hajir.org

هژیر در فرهنگ اصیل ایرانی به معنی خوب چهره، باهوش، نیکو و پسندیده می باشد

a Bahá'í Resource of Irfán (Gnosis)

منابع عرفانی بهایی

An approach to modern topics from a Baha'i-inspired perspective. This website should be relevant to scientists, agnostics, atheists.

Disclaimer: This website www.hajir.org is not an official Baha'i website but a collection of research notes gathered by one individual. Opinions expressed here are transitional and subject to change and presented from only one pespective.

House of Baha'u'llah in Tehran, Iran

Sections

1. Imaginary God

2. The Universe and Scientific Questions (Physics, Biology)

3. Competing Old Traditions and Ideas (Religions)

4. Other Philosophical Questions

5. The Manifestation of God [Insan-i-Kamil]

6. Path of Gnosis (Knowledge/Understanding)

7. Understanding stories and words of Past Manifestations

8. What is the Identity of God of religion if God is ultimately Imaginary due to our limits?

9. Baha’i Texts, Analysis and Translations

10. Other Baha’i sources on Gnosis

11. Learn More about Other Traditions

12. Baha’i Relics

 

"All the people have formed a god in the world of thought, and that form of their own imagination they worship; when the fact is that the imagined form is finite and the human mind is infinite."
"...whatever flashes through the mind is not that Essence of essences and the Reality of realities; nay, rather it is pure imagination woven by man and is surrounded, not the surrounding. Consequently, it returns finally to the realm of suppositions and conjectures."
For whatsoever man may imagine is encompassed by him, and that which encompasses is without a doubt greater than that which is encompassed. It is therefore clear that what is imagined is the creation, not the Creator. For the reality of Divinity is sanctified above all human fancy. In this day all people are worshippers of idle fancies, for they conceive a god in the realm of imagination and worship him. Thus if you were to ask someone who is engaged in prayer: “Whom are you worshipping?” he would say: “God.” “What God?” “God as I imagine Him.” Whereas that which is in his imagination is not God. All people are therefore worshippers of their own thoughts and fancies.

Does God Exist?

More importantly, define God.

Is there direct evidence for God? No. 

All of reality may be seen as the sign of God. 

The idea of “existence” may be conceptually incapable of describing God. 

The human mind encompasses ideas that are both real or imaginary

The world of ideas and thoughts are contained within the human mind.  Since the mind encompasses thought, a God conceived is encompassed by the mind.  

It is possible to state that God does and does not exist simply because reality exists.  

If it is impossible to realize an Unseen Reality (i.e. God) through the powers and senses of man if God is pure and holy above the reach of doubt and disbelief. Both belief and disbelief are within the reach by our powers and senses.  So God must transcend both belief and disbelief.

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An equation of "practical real-world" application

The square-root of negative one is a mathematical concept.  The imaginary unit or unit imaginary number (i) is a solution to the quadratic equation x2 + 1 = 0, and the principal square root of .  Although there is no real number with this property, i can be used to extend the real numbers to what are called complex numbers.  Imaginary math has practical real-world applications.

Similarly, the practicality of God may be manifest in the real world is numerous ways.

What was before the Big Bang?

Three compelling arguments are as follow:

1. Events before the Big Bang have no observational consequence so one may as well cut them out of theory and say that time began at the Big Bang. Events before the Big Bang are simply not defined because there’s no way one could measure what happened. 

2. Multiverse explanations and parallel universes.

3. Sequential infinite cycle of universes that come to existence after eons when the last stars and black holes evaporate by Hawking radiation.  An eon of nothingness when only photons exist at the end of the universe is mathematically equivalent to the singularity of the beginning of the universe.  So the end of one universe is the beginning of the next.

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Other Scientific Topics

What is Consciousness?

The brian processes creates "the illusion", or "manifestation" of consciousness as a co-product ...

What is time?

Does time actually exist or is it a human illusion generated by the brain for survival. Consider general relativity...

Why do we Dream?

Patterns of thought generated by means of electrical impulses, a random cleansing mechanism of the brain, which is actually "an alternate reality" for the human and animal soul

"He Who is the Lord of the world is come and hath shown the way. ...This faith bestoweth eternal life and this religion enableth mankind to dispense with all else. It verily embraceth all faiths and all religions. Take hold thereof and guard it well."

the Bible and Qur'an Seem to Contradict. Why?

“…whosoever faileth to embrace the truth of this most great Revelation [the Revelation of Baha’u’llah] will find himself powerless and incapable of establishing the validity of any other cause or creed.” – Baha’u’llah

The above quote implies that internal inconsistencies may be observed by a doubter or a skeptic, even within the Qur’an and the Bible, since rejection of one cause automatically negates another.  This is also a claim of authorship and supremacy of the Revelation of Baha’u’llah.  It should therefore not be surprising that such inconsistencies exist across traditions and books from the perspective of those same skeptics.  And as such differences may be understood with underlying unities, so too can differences across books be understood with a greater unity.

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Other Spiritual (philosophical) Topics

What is the soul?

The soul is closer to a verb than it is to a noun, as soul or spirit is not an entity that is capable of being measured directly.

What is Revelation?

Does revelation appear to Prophets and Poets, or is Revelation metaphorical and is created by the human mind?

Do miracles exist?

No, as laws of science cannot be circumvented by physical things without creating new laws. Others argue that miracles do exist but we simply do not have evidence for any obvious miracles.

The Condition of Dreams.

This section reviews the "what", "how", and maybe even the "why" of dreams for a spiritual perspective.

Does God have attributes?

No, God does not exhibit attributes but attributes are human constructs to make sense of attributes we see manifested in nature. Alternatively, it is argued that God does have attributes.

Are God's attributes equivalent to his essence?

Oneness of being argues that these are one and the same. Oneness of manifestation argues that attributes are never essences. In Arabic these are termed Wahdat al-Wujud and Wahdat al-Shuhud.

If the Soul or Spirit is exalted above time and space, how can God create it at a Time?

Does God create the Spirit or Soul at conception, and if so, how is God and the Spirit limited by time if it is timeless and spaceless?

Official translation: "The most burning fire is to question the signs of God"
أصلُ النّارِ هی الجحاد فی آيات اللّه
Unofficial literal translation: "The essence of hell-fire (an-nár) is the unwillingness to believe (al-jah.ád)
the Verses (áyát) / reflections of God"

Non-Material Manifestations of Material Processes

“What distinguishes the idea of ​​pain from the idea firing C-fibers is precisely the fact that in the focus of both concepts there are quite different properties, and thus we cannot say that both properties are identical. The materialist is forced to introduce the notion that one and the same fact can have two different manifestations. This concept of manifestations, however, is based in turn on that there are facts relating to manifestations which cannot be explained with brain facts.” – Colin McGinn

The manifestation of pain (by means of C-fiber activity)

The manifestation of perfect attributes and perfect names (by means of the actions and words of persons of Jesus, Muhammad, Buddha, etc.).

The Manifestation of God

The source of all learning is the knowledge of God and this cannot be attained save through the knowledge of His Divine Manifestation.

Knowledge

See below for approach to knowledge

through

Manifestation

Appearance, Appearing, Manifesting, Becoming Obvious, Becoming Visible

Official translation: "The source of error is to disbelieve in the One true God"
رأسُ الکُفرِ هو الشِّرک باللّه
Unofficial literal translation: "The source of denial (al-kufr) is to
join partners with (ash-shirk) the One true God"
"The source of all learning is the knowledge of God"
أصلُ کلّ العُلُومِ هو عرفانُ اللّه
"The source of all science (al-'ulúm) is the knowledge (gnosis, irfán) of God"

A Baha'i Approach to Knowledge (gnosis).

Can man attain gnosis (knowledge)?

No man shall attain the shores of the ocean of true understanding (gnosis) except he be detached from all that is in heaven and on earth.   

What must men do to gain gnosis?

They must cleanse themselves of all that is earthly—their ears from idle talk, their minds from vain imaginings, their hearts from worldly affections, their eyes from that which perisheth. They should put their trust in God, and, holding fast unto Him, follow in His way.  They must cease to regard the words and deeds of mortal men as a standard for attaining knowledge. (gnosis)

How do these things help?

These will help them to
be made worthy, and enable them to become the recipients of a grace that is infinite and unseen

Why do people fail to attain gnosis?

Truth is beyond the ordinary comprehension of man.  People may seek knowledge,(gnosis) but without the appropriate prerequisites, they will all deny it and turned away from it even if it appears manifest right in front of them.

Does history prove that without the correct framework, people will reject knowledge?

Historically speaking, yes, this has happened over and over. For example, people have rejected Noah, Abraham Moses, Jesus, Ali, The Bab, etc.

What is the consequence of contrast in reality?

The contrast of reality enables light to be distinguished from darkness, truth from falsehood, right from wrong, guidance from error, happiness from misery, and roses from thorns.

To be continued…

Gnosis (knowledge) in Christian and Islamic Texts

Knowledge Attained in Persecution

The Quranic Chapter of Hud recounts examples of persecution of prophets at the hands of the people they were teaching who had rejected them.

Varying Promise Made by Jesus in the Gospels

  • “I go away and come again unto you.”
  • “I go and another will come Who will tell you all that I have not told you, and will fulfill all that I have said.”

Both these sayings have but one meaning from the standpoint of Unity.

How can Muhammad and Jesus be said to be the same person when they are different?

Neither the person of Jesus nor His writings hath differed from that of Muḥammad and of His holy Book, inasmuch as both have championed the Cause of God.

How can the sun claim to be both the same and different from day to day?

Well, if the Sun could talk, and were it to say , “I am the sun of yesterday,” it would speak the truth, because there is only one Sun, and every day is a day.  All days are 24 hours.  But, if it should, bearing the sequence of time in mind, claim to be other than that Sun of yesterday, it still would speak the truth because it shines with new rays on a new day.

The Identity of God

within the context of the above-mentioned issues and concerns

Who or what is the Self or Nafs of God?

What is the Essence of God?

What is the Attribute or Name of God?

Who is Person or Haykal of God?

Does Baha'u'llah claim to be God Outwardly and Inwardly?

Are all Manifestations God?

Tablet to Jamali Burujirdi

Who speaks to the Haykal in the Suriy-i-Haykal?

The 4th Tajalliyat of Baha'u'llah

What does Shoghi Effendi explain?

"Tablet of I am God" by Baha'u'llah

What does the Bayan state?

Nabil's Poem

The Seals of Baha'u'llah

What does the Universal House of Justice explain?

Translations, Analysis, and Commentary

on various Bahai texts

Other Baha'i Sources on Gnosis

for Further Study

Learn more about other Traditions

for Background and Further Study

Bahai Relics

belonging to the Bab, Baha'u'llah, and Abdu'l-Baha

More to come

Videos forthcoming

Comments and Discussions