Bahai Forums

Go Back   Baha'i Forums > Baha'i Forums > General Discussion

General Discussion Open Baha'i Discussion


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 03-14-2018, 02:05 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
Joined: Sep 2017
From: Birmingham
Posts: 251
Bahá'í life .. Joy or suffering?

Bahá'u'lláh in his writings promises joy and expects us to be happy and joyful but many Bahá'í tell me the life of a Bahá'í has lots of suffering. I see Abdul Baha say life is full of joy as we have found Bahá'u'lláh but then sometimes he says you cannot be happy in this world and also there are lots of tests and sufferings .. What are your thoughts and what should I expect l? Shall I expect an unhappy life or a happy joyous one?
 
Join Baha'i Forums


Welcome to Baha'i Forums, an open Baha'i Faith community! We welcome everyone and the community is free to join so register today and become part of the Baha'i Forums family!


Old 03-14-2018, 04:14 PM   #2
Tony Bristow-Stagg
 
tonyfish58's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2010
From: Normanton Far North Queensland
Posts: 4,308
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yousefy2 View Post
Bahá'u'lláh in his writings promises joy and expects us to be happy and joyful but many Bahá'í tell me the life of a Bahá'í has lots of suffering. I see Abdul Baha say life is full of joy as we have found Bahá'u'lláh but then sometimes he says you cannot be happy in this world and also there are lots of tests and sufferings .. What are your thoughts and what should I expect l? Shall I expect an unhappy life or a happy joyous one?

Happiness is a state of mind to which all temporary setbacks this life offers, can not alter.

It is being content with Gods Will no matter what hand we are dealt with in this life.

I have seen it written, if life gets tough then offer more service, as doing things for others, always makes us happy.

Regards Tony
 
Old 03-14-2018, 08:44 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Joined: Sep 2017
From: Birmingham
Posts: 251
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonyfish58 View Post
Happiness is a state of mind to which all temporary setbacks this life offers, can not alter.

It is being content with Gods Will no matter what hand we are dealt with in this life.

I have seen it written, if life gets tough then offer more service, as doing things for others, always makes us happy.

Regards Tony

Thanks Tony ! Alláh’u’Abhá
 
Old 03-15-2018, 04:11 AM   #4
Minor Bloodsucker
 
gnat's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2014
From: Stockholm
Posts: 1,726
Just read about Abd'ul-Bahá's own life. One night, one of His secretaries heard a terrible noice - moaning and crying - from Abd'ul-Bahá's room. Did it show in the morning?

Oh, life as a Bahá'í is wonderful - as long as you aren't attached to this world in any way, and are ready to leave it any moment.

Best

from

gnat
 
Old 03-15-2018, 05:49 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
Walrus's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2014
From: Wisconsin
Posts: 949
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yousefy2 View Post
Bahá'u'lláh in his writings promises joy and expects us to be happy and joyful but many Bahá'í tell me the life of a Bahá'í has lots of suffering. I see Abdul Baha say life is full of joy as we have found Bahá'u'lláh but then sometimes he says you cannot be happy in this world and also there are lots of tests and sufferings .. What are your thoughts and what should I expect l? Shall I expect an unhappy life or a happy joyous one?
The key is to Unify the concepts of Joy and Sorrow, to make them as become One. Acceptance of the Changes and Courses of the World. Once one accepts change, one is liberated from suffering.

"The world has never had nor does it now possess stability (thabát), notwithstanding the complaints of some unfaithful and wavering souls. But, in truth, whatever takes place is well-pleasing, for the divine wisdom has ordained it. Without His command and will, not a leaf can stir, and whatever occurs is conformable to wisdom. All must be contented with it, nay eagerly desire it. However, in some cases, such as when the sweetness of reunion [with God] gives way to the bitterness of separation and, likewise, when, by the decree of remoteness, nearness and meeting are banished--this causes sighs of sorrow and grief to be upraised and the tears to flow. Otherwise, the matter is as some of the philosophers have cited from the words of Hermes: 'It is impossible for the realm of creation to be better than it already is.'" -Baha’u’llah

This is no easy feat, as even those who could be said to be "Masters of Contentment" had moments where they suffered. 'Abdu'l-Baha sometimes mourned, and even Chuang Tzu who wrote extensively about accepting change, briefly mourned his wife's death.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yousefy2 View Post
many Bahá'í tell me the life of a Bahá'í has lots of suffering.
I have seen others say similar things but I wonder if we are projecting our own feelings onto others who we think are suffering.

I remember the story of one Babi martyr who had holes cut into his body and those holes filled with lit candles. After this happened, he spent the remainder of his time on earth walking around the city he was in praising and exalting God before his wounds caused his body to perish.

I've heard people describe this as "suffering", but I wonder, did he truly suffer?? Undoubtedly he was in a lot of pain, but pain is not suffering (as we can see by those people who suffer without pain, or who have gotten used to pain to the point it no longer preturbs them).

Based on his actions, it doesn't seem like his pain and martyrdom brought him suffering, but rather he seems to have been joyful despite the pain and death imposed upon him.

So when we describe "suffering" we see in some of the martyrs, are we perhaps only projecting what we imagine our own feelings would be in that situation??

(That's not to say there was never a martyr who suffered, but I think it'd be equally erroneous to state that all of them endured suffering in the pain inflicted on them)
 
Old 03-15-2018, 10:28 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
Joined: Sep 2017
From: Birmingham
Posts: 251
-

Thank you guys for your informing replies
 
Old 03-15-2018, 05:05 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
camachoe's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2017
From: Mexico
Posts: 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonyfish58 View Post
Happiness is a state of mind to which all temporary setbacks this life offers, can not alter.

It is being content with Gods Will no matter what hand we are dealt with in this life.

I have seen it written, if life gets tough then offer more service, as doing things for others, always makes us happy.

Regards Tony
What a beautiful and inspiring answer, Tony!
Thank you for sharing.
 
Old 03-20-2018, 11:18 PM   #8
djg
Member
 
Joined: Jul 2017
From: Denver, CO
Posts: 79
Pain and pleasure are the simplest forms of the qualitative experience of consciousness.

But as humans are complex beings, we experience myriad shades of the qualitative experience.

Happiness is more transient than joy. Life at times can be bittersweet. We can feel pain and pleasure at the same time, and each of the two come in many different forms. Is the pleasure derived from listening to a beautiful musical composition of the same sort as the pleasure derived from a kiss from the beloved, or the taste of a succulent food?

It is the words of the Blessed Beauty which reveal the deepest truth available to us, I think.
 
Old 03-24-2018, 04:05 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
Pollwr's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2009
From: earth
Posts: 472
I sometimes think the key to spiritual maturity is to be joyful in the face of suffering. I am not quite there yet but am closer than I was!

"Unless one accepts dire vicissitudes, he will not attain. To me prison is freedom, troubles rest me, death is life, and to be despised is honour. Therefore, I was happy all that time in prison. When one is released from the prison of self, that is indeed release, for that is the greater prison. When this release takes place, then one cannot be outwardly imprisoned. When they put my feet in stocks, I would say to the guard, 'You cannot imprison me, for here I have light and air and bread and water. There will come a time when my body will be in the ground, and I shall have neither light nor air nor food nor water, but even then I shall not be imprisoned.' The afflictions which come to humanity sometimes tend to centre the consciousness upon the limitations, and this is a veritable prison. Release comes by making of the will a Door through which the confirmations of the Spirit come."

(Abdu'l-Baha, Abdu'l-Baha in London, p. 120)
 
Old 03-24-2018, 10:19 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Joined: Jul 2017
From: Olympia, WA, USA
Posts: 226
Quote:
Originally Posted by gnat View Post
Just read about Abd'ul-Bahá's own life. One night, one of His secretaries heard a terrible noice - moaning and crying - from Abd'ul-Bahá's room. Did it show in the morning?
No, it did not show in the morning, but it showed that Abdu'l-Baha could be unhappy, unless moaning and crying denotes happiness.

What is the crime in being unhappy anyway? I guess that just means we are not perfectly spiritual. But telling people they should "be happy" all the time is lacking in compassion because not all people can be happy all the time. All people have a different genetic makeup, a different family history, and different life circumstances.
 
Old 03-25-2018, 12:36 AM   #11
Tony Bristow-Stagg
 
tonyfish58's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2010
From: Normanton Far North Queensland
Posts: 4,308
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trailblazer View Post
No, it did not show in the morning, but it showed that Abdu'l-Baha could be unhappy, unless moaning and crying denotes happiness.

What is the crime in being unhappy anyway? I guess that just means we are not perfectly spiritual. But telling people they should "be happy" all the time is lacking in compassion because not all people can be happy all the time. All people have a different genetic makeup, a different family history, and different life circumstances.
Hey trailblazer, I just have to give an alternate opinion in that one. My wife has had a life of Manic Depression which is how she found this Faith by the prayer I offer below.

I agree many peoples have faced many things that could make them unhappy, to make them cry out in anguish time after time. It is those that can find their inner happiness, that can let these times re balance in their life, and not stay in a state of unhappiness. It is imperative at these times that empathy is imparted to that soul. This prayer to be considered;

"O God! Refresh and gladden my spirit. Purify my heart. Illumine my powers. I lay all my affairs in Thy hand. Thou art my Guide and my Refuge. I will no longer be sorrowful and grieved; I will be a happy and joyful being. O God! I will no longer be full of anxiety, nor will I let trouble harass me. I will not dwell on the unpleasant things of life.

O God! Thou art more friend to me than I am to myself. I dedicate myself to Thee, O Lord." Abdu’l-Bahá

I think the constant encouragement to live this prayer in times when the depression is strong, has made the downs much more manageable and less prolonged. Each person has to find this within themselves.

Regards Tony
 
Reply

  Baha'i Forums > Baha'i Forums > General Discussion

Tags
bahai, joy, life, suffering



Thread Tools
Display Modes



Facebook @bahaiforums RSS


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.0 ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.
Copyright © 2006 - 2018 Bahai Forums. All rights reserved.