Fault finding

Sep 2017
371
Earth
#1
How do we practice the command of not fault finding and only looking at our shortcomings?

If I take this to literally I could harm myself but I cant find the balance..

We are also told to not have fellowship with ungodly people, and to not show kindness to the liar and theif and those with selfish motives as kindness only harms them further. Who am I to know who is ungodly, or who has a selfish motive when I am told to not see the faults of others ?
 
Jul 2017
421
Olympia, WA, USA
#3
A question I have with regard to fault finding is what we should do when a poster on a forum is finding fault with everyone on that forum except of course with the forum owner who he cannot find fault with lest he get banned. So he butters him up. The forum owner is a Christian who believes that he has to act as Jesus would and be kind to this poster who is calling everyone weasels and snakes and dishonest and worse. In my entire life I have never seen anything like this poster, he is the epitome of arrogance. He cannot see any of his own faults because he does not think he has any. You would have to see it to believe it.

Now, if it was just me who thought this way about him I would think maybe I am overreacting, but everyone else I know thinks the same things, so it is not just me. Yet the forum owner allows him to keep saying all these derogatory things about other posters. I cannot help that I finally said something but he only escalates when I say something and show him up for who he is but I do not have to be rude or disrespectful to do that. I just call him out by asking questions he cannot answer because he cannot look at himself, all he can do is talk about other people and how bad they are. It is just one criticism after another. How can people live like this? Everything he accuses other people of doing is exactly what he is doing, it is blatantly obvious to everyone but him. Even the forum owner can see it but he lets it slide. No other forum I have ever posted on would tolerate this kind of rude and insulting behavior towards others.

So I am not going to post to him anymore because the forum owner asked me not to and he asked another poster not to respond to him either. It is as if this poster has taken over the forum and he is ruining it for everyone else. I am sorry but I cannot just ignore this kind of injustice but MORE than anything else I cannot stand to be around this kind of toxicity. Maybe this is what Baha'u'llah meant when He said that we should eschew the company of the ungodly. This is not about beliefs, it is about character. I know lots of nonbelievers who have a great character and they are very respectful.

I guess the only options I have are to try to ignore him and post to other people or to leave the forum. But even when I post to other people he comments on what i posted and uses it to criticize me. But it is not just me he does this to, it is any poster who has stood up to him, even though we were very polite. I guess you could say he is a bully, but that is an understatement.

So my question is, what do you think Abdu'l-Baha would do under these circumstances?
 
Feb 2019
164
Chicago
#4
How do we practice the command of not fault finding and only looking at our shortcomings?

If I take this to literally I could harm myself but I cant find the balance..

We are also told to not have fellowship with ungodly people, and to not show kindness to the liar and theif and those with selfish motives as kindness only harms them further. Who am I to know who is ungodly, or who has a selfish motive when I am told to not see the faults of others ?
Not finding fault with others means not to make the matters worse for ourselves and others by egotistically and emotionally wanting to blame others for their mistakes. We need avoid judgemental attitude. It is the intent in our heart that matters. It is essential to exercise discrimination in our affairs with others and we simply cannot turn a blind eye to other's mistakes especially when they affect us adversely.

We tend to be influenced by the company of the people we keep. For the average person, the environment often times overrules the will power. So it is helpful to seek the company of spiritual people who can motivate each other through personal example. Not finding fault with others does not mean turning a blind eye to unspiritual actions of others that may not help us or even harm us. Without judging other people, we just have to recognize that certain activities of other people could be inconsistent with the moral and spiritual laws and if we are sincere about progressing spiritually, we have no choice but to avoid such activities and even people if necessary. You cannot travel in two boats going in opposite directions at the same time.

Part of growing spiritually involves identifying our own faults and working to eliminate them. It requires honest and unbiased introspection.
 
Likes: Trailblazer
Jul 2017
421
Olympia, WA, USA
#5
Not finding fault with others means not to make the matters worse for ourselves and others by egotistically and emotionally wanting to blame others for their mistakes. We need avoid judgemental attitude. It is the intent in our heart that matters. It is essential to exercise discrimination in our affairs with others and we simply cannot turn a blind eye to other's mistakes especially when they affect us adversely.

We tend to be influenced by the company of the people we keep. For the average person, the environment often times overrules the will power. So it is helpful to seek the company of spiritual people who can motivate each other through personal example. Not finding fault with others does not mean turning a blind eye to unspiritual actions of others that may not help us or even harm us. Without judging other people, we just have to recognize that certain activities of other people could be inconsistent with the moral and spiritual laws and if we are sincere about progressing spiritually, we have no choice but to avoid such activities and even people if necessary. You cannot travel in two boats going in opposite directions at the same time.

Part of growing spiritually involves identifying our own faults and working to eliminate them. It requires honest and unbiased introspection.
I am aware of what you have said and this is what I try to do. For the time being, I am staying away from this person because he has requested I not post to him, but even with that, he posted to the forum owner that I am a liar. I know i did not lie. I might have made a mistake but that is another matter, we all make mistakes.

I am in close communication with the forum owner in private messages so now I know he is aware of the problem and I know why he is handling it as he is. He is a good Christian and I trust he will handle it appropriately. I am not really bothered by criticism or even false accusations as long as I know they are false. All I can do is look at myself and keep my own house in order. I learned that long ago from being in many years of counseling and 12 step programs. We can only change ourselves, we cannot change anyone else, and that is not our responsibility. We can try to help other people who need help and want help but if they have made it clear they do not want our help, we need to walk away.

Recently, I joined the two Christian forums after having been on a predominantly atheist forum for about five years, because I wanted to be around people who believe in God and have spiritual values. Of course that could also be accomplished by being around Baha'is, but I feel it is my job to proclaim the Faith as well as improve my own character, so that is one reason why I spend more time with non-Baha'is. There are other reasons but those are personal.
 
Jul 2017
295
Kettering, Ohio USA
#6
A question I have with regard to fault finding is what we should do when a poster on a forum is finding fault with everyone on that forum except of course with the forum owner who he cannot find fault with lest he get banned. So he butters him up. The forum owner is a Christian who believes that he has to act as Jesus would and be kind to this poster who is calling everyone weasels and snakes and dishonest and worse. In my entire life I have never seen anything like this poster, he is the epitome of arrogance. He cannot see any of his own faults because he does not think he has any. You would have to see it to believe it.

Now, if it was just me who thought this way about him I would think maybe I am overreacting, but everyone else I know thinks the same things, so it is not just me. Yet the forum owner allows him to keep saying all these derogatory things about other posters. I cannot help that I finally said something but he only escalates when I say something and show him up for who he is but I do not have to be rude or disrespectful to do that. I just call him out by asking questions he cannot answer because he cannot look at himself, all he can do is talk about other people and how bad they are. It is just one criticism after another. How can people live like this? Everything he accuses other people of doing is exactly what he is doing, it is blatantly obvious to everyone but him. Even the forum owner can see it but he lets it slide. No other forum I have ever posted on would tolerate this kind of rude and insulting behavior towards others.

So I am not going to post to him anymore because the forum owner asked me not to and he asked another poster not to respond to him either. It is as if this poster has taken over the forum and he is ruining it for everyone else. I am sorry but I cannot just ignore this kind of injustice but MORE than anything else I cannot stand to be around this kind of toxicity. Maybe this is what Baha'u'llah meant when He said that we should eschew the company of the ungodly. This is not about beliefs, it is about character. I know lots of nonbelievers who have a great character and they are very respectful.

I guess the only options I have are to try to ignore him and post to other people or to leave the forum. But even when I post to other people he comments on what i posted and uses it to criticize me. But it is not just me he does this to, it is any poster who has stood up to him, even though we were very polite. I guess you could say he is a bully, but that is an understatement.

So my question is, what do you think Abdu'l-Baha would do under these circumstances?
I think you should put him on ignore and not subject yourself to his abuse. This is a case of not associating with the ungodly.
 
Jul 2017
421
Olympia, WA, USA
#7
I think you should put him on ignore and not subject yourself to his abuse. This is a case of not associating with the ungodly.
Thanks Duane. I like how you can see things so clearly and state them so simply.

I do not have to put him on ignore, because he won't post to me unless I post to him. But he will post about me every chance he gets, if I say something to someone else he can use to criticize me. I just have to not let it bother me, knowing he is the one with the problem because he is criticizing several people and assaulting their character for no reason other than that they said something he does not agree with.

The forum owner is aware of the problem and he is handling it the way he chooses to. I cannot fault him for trying to be kind and giving this man a chance to speak. The rest of us just have to stay out of the way.
 
Feb 2019
164
Chicago
#8
A question I have with regard to fault finding is what we should do when a poster on a forum is finding fault with everyone on that forum except of course with the forum owner who he cannot find fault with lest he get banned. So he butters him up. The forum owner is a Christian who believes that he has to act as Jesus would and be kind to this poster who is calling everyone weasels and snakes and dishonest and worse. In my entire life I have never seen anything like this poster, he is the epitome of arrogance. He cannot see any of his own faults because he does not think he has any. You would have to see it to believe it.

Now, if it was just me who thought this way about him I would think maybe I am overreacting, but everyone else I know thinks the same things, so it is not just me. Yet the forum owner allows him to keep saying all these derogatory things about other posters. I cannot help that I finally said something but he only escalates when I say something and show him up for who he is but I do not have to be rude or disrespectful to do that. I just call him out by asking questions he cannot answer because he cannot look at himself, all he can do is talk about other people and how bad they are. It is just one criticism after another. How can people live like this? Everything he accuses other people of doing is exactly what he is doing, it is blatantly obvious to everyone but him. Even the forum owner can see it but he lets it slide. No other forum I have ever posted on would tolerate this kind of rude and insulting behavior towards others.

So I am not going to post to him anymore because the forum owner asked me not to and he asked another poster not to respond to him either. It is as if this poster has taken over the forum and he is ruining it for everyone else. I am sorry but I cannot just ignore this kind of injustice but MORE than anything else I cannot stand to be around this kind of toxicity. Maybe this is what Baha'u'llah meant when He said that we should eschew the company of the ungodly. This is not about beliefs, it is about character. I know lots of nonbelievers who have a great character and they are very respectful.

I guess the only options I have are to try to ignore him and post to other people or to leave the forum. But even when I post to other people he comments on what i posted and uses it to criticize me. But it is not just me he does this to, it is any poster who has stood up to him, even though we were very polite. I guess you could say he is a bully, but that is an understatement.

So my question is, what do you think Abdu'l-Baha would do under these circumstances?
Abdul Baha would probably pray for this person and remain silent. Since it is a privately owned forum and the owner is acting in a way that does not stop the person who is perceived to be bullying others, not much can be done in my opinion other than pray for a better environment on the forum. You obviously feel very strongly about the situation. It is just an online forum. I wouldn't take it so seriously. The world is full of crazy people. As you rightly said, we cannot fix other people's faults. We can only introspect to identify our craziness and work on it. I don't think it is wise to let another person's craziness affect us emotionally. That's when we start judging other people. If the forum is not important to me and I don't feel welcomed there, I would leave and move on with my life. If the forum is important to me, I would try to reason with this person and if it fails, I would request the forum owner to enforce a civil code of conduct. If that does not work, I would simply ignore the person who is trying to be a bully and if he criticizes me unfairly, I would respectfully present the truth and leave it at that without getting ruffled. Some people get a kick out of emotionally ruffling others. Some cannot help but be rude to others and dominate them. If you present yourself in a kind and polite way, others will see who the bully is and he will lose support on the forum unless there are more people like him who have ganged up against you. "Cronyism" is not unusual on online forums. You will have to figure out why the person is acting the way he is and deal with it accordingly while continuing to pray for this person.

Based on what you have said, it looks like he likes to dominate the forum. In my opinion, it is just an egotistic behavior resulting from lack of humility. That's what happens when the soul that is made in the image of God, out of ignorance of it's true nature, tries to express it's omnipotence through the limited means of the physical body. A spiritually evolved person would realize that the soul can only express it's omnipotence when it is united with God, not when it is identified with the physical body that comes with so many limitations.

I wanted to share a true and interesting story from the life of Alexander the Great when he invaded India. Here you will see the clash between two souls - one identified with the physical body and the other united with God.

Intensely interesting stories have been minutely recorded by Greek historians and others who accompanied or followed after Alexander in his expedition to India. The narratives of Arrian, Diodoros, Plutarch, and Strabo the geographer have been translated by Dr. J. W. M’Crindle3 to throw a shaft of light on ancient India. The most admirable feature of Alexander’s unsuccessful invasion was the deep interest he displayed in Hindu philosophy and in the yogis and holy men whom he encountered from time to time and whose society he eagerly sought. Shortly after the Greek warrior had arrived in Taxila in northern India, he sent a messenger, Onesikritos, a disciple of the Hellenic school of Diogenes, to fetch an Indian teacher, Dandamis, a great sannyasi of Taxila.


“Hail to thee, O teacher of Brahmins!” Onesikritos said after seeking out Dandamis in his forest retreat. “The son of the mighty God Zeus, being Alexander who is the Sovereign Lord of all men, asks you to go to him, and if you comply, he will reward you with great gifts, but if you refuse, he will cut off your head!”


The yogi received this fairly compulsive invitation calmly, and “did not so much as lift up his head from his couch of leaves.”


“I also am a son of Zeus, if Alexander be such,” he commented. “I want nothing that is Alexander’s, for I am content with what I have, while I see that he wanders with his men over sea and land for no advantage, and is never coming to an end of his wanderings.


“Go and tell Alexander that God the Supreme King is never the Author of insolent wrong, but is the Creator of light, of peace, of life, of water, of the body of man and of souls; He receives all men when death sets them free, being in no way subject to evil disease. He alone is the God of my homage, who abhors slaughter and instigates no wars.


“Alexander is no god, since he must taste of death,” continued the sage in quiet scorn. “How can such as he be the world’s master, when he has not yet seated himself on a throne of inner universal dominion? Neither as yet has he entered living into Hades, nor does he know the course of the sun through the central regions of the earth, while the nations on its boundaries have not so much as heard his name!”


After this chastisement, surely the most caustic ever sent to assault the ears of the “Lord of the World,” the sage added ironically, “If Alexander’s present dominions be not capacious enough for his desires, let him cross the Ganges River; there he will find a region able to sustain all his men, if the country on this side be too narrow to hold him.4


“Know this, however, that what Alexander offers and the gifts he promises are things to me utterly useless; the things I prize and find of real use and worth are these leaves which are my house, these blooming plants which supply me with daily food, and the water which is my drink; while all other possessions which are amassed with anxious care are wont to prove ruinous to those who gather them, and cause only sorrow and vexation, with which every poor mortal is fully fraught. As for me, I lie upon the forest leaves, and having nothing which requires guarding, close my eyes in tranquil slumber; whereas had I anything to guard, that would banish sleep. The earth supplies me with everything, even as a mother her child with milk. I go wherever I please, and there are no cares with which I am forced to cumber myself.


“Should Alexander cut off my head, he cannot also destroy my soul. My head alone, then silent, will remain, leaving the body like a torn garment upon the earth, whence also it was taken. I then, becoming Spirit, shall ascend to my God, who enclosed us all in flesh and left us upon earth to prove whether, when here below, we shall live obedient to His ordinances and who also will require of us all, when we depart hence to His presence, an account of our life, since He is Judge of all proud wrongdoing; for the groans of the oppressed become the punishment of the oppressor.


“Let Alexander then terrify with these threats those who wish for wealth and who dread death, for against us these weapons are both alike powerless; the Brahmins neither love gold nor fear death. Go then and tell Alexander this: Dandamis has no need of aught that is yours, and therefore will not go to you, and if you want anything from Dandamis, come you to him.”


With close attention Alexander received through Onesikritos the message from the yogi, and “felt a stronger desire than ever to see Dandamis who, though old and naked, was the only antagonist in whom he, the conqueror of many nations, had met more than his match.”

Alexander succeeded in taking out of India, as his teacher, a true yogi. This man was Swami Sphines, called “Kalanos” by the Greeks because the saint, a devotee of God in the form of Kali, greeted everyone by pronouncing Her auspicious name.


Kalanos accompanied Alexander to Persia. On a stated day, at Susa in Persia, Kalanos gave up his aged body by entering a funeral pyre in view of the whole Macedonian army. The historians record the astonishment of the soldiers who observed that the yogi had no fear of pain or death, and who never once moved from his position as he was consumed in the flames. Before leaving for his cremation, Kalanos had embraced all his close companions, but refrained from bidding farewell to Alexander, to whom the Hindu sage had merely remarked:


“I shall see you shortly in Babylon.”


Alexander left Persia, and died a year later in Babylon. His Indian guru’s words had been his way of saying he would be present with Alexander in life and death.
 
Likes: Trailblazer
Jul 2017
421
Olympia, WA, USA
#9
Abdul Baha would probably pray for this person and remain silent. Since it is a privately owned forum and the owner is acting in a way that does not stop the person who is perceived to be bullying others, not much can be done in my opinion other than pray for a better environment on the forum. You obviously feel very strongly about the situation. It is just an online forum. I wouldn't take it so seriously. The world is full of crazy people. As you rightly said, we cannot fix other people's faults. We can only introspect to identify our craziness and work on it. I don't think it is wise to let another person's craziness affect us emotionally. That's when we start judging other people. If the forum is not important to me and I don't feel welcomed there, I would leave and move on with my life. If the forum is important to me, I would try to reason with this person and if it fails, I would request the forum owner to enforce a civil code of conduct. If that does not work, I would simply ignore the person who is trying to be a bully and if he criticizes me unfairly, I would respectfully present the truth and leave it at that without getting ruffled. Some people get a kick out of emotionally ruffling others. Some cannot help but be rude to others and dominate them. If you present yourself in a kind and polite way, others will see who the bully is and he will lose support on the forum unless there are more people like him who have ganged up against you. "Cronyism" is not unusual on online forums. You will have to figure out why the person is acting the way he is and deal with it accordingly while continuing to pray for this person.

Based on what you have said, it looks like he likes to dominate the forum. In my opinion, it is just an egotistic behavior resulting from lack of humility. That's what happens when the soul that is made in the image of God, out of ignorance of it's true nature, tries to express it's omnipotence through the limited means of the physical body. A spiritually evolved person would realize that the soul can only express it's omnipotence when it is united with God, not when it is identified with the physical body that comes with so many limitations.

I wanted to share a true and interesting story from the life of Alexander the Great when he invaded India. Here you will see the clash between two souls - one identified with the physical body and the other united with God.

Intensely interesting stories have been minutely recorded by Greek historians and others who accompanied or followed after Alexander in his expedition to India. The narratives of Arrian, Diodoros, Plutarch, and Strabo the geographer have been translated by Dr. J. W. M’Crindle3 to throw a shaft of light on ancient India. The most admirable feature of Alexander’s unsuccessful invasion was the deep interest he displayed in Hindu philosophy and in the yogis and holy men whom he encountered from time to time and whose society he eagerly sought. Shortly after the Greek warrior had arrived in Taxila in northern India, he sent a messenger, Onesikritos, a disciple of the Hellenic school of Diogenes, to fetch an Indian teacher, Dandamis, a great sannyasi of Taxila.


“Hail to thee, O teacher of Brahmins!” Onesikritos said after seeking out Dandamis in his forest retreat. “The son of the mighty God Zeus, being Alexander who is the Sovereign Lord of all men, asks you to go to him, and if you comply, he will reward you with great gifts, but if you refuse, he will cut off your head!”


The yogi received this fairly compulsive invitation calmly, and “did not so much as lift up his head from his couch of leaves.”


“I also am a son of Zeus, if Alexander be such,” he commented. “I want nothing that is Alexander’s, for I am content with what I have, while I see that he wanders with his men over sea and land for no advantage, and is never coming to an end of his wanderings.


“Go and tell Alexander that God the Supreme King is never the Author of insolent wrong, but is the Creator of light, of peace, of life, of water, of the body of man and of souls; He receives all men when death sets them free, being in no way subject to evil disease. He alone is the God of my homage, who abhors slaughter and instigates no wars.


“Alexander is no god, since he must taste of death,” continued the sage in quiet scorn. “How can such as he be the world’s master, when he has not yet seated himself on a throne of inner universal dominion? Neither as yet has he entered living into Hades, nor does he know the course of the sun through the central regions of the earth, while the nations on its boundaries have not so much as heard his name!”


After this chastisement, surely the most caustic ever sent to assault the ears of the “Lord of the World,” the sage added ironically, “If Alexander’s present dominions be not capacious enough for his desires, let him cross the Ganges River; there he will find a region able to sustain all his men, if the country on this side be too narrow to hold him.4


“Know this, however, that what Alexander offers and the gifts he promises are things to me utterly useless; the things I prize and find of real use and worth are these leaves which are my house, these blooming plants which supply me with daily food, and the water which is my drink; while all other possessions which are amassed with anxious care are wont to prove ruinous to those who gather them, and cause only sorrow and vexation, with which every poor mortal is fully fraught. As for me, I lie upon the forest leaves, and having nothing which requires guarding, close my eyes in tranquil slumber; whereas had I anything to guard, that would banish sleep. The earth supplies me with everything, even as a mother her child with milk. I go wherever I please, and there are no cares with which I am forced to cumber myself.


“Should Alexander cut off my head, he cannot also destroy my soul. My head alone, then silent, will remain, leaving the body like a torn garment upon the earth, whence also it was taken. I then, becoming Spirit, shall ascend to my God, who enclosed us all in flesh and left us upon earth to prove whether, when here below, we shall live obedient to His ordinances and who also will require of us all, when we depart hence to His presence, an account of our life, since He is Judge of all proud wrongdoing; for the groans of the oppressed become the punishment of the oppressor.


“Let Alexander then terrify with these threats those who wish for wealth and who dread death, for against us these weapons are both alike powerless; the Brahmins neither love gold nor fear death. Go then and tell Alexander this: Dandamis has no need of aught that is yours, and therefore will not go to you, and if you want anything from Dandamis, come you to him.”


With close attention Alexander received through Onesikritos the message from the yogi, and “felt a stronger desire than ever to see Dandamis who, though old and naked, was the only antagonist in whom he, the conqueror of many nations, had met more than his match.”

Alexander succeeded in taking out of India, as his teacher, a true yogi. This man was Swami Sphines, called “Kalanos” by the Greeks because the saint, a devotee of God in the form of Kali, greeted everyone by pronouncing Her auspicious name.


Kalanos accompanied Alexander to Persia. On a stated day, at Susa in Persia, Kalanos gave up his aged body by entering a funeral pyre in view of the whole Macedonian army. The historians record the astonishment of the soldiers who observed that the yogi had no fear of pain or death, and who never once moved from his position as he was consumed in the flames. Before leaving for his cremation, Kalanos had embraced all his close companions, but refrained from bidding farewell to Alexander, to whom the Hindu sage had merely remarked:


“I shall see you shortly in Babylon.”


Alexander left Persia, and died a year later in Babylon. His Indian guru’s words had been his way of saying he would be present with Alexander in life and death.
Thanks for the advice and the story. I should probably pray for him but I do not have it in me, but I am keeping silent.

The dissension has died down on that forum, but this poster is still hurling insults at everyone he does not like, telling them he does not want any comments on his new thread. So basically he is just on a soapbox against religious beliefs of any kind. I do not even read his threads, they are so long. He has no coherent arguments, he just vents, and I don’t think anybody reads his posts. This poster does not have much support, except the protection he gets from the Christian forum owner. Now one of my atheist friends has come back to the forum so this poster was digging at him, but my friend is too smart to buy into it, so he just ignores this poster, since he already went down this road in the past.

It is no big deal to me, I just ignore him and he usually leaves me alone. I try to stick with serious subjects on this forum and that is why I am there, as well as to make friends with those who are amiable towards me.
 
Dec 2012
199
Earth
#10
Greetings Yousefy2,

You wrote:

How do we practice the command of not fault finding and only looking at our shortcomings?
A great question.

Here is an audio on this matter from the late Napoleon Hill. He was chosen to examine the subject of success by Andrew Carnegie. Carnegie was once the richest person in the world. He also had the privilege to meet 'Abdu'l-Bahá.

Some human wisdom never goes out of date.


Earth

PS. If you are interested in Andrew Carnegie's meeting with 'Abdu'l-Bahá, David Langness has nicely summarised it here Abdu’l-Baha’s Advice to Andrew Carnegie
 
Likes: tonyfish58

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