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Old 08-31-2017, 04:45 AM   #1
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Joined: Aug 2017
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Greetings

Hello,

I'm exicited to have found the forum and Baha'i in general. I'm very interested in the unity of religion. I grew up Christian but have studied and practiced Zen Buddhism and Hassidic Judaism and a little bit of Islam. As my screename suggests, I have a strong mystical and philosophical bent.

I had a moment today when I knew I had to look deeper into Baha'i teachings. I was watching a video on YouTube of Iraj Khodadost's dialogues with several Rabbis. I look forward to having a dialogue about some of the things he said and having help to explore the scriptures from which those ideas come.

-MM
 
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Old 08-31-2017, 07:22 AM   #2
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Hello!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by MysticMonist View Post
I have a strong mystical and philosophical bent.
As someone who also has a strong mystical and philosophical bent, if you are interested in looking through the Baha'i Faith I think you'd thouroughly enjoy the book Seven Valleys, which you can find here: Bahá'à Reference Library - The Seven Valleys And the Four Valleys

It's definitely the most interesting book to me, from that outlook. It was written in response to questions from Sufi mystics, so it's rather deeply involved in mysticism.
 
Old 08-31-2017, 09:10 AM   #3
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Walrus,

Thank you! I was looking for a place to start and this is amazing.

I'll start a thread on this text and I'd love some help understanding it.

But it had me at this
"The true seeker hunteth naught but the object of his quest, and the lover hath no desire save union with his beloved. Nor shall the seeker reach his goal unless he sacrifice all things. That is, whatever he hath seen, and heard, and understood, all must he set at naught, that he may enter the realm of the spirit, which is the City of God. Labor is needed, if we are to seek Him; ardor is needed, if we are to drink of the honey of reunion with Him; and if we taste of this cup, we shall cast away the world."

Thanks!!!
 
Old 08-31-2017, 10:22 PM   #4
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From: Olympia, WA, USA
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MysticMonist said... Thank you! I was looking for a place to start and this is amazing.
But it had me at this
"The true seeker hunteth naught but the object of his quest, and the lover hath no desire save union with his beloved. Nor shall the seeker reach his goal unless he sacrifice all things. That is, whatever he hath seen, and heard, and understood, all must he set at naught, that he may enter the realm of the spirit, which is the City of God. Labor is needed, if we are to seek Him; ardor is needed, if we are to drink of the honey of reunion with Him; and if we taste of this cup, we shall cast away the world."


The way you describe yourself, I think a good place to start would be to read Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh... It gives you an idea of what the mission of Baha’u’llah was all about... I would not recommend that to someone who was not mystical because many find it difficult and say it is “flowery.”

It is online to read in the Baha’i Reference Library online:

Older version: Bahá'à Reference Library - Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh

Newer version: Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh | Bahá’à Reference Library

I prefer the format of the older version for reading online, but the new version is fully downloadable.

It is called Gleanings because it is important excerpts from various Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh. In the introduction to Gleanings it explains how it is organized into five parts. This Introduction is not in the online version, only in the printed book:

“Part one, pages 1-46, proclaims this as the “Day of God.” Part two, pages 46-136, concerns the Manifestation of God and His significance. Part three, pages 136-200, deals with basic questions concerning the soul and its immortality. Part four, pages 200-259, concerns the spiritual aspects of the World Order and the Most Great Peace. Part five, pages 259-346, deals with the duties of the individual and the spiritual meaning of life.”

“Gleanings is a book for meditative study. It is not a book of history and facts, but of love and spiritual power. No one can understand the faith of the thousands of martyred followers of the Bab, unless he catches the spirit of this book. No one can appreciate why thousands of Baha’is give up the comfort of settled homes and move into strange countries to tell the people about Baha’u’llah, unless he clearly glimpses the spirit of this book.”

I think you will like the Tablet of the True Seeker which is in Gleanings...

Here is the link to the Tablet:
Bahá'à Reference Library - Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, Pages 264-270

Here are the last three paragraphs of the Tablet which have a personal significance for me, because I am in the City. I have a story about how I became a Baha’i and what happened after that and more recently, and if you knew it you would understand... Maybe later if you want to hear it.

“How unspeakably glorious are the signs, the tokens, the revelations, and splendors which He, Who is the King of Names and Attributes, hath destined for that City! The attainment unto this City quencheth thirst without water, and kindleth the love of God without fire. Within every blade of grass are enshrined the mysteries of an inscrutable Wisdom, and upon every rose-bush a myriad nightingales pour out, in blissful rapture, their melody. Its wondrous tulips unfold the mystery of the undying Fire in the Burning Bush, and its sweet savors of holiness breathe the perfume of the Messianic Spirit. It bestoweth wealth without gold, and conferreth immortality without death. In each one of its leaves ineffable delights are treasured, and within every chamber unnumbered mysteries lie hidden.

They that valiantly labor in quest of God, will, when once they have renounced all else but Him, be so attached and wedded unto that City, that a moment’s separation from it would to them be unthinkable. They will hearken unto infallible proofs from the Hyacinth of that assembly, and will receive the surest testimonies from the beauty of its Rose, and the melody of its Nightingale. Once in about a thousand years shall this City be renewed and readorned….

That City is none other than the Word of God revealed in every age and dispensation. In the days of Moses it was the Pentateuch; in the days of Jesus, the Gospel; in the days of Muhammad, the Messenger of God, the Qur’án; in this day, the Bayán; and in the Dispensation of Him Whom God will make manifest, His own Book—the Book unto which all the Books of former Dispensations must needs be referred, the Book that standeth amongst them all transcendent and supreme.”

Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp. 269-270
 
Old 09-01-2017, 01:20 AM   #5
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Joined: Oct 2013
From: Glenwood, Queensland, Australia
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Good morning MysticMonist

A truly warm greeting to this forum.

There is a saying - a Baha'i is a mystic with their feet planted firmly on the ground. Or, put another way, the Baha'i way is to be a practical mystic.

This Faith is, as are all the Faiths revealed by God, essentially mystical. Sadly, with the earlier Faiths, over time human interference entered, and they became purveyors of superstition, misinterpretation, literalism and dogma. Yet, the essentials of each of these Faith remains unchanged, the only thing that has changed is how close their practice has remained to the earliest days. Thus, as each became corrupted by human interference, God sends another Messenger to renew the living spirit of His Eternal and Never-Ending Faith. Think of them like the sun - today I called the sun Friday 1 September 2017. Yesterday I called it Thursday 31 August 2017. Tomorrow I will call it Saturday 2 September 2017. In respect of their names, they are each a different sun. And yet, in respect of the position of the sun in the heavens, it is the same sun. Thus, by denying the sun of today, I am automatically denying the sun of yesterday and tomorrow.

This analogy, by the way, is found in Baha'u'llah's The Kitáb-i-Íqán (the Book of Certitude) on page 20 - I have merely worded it according to my own paltry understanding: Kitáb-i-Íqán - The Book of Certitude

With most warm greetings

Romane

Last edited by Romane; 09-01-2017 at 01:36 AM. Reason: fix typo
 
Old 09-01-2017, 03:17 AM   #6
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Welcome!

I'll add an interesting article for you, on the influence on Khalil Gibran's book The Prophet:

The Baha’i Influence on Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet

Best

from

gnat
 
Old 09-01-2017, 07:57 AM   #7
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Posts: 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Romane View Post
Good morning MysticMonist

A truly warm greeting to this forum.

There is a saying - a Baha'i is a mystic with their feet planted firmly on the ground. Or, put another way, the Baha'i way is to be a practical mystic.

This Faith is, as are all the Faiths revealed by God, essentially mystical. Sadly, with the earlier Faiths, over time human interference entered, and they became purveyors of superstition, misinterpretation, literalism and dogma. Yet, the essentials of each of these Faith remains unchanged, the only thing that has changed is how close their practice has remained to the earliest days. Thus, as each became corrupted by human interference, God sends another Messenger to renew the living spirit of His Eternal and Never-Ending Faith. Think of them like the sun - today I called the sun Friday 1 September 2017. Yesterday I called it Thursday 31 August 2017. Tomorrow I will call it Saturday 2 September 2017. In respect of their names, they are each a different sun. And yet, in respect of the position of the sun in the heavens, it is the same sun. Thus, by denying the sun of today, I am automatically denying the sun of yesterday and tomorrow.

This analogy, by the way, is found in Baha'u'llah's The Kitáb-i-Íqán (the Book of Certitude) on page 20 - I have merely worded it according to my own paltry understanding: Kitáb-i-Íqán - The Book of Certitude

With most warm greetings

Romane
Romane, thanks! I started a new thread about your description of practical mysticism.
Practical Mysticism of Baha'i
 
Old 09-02-2017, 04:33 AM   #8
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Joined: May 2017
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Posts: 19
Greetings MysticMonist! I hope the Baha'i Faith will provide you, and everyone of us, with the spiritual gifts to heighten our connection with our Creator and be of good to humanity and those around us!
 
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