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 04-03-2018, 05:01 AM   #1
Senior Member
 
Joined: Sep 2017
From: Birmingham
Posts: 251
Question

If one does not contribute in the Ruhi sequence is this breaking the covenant ?

Last edited by Yousefy2; 04-03-2018 at 03:59 PM.
 
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 04-03-2018, 05:47 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
Walrus's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2014
From: Wisconsin
Posts: 947
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yousefy2 View Post
I read this article about the Ruhi courses ..
https://bahai-library.com/lee_ruhi_problem
If one believes in such things is that breaking the covenant?
Absolutely not. For two reasons:

The Faith believes in Unity in Diversity, and obviously not everyone is the same when it comes to learning. Ruhi is but one way to study the Scriptures, and because everyone has different ways of learning that work best for them, obviously some people Ruhi will work better and for others Ruhi is not the best method.

So discussing the pros and cons is fine, or almost necessary.

Like for me, I don't like Ruhi, even though I attend Ruhi classes (mainly just to engage with the community). It's just not my preferred method, mainly because the emphasis on memorization is not something that works with my learning style, and I almost hate being given quotes in a vacuum. I almost need to read the whole context of a religious passage to feel like i understand it, and so after Ruhi classes I'm often looking up the full contexts of things based on the citations page. For me, delving into a mysticism and symbolism heavy tome and studying it intimately is the ideal method, though I realize that this is probably the least effective method of learning for a "normal" person.

The second reason a criticism of Ruhi doesn't make one a covenant breaker is that only the Universal House of Justice has the power to declare someone a covenant breaker. If they haven't specifically done so in regards to an individual, that individual is not and cannot be a covenant breaker.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yousefy2 View Post
If one does not wish to take part in Ruhi Books due to not having positive experiences with it is this breaking the covenant ?
Definitely no!! Ruhi was a system of learning created after the lives of the people who established the Covenant. How, then, could not wanting to participate in this one method of learning be Covenant-Breaking??

Find the way that works best for you to learn!! If Ruhi is not conductive to your learning style, find a different method of study. We're all different and we learn in different ways!!
 
Old 04-03-2018, 07:57 AM   #3
Minor Bloodsucker
 
gnat's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2014
From: Stockholm
Posts: 1,726
Oh, the Ruhi courses. I think Book 1 was excellent, but from Book 2 onwards, they push the participants down too rigid a path. Book 2 already presupposes that the particiapants already are Bahá'ís, or about to declare.

I would like to see a series of books that offer deepening on differents issues without expecting the participants to subscribe to all the views presented. In other words, I would like to see Ruhi books that are open to everyone on Earth.

Best,

from

gnat
 
Old 04-03-2018, 04:01 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Joined: Sep 2017
From: Birmingham
Posts: 251
I have had a change of thought and I think that the Ruhi sequence must have a positive use, as after all it is the will of God
 
Old 04-04-2018, 08:34 AM   #5
Member
 
SoerenRekelBludau's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2017
From: Germany
Posts: 58
Why should Ruhi be the Will of God Himself? Why should He busy Himself with such things? And, if it indeed was the Will of God, did the generations before us disobey His will? Ruhi was created by ordinary believers such as ourselves. It is not the only fitting method but one method of many who has a record of success in many instances. That's all.
 
Old 04-04-2018, 11:20 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
Walrus's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2014
From: Wisconsin
Posts: 947
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yousefy2 View Post
I have had a change of thought and I think that the Ruhi sequence must have a positive use,
Oh it most certainly has a positive use, at the very least for the purposes of the people who learn best by that method.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yousefy2 View Post
as after all it is the will of God
But I would not go that far (unless we are talking about deep mysticism around the concept of the "will of God", or more of the esoteric Baha'i verses around that subject ).

The Ruhi is not a Scripture, though it may contain Scripture verses. The Ruhi is not an institution of the Faith given by any prophet. Nor is the Ruhi a law passed by the UHJ. So I'd find it hard to justify calling it the "will of God", without resorting to a more mystical (and off-topic) approach.
 
Old 04-04-2018, 01:38 PM   #7
Minor Bloodsucker
 
gnat's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2014
From: Stockholm
Posts: 1,726
Of course the Ruhi books have a useful purpose. With me, however, they leave a strong aftertaste of rigid thought control, at variance with the liberating Message of our Faith.

I say this, based on my experience of a few years' intensive contact with our Scriptures during my translation work. I felt that I grew as a human being when trying to understand every word of the texts, in order to render them into my own language. The Guardian's advanced thinking, Bahá'u'lláh's simple language hiding oceaans of hidden meanings, `Abdu'l-Bahá’s razor sharp mind, that makes any issue so clear that a child can understand it – it’s hard to say what influenced my the most. I just remember the feeling, when translating the Selected Writings of Abdu’l-Bahá, that numerous switches in my mind changed.

The Ruhi process is based on another view of studying texts, much geared towards learning things by heart and repeating certain passages. It feels very alien to me.

But it's even possible that there is a hidden meaning in the Ruhi approach. Maybe any kind of independent thinking is about to become as superfluous as wings on an alligator. Maybe we are approaching such times when our task as Bah'a'ís mainly consists in repeating Holy Words that we have learned by heart. Who knows?

gnat

Last edited by gnat; 04-04-2018 at 02:38 PM.
 
Old 04-04-2018, 01:43 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Joined: Sep 2017
From: Birmingham
Posts: 251
The UHJ decided on the ruhi courses and the Bahá'í Writings addressing the issue of infallibility indicate that the Universal House of Justice is infallibly guided in any decision it makes in the discharge of its responsibilities. Referring to the Universal House of Justice (as well as the Guardian), 'Abdu'l-Bahá declared: “Whatsoever they decide is of God.”22 He further wrote: “Whatever will be its decision, by majority vote, shall be the real truth, inasmuch as that House is under the protection, unerring guidance and care of the one true Lord. He shall guard it from error and will protect it under the wing of His sanctity and infallibility.”23 Moreover, the House of Justice is “the source of all good and freed from all error.”24

therfore I think Its wrong for me to assume the Ruhi courses are not wanted from God, therfore he probably wants them and I must accept it ... open to different opinions
 
Old 04-04-2018, 01:44 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Joined: Sep 2017
From: Birmingham
Posts: 251
Further, one of 'Abdu'l-Bahá's writings specifically refers to the infallibility of the House of Justice not only in establishing laws, but also in making decisions:

Let it not be imagined that the House of Justice will take any decision according to its own concepts and opinions. God forbid! The Supreme House of Justice will take decisions and establish laws through the inspiration and confirmation of the Holy Spirit, because it is in the safekeeping and under the shelter and protection of the Ancient Beauty . . . .36
 
Old 04-04-2018, 02:17 PM   #10
Minor Bloodsucker
 
gnat's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2014
From: Stockholm
Posts: 1,726
But of course there is nothing wrong in the UHJ decision to endorse the Ruhi programme. Let us see it as a decision-making problem. Some progamme has to be developed. There is the Ruhi programme. Then there is nothing. Of course, it is the right decision to recommend the Ruhi programme, rather than look for something else that hasn't yet been conceived.

The Ruhi Programme reflects the present stage of development of our community, whether we like it or not.

But, just because the Ruhi programme has been chosen, that decision doesn't preclude that many of us are entirely entitled to independent opinions on the programme, much the same way as we might be entirely loyal to the decision to build a certain temple, but might be unhappy with its final design.

gnat
 
Old 04-04-2018, 04:15 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
becky's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2014
From: colorado/summer-Oklahoma/winter
Posts: 824
I hard a hard time with Ruhi. Many years ago, when it first started, I took part in Ruhi 1. I so very much did NOT enjoy it, at all. Said I would never take another Ruhi course. However, last year, we started Ruhi 8, and I absolutely love it! Yes, there is repetition of history, but I have understood the Covenant of my Faith and how it has all developed over the years. We finished book 1 & 2, and I look forward to returning to Colorado this summer and delving into book 3. Then we are looking at Ruhi 10 and consultation. We are excited about that! Consultation is so needed in today's world.
 
Old 04-04-2018, 04:41 PM   #12
Minor Bloodsucker
 
gnat's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2014
From: Stockholm
Posts: 1,726
I'm ready to be accused of blasphemy, but why the .... is consultation the subject of Book 10, and not of Book 1?

gnat
 
Old 04-04-2018, 05:38 PM   #13
Tony Bristow-Stagg
 
tonyfish58's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2010
From: Normanton Far North Queensland
Posts: 4,303
Quote:
Originally Posted by gnat View Post
I'm ready to be accused of blasphemy, but why the .... is consultation the subject of Book 10, and not of Book 1?

gnat
I guess as you said Rhui filled a much needed place in teaching. Thus it started with a vision that had expanded and evolved and will continue to do so.

It may be it is breaking the ground for a future Baha'i education curriculum. The future will need this, as the spiritual aspect needs to constantly accompany our material learning.

Regards Tony
 
Old 04-04-2018, 06:02 PM   #14
Jcc
Senior Member
 
Jcc's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2013
From: Edwardsville, Illinois, USA
Posts: 493
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonyfish58 View Post
I guess as you said Rhui filled a much needed place in teaching. Thus it started with a vision that had expanded and evolved and will continue to do so.

It may be it is breaking the ground for a future Baha'i education curriculum. The future will need this, as the spiritual aspect needs to constantly accompany our material learning.

Regards Tony
For a lot of us "old Baha'is" particularly in the west, it takes a change in perspective to really appreciate the Ruhi courses. If you have been a Baha'i for 20 years or more, it may not seem like you are getting much out of them, but I think we should look at it as something we are doing for others, not just ourselves. If we can form a study group with even one seeker or new Baha'i, and go through the courses with them, that is an act of service. By studying them ourselves, we are preparing for that service.
 
Old 04-04-2018, 08:01 PM   #15
Tony Bristow-Stagg
 
tonyfish58's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2010
From: Normanton Far North Queensland
Posts: 4,303
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jcc View Post
For a lot of us "old Baha'is" particularly in the west, it takes a change in perspective to really appreciate the Ruhi courses. If you have been a Baha'i for 20 years or more, it may not seem like you are getting much out of them, but I think we should look at it as something we are doing for others, not just ourselves. If we can form a study group with even one seeker or new Baha'i, and go through the courses with them, that is an act of service. By studying them ourselves, we are preparing for that service.
I enjoyed doing them once started. It makes for good discussions. It also points out how different each of us can approach the same writing.

I see it is a good consolidation course for those that have accepted Baha'u'llah or the concept of the Oneness of religion.

I can not see the books as a teaching course for those not Baha'i. For me I found it embarrassing to hear some Rhui material quoted to a group that is not all Baha'i.

Ha ha...then one thinks of Abdul'baha who walks into a Jewish temple and to a Jewish audiance confirms the Message of Jesus and Muhammad. So then I say, who am I to hold back!

We always play a balancing act.

Regards Tony
 
Old 04-05-2018, 12:45 AM   #16
Minor Bloodsucker
 
gnat's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2014
From: Stockholm
Posts: 1,726
What really worries me is not my own reaction to the Ruhi books, but their effects on seekers. The educational approach of Book 2 - the learning by heart of long passages - works like a cold shower on a seeker. The stiff smile and the polite comment "This was interesting" barely revealed that we had lost another contact.

gnat
 
Old 04-05-2018, 01:03 AM   #17
Tony Bristow-Stagg
 
tonyfish58's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2010
From: Normanton Far North Queensland
Posts: 4,303
Quote:
Originally Posted by gnat View Post
What really worries me is not my own reaction to the Ruhi books, but their effects on seekers. The educational approach of Book 2 - the learning by heart of long passages - works like a cold shower on a seeker. The stiff smile and the polite comment "This was interesting" barely revealed that we had lost another contact.

gnat
I can see that would happen often. To date I have not used Rhui in Australia for teaching. The reaction I have had in showing the courses to some, are much the same as the experience you have mentioned! In saying that I have seen it done in the Solomon Islands and It works very well there.

We must be wise in its use.

Regards Tony
 
Old 04-05-2018, 01:39 AM   #18
Minor Bloodsucker
 
gnat's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2014
From: Stockholm
Posts: 1,726
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonyfish58 View Post
In saying that I have seen it done in the Solomon Islands and It works very well there.

Regards Tony
And that indeed is a confirmation of what both of us just said. The Ruhi concept was developed in Colombia, for the rural population of that country. It obviously works well for rural people in developing countries.

Then, there is the question: what works for urban people in developed countries? Food for thought: I follow today's public debate, and ask myself if there is anything that works in our part of the world.

gnat
 
Old 04-05-2018, 02:30 AM   #19
Tony Bristow-Stagg
 
tonyfish58's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2010
From: Normanton Far North Queensland
Posts: 4,303
Quote:
Originally Posted by gnat View Post
Then, there is the question: what works for urban people in developed countries? Food for thought: I follow today's public debate, and ask myself if there is anything that works in our part of the world.

gnat
The Million dollar question. It is very difficult to find an ear that wants to hear.

It then may come down to what would Abdul'baha do? I can not help thinking we have not done enough where it was needed most. A topic now full of personal reflection.

Regards Tony
 
Old 04-05-2018, 02:47 AM   #20
Minor Bloodsucker
 
gnat's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2014
From: Stockholm
Posts: 1,726
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonyfish58 View Post
It then may come down to what would Abdul'baha do?

Regards Tony
Last thing I heard, was that He wanted to go to China.

gnat
 
Old 04-05-2018, 02:52 AM   #21
Tony Bristow-Stagg
 
tonyfish58's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2010
From: Normanton Far North Queensland
Posts: 4,303
Quote:
Originally Posted by gnat View Post
Last thing I heard, was that He wanted to go to China.

gnat
That would have been a good move

I met some Baha'i Pioneers to China not long ago. Their stories were amazing. The people embrace the teachings. It os a difficult situation though.

They told the gathering all should consider going

Regards Tony
 
Old 04-05-2018, 03:20 AM   #22
Senior Member
 
Joined: Sep 2017
From: Birmingham
Posts: 251
-

I think they should be used wisely and tactfully, but I have felt from a certain individual in the admin side a kind of pressure and push to push things into Ruhi courses I think this put me of the faith and made me doubt so many things but I have learnt better that this is just part of our faith not a replacement thankfully. Can anybody confirm if that is really being pushed as I feel it is 'the more study circles the better'
 
Old 04-05-2018, 03:25 AM   #23
Senior Member
 
Joined: Sep 2017
From: Birmingham
Posts: 251
A lack of firesides and deepenings is a great loss imo a great loss they seem to have been replaced by study circles .. I can't help but imagine how many people have lost faith as earnest seekers by being pushed into study Ruhi circles who needed a fireside or deepening
 
Old 04-05-2018, 04:14 AM   #24
Jcc
Senior Member
 
Jcc's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2013
From: Edwardsville, Illinois, USA
Posts: 493
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yousefy2 View Post
A lack of firesides and deepenings is a great loss imo a great loss they seem to have been replaced by study circles .. I can't help but imagine how many people have lost faith as earnest seekers by being pushed into study Ruhi circles who needed a fireside or deepening
You can start your own deepening series, invite other Baha'is to present topics.
 
Old 04-05-2018, 05:01 AM   #25
Minor Bloodsucker
 
gnat's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2014
From: Stockholm
Posts: 1,726
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yousefy2 View Post
A lack of firesides and deepenings is a great loss imo a great loss they seem to have been replaced by study circles .. I can't help but imagine how many people have lost faith as earnest seekers by being pushed into study Ruhi circles who needed a fireside or deepening
For a number of years, when I had the opportunity, I held my own devotionals/deepenings, on which some food followed.

So many people have lost faith when feeling pressured into blindly following administrative decisions. The only remedy is deepening.

gnat
 
Old 04-05-2018, 07:03 AM   #26
Senior Member
 
Walrus's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2014
From: Wisconsin
Posts: 947
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yousefy2 View Post
Further, one of 'Abdu'l-Bahá's writings specifically refers to the infallibility of the House of Justice not only in establishing laws, but also in making decisions:

Let it not be imagined that the House of Justice will take any decision according to its own concepts and opinions. God forbid! The Supreme House of Justice will take decisions and establish laws through the inspiration and confirmation of the Holy Spirit, because it is in the safekeeping and under the shelter and protection of the Ancient Beauty . . . .36
Which would mean something, perhaps, if the UHJ had made a statement that Ruhi is a mandatory obligation.

The best I can find is that in 2005 the UHJ encouraged Baha'i communities worldwide to use it as a teaching tool.

But that's a far cry from mandating that all individual believers do the course.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yousefy2 View Post
A lack of firesides and deepenings is a great loss imo a great loss they seem to have been replaced by study circles .. I can't help but imagine how many people have lost faith as earnest seekers by being pushed into study Ruhi circles who needed a fireside or deepening
I agree.

So let's do something about that: Virtual Firesides & Virtual Deepenings Planning Thread
 
Reply

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

Tags
question



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.