Should I study to be a doctor, or engineer?

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shm
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Should I study to be a doctor, or engineer?

Postby shm » Fri Jul 21, 2006 2:10 pm

Hi

When it was time for me to choose what area to study in and what career choice I should make I did not know exactly what I wanted to do, and what exactly to study in University. My mom was reading a book by Yunis Khan Afrukhta at that time for a Bahai class that she was in and coincidentally she came accross this part of the book at the same time when I was troubled and unsure and had to make my choice. She came across the part of the book where AbdulBaha advises Yunis Khan to go study, and Yunis Khan thought AbdulBaha wanted him to study something related to language, so that he could become a better interpreter. Yunis Khan was wondering what AbdulBaha wanted him to study and AbdulBaha told him to go study and become a doctor. Yunis Khan then did this and became a doctor.

Now, my mom came to this part of the book at the exact same time when I had to make my choice of what to study in university. At this point I was unsure of whether I should study the medicine path to become a doctor or if I should study to become some kind of an engineer, however I was leaning towards becoming an engineer at the time. Once my mom informed me of what she had read, this influenced me and I thought it was a sign from God that I should study to become some sort of a doctor.

Now I have went through a year of University ( but only have one course completed, which is not much) and right now before I go back to university in September I am unsure whether I should continue studying to become a doctor. Its not because I think I cant get high enough marks or anything like that, that has no factor in this, its just because I dont think that is what I want to do, and I am thinking more of studying to become an engineer. If I am going to make this change I have to do it now because University is opening soon. But what is kind of holding me back is the fact that last year my mom told me the story of Yunis Khan that she came across, which is why I studied what I did in first year university, but now I am unsure if that is what I want to do or not.

Should I stick to studying to become a doctor? If I do change what I am studying will I be going against the sign God was trying to give me?

Please give me your advice, I would very very much appreciate it.

curt
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Postby curt » Fri Jul 21, 2006 8:31 pm

Hi shm

I think God will be pleased with you no matter what course of study you choose. I recommend you follow your heart. If it leads you to engineering, then so be it. After reading several of your posts, you strike me as a problem solver, an engineer.

I try to be careful not to read things as signs from God too much. It brings our perception of the transcendent down to the transient (our level) and more often than not results in foolishness. However, to be truly motivated and inspired is another matter entirely.

Best of luck,

Curt

brettz9
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Postby brettz9 » Sat Jul 22, 2006 8:21 pm

Hello,

Shm, I think Curt has given some good advice here.

As far as your story of Yunis Khan, if anything, I think it may show that we SHOULDN'T try to rely on signs for our career choice. As the Writings say, we often bow to imaginations, thinking it is God. It is only through the Writings that we have any access to perfect knowledge (and even that is conditioned on a number of things, including our own understanding). As far as career choice, the Writings do speak highly of medicine, but the House of Justice, for example, gives the following more generic advice:

When deciding what course of training to follow, youth can consider acquiring those skills and professions that will be of benefit in education, rural development, agriculture, economics, technology, health, radio and in many other areas of endeavour that are so urgently needed in the developing countries of the world. You can also devote time in the midst of your studies, or other activities, to travel teaching or service projects in the Third World." (Universal House of Justice, Lights of Guidance, p. 636)


In a letter cited below, related to teaching, one's own predilections are also to be considered a factor, and it only stands to reason that the same applies for career choice.

I think the following article may be of interest and of relevance to you on many accounts. This response I received from the House of Justice to some of my own questions--after I reflected on it and tried to follow it--has had more (positive) influence in the course of my life since that time than almost antyhing you can imagine. I had asked them some psychological questions, similar to those you have asked, and was surprised at their reply which at first almost seemed off topic to me; but being from the House of Justice, I went with it, and started, after applying more of the advice, to see how incredibly relevant it was.

http://bahai-library.com/?file=uhj_bala ... pioneering

best wishes,
Brett

childintime
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Postby childintime » Wed Jul 26, 2006 1:01 am

Dear shm,

"Man must consult on all matters, whether major or minor, so that he may become cognizant of what is good. Consultation giveth him insight into things and enableth him to delve into questions which are unknown. The light of truth shineth from the faces of those who engage in consultation. Such consultation causeth the living waters to flow in the meadows of man's reality, the rays of ancient glory to shine upon him, and the tree of his being to be adorned with wondrous fruit. The members who are consulting, however, should behave in the utmost love, harmony and sincerity towards each other. The principle of consultation is one of the most fundamental elements of the divine edifice. Even in their ordinary affairs the individual members of society should consult.
"For instance, when a man hath a project to accomplish, should he consult with some of his brethren, that which is agreeable will of course be investigated and unveiled to his eyes, and the truth will be disclosed. Likewise on a higher level, should the people of a village consult one another about their affairs, the right solution will certainly be revealed. In like manner, the members of each profession, such as in industry, should consult , and those in commerce should similarly consult on business affairs. In short, consultation is desirable and acceptable in all things and on all issues."
(Compilations, The Compilation of Compilations vol. I, p. 97)

"Indeed, the believers have not yet fully learned to draw on each other's strength and consolation in time of need. The Cause of God is endowed with tremendous powers, and the reason the believers do not gain more from it is because they have not learned to draw fully on these mighty forces of love and strength and harmony generated by the Faith."
(Compilations, Principles of Bahai Administration, p. 16)

It's so sad that with all of the tremendous resources possessed by Baha'i communities, we have not learned to turn to that community and seek their guidance and wisdom in the many decisions that face us in our lives. Collectively speaking, Baha'is are among the most highly educated people in the world, both in terms of depth and breadth, and that can be an invaluable asset for young people trying to decide what they should study. Baha'is have served all over the world, in virtually every capacity, and can advise on the needs in every part of the planet. They generally know the youth of their communities very well and this gives insight into how well suited a Baha'i youth is to a particular field.

I beg of all young Baha'is reading this, turn to your communities and discuss with them, even in the Feasts, what are good fields for serving mankind and the Cause, and what fields may be appropriate for your particular talents and capacities. Do it early to give your grade school a focus, and do it often as the world changes quickly.

Dorumerosaer
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Postby Dorumerosaer » Wed Aug 16, 2006 5:55 am

I think it is a balance of listening to your heart, watching for signs, and consulting. I very much agree that consultation is advisable; but I do not think that consulatation with *everyone* is a good idea; because most people are not equipped to offer sound views to your specific needs. Look for people who are skilled at advising people on careers. In my own case I went to my local spiritual assembly, and it made a general study recommendation which I followed. For specific advice it recommended that I consult with a career counselor at the local college, and I did so. I was guided to the right person, and he gave me sound advice. The doors opened, even though the matter was a challenging one, and I took this as a sign I was on the right track.
Brent

Sean H.
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welfare dept., community services directory

Postby Sean H. » Wed Aug 16, 2006 9:37 am

Brent,

Community colleges are usually an excellent place to get basic career counseling, thanks for making that suggestion.

My wife is a career counselor with the local welfare department (county government). Career counseling services might similarly be available for low-income people (including unemployed) in other areas.

People might find that there are "community services directories", or similar sources of information, that list other social services agencies in their area that provide free or low-cost career counseling.

Regards,
Eric

Dorumerosaer
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Postby Dorumerosaer » Wed Aug 16, 2006 9:59 am

The place I got my very good career advice was in fact Rocklin Community College near Auburn California.
Brent

childintime
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Postby childintime » Wed Aug 16, 2006 7:57 pm

pilgrimbrent wrote:

"I think it is a balance of listening to your heart, watching for signs, and consulting. I very much agree that consultation is advisable; but I do not think that consulatation with *everyone* is a good idea; because most people are not equipped to offer sound views to your specific needs. Look for people who are skilled at advising people on careers. In my own case I went to my local spiritual assembly, and it made a general study recommendation which I followed. For specific advice it recommended that I consult with a career counselor at the local college, and I did so. I was guided to the right person, and he gave me sound advice. The doors opened, even though the matter was a challenging one, and I took this as a sign I was on the right track."

It's curious why 'Abdu'l-Baha would not have included a caveat concerning consultation with those who are "not equipped". He says that a man should consult "with his brethren", and that the members of a village should consult on affairs that affect them. Not quite what you might call "well equipped". Perhaps it is because one of the benefits of consultation is that it is not necessarily dependent upon "expert opinions". It may benefit from them, but it can do quite well on its own. Otherwise, how can a local Assembly consult on matters that affect all of mankind? How can an Assembly help a couple with marital difficulties? One of the reasons why consultation with friends, family, and community works is because it is effected by people who care, and who have a vested interest in the outcome. That is something that cannot readily be said about the majority of "qualified" people in today's world.

We should seek the advice of competent physicians concerning matters of health, but it is the lucky few who have a physician who really cares, at least beyond the considerations of malpractice liability. I followed the advice of the counsellor at my local college and wound up wasting an entire year for nothing (in terms of my academic goal). He lost nothing - he works in a unionized college, he has seniority, and he still got paid. Conversely, who is to say that the opinion of one you consider "not equipped" is not worth listening to? I refer you to the story of the conversion of Mirza 'Abu'l Fadl (Revelation of Baha'u'llah, Vol. III, pp. 91-107). Consultation does not work because those involved are the most informed on the topic, but rather by presenting a diversity of views that illuminate the subject from angles that even the most expertly-informed might not have considered.

Again, the purpose of consultation is never stated as the discovery of the best way, but rather of the truth. The two may not always be the same. However, as with so many things in our Faith, instead of simply obeying and trusting the Word of God, we analyze it and reconfigure it to suit our own peculiar attitudes. "This is My knowledge, and that is thy fancy." Some day, we will learn to believe in consultation, and learn how to use it, and we will be astounded and wonder how we ever got anywhere without it.

Dorumerosaer
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Postby Dorumerosaer » Wed Aug 16, 2006 9:12 pm

Thank you for your views. You appear to have determined that I have abandoned the correct principles of consultation enjoined in the Teachings, that I was not trusting in the Word of God, that the Master didn't urge consulting with experts, and that Assemblies work with marital problems through consultation, not through consulting experts.

There seem to me to be a lot of quotes like this:

"Paralleling this process, Bahá'í institutional life will also be developing, and as it does so the Assemblies will draw increasingly upon scientific and expert knowledge -- whether of Bahá'ís or of non-Bahá'ís -- to assist in solving the problems of their communities." (The Universal House of Justice, Compilation on Scholarship)

"Concerning the attendance of certain individuals at the meeting of the Assemblies and at the invitation of that body: This Shoghi Effendi considers to be as expert advice, which is absolutely necessary for good administration. The members of the Assembly are not supposed to know everything on every subject, so they can invite a person, versed in that question, to attend their meetings and explain his views. But naturally he will have no right to vote." (From a letter on behalf of Shoghi Effendi, Unfolding Destiny, p. 59)

"The Universal House of Justice has pointed out that when Shoghi Effendi enumerates the functions of a Local Spiritual Assembly in "Bahá'í Administration" page 37, he indicates that the local matters to be referred to the Local Spiritual Assembly are those "pertaining to the Cause". This does not mean, of course, that personal problems may not be referred to Bahá'í Assemblies. The Local Spiritual Assembly, however, is not the only institution or agency to which the friends may turn for consultation on personal matters. Such consultation could be held with members of one's family, with friends, or with experts. For example in one of His Tablets 'Abdu'l-Bahá envisages the possibility of experts in one profession conferring together."
(The Compilation of Compilations vol. I, p. 110)

The House has pointed out that non-experts in the Baha'i community may resist the role that experts can play as new believers in the Baha'i community, and that gradually a reconciliation takes place:

"The House of Justice recognizes that the questions you raise, concerning the offer of newly enrolled professionals to share their views with the Bahá'í community, are of vital and timely importance, especially as the Faith emerges from obscurity and increasing numbers of professionals from all walks of life are attracted to its Teachings. The process of integrating these experts into Bahá'í communities as well-grounded believers and tapping their potential as promoters and supporters of the Cause will require patient and loving guidance by Bahá'í institutions. A great challenge will be to avoid undue disruption of this process of integration by abandoning such persons to the insensitive attitudes still present in communities not yet broadly diverse or accustomed to dealing with all ranks of society. [...] At the same time, Bahá'í communities will need to develop greater tolerance toward ideas that may not coincide with their current understanding, and remain open to new insights [...] (18 April 1989 on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to
a National Spiritual Assembly; Compilation on Scholarship)

Please again read what I wrote; I'm quite surprised at your remarks, and I wonder if I was correctly understood. I said, I started the process with my local assembly, which selected an expert for me. In my own case, when I sought the advice of my spiritual assembly, I wondered how it would turn out. I was asking for advice about graduate school. Only two of the Assembly members had any college education; one woman was an RN, one man had a 2 year degree. I was asking about grad school options. Without going into all the details, the Assembly answered the main question I had; and for the specifics, directed me to an expert; and I learned something from this process about how the divine process works. The Assembly was not limited to the experiences of its members, and it answered the spiritual question, and guided me to an expert for the specifics. That's what worked for me.

There are several quotes from the writings about the need for local spiritual assemblies to seek the advice of experts, and for couples to seek the advice of experts, in solving marital problems. This is both a reconciliation of the principles of science and religion; and also, frequently, seeing a new way of applying the Word of God, which the individuals themselves may not have been able to come up with.

Now, as to the matter of seeking the advice of everyone via consultation, vs. consulting with experts, or as I said, those best equipped to answer.
Let's say that I am interested in losing weight, and getting into better shape. So I take the view that everyone can be divinely guided, so I consult individually with every person who crosses my path, and carefully weigh their advice. Surely, 99% of them will have an opinion, and will gladly express it to me.

In my view, and in my experience in many areas of life, very few of these opinions will amount to much. The reason is that a better approach is to first look for people who are in good physical shape, and to consider their views as being of more value. They know from their own experience. They have "taught themselves first" so they know the trials ahead, they know the price to be paid, they know what works. Everyone else just offers opinions, without substance standing behind it, and whatever the field of life, they haven't acted on their own views, they haven't succeeded; they haven't yet taught themselves. As the Master wrote in the Tablets of the Divine Plan:

"Should he become as such, his sanctified breath will even affect the rock; otherwise there will be no result whatsoever. As long as a soul is not perfected, how can he efface the defects of others?"

The same is true, I feel, in every area of life.

One of the most influential essays I have ever read is Plato's Dialogue, "Crito", from which this excerpt is taken:


Socrates: Tell me, then, whether I am right in saying that some
opinions, and the opinions of some men only, are to be
valued, and other opinions, and the opinions of other
men, are not to be valued. I ask you whether I was
right in maintaining this?

Crito: Certainly.

Socrates: The good are to be regarded, and not the bad?

Crito: Yes.

Socrates: And the opinions of the wise are good, and the
opinions of the unwise are evil?

Crito: Certainly.

Socrates: And what was said about another matter? Was the
disciple in gymnastics supposed to attend to the praise
and blame and opinion of every man, or of one man
only -- his physician or trainer, whoever that was?

Crito: Of one man only.

Socrates: And he ought to fear the censure and welcome the
praise of that one only, and not of the many?

Crito: That is clear.

Socrates:
And he ought to live and train, and eat and drink in the
way which seems good to his single master who has
understanding, rather than according to the opinion of
all other men put together?

Crito: True.

Socrates: And if he disobeys and disregards the opinion and
approval of the one, and regards the opinion of the
many who have no understanding, will he not suffer
evil?

Crito: Certainly he will.
. . .

Socrates: . . . ought we to follow the opinion of the many and to
fear them; or the opinion of the one man who has
understanding, and whom we ought to fear and
reverence more than all the rest of the world; and
whom deserting we shall destroy and injure that
principle in us . . .

Plato, using the voice of Socrates, is making a point about spiritual matters, using the example of the athletic coach. If we equally weigh the opinions of all people on all subjects, then we are lost. We have to have a sieve. I use that same sieve when I look at the views of people regarding the Cause of God. If someone says something about the institutions of the Faith, or the progress or conduct of the Cause, I first look at where that person is, in relation to the Cause. Is the person an ardent supporter of the House of Justice? Is that person close to the spirit of the Cause? Is he on good terms with the Universal House of Justice? I will weigh his or her views carefully. Or is that person expelled from the Cause, distant from its spirit, and at odds with its administration? Then I don't care how many degrees he has in how many fields, I don't care how many languages he can speak, I don't care how clever his arguments. I hold his opinion as naught, because where he leads, I don't want to go.

"Stay in the company of lovers.
Those other kinds of people, they each
want to show you something.
A crow will lead you to an empty barn,
A parrot to sugar."
(Rumi)

So I make a determination what kind of bird I'm dealing with. And this, to me is an aspect of seeking the advice of an expert.

In spiritual matters, I seek the views of those who are successful in that area of their spiritual life.

In secular matters, I seek the views of experts, of those who are successful and knowledgeable in that area of life.

Hopefully that will help clarify any misunderstanding in what I earlier wrote.

Brent

childintime
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Postby childintime » Wed Aug 16, 2006 11:35 pm

"If someone says something about the institutions of the Faith, or the progress or conduct of the Cause, I first look at where that person is, in relation to the Cause. Is the person an ardent supporter of the House of Justice? Is that person close to the spirit of the Cause? Is he on good terms with the Universal House of Justice? I will weigh his or her views carefully. Or is that person expelled from the Cause, distant from its spirit, and at odds with its administration? Then I don't care how many degrees he has in how many fields, I don't care how many languages he can speak, I don't care how clever his arguments. I hold his opinion as naught, because where he leads, I don't want to go."

Based upon the above, I must concede to your obviously greater spiritual perceptiveness. I myself do not possess the ability to judge the spiritual orientation of others. Whenever I can, I try to see myself as less than everyone else, which means that I must try to consider their opinions at least as valid as my own. "I seek her everywhere, haply I shall find her." Needless to say, I falter, and am often greatly abashed at later realizing that the insight I needed most was offered by the one from whom I least expected it.

I acknowledge most of what you've said. I certainly acknowledge everything you've quoted. Compare what the Writings say about these matters, and you will find that consultation gets far more press than the importance of expert advice. My main purpose was to impress the importance of consultation in everyday life, since my own experience is that we Baha'is, generally, vastly underestimate and underutilize this great gift. We do the same with the value of prayer and meditation in choosing courses of action.

As for seeking out the opinions of the learned and the wise, we are quite accustomed to this, since it is something that humans have been doing for centuries. Unfortunately, we are now taking this to the degree that we are creating a polarization between "those who know and those who do not know", and it's only too clear the problems that are now arising. For a great discussion of this line, I suggest "Asking Questions" by Bahiyyih Nakhjavani.

But what the hey..... some follow the spiritual path with practical feet, some follow the practical path with spiritual feet, some follow the spiritual path with spiritual feet, some follow the practical path with practical feet. You've chosen your path, and I've chosen mine.

Sean H.
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expertise and the vernacular

Postby Sean H. » Thu Aug 17, 2006 12:17 pm

childintime wrote: . . .

As for seeking out the opinions of the learned and the wise, we are quite accustomed to this, since it is something that humans have been doing for centuries. Unfortunately, we are now taking this to the degree that we are creating a polarization between "those who know and those who do not know", and it's only too clear the problems that are now arising. For a great discussion of this line, I suggest "Asking Questions" by Bahiyyih Nakhjavani.


A potentially interesting non-Baha'i article on the historical rise of the bureaucratic tendency toward "social engineering" in the industrialized world (to the detriment of self-sufficiency, local and vernacular values, etc.) was written by Ivan Illich
( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivan_Illich ), the "father of the deep ecology movement" for Stewart Brand, the editor of the Whole Earth Catalog:

http://www.preservenet.com/theory/Illic ... cular.html

excerpt:

Vernacular Values by Ivan Illich
[Note: These essays from CoEvolution Quarterly were the basis of most of Illich's book Shadow Work (Marion Boyars, 1981).]

Cuernavaca, April 12th 1980

Dear Stewart,

Three years ago you asked, what had become of my plan to write an epilogue to the industrial age. Indeed, that is what I had promised in 1973 in the introduction to Tools for Conviviality
. . .

Counterproductivity, however, is a new kind of disappointment which arises "within" the very use of the good purchased. This internal counterproductivity, an inevitable component of modern institutions, has become the constant frustration of the poorer majority of each institution's clients: intensely experienced but rarely defined. Each major sector of the economy produces its own unique and paradoxical contradictions. Each necessarily effects the opposite of that for which it was structured. Economists, who are increasingly competent to put price-tags on externalities, are unable to deal with negative internalities, and cannot measure the inherent frustration of captive clients which is something other than a cost.

For most people, schooling twists genetic differences into certified degradation; the medicalization of health increases demand for services far beyond the possible and useful, and undermines that organic coping ability which common sense calls health; transportation, for the great majority bound to the rush hour, increases the time spent in the servitude to traffic, reducing both freely chosen mobility and mutual access. The development of educational, medical and other welfare agencies has actually removed most clients from the obvious purpose for which these projects were designed and financed. This institutionalized frustration, resulting from compulsory consumption, combines with the new externalities. It demands an increase in the production of scavenging and repair services to impoverish and even destroy individuals and communities, affecting them in a class-specific manner. In effect, the peculiarly modern forms of frustration and paralysis and destruction totally discredit the description of the desirable society in terms of installed production capacity.

Defense against the damages inflicted by development, rather than access to some new "satisfaction", has become the most sought after privilege. You have arrived if you can commute outside the rush hour; probably attended an elite school; if you can give birth at home; are privy to rare and special knowledge if you can bypass the physician when you are ill; are rich and lucky if you can breathe fresh air; by no means poor, if you can build your own shack. The underclasses are now made up of those who must consume the counterproductive packages and ministrations of their self-appointed tutors; the privileged are those who are free to refuse them. A new attitude, then, has taken shape during these last years: the awareness that we cannot ecologically afford equitable development leads many to understand that, even if development in equity were possible, we would neither want more of it for ourselves, nor want to suggest it for others.

Ten years ago, we tended to distinguish social options exercised within the political sphere from technical options assigned to the expert. The former were meant to focus on goals, the latter more on means. Roughly, options about the desirable society were ranged on a spectrum that ran from right to left: here, capitalist, over there, socialist "development". The how was left to the experts. This one-dimensional model of politics is now passé. Today, in addition to "who gets what", two new areas of choice have become lay issues: the very legitimacy of lay judgment on the apt means for production, and the trade-offs between growth and freedom. As a result, three independent classes of options appear as three mutually perpendicular axes of public choice.

On the x-axis I place the issues related to social hierarchy, political authority, ownership of the means of production and allocation of resources that are usually designated by the terms, right and left. On the y-axis, I place the technical choices between hard and soft, extending these terms far beyond a pro and con atomic power: not only goods, but also services are affected by the hard and soft alternatives.

A third choice falls on the z-axis. Neither privilege nor technique, but rather the nature of human satisfaction is at issue. To characterize the two extremes, I shall use terms defined by Erich Fromm. At the bottom, I place a social organization that fits the seeking of satisfaction in having; at the top, in doing. At the bottom, therefore, I place a commodity-intensive society where needs are increasingly defined in terms of packaged goods and services designed and prescribed by professionals, and produced under their control. This social ideal corresponds to the image of a humanity composed of individuals, each driven by considerations of marginal utility, the image that has developed from Mandeville via Smith and Marx to Keynes, and that Louis Dumont calls homo economicus.
. . .

In a commodity-intensive society, basic needs are met through the products of wage-labor - housing no less than education, traffic no less than the delivery of infants.

[*] The work ethic which drives such a society
[*] legitimates employment for salary or wages
[*] and degrades independent coping.

. . .

Fundamentally, the concept implies the replacement of general competence and satisfying subsistence activities by the use and consumption of commodities; the monopoly of wage-labor over all other kinds of work; redefinition of needs in terms of goods and services mass-produced according to expert design; finally, the rearrangement of the environment in such fashion that space, time, materials and design favor production and consumption while they degrade or paralyze use-value oriented activities that satisfy needs directly. And all such worldwide homogeneous changes and processes are valued as inevitable and good.
. . .

At this juncture, it is the task of the historian and the philosopher to clarify the sources of and disentangle the process resulting in Western needs. Only thus shall we be able to understand how such a seemingly enlightened concept produced such devastating exploitation. Progress, the notion which has characterized the West for 2000 years, and has determined its relations to outsiders since the decay of classical Rome, lies behind the belief in needs. Societies mirror themselves not only in their transcendent gods, but also in their image of the alien beyond their frontiers. The West exported a dichotomy between "us" and "them" unique to industrial society. This peculiar attitude towards self and others is now worldwide, constituting the victory of a universalist mission initiated in Europe.
. . .

The perception of the outsider as someone who must be helped has taken on successive forms. In late antiquity, the barbarian mutated into the pagan - the second stage toward development had begun. The pagan was defined as the unbaptized, but ordained by nature to become Christian. It was the duty of those within the Church to incorporate him by baptism into the body of Christendom. In the early Middle Ages, most people in Europe were baptized, even though they might not yet be converted. Then the Muslim appeared. Unlike Goths and Saxons, Muslims were monotheists, and obviously prayerful believers; they resisted conversion. Therefore, besides baptism, the further needs to be subjected and instructed had to be imputed. The pagan mutated into the infidel, our third stage.

By the late Middle Ages, the image of the alien mutated again. The Moors had been driven from Granada, Columbus had sailed across the ocean, and the Spanish Crown had assumed many functions of the Church. The image of the wild man who threatens the civilizing function of the humanist replaced the image of the infidel who threatens the faith. At this time also, the alien was first described in economy-related terms. From many studies on monsters, apes and wild men, we learn that the Europeans of this period saw the wild man as having no needs. This independence made him noble, but a threat to the designs of colonialism and mercantilism. To impute needs to the wild man, one had to make him over into the native, the fifth stage. Spanish courts, after long deliberation, decided that at least the wild man of the New World had a soul and was, therefore, human. In opposition to the wild man, the native has needs, but needs unlike those of civilized man. His needs are fixed by climate, race, religion and providence. Adam Smith still reflects on the elasticity of native needs. As Gunnar Myrdal has observed, the construct of distinctly native needs was necessary both to justify colonialism and to administer colonies. The provision of government, education and commerce for the natives was for four hundred years the white man's assumed burden.

[*] Each time the West put a new mask on the
[*] alien, the old one was discarded because
[*] it was now recognized as a caricature of
[*] an abandoned self-image.

The pagan with his naturally Christian soul had to give way to the stubborn infidel to allow Christendom to launch the Crusades. The wild man became necessary to justify the need for secular humanist education, The native was the crucial concept to promote self-righteous colonial rule. But by the time of the Marshall Plan, when multinational conglomerates were expanding and

[*] the ambitions of transnational pedagogues,
[*] therapists and planners knew no bounds,

the natives' limited needs for goods and services thwarted growth and progress. They had to metamorphose into underdeveloped people, the sixth and present stage of the West's view of the outsider.

Thus decolonization was also a process of conversion: the worldwide acceptance of the Western self-image of homo economicus in his most extreme form as homo industrialis, with all needs commodity-defined. Scarcely twenty years were enough to make two billion people define themselves as underdeveloped. I vividly remember the Rio Carnival of 1963 - the last before the Junta imposed itself. "Development" was the motif in the prize-winning samba, "development" the shout of the dancers while they jumped to the throbbing of the drums.

Development based on high per capita energy quanta and intense professional care is the most pernicious of the West's missionary efforts - a project guided by an ecologically unfeasible conception of human control over nature, and by an anthropologically vicious attempt to replace the nests and snakepits of culture by sterile wards for professional service. The hospitals that spew out the newborn and reabsorb the dying, the schools run to busy the unemployed before, between and after jobs, the apartment towers where people are stored between trips to the supermarkets, the highways connecting garages form a pattern tatooed into the landscape during the short development spree. These institutions, designed for lifelong bottle babies wheeled from medical centre to school to office to stadium begin now to look as anomalous as cathedrals, albeit unredeemed by any esthetic charm.

. . .

---end excerpt---

The "bureaucratic" form of "westernized" Baha'i culture was obviously modeled on the pattern that Illich is critical of.

The more "vernacular" forms of Baha'i culture, for instance the Iranian communities structured along the lines of old sufi families where mysticism was more important than "modernized" bureaucracy and engineering, were marginalized at the same time that many other middle eastern cultures were adopting the western paradigm of social engineering (most of those efforts were unsuccessful, leading to various failed experiments in political reform). Apparently the conflict between Hand of the Cause Mazandarani and the Iranian NSA over the "official" version of Baha'i history was an example of how the "social engineers" marginalized alternate models of community.

(Mazandarani reportedly attempted to "objectively" interpret Babi and early Baha'i history by collecting the memories of the "vernacular" participants in the actual historical events themselves, which was problematic since the information presumably tended to contradict the prevailing version of Baha'i history that was from the viewpoint of the leadership elites.)

Another analysis of some of the same themes that Illich raises is provided in the "libertarian" (von Hayek/Chigaco school) historical articles of Leonard P. Liggio of the Atlas Foundation and Mount Pelerin Society. Liggio traces the changes in european religious culture through the medieval period and into the post-fedual and colonial eras with reference to how politically centralized "social engineering" bureaucracies developed in contrast to older, more decentralized, and more "democratic" structures.

Leonard Liggio "The Hispanic Tradition of Liberty: The Road Not Taken in Latin America"
(lost/broken URL: http://www.townhall.com/phillysoc/liggiosa.htm )


- - - - - - - - -

. . .
Spain had shared the liberation from Roman taxation and inflation
when the Germanic tribes burst the Rhine frontier in 406 A.D. The
Visigothic settlers in Spain brought

[***]German concepts of limited power of the ruler[***]

and extensive independence and rights of freeman.

[***]The king must live on his own resources[***], and

[***]the concept of taxation was unacceptable[***]

[] to independent
freeman. But the representative institutions of the Germans
became limited to the Visigothic Christian kingdoms in the
Pyrenees, Asturias, Navarre, and Galicia with the Moslem conquest
after 711 A D. and the Moslem defeat by the Franks at
the Battle of Tours in 732 A. D.

During the five hundred years of the Reconquista, the Germanic
concepts of law and political institutions flourished in Spain.
In the various kingdoms of Spain, Asturias, Galicia, Navarre,
Leon, Castile, Aragon, Cataluna, and Valencia the rights of
freeman were clearly recognized. Taxation was at odds with
freedom. The king's capacity depended on possessing enough
funds of his own to pay for his costs as king. The nobles and
freeman, townsmen in municipalities with charters, and the
secular and monastic clergy embodied complete independence and
rights against the king.

The well-known oaths of the nobles, freeman, townsmen, and
clergy, as at the coronation of the kings of Aragon, and the
reciprocal oaths of the kings required kings to live up to their
oaths; and if not, the freeman, etc. were absolved of their oaths.
We find in the [***]Fueros[***]--traditional rights and
independence from taxation of the medieval nobles, freeman,
townsmen, and clergy, with their
[***]roots in Germanic legal concept[***]--the foundations of
modern rights. English legal and constitutional history,
with the Magna Carta, was parallel to the experiences in Spain,
such as the Great charter of 1020 issued by the Cortes of
Leon under Alphonso V."

...

"At the time (after 1760) of London's attempt to displace North
America's medieval heritage, a leading Bourbon reformer and
utilitarian advocate of Enlightened Despotism, Gaspar Melchor de
Jovellanos (1744-1811) declared Iberia's great tragedy to
be its Gothic inheritance. Jovellanos and the Enlightened
philosophers attacked Montesquieu and his assertion that it was
Gothic constitutional traditions which were the foundations of
the flourishing of liberty and wealth among Europeans. We
need to recall that Montesquieu and his defense of the Gothic
constitution was the most influential authority among the
American founding fathers."
...

"When the United States Constitution was written, it received
*-> violently critical reviews from the great philosophers of the
French Enlightenment. They did not understand, as Edmund Burke
well understood, that the Americans had revolted against
England because the English bureaucrats were attempting to
destroy the Americans' medieval institutions and to install a
modern, bureaucratic state. The French philosophers emphasized
repeatedly that the American constitution was retrogressive,
looking back to the institutions and concepts of liberty of the
middle ages. Thomas Jefferson and John Adams sought to
explain to the philosophers that the American revolutionaries
were traditional Whigs who wished to keep all the historic,
medieval institutions of England, from common law to
[]
[***] absence of central government agents. [***]"

...

"The medieval supremacy of the judiciary and judicial review were
reflected in the U. S. Constitution and The Federalist
Papers. "The political and social philosophies that sprang from
the Enlightenment were [***]religious[***] because they ascribed
ultimate meaning and sanctity to the individual mind and also, it
must be added immediately, to the nation. The age of
individualism and rationalism was also the age of nationalism:
the individual was a citizen, and public opinion turned out to be
not the opinion of mankind but the opinion of Frenchmen, the
opinion of Germans, the opinion of Americans, and so forth.
Individualism, rationalism, nationism - the Triune Deity of
Democracy - found legal expression in the exaltation of the role
of the legislature and the consequent reduction (except in the
United States) of the law-crating role of the judiciary." Harold
J. Berman, The Interaction of Law and Religion (Nashville,
Tennessee, Abingdon Press, 1974, pp. 68-9)."

...

- - - - - - - - -

Also see: http://www.acton.org/publicat/randl/article.php?id=333

To me, the most interesting thing that Liggio unearths in the "marginalized" history of medieval eropean religious culture is the role that "vernacular" religious culture and "working class" organizations had at the beginning of the period in which the forms of "modern" (middle class) economic behavior and culture were developing.

The Baha'i Faith of course contains a blend of centralized and decentralized elements in its organization, but as far as I can tell, the kind of populist/decentralized political culture that is found in the anglo-american tradition has neve been favored in the dominant forms of Baha'i culture.

The Guardian of course was schooled in France and England, and probably absorbed a bias against "american populism/libertarianism" (the tradition of political decentralization) as a result.

The above analysis is just a preliminary impression, I'm not a deep "expert" in the historical matters involved.

Regards,
Eric

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Re: How important is it?

Postby Baha'i Warrior » Thu Aug 17, 2006 12:33 pm

shm wrote:Should I stick to studying to become a doctor? If I do change what I am studying will I be going against the sign God was trying to give me?


engineering isn't bad, but doctor is better, according to Baha'u'llah :) . But still engineering is great and if you really dislike the idea of being a doctor or like the thought of being an engineer better then you should go with engineering. as you know when you get your M.D. (or D.O.) you can specialize in many different things, so a lot of options. Personally I'm on that path myself :)

Excerpt from Lawh-i-Tibb, or Tablet of Medicine:

    By My Life! The Doctor who has drunk from the Wine of My Love, his visit is healing and his breath is mercy and hope. Say: Cling to him for the welfare of the constitution. He is Confirmed by God in his treatments. Say: This knowledge is the most knowable of all the sciences for it is the greatest means from God (the Life-Giver to the dust) to preserve the bodies of the peoples and He has put it in the forefront of all the sciences and wisdoms. For Today is the Day when you must arise for My victory detached from all the world.


Source: http://bahai-library.com/?file=bahaullah_lawh_tibb_anonymous

(Also see Stephen Lambden's translation.)

Good luck,

—BW

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Postby Dorumerosaer » Thu Aug 17, 2006 12:42 pm

"The Guardian of course was schooled in France and England, and probably absorbed a bias against "american populism/libertarianism" (the tradition of political decentralization) as a result."

I may be mistaken, but I believe the sequence of the Guardian's education was:

1. The "College des Freres" high school in Haifa operated by the Jesuits, apparently French Jesuits, though I'm not positive of their nationality.

2. The American University in Beirut for his undergraduate degree. My guess is that there was both French and American influence there, though I'm not sure of the mix. Wasn't the President of that University an American at the time? So I'm not sure there was no American influence on his intellectual training. I don't know the school's philosophy at that time, nor the makeup of their faculty.

3. Balliol College at Oxford for the first year and a half or two years of graduate studies; this is detailed in Riaz Khadem's most interesting book "Shoghi Effendi at Oxford". My guess is that this would have been solely British influence; though I'm not positive. Shoghi Effendi tried to get the most eminent Arabic translation scholar of that era as his teacher (Nicholson?); I don't remember if he succeeded.

As a side note, Abba Eban, Israel's first UN Ambassador, studied Persian and Arabic at Oxford in the 1930s, took first honors, and received the Edward Granville Browne award.

I don't recall reading of any studies Shoghi Effendi undertook in Paris, though he surely visited there.

Shoghi Effendi greatly admired the mind of Mountfort Mills, an eminent American international lawyer, who was the instrument for the drafting of the charters of the local and national spiritual assemblies.

Brent

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Postby Sean H. » Thu Aug 17, 2006 5:17 pm

pilgrimbrent wrote:"The Guardian of course was schooled in France and England, and probably absorbed a bias against "american populism/libertarianism" (the tradition of political decentralization) as a result."

I may be mistaken, but I believe the sequence of the Guardian's education was:

1. The "College des Freres" high school in Haifa operated by the Jesuits, apparently French Jesuits, though I'm not positive of their nationality.

2. The American University in Beirut for his undergraduate degree. My guess is that there was both French and American influence there, though I'm not sure of the mix. Wasn't the President of that University an American at the time? So I'm not sure there was no American influence on his intellectual training. I don't know the school's philosophy at that time, nor the makeup of their faculty.

3. Balliol College at Oxford for the first year and a half or two years of graduate studies; this is detailed in Riaz Khadem's most interesting book "Shoghi Effendi at Oxford". My guess is that this would have been solely British influence; though I'm not positive. Shoghi Effendi tried to get the most eminent Arabic translation scholar of that era as his teacher (Nicholson?); I don't remember if he succeeded.

As a side note, Abba Eban, Israel's first UN Ambassador, studied Persian and Arabic at Oxford in the 1930s, took first honors, and received the Edward Granville Browne award.

I don't recall reading of any studies Shoghi Effendi undertook in Paris, though he surely visited there.

Shoghi Effendi greatly admired the mind of Mountfort Mills, an eminent American international lawyer, who was the instrument for the drafting of the charters of the local and national spiritual assemblies.

Brent


[Apologies in advance to any readers for the significant digression from the original topic, but it does, potentially, have a very distant relevance. sorta. kinda. maybe.]

Brent,

Thanks for the excellent clarification. I was probably vaguely remembering a reference along the lines of the Guardian's "french" educators, and "assumed" it was in France. Unfortunately I didn't take note of the reference, so I can't verify the source.

In any case, I've always wondered to what extent the Guardian might have possibly adjusted some of his guidance to americans if Abdu'l-Baha had been successful in bringomg him to the USA as a child.

I've seen/heard the name Mountford Mills, but can't recall any specific information about his perspective on history, philosophy, law, government, the paradigm of "social engineering", etc. (increasing reliance in industrialized on bureaucracies for social services instead of "vernacular" self-reliance).

The specific issue I'm interested in would be what such prominent/influential early Baha'is thought of the "modernist" project, especially what Ivan Illich calls the rising power of the "transnational therapists, pedagogues and planners".

To be frank, my guess (which is very speculative), is that most of them had a vision of the Baha'i Faith providing the quasi-utopian rationale for a "better bureaucratic mousetrap", which to them was the preferred, and obvious, and best, possibility for positive "social progress" in the world.

The alternative being the kind of social chaos and injustices that seemed to be looming as a result of the failures of other systems (aristocracy, colonialism, fascism, socialism, etc.) in the early to mid 1900s.

I also think that there might be connections between the above issues and the conflicts between the early american Baha'i leadership elites and Baha'i "street activists" (such as some of the the "Race Amity" folks, and some other examples of populist, "working class" Baha'i culture that have been documented by historians).

Further, I wonder what role such "class" conflicts (after which "professionals" became dominant) within the early Baha'i community might have had a in the lack of growth and development that the Guardian lamented so forcefully in some of his letters to american Baha'is (in the 1930s/40s/50s? The "double crusade" message?).

Regards,
Eric

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Postby Dorumerosaer » Thu Aug 17, 2006 7:08 pm

I regret that I am unable to relate the specific Baha'i context we're talking about, to the framework and language you are using.

As far as the elites vs. the people working for the Race Amity events, I think that you are positing a false premise. The leader of the Race Amity conferences was a wealthy white woman in Washington DC., Agnes Parsons, commissioned for this work by the Master. Louis Gregory, an attorney, was the long-term force working for them. They were also diligently supported by other Baha'is including Dorothy Baker, among others.

It is true that the NSA of the USA included some eminent lawyers like Mountfort Mills who was really an eminent man, and I hope one day we'll have a decent book about him; but a big chunk will be missing. I met an aged woman who lived in San Jose in around 1980. She said that she had possession of 4 boxes of the papers of Mountfort Mills, and she had a small apartment. She wrote to Horace Holley to ask what to do with them. He did not answer (I think it's more likely the correspondence didn't make it through the mails, one direction or the other) but in any event, she needed space in her kitchen, so she threw the boxes out. This is a really catastrophic loss for Baha'i history. Mr. Mills was one of the most important figures in the US Baha'i community, and in some respects in the worldwide Baha'i commuinity, in the first quarter of the 20th century.

But I digress.

I am reluctant to accept your description of the US NSA as composed of "elites" -- if I understand correctly your point.

Brent

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Postby Dorumerosaer » Thu Aug 17, 2006 7:28 pm

A further comment on the influences on the Guardian at his various educational institutions. The following is a pilgrim's note:

" . . .the Master turned again to me and said: "At the present
time the British Empire is the greatest and is still expanding and its
language is a world language. My future Vazir shall receive the preparation for his weighty office in England itself, after he has obtained
here in Palestine a fundamental knowledge of the oriental languages
and the wisdom of the East." Whereupon I ventured to interject:
"Will not the western education, the English training, remould his
nature, confine his versatile mind in the rigid bonds of intellectualism,
stifle through dogma and convention his oriental irrationality and
intuition so that he will no longer be a servant of the Almighty but
rather a slave to the rationality of western opportunism and the shallowness of every day life?" Long pause! Then Abbas Effendi 'Abdu'l-Bahá rose and in a strong and solemn voice said: "I am not giving my
Elisha to the British to educate. I dedicate and give him to the Almighty.
God's eyes watch over my child in Oxford as well - Inshallah!"
(The Priceless Pearl, pp. 12-13)

My point being, the Master says that the divine hand was the dominant influence, not the specific educational institution.

Brent

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influence of "western"/modernist ideas

Postby Sean H. » Fri Aug 18, 2006 11:19 am

pilgrimbrent wrote:A further comment on the influences on the Guardian at his various educational institutions. The following is a pilgrim's note:

" . . .the Master turned again to me and said:

"At the present time the British Empire is the greatest and is still expanding and its language is a world language. My future Vazir shall receive the preparation for his weighty office in England itself, after he has obtained here in Palestine a fundamental knowledge of the oriental languages and the wisdom of the East."

Whereupon I ventured to interject:

"Will not the western education, the English training, remould his nature, confine his versatile mind in the rigid bonds of intellectualism, stifle through dogma and convention his oriental irrationality and intuition so that he will no longer be a servant of the Almighty but rather a slave to the rationality of western opportunism and the shallowness of every day life?"

Long pause! Then Abbas Effendi 'Abdu'l-Bahá rose and in a strong and solemn voice said:

"I am not giving my Elisha to the British to educate. I dedicate and give him to the Almighty. God's eyes watch over my child in Oxford as well - Inshallah!"
(The Priceless Pearl, pp. 12-13)




Again, thanks for the fantastic citation! I greatly appreciate your efforts to find relevant material from scripture, historical sources, and so forth.

Is the use of "Elisha" common? I don't recall seeing it before.

There are several things in that quote that are fascinating from a sociological/historical perspective. The question assumes that "oriental" "irrationality" and "intuition" are superior to "western education", which is "rigid", "dogmatic" and "conventional".

(I'm assuming that by "irrationality" is meant the transcendant element in mystical spirituality, in other words, that which transcends the limits of "rational" thought, not "irrationality" in the mental health context.)

I'm not very familiar with english educational culture just after the turn of the century, but the question seems potentially biased against it. That probably isn't surprising if the person asking the question was an "oriental" familiar with, but critical of, western culture, or a westerner interested in (and sympathetic to) "oriental" culture and spirituality.

In any case, I'm sure that there were very strong "rigid" tendencies in both "western" and "oriental" cultures. It may be that at that particular point in time, due to specific circumstances, there was relatively more "cultural flexibility" in some parts of the "oriental" world than in english society. (I can't remember if the reformist "Young Turk" revolution had likely have happened yet, and if so, what its influences would have been on life in Ottoman "controlled" Palestine.)


pilgrimbrent wrote:My point being, the Master says that the divine hand was the dominant influence, not the specific educational institution.

Brent



'Abdu'l-Bahá's response is of course fascinating. At first he states that he is sending Shoghi Effendi to england for education, presumably to learn how the "cultural machinery" (signified by "language") of the "greatest/expanding empire" operates. (Perhaps Abdu'l-Baha was anticipating the later control of England over Palestinian territory as well as the spread of english as an international language?)

Then later he says that he is not giving "Elisha" to the english for education, presumably implying that God is protecting him (Shoghi Effendi) from the negative aspects of english education while, in fact, he *was* attending english school. (?)

Note that Abdu'l-Baha doesn't himself explcitily validate (or refute) the observation of the questioner that english education is "rigid", "stifling", "dogmatic", conventional", and leads to "rational opportunism", "shallowness", etc., although his response apparently implies that there were such negatives (otherwise God would not have had to be protecting and watching over Shoghi?).

In any case, Shoghi Effendi obviously developed complex ideas about the state of the world, including the western/colonial powers, and he was influenced in those ideas by various sources, both "oriental" and "western".

At a minimum, when he was composing correspondence/guidance for westerners, he would have presumably elaborated positions that reflected the best understanding of people at the time about world affairs (as integrated with "oriental" wisdom).

The main social theories that were being discussed were, as stated earlier, imperialism, liberal democratic capitalism (of various forms), socialism/communism, and fascism. My understanding is that most people at that time (or perhaps moreso after WWI?) thought that democracy was a rather long shot at becoming dominant. The utopians thought that socialism/communism was the best answer. Fascism (which is a variant of Romanticism, as is Marxism) turned out to be a major force. The old imperial systems, including British, didn't last more than another generation as dominant powers.

What did last were the underlying cultural forces that lead to industrialized life. As Ivan Illich says, a life defined by the paradigm of mass produced commodities, which then becomes the archetypal "image" that becomes the pattern by which whole other areas of culture are shaped. People's "needs" become "defined" as something that can be satisfied by social engineered "professional" (expert) services (patterned on the industrial paradigm of mass production/consumption), rather than the proceeding "vernacular" forms of "self-subsistence", "self-reliance" and social support networks based on family/tribe/clan/guild.

The rise of the paradigm of what Illich calls "transnational therapists, pedagogues and planners" has, for better or worse, or both, obviously shaped much of the world (e.g., "global economics").

(I think this is basically the same as Habermas' idea that the "colonization of lifeworld {arts/morals} by systems" is one of the main characteristic of modernist societies.)

The question is, to what extent does it appear that Shoghi Effendi's correspondence and guidance was influenced by that paradigm (and the "conditions of modernity" in general)?

To get back to your specific point, why would Abdu'l-Baha have stated that "My future Vazir shall receive the preparation for his weighty office in England itself" unless he antipated that Shoghi Effendi was going to absorb "western" knowledge, methods, and influences from that education?

Also, if God's hand was exclusive in shaping the thoughts of Shoghi Effendi, why even bother sending him to england for a "western" education in the first place?

Regards,
Eric

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Postby onepence » Fri Aug 18, 2006 1:59 pm

Elisha

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elisha

Elisha was the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah; he became the attendant and disciple of Elijah (1 Kings 19:16-19), and after Elijah's death was accepted as the leader of the sons of the prophets, and became noted in Israel. He possessed, according to his own request, "a double portion" of Elijah's spirit (2 Kings 2:9); and for sixty years (892-832 BC) held the office of "prophet in Israel" (2 Kings 5:8

His name first occurs in the command given to Elijah to anoint him as his successor (1 Kings 19:16). After learning, ....

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oneness
dh

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Re: influence of "western"/modernist ideas

Postby onepence » Fri Aug 18, 2006 2:19 pm

epierce wrote:...Also, if God's hand was exclusive in shaping the thoughts of Shoghi Effendi, why even bother sending him to england for a "western" education in the first place?

Regards,
Eric


If God is/was then why ... blah blah blah ...

Answer:
Always has been and always will be for Justice to be known.

oneness
the apostle dean

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Postby onepence » Fri Aug 18, 2006 2:32 pm

capitialism/communism are equally codemned, in the eyes of my Elisha, as being a byproduct of the ignorant whom deny Baha'u'llah.

"Truly they are numbered with the lost."

oneness
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Re: Should I study to be a doctor, or engineer?

Postby onepence » Fri Aug 18, 2006 3:43 pm

shm wrote:Hi ...

Should I stick to studying to become a doctor? If I do change what I am studying will I be going against the sign God was trying to give me?

Please give me your advice, I would very very much appreciate it.


shm,

thank you for asking us a very important question. I hope that you do not mind to much that we got a little distracted from the topic at hand, but, God Willing, you may have found our conversation at the very least entertaining and perhaps to some extint educational.

It is interesting to note that you are concerned that if you change your studying that you may be going against the sign God was trying to give you. In the physical world signs change every day but to be devoted to reading the Sign of God everyday takes discipline.

Were I a young student today I would ask my local Institution of the Baha'i Adminstration Order what field of study should I pursue so that I may adqueately serve the needs of our community.

I pray that His Hands may forever guide you.

Please keep us informed of your endevours.

a person of oneness,
the apostle dean

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Re: influence of "western"/modernist ideas

Postby Sean H. » Sat Aug 19, 2006 9:10 am

onepence wrote:
epierce wrote:...Also, if God's hand was exclusive in shaping the thoughts of Shoghi Effendi, why even bother sending him to england for a "western" education in the first place?

Regards,
Eric


If God is/was then why ... blah blah blah ...

Answer:
Always has been and always will be for Justice to be known.

oneness
the apostle dean


Makes no sense, please try to respond in a manner that follows the logic of the post you are responding to.

Thanks,
Eric

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Re: influence of "western"/modernist ideas

Postby onepence » Sat Aug 19, 2006 4:18 pm

epierce wrote:
Makes no sense, please try to respond in a manner that follows the logic of the post you are responding to.

Thanks,
Eric


It makes sense if you look at it from the perspective of the author whom was simply stating in his own words what he thinks about whenever anybody says "if God's hand was ... why ... "

from the authors perspective the answer to "why " Always has been and always will be for Justice to be known.

You and others may not agree with the authors opinion, but, in the future, God Willing, this author may be able to write in a style that makes sense to you.

Please forgive me if I have continued to fail to make sense to you.

oneness
dh


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