(letter to friend, 'path of authentic transformation'):
____, it's very difficult to go through deep spiritual transformation, whereby the conditioned personality, with its attachments to this world and its comforts, is surrendered to God for the sake of the His Beauty and Cause. But Truth is truth, there is no way around it. A big problem comes when this fire of God's love breaks through the veils of the outer personality and the new birth emerges, one is surrounded by people who are still operating from the conditioned personality, and the society is designed for this very worldly method of operation. And it is quite difficult when one cannot find any support in one's spiritual community to do the intense and painful work of self-surrender and trust in God on the level of absolute sincerity and honesty. This work brings a break down of the old self and a building up of a new configuration of individual spiritual substance which is always a mystery since it is in the Hands of God at all moments.
Anyway, I don't know if this makes sense to you, or if you experience any of this, but I am always looking for people to really get serious about the work of true spiritual transformation. I know this isn't what most Baha'is talk about, but I believe it is important, and I'd like to discuss it with you if you want to. Although if you need to stay focused on administration, and cannot be open to explore the inner mysteries of the self dissolving into the divine, as an actual real-time experience, then it is best not to discuss further. I have found intense resistance from people to the idea of actual in-the-moment transformation, whereby the self interfaces with the Holy Spirit, and the veils of self are rent asunder, and a transmutation takes place. Some people think this is something that you should only possibly experience alone, and never with other people. With people, the thought is to remain heavily defended and operate only from the shell of the person. It seems people don't know how to act with others if they are touched by God in a deep way. The resistance is due to the fact that the self-personality is the person's whole identity, and there is dread to be without it, to actually trust God for real, and have Him recreate us each moment. People think it can't be done, that one can't live like that. But this is what Baha'u'llah asks of us. And he never said that we should only experience transformation when we are alone.
If more people begin living by God's grace such that the person actually changes, then we can work together to change the world, and make it a world which will fit the new configurations which will emerge. It is called evolution, and it will happen, whether we do it, or somebody else does it! We need to learn how to be open to experience God with others as well as alone. We need to feel safe to do this.We need to learn to communicate with others while we are allowing God to enter into our hearts, while we are not defending our ego territory. We need to learn to relate not from our worldly personalities, but from a letting go of our defense structure. This will bring fear and it will expose our worldly attachments. But if we never go through this fear, if we never allow an honest look at ourselves, if we never face our fears, insecurities, needs for love, we will never grow individually or as a community.
Inside, don't we all want love and unity? Don't we all want to let down our walls, and feel love? But we are afraid of getting hurt. As children we got hurt, so we built walls and conformed to the standards of society so we would get approval and security from parents, peers, and others. We went to school, got jobs, got married, got all the security and approval, and now we are stuck in worldly shells, and the soul is dead. It is all an imitation now, an idealized self-image, but the connection to the living Truth is gone. We are relating to each other from behind veils of self, too afraid to say what we really feel inside, too afraid to admit our wants and needs, too afraid we'll get hurt like we did as kids. So we keep conforming, and most people don't even know they are living an artificial life. You have to deny truth in order to really live like that. The truth would be too painful. Too many years have gone into building up the false self. Only the most disastrous of calamities can break down the falsity of most people.
Okay, ____, by now, you might think I'm too critical, and this is where many people leave me alone. But there are millions of people who see things this way, there are so many books about it, it is just that Baha'is are so afraid to admit these things, because the facade will collapse. But don't we want the real thing? Don't we want to show the world real people, who are truly struggling to manifest God's love through inner transformation, instead of just a focusing on administration? How long should we wait? Now is the time to trust in God and join together for real, as a true community, and serve each other from a deep place of honesty. The spiritual bonds must grow in an environment of honesty and humility. We have so much work to do! I feel the work can start in small groups at first. We can talk more if you want. I have many more letters about this.
(Please click on 'February 2007' in the 'Archives' section and scroll down to read more letters. Also, click on earlier months to see earlier posts and pictures.)