What is the Baha'i message in simple words?

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'Amir Alzzalam

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Exactly my point - this is our modern times, but the Baha'i message, advertised as for these our modern times, is a massive throw-back to a Restoration Age, pre-WWI social order.
Agreed, it's a socio-religious philosophy that has always failed. As a left hand path adherent, I cannot get behind such a philosophy of herd mentality.
 

Aupmanyav

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Idk which... I just had a question... all religions have splits, disagreements....maybe you guys are to young to have significant rifts?
Bahais would ex-communicate any one who dares to differ from what their current administration says - that is known as 'breaking the covenant'. Bahaollah ex-communicated nearly all his relatives.
 

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Exactly my point - this is our modern times, but the Baha'i message, advertised as for these our modern times, is a massive throw-back to a Restoration Age, pre-WWI social order.
Society has moved forward at an exagerated pace since then ... i got you ... but when it was written.

That whole new eyes and ears was what the transcendentaliats used too. Modern interpretations of old scriptures.
 

Aupmanyav

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Don't several faiths want everyone to be of their faith? Some even 'demand' this under threat of punishment. How can any 'faith' base this Oneness of God and Religion when their very foundation of God is unproven? Isn't this thinking similar to communism?
God and prophets and messengers are all humbug to me, as my belief does not accept existence of God or soul.
(Just a clarification for @'Amir Alzzalam, I am not a communist. I am an atheist and an orthodox Hindu who follows the 'non-dual' philosophy of Hinduism - 'Advaita'. So, it is not just communists who refuse God, there are others as well. For example, the Buddhists)
 
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Cino

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Bahais would ex-communicate any one who dares to differ from what their current administration says - that is known as 'breaking the covenant'. Bahaollah ex-communicated nearly all his relatives.

I thought that was Shoghi Effendi?

But we're drifting from the OP.

A thought for our Baha'i members: Could it be that by not giving straight answers to direct questions, you are getting people to wonder what you have to hide, resulting in such discussions always ending up rehashing Baha'u'llah's family life, and a critique of Baha'i civil law? I'm guessing this is not the impression you want to give.

So what is it with the reluctance to actually talk freely about your faith, warts and all?
 

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Society has moved forward at.an.exagerated pace.since.then... i got you...but when it was written.

That whole new eyes and ears.was.what.the transcendentaliats used too. Modern interpretations of old scriptures.

But it is 150 years later. Reinterpretation of Baha'i scripture ceased, hard, with Shoghi Effendi. So the Baha'i community will be stuck with a 1950ies understanding of their scriptures for the next 850 years, it seems.

At what point will they drop the "modern, contemporary" taglines?
 

Cino

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Agreed, it's a socio-religious philosophy that has always failed. As a left hand path adherent, I cannot get behind such a philosophy of herd mentality.

Yeah, ... though my LHP friends all sound alike, for some reason ;) Can't be herd-like assimilation to any ideal, of course, but makes me wonder sometimes... ;)
 

Ahanu

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Oneness of religion
This can never happen as different religions hold different beliefs and philosophies

Is oneness equivalent to sameness, 'Amir Alzzalam? The Baha'i Writings say no. Instead, oneness is deeply rooted in what some have called relationalism.

I'll provide what I consider a simple example from the Writings of the Bab, and then I'll provide a link to a more complex one from Abdu'l-Baha.

In the following translations of the Bab's work made by Nader Saiedi, we see a person's level of being in relation to truth matters. Different minds exist. Different degrees of truth are bound to appear, especially as concepts become more abstract.

"Thus these two would dispute: This one sayeth, 'Thou art an extremist (ghali),'and the other sayeth, 'thou art intolerant (qali).' This one adduceth evidence from a word of God, and that one reasoneth by another word of God. But I affirm unto them: Ye both are true and right, on the condition that thou not say unto him, 'He is an extremist,' and he not say unto thee, 'Thou art intolerant.' As to thee who art in the lower station, thou verily art created by this verse, and thus thou wouldst not comprehend above it. As to thee who art in the highest station, thou art fashioned by that verse and thou canst understand the station beneath thine existence . . . Thus, wert thou to acquire wisdom, thou wouldst not reject anyone because of his limitation, but must foster the growth of all in the palm of thy mercy. Shouldst thou succeed in elevating him to the realm of glory, great would be his blessing from thee; and should he fail to ascend to thy height, thou shouldst train him within his own rank of existence. For verily he too is a creation of thy Lord; God loveth him and he loveth God . . ."

"For instance, in the Dispensation of the Furqan, Ali affirmed, 'I am the Ever-Living, the Imperishable.' He whose inner reality is created through the influence of that gemstone would not hesitate to believe in these words and adduceth them as proof of his station. Still, there is also another who referreth to that outward fate which befell him [Ali], which is known and manifest to all. He argueth, for example, that inasmuch as God hath revealed to Muhammad, 'Verily, Thou will die, and verily they will die.' How can it be that the One Who hath said, 'Verily, I Myself am but a servant amongst His servants,' would not be subject to mortality? Thus this one calleth the other an extremist, and the other calleth this one intolerant."


In his mere teens Abdu'l-Baha compared the views of Ibn 'Arabi and Shaykh Ahmad, the founder of Shaykhism, who, according to Saiedi, "frequently criticized the Sufis for thinking that the essence of things - their archetypal kingdom, the realm of the 'eternal intelligible forms' - are present in the Essence of God and thus are uncreated and pre-existent." Although Abdu'l-Baha does not think both positions are equal since he thinks Shaykh Ahmad is closer to the truth, he does believe "all these expositions and questions, stations and states are complete in their own station without defect or flaw." This leads us to a third station, which is the highest one, in which the two positions are in a sense seen as one. Tafsír-i-Hadith-i-Kuntu Kanzan Makhfíyyan (Commentary on the Islamic Tradition "I Was a Hidden Treasure . . .") can be read here.

Moojan Momen, a Baha'i scholar, suggests relationalism is "a key concept for Baha'i metaphysics" below:

"'Abdu'l-Bahá's resolution of this difference is extremely interesting. Basically 'Abdu'l-Bahá, having earlier in this treatise established that no absolute knowledge of God is possible for human beings, now states that these different philosophical opinions arise from differences within the observer. Some because of their essential constitution view the matter one way and others view it in what appears to be the opposite light (according to which of the Names of God is predominant in their nature). What 'Abdu'l-Bahá appears to be saying is that all men's views on this metaphysical issue (and by implication all metaphysical issues) are inevitably and inescapably "coloured" by their essential constitution. This exposition of metaphysical relativism is an extremely important formulation, perhaps a key concept for Bahá'í metaphysics. It can be applied to many metaphysical and other problems. There is of course the obvious application to the dichotomy between the monistic and the dualistic views of Reality. However, at another level, and perhaps to bring the issues raised here up to date, the two view-points being discussed here can be seen as to be essentially the same as the dichotomy between the heart and the mind; between intuition and reason as modes of obtaining knowledge; and even, in this day (because of the manner in which science is considered to have monopolised rationality) between religion and science. The idea of one of the Names of God being predominant within an individual is obviously of relevance for a Bahá'í psychology. By implication, it may also have implications for a Bahá'í sociology for it may be considered that certain cultures have one of the Names of God paramount within them (the West tending towards science and rationality; the East towards intuition and mysticism)."
 
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Ahanu

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As a general principle, do numbers make right, in the Baha'i faith?

If that were the case, the Bab would have appeared from a Sunni background instead of a Shi'a one. Then again, the Sunni-Shi'a split was rather significant in terms of the number of Ali's supporters, don't you think? Shi'a Islam currently makes up around ten to fifteen percent of the Muslim population.
 

Aupmanyav

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I'd be interested in hearing those . . .
Some equate 'tantra' with technique and say that all worship is nothing else but 'tantra'.

तन्त्र m. tantra technique
तन्त्रज्ञ m. tantrajJa technician (one who knows the technique, pronounced as Tantrajna or Tantragna)
https://www.learnsanskrit.cc/translate?search=tantra&dir=se (more meanings towards the end of the page)

"Tantra literally means "loom, warp, weave". According to Padoux, the verbal root Tan means: "to extend", "to spread", "to spin out", "weave", "display", "put forth", and "compose". Therefore, by extension, it can also mean "system", "doctrine", or "work"."

My way is not 'tantra', therefore I may not be able to explain it properly. The Wikipedia articles should be interesting. But if you want me to explain a particular point, I will try.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tantra, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aghori, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aghor_Yoga.
 
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Cino

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If that were the case, the Bab would have appeared from a Sunni background instead of a Shi'a one. Then again, the Sunni-Shi'a split was rather significant in terms of the number of Ali's supporters, don't you think? Shi'a Islam currently makes up around ten to fifteen percent of the Muslim population.
But Persia at the time was (and Iran still is) majority Shia, I believe?

Anyway, if numbers *don't* make right, then it is irrelevant how big the proportions of non-UHJ-aligned Baha'i believers are, regarding the question of which is the one true Baha'i community?
 

'Amir Alzzalam

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Some equate 'tantra' with technique and say that all worship is nothing else but 'tantra'.

तन्त्र m. tantra technique
तन्त्रज्ञ m. tantrajJa technician (one who knows the technique, pronounced as Tantrajna or Tantragna)
https://www.learnsanskrit.cc/translate?search=tantra&dir=se (more meanings towards the end of the page)

"Tantra literally means "loom, warp, weave". According to Padoux, the verbal root Tan means: "to extend", "to spread", "to spin out", "weave", "display", "put forth", and "compose". Therefore, by extension, it can also mean "system", "doctrine", or "work"."

My way is not 'tantra', therefore I may not be able to explain it properly. The Wikipedia articles should be interesting. But if you want me to explain a particular point, I will try.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tantra, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aghori, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aghor_Yoga.
I should have stressed 'western' left hand path, my apologies. Eastern left hand path is not the same as western left hand path (which is what I was referring to).
 

Ahanu

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But Persia at the time was (and Iran still is) majority Shia, I believe?

Nope. Persia was mostly Sunni back then. You can thank or curse the Safavid dynasty for making Shi'ism the dominant religion in the region.

Anyway, if numbers *don't* make right, then it is irrelevant how big the proportions of non-UHJ-aligned Baha'i believers are, regarding the question of which is the one true Baha'i community?

Sticking with the Sunni-Shi'a split example, you really have to meet a certain threshold in my opinion.

It appears you believe a group of two members constitute a sect since numbers are irrelevant. Gotcha . . .
 
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