While not specifically a Baha'i Faith issue, I thought this article important enough so that those friends reading this Facebook page could marvel at the progress the world is making today. I'd especially suggest that the doomsayers check this out.
There is a general impression in the world today that the apocalypse is upon us and the world is going to h**l in a handbasket. I urge you all to check out this article on what is termed Bill Gates' favorite infographic. As an example here are a couple of worldwide 'improving' statistics:
"In 1820, 94 out of every 100 people in the world lived in extreme poverty. Today, the number of people living in extreme poverty is 10 out of every 100. Literacy is another dramatic example. Two hundred years ago, only 12 of every 100 people were able to read. Today, 85 of every 100 people are able to read"
I suggest you read this article to improve yours and others impressions about how the world at-large is progressing. I welcome your comments and observations, especially how is religion today helping to make these numbers a reality?
The Founder of the Baha'i Faith, Baha'u'llah (which means The Glory of God) passed away in 1892. For members of the Baha'i Faith, he represents a Manifestation of God, the latest in a long line of manifestations^. From the date of his passing to 1921, his son, 'Abdu'l-Baha (meaning Servant of Glory), guided this new faith of God. The symbol that he used when speaking of the regeneration of faith and religion was "spiritual springtime". Rather than try and improve on 'Abdu'l-Baha's words to explain spiritual springtime, here are his own words.
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"Do ye know in what cycle ye are created and in what age ye exist? This is the age of the Blessed Perfection and this is the time of the Greatest Name! This is the century of the Manifestation, the age of the Sun of the Horizons and the beautiful springtime of His Holiness the Eternal One!
"The earth is in motion and growth; the mountains, hills and prairies are green and pleasant; the bounty is overflowing; the mercy universal; the rain is descending from the cloud of mercy; the brilliant Sun is shining; the full moon is ornamenting the horizon of ether; the great ocean-tide is flooding every little stream; the gifts are successive; the favors consecutive; and the refreshing breeze is blowing, wafting the fragrant perfume of the blossoms. Boundless treasure is in the hand of the King of Kings! Lift the hem of thy garment in order to receive it.
If we are not happy and joyous at this season, for what other season shall we wait and for what other time shall we look?
"This is the time for growing; the season for joyous gathering! Take the cup of the Testament in thy hand; leap and dance with ecstasy in the triumphal procession of the Covenant! Lay your confidence in the everlasting bounty, turn to the presence of the generous God; ask assistance from the Kingdom of Abhá; seek confirmation from the Supreme World; turn thy vision to the horizon of eternal wealth; and pray for help from the Source of Mercy!
Soon shall ye see the friends attaining their longed-for destination and pitching their tents, while we are but in the first day of our journey.
"This period of time is the Promised Age, the assembling of the human race to the “Resurrection Day” and now is the great “Day of Judgment.” Soon the whole world, as in springtime, will change its garb. The turning and falling of the autumn leaves is past; the bleakness of the winter time is over. The new year hath appeared and the spiritual springtime is at hand. The black earth is becoming a verdant garden; the deserts and mountains are teeming with red flowers; from the borders of the wilderness the tall grasses are standing like advance guards before the cypress and jasmine trees; while the birds are singing among the rose branches like the angels in the highest heavens, announcing the glad-tidings of the approach of that spiritual spring, and the sweet music of their voices is causing the real essence of all things to move and quiver." ~'Abdu'l-Baha, Baha'i World Faith, pp. 351-2
If you have any thoughts regarding this subject, we would be most happy to hear them.
^ For Baha'is, a manifestation of God is God's knowledge and reflection represented in human form on Earth. Religion is an on-going historical process, one that continues throughout the ages. It's God's Covenant with humankind, His promise that humankind will not be left alone, unguided. Knowledge of God to humans comes in form of a human temple, but only once in several centuries.
The Baha'i Faith offers a different view of what organized religion can be. While the historical view of organized religion has both negatives and positives, the Baha'i Faith posits that historically a new religious process is taking hold in the world; one that views organization as community with the goal of elevating human value and values. Read this article and offer comments on what you feel about organized religion and why the Baha'i approach may prove viable for the future. See article here: bahaiteachings.org/problem-with-organized-religion
This Chattanooga Baha'i Blog is authored by Andrew, the Chattanooga Baha'i Faith webadmin, and others who are interested in the subject of the Baha'i Faith and how it views the future of religion, community and human service and values.