Newbie...ish

#1
Salaam,

I am foremost a Shia Muslim from the Western world, I've always been syncretic and a mystic at heart.
My knowledge of Baha'i has still got much to grow but I guess that's why I'm here!

I've heard various things from different aspects of the religion (from both followers and ex-followers) but haven't gotten a complete grasp despite liking the basic tenants of the Baha'i Faith.

Quick bio:

I grew up a Christian
Became an atheist (and quite anti-religion) in my mid-teens
Became interested in mysticism and the occult in my late teens - leading to becoming a Thelemite (where I had my first true revelation of God) for several years (which is a syncretic Magic-based religion/system)
Gradually started to move away from Thelema as I felt a pull from both polar directions of Hinduism and Islam.

(I've also studied Blavatsky's Theosophy and Gurdjieff in the past too)

I'm currently in a position where I identify myself as a Shia Muslim (an independent Ismaili to be specific - I guess I'm somewhat of a " heterodox Sufi' " but I don't want to get too carried away with labels) but I have a passion (and deep resonance with) Sanatan Dharma, Zoroastrianism, Platonism, Jewish Kabbalah, Gnosticism/Hermeticism and ancient Maya.


So naturally, you could probably see why I might have a fascination with Baha'i (yet with no clear opinions or beliefs about it yet). In the past, I have spent some time with some of the sacred texts attributed to Bahaullah but can't say (for instance) that I yet have a firm grasp of Kitab-i-Aqdas yet.


Cheers,
HakimPtsid
 
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Likes: Walrus
Sep 2010
4,522
Earth
#2
Welcome HakimPtsid, it is great to have you here. You have had an amazing journey. Look forward to a chat or two.

I became a Baha'i in 1984 while not practicing any prior faith.

Regards Tony
 
Likes: HakimPtsid
Sep 2017
371
Earth
#3
Amazing ! I really love mysticism and remember researching about Thelma when in my search as well as the concept of dharma and the rest.

I am intrigued, also who is that a picture of in your profile picture ? Can I ask you what’s your experience was?

I also had one experience which led to me thoroughly research Bahá’u’lláh .. I read the Bhagavad Gita and was convinced of the spirit of truth in what I was reading but I was confused why Krishna or any other great Prophet was not around anymore, the world seemed to me in a great need of guidance and I was confused, it was late at night one night 2am and I was pleading for help and guidance and truth. That is when my soul was inspired to remember about reading about Bahá’u’lláh a while back who claimed to be the messenger of God for today!
 
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Jun 2014
1,081
Wisconsin
#4
I guess I'm somewhat of a " heterodox Sufi' " but I don't want to get too carried away with labels)
So I'm guessing something like identifying with Sufi teachings but working outside the formal teacher-student chain of the Sufi orders?

but I have a passion (and deep resonance with) Sanatan Dharma, Zoroastrianism, Platonism, Jewish Kabbalah, Gnosticism/Hermeticism and ancient Maya.
A little known fact, even among some Baha'is, but Baha'u'llah confirmed the prophethood of Hermes and quoted and elaborated on some of the Hermetic texts. :p I also came from a Hermetic background, though I didn't know much about Kabbalah until recently.

So naturally, you could probably see why I might have a fascination with Baha'i (yet with no clear opinions or beliefs about it yet). In the past, I have spent some time with some of the sacred texts attributed to Bahaullah but can't say (for instance) that I yet have a firm grasp of Kitab-i-Aqdas yet.
With a Sufi background in mind, I'd recommend the books Seven Valleys (especially if you're familiar with Farid ud-Din Attar) and the Hidden Words if you haven't read them already, which both touch on Sufi themes and mysticism. Though I recommend Seven Valleys all the time, so I might be a little biased. :p
 
Likes: HakimPtsid
#5
Amazing ! I really love mysticism and remember researching about Thelema when in my search as well as the concept of dharma and the rest.

I am intrigued, also who is that a picture of in your profile picture ?
Ibn Arabi - a significant Sufi and writer of various excellent pieces of Islamic Mystic Literature, who also had a very intriguing life. He was a Sunni (I have a little bit of a disdain for Sunnis but that's another topic) but that doesn't change my appreciation of his life and work. He had many incredible mystical experiences and formulated his own Gnostic conceptions of Islamic Doctrine, from his experiences.

Can I ask you what’s your experience was?
With Thelema, I presume?
Well, reading Crowley and practicing various of his rituals was quite a mysterious and liberating thing at first but I gradually got more drawn into metaphysical and theological fascination (which modern Thelema tends to flee from). The cosmology of Thelema (which mirrors several things) being: Nuit (Brahman), Hadit (Atman) and Ra-Hoor-Khuit (deity) - completely transformed the way I envisioned God and caused me to reject both atheism (+ neutral agnosticism) and drop materialism.
The concept of God in Thelema, is (having explored Sanatan Dharma and connected with it, is similar) threefold: Nuit; the universe - Hadit; the atomic point - Ra-Hoor-Khuit; the ego-based image of the godhead. Basically the idea is that God is manifest in creation, yet beyond it but our consciousness is a beacon for it in the microcosm. In Thelema (just like Hinduism), deities therefore become symbols or images that are used to connect with the divine. We are therefore connecting with God, which is both in us and beyond the universe.
The core doctrine of Thelema is "Will", which is interpreted in several ways but in general is the idea of the individual causing non-direct change in the universe by tapping into the stream of 'energy' (so to speak) that appears to us (in Jungian terms) as Synchronicity.
There is also another focal point (which can be contentiously debated) of the Holy Guardian Angel - which is (depending on the person you speak to) either an entity that is beyond you, which has a greater knowledge over your life, or a 'higher self'.

I also had one experience which led to me thoroughly research Bahá’u’lláh .. I read the Bhagavad Gita and was convinced of the spirit of truth in what I was reading but I was confused why Krishna or any other great Prophet was not around anymore, the world seemed to me in a great need of guidance and I was confused, it was late at night one night 2am and I was pleading for help and guidance and truth. That is when my soul was inspired to remember about reading about Bahá’u’lláh a while back who claimed to be the messenger of God for today!
The Bhagavad Gita is fantastic (albeit only a tiny piece of Mahabharata) the chapter where Krishna reveals the overwhelming immensity Brahman to Arjuna is a great favorite of mine. The Upanishads are my favorite area of reflection though. There are so many of them and most English books only have collections from them but many Upanishads really reflect the ineffable, incomprehensible totality of what we can philosophically contemplate and experience with, about and of God. It's hard to make sense of, in a good way. The Quran especially (and certain Ahadith) captures this in areas.
 
Likes: Yousefy2
#6
So I'm guessing something like identifying with Sufi teachings but working outside the formal teacher-student chain of the Sufi orders?
Somewhat, but the idea of Sufism itself is always up to contentious debate (despite that a large majority of Sufi's come from Sunni background, Sunni's themselves happen to have the most reactionary attitudes towards mysticism :oops: )

Basically, in practice and in philosophy, I am a mystic. The word Sufi itself is more of a modern thing and there is the famous saying "he who calls himself a sufi is not a sufi". Sufi's always trace their practices back to Ali, like us Shi'ites trace ourselves to Imam Ali.
To put things as straight forward - I'm a Shi'ite Muslim (correlating with the Ismaili Sect) with several heterodox beliefs and practices (which, whether I'm Hatal or not is between Allah and me), sometimes involving attaining altered states of consciousness. Many Sunni's would completely shun me and call me 'not a true Muslim' because of my skepticism towards certain aspects of orthodox Islamic ethical law (I'm more so-called "progressive" on certain things) but I wholeheartedly attest to the core doctrines of Shia Islam.
Its out of convenience to call that a Sufi then to explain all of the intricacies.

A little known fact, even among some Baha'is, but Baha'u'llah confirmed the prophethood of Hermes and quoted and elaborated on some of the Hermetic texts. :p I also came from a Hermetic background, though I didn't know much about Kabbalah until recently.
Hmm, that's fascinating. Before I had my revelation about God, I read the Corpus Hermeticum and was turned off by it's speak of God within it's philosophical, existential and theological framework but after my revelation, got far more out of the text(s). "As Above, So Below" is a principle I hold dearly to. It is true on so many levels. Hermeticism is a good stepping stone into Platonism and Hindu philosophy too!
Kabbalah is a complex (and highly interesting) subject, both Jewish, Christian and Hermetic! The amazing thing about it, is that it comes to the same conclusions as regular Hermeticism, Hindusim, Platonism, Gnosticism, Thelema and so forth.

With a Sufi background in mind, I'd recommend the books Seven Valleys (especially if you're familiar with Farid ud-Din Attar) and the Hidden Words if you haven't read them already, which both touch on Sufi themes and mysticism. Though I recommend Seven Valleys all the time, so I might be a little biased. :p
Thanks for your recommendations, I will be reading them through for sure (I actually found Seven Valleys yesterday after seeing it mentioned in a thread) :D
 
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