Questions...

Discussion in 'Baha'i' started by Phi, Mar 24, 2004.

  1. Phi

    Phi Well-Known Member

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    Hi, and thank you for inviting me to explore here. Well...I'm going to have to do some reading & studying, but there are a couple of questions first.
    1. Oh, please, why does it ALWAYS have to be a man leader? I am really shy of male-led religion now. What's the scoop on the female aspect of God?
    2. What do you believe about foresight and other psychic traits in women members? I was born this way!
    3. Who's the leader of your particular church or group? Why isn't it a woman? (just guessing)
    4. Ballulah: male or female
    I know I sound like a feminist, and I suppose I am when it comes to religion, but the word "feminist" has some negative connotations and associations I don't really care for, so please don't look for my sexual persuasion nor my politics in this term. I believe with all of my soul that women are equal to men, and will not chance getting back into a patriarchy.
    If all Gods are men in heaven, I do not want eternal life. I cooked & cleaned long enough down here... ;)
    Really, I do love men, my best friend is one (husband) and so was my Dad.
    So are my two brothers and so will be my grandson (he's 2, so cute!)
    but if your God is a man, and always referred to as one, well he's only half of mine. Been there, done that, know better now.
    Thanks for your help. Sorry if I sound a little outrageous, but I really am just outspoken and honest.
     
  2. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

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    Just to let you know I split this post from Shih Yo Chi's thread, as there seems an acute difference in emphasis, and thought both questioners would prosper better this way. :)
     
  3. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    Hello Phi!

    So good to hear from you Phi and I do encourage you to ask as many questions as you wish... As far as I can tell every one of your questions were excellent... no need to be apologetic!

    Phi:

    Hi, and thank you for inviting me to explore here. Well...I'm going to
    have to do some reading & studying, but there are a couple of questions
    first.
    1. Oh, please, why does it ALWAYS have to be a man leader? I am really
    shy of male-led religion now. What's the scoop on the female aspect of
    God?

    Reply:

    That God is referred to as "He" or "Him" is merely due to an accident of language.... It has nothing to do conceiving of God as "male" or an "old man with a beard".... In the Baha'i Writings which were revealed by Baha'u'llah a very prominent place is given to the "Maid of Heaven" this is obviously a "feminine" spiritual concept that plays a part something like the Angel Gabriel does in Islam...

    Phi:

    2. What do you believe about foresight and other psychic traits in
    women members? I was born this way!

    Reply:

    Baha'is recognize that there is a spiritual world and that people could have psychic abilities. We do not however encourage people to be psychics or to consult mediums or those who "channel" ....

    Phi:

    3. Who's the leader of your particular church or group? Why isn't it a
    woman? (just guessing)

    Reply:

    Actually we have no priests or priestesses in the Baha'i Faith. We have no professioanl clergy whatsoever. The Faith is administered by elected representatives in institutions known as Local Spiritual Assemblies, National Spiritual Assemblies and the Universal House of Justice. Women serve on all levels of our administration with the exception of the nine member Universal House of Justice. We also have an appointive arm known as the Counselors and Auxiliary Board Memebers who serve limited terms and women also serve in these offices.

    Phi:

    4. Ballulah: male or female

    Reply:

    "Baha'u'llah" was the title of Mirza Husayn Ali Who was the Prophet Founder of the Baha'i Faith. He was a "man" Who was what we Baha'is consider to be a Manifestation of God and He lived in nineteenth century Persia. Baha'u'llah taught that men and women are equal at a time when there were no female professions and when women were excluded from voting.

    Phi:

    I know I sound like a feminist, and I suppose I am when it comes to
    religion, but the word "feminist" has some negative connotations and
    associations I don't really care for, so please don't look for my sexual
    persuasion nor my politics in this term. I believe with all of my soul
    that women are equal to men, and will not chance getting back into a
    patriarchy.

    Reply:

    Well Phi it may interest you to know that Baha'is agree with your sentiments. As noted above Baha'is are very stong on the principle of the equality of men and women! Baha'is have many projects around the world stressing education and training of women and we also stress empowering women to assume their rightful place in human society.

    Phi:

    If all Gods are men in heaven, I do not want eternal life. I cooked &
    cleaned long enough down here...
    Really, I do love men, my best friend is one (husband) and so was my
    Dad.
    So are my two brothers and so will be my grandson (he's 2, so cute!)
    but if your God is a man, and always referred to as one, well he's only
    half of mine. Been there, done that, know better now.

    Reply:

    As noted above Phi, that we use terms like "He" for God is an accident of language and has nothing to do with God being a "man". Also Heaven for us is not a place where you'll be in a servile relationship to men... Heaven is a spiritual state of being close to God.

    Phi:

    Thanks for your help. Sorry if I sound a little outrageous, but I
    really am just outspoken and honest.

    Reply:

    I wouldn't have it any other way!

    - Art
     
  4. 9Harmony

    9Harmony goin' with the flow...

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    Hi again Phi,

    Just a couple things to add to what Art said.

    As a Baha'i I am constantly trying to deepen my understanding of concepts like this. The Baha'i Faith teachs the equality of men and women. And until these 2 wings of the bird of humanity are balanced mankind cannot soar to the heights that it is destined to achieve.
    When my oldest daughter was about 10 they were discussing why God hasn't sent a female prophet yet. And her response was that "mankind was not yet mature enough to accept it. So maybe next time." At this point in time woman is still striving to attain equality with men, and it is gradually taking place. It could be considered a part of our spiritual evolution.
    (It is important to note that Baha'u'llah brought this message to a culture in which women were definitely not considered equal and still aren't.)
    I guess my understanding is that until we the human race as a whole acknowledge the equality of the sexes, we will not see a female prophet, but that is just my opinion.

    "What's the scoop on the female aspect of God? "

    I read a book a while ago, entitled "I Beheld a Maiden" which explored the use of the feminine in the Writings of Baha'u'llah. It was quite fascinating. Unfortunately I am unable to locate it online. Here is a link to look at the description of it and purchase it if you would like. It may also be available at your local library. http://www.bahaibooksonline.com/beheldmaiden.html

    In the Baha'i revelation the 'The Maid of Heaven' represents the Holy Spirit.

    IMHO, in the spiritual worlds of God gender does not exist, that is a concept which is reserved for this earthly plane. All beings have masculine and feminine attributes and in the spiritual planes these attributes achieve a balance.

    About psychic abilities you may be interested in this thread at the Planet Baha'i forum, where this topic was discussed in depth.
    http://forums.delphiforums.com/planetbahai/messages/?msg=2893.1

    This quote stuck out at me as I was skimming the thread which I think may pertain to your situation. "The psychic mediums, however, are speaking of the world of thought and not the world of Reality. But a heavenly soul who is conscious of the divine world, whose eye of discernment is open, who is severed from the world of nature, and has attained to spiritual power -- this soul is cognizant of the divine world and the world of spirits. Reality is pure spirit, it is not physical." (Compilations, Baha'i Scriptures, p. 442)


    I hope some of this may be helpful to you. Please feel free to ask more questions, it assists us to deepen our own knowledge of our Faith.

    Loving Greetings, Harmony
     
  5. BruceDLimber

    BruceDLimber Baha'i

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    Hi! :)

    As regards the equality of men and women, it might also interest you to know that the Baha'i International Community has formal status with the UN as a non-governmental agency, and serves on various UN agencies.

    One of these is UNIFEM, the UN agency for women's development and equality. And indeed, we were recently CHAIRING its meetings! :)

    Best,

    Bruce
     
  6. berinwitness

    berinwitness Member

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    Shoghi Effendi, leader of the Faith from 1921-57, appointed "Hands of the Cause of God" as his top assistants. Some were given this title upon their deaths as recognition of their outstanding records of service. The first living person he appointed was Mrs. Amelia Collins. And the one he called "foremost Hand" was Martha Root. This is what he said about Miss Root in the history of the first hundred years of the Faith, which he wrote himself:

    "Nor can I dismiss this subject without singling out for special reference her who, not only through her preponderating share in initiating measures for the translation and dissemination of Bahá'í literature, but above all through her prodigious and indeed unique exertions in the international teaching field, has covered herself with a glory that has not only eclipsed the achievements of the teachers of the Faith among her contemporaries the globe around, but has outshone the feats accomplished by any of its propagators in the course of an entire century. To Martha Root, that archetype of Bahá'í itinerant teachers and the foremost Hand raised by Bahá'u'lláh since 'Abdu'l-Bahá's passing, must be awarded, if her manifold services and the supreme act of her life are to be correctly appraised, the title of Leading Ambassadress of His Faith and Pride of Bahá'í teachers, whether men or women, in both the East and the West.

    ...these may be regarded as the highlights of a service which, in many of its aspects, is without parallel in the entire history of the first Bahá'í century.

    ...a life which may well be regarded as the fairest fruit as yet yielded by the Formative Age of the Dispensation of Bahá'u'lláh."

    (Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, p. 386-88)
     
  7. Phi

    Phi Well-Known Member

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    In re:The psychic mediums, however, are speaking of the world of thought and not the world of Reality. But a heavenly soul who is conscious of the divine world, whose eye of discernment is open, who is severed from the world of nature, and has attained to spiritual power -- this soul is cognizant of the divine world and the world of spirits. Reality is pure spirit, it is not physical." (Compilations, Baha'i Scriptures, p. 442)

    I am not a medium, but I am psychic. It is not something I "do" but something that is given to me, and has been since birth. I do not "open" myself to "spirits" as some claim to do. I am open only to the Originator of all things(O) as O created me to be.

    I do not see myself as special in this for all humans are given that "energy" of spirit to reconnect/rejoin with the "energy" that is O, but few use it.

    Sometimes I know the emotions of my mother or daughter even across many miles, but have to call them to hear their thoughts. Occasionally I "see and hear" a precognitive waking dream that comes true. Any small psychic energy that I have comes from O. My mother's or daughter's emotions come from her to O to me. Precognitions come from the fold of time of O to me. It is not a talent and not something I studied. It is not something that I can do at my will, but at the discretion of O only.

    It is easy to communicate with O, but much more difficult to communicate with another person, as I am trying to do now, thought to hand to keyboard to screen, read, reread, correct, then send so you can read, and (hopefully, if I did my work well) comprehend. O absorbs you, your emotive mind/energy/soul back into O and there is no distance for thought or for spirit to travel. Persons can not do this with one another without O.

    Reality is spirit, but spirit becomes thought when O "speaks" to a prophet, so thought is reality as well.
    O "energy/spirit" comes into the prophet, but must become matter as it comes into the brain and is changed in that instant to thought so that the message can be recalled, spoken, or written. If O spirit did not enter matter to become thought, no message would come to any prophet, nor to any human at all.

    I tire now. But I want to thank you for your kind response.
     
  8. BruceDLimber

    BruceDLimber Baha'i

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    Harmony, a question for you:

    Where did you find your nine-pointed star avatar?

    I'd like to use it, too, but don't see it in the avatar library.

    Thanks! :)

    Bruce
     
  9. BruceDLimber

    BruceDLimber Baha'i

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    Fyi

    Brian, please be advised that when I came into the Comparative Religion area this morning, it told me there was a message from you waiting for me.

    But though I clicked the box to open it, nothing happened, so I never saw the message.

    If this is anything worthy of note, please resend it.

    Thanks!

    Bruce
     
  10. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

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    I was offering you a choice of nine-pointed star avatars. :)

    Try clicking here: Private Messages and see if anything shows.
     
  11. QueryGuy

    QueryGuy A guy who's Baha'i

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    If you're using Windows/Internet Explorer the simplest way to do it (if Harmony doesn't mind), is to right click on the image, copy it to the Paint program provided with windows, save it to a file, then upload it to your user CP. (Well, that's about as simple as it gets anyway, without stuff being added to the public avatars.)

    QG
     
  12. 9Harmony

    9Harmony goin' with the flow...

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    Hi Brian,

    I actually found it on a clip art CD for a publishing program I have at home. If I have time this week and can try and email it to you, if you would like.

    -Harmony

    Oh, nevermind, I see you've found one already. But offer still stands if you would like it for future reference.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2004
  13. BruceDLimber

    BruceDLimber Baha'i

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    Thanks for the assistance with the avatar, Brian! :)

    Bruce
     

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