Saturday, April 30, 2005

Bahai Interview w/Pasha

Excellent interview with a Camp Seymour Bahai guest.
More about Bahai


Leifh said...

(Posted with permission, from email)

>Hi Lief,
>I listened to your podcast interview with Pasha(sp?) and your very first
>intro podcast on my way home this evening as I had mentioned in my earlier
>e-mail of today. I found your podcast wonderfully interesting,
>entertaining, thought-provoking and inspiring, more on the last item later
>on in this e-mail.
>As to your first Intro podcast, I'm not sure how to say this without
>sounding really corny, but I feel as though I've found a kindered spirit.
>We are both fathers to young daughters and we seem share many of the same
>hobbies, interests and even spirituality. I'm going through a difficult
>time and I'm very introspective and doing much soul-searching. To hear that
>someone else is going through some of the same helps me and hearing your
>song today also gives me hope, you have a really nice voice. Now I don't
>normally empty my heart like this to someone I don't know, but I guess with
>a very personal communication medium like podcasting, eventhough it's only
>one way, at least at its first listen, there is a form of intellectual
>intimacy that is transferred from speaker to listener. You've taken the
>time to let me, a relative unknown, into your life, sharing some intimate
>thoughts and feelings, I can't help, but be moved.
>I've been spiritually 'dead' for a very long time now. About 2 weeks ago or
>so I discovered Ron's wonderful Awaretek podcasts and I was introduced to
>the Bahá'í faith. Never really having heard of it I was naturally intrigued
>and listened to Ron's podcast on it and then discovered to my surprise your
>podcast interview with a follower of the faith. I listened intently to that
>interview this afternoon while driving in a downpour,there must be some
>poetic symmetry there :)
>After hearing Ron's podcast about a week ago I looked up Bahá'í centers and
>discovered to my amazement that one of their centers is located right here
>in Montreal about a 15 minute walk from my home. I drove by it this evening
>on my way home and discovered to my amazement that I had already been in
>this building for a concert some 4-5 years ago, I was floored! I must
>admit, the evening I went to the concert, it was dark, I was following a
>friend and never really paid attention to the name on the building,
>figuring it was just a church of somekind. I do remember seeing a picture
>of the most beautiful architectural building in the lobby and I MUST find
>it on the Internet sometime. I plan on going to the center one of these
>days as I found out they have an extenisve amount of literature available.
>I'm not a church goer and as a Roman Catholic by birth I had always found
>the Roman Catholic dogma a bit too tight and unrelenting. I have read up on
>Buddishm and a few other religions. I've been seeking and up until now the
>closest I had come to a religious following is "Star Trek" :)) OK let me
>extract my tongue from my cheek, ok that's better. I'm going to get some
>books on the Báha'í faith from my local library and read more. I just want
>to thank-you for opening the door that may possibly and ultimately lead to
>my spiritual re-awakening. OK I think I've used up enough electrons in your
>computer screen. I will be a regular listener to your podcast and eagerly
>await the next few days when I can catch up on all your podcasts. I'm
>especially curious about your sound experiments as I am an amateur... wait
>let me rephrase that A M A T E U R musician with a little studio in my
>basement. I'll leave the details for another e-mail.
>thanks again,
>may peace reign

Baquia said...

Awsome interview. Pasha sounds like a wonderful person and Mom (especially liked the 'grilling' at the end ;o)

I'm impressed that you had done your homework re a more arcane aspect of the Baha'i Faith.

Leifh said...

Thanks Basquia,

As the interview was 6 months ago, what arcane aspect are you speaking of?


Baquia said...

Hi Leif,

I just stumbled on the podcast and your site a few days ago.

I was referring to the question of homosexuality and the view of the Faith towards it. This issue, as well as others are a bit of a sticking point for some Baha'is. From your mention of it, it seemed to me that you had put in a bit of time to do some research. Most people don't know the stance of the Baha'i Faith towards homosexuality and even less people know that Baha'u'llah never said anything explicit about it, ever. It was only mentioned much later by Shoghi Effendi (His great-grandson).

Oh and the 9 pointed star as the symbol of the Baha'i faith has a more mystical origin than the 9 major religions. Baha'is believe that just as it is the culmination of numerals, so is the Baha'i Faith the culmination and fulfillment of past religions. Also, Baha=9 in the abjad numerical system(scroll to the bottom).

Leifh said...

Ahhh. Thanks for clarifying that. I had a hunch it might be that topic, but wasn't sure.

Actually, while I do remember hearing something about Bahai's homosexuality stance, I was asking the questions to keep with my 'purple' theme --a little challenge from the left and the right. Interesting that Baha'u'llah never said anything about it, didn't know that. Whether that is from the fact that 60 years ago, homosexuality was generally considered sinful, or from a "silence = wisdom" stance, who knows.

Interesting about the numerical origins, thanks for that tidbit. I'll quote it here for others interested (from your above reference):

"The numerical value of 9 in the abjad system of the Arabic alphabet is the same as the four letters which form the word “Bahá”. “Bahá” is known as the Most Great Name of God. (b=2, h=5, á=1 and ‘ (hamza)=1, added together they equal 9) Also, 9 is the highest single digit and therefore symbolizes unity and universality, principles upon which the Bahá'í order lies. "

Thanks for your inpout Basquia, and I hope you get a chance to listen and comment on other podcasts.


Leifh said...

Oh, by the way, make sure you check out the dialogue with Ron Stephens (ALiens, Angels, & Artificial Intelligence) podcast. He is a Bahai, and towards the 2nd half, of the third part, we get into some interesting Bahai issues --particularly Bahai spirituality. We seem to have a different view of how 'accessible' God is --or at least, experiencing God. I'd be curious about your take on this.


Baquia said...

Hi Leif,

Thanks for pointing out that other podcast. Interesting stuff. It reminds me of a lot of the new book out 'The Singularity'. Do you know of it?

As for the accessibility of God by mere mortal beings, this too is a vast topic. I don't think you'd be surprised to hear that there are different takes on this by individual Baha'is.

Coincidentally this was recently touched on in Talisman. Here's a snippet of the conversation:

> Bahaullah teaches that we must go to God through Him, that God is
> unknowable and unapproachable without Bahaullah.
> Further, Bahaullah teaches that goodly deeds are unacceptable unless
> the doer recognizes Bahaullah.

I don't think this is strictly true: the Manifestation is necessary
if we are to know God, but "the Manifestation" is all the Manifestations and there are manifestations in nature and in
ourselves as well. Ordinary people are not capable of springing straight to God by an act of unmediated recognition, they need some materials to work with, whereas the Manifestations (for example, in the Buddha's enlightenment experience) do seem to have an experience of unmediated encounter with ultimate reality.

The irfan (recognition) of the Manifestation in Kitab-e Aqdas verse 1 is not the same type of knowledge as knowing who the Prime Minister is. The recognition that "God is manifest in X" is a theophanic experience, it need not be associated with an objective knowledge of a historical person.

oh and btw, the 's' in my name is silent ;o)


jo said...

funny how i always seem to stumble upon your facilitation when i reach a theological crisis point...
re-listening to your podcasts, and once again im back in seventh period, trying to absorb and understand without judging. getting better at that day by day.
however, 'tyler's questions' are always there. "homosexuality and women!"
thanks for keeping the balance.

Leifh said...

Hi Tyler,
I'm MORE than happy (though, what would that be...deliriously insane?) to be there in in your process Jo, in any way I can.
You have that kind of good thinking and listening mind. We all have owees that make it hard for us to listen to some kinds of people and topics, I think, but as we mature and heal and trust more deeply, those 'triggers' are and will get better and better.