Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Art of Teaching Heart-to-Heart: A comment

This edifying comment on the question of the need for those accepting the Faith to sign declaration cards was posted by our experienced teacher-friend Richard to the Yahoo! newsgroup "gnats into Eagles" on 19 March. Used with his kind permission.

The writings state we should deliver the Message in a simple language addressed to the heart. The writings state we should teach in such a manner that "the seeker should SPONTANEOUSLY be IMPELLED to embrace the Faith."

Over the 48 years I have been a Baha'i I have worked at learning to put these factors into a spiritual context of presenting the Faith.

I have well educated people with good minds just sit and nod in agreement and allow me to enroll them without coments or questions. I felt their mind shut off and they were in a spiritual condition that felt so very right with them.I could see the body language as they leaned forward and some touched my hand. When asked if I could bring them into the Faith they said yes. They never saw the card and when it was present to them for a signature they put their name on it in what seemed such a natural thing to do. Now remember many asked many questions! It happened to different people in different ways.

Our society says, don't trust anyone, don't sign any thing till you ckeck it out with a lawyer.

The Guardian's wife said, she would never sign that enrollment card that stated, "I will obey [the Baha'i] laws and institutions."

Many Baha'i National Spiritual Assemblies have never had an enrollment card to be signed. It is a U.S.-thing. Sign them up!!!!!!!!!

I have had a number of special people who have accepted the Faith turn 180 degrees away from any futher involvement when they were asked to sign up!!!

The signing up changes the dynamic from Heart to Heart to a legalistic or should I wait to learn all about the laws and institution before I sign. It turns into into a "head" [rather than a "heart"] trip.

Now remember I get enrollments each year and with the exception of Natives which you don't have to have a card signed, and I have had to get cards signed all my Baha'i life.

"A spiritual-accepting enrollment-getting Baha'i"

A further of his perceptive comments (of 20 March) which highlights an effective attitude in teaching the Faith:

"I find when I have warm feelings about a situation that I can communicate with whoever it is in a more effective manner. So I resist thinking about anything negative about what is going on. I just look at what I can praise."

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