Monday, June 04, 2007

On Memories of the Baha'i Temple: No doors, windows, or chairs

As Mouse notes, the North American Baha'i House of Worship is spectacular but protected from the elements by glass panes. Not so at some Baha'i houses of worship in warmer climes, such as India and Panama, where the breezes may flow in freely. -gw

"Baha i - House of Worship, Wilmette - Illinois," Uploaded on January 2, 2007
by KarkSpace on flickr
We slept in, ate breakfast at home and determined our itinerary for the day. First on the list was the Baha'i Temple in Wilmette. Started in 1920, it was completed in 1953. The Baha'i faith centers on three concepts - the oneness of God, the oneness of mankind and the oneness of religion. It's got a lot of concepts I can agree with, on the surface, but I don't know nearly enough about the religion to truly say anything about it. Now, the temple, it's absolutely gorgeous.

There's a visitor's center in the basement where you learn about the religion and the temple, before going upstairs. Interestingly enough, the Baha'i do not allow donations. Only the Baha'i are allowed to donate. It's considered a privilege. I kind of like that. The dad remembers his dad bringing him to the temple. Back then, it wasn't enclosed from the elements. There weren't any doors or windows. And, there weren't any chairs in the main temple. The temple would have seemed a lot more exotic and foreign without the chairs and the windows and doors. And, I guess, it would have seemed more connected to the outdoors - you'd hear birds and feel the wind as you meditate. I guess nowadays, you'd hear mowers and trimmers and leaf blowers and cars. Maybe it's a good thing it's enclosed now.

Mouse, 05.29.07: Second City + Emerald City, Mouse Journal: learning by watching, listening, nibbling and writing
{Re-posted with permission}

No comments: