Living a Bahai Life

All research or scholarship questions
shm
Posts: 50
Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2006 6:40 pm

Living a Bahai Life

Postby shm » Thu Mar 16, 2006 7:59 pm

When u read the writings u see that it says "praise God", "extol Him", but how can I constantly do this, and when I am doing these things,

Am I suppose to attribute everything that happens to me or I do to God?

According to what I have read some news reporter who met AbdulBaha in Montreal described him as loving him and caring for him the way a father does for his son, not wanting anything in return

CJ

Postby CJ » Thu Mar 16, 2006 10:08 pm

shm;

"God alone ordereth all things and is all-powerful. Why then does He send trials to His servants?

The trials of man are of two kinds. (a) The consequences of his own actions. If a man eats too much, he ruins his digestion; if he takes poison he becomes  50  ill or dies. If a person gambles he will lose his money; if he drinks too much he will lose his equilibrium. All these sufferings are caused by the man himself, it is quite clear therefore that certain sorrows are the result of our own deeds. (b) Other sufferings there are, which come upon the Faithful of God. Consider the great sorrows endured by Christ and by His apostles!"

(Abdu'l-Baha, Paris Talks, p. 49)

therefore your earache probably has nothing to do with God punishing you, imo

regarding the latter part of what you are saying/asking, as Baha'is we are not supposed to judge others, so maybe it's best that you don't look at other Baha'is and judge them, and instead concentrate on yourself. we are only human and not perfect; we can try to follow the example of Abdu'l-Baha but this does not mean that we will always succeed.

Guest

Postby Guest » Wed Mar 22, 2006 10:42 pm

I am not baha'i. I am LDS. I am studying the baha'i faith for a paper I am writing for a world religion class. I thought that it was very interesting to read this post. Even though I probably am very different from you, I also share in your struggles. It is interesting to me that our religions teach us how to have happiness and to truly love each other and yet some people don't live their lives in accordance with what they say or with what they present themselves to be. For me, I have to remind myself that we are all progressing, and we all have struggles. Even though we know something with our heads sometimes it is hard to internalize it and learn it with our hearts. I think that it is extremely hard to turn your thoughts outward and do things because we love God and not because we love ourselves. However, I think that it is possible, if and only if we truly have that as our heart's desire and are willingly to work for it and pay the price.
I don't know if we share the same view of God or not but I believe that God has no need for our honors, but our sincere gratitude and devotions to him (praises) help us in important ways as we strive for perfection in our own lives. We tend to emulate those whom we admire. If we take time daily to ponder God’s greatness, we are more likely to strive to be like him. God is wonderful. I have found that as I have consciously and sincerely looked for things to be thankful for, it has made it easier to praise God, for I see his hand in more things. Hopefully someday I will see his hand in all things.

Guest

Postby Guest » Wed Mar 22, 2006 10:44 pm

I am not baha'i. I am LDS. I am studying the baha'i faith for a paper I am writing for a world religion class. I thought that it was very interesting to read this post. Even though I am probably very different from you, I also share in your struggles. It is interesting to me that our religions teach us how to have happiness and to truly love each other and yet some people don't live their lives in accordance with what they say or with what they present themselves to be. For me, I have to remind myself that we are all progressing, and we all have struggles. Even though we know something with our heads sometimes it is hard to internalize it and learn it with our hearts. I think that it is extremely hard to turn your thoughts outward and do things because we love God and not because we love ourselves. However, I think that it is possible, if and only if we truly have that as our heart's desire and are willingly to work for it and pay the price.
I don't know if we share the same view of God or not but I believe that God has no need for our honors, but our sincere gratitude and devotions to him (praises) help us in important ways as we strive for perfection in our own lives. We tend to emulate those whom we admire. If we take time daily to ponder God’s greatness, we are more likely to strive to be like him. God is wonderful. I have found that as I have consciously and sincerely looked for things to be thankful for, it has made it easier to praise God, for I see his hand in more things. Hopefully someday I will see his hand in all things.

childintime
Posts: 37
Joined: Wed May 03, 2006 8:01 pm
Location: Canada

Postby childintime » Sat May 06, 2006 7:14 pm

First of all, one of the reasons Baha'u'llah gave us the principle of independent investigation of truth, is that we all have the capacity to discover and apply truth within our own lives. You seem to be trying to "formulate" some very deep spiritual qualities without having earned them. Do not take that as an insult. Spiritual development is an eternal journey toward (or back to) the Creator. It takes time, patience, perseverance, and much will-power.

We have only one example, and that is 'Abdu'l-Baha. As we study His life, we can learn much about spiritual behavior. Keep in mind, though, that most of what we have of His life is from the last half of it. By this time, He has spent several decades under the guidance of the Manifestation of God. He has been given titles and stations that bestow upon Him powers that we can't imagine. He has been through a life of sacrifice and suffering that few of us could survive. It would be interesting to know more about His early life, how He was a youth, how He faced the trials of life and learned from His choices. Recall that his younger brother lived virtually the same life, but had nowhere near the spiritual character of the Master.

It has been told that 'Abdu'l-Baha was once asked how to grow spiritually, and he said, "Kam, kam; ruz beh ruz.", which means, "Little by little; day by day."

As you begin each day by reading the Writings (if you're not doing this, forget about growing spiritually!), you will find that they tell you to do things. The Hidden Words may be a good place to begin. Then you meditate on what they mean, and on how you might be able to apply them. Then you pray for guidance as you go out and try. You pray for tests so that you will put forth an earnest effort and be able to learn from the results. At the end of the day, you bring yourself to account each day, and reflect upon what happened. Did you try to apply the teaching? Were you sincere in your effort? How did it turn out? What can you learn from it? How can you change things next time in order to make it a more positive experience?

Then there are things in the community that can support this process. Consultation with friends, family, institutions. Deepening, conferences, schools. Organize a study group with some friends and go through the Seven Valleys as many times as it takes to understand that weighty little book.

As you go through this process, you will find that you begin to understand the truths contained in the Writings because you have now lived them. In a sense, you have made them your own. You have earned spirituality. And it has all come from within, not from trying to behave like others. As it is cited in the Seven Valleys: "we shall show them our signs in the regions and in themselves," and in the Hidden Words: Turn thy sight unto thyself, that thou mayest find Me standing within thee, mighty, powerful and self-subsisting.

The spirit is ever willing, but the fingers are not, so I will leave you with that. I hope you find endless confirmations on your journey.


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