were wandering in the Desert of Sinaď. A people who possesses truth, but who looks like wandering fools to the rest of the world. A people with a primordial connection to the Holy Land, but who is forbidden to entering it. And a people who doesn't seem to hold up to the divine standard that was bestowed upon them.

If this is the case, then there is much hope, because the Bani Israel was in a much worst conditions, and yet they succeeded in fulfilling their divine purpose.

There is written in the Quran [13:11] :

Indeed, Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Earth
Teaching is not about finding a person to declare, it is about raising them to such a standard whereby they can survive within the Bahá'í Community as it stands today.
Now, I fail to agree with that statement. Sure, I know nothing about Teaching the Faith. But isn't the purpose of a teaching Baha'i to "raising people to such a standard whereby they can spiritually survive (and thrive !) in today's world" ?

Abdu'l Baha taught of happiness in prison. If our standard is just to "survive" within our own community, it's really bad !

However, I have now a more precise idea of what means "teaching the Faith" (as opposed to proselytize). I understand that it is a way to make people outside of the Faith grow more spiritual through the Baha'i principles.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Earth
the four stage process that was recommended by 'Abdu'l-Bahá.
Pardon my ignorance (I am still new to this religion), but what are these ? Can I have a source ? Thank you.

Anyway, thank you Earth for these wonderful words of yours.

Now, I would like to attempt at answering the thread's question.
Are we using the Baha'i word correctly.

Sometimes, I think it's better to say Baha'i for anyone belonging to the Faith, to make things easier to understand for non-Baha'is.
In fact, many Baha'is just happen to be (as myself) disciples of Baha.

We know that Abdu'l Baha taught that some people could be Baha'is without having ever heard of Baha'u'llah's name. What does it mean if not that the Baha'i is a person who has achieved a certain metaphysical condition in which he has integrated Baha'u'llah's energy ?

Of many of us have reached that condition ?

Now, I would like to bring this prayer (from Baha'u'llah) to your attention :

Many a chilled heart, O my God, hath been set ablaze by the fire of Thy Cause, and many a slumberer hath been wakened by the sweetness of Thy voice. How many are the strangers who have sought shelter beneath the shadow of the tree of Thy oneness, and how numerous the thirsty ones who have panted after the fountain of Thy living waters in Thy days!

Blessed is he that hath set himself towards Thee, and hasted to attain the Dayspring of the lights of Thy face. Blessed is he who with all his affections hath turned to the Dawning-Place of Thy Revelation and the Fountainhead of Thine inspiration. Blessed is he that hath expended in Thy path what Thou didst bestow upon him through Thy bounty and favor. Blessed is he who, in his sore longing after Thee, hath cast away all else except Thyself. Blessed is he who hath enjoyed intimate communion with Thee, and rid himself of all attachment to anyone save Thee.

I beseech Thee, O my Lord, by Him Who is Thy Name, Who, through the power of Thy sovereignty and might, hath risen above the horizon of His prison, to ordain for everyone what becometh Thee and beseemeth Thine exaltation.

Thy might, in truth, is equal to all things.


"By Him Who is Thy Name."

Obviously, this refers to Baha'u'llah, but...

The other day, I was in a Baha'i meeting with three other believers, and I was struck by this expression. I asked the friend to read it again, and then I understood.

God's name is Baha. But we strive to become Baha'is. We share God's name.

A Baha'is is someone who has become God's name, who is "Thy Name". I think.

What's your opinion ?
 
Old 11-18-2016, 12:42 PM   #11
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I like this discussion. We are speaking truth here.

gnat
 
Old 11-18-2016, 02:31 PM   #12
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Greetings GoaForce,

I trust that you are well and happy since we last spoke. I think of you often and pray that your spiritual progress goes well.

Do understand that some believers are not trained towards dealing with issues of conflict and because of this they do not always know how to react. This can make them and the Bahá'í Community prone towards those that seek to unfairly assert themselves over them. Now do understand that no believer here has caused an issue, but those that have been involved in the Bahá'í Faith for a number of years will know exactly what I am discussing here. It was not my intention to derail Walrus' soul search question to heighten people's empathy, but sometimes this just naturally happens as people seek clarification on points.

There is a very pleasant gentleman that lives in France. He tends to be very diplomatic when discussing hard issues, but even he has tired of some teaching behaviours. So I will allow you to listen to one of his Association of Bahá'í Studies (ABS) talks. Do look him up in France because he can help you with these type of questions better than a forum discussion. This is because forum conversations can be easily misunderstood and this can lead to people being shocked or even angered. Teaching can be elevated to the status of politics within the Bahá'í Community, this is why I always feel it is each believers personal right to teach in a way and manner they feel comfortable with. They should never be told how to teach or forced to employ any system they feel to be artificial. Before you listen to this do understand that he always coughs before he wishes to make a profound point. This is simply part of the way he communicates with believers to avoid saying something less pleasant. It is a personal defence mechanism and it has served him well over many years. As a former member of the Universal House of Justice hopefully you will begin to see the complexity of this subject more clearly: Ali Nakhjavani's Talk on the Institute Process Core Activities | Baha'i Education

The viewpoints that the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United States have allegedly made were published on the https://bahaikipedia.org You are looking to locate 2 prominent points:

1. Within the United States the retention rate of new believers is 50% after two years (This means 50% of new believers resign from the Bahá'í Faith before reaching their 2nd year).

2. The progress of the Faith in the United States is no further advanced than what it was in the 1930's. (This means the numerical strength is in decline).

Do understand that that the Bahaikipedia functions rather like the Wikipedia, but the domain is formally owned by the Bahá'í Community. So comments can be added and removed. This is why I cannot verify the accuracy of these comments with absolute certainty. In addition to this I cannot comment on any formal material made by any Bahá'í Institution on this matter if it is only intended for the believers themselves. This is because this is confidential and it is not open for public circulation. I can only refer you to open domain. Hopefully it is still present and you will be able to locate it.

The sentiment I offered that you disagree with is a rephrasing of a caution offered by the Guardian to people that were considering enrolling into the Bahá'í Faith. However, I phrased it from the perspective of the teacher having the responsibility to help the prospective believer instead. This is because in the past prospective believers had access to reading the Guardian's warning that were offered to them before they enrolled. Today, rather ignorantly in my view, it is expected that prospective believers should know all of the material for themselves. In the past, in some countries, prospective believers were required to read a series of books and sit an entry examine in order to qualify to become a Bahá'í. I think you will agree that with changing standards comes new responsibilities. The issue is so bad some new believers are completely ignorant about the most basic teachings when they enrol. I was raised to understand that there is no such thing as a poor student, only a poor teacher. In this respect I never blame new believers for any religious violations they were unaware of, the fault lays with their teacher. However, as all declarations have to be approved by National Spiritual Assemblies they, and they alone, have to carry the responsibly for any poor teaching standards that transpire under their jurisdiction.

There is a great deal of wisdom in learning to understand the teaching methods employed by 'Abdu'l-Bahá. Rather than trying to elaborate on these, might I suggest that you consider listening to a series of six sessions offered by Tom Price on this subject. These should help you come to understand teaching in an entirely new way Baha'i Blog | New Talks by Tom Price: Recreating Ourselves in the Image of the Master -

Do understand that while some members of the Bahá'í Faith can be very passionate about their beliefs, this does not mean they are incapable of recognising one another's strengths and merits. People are constantly developing their understanding and naturally this means a person should never be associated with their viewpoints. Truth is always relative from a person's perspective and within the Bahá'í Faith we are taught to view the clash of opinions as being the process that facilitates the light of truth to become apparent to us. This is why no believer should fear challenging assumptions. Unfortunately some believers confuse complacency with obedience. Complacency is actually the direct opposite to courage. Courage is the light, complacency is the dark. Never be complacent with your dealings with anyone, but learn the value of patience and forgiveness too. We all make mistakes and this means we have to learn how to forgive ourselves and others too.

Naturally I hope that this might go some way towards answering your questions. Do not concern yourself too much with the internal struggles that exist within the Bahá'í Faith because these are necessary in order for it to evolve. This is why Walrus' points are far more relevant than some readers here might have originally appreciated. We cannot truly recognise the value of complete unity without acknowledging that there has to be a fundamental change in the way we choose to express our values to others.

Earth

Last edited by Earth; 11-18-2016 at 02:35 PM.
 
Old 11-21-2016, 05:30 PM   #13
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Greetings Earth !

I apologize for the delay of my answer to you. I wanted to think well before saying anything, and analyzing your point (I also confess that I still struggle with English vocabulary sometimes :/ ).

Now, I realize that there is not much that I can add to what you say. You make great points, that are backed up by a true knowledge of the Tradition. The only answer I can provide to that is a personnal motivation to do what is expected of me as a Baha'i (and that I cannot fulfill yet, unfortunately).

Don't be offended at how short and inarticulated is this post of mine. I just don't have much to say and to offer, other than thanking you greatly and sincerely for providing your wisdom in such a gentle manner, and for praying for me. That is more than nice.

I do hope that this community grows more mature and functionnal, and my heart is gradually reassured about this religion. There is a great hostility against it, and quite a few weaknesses, but I start to understand things beyond the material realm. And that is great. I am increasingly confident about the future.

Please receive my blessings.

Best regards,

GoaForce
 
Old 11-21-2016, 08:20 PM   #14
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There is a great hostility against it)
Oh, that's great! I'm rather used to our Faith being patted on the head or totally ignored.

gnat

Last edited by gnat; 11-22-2016 at 02:35 AM.
 
Old 11-22-2016, 07:06 AM   #15
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Greetings GoaForce,

The aim with presenting the Bahá'í Faith is not to give people spiritual digestion. So I apologise if I have given you too much to contemplate. You do exceptional well with the English language, given that this is not your native language, so you have nothing to concern yourself here. If we were conversing in French this process would become a little easier. So the issue is merely linguistic, brought about by my inability to speak your own language as well as you can speak mine. But take comfort, others can face challenges with these spiritual concepts too.

To help you witness the type of spirit such people possess you may find the following video helpful because it charts one individual from his acceptance of the Bahá'í Faith to his passing. This is the spirit of a Bahá'í and while not all believers may shine as bright, the more you get to know them and the way they live, the more you come to respect and understand how believers can develop the power to help transform themselves and others. Do appreciate that the gentleman in this video is my spiritual brother because we were both enrolled into the Bahá'í Faith by the same person. This is one of the unique features of the Bahá'í Faith that binds people together like a family. We share a unique closeness with one another because the Bahá'í Community is a spiritual family where everyone is naturally intertwined with one another because we were all raised from the dirt by people with their own bare hands. With guidance and practice we transformed, but never forget that every first generation believer has been in exactly the same position you find yourself now. So we understand the anxieties and weakness you currently feel. Enjoy the video and start to appreciate why it is the little things that we do that are the most important, like how we simply greet people in our daily lives each and every day. His conclusion of course nicely rounds off the topic of this thread https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=LcjWAJQAY7Q

The point I have endeavoured to make in Walrus' thread is that teaching the Bahá'í Faith should never be reduced to the mentality of producing sausages in a sausage factory. Each person is a unique being full of wonders to discover. This is why we need to be accountable to the people we have been given the great bounty and privilege to teach. It is simply unethical to experiment with other peoples lives.

It is important to understand that it is actually the formal responsibility of the members of National Spiritual Assemblies, both as religious ministers and directors of a non-profit/charity organisation, to ensure that every person that requests to join the Bahá'í Faith and contribute monies towards it, only does so in the full knowledge of all its laws and ordinances that are relevant to them. Naturally this requires a frank conversation before any declaration should be taken. It is simply unethical to allow people to join the Bahá'í Faith unless they are made aware of the standards to which they are expected to live. There is a minimum standard, but there is no maximum standard. However, high or low, all believers are still regarded as being equal to one another. Because of this we refer to one another as Bahá'ís as a matter of courtesy. To be a Bahá'í you simply need to be alight like a candle in the dark. The size or magnitude of the flame is unimportant. The simple act of shedding light on others qualifies a person to be a Bahá'í.

Be happy because you are already doing this.

Earth

Last edited by Earth; 11-22-2016 at 07:09 AM.
 
Old 11-22-2016, 08:32 AM   #16
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Greetings Earth !

I understand that you are pointing out to the fact that some Baha'is were totally transformed by a transcendental light, and that this is what we shall be striving for. That this religion (or rather, this "Cause" - even if I somehow don't like the word) possesses a great energetical potential able to uplift people in the visible and the invisible realms.

And you compare this "proto-initiatic" spirit of great teachers of the Baha'i Tradition to people (teachers and newcomers) who are less aware of this aspect of the religion (of this "inner side" ?), and that it is bad.

That is very intelligent, and I get what you mean.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Earth
Enjoy the video and start to appreciate why it is the little things that we do that are the most important, like how we simply greet people in our daily lives each and every day.
I remember this video ! I've seen it long ago, but I still remember it.

As for what you way, well, it is common lore that the Devil hides himself in the detail of things. Well, so does God.

I am becoming increasingly aware, through a personnal reflection, that Baha'is need to be "essences of refinement". I reflected upon this while pondering on the hygienic laws of the Kitab-i-Aqdas (changing the furniture every 19 years, use perfume, wash feet etc.). This means that a Baha'i needs to be coated with well-being, and irradiate this outside of themselves.

I was watching a Japanese TV drama the other day, and one character was a Buddhist monk. And when I looked at that actor dressed as a monk, I understood what means "essence of refinement". Monks are very clean, somehow sophisticated, but it's not a bourgeois materialistic spirit. They are lovely to see. Their temples are bright. I want to be a Baha'i like a Buddhist monk, so to say. To incarnate a temple spirit.

Being good-looking, having good manners, being humble, helping people. This is a monastic ideal, but more challenging, because it needs to be applied while fully participating into the society and having a family.

I would be absolutely delighted if Baha'is were much closer to that ideal, if I was myself. Moreover, that would attract quite a lot of people.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Earth
Each person is a unique being full of wonders to discover. This is why we need to be accountable to the people we have been given the great bounty and privilege to teach. It is simply unethical to experiment with other peoples lives.
I can relate to that. The person who taught me of Faith (not the Baha'i Faith ; just the Faith in God), when we first met, said to me "You think you are being given, when in fact, you are the one who is giving."
That sentence really struck me, because that person was teaching me about God, and I was a lonely dark boy, while he was a very solid, extremely powerful, miraculous man.

I know that if (I hope so) I teach of this Tradition to someone, it's not about giving. It is about exchanging, and the person that I am teaching can be way more spiritually evolved that I'll ever be. Some teens are way wiser than some old peole. In the same way, a person meeting the Baha'i Faith can be brighter than many a believer.
And I expect myself to be, in the future, in such situation that the person I am teaching to will give more to myself than I am giving to them, and to be grateful to them.

I can also relate to this because I have a certain sensitivity, and that most Baha'is I know could not have taught this religion to my 19 year-old self (but some of them did help me and provided me exactly what I needed). For instance, many Baha'is have a very Westernized mindset. They dress in suits, speak in a certain way, use a certain kind of books, and in the course of my investigation, I felt repulsed by this spirit. On the contrary, I was very fond of Islamic and Sikh preachers who had a great sense of tradition. They wear Eastern garments, they are down-to-earth pragmatical, they learn the ancient languages. They possess the spirit of the ancient world and update it into the contemporary world. And I am in need of such authenticity, and not a lot of Baha'is are aligned with this reality I am striving towards.

I hope I'll succeed in this and live this Faith in the way I ought to, in compliance with the spirit of both the administrative instructions and my inner self.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Earth
The size or magnitude of the flame is unimportant. The simple act of shedding light on others qualifies a person to be a Bahá'í.
Nice one.

Blessings to you,

GoaForce
 
Old 11-22-2016, 09:12 AM   #17
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I can only add how relevant, enjoyable and insightful this thread is. Thank you all!

Loving regards,
Becky
 
Old 11-22-2016, 01:59 PM   #18
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So some further thoughts on this:

Last week I got an invitation in the mail. The letter was from a Methodist Pastor who was welcoming me to the neighborhood (I have recently moved) and inviting me to their weekly church services. As I’ve mentioned on this forum many times, I am a huge religion geek and lover of religions. So it should go without saying that I accepted the invite.

The service itself was very interesting, the Pastor touched on the concepts of surrender and submission to God, which is an important concept that I don’t think is covered often enough (though we here are, coincidentally enough, touching on it here and there throughout our recent postings, for example I recently posted “Seest thou a single flaw?” from the Quran 67:3). Also I liked that they had a section for note-taking in their pamphlets. I like being able to take notes at religious discussions.

But twice while I was there I noticed a thought emerge. Twice I had a thought that these people were of a “different religion” than myself. I was, in my mind, dividing us into groups of “Methodists” and “Baha’is”.

But that thought is, as the Scriptures attest, very much wrong. Religion is, absolutely One. If religion is Unified and indeed One as we are taught, then I was wrong and quite certainly there is no difference in Faith between myself and the other people who showed up to that Church.

There are differences in what we believe, of course. We share a lot of the same prophets, but I believe there were more prophets than they realize. They also personally believe that Jesus Christ was literally God, a belief I don’t find any credence in because I don’t believe verses like Luke 22:42 make any sense if God and Jesus are truly and literally the same person.

But are those differences all that great? With the history of my own religious journey, I count Laozi among the Prophets of God. Many of you probably don’t. Jacqueline Left Hand Bull, one of the members of the USA’s NSA, has publically stated that she believes White Buffalo Calf Woman of the Lakota was a Prophet of God. Others probably do not agree with her. But I don’t think any person here would state that myself or Left Hand Bull are of a different religion than other Baha’is, even though we number the Prophets slightly differently.

And while I personally can’t make sense of why one would believe Jesus Christ was literally the same entity as God, Baha’u’llah writes “Thus, should the mirrored Sun proclaim, ‘I am the Sun!’ this is but truth; and should It cry, ‘I am not the Sun!’ this is the truth as well” and this verse shows that our difference in belief about the specific identity of Jesus isn’t that big of a distinction either, any more than disagreeing with someone about whether or not the image of the sun reflected in the mirror is “the sun” or not.

So we have our differences, but the differences are not that great. And based on the teachings, there is but One Religion, as there is Unity of Religion, and so all of the people I met with this weekend were, in truth, of the same religion as myself, the same religion of all mankind.

Which brings me back to my original thought. The way that, at the very least, I am currently used to using the word “Baha’i” is causing me to think of people in terms of religious group identity, even though we are assured by the writings that there is only one religion. Seeing as when I accepted the prophethood of Baha’u’llah, I was already used to using religious group identifiers, and seeing as most people in the world view each other in terms of religious group affiliation, I’m not surprised that I’ve come to have the term “Baha’i” ingrained in my head as a term that denotes a specific group of people with some commonality of religious belief. However, I’m fairly certain that even if it is natural to use the word in such a way, it is incorrect to use the word as a denotation of a religious group, and I plan on striving to change how I use the word so that my mind can adapt and stop dividing people in terms of religion.
 
Old 11-22-2016, 04:14 PM   #19
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Perhaps the word Baha'i is more indicative of a philosophy or way of life more so than a religious denomination?
 
Old 11-22-2016, 04:31 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Earth View Post
Greetings GoaForce,

The aim with presenting the Bahá'í Faith is not to give people spiritual digestion. So I apologise if I have given you too much to contemplate. You do exceptional well with the English language, given that this is not your native language, so you have nothing to concern yourself here. If we were conversing in French this process would become a little easier. So the issue is merely linguistic, brought about by my inability to speak your own language as well as you can speak mine. But take comfort, others can face challenges with these spiritual concepts too.

To help you witness the type of spirit such people possess you may find the following video helpful because it charts one individual from his acceptance of the Bahá'í Faith to his passing. This is the spirit of a Bahá'í and while not all believers may shine as bright, the more you get to know them and the way they live, the more you come to respect and understand how believers can develop the power to help transform themselves and others. Do appreciate that the gentleman in this video is my spiritual brother because we were both enrolled into the Bahá'í Faith by the same person. This is one of the unique features of the Bahá'í Faith that binds people together like a family. We share a unique closeness with one another because the Bahá'í Community is a spiritual family where everyone is naturally intertwined with one another because we were all raised from the dirt by people with their own bare hands. With guidance and practice we transformed, but never forget that every first generation believer has been in exactly the same position you find yourself now. So we understand the anxieties and weakness you currently feel. Enjoy the video and start to appreciate why it is the little things that we do that are the most important, like how we simply greet people in our daily lives each and every day. His conclusion of course nicely rounds off the topic of this thread https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=LcjWAJQAY7Q

The point I have endeavoured to make in Walrus' thread is that teaching the Bahá'í Faith should never be reduced to the mentality of producing sausages in a sausage factory. Each person is a unique being full of wonders to discover. This is why we need to be accountable to the people we have been given the great bounty and privilege to teach. It is simply unethical to experiment with other peoples lives.

It is important to understand that it is actually the formal responsibility of the members of National Spiritual Assemblies, both as religious ministers and directors of a non-profit/charity organisation, to ensure that every person that requests to join the Bahá'í Faith and contribute monies towards it, only does so in the full knowledge of all its laws and ordinances that are relevant to them. Naturally this requires a frank conversation before any declaration should be taken. It is simply unethical to allow people to join the Bahá'í Faith unless they are made aware of the standards to which they are expected to live. There is a minimum standard, but there is no maximum standard. However, high or low, all believers are still regarded as being equal to one another. Because of this we refer to one another as Bahá'ís as a matter of courtesy. To be a Bahá'í you simply need to be alight like a candle in the dark. The size or magnitude of the flame is unimportant. The simple act of shedding light on others qualifies a person to be a Bahá'í.

Be happy because you are already doing this.

Earth
Brother Earth are you from Africa?
 
Old 11-22-2016, 06:08 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoaForce View Post
I was watching a Japanese TV drama the other day, and one character was a Buddhist monk. And when I looked at that actor dressed as a monk, I understood what means "essence of refinement". Monks are very clean, somehow sophisticated, but it's not a bourgeois materialistic spirit. They are lovely to see. Their temples are bright. I want to be a Baha'i like a Buddhist monk, so to say. To incarnate a temple spirit.

Being good-looking, having good manners, being humble, helping people. This is a monastic ideal, but more challenging, because it needs to be applied while fully participating into the society and having a family.

I would be absolutely delighted if Baha'is were much closer to that ideal, if I was myself. Moreover, that would attract quite a lot of people.

Blessings to you,

GoaForce
Oh, GoaForce, you understand so much. Yes indeed, there is some sociological phenomenon within our community that tends to identify Bahá'í life with the adoption of a typical middleclass lifestyle, making the values of the present society one's own. Indeed you are right.

And that phenomenon is such an incredible test - one of many.

Best

from

gnat

Last edited by gnat; 11-22-2016 at 06:49 PM.
 
Old 11-22-2016, 06:53 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Gnat
Yes indeed, there is some sociological phenomenon within our community that tends to identify Bahá'í life with the adoption of a typical middleclass lifestyle, making the values of the present society one's own.
Oh man, thank you so much. You put the right words on the feelings that I failed to express clearly.
 
Old 11-22-2016, 07:44 PM   #23
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Oh man, thank you so much. You put the right words on the feelings that I failed to express clearly.
I know. We really should meet one day.

gnat
 
Old 11-23-2016, 05:10 PM   #24
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I've always thought this, Baha'is I've met look and act and sound middle class. I've yet to meet a Baha'i bin man or street sweeper
 
Old 11-24-2016, 08:07 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AidanK View Post
Perhaps the word Baha'i is more indicative of a philosophy or way of life more so than a religious denomination?
Greetings Aiden,

You have summed this up very succinctly with one simple sentence. Well done!

In answer to your question if I am from Africa? The answer is we all are. Modern man consists of 96-100% Cro-Magnon genes. As Cro-Magnon man originated in Africa, we are all African to some degree. The rest of our 0-4% of genes comes from Neanderthals, which, contrary to popular opinion, were much more advanced than given credit for. The best known location for evidence of this interspecies reproduction is, surprisingly, within the caves of Mount Carmel behind the Bahá'í World Centre. It was once a great meeting centre for the ancestors of all modern humans.

I have lived and travelled in Africa, but I consider myself first and foremost a citizen of the world. The oneness of mankind is not an intellectual argument, it is a scientific reality. Interestingly recent gene samples taken from of Adolf Hitler's relatives indicate that his ancestors were both African and Jewish. It underpins why it is so important for us all to deal so kindly with one another.

Keep well brother.

Earth
 
Old 11-24-2016, 08:13 AM   #26
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Greetings GoaForce,

Delighted to learn that your teacher has set you on a stable non-denominational path to follow. No religion can legally own a person. People are free to use their souls and spirit as they please. While religions can be used to help guide us in life, we are free to draw upon any inspiration that may be of assistant to us. So what might appear totally logical to one person can make no sense to another. This is why faith is beyond logic and why logic can never be used to promote faith. Even so, as you have so correctly inferred, some people still try...

Earth
 
Old 11-26-2016, 04:19 PM   #27
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street sweepers

Quote:
Originally Posted by AidanK View Post
I've always thought this, Baha'is I've met look and act and sound middle class. I've yet to meet a Baha'i bin man or street sweeper
Aiden,
. Visit any South Dakota Indian Reservation, or South Carolina, or South America, or South Africa...
. Go South, young man!! Meet the street sweepers who have become Baha'is

;-) There's lots of us out there ;-)

and yes: We do windows... (and macs)
 
Old 11-26-2016, 04:45 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by dale ramsdell View Post
Aiden,
. Visit any South Dakota Indian Reservation, or South Carolina, or South America, or South Africa...
. Go South, young man!! Meet the street sweepers who have become Baha'is

;-) There's lots of us out there ;-)

and yes: We do windows... (and macs)
And then, meet all the Bahá'í street sweepers, who tried being Bahá'ís in more advanced professions, only to realize that the only way to engage in a profession in a Bahá'í spirit was to become a street sweeper.

gnat
 
Old 11-26-2016, 05:46 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gnat View Post
And then, meet all the Bahá'í street sweepers, who tried being Bahá'ís in more advanced professions, only to realize that the only way to engage in a profession in a Bahá'í spirit was to become a street sweeper.

gnat
Ha ha. Yes 😄😉

Regards Tony
 
Old 11-27-2016, 02:06 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dale ramsdell View Post
Aiden,
. Visit any South Dakota Indian Reservation, or South Carolina, or South America, or South Africa...
. Go South, young man!! Meet the street sweepers who have become Baha'is

;-) There's lots of us out there ;-)

and yes: We do windows... (and macs)
May be the case Dale, unfortunately all that I know is the UK
 
Old 11-27-2016, 04:08 PM   #31
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May be the case Dale, unfortunately all that I know is the UK
Christ calls us to to become more aware of our World by;

Mark 16:15 "He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation".

He wanted to prepare us for our Unity in our Diversity.

Regards Tony
 
Old 11-27-2016, 05:25 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by tonyfish58 View Post
Christ calls us to to become more aware of our World by;

Mark 16:15 "He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation".
And "all creation" is more than just mankind. St. Francis knew that.

So, we have to teach the flowers and the pebbles and the floors of our homes, and.....

Maybe through gentleness and kindness and cleanliness. A gentle touch goes a long way.

gnat
 
Old 11-30-2016, 11:17 AM   #33
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Confirmations

Quote:
Originally Posted by tonyfish58 View Post
Christ calls us to to become more aware of our World by;

Mark 16:15 "He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation".

He wanted to prepare us for our Unity in our Diversity.

Regards Tony
. "If one seeks the confirmations of the Holy Spirit, they can find it in rich abundance in the teaching field."
. . . Shoghi Effendi
 
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