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7 years ago  ::  Dec 13, 2007 - 2:45PM #1
Truth27
Posts: 523
Greetings,

I would like to share a mystical understanding of the origin of traditional African and other indigenous religions throughout the world.  I am a Bahai.  Hence I explore this topic by delving into my understanding of the Bahai writings.  This understanding, in the context of indigenous religion, currently revolves around Bahai teachings about Sabaeanism.  This practice originated in the kingdom of Saba.  This 'kingdom' encompassed the lands currently called Yemen and Ethiopia.  (not) Coincidentally, many profound events in the deep human past are thought to have transpired in these regions. 

First, Ethiopia/East Africa is where humanity is thought to have originated!!  Yes.  200,000 years ago, our species emerged from the 'humble clay' of the hominid lineage (which arose from the 'humble clay' of the animal/primate world).  Our origins are humble.  So what?  That's no surprise given that the Bible itself holds that we were essentially made from DIRT!!!  That metaphor should tell us something......Anyways.  The faith teaches that from day one of our existance as a species (and, beyond that, as a thought in God's mind), we have been visited by spirituality/spiritual systems.  Second, the significance of Yemen is that, in order to fulfill our capacity to be guardians and knowers of nature and the planet, some of us left the contient of Africa ~65,000 years ago by way of crossing over to Yemen.  Hence both areas are sacred land.  Components of two major steps in fulfilling our God given purpose; to bring and build God's kingdom here on earth. 

It is thus likely that the religion(s) practiced in the region to be called 'Saba' later spread throughout the earth (simultaneously to the spread of people throughout the earth).  Furthermore, and most profoudly, it's essential spirit was preserved; the appreciation and veneration of God's will as expressed through a multitude of phenomena; including nature itself.  This became the essence of polytheism IMHO.  In any case, as mentioned, the sacred region from which this profound perspective originated later came to be called 'Saba'.  Hence traditional religion(s) can arguably be called Sabaean. And the practice, 'Sabaenism'.   According to the Bible, in the time and location of Abraham, Sabaenism had become a bit dated relative to its original teachings (the time for a new religion was near in that area of the world).  Hence, while still practiced by some in that region, for the most part it is now only practiced by indigenous people throughout the world whose living contexts have not changed to the extent that a new religion is merited.  Hence, indigenous religion still exists and is profoundly of God!

Ashe.
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7 years ago  ::  Dec 13, 2007 - 2:59PM #2
Truth27
Posts: 523
The following are Quotes from the Bahai Faith on Sabaeanism:

1) "Q: The Sabaean religion here is the one that probably originated in the land of Saba (Sheba) in the south of the Arabian Peninsula..., not the Sabian religion ... that is referred to in the Qur'án and said to be made up of the remnants of the followers of John the Baptist who did not accept Jesus Christ.

A: Before endeavouring to address these questions, it is useful to consider the fact that the Bahá'í Teachings contain few references to Sabaeanism. As Mr. Garcia is aware, Baha'u'll'ah, in His Tablets in the Persian language, describes two different groups as Sabaeans. They are,

* the followers of an ancient religion who worship idols named after stars and who claim to have taken their religion from Seth and Idris;

* the followers of John the Baptist who failed to recognise Jesus as the Manifestation of God. He further states that this group is known to some as Sabaeans and that it continues to exist in the world."

    (The Universal House of Justice, 1996 Aug 06, Sabeans, UFOs, Alien Abduction and Genetic Engineering)

***HERE THE UHJ BASICALLY VERIFIES/DOESN'T NEGATE THAT THE SABAEAN FAITH ORIGINATED IN ETHIOPIA/YEMEN.  THIS IS ALSO A TESTIMENT TO THE ANCIENT NATURE OF SABAEANISM IN THAT IT CLAIMS IMMEDIATE DESCENDANTS OF THE 'FIRST MAN' AS ITS ORIGINATORS!!!***




2) "As to the Sabaeans who claim to derive their religion from Seth and Idris, the Research Department has, to date, been able to locate only one additional brief reference in the Bahá'í Writings to Seth. In The Promulgation of Universal Peace: Talks Delivered by 'Abdu'l-Bahá' during His Visit to the United States and Canada in 1912 (Wilmette: Bahá'í Publishing Trust, 1982), page 365, the Master describes Seth as one of the "sons of Adam". There are, however, two very interesting references to Idris contained in a footnote which appears on page 148 of Tablets of Baha'u'll'ah Revealed after the Kitáb-i-Aqdas (Wilmette: Bahá'í Publishing Trust, 1988). One is a quotation from the Qur'án 19:57-58, which states: "And commemorate Idris in the Book; for he was a man of truth, a Prophet; And we uplifted him to a place on high."

The second is a statement by Bahá'u'lláh in which He identifies Idris with Hermes:

The first person who devoted himself to philosophy was Idris. Thus was he named. Some called him also Hermes. In every tongue he hath a special name. He it is who hath set forth in every branch of philosophy thorough and convincing statements. After him Balinus derived his knowledge and sciences from the Hermetic Tablets and most of the philosophers who followed him made their philosophical and scientific discoveries from his words and statements...."

    (The Universal House of Justice, 1996 Aug 06, Sabeans, UFOs, Alien Abduction and Genetic Engineering)

***HERE WE SEE THAT, ALTHOUGH DIRECT EVIDENCE ISN'T CLEAR IN THE BAHAI WRITINGS, ONE CAN INFER BASED UPON BAHAULLAH'S WORDS, THAT THIS RELIGION SPREAD FROM THE REGION OF SABA TO ALL CORNERS OF THE EARTH!!!***



Ashe.
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7 years ago  ::  Dec 14, 2007 - 9:14AM #3
Truth27
Posts: 523
In summary, what I'm trying to say is this: 

1) There is scientific and archaeological evidence that a) humans originated in Ethiopia/East Africa; b) humans made their way to the rest of the world by way of Yemen; c) a form of symbolism or spirituality has existed among modern humans from the very begining of their existance as a species; and d) history and archaeology support the fact that the land of Saba (Sheba) occupied the Ethiopia-Yemen area.

2)  I am excited because the writings of my faith suggest that there is spiritual significance to the land area (encompassing Ethiopia-Yemen) called Saba (Sheba).  Specifically, it is the origin point of a very ancient perspective on worshiping ('religion'/''spirituality') whose influence can be found in all indigenous systems (ie could be found amongst all people/cultures on earth).  How else would the system have practically been spread if not through human migration from their point(s) of origin in Africa-Yemen (Saba)!?!   Hence, it is evident that Bahaullah's words should be listened to carefully.  For it is clear that there is much insight to be gained from them as science unfolds (I'm sure no one knew what He was talking about back in the 1800s as far as Sabaeanism is concerned).  Basically He's saying that indigenous systems are indeed from God too!  And should be respected as such!  :-)


In this light the following quote makes sense.  The Sabaeans were:

"the followers of an ancient religion who worship idols named after stars and who claim to have taken their religion from Seth and Idris;"

    (The Universal House of Justice, 1996 Aug 06, Sabeans, UFOs, Alien Abduction and Genetic Engineering)

Clarification:

'Worshiping idols' - they created and sacralized physical objects such that they came to symbolize greater Divine truths.  Hence they treat it with care and venerate it.

'Named after stars' - Stars are all essentially the same in nature (hence the common term stars) but occur in different places (and times) within the physical context.  In this sene, they are perfect representations of the progressive nature of God's Word and teachings.  In one culture, time and place, the North 'star' may be the reflection of God to follow; in another context, another 'star' is more appropriate.,,,,This is the essence of religious truth.  This may even be the profundity that enshrouds the concept of polytheism; to see all stars as of equal importance (possibly because your culture didn't deem it important to remember the sequence in which the Divine Messages were sent), and to name the sacred symbols one finds in ones environment and worships (rivers, mountains, animals, trees, etc) after such profound Messages/Stars (ie give profound meaning and names to the 'idols' that were either man made or made by nature).

In this sense, I believe 'polytheism' derived from teh culmulative nature of revelation to a given culture such that multiple mouthpieces existed and were known.  In addition, it also may have occurred when the culumulative wisdom of one culture (all of their Divine Messages) combined with another (and their Messages) to make one.



Ashe.
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7 years ago  ::  Feb 13, 2008 - 1:38PM #4
lindex
Posts: 61
this is a warning to all nations of the earth to put your houses in order,why because the second coming of Christ is iminent,are you a sabbath keeper a true sabbath keeper if not read the bible and see in exodus  chapter 20.this tells you the true and only day.please read.put all idol worship away for your lives are on the line.Jesus is coming back.praise the lord
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