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Bahai steeled through experience

9 February, 2007

The following video is part of a documentary about the Bahai’s intensive programs of growth, in the United Kingdom. Which have proved to be a successful measure of teaching the Baha’i Faith in communities, and are reflected upon when a Baha’i cluster meets. This stage of teaching is particularly effective as an individual in the ‘community of interest’ can be invited to attend the core activities (Study Circles, Junior Youth Groups, Children’s Classes and Devotionals) to further their path of search into the Faith.

I was glad to see a few familiar faces in the video, and their stories were really touching. For more videos visit the producers video page here.

(Bahai Steel of Experience – Part 1)


“The friends of God should weave bonds of fellowship with others and show absolute love and affection towards them. These links have a deep influence on people and they will listen. When the friends sense receptivity to the Word of God, they should deliver the Message with wisdom…”

(A Tablet – translated from Persian)


2 Comments leave one →
  1. 13 March, 2007 14:49

    One final reference on the subject is the title of a booklet of poetry I sent to Canada as an international pioneer after 36 years in the field, so to speak:
    You will find enclosed a copy of a booklet of poetry entitled Steeled Through Experience sent to you as a gift and as part of that “moment charged with a spirit of triumph and anticipation,” as the Universal House of Justice characterized the end of the last Five Year Plan(2001-2006) and the opening of this new one(2006-2011). As that Body went on to say in that same Ridvan Message 2006, a confidence is “conferred only on those whose resolve is steeled through experience.” I have been in the pioneering field now for 45 years, 36 of which have been as an international pioneer. The “depth of consecration” this experience has demanded I could never have appreciated back in 1959 when I joined the Faith or in 1962 when I pioneered for the first time. Even after studying Shoghi Effendi’s “penetrating analysis of the forces operating in the world,” as I did back in those early years of my Bahá’í and pioneering experience, the activities which have channeled my energies during three successive epochs have fatigued while they have steeled my spirit.

  2. 13 March, 2007 14:44

    Two references to “steel” you might like to consider as a “comment” here on “steeled through experience.”

    The steel of Roger White’s genius strikes the flint of history and of our times and gives that ‘dreaming’ a fresh spark and vitality. White would have agreed with poet and literary critic Sir Philip Sydney who saw poetry as superior in some ways to both philosophy and history, to the essential abstractness of philosophy and the essential concreteness of history. Poetry is free to roam in a vast empire of passion and knowledge which the poet tries to bind together. Like Sydney, White saw poetry as the superior moral teacher.

    The moderation He had exhorted them to observe was fast forgotten in the first flush of enthusiasm that seized the early missionaries of His Faith, which behaviour was in no small measure responsible for the failure of the hopes He had so fondly cherished. -Shoghi Effendi, Epilogue to the Dawnbreakers, USA, 1974(1932), p.652.

    Shoghi Effendi describes some of the remaining Letters of the Living in 1852 as “leading an obscure life in some remote corner of the realm.” I often feel like one of these men trying to avoid the intensities of religious enthusiasm. One day I may lead an obscure life in a remore corner of this realm, perhaps on some coast of Tasmania. I find the heat of the “flush of enthusiasm” a quiet expression now, but I know it can be uncomfortably oppressive as the Guardian pointed out. The simple ‘exaltation of our enthusiasms’ will never be enough, as Shoghi Effendi said. And so I moderate their social expression in the secular society I am apart of.

    I know not oh my Lord
    the fire Thou didst kindle
    in Thy land.1 I took so many
    years to moderate its flame
    so that it warmed all whom
    it came in touch with rather
    than blew them away with
    the heat of religious intensity.

    And we’re still turning them
    off, oh my Lord; wanting to
    go too fast along the road,
    we speed, don’t get there
    any faster and wind up paying
    for the error of our ways.

    Not by the force of numbers,
    the exposition of a set of new
    and noble principles, the
    exaltation of our enthusiasms
    he said it so often to us
    to win in the eyes of a critical
    and skeptical age.
    It was only our inner life
    and private character.2
    This is where we must begin
    to forge character that is
    sharper than blades of steel
    and hotter than summer heat.

    1 Baha’u’llah, Baha’i Prayers
    2 Shoghi Effendi, Guidance for Today and Tomorrow

    10 October 1998

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