A Look at the Ridvan 2024 Message
One Baha'i's approach...
by Mead
1M ago
Before reading this post, I would suggest that you read the 2024 Ridvan Message from the Universal House of Justice, found here. I mean, I'm sure you have by now, otherwise why would you be here, looking at this post? Also, this is not one of those "study guides", with emphasis on the quotation marks, that just asks questions ensuring you know how to read. After all, you wouldn't be here, on-line, searching study guides for this message if you weren't fairly literate. So, no, I don't have any of those "answer with a line from the text" type of questions. Sorry, if that's what you were hoping f ..read more
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It's All One
One Baha'i's approach...
by Mead
2M ago
A friend and I were talking the other day, and this is the sort of friend that teaches me a lot. Almost every time we speak we talk about the Writings, and he is so knowledgeable about them, has such a different perspective than I do. It's wonderful. That day, though, I was reminded of a very important truth: What seems obvious to you is a wonder to someone else. "I like the simple way the Iqan explains progressive revelation", he said to me, "but I really prefer the Seven Valleys." There was something about the conversation that really made me want to go deeper, but I realized that we first n ..read more
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The Blessing of God
One Baha'i's approach...
by Mead
4M ago
When I was a child, I listened to the stories of the Tanakh, the Old Testament. As I listened, I had an image that always came to mind: I saw the blessing of God like a glowing ball. That's it. It was like a glowing ball in my mind, passed from one generation to the next. As I listened to the story of Abraham, this ball had been given to Him, and He cared for it. Sometimes, though, it was difficult to keep this precious object. One mis-step and you could accidentally lose it, as the Jewish people did time and time again throughout he stories. But back to Abraham. He had this great gift, and wa ..read more
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Questions
One Baha'i's approach...
by Mead
1y ago
My most recent article, the one the Virgin Birth,  raised an interesting point in my mind, at least the responses to it did. A number of people were not satisfied with the ambiguity. They wanted a definite answer, a yes or a no. A few people even went so far as to insist that their particular interpretation was the "correct" one, whether it was that it actually happened the way they said, or that it was a mis-interpretation of a particular word, or a metaphor, or whatever particular creed they believed. For many people, and it didn't seem to matter whether they believed in it or not; they ..read more
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The Virgin Birth
One Baha'i's approach...
by Mead
1y ago
“How would you try to convince an agnostic about the truth of the Virgin Birth?” My initial response was “Why would I want to?” In fact, I responded with that famous quote from Baha’u’llah, “Be anxiously concerned with the needs and exigencies of the age in which ye live.” Whenever I am asked to dwell on these abstract issues of faith, the issues that are really a matter of personal belief, I am reminded of that quote. It was initially written in response to a number of such questions, and when the person lovingly said that his questions were not answered, Baha’u’llah pointed out that this st ..read more
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A Matter of Perspective
One Baha'i's approach...
by Mead
1y ago
"But what about Heaven and Hell?" The question was was a good one. Most of us, when we hear people talk of heaven and hell, think of places. Heaven we may see as a delightful place amongst the clouds, while hell would be a fiery pit of torture beneath the ground. Some may think of heaven as a beautiful field with brightly coloured flowers, animals playing and perhaps a sweet water river flowing gently throughout. Hell would be a desolate desert with people dying of thirst and vultures flying overhead. Many think of heaven peopled with winged angels, adorned with halos and harps. Hell would be ..read more
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Hidden Words, #44
One Baha'i's approach...
by Mead
1y ago
All right. All right. I hear you, dear Reader. I know it's been a while since I've posted. I'm sorry, but it's been a very busy past few months. That's not why you're complaining? The title? Oh, my mistake. Which Hidden Word #44? Arabic or Persian? Why, yes, I'm glad you asked. Well, let's see shall we? We'll start with the Arabic. "O Son of the Throne!" That's a nice beginning. It is like a reminder of that other Hidden Word half the book ago, # 22: "Noble have I created thee..." But then there is the Persian #44: "O Companion of My Throne!" Hmm. I notice a trend. Probably just a coincidence ..read more
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Preparing for the Conferences
One Baha'i's approach...
by Mead
2y ago
As I'm sure you know, the Universal House of Justice has called for a number of conferences this year, and many of them have already happened. These are not just your ordinary conferences, where you attend as a passive individual, watching a series of presentations. No, quite the contrary. They are part of an on-going conversation, in which we engage in learning about Baha'u'llah's vision for humanity, and how we can take practical steps to bring this vision into existence here in our own neighbourhoods. Before sharing a number of thoughts about this, I want to first mention the five themes th ..read more
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The Importance of Planning
One Baha'i's approach...
by Mead
2y ago
 I was reading from the Universal House of Justice the other day, when I ran across the following: (...A sustained entry by troops) cannot be achieved by a mere series of spasmodic, uncoordinated exertions, no matter how enthusiastic. Confidence; unity of vision; systematic, realistic, but audacious planning; acceptance of the fact that mistakes will be made, and willingness to learn from these mistakes; and, above all, reliance on the guidance and sustaining confirmations of Bahá’u’lláh will advance this process. (Ridvan 153, to the Baha'is of Europe) Interesting. And what an incredible ..read more
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Cycles
One Baha'i's approach...
by Mead
2y ago
My family and I have been down with, presumably, covid for the past few days. Fortunately we're all vaccinated, so the symptoms are not as severe as they could be, for which we are all very grateful. But lying there, on the couch, with my cat by my side (more for the non-moving warmth than out of any sense of love, as far as I can tell), I've had a lot of time to think, while reading. Oh, that's one of the things about me. Even when I'm ill, and feeling a little miserable (not too miserable, but thanks, dear Reader), I will still find time to read. Of course, given the muzziness of my brain, I ..read more
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