Friday, August 31, 2007

On Baha'i: Number One Across in the Universal Crossword of Life

Sarah posted this on her blog Gentoo. -gw
Number One Across in the Universal crossword (as seen in the Toronto Star, the internet and probably other places) this week = Baha'i! So awesome!

On Meaty Mentions of the Baha'i Faith: Pre-Holiday 'Net Browsing Fare

On a day before a three day weekend marking the traditional end of summer, I get the impression that no one is indoors reading blogs. But here I am, Lord, Google-ing "Baha'i" and finding many meaty offerings on the 'net. Some examples... -gw

"All historical epics," as Benjamin Friedlander notes in his analysis of Bahá’í poet Robert Hayden's epic, "are first of all affirmations of community." ... I can't help but agree with the sentiments of Joseph Campbell when he says: "each individual is the centre of a mythology of his own." As Baha'u'llah says, we each must find for ourselves the indwelling God, the Thou at the centre of our world--and the crossover, for the Bahá’í, the cornerstone of community, is symbolized by Baha'u'llah.

Small groups like the Baha’i are easily overlooked in Egypt but their right to freedom correspond to the freedoms of all the countries citizens, therefore Baha’i freedoms equal Egyptian freedoms.
Muslims do not allow images of God or messengers which is a movement toward God being transcendent, which means that all description of God being in time or space is pure imagination. This also, is the Baha’i view of God which means that it is helpful to imagine where God is terms of virtue, but description of God is beyond all comprehension.

Richard Hastings, "Where is God?" Radical Change

We believe that "seal of the prophets" did not mean that Muhammad was the last of the Manifestations, but rather more of a closing off of prophecy itself, or the "seal" as a kind of stamp of approval — or more accurately, of validation — of the previous prophetic messages. And we believe that while not all of the literal "signs of the return" may have accompanied the lives of the Báb's and Bahá'u'lláh, these various apocalyptic predictions are built up and exaggerated over the years.

Stephen A. Fuqua, "Missed Opportunity: Baha'i Connection to the Shi'a Mahdi,"

Thursday, August 30, 2007

On Tango for Peace: Baha'is will be allowed to dance

"Tango.rave,"Uploaded on March 18, 2006 by bastet [ pause ]

I can't guarantee the authenticity of this mysterious report. You will have to figure it out for yourself. -gw

It is further rumored that Catholics,+ Pagans, Hindus, Zoroastrians, Buddhists and Baha'i will also be allowed to dance. -gw

Lexa, "Tango for Peace," Tigers Tango

"Tango notation:," Uploaded on July 11, 2006 by PeterForret on flickr

On the Possibilty of Gaining Weight Because of World Religions Class: Watch me be a Baha'i in 10 years

An intesting side note and a pressing concern. -gw

on a side note tho, at class tonight, we had this guy come in to tell us about the baha'i religion. it was very interesting. its a small religion, one of the youngest [major?] religions. watch me be baha'i in 10 years XD jk...check it out at or

im going to like world religions, and if i gain weight this semster, its all because of that class [teacher makes us bring in food], so tell me if i look fatter.

Currently reading : Experiencing the World’s Religions by Michael Molloy

On the Tremendous Advancement of Baha'i-Inspired Music: Arise to the Light

The more I listen to Arise by the Dawnbreaker Collective and the Temple of Light Vol 1 albums, the more I am aware of the tremendous gains that have been achieved in producing high quality Baha'i-inspired music. I absolutely love the creativity of the Arise collaboration and the diversity of selections on the Temple of Light compilation.-gw

On Seeing the Big Picture: Let your vision be world-embracing

Our local Baha'i Spiritual Asembly secretary Gary comes back from Alaska refreshed by views such as the following.
Click on image for the Big Picture. -gw
Here is a panoramic view of Cook Inlet that I took in late August in Anchorage. It's taken from the city's Kincaid Park, about a 15 minute walk from where my father and his wife live. The view is generally westward, with the entrance to
Turnagain Arm to the south (left) just visible and the entrance Knik Arm to the north (right). The original was 114 inches long and about 23 MB in size. This is 36 inches long and just over 3 MB. It was taken from nine photos and stitched together. Gary
(Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh, Lawh-i-Maqsud): "Let your vision be world-embracing"

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

On Religious Diversity in the Workplace: You're just making those religions up

"Ditmas Park mural: Recently dubbed 'the most diverse neighborhood in America' by U.S.News & World Report, Ditmas Park attracts a broad swath of individuals and families from a wide variety of cultural, religious, and economic backgrounds." Uploaded on September 17, 2006 by anniebee on flickr

Lover of Strife writes a funny piece on religious diversity in his workplace. -gw

We had a rough morning at the office. I mean rough, as in employees quitting without warning, infuriated CEOs raining hellfire and brimstone down upon our lowly department, rough. I honestly thought nothing could help me survive the day.

That is, until B., my illustrious co-manager, summoned me to her cubicle.

“We’re interviewing someone today,” she said, dropping her voice to a stage whisper. “And she’s Mormon.”

Granted, B. couldn’t know how happy this would make me (she doesn’t read my blog), but we had a lovely bonding moment over the religious diversity that thrives in our workplace.

“I think she’ll fit in well,” B. opined. “After all, E.’s Jewish, and J. is Eastern Orthodox, and you’re Pagan, and L. is Lutheran, and we all totally get along.” Then she paused, reflective. “If only we had a Baptist.”

“Oh hey, I’m Baptist!” announced another manager.

“And that’s great!” B. replied.

Above all else, that’s what I love about my job. The people I work with come from a wide variety of religious and cultural backgrounds, and through this, we’ve managed to create a truly safe space where differences in belief and practice are not just tolerated, but accepted, and sometimes downright encouraged.

Not what you normally expect from a company based on corporate sales, but there you go. And this brief ray of sunshine in my otherwise catastrophic day pretty much made me snap.

“Alright, everyone, listen up,” I said. “Who here does not ascribe to any particular organized faith?”

My loyal subordinates looked at each other, confused and concerned, and then a few people tentatively raised their hands. Sizing up the challenge in front of me, verily I went cubicle to cubicle, assigning religions.

“Let’s see. You’re Unitarian now. And you’re Daoist. And you…” I stopped at my assistant’s desk and looked him over. “You’re Baha’i.”

He rolled his eyes at me. “For your information, I’m agnostic.”

“Oh, same difference.” I moved onto the next cubicle. “What are you?”

“Well, my mother says I live in sin.”

“Hmmm. Okay, you’re Episcopalian.

Suddenly, one of my newest employees piped up: “Ooh, ooh! I worship the Devil!”

I raised an eyebrow: “Church of Satan, or Temple of Set?”

She mulled over her options. “Never mind. I want to be Buddhist.”

And so it went. After a few minutes, everyone was happily settling into their new belief systems… except for B., who was growing increasingly skeptical.

“I think you’re just making these religions up,” she grumbled.

Whatever. She’s just [mad] because she tried to call Muslim, but I’d already stuck her with Hellenic Reconstructionist.

{Photo licensed by Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0}

On Religions of the World: Fundamentally the same

FemmePhantom sizes up religion in "Femme's Big Bad Religion Post." -gw

If I had to pick one religion that I identified with the most, it'd be the Baha'i Faith. But I don't necessarily practice it.

You ever really looked at all the major religions in the world? They're fundamentally the same. They have the same teachings/beliefs, but different details.

You want to know why I think there's so many different religions in the world? I'll tell you. It's because whatever God(s) is up there, is infallible. While man, is not.

Yes, I do believe in a higher power. I just don't have a name for it.

But here's what I think. I think that God has tried to send down his message to us repeatedly, but it somehow always gets lost in translation.

The Bible, the Torah, the Qur'an, are all different interpretations of God's word.

It's just that each book had a different author, with a different background, and a different set of values.

On American-Islamic Relations: When you learn more about other religions, you deepen your own

The San Bernadino County Sun ran an article about "Open Mosque Day," reposted on the blog of Hussam Ayloush, the Southern California Executive Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), who was interviewed for the article. -gw

The president of the Redlands Area Interfaith Council is of Baha'i faith. He said Open Mosque day is a chance for people to get reliable answers to their questions.

"It's excellent," he said about the event. "It's very much needed today because of the apprehension people have because of Mid East turmoil and the prejudice that has built up over the years about Muslims. It's a good place to meet Muslims and ask questions in a friendly atmosphere."

It's an invitation, Ayloush said, which can be accepted or denied.

"But it's also in our hands to make a positive change," Ayloush said. "Let's try to imagine what would Moses, Jesus or Muhammad do if they received such an invitation."

It's important for people to get out there and investigate on their own and find answers to their questions, Gregory said.

"When you learn more about other religions, you deepen your own," he said.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

On Religions: Oldest to Youngest, Shamanism to Baha'i

On his blog Only a Game Chris provides a listing of religions from the oldest to the youngest. If you view Discordianism as a "parody religion," as described on Wkipedia, then Baha'i is at the bottom of the list, the youngest. -gw

"Believers sang song or pray to God of Taoism & Buddhism at the temple, Taipei"

Uploaded on August 13, 2007 by Sunshine Junior on flickr

Top 10 Religion
(1) 30,000 years: Shamanism
(2) 6,000 years: Fertility Cults, e.g. Ninna in Mesopotamia
(3) 3,900 years: Canaanite religion/Judaism
(4) 3,800 years: Zoroastrianism
(5) 3,350 years: Vedic pantheon/Hinduism
(6) 2,950 years: Kami worship/Shinto
(7) 2,550 years: Taoism
(8) 2,525 years: Jainism
(9) 2,500 years: Confucianism
(10) 2,475 years: Buddhism (C

Runners up:
(11) 2,000 years: Christianity
(12) 1,400 years: Islam
(13) 500 years: Sikhism
(14) 150 years: Baha’i
(15) 50 years: Discordianism

Chris, "Top ten science and religion," Only a Game: "Hah," She thought, "Here shall be a new game."

Monday, August 27, 2007

On Religion and Economic Development: Strategies That Take into Account Humanity's Spiritual Nature

On his blog Iguana focuses on the intersect of economic development and spirituality in a fascinating post on what has been termed the Grameen methodology, or micro-credit programs, which aim at alleviating poverty. -gw

I became interested in the Grameen methodology through research into complementary or social currencies and later in community banking methods practiced by the Baha’i international community. ...

As I ask and look for answers to many new questions about economic development, I find that many older questions are sprouting up anew. Foremost among them are concerns about focusing a development strategy entirely on humanity’s material nature, relegating our spiritual yearnings to the realm of personal, emotional fulfillment. There is of course, nothing wrong with development strategies that aim at generating material prosperity. In fact if a development strategy didn’t have this aim, it would be guilty of the opposite, and equally imbalanced, offence.

The obvious dangers involved in integrating traditional and dogmatic religious concepts into development strategies have distanced most of those interested in creating and increasing prosperity from discussions about the role of spirituality in development. Rightly so, as traditional religious discourse too often only fans differences and generates discord. It is easier to focus on issues we all agree upon, especially when they are also the most visible and cause the most immediate impact.

Giving up this easily on spirituality, and on the human spirit, however leads us to visualize development within a context that equates prosperity with material well-being. It also equates prosperity with properly conceived and functioning public, private and social structures taking socialism as its model, either consciously, or more likely, unconsciously. It has also led us to a tragically flawed economic order that celebrates material comfort of a few at the expense of monumental suffering of the masses of humanity. Simplistic answers to questions about generating prosperity thus generate hasty and ultimately shallow results.

Even though it implies a more complex planning and execution process, the “powers of the human spirit responsible for some of the greatest accomplishments of humanity’s past such as the power of unity, of humble service, of noble deeds, of love, and the power of truth” can be released only when development efforts are “formulated and carried out in the context of an emerging world civilization.” Indeed, this is a great and complex process that needs carry humanity into the next stage of its evolution defined by “a dual cry … heard everywhere rising from the heart of the great masses of humanity … that demands the extension of the fruits of material progress to all peoples and, at the same time, it calls out for the values of spiritual civilization.”

Defining the hallmark of this civilization occurs when universally shared values are elevated to principle. The overriding principle that contextualizes and provides a practical aspect to this effort is the oneness of humankind. A collective life that foments dignity, justice, participation and joy, as exemplified by the harmonious integration of a huge variety of cells in the human body, happens as a “result of a gradual unfoldment of the potentialities of the human spirit,” as these spiritual notions touch the very depths of human motivation. This evolutionary process “will attain a stage of fulfillment when humanity is at last able to undertake the task of laying foundations for a unified and advanced civilization. Progress towards such a goal demands rapid and organic change in the very structure of society, accompanied by an equally profound change in human consciousness.”

*All quotes taken from “Science, Religion and Development”, pages 83 – 86, Dr. Farzam Arbab, FUNDAEC, 2001.

Iguana, "Grameen and Spirituality," Iguana Journal: Exploring the world as it is and might be...

{Re-posted with permission}

On a Gold Medal Winner: Nelson Evora, Baha'i

Marco, the Portuguese blogger of Povo de Baha, conveys the news of Baha'i Nelson Evora's achievement. Nelson won a gold medal for Portugal at the international track meet in Osaka, Japan. -gw

Friday, August 24, 2007

On Religious Organizations and Dissidents: Definately suspect

Uploaded on March 22, 2006 by Skip The Budgie on flickr
I am thrilled to come across a blog by J.A. Mclean, scholar of Baha'i theology. We have a neat book of essays by him on our shelf downstairs. Since I started blogging, I've thought those essays in blog form would be a natural fit. This post takes on the subject of religious dissidents and ex-Baha'is, noting as part of his discussion the following. -gw

People, generally, do not object to organized government, to an organized judiciary, to organized political parties, to organized education, to organized medicine, clubs, associations and societies. But except for official members, the religious “organization” in a secular age has become definitely suspect. And for good reason. ...
{Photo licensed by Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0}

On the Bible, Buddhism, and Baha'i: Forcing Religion on Others Decried

Coercion has no place in religion. -gw

I find different groups and religions interesting. One day you will see me reading the bible, read on buddaism to the Baha'i religion because I think it is important to learn about others beliefs so you can make your own desicions on what you believe. It all falls under love, basic religions basically say the same thing, they all pray and fills our hearts with peace. If people stopped focusing on other people and forcing others to believe what others believe than I think this world would be a happier place ;-) PEace and Love.

"Desk Jesus and Buddha,"Uploaded on June 27, 2005 by fuzzcat on Flickr
{Photo licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 }
{Re-posted with permission}

The Counselor, Board Member, and Local Assembly Member Do a Home Visit to Mary Ellen's: She is talking like a Baha'i

We Baha'is today should ask ourselves, do we want the Baha'i Faith to be just a select club or a spiritual community of the masses? This line of questioning has been posed to us in recent years by the Continental Counselors.

I had sent another email to Mary Ellen to invite her to our devotional meeting yesterday, but she didn't make it. As I learned this evening, Mary Ellen received instead a home visit from Counselor Murphy, our Auxiliary Board member Shawn, and our Assembly Chairperson Lori.

Our counselors, auxiliary board members, and local spiritual assembly members all make home visits, setting an example for us all. That's how important is teaching the Cause, given the urgency of the hour. Because Baha'u'llah did not intend for the Faith to be just a club.

Lori said, "It was a pretty amazing visit. Mary Ellen is reading the Gleanings that Shawn gave her at Chris and Shadi's, and she is talking like a Baha'i." -gw
"Ye are even as the bird which soareth, with the full force of its mighty wings and with complete and joyous confidence, through the immensity of the heavens, until, impelled to satisfy its hunger, it turneth longingly to the water and clay of the earth below it, and, having been entrapped in the mesh of its desire, findeth itself impotent to resume its flight to the realms whence it came. Powerless to shake off the burden weighing on its sullied wings, that bird, hitherto an inmate of the heavens, is now forced to seek a dwelling-place upon the dust. Wherefore, O My servants, defile not your wings with the clay of waywardness and vain desires, and suffer them not to be stained with the dust of envy and hate, that ye may not be hindered from soaring in the heavens of My divine knowledge.(Baha'u'llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 327) " Uploaded on August 22, 2006 by prema on flickr

{Photo licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0}

Thursday, August 23, 2007

On the Baha'i and the Mormon: There we were, two servants of God

This is long, but worth it. This Baha'i blogger writes of a teaching experience and, in so doing, exemplifies the passion and the love for all humanity with which Baha'is are called upon to approach the responsibility to teach, especially given the needs of the current Plan. -gw

Autistic Psycho
life has been so intense. from dawn prayers in the city, to morning prayers on a mountain. from teaching door to door in spanish to teaching 4 year olds holy scripture in the park. from singing the long healing prayer as an ambulance carried my near dead neighbor out of her home to forming a gospel hip hop band.

i just want to share this short story, perhaps not as powerful as the countless transformative moments alluded to above. but, now i am alone. i am not meeting with my San Francisco teaching team at the break of dawn, nor am i surrounded by all the joyous souls from the 9 day teaching project called, the Tree of Life. nonetheless, this story i must share before i sleep. i cannot pray enough for these things, so i strive through writing that my blogs become beautiful prayers.

i am not on an airplane to michigan. i had written in my datebook that my flight was tonight. i told everyone that i would leave today. i spent all day getting ready. i rolled my suitcase around the city. i was ready for a red eye flight. comfy clothes, fruit in my purse. i left ruhi early and rushed around all prepared to miss my flight as is typical for me.


at the ticket counter i was told that my flight is not until tomorrow. this made me feel very alone. suddenly my expectations went from getting on a plane and waking up in michigan and seeing my mom, to shivering through the cold dark city all alone from a lonely airport of strangers to a cold desolate, late night, end of the line, BART station, to the spooky civic center station ghetto, to the actual ghetto, to my home, where no one is expecting my return, not even my cat. it was nearly 11pm and i felt nothing but desolation and dissapointment as i wheeled my things to the elevator and got on the air train to journey back to my sad life.

"An approaching train in the Civic Center BART station," uploaded on February 11, 2007 by Jeremy Brooks on flickr

why do i suck so much at catching my flight? i asked myself again and again. i felt scared to be going home so unprepared, in flipflops, late at night, so cold. on the air train i looked around thinking maybe there's somebody i am supposed to teach. maybe i do have a purpose here yet.
next to me was a boy in shorts and a t-shirt. he looked like he was about to be much more cold and forlorn than me. so i told him that he would be cold and asked where he was from. salt lake city, utah, was the response. his voice surprisingly youthful for a person wearing a wedding band. i helped answer his questions about catching the BART train and soon found myself waiting with him at the BART station.

"are you here on business?" i asked.

"kind of, i'm going to a conference for something."

i thought to myself, hey man, i just spent the past 9 days in intense service and prayer for my faith, no need to hide your religious zeal from me!

finally i asked if he was mormon and he said yes and from there i correctly presumed that his conference was for the mormon faith by saying, "i'm a bahai, and i myself am just getting back from a study circle." he asked what it was and i gave him a card so he could see how bahai is spelled and showed him the principles.

we had the greatest discussion. and i felt so lucky to have the things that i had with me. i had wanted to go to the book store and get materials to help teach my christian best friend in michigan. but i ran out of time, so just before leaving the bahai center i grabed a flyer called, "the Rumor of Christ's Return". i also had the book "Preparing for Christ's new Name" and i even had printed out the Lawhi Aqdas, the Most Holy Tablet aka the Tablet for the Christians. but i didn't have all the pages, so he gave me his email address to get the whole thing by email.

i am just so happy because i've never spoken to a mormon since i became bahai and i've always heard that they are very nice. i got the sense immediately from chad. before i asked if he was mormon i had already discearned the purity of character thing that i have come to recognize in most all bahais. all the other signs were there, (salt lake city, married young, secret conference) but sparkling character cinched it. he was so nice! i think i might have hesitated to give him the full run down of the bab and his station and offer him pamphlets because he said to me, "i know it can be hard to share your beliefs with others. you have to have a really deep
undertanding about what you're talking about and why." it was like he was already a brother in the Cause, well tempered by the challenges and joys of teaching.

there we were, two servants of God, each with a roll away carryon full of books, pamphlets and prayers, seeking purely to do God's will. i learned great things. the mormons believe the prophet is alive and living in salt lake city. there is always one main prophet for the world who gets direct revelation from God. currently its gordon b. hinckley. my friend chad said this name with great respect, much like a bahai would say, "counselor birkham".

they also have 12 apostles who are like prophets and get revelation from God. but as individuals they have no authority, only as a whole body. it is rather similar to the bahai world. they also fast one day a month and give money they would have spent on food to a global fund for humanitarian relief. they only sing traditional hymns. new music, like mormon inspired rock bands, is okay for recreation but not considered part of the normal worship. i sang a bit of the song we made at tree of life that is perfect for christians. "O followers of the Son! Lo, the Father is come! The gates of glory are open, behold! the Promised One. Oooh, verily, He is the Tree of Life, that bringeth forth the fruits of God, the Exalted, the Powerful, the Great."

he really liked it when i quoted the bible. and it would have been cooler if i knew the bible well enough to cite and recite the actual passages. but he instantly recognized the things like 'come with a new name', 'thief in the night', investigating the truth of anyone who claim to be the return. i was well surprised to hear him say that the mormons consider their leaders to be prophets. i said that the bible definitely recognizes that there are good prophets and false prophets and that you know them by their fruits and that the mormons are doing lots of good things, so their prophets must be good prophets.

i am thankful to be a bahai. the mormons are very courageous and we can learn so much for them. their truth is true, but the aim is not as clear as the bahai purpose. i asked, what is the motivation for teaching other christians? and he said that they did have alot in common but the living prophet thing adds more guidance in life. i agree. a unified faith with a progressive leadership that actively leads is a wonderful thing to have in life. but the motivation to teach the bahai faith is not only because it is a great gift that can help guide an individual's life, it's purpose is to save the entire world from a toxic meltdown and build the most great peace. the vision of the baha'i is great. but it is not theoretical. in fact it is very clearly laid out.

in the end chad seemed eager to investigate the claims for himelf and asked if there was a bahai center in utah. since mormons already believe in organized religion, direct relationship w/ God and spreading out all over the world to unite everyone, what more is there for me to teach, besides the reality that the Return has already occurred? there is no way to convey this truth besides through joy and radiance. i was thankful for the teaching opporutnity because it produced such a great light in the night that i was impossible for me to feel anything but blessed as i walked home from the BART station.
{Re-posted with permission}
{All photos from Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0}
{Pamphlet from Special Ideas}

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

On video, video, video: All for YouTube stand up and holler

To quote Stanley Black in "Os Quindos de Ya Ya" on the Something for Everybody sampler CD, these days "It's all video, video, video," and that's a good thing. All for YouTube stand up and holler! Good for teaching. Good for getting out the Baha'i message. Good for global communication. How powerful are the messages in the videos linked below? Thanks to John Conkling for bringing to my attention "Bahai Faith - A Way Forward" and Marco of Povo de Baha for "Egypt Tourism Ad." -gw


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

On a Good Morning All-Baha'i Music Mix: Ipod Shuffle

My morning all-Baha'i artists ipod shuffle. -gw
"No Stopping Us Now," Kiskadee, Don't Look Back
"Call to Nations," Russ Salton, Hearts on Fire
"We Are the People," Khoshmashrab,
Hatami, Ferdowsi, Sharing Circles Songs for Kids (Ruhi 3)
"Chahar Midrab," Rahmotallah Badiyi, Zamaneh (Era)
"As I Am," Suzy K, As I Am
"Sufi Mali," XCultures, One World One People

Masnavi," Amir Haghighi, Temple of Light, Volume 1

"Amame," Lenor Dely, Amame

"Prayer," Ali Akbar Furutan, Melodies from the City of the Covenant

"Hollow Reed," BMG, Voices from the Black Men's Gathering

"Kraing Chapey," Daran Kravanh, Music Through the Dark

"Lightning Tree," The Pearl Divers, Destiny
"Canto," KC Porter, Embrace the World

"Don't Be Foolish," Doug, Baha'u'llah's Way
"Audio Track #2," Chanchai Baran & Jack, Thai & Lao Baha'i Songs
"Ya-Baha'u'l-Abha, Ya-Ali'u'l-Allah," Baha'i Chorale, Songs of the Ancient Beauty

On Mormon and Baha'i Youth: Diversity Issues

"Latter Day Saints - Los Angeles,"
Uploaded on March 9, 2007 by andropolis on flickr

Sunday morning I had occasion to visit a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints church and observe youth and young adults among those at the 9 a.m. sacrament service. Today I note a fascinating discussion involving dozens of comments to a post on a blog called By Common Consent which addresses what might be called religious diversity issues affecting LDS youth. The 52nd commenter is Portia who had this observation to share among others. -gw

As far as sharing similar values, one of my closest friends was Persian and Baha’i. We had interesting discussions about our respective religions, and she had very good morals as far as modesty, drinking/drugs, sex, etc., and she wasn’t Christian, let alone Mormon.

Comment on "Teenagers and Mormon friends" by Portia, By Common Consent

{Photo licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0}

Monday, August 20, 2007

On Building Community: Ties That Bind

"Ties that bind," uploaded on April 10, 2007 by quasarsglow on flickr

I take myself into account, looking back over the past week. This evening I picked up Polin and took him to Feast, the first time we have had a chance to visit in several months. This morning I drafted an email to Ethnic Fest seeker Sara. Yesterday evening I found a Baha'i quote to put out on the doorstep for Myong to find when she delivered the newspaper. Yesterday morning I went to the Mormon Church to be a support to Myong who was playing piano during their 9 a.m. service. I hope I provided reassurance to Myong when she came over late Saturday evening for for an unexpected visit with Bonita and me. Earlier that evening I went to visit Robert and Linda, who are in town from Reno because of Linda's sick mother, and also saw El Rico and Tosca who were visiting from Kent. Saturday morning and afternoon I was at the Water Festival booth. Thursday evening I picked up new Baha'i Nick, who declared in San Diego two feasts ago, meeting him just outside the Naval Shipyard in Bremerton, and taking him to dinner at home in Tacoma, where he was able to join us for our devotional meeting, after which I took him down to the Greyhound for his trip to Spokane for the weekend. Wednesday we had devotions with Kay and Judith in lieu of our study circle, as Myong couldn't make it. It is my hope that I have enhanced relationships that lead to the development of Baha'i community life and promoted the growth of the Cause. -gw

On Religion and Science: Electrons and human beings both acting as waves

The blogger of Welcome to My Home invites his readers to view the video "George Airy and Abdul-Baha" on YouTube, and offers the following observations. -gw

Scientific fact and a reflection of a scientist. Dr. Nick Herbert in his book Quantum Reality beyond the new physics states: "An Electron seems to possess contradictory attributes, and retains its identity in collision with other particles. As a particle, it must be localized in space, cannot be split apart, and retains its identity in collision with other particles. As a wave, it spreads over vast region of space, indivisible in an infinity of ways, and merges completely with other waves it happens to meet. "

Religious facts, millions of faithful followers of religions also believe that human beings as a spiritual being don't die and here are quote from their Holy Books.

Ecclesiastes (3:2): Although eternal life is a gift that is granted to all who accept salvation through Jesus Christ, ..

Baha'i Faith: "Know thou of a truth that the soul, after its separation from the body, will continue to progress until it attaineth the presence of God,.."

Qur'an 56:60-61: "We have ordained death among you, and We are not to be overcome, so that We may change your state and make you grow into what you know not."

So, can we take a radical approach and compare the electrons with human spiritual beings? Human beings keep their identity as a spiritual being even after death according to millions of people across the world and electrons also keep their identity as a particle even after collision.

But funny enough, human beings as thinkers acts also as a wave too. A thought of a Prophet goes on for thousand of years like a wave, and spread over vast area and merges and/or accepted completely with other thinkers or faithful followers that happen to meet.

You might say, this is a wrong comparison or assumption or a wrong imagination and you might be right. How about accepting it as a way to investigate the unknown 'for (unknown) (God) sake, using scientific facts and religious belief? So, maybe we can also see a glimpse of unknown together with the scientists, one through discovery and experiment and one through meditation, concentration and focus experience a glimpse of beauty of life beyond as a wave.

This is just a start of a theory, come back for more later looking at the electron behavior in Airy experiment and see if they might be a way for a state of mind of a thinker to experience a glimpse of eteranal life beyond focal point of concentration, searching for unknown. Remember Airy experience in the video!!!!

{Re-posted with permission}

Sunday, August 19, 2007

On One Light, Many Lamps: The Baha'i Faith is not a "new" religion, but religion renewed

Saturday I spent the day manning the Baha'i Booth at the Asian Water Festival. The booth looked like


this year. The banner we used, "One Light - Many Lamps," was so helpful in conveying the basic Baha'i view that religious truth is simply renewed from age to age. Andre reiterates this view on a Zaadz blog post. -gw

[F]or me, [the Baha'i Faith] is not a 'new' religion, but rather a confirmation of the truths that have come before, and will continue to manifest in days to come.

One young Cambodian man who visited the booth to learn of the Faith told me that his fiance was Muslim, having recently converted in Malaysia, while he himself was Buddhist, the traditional faith of most Cambodians, and living in a predominantly Christian country. He said he was feeling confused. He readily took to the idea that all religions are in essence one and apparently saw the Baha'i Faith as a way to reconcile the supposed differences between Islam, Buddhism, and Christianity. He filled out an interest card with great enthusiasm, indicating his interest in attending a Baha'i devotional meeting as way to continue his investigation. -gw

Photos by Flitzy Phoebie

Friday, August 17, 2007

On Maintaining Human Diversity: Being Both Baha'i and Traditional
Sara and Greg are back from Indonesia and have posted again. I was reading a previous post of Sara's and continue to find remarkable the incredible detail of her description of visiting Baha'i communities in Mentawai, Sumatra, Indonesia. -gw

The father of the man we stayed with is a Baha’I secray. The Muslims and Christians in the area forbid their members from practicing the old traditions and he was afraid the same was true for Baha’is. Fortunately, the Baha’I Faith encourages people to keep their own cultures alive as a necessary component of the diversity of the human race.

On Defending God: We're so selfish, cruel and blind

Oh, God! -gw

Hate and violence just increases,
We're so selfish, cruel and blind.
We fight and kill each other,
In your name, defending you.
Do you love some more than others?
We're so lost and confused.

"Hello God" on the Halos and Horns album
Written & Sung by Dolly Parton

On Blogging and Baha'i: Going Together on Blog Action Day

Blogging and Baha'i. They go together like beans and rice. It's page one Blog Search news. -gw

Blog Action Day October 15th 2007
8 hours ago by Suzie Cheel: Collis is a Baha’i and Blog Action Day was inspired by the Baha’i belief in the unity of humanity.

Blog Action Day will be on 15 October 2007
8 hours ago by pelf Blog Action Day is a blogging event scheduled to take place on October 15th, where bloggers around the world will unite to post on a single important issue on everyone’s mind - the environment. Each blogger will post about the ...
pelf-ism is contagious -
Blog Action Day 2007 - The environment
2 hours ago by John I have to say this sounds pretty interesting on October 15th is to be Blog Action Day where bloggers around the web will unite to put a single important issue on everyone’s mind. That is the issue that is our environment. ...
John Michael Ryan's Technology Rants -
Blog action day for environment
58 minutes ago by Mihai Let’s see what happens if a lot of bloggers write about the same thing in one day? Would it matter ? Would you make a difference. Blog action day, on October 15′th will be the day when thousands of blogs will write about the one thing. ...
PatchLog -
Blog Action Day - October 15, 2007
8 hours ago by Myo Kyaw Htun Blog Action Day - October 15, 2007 Blog Action Day. What it is ? Bloggers around the world who participate in Blog Action Day will post a single topic on October 15, 2007. The topic is “Environment“. Your post can be anything which is ...
Myo Kyaw Htun . com :: A programmer studies... -
Blog Action Day needs you!
16 Aug 2007 Every blogger will post about the environment in their own way and relating to their own topic. Our aim is to get everyone talking towards a better future. Blog Action Day is about MASS participation.
Computerlove - Connecting Creative Talents - - References
Blog Action Day - October 15th - Topic: The Environment
6 hours ago by Andy Merrett On October 15th, the first annual “Blog Action Day” will take place, offering an opportunity for bloggers around the world to write about a common subject in whatever way is appropriate to them and their blog. ...
The Blog Herald -
Blog Action Day
5 hours ago by PR Design An interesting concept, can all bloggers talk about the same thing at the same time? Or more importantly, will it work? It's a good notion but I'm not too sure whether it will have any impact... See what you think: Blog Action Day.
Graphic Design Forum and Web Design Forum -
Blog Action Day 2007
16 Aug 2007 by Cyan Today is the launch of Blog Action Day! Blog Action Day is an initiative of Collis (our design guru) and Leo (our productivity guru). They are asking bloggers around the world to unite on October 15th, 2007 to post about the environment ...
Freelance Switch - - References
Blog Action Day, October 15th.
20 hours ago by CableGirl Sadly, there are some people out there who don’t. Don’t be one of them. If you have a blog and you want to help make the world a safer more inhabitable place, participate in the Blog Action Day. The idea [...]
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Thursday, August 16, 2007

And on the 40th Book She Became a Baha'i: Taking the Challenge

Bina took the challenge. She's a Baha'i now. -gw

40) 'Come Now, Let Us Reason Together (Saith the Lord)' by Hushidar Hugh Motlagh, Ed.D. ~ 08/15/07 247 pages. I actually became a Baha'i during reading this (yes, it's taken me a couple of months to get through lol), so this answered a lot of questions I had. This book basically explains the revelations of Christ fulfilled by Baha'u'llah. It's also a great book to read if you're wanting to learn more about The Baha'i Faith. +Bina+

Books Accomplished: 40 / 50 books. 80% done!
Pages Read: 7371 / 10000 pages. 74% done!
Days Used: 226 / 365 days. 62% done!
Current Mood: good

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

On Religion Should be the Cause of Love and Unity: Please bear with me on this

This ad prompted the following post. "Religion should be the cause of love and unity." Indeed. -gw

On Blogging for Baha'is: Another Post, Another Door

When I first started blogging I thought readers always started with the top post. What I've come to know, but only when I got Sitemeter, is that readers come to blogs via as many doors as there are posts. Another benefit to sticking with a blog day after day, year after year. It is my hope that every post can be an avenue to investigation of the Faith. Another post, another door.

What brings readers to a blog like Baha'i Views on this day? Sitemeter provides some clues. Here is a current report which "ranks the first page viewed by the most recent visitors of the site. ... A higher ranking for a page listed here means the page was used to enter the site more often than by the other listed pages." -gw

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