Monday, January 19, 2009

Ways of using writings of the House of Justice

I see the Baha'i Community partially disabled by people repressing some of their ideas, interests and capacities. I see that as partly a result of possible reactions from others, reinforced by bandwagon abuse, administration/celebrity worship and impoverished views of what the House of Justice is promoting.

I see three ways of using writings of the House of Justice that need to be clearly distinguished, in order to avoid discouraging individual initiatives.

1. One way is to study them in a thoughtful, sympathetic and self-questioning way, looking for ideas about how to serve Baha'u'llah's purposes.

2. Another way is to use them as exhibits in discussions about what's wrong with the Baha'i Community.

3. Another way is to use them in responses to attacks on the Faith.

I imagine that all three ways can serve Baha'u'llah's purposes if they are done in the right spirit. I mostly use them the first way.

Those three ways of using them might naturally lead to different ideas about what they mean. My own study in the first mode has reinforced my interest in appreciating, encouraging and supporting every person's initiatives, regardless of how well anyone thinks it fits into what the House of Justice is promoting. Some of the interpretations I've seen from people using the other modes seem to me to reinforce an impoverished view of the what the House of Justice is promoting, and fear of doing or promoting anything outside of it. Of course if that's what a person really thinks after careful investigation, I would want her to feel welcome to say so. Obviously, if I'm really serious about encouraging individual initiative.

I would just want people to be aware of how those interpretations might discourage individual initiative, and consider how to help counteract that effect. One way might be to encourage people, at the same time, to:
- ignore signs of disapproval of their ideas and interests from members and representatives of institutions.
- investigate for themselves, from its own writings, what the House of Justice is promoting.

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