Becoming a Bahai

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Posted by Stuart Gilman ( on October 21, 2002 at 17:41:48:

I was surprised this week when I trying to formally register/convert to Bahai by way "signing my card". I finally reach John MacLeod, head of our local LSA, who was the speaker at my first fireside three years ago. Later, I began to study Bahai intensely and declared myself to Baha'u'llah some months ago. When John phoned me and asked about my "becoming" a Bahai, he knew about my devotion to Bahai by way of my writings, public readings, and Bahai poetry. He said that I was already a Bahai by virtue of my acceptance of Baha'u'llah. He added that the signing of the "card" was an administrative action and not a requisite. I was not aware of this.

At the same time, I felt that the signing was important to me for various reasons. One reason is that I plan a re-marriage to my wife, a Bahai, this summer, and wanted to be a formal member of the Bahai Community, which I believed was generated by the signing of "the card".

Tonight I sign the card. The difficulties that lie ahead are many, since my personal faults have always stood in the way of my declaration. Feeling inadequate to be a Formal Bahai by way of some personal habits, I was ashamed to enter the Faith formally. I now understand that my obligation is to strive to do away with these personal habits. Moreover, I feel that the public declaration of conversion will motivate me to work harder at, for example, swearing, smoking, social drinking, anger, pride, unforgiveness, pessimism or cynicism, sarcasm, etc. Backbiting and gossip have never been issues since I find all gossip boring!

I went for an EEG today and it was another "sign". The technician said she had never seen a reading as "perfect" as mine - in the sense of calm and non-reactivity to sudden stimulation. I will attain a chronological age of 62 in April and she assumed my brainwave patterns would show some signs of years of anger, childhood abuse and other negative self-treatments of my mind and body. None appeared. Perhaps I owe it to Baha'u'llah, who has kept me safe through a life of biographical misery. The best is not yet to come - it has already arrived.


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