Subject: Unit 3
From: Lee & Kamyar
Date: Tue, 30 Aug 2005 10:34:06 -0400

Well, here is part one of my reflections on Unit 3.  Because so much time had passed since reading the Unit, I took a slightly different approach.  First, I summarized (roughly in my own words) the sections.  Then I set about reviewing my notes and supplementary materials to formulate reflections.  I have to share with you that I learned an important lesson about diligence in the process.  For me, reading through Unit 3, it was section 4 that really held most of "the juicy stuff" in it.  So in pondering section 3, my only thought was that it might be important to understand the significance of "The Day of Resurrection", but I had only read 8 of the 21 pages of quotes I compiled on "The Day of Resurrection", still, I felt I had a rough idea of it.  So, last night, with an hour to go before my "bed time", and the goal to finish my reflections on Unit 3 by today, I was tempted to overlook that significance ('til later, of course) and move directly into section 4.  Thank God something helped me realize that, if it was important enough for me to wonder, it was important enough to pay attention to.  I can tell you that the two+ hours I spent reading/reflecting gave me an immense sense of "context" (very critical to my thinking) for section 4, the whole document, and life. Thank heaven for Ocean (and perseverance)!!

Unit 3, Section 3

    Greater human interaction across culture (especially due to explosion in transportation and communication technologies) fuels reflection on reality and begs the question of our common humanity (in the face of imagined differences).  [I saw a show on the history of the Berlin Wall -- it shared that what ultimately brought it down was allowing East Berliners to travel into West Berlin and the TV signals that made it over the Wall into East Berlin - breaking down the prejudices and assumptions and misinformation that kept the East Berliners seeing their fellow Germans in West Berlin as "the enemy".]
    Together with the "loss of faith in the certainties of materialism" (¶16), they inspire a longing "for understanding about the purpose of existence."  [Come to think of it, I should also ponder "the purpose of existence" - oh well, another late night and day delay in finalizing my reflections, but boy is this all worth it!]
    THIS is the "universal upheaval" - "The Day of Resurrection"

    I suppose further reflection might yield more cohesive thoughts on the subject, but for now, a synopsis of my gleanings from the Writings will have to suffice.  If you like to have a visual aid (as I do) for reflecting, you can check out the diagram I did on the Covenant - pg.2 of this document .
    There seems to be a few "types" of days of resurrection (occurring separately or concurrently?!):
(1) being born into eternal life while you're living (i.e. "born again", "living in the Kingdom") or (2) at the time of physical death
          - "the day when truth shall be distinguished from error" (Gems of Divine Mysteries, p.55)
          - the peoples of the world are judged by their countenance: people of error OR followers of divine Guidance (Iqan, p. 172)
          - everyone bears their OWN responsibility "to bow down in humility and... embrace the Truth."  (SWB, p.90)
          - people are "dead", "veiled within the tomb of self and burried in the grave of passion" "real life is the life of the heart and not the life of the body" (Baha'i Scriptures, p.31)
          - "Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life:  he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:  And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die."  (John 11:25-26)
          - "God is not the God of the dead, but of the living."  (Matthew 22:32)
          - if you "act according to the precepts and the counsels of God, [you] will serve as a divine physician to mankind" and call the dead to life  (SWAB, p.23)
          - (SWB, p.129) you will be deprived of the Resurrection (or beholding the countenance of God) through feelings of aversion or regarding yourself right and others wrong, also "turning your religion into a means of material gain, spending  your life on vanities... while ye deem that what you do is right."   "observe piety in your Faith"  "Be ye sincere in your allegiance"  "Some of you are filled with pride by reason of your religion, others because of your learning.  Ye will, one and all, cling unto some part of the Bayan as a means of self-glorification."
          - WARNING:  don't blindly follow the learned & clerics (in order to be "saved"), because, ironically, that will actually lead you into the fire, not paradise.  (SWB, p. 123)
          - paradise =  acting "in conformity with that which is revealed"; to obey God's commandments (SWB, p.101) and fire = "transgress the His laws and to oppress another soul, even to the extent of a mustard seed" (SWB, p.78)
          - (Tablets of A.B. vol.2, p. 396)  devoted ones = enter into "the delectable gardens with beatitude";  veiled ones = "left to amuse themselves with their own imaginations."  "possessors of perception beheld the lights and those whose eyes were weak vanished in gloomy darkness before the appearance of the mid-day Sun!" (blinded?!)

(3) the period of time when a Manifestation is on earth (SWB, p.107) - the Divine Springtime
          - of course, all the stuff above applies as well (I believe)
          - men attain the presence of God (Gems, p.92)
          - "the stage of perfection of everything is reached when its resurrection occureth."  the mission of Jesus = the Resurrection of Moses; rewarding everyone who believed in Moses; punishing everyone who did not believe.  the perfection of Islam came in the time of The Bab - he appears to "gather the fruits" of Islam, through belief in Him.  (SWB, p.107)
Now I really wish I had reflected on the "purpose of existence" beforehand, it would have added all the more depth and relevance to thes reflections.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity and encouragement to think deeply about these things.