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Old 05-30-2003, 03:13 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Bahá'í - One God, many messengers?

http://www.bahai.com/thebahais/


Bahá'u'lláh and the New Millennium

As the new millennium approaches, the crucial need facing the human race is to find a unifying vision of the nature of man and society. Such a vision unfolds in the writings of Bahá'u'lláh (1817-1892).
The driving force behind the civilizing of human nature, Bahá'u'lláh asserts, has been successive interventions of the Divine in history. It has been through this influence that the innate moral and spiritual faculties of humanity have been gradually developed and the advancement of civilization made possible. Associated with the missions of such transcendent figures as Krishna, Moses, Buddha, Jesus, and Muhammad, the phenomenon is an ever-recurring one; it is without beginning or end because it is fundamental to the evolutionary order itself.

Although nurtured by the process, humanity has never understood it. Instead, people have constructed around each episode in their spiritual experience a separate religious system. Throughout history the religious impulse has been hobbled by the resulting contradictions and bitter conflicts.

Bahá'u'lláh compares the maturation of the human race as a whole to the experience of its individual members who struggle, successively, through the stages of infancy, childhood, and adolescence. Today, humanity has entered on its collective coming-of-age,endowed with the capacity to see the entire panorama of its development as a single process.

The challenge of maturity is to accept that we are one people, to free ourselves from the limited identities and creeds of the past, and to build together the foundations of global civilization.

The power that is awakening this consciousness throughout the world is the universal Revelation of God promised in all the scriptures of mankind's past. Its spokesman is Bahá'u'lláh whose teachings provide a blueprint for the social organization of the planet and whose growing influence is the great untold story of our time.

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I found this interesting. Bahá'í believe that all the great religious leaders were messengers of the same God.

I don't dig this personally, but I thought the idea was interesting.

So what do you think? Have you heard of this before? Could we have more in common with others than we thought? Could everyone who prays be praying to the same deity, but using a different name?
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Old 05-30-2003, 03:21 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Yes, I've heard it, and I don't discount it.

The Buddhists also consider Jesus to be an incarnation of the Buddha if I recall correctly.
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Old 05-30-2003, 10:11 PM   #3 (permalink)
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How's about a unifying vision without a god in it? Or am I as an atheist not allowed to share in the unifying vision?
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Old 05-30-2003, 11:09 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lebell
The Buddhists also consider Jesus to be an incarnation of the Buddha if I recall correctly.
Ehhhh, sort of. It's a popular opinion among Buddhists that Jesus was enlightened. In fact, that's what was probably meant when you read/heard about him being an "incarnation of Buddha". Using such words is generally a way of meaning that someone has become enlightened, not that they are an actual incarnation in the literal sense. That's something that confuses a lot of people who aren't Buddhists.
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Old 05-31-2003, 03:33 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I wish I remembered specific details, but I visited the Bahá'í temple around hereabout a year and a half ago and had a whole little Q & A with a representative and did some other research into it as well. (This was for a class)

To be honest, I don't really remember why, but more importantly I do remember the impression I got and that was one of general dislike.

Wish I could elaborate more, but all I remember is that there were a lot of things that "didn't seem quite right" about it.

EDIT: Ahh, just remembered 2 things. Now, I reserve the right to be misremembering, but this is at least generally part of what contributed to my opinion.

1) Their "scripture" is a series of letters by I think 1 or 2 (maybe 3, I honestly don't remember) people. There are THOUSANDS of these - many of which HAVE NOT EVEN BEEN TRANSLATED YET. Not to mention the side-effect of this being that very few people (no one?) is even aware of the full message of their "scripture."

2) They claim that a person is allowed to enter and leave the Bahá'í faith as they choose. However, if you were to leave the Bahá'í faith, other Bahá'ís would be STRONGLY encouraged to not communicate with you, possibly with consequences if they do.

And yes, I know I don't have solid evidence to back this up. Like I said, I'm remembering this from a class a year and a half ago.
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Last edited by SecretMethod70; 05-31-2003 at 03:39 AM..
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Old 05-31-2003, 10:29 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by SecretMethod70

1) Their "scripture" is a series of letters by I think 1 or 2 (maybe 3, I honestly don't remember) people. There are THOUSANDS of these - many of which HAVE NOT EVEN BEEN TRANSLATED YET. Not to mention the side-effect of this being that very few people (no one?) is even aware of the full message of their "scripture."

2) They claim that a person is allowed to enter and leave the Bahá'í faith as they choose. However, if you were to leave the Bahá'í faith, other Bahá'ís would be STRONGLY encouraged to not communicate with you, possibly with consequences if they do.

And yes, I know I don't have solid evidence to back this up. Like I said, I'm remembering this from a class a year and a half ago.
Thanks, that was interesting.

I don't doubt for a minute that the people of this particular sect may leave people a little uneasy.

The idea fascinated me more than the religion itself. I've never heard of the idea of many messengers for one big man (or woman). It seemed unique to me - but it seems from the posts so far that alot of people are familiar with the concept.
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Old 05-31-2003, 12:20 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dragonlich
How's about a unifying vision without a god in it? Or am I as an atheist not allowed to share in the unifying vision?
Well that is the main problem with a unifying vision. There is no way to truly unify it all. I mean how can we unify the blief that Jesus was the son of god and that Jesus was not the son of god? they can't both be true. Or maybe I am just misunderstanding the whole unifying vision idea.
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Old 05-31-2003, 01:32 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
<i>Originally posted by BBtB</i>
Well that is the main problem with a unifying vision. There is no way to truly unify it all. I mean how can we unify the blief that Jesus was the son of god and that Jesus was not the son of god? they can't both be true. Or maybe I am just misunderstanding the whole unifying vision idea.
Actually, that one is quite simple. I'd simply say that Jesus was *a* son of god, like we are all sons/daughters of god. Voila.

In my case, it's slightly more complicated, because I don't belief in a god at all. Jesus was a nice guy (apparently), with some nice, albeit naive ideas.

Last edited by Dragonlich; 05-31-2003 at 01:35 PM..
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Old 05-31-2003, 04:29 PM   #9 (permalink)
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As i recall, both Buddha and Muhammad accepted Jesus as a viable messenger of God, and both of them thought that of the other. I was raised with that belief (I'm a very liberal christian), so to me it isn't so farfetched. But this is the first i have heard of this sect. interesting.
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Old 05-31-2003, 11:18 PM   #10 (permalink)
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This all actully sounds alot like Islam. I mean one of the core beliefs of Islam has to do with a series of Prophets with Muhammad being the greatest Prophet. It accepts all the greats prophets of the bible(Jesus,Noah,Moses and most definitely Abraham who they hold in very high regard) and others as well. But all of them only as prophets. I of course have not read much of that site. Mostly just responese here. Now let me ask. What is this a sect of? Does it consider it self a sect of... all religions? One thing I will agree with it in my own personal views. I believe that all religions have something to teach us (even though you may have to go back to the original creator and ignore all of the predecessors to get that truth) but there are alot of things that are not true.
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