“I bear witness, O my God, that Thou hast created me to know Thee and to worship Thee.” (Baha’u’llah, The Kitab-i-Aqdas, p. 100) We have two reasons for this life and the lives beyond: to know God and to worship God. Clearly, it is to our benefit to know God, God already knows us. But,Read More

Why we must live before we die

I don’t know if entering the presence of God for the first time was as startling and life-altering an experience for you as it was for me… but I assume it was. The entire world was transformed! Every day after that was, or should have been, a day of wonder. If I did not seeRead More

Baha and Gandhi

I find the following article from the 1922 New York Times is a superb example of a particularly adroit means of correcting the newspaper’s incorrect caption of a photograph. What a treasure Horace Holley was!

Being and Becoming

The Jewish people were given the name of God, by God — “I am that I am.” This is known as the tetragrammaton which in the Roman alphabet is reduced to YHWH, from which we get “Yahweh” and “Jehovah”. “Being”, therefore is a simplified version of this attribute of God. “Being” is quite descriptive ofRead More

It is not What you do…

Baha’is often assume that if they do things that seem good, as they understand good, then those deeds are approved of God. Perhaps a man leads a study circle, because he has the time, space, and inclination. Surely, that is God’s work! Baha’u’llah tells us otherwise: “Were anyone to wash the feet of all mankind,Read More

Independent Investigation of Reality

“The first teaching of Bahá’u’lláh is the duty incumbent upon all to investigate reality.” (Abdu’l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 62) We are each called to the Independent Investigation of Reality, also known as the Independent Investigation of Truth. Note the singular “Truth” or “Reality”. There is only one Reality. Reality, if you will,Read More

Stone Walls

In New Hampshire, U.S.A., dry stone walls line every country road. Every field and forest is outlined by these walls or the tumbled remains of walls. Even high on rugged, wooded hillsides, the walls stretch along through the trees. “Why”, the visitor asks, “did people build walls everywhere?” The New Hampshire farmer certainly did notRead More

The Shibboleth of Diversity

The matter of cultural, racial, and ethnic diversity has become a sacred construct in Western society. Corporations and colleges endeavor to show that they welcome “diversity”. Concurrent with diversity, inclusion is sacred, it must never be questioned. However, because these words have become a Shibboleth to entry into liberal personhood, it is increasingly anathema forRead More


O SON OF BEING! Bring thyself to account each day ere thou art summoned to a reckoning; for death, unheralded, shall come upon thee and thou shalt be called to give account for thy deeds.” (Baha’u’llah, The Arabic Hidden Words) The verse above is sometimes understood as a command to introspection or self-examination. But isRead More


Tolerance is considered a virtue among progressives in the Western world. By tolerance, most people mean “sympathy or indulgence for beliefs or practices differing from or conflicting with one’s own” (Oxford Dictionary) Mere forbearance is not enough, society demands acceptance of any behavior, no matter how aberrant, repulsive, or harmful. If gladsome acceptance is notRead More

Excuses to go fishing — from the Scriptures of the World

Chuangtse was fishing on the P’u River when the Prince of Ch’u sent two high officials to see him and said, “Our Prince desires to burden you with the administration of the Ch’u State.” Chuangtse went on fishing without turning his head and said, “I have heard that in Ch’u there is a sacred tortoiseRead More

Virtues cannot be taught

No man can “teach virtues” to others. Oh, he might teach a person to imitate a desired behavior under certain conditions, but that is not virtuous behavior, but simple mimicry. The Writings tell us that only the Spirit of God can enable us to put on the Virtues, the Attributes of God.  “These virtues doRead More

Belonging, the place of a small child

“…Christ has addressed the world, saying, “Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven” — that is, men must become pure in heart to know God.” (Abdu’l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 52) Fifty plus years ago, beginning at age 18, I lived onRead More

Speech should be with Power and Authority

O My Name! Utterance must needs possess penetrating power. For if bereft of this quality it would fail to exert influence. And this penetrating influence dependeth on the spirit being pure and the heart stainless. Likewise it needeth moderation, without which the hearer would be unable to bear it, rather he would manifest opposition fromRead More


Sometimes those seeking God think that the Baha’i Faith is a system of laws. This is unfortunate. Actually, we probably all may have thought at one time, that the various Divine religions were based upon laws, when in fact, they are set on a foundation of faith. We do have laws in the Baha’i Faith,Read More

The Guardian’s secretaries’ words have less authority

We know the words of the Guardian’s secretaries did not represent the Guardian’s exact thoughts. “Although the secretaries of the Guardian convey his thoughts and instructions and these messages are authoritative, their words are in no sense the same as his, their style certainly not the same, and their authority less, for they use theirRead More

Sin in Christianity and the Baha’i Faith

As Baha’is we may think that a tremendous gulf exists between the teachings of Christianity and the Baha’i Faith on the subject of sin. But is that true? In discussing this, let us speak of Christianity as the teachings of the Christ as found in the New Testament (NT); not the teachings, current or ancient,Read More

What is Unity?

Unity is defined in the Baha’i Writings, and the New Testament, as spiritual unity. That is, it is a unity of the spirit of men in the Spirit of God. It is not necessarily a union of thought, of feeling, or of will; for these are of the soul of man, not the spirit. ThisRead More

God-given Rights?

The term “God-given rights” is heard often in the Western world. The US Declaration of Independence mentions unalienable rights, given of God – “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and theRead More

The Baha’i Canon

“High on the list of priorities of any religious system must be the determination of the canon of its scripture and the application of these sacred writings to the circumstances of individual and community life.” (Bahai.org) Words are significant. Most of the Divine religions acknowledge this fact by creating a canon of their sacred texts. ForRead More


“Truthfulness is the foundation of all the virtues of the world of humanity. Without truthfulness, progress and success in all of the worlds of God are impossible for a soul. When this holy attribute is established in man, all the divine qualities will also become realized.” (Abdu’l-Baha, Tablets of Abdu’l-Baha v2, p. 459) If truthfulnessRead More


“The reality is the Truth”. Of course, all reality is true, but not all truth is reality. Reality, if you will, is the atmosphere of the Kingdom of God. Reality is only found in the realm of the Spirit of God. Reality has no existence in the temporal worlds; for reality is infinite, changeless, andRead More

The trouble with normal…

“In the world, but not of the world” and “But the trouble with normal is it always gets worse.” and “There is no contradiction between true religion and science. When a religion is opposed to science it becomes mere superstition: that which is contrary to knowledge is ignorance.” (Abdu’l-Baha, Paris Talks, p. 141) The firstRead More

The Purpose of the Baha’i Faith

Why were Baha’u’llah and the other Manifestations of God sent to us? The Prophets and Messengers of God have been sent down for the sole purpose of guiding mankind to the straight Path of Truth. The purpose underlying Their revelation hath been to educate all men, that they may, at the hour of death, ascend,Read More

Teaching the Cause of God

“I bear witness, O my God, that Thou hast created me to know Thee and to worship Thee. ” (The Short Obligatory Prayer, Line 1) That simple sentence, which most Baha’is recite daily, is the expression of teaching the Cause of God. Baha’is are called to bear witness to all men that each man orRead More

Transformation of the Soul through the Spirit

  Baha’u’llah and Abdu’l-Baha informed us that the human soul does not face complete annihilation after the physical death of the body. However, they are both equally clear that if the soul has not been transformed, sanctified (set apart to God), in this life, that soul will be “as dead” in the next worlds ofRead More

The Knowing of Good and Evil: Dog Training Edition

It is very difficult to write this. That difficulty is due to my 7-month old Feist pup. He believes that the sole purpose of my lap is to be the repository of a tired Feist pup, anything else, e.g., a laptop computer, is an invader. Whenever I put the computer on my lap, Cricket materializesRead More

Freedom is not free

When a person is asked before he signs his card whether he believes that Baha’u’llah is the Manifestation of God for this age, he is not typically presented with the implications of that fact. Before he puts pen to paper, let him count the cost. If Baha’u’llah is who He says He is, then weRead More

Tripartite Man

Man is composed of three parts — spirit (pneuma), soul (psyche), and body (soma). The spirit is given by God at the moment of conception, the soul is created by God at the same time. “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath ofRead More

Maslow’s Hierarchy Has Nothing We Need

One of the theories of human psychology since 1953 has been Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. We probably are all familiar with the needs when presented in a triangle like that to the  right. Maslow’s theory proposed that a man had an ascending order of needs that must be met in his daily existence, beginning withRead More

Science and Religion

When we enter into a discussion on any subject, we are best served if we agree upon a definition of the terms we are using. When that discussion is centered upon didactic statements by Baha’u’llah or Abdu’l-Baha, we also need to appreciate the terms that They employ within the context of their times. Thus, whenRead More

“Noble have I created thee” vs Original Sin

“O SON OF SPIRIT! Noble have I created thee, yet thou hast abased thyself. Rise then unto that for which thou wast created.” (Baha’u’llah, The Arabic Hidden Words) When speaking to Christians, we may encounter what is for them a stumbling block — Bahá’ís do not acknowledge the doctrine of Original Sin. It would benefitRead More

The Life Beyond by Stanwood Cobb

At the end of every religious epoch, just when the spirit of religion is being born anew through the agency of a Manifestation of God, humanity finds itself in a lamentable condition of scepticism and disbelief. Not only does it deny God, but what is more extraordinary, it denies itself. That is to say, itRead More

The Baha’i Faith is a Divine Religion

The Baha’i Faith is, at its core, a religion. By religion, I mean, in its simplest form, that the central element of the Faith is the individual’s connection to God. For without that immediate, living, constant bond with our Creator, the Faith offers nothing to men. The very meaning of religion, from religare “to bindRead More

The Fear of God

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.” (Proverbs 9:10, KJV)   “In formulating the principles and laws a part hath been devoted to penalties which form an effective instrument for the security and protection of men. However, dread of the penalties maketh people desistRead More

Missing an opportunity

  The Baha’i Faith has no clergy. This is known to all. However, some Baha’is have found a convenient substitute for the learned cleric. When confronted by a matter of discerning God’s Will for themselves, as individual servants of God, or an esoteric understanding of the Writings that seems beyond their grasp, many Baha’is, evenRead More

Seeking the Confirmations of the Holy Spirit

The confirmations of the Holy Spirit, what are they and why do we need them? “Rest assured that the breathings of the Holy Spirit will loosen thy tongue. Speak, therefore; speak out with great courage at every meeting. When thou art about to begin thine address, turn first to Bahá’u’lláh, and ask for the confirmationsRead More