Occultism

Jul 2015
75
Berlin, Germany
#11
So Bahai apparently accepts Christ, accepts Christianity and tells Christians to leave their churches to follow Bahai? It accepts Judaism but tells Jews to leave their synagogues? In effect to turn their backs on everything that they are, all their heritage, and walk away?

And that is supposed to be acceptance leading to world peace?

Yeah, no. Massive acceptance fail.

When I meet a Jew I accept who he or she is, and I make no attempt whatever to persuade them to leave the synagogue. I might ask permission to visit the synagogue with them but I would not want them to leave it. Acceptance means valuing the person as they are, not as they might be if only they were different.
Look, Baha'is do not ask believers of others faiths to abandon their faith anymore than many Christians do it, often even less so.

I can't speak for all Baha'is, of course, so this is just my view:

To my knowledge, active or aggressive prozelytization is even forbidden in the Baha'i scriptures -- unlike teaching the faith to those who are interested and want to listen, or ask for it. We just offer our faith, but don't force or push anyone to join it.

I've met Christians who hate Jews, who quoted verses from John claiming Jesus said "Jews actually worship the devil", and justified their hatred against Jews by claiming "they killed Jesus". It's easy to find Muslims who hate Jews for various reasons, and they too are quick quoting some verse from Quran. I believe they are misinterpreting these verses.

But the Baha'i scriptures explicitly command us to meet believers of other religions with utmost politeness, friendship and peace, and fanaticism and religious prejudice are explicitly condemned. Now of course we're fallible as all other humans too and don't always meet our own standards, but it's next to impossible to twist our scripture to find a justification for enmity towards people of a different faith.

Sometimes, I have Jehova's Witnesses over and we have great spiritual talks, but I don't attempt to convert them. When I disagree, I do so in a friendly manner. When they ask, I gladly offer explanations about my faith to the best of my knowledge. Nice chats and talks and great respect for each other.

It's totally okay when they don't feel interested in the Baha'i faith, or are not convinced. But if they do, if they learn about Baha'u'llah and are convinced He is a manifestation of God at some point -- sure, then it wouldn't make sense if they stayed with their old church or faith which rejects this claim. But nobody is pushing them. It's entirely their decision. I don't retract my hospitality towards them when they don't.
 
Jun 2014
1,080
Wisconsin
#12
What is your view of occultism, freemasonry, tarot cards, psychics, LaVeyanism, etcetera?
As a religion geek?? Fascinating stuff!! Right now I'm writing a role-playing game setting that borrows heavily from the Christian "magic" found in the medieval era (Key of Solomon, that kind of thing).

I do like the allure of those "occult" faiths, often concealing hidden wisdom in their odd ways of looking at things, or just unusual or interesting beliefs. I used to identify as a Mystic Christian, spending time with those sects that looked for deep, hidden, and secretive meanings in Christian Scripture.

The one thing I don't like about it all, though, is the secrecy. Mystic/Occult sects often jealously guard their knowledge and wisdom, instead of freely disseminating it in a way that would be helpful for the world at large. Ultimately, I get why they do this. In order to survive some of Christianity's more intolerant history, had to conceal their more heterodox beliefs. But, in this modern day, there is no reason to hide their insights on scripture in such a way, other than it being the way they've always done it.

Now for specifics:
Very nice organization, well knit, friendly, helpful and the like. Pretty much all their religious beliefs are open and public, and these days they're really not much at all about secrecy.

Tarot Cards are typically sold by the same people who sell my ancestor's alphabet as if it was magical spells. If it had any validity, I think commercialism and popularity has stripped away any person who actually knew the truth of it.

Eh. I mean, the Faith does teach the reality of Seers, and some of the prophecies and miracles of the Bab, Baha'u'llah, Abdul-Baha and the like could be called "psychic", but, again, due to the popularity of psychics, I doubt the majority of people in the psychic business have any legitimacy as Seers.

Christian Pilgrim said:
Christians are warned in the strongest possible terms to have nothing to do with the occult. It is dabbling in areas where demonic presence and influence is likely to be heightened, and is very unsafe indeed. Tarot, ouijii, even to the level of fortune tellers at the seaside and horoscopes; all are regarded as outside what is acceptable.
Uhhhh, sorry to go all religion geek on you, but I'm not sure you're very much aware of Christian theological history. Christians being warned against magic is a more recent phenomenon, historically speaking. For the majority of Christian history, Christianity acknowledged TWO types of occultism, Goetia, which is evil magic that invokes demons and the like, and Theurgy, which makes use of God-revealed prayers, rites, and rituals to work "magic", healing and casting out demons as Jesus commanded.
 
May 2013
1,786
forest falls california
#13
The Beatles

I do like the allure of those "occult" faiths, often concealing hidden wisdom in their odd ways of looking at things, or just unusual or interesting beliefs. I used to identify as a Mystic Christian, spending time with those sects that looked for deep, hidden, and secretive meanings in Christian Scripture.
.
. . . so... like in the sixties, you used to play Beatles records backwards, right??

"Paul is dead" and all that...

Yup! "I am the Walrus"

Coo coo cachoo... ;-)
 
Mar 2013
520
_
#14
. . . so... like in the sixties, you used to play Beatles records backwards, right??

"Paul is dead" and all that...

Yup! "I am the Walrus"

Coo coo cachoo... ;-)
The problem with having been involved in the occult, or western mystery traditions, is that you do need to have a thick skin, and a good sense of humor, because you will get comments like that. :)

A bigger problem is frankly, you can lose your mind, lose your focus, going after the elusive result, especially if we're discussing things like thaumaturgy or theurgy and not simple meditative practices. One of the men men who founded Jet Propulsion Labs, Jack Parsons (yes, these folks: NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory | Home ), for instance, was a follower of Crowley. Despite all he knew of physics and chemistry, he died, quite possibly from ritual work or alchemy attempts, there are many theories).

I have known people in the work who were as gifted a scholar as anyone on "the outside." I have known complete amoral nutcases, and a lot of people in between. So in that regard it's like any group of people, even this little forum. And contrary to what Pax may think, one of my fraters in an extremely hidden group, was a Episcopalian deacon.

It is so wrapped up on the degree systems, the secrecy, and so self-damned with this notion of superiority, as well as all too often restricting access to its information to women, that I doubt seriously that it is fixable. I do miss the fraternal aspects. I don't mind saying I do not experience that kind of camaraderie I once felt.
 
Aug 2014
1,369
Blue Planet
#15
. . . so... like in the sixties, you used to play Beatles records backwards, right??

"Paul is dead" and all that...

Yup! "I am the Walrus"

Coo coo cachoo... ;-)
talking about playing a song backwards I should say that 4 years ago for a while I got familiar with an occult movement in Iran called Irfan Halghe (Knowledge of the Ring). it is getting really really popular in Iran these days even though it is a forbidden movement and the head of it (although he was a nice man) is in prison waiting to be hanged (sadly). on those days I was told that in almost all songs there are Satanic messages which can only be understood if we listen to them backwards. and i did, and I could only hear nonsense but when the woman (my guide) was listening to the same song backwards she said she could hear the name of the head of Jinnis and something like "kill your parents" or "Satan is God"! it was so horrible that i was really going to lose my mind-so frightening I don't even like to remember those nonsense occult things again!
 
Likes: Yousefy2
Mar 2013
520
_
#16
If you play back Wierd Al Yankovic's "I remember Larry" backwards, you can hear him say "Wow, you must really have a lot of time on your hands!"
 
Oct 2014
1,797
Stockholm
#17
I got familiar with an occult movement in Iran called Irfan Halghe (Knowledge of the Ring). it is getting really really popular in Iran these days even though it is a forbidden movement and the head of it (although he was a nice man) is in prison waiting to be hanged (sadly).
I looked up the case. Yes, he has been sentenced to death for “spreading corruption on earth” through “diverting people.” Quite a broad accusation, I'd say: it could apply to absolutely anyone.

gnat
 
Jul 2011
1,747
n ireland
#18
The word "occult" simply means hidden and as a word it has come to be misused widely. In its purest sense, we are all involved in occult matters when we worship as so much of God is hidden. Occult therefore is a mystery and not an evil.
 
Jun 2014
1,080
Wisconsin
#19
The word "occult" simply means hidden and as a word it has come to be misused widely. In its purest sense, we are all involved in occult matters when we worship as so much of God is hidden. Occult therefore is a mystery and not an evil.
After all, the Mahdi was in Occultation until the advent of the Bab.
 
May 2014
20
Southeastern US
#20
I have nothing against Freemasons, although as Baha'is, we're prohibited from becoming Freemasons.
Tarot cards and psychics I don't care much about (they are both frivolous).
LaVeyanism is quasi-Satanic, so I can't really support that.