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Old 11-27-2016, 11:37 PM   #1
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A Saddening Feeling

Greetings friends. I have felt a most strange feeling as of late.
I feel a genuine fire in my heart, a flaming love, a passion deep within me, whenever I think of the Bab. I have read the most of his message and his life than I have of the other key figures of the Baha'i faith (The ones coming to mind Baha'u'llah, Abdu'l-Baha, and the Guardian), and this could be part of that reason.

I get a very similar feeling when I think of Abdu'l-Baha. As a former (And still, in a way) Sikh, I see that he has many parallels in his life with that of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, a man whom I have an immense love and respect for. I have read a fair amount concerning Abdu'l-Baha.

However, I have this saddening, almost empty feeling, when it comes to Baha'u'llah. I think it may be the fact that I know less of him than I do of The Bab or Abdu'l-Baha. From what I have seen, there is just so much to cover in comparison to the aforementioned two. I have read a decent amount on Baha'u'llah, albeit a long while ago. The one most memorable thing I recall is reading the "Valley of Love". I really want to fill this empty feeling. I yearn to feel that same wonderful feeling The Bab gives me when I think of Baha'u'llah.

Does anyone have any suggestions, whether it be videos, pictures, sayings, letters, stories, anything. If it's any consolation, as someone who was raised Catholic I am rather fond of narratives. :P

Thank you for bearing with me through this;
-Mark
 
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Old 11-28-2016, 03:56 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Saveyist View Post

However, I have this saddening, almost empty feeling, when it comes to Baha'u'llah. I think it may be the fact that I know less of him than I do of The Bab or Abdu'l-Baha. From what I have seen, there is just so much to cover in comparison to the aforementioned two. I have read a decent amount on Baha'u'llah, albeit a long while ago. The one most memorable thing I recall is reading the "Valley of Love". I really want to fill this empty feeling. I yearn to feel that same wonderful feeling The Bab gives me when I think of Baha'u'llah.

Does anyone have any suggestions, whether it be videos, pictures, sayings, letters, stories, anything. If it's any consolation, as someone who was raised Catholic I am rather fond of narratives. :P

Thank you for bearing with me through this;
-Mark
Dear Mark,

Feelings - how much can they be trusted? There are the emotions that actually belong to the body. Then there are the stirrings of the soul. I'm not sure that there is anything wrong here. Bahá'u'lláh delivers the pure Message. The Master reiterates it. They have different roles. Thus, they evoke different sensations in your body and in your soul. Search yourself and don't assume that there is anything wrong. Try to ask yourself why the sensations are different. Then you might come up with an explanation.

Best

from

gnat
 
Old 11-28-2016, 08:27 AM   #3
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It took me a lot of time to like Baha'u'llah. A lot. Don't worry. I'm not knowledgeable enough to provide cool anecdotes, but if you want to love, you will.
 
Old 11-28-2016, 09:22 AM   #4
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And then, who said that love should imply a feeling of being elated, or an experience of the utmost joy? Love actually can be a decision to do loving things. And doing loving things can be an absolutely unemotional state, where you simply go with the flow and just do your very best. And if you are a drop in the river, you just flow with the other droplets, and the flow is the main thing.

gnat
 
Old 11-28-2016, 09:33 AM   #5
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Dear Mark,
I had the same feeling for a long time and in fact even now I can associate most strongly with Bab and then Abdul Baha and it is kind of difficult for me to get "the feeling from" Bahaullah. But once I was talking to my teacher (spiritual teacher) he told me that because Bahaullah is the Highest manifestation of God in our times and in fact His station is very very very high, one should "attain" His presence which is a difficult thing. we can attain the presence of all the past Messengers of God, also we can attain the presence of Bab and Abdul Baha but as for Baha'ullah one must REALLY reach a special spiritual understanding and one should "attain" as I mentioned above. once we attain His presence then it is like we are in heaven.
so I always try to do things to deserve attaining to His presence. I try to study the faith and increase my understanding and maybe one day He accepts me to His threshold. thus you are not alone in how you feel
 
Old 11-28-2016, 11:12 AM   #6
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Coming from an Episcopal background, it was the Greatest Name on a plaque on the wall that arrested my attention and commanded my declaration, and I have loved Him more and more as I learn more. I only read about Baha'u'llah for many years, and it is only recently, the last few years, that I have begun to really grow and expand in my Faith and learn about Abdu'l-Baha', the Bab and Shoghi Effendi. Who does not love Abdu'l-Baha' who has learned anything at all about Him? And, I have begun to feel much love and admiration for Shoghi Effendi as I read more of his writings and learn of his history, I have yet to read much of the Bab, other than embracing prayers and writings of His that I have come across. I have devoured many books of compilations containing writings and prayers of them all, but have settled down to reading books devoted to or written by Abdu'l-Baha' or Shoghi Effendi. You have encouraged me to look for material about the Bab. There is just SO MUCH MATERIAL!

Loving regards,
Becky
 
Old 11-30-2016, 11:11 AM   #7
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Hidden of the Hidden

"He is the Most Hidden of the Hidden and the Most Manifest of the Manifest"

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Old 11-30-2016, 04:43 PM   #8
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I know what you mean. Here is my own interpretation, it certainly could be wildly incorrect, but I will share it for whatever value you might find in it.

In my view, the personalities of the three Central Figures of the Faith come across quite differently in the stories told, and there is more of a sense of distance for me in Baha'u'llah's personality than that of the Bab and 'Abdu'l-Baha.

We know that the Manifestations exist on many different levels at the same time - they are as fully human as any of the rest of us, but also live on a plane of pure, unfettered spiritual truth from God in a way we cannot understand.

In their biological / animal nature, they eat, sleep, and fully live a physical life the same as everyone else born onto this planet.

In the cultural level, they are born into a particular society at a specific time, speak and write in a certain language or languages, engage with a particular set of ideas using vocabulary appropriate to their compatriots,

In the personality level, they have particular preferences, may be exceedingly outgoing or frequently reserved, desiring human company or frequently desiring solitude.

At the spiritual level, all of them are attuned to the Divine Purpose for humanity, the spiritual evolutionary imperative for us as individuals and collectively, and empowered to Reveal to humanity the seeds of that tree of God that is planted in the heart of humanity to shelter us and foster "an ever-advancing civilization".

To me from the stories I have read and from Baha'u'llah's biographical Writings, I get the sense that 'Abdu'l-Baha always felt refreshed engaging with an endless stream of humanity, and that Baha'u'llah often felt the need to retreat from the press of people to meditate and refreshen His spirit and to get space from people with bad motive and ill intention.

But when I started to look for Baha'u'llah's personality in His Writings themselves, I began to develop a very deep feeling of relationship with Him in a different way than I had expected. I have progressively fallen deeper in love with the beauty of the vision He has laid out for humanity in this Revelation. At the same time, I have come to appreciate more the other aspects of Baha'u'llah, His culture, His personality, and how this Revelation transcends those aspects, yet uses them as brush-strokes to paint the glory of its unequalled light upon the world.
 
Old 12-01-2016, 05:28 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M Light
To me from the stories I have read and from Baha'u'llah's biographical Writings, I get the sense that 'Abdu'l-Baha always felt refreshed engaging with an endless stream of humanity, and that Baha'u'llah often felt the need to retreat from the press of people to meditate and refreshen His spirit and to get space from people with bad motive and ill intention.
As if Baha'u'llah was "on the inner side" and the Master "in the outer side". Quite a symbol.
 
Old 12-02-2016, 02:28 AM   #10
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I know what you mean. Here is my own interpretation, it certainly could be wildly incorrect, but I will share it for whatever value you might find in it.

In my view, the personalities of the three Central Figures of the Faith come across quite differently in the stories told, and there is more of a sense of distance for me in Baha'u'llah's personality than that of the Bab and 'Abdu'l-Baha.

We know that the Manifestations exist on many different levels at the same time - they are as fully human as any of the rest of us, but also live on a plane of pure, unfettered spiritual truth from God in a way we cannot understand.

In their biological / animal nature, they eat, sleep, and fully live a physical life the same as everyone else born onto this planet.

In the cultural level, they are born into a particular society at a specific time, speak and write in a certain language or languages, engage with a particular set of ideas using vocabulary appropriate to their compatriots,

In the personality level, they have particular preferences, may be exceedingly outgoing or frequently reserved, desiring human company or frequently desiring solitude.

At the spiritual level, all of them are attuned to the Divine Purpose for humanity, the spiritual evolutionary imperative for us as individuals and collectively, and empowered to Reveal to humanity the seeds of that tree of God that is planted in the heart of humanity to shelter us and foster "an ever-advancing civilization".

To me from the stories I have read and from Baha'u'llah's biographical Writings, I get the sense that 'Abdu'l-Baha always felt refreshed engaging with an endless stream of humanity, and that Baha'u'llah often felt the need to retreat from the press of people to meditate and refreshen His spirit and to get space from people with bad motive and ill intention.

But when I started to look for Baha'u'llah's personality in His Writings themselves, I began to develop a very deep feeling of relationship with Him in a different way than I had expected. I have progressively fallen deeper in love with the beauty of the vision He has laid out for humanity in this Revelation. At the same time, I have come to appreciate more the other aspects of Baha'u'llah, His culture, His personality, and how this Revelation transcends those aspects, yet uses them as brush-strokes to paint the glory of its unequalled light upon the world.

very well said Matthew. now may I ask which of Baha'ullah's writings gives you a more concrete information and idea of His personality?
 
Old 12-02-2016, 07:32 PM   #11
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very well said Matthew. now may I ask which of Baha'ullah's writings gives you a more concrete information and idea of His personality?
Oh, that's tough.

I listen to Baha'i books on my iPhone a lot while driving. Really, most of Baha'u'llah's longer works and many of His tablets describe things He experienced and tend to give me a "feel" for Who He is, however inaccurate my perceptions.

In particular, the Summons of the Lord of Hosts (especially, the Tablet to Nasiri'd Din Shah) and Epistle to the Son of the Wolf seem to touch more on the biography of Baha'u'llah than most of His writings.
 
Old 12-02-2016, 08:27 PM   #12
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There is a story of Bahá'u'lláh's childhood that more than any other has caught my attention and made me able to identify with Him:

“When I was still a child and had not yet attained the age of maturity, my father made arrangements in Tihran for the marriage of one of my older brothers, and as is customary in that city, the festivities lasted for seven days and seven nights. On the last day it was announced that the play ‘Shah Sultan Salim’ [a king by the name Salim] would be presented. A large number of princes, dignitaries, and notables of the capital gathered for the occasion. I was sitting in one of the upper rooms of the building and observing the scene. Presently a tent was pitched in the courtyard, and before long some small human-like figures, each appearing to be no more than about a hand’s span in height, were seen to emerge from it and raise the call: ‘His Majesty is coming! Arrange the seats at once!’. ..there appeared, arrayed in regal majesty and crowned with a royal diadem, a kingly figure, bearing himself with the utmost haughtiness and grandeur, at turns advancing and pausing in his progress, who proceeded with great solemnity, poise and dignity to seat himself upon his throne.

At that moment a volley of shots was fired, a fanfare of trumpets was sounded, and king and tent were enveloped in a pall of smoke. When it had cleared, the king, ensconced upon his throne, was seen surrounded by a suite of ministers, princes, and dignitaries of state who, having taken their places, were standing at attention in his presence. A captured thief was then brought before the king, who gave the order that the offender should be beheaded. Without a moment’s delay the chief executioner cut off the thief’s head, whence a blood-like liquid came forth. ..

This Youth regarded the scene with great amazement. When the royal audience was ended, the curtain was drawn, and, after some twenty minutes, a man emerged from behind the tent carrying a box under his arm.

‘What is this box,’ I asked him, ‘and what was the nature of this display?’
‘All this lavish display and these elaborate devices,' he replied, 'the king, the princes, and the ministers, their pomp and glory, their might and power, everything you saw, are now contained within this box.'

I swear by My Lord Who, through a single word of His Mouth, hath brought into being all created things! Ever since that day, all the trappings of the world have seemed in the eyes of this Youth akin to that same spectacle. They have never been, nor will they ever be, of any weight and consequence…”


(Baha’u’llah, Summons of the Lord of Hosts, pp. 165-6)

Best

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Old 12-03-2016, 12:30 AM   #13
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My problem with feeling "close" to Baha'u'llah is a simple matter of communication: Everything I read by him is translated into old-fashioned style English. That really takes some getting used to. If I read enough of Baha'u'llah's works over a given period of time, I can manage to get over it. It's not always easy though.

Likewise, as a Christian the King James Bible never clicked with me. I gravitated toward more recent bible translations. I mean no disrespect to Shoghi Effendi, who did a wonderful job of presenting the writings to the English speaking world, but I really would like to see a modern version of the writings someday. I think that's the reason I'm so partial to The Promulgation of Universal Peace--it's a very readable translation of Abdu'l-Baha's speeches in North America, with a very modern feel despite the fact that it is over one-hundred years old. I know it's still technically not an official translation, but it's still pretty widely accepted and one of my favorite collections of Baha'i writings.
 
Old 12-03-2016, 02:09 AM   #14
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My problem with feeling "close" to Baha'u'llah is a simple matter of communication: Everything I read by him is translated into old-fashioned style English. That really takes some getting used to. If I read enough of Baha'u'llah's works over a given period of time, I can manage to get over it. It's not always easy though.

Likewise, as a Christian the King James Bible never clicked with me. I gravitated toward more recent bible translations. I mean no disrespect to Shoghi Effendi, who did a wonderful job of presenting the writings to the English speaking world, but I really would like to see a modern version of the writings someday. I think that's the reason I'm so partial to The Promulgation of Universal Peace--it's a very readable translation of Abdu'l-Baha's speeches in North America, with a very modern feel despite the fact that it is over one-hundred years old. I know it's still technically not an official translation, but it's still pretty widely accepted and one of my favorite collections of Baha'i writings.
Well, I'd say that language style is the least of my problems when it comes to taking the Word of God to my heart.

gnat
 
Old 12-03-2016, 05:05 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Scribe
My problem with feeling "close" to Baha'u'llah is a simple matter of communication: Everything I read by him is translated into old-fashioned style English. That really takes some getting used to. If I read enough of Baha'u'llah's works over a given period of time, I can manage to get over it. It's not always easy though.
Oh dear, I can relate to that. As a French native speaker, I can't stand when Baha'i and Biblical text are translated into an old-fashionned Victorian English. It's very unconfortable. Replacing the -eth with the -ed is not that bad, really.

Good thing for me, the French Writings are much more modern (same for the French Bibles).

This is a real issue I think, and the community shall provide some modern-style translations as well.
 
Old 12-03-2016, 02:31 PM   #16
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Yes, I love the "King James" style myself, but I recognize a lot of people find it a barrier between their hearts and the healing message of Baha'u'llah (along with the nearly universal use of masculine pronouns, which is not present in the original Persian or Arabic but was standard in English until the last few decades).

At some point the Universal House of Justice may decide it needs a modern-style English translation of some of the core scriptures, so as to better reach those people who find the King James style off-putting.
 
Old 12-03-2016, 02:38 PM   #17
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I think that's the reason I'm so partial to The Promulgation of Universal Peace--it's a very readable translation of Abdu'l-Baha's speeches in North America, with a very modern feel despite the fact that it is over one-hundred years old. I know it's still technically not an official translation, but it's still pretty widely accepted and one of my favorite collections of Baha'i writings.
There are some beautiful quotations in PUP to be sure.

It's important to remember that it is based on a third-party record of what 'Abdu'l-Baha's translators said during His speeches, so it must be treated as pilgrim's notes and not scripture. But it contains some beautiful messages, this is one of my favorite:

"The teachings specialized in Bahá'u'lláh are addressed to humanity. He says, "Ye are all the leaves of one tree." He does not say, "Ye are the leaves of two trees: one divine, the other satanic." He has declared that each individual member of the human family is a leaf or branch upon the Adamic tree; that all are sheltered beneath the protecting mercy and providence of God; that all are the children of God, fruit upon the one tree of His love. God is equally compassionate and kind to all the leaves, branches and fruit of this tree. Therefore, there is no satanic tree whatever -- Satan being a product of human minds and of instinctive human tendencies toward error. God alone is Creator, and all are creatures of His might. Therefore, we must love mankind as His creatures, realizing that all are growing upon the tree of His mercy, servants of His omnipotent will and manifestations of His good pleasure.


Even though we find a defective branch or leaf upon this tree of humanity or an imperfect blossom, it, nevertheless, belongs to this tree and not to another. Therefore, it is our duty to protect and cultivate this tree until it reaches perfection. If we examine its fruit and find it imperfect, we must strive to make it perfect. There are souls in the human world who are ignorant; we must make them knowing. Some growing upon the tree are weak and ailing; we must assist them toward health and recovery. If they are as infants in development, we must minister to them until they attain maturity. We should never detest and shun them as objectionable and unworthy. We must treat them with honor, respect and kindness; for God has created them and not Satan. They are not manifestations of the wrath of God but evidences of His divine favor. God, the Creator, has endowed them with physical, mental and spiritual qualities that they may seek to know and do His will; therefore, they are not objects of His wrath and condemnation. In brief, all humanity must be looked upon with love, kindness and respect; for what we behold in them are none other than the signs and traces of God Himself. All are evidences of God; therefore, how shall we be justified in debasing and belittling them, uttering anathema and preventing them from drawing near unto His mercy? This is ignorance and injustice, displeasing to God; for in His sight all are His servants."

- Words attributed to Abdu'l-Baha, Promulgation of Universal Peace
 
Old 12-03-2016, 10:42 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Saveyist View Post
Does anyone have any suggestions, whether it be videos, pictures, sayings, letters, stories, anything. If it's any consolation, as someone who was raised Catholic I am rather fond of narratives. :P

Thank you for bearing with me through this;
-Mark

Have you visited bahaullah.org? There are some pictures and narratives there.
 
Old 12-04-2016, 02:37 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Matthew Light View Post
Yes, I love the "King James" style myself, but I recognize a lot of people find it a barrier between their hearts and the healing message of Baha'u'llah (along with the nearly universal use of masculine pronouns, which is not present in the original Persian or Arabic but was standard in English until the last few decades).

At some point the Universal House of Justice may decide it needs a modern-style English translation of some of the core scriptures, so as to better reach those people who find the King James style off-putting.
I was led to believe that when the Guardian translated something he used the most perfectly correct words
 
Old 12-04-2016, 08:47 PM   #20
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I was led to believe that when the Guardian translated something he used the most perfectly correct words
He chose the most respectful style in English

Also, for the Buildings in Haifa, the enduring Greek architecture
 
Old 12-05-2016, 03:02 PM   #21
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He chose the most respectful style in English

Also, for the Buildings in Haifa, the enduring Greek architecture
When his wife suggested changing words due to their antiquity, he refused saying they were the most correct words
 
Old 12-05-2016, 03:46 PM   #22
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To answer this question, I'll give you two Shakespeare texts. The first is the original version. The second is the No Fear Shakespeare - a modernized version. Is it still Hamlet and Shakespeare? Judge for yourselves:

Original:

To be, or not to be? That is the question—
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And, by opposing, end them? To die, to sleep—
No more—and by a sleep to say we end
The heartache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to—’tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wished! To die, to sleep.
To sleep, perchance to dream—ay, there’s the rub,
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause. There’s the respect
That makes calamity of so long life.


No Fear Shakespeare:

The question is: is it better to be alive or dead? Is it nobler to put up with all the nasty things that luck throws your way, or to fight against all those troubles by simply putting an end to them once and for all? Dying, sleeping—that’s all dying is—a sleep that ends all the heartache and shocks that life on earth gives us—that’s an achievement to wish for. To die, to sleep—to sleep, maybe to dream. Ah, but there’s the catch: in death’s sleep who knows what kind of dreams might come, after we’ve put the noise and commotion of life behind us. That’s certainly something to worry about. That’s the consideration that makes us stretch out our sufferings so long.

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Old 12-05-2016, 05:38 PM   #23
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To answer this question, I'll give you two Shakespeare texts. The first is the original version. The second is the No Fear Shakespeare - a modernized version. Is it still Hamlet and Shakespeare? Judge for yourselves:
I get your point, but it's a false equivalency. The "original Shakespeare" version of Baha'u'llah's writings would be the Arabic and Persian. I am most definitely not saying that Baha'u'llah's actual words should be changed! I'm talking about a translation. If Shakespeare were translated into Swedish (which I'm sure it has been), do you personally think it would be important to translate it into an antiquated form? No matter how you translate Shakespeare into Swedish, it's still not the original Shakespeare--it's a matter of the style of the translator.

In the English speaking Christian world, some people swear by their King James Bible. They will accept no other version, insisting that it is the one perfect translation of the original Greek and Hebrew. I have no doubt that many English speaking Baha'is will always think the same way about Shoghi Effendi's translations. Still, I hesitate to think that the many millions of Christians who use modern English translations of the Bible have a flawed relationship with God because of it. Likewise, a reverent, modern translation of Baha'u'llah's works could do just as well to lead people to God.

Of course, I don't expect to see any updates of the official English translations released by the Baha'i Publishing Trust any time soon. When all is said and done, the traditional versions are not a huge hindrance for people like me. Just a minor one.

EDIT: I want to apologize for hijacking the thread. What was a serious issue has been overtaken by a much more minor one. Sorry!

Last edited by Scribe; 12-05-2016 at 05:47 PM.
 
Old 12-05-2016, 06:42 PM   #24
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I get your point, but it's a false equivalency. The "original Shakespeare" version of Baha'u'llah's writings would be the Arabic and Persian. I am most definitely not saying that Baha'u'llah's actual words should be changed! I'm talking about a translation. If Shakespeare were translated into Swedish (which I'm sure it has been), do you personally think it would be important to translate it into an antiquated form? No matter how you translate Shakespeare into Swedish, it's still not the original Shakespeare--it's a matter of the style of the translator.

In the English speaking Christian world, some people swear by their King James Bible. They will accept no other version, insisting that it is the one perfect translation of the original Greek and Hebrew. I have no doubt that many English speaking Baha'is will always think the same way about Shoghi Effendi's translations. Still, I hesitate to think that the many millions of Christians who use modern English translations of the Bible have a flawed relationship with God because of it. Likewise, a reverent, modern translation of Baha'u'llah's works could do just as well to lead people to God.

Of course, I don't expect to see any updates of the official English translations released by the Baha'i Publishing Trust any time soon. When all is said and done, the traditional versions are not a huge hindrance for people like me. Just a minor one.

EDIT: I want to apologize for hijacking the thread. What was a serious issue has been overtaken by a much more minor one. Sorry!
Dear Scribe,

First of all, it's not a minor issue, I'd say. And aren't threads there for hijacking?

And the question of translating into Swedish is most pertinent. I have translated a number of Bahá'u'lláh's works into Swedish and therefore had to ask myself that question. The heart of the matter is that Early Modern English still is very much alive in the English-speaking world. King James' Bible and Shakespeare in the original version still are read and quoted.
So, I’m quite greatful to the Guardian for setting this example. His translations are like a statement. On the one hand, we are to choose a common international language. On the other hand, if I understand his statement correctly, that doesn’t mean that we are obliged to express ourselves in the most simplistic of terms. Just to make the point, I offer you the following:

Original Shakespeare:

I would have such a fellow whipped for o'erdoing Termagant. It out-Herods Herod. Pray you, avoid it.

No Fear Shakespeare:

I would whip a guy for making a tyrant sound too tyrannical. That’s as bad as those old plays in which King Herod ranted. Please avoid doing that.


Imagine future generations that no longer can read the original! What immense loss!

The difference is that in Swedish, there is no such living antiquated Swedish. Attempts at creating such a style look ridiculous. We simply don’t have such a living relationship with our classics. And to be honest, there was no Swedish Shakespeare. So, there is no choice but to use modern Swedish.

But when it comes to the actual translations from Persian and Arabic into other languages, my understanding is that the Arabic Bahá’u’lláh used is the Classic Arabic, that is, the Arabic of the Koran, which differs considerably from modern-day Arabic dialects spoken all over the Middle East. And the Persian used is so flowery that any translation actually becomes an interpretation.

Therefore, the Guardian’s choice of language seems to be an attempt to reflect the level of style in Bah’a’u’lláh’s writings. But actually, he doesn’t write Early Modern English. His style, most of all, is influenced by the Modern English of the late 18th century.

And still, in our Faith, the choice of style in a translation is not such a crucial matter as among the Christians you mention.

Best from

gnat
 
Old 12-06-2016, 04:02 AM   #25
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There is an interesting talk by Steven Phelps on the subject, here:
Baha'i Blog | "Text, Translation and the Nature of Reality": A Talk by Steven Phelps -

And thank you Gnat for your insight, translation of the scriptures is a great service.

On a personal level , I am very content with the style of the English translations we have, but am sometimes hesitant to share those with others, in case they have trouble with them. One thing I usually mention (whether valid ot not) is that nearly all literature in Arabic and certainly the Qur'an is always translated in a similar style, I presume in order to capture the subtleties of meaning that might be lost otherwise. For instance, the distinction between thee, thou, you and ye, which are meant to indicate the number of people you are speaking to, and whether they are the subject or object of the verb, in modern usage they all become "you", or in the southern US, maybe "you all".

Many of the talks of Abdul'l-Baha'i were translated in fairly simple language, and in some cases I would share those with others first, and then the words of Baha'u'llah.
 
Old 12-06-2016, 02:23 PM   #26
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Baha'u'llah's soul is contained in His Writings. He speaks (intimately) to you through them. His words contain his character, his style, his charisma, his wisdom. Read the Writings carefully, and you might create that connection with him, as suggested in the Aqdas (1:149) :

Quote:
Recite ye the verses of God every morn and eventide. Whoso faileth to recite them hath not been faithful to the Covenant of God and His Testament, and whoso turneth away from these holy verses in this Day is of those who throughout eternity have turned away from God. Fear ye God, O My servants, one and all. Pride not yourselves on much reading of the verses or on a multitude of pious acts by night and day; for were a man to read a single verse with joy and radiance it would be better for him than to read with lassitude all the Holy Books of God, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting. Read ye the sacred verses in such measure that ye be not overcome by languor and despondency. Lay not upon your souls that which will weary them and weigh them down, but rather what will lighten and uplift them, so that they may soar on the wings of the Divine verses towards the Dawning-place of His manifest signs; this will draw you nearer to God, did ye but comprehend.
 
Old 12-07-2016, 07:28 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Matthew Light View Post
Yes, I love the "King James" style myself, but I recognize a lot of people find it a barrier between their hearts and the healing message of Baha'u'llah (along with the nearly universal use of masculine pronouns, which is not present in the original Persian or Arabic but was standard in English until the last few decades).

At some point the Universal House of Justice may decide it needs a modern-style English translation of some of the core scriptures, so as to better reach those people who find the King James style off-putting.
I too, am partial to the King James version...I grew up using it. As a young adult I chose the 8AM communion service, as the 10AM service used the modern interpretation of the book of Common Prayer. Having somebody interpret what is meant in the Bible, to me, leaves too much opportunity for personal beliefs. When one word might have 6 different synonyms, maybe having slightly different meanings.......rightly or wrongly I guess, someone makes a choice.....made it a bit more difficult in Bible Study when there were three different versions being read, interesting tho! Not trying to knock anyone's preference........

Loving regards,
Becky
 
Old 12-07-2016, 08:07 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by becky View Post
I too, am partial to the King James version...I grew up using it. As a young adult I chose the 8AM communion service, as the 10AM service used the modern interpretation of the book of Common Prayer. Having somebody interpret what is meant in the Bible, to me, leaves too much opportunity for personal beliefs. When one word might have 6 different synonyms, maybe having slightly different meanings.......rightly or wrongly I guess, someone makes a choice.....made it a bit more difficult in Bible Study when there were three different versions being read, interesting tho! Not trying to knock anyone's preference........

Loving regards,
Becky
Oh, the question of Bible translations.... It's fascinating. My conclusion is that every translation is a compromise between what the scholars nowadays know about the implications of the original text and church tradition. It's my impression that it could be possible to have a completely new Bible, if translators were to be absolutely true to the findings of the scholars.

gnat
 
Old 12-10-2016, 02:57 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Saveyist View Post
Greetings friends. I have felt a most strange feeling as of late.
I feel a genuine fire in my heart, a flaming love, a passion deep within me, whenever I think of the Bab. I have read the most of his message and his life than I have of the other key figures of the Baha'i faith (The ones coming to mind Baha'u'llah, Abdu'l-Baha, and the Guardian), and this could be part of that reason.

I get a very similar feeling when I think of Abdu'l-Baha. As a former (And still, in a way) Sikh, I see that he has many parallels in his life with that of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, a man whom I have an immense love and respect for. I have read a fair amount concerning Abdu'l-Baha.

However, I have this saddening, almost empty feeling, when it comes to Baha'u'llah. I think it may be the fact that I know less of him than I do of The Bab or Abdu'l-Baha. From what I have seen, there is just so much to cover in comparison to the aforementioned two. I have read a decent amount on Baha'u'llah, albeit a long while ago. The one most memorable thing I recall is reading the "Valley of Love". I really want to fill this empty feeling. I yearn to feel that same wonderful feeling The Bab gives me when I think of Baha'u'llah.

Does anyone have any suggestions, whether it be videos, pictures, sayings, letters, stories, anything. If it's any consolation, as someone who was raised Catholic I am rather fond of narratives. :P

Thank you for bearing with me through this;
-Mark
JMHO, but that sounds like the definition of love. You're longing for Him. So don't be too saddened!

I do agree though that Baha'u'llah is a lot more inaccessible for me. Then again, He kind of tells us that's the deal lol I always enjoyed reading Abdu'l Baha's writings because they were more accessible and relatable for me.

However, to the other poster's point on the use of Ye Olde English, I do think there's a reason for that choice of style. It does require a bit more attention and penetration and reflection. It's one of those "veils," something with which only the most earnest seekers can deal, maybe.

I may be biased as someone with a degree in English, but there is also a significance to that kind of lofty language. It's a testament to His station. He's not meant to be on the same level as us and our daily, profane language. It sounds other worldly, and I'm kind of chuckling at the idea of it being written in the informal style which many people use these days.

Plus, modern English is constantly evolving. Even if it was, at that time, translated to a more modern style (for what, the 1920s?), we would already need a new update. And you'd need a new update very generation or two to keep away any confusion over slang and jargon. That's when you start to get too far from the original text, and things can get dangerously twisted IMHO. So I think there was good reason to stick with Ye Olde English.
 
Old 12-10-2016, 09:43 PM   #30
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Some stories about Bahá'u'lláh found in 'Vignettes from the Life of Abdu'l-Baha'.
Quote:
May Bolles (Maxwell) took an early pilgrimage to the prison-city. She heard that the food man eats is of no importance, as its effect endures but a short time. But the food of the spirit is life to the soul and its effects endure eternally. She heard ‘Abdu’l-Baha tell the touching ‘story of the hermit’. Baha’u’llah ‘was travelling from one place to another with His followers’ and ‘He passed through a lonely country where, at some little distance from the highway, a hermit lived alone in a cave. He was a holy man, and having heard that Our Lord, Baha’u’llah, would pass that way, he watched eagerly for His approach. When the Manifestation arrived at that spot the hermit knelt down and kissed the dust before His feet, and said to Him: “Oh, my Lord, I am a poor man living alone in a cave nearby; but henceforth I shall account myself the happiest of mortals if Thou wilt but come for a moment to my cave and bless it by Thy Presence. ” Then Baha’u’llah told the man that He would come, not for a moment but for three days, and He bade His followers cast their tents, and await His return. The poor man was so overcome with joy and gratitude that he was speechless, and led the way in humble silence to his lowly dwelling in a rock. There the Glorious One sat with him, talking to him and teaching him, and toward evening the man bethought himself that he had nothing to offer his great Guest but some dry meat and some dark bread, and water from a spring nearby. Not knowing what to do he threw himself at the feet of his Lord and confessed his dilemma. Baha’u’llah comforted him and by a word bade him fetch the meat and bread and water; then the Lord of the universe partook of this frugal repast with joy and fragrance as though it had been a banquet, and during the three days of His visit they ate only of this food which seemed to the poor hermit the most delicious he had ever eaten. Baha’u’llah declared that He had never been more nobly entertained nor received greater hospitality and love. “This,” exclaimed the Master, when He had finished the story, “shows us how little man requires when he is nourished by the sweetest of all foods - the love of God.”
Quote:
‘Abdu’l-Baha’s generosity was natural to Him already in childhood. A story is recorded of the time when young Abbas Effendi went to the mountains to see the thousands of sheep which His Father then owned. The shepherds, wishing to honour their young Guest, gave Him a feast. Before Abbas was taken home at the close of the day, the head shepherd advised Him that it was customary under the circumstances to leave a present for the shepherds. Abbas told the man that He had nothing to give. Yet the shepherd persisted that He must give something. Whereupon the Master gave them all the sheep.
We are told that when Baha’u’llah heard about this incident, He laughed and commented, ‘We will have to protect ‘Abdu’l-Baha from Himself - some day he will give himself away.’
There is also this speech given by the Hand of the Cause Samandari in which he recounts some personal recollections of Baha’u’llah, who he met in his teenage years. It is a little hard to follow as Samandari can not speak English and the speech is being translated in segments, but still a fascinating listen.

I would also recommend reading Balyuzi's biography of Baha’u’llah, as it is probably the most comprehensive and readable account of His life, and I personally found it to give me a greater appreciation and sense of Baha’u’llah in the same way that Vignettes gave me a sense of the Master.

Last edited by BBAlbertFreddie; 12-10-2016 at 09:46 PM.
 
Old 12-11-2016, 12:29 PM   #31
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Scribe:

As you indicate, you have been on a spiritual journey and are on the threshold of officially declaring your belief in Baha’u’llah. When you are ready to declare, and if you are looking to add a bit more meaning to your declaration, I suggest you make your declaration a spiritual ceremony, perhaps occurring at a time having great spiritual significance and symbolism. For example, you could choose ahead of time when you are going to declare.

Let’s imagine you were to choose Naw Ruz (Baha’i New Year; literally meaning “New Day”, occurring simultaneous to the Spring season equinox). Consider the meaning and symbolism in Baha’u’llah words related to this holy day: “Happy the one who entereth upon the first day of the month of Bahá, the day which God hath consecrated to this Great Name. And blessed be he who evidenceth on this day the bounties that God hath bestowed upon him; he, verily, is of those who show forth thanks to God through actions betokening the Lord’s munificence which hath encompassed all the worlds. Say: This day, verily, is the crown of all the months and the source thereof, the day on which the breath of life is wafted over all created things. Great is the blessedness of him who greeteth it with radiance and joy. We testify that he is, in truth, among those who are blissful.” (Kitab-i-Aqdas, verse 111)

Or, let's imagine you were to choose to declare during the days of Ridvan. Consider again the significance of Baha’u’llah’s words related to these days: “The Most Great Festival is, indeed, the King of Festivals. Call ye to mind, O people, the bounty which God hath conferred upon you. Ye were sunk in slumber, and lo! He aroused you by the reviving breezes of His Revelation, and made known unto you His manifest and undeviating Path.” (Kitab-i-Aqdas, verse 112); and “The Divine Springtime is come, O Most Exalted Pen, for the Festival of the All-Merciful is fast approaching. Bestir thyself, and magnify, before the entire creation, the name of God, and celebrate His praise, in such wise that all created things may be regenerated and made new.” (Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, XIV)

Regardless of the day of your choosing (holy day or not), it will be a day of great significance. Mark, our brother in spirit, please take care.

-LR
 
Old 12-11-2016, 04:14 PM   #32
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Quote:
I was led to believe that when the Guardian translated something he used the most perfectly correct words
Certainly. But the most correct words from 80 years ago will not necessarily be the most correct words forever, as language and utilization changes over time.

In any event, the Guardian himself alluded to future re-translations of his work:

"This is one more attempt to introduce to the West, in language however inadequate, this book of unsurpassed pre-eminence among the writings of the Author of the Bahá'í Revelation. The hope is that it may assist others in their efforts to approach what must always be regarded as the unattainable goal--a befitting rendering of Bahá'u'lláh's matchless utterance."

- Shoghi Effendi, Foreword to the Kitab-i-Iqan

Baha'i scholar Robert Stockman writes (and I agree with him):

"Here the Guardian notes that no translation, including his own, can befittingly render Bahá'u'lláh into English; and that his translation is meant to serve as the model for others in their efforts to translate Bahá'u'lláh. From these various statements one can conclude that other translations of Bahá'u'lláh into English are possible, depending on the needs of various audiences and time periods. But none will ever replace Shoghi Effendi's translations, as the latter contain a large element of authorized interpretation that no ordinary translator will ever be empowered to provide."

- Robert Stockman, "The Terms Revelation, Interpretation, and Elucidation in the Bahá'i Writings", Irfan Colloquia
 
Old 12-12-2016, 07:17 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by Matthew Light View Post
But the most correct words from 80 years ago will not necessarily be the most correct words forever, as language and utilization changes over time.
That's a very good point I had not considered before. Language is constantly in flux.
 
Old 12-12-2016, 09:57 AM   #34
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That's a very good point I had not considered before. Language is constantly in flux.
Present-day English - the less that is spoken of it, the better. We live in the age of WTF.

Best

from

gnat
 
Old 12-12-2016, 01:58 PM   #35
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Considering the content of this thread, I will invite the participants to take the time to watch and listen online to Steven Phelp’s presentation titled: ‘The Word that Shineth and Flasheth Amidst the Books of Men”: Text, Translation, and the Nature of Reality, presented at the recent 40th Association of Baha’i Studies conference.

The topic outline is described as: “What is the relationship between language and reality? What distinguishes the words uttered by the Prophets? How are old words used in new ways in the Bahá’í Writings, and what implications does all this have for the translation of the Sacred Writings? This presentation explores these questions in the context of the translation program at the Bahá’í World Centre, guided by the Writings of the Central Figures of the Bahá’í Faith.”

Go to:

-LR
 
Old 12-13-2016, 12:18 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by gnat View Post
Present-day English - the less that is spoken of it, the better. We live in the age of WTF.

Best

from

gnat
And Old Norse written in the ~proper~ Futhark (Elder Futhark, none of this Younger Futhark nonsense or, heaven forbid, Anglo-Saxon Futhorc!!) was your country's best linguistic period in my opinion.
 
Old 12-20-2016, 06:31 AM   #37
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I found this website which has stories of Bahaullah and has introduced some books. it may be useful. I enjoyed the two short stories in it.

Baha'i Blog | Stories of Baha'u'llah -
 
Old 12-20-2016, 06:40 AM   #38
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and I downloaded a very beuatiful book which you can download to get more of the air of the life of Bahaullah. it is called "Stories of Bahaullah and some notable believers" by Kiser Barnes. you can download it here:

eBooks by Title | Bahá
 
Old 12-20-2016, 11:30 AM   #39
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I've been pondering this thread for a while now...

I think in order to address the question of the thread first a question must be asked:

You mention a love for the Bab, Abdu'l-Baha, and Guru Nanak. Mark, can I ask what was the exact moment for each when you first noticed this feeling for each??

I've thought back on the people for which I have had a similar feeling, and I've identified the times at which I developed that feeling for them.

For Lao Tzu, my "first love" as it were, the moment came when reading the Tao Teh Ching.

For Chuang Tzu, I think it was the story of his butterfly dream.

For Baha'u'llah, it was certainly while reading Seven Valleys, specifically the Fourth Valley.

For the Bab, it was the Second Vahid of the Bayan-i-Farsi.

Each time for me was sparked by a moment where I felt like the mysteries of the world were being unraveled before me and explained to me in new and exciting ways. This goes down to details of my personality, I love reading scriptures and figuring things out. So my love of the above figures was sparked at certain moments of their written scriptures where they helped me to figure something out.

I suspect that each person also has something that typically marks the "sparking point" of such a type of love for, almost certainly influenced by their personality and character.

Thus, I think if it could be elaborated as to what the "sparking point" for your love of the Bab, Abdu'l-Baha, and Guru Nanak was, we could try to find the common thread throughout all of those points, and with it we at the forum could probably work to identify something of Baha'u'llah that would help you spark a similar love.
 
Old 12-29-2016, 08:01 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walrus View Post
I've been pondering this thread for a while now...

I think in order to address the question of the thread first a question must be asked:

You mention a love for the Bab, Abdu'l-Baha, and Guru Nanak. Mark, can I ask what was the exact moment for each when you first noticed this feeling for each??

I've thought back on the people for which I have had a similar feeling, and I've identified the times at which I developed that feeling for them.

For Lao Tzu, my "first love" as it were, the moment came when reading the Tao Teh Ching.

For Chuang Tzu, I think it was the story of his butterfly dream.

For Baha'u'llah, it was certainly while reading Seven Valleys, specifically the Fourth Valley.

For the Bab, it was the Second Vahid of the Bayan-i-Farsi.

Each time for me was sparked by a moment where I felt like the mysteries of the world were being unraveled before me and explained to me in new and exciting ways. This goes down to details of my personality, I love reading scriptures and figuring things out. So my love of the above figures was sparked at certain moments of their written scriptures where they helped me to figure something out.

I suspect that each person also has something that typically marks the "sparking point" of such a type of love for, almost certainly influenced by their personality and character.

Thus, I think if it could be elaborated as to what the "sparking point" for your love of the Bab, Abdu'l-Baha, and Guru Nanak was, we could try to find the common thread throughout all of those points, and with it we at the forum could probably work to identify something of Baha'u'llah that would help you spark a similar love.
I am massively sleep deprived and haven't slept in about 26 hours so I will answer this when I wake up. I was working on that thing in my "The Great Peacemaker: A Prophet?" thread. Honestly it may sound like crazy sleep deprived ranting but I hope someone out there enjoys it.
 
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