Saturday, September 10, 2016
Wednesday, December 23, 2015
Wednesday, June 24, 2015
The first London Peace fest in 2012 had 22 participants. In 2013 there was 3. In 2014 there was only myself. This year I am late and more disorganized than usual. I have been busy with many other things, but I feel it is important to remember the date.
On the 29th of June 1912, 'Abdu'l-Bahá Talked at Unity Feast, Outdoors at West Englewood, New Jersey.
Near the beginning of his talk he said
Monday, March 16, 2015
11 Núr 127 - June 15, 1970.
I became a Baha’i on the eleventh day of Núr in the year 127. That gave me some time before my first fast during the month of ‘Alá’ that year. How I anticipated that event and wondered how I would do. I would often go for long periods without food, but even a glass of water was not allowed during the fast. Worst of all, I would have to wake up and have breakfast before dawn each day. Not being an early riser, this would likely be the greatest challenge. But I met the challenge and proved to myself that I could do it.
Over the years I gained the knowledge that fasting was relatively easy for me. At first it was meeting the challenge that drove me to do it, but that soon ceased to be a reason. I learned that I could do it. Now I needed to learn why I should do it. I was relatively isolated from other Bahá’ís and no one would know if I took a sip of water. But I wasn’t doing it for other Baha’is. I learned that there were some health benefits to fasting, but I wasn’t doing it for my health. I learned that it was a part of the Baha’i Teachings and Baha’is all over the world were fasting, but I wasn’t doing it just because everyone else did. So Why was I fasting? It came down to the fact that God commanded those who love Him to fast so it was only my love for the Almighty God that urged me to deprive myself of food and drink for 12 hours each day.
But then there was all the other commandments of God. Pray every day. Read the writings day and night. Teach, teach, teach. Was I doing all those things? If I wasn’t, what good would it do to fast? If I didn’t take time to pray as I should, then fasting was all for nothing. Would my solution be do give up fasting or would I make a greater effort to find time to pray?
Fasting is part of a spiritual life style, and in a material world it is difficult to find reasons to do it. To fast faithfully and for the right reason, we must strive to become spiritual beings. Fasting may weaken the body, but it strengthens the spirit. When the spirit deprives the body of food for a period each day it becomes a victor over self and desire. We turn our thoughts away from the material and towards the spiritual.
As I am now approaching the end of my 45th fast I am wondering what I have learned from it. Do I now pray enough? Am I studying the writings every day? Am I teaching and leading one new soul to the Truth each year? It is beginning to look like I need another 45 years to make improvements.
These things are very difficult to do in isolation. I keep hoping I’ll find another soul that would be supportive of my efforts that we may form a team to teach God’s word. Someone who would go through all the Ruhi books with me and team up with me to do all the practices. Someone who needs my help as much as I need theirs. Someone who can help me be a Baha’i.
'Abdu'l-Bahá says that “it is impossible for the loved ones of God to receive assistance unless they teach.” I desperately need assistance so I desperately need to teach.
209. O ye servants of the Blessed Beauty!... It is clear that in this day, confirmations from the unseen world are encompassing all those who deliver the divine Message. Should the work of teaching lapse, these confirmations would be entirely cut off, since it is impossible for the loved ones of God to receive assistance unless they teach.
Under all conditions, the teaching must be carried forward, but with wisdom. If the work cannot proceed openly, then let them teach in private, and thus engender spirituality and fellowship among the children of men. If, for example, each and every one of the believers would become a true friend to one of the unheeding, and, conducting himself with absolute rectitude, associate with this soul, treat him with the utmost kindness, himself exemplify the divine instructions he hath received, the good qualities and behaviour patterns, and at all times act in accord with the admonitions of God -- it is certain that little by little he will succeed in awakening that previously heedless individual, and in changing his ignorance to knowledge of the truth.
Souls are inclined toward estrangement. Steps should first be taken to do away with this estrangement, for only then will the Word take effect. If a believer showeth kindness to one of the neglectful, and, with great love, gradually leadeth him to an understanding of the validity of the Holy Cause, so that he may come to know the fundamentals of God's Faith and the implications thereof -- such a one will certainly be transformed, excepting only those seldom-encountered individuals who are even as ashes, whose hearts are 'hard as rocks, or harder still.'
[1 Qur'án 2:69 ]
If every one of the friends should strive in this way to guide one soul aright, the number of believers will double every year; and this can be accomplished with prudence and wisdom, and no harm whatever would result therefrom.
Furthermore, the teachers must travel about, and if spreading the Message openly should cause a disturbance, then instead, let them stimulate and train the believers, inspire them, delight them, rejoice their hearts, revive and refresh them with the sweet savours of holiness.
('Abdu'l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, p. 264 - 266)
Wednesday, January 21, 2015
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Friday, October 31, 2014
Therefore, the seeker must be endowed with certain qualities. First of all, he must be just and severed from all else save God; his heart must be entirely turned to the supreme horizon; he must be free from the bondage of self and passion, for all these are obstacles. Furthermore, he must be able to endure all hardships. He must be absolutely pure and sanctified, and free from the love or the hatred of the inhabitants of the world. Why? because the fact of his love for any person or thing might prevent him from recognizing the truth in another, and, in the same way, hatred for anything might be a hindrance in discerning truth. This is the condition of seeking, and the seeker must have these qualities and attributes. Until he reaches this condition, it is not possible for him to attain to the Sun of Reality.
The first condition of a seeker is to be just and severed from all except God. How often it is that one is barred from the Truth because one is attacked to a particular religious form or a past Prophet. When Truth approaches from a different angle it is rejected. Those of one religion fail to see the Truth in all others. Christ said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”[i] Yet Christ is rejected if He approaches from unfamiliar ground.
“Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.”[ii] Yet His followers fail to see the timelessness of Him. When He appears at a different time in a different person, He is rejected. His followers will say, “this is not Christ who was born of a virgin, was crucified and rose from the dead.” Unless Christ returns again in the body of Jesus, they will not accept Him. What will He look like. They have all seen pictures of Jesus, so it is obvious that He is a white Anglo-Saxon protestant with long hair who will confirm everything they already believe. If He was to appear otherwise, He would assuredly be rejected. Thus attachment to the form, no matter how imaginary it is, causes them to reject the Truth when manifested in an unexpected way.
When people make up a God, they tend to make Him agreeable to all they believe, willing to do whatever they want Him to do, and of the same ethnicity as they are themselves. Such a God is their best friend and cannot do them any wrong, no matter how corrupt they are. It is very difficult to break anyone away from such a belief and when the One True God sends another Messenger with that same Christ Spirit that existed from the beginning that had no beginning and will be with us until the end that will never end, (in other words, He is with us for eternity), He is assuredly rejected by the masses because He does not conform to human expectation.
Thus it is only those who are detached from such belief who recognize Him. We see in the Bible how the religious leaders of the day rejected Him, yet the devils recognized and feared Him.
And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way. And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?
(Matthew 8: 28, 29)
It is clear that we must detach ourselves from pride, learning, religion, persons and anything at all that could bar us from recognizing the Truth. When Jesus said, “I am the Truth,” it was the Christ within Him that was speaking and whenever we find the Truth, we find Him. They will be known by their fruits. If the fruit is Truth, assuredly the Tree is Christ.
Monday, September 8, 2014
Baha’is follow the Truth. But what is Truth?
As human beings we are inclined to error. At one time everyone believed the earth was flat. Did that make it true? All the earth once believed that the sun circled around our planet. If all believed it, was it the truth? In the future we may be astounded at how many things we believe to be the verifiable truth that will, one day, be disproved.
Humans are subject to error, but God is unerring. Once in about every one thousand years, God sends us the embodiment of Truth in the form of one who manifest His own being. Thus it is that “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6)
As Baha’i’s we believe in the latest Manifestation of God who brought the Truth for this day. We also accept all the past Manifestations of God who brought Truth into the world. Moses brought to us the ten commandments and many of these are yet today embodied in civil law. The Word of God said “Thou shalt not kill” (Exodus 20:13) and throughout the world there are laws against murder. Moses led the people in Truth away from the land of bondage and to the land of the free.
Jesus said, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8: 32) When Jesus was on the earth He found the people in bondage to sin. He confronted the Jews with these harsh words. “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” (John 8: 44) The shining light of Truth as manifest by Jesus is still visible today.
Mohammad revealed in the Qur’an, “And those who believe in Allah and His messengers -- they are the Sincere (Lovers of truth), and the witnesses (who testify), in the eyes of their Lord: they shall have their Reward and their Light, but those who reject Allah and deny Our Signs -- they are the Companions of Hell-Fire.” (The Qur'an (Yusuf Ali translation), Surah 57: 19) again a Manifestation of God came to lead the people out of the darkness of error to the Light of Truth.
Bahá'u'lláh urges us, “Be a home for the stranger, a balm to the suffering, a tower of strength for the fugitive. Be eyes to the blind, and a guiding light unto the feet of the erring. Be an ornament to the countenance of truth, a crown to the brow of fidelity, a pillar of the temple of righteousness, a breath of life to the body of mankind, an ensign of the hosts of justice, a luminary above the horizon of virtue, a dew to the soil of the human heart, an ark on the ocean of knowledge, a sun in the heaven of bounty, a gem on the diadem of wisdom, a shining light in the firmament of thy generation, a fruit upon the tree of humility.” (Bahá'u'lláh, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 93)
In past dispensations there were parts of the world that were unknown. In this age we have not only discovered every part of the world but technology has advanced to the point where we know what is happening in every quarter. Communication flies around the world at lightning speed. Someone posts to a blog and instantly it is available all over the planet. Today, Truth can be Manifest in all parts and we can all come together under its power. No longer do we need to hate each other and lash out in fear of what we do not know. Truth has come to us in a Omnipotent way and we can all follow it in unity. If we love Truth it will set us free and we will be free to love. Hatred and error are darkness. Truth and love are light. Today the light of Truth shines so brightly that even the blind can see.
Do you agree? How do you see the Truth? Is world unity and peace now possible? Please leave your comments or send me and email to email@example.com. If you are committed to peace, let the world know.