Those Early Bahá'ís...

Oct 2017
45
Zanesville, Ohio
#11
gnat: The Law should be obeyed out of love, not out of fear.

Fear is good, too. Remember the fear of God. Shoghi Effendi said this:

"You have asked the exact meaning of the term 'Fear of God' mentioned in Bahá'í Sacred Writings; it often means awe, but has also other connotations such as reverence, terror and fear."
(Compilations, Lights of Guidance, p. 237)
Or, as the case of a son to a father, Love plus Fear equals Respect.
 
Oct 2017
45
Zanesville, Ohio
#12
Trailblazer,

Entry by troops began in the USA in the late 60's and early 70's when the travel teaching campaign (mostly youth) went into high gear......the fire raged across the plains. But, we were not prepared......no backup, no plan for follow-ups, not enough declaration cards in print..............seekers were left floundering (remember what it was like before the internet). People at the grass roots level proclaimed and taught, discovering souls simply waiting to hear, some even having dreamed of teachers coming.

No more need be said..........too easy to slide into back-biting, when what was NOT done missed the opportunity.

FCM
 
Oct 2017
45
Zanesville, Ohio
#13
Gnat,

Enjoyed my re-read of post #5.

Ocean search brings up quite a lot concerning the Fear of God and why it is a must in the diet of a believer.

Likewise, lose the fear of God and one will fear all things.
 
Jul 2017
341
Olympia, WA, USA
#14
Trailblazer, Entry by troops began in the USA in the late 60's and early 70's when the travel teaching campaign (mostly youth) went into high gear......the fire raged across the plains. But, we were not prepared......no backup, no plan for follow-ups, not enough declaration cards in print..............seekers were left floundering (remember what it was like before the internet). People at the grass roots level proclaimed and taught, discovering souls simply waiting to hear, some even having dreamed of teachers coming.

No more need be said..........too easy to slide into back-biting, when what was NOT done missed the opportunity. FCM
I am sorry but I do not recall that because shortly after I became a Baha'i in 1970, I went into my own hell and did not participate in hardly any Baha'i activities, let alone teaching activities... I guess maybe I was one of those who came in hurriedly and then got left behind, but that was unrelated to my own personal problems I was having at that time....

So what I guess you are saying that Entry by Troops came and went and because Baha'is were not confirmed after they came in they just drifted away? Some of us of course did not drop out and some are still active in the Faith. I am still not active in the community but I am trying to do something online since that is the best use of my abilities.

Trailblazer
 
Sep 2010
4,437
Normanton Far North Queensland
#15
I wish I had your glasses, because I don't see a shred of the New, just screams from the Old.

A fascinating thing is that, many years ago, during the 1970s, the Bahá'í world was full of expectations, that the unfolding of the New World Order was imminent. But the years went by...

gnat
Dear Gnat. The new thoughts have permeated many minds, but we have not found our unity. While minds work as individuals, the ability to give power to collective thought remains untapped.

A good example is the supression of rouge nations as per the guidance of Baha'u'llah. You can see the effort of a single Nation or a few together to undertake this task, people know it needs to be done, but mind remains in disunity. It needs the collective minds of many Nations.

The United Nations remains toothless while Nations are abstaining from votes on needed actions.

I hear many speeches on the news that contain the guidance given by Baha'u'llah from the most surprising sources. ;)

It appears we are fast approaching a time of great change. I am always amazed how that change unfolds. The wave of Athiest thought now bringing great challenges to many people who claim to have Faith, shaking strong, long held views.

It is all good Gnat, I hope your little gems are well and happy and shining bright and that you are well and happy.

Regards Tony
 
Mar 2013
541
Edwardsville, Illinois, USA
#16
So what I guess you are saying that Entry by Troops came and went and because Baha'is were not confirmed after they came in they just drifted away? Some of us of course did not drop out and some are still active in the Faith. I am still not active in the community but I am trying to do something online since that is the best use of my abilities.

Trailblazer
What we have learned as a global Baha'i community is that entry by troops is a process that happens when the conditions exist for it and so we need to focus on creating those conditions. That has been the focus of the Plans over the past 20 years, and we see it bearing fruit in certain places around the world, some of those are now getting local Houses of Worship, which will act to further the process. Let's all pray that it may happen everywhere.
 
Oct 2014
1,787
Stockholm
#17
I hope your little gems are well and happy and shining bright and that you are well and happy.

Regards Tony
Honestly, Tony, it is only on the micro level that I see real, substantial changes. Today, for the first time for many years, my little darlings could go to a cafe with both their parents, my ex wife and I being absolutely united in everything that concerns them, showing that we have concluded a real and lasting peace agreement.

That's the kind of things I belive in. Working with high-conflict custody cases, my children are my most important sources of inspiration: they have shown, in an unwavering manner, that they want both a father and a mother in their lives.

Best,

from

gnat
 
Jul 2017
341
Olympia, WA, USA
#18
What we have learned as a global Baha'i community is that entry by troops is a process that happens when the conditions exist for it and so we need to focus on creating those conditions. That has been the focus of the Plans over the past 20 years, and we see it bearing fruit in certain places around the world, some of those are now getting local Houses of Worship, which will act to further the process. Let's all pray that it may happen everywhere.
I am not sure what you mean, creating those conditions? How do the the Baha'is create conditions in the world?

Sorry, but since I have not been involved in the Baha'i community for decades i do not know the focus of the Plans. I tend to think that teaching is the most important thing we can ever do, given what Baha'u'llah wrote, so I do my own thing. If there was any teaching going on in my area I might consider being a part of it, but it seems as if nobody thinks it matters anymore.

I go more by what Baha'u'llah wrote than by any injunctions of the UHJ... Is what He wrote now outdated or are Baha'is simply unaware of it? Am I taking it too seriously, too literally? The following is just one passage of many:

“O ye beloved of God! Repose not yourselves on your couches, nay bestir yourselves as soon as ye recognize your Lord, the Creator, and hear of the things which have befallen Him, and hasten to His assistance. Unloose your tongues, and proclaim unceasingly His Cause. This shall be better for you than all the treasures of the past and of the future, if ye be of them that comprehend this truth.” Gleanings From the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 330

So many nonbelievers and also Christians and Jews wonder why the Baha'i Faith is still so small in numbers, given that we have mass communications. I know numbers are not everything but I do not know exactly what to say, except that the Plans set forth by the Baha'i Administration have all been accomplished.

But take the Mormons for example, there are twice as many Mormons in the world as Baha'is. I tend to think one reason is the way they promote their Faith, but another reason might be that Mormonism is really an offshoot to Christianity so it appeals to Christians whereas the Baha'i is Faith in competition with Christianity, or so most Christians think. :D

~~ Trailblazer
 
Sep 2010
4,437
Normanton Far North Queensland
#19
Honestly, Tony, it is only on the micro level that I see real, substantial changes. Today, for the first time for many years, my little darlings could go to a cafe with both their parents, my ex wife and I being absolutely united in everything that concerns them, showing that we have concluded a real and lasting peace agreement.

That's the kind of things I belive in. Working with high-conflict custody cases, my children are my most important sources of inspiration: they have shown, in an unwavering manner, that they want both a father and a mother in their lives.

Best,

from

gnat
That's great Gnat, good to hear about that with your family. That is indeed very special.

As to the changes, I see it is our mindset that attributes to our inability to see Gods Plan unfolding on a greater scale. I have got these thoughts from trying to understand what both the Bab and Baha'u'llah gave written on Negation and Affirmation. The 'Bayan' contains some thoughts, as does a few of Baha'u'llahs writings such as "Commentary on a Verse of Rumi".

These two quotes give thought;

"In the previous dispensation of Islam, the witness to faith stated that "No God is there but He" (la ilaha illa huwa). The first word, "la" or "no," is negative, and it precedes the positive affirmation of God's peerlessness. Thus, in the Islamic dispensation and its wake, the "letters of negation" have triumphed over the "letters of affirmation" in the outward world. But although in the exoteric domain things are contrary to the will of the Manifestations of God, esoterically everything is occurring according to the divine will..."

Thus we still live in the wake of 'Negation', which we are to turn into 'Affirmation'.

"...In the Baha'i dispensation, however, God has removed the negative particle from before the affirmation. That is, Baha'is say "He is God," rather than "No God is there but He." This switch from precedence for the negative to precedence for the positive is apparently an omen for a brighter future in the new dispensation, and presumably a closer accord between the exoteric and esoteric worlds. The context here is the continuing negative influence of the Islamic "No!" on the Babi-Baha'is situation, such that Baha'u'llah is afflicted by tribulations, and says, "a person [Azal] whom we raised over months and years with the hand of compassion once attempted to kill me...."".

I see we still see and live in our lives much 'negation', Baha'u'llah came and Lived Affirmation and then gave us Abdul'baha for a gift in that Affirmation. There is nothing that happens that is not directing our Hearts to Affirmation. God never tests a soul/s beyond its/their capacity, all that happens is for our good, to help us be rid of our worldly self.

Materialism has sapped our strength in self, like clawing our way out of a large sink hole. I think when we find what is contained within Affirmation, we will fly out of that sink hole.

Personally I am still clawing my way.....now I think that is Negation..;):eek:

Should I think we have been given the wings and that all I have to do is now fly?

Regards Tony
 
Sep 2010
4,437
Normanton Far North Queensland
#20
I am not sure what you mean, creating those conditions? How do the the Baha'is create conditions in the world?
Living the life, active service and finding the power of change in unity.

Sorry, but since I have not been involved in the Baha'i community for decades i do not know the focus of the Plans. I tend to think that teaching is the most important thing we can ever do, given what Baha'u'llah wrote, so I do my own thing. If there was any teaching going on in my area I might consider being a part of it, but it seems as if nobody thinks it matters anymore.
My wife and I have been remote for most of our Baha'i Life and have had many issues because of this. I have always appreciated this quote;

"....Abdu’l-Bahá said: Those who are working alone are like ants, but when they are united they will become as eagles. Those who work singly are as drops, but, when united, they will become a vast river carrying the cleansing water of life into the barren desert places of the world. Before the power of its rushing flood, neither misery, nor sorrow, nor any grief will be able to stand. Be united! It is rather dangerous to be an isolated drop. It might be spilled or blown away..." (Lady Blomfield, The Chosen Highway, p. 171)

We can attest to the accuracy of that advice. This Faith has power in Unity, not as individuals.

I go more by what Baha'u'llah wrote than by any injunctions of the UHJ... Is what He wrote now outdated or are Baha'is simply unaware of it? Am I taking it too seriously, too literally? The following is just one passage of many:

“O ye beloved of God! Repose not yourselves on your couches, nay bestir yourselves as soon as ye recognize your Lord, the Creator, and hear of the things which have befallen Him, and hasten to His assistance. Unloose your tongues, and proclaim unceasingly His Cause. This shall be better for you than all the treasures of the past and of the future, if ye be of them that comprehend this truth.” Gleanings From the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 330
The key here is that the Universal House of Justice is Baha'u'llah's Purpose, what comes from the Universal House of Justice, is Baha'u'llah's Purpose. So in this case, we use this advice from Baha'u'llah you posted above and actively join in the activities that the Universal House of Justice has sanctioned.

So many nonbelievers and also Christians and Jews wonder why the Baha'i Faith is still so small in numbers, given that we have mass communications. I know numbers are not everything but I do not know exactly what to say, except that the Plans set forth by the Baha'i Administration have all been accomplished.
This is a good reflection to have, why indeed have we not grown. I would suggest we have not let go of Materialisim "...Consider to what a remarkable extent the spirituality of people has been overcome by materialism so that spiritual susceptibility seems to have vanished, divine civilization become decadent, and guidance and knowledge of God no longer remain. All are submerged in the sea of materialism....The purpose of this is to explain that the darkness of imitations encompasses the world. Every nation is holding to its traditional religious forms. The light of reality is obscured. Were these various nations to investigate reality, there is no doubt they would attain to it. As reality is one, all nations would then become as one nation. So long as they adhere to various imitations and are deprived of reality, strife and warfare will continue and rancor and sedition prevail. If they investigate reality, neither enmity nor rancor will remain, and they will attain to the utmost concord among themselves."(`Abdu'l-Baha: Promulgation of Universal Peace, Page: 221-222)

The Baha'is are not exempt from the influence of Materialism and this has been reflected in our progress as a Faith of Unity.

This takes great personal reflection, but most of all, and the hardest thing to do, is make the required change.

But take the Mormons for example, there are twice as many Mormons in the world as Baha'is. I tend to think one reason is the way they promote their Faith, but another reason might be that Mormonism is really an offshoot to Christianity so it appeals to Christians whereas the Baha'i is Faith in competition with Christianity, or so most Christians think. :D ~~ Trailblazer
Personally I see each of these Faiths have done One or two things very well in a Unity of Effort and it is that Unity that attracts. The JW's a great example of the power of Unity of effort.

There are remote JW's where I live and they have a constant stream of Support. As Baha'i's we see no other Baha'i's years at a time, unless we head to the Cities. There is one example how Baha'is have not let go of Materialism. Millions in Cities, very few where receptivity to the Faith is higher.

As Baha'is we are thinly spread and are trying to do many things which is building a great attractive force, long term this will bring greater results, but short term seems to yield no results.

So yes, we have to look at our own selves when we consider why the Faith appears not to have grown.

Regards Tony
 

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