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You may remember Paradox who was briefly profiled back in April. She had noted in a blog post: actually a few months ago, i heard from a friend that her co-worker, being Quebecois, is converting to Baha’i as his wife (a Quebecoise) was believing in it since i-dunno-when. and they were planning on going on a sort of religious mission to Bosnia in summer. i was like: !!!???then this made me read more on it in internet… seems the Bahai’s are actively spreading their belief round the globe! Paradox has continued to raise many good questions about religion in a post on her blog and several comments, including one on this blog.
we need to be unbiased about many things first, then express our opinions.it’s harmless, yet useful to be curious about different faiths and religions and their origins… not only you expand your knowledge, but you will broaden your viewpoint of human nature and probably the philosophy of life… we have great open-minded poets, among who, Sohrab beautifully says: “…the eyes should be washed(chashm-ha ra bayad shost). perspectives should alter (jour-e digar bayad did)….”but many of us only mumble these poems, but don’t try to understand their real meaning in all aspects of our everyday life!! (Comment to “unexpected …”, Paradox)
about a month ago i was talking to this Vietnamese classmate of mine, a very quiet and nice girl… about here and there. she suddenly took a book of sort of prayers or poems (of Buddha) out of her schoolbag, and said she has started going to temple since she has come here…
getting more curious about her faith, i asked her to explain more… she said things that left both of us almost surprised! i never knew many of my beliefs about life, human and world, my believing-in-no-religion, my nonreligious life are so close to Buddhism!!? (although Buddhism is said to be more like a philosphy than a religion, eh?! but does it make any difference if it’s like a real religion or a philosphy?! BTW, what is a real religion?!)
apart from those details of what Buddhists believe in, and how close i found them to what i personally believe, i’m wondering how faiths get shaped in the first place… and how they get spread, and find so many followers with time…!
not that i don’t know how sometimes the power and political influences and motivations have helped a religion or a denomination get spread out and even change in some aspects of their ideologies, and even how some “prophets” have made wars and conquered lands to force people to convert into the conqueror’s religion…, my question is deepr than that: what makes human feel the need for faith in the first place?
you might say: well, human needs spirituality and connection to supernatural powers to feel relaxed and relieved…but what is the reason behind so many changes into it, and why making it a social and collective ritual/gathering/idealogy (some so strange!!) rather than an individual one without inventing rituals …?
why the emergence of so many denominations?above all, howcome most of people on earth stay in surface about the religious beliefs and faiths… why don’t they ask “why” and “why this religion”, “why this way”… ?!
if all faiths are almost the same down in their roots, why so many wars over their surfaces?!
why is there always a fear that a religion or a denomination loses its followers, because of any reason?
why (for many of the religions and faiths) is it usually forbidden to convert into another religion?!
why most of religions (especially old ones) should be passed onto next generations just like genes and genomes that are received with birth from parents?!!
why making such a simple “need” so complicated and a source of wars and clashes?!
i personally feel that most of those “prophets” sought power behind inviting poeple to the religion they were “represent”ing or to “the spirituality and/or the right path and salvation”… who can believe that spirituality requires blood-shedding, massacre, wars, hatred, detention, and…?!
why does a religion need such a power at all ?!!? (“live it as is…,” Paradox)
i strongly disagree with any arrest or pressure becuz of religion or thought or faith or ideas… however, what i don’t personally understand is why most of “prophets” should prophesize by saying their teachings are the fulfillment of the previous religions or -as you refer to Baha’ullah introducing hima & his teachings as the fullfilment of ALL the world’s religions. although i also don’t understand the divinity related to religions and religious teachings, i am wondering why a prophet needs to prove him/herself (BTW, have we ever had a woman prophet? this is an old question of mine, posted in my blog several months ago!) by inviting more and more followers? why do they have to connect what they believe to divinity and holiness?! why do they need so many supports of people?! why so many clashes and wars for inviting people to a religion?! why so many different rituals if they (religious teachings) are all the same?! (Comment to “On Baha’i Painters: Hussein Bikar and the Treatment of Baha’is in Egypt,” Baha’i Views)
An Eqyptian Baha’i's observation in the following post may provide a doorway for those who have similar questions to those raised by Paradox.