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Bahaullah / essence of God

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by AT-AT, Sep 17, 2019.

  1. AT-AT

    AT-AT Well-Known Member

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    I finally figured out what direction I should go, when I studied the revelations of the Baha'i faith
    I think some people mischaracterize Bahaullah as claiming to be God. The confusion comes in in not understanding that Bahaullah states that the essence of God never truly descended into the human world.

    "To every discerning and illuminated heart it is evident that God, the unknowable Essence, the Divine Being, is immensely exalted beyond every human attribute, such as corporeal existence, ascent and descent, egress and regress. Far be it from His glory that human tongue should adequately recount. His praise, or that human heart comprehend His fathomless mystery. He is, and hath ever been, veiled in the ancient eternity of His Essence, and will remain in His Reality everlastingly hidden from the sight of men. “No vision taketh in Him, but He taketh in all vision; He is the Subtile, the All-Perceiving.”…"

    Gleanings from the Writings of Bahaullah, XIX

    Bahaullah said some things that did sound like he was claiming to be God, but it was a form of stating where he basically tapped into the divine himself as a manifestation and carried out a message, having limited right to do so as a manifestation. That's the way I understand it.

    I have my doubts all Christians will quite understand this concept, a pyramid with God at the top and manifestations and prophets at the bottom, with Christ and Bahaullah being seen as a manifestation, it kind of tosses aside the idea of the Trinity and might be more easily understood by panentheists, etc. overall.

    Thoughts?

    If you don't agree with the Baha'i faith, it's cool. I just want to make sure that if people are going to criticize Baha'i and Bahaullah, that they aren't creating straw men.

    This is more a post meant as an exchange of information with the possibility of debating.
     
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  2. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist Veteran Member

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    I honestly don't see a difference between christian belief that god is christ and bahai believe that Bahaullah (and Moses and Krishna and.. ) are also god. Every other christian has told me that christ is god and human at the same time. A Catholic told me that the Eucharist is the "Essene" of christ not his physical bones, hairs, and eyes. I'm not sure how Muslims see Muhammad but I know they say he is not beside god (no one is). Krishna is god not a manifestation of him. The Buddha isn't a manifestation but a human who awakened in mind to the laws of karma that has no spiritual/godly component to it.

    Maybe panentheism is close in the Bahai point of view. I'm not sure about Hindu.

    Outside of the religion to religion disconnect, which is the only thing I disagree with actually, it's a fine faith. The language is quite more poetic than the bible; so, that's kind of a nice read. I like the Quran read if I compared the three-it's distinct and to the point. Bahai (from their site) reminds me a lot of some of the former religious organizations I'd practiced in. I never liked the syncretic modern nature of them. The spirituality of all of them both in practice and/or in observation here and information, isn't bad in itself. They all have some things in common: prophets, incarnations of buddhas, leaders, etc.

    My question is what is distinctively Bahai that is not interconnected with other progressive faiths?

    Bahai talk about other religions in relation to their own; but, if I asked what exactly is Bahai, what about the religion that is unique that can stand on its own?

    For example, christians say they are decedents of judaism. Yet, they acknowledge even though they children of judaism, they have their own religion despite their incorporation of OT beliefs. The Buddhists and Hindus recognize the connection of their religion, culture, and language; and, they both know their differences to where if we talked about one, we know it's not the other. If Bahaullah is a manifestation of all these people, what exactly is the faith that stands on its own? (bahai' writings doesn't help because it just repeats his interpretation of syncretism of other faiths.) What's unique about the progression?

    Outside of that, I really have no good things to contribute to bahai theology. I'm not around Bahai to know them as a unit; so, that's basically my thoughts there. The rest I got from other threads. Exhausting to say the least.
     
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  3. AT-AT

    AT-AT Well-Known Member

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    I finally figured out what direction I should go, when I studied the revelations of the Baha'i faith
    Eh I imagine a lot of them, like me, think of God as an unknowable essence (to an extent), that is beyond those people, and think of those people as manifestations, which I interpret as being a bit above prophets.

    Bahaullah answered some questions for me in a way I was satisfied with, on the nature of Christ, the afterlife, etc. Sometimes you just need a human with insight to say it, rather than try to stumble in the dark with Philosophy never knowing whether you've reached truth or not.

    I think the writings of/about Bahaullah and the fact it's a pretty organized form of religion.

    I just find it pretty unique this man came quite a few years ago, who seemed to fulfill some Bible prophecies, but not in the way people thought he would. And he came not that long ago when compared to Christ though, to the point where there's little question whether or not he did this or that.

    And if we do take the Bible as some form of truth, it mirrors Christ's "first" coming, how people misunderstood him, etc.
     
  4. adrian009

    adrian009 Well-Known Member
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    A common Bahá'í analogy used to explain the relationship between the Manifestation of God and God is that of a perfect mirror. In the analogy, God is likened to the sun – the source of physical life on earth. The spirit and attributes of God are likened to the rays of the Sun, and the Manifestations of God are likened to perfect mirrors reflecting the rays of the Sun.Thus, the Manifestations of God act as pure mirrors that reflect the attributes of God onto this material world.

    Manifestation of God - Wikipedia


    Its worth noting that the mirror is not the Sun, but reflects the image of the sun. In the same way the mirror (Manifestation of God) is not the Sun (God). If the Sun were to speak through the mirror and proclaim to be the Sun (God) then that would be true.

    Bahá’u’lláh is most commonly accused of claiming to be God incarnate by Islamic apologists who seek to discredit the Baha’i Faith.
     
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  5. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    What exactly is it you wish to debate?
     
  6. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist Veteran Member

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    Hm.
    Hm. It's hard for me to understand that, really. If I believed in an abrahamic god, I'd say we can get to know him directly. Why does there need to be a barrier between you and god? I mean, it's a mystery and a challenge to connect with; all life is. Having prophets etc would be a bit like gossip column justified by time period and statements of opinion and experience. If you overcome the challenge in getting to know this mystery directly, wouldn't that be more fulfilling and factual than getting information through a middle man?

    I guess. My thing is, why can't you get that same insight now?

    What about X many years ago make a prophet more profound and much listening to than someone living today?

    In other words, how does the years upgrade the divinity of a person?

    Usually more modern texts are a bit more organized. It depends on the believer whether organization (pattern in life, etc) equal to divinity and truth or not.

    How did you come to that conclusion on an inner level?

    Shrug. I never put too much if any effort in understanding the bible spiritually. Speaking about him as if he were here in real life is weird for me enough.

    How does one know the bible (Quran, Babaullah's writings) are a form of truth?

    How does prophecy fulfillment make something truth?
     
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  7. Saint Frankenstein

    Saint Frankenstein ᛘᛁᛏᚾᛁᚴᚼᛏ᛫ᛋᚢᚾ
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    No, he's viewed as a sort of demigod by Baha'is, an intermediate state between human and God since the Baha'i god doesn't contact us regular lowly humans. :rolleyes:
     
  8. adrian009

    adrian009 Well-Known Member
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    It is for Baha'is to say how we view the Prophet of our faith, Baha'u'llah.
     
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  9. firedragon

    firedragon Well-Known Member

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    Is there a possibility of giving specific quotes of his writings?
     
  10. AT-AT

    AT-AT Well-Known Member

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  11. AT-AT

    AT-AT Well-Known Member

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    I finally figured out what direction I should go, when I studied the revelations of the Baha'i faith
    I'd rather discuss if anyone wishes, the OP or the comments people make in this thread. I put it in Debates because I want people to have a chance to say "I disagree..." to each other and such if they wish, and talk about it.

    I mean it's kind of hard to be like "Let's talk a deep subject, but it won't have any debating."
     
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  12. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    I don't view it as a deep topic at all. The Baha'is have their view, which they have every right to, and others differ, which they have every right to. In my experience of many 'debates' on this forum, that's just the way it is. Nobody has ever changed their POV.

    But what I have seen a lot of is proselytising religions hiding their proselytising, consciously or subconsciously, under the 'debates' thread. So in reality it is just another method of spreading the word, and not actually a real debate. A real debate generally has one specific question that can be answered yes or no, with supporting evidence. In religion there is no such thing as real evidence, as it's all just belief.
     
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  13. AT-AT

    AT-AT Well-Known Member

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    I finally figured out what direction I should go, when I studied the revelations of the Baha'i faith
    I see. I am sorry if it did come off as proselytizing, I did see it as a debate in the following way:

    I presented a side. That Bahaullah never claimed to be God. We can even see in this thread that there is some confusion, where people think Bahaullah is seen as God.

    The proper response is to refute that, to show me without a doubt that Bahaullah thought he was God. Or at least that the majority of Baha'is think he is God.

    I do agree that some proselytizing or something which comes close to it does occasionally exist on this forum. But since I'm still pretty new to Baha'I, I don't consider my interests in it to be just quite that extreme. I just acknowledge that in regard to religion, it seems to be the best I've found so far [for me].
     
    #13 AT-AT, Sep 18, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2019
  14. firedragon

    firedragon Well-Known Member

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  15. AT-AT

    AT-AT Well-Known Member

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    I finally figured out what direction I should go, when I studied the revelations of the Baha'i faith
    That article had direct quotes.
     
  16. firedragon

    firedragon Well-Known Member

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    Again, I would rather have direct quotes from you.

    But yet, thats fine. Thanks.
     
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