Subject: Unit 4
From: Lee & Kamyar
Date: Thu, 25 Aug 2005 01:30:08 -0400

Well, I'll begin (as usual) with questions.  These are only from OCF; I'm sure the supplementary readings will raise a few as well.  Hopefully, I will be able to follow soon with thoughts/reflections (diagrams?!) - though most of these questions beg for quite a bit of research and reflection.   [I also still owe myself (and I'll share) a summation of my reflections on Unit 3 - boy, studying this document in-depth is no small endeavor.]
 ¶22  --  So what ARE "the issues involved" that Baha'is must "gain an in-depth understanding of"?  (religion, human nature, social evolution?)
 ¶23  --  Because there are so many ways to "view" religion, it's helpful to find out what a person's viewpoint is in dialoguing with them; to avoid false assumptions that we're using the same vocabulary for the same things.  [I guess that's not really a question  : - )  ]
 ¶24  --  How do you share this notion [can only know God through Manifestations] "logically" with someone yet to recognize the Authority of Baha'u'llah?  (realizing it's not true because Baha'u'llah said so, but He said so because it's true)
 ¶25  --  Am I guilty of this [exalting Baha'u'llah above the others] as a Baha'i?
 ¶26  --  Define "this conception" of religion in your own words.   
              Is this conception of religion predicated upon a belief that humanity's purpose is to "carry forward an ever-advancing civilization"; and is that built solely upon belief/faith in Baha'u'llah?
              What/Who are "these souls"?  Is this "supreme moving impulse in the world of being" the "substance" that quantum physics is looking for and that the Greek philosophers spoke of?  (this question is fuelled (sp.?) by a talk I just listened to on the "Evolution of Human Spirituality" by Dr. Ron Hershel -- I'll give more details in my reflections)
 ¶27  --  What does this quote (Julian Huxley's) mean?
              What is the relationship among belief, faith and certitude?
              What is the "natural expression of faith" and how was it "artificially blocked" in the 20th Century?
 ¶28  --  **the TRUE meaning of religion**
              So, do folks just have to take this definition of religion at our/Baha'u'llah's word  -OR- do we have to adduce the convincing/rational proofs of it?  [If so, Julio Savi's The Eternal Quest for God (  would be a logical next study document]   -OR- will only "the truth" answer the "yearning for certitude" and therefore it is its own "proof"?
 ¶29  --  What CAN we profess?  : - )
 ¶30  --  We need to know the "developments that have transformed thought and produced changes in human relationships critical to social evolution"  [Bahram Nadini -- will Ron Hershel's "Evolution of Human Spirituality" provide that for us?]  Is inability to find "comparable phenomenon in history" valid/logical proof of this claim?
 ¶35  --  What causes such "denial"?  (Anyone have the Iqan memorized?!!)
 ¶38  --  What was the earlier value of concepts like physical resurrection, carnal paradise, reincarnation, pantheistic prodigies?
              What are specific examples of religious images/interpretations borrowed from human cultures?
              What are the "vessels of justice" in which enduring aspects of religion are stored?
 ¶39  --  What are the other "foundational truths" (like "oneness of God")?  [The document gives us some: we are to be "the light", "access to the unknowable Reality... possible only through awakening to the illumination shed from that Realm" (Jesus - "I am the way,..."), and the succession of revelations of the Divine]