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Switch to Forum Live View Fruits of the Holy Spirit
4 years ago  ::  Aug 31, 2010 - 1:45AM #1
truthseeker630
Posts: 67

Dear all,


I know that the path for us as Bahai's has a lot to do with acquiring the virtues.  To me these are all the fruits of the Holy Spirit outlined by Paul in his epistles, at the basis of all of them is charity.  How does one go about acquiring these fruits?  We can not be as the Calvinists and say that such grace will empower us to live holy lives whether we want to or not. 


We must take active participation in this process I know, for even the Apostles had to prepare for the descent of the Spirit!  As did Cornelius, who had reformed his life and feared God, being respected by the Jews of his area.  He was a Roman Gentile who was not idolatrous.  However, there are some virtues or fruits that do not come naturally to us -- what is a good way to remember to focus on those?  I personally like affirmations, but I'm not sure if that's a good way or not.


Sincerely,


Andrew

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4 years ago  ::  Sep 03, 2010 - 1:46AM #2
truthseeker630
Posts: 67

Dear all,


I guess I was not expecting this much.  I suppose there are some answers which are better to answer in person, I'm not sure.  Most of everything else you guys have responded to has always been good though.  Just trying to open something up, or start a conversation!


Sincerely,


Andrew

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4 years ago  ::  Sep 03, 2010 - 6:27AM #3
in_my_opinion
Posts: 2,872

Dear Andrew,


Maybe this will help, especially the last paragraph:


"What is he in need of in the Kingdom which transcends the life and limitation of this mortal sphere? That world beyond is a world of sanctity and radiance; therefore it is necessary that in this world he should acquire these divine attributes. In that world there is need of spirituality, faith, assurance, the knowledge and love of God. These he must attain in this world so that after his ascension from the earthly to the heavenly Kingdom he shall find all that is needful in that life eternal ready for him.


That divine world is manifestly a world of lights; therefore man has need of illumination here. That is a world of love; the love of God is essential. It is a world of perfections; virtues or perfections must be acquired. That world is vivified by the breaths of the Holy Spirit; in this world we must seek them. That is the Kingdom of life everlasting; it must be attained during this vanishing existence.


By what means can man acquire these things? How shall he obtain these merciful gifts and powers? First, through the knowledge of God. Second, through the love of God. Third, through faith. Fourth, through philanthropic deeds. Fifth, through self-sacrifice. Sixth, through severance from this world. Seventh, through sanctity and holiness. Unless he acquires these forces and attains to these requirements he will surely be deprived of the life that is eternal. But if he possesses the knowledge of God, becomes ignited through the fire of the love of God, witnesses the great and mighty signs of the Kingdom, becomes the cause of love among mankind, and lives in the utmost state of sanctity and holiness, he shall surely attain to second birth, be baptized by the Holy Spirit and enjoy everlasting existence."


(Abdu'l-Baha, Foundations of World Unity, p. 63)

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4 years ago  ::  Sep 03, 2010 - 6:57AM #4
in_my_opinion
Posts: 2,872

Dear Andrew,


Sorry, that you had to wait so long for a response! Found your post just now. Wish that one could subscribe to a whole forum or at least get a notification of a new thread in a forum one likes!


You would enjoy joining a study circle! You should start with Book 1. In the meantime a quick (and inexpensive) way of reading the Writings is to download Ocean. It is an online reference library. Start with the Hidden Words. It is a short book and within it are very brief sections that make it easy. It has some of the things you're asking about. Have quoted the start of it here:


"THE HIDDEN WORDS OF BAHÁ'U'LLÁH (Arabic only)


HE IS THE GLORY OF GLORIES


This is that which hath descended from the realm of glory, uttered by the tongue of power and might, and revealed unto the Prophets of old. We have taken the inner essence thereof and clothed it in the garment of brevity, as a token of grace unto the righteous, that they may stand faithful unto the Covenant of God, may fulfill in their lives His trust, and in the realm of spirit obtain the gem of Divine virtue.


1. O SON OF SPIRIT!
My first counsel is this: Possess a pure, kindly and radiant heart, that thine may be a sovereignty ancient, imperishable and everlasting.


2. O SON OF SPIRIT!
The best beloved of all things in My sight is Justice; turn not away therefrom if thou desirest Me, and neglect it not that I may confide in thee. By its aid thou shalt see with thine own eyes and not through the eyes of others, and shalt know of thine own knowledge and not through the knowledge of thy neighbor. Ponder this in thy heart; how it behooveth thee to be. Verily justice is My gift to thee and the sign of My loving-kindness. Set it then before thine eyes."


It was written in two parts. What you just read is the start of the Arabic Hidden words.


The Persian Hidden Words start as follows:


"THE HIDDEN WORDS OF BAHÁ'U'LLÁH (Persian only)


In the Name of the Lord of Utterance, The Mighty.


1. O YE PEOPLE THAT HAVE MINDS TO KNOW AND EARS TO HEAR!
The first call of the Beloved is this: O mystic nightingale! Abide not but in the rose-garden of the spirit. O messenger of the Solomon of love! Seek thou no shelter except in the Sheba of the well-beloved, and O immortal phoenix! dwell not save on the mount of faithfulness. Therein is thy habitation, if on the wings of thy soul thou soarest to the realm of the infinite and seekest to attain thy goal.


2. O SON OF SPIRIT!
The bird seeketh its nest; the nightingale the charm of the rose; whilst those birds, the hearts of men, content with transient dust, have strayed far from their eternal nest, and with eyes turned towards the slough of heedlessness are bereft of the glory of the divine presence. Alas! How strange and pitiful; for a mere cupful, they have turned away from the billowing seas of the Most High, and remained far from the most effulgent horizon.


3. O FRIEND!
In the garden of thy heart plant naught but the rose of love, and from the nightingale of affection and desire loosen not thy hold. Treasure the companionship of the righteous and eschew all fellowship with the ungodly."

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4 years ago  ::  Sep 03, 2010 - 11:23AM #5
truthseeker630
Posts: 67

Sep 3, 2010 -- 6:27AM, in_my_opinion wrote:


By what means can man acquire these things? How shall he obtain these merciful gifts and powers? First, through the knowledge of God. Second, through the love of God. Third, through faith. Fourth, through philanthropic deeds. Fifth, through self-sacrifice. Sixth, through severance from this world. Seventh, through sanctity and holiness. Unless he acquires these forces and attains to these requirements he will surely be deprived of the life that is eternal. But if he possesses the knowledge of God, becomes ignited through the fire of the love of God, witnesses the great and mighty signs of the Kingdom, becomes the cause of love among mankind, and lives in the utmost state of sanctity and holiness, he shall surely attain to second birth, be baptized by the Holy Spirit and enjoy everlasting existence."


(Abdu'l-Baha, Foundations of World Unity, p. 63)




Dear IMO,


What are philoanthropic deeds? I know Philos means brotherly love or "in love of" and anthropic comes from anthropos for man.  So is he talking about random acts of kindness? 


Also, what does he mean by severance from this world?  Does that mean that if the boys are going out to watch an R rated movie, I shouldn't watch it with them? Or if all that's on the radio is about drinking, or something immoral in nature then I shouldn't listen to it?


Also I suppose sanctity and holiness should be possible even without the monastic life, otherwise he wouldn't mention it.  Does this mean keeping your gaze and your ears pure (if you can help it), and praying 3 times a day.. just generally observing whatever is in the Kitab i Aqdas?


I am looking for a study circle in my Bahai community soon, they're all going to the Bahai academy this weekend so I'm waiting on another time.


Sincerely,


Andrew

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4 years ago  ::  Sep 03, 2010 - 7:09PM #6
in_my_opinion
Posts: 2,872

Sep 3, 2010 -- 11:23AM, truthseeker630 wrote:


Dear IMO,


What are philoanthropic deeds? I know Philos means brotherly love or "in love of" and anthropic comes from anthropos for man.  So is he talking about random acts of kindness? 


Also, what does he mean by severance from this world?  Does that mean that if the boys are going out to watch an R rated movie, I shouldn't watch it with them? Or if all that's on the radio is about drinking, or something immoral in nature then I shouldn't listen to it?


Also I suppose sanctity and holiness should be possible even without the monastic life, otherwise he wouldn't mention it.  Does this mean keeping your gaze and your ears pure (if you can help it), and praying 3 times a day.. just generally observing whatever is in the Kitab i Aqdas?


I am looking for a study circle in my Bahai community soon, they're all going to the Bahai academy this weekend so I'm waiting on another time.





Dear Andrew,


The word "philanthropic" means charitable. Remember how you were saying, charity? It is
the same thing.


Severance means detachment. It means not making your happiness dependent on what is going on around you but being joyous in the light of God's love and your own love of God as it shines from your heart.


You clearly already know what leads to abasement and which things lead to glory. You must make your own decisions on whether you will go to see a movie or listen to certain music. We are not prudes. Sanctity and holiness is virtuous. Do not make your friends feel bad. You must lead your life and not even seem to be looking down on them. God is the Judge of all of us. We are to only assess ourselves as a means of aiding our own progress as souls.


Monasticism is specifically forbidden to us as Bahá'ís. Life is not certain and we are not perfect, but have to work toward living up to the standards God has given us.


These standards are not for God's benefit. They are there to keep us happy and help us to bring lasting happiness to others.


It is late, but see if you can join them at this "academy"! It sounds like a "Bahá'í Summer School". If, you don't have the means; approach the Spiritual Assembly. They might be able to help you.


Be sure to keep us updated on what is going on with you!



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4 years ago  ::  Sep 03, 2010 - 7:15PM #7
in_my_opinion
Posts: 2,872

Dear Andrew,


Please use "imo" (lower case letters), if you would.

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