"Ancient Power"

All research or scholarship questions
paula
Posts: 21
Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2011 9:41 am

"Ancient Power"

Postby paula » Wed Jul 27, 2011 3:13 pm

Does anyone know if the term "Ancient Power" used by Abdul-Baha in his tablet to August Forel is used anywhere else in the Writings? I've searched everywhere I can think and can only find it in this one tablet.

BritishBahai
Posts: 251
Joined: Sat May 17, 2008 1:21 pm
Location: UK

Re: "Ancient Power"

Postby BritishBahai » Wed Aug 03, 2011 3:13 pm

Hi Paula

Welcome to the forums :computer:

I just done a quick search on Ocean and have come to a similar conclusion. :book:

I think we need to remember that not all of the Writings have been translated into English yet.
"I have desired only what Thou didst desire, and love only what Thou dost love"

paula
Posts: 21
Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2011 9:41 am

Re: "Ancient Power"

Postby paula » Wed Aug 03, 2011 4:49 pm

Thanks for responding and doing a search on Ocean! (I have a Mac computer and can't use Ocean.)
I feel comfortable with remembering that not all the Writings have been translated. I tend to forget that fact since there are so many. Also, being Native American I am often tempted to understand the Writings, especially the more metaphysical or esoteric, with a cultural lens and not the broader perspective I would prefer. So, again - thank you for helping - I really appreciate it!
Paula

BritishBahai
Posts: 251
Joined: Sat May 17, 2008 1:21 pm
Location: UK

Re: "Ancient Power"

Postby BritishBahai » Thu Aug 04, 2011 10:21 pm

You're welcome :wink:
paula wrote:Thanks for responding and doing a search on Ocean! (I have a Mac computer and can't use Ocean.)
I feel comfortable with remembering that not all the Writings have been translated. I tend to forget that fact since there are so many. Also, being Native American I am often tempted to understand the Writings, especially the more metaphysical or esoteric, with a cultural lens and not the broader perspective I would prefer. So, again - thank you for helping - I really appreciate it!
Paula

Since you're a Mac user, I thought you might be interested in ARCHIVE (a similar program to Ocean, apparently)
http://schoolmarmwood.org/Home.html


(I found out about ARCHIVE by going to this page, and clicking on the hyperlink at the bottom.)

P.S. I've never used it before. I don't have a Mac.
"I have desired only what Thou didst desire, and love only what Thou dost love"

owl3951

Re: "Ancient Power"

Postby owl3951 » Sat Aug 13, 2011 10:16 am

Altho' I did not realize it at first, yours is an intriguing question, Paula. How did you notice? Why does it motivate you? "What's the buzz, tell me what's happening?"

paula
Posts: 21
Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2011 9:41 am

Re: "Ancient Power"

Postby paula » Sun Aug 14, 2011 12:45 pm

Dear BritishBahai - thanks for the link to Archive - I'll give it a try.

And hello to owl3951 - In answer to your question: Ancient power is a very close translation from the original Lakota word for God - "tunkasila" - literally meaning very ancient rock. There's a lot more to this than just a literal translation and this is where the word "power" would come in. I'm not sure I could explain it without pages and pages. But rock many times in ceremonial or sacred language is interpreted as a power or medicine or sacred mystery. Gee...I guess this might sound a little disjointed. Anyway, I was studying the tablet to August Forell trying to understanding a broader perspective for healing. It seems to me that in the last few years our ceremonies and methods of "doctoring" aren't dong what they used to. So, I'm feeling that in the light of progressive revelation there must be a way to heal ourselves which probably encompasses the sciences along with spirituality. I've always said that becoming a Baha'i is like getting a doctorate in our Indian traditions - the Writings have taken me to places and perspectives I would never have known and mystical knowledge that far surpasses current understandings.

P.S. Tunkasila is the original Lakota word for God, but today most use Wakan Tanka (Great Mystery). This was changed when the Christian missionaries came to the reservations and accused us of worshipping stone idols - sigh - guess they just didn't get what the word "analogy" meant....

owl3951

Re: "Ancient Power"

Postby owl3951 » Wed Aug 17, 2011 9:22 am

P. this is, without doubt, the most exciting response I have ever had on any forum (religious, scientific, etc.) to any of my random casts into the Sea of Inquiries. Thanx. :megagrin:

Now "ancient" in common usage has primarily two meanings: old or venerable. "Power" can have a variety of meanings (i.e., to provide with electricity). However, in theological terms, power seems also to have two primary meanings, not entirely independent. The first meaning is "the ability to achieve or do something." The second meaning is "might or strength." If we put together the first definitions of Ancient Power, we have Old Doer, Immemorial Achiever, Remote (in time) Performer. And a Mighty Doer at that.

All of these Names, to me, sound like what both the Bab and Baha'u'llah denote as the Primal Will. This Library has some remarkable articles on the Primal Will. Here are two.

http://bahai-library.com/coleman_common_grounds_buddhism

http://bahai-library.com/brown_primal_will

Of course, the Three Central Figures have electrifying commentary, which can be perused by simple searches here at this Library or at

http://reference.bahai.org/en/

As to the 500 Nations, we cry and lament over acts in ancient and recent history. The soul writhes in anguish whenever it reviews the terrors brought forth on these two continents. Thanks be to God the Lakota survived. So many peoples were annihilated completely in the Great Scourge.

As to"rock" Christians (and many others, including the Baha'is) have made use of the analogy, as well. "Thou art Peter, and upon this rock..." "Rock of Ages..." are two well-known examples. As you know, it wasn't really the analogy that bothered missionaries. It was the need to destroy the "other" in order to make it as "itself". Praise be that Baha'u'llah teaches us to love diversity.

iranpour
Posts: 74
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2013 2:52 pm

Re: "Ancient Power"

Postby iranpour » Wed Feb 13, 2013 7:54 am

paula wrote on Jul. 27, 2011:
Does anyone know if the term "Ancient Power" used by Abdul-Baha in his tablet to August Forel is used anywhere else in the Writings? I've searched everywhere I can think and can only find it in this one tablet.

Hello paula,

Searching in the Persian writings I found two more English texts that in their translation you can find your word, THE ANCIENT POWER and another text from Some Answered Questions which I have quoted next to them.

Following are the two writings of ‘Abdu’l-Baha in which the word “ANCIENT POWER” is used:

In another Tablet 'Abdu'l-Bahá states that we may attach some attributes to God. We do this not because we wish to prove that God is the possessor of exalted attributes -- attributes which are beyond our understanding -- but rather to dissociate from Him the lack of such attributes. In his celebrated Tablet to Dr Forel, 'Abdu'l-Bahá states:

“As to the attributes and perfections such as will, knowledge, power
and other ancient attributes that we ascribe to that Divine Reality,
these are the signs that reflect the existence of beings in the
visible plane and not the absolute perfections of the Divine Essence
that cannot be comprehended. For instance, as we consider created
things we observe infinite perfections, and the created things being
in the utmost regularity and perfection we infer that THE ANCIENT
POWER on whom dependeth the existence of these beings, cannot be
ignorant; thus we say He is All-Knowing. It is certain that it is not
impotent, it must be he All-Powerful; it is not poor, it must be
All-Possessing; it is not non-existent, it must be Ever-Living. The
purpose is to show that these attributes and perfections that we
recount for that Universal Reality are only in order to deny
imperfections, rather than to assert the perfections that the human
mind can conceive. Thus we say His attributes are unknowable”.
(Adib Taherzadeh, The Revelation of Baha'u'llah v 4, p. 131).

GOD AND THE UNIVERSE
"Now, formation is of three kinds and of three kinds only: accidental, necessary, and voluntary. The coming together of the various constituent elements of beings cannot be accidental, for unto every effect there must be a cause. It cannot be compulsory, for then the formation must be an inherent property of the constituent parts and the inherent property of a thing can in no wise be dissociated from it, such as light that is the revealer of things, heat that causeth the expansion of elements and the (solar) rays which are the essential property of the sun. Thus under such circumstances the decomposition of any formation is impossible, for the inherent properties of a thing cannot be separated from it. The third formation remaineth and that is the voluntary one, that is, an unseen force described as the ANCIENT POWER, causeth these elements to come together, every formation giving rise to a distinct being.

As to the attributes and perfections such as will, knowledge, power and other ancient attributes that we ascribe to that Divine Reality, these are the signs that reflect the existence of beings in the visible plane and not the absolute perfections of the Divine Essence that cannot be comprehended. For instance, as we consider created things we observe infinite perfections, and the created things being in the utmost regularity and perfection we infer that the ANCIENT POWER on whom dependeth the existence of these beings, cannot be ignorant; thus we say He is All-Knowing. It is certain that it is not impotent, it must be then All-Powerful; 343 it is not poor, it must be All-Possessing; it is not non-existent, it must be Ever-Living. The purpose is to show that these attributes and perfections that we recount for that Universal Reality are only in order to deny imperfections, rather than to assert the perfections that the human mind can conceive. Thus we say His attributes are unknowable".
(Abdu'l-Baha, Baha'i World Faith - Abdu'l-Baha Section, p. 342).

In the original text of Some Answered Questions, which in Farsi is called “Mufawadat-i-Abdu’l-Baha” there is also the word, QUDRAT-I-QADIMIH (The Ancient Power) which is translated into English as, “HIS PREEXISTENT MIGHT” (the power that previously existing) which has the same meaning:

“This composition and arrangement, through the wisdom of God and HIS PREEXISTENT MIGHT, were produced from one natural organization, which was composed and combined with the greatest strength, conformable to wisdom, and according to a universal law. From this it is evident that it is the creation of God, and is not a fortuitous composition and arrangement. This is why from every natural composition a being can come into existence, but from an accidental composition no being can come into existence. For example, if a man of his own mind and intelligence collects some elements and combines them, a living being will not be brought into existence since the system is unnatural. This is the answer to the implied question that, since beings are made by the composition and the combination of elements, why is it not possible for us to gather elements and mingle them together, and so create a living being. This is a false supposition, for the origin of this composition is from God; it is God Who makes the combination, and as it is done according to the natural system, from each composition one being is produced, and an existence is realized. A composition made by man produces nothing because man cannot create”. (Abdu'l-Baha, Some Answered Questions, p. 181).


The word “ANCIENT POWER” (QUDRAT-I-QADIMIH) is also used in the Persian writings of the beloved Guardian, Shoghi Effendi, dated, 1927-1939, P.168 and the one which he is addressing the Oriental Friends, P. 10.

paula
Posts: 21
Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2011 9:41 am

Re: "Ancient Power"

Postby paula » Wed Feb 13, 2013 11:34 am

Dear Iranpour,

Thank you so much! And many thanks for giving me the word Qurat-i-qadimih. So many English words are not translatable to my Native American language and I often find the Persian/Farsi words to be far more compatible. I am slowly learning to read and write in Persian, but I am without a teacher so the 'going' is extremely slow.

Thank you also for the Farsi title "Mufawadat-i-Abdu'l-Baha" . It is hard to find the Persian writings since they are published in completely different titles and volumes. Now I can have a chance at looking at the original text.

Anyway, you are an answer to my prayers for help in developing a greater understanding of the Writings and then being able to adapt the presentation for my own people. I can't express how much I appreciate your answer.

Many, many thanks,
Paula

iranpour
Posts: 74
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2013 2:52 pm

Re: "Ancient Power"

Postby iranpour » Wed Feb 13, 2013 2:33 pm

Hello paula,

You are more than welcome my dear friend.


I am so happy that see my search was productive of good results and you enjoyed it.
I am so happy too for the glad-tidings that you are interested to learn Farsi, the language of the Revelation and have begun the job. In reality Persian and Arabic are so associated and intertwined with each other that by learning Persian, you will be acquainted with many Arabic words.

Please let me know whether I can do anything and wish to do all I can to help you in your endeavours for this enterprise. Allahu-Abha!

paula
Posts: 21
Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2011 9:41 am

Re: "Ancient Power"

Postby paula » Wed Feb 13, 2013 5:02 pm

Dear Iranpour,

Yes, there is something else you can help me with. I was shy to ask, but I am looking for a specific word in Persian/Arabic used in the following quote:
"Therefore an enlightened man of wisdom should primarily speak with words as mild as milk..." The word I'm looking for is 'mild'. I think it's خوش but am not sure since I don't have the text in Persian/Arabic. I am just guessing from my Persian dictionary. The quote in English is from Tablets of Baha'u'llah Revealed after the Kitab-i-Aqdas pages 172-173

It's important for Native Americans since many of us have been reprimanded with this quote. I believe the word "mild" to be culturally subjective as it is used by the average American Baha'i and the only way to understand what Baha'u'llah means is to look closely at the original word and also the context of the entire passage.

If you know the original wording I would so appreciate the help. Even if I had the Persian/Arabic text it would take me a very, very long time to locate the passage and word.

With many, many thanks,
Paula

paula
Posts: 21
Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2011 9:41 am

Re: "Ancient Power"

Postby paula » Wed Feb 13, 2013 5:46 pm

As an after thought to anyone reading this forum topic, I felt I should explain my Northern Plains culture in the context of words as mild as milk.

We are taught from childhood to live our lives like the buffalo. When a storm comes the buffalo turn their faces to the fiercest of winds. If anyone is familiar with buffalo they will notice that the buffalo do literally turn their faces toward the storm and have no difficulty during severe weather, yet the cattle who turn their backs to the winds usually have a high rate of death during storms.

In the context of speech and mild words, it is not in our culture to turn away from difficulties. Problems and difficulties are dealt with openly. I think it is different in the Euro-American culture. Consequently, our way of consultation is far more direct and many times our words are considered offensive or harsh, thus we are chided with "words as mild as milk." It would be good to understand the context and meaning that Baha'u'llah intended. Which ever way that is.

Also, even though it's not relevant but a little amusing. Native Americans in the Northern Plains traditionally never consumed milk. Can you imagine milking a buffalo? Very scary...

Love to all,
Paula

iranpour
Posts: 74
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2013 2:52 pm

Re: "Ancient Power"

Postby iranpour » Fri Feb 15, 2013 8:41 am

Therefore an enlightened man of wisdom should primarily speak with words as mild as milk, (Baha'u'llah, Tablets of Baha'u'llah, p. 172)
لذا بايد حکيم دانا در اوّل بکلمه که خاصيّت شير در او باشد تکلّم نمايد

Hello again paula, The word MILD in Farsi is MULAYEM or (molayim), but in the Tablet “MILD AS MILK” is translated “KHASIYAT-I-SHIR DAR AU BASHAD” which means (have the quality and property of milk in it).
I want to show you to find this sentence for yourself:
First go to the “bahai reference library” and at the lower left side there is a word in Farsi “farsi” press it and the “Persian bahai reference library” will come. There is a list of Farsi alphabet, press on it and it comes on the left. Write “خاصیت شیر” (khasit shir) and press at your right side, the button at the left side of the alphabet list. There appears some writings from different books which have that word in them. Go to the third writings and at the end of it there is the Farsi of “mild as milk” which is “خاصیت شیر” (khasit shir).
Now if you want the whole Tablet press its Title and a page of the Tablet appears. If you wanted to look the other pages, on the top there are “page before” and “page after”. ( on the foot of the page 106 you can find your sentence and your word).

Your story of the buffalo was very nice and true. In this world we have to confront with the difficulties to immune ourselves with those which would happen later.
By the way, paula, I want to ask you to teach me how I can send Persian sentences and or pictures in my posts. I can write Farsi in my laptop but I do not know how to send them. Love Iranpour

paula
Posts: 21
Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2011 9:41 am

Re: "Ancient Power"

Postby paula » Fri Feb 15, 2013 9:46 am

My dear friend and Eastern relative, iranpour,

I simply don't know how to express my gratitude. For years I have sought help from our Persian community, yet everyone is so very busy with many important tasks. Thank you again and again for your sacrifice of time and energy. I will remember you warmly in my prayers and hope this brings many blessings to you. In my traditions we send a 'voice' (song) and our prayers ride on the wind across the invisible miles. I think in Persian the voice on the wind is "neda"? Although, I'm not sure if this is the same concept.

For sending Persian sentences, I go through a tedious process. I first type the sentence in Persian on my Word Processing program and then I print it. After printing it, I scan the printed page, then convert the scan to a jpeg photographic image at 72 dpi. Then I send it as a photo attachment. I think in this forum there isn't a way to send photos. Maybe Jonah can advise us on that? I hope I have understood your question. I would love to be of assistance to you in any way possible.

With much love,
Paula

brettz9
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Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2003 12:12 pm
Contact:

Re: "Ancient Power"

Postby brettz9 » Sat Feb 16, 2013 3:25 am

Hello Paula,

Below the Submit button on the edit page, there is an option to upload a file. It appears this functionality has not been disabled, so it appears it should work if you click "Browse" to add your image through that.

Best wishes,
Brett

iranpour
Posts: 74
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2013 2:52 pm

Re: "Ancient Power"

Postby iranpour » Fri Feb 22, 2013 6:42 am

Hello Paula, Sorry that the answer has been delayed to your last post to say welcome. I want to ask whether you received the Persian sentence and the Persian word that I had quoted in my last post or not. With love Iranpour


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