Blogs by Bahais

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Recommended link: The Science of Near-Death Experiences

Everybody Means Something

NDE

I have embarked on sequences of new posts whichexamineanumberofideasfrombooksIhaverecently read.  These ideas relate to our understanding of reality, to where our society is heading and to what we as individuals might be able to do about that. I will be posting links to related topics as and when I find them as this sequence of posts unfolds.

Below is an extract from an excellent article by Gideon Lichfield summarising the current state of research on NDEs: it manages, in a balanced dispassionate way, to express the author’s scepticism without offending those who believe in an afterlife. I will be re-posting my article on Pim van Lommel’s work from tomorrow. For Lichfield’s full post see link

Near-death experiences have gotten a lot of attention lately. The 2014 movie Heaven Is for Real, about a young boy who told his…

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Transformation

Owen's Meanderings

Transformation is usually understood as a change of type rather than an improvement on the old. When faced with a challenge, there seem to be only a two types of strategies. The first and most common is to use the same vehicle (framework, tools etc) that has had previous success, perhaps increasing the effort (resources) and dominate the challenge by a well known activity. This strategy will either succeed or fail. If it succeeds the use of the strategy will be reinforced. If it fails it might still be used or it maybe that another strategy is implemented. If the failing strategy becomes defended and rationalised, even if critically, it might be improved through the increase of resources, but continued use will eventually meet absolute failure and defeat ensures all resources are exhausted. If the failing strategy is recognised for what it often is, a strategy that no longer meets…

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Recommended Link: Starved for Time? Here’s a Surprising – and Easy – Solution

Everybody Means Something

Christine Carter, Ph.D., is a Senior Fellow at the GGSC Christine Carter, Ph.D., is a Senior Fellow at the GGSC

. . . . . the sign of contemplation is silence, because it is impossible for a man to do two things at one time—he cannot both speak and meditate.

(‘Abdu’l-Bahá Paris Talks page 174)

There is a lot of evidence building up to reinforce the idea that quietness of mind, a current theme of mine, is a very positive experience indeed. In November this year for example there was a post on the Greater Good website suggesting this and pointing us in the direction of supportive evidence such as from Matt Killingworth’s piece of July 2013:

How does mind-wandering relate to happiness? We found that people are substantially less happy when their minds are wandering than when they’re not, which is unfortunate considering we do it so often. Moreover, the size of this effect is large—how often…

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The Currency of Suffering (1/2)

Everybody Means Something

Shrine of Bahá’u’lláh at Bahji Shrine of Bahá’u’lláh at Bahji

My recent post on the plight of Ramin Zibaei, as well as the recent executions by IS, called to mind my various attempts to grapple with the problem of  the existence of intense suffering in a world created, as I believe, by an all-powerful and all-loving God. This entails factoring in natural disasters, the Ebola outbreak being perhaps the most significant recent example, as well as human atrocity, the latter being also something I have attemptedtounderstand.

I felt it might be timely to republish some of my earlier posts on the issue of suffering. For reasons I explain in the second of this first sequence of posts, they are not meant to convince a sceptic that God exists, but may help to persuade him that believing in God is not completely irrational in spite of all the pain there is in the world.

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Writing Empowerments: Ink from Ochre Extract

Following the Crow Song

cropped-ihavedreamcollage

Ong argues that writing can “enrich the human psyche, enlarge the human spirit, intensify its interior life.” [1]  In other words writing can be moulded to fit those who use it, and can extend rather than diminish subjectivity and intersubjectivity.   Max Van Manen describes the power of writing:

Writing fixes thoughts on paper.  It externalises what in some senses is internal; it distances us from our immediate lived involvements with the things of our world.  As we stare at the paper, and stare at what we have written, our objectified thinking now stares back at us.  This writing creates the reflective cognitive stance …[2]

Writing has a paradoxical power that comes from its ability to objectify as ideas are placed onto paper, yet as it objectifies it subjectifies.  It can do this because writing can represent a dialogue with the self.   Even though many Indigenous women write in…

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