Re: DO THEY REALLY CARE?
- From: honghsien@xxxxxxxxx
- Date: 13 Mar 2006 19:29:57 -0800
As I understand Michael's position, if we agree on it then we are
right, and if we disagree on it then we are wrong.
It is the Baha'i scriptures themselves that contain the teaching that
if there is contention about the understandings of scripture (and many
are the meanings that revealed words can contain), then both of those
arguing are wrong.
So if somebody is
wrong, I have to agree with the wrong or else I will be wrong.
I think the teaching is that we accept the validity of a rainbow of
perceptions; it means more that the word "and" becomes a highlight of
mature human understanding. Moses was a messenger from God, and Jesus
came from God, and Krishna came from God, and Muhammad came from God.
It is not a question of exclusivity, nor of contention and opposition;
it is a situation of observing a glorious jewel of many facets.
You are not required to become a Jew, or a Christian, or anything else;
what is the sign of understanding is to realize that each and all are
valid expressions of common human spirituality.
The problem Baha'u'llah sought to solve, the disease he attempted to
heal was contention, conflict, strife and war amongst the members of
the single human family. His method was to remind his believers that
the various siblings descended from Adam and Eve are not clones, but
different individuals, brothers and sisters as they are. Naturally, as
divinely created, they see things differently, and these differences
are valid, on the condition that there is no imposition of one
partially valid viewpoint.
It has been this very insistence that only one understanding may be
accepted that has led the great religions of the past to go to war
against each other and even the great religions have fought civil wars
internally as the vicious bloodshed of the Catholics and Protestants in
Baha'u'llah solved this by outlawing religious warfare and by outlawing
the insistence of one opinion in religion. Variety of views is divinely
bestowed on humanity, along with the teaching that each believer may
feel, think, believe as honestly s/he does in the course of her/his
growing understanding. Each believer may share her/his understanding
and also welcome the fact that others see things differently; what is
forbidden is the insistence only one view is correct..
disagree with what is wrong and stand up for the TRUTH, then I am being
disagreeable, and Baha'u'llah has come, apparently, to make sure all of
mankind is agreeable.
I don't buy this. If you are in error, I am going to tell you that you
are WRONG, and if you find that disagreeable, really it is too bad.
It has very much been very bad for humanity that religion, presented by
God as a gift to unite and uplift the hearts of the human family, has
instead bred the arrogance that this opinion, or that opinion, this
teacher or that teacher, alone has all of the truth.
Abdu'l Baha reminded the Baha'is of the Buddhist parable of truth. It
was the story of the elephant as approached by various blind men and
each one grasped what he could, and so one of them felt the legs and
was convinced he held a tree and another grabbed the tail and was sure
he held a snake and one touched the side and thought he held a wall.
Now if each shared peacefully his understanding of truth, that would
increase the knowledge of all and, to that degree, all were correct,
though they each understood something very different. Though if they
made their individual understandings the cause of conflict and told
each other how wrong everyone else was, then all of them very sadly
Being agreeable to the point of embracing error and rejecting the TRUTH
is not the way Baha'u'llah will unite the world. Unity comes from
TRUTH and JUSTICE and DIVINE OBEDIENCE, and not from compromise with
The Baha'i teaching is that evil does not have any concrete existence.
Ignorance does not have a positive reality; it is merely a word to
describe what is lacking.
It is not an issue of embracing error and rejecting truth; it is a
situation of welcoming that more than a single understanding is the
divine creation; exactly as you are to be free to live your spiritual
life, according to your understanding, similarily you may rejoice that
others live their spiritual lives, as they understand it, limited only
by the prohibitions on religious warfare, strife and anyone demanding
that her or his view be exclusively accepted. It is not one kind of
flower alone that grows in the paradise of the garden of humanity, but
an awesomely glorious diversity of fragrant beauty.
Thank you again for sharing your feelings, and I very much hope this
has been clearly expressed.
Very Best Wishes, Michael
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