Re: One Common Faith



This is a reply I wrote on Feb 22 and resent several times to the SRB.

"Douglas McAdam" <douglasmcadam@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote in message
news:bc20fcf3ca829fcaf90d675e157d74aa@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Okay, Doug, had a nice dinner, ready to finish up this message:
Therefore our power to know and love should be directed towards fulfilling
that purpose and if so then we are becoming our true spiritual selves and
thus spirituality is the outcome.

Does not follow logically, first, that since we are created for "servitude"
(and you haven't shown me that we were created for servitude) therefore our
powers should be directed toward servitude. It is kind of like saying I
built a cabinet to hold nails, therefore it should hold nails. So what if
it doesn't? Is it an unhappy cabinet? Certainly it can serve other
purposes. I can use it for a ladder or a bulletin board.

In any case, you seem to be suggesting that God somehow intices us or has
built the universe in such a way as to make it run better if we submit to
His laws. I will accept that. My quibble is that you say this logically
follows from our ordained purpose, and I don't think that the rules of logic
are such that it does follow Although for other reasons the assertion is
true.

Secondly it does not follow that, even if we are happier, or entices, or
ordained to follow God's laws that we will therefore become our true
spiritual selves. It may be true for other reasons, but it does not follow.
If you have other reasons I will hear them, but I do not accept that our
true spiritual self is any other self than the self that we see every
minute of every day.

To be more specific we are also told that our purpose is to acquire virtues
and these virtues are manifested by Baha'u'llah to us who also named them,
such as honesty, trustworthiness, kindness, courtesy, etc. and He warned us
that if we do not acquire these virtues the void will be filled with a
human fault.

That may be true. Are you saying that spirituality is embodied in virtues?
I think you are right. I think the more virtues we have the more spiritual
we are. That spirituality is the same thing as the divine, the higher self,
the best we can be. If we strive for that we are striving for spirituality,
and as we do that we acquire virtues and become more spiritual.

However this spirituality is in augmentative degrees as the Writings
pointed out.
What? Maybe here you should give a quote, because I don't know what you
think the writings say.

What may be virtuous in the animal level is faulty in the human level and
virtue in the human level might be faulty in the spiritual level.

Virtuous animals? That is a contradiction in terms. I think a virtue is
spiritual, and it can only be at the spiritual level, above the human
(non-physical) level. Of course one human might be capable only of
babysteps toward spirituality, say, not yelling at someone, while another
might be capable of giving their all to help a fellow human.

...we can easily get caught up in the Kingdom of Names as we are told in
the Writings. In the Seven Valleys it says-
"It is clear to thy Eminence that all the variations which the wayfarer
in the stages of his journey beholdeth in the realms of being, proceed
from his own vision."

Which has nothing to do with the Kingdom of Names. In the quote, is the
point that the wayfarer can only see what is in his line of sight? Or that
he has in his vision all the variations of the realms of being? The short
quote does not make it clear. Why did you quote it?

In any case you have answered the question to the best of your ability.
Thank you for that.

--Kent







Dear Kent-
I am at a loss to know how to answer you but it seems to me there is some
confusion about what spirituality means, which is how this all began if I
remember correctly. So I will try again.

If it is true that Baha'u'llah is a Manifestation of God and He gives us
truth in His Revelation and then tells us that we are created to know and
worship (love) God then logically it seems to me that we have an innate
desire to know and love God. Also if it is true what He says about our
station in life, i.e. that we are created in that station of Servitude
then we also not only have an inner desire to know and love God but a
desire to serve God and humanity. Therefore our power to know and love
should be directed towards fulfilling that purpose and if so then we are
becoming our true spiritual selves and thus spirituality is the outcome.
To be more specific we are also told that our purpose is to acquire
virtues and these virtues are manifested by Baha'u'llah to us who also
named them, such as honesty, trustworthiness, kindness, courtesy, etc. and
He warned us that if we do not acquire these virtues the void will be
filled with a human fault.

Logically then I can see that if we are displaying human faults, such as
anger, unkindness, rudeness, etc. then we would not be manifesting
spirituality but if we manifest their opposite virtues such as love,
kindness, courtesy and the like then we are showing our spirituality.
Thus virtues and spirituality go hand in hand, we cannot have one without
the other.

However this spirituality is in augmentative degrees as the Writings
pointed out. What may be virtuous in the animal level is faulty in the
human level and virtue in the human level might be faulty in the spiritual
level. For example kill of be killed is an act of the animal level and it
is the animal virtue to have the powers to do so. But this is not what we
call successful human relations and thus it is faulty at that level.

The problem I see is that all these terms are names we have assigned to
conditions we observe in this world and we can easily get caught up in the
Kingdom of Names as we are told in the Writings. In the Seven Valleys it
says-
"It is clear to thy Eminence that all the variations which the wayfarer
in the stages of his journey beholdeth in the realms of being, proceed
from his own vision."

"Knowledge is a single point which the foolish have multiplied."

Spirituality then, to me, is that condition that evolves from our innate
desire to know and love God and to fulfill our purpose of servitude. Our
physical senses, intellect and power of faith all should be unified by
being turned to and used for this overall purpose and the outer
expressions of this process will be seen as a virtuous person. I doubt
there is such a thing as a non spiritual person. We are all spiritual
beings who manifest this spirituality in unique and various levels of
development.

God bless,
doug


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