Happy New Year, everyone!
Today’s slice of sustenance is a reminder of the mind-numbing principle under which I was raised. I remember learning just how much of a problem this would become for me around New Year’s Day, 1988, when my parents stunned me by reacting quite desperately and angrily to my doubts as a young Bahá’í.
Bahá’ís talk a lot about their principle of “independent investigation of truth,” but this only applies to those who haven’t yet found the truth—the Bahá’í Faith. Since I was born a Bahá’í, there was nothing for me to investigate:
what would it profit any man to strive after learning when he hath already found and recognized Him Who is the Object of all knowledge?
—Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh
But that’s not all. It’s not enough to cease looking for truth; it’s equally important to abstain entirely from questioning Bahá’u’lláh:
Blessed is the man that hath acknowledged his belief in God and in His signs, and recognized that “He shall not be asked of His doings”. Such a recognition hath been made by God the ornament of every belief and its very foundation. Upon it must depend the acceptance of every goodly deed. Fasten your eyes upon it, that haply the whisperings of the rebellious may not cause you to slip.
The question and answer period has ended.
This insight—this epiphany—gave special meaning to “New Year” for me at the outset of 1988. Within six months, pending long days and nights of reconsideration and reflection, I would completely detach myself from any belief in my religion of birth.
I have to admit that it’s a bit anticlimactic to find yourself born into the one “religious truth”. There’s no satisfaction of the search and discovery, is there?
I can remember many a time sitting on a pew in a people-filled church wondering if what the preacher was saying was the truth, why I didn’t believe it; why it didn’t make sense to me; why I saw things differently.
Happy New Year, Dan. Enjoy this year’s journey.
I really sympathize with Dan’s crisis and also admire his bravery in separating from the Faith.