The Bab

Discussion in 'Baha'i' started by Postmaster, Dec 6, 2006.

  1. Postmaster

    Postmaster New Member

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    Been reading through Baha'i awareness website and came across this


    Strange men have strange habits Another strange feature of Bab's life is that during his teens he used to stand on the roof of his house directly under the sun. He used to do this during the very hot summer days of Iran. Standing under the sun, he used to be busy in making signs to the sun. He used to do this all day long, so much so that people used to think he was a star worshipper. This strange habit of the Bab is mentioned in the book ‘Talkheese Nabil’ on page 66, by Ishraaq Khaavri, and Hashte Bahist by Mirza Aga Khan Kirmani. This action of standing under the hot sun had a severe impact on the mental faculty of the Bab. He never completely recovered from it. It was for the treatment of this mental illness that Bab was sent to Kerbala in Iraq, where he met Syed Kazim Rashti and studied under him.

    I guess the author of the site is an anti-Baha'i. I stand as either a Baha'i or Anti-Baha'i, infact read both point of views with equal curiosity. What would a Baha’i have to say about this? The Bab was a mystic in my point of view and I guess this highlights this. Had he not been sent to Kerbala in Iraq, he never would have met Syed Kazim Rashti and studied under him. And the course of the Baha'i faith would have fell apart?
     
  2. 9Harmony

    9Harmony goin' with the flow...

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    Hi Postmaster,

    didn't people try to do the same to Christ? discredit Him because of things they made up about His youth (can't be sinless because He did x,y, z, etc.)?

    so of course he must have been mentally ill, that explains everything. <sheesh>

    this is a very common tactic on anti-Baha'i sites - I think it's called an ad hominem attack (attacking the character of the one you don't agree with), though I'm not sure
    especially in Iran, this is a very common tactic for trying to discredit the Bab

    my question would also be, how does that explain 20,000 people dying - they were duped by a crazy man?

    the whole idea that he was "sent" to Karbila is weird too
    he went there on his own.


    "One day, at the hour of dawn, I was suddenly awakened by Mullá Naw-rúz, one of his intimate attendants, who, in great excitement, bade me arise and follow him. We went to the house of Siyyid Kázim, where we found him fully dressed, wearing his ‘abá, and ready to leave his home. He asked me to accompany him. ‘A highly esteemed and distinguished Person,’ he said, ‘has arrived. I feel it incumbent upon us both to visit Him.’ The morning light had just broken when I found myself walking with him through the streets of Karbilá. We soon reached a house, at the door of which stood a Youth, as if expectant to receive us. He wore a green turban, and His countenance revealed an expression of humility and kindliness which I can never describe. He quietly approached us, extended His arms towards Siyyid Kázim, and lovingly embraced him. His affability and loving-kindness singularly contrasted with the sense of profound reverence that characterised the attitude of Siyyid Kázim towards him. Speechless and with bowed head, he received the many expressions of affection and esteem with which that Youth greeted him. We were soon led by Him to the upper floor of that house, and entered a chamber bedecked with flowers and redolent of the loveliest perfume. He bade us 27 be seated. We knew not, however, what seats we actually occupied, so overpowering was the sense of delight which seized us. We observed a silver cup which had been placed in the centre of the room, which our youthful Host, soon after we were seated, filled to overflowing, and handed to Siyyid Kázim, saying: ‘A drink of a pure beverage shall their Lord give them.’ 10 Siyyid Kázim held the cup with both hands and quaffed it. A feeling of reverent joy filled his being, a feeling which he could not suppress. I too was presented with a cupful of that beverage, though no words were addressed to me. All that was spoken at that memorable gathering was the above-mentioned verse of the Qur’án. Soon after, the Host arose from His seat and, accompanying us to the threshold of the house, bade us farewell. I was mute with wonder, and knew not how to express the cordiality of His welcome, the dignity of His bearing, the charm of that face, and the delicious fragrance of that beverage. How great was my amazement when I saw my teacher quaff without the least hesitation that holy draught from a silver cup, the use of which, according to the precepts of Islám, is forbidden to the faithful. I could not explain the motive which could have induced the Siyyid to manifest such profound reverence in the presence of that Youth—a reverence which even the sight of the shrine of the Siyyidu’sh-Shuhada’ had failed to excite. Three days later, I saw that same Youth arrive and take His seat in the midst of the company of the assembled disciples of Siyyid Kázim. He sat close to the threshold, and with the same modesty and dignity of bearing listened to the discourse of the Siyyid. As soon as his eyes fell upon that Youth, the Siyyid discontinued his address and held his peace. Whereupon one of his disciples begged him to resume the argument which he had left unfinished. ‘What more shall I say?’ replied Siyyid Kázim, as he turned his face toward the Báb. ‘Lo, the Truth is more manifest than the ray of light that has fallen upon that lap!’ I immediately observed that the ray to which the Siyyid referred had fallen upon the lap of that same Youth whom we had recently visited. ‘Why is it,’ that questioner enquired, ‘that you neither reveal His name nor identify His 28 person?’ To this the Siyyid replied by pointing with his finger to his own throat, implying that were he to divulge His name, they both would be put to death instantly. This added still further to my perplexity. I had already heard my teacher observe that so great is the perversity of this generation, that were he to point with his finger to the promised One and say: ‘He indeed is the Beloved, the Desire of your hearts and mine,’ they would still fail to recognise and acknowledge Him. I saw the Siyyid actually point out with his finger the ray of light that had fallen on that lap, and yet none among those who were present seemed to apprehend 29 its meaning. I, for my part, was convinced that the Siyyid himself could never be the promised One, but that a mystery inscrutable to us all, lay concealed in that strange and attractive Youth. Several times I ventured to approach Siyyid Kázim and seek from him an elucidation of this mystery. Every time I approached him, I was overcome by a sense of awe which his personality so powerfully inspired. Many a time I heard him remark: ‘O Shaykh Hasan, rejoice that your name is Hasan [praiseworthy]; Hasan your beginning, and Hasan your end. You have been privileged to attain to the day of Shaykh Ahmad, you have been closely associated 30 with me, and in the days to come yours shall be the inestimable joy of beholding “what eye hath seen not, ear heard not, nor any heart conceived.”’
    “I often felt the urge to seek alone the presence of that Háshimite Youth and to endeavour to fathom His mystery. I watched Him several times as He stood in an attitude of prayer at the doorway of the shrine of the Imám Husayn. So wrapt was He in His devotions that He seemed utterly oblivious of those around Him. Tears rained from His eyes, and from His lips fell words of glorification and praise of such power and beauty as even the noblest passages of our Sacred Scriptures could not hope to surpass. The words ‘O God, my God, my Beloved, my heart’s Desire’ were uttered with a frequency and ardour that those of the visiting pilgrims who were near enough to hear Him instinctively interrupted the course of their devotions, and marvelled at the evidences of piety and veneration which that youthful countenance evinced. Like Him they were moved to tears, and from Him they learned the lesson of true adoration. Having completed His prayers, that Youth, without crossing the threshold of the shrine and without attempting to address any words to those around Him, would quietly return to His home. I felt the impulse to address Him, but every time I ventured an approach, a force that I could neither explain nor resist, detained me. My enquiries about Him elicited the information that He was a resident of Shíráz, that He was a merchant by profession, and did not belong to any of the ecclesiastical orders. I was, moreover, informed that He, and also His uncles and relatives, were among the lovers and admirers of Shaykh Ahmad and Siyyid Kázim. Soon after, I learned that He had departed for Najaf on His way to Shíráz. That Youth had set my heart aflame. The memory of that vision haunted me. My soul was wedded to His till the day when the call of a Youth from Shíráz, proclaiming Himself to be the Báb, reached my ears. The thought instantly flashed through my mind that such a person could be none other than that selfsame Youth whom I had seen in Karbilá, the Youth of my heart’s desire." Bahá'í Reference Library - The Dawn-Breakers: Nabíl’s Narrative of the Early Days of the Bahá’í Revelation, Pages 19-47
     
  3. Popeyesays

    Popeyesays New Member

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    The story as related in Dawnbreakers concerns the prayer habits of the Bab, and mentions His tendency to spend long periods in intense prayer night or day. The wife of the Bab mentions watching her husband in prayer being enveloped in an intense light?

    Such habits as the Bab had, the Bab had. Many people were out in the sun in Persia in the time discussed without any ill-effects or affiliated 'mental conditions'.

    Surely this is no stranger than the withdrawal of Christ into the desert, exposed to heat and cold for the period of forty days that is mentioned in the Gospel.

    Regards,
    Scott
     
  4. Postmaster

    Postmaster New Member

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    If a million people do a wrong thing, it is still a wrong thing. How about Hitler?
     
  5. imranshaykh

    imranshaykh New Member

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    Dear Postmaster:

    I am the author of the web site.

    Me, anti-Bahai? Definitely not.

    My web site is born out of years of research of Islam and the Bahai Faith. My studies related to the Bahai Faith starts at the Bab through their own books in their own source languages. Please note, I have used those very books which the Bahais spoke about for a very long time - eg: books like Nuqtatul Qaf (written almost after the Bab) or E G Browne (who was present during the Babi movement).

    Having said that, I simply put up those elements which I could not understand about the Bahai Faith and sought answers to. Some of those answers are yet coming...

    Regards, as always
    Imran
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2006
  6. Mick

    Mick World Citizen

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    Hitler was one person. What is the point? The 20,000 people were martyred because they professed to recognize The Bab and His station. That was their only crime. What was being suggested was that these 20,000 people individually chose death over disavowing what they knew to be true. If we were only so fortunate to have been in the presence of a Manifestation.

    The Bab declared his mission in 1844 and was martyred on July 9, 1950. I don't think anybody on the Baha'i board has claimed that religion progressed. We have stated that Baha'u'llah has taught us that the Message of God is progressive and shared with us through His Anointed Manifestations.

    Mick
     
  7. Mick

    Mick World Citizen

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    So let me get this straight. You are seeking truth? That is all you are doing? There is no other agenda? You have a site called Baha'i Awareness and the site asks questions but doesn't give awareness, that I can see. What a doofus.

    I am curious why you don't post in some place other than at the Baha'i Garden? You are not interested in the principles it would seem but just continuously play the same tune over and over and over. How about a new tune, Imran? Normally I skip over your posts. I am almost sorry I am responding to you this time. I will probably regret it in the future.

    Mick
     
  8. imranshaykh

    imranshaykh New Member

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    Dear Mick:
    I can truthfully say that I have no agenda apart from finding the truth. I Muslim. I believe in the Prophet (pbuh) and the Imams (as). I await the coming of the Mahdi. Then I read about the Bahai Faith and meet some Bahais.

    Bahais tell me that the Mahdi has come and gone in the form of Bab.
    I say, superb! Tell me more about the Bab.

    Bahais tell me that Bab fulfilled the prophecies about the Mahdi.
    I say, superb! Tell me which prophecies?

    Now here is where there is a disconnect. Till date I am yet to meet a Bahai who can tell me which prophecies of the Mahdi were fulfilled by the Bab. Despite that, the Bahais are so confident in their assertion about the Bab that I wonder - which prophecies of the Mahdi were fulfilled by the Bab.

    So my friend, Mick, I can be interested in the principles, but I have to first convince myself about the genesis - the Bab without whom there can be no Bahaullah for the Bab is the only one who foretold about Bahaullah and no peson else - not even the Holy Prophet of Islam (pbuh). The only person whom the Prophet (pbuh) and the Imams (as) told us about was the Mahdi. So I need to know who was the Mahdi. It is question of Faith. Not blind faith. If it was a question of blind faith, I would have accepted anything.

    I am here in the Bahai Garden, to put it very simply, because there are Bahais here. Who should I put my questions, if not the Bahais. They are the ones asserting that the Bab was the Mahdi. I am only asking how?

    Please dont regret responding to my posts. That is so depressing. One should avoid doing things which one may regret in future. If it cheers you up, I will stop posting. But that is not the solution. I believe one needs to question our beliefs in this world if we want to have a happy hereafter. Why would I embark on such a long and painful journey of research if it were not to find the truth? I have probably read more Bahai books than most Bahais. I say this not out of arrogance, but out of humility - I am only trying to find out the truth.

    Respectfully yours,
    Imran
     
  9. Popeyesays

    Popeyesays New Member

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    Nuqtat'ul Qaf is not recognized by the Baha`i's as an authoritative text. It is recognized as a text written in cooperation with Mirza Yahya who was violently opposed to Baha`u'llah and the Baha`i cause. E. G. Browne had his own political ambitions and desires for Persia at that time and deemed the Baha`i abstention from political causes to be unuseful to that desire.

    Browne is fascinating to read, but reading Browne quickly shows his slant toward democratic Persian constitutional movements rather than religion. Browne was always a nominal Christian in the Anglican Church, never a Muslim, Bab'i or Baha`i. He was an 'Orientalist', generally speaking conservative Islamic scholars LOATHE western Orientalists one and all. It's only because Browne seemed to side with Persian interests in the political arena that Imranshaykh seems to favor him. If he couldn't be used as an anti-Baha`i source, the creator of Baha`i Awareness would never have referred to him at all for anything.

    Regards,
    Scott
     
  10. imranshaykh

    imranshaykh New Member

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    uh huh...you should read nuqtatul qaf before dismissing it. A lot of it also contains the bahai version of history. sure, some of it is damaging to the bahai cause. as regards e g browne, a lot of muck seems to be going his way now. 12 years ago, all the bahai web sites loved him. ask me, I went through a lot of them. some of them used to even carry his photos and his bio!

    Regards
    Imran
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2006
  11. Promethium

    Promethium New Member

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    As for being exposed to the Sun. It was each Friday that the Bab prayed on the roof of His house. (Dawnbreakers, 77)

    There was an account of an English doctor examining the Bab before the trial
    ".... Dr. Cormick, was called in by the Persian authorities to pronounce on the Báb’s mental condition. The doctor’s letter, addressed to a fellow practitioner in an American mission in Persia, is given in Professor E. G. Browne’s “Materials for the Study of the Bábí Religion.” “...my having been sent with two other Persian doctors to see whether he was of sane mind or merely a madman, to decide the question whether he was to be put to death or not. With this knowledge he was loth to answer any questions put to him. To all enquiries he merely regarded us with a mild look, chanting in a low melodious voice some hymns, I suppose.". ..Our report to the Sháh at that time was of a nature to spare his life....He was a very mild and delicate-looking man, rather small in stature and very fair for a Persian, with a melodious soft voice, which struck me much...In fact his whole look and deportment went far to dispose one in his favour..."

    Referring to the Bab's trial Denis MacEoin says, in the next couple paragraphs,

    "fatwa for the Bab's death (subject to his being found sane) is issued after the event by two 'ulama (Shaykh 'Ali Asghar Shaykh al-Islam and Shaykh Abu 'l-Qasim) who were not present at the trial. That is outmanoeuvred by presenting the Bab to Dr. William Cormick, a British physician, who naturally complies with a letter recommending clemency."

    There are probably other reasons why the Bab is claimed to be insane.
    Pehaps this represents

    "the conflicting aims of the government (who wanted to humiliate the Bab, but to avoid a death sentence that might have aroused resentment among the populace at a time when the prophet was enjoying considerable popularity) and the 'ulama (many of whom wanted to put the apostate to death)."
     
  12. Postmaster

    Postmaster New Member

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    Imranshaykh your site is great keep up the good work. It’s obvious though that you will never be satisfied in a life time with all the answers you are given.

    You point out heresy
    Ludicrous rituals
    Contradictions

    You are correct the Baha’is fail to admit you are.

    More then any other religion the Baha’I faith is extremely vulnerable to this type of criticism, because of the nature of the religion. Do you fail to see that there are clear undeniable contradictions in Christianity, Judaism and Islam. You will read a verse in these ancient holy scriptures only in the same book to read the complete opposite to what is said Atheists have field days opening these books and not only that the Baha’I faith is much more vulnerable to this criticism due to the nature of the religious work.

    A religion riddled in rituals Hinduism in recent times caused a mass media frenzy due to there icons suddenly had a mysterious ability to drink milk. Till this day it has not been explained or disproved. This happened after someone had a dream and was instructed on it. A religion born with out a prophet figure or religious founder.

    Let’s talk alittle about heresy. Every major religion is heretical to the next and funny enough they ALL have influence off each. All this is just a thought not really my point of view.
     
  13. Popeyesays

    Popeyesays New Member

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    Well, it was thirty-six years ago that a Baha`i author wrote a tribute to Browne (Balyuzi, Hasan (1970). Edward Granville Browne and the Bahá'í Faith. Oxford, UK: George Ronald. ISBN 0-85398-023-3.) So, I wouldn't say the Baha`i's have repudiated the man. About eight years ago New World Order Magazine featured an essay on Browne. E.G. Browne is very important to the Baha`i Faith's history, he was, after all the only westerner to ever have an interview with Baha`u'llah. Abdu'l Baha visited with Browne (who had published the English version of Abdu'l Baha`'s history of the Babi faith [A Traveller's Narrative] during his trip to England in 1911 and in 1913, and the two corresponded right up until Abdu'l Baha's passing in 1921. Browne died in 1926.

    Browne had the profoundest respect for Baha`u'llah and Abdu'l Baha, but his heart was in a constitutional government in Persia and he pursued that goal single-mindedly which led him to Mirza Yahya and his descendants. The same material popped up in the hands of William Miller through the same sources in the 1950's.

    I read the English version of the Nuqtat'ul Qaf in the mid-1980's the first time, and like the best propaganda it mixes truth and lies in a heady brew.

    I've even read most of Irman's website, I have no doubt that Irman is an honest man, but that does not mean he cannot be mistaken or misled.

    As an aside, about the sanity of the Bab, the Governor of Tabriz took the precaution of having the Bab examined by a British doctor before arranging for the execution, to see if the Bab was 'insane'.

    The doctor ruled that He was perfectly sane, in a British legal sense. The British government had a great deal of influence on the Persian court, in a bad sense.In a sense the British demand for the proprieties in executions is what caused the martyrdom of the Bab to be a public spectacle rather than a private event for the Shah as the Persian custom was.

    Regards,
    Scott
     
  14. imranshaykh

    imranshaykh New Member

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    Dear Postmaster:

    It is unfair to say that I will "never" be satisfied with whatever answers are given to me considering that I am never given any answers in the first place!! Read my posts, I have been requesting for the Islamic proofs for the Bab fulfilling the prophecies of the Mahdi and I am now told to find my own arguments!

    Secondly, there will be contradictions between Islam, Christianity and Judaism. Contradictions which are on the surface and deep below as the texts of Christianity and Judaism are altered and are not exactly those which were revealed. Quran on the other hand is universally accepted as the unaltered text. So if we all (Bahais included) accept that the Quran superceeded the Bible and the Torah and that it is unaltered, we should all accept the words of the Quran as the final truth in any debate.

    For example, Quran contradicts clearly the crucifixtion of Christ. Tradtions under this verse say that Christ was raised to the heaven by Allah and he will return at the end of time. The cricifixtion of Christ is an element of history which is reported by historians (humans) and not Christ. The episode as revealed in the Quran is from Allah and not from a human. Which one will I choose - without any doubt, that of the Quran.

    I have no issues with the fact that there will criticism of Islam, The Bahai Faith. Muslims are called terrorists. Islam is labelled heretic due to that. Does it bother me? Of course not! Not at a faith level at least. I know what Islam says about violence and what the Prophet practised in his lifetime.

    To be honest, I really dont go much beyond in personal thought in religion. Allah chose the Holy Prophet to convey His final message. The Holy Prophet was succeded by Imams (as) whom we believe were divinely appointed. So we follow their footsteps as well. If they tell us anything, we do it. If they ask us to stay away from anything, we obey.

    They did not tell us anything about the "spiritual" return of the Mahdi not about the "spiritual" return of Jesus nor about "spiritual" reward and punishment nor about the coming of any prophet after him.

    If they would have, it would have been so easy for us. But they did'nt. Bahais claim they did. So we tell them - please enlighten us.

    I started with what I believe is a fundamental question for me to progress along the path of the Bahai Faith - what prophecies of the Mahdi did the Bab fulfill?

    It is only after I am given answers that one can say whether I "would or would never" accept whatever answers are given to me. Till then do grant me benefit of doubt in my intentions to be here.

    Respectfully yours,
    Imran
     
  15. Postmaster

    Postmaster New Member

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    Religion is something that is even older then civilised man, it has been changing for thousands of years. Within that time humans have tried to keep there own securlar morality under control. Sometimes religion has even been the cause of the dissruption of morality. Often it promotes human morality. Is it truely possible for religion to finally hault its evolution 1400 years ago?

    In each religion from the start its clear to see the connection with social issues of the time. Something pointed out by the Baha'i faith.
     
  16. Popeyesays

    Popeyesays New Member

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    If Baha`u'llah is speaking truth, He agrees with you. The purpose of the progression of religion is to progress the civilization of mankind 'til it reaches its best potential. That is a PROCESS not a product, and it is essentially an eternal process. Man's society is pointed at creating the Kingdom of God, but we cannot expect the Mahdi, or the return of Christ to simply decree it. God is the architext, not the builder.

    Regards,
    Scott
     
  17. Postmaster

    Postmaster New Member

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    That is why many of Cynical stuff pointed out by Imran about the Baha'i faith are probably correct. I wonder how many shocking stuff is left undiscovered of all other religions some of which are being discovered as we speak. (The Baha'i faith would be more vulnerable to this kind of criticism).. There's never a wrong or right answer the answer is always inbetween. Science once flourished under Islam (now flourishing in the west), science today tells us we evolved from animals. Whereas the 3 Abrehamic faiths tell us we came from Adam and Eve. Truely which version do you pick? The Judaic or the modern scientific? If you pick the Judaic you are backwards in my view and you have been left behind by your own ignorance.
     
  18. Popeyesays

    Popeyesays New Member

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    I understand the quandry. To me, Adam and Eve is an allegory and has nothing to do with the first humans nor a snake with legs. I can accept the dichotomy of God's will being expressed through the interplay of genetics.

    Science and religion both attempt to explain the world using just 'one eye'. If you want stereo vision, you gotta use both eyes.

    Regards,
    Scott
     
  19. Mick

    Mick World Citizen

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    Could there be more than two versions? We are told that we must be able to discern the difference between the symbolic and the actual when reading the Holy Scriptures. We do this by applying a simple statement. If it is logical it is of God. If it is illogical it is of man. God created the logic that man uses so as to know Him. There are those that suggest that when God leaned down and breathed life into Adam, what he did was imbue the first huminoid with logic, so he could be aware of God and His expectations. So in this sense, He would have breathed logic into man, something that is not found in any other animal on the earth.

    That would be a third explanation of creation. Are there more? Maybe another thread, here. Regardless, God's message is progressive. I don't see how anybody could deny this. It is historical.

    Imran, I would suggest if you are comfortable with your beliefs, we are comfortable with you. "Self-investigation" for the truth, not spoon feeding, is one of the charges given to mankind according to Baha'u'llah. You simply must investigate your concerns and doubts and then make your own decision. It is not anybodies job to do this for you. We are not here to debate, as you would like to, but to share the knowledges we have found. If they are not satisfying to you, then, please, continue to investigate. If you do so with an open heart, the truth will come to you.

    I wish you well on your journey.

    Mick
     
  20. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Staff Member

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    Interesting the original post has created such a varied discussion - but if it's any consolation, "mental illness" is a pretty common cheap shot, even today. "Modern science" will tell you there is no spiritual experience - just temporal lobe epilepsy.

    I mean, seriously, Postmaster, Jesus spending 40 days in the wilderness - doesn't sound altogether different, and just as easy to dismiss as the behaviour of a nutter. :)
     

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