Thursday, December 10, 2009

Bloggers' Introduction

Hi. We're two guys sitting in a cafe, beginning a study of the Kitab-i-Iqan. Sometimes we have another person or two who join us as they can, but if not, we keep going.

In the late 1990s, when we were roommates, we embarked on a study of the Kitab-i-Iqan, hoping to better understand this seminal work of Baha'u'llah. Years later, when doing independent study on this Text, we both realized its overwhelming importance.

This is a Book which the Guardian refers to as being of "unsurpassed pre-eminence", one which would "infinitely enhance the teaching work in the West". It is even believed to be the continuation of the Bab's Persian Bayan.

The Guardian, as we would expect, said it best: The Íqán is the most important book written on the spiritual significance of the Cause. I do not believe any person can consider himself well versed in the teachings unless he has studied it thoroughly.

The original study we did took us over a period of nearly a year, and only brought us through the early pages of Part 2. Recently we decided to finish our study of this marvelous Work. As it has been so long since this original study, we have decided to go back to the beginning and review it and, as we are doing so, publish our thoughts here for record.

Our methodology is primarily analytical. We do cross-reference and check the dictionary, or sometimes even a word's etymological meaning. At times we'll check the quotations Baha'ullah uses from the Qu'ran or the Bible and seek out various translations so as to give a well rounded viewpoint; but we aren't scholars. We have recently purchased a copy of Hooper C. Dunbar's "A Companion to the Study of the Kitab-i-Iqan" and refer to it as needed, but we are not using it for the basis of our study.

As we both are eager for spiritual knowledge that comes from the Messenger of God through His Revelation, we are also seekers of truth. In Baha'i Sacred Scripture, Baha'u'llah's teachings say that in this day and age man is to independently investigate His Revelation. We are to reason with our minds, and sanctify our hearts. In the Writings of Baha'u'llah he has also given us principles of consultation, to sort out problems and root out whatever is the contention amongst ourselves. We lay aside our self-purposes and seek unity, and affiliation, in our understanding of the Revelation of Baha'u'llah. We want to be detached, so as to reach the shores, and not necessarily the same shores, but the ocean itself: the ocean of understanding.

Although our opinions may clash, our viewpoints intersect, a spark of truth will arise and manifest itself if we are detached from all that is in heaven and on earth. We believe these methods to be essential in our study of the sacred, as Sacred Scripture is just that: Sacred.

We hope these few thoughts will assist you in your own study of this great Book and that they will aid you in your teaching work, service to the Faith, and spiritual growth. We know this study has been of great benefit to ourselves in the past, and expect it will be this time, too.

So, we're glad you can join us. Grab a cup of coffee, or tea, or even water, sit back, and feel free to make notes as they occur to you. After all, that's how this got started for us.