Have the stars fallen?

Last night, I had some more thoughts about the movie As it is in Heaven. As I have explained in my podcast (below), the movie is about a famous conductor who comes to his village and begins teaching the local church choir how to sing together. Gradually, the choir learns how to sing together and how to be together -- the two activities being inseparable. As a result, they experience and reflect light and spirituality and challenge others in the village who do not love the light in themselves.

One of those people is the church pastor. At one point, someone wryly comments that more people attend choir practices than attend Mass. The church pastor is eaten up with envy at the success of the choir and its conductor. He hates the conductor. At one crisis point, he rings the conductor and invites him over to his place. The pastor points a shotgun at him and threatens to shoot him. He says to the conductor, "I used to be someone around here before you took it away from me." The pastor represents established religion and its inability to embrace the spirit. It was true that the pastor had lost everything -- he had lost his authority and respect in the village. But, most importantly, he had lost the spirit which now permeated the choir. The honest, loving and supportive relationships among the members of the choir had attracted the spirit and generated light. The pastor and his church no longer had this.

Last night it dawned on me that this was an excellent example of how the stars have fallen. In the Iqan, Baha'u'llah tells us that the prophecy about the stars falling from the sky refers to the leaders of religion losing their authority. The pastor in the movie was an example of a star that had fallen. He was attached to his position of authority and steadfastly refused to join in with the choir on an equal footing with others. He saw himself as being the one to control and rule the choir, not to participate in it. But he was fighting a losing battle because what he had lost had been taken from him by Baha'u'llah and it was never going to come back.

It also occurred to me that the same principle applies to the Baha'i institutions. Generally, we think that the stars falling applies to the leaders of religion of previous revelations. But there is no basis for this assumption. Baha'u'llah tells us that the main characters of each revelation return in subsequent ones. If the Baha'i institutions act in the same way that the religious institutions of old have acted, then their stars fall also. There is no difference from a spiritual point of view. What matters and what lives on in eternity is the spirit between the people. Wherever that exists, that is where Baha'u'llah is -- and that is where the Baha'is are.