Living a chaste an holy life as a Baha'i

Oct 2011
4,213
Quilimari,Chile
#51
It would be a treat were someone to go watch one of her TED talks and then try to engage this topic. Let me use something you said as an example of how this works Bill. You mentioned how you offer someone a stone when you feel they are trying to shame you. It seems simple for you. I could read your solution and feel ashamed of my inability to do the same. Or I could read it and think, he must have great authority and respect within his community to stop a shame spreader so easily. We often have no idea how our words impact others. It is probably an easier task to develop shame resilience, than it is to speak so carefully that we never offend someone else. A part of me feels wholly inadequate to stop some absolutely atrocious behavior of others, frustrated, angry, seething, sit by idly why yet another person is humiliated or say something and wind up taking the abuse for them.

I have witnessed displays of ego and judgment, from long time Baha'is, that look more like the temper tantrum of a 7 year old and no amount of clever comebacks will keep them from their mission of domination including the breaking of laws both Baha'i and civil. They are addicted to being right and no one has the fortitude or patience to put an end to the exact behavior I joined this faith to get away from. The ideal we strive for is one thing, the day to day reality too often something else, at least for me. It is one thing to read, understand, espouse and knock others over the head with the writings, it is quite another to live them!

There is a leadership vacuum, by design I think, in our faith, that psychopathic individuals try to fill with the old style cult of personality nonsense. The Baha'i ideal of consultation is a huge paradigm shift and obviously we are struggling to implement it.

These are very difficult discussions to have, how would one offered your stone not feel ashamed? We all make mistakes and in a culture that so highlights a fall from grace, many of us are just waiting to leap on those who do, thus the title of Brene's book. Daring Greatly. As Baha'is we need to step into the arena, try our best and be Ok with failure and error. Oh don't ignore our mistakes, just hold our heads up and keep on trying no matter what our critics might say. Usually we are our own worst critic.

So I notice you putting some of the pieces together Bill, such as our ability to try to say something that will induce shame in another. Ultimately Baha'u'llah's admonition that shame is our choice is profoundly wise.
Dear Frankly, I see deep thought and knowledge in your response, and yes my example of the stone was a little tongue in cheek, one action I would rarely use, and after using it I would have to embrace the other and explain that maybe their way is not good, as maybe also my response.

We have to strive to live the life, as you say not an easy path, but we are to strive, put in action what we believe to be correct.

And I fully agree with what you say about some, and I repeat some long time Baha'is who still cling to old ideas. But if these people are causing problems then we can appeal to the institutions for guidance, as in the Assembly or the ABM,s, of course this is fraught with problems some times as they may not be up to the task either, so eventually it falls back to the individual, and how mature they/we are, to forget and forgive. And I am sure that I do not have to give quotes on how God, views this action, their is reward yes.

Have taken this path of going to the Institutions myself, even all the way to the UHJ. But I was very satisfied with the eventual outcome, and the wisdom of the advice I received.
And yes learning to work with and from within the institutions is a huge paradigm shift for most of us. But I feel when I look around at different countries we are slowly getting there, of course slowly sometimes too slow for some, but that is the way of the world is it not. Big loving smile.

I feel I must comment on this statement of yours "addicted to being right" yes and upon this idea many of us has fallen, I am sure, in the eyes of God. There are often times when we need to just forget about being right, and see the other person with love and accept that they will never back down, often a hard thing to do.

Loving regards to you.
 
Jul 2014
20
NWT Canada
#52
It seems this is an ancient struggle. Some need to be tyrannical and some are content to follow, some chafe at injustice but wind up creating a new tyranny to beat down the old.

It often feels like it's right back in kindergarten and some big thug just pushed you against the fence. Yet Baha'u'llah found a way to take care of his brother and his family after he tried to kill him! This is the standard, this is the solution, this is a tall order. But one looks around and realizes, nothing else has worked.

Not sure I will ever be good at showing love to those inclined to dominance, I am gonna compromise and spend my energy making sure I don't follow in the exact same footsteps. This seems so common to me, one is abused and then in time becomes an abuser. I see this at play in Israel now. The fruit of resentment.

There was an interesting talk by a professor. His was a simple yet profound conclusion. One might win an argument by using the tools of persuasion, yet losing an argument was actually the greater opportunity. One could learn a new way of looking at something, one's knowledge could expand. He was pushing the idea of not being so attached to winning. One can win an argument and be dead wrong. To me the conclusion is almost irrelevant, it is the nature of the discourse that is most important. A rough and tumble start has not left me overly endowed with a kindly tongue, so it's a struggle all around.
 
Oct 2011
4,213
Quilimari,Chile
#53
It seems this is an ancient struggle. Some need to be tyrannical and some are content to follow, some chafe at injustice but wind up creating a new tyranny to beat down the old.

It often feels like it's right back in kindergarten and some big thug just pushed you against the fence. Yet Baha'u'llah found a way to take care of his brother and his family after he tried to kill him! This is the standard, this is the solution, this is a tall order. But one looks around and realizes, nothing else has worked.

Not sure I will ever be good at showing love to those inclined to dominance, I am gonna compromise and spend my energy making sure I don't follow in the exact same footsteps. This seems so common to me, one is abused and then in time becomes an abuser. I see this at play in Israel now. The fruit of resentment.

There was an interesting talk by a professor. His was a simple yet profound conclusion. One might win an argument by using the tools of persuasion, yet losing an argument was actually the greater opportunity. One could learn a new way of looking at something, one's knowledge could expand. He was pushing the idea of not being so attached to winning. One can win an argument and be dead wrong. To me the conclusion is almost irrelevant, it is the nature of the discourse that is most important. A rough and tumble start has not left me overly endowed with a kindly tongue, so it's a struggle all around.
Dear friend, look to the Master, he was given to us as our example.

And yes it is going to be a hard road of learning a new paradigm of living.

I am one who very much am supportive of people and organisations who wish to put a stop to bullying. And yes the child who is a bully usually goes on to be the same in the workplace also, and yes we see occasional bullies even among Baha'is, but we are shown a different way in the writings.

What we have to learn is how to approach bullying, in a wise manner, to show there can be another way. I feel that as the years roll by, we will see less of this behaviour in the Baha'i's due to wiser and more learned generations, my belief. To meet bullying with force or counter bullying will not be the answer.

Loving regards
 
Aug 2014
8
New Zealand
#54
Dear friends,

There have been certain statements and behaviors on this forum by persons who may or may not be Baha'is, and I thought it would be appropriate to reflect on what the Baha'i teachings have to say about such matters, since this should be the goal of every Baha'i, despite what people may do or say to the contrary.

I would like to start this thread with one of my favorite quotes on the subject:



Naturally these are very high standards that are against many of the current social norms, and require practice, determination, and effort. I think that we are all bound to fall short on occasion, but what is important is get right back up and try again. I also feel that there is a certain obligation we have to the faith in trying to live up to these high standards, and responsibility to Baha'u'llah if we love him and want him to be pleased with us:



For the lover of Baha'u'llah, this should really make us think about the effect our personal actions can have on this cause. Please share any other relevant quotes, thoughts, or reflections you have on the topic of chastity, modesty, and purity here.

Cheers
Thankyou so much Fadl, you're right! It isn't easy at times.
 
Jun 2011
1,543
Somewhere "in this immensity"
#55
Fadl, I am new to the forum and this may seem argumentative but your remark about someone who may or may not be a Baha'i opens an old wound. I signed a card a good while ago. Technically I am a Baha'i on paper. But there are times when my behavior is not that of a Baha'i. There are so many things for me to work on. Sometimes when I hear someone say they are a Baha'i it sounds like the journey is over, mission accomplished, look how awesome I am. I am not saying this applies at all to you Fadl. It's just that I have met many people who behave a lot more like Baha'is could and they aren't. Our staus seems irrelevant to any meaningful conversation about how we connect with each other. It can certainly be painful when we assume since a person is a Baha'i they will treat us with respect and they don't. To me it is a path that I stumble along, I want to be a better Baha'i, say prayers that it goes easier for me.
Hi Frankly,

Thanks for your reply, and I do sympathize with your concerns. To be clear, I am not personally concerned with whether or a not a person has signed a card or not, or whether or not so and so technically or spiritually qualifies as a true Baha'i or not. The only thing I was suggesting is that in an anonymous forum a person may represent his or her self as anything they want, for whatever purposes or motives they have. My simplest most basic test of whether or not someone is a Baha'i in my book is whether or not that person considers his or herself one. However, in a forum someone might deliberately declare themselves something that is insincere. This is the only point I wanted to make. I consider myself a Baha'i. Whether or not I am being sincere in that declaration, I leave to you to decide. Whether or not I am a true Baha'i I leave to God to decide.

Cheers
 
Jul 2014
20
NWT Canada
#56
It can be quite a lot to integrate into a good life. My experience is we make a big deal out of what we do right and that allows us to feel superior, thus forgetting the rules against that and taking us from the main job of focusing on our own shortcomings.

Really struggling lately with this, surrounded by fellow workers who take no care in their work. Lot's of excuses can be made but bottom line, put the blinders on and focus on me.

Somewhat rushed what would really be fun for me it to talk a bit about should. There is a tendency to should all over ourselves, it leads to shame. Our list is so long, truly a bit daunting, more important than how many rules we successfully apply, might be the way we treat others and ourselves when we fail to apply the writings. The old ruler across the knuckles just isn't cutting it any more, oops gotta role. Thanks for your thoughtful posting Fadl,
 

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