Ruhi

Universal House of Justice: Ridvan Message 2010

Below you’ll find the most recent Ridvan message from the Universal House of Justice. This has to be the most Ruhi-laden Ridvan message I’ve ever read from them. It seems that the House is doubling down on Ruhi. It is also a very long message at 11 pages.

Only time will tell if that is a wise decision. I haven’t seen any data that suggests that it is. For example, in the case of Colombia which is ground zero for Ruhi, after more than 40 years there has been no discernible growth in the Baha’i community. But for now, expect to see even more intensification of Ruhi activities at the expense of anything and everything else.

Universal House of Justice Ridvan Message 2010

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First contact

Perceptions

I received an e-mail the other day with a very amusing story in it. My friend told me that some Mormons regularly come over to her place, and one day the Faith came up. One of them said, "Oh, Baha'is. They're those guys that believe everything." To which she responded, "Yes, and you're in that church where the men have all those wives. How many are you planning on?" After they stopped choking, she was able to talk to them about the idea of progressive revelation, and how important it is to not make blanket assumptions like that.

I smiled upon reading that story, but as you can tell, it got me thinking. Hmm. It occurs to me that you probably get the sense that a lot of things get me thinking. I suspect you're correct.

{josquote}Third, we are seen as pushy, single-minded and wanting to convert others.{/josquote}

But thinking, it did get me to do, and I began to really wonder about this concept of perceptions, and how we are affected by them. On a whim, I decided to ask a few friends how they perceived the Baha'i Faith, and their answers came as a bit of a surprise.

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Thoughts on Ruhi

{josquote}I don’t think it is “evil”, but I also don’t view it as the greatest thing to hit the Bahai community since ‘Abdu’l-Baha was released from prison.{/josquote}

Although it may be strange to see these words coming from a self-professed liberal Bahai, I don’t think the Ruhi courses are all that bad. My first Ruhi experience was actually pleasant. It was the first book in the series, and it was fun. I know myself and understand that I can easily get wrapped up in the academic study of religion, which is great. There is nothing “materialistic” about it (unless it’s an all purpose word that can mean anything.) But I have found within myself that if I don’t balance an academic study of religion with some devotional practices, it becomes just another intellectual interest for me. I think that is sometimes needed in order to take the tunnel vision away and see that there are different perspectives out there. But I also think that some tunnel vision is good in order to focus on a goal at hand.

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