From jrcole@umich.eduSun Oct 22 00:47:46 1995
Date: Sat, 21 Oct 1995 18:46:15 -0400 (EDT)
From: Juan R Cole 
To: talisman@indiana.edu
Subject: "Turning Point For All Nations" now available on the Web (fwd)



---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 19 Oct 1995 23:21:02 -0500
From: Mark Towfiq 
To: Baha'i Announce 
Subject: "Turning Point For All Nations" now available on the Web

The new statement issued by the Baha'i International Community on the occasion 
of the 50th anniversary of the United Nations, "Turning Point For All 
Nations", is now available at 
http://sunsite.unc.edu/Bahai/Texts/English/Turning-Point-For-All-Nations.html

If you don't want to type all of that out, just go to 
http://sunsite.unc.edu/Bahai and click from there!

Versions in French and Spanish are coming soon, and will be at the same URL, 
with "French" and "Spanish" substituted for "English".

Please note that this site also has The Prosperity of Humankind statement in 
HTML as well.

More BIC-related things will be coming soon...stay tuned!

Allah-u-Abha,
Mark

 


From jrcole@umich.eduSun Oct 22 00:47:46 1995
Date: Sat, 21 Oct 1995 18:59:53 -0400 (EDT)
From: Juan R Cole 
To: talisman@indiana.edu
Subject: wired world government



>From an interview with Nicholas Negroponte, MIT Multimedia Lab, in the 
current issue of *Wired* magazine, p. 200:


Q.  You're on record as questioning the viability of government in a 
wired world.  How do you see a stateless world working?

NN:  The state will shrink and expand at the same time.  It will get 
smaller in order to be more local, with proximity and place playing a 
strong role.  It will get larger in the sense of being global.  I don't 
have a recipe for managing such a world, but its laws will have to be 
more global.  Cyber-law is global law.




JRIC:  There is also an interesting discussion of the ways in which the 
implications of cyberspace may have been overblown, in the current *New 
Left Review.*



cheers    Juan Cole, History, University of Michigan



From friberg@will.brl.ntt.jpSun Oct 22 13:17:05 1995
Date: Sun, 22 Oct 95 19:10:16 JST
From: "Stephen R. Friberg" 
To: talisman@indiana.edu
Subject: Christians and the Sabbath

Dear Friends;

Anna Yamaguchi, a Polish Baha'i, is teaching some of her Seventh Day 
Adventist friends back in Poland about the Baha'i Faith.  They are 
interested, but they think that Baha'u'llah has changed the Sabbath
in direct violation of what they have been taught is of extreme 
importance.

Now, she and I know that Christ also broke the Sabbath according to 
the strict Jewish observances.  But, this will not cut cake with her
friends because Adventist Doctrine holds that the Jewish interpretations
were wrong.  So, my plea is this: do any of the Friends know how to
explain Baha'u'llah's seeming violation of the law of the Sabbath to
these Adventists?  Something biblically based we would be best.

Thank you very much.

Stephen R. Friberg


From mfoster@tyrell.netSun Oct 22 17:44:28 1995
Date: Sun, 22 Oct 1995 12:52:55 -0500 (EDT)
From: "Mark A. Foster" 
To: talisman@indiana.edu
Subject: Christians & the Sabbath 

To: talisman@indiana.edu

Stephen R. Friberg wrote to talisman@indiana.edu:
    
F >So, my plea is this: do any of the Friends know how to explain
F >Baha'u'llah's seeming violation of the law of the Sabbath to these
F >Adventists?  Something biblically based we would be best.

    Steve,
    
    Since I have been sporadically dating a Seventh Day Adventist lady, 
I have had many opportunities to think of this issue . To me, there 
are several lines of approach.
    
    In the Tanach, the Sabbath is established as an eternal law. This 
provision is what the Seventh Day Adventists, the Seventh Day Baptists, 
the Church of God Seventh Day, the Worldwide Church of God (and its 
offshoots, such as the Philadelphia Church of God, and the Church of God 
International), and the Assemblies of Yahweh (Bethel, Pennsylvania) use 
as the basis for arguing that historic Christianity had no right to 
change worship from Saturday to Sunday. IOW, Ellen G. White's Seventh 
Day Adventist Church is certainly not alone in arguing for the 
continuation of the Sabbath.
    
    My own approach is to focus on the meaning of "eternal," since this 
word is at the root of their argument. I will put it in the form of a 
question and ask, "Doesn't _eternal_ imply some condition which is 
beyond time?" Then, I will ask, "Isn't the this realm beyond time the 
spiritual world?" And finally, "Therefore, or so it seems to me, the Old 
Testament is telling us that the Sabbath is spiritual, and I would 
certainly agree with that assessment."  Time is not a factor. The 
Sabbath is beyond time, and we have no way of knowing how long it will 
last.     
    
    I then explain how, using a Dispensational explanation of the six 
Days of creation, we are now living in the Seventh Day - the Day of the 
divine rest from all that He has created. Depending on the tolerance of 
the individual , I might then say something about the Baha'i model of 
universal and universal prophetic cycles:  
    
           The Present 506,000-year Universal Cycle consists of:    
    
      The Baha'i (universal prophetic) Cycle or Cycle of Fulfillment  
    
    
                                ^
                                |
                                |
                                |
                                |
                           
      The Adamic (universal prophetic) Cycle or Cycle of Fulfillment     
    
    Finally, I will say, in entering the Cycle of Fulfillment, we are in 
the Sabbath Day - the Day of God - something which was given to us as a 
_type_ in the Old Testament. And, as you know the Old Testament contains 
many metaphors, or types, of persons and events which were fulfilled in 
the New Testament Therefore, there is no need to practice the symbol, 
since it has been fulfilled.
    
    I hope the above will be helpful.
    
    Loving greetings,
    
          Mark 
                    
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
*Mark A. Foster, Ph.D., Sociologist of Religion                              *


___
* UniQWK #2141* Structuralists Know the Lingo ;-)
           

From dann.may@s-box.misc.uoknor.eduSun Oct 22 17:45:24 1995
Date: Sun, 22 Oct 95 12:46:44 -0500 (CDT)
From: dann.may@s-box.misc.uoknor.edu
To: talisman@indiana.edu
Subject: Iqan and Christianity


While the Kitab-i-Iqan was written to a Muslim in response to his questions, it
would be a mistake to hold
that the Iqan only addresses Muslim topics or is only of use to teaching
Muslims. The Igan is full of
references to the Bible and to biblical themes. For instance, two thirds of
part one of the Iqan (60 pages)
deals almost exclusively with the interpretation of three verses from the Bible
(Matt. 24:29-31). This
discussion begins on page 24 of the Iqan. It wasn t until I read the Iqan
several times that the Bible began to
make sense to me and my teaching work with Christians became more successful.
As another example, the
questions of Siyyid Muhammad are listed below followed with the same questions
rewritten as a Christian
might ask them.

Siyyid Muhammad's Questions

1.        The Day of Resurrection. Is there to be corporeal [physical, literal]
resurrection? The world is replete
          with injustice. How are the just to be requited and the unjust
punished?

2.        The twelfth Imam was born at a certain time and lives on. There are
traditions all supporting the belief.
          How can this be explained?

3.        Interpretation of holy texts. This Cause does not seem to conform
with beliefs held throughout the
          years. One cannot ignore the literal meaning of holy texts and
scriptures. How can this be explained?

4.        Certain events, according to the traditions that have come down from
the Imams, must occur at the
          advent of the Qaim. But many of the signs have not occurred. How can
this be explained?

See H.M. Balyuzi, Baha'u'llah: The King of Glory 164-65.

1.        The "Rapture" or raising of the dead mentioned in the Gospel (1
Thess. 4:17), is it to be corporeal?
Where is the promised judgement (Isa. 9:7)? Why hasn't suffering and injustice
ceased (Rev. 21:4)?

2.        Jesus Christ was crucified and was resurrected on the third day.
There are Biblical passages which
support this belief (John 20:11-18, Luke 24:34-43, 1 Cor. 15:6-7, Acts 1:3-12).
How can this be explained?

3.        Interpretation of the holy texts. The Bah 'ˇ Faith does not seem to
conform to the common beliefs of
traditional Christianity. One cannot ignore the literal meaning of the Bible.
How can this be explained?

4.        Certain events, according to the Bible, must occur at the advent of
the return of Christ. For example,
according to Scripture, the sun shall be darkened, the moon shall not give her
light, and the stars shall fall
from heaven (Matt. 24:29). None of these things have happened. How can this be
explained?

Furthermore, Abdu l-Baha once said: "In the Kit b-i- q n He (Bah 'u'll h) has
given expositions of the
meanings of the Gospel and other heavenly Books." (Promulgation of Universal
Peace 155) 

I my own study of the Iqan, I have found similar biblical references for
virtually every quranic verse and
hadith mentioned. I will try to post these as we move through the Iqan.

With warmest greetings, Dann May



From snoopy@skipper.physics.sunysb.eduMon Oct 23 11:36:37 1995
Date: Mon, 23 Oct 1995 09:16:52 -0400 (EDT)
From: Stephen Johnson 
To: richs@microsoft.com, jrcole@umich.edu, JWALBRID@ucs.indiana.edu,
    mfoster@tyrell.net, talisman@indiana.edu
Subject: My web page...your work.


Rick Shaut, Christopher Buck, Stephen Lambden, Juan Cole, John 
Waldbridge, Mark Foster, Kamran Hakim, and blessed talismanians.

Dearest Friends,

Within the next couple weeks I will be announcing the arrival of another 
web page on the internet.  While I expect that the web page located at my 
sight will appear similar to other Baha'i pages, I am hoping that it may 
be able to provide a different, and perhaps greatly appreciated, 
service.  Beyond the other beautiful links which other Baha'is have 
provided, I hope to include ABS conference papers, provisional 
translations, and other strong contributions to Baha'i scholarship on 
this web page.  For the moment, however, I am asking of other people with 
an interest in this service for their contributions.  I am specifically 
picking on a few of our friends who's contributions I've happened to 
save to my directory over the past year...however, I would appreciate all 
significant contributions to Baha'i scholarship.

So my questions to all of you are:

1)  Should such a site be available?
2)  If so, what should be present on this site (obviously I cannot 
        display every paper which was every written by a Baha'i..perhaps 
        the most recent along with only the best from the past years?)
3)  Do you have any papers which you believe need to be present on this site?
        (*Significant Contributions*)

And to start the ball rolling:

4)  To those specific people who are receiving this letter:

I would like to begin by placing the following letters and translations 
on the web page.  Of course, I will not place them without your specific 
instructions and will allow you to preview the contents before they are 
posted. (Provisional translations will be clearly noted so as not to 
confuse Baha'is that it is directly sanctioned by the Universal House of 
Justice.)  Please respond as to your beliefs on this subject with regard 
to the following papers:

Rick Schaut:  Toward a Baha'i Economic Model
Christopher Buck:  Tablet of the Hair, A Symbol Profile of the Baha'i Faith
Stephen Lambden: Translation of tablet on auxiliary language, trans of 
        Lawh-i-Halih Halih Halih, retrans of seven valleys section, trans 
        of Surah of Joseph, and perhaps the notes on the Tablet of the Bell.
Juan Cole:  Baha'u'llah's Tablet of the Sacred Night, Ode of the Dove
John Waldbridge: The Bab's Panj ShaUn
Mark Foster: Resurrection: A Baha'i Perspective
Kamran Hakim:  6 meanings associate with the terms "Seal of the Prophets"...

Thank you for all of your time and contributions.

God Bless,
stephen johnson



>


From 73074.1221@compuserve.comMon Oct 23 11:43:17 1995
Date: 22 Oct 95 23:31:31 EDT
From: "Mary K. Radpour" <73074.1221@compuserve.com>
To: Talisman 
Subject: long bio

Dear friends,
	Here is the long bio requested:
Name: Mary K. Radpour
Email address: old:    73074.1221@compuserve.com   new:   mradpour@usbnc.org
Gender: female
Country/State and City: USA/Soddy-Daisy, Tennessee
Short list of interests: the nature of the human soul and its relationship with
the body and the psyche; family systems theory; communication theory; addictions
theory; group process; male/female issues of equality; race relations and
cross-cultural communication; sexuality/gender/identity issues; Baha'i studies;
mediation and alternative conflict resolution; good poetry and literature;
murder mysteries; music of all kinds, but esp. blues; gardening; racquetball
Post-secondary education: BA Psychology and English, Univ. Illinois, 1964;
graduate studies in teaching of English, 1965; MSSW, Clinical Social Work, Univ.
Tennessee, 1979.
Profession/Occupation: Clinical Social Worker (psychotherapist/family therapist)
in private practice, Chattanooga, TN
Date of Birth:10/19/42
Nationality:US
Year joined your religion: 1960
Countries a/o places travelled (time periods if possible): England (lst World
Congress, 1963),  Iran (1965), Israel (pilgrimages, 1969 & 1988), Spain (family
reunion, 1972), Panama (dedication House of Worship ?), Jamaica
(Intercontinental Conference, 1971?), Nigeria, Ghana, and Liberia travel-
-teaching,1975), Bahamas (1978) France, Belgium, & Luxembourg, (1981),  South
Africa, Lesotho, Bophuthatswana (travel-teaching, 1989)
Countries lived in: only 4 months in Iran, 1965
Generation Bahai: Second 
Religious upbringing or pre-Baha'i religious heritage: Methodist on mother's
side; Missionary Baptist and heathen! on grandparents and father's side
Language(s) you can read well (capable of translating from/to): French, with
some reconointering
Language(s) you can speak fluently: kitchen Persian
List 5 non-Bahai books which you found of special or particular interest or
value: 
	Black and White Styles in Conflict, by Tom Kochman
	When Nietzsche Wept, a psychological novel by Irving Yalom
	Generation to Generation: Family Process in Church or Synagogue, Ed
Friedman
	The Choice: Evolution or Extinction:  Laszlo
	The Culture of Disbelief, Stephen Carter
	(I can count but I these must be included....) 
	poetry of W.B. Yeats, Emily Dickinson & Roger White
	The Culture of Narcissism, Christopher Lasch
	Mr. Death and the Red-Headed Woman, Lord of the Rings, & What Would
Happen if Everybody Did?
Last Bahai Books you have read : Ministry of the Custodians
Aspects of the Faith in which you are mainly interested: consultation in the
family and the Assembly/community, prayer and personal transformation, Baha'i
'psychology,'  designing training methodologies that work; male/female issues;
sexuality and its role in community; race relations 
Areas of particular service to the Faith: formerly: service on various LSAs,
DTCs, schools committees, Editor of Brilliant Star, Race Unity Committee;
currently: Auxiliary Board for LA, MS, AR, KY, &TN 
Specific scholarly and non-scholarly areas mainly interested in: family systems,
sexuality, temperament, behavior modification, medical mysteries and
discoveries, serendipitous coincidences, the development of educational
materials to make the Baha'i writings/teachings accessible to young readers
Selected Publications: new era fairytales for children (in Brilliant Star), The
Power of Unity (with the Race Unity committee and Bonnie Taylor)
Favorite activities both in and out of the Faith: trying to identify my own
craziness before it creams me or someone else; racquetball; reading; gardening;
talking; walking; hospitality; traveling for fun, dancing at wedding and singing
in the shower!!
Favorite subjects: relationships of all kinds: parent/child, male/female,
interpersonal, conflict resolution
and general science and health issues
If health professional, what specialization: Licensed Clinical Social Worker,
specializing in abuse/trauma victims, dissociation, family systems, adolescent
issues, women's issues 
Number of Baha'is of community/city in which living: about 120
Population of the community/city in which living:300,000
In what area do you possess knowledge (in small or large measure) in which you
believe you could answer questions (this is *not* an area to be humble, you will
be helping others by sharing your knowledge with them): mental illness, couples
dynamics, interpersonal relationships, sexuality (hetero and homo),
cross-cultural communication
How do you see yourself (please feel free to add as much information of yourself
as possible): mother (my best work!) and wife (my most challenging!), honorary
Persian (after 32 years of marriage), Home-maker in the new and revised sense of
the term, good listener and sometimes a good talker, sometime matchmaker,
passionate supporter of race unity, observer of process and lover of dialogue
when it is truth-seeking and not truth-obscuring, highly competitive racquetball
player, highly cooperative friend..... 
What is your purpose in life: becoming a better Lover
Favorite non-Bahai quote: "No matter how bad your past is, your future is
spotless"
Favorite Bahai quote: "My calamity is My providence; outwardly it is fire and
vengeance, but inwardly it is light and mercy. Hasten thereunto that thou mayest
become an eternal light and an immortal spirit....."
Additional Information: Enough, already!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
--------------------------------------------------------------------



From burlb@bmi.netMon Oct 23 11:48:08 1995
Date: Sun, 22 Oct 95 22:28 PDT
From: Burl Barer 
To: talisman@indiana.edu
Subject: Re: Christians and the Sabbath

1. If Baha'u'llah is who He claims to be, he can do/say/proclaim/ change
whatever He wants.
2. The Sabbath, if eternal, has no end -- the day of worship and service is
the very Day in which we are now living -- this is the Sabbath -- work is
worship when done in the spirit of service and service is permissible on the
Sabbath. Hence, now that God has elevated your work to the station of
worship/service, and all days are the Day of God, the eternal Sabbath is not
violated, it is validated.
3. When Ellen G. White had her vision, she saw the 4th
commandment"illuminated" -- that would be that the meaning of the Sabbath,
not only its importance, would be illuminated -- Baha'u'llah, the Glory of
God, the Light of Lights, has shed new illumination on the entire nature and
purpose of the "Day of God" -- this day , "The Day of God Himself."
4. In the Early Writings of Ellen G. White, many of her visions relate
directly to Babi history, which were contemporary events -- note her
statements regarding the Green cord stays and the Red worn by those who rise
out of the ground -- those who have sacrificed themselves for Him in His NEW
NAME -- (martyrs for the Cause of God)

I am no expert on this stuff, but Mike Bryan here in my community came into
the Faith from quite an Adventist background of study -- these are some of
the points he mentioned tonight at dinner and I am sure that I am not saying
them exactly on target, but he has all this stuff down pat. :-)

Hope this sends you to get a copy of White's early writings -- if you want,
maybe you and Mike or another Baha'i knowledgeable in 7th day adventist
stuff can get down to, as we rock n rollers say : the real nitty-gritty.

Personally, I go for point #1 -- if Baha'u'llah is Baha'u'llah than he doeth
whatsoever....etc.

PS: Friday is our day of rest, although I know few Baha'is who take Friday off.

Burl
>


From robert.johnston@stonebow.otago.ac.nzMon Oct 23 11:49:28 1995
Date: Mon, 23 Oct 1995 19:16:13 +1300 (NZDT)
From: Robert Johnston 
To: talisman@indiana.edu
Subject: one letter, three birds

This letters has three elements:

(1) Stephen Friberg's comment [to the effect] that Talismanians were a
privileged group, out of touch with "common" humanity, sparked a [what I
have already called] spirited response from Juan who said [in brief] that
not all Talismanians came from snob hill, and not everyone (anyway) from
the wrong side of the tracks got creamed on the freeway.  Well, I agree
with Juan, but Stephen is right, I think, when he states that Talismanians
are a privileged bunch of people.  This privilege is not nececessarily
connected to socio-economic origins: this privilege is about wealth
measured in terms of intellectual and spiritual "goods".  (Was it Joan, who
drew our attention to this kind of wealth earlier?)  And maybe Stephen's
intent was this: those with the goods have a responsibility to share them
-- to be generous in prosperity and thereby avoid "the admonition".  To be
generous with whom?  The poor of course.

(2) My bio.  Well, I don't have much patience for it at the moment.   I was
raised in a farming region (same place as Sonja) and eventually went, like
the country mouse, to the big city, but, unlike the mouse, couldn't go home
again.  I have wandered a lot, drawn by dreams/illusions/delusions.  Some
of the pathways were/are pretty obscure and unglamorous.  Ever been
completely lost upon contemplating a crack in the footpath [David Taylor],
or sunlight on a peak [Eric Pierce]?  Today you'll find me tutoring in
education and computing somewhere near the bottom of the South Island of
New Zealand, and also trying to do a PhD in child/human development there.

My favourite non-Baha'i books are the Analects and Plato's Dialogues.   As
an unregenerate young adult I learned a lot about writing from Hemingway
and Faulkner.  Anyone ever read Hesse's "Knulp"?  Hemingway and Hesse were
Cancerians like me.

Anyone wanting dirt on me might be able to get some from one of the New
Zealanders on this list.  I have broken bread with all of them, except
Marjo.

I enrolled in the Faith on St. Patrick's Day, 1977, after breakfast.  I am
rather suspicious of biodata banks.  Unlike Socrates, I have not been to
the Holy Land.

(3) Joan enquired about the distinction I was making between empirical and
intuitive.  She  associates (if have got it right) intuition with a deep
reading of such things as body language.  My response is, "maybe".  At the
exact time my father was having the stroke that killed him, I "experienced"
his loss, though I was hundreds of miles away, and uninformed (empirically)
of his plight.  I wrote a poem about the experience and added the time of
day to the title -- something I had not done before, and have not done
since...

Robert.



From friberg@will.brl.ntt.jpMon Oct 23 11:50:02 1995
Date: Mon, 23 Oct 95 17:16:19 JST
From: "Stephen R. Friberg" 
To: Robert Johnston ,
    friberg@will.brl.ntt.jp
Cc: talisman@indiana.edu
Subject: Re: one letter, three birds

Dear Robert:

You write:

> Well, I agree
> with Juan, but Stephen is right, I think, when he states that Talismanians
> are a privileged bunch of people.  This privilege is not nececessarily
> connected to socio-economic origins: this privilege is about wealth
> measured in terms of intellectual and spiritual "goods".  (Was it Joan, who
> drew our attention to this kind of wealth earlier?)  And maybe Stephen's
> intent was this: those with the goods have a responsibility to share them
> -- to be generous in prosperity and thereby avoid "the admonition".  To be
> generous with whom?  The poor of course.

WARNING: TOUCHES OF IRONY MAY SOMEHOW HAVE CREPT INTO THE FOLLOWING!!

As a physicist, I know that truths come in nice, well wrapped
packages. 

But that's not the fun part.  Such truths are those that
you read in the texts after the meaning has been well digested,
ruminated on, and then processed in due manner.  

It is sometimes called linear thinking.  Why?  Because you can 
draw nice little lines (get it?) from point a) to point b) as 
you follow the arguments.  Sophisticated Europeans rejected 
religion, and still do, because it was so messy compared to 
these nice little linear diagrams.  Besides, who would want
to kill anybody over such doodlings (atom bombs came later). 

Now, stories!  They are nonlinear (or so I'm told).  They have
all kinds of wierd connections in there, which can be "vagueized"
(new term, compliments of yours truly).  Its a bit like nature
and life, which rarely if ever fits into those nice little packages
that elementary physics text writers love so much.  Of course, 
just like the physicists, you want to get it "true".  And if you do,
then, just like life, everybody is going to understand it differently.

However, in the case of my story about Socorro, there is an expert.
In fact, she chided me very severely for saying that she was an elite.
Definitely not, she said.  I told her that that was the wrong answer,
but she didn't agree!  

Yours truly,
Steve Friberg

From CMathenge@aol.comMon Oct 23 11:50:59 1995
Date: Mon, 23 Oct 1995 01:33:57 -0400
From: CMathenge@aol.com
To: talisman@indiana.edu
Subject: Mythopoetic Influences

Dear Talismanians,

At the ABS Conference, I attended David Langness' presentation on mythopoetic
influences and The Seven and the Four Valleys.  He was talking about the
mythical hero's quest in which the hero undertakes a long and arduous journey
in the course of which he slays monsters, performs impossible tasks, etc.,
etc.  

I was delighted, by the way, to hear that David has written a book called The
Seeker's Path, which falls into the popular "self-help" genre and has
actually been picked up by Penguin.  This is long overdue and it's time we
did something to remedy the drastic dirth of Baha'i anything in bookstores.  

I was wondering, David, if you have addressed the topic of gender differences
in the mythopoetic search at all, or if you have found anything in the Baha'i
texts or in other writings you have studied that is relevant to such a
difference.  In virtually all of the mythological works, the hero is always
male.  I noticed you used Dorothy (Wizard of Oz) as a modern example, and the
fact that she is female is perhaps significant, but on the whole, women
stayed home and waited while their men went out and conquered the dragons and
won the prizes.  Some years ago I read Robert Johnson's book *SHE,* which
explores the feminine psychology through the myth of Psyche and Eros.  
Psyche, to refresh your memory, has married Eros, unaware that he is a god,
and is not permitted to look at him, but of course she lights a candle
(consciousness) and takes an illicit peek, and a drop of the hot wax falls on
his face and awakens him, and he flies back to Mt. Olympus.  Psyche wants to
drown herself in a river.  Johnson points out that "When a woman is touched
by an archetypal experience, she will collapse before it.  A man loses
contact with his Grail castle and sometimes spends many long years recovering
it.  But a woman does not leave her Grail castle, at least not for long, and
it is in her collapse that she quickly recovers her archetypal connection"
(p. 43).

Psyche sits and waits for a solution.  (This seems to be equivalent to the
acts of prayer and meditation in the spiritual search.)  It seems that while
a man has to gird on his sword, mount his steed, and go out and DO something,
the feminine way is to wait until something inside her shows the way and
provides the courage.

The only way Psyche can get her husband back is to become a goddess, but she
can only do that by performing four impossible tasks set her by Aphrodite,
and after the usual manner of such stories, failure to complete any task
within the designated time means certain death.  The first task involves
sorting a huge pile of seeds of many different kinds, which must be completed
before nightfall.  This appears impossible, so Psyche sits still and waits,
and the ants show up and sort the seeds for her.  Johnson points out that a
pile of seeds to sort is a beautiful symbolism, as in many of the practical
matters of life, a woman's task is to see that order prevails.  He says that
to sort creatively, she must find her "ant nature," a chthonic, earthy
quality, and that sorting in this way enables her to break the impasse of
"too-muchness."  Also, she must learn NOT to take on the job of sorting
things that do not belong to her.  In addition, the anima must sort out the
influx of material from the unconscious and relate it properly to
consciousness--he calls this the "great feminine function."  

Psyche then has to procure a bit of the golden fleece without being gored by
the rams, obtain a single crystal goblet of water from the River Styx, and
acquire a tiny cask of Persephone's own beauty ointment to give to Aphrodite.
 Each time she is presented with one of these impossible but highly symbolic
tasks, she wants to commit suicide.  But each time she is assisted from some
unexpected source.  

I guess if you take this as referring to the anima, the feminine aspect in
everyone whether male or female, there is some parallel in the Writings,
where assistance is received from unseen or unexpected sources.  One could
easily see Layli as symbolizing the soul of Majnun as Eve symbolized the soul
of Adam--she stays in her garden minding her own business, so to speak,
because it is his task to search for her. But I guess my question is, is
there actually any support in the Writings for the idea that there is a
difference in the way males vs. females approach the spiritual quest? 

Comments, anyone?

With loving Baha'i greetings,
Carmen




From 73074.1221@compuserve.comMon Oct 23 11:54:28 1995
Date: 23 Oct 95 00:25:53 EDT
From: "Mary K. Radpour" <73074.1221@compuserve.com>
To: Talisman 
Subject: protection of authors

Dear friends,
	I forgot to forward this to the entire list instead of just to Rob:
Dear Rob,
 I was interested in your remarks about debates about scholarly language
and the freedom exercised by some Baha'i in objecting to things published. You 
suggest that further dialogue will assist in those debates and I agree. However,
as the former editor of Brilliant Star, I would like to suggest here that there 
is no way to be in the publishing business, scholarly or not, and not attract 
criticism. I received dozens of complaints about Child's Way and Brilliant Star 
and learned a great deal about the freedom and lack of moderation with which 
people complain, especially in the privacy of their own letters. We had 
complaints about photos of grandfathers kissing their granddaughters 
(unsanitary!) and of illustrations of little girls with their legs in the air 
(eeee!!) and of cartoon figures who called others a silly fool (bad example for 
children!) and of the literary merit of the stories we published, etc..... I 
have recently read a criticism of an article in the American Baha'i which was 
almost incendiary and I have heard from district newsletter editors of the 
harangues they have experienced re not sharing the news in the most thorough of 
fashions. I was initially surprised; now, however, I guess I regard it as part 
of the landscape of publishing. Perhaps scholars get thick-skinned, eventually?
 I do look forward to the day when critics of all kinds learn to set their
criticisms aside for a week or so to cool off so that they can then ask 
themselves: is this necessary? if so, necessary for whom?  is this productive? 
is this timely? is this kind?
 Cheers, Mary K
     



From a003@lehigh.eduMon Oct 23 11:59:00 1995
Date: Mon, 23 Oct 1995 06:19:55 EDT
From: a003@lehigh.edu
To: talisman@indiana.edu
Subject: (fwd) Re: Mythopoetic Influences


========================= Original Message =========================
Date: Mon, 23 Oct 1995 06:14:05 EDT
From: a003
X-Mailer: SENDM [Version 2.0.15]
Subject: Re: Mythopoetic Influences
To: CMathenge@aol.com

Dear Carmen:

    Great question and I'm looking forward to some informed discussion on this
    issue.  My only contribution is that you're on to something.  I've noticed
    that in Native American coming-of-age ceremonies the tradition is, in
    general, for the males to "go out into the woods" to meet their spirit
    guide;  for the females, they are "kept in" and processed via tribal/family
    ceremony.

    It seems a likely possibility that both principles exist in the female and
    the male to greater or lesser degrees.  And logically, both
    principles exist in either ceremonial "program". Furthermore, one might
    expect that, as the role of women in the world changes, the concept of
    "staying home" will change as well as "going out".

    Bill
*-----------------------------------------------------------------------------*
*          William George                 



From Sen.Mcglinn@rl.rulimburg.nlTue Oct 24 10:44:49 1995
Date: Mon, 23 Oct 1995 18:39:06 +0100 (MET)
From: Sen.Mcglinn@rl.rulimburg.nl
To: talisman@indiana.edu
Subject: house of worship

Help:

Can anyone direct me to - or send me a copy of - the
statement of the Universal House of Justice which made
specific reference to the 'spiritual meetings'?

It has been suggested that I might prepare a brief statement
on the role of the House of Worship, in the broadest sense,
in the Bahai community, for our National newsletter. It
would be very helpful to tie this in to any statements or
initiatives of the Universal House of Justice or World
Teaching Centre in recent years.

thanks

Sen

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sen McGlinn                          
------------------------------------------------------------------------




From cybrmage@niia.netTue Oct 24 10:54:32 1995
Date: Mon, 23 Oct 1995 02:37:28 +0000
From: Bud Polk 
To: talisman@indiana.edu
Subject: bio

Dear friends,

Rothwell Conway Polk, Jr. (Bud), age 45, Baha'i since 1970.

Both grad and undergrad degreess in child development, many years 
working with children.  Organized and directed many Baha'i children's 
programs at Green Lake, Persian Conventions, National Conventions in 
the 70s and 80s.

Moved on to social and economic devlopment and community activism. 
Was executive director of a number of organizations. Now partially 
disabled by bipolar disorder (manic-depression).

Freelance writer nature/environment/resource management, general
news and book reviews  in mags & newspapers.  Writing a National
Park Service guidebook to the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore under
contract.

Interests include birding, botanizing and natural history -- I get 
lost (or found) outdoors.  Mental illness and the family, mental 
illness and the Faith, the genetic triggers and biochemistry of mood 
disorders, mood disorders and enhanced creativity, 
psychopharmacology.  Of course everything about the Faith, but 
expecially Baha'i history.

A few books: A Shadow and A Song (Walters), PairyErth by William 
"Least Heat Moon" Trogdon, The EarthSea Trilogy by Ursula LeGuin, The 
Diversity of Life by Edmund O. Wilson (please read this one if you 
haven't), anything at all by John Mcphee or Bill Mckibben, some 
technical botanical, ornithological  and other natural sciences 
books.

Married, 5 children, 3 grandchildren.

Bud Polk

From snoopy@skipper.physics.sunysb.eduTue Oct 24 10:55:15 1995
Date: Mon, 23 Oct 1995 16:39:20 -0400 (EDT)
From: Stephen Johnson 
To: talisman@indiana.edu
Subject: My biography


Greetings friends,

My name is Stephen Johnson and I am a 24 year-old PhD student in nuclear 
physics at  the State University of New York at Stony Brook.  In my field 
I am  studying the "fundamental interactions of matter" including the long 
quest for a 'free quark'.  I expect to be present at Stony Brook for 
perhaps two more years till I finish writing my thesis.

I hail from Colorado -- from a family of a long line of Methodist 
Ministers (including my father).  I became a Baha'i in '89 as a senior in 
high-school thanks to the loving devotion of Carl Fravel, his wife and three 
daughters.  I graduated from Lawrence University (in Wisconsin) in '93 
and am currently here...New York...not thrilled with the place but it's 
better than ....... well, some place I suppose.

My next two major life events are: (1) I get married on June 
1st to Betsy Scheidet (one of the *great* things about NY) at Green Acre 
and (2) we go on pilgimage next December -- six short months into our 
life together.

In my life I hope to learn tremendous amounts about the Faith (more 
spiritual than 'scholarly' -- in the dry sense of the word scholarly), 
contribute as best I can to the overall understanding of the fundamental 
forces of nature.......oh...and grow old together with my beautiful wife, 
raise beautiful children and...well...live.

My life has really just begun so I have little to say beyond that...

God Bless 

stephen johnson

From osborndo@pilot.msu.eduTue Oct 24 10:55:55 1995
Date: Mon, 23 Oct 1995 17:26:34 -0400 (EDT)
From: Donald Zhang Osborn 
To: Dave10018@aol.com
Cc: talisman@indiana.edu
Subject: Re: Women & UHJ: Reframing the Question

Allah'u'abha David and all!

I begin with a simple rephrasing of the two questions I submitted
in my previous post, and then address some of the matters you
raise:

1.  The Universal House of Justice, the highest institution in
the Baha'i administrative system, is also the only body whose
membership is limited to men.  Research in social psychology has
noted differences in the way all-male, all-female, and mixed
groups function.  Could there be any connection?/1

2.  The Universal House of Justice is the only body in the Baha'i
administrative system which is infallible.  It is also the only
institution in the Baha'i community that is single-sex (men
only).  Could there be any connection?

>I am a little surprised that you haven't heard speculation about the ability
>of males and females to consult together at the exalted level of the
>Universal House of Justice before, Don.  [deletion]  I am quite sure I have
>heard this idea before, and it is not, in my view, an idea which bears much
>scrutiny.  I will leave that discussion to others. ......................

Surprising as it may seem, I have not encountered any discussions
relating to either of the two topics I mention above (although I
did bring the first one up briefly on Bahai-discuss a couple of
years ago).  If you or anyone could help enlighten me as to
previous discussions on either, I would be most grateful.  Of the
ability of women and men to consult together on any matter at any
level, one has no doubt.

>..................................................  As to  the question of
>apparent impropriety in a body with both men and women, this is similarly
>unconvincing. I will observe that there  have been no such scandals involving
>the NSA of the United States. Although it is a controversial body in some
>respects, no one complains because two members are married to each other, or
>because one member is married to another member's mother.

Nor should they.  Actually I did not consider any aspect of the
US National Spiritual Assembly's composition or functioning (or
that of any other country) when writing my previous posting.  In
any event, it is essential to contrast the nature of the
institution of the National Spiritual Assemblies on one hand with
that of the Universal House of Justice on the other.  They are
different in at least three significant ways:
      1)  The House of Justice is the highest institution in the
      administrative order.
      2)  The House of Justice is infallible; Nat'l Spiritual
      Assemblies are not.
      3)  The House of Justice is single sex (all men); Nat'l
      Spiritual Assemblies may have any gender composition.
The House of Justice is on a different level, in my understand-
ing, and has its own special reality.  If there were a scandal or
some controversy regarding a National Spiritual Assembly, it
might shake that nation's community; this cannot happen in the
House of Justice.  In my second question at the head of this
posting I am asking whether the gender composition of the House
of Justice might in some way be a practical manifestation of the
divine protection of this institution against some of the
vicissitudes of human fallibility (even though it may seem
counterintuitive to many--given the historical record of male-
dominated society--to entrust infallibility to a group of
men!)?/2

>I do want to question, Don, your apparent assumption that reasons  of what
>we call "practical" value are preferable to  matters of "only symbolic
>value." You seem to think that symbolic reasons are less real than practical
>ones and that a search for practical reasons must be exhausted before the
>symbolic context can be considered.  ....................................

By "only symbolic" I did not mean "merely symbolic," rather
"symbolic only (and not anything else)."  You stated that the
reason for not having women on the House of Justice is "not
practical," and my main point was that as far as this servant has
been able to figure, such a conclusion was not yet justified.

If one approaches the issue with "both-and" logic, it may be
possible to have both symbolic and practical aspects to the
reason for an all-male House of Justice (but I do not know if
such a combination could be the justification that the Master
said would one day be apparent).

>...................................  Symbolism, Don, is real and important.
>Fasting, for example, is important to us as a symbol of our control of our
>appetites and our sacrificial devotion to our Lord. By this symbolic practice
>we strengthen our dedication.  Any practical benefits you can come up with,
>whether social or individual, are secondary to its symbolic purpose.

Point well taken.  Other good examples are the laws against
shaving one's head or a man's hair being below his earlobes,
which may be understood as symbolic of a break with past
religious practices (Muslim, Buddhist, Jewish).

Indeed, in organizational studies there is a "frame" which
focuses specifically on the use of symbolism in organizations.
In this sense the symbolic and the practical really merge--
certain use of symbols can motivate, create new realities, affect
morale and performance, etc.

In the case of the House of Justice, Abdu'l-Baha tells us that
the reason for the House of Justice membership being limited to
men will (eventually) be as clear as day.  Perhaps that reason
will become apparent as a result of our strivings or perhaps due
to circumstances or discoveries we have not imagined.  Perhaps
the reason will turn out to be more "symbolic" or "practical," or
some of both at the same time.

>Ask yourself, Don, why you want a "practical" explanation. ..............

I want the truth.  My understanding of the harmony of science and
religion leads me to look first for "practical" explanations.  (I
would like to ask if you tend to look first to symbolism [sincerely,
not as a retort, since this can be another type of diversity], but I
should reread your original posting first.)

>.........................................................  And how do you
>explain the patriarchal imagery in the Faith?

Frankly, I haven't thought much about it, so I must thank you for
bringing the subject up and for challenging me by connecting it
with the issue of the Universal House of Justice membership.

Nevertheless, my original questions stand.

Don Osborn      osborndo@pilot.msu.edu
Michigan State University



1.  Has there, for instance, been any research on the Baha'i
consultation process among groups of different gender composition
(to compare the various strengths/different character of each)?
This could be quite interesting regardless of what the findings
are.

2.  In other words, since men and women as individuals are
equally fallible, how might the gender composition of the House
of Justice relate to its functioning as an infallible
institution?

From mcfarlane@upanet.uleth.caTue Oct 24 10:57:12 1995
Date: Mon, 23 Oct 1995 15:37:26 -0600
From: Gordon McFarlane 
To: talisman@indiana.edu
Subject: Cause & Community / Put to Proof

Cause and Community / Put to Proof
Dear Friends: 
	
        I have been reading with interest, many of the responses to Bev and
Don Peden's question re. the distinction between Cause and Community, and
reflecting a great deal upon my own attitudes toward the Baha'i Community -
locally, nationally and globally. I  have been lying low myself for the past
7 months, having been mercifully granted a repreive by Baha'u'llah after 15
continuous and often torturous years of assemlby service.  I have  been
frustrated by seemingly fanatical or "fundamentalist" Baha'is; by
Bureaucratic Baha'is; by  All-Molasses- No- Beans-Baha'is;   by Baha'i
Rambos who have chosen to trhow off the shackles of administration,
consultation, and regulation and have set out on their own to
single-handedly  conquer humanity in the name of Baha'u'llah;  by those who
appear to believe that consultation means coming up with a good idea,
talking it to death and coming up with another good idea . . . etc. etc. etc. 
	I have as yet to develop a category in which I can place myself!
	
	This past week I printed out, in large 46 pt. type, 3 quotes from the
Baha'i Writings and plastered them on the wall over my workspace. .
	1. "Do men think when the say 'We believe' they shall be let alone and not
be put to proof" (Kitab'i Iqan pg. 9 - Baha'u'llah quotes from Koran 29:2)
	2. "The Wisdom of every command shall be tested" (from the Tablet of Ahmad) 
and, From Shogi Effendi's "World Order of Baha'u'llah"
	3. "This New World Order, whose promise is enshrined in the Revelation of
Baha'u'llah, whose fundamental principles have been enunciated in the
writings of the Center of His Covenant, involves no less that the complete
unification of the entire human race." (pg. 162)

	At this point, I have to ask my self - " If the Cause of Baha'u'llah is to
bring about the unification of the entire human race",  can we, or should
we, distinguish between Cause and Community?  If we say we believe that this
Cause can bring about the unity of the entire human race, do we think we
will be "let alone and not put to the proof"?   And what better way is there
to put our belief to the proof than to be thrust into  the midst of those
people with whom we feel most disunited. 

	My daughter, when she was in the 5th and 6th grades, would come home
grumbling about, and criticising other kids. In my most Baha'i like manner I
would admonish her not to judge others without "getting to know them".  I
quoted Abd'ul Baha - "If a man has 10 bad qualities and one good one, we
should overlook the 10 and focus on the one."  Henceforth my daughter made
it her mission in life to follow her father's advice, bringing home every
"sleaze bag" and "scum bucket"  in her school in order to "get to know
them", and identify and magnify their one good quality.  And when I
criticised her choice of friends - - - - - "Dad, didn't you always tell me .
. . . etc.? "   Man, did she put me to proof!     Most of these kids turned
out O.K.. One of them is my son-in-law. 
	In a previous posting on Talisman, Burl Barer mentioned Dr. Muhadjirs
(sp.?) advice that we should " teach those who are easy to teach first,
then the hard ones will become easy". I have heard Burl use this quote on
several occasions and on the first occasion I thought it was good sound
advice. But I have found that those who are easiest to teach  do not ask the
difficult questions; and through attempting to answer difficult questions
I'm able to deepen my understanding of the Faith.    Another reason I'm
inclined to disagree with this advice is that, after years of involvement
with a variety of  well intentioned organizations, my main complaint is that
they are all continually preaching to the converted.    Those who are
easiest to teach will encounter the Faith, (if it's visible enough) and be
attracted to it.  If they see the evidence that the Baha'i Community is
striving (and I emphasise striving)  to live up to the high ideals of its
Faith, they will no doubt enter of their own accord. It is those who, when
we say we belief, put us to the proof, from whom we can learn the most. 
	There is another quote, not from any of the central figures of the Faith,
but from Horace Holley, which I frequently refer to and more frequently
forget. It is from his article "Aims and Purposes of the Baha'i Faith" which
can be found in Volume XII and XIII of the Baha'i World (pp1-2) and probably
elsewhere.
	"The forms of traditional opposition vested in nationality, race, class and
creed are not the only social chasms which the Faith has bridged.  There are
even more implacable, if less visible differences between types and
temperments, such as flow inevitably from the contact of rational and
emotional individuals, of active and pasive dispositions, undermining
capacity for co-operation in every organized society, which attain mutual
understanding and harmony in the Baha'i community.  FOR PERSONAL
CONGENIALITY, THE SELECTIVE PRINCIPLE ELSEWHERE CONTINUALLY OPERATIVE WITHIN
THE FIELD OF VOLUNTARY ACTION, IS AN INSTINCT WHICH BAHA'IS MUST SACRIFICE
TO SERVE THE PRINCIPLE OF THE ONENESS OF MANKIND.  A Baha'i community,
therefore, is a constant and active spiritual victory, an overcoming of
tensions which elsewhere come to the point of strife.  No mere passive creed
nor philosophic gospel which need never be put to the test in daily life has
produced this world fellowship devoted to the teachings of Baha'u'llah . . . . 
	A Baha'i community endures without disruption because only spiritual
problems can be solved.  When human relations are held to be political or
social problems they are removed from the realm in which rational will has
responsibility and influence.  The ultimate result of this degradation of
human relationships is the frenzy of desperate strife - - the outbreak of
inhuman war. 
	I owe a thank you to the members of Talisman.  You've put out some hard,
soul agitating, proof seeking questions. After these past months of lying
low, I think I'm ready to re-enter the fray.  

Uncongenially but lovingly,  
Gord. 



---
Gordon McFarlane            e-mail: MCFARLANE@upanet.uleth.ca
Public Access Internet
The University of Lethbridge


From robert.johnston@stonebow.otago.ac.nzTue Oct 24 10:57:33 1995
Date: Tue, 24 Oct 1995 10:59:14 +1300 (NZDT)
From: Robert Johnston 
To: "Stephen R. Friberg" , talisman@indiana.edu
Subject: Re: one letter, three birds

Dear Stephen,
             The Socorro story WAS great. [May the walls of my eternity
have at least one Socorro story posted on them!]. However, perhaps the
Enlightenment physicist in you promoted the rather excessive desire to
provide a "neat" moral.  Triumphalist physicists and religionists unite!
[You have nothing to lose but your artistry!]  Oh dear, eat your heart out
Salvidor Dali!  & where's Burl Barer when I need him?

Ever fondly,

Robert ("Am I Going Mad, Mary?") Johnston.







From LWALBRID@cluster.ucs.indiana.eduTue Oct 24 11:15:16 1995
Date: Sat, 14 Oct 95 15:04:44 EWT
From: LWALBRID@cluster.ucs.indiana.edu
To: talisman@indiana.edu
Subject: communication
Resent-From: "Steven Kolins" 
Resent-To: owner-talisman@indiana.edu, talisman@indiana.edu
Resent-Date: Mon, 23 Oct 1995 19:14:49 EDT

Dear Robert, I do appreciate your open and frank message to me.  Me,
intimidating?  (I've only been told that a few times before in my life - by an
ex-marine, a tribal Afghani honcho, a few Lebanese Shi'ite men...  So, I don't
know where you are getting this idea about me.)

I suppose I was getting overheated.  I tend to become very involved with the
people in my life and respond strongly to their suffering.  I am no model of
detachment by any means.  I agree with the idea that we are all in this world
together and that it is difficult to divide up the world into good and evil. 
That was not my point.  

I have noticed a trend in American society, though, for relations between men
and women to have deteriorated.  I am hardly the only one to have noticed such
things.  For example, I met a young black woman in O'Hare one day and we struck
up an instant friendship.  One of the first things she asked me was whether I
thought that things were getting worse between men and women.  This was
obviously something preying on her mind.  Many women are troubled by this and
for very good reason.  Women and children are especially vulnerable when things
go awry socially.  At this point, I am not blaming any one group.  I think a
number of factors came together that contributed to this deterioration - not
the least of them being the sexual liberation movement.  

When we intellectuals talk about the equality of men and women, we often refer
to education, job opportunities, career advancement, etc.  However, while some
women are definitely benefitting by societal changes, others have been left in
the dust.  It's really hard to advance in a job or get a good job to begin with
if you are abandoned by your spouse (or the father of your children) or being
beaten.  The statistics are out there.   A healthy percentage of people living
in poverty in the U.S. are single women and their children.  Because women are
tied to children in a way that men are not, women's life experiences are
extremely different from those of men.  Even if women were viewed as equal
competitors in all jobs, they still would be at a tremendous disadvantage just
because they are not free agents.  They face pregnancy and are generally the
ones responsible for child care.

Now, I seem to be going off on another tangent.  But, actually, I see the abuse
of women and the desertion of women as being very tightly connected.  A man is
far more of a free agent than is a woman.  A man is far less vulnerable than a
woman.  There are reasons to address women's problems separately from men's. 
It is not because I want to portray men as evil and women as victims.  It is
just that it muddies things way to much if you don't sort out the distinctions. 
In fact, I am very much opposed to some feminist thinking because I believe
that some of the more vocal feminists have done a disservice to so many women
in this world by not focusing on some of the very basic problems that women
face.  

Man hating is not my message. Rather, it is an expression of hope that men (and
other women, women who are more privileged) will become sensitized to the
particular problems that women face.  Robert, you talked about psychological
rape.  Have you ever spoken to a woman who has actually been raped?  Do you
listen to the words of the Bosnian Muslim women who have been raped by the
Serbs?  Believe me, I would much rather be killed than go through what they
have gone through.  Then, only my body would be destroyed.  But rape destroys
the soul.  

I really have said far more on this subject than I had ever intended to here on
Talisman.  It is funny.  I had this feeling after the O.J. verdict that men -
the kind of men I like, sensitive kind ones, the ones' I imagine Talisman men
being like - would go out on the streets and protest the abuse of women after
they saw what O.J. had gotten away with.  I am now marveling at my naivete. 
However, I do appreciate a forum where I could express my feeling about a
subject that is of such great concern to me.  Thanks all for your patience.  I
realize I was a bit strident.  Linda

From carl@grapevine-sys.comTue Oct 24 11:18:44 1995
Date: Mon, 23 Oct 1995 22:26:04 -0500
From: Carl Hawse 
To: talisman@indiana.edu
Subject: Talisman/ABS/Baha'i Scholarship Web Page


Dear Talismanians, Talismanites, Talismaniacs, Talisfolk, etc.:

I think the idea of putting scholarly studies on the Internet is a great
idea!  I'm thinking a lot these days about ways to add significantly to the
amount of Baha'i material on the net, but haven't come to any firm
convictions about the best way to approach it.  I'd love to hear more ideas
about what people out there are willing to contribute!

I'd be happy to offer some web space to material aimed at the more
average-joe-shmoe type reader.  I'm not advertising my pages heavily because
they need ressurection and renewal, but I'd get moving for the sake of new
material.

------------------------------------
Carl Hawse

------------------------------------


From carl@grapevine-sys.comTue Oct 24 11:19:13 1995
Date: Mon, 23 Oct 1995 22:26:08 -0500
From: Carl Hawse 
To: talisman@indiana.edu
Subject: KI: pp.3-5 and Tao

        
". . . unless and until he ceases to regard the
words and deeds of mortal men as a standard for
the true understanding and recognition of God and
His Prophets." - KI

This phrase sounded a bit Taoist to me, so I'll toss out some quotes.  If
you abandon your symbols, you abandon your prejudice, and are detached in a
way which will allow you to experience truth, as-is.

    "In the first chapter of the Lao-tzu we find the statement: 'The Tao
that can be comprised in words is not the eternal Tao; the name that can be
named is not the abiding name.  The Unnameable is the beginning of Heaven
and Earth; the namable is the mother of all things.' . . . The Tao, however,
is unnameable; at the same time it is that by which all namables come to be." 

    "The Taoists maintained that the sage who has a complete understanding
of the nature of things, thereby has no emotions.  This, however, does not
mean that he lacks sensibility.  Rather it means that he is not disturbed by
the emotions, and enjoys what may be called 'the peace of the soul.'  As
Spinoza says: 'The ignorant man is not only agitated by exxternal causes in
many ways, and never enjoys true peace in the soul, but lives also ignorant,
as it were, both of God and of things, and as soon as he ceases to suffer,
ceases also to be.  On the other hand, the wise man, in so far as he is
considered as such, is scarcely moved in his mind, but, being conscious by a
certain eternal necessity of himself, of God, and things, never ceases to
be, and always enjoys the peace of the soul.' (Ethics, Pt. 5, Prop. XLII.)
    Thus by his understanding of the nature of things, the sage is no longer
affected by the changes of the world.  In this way he is not dependent upon
external things, and hence his happiness is not limited by them. . . ."  

    - from Feng Yu-Lan, "A Short History of Chinese Philosophy," 
     Copyright 1948 by The Macmillan Co., reprinted in 
     Readlings in Eastern Religious Thought: Chinese and Japanese Religions 
     ( Edited by Allie M. Frazier), Copyright 1969 The Westminster Press,
pp.92, 129
     *whew! long citation...*

Feng Yu-Lan also says "The Tao is nameless and so the sage who is one with
the Tao is also nameless."  This line makes me think of 'Abdu'l-Baha, who,
it seems to me, abandoned his name and came to be known by a phrase which is
descriptive, rather than one which acts as a symbol merely for
identification purposes: "Servant of Baha."  (Perhaps even "Baha'u'llah" can
be said to be descriptive as well?  )

In the opening paragraphs of the Kitab-i-Iqan, Baha'u'llah prepares our
minds to receive the certitude within.  The answers to our questions.
Either that, or it's an old-fashioned Surgeon General's warning: "Danger,
closed minds have been shown to impede absorbtion of spiritual messages.  Do
not operate heavy concepts under the influence of prejudice."

------------------------------------
Carl Hawse


From carl@grapevine-sys.comTue Oct 24 11:19:34 1995
Date: Mon, 23 Oct 1995 22:26:11 -0500
From: Carl Hawse 
To: talisman@indiana.edu
Subject: HW: I was going to say...

    

In a posting on "Women and the House: Reframing..." Donald Zhang Osborn said

>Indeed, in organizational studies there is a "frame" which
>focuses specifically on the use of symbolism in organizations.
>In this sense the symbolic and the practical really merge--
>certain use of symbols can motivate, create new realities, affect
>morale and performance, etc.

This is exactly what I was thinking when reading the Hidden Words.

HW#1Persian:

O YE PEOPLE THAT HAVE MINDS TO KNOW
AND EARS TO HEAR!
  
  The first call of the Beloved is this: O mystic nightingale! Abide not 
but in the rose-garden of the spirit. O messenger of the Solomon of love! 
Seek thou no shelter except in the Sheba of the well-beloved, and O 
immortal phoenix! dwell not save on the mount of faithfulness. Therein is 
thy habitation, if on the wings of thy soul thou soarest to the realm of 
the inifinte and seekest to attain thy goal.

Which can be stripped down to these exhortations:

    Do this first:
        Be spiritual.
        Turn to God when in need.
        Have faith.
    Because if you want it, you've got to follow the program.

The phrasings "the Beloved" "mystic nightingale" "rose-garden" "Solomon of
love" "Sheba of the well-beloved" all are linguistic pointers toward the
spiritual realm.  They *sound* spiritual.  When Baha'u'llah says "O ye
people..." any open minded person will go "Hey, that's me!  I have a mind to
know!"  Having the phrase "O immortal phoenix" directed at you can be
inspiring: "Maybe I CAN be a phoenix... immortal...  yeah, that's the
ticket! Yeah!  What do I have to do?"

My commments are for the English version only. I realize that there are many
allusions and literary qualities in the Hidden Words, but those are
completely lost on me (as well as probably most English readers) and I'm
just now learning about Arabic and Persian (Islamic, Babi, etc.) culture and
I haven't read the Qur'an.  But there is no denying the power of the
symbolic language used in the Hidden Words!

    
------------------------------------
Carl Hawse
carl@skipper.grapevine-sys.com
http://www.grapevine-sys.com/~carl
------------------------------------


From dpeden@imul.comTue Oct 24 11:19:55 1995
Date: Tue, 24 Oct 95 06:53:52+030
From: Don Peden 
To: talisman@indiana.edu
Subject: cause and community/ put to proof

Dear Gordon:

Thank you for your response.  Based on those writings, you have given us
much to think about.  The quotation from the Kitab-i-iqan is one of my
favourite.

I should clarify a point.  For myself, I have rarely had my faith shaken by
individuals in the community (or even outside).  A test they have been, but
we are all on a journey, and have different paths to travel.  If someoneelse
had a different path to mine, one that was unfamiliar to me, or foreign, it
did not stop me on my own journey.  I always had faith that Baha'u'llah had
put the institutions there to correct any mistaken tangents we might go off
on (including my own).  I had faith that this was Baha'u'llah's gift to us.  

Where my faith was shaken was when I perceived those very institutions
condoning and promoting a very fundamentalist approach, and declaring it the
Baha'i way, I was shaken to my very core.  Thus, my letters to the National
Spiritual Assembly and the Universal House of Justice, and a really hard
look at the Baha'i community as a whole and myself.

As earlier shared, the Institutions have responded, and restored my faith in
that process.  But I am still going through "damage control" on myself, and
doing my spiritual shuffle to put all the pieces together.  It is not a
linear process...kind of like one of my canvas.  I have no idea what is
coming when I start...I just keep putting pieces together in different ways,
until I "see" what is trying to find form and relationship.  It is a process
of discovery.

Thank you so much for sharing your experiences and thoughts,

Bev.   


From CMathenge@aol.comTue Oct 24 11:20:05 1995
Date: Tue, 24 Oct 1995 00:00:46 -0400
From: CMathenge@aol.com
To: jrcole@umich.edu
Subject: Re: Mythopoetic Influences

In a message dated 95-10-23 11:51:12 EDT, you write:

>Carmen--what a nice post!   cheers   Juan
>

Why, thank you--how kind of you to say so!  

Carmen



From dpeden@imul.comTue Oct 24 11:20:41 1995
Date: Tue, 24 Oct 95 06:53:39+030
From: Don Peden 
To: Talisman@indiana.edu
Subject: Re: Cause and Community

Dear Tony:

Sorry if I gave you the impression that a perfect Baha'i community was in
order.  Did I use that word?  I rarely do, because, like you, I find it an
ideal, and if sought, often destructive.  Like many pilgrims, I keep my eyes
focused on my feet, putting one foot in front of the other, with the
occasional head-raised gaze when I stop to take my bearings.  I call it my
"Spiritual Shuffle", and am thinking of creating some music for it, and
starting a new dance craze...one step forward, two steps back, three steps
forward, one step back.  I have taken great pains to teach the step to my
children.  It allows them to explore, to forgive themselves when they goof,
and to know my famous words which apply to all occassions, "This, too, will
pass."  Keeps them going when they are down, and keeps them humble when they
are up.

Baha'i communities are not perfect, but we have participated and been part
of some which are very warm, welcoming, and creative places to be.  It was a
very strange experience to have my feet and my gaze in the same place.  They
were not places of sweetness and light, as we often had differing opinions,
and those who resented being dragged into yet another change to their
thinking by someone else in the community posing an uncomfortable question
or idea.  But we engaged fully in the fray, and there were rules to the
consultation (unspoken, but practiced) which did not allow anyone to
"attack" another.  Separately, we were individuals, but as an assembly of
community members, on occassion (not always), when we were united in our
compassion and our love, and focused on prayer and solution, we were a
community.  One time one of our community members husbands came to collect
her after a meeting.  He was invited in, as we always did, and made welcome
and part of us.  Afterwards, he asked his wife "What were you guys doing in
there!  The atmosphere was so choice, it was like nothing I have ever felt
before."  We had just finished praying and consulting on whether or not my
husband and I should pioneer to Africa.  He later became a member of the
Baha'i Community.  (No, this was not the community in which our children
were entrusted, unfortunately.) No doubt these communities will "swell and
fade" in their character as old and new members pass and leave.  Such is
life.  But what a gift to have caught a glimpse of what is possible, and was
a reality, not an ideal.

Still, it was wonderful to bath in the warmth, and it makes the cold seem
all the colder.  Fire tablet stuff.  I have also experienced warm and loving
community life outside the faith, but rarely.  You will find such
communities in all religious disciplines.  So, again, you are right.  It is
a groundswell which will happen.  You will also find communities like this
in sectarian circles, as they are everywhere.  We call them "friends" and
they are the people we turn to in times of joy or trouble to share with.
They need not carry the label Baha'i.

Don had an interesting insight into the issue of vulnerability.  He found it
interesting that even in the early tribal days of man (as opposed to our
later version of tribalism), the community/tribe was a place of protection.
With its structure, it allowed its members to feel comfortable, grow,
prosper and feel safe, with known parameters to operate within.  They could
afford to make themselves somewhat vulnerable to each other, creating links
and ties which sustained them.  It gave them the strength to go outside
their tribal community, and bring back whatever was needed to serve the
tribal group, like a mastadon or something.  It is a poor analogy, and I do
apologize.  Perhaps someone can help to put it in a more refined manner.  Do
you think this has any connection to teaching experiences?

Bev

In the faith, we are constantly told that the relationship of
God/marriage/family/community is our "tribal" order.  What we talk about
when we talk about community, is expanding the "tribe" to include the global
community.

>Well, and sceptical he should be.  Why should anyone believe that the Baha'i
>community has anything to offer if it doesn't go about offering it.   But, I
>am afraid that the search for the perfect community--or even the good
>community-- is eternally doomed to end in frustration and failure. 
>   I have come to believe that the Baha'i community is no better or worse
>that the general moral level of mankind as a whole, and the idea that it is
>morally or spiritually superior in any way to the generality is a dangerous
>and misguided notion.  As the moral and spiritual condidtion of humanity
>improves, so will the Baha'i community improve, and not before.  After all,
>we are dealing with human beings here, not with artificial abstractions (the
>"Cause").  I am committed to this community precisely because it is human (
>in the same way I am committed to the improvement of humanity), not because
>it is "spiritual" or moral.  As I have come to believe that our highest
>commitment must be to the human, not to the abstract.   I am afraid that the
>search for the perfect community--or even the community that lives up to its
>ideals--is the search for the abstract, not the search for the human.  
>    This is not to say that your son should be a Baha'i, by the way, which is
>something that I consider none of my business.  As you say, that is entirely
>between him and God.  I am only interested in his human qualities of pain,
>and healing, that I think are not served well by Baha'i notions of a perfect
>(or at least more spiritual) community of believers.  As far as I am
>concerned, there is no such thing--except in the abstract, of course.  It is
>an ideal, a hope, a wish, a guide, an aspiration, and so forth.  Certainly,
>it is not--and never will be--a reality.  To use it as an ideal is healthy
>and healing, I believe.  To act as though it is a reality (in spite of the
>obvious evidence to the contrary) is, I think, quite destructive.  
>
>Warmest, 
>Tony
>
>


From CMathenge@aol.comTue Oct 24 11:20:59 1995
Date: Tue, 24 Oct 1995 00:02:58 -0400
From: CMathenge@aol.com
To: talisman@indiana.edu
Subject: Re: Service and Motive

Dear Talismanians,

Commenting belatedly on a post by Burl Barer of some days ago,

> I well understand "Super-Baha'i
>Burnout" -- that interesting combination of love, dedication, perfectionism,
>and self-destruction where one believes that  "If I don't do it it won't get
>done, or it won't get done well/right" -- often a true observation :-)  
-skip-
> I would rather achieve excellence in all things by choosing to
>do  a few things with  excellence than  take on everything and do a lousy
>job at most of them. Besides, sometimes it is *best* to moderate your
>efforts for maximum impact.   I used to say YES to everything, volunteer for
>EVERYTHING, accept responsibility for EVERYTHING -- but  that keeps others
>from having the joy of burnout to which, as a Baha'i, they are certainly
>entitled. :-)
-skip-

>It also requires an examination of motive -- the essential one for me is
>love of Baha'u'llah.  The reason we do it is love of Baha'u'llah.  

Yes, I believe what Baha'u'llah requires of us is to utilize the gifts He has
given us in His service in the best and most effective way we can--with the
motive of pleasing God, not that of getting approval or validation from other
people.  When we take on the job of fixing the whole world, we become too
scattered to use our own talents effectively. Unfortunately, attachment is a
part of the human condition, and we often find ourselves getting burned out,
not because we were working to capacity with the pure motive of pleasing God,
but because we were wearing ourselves out helping people who didn't want to
be helped (controlling) or helping people who would be better off doing it
for themselves (enabling).  The motive, as Burl pointed out, is the key to
the whole process.  (Of course there are situations when one really is called
to do something one has never done before and may or may not do adequately,
because there genuinely is no one else to do it, but that's a different
matter.)  Some years ago I knew of a community where a single family had been
the mainstay of the community for years and years, organized all the Feasts
and Holy Days, made sure the LSA held meetings, etc., etc.  This was very
stressful for them, as there were a number of Baha'is who had been inactive
for years and simply could not be prevailed upon to make any contribution.
 This family left to pioneer elsewhere, and lo! suddenly several people who
had not been seen for years began appearing at Feasts, Holy Days, and LSA
meetings and taking an active role in the community.  Enough said--you get
the picture.

With loving Baha'i greetings,
Carmen





From jwinters@epas.utoronto.caTue Oct 24 11:25:07 1995
Date: Tue, 24 Oct 1995 03:57:10 -0400 (EDT)
From: Jonah Winters 
To: Ahmad Aniss 
Cc: talisman@indiana.edu
Subject: Creation, full quote

On Tue, 24 Oct 1995, Ahmad Aniss wrote:

> Dear Talismanians,
>
> I would like to see the following quote being discussed on Talisman
> I like to know what all others think this paragraph means."

Ahmad then posted the paragraph from Lawh-i-Hikmat beginning "That which 
hath been in existence." I think that this para can not be divorced from 
the immeiately preceding one if we are to glean any insights into its 
meaning. So here is the preceding one, as well, followed by some comments:

"As regards thine assertions about the beginning of creation, this is a 
matter on which conceptions vary by reason of the divergences in men's 
thoughts and opinions. Wert thou to assert that it hath ever existed and 
shall continue to exist, it would be true; or wert thou to affirm the 
same concept as is mentioned in the sacred Scriptures, no doubt would 
there be about it, for it hath been revealed by God, the Lord of the 
worlds. Indeed He was a hidden treasure. This is a station that can never 
be described nor even alluded to. And in the station of `I did wish to 
make Myself known', God was, and His creation had ever existed beneath 
His shelter from the beginning that hath no beginning, apart from its 
being preceded by a Firstness which cannot be regarded as firstness and 
originated by a Cause inscrutable even unto all men of learning. 

 That which hath been in existence had existed before, but not in the 
form thou seest today. The world of existence came into being through the 
heat generated from the interaction between the active force and that 
which is its recipient. These two are the same, yet they are different. 
Thus doth the Great Announcement inform thee about this glorious 
structure. Such as communicate the generating influence and such as 
receive its impact are indeed created through the irresistible Word of 
God which is the Cause of the entire creation, while all else besides His 
Word are but the creatures and the effects thereof. Verily thy Lord is 
the Expounder, the All-Wise."


This is surely one of the most esoteric statements of cosmology in all of 
Baha'u'llah's writings! To respond to Ahmad's immediate question on the 
meaning of the active and recipient forces, my first temptation would be 
to see this as a theosophic interpretation of the Word of God acting on 
the created realm. But this doesn't really seem to fit Islamic mystical 
thought well. An interpretation that seems more appropriate can be 
gleaned from the Sufi notion of the "eternal creation."  Izutsu wrote a 
great essay on this entitled "The Concept of Perpetual Creation in Islamic 
Mysticism and Zen Buddhism," in the book _Creation and the Timeless Order 
of Things_, published by our lurking friend Steven Scholl. 

To summarize part of this notion, creation as a tangible realm of 
everyday perceptions is bound up with the notion of time such that we 
must say it had a beginning. But in the "domain beyond reason," i.e. the 
state of mystical awareness of the subtle realms, it is seen that both 
creation and God are co-eternal. God's creative impetus is thus logically 
prior, not temporally prior. That is, God's command "Be" did not come 
first in the sense of happening a second or a minute before things came 
into being, but rather His command came first in the sense of being the 
cause of contingent creation, the ontological substratum of reality, the 
Self-Sufficient. In this interpretation, perhaps God's command could be 
said to be the active and the contingent to be the passive. These two are 
different in that they do not share the same ontological status, they are 
not equally "Real," and they are the same in that, from another 
perspective, all is God and God is all. This creation is perpetual 
because, since God did not create everything at one specific moment in 
time and then go away, we can't say that His being the cause of creation 
is finalized. Creation is ongoing, every moment the universe is created 
afresh, for, were God to cease creating or to withdraw His support, the 
universe would instantly cease to be. Continuing in this line, those 
which communicate the generating influence, i.e. the power supporting 
perpetual creation, and those which receive its impact, are seen as both 
being separate from God, meaning that God's Word is not a manifestation 
of His Essence, but an emanation from it, for it is distinct from His 
essence. 

Fascinating tablet, isn't it? I find these two paragraphs all the more 
intriguing becasue they seem to have no relation whatsoever to the rest 
of the tablet! Immediately before this, Baha'u'llah was offering ethical 
advice and lamenting His ill-treatment, and then out of nowhere brings up 
this! 

-Jonah

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-          
Jonah and Kari Winters 



From burlb@bmi.netTue Oct 24 11:25:49 1995
Date: Tue, 24 Oct 95 01:05 PDT
From: Burl Barer 
To: talisman@indiana.edu
Subject: bio

Ok -- here is a  basic bio repost from Burl Barer.

I was born in a cross-fire hurricane in a house in the driving rain...ooops,
I mean, I was born and still live in Walla Walla, Washington. Population
approx. 30,000 not counting those locked up in the State Penitentiary for
being Hispanic without a license or for excess melanin possession.  The big
campaign around here is to garner suport for the new children's prison. We
need to send a strong message to our kids that youth will not go unpunished.
If we can't send 'em to war, we can sure as hell send em to jail.

I am 48 but look much younger :-) and still think of myself as a youth --
hence I am always afraid of being arrested for impersonating an adult.

Became a Baha'i in Seattle in February of 1970 after intensive investigation
-- not of the faith, but intensive investigation of how all that paisly gets
into the air and why it moves in time to the music. #-)

My "profession" is being an author and "media person."  I write books on
worldly topics such as show-business, pop culture, mystery/adventure, and
true crime.  You are invited to order my current book from a bookstore near
you [Derek has several copies of my latest masterpiece for sale].  

I have no degrees, sad to say, although I once tried to get a mail-order
Masters Degree in Metaphysics but ran out of money before I hit the crown
chakra. . Britt Barer (beloved spouse) is the educated/educator in the
family. She teaches alternative eduation at WWCC.  We have two kids: Anea
Bergen Barer (17) who goes to Whitman College, Jordan Reed-Rabani Barer (13)
I am a rock n roller at heart -- listen to Bob Dylan & Mott the Hoople and
am a former rock n roll DJ in the Seattle radio market -- a living legend in
my own mind and a wellknown has-been.



From friberg@will.brl.ntt.jp
Tue Oct 24 11:26:19 1995
Date: Tue, 24 Oct 95 17:25:32 JST
From: "Stephen R. Friberg" 
To: Ahmad Aniss 
Cc: talisman@indiana.edu
Subject: Re: creation

Dear Dr. Aniss:

The quote from Baha'u'llah is:

> The world of existence 
> came into being through the heat generated from the 
> interaction between the active force and that which is its 
> recipient.  These two are the same, yet they are different. 

Your question is: What or who is the "active force" and what and who
is the "recipient".

Very difficult.  Is this a statement of physics or of metaphysics?

If physics, then we need to know how the words map onto the current
meanings of several words: active force, heat, and that which is its
recipient.

"Active Force" could mean the usual forces of physics.  

"Heat" in physics refers to the movement and energy of things.  A
freeway with lots of moving cars is hot, whereas a parking lot is
cold.

"The recepient of the active force" is very difficult.  It could
refer to inanimate matter, or perhaps even time-space geometry.

So, conceivably, you could see it as a kind of cosmological statement
consistent with our modern Big Bang theories where the active force
and heat have consistent interpretations.  The recepient could refer
to something there.

Metaphysically, the statement is very similar to yin-yang theories
which describe phenomena as the interaction of opposites.  Electricity
and magnetism is an example of such a theory, but not a very subtle
one.  The I-Ching, an interesting "catalogue" of advice for ancient
Chinese bureaucrats was based on such yin-yang theories, as is Chinese
medicine.

If you turn from questions of "what" to questions of "who", then there
seems to be a question of teacher and student.  In terms of mind, this
dichotomy describes both the ability of the mind to create
understanding and to receive understanding.  If you believe, as I do,
that religion is an attempt to extrapolate to a higher level from the
evidence about existence that we find in examining how our own and 
other peoples mind works, and if we accept the possibility that
the world is created by something similar to what we at a lower level
call mind, then this statement becomes a little bit simpler.

Yours respectfully,
Stephen R. Friberg




From snoopy@skipper.physics.sunysb.eduTue Oct 24 11:31:37 1995
Date: Tue, 24 Oct 1995 09:45:19 -0400 (EDT)
From: Stephen Johnson 
To: talisman@indiana.edu
Subject: Re: KI: pp.3-5


Dearest Friends...

In the first paragraph of the Iqan, it says:

>      No man shall attain the shores of the ocean of true understanding
> except he be detached from all that is in heaven and
> on earth.  

Two things:

First:  This first few words of the Iqan have not been translated into 
English (after: Howa `ali'u'l a'la).  I do not have my copy of the Iqan 
in Farsi/Arabic with me here but I remember that I was confused with the 
first few words...if anyone has this book nearby can you comment on this 
first few words and how the Blessed Guardian has incorporated the 
concepts behind these words into the paragraph even though the 
translation is not precisely the same.

Second: This is the first paragraph in the first Baha'i book that I ever 
read. This first paragraph startled me, for one of his first injuncions 
is to detach yourself from all that is on earth....*and* all that is in 
heaven.  I read it over and over again..."why be detached from all that 
is in heaven?"  I then began to realize that I was imposing my very 
outdated Christian beliefs upon Baha'u'llah's Writings.  We are enjoined 
to search the truth not with hidden desires about the earth, nor with 
hidden desires about heaven -- to perform a service strictly because it 
will get me 'in' to heaven destroys the spirit of the service since all 
is done for the sake of the love of God, not the love of self (even if 
you are thinking ahead).

> Sanctify your souls, O ye peoples of the world, that
> haply ye may attain that station which God hath destined for
> you and enter thus the tabernacle which, according to the dispensations
> of Providence, hath been raised in the firmament of the Bayan.

And again my ancient Christian beliefs were challenged when I found that 
this noble station is that which is destined for us...not the idea of 
original sin brought upon us by the first predecessors who decided to 
grab the 'forbidden fruit' thus damning us all to hell.

Perhaps some of those people who have been talking about Christian 
beliefs here on talisman could shed some more light on this topic?

My favorite Baha'i verse ends thus:

> ...unless and until he ceases to regard the
> words and deeds of mortal men as a standard for
> the true understanding and recognition of God and
> His Prophets.


Your devoted friend,

stephen johnson


From cybrmage@niia.netTue Oct 24 11:39:32 1995
Date: Mon, 23 Oct 1995 22:32:59 +0000
From: Bud Polk 
To: talisman@indiana.edu
Subject: Re: Cause and Community/Why I prefer my own kind

Dear friends,

I have been a Baha'i for 25 years and I have had bipolar disorder for 
27 years.  My illness was only diagnosed five years ago and has 
worsened during this period.

I find myself still attached to the Cause but distanced from the 
Community.  Regarding mental illness, I think the community is:

1. ignorant
2. prejudiced
3. patronizing
4. lacking in compassion
5. full of "happy" and empty platitudes
6. in denial

I cite a few examples by a Baha'i author by way of illustration:

"We live in an 'age of anxiety'.  The loss of serious interest in
religion has deprived people of the help ministers, priests and
rabbis.  About 35,000,000 Americans suffer from a crippling
depression.  38,000 psychiatrists -- 'secular priests' -- are
practicing their profession among us...."

"There is no doubt that if more people took their Bibles seriously
the psychiatrist would have fewer patients...Psychiatry tells us to
accept ourselves and religion tells how to do so...."

"These 'Divine counsellings' can heal anxiety, lift depression,
[yeah right] lighten frustration and answer many puzzling questions."

Divine Therapy, Annanarie Honnold, pp. 1-3

Hold on a minute while I pray away my severe depression and I'll wait 
while "Divine counsellings" heal your diabetes or heart condition.  
I'll stop taking my mood stabilizers, antidepressants and anitcyclers 
(as some Baha'is have suggested).  And you stop your hypertension 
meds, your insulin or your anti-seizure meds.

The problem is rooted in the artificial Western mind/body duality. 
Mental illness is not "mental" at all.  Because we think it is
"mental," it should be boot-strapped, prayed or meditated away.  I
am in a severe depression right now.  My sleep and my eating
patterns are disturbed.   My head aches, every muscle in body hurts
and I am short of breath.  Mental illness is mind/body illness. 

Mood disorders (bipolar and unipolar disorder) and schizophrenia,
the two most severe mental illnesses, are biochemical in nature and
probably have a genetic basis.  Researchers are closing in on the
set of bipolar genes.  But I am not a genetic-determinist -- there
must be environmental triggers as well.

Psychopharmacology offers the best hope for alleviating an episode
and preventing or reducing the severity of subsequent episodes. 
Talk therapy -- and prayer, I believe -- only help heal the
intra-psychiatric issues left in the wake of the illness.

We suffer -- those with mental illness and the Community -- because 
this things are not understood.  I had a close Baha'i friend who 
works at the national center.  Once, in anguish and depression, I 
called and left a voice message.  There was no return call so my wife 
Linda called and got through.  The "friend" said, "Bud is strong, he 
can deal with this."  Never heard from my "good Baha'i friend" again. 
You would be shocked to know who he is -- one of those super, 
wonderful, spiritual, prominent Baha'is.

I used to serve on national task forces.  During one consultation, I 
was manic, rude and abrasive.  I insulted an international figure in 
the Faith (and apologized).  I explained to the organizer of the 
event and the other participants why I had done that.  But no more 
calls to service.  If mental illness were understood, I would be 
invited to participate and asked lovingly and frankly about my 
current mood.

I am not the sort of person who pours the tea at firesides.  I have
taught at Bosch, Louhelen, Green Lake and the House of Worship.  I
organized the children's program at national events for years.  And I
have written for the NSA, among other things.

If the Community no longer wants to make us of me, than I will take my 
creativity and talents elsewhere.  And that, friends, is why I say I 
would rather be with my own kind.

None of what I have described occurs between those of us with mood 
disorders.  There is instant understanding and compassion.  I am damn 
tired of explaining all this to stupid, insensitive people -- Baha'is 
included.  And I have found Baha'is more hidebound in their attitudes 
than the general public.

I belong to a mail list for bipolars, Pendulum, on the Internet.  We 
talk about every aspect of the illness, its treatment and we give 
advice.  Most of us know more about the illness than our pshrinks.  I 
get about 100 posts a day.  When I am having trouble -- as now -- I 
turn to them, not to the Baha'i Community.  

We also have a secret 
channel on the undernet -- secret to keep out the surfers and 
smutsters.  By the way I was on #bahai on the effnet, tried to talk 
about my problem and was ignored.  So I don't go to the Community or 
Baha'is on the 'net.  I go to my own kind.

At this stage of my life, I would rather run into a bipolar than a 
Baha'i -- we have more in common.  But I remain attached to our 
beloved Cause. 

I will post a list of homepages, newsgroups, and channels that 
educate about and deal with mental illness at a later date.
  

Warm regards,
Bud Polk


From ahmada@acsusun.acsu.unsw.edu.auTue Oct 24 12:20:41 1995
Date: Tue, 24 Oct 1995 15:17:07 +1000
From: Ahmad Aniss 
To: talisman@indiana.edu
Subject: creation

Dear Talismanians,

I would like to see the following quote being discussed on Talisman
I like to know what all others think this paragraph means.
What or who is the "active force" and what and who is the "recipient".

With Baha'i Love and fellowship,
Ahmad.

[the quote]

TABLETS OF BAHA'U'LLAH REVEALED AFTER THE KITAB-I-AQDAS
(U.S., 1988 pocket-size ed.)

LAWH-I-HIKMAT 
(Tablet of Wisdom) 

page 140
"...............
That which hath been in existence had existed before, 
but not in the form thou seest today.  The world of existence 
came into being through the heat generated from the 
interaction between the active force and that which is its 
recipient.  These two are the same, yet they are different. 
Thus doth the Great Announcement inform thee about this 
glorious structure.  Such as communicate the generating 
influence and such as receive its impact are indeed created 
through the irresistible Word of God which is the Cause 
of the entire creation, while all else besides His Word are 
but the creatures and the effects thereof.  Verily thy Lord is 
the Expounder, the All-Wise. 
..............."

 _______________________________________________________________________
^									^
^ Dr. A.M. Aniss,			







From LWALBRID@cluster.ucs.indiana.eduTue Oct 24 12:25:37 1995
Date: Mon, 23 Oct 95 10:07:15 EWT
From: LWALBRID@cluster.ucs.indiana.edu
To: jrcole@umich.edu
Subject: RE: wired world government

Juan, BTW, JOhn just called me to tell me the contents of the letter from the
UHJ which had been faxed to him.  The UHJ wrote several pages deploring the
"philosophical underpinnings" of the Encyclopedia.  John is resigning from the
Board and reclaiming his articles.  I am sure he will write more but thought
you would want this info.  What a waste!  What tyrants they have become.  I am
afraid that it is going to be difficult for me to remain on Talisman and deal
with those who love the institutions so much.  Linda


From Peter_Tamas@bcon.comTue Oct 24 12:27:42 1995
Date: 20 Oct 1995 04:46:07 GMT
From: Peter Tamas 
To: lua@sover.net
Cc: talisman@indiana.edu
Subject: Re: Power

Taking this thread on a bit of a tangent...I think that you may be able to
give me a few pointers.

The short version of what I am after some theory which abstracts from the
base relationship of that between a mother and her child in its attempts to
explain social or political phenomena.  This atom stands in opposition to
that of liberal theory which works from the relationship between rational and
reasonable atomistic individuals, Confucious which develops on the basis of
the relationship between the gentleman and his mature son in the presence of
Heaven as embodied by the Emporer and Harrison White's abstraction from
pecking orders in fowl and primate society.

I am scratching this itch for two reasons:
1. I want to write a nice tight little paper for my political economy class.
2. I suspect that a good part of our current apparent difficulties
understanding the nature of our administrative order derives from a grammar
born of atomistic individualism and its attendent tendancy to 'power over'. 
I want to contribute to the development of an alternative grammar.  One that
does not ineviatably lead to the difficulty with understanding the nature of
an institution as distinct from the members who have the opportunity to
engage and cannalize its energy (bad paraphrase....apologies)

Just wondering if you have any sources to point me to.  I suspect they would
be things like beyond power or, hopefully, more feminist attempts to describe
the nature of relationships in a manner amenable to extension to appropriate
description of our administrative system.


take care

peter

From jrcole@umich.eduTue Oct 24 12:35:48 1995
Date: Tue, 24 Oct 1995 12:20:31 -0400 (EDT)
From: Juan R Cole 
To: Ahmad Aniss 
Cc: talisman@indiana.edu
Subject: Re: creation



With regard to the passage in the Tablet of Wisdom, this is discussed 
briefly in the following Encyclopaedia article which I am posting because 
it will never otherwise see the light of day:

cheers,   Juan Cole, History, University of Michigan




Encyclopaedia of the Baha'i Faith
eds.  John Walbridge and Moojan Momen.


Lawh-i Hikmat (The Tablet of Wisdom).
	The Tablet of Wisdom was revealed by Baha'u'llah for the
Baha'i philosopher Aqa Muhammad "Nabil-i Akbar" Qa'ini when the
latter came to visit him in `Akka sometime in 1873 or 1874 (1290
A.H.).  Baha'u'llah recalls in the course of this Tablet their earlier
meeting, around 1859, at the house of `Abdu'l-Majid Shirazi in
Kazimayn, Iraq, at which time Baha'u'llah had expounded Greco-
Islamic philosophy.  It was upon listening to such discourses that
Nabil-i Akbar (who had the best seminary training the Shi`ite world
could offer at that time) had given his allegiance to Baha'u'llah, though
he had earlier been devoted to Subh-i Azal.  Baha'u'llah's willingness to
engage philosophy in the tradition of Plato, Aristotle and Plotinus, as it
was elaborated in Muslim culture by Avicenna (d. 1037), Suhravardi
(d. 1191) and Mulla Sadra (d. 1641) among others, marked a major
departure for Babi religious culture.  The Bab had earlier discouraged
the study of metaphysics and other scholastic disciplines, but
Baha'u'llah made a place for philosophy in the Baha'i Faith.
	The Tablet of Wisdom, which could also be translated as "The
Tablet of Philosophy," begins with ethical exhortations directed at the
people of the world.  Ethics, politics and household management were
considered in Aristotelian thought branches of "practical philosophy." 
That he begins with praise of down-to-earth virtues such as diligence,
generosity and service to humankind suggests that he saw "practical
philosophy" as having primacy over more theoretical branches of the
discipline.  
	Next, he addresses a question posed to him by Nabil-i Akbar,
about the beginning of creation.  The ancient Greeks believed that the
universe has always existed, a doctrine that seems to clash with the
biblical and qur'anic idea of the world having been created by God at a
particular point in time (perhaps as recently as 6,000 years ago if one
takes the Bible literally).   The great Muslim mystic and clergyman
Abu Hamid al-Ghazali (d. A.D. 1111) had, in his Incoherence of the
Philosophers, energetically attacked the idea of the pre-existence of
the cosmos, while the master philosopher Averroes (d. 1198) had in
his The Incoherence of the Incoherence replied with a spirited defense
of Aristotle.  The followers of Aristotle in Iran, mostly Avicennians
known as peripatetics, continued to believe in the eternality of the
world.  Nabil-i Akbar was eager to have Baha'u'llah resolve this
controversy.  
	Baha'u'llah in reply says the both the eternality of the world and
the creation of the world are valid ways of talking, each in its own
way, about the God-world relationship.  He affirms the standard
Avicennian position, that the universe has always existed.  "Wert thou
to assert that it hath ever existed and shall continue to exist, it would
be true" (Lawh-i Hikmat, Eng. tr., p. 140).  But he says that the world
is nevertheless originated by the creative power of God.  That is, the
world is created, but it has always been being created and so has never
been non-existent.  Creation is not a unique divine act that occurs
once, at a particular point of time, establishing a historical dividing-line
between nonbeing and being.  It is rather a continuous divine activity.  
	Yet he also affirms the validity of speaking as though the pre-
existent God created the contingent world out of nothing.  This way of
talking, he says, is a metaphor.  In Greco-Islamic philosophy, God's
Being is Necessary and must by its nature exist, so that He is
essentially pre-existent (qadim).  The world need not have come into
being, existing not because it must, but because of God's creative Will. 
It is therefore dependent or contingent (mumkin) and its essence is
originated (muhdath) (Rahman, "The Eternity of the World," pp. 222-
237).  When the scriptures or hadiths refer to God as having been
alone "before" the creation, then, they are actually pointing to the
difference in his metaphysical level from that of the originated world. 
His primacy is essential, not sequential.  It is also valid, then, to speak
of the contingent universe having always existed alongside the deity,
since God's "Firstness" is not really a "firstness" of time but rather of
essence (Lawh-i Hikmat, Eng. tr., p. 140).  
	To explain the dependence of complex matter on simpler
building blocks, Baha'u'llah employs the formulation of Avicenna
(Shifa', ed. Madkur, 7:147-59), which is in turn based on the schema
put forward by Aristotle in his De generatione et corruptione.  Ancient
Greek thought identified the basic qualities out of which the universe
was formed as moistness, dryness, heat and cold.  Avicenna considered
the tangible qualities of heat and cold to be "agents (Ar. sing. fa'il)," or
active forces.  He believed moist and dry to be "patients" or passive
(Ar. munfa'il).  The mixture of an agent and a patient in turn produced
each of the four basic elements.  That is, moistness and cold combined
to form water, whereas dryness and heat made fire.  This is the
meaning of the phrase, "The world of existence came into being
through the heat generated from the interaction between the active
force and that which is its recipient"  (Lawh-i Hikmat, Eng., p. 140). 
In this way, from the combination of these attributes, the four elements
of earth, air, fire and water came into being.  Since the underlying
qualities are indestructible, and they part and recombine, the processes
of generation and disintegration are continuous and eternal.  This
Aristotelian physics was dominant in Islamic science, and became so in
Western thought, in the medieval period, and continued to be held in
Iran by most thinkers until the twentieth century.  Baha'u'llah in using
it was simply employing the terms that would be understood by his
immediate audience, Nabil-i Akbar and other traditionally-trained
Muslim philosophers.  
	Baha'u'llah then expatiates on his Logos theology, which holds
that the origins and development of the universe ultimately depend not
merely on natural forces, but upon the active Word of God (kalimat
Allah) (Cole, "Concept of Manifestation," pp. 8-9).  Nature itself, he
says, is a reflection of the will of God.  He makes it clear that his
advocacy of a theology of science, wherein delving into nature
represents an exploration of the divine will, is intended to counteract
the influence of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century European
materialism and positivism (Lawh-i Hikmat, pp. 141-144).
	Baha'u'llah points out that modern European thought owes a
great deal to the philosophical tradition of classical Greece.  He goes
on to quote verbatim from medieval Muslim writers such as Abu'l-Fath
Shahrastani and `Imadu'd-Din Abu'l-Fida in praise of Empedocles,
Pythagoras, Hippocrates, Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle.  He further
discusses Apollonius of Tyana (Ar. Balinus, b. 4 B.C.), and speaks of
the Hermetic corpus (a group of anonymous, esoteric Greek writings
produced in the centuries immediately after Christ and incorrectly
attributed to Hermes of ancient Egypt; see Affifi, "Influence," pp. 840-
855).    
	The medieval Muslim biographers of the Greek philosophers
quoted in this Tablet stress two important themes.  First, the Greek
philosophers tended to believe in the divine, and most were not
materialists.  This is true enough, though neither were all these Greeks
Muslim-style monotheists, as Shahrastani and Abu'l-Fida tended to
paint them.  Second, they maintain that Pythagoras was influenced by
Hebrew prophetic wisdom, and that other philosophers also "acquired
their knowledge from the Prophets." (Lawh-i Hikmat, Eng., pp. 144-
145).  The latter belief was held in Europe, as well, among thinkers
such as St. Augustine and the Cambridge Platonists, but no historical
evidence exists for it.   These Muslim sources placed Empedocles in
the time of David and Pythagoras in the time of Solomon, a
chronology typical of Greco-Islamic works but which is mistaken
(Cole, "Problems of Chronology," pp. 32-38).  Here, as throughout
this Tablet, Baha'u'llah quotes or presents information from the
standard Middle Eastern reference works considered authoritative at
the time among thinkers such as Nabil-i Akbar (`Abdu'l-Baha/Ethel
Rosenberg, 1906, in A. Ishraq-Khavari, Ma'idih, 2:69).    
	Baha'u'llah maintains that the philosophers of antiquity were
not solely concerned with abstract thought, but were often imbued
with a spirit of experiment.  The sources he quotes say that Aristotle
first suggested the power latent in steam, and a Greek figure whose
name the Arabic sources transliterate as Murtas or Muristus (Gr.
Ameristos?) was said by Abu'l-Fida to have "invented an apparatus
which transmitted sound over a distance of sixty miles" (Lawh-i
Hikmat, Eng., p. 150).  In quoting Abu'l-Fida on this figure,
Baha'u'llah is arguing that the philosophical and scientific advances of
the European Enlightenment and nineteenth century are not unique;
that they have parallels on a smaller scale in past world civilizations;
and that in the other instances such civilizational progress was not
associated with atheism or materialism (and so need not be now).      
	Baha'u'llah's forthright championing of figures such as
Socrates, and his favorable view of modern science, was remarkable in
a nineteenth-century figure from a Muslim background who had not
studied in European or European-style schools.  Many Muslim
clergymen of the time rejected either Greek philosophy or modern
Western science, or both.  Baha'u'llah's "Tablet of Wisdom" raises
some of the same issues as similar essays by reformers such as the
Iranian Sayyid Jamalu'd-Din al-Afghani (d. 1897) and the Egyptian
Rifa`ah at-Tahtawi (d. 1873).  This Tablet strongly affirms of the value
of philosophy and modern science while insisting on the continued
validity of religious beliefs.  


Bibliography:  The Tablet of Wisdom in English translation may be
found in Baha'u'llah, Tablets of Baha'u'llah Revealed after the Kitab-i-
Aqdas, trans. Habib Taherzadeh et al. (Haifa: Baha'i World Centre,
2nd edn. 1988), pp. 137-152; the Arabic text may be found in the
companion volume, Majmu`ih`i az Alvah-i Jamal-i Aqdas-i Abha kih
ba`d az Kitab-i Aqdas nazil shudih (Hofheim-Langenhain: Baha'i
Verlag, 1980); Abdu'l-Baha's Tablet on the dates for the philosophers
in the Tablet of Wisdom is in Ma'idih-'i Asmani, ed. A. Ishraq-Khavari,
2 vols. - (New Delhi: Baha'i Publishing Trust, 1984), 2:68-71 (new
pagination).  For its cultural context, see:  A.E. Affifi, "The Influence
of Hermetic Literature in Muslim Thought," BSOAS xiii (1950):840-
55; Aristotle,  Aristotle's De generatione et corruptione (Oxford:
Clarendon Press, 1982); Avicenna, ash-Shifa', ed. Ibrahim Madkur et
al., 7 vols. (Cairo: Dar al-Kitab al-`Arabi, 1984); J. Cole, "The
Concept of Manifestation in the Baha'i Writings," Baha'i Studies 9
(1982):1-38; J. Cole, "Problems of Chronology in Baha'u'llah's Tablet
of Wisdom," World Order vol. 13, no. 3 (1979):24-39; Fazlur
Rahman, "The Eternity of the World and the Heavenly bodies in Post-
Avicennian Philosophy," Essays in Islamic Philosophy and Science, ed.
G.F. Hourani (Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 1975), pp. 222-237; Franz
Rosenthal, The Classical Heritage in Islam (London: Routledge,
1992); Franz Rosenthal, Greek Philosophy in the Arab World
(London: Variorum, 1990); Richard Walzer, Greek into Arabic
(Oxford: Bruno Cassirer, 1962); Frances Yates, Giordano Bruno and
the Hermetic Tradition (New York: Vintage, 1969).  For Muslim
views of the Greek philosophers mentioned in this tablet, the articles in
the Encyclopaedia of Islam, 2nd edn., written in English but given
under the philosophers' Arabic names, are essential:  R. Walzer,
"Aflatun;" R. Walzer, "Aristutalis;" S.M. Stern, "Anbaduklis;" M.
Plessner, "Balinus;"  A. Dietrich, "Buqrat;" F. Rosenthal,
"Fithaghuras;" M. Plessner, "Hirmis."

								
	Juan R.I. Cole


From caryer@microsoft.comTue Oct 24 12:40:32 1995
Date: Tue, 24 Oct 1995 08:16:27 -0700
From: "Cary E. Reinstein" 
To: "talisman@indiana.edu" 
Subject: Men Cry (Cary's bio at last)

I feel moved to publish my bio on Talisman. When I first logged on here, I did 
a standard Who Am I that listed my professional background and a few minor 
points. That was an accurate description of me but it wasn't the part of me 
that matters much. I'm not a scholar in the Faith. I'm just a writer and 
artist, computer techie, a Microserf (see email address). The recent 
discussions on gender on Talisman were a powerful influence on me to say more 
about myself. I found powerful confirmations that reinforced and strengthened 
me, and finally, because of what I read here and was moved to explore further, 
I did a momentous thing. A life-affirming and life-changing thing. A 
life-saving thing. I thank you, Talisman, from my heart and soul. I give humble 
thanks to Baha'u'llah for knowing you all and for what I have learned.

Please allow me to share this and to thank you from my heart for freeing my 
soul from a life of secrecy, fear and despair. The letter that I'm appending to 
this message went out on email at my workplace to over 600 people on three 
email aliases. Two of them are dedicated to parenting issues, Single Parents At 
Microsoft (cool acronym), and Parents of Teens (email name: MS-Angst!). Within 
a few hours I received over 60 responses and many, many phone calls and office 
visits. Every single person was compassionate and deeply supportive. I compiled 
their responses and will send them to anyone on this list who'd like to see 
them--offline--to save bandwidth. It's a long compilation!

I found out the impact that I have on people. I had never known it or thought 
about it before. It made me so proud to work at Microsoft. The evening that my 
letter describes is one that I shall never forget. I shall place it in my heart 
with those like the following: the night that a Baha'i read the Fire Tablet at 
a fireside for a few new seekers and as he finished the nearby hills literally 
burst into flames inspiring two instant declarations(!); the day my first child 
departed for the Abha Kingdom at age three and I saw 'Abdu'l-Baha enter his 
hospital room, gather up his tiny body and take him home; the morning that I 
entered the Shrine of Baha'u'llah and prayed there for Him to send me beautiful 
children one day, smart, healthy, and Baha'i; the day I heard the message and 
declared a few hours later; and yesterday, the day I became free at last.

Thank you for letting me share. Thank you for enlightening me and teaching me. 
Thank you from my deepest and most loving heart. The email was titled "Men 
Cry." Here is the full text of the letter including the original sigs:
=============
Men Cry

Sometimes we come to a crossroads in our lives and we know we have to turn. I 
don't want to sound trite or maudlin but we know at that point that the turn is 
frightening, the end unsure and the road not well-traveled. But we must turn. 
We can't go on the same way any longer. The old way is living death and the 
turn is life restored.

I turned barely a week ago in order to recover the rest of my life. I've raised 
two great kids by myself for most of their lives. One has flown the nest and 
gone off to college to study engineering. The other, who now wants to be a 
novelist, will fly in two years. Both of my boys make me proud and happy. The 
other day, I had a long talk with my younger son, Ben, that made me so proud 
that I decided to share it no matter what the consequences to me. As God/dess 
is good and we are all intelligent and open-minded, I will hope that I don't 
lose any of my friends because of what I'm recounting now.

I'm only going to summarize here because the personal details and the long 
history are just family matters. I told Ben that I'm a Transsexual. That means 
that all my life I was never at home in my body. It means that my soul, my 
heart, didn't match the gender in which I was raised and socialized. It meant 
three failed marriages, years of clinical depression, thoughts of suicide and 
more. I assured him that I wasn't gay which was important to him to know. I 
explained how current research points to probable genetic causes of the 
condition, how it's life-long and cannot be cured, "fixed" by psychotherapy, or 
suppressed by medication. Inevitably a person with such a condition either 
seeks hormone therapy and surgical remedies, lives a miserable dysfunctional 
life or commits suicide, the most common outcome. A little over a month ago, 
inspired by the courageous example of a colleague at work in a similar 
condition--same diagnosis, single parent, Microserf, and more--I took steps to 
change my life. I started therapy and took the turn down the other road, the 
unknown one, the unsafe one. To me, it's the only road I can take. I can't trod 
the other road any more.

I knew that I'd have to tell my sons. I had dropped some hints to test their 
limits. It was clear that the one in college might not be ready yet. The other 
night I told Ben the entire story. We talked for over four hours and then I 
went to bed, exhausted, my brain fried, emotionally drained and concluded the 
happiest day of my life. Ben is 16 years old. He's a great kid, tolerant, 
intelligent, God-loving, witty and creative. He's also like most 16 year old 
boys, in and out of love with various girls, plays loud music, throws his dirty 
clothes on the floor, hopelessly untidy, subject to bouts of teen angst. He's 
pretty normal for a modern kid in other words. But you just don't expect a 
normal young person to understand or accept such a revelation about his dad. 
Dad drives a big 4x4. He has a pair of season tickets to the Mariners. Dad 
doesn't date though. He doesn't go out much at all, takes heavy medication for 
depression, and doesn't sleep more than three or four hours a night because of 
nightmares. Ben always wondered why. Neither of the kids could get me to talk 
about myself.

Ben told me that he understood. He wanted me to be happy. He wanted whatever I 
wanted and decided to do to make me happy. He loved me no matter what I did. He 
cared. And he did understand. He understood me deeper than any adult ever has. 
He knew that I couldn't get free of this condition and I had to do something 
about it. He reminded me of all the time we spent together. The times I left 
work to take home a sick child. The years I coached his soccer team. The places 
I took him and his brother. The wonderful baseball games where we sat by the 
bullpen and watched Randy Johnson warm-up. The trips we took. The times we 
talked. How I was so supportive when he broke up with his girlfriend. And he 
wanted me to be happy no matter what it took. And he affirmed me as a parent 
and as a human being and as a Father and a Mother. He didn't need to 
understand. He only wanted to help. He said if his friends might reject him at 
some future time if they found out that he'd find truer friends. He hugged me 
and he smiled. And I, a guy outside, a woman inside, cried and hugged him. 
Sometimes that's all we can do. Sometimes guys cry even when people can see 
them do it.

He even said that he knew why I waited so long to do anything about my 
condition. He knew it was for the sake of himself and his brother. He knew that 
I wanted to let his mother finish med school and take her own path although it 
was away from us. He accepted my life and affirmed it. I've never been prouder 
or happier. He asked if I would lose my job because of this. I told him how I 
had already told my HR representative and how supportive and accepting that he 
was. The company hires our brains, our commitment and our performance, he told 
me and that's all they're concerned about. I am so proud to work here.

My next huge step will be on Thanksgiving when my other son, Nick, comes home 
for the holiday. I'll tell him then. First I'll pray for strength and I know it 
will go well. Thanks for letting me share what a blessing I have been given in 
the person of my wonderful teenage children.

Cary
==============================================
"I'm just a soul whose intentions are good,
Oh Lord! Please don't let me be misunderstood!"
(--Nina Simone; The Animals; Joe Cocker; others)
==============================================
"The quest for certainty blocks the search for meaning. Uncertainty is
the very condition to impel man to unfold his powers." -Erich Fromm
==============================================
"Remember how they taught you, how much of it was fear.
 Refuse to hand it down. The legacy stops here." - Melissa Etheridge
==============================================
"In the garden of thy heart plant naught but the rose of love" - Baha'u'llah



From burlb@bmi.netWed Oct 25 00:13:57 1995
Date: Tue, 24 Oct 95 10:05 PDT
From: Burl Barer 
To: talisman@indiana.edu
Subject: bio (again)

Ok -- here is a  basic bio repost from Burl Barer. -- My life was cut short
on my previous transmission (Wow! Does that sound *Eastern* or what?)

I was born in a cross-fire hurricane in a house in the driving rain...ooops,
I mean, I was born and still live in Walla Walla, Washington. Population
approx. 30,000 not counting those locked up in the State Penitentiary for
being Hispanic without a license or for excess melanin possession.  The big
campaign around here is to garner suport for the new children's prison. We
need to send a strong message to our kids that youth will not go unpunished.
If we can't send 'em to war, we can sure as hell send em to jail.

I am 48 but look much younger :-) and still think of myself as a youth --
hence I am always afraid of being arrested for impersonating an adult.

Became a Baha'i in Seattle in February of 1970 after intensive investigation
-- not of the faith, but intensive investigation of how all that paisly gets
into the air and why it moves in time to the music. #-)

My "profession" is being an author and "media person."  I write books on
worldly topics such as show-business, pop culture, mystery/adventure, and
true crime.  You are invited to order my current book from a bookstore near
you [Derek has several copies of my latest masterpiece for sale].  

I have no degrees, sad to say, although I once tried to get a mail-order
Masters Degree in Metaphysics but ran out of money before I hit the crown
chakra. . Britt Barer (beloved spouse) is the educated/educator in the
family. She teaches alternative eduation at WWCC.  We have two kids: Anea
Bergen Barer (17) who goes to Whitman College, Jordan Reed-Rabani Barer (13)
I am a rock n roller at heart -- listen to Bob Dylan & Mott the Hoople and
am a former rock n roll DJ in the Seattle radio market -- a living legend in
my own mind and a wellknown has-been.

From Dave10018@aol.comWed Oct 25 00:14:52 1995
Date: Tue, 24 Oct 1995 13:24:28 -0400
From: Dave10018@aol.com
To: osborndo@pilot.msu.edu, talisman@indiana.edu
Subject: Re: Women & UHJ: Reframing the Question

In a message dated 95-10-23 17:27:00 EDT, osborndo@pilot.msu.edu (Donald
Zhang Osborn) writes:





>By "only symbolic" I did not mean "merely symbolic," rather
>"symbolic only (and not anything else)."  You stated that the
>reason for not having women on the House of Justice is "not
>practical," and my main point was that as far as this servant has
>been able to figure, such a conclusion was not yet justified.
>

I presented reasoning leading to my conclusion in my post on the subject.
Briefly, such "practical" reasoning as you suggest leads to the suggestion
that all-male consultative bodies must be superior in some practical terms.
You cannot, by definition, design a research project that would show some
reason why only the Universal House of Justice should be all-male. What would
you use as a control group? To see this as a practical matter means to see it
as a symbolic statement about men and women which contradicts our belief in
women's rights and capacity as well as many explicit statements in the
writings. To say that the House must be all-male because of some practical
need owing to some unique factor of the House's deliberations is a kind of
mystical statement which does --not-- follow logically from the House's
authority and in fact contradicts Shoghi Effendi's descriptions of the duties
of the members of the House, which emphasize the same qualities of detachment
and rational processes as required of members of  other Baha'i administrative
bodies.  This kind of mystical assertion, of which Ahmad's "seed of creation"
statement is another example,  comes down to  saying that the House must be
male in order to follow a magic formula for revelation! If that is the case
why couldn't the formula be different and what does it mean? To insist on a"
practical reason" really implies that there must be a meaning for the
all-male rule which limits the role of women or, at least, of women and men
together, which runs counter to the teachings of the faith. Such a "practical
reason" does in fact function as a symbolic statement of  a most disagreeable
kind!  My modest proposal is to consider the symbolic statement of the male
House as not referring to relations of women and men at all!   That the rule
does not derive from what you call practical considerations, but has symbolic
derivation and purpose is a proposition I find both logical and in harmony
with my understanding of the harmony of science and religion as well as my
understanding of the development of symbolism in  the last 5000or so years of
religious history, especially the patriarchal monotheism of the Middle East
which is the heritage of the Western world as well as the heritage of Islam.
 In this context the rule can be understood without reference to magic but
with reference to the idea of progressive revelation and historic continuity
and as well the idea that not everything in the faith is derivative of
practical common sense, because the Revelation is the Representation of the
Divine to humanity. And the question of representation is one of iconography
having nothing to do with how women and men work together, requiring us to
accept  practical disadvantages for the sake of ancient symbolism.The kind of
symbolism which misreads the rule as a statement about men and women is
precisely what has led to such symbolism being used to justify the oppression
of women in the past, and efforts by Baha'is to provide a "practical" reason
for the all-male House have taken the form of all manner of speculation about
what amounts to ideas of limitations on women and women and men in
interaction which cannot be justified by anything in the Writings or practice
of the Faith,  praise be to God. In order to make real for ourselves the
concept of the equality of men and women  we must be able, since we cannot do
away with patriarchal symbols, understand them abstractly, as referring to
the nature of the Godhead.  Here in the US Christian men("promise keepers")
as well as Mr. Farrakhan with his million men(Muslims, not to be confused
with Moslems) are trying to revive male participation in the sacred circle of
life by priviledging every man in marriage as patriarch of his home, ruling
his wife. Seeing the patriarchal symbolism in the Faith as upholding God
Alone as Ruler, as King, is an advance in abstract conceptualization and
justice which demands that men as much as women submit to the will of God.
Why retain patriarchal symbolism at all? For reasons of history and heritage
and so that we may finally get it right, as referring to God not to men. As
human thought evolves we disentangle symbolism referring to the divine from
the practical sphere of human behaviour. This can have salutary practical
effects. 

I hope this finds you warm and cheery,

david taylor


From burlb@bmi.netWed Oct 25 00:19:05 1995
Date: Tue, 24 Oct 95 10:34 PDT
From: Burl Barer 
To: cybrmage@niia.net
Cc: talisman@indiana.edu
Subject: Re: Cause and Community/Why I prefer my own kind


>
>We suffer -- those with mental illness and the Community -- because 
>this things are not understood. 

   True.  And. Understanding (does anyone completely understand these
disorders?) does *not* mean being held hostage or emotionally blackmailed by
someone simply because they have a medical problem that manifests itself in
inappropriate behaviour.  In my little community we have had a
disporportionate number of schizophrenics, paranoids, bipolars, and front
temporal lobe epileptics all suffering symptoms at the same time, plus our
MBR (minimum Baha'i requirement) of drug addicts and alcoholics..  We have
had to learn a lot, be compassionate, understanding, tolerant and practical.
If you have a believer who stands in the street screaming about eating
flesh, you don't elect them Chairman of the LSA to give them a better sense
of being a Baha'i.  You don't allow them to dominate consultation at feast
with rambling diatribes and insults..  

Bud, discerning the unity of all things said, :
 
 I say I would rather be with my own kind.
>
  I go to my own kind.
>
>I would rather run into a bipolar than a Baha'i.

 I am a Baha'i.   I was once diagnosed as bipolar. I was once diagnosed as
having genetic depression. I was once diagnosed as suffering from an anxiety
disorder. I was once put on anti-depressents, anti-anxiety drugs, the works.  
But, gee. I am not diagnosed bipolar anymore. I am no longer diagnosed as
having genetic depression. I am no longer full of anxiety. I may be an
peculiar case, but I just got fed up with being a different disorder
depending on the doctor and having my body be a pharmacological storehouse
and testing ground for the latest tricyclic.   I finally decided that, for
me, "bipolar" was  a sexual preference reference to those big white bears :-)
Perhaps I was misdiagnosed in the first, second, third, fourth, and fifth
places.
Perhaps there was something in my toothpaste to which I was allergic that
caused the symptoms? Who knows.  The community was tolerant but wise. 
As for your own kind, Bud...this kind be humankind.  Some have allergies,
some have illness, we all have a cross to bear - polar or grizzly -- or
bare, or Barer. 



From 72110.2126@compuserve.comWed Oct 25 00:28:17 1995
Date: 24 Oct 95 15:56:44 EDT
From: David Langness <72110.2126@compuserve.com>
To: Talisman@indiana.edu
Subject: Heroes and Heroines

Dear Carmen and everyone else, too,

Thanks for your wonderfully penetrating question about whether or not I
found, in my research for my forthcoming(from Oneworld, distributed by
Penguin, btw) book The Seeker's Path, any information about differences
between the way males and females approach the spiritual quest.

The short answer?  No.  None.

In fact, in my reading of world myth, which attempted to span a widely
representative and geographically diverse set of cultures, I found just
the opposite.  Much of ancient, pre-literate mythology focuses on
feminine heroes.

I decided not to use the word "heroine" in my work -- a diminutive if I
ever heard one -- because of the source of the word "hero" itself.  Hero
was a minor Greek goddess, a priestess of Aphrodite, who pursued a life-
long quest for spiritual awareness.  Ironic, no?

While "heroines" in much of Western fairy tale lore, which seems to me just
corrupted mythological truth, often appeared as passive and receptive,
the female heroes of most original myth were active, resourceful, smart
and creative.  They often bested their male adversaries.  For this reason,
I used many female-centered myths in The Seeker's Path.

The one book I recommend for Baha'is and others on this important and to
this date under-researched topic is Rianne Eisler's The Chalice and the
Blade, which carefully tracks the ancient societies with female/male
balance in their mythology and therefore their social structures.

Love,

David



From cybrmage@niia.netWed Oct 25 00:34:01 1995
Date: Tue, 24 Oct 1995 03:33:28 +0000
From: Bud Polk 
To: Burl Barer 
Cc: talisman@indiana.edu
Subject: Burl Barer, Baha'is and Mental Ilness

On 24 Oct 95 at 10:34, Burl Barer wrote (snips):

Dear Burl:

> Understanding (does anyone completely understand these disorders?)
> does *not* mean being held hostage or emotionally blackmailed by
> someone simply because they have a medical problem that manifests
> itself in inappropriate behaviour.  

I don't recall suggesting any such thing.  And most of us -- the vast 
majority of us -- who have a mental illness don't emotionally 
blackmail or hold others hostage.  This is yet another stereotype 
about mental illness.

> If you have a believer who stands in the street screaming about
> eating flesh, you don't elect them Chairman of the LSA to give them
> a better sense of being a Baha'i.  

I found that remark mildly amusing at first  Then I remembered I don't 
care for jokes about race or gender either.

> I am a Baha'i. I was once diagnosed as bipolar. I was once
> diagnosed as having genetic depression. I was once diagnosed as
> suffering from an anxiety disorder. I was once put on
> anti-depressents, anti-anxiety drugs, the works.  But, gee. I am
> not diagnosed bipolar anymore. I am no longer diagnosed as having
> genetic depression. I am no longer full of anxiety. I may be an
> peculiar case, but I just got fed up with being a different
> disorder depending on the doctor and having my body be a
> pharmacological storehouse and testing ground for the latest
> tricyclic.

Mood disorders -- manic-depression and major depression -- don't
just go away because a person "gets fed up."  They are lifetime
illnesses.  And they are very difficult to diagnose -- I spent 22
years with six psychiatrists before getting a correct diagnosis. 
And I still do not have an optimal mix of medication.

> I finally decided that, for me, "bipolar" was  a sexual preference
> reference to those big white bears :-) Perhaps I was misdiagnosed
> in the first, second, third, fourth, and fifth places. Perhaps
> there was something in my toothpaste to which I was allergic that
> caused the symptoms? Who knows.

That trivializes my pain, the pain of many others and what Shogi
Effendi called "a terrible burden to bear." 

>As for your own kind, Bud...this kind be humankind. 

Burl, I stand by what I said in my original post: My kind are those 
with mood disorders or their family members.  I have reached an age 
where I do not suffer fools lightly -- inside or outside the Faith. 
It is difficult enough  to be stigmatized by the larger society, but 
it is unconscionable for the Baha'i community to do so.

Burl, I posted neither seeking sympathy or help.  Those I get 
elsewhere.  I think it is time for the community to begin to openly 
discuss these issues.  So I really appreciate your response.  

I read your bio, fellow-writer-friend.  I'm on the first book -- a
guidebook to the Indiana Dunes.

Take good care,
Bud Polk


From burlb@bmi.netWed Oct 25 00:35:12 1995
Date: Tue, 24 Oct 95 13:53 PDT
From: Burl Barer 
To: Bud Polk 
Cc: talisman@indiana.edu
Subject: Re: Burl Barer, Baha'is and Mental Ilness

>
>I don't recall suggesting any such thing.  And most of us -- the vast 
>majority of us -- who have a mental illness don't emotionally 
>blackmail or hold others hostage.  This is yet another stereotype 
>about mental illness.
>
>> If you have a believer who stands in the street screaming about
>> eating flesh, you don't elect them Chairman of the LSA to give them
>> a better sense of being a Baha'i.  
>
>I found that remark mildly amusing at first  Then I remembered I don't 
>care for jokes about race or gender either.

Bud: I know what you said and what you didn't. Honest. I was not speaking
about you or about some stereotype. I was only speaking of myself and real
situations I and my community, and others  have dealt with -  not often
wisely.  the LSA chairman story is not an amusing exagertion -- it is a true
story! No joke intended or implied

It was not my intent to make fun of your pain - the only pain I ever make
fun of is my own. So, I apologize if the impersonality of cyberspace helped
foster an erronious impression of my intent or the intent of my content.
I agree with you on almost every point you raised -- I understand the
feelings because I can relate to them. I also feel that oneness and
elimination of prejudice and patience and compassion are things we all as
individuals and communities need to foster

Best wishes,

Burl.  




From cbuck@ccs.carleton.caWed Oct 25 00:38:51 1995
Date: Tue, 24 Oct 95 20:31:50 EDT
From: Christopher Buck 
To: Sen.Mcglinn@rl.rulimburg.nl
Cc: talisman@indiana.edu
Subject: Re: Spiritual Meetings

	Sen has asked for statements by the House regarding Spiritual
Meetings. Services held at Baha'i Houses of Worship seem to provide
the best models for *spiritual meetings*--which, to me, are distinct
from *Unity Feasts* and Dawn Prayers. Like worship services at Baha'i
temples, spiritual meetings typically afford the only *public*
opportunity for non-Baha'is to worship God in a Baha'i atmosphere.

	I recall in *The American Baha'i* a year or so ago there was
an editorial from the National Teaching Committee advocating the
holding of *spiritual meetings*. My old friend Stephen Menard used to
send copies of *The American Baha'i* to me here in Canada, but I am
missing this issue... Perhaps someone might post this editorial for
the benefit of all?

	For the love of Baha'u'llah, let us bring discourse about the
love of God back into Baha'i meetings. Typically, except in opening
and closing prayers, my experience of Baha'i meetings of late is that
God is not the focus of much, if any, discourse.

	Christopher Buck 

**********************************************************************
* * *								 * * *
* * *	Christopher Buck	                  





From burlb@bmi.netWed Oct 25 00:40:45 1995
Date: Tue, 24 Oct 95 19:38 PDT
From: Burl Barer 
To: talisman@indiana.edu
Subject: Re: Burl Barer, Baha'is and Mental Ilness


>> Indiana Dunes.

     and the Temple of Jones?   (can't help it -- its an obsession)


Burl


PS: My name has been in the subject heading more often than Franklin Khan's
or Women on The House.  I enjoy BSP (Blatant Self Promotion) as much as the
next guy, but the next guy may prefer not to have his name in the subject
heading. :~`)





From jwinters@epas.utoronto.caWed Oct 25 00:47:50 1995
Date: Tue, 24 Oct 1995 23:01:51 -0400 (EDT)
From: Jonah Winters 
To: talisman 
Subject: Baha'i Encyclopedia Articles??

Today Juan posted an article from the Encyclopedia with this preface:

"...this is discussed briefly in the following Encyclopaedia article which
I am posting because it will never otherwise see the light of day..." 

Thank you!! I know that there are many cyber copies of Baha'i Encyclopedia
articles hiding in the computers of many of our esteemed Talismanians, and
I know that whenever one is posted I eagerly download it, read it, and
save it.  Is there any way that contributors to the Encyclopedia who are
reading this and have written articles can post them? Does that break any
copyright laws, John?  This particular young, aspiring Baha'i academic
wishes that he were not deprived of this apparently invaluable source of
scholarship; is there any way that parts of the Encyclopedia can be passed
on, if we all promise the beloved UHJ not to print them? :-)

Ever Hungry for Articles, -Jonah


=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-          
Jonah and Kari Winters 



From cybrmage@niia.netWed Oct 25 00:48:15 1995
Date: Tue, 24 Oct 1995 11:02:43 +0000
From: Bud Polk 
To: Burl Barer 
Cc: talisman@indiana.edu
Subject: Re: Burl Barer, Baha'is and Mental Ilness

On 24 Oct 95 at 19:38, Burl Barer wrote:

> Date:          Tue, 24 Oct 95 19:38 PDT
> To:            talisman@indiana.edu
> From:          burlb@bmi.net (Burl Barer)
> Subject:       Re: Burl Barer, Baha'is and Mental Ilness

> 
> >> Indiana Dunes.
> 
>      and the Temple of Jones?   (can't help it -- its an obsession)

Burl! that is the working title of my guidebook! 


> PS: My name has been in the subject heading more often than Franklin
> Khan's or Women on The House.  I enjoy BSP (Blatant Self Promotion)
> as much as the next guy, but the next guy may prefer not to have his
> name in the subject heading. :~`)
 
Burl, mea culpa, mea culpa.  Sticking your name in the heading comes 
periously close to a flame -- apologies.  Folks, let's just call this 
thread "lurB reraB, si'ahaB dna latneM ssenlI."

Does that work for you Burl? ;-)

Bud

From jwinters@epas.utoronto.caWed Oct 25 10:41:40 1995
Date: Wed, 25 Oct 1995 02:03:00 -0400 (EDT)
From: Jonah Winters 
To: "Cary E. Reinstein" 
Cc: talisman 
Subject: Re: Men Cry (Cary's bio at last)

Dear C,

	Thank you for sharing your bio. I can't pretend to understand at 
all, but I do understand that sexuality is a weird and mysterious thing 
which far transcends mere human notions of gender. Why, at this very 
moment we on Talisman are discussing this verse: "The world of existence 
came into being through the heat generated from the interaction between 
the active force and that which is its recipient. These two are the same, 
yet they are different. Thus doth the Great Announcement inform thee 
about this glorious structure." God only knows what forces of duality 
operate in the world, but surely it is a "glorious stucture!"

With love, -Jonah

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-          
Jonah and Kari Winters 



From TLCULHANE@aol.comWed Oct 25 10:43:52 1995
Date: Wed, 25 Oct 1995 02:23:59 -0400
From: TLCULHANE@aol.com
To: talisman@indiana.edu
Subject: re: Mythopoetic influences

     Dear Carmen , David and all , 

        I cant comment on your question about the quest for women being
different than for men . David has it seems addressed that with regard to his
book. And he gave a presentation at ABS on this topic and did not tell me .
Well wait until see him ! 
     
      There are a number of very rich mythopoetic symbols ( my thanks to
Frank Lewis for adding a new word to my vocabulary)  in the history of the
Faith .  I have already commented on some aspects of that last spring in my
"Dawn breakers and Myth " posts . 
     
     One of the richest it sems to me is the saga of the Siyah Chal . I will
be commented on what I see as its significance at the Texas Bahai Studies
Conference . Now if I just had a book to sell . Where is Burl when you need
him . 

      Since this is the season of the twin birthdays  those days that are
counted in the sight of God as one; I would like to mention a few thoughts on
the Siyah Chal and the birth of Baha u llah.  i find in this a powerful myth
of great significance . It re-creates some ancient myths and strikes me as a
union of hierohistory and the history of time . Unlike the myths of antiquity
which may or may not have an historical basis , this one is verifiable and
was undertaken by an historical being .  Whem we think of Baha u llah's
encounter with the Divine feminine in tha Siyah Chal keep in mind the mythic
versions expressed in the Isis / Osiris legends nd the ancient Sumerian one
surrounding Inana ( the Queen of Heaven :) ) and Dumuzi .  

     Sometime between late August 1852 and mid November of that same year
Mirza Husayn Ali had a visionary encounter with a most beauteous Countenance
. It seems quite possible that it occurred about the same time as his
physical birth in November by way of reckoning in the Gregorian calendar . 

     It is here in the autumn of 1852 that Mirza Husayn Ali enters the Siyah
Chal, the subterranean pit of impenetrable darkness. loathsome odor and
vermin of the mammalian kind.  It is a world of thieves , madmen and
murderers .  The dark underside of life which has its counterpart in the
unjust social order above ground.         
     
    This is a place where Husayn Ali finds himself falsely accused and
unjustly imprisoned. There was no due process in this world of the Siyah Chal
or , for that matter, in the political world which created it .  While
chained in this earthly prison  Husayn Ali's  earthly wealth . his property -
is seized without recourse or recompense . 

     This place becomes mthe symbolic home of all that is injust and corrupt
in the world of matter . This is a world that has forgotten, below as above,
the Remembrance of the Merciful  and become the home of a satan , the
egotistical self , the embodiment of a "life of misery ." 
     In those dark hours of late evening or early morning when the body is
most vulnerable to death and the soul most vulnerable to despair a
transformative event occurs .  here in this god "forgotten " place Husayn Ali
is visited and rescued  by a "Maiden " .  Somewhat remarkable in itself
considering this is not the sort of place one wold expect a maiden to hang
out .  It this undeground world meant to be the tomb of Husayn Ali  that
beocmes instesd the womb in which Baha u llah and a vision of the Glory of
God is given birth . The agent of this rescue from despair and death the one
to give birth to Baha u llah is none other than the Most Great Spirit - the
Maid of Heaven - personted in more philosophical circles as the Primal Will .


  From this land of never ending darkness Husayn Ali "beholds  " a shining ,
shimmering Countenance " and like all whose eyes are transfixed on such a
Countenance  is transformed . he is led to those "worlds within this world "
. those worlds which can neither " be expressed in words or intimated by
allusion "  Here Husayn Ali beholds the Countenance of the Best Beloved ,
beholds and becomes the Glory of God and learns from the Maiden that "Our
mission is to seize and possess the hearts of men . " As a result of this
encounter Husayn Ali resolves to "regenerate this people. "  This act of
regeneration has much in common , of course , with to generate , genesis , to
give birth  to a people to re-create " a new race of men ."

    Entering the Siyah Chal as a Middle Eastern aristocrat Husayn Ali is
relaesed to go forth into the world , not as a hero but  as Baha ullah a
modern, historically verifiable Bodhisattva .  He is even offered the
temptation of his former life if he will but renounce all this reformist
foolishness . It is perhaps an understatement to say not much chance in that
he had been to the mountain top and seen the "glory of the Lord." For
remember, and this really is all about remembering ( dhikr)  " as the exalted
Lord She hath come ." 

 He, having been "transformed by the hand of the will of "his ' Lord " now
begins the forty year exile and imprisonment, never to return to his native
home, that will mark beginning of the planetary homecoming of the human race
.   It is in this *exodus * of Baha u lah that the in gathering of humanity
is to occur. He is condemned to lifelong banishment  , to bear " injustice
that justice might appear on earth. "  He becomes the Bodhisattva to humanity
, that the man who truly was without a country would lead human beings to the
promised land - the earth - that " is one country" wherein we will all be
"its citizens. " The homeles one becomes the progenitor, the mother  of a new
people, a new race,  and a new country where all will have a home. 

    If this were not enough he is called ( in the Tablet of Vision ) to leave
these people ; to return with his Lord and Maiden to those lands " whereon
the eyes of the people of names have never fallen. " In our way of reckonimg
this was 1873 , the year of the Aqdas the year of the Most Holy. He chose ,
voluntarily, to remain another 19 years  where in the late evening or early
morning hours his body succumbed to death and He left this world as She had
entered it some 40 years before .   

     Those are some of my thoughts on the mythopoetic and the Faith of Baha u
llah .

 warm regards ,
    Terrry      

From mcfarlane@upanet.uleth.caWed Oct 25 10:45:32 1995
Date: Wed, 25 Oct 1995 01:48:00 -0600
From: Gordon McFarlane 
To: talisman@indiana.edu
Subject: This Week, on Biography

Dear Friends:
	I am loath to write about myself, not only because of my extreme humility,
but also because I have a propensity to succumb to fits of circumlocution, a
consequence of trying to derive maximum meaning from minimal events.
However, as this seems to be "biography month", I'll  share with you a few
of the highlights of my soujourn here on earth in the hope that you may
glean some tidbit of wisdom therefrom.  
	My name is Gordon Alan McFarlane. I was born  in Fredericton New Brunswick,
Canada on March 27, 1950 into a middle-middle class, highly functional,
loving, liberal, academically inclined, Christian (but not too Christian)
family.  Having been blessed with DTS ((Diffused Thinking Syndrome), now,
unfortunately labled "attention deficit disorder")  I rejected academia and
pursued carpentry.     In 1973, after several years  as an itinerant misfit,
I ran out of gas and cash in Lethbridge Alberta (having made a wrong turn in
Medicine Hat) and took a job.   Before I made enough money to move on,  I
met Valerie Good Rider. Since then, my bio and hers have been rather
inextricably interwoven.   (She doesn't want me to divulge too much about
her here - we recently watched  "The Net" and I think it rekindled some of
the anti-white-establishment paranoia of her AIM days - interesting time
that was)    We now have a 21 year old daughter, Jessica,   a 19 year old
son, Jason, a  4 year old grand-son, Derek Gordon and a 1 1/2 month old
grand-daughter- Madison Gratianna. 
	Valerie and I enrolled in the Faith together in '79 following a fascinating
sequence of events which I would prefer to elaborate on at another time
because I believe it's a story which deserves to stand on its own rather
than be alluded to in the form of a digressionary discourse. 
	While in my pre-Baha'i days, and early Baha'i infancy, I was a worker in
wood and a wanderer in words - (reading anything readable and writing reams
of less-than-mediocre poetry),  I have since become a worker in words and a
wander in woods (although I still keep my tools cleaned & sharpened to ward
off famine).   Having demonstrated a knack  for writing catchy news-releases
I was promptly drafted into Assembly service while still an infant  and
appointed public info rep.  This led me to enroll in the Community College
and get a diploma in Journalism and Communication Arts (something which I'd
often thought about but never had the motivation for)  and then on to the
University of Lethbridge to nab a degree in English and Philosophy. I now
sell my services as a writer, researcher, and community relations consultant
as well as continuing to ply my trade. (Valerie is a counsellor and faculty
member at the Lethbridge Community College and an artist. Many of her
paintings are based on Blackfoot ledgends, dreams and Baha'i teachings) 
	  I also suffer from compulsive volunteerism which often leads to delusions
that I am being exploited and frequent fits of cynicism. 
	When asked my "profession or occupation" I usually answer that I'm a
Letssayist, rather than listing all my profitable and non-profitable
amusements.   Certainly,  my favourite occupation is writing long (like,  20
page)  letters to family, relatives, friends etc. Since my brothers refer to
such letters as essays - I began calling them letssays a few years ago.  The
Internet is a Godsend for people such as I, although those on the receiving
end of some of my interminable ramblings may think otherwise.  
	My favourite book is whatever book I am reading at the current time,
although  I do keep a copy of Boethius' "Consolation of Philosophy" (524
A.D.), which once belonged to my Grandfather, in a place of honor. It falls
open to the page which contains . . . " Human depravity has broken into
fragments that which is by nature one and simple; men try to grasp a part of
that which has no parts and so get neither the part, which does not exist,
nor the whole, which they do not seek."  - That's  my favourite "non-Baha'i"
quote. 
	Finally, I must add that I believe that I'm the only Canadian, of Scottish
ancestory who, 5 months before declaring my Faith in Baha'u'llah, read
Nabil's Narrative, "The Dawn Breakers" in its entirety, in one 27 hour
sitting while sipping, from brim to bottom, a 40 oz. bottle of  Chivas Regal
Scotch. (I believe there was a question on Talisman not to long ago about
the distinction between Spirits and Souls)
	If you ever pass through Southern Alberta, drop by for a visit. My address
is 919 11th Street South, Lethbridge, AB. T1J 2P7, phone number
(403)327-2987, Celular (403)382-5654, 
E-mail  mcfarlane@upanet.uleth.ca ,  Baha'i I.D. available upon request,
Social Insurance Number  available through      (mail-list marketing
division),  Revenue Canada, Ottawa Ontario.   Don't let me know your coming,
just drop in unexpectedly, this will help me to be more vigilant about
fending off urges to indulge in un-Baha'i conduct.  
 L.B.G's     Gord. 
	
	

---
Gordon McFarlane           
Public Access Internet
The University of Lethbridge



From brad@oc.mv.comWed Oct 25 10:53:47 1995
Date: Wed, 25 Oct 1995 10:20:13 -0400
From: Brad Pokorny 
To: talisman@indiana.edu
Subject: mental illness and The Psychology of Spirituality

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Dear friends,

Reading through the recent postings on mental illness, I thought I might
call attention to the new (1994) book by Dr. Hossain Danesh, "The
Psychology of Spirituality." (I don't have book with me today, but I
believe it is published by Pine Island Press of Vancouver, BC. I am
guessing, but don't know for sure, that it is available through the Baha'i
Distribution Service.)

I am only a humble journalist, and by no means a mental health
professional, but this book seems to me to offer a bold and insightful new
framework for understanding mental health. I say "framework" because it
stops far short of addressing specific mental problems, such as "bipolar
illness" and, as well, it does not address specific modes of therapy.

But, still, it is worth examining in terms of how a Baha'i psychiatrist has
reinterpreted the field.

Presented below is a review, which will be printed in the next issue
(July-September 1995) of One Country, the newsletter of the Baha'i
International Community.

Please remember, scholarly friends, that this review is written for the
general public, in a publication which is aimed at non-Baha'is and seeks to
give them just a taste of Baha'i principles...

Here is the review:


Arthur Koestler once wrote that the great breakthroughs in science and art
stem from "the sudden interlocking of two previously unrelated skills, or
matrices of thought." He defines this process as the "act of creation" and
suggests that most great new theories and discoveries are born of this
"bisociative pattern of creative synthesis."

Dr. H.B. Danesh may well have succeeded in achieving just such a creative
synthesis in this new book, The Psychology of Spirituality, which seeks
nothing less than to outline a ground-breaking new theory of human
consciousness and psychology.

In line with Koestler's description, the book arrives at this new
understanding by combining two allegedly antagonistic fields of thought:
psychology and spirituality.

The result is what Dr. Danesh calls "the psychology of spirituality" (what
else?). Its central objective is to "integrate the biological,
psychosocial, and spiritual aspects of our reality into a fuller and more
balanced understanding of human nature and human needs."

Dr. Danesh, a Canadian psychiatrist who has practiced and taught for more
than 30 years, begins by tracing the development of psychological theories
over the last several hundred years, pointing out that they have largely
focused on a materialistic/mechanistic view of human reality. "This view of
human nature holds that we are basically animals at the mercy of our
instincts and that we are driven in our lives  to obtain pleasure and avoid
pain at all costs," he writes.

While many of these theories represent an advance over ancient concepts of
human psychology, he argues, modern materialistic explanations have now
reached a dead end. "The materialistic philosophy," he writes, "disclaims
any purpose in life and encourages people to live according to their
desires, feelings and instincts. This approach uses all human capacity in
the service of self-gratification and self-aggrandizement. As a result,
greed, injustice, extremes of wealth and poverty, aggression, and war are
seen as inevitable and perhaps even necessary."

Dr. Danesh then poses an alternative explanation for the complex and
dynamic state of being that we call consciousness: that the ultimate human
reality is a spiritual one.

He acknowledges that many people will find this view difficult to accept.
"To begin with, the very concept of spirituality is suspect," he writes.
"We live at a time when many scientists deny or question the validity of
such concepts as soul, spirit or spirituality. Furthermore, many religions
have lost their respectability because of their reliance on blind faith and
because many of their practices are (or seem to be) superstitious or
prejudiced."

Yet, he writes, it is only through an exploration of such concepts as the
soul and spirit that a number of fundamental problems with the
material-centered psychological theories can be addressed.

At one level, he argues, a purely materialistic model of human nature would
seem to predict that humans would be happy when their material or "animal"
needs - including here even such needs as freedom and intellectual
attainment - are satisfied. Yet in Western societies, at least, it is often
those people who should be most satisfied in terms of material wealth or
attainment who find themselves looking for a therapist.

 "There is, however, a very fundamental difference between humans and
animals," Dr. Danesh writes. "Animals do not deviate from instinctual laws.
Humans, clearly, have a choice. Our response to basic instincts of hunger,
pain, flight or fight, and sex are quite different from animals. We may
decide to fast or diet rather than eat. Some may decide to fast until death
to make a point, often to seek justice. Others do not eat even though
hunger and food is accessible (as in anorexia nervosa). Still others do not
share food with the starving masses even when they themselves have more
food than they need. These are all unique to human behavior."

On a broader level, Dr. Danesh suggests, a purely materialistic view of
human psychology is insufficient to explain the progress of human
civilization, whether in terms of the drive to create works of art, music
and architecture, or in terms simply of the "spiritual qualities" of love,
sacrifices and altruism that hold societies together. Or, conversely, how
the absence of spiritual qualities and the resultant greed, corruption and
egotism can lead to the downfall of a civilization.

But Dr. Danesh's theory is more than merely a criticism of materialism. It
is also a full and distinctive exposition of an alternative theory of human
psychology.

Three Basic Human Capacities

In brief, Dr. Danesh outlines three basic "capacities" of the human soul:
knowledge, love and will.  These capacities are what distinguish us from
animals, and all human activities - beyond those associated with mere
physical survival - can be understood in the framework of those fundamental
capacities.

"Knowledge, love, and will have special, unique, and enormous powers.
Knowledge has the power of discovering and demonstrating the realities of
all things. It works like the sun, under whose rays the qualities of
everything becomes obvious and understandable. Knowledge likewise gives us
the power to discover realities. Love, in its turn, has the very remarkable
power of attraction, that force which brings people, things, and ideas
together. Indeed, what makes the physical world function is the power of
attraction among the various parts of the atom. What makes families and
societies work together is also the power of attraction. The same is true
of ideas and views of the world. Attraction is the power of love and the
thing that makes its activities possible. Will, the third attribute of the
human soul, also has its own power: the power to choose, to decide, and to
act. Finally, whenever we speak of love or knowledge or will, we should
remember that they are ultimately most effective if employed together."

Elemental Human Concerns

These three capacities can be correlated with three elemental human
"concerns," observes Dr. Danesh. He identifies these concerns as self,
relationships and time. He then charts these three capacities with the
three concerns and comes up with a model for their integration, showing how
each cross-correlation has several stages - which in many cases correspond
to stages of human development which have been previously outlined by
psychological theorists - along with some new elements. Dr. Danesh uses a
simple chart, shown on page 14, to illustrate this model. SORRY BUT THE
CHART WILL NOT REPRODUCE IN THIS POSTING.

As can be seen, each intersection on the table identifies several stages in
human growth and development. Many psychological problems and illnesses, he
writes, stem from the failure of an individual to develop beyond one or
more stages.

The integration of self and knowledge, for example, takes place in three
stages: self-experience, self-discovery, and self-knowledge. During
childhood, Dr. Danesh writes, human beings are appropriately self-centered,
then moving into self-discovery in adolescence and finally into
self-knowledge as mature adults. But if this normal path of spiritual
development is arrested, as perhaps when someone fails to grow beyond
self-centeredness or simple self-discovery, problems result.

"It is through self-knowledge that we become aware of the fundamental
nobility of our being, begin to validate the spiritual nature of our
reality, and give meaning and purpose to our lives," writes Dr. Danesh.
"Without self-knowledge life becomes anxiety-ridden, confusing,
frightening, and painful. That is why people who have not had the
opportunity for healthy and integrated development with respect to their
self-knowledge, become confused about themselves, the nature of their
reality and the purpose of their existence."

Dr. Danesh goes on to characterize the stages of development that occur in
each of the nine intersections between the capacities and concerns he
outlines. He then develops this model into a therapeutic process for
helping a person achieve integration across all of these areas, and he
convincingly correlates these elements with the latest discoveries in
body-brain-mind research.

Dr. Danesh, who served for some years as Secretary General of the Bahá'í
Community of Canada and is currently director of Landegg Academy in
Weinacht, Switzerland, indicates that the source for many of his ideas has
been his private study of world religions - and in particular his study of
the Bahá'í Faith.

Yet this book is by no means an attempt to preach or proselytize. It is
rather, in the best tradition of Koestlerian creativity, a wholehearted
attempt to combine the insights from a life of study in one field
(psychiatry) with the insights from a life of service (religion) in
another.

- end of review -

I feel I should add that Dr. Danesh does not discount "physical" sources of
mental illness, related to chemical imbalances, etc., nor does he say that
such illnesses should not be treated with physical means. Nevertheless, his
overall thesis does call into sharp question existing mental health
practices and theories, due to their focus only on the self-centered sides
of our natures.

This posting should not be taken, by the way, as any criticism of anyone
else's views; rather I thought it might merely enhance the discussion and
be of interest.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Brad Pokorny, 





From PIERCEED@sswdserver.sswd.csus.eduThu Oct 26 00:30:02 1995
Date: Wed, 25 Oct 1995 10:25:49 PST8PDT
From: "Eric D. Pierce" 
To: talisman@indiana.edu
Subject: Re: (fwd) Regarding the implication of the term "rijal" & r

Hi,

: Please feel free to share my concern about "spill overs" from talisman
: getting into srb [*] and their potential effect on its readership.

*Usenet "soc.religion.bahai" newsgroup

FYI (2 of 2). EP (PierceED@csus.edu)

------- Forwarded Message Follows -------

From:           khakim@asdg.enet.dec.com
Date sent:      Mon, 23 Oct 95 11:23:50 EDT
To:             pierceed@sswdserver.sswd.csus.edu
Copies to:      khakim@asdg.enet.dec.com
Subject:        Re: (fwd) Regarding the implication of the term "rijal" & r


Dear Eric Allah-u-Abha,

>Very interesting analysis, thanks!

Thank you.

>There has been extensive discussion on the "talisman" email
>list for a number of months, are you interested in getting 
>feedback from the authors of the banned "Service of Women" 
>paper that Alma was referring to? If so, I'll post your 
>message on talisman.

Alma is going to send me a paper to read. Regretably, my participation in
srb and other newsgroups does not leave any time for me to participate in 
the discussions of "talisman" group.

>ps, I think that you may have misunderstood part of the 
>argument about the murky chronology of Abdu'l-Baha's 
>statements to Corrine True

This is fine and I admit that might have misunderstood a part of the 
argument.

>I have no opinion about that 
>issue, but wanted to mention that Tony Lee (Kalimat 
>Press) and Rob Stockman (National Center research office) 
>have been extensively arguing about the minutae of that 
>issue on talisman.

This is fine and I am quite sure it is an interesting topic for Baha'is
to discuss. However, I'd like to make an observation on this issue. The point
to consider for those friends who subscribe to both talisman and srb is that 
it  might be quite inappropriate to make "vague statements" in srb based on 
any issues discussed in talisman. Since srb is  mainly a forum to discuss the
Faith with those who have questions and  address the Christian and Muslim,
etc... misconceptions about the Faith. As a result sharing sporadic, unclear 
                                                           ^^^^^^^^  ^^^^^^^
and critical "spill overs" from the talisman with the readers of srb, in the
    ^^^^^^^^ 
name of offering another point of view, independent investigation of truth, 
etc..., does neither help the non-Baha'i readers of srb nor does it serve 
the best interest of the Faith. It simply confuses the non-Baha'is who are 
investigating the Faith and give more ammunition to the Muslims who find 
their classical criticisms to be nothing but childish arguments. After all 
Baha'u'llah says:  
          
"Not everything that a man knoweth can be disclosed, nor can everything 
that he can disclose be regarded as timely, nor can every timely utterance 
be considered as suited to the capacity of those who hear it"

        Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 176

Please note that I have no problem with someone presenting their views on
srb and supporting them with the Writings. I hope the point I have raised 
here makes sense to you.

Please feel free to share my concern about "spill overs" from talisman
getting into srb and their potential effect on its readership.

Warm regards,

Kamran Hakim
khakim@asdg.enet.dec.com


From derekmc@ix.netcom.comThu Oct 26 00:30:20 1995
Date: Wed, 25 Oct 1995 10:27:18 -0700
From: DEREK COCKSHUT 
To: talisman@indiana.edu
Subject: The Psychology of Spirituality anf Man Overboard .

As Brad wondered where you can get H.B. Danesh's book as all good 
Talismanians would know it is available at the Bosch Bookshop price 
$14.95 . It is published by Nine Pines Publishing and was released in 
1994 .It is formated as a case by case study. Also for you new 
Talismanians Burl book Man Overboard is available from us priced at 
$19.95. With Danesh's Book you might get help with Burl's book you will 
need help , they make a perfect combination . Sherman says buy today 
and bring treats when you come .
Kindest Regards
Derek Cockshut
PS I did not mention Richard Hollinger and the availabilty of Books at 
Bosch . But I know he will be relieved we have the book.



From margreet@margreet.seanet.comThu Oct 26 00:31:14 1995
Date: Wed, 25 Oct 1995 12:36:12 -0700
From: "Marguerite K. Gipson" 
To: talisman@indiana.edu
Subject: Mental Illness, Depression, and Suicide (long)

Dear Talis'  men, man and all the rest of you too... Is Taliswomen a word???  
Just my sense of humor....

I just have to say that even though I do not have the alphabet behind my
name, and not of great education background as the majority here, I do feel
that the Writings protect us from all of this....  

Have you ever read the poem  "Footprints" ???  

I for one, can attest to this, in that I have ---- OK  I will spill the
beans--- in that I have not worked in 2 years after being laid off from a
downsizing company.  I went thru my UI compensation, and my entire savings
during that time.    I went back to college last September, and just having
completed the program in June 95 with a 3.3 GPA, and have yet to find work
in my field or any stop-gap job.  

I am currently homeless, with e-mail... ( no other way to contact me),
chest high in debt,  and just have a few more weeks in which to find work,
any job before I have to find again, someplace to stay and find basic
survival needs..... And to top it all off... I have a doozy of a cold... now
going into my chest.....   
Am I depressed?  You bet,  I recognize it, so I go eat some Chocolate, (read
Debra  Waterhouse's Book "Why Women Need Chocolate,   ed. 1995")   and then
go do what needs to be done.   After all I have only me to consider.   

Through all this, the Writing's say that we are to suffer our adversities in
silence.   (My books are packed and in storage)  This concept I can well
understand. I know there are going to be those who have not a single iota of
a clue as to what I am going thru.   That is OK....  For what they say to me
causes me pain, and them pain to hear it.     In the Long Obligitory Prayer,
there is a sentences that protects us from have an sort of mental breakdown.
In Selections from The Writing of Abdul'Baha there is a passage on
homelessness...   Where it is a glorious station.  What a concept!      Am I
suicidal?  No, because what I am going thru here on earth is just a piece of
cake compared to what my soul would go thru in the next life.....   

I am working with a job counselor with a program set up by my former
employer.. and I asked her the other day, OK?  When do I get to have my
breakdown?  Now?  is that a good time?   She said NO!   That I do not have
time... I just have to pick up the pieces, and start to pull my life back
together."  She also commented on the  strength I had to keep going, where
she has seen others just fall apart... and never really recover....  
I just take one day at a time, and every step I take is one step closer to
where I am suppose to be...  After all, isn't the Faith all about building
character, and a spiritual soul for the next life.      

Like when I got ready to leave work for the last time. I was talking to my
boss.   He said something to the effect that I was a great test to him, in
his search for the Second Coming of Christ, and rejecting all he had heard
or read about the Bahai Faith....   I responded back to him... "Why, ______
Just look at how much character you have built by dealing with me." 

So, now I can say... how much character have I built in going thru all
this.....  
So for each of us with our mental test, anxiety, or polar---whatever, we do
the best we can, seeking the advise of professionals and taking meds.....
All in all, we will be just fine. 
I am just fine.   I will do OK.  I am doing alright.     
Baha'u'llah provides for us what we need, not necessary what we want.  
Gee, I wish for  a working husband w/ job security, 2 kids, a 3,000 sq. foot
home w/ part-time housekeeper, enough money to survive and enjoy life, and
pay for the ARC, and pay the Huquq, and send my kids to college, and enough
energy to handle all the teaching work that needs to be done....  oh yea...
A new GMC truck would be nice too.... in Teal.  

(hint:  I have neither of the above for my wish list) 
LOL LOL<---laugh on line meaning a chuckle.....       
I think I  have said enough...
Margreet 





From rabbana@a1.bmoa.umc.dupont.comThu Oct 26 00:33:21 1995
Date: Wed, 25 Oct 95 13:11:01 -0400
From: Ahang Rabbani 
To: talisman@indiana.edu
Subject: rijal and spill over

[This message is converted from WPS-PLUS to ASCII]


Dear Eric,

Just a quick note stating that earlier I wrote Kamran Hakim about 
his posting (on "rijal") and shared a bit of background so that 
he could expand his arguments accordingly.  His main line of 
reasoning is very important, particularly pointing out that only 
the men of the Universal House of Justice are addressed in the 
Aqdas and not the Local ones.  But also he has certain factual 
errors in his posting -- such as history of election of women on 
Baha'i institutions in Iran.  

But the point that I wanted to make (and is one that has been 
made previously) is that postings on Talisman are intellectual 
properties of the posters and copyright protocols must be 
observed.

We already have seen examples where a number of postings were 
gathered by someone and written up in form of paper with 
inadequate reference to original contributors.  (This may partly 
be the reason why increasingly some of us are reluctant to share 
with Talisman.)

On occasions where one wants to share content of a posting with 
others outside of Talisman, I strongly feel, approval must be 
secured first from the contributor.  (As an example, yesterday, I 
wanted to share Juan Cole's excellent article on the Tablet of 
Wisdom with our Texas list and got his OK before doing so.  I 
think that's the way to do things.)

This comment is really aimed at lurkers who on numerous 
occasions have shared postings or part of postings with others, 
often quoting out of context and at times with malicious intend.  
We must observe people's right to speak openly in the privacy of 
this forum and recognize that copyright protocols cannot be 
ignored.

regards, ahang.

From mcfarlane@upanet.uleth.caThu Oct 26 00:34:01 1995
Date: Wed, 25 Oct 1995 15:57:10 -0600
From: Gordon McFarlane 
To: Talisman@indiana.edu
Subject: Mental Illness, Flesh-Eating Chairmen, "Normal Folks" and The Covenant of Baha'u'llah (or) Polking the Barer



Mental Illness, Flesh-Eating Chairmen, "Normal Folks" and the Covenant of
Baha'u'llah: 
                                                            (Polking the
Barer)  


Dear Bud, Burl et. all

        One thing is for certain, we Baha'is are a gaggle of odd ducks and
geese in an odder pond.  Often,  when I have been sitting among a crowd of
my fellow Baha'is - who I love dearly - I have been struck by the
realization that, were it not for the Faith we have in common, there is no
way on Gods earth that I would have willingly and happily affilliated myself
with this crowd of Yaahoos. 
        Let none of us be deluded into thinking that God has guided us into
this Faith because of our emotional or mental stability,  our administrative
skills, intellectual acumen or our deep spiritual understanding.  Nay, I
think God has chosen us, from among all people, for quite a different reason
- to prove a point. A point which is made quite clearly in the first page of
the compilation on The Power of the Covenant.

        "There is a power in this Cause - a mysterious power - far, far away
from the ken of men and angels;  that invisible power is the cause of all
these outward activities.  IT moves the hearts.  IT rends the mountains.  IT
administers the complicated affairs of the Cause.  IT inspires the friends.
IT dashes into a thousand pieces all the forces of opposition.  IT creates
new spiritual worlds.  This is the mystery of the Kingdom of Abha! . . . .
Know this for a certainty that today, the penetrative power in the arteries
of the world of humanity is the power of the Covenant. 
        Sorry Folks. We are not "IT"! 
       
        If all the Baha'is were intellectual and spiritual giants, who would
believe that the onward march of the Cause of Baha'u'llah was the result of
anything other than human action? How  could the transformative power of the
Revelation of Baha'u'llah be manifested if only the spiritual elite were
enlisted?  "Do men think when they say 'we believe', they will be left alone
and not put to proof."  And likewise, do we think the power of the Covenant
will not be put to proof by our  incompetence, ignorance and misguided
actions.  

        Again, I want to draw attention to Horrace Holley's article "Aims
and Purposes of the Baha'i Faith" Volume XII and XIII of Baha'i World.
        ". . . There are even more implacable, if less visible differences
between types and termperaments, such as flow inevitably from the contact of
rational and emotional individuals, of active a passive dispositions,
undermining capacity for co-operation in every organized society, which
attain mutual understanding and harmony in the Baha'i Community.  For
personal congeniality, the selective principle elsewhere continually
operative within the field of voluntary action, is an instinct which Bahais
must sacrifice to serve the pronciple of the oneness of mankind.  A Baha'i
Community is a constant and active spiritual victory, an overcoming of
tensions which elsewhere come to the point of strife."   
        We are indeed an uncongenial lot. And I thank God for that because
congeniality breeds exclusivity and xenophobia.

Uncongenially, but lovingly
Gord. 

---
Gordon McFarlane          
Public Access Internet
The University of Lethbridge


From mcfarlane@upanet.uleth.caThu Oct 26 00:34:24 1995
Date: Wed, 25 Oct 1995 15:58:23 -0600
From: Gordon McFarlane 
To: Talisman@indiana.edu
Cc: Brad Pokorny 
Subject: Re: mental illness and The Psychology of Spirituality

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Brad, 
        I enjoyed your review of  Hossain Danesh's, "Psychology of
Spirituality". 
It is a book that I have found extremely helpful and have given copies of to
a number of friends outside the Baha'i Community who have appreciated it
very much.  It's published by Nine Pines Publishing Box 545, 1128 Church
Street. Manotick, Ontario, Canada K4M 1A5  (ISBN - 1-895456-05-3). 
        (As an aside - A number of years ago I was a delegate to a National
Convention near Orillia Ontario.  Dr. Danesh, then secretary of the Canadian
N.S.A., was elected chariman of the convention on the first day and during a
break, my roommate, who was a prison psychologist said to me - "Leave it to
the Baha'is to hold a convention and elect a psychiatrist with a name like
'who's sane?' , as their chairman."      Not only is he a brilliant
psychiatrist but he's also a great comedian.) 
        I was also thrilled that you refered to the work of Arthur Koestler.
I have long been a fan of Koestler's work and keep "The Sleepwalkers", "The
Act of Creation", "The Ghost in the Machine" and other of his works on my
"ready reference shelf".   Particularly, in the last several weeks while
I've been researching the  subject of the "intuitive function" in learning
and discovery, and its suppression in Educational Institutions I have been
finding that Koestler has covered the subject quite well.  He observes, "The
essence of discovery is that unlikely marriage of cabbages and kings - of
previously unrelated frames of reference  or universes of discourse - whose
union will solve the previously unsoluble problem (Act of Creation, 201)"   
     I am also impressed by the correlation between the supression of the
intuitive function in  highly intuitive people, and the alleged increase in
mental and emotional "dysfuncions" and "disorders" as well as the
intellectual,  and creative sterility of mass culture.  
        In my previous bio posting I quoted Boethius' - "Human depravity has
broken into fragments that which is by nature one and simple; men try to
grasp a part of that which has no parts and so get neither the part, which
does not exist, nor the whole, which they do not seek."   In reality there
are no  "unrelated frames of reference or universes of discourse".  If that
were the case, the amazing discoveries arising from intuitive "bisociation"
as Koestler calls it, would not be possible.  
        Didn't Muhammad and Baha'u'llah both state "The truth is a point
that the ignorant have multiplied" (where is that quote?).  How does this
differ from Boethius' statement - or from Bells' Theorem for that matter.
        From Boethius to Bell - and longer, the greatest intuitive thinkers
have been reconnecting the fragements of "that which is by nature, one and
simple", while the chain-gangs of their deluded disciples have been smashing
it into fragements with the hammers of their false logic.  
        In Promulagation of Universal Peace pp 20-22, Abdul Baha describes
the  four criteria of human knowledge 1. Sense perception, 2. Reason 3.
Tradition 4. Inspiration.  He then states that, ". . . in the human material
world of phenomena these four are the only existing criteria or avenues of
knowlege, and all of them are faulty and unreliable".  (How much more
unreliable is our knowledge if we emphasise the importance of one of these
avenues over the  the others?)  "What then remains?" asks Abdu'l Baha. "How
shall we attain the reality of knowldege?   By the breaths and promptings of
the Holy Spirit, which is light and knowledge itself."   In "Foundations of
World Unity" pg. 58, Abdu'l Baha elaborates upon "The Holy Spirit" (a term
which I have always had difficulty understanding).   He writes, ". . . the
explanation of true pantheistic statment and principle is that the phenomena
of the universe find realization through the one power animating and
dominating all things; and all things are but manifestations of its energy
and bounty.  The virtue of being and existence is through no other agency.
Therefore in the words of Baha'u'llah the first teaching is the oneness of
the world of humanity." 
        If the four criteria of knowledge were exercised equally, with the
touchstone being the oneness of humanity - the knitting together of "that
which is by nature one and simple", then, perhaps, we would have a true
"Psychology of Spirituality".  I believe that's the message of Dr. Danesh's
book.     
        Excuse me Brad.  I go off on these tangents from time to time. 
L.B.G's
Gord. 


>
>Please remember, scholarly friends, that this review is written for the
>general public, in a publication which is aimed at non-Baha'is and seeks to
>give them just a taste of Baha'i principles...
>
>Here is the review:
>
>
>Arthur Koestler once wrote that the great breakthroughs in science and art
>stem from "the sudden interlocking of two previously unrelated skills, or
>matrices of thought." He defines this process as the "act of creation" and
>suggests that most great new theories and discoveries are born of this
>"bisociative pattern of creative synthesis."
>
>Dr. H.B. Danesh may well have succeeded in achieving just such a creative
>synthesis in this new book, The Psychology of Spirituality, which seeks
>nothing less than to outline a ground-breaking new theory of human
>consciousness and psychology.
>
>In line with Koestler's description, the book arrives at this new
>understanding by combining two allegedly antagonistic fields of thought:
>psychology and spirituality.
>
>The result is what Dr. Danesh calls "the psychology of spirituality" (what
>else?). Its central objective is to "integrate the biological,
>psychosocial, and spiritual aspects of our reality into a fuller and more
>balanced understanding of human nature and human needs."
>
>Dr. Danesh, a Canadian psychiatrist who has practiced and taught for more
>than 30 years, begins by tracing the development of psychological theories
>over the last several hundred years, pointing out that they have largely
>focused on a materialistic/mechanistic view of human reality. "This view of
>human nature holds that we are basically animals at the mercy of our
>instincts and that we are driven in our lives  to obtain pleasure and avoid
>pain at all costs," he writes.
>
>While many of these theories represent an advance over ancient concepts of
>human psychology, he argues, modern materialistic explanations have now
>reached a dead end. "The materialistic philosophy," he writes, "disclaims
>any purpose in life and encourages people to live according to their
>desires, feelings and instincts. This approach uses all human capacity in
>the service of self-gratification and self-aggrandizement. As a result,
>greed, injustice, extremes of wealth and poverty, aggression, and war are
>seen as inevitable and perhaps even necessary."
>
>Dr. Danesh then poses an alternative explanation for the complex and
>dynamic state of being that we call consciousness: that the ultimate human
>reality is a spiritual one.
>
>He acknowledges that many people will find this view difficult to accept.
>"To begin with, the very concept of spirituality is suspect," he writes.
>"We live at a time when many scientists deny or question the validity of
>such concepts as soul, spirit or spirituality. Furthermore, many religions
>have lost their respectability because of their reliance on blind faith and
>because many of their practices are (or seem to be) superstitious or
>prejudiced."
>
>Yet, he writes, it is only through an exploration of such concepts as the
>soul and spirit that a number of fundamental problems with the
>material-centered psychological theories can be addressed.
>
>At one level, he argues, a purely materialistic model of human nature would
>seem to predict that humans would be happy when their material or "animal"
>needs - including here even such needs as freedom and intellectual
>attainment - are satisfied. Yet in Western societies, at least, it is often
>those people who should be most satisfied in terms of material wealth or
>attainment who find themselves looking for a therapist.
>
> "There is, however, a very fundamental difference between humans and
>animals," Dr. Danesh writes. "Animals do not deviate from instinctual laws.
>Humans, clearly, have a choice. Our response to basic instincts of hunger,
>pain, flight or fight, and sex are quite different from animals. We may
>decide to fast or diet rather than eat. Some may decide to fast until death
>to make a point, often to seek justice. Others do not eat even though
>hunger and food is accessible (as in anorexia nervosa). Still others do not
>share food with the starving masses even when they themselves have more
>food than they need. These are all unique to human behavior."
>
>On a broader level, Dr. Danesh suggests, a purely materialistic view of
>human psychology is insufficient to explain the progress of human
>civilization, whether in terms of the drive to create works of art, music
>and architecture, or in terms simply of the "spiritual qualities" of love,
>sacrifices and altruism that hold societies together. Or, conversely, how
>the absence of spiritual qualities and the resultant greed, corruption and
>egotism can lead to the downfall of a civilization.
>
>But Dr. Danesh's theory is more than merely a criticism of materialism. It
>is also a full and distinctive exposition of an alternative theory of human
>psychology.
>
>Three Basic Human Capacities
>
>In brief, Dr. Danesh outlines three basic "capacities" of the human soul:
>knowledge, love and will.  These capacities are what distinguish us from
>animals, and all human activities - beyond those associated with mere
>physical survival - can be understood in the framework of those fundamental
>capacities.
>
>"Knowledge, love, and will have special, unique, and enormous powers.
>Knowledge has the power of discovering and demonstrating the realities of
>all things. It works like the sun, under whose rays the qualities of
>everything becomes obvious and understandable. Knowledge likewise gives us
>the power to discover realities. Love, in its turn, has the very remarkable
>power of attraction, that force which brings people, things, and ideas
>together. Indeed, what makes the physical world function is the power of
>attraction among the various parts of the atom. What makes families and
>societies work together is also the power of attraction. The same is true
>of ideas and views of the world. Attraction is the power of love and the
>thing that makes its activities possible. Will, the third attribute of the
>human soul, also has its own power: the power to choose, to decide, and to
>act. Finally, whenever we speak of love or knowledge or will, we should
>remember that they are ultimately most effective if employed together."
>
>Elemental Human Concerns
>
>These three capacities can be correlated with three elemental human
>"concerns," observes Dr. Danesh. He identifies these concerns as self,
>relationships and time. He then charts these three capacities with the
>three concerns and comes up with a model for their integration, showing how
>each cross-correlation has several stages - which in many cases correspond
>to stages of human development which have been previously outlined by
>psychological theorists - along with some new elements. Dr. Danesh uses a
>simple chart, shown on page 14, to illustrate this model. SORRY BUT THE
>CHART WILL NOT REPRODUCE IN THIS POSTING.
>
>As can be seen, each intersection on the table identifies several stages in
>human growth and development. Many psychological problems and illnesses, he
>writes, stem from the failure of an individual to develop beyond one or
>more stages.
>
>The integration of self and knowledge, for example, takes place in three
>stages: self-experience, self-discovery, and self-knowledge. During
>childhood, Dr. Danesh writes, human beings are appropriately self-centered,
>then moving into self-discovery in adolescence and finally into
>self-knowledge as mature adults. But if this normal path of spiritual
>development is arrested, as perhaps when someone fails to grow beyond
>self-centeredness or simple self-discovery, problems result.
>
>"It is through self-knowledge that we become aware of the fundamental
>nobility of our being, begin to validate the spiritual nature of our
>reality, and give meaning and purpose to our lives," writes Dr. Danesh.
>"Without self-knowledge life becomes anxiety-ridden, confusing,
>frightening, and painful. That is why people who have not had the
>opportunity for healthy and integrated development with respect to their
>self-knowledge, become confused about themselves, the nature of their
>reality and the purpose of their existence."
>
>Dr. Danesh goes on to characterize the stages of development that occur in
>each of the nine intersections between the capacities and concerns he
>outlines. He then develops this model into a therapeutic process for
>helping a person achieve integration across all of these areas, and he
>convincingly correlates these elements with the latest discoveries in
>body-brain-mind research.
>
>Dr. Danesh, who served for some years as Secretary General of the Bahá'í
>Community of Canada and is currently director of Landegg Academy in
>Weinacht, Switzerland, indicates that the source for many of his ideas has
>been his private study of world religions - and in particular his study of
>the Bahá'í Faith.
>
>Yet this book is by no means an attempt to preach or proselytize. It is
>rather, in the best tradition of Koestlerian creativity, a wholehearted
>attempt to combine the insights from a life of study in one field
>(psychiatry) with the insights from a life of service (religion) in
>another.
>
>- end of review -
>
>I feel I should add that Dr. Danesh does not discount "physical" sources of
>mental illness, related to chemical imbalances, etc., nor does he say that
>such illnesses should not be treated with physical means. Nevertheless, his
>overall thesis does call into sharp question existing mental health
>practices and theories, due to their focus only on the self-centered sides
>of our natures.
>
>This posting should not be taken, by the way, as any criticism of anyone
>else's views; rather I thought it might merely enhance the discussion and
>be of interest.
>
>
>-------------------------------------------------------------------------
>Brad Pokorny, 
>-------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
>
>---------------------------------------------------------------------------
-----
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---
Gordon McFarlane            e-mail: MCFARLANE@upanet.uleth.ca
Public Access Internet
The University of Lethbridge







From mcfarlane@upanet.uleth.caThu Oct 26 00:59:45 1995
Date: Wed, 25 Oct 1995 20:50:21 -0600
From: Gordon McFarlane 
To: "Marguerite K. Gipson" 
Cc: talisman@indiana.edu
Subject: Re: Depression, Mental Illness and Suicide....

Margreet wrote:
>"Carbon goes thru lots of stress and pressure before it changes into Diamonds"
>A wonderful gem... but look at how it was made.  
>
>Think about that the next time you face a stressful situation.....  It works
>for me...
>Think of the diamond you will become.....

        I seem to recall hearing a Johnny Cash song -  "I'm just an old
chunk of coal now Lord, But I'm gonna be a diamond some day."
       Here's another thought to consider.  I have a friend who gathers
stones and makes jewlery. Of course when he gathers them they  look like a
pile of dirty rough rocks. He chucks them in a tumbler with some grit -
(quartz sand or something like that),  Turns the machine on and lets the
stones bump and grind and grate against each other for several weeks. I'm
sure if those stones were able to feel, think and give voice to their
thoughts and feelings they'd be copiously cursing one another and crying to
get outa there.  On the other hand, If they had a vision of the shining gems
they really were, perhaps they'd be thankful to those who gouged away at
their rough edges.   I think that's that's a good metaphor for the Baha'i
Community. 
Gord. 


---
Gordon McFarlane            e-mail: MCFARLANE@upanet.uleth.ca
Public Access Internet
The University of Lethbridge


From richs@microsoft.comThu Oct 26 01:02:19 1995
Date: Wed, 25 Oct 1995 21:13:27 -0700
From: Rick Schaut 
To: "'Talisman '" 
Subject: Baha'i Courts, Justice & Bon Jovi

Dear Friends,

I'm going to try to pull together a bunch of thoughts on these
subjects into a coherent theme centered on a definition of
what constitutes 'Fundamentalism'.  The message is rather
long, but you're allowed to skip to the end before reading
the middle.

I want to begin with a reply to Terry Culhane's latest message
on Baha'i courts and justice.

Terry, I think the only real difference in our positions is a
matter of focus.  I agree with a vast majority of what you
say.  I do not see your position as being incompatible with
what I've been trying to say.  I do, however, think we're
looking at the issues from completely different directions.

'Administration', i.e. the act of administering the affairs of
the community, is something distinctly different from the
'Administrative Order' which is a combination of the
structure of the institutions and the principles which
animate that structure.  Certainly it's possible for the
kind and nature of the institutions to change, but I don't
think the principles are going to change.  They are, at
least, not going to change significantly until the appearance
of the next Manifestation of God.  Whether or not these
principles can change within a broader time frame strikes
me as a moot question.  I'm not going to be here when
that happens.

I think everyone agrees that 'Administration' should not
become an end in and of itself.  I think we also agree that
the institutions have not been as effective at bringing about
unity as we would like them to have been.  But, when we
start getting around to asking why they haven't been as
effective as we would like, our opinions diverge.


At this point, I'm going to jump to the other side of my
subject line by telling a short story which is somewhat
similar to Bev's story about her son.  The similarities go
beyond contemporary music.

About 10 or 15 years ago, the members of the Green Lake
Baha'i Conference Committee were concerned about
Saturday nights.  At that time, there had been a rather
large influx of Persian refugees from Iran, and we began
to see a pattern of segregation between the Persian and
American Baha'is.  We consulted about this, and decided
that we needed to throw a party on Saturday night, and
include in the party things that would appeal to both
Persian Baha'is and American Baha'is.

Among other things, we decided to create some cultural
exchange by having someone perform a traditional Persian
dance before opening the floor to what we thought of as regular
dancing.

During the performance of the traditional Persian dance,
some American Baha'is were objecting to what they thought
was a sexually suggestive performance.  When we started
playing popular dance music, some of the Persian Baha'is
were accosting members of the committee regarding people
touching while dancing (particularly after some slow dances)--
again the referent being sexually suggestive dancing.  None
of the Persians raised even an eye-brow to the traditional
Persian dance and none of the Americans were even remotely
concerned when people were dancing close together during
a slow dance.

This story can give us some insight into fundamentalism.  We
tend to equate fundamentalism with intolerance, but I think
that equation is a slippery slope.  For each of us, there are
some things we are not willing to tolerate even if it's only the
intolerance of other people.  I don't think intolerance alone
lies at the core of fundamentalism.

I've always found the Green Lake party story a bit humorous.
On the other hand, I found Bev's story very unsettling.  The
difference, of course, is that the people in Bev's story were in
a position of authority while the American and Persian Baha'is
at that first Green Lake Saturday-night party weren't.

But, does that fully justify the difference in my reactions?
Is there, also, a general feeling about authority which is woven
into that reaction?  After all, the people in Bev's story and the
people in my story were doing precisely the same thing: they
were acting on a culturally determined view of right and wrong,
not a view which is based upon the Writings themselves.  They
never questioned that cultural background from whence their
ideas came.


Which, I think, brings me back to the center of the point I want
to raise.  I think fundamentalism isn't merely intolerance--it's the
failure, either through ignorance or malice, to question the
cultural bases of one's beliefs about what's right and wrong.  If
we don't question this, then we consign ourselves to seeing
through the eyes of others--our family, our friends and the
society in which we grew up--and not through our own eyes.

This doesn't mean that our beliefs about "correct" and "incorrect"
behavior aren't congruent with the principles of the Faith.  It
only means that they are not likely to start out that way.  And
the only way we can be certain about the validity of our beliefs is
to question the source of these beliefs and measure them
against the principles as stated in the Writings.

I think it should be clear that this holds equally true for our concepts
of justice.  Why, for example, do we think that an Assembly should
not consult about the alleged misdeeds of one of its members?  Is
it because this idea squares with the principles of the Faith and of
the Administrative Order, or is it because we've not been able to
trust the decisions made by human-designed institutions when such
a conflict of interests existed amongst its members?  And, if we
haven't been able to trust the decisions of human-designed
institutions, is it because we've not had a mutually agreed-upon, and
sufficiently effective, set of principles which should underlie all
decisions of these institutions and, thereby, lacked an objective
basis for deciding whether or not any given decision is valid?


In summary, fundamentalism is a failure to question strongly-held
beliefs--beliefs about right and wrong in particular and about reality
in general.  Moreover, there doesn't seem to be much of a
distinction between the fundamentalism of someone who happens
to be in a position of authority from the fundamentalism of someone
who isn't in a position of authority (but who's certainly in a position
to question authority).  Both can cause harm and can destroy unity.

So, whenever we become aware of something that an institution has
done and our first reaction is repulsion, our _first_ step has to be a
self-examination driven by a quest for a deeper understanding of the
principles of the Faith.  This isn't always the only step, though it
sometimes can be.  But, even if we decide to take further steps,
the positive impact of our actions on both the Community and the
Cause is greatly enhanced by our having first questioned our own
ideas.


There's a question I left hanging before I jumped off into stories
of dancing; both belly and cheek-to-cheek.  I think we can return
to it now.  I've often talked about process vs. static state.  We'll
not ever understand the Administrative Order if we keep looking
at static state.  Recast all that you understand about these
principles in terms of process and growth.  The important thing
isn't where we are.  Imperfect beings that we are, we'll never get
it exactly right (or exactly right in any given individual's eyes
including mine).  The important thing is whether or not we're
headed in the right direction.


Sorry for the length of this, and cheers to any of you who have
waded through the whole thing.


Warmest Regards,
Rick Schaut 
(Who thinks Bon Jovi's music is boring and has sophomoric lyrics,
and would much rather listen to Santana speak without words.  But,
then, that's just a matter of taste, isn't it?)




From jrcole@umich.eduThu Oct 26 11:45:18 1995
Date: Thu, 26 Oct 1995 02:13:24 -0400 (EDT)
From: Juan R Cole 
To: talisman@indiana.edu
Subject: fundamentalism



It has been proposed that the essence of fundamentalism is an 
unwillingness or failure to examine critically the bases of one's 
beliefs.  Thus, it would follow that an unexamined belief in the value of 
the separation of powers in government, e.g., could be a form of 
fundamentalism.

I would prefer to call a failure to examine critically the bases of one's 
beliefs just that.  I'm not sure how useful the word "fundamentalism" is, 
anymore, but it does have a clear meaning in 20th century Protestantism, 
tied to a belief in biblical inerrancy and a literalist approach to 
understanding scripture.

It has been proposed that both the current functioning of Baha'i 
institutions and any particular decisions they take should be given the 
presumption of being in the right.  If one disagrees with an 
institutional arrangement or a decision, one should examine critically 
the grounds on which one does so.  Failure to examine one's 
presuppositions would be simply another form of fundamentalism.

The problem with this formulation is that it is ahistorical and provides 
no answer to the question of "what then?"

Now, I know that it is frequently said by elderly members of Baha'i 
institutions that the American baby boom generation is unwarrantedly 
suspicious of social institutions generally, and that this suspicion 
tends to spill even more unwarrentedly over into their attitudes to 
Baha'i institutions.  I believe that this view is quite mistaken, on the 
whole.  I think most of us who became Baha'is in the late '60s and 
through the '70s initially came into the Faith with a fervent desire to 
believe that the Baha'i way of doing things was perfect, that Baha'i 
institutions were the last refuge of a tottering civilization, and so forth.
 
But as a baby boomer who had turned against the
US system that produced the Vietnam War and Watergate, my eyes were 
opened by pioneering in the Middle East.  I saw a quasi-theocratic system in 
Middle Eastern countries such as Egypt and Iran imprison my friends for 
thought crimes.  I myself was censored as a journalist by the Syrian 
government, and some of my stories pulled.  As a Baha'i pioneer I began to 
value more and more the U.S. Bill of Rights.  And it began to occur to me 
that the sort of future that Baha'i theocrats envisaged might not be a 
great deal better than Khomeinism, for non-Baha'is.  Can Baha'is even 
guarantee non-Baha'is the protection of "one person, one vote" in their 
dreamed-of theocracy?  No.  Worse, I began to find that Baha'u'llah and 
`Abdu'l-Baha believed in human rights and were distrustful of theocracy.

Not everyone in my generation had this experience abroad.  I recommend 
that all Baha'is of a theocratic bent live for at least five years in a 
strongly Muslim Middle Eastern country.  

But even in this country, our long experience with Baha'i procedures and 
the decisions of Baha'i elective bodies has not always borne out our 
naive and jejune hopes.It is our experiences of living in the community and 
working with the institutions that has led some of us to see problems.  And 
we did begin with the sort of presumption for Baha'i procedures and 
decision-making that has been advocated.

How much is enough?  I've seen Baha'i institutions bowdlerize some 
historical texts, and refuse to release others; I've seen demands for the 
censorship of everything from the typescript newsletter of a small study 
class to academic books; I've seen false charges of campaigning launched 
against the innocent editors of a little magazine; I've seen magazines 
fold because of censorship; I've seen well-paid professionals with day jobs 
take salaries for their service on an NSA;  I've seen an NSA remove the 
administrative rights of a person who raised questions about some of its 
financial dealings, thus acting as defendant and judge (for the record, I 
believe that NSA innocent of the charges); I've seen a major research 
project involving the efforts and time of large numbers of Baha'i 
scholars throughout the world derailed by a petty mentality that demands 
nothing less than a triumphalist theological discourse in every enterprise.

Having critically examined the underpinnings of my philosophy of right on 
a large number of occasions and over the course of 22 years, I have 
concluded that many aspects of current Baha'i administrative practice and 
belief are pernicious and desperately need to be reformed.  Now what?  
Those who have had these experiences and yet still cling to a theory of 
Baha'i institutional inerrancy seem to me to be closer to courting the 
epithet "fundamentalist," though why don't we avoid labels altogether and 
give this word a rest?



cheers     Juan Cole, History, University of Michigan



From TLCULHANE@aol.comThu Oct 26 11:46:31 1995
Date: Thu, 26 Oct 1995 02:32:53 -0400
From: TLCULHANE@aol.com
To: talisman@indiana.edu
Subject: re: Justice Bahai Courts Bon Jov

      Dear Rick ,

      We agree that the present is not the final picture and focusing only on
the present wont help us understand the Administrative Order - which I
believe is more than the LSA 's NSa's and House of Justice . More importantly
I am sure until I am blue in the face we will not understand the
Administrative Order or the World Order of Baha u llah until we begin to
understand the Mashriqu l Adhkar and its centerpiece the House of Worship .
And this canot be understood by limiting it to its present appearence as a
few planetary cathedrals . 
  
     warn regards ,
       Terry     
 p.s . BonJovi is written for sophmores - high school that is - and they
relate to it . Which is the whole point of engaging  the music with them .  




Subject: From Birkland 10/25

. . . thanks for your letter and e-mail.   Please try not to feel discouraged,
nothing but good can come from observing the guidance from the Universal House
of Justice.  Frankly, I believe nothing has changed.  Our hopes to build on
previous initiatives to draw all people, particularly those with a homosexual
orientation, closer to Baha'u'llah and to promote understanding and wisdom
within the Baha'i community will no doubt be realized.  You canexpect a letter
from me soon, as requested.   I'll be home this weekend andwill have time put
my thoughts together.  Thanks for all your efforts in thepath of the Blessed
Beauty, Stephen 



From burlb@bmi.netThu Oct 26 12:10:34 1995
Date: Thu, 26 Oct 95 00:25 PDT
From: Burl Barer 
To: Christopher Buck 
Cc: talisman@indiana.edu
Subject: Re: Jesus Raising Souls


>	I read through this part of the Tablet for the first time
>tonight. The *people of the Ark [ship]* (ahl-i fulk) are at first
>captained by someone else (presumably Azal). Then -- MAN OVERBOARD --
>Azal becomes a religious Phil Champagne, so to speak.
>

Gee...you really *have* been corrupted.  :-)
This post is a keeper! Let some religious historian figure out *that*
oblique reference in a few hundred years!.

Burl
Order MAN OVERBOARD by Burl Barer  from your bookstore.


From rstockman@usbnc.orgThu Oct 26 12:13:22 1995
Date: Thu, 26 Oct 95 07:00:05 
From: "Stockman, Robert" 
To: Talisman@indiana.edu
Subject: Re: Mental Illness, Flesh-Eating Chairmen, "Normal Folks" a


Gordon's posting reminded me of an insight I once had: that most Baha'is are 
attracted to the Faith not through a process that resembles the principles of 
seeking outlined in the Tablet of the True Seeker, but because their "idle 
fancies and vain imaginings" happen to align in a significant way with many of 
the teachings of the Faith.  Anyway, I think that was true of me.

                     -- Rob Stockman



From derekmc@ix.netcom.comThu Oct 26 14:34:56 1995
Date: Thu, 26 Oct 1995 10:23:40 -0700 (PDT)
From: DEREK COCKSHUT 
To: talisman@indiana.edu
Subject: Re Jesus Training Souls , the saga goes on !

My dear friend Burl overcome by Chris clever promotion of Burl's Famous 
book , actually dropped his morning Camel into the steaming coffee cup 
he was holding . Could this be a post from the serious dare I say it no 
I dare not boring Chris Buck that Burl and myself trained at ABS . Burl 
I have found out from secret and 'Powereful' sources in Canada that 
Chris has become a Tiger Booksalesman . Even his wife has not been 
spared so far she has purchased 8 copies of Chris's book . Chris wakes 
her at 2.30 in the morning and shouts BUY now . This novel way of 
selling has transformed the cloistered quiet of the Buck home .< There
are new rumours that the next time he wakes her and shouts Buy now she 
will shout Die now > Guests upon arriving are shown Photographs of Rob 
Stockman selling his Book at ABS < We have a picture of Rob with his 
Book on his head , naturally this will be used to blackmail him at the 
correct time > and Chris crys out would you buy a book from this man , 
stands on his head and says buy mine I am a serious author. Burl did we 
ever imagine that Chris would become such a good student . I know we 
are both salesmen beyound compare as well as being brillant in every 
field of human activity . But when I reflect on the impact we had at 
ABS I feel proud . Do you remember Richard Poole how shy he was arms 
folded head down and the effect you had on him . 
My dear friend as you and I bask in the glory of our students 
development what are your thoughts. Do take the cigarette out of the 
coffee before you drink it please.
Kindest Regards
Derek Cockshut  



From straz@itsa.ucsf.EDUThu Oct 26 14:38:51 1995
Date: Thu, 26 Oct 1995 10:44:03 -0700 (PDT)
From: John or Katherine Straznickas 
To: Christopher Buck 
Cc: Steven Kolins , talisman@indiana.edu
Subject: Re: Jesus Raising Souls

Dear Chris:
	I have to say that the image of you reading the Tablet of the 
Holy Mariner while watching a boxing match on TV is one that I will 
cherish for a long time.
	Warmly, Katherine


From 72110.2126@compuserve.comThu Oct 26 14:39:27 1995
Date: 26 Oct 95 13:42:47 EDT
From: David Langness <72110.2126@compuserve.com>
To: Talisman@indiana.edu
Subject: George Bernard Shaw and Genetics

Dear Talismanians,

Yesterday's mention of George Bernard Shaw and our current discussion of
the impact of genetics on our spiritual and physical destinies reminded
me of a wonderful true story that Shaw liked to tell.  The great author
once received a letter proposing marriage from the world-famous dancer
Isadora Duncan, a proponent of eugenics.  Duncan, who did not know Shaw
at all, suggested that children with "my body and your brains" would be
spectacular human beings.

 "Just think of the children we could produce!" she wrote.

Shaw wrote her back, politely declining her offer.  He said:  "But what
would happen if our children had my body and your brains?"

Love,

David


From 72110.2126@compuserve.comThu Oct 26 14:40:07 1995
Date: 26 Oct 95 14:11:54 EDT
From: David Langness <72110.2126@compuserve.com>
To: Talisman@indiana.edu
Subject: Copyright Warnings; Houston

Dear Talismanians,

Thank you, Ahang, for your important reminder to all that use of the
Talisman postings without permission constitutes a violation of the
copyright laws.  I was saddened to hear the hint, though, in your post,
of some Talismanians actually being afraid to post as a result of such
violations.

Would it be possible -- those of you like Eric the data janitor who are
adepts at such arcane things -- to post a copyright warning that would
come up as each Talisman subscriber retrieves their daily posts?  Perhaps
that might serve as a polite reminder to all who use this remarkable
service that one of the important Baha'i principles involves obeying the
law of the land.

On another subject, Ahang or others of the Texan persuasion:
I have heard that the Houston mass teaching project has run into some
difficulties.  At the beginning of the project, many of us were heartened
and joyous over your initial posts describing the successes that occurred
there -- would it be possible to hear about the project's evolution, and,
without naming names of course, perhaps get a current status report now?
Maybe we could learn from the lessons you've undoubtedly been through
there as a result.

Love,

David



From nima@unm.eduThu Oct 26 14:45:53 1995
Date: Thu, 26 Oct 1995 12:33:25 -0600 (MDT)
From: Sadra 
To: Talisman@indiana.edu
Subject: Recent Executions in Iran (fwd)



---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 26 Oct 95 12:23:47 EDT
From: Kourosh Parsa 
To: iran-news@rostam.neda.com, sci-poster@handel.sun.com,
    sci-handel@poster.sun.com
Subject: Recent Executions in Iran



TO: UN Human Rights Commission
Honroable Elsa Stamatopoulou
Chief of Liaison Office of Human Rights
UN Commission on Human Rights in USA
United Nations
NY NY 10017 
FAX Number: 212-963-4079
CC: Amnesty International: Fax: 212-627-1451
CC: Middle East Watch: Fax Number: 212-972-0905
CC: National Council of Churches: NY (Middle East Office)
CC: International Association against torture at the UN
CC: Media
CC: ALL Human Rights Organizations 

Honorable Elsa Stamatopoulou
 

In this letter we like to bring to your attention recent cases of human
rights violations by the Islamic Republic of Iran, against its political
prisoners, and activists. 

According to Iranian opposition groups [1-2], Mr. Assad Akhavan and 
 Mr. Sadeghi have been executed in Iran in recent weeks. Mr. Assad 
Akhavan, a native of the northern Iranian city of Langrud, had
previously spend nine years in the prisons of the Islamic Republic of
Iran. He was a memebr of the Organization of Iranian People's Fedaian
 (Majority) [1].

According to a report issued by Reuter, on Oct. 10, 1995, 10 members of 
Kusrdish democratic party of Iran have also been executed in recent weeks..
The same source [Reuter] reports arrest of 26 members of KDP of Iran in
recent weeks [4]. 

We are also concerned about the lives of 42 political prisoners and 2 Baha'is
who were reported to be in imminent danger of execution [5:Attachment A].  

Finally, we like to bring to you attention, Mr. Amir Entezam's 
who is the longest held politcal prisoner in IRI. In his recent letter to
Renate Schmidt in Germany [6: see attachment B], he demands to have an open
trial. We are asking the commission to take appropriate action on this
matter. 

While we are fundamentally opposed to capital punishment of any kind, we find
the execution of such punishment against political prisoners doubly
outragious and disturbing


We do hereby ask the UN Commission on Human Rights to form a task group  to
investigate this matter and bring the case to the attention of the  proper
authorities in IRI. Specifically, we ask that the commission  solicit a
formal response from the IRI as to the details of the charges, court dates,
the names of the lawyers, and any other pertinent information on this
matter.  We are asking you to attend to this matter in the name of
humanity and human life. We thank you for your attention to this
matter. 

 Amir Entezam Defense Committee (Washington), CAmpaign for defense of Iranian
Political Prisoners (NY, LA, Ottowa),  Center for Defense of Democracy in
Iran  (NY), CEnter fro Iranian Democrats (Chicago), Committee to defend Human
Rights in Iran (North California), Democracy Network of Iran (Internet),
Iranian Human Rights Working Group (Internet), Iranian Solidarity Movement
for Freedom (LA), L'Association de Defence du Front pour la Republique la
Democratie En Iran-Belgique

1. Amir Entezam Defense Committee (Washington)
Public RElations Office: Zohreh Khayam
FAX: 703-536-7853
P.O.Box 846 Silver Springs MD 29007

2. Campaign for defense of Iranian Political Prisoners (NY, LA, Ottowa) 
P.O.Box 20704
NY NY 10129-0006
3. Center for Defense of Democracy in Iran  (NY)
Public Relations Office: Ardeshir Ommani
Tel:914-273-8852/ FAX: 718-863-2775
E-MAIL Address: CDDIRAN@aol.com
P.O.Box 294 NY NY 10021-0032
4. Center fro Iranian Democrats (Chicago)
P.O.Box 258-325
Chicago IL 60625
5. Committee to defend Human Rights in Iran (North California)
Tel:408-738-8759/FAX: 408-732-3493
P.O.Box 23093 San Jose CA 95153-3093
6. Democracy Network of Iran (Internet)
dni@glue.umd.edu
7. Iranian Human Rights Working Group (IHRWG-Internet)
Spokesperson: Dr. Hossein Bagher Zadeh
E-MAIL Address: ihrwg@tehran.stanford.edu
P.O.Box 5095 North Branch NJ USA 08876
8. Iranian Solidarity Movement for Freedom (LA)
Tel: 310-641-9807/Tel: 213-343-9918/Fax: 714-285-9040
P.O.Box 88523 LA CA 90009
9. L'Association de Defence du Front pour la Republique la Democratie En
Iran-Belgique
BP:48
1090 Bruxelle Belgique

[1] KAR: Number 117,
 I.G.e.v > Pstfach 260268 > 50515 Koeln Germany
FAX: 0049-221-3318290 
 [2] Rahe Kargar: Publci Relations Office: 
ALIZADI BP195  75563 PARIS CEDEX12 FRANCE 
 TEL: 4940- 6777819  FAX: 33-1-43455804 
 [3] Society for Defense of Political Prisoners in Iran
(Koln, Germany) 
 [4]. Reter New sAgency: October 10, 1995 
 [5] Attachment A: Condemenation letter by "Center for Defense of Democracy
in Iran", May 13, 1995 
 [6] About Iran: Attachment B: Amir Entezam's letter
to Renate Schmidt 






----- End Included Message -----




From PIERCEED@sswdserver.sswd.csus.eduThu Oct 26 15:00:27 1995
Date: Thu, 26 Oct 1995 11:37:18 PST8PDT
From: "Eric D. Pierce" 
To: talisman@indiana.edu
Subject: Re: decoding scripture. [Stockman article, 1 of 2]

Howdy Blessed Ones,

UUDECODE is built into my email package, see separate message 
for the entire text of the Stockman stuff (hope the large size 
doesn't bomb your email system: 349 lines, 3189 words). I 
converted it to text from what looked like a wordperfect format 
(watch out for strange residual unfiltered character codes). 
Great read, thanks Dr. Stockman!

Somewhere in my email pile, I've got the internet address for
a ftp site that has the free version of uudecode for PCs and
maybe Macintosh, let me know if it is important for you to get
the software, and for what system.

EP

> Date sent:      Thu, 26 Oct 1995 13:45:12 -0400
> From:           Dave10018@aol.com
> To:             PIERCEED@sswdserver.sswd.csus.edu, talisman@indiana.edu
> Subject:        decoding scripture.

> oh helpful one!
> 
> i don't have the "uudecode" program required to read Robert Stockman's
> encyclopedia article.Do you know where I can get it and how I can run it? Do
> you have it?
> 
> thanks!
> 
> dt
> 
----- appended text extract -----

Length: 3189 words
Status: First Draft

SCRIPTURE.  In both the field of comparative religion and in
Baha'i Studies, *scripture* is not a simple term to define.  From
a sociological point of view, a text becomes scripture when a
group of people begin to treat it as such, by venerating it and
viewing its authority as superhuman.  Perhaps the classical
Islamic definition of scripture--that it consists of the Word of
God, as revealed through Muhammad and preserved in the Qur'an--is
the simplest and clearest definition one can find; yet even in
Islam the words of Muhammad Himself--the Hadith or traditions--
are highly respected and venerated, and sometimes are treated by
Muslims *de facto* as scripture.  Furthermore, for many Shi'ih
Muslims, the words of the imams are authoritative supplements to
the Qur'an.
...
(to be continued)







From PIERCEED@sswdserver.sswd.csus.eduThu Oct 26 15:04:03 1995
Date: Thu, 26 Oct 1995 11:42:18 PST8PDT
From: "Eric D. Pierce" 
To: talisman@indiana.edu
Subject: (!BIG!) 2nd of 2 (Stockman article)

> i don't have the "uudecode" program required to read Robert Stockman's
> encyclopedia article. ...

----- complete text extract (349 lines) -----

Length: 3189 words
Status: First Draft

SCRIPTURE.  In both the field of comparative religion and in
Baha'i Studies, *scripture* is not a simple term to define.  From
a sociological point of view, a text becomes scripture when a
group of people begin to treat it as such, by venerating it and
viewing its authority as superhuman.  Perhaps the classical
Islamic definition of scripture--that it consists of the Word of
God, as revealed through Muhammad and preserved in the Qur'an--is
the simplest and clearest definition one can find; yet even in
Islam the words of Muhammad Himself--the Hadith or traditions--
are highly respected and venerated, and sometimes are treated by
Muslims *de facto* as scripture.  Furthermore, for many Shi'ih
Muslims, the words of the imams are authoritative supplements to
the Qur'an.
     While Christianity and Judaism both possess sacred books--
the Hebrew Bible or Tanakh for the Jews, the Old and New
Testaments for the Christians--in neither tradition was the
content of the scripture officially and finally defined by a
council or supreme leader.  Both religions possess *apocrypha,*
books that have semi-canonical*1 status.  Furthermore, modern
Christian sects such as Mormonism, Christian Science, and
Unificationism possess scriptures of their own that supplement
the Bible, and ancient Judaism had the Essene sect at Qumran that
possessed sacred books of its own.
     Hinduism has no single definition of scripture.  It
maintains a distinction between * ruti* texts, which supposedly
were "heard" by Brahmin priests being whispered by the wind, and
*smrti* or "remembered" texts that were composed by the ancestors
and passed down from generation to generation.  The four Vedas
and the Upanishads constitute the former, which is the more
sacred category, while the latter, lesser category includes the
Pur nas and the Bhagavad-Git , perhaps the most popular
scriptural work in Hinduism.  Different Hindu sects supplement
these works with others, often in local languages.
     While Therav da Buddhism possesses a Pali-language canon of
works, known as the Tipitaka, Mah y na Buddhism supplements these
with literally hundreds of s tras or supposed discourses of the
Buddha, with each Mah y na sect venerating a different collection
of them.  Sikhism possesses the * di Sahib,* a book of hymns by
its gurus and by pre-Sikh mystical poets.  Zoroastrianism has the
Avesta and numerous semicanonical prophetic works and
commentaries.  Traditional Chinese culture recognized a
collection of classical texts, though the number so recognized
varied from five to thirteen.  Even ancient Greece had a
scripture of sorts, Homer's *Iliad.*
     The Baha'i Faith possesses a range of texts of varying
levels of sacredness.  Within the religion, there are writings by
the Bab, Baha'u'llah, `Abdu'l-Baha, Shoghi Effendi, and the
Universal House of Justice; outside the religion there are the
scriptures of the previous world religions, some of which are
viewed as being more authentic than others.
     SCRIPTURE WITHIN THE BAHA'I FAITH.  Terminology for
describing the different levels of the Baha'i *authoritative
writings*--here defined as the works of the Bab, Baha'u'llah,
`Abdu'l-Baha, Shoghi Effendi, and the Universal House of Justice-
-is incompletely developed.  The Bab and Baha'u'llah are viewed
by Baha'is as Manifestations (q. v.) of God, and therefore as
being channels of God's revelation to humanity.  As a result
their works occupy the highest level within the hierarchy of
Baha'i authoritative writings.  Their works may be termed *holy
writ* or *word of God.*  The Universal House of Justice has also
used the term *creative word* to describe the writings of
Baha'u'llah.  Baha'u'llah makes it clear that the Word of God
possesses a creative potency that nothing else can match: "every
single letter proceeding out of the mouth of God is indeed a
mother letter, and every word uttered by Him Who is the Well
Spring of Divine Revelation [the Manifestation] is a mother word,
and His Tablet a Mother Tablet" (*Gleanings,* 142).  Reciting the
Word of God has profound effects on the believer and the world
around him: "Whoso reciteth, in the privacy of his chamber, the
verses revealed by God, the scattering angels shall scatter
abroad the fragrance of the words uttered by his mouth, and shall
cause the heart of every righteous man to throb" (*Baha'i
Prayers,* v).
     Because Baha'u'llah succeeded the Bab as a Manifestation,
Baha'u'llah often modified or discontinued laws of the Bab;
consequently the Bab's teachings are not binding on Baha'is.  But
they remain holy writ, and the Bab's devotional writings are read
by Baha'is at their meetings and in private prayer.
     `Abdu'l-Baha and Shoghi Effendi were interpreters of the
holy writ, especially the words of Baha'u'llah.  They were not
empowered to deliver a revelation from God and were not
Manifestations, but since Baha'u'llah gave `Abdu'l-Baha the power
to interpret, and `Abdu'l-Baha in turn gave the authority to
Shoghi Effendi, their works are considered binding on Baha'is and
must be obeyed.  Furthermore, `Abdu'l-Baha is understood to
occupy a station that is closer to the level of a Manifestation
of God than any other human being who has ever lived (*World
Order of Baha'u'llah,* 132), hence His writings are more sacred
than Shoghi Effendi's.  In fact, Shoghi Effendi implies that the
term "Baha'i scripture" applies to the writings of the Bab,
Baha'u'llah, and `Abdu'l-Baha alone, and not to his own writings
or those of the Universal House of Justice (even though their
works are authoritative and binding on the Baha'is) (*Lights of
Guidance,* 2d ed., 112).
     Some fifteen thousand works by Baha'u'llah--mostly letters--
are extant in the Baha'i World Centre's Archives; twenty-seven
thousand letters and essays by `Abdu'l-Baha and seventeen-
thousand letters of Shoghi Effendi are also stored there (*The
Seven Year Plan, 1979-1986: Statistical Report, Ridvan 1983,*
22).  No estimate for the number of the Bab's works has yet been
published.
     The writings of the Universal House of Justice are
considered to be neither revelation nor interpretation; rather
they constitute legislation and elucidation based on the above
Baha'i authoritative writings.  `Abdu'l-Baha made it clear in His
*Will and Testament* that they are authoritative and binding. 
Because Baha'u'llah's writings supersede the Bab's,
interpretations, elucidations, or legislations based on
Baha'u'llah's writings by `Abdu'l-Baha, Shoghi Effendi, or the
Universal House of Justice may reject laws or principles stated
by the Bab.
     In addition to the authoritative writings of the Baha'i
Faith, a "semicanonical" body of works exists.  These include
transcriptions of talks `Abdu'l-Baha gave that He never read and
verified for accuracy.  Regarding a collection of talks called
*`Abdu'l-Baha in London,* Shoghi Effendi explained that "nothing
can be considered scripture for which we do not have an original
text.  A verbatim record in Persian of His [`Abdu'l-Baha's] talks
would of course be more reliable than one in English because He
was not always accurately interpreted [translated].  However such
a book would be of value, and certainly has its place in our
literature" (*Unfolding Destiny,* 208).  Thus Shoghi Effendi
makes it clear such a collection is not scripture, but is not
ordinary Baha'i literature either.
     Also in this "semicanonical" category are *pilgrim's notes,*
descriptions of talks of `Abdu'l-Baha to visiting pilgrims,
collected by the pilgrims themselves.  Finally, *The Dawn-
breakers,* an account of the life of the Bab and his disciples
written by Nabil-i-Zarandi but extensively edited and translated
by Shoghi Effendi, occupies a kind of "semicanonical" status. 
(For more information on Baha'i scriptures, see "Baha'i
Literature.")
     TEXT INTERPRETATION AND CRITICISM.  The Baha'i authoritative
texts are still relatively unexamined by the modern techniques of
literary criticism.  Few commentaries have been written, and
usually they have been prepared by individuals without
professional training in literature.  Work on the texts, to date,
has largely been confined to indexing them, so that related
passages can be read together and understood in the light of each
other; from this effort several dozen compilations have been
published.
     Historical and critical study of the corpus also has barely
begun.  For some of the writings of the Bab, considerable
scholarship will be necessary to establish the standard text,
because the original manuscript no longer exists.  Establishing a
standard text is only rarely a problem for the writings of
Baha'u'llah, `Abdu'l-Baha, and Shoghi Effendi.  Eventually it
will be necessary to determine, for each work, when and to whom
it was written; to what communication it was in response to, and
does the communication provide context for understanding the
response; was the communication in a different language than the
response, and how was the communication translated so that the
response could be composed; what other works, containing what
themes, did its author compose at about the same time; and how
was the response understood by its recipient.  
     TRANSLATION.  The Baha'i Faith, unlike Islam, generally does
not oppose the translation of its authoritative texts into the
vernacular language.  For Muslims, translation is a major issue
because translating the Word of God requires interpretation of
its meaning, and no individual is empowered to make such
interpretation.  But in the Baha'i Faith this is not a
significant concern.  Baha'u'llah and `Abdu'l-Baha encouraged
many translations, often advised translators what texts to
translate, interpreted the meanings of texts if necessary, and
guided Baha'i communities in setting up systemns for ensuring the
translations' accuracy.  Shoghi Effendi was empowered to
interpret the Baha'i scriptures, and he translated them into an
English of unparalleled beauty and precision.  Shoghi Effendi's
translations have become the model for subsequent translation of
Baha'i scriptures.  Dictionaries of Shoghi Effendi's Arabic-
English and Persian-English equivalents have been compiled to
assist in translation of additional scriptures into English, and
translations into non-Islamic languages are usually made from the
English translation, not from the original text.  Currently
passages from the Baha'i scriptures have been translated into
over 800 languages; by 1983 the Short Obligatory Prayer had been
translated into 501 languages.
     There is one exception to the policy of encouraging the
translation of the Baha'i authoritative writings, and that
involves translation of Baha'i scripture from Arabic to Persian. 
For over a thousand years Persians have written many of their
religious and philosophical works in Arabic, and when they write
such works in Persian they use a heavily Arabicized vocabulary
and style.  Hence translating texts from pure Arabic into a
mixture of Arabic and Persian is not done.  Persian Baha'is are
expected to learn enough Arabic to read Baha'i prayers in the
original.  When it is necessary, footnotes offering a Persian
explanation of an Arabic text often are provided.
     SCRIPTURE OUTSIDE THE BAHA'I FAITH.  Baha'u'llah notes that
"every leaf of these Books and Scriptures thou hast, moreover,
allotted to each one of the peoples and kindreds of the earth"
(*Prayers and Meditations,* 143).  Here He states a basic Baha'i
position: that at one time or another God has sent a
Manifestation, and a revelation, to every part of the earth. 
Because of this principle, the Baha'i Faith recognizes the sacred
writings of previous religions as scripture, though it does not
accord equal status to the different scriptures.  As a general
rule, the works embodying the most recent revelations are viewed
as the most authentic; the farther back in time a revelation
occurred, the less accurately it is likely to have been
preserved.  Usually the Baha'i view corresponds with the judgment
of historians and textual critics.
     Shoghi Effendi states that "apart from the sacred scriptures
of the Babi and Baha'i Revelations," the Qur'an constitutes "the
only Book which can be regarded as an absolutely authenticated
Repository of the Word of God" (*Advent of Divine Justice,* 49). 
The Baha'i Faith thus recognizes the revelation of God through
Muhammad (as preserved in the Qur'an) as authentic; however, it
has been superseded by the revelation to the Bab and particularly
to Baha'u'llah, and thus its teachings are not binding on the
Baha'is.  The Qur'an can be seen as a sort of Old Testament to
the Baha'is.
     The Bible's Old and New Testaments are very frequently
quoted in the Baha'i authoritative texts, and are often referred
to as scripture.  `Abdu'l-Baha praised the Bible highly: "this
book is the Holy Book of God, of celestial Inspiration.  It is
the Bible of Salvation, the noble Gospel.  It is the mystery of
the Kingdom and its Light.  It is the Divine Bounty, the sign of
the guidance of God" (Hasan Balyuzi, *`Abdu'l-Baha,* 145).  Thus
the Bible is a work that Baha'is study, venerate, and respect.  
But Shoghi Effendi notes that unlike the Qur'an, "the Bible is
not *wholly* authentic" and implies that the text of the Bible
may contain historical errors (*Lights of Guidance,* 1st ed., p.
370).  Thus Baha'is recognize the historical problems that arose
in the transmission of God's revelation from spoken to written
form.  The Bible's teachings, like the Qur'an's are not binding
on Baha'is and are viewed as having been superseded by the Baha'i
revelation.
     In His writings `Abdu'l-Baha refers to prophecies in the
Zoroastrian scriptures; but Shoghi Effendi adds that "the Avesta
is not to be regarded as the authentic compilation of the
writings of the Prophet [Zoroaster]" and "the Zoroastrians. . .
themselves know their scriptures are not in the original form,
and therefore are not absolutely authentic" ("Buddha, Krishna,
Zoroaster and Related Subjects," in *The Compilation of
Compilations,* 21).  Regarding Hinduism and Buddhism, Shoghi
Effendi says that "we cannot be sure of the scriptures of Buddha
and Krishna" (*Lights of Guidance,* 2d ed., 503), and that no one
possesses the Buddha's "authentic writings" ("Buddha, Krishna,
Zoroaster and Related Subjects," 21).  Shoghi Effendi often
advised Baha'is to turn to historians and religious scholars in
order to learn about Hinduism and Buddhism (Ibid., 19, 20, 21;
*Lights of Guidance,* 1st ed., 382).
     In spite of their historical problems, the writings of the
previous religions are recognized in the Baha'i authoritative
writings as a form of scripture for the Baha'is.  In practice,
this means that they can be used in community worship, such as in
the devotional portion of Feast (*Lights of Guidance,* 2d ed.,
#821; where Shoghi Effendi says that other scriptures can be read
at Feast, but that reading Baha'i scriptures is preferable) or
the public worship program at a Baha'i House of Worship (*Lights
of Guidance,* 2d ed., p. 607).  Interestingly, the writings of
Shoghi Effendi and the Universal House of Justice are not used in
these contexts.  The reason for this, presumably, is because the
writings of Shoghi Effendi and the House of Justice are not
devotional,*2 but interpretive and legislative in character; and
`Abdu'l-Baha asserts that the spiritual teachings of God's
Manifestations are eternal, hence their devotional value
continues to be present.
     USE OF BAHA'I SCRIPTURE.  The Baha'i Faith is a religion of
the book *par excellence.*  The Universal House of Justice has
said that the ability to read is a "fundamental right and
privilege of every human being" specifically because it gives
immediate access to the Word of God ("The Importance of
Literacy," in *The Six Year Plan: Selected Messages of the
Universal House of Justice* [Wilmette, Ill.: Baha'i Publishing
Trust, 1991], 54).  The religious life of the individual has many
aspects to it (see WORSHIP) but central to most of them is the
use of Baha'i scripture.  Baha'u'llah calls upon the believer to
"recite. . . the verses of God every morning and evening" and
adds that "whoso reciteth them not hath truly failed to fulfil
his pledge to the Covenant of God" (*The Importance of Deepening
Our Knowledge and Understanding of the Faith,* 1).  Thus reading
and meditating on the words of Baha'u'llah are an obligatory part
of the devotional life of each Baha'i.  Memorization of Baha'i
scripture is also encouraged.
     Obligatory prayer is a daily part of Baha'i devotion;
Baha'u'llah revealed three obligatory prayers (Arabic, *salat*),
and it is up to each Baha'i to repeat one of them each day,
following whatever ritual actions or requirements the prayer
specifies.  Furthermore, Baha'u'llah, the Bab, and `Abdu'l-Baha
composed hundreds of prayers (Arabic, *du'a* and *munajat*), in
response to specific requests from believers, and these prayers
have been compiled into prayer books.  Usually when Baha'is pray
they use these prayers, instead of praying to God with their own
words.  Revealed prayers exist for a wide range of purposes, such
as healing, remembering the departed, marriage, tests and
difficulties, teaching the Faith to others, assistance, and
praying for various family members.  Prayers exist to say on
special occasions, such as Naw-Ruz, Ridvan, and the anniversaries
of events in the lives of Baha'u'llah, the Bab, and `Abdu'l-Baha. 
In addition, Baha'u'llah revealed several prayers of unusual
beauty and potency, such as the Tablet of Ahmad, the Long Healing
Prayer, the Fire Tablet, and the Tablet of the Holy Mariner.
     Baha'i community worship focuses almost exclusively on
scripture.  At Baha'i Houses of Worship the devotional programs
are assembled solely from Baha'i and non-Baha'i scripture;
sermons and rituals are not allowed.  Even the music that is sung
usually is based on, or inspired by, Baha'i or non-Baha'i
scripture.  The devotional portion of Feast consists largely of
recitation of passages from Baha'i scripture.  As far back as
1904 American Baha'is published hymns based on passages from
Baha'i scripture, and these were sung primarily at Baha'i
community devotions.
     An important part of Baha'i devotional culture is the
chanting of Baha'i scripture in Persian and Arabic; even a few
western Baha'is have learned how to do it.  Baha'i chanting has
not yet developed in English and other western languages, though
it may in the future; in His Most Holy Book, Baha'u'llah states
that one of the obligation of a father is to take his children to
the House of Worship and teach them how to chant the word
(*Synopsis and Codification of the Kitab-i-Aqdas,* 49).  It is
also common at large Baha'i gatherings to have Baha'i prayers and
passages from Baha'i scriptures read in several languages, even
if only one person in the audience understands that language. 
Such a form of devotion respects the statement of Baha'u'llah
that reciting the verses of God will "cause the heart of every
righteous man to throb"--whether he knows the language or not--
while it honors the Baha'i principle of unity in diversity.
     Baha'i scripture plays several other unique roles in the
Baha'i community.  "The Greatest Name" (*baha* and its Arabic
superlative form, *abha*), the most sacred word in the Baha'i
Faith, is usually displayed in one's house in calligraphic form;
a form of it (Allah-u-Abha) is used to greet other believers and
is to be repeated ninety-five times daily.  Calligraphic
renderings of passages from Baha'i scripture are often used as a
form of art to decorate homes and meeting places.  Baha'i Houses
of Worship, like many mosques, often are adorned with passages
from the Baha'i scriptures.  Some works of Baha'i scripture have
been published in beautifully illuminated calligraphic form. 
Writings by Baha'is and even conversational language often
contain allusions to passages in the Baha'i scriptures, thus
giving Baha'i subculture a unique vocabulary and set of symbols.
     BIBLIOGRAPHY.  An excellent article about scripture by
William A. Graham may be found in Mircea Eliade's *The
Encyclopedia of Religion* (Macmillan, 1987).  Graham has written
a booklength treatment of the same subject titled *Beyond the
Written Word: Oral Aspects of Scripture in the History of
Religion* (New York: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1987).
     R.H.S.

*1.  A *canon* is an official list of scriptural works.  Books
that are semi-canonical either are accepted as canonical by some
members of the religion, or are accorded an intermediate status
between official scripture and non-scriptural status.

*2.  The exception are devotional writings by Shoghi Effendi that
were written in Persian; Shoghi Effendi allowed them to be used
in feasts in Iran (*Lights of Guidance,* 2d ed., p. 245). 

From jrcole@umich.eduFri Oct 27 00:21:01 1995
Date: Thu, 26 Oct 1995 15:09:41 -0400 (EDT)
From: Juan R Cole 
Cc: talisman@indiana.edu
Subject: Stockman article



Rob's article on scripture is extremely good and clear.  This is the sort 
of thing the Encyclopaedia has in great abundance and it is a shame that 
it may simply never be allowed to be published.

One minor correction:  The numbers of Tablets now extant should be 
distinguished from the number believed to have been written.  In 
Baha'u'llah's case, the total corpus is estimated at 15,000, but my 
recollection is that we only have about 7,000 extant.  (The ones we do 
not have were probably minor, personal pieces, sending greetings to a 
believer and his family, and so forth;  some important Tablets may have 
gone into the hands of Mirza Muhammad `Ali's side of the family, 
including the first obligatory prayers).


cheers   Juan


From belove@sover.netFri Oct 27 00:24:28 1995
Date: Thu, 26 Oct 95 15:27:33 PDT
From: belove@sover.net
To: talisman@indiana.edu
Subject: RE: Heroes and Heroines 

Thanks, David,  for the lovely stuff on hero. 
Thanks, Terry, for the lovely stuff on the Siya Chal.

Your work, along with Terry's has cheered me enormously

Last night I gave a fireside here in Brattleboro and we started with 
a video tape I had from Joseph Campbel, in which he describes how the 
number 432 occurs in mythology, in the cosmos and in our bodies. His 
point being that the order in the cosmos is within us and without us 
and that in our lives we are part of the order of the universe and 
contribute to it. He described how this idea evolved and how it was 
build around the number 9 -- which he said was the ancient number of 
the Goddess of All Names which appears in all cultures evolved. 

We all enjoyed Campbells talk about 9 and the Godess. 

Luanne linked this to the appearance of the many names of God and how 
this seemed (if we read Cambell correctly) to speak of a feminine 
face of the Great Unknowable.

In the fireside, we combined these ideas 
 with some stuff I had in an article by Robert Thurman and more 
writing of Joseph Campbell and talked about progressive revelation as 
understood by those two and then by Baha'ullah. 

We had a great time!

Here in Brattleboro, those open to the Faith are more among the 
neo-pagans, neo-polytheistic, neo-jungian neophytes than among the 
crusty christians. This area seems to attract those gentle souls who 
listen to the Voice Within which asks for something more beautiful 
that the pre-package faiths. 

For me, these matters resonate in my heart and in the evocation of 
these mythic stories and mythic interconnections I feel tectonic 
rumblings. 

I'm so happy that there is room for this within the Faith. 
-------------------------------------
Name: Philip Belove
E-mail: belove@sover.net
Date: 10/26/95
Time: 15:27:34

This message was sent by Chameleon 
-------------------------------------
Things should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler -- A. 
Einstein


From derekmc@ix.netcom.comFri Oct 27 00:24:42 1995
Date: Thu, 26 Oct 1995 12:48:42 -0700
From: DEREK COCKSHUT 
To: talisman@indiana.edu
Subject: Watsonville Teaching 

Yesterday there was another enrollement in Watsonville.This brings the 
total to 62 so far. The whole of Santa Cruz County seems to be waking 
up to the FAITH or rather we are waking up to the fact people want the 
Faith in spite of our dear selves . The regular Sunday Afternnon this 
week Fireside at the Bosch bookshop had 5 seekers . Four of whom came 
from the Felton teaching project which started September 5th . More 
people are expected to attend this coming Sunday fireside. The Felton 
project is on Tuesdays , in Santa Cruz City every Wednesday the Baha'is 
have a Stall at the local Farmers Market .The local,Public Access TV 
channel plays at least 5 hours of Baha'i programs and the on the local 
Talk Radio Station KCSO we have just booked  a monthly 2 hour program 
on the Faith . 
Kindest Regards 
Derek Cockshut     

From LWALBRID@cluster.ucs.indiana.eduFri Oct 27 00:26:03 1995
Date: Thu, 26 Oct 95 14:49:57 EWT
From: LWALBRID@cluster.ucs.indiana.edu
To: talisman@indiana.edu
Subject: seconding Juan

Dear Talismanians, for a variety of reasons I have been quiet lately.  Alas, I
must disturb the peace.  Remaining silent doesn't come easily to me.

Juan's posting regarding "fundamentalism" should be read very carefully. 
Perhaps those of us who have lived in the M.E. are highly sensitive to human
rights issues - especially those regarding freedom of speech.  Even
disillusioned Americans return home grateful for the opportunity to say and
write what one believes and thinks.

Cherishing as I do this particular freedom, it is striking me as odder and
odder that I am a member of a religious organization that seems hell bent on
stifling creativity of any form; that fosters rigidity; that allows no
questions to be asked of insititutional decisions and behavior, etc.  I read
Juan's list of grievances and recognized each one.  I could have added more. 
If we are not able to openly discuss ways of addressing our grievances without
being slapped down or publicly humiliated, where are we heading?  

There has to be a system of checks and balances built into the system.  The
idea of a Baha'i court is an excellent start.  For one thing, we need people
with professional training to handle difficult issues.  We need to be able to
appeal decisions to an impartial body.  The system we have now simply doesn't
work.

I am also in complete agreement with Tony (although this has not always been
the case and must come as a shock to him) that placing "cause" before
"community" leads to callousness and disregard for human beings.  Images of
Stalinism and Naxism immediately come to mind.  Anything for the cause.  On the
everyday level, I have seen parents sacrificing their children for "the cause." 
The kids take a back seat to Baha'i meetings and committee work.  The idea of
turning people into the authorities for not conforming to a Baha'i rule is
another form of this mentality.    I can't help thinking that some of the
mental anguish that has been expressed on Talisman is intensified by the sense
that the individual is not important in the Baha'i Faith - that it is this
abstract "cause" that really counts.  The individual is left to feel more alone
and alienated, especially since he or she may have been drawn initially to the
love and fellowship that are supposed to be the hallmark of a Baha'i community. 
How many Baha'is have not complained that the minute they signed "the card,"
they felt that high expectation were placed upon them and that their human
needs became unimportant or bothersome to others.

Dear Robert, thanks for posting quotes from Freud.  I forgot just how
culturally limited his views were.  I can think of all sorts of societies that
would not conform to his ideal view of family, yet do not have great numbers of
homosexuals.  

Must run.  Linda

From dhouse@cinsight.comFri Oct 27 00:28:24 1995
Date: Thu, 26 Oct 1995 13:01:25 -0700
From: "David W. House" 
To: talisman@indiana.edu
Subject: Re: fundamentalism


Juan, friends,

At 02:13 AM 10/26/95 -0400, you wrote:

>It has been proposed that both the current functioning of Baha'i 
>institutions and any particular decisions they take should be given the 
>presumption of being in the right.  If one disagrees with an 
>institutional arrangement or a decision, one should examine critically 
>the grounds on which one does so.  Failure to examine one's 
>presuppositions would be simply another form of fundamentalism.
>
>The problem with this formulation is that it is ahistorical and provides 
>no answer to the question of "what then?"

I would think this is an unecessarily formalized "formulation" of what Rick
said, which was clearly cast in personal terms, and which made no attempt to
aviod the question you then ask.

>[As a result of these experiences, I began to] value more and more the
>U.S. Bill of Rights.  And it began to occur to me that the sort of future
>that Baha'i theocrats envisaged might not be a great deal better than 
>Khomeinism, for non-Baha'is. Can [these] Baha'is even guarantee 
>non-Baha'is the protection of "one person, one vote" in their dreamed-of 
>theocracy?  No.

I'm not sure I understand. While I appreciate the need for freedom, still,
if I had no knowledge of the Administrative Order, then in my ignorance,
such words would clearly seem to imply that It was being created by the
traditional processes of debate, power, and control by various "factions". 

>How much is enough?  I've seen Baha'i institutions bowdlerize some 
>historical texts, and refuse to release others... [a long and shocking list
>follows]...

Several of these incidents are clearly unfortunate in the extreme. However,
as has been several times re-stated in the Writings and by the Guardian, we
are not the judges of these Institutions; their superior Institutions have
that responsibility, returning finally to the Marjat, the Center, the
Universal House of Justice, "Source of all good, freed from error." If we
state or imply that this Institution cannot establish justice, or does not
understand justice, then we are in very perilous condition indeed.

I would also add that I have been the direct beneficiary of some decisions
by local Institutions which were extremely painful to endure. I would refer
to some of these, but choose not to as it may appear to be criticism. My
point, however-- and I appreciate your taking me at my word-- is that I am
not speaking out of innocence or ignorance.

As well, I am somewhat troubled by the tone of anger in your post. I do not
condemn it, nor could I without hypocrasy, since I have felt it at times
too. (I'm actually very good at anger: far too much practice...) However:

    He must so cleanse his heart that no remnant
    of either love or hate may linger therein, lest that
    love blindly incline him to error, or that hate repel
   him away from the truth.

>Those who have had these experiences and yet still cling to a theory of 
>Baha'i institutional inerrancy seem to me to be closer to courting the 
>epithet "fundamentalist,"...

I'm not sure how this is a sequiter, since Rick did not speak of inerrancy,
nor have any of the posts that I have seen, except with regard to the
Universal House of Justice. No one with even a tenth of your experience
would imagine that other Institutions in the Faith are inerrant, but in any
case we do not have to imagine. The guidance is clear, regardless:

    "The Guardian believes that a great deal of the difficulties from which the
    believers . . . feel themselves to be suffering are caused by their neither
    correctly understanding or putting into practice the administration. They
    seem-- many of them-- to be prone to continually challenging and criticizing
    the decisions of their assemblies. If the Baha'is undermine the very
    leaders which are, however immaturely, seeking to coordinate Baha'i
    activities and administer Baha'i affairs, if they continually criticize
    their acts and challenge or belittle their decisions, they not only prevent
    any real rapid progress in the Faith's development from taking place, but
    they repel outsiders who quite rightly may ask how we ever expect to unite
    the whole world when we are so disunited among ourselves!

    "There is only one remedy for this: to study the administration, to obey
    the assemblies, and each believer seek to perfect his own character as a
    Baha'i. We can never exert the influence over others which we can exert
    over ourselves. If we are better, if we show love, patience, and
    understanding of the weaknesses of others, if we seek to never criticize
    but rather encourage, others will do likewise, and we can really help the
    Cause through our example and spiritual strength. The Baha'is everywhere,
    when the administration is first established, find it very difficult to
    adjust themselves. They have to learn to obey, even when the assembly may
    be wrong, for the sake of unity. They have to sacrifice their
    personalities, to a certain extent, in order that the Community life may
    grow and develop as a whole. These things are difficult, but we must
    realize that they will lead us to a very much greater, more perfect, way
    of life when the Faith is properly established according to the
    administration."

        Written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi, October 26, 1943, in The National
        Spiritual Assembly, pp. 34-35

"They have to learn to obey, even when the assembly may be wrong..." When
the Guardian talks about "immaturity, and being "wrong", then clearly
inerrancy has no place in the discussion.

We really have no choice in the matter, not if we would be faithful to our
Beloved. This is not asserting inerrancy (far from it), neither is it
jejune. It is rather a matter of the Covenant. Like a child-king, these
infant Institutions are our rulers, whether or not we would desire it to be
so, for they have been thus ordained by Baha'u'llah. He has given us a seed,
and declared it a Tree of wondrous fruits; if we do not see the fruits, then
it merely proves that we do not understand the true nature seed we have been
given.

But allow me to appear to change the subject: I believe, in pondering these
matters as they have been presented on this forum recently, in seeing and
participating in the discussions, and indeed as regards several other
threads herein, that an unstated theme is *pain*. That is, no one of us
wishes to suffer; and to suffer at the hands of others is a prime cause of
anger, if we allow the animal within its natural reaction. (At least, that's
my "natural" reaction.) 

Yet (it seems to me) when we are involved in avoiding pain, to the
*exclusion* of our other duties and responsibilities, we necessarily place
ourselves on the spectrum between pleasure and pain, in the physical or
material realm; and this takes us away from the spectrum which spreads out
between joy and grief, which is more naturally in the spiritual realm. 

We often face a choice in this regard, and it is an uncomfortable choice at
best: shall we experience the pain, and bear the grief, or shall we push
away the pain, and deny the grief in anger? 

I find this in my own life, and I am not wise enough to say that it exists
in yours, but I have become increasingly aware that my anger is often a mask
for grief, and feeling the anger (which allows me the illusion of power and
control) seems to the animal within me to make more sense than accepting the
pain, which leads to grief, and which therefore seems to the animal within
me to be a position of powerlessness and poverty. Yet unless I engage in
this transaction, I do not move forward.

The Greatest Holy Leaf is supposed to have said that we should be as
incapable of impatience as we are of rebellion. Whether or not this is an
accurate quote, it presents a facinating idea, which is that if indeed we
are loved by an All-powerful, All-knowing Creator, then in ways which we may
not be able to understand, He establishes our every circumstance, and this
means (forgive me for not being able to better explain this, and please know
that I cannot nor do I choose to defend every nuance of error in my words)
logically speaking, that justice is at the heart of, and therefore can be
found in any situation. As such, while we must certainly pay attention to
our own sense of justice, as I believe Rick was saying, and do what we can
within the limits imposed by our station, still, if that sense of justice is
finally violated, then thereafter we must accept what we cannot change as
God's gift to us.

I would not echo Pangloss (of Candide), but I feel well served in quoting my
Lord:

    "'Even or odd, thou shalt win the wager.' The friends of God
    shall win and profit under all conditions, and shall attain
    true wealth. In fire they shall remain cold, and from water
    they emerge dry. Their affairs are at variance with the affairs
    of men. Gain is their lot, whatever the deal. To this testifieth
    every wise one with a discerning eye, and every fair-minded
    one with a hearing ear."

        Baha'u'llah, CofC, v1 pg 154

    "I swear by My life! Nothing save that which profiteth them
    can befall My loved ones. To this testifieth the Pen of God,
    the Most Powerful, the All-Glorious, the Best-Beloved."

        Baha'u'llah, AofDJ pg 82

    "If, however, for a few days, in compliance with God's all-
    encompassing wisdom, outward affairs should run their
    course contrary to one's cherished desire, this is of no
    consequence and should not matter. Our intent is that
    all the friends should fix their gaze on the Supreme
    Horizon, and cling to that which hath been revealed in
    the Tablets."

        Baha'u'llah, CofC, v1 pg 171

   Whatever reacheth Me is ordained to reach Me; and that
   which hath come unto Me, to him who giveth will it revert. By the
   One in Whose hand is My soul, he hath cast no one but himself
   into prison. For assuredly whatsoever God hath decreed for Me
   shall come to pass and naught else save that which God hath
   ordained for us shall ever touch us. Woe betide him from whose
   hands floweth evil, and blessed the man from whose hands floweth
   good. Unto no one do I take My plaint save to God; for He is the
   best of judges. Every state of adversity or bliss is from Him
   alone, and He is the All-Powerful, the Almighty.

      The Bab, SfWoB, pg 15

In sum, our job is to love one another: and this only. Establishing justice
is the exclusive perview of the Institutions, and whether their sense of
what is right and proper corresponds closely with our own, or is totally at
variance therewith, we must bow down and obey. That's the guidance, and if
we choose to ignore it, then we are in peril, and will experience yet more
pain. No one promised it would be easy; this is rather the path of martyrdom.

d.
David William House (dhouse@cinsight.com)
Computer Insight

"Well is it with the doers of great deeds." Abdu'l-Baha



From rabbana@a1.bmoa.umc.dupont.comFri Oct 27 00:28:58 1995
Date: Thu, 26 Oct 95 14:31:01 -0400
From: Ahang Rabbani 
To: talisman@indiana.edu
Subject: The Case of Missing Tablets

[This message is converted from WPS-PLUS to ASCII]


Beloved Juan,

I'm a bit confused over the number of Works by Baha'u'llah (and 
other Luminary Figures of our Faith).

For a long time, we were using the figure of 15,600 for the 
number of extant Works by Baha'u'llah.  When I asked the Research 
Dept where they got this figure (we always had a section on the 
Research Dept activities in our Statistical publications where we 
talked about compilations, status of Tablets, etc.), I was told 
its based on the number of Tablets microfilmed.  That made sense.
  
But now there seems to be two sets of figures used:  the number 
revealed by Him and the number of extant Works.

So, my two questions:

1.  What happened that we are downgrading our number of extant 
Works by 8,600 Tablets?  (Did somebody lose a box?  Its one thing 
to lose, say, your keys, but, hey, misplacing over half of our 
Revelation?!!)

2.  How do we know how many Tablets Baha'u'llah wrote in total 
(whether or not extant)?  If the figure 15,600 is now being used 
as an estimate of this, how is that arrived at?


If David Piff is still on line (or someone else from the World 
Centre in know), sure would appreciate some light on this issue.

Its one thing to keep changing our mind over the Daniel's 
prophecy, but its a whole different thing to change the number of 
Baha'u'llah's Tablets by a order of magnitude.

Confused.  ahang.

From rabbana@a1.bmoa.umc.dupont.comFri Oct 27 00:30:34 1995
Date: Thu, 26 Oct 95 15:34:01 -0400
From: Ahang Rabbani 
To: talisman@indiana.edu
Subject: the Next Manifestation?

[This message is converted from WPS-PLUS to ASCII]


Dear Chris,

You wrote:

> Speaking of the future, might [someone] tell us why the Persian 
> section of the *Tablet of the Holy Mariner* is a prophecy about 
> the next Manifestation? (Wasn't this one reason the Guardian 
> chose not to translate the last half of the Tablet?)


I'm not quite sure that the future prophecies in this Tablet have 
to do *only* with the appearance of the next Manifestation.  It 
might be so, but I think until they come to pass, we'll never 
know.  The peculiar thing in this Tablet, and you referred to it, 
is that Baha'u'llah says "centuries" and "Ages" must pass.  This 
could certainly be a reference to His own Dispensation which has 
3 Ages -- or to some other even more distant future.  We just 
don't know.

(A simple question that I should know the answer, but I don't:  
Have either Baha'u'llah or Abdu'l-Baha explicitly referred to 
this Dispensation being divided into 3 Ages, or do we have these 
formulation through the genius of Shoghi Effendi?)


I think the second part of your query is explained by the beloved 
Guardian in Isobel Sabri's pilgrim notes.  (By the way, these and 
Florence Mayberry's are among the best notes of the beloved 
Guardian's oral instructions during his last year.)  Shoghi 
Effendi explained that his job as the Guardian of the Cause is to 
develop the Administrative Order in anticipation of the coming 
World Order of Baha'u'llah.  As such, he further explained, he 
translated those items that bear directly on this work and 
refused others.  He goes on to say, that he, never translated any 
of the mystical Writings of the Faith or commented on them, 
because this was the job of the future Manifestations.  He says, 
that the Revelation for this Cycle has been revealed by 
Baha'u'llah, but that in the course of future Dispensations, the 
Prophets of God, much like Abdu'l-Baha, will unravel mysteries 
enshrined in Baha'u'llah's Writings.  This job, he says, will 
take 500,000 years!

Now, I know that a lot of Baha'is have little use for pilgrim 
notes, but to me, (especially since I knew Isobel Sabri and for 
several years worked with her), these notes are like text.  There 
is no question in my mind that they reflect the exact utterances 
of Shoghi Effendi.

In that light, we can see why despite of repeated requests, he 
refused to translate certain things (the Seven Valley being a 
prime example), since he thought the time for these had not come.  

I think, against this backdrop, it makes sense for him not to 
translate the Persian second-half of this Tablet as it has to do 
with things well outside of the Formative Age -- which was the 
Guardian's main focus.  In think a review of God Passes By 
reveals that he simply does not comment on any of the mystical 
Works.

Another example in this line, is Abdu'l-Baha's refusal to provide 
commentary on His own Lawh-i Khurasan (undoubtedly, this Faith's 
Arabic masterpiece!), because I suspect that again it has to do 
with events of much distant future (end of this Dispensation?).  

Or the Master's refusal to comment on Baha'u'llah's Mathnavi and 
only interpret two lines of it for Haj Mirza Haydar Ali which 
have to do with establishment of Baha'u'llah's Covenant.

In fact, I for one know of no work by the Master during His 
Ministry that has mystical inclination.  And there are none from 
Shoghi Effendi.  I have always thought this to be very 
instructive.

I want to be careful to comment that I happen to think reading, 
translating or commenting on the mystical/futuristic Writings of 
our Faith is very worthwhile (afterall, I spend all of my time 
working on Quddus' writings which are the pinnacle of mysticism 
in this Revelation), but that we should have very limited 
expectation for our discoveries in them.  They are the sealed 
choice wine of our Dispensation.


much love, ahang. 

From robert.johnston@stonebow.otago.ac.nzFri Oct 27 00:32:11 1995
Date: Fri, 27 Oct 1995 11:57:14 +1300 (NZDT)
From: Robert Johnston 
To: LWALBRID@cluster.ucs.indiana.edu, talisman@indiana.edu
Subject: Re: seconding =?iso-8859-1?Q?=C5non?=

Dear Linda,
           Re:

>I am also in complete agreement with Tony (although this has not always been
>the case and must come as a shock to him) that placing "cause" before
>"community" leads to callousness and disregard for human beings.


Ontologically Cause precedes Community, but Cause is the [disasterous]
superstition of community if not examined [& etc {where etc means heaps}]
:-}



>Dear Robert, thanks for posting quotes from Freud.  I forgot just how
>culturally limited his views were.  I can think of all sorts of societies that
>would not conform to his ideal view of family, yet do not have great numbers of
>homosexuals.

Susan ["Juan's friend and mine"] Brill insightfully said "Freud was both
right and wrong", and, yes, his cultural contextuality -- including
paternalism -- has been observed often.  My study of Freud's views on
homosexuality began when I read that the American poet Hart Crane displayed
classic Oedipal characteristics.  This took me to Freud, and there I found
[esp. in his Leonardo essay {supposedly the first psychobiography, and with
noted outstanding factual flaws}] the dimensions of Crane's homosexuality
described exactly.  The account I gave in my earlier letter is derived
primarily from the Leonardo essay.

Are you -- or anyone else -- able to provide a more convincing explantion
of the aetiology of homosexuality [esp. re. men; & as found most commonly]
than that given by Freud?

;-}
Robert.




From seena@castle.ed.ac.ukFri Oct 27 00:33:11 1995
Date: 26 Oct 95 23:15:29 GMT
From: S B Fazel 
To: talisman@indiana.edu
Subject: Mental Illness and polarities

Dear all,
Some thoughts on mental illness. 

I was amused that the reviewer of Danesh's book from the newsletter *One
Country* thought it was a groundbreaking work because it linked psychology
and spirituality. This is what many psychologists have done over the ages. Is
this not what Jung did? Or Maslow, Rogers, Fromm, Frankl, Assagioli, Hillman,
Allport? And in a more modern and popular form, this arguable is the
attraction of Scott Peck's books. 

As for our conceptualisations of mental illness, there has been much
discussion by psychiatrists that mental illness is a form of *inappropriate
behaviour* (as Burl put it) or a conspiracy (*I feel certain that psychiatric
professionals help to generate the pathologies they purport to be healing* as
one Talismanian put it). The consensus seems to be that such illnesses are
more subtle and complex than that and cannot be purely explained by these or
by social value judgements, a consequence of the need to label the normal
extremes, a means to control deviants in our society, the sane human reaction
to a diseased society. The majority tend to view mental illness as a form of
physical illness - why should the brain be immune from biochemical
imbalances, genetic abnormalities that may manifest themselves in adult life,
damage from the environment (drugs and alcohol) like other organs in our
bodies. What makes mental illness more interesting is the values that are
placed on them compared to other physical illnesses. 
It always strikes me as incongruous how patients are willing to take tablets
for their hearts for years and be reluctant to take
antidepressant/lithium/antipsychotic medication at all. 

As for bipolar disorders (manic-depression), there is overwhelming evidence
that there a genetic predisposition. Concordance rates for monozygotic twins
reared together are 68%, 67% for monozygotic twins reared apart, and 23% for
dizygotic twins. Biochemical studies come from measuring monoamine
transmitter levels that are signifiantly reduced in cerebrospinal fluid from
people with bipolar illness and in post mortem brains of individuals who have
committed suicide. And the clinical response to antidepressant medication is
addittional evidence for the biologists out there that we are dealing with
primarily a physical illness. 

Seena Fazel


From rabbana@a1.bmoa.umc.dupont.comFri Oct 27 00:35:37 1995
Date: Thu, 26 Oct 95 18:33:01 -0400
From: Ahang Rabbani 
To: talisman@indiana.edu
Subject: Americans as refugees

[This message is converted from WPS-PLUS to ASCII]

Dear Eric,

You wrote:

> another alleged pilgrim's note, second hand from Peter Smith's
> (of Thailand) wife: America would be destroyed, and Americans > 
would only be known as a scattered people surviving as refugees > 
in various other countries.

> Ever heard that one?


I think we'll get into deep trouble discussing pilgrim notes on 
this scholarly forum :-}  but perhaps we'll be tolerated a bit 
longer.

As a general rule, one should note that during the last year of 
his life, the beloved Guardian became very specific about many of 
the troubles that lay ahead for humanity -- I suppose that after 
113 years of uninterrupted Divine guidance, and knowing that his 
passing was at hand, he wished to warn mankind even more specific 
than anything that Baha'u'llah and Abdu'l-Baha or himself had 
said previously.

At the same time, it should be mentioned that by later part of 
1956 and into 1957, the progress on the Ten Year Crusade was not 
going to his satisfaction.

As such, what he said during this period though in some ways 
echoes certain oral statements of the beloved Master and himself, 
are markedly different in terms of details -- and these details 
is where things get very interesting.

As I mentioned earlier, when Isobel Sabri and Florence Mayberry 
were on pilgrimage (overlapping I think by 4 days), the Guardian 
somehow felt that he could tell things to these pilgrims that he 
had not previously said.  One such area was the great "calamity" 
that he had discussed in a number of places, but previously 
limiting himself to quoting Baha'u'llah and Abdu'l-Baha.  Now he 
was specific.  

He said many things about America and American Baha'i community.  
One of things that he said about the American Baha'is was:

   "Today they do not go to Africa as pioneers, but later will go 
as refugees.  They will not be allowed to take anything with 
them.  Will go with only the cloth on their back and be thankful 
for it."

Anyway, as I said Isobel Sabri's notes are very sobering -- if 
one actually believes that Shoghi Effendi could "see" into the 
future, as I do, and that she is a reliable reporter.

Now, before folks begin to bury me in quotes about lack of 
authority of the pilgrim notes, allow me to draw your attention 
to Shoghi Effendi's last letter to the Persian community, dated 
Naw-Ruz 113 where with tremendous force and incredible detail he 
outlines not only many aspects of the world-encircling 
persecution of our community, but the profound hardship and 
suffering which lays ahead for humanity.  This letter is 
extremely unusual in clarity of its language as far as this topic 
is concern, the deep pain that he must have suffered as result of 
sharing these truth with the community and above all the force of 
his curse and condemnations upon the bloodthirsty enemies of the 
Faith in Iran.  He repeatedly states that Jews suffered for 2000 
years for murdering Christ, how incredibly umimaginative will be 
the sufferings of Muslims for murdering the Bab, heaping exiles 
and hardship upon Baha'u'llah and Abdu'l-Baha and murdering 
20,000 believers and persecuting unnumbered other believers.

Incidentally, if you think this is harsh, you ought to look at 
Abdu'l-Baha's Lawh-i Khurasan and see the incredible indignation 
and curse that he heaps upon the Muslims for persecuting the 
Baha'is in Persia.  Its a real eye opener.

Sorry, Eric, you asked a simple question, I don't know how I 
ended up discussing future sufferings of Muslims.  Anyway, there 
are many on Talisman that know this sorts of things much better 
than I do and can comment more wisely on them.

take care, ahang.

From robert.johnston@stonebow.otago.ac.nzFri Oct 27 00:36:05 1995
Date: Fri, 27 Oct 1995 13:41:09 +1000
From: Robert Johnston 
To: S B Fazel , talisman@indiana.edu
Subject: Mental Illness and polarities: HA!

Seena wrote:

The majority tend to view mental illness as a form of
>physical illness - why should the brain be immune from biochemical
>imbalances, genetic abnormalities that may manifest themselves in adult life,
>damage from the environment (drugs and alcohol) like other organs in our
>bodies. What makes mental illness more interesting is the values that are
>placed on them compared to other physical illnesses.
>It always strikes me as incongruous how patients are willing to take tablets
>for their hearts for years and be reluctant to take
>antidepressant/lithium/antipsychotic medication at all.

It seems to me that Seena's position is rather too caught up in the
illusion of psychiatric superiority, which fundamentally stems from the
positivistic exaltation of the biologistic technologist -- the medical
doctor -- to fill the void left after the ousting of the shaman, priest or
whoever.  While I am not going to dispute that there is a place for
chemical intervention in mental illness, at present this form of
intervention of completely out of hand, obviously reflecting  the failure
to really understand and promote the healing  of the human psyche both
within the relevant "helping professions" and, beyond, in society
generally.  But why should psychiatrists really care?  Afterall, their big
cars and houses and overseas holidays are financed by the wealthy slaves to
the drugs (etc) that they prescribe by the barrel.  Ha!

Robert.



From JWALBRID@cluster.ucs.indiana.eduFri Oct 27 00:36:17 1995
Date: Thu, 26 Oct 95 19:42:31 EWT
From: JWALBRID@cluster.ucs.indiana.edu
To: talisman@indiana.edu
Subject: Marja`

For those who may not recognize the term, "marja`" the word that David
House used to refer to the House of Justice, is the Shiite term for a
grand Ayatollah.  It is the converse of "taqlid," the term normally translated in Baha'i literature as "blind obedience."  
 
John Walbridge

From PayamA@aol.comFri Oct 27 00:36:28 1995
Date: Thu, 26 Oct 1995 20:46:26 -0400
From: PayamA@aol.com
To: talisman@indiana.edu
Subject: Re: Stockman article

Speaking of the Encyclopedia,
 I understand that the Universal House of Justice has sent a reply to the
editors, in response to their request for clarification.  Does anyone know
what was in this letter?  Is there hope once again?

Payam

From PayamA@aol.comFri Oct 27 00:38:54 1995
Date: Thu, 26 Oct 1995 20:46:26 -0400
From: PayamA@aol.com
To: talisman@indiana.edu
Subject: Re: Stockman article

Speaking of the Encyclopedia,
 I understand that the Universal House of Justice has sent a reply to the
editors, in response to their request for clarification.  Does anyone know
what was in this letter?  Is there hope once again?

Payam

From PIERCEED@sswdserver.sswd.csus.eduFri Oct 27 00:40:13 1995
Date: Thu, 26 Oct 1995 17:36:00 PST8PDT
From: "Eric D. Pierce" 
To: talisman@indiana.edu
Subject: Re: fundamentalism (coolness/alienation/Evil One) repost

Repost:

From: "Eric D. Pierce" 
To: Rick Schaut 
Date:          Tue, 1 Aug 1995 13:23:45 PST8PDT
Subject:       Re: Robots, Censorship and Mature Institutions (LONG), Long
Cc: talisman@indiana.edu

...snipped (long rant about spin doctoring)

My interpretation of the following quotation is that Baha'i 
Administration ~done wrong~ results in:

   "coolness and alienation that proceed from the Evil One".

If find that rather sobering considering the cavalier attitude we
seem to have about dysfunctional consultation.

EP

----- attachment -----

: 
: Bahai Administration
: PART TWO: LETTERS FROM SHOGHI EFFENDI

...

: Local and National Spiritual Assemblies
: 
: A perusal of some of the words of &Baha'u'llah and &Abdu'l-Baha 
: on the duties and functions of the Spiritual Assemblies in every land 
: (later to be designated as the local Houses of Justice), emphatically 
: reveals the sacredness of their nature, the wide scope of their activity, 
: and the grave responsibility which rests upon them.  

...

: "The prime requisites for them that take counsel together are 
: purity of motive, radiance of spirit, detachment from all else save 
: God, attraction to His Divine Fragrances, humility and lowliness 
: amongst His loved ones, patience and long-suffering in difficulties 
: and servitude to His exalted Threshold.  Should they be graciously 
: aided to acquire these attributes, victory from the unseen Kingdom 
: of &Baha shall be vouchsafed to them.  In this day, assemblies of 
: consultation are of the greatest importance and a vital necessity.  
: Obedience unto them is essential and obligatory.  The members 
: thereof must take counsel together in such wise that no occasion for 
: ill-feeling or discord may arise.  This can be attained when every 
: member expresseth with absolute freedom his own opinion and 
: setteth forth his argument.  Should any one oppose, he must on no 
: account feel hurt for not until matters are fully discussed can the 
: right way be revealed.  The shining spark of truth cometh forth 
: only after the clash of differing opinions.  If after discussion, a 
: decision be carried unanimously, well and good; but if, the Lord 
: forbid, differences of opinion should arise, a majority of voices must 
: prevail."  
: 
: Enumerating the obligations incumbent upon the members of 
: consulting councils, the Beloved reveals the following:--"The first 
: condition is absolute love and harmony amongst the members of 
: the assembly.  They must be wholly free from estrangement and 
: must manifest in themselves the Unity of God, for they are the 
: waves of one sea, the drops of one river, the stars of one heaven, 
: the rays of one sun, the trees of one orchard, the flowers of one garden.  
 
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

: Should harmony of thought and absolute unity be non-existent, 
: that gathering shall be dispersed and that assembly be brought to 
: naught.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

: ........ The second condition:--They must when coming together 
: turn their faces to the Kingdom on High and ask aid from the 
: Realm of Glory.  They must then proceed with the utmost devotion, 
: courtesy, dignity, care and moderation to express their views.  They 
: must in every matter search out the truth and not insist upon their 
: own opinion, for stubbornness and persistence in one's views will 
: lead ultimately to discord and wrangling and the truth will remain 
: hidden.  The honored members must with all freedom express their 
: own thoughts, and it is in no wise permissible for one to belittle 
: the thought of another, nay, he must with moderation set forth the 
: truth, and should differences of opinion arise a majority of voices 
: must prevail, and all must obey and submit to the majority.  It is 
: again not permitted that any one of the honored members object to 
: or censure, whether in or out of the meeting, any decision arrived at 
: previously, though that decision be not right, for such criticism 
: would prevent any decision from being enforced.  

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

: ...............................................  In short, whatsoever 
: thing is arranged in harmony and with love and purity of 
: motive, its result is light, and should the least trace of estrangement 
: prevail the result shall be darkness upon darkness....  If this be 
          ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
: so regarded, that assembly shall be of God, but otherwise it shall lead 
: to coolness and alienation that proceed from the Evil One.  Discussions 
     ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
: must all be confined to spiritual matters that pertain to the 
: training of souls, the instruction of children, the relief of the poor, 
                                                  ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
: the help of the feeble throughout all classes in the world, kindness 
      ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
: to all peoples, the diffusion of the fragrances of God and the exaltation 
: of His Holy Word.  Should they endeavor to fulfill these conditions 
: the Grace of the Holy Spirit shall be vouchsafed unto them, 
: and that assembly shall become the center of the Divine blessings, 
: the hosts of Divine confirmation shall come to their aid, and they 
: shall day by day receive a new effusion of Spirit."  

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

...

: Haifa, Palestine.
: 
: March 5, 1922.
: 
: PART TWO: LETTERS FROM SHOGHI EFFENDI pages 17-25

http://www.cs.cornell.edu/Info/People/kalantar/Writings/Bahai_INDEX.html

From 0004705541@mcimail.comFri Oct 27 00:42:59 1995
Date: Thu, 26 Oct 95 19:20 EST
From: "William P. Collins" <0004705541@mcimail.com>
To: "Cole, Juan Ricardo" 
Subject: Tony Lee's email

Juan,

I seem to have misplaced the correct email address for Tony Lee.  Can
you send it to me?  Thanks.

Bill Collins
4705541@mcimail.com




From robert.johnston@stonebow.otago.ac.nzFri Oct 27 00:44:13 1995
Date: Fri, 27 Oct 1995 14:42:31 +1000
From: Robert Johnston 
To: Juan R Cole , talisman@indiana.edu
Subject: Re: creation

Juan prefaced his letter, "Creation" with the following:

>With regard to the passage in the Tablet of Wisdom, this is discussed
>briefly in the following Encyclopaedia article which I am posting because
>it will never otherwise see the light of day:
>

The article itself I think excellent, and a fine example of scholarship --
which is a kind of amazing statement when one understands that Juan and I
have quite different views of lots of things, and especially on things
covered by the article.

There's not much of the Talisman material that I think of using in the
context of my own studies, but in discussing Lacan's "chain of signifiers"
-- the web of words that constitutes our subjectivity  -- I thought the
following provided material useful for pointing to the-- for instance --
fundamentally discursive nature of reality as seen from a theological point
of view.  [Thus Lacan's phallocentric and alienating Word, is the Logos
gone haywire.  From a Baha'i perspective, the Logos doesn't go haywire,the
Old World does.  The people are right to reject religious institutions
whose life-force has expired, but wrong to assume that God died..].  Cole:

>Logos theology... holds that the origins and development of the universe
>ultimately depend not merely on natural forces, but upon the active Word
>of God (Cole, "Concept of Manifestation," pp. 8-9).  Nature itself is a
>reflection of the will of God...


Are you able to provide more bibliographic details for "Concept of
Manifestation", Juan?

Thank you,

Robert.




From banani@ucla.eduFri Oct 27 00:44:57 1995
Date: Thu, 26 Oct 1995 18:43:01 -0700
From: Amin Banani 
To: Ahang Rabbani , talisman@indiana.edu
Subject: copyright protocols, etc.

Dear Talismanians,

I don't know about copyright "protocols" on the internet.  It seems to me
that what IS required is that accurate attribution should be made when
something on the net is "passed on," inotherwords, the person who authored
the original post should be "credited" with it.  I would think that is
sufficient.  If anyone here thinks that posting on Talisman is equal to a
private conversation between TWO PEOPLE, rather than the author "speaking"
to the "world" (known and unknown "others"), then perhaps we should publish
periodically a caveat stating "post at your own risk."  If you don't want
to be quoted, don't post.  Again, I think attribution should/must be given
with the quoted material as a common courtesy--otherwise it might be taken
as plagerism!
Love,
Sheila


[This message is converted from WPS-PLUS to ASCII]
>
>
>Dear Eric,
>
>Just a quick note stating that earlier I wrote Kamran Hakim about
>his posting (on "rijal") and shared a bit of background so that
>he could expand his arguments accordingly.  His main line of
>reasoning is very important, particularly pointing out that only
>the men of the Universal House of Justice are addressed in the
>Aqdas and not the Local ones.  But also he has certain factual
>errors in his posting -- such as history of election of women on
>Baha'i institutions in Iran.
>
>But the point that I wanted to make (and is one that has been
>made previously) is that postings on Talisman are intellectual
>properties of the posters and copyright protocols must be
>observed.
>
>We already have seen examples where a number of postings were
>gathered by someone and written up in form of paper with
>inadequate reference to original contributors.  (This may partly
>be the reason why increasingly some of us are reluctant to share
>with Talisman.)
>
>On occasions where one wants to share content of a posting with
>others outside of Talisman, I strongly feel, approval must be
>secured first from the contributor.  (As an example, yesterday, I
>wanted to share Juan Cole's excellent article on the Tablet of
>Wisdom with our Texas list and got his OK before doing so.  I
>think that's the way to do things.)
>
>This comment is really aimed at lurkers who on numerous
>occasions have shared postings or part of postings with others,
>often quoting out of context and at times with malicious intend.
>We must observe people's right to speak openly in the privacy of
>this forum and recognize that copyright protocols cannot be
>ignored.
>
>regards, ahang.

Sheila Banani



From cybrmage@niia.netFri Oct 27 00:45:30 1995
Date: Thu, 26 Oct 1995 09:08:50 +0000
From: Bud Polk 
To: Robert Johnston 
Cc: talisman@indiana.edu
Subject: Re: Mental Illness and polarities: HA!

On 27 Oct 95 at 13:41, Robert Johnston wrote:

> Date:          Fri, 27 Oct 1995 13:41:09 +1000
> To:            S B Fazel , talisman@indiana.edu
> From:          robert.johnston@stonebow.otago.ac.nz (Robert Johnston)
> Subject:       Mental Illness and polarities: HA!

> Seena wrote:
> 
> The majority tend to view mental illness as a form of
> >physical illness - why should the brain be immune from biochemical
> >imbalances, genetic abnormalities that may manifest themselves in
> >adult life, damage from the environment (drugs and alcohol) like
> >other organs in our bodies. What makes mental illness more
> >interesting is the values that are placed on them compared to other
> >physical illnesses. It always strikes me as incongruous how
> >patients are willing to take tablets for their hearts for years and
> >be reluctant to take antidepressant/lithium/antipsychotic
> >medication at all.
> 
> It seems to me that Seena's position is rather too caught up in the
> illusion of psychiatric superiority, which fundamentally stems from
> the positivistic exaltation of the biologistic technologist -- the
> medical doctor -- to fill the void left after the ousting of the
> shaman, priest or whoever.

Robert, I tried consulting a shaman about my 27 year history of
bipolar disorder. He drummed, chanted and painted my body blue --
then sent me on a vision quest.  But I have had a little more
success with the "positivistic exaltation of the biologistic
technician," im my case a psychopharmacologist.  I'll take lithium
and wellbutrin over drumming and chanting any day.

> While I am not going to dispute that there is a place for chemical
> intervention in mental illness, at present this form of
> intervention of completely out of hand, obviously reflecting  the
> failure to really understand and promote the healing  of the human
> psyche both within the relevant "helping professions" and, beyond,
> in society generally.

Perhaps a little closer reading of Seena's thoughts on genetic
triggers, twins, and biochemistry?  The evidence is farily
substantial. 

>But why should psychiatrists really care? After all, their big cars
>and houses and overseas holidays are financed by the wealthy slaves
>to the drugs (etc) that they prescribe by the barrel. Ha!

I prefer a world with psychiatry to one without. Thirty or forty 
years ago, I would have spent my life in an institution.

And a hearty ha! to you, my friend
Bud Polk
 

From TLCULHANE@aol.comFri Oct 27 00:47:01 1995
Date: Thu, 26 Oct 1995 22:21:24 -0400
From: TLCULHANE@aol.com
To: talisman@indiana.edu
Subject: Jesus saves /next Manifestation

      Dear Friends ,

       I must be one of those souls who is not a fan of pilgrims notes , no
reflection on Isabel Sabri . I have heard them used for some pretty bizarre
conclusions by Baha i's . My other difficulty is a human communication one .
Our recollections of what others have said orally are notoriously unreliable.
We can be relatively certain what we heard is in fact what we heard only to
find out when compared to a written text that we missed a few things . What
we missed is often colored by what we wanted to hear .

     As for mystical texts . I know nothing of Quddus and can not begin to
compare my thoughts to Ahangs scholarship in this regard  but golly I find
some profound mystical texts in the Writings of Baha ullah . Why just
yesterday I was perusing a short gem of a Book called the Kitab i  Aqdas . I
find in it some of the most profound mystical passages imaginable . I am just
disappointed i do not know Arabic and was unable to refect upon this Book
until two and a half years ago .  

     Stephens translation of the Halih ,Halih, Halih is another; likewise
Juans  translation of the Ode of the Dove . What are these texts if not
awesome mystical poetics ?   I have to say in a Western world which is
startiong to get turned on to Rumi  I find it a shame that we do not promote
more of Baha u llahs mystical poetics . These works get to the heart of our
relationship with God - the Dhikr thing again .  I really believe  if we
expect to grow as a community both quantitatively and qualitatively we will
need to offer the world the profound spirituality which grows out of such
works as SV, the AQDAS, that is as the land of the "Most Holy", the fathers
mansion in which there are many rooms ; the Ode of the Dove , Tablet of
Vision , Gems of Mysteries .  The world does not lack for an abundance of
practical and well designed technical proposals for solving humanities
problems . What it lacks , in my view , is the profound spirituality that
grows out of and is grounded in Baha  u llahs visionary encounter in the
Siyah Chal with YOU KNOW WHO ! !  :) .   It is time it seems to me to become
"Lovers " of the "Best Beloved" first and then perhaps administration .  

     The Guradians ministry came to an end 38 years ago . Is it not time that
we got on with getting on? With exploring and developing further the Cause of
God within ourselves and the community?  Instead it seems at times we want to
freeze the world and the state of the Bahai community to 1957  as though
Shoghi Effendi would not have continued to develope our understanding beyond
where he left us if he were alive in 1995 .  You know the ever advancing
civilization thing .    

     Chris asked a question in his Jesus saves souls post which I would like
to pursue . What is the pluralism of religions? How is it that we are going
to engage in inter faith dialogue . Our record to date seems to leave
something to be desired.  What is the difference between pluralism and the
evolution of one revelation / religion ? if any ? 

      And please no compilations -  they are not possessed of one self
evident meaning as much as we sometimes think, especially when the motivation
seems to be to  "erase " the voice and concerns of another human being. 
  
       One final thought . I do not find the royal metaphor , King , child or
otherwise as descriptive of my relationship to the administrative
institutions . I much prefer Gods Federal Republic as a metaphor for the form
in which the governing bodies of the Bahai Commonwealth will manifest their
relationship towards those whom it is their responsibility to insure the
presence of justice . What elsewhere I have remarked as an  *Irfan Republic *
. 

 warm regards,
   Terry

From jwinters@epas.utoronto.caFri Oct 27 00:50:56 1995
Date: Thu, 26 Oct 1995 23:37:20 -0400 (EDT)
From: Jonah Winters 
To: Ahang Rabbani 
Cc: talisman@indiana.edu
Subject: Mysticism / Hidden Words

Dear Ahang et al.;

    Could you please comment briefly on a couple of things for me. I am 
preparing to write a graduate paper on some aspect of the Hidden Words, 
and your recent post (which I quite enjoyed, thank you very much!) 
directly relates to things bubbling in my mind at the moment. My paper is 
for a class on Islamic Mysticism, so my one requirement is that I somehow 
tie it in with, or look at it from the angle of, Islamic mystical 
thought. 

    My first question:  You write in your post that "He [Shoghi Effendi] 
goes on to say, that he never translated any of the mystical Writings of 
the Faith or commented on them."  I assume that you are excepting the 
Hidden Words, or do you not consider them mystical?

    Two: You write that, regarding Baha'u'llah's mystical writings, "we 
should have very limited expectation for our discoveries in them.  They 
are the sealed choice wine of our Dispensation." What do you mean? That 
scholastic examination of these writings is nearly fruitless? Or just 
that we can not "interpret" them?

    Three: Do you, or does anyone, know of any significant discussion of 
the Hidden Words besides those of Taherzadeh in _The Revelation of 
Baha'u'llah_ or Diana Malouf's dissertation? 

    Thanks, -Jonah

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-          
Jonah and Kari Winters 













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