I figured something out.

Discussion in 'Baha'i' started by Postmaster, May 16, 2007.

  1. Postmaster

    Postmaster New Member

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    I know what attracted me to the Baha'i faith.

    Before I became interested, I was reading alot of Atheist point of view on the net on the origins of religion and how they influenced each other. Atheists use this pattern of history to DISPROVE religion altogether. However although I agreed with many of the Atheist point of views, I couldn't let go of the idea of a Supreme Being or mysticism and afterlife. Mainly because of an experience which happened to my family some years back, an Icon of the Virgin Mary crying an oil substance and flooding the window seal on serval occasions. This is why I decided to just accept Christianity fully. It's when I started looking into Christianity more heavily when by some mysterious way I was diverted to the Baha'i faith. I made a thread regarding the return of Christ in the Christian forum on this site, without any knowledge of Baha'i faith what so ever and for some reason I wrote I had a feeling if he did return he would in Iran, that’s when a member posted and informed me of the Baha'i faith. I've showed Arthra the thread before. Other wise if it wasn’t for that I wouldn't have even bother looking in to the faith I would have regraded it as just another modern cult with no respect or reason to even look into it.

    What the Baha'i faith does is take Atheists concepts of religion (of which are quite reasonable) and adds a theological twist to them (which is quite human and spiritual). This I think is very powerful formula for the Baha'i faith.
     
  2. BruceDLimber

    BruceDLimber Baha'i

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    Fascinating, Postmaster; thank you for explaining this! :)

    I, too, would be most interested in hearing more and seeing the thread in question if you're interested in sharing more.

    Best regards, :)

    Bruce
     
  3. Postmaster

    Postmaster New Member

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  4. Postmaster

    Postmaster New Member

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    I think it's quite true though. What is a cynical view of religion to Atheists, is used in a theological light in the Baha'i faith who say all religions are the same because they reflect the same source (God). Whereas an Atheist would say all religions are caused by the same negative aspect of humanity because they all show the same trade marks. Atheists who are enlightened on religion, choose to be like this maybe because they try to break anyway from the mainstream of religion because deep down they are on to something.
     
  5. BruceDLimber

    BruceDLimber Baha'i

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    Thanis for the link, Postmaster!

    I've never been in that area, though I do post regularly on the general-religion, comparative-religion, and Abrahamic/Baha'i threads.

    And as you're well aware, Art, others, and myself are always more than happy to reply if you come up with any additional questions!

    Cheers! :)

    Bruce
     
  6. Postmaster

    Postmaster New Member

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    Do you think that it was just mere coincidence that without any knowledge of the Baha'i faith at the time I suggested the return of Christ would return in Iran? William miller calculated the return of Christ on the date that the Bab announced his mission, that's why I have been fascinated with that because something came through my intuition to say something on the return of Christ and that was without any knowledge of William Miller either. Ashame that it can always be debated if I had prior knowledge of the Baha'i faith but I can 100% assure you I didn't. The most I'd say is subconsciously seeing a forum on this sites menu with the word Baha'i faith, I didn't even enter this forum till I was pointed to the Baha’i faith.
     
  7. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    Some say there are no "coincidences" but I suspect you were drawn to the Faith for a reason. Many people have become Baha'is with far less "coincidences" than you have had. After the Bab declared His Mission in May 23rd 1844 He indicated that His first disciples would come to Him on their own without even being called. Tahireh had a dream and later became His first female disciple and the others had intimations and recognized Him as the Promised One.

    - Art
     
  8. Postmaster

    Postmaster New Member

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    I've also mentioned other happenings too including dreams, which at one point had me questioning myself. I think this is a reason why I challenged the Baha'i faith quite alot especially on this forum.
     
  9. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    I think it interesting that most Athiests are litteralists. If are ok with biblical inconsistencies, metaphor, myth, parables, and analogies in religious text they go bonkers...
     
  10. Postmaster

    Postmaster New Member

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    And I can't blame them, I could have seen myself going down this path too. But as a child, an Icon of the Virgin Mary bought home would on occasions weep oil. Before then, we used to think weeping icons were hoaxed by certain stupid individuals. This phenomenon has occurred to many others too. I used to think only Christianity was involved in such happenings, but not quite so long ago there was also the Hindu milk drinking miracles that occurred, enough for media and scientific interest, this happened globally at the same time and mysteriously stopped I believe.
     
  11. BruceDLimber

    BruceDLimber Baha'i

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    Hi again! :)

    (BTW, you may want to tell us your first name so we have a better handle for you than just Postmaster.)

    As I think you're aware already, such challenges are always most welcome!

    Not only can they get you some considered and potentially very good answers (and food for thought), but they're very useful to us because whether the questions are friendly or otherwise, they help us Baha'is hone our skills at understanding things ourselves and formulating reasoned answers about the topics in question! Hence our constant encouragement of all and sundry to continue to throw more questions at us.

    So if you will permit me, now maybe this all comes down to: having questioned and considered all this, what conclusions about it are you beginning to draw?

    Best regards, :)

    Bruce
     
  12. niranjan

    niranjan New Member

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    The Bahai religion is definetely a very noble and good religion,perhaps the noblest on earth, and it has the potential to be the panacea for the present evils of the world like religious fundamentalism, because it unites both the east and the west.

    The Bahai religion indeed should prosper, as it is vital for the worlds spiritual health. :)
     
  13. 9Harmony

    9Harmony goin' with the flow...

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    personally, no...i don't think it's coincidence. ;)

    I know of many people who feel that the Faith persued them for sometimes over 30 years before they decided to investigate it. In my case it was 19-20 years between when i first heard of it and when i investigated it. (albeit, i was a child when i first heard of it. :p )

    I think God is oh so patient...but also He is the All-Relentless. :D
     
  14. BruceDLimber

    BruceDLimber Baha'i

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    "Good things come to those who wait," eh?

    :)

    Bruce
     
  15. Postmaster

    Postmaster New Member

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    My name is Peter. I must admit I was quite wary with the Baha'i faith at first, I was quite critical with Baha'is and even the founders of the faith. Like I said I was only drawn in by my post on the Christian forum and then followed some dreams (which made me rationally question myself). I don't think its part of a Zionist plot and I can't say the Baha'i faith is a cult, although doesn't mean cult like behaviour doesn't happen. I'm quite pleased on the high level of morality too. Has definitely changed my view on certain parts of my life, but I don't want to sound like a religous nut saying its made my life complete and full, I'm not regarding it for kicks. Like niranjan said, very noble, positive. I say let it flourish.
     
  16. Mick

    Mick World Citizen

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    Hello Peter,

    My name is Mick. I am happy for you that your search has taken you down this path. I knew of the Baha'i Faith my whole life as my Mother and Grandmother were Baha'is, but I was 32 before I declared my belief in Baha'u'llah and the accepance of His writings. The Baha'i Faith truly influenced my early life in the late 50's and early 60's as a developing teenager that was intolerant of racial intolerance. It also allowed me to look at women as an equal and not an object. It influenced my longing for education and my drive to assure my children were educated and all of this before I ever studied the writings as a Baha'i. Because of friends and family members being members of the Baha'i Faith, I was influenced by their kindness, sincerity and generosity of nature. It was one day when I was talking about the Baha'i Faith to somebody and they asked me how long I had been a Baha'i, and I said, "Actually, I'm not a Baha'i." and they asked, "Why not?" and I couldn't answer them, that I realized that I couldn't deny the station of Baha'u'llah and once I recognized His station of the most recent Manifestation, I wanted to know more what God expected of us. I declared the next day.

    Similar stories are told by other Baha'is. An awareness of the Faith and then an awareness of the Writings and then an awareness of the Station of Baha'u'llah and a recognition of the inability to deny God's Will. And then, of course, an acceptance of our own journey and a tearful, prayerful, thankful, accepting of the Baha'i Faith as the most recent arbiter of God as told to us by Baha'u'llah.

    I welcome you to share our journey. Walk beside us. Become influenced as we were. Say this prayer:

    "I bear witness, O my God, that Thou hast created me to know Thee and to worship Thee. I testify, at this moment, to my powerlessness and to Thy might, to my poverty and to Thy wealth.

    There is none other God but Thee, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting."

    Baha'u'llah​
    warmly,

    Mick
     
  17. BruceDLimber

    BruceDLimber Baha'i

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    Greetings, Peter!



    In fact, we'd view the fact that you started out skeptical about us as an excellent sign! Far better that than some sort of blind acceptance!

    And we don't argue the "let it flourish" part, of course, but I do want to assure you that you needn't worry about sounding like a religious nut even if you do say such things! Such transformations do happen (I won't presume to say how frequent or rare they are), but this certainly needn't make you into a religious fanatic of any sort!

    Indeed, the Baha'i Faith generally teaches moderation as the proper path, and as I'm sure your'e aware, we Baha'is are explicitly forbidden from trying to "convert" people or otherwise presuming to tell them what path they should follow. What you do or don't decide to do with and about the Faith is strictly your business, not ours!



    I won't say it can't happen, but I assure you it's firmly stopped (and the perpetrator counseled) if and when it does!

    And as to cults and the Baha'i Faith generally, I offer you the article below for your consideration.

    Best regards, :)

    Bruce
    _ _ _ _ _

    Based on Combating Cult Mind Control" by Steven Hassan, here are the criteria for determining "cults":

    1. How new members are found.

    Dangerous Cults: With many cults, you don't get to know what you are getting into until after you have made a commitment.

    Baha'i Faith: What you see is what you get: there are no secrets.


    2. How funding is obtained.

    Dangerous Cults: Commercial operations and/or mandatory donations (often large percentages) by members.

    Baha'i Faith: Has no commercial businesses, collection plates are never passed, and donations are completely voluntary and accepted from enrolled members only.


    3. Charismatic central figure.

    Dangerous Cults: Cults usually have a central living figure who often lives on income from adherents.

    Baha'i Faith: There is no living central figure in the Baha'i Faith (and there has been none since 1957); government is by bodies freely elected from the membership. There is no clergy, paid or unpaid.


    4. Investigation of truth.

    Dangerous Cults: Members are often told that it is dangerous to investigate other religions.

    Baha'i Faith: Baha'is are encouraged to investigate all religions, and to appreciate truth no matter where it is found.


    5. Behavior control, as defined by Hassan. *

    Dangerous Cults: Persons may be told where to live, what to wear, or what (and how much) to eat. Sleep and freedom to travel or move about may be limited.

    Baha'i Faith: Baha'is do not live in communes, but in the world as normal individuals and families. They wear no special or required clothing. The religion has no food requirements other than abstaining from alcohol, and the annual nineteen-day fast during which food and drink is not consumed during daylight hours only. Baha'is may get as much sleep as they want, eat whatever they want, work and live where they want.


    6. Thought control as defined by Hassan. *

    Dangerous Cults: There is often use of "thought-stopping" techniques such as chanting or speaking in tongues for long periods of time, setting up a type of hypnotic atmosphere.

    Baha'i Faith: Chanting and prayer are not prolonged, nor is their intent to block thought. There is no speaking in tongues. Thought and investigation are encouraged.


    7. Emotional control, as defined by Hassan. *

    Dangerous Cults: Guilt and fear are often used to control members, including alternating praise and public humiliation or forced confession, and indoctrination against leaving the group.

    Baha'i Faith: Confession to and humiliation of others are forbidden. Members are free to leave the Faith at any time if they so choose, without stigma.


    8. What happens when people leave the religion.

    Dangerous Cults: People who leave cults are often considered to be dangerous and are usually shunned.

    Baha'i Faith: Baha'is are generally permitted and encouraged to remain friends with people who leave. The only exception is in the case of a person declared to be a "Covenant breaker" by the Universal House of Justice due to an attempt to split the Baha'i Faith. There is no condemnation of those who voluntarily choose to leave.

    o O o

    * Hassan, Steven, Combating Cult Mind Control, Park Street Press, One Park Street, Rochester, Vermont 05767, 1988, ISBN 0-89281-311-3. "The Four Components of Mind Control", pages 59-67.
     
  18. smkolins

    smkolins Bahá'í

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    Consider...

    The Valley/City of Search
    (Seven Valleys)
    "At every step, aid from the Invisible Realm will attend him and the heat of his search will grow."
    (Gems of Divine Mysteries)
    "God may guide him in the paths of His favour and the ways of His mercy...He beholdeth the wonders of Divinity in the mysteries of creation and discovereth the paths of guidance and the ways of His Lord."


    Those mysterious alignments - "there are no accidents", coincidences that seem too meaningful to be coincidences.
     
  19. Dah-veeth

    Dah-veeth Abeja Maya

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    Thanks! :)

    You reminded me of what Gandhi said... he called the Baha'i Faith "a solace to mankind."
     

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