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Reflections on a Culture of Learning and Growth: Community and Individual Paradigm Shifts: Part B

Title of item
Reflections on a Culture of Learning and Growth: Community and Individual Paradigm Shifts: Part B
Subtitle of item
A Contemporary, Historical, Futuristic and Personal Context
Date of this edition 2014
Permission author
Posted 2014-03-12 by Ron Price
Classified in Essays and poetry by Ron Price
Abstract The building of the community and administrative structure of this new world Faith was at the core of Bahai programs & policies, goals & game-plans, so to speak, from 1921 to 1996, a period of 75 years, & as far back as the last years of the 19th century.
Notes Part 1:

This book, of which this document at BLO is Part B, is 790 pages font 16, and 680 pages font-14. The book has about 280 thousand words. It contains reflections and understandings regarding the new Baha'i culture of learning and growth, what amounts to a paradigmatic shift, in the Baha’i community. This international community found in over 230 countries & territories, as well as some 120 thousand localities has been going through this shift in its culture since the mid-1990s. The Baha'i Faith claims to be the newest, the latest, of the Abrahamic religions.

This Faith had its origins in mid-19th century Iran. But this new Baha'i culture, or paradigm, has just stuck its head above the ground, so to speak. This particular form of the Baha'i culture will be developing in the decades ahead, arguably, at least until 2044, the end of the second century of the Baha'i Era(1844 to 2044), and perhaps beyond into that third century of the Baha'i Era, 2044 to 2144. Time will tell when the next paradigmatic shift will take place in the international Baha'i community, a community I have now been associated with for more than 60 years: 1953 to 2015.

Comparisons and contrasts are made to several previous paradigm shifts in the Baha'i community. Thoughts on future developments within this paradigm, and future paradigms, are suggested. In the first nine years, 2007 to 2015, of the presence on the internet of this book, this commentary, it has contributed to an extensive dialogue on the issues regarding the many related and inter-related processes involved in the many ongoing changes since 1996 in the international Baha'i community and its 5 to 8 million adherents.

Part 2:

This work is dedicated to the Universal House of Justice, trustee of the global undertaking which the events of more than a century ago set in motion. The fully institutionalized charismatic Force, a Force that historically found its expression in the Person of Baha'u'llah, had effloresed by a process of succession, of appointment and election, at the apex of Baha'i administration for half a century by the end of April 2013.

I have also written this book as a form of dedication to, by some accounts, an estimated 20 thousand Baha'is and Babis who have given their lives for this Cause from the 1840s to the second decade of this third millennium. I have also dedicated this book to the many best teachers and exemplary believers--those ordinary Bahais--who have consecrated themselves, indeed their lives by sensible and insensible degrees, each in their own ways, to the work of this Faith.

I have written this work in memory of my maternal grandfather, Alfred Cornfield, whose life from 1872 to 1958 has always been for me a model of an engagement in a quite personal culture of learning and personal growth.

Part 3:

This book is the longest analysis and commentary on this new Baha'i paradigm that is currently available in the Bahai community, although several other books have appeared since this piece of writing first appeared in cyberspace in 2007. The overarching perspective in this book is a personal one that attempts to answer the question: "where do I fit into this new paradigm?" Readers are left to work out their own response to this question as readers inevitably must, now and in the decades ahead, as this new paradigm develops a life of its own within the framework already established in the first two decades of its operation: 1996 to 2015. The question now is not "if" but "how" each Baha'i will engage themselves, will participate, in this new paradigm as the first century of the Formative Age comes to an end in 2021 and in the years beyond as this third millennium continues to challenge all of humanity.

In mid-2015 I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and became unable to continue my work on this book. I leave it to others to take the story beyond the southern winter of 2015

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