Notes

Discussion in 'Baha'i' started by Postmaster, Jun 10, 2007.

  1. Postmaster

    Postmaster New Member

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    I think on an intellectual level I'm with agreement with the Baha'i faith now and this has caused me to think in different ways. I think one of the most important observations of the Baha'i faith is how religion and science corresponds. At first I used to object to this saying it was quite a bold statement. Now either because I've been brain washed or because I have finally come round to seeing the sense to it I've accepted it and think it's fundamentally integral to the religion. Here's an extending conclusion I've been thinking about and another way of saying this, is that materialism and spiritualism correspond so if human beings feel the same material pain, feel the same material emotions, require the same emotional comfort and the same emotional needs. This can only amount to near or the same spiritual outcomes and we are all within the same range.

    What else I've realised is that the Baha'i faith is in no way a superior religion to any other, it is simply a duty. I don't think being a Baha'i can make you more moral then someone practising conservative Christianity or any other religion. People practise good and bad independently from religion. In this sense I view the Baha'i faith as a duty if ones intellect becomes revealed to it.

    Also soon I will be ordering this ring
    [​IMG]

    That's as far as I can go with the Baha'i faith, I have no intensions of a conversion, its an impossibilty to me.
     
  2. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    "I think on an intellectual level I'm with agreement with the Baha'i faith now and this has caused me to think in different ways.."

    Well said postmaster!

    I appreciate your comment and can relate to where your at... Many years ago when I first found the Baha'i Writings I saw that I was in essential agreement with them and knew that should I meet a Baha'i I would have to declare my belief...of course this was intellectual in the beginning but in time it grew to be more spiritual as well.

    - Art
     
  3. BruceDLimber

    BruceDLimber Baha'i

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    Hi again, Peter! :)

    Your comments are most interesting; do keep us posted!

    You may actually want to meet some Baha'is, BTW. If you phone 800-22-UNITE, in addition to providing free literature, the folks there can tell you where the closest Baha'is are to your area.

    As to science and religion, as you know in the Baha'i view they are NOT in contradiction, but rather dovetail very nicely!

    Science may be said to explain the "how" of things, whereas religion explains "Who" and "why." They thus address different, largely non-overlapping domains, but come together nicely to form a complete whole!

    The quickest way to get into trouble is to use either one without the other!: Science without religion is gross materialism (bigger and better nukes); religion without science is superstition (witch-burning).

    And the Baha'i scriptures also say (sorry: I don't have the citation handy) that if a religious doctrine disagrees with established science, then that doctrine is simply wrong.

    There is also this marvelous quote from 'Abdu'l-Baha in the Baha’i scriptures:

    “[E]ven in Europe it is admitted that religion is the opponent of science, and that science is the destroyer of the foundations of religion. While the religion of God is the promoter of truth, the founder of science and knowledge, it is full of goodwill for learned men; it is the civilizer of mankind, the discoverer of the secrets of nature, and the enlightener of the horizons of the world. Consequently, how can it be said to oppose knowledge? God forbid! Nay, for God, knowledge is the most glorious gift of man and the most noble of human perfections. To oppose knowledge is ignorant, and he who detests knowledge and science is not a man, but rather an animal without intelligence. For knowledge is light, life, felicity, perfection, beauty and the means of approaching the Threshold of Unity. It is the honor and glory of the world of humanity, and the greatest bounty of God. Knowledge is identical with guidance, and ignorance is real error.

    “Happy are those who spend their days in gaining knowledge, in discovering the secrets of nature, and in penetrating the subtleties of pure truth! Woe to those who are contented with ignorance, whose hearts are gladdened by thoughtless imitation, who have fallen into the lowest depths of ignorance and foolishness, and who have wasted their lives!”
    —(Some Answered Questions, page 137)

    I hope this is of interest.

    Best regards,

    Bruce
     
  4. Mick

    Mick World Citizen

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    Peter,

    I agree whole heartedly. By the way, the ring is beautiful. I am not familiar with that design. Would you share the website you found it on?

    I, too, love to be near spiritual people and have found many in different parts of the world in different cultures in different religions, and with no religion. We nourish our soul with prayer, recognition of God and Good Acts. You are so correct that a Baha'i would not be superior to another person that has spiritually strengthened. We are all on a journey and the path we choose can be winding and testing. Baha's simply believe that by accepting the announcement of The Bab, following the directions of Baha'u'llah and the example of 'Abdu'l-Baha, these decisions are less arbitrary. The path of a righteous life is well defined and easily followed.

    By the way, I don't think anybody has ever converted to the Baha'i Faith. We simply recognized the Truth of Baha'u'llah and made the decision to follow his directions.

    Allah'u'Abha, dear friend. "God is most Glorious"

    Mick
     
  5. Postmaster

    Postmaster New Member

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    If there is no conversion how does it work?
     
  6. Mick

    Mick World Citizen

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    Peter

    To become a part of the Baha'i Administrative Order, you simply sign a declaration card. The declaration card simply states you accept the Central Figures as they have proclaimed as well as the seat of the Universal House of Justice. Well, that is true in the USA, but I am not sure how it works in other countries. I'm not sure that all countries have declaration cards. Interestingly, many of the older Baha'is never signed a declaration card. We used to chuckle and say, sign the card and get a free monthly newsletter. Actually, membership in the Baha'i Faith allows you to attend Feasts and to vote in the selection of your Local Spiritual Assembly.

    You may simply be asked if you accept the above and would then be considered a Baha'i. We have many people that are "close to the Faith." People that have accepted the principles and the Stations of the Central Figures and recognize the origin of the Divine Message from Baha'u'llah but have never become part of the Administrative Order.

    I cannot emphasize enough the importance to you as well as the rest of the world, though, for a person to become part of this Great Cause. The Principles of Baha'u'llah are not only spiritually changing for an individual, but are and have been world changing since he shared them with the Peoples of the World.

    Recently, I had been messaging with a Liberian couple that were refugees in Senegal. They had asked me if I was a Christian. I told them I was a Baha'i and they proceeded to ask questions. The messaging went on daily for about a week. They recognized the Truths of Baha'u'llah and insisted on declaring their belief. They were counselors for a Christian orphanage at the time, but felt it was important to share this wonderful message of peace, since they had come from a war torn country. Since I didn't speak French and it is the National Language for Senegal, I emailed a neighboring countries National Baha'i Center in The Gambia. They were able to contact the National Assembly of Senegal and they made contact with Marvin and Florence and their desires were satisfied. They are now preparing to return to Liberia with their family as Baha'is.

    I mention this, because if you haven't met a Baha'i from your area, you may want to. I or others would be happy to help you locate some in your area. It would give you an opportunity to recognize the wonderful spirit these people have. They surely wouldn't try to convert you, since we don't convert. They surely would help you answer any questions you may continue to have. I know I still have some. They could probably explain to you much better than we can in this medium, the internet, what "living the life" actually means. Sorry for the long answer, but even though the question was short, it was powerful.

    warmly,

    Mick
     
  7. Mick

    Mick World Citizen

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    Peter,

    You know, I didn't really address "conversion" and I should have.

    The reason I say that their is no conversion is the word suggests giving up something and replacing it with something else. As you know, we accept the "Son"-ness of Jesus. We also accept the Prophethood of Muhammed, and the Covenant of Abraham and the Law Giving of Moses and the God Head of Krshna, the Justice of Zoroaster and the Spirit of the Buddha. Obviously instead of giving up anything, a Baha'i accepts the whole Message of God. So we become richer in our knowledge of the Revelation and don't convert but grow.

    We learn to accept differences as attractive. We learn to become curious about things we don't know about, not suspicious. We learn to become passionate about Unity and less passionate about dogma. We start to recognize the Truths of God in all the religions of God, as I have noticed you have for quite some time and it is these similarities that should unite us not cause us to hate.

    I wish you well on your journey. I hope you can recognize that we respect and honor the Orthodox Church as we do all of the Churches of God.

    Mick
     
  8. Popeyesays

    Popeyesays New Member

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    India does not use declaration cards. A simple verbal statement is taken. It seems to work fine since India has had at least 100,000 new members each year since the Temple was opened.

    Whole villages are predominantly Baha`i and in some locations the Baha`i administrative order acts as municipal administration.

    Regards,
    Scott
     
  9. Postmaster

    Postmaster New Member

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    Thanks for the input it has cleared many things for me.

    Here's the site requested
    Baha'i Jewelry

    I guess deep down I'm a self confessed Baha'i, I know I act like one anyway and I'm pleased when people are drawn to the faith. I always thought there was some kind of initiation ritual or conversion process.

    What I've noticed from reading what ex Baha'is have to say and some that even turn into Anti-Baha'is often question and oppose things that I questioned right from the beginning. I think I went far and wide with my investigation more then probably the average person and asked some pretty difficult questions. I'm satisfied that it's not a cult, I'm satisfied that it's not a Zionist plot and I'm satisfied with the theology. I'd like to thank the Baha'is on this forum that helped me out with my questions.
     
  10. BruceDLimber

    BruceDLimber Baha'i

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    Hi, Peter!

    I'm very glad you're happy with what you've found! :)

    Baha'is in most countries use a signed declaration card as the means of joining, but as mentioned, not all do.

    As to rituals, there is none associated with becoming a Baha'i. Indeed, we're specifically discouraged from creating additinoal rituals, and there are really only five of them in the Faith:
    • the daily obligatory prayer,
    • daily recitation of "Allah-u-Abha" ("God is Most Glorious") 95 times,
    • the annual fast,
    • the Baha'i wedding vow, and
    • the Baha'i burial prayer.
    That's it!

    As to the reasons for joining, it's so you can participate in the life and growth of the community (as the Baha'i Faith isn't just about progressing the individual, but about advancing society, too). Specifically (as someone else began to mention), becoming a Baha'i gives you certain specific rights and priveleges of membership:
    • voting for administrative bodies,
    • eligibility to serve on these bodies,
    • the right to attend the Nineteen-day Feast and other Baha'i-only activities such as convention, and
    • the right to contribute to the Baha'i Funds (non-members may not do this).
    I, too, encourage you to look up the Baha'is in your area and meet them! As I think I mentioned, the folks at 1-800-22-UNITE can tell you where they are in your area (and will also be happy to send you free literature).

    Best regards, and please feel free to ask any further questions! :)

    Oh--and in addition to asking guestions of us, you may want to check out the discussion area at Planet Baha'i: www.planetbahai.org It has a great bunch of folks, both Baha'i and other, and you'll find a lot of good answers and great conversations there!

    Cheers! :)

    Bruce
     
  11. 17th Angel

    17th Angel לבעוט את התחת ולקחת שמות

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    Hmm that isn't that much of an extortionate price either... Also solid... So quality isn't an issue... With some of these religions the pass off some cheap tact to get your money, I for sure wouldn't wear it with it's slogan, but thats a nice quality ring!

    Also off topic, you smoking a reefer in your avatar?
     
  12. Mick

    Mick World Citizen

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    I hope nobody minds, but I would like to tell a story.

    A Baha'i friend of mine is a musician and a singer and a very kind soul. He was volunteering in local nursing homes using his talents as music therapy. One day he sang a song with a Baha'i theme that had been requested by somebody in the audience that had heard it before. When he finished the song, a lady spoke up and stated that she was a Baha'i. Bob said he smiled at her and continued with the music program. After the performance, he went to the ladies room to meet her. After all, he lived in a small community and all the Baha'is knew each other and he had never met this lady before.

    Here is the ladies story. When the lady was in her early thirties, in the 1940's she had lost her husband. Her brother-in-law had visited her to console her. He travelled a lot and in fact she never saw him again, not knowing what happened to him. He had left a small card, business card size, on her coffee table that had a list of principles of the Baha'i Faith. (These cards used to be passed around a lot. I remember seeing them when I was a child. In fact, I think one can still get them through the Baha'i Publishing Trust) Well, she read these principles and decided to live her life following them. Since the card read "The Principles of the Baha'i Faith", she considered herself after that a Baha'i. She did not know that their were other Baha'is or that there was an Administrative Order. She said that she had lived a wonderful and fulfilling life, using these principles as her guide.

    I met her shortly after that. I picked her up and took her to a State Convention, where she met hundreds of fellow Baha'is. Many came to her that day, as word was spread of her appearance. She was shown great respect. After all, here was a person that on her own volition, armed with no more than a list of the principles that Baha'u'llah gave us, recognized the wishes of God. She was such a vibrant spirit and she truly rewarded many young people that day with her steadfastness. What a lesson we all learned from her, just hearing her story.

    She passed away the next year. We all miss her.

    Mick
     
  13. Mick

    Mick World Citizen

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    The ring isn't being sold by the "religon". It is made and sold by an individual. What part of the slogan didn't you like? Was it the "Mankind is One" part? How peculiar.
     
  14. Postmaster

    Postmaster New Member

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    It's a cuban cigar at a birthday party, just a one off smoke for me. Never tried a reefer, never would :cool:

    Thanks for the story mick, interesting.
     
  15. 17th Angel

    17th Angel לבעוט את התחת ולקחת שמות

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    I'd class it as a lie.

    lol, fair enough.
     
  16. Postmaster

    Postmaster New Member

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    Do you have any way of convincing me that its a lie?
     
  17. 17th Angel

    17th Angel לבעוט את התחת ולקחת שמות

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    I think it would from personal experince and opinon, I am not here to convince anyone... To me it is a lie, mankind will never be one, it will forever fall into small factions that rage and hate agaisnt other factions, abuse and take advantage of the other factions...

    -Edit-

    Indeed you have one of these factions that hopes, dreams and aspires to world peace... But, It will remain as a hope..
     
  18. Mick

    Mick World Citizen

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    I wonder if you would agree that having hope is a whole bunch better than having no hope. We do believe that the message of Baha'u'llah gives the world hope. It tells us what God expects of us. It gives us directions so we, as individuals, can live as if Mankind is One. If their are factions, that is the result of God's plan which gives each individual a choice to follow His will or their own.

    Without hope you have hopelessness. How sad. There are many people in the world that are living in hopelessness by no act of their own. The sadness comes from those that chose to live within their own pathetic uncaring, hopelessness. Well, I guess once you reach the bottom of the pit, everthing is up after that.

    The fact is "The world is one country and mankind is its citizens." The fact is "We are the fruits of one tree, the drops of one wave." The fact is "Mankind is One." Not a lie. Not even unbelieveable. It is believeable, reachable, and becoming more apparent as time passes. It is becoming more of a reality today, than at any time in the history of man.

    Mick

    Mick
     
  19. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    "...it will forever fall into small factions that rage and hate agaisnt other factions, abuse and take advantage of the other factions..."

    Since the world is "shrinking" and nations are more interdependent the recognition of the oneness of mankind is probably even more necessary than it was say oh... two hundred years ago and today there are institutions such as the United Nations and the world court that we didn't have before...so while there continue to be small factions and fighting it will hopefully be more restricted or on a smaller scale at least that's our hope...

    - Art
     
  20. lunamoth

    lunamoth Episcopalian

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    Hi Postmaster, I am very happy for you finding this new path, to whatever extent you decide to become formally part of the Baha'i community. You've made some very good comments in your post above and it is much how I feel about the Faith as well. In fact, like you I agree with all of the beautiful Baha'i Principles. I'm especially glad to hear that you've found this peace with the Baha'i Faith because for the longest time I felt bad for directing you toward it when it seemed to cause you so much consternation. But in the end it has been an enriching period of growth which is so good to hear.

    Like the others above I would encourage you to try to find your local Baha'i community and meet some Baha'is in person to answer your questions and find out more about the Faith. There should be many things you can attend without formally declaring. Plus, the Baha'is I've known have been some of the greatest people I've ever met...you will be sure to enjoy their company.

    Best wishes!

    luna
     

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