spiritualists

Discussion in 'Baha'i' started by rybing26, Mar 14, 2004.

  1. rybing26

    rybing26 New Member

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    Alláh-u-Abhá!
    This is another question which I feel I need to ask you all.
    Some months ago before I became a Bahai, my wife and I went to a spiritualist church to seek guidance from our departed loved ones. ( i must add i have not been since) Namley my grand mother and my uncle. My grandmother recently departed and my Uncle departed many years ago.
    The messages that came through where of no doubt at all from my grandmother as we were given specific details of our lives that no one else(let alone a stranger) could have possibly known.
    It seemed as if because my grandmother only recently departed the messages were flooding through via this spiritualist.
    then she started to bring messages from my uncle who died many years ago, and she said it was harder to hear him as he was further away than my grandmother and he was 'shouting' in order to be heard from far away.
    What are Baha'u'llah's teachings on contacting the departed? and could it be that with my Uncle he is further progressed in the worlds of God? in comaprison to my grand mother? is that why he appeared further away?
    thanks for all your insights into this matter

    Yours in the wisdom of Baha'u'llah

    Ryanxx
     
  2. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    Welcome Ryan!

    As you read the Baha'i Writings and the interpretations of Abdul-Baha and His grandson Shoghi Effendi I think you will find that while as Baha'is we believe strongly in the spiritual worlds and that some contact maybe possible with one's loved ones, we also don't recommend Spiritualism or contacting mediums or channelers for advice.

    See my notes to you on the Delphi Planet Baha'i message board.

    - Art
     
  3. Susma Rio Sep

    Susma Rio Sep New Member

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    Pair of shoes

    I am a postgraduate Catholic, meaning no longer attached to the beliefs and observances of Catholicism, but still sympathetic for memory's sake.

    Once I had a dream of my deceased father getting ready to leave the house but not being able to locate his shoes.

    I told my wife, asking her whether we should visit dad's grave with a pair of his shoes. I am a guy who do things even eccentric as long as it's not troublesome and it makes me feel good. What did my better half say? "We should visit Dad's grave, but no need to bring a pair of his shoes with us."

    Coming to your quest for communication from your deceased loved ones, going somewhere to see some people for this purpose, allow me to suggest the following pointers:

    1. No need to go places and see people to get messages from deceased loved ones.

    2. Messages being sought are always of information the deceased is supposed to know as regards facts or as regards sentiments: facts like where something can be found, sentiments like whether he is still angry.

    3. Search the memory and intelligence of the living, including your own, for facts; for sentiments, do everything reasonable now which you think will make the deceased rest more peaceably, and relieve you of any moral burdens you are bearing in his regard.

    4. In case you want instead to send messages to the deceased, do it this way, but without going places and seeing people for the purpose, namely: put yourself in a quiet mood and think of the deceased you want to contact, and talk to him, as you would when you pray to God or the saints (for Catholics). That is a very consoling and I believe mentally sound practice.

    If you insist on seeing people for receiving and sending messages, see only total strangers who don't have any intimidation direct or even indirect that you are coming. And don't give them any money.

    Susma Rio Sep
     
  4. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Staff Member

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    It would be great to see further reference to this subject here - this is a very interesting topic. :)
     
  5. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    Brian:

    Here's a copy of my notes from the other forum:

    While Baha'is don't discount the existence of the spritual worlds and possible contact with souls of those who have passed on...we also do not recommend or endorse spiritualism per se:

    "In connection with spiritualism, although the Master says that there is some element of truth in what some teach under the subject of auto-suggestion and others, spiritualism as such is not taught by the Bahá'í religion. Our Master has said that religion and true science must go together and most of these things have not been proved by science."

    - The Light of Divine Guidance (vol 2)

    Source:

    http://www.bahai-library.com/writings/shoghieffendi/ldg/vol2/sec-5.html

    Also Shoghi Effendi in a letter dated 8/9/45 warned :

    "There is no ambiguity about the Master (Abdul-Baha) attitude toward psychic forces. He very strongly warned the believers against using them."

    _____________________________

    From my own personal experience years ago with Mediums I found them to be not that honest and not above using subterfuge to get information about people that they would then target during a seance...

    Also they can exploit other peoples' gullibility...

    Emphasis on developing psychic powers is also considerd by us to be possibly damaging for spiritual developement.

    - Art
     
  6. BruceDLimber

    BruceDLimber Baha'i

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    Hi! :)

    Since you're from a Roman Catholic background, you might enjoy seeing the pamphlet on the Baha'i Faith that was published by the Roman Catholic Church.

    I have it online, and will post it below.

    Regards,

    Bruce

    - - - - -

    Getting to Know People of Other Faiths No. 8

    W H A T I S T H E B A H A ' I F A I T H ?


    _Introduction_

    In the Vatican II 'Declaration on the relationship of the Church
    with Non-Christians' we find that the Church speaks with warmth
    and openness and greets People of Faith as partners in a single
    great enterprise. These religions contain much that is good and
    holy and provide ways of salvation for millions of people all
    over the world. Throughout the documents of Vatican II we find
    encouragement to respect, accept and meet as friends, those who
    profess faiths different from our own. The Baha'i Faith will be
    introduced here in this spirit.

    _Who are the Baha'is?_

    The Baha'i founders sprang from Islamic roots, but are seen by
    the Baha'is as founding a religion that fulfills all previous
    religions. Today Baha'is are people who formerly had different
    religious backgrounds. They have been Christians, Jews, Muslims,
    Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Zoroastrians or else they had no
    religion at all. They give equal homage to all the past
    prophets, but believe that religion progressively evolves, and
    the Baha'u'llah is God's spokesman for this age. Although
    Baha'is are from different religious, racial, national, economic
    and social classes, the Baha'i teachings gave given them a higher
    loyalty--the loyalty to humanity.

    To a Baha'i there is no demarcation between religion and everyday
    life. The most important prayer, Baha'is say, is a person's
    daily life. Religion, in other words, is an attitude towards God
    reflected in life.

    Today there are between 5 and 6 million Baha'is in the world,
    extending over more than three hundred and forty countries,
    territories and island groups. In England there are 6,000
    registered Baha'is (1989) with 180 local Assemblies, resident in
    over 400 localities. At least 9 people are needed to form a
    local assembly. The Scriptures of the Baha'i Faith consist of
    the writings of the founders and are translated into over six
    hundred languages. The rapid growth they have experienced puts
    them in the category of a world religion, the youngest in the
    line of the prophetic tradition.

    _Origins of the Baha'i Faith_

    The Forerunner of the Baha'i Faith was a young Persian merchant
    known as the Bab (the Gate), who in 1844 proclaimed Himself to be
    a Messenger of God and a herald of One greater than Himself--One
    who would inaugurate a new era in religion and civilization.
    LIke earlier Messengers of God, the Bab was opposed and
    denounced. After six years of persecution He was publicly
    martyred at the age of 30 in Tabriz.

    Its founder was Baha'u'llah (the Glory of God), a Persian
    nobleman who in 1863 declared Himself to be the One whose coming
    the Bab and all the previous Prophets had foretold. Like His
    predecessor, He was bitterly opposed and persecuted. During
    nearly forty years of exile and imprisonment He committed to
    writing the teachings of His revelation, some of them in letters
    to the most important kings and leaders of religion, as well and
    teaching and training His followers. His fourth and last place
    of banishment, reached in 1865, was the prison city of 'Akka
    (Acre), Palestine, where He passed away in 1892 at the age of
    seventy-four.

    Its authorised interpreter and exemplar was 'Abdu'l-Baha (the
    servant of the Glory), eldest son of Baha'u'llah, who was
    appointed by his father as the Centre of His Covenant and the one
    to whom all must turn for instruction and guidance. 'Abdu'l-Baha
    was the close companion and constant helper of his father, whose
    sufferings he shared. He remained a prisoner until 1908, when
    the old regime in Turkey was overthrown and all religious and
    political prisoners were liberated. Afterwards he travelled
    widely in Egypt, Europe and America, explaining the principles of
    the Faith and inspiring and directing the activities of its
    followers throughout the world. He passed away in Haifa in 1921,
    mourned by people of all faiths. His life was and continues to
    be a shining example to all. In his will and testament,
    'Abdu'l-Baha appointed his grandson, Shoghi Effendi, to be the
    Guardian of the Faith, and the interpreter of its scripture.
    Under his guiding hand, the faith spread rapidly. He passed away
    in London in 1957. Since 1963, the Faith has been under the
    guidance of the Universal House of Justice.

    _The Baha'i Faith_

    Proclaims: The Oneness of God, the Oneness of Religion and of
    Mankind, and the equality of men and women. It encourages the
    elimination of prejudice of all kinds, universal education,
    elimination of extremes of wealth and poverty, the protection of
    cultural diversity. It also advocates individual search after
    truth, the harmony of science and religion, use of an auxiliary
    universal language and world government.

    _The Baha'i House of Worship_

    A Baha'i house of worship is open to people of all nations,
    races, classes and creeds. It is a place of prayer and
    meditation for all, a gift from the Baha'is and a demonstration
    of their faith in the oneness of God, the oneness of His Prophets
    and the oneness of mankind.

    There is one major Baha'i House of Worship in each continent.
    For local regular gatherings the Baha'is hold meetings in their
    homes or in hired halls. The community has neither a priesthood
    nor rituals. The Baha'is see their teachings as a ringing call
    to action. They see them as offering hope, courage and vision,
    in a world beset with universal problems.

    _Baha'i Administration_

    Consultation is the keynote of all Baha'i administration.

    There is no clergy and no ritual.

    The Scripture is in written form, preserved and authentic.
    Administrative bodies are called Spiritual Assemblies; they are
    local, national, and international. All Assemblies meet in a
    spirit of prayer.

    These spiritual Assemblies are elected by the people, but their
    responsibility is trust from God to whom alone they are
    answerable.

    There is no seeking for votes, no candidates, no platform
    promises, no parties.

    The Nineteen Day Feast is a community occasion, for the reading
    of prayers, discussions of affairs with the Local Spiritual
    Assembly, and material refreshment together.

    The Universal House of Justice--an elected International body
    constituted by Baha'u'llah as the supreme legislative and
    governing body of the Faith--carries out its duties at the Baha'i
    World Centre in Haifa Israel.

    Only members of the Baha'i Faith may contribute to the Baha'i
    Fund.

    _Questions for discussion_

    1. Baha'is clearly place great emphasis on social teaching and
    the community of humankind. How do we as Christians respond
    to the social teaching of the Church?

    2. In what areas would cooperation with people of [the] Baha'i
    Faith be most fruitful and possible?

    _Suggested further reading_

    'The Baha'i Faith' Leaflet published by the Baha'i publishing
    Trust, 2 South Street, Oakham, Leicestershire.
    'The Baha'i Faith' Booklet Ibid.
    'Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah" by Baha'u'llah.
    'Paris Talks' by 'Abdu'l-Baha.
    'Guidelines for Today and Tomorrow' by Shoghi Effendi.
    'Baha'u'llah and the New Era' by Dr. J. E. Esslemont. A complete
    catalogue of Baha'i literature can be obtained by writing to :
    The Baha'i Publishing Trust, 2 South Street, Oakham,
    Leicerstershire LE15 6HY. [In the US, call the Baha'i
    Distribution Service toll-free at 1-800-999-9019 for a free
    catalog.]

    - * -

    This is part of the series of leaflets prepared for the Catholic
    community by the Committee for Other Faiths. Understanding and
    friendly relations with those who believe in God and live their
    lives with religious principles and purpose contribute to the
    harmony of society and the happiness of all. The series offers
    useful information to those who wnat to overcome the obstacles of
    ignorance and promote through dialogue, prayer and action the
    Catholic Church's teaching of respect and love for all peoples.

    The Committee is grateful to its member Sr. Elizabeth West rscj
    for this contribution.

    +Charles Henderson
    Chairman

    _Also available_:

    "Neighbours and Neighbourhood--a Catholic introduction to living
    with neighbours of other Faiths" "What is Islam?" "What is
    Buddhism?" "Who was the Buddha?" "What is Hinduism?" "The
    Mosque--the Muslim House of Prayer" "Our Sikh Neighbours."

    Orders for this leaflet may be obtained from: C.F.O.F., 6a
    Cresswell Park, London SE3 9RD. We regret because of inflation
    and increased postage that for orders up to 25 leaflets charges
    must be 10p per leaflet plus 50p post and packing. Orders in
    bundles of 50 of the same leaflet 3.00 [pounds] post free. Please
    make cheques payable to: N.C.F. (Other Faiths).

    Further information and copies of these leaflets can be obtained
    from: The Multi-Faith Centre, Harborne Hall, Old Church road,
    Harborne, Birmingham B170BE and The Westminster Interfaith
    Programme, 2 Church Avenue, Southall, Middlesex UB24DH.

    -- Committee for Other Faiths --
    Bishops' Conference of England and Wales
     
  7. Postmaster

    Postmaster New Member

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    I know this is an old thread. But I would like to say that I'am in agreement with the Baha'i faith regarding spiritual mediums. I would recommend not to seek there service. There is an art to spiritual mediums that is not understood but it appears to me that they can pick up your deep thoughts or things of significance through your expressive body language and your spoken words. I know I have been able to do this myself but I do not put it down to spirituality. Saying that I would not deny that contact with the dead is possible nor that that some people can be a spiritual link. Glad to hear that the Baha'i faith has an accurate take on this.

    The Baha'is would be fast to point out that a Seer realised that Bahaullah would be the founder of a great cause through reading a dream he had.

     
  8. Postmaster

    Postmaster New Member

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    Extending on the topic, it’s known that you can influence someone’s short term maybe even long term actions by techniques such as leaving suggestions in your conversation. The trick is to show no signs of manipulations or demand in your body language or in your direct conversation, this way the suggestions are more easily absorbed. People do it all the time, people from religious institutions to businessmen. Intensions range from Good to bad causes but beware they are used for fleecing you from your money, submission and relationships.
     
  9. Postmaster

    Postmaster New Member

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    I know quite a lot on this topic, might create a thread sometime.
     
  10. Postmaster

    Postmaster New Member

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    Re: Pair of shoes

    Interesting.. I think in dreams a house can sometimes be a reference to a grave. A few months back my grandfather died, this happened in England. Before he died his nephew in Germany had dream that his grandmother who he never met before (who is my grandfathers mother) visited him and said I'm just fixing the house because I'm expecting a new visitor. Afew days later my grandfather died and was buried with his mother, even though his death was accidental. He requested to be buried with his mother acouple of days before he died to only his wife (my grandmother).

    My guess is your father was ready to go towards god and totally leave materialism behind, I suspect that after death there is a waiting period or closure period before we go towards the next realm.
     
  11. Mick

    Mick World Citizen

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    Allah'u'Abha, Peter,

    When a question comes up concerning science and logic, I like to turn to 'Abdu'l-Baha. Some Answered Questions is a treasure chest of commentaries about various subjects. This is his comments concerning spiritualism. I hope you enjoy.

    VISIONS AND COMMUNICATION WITH SPIRITS

    1 Question.--Some people believe that they achieve spiritual discoveries--that is to say, that they converse with spirits. What kind of communion is this?
    2 Answer.--Spiritual discoveries are of two kinds: one kind is of the imagination and is only the assertion of a few people; the other kind resembles inspiration, and this is real--such are the revelations of Isaiah, of Jeremiah and of St. John, which are real.

    3 Reflect that man's power of thought consists of two kinds. One kind is true, when it agrees with a determined truth. Such conceptions find realization in the exterior world; such are accurate opinions, correct theories, scientific discoveries and inventions.

    4 The other kind of conceptions is made up of vain thoughts and useless ideas which yield neither fruit nor result, and which have no reality. No, they surge like the waves of the sea of imaginations, and they pass away like idle dreams.

    5 In the same way, there are two sorts of spiritual discoveries. One is the revelations of the Prophets, and the spiritual discoveries of the elect. The visions of the Prophets are not dreams; no, they are spiritual discoveries and have reality. They say, for example, "I saw a person in a certain form, and I said such a thing, and he gave such an answer." This vision is in the world of wakefulness, and not in that of sleep. Nay, it is a spiritual discovery which is expressed as if it were the appearance of a vision.

    6 The other kind of spiritual discoveries is made up of pure imaginations, but these imaginations become embodied in such a way that many simple-hearted people believe that they have a reality. That which proves it clearly is that from this controlling of spirits no result or fruit has ever been produced. No, they are but narratives and stories.

    7 Know that the reality of man embraces the realities of things, and discovers the verities, properties and secrets of things. So all these arts, wonders, sciences and knowledge have been discovered by the human reality. At one time these sciences, knowledge, wonders and arts were hidden and concealed secrets; then gradually the human reality discovered them and brought them from the realm of the invisible to the plane of the visible. Therefore, it is evident that the reality of man embraces things. Thus it is in Europe and discovers America; it is on the earth, and it makes discoveries in the heavens. It is the revealer of the secrets of things, and it is the knower of the realities of that which exists. These discoveries corresponding to the reality are similar to revelation, which is spiritual comprehension, divine inspiration and the association of human spirits. For instance, the Prophet says, "I saw, I said, I heard such a thing." It is, therefore, evident that the spirit has great perception without the intermediary of any of the five senses, such as the eyes or ears. Among spiritual souls there are spiritual understandings, discoveries, a communion which is purified from imagination and fancy, an association which is sanctified from time and place. So it is written in the Gospel that, on Mount Tabor, Moses and Elias came to Christ, and it is evident that this was not a material meeting. It was a spiritual condition which is expressed as a physical meeting.

    8 The other sort of converse, presence and communications of spirits is but imagination and fancy, which only appears to have reality.

    9 The mind and the thought of man sometimes discover truths, and from this thought and discovery signs and results are produced. This thought has a foundation. But many things come to the mind of man which are like the waves of the sea of imaginations; they have no fruit, and no result comes from them. In the same way, man sees in the world of sleep a vision which becomes exactly realized; at another time, he sees a dream which has absolutely no result.

    10 What we mean is that this state, which we call the converse and communications of spirits, is of two kinds: one is simply imaginary, and the other is like the visions which are mentioned in the Holy Book, such as the revelations of St. John and Isaiah and the meeting of Christ with Moses and Elias. These are real, and produce wonderful effects in the minds and thoughts of men, and cause their hearts to be attracted.


    You may also want to go to Some Answered Questions for the complete manuscript. If you don't have this UrL it also is a source for most of the writings of the Central Figures.

    Mick
     

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