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Old 08-10-2017, 10:01 AM   #1
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Forgetting All but Him...

There are many Writings that strongly urge us to forget ourselves---not just our "lower selves" either...

To me, they don't say, "Forget your lower self and develop your higher self".

To me, they say, "Forget yourself...".

One example:

"Ignite, then, O my God, within my breast the fire of Thy love, that its flame may burn up all else except my remembrance of Thee...that naught may remain except the glorification of Thy transcendent and all-glorious Being."

I've been trying to deeply understand this for almost 30 years...

I've come close to understanding when I've done stupid evil things; but there is one hurdle to my understanding...

That's all the exhortations in the Writings to use our minds; to do what seems to me to be developing your higher self...

Is it somewhat like, forget all but Him and he will let you use your mind in the best possible ways?

I'm still lost, after all these years.........
 
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Old 08-10-2017, 11:07 AM   #2
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My dear Friend:

Who or What is "Him"?

If He/She is "Unknowable essence", how can we be expected to remember Him, love Him, etc? What are we exactly remembering or loving?

To me, we must start by recognizing that God is the Ultimate Reality, the Sun of Truth. His throne, says Bahá'u'lláh, is Existence. "I am who I am" said to Moses in the burning bush. He/She manifests in all what really exist.

As long as we keep the image of God like a king (specifically, a tyrannic king of the past) we will not accept his demand to forget everything but Him. As long as we consider God the Ultimate Reality, everything that lead us to what is real or true, drive us closer to Him. That is exactly why revelation, science, consultation, meditation, independent investigation, etc are so important. All of them are paths towards Truth.

On the contrary, everything that lead us to what is false or irreal, must be forgotten, put behind. This includes our fantasies about how material things can give us happiness.
Let me give you a concrete, practical example of this: sexual activity.

You can approach sex in a truthful, rational way (God's way), or through a false, irrational way (self's way).

Let's start with God's way.

Your body and the body of your wife are real and capable of giving you pleasure. So sexual arousal is real. An orgasm is real. And it is also real that you and your wife have brains as the main sexual organs. That you and your wife are souls with emotions, expectations, fears and more importantly, that you love each other and are committed to each other.

So, when you approach sex integrating all its relevant aspects into the Onenness of Reality, you are remembering God. Then you will understand what chastity and fidelity are all about, and choose to live on these principles.

Now, let's consider the opposite: approaching sex full of irreal expectations, created by your own fantasies: that to achieve pleasure, your body and the body of your wife must necessarily look certain way, that you our your spouse are soulless sex toys or machines, or animals endowed with eternal libido... fantasies about striving to have sex with certain frequenty and in certain modalities, lest unhappiness will ensue.

When you are approaching sex isolating pleasure from all other aspects, you are trying to split reality, you are closing your eyes to the Ultimate Reality. You're creating a view of sex (and a view of you in relation to sex) that is essentially non-existent. You are forgetting God.
In conclusion, forgetting myself means to forget my illusory self... that self that lives under lies, isolation and misery.
Remembering God is remembering the Divine Essence which dwells in me ... which is reachable through reason and insight... my true self.


Bahá'u'lláh portrays in His Hidden Words what God tell us about our true self:

"Thou art My lamp and My light is in thee. Get thou from it thy radiance and seek none other than Me."

"Thou art My stronghold; enter therein that thou mayest abide in safety. My love is in thee, know it, that thou mayest find Me near unto thee."

"With the hands of power I made thee and with the fingers of strength I created thee; and within thee have I placed the essence of My light."

Last edited by camachoe; 08-10-2017 at 11:57 AM.
 
Old 08-10-2017, 11:29 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by camachoe View Post
My dear Friend:

Who or What is "Him"?

If He/She is "Unknowable essence", how can we be expected to remember Him, love Him, etc? What are we exactly remembering or loving?

To me, the answer is that God the Ultimate Reality, the Ocean of Truth.

So, everything that lead us to what is real or true, must be pursued. That is exaclty why revelation, science, consultation, meditation, independent investigation, etc are so important. All of them are paths towards truth.

On the contrary, everything that lead us to what is false or irreal, must be forgotten, put behind. This includes our fantasies about how material things can give us happiness.
Let me give you a concrete, practical example of this: sexual activity.

You can approach sex in a truthful, rational way (God's way), or through a false, irrational way (self's way).

Let's start with God's way.

Your body and the body of your wife are real and capable of giving you pleasure. So sexual arousal is real. An orgasm is real. And it is also real that you and your wife have brains as the main sexual organs. That you and your wife are souls with emotions, expectations, fears and more importantly, that you love each other and are committed to each other.

So, when you approach sex integrating all its relevant aspects into the Onenness of Reality, you are remembering God. Then you will understand what chastity and fidelity are all about, and choose to live on these principles.

Now, let's consider the opposite: approaching sex full of irreal expectations, created by your own fantasies: that to achieve pleasure, your body and the body of your wife must necessarily look certain way, that you our your spouse are soulless sex toys or machines, or animals endowed with eternal libido... fantasies about striving to have sex with certain frequenty and in certain modalities, lest unhappiness will ensue.

When you are approaching sex isolating pleasure from all other aspects, you are trying to split reality, you are closing your eyes to the Ultimate Reality. You're creating a view of sex (and a view of you in relationship to sex) that is essentially non-existent. You are forgetting God.
In conclusion, forgetting myself means to forget my illusory self... that self that lives under lies, isolation and misery.
Remembering God is remembering the Divine Essence which dwells in me ... which is reachable through reason and insight... my true self.


Bahá'u'lláh tells us about our true self:

"Thou art My lamp and My light is in thee. Get thou from it thy radiance and seek none other than Me."

"Thou art My stronghold; enter therein that thou mayest abide in safety. My love is in thee, know it, that thou mayest find Me near unto thee."

"With the hands of power I made thee and with the fingers of strength I created thee; and within thee have I placed the essence of My light."
I know you've said, "...forgetting myself means to forget my illusory self..."; but, many of Baha'u'llah's statement are far too strong, to me, to let me "water down" His Command...

My use of "Him" will always imply Baha'u''ah...
 
Old 08-10-2017, 12:14 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Amzolt View Post
I know you've said, "...forgetting myself means to forget my illusory self..."; but, many of Baha'u'llah's statement are far too strong, to me, to let me "water down" His Command...
Which of these is stronger, dear Amzolt: his command to forget everything but Him, or his statements in Hidden Words?

Aren't both equally strong? Should we water down one of them, both of them, or rather try to integrate both?

May God help us to become so joyful in His Light and Beauty, that we can replace Paul's exclamation (Galatians 2:20) by the following:

"I have been exiled with Bahá'u'lláh and I no longer live, but Bahá'u'llah lives in me."
 
Old 08-10-2017, 12:21 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by camachoe View Post
Which of these is stronger, dear Amzolt: his command to forget everything but Him, or his statements in Hidden Words?

Aren't both equally strong? Should we water down one of them, both of them, or rather try to integrate both?

May God help us to become so joyful in His Light and Beauty, that we can replace Paul's exclamation (Galatians 2:20) by the following:

"I have been exiled with Bahá'u'lláh and I no longer live, but Bahá'u'llah lives in me."
You are re-stating the dilemma I began this thread with...
 
Old 08-10-2017, 06:02 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Amzolt View Post

I'm still lost, after all these years.........
Indeed. To me, it's a sign of wisdom. What worries me, is all those people who are so sure that they know what is right and appropiate in every situation.

Best

from

gnat
 
Old 08-10-2017, 06:18 PM   #7
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Indeed. To me, it's a sign of wisdom. What worries me, is all those people who are so sure that they know what is right and appropiate in every situation.

Best

from

gnat
Whoa...

I got some "strange" "comfort" from what you said.........
 
Old 08-10-2017, 10:35 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Amzolt View Post
There are many Writings that strongly urge us to forget ourselves---not just our "lower selves" either...

To me, they don't say, "Forget your lower self and develop your higher self".

To me, they say, "Forget yourself..."
I see exactly the same thing in the Writings and I am glad I am not the only person who sees this... I was starting to feel very much alone.

Please read what I am about to post to camachoe on the Cleanliness of garments thread regarding this. Meanwhile, here are some quotes:

“Thine eye is My trust, suffer not the dust of vain desires to becloud its luster. Thine ear is a sign of My bounty, let not the tumult of unseemly motives turn it away from My Word that encompasseth all creation. Thine heart is My treasury, allow not the treacherous hand of self to rob thee of the pearls which I have treasured therein. Thine hand is a symbol of My loving-kindness, hinder it not from holding fast unto My guarded and hidden Tablets….” Gleanings, p. 322

“O Shaykh, O thou who hast surrendered thy will to God! By self-surrender and perpetual union with God is meant that men should merge their will wholly in the Will of God, and regard their desires as utter nothingness beside His Purpose. Whatsoever the Creator commandeth His creatures to observe, the same must they diligently, and with the utmost joy and eagerness, arise and fulfil. They should in no wise allow their fancy to obscure their judgment, neither should they regard their own imaginings as the voice of the Eternal.” Gleanings, p. 337

“It behoveth thee to consecrate thyself to the Will of God. Whatsoever hath been revealed in His Tablets is but a reflection of His Will. So complete must be thy consecration, that every trace of worldly desire will be washed from thine heart. This is the meaning of true unity.” Gleanings, p. 338

“Say: Deliver your souls, O people, from the bondage of self, and purify them from all attachment to anything besides Me. Remembrance of Me cleanseth all things from defilement, could ye but perceive it. Say: Were all created things to be entirely divested of the veil of worldly vanity and desire, the Hand of God would in this Day clothe them, one and all, with the robe “He doeth whatsoever He willeth in the kingdom of creation,” that thereby the sign of His sovereignty might be manifested in all things. Exalted then be He, the Sovereign Lord of all, the Almighty, the Supreme Protector, the All-Glorious, the Most Powerful.” Gleanings, pp. 294-295

“How high the reward of him that hath not deprived himself of so great a bounty, nor failed to recognize the beauty of his Best-Beloved in this, His new attire. Watch over yourselves, for the Evil One is lying in wait, ready to entrap you. Gird yourselves against his wicked devices, and, led by the light of the name of the All-Seeing God, make your escape from the darkness that surroundeth you. Let your vision be world-embracing, rather than confined to your own self. The Evil One is he that hindereth the rise and obstructeth the spiritual progress of the children of men.” Gleanings, p. 94
 
Old 08-10-2017, 11:26 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Amzolt View Post
Is it somewhat like, forget all but Him and he will let you use your mind in the best possible ways?

I'm still lost, after all these years.........
That seems to be my experience... When I forget self I am guided by God in the best possible ways.
 
Old 08-11-2017, 05:34 AM   #10
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I see exactly the same thing in the Writings and I am glad I am not the only person who sees this... I was starting to feel very much alone.

Please read what I am about to post to camachoe on the Cleanliness of garments thread regarding this. Meanwhile, here are some quotes:

“Thine eye is My trust, suffer not the dust of vain desires to becloud its luster. Thine ear is a sign of My bounty, let not the tumult of unseemly motives turn it away from My Word that encompasseth all creation. Thine heart is My treasury, allow not the treacherous hand of self to rob thee of the pearls which I have treasured therein. Thine hand is a symbol of My loving-kindness, hinder it not from holding fast unto My guarded and hidden Tablets….” Gleanings, p. 322

“O Shaykh, O thou who hast surrendered thy will to God! By self-surrender and perpetual union with God is meant that men should merge their will wholly in the Will of God, and regard their desires as utter nothingness beside His Purpose. Whatsoever the Creator commandeth His creatures to observe, the same must they diligently, and with the utmost joy and eagerness, arise and fulfil. They should in no wise allow their fancy to obscure their judgment, neither should they regard their own imaginings as the voice of the Eternal.” Gleanings, p. 337

“It behoveth thee to consecrate thyself to the Will of God. Whatsoever hath been revealed in His Tablets is but a reflection of His Will. So complete must be thy consecration, that every trace of worldly desire will be washed from thine heart. This is the meaning of true unity.” Gleanings, p. 338

“Say: Deliver your souls, O people, from the bondage of self, and purify them from all attachment to anything besides Me. Remembrance of Me cleanseth all things from defilement, could ye but perceive it. Say: Were all created things to be entirely divested of the veil of worldly vanity and desire, the Hand of God would in this Day clothe them, one and all, with the robe “He doeth whatsoever He willeth in the kingdom of creation,” that thereby the sign of His sovereignty might be manifested in all things. Exalted then be He, the Sovereign Lord of all, the Almighty, the Supreme Protector, the All-Glorious, the Most Powerful.” Gleanings, pp. 294-295

“How high the reward of him that hath not deprived himself of so great a bounty, nor failed to recognize the beauty of his Best-Beloved in this, His new attire. Watch over yourselves, for the Evil One is lying in wait, ready to entrap you. Gird yourselves against his wicked devices, and, led by the light of the name of the All-Seeing God, make your escape from the darkness that surroundeth you. Let your vision be world-embracing, rather than confined to your own self. The Evil One is he that hindereth the rise and obstructeth the spiritual progress of the children of men.” Gleanings, p. 94
You are "underlining" what I began this thread with...

Yet, I'm still Lost---still can't fully understand the "apparent" contradiction of "give my ideas up" versus "think my own thoughts"---"forget everything but Him" versus "we are what we think"...
~~~~~~~~~
And, I don't know what you mean in this sentence:
"Please read what I am about to post to camachoe on the Cleanliness of garments thread regarding this."
 
Old 08-11-2017, 06:03 AM   #11
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This is from the Bab and is a perfect example of what I still can't understand how to do...

"...purge thou thine ear that thou mayest hear no mention besides God, and purge thine eye that it behold naught except God, and thy conscience that it perceive naught other than God, and thy tongue that it proclaim nothing but God, and thy hand to write naught but the words of God, and thy knowledge that it comprehend naught except God, and thy heart that it entertain no wish save God, and in like manner purge all thine acts and thy pursuits that thou mayest be nurtured in the paradise of pure love..."
 
Old 08-11-2017, 06:49 AM   #12
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This is from the Bab and is a perfect example of what I still can't understand how to do...

"...purge thou thine ear that thou mayest hear no mention besides God, and purge thine eye that it behold naught except God, and thy conscience that it perceive naught other than God, and thy tongue that it proclaim nothing but God, and thy hand to write naught but the words of God, and thy knowledge that it comprehend naught except God, and thy heart that it entertain no wish save God, and in like manner purge all thine acts and thy pursuits that thou mayest be nurtured in the paradise of pure love..."
I do not know exactly how to do it either, yet I know it is what we are supposed to do...

The best I can say for now is that I try to follow the injunctions set forth by Baha'u'llah in Gleanings, since His Will is identical with God's Will:

“The essence of belief in Divine unity consisteth in regarding Him Who is the Manifestation of God and Him Who is the invisible, the inaccessible, the unknowable Essence as one and the same. By this is meant that whatever pertaineth to the former, all His acts and doings, whatever He ordaineth or forbiddeth, should be considered, in all their aspects, and under all circumstances, and without any reservation, as identical with the Will of God Himself. This is the loftiest station to which a true believer in the unity of God can ever hope to attain. Blessed is the man that reacheth this station, and is of them that are steadfast in their belief.” Gleanings, p. 167

If I am wondering if it is my will or God's Will, I just refer to what Baha'u'llah wrote.
 
Old 08-11-2017, 06:53 AM   #13
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And, I don't know what you mean in this sentence:
"Please read what I am about to post to camachoe on the Cleanliness of garments thread regarding this."
I meant that on that thread I further elucidated on what I wrote on this thread about self.
 
Old 08-11-2017, 07:05 AM   #14
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'Tis a conundrum...

At least it's a spiritual conundrum...
 
Old 08-11-2017, 07:06 AM   #15
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I meant that on that thread I further elucidated on what I wrote on this thread about self.
Ah...

OK
 
Old 08-14-2017, 11:11 AM   #16
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"Ignite, then, O my God, within my breast the fire of Thy love, that its flame may burn up all else except my remembrance of Thee...
According to Baha'i teachings, the "remembrance of Thee" does not exclude the use of the mind. In Islam, the Quran is referred to as "the Remembrance" (see 38:1).
 
Old 08-14-2017, 12:37 PM   #17
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According to Baha'i teachings, the "remembrance of Thee" does not exclude the use of the mind. In Islam, the Quran is referred to as "the Remembrance" (see 38:1).
I hear hat you're saying; but, statements like this from Baha'u'llah:

"Ignite, then, O my God, within my breast the fire of Thy love, that its flame may burn up all else except my remembrance of Thee...and that naught may remain except the glorification of Thy transcendent and all-glorious Being."

Do seem, in their power to mean, to me, give up you mind, as well...

How can "I burn up all else except my remembrance of Thee..." and still think I can think whatever I want, even if whatever I think is in accordance with God's Will...?
 
Old 08-14-2017, 01:21 PM   #18
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I've mostly just been reading this thread, as it's a fascinating discussion but I find I have little to offer.

But I did have a series of thoughts just now that might be relevant or helpful:

> God created the world, and us specifically in his own image.

> I personally believe that in any work of art (any creation) you can see parts of the artist (or creator). Creation reveals the creator, in a sense.

> Thus, we can at the very least find the image of God inside of other people.

> We can also potentially see God in his creation.

> Perhaps there is a way to see only the Godly aspects of things??

> If we were to be able to achieve a state where we only saw the Godly aspects of other people, we'd likely achieve world peace, or at the very least be at peace with the world, personally.

> If we were able to see only the Godly aspects in the material world, we'd be unable to find a fault in it, and would likely see it as some paradise.

Thus, perhaps, seeing only God does not mean blinding ourselves to the world or to other people, but instead opening our eyes to God's presence in those things, and focusing on that.
 
Old 08-14-2017, 01:21 PM   #19
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Dear Amzalot:

Let me try with this simple example:

Mary and Helen are driving their cars on the highway.

Mary is focused on the curves, ups and down of the route, the distance from other cars, the signs, the dangers ahead, the pedestrians and cattle that walk along and sometimes get across, the beautiful landscape, the dashboard indicating fuel and speed, and the stimulating breeze coming from the opened window.

In contrast, Helen, as a result of either boredom or stress, has forgot she's driving: she is thinking obsessively in the test she has to take next day at the University, in the boyfriend who is not treating her fairly, in the fight she had with her mother yesterday... over and over, she reaches out to her mobile, re-reading a message and awaiting impatiently the next one....

Who, Mary or Helen, is burning up all else except for the remembrance of God?
Who, Mary or Helen, is more likely to crash her car and get hurt and hurt others?



We follow Bah'a'ulláh advice when we focus on things that exist, since they are emanations of His Glory. In the example described above, we burn up all else except our remembrance of God when we drive a car focused on what driving a car requires, what it intends, and what it is.
We forget God when we evade reality and start driving a car as if we were not driving a car... As if there were not signs, rules, dangers, laws of physics... as if we were not intending to get somewhere for some purpose.

Abdul Bahá teaches us: "Whatsoever God has created, He has created good. Evil consists merely in non-existence." In the case of Mary, she is focusing on what exists (the driving experience, with all it implies and connects to). Mary is putting aside any thought or action, except what relates to existence. Helen, on the other side, is worried about (and acting under the assumption of) non-existent things: things that were, but no longer are, or things that could be, contingent to other things. To an external observer, both Mary and Helen look like doing the same thing: driving a car. But Mary is in a state of worship, while Helen is in a state of idolatry. Mary is in the Light of the Kingdom. Helen in the shadows of the illusory world.

Driving (or cooking, or dancing) may be a profoundly spiritual experience if we commit to it in a spiritual way.

"Know thou that the Kingdom is the real world, and this nether place is only its shadow stretching out. A shadow hath no life of its own; its existence is only a fantasy, and nothing more; it is but images reflected in water, and seeming as pictures to the eye." Abdul' Bahá

May God help us to live every day and hour not in the shadows, but in His Light.

Last edited by camachoe; 08-14-2017 at 02:45 PM.
 
Old 08-14-2017, 02:44 PM   #20
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I've mostly just been reading this thread, as it's a fascinating discussion but I find I have little to offer.

But I did have a series of thoughts just now that might be relevant or helpful:

> God created the world, and us specifically in his own image.

> I personally believe that in any work of art (any creation) you can see parts of the artist (or creator). Creation reveals the creator, in a sense.

> Thus, we can at the very least find the image of God inside of other people.

> We can also potentially see God in his creation.

> Perhaps there is a way to see only the Godly aspects of things??

> If we were to be able to achieve a state where we only saw the Godly aspects of other people, we'd likely achieve world peace, or at the very least be at peace with the world, personally.

> If we were able to see only the Godly aspects in the material world, we'd be unable to find a fault in it, and would likely see it as some paradise.

Thus, perhaps, seeing only God does not mean blinding ourselves to the world or to other people, but instead opening our eyes to God's presence in those things, and focusing on that.
I can agree---I want to say that's the answer---I will ponder, deeply what you've said...

Thank you for contributing.........
 
Old 08-14-2017, 02:46 PM   #21
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Dear Amzalot:

Let me try with this simple example:

Mary and Helen are driving their cars on the highway.

Mary is focused on the curves, ups and down of the route, the distance from other cars, the signs, the dangers ahead, the pedestrians and cattle that walk along and sometimes get across, the beautiful landscape, the dashboard indicating fuel and speed, and the stimulating breeze coming from the opened window.

In contrast, Helen, as a result of either boredom or stress, has forgot she's driving: she is thinking obsessively in the test she has to take next day at the University, in the boyfriend who is not treating her fairly, in the fight she had with her mother yesterday... over and over, she reaches out to her mobile, re-reading a message and awaiting impatiently the next one....

Who, Mary or Helen, is burning up all else except for the remembrance of God?
Who, Mary or Helen, is more likely to crash her car and get hurt and hurt others?



We follow Bah'a'ulláh advice when we focus on things that exist, since they are emanations of His Glory. In the example described above, we burn up all else except our remembrance of God when we drive a car focused on what driving a car requires, what it intends, and what it is.
We forget God when we evade reality and start driving a car as if we were not driving a car... As if there were not signs, rules, dangers, laws of physics... as if we were not intending to get somewhere for some purpose.

Abdul Bahá teaches us: "Whatsoever God has created, He has created good. Evil consists merely in non-existence." In the case of Mary, she is focusing on what exists (the driving experience, with all it implies and connects to). Mary is putting aside any thought or action, except what relates to existence. Helen, on the other side, is worried about (and acting under the assumption of) non-existent things: things that were, but no longer are, or things that could be, contingent to other things. To an external observer, both Mary and Helen look like doing the same thing: driving a car. But Mary is in a state of worship, while Helen is in a state of idolatry. Mary is in the Light of the Kingdom. Helen in the shadows of the illusory world.

Driving a car may be a profoundly spiritual experience if we commit to it in a spiritual way.

"Know thou that the Kingdom is the real world, and this nether place is only its shadow stretching out. A shadow hath no life of its own; its existence is only a fantasy, and nothing more; it is but images reflected in water, and seeming as pictures to the eye." Abdul' Bahá

May God help us to live every day and hour not in the shadows, but in His Light.
Very sorry -- I don't see the point of your "simple example" -- I don't see it applying to the issue...
 
Old 08-14-2017, 02:57 PM   #22
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My point was the same that Walrus, but his post is much clearer, specially in his last beautiful sentence:

"Thus, perhaps, seeing only God does not mean blinding ourselves to the world or to other people, but instead opening our eyes to God's presence in those things, and focusing on that."
 
Old 08-14-2017, 03:07 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by camachoe View Post
My point was the same that Walrus, but his post is much clearer, specially in his last beautiful sentence:

"Thus, perhaps, seeing only God does not mean blinding ourselves to the world or to other people, but instead opening our eyes to God's presence in those things, and focusing on that."
I'm sorry I didn't see the similarity...
 
Old 08-15-2017, 03:33 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Amzolt View Post
How can "I burn up all else except my remembrance of Thee..." and still think I can think whatever I want, even if whatever I think is in accordance with God's Will...?
This is to me what we are trying to acheive.

We are willingly asking to give our will over to becomes Gods Will through us unconstrained.

From a personal point of view now it becomes a battle field of our self pursuits to a life of service to others and I see each day missed opportunities because our will still dominates.

I will pause there to see if I am in tune with what you are asking and the direction we can head with these ideas.

Regards Tony
 
Old 08-15-2017, 05:22 AM   #25
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Maybe I'm totally on the wrong track here, but I recently read about Buddhism, and found that Buddha tought all we are, our entire existence, is made of five types of perceptions (khandas), none of which is permanent nor the "Self", so He concluded the "Ego" is an illusion. Buddhists now seek to realize this insight, among others, or full understanding of it, via the "Eightfold Path" which includes right life and right action, but also right meditation.

Buddha managed to fully realize this insight, as He is the "Awakened" or "Enlightened", but every disciple has the goal of achieving it.

Of course Buddhists who achieve this insight -- realizing the self is an illusion --, still exist in this world and continue to interact with people around them. However, the world no longer touches them, and they have achieved a state of loving-kindness towards everybody and everything and absolute riant equanimity.

This reminded me a lot of this problem, the goal of detachment from the material world, and "forgetting the self".
 
Old 08-15-2017, 07:42 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by tonyfish58 View Post
This is to me what we are trying to acheive.

We are willingly asking to give our will over to becomes Gods Will through us unconstrained.

From a personal point of view now it becomes a battle field of our self pursuits to a life of service to others and I see each day missed opportunities because our will still dominates.

I will pause there to see if I am in tune with what you are asking and the direction we can head with these ideas.

Regards Tony
Thanks for the effort, Tony, but I don't see how your comment answered the question...
 
Old 08-15-2017, 07:45 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Sebastian View Post
Maybe I'm totally on the wrong track here, but I recently read about Buddhism, and found that Buddha tought all we are, our entire existence, is made of five types of perceptions (khandas), none of which is permanent nor the "Self", so He concluded the "Ego" is an illusion. Buddhists now seek to realize this insight, among others, or full understanding of it, via the "Eightfold Path" which includes right life and right action, but also right meditation.

Buddha managed to fully realize this insight, as He is the "Awakened" or "Enlightened", but every disciple has the goal of achieving it.

Of course Buddhists who achieve this insight -- realizing the self is an illusion --, still exist in this world and continue to interact with people around them. However, the world no longer touches them, and they have achieved a state of loving-kindness towards everybody and everything and absolute riant equanimity.

This reminded me a lot of this problem, the goal of detachment from the material world, and "forgetting the self".
Thank you, however, the Baha'i Writings refer to the self in two ways---one to give up and one to use to achieve what God wants...

Yes, the ego is singled out for it's negative role; but, it isn't necessarily the same as the "self"...
 
Old 08-15-2017, 07:47 AM   #28
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I appreciate everyone's effort to help...

However, I did say, after #18 up there, "I can agree---I want to say that's the answer---I will ponder, deeply what you've said..."...
 
Old 08-15-2017, 08:08 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Amzolt View Post
Thank you, however, the Baha'i Writings refer to the self in two ways---one to give up and one to use to achieve what God wants...

Yes, the ego is singled out for it's negative role; but, it isn't necessarily the same as the "self"...
If I understood Buddha's teachings correctly (as in Theravada), "doing God's will" = following the path of good deeds and actions is important on the path to salvation -- before "forgetting the self" by achieving "enlightenment".

Maybe once you've "forgotten" it, it will no longer be necessary to use your will to do what God wants, but it will come by itself, flow naturally, because your will is united with God's will?

Buddha makes this difference by explaining until you've achieved enlightenment, good deeds, words and actions will help your karma to be reincarnated into a higher position -- but the moment you are "enlightened", this no longer matters, as you've stepped out of the circle of karmic reincarnation.


So maybe the self that is supposed to do God's will is the self before reaching the state of forgetting -- once it's there, it'll no longer require any effort and any kind of "self" no longer matters to live in harmony with God's will.

Last edited by Sebastian; 08-15-2017 at 08:12 AM.
 
Old 08-15-2017, 08:13 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by Sebastian View Post
If I understood Buddha's teachings correctly (as in Theravada), "doing God's will" = following the path of good deeds and actions is important on the path to salvation -- before "forgetting the self" by achieving "enlightenment".

Maybe once you've "forgotten" it, it will no longer be necessary to use your will to do what God wants, but it will come by itself, flow naturally, because your will is united with God's will?

Buddha makes this difference by explaining until you've achieved enlightenment, good deeds, words and actions will help you to be reincarnated into a higher position -- but the moment you are "enlightened", this no longer matters.
I don't believe in reincarnation, though I realized it's incompatibility for my beliefs before becoming a Baha'i...

You may want to read what 'Abdu'l-Baha has to say about it:
Bahá'à Reference Library - Some Answered Questions, Pages 282-289
 
Old 08-15-2017, 08:23 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by Amzolt View Post
I don't believe in reincarnation, though I realized it's incompatibility for my beliefs before becoming a Baha'i...

You may want to read what 'Abdu'l-Baha has to say about it:
Bahá'à Reference Library - Some Answered Questions, Pages 282-289
I do know what he said about it. I don't think there is a contradiction; as Buddha was a Manifestation of God, His teaching must be true, because if it was false, Baha'u'llah's would be, too.

So it's up to our limited minds to find an explanation for things that appear like contradictions at first. Things may appear like a contradiction, because the same words may signify different concepts in each revelation.

When you look at the Buddhist concept of reincarnation further:

Buddhists don't believe in a personal reincarnation of the soul, either. It's your karmic signature that shapes the karmic signature of a new being. Like a candle lighting another, or like a billard ball hitting another and transmitting its energy on it -- no substance from the first flame enters the second. It's not the same thing as in many Hinduist religions, where people believe the soul and personality of someone actually enters a new body.

My current guess is that this is a concept Baha'u'llah didn't consider important on the way of salvation, so He didn't say much about it. Except that He mentioned that in each new Revelation, certain "persons", "archetypes" reappear: Each Manifestation had someone close who betrayed Him, like Judas Iscariot, or Mirza Yahya -- in a manner of speaking, the latter was the "karmic reincarnation" of the former, perhaps? Likewise, the people who followed each Manifestation at first were common people, like fishermen, but none from the clergy of the respective time. It all happens again.

Maybe this is what Buddhists more technically, and in a more encompassing manner described as "karmic reincarnation".
 
Old 08-15-2017, 08:27 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by Sebastian View Post
I do know what he said about it. I don't think there is a contradiction; as Buddha was a Manifestation of God, His teaching must be true, because if it was false, Baha'u'llah's would be, too.

So it's up to our limited minds to find an explanation for things that appear like contradictions at first. Things may appear like a contradiction, because the same words may signify different concepts in each revelation.

When you look at the Buddhist concept of reincarnation further:

Buddhists don't believe in a personal reincarnation of the soul, either. It's your karmic signature that shapes the karmic signature of a new being. Like a candle lighting another, or like a billard ball hitting another and transmitting its energy on it -- no substance from the first flame enters the second. It's not the same thing as in many Hinduist religions, where people believe the soul and personality of someone actually enters a new body.

My current guess is that this is a concept Baha'u'llah didn't consider important on the way of salvation, so He didn't say much about it. Except that He mentioned that in each new Revelation, certain "persons", "archetypes" reappear: Each Manifestation had someone close who betrayed Him, like Judas Iscariot, or Mirza Yahya -- in a manner of speaking, the latter was the "karmic reincarnation" of the former, perhaps? Likewise, the people who followed each Manifestation at first were common people, like fishermen, but none from the clergy of the respective time. It all happens again.

Maybe this is what Buddhists more technically, and in a more encompassing manner described as "karmic reincarnation".
I'll stick with what 'Abdu'l-Baha has said...
 
Old 08-15-2017, 08:30 AM   #33
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I'll stick with what 'Abdu'l-Baha has said...
It was also said that we must not make a difference between the Manifestations of God.

So if you think there is a contradiction, it's because we're looking at it from the wrong perspective.
 
Old 08-15-2017, 08:34 AM   #34
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It was also said that we must not make a difference between the Manifestations of God.

So if you think there is a contradiction, it's because we're looking at it from the wrong perspective.
I said nothing about contradictions just that I prefer what 'Abdu'l-Baha said...
 
Old 08-15-2017, 08:38 AM   #35
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Amzolt,

According to the quote itself, which you seem to enjoy throwing around like a football, you are praying to burn up all else except that Remembrance which will enable you to glorify His transcendent and all-glorious Being, not your own.
 
Old 08-15-2017, 08:39 AM   #36
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I said nothing about contradictions just that I prefer what 'Abdu'l-Baha said...
So, anything Buddha aside , what do you think of the idea that the "self" that is supposed to do God's will is only required until you've achieved a certain state of detachment, at which point it no longer requires a "self" to do God's will -- because anything that once was the "self" now is united with God's will, and it all "flows naturally"?
 
Old 08-15-2017, 08:44 AM   #37
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So, anything Buddha aside , what do you think of the idea that the "self" that is supposed to do God's will is only required until you've achieved a certain state of detachment, at which point it no longer requires a "self" to do God's will -- because anything that once was the "self" now is united with God's will, and it all "flows naturally"?
Very sorry, I didn't start this thread to discuss what you seem to want me to discuss...

I had a question and up there in #28 I indicated that my "answer" was in post #18...
 
Old 08-15-2017, 08:52 AM   #38
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Very sorry, I didn't start this thread to discuss what you seem to want me to discuss...

I had a question and up there in #28 I indicated that my "answer" was in post #18...
Oops, sorry, I didn't see your answer was answered already...
 
Old 08-15-2017, 08:55 AM   #39
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Oops, sorry, I didn't see your answer was answered already...
No problem
 
Old 09-14-2017, 06:38 PM   #40
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You follow gods will not your own. gods will = his teachings. HIS teachings not selfs. self is destroyed.
 
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