What is the Baha'i message in simple words?

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RJM

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So what is it with the reluctance to actually talk freely about your faith, warts and all
I think Baha'i are encouraged to use Baha'i writings and quotes from other scriptures, to respond to questions -- to make sure the information is not corrupted in delivery.

There seem to be no Jehovah's Witnesses here on IO; I believe they need permission from their elders before participating on forums like this one?
 

Aupmanyav

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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).
No problem. I understand.
I think Baha'i are encouraged to use Baha'i writings and quotes from other scriptures, to respond to questions -- to make sure the information is not corrupted in delivery.
This is proselytization. Some of the Bahais in other forums will not post a message unless there are at least two quotes from their three leaders.
 

'Amir Alzzalam

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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.





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:

one·ness
/ˈwən(n)əs/
noun
  1. 1.
    the fact or state of being unified or whole, though comprised of two or more parts.
    "the oneness of man and nature"
    • identity or harmony with someone or something.
      "a strong sense of oneness is felt with all things"
  2. 2.
    the fact or state of being one in number.
    "belief in the oneness of God"

same·ness
/ˈsāmnəs/
noun
  1. lack of variety; uniformity or monotony.
    "there is a sameness about all the political parties"
    Similar: similarity similarities between people of different nationalities"

Given the actual definitions of these two words, and that you associate oneness with what is perceived by the Baha'i faith as relative to the Baha'i faith, I remain unconvinced that the Baha'i faith has any other intent than to clump everyone together under the philosophy of the Baha'i faith. Again, how is this any different than functioning as a communistic religion?
 

'Amir Alzzalam

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No problem. I understand.This is proselytization. Some of the Bahais in other forums will not post a message unless there are at least two quotes from their three leaders.
I hear you . . . I too could simply quote western left hand path leaders, but prefer to explain myself within its philosophy. If a Belief System can't hold up on its philosophy, it is a farce IMO.
 

Ahanu

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I think Baha'i are encouraged to use Baha'i writings and quotes from other scriptures, to respond to questions -- to make sure the information is not corrupted in delivery.

There seem to be no Jehovah's Witnesses here on IO; I believe they need permission from their elders before participating on forums like this one?

I don't have the time to put everything in my own words. That takes hours if you're not well-versed in theological concepts, and I am not. I have other work to do outside of this forum. There is enough information with brief explanations in my own words in post #74 that answered 'Amir Alzzalam's question.
 

RJM

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I don't have the time to put everything in my own words. That takes hours if you're not well-versed in theological concepts, and I am not
I don't agree. I agree with Einstein who said something like: "if I can't explain something concisely to someone else, I don't really understand it myself "
have other work to do outside of this forum
Most of us do
There is enough information with brief explanations in my own words in post
Honestly it's a wall of verbiage to me

Antway ...
 

Ahanu

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I don't agree. I agree with Einstein who said something like: "if I can't explain something concisely to someone else, I don't really understand it myself "

I explained relationalism in my own words in post #74 when I said "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."
 

RJM

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I explained relationalism in my own words in post #74 when I said "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."
But who decides @Ahanu? Does not God speak in a personal way to every individual soul?
 

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Before you can teach me, you have to first reach me. It's not about world peace, until there is personal peace of mind. Jesus gives that, even without Baha'u'llah, imo? What's really new from all this -- that extends and improves on Jesus?
 

Ahanu

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But who decides @Ahanu? Does not God speak in a personal way to every individual soul?

What does it mean for God to speak? We talked about this briefly in a previous thread. You said:

"God spoke to Moses from a burning bush, and from a cloud to John at Jesus's baptism."
And:

"IMO God can speak in words directly to the mind, any time, any place, any faith or non- faith. God can do whatever God wants to do. Don't limit God to your own paradigm. A person doesn't have to be Baha'i to be open to God's voice."
What do you mean by "God can speak in words directly to the mind?" Again, in what manner does he speak? Is it an auditory voice that comes from outside of you that your mind perceives? I know some Muslims believe this about the revelations Muhammad received, but that is not realistic in my opinion.


 

RJM

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What do you mean by "God can speak in words directly to the mind?" Again, in what manner does he speak? Is it an auditory voice that comes from outside of you that your mind perceives? I know some Muslims believe this about the revelations Muhammad received, but that is not realistic in my opinion.
If you love a child, does it need words?
 

Ahanu

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If you love a child, does it need words?

No. It does not.

But the way you explained it in the previous thread makes it appear the child does.
 
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RJM

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I am assuming you mean who decides which truth is closer to the truth?
But truth for whom? A priest may believe it wrong not just to kill, but even to speak a harsh word; a soldier may believe it justified to kill in defence of home and kinfolk etc, but not to shoot a man in the back. A thief might believe it justified to steal to feed his family, but not to take from friends, etc.

Every individual has a personal code, and it is only when he steps outside his own code that he feels guilt. It is the person who doesn't have any personal code, that is truly frightening, imo.

We have societal laws for the good of society, but they are only that. They are not individual moral judgements.

Those come from somewhere else. Who decides what is spiritually right for me? I have a choice to listen to all sorts of views and religious tenets -- often they differ in the detail.

I accept I abide by the laws of the land I live in -- but I totally reject that a spiritual messenger dictates the terms of my existence, and can exclude me from the common rights or dispensation because I differ.

Yes, it's been tried in the past. But it was wrong then too. And the past did not have the past to learn from.

So ...
 
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Ahanu

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What's really new from all this -- that extends and improves on Jesus?

We can start with relational thinking. This isn't emphasized much in Jesus' dispensation. It is emphasized in the Baha'i Writings.
 

RJM

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We can start with relational thinking. This isn't emphasized much in Jesus' dispensation. It is emphasized in the Baha'i Writings.
Of course he knew. He stilled the waves and raised the dead?
 

Ahanu

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Of course he knew. He stilled the waves and fed the 5000.

I'm currently responding to your previous post. I never said he didn't know. I said he didn't make it known to all. That's why I used a word like emphasize.
 

Ahanu

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Of course he knew. He stilled the waves and raised the dead?

What does "stilled the waves and raised the dead" have to do with relationism? As far as a I can tell, most Christians believe raising the dead refers to the resurrection of the flesh into some type of glorified body.
 

RJM

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I'm currently responding to your previous post. I never said he didn't know. I said he didn't make it known to all. That's why I used a word like emphasize.
Whether or not you believe they even happened, Christ's miracles demonstrate to even the simplest person his ability to alter physical reality -- which is the basis of relational thinking: what I see is what I think I see, it's not the all of reality? It's clear from scripture (the gospels). He fed the 5000, etc
What does "stilled the waves and raised the dead" have to do with relationism? As far as a I can tell, most Christians believe raising the dead refers to the resurrection of the flesh into some type of glorified body.
He raised Lazarus, and the little girl back to ordinary worldly life. The final resurrection of the dead is something else.

Were you born Baha'i @Ahanu? Or did you convert from another religion, or from no religion? Just asking, no need to answer if it's personal
 
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'Amir Alzzalam

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Whether or not you believe they even happened, Christ's miracles demonstrate to even the simplest person his ability to alter physical reality -- which is the basis of relational thinking: what I see is what I think I see, it's not the all of reality? It's clear from scripture (the gospels). He fed the 5000, etc. He raised Lazarus, and the little girl back to ordinary worldly life. The final resurrection of the dead is something else.
You mean 'miracles associated with Christ', right? Because we know very little to nothing about Yeshua the Nazarene.
 
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