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3 years ago  ::  May 30, 2011 - 10:49AM #1
Jupiter6208
Posts: 2,277
From what i have read  Baha'i's believe God is Unknowable is this correct?
"A person who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person."  Dave Berry



You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger. Buddha.
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3 years ago  ::  May 30, 2011 - 4:47PM #2
Ruhi19
Posts: 529

May 30, 2011 -- 10:49AM, Jupiter6208 wrote:

From what i have read  Baha'i's believe God is Unknowable is this correct?




In a word, yes.  We believe that God can be known only through those Manifestations of God Who have been sent to us so that we can know about God.  However, God, in His essence, cannot be known.  More specifically, this quote from Shoghi Effendi might help:


He Who in unnumbered passages claimed His utterance to be the "Voice of Divinity, the Call of God Himself" thus solemnly affirms in the Kitáb-i-Íqán: "To every discerning and illumined heart it is evident that God, the unknowable Essence, the Divine Being, is immeasurably exalted beyond every human attribute such as corporeal existence, ascent and descent, egress and regress... He is, and hath ever been, veiled in the ancient eternity of His Essence, and will remain in His Reality everlastingly hidden from the sight of men... He standeth exalted beyond and above all separation and union, all proximity and remoteness... 'God was alone; there was none else beside Him' is a sure testimony of this truth."


"From time immemorial," Bahá'u'lláh, speaking of God, explains, "He, the Divine Being, hath been veiled in the ineffable sanctity of His exalted Self, and will everlasting continue to be wrapt in the impenetrable mystery of His unknowable Essence... Ten thousand Prophets, each a Moses, are thunderstruck upon the Sinai of their search at God's forbidding voice, 'Thou shalt never behold Me!'; whilst a myriad Messengers, each as great as Jesus, stand dismayed upon their heavenly thrones by the interdiction 'Mine Essence thou shalt never apprehend!'" "How bewildering to me, insignificant as I am," Bahá'u'lláh in His communion with God affirms, "is the attempt to fathom the sacred depths of Thy knowledge! How futile my efforts to visualize the magnitude of the power inherent in Thine handiwork -- the revelation of Thy creative power!" "When I contemplate, O my God, the relationship that bindeth me to Thee," He, in yet another prayer revealed in His own handwriting, testifies, "I am moved to proclaim to all created things 'verily I am God!'; and when I consider my own self, lo, I find it coarser than clay!"


"The door of the knowledge of the Ancient of Days," Bahá'u'lláh further states in the Kitáb-i-Íqán, "being thus closed in the face of all beings, He, the Source of infinite grace ... hath caused those luminous Gems of Holiness to appear out of the realm of the spirit, in the noble form of the human temple, and be made manifest unto all men, that they may impart unto the world the mysteries of the unchangeable Being and tell of the subtleties of His imperishable Essence... All the Prophets of God, His well-favored, His holy and chosen Messengers are, without exception, the bearers of His names and the embodiments of His attributes... These Tabernacles of Holiness, these primal Mirrors which reflect the Light of unfading glory, are but expressions of Him Who is the Invisible of the Invisibles."


 (Shoghi Effendi, The World Order of Baha'u'llah, p. 112)


 

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3 years ago  ::  Jul 17, 2011 - 2:18PM #3
Kalzera
Posts: 258

God's essence is unknowable by mankind.


"All the people have formed a god in the world of thought, and that form of their own imagination they worship; when the fact is that the imagined form is finite and the human mind is infinite. Surely the infinite is greater than the finite, for imagination is accidental while the mind is essential; surely the essential is greater than the accidental.

Therefore consider: All the sects and peoples worship their own 382 thought; they create a god in their own minds and acknowledge him to be the creator of all things, when that form is a superstition—thus people adore and worship imagination.

That Essence of the Divine Entity and the Unseen of the unseen is holy above imagination and is beyond thought. Consciousness doth not reach It. Within the capacity of comprehension of a produced reality that Ancient Reality cannot be contained. It is a different world; from it there is no information; arrival thereat is impossible; attainment thereto is prohibited and inaccesible. This much is known: It exists and Its existence is certain and proven—but the condition is unknown.

All the philosophers and the doctors knew that It is, but they were perplexed in the comprehension of Its existence and were at last discouraged, and in great despair they left this world. For the comprehension of the condition and mysteries of that Reality of realities and Mystery of mysteries there is need for another power and another sense. That power and sense is not possessed by mankind, therefore they have not found any information. For example: If a man possess the power of hearing, the power of tasting, the power of smelling and the power of feeling, but no power of seeing, he cannot see. Hence, through the powers and senses present in man the realization of the Unseen Reality, which is pure and holy above the reach of doubts, is impossible. Other powers are needed and other senses required. If those powers and senses are obtained, then information can be had; otherwise, not." - Abdu'l-Bahá (Bahá'í World Faith - Selections..., pg. 381-382)


However, God can be "known," in some sense, through His Manifestations. That's one of their primary purposes.  
However men try to reach me, I return their love with my love; whatever path they may travel, it leads to me in the end - Bhagavad Gita 4:11

"Knowledge is a light which God casteth into the heart of whomsoever He willeth" - The Four Valleys; Hadith
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3 years ago  ::  Jul 21, 2011 - 7:35AM #4
compx2
Posts: 426

Strictly speaking nothing is "known" in the sense that we want to say God is known.  We don't know physics or biology or philosophy, but we know about those things.


We do not know the essence of anything, but we know aspects and attributes of things.  Human knowledge is the knowledge of relationships, the way things work.  We make models and concepts of how things work, and we identify the things in the models with names.


So I disagree with what all my Baha'i brethren say when they explain the Unknowable Essence which is God.  I don't think any two people can agree on the deepest and highest inspiring and influential concept they can imagine.  What should we call the Most High?  Well, we can call Him God, but what is HE?  That is a different question.  --Kent


 

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2 years ago  ::  Jan 29, 2012 - 9:10AM #5
Jupiter6208
Posts: 2,277

 The nature of God is impersonal, but how can human beings (or all of creation) be created based off an impersonal God?

"A person who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person."  Dave Berry



You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger. Buddha.
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2 years ago  ::  Jan 29, 2012 - 9:16AM #6
compx2
Posts: 426

Unknown does not mean impersonal.  The personification of God by religion is a handy trick, good for the feelings, makes us all think about life, the universe and everything as a friend.  What Baha'is have is the realization, the Faith, that what we know is not God's Truth.  No one has God's Truth.

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2 years ago  ::  Feb 17, 2012 - 10:30AM #7
SeraphimR
Posts: 8,346

Jan 29, 2012 -- 9:16AM, compx2 wrote:


Unknown does not mean impersonal.  The personification of God by religion is a handy trick, good for the feelings, makes us all think about life, the universe and everything as a friend.  What Baha'is have is the realization, the Faith, that what we know is not God's Truth.  No one has God's Truth.




I've got to admit this sounds all very pessimistic.  Why bother with something that is unknowable.


I am going to go with St. Paul:


Then Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus
and said, "Men of Athens, I perceive that in all things
you are very religious; "for as I was passing through
and considering the objects of your worship, I even
found an altar with this inscription: “TO THE UNKNOWN
GOD”.
Therefore, the One whom you worship without
knowing, Him I proclaim to you: "God, who made the
world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven
and earth, does not dwell in temples made with
hands. "Nor is He worshiped with men's hands, as
though He needed anything, since He gives to all life,
breath, and all things. "And He has made from one
blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of
the earth, and has determined their preappointed
times and the boundaries of their dwellings, "so that
they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they
might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not
far from each one of us; "for in Him we live and
move and have our being, as also some of your
own poets have said, 'For we are also His offspring.'



(emphasis mine)


Are Bahais really agnostic, after all?

The louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons.
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2 years ago  ::  Feb 17, 2012 - 10:58AM #8
compx2
Posts: 426

The personification of God is common in religions of old.  The Greeks personified all their gods, and that may be one reason Christ chose to personify the One True God.  He was the Teacher after all.


But no one knows God, although He has been personified in the Person of Jesus Christ in your religion, and in Others as well according to my religion.


If you are seriously saying you know God as well or better than you know, say, your mother then we have a communication issue.


Let me know if you want to continue this discussion.  --Kent

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2 years ago  ::  Feb 17, 2012 - 11:05AM #9
lulu2
Posts: 454

The Kingdom of heaven is within you.” That text has been the stay and support of more Pharisees and prigs and self-righteous spiritual bullies than all the dogmas in creation; it has served to identify self-satisfaction with the peace that passes all understanding. ..


Than I can only suppose your statement would include the CHRIST? GOD lives in us, around us and in whome we have our being..to seek Him not as part of the self, is saying we are separate from God? Christ also said..those who see me, see my Father...He also said, my Father and I am ONE 

Without the Soul of Christ alive in us...we are nothing but empty shells...
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2 years ago  ::  Feb 17, 2012 - 11:08AM #10
compx2
Posts: 426

Feb 17, 2012 -- 11:05AM, lulu2 wrote:

The Kingdom of heaven is within you.” That text has been the stay and support of more Pharisees and prigs and self-righteous spiritual bullies than all the dogmas in creation; it has served to identify self-satisfaction with the peace that passes all understanding. ..


Than I can only suppose your statement would include the CHRIST? GOD lives in us, around us and in whome we have our being..to seek Him not as part of the self, is saying we are separate from God? Christ also said..those who see me, see my Father...He also said, my Father and I am ONE 


I assume you were replying to SeraphimR with this quote from Jesus, not me.  Thanks.  --Kent

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