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Old 12-06-2017, 02:09 PM   #1
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Paradise/Heaven is closeness to god meaning??

Why does closeness to god mean paradise? What does closeness to god even mean? In previous religions especially islam we are taught that heaven is a place of pure enjoyment .. Do you guys think thats what the baha'i faith is pure enjoyment for us and could this possibly be the meaning of the verse ..
'Think not that we have revealed unto you a mere code of laws, nay! rather we have unsealed the choice wine' - Kitab I Aqdas
 
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Old 12-06-2017, 03:41 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Yousefy2 View Post
Why does closeness to god mean paradise? What does closeness to god even mean? In previous religions especially islam we are taught that heaven is a place of pure enjoyment .. Do you guys think thats what the baha'i faith is pure enjoyment for us and could this possibly be the meaning of the verse ..
'Think not that we have revealed unto you a mere code of laws, nay! rather we have unsealed the choice wine' - Kitab I Aqdas
If you say that in Islam heaven is a place of "pure enjoyment" we must understand what "pure enjoyment" is. Pleasures of the flesh are not "pure" so that can't be "pure enjoyment." On the other hand, what can possibly be better and more enjoyable than being close to God?

And of course the "choice wine" is not wine, it is the bounty of God. In the previous verse it mentions the choice wine of fairness. Baha'u'llah mentions wine in many other places, but never the material kind.
 
Old 12-07-2017, 03:22 PM   #3
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If you say that in Islam heaven is a place of "pure enjoyment" we must understand what "pure enjoyment" is. Pleasures of the flesh are not "pure" so that can't be "pure enjoyment." On the other hand, what can possibly be better and more enjoyable than being close to God?

And of course the "choice wine" is not wine, it is the bounty of God. In the previous verse it mentions the choice wine of fairness. Baha'u'llah mentions wine in many other places, but never the material kind.

Wow your answer really made me meditate for a few days and with many other things I really understand what your saying .. Living in the spirit is similiar to the Islamic concept of heaven great answer from you thanks !. What's your understanding on the idea that humans have all the names of God and reflect his attributes .. Do you think we can reflect them but on a smaller scale of course .. But I also thought God was unknowable but if we have all his attributes such as love justice and trustworthy etc does he become knowable or just more knowable sorry for the all the questions I'm just a curious person lol .. Hope u don't mind
 
Old 12-07-2017, 04:27 PM   #4
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Wow your answer really made me meditate for a few days and with many other things I really understand what your saying .. Living in the spirit is similiar to the Islamic concept of heaven great answer from you thanks !. What's your understanding on the idea that humans have all the names of God and reflect his attributes .. Do you think we can reflect them but on a smaller scale of course .. But I also thought God was unknowable but if we have all his attributes such as love justice and trustworthy etc does he become knowable or just more knowable sorry for the all the questions I'm just a curious person lol .. Hope u don't mind
Yes, you are very right, humans were created to reflect all the attributes of God, although some are a more polished mirror and reflect better, all depending on our faith. We can all act to "polish the mirror of our heart" to better reflect the attributes of God.

But a reflection is never the same as the real thing. The sun shining on a clean mirror looks like the sun, but it is not really the sun. We can only know God through His attributes or reflections, but not His essence. The Essence of God is unknowable. The example Abdul-Baha gave was like the painting trying to understand the painter who created it. Even though the painting is beautiful and perfect in its own way, it does not have the ability to truly understand its creator.
 
Old 12-07-2017, 09:27 PM   #5
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If you say that in Islam heaven is a place of "pure enjoyment" we must understand what "pure enjoyment" is. Pleasures of the flesh are not "pure" so that can't be "pure enjoyment." On the other hand, what can possibly be better and more enjoyable than being close to God?

And of course the "choice wine" is not wine, it is the bounty of God. In the previous verse it mentions the choice wine of fairness. Baha'u'llah mentions wine in many other places, but never the material kind.
I warn you, I am a very logical person, and I am also very candid. So I have a pointed question. Baha置値lah says that we can be close to God both in this world and the next, so IF that is true THEN why even bother with the pleasures of the flesh? As you said they are not even pure so they cannot be pure enjoyment.

If being close to God is more enjoyable than the pleasures of the flesh why not do what it behooves us to do according to Baha置値lah?

的 sorrow not for the burden of My imprisonment. Neither do I grieve over My abasement, or the tribulation I suffer at the hands of Mine enemies. By My life! They are My glory, a glory wherewith God hath adorned His own Self. Would that ye know it!

The shame I was made to bear hath uncovered the glory with which the whole of creation had been invested, and through the cruelties I have endured, the Day Star of Justice hath manifested itself, and shed its splendor upon men.

My sorrows are for those who have involved themselves in their corrupt passions, and claim to be associated with the Faith of God, the Gracious, the All-Praised.

It behoveth the people of Bah to die to the world and all that is therein, to be so detached from all earthly things that the inmates of Paradise may inhale from their garment the sweet smelling savor of sanctity, that all the peoples of the earth may recognize in their faces the brightness of the All-Merciful, and that through them may be spread abroad the signs and tokens of God, the Almighty, the All-Wise. They that have tarnished the fair name of the Cause of God, by following the things of the flesh葉hese are in palpable error! Gleanings From the Writings of Bah癇u値l疉, pp. 100-101


Granted, I have no idea what other people do and I am nobody痴 judge, but it seems to me that if more people had died to the world then a lot more of the peoples of the earth would have recognized in their faces the brightness of the All-Merciful, and that through them the signs and tokens of God would have spread a lot more than they have spread. What I am trying to say ever so awkwardly is that this Faith is not growing very fast, especially in the United States, and this could be one reason why. And it really is not only the flesh, it is the whole material world of dust that I see people attached to. All throughout the Writings we have injunctions to eschew the world What am I to make of them?

The second question I have is how we are supposed to get close to an unknowable, unsearchable, unapproachable God. I have not yet figured that out, hard as I try. Shoghi Effendi says that we won稚 even know God in the next life, how much less can we know God in this life. It hardly seems fair to tell us that we are supposed to get close to a God we cannot even know, let alone love that God.

"We will have experience of God's spirit through His Prophets in the next world, but God is too great for us to know without this Intermediary. The Prophets know God, but how is more than our human minds can grasp. We believe we may attain in the next world to seeing the Prophets. There is certainly a future life. Heaven and hell are conditions within our own beings."

(From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, November 14, 1947)

Lights of Guidance (second part)
 
Old 12-08-2017, 04:48 AM   #6
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Hi trailblazer im nobody to speak about the baha'i faith with authority however my current understanding is this .. dying to the world does not mean we don't enjoy the pleasures of the world as long as we stay within the teachings of the faith. I believe dying to the world means having only attachments to the faith. I agree that maybe if more baha'i were dead to the world then the baha'i faith would be more known, however im not sure if we are judged on converting people to the faith as much as we are for getting the message out there. I think closeness to god is to reflect his attributes and that is by following the teachings of bahaullah, and loving him means loving bahaullah which can be done for many reasons ..
 
Old 12-08-2017, 07:28 AM   #7
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I'm trying to make this post as succinct as possible. If I allowed myself to, I could probably come up with an impenetrable wall of text, but that'd be hard to read, so I'll try my best to avoid that.

In my understanding, "nearness to God" or "detachment to all save God" is something that would naturally lead to "pure enjoyment".

There's a text in which Baha'u'llah quotes the Prophet Hermes Trismegistus as having said "It is impossible for the realm of creation to be better than it already is." In relation to this, he states that the world does not posses stability, in other words it being ever changing, and thus the importance of learning to accept change and the state of the world.

According to the path laid out in the Seven Valleys, "nearness to God" causes one to realize the bad within the good and the good within the bad, and later realize that those two things are one, bringing one into a state of contentment. So, on the path to "nearness to God" one realizes "It is impossible for the realm of creation to be better than it already is."

If one realizes that "It is impossible for the realm of creation to be better than it already is", then one accepts the world for what it is.

If one accepts the world for what it is, one has no faults with the world.

If one has no faults with the world, then one sees the world as perfect.

And if one is living in a world they recognize as perfect, how can they experience anything other than pure enjoyment??

So in short I would sum it up as: The nearer one draws to God, the more they see the world as perfection, the more they see the world as perfection, the more they have a pure enjoyment of that perfection.
 
Old 12-08-2017, 10:01 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Yousefy2 View Post
Hi trailblazer im nobody to speak about the baha'i faith with authority however my current understanding is this .. dying to the world does not mean we don't enjoy the pleasures of the world as long as we stay within the teachings of the faith. I believe dying to the world means having only attachments to the faith. I agree that maybe if more baha'i were dead to the world then the baha'i faith would be more known, however im not sure if we are judged on converting people to the faith as much as we are for getting the message out there. I think closeness to god is to reflect his attributes and that is by following the teachings of bahaullah, and loving him means loving bahaullah which can be done for many reasons ..
As Baha段s we are not responsible for converting people. We are only responsible to proclaim that Baha置値lah has come and teach the Faith to those who show an interest. Does anyone realize that many people have never even heard of the Baha段 Faith and they have no idea who Baha置値lah claimed to be? In the United States I consider this a travesty give this is the information age.

Many people I talk to who are nonbelievers, Christians or Jews think that the Baha段 Faith is a small cult and some think that Baha置値lah is a new age guru! Others who have heard of Baha段 think it is a sect of Islam.

I cannot say how much the world gets in the way of loving God and serving the Cause for anyone but myself. However, Baha置値lah did say that it does, so if I am to believe in Baha置値lah I have to take Him at His word:

泥isencumber yourselves of all attachment to this world and the vanities thereof. Beware that ye approach them not, inasmuch as they prompt you to walk after your own lusts and covetous desires, and hinder you from entering the straight and glorious Path..

Whatsoever deterreth you, in this Day, from loving God is nothing but the world. Flee it, that ye may be numbered with the blest.
Gleanings, p. 276

What Baha置値lah wrote about the world and what our attitude should be towards it is unambiguous. The fact that Baha置値lah allowed us to partake of the 堵ood things of the world is not the same as enjoining us to do so. Baha置値lah either meant what He wrote or the Baha段 Faith is a total sham. I fully understand that people want to enjoy themselves, but what is there in the world that can compare to the greatness of this Cause?

鼎enter your energies in the propagation of the Faith of God. Whoso is worthy of so high a calling, let him arise and promote it. Whoso is unable, it is his duty to appoint him who will, in his stead, proclaim this Revelation, whose power hath caused the foundations of the mightiest structures to quake, every mountain to be crushed into dust, and every soul to be dumbfounded. Should the greatness of this Day be revealed in its fullness, every man would forsake a myriad lives in his longing to partake, though it be for one moment, of its great glory揺ow much more this world and its corruptible treasures! Gleanings, pp. 196-197

徹 ye beloved of God! Repose not yourselves on your couches, nay bestir yourselves as soon as ye recognize your Lord, the Creator, and hear of the things which have befallen Him, and hasten to His assistance. Unloose your tongues, and proclaim unceasingly His Cause. This shall be better for you than all the treasures of the past and of the future, if ye be of them that comprehend this truth. Gleanings, p. 330

適now ye from what heights your Lord, the All-Glorious is calling? Think ye that ye have recognized the Pen wherewith your Lord, the Lord of all names, commandeth you? Nay, by My life! Did ye but know it, ye would renounce the world, and would hasten with your whole hearts to the presence of the Well-Beloved. Your spirits would be so transported by His Word as to throw into commotion the Greater World揺ow much more this small and petty one!. Gleanings, pp. 139-140

鉄hould the greatness of this Day be revealed in its fullness, every man would forsake a myriad lives in his longing to partake, though it be for one moment, of its great glory揺ow much more this world and its corruptible treasures! Gleanings, pp. 197

展ert thou to consider this world, and realize how fleeting are the things that pertain unto it, thou wouldst choose to tread no path except the path of service to the Cause of thy Lord. None would have the power to deter thee from celebrating His praise, though all men should arise to oppose thee. Gleanings, p. 214
 
Old 12-09-2017, 05:47 AM   #9
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I agree

I agree with all your saying.. Being attached to nothing but God and the faith would mean we would be spreading the message far and wide and that is what is required of us all. All the above quotes prove it to be true and the life of abdul baha .. Your on point
 
Old 12-09-2017, 05:58 AM   #10
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USA is drenched in materialism it's difficult for people to understand the faith due to thier attachments
 
Old 12-09-2017, 08:15 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Yousefy2 View Post
In previous religions especially islam we are taught that heaven is a place of pure enjoyment ..
Here's Henry Corbin's description of an Ismaili position within Islam:

In a stirring vision Nasir Tusi describes the contiguity of all the series of beings, each communicating by its highest degree with the lowest degree of the series immediately above it. Thus the worlds of minerals, plants, and animals, the world of man, and the world of the Angel are graduated. And always the higher degree resembles Paradise for the degree below it. The same is true of the phases of a single being. The condition in which an infant cannot yet open his eyes in the sunlight is like his Hell in relation to the condition in which he can face the light, and the latter condition is then like his Paradise. But it is his Hell in relation to the condition in which he can walk and talk. Hell, again, is the condition in which the adult cannot yet attain to knowledge of the spiritual world through that of his own spirit and in which he is unable to experience the meaning of the adage: "He who knows himself (nafsahu, his anima), knows his Lord." When he attains to it, this state becomes his Paradise . In this vision of an incessant rising from Hells, we see an alchemy of Resurrection operating from cycle to cycle.

It offers a series of unfoldings, of divestments and revestments, to which one must consent on pain of falling backward, beneath oneself.

. . . in the Ismaili schematization of the world , the sum of the degrees of the esoteric hierarchy appears to the adept as a cycle of resurrections, each one of which must be transcended, as a succession of Paradises which must be surmounted on pain of falling back into a Hell. Each rank or spiritual degree is a resurrection (qiyamat) whereby the adept becomes conjoined with new immaterial forms which appear on his horizon.

Last edited by ahanu; 12-09-2017 at 08:21 AM.
 
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