Posted by Bret (184.108.40.206) on May 21, 2002 at 12:50:24:
In Reply to: How to find certainity posted by a seeker from germany on May 20, 2002 at 13:49:13:
Dear Seeker of Truth,
I commend you on your quest in as much as most people have become complacent and have thus been kept back from recognizing the Ancient Beauty. You have taken steps to understand what it is that drives you. What is your purpose? What is the purpose of this life? These are probably just some of the questions you might ask yourself.
As you might already know, Baha'is hold the independent investigation of truth to be one of the pillars of life. Such investigation is most commendable when an individual detaches himself from all love and hate and looks upon the subject with the objectivity of the harmony of faith with reason.
The proofs of the Baha'i Faith are many. You will find evidences of both a practical and divine nature, which together form the basis worthy of the title of world religion, but the most fundemental and important question one must ask is:is Baha'u'llah Who He says he is?
It might help to clarify the claim of Baha'u'llah so that you might approach the matter with more reslove. Baha'u'llah claims to be the latest Prophet-Founder of a world religion in a line that goes back before recorded history and will continue forever, including Abrham, Moses, Krishna, Zoroaster, Buddha, Christ, Muhammud and the Bab Who was Baha'u'llah's forerunner. Baha'u'llah proclaims that all of these Prophets are really One Divine Being Who has manifested, hence the Baha'i title of Manifestation of God, Itself from time to time to reveal a new stage in one unfolding religion. Therefore, the religion of God, the true religion as it were, is one religion that has evolved in stages. Each of these Manifestations has reiterated what the previous said as far as basic principles were concerned, but He also gets rid of laws that do not apply to society any longer and reveals new ones to fit the needs of an ever-advancing civilization. There is no difference in these Manifestations and Baha'u'llah proclaims that anyone who distinguishes one from another is in error, but the potency of the revelations of Each increases with time. Baha'u'llah therefore is not only the latest Manifestation, but He has ushered in a whole new cycle in human evolution. The time from Abraham to Muhammad is known as the Prophetic Cycle in as much as one of the main points of each revelation therein was marked by prophecies concerning the Day of God when the Father Himself would manifest. Each of these Manifestations foretold of a Supreme Manifestation Who would come at the end of the Prophetic Cycle to usher in the Cycle of Divine Unity or the maturation of the human species. Baha'u'llah proclaims Himself to be that supreme Manifestation, which all of the Holy Books foretell. To Jews He is the Lord of Hosts. To Buddhists He is the Fifth Buddha. To Christians He is Christ the Son returned in the Glory of the Father.
As you can see, these claims are great and mighty are the implications if they are true. That is what you must decide. Since the primary focus is Baha'u'llah it is sometimes best to go directly to His writings for guidance. Baha'u'llah wrote in many styles to reveal the truth on all levels. If you are a more mystically minded person you might want to read The Seven Valleys and the Four Valleys. If you want to understand the principles of the Faith you might read Tablets of Baha'u'llah. If you are interested in His laws and ordinances you might read The Kitab-i-Aqdas. To understand progressive revelation you might want to read the Kitab-i-Iqan. There are many others, not to mention a goldmine of writings by Baha'u'llah's son and succesor as Center of the Covenant, 'Abdu'l-Baha, and the Guardian, Shoghi Efendi, which can all be found on this site.
I sincerely hope that this helps you to find certainty in your quest, for when you have found certainty a whole new world emerges. It's a world of unity where all of the pieces of the puzzle once scattered now fit together and a picture can now be made out, but as you back up to see what you have assembled you realize that it is only a larger piece of a bigger picture that you have put together and a most wonderous and joyful journey begins towards love and knowledge. May God bless you in your quest.
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