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The Path of God

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Suzanne

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Jan 2, 2010, 10:50:28 AM1/2/10
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Dear friends,

I recently said the phrase, "in the Path of God", in a posting here,
and, afterwards started reflecting on what exactly this means. It's a
phrase which comes up frequently in the Writings, but I was wondering
if we're all walking "in the path of God", or just the people who
consciously decide that's what they're doing.

What do you understand by the term: "in the path of God?"

.. Here are a few quotes about this:

"...summon the children of men to the path of God, the All-Glorious,
the All-Praised."
(Shoghi Effendi: The Advent of Divine Justice, Page: 85)


"In the path of God one must forget himself entirely. He must not
consider his own pleasure but seek the pleasure of others. He must
not desire glory nor gifts of bounty for himself but seek these gifts
and blessings for his brothers and sisters. ..You should have neither
will nor desire of your own but seek everything for the beloved of God
and live together in complete love and fellowship.
(`Abdu'l-Baha: Promulgation of Universal Peace*, Page: 215)

"Strive that haply the tribulations suffered by this Wronged One and
by you, in the path of God, may not prove to have been in vain. Cling
ye to the hem of virtue, and hold fast to the cord of trustworthiness
and piety."
(Baha'u'llah: Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, Page: 29)

"O ye homeless and wanderers in the Path of God! Prosperity,
contentment, and freedom, however much desired and conducive to the
gladness of the human heart, can in no wise compare with the trials of
homelessness and adversity in the pathway of God; for such exile and
banishment are blessed by the divine favour, and are surely followed
by the mercy of Providence.
('Abdu'l-Baha. Lights of Guidance, Page: 571)

Any thoughts?

Best wishes,

Suzanne

compx2

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Jan 3, 2010, 10:32:08 AM1/3/10
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I am struck by the fact, Suzanne, that the quotes you supplied hedge
no advantage whatever to those who profess to be Baha'is. It will
take great billowing clouds of rationalization for the Baha'is to
twist those quotes into giving us an advantage over others who are
undeniably and truly on the path of God. I hope we never begin to
claim "path" means a person like we do with "manifestation", or that
"path of God" refers only to Baha'is like we do with "Cause of God".

It is my point here to point to the arrogance and triviality of what I
believe the Baha'i Faith is becoming. If we believe the Covenant of
God gives us a part to follow the clear direction of God in return for
which we receive a benefit, that direction clearly does not include
our words but only our deeds. And if we can believe 'Abdu'l-Baha in
his questioned works you quote it is our place to show the world what
it means to be a Baha'i, and not up to the Baha'i Faith to give us
anything at all. We are the principals of Covenant, not the Baha'i
administration.

It is up to humanity, of whatever religion, to follow the clear
guidance of all religion, and only our contention that such guidance
has been clarified by Baha'u'llah. If we don't have a faith that
inspires works, deeds and actions then our faith in Baha'u'llah ends
in words alone. If we do have such faith there is no difference
between us and the members of any other religion who have that same
faith. If we discount such people because they have wine with dinner
or a sexual partner it is such a discount that harms the whole world.
We need to embrace the actions, the inspirations, the people who live
their lives in the path of God regardless their religion.

I have so much more to say on this subject I hesitate to get started.
This post will probably be lost like so many others....

But if it is not lost, thanks for reading. --Kent

Suzanne

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Jan 3, 2010, 3:14:31 PM1/3/10
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On Jan 3, 3:32 pm, compx2 <com...@gmail.com> wrote:
> I am struck by the fact, Suzanne, that the quotes you supplied hedge
> no advantage whatever to those who profess to be Baha'is.  It will
> take great billowing clouds of rationalization for the Baha'is to
> twist those quotes into giving us an advantage over others who are
> undeniably and truly on the path of God

Dear Kent,

I have never said or thought that *only* Baha'is are on the path of
God or that God only accepts them. If you have somehow gotten that
idea, then you have misread me badly. The reason I found myself drawn
to Baha'u'llah in the first place is that I had always believed that
if there was a God at all that He must love and care for all people on
earth or nobody at all. I couldn't believe in exclusivity of one
group over all others. I was moved by the teaching that all religions
come from the same God. And I am not alone. As far as I know, all
Baha'is know this fact. It's nothing new.

My favorite quotes are all about unity and oneness. Here's one of
them:

"This is a new cycle of human power. All the horizons of the world
are luminous, and the world will become indeed as a garden and a
paradise. It is the hour of unity of the sons of men and of the
drawing together of all races and all classes. You are loosed from
ancient superstitions which have kept men ignorant, destroying the
foundation of true humanity.
The gift of God to this enlightened age is the knowledge of the
oneness of mankind and of the fundamental oneness of religion. War
shall cease between nations, and by the will of God the Most Great
Peace shall come; the world will be seen as a new world, and all men
will live as brothers."
(`Abdu'l-Baha: Abdu'l-Baha in London*, Pages: 19-20)

And yet, I still do try to understand *all* the quotes in the Writings
including the importance of people coming to know and follow the
Manifestation for this Day and to follow His Covenant which includes
His successors.

Best wishes,

Suzanne

compx2

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Jan 4, 2010, 12:37:44 AM1/4/10
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So what advantage do Baha'is have over others?

--Kent

Suzanne

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Jan 4, 2010, 3:21:35 PM1/4/10
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On Jan 4, 5:37 am, compx2 <com...@gmail.com> wrote:
> So what advantage do Baha'is have over others?
>
> --Kent


I don't think that all Baha'is *do* have an advantage over all
others. It depends on the individuals. If one person is sincerely
following the teachings of the Buddah or Christ, and another person
has become a Baha'i for superficial intellectual reasons and isn't
sincerely following the teachings of Baha'u'llah, then I would imagine
that the Buddhist or Christian have a clear advantage when it comes to
spiritual growth.

And yet it is wonderful to recognize the Manifestation of God for this
Day, and sincerely try to follow Him. There's vastly more Scripture
in the Baha'i Faith and it's so beautiful and attuned to the needs of
this Day in which we live. us in this Day. But the Spirit of the age
is for unity and oneness, and many people have intuited this. I will
leave it to God to judge souls. That isn't for me or for you to do.

Suzanne

Suzanne

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Jan 5, 2010, 2:43:13 AM1/5/10
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Personally I would say that the path of God is an awareness and a
striving to do what has been revealed by God. It's something one
needs to be conscious of every day. I don't think it's a given just
because one is a Baha'i or Christian or whatever, that we are
following the actual teachings of our Faiths and so are on the path of
God.

Sometimes I find that my reactions and/or actions are not anything to
do with the path of God, but more to do with the path of Suzanne.
It's easy to act from one's ego and to get caught up in the world.
And then I need to bring myself to account and realize what's
happening. This is why we are supposed to read from the WRitings
every morning and evening, say our daily obligatory prayer and call
ourselves to account each day. All of these things brings us back to
the path of God rather than the path of our own egos. It is a
struggle which requires effort and consciousness that this is what
we're doing.

There's something about fighting spiritual battles; trying to do
what's right in every situation even if others are acting contrary to
the teachings. Something about an awareness that the purpose of our
lives in this world is to develop spiritual qualities which are going
to be needed for our lives in the next world. So it doesn't matter if
everything doesn't happen the way we would like it to. It's good as
long as we can learn to be loving, kind, patient, forebearing, gentle,
just, wise, etc.

And I guess there's also something about putting the will of God
before our own will, or, more precisely, aligning our wills with the
Will of God. I'm sure there is more to this than what I am thinking
of. If anyone has any thoughts, I'd be happy to hear them.

Suzanne


piedmont

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Jan 5, 2010, 8:53:08 AM1/5/10
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"Suzanne" <sb.ge...@ntlworld.com> wrote in message
news:KeKdndVilr-3HKLW...@giganews.com...

> Dear friends,
>
> I recently said the phrase, "in the Path of God", in a posting here,
> and, afterwards started reflecting on what exactly this means. It's a
> phrase which comes up frequently in the Writings, but I was wondering
> if we're all walking "in the path of God", or just the people who
> consciously decide that's what they're doing.
>
> What do you understand by the term: "in the path of God?"
snip
> Best wishes,
>
> Suzanne
>
IMHO,
Everyone is on the path of God, irrespective of what our thinking is or
actions are. I think that how we act while on the path of God is another
issue but often confused with.

Going back to older teachings where folks believed in a devil, hence you
either followed God or you followed the devil.

Having much love, compassion and helpful deeds make the path of God much
more nicer for everyone.

But regardless, we all are on the path of God.

Michael Willsey

piedmont

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Jan 5, 2010, 9:08:08 AM1/5/10
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"compx2" <com...@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:SO2dnerWQbYcst_W...@giganews.com...

So what advantage do Baha'is have over others?

--Kent

IMHO
If one is careful,, regardless of faith one has, if followed accurately, all
can become loving humans who embrace all of the world. From a Baha'i
perspective the Baha'i teachings give a clearer view of what is going one,
how we need to act as mortals and what existance can be like in the next
life. Baha'i teachings allows one to seek truth individually thereby not
relying on the perhaps tainted guidance of other humans.

Michael Willsey

Douglas McAdam

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Jan 5, 2010, 11:14:06 AM1/5/10
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Hi Michael-
While I agree we are all on the "path of God" I also see that some
feel they know what it is and try to follow it and yet disagree with
others who also believe the are on the path of God and still others
who are not at all conscious there is such a path.
I sort of was prompted to think about laws as part of the "path of
God". For example we are told that God has built into His Laws, His
Covenant, etc. both a reward and punishment. And while we are
forgiven for ignorance we will still feel the effects of
disobedience. Take the law of gravity for example, we may test it by
jumping of a high building and break our leg of ignorance or we can
use our God given capacity to accept, understand and apply this law
and not jump off a building and thus be rewarded by not breaking a leg.
We have new laws today that come from God but not all mankind is
conscious of them because they have not yet been exposed to them by
becoming a Baha'i and yet we can see negative effects in society by
disobedience to these laws out of ignorance. Or we might look at
specific Teachings from the Baha'i Revelation and see how there are
negative conditions in society by not following them. Take for
example the teachings on equality and elimination of all forms of
prejudice and then consider what has happened and still is happening
because the generality of society is not practicing these Teachings?
Consider the equality of gender and how yet, after all these years we
still see people automatically reacting as if one sex is superior to
another.

And finally I would like to introduce an excerpt about the "path of
God" from the Tablet of Ahmad -
"Thus doth the Nightingale utter His call unto you from this
prison. He hath but to deliver this clear message. Whosoever desireth,
let him turn aside from this counsel and whosoever desireth let him
choose the path to his Lord."

and later He says -

"Be thou assured in thyself that verily, he who turns away from
this Beauty hath also turned away from the Messengers of the past and
showeth pride towards God from all eternity to all eternity."

So it would seem that if a soul chooses another path and turns away
from Baha'u'llah that soul will experience different conditions than
one who does accept.

regards,

doug

Maureen McCarthy

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Jan 5, 2010, 11:38:08 AM1/5/10
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I think Doug put this very well. (His post below.) There are many paths to God, but "the path of God" referred to in the Writings that God wants all of us to commit to, is the path of obeying the divine laws and teachings revealed for THIS AGE, by God's most recent Messenger. We will find the greatest happiness and assistance by following THIS path, though we can have "good" lives on other paths....Another good example of people suffering the consequences of breaking God's laws even when they are unaware of them, besides the one of trying to break the law of gravity by jumping out a window and expecting to land unharmed, is the many good-hearted people living "good" lives, yet having sex outside of marriage. At the very least they may waste a lot of time looking for sex partners and having meaningless sex; they may also hurt other people, in or out of a "committed" relationship; they may create new lives (children) they were not prepared to care for, they may contract STD's, etc. When I used to watch crime shows such as Law and Order, which are based on actual cases, I noticed that the seeds of a great deal of the murders were sown when someone had sex with someone he or she shouldn't have been having sex with. When you do wrong things, wrong things happen. Sometimes it's obvious in this world, some times only in the next world.
God's love to all, Maureen    

 

> To: bahai...@bcca.org
> From: douglasmcadam@sbcglobal..net
> Subject: Re: The Path of God
> Date: Tue, 5 Jan 2010 11:14:06 -0500

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mike

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Jan 5, 2010, 11:39:11 AM1/5/10
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On Jan 4, 3:21 pm, Suzanne <sb.gerst...@ntlworld.com> wrote:
> On Jan 4, 5:37 am, compx2 <com...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > So what advantage do Baha'is have over others?
>
> > --Kent
>
> I don't think that all Baha'is *do* have an advantage over all
> others.


I think I generally differ with the theme here. Baha'is do have an
advantage. As an analogy, a lot of poor inner city children can and
do grow up to become prosperous and rich, but it is recognized that
they are at a disadvantage both socially and economically. Likewise, a
lot of rich kids end up poor despite their obvious advantages. Being a
Baha'i is similar. Just because you are Baha'i or born Baha'i doesn't
mean that you'll automatically become spiritual, and in like manner
just because you're from another religion does not prevent you from
becoming more spiritual than many Baha'is. But what the Baha'i Faith
does offer is the wholesale truth, the 1-2-3 on how to become
spiritual minus all of the confusion and all of the man-made
traditions introduced via clergy. It clears a path that allows you the
opportunity to become spiritually rich. And in some cases liberates
your mind and soul from the grasp of clergy. But like anything else it
only is what you choose to make of it.

Suzanne

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Jan 5, 2010, 12:00:57 PM1/5/10
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Michael wrote:

> IMHO,
> Everyone is on the path of God, irrespective of what our thinking is or
> actions are. I think that how we act while on the path of God is another
> issue but often confused with.

Hi Michael,

We are all created by God, and have a soul and a mission in life,
whether we know it or not. But I'm not sure that we are all on the
path of God. The path of God seems to have a very strong meaning in
the Writings. People are always offering up their lives in the path
of God. And if we were all on the path of God, would Baha'u'llah have
said that we should "summon the children of men to the path of God.?
That would be pretty silly if they were already there. And in the
Tablet of Ahmad He says:

".. Thus have their superstitions become veils between them and their
own hearts and kept them from the path of God, the Exalted, the
Great."
(Baha'u'llah: Baha'i Prayers (US), Pages: 212-213)

I think we are not all on the path of God, because this takes both
belief in God, turning to His Manifestation and following His
teachings. I also get the feeling that it has to do with putting God
first in our lives, and having the burning mission that He should be
known and being willing to be an instrument in this happening. And it
is something that needs to happen day after day for our entire lives.
Anyway, that's my idea from my reading of the WRitings and histories
of the Faith.

All best wishes,

Suzanne


Maureen McCarthy

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Jan 5, 2010, 12:03:29 PM1/5/10
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Well put, Mike!

"If a community values its children, it must cherish their parents." - Dr. John Bowlby

 

"For this reason must all human beings powerfully sustain one another…"
      The reason is that humanity like a tree and "it is needful for the bough to blossom, and leaf and fruit to flourish, and upon the interconnection of all parts of the world-tree, dependeth the flourishing of leaf and blossom, and the sweetness of the fruit.."         

                                                                                                   - Writings of the Baha’i Faith
 
 




 
> To: bahai...@bcca.org
> From: mike...@yahoo.com


> Subject: Re: The Path of God

> Date: Tue, 5 Jan 2010 08:39:11 -0800


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Suzanne

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Jan 5, 2010, 1:27:50 PM1/5/10
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Mike wrote:

Just because you are Baha'i or born Baha'i doesn't
> mean that you'll automatically become spiritual, and in like manner
> just because you're from another religion does not prevent you from
> becoming more spiritual than many Baha'is. But what the Baha'i Faith
> does offer is the wholesale truth, the 1-2-3 on how to become
> spiritual minus all of the confusion and all of the man-made
> traditions introduced via clergy. It clears a path that allows you the
> opportunity to become spiritually rich. And in some cases liberates
> your mind and soul from the grasp of clergy. But like anything else it
> only is what you choose to make of it.

Yes. I would agree wholeheartedly with this. It's what I was trying
to say but you said it better.

Suzanne

Suzanne

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Jan 5, 2010, 1:31:08 PM1/5/10
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, Maureen wrote:
:

<< There are many paths to God, but "the path of God" referred to in
the Writings that God wants all of us to commit to, is the path of
obeying the divine laws and teachings revealed for THIS AGE, by God's
most recent Messenger. We will find the greatest happiness and
assistance by following THIS path, though we can have "good" lives on
other paths....Another good example of people suffering the
consequences of breaking God's laws even when they are unaware of
them, besides the one of trying to break the law of gravity by jumping
out a window and expecting to land unharmed, is the many good-hearted
people living "good" lives, yet having sex outside of marriage. At the
very least they may waste a lot of time looking for sex partners and
having meaningless sex; they may also hurt other people, in or out of
a "committed" relationship; they may create new lives (children) they
were not prepared to care for, they may contract STD's, etc. When I
used to watch crime shows such as Law and Order, which are based on
actual cases, I noticed that the seeds of a great deal of the murders
were sown when someone had sex with someone he or she shouldn't have
been having sex with. When you do wrong things, wrong things happen.
Sometimes it's obvious in this world, some times only in the next
world.>>

Well put, Maureen.

Suzanne

Douglas McAdam

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Jan 5, 2010, 4:47:32 PM1/5/10
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On Jan 5, 2010, at 11:39 AM, mike wrote:

> ust because you are Baha'i or born Baha'i doesn't
> mean that you'll automatically become spiritual, and in like manner
> just because you're from another religion does not prevent you from
> becoming more spiritual than many Baha'is

Hi Mike-
Just curious but can you give an example of the above? I ask because
I'm wondering if we can really tell this or not because let's suppose
a person is confronted with the Manifestation for today, i.e.
Baha'u'llah and excepts Him after and His Revelation but is having a
difficult time acquiring virtues. Then compare this with a person
from another religion who has a lot of virtues but who rejects
Baha'u'llah. How is this person from another religion then being more
spiritual than the Baha'i? The following quote prompted my question -
"Whoso achieveth this duty hath attained unto all good; and whoso
is deprived thereof hath gone astray, though he be the author of every
righteous deed."

regards,
doug


compx2

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Jan 5, 2010, 7:32:15 PM1/5/10
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Hi Mike,

As Michael Willsey said I agree that the Baha'i teachings are clearer
than other religions.

But I find the word "spiritual" unhelpful. Can you be clearer about
what you mean? How can a dispassionate observer tell that a Baha'i is
more spiritual than anyone else?

--Kent

Douglas McAdam

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Jan 5, 2010, 8:09:06 PM1/5/10
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Dear Kent-
Please see my comments below. But here is an excerpt from the Tablet
of Ahmad that had an impression on me and how I should act towards
others who are following their chosen paths---

"Whosoever desireth, let him turn aside from this counsel and
whosoever desireth let him choose the path to his Lord.

"O people, if ye deny these verses, by what proof have ye believed
in God? Produce it, O assemblage of false ones.

On Jan 3, 2010, at 10:32 AM, compx2 wrote:


> I am struck by the fact, Suzanne, that the quotes you supplied hedge
> no advantage whatever to those who profess to be Baha'is. It will
> take great billowing clouds of rationalization for the Baha'is to
> twist those quotes into giving us an advantage over others who are
> undeniably and truly on the path of God. I hope we never begin to
> claim "path" means a person like we do with "manifestation", or that
> "path of God" refers only to Baha'is like we do with "Cause of God".

My understanding, and I think we can find many quotes that back this,
that there is only One God, One Religion of God and One Humanity.
However that One Religion of God is revealed to us in successive and
successful stages, as the Guardian pointed out. Each religion has
brought us the Teachings to move us from one stage of social
development to another, one stage of progressive physical and
spiritual development to a new stage. Each has brought the same
spiritual teachings but have revealed new social teachings.

According to Baha'u'llah the previous Prophecies have all been
fulfilled by His appearance and now we are beginning a whole new cycle
that will last 5,000 Centuries.

The question is to me one of considering what is bringing mankind the
greatest advantage? Are the followers of old religions helping in
fulfilling the purpose of world unity and peace, the building of a new
world order, i.e. the Baha'i Commonwealth or are they hindering it by
clinging to their old ways?

Would the rejection of Baha'u'llah and His Teachings result in harming
society or not?

>
> It is my point here to point to the arrogance and triviality of what I
> believe the Baha'i Faith is becoming. If we believe the Covenant of
> God gives us a part to follow the clear direction of God in return for
> which we receive a benefit, that direction clearly does not include
> our words but only our deeds. And if we can believe 'Abdu'l-Baha in
> his questioned works you quote it is our place to show the world what
> it means to be a Baha'i, and not up to the Baha'i Faith to give us
> anything at all. We are the principals of Covenant, not the Baha'i
> administration.

I have never read any Writings that say it is ONLY our deeds. What I
read is that we must follow all aspects of the Covenant and that
includes words too. We are given specific Teachings about how our
speech should be. This also includes the Administration for
Baha'u'llah, with unerring infallibility has revealed this institution
to us. Its operation however is only as good as the spiritual
development (obedience to the Covenant) they exhibit in the progress
of it is applications.


>
> It is up to humanity, of whatever religion, to follow the clear
> guidance of all religion, and only our contention that such guidance
> has been clarified by Baha'u'llah. If we don't have a faith that
> inspires works, deeds and actions then our faith in Baha'u'llah ends
> in words alone. If we do have such faith there is no difference
> between us and the members of any other religion who have that same
> faith. If we discount such people because they have wine with dinner
> or a sexual partner it is such a discount that harms the whole world.
> We need to embrace the actions, the inspirations, the people who live
> their lives in the path of God regardless their religion.

I do not know how you can come up with this idea Kent. It is like
saying there is no difference between a college graduate and that of
elementary education. Of course there is a difference. We are all
different. We have unity in diversity not conformity. And I know of
no Baha'i who judges others as you continually mention. You said -


>> We need to embrace the actions, the inspirations, the people who live
>> their lives in the path of God regardless their religion.

So we should embrace the people and actions of those who consider
America the Satan and justify killing innocent people. Or those who
right now are imprisoning Baha'is, taking all their possessions,
charging them with inciting rebellion against unjust govt. There are
millions of believers in other religions who believe only their path
is the true path and all others are gone astray. Well for sure we
should love them all but that does not mean we should accept their
behaviors when obviously their actions are contrary to the fulfillment
of God's Purpose for today.

As to the specifics you mention such as the use of harmful chemicals
or adultery then I will say that we can observe easily the harmful
effects of these things on society. How can any truly spiritually and
scientifically educated person not see the harmful effects from these
things?

We love all souls but at the same time we don't love all behaviors
that are obviously hurting society.


>
> I have so much more to say on this subject I hesitate to get started.
> This post will probably be lost like so many others....

Only the Moderators can answer this for you Kent.

If you think it wrong for Baha'is to criticize non-Baha'is for
following their own ideas of what constitutes the path to God then it
is also wrong for you to criticize your fellow Baha'is is it not?

Why do we need the Baha'i Revelation, why not just be good
Christians, or good Muslims?

regards,
doug

Suzanne

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Jan 6, 2010, 3:31:31 AM1/6/10
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Doug wrote:

> let's suppose  
> a person is confronted with the Manifestation for today, i.e.  
> Baha'u'llah and excepts Him after and His Revelation but is having a  
> difficult time acquiring virtues.  Then compare this with a person  
> from another religion who has a lot of virtues but who rejects  
> Baha'u'llah.  How is this person from another religion then being more
 
> spiritual than the Baha'i?  The following quote prompted my question -
>     "Whoso achieveth this duty hath attained unto all good; and whoso
 
> is deprived thereof hath gone astray, though he be the author of every
 
> righteous deed."

Hi Doug,

This is true, and it is important. I am in no way denying this, but
still we are not in a position to judge any soul. For some it isn't
the time. The Bab talks about those who will turn to Him "on the
appointed day." How do we know what the appointed day is for another
soul? Baha'u'llah talks about the passage about a tree without fruit
being fit for the fire. He then asks what a tree without fruit is,
because when it isn't in season there is no fruit but in its season
the fruit comes. And some fruit isn't ripe until after it falls from
the tree. So we mere mortals are not in a position to judge whether a
person is going to recognize the Manifestation for this Day or not.
It may be later, even after death. And we aren't in a position to
know whether God accepts the recognition of the Manifestation they
*have* come to know as fullfilling the above, especially if they are
sincerely trying to follow His teachings and not being misled by
superstitions, bigotry and hatred (which is what I believe Bah'au'llah
was talking about in the Tablet of Ahmad).

When Baha'u'llah was being led to the Siyyah Chal, the Black Pit, to
be imprisoned, an old lady wanted to throw a stone at Him, but the
guards were stopping her. Baha'u'llah told them to allow her to do
that which she considered to be meritorious in the sight of God.

The point is, we cannot possibly judge another soul, and none of us
can be smug and assume (as many Christians do) that we are saved and
others are not. We need to keep striving to put the teachings of the
Faith into practice and to be steadfast in the Covenant right up to
the end.

Best wishes,

Suzanne

Suzanne

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Jan 6, 2010, 3:31:31 AM1/6/10
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Doug wrote:

> let's suppose  
> a person is confronted with the Manifestation for today, i.e.  
> Baha'u'llah and excepts Him after and His Revelation but is having a  
> difficult time acquiring virtues.  Then compare this with a person  
> from another religion who has a lot of virtues but who rejects  
> Baha'u'llah.  How is this person from another religion then being more
 
> spiritual than the Baha'i?  The following quote prompted my question -
>     "Whoso achieveth this duty hath attained unto all good; and whoso
 
> is deprived thereof hath gone astray, though he be the author of every
 
> righteous deed."

Hi Doug,

piedmont

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Jan 6, 2010, 8:04:42 AM1/6/10
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"compx2" <com...@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:4PqdnYbzRczEtNnW...@giganews.com...
Hi Mike,

As Michael Willsey said I agree that the Baha'i teachings are clearer
than other religions.

But I find the word "spiritual" unhelpful. Can you be clearer about
what you mean? How can a dispassionate observer tell that a Baha'i is
more spiritual than anyone else?

--Kent

IMHO,
As has been said, there are better or if you like, more spiritual non-Baha'i
than many who call themself Baha'i.

Saying you are a Baha'i or having a 'card', or reading the teachings,
doesn't make a Baha'i better than those who follow the older teachings.

Baha'i are not better than those who follow the older teachings nor better
spiritually.

We all suffer from the mortal weakness's, some less than others, some suffer
more, regardless of Baha'i, or if following the older teachings.

Michael Willsey

piedmont

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Jan 6, 2010, 8:14:23 AM1/6/10
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"Douglas McAdam" <dougla...@sbcglobal.net> wrote in message
news:vrednTkZteNvutnW...@giganews.com...

I searched Ocean and as stated earlier I don't have much success with Ocean
as I can never remember the exact words of a quote, but I do beleive that I
can remember the meaning of a quote.

It was stated by I believe, Baha'u'llah that there are better non-Baha'i
than some Baha'i as far as being close to God, acting in a more Godly
manner. If someone is not ready to accept the Baha'i teachings but is acting
in a Godly manner in their life, do we really believe that a person who is
officially considered a Baha'i who is living their life far from God as they
have many poor attributes in action, going to considered better, Than I
others?, And I get digusted with this thought of better than others, we are
all the same in Gods eye IMHO, it is simply that are lives lived in this
mortal existance will live better lives if we can take to our hearts the
teachings of God as given to us through Baha'u'llah.

Michael Willsey

mike

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Jan 6, 2010, 11:04:34 AM1/6/10
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>Then compare this with a person from another religion who has a lot of virtues but who rejects
>Baha'u'llah. How is this person from another religion then being more spiritual than the Baha'i? >The following quote prompted my question -

A few thoughts come to mind here. For starters, I'm referring to the
generality of the populace that are good people but unaware of
Baha'u'llah. Secondly, rejecting Baha'u'llah can happen in different
ways. For example, you hear a commercial on TV about the Baha'i Faith
but never follow up, are you really rejecting the Faith? I wouldn't
think so. So rejection becomes a complicated issue. Most importantly,
are any of us in a position to judge who does or doesn't fall into
that category? Apart from the Administration deciding if a person is a
covenant breaker we really are not in a position to do this.

With those thoughts in mind, you are correct, if a person truly is
aware of who Baha'u'llah is and then chooses to reject Him, they have
'gone astray' despite their best deeds. But my argument is this: those
people who casually reject Baha'u'llah without a full understanding of
our faith, never really knew him. But in contrast, those people who
_recognize him_ and then on account of a personal difference, ie.
their attached to their religion, they don't agree with a statement or
law of his and then choose to reject him. They are in peril. It's
better to be a disobedient law-breaking Baha'i then to do this.

But in my opinion most people who either become Baha'i or are raised
Baha'i and then choose to leave the Faith; in my opinion these people
never really recognized Baha'u'llah. And it's important to appreciate
that for some people, leaving the faith allows them to recognize
Baha'u'llah and then subsequently become a much better Baha'i.

>How can a dispassionate observer tell that a Baha'i is
>more spiritual than anyone else?

Apart from God, no one is in a position to make this call about
another person regardless of religion. The dispassionate observer
should focus on what the truth is.

Douglas McAdam

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Jan 6, 2010, 11:22:34 AM1/6/10
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Hi Michael-
I agree and yet when it comes to judging spirituality of others I
don't think we are capable of doing so. The important thing is that
we love all selflessly.

regards,
doug

Douglas McAdam

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Jan 6, 2010, 11:31:04 AM1/6/10
to bahai...@bcca.org
Hi Mike-
You said-

> I searched Ocean and as stated earlier I don't have much success
> with Ocean as I can never remember the exact words of a quote, but I
> do beleive that I can remember the meaning of a quote.
>
> It was stated by I believe, Baha'u'llah that there are better non-
> Baha'i than some Baha'i as far as being close to God, acting in a
> more Godly manner. If someone is not ready to accept the Baha'i
> teachings but is acting in a Godly manner in their life, do we
> really believe that a person who is officially considered a Baha'i
> who is living their life far from God as they have many poor
> attributes in action, going to considered better, Than I others?,
> And I get digusted with this thought of better than others, we are
> all the same in Gods eye IMHO, it is simply that are lives lived in
> this mortal existance will live better lives if we can take to our
> hearts the teachings of God as given to us through Baha'u'llah.
>
> Michael Willsey

I have a problem with this issue because I truly do not know of any
Baha'i who claims Baha'is are more spiritual. However Baha'u'llah
Himself said the following -


"Be thou assured in thyself that verily, he who turns away from
this Beauty hath also turned away from the Messengers of the past and

showeth pride towards God from all eternity to all eternity." Tablet
of Ahmad.

"The first duty prescribed by God for His servants is the
recognition of Him Who is the Dayspring of His Revelation and the
Fountain of His laws, Who representeth the Godhead in both the Kingdom
of His Cause and the world of creation. Whoso achieveth this duty hath

attained unto all good; and whoso is deprived thereof hath gone

astray, though he be the author of every righteous deed. (Baha'u'llah,
The Kitab-i-Aqdas, p. 16)

So it would seem that those who turn away from Baha'u'llah have indeed
become in a different condition than those who accept and obey. Again
it is not really ours to judge.

regards,

doug

Douglas McAdam

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Jan 6, 2010, 11:35:11 AM1/6/10
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Hi Suzanne-
I surely agree it is not ours to judge the spiritual condition of any
soul, even our own.
How many times have I proclaimed Baha'u'llah to some soul only to find
emotional negative reactions and rejection and some time later that
same soul came into the Faith.
Personally I never give any thought about the spiritual condition of
others except I must deal with crime, addictions and other
dysfunctional behaviors for which I think the Remedy is needed. The
Inmates at the Jail where I do classes tell me they wish the Guards
and others would treat them with the same respect I do.

regards,
doug

Suzanne

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Jan 6, 2010, 12:45:03 PM1/6/10
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Doug wrote:

> I surely agree it is not ours to judge the spiritual condition of any  
> soul, even our own.
> How many times have I proclaimed Baha'u'llah to some soul only to find
 
> emotional negative reactions and rejection and some time later that  
> same soul came into the Faith.
> Personally I never give any thought about the spiritual condition of  
> others except I must deal with crime, addictions and other  
> dysfunctional behaviors for which I think the Remedy is needed.  

Hi Doug,

I agree. I also never give a thought about the spiritual condition of
anybody. I am a counselor and psychotherapist, and so I spend my time
talking with people. I naturally assume that besides having a
personality, they are essentially a soul; and on that level they are
perfect. I often speak to what is highest and best in them and they
respond well to that. I accept and understand them, and through my
modelling they often learn to accept and understand themselves and are
enabled to see more meaning and purpose in their lives.

One of my favorite quotes is this one:

"Cleanse ye your eyes, so that ye behold no man as different from
yourselves. See ye no strangers; rather see all men as friends, for
love and unity come hard when ye fix your gaze on otherness. And in
this new and wondrous age, the Holy Writings say that we must be at
one with every people; that we must see neither harshness nor
injustice, neither malevolence, nor hostility, nor hate, but rather
turn our eyes toward the heaven of ancient glory. For each of the
creatures is a sign of God, and it was by the grace of the Lord and
His power that each did step into the world; therefore they are not
strangers, but in the family; not aliens, but friends, and to be
treated as such."
(`Abdu'l-Baha: Selections ... `Abdu'l-Baha, Page: 24)

Best wishes,

Suzanne

Suzanne

unread,
Jan 6, 2010, 12:45:03 PM1/6/10
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Doug wrote:

> I surely agree it is not ours to judge the spiritual condition of any  
> soul, even our own.
> How many times have I proclaimed Baha'u'llah to some soul only to find
 
> emotional negative reactions and rejection and some time later that  
> same soul came into the Faith.
> Personally I never give any thought about the spiritual condition of  
> others except I must deal with crime, addictions and other  
> dysfunctional behaviors for which I think the Remedy is needed.  

Hi Doug,

drgoplayer

unread,
Jan 6, 2010, 12:55:05 PM1/6/10
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It is not clear to me what the personal benefits to being a Baha'i
will be.

It can be a lot of work especially if you get elected to a Local
Spiritual
Assembly. We are expected (by Baha'u'llah) to serve humanity before
ourselves. There are laws and institutions that Baha'u'llah expects
us
to obey and support. We are supposed to always work to make the
rest of humanity more aware of the message of the Divine Physician.

There are many passages that tell us to obey God out of pure love
rather than because of hope for personal (spiritual or material) gain!
Indeed obedience to get benefits may be spiritually unacceptable.

To me this is clearly not the religion for someone who wants a clear,
simple, uncomplicated lifestyle with the freedom to enjoy oneself
however one wants to.

This religion is for someone who has recognized the station of
Baha'u'llah and so feels compelled to heed His words as the Word
of God.

One thing I have gotten from studying the Baha'i scriptures is a
better
understanding of the mess that human society is currently moving
into and a clear understanding of what we need to do to finally emerge
from it. That allows me to remain optimistic.

Tom

Suzanne

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Jan 6, 2010, 4:44:09 PM1/6/10
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Tom wrote:

> To me this is clearly not the religion for someone who wants a clear,
> simple, uncomplicated lifestyle with the freedom to enjoy oneself
> however one wants to.

I agree. Your posting made me think of this passage from Adib
Taherzadeh:

"Man, because of his animal nature, is a selfish being. The instinct
for survival drives him to find food, clothing and other necessities
of life. Then he seeks after security, wealth, power and similar
possessions. All these, as well as his intellectual, emotional and
spiritual pursuits, revolve around his own self, and are aimed to
serve his well-being, prosperity and happiness. He is always in search
of things to add to his possessions as long as he can derive some
benefit from them.

When man encounters the Faith of God and recognizes its glory he tends
to add it, in the usual way, to his other treasures. He puts his
religion on a par with his other pursuits, and selfishly expects to
benefit from it just as he benefits from his other possessions. He
wants the Faith of God to serve him and bring him joy and
satisfaction. This concept and practice is attachment to the world and
against the law of creation. For God has not given His Revelation in
order that it may satisfy  38  the selfish interests of man. On the
contrary, man is expected to arrange his life in such a way as to
serve and revolve around the Revelation of God. If the individual
follows the Cause of God unselfishly and with pure motive, his life
will be so blessed that the powers and attributes of God will be
revealed within his soul. Whereas if he seeks these attributes to
gratify his own ego, such a motive will cause him to be deprived of
the outpouring of God's grace and bounty.

In this day those who have fully recognized the station of
Bahá'u'lláh, and are endowed with the gift of true understanding, have
embraced His Faith not because they discovered that it would bring
happiness to them, solve their personal problems, remove their
afflictions and enrich their spiritual lives, but rather because they
recognized that Bahá'u'lláh is the Manifestation of God for this age
and were drawn to Him as iron is attracted to a magnet. Their eyes
have been dazzled by the glory of His Revelation and their hearts
seized by the potency of His Word. They know that the Cause He has
revealed is exalted above all creation and that man has come into
being primarily to serve it. This, and only this, should be the motive
for following the Faith of God.

When the believer turns with true love to the Manifestation of God, he
cannot help but leave aside his own interests and desires and seek
only the good pleasure of His Lord. Yet in so doing, he will receive
heavenly virtues and powers as a by-product of his love for and
submission to the Manifestation of God. Indeed, it is true to say that
the only people who experience real happiness and acquire divine
virtues to the utmost are those who with no self-interest recognize
and follow the Manifestation of God and are detached from the rewards
of this life and the next."
(Adib Taherzadeh, The Revelation of Baha'u'llah v 2, p. 37)

It's ironic that if we follow the Faith selfishly and expect rewards
for it, we will be disappointed, but if we forget ourselves and try to
serve the Faith, we will just naturally become happy and develop
virtues.

Best wishes,

Suzanne


Douglas McAdam

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Jan 7, 2010, 11:26:47 AM1/7/10
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Hi Suzanne-
God bless you in your work. I truly think having a background in the
Writings combined with psychology offers one a more effective process
of rehabilitation.
I often mention to the Inmates in my Jail class how strange it is that
all our lives we are exposed to church type messages about loving on
another and that we all came from the same parents, i.e. Adam and Eve
and yet in real life we act like people from other cultures, races,
religions etc. are not our family. Would we let one of our children
starve, I often ask.
In Guy Murchie's book the Seven Mysteries of Life he mentions that
mathematically we are all 50th cousins.

God bless,
doug

Douglas McAdam

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Jan 7, 2010, 11:45:46 AM1/7/10
to bahai...@bcca.org
Hi Tom-
Well I have been a Baha'i now for 41 years. I was raised a
Presbyterian but due to not finding answers to my questions I sort of
got away from church in my early adult life and then became involved
in alcohol, drugs, and a corrupt life except I did earn a good salary
in management levels. I had fun, I was successful in sports, a
champion in seven different sports, but later I also felt a lot of
pain and depression at what was going on in society and that was when
I met a Baha'i and learned and accepted the Faith and it changed me
completely. But yet I still have pain, depression at times, mostly
aftereffects of long time alcohol and drug abuse, poor diet, etc. but
I now know how to deal with it and I learned that life is made up of
tests and difficulties for our own good. There are two types I
learned. One we inflict upon ourselves which can destroy us because
we don't know our own capacity and the others are from God and are
designed to cause us spiritual growth and well being and He knows our
capacity and thus will not test us beyond that.

So life to me is about pain, suffering as well as pleasure but a
different kind of pleasure and pain that we experienced before
becoming a Baha'i. Now I know what I cause myself and how to deal
with it as well as what comes from the life process and how to deal
with that too. Strange how I can feel miserable at times, physical
pain as well as depression, etc. and then after doing my class in my
SED project I feel on cloud nine. So I know that pleasure comes from
doing service, doing what God wants me to do and pain comes from
disobedience previously to God's Laws in which I messed up my body and
mind.

However this past three years I learned of a new pain that really
effected many of us here when we lost our Assembly due to disunity.
It was like losing a loved one. But we are dealing with it and
showing signs once again of unity.

As to personal benefits, well consider what the Writings say about our
purpose to acquire virtues. We can feel pain and analyze this pain
and discover one of the reasons is we lack a virtue. For example we
feel impatient and so we know we need the virtue of patience. Once we
practice that virtue it feels a lot better than impatience. So we can
go down the list and consider how virtues are indeed a benefit over
having human faults.

We can also feel the divine assistance we get from teaching and
serving the Faith.

It seems to me that becoming a Baha'i meant understanding the cause of
things and what do do about it and then learning that what was
bothering me long ago doesn't anymore but yet I am being exposed to a
whole new set of tests and solutions, or personal benefits. There is
some wisdom to that old Sufi saying about how the good deeds of the
dear ones are the sins of the near ones. What bothered me a long time
ago is nothing compared to the tests I receive now.

So to me life is a process of learning to deal with tests and
difficulties in order to acquire virtues in preparation for the next
world and eternal life. We can choose now to go forward with
spiritual arms and legs, so to speak, or go as spiritual cripples.
Since this world is a reflection of the next world then maybe some
might go forward as spiritual minerals, plants or animals maybe and
others will become greater spiritual entities. In any case life is
progressive and eternal and we best listen to the Creator on how best
to allow the soul to drive this vehicle we call human.

God bless,
doug

Maureen McCarthy

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Jan 7, 2010, 2:12:25 PM1/7/10
to bahai...@bcca.org
Hi, Tom! My comments are below, preceded by ----.

 

> It is not clear to me what the personal benefits to being a Baha'i will be.

---Do you mean personal MATERIAL benefits? Because I can't imagine that you don't see and personal SPIRITUAL benefits to being a Baha'i. I feel incredibly blessed to have been introduced to and accepted the teachings, explanations and renewal of energy of God's most recent Revelation.  

 

 


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drgoplayer

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Jan 7, 2010, 6:07:56 PM1/7/10
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Hi Maureen,
I mean that one should not join the Baha'i Faith with the intent of
gaining
benefits from it. Material or spiritual. That is not the right
reason to join.
We join because we accept Baha'u'llah and His station.

I have seen alcoholics advised to become Baha'i because that would
help with controlling their disease. The results are mixed.
Sometimes
the person acquires an additional load of guilt and self-loathing
because
of their failure to meet Baha'u'llah's high standards for our
behavior. Of
course no one else meets those standards either but ... :-(

Tom

On Jan 7, 11:12 am, Maureen McCarthy <mmccarthy9...@live.com> wrote:
> Hi, Tom! My comments are below, preceded by ----.
>
> > It is not clear to me what the personal benefits to being a Baha'i will
be.
>
> ---Do you mean personal MATERIAL benefits? Because I can't imagine that y
ou don't see and personal SPIRITUAL benefits to being a Baha'i. I feel incr

edibly blessed to have been introduced to and accepted the teachings, expla

..
>
> _________________________________________________________________
> Hotmail: Powerful Free email with security by Microsoft.http://clk.atdmt.
com/GBL/go/196390710/direct/01/


drgoplayer

unread,
Jan 7, 2010, 6:07:56 PM1/7/10
to soc-relig...@moderators.isc.org
Hi Maureen,
I mean that one should not join the Baha'i Faith with the intent of
gaining
benefits from it. Material or spiritual. That is not the right
reason to join.
We join because we accept Baha'u'llah and His station.

I have seen alcoholics advised to become Baha'i because that would
help with controlling their disease. The results are mixed.
Sometimes
the person acquires an additional load of guilt and self-loathing
because
of their failure to meet Baha'u'llah's high standards for our
behavior. Of
course no one else meets those standards either but ... :-(

Tom

On Jan 7, 11:12 am, Maureen McCarthy <mmccarthy9...@live.com> wrote:

> Hi, Tom! My comments are below, preceded by ----.
>
> > It is not clear to me what the personal benefits to being a Baha'i will
be.
>
> ---Do you mean personal MATERIAL benefits? Because I can't imagine that y
ou don't see and personal SPIRITUAL benefits to being a Baha'i. I feel incr

edibly blessed to have been introduced to and accepted the teachings, expla

..
>
> _________________________________________________________________
> Hotmail: Powerful Free email with security by Microsoft.http://clk.atdmt.
com/GBL/go/196390710/direct/01/


Maureen McCarthy

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Jan 7, 2010, 6:50:38 PM1/7/10
to bahai...@bcca.org
Thanks for clarifying, Tom!
 
Kent, I just read my post to you and noticed that I had a brain glitch and called you Keith. Who knows why? :-) Anyway, I'm sorry! I WAS paying attention and DID know your name was Kent; in the moment, however, my brain decided to type in a different male "K" name.

And Tom, apparently you're a moderator. I've asked twice to be unsubscribed because I'm going to be traveling from central Indiana to Chicago for classes, starting tomorrow, so will be very busy and unable to keep up with this list. So could you please see to it somehow that I'm unsubscribed? Thanks! God bless you all! Maureen


"If a community values its children, it must cherish their parents." - Dr. John Bowlby

 

"For this reason must all human beings powerfully sustain one another…"
      The reason is that humanity like a tree and "it is needful for the bough to blossom, and leaf and fruit to flourish, and upon the interconnection of all parts of the world-tree, dependeth the flourishing of leaf and blossom, and the sweetness of the fruit.."         

                                                                                                   - Writings of the Baha’i Faith
 
 




 
> To: bahai...@bcca.org

> Subject: Re: The Path of God
> Date: Thu, 7 Jan 2010 15:07:56 -0800

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Douglas McAdam

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Jan 7, 2010, 8:36:58 PM1/7/10
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Hi Tom-
I was an alcohol and drug addict before a Baha'i. When I joined the
Faith and read the Covenant and how I was not to use these chemicals I
immediately flushed them all down my toilet and went to shower. It
was tough but I was able to quite cold turkey. But I will admit I had
some help in terms of meeting Bahais who had gone through similar
experiences. For many years now I have been teaching a program drawn
directly from the Writings which is holistic and thus its applications
are only limited by our imagination. It really does work if a the
particpant is sincere wanting to quit the bad habits whether Baha'i or
not. However I have found that rehab. indeed works best if this
program leads one into a deeper study and application of the Writings
directly. But I think a lot depends on having a good support group
with similar spiritual resources to offer. I have had addicts go
through the program and be reunited with their church. Others have
become Muslims. Others became Baha'is. But no matter what the
spiritual connection may be, whether Christian, Bahai or whatever that
addict still needs to be engaged in an ongoing process of service to
God and humanity.

The program will expose ones hang-ups to reality and give one a new
experience with those old problems and thus changing ones memory which
in turn will change the feelings and which prompt realistic action.
It is still a learning process, a do-it-yourself kit, but one must
also have proper nutritional changes, good intellectual knowledge such
as sciences and also spiritual education. The whole person must be
treated in other words.

It is a sort of scientific experiment in which the client accepts the
postulates or concepts and then is given an experiential testing
method. No matter what religion the client must learn how to apply
religious teachings in everyday practical applications. And this is
what this program does.

My experience shows that no matter what the motivation is for taking
this program it will sooner or later exert a positive influence on the
student. I think the same thing applies to anyone who is joining the
Baha'i Faith for whatever reason it will sooner or later have a
positive influence on him or her.

God bless,
doug

Suzanne

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Jan 8, 2010, 6:42:28 AM1/8/10
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Maureen wrote:
>
> And Tom, apparently you're a moderator. I've asked twice to be unsubscrib
ed because I'm going to be traveling from central Indiana to Chicago for cl
asses, starting tomorrow, so will be very busy and unable to keep up with t
his list. So could you please see to it somehow that I'm unsubscribed? Than
ks! God bless you all! Maureen

Dear Maureen,

I hope that when you return you will again join SRB. I've enjoyed
having you on the forum. Soc.religion.bahai used to be a very lively
place where seekers could come and bring their questions and people
could discuss subjects about the Faith, but in the last couple of
years most of the people who used to write have left and others have
taken it over who seem to have a particular axe to grind.

But lately there's been a flurry of real activity again and I would
like to see this build again. SRB has the potential to be a place for
teaching the Faith. My hope and prayer is that the moderators will
stop allowing repetitive negative postings on the forum, and that more
of the positive Baha'is will return.

Have a great class.

All best wishes,

Suzanne

Douglas McAdam

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Jan 8, 2010, 4:28:24 PM1/8/10
to bahai...@bcca.org
Hi Suzanne-
I agree. However I don't mind anyone wanting to share how they feel
but only to the point they are also willing to abide by Baha'i
consultation principles. The rule we have in my classes is we will
state our problem so everyone understands and then from that time
forward we will only discuss solutions.

regards,
doug

Suzanne

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Jan 9, 2010, 2:51:47 AM1/9/10
to soc-relig...@moderators.isc.org
On Jan 8, 9:28 pm, Douglas McAdam <douglasmca...@sbcglobal.net> wrote:
> Hi Suzanne-
> I agree.  However I don't mind anyone wanting to share how they feel
 
> but only to the point they are also willing to abide by Baha'i  
> consultation principles.  The rule we have in my classes is we will  
> state our problem so everyone understands and then from that time  
> forward we will only discuss solutions.
>

Hi Doug,

I am happy to discuss problems as well. I know it's best not to speak
about individuals, but I hope that Michael won't mind. We did
discuss a problem with Michael, and it seems to have helped. He was
open to suggestions and encouragement. And now he's discussing other
topics here. This is great. It's when a problem turns into a rant
which is endlessly repeated over months and years that the problem
comes, because it hijacks the normal discussions which might otherwise
take place, and doesn't move anyone forward.

I think it's interesting to look at what the stated purpose of the
newsgroup, soc.religion.bahai, is. The welcome page for the newsgroup
says:

"PURPOSE
The newsgroup will act as a non-threatening forum for discussing and
sharing information about the tenets, history, and texts of the Bahá'í
Faith. Prior to its formation there was a good amount of traffic on
this topic in other newsgroups; this group provides a "single point of
contact" for such discussion.

Examples of posts that fall within the group's scope are:
The Bahá'í Faith's relation to other religions Relevance of Bahá'í
principles to current world events/problems Analysis of particular
scriptural passages or themes General Q & A "

An example of something that would be rejected is repetetive
postings. This is true in Baha'i consultation as well. A good
chairperson will note when a particular subject has been spoken about
at length; when it has been looked at from every angle, and when there
is no more forward movement in the discussion; and will close that
discussion and steer the Assembly onto other, more fruitful,
subjects. Otherwise a topic can break down into frustration and
irritation, and finally hostilitiy because it's a great waste of
valuable time and resources when people could be discussing important
issues and moving the Faith forward.

Anyway, I don't mean to be negative in any way, but I would very much
like to see soc.religion.bahai live out its stated purpose.
Potentially it could be a wonderful instrument for promoting the Faith
of Baha'u'llah in the world. God willing, this will come to pass.

All best wishes,

Suzanne


Douglas McAdam

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Jan 9, 2010, 9:48:54 PM1/9/10
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On Jan 9, 2010, at 2:51 AM, Suzanne wrote:

> Anyway, I don't mean to be negative in any way, but I would very much
> like to see soc.religion.bahai live out its stated purpose.
> Potentially it could be a wonderful instrument for promoting the Faith
> of Baha'u'llah in the world. God willing, this will come to pass.

Hi Suzanne-
I agreed with all you wrote but just wanted to say in my view you are
not in any way being negative.
It seems to me that there has been an increasing tendency in the old
world disciplines where professionals and other scholars debate to do
in a win-at-all-cost type of communication. They seem to be involved
in right/wrong, either/or, pro/con, sin/evil type of discussions which
are divisive. A medical professional friend of mine says his
profession has declined into this kind of debate too. I think this
has an influence of Baha'is to and it most assuredly rears its ugly
head on Internet discussions. The House of Justice wrote something
about all this called Individual Rights and Freedoms and the NSA sent
all a letter titled Guidelines for Internet and the NSA letter
specifically said -
The National Spiritual Assembly has noted with concern
a growing number of postings on various computer bulletin
boards in which the friends tend to get involved in
argumentative discussions about the Baha'i Faith.
Often the friends engaged in such discussions are
well-meaning and simply desire to set the record straight
when they see inaccuracies. Some of the friends have done
a good job in this regard, but the wisdom of carrying on
frequent exchanges of this type in a public forum where
non-Baha'is are participating is questionable.
The National Assembly urges those friends who are involved
in such electronic communications to
observe moderation, restraint and wisdom in their
discussions about the Faith. Let them be guided by the
following counsels of the beloved Guardian from a letter
dated November 29, 1937 written on his behalf
to an individual believer:

"...refrain, under any circumstances, from involving
yourselves, much less the Cause, in lengthy discussions
of a controversial character, as these besides being
fruitless actually cause incalculable harm to the Faith.
Baha'u'llah has repeatedly urged us not to engage in
religious controversies, as the adepts of former religions
have done. The Baha'i teacher should be concerned above all
in presenting the Message, in explaining and clarifying all
its aspects... He should avoid all situations that,
he feels, would lead to strife, to hair-splitting and
interminable discussions."
*****
>From the Department of the Secretariat,
Baha'i World Centre, to an individual believer,
19 May 1995:

I wish I had posted this before we became too far into our latest
discussions where someone was criticizing the Baha'is.

regards,
doug


compx2

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Jan 13, 2010, 10:22:39 PM1/13/10
to soc-relig...@moderators.is