Re: Covenant



Have you seen Moojan Momen's translation and commentary on "I was a
hidden treasure"? Read below from 'This exposition of metaphysical
relativism is an extremely important formulation' and then read the
rest of the page.

It suggests that in many spiritual questions, both contradictory answers ca
n be
'right'. I think that is an important point to keep in our minds when
we discuss different perspectives on something.

Tom


http://bahai-library.com/provisionals/hidden.treasure.html
'Abdu'l-Baha's resolution of this difference is extremely interesting.
Basically 'Abdu'l-Baha, having earlier in this treatise established
that no absolute knowledge of God is possible for man, now states that
these different philosophical opinions arise from differences within
the observer. Some because of their essential constitution view the
matter one way and others view it in what appears to be the opposite
light (according to which of the Names of God is predominant in their
nature). What 'Abdu'l-Baha appears to be saying is that all men's
views on this metaphysical issue (and by implication all metaphysical
issues) are inevitably and inescapably "coloured" by their essential
constitution. This exposition of metaphysical relativism is an
extremely important formulation, perhaps a key concept for Baha'i
metaphysics. It can be applied to many metaphysical and other
problems. There is of course the obvious application to the dichotomy
between the monistic and the dualistic views of Reality. However, at
another level, and perhaps to bring the issues raised here up to date,
the two view-points being discussed here can be seen as to be
essentially the same as the dichotomy between the heart and the mind;
between intuition and reason as modes of obtaining knowledge; and
even, in this day (because of the manner in which science is
considered to have monopolised rationality) between religion and
science. The idea of one of the Names of God being predominant within
an individual is obviously of relevance for a Baha'i psychology. By
implication, it may also have implications for a Baha'i sociology for
it may be considered that certain cultures have one of the Names of
God paramount within them (the West tending towards science and
rationality; the East towards intuition and mysticism).


On Sat, May 31, 2008 at 5:15 AM, Kent Johnson <kent@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
Hi Mark,

I don't "separate" them. I see the Greater and Lesser Covenants as
being different different categories of the Eternal (Ancient)
Covenant.

How is "see(ing) ... different categories of" the Covenant not separating
,
not distinguishing?

Just so we don't get lost in semantics, the question is:

How do you know the difference between the Greater and Lesser Covenants?

And again, my opinion is the Covenant of Baha'u'llah is termed the "Lesse
r
Covenant" and it is embodied in Baha'u'llah's "Book of the Covenant". If
I
am wrong about that I want to know how I am wrong.

My point was to distinguish it from a physical inheritance.

We will leave the definition of spirit to a different discussion, then.
It
strikes me, however, that to "spiritually honor" someone without such a
specific definition of spirit is a hollow appraisal.

I qualified it because they were not specifically called leaders of
the Aghsan in that passage.

I disagree that the book implicitly or explicitly named any "leader" exce
pt
'Abdu'l-Baha.

What have I discounted?

I quoted this:

"O ye the loved ones and the trustees of God! Kings are the manifestatio
ns
of the power, and the daysprings of the might and riches, of God. Pray y
e
on
their behalf. He hath invested them with the rulership of the earth and
hath
singled out the hearts of men as His Own domain."

And asked you this:

Is that the Greater or Lesser Covenant, and how do you figure?

You replied this:

I don't think it is either one.

Which lead to the discussion of what distinguishes the different covenant
s
that you see from what is in the Book of the Covenant. My reasoning bein
g
that what is in the Book of the Covenant is Baha'u'llah's Covenant, while
yours is that at least that one sentence of the Book of the Covenant isn'
t
part of either covenant that you distinguish.

You quoting a secretary to the Guardian:

"...This is merely to establish and strengthen the succession of the seri
es
of Lights that appear after every Manifestation. Under the same category
falls the Covenant the Master made with the Bahá'ís that they should
accept
His administration after Him..."

I suppose that is the mainstream view. The "lesser" covenant is "merely"
a
succession. I disagree, as I have stated several times. The Covenant of
Baha'u'llah is specifically stated in His Book of the Covenant, and it
includes a succession, but it is not "merely" a succession. And a critic
al
reading of the Master and the Guardian will bear me out on this.

--Kent


"Foucaultian" <drfosternotfromgloucester@xxxxxxxxx> wrote in message
news:dbmdnQl-Jooq-93VnZ2dnUVZ_jidnZ2d@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
On May 30, 7:12 am, "Kent Johnson" <k...@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

That is the question I have been asking for these past several days. Ho
w
~ y
do
you separate what is or isn't part of the Lesser or Greater, Eternal or
Ancient covenants? I don't understand where you get your usage of the
words, as well as your usage of "spiritual".

I don't "separate" them. I see the Greater and Lesser Covenants as
being different different categories of the Eternal (Ancient)
Covenant. As far as the terms themselves are concerned, they are
designations which have been used to refer to the two types of
Covenant referred to by Shoghi Effendi's secretary. I don't know who
coined them.

To my understanding, the Aghsan were spiritually honored (as
contrasted with receiving inherited wealth) by Baha'u'llah in the
Kitab-i-Ahd, since two of their members, `Abdu'l-Baha and Muhammad
`Ali, were a part of Baha'u'llah's Lesser Covenant.

You say "in effect". Don't you think that is an explicitly stated part
of

the Book, if not the Covenant?

I qualified it because they were not specifically called leaders of
the Aghsan in that passage.

So a spiritual inheritance is if we were to give to someone the means fo
r
happiness or honor. Is that correct? Or are you just saying that
anything
He gives that is not material is spiritual? Was your point that there
is
a
difference between the material and the spiritual? Or that there is
something explicit about this particular spiritual bequeathal?

My point was to distinguish it from a physical inheritance.

Well, you have discounted one whole paragraph at least, and said that a
lot
of what is in there is not part of the Covenant of Baha'u'llah but rathe
r
a
different Covenant (or covenants). I am just trying to understand how y
ou
differentiate between these covenants, and what is not part of any of th
em
at all.

What have I discounted? However, I am not distinguishing between
Covenants. I am referring to the letter written on behalf of the
Guardian:

"As regards the meaning of the Bahá'í Covenant, the Guardian consider
s
the existence of two forms of Covenant, both of which are explicitly
mentioned in the literature of the Cause. First is the Covenant that
every Prophet makes with humanity or, more definitely, with His people
that they will accept and follow the coming Manifestation Who will be
the reappearance of His reality. [Bahá'u'lláh states that a
Manifestation will come not less than a thousand years after Him.] The
second form of Covenant is such as the one Bahá'u'lláh made with His
people that they should accept the Master [`Abdu'l-Bahá]. This is
merely to establish and strengthen the succession of the series of
Lights that appear after every Manifestation. Under the same category
falls the Covenant the Master made with the Bahá'ís that they should
accept His administration after Him..."
http://info.bahai.org/covenant-of-bahaullah.html

It seems to me the Covenant of Baha'u'llah would be just that. He then
commands the succession, and we must allow the interpretations of the
Successors, but it is still His Covenant, not the Successor's covenant,
though They play a part in His Covenant.

Well, the Head of the Faith right now does not have interpretive
authority.

So what other document or documents would be included. He mentions in t
he
Book of the Covenant a specific verse in the Aqdas, so of course that
verse
would be included. But what else? How do you know if any verse is part
of
any of the covenants that you see?

Of the top of my head, I would add the Surih-i-Ghusn (Tablet of the
Branch).

If you are bored with this discussion, I am not trying to pump you, it i
s
just that I do not understand your view, thought I recognize it as a
mainstream Baha'i view.

Not at all. Well, many of my views are not mainstream, but I suppose
they are on this subject.

Mark Foster








.



Relevant Pages

  • Re: Covenant
    ... being different different categories of the Eternal (Ancient) ... different categories of" the Covenant not separating, ... We will leave the definition of spirit to a different discussion, ... "...This is merely to establish and strengthen the succession of the series ...
    (soc.religion.bahai)
  • Re: Covenant Breakers
    ... referring to Covenant Breakers? ... especially if you open up the discussion to more "spiritual disease" ... thing as literal spirit? ... That is one of the "purposes" of speaking on those terms, ...
    (soc.religion.bahai)
  • Re: THE HEART OF THE MATTER
    ... quick to abandon the Institution of the Guardianship. ... that Shoghi Effendi the man exceeded the powers of the office he held. ... and the Covenant will once again surge forward in its ... matters of the Spirit. ...
    (talk.religion.bahai)
  • Re: blind faith
    ... further explained that the gathering referred to in this verse was not ... gathering beneath the shade of the `tree of life' as the establishment ... made a new Covenant and established a great ... and the spirit the master. ...
    (soc.religion.bahai)
  • Re: Covenant
    ... One predicts future Prophets, and the other establishes a succession. ... not talking about the Greater Covenant itself, just the type of covenant the ...
    (soc.religion.bahai)