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[adapted from pages 30-31]:
This compilation represents the “life work” of several researchers in a family of Bahá’í scholars, each successive generation plummeting the depths of the Ocean of Bahá’u’lláh’s Revelation to better grasp the inner significances, hidden meanings and dynamic operations of the Covenant. Its original creator, chief compiler and progenitor was Barbara Ives Reich Kochmann, inspired by her grandfather, Howard Colby Ives, who had begun a preliminary examination of these subjects in his masterful study, “The Ocean of His Utterances
”. Inspired by his approach, method of research and doting, loving example, Barbara was determined in her pursuit of delving deeper in an understanding of the dynamic operations of the Covenant of Bahá’u’lláh and of the Holy Spirit as contained in the Sacred Texts.
The original version of this study (which Barbara chose to refer to as “The Course”) consisted of twenty-five typed pages, whittled down to pithy references to accommodate groups engaged in weekend long study institutes, which were dedicated to the formal, spiritual yet “conscious knowledge” training of the “Teachers of the teachers” in firmness to the Covenant and confirmed service. Following her death in 1977, several texts were released with new (previously unpublished or unauthenticated) references, which her husband Richard decided needed to be included at that time in an updated version of the course. This revised edition of the course was completed in 1982, and served for many years as a basis for intense individual study (one on one) into the sacred Writings. At that time, Richard also expanded the course to include many of the other discoveries that characterized Barbara’s understanding of the “divine science” of the Word of God and confirmed teaching methodologies, which had not appeared in the concise original version.
In her continuing research, Barbara maintained a persistent interest in such research topics as the human heart, the rational faculty, on becoming one of those “honored servants” who drink their fill “from the crystal clear waters of constancy.” As Howard would paraphrase it in his major poetic treatise “The Song Celestial”: “Peace be upon him who followeth the Right Path!” Barbara was especially motivated to achieve a greater understanding of the station, symbolism, inner significance and operation/s of the Maids of Heaven (the Huris of hidden meaning and essence of the Names and Attributes of God) as summoned from beyond the Sadratu’l Muntaha, and according to the Covenant, descending on the wings of the Spirit down through the Station of the Manifestation/s and into the very hearts of the true believers and servants everywhere...
Read much more about the history of this compilation in a history I prepared in 2015 for possible presentation at the Irfan Colloquia: kochmann_deepening_course_compilation_intro.pdf. [-R.K.]