creatures living in fire/water

All research or scholarship questions
shm
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creatures living in fire/water

Postby shm » Sun Sep 09, 2007 12:38 pm

I have heard that in the bahai writings it says that there are such things as aliens, and other creatures with souls in the universe. Furthermore the communication of humans with aliens is a sign of maturity as is the establishment of an international language and the discovery of a chemical that converts all metals to gold. Even more there are creatures that live in fire, such as a star, and there are even creatures that can live in water.

I would like to verify if this has been written in the bahai scriptures, since I have heard that someone has read this, but in the persian language and has forgotten the book which they have read from. My internet searches don't find any result. Does anyone know?

Sen McGlinn
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Postby Sen McGlinn » Sun Sep 09, 2007 2:45 pm

There are at least two references that occur to me. One is a tablet from Abdu’l-Baha at http://reference.bahai.org/fa/t/ab/MAS2/mas2-88.html , which says more or less:

Each one of the heavenly stars is a special creation (or creature,
khalqii). This terrestrial globe, which is in comparison infinitely
small, is not empty and futile. What then of those exalted, luminous, enormous bodies? And this is clear in the Quran, which says "Among his signs is the creation of the heavens and
the earth, and the animals that disperse in them." (42.29) It says, "in
them" and not "in it." It is clear that there are creatures possessing
breath in both, because animals that breathe, move.


Then it goes on to talk of the 24 elders in the Revelation of John,
and I wonder whether the original question put to Abdu’l-Baha might have asked about a relationship between planets and elders, or elders and Bahais. Or were there simply two unrelated questions?

Note that breath and spirit are the same word in Hebrew, Arabic and Persian. I translate it here as breath rather than spirit, because it is linked to movement, the thing that distinguishes the animal kingdom from the plant kingdom.

The second is from Baha’u’llah

Thou hast, moreover, asked Me concerning the nature of the celestial spheres. To comprehend their nature, it would be necessary to inquire into the meaning of the allusions that have been made in the Books of old to the celestial spheres and the heavens, and to discover the character of their relationship to this physical world, and the influence which they exert upon it. Every heart is filled with wonder at so bewildering a theme, and every mind is perplexed by its mystery. God, alone, can fathom its import. The learned men, that have fixed at several thousand years the life of this earth, have failed, throughout the long period of their observation, to consider either the number or the age of the other planets. Consider, moreover, the manifold divergencies that have resulted from the theories propounded by these men. Know thou that every fixed star hath its own planets, and every planet its own creatures, whose number no man can compute.

(Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 162-3)


The topic here is obviously astrology: the influence of the spheres on “this physical world”. But there is also a reference to people like Bishop Ussher who dated the creation to 4004 BC. He produced dates for the main Old Testament events and these dates were sometimes printed in the margins of Bibles. Baha'u'llah is saying that the creation could be much older than the earth.

The crucial phrase at the end of the quote is an Arabic insertion in an otherwise Persian text.

wa le-kulle thawaabetu siyyaaraat,
wa le-kulle siyyaaretu khalq
and to all the fixed-ones [are] travelling-ones
and to all the travelling-ones [are] creatures.

Because of the change in language, this might be a quotation from some Arabic source or saying. Baha'u'llah often refers to things that were "known" in the Islamic sciences (alchemy, history etc), and some of these things have since been disproved.

I've never heard anything about communication with aliens as a sign of maturity. I'm fairly sure this is just part of the oral lore that circulates in the Bahai community. David Piff wrote a book about this, and collected hundreds of examples, some of them quite funny. It's called "Bahai Lore" and its published by George Ronald publishers in England.

Sen

brettz9
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Postby brettz9 » Sun Sep 09, 2007 4:29 pm

As far as the signs of the maturity of the human race, there is note 194 of the Kitab-i-Aqdas:

The first sign of the coming of age of humanity referred to in the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh is the emergence of a science which is described as that "divine philosophy" which will include the discovery of a radical approach to the transmutation of elements. This is an indication of the splendours of the future stupendous expansion of knowledge.

Concerning the "second" sign which Bahá'u'lláh indicates to have been revealed in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, Shoghi Effendi states that Bahá'u'lláh, "...in His Most Holy Book, has enjoined the selection of a single language and the adoption of a common script for all on earth to use, an injunction which, when carried out, would, as He Himself affirms in that Book, be one of the signs of the `coming of age of the human race'".

Further insight into this process of mankind's coming of age and proceeding to maturity is provided by the following statement of Bahá'u'lláh:

One of the signs of the maturity of the world is that no one will
accept to bear the weight of kingship. Kingship will remain with
none willing to bear alone its weight. That day will be the day
whereon wisdom will be manifested among mankind.

The coming of age of the human race has been associated by Shoghi Effendi with the unification of the whole of mankind, the establishment of a world commonwealth, and an unprecedented stimulus to "the intellectual, the moral and spiritual life of the entire human race".


Although there could be other Tablets relating to this, at least the major references don't refer to anything with aliens relating to the maturity of humanity. Rather, the Writings emphasize that the Revelation of Baha'u'llah is primarily for earth:

"As to your question whether the power of Bahá'u'lláh extends over our solar system and to higher worlds: While the Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh, it should be noted, is primarily for this planet, yet the spirit animating it is all-embracing, and the scope therefore cannot be restricted or defined."

(From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to an individual believer, July 14, 1938)


and

"Regarding your questions: There is no record in history, or in the teachings, of a Prophet similar in station to Bahá'u'lláh having lived 500,000 years ago. There will, however, be one similar to Him in greatness after the lapse of 500,000 years, but we cannot say definitely that His Revelation will be inter-planetary in scope. We can only say that such a thing may be possible. What Bahá'u'lláh means by His appearance in 'other worlds' He has not defined, as we could not visualize them in our present state, hence He was indefinite, and we cannot say whether He meant other planets or not...."

(From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, December 24, 1941)


I do recall reading a pilgrims note at this site attributed to Shoghi Effendi about the possibility of communicating with other alien species within thousands of years and another one about Baha'is traveling and having conferences, etc. on other planets.

As far as a reference on alien life:

The earth has its inhabitants, the water and the air contain many living beings and all the elements have their nature spirits, then how is it possible to conceive that these stupendous stellar bodies are not inhabited? Verily, they are peopled, but let it be known that the dwellers accord with the elements of their respective spheres. These living beings do not have states of consciousness like unto those who live on the surface of this globe: the power of adaptation and environment moulds their bodies and states of consciousness, just as our bodies and minds are suited to our planet.

For example, we have birds that live in the air, those that live on the earth and those that live in the sea. The sea birds are adapted to their elements, likewise the birds which soar in the air, and those which hover about the earth's surface. Many animals living on the land have their counterparts in the sea. The domestic horse has his counterpart in the sea-horse which is half horse and half fish.

The components of the sun differ from those of this earth, for there are certain light and life-giving elements radiating from the sun. Exactly the same elements may exist in two bodies, but in varying quantities. For instance, there is fire and air in water, but the allotted measure is small in proportion.

They have discovered that there is a great quantity of radium in the sun; the same element is found on the earth, but in a much smaller degree. Beings who inhabit those distant luminous bodies are attuned to the elements that have gone into the composition of their respective spheres.

(I. F. Chamberlain, comp. "Divine Philosophy" (Boston: The Tudor Press, 1918), pp. 114-15.) at http://bahai-library.com/index.php5?fil ... wc.html#14


and

"Regarding the passage on p. 163 of the 'Gleanings': The creatures which Bahá'u'lláh states to be found on every planet cannot be considered to be necessarily similar or different from human beings on this earth. Bahá'u'lláh does not specifically state whether such creatures are like or unlike us. He simply refers to the fact that there are creatures on every planet. It remains for science to discover one day the exact nature of these creatures."

(From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, February 9, 1937)

best wishes,
Brett

Dorumerosaer
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Postby Dorumerosaer » Mon Sep 24, 2007 10:38 pm

I am not familiar with any passages in the Baha'i Writings translated into English, regarding creatures living in the fire and in the water. This sounds like a symbolic depiction of a spiritual condition, such as these in the Gospel:

And when they had come to the multitude, a man came to Him, kneeling down to Him and saying, “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and suffers severely; for he often falls into the fire and often into the water. So I brought him to Your disciples, but they could not cure him.” Then Jesus answered and said, “O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him here to Me.” And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him; and the child was cured from that very hour. (Matthew 17:14-18 )

And when He came to the disciples, He saw a great multitude around them, and scribes disputing with them. Immediately, when they saw Him, all the people were greatly amazed, and running to Him, greeted Him. And He asked the scribes, “What are you discussing with them?”
Then one of the crowd answered and said, “Teacher, I brought You my son, who has a mute spirit. And wherever it seizes him, it throws him down; he foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth, and becomes rigid. So I spoke to Your disciples, that they should cast it out, but they could not.”
He answered him and said, “O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him to Me.” Then they brought him to Him. And when he saw Him, immediately the spirit convulsed him, and he fell on the ground and wallowed, foaming at the mouth. So He asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. And often he has thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” When Jesus saw that the people came running together, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “Deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and enter him no more!” Then the spirit cried out, convulsed him greatly, and came out of him. And he became as one dead, so that many said, “He is dead.” But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose. And when He had come into the house, His disciples asked Him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?”
So He said to them, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.” (Mark 9:14-29)

Brent


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