Friday, June 18, 2010

On the Doors Were Flung Wide Open: An end to 'us' and 'them'

There seems to exist a natural inclination to see others as separate from ourselves and to make distinctions between what we perceive as "us" and "them". So ingrained is this tendency that it can come to form part of how human groups and organizations define themselves. "Who we are" is determined, at least to an extent, by that which they are not but which others are. The erroneous assumption is that the maintenance of unity and cohesion as a group requires excluding others.

From Ruhi Book 8 on the Covenant of Baha'u'llah

The Baha'i growth that is being experienced today, and the promise of even more growth tomorrow, is based on the fact that, as guided by the Universal House of Justice, long term planning plays out in short term plans. The Baha'i community is in a constant learning mode, and, as anyone who has been a Baha'i for a couple of decades knows, Baha'i community life feels different. Baha'is are unified for collective action and are unapologetically presenting the message. The doors are flung open. Core activities are open to everyone, Baha'i or not, so outwardly oriented is the focus. There is no "us and them." For those souls who recognize Baha'u'llah today, consolidation into the community may be said to have preceded their declaration and enrollment, and it continues systematically. We know that those who declare but do not become plugged into the Institute Process have greater difficulty progressing; those who are, have less. What a grand spiritual enterprise we are involved in! -gw

In the long-term process of capacity building, the Baha'i community has devoted nearly a decade and a half to systematizing its experience in the teaching field, learning to open certain activities to more and more people, and to sustain its expansion and consolidation. All are welcome to enter the community's warm embrace and receive sustenance from Baha'u'llah's life-giving message. No greater joy is there, to be sure, than for a soul, yearning for the Truth, to find shelter in the stronghold of the Cause and draw strength from the unifying power of the Covenant.

The Universal House of Justice, Ridvan 2010

Posted via email from Baha'i Views

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