Monday, August 15, 2011

I just got back from a weekend in San Francisco where I attended the Association for Bahá’í Studies Conference. The sessions of the conference focused on “Transforming Habits of Thought” in which the theme name came from a message the Universal House of Justice addressed to the Conference of the Continental Boards of Counsellors on December 28, 2010: “Apart from the spiritual requisites of a sanctified Bahá’í life, there are habits of thought that affect the unfoldment of the global Plan, and their development has to be encouraged at the level of culture. There are tendencies, as well, that need to be gradually overcome. Many of these tendencies are reinforced by approaches prevalent in society at large, which, not altogether unreasonably, enter into Bahá’í activity. The magnitude of the challenge facing the friends in this respect is not lost on us. They are called upon to become increasingly involved in the life of society, benefiting from its educational programmes, excelling in its trades and professions, learning to employ well its tools, and applying themselves to the advancement of its arts and sciences. At the same time, they are never to lose sight of the aim of the Faith to effect a transformation of society, remoulding its institutions and processes, on a scale never before witnessed. To this end, they must remain acutely aware of the inadequacies of current modes of thinking and doing—this, without feeling the least degree of superiority, without assuming an air of secrecy or aloofness, and without adopting an unnecessarily critical stance towards society.”

Attending the sessions and listening to the varied disciplines in which participants interpreted their “habits of thought” supported my understanding that Bahá’í values can be transformative, but in order to have a positive effect on society, we must align our thoughts with our actions. Nothing will change if we do not act; we cannot act without first transforming our thoughts; and our thoughts must reflect our spiritual nature and values. The conference concluded with a talk by Rainn Wilson, who appropriately quoted a statement by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience.”

1 comment:

Lisa said...

i love LC and the hills!! :) i found a tutorial for fishtail braids for you here you go!