Ruhi available as free PDF's

Jul 2011
1,747
n ireland
#61
Most definitely Not a catechism!!

And the facilitor is a kind of chair person to keep people from turning it into a chat session, going off on tangents, as people are prone to do.

Most definitely not a trace of a shadow of any kind of a priest figure. That is pure fiction!!
For many, I being one, the fact that we have no priests or clerics of any description, is one of the great attractions of the Faith
 
Jan 2014
53
Here
#62
As I have heard it, and correct me if I am wrong, please (this may very by locality), but certain responsibilities, etc, are not going to come one's way unless they complete Ruhi now. I have been told this on more than one occasion. If that's is even remotely true, than yes, Ruhi has gone far beyond its basic premise and is coming something of a catechism mechanism.

I'm not into that. I suspect that has limited my involvement with the local community somewhat. Again, the way it was done here, may be outside the norm, but I only can say what I know. I will not go into details as I would not want to inadvertently engage in calumny.
I have the same experience here, so no it's not just your area. I did books one and two, after immense consistent pressure to do the books and suggestions they are necessary in order to take on certain roles. I have since refused to do any more, they don't sit well with me, and I never liked the way I was told I could not read the books in advance of the study circles or independently of a tutor. I got hold of the books anyway and did exactly that, then did the first two with a tutor as well. From that experience I have chosen to not engage in further study circles centred around Ruhi books.

Some people find them very helpful, but study using the Ruhi books seems to be gaining more and more importance and I am not sure I am comfortable with that. That's just me though.
 
Sep 2011
190
Russia
#63
Grace, I guess you will agree that much of success of the study circle depends on tutor. Maybe you got mismatched with your tutor.
 
May 2013
1,786
forest falls california
#64
Priests Need Not Apply

For many, I being one, the fact that we have no priests or clerics of any description, is one of the great attractions of the Faith
Absolutely concur with that statement. The personality characteristics of a hierarchical order of priesthood and the institutions which revolve around it are defunct remnants of archaic phases of religious development and propagation, whose means and methods are no longer suitable and applicable to the needs of the present age.

We are best served by education, equality, and shared responsibilities. The virtues of service and the recognition of the station of servitude as the manifestation of the love of God elevates the the "last" to "first" in the New World Order of Baha'u'llah, totally without resort to priestly figures of authority and presumptions of special knowledge and appointments.
 
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Aug 2015
380
Europe
#65
Only in the context of the class.

And if I prepare materials, enroll students and teach a class about basket weaving, or the Arabic language, or photography, or my understanding of the mystery of "the “Six” raised up by virtue of this “Upright Alif” " in the Kitab-i-Aqdas, then I am the authority in the context of that classroom. That does not mean I am a cleric and an authority in any broader sense.
If I were to take your class, then you would be such an authority for me.

Because in such a class, the two of us are not having a discussion, we are not equals there. As a tutor, you have incomparably more power than I.
You talk, I'm supposed to listen and comply.

Moreover, my future in the Baha'i faith depends on obtaining the approval of a tutor.

So, yes, a tutor or a facilitator is an authority figure, however much you deny it.


Some people find the Ruhi process valuable and effective in inspiring them to study the Baha'i teachings to a greater depth and to arise in service. And so they engage in it.
Possibly because many people prefer an authoritarian process, whether they know it or not, whether they admit it or not.


The Baha'i Faith is very different from certain other faiths, we are united in our religious obedience to the Baha'i Covenant which today means obedience to the elected Baha'i administration culminating in the Universal House of Justice. Our unity is not through adherence to any official authority of interpretation today but rather to the doctrines in the texts of Baha'u'llah, Abdu'l-Baha and the interpretations of the former two written by Shoghi Effendi.
Translated into actual practice, this makes for exactly the same kind of authoritarian hierarchy as in so many other religions.

"Adherence to the doctrines in the foundational texts" -- many religions say that.

Even guru-centric religions say such things, as they believe that the guru _is_ adhering to the doctrines in the foundational texts.
 
Aug 2015
380
Europe
#66
Absolutely concur with that statement. The personality characteristics of a hierarchical order of priesthood and the institutions which revolve around it are defunct remnants of archaic phases of religious development and propagation, whose means and methods are no longer suitable and applicable to the needs of the present age.
Just because in a religion there is no officially recognized clerical order, doesn't mean that there isn't one in a more sublimated sense.

As long as one person's word counts for more than another's, there is some kind of hierarchy in place, some kind of inequality.

And in the Baha'i faith, one person's word does count for more than another's.


We are best served by education, equality, and shared responsibilities. The virtues of service and the recognition of the station of servitude as the manifestation of the love of God elevates the the "last" to "first" in the New World Order of Baha'u'llah, totally without resort to priestly figures of authority and presumptions of special knowledge and appointments.
All are equal, but some are more equal than others ...

Just because authority and hierarchy exist in more sublimated forms, doesn't mean that they are not there.
 
Jun 2011
1,543
Somewhere "in this immensity"
#67
Just because in a religion there is no officially recognized clerical order, doesn't mean that there isn't one in a more sublimated sense.

As long as one person's word counts for more than another's, there is some kind of hierarchy in place, some kind of inequality.

And in the Baha'i faith, one person's word does count for more than another's.



All are equal, but some are more equal than others ...

Just because authority and hierarchy exist in more sublimated forms, doesn't mean that they are not there.
Basically, when Baha'u'llah abolished the clergy, it effectively turned over the work of the clerics to the body of believers. We are a lay faith which, perhaps could be thought of as meaning everybody is the cleric since the clerical functions that we have are done by ourselves. As for the hierarchy, those with any power are only elected, those who are appointed, are advisory. As for Ruhi tutors, they are not authorities they are facilitators. They don't tell you what you must think or believe, rather they safeguard and facilitate the process itself rather than absolutely define the outcomes.

Cheers
 
May 2013
1,786
forest falls california
#68
Training wheels

Basically, when Baha'u'llah abolished the clergy, it effectively turned over the work of the clerics to the body of believers. We are a lay faith which, perhaps could be thought of as meaning everybody is the cleric since the clerical functions that we have are done by ourselves. As for the hierarchy, those with any power are only elected, those who are appointed, are advisory. As for Ruhi tutors, they are not authorities they are facilitators. They don't tell you what you must think or believe, rather they safeguard and facilitate the process itself rather than absolutely define the outcomes.

Cheers

Very well said, Fadl. We do not carry around the training wheels once we learn to ride the bicycle. The training wheels were for when we didn't know how to ride the bicycle or know how to balance ourselves in relation to this movement.

To assume that a facilitator is a dictator priest figure is to not recognize the sequence of the actions involved in graduating from one stage to the next. We get rid of diapers, too, in this process, and all sorts of other things.

In order for there not to be chaos in Ruhi, we have facilitators. Otherwise there would be chaos and a kind of anarchy, which flat out doesn't work. There must be order, and order flows through something, or someone.

The reason Ruhi Book 1 is so basic is because it was created for a primary level of understanding, not starting with PhDs and going the other way, but more like 4th grade for everybody as a common step one, which quickly accelerates through the other courses. Suddenly, we have lift off, and the nice thing is that everybody's in the same plane!!
 
Aug 2015
380
Europe
#69
Basically, when Baha'u'llah abolished the clergy, it effectively turned over the work of the clerics to the body of believers. We are a lay faith which, perhaps could be thought of as meaning everybody is the cleric since the clerical functions that we have are done by ourselves.
That would be the case in some small Protestant groups, for example, that in fact have little formal organization and no formal body of authority.

The Baha'i faith isn't like that.


As for the hierarchy, those with any power are only elected, those who are appointed, are advisory.
They have the power to punish and excommunicate.

It doesn't matter whether they are elected by a vote by members, or by the holy spirit. As long as someone has more power than another, this long there is hierarchy, not equality.


As for Ruhi tutors, they are not authorities they are facilitators. They don't tell you what you must think or believe, rather they safeguard and facilitate the process itself rather than absolutely define the outcomes.
A Catholic teacher of catechism, for example, also doesn't directly tell people what they must think or believe, but he does so by implication, when he makes claims such as "This is the truth, that is a lie".

It's not clear how any other option is actually available, anywhere.

As for Ruhi tutors, they are not authorities they are facilitators. They don't tell you what you must think or believe, rather they safeguard and facilitate the process itself rather than absolutely define the outcomes.
That's just fancy talk that needs to be translated into ordinary terms first.
 
Aug 2015
380
Europe
#70
Very well said, Fadl. We do not carry around the training wheels once we learn to ride the bicycle. The training wheels were for when we didn't know how to ride the bicycle or know how to balance ourselves in relation to this movement.

To assume that a facilitator is a dictator priest figure is to not recognize the sequence of the actions involved in graduating from one stage to the next. We get rid of diapers, too, in this process, and all sorts of other things.
Call me a retard if that makes you feel good, but my attitude for attending a Ruhi lecture would be precisely that: I would feel compelled to see the teacher as an authoritative figure whom I must comply with, or I won't make progress.

In order for there not to be chaos in Ruhi, we have facilitators. Otherwise there would be chaos and a kind of anarchy, which flat out doesn't work. There must be order, and order flows through something, or someone.
Yes, to avoid chaos, people must be obedient.
Sure, "obedient" sounds so medieval, so nowadays people have invented fancy talk to convey meanings that would seem unpalatable if conveyed more directly.


The reason Ruhi Book 1 is so basic is because it was created for a primary level of understanding,
More like for a "primary level" of obedience.


not starting with PhDs and going the other way, but more like 4th grade for everybody as a common step one, which quickly accelerates through the other courses. Suddenly, we have lift off, and the nice thing is that everybody's in the same plane!!
Clearly, once people obey at some basic level, things are easy.
 

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