Although the Bahá’í Faith is fundamentally mystic in character, American Bahá’ís often do not even understand what mysticism is. Heart-centered mystic oneness is crucial in individual, societal, and adminstrative spiritual transformation.
Presented as a homework assignment for the Wilmette Institute's "Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh" Course, year one, 03/1998. Later delivered to the Irfan Colloquia and then published in Lights of Irfan 2. Presented at the Irfan Colloquia Session #32, Bosch Bahá'í School California (November 23-6, 2000).
published in Lights of Irfan, Book 2, pages 69-82 Wilmette, IL: Irfan Colloquia, 2001
The concept of the "mystic cup" and its heavenly draught is a fine thread woven throughout Bahá’í sacred writings, repeatedly disclosing the fundamentally mystic character of the Bahá’í Faith. However, in the U.S. Bahá’í community there is often a lack of awareness and little intuitive sense for what constitutes the mystical. Even though the situation has improved in recent years', many deepened Bahá’ís have little idea what the word means. Given the lack of depth of understanding within the Bahá’í community as well as the misappropriation of the word in popular culture we have a majority of the Bahá’ís with a weak grasp of what constitutes mysticism. "The Mystic Cup" shows that the Bahá’í Faith is first and foremost mystical and clarifies the Bahá’í concept of the mystical. 'Abdu'l-Bahá's projection of a "mystic oneness" that will gradually bond all the hearts of the world is a basis for much of the paper. The notion of "heart" appeals to a wider audience. The paper establishes the "heart" as the center of the "mystic feeling" and discuses how this heart-centered mystic oneness not only incites individual spiritual transformation but is at the core of all social and administrative remedies necessary to finally effect the "mystic change" that the Guardian predicts will take place in society as a whole. Arguments are well supported and the author believes we as Bahá’ís must give this area much more attention.