Amazon touts anti-Israeli views,

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angegippity

Amazon touts anti-Israeli views,

Postby angegippity » Thu Jul 20, 2006 3:38 pm

<i><b>Note from moderator:</b> I just locked this thread (see last post), and only then did I research the first post of it, below. It appears that "sheila19621" registered here for the sole purpose of spamming us with this following post, which a Google search shows has been posted at literally hundreds of other websites: http://www.google.ca/search?q=%22samsonblinded.com%22 . I regret not having deleting this apparent agitprop (see her website if you wonder what I mean) as soon as it was posted; now that a discussion grew up around it (if a heated one), I'll go ahead and leave it online. -J.W. 8/23/06.</i><hr>

On July 4, Amazon spammed its customers with advertisement of Norman Finkelstein's virulently anti-Semitic book, Image and Reality of the Israeli-Palestine Conflict. On May 30, Amazon similarly advertised Beyond Chutzpah: on the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History. I have never received any other ad from Amazon.

On April 4, in an unprecedented move, Amazon deleted all reviews of Obadiah Shoher's Samson Blinded: A Machiavellian Perspective on the Middle East Conflict. A few days later, Amazon forced its subsidiary Booksurge to terminate publishing contract with Shoher whose book is now available for download from http://www.samsonblinded.info . Google earlier banned advertising of the Samson Blinded for "unacceptable content." Shoher, indeed, is pro-Israeli, yet realistic and critical of Israeli policies.

Obadiah Shoher, an anonymous politician, abandons myths and moralizing in favor of realpolitik. He argues for raw efficiency of antiterrorist operations and shedding liberal idealism. Shoher asks inconvenient questions and gives honest answers. Amazon does not like that. Anti-Semitic lampoons by Norman Finkelstein are more to Amazon's taste.

Sean H.
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Oct 16, 2008 9:25 pm

Thanks! "Tag team from hell: narciccism and nihilism&qu

Postby Sean H. » Tue Jul 25, 2006 1:59 pm

bias disclosure: I'm a critic of both the Baha'i left and the radical/extremist/corrupted forms of leftism in general. My father had a major role as a high level USAF officer supplying Israel with armaments during the early 1970s conflicts with arab states.

Sheila,

Thanks very much for posting this material. From looking at the ".org" version of the SamsonBlinded web site, the book is obviously going to be seen as very controversial. However, I can't imagine a valid reason for censoring it unless there is fairly convincing evidence that it will detract from a legitimate "peace" process (one that protects the global economic system, punishes islamofascists, and rewards Israeli democracy).

As an ex-liberal (and ex-Baha'i) I am personally completely opposed to any form of censorship that is done purely for ideological reasons, especially the current forms of "sensitivity fascism" and "thought policing" done by the pc/left (political correctness inspired by extremist, radicalized leftist/progressive ideology, pluralism, postmodernism, deconstructionism, and so forth). Amazon is of course a product of the american "commercial" counterculture, and as such, enforces a "warm/fuzzy/huggy" paradigm. See David Brook's book "Bobos in Paradise" for a useful, and extremely hilarious, dissection of the "bourgeois bohemianism" of the american "commerical" counterculture.

Here is an analysis of how counterculture inspired "pluralism" and "multiculturalism" has become the mantra of terrorism:

http://www.formlessmountain.com/KW-WTC/green.html

(I remember arguing with Baha'i liberal "race unity" folk about the attempt by islamicists to "label" zionists as "racists" at an international UN conference on racism in the days just before 9/11.)

For a more in depth analysis of how progressivism has become spiritually and sociologically rotten, see philosopher Ken Wilber's "Kosmos" series, and for a less "academic" treatment, Wilber's book "Boomeritis".

http://wilber.shambhala.com/html/books/kosmos/

excerpt:

. . .
Integral Post-Metaphysics--and its corollary, integral methodological pluralism--is important, I believe, for many reasons. First and foremost, no system (spiritual or otherwise) that does not come to terms with modern Kantian and postmodern Heideggerian thought can hope to survive with any intellectual respectability (agree with them or disagree with them, they have to be addressed)--and that means all spirituality must be post-metaphysical in some sense. Second, as Einsteinian physics applied to objects moving slower than the speed of light collapses back into Newtonian physics, so an Integral Post-Metaphysics can generate all the essentials of premodern spiritual and metaphysical systems but without their now-discredited ontological baggage. This, to my mind, is the central contribution of an Integral Post-Metaphysics--it does not itself contain metaphysics, but it can generate metaphysics as one possible AQAL matrix configuration under the limit conditions of premodern cultures. That is, the AQAL matrix, when run using premodern parameters, collapses into the old metaphysics (as Einsteinian collapses into Newtonian, even though it itself is non-Newtonian). On the other hand, alter the holonic conditions of the matrix by adjusting it to the parameters of the postmodern world, and the metaphysics drops out entirely, even though there still remains an entire spectrum of consciousness, waves of development, evolution and involution, and a rainbow of awareness that runs unbroken from dust to Deity--but without relying on any pregiven, archetypal, or independently existing ontological structures, levels, planes, etc. In fact, the entire "great chain of being" disappears entirely from reality, but its essential features can be generated by the matrix if certain mythic-era assumptions are plugged into its parameters.

Of course, some sort of "great chain of being" has been central to spiritual traditions from time immemorial, whether it appears in the general shamanic form as the existence of higher and lower worlds, the Neoplatonic version of levels of reality (e.g., the amazing Plotinus), the Taoist version of realms of being (e.g., Lieh Tzu), the Buddhist version of a spectrum of consciousness (e.g., the 8 vijnanas), or the Kabbalah sefirot--and down to today's newer wisdom traditions, from Aurobindo to Adi Da to Hameed Almaas. All of them, without exception, postulate the existence of levels or dimensions of reality or consciousness, including higher or wider or deeper dimensions of being and knowing--some sort of rainbow of existence, whose waves, levels, or bands possess an independent reality that can be accessed by sufficiently evolved or developed souls. In other words, they all postulate the existence of metaphysical realities--which is exactly what is challenged (and thoroughly rejected) by modern and postmodern currents.

Therefore, what is required is a way to generate that essential rainbow of existence but without any metaphysical or ontological postulates. In other words, IF we can generate the essentials of a spiritual worldview without the metaphysical baggage, then we can generate a spiritual worldview that will survive in a modern and postmodern world. That, in any event, is one of the central aims of Integral Post-Metaphysics (and its practical application, called "integral methodological pluralism"), both of which will be outlined in these excerpts.
. . .

---end excerpt---


http://www.shambhalasun.com/index.php?o ... ew&id=2289
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http://wilber.shambhala.com/html/books/ ... part2.cfm/
-
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ken_Wilber
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spiral_dynamics

Basically what Wilber is saying (after decades spent in Zen Buddhist ashrams, the social change movement, transpersonal psychology, etc.) is that the "Baby boomer" generation (AKA "green meme", see Spiral Dynamics) is that progressivism, pluralism, deconstruction, are "infected" with the "Tag team from hell: narcissism and nihilism" (self-absorbsion and meaninglessness).

Note that both narcissism and nihilism are in opposition to the themes of "detachment" and "mysticism" in the great religious/spiritual traditions. however, "new age" type spiritual movements (the "junk food" of the mystical world) frequently combine narcissism and superstitious counterculture "nature mysticism" in what Baba Ram Dass refers to as "spiritual materialism".

In a related matter, it is extremely ironic, but predictable, that the "dissident" movement amongst "progressive" Baha'i intellectuals, which complains mightily about conformism and censorship by Baha'i administration, itself engages in "exclusivism" and censorship against its own (ex/anti-liberal) critics in the name of "protecting against 'offensive' criticisms"!

The Baha'i left is completely Orwellian in its corrupt ideological posture.

In reality most of the "dissidents" on the Baha'i left are polemicist puppets whose strings are being pulled by manipulative "scholars" (bitter reformers that are grinding an ax because they were not allowed to rise to important positions in the Baha'i community 20 years ago in order to push leftist reforms).

It is of course bizarre, but again predictable, that the Baha'i left is "sympatico" with arab terrorist ideology.

Here is a historical analysis of why that is the case:

http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/P ... 2gwtnf.asp

excerpt:

Among the Bourgeoisophobes
Why the Europeans and Arabs, each in their own way, hate America and Israel.
by David Brooks
04/15/2002, Volume 007, Issue 30

AROUND 1830, a group of French artists and intellectuals looked around and noticed that people who were their spiritual inferiors were running the world. Suddenly a large crowd of merchants, managers, and traders were making lots of money, living in the big houses, and holding the key posts. They had none of the high style of the aristocracy, or even the earthy integrity of the peasants. Instead, they were gross. They were vulgar materialists, shallow conformists, and self-absorbed philistines, who half the time failed even to acknowledge their moral and spiritual inferiority to the artists and intellectuals. What's more, it was their very mediocrity that accounted for their success. Through some screw-up in the great scheme of the universe, their narrow-minded greed had brought them vast wealth, unstoppable power, and growing social prestige.

Naturally, the artists and intellectuals were outraged. Hatred of the bourgeoisie became the official emotion of the French intelligentsia. Stendhal said traders and merchants made him want to "weep and vomit at the same time." Flaubert thought they were "plodding and avaricious." Hatred of the bourgeoisie, he wrote, "is the beginning of all virtue." He signed his letters "Bourgeoisophobus" to show how much he despised "stupid grocers and their ilk."

Of all the great creeds of the 19th century, pretty much the only one still thriving is this one, bourgeoisophobia. Marxism is dead. Freudianism is dead. Social Darwinism is dead, along with all those theories about racial purity that grew up around it. But the emotions and reactions that Flaubert,
Stendhal, and all the others articulated in the 1830s are still with us, bigger than ever. In fact, bourgeoisophobia, which has flowered variously and spread to places as diverse as Baghdad, Ramallah, and Beijing, is the major reactionary creed of our age.

This is because today, in much of the world's eyes, two peoples--the Americans and the Jews--have emerged as the great exemplars of undeserved success. Americans and Israelis, in this view, are the money-mad molochs of the earth, the vulgarizers of morals, corrupters of culture, and proselytizers of idolatrous values. These two nations, it is said, practice conquest capitalism, overrunning poorer nations and exploiting weaker neighbors in their endless desire for more and more. These two peoples, the Americans and the Jews, in the view of the bourgeoisophobes, thrive precisely because they are spiritually stunted. It is their obliviousness to the holy things in life, their feverish energy, their injustice, their shallow pursuit of power and gain, that allow them to build fortunes, construct weapons, and play the role of hyperpower.

And so just as the French intellectuals of the 1830s rose up to despise the traders and bankers, certain people today rise up to shock, humiliate, and dream of destroying America and Israel. Today's bourgeoisophobes burn with the same sense of unjust inferiority. They experience the same humiliation because there is nothing they can do to thwart the growing might of their enemies. They rage and rage. Only today's bourgeoisophobes are not just artists and intellectuals. They are as likely to be terrorists and suicide bombers. They teach in madrassas, where they are careful not to instruct their students in the sort of practical knowledge that dominates bourgeois schools. They are Muslim clerics who incite hatred and violence. They are erudite Europeans who burn with humiliation because they know, deep down, that both America and Israel possess a vitality and heroism that their nations once had but no longer do.
. . .

---end excerpt---

Other sources of information that are free of "liberal" bias:

Pro-Israeli:
http://www.honestreporting.com/

"Objective/CIA style" intelligence reports:
http://www.stratfor.com/


On the other hand, Rabbi Michael Learner's "tikkun" web site provides an analysis (various article, see the archive index) of the historical problems with the Israeli right wing.

http://www.tikkun.org/core_vision

Regards,
Eric Pierce
Sacramento

Sean H.
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Oct 16, 2008 9:25 pm

need for "integrative paradigms"

Postby Sean H. » Wed Aug 02, 2006 1:50 pm

hi richard,

seeking larger context is always good, seeking more information, regardless of the filtering effects of one's paradigm, is always good.

as stated before, the problem that "progressives" have (including the "commercial" counterculture such as Amazon.com) is that their paradigm is pluralistic/relativistic. This makes it difficult for them to overcome a tendency to "romanticise" underdeveloped (pre-modern) cultures, and to clearly see the "evil" that terrorist groups represent.

(It also creates a tendency toward thought policing, which can become censorship.)

What is required is what is referred to in foreign policy discussions as "conservative realism". Utopian "peace movement" type ideas tend to be interpreted by terrorists as a sign of appeasement (as the Nazis interpreted "liberalism" before WWII), and therefore, weakness and lack of resolve.

The questions of "reform" and "social evolution" in the middle east are complex, but as far as I can tell, placing all blame on "western imperialism" (as most progressives tend to do) is a failed idea that will never lead to any real solution. On the contrary, it is a canard that is used to cover the incomptence and failures of current modes of (mostly un-democratic) governance in the middle east. Please note that the Baha'i writings contains extensive descriptions of the historical corruption that beset the muslim world. I would propose that those descriptions provide a framework for understanding the tremendous difficulties that any reformist tendencies will have in surviving in the middle east given the corrupted dominant forms of culture.

There is no doubt that the middle east was humiliated by european imperialism, they question is "why?". Clearly muslim culture was much more urbane, sophisticated and cosmopolitan (not to mention wealthy) than european culture up to the point where europeans developed the beginnings of the modern forms of science/technology, industrialization, capitalism and democracy (which replaced feudalism and led also to the rise of the great imperial states founded on colonial plunder and global trade).

Put simply, the muslim world failed to adapt to the "conditions of modernity". They saw the things that resulted in western power as being "ungodly" (middle class economic system, secularism etc).

One Baha'i scholar told me that the muslim elites simply did not think that civilization could develop any higher than what had already been attained in the muslim world (by the medieval period?), so protecting the prevailing orthodoxy became more important than incorporating innovations into the culture.

Please note that I do think that the foreign policy theory that purchase of oil from non-democratic societies always leads to deeper corruption and less reform is probably true. So, it is true that the west has not taken the most "enlightened" approach to its relationships with middle eastern governments, and hasn't supported whatever minimal reform movements that may exist to the extent possible (usually for "geopolitical" reasons, such as the cold war, etc).

So, to boil a vastly complex situation down, the road to reform will presumably consist of repid development of alternative energy in the west, and encouragement and support of reformist movements in the middle east where possible. What the muslim world needs to do is to take responsibility for its historcal role in its own failures (including lack of economic development) instead of blaming everything on "western imperialism" and spreading anti-western hate ideologies.

In short, the existing "progressive" (liberal/left/relativist/pluralist) paradigm is not adequate.

What is needed is a paradigm that transcends the limitations of both conservatism and liberalism (right and left).

Please note that in one of its letters to the scholars involved in the Baha'i version of the "culture wars" in academia in the 1990s, the Universal House of Justice stated that such 'integrative paradigms" are the likely the best answer to the critiques of the "dissidents" on the (ex/)Baha'i left.

Unfortunately there has been little or no exploration of what that might actually mean (as far as I can tell).

thanks,
eric

Sean H.
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Oct 16, 2008 9:25 pm

State of Israel result of British Mandate

Postby Sean H. » Wed Aug 02, 2006 5:13 pm

Richard,

Feel free to blast away with any criticism, otherwise I can't learn what , or how, other people think, and thus improve my own understanding.

(I'm no expert, I'm just saying what I've learned from bits and pieces over the years.)

Israel as a "modern" state came about in the wake of the breakup of the Ottoman empire and the establishment of the British "Mandate" (protectorate, or some such) after WWI. The "Mandates" were constructed, by european colonial powers, in the middle east as a temporary form of governance until the "backward" people "native" to the mandates had developed sufficient ability to function in the "modern" world.

The "land claims" of "Palestinians" is thus a highly peculiar concept (they didn't "own" anything in the modern use of the term since they were ruled by the Ottomans!). The existing boundries of countries such as Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Kuwait, were constructed largely by europeans for their own political/economic reasons! The British lied to the arabs about supporting a large "Pan-arab" nation after WWI (see the movie "Laurence of Arabia"?), instead preferring to break the arabs up into mostly little countries that could be more easily exploited using the "divide and conquer" method that they mastered in colonial areas all over the planet. There wasn't much of any kind of political-organizational boundry in the old days that would have resembled anything remotely like a country of "Palestinians".

Europe was not a fun place for Jewish people, so they immigrated to the USA, and made huge positive contributions, along with a lot of other Germans, in spite of social disadvantages, prejudices, etc.

Indeed, there was so much Jewish/German immigration to the USA that it basically created a "brain drain" in central europe.

After WWII, the British had the problem of trying to make the "Jewish problem" in Europe go away, so they transitioned authority in the "Mandate" area (now Israel), and after some UN business I've never studied carefully, basically gave control to the various zionists that founded Israel.

So, there was always a linkage between Jewish culture in the USA and Israel. They both represented particular forms of "capitalist modernism" that stood in stark contrast to the more "backward" muslim/arab people in that area (whose leaders had supported the Nazis).

Jewish culture also stood in stark contrast to the core "anti-capitalist" ideologies of the left (even though Jewish intellectuals made important contributions to the development of liberal/progressives politics in the USA!).

The reality of course is that the "clash of civilizations" is at full bloom in the middle east, both "sides" (pro-western/anti-western) tend to have highly elaborated and complex polemics that distort the "facts" and make it difficult for outsiders to see what is going on at deeper levels.

It isn't obvious how to reconcile Rabbi Michael Lerner's progressive values and call for "enlightened" politics with the short term survival of the state of Israel in the face of state-sponsored terrorism.

I personally think that Jewish progressives like Rabbi Lerner are not being completely realistic, but I also don't see how the brutal ("Machiavellian") approach advocated by http://www.samsonblinded.info will lead to long-term sustainability and "western" (modernist) reforms without some very heavy "spiritual" (as well as economic) costs.

What is clearly needed is a World Federation that has an effective World Police force. The current UN is too corrupt and ineffective.

It appears that the best theory upon wich to base a World Federation will be based on something "beyond" liberalism/progressivism, namely Integralism (which has an "evolutionary"/scientific view of spirituality).

Here is an example of how Integralism applies to the war in Iraq. I think it is fairly easy to apply the same analysis to the conflict between islamicist terrorism and Israel.

http://wilber.shambhala.com/html/misc/iraq.cfm

Again, back to the original point of this thread, the progressive, "commercial" counterculture, such as Amazon.com, can't see beyond the limits of its own "progressive" paradigm, and thus distorts the reality of what the conflict between islamcist terrorism and modernist culture is about. Such distortion leads to censorship. Censorship leads to ignorance, and that will probably lead to some huge tragedies, especially as more and more countries become more "progressive" in their cultural expressions, and impose thought policing and censorship on people that criticise the problems with progressivism/liberalism/relativism/pluralism.

Thanks,
Eric

Baha'i Warrior
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Location: U.S.A.

Re: State of Israel result of British Mandate

Postby Baha'i Warrior » Wed Aug 02, 2006 7:42 pm

I don't mean to intervene here, but if I can respond to a comment:

epierce wrote:It appears that the best theory upon wich to base a World Federation will be based on something "beyond" liberalism/progressivism, namely Integralism (which has an "evolutionary"/scientific view of spirituality).

Here is an example of how Integralism applies to the war in Iraq. I think it is fairly easy to apply the same analysis to the conflict between islamicist terrorism and Israel.

http://wilber.shambhala.com/html/misc/iraq.cfm


I don't have time to read the linked article, so I won't respond to that.

This is the reasons why I think a "World Federation," as you refer to it, will only come about through the Baha'i Faith is explained in the following points:

Look at all the violence that is happening in the Middle East and other parts of the world. They are all (or most) fueled by hate that is fostered by religious intolerance.

Since we are talking about the Palestinians, the hate is deep-rooted and ancient, and no matter how much land they get, it won't go away. (Just as a disclaimer, my views do not necessarily reflect the views of the Baha'i Faith. I try to keep my views in line with the Writings though.)

This hate can be explained, historically, of course. The Jews persecuted the Muslims for centuries, there is a lot history of that, so to me this is more than just a 'land' issue.

What Isreal is doing (defending itself) could be justified. Being a Baha'i, I am not going to say this with a certainty since we are not supposed to be political (so I want to be careful about this) but certainly Isreal isn't bombing Palestinians and Lebanese people because they (Israelis) are terrorists—I think I can safely say that.

Will the Middle East crisis end anytime soon? I think we are just seeing the climax.

So a huge factor in the violence we see is due to religious intolerance. Though some religions today may be more progressive in their mode of thinking, no religion, other than the Baha'i Faith, makes it explicitly clear that revelation is progressive and that, though the previous cycles have been annulled, they are still from the same Source and thus everyone, irrespective of his beliefs (whatever they might be), should not be persecuted for them. We all have free will—God has given that to us. So even if we decide to, say, become atheists, that is our right (this is just to give an example, I'm certainly not saying we should be atheists—God forbid!).

The only world religion that explains clearly what is going on in terms of the world's problems is the Baha'i Faith. Some may say that I am being biased since I am a Baha'i but—show me another religion that so clearly and specifically addresses the root of the world's problems, and suggests a resolution—I am taught to investigate truth.

It is the fact that the Baha'i Faith places so much of an emphasis on social teachings that makes it such an important factor in the world unification. 1,000, 2,000, 3,000 years ago were we interdependent? This is why revelation is progressive—it wouldn't make sense to talk about and place such an emphasis on the oneness of the races when we weren't even living with each other and didn't even know that other races exist! (It is like telling a 6 month old that fornication is wrong—does he understand?)

The Baha'i Faith states that the world suffers from a lack of unity. Most of this disunity stems from, as I said previously, religious intolerance. Baha'u'llah, the Divine Physician, gives us the cure. It's the principles: for instance, let's take education of women (or equality of women). Why is this so important? If your mother is uneducated, and a member of a certain religion and has been indoctrinated herself all her life, it is easy to see how she could raise her sons telling them that a certain class of people are pigs, dehumanizing this class of people. It is much easier to kill a pig than a human being. If you are taught since childhood this and you are at the same time preached the same hateful things, wouldn't it be easy to strap a bomb to yourself and go kill those "pigs" that they refer to?

Of course there are extremists in many religions, and within those same religions are very pure and sensible people—don't get me wrong. But here's the point: it is only the Baha'i Faith that has teachings and principles that won't allow this to happen even to a small group of its members. Not only that, but it has the teachings to empower its members to produce great fruits, and noble children, who will grow up to truly love their fellow men for reasons that are ground in principle.

Will science find a "scientific" way to produce world unity. No, that itsn't its function. Science right now seems to be making a shift. Personally, most science courses that I have taken deny that the "mind" is independent of the brain (even that there is no "mind") and that what makes us so different from each other in terms of thought is just neural (or neuronal) firing. Prominent psychologists like Steven Pinker even state that we are devaluing our existence if we believe that we have souls and that there is a God!

Science and religion are going in opposite directions, and opposite extremes. Such then is the importance of the Baha'i Faith's emphasis on the harmony or unity of science and religion. This is a new concept to many people, like Christians. Most people see the two as a dichotomy. The Baha'i Faith makes it clear. Both science and religion today are at extremes (in the whole). Will the extremes of religion surrender to science and say "Oh we are wrong for thinking that there is a God"? Or will science say "God can explain every phenomenon so there is no need for science"? No, obviously not. And it is indeed short-sighted if scientists think that eventually the world will give up God and turn to science.

Pardon the jumbled thoughts and any mistakes that there might be (and if I got sidetracked), but I hope it got my ideas across...

Baha'i Warrior
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Postby Baha'i Warrior » Sun Aug 06, 2006 12:20 pm

richard wrote:BTW, sociopaths have no conscience, blame others for their vile and violent actions rather taking responsibility for the injustice they do, and are not capable of remorse for the worst of their inhuman atrocities.

There can be no compromise or peace with those who are pathologically narrow, uncompromising, and militant in their thoughts, words, and deeds.

Peace always, when possible; however, defense and counter-offensives, when attacked in your own country by bestial foreign barbarians.

Sorry to have such strong feelings in this matter, but it is clear that some humans are really inhuman, sub-human, inhumane, and even animal-like in their reactive violence against all others unlike themselves.

On the other hand, I welcome dialogue with those terrorists who may be reading this, and want to give peace a chance… Or, dialogue with those much more spiritually advanced than I, those able to love their enemies who really behave as enemies in the greatest extremes.



Richard, I agree with all your points and I do not think any of them are "extreme." This is what 'Abdu'l-Baha says about conquests in the Secret of Divine Civilization (which you are probably already familiar with):

    "A conquest can be a praiseworthy thing, and there are times when war becomes the powerful basis of peace, and ruin the very means of reconstruction. If, for example, a high-minded sovereign marshals his troops to block the onset of the insurgent and the aggressor, or again, if he takes the field and distinguishes himself in a struggle to unify a divided state and people, if, in brief, he is waging war for a righteous purpose, then this seeming wrath is mercy itself, and this apparent tyranny the very substance of justice and this warfare the cornerstone of peace. Today, the task befitting great rulers is to establish universal peace, for in this lies the freedom of all peoples." (pp. 70–1)

Therefore, a "conquest" can be a "powerful basis of peace" if it is being waged "for a righteous purpose."

And also there are many quotes by Baha'u'llah relating to tyranny:

    "Should any one among you take up arms against another, rise ye all against him, for this is naught but manifest justice ... Should any king take up arms against another, all should unitedly arise and prevent him." (qtd. in W.O.B. p. 191)

So this is the reason why as Baha'is—even though "we do not believe that war is ever necessary and its abolition is one of the essential purposes and brightest promises of Bahá'u'lláh's revelation," "Bahá'ís are not pacifists since we uphold the use of force in the service of justice and upholding law," according to the Guardian (from 11 September 1984 to an individual believer).

So basically "war" is different from overthrowing tyrants or putting away/killing terrorists in that "[w]arfare is the ultimate tragedy of disunity among nations where no international authority exists powerful enough to restrain them from pursuing their own limited interests" whereas the former involves the institution of justice.

And also Richard when you say:

    "But it is clear that some humans are really inhuman, sub-human, inhumane, and even animal-like in their reactive violence against all others unlike themselves."


This is true what you say. Baha'u'llah and 'Abdu'l-Baha countless times refer to people who do not try to lead a spiritual life and instead turn to injustice, greed, killing, etc., saying that they are worse than animals, so it is not incorrect of you in saying that terrorists are "sub-human" or "inhuman," because it is in essence what the Writings say.

Again thanks for sharing your views, they are much needed in this discussion.

—BW

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Postby Baha'i Warrior » Tue Aug 08, 2006 2:34 pm

Richard:

Those are interesting points. I have heard a saying related to this, that religious truth (or true ideas) will, to quote from Julio Savi's The Eternal Quest for God: An Introduction to the Divine Philosophy of `Abdu'l-Bahá, "produce results of unity and peace before the tribunal of life and history, whereas prejudices—erroneous interpretations of reality—have always been `the foundation of distention, the cause of obstinacy, the means of war and struggle'." (Source: <http://bahai-library.com/books/quest/quest.01.html#fn45>.)

(Also this relates to the idea that if religion becomes a source of disunity then it is better to not belong to a religion.)

There is a distinction I think between pigeonholing an entire religion into a certain category (i.e. extremists) and saying that the fruits (or lack of) that a current religion, as a whole, produces is a measure of its truth. (Based on what you have said so far I assume you agree with that statement?) The Baha'is have never terrorized a group of people for whatever reason—they were/are never the aggressors but the victims in such cases—and that's because the Faith has in a sense spiritually "updated" us. (Apart from the fact that Baha'u'llah abolishes the use of the sword.) In fact the Faith sensitizes us, not desensitize. (Religion, when it has gone awry, seems to be the most dangerous in this regard since it can seem more justifiable to kill in the name of a God or religion, rather than in the name of Evil or some other thing.) Truly all of us find it abhorrent that people can fall into such depths of depravity as to slaughter (and even behead!) innocent people, including women and children)...

Hopefully sometime in the future our progeny, in a peaceful and civilized world, will be able to look back to these dissolute and degenerate times with greater incredulity (that's of course rhetorical). Imagine to what degree mankind will have become civilized in the future, that even the mention of murder will cause them to shudder. Now, unfortunately, when you turn on the news 90% of it deals with crimes, murders, serial killers, terrorists, etc. (Of course a majority of their audience has bloodlust which can only be satisfied partly, if not completely, by this type of news.) What the Baha'i Faith will do is release humanity from its waywardness and create a noble race of men.

Just some thoughts...

Best Regards

Sean H.
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Oct 16, 2008 9:25 pm

Re: State of Israel result of British Mandate

Postby Sean H. » Thu Aug 10, 2006 2:44 pm

Baha'i Warrior wrote:I don't mean to intervene here, but if I can respond to a comment:

epierce wrote:It appears that the best theory upon wich to base a World Federation will be based on something "beyond" liberalism/progressivism, namely Integralism (which has an "evolutionary"/scientific view of spirituality).

Here is an example of how Integralism applies to the war in Iraq. I think it is fairly easy to apply the same analysis to the conflict between islamicist terrorism and Israel.

http://wilber.shambhala.com/html/misc/iraq.cfm


I don't have time to read the linked article, so I won't respond to that.


Why not? The Universal House of Justice instructed Baha'i scholars to contribute to the 'integrative paradigms' being developed by the world's best thinkers as a way of solving the problem of "liberal vs. conservative" debate.

(search for the letters to Susan Maneck on this web site for the full version.)

I see no reason why the need to contribute to 'integrative paradigms' would be any different when applied to conflict based on religious ideology than it does to conflict based on "political" ideology. In consciousness studies terms, paradigms arise from underlying causes, which in sufi-bahai terminology, would be "universal archetypes".

A large body of knowedge is currently being developed on the "scientific" basis for such universal archetypes because of advances in neuroscience, systems theory, and so forth.

As far as I know, there are NO important Baha'i contributions in those areas (but there are some important minor ones, such as Terry Culhane's work), Baha'is are just struggling to keep their heads above water because there is insufficient interest or support in the Baha'i community for internal work on current developments in science and religion.

If Baha'i don't keep up with such developments, they will be left in the dust and become irrelevant.

http://bahai-library.org/uhj/science.religion.html

It is hoped that all the Baha'i students will ... be led to investigate and analyse the principles of the Faith and to correlate them with the modern aspects of philosophy and science. Every intelligent and thoughtful young Baha'i should always approach the Cause in this way, for therein lies the very essence of the principle of independent investigation of truth.
(6 August 1933, on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer) [6]

Shoghi Effendi has for years urged the Baha'is (who asked his advice, and in general also) to study history, economics, sociology, etc., in order to be au courant with all the progressive movements and thoughts being put forth today, and so that they could correlate these to the Baha'i teachings. What he wants the Baha'is to do is to study more, not to study less. The more general knowledge, scientific and otherwise, they possess, the better. Likewise he is constantly urging them to really study the Baha'i teachings more deeply. One might liken Baha'u'llah's teachings to a sphere; there are points poles apart, and in between the thoughts and doctrines that unite them. We believe in balance in all things; we believe in moderation in all things -- we must not be too emotional, nor cut and dried and lacking in feeling, we must not be so liberal as to cease to preserve the character and unity of our Baha'i system, nor fanatical and dogmatic.
(5 July 1947, on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer) [7]



Baha'i Warrior wrote::
This is the reasons why I think a "World Federation," as you refer to it, will only come about through the Baha'i Faith is explained in the following points:

Look at all the violence that is happening in the Middle East and other parts of the world. They are all (or most) fueled by hate that is fostered by religious intolerance.


No, it is political/geopolitical conflict that seeks justification in both "religious" rhetoric (for the traditionalist audience in the muslim world) and in "post-modern" relativism and pluralism (for the dupes in the "foreign/western" liberal audience).

Baha'i Warrior wrote::
Since we are talking about the Palestinians, the hate is deep-rooted and ancient, and no matter how much land they get, it won't go away. (Just as a disclaimer, my views do not necessarily reflect the views of the Baha'i Faith. I try to keep my views in line with the Writings though.)


In some ways it is ancient, and in the far more important/specific ways, it is recent. As I detailed previously, the history that is discussed in political debate between Palestinians/Muslims and Israelis is almost entirely about what has happened in the last 100 years (WWI, collapse of Ottoman authority, the British Mandates, etc.).



Baha'i Warrior wrote::
This hate can be explained, historically, of course. The Jews persecuted the Muslims for centuries, there is a lot history of that, so to me this is more than just a 'land' issue.


I'm not aware of any "persecution" of Muslims by Jews, especially not for centuries (one could argue that Mohammed's problems with Jews when He was establishing Islam cound "sorta" be persecution?).

Perhaps you meant the centuries of persecution of Jews by Muslims?


Baha'i Warrior wrote::
What Isreal is doing (defending itself) could be justified. Being a Baha'i, I am not going to say this with a certainty since we are not supposed to be political (so I want to be careful about this) but certainly Isreal isn't bombing Palestinians and Lebanese people because they (Israelis) are terrorists—I think I can safely say that.


Depends on yuor perspective. Many Muslims do believe that anything and everything having to do with maintaning the state of Israel is some form of "terrorism" against their idea of what Islam historically represents and claims, and against the "Palestinian people" (the very idea of a "Palestinian people" is, as I stated before, somewhat of a convenient political fabrication).

I would guess that most westerners, at least moderates and conservatives, would disagree that Israel is terrorist, at least in its current form.

Some western liberals/progressives refer to the "founding of Israel" as being a terrorist process (because, in their minds, Zionists "stole" land from "Palestinians"), but that ignores the larger historical process in which the creation of the Israeli state took place (Ottoman domination, european colonization, etc.). There are no legitimate "legal" claims that "Palestinians" can make on the ownership of land because there never was a "Palestinian" state per se.

In any case, land taken in war almost always goes to the winners (as was the case historically when Muslims conquered the Holy Land in the first place!). The fact that the Palestinians have not adjusted themselves to their loss of land is one exampel of many that is characteristic of their need for a reality check.


Baha'i Warrior wrote::
Will the Middle East crisis end anytime soon? I think we are just seeing the climax.


Iran is attempting to extend its influence, and has apparently had some very good luck in that the USA is not being successful in putting together a strong unity government Iraq (Shi'a non-cooperation in Iraq favors Iran's current strategic interests), and Israel, under the current liberal government, is making major intelligence and military blunders in fighting Iran's Hezbollah proxy forces.


Baha'i Warrior wrote::
So a huge factor in the violence we see is due to religious intolerance.


A more huge factor is geopolitics (IMO).

Baha'i Warrior wrote::
Though some religions today may be more progressive in their mode of thinking, no religion, other than the Baha'i Faith, makes it explicitly clear that revelation is progressive


With all due respect, that is incorrect, self-serving Baha'i rhetoric and is a huge insult to many people from other religions that have universalist values, are pluralists/multiculturalists/etc.

Integralists are far more advanced in their thinking about the evolution of spirituality and human consciousness than are most Baha'is.

My wife is not Baha'i, and when I was active in the Baha'i community, it was a huge embarassment to take her to Baha'i meetings and have to hear that kind of ridiculous, insulting statement (which happened all the time).



Baha'i Warrior wrote::
and that, though the previous cycles have been annulled, they are still from the same Source and thus everyone, irrespective of his beliefs (whatever they might be), should not be persecuted for them. We all have free will—God has given that to us. So even if we decide to, say, become atheists, that is our right (this is just to give an example, I'm certainly not saying we should be atheists—God forbid!).

The only world religion that explains clearly what is going on in terms of the world's problems is the Baha'i Faith.


Again, ridiculous. Many people from all sorts of religions have a far better idea of what is going on in the world, and how to bring about a World Federation and World Police Force to take care of conflict, than do Baha'is.

If Baha'is were asked to do much of any kind of serious work, they would mostly embarass themselves because their arrogance keeps them from seeing how inexperienced and/or incompetent they actually are when dealing with social and political problems.


Baha'i Warrior wrote::
Some may say that I am being biased since I am a Baha'i but—show me another religion that so clearly and specifically addresses the root of the world's problems, and suggests a resolution—I am taught to investigate truth.


The Baha'i Faith doesn't clearly address the root of the problem, which is why nobody sees Baha'i ideas as having much importance beyond giving vague, feel good, warm-fuzzies.

Because Baha'is think they have good solutions when they really don't, they have not done the hard work to learn anything specific about actually solving geopolitical problems.


Baha'i Warrior wrote::
It is the fact that the Baha'i Faith places so much of an emphasis on social teachings that makes it such an important factor in the world unification.


Makes no sense. All religions place emphasis on "social teachings".

What Baha'u'llah did was to attempt to take an ancient, creaking and groaning Shi'a/sufi theology and adjust it to the "conditions of modernity" in response to the rise of european colonialism (which was starting to create major tensions within Persian religion, society and politics by the 1800s).

Some ex-Baha'i scholars (when discussing various lack of successes in the world Baha'i community) argue that Baha'u'llah's theology wasn't sufficiently "westernized" to escape the "gravity well" of Shi'ism, so Baha'i culture has tended to collapse back into fundamentalism. Others obvious disagree.

My personal perspective (after 30+ years) is that the pace of significant innovation and positive social change within Baha'i culture is so glacial that it is usually hard to see, and it is certainly hard to envision anything improving in a major way in the near future (10 or 15 years).


Baha'i Warrior wrote::
1,000, 2,000, 3,000 years ago were we interdependent?


Not sure what this means. early "pre-modern" cultures evolved through various stages, from clans to tribes to small kingdoms to empires.

The worst pre-modern barbarians comitted genocide with wonton disregard for "civilized" behavior, usually after engaging in "mystical" rituals (such as having their astrological charts "interpreted" by superstitous seers and so forth).



Baha'i Warrior wrote::
This is why revelation is progressive—it wouldn't make sense to talk about and place such an emphasis on the oneness of the races when we weren't even living with each other and didn't even know that other races exist! (It is like telling a 6 month old that fornication is wrong—does he understand?)


Oh, ok, I see what you are getting at. However, the oneness of races was established in the Qur'an and in many other ancient traditions. "Racism" per se did not exist in pre-modern cultures, it is a feature of the modern world. There were some vague forms of "color awareness" in pre-modern cultures, but nothing remotely resembling modern "racism" (which was an *incorrect* interpretation of early, darwinian, evolutionary theory).

If by "races" you mean "nationality" (or linguistic/cultural groups), then similarly, there are mostly coincidences between religious prejudice and bigotry and "nationalist' bigotry.

But again, most of the reference in Baha'i "social teachings" are to the problems that came into existence as a result of the alteration of social arrangements in the wake of the build up of the great european colonial empires.

(I hope I'm not misunderstanding and confusing your point, if so, sorry!)


Baha'i Warrior wrote::
The Baha'i Faith states that the world suffers from a lack of unity. Most of this disunity stems from, as I said previously, religious intolerance.


I think this is more of an oversimplified, self-serving apolgetic Baha'i cliche than a reality.

Integralism puts "progressive revelation" on steroids by placing the evolution of all forms of human consciousness in a full "scientific" context, instead of having the evolution of human consciousness linked in cumbersome and unworkable ways to prophetic stages.

As such, it is capable for a much clearer and more flexible and useful framework for understanding the past, present and future the evolution of human consciousness (and society).

Which is probably why, on some level, the Universal House of Justice told Baha'i scholars to adopt "integrative paradigms".



Baha'i Warrior wrote::
Baha'u'llah, the Divine Physician, gives us the cure. It's the principles: for instance, let's take education of women (or equality of women). Why is this so important? If your mother is uneducated, and a member of a certain religion and has been indoctrinated herself all her life, it is easy to see how she could raise her sons telling them that a certain class of people are pigs, dehumanizing this class of people. It is much easier to kill a pig than a human being. If you are taught since childhood this and you are at the same time preached the same hateful things, wouldn't it be easy to strap a bomb to yourself and go kill those "pigs" that they refer to?


I guess, but again, this seems like more self-serving Baha'i apologetics than reality. Secular, western societies invented the idea of women's equality (in political terms), and have accomplished it without any religious belief system.

Women's equality existed in some form in many earlier religions and cultures, indeed, matriarchal societies were dominant in early pre-modern cultures.

The social conditions in which the modern and post-modern versions of the principle were enacted in culture were secular in their underlying features.

I think Baha'i s are trying to take too much credit for "inventing" women's equality, which again, means that they sound incoherent to people that understand the complex realities of culture history.


Baha'i Warrior wrote::
Of course there are extremists in many religions, and within those same religions are very pure and sensible people—don't get me wrong. But here's the point: it is only the Baha'i Faith that has teachings and principles that won't allow this to happen even to a small group of its members. Not only that, but it has the teachings to empower its members to produce great fruits, and noble children, who will grow up to truly love their fellow men for reasons that are ground in principle.


Again, this is a huge, and unfortunate, exaggeration. "Secular" societies have produced far more powerful and important (in political terms) paradigms for encouraging tolerance and pluralism than has the Baha'i Faith. Religion is simply not needed for people to be influenced on a very significant level by "post-modernism". Indeed, such relativistic post-modern "pluralist" philosophy explicitly rejects the "univeralisms" of religions such as the Baha'i Faith (which is another problem, perhaps to be discussed in another thread).


Baha'i Warrior wrote::
Will science find a "scientific" way to produce world unity. No, that itsn't its function. Science right now seems to be making a shift. Personally, most science courses that I have taken deny that the "mind" is independent of the brain (even that there is no "mind") and that what makes us so different from each other in terms of thought is just neural (or neuronal) firing. Prominent psychologists like Steven Pinker even state that we are devaluing our existence if we believe that we have souls and that there is a God!


What "science" can do, at least integral science, is to place spirituality in an evolutionary context.

As such, virtually every field of knowledge will be revolutionized.

What you are reading (conventional "science" that is hostile to spirituality) is old stuff that has been discredited in the last 20 years by consciousness studies, systems theory, etc.

Again, it is unfortunate that Baha'is are so behind the leading edge of intellectual inquiry in the world.


Baha'i Warrior wrote::
Science and religion are going in opposite directions, and opposite extremes. Such then is the importance of the Baha'i Faith's emphasis on the harmony or unity of science and religion. This is a new concept to many people, like Christians. Most people see the two as a dichotomy. The Baha'i Faith makes it clear. Both science and religion today are at extremes (in the whole). Will the extremes of religion surrender to science and say "Oh we are wrong for thinking that there is a God"? Or will science say "God can explain every phenomenon so there is no need for science"? No, obviously not. And it is indeed short-sighted if scientists think that eventually the world will give up God and turn to science.


Again, correct only in the sense of old paradigms. The new paradigms are mostly being developed by people outside the Baha'i Faith. You have to look hard to find Baha'i s that are even trying to keep their heads above water, much less make any major contributions to the exploration of the relationship between science and religion.


Baha'i Warrior wrote::
Pardon the jumbled thoughts and any mistakes that there might be (and if I got sidetracked), but I hope it got my ideas across...


Same here.
Regards,
Eric

Sean H.
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Oct 16, 2008 9:25 pm

Re: State of Israel result of British Mandate

Postby Sean H. » Thu Aug 10, 2006 5:38 pm

WILBER EXCERPTS:

epierce wrote:
. . .
The reality of course is that the "clash of civilizations" is at full bloom in the middle east, both "sides" (pro-western/anti-western) tend to have highly elaborated and complex polemics that distort the "facts" and make it difficult for outsiders to see what is going on at deeper levels.

It isn't obvious how to reconcile Rabbi Michael Lerner's progressive values and call for "enlightened" politics with the short term survival of the state of Israel in the face of state-sponsored terrorism.

I personally think that Jewish progressives like Rabbi Lerner are not being completely realistic, but I also don't see how the brutal ("Machiavellian") approach advocated by http://www.samsonblinded.info will lead to long-term sustainability and "western" (modernist) reforms without some very heavy "spiritual" (as well as economic) costs.
. . .

Here is an example of how Integralism applies to the war in Iraq. I think it is fairly easy to apply the same analysis to the conflict between islamicist terrorism and Israel.

http://wilber.shambhala.com/html/misc/iraq.cfm



Excerpts from the above article:

The War In Iraq
Ken Wilber

[ http://wilber.shambhala.com/html/misc/iraq.pdf ]

Hello friends,

Allow me to make a few comments on a situation about which virtually nothing can be said, or heard, with any sort of equanimity: the war in Iraq.

. . .

During the course of that long discussion, the topic naturally turned to the war in Iraq: what it might mean, why it might be occurring, what the role of protest is, and so on. Up to that time, I had made one basic statement on the Middle East situation—"The Destruction of the World Trade Center" [posted on this site]—and that statement still contains my general orientation to this (or any) war. When I was asked to make a specific statement on the present war in Iraq, I released only the following:

(KEN: do you have anything you would like to add since you wrote "Deconstructing the World Trade Center?")


no, but just remember: if you are green, you are against the war. but if you are against the war, you are not necessarily green. there are second-tier reasons not to go to war. but there are also second-tier reasons to go to war. green doesn't have a choice--it won't go. second tier has a choice, so weigh the evidence carefully. second tier might indeed recommend war, it might not. but you can check and see if you are "merely" green by asking under what conditions you would recommend war. if you can't think of any, ahem, welcome to green. still, the issue is enormously complicated, even through integral lens, so again, weigh the evidence carefully.


the problem with this discussion at large is that it is entirely first-tier. blue says bomb the hell out of the evil ones; orange says, okay, but hurry, because it's hurting the stock market; green says, no way, let's be loving. first tier has such a hard time seeing big pictures, so it moves around within the partial value structures that define it. this is a discussion that i have stayed out of since doing WTC essay. it's just a big first-tier food fight.


unfortunately, the world needs integral action. unfortunately, it will not get it, whether we go to war or not. still, better to light one candle than curse the darkness. so we work on ourselves and attempt to increase our own integral consciousness to some degree each day, so that in the end we leave the world just a little bit more whole than we found it.............

I am going to make a few more statements now, not because I believe saner voices can be heard, and not because I believe I have a saner voice, but simply because the insane voices are so shrill, a few more worthless words can't hurt anything now.

Let me start by repeating a question Tami asked me. We had finished the "first half" of the interview, which covered the theoretical material, and we were now talking about its applications in the real world, nothing of which is more real than war. Tami asked, "If you could arrange the world situation, what would you do? What is your Utopian vision of how to handle war?"

. . .

As a Utopian point of departure in response to Tami's question, I therefore suggested a few things about what a world governance system operating at yellow might look like. "Yellow" is the level of consciousness at which "second tier" or truly integral awareness begins to emerge. It is thus contrasted with the previous 6 levels or vMemes—which are called first tier, each of which believes that its value system is the only true, correct, or deeply worthwhile value system in existence. Those first-tier waves are, very briefly: beige: instinctual; purple: magical-animistic, tribal; red: egocentric, power, feudalistic; blue: mythic-membership, conformist, fundamentalist, ethnocentric, traditional; orange: excellence, achievement, progress, modern; green: postmodern, multicultural, sensitive, pluralistic.

Those first-tier waves of development are followed by what Clare Graves called "the momentous leap of meaning" to second tier, which has, as of today, two major levels or waves of awareness: yellow: systemic, flexible, flowing; turquoise: cosmic unity, integrative, nested hierarchies of interrelationships, one-in-many holism. The point of the Utopian discussion was simply: what might a world be like whose center of gravity was second tier? In the following I will often use the terms "second tier," "integral," "yellow," and "turquoise" interchangeably; the points I want to make are very general.

The reason that Graves called second tier a "momentous leap" is that unlike all first-tier waves (which imagine their values are the only correct values), second tier has an understanding of the crucial if relative importance of all previous values—including red, blue, orange, and green. Orange thinks green is mindless; green despises orange; blue thinks both of them are going to burn in hell forever. Yellow, on the other hand, finds all of them necessary and acceptable, as long as none of them gets the upper hand and starts repressing the others. This, needless to say, would have a profound influence on any World Federation operating from yellow or second tier values (as we will see).

There are two basic points to keep in mind about any future world governance system. The first is that laws, to be laws, are enacted from the highest average expectable level of development in the governance system. In today's world, for example, most of the laws in Western democracies stem from the orange level, which is worldcentric, postconventional, and modern (or, as our French friends first expressed the orange meme 300 years ago: equality, fraternity, liberty). Many countries continue to operate basically at a blue level: conformist, non-democratic (dictatorial or totalitarian), grounded not in evidence but in dogma (Marxist, Muslim, or otherwise), and ethnocentric (believe the Book or burn). Some terrorist cells (not to mention street gangs) remain at red: hierarchies of raw power and physical strength, implemented often by torture, rape, or any means necessary to keep a particular warlord in power. Although structures such as red and blue might sound rather brutal, and often are, they have to be seen in context: they are usually the best that can be arranged under the given circumstances and conditions.

So we are asking, what would a world governance system—a World Federation—look like if it operated from second tier, and implemented its basic laws from a yellow (or higher) center of gravity? But before we address that, there is the second basic item to keep in mind, namely: no matter how highly developed a society might be—including one whose center of gravity is yellow—nonetheless everybody in that (or any) society is still born at square one. Just because a society is "yellow" does not mean everybody in that society will be yellow; on the contrary, very few will be, at least at first, just as today in our "orange" societies, not everybody is at orange; in fact, at least half of the adult population pre-orange (purple, red, blue). It is simply that our laws stem mostly from orange.

That means that, even in an "integral society" (yellow or higher), there will still be pockets or subcultures of individuals at purple, red, blue, orange, and green. This is not only unavoidable, it is healthy, normal, desirable. What is not desirable, however, is that any of those waves dominate the governance system and therefore attempt to force their values on others—whether those are red values, blue values, or green values. A yellow society, in short, would have laws that basically stem from that second-tier level of consciousness. And the basic defining characteristic of yellow is that it accepts all previous values without letting any of them repress or dominate others.

A second-tier, integral, World Federation—in my Utopian view—would therefore prevent any first-tier memes from dominating, attacking, or exploiting any other populations. If necessary, a World Federation would do so by using force, just as all democracies today have an internal police force to curtail murder, rape, robbery, extortion, and so on. Somebody whose center of gravity is green will not commit murder, rape, or robbery. However, somebody whose center of gravity is red will do any or all of those, sometimes happily. And because everybody is born at square one, and must progress through purple, red, blue, and so on, some sort of police will always be necessary to protect others from those who do not evolve to a worldcentric level of care and compassion.

So any World Federation would have some sort of police force, of necessity. Call them the World Cops. Needless to say, the World Cops would be regulated by the World Federation, not by any country (and certainly not by America, Britain, France, Germany, etc.).

This police force is NOT allowed to tell people what level of consciousness they should be at; it is NOT allowed to govern what individuals do in the privacy of their own homes or dwellings; it is NOT allowed to coerce or intimidate people who are not at the average level of social development. It is, however, allowed to prevent (or punish) those whose public behavior stems from a less-than-worldcentric stance. For example, in the privacy of my own home, if I wish to think about burning at the stake all people who do not accept Jesus as their personal savior, that is my right. However, if I actually shoot you because you do not believe in Jesus, then the State—in this case, the World Federation—can arrest and incarcerate me.

The simple rule, which is already implicitly used by all worldcentric governance systems (i.e., at orange or higher, including Germany, France, America, Britain, Japan, etc.), is this: in the Left-Hand domain, think what you like; but in the Right-Hand domain, physically behave according to worldcentric law or you can be removed from the public sphere.

. . .

An Integral World Federation would therefore, in that regard, be no different: one could think whatever one wanted; but one must behave according to laws stemming from the center of gravity of the governance system, in this case, yellow. Thus, the values embedded in the "law of the land" would not be orange or green but yellow or integral; not first tier, but second tier. Accordingly, although individuals are again allowed to think or believe whatever they want (Left-Hand), their public behavior (Right-Hand) would be regulated according to yellow (or higher) standards. Because the major stance of yellow is integrative, this means all first-tier value systems would have a respected place, but no first-tier values would be allowed to colonize others.

This would mean, for example, that America is allowed to despise Iraq (in the privacy of its own Left-Hand, national, cultural space). America is not, however, allowed to attack Iraq (in the Right-Hand, public, international commons).

But that is only half the story of what would not be allowed by an Integral World Federation. Saddam Hussein, by conservative and uncontested estimates, has murdered approximately 200,000 Kurds and another 200,000 of his own people, often after torturing, raping, or gassing them. Any Integral World Federation would, through use of force if necessary, prevent both of those actions. Neither of those actions meet yellow standards and therefore neither would be allowed under yellow world law. America's invasion of Iraq meets certain blue-to-orange standards; and the action of Saddam Hussein meets certain red standards. Neither of them would be allowed by an Integral World Federation.

Moreover, it goes without saying that the World Federation would itself invade and police Iraq if incontrovertible evidence of mass homicide was presented at a World Federation hearing. Mass homicide anywhere violates worldcentric values. Saddam Hussein is allowed to hate the Kurds (in the privacy of his own red-meme mind); he is not allowed to gas 200,000 of them. If he did so, the World Federation police would use military action to prevent Saddam Hussein from continuing to do so, if he did not voluntarily cease and desist immediately.

For the same reasons, I personally believe that any protest movement that does not equally protest both America's invasion and Saddam's murder of 400,000 people is a protest movement that does not truly represent peace or non-aggression or worldcentric values.

I am aware of no major protest movement that has protested both forms of violence equally, and that has insisted upon an immediate end to both aggressions, and offered a believable way that both aggressions could actually be halted immediately so that neither side can continue its homicidal actions.

That is, I am aware of no integral protest movement anywhere in the world, unfortunately.

There are instead mainly pockets of blue, orange, and green values, all at each others' throats. There is no mistaking Mr. Bush's values: they are essentially blue-to-orange. It is the deeply fundamentalistic, absolutistic values of Bush that alarm many other governments (particularly those of France, Germany, and Russia), and understandably so. The blue wave typically divides the world into good vs. evil, and has an unshakable (if ethnocentric) sense of right and wrong. Bush's "axis of evil" is classic blue. The worst that can be said of Bush's essentially blue approach is that, indeed, it is deeply ethnocentric and imperialistic. The best that can be said is that it takes blue to curtail red, and Bush's actions are serving the larger Spiral by rooting out pockets of red terrorism.

The other major faction in the debate is essentially representing green-meme values. The green wave—what Clare Graves called "the sensitive self"—wishes to end all war, and thus must see itself as anti-war under virtually any circumstances. However, because it often takes war to end war (e.g., it takes WWII to end Auschwitz), green is often paralyzed in the face of real world aggression, insisting on lying down in front of Nazi tanks, as if that would actually stop them. But as long as green can see itself protesting aggression, it is relatively content. The worst that can be said of these protesters is that they are essentially "Saddam enablers" (in exactly the same way that Neville Chamberlain was a Hitler enabler). The best that can be said is that these individuals serve the larger Spiral by sensitizing more people to the horrors of aggression.

. . .

Blair has also been an authentic pioneer in "third way" politics (cf. A Theory of Everything), which is one of the first serious moves toward an integral politics that unites the best of liberal and conservative, is perhaps no surprise. Given the actual world situation as it is now, Blair's general position seems to be the best that can pragmatically be offered.

(In my opinion, the major item missing in the stance of Blair, not to mention the other major political leaders, is some sort of sophisticated developmental perspective, which, to put it briefly, is one of five major dimensions in an integral approach; i.e., it is the "levels" aspect of "quadrants, levels, lines, states, and types." One of the saddest of the non-integral effects of the present world leadership is the continuing turmoil caused by Western democracies imagining that they can drop an orange-meme democracy with green-meme sensitivity smack in the middle of a red-meme desert and somehow it will grow. This is not world policy; this is Jack and the Bean Stalk. Everybody is born at square one. Unless there is a healthy blue infrastructure—whether in inner city ghettos or Mid-East tribes—there is no place for red youth to go, and thus they end up trapped in warlord city. Forcing "democracy" on such a culture simply results, as it consistently has elsewhere, in the free election of military dictators. This, needless to say, is a complex topic; readers are again referred to A Theory of Everything for an overview, as well as to integralinstitute.org.)

What has struck me the most in the highly emotional debates about the war in Iraq is how deeply the entire discussion is sunk in first-tier value fights. Both the blue-to-orange Bush supporters, and the orange-to-green media (and protesters) give wildly skewed, biased, and prejudiced accounts of the events. I am constantly taken aback by how brutally narrow a given perspective is, even (and sometimes especially) those claiming to be caring and inclusive and compassionate. There is plenty of truth on each side of the debate, just not the whole truth, which both sides vociferously claim to possess.

I long for a discussion where integral openness can flourish. I long for a group of world leaders who can see a bigger picture, a bigger picture that really does allow all value systems to arise, but only worldcentric behavior to be tolerated. I long for this silly Utopian view of a World Federation, where "everybody is right" but only if some are more right than others (e.g., worldcentric is more right than ethnocentric; see excerpt B, "Three Principles Helpful for Any Integrative Approach" [posted on this site]). I long for the freedom and fullness of integral awareness shared by as many sentient beings as possible. I long for a time when an integral approach is not vehemently hated by green and blue alike. But, alas, I am doomed to long largely in isolation, it seems.

Still, the world has to do what the world has to do. My own belief is that, in the coming century, we will see the present United Nations peacefully replaced by the first move toward a genuine World Federation, driven particularly by threats to the global commons that cannot be handled on a national level (such as terrorism, global monetary and economic policy, and environmental threats to the global commons).

I believe that the first World Federation will likely be orange-to-green. My hope is that it will be healthy green, but who knows? I believe that any such green World Federation will make substantial strides toward world harmony, but it will eventually face the inherent limitations and contradictions of all first-tier perspectives. The equivalent of worldwide, politically-correct thought-police will surface—a green Inquisition, if you will—whose subtle brutalities, accompanied by a series of extremely unpleasant economic events brought about by green's hobbling of orange business, will force a second-tier, yellow, World Federation to move haltingly into place. (Orange business cripples ecology; ecological green cripples orange business; both are forms of first-tier violence, neither of which is countenanced by yellow, and thus the first World Federation will likely be characterized, among numerous other forms of wholeness in practice, by a reconciliation between capitalism and ecology.) But that, I believe, will be at least a century or so away.

Until that time, I harbor the pain of vision unrequited. Until that time, the loneliness of integral heavily weighs on any who yearn for wholeness in action. Until that time, the bright promise of a tomorrow that coheres is no consolation but source of torment, for those of you who are so cursed.

Until that time—and given that today no government, no protest movement, and no national or international policy is yet integral—one is forced to ask: what can I personally do in the face of today's dire circumstances? Here I can only repeat what I said in my earlier comment, and I do mean this with deep conviction:

unfortunately, the world needs integral action. unfortunately, it will not get it, whether we go to war or not. still, better to light one candle than curse the darkness. so we work on ourselves and attempt to increase our own integral consciousness to some degree each day, so that in the end we leave the world just a little bit more whole than we found it.............

kw

14 april, 2003.

---end excerpts---


To me, the above explanation vastly exceeds in coherence anything I have ever read from any Baha'is (once you study the "color schemes" and a basic understanding of their relationship to social evolutionary "stages").

Wilber's scheme does not require everyone to "convert" to the Baha'i Faith, it simply explains the evolutionary tragectory of human society toward greater levels of compassion and altruism, and how the emergence of more evolved paradigms in human consciousness inevitably leads to a "crisis of legitimization" of old paradigms, a crisis that usually results in huge levels of cultural, political and military conflict.

In other words, Wilber is trying to be a spiritual "futurist", and is trying to predict the best course for humanity toward a better world in which spirituality is reintegrated into (post/)modernity.

Wilber's scheme is based on "science" as well as mysticism, so it has a truly "universal" appeal, and is open to anyone that sees some validity to the applicability of evolutionary theory to spiritual and social phenomena.

This is in contrast to Baha'is who refer to the future as something that can't be understood an anything other than near apocalyptic terms, and who can't foresee any movement toward world peace outside of a mass conversion process to Baha'i belief (a scenario that is impractical and problematic, at best, in my opinion).

Again, to come back to the original point of this thread, the censorship of viewpoints that are based on "conservative realism", such as http://www.samsonblinded.info, by the commercial "post-modern" counterculture (such as amazon.com) is a huge mistake.

It is also a huge mistake for Baha'is to labor under the impression that they are the only people in the world that will be able to work in practical ways toward the reduction of religious or political hostility (the "clash of civilizations" as it is referred to in foreign policy analysis). Indeed, it looks like other "futurists" are better positioned to propose ways that people can move toward world peace, without needing to "convert" to a new religion as many Baha'is think.

Regards,
Eric

Sean H.
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Oct 16, 2008 9:25 pm

sorry if I sounded harsh

Postby Sean H. » Fri Aug 11, 2006 10:31 am

To BW and other readers,

Sorry if my criticism sounded overly harsh.

I think it is a mistake for Baha'is to adopt a belief system (interpretation of Baha'i scripture) that is a variant of the old "Jesus is the only Way to Salvation" thing.

- - -

http://bahai-library.com/compilations/b ... res/3.html

"71. The second glad tidings: it is sanctioned that all the nations of the world consort with each other with joy and fragrance. Consort ye, O people, with all religions with joy and fragrance! Thus hath the orb of permission and desire shone forth from the horizon of the heaven of the command of God, the lord of the creatures."

"94. Consort with all religions in joy and fragrance; show forth that which is declared by the Speaker of the Mount; and render justice in affairs. The followers of sincerity and faithfulness must consort with all the people of the world with joy and fragrance; for association is always conducive to union and harmony, and union and harmony are the cause of the order of the world"

- - -

http://bahai-library.com/compilations/b ... res/4.html

"147. Consort with all the people in love and fragrance. Fellowship is the cause of unity, and unity is the source of order in the world. Blessed are they who are kind and serve with love."

- - -

In light of the above quotes, I fail to see how the idea that Baha'i beliefs are the "only" way to solve the world's problems is compatible with "sincerity" and "consorting with joy and fragrance". Certainly many people of other religions/beliefs will become upset and/or hostile when told that their beliefs are somehow "inferior" to those of Baha'is, particularly when there is no "evidence" that such is (at least universally) the case.

The further problem is that if one thinks they have the "only" Way, then there is much less motivation to understand other beliefs and ideas.

That, in my opinion, is one of the major reasons that Baha'i culture has become as stagnant (unwilling to embrace and understand the rest of the world) as it has.

That said, I have no problem with a properly tempered form of Baha'i "exceptionalism" as long as it is informed by the actual realities in the world, and is proven to be practical.

Regards,
Eric

onepence
Posts: 473
Joined: Sat Feb 04, 2006 2:44 pm
Location: Longwood, FL, USA

Postby onepence » Fri Aug 11, 2006 1:11 pm

THE KITÁB-I-AQDAS

http://reference.bahai.org/en/t/b/KA/ka-4.html

The first duty prescribed by God for His servants is the recognition of Him Who is the Dayspring of His Revelation and the Fountain of His laws, Who representeth the Godhead in both the Kingdom of His Cause and the world of creation. Whoso achieveth this duty hath attained unto all good; and whoso is deprived thereof hath gone astray, though he be the author of every righteous deed. It behoveth every one who reacheth this most sublime station, this summit of transcendent glory, to observe every ordinance of Him Who is the Desire of the world. These twin duties are inseparable. Neither is acceptable without the other. Thus hath it been decreed by Him Who is the Source of Divine inspiration.

////////////////////
///////////////////
//////////////////

The question than for man is "Who representeth the Godhead" for without knowing this than, according to Baha'u'llah, man has "gone astray". This is why many Baha'is seek to inform others that Baha'u'llah is .... has been and always will be Baha'u'llah.

many people will attempt to slice and dice the truth ... but the Truth can not be divided ... there is one God and therefore only one "Godhead".

With all "sincerity" I find that there is plenty of "evidence" that the Baha'i Faith is the "only" Way to attain "unto all good".

I also recognize that people if not dealt with judicially {with justice} can and will become "upset and/or hostile" ... for according to Baha'u'llah it is Justice that all men seek ... think of all the injustices there are in this world ... and then think of what a world where True Justice reigns ...

For me the greatest injustices so far that I have experiences with was the muslim believers refusing to allow the Baha'i Faith to openly coexist in peace with our Islamic friends.

In brief, for me at least, the Baha'i Faith is the "only Way" to solve the world's problems ... for what the world needs is "Justice" ... what is the just solution for Israel/Palestine ... according to some interpertations of religious scripture ... well you guys know or can figure out the rest ... key word Zion ... but then we get into issues of interpertation ... and the final solution of "the recognition of Him Who is the Dayspring of His Revelation and the Fountain of His laws, Who representeth the Godhead in both the Kingdom of His Cause and the world of creation."

a person of oneness,
the apostle dean

Sean H.
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Oct 16, 2008 9:25 pm

assemblies "brought to naught"

Postby Sean H. » Mon Aug 14, 2006 3:27 pm

Correcting some typos just after posting the following......

onepence wrote:THE KITÁB-I-AQDAS

http://reference.bahai.org/en/t/b/KA/ka-4.html

The first duty prescribed by God for His servants is the recognition of Him Who is the Dayspring of His Revelation and the Fountain of His laws, Who representeth the Godhead in both the Kingdom of His Cause and the world of creation. Whoso achieveth this duty hath attained unto all good; and whoso is deprived thereof hath gone astray, though he be the author of every righteous deed. It behoveth every one who reacheth this most sublime station, this summit of transcendent glory, to observe every ordinance of Him Who is the Desire of the world. These twin duties are inseparable. Neither is acceptable without the other. Thus hath it been decreed by Him Who is the Source of Divine inspiration.

////////////////////
///////////////////
//////////////////



re:
"It behoveth every one who reacheth this most sublime station, this summit of transcendent glory, to observe every ordinance of Him Who is the Desire of the world. "

Baha'is of course do not "observe every ordinance". Far from it.

e.g., Baha'i culture and bureaucracy has some highly dysfunctional characteristics, some of which have unfortunately become rigidly institutionalized (I use the term in its broad, sociological context to mean that beliefs and practices become formalized in various ways in an "organizational" sense, tend to become part of a group's "memory", and so forth).

The Baha'i writings state clearly that God Him/Herself will cause "assemblies" to be "brought to naught" if the proper intellectual and spiritual "requisites" are not met (harmony, consideration of minority views, etc.).

The Baha'i writings also state (iirc) that God will "raise up a new race of men" if Baha'is fail in their mission (paraphrase).

As such, I see little reason for hubris, and much reason for caution and humility.

What systems theory tells us is that there are naturally occuring ("emergent") patterns of "self-learning and self-organization" (self-correction) throughout nature.

Any form of human group behavior that puts too much emphasis on its own internal distinctiveness usually starts to interfere with self-honesty and self-corrective tendencies. In other words, too much group conformism works against creative social dynamics, works against constructive self-criticism, and leads to unhealthy levels of stasis.

Again, and very enlightening article on the subject that is NOT written by Baha'is:

http://www.esalenctr.org/display/confpa ... 3&pgtype=1

excerpt:

Transformative Practices
An Esalen Invitational Conference
November 28 - December 2, 1999

Human Change Processes
Michael Mahoney

Michael began by discussing how humans classify and organize as a way of structuring experience. His goal is to become more aware of the categories and constructs. He is especially interested in the role of crisis and disorder to motivate someone to discover new ways of constructing meaning and experience.

Constructivism has roots in both Eastern and Western philosophies. It is related to evolutionary epistemology (Popper, Don Campbell) as well as complexity studies (chaos, self-organizing, autopoeisis, dissipative structures of Prigogine). A lot of the recent intellectual climate has tended to deconstruction, which can be destructive. Michael loves Wilber's comment that the deconstructive post-modernists are driven by the Tag Team from Hell: Nihilism and Narcissism. Hence, he is trying to work from a more constructive post-modern platform.
. . .

Humans are thus embodied theories of self & world, seeking a Sisyphian balance -- a "dynamilbria" -- between old and new activity patterns. Dynamilibria refers to a moving balance, which is different than the static balance typical of equilibria. Michael uses Sisyphus as a metaphor because we never quite get there; we are always leaning into the next moment. A major contention of constructivists is that novelty is necessary for development. We need new perspectives and experiences to keep exploring that edge. Too little novelty --> no change. Too much --> systemic contraction or a lack of functioning. All living systems have a natural and healthy resistance to change. We can only take so much change at one time. The long term view resembles respiration, with cycles of breathing in and out.

The main question for Michael is how we can help structure individually paced challenges that honor the current coherence needs of an individual while also presenting opportunities for experimentation and new ways of being. This is much easier said than done. It happens moment to moment in therapy. It happens in phases in relationship -- opening and closing.

Evolutionary processes are usually described as external to us, but internal psychological patterns reflect those same evolutionary processes. The essence of Darwinian evolution involves three things: variation, selection, and retention. The psychospiritual analogues are creative exploration or flexibility (variation), virtue (selection), and practice (retention). Development is a process of continuous edging. One fact emerging from recent studies in neurosciences is that variability precedes the next step in development. Chaos is thus a good thing at times. Some scientists even suggest that the brain creates chaos as a means of identifying patterns.

This approach excites him because it depathologizes disorder and disorganization. So much of our culture has been orderly and fearful of disorder. From a complex systems perspective, episodes of disorder are a necessary and healthy expression of an open system. In fact, he thinks it is odd how we label some psychological patterns "disorders" when they are, in fact, marked by excessive order. Obsessive compulsive disorder is a case in point. In such situations, there is a restriction of exploratory behavior. Michael noted that instances of enduring transformation are often preceded by episodes of dropping away of previous order. Functioning will take a temporary dip, then move up to the next step. Finally, he stated his belief that we teach wisdom by patience, perseverance, and practice.

An idea that attracts Michael is the idea of rapid quantum change. There is no question that it happens. Bill Miller's work with recovering alcoholics, for example, was built upon people having a deep spiritual or religious experience. Our core ordering processes can make dramatic shifts. However there is often a relapse. He thinks that any pattern of activity that has served the survival of the system gets tenure neurologically. We never lose these capacities. New patterns of activity begin to compete with old activity patterns but the old ones are still in the race. When we push too hard or get tired, they often come back to the foreground. A key point is not to reject the former identity or pattern as bad, but to develop a sense of self that is large enough to embrace the old pattern while going beyond it.
. . .

Fred Luskin added that people's stories are more malleable than we think. Forgiveness work often entails undoing the story of suffering that people rehearse and reinforce. Michael Murphy discussed how we are forever subsuming our past in a new gestalt. At each stage of his life, exposure to new ideas and practices (e.g. Spiegelberg, Aurobindo, Fritz Perls) has rendered his previous stance largely untenable. Once we get into comparative issues, it is very hard to place oneself back in any tradition. Michael Mahoney noted that what changes when a person changes are relationships between patterns of meaning. Developmentally, not only can we not "go home again," but more subtly, wherever we think home is, we are further along than that. As "home" becomes the content of experience rather than an unseen background, we are no longer located there. Subject becomes object.

Don brought up the counterpoint that subsumption doesn't always apply. Certain patterns, beliefs, and habits turn out to just be wrong and need to be jettisoned. This especially comes up in somatic patterns or stories, many of which are just dropped. Jeff added that his stated goal with undergraduates is to "utterly confuse" them, which is what happens when we really enter into the act of comparing religious stances. Comparison undermines the metaphysical certainty that most students have. The act of comparison is intrinsically deconstructive, a profound epistemological move. Kaisa felt that this talk of subsumption neglects another dimension, which is an increase in fluidity and flexibility, leading to profound non-attachment. In meditation retreats, complex and beautiful geometric patterns appear in the mind's eye but the same ones never return.

George noted that after writing a great deal on transformation for one of his books, he felt something was lacking. He had the insight that he also had to sing the praises of homeostasis as a vital ordering function for the human organism. His book Mastery explored in detail the dialectic between change and homeostasis. A homeostatic reaction occurs whether the change is for the good or for the bad. It depends only the magnitude of the change.
. . .


onepence wrote:
The question than for man is "Who representeth the Godhead"


That doesn't address any of the specific points I've made in this thread.

You can't just beat people over the head with "my religion (or Manifestation/Scripture/etc.) is superior to yours" when some criticism is made, you have to be able to argue on the basis of practical knowledge and experience (enactment/application).

What specifically is it that Baha'i scripture tells us about the establishment of a World Federation, in practical terms?

I would say "not much".

Baha'i scripture tells us that a world federation is needed, and after that, "someone else" has to come up with most of the specifics.

I don't know if the lack of specifics is the cause of people groping around for a unsatisfactory answer, but filling the void with "everyone has to convert to Baha'i to make world peace happen" is not going to be a convicing argument for many people, especially people that are currently in the process of getting blown up in Israel or Lebanon or other places.

Specifically, you have not addressed the question of why the Universal House of Justice said that Baha'i scholars should "contribute to integrative paradigms" that have been developed in the non-Baha'i world (as an alternative to failed "liberal vs. conservative" conflict)!

You have also not addressed the issue of what integral science says about applying evolutionary theory to human consciousness and spirituality, and what the implications of that are for almost every other area of knowledge, for healing, and so forth.

Without something like integral science to "fill in the blanks", progressive revelation is simply too broad of a "developmental" (evolutionary) framework to be meaningful outside of a purely religious context.

The reason that I mention that is that progressive revelation (as stated: that all human social evolution results from the direct or indirect Revelation caused by the appearance of a Manifestation/Prophet) simply can't explain large areas of human history, at least not easily or "authoritatively" (in the context of relevant scriptural specifics).

There are many different forms of spirituality, consciousness, and belief that have emerged over thousands of years that have no obvious relationship to the traditions of the "major religions" or any documented "prophetic figures" within those other cultures.

If one accepts the basic idea that there are broad "pre-modern", "modernist" and "post-modernist" forms of cultural evolution, and that all the Manifestations up to the Bab were "pre-modern" in their cultural context, then we have a big problem. The big problem appears to be that Mohammad could not have inspired "modernism" since "modernism" (as a dominant cultural expression) did not occur until 1,000 years after Mohammad's Revelation.

Modernism, as a major cultural expression, started at least as early as the 1600s (protestant reformation, the rise of science/technology in their early modern forms, industrialization, capitalism, democracy), WELL BEFORE the Bab or Baha'u'llah's revelations.

So, the existence of the most powerful cultural paradigm on the planet over the last 400+ years ("modernism") simply has no (obvious?) explanation in "progressive revelation". !?!

Indeed, the whole scenario of the western "Prophetic" traditions (even when broadened and "univeralized" as in progressive revelation) is a fairly narrow structure for explaining spirituality and human consciousness compared to more open approaches like Hinduism, Buddhism, and so forth.

I think that someone could possibly propose a historical theory that the ancient Jewish "prophets" had to create a linguistic construct of "Prophethood" to get their "superstitious" tribal people's to "buy into" their spiritual, social and political reforms.

In other words, the tremendous spiritual and intellectuals gifts of specific historical figures were placed into an exaggerated context ("God's Chosen People"), and then transfered to "Heroic" leadership figures (Prophets) with "supernatural" powers (that were probably "embellished" literary metaphors for what were likely to have been more subtle powers).

The variability of "frameworks of belief" even within the great traditions is probably most evident when examining the analysis texts such as the Nag Hammadi texts ("Gnostic Gospels" in the Christian tradition).

Some of these "missing Gospels" clearly are more "eastern" in their orientation, and the Christian people that believed in such broad, mystical frameworks were viciously hunted down by the church leaders that wanted a more focused belief system that would allow for efficient social organization for political and military purposes (see Elaine Pagel's reent work)


onepence wrote:
for without knowing this than, according to Baha'u'llah, man has "gone astray". This is why many Baha'is seek to inform others that Baha'u'llah is .... has been and always will be Baha'u'llah.


The unvarnished truth is that plenty of people will "go astray" even after they become Baha'is (and, as Abdu'l-Baha stated, will corrupt Baha'i administration due to selfishness and lust for power), so "conversion" isn't any sure path to "salvation" (being able to "observe every ordinance").

Most of the "teaching fetish" (dysfunctional expression of the need to find "converts") is apparently caused by a groping for some answer, even a bad one, for various questions that are caused by "cognitiive dissonance" when they notice things that have internal logic, but are contradictory to some other element of the belief system.

People that are overly honest in their internal criticisms of a group's dominant expression of belief are frequently attacked, such as when people make groundless inferences/accusations that a non-conformist or critic is a "covenant breaker".


onepence wrote:
many people will attempt to slice and dice the truth ... but the Truth can not be divided ... there is one God and therefore only one "Godhead".


Which isn't likely to be particularly relevant to people looking for practical solutions to specific social and political problems.

You can't just use the same "My Manifestation is better than your Manifestation, so CONVERT!", as a reply to every single question or criticism.

People will see it for the evangelism that it is, and will then also see that Baha'i culture has various highly dysfunctional tendencies in its "organizational culture" that will make them seriously wonder about tthe relevance of the monolithic "My Manifestation is better than yours" answer to every complex question.


onepence wrote:
With all "sincerity" I find that there is plenty of "evidence" that the Baha'i Faith is the "only" Way to attain "unto all good".


What there is plenty of evidence for is that the dysfunctional evangelical version of Baha'i culture lacks the self-correcting tendencies needed to escape the "gravity well" of its historical origins, and so it reverts to irrelevant premodern "tribal" archetypes in a last gasp of self preservation.




onepence wrote:
I also recognize that people if not dealt with judicially {with justice} can and will become "upset and/or hostile" ... for according to Baha'u'llah it is Justice that all men seek ... think of all the injustices there are in this world ... and then think of what a world where True Justice reigns ...


True Justice is dependent on honesty (self-knowedge).

Unfortunately a lot of "dysfunctional stuff" has seeped into Baha'i culture and disrupted the process of acquiring unvarnished self-knowedge, and then on acting on that knowedge to make needed social changes within Baha'i culture.


onepence wrote:
For me the greatest injustices so far that I have experiences with was the muslim believers refusing to allow the Baha'i Faith to openly coexist in peace with our Islamic friends.


With all due respect, the persecution of Baha'is by Muslims, which is indeed horrific, is barely a speck of a blip on the "radar screen" of genocide in the world over the last 100 years or so.

onepence wrote:
In brief, for me at least, the Baha'i Faith is the "only Way" to solve the world's problems ... for what the world needs is "Justice" ... what is the just solution for Israel/Palestine ... according to some interpertations of religious scripture ... well you guys know or can figure out the rest ... key word Zion ... but then we get into issues of interpertation ... and the final solution of "the recognition of Him Who is the Dayspring of His Revelation and the Fountain of His laws, Who representeth the Godhead in both the Kingdom of His Cause and the world of creation."

a person of oneness,
the apostle dean



I do not see how stating that world peace has to be dependent on everyone converting to Baha'i belief to have any True Justice in it. On the contrary, that "belief" would probably be a massive source for people to stop caring about doing anything on a practical level to work toward finding ways to think about how to create a World Federation and World Police force that are needed to stop the kind of terrorism at the root of the current problems.

Regards,
Eric

onepence
Posts: 473
Joined: Sat Feb 04, 2006 2:44 pm
Location: Longwood, FL, USA

Postby onepence » Mon Aug 14, 2006 10:32 pm

Hi Guys,

It certainly is an honor to have my little writings offer so much thought and feedback from others, for indeed it certainly has been a pleasant surprise to see so much commentary.

As far as I know the Baha'i Faith is the only valid candidate to offer True Justice on a Scriptual basis espousing the necessaity for a World Federation and World Police force.

I also firmly state that this World Federation and World Police force is currently being demonstrated by The Universal House of Justice.

I also understand that many a diverse people will unite in their efforts to attack The Universal House of Justice, in fact it would not surprise me at all if such attacks became so common place that the members of the Baha'i Faith will, for a period of predetermined time, eventually be deprived of having that illustrious Institution elected every five years.

I pray that those who attempt to blemish the good name of the Baha'i Faith will eventually be so transformed by the Mercy of God that they will entirely forget what sorrow/s their hearts once contained.

“Let nothing grieve thee, O Land of Tá, for God hath chosen thee to be the source of the joy of all mankind."

oneness
dh

Sean H.
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Oct 16, 2008 9:25 pm

inquisitions in the Baha'i community

Postby Sean H. » Tue Aug 15, 2006 11:11 am

Abdu'l-Baha:

"Holding to the letter of the law is many times an indication of a desire
for leadership. One who assumes to be the enforcer of the law shows an
intellectual understanding of the Cause, but that spiritual guidance in them is not yet established.
. . .
How regrettable! Some even use the affairs of the Cause and its
activities as a means of revenge on account of some personal spite, or fancied injury, interfering with the work of another, or seeking its failure. Such only destroy their own success, did they know the truth."
Star of the West, vol. 6, no. 6 (June 24, 1915)


(more below.....)

onepence wrote:Hi Guys,

It certainly is an honor to have my little writings offer so much thought and feedback from others, for indeed it certainly has been a pleasant surprise to see so much commentary.

As far as I know the Baha'i Faith is the only valid candidate to offer True Justice on a Scriptual basis espousing the necessaity for a World Federation and World Police force.

I also firmly state that this World Federation and World Police force is currently being demonstrated by The Universal House of Justice.

I also understand that many a diverse people will unite in their efforts to attack The Universal House of Justice, in fact it would not surprise me at all if such attacks became so common place that the members of the Baha'i Faith will, for a period of predetermined time, eventually be deprived of having that illustrious Institution elected every five years.

I pray that those who attempt to blemish the good name of the Baha'i Faith will eventually be so transformed by the Mercy of God that they will entirely forget what sorrow/s their hearts once contained.

“Let nothing grieve thee, O Land of Tá, for God hath chosen thee to be the source of the joy of all mankind."

oneness
dh


----------------------

If people would actually address the specific points made in the discussion, it would be very helpful.

The Universal House of Justice is not acting in any real manner to facilitate a World Federation or World Police force. Some Baha'i might think that Baha'i scripture "predicts" that such will be the case (and therefore exists in some weird "embryonic" spiritual form that is meaningful to people on a theoretical basis), but that verges on being superstitious gooblydygook in my opinion (and therefore will have exactly the opposite of the intended effect, as people in the "real world" once again see that Baha'is currently have no practical competence in solving actual problems).

As Abdu'l-Baha and the Guardian make very clear, the Baha'is themselves are a huge problem (see appended quotation). One of the problems is that evangelists, fundamentalists and authoritarians abuse power and hide the dysfunctionalities and weaknesses of their value systems behind invocations of institutional authority (or scri[ptural "truth claims") in order to attempt to frighten off anyone that is honest about the dysfunctional nature of Baha'i culture.

However, this tactic is not only a complete violation of the Baha'i "ordinances" that were cited previously in this thread, it is frequently a gross, fraudulent and inappropriate usurpation of institutional authority itself.

As Baha'i history clearly demonstrates, some of the worst Covenant Breakers were people with appallingly rigid and doctinaire attitudes about "authority issues" whose psyches "snapped" when made to deal with realities (e.g., the need for "moderation") that didn't "fit" their narrow view of life.

As an ex-Baha'i, all that stuff just looks to me like a silly game to perpetuate a pointless and futile paradigm that is outmoded and simply produces more rot, degeneration (as well as both "internal" and "external" "opposition"). I've seen any number of abusers of authority (and their supporters) "purged" from institutional positions by the BWC after they caused huge damage in the Baha'i community by fomenting internal "inquisitions" of nonconformists and critics.

On the other hand, very real semi-organized attacks on Baha'i institutions have been made, most recently by what I call the "Baha'i left", a loose group of people that use "bait and switch" tactics to lure in people that are disillusioned by the dysfunctional nature of Baha'i culture in general, and/or abuses of institutional authority specifically, and when the disillusioned are "hooked" on the "support" given to them by the Baha'i left, then they are indoctrinated into an ideologically driven radicalized, ultraliberal, politically correct polemic viewpoint that is hostile to the mainstream of Baha'i culture. I think that many/most of the "prominent spokepeople" (I've been told to not refer to them as "leaders") on the Baha'i left are bitter failed reformers who had hoped that their talents would propel them into positions of power from which they would become "heroic" counterculture revolutionaries.

So, in my opinion, there are two major groups of people that are contributing to the degeneration of Baha'i culture.

Both groups have highly biased and ideologically driven "agendas", and it is extremely difficult to extract either "Truth" or "True Justice" in any form from either the fundamentalist/evangelical/authoritarian group, or the "Baha'i left" group.

The dismal situation described above could be solved if Baha'is would stop engaging in such ideological "culture wars", make a "sincere" effort to comprehend differing perspectives (instead of relying only on "mere opposition") and take the Universal House of Justice's advice to adopt "integrative paradigms" instead of clinging to intellectually lazy, narrow minded and/or fundamentalist attitudes.

Regards,
Eric


... one of the clearest statements on the dangers of holding positions of authority within the Baha'i community is from the Master, who writes:


"No obstacle should be placed before any soul which might prevent it from
finding the truth. Baha'u'llah revealed his directions, teachings and laws so that souls might know God, and not that any utterance might become an obstacle in their way.

Holding to the letter of the law is many times an indication of a desire
for leadership. One who assumes to be the enforcer of the law shows an
intellectual understanding of the Cause, but that spiritual guidance in them is not yet established.

The alphabet of things is for children, that they may in time use their
reasoning powers. "Following the spirit" is a guidance by and through the heart, the prompter of the spirit. The Pharisees were extremely orthodox, holding strictly to the law. They were the cause of the condemnation and ultimate crucifixion of Jesus. . . .

The ones in real authority are known by their humility and self-sacrifice
and show no attitude of superiority over the friends. Some time ago a tablet was written stating that none are appointed to any authority to do anything but to serve the Cause as true servants of the friends-and for this no tablet is necessary; such service when true and unselfish requires no announcement, no following, nor written document.

Let the servant be known by his deeds, by his life!

To be approved by God alone should be one's aim.

When God calls a soul to a high station, it is because that soul has
supplicated to be taken into His service. No envies, jealousies, calumnies,
slanders, plots, nor schemes, will ever move God to remove a soul from its intended place, for by the grace of God, such actions on the part of the people are the test of the servant, testing his strength, forbearance, endurance, and sincerity under adversity. At the same time those who show forth envies, jealousies, etc. toward a servant, are depriving themselves of their own stations, and not another of his, for they prove by their own acts that they are not only unworthy of being called to any station awaiting them, but also prove they cannot withstand the very first test-that of rejoicing over the success of their neighbor, at which God rejoices. Only by such a sincere joy can the gift of God descend unto a pure heart.

Envy closes the door of Bounty, and jealousy prevents one from ever
attaining to the Kingdom of Abha.

No! Before God! No one can deprive another of his rightful station, that
can only be lost by one's unwillingness or failure to do the will of God, or by seeking to use the Cause of God for one's own gratification or ambition.

No one save a severed soul or a sincere heart finds response from God.

By assisting in the success of another servant in the Cause does one in reality lay the foundation for one's own success and aspirations.
Ambitions are an abomination before the Lord!

How regrettable! Some even use the affairs of the Cause and its
activities as a means of revenge on account of some personal spite, or fancied injury, interfering with the work of another, or seeking its failure. Such only destroy their own success, did they know the truth.
Star of the West, vol. 6, no. 6 (June 24, 1915)

---end---

Sean H.
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Oct 16, 2008 9:25 pm

M. Scott Peck's "people of the lie"

Postby Sean H. » Tue Aug 15, 2006 2:47 pm

richard,

warm-fuzzy-huggy pluralism and relativism have their limits, at least from an Integral perspective.

In order to stop attacks based on false accusations of spiritual unworthiness, firmness and resolve is required. The people doing the attacking are in a state of psychic chaos that is immune from rational discussion or nicey-nicey rhetoric. They usually respond only to the imposition of order by a "higher" authority.

For several decades I've seen nonconformist Baha'is attacked, a number of times viciously, by people abusing authority in the Bahai community.

The abusers almost always have cheerleaders, puppets and parrots that support a conformist ideology that is at odds with anything but a narrow literalist/fundamentalist stance.

The psychic damage caused to the "victims" of such attacks is usually profound, and I think that such damage ripples out and causes even more damage in the wider community, stopping creative social dynamics, and causing stagnation, apathy, despair and hopelessness. Once those stasist effects take root, the abusers then proceed to blame the community for "all problems", accusing everyone except the leadership clique of "spiritual unworthiness" of one form or another. Then the "teaching fethish" comes into full bloom and anything and everything else besides an obsession for gaining converts is subsumed into the vortex of the obsession (causing a massive collapse of categories of meaning that results in vast confusion, etc.)

fyi: I personally am sensitive to all of these dehumanizing pathologies in Baha'i culture because I was coerced into signing a "declaration card" by people that saw "converts" as little more than a statistic. All the "nicey nicey" Baha'i stuff is frequently just the ruse in the original Baha'i bait-n-switch scheme.

The accusatory language employed by someone in this thread is exactly the same language used over and over by the people I've seen who abuse power and authority in the Baha'i community (or support such). such attacks usually employ a thin veneer of pompous and sanctimonious phraseology in an attempt to cover up the real intentions of the attack.

The whole thing is dismal, medieval and unenlightened.

As far as respecting people's "backward" viewpoints goes, in theory I agree (see the appended text by theologian/phsychiatrist M. Scott Peck which is pertinent). However when such backward viewpoints are used as the basis for attacking nonconformists and critics, they result in behavor that is completely uncivilized, and should be protested vigorously in support of the principle of open intellectual inquiry (e.g., Lord Acton).

In other words, respect for "other" ("diverse") viewpoints (pluralism) has to stop at the point where someone advocating a particular viewpoint attempts to shove their viewpoint down the throats of people that have a different viewpoint.

Pluralism has another problem in that it tends to be (characteristically) "allergic" to any kind of "ranking" or "hierarchy".

Thus, it can't meaningfully differentiate between "lower order" (primitive) perspectives/paradigms and "higher order" (advanced) perspectives.

Integralism overcomes the limitations of pluralism/relativism by both "transcending" and "including" the valid elements of "lower order" paradigms in an integral Kosmology.

- - -

Please note that the original topic in this thread was a protest of censorship! It is incredibly ironic that the discussion itself has produced a typical example of the kind of conformist censorship that exists in the degenerate form of Baha'i culture!

Please feel free to give me your honest opinions, they are greatly appreciated.

Regards,
Eric

[sorry for the occasional weird ["?] characters, they apparently got munged in the cut/paste process in some previous excerpt that I saved on my hard drive, possibly because the original web page was in another language, and/or because of a messed up computerized text scan.]


http://www.home.fh-karlsruhe.de/~hape0002/Peck.htm
(broken URL)

M. Scott Peck - Further Along the Road Less Travelled

The stages of spiritual growth

Our unique human capacity for change and transformacion is reflected in our human spirituality. … There are different stages of spiritual growth or religious development. … I arrived at my own understandig of these stages not out of book learning but through experience. (One) of those noncomputing experiences occurred more gradually …

After I had been practicing psychotherapy for some years, a strange pattern began to emerge. If religious people come to see me because they were in pain and trouble and difficulty, and they really got involved in therapy, then - more often than not - they would leave therapy as questioners, doubters, sceptics, agnostics, possibly even atheists. But if atheists or agnostics or sceptics came to me in pain, trouble, and difficulty and they really got involved in therapy, then - more often then not - they would leave therapy having become deeply religious or spiritually concerned people.

This pattern just made no sense, did not compute. Same therapist, same therapy, successful yet utterly opposite results. I could not figure this out, until it slowly began to dawn on me that we are not all at the same place spiritually and that there are these different stages. We must look at them with caution and flexibility, however, because God has this rather peculiar way of interfering with my categories sometimes, and people do not always fall quite as neatly into my psychospiritual pigeonholes as I might like them to do.

At the beginning - the bottom, if you wish - is Stage One, which I label
"chaotic/antisocial". This stage probably encompasses about twenty percent of the population, including those whom I call people of the lie. In general, this is a stage of absent spirituality and the people at this stage are utterly unprincipled. I call it antisocial because while they are capable of pretending to be loving, actually all of their relationships with their fellow human beings are self-serving and unprincipled, they have no mechanism that might govern them other than their own will. Since the unharnessed will can go this way one day and that way the next, their being is consequently chaotic. Because it is, the people in this stage will frequently be found in trouble or difficulty, and often in jails or hospitals or out on the street.

[*] Some of them, however, may actually be
[*] quite self-disciplined, from time to time,
[*] in the service of their ambition and may
[*] rise to positions of considerable prestige
[*] and power.

They may even become presidents or famous preachers. The people in Stage One may occasionally get in touch with the chaos of their own being. And when they do, it is perhaps the single most painful experience a human can have. Generally, they just ride it out, but if this painful experience continues, they may kill themselves, and I think that some unexplained suicides may fall into this category. Or occasionally, they may

[***] convert to Stage Two.

Such conversions are usually ["?] I say usually because there are always exceptions very sudden and dramatic. It is as if God literally reaches down and grabs that soul and yanks it up in a quantum leap. Something astonishing happens to that person and it is usually totally unconscious. lf it could be made conscious, I think it would be as if that person said to himself or herself, I am willing to do anything ["?] anything ["?] in order to liberate myself from this chaos, even submit myself to an institution for my governance." And so it is that they

[***] convert to Stage Two,

which I have labelled "formal/institutional." I label it institutional because people in it are dependent upon an institution for their governance. For some the institution may be a prison. In such places, in my experience, there is always a prisoner who, when the new psychiatrist comes in
to work in the prison, gathers a group of fellow inmates together for a group therapy session, who is the warden's right ["?] hand man, yet who somehow manages never to get a shiv stuck between his ribs. He is a model prisoner and a model citizen Because he is so well adjusted in the institution, he is always paroled at the first possible opportunity. Immediately he becomes a walking crime wave, and within a week of his parole, he is rearrested and put right back behind bars, where once again he becomes a model citizen with the walls of the institution around him

[***] to organize his being.

For others the institution may be the military. This is a profoundly positive role the military plays in our and other societies. There are tens of thousands of people who would lead chaotic lives were it not for the rather paternalistic and in some ways maternalistic structuring of the military. For still others, the institution to which they submit themselves for their governance may be a highly organized business corporation. But for most people, it is the church. Indeed, the majority of churchgoers fall into Stage Two, the formal/institutional stage. Although there are gradations and nothing is absolutely cut ["?] and ["?] dried within these stages, certain things tend to characterize people's religious behaviour in Stage Two.

As mentioned, they are dependent on the institution of the church for their governance, and I call it formal because they are very attached to the forms of the religion

[*] Stage Two people become very, very upset
[*] if someone starts changing forms or rituals,
[*] altering their liturgy or introducing new hymns.


For example, in the Episcopal church, in the mid ["?] seventies, it was decided that there might be some alternative ways to say the same things on different Sundays, and many people were so up in arms that a full ["?] blown schism resulted, Another example: In the 1960s, the Vatican 11 Council of the Roman Catholic hierarchy led to profound changes in that church, and thirty years later Pope John Paul II still
seems to be in the process of trying to undo those changes. And it's not just Episcopalians and Catholics

[*] This kind of turmoil goes on in every
[*] denomination of every religion in the
[*] world


And it's no wonder that people in Stage Two become so upset when the forms of their religion are changed, because it's

[*] precisely those forms that they depend
[*] upon to some extent for their liberation
[*] from chaos.

Another thing that tends to characterize people's religious behaviour in this stage is that their vision of God is almost entirely that of an external being.

[*] They have very little understanding of that
[*] half of God which lives inside each of us
[*] what theologians term immanent ["?] the
[*] dwelling divinity within the human spirit.

They almost totally think of God as up there, out there. They generally envision God along the masculine model, and while they believe Him to be a loving being, they also ascribe to Him a certain kind of punitive power which He is not afraid to use on appropriate occasions. It is a
vision of God as a giant benevolent cop in the sky. And in many ways, this is exactly the kind of God that people in Stage Two need.

Let's say that two people who are firmly rooted in Stage Two meet and marry and have children. They raise their children in a stable home because stability tends to be of great value to people in Stage Two. They treat their children with dignity and importance because the church says that children are important and should be treated with dignity. And while their love may be a little bit legalistic or unimaginative at times, nonetheless they are loving because the church tells them to be loving
and teaches them a little something about how to be loving. What happens to a child raised in such a stable, loving home and treated with dignity and importance That child will absorb his parents' religious principles ["?] be they Christian, Buddhist, Muslim, or Jewish ["?] like mother's milk By the time the child reaches adolescence, these principles will have become virtually engraved on his heart, or "internalised" to use the psychiatric term But once this happens, they will have become principled, self ["?] governing human beings who no longer need to
depend upon an institution for their governance. lt is at this time, which in
healthy human development is usually at adolescence, that they start saying,

`Who needs these silly myths and superstitions and this fuddy ["?] duddy old institution?"

They will then begin ["??] often to their parents' utterly unnecessary
horror and chagrin ["?] to fall away from the church, having become doubters or agnostics or atheists. At this point they have begun to

[***] convert to Stage Three,

which I call [?] skeptic/individual. Again speaking generally, people in Stage Three are ahead of people in Stage Two in their spirituality although they are not religious in the ordinary sense of the word. They are not the least bit antisocial

Often they are deeply involved in society. They are the kinds of people who tend to make up die backbone of organizations like Physicians for Social Responsibility the ecology movement They make committed and loving parents. Frequently they are scientists, and certainly
scientific ["?] minded.

Invariably they are truth seekers. And if they seek truth deeply enough, and widely enough as

[SPIRITUALITY AND HUMAN NATURE / 125]

I've suggested, they do begin to find what they are looking for and get to fit enough pieces of truth to catch glimpses of the big picture and see that it is not only very beautiful, but that it strangely resembles many of those primitive myths and superstitions their Stage Two parents or grandparents believed in. And it is at this point that they begin to

[***] convert to Stage Four,

which I call mystical/communal

I use the word "mystical" to describe this stage even though it is a word that is hard to define and one that has been given a pejorative connotation in our culture and is usually misdefined. But certain things can be said about mystics. They are people who have seen a kind of cohesion beneath the surface of things.

Throughout the ages, mystics have seen connections between men and women, between humans and other creatures, between people walking the earth and those who aren't even here. Seeing that kind of interconnectedness beneath the surface, mystics of all cultures and religions have spoken of things in terms of unity and community. They also have always spoken in terms of paradox. Mystical has as its root the word mystery. Mystics are people who love mystery. They love to solve mysteries, and yet at the same time, they know the more they solve, the more mystery they are going to encounter.

[*] But they are very comfortable living in a world of mystery whereas people in Stage Two are most uncomfortable when things aren't cut ["?] and-dried. These principles hold true not only for Christianity and not only in the United States but in all nations, cultures, and religions. Indeed, one of the things that characterize all of the world's great religions is that they seem to have a capacity to speak to people in both Stage Two and Stage Four as if the very teachings of a given religion have two different translations. To take an example from Judaism,
Psalm 111 ends with

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom."

At Stage Two this is translated to mean, "When you start fearing that big cop in the sky, you really wise up." That's true. At Stage Four it is translated to mean, "The awe of God shows you the way to enlightenment." And that's also true. "Jesus is my Saviour" is a favourite statement among Christians and provides another example. Among Stage two people, that tends to be translated to mean that Jesus is a kind of fairy godmother who can rescue me whenever I get in trouble as long as I can remember to call upon His name. And that's true; He will exactly that. Whereas in Stage Four, people read it to mean that Jesus, through His life and death, taught me the way that I myself must follow for my salvation. And that is also true.

As I noted, this quality of dual translation holds true not just for Christianity and Judaism but also for Islam, Taoism, Buddhism, and Hinduism. Indeed, I think it is what makes them great religions. They all give room for both the Stage Two and the Stage Four believers.

---end---

also see:

http://theologytoday.ptsem.edu/oct1991/ ... osium2.htm

---

additional background: http://www.mscottpeck.com/html/conversations.html
-
http://www.mscottpeck.com/html/publications.html

People of the Lie: The Hope for Healing Human Evil
(New York: Simon & Schuster, 1983).

Dr. Peck utilizes the integration of the
deepest insights of psychiatry and religion to
probe the essence of human evil. People who
are evil attack others rather than facing their
own failures. Peck demonstrates the havoc
these "People of the Lie" work in the lives of
those around them. He presents, from cases
encountered in his psychiatric practice,
unforgettably vivid incidents of evil in
everyday life. This book offers a strikingly
original approach to the age-old problem of
human evil.
...
---end---

Baha'i Warrior
Posts: 753
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 10:07 am
Location: U.S.A.

Postby Baha'i Warrior » Wed Aug 16, 2006 3:24 pm

Hi all,

I've been away for a while so I'll just share some thoughts.

Eric: you refer to a "Baha'i left" a few times. Also in a recent post you said:

For several decades I've seen nonconformist Baha'is attacked, a number of times viciously, by people abusing authority in the Bahai community.


Some stuff you say is insightful, like:

The psychic damage caused to the "victims" of such attacks is usually profound, and I think that such damage ripples out and causes even more damage in the wider community, stopping creative social dynamics, and causing stagnation, apathy, despair and hopelessness.


But one problem I see with your argument is that you are engaging in a part-to-whole fallacy. Despite the fact that the Writings (e.g. Shoghi Effendi) many times state that the Baha'i Faith is in a state of infancy, developing, you attribute seeming mistakes made by certain Baha'is (or groups such as those you call the "Baha'i left") to the whole community, and try to make out Baha'u'llah's Faith as some kind of failure.

Personally I cringe at terms such as "Baha'i left." There is no Right/Left, just as the Baha'i Faith is not broken up into sects nor will it ever be. You must not forget this, Eric: Baha'is vary in their understanding of the Writings. Some have never read past the Hidden Words or Ruhi books. Many times, in fact, confusion arises because some Baha'is simply have not read the scriptures (at least relevant ones).

Again, going back to your quote:

The psychic damage caused to the "victims" of such attacks is usually profound, and I think that such damage ripples out and causes even more damage in the wider community, stopping creative social dynamics, and causing stagnation, apathy, despair and hopelessness.


Does not 'Abdu'l-Baha Himself state that "you must love and be kind to everybody," that "you must be exceedingly kind and loving toward each other, willing to forfeit life in the pathway of another's happiness"? Furthermore, doesn't Baha'u'llah indicate that "A harsh word is like unto a sword, while gentle speech like unto milk. In this manner [gentle speech] will the children of the world attain to knowledge and improve their lot."?Finally: doesn't this theme run throughout the Writings, esp. the Hidden Words, that many call themselves "Baha'is" but few are, let us use the word "true," Baha'is? So then, these people that harshly criticize are wrong for not observing hikmat (Wisdom), as are the non-conformist Baha'is (if by non-conformist you mean they openly smoke marijuana, are homosexuals, etc.). However, if a Baha'i is remiss in following Baha'i law, and especially if he openly is neglectful of certain priciples, then a fellow Baha'i should kindly let him know and point him to relevant scripture.

Again refering to the above quote, "the psychic damage caused to the 'victims' of such attacks is usually profound": Also, we should always take care not to do the same ourselves to others (cause psychic damage through such attacks), or other groups of people. Baha'u'llah states: "He that biddeth men be just and himself committeth iniquity is not of Me, even though he bear My name."

Of course you are openly an ex-Baha'i I see, but I use such quotes since you yourself are referring to Baha'i scripture.

When you state certain things about the Faith, your attacks have to be grounded in facts. Otherwise they are mere opinions that bear no weight. You said:

fyi: I personally am sensitive to all of these dehumanizing pathologies in Baha'i culture because I was coerced into signing a "declaration card" by people that saw "converts" as little more than a statistic. All the "nicey nicey" Baha'i stuff is frequently just the ruse in the original Baha'i bait-n-switch scheme.


Where is your evidence that Baha'i tactics are "dehumanizing"? Perhaps you have never been confronted by a Christian who has told you that Jesus is the only way and that if you do not Accept Him As Your Personal Savior then you will burn in hell. Is that more humanizing? I went to private Christian schools as a kid and heard it all the time. In fact, it is not shocking any more to hear things like "You are a nice person, too bad you are going to hell." Do Baha'is ever say anything that comes close? Do we not shake non-Baha'is hands because they are "najas"? Or do we think of them as "inferiors" and "infidels"? Are we even thinking in our heads "this guy is going to hell unless I save him"? No; and if any Baha'i does he shouldn't. (If we had these kinds of thoughts in our head then how could we ever spread the Faith?) The Writings in fact tell us that no one knows what his own end will be, that people who were devoute their whole lives at the last hour forfeit it all, and vice versa, etc.

Again with quotes like:

Baha'is of course do not "observe every ordinance". Far from it.


We go back to the same basic point: we are not perfect. Even the individual members of the House are not perfect; however, when they are assembled together in unity to make a decision, that decision is perfect, or infallible, because it is protected and watched over by the Guardianship. Even Spiritual Assemblies can be wrong; the Writings state this. But why refect on such things, for it only leads to pessimism? The important thing is that we, personally as Baha'is, try our best to "observe every ordinance." If we were perfect, and if we could automatically and without any effort (since we are Baha'is) do everything perfectly, then what would be the point of "tests" or spiritual progress?

The quote you refer to:

The Baha'i writings also state (iirc) that God will "raise up a new race of men" if Baha'is fail in their mission (paraphrase).


Also no matter how much damage is done to the Faith, God's religion will never be halted; its progress may be slowed down due to Baha'is not doing their job, or people attacking it from the outside. But the point is, no one can cause damage to such a degree as to totally obliterate the Faith.

And those that attack the Baha'i Faith know of its powers and of its truth, and, driven either by jealousy or some other motive, they spend their energy to attack it. For example, preachers may see it as a challenge to the control that they hold so there is obvious motive there. Otherwise, if the Baha'i Faith doesn't and won't work, why would people even waste their time to try to attack it and convince its members that the Faith is somehow "flawed"? No one is going to go and attack some tribal African religion with only a handful of members because it posses no threat.

Despite the small number of Baha'is—again because of its nascent stage, it is offically the second most widespread world religion, and it is steadily growing. Those that attack it know just as well as the Baha'is themselves how successful the religion will be. For anything that is of God in the end will endure while all others will perish. Many are skeptical, but not those Baha'is who are well versed and try to lead a pure Baha'i life. 'Abu'l-Baha states:

    This day the powers of all the leaders of religion are directed towards the dispersion of the congregation of the All-Merciful, and the shattering of the Divine Edifice. The hosts of the world, whether material, cultural or political are from every side launching their assault, for the Cause is great, very great. Its greatness is, in this day, clear and manifest to men's eyes. It is therefore incumbent upon all who have come within the shade of the protecting wing of God's gracious providence to evince, by His divine and merciful assistance, such conspicuous steadfastness and firmness as will arrest the gaze and astound the minds of all.

    At the time of the ascension of the Spirit (Jesus Christ), the company of those who accepted the new Revelation numbered no more than a few souls. So intense was the alarm and perturbation to which that event gave rise that, for a time, these souls were quite overcome by their agitation and confusion. Then, a few days later, a woman by the name of Mary Magdalene arose, and, by her own example, instilled into them a constancy and firmness which enabled them to arise for the propagation of the Word of God. Although to outward seeming they were no more than fishermen and dyers, yet, through the holy confirmations of the Cause of God, they carried the divine fragrances far and wide, sweetening the breaths of all who inhaled their fragrance and bringing new life to every understanding heart.

    Take courage, then, O ye trusted friends of God, from the appearance of this mighty and all-swaying power, which was like unto a spirit that permeated the body of the world, making it vibrant with its pulse, and causing the pillars of idolatry to shake and tremble.

    (`Abdu'l-Bahá, the first three sentences are from Shoghi Effendi's translation cited in "The Advent of Divine Justice", p. 6. The remainder of the extract is newly translated.)"

So Eric, I can tell you are a very intellectual person, but having been a Baha'i please take note of these quotes. And also, maybe say some prayers with an open heart. (I have tried this: you can read the Hidden Words with a very stern, professional attitude, and it (in this case) will have little or no spiritual effect; on the other hand, if you are relaxed, and read with an open heart, you will be overwhelmed with the sheer majesty and power of the Voice of God channeled through His Prophet.)

But there are two parts to the equation of a truly balanced human being: the spiritual and the intellectual. They complement each other, and if one is missing there is a great void. If we are to be free, then we should humble ourselves before God. There is no "easier" way to put it. In a day and age where individuality and materialism is so important (especially in the West), even more important than religion, the tests become even greater:

"The way of God and the religion of God have ceased to be of any worth in the eyes of men .... The vitality of men's belief in God is dying out in every land ... The corrosion of ungodliness is eating into the vitals of human society" (qtd. from Advent of Divine Justice)

How can we be free? Humans try to complicate it. It is very, very simple, but its application is surely difficult. Baha'u'llah states:

    Say: True liberty consisteth in man's submission unto My commandments, little as ye know it. Were men to observe that which We have sent down unto them from the Heaven of Revelation, they would, of a certainty, attain unto perfect liberty. Happy is the man that hath apprehended the Purpose of God in whatever He hath revealed from the Heaven of His Will, that pervadeth all created things. Say: The liberty that profiteth you is to be found nowhere except in complete servitude unto God, the Eternal Truth. Whoso hath tasted of its sweetness will refuse to barter it for all the dominion of earth and heaven.

God bless people like you, Onepence and Richard, for your "conspicuous steadfastness and firmness" in the Baha'i Faith. Even though you will listen to ideas and are tolerant of other beliefs, nevertheless you will remain steadfast and loyal, that hopefully in the end you will gain eternal life.

    Fear ye God, and be not of those who perish. Say: The Book of God hath been sent down in the form of this Youth. Hallowed, therefore, be God, the most excellent of makers! Take ye good heed, O peoples of the world, lest ye flee from His face. Nay, make haste to attain His presence, and be of them that have returned unto Him. (Baha'u'llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 104)

Sean H.
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Oct 16, 2008 9:25 pm

more evasions

Postby Sean H. » Mon Aug 21, 2006 5:10 am

Baha'i Warrior wrote:Hi all,

I've been away for a while so I'll just share some thoughts.


Tedious.

Baha'i Warrior wrote:Eric: you refer to a "Baha'i left" a few times.


Yes. This is somewhat of an "inside" joke. It is a "take off" on the common term "pc/left" (pc=politically correct) used by some conservatives to (correctly, IMO) lampoon the various silly things that ultralibs/leftists/progressives typically say and do.


Baha'i Warrior wrote:
Also in a recent post you said:

For several decades I've seen nonconformist Baha'is attacked, a number of times viciously, by people abusing authority in the Bahai community.


Some stuff you say is insightful, like:

The psychic damage caused to the "victims" of such attacks is usually profound, and I think that such damage ripples out and causes even more damage in the wider community, stopping creative social dynamics, and causing stagnation, apathy, despair and hopelessness.


Baha'i Warrior wrote:But one problem I see with your argument is that you are engaging in a part-to-whole fallacy.



There is no part-to-whole fallacy, except perhaps in your overly active imagination.

I have discussed a long pattern of dysfunctional tendencies that I have seen in a variety of communities. I never claimed that I understand every single Baha'i community on the planet, and it is an absurdity for you to try to put words in my mouth and build a "straw man" argument to (presumably) deflect people's attention from the underlying reality that the pattern of dysfunctional tendencies exists in many Baha'i communities, and is probably something inherent in the current degenerate/fundamentalist form of Baha'i culture.


Baha'i Warrior wrote:Despite the fact that the Writings (e.g. Shoghi Effendi) many times state that the Baha'i Faith is in a state of infancy, developing, you attribute seeming mistakes made by certain Baha'is (or groups such as those you call the "Baha'i left") to the whole community, and try to make out Baha'u'llah's Faith as some kind of failure.


Again, this is a egregious misrepresentation of my many detailed statements.

You have conflated the community/administration with the Faith.

That is a typical "tactic" used by Baha'i conformists/censors.


Baha'i Warrior wrote:Personally I cringe at terms such as "Baha'i left."


The reality is that the Universal House of Justice has severely criticised the people what I call the "Baha'i left" for being "partisan".

Do you actually know anything about any of that? If so, what do you know?

Do you know that there is an organized petition that protests the (so called) "boycott" of Kalimat Press by the US NSA?


Baha'i Warrior wrote:There is no Right/Left, just as the Baha'i Faith is not broken up into sects nor will it ever be.


Again, you are engaged in egregious misrepresentations. I never said anything about "sects".

There are both "liberal" and "conservative" elements of the Baha'i community/culture. There are a large, and increasingly organized number of ex-Baha'is, most of them liberal, some very radicalized feminists, post-modernists, etc.


Baha'i Warrior wrote:You must not forget this, Eric: Baha'is vary in their understanding of the Writings.


In spite of your pompous/condescending tone, I've always know that quite well.

Baha'i Warrior wrote:Some have never read past the Hidden Words or Ruhi books. Many times, in fact, confusion arises because some Baha'is simply have not read the scriptures (at least relevant ones).


Yes, a lot of Baha'is are confused. Which has little or nothing to do with what I'm saying.

Baha'i Warrior wrote:
Again, going back to your quote:

The psychic damage caused to the "victims" of such attacks is usually profound, and I think that such damage ripples out and causes even more damage in the wider community, stopping creative social dynamics, and causing stagnation, apathy, despair and hopelessness.



Yes. Please note that you have been completely unwilling to consider a wife variety of other pertinent points in this discussion. You have been unwilling to critise the many vile misrepresentations and accusations that have been made against me in various threads. You have refused to address specific points.

Your "agenda" is clearly to attempt to bully me into conforming to a style of rhetoric that I find repulsive and fanatical.


Baha'i Warrior wrote:Does not 'Abdu'l-Baha Himself state that "you must love and be kind to everybody," that "you must be exceedingly kind and loving toward each other, willing to forfeit life in the pathway of another's happiness"? Furthermore, doesn't Baha'u'llah indicate that "A harsh word is like unto a sword, while gentle speech like unto milk. In this manner [gentle speech] will the children of the world attain to knowledge and improve their lot."?Finally: doesn't this theme run throughout the Writings, esp. the Hidden Words, that many call themselves "Baha'is" but few are, let us use the word "true," Baha'is?


Yes, please reflect on those quotes instead of trying to use them as weapons against critics.

Baha'i Warrior wrote:So then, these people that harshly criticize are wrong for not observing hikmat (Wisdom),


You are making some bizarro leaps. We are not in Iran, we are not worrying about being a persecuted minority.


Baha'i Warrior wrote:
as are the non-conformist Baha'is (if by non-conformist you mean they openly smoke marijuana, are homosexuals, etc.).


Sigh. How tedious. I never said ANYTHING about drugs/sexuality.

I clearly stated the proper context for you to understand what I meant by "non-conformists". They are, variously, people that disagree with certain DOMINANT "interpretations" of Bahai scripture, disagree with various forms of degenerate/fundamentalist and/or superstitious, folkloric. etc. forms of Baha'i culture.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE stop putting worlds in my mouth and making misrepresentations.

If you do not understand some term/concept, just ask for a clarification.


Baha'i Warrior wrote:However, if a Baha'i is remiss in following Baha'i law, and especially if he openly is neglectful of certain priciples, then a fellow Baha'i should kindly let him know and point him to relevant scripture.


Do you actually know ANYTHING specific, from real life experience, about how people that abuse power operate?

If you did, I seriously doubt that you would ask such a naive sounding question.


Baha'i Warrior wrote:Again refering to the above quote, "the psychic damage caused to the 'victims' of such attacks is usually profound":


Again, I have to wonder if you have any actual real experience with people that have abused power in the Baha'i community?

You seem to be sort of edging up to the possibility that you might be able to actually admit that it is possible that abuse of authority might be at least a possibility.

?????????????????????


Baha'i Warrior wrote:
Also, we should always take care not to do the same ourselves to others (cause psychic damage through such attacks), or other groups of people.


Criticizing people that abuse authority, engage in bullying, conformism and censorship (and nay other form of injustice) is a social responsibility that is clearly not being met on a systematic basis in the current form of dominant Baha'i culture.

Your attempt to use totally out of context quotes to invalidate my criticism is exactly the kind of thing that I've seen for decades stop people from standing up and demanding that abuses be stopped.


Baha'i Warrior wrote:
Baha'u'llah states: "He that biddeth men be just and himself committeth iniquity is not of Me, even though he bear My name."


Again, you are conflating and confusing.

This is the old "attack the messenger" tactic.


Baha'i Warrior wrote:
Of course you are openly an ex-Baha'i I see, but I use such quotes since you yourself are referring to Baha'i scripture.


Obviously people interested in discussion about the Baha'i Faith and related topics (in my case, the sociology of the community) will use quotes from Baha'i scripture.

What you have failed to do, as far as I can recall, is to acknowledge that basic point: Baha'i scripture clearly prohibits Baha'is from engaging in abuses of authority, and there are many examples of Baha'is doing the complete opposite.

You apparently think that you are somehow "protecting" the Faith, but are actually doing the opposite.


Baha'i Warrior wrote:
When you state certain things about the Faith, your attacks


Again, you are making vile misrepresentations.

I have talked about problems in the "Baha'i community" and "Baha'i culture".

They are not "attacks on the Faith", they are simply criticisms of problems in the community/culture.

The fact that you conflate "the Faith" with "the community" or "culture" tells me that you probably have little personal maturity or life experience upon which to make informed statements about the topic.


Baha'i Warrior wrote:have to be grounded in facts. Otherwise they are mere opinions that bear no weight.


Here of course you are wrong, and are engaged in a massive double standard.

Everyone can state opinions, with or without "facts".

If you want facts, you should demand them from everyone (including yourself and people that you agree with), and I seriously doubt that have done so.

Baha'i Warrior wrote:
You said:

fyi: I personally am sensitive to all of these dehumanizing pathologies in Baha'i culture because I was coerced into signing a "declaration card" by people that saw "converts" as little more than a statistic. All the "nicey nicey" Baha'i stuff is frequently just the ruse in the original Baha'i bait-n-switch scheme.


Where is your evidence that Baha'i tactics are "dehumanizing"?


What "evidence" do you need beyond what I've already stated?

Instead of nit-picking, please respond to the entirety of my posts.

Also, pleas note that first you try to shut me up, and them you demand more evidence.

Please make up your mind.


Baha'i Warrior wrote:
Perhaps you have never been confronted by a Christian who has told you that Jesus is the only way and that if you do not Accept Him As Your Personal Savior then you will burn in hell.


Oh, no, I've been "confronted" by plenty of evangelicals of various religious affiliations.

What that has to do with my criticisms of the dysfunctional aspects of Baha'i culture is a mystery.

Are you saying that Baha'is can be jerks because there are jerks in other religions?

Bizarro.

Baha'i Warrior wrote:>Is that more humanizing? I went to private Christian schools as a kid and heard it all the time. In fact, it is not shocking any more to hear things like "You are a nice person, too bad you are going to hell."

Do Baha'is ever say anything that comes close?


Yes. I was accused,on this forum, of "rejecting God" and other similarly vile, bullying statements.

Baha'i Warrior wrote:
Do we not shake non-Baha'is hands because they are "najas"? Or do we think of them as "inferiors" and "infidels"? Are we even thinking in our heads "this guy is going to hell unless I save him"?


There is a lot of fanatical "teaching", I just gave you an example of it above. Please pay attention.

There is a lot of "shunning" that goes on in the Baha'i community, the vast majority of it is contrary to Baha'i scripture.


Baha'i Warrior wrote:
No; and if any Baha'i does he shouldn't. (If we had these kinds of thoughts in our head then how could we ever spread the Faith?)


The Faith is spreading very slowly, for that reason amongst many others.

I've seen a number of "mass teaching" processes, and in all cases, when the projects eventually go bad (as they all do), the leaders of such are usually bitter at the arrogant people in the community that place their own ego and "spiritual materialism" ahead of the success of the converts.

Most Baha'is are undisciplined "spiritual junkies" when it comes time to make real sacrifices for a teaching/consolidation project. they only want the "glory", they don't want to do the "hard work".


Baha'i Warrior wrote:The Writings in fact tell us that no one knows what his own end will be, that people who were devoute their whole lives at the last hour forfeit it all, and vice versa, etc.

Again with quotes like:

Baha'is of course do not "observe every ordinance". Far from it.


We go back to the same basic point: we are not perfect.


Which, again, is not relevant to my statements, and is evasive.

Also again, why haven't you criticised other people from using quotes to attack me?

Answer: double standard.


Baha'i Warrior wrote:Even the individual members of the House are not perfect; however, when they are assembled together in unity to make a decision, that decision is perfect, or infallible, because it is protected and watched over by the Guardianship.


Again, not relevant.

Baha'i Warrior wrote:Even Spiritual Assemblies can be wrong; the Writings state this.


DUH!


Baha'i Warrior wrote:But why refect on such things, for it only leads to pessimism?


Because of something called "social responsibility". When people see something wrong, they are supposed to warn other people of danger.

Maybe someone will actually try to use the information to change something for the better instead of attacking critics, bullying people into conformance, etc.

What a concept.

What causes pessimism is when people make up all sorts of excuses for the abuses instead of committing themselves to eradicating them.


Baha'i Warrior wrote:
The important thing is that we, personally as Baha'is, try our best to "observe every ordinance." If we were perfect, and if we could automatically and without any effort (since we are Baha'is) do everything perfectly, then what would be the point of "tests" or spiritual progress?


There are plenty of Baha'is that are not "trying their best". Far from it.

The use Baha'i scripture as the basis for attacking critics and to impugn the "spiritual worthiness" of critics is a vile tactic.

The fact that you fail to see (or at least acknowledge) what is going on is quite instructtive, and frankly typical of what I've seen for decades.


Baha'i Warrior wrote:The quote you refer to:

The Baha'i writings also state (iirc) that God will "raise up a new race of men" if Baha'is fail in their mission (paraphrase).


Also no matter how much damage is done to the Faith, God's religion will never be halted; its progress may be slowed down due to Baha'is not doing their job, or people attacking it from the outside. But the point is, no one can cause damage to such a degree as to totally obliterate the Faith.


Again, you are conflating things and apparently missing the point.

A problem can't be solved unless people admit that it exists.


Baha'i Warrior wrote:
And those that attack the Baha'i Faith know of its powers and of its truth, and, driven either by jealousy or some other motive, they spend their energy to attack it. For example, preachers may see it as a challenge to the control that they hold so there is obvious motive there. Otherwise, if the Baha'i Faith doesn't and won't work, why would people even waste their time to try to attack it and convince its members that the Faith is somehow "flawed"? No one is going to go and attack some tribal African religion with only a handful of members because it posses no threat.


I doubt that you actually know much about why Christians might be motivated to "attack" the Faith. (documentation supposedly exists in Christian think-tanks that the Baha'i Faith is not seen as being a threat since it is not growing in any real way, and it is internally stagnant.)

Baha'i hysteria about "attacks" primarily services the purpose of reinforcing internal "purpose". (which is usually "false unity")


Baha'i Warrior wrote:Despite the small number of Baha'is—again because of its nascent stage, it is offically the second most widespread world religion, and it is steadily growing. Those that attack it know just as well as the Baha'is themselves how successful the religion will be.


Again, this sounds far more like self-serving Baha'i apologetics than reality.

Most of the world has a big "yawn" about any Baha'i. It has not proven to be relevant in many cases.

The biggest attacks are from islamicists looking at a tried-n-true scapegoat, hardly an example of original thinking.


Baha'i Warrior wrote:For anything that is of God in the end will endure while all others will perish. Many are skeptical, but not those Baha'is who are well versed and try to lead a pure Baha'i life. 'Abu'l-Baha states:

    This day the powers of all the leaders of religion are directed towards the dispersion of the congregation of the All-Merciful, and the shattering of the Divine Edifice. The hosts of the world, whether material, cultural or political are from every side launching their assault, for the Cause is great, very great. Its greatness is, in this day, clear and manifest to men's eyes. It is therefore incumbent upon all who have come within the shade of the protecting wing of God's gracious providence to evince, by His divine and merciful assistance, such conspicuous steadfastness and firmness as will arrest the gaze and astound the minds of all.


In reality, that probably never happened, and certainly isn't happening now.

Many people in many religions are pluralists and universalists, and that is what is increasing.


Baha'i Warrior wrote:At the time of the ascension of the Spirit (Jesus Christ), the company of those who accepted the new Revelation numbered no more than a few souls. So intense was the alarm and perturbation to which that event gave rise that, for a time, these souls were quite overcome by their agitation and confusion. Then, a few days later, a woman by the name of Mary Magdalene arose, and, by her own example, instilled into them a constancy and firmness which enabled them to arise for the propagation of the Word of God. Although to outward seeming they were no more than fishermen and dyers, yet, through the holy confirmations of the Cause of God, they carried the divine fragrances far and wide, sweetening the breaths of all who inhaled their fragrance and bringing new life to every understanding heart.


And, eventually Christianity became corrupted by politicians seeking power, etc.

Baha'i Warrior wrote:Take courage, then, O ye trusted friends of God, from the appearance of this mighty and all-swaying power, which was like unto a spirit that permeated the body of the world, making it vibrant with its pulse, and causing the pillars of idolatry to shake and tremble.

(`Abdu'l-Bahá, the first three sentences are from Shoghi Effendi's translation cited in "The Advent of Divine Justice", p. 6. The remainder of the extract is newly translated.)"


I would say that there are plenty of "pillars of idolatry" present in the Baha'i community that are going to eventually fall down.

Baha'i Warrior wrote:
So Eric, I can tell you are a very intellectual person, but having been a Baha'i please take note of these quotes.


What I'll take note of is a constant tendency to apply double standards, nit pick, fail to address points/questions, make egregious misrepresentations and accusations, spout boring self-serving cliches/plattitudes that I've heard hundreds of times, etc.


Baha'i Warrior wrote:And also, maybe say some prayers with an open heart.


Done, I hope that God will open your eyes to reality as a result of all the prayers I've made on your behalf.

Baha'i Warrior wrote:(I have tried this: you can read the Hidden Words with a very stern, professional attitude, and it (in this case) will have little or no spiritual effect; on the other hand, if you are relaxed, and read with an open heart, you will be overwhelmed with the sheer majesty and power of the Voice of God channeled through His Prophet.)



Do you understand the difference between self-glorification and God's glory?

I get the sense that you are afraid of the truth, and are hiding.

Regards,
Eric


Baha'i Warrior wrote:But there are two parts to the equation of a truly balanced human being: the spiritual and the intellectual. They complement each other, and if one is missing there is a great void. If we are to be free, then we should humble ourselves before God. There is no "easier" way to put it. In a day and age where individuality and materialism is so important (especially in the West), even more important than religion, the tests become even greater:

"The way of God and the religion of God have ceased to be of any worth in the eyes of men .... The vitality of men's belief in God is dying out in every land ... The corrosion of ungodliness is eating into the vitals of human society" (qtd. from Advent of Divine Justice)

How can we be free? Humans try to complicate it. It is very, very simple, but its application is surely difficult. Baha'u'llah states:

    Say: True liberty consisteth in man's submission unto My commandments, little as ye know it. Were men to observe that which We have sent down unto them from the Heaven of Revelation, they would, of a certainty, attain unto perfect liberty. Happy is the man that hath apprehended the Purpose of God in whatever He hath revealed from the Heaven of His Will, that pervadeth all created things. Say: The liberty that profiteth you is to be found nowhere except in complete servitude unto God, the Eternal Truth. Whoso hath tasted of its sweetness will refuse to barter it for all the dominion of earth and heaven.

God bless people like you, Onepence and Richard, for your "conspicuous steadfastness and firmness" in the Baha'i Faith. Even though you will listen to ideas and are tolerant of other beliefs, nevertheless you will remain steadfast and loyal, that hopefully in the end you will gain eternal life.

    Fear ye God, and be not of those who perish. Say: The Book of God hath been sent down in the form of this Youth. Hallowed, therefore, be God, the most excellent of makers! Take ye good heed, O peoples of the world, lest ye flee from His face. Nay, make haste to attain His presence, and be of them that have returned unto Him. (Baha'u'llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 104)

Baha'i Warrior
Posts: 753
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 10:07 am
Location: U.S.A.

Postby Baha'i Warrior » Mon Aug 21, 2006 5:13 pm

Just want to let you know why I'm not going to respond to all your points.

The purpose of the Baha'i Faith is to create unity, not disunity. If I were to engage in the practices of laymen, then I would return insult for insult. For example, I could say you are making, to quote you, "vile misrepresentations" (used twice) about me, but it would just lead to a never-ending and pointless exchange of attacks. Or, I could attack, invalidate, use on you, etc. your accusation that I am somehow "bullying" you ( :?: ), respond to your your "vile" insults such as your use of the word "spiritual junkies" in referring to Baha'is, etc. The list goes on.

Besides you ask obvious questions like "Do you know that there is an organized petition that protests the (so called) "boycott" of Kalimat Press by the US NSA?" when there was a whole topic about it on this very forum, or you say things that are obviously wrong like "The Faith is spreading very slowly" when in fact it is one of the fastest spreading world religions; it is "almost certainly the largest and fastest growing of the [new religious movements] (MacEoin, 1986: 1)" <http://bahai-library.org/conferences/chaos.metaphor.html>.

Anyway, this bullying you speak of: first of all, you failed to show any evidence of me doing so (which is news to me by the way), plus you have to understand motive. If I were to go to an "ex-Baha'i" forum (if such a thing exists) myself, and reflect on my actions of doing so (posting, etc.), I would see that my only motive in that case would have been to go there and "bully," and to engage in petty debates with those on that forum that call themselves "ex-Baha'is."

Just to let you know, you don't need to respond to every single sentence I write. Just trying to make life easier for you 8)

Jonah
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Postby Jonah » Wed Aug 23, 2006 10:50 am

Begging everyone's forgiveness, I'm deleting Eric's long response to BW (sorry Eric, it seemed "more heat than light" -- BW and OnePence, I've done as you would have requested and "censored" Eric's latest post on this topic), and locking this thread.

Thanks, -Jonah


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