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5 years ago  ::  Nov 01, 2009 - 1:50PM #21
world citizen
Posts: 5,591

The Bahá'í religion has made its way... because it meets the needs of its day. It fits the larger outlook of our time better than the rigid exclusive older faiths. A characteristic is its unexpected liberality and toleration. It accepts all the great religions as true and their scriptures as inspired. ... Their ethical ideal is very high and of the type we Westerners have learnt to designate 'Christlike'.


"What does he do to his enemies that he makes them his friends?" was asked concerning the late leader. What astonishes the student is not anything in the ethics or philosophy of this movement, but the extraordinary response its ideal has awakened in such numbers of people, the powerful influence this standard actually exerts on conduct. ... "By their fruits ye shall know them!" We cannot but address to this youthful religion an All Hail! of welcome. We cannot fail to see in its activity another proof of the living witness in our own day of the working of the sleepless spirit of God in the hearts of men.


~ Rev. J. Tyssul Davis, A League of Religions
[cited by William Sears in "Thief in the Night," pp. 33-34]

Blessed is he who mingleth with all men in a spirit of utmost kindliness and love. ~Baha'u'llah
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5 years ago  ::  Nov 08, 2009 - 2:54PM #22
world citizen
Posts: 5,591

To estimate, even to imagine, the possibilities of the human soul is beyond man's thinking. "I am man's mystery and he is My mystery." And 'Abdu'l-Bahá says that no man can know himself since it is impossible to look at oneself from without. Because of this, and because men commonly tend to accept a lower estimate of their own capacities rather than a higher, a certain heroism is essential to high attainment. This is true, of course, when the goal is a material one. It is not generally realized that it is much more true when the plane of seeking is spiritual. To accept the dictum that nothing is too good to be true, and nothing is too high to be attained, requires a willingness to run counter to the accepted standards of men, who, as a rule, measure their ambitions by a quite different standard.


[Howard Colby Ives, "Portals to Freedom," p. 34]

Blessed is he who mingleth with all men in a spirit of utmost kindliness and love. ~Baha'u'llah
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5 years ago  ::  Nov 15, 2009 - 1:19PM #23
world citizen
Posts: 5,591

In order to attain to the Bahá'í life in all its fullness, conscious and direct relations with Bahá'u'lláh are as necessary as is sunshine for the unfolding of the lily or the rose. The Bahá'í worships not the human personality of Bahá'u'lláh, but the Glory of God manifest through that personality. He reverences Christ and Muhammad and all God's former Messengers to mankind, but he recognizes Bahá'u'lláh as the bearer of God's Message for the new age in which we live, as the Great World teacher Who has come to carry on and consummate the work of His predecessors.


~ Dr. J.E. Esslemont, "Baha'u'llah and the New Era," p. 72

Blessed is he who mingleth with all men in a spirit of utmost kindliness and love. ~Baha'u'llah
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5 years ago  ::  Nov 24, 2009 - 2:49PM #24
world citizen
Posts: 5,591

O Army of Life! East and West have joined to worship stars of faded splendour, and have turned in prayer unto darkened horizons. Both have utterly neglected the broad foundation of God's sacred laws, and have grown unmindful of the merits and virtues of His religion. They have regarded certain customs and conventions as the basis of the Divine faith, and have.firmly established themselves therein. They have imagined themselves as having attained a glorious pinnacle of achievement and prosperity, when in reality they have touched the innermost depths of heedlessness and deprived themselves wholly of God's bounteous gifts.


Words attributed to Abdu'l-Baha by George Townsend, "Christ and Baha'u'llah," p. 88

Blessed is he who mingleth with all men in a spirit of utmost kindliness and love. ~Baha'u'llah
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5 years ago  ::  Nov 26, 2009 - 12:19PM #25
world citizen
Posts: 5,591

Day of the Covenant (Nov. 25)


From the Baha'i International webpage:


So powerful is the light of unity," Bahá'u'lláh declared,  "that it can illuminate the whole earth." "We, verily," He further stated, "have come to unite and weld together all that dwell on earth."  Bahá'u'lláh made the oneness of humankind the central principle and goal of His Faith, an emphasis that implies the organic and spiritual unity of the whole body of nations and signalizes the "coming of age of the entire human race."
 
Humanity's evolution has been marked by such progressive stages of social organization as family, tribe, city-state and nation. Bahá'u'lláh's express purpose was to usher in the next and ultimate stage, namely, world unity -- the harbinger of the Great Peace foretold in the world's religions.  As the Word of God as revealed by Bahá'u'lláh is the source and impetus of the oneness of humankind, so the Covenant He has established is the organizing principle
for its realization.

Bahá'u'lláh's Covenant guarantees both unity of understanding of His Faith's fundamental doctrines and actualization of that unity in the Bahá'í community's spiritual and social development. It is distinguished by its provision for authentic interpretation of the sacred
texts and for an authorized system of administration, at the apex of which is an elected legislative body empowered to supplement the laws revealed by Bahá'u'lláh.

This Covenant is the most remarkable feature of His Revelation, for it is designed, unlike any religious system of the past, to preserve the unity of all humanity through the organic workings of a social order based on spiritual principles. "So firm and mighty" is this Covenant, Bahá'u'lláh's son `Abdu'l-Bahá has affirmed, "that from the beginning of time until the present day, no religious Dispensation hath produced its like.

Blessed is he who mingleth with all men in a spirit of utmost kindliness and love. ~Baha'u'llah
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5 years ago  ::  Dec 06, 2009 - 11:37AM #26
world citizen
Posts: 5,591

An elder Cherokee Native American was teaching his grandchildren about life.  He said to them:


"A fight is going on inside me.  It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves.  One wolf represents fear, anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority and ego.


The other stands for joy, peace, love, hope, sharing, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, friendship, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.


This same fight is going on inside you and every other person too."

They thought about that for a moment when one child asked his grandfather, "Which wolf will win?"


The grandfather looked his grandson in the eyes and said, "The one that you feed."

Blessed is he who mingleth with all men in a spirit of utmost kindliness and love. ~Baha'u'llah
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5 years ago  ::  Dec 13, 2009 - 1:17PM #27
world citizen
Posts: 5,591

The life-story of all world Faiths is the same; amidst a backward, wayward, miserable folk a man emerges from the rank and file; he claims to have knowledge of a higher order, he claims to be inspired by God; he preaches reforms; he sets forth new principles or laws; he admonishes men for the evil of their ways and calls upon them to change, to take hold of the truth he has brought and to live by it; if they obey him they will be blessed, if they disobey him it is their own fault and they will be miserable...


~ Ruhiyyih Rabbani: "Prescription For Living," p. 100 (1950 edition)

Blessed is he who mingleth with all men in a spirit of utmost kindliness and love. ~Baha'u'llah
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5 years ago  ::  Dec 20, 2009 - 4:58PM #28
world citizen
Posts: 5,591

The wisdom of repeating the Greatest Name 9 times before each prayer and 95 times daily, is as follows:  Abdu'l-Baha said that there is in man a power of concentration not fully developed, which power rightly directed can lead him to great heights of knowledge, understanding and illumination.  Prayer and supplication are the ladder, He said, "by which the soul ascends and as the power of sustained communion with God develops the capacity to receive the influx of The Holy Spirit and to penetrate, the hidden mystery unfolds".  Prayer and communion is the only direct approach of the soul to God, and Baha'u'llah has likened it unto "a river of milk" which is the perfect nutriment, and the more we partake of this lifegiving food, the more the soul shall advance in the path of God and the greater will be its progress.


[Mirza Abu'l-Fadl, with words of Abdu'l-Baha, from an essay copied by May Maxwell]

Blessed is he who mingleth with all men in a spirit of utmost kindliness and love. ~Baha'u'llah
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5 years ago  ::  Dec 26, 2009 - 2:57PM #29
in_my_opinion
Posts: 2,967

"At a recent Ruhi gathering, an individual placed a large plate of trail mix on the table for all to nibble during the class.  Hands were diving in by some while others, maybe/maybe not aware of Aqdas law, ignored the dish.  No one, however, possibly lest they be viewed as judgmental, said a word that the Aqdas forbade this practice:


"Take heed lest, when partaking of food, ye plunge your hands into the contents of bowls and platters."  This prohibition was defined by Shoghi Effendi as "plunging one's hand in food".  In many parts of the world it has been customary to eat with the hands from a communal bowl.  (The Kitab-i-Aqdas, p. 198)


 


Are there ever times when it IS appropriate to "criticize the ploughing" of others in the event or likelihood that they might not be aware of certain laws?  Does trying to be helpful cross the line of being judgmental?  Your thoughts?"


The practical soul would just find a spoon or scoop to put in the large plate and possibly bowls or saucers and leave it at that. A lot depends on the relationship between people. A teacher or tutor could bring humor and practice to the occasion.


The Master once had the Guardian, when he was a little boy, display the utmost refinement in taking tea. The simple believers who had come on pilgrimage (and in those days it was a long hard trek) learned as they watched to stop their slurping, snorting ways. They took the story back home to educate the next generation and enlighten the Friends there.

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5 years ago  ::  Dec 26, 2009 - 3:45PM #30
world citizen
Posts: 5,591

Hello IMO!  How are you on this frigid weekend?


Thanks for your comments.  I'd stopped adding personal notes or questions to these posts for the seeming lack of interest.  Perhaps that isn't so? Smile


The "practical soul" at the Ruhi class would/could have been the person in whose home we were meeting.  Doubt any of us considered leaving the class to walk through another's home in order to rifle through kitchen drawers or cabinets for needed items.  What was surprising to me was that all in attendance were supposedly 'seasoned' Baha'is, which led me to wonder just how many are actually acquainted with the Aqdas.  I did note that the class tutor abstained from the trail mix but he said nothing. 

Blessed is he who mingleth with all men in a spirit of utmost kindliness and love. ~Baha'u'llah
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