Subject: Unit 2
From: Lee & Kamyar
Date: Thu, 21 Jul 2005 15:05:01 -0400
To: ocf@wilmetteinstitute.org

In reading over sections 1 and 2, I generated a few questions.  I tell 
ya, if the depth of these first two sections is maintained throughout 
the document (which I suspect it will be), I'm in trouble.  Already I've 
been "forced" to pull out the dictionary, a history book, Century of 
Light, and re-read eight other documents, and wish I had a copy of The 
Secret of Divine Civilization -- and that's just on the first 
read-through!!  Anyway, the questions helped guide me to some really 
cool insights from other documents, so in the spirit of fellowship, I 
share them with you (though really, they're probably most useful to me).

1 - What IS Baha'u'llah's message?

2 - What are the basic elements of a "materialistic interpretation of 
reality" and a "Newtonian view of the world"?

3 - How does the reference to "The universal civilization" relate to 
the "westernization" of the world that had marked the past 400 years or so?

4 - What was the impact of the "ideological revolution" on Christianity 
in the west?

5 - Was there a period of "enlightened religion" preceding the 
re-emergence of old dogma and conflict OR just a vacuum?

6 - The use of the analogy of "poles" seems somewhat judgemental, or is 
that just my interpretation?

7 - (ahhh...  there's the unifying side of 6 observation)  : - )

8 - Do we find elements of "totalitarian control" in western societies 
as well?

9 - What is meant by "modernization"?  How does it relate to economic 
self-interest and bringing about a just society?

10 - Was "narrowing the gap" the true intention of SED, or just an 
idealistic motive that we were convinced of to justify materialistic 
actions?  (sorry, little bit of "conspiracy theory" coming out of me 
there, but...)

11 - Did civilization take a detour, or is this "release" merely a 
re-birth in the cyclical process of human development?


I plan to re-read the sections, and my notes from the additional 
research they caused, and formulate some reflections that I will share 
hopefully in a few days.

I commend to you one of the "additional research" items - an article one 
of our very own study participants authored on materialism and 
"Consumption" (Nathan, I hope you don't mind).  ENJOY!!  
http://spiritualdegrees.org/articles/consumption.html 

Lee