Ruhi Problem

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Ruhi Problem

Postby Walker » Wed Apr 13, 2005 8:56 pm

[see <a href=></a>. -ed.]

I will never forget my astonishment at reading in the very first part of the Ruhi book, that dictionaries should not be used and rather the group should "find the meaning" for themselves. This is not verbatim but it is close, and I welcome anyone who has a book to provide the statement as written there. I brought my dictionary anyway and used it. To read the words of the Manifestation and decide that His words mean what you reckon they mean seemed absolutely wrong. When teaching activities were discussed, I suggested the community holdt a Sunday school - in their adopted womens' shelter, since a church was already giving Sunday school there.One of my fellow classmates forcefully scolded that I was "forcing my ego" on the charity and the community. This in front of the entire consenting Ruhi class. I didn't hold my tongue because of virtue, but because of shock. What is going on?

After the wonderful deepenings and myriad Baha'i activities of years gone by, where the community shared the work and the resulting love and unity, I agree with the author that Ruhi is fraught with perils, not the least of which is dumbing down the Writings. Deepening in group and Assembly affairs in my community has disappeared, and is sorely needed, and a request to the Assistant Auxiliary Board Member to conduct them (as is provided for in our authoritative Administrative writings) was refused and now I am shunned! Heavens to Betsy, they don't even know the Writings well enough to know what shunning is for!

The Ruhi Problem is in my book a hundred percent correct and maybe even worse than the author describes it. I see people expecting to pull love and unity out of a hat, usually someone else's, but in fact it all comes out of the Writings. If we're not united around the Writings, what is uniting us? Denial. And what and who are we loving? The world. And how can love come from anything but the Writings?

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Postby majnun » Thu Apr 14, 2005 4:03 pm

Dear mister Walker:

The <a href=>article by mister Anthony Lee</a> describes pros and cons of the Ruhi books.

I think Ruhi stands for Ruh-i, of the spirit.
Counselled by friends, I undertook the Ruhi 1 course. My pre-existent
opinion is that everything written by men, outside the Scriptures, is a pollution,
a distortion, a bit like the hadith and the tafsir for the Qur’an, and myriads of books explaining the meaning of the Gospels.
What i just wrote is simply a projection of my own mind (Valley 3), and i cannot pre-judge the matter from my inner projections until i go and examine it with "my own eyes".
This is just to illustrate i had a pre-manifactured opinion about the Ruhi courses.Obviously, Valley 3 shows not to do this, not to project either negative or positive opinions or views on people and things.

But Baha’u’llah wrote something about these re-interpretations of the Scriptures written by men, the hadiths and the tafsirs of the Qur’an (Koran).
The mechanics of the Ruhi courses is that most of us will utter our own views on
the different topics, to finaly arrive to a consensus that we write down.
Our group will conclude the book 1 in a few weeks.

I will then, after a while, see the possible effects it had on my
internal being. Was this useful, did it help me understand more seriously, or
deeper than without this “exam”? I don’t know for now.

Many people say in the Hidden Words, every thing is there.
Others will say, in the Valleys, everything is there,
And others say, in this small passage of Certitude, the whole truth is there.
Again, others say that Gleanings is the most imporant book, for them.

I maintain the position that everything cannot stand on one single slice of the
written Bread, and that we have to digest the whole Bread (the written Revelation) slowly, then we will feel and live the changes proposed.

But I keep in mind that newcomers are still holding to the first tree ways of
thinking (wadys), but within a small delay, they will enter the Valley of
True Comprehension and meet their inner Friend. That is a logical path most
Baha’is enjoy, fortunately. So I cannot blame anyone not to be in the “new”
way of thinking, because I too, was not on that Path when I started injecting
the baha’i program (scriptures). Those who enter the new ways, they smile
with their eyes, and some secrets we cannot write it, but whisper from person
to person.

Ounce we enter into the Valleys above the first three, how can we ever
go back to that way of thinking, those patterns we used in our past lives?
We cannot go back, because we know the consequences of those old ways.
Some still kiss on both cheeks, and some still need the warmth of a physical
accolade. This childish need will fade with time, when the eyes start a-talkin,
and that respect for my neighbour is more important than my “need to be loved”.

Please enjoy the road ahead my friend, may it be
as comfortable for your inner being as I think it is,
even if it feels lonely sometimes, we learn to appreciate
this inner presence growing. May we find easyly our spiritual Layla.



Postby R2D2 » Fri Apr 15, 2005 2:59 am

Hi Walker,

In my area, the appointed and elected arms have only been too willing to help LSAs deepen on administration. I think if you openly 'oppose' Ruhi, for right or wrong, people will feel that you are not being constructive. The House of Justice has continually said that people are welcome to not participate in the three portals as a natural right and has added that should they decide not to, they should not oppose it. If Ruhi isn't for you, you can focus your energies on one of the other core activities. I think every Baha'i I know does this to some extent.


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Postby misagh » Sat Apr 16, 2005 12:06 am

Hello everyone,

I read through 'The Ruhi Problem', intruiged by the title. All of the objections raised in the essay have been raised again and again in countless Baha'i communities worldwide, including my own. The problem, as I see it, with the essay and those that share its concerns, is a lack of understanding of the purpose of the Institute, never mind the Ruhi Institute in particular.

Friends, for those that are interested to know what the purpose of the Institute is, there are essays and books written by those that were involved in the process of action and reflection that lead to the creation of the Ruhi materials. In particular, you'd want to find essays/articles/books written by Dr. Farzam Arbab. The discussions and premises and arguments presented are cogent and oftentimes brilliant. Not only that, there is innumerable guidance from the Universal House of Justice, the International Teaching Centre, and all the Continental Counsellors regarding the pedagogy behind the Ruhi Institute and related Institutes worldwide. If one takes the time and effort to really study and ponder over this vast body of guidance and learning, one may realize that one's notions of what the Ruhi Institute is and what it aims to do are false.

In a nutshell, the way I understand it, the purpose of the Ruhi Institute materials (and in fact, most Institutes and Baha'i curricula of this type worldwide) is to build in people the capacity to be of service to the community and ultimately to humanity. These materials weren't written in an office someplace by a team of experts; they have been developed by a group of Baha'is who tried, re-tried, and modified ad nauseum their materials based on two decades or more of field experience in large scale expansion and consolidation. As Century of Light explains, during the years of the 10 Year Crusade and that decade or two following, there was not a single method or approach or idea that wasn't attempted someplace in the world, in order to initiate and sustain the process of large scale expansion and consolidation. If there was a better way of doing things... it had already been tried! On top of that, during the 4 year plan, communities worldwide were asked to further experiment in the field of curriculum design and come up with approaches and strategies that are effective. The result: The House of Justice encouraged the use of Institute materials that had certain key ingredients that were found to be effective, ingredients that the Ruhi Institute materials contained. It should be mentioned that the Ruhi materials are not the only ones in use in the world, and the House of Justice did not specifically endorse the Ruhi Institute materials by name. It did mention that the elements of a successful institute program could be found in the Ruhi materials (I may be mistaken in this last point, if I am someone please correct me...)

As I type this, I feel so ridiculously inadequate to be explaining any of this, because, again, there is SO MUCH written about this, addressing all the concerns raised in 'The Ruhi Problem', explained in a much better way than I can hope to explain it. Plus, it's late at night here, and I'm very tired.

Friends, I assure you... your concerns are legitimate, but fortunately, have all been addressed quite well by the Institutions of the Faith and by those that put together the Ruhi Institute materials.

If you want to deepen... deepen! If you want to do interfaith activities... do them! If you want to have a fireside... God bless you, do it! If you want to explore the various intricacies of meaning in the words of Baha'u'llah... go for it!!! These are still important activities, and will continue being so! BUT, a series of often-disjointed and unrelated activities here and there cannot address the needs and concerns of large scale expansion and consolidation and entry by troops. What can address these needs and concerns? The House of Justice has already told us.

Humanity needs this Message. It needs it very, very badly. It is suffering so much... how can we not pursue every means at our disposal, mindful of our divinely-inspired guidance, to bring this healing message to as many people as possible, in as short a period of time as possible?

I encourage those of you who still have questions and concerns to talk to your Auxiliary Board member(s) and/or Counsellors. They are there to help you and answer your questions and concerns.

God bless...

- Misagh


Postby Guest » Sat Apr 16, 2005 7:05 am

I wonder if this controversy is similar to the one among the Anglicans about the Alpha Course? On one hand the Alpha Course is succeeding where few other options exist, in bringing people to Anglican churches. On the other hand it has been accused of being shallow, cultic, and / or a tedentious representation of Christian beliefs (because it has charismatic elements).

Some differences: Ruhi has no visible organizer / spokesperson, and is aimed inwardly at committed Baha'is rather than outwardly toward seekers. Ruhi is a bit longer (Alpha lasts twelve lessons). Do you think its participants or graduates tend to identify with Ruhi, as an identity group or reform / revitalization force within the larger Baha'i faith?

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Postby majnun » Sat Apr 16, 2005 1:50 pm

Comprehension precedes Acceptation

In the tablet titled "The River", Baha'u'llah explains
that comprehension is a first step, then acceptation
of the truth will follow. He uses the classical example of
the earth's rotation to explain the illusion of the sun
turning around it.

In the Valleys, he describes, in diplomatic terms,
7 ways of thinking, or steps, and that we have to
get rid of the first 3 ones, to access to Objectivity,
(comprehension), then to access to our own internal
"hard disk", to clean it up of the curved paths and adaptations
to the situations and events, remaining on it.

Sticking to what we learned from our parents, is a way of thinking.

Being in love with a human (his image) is a way of thinking.

Making projections on things and events, i a way of thinking.
These 3 ways of thinking are blockages, 3 levels of limitation.

The remaining curved paths will be automatically removed
when the vision of the past events comes in contact with our
conscience, in the awaken state, not asleep.

This is easy to do, since in the valley no 2, the brain
has been trained toroughly to detach the emotional component
from the memorised images (the loved person) and not to evaluate
any situation by taging a label, an attribute on it. The images will
remain always accessible, but what we attached to it, that is what
controled our behavior, unconsiously, these thing attached to the
images will fade. This part of the brain then is not a separated part, an ennemy, but becomes a friend, we Re-unite (valley 4).

You may remember: Read your own book (from Qur'an, cited in
the 4 valleys. This is what it means, to review all your live, all the
past, in a flash. Actually it takes many weeks, or more, but it is
not difficult, if and if only, we became profoundly concious that the
3 first ways of thinking are not very good for us, no, they are

It is simple as A, B, C, but if the pain of valley 2 has not been
expressed, lived trough, the blockage remains. Access to the past
is refused, simply to protect us from reliving the same pains over and over again.

This is very simple, but the Ruhi courses do not explain that.
To be fully understood, reciting the Valleys over and over is
the easyest way.

In the example, Isranil and Jibreel are simply
projections trown out but the searching party.
Objectivity is impossible if we continue to trow
our state of mind on people and events. When we
stop projecting, the inner door opens, the road to
nirvana is just ahead.

While Mr Gulick presents the valleys as levels accessible
in the afterlife, with some tangible meaning in this life,
Abdul Baha says (1912) that the valleys are a guide for this life.

You see that my text here is not educationally built
and that it iis very hermetic. If you are a Baha'i you
know what i mean by this "bayan". A person from outside will
say: what is he talking about, i dont understand.

Outside people need more informations, slowly explained,
drop by drop. That is the way Baha'u'llah does, for everybody
to understand what the message means. After a while, the comprehension
of Gems and other topics will become easyer. The rest of the
Revelation will be a peace of cake.

If i had the time, i would redescribe the whole procedure of the
valleys including the parallels with the 4 valleys, and the 2 other ones
in Gems, explaining the freudian equivalents on how to communicate
consciously with these separated parts (called subconcious) and how to reunite with them on the way to the Nirvana. This would be then, Ruhi course no 13. Would it help anyone who choosed the Baha'i road ?

Enjoy the days gentlemen.



Postby Guest » Thu Apr 21, 2005 9:05 pm

R2D2 wrote:Hi Walker,

In my area, the appointed and elected arms have only been too willing to help LSAs deepen on administration. I think if you openly 'oppose' Ruhi, for right or wrong, people will feel that you are not being constructive. The House of Justice has continually said that people are welcome to not participate in the three portals as a natural right and has added that should they decide not to, they should not oppose it. If Ruhi isn't for you, you can focus your energies on one of the other core activities. I think every Baha'i I know does this to some extent.


What a nice way of saying "you are my enemy". There is a month named "Questions". Why, if when we ask we come under suspicion as you have stated above. The independent investigation of truth does not stop when we "sign the card." When is the exercise of justice by the individual - through his own eyes - opposition? If a Baha'I activity appears to depart from Baha'i teachings or standards, somebody has to speak up. Speaking up - the individual's right to self-expression - is basic to the Teachings. Why do you call my actions "opposition" when it is disagreement? This is one dang firey term and if you really believe I am opposing the Faith and everyone is just like you, then report the both of us to the proper administrative body.


Re: Hmm...

Postby Guest » Thu Apr 21, 2005 9:12 pm

Dear Misgah,

Thank you for your statements on the purpose of the Ruhi institute. I have no argument with the purpose. I disagree with the execution of that purpose, and my original post states some of that disagreement.



Postby Guest » Thu Apr 21, 2005 9:19 pm

Dear Guest,

The Alpha course is very popular in my area where there are many newly formed churches with younger members.


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