Tuesday, March 09, 2010

On the Spiritual Environment of the World Today: As a wall plastered over with layers of posters for bands that have played

"Generic crazy band poster" Uploaded on January 1, 2009 by jublin on flickr

THE FAST: A Time to Consider the Baha'i Faith [Part 1]

Introduction and Post-Modern Analysis

Fasting, though technically an instruction on detachment from basic material necessities, is a commitment to detachment in its entirety, as it concerns human existence. The act of fasting is a symbolic gesture for a spiritual process, one not unfamiliar to the endeavors of most other World Faiths. I'd say detachment from material existence is at the core of most religious practice, as it concerns meditation, charity, asceticism, monks, and countless texts and philosophies.

I find it exciting, mysterious and confusing to explore this now in a time when everything is building up and breaking down. I envision the spiritual climate of the world right now as a wall outside some obnoxious but sort of precious dive venue, plastered over and over again with layers of posters for bands that have played or want to play or will play but all of them kind of suck because there's way too much music and too many rich kids are involved. The wall itself is a monument and some art student is going to photograph it, but the bands are offering nothing but moments to anticipate or remember.

That was a tangent of an analogy. I'm sorry. But I think the modern world has stacked so many instances and modes of belief and experience on top of us that spiritual reality - and I mean REALITY in its most pure and direct version - while potent and ever-present - is tangled up and hidden within itself - within its own modern-day emblems. So when I charge myself with the task of exploring it, knowing it, recognizing it, I am confounded, even with the guidance of those Words (Writings of Baha'u'llah) in which I have entrusted my entire existence.

Which leads me to what this (hopefully) series will explore - my actual relationship to the Baha'i Faith, which I have not taken pains to discuss publicly with anyone; in fact there are very few with whom I have really talked about this in depth. People know that I am a Baha'i, and I have told many people what the Baha'i Faith is, but obviously there's more to that. I think when one is born into a system of belief there is an inherent responsibility never to cease examination of truth in whatever form it may take - a principle which is intrinsic, in fact, to the Baha'i Faith. That's one of the things that makes the Faith unique to me, and one of the reasons I adhere to it. That said, I might find it useful here to examine how my identity as a Baha'i has informed my position in the world at large, and how I think the Baha'i Faith, beyond anything having to do with me, is relevant to humanity, specifically at this crucial moment in human history.

I hope I can back all this up.


An in-depth reflection on this blogger's faith and fast. -gw

Posted via email from baha'i music

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