Archives for the month of: September, 2007

Happy are ye, O ye the learned ones in Baha. By
the Lord! Ye are the billows of the Most Mighty
Ocean, the stars of the firmament of Glory, the
standards of triumph waving betwixt earth and
heaven. Ye are the manifestations of steadfastness
amidst men and the daysprings of Divine Utterance
to all that dwell on earth. Well is it with him that
turneth unto you, and woe betide the froward. This
day, it behoveth whoso hath quaffed the Mystic
Wine of everlasting life from the Hands of the
loving-kindness of the Lord his God, the Merciful,
to pulsate even as the throbbing artery in the body
of mankind, that through him may be quickened the
world and every crumbling bone.

~ Baha’u’llah,
The Kitab’i’Aqdas, p. 82, Paragraph 173

“O ye the learned ones in Baha…” #173

Bahá’u’lláh eulogizes the learned among His followers.
In the Book of His Covenant, He wrote: “Blessed are
the rulers and learned among the people of Baha.”
Referring to this statement, Shoghi Effendi has written:

In this holy cycle the “learned” are, on the one hand,
the Hands of the Cause of God, and, on the other,
the teachers and diffusers of His Teachings who do
not rank as Hands, but who have attained an eminent
position in the teaching work. As to the “rulers” they
refer to the members of the Local, National and
International Houses of Justice. The duties of each
of these souls will be determined in the future.

The Hands of the Cause of God were individuals
appointed by Bahá’u’lláh and charged with various
duties, especially those of protecting and propagating
His Faith. In Memorials of the Faithful ‘Abdu’l-Bahá
referred to other outstanding believers as Hands of
the Cause, and in His Will and Testament He included
a provision calling upon the Guardian of the Faith to
appoint Hands of the Cause at his discretion.
Shoghi Effendi first raised posthumously a number
of the believers to the rank of Hands of the Cause,
and during the latter years of his life appointed a total
of 32 believers from all continents to this position. In
the period between the passing of Shoghi Effendi in
1957 and the election of the Universal House of Justice
in 1963, the Hands of the Cause directed the affairs of
the Faith in their capacity as Chief Stewards of
Bahá’u’lláh’s embryonic World Commonwealth
(see note 67). In November 1964, the Universal House
of Justice determined that it could not legislate to
make it possible to appoint Hands of the Cause.
Instead, by a decision of the House of Justice in
1968, the functions of the Hands of the Cause in
relation to protecting and propagating the Faith
were extended into the future by the creation of
the Continental Boards of Counsellors, and in 1973
through the establishment of the International Teaching
Centre, which has its seat in the Holy Land. The
Universal House of Justice appoints the Counsellor
members of the International Teaching Centre and
the Continental Counsellors. Members of Auxiliary
Boards are appointed by the Continental Counsellors.
All these individuals fall within the definition of the
“learned” given by Shoghi Effendi in the statement
quoted above.

~ The Kitab-i-Aqdas, ‘Notes’, p. 246

http://www.news.bahai.org/photo/463
Photo of Hand of the Cause, Dr. Ali-Muhammad Varqa

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“It is time for us to stop expecting others to take care of us,” Thomas Homer-Dixon said in talk to a Baha’i audience.Rebirth can follow breakdown, says best-selling author
MISSISSAUGA, ONTARIO, Canada
29 August 2007 (BWNS)
Thomas Homer-Dixon, author of the Canadian best seller “The Upside of Down,” says he has spent a lot of time working out a diagnosis of what is wrong in the world today. His conclusion, he says, is scary.

“We are in real trouble,” he said in a talk at the 31st annual conference of the Association for Baha’i Studies in North America, held in mid-August near Toronto. More than 1,200 people from 16 countries attended the four-day conference.

He said five enormous pressures – demographic change, energy scarcity, environmental damage, climate change, and the widening gap between rich and poor – are bearing down on humanity. These problems are magnified by the interconnectedness of people today and the increased capacity for destruction, he said.

People want to turn for leadership to supposed experts – in finance, in science – thinking that someone at the top should know the answers, he said.

“But something tells us that the experts really don’t know what is going on,” said Professor Homer-Dixon, who is the director of the Trudeau Center for Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Toronto.

Although not a member of the Baha’i Faith, Professor Homer-Dixon said he agrees with Baha’is that individuals must become knowledgeable about problems and solutions rather than waiting for leaders to provide top-down strategies.

“It is time for us to stop expecting others to take care of us – those knights on white horses,” he said. “As power has moved down the hierarchy, responsibility has moved down that social hierarchy, too.”

Knowledge is key, he told his audience, many of whom were academics, scholars, or highly trained professionals.

Surveys have shown, he said, that a significant number of Americans of college age do not know that the earth revolves around the sun in one year.

“How can you have a conversation about climate change if you are talking to someone who does not know this?” he said.

Although Professor Homer-Dixon gives a pessimistic assessment of the crises in the world, he looks for hope in what he dubs “catagenesis” – rebirth through breakdown.

“This is the opportunity for you Baha’is,” he said, proceeding to quote from the writings of Baha’u’llah on the subject of knowledge and hope: “Knowledge is as wings to man’s life, and a ladder for his ascent. The knowledge of such sciences, however, should be acquired as can profit the peoples of the earth, and not those which begin with words and end with words. …”

(Sandra Bean contributed to this article.)

(For reports from the Canadian Baha’i News Service on the recent conference of the Association for Baha’i Studies, go on the Web to http://www.bahainews.ca. For information about the association itself, go to http://www.bahai-studies.ca.)


BAHA’I WORLD LOSES MOST DISTINGUISHED MEMBER

HAIFA, Israel, 24 September 2007 (BWNS) — The worldwide Baha’i community has lost its most distinguished member with the death of Dr. Ali-Muhammad Varqa.

He passed away on the evening of 22 September 2007 at his home in Haifa.

In 1955, Dr. Varqa was appointed to the high rank of “Hand of the Cause” by Shoghi Effendi, Guardian of the Baha’i Faith. Dr. Varqa served in that capacity, on the international level, for 52 years until his passing. He was the last survivor of the 27 Hands of the Cause who were alive when Shoghi Effendi passed away in 1957.

Dr. Varqa came from a well-known Iranian family that has served the Baha’i Faith with distinction for generations. After obtaining a doctorate from the Sorbonne in Paris in 1950, he taught in Iran at the universities of Tabriz and Tehran and served the Baha’i community there in various administrative capacities. In 1979 he moved to Canada, and later established his residence in Haifa to serve at the Baha’i World Center.

He was born in 1912 in Tehran, Iran, and received his name from ‘Abdu’l-Baha in memory of his grandfather, who had been killed for being a follower of Baha’u’llah.

Dr. Varqa traveled to many countries as a representative first of Shoghi Effendi, then of the Universal House of Justice, the international governing council of the Baha’i Faith. In that capacity, Dr. Varqa attended the first national conventions held in Belgium, Luxembourg, the Congo, Mauritania, Central Africa Republic, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Czechoslovakia and Greenland.

Dr. Varqa is survived by three daughters and six siblings. His funeral was to take place the morning of 24 September, with burial in the Baha’i cemetery in Haifa.

To view the photos and additional features click here:
http://news.bahai.org

I couldn’t capture the post visually of the pug, so here’s
the website; happy puddling thru images of pugs!

http://www.collectorsaddition.com/pugnacious.htm

Lindsey and Matt, surprised me with a wonderful gift of a pug figurine, a complete disguise, which evoked belly laughs by me, and now this figure will be assigned a position of dominance in our small abode. the picture doesn’t do it justice, as the figure has more shadows, and the wrinkled brow the pug is indeed darkened by wrinkles, and the cape and the boots are too funny to behold.

Thanks guys; guess I have to stop talking about Jack, their wonderful puppy, and move on to my life and the things that make me fill with laughter! Be still my heart!