Monday, May 7, 2018

Ridvan 2018 - Part 2

Here we are at paragraph 4, where we are reminded that "this is truly a moment to give thanks to the Best-Beloved". This is such an important reminder, to take the time to remember to be thankful. They have just put the previous year into a perspective for us, showing us how much we have done and what we have learned, and even if we feel that we, personally, haven't done all that much (as I know I do), we should be thankful for all that has been done in this glorious community of ours. There really "are a great many reasons to be encouraged."

Ah, but they also remind us not to sit on our laurels. There is still a lot to be done. Fortunately they give us hat I lovingly refer to as a recipe list. We need to "maintain... a sustained focus on nurturing growth and building capacity" as well as develop our ability and discipline to "reflect on action and learn from experience". I find it interesting that they refer to this reflection and learning as an ability, as opposed to lumping it in with the other capacities. To me, the difference is like a stadium that has the capacity to seat 20,000, but only has a few people in attendance. The latter would be like the stadium being full. We begin by building this capacity, but then we have to put it to use.

In paragraph 5, they refer to the institutions "keeping this supreme need at the forefront of their thinking". Which supreme need? The "raising up and accompanying an expanding nucleus of individuals" who are both capable of and actually reflecting and learning from their experience. This nb
Further to this, by the members of these institutions taking action in this accompaniment, they are becoming more involved "in all aspects of the community's development". And this is not limited to the Baha'i community, but includes the greater community. Through this involvement, and recognizing the role that the training institute plays in this, they are still able to "maintain the community's focus on the requirements of the Plan". Of course, this leads to the question, what are the requirements of the Plan? This, dear reader, is a question that is well worth discussing in your community.

They also mention "higher and higher levels of unity", which of course leads us to ask what that would look like. Again, a great question to ask in consultation. I can just imagine an entire Feast consultation dedicated to this one question alone.

Finally, at the end of that paragraph, they talk about "cultivating in the community those conditions that conduce to the release of powerful spiritual forces". What are those conditions? How can we cultivate them? What signs will we recognize when these forces are being released?

While I may have some ideas on answers to these questions, I prefer not to look at them here right now. I think they are better suited for a community consultation, and I would love to hear what comes out of that.

Aside: I think that we too often respond off the cuff, giving our own thoughts on a subject before actually consulting on it with others. Or even worse, before consulting the Writings. I know that I'm horribly guilty of this. When I see something on the net, I often respond before looking in the Writings. But here, I'd like to take the moment to remind us of the importance of doing this, consulting the Writings and each other, and set the minor example by not offering my thoughts just yet on these very important issues.

Oh, and I'd like to continue writing right now, but my son just got home from school, so I'm going to end it here for today so that I can spend a bit of this beautiful day with him. See you tomorrow.


  1. I'm happy to see you still posting, and what you're posting about.

  2. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this valuable document. You might want to change the phrase, 'begs the question'. Confusing as it may be, it doesn't mean asking that a question be asked. So many people are misusing or now, but I don't have access to them! 😋

  3. Wow. Thanks. I never knew what "begs the question" really meant. I have changed it to "leads to the question".

    Oh, and for those wondering, "begs the question" means that a statement was made that has no logical support and therefore is just "begging" for someone to question it.

    Thanks again, Lynn. It is always wonderful to learn something new.