Before we were born....

Aug 2014
1,418
Blue Planet
I was reading a book today about a near death experience a woman had. this is an old and very famous book. In the book, she says that during her experience, when she went to the world of spirit, she was told that those who are born into the physical world, choose so by their free will; they're courageous souls that choose to attend the university of the world to fulfill their duty.

This, to me, seemed to be in contrast with the Baha'i teachings about pre-existence. So, I decided to take another look at the teachings, this time more carefully, to see what we have about the nature of the soul.

It is said that the soul is "given" to the person at the time of conception. The concept of something being given to someone means that the thing which is given, had existed before being given. I also found another saying by Bahaullah which is interesting. It's originally in Persian; I'll share my own translation with you, "all the sublime realities and the souls of the near ones who are circling around the center, ask to be born with the visible cloak in the human body to the physical world so that they can help the cause of God."

The above lines are REALLY interesting to me. I don't think the souls of the near ones refer to the souls of the manifestations, because the title "near ones of God" is used in many places (say in seven valleys) to describe those people who have gained great purification and detachment and holy attributes.

Does it sound too impossible if we think that all the people who are born into this world, had been the "near souls circling around the center" ? since the soul is not "created" at the time of conception.

If we consider the above theory as a possibility, it can explain the meaning of the world of Zar in Islamic teachings and in the teachings of the Bab. The Bab (and Muslims) believe that somewhere in eternity, before being born, God asked us "Am I your God?" and we all said "Yes" but afterwards, we forgot.

What's your ideas? I know that on the first glance, it seems impossible and illogical, but what if we consider it more????
 
Aug 2014
1,418
Blue Planet
What do I know? I can only repeat what my oldest daughter told me: that she chose me and my wife as parents.

gnat

My youngest uncle remembers the same kind of stuff! it's interesting. I am looking for evidence from Baha'i scripture to support this idea. If this can be proved at being true, we can tolerate every difficulty in this life, much easier.
 
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Jun 2014
1,120
Wisconsin
I was reading a book today about a near death experience a woman had. this is an old and very famous book. In the book, she says that during her experience, when she went to the world of spirit, she was told that those who are born into the physical world, choose so by their free will; they're courageous souls that choose to attend the university of the world to fulfill their duty.

This, to me, seemed to be in contrast with the Baha'i teachings about pre-existence. So, I decided to take another look at the teachings, this time more carefully, to see what we have about the nature of the soul.

It is said that the soul is "given" to the person at the time of conception. The concept of something being given to someone means that the thing which is given, had existed before being given. I also found another saying by Bahaullah which is interesting. It's originally in Persian; I'll share my own translation with you, "all the sublime realities and the souls of the near ones who are circling around the center, ask to be born with the visible cloak in the human body to the physical world so that they can help the cause of God."

The above lines are REALLY interesting to me. I don't think the souls of the near ones refer to the souls of the manifestations, because the title "near ones of God" is used in many places (say in seven valleys) to describe those people who have gained great purification and detachment and holy attributes.

Does it sound too impossible if we think that all the people who are born into this world, had been the "near souls circling around the center" ? since the soul is not "created" at the time of conception.

If we consider the above theory as a possibility, it can explain the meaning of the world of Zar in Islamic teachings and in the teachings of the Bab. The Bab (and Muslims) believe that somewhere in eternity, before being born, God asked us "Am I your God?" and we all said "Yes" but afterwards, we forgot.

What's your ideas? I know that on the first glance, it seems impossible and illogical, but what if we consider it more????
This is all very fascinating (I love metaphysics), and I regret lacking the knowledge of languages to investigate it further. I don't know of any English-translated Scripture that elaborates on this. Are you able to give any of the Bab's quotes about Zar?? I can't even find English-language Muslim sources explaining that topic in more detail, though it is fascinating.
 
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Aug 2014
1,418
Blue Planet
This is all very fascinating (I love metaphysics), and I regret lacking the knowledge of languages to investigate it further. I don't know of any English-translated Scripture that elaborates on this. Are you able to give any of the Bab's quotes about Zar?? I can't even find English-language Muslim sources explaining that topic in more detail, though it is fascinating.
sure Walrus. I'll find those lines in the Persian Bayan and send them here for you :)
 
Nov 2015
153
Canada
now what if "coming into being" is different from "being created"?
I agree with this completely. It is as though we're a droplet of water and God is the ocean.

If I were to get technical with this, my experiences in Jewish Kabbalah lend a pretty good hand here. There are various degrees of soul (Abdu'l-Baha also touched in a way that sort of links with what Kabbalah has taught me actually here)

We have Yechida, the part of us which is intimately and directly connected to God, responsible for our very existence in the first place. I assume that at this level everyone has always existed.
Then there is Chaya, which is one aspect that makes up our mind - Our ego primarily is related to this. Our sense of self, an aspect that builds upon Yechida shaping us further.
Following Chaya is Neshama - our intellect. Our ability to discover as Abdu'l-Baha had put it I believe. This is also one thing that sets our souls apart from that of say, a dog or a bug.
Then there is Ru'ach, the emotive aspect of our mind. I'm not 100% on this but I believe our memories are related to this aspect. In the Bible Ru'ach is taken and given by God, even when an animal dies. God simply 'takes back' their Ru'ach - In Kabbalah this is grounds for animals having a soul after death, albeit less advanced than us.

And then finally, there is Nefesh. Nefesh is the force that animates your body. Your bodily life force and ability to physically command your body. This part of the soul obviously cannot exist without a body, and thus lives and dies with the body. Nefesh is possessed even of plants! Myself and I'd imagine some Hindus would ascribe this aspect even to seemingly inanimate things like rocks. And, by extension, is this not what truly defines one as human - The wielding of a human form? To me, the part of the soul that actually marks us as human is this, as it's what connects us to our physical form. So the Guardian is perfectly right to say that the human soul comes into being at conception - your nefesh begins there, I'd imagine. But it is also not untrue that the soul pre-exists conception, just in a different manner from this point of view.
 
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Jul 2017
342
Kettering, Ohio USA
now what if "coming into being" is different from "being created"?
One could, I suppose say that coming into being is development from a very low state into a higher state. It could be a secondary meaning to the passage while at the same time saying the obvious literal meaning. But this is someone saying this on behalf of the Guardian, so perhaps we shouldn't assign multiple meanings but just take the outward literal meaning.
 
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Aug 2014
1,418
Blue Planet
That was interesting info Saveyist. I'd like to consider it more carefully and see if I can find equivalence in the Bahai teachings in detail. Thank you for your answer.