Experiance God?

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SpiritualSeeker
Posts: 64
Joined: Mon Mar 30, 2009 8:01 pm

Experiance God?

Postby SpiritualSeeker » Fri May 01, 2009 8:42 am

Hello all,


I am leaning more towards the way of direct experience. That is why I am drawn to Buddhist and shamanic practices. However, I wanted to ask from a bahai point of view, how is that we can touch God? What I mean is truely experience God and know that he exist and is more than just a dogma or belief?

Thank you
Live your daily life in a way that you never lose yourself. When you are carried away with your worries, fears, cravings, anger, and desire, you run away from yourself and you lose yourself. The practice is always to go back to oneself.Thich Nhat Hanh

Highmountain
Posts: 22
Joined: Fri Apr 18, 2008 9:50 am

Re: Experiance God?

Postby Highmountain » Fri May 01, 2009 1:17 pm

Hi Seeker,

Can you elaborate a little more on what you mean by direct experience and touching God?

HM

SpiritualSeeker
Posts: 64
Joined: Mon Mar 30, 2009 8:01 pm

Re: Experiance God?

Postby SpiritualSeeker » Fri May 01, 2009 1:41 pm

certainly,

I mean to have clear cut communion with God. Like what the Sufis call Wahdat al wujud (oneness of being) or reaching the ultimate reality where you witness God and know truely that he exist.
Live your daily life in a way that you never lose yourself. When you are carried away with your worries, fears, cravings, anger, and desire, you run away from yourself and you lose yourself. The practice is always to go back to oneself.Thich Nhat Hanh

brettz9
Posts: 1361
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2003 12:12 pm
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Re: Experiance God?

Postby brettz9 » Sun May 03, 2009 8:22 pm

Dear SpiritualSeeker,

To truly find God, as far as we are capable of finding Him (since He, in His Essence, as the Inaccessible, can never directly be found), we need to prepare ourselves to actively seek Him. Such guidance for the "true seeker" can be found at http://bahai-library.com/writings/bahau ... b/125.html

If you ardently search for Him, and have faith that He is at all times accessible to those who seek Him (and not that His hands are chained up to only act in bygone ages), you will without doubt find the confirmation you seek. This is guaranteed to happen, as it is God's promise and can work for any of us, but you must prepare, and be both open and extremely ardent.

Our Writings also offer many rational proofs of the existence of God, which to those who really consider them, will find them to be indisputable. Baha'is are in fact advised to study these rational proofs, even though we ourselves may sufficiently discover Him within at some point so as to be able to be in no need of such proofs ourselves. The key point to investigate the subject is to think for yourself, and not blindly follow what materialists may assert in rejecting Him. Likewise do we need to think for ourselves in investigating beyond Deism to organized religions, and from previous religions to later ones.

(The rest of this post is about our attitudes and actions after recognizing Him, but maybe it is still helpful to be aware of at this point.)

After attaining recognition of Him, we should not, however, waver in our faith or fail to strive to heed any of His guidance. After recognizing Him (and He does not insist on blind faith before finding Him), although we will still seek for regular communion with Him and often find it through prayer (silent or spoken, structured and unstructured), meditation, and service, we must also be prepared for difficulties and not expect to be in a perpetual state of bliss, as this world is the world of imperfections and suffering, even while we strive to implement teachings which can better it.

Also, while some practices may seem external or indirect (e.g., service to others), we believe that they are the only way to discover our true selves and find contentment with God.

As 'Abdu'l-Baha points out in Some Answered Questions, we are all compelled to follow God's laws, such as submit to sleep or death, though He also gives us a means to manifest signs of His unlimited nature by allowing us to avert or control His laws to some extent.

But again, we are and will always be limited--no matter how much you meditate, you will never be able to physically fly (unless you get up and try to discover methods according to scientific principles being open to use external "props" like EEG-controlled jet packs, wings, etc.!), and no matter how much we think seemingly external or indirect religious practices are not needed, we need to have faith to follow them (once we have ascertained that the source of these prescriptions is indeed a Divine Physician) if we wish to act in a way to benefit ourselves, since this is the order He indeed established, for whatever reasons. Just as attempting to defy gravity in a way against physical laws will only cause harm, denying the spiritual laws He set up, will only lead to disappointment.

O thou who art turning thy face towards God! Close thine eyes to all things else, and open them to the realm of the All-Glorious. Ask whatsoever thou wishest of Him alone; seek whatsoever thou seekest from Him alone. With a look He granteth a hundred thousand hopes, with a glance He healeth a hundred thousand incurable ills, with a nod He layeth balm on every wound, with a glimpse He freeth the hearts from the shackles of grief. He doeth as He doeth, and what recourse have we? He carrieth out His Will, He ordaineth what He pleaseth. Then better for thee to bow down thy head in submission, and put thy trust in the All-Merciful Lord.

(Selections from the Writings of 'Abdu'l-Baha, section 22)


As an actor in God's play, we may be able to contribute our own dialogue and manner of fulfilling our role, but it is of no use to complain about our role and character's inherent limitations, etc. We have to act with what we are given. And leaving His set is not a good option for our first assignment, as He runs all the studios in town... ;)

But indeed, it is the spirit of our acting performance which is more importance than following the exact script. Nevertheless, as He is the Divine Director, it is best for us to "take the outward significance and super-impose upon it the inner. Either without the other is wrong and defective." (From a letter dated 16 February 1932 written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer)

Here's another quote attributed to 'Abdu'l-Baha which is in a somewhat related vein (though specific to the practice of communal prayer):

Man may say: "I can pray to God whenever I wish, when the feelings of my heart are drawn to God; when I am in the wilderness, when I am in the city, or wherever I may be. Why should I go where others are gathered upon a special day, at a certain hour, to unite my prayers with theirs, when I may not be in a frame of mind for praying?"
To think in this way is useless imagination, for where many are gathered together their force is greater. Separate soldier fighting alone and individually have not the force of a united army. If all the soldier in this spiritual war gather together, then their united spiritual feelings help each other, and their prayers become acceptable.

(From notes taken by Miss Ethel J. Rosenberg, in Bahá'u'lláh and the New Era, 93-94).


Moreover, as 'Abdu'l-Baha states to this effect, it is easy to be "spiritual" if one removes oneself from society, but the real challenge is to be engaged with family, work, etc. while still maintaining spirituality.

While a world of tests and limits (whether scientific or spiritual, whether inherently limiting or in ourselves) may be less appealing to our natural desire for immediate and complete gratification, it is the world we're given, so better to respond to it with scientific and religious rigor so that we can unravel the techniques toward transcending those limits rather than wait for the world to adhere to our own wishes. But again, as a most loving Father, God can indeed confirm you, especially assuming you are ready and willing to accept the challenges, along with the blessings, which He may place upon you for accepting Him.

best wishes for you in your quest,
Brett


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