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Компиляции : Светочи руководства

Lights of Guidance: A Bahá'í Reference File This computerized version the copyright of Diversity Press (c) 1992 World-wide Rights Reserved

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Светочи руководства
/свод ссылок и цитат из учений Бахаи/

составитель Хелен Хорнби I. ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER 1. Административный порядок A. Administrative Order А. Административный порядок 1. Established First in America -- Not American Production 1. Впервые учрежден в Америке - не является продуктом американской цивилизации. "The Administrative Order of the Cause, though first established in America, copied as a model by other national Bahá'í communities, is not an American production, but is a universal system based on the teachings of Bahá'u'lláh. It is not simply by coincidence however that it was first initiated and perfected by the American believers." "Несмотря на то что Административный Порядок Дела был впервые учрежден в Америке, а затем послужил образцом для прочих национальных общин Бахаи, он является не продуктом американской цивилизации, а универсальной системой, основанной на учениях Бахауллы. Однако тот факт, что начинание было положено и продлено американскими верующими, - не просто совпадение". (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, October 29, 1938: Dawn of a New Day, p. 202) /Из письма от имени Шоги Эффенди к одному из верующих, 29 октября 1938. "Заря Нового Дня", с. 202/ 2. Cannot be Identified with Principles of Present-Day Democracies 2. Не может быть отождествлен с принципами современных демократий. "... The administrative order which lies embedded in the Teachings of Bahá'u'lláh, and which the American believers have championed and are now establishing, should, under no circumstances, be identify with the principles underlying present - day democracies, Nor is it identical with any purely aristocratic or autocratic form of government. The objectionable features inherent in each of these political systems are entirely avoided. It blends, as no system of human polity has as yet achieved, those salutary truths and beneficial elements which constitute the valuable contributions which each of these forms of government have made to society in the past... ." "... административный порядок, который мы выводим из Учений Бахауллы и который американские верующие сумели отстоять, а ныне повсеместно учреждают и совершенствуют, ни при каких обстоятельствах не может быть отождествлен с принципами, лежащими в основе современных демократий. Несопоставим он также и с любой чисто аристократической или авторитарной формой правления. Негативные черты, присущие каждой из этих политических систем, полностью отсутствуют в нем. В отличие от прежних систем государственного устройства он сочетает все те целительные истины и благотворные элементы, которые представляли собою ценный вклад каждой из этих форм правления в общество прошлого..." (Postscript written by the Guardian to a letter written on his behalf to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States and Canada, November 18, 1933: The National Spiritual Assembly, p. 26) /Постскриптум Хранителя к письму, обращенному от его имени к Национальному Духовному Собранию Соединенных Штатов и Канады, 18 ноября 1933. Национальное Духовное Собрание, с. 26/ B. Bahá'í Administration II. Администрация Бахаи 3. The Ideal Instrument to Make Spiritual Laws Function Properly 3. Наиболее совершенное орудие осуществления на практике духовных законов "He hopes you will devote as much of your spare time as possible to the work of the Cause, especially in impressing upon the believers the importance of the Administration and helping them to really understand its purpose and all it can achieve once they get it to function properly. In other words it is a perfect form which must be animated by the spirit of the Cause. It is the ideal instrument to make spiritual laws function properly in the material affairs of this world." "Он надеется, что Вы посвятите возможно большее количество Вашего свободного времени работе на благо Дела, прежде всего внушая верующим мысль о важности Администрации, помогая им в полной мере понять ее цель и назначение и те результаты, которые она может дать, если обеспечить ее правильное осуществление на практике. Иными словами, Администрация - это совершенная форма, движимая и вдохновляемая духом Дела. Это наиболее совершенное орудие осуществления на практике законов духовной жизни". (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, June 16, 1945) //Из письма от имени Шоги Эффенди к одному из верующих, 16 июня 1945/. 4. Purpose of Administration 4. "Your letter of October 19, 1973 giving a comprehensive survey of developments throughout Australia is of great interest and we commend you on your manifold efforts to promote the Faith throughout that vast continent.

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"Ваше письмо от 19 октября 1973, рисующее подробную картину состояния дел в Австралии, представляет огромный интерес, и мы приветствуем ваши разносторонние усилия по укреплению Веры на это обширном континенте. "We urge you ever to bear in mind that the purpose of Bahá'í administration is primarily to lend strength and directive to the teaching work and to promote the establishment of the Faith. It should never be regarded as an end in itself but purely as a means to canalize and make effective a spiritual vitality generated by the Word of God in the hearts of the believers. Настоятельно просим вас постоянно помнить о том, что главная цель администрации Бахаи состоит в руководстве образовательной работой и ее поддержке, а также в том, чтобы способствовать учреждению Веры. Ни в коем случае не следует рассматривать это как самоцель, но прежде всего как способ направлять и развивать жизнетворные духовные силы, порожденные в сердцах верующих Словом Божьим. "The dedication and zeal with which you promote the Cause of God are highly commendable and we will pray at the Sacred Threshold that the process of expansion and consolidation will be greatly intensified as a result of your efforts." Преданность и рвение, которые вы демонстрируете, способствуя развитию Дела Божия, заслуживают самой высокой похвалы, и мы будем молиться у Священных Варт о том, чтобы ваши усилия в еще большей степени ускорили процесс расширения и консолидации". (From a letter of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Australia, November 12, 1973) /Из письма Всемирного Дома Справедливости Национальному Духовному Собранию Австралии, 12 ноября 1973/. 5. Social Order of Bahá'u'lláh 5. Социальный Порядок Бахауллы "... To accept the Cause without the administration is like to accept the teachings without acknowledging the divine station of Bahá'u'lláh. To be a Bahá'í is to accept the Cause in its entirety. To take exception to one basic principle is to deny the authority and sovereignty of Bahá'u'lláh, and therefore is to deny the Cause. The administration is the social order of Bahá'u'lláh. Without it all the principles of the Cause will remain abortive. to take exception to this, therefore, is to take exception to the fabric that Bahá'u'lláh has prescribed, it is to disobey his law." "... принять Дело, игнорируя администрацию, по сути то же, что принять учения, не признавая божественного положения Бахауллы. Быть бахаи - значит признать Дело во всей его полноте. Игнорировать какой-либо один из основополагающих принципов - значит отрицать авторитет и высшую власть Бахауллы, а следовательно, отрицать и Дело. Администрация есть социальный порядок Бахауллы. Без нее все принципы Дела останутся лишь пустым звуком. Игнорировать администрацию, следовательно, означает игнорировать саму предустановленную Бахауллой основу, оказывать неповиновение Его закону". (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States and Canada, May 30, 1930: Bahá'í News, No. 43, August 1930, p. 3) /Из письма от имени Шоги Эффенди к Национальному Духовному Собранию Соединенных Штатов и Канады, 30 мая 1930. "Бахаи Ньюс", № 43, с. 3/ 6. Relationship of the Cause to the Administration 6. Взаимосвязь Дела и Администрации "Regarding the relationship of the Cause to the Administration; the Bahá'í Faith as the Guardian himself has repeatedly and emphatically stated cannot be confined to a mere system of organization, however elaborate in its features and universal in its scope it may be. Organization is only a means to the realization of its aims and ideals, and not an end in itself. To divorce the two, however, would be to mutilate the Cause itself, as they stand inseparably bound to each other, in very much the same relationship existing between the soul and body in the world of human existence." "Касательно взаимосвязи Дела и Администрации; Веры Бахаи, как то неоднократно и вдохновенно утверждал сам Хранитель, не может быть сведена к простой системе организации, каким бы отлаженным и всеохватным ни был ее механизм. Организация не более, чем средство к осуществлению ее задач и идеалов, а отнюдь не самоцель. Тем не менее разделять их значит наносить непоправимый ущерб Делу, поскольку они связаны неразрывно, весьма сходно с тем, как связаны душа и тело в мире человеческого бытия". (From a letter on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer April 19, 1939) /Из письма от имени Шоги Эффенди к одному из верующих, 19 апреля 1939/. C. Bahá'í Local Spiritual Assemblies III. Местные Духовные Собрания Бахаи 7. Assemblies Ordained by Bahá'u'lláh 7. Собрания заповеданы Самим Бахауллой "Addressing the nations, the Ancient Beauty ordaineth that in every city in the world a house be established in the name of justice wherein shall gather pure and steadfast souls to the number of the most Great Name (9). At this meeting they should feel as if they were entering the presence of God, inasmuch as this binding command hath flowed from the Pen of Him Who is the Ancient of Days. The glances of God are directed towards this Assembly." "Взывая к народам, Древняя Краса заповедует учредить в каждом городе мира дом, где во имя справедливости собирались бы чистые и неколебимые духом люди по числу Величайшего Имени /9/. И на собраниях этих они должны чувствовать себя так, словно бы в присутствии Самого Бога, ибо то повелевает им Перо Того, Кто Предвечен. Ибо взоры Господа будут устремлены на это Собрание". (Bahá'u'lláh: From a newly translated tablet cited in the Local Spiritual Assembly, p. 6, compiled by the Universal House of Justice) /Из нового перевода Скрижали Бахауллы; цитируется по материалам "Местные Духовные Собрания", с. 6; компиляция Всемирного Дома Справедливости/. 8. Established in Every City -- Counsellors to the Number of Baha (9) 8. Учреждается в каждом городе - Члены Собрания по числу Баха /9/. "the Lord hath ordained that in every city a House of Justice be established

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wherein shall gather counsellors to the number of Baha (9), and should it exceed this number it does not matter..." "Господь заповедал, чтобы в каждом городе учрежден был Дом Справедливости, где собирались бы советники по числу Баха /9/, если же будет превышено то число - допустимо..." (Bahá'u'lláh: Synopsis and Codification of the Laws and Ordinances of the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, p. 13, No. 5) /Бахаулла, Синопсис и кодификация законов и заповедей Китаб-и-Акдас, с. 13, № 5/ 9. Purpose of Spiritual Assemblies 9. Назначение Духовных Собраний "... These bodies have the sacred obligation to help, advise, protect and guide the believers in every way within their power when appealed to -- indeed they were established must for the purpose of keeping order and unity and obedience to the law of God amongst the believers. "... на эти органы возлагается священная обязанность в случае необходимости оказывать помощь, давать советы, защищать и направлять верующих всеми доступными способами - поскольку они были основаны прежде всего с целью соблюдения порядка, единства и повиновения закону Божию среди верующих. "You should go to them as a child would to its parents... ." Обращайтесь к ним, как дети обращаются к своим родителям. (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, September 28, 1941: The Local Spiritual Assembly, compiled by the Universal House of Justice) /Из письма, обращенного от имени Шоги Эффенди к одному из верующих, 28 сентября, 1941. "Местные Духовные Собрания", компиляция Всемирного Дома Справедливости/. 10. Their Defender is 'Abdu'l-Bahá 10. Заступник их - Абдул-Баха "These Spiritual Assemblies are aided by the Spirit of God. Their defender is Abdu'l-Bahá. Over them He spreadeth His wings. What bounty is there greater than this? ... These Spiritual Assemblies are shining lamps and heavenly gardens, from which the fragrances of holiness are diffused over all regions, and the lights of knowledge are shed abroad over all created things. From them the spirit of life streameth in every direction. They, indeed, are the potent sources of the progress of man, at all times and under all conditions." "Этим Духовным Собраниям помогает Сам Дух Божий. Заступник же им - Абдул-Баха. Над ними распростер Он Свои крылья. Где же еще сыщется большая благодать?.. Эти Духовные Собрания суть яркие светильники и небесные сады, благоухание святости которых разносится во все пределы, и свет знания озаряет всякую тварь. От них дух жизни веет повсюду. Воистину, они суть могучие источники роста человека - во все времена и в любых условиях". ('Abdu'l-Bahá: God Passes By, p. 332 and the Local Spiritual Assembly) /Абдул-Баха: цитируется по книге "Бог проходит рядом", с. 332; см. также "Местные Духовные Собрания"/ 11. Assemblies Styled Differently in Future 11. Собрания будут носить иное имя "... Not only will the present -- day Spiritual Assemblies be styled differently in future, but will be enabled also to add to their present functions those powers, duties, and prerogatives necessitated by the recognition of the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh, not merely as one of the recognized religious systems of the world, but as the State Religion of an independent and Sovereign Power..." "... сегодняшние Духовные Собрания будут не только носить иное имя, но и смогут обогатить свои нынешние функции теми силами, обязанностями и полномочиями, которые неизбежно вытекают из признания Веры Бахауллы не только как одной из признанных религиозных систем мира, но Государственной Религии независимой и Суверенной Власти..." (Shoghi Effendi: The Bahá'í World, Vol. III, p. 108) /Шоги Эффенди. "Мир Бахаи", вып. III, с. 108/ 12. Assembly Operates at First Levels of Human Society 12. Собрания действуют на первичных уровнях человеческого общества "The divinely ordained institution of the local Spiritual Assembly operates at the first levels of human society and is the basic administrative unit of Bahá'u'lláh's world Order. It is concerned with individuals and families whom it must constantly encourage to unite in a distinctive Bahá'í society, vitalized and guarded by the laws, ordinances and principles of Bahá'u'lláh's Revelation. It protects the Cause of God; it acts as the loving shepherd of the Bahá'í flock." "Заповеданное свыше учреждение, каковым является Местное Духовное Собрание, действует на первичном уровне человеческого общества и представляет собой основную административную единицу Миропорядка Бахауллы. Оно имеет дело непосредственно побуждать их к тому, чтобы присоединяться к различным обществам Бахаи, вызванным к жизни и охраняемым законами, заповедями и принципами Откровения Бахауллы. Оно отстаивает Дело Божье; оно - любящий пастырь Бахаи. (Message from the Universal House of Justice to the Bahá'ís of the world, Naw-Ruz 1974, paragraph 13) /Послание Всемирного Дома Справедливости к Бахаи всего мира. Новруз 1974 года, § 13/. 13. Strengthening of Local Spiritual Assemblies -- Nerve centres of Communities 13. Укрепление Местных Духовных Собраний - средоточия жизни общин "Great attention should be paid to the strengthening of local Spiritual Assemblies which must act as the nerve centres of the Bahá'í communities in the towns and villages, promote Bahá'í education of the youth and children, and increase cooperation and participation of the believers in Bahá'í community life. Travelling teachers and all who are actively engaged in spreading the Message should rededicate themselves to their vital work and set out with renewed

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enthusiasm. They should aim at assisting as large a number as possible of Bahá'í communities to stand on their own feet and become capable of carrying out the thrilling tasks which they are called upon to discharge in the Vineyard of God in this Day." "Огромную важность имеет укрепление Местных Духовных Собраний, которые должны выступать в качестве средоточия жизни общин Бахаи, способствуя проведению воспитательной работы среди детей и подростков, расширяя сотрудничество и участие верующих в общинной жизни. Странствующие проповедники и все те, кто активно занят распространением Послания, должны со все большим воодушевлением посвящать себя своей жизненно важной работе. Их цель - помочь возможно большему числу общин Бахаи встать на ноги и подготовиться к выполнению волнующих задач, которые они призваны свершить в Винограднике Господнем Дня сего". (From a letter of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of India, February 8, 1972: see section, "Visiting Teachers -- What They Are Supposed to Do") /Из письма Всемирного Дома Справедливости к Национальному Духовному Собранию Индии, 8 февраля 1972/ 14. Primary Purpose to Promote Teaching Work 14. Основное назначение - развивать воспитательную работу "And since the primary purpose for which Local Spiritual Assemblies are established is to promote the teaching work, it is clear that every National Spiritual Assembly must give careful consideration to ways and means to encourage each Local Assembly under its jurisdiction to fulfil its principal obligation... it is important that Local Assemblies share with the local friends stories of successes achieved by some of them, descriptions of effective presentations found useful by them, examples of various ways that a Bahá'í subject could be introduced to inquirers, or illustrations of methods which would enable the believer to relate the needs of society to our teachings. Such information and suggestions should be offered to the friends at Nineteen Day Feasts, through a local newsletter, or by any means open to each Local Assembly. In all these contacts with the believers, each Local Spiritual Assembly should impress upon the friends the unique and irreplaceable role the individual plays in the prosecution of any Bahá'í undertaking... . "Поскольку же основное назначение Местных Духовных Собраний - развивать воспитательную работу, очевидно, что каждое Национальное Духовное Собрание должно уделять пристальное внимание тому, как именно побуждать Местные Собрание, находящиеся в их юрисдикции, не пренебрегать своей главной обязанностью... важно, чтобы Местные Собрания делились с друзьями на местах известиями о достигнутых успехах, предлагали полезные и увлекательные, с их точки зрения, мероприятия, приводили примеры ситуаций, в которых бахаи могут оказаться, вступая в контакт с интересующимися, а также рассказывали о методах, которые могут помочь верующему увязывать нужды общества с нашими учениями. Подобного рода сведения и рекомендации можно предлагать друзьям во время Девятнадцатидневных Праздников, в местных информационных бюллетенях, а также всеми средствами, доступными каждому Местному Собранию. Во время встреч с верующими каждое Местных Духовное Собрание должно внушать друзьям мысль об уникальной и незаменимой роли индивидуума в исполнении всех начинаний Бахаи..." (From a letter of the Universal House of Justice to all National Spiritual Assemblies, March 3, 1977) /Из письма Всемирного Дома Справедливости ко всем Национальным Духовным Собраниям, 3 марта 1977/. 15. Areas Under Jurisdiction of Local Spiritual Assemblies -- National Spiritual Assembly Must Study 15. Сферы юрисдикции Местных Духовных Собраний - предмет для изучения Национальных Духовных Собраний "The matter of the areas under the jurisdiction of a Local Spiritual Assembly is one which the National Assembly must study, and apply the principles laid down by the Guardian; namely, that within a municipal area, where the people resident in the area pay taxes and vote, the Assembly can be elected, and holds jurisdiction. Anyone living outside of that area is not a member of that Community and cannot enjoy the administrative privileges of that Community. Although this will affect your Assembly roll, it will place the work of the Faith on a much sounder bases, and increase the number of Centres where the Bahá'ís reside... . It will challenge the friends to work harder to create new Assemblies and make up for those dissolved... " "Вопрос о сферах юрисдикции Местных Духовных Собраний должен стать предметом изучения для Национальных Духовных Собраний с применением принципов, заложенных Хранителем; а именно: Собрание может быть избрано и обладает юридическими полномочиями в пределах тех муниципалитетов, где проживает определенное число налогоплательщиков, участвующих в голосовании. Всякий, проживающий вне пределов этого муниципалитета, не является членом данной Общины и не может пользоваться ее административным привилегиями. Хотя подобный подход и может отрицательно сказаться на количестве Собраний, он поставит деятельность Веры на более здоровую основу и позволит увеличить число Центров в местах проживания Бахаи... Это побудит друзей активизировать работу по созданию новых Собраний, способных заменить те, что были распущены..." (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the National Spiritual Assembly of Australia and New Zealand, June 13, 1936: Letters from the Guardian to Australia and New Zealand, pp. 130-131) /Из письма от имени Шоги Эффенди к Национальному Духовному Собранию Австралии и Новой Зеландии, 13 июня 1936. Письма Хранителя в Австралию и Новую Зеландию, с. 130-131/. 16. Local Spiritual Assemblies -- Created by Bahá'u'lláh in His Kitáb-i-Aqdas 16. Местные Духовные Собрания - предначертаны Бахауллой в Китаб-и-Акдас "As to your query about the Local Spiritual Assembly, it is indeed a divine institution, created by Bahá'u'lláh in His Kitáb-i-Aqdas as the Local House of Justice. 'Abdu'l-Bahá has clearly set out its provenance, authority and duties and has explained the differences between it and other administrative institutions, whether of the past or the present.. We refer you to the book "Selections from the Writings of 'Abdu'l-Bahá", 37, 38, and 40. "Что касается вашего запроса относительно Местных Духовных Собраний, то это действительно божественный институт, предначертанный Бахауллой в Его Китаб-и-Акдас как Местный Дом Справедливости. Абдул-Баха ясно определил его происхождение, полномочия и обязанности, а также объяснил его отличие от прочих административных институтов прошлого и современности. Отсылаем вас к книге "Избранные Писания Абдул-Баха", разделы 37, 38 и 40. "It is clear that while Local Spiritual Assemblies must supervise all Bahá'í matters in their areas, including arrangements for the Nineteen Day Feast, the observance of the Holy Days, the election of the members of the Assembly, promoting the teaching work, caring for the spiritual welfare and Bahá'í education of the friends and children, etc., they and the friends themselves must at the same time be good citizens and loyal to the civil government, whether it be a Tribal council, a Cacique or a municipal authority." Помимо того, что Местные Духовные Собрания должны руководить всеми делами Бахаи, подлежащими их юрисдикции, включая проведение Девятнадцатидневных Праздников, соблюдение Святых Дней, выборы членов Собрания, развитие образовательной работы, заботу о духовном благополучии и воспитании взрослых, детей и т.д., они, так же как и сами друзья, долджны в то же время быть хорошими гражданами, сохраняя лояльность по отношению к гражданскому правительству, будь то племенной совет, касик или муниципальные власти". (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Brazil, April 13, 1983) /Из письма от имени Всемирного Дома Справедливости к Национальному Духовному Собранию Бразилии, 13 апреля 1983/. D. Formation of Local Spiritual Assemblies IV Формирование Местных Духовных Собраний 17. Forming Local Assemblies -- Obligation to Establish 17. Формирование Местных Собраний - обязательность их учреждения "Shoghi Effendi feels that in any locality where the number of adult believers reaches nine, a Local Assembly should be established. He feels this to be an obligation rather than a purely voluntary act. Only in exceptional cases has the National Spiritual Assembly the right to postpone the formation of an Assembly if it feels that the situation does not warrant such a formation. This right, however, should be exercised if the situation absolutely demands it. As to the principle according to which the area of jurisdiction of a Local Assembly is to be determined, he feels, this to be the function of the National Spiritual Assembly; whatever principle they uphold should be fairly applied to all localities without any distinction whatever." "Шоги Эффенди полагает, что во всех местах, где число взрослых верующих достигает девяти, следует учреждать Местные Собрания. Он полагает также, что это не самопроизвольная акция, а обязанность. Если ничто не препятствует образованию Местного Собрания, Национальное Духовное Собрание лишь в исключительных случаях имеет право откладывать его. Тем не менее это право может быть использовано только в случаях, когда ситуация категорически того требует. Что касается принципа, определяющего сферу юрисдикции Местного Собрания, он полагает, что это целиком входит в компетенцию Национального Духовного Собрания; какой бы принцип ни был избран, его следует неуклонно применять ко всем общинам без исключения". (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States and Canada, April 11, 1931: Bahá'í News, No. 55, September 1931, p. 1) /Из письма от имени Шоги Эффенди к Национальному Собранию Соединенных Штатов и Канады, 11 апреля 1931. "Бахаи Ньюс", № 55, с. 1/ 18. A community of Nine Adult Believers Must Form an Assembly by Joint Declaration 18. Община из девяти взрослых верующих должна формировать Собрание в совместном заявлении "In reply to your letter of 28 October 1980 we are intrusted to make the following points "В ответ на ваше письмо от 28 октября 1980 нам поручено обратить ваше внимание на следующее: : (1) There is noting in the directives of the beloved Guardian or in the by-laws of Local Spiritual Assemblies to require that the joint declaration of a new Local Spiritual Assembly be signed. The way the declaration is made is within the discretion of the National Spiritual Assembly to determine, and it may or may not require signatures. /1/ В указаниях возлюбленного Хранителя, а также в Уставах Местных Духовных Собраний не содержится никаких указаний на то, что совместное заявление об образовании нового Местного Духовного Собрания должно быть подписано. Форму заявления и вопрос о подписях определяет Национальное Духовное Собрание. (2) Wherever at Ridvan there are nine or more adult believers resident in an area properly qualified for the establishment of a Local spiritual Assembly the Assembly must be formed at Ridvan. /2/ В месте, отвечающем правилам образования Местного Духовного Собрания, где во время Ризвана проживают девять или более верующих, Собрание должно быть сформировано во время этого праздника. (3) If the number of adult resident believers is exactly nine the Local Spiritual Assembly must be formed by joint declaration in a manner acceptable to the National Spiritual Assembly and the secretary of the National Spiritual Assembly will record the formation of the Local Assembly. /3/ Если число проживающих в этом месте взрослых верующих равно девяти, Местное Духовное Собрание формируется совместным заявлением в форме приемлемой для Национального Духовного Собрания, секретарь которого делает запись об учреждении Местного Собрания. (4) When the Spiritual Assembly is to be formed for the first time and one more of the adult believers refuses to join in the declaration, the Spiritual Assembly cannot be formed." /4/ Духовное Собрание не может быть сформировано в том случае, когда оно учреждается в первый раз и один из взрослых верующих отказывается присоединиться к заявлению. (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Iceland, December 2, 1980)

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/Из письма от имени Всемирного Дома Справедливости к Национальному Духовному Собранию Исландии, 2 декабря 1980/. 19. Duty of Every Bahá'í to Take part in Joint Declaration 19. Обязанность каждого бахаи - участвовать в совместном заявлении "The statement that it is a condition to the formation of a local Spiritual Assembly that there be at least nine adult believers who are ready, willing and able to serve on the Local Assembly, should not be construed as giving any Bahá'í the right to refuse to take part in the formation of the Assembly. It is merely a statement of a factual condition. The national Bahá'í Constitution specifies: 'When ... the number of Bahá'ís in any authorized civil area is exactly nine, these shall on April 21st of any year, or in successive years, constitute themselves the Local Spiritual Assembly by joint declaration. Upon the recording of such declaration by the Secretary of the National Spiritual Assembly, said body of nine shall become established with the rights, privileges and duties of a Local Spiritual Assembly... It can therefore be seen that it is the duty of every Bahá'í in such a situation to take part in the joint declaration. If a Bahá'í however refuses to do so he should be helped to realize that he has committed a grave dereliction of his Bahá'í duty. In this stage of the development of the Cause a National Spiritual Assembly should note generally, deprive a believer of his voting rights for such an offence, but should lovingly and patiently educate the friends in the importance of their responsibilities". "Положение о том, что условием образования Местного Духовного Собрания является наличие по меньшей мере девяти взрослых верующих, способных, готовых и сознательно желающих содействовать Местному Собранию, не означает, что кто-либо из Бахаи имеет право уклоняться от участия в учреждении Собрания. Это всего лишь свидетельство реального положения дел. Национальный Устав Бахаи гласит: "В том случае если... число Бахаи в каком-либо имеющем гражданский статус населенном пункте или местности равно девяти, то 21 апреля каждого года, а также впоследствии, эти девять человек должны образовывать Местное Духовное Собрание путем совместного заявления. После записи заявления секретарем Национального Духовного Собрания вышеупомянутый орган из девяти человек наделяется правами, полномочиями и обязанностями Местного Духовного Собрания..." Отсюда следует, что долг каждого Бахаи в подобной ситуации участвовать в совместном заявлении. Если верующий, тем не менее, отказывается поступить так, ему следует разъяснить, что он серьезным образом нарушает обязанности бахаи. На данном этапе развития Дела Национальному Духовному Собранию, по большей части, не следует лишать верующего права голоса за подобный проступок, но любовно и терпеливо наставлять друзей в важности их обязанностей". (From a letter of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of New Zealand, October 12, 1969) /Из письма Всемирного Дома Справедливости к Национальному Духовному Собранию Новой Зеландии, 12 октября 1969/. 20. Believer Must Be "a Resident" to Participate in the Formation of a Spiritual Assembly -- Unusual Cases as Exceptions 20 Верующий должен считаться "проживающим" в какой-либо местности или населенном пункте для участия в образовании Духовного Собрания - исключительные случаи "To count as a member of a local Bahá'í community for the purpose of forming or maintaining the Local Spiritual Assembly, a believer must be resident in that area of jurisdiction on the First Day of Ridvan. This is the principle. What constitutes 'residence; is a secondary matter for each National Spiritual Assembly to decide, but there is no exception to the principle that a believer must be resident in order to participate in the formation of the Spiritual Assembly. "Для того чтобы считаться членом местной общины Бахаи и участвовать в работе Местного Духовного Собрания, верующий должен проживать в данном районе в первый день Ризвана. Таков общий принцип. Что именно подразумевать под "проживанием" - вопрос второстепенный, и каждое Национальное Духовное Собрание решает его сообразуясь с обстоятельствами, однако следует неукоснительно придерживаться общего правила: верующий должен проживать в данном месте для участия в формировании Духовного Собрания. "You will see from the above instruction that it is not possible for believers living outside the civil limits of a locality to count as members of that community. There are, of course, many unusual cases. For example, it may be that a university student spends some six months of the year in the town where his university is, and the other half-year in the home of his parents. In such a case it is normal to permit him to choose which of the two places is to count as his residence for Bahá'í purposes; one cannot count as being 'resident' in two places at once. It is, moreover, not essential for a person to be physically present to be resident. There are many instances of a sailor or salesman who spends most of his time moving from place to place but who is indisputably resident in the town where his family lives. All such matters must be decided by the National Spiritual Assembly in the light of the circumstances of each case within the general framework of the definition of 'residence' that it adopts. Such a definition must, of course, be a reasonable one, otherwise the principle would be nullified." Из вышеприведенной инструкции явствует, что верующий, который проживает вне официально установленных пределов данного места, не может считать членом общины. Разумеется, на практике встречается немало исключительных случаев. Допустим, что студент университета проводит полгода в города, где расположен его университет, а вторую половину - в доме его родителей. В таком случае вполне естественно предоставить ему самому решать, какое из двух мест он считае местом своего проживания как бахаи; нельзя считать человека "проживающим" в двух местах одновременно. Более того, физическое присутствие вовсе не обязательно для того, чтобы человек считался "проживающим" где-либо. Нередки случаи, когда моряк, проводящий значительную часть времени в плавании, бесспорно "проживает" в том городе, где живет его семья. Все такого рода случаи должны рассматриваться Национальным Духовным Собранием сообразно конкретным условиям в рамках общего, принятого им понятия "проживания". Разумеется, понятие это должно быть строго мотивировано, поскольку в противном случае полностью утрачивается основная суть принципа". (From a letter of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of France, September 18, 1985) /Из письма Всемирного Дома Справедливости к Национальному Духовному Собранию Франции, 18 сентября 1985/. 21. Re-Formation by election or Joint Declaration -- Refusal of a Believer to Participate does not Prevent Re-Forming Assembly 21. Переизбрание путем выборов или совместного заявления - Отказ верующего от участия в переизбрании не может служить препятствием "In subsequent years the Assembly must be re-formed each RIdvan, either by

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election, if the number of voting believers exceeds nine, or by joint declaration the number is exactly nine. The failure or refusal of a believer to take part in the joint declaration would not be a bar to the re-formation of the Assembly. "В последующие годы Собрание должно переизбираться во время каждого Ризвана, либо - если число верующих превышает девять - путем выборов, либо путем совместного заявления, если оно равно девяти. Неспособность или отказ одного из верующих принять участие в совместном заявлении не может воспрепятствовать преобразованию Собрания. "Where the number of voting believers resident in a community falls below nine during the cause of a year, the Local Spiritual Assembly is not automatically dissolved; it can continue in existence so long as the National Spiritual Assembly has the hope and expectation of being able to restore the number, by enrollment or pioneers. If, however, the number is not restored by the following Ridvan, the Assembly will lapse." Там, где по истечении года число голосующих в общине становится меньше девяти, Местное Духовное Собрание не подлежит автоматическому роспуску; оно может существовать до тех пор, пока Национальное Духовное Собрание не подлежит автоматическому роспуску; оно может существовать до тех пор, пока Национальное Духовное Собрание рассчитывает на то, что сумеет пополнить число его членов за счет принятия новых верующих или за счет "пионеров". Однако же если к началу очередного Ризвана число членов не достигает необходимой цифры, Собрание распускается". (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Canada, July 22, 1981) /Из письма от имени Всемирного Дома Справедливости к Национальному Духовному Собранию Канады, 22 июля 1981/ 22. Circumstances Under Which an Assembly Should not be Immediately Considered Lapsed 22. Случаи, в которых не утрачивает автоматически своего статуса "He feels that where the dissolution of an Assembly is in question each case should be treated separately in this sense, that if a member moves away permanently. leaving less than 9 to function, the Spiritual Assembly should not immediately be dissolved if they, its members, see an immediate remedy in view; in other words if they are going to confirm soon, or receive within a reasonable length of time, someone to take the person's place. they need not to give up Assembly status. If they do, for insurmountable reason, fall below Assembly status, then they can only be reconstituted on April 21st. Also if certain members temporarily absent themselves from meetings there is no need to dissolve the Assembly; on the contrary the reluctant ones should be educated and encouraged to reassume their spiritual obligations as believers. A spiritual Assembly is not based on 9 people being available for every single meeting but on 9 resident Bahá'ís doing their best to discharge their duty to the Spiritual Assembly when they are not prevented by illness or absence or some legitimate reason for doing so." "Он полагает, что там, где роспуск Собрания является спорным, каждый случай следует рассматривать отдельно, а именно: если кто-либо из верующих меняет постоянное место жительства и, таким образом, общее число членов становится меньше девяти, Духовное Собрание не подлежит немедленному роспуску, если его члены видят реальную и скорую возможность исправить ситуацию; иными словами, если они готовы подтвердить, что у них есть кандидат, который в скором времени может занять место выбывшего члена, они не утрачивают статуса Собрания. Если же в силу непреодолимых обстоятельств они теряют таковой, то он может быть восстановлен только с началом следующего Ризвана, т.е. 21 апреля. Также нет необходимости в роспуске Собрания ввиду временного отсутствия кого-либо из его членов; и напротив, те из верующих, кто неохотно участвует в работе Собрания, нуждаются в дополнительном разъяснении их духовных обязанностей. Духовное собрание основывается не просто на девяти людях, которые время от времени собираются вместе, но на девяти бахаи, которые прилагают все усилия, дабы исполнить свой долг, участвуя в работе Духовного Собрания, если тому не препятствует болезнь, вынужденно отсутствие или какая-либо иная уважительная причина". (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States and Canada, March 31, 1945) /Из письма от имени Шоги Эффенди к Национальному Духовному Собранию Соединенных Штатов и Канады, 31 марта 1945/. 23. Members of Lapsed Assembly -- Responsible to Notify 23. Члены распущенного Собрания - их обязанность уведомить Национального секретаря National Secretary '... any Assembly which is dissolved must immediately report to the national secretary, who must always keep an up to date list of Assemblies. Any dissolved Assembly cannot be reconstituted until the time for election in April... . " "... члены распущенного Собрания обязаны немедленно поставить в известность национального секретаря, у которого должен постоянно иметься список всех Собраний на данный момент. Каждое распущенное Собрание может быть восстановлено исключительно в результате выборов в апреле..." (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States and Canada, April 13, 1944: The Covenant and Administration, p.62) /Из письма от имени Шоги Эффенди к Национальному Духовному Собранию Соединенных Штатов и Канады, 13 апреля 1944. "Завет и Администрация", с. 62/ 24. Spiritual Assembly Jurisdiction Changes -- As Civil Units are Modified 24. Изменения в сфере юрисдикции Духовных Собраний - их соответствие изменениям гражданских административных единиц "The general principle is that Local Spiritual Assembly may be formed in the smallest civil administrative units of the country. If these areas are enlarged or reduced in size by the Government the area of jurisdiction of the Local Spiritual Assembly should likewise be changed." "Общий принцип основан на том, что Местные Духовные Собрания могут образовываться в самых мелких административных граданских единицах страны. Если правительство расширяет или, наоборот, сужает их гранцы, соответственно меняется и сфера юрисдикции Местных Духовных Собраний". (From a letter of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Zambia, June 8, 1978) /Из письма Всемирного Дома Справедливости к Национальному Духовному Собранию Замбии, 8 июня 1978/ 25. Assemblies Cannot be Formed in Prison 25. Собрания не учреждаются в тюрьмах "... the Hands of the Cause residing in the Holy Land have shared with us a

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portion of the February 3rd letter of... referring to teaching in the prison in ...and to the formation of Local Assemblies in cell blocks, While this teaching work is commendable those who accept Bahá'u'lláh under these conditions cannot undertake administrative responsibilities, nor can Local Assemblies be formed in prisons. However, they may observe Nineteen Day Feasts, Bahá'í Holy Days, and other Bahá'í events. When they return to their own communities they may participate in administrative affairs as well." "... проживающие в Святой Земле Десницы Дела поделились с нами отрывком из письма от 3 февраля... касательно проведения воспитательной работы в тюрьмах и учреждения Местных Собраний в местах заключения. Хотя такого рода работа и рекомендуется, принявшие Бахауллу в подобных обстоятельствах не могут быть наделены административной ответственностью, равно как и Местные Собрания не учреждаются в тюрьмах. Тем не менее, принявшие Веру могут соблюдать Девятнадцатидневные Праздники, Святые Дни Бахаи и т. д. По возвращении в свои общины они в полной мере могут принять участие в административных делах". (Letter from the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Ecuador, February 9, 1972: Extract from a letter written to another National Spiritual Assembly, June 11, 1964) /Письмо Всемирного Дома Справедливости к Национальному Духовному Собранию Эквадора, 9 февраля 1072/ 26. Qualifications of Assembly Members -- Subject to Human Limitations 26. Требования, предъявляемые к членам Собрания - Им также присущи человеческие слабости "with reference to your next question concerning the qualification of the members of the Spiritual Assembly; there is a distinction of fundamental importance which should be always remembered in this connection, and this is between the Spiritual Assembly as an institution, and the persons who compose it. These are by no means supposed to be perfect, nor can they are considered as being inherently superior to the rest of their fellow believers, It is precisely because they are subject to the same human limitation that characterize the other members of the community that they have to be elected every year. The existence of election is a sufficient indication that Assembly members, through forming apart of an institution that is diving and perfect, are nevertheless themselves imperfect But this does not necessarily imply that their judgement is defective." "Касательно Вашего вопроса относительно требований, предъявляемых к членам Духовных Собраний; существует фундаментальное различие, о котором никогда не следует забывать в этой связи - различие между Духовным Собранием как учреждением и лицами, входящими в его состав. Подразумевается, что члены Собрания должны быть безупречны, однако ни в коем случае нельзя относиться к ним как к существам высшего порядка по сравнению с их товарищами по Вере. Причина этого коренится именно в том, что им присущи те же человеческие слабости, какие характерны для прочих членов той общины, которая каждый год избирает их. Само существование выборов ясно указывает на то, что члены Собрания, являясь частью божественного и безупречного института, сами по себе небезупречны. Однако это вовсе не означает, что принимаемые ими решения неизбежно неверны". (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, November 15, 1935) /Из письма от имени Шоги Эффенди к одному из верующих, 15 ноября 1935/ 27. Qualifications Outlined Applicable to Anyone Elected 27. Требования ко всем избираемым "In regard to your question about qualification of delegates and Assembly members: the qualifications which he outlines are really applicable to anyone we elect to a Bahá'í office, whatever its nature. But these are only an indication, they do not mean people who don't fulfill them cannot be elected to office. We must aim as high as we can." "Касательно вашего вопроса о требованиях к делегатами и членам Собраний: намеченные им в общих чертах требования реально применимы ко всем, кого мы избираем на ту или иную должность Бахаи. Однако требования эти носят характер рекомендации и не означают, что люди, не соответствующие им, не могут быть избраны. При всем том мы обязаны стремиться к идеалу". (From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to the National Spiritual Assembly of the British Isles, October 24, 1947: The Spiritual Character of Bahá'í Elections) /Из письма от имени Хранителя к Национальному Духовному Собранию Великобритании, 24 октября 1947. "Духовный характер выборов Бахаи", с. 3/ 28. Auxiliary Board Members, Eligibility of 28. Члены Вспомогательных Советов, право на их избрание "All adults Baha'is, including members of the Auxiliary Board, are eligible to vote in elections for delegates or in elections for members of the Local Spiritual Assembly." "Все взрослые Бахаи, включая членов Вспомогательнго Совета, имеют право участвовать в качестве кандидатов на выборах делегатов или членов Местного Духовного Собрания". (Letter from the Universal House of Justice to the National Assembly of Uganda and Central Africa, April 10, 1966) /Письмо Всемирного Дома Справедливости к Национальному Собранию Уганды и Центральной Африки, 10 апреля 1966/ 29. Board Members May Serve on Assembly Temporarily 29. Члены Вспомогательной Коллегии могут работать в Собрании временно "In all three areas of election, Auxiliary Board members are eligible to be elected. Therefore, a ballot should not be invalidated because it contains the name of a member of an Auxiliary Board. The basic principle involved is that the Board member himself must decide whether or not to accept his election. As you have stated in your letter, if the membership in a Bahá'í community drops to nine, including the Auxiliary Board member resident there, the Auxiliary Board

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member may serve temporarily as a member of the Assembly to preserve its Assembly status." "Во всех трех избирательных округах члены Вспомогательной Коллегии имеют право участвовать в выборах в качестве кандидатов. Соответственно, бюллетень с именем члена Вспомогательной Коллегии обязан считаться действительным. Основной принцип здесь заключается в том, что члену Совета предоставляется самому решать, принимать или не принимать участие в выборах. Как вы заявляете в своем письме, в случае если число членов общины Бахаи - менее девяти, включая члена Вспомогательной Коллегии, он может временно исполнять функции члена Собрания, чтобы сохранить его статус". (Letter from the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States, March 25, 1966, cited in the compilation Auxiliary Board Members) /Письмо Всемирного Дома Справедливости к Национальному Духовному Собранию Соединенных Штатов, 25 мая 1966. Цитируется по компиляции "Члены Вспомогательных Советов/. /См. также № 91-92/. 30. Annual Elections Provide Opportunity to Remedy defects the Assembly May Suffer 30. Ежегодные выборы предоставляют возможность устранить просчеты, могущие нанести ущерб Собранию "For as 'Abdu'l-Bahá has repeatedly emphasized Bahá'í Assemblies are under the guidance and protection of God. The elections, specially when annual, give the community a good opportunity to remedy any defects or imperfection from which the Assembly may suffer as a result of the action of its members. Thus a safe method has been established whereby the quality of membership in Bahá'í Assemblies can be continually raised and improved. But, as already stated, the institution of the Spiritual Assembly should under no circumstances be identified with, or be estimated merely through, the personal Qualification of the members that compose it." "Как неоднократно подчеркивал Абдул-Баха, Собрания ведомы Господом и хранимы Им. Выборы, особенно ежегодные, предоставляют общине хорошую возможность устранить всевозможные просчеты и недостатки, которые могут нанести ущерб Собранию в результате действий его членов. Это надежный метод постоянного повышения и совершенствования уровня членов Собраний Бахаи. Но, как уже отмечалось, сам институт Духовных Собраний ни в коем случае нельзя отождествлять с его членами или оценивать исходя из их личных качеств". (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, November 15, 1935) /Из письма от имени Шоги Эффенди к одному из верующих, 4 февраля 1935/ 31. Absence of Nomination in Bahá'í Elections -- A Distinguishing Feature 31. Отличительная черта выборов Бахаи - отсутствие заранее выдвигаемых кандидатур "As to the practice of nomination on Bahá'í elections, this the Guardian firmly believes to be in fundamental dis-accord with the spirit which should animate and direct all elections held by the Baha'is, be they of a local or national character and importance. It is, indeed, the absence of such a practice that constitutes the distinguishing feature and the marked superiority of the Bahá'í electoral methods over those commonly associated with political parties and factions. The practice of nomination being thus contrary to the spirit of Bahá'í Administration should be totally discarded by all the friends. For otherwise the freedom of the Bahá'í elector in choosing the members of any Bahá'í Assembly will be seriously endangered leaving the way open for the domination of personalities. Not only that; but the mere act of nomination leads eventually to the formation of parties a thing which is totally alien to the spirit of the Cause." "Что касается практики предварительного выдвижения кандидатур, или номинации, Хранитель твердо уверен, что он в корне несовместим с духом любых выборов Бахаи, идет ли речь о выборах национального или местного характера и масштаба. Отсутствие подобной практики составляет отличительную черту избирательных методов Бахаи и еще более подчеркивает их превосходство по сравнению с прочими методами, обычно практикуемыми по сравнению с прочими методами, обычно практикуемыми политическими партиями и фракциями. Поскольку принцип номинации полностью противоречит духу Администрации Бахаи, всем друзьям следует решительно отвергать его. В противном случае свобода бахаи, избирающих членов Собраний, окажется под серьезной угрозой и возникнет опасность давления со стороны отдельных личностей. Кроме того сам акт номинации в конечном счете ведет к образованию партий, что абсолютно чудо духу Дела". (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, February 4, 1935) /Из письма Шоги Эффенди к одному из верующих, 4 февраля 1935/. 32. Bahá'í Electoral Procedures Develop Spirit of Responsibility 32. Избирательная процедура Бахаи развивает чувство ответственности "In addition to these serious dangers, the practice of nomination has the great disadvantage of killing in the believers the spirit of initiative, and of self-development. Bahá'í electoral procedures and methods have, indeed, for one of their essential purposes the development in every believer of the spirit of responsibility. By emphasizing the necessity of maintaining his full freedom in the elections, they make it incumbent upon him to become an active and well -- informed member of the Bahá'í community in which he lives." "Помимо этих серьезных опасностей огромный недостаток номинации состоит в том, что она подавляет дух инициативы и самоусовершенствования. Одна же из основных целей избирательной процедуры и методов Бахаи как раз и заключается в развитии у каждого верующего чувства ответственности. Подчеркивая необходимость полной свободы верующего во время выборов, ни заставляют его проникнуться сознанием, что его долг - стать активным и хорошо осведомленным членом общины, в которой он живет". (Ibid) /Там же/ 33. Freedom of Believers to Choose 33. Свобода выбора - лучшие и самые разнообразные элементы '... I do not feel it to be in keeping with the spirit of the Cause to impose any limitations upon the freedom of the believers to choose those of any race,

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nationality or temperament, who best combine the essential qualification for membership of administrative institutions. They should disregard personalities and concentrate their attention on the qualities and requirements of office, without prejudice, passion or partially. The Assembly should be representative of the choicest and most varied and capable elements in every Bahá'í community." "... полагаю, что в согласии с духом Дела - предоставлять верующим полную свободу выбирать представителя любой расы, национальности и характера, который наилучшим образом сочетает основные качества, требуемые от члена административного учреждения. Невзирая не личности и оставив в стороне предрассудки, пристрастия и любого рода фракционность, верующим следует сосредоточить все свое внимание на необходимых для работы качествах. В Собрании должны представительствовать лучшие, самые способные и разнообразные элементы каждой общины Бахаи". (Letter from the Guardian to an individual believer, August 11, 1933: The Spiritual Character of Bahá'í Elections, p. 3) /Из письма Хранителя к одному из верующих, 11 августа 1933. "Духовный характер выборов Бахаи"/. 34. Believers Should Become intelligent, Well -- Informed and Responsible Electors[*] 34. Верующий должен быть сознательным, хорошо осведомленным и ответственным избирателем "To be able to make a wise choice at the election time, it is necessary for him to be in close and continued contact with all of his fellow -- believers, to keep in touch with local activities, be they teaching, administrative or otherwise, and to fully and whole-heartedly participate in the affairs of the local as well as national committees and Assemblies in his country. It is only in this way that a believer can develop a true social consciousness, and acquire a true sense of responsibility in matters affecting the interests of the Cause. Bahá'í community life thus makes it a duty for every loyal land faithful believer to become an intelligent, well -- informed and responsible elector, and also gives him the opportunity of raising himself to such a station. And since the practice of nomination hinders the development of such qualities in the believers, and in addition leads to corruption and partisanship, it has to be entirely discarded in a Bahá'í elections." "Для того чтобы сделать правильный выбор, члену общины необходимо находиться в постоянном и тесном контакте со своими соратниками по вере, не уклоняться от деятельности на местах, будь то воспитательная или административная работа, а также целиком и полностью соучаствовать в делах местных и национальных комитетов и собраний своей страны. Только таким образом верующий может развить в себе подлинную социальную сознательность и приобрести подлинное чувство ответственности во всем, что так или иначе касается интересов Дела. Таким образом, общинная жизнь Бахаи возлагает на каждого верного и преданного верующего обязанность быть сознательным, хорошо осведомленным и ответственным избирателем и открывает перед ним возможность достичь этого. Поскольку же практика номинации препятствует развитю у верующих этих качеств и ведет к коррупции и слепой фракционности, ее следует решительно избегать при проведении всех выборов Бахаи". (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, February 4, 1935) [*] (See also: Section 1.F) /Из письма от имени Шоги Эффенди к одному из верующих,4 февраля 1935/ /См. также I раздел, часть IV/ 35. Canvassing is Deprecated 35. Предвыборная агитация неприемлема "The strength and progress of the Bahá'í community depend upon the election of pure, faithful an active souls... Canvassing is deprecated... . "Сила и будущее Общины Бахаи зависит от избрания чистых, преданных и активных людей... Предвыборная агитация решительно неприемлема... "Bahá'í election of the Community are... sanctified from all traces of canvassing and plotting that characterize the activities of the perfidious." Выбора в Общине Бахаи должны стать святым делом, свободным от какой-либо агитации и интриганства, присущих действиям людей вероломных и продажных". (Letter from Shoghi Effendi to the friends in Persia, April 9, 1932: The Spiritual Character of Bahá'í Elections, p.3) /Письмо Шоги Эффенди к друзьям в Персии, 9 апреля 1932. "Духовный характер выборов Бахаи", с. 3/ 36. Reference to Personalities Before Election 36. Ссылки на конкретные личности в предвыборный период "I feel that reference to personalities before the election would give rise to misunderstanding and differences. What the friends should do is to get thoroughly acquainted with one another, to exchange views, to mix freely and discuss among themselves the requirements, and qualification for such a membership without reference or application, however indirect, to particularly individuals, but should stress the necessity of getting fully acquainted with the qualifications of membership referred to in our Beloved's Tablets and of learning more about one another through direct, personal experience rather than through the reports and opinions of our friends." "Думаю, что ссылки на конкретные личности в предвыборный период могут привести к разногласиям и взаимному непониманию. Друзьям прежде всего следует хорошо узнать друг друга, по возможности чаще обмениваться взглядами и обсуждать между собою требования к членам собраний, комитетов и т.д., не подразумевая, пусть даже косвенно, конкретных людей, но всячески подчеркивая необходимость полного ознакомления с требованиями, изложенными в Возлюбленных Скрижалях, и как можно более полного знакомства друг с другом - на собственном опыте, а не с чужих слов". (Letter from Shoghi Effendi to the Spiritual Assembly of Akron, Ohio, May 14, 1927: Principles of Bahá'í Administration, p. 46) /Письмо Шоги Эффенди к Духовному Собранию Эйкрона, штат Огайо, 14 мая 1927. "Принципы Администрации Бахаи", с. 46/ 37. Avoid Intrigues 37. Избегайте интриг "Beware, beware lest the foul odour of the parties and people of foreign lands in the west, and their pernicious methods, such as intrigues, party politics and

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propaganda -- practices which are abhorrent even in name -- should ever reach the Bahá'í community, exert any influence what ever upon the friends, and thus bring a spirituality to naught. The friends should, through their devotion, love, loyalty and altruism, abolish these evil practices, not imitate them. It is only after the friends completely ignore an sanctify themselves from these evils, that the spirit of God can penetrate and operate in the body of humanity, and in the Bahá'í Community." "Остерегайтесь, говорю вам, смрада, распространяемого партиями и народами западных стран, остерегайтесь того, чтобы их пагубные методы, такие как партийная политика, интриги и пропаганда, одно название которых оскорбляет слух, коснулись Общин Бахаи, оказали какое-либо воздействие на друзей и свели на нет духовность, присущую нашей Вере. Не подражать этой порочной практике, а поставить на ее место любовь, верность, преданность и человеколюбие следует друзьям. Лишь отринув от себя это зло и очистившись от него, друзья позволят духу Божию снизойти на человечество и Общины Бахаи". (Letter from the Guardian to the friends in Persia, January 30, 1923: The Spiritual Character of Bahá'í Elections, p. 10) /Письмо Хранителя к персидским друзьям, 30 января, 1923. "Духовный характер выборов Бахаи", с. 1/ 38. Election Day 38 День выборов "On the election day the friends must whole-heartedly participate in the elections, in unity and amity, turning their hearts to God, detached from all things but Him, seeking His guidance and supplicating His aid and bounty." "В день выборов друзья должны с чистым сердцем, в единстве и согласии участвовать в них, обратив сердца свои к Господу, помышляя только о Нем, взыскуя Его наставлений и взывая к Его помощи и благодати". (Letter from the Guardian to the friends in Persia, January 30, 1923: The Spiritual Character of Bahá'í Elections, p. 1) /Из письма Хранителя к персидским друзьям, 30 января 1923. "Духовный характер выборов Бахаи", с. 1/ 39. Prayer and Reflection Before Voting 39. Молитва и размышления накануне голосования "... the elector... is called upon to vote for none but those whom prayer and reflection have inspired him to uphold. Moreover, the practice of nomination, so detrimental to the atmosphere of a silent and prayerful election, is viewed with mistrust, inasmuch as it gives the right,... to deny that God-given right of every elector to vote only in favour of those who he is conscientiously convinced are the most worthy candidates. "... избиратель... призван голосовать лишь за того, чье имя подсказали ему молитва и размышления. Более того, практика номинации, столь губительная для безмолвной и исполненной молитвенного духа атмосферы выборов, вызывает недоверие постольку, поскольку она дает возможность... отрицать богоданное право каждого избирателя отдавать свой голос лишь за тех, кого он сознательно и убежденно считает наиболее достойными кандидатами". (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States and Canada, May 27, 1927: Bahá'í Administration, p. 136) /Из письма от имени Шоги Эффенди к Национальному Духовному Собранию Соединенных Штатов и Канады, 27 мая 1927. "Администрация Бахаи", с 136/ "... in the time of election, the friends should be in the mood of prayer, disinterestedness and detachment from worldly motives. Then they will be inspired to elect the proper members to the assemblies." "... во время выборов друзьям следует пребывать в молитвенном настроении незаинтересованности и отрешенности от мирских побуждений. Тогда они исполнятся духа, позволяющего им совершить правильный выбор членов собраний". (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, June 7, 1924) /Из письма от имени Шоги Эффенди к одному из верующих, 7 июня 1924/ 40. Procedure for Voting by Mail 40. Голосование по почте "The same procedure in voting should be followed, namely, the ballot should be placed and sealed in an unmarked inner envelop and that envelop placed in an outer envelope marked with the name of the voter... ." "При голосовании почтой соблюдается та же процедура: бюллетень следует вложить в ненадписанный и запечатанный конверт, который, в свою очередь, вкладывается в надписанный конверт с именем голосующего..." (From a letter of the Universal House of Justice to all National Spiritual Assemblies, January 21, 1973) /Из письма Всемирного Дома Справедливости ко всем Национальным Духовным Собраниям, 21 января 1973/ 41. No Quorum Required for Election of an Assembly 41. Для выборов Собрания кворум не требуется "no quorum is required in the holding of an election for a Local Spiritual Assembly. This rule also applies in the case of By - elections, The mere fact that less than nine vote for the members of the Local Spiritual Assembly does not invalidate the election. "Для проведения выборов в Местное Духовное Собрание кворум не требуется. То же правило соблюдается и при дополнительных выборах. Выборы считаются действительными даже в том случае, когда за членов Местного Духовного Собрания подано менее девяти голосов. "As you know, the National Assembly can always look into the circumstances surrounding a Local Spiritual Assembly election and use its discretion in determining whether, considering all circumstances, the existence of the Local Spiritual Assembly should be recognized." Как вам известно, Национальное Собрание всегда имеет возможность вникнуть в обстоятельства проведения выборов в Местное Духовное Собрание". (Letter from the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Ecuador, April 16, 1969)

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/Письмо Всемирного Дома Справедливости к Национальному Духовному Собранию Эквадора, 16 апреля 1969/. 42. Bahá'í Elections for Spiritual Assemblies Cast Nine Votes Neither More Than Less[*] 42. Выборы Бахаи в Духовные Собрания "Concerning the question you have asked as to whether in elections for Spiritual Assemblies the electors should cast exactly nine votes, or may cast less than this number. Inasmuch as Spiritual Assembly membership according to the principles of Bahá'í Administration, has been limited for the present to nine members, it follows that no electoral vote can be effective unless it is cast for exactly that number. It is, therefore, the sacred duty of every Bahá'í elector to cast nine votes, neither more nor less, except under special circumstances so as to insure that the results of the election fort the Spiritual Assembly will be effective and on as wide a basis of representation as possible." "Касательно вашего вопроса о том, какое количество голосов следует подавать при выборах в Духовные Собрания и может ли оно быть меньше девяти. Поскольку в соответствии с принципами Администрации Бахаи число членов Духовного Собрания ограничено девятью, избирательный голос будет считаться надействительным, если он не соответствует этой цифре. Таким образом, священный долг каждого избирателя-бахаи - голосовать за девятерых человек, за исключением отдельных случаев, когда требуется обеспечить эффективность результатов выборов в Духовное Собрание на возможно более широкой представительной основе". (From a letter dated March 27 1940 Written on behalf of the Guardian to the National Spiritual Assembly of the British Isles) /Из письма 27 марта 1940 года от имени Хранителя к Национальному Духовному Собранию Великобритании/ 43. Believer Has Right to Vote for Himself 43. Право верующего голосовать за самого себя "A believer has the right to vote for himself during the elections time, if he conscientiously feels the urge to do so. This does not necessarily means that he is ambitious or selfish. For he might conscientiously believes that this qualifications entitle him to membership in a Bahá'í administrative body, and he might be right. The essential, however, is that he should be sincere in his belief, and should act according to the dictates of his conscience. "Во время выборов Верующий имеет право голосовать за самого себя, если он чувствует осознанную потребность в этом. Подобный факт отнюдь не означает, что он человек претенциозный или самолюбивый. Он может вполне искренне верить, что его качества соответствуют качествам члена административного учреждения Бахаи, и он может оказаться прав. Суть в том, чтобы он был действительно искренним и действовал по велению своей совести. Moreover, membership in an Assembly or committee is a form of service, and should not be looked upon as a mark of inherent superiority or a means for self-praise." Более того, членство в собрании или комитете - тоже одна из форм служения, которую не следует рассматривать как знак прирожденного превосходства или средство самовозвеличивания". (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the National Spiritual Assembly of India, Pakistan and Burma, March 27, 1938, Dawn of a New Day, pp. 200-201) /Из письма от имени Шоги Эффенди к Национальному Духовному Собранию Индии, Пакистана и Бирмы, 27 марта 1938. "Заря Нового Дня", с. 200-201/. 44. Votes Confidential 44. Конфиденциальность бюллетеней "One's vote should be kept confidential. It is not permissible to make any reference whatsoever to individual names. The friends must avoid the evil methods and detestable practices of the politicians. They must turn completely to God and with a purity of motive, a freedom of spirit and a sanctity of heart, participate in the elections; otherwise the outcome will be chaos and confusion, serious difficulties will ensure, mischief will abound and the confirmation of God will be cut off." "Бюллетень голосующего должно быть строго конфиденциальным. Ссылка на какие-либо конкретные имена непозволительна. Друзьям следует избегать порочных методов и неприглядной практики разного рода политиканов. Они должны всеми своими помыслами обратиться к Господу и с чистыми побуждениями, раскрепощенным духом и святостью в сердце участвовать в выборах; в противном случае последуют хаос и смятение, возникнут серьезные трудности, процветут клевета и ложь, и Господь оставит их". (Letter from the Guardian to the friends in Persia, January 16, 1932: The Spiritual Character of Bahá'í Elections, p. 2) /Письмо Хранителя к персидским друзьям, 16 января 1932. "Духовный характер выборов Бахаи", с. 2/ 45. Secret Ballot 45. Тайное голосование "Let them exercise the utmost vigilance so that the elections are carried out freely, universally and by secret ballot. Any form of intrigue,deception, collusion and compulsion must be stopped and is forbidden. "С величайшей бдительностью подобает следить за тем, чтобы выборы были свободными, всеобщими и осуществлялись путем тайного голосования. Следует решительно пресекать любые формы проявления интриганства, мошенничества и принуждения". (Letter from the Guardian to the friends in Persia, January 16, 1932: The Spiritual Character of Bahá'í Elections, p. 2) /Письмо Хранителя к персидским друзьям, 16 января 1032. "Духовный характер выборов Бахаи", с. 2/. 46. Results of Election Should be Accepted 46. Результаты выборов должны быть приняты безоговорочно "... .Once Assembly elections are over, the result should be conscientiously and ----------------- [*] (See: I.F. Instructions of Tellers, Priority of Minorities, Approval of Outgoing Assembly, Nos. 80-94)

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unquestionable accepted by the entire body of the believers, not necessarily because they represent the voice of truth or the will of Bahá'u'lláh, but for the supreme purpose of maintaining unity and harmony in the Community. Besides, the acceptance of majority vote is the only effective and practical way of settling deadlocks in elections. No other solution is indeed possible." "... по завершении выборов всем верующим следует сознательно и безоговорочно признать их результаты и не потому, чтобы это был глас истины или воля Бахауллы, а во имя высшей цели поддержания единства и согласия внутри Общины. Кроме того принятие мнения большинства - единственный эффективный и практический путь выхода из могущих возникнуть тупковых ситуаций. Иные способы разрешения из маловероятны". (From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to an individual believer, July 10, 1939) /Из письма от имени Хранителя к одному из верующих, 10 июля, 1939/. 47. Breaking of Tie Votes 47. Равное число голосов "Regarding your question about the breaking of tie votes, a balloting to break such a tie vote for members of a Spiritual Assembly may be held after the first day of Ridvan if necessary, but obviously the day of balloting should not be delayed too long." "Касательно вашего вопроса относительно равного количества голосов, отвечаем: повторное голосование в случае равного числа голосов, набранных членами Духовного Собрания, по необходимости может проводиться после первого дня Ризвана, однако не следует откладывать его слишком надолго". (From a letter of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of El Salvador, July 4, 1972) /Из письма Всемирного Дома Справедливости к Национальному Духовному Собранию Сальвадора, 4 июля 1972/ 48. If Enrolled Believer Withdraws -- Subsequently Elected to Spiritual Assembly 48. Случай отказа внесенного в список верующего "Regarding your last question, if, prior to local elections an enrolled believer withdraws from the Faith and this leads to the removal of his name from Bahá'í membership, and yet he is subsequently elected to the Local Assembly, such votes as have been case in his name are disregarded without invalidating the remaining votes on the ballots. If, however,the process of withdrawal has not taken place, that is, the believer refuses on the day of election to participate and expresses then his desire to withdraw from the community, and yet he is subsequently elected to the Assembly, since his withdrawal is generally unknown to the friends, in such a case the remaining eight elected members should meet, consider the withdrawal, and if his name has to be removed from Bahá'í membership, a By-election should be held to fill the vacancy." "Касательно вашего последнего письма: в случае, если внесенный в список верующий накануне выборов отказывается от Веры, что влечет за собой автоматической исключение его из числа Бахаи, и тем не мене впоследствии оказывается избранным в Местное Собрание, поданные за него голоса отклоняются, остальные же внесенные в бюллетени голоса считаются действительными. Если же верующий непосредственно в день выборов отказывается от участия и изъявляет желание выйти из рядов общины, но тем не менее впоследствии оказывается избранным в Собрание, то, поскольку его отвод неизвестне большинству друзей, оставшиеся восемь членов должны собраться, обсудить факт отвода и, если верующий исключается из числа Бахаи, назначить дополнительные выборы, чтобы заместить освободившуюся вакансию". (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Ecuador, December 11, 1979) /Из письма от имени Всемирного Дома Справедливости к Национальному Духовному Собранию Эквадора, 11 декабря 1979/. 49. Mass Migrations 49. Массовые миграции "Local Assemblies cannot be formed any time during the year, unless, it is for the first time. The house of Justice fully understands the problem you face each year in forming the ... Assemblies due to the mass migration of the friends during the pine nuts harvest. However, the Assemblies in that area cannot be elected before January 15 or after May 15 as you have suggested. We have noted form your letter that not all of the ... friends may migrate to the higher regions during the Ridvan period, which means that those remaining at home may hold elections. Those Bahá'ís who leave their homes and are absent during the Ridvan period may leave their votes with those believers remaining behind, who will on the First Day of Ridvan count the ballots and report the results of the election to the National Spiritual Assembly or its representative. "Местные Собрания, пусть даже в первый раз, не могут учреждаться в любое произвольное время года. Дом Справедливости в полной мере представялет себе проблемы, с которыми вам приходится сталкиватсья каждый год при формировании... Собраний с связи с массовыми миграциями друзей в период сбора урожая. Однако Собрания в данном регионе не могут избираться до 15 января или после 15 мая, как вы предлагаете. Из вашего письма мы заключили, что не все друзья... переезжают в горные районы во время Ризвана, следовательно выборы могут проводить оставшиеся дома. Те из бахаи, кто покидает дом и отсутствует в период Ризвана, могут передавать свои бюллетени оставшимся, которые в Первый День Ризвана производят подсчет и сообщают о результатах выборов Национальному Духовному Собранию или его представителю. "If all the friends from one Spiritual Assembly jurisdiction go away to work at different location and there is nobody left in the village to review their votes, they may write out their ballot before dispersing and sent them to the National Assembly or to any committee appointed by that body, who at Ridvan will open and count the votes and inform the Bahá'ís when they return home of those elected to the Local Assembly.

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Если все друзья, подлежащие юрисдикции одного Духовного Собрания, отправляются на работу в разные места и в деревне не остается никого, кому они могли бы передоверить свои бюллетени, они могут заполнить их до отъезда и отослать в Национальное Собрание либо в комитет, назначенный этим органом, где бюллетени будут вскрыты во время Ризвана, произведен подсчет, а бахаи по возвращении поставлены в известность о результатах выборов. "When the entire Bahá'í population of a village moves away together to a new location an is absent during the Ridvan period, they may elect their Assembly at Ridvan and function as a Local Assembly when they return home." В том случае когда все проживающие в данной деревне или городе бахаи переезжают на новое место и отстутствуют в период Ризвана, они могут избрать свое Собрание в Ризван и по возвращении приступить к деятельности в качестве Местного Собрания". (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Chile, January 1, 1984) /Из письма от имени Всемирного Дома Справедливости к Национальному Духовному Собранию Чили, 1 января 1984/ 50. When Conditions Beyond Human Control Prevent Election of Assembly at Ridvan 50. Случаи, когда стихийные бедствия препятствуют проведению выборов в период Ризвана "Local Spiritual Assemblies which have not been re-elected during the Ridvan period must be considered as groups. However, there may be cases when conditions beyond the control of the local believers exist, such as, as you have said, the 'Bahá'ís had left the community because of flooding, or extremely inclement weather conditions made it impossible to hold the election. In such cases which, by their very nature, should be rare, the National Spiritual Assembly may use it discretion in recognizing the Local Spiritual Assembly, considering it a group, or decide to hold the election of such Local Spiritual Assemblies at a later date when the friends have returned to their communities." "Местные Духовные Собрания, не переизбранные в период Ризвана, должны рассматриваться как группы. Однако возможны случаи стихийных бедствий, неподвластных местным верующим, как в том примере, о котором вы пишете, когда бахаи пришлось покинуть общину по причине наводнения либо когда выборы нельзя провести из-за крайне неблагоприятных погодных условий. В подобных ситуациях, которые по самой своей природе довольно редки, Национальное Духовное Собрание, взвесив все за и против, должно рассмотреть вопрос о признании Местного Духовного Собрания как группы или принять решение о проведении выборов в такие Местные Духовные Собрания позднее, когда все друзья окончательно вернутся в свои общины". (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Ecuador, September 5, 1983) /Из письма от имени Всемирного Дома Справедливости к Национальному Духовному Собранию Эквадора, 5 сентября 1983/. 51. Should Guide Believers During Year in Proper Administrative Procedures 51. Национальные Духовные Собрания должны направлять верующих в течение всего года "The conditions of limited manpower, of difficulties in travelling and of illiteracy among the local people are found in varying degrees in those countries of the world, and we have always and everywhere urged the National Spiritual Assemblies concerned to guide and teach the friends in proper Bahá'í administrative procedures, not only during the weeks immediately preceding local election but indeed throughout the year, so that the friends would await the advent of Ridvan with anticipation and determine to observe and uphold correct principles of Bahá'í administration." "Ограниченность людских ресурсов, трудности перемещения и безграмотность в среде местного населения в той или иной степени встречаются и в других странах, и мы всегда и повсеместно побуждали Национальные Духовные Собрания заботиться о том, чтобы направлять и наставлять друзей в том, что касается правильного проведения административных процедур Бахаи, причем не только в недели непосредственно предшествующие местным выборам, но в течение всего года, таким образом, чтобы друзья могли заранее готовиться к приходу Ризвана и решительно соблюдать и поддерживать верность принципам администрации Бахаи". (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to a National Spiritual Assembly, September 24, 1973) /Из письма от имени Всемирного Дома Справедливости к одному из Национальных Духовных Собраний, 24 сентября 1973/

E. Annual Conventions E. Ежегодные съезды 52. The Function of the National Convention 52. Функции Национальных Съездов "The assembled delegates at a National Convention have two basic functions -- to elect, and to recommend... . "Две основные функции делегатов Национального Съезда - избирать и давать рекомендации..." (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States, June 8, 1967) /Из письма от имени Всемирного Дома Справедливости к Национальному Духовному Собранию Соединенных Штатов , 8 июня 1967/ "... The function of the Convention is purely advisory and though the advice it gives is not binding in its effects on those on whom rest the final decision in purely administrative matters, yet, the utmost caution and care should be exercised lest anything should hamper the delegates in the full and free exercise of their functions. In discharging this sacred function no influence whatever, no pressure from any quarter, even though it be from the National Assembly, should under any circumstances affect their views or restrict their freedom. The delegates must be wholly independent of any administrative agency, must approach their task

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with absolute detachment and must concentrate their attention on the most important and pressing issues." "... функция Съезда - чисто совещательная, консультативная, и, хотя даваемые им советы не носят категорического, обязательного характера по отношению к тем, кому поручено окончательное принятие решений по вопросам административного порядка, следует самым внимательным образом следить за тем, чтобы ничто не препятствовало делегатам в свободном и полномочном исполнении их функций. Ничто, никакое давление со стороны какого бы то ни было органа, будь то даже Национальное Собрание, не должно влиять на их взгляды или ограничивать их свободу в исполнении этой священной функции. Делегаты должны быть совершенно независимы от какого бы то ни было административного воздействия, должны подходить к своей задаче с абсолютной беспристрастностью и сосредоточивать свое внимание на наиболее важных и неотложных проблемах". (From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States and Canada, August 18, 1933: The National Spiritual Assembly, pp. 23-24) /Из письма от имени Хранителя к Национальному Духовному Собранию Соединенных Штатов и Канады, 18 августа, 1933. "Национальные Духовные Собрания", с. 23-24/ 53. Election of Delegates to National Conventions 53. Выборы делегатов Национальных Съездов "As you are aware, some national communities elect their delegates to the National Convention on the basis of areas which have local Spiritual Assemblies, while in other, larger, national communities delegates are elected on the basis of electoral units in which all adult believers have the vote. "Как вам уже известно, часть национальных общин избирает делегатов своих Национальных Съездов на основе районов, где существуют Местные Духовные Собрания, в то время как в других, бульших национальных общинах делегаты избираются на базе избирательных единиц, в которых все взрослые верующие обязаны голосовать. "In view of the growth of the Faith and the developing life of the Bahá'í communities, the Universal House of Justice has decided that, notwithstanding that in some countries the number of believers and of Local Spiritual Assemblies is still small, the time has come for delegates to National Conventions everywhere to be elected on the basis of electoral units, but with the option of introducing certain differences from the procedure followed to date. These differences are explained below and are designed to make the system adaptable to the Variations in the make-up of the many Bahá'í communities and in the geography of the lands in which they are situated. Учитывая рост Веры и развитие жизни внутри общин Бахаи, Всемирный Дом Справедливости решил, что, невзирая на пока еще незначительное число верующих и Местных Духовных Собраний в отдельных странах, настло время для того, чтобы делегаты Национальных Съездов повсеместно избирались на основе избирательных единиц, с учетом некоторых различий в процедурных моментах. Эти различия объясняются ниже и предназначены для того, чтобы приспособить систему в целом к различиям в характере и составе общин Бахаи, а также к географическим условиям местности, где они расположены. "When establishing the electoral units bases of the election of delegates, a National Spiritual Assembly should divide the territory under its jurisdiction into electoral units, based on the number of adult Bahá'ís in each area, in such a way that each unit will be responsible for election preferably one delegate only. Учреждая избирательные единицы как основу избрания делегатов, Национальное Духовное Собрание должно разделить территорию, входящую в ее юрисдикцию, на избирательные единицы, исходя из числа взрослых бахаи, проживающих в каждом районе, причем желательно таким образом, чтобы каждая единица несла ответственность за избрание одного депутата. "In addition to the voting, the opportunity for consultation with the delegates is important. Hitherto this has been achieved by calling a convention in each unit to which all the believers in that electoral unit are invited. The voting for delegates has then taken place at the unit conventions with provisions for voting by mail for those who do not attend. In some areas these meetings have been very fruitful and have helped to foster collaboration among the believers in the unit. However, in other areas, no doubt for a number of reasons, attendance at unit conventions have been very low, as has been the voting by mail, and this have meant that the delegates have been elected by a relatively small proportion of the electorate. National Assemblies are free to call unit conventions if they find they are successful, but if they find problems of attendance they may follow the alternative method described below. Помимо самого голосования важность представляет также и возможность общения с делегатами. Вплоть до сегодняшнего дня оно достигалось посредством созыва в пределах каждой избирательной единицы, на который приглашались все верующие. Затем на съездах проводилось голосование, предусматривавшее для отсутствующих верующих пересылку бюллетеней по почте. В некоторых районах подобного рода собрания оказывались чрезвычайно плодотворно и способствовали сближению верующих. Однако в других местах в силу ряда причин уровень присутствия на собраниях был очень низок, также как и голосование почтой, и это приводило к тому, что делегаты избирались относительно небольшим процентом электората. Национальным Собраниям предоставляется полная возможность организовывать съезды в рамках избирательных единиц, если они сочтут это целесообразным, однако, если они столкнутся с трудностями в вопросе посещаемости, они могут прибегнуть к описанному ниже альтернативному методу. "Where holding unit conventions has proved ineffective, or does not seem to be a viable procedure, a National Assembly may divide each electoral unit into sub-units of a convenient size. A meeting could then be held in each sub-unit to which all the adult believers residing therein would be invited. This should result in the participation of a large number of the believers. It is important to remember, however, that the delegate to be elected represents the entire unit and therefore, although the voting may be carried out in sub-units, each voter has all the adult believers resident in the entire unit to choose from in voting for the delegate. Там, где проведение собраний в пределах избирательных единиц, или участков, оказывалось неэффективным и подтвердило свою несостоятельность, Национальные Собрания могут разделить эти единицы на меньшие, подчиненные участки соответствующего масштаба. Затем можно проводить собрания на каждом участке, приглашая на них всех проживающих в данном месте взрослых верующих. Это приведет к участию в собраниях значительно большего числа верующих. Важно помнить, однако, что делегат представляет всю избирательную единицу, и, следовательно, хотя голосование может проводиться и в рамках меньшего, подчиненного участка, каждый голосующий из числа взрослых верующих, проживающих в пределах данной избирательной единицы, должен иметь возможность подать свой голос за одного из делегатов данной избирательной единицы. "In some countries, it may even be too difficult to expect the believers throughout a sub-unit to gather together at a certain time, and so it would not be practical to hold sub-unit meetings. In such places a central point in each sub-unit meetings. In such places a central point in each sub-unit could be chosen for the establishment of a polling station to which the friends would come to leave their ballots on the voting day as and when they can do so.

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Тем не менее в некоторых странах даже огранизация собраний в пределах участков и в определенное время оказывается затруднительной, поэтому проведение их мало эффективно. В подобных местах следует организовывать на участках центральные избирательные пункты, где друзья в день голосования смогут оставлять свои бюллетени, тогда и как им это удобно. "Each National Spiritual Assembly should study and master the broad outlines of this system. All matters of detail should be decided by the National Assembly which should ensure that the friends are fully informed and thoroughly understand what they are expected to do. The help and advice of the Counsellors and their Auxiliary Board members and assistants could be sought in working out these details and in educating the friends. It may also be desirable for the National Assembly to appoint a special national committee to organize the elections and to oversee them through unit or sub - unit committees or representatives. Such matters of details could include the following: Каждому Национальному Духовному Собранию следует в общих чертах изучать и разрабатывать эту систему. Частные вопросы каждое Национальное Духовное Собрание решает самостоятельно таким образом, чтобы широко проинформировать друзей и подробно разъяснить им суть той процедуры, в которой им предстоит принять участие. При разработке деталей и проведении воспитательной работы с друзьями Собрание может опираться на помощь Советников и членов Вспомогательных Коллегий, а также их помощников. Желательно также, чтобы Национальное Собрание назначало специальные национальные комитеты для организации выборов и наблюдения за их ходом через представителей участковых комитетов. Такого рода частные вопросы могут заключаться в следующем: - The number of delegates to be allocated to each unit. Although one for each unit is preferable, this may not be practicable in certain instances, such as in a unit which contains one or more very large local communities. In such cases it may be necessary to make the unit large enough to be the electoral base for two or possibly three delegates. - Число делегатов, закрепляемое за каждой избирательной единицей. Хотя предпочтительно, чтобы каждый участок делегировал одного человека, в некоторых случаях, когда участок включает одну или более крупных местных общин, это может оказаться нецелосообразным. Тогда необходимо расширить рамки участка настолько, чтобы он мог представлять избирательную основу для двух или трех делегатов. - The number and size of sub-units. These could be as many as there are Local Spiritual Assemblies in a unit, the boundaries being so delineated as to include the surrounding isolated believers and Bahá'í groups. It may even be necessary in some remote areas to have sub-units in which there are no Local Spiritual Assemblies. - Число и масштаб подчиненных участков. Таковые могут организовываться по числу входящих в избирательную единицу Местных Духовных Собраний; их границы определяются таким образом, чтобы охватить проживающих в округе отдельных верующих и группы бахаи. В некоторых особо удаленных районах может возникнуть даже необходимость в создании подчиненных участков там, где Местные Духовные Собрания отсутствуют. - The body to be responsible for organizing a unit convention or sub-unit meeting for establishing and supervising a polling station. This could be a centrally located, firmly established Local Spiritual Assembly or a committee. - Орган, ответственный за организацию участковых съездов, собраний, а также за учреждением и наблюдением за избирательными пунктами. Таким органом может являться центральное, учрежденное на прочной основе Местное Духовное Собрание или комитет. - The day or days on which the election should take place. Elections could be carried out in different sub-units on different days, extended over a reasonable period of time, if this is felt to be desirable. - День /или дни/ проведения выборов. На различных участках выборы могут проводиться в различные дни, и продолжительность их, в зависимости от обстоятельств, может колебаться в разумных пределах. - The manner in which ballots are to be cast, collected, counted, and consolidated with other ballots from the same unit. - Конкретный способ подачи бюллетней, их сбора и подсчета вместе с другими бюллетенями того же участка. - Procedures to be followed in consultation, if the procedure chosen allows for consultation. - Возможные консультации после проведения процедуры голосования. - A method for monitoring the balloting to ensure that proper Bahá'í procedures are followed, that the ballots are safeguarded, and that a Bahá'í voter cannot cast more that one ballot. - Наблюдение за правильностью подачи бюллетеней, их сохранностью, а также за тем, чтобы избиратель-бахаи подавал не более одного. - The procedure for holding a second ballot should there be a tie vote for the delegate. - Процедура оформления второго бюллетеня в случае повторного голосования за того или иного делегата. - The means for announcing to the friends in all units the names for their delegates. - Способ оповещения друзей на всех участках о результатах выборов". "It is the hope of the Universal House of Justice that the implementation of these instruction this year and thereafter will promote Bahá'í solidarity, broaden the basis of representation at the National Conventions and that thereby the work of the Faith in each country will be characterized by greater efficiency and enhances harmony." "Всемирный Дом Справедливости надеется, что применение данной инструкции в этом году и впоследствии будет способствовать укреплению сплоченности бахаи, расширению представительной основы Национальных Съездов и повсеместно придаст работе во имя Веры большую эффективность и согласие". (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to all National Spiritual Assemblies, July 21, 1985) /Из письма от имени Всемирного Дома Справедливости ко всем Национальным Духовным Собраниям, 21 июля 1985/ 54. Area of Assembly Jurisdiction not to be Subdivided for Electoral Districts 54. Район, подлежащий юрисдикции Собрания, не следует подразделять на избирательные округа "The Universal House of Justice has received your letter of 14 April 1986 and has

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instructed us to confirm the principle that the area of jurisdiction of a Local Spiritual Assembly should not be sub-divided by boundaries of districts for the election of the delegates to the National Convention. We are asked to explain the policy in more detail, as follows. "Всемирный Дом Справедливости получил ваше письмо от 14 апреля 1986 и поручил нам дать подтверждение принципа касательно того, что район, подлежащий юрисдикции Местного Духовного Собрания, не должен подразделяться на округа для выборов делегатов Национального Съезда. Нас попросили дать следующее, более подробное объяснение данной политики. "The basic guidelines for the fixing of the boundaries of electoral districts which was given in the letter of 21 July 1985 was that a National Spiritual Assembly should divide the territory under its jurisdiction into electoral units, based on the number of adult Bahá'ís in each area, in such a way that each unit will be responsible for electing preferably one delegate only. Later in the letter it was further clarified that although one delegate for each unit is preferable, this may not be practicable in certain instances, such as in a unit which contains one or more very large local communities. In such cases it may be necessary to make the unit large enough to be the electoral base for two or possible three delegates. Основной принцип установления границ избирательных округов, изложенный в письме от 21 июля 1985, состоял в том, что Национальному Духовному Собранию следует разделять подведомственную ей территорию на избирательные единицы, исходя из числа проживающих в данном районе взрослых бахаи, таким образом, чтобы каждая единица отвечала за избрание одного делегата. Далее в письме письменно пояснялось, что, хотя предпочтительно делегировать одного человека, в некоторых случаях на практике это может оказаться нецелесообразным, если избирательная единица включает одну или более крупных местных общин. В подобной ситуации может возникнуть необходимость в том, чтобы данная единица служила избирательной основой для двух или трех делегатов. "In some national Bahá'í communities which are comparatively small numerically in relation to the number of delegates allocated for their National Conventions, it may be found that, to avoid sub - dividing localities (i.e., the areas of jurisdiction for Local Spiritual Assemblies), it will be necessary to have some electoral districts elect more than three delegates. This does not matter, as long as the principle of proportionality is followed as closely as possible." В некоторых национальных общинах Бахаи, численно сравнительно небольших по отношению к числу делегируемых в Национальный Съезд, во избежание подразделения сфер юрисдикции Местных Духовных Собраний, может возникнуть необходимость в том, чтобы отдельные избирательные округа делегировали более трех человек. При по возможности более точном следовании принципу пропорциональности это несущественно". (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of France, June 3, 1986) /Из письма от имени Всемирного Дома Справедливости к Национальному Духовному Собранию Франции, 3 июня 1986/ 55. Delegates Assigned According to Numerical Strength 55. Делегаты назначаются в соответствии с численностью общин "Delegates must be assigned according to the numerical strength of a Bahá'í community uniformly in all parts of the country. The question as to whether the friends are active or not is not to be taken into consideration; all persons accepted by you as Bahá'ís must be included in the voting list. Of course, if some of the believers cannot be found after reasonable efforts have been made to locate them, they need not be counted on the voting list." "Делегаты должны назначаться в соответствии с численностью общин Бахаи равномерно по всей стране. Активность друзей в данном случае не следует принимать в расчет; все бахаи должны быть внесены в избирательный список. Разумеется, если кого-либо из верующих не удалось разыскать после того, как были предприняты все попытки к этому, его имя в избирательные списки не вносится". (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of French Guiana, January 30, 1987) /Из письма от имени Всемирного Дома Справедливости к Национальному Духовному Собранию Французской Гвианы, 20 января 1987/. 56. Inactivity Does not Justify Removing Name from Voting List 56. Уровень активности не может служить мотивом для исключения из избирательного списка "Mere Inactivity on the part of a believer does not justify removing his name from the voting list. Neither is it in accordance with Bahá'í principles to take into account the degree of activity in allocating delegates. Believers whose whereabouts are unknown should be considered quite separately from those who are inactive, and a distinction is to be made between those who are interested in the Faith but remain inactive and those whose inactivity indicates complete lack of interest to the extent that they no longer consider themselves to be Baha'is." "Недостаточный уровень активности верующего не может служить причиной исключения из избирательного списка. Выдвижение делегатов в соответствии с их активностью также противоречит принципам Бахаи. Верующих, чье местопребывание на данный момент неизвестно, следует рассматривать отдельно от тех, кто не проявляет активности, также следует проводить различие между теми, кто заинтересован в Вере, но проявляет пассивность, и теми, чья пассивность указывает на полную утрату интересов к делам Веры вплоть до того, что они перестают считать себя Бахаи". (Ibid) /Там же/ 57. Replacement of Delegates 57. Замещение делегатов "There is no provision in the National Bahá'í Constitution for replacement of a delegates and this is, therefore, a matter left to the decision of each National Spiritual Assembly. In general, one of the following procedures is followed. If a delegate dies or becomes unable to serve before Convention, the believers polling the next highest number of votes may replace him, or another election may be

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held. If a delegate ceases to be able to serve after the Convention and there is need for a by-election to the National Spiritual Assembly, you may decide whether or not the delegate should be replaced, and if so, how. In the event of an elected delegate removing to another place, either before or after Convention, you may decide whether to replace him or allow him to continue as an elected delegate. Whatever procedure is adopted should be uniformly followed in all such cases." "В Национальном Уставе Бахаи нет положения относительно замещения делегатов, вследствие чего этот вопрос предоставляется на усмотрение Национальных Духовных Собраний. В общем, следует придерживаться одной из следующих процедур. Если перед Съездом кто-либо из делегатов умирает или становится недееспособным, его замещает следующий по числу голосов, либо проводятся дополнительные выборы. Если делегат вновь оказывается способным принимать участие в работе Съезда или возникает необходимость дополнительных выборов в Национальное Духовное Собрание, вы можете сами решать, следует ли замещать этого делегата и если да, то как. В случае если избранный делегат меняет место жительства до или после Съезда, вы также имеете право сами решать, замещать ли его или продолжать считать избранным делегатом. Во всех подобных случаях следует придерживаться одной из данных процедур". (From a letter of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Argentina, July 3, 1973) /Из письма Всемирного Дома Справедливости к Национальному Духовному Собранию Аргентины, 3 июля 1973/ 58. National Spiritual Assembly Determines Timing in Respect to Unit Conventions 58. Выбор времени Окружных Съездов определяет Национальное Духовное Собрание "... all matters of details concerning Unit Conventions are left to the discretion of the National Spiritual Assembly and this includes the timing of the allocation of delegates and the holding of the Unit Conventions. The House of Justice points out, however, that the allocation of delegates should be left as late as possible so that the National Assembly will be able to take into consideration any increases in membership which would affect the number of delegates assigned." "... все частные вопросы, связанные со сроком выдвижения делегатов и проведения Окружных Собраний, предоставляются на рассмотрение Национального Духовного Собрания. Тем не менее Дом Справедливости хочет подчеркнуть, что выдвижение делегатов следует проводить в возможно более поздний срок для того, чтобы Национальное Собрание имело возможность учесть любое увеличение числа членов, могущее повлиять на количество назначаемых делегатов". (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Kenya, March 29, 1987) /Из письма от имени Всемирного Дома Справедливости к Национальному Духовному Собранию Кении, 9 марта 1987/ 59. Consultation Between Delegates and the National Spiritual Assembly 59. Консультации между делегатами и Национальным Духовным Собранием "If fear this letter will reach you after the closing of the convention, but I hope that it will serve to assure you of the necessity of adopting for future conventions the essential method of a full, frank and unhampered consultation between the National Assembly and the assembled delegates. It is the vital duty of the delegates to unburden their hearts, state their grievances, disclose their views, and explain their motives. It is the vital duty of the national Assembly to give earnest, prompt and prayerful consideration to the views of the delegates, weigh carefully their arguments and ponder their considered judgments, before they resort to voting and undertake to arrive at a decision according to the dictates of their conscience. They should explain their motives and not dictate: seek information and invite discussion." "Вероятнее всего, письмо это будет получено уже после закрытия съезда, однако я надеюсь, что оно укрепит в вас уверенность в существенной необходимости проведения во время будущих съездов полноценных, открытых и свободных консультаций между Национальным Духовным Собранием и собранием делегатов. Жизненно важная обязанность делегатов - облегчить свои сердца, рассказать о своих жалобах, поведать свои взгляды и объяснить свои побуждения. Долг Национального Собрания - незамедлительно, откровенно и в духе набожности рассмотреть взгляды делегатов, тщательно взвесить их доводы и их обдуманные суждения, прежде чем они приступят к голосованию и принятию решений, повинуясь голосу своей совести. Им следует объяснять свои побуждения, а не навязывать их, искать дополнительной информации и приглашать к дискуссии". (From postscript to letter dated April 13, 1927, written by the Guardian to the Spiritual Assembly of Montreal, Canada: Extracted in Bahá'í News, No. 18, June 1927, p. 3) /Из посткриптума к письму Хранителя Духовному Собранию Монреаля от 13 апреля 1927/ 60. Status of Members of the National Spiritual Assembly at the National Convention 60. Статус членов Национального Духовного Собрания на Национальном Съезде "Concerning the status of members of the N.S.A. at Convention sessions the Guardian feels that the members of both the incoming and the outgoing assemblies should be given the full right to participate in the Convention discussions. Those members of the N.S.A. who have been elected delegates will, in addition to the right of participation, be entitle to vote, The Guardian wishes thereby to render more effective the deliberations and the recommendations of the national representatives. He feels that the exercise of such a right by the members of the N.S.A. will enable them to consult more fully with the assembled delegates, to exchange fully and frankly with them their views, and to consider

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collectively the interest, needs and requirements of the Cause. This, he believes, is one of the primary functions of the Convention." "Относительно статуса членов Н.Д.С. на заседаниях Съезда Хранитель полагает, что членам обоих - вступающего в свои права и слагающего полномочия - собраний следует предоставлять полное право участвовать в дебатах на Съездах. На членов Н.Д.С., избранных делегатами, помимо права участия возлагается обязанность голосовать. Поэтому Хранитель хочет, чтобы дискуссии между национальными представителями и их рекомендации были как можно более эффективными. Он полагает, что применение этого права на практике даст членам Н.Д.С. возможность шире общаться с делегатами, более полно и откровенно обмениваться взглядами, а также совместно обсуждать интересы, нужды и требования Дела. В этом, как он считает, одна из основных функций Съезда". (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States and Canada, December 25, 1933) /Из письма от имени Шоги Эффенди к Национальному Духовному Собранию Соединенных Штатов и Канады, 25 декабря 1933/. 61. Preferably Delegates Attend Convention in Person 61. Делегатам желательно лично посещать заседания Съезда "... It should, however, be made clear to every elected delegate -- who should be continually reminded -- that it is a sacred responsibility and admittedly preferable to attend if possible in person the sessions of the Convention, to take an active part in all its proceedings, and to acquaint his fellow-workers on his return with the accomplishments, the decisions and the aspirations of the assembled representatives of the ... believers." "... следует разъяснить каждому делегату, и постоянно напоминать об этом, что его священная обязанность состоит в том, чтобы лично посещать заседания Съезда, принимать активное участие во всех мероприятиях, а также, по возвращении, знакомить своих товарищей по работе с достижениями, решениями и устремлениями представителей верующих". (From a letter written by the Guardian to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States and Canada, October 24, 1925: Bahá'í Administration, pp. 91-92) /Из письма Хранителя к Национальному Духовному Собранию Соединенных Штатов и Канады, 24 октября 1925. "Администрация Бахаи", с. 91-92/ 62. If Delegates Cannot Pay Own Expenses 62. Если делегат не может сам оплачивать свои расходы "... In the matter of attendance of delegates at Conventions, the desirability of the friends themselves being self-supporting should be pointed out by the National Assembly. If a delegate cannot pay his own expenses in attending the Convention, the Local Assembly or the believers in the electoral unit from which the delegate comes should be encouraged by the National Assembly to defray such expenses, so that only when funds are unavailable from those sources, the National assembly is approached to consider offering financial assistance. The same principle holds true about other activities, such as attendance at Institutes, Conferences and Summer schools." "... что касается вопроса о присутствии делегатов на Съезде, Национальному Собранию следует указывать друзьям на желательность самостоятельности обеспечения. Если делегат не может сам оплачивать свои расходы, связанные с присутствием на Съезде, то Национальному Собранию следует обратиться с просьбой к Местному Собранию или верующим избирательного округа, делегировавшего данного депутата, взять его расходы на себя, и лишь в том случае, когда их фонды этого не позволяют, рассмотреть вопрос о предоставлении финансовой помощи. Тот же принцип следует осуществлять и в практике других мероприятий, таких как посещение Институтов, Конференций и летних школ". (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to a number of National Spiritual Assemblies, February 9, 1967) /Из письма от имени Всемирного Дома Справедливости к нескольким Национальным Духовным Собраниям, 9 февраля 1967/. 63. New Blood Adds to Energy of the Group 63. Приток новой крови обновляет энергию групп "Shoghi Effendi has never said that the members of the National Assembly have to be renewed partially every year. The important thing is that they should be properly elected. It would be nice if there should be new members elected, for new blood always adds to the energy of the group and will keep up their spirit. But this depends entirely upon the will of the delegates as represented in the result of their voting." "Шоги Эффенди никогда не говорил о том, что Национальное Собрание следует частично обновлять каждый год. Прежде всего, важно, чтобы члены его правильно избирались. Разумеется, избрание новых членов следует приветствовать, поскольку приток новой крови обновляет энергию групп и духовно поддерживает их. Однако это полностью зависит от волеизъявления делегатов как избранных представителей". (From letter written on behalf of the Guardian to an individual believer, April 27, 1932: Bahá'í News, No. 67, October 1932, p. 4) /Из письма от имени Шоги Эффенди к одному из верующих, 27 апреля 1932. "Бахаи Ньюс", № 67, c. 4/ 64. Election of New Members on the National Spiritual Assembly 64. Выборы новых членов Национального Духовного Собрания - обязанность друзей состоит в том, чтобы лучше узнать своих собратьев по Вере "As regards the election of new members on the National Assembly, Shoghi Effendi finds no other practical method, that is in conformity with the spirit of the teachings, except through better acquaintance of the friends during the annual conventions and summer schools. It is the duty of the individual friends to come to know one another and finds out who are the persons best fitted to become members of that body. This is a slow process but surely the best one and gives the greatest amount of freedom of choice to the electors. It is the duty of the friends individually to become more intelligent voters and vote only after studying the situation conscientiously." "Что касается выборов новых членов Национального Собрания, Шоги Эффенди считает, что нет другого метода, который бы в соответствиисогласовывался с духом учений, самым эффективным методом является возможность для кроме как если друзьяей будут стараться как можно лучше узнать друг друга во время ежегодных съездов и в летних школах. Обязанность верующих каждого из друзей - стремиться к постоянному сближениюзнакомиться друг с другом, в процессе которого и выясняетсяь, кто именно более всего подходит на роль члена Собранияэтого органа. Это оптимальный, хотя и довольно длительныймедленный, однако самый эффективный процесс, дающий избирателям самую широкую свободу выбора. Личный долг каждого из друзей - стремиться к широкой осведомленностистать более разумными выборщиками и голосовать лишь только после сознательно и доскональнодобросовестного изученияив ситуациию". (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, March 16, 1933)

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(/Из письма от имени Шоги Эффенди к одному из верующих, 16 марта 1933)/ 65. Consultation Among Delegates of a Region Prior to Convention -- No objection, if the Bahá'ís are Mature Enough 65. Консультации региональных делегатов перед Съездом "The House of Justice sees no objection to consultation among the delegates of a region prior to the Convention, if they wish to undertake this. Indeed, one of the important functions of a Regional Convention, at which the delegates are elected, is for the delegates to consult with the believers present so that they may be familiar with their views and interests in preparation for their own participation in the National Convention. As you know, any believer at the National Convention can request a delegate to put forward a point for him, and the delegate is free to do this if he so wishes; likewise, there would be no objection to one delegate's speaking on behalf of all the delegates from his region to have time, if they and he agree. On the other hand, one must remember that the National Convention is a national Bahá'í institution, and that every delegate should have in the forefront of his mind the interests and needs of the Cause throughout the nation, not merely those of the region from which he happens to have been elected. All these details are secondary matters, not covered in the National Bahá'í Constitution, and therefore it is for the National spiritual Assembly to make decisions where they are called for. In one country the delegates may be mature enough to have prior consultation in regional groups; in another it might indeed lead to 'caucusing ' or other undesirable developments. The National Spiritual Assembly must ensure that not merely the letter but also the spirit of Bahá'í elections and consultation is upheld." "Дом Справедливости не видит никаких препятствий и не возражает против консультаций региональных делегатов перед Съездом, если они того пожелают. Одна из важных функций Региональных Съездов, на которых избираются делегаты, состоит в том, чтобы они проводили консультации с присутствующими верующими с целью ознакомиться с их взглядами и интересами, готовясь к своему участию в Национальном Съезде. Как вам известно, каждый верующий вправе просить делегата изложить от своего имени его точку зрения на Национальном Съезде, делегат же вправе соглашаться или не соглашаться по своему усмотрению; равным образом, Дом Справедливости не возражает против того, чтобы кто-то из делегатов, в целях экономии времени, выступал от имени всех делегатов своего региона, если между ними достигнута подобная договоренность. С другой стороны, необходимость помнить, что Национальный Съезд является национальным учреждениям Бахаи и что каждый делегат должен иметь в виду интересы и нужды Дела в рамках всей нации, а не только того региона, от которого он избран. Все это относится к второстепенным вопросам, не отраженным в Национальном Уставе Бахаи, и, следовательно, Национальное Духовное Собрание призвано само принимать по ним решения. В некоторых странах делегаты могут оказаться достаточно зрелыми, чтобы проводить предварительные консультации в региональных группах; в других это может вести к узкой "партийности" или других нежелательным последствиям. Национальное Духовное Собрание обязано блюсти не только буквы, но, прежде всего, дух выборов и консультации Бахаи". (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer, October 26, 1983) /Из письма от имени Всемирного Дома Справедливости к одному из верующих, 26 октября 1983/ 66. National Spiritual Assembly Present as an Institution at the National Convention 66. Присутствие Национального Духовного Собрания как института на Национальном Съезде "The National Spiritual Assembly is present at the Convention as an institution, and its members are present as individual participants in the consultations. These two facts are not incompatible. All the delegates and the members of the National Spiritual Assembly should take part in the Convention in the spirit of free, frank, loving Bahá'í consultation. Most Bahá'ís perform many different functions in their lives. Very often a member of the National Assembly is also a delegate, a member of a Local Assembly, a member of one or more committees, and possibly also an assistant to an Auxiliary Board member. These multiple functions should not prevent him from expressing his views frankly and courteously in any consultation." "Национальное Духовное Собрание присутствует на Съезде как институт, равно как и его члены присутствуют в качестве отдельных участников на консультациях. То и другое вполне совместимо не содержит противоречия. Всем делегатам и членам Национального Духовного Собрания следует участвовать в Съезде, поддерживая дух свободы, открытости и любви, присущий консультациям Бахаи. Большинство бахаи выполняют в своей жизни самые разнообразные функции. Зачастую член Национального Собрания одновременно является делегатом, член Местного Собрания - участвует в работе одного или нескольких комитетов и, возможно, выступает также в роли помощника Вспомогательной Коллегии. Все эти многообразные обязанности не мешают ему открыто и тактично высказывать свои взгляды во время консультаций". (Ibid) /Там же/. 67. Only Delegates May Vote in the National Convention 67. Во время съезда имеют право голоса только делегаты "Only the delegates may vote at the National Convention, whether it be in the election of the National Spiritual Assembly or in arriving at decisions. Some decisions at the Convention can be implemented immediately, such as a decision to send a cable of news or greetings to the World Centre or to another Bahá'í body, but most are decisions on whether or not to make a specific recommendation to the National Spiritual Assembly." "Только делегаты имеют право голоса при избрании Национального Духовного Собрания, а также при принятии остальных решений. Некоторые решения могут приниматься безотлагательно /в частности - касающиеся отправки информационных или поздравительных телеграмм Всемирному Центру или какому-либо иному органу Бахаи/, однако большая их часть касается специальных рекомендаций Национальным Духовным Собраниям". (Ibid)

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/Там же/. 68. Each Voter Must Vote for the Nine Best Suited for Election -- Not Betray Sacred Trust 68. Каждый голосующий должен голосовать за девятерых лучших "It is a basic principle of elections for Bahá'í Spiritual Assemblies that each voter must vote for the nine people who, in his or her opinion, are best suited to serve. He may have a low opinion of all those who are eligible, but his duty is to vote for those nine from among them who, in his estimation, best meet the standards for service on a Spiritual Assembly. This is how it is possible to vote for exactly nine names. Since the membership of an Assembly is nine, it would give rise to a number of statistical anomalies if voters were permitted to record votes for fewer or more than nine names. In any one election there are not usually any cases where a voter accidentally makes a mistake and includes a name of an ineligible person, so the statistical effect is slight, and there is no need to invalidate his whole ballot. As you point out, a believer who does not wish to vote for nine, may achieve his end by purposely including the names of those who are ineligible, but this would be a betrayal of the trust placed in him as a Bahá'í voter. One cannot control such actions, but like any action contrary to the spirit of the Faith, they are detrimental and should be strongly discouraged." "Основной принцип выборов Духовных Собраний Бахаи состоит в том, что каждый голосующий должен голосовать за девятерых человек, которые, с его точки зрения, больше всего подходят к делу служения. Он может быть не очень высокого мнения о предложенных кандидатах, однако его долг заключается в том, чтобы голосовать за девятерых, которые, по его оценке, наиболее соответствуют нормам служения в Национальном Собрании. Именно поэтому следует голосовать ровно за девятерых человек. Поскольку число членов Собрания равно девяти, то в том случае если голосующий подаст свой голос больше или меньше чем за девятерых, возможны разного рода статистические отклонения. На любых выборах ошибочные случаи невелики, и поэтому не следует считать такие бюллетени недействительными. Как Вы указываете, верующий, который не хочет голосовать за девятерых человек, может преднамеренно включить имя того, кто не подлежит выборам, однако в таком случае он уклонится от своих обязанностей голосующего Бахаи. Подобные действия нельзя контролировать, однако как любые действия противоречащие духу Веры их следует рассматривать как пагубные и всячески избегать. (Ibid) /Там же/. 69. National Convention Must be Convened During Ridvan 69. "Национальный Съезд должен собираться во время Ризвана "Concerning the dates of your National Convention, the Convention must begin, and the election of the National Assembly must take place, before sundown on 2 May. It is permissible to extend the Convention beyond May 2nd, as long as it is convened during Ridvan." "Касательно дат проведения Национального Съезда, сообщаем, что он, также как и выборы Национального Собрания, должен проводиться второго мая до захода солнца. Возможно проведение Съезда и после второго мая - в дни празднования Ризвана". (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Paraguay, June 22, 1986) /Из письма от имени Всемирного Дома Справедливости к Национальному Духовному Собранию Парагвая, 22 июня 1986/ 70. Election of National Spiritual Assembly to be held at Midpoint in the Convention 70. "It was noted that although you held a Convention of two days duration, the election of the new National Spiritual Assembly was scheduled to take place immediately after the election of Convention officers, that is very early in the program. You should know that Shoghi Effendi stated that the election of the National Spiritual Assembly should be held as nearly as possible at the midway point of Convention." "Уже отмечалось, что поскольку ваш Съезд продлится два дня, запланированные вами выборы нового Национального Духовного Собрания непосредственно после избрания представителей Съезда произойдут слишком рано. Как вы должны знать, Шоги Эффенди утверждал, что выборы Национального Духовного Собрания следует проводить как можно ближе к середине Съезда". (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Chile, July 17, 1983) /Из письма от имени Всемирного Дома Справедливости к Национальному Духовному Собранию Чили, 17 июля 1983/ 71. National Teaching Conference and National Convention Should not be Held at the Same Time 71. Национальная конференция по обучению и Съезд не должны проводиться одновременно "In response to your letter of 25 June 1982 asking whether or not it would be permissible to hold a national teaching conference either simultaneously with the National Convention or in the days immediately before or following the Convention, we have been asked by the Universal House of Justice to inform you that the National Convention, for whatever number of days it is arranged, should be independent of a national teaching conference. They should not be held

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simultaneously, but whether the conference is held before or after the Convention is left to your discretion." "В ответ на ваше письмо от 25 июня 1982 о том, разрешено ли проводить национальную учительскую конференцию одновременно с Национальным Съездом или в дни непосредственно предшествующие ему, Всемирный Дом Справедливости поручил сообщить вам, что Национальный Съезд, в независимости от его протяженности, должен созываться независимо от национальной учительсокй конференции. Их не следует проводить одновременно, однако устраивать ли конференцию до или после Съезда - предоставляется на ваше усмотрение. (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Ecuador, July 22, 1982) /Из письма от имени Всемирного Дома Справедливости к Национальному Духовному Собранию Эквадора, 22 июля 1982/ 72. Attendance Record of National Spiritual Assembly Members May be Provided to Convention Delegates 72. Делегатам Съезда можно предоставить протоколы посещаемости членов Национального Духовного Собрания "In the matter of reporting to the delegates to the National Convention on the attendance record of the outgoing National Spiritual Assembly, the House of Justice confirms that this is entirely within the discretion of your National Assembly. You could, if you wish to do so, include this information in the National Assembly report to the Convention. The same guidance applies to providing information to the believers in a local community about the attendance record of the members of the outgoing Local Spiritual Assembly." "Что касается информирования делегатов Национального Съезда о посещаемости заседаний членами уходящего Национального Духовного Собрания, Дом Справедливости подтверждает, что этот вопрос полностью предоставляется на усмотрение вашего Национального Собрания. Вы можете, по желанию, включить эту информацию в отчет Национального Собрания перед Съездом. То же касается и осведомления членов местной общины относительно протоколов посещаемости уходящего Местного Духовного Собрания". (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Mexico, July 26, 1981) /Из письма от имени Всемирного Дома Справедливости к Национальному Духовному Собранию Мексики, 26 июля 1981/ 73. Workshops During National Convention Not Suitable 73. Не следует устраивать семинары во время Национальных Съездов "He does not feel that workshops are suitable at the national convention, the time at the disposal of the delegates is short, and the whole purpose of delegates to a Convention is that as a body they should take up the affairs of the Cause presented for discussion and air ideas and make recommendations. No doubt the workshop itself is a good technique and should be used at summer schools and even if found desirable, at Conferences, but for the Convention it is out of place." "Он полагает, что не подобает устраивать семинары во время Национальных Съездов, поскольку время делегатов Съезда ограничено и цель их состоит в том, чтобы обсуждать вопросы Дела и вырабатывать рекомендации. Тем не менее несомненно, что сами по себе семинары - хорошая практика, которую следует использовать в летних школах и, если вы сочтете это нужным, на конференциях, но на Съездах они неуместны". (From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States, August 25, 1949: Bahá'í News, No. 226, December 1949, p. 2) /Из письма от имени Хранителя к Национальному Духовному Собранию Соединенных Штатов, "Бахаи Ньюс", № 226, 1949/ 74. Delegates Have Specific Administrative Duties 74. Делегаты наделены определенными административными полномочиями "The delegates have specific administrative duties to perform as a body and to divide them into smaller groups to consult upon matters which are the business of the Convention as a whole is not correct, particularly as the time of the delegates is limited." "Делегаты наделены определенными административными полномочиями и могут распадаться на группы, чтобы обсуждать дела Съезда, особенно если время делегатов ограничено". (Ibid) /Там же/. 75. Non-Delegates Can Be Permitted to Address Convention -- Permissiveness Not To be Abused 75. Лицо, не состоящее делегатом, может обращаться к Съезду "If a suggestion that a non-delegate be permitted to address the Convention is approved by the delegates, this is in order. The National Assembly, however should be careful that such a permissiveness is not abused, as it will defeat the original purpose of stimulating the delegates and deprives them of the limited time at their disposal to engage in the vital deliberations. The delegates should bear in mind that they have business to attend to, and in all such cases the benefits of the Convention should be considered." "В порядке вещей, если лицо не состоящее делегатом может обращаться к Съезду. Однако Национальное Собрание должно наблюдать за тем, чтобы этим правилом не злоупотребляли, поскольку это может помешать делегатам в исполнении их изначальной цели, отнимая у них время на жизненно важные дискуссии. Делегатам следует помнить о том, что у них есть непосредственное дело и во всех подобных случаях учитывать интересы Дела". (From a letter of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Argentina, September 18, 1968) /Из письма Всемирного Дома Справедливости к Национальному Духовному Собранию Аргентины, 18 сентября 1986/ 76. Auxiliary Board Members Present at National Convention 76. Права членов Комитетов на Национальном Съезде "Auxiliary Board members present at a national convention do not have the

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privilege of the floor unless deputized by the continental Board of Counsellors or given the privilege of the floor by the Convention." "Члены Местных Комитетов не имеют права голоса на Национальном Съезде, если они не делегированы Национальным Комитетом Советников либо если таковую привилегию не предоставляет им Съезд. (To all Continental Board of Counsellors from the Universal House of Justice March 25, 1969) /Из письма Всемирного Дома Справедливости ко всем Континентальным Комитетам Советников/ 77. Desirable Auxiliary Board Members be Left Free from Administrative Duties 77. Желательно, чтобы члены Вспомогательных Коллегий освобождались от административных обязанностей "National Assemblies in whose areas of jurisdiction Board Members reside, should point out to the delegates at Convention that whilst teaching and administrative duties are not mutually exclusive, it is desirable that Auxiliary Board Members, whether for teaching or protection, be left free to concentrate on the work allotted to them... The following extract from the Guardian's letter, written through his secretary, could be shared with the delegates for their guidance when casting their votes: "Национальным Собраниям, в сфере юрисдикции которых проживают члены Коллегий, следует указывать делегатам на Съезде, что, поскольку учительская работа и административные обязанности не исключают друг друга, желательно, чтобы члены Вспомогательных Коллегий освобождались от последних и могли бы полностью сосредоточиться на возложенной на них работе... Нижеследующий отрывок из письма Хранителя, написанного его секретарем, можно зачитывать делегатам в процессе голосования: "Teachers of the Cause can surely become members of any Assembly or Committee. there should be no incapacity attached to them. But, Shoghi Effendi would just prefer to see them devote all their time to teaching and leave the administrative function for those who cannot serve as teachers "Учителя Дела, несомненно, могут становиться членами Собрания или Комитета. Не следует ни в каком смысле ограничивать их. Однако Шоги Эффенди считает, что им лучше посвящать все свое время учительской работе, предоставив исполнять административные функции тем, кто не может вести учительскую работу". (Bahá'í News, October, 1932) "Бахаи Ньюс", 1932 (From a letter of the Universal House of Justice to all National Spiritual Assemblies, November 25, 1963) /Из письма Всемирного Дома Справедливости ко всем Национальным Духовным Собраниям, 25 ноября 1963/ 78. Hands of the Cause and Counsellors Participation in Convention 78. Участие Десниц Дела и Советников в Съезде "We ask you to extend a cordial invitation to the Continental Board of Counsellors of your area to attend each of your Annual Conventions. All Counsellors present at a Convention should be accorded the same freedom of the Convention as is given to the Hands of the Cause. If no Counsellors can attend a Convention, they may appoint for that convention one or two Auxiliary Board members to act as their special deputies, who should be warmly welcomed and given the courtesy of taking part in the Convention as representatives of the Board of Counsellors." "Мы просим вас обратиться с дружеским приглашением к Континентальным Комитетам Советников ваших регионов - принять участие в работе ваших ежегодных Съездов. Всем присутствующим на Съезде Советникам следует предоставлять такую же свободу, как и Десницам Дела, а именно: если Советники сами не могут присутствовать на Съезде, они имеют право делегировать на Съезд одного или двух членов Вспомогательных Коллегий в качестве своих представителей, которых следует тепло приветствовать и предоставлять им возможность участвовать в работе Съезда как делегатам Комитета Советников". (Ibid, March 25, 1969) /Там же, 25 марта 1969/ 79. Counsellors Ineligible for Membership on Administrative Bodies 79. Советники не могут быть избранными в административные органы "The members of these Boards of Counsellors will serve for a term, or terms, the length of which will be determined and announced at a later date, and while serving in this capacity will not be eligible for membership on national or local administrative bodies... " "Советники должны исполнять свои обязанности на протяжении срока, или сроков, продолжительность которых определяется впоследствии и в течение которых они не могут быть избранными в национальные или местные административные органы". (The Universal House of Justice: Wellspring of Guidance, pp. 141-142) /Всемирный Дом Справедливости. "Источник руководства", с. 141-142/ F. Instruction of Tellers, Priority of Minorities Approval of Outgoing Assembly[*] F. Указания счетчикам голосов, приоритет меньшинств и перевыборы Собраний 80. Tellers Should be Given Guidelines 80. Счетчикам голосов следует давать указания "It is for your National Assembly to determine how to properly instruct the delegates beforehand in the recording of identical names on ballots and to give the tellers guidelines for handling these questions when they arise in the counting of the ballots. Thereafter, it is for the tellers to make the decision and give the results to the Convention or Assembly... " "Вашему Национальному Собранию самому предоставляется решать, как правильно предварительно инструктировать делегатов относительно внесения в бюллетени одинаковых имен и какие указания давать счетчикам голосов, когда они приступают к подсчету бюллетеней. Соответственно, именно на счетчиков голосов возлагается обязанность принимать решения и докладывать о результатах Съезду или Собранию...

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Q. In the case of a tie between five persons for three vacancies should the names of the five be read for the delegates vote? Следует ли зачитывать делегатам имена пяти человек, набравших равное количество голосов при выборах на три вакансии? A. "Yes". "Да". Q. In voting for officers is it permissible to read the names of those persons who have tied? Разрешается ли зачитывать имена людей, набравших равное количество голосов при выборах должностных лиц? A. "When voting for officers of an Assembly a result is only reached when one member receives five or more votes. Until that result is reached all members are eligible for the office in question and the results of all inconclusive ballots should be made know to the meeting." "При голосовании за должностных лиц Собрания результат считается действительным только в том случае, если один из членов набрал пять или более голосов. Пока подобный результат не получен, все члены имеют право быть избранными на данную должность, а результаты голосования, не давшего результата, должны оглашаться перед собранием". (From a letter of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Jamaica, July 21, 1971) /Из письма Всемирного Дома Справедливости к Национальному Духовному Собранию Ямайки, 29 июля 1971/ См. также №№ 31-41 81. Convention Procedure in Connection with Tellers' Report 81. Процедура Съезда в связи с докладом счетчика голосов "Normal Convention procedure would call for a tellers' report announcing the names of the nine believers elected to the National Spiritual Assembly plus statistical information as to the balance of the votes cast. However, if the Convention votes to have the complete report of the tellers, or any part of it, the Convention is entitled to have the information which will thereupon be presented by the tellers accordance with the vote of the Convention." "Нормальная процедура Съезда подразумевает доклад счетчиков голосов, объявляющих голоса девяти человек, избранных в Национальное Духовное Собрание, а также статистическую информацию, касающуюся баланса поданых голосов. Однако если Съезд голосует за полный доклад счетчиков, ему поручается запросить информацию, которую счетчики представляют в согласии с голосованием Съезда". (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States, December 16, 1965) /Из письма от имени Всемирного Дома Справедливости к Национальному Духовному Собранию Соединенных Штатов, 16 декабря 1965/ 82. Under certain Conditions One or More Names May be Invalidated[*] 82. При определенных условиях одно или несколько имен могут считаться недействительными[*] "Under certain condition an entire ballot may be declared invalid. These are: (1) More than nine names on ballot paper; (2) Less than nine names on ballot paper; (3) Duplication of names. Under other conditions, because of specified irregularities, one or more of the names may be invalidated but the rest of the ballot would be considered valid. These irregularities are: (1) A name not identifiable, or illegible; (2) The name of an ineligible person, such as a youth or person not resident in the jurisdiction of the voting area, provided of course that in each ballot contains no more or less than nine names and no name has been duplicated." "При определенных условиях бюллетень может считаться полностью недействительным. К таким условиям относятся следующие случаи: /1/ Если в бюллетене проставлено более девяти имен; /2/ Если в бюллетене проставлено мене девяти имен; /3/ Повторение имен. При других условиях только часть имен может считаться недействительными, остальная же часть бюллетеня признается недействительной. К таким условиям относятся: /1/ Имена, не поддающиеся идентификации или неразборчиво написанные; /2/ Имена лиц, не могущих быть избранными, среди них лица, не достигшие определенного возраста или не проживающие в сфере юрисдикции данного голосовательного района, если, конечно, в бюллетени внесено не более и не менее девяти имен и имена эти не повторяются". (From a letter dated July 29, 1971 from the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Jamaica) /Из письма Всемирного Дома Справедливости к Национальному Духовному Собранию Ямайки, 29 июля 1971/ [*] Ballot Should not be Invalidated Because it contains Name of Auxiliary Board Member [*] Бюллетень с именем члена Вспомогательной Коллегии не следует считать недействительным (see Nos. 28-29) См. также №№ 28-29 83. Minority Accorded Priority Without Question[*] 83. Меньшинствам предоставляется безоговорочный приоритет [*] "Since the Guardian's instruction on this point is unequivocal where it is obvious that one of the persons involved represents a minority, that person should be accorded the priority without question. Where there is doubt further balloting will allow every voter present to participate. "Поскольку указания Хранителя по этому вопросу совершенно недвусмысленны, очевидно, что, если кто-либо из участников представляет меньшинство, ему следует предоставить безоговорочный приоритет. В сомнительных случаях в дальнейшем голосовании участвуют все присутствующие. "With reference to the provision in article V of the National By - Laws governing the situation where two or more members have received the same highest number of votes, if one of those members represents a minority that individual should be given priority as if selected by lot." В соответствии с положением параграфа Национального устава Бахаи, касающегося данной ситуации в том случае, если двое или более человек получили одинаковое число голосов преимущество отдается тому из них, кто представляет меньшинство". (From a letter of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States, January 25, 1967) [*]Bahá'ís Should Never Deviate from this Noble Standard

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/Из письма Всемирного Дома Справедливости к Национальному Духовному Собранию Соединенных Штатов, 25 января 1967/ Бахаи ни в коем случае не следует уклоняться от этого благородного принципа 84. Definition or Minority and Majority at Discretion of the National Spiritual Assembly 84. Определение понятия меньшинства и большинства предоставляется на усмотрение Национального Духовного Собрания "... the definition of a minority in any locality is in the discretion of the National Spiritual Assembly. It is clear that pioneers from other lands should not be regarded as belonging to a minority, neither do the categories quoted by the Guardian in "... определение понятия меньшинства повсеместно предоставляется на усмотрение Национального Духовного Собрания. "The Advent of Divine Justice', namely, 'faith race, class or nation', include sex. The overriding principle is always that if there is any doubt as to whether the minority principle should be invoked, then a further ballot should be taken." Очевидно, что пионеров из других стран не следует рассматривать как представителей меньшинства, равно как и категории, о которых Хранитель упоминает в своей книге "Обретение Божественной Справедливости", а именно - "вероисповедание, раса, класс и национальность", а также пол. Главенствующий принцип здесь заключается в том, что если применение принципа меньшинства вызывает сомнения, следует произвести дополнительное голосование". (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United Kingdom, March 5, 1986) /Из письма от имени Всемирного Дома Справедливости к Национальному Духовному Собранию Великобритании, 5 марта 1986/ 85. Results Reported to National Assembly for acceptance and Instructions to Tellers about Re-voting 85. Национальное Собрание дает указания счетчику голосов относительно повторного голосования "In answer to your question about who should decide this matter, the House of Justice states that it is the duty of the tellers to report the entire result of the voting, to the National Spiritual Assembly which has a duty of accepting the tellers' report before it is presented to the Convention. If the National Assembly sees that the ninth place is tied and that one of the persons tied is a member of a minority, it would instruct the tellers to report the results on this basis without calling for a re-vote. If, however, there is any doubt at all as to whether a minority is involved, the Assembly should resolve the matter by instruction that a re-vote for the ninth place should be held." "Отвечая вам касательно того, кто должен решать этот вопрос, Дом Справедливости заявляет, что обязанностью счетчика голосов является представить полный доклад о результатах голосования Национальному Духовному Собранию, которое, в свою очередь, обязано ознакомиться с этим докладом, прежде чем он будет представлен на рассмотрение Съезда. Если Национальное Собрание видит, что за девятое место подано равное количество голосов, и один из набравших его является представителем меньшинства, ему следует попросить счетчиков доложить о результатах, исходя из этого и не прибегая к дополнительному голосованию. Тем не менее, если возникает сомнение в том, что дело касается меньшинств, Собранию следует подготовить проведение дополнительного голосования за девятую вакансию" (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Switzerland, April 13, 1975) /Из письма от имени Всемирного Дома Справедливости к Национальному Духовному Собранию Швейцарии, 13 апреля 1975/ 86. Only Names of Those Tied Appear on Subsequent Ballots 86. Только те, кто набрал равное число голосов, участвуют в дополнительном голосовании "Following the voting in an election of an Assembly, Local or National, results of the balloting should be announced, including the names of those tied for ninth place. A new ballot must then be cast to decide between those who have received the same number of votes for ninth place. Only those who are tied to be voted for on the ballot, and the tie may be broken by the delegates present at the convention." "Вслед за проведением выборов в Национальное или Местное Собрание следует огласить тех, кто набрал равное число голосов, претендуя на девятое место. После этого необходимо провести новое голосование среди тех, кто получил одинаковое количество голосов. Только этих лиц можно включать в новый бюллетень, делегатам же Съезда предстоит выбрать одного из них". (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahamas, May 18, 1982) /Из письма от имени Всемирного Дома Справедливости к Национальному Духовному Собранию Багамских островов, 18 мая 1982/ 87. How to Report a Tie 87. Как докладывать о равном числе набранных голосов "It is not correct to show that Srta... received 13 votes. If she is to be listed among those receiving votes on the first ballot it should be shown that she was tied for ninth place with 6 votes and that on the second ballot she received 13 of the votes cast." "Не следует сообщать о том, что госпожа... получила тринадцать голосов. Если имя ее фигурирует в списках тех, кто принимал участие в первом голосовании, следует сообщить, что, претендуя на девятое место, она получила шесть голосов, а во втором круге набрала тринадцать". (From a letter of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Colombia, June 16, 1964) /Из письма Всемирного Дома Справедливости к Национальному Духовному Собранию Колумбии, 16 июня 1964/ 88. First, New Assembly Must consider whether to Accept Resignation 88. Новое Собрание, в первую очередь, должно решить, принимать или не принимать самоотводы "... your Assembly should first have considered whether to accept Miss... resignation, and then, if the Assembly had accepted her resignation, the vacancy should have been filled by a By-election in which all ... delegates should have been given an opportunity to vote, It is only a tie vote that may be broken by a vote of

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those delegates present at Convention, not a By-election unless, of course, all delegates are present." "... вашему Собранию следует, в первую очередь, решить, принимать или нет самоотвод госпожи ... если же Собрание приняло его, освободившаяся вакансия должна быть заполнена в процессе дополнительных выборов, в которых всем... делегатам следует предоствить возможность участия. В случае равного числа голосов должны проводиться не дополнительные выборы, а голосование, в котором участвуют присутствующие на Съезде делегаты, разумеется в том случае, если присутствуют все делегаты". (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to a National Spiritual Assembly, July 6, 1981) /Из письма от имени Всемирного Дома Справедливости к одному из Национальных Духовных Собраний, 6 июля 1981/ 89. By-Election Can be Held During Convention Only if All Delegates Are Present 89. Дополнительные выборы могут проводиться только в случае присутствия всех делегатов "If a By-election is necessary, however, all delegates must be given an opportunity to vote. If all delegates are present at the Convention, the By-election can of course take place at one of the sessions. If there are absent delegates, the By-election can still be arranged so that the delegates present may cast their ballots before the Convention disbands, and ballots form absent delegates be received at a later date." "Тем не менее, если необходимо провести дополнительные выборы, следует предоствить всем делегатам право голосовать. Если на Съезде присутствуют все делегаты, дополнительные выборы, конечно, могут происходить на одном из заседаний. Если же кто-то из делегатов отсутствует, выборы все же можно провести таким образом, чтобы присутсвующие делегаты подали свои бюллетени до оспуска Съезда, а бюллетени отсутствующих делегатов были бы получены позже". (Ibid, May 18, 1981) /Там же, 18 мая 1981/ 90. Tie for Ninth Member of the National Spiritual Assembly 90. Равное число голосов, поданных за девятого члена Национального Духовного Собрания "In the case of a tie for the ninth member of a National Spiritual Assembly, a vote can be held immediately at the Convention among the delegates present, to break the tie. However, if a vacancy is declared at the Convention because a resignation of one of the members of the newly elected National Assembly is accepted, a By- election must be called, i.e. all delegates must be given an opportunity to vote for someone to fill the vacancy." "В случае равного числа голосов, поданых за девятого члена Национального Духовного Собрания, можно провести немедленное голосование среди присутствующих на Съезде делегатов с целью нарушить равновесие. Однако, если Съезд принимает самоотвод одного из членов новоизбранного Национального Духовного Собрания, в результате чего образуется вакансия, необходимо провести дополнительные выборы, т. е. всем делегатам надо предоставить возможность проголосовать по поводу осободившегося вакантного места". (Ibid, June 13, 1976) /Там же, 13 июня 1976/ 91. Duty of Auxiliary Board Member to Advise Assembly, not Delegates, that He Will Serve 91. Обязанность члена Вспомогательной Коллегии докладывать непосредственно Собранию, а не делегатам, о своем самоотводе "The Auxiliary Board member...should have been listed as elected and given the opportunity to decide whether to continue to serve on the Board or to resign and accept the election to the administrative body. It is his duty to advice the National assembly itself and not the delegates or the Convention. If he decides to remain on the Board, and the National Assembly declared a vacancy while Convention is still in session, a By-election could be arranged before the Convention disbands." "Член Вспомогательной Коллегии... должен быть внесен в списки избранных, и ему следует предоставить возможность самому решать, будет ли он продолжать служить в Комитете или откажется от своей должности и примет участие в работе административного органа. Его обязанность - предупредить непосредственно Национальное Собрание, а не делегатов Съезда. Если он принимает решение остаться в Комитете и Национальное Собрание объявляет о вакансии еще во время заседаний Съезда, дополнительные выборы можно провести до его роспуска". (Ibid, June 26, 1978) /То же, 26 июня 1978/ 92. Board Members Should Not Resign Before a Tie-Breaking Vote Is Cast 92. Членам Коллегии не следует подавать самоотвод до завершения дополнительного голосования по равенству голосов "A Board Member should not be given the opportunity to resign before a tie-breaking vote is cast since there are other factors involved and it is possible that he may not be elected. However, if he is elected, he should advise the National Assembly of his decision to accept the elected post or continue his role as an Auxiliary Board member. If he resigns from the Assembly, then that body declares a vacancy and arranges for a By-election." "Члену Вспомогательной Коллегии не следует давать возможность выступать с самоотводом до завершения голосования по равенству голосов, поскольку, принимая в расчет дополнительные факторы, следует учитывать, что он может и не быть избран. Тем не менее, если он избран, он обязан доложить Национальному Собранию о решении принять избрание или продолжать исполнять роль члена Вспомогательного Комитета. Если он отказывается быть членом Собрания, этот орган объявляет о вакансии и организует дополнительные выборы". (Ibid) /Там же/ 93. Preservation of Ballots 93. Сохранение бюллетеней "In the minutes of your meetings of ..., the Universal House of Justice noted the items about 'Ballots of the Third national Assembly Election' and your instruction to the Secretary to destroy the ballots. We are directed to convey the following to you for your guidance. "Во время проведения ваших встреч Всемирный Дом Справедливости рассмотрел вопросы, связанные с "Бюллетенями третьих выборов в Национальное Собрание" и вашего указания секретарю относительно уничтожения бюллетеней. По этому поводу нам поручено сообщить вас следующее: "While it is within the discretion of a National Spiritual Assembly to determine what to do about preservation of the ballots following the annual election, the

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House of Justice points out that should any question concerning the balloting arise during the year following the election, it would be helpful if the ballots were available for National Spiritual Assembly scrutiny. Obviously, after the next following election, such need to preserve the ballots cast in the previous year's election would no longer exist." "Несмотря на то что Национальное Собрание призвано само определять, хранить ли бюллетени очередных ежегодных выборов, Дом Справедливости считает, что, поскольку в течение года могут возникнуть те или иные вопросы, связанные с голосованием, лучше предоставить бюллетени для внимательного рассмотрения и изучения в Национальном Духовном Собрании. Так же очевидно. что после очередных выборов в следующем году необходимость в дальнейшем хранении бюллетеней отпадает" (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to a National Spiritual Assembly, July 22, 1980) /Из письма от имени Всемирного Дома Справедливости к одному из Национальные Духовных Собраний, 22 июля 1980/ 94. Assembly has Right to Examine Ballots 94. Собрание имеет право проверять бюллетени "He considers that the National Spiritual Assembly has every right to examine the ballots if there is some doubt as to the election having been properly conducted. By 'preservation' of the ballots is meant that they are preserved in the National files." "Он полагает, что Собрание имеет полное право проверять бюллетени, если только возникнет какое-либо сомнение в правильности проведения выборов. Под "хранением" бюллетеней подразумевается то, что они должны храниться в Национальном Духовном Собрании". (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the National Spiritual Assembly of Australia and New Zealand, March 14, 1947) /Из письма от имени Шоги Эффенди к Национальному Духовному Собранию Австралии и Новой Зеландии, 14 марта 1947/ 95. Delegates Should be Given Opportunity to Report to the Community 95. Делегатам должна предоставляться возможность докладывать членам общины "A Convention delegate should certainly be given an opportunity to report to the Community his or her experiences at Convention and impressions." "Делегатам, безусловно, должна предоставляться возможность докладывать членам своей общины о полученных на Съезде впечатлениях и делиться приобретенным опытом". (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the National Spiritual Assembly of Australia and New Zealand, March 4, 1947) /Из письма от имени Национального Духовного Собрания Австралии и Новой Зеландии, 14 марта 1947/

G. Officers of Local and National Assemblies G. Должностные лица Местных и Национальных Собраний 96. If all Members Present, Permanent Officers Should be elected Immediately 96. В случае присутствия всех членов следует немедленно проводить выборы должностных лиц "While it is certainly true that the permanent officers of an Assembly should be elected immediately following the election of that Assembly, it is equally important, as stated in Article IV of the By-laws of the National Assembly, that 'The officers shall be elected by a majority vote of the entire membership of the Assembly taken by secret ballot.' That is all members of the Assembly must be properly noticed and given an opportunity to vote, and in cases of unavoidable absence it does not contravene the spirit of the By- laws if the absent member should cast his ballot by mail or even by telephone. "Поскольку совершенно очевидно, что постоянных должностных лиц Собрания следует избирать немедленно после выборов в это Собрание, не меньшую важность представлять тот факт, что, как гласит статья IV устава Национального Собрания, "Должностных лиц следует избирать большинством голосов всех членов Собрания путем тайного голосования". Это означает, что все члены Собрания должны быть правильно проинформированы, и всем им должна предоставляться возможность голосовать; в случае вынужденного и непредусмотренного отсутствия кого-либо из делегатов не будет противоречить духу устава, если отсутствующий проголосует по почте или даже по телефону. "Temporary officers may be elected until all nine are properly notified of the election." Временные должностные лица могут избираться, когда все члены Собрания получат правильную информацию (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to a National Spiritual Assembly, July 27, 1981) /Из письма от имени Всемирного Дома Справедливости к одному из Национальных Духовных Собраний, 27 июля 1981/ 97. Assembly or Committee Members May Excuse Themselves from Being Elected as Officers 97. Члены Собрания или Комитета могут отказаться от участия в выборах в качестве должностных лиц "We have also been asked to point out that although it is the obligation of a Bahá'í to serve on an Assembly, either Local or National, when elected, on several occasions the beloved Guardian pointed out that before the election of officers, if any member has a good reason in his own opinion why he should not be elected to one of the offices of the Assembly, he was free to suggest that he should not be so elected. The House of Justice also feels that as the work of the Faith expands and the duties of officers, particularly on National Spiritual Assemblies, acquire more importance, it is permissible and at times advisable to

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discuss the duties incumbent upon and required of each officer before ballots are cast." "Нас попросили также разъяснить, что, хотя обязанность каждого Бахаи - служить в Собрании, равно Местном или Национальном, в том случае если он в него избран, возлюбленный Хранитель неоднократно указывал, что перед выборами должностных лиц каждый свободен отклонить свою кандидатуру, если он, с его точки зрения, имеет уважительную причину не избираться на ту или иную должность в Собрании. Всемирный Дом Справедливости также полагает, что, поскольку деятельность Веры расширяется и обязанности должностных лиц, в особенности в Национальных Духовных Собраниях, приобретают все большее значение, позволительно, а в некоторых случаях и прямо рекомендуется, прежде чем провести голосование за то или иное должностное лицо, обсудить круг возлагаемых на него обязанностей". (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer, February 9, 1987) /Из письма от имени Всемирного Дома Справедливости к одному из верующих, 9 февраля 1987/ 98. It is preferable that a Person Hold no more that One Office 98. Предпочитетльно, чтобы одно лицо занимало не более одной должности "... we are asked to say it is preferable that a person hold no more than one office, but it is within the discretion of your Assembly to permit a member to hold two offices. "... нас попросили ответить на вопрос, предпочтительно ли, чтобы одно лицо не занимало более одной должности, однако ваше Собрание наделено полномочиями разрешать одному из членов занимать два поста. "Regarding the specific instance you have cited, you should consider carefully whether one person can effectively perform as both Chairman and Secretary, given the requirements of each office." Касательно конкретного случая, который вы приводите, вам самим следует тщательно взвесить и решить, может ли одно лицо успешно выступать и как председатель, и как секретарь, учитывая требования к каждой из должностей". (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Togo, July 4, 1984) /Из письма от имени Всемирного Дома Справедливости к Национальному Духовному Собранию Того, 4 июля 1984/. 99. Complete Results of Each Vote must be Known to all Members of the Assembly Present 99. Окончательные результаты каждого голосования должны доводиться до сведения всех присутствующих членов Собрания "The complete results of each vote should be known to all members of the Assembly. Therefore, the names and tally should be given by the tellers, and if no member has received the required majority, the members should proceed to vote again. Voting should not be confined to those receiving the highest number of votes." "Окончательные результаты каждого голосования следует доводить до сведения всех членов Собрания. Соответственно, счетчикам голосов полагается сообщать имена и итоговое количество набранных голосов, если же никто не набрал требуемого большинства, членам Собрания следует провести процедуру вновь. При этом не следует ограничиваться теми лицами, которые набрали наибольшее число голосов". (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer, August 4, 1981) /Из письма от имени Всемирного Дома Справедливости к одному из верующих, 4 августа 1981/ 100. The Integrity of the elector Must be Relied Upon 100. Надо полагаться на чистосердечие избирателей "You will note in the above extract that the tellers should report both names and tally. The House of Justice suggests that we must rely on the integrity of the elector to consider dispassionately those names he lists on his ballot, irrespective of the results of the previous balloting." "Из вышесказанного явствует, что счетчикам следует докладывать об именах и итоговом количестве набранных голосов. Дом Справедливости считает, что мы должны полагаться на чистосердечие верующих, на их способность беспристрастно отнестись к именам, которые он вносит в свой бюллетень незаисимо от результатов предшествующего голосования". (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Mexico, September 2, 1981, citing the above quotation, No. 102) /Из письма от имени Всемирного Дома Справедливости к Национальному Духовному Собранию Мексики, 2 сентября 1981/ 101. Any Officer Elected must Have Received at Least Five Votes 101. Каждое избранное должностное лицо должно набрать по меньшей мере пять голосов "Any officer elected must have received at least five votes, even if only five members are present. The ballots of any absentee members cannot be counted if re-voting is necessary. If for any reason no member received five votes, then the Assembly must in consultation appoint one or more temporary officer to function until the next meeting, and must call another meeting as soon as possible to elect permanent officers." "Каждое избранное должностное лицо должно набрать по меньшей мере пять голосов, даже если в голосовании участвуют пять присутствующих членов. В случае повторного голосования бюллетени отсутствующих членов не считаются. Если по той или иной причине никто из членов не набирает пяти голосов, Собрание должно совещательным порядком назначить одно или более должностных лиц, которые будут исполнять свои обязанности до следующей встречи, а затем постараться как можно скорее провести эту встречу для избрания постоянных должностных лиц" (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the Local Spiritual Assembly of Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, September 26, 1983) /Из письма от имени Местного Духовного Собрания Гуайнабо, Пуэрто-Рико, 26 сентября 1983/. 102. The Chairman of the Assembly 102. Председатель Собрания "Concerning the duties of the Chairman of the Local Spiritual Assembly or the National Spiritual Assembly; he is supposed to share, freely and fully, in the discussions of all subjects under the consideration of these bodies, and to register his vote regarding each one of them. The duty of a Bahá'í Chairman is not only to guide the course of the discussion, but also to express his own viewpoint without

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any reservation whatever. He is entitled to exercise both of these functions." "Касательно обязанностей председателя Местного Духовного Собрания и Национального Духовного Собрания: предполагается, что он должен свободно и в полной мере участвовать во всех дискуссиях по вопросам, подведомственным данным органам, и участвовать в голосовании по каждому из них. Обязанность председателя-бахаи состоит не только в том, чтобы направлять ход дискуссии, но и выражать точку зрения вне зависимости от обстоятельств. Обе эти функции поручены ему в первую очередь". (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, October 10, 1936) /Из письма от имени Шоги Эффенди к одному из верующих, 10 октября 1936/ 103. The Vice-Chairman 103. Вице-председатель "The Universal House of Justice has asked us to advise you that the appropriate procedure would be for the Vice-Chairman of the Assembly to chair the meetings in the absence of the chairman. If the Vice-Chairman happens to be also absent, then the Assembly should decide who among the members present should chair the meeting." "Всемирный Дом Справедливости попросил нас довести до вашего сведения, что вице-председатель Собрания может возглавлять встречи в случае отсутствия председателя. Если вице-председатель также отсутствует, Собранию предстоит решить, кому из членов оно может поручить возглавлять встречу". (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Ciskei, February 10, 1987) /Из письма от имени Шоги Эффенди Справедливости к Национальному Духовному Собранию Сискей, 10 февраля 1987/ 104. Duties of the National Secretary 104. Обязанности национального секретаря "The proper growth of a community is possible only when the National Spiritual Assembly, through its office and secretary, is able to maintain a steady flow of communication to the believers in its jurisdiction, offering guidance and encouragement to them. Eery effort should be made to enable the National Assembly secretary to discharge his or her duties without being hampered by too many administrative regulations. The manner in which this is done, of course, is left to the discretion of each National Spiritual Assembly. "Правильный рост общины возможен только в том случае, когда Национальное Духовное Собрание поддерживает постояное общение с верующими, подлежащими его юрисдикции, руководя ими и побуждая их к действию. Следует прилагать все усилия для того, чтобы секретарь Национального Духовного Собрания мог исполнять свои обязанности, не будучи стесненным излишнимм административными ограничениями. Как именно достичь этого, разумеется, предоставляест решать каждому конкретному Национальному Собранию. "A key factor in determining how much responsibility is to be placed on the secretary is trust. When there is trust and love among the members of the Assembly, any problems will be avoided. The National Assembly secretary should be empowered to take the initiative in matters of a routine nature. It is not normally necessary for the secretary's letters to be scrutinized by other members of the Assembly although they may always have access to such correspondence." Ключевым фактором, определяющим степень ответственности секретаря, являестя доверие. Многих трудностей можно избежать, если между членами Собрания царит дух любви и доверия. Секретарь Национального Духовного Собрания должен быть наделен полномочиями проявлять инициативу в вопросах текущего характера. Обычно нет необходимости в том, чтобы переписка секретаря проверялась другими членами Собрания, хотя они всегда должны иметь доступ к подобной корреспонденции". (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Bangladesh, September 21, 1983) /Из письма от имени Всемирного Дома Справедливости к Национальному Духовному Собранию Бангладеш, 21 сентября 1983/ 105. The Secretary of the National Spiritual Assembly is its Chief Executive Officer 105. Секретарь Национального Духовного Собрания - его главное исполнительное должностное лицо "Whatever the personal circumstances of the believer employed, the National Assembly should realize that its Secretary is its chief executive officer, and as such acts not only as liaison with the national committees, the Local Spiritual Assemblies and all the friends, but generally represents the National Spiritual Assembly and the Faith itself to the non-Bahá'í world, a duty becoming ever more important as the Cause becomes more widely known." "Каковы бы ни были личные обстоятельства верующего, занимающего этот пост, Национальное Собрание должно помнить, что секретарь - его главное исполнительное должностное лицо и как таковое действует не только как связующее звено в отношениях с национальными комитетами, Местными Собраниями и друзьями, но в целом выступает как представитель Национального Духовного Собрания и Веры перед внешним миром, и обязанность эта приобретает все большее значение по мере того, как Дело становится все более широко известным". (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Italy, January 23, 1981) /Из письма от имени Всемирного Дома Справедливости к Национальному Духовному Собранию Италии, 23 июня 1981/. 106. Full-Time Services of Secretary May Require Remuneration, about which the Agreement Should be Duly Recorded 106. При полной занятости секретаря может потребоваться вознаграждение, о чем следует заключать специальное соглашение "A national Bahá'í community which reaches that stage of development where the work of its National Spiritual Assembly required the full time services of it Secretary, faces many difficult, and sometimes delicate, considerations. It is generally a thought-provoking occasion to the community itself, which has become used to the work of the Cause being discharged by voluntary, dedicated, part-time and often amateur service; and the realization that the Cause has reached the point where its work and public image -- so important to future

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progress can no longer be maintained in the old way, may be disturbing at first. The friends, however, quickly respond to the new capacity for leadership and guidance and the increased status which its National Assembly acquired by establishing a sounder foundation for its operations, and are encouraged by the advancement of the Cause. "Национальная община Бахаи, достигшая такого уровня развития, при котором требуется полная занятость секретаря Национального Духовного Собрания, сталкивается со многими трудными, а порой и деликатными ситуациями. Как правило, здесь есть над чем задуматься самой общине, которая уже привыкла к тому, что Делом занимаются на добровольных началах, зачастую по-делитански, посвящая этому лишь часть своего личного времени; осознание того, что Дело достигло точки, когда работа и общественный облик - столь важный для будущего развития - столь важный для будущего развития - уже не могут существовать в старом виде, может поначалу привести в замешательство. Друзья, тем не менее, быстро откликаются на изменившееся качество руководства, а также на возросший статус, который Национальное Духовное Собрание приобретает, закладывая более здоровые основы своей деятельности, и черпают вдохновение в дальнейшем прогрессе Дела. "The specific remuneration and condition of service of the national Secretary must obviously be the result of consultation, and when agreement has been reached the result should be recorded, not necessarily in a contract, but certainly in a Minute of the Assembly and/or and exchange of letter." Специальное вознагарждение и условия работы национального секретаря, безусловно, должны обсуждать в совещательном порядке, когда же соглашение будет достигнуто, его следует оформить письменно, не обязательно в виде договора, но с обязательным занесением в протоколы Собрания или путем обмена письмами". (Ibid) /Там же/. 107. Secretary's Helper Can be Non-Member of Assembly 107. Помощником секретаря может быть лицо, не являющееся членом Собрания "In reply to your letter of November 7th, 1973 there is no objection whatsoever to a non-member of the National Spiritual Assembly typing your Minutes or such other confidential reports. Many National Spiritual Assemblies employ typists in their national offices who are intimately connected with all the work of the National Spiritual Assembly. Of course, the personal employed should enjoy the confidence of the National Spiritual Assembly." "ВВот ответ на ваше письмо от 7 ноября 1973 г.: заявляем, что нет имеем никаких возражений против того, чтобы лицо, не являющееся членом Собрания, перепечатывало ваши протоколы или какие-либо иные служебные конфиденциальные отчеты. Многие Национальные Духовные Собрания используют в своих национальных центрах офисах машинисток, которые хорошо знакомы со всей работой Национального Духовного Собрания. Разумеется, используемое подобным образом лицо должно пользоваться доверием Национального Духовного Собрания". (Letter from the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Gilbert and Ellice Islands, November 20, 1973) (/Письмо Всемирного Дома Справедливости к Национальному Духовному Собранию островов Джильберта и Эллис, 20 ноября 1973 г.)/. 108. Secretary Should be Situated in the Capitol City 108. Секретариат должен располагаться в столице "He was sorry that he felt it necessary to insist that the secretary of your Assembly must be located in Buenos Aires so that the Secretariat can be located in the headquarters of this region; this is a general principle which he has insisted the friends adhere to everywhere... " "Он сожалеет, но вынужден настаивать на том, чтобы секретарь вашего Собрания находился в Буэнос-Айресе таким образом, чтобы секретариат мог помещаться в штаб-квартире этого региона; таков общий принцип, и он настаивает на том, чтобы друзья повсеместно придерживались его..." (From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to the National Spiritual Assembly of Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay and Bolivia, July 29, 1957: The National Spiritual Assembly, P. 43) /Из письма от имени Хранителя к Национальному Духовному Собранию Аргентины, Чили, Уругвая, Парагвая и Боливии, 29 июля 1957/. 109. National Secretary Should Keep in Close Touch with Local Assemblies 109. Национальному секретарю следует поддерживать тесный контакт с Местными Собраниями "Shoghi Effendi firmly believes that consultation must be maintained between the N.S.A. and the entire body of the believers; and that such a consultation, when the Convention is not in session, can best be maintained through the agency of the local assemblies, one of whose essential functions is to act as intermediaries between the local communities sand their national representatives." "Шоги Эффенди уверен, что Н.Д.С. должно проводить консультации со всем корпусом верующих, а также в том, что подобного рода консультации в дни, не приходящиеся на дни работы Съезда, лучше всего огранизовывать с помощью местных собраний, одна из основных функций состоит в том, чтобы выступать в качестве посредников между местными общинами и их национальными представителями". (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi: Principles of Bahá'í Administration, pp. 67-68) /Из письма от имени Шоги Эффенди. "Принципы Амдинистрации Бахаи", с. 67-68/ 110. Contents of Minutes 110. Содержание протоколов "The content of some of the minutes we receive could be improved, and we therefore offer the following suggestion: "Содержание некоторых из присланных нам протоколов может быть улучшено, в связи с чем мы вносим следующие предложения: "The purpose of the minutes is to record the action of the Assembly with sufficient back-ground information so that one reading the minutes will understand the reason for the action. National Assemblies may find it helpful if the background and the action are separated and not typed together. On the other hand, minutes should not be a verbatim report of the National Assembly meeting, and it is not the purpose of the minutes to record the views of individual members. Names of individual making motions need not be recorded. Names should be included, however, whenever required

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to make clear the assignments of persons responsible for actions. Each set of minutes should reflect the time and place of the next meeting." Цель протоколов - письменно отражать действия Собрания одновременно с соответствующшей сопутствующей информацией, таким образом, чтобы читающий их мог понять мотивы этих действий. Национальное Собрание может счесть полезным, если действия и их причины будут фиксироваться отдельно, а не в одном документе. С другой стороны, протоколы не должны быть дословным отчетом о встречах Национального Собрания, их целью также не является отражение мнений отдельных верующиъ. Не обязательно фиксировать имена лиц, вносящих предложения.Тем не менее, имена необходимо включать, когда требуется установить лиц, ответственных за те или иные действия. Каждая серия протоколов должна фиксировать место и время проведения следующей встречи". (From a letter of the Universal House of Justice to all National Spiritual Assemblies, May 27, 1970) /Из письма Всемирного Дома Справедливости ко всем Национальным Духовным Собраниям, 27 мая 1970/ 111. Secretary Should be Careful to Convey Majority Decision 111. Секретарь должен тщательно отражать решение большинства "Generally speaking the Secretary of an Assembly must be careful to convey exactly what the majority decision or advice of the body was. There can surely be no objection to his putting it in proper terms and clarifying the matter according to the decision or instruction of the assembly. But he should of course not introduce his personal views unless endorsed by the assembly." "Говоря в целом, секретарь обязан тщательно отражать решение большинства или соответствующие рекомендации органа. Разумеется, он может формулировать их в более адекватных выражениях, проясняя суть дела в согласии с решением или рекомендациями собрания. Но он, конечно, не должен выражать свою точку зрения, если только ее не поддерживает собрание". (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, October 19, 1947) /Из письма от имени Шоги Эффенди к одному из верующих, 19 октября 1947/ 112. Treasurer of the Spiritual Assembly Receive all Donations and Contributions 112. Все пожертвования принимает казначей Духовного Собрания "And as the progress and execution of spiritual activities is dependent and condition upon material means, it is of absolute necessity that immediately after the establishment of local as well as National Spiritual Assemblies, a Bahá'í Fund be established, to be placed under the exclusive control of the Spiritual Assembly. All donations and contributions should be offered to the Treasurer of the Assembly, for the express purpose of promoting the interests of the Cause, throughout that locality or country. It is the sacred obligation of every conscientious and faithful servant of Bahá'u'lláh who desires to see His Cause advance, to contribute freely and generously for the increase of that fund... " "И поскольку прогресс и осуществление духовной деятельности зависят от материальных средств и обусловленными, абсолютно необходимо, чтобы сразу же после учреждения местного или Национального Духовного Собрания был учрежден также и фонд Бахаи, который должен находиться исключительно под контролем Духовного Собрания. Все пожертвования передаются казначею Собрания, и первейшая их цель - способствовать развитию интересов Дела в данной стране или местности. Священной обязанностью каждого преданного и сознательного служителя Бахауллы, который хочет видеть, как развивается Его Дело, является добровольно и щедро способствовать увеличению этого Фонда..." (From a letter of the Guardian to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States and Canada, dated March 12, 1923: Bahá'í Administration, pp. 41-42) /Из письма Хранителя к Национальному Духовному Собранию Соединенных Штатов и Канады, 12 марта 1923. "Администрация Бахаи", с. 41-42/ 113. Handling of Funds[*] 113. Распоряжение фондами "As to your question: the friends can give their contribution to the treasurer, or, if they wish to remain anonymous and give small sums, a receptacle can be provided. The Local Assembly can decide this matter." "Касательно вашего вопроса: друзья могут передавать свои пожертвования казначею либо, если они хотят соблюсти анонимность или внести небольшую сумму, следует организовать их прием отдельно. Вопрос этот предоставляется на усмотрение Местного Собрания". (From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to an individual believer, September 29, 1951: Bahá'í Funds and Contributions, a Compilation of Extracts from the Guardian's letters on the subject dated January 1970, From the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assemblies of the world) /Из письма от имени Хранителя к одному из верующих, 29 сентября 1951/ [*]Need for care in Handling Bahá'í Funds: (see FUNDS) Необходимость тщательной организации фондов /см.: Фонды/ 114. Obligation of a Bahá'í Who is Elected to an Office Which Required Full-Time Service 114. Обязанности бахаи, избираемого на должность, требующую полной занятости "The Universal House of Justice has received your letter mailed 23 January 1987 concerning the obligation of a Bahá'í who is elected to an office which requires full time service. We are asked to share with you an excerpt of a letter dated 7 August 1989 written on behalf of the House of Justice addressed to an individual believer facing a problem similar to the one you pose." "Всемирный Дом Справедливости получил Ваше письмо от 23 января 1987 относительно обязанностей бахаи, избранного на должность, требующую полной занятости. Нам поручили довести до Вашего сведения отрывок из письма от 7 августа 1980, написанного от имени Всемирного Дома Справедливости и обращенного к одному из верующих, в котором рассматривается вопрос, сходный с Вашим. "The delicate balance between the claims of the Cause of God and the claims of one's profession is an intensely personal matter which can only be resolved eventually in the heart and soul of each individual. Many Bahá'ís have become, and are, distinguished in their professions and at the same time have rendered and are rendering great services to the Cause and it is obviously possible to

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achieve distinction in one's profession and calling and to serve the Cause of God at the same time. The House of Justice realizes, however that circumstances can conspire at critical times in the fortunes of the Faith, to require individuals to make the heart- searching decision of sacrificing one's own prospect for the apparent good of the Cause. Here again, the history of the Cause provides many examples of believers who have willingly forgone promotion in, or even the continued practice of, their professions in order to meet the needs of the Faith. As in all difficult decisions facing individual officer, such as a Counsellor or Board member, or even one or two friends of his own choosing. Even then, however, the eventual decisions rests with the individual himself." "Тонкое соотношение между требованиями Дела Божия и профессиональными требованиями - глубоко личное дело, которое каждый человек должен решать сам в глубине души и сердца. Многие Бахаи достигали и достигают отличия в своей профессиональной деятельности и в то же время оказывали и оказывают великие услуги Делу, поэтому совершенно очевидно, что можно добиваться отличия на избранном поприще и одновременно служить Делу Божию. Тем не менее, Дом Справедливости в полной мере сознает, что обстоятельства, особенно в критические моменты в судьбах Веры, могут потребовать того, чтобы человек принял чистосердечное решение пожертвовать своими личными планами во имя явного блага Дела. В истории Дела немало случаев, когда верующие добровольно отказывались от своей карьеры или даже полностью порывали со своей профессией, идя навстречу нуждам Веры. Как и во всех случаях, когда верующему приходится принимать непростые решения, ему может прийти на помощь богоданный процесс консультаций, и каждый вправе просить совета либо у одного из институтов Веры, либо у должностного лица, такого как Советник или член Комитета, либо у одного или нескольких друзей по своему выбору. Но даже и тогда окончательное решение остается за самим человеком". (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer, February 9, 1987) (Из письма от имени Всемирного Дома Справедливости к одному из верующих, 9 февраля 1987) 115. Those Elected to an Assembly Should Consider it a Privilege and a Responsibility to Serve 115. Избранные в Собрание должны рассматривать это как привилегию и одновременно как обязанность "... those who have been elected to such membership should consider it a privilege and also a responsibility to serve in that body, and should therefore refrain from any resignation, even though they may disagree with the majority of the members. Obedience to the considered views and policies of the majority should by whole hearted, for it implies obedience and loyalty to the Administrative Order itself." "... избранные в Собрание должны рассматривать это как привилегию и в то же время как обязанность служить в данном органе, а следовательно, воздерживаться от слепого повиновения даже в том случае, если они не согласны с мнением большинства членов. Повиновение продуманным взглядам и политике большинства должно идти от сердца, ибо оно подразумевает покорность и преданность самому Административному Порядку". (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, May 8, 1939) (Из письма от имени Шоги Эффенди к одному из верующих, 8 мая 1939) 116. Procedure for Assemblies When Dissatisfied with officers 116. Процедура, к которой следует прибегать, если Собрание не удовлетворено деятельностью должностного лица "As regards the question of what procedure the Bahá'í Assemblies should adopt when dissatisfied with the services of any of their officers. Should such dissatisfaction involve the loyalty of an Assembly officer to the Faith, he should, following a majority vote, be dismissed. But in case the dissatisfaction is due to the incompetence of a member, or simply to a neglect on his part to discharge his duties, this does not constitute sufficient justification to force his resignation or dismissal from the Assembly. He should be kept in office until new elections are held." "Касательно вопроса о том, к какой процедуре следует прибегать Собраниям Бахаи, если они не удовлетворены деятельностью того или иного должностного лица. Если речь идет о преданности должностного лица Собрания Вере, то согласно с результатами голосования отстранить от должности. Однако в случае если причиной является некомпетентность или просто пренебрежение со стороны данного лица к своим служебным обязанностям, это не может служить достаточным основанием для его принудительной отставки. Он должен сохранять пост впредь до новых выборов". (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the National Spiritual Assembly of the British Isles, November 22, 1940: The National Spiritual Assembly, P. 42) (Из письма от имени Шоги Эффенди к Национальному Духовному Собранию Великобритании, 22 ноября 1940)

H. Local and National Administrators H. Местные и национальные администраторы 117. Functions and Duties of Elected Representatives 117. Функции и обязанности избранных представителей "... Their functions is not to dictate, but to consult, and consult not only among themselves, but as much as possible with the friends whom they represent. They must regard themselves in no other light but that of chosen instrument for a more efficient and dignified presentation of the Cause of God. They should never be led to suppose that they are the central ornaments of the body of the Cause, intrinsically superior to others in capacity or merit, and sole promoters of its teachings and principles. They should approach their task with extreme humility, and endeavor by their open-mindedness, their high sense of justice and duty,

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their candour, their modesty, their entire devotion to the welfare and interest of the friends, the Cause, and humanity, to win not only the confidence and the genuine support and respect of those who they should serve, but also their esteem and real affection. They must at all times avoid the spirit of exclusiveness, the atmosphere of secrecy, free themselves from a domineering attitude, and banish all forms of prejudice and passion from their deliberations." "... функция их состоит не в том, чтобы навязывать свои решения и мнения, но в том, чтобы консультироваться, причем консультироваться не только между собою, но и как можно больше - с друзьями, которых они представляют. Они должны рассматривать себя исключительно как избранные орудия для наиболее действенного и достойного представления Дела Божьего. Им ни в коем случае не следует считать, что они - средоточие многосоставного орнамента Дела и единственные распространители его учения и принципов. Им следует подходить к своей задаче с величайшим смирением и - благодаря широте своих взглядов, высокому чувству долга и справедливости, искренности и беспристрастностию, своею скромности, исключительной преданности интересам и благополучию друзей, Дела и человечества - стремиться завоевать не только подлинную поддержку и уважение тех, кому они служат, но также почет и расположение. Они должны раз и навсегда отрешиться от сознания собственной исключительности, избегать атмосферы секретности, освободиться от комплекса превосходства и изгнать все виды предрассудков и пристрастий из своих дискуссий". (Shoghi Effendi, From a letter to the Bahá'ís of America, February 23, 1924: Bahá'í Administration, p. 64) (Шоги Эффенди, из письма к бахаи Америки, 23 февраля 1924) 118. They Must Uphold the Standard of Justice 118. Приверженность нормам справедливости "In all cases submitted for its consideration the Assembly must uphold the standard of justice in delivering its verdict, and in all its dealings with the community and the outside world, it must strive to evince the equalities of leadership. The following quotation from a letter of the Guardian summarizes in simple terms the immediate goal every Assembly should set for itself in it efforts to pursue the exalted standard of perfection inculcated in our writings: "Во всех случаях, представляемых на рассмотрение Собрания, оно должно придерживаться норм справедливости при вынесении своих вердиктов и, вступая в контакты с общиной и внешним миром, стремиться подтвердить свои качества лидера. Нижеследующая цитата из письма Хранителя в простых выражениях определяет непосредственную цель, которую каждое Собрание должно преследовать, стремясь приблизиться к возвышенным нормам совершенства, заложенным в нашем учении: "The first quality for leadership both among individuals and Assemblies is the capacity to use the energy and competence that exists in the rank and file of its followers. Otherwise the more competent members of the groups will go at a tangent and try to find elsewhere a field of work and where they could use their energy. "Первое качество лидера как среди отдельных верующих, так и среди Собраний, заключается в умении использовать энергию и навыки рядовых последователей Дела. В противном случае наиболее одаренные члены группы отколются от нее и будут на стороне искать сферу деятельности, где они могли бы в полной мере приложить свою энергию". "Shoghi Effendi hopes that the Assemblies will do their utmost in planning such teaching activities that every single soul will be kept busy'." "Шоги Эффенди полагает, что Собраниям следует таким образом планировать свою учительскую деятельность, чтобы каждому нашось свое применение". "(From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States and Canada, dated August 30, 1930)" (Из письма от имени Хранителя к Национальному Духовному Собранию Соединенных Штатов и Канады, 30 августа 1930) (From a letter of the Universal; House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Bolivia, July 30, 1972) (Из письма от имени Всемирного Дома Справедливости к Национальному Духовному Собранию Боливии, 30 июля 1972) 119. Administrators of Faith Like Shepherds 119. Администраторы Веры подобны пастырям "The administrators of the Faith of God must be like unto shepherds. Their aim should be to dispel all the doubts, misunderstanding and harmful differences which may arise in the community of the believers. And this they can adequately achieve provided they are motivated by a true sense of love for their fellow-brethren coupled with firm determination to act with justice in all cases which are submitted to them for their consideration." "Администраторы Веры должны уподобиться пастырям. Цель их - рассеивать все возможные сомнения, устранять недоразумения и болезненные разногласия, могущие возникнуть среди верующих в общине. В полной мере достигнуть этого они могут, если ими движет чувство подлинной любви к своим собратьям вкупе с твердой решимостью действовать в согласии со српаведливостью во всех случаях, которые представялются на их рассмотрение". (From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to an individual believer, March 9, 1934: The Local Spiritual Assembly, p. 23) (Из письма от имени Хранителя к одному из верующих, 9 мая 1934) 120. The Ones in Real Authority Known by Humanity and Self-Sacrifice 120. Облеченные подлинной властью славятся смирением и самоотверженностью The ones in real authority are known by their humility and self- sacrifice and show no attitude of superiority over the friends. Some time ago a tablet was written stating that none are appointed to any authority to do anything but to serve the Cause as true servants of the friends-and for this no tablet is necessary; such service when true and unselfish, required no announcement, nor following, nor written document. Let the servant be known by his deeds, by his life! To be approved of god alone should be one's aim. Облеченные подлинной властью славятся смирением и самоотверженностью и не выказывают превосходства перед друзьями. Некоторое время тому была написана скрижаль, где утрвеждалось, что всякий, кто назначен на должность и облечен полномочиями, обязан, прежде всего, служить Делу как истинный слуга друзей - для этого же не нужна никакая скрижаль; подобное служение, если оно идет от сердца и не самолюбиво, не требует деклараций и вообще письменных документов. Да познаются слуги по их делам, по жизни их! Цель их - единственно в том, чтобы снискать одобрение Господне. ('Abdu'l-Bahá in the Holy Land answers of Dr. Edward C. Getsinger and recorded by Dr. Getsinger at the time (1905): Star of the West, Vol. VI, No. 6, p. 43)

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(Абдул-Баха в Святой Земле отвечает на вопросы д-ра Гетсингера, 1905. "Звезда Запада", № 6, с. 43) 121. Keynote of Cause of God Not Dictatorial Authority 121. Основной принцип Дела - не авторитарная диктаторская власть "Let us also bear in mind that the keynote of the Cause of god is not dictatorial authority but humble fellowship, not arbitrary power, but the spirit of frank and loving consultation. Nothing short of the spirit of a true Bahá'í can hope to reconcile the principles of mercy and justice, of freedom and submission, of the sanctity of the right of the individual and of self-surrender, of vigilance, discretion, and prudence on the one hand, and fellowship, candor, and courage on the other." "Давайте же не забывать о том, что основной принцип Дела Божия - не авторитарная власть, а смиренное братство, не безрассудное самовластие, а дух полюбовной и открытой совещательности. Истинный Бахаи может и должен примирить принципы милосердия и справедливости, свободы и покорности, священных прав личности и самоотвержения, бдительности, осмотрительности и благоразумия, с одной стороны, и товарищества, беспристрастия и отваги - с другой". (Shoghi Effendi: Bahá'í Administration, pp. 63-64) (Шоги Эффенди. "Администрация Бахаи", с. 63-64) 122. Assemblies Should Influence Believers to Confidently Present their Problems 122. Собраниям следует оказывать влияние на верующих "You are no doubt aware of the exhortations of the beloved Guardian concerning the attitude that National Assemblies must endeavor to maintain in their dealings with the friends under their jurisdiction. He indicated that a National Assembly should be like a loving parent, watching over and helping its children, and not like a stern judge, waiting for an opportunity to display his judicial powers." "... вам, безусловно, знакомы наставления нашего возлюбленного Хранителя касательно того, что Национальные Собрания должны стремиться держать всех друзей, подлежащих их юрисдикции, в курсе своих дел. Он указывал, что Национальное Собрание должно уподобиться любящему отцу, который надзирает за свои ребенком и помогает ему, а не строгому судье, который лишь ожидает случая применить свои судебные полномочия. "Shoghi Effendi has pointed out the National Assemblies must assume such a role as to influence the believers to confidently take their problems to the Assembly, and to respect and unhesitatingly obey its wishes and decrees. the Assemblies should evidence not even the least trace of dictatorial assertiveness, but should remember that most of the sins of the believers are the signs of immaturity. These friends should be nursed and assisted into a fuller understanding of their responsibilities as Bahá'ís and encouraged to conduct themselves in a Bahá'í manner." Шоги Эффенди подчеркивал, что Национальные Собрания должны так влиять на верующих, чтобы те доверительно делились с ними своими проблемами, уважали желания и распоряжения Собрания и беспрекословно подчинялись им. Собраниям следует не только избегать малейших проявлений властной безаппеляционности, но и одновременно помнить о том, что большинство грехов верующих проистекает от их незрелости. Подобных друзей следует наставлять и вести к более полному понимаю своей ответственности как Бахаи и побуждать вести себя в подобающей Бахаи манере". (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Venezuela, June 3, 1979) (Из письма от имени Всемирного Дома Справедливости к Национальному Духовному Собранию Венесуэлы, 3 июня 1973) 123. Breach of Trust by Assembly members will Destroy Confidence of Believers 123. Предательство со стороны членов Собрания приведет к утрате доверия со стороны верующих "... regarding the extent to which confidential information about believers may be shared with other believers for their protection, and we offer in reply the following considerations: "... касательно вопроса о том, насколько позволительно делиться конфиденциальной информацией о верующих с другими членами общины во имяради их благазащиты, мы предлагаем следующие соображения: 1. Any information which comes to the notice of an Assembly member, solely by reason of his membership on that Assembly must not be divulged by that member, even though the Assembly itself may later decide to share it. 1. Любая информация, поступающая к члену Собрания исключительно потому, что он является его членом такового, не должна распространяться разглашаться им, даже если само Собрание впоследствии решит поделиться ею. 2. The assembly must itself carefully consider which information should rightly fall in the category of confidential information and which should not be shared with others, and which information may be divulged under special circumstances, and how such information may be divulged. Should confidential matters regarding personal problems be freely shared with others, upon application, the confidence of the believers in the Assembly and its members will obviously be destroyed. 2. Собрание должно само тщательно обдумать, какую информацию следует отнести к разряду конфиденциальной и, соответственно, не делиться ею с остальными, аи какую, и каким образом следует можно распространять разглашать при определенных обстоятельствах, и каким образом это можно делать. Если конфиеденциальные вопросы, касающиеся сугубо личных проблем, будут легко становиться достоянием окружающих по их просьбе, это неизбежно приведет к тому, что подрыву довериея со стороны верующих к Собранию и его членам будет подорвано. 3. It must be remembered that individuals can reform, and a reprehensible past does not necessarily disqualify a believer from building a better future. 3. Необходимо помнить, что личность люди могут меняеться, и предосудительное поведение в прошломе не обязательно должно помешатьзакрывает верующему все возможности построить лучшее, более достойое будущее. "Within the general framework of these principles, we feel you should be able

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to handle each case as it may come to your attention. No hard and fast rule should be laid down in such cases, as each case required careful handling, sound judgement and utmost discretion." Мы полагаем, что в рамках этих общих принципов вы сможете разрешаить все каждый вопросы по мере того, представленные на ваше рассмотрениекак он будет вставать перед вами. В подобных случаях нельзя руководствоваться устанавливать жесткие ми правилами и скоропалительными мерами, поскольку каждый из них требует бережного внимательного рассмотрения, здравого суждения и величайшего благоразумия". (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States, September 18, 1968) (Из письма от имени Всемирного Дома Справедливости к Национальному Духовному Собранию Соединенных Штатов, 18 сентября 1968 г.) 124. Administrative Efficiency Should be Accompanied by an Equal Amount of Love 124. Не только административная эффективность, но и любовь "Administrative efficiency and order should always be accompanied by an equal degree of love, of devotion and of spiritual development. Both of them are essential and to attempt to dissociate one from the other is to deaden the body of the cause. In these days, when the Faith is still in its infancy, great care must be taken lest mere administrative routine stifles the spirit which must feel the body of the Administration itself. That spirit is its propelling force and the motivating power of its every life. "Административная эффективность и порядок невозможны без любви, преданности и духовного развития. Обе стороны вопроса существенно важны, и пытаться оторвать одну от другой значит умерщвлять живую плоть Дела. В эти дни, когда Вера еще переживает юношескую пору, необходимо заботиться о том, чтобы административная рутина не охладила дух, который должен питать организм самой Администрации. Дух этот - ее движущая сила и побуждающая мощь самой ее жизни. "But as already emphasized, both the spirit and the form, are essential to the safe and speedy development of the Administration. To maintain full balance between them is the main and unique responsibility of the administrators of the Cause." Но, как уже подчеркивалось, дух, равно как и форма, в одинаковой степени важны для быстрого и надежного развития Администрации. Поддерживать равновесие между ними - главная и единственная обязанность администраторов Дела". (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States, December 10, 1933) (Из письма от имени Шоги Эффенди к Национальному Духовному Собранию Соединенных Штатов, 10 декабря 1933) 125. Administrators Should Consider Themselves as Mere Channels Whereby God Protects and Guides His Faith 125. Администраторы должны рассматривать себя как средство, с помощью которого Бог охраняет и направляет Свою Веру "The Cause... is a divine institution whose responsible administrators should consider themselves as mere channels whereby God protects and guides His Faith. The Administration should never by allowed to become a bone of contention between individuals and groups. It stands above human personalities and transcends the scope of their limited and inevitably selfish ideas. Its custodians should continually purge themselves of every trace of personal desire of interest and become wholly imbued with the spirit of love, of cooperation and genuine self-sacrifice." "Дело ... есть божественный институт, чьи ответственные администраторы должны рассматривать себя исключительно как средства, с помощью которых Бог охраняет и направляет Свою Веру. Администрация не может позволить себе стать яблоком раздора между отдельными людьми и группами. Она стоит над личностями и выходит за рамки из ограниченного и неизбежного эгоистического кругозора. Ее стражи должны постоянно очищать себя от любых проявлений личных вожделений и интересов, целиком и полностью проникнуться духом любви, сотрудничества и подлинного самоотвержения". (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States, August 8, 1933) (Из письма от имени Шоги Эффенди к Национальному Духовному Собранию Соединенных Штатов, 8 августа 1933) 126. National Spiritual Assembly is Supreme Authority, Mainspring of Activities, Sole Link to Universal House of Justice 126. Национальное Духовное Собрание есть верховная власть, главная движущая сила деятельности и единственное связующее звено со Всемирным Домом Справедливости "I wish to reaffirm, in clear and categorical language, the principle already enunciated upholding the supreme authority of the National Assembly in all matters that affect the interests of the Faith in that land. There can be no conflict of authority, no duality under any form or circumstances in any sphere of Bahá'í jurisdiction whether local, national or international. The National Assembly, however, although the sole interpreter of its Declaration of Trust and by-laws, is directly and morally responsible if it allows any body or institution within its jurisdiction to abuse it privileges or to decline in the exercise of its rights and prerogatives. It is the trusted guardian and the mainspring of the manifold activities and interests of every national community in the Bahá'í world. It

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constitutes the sole link that binds these communities to the International House of Justice-the supreme administrative body in the Dispensation of Bahá'u'lláh. "Хочу вновь ясно и недвусмысленно подчеркнуть уже известный принцип, поддерживающий верховную власть Национального Собрания во всех делах, касающихся интересов Веры в этой стране. Власть не должна быть причиной конфликтов, должна быть неоспоримым авторитетом при любых обстоятельствах, во всех формах и сферах юрисдикции Бахаи, будь то местные, национальные и интернациональные. Тем не менее национальное собрание, являясь единственным толкователем своей Декларации Доверия и своих постановлений, несет прямую моральную ответственность в том случае, если позволяет какому-либо органу или учреждению, подлежащему его юрисдикции, злоупотреблять своими привилегиями или допускать отклонения в пользовании своими правами и прерогативами. Оно должно стать верным хранителем и основной движущей силой разнообразной деятельности каждой национальной общины мира Бахаи. Оно представляет из себя единственное связующее звено между этими общинами и Всемирным Домом Справедливости - высшим административным органом Завета Бахауллы". (Shoghi Effendi: Postscript by the Guardian to a letter written on His behalf to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States and Canada, June 11, 1934) (Шоги Эффенди, посткриптум к письму от его имени к Национальному Духовному Собранию Соединенных Штатов и Канады, 11 июня 1934) 127. Obedience to the National Spiritual Assembly is the Basis for Unity 127. Повиновение Национальному Духовному Собранию - основа единства "... the Guardian wishes me to again affirm his view that the authority of the National Spiritual Assembly is undivided and unchallengeable in all matters pertaining to the administration of the Faith... and that, therefore, the obedience of individual Baha'is, delegates, groups, and assemblies to that authority is imperative, and should be whole-hearted and unqualified. He is convinced that the unreserved acceptance and complete application of this vital provision of the Administration is essential to the maintenance of the highest degree of unity among the believers, and is indispensable to the effective working of the administrative machinery of the Faith in every country." "... Хранитель просит меня еще раз подтвердить свою точку зрения: власть Национального Духовного Собрания неделима и неоспорима во всех вопросах, касающихся администрации Веры... а следовательно, повиновение отдельных верующих-бахаи, делегатов, групп и собраний этой власти должно быть безоговорочным и беззаветным. Он убежден, что полное принятие и повсеместное применение этого жизненно важного принципа Администрации существенно необходимо для поддержания неколебимого единства среди верующих, а также для эффективной работы административного механизма Веры в каждой стране". (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States and Canada, June 11, 1934) (Из письма от имени Шоги Эффенди к Национальному Духовному Собранию Соединенных Штатов и Канады, 11 июня 1934) 128. The National Spiritual Assembly is the Head and the Local Spiritual Assemblies Are the Various Organs 128. Национальное Духовное Собрание подобно главе Дела, а Местные Духовные Собрания - его членам "... the best way to insure and consolidate the organic unity of the Faith is to strengthen the authority of the Local Assemblies and to bring them within the full orbit of the national Assembly's jurisdiction. The National Assembly is the head, and the Local Assemblies are the various organs of the body or the Cause. To insure full cooperation between these various parts is to safeguard the best interests of the Faith by enabling it to counteract those forces which threaten to create a breach within the ranks of the faithful. This is the delicate and highly significant mission with which the Guardian wishes to entrust you. Not only to teach the outsiders, through public lecturing, but in addition to that, and in view of making your efforts more varied and successful, to acquaint the friends with the essentials of the Administration, upon the full understanding of which the future progress of the Cause greatly depends." "... наилучший способ обеспечения и консолидации органического единства Веры - укрепление власти Местных Собраний и вовлечение их в сферу юрисдикции Национального Собрания. Национальное Собрание подобно главе Дела, Местные же Собрания - различным его членам. Обеспечив наиболее полное и тесное взаимодействие этих частей, мы наилучшим образом защитим интересы Веры, поможем ей противодействовать силам, которые угрожают внести раскол в ряды верующих. Это весьма деликатная и в высшей степени важная миссия, которую Хранитель хочет возложить на вас. Не только наставлять окружающих, выступая с публичными лекциями, но и - дабы сделать вашу деятельность более разнообразной и успешной - знакомить друзей с основными принципами Администрации, от полного понимания которых в значительной степени зависит будущее Дела". (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, September 20, 1933) (Из письма от имени Шоги Эффенди к одному из верующих, 20 сентября 1933) 129. Vital Function of National Spiritual Assembly 129. Жизненно важная функция Национального Духовного Собрания "... it is one of the vital functions of the National Spiritual Assembly to be always in touch with local condition in every community and to endeavor through personal contacts and by means of regular correspondence, to guide the friends, individually and collective, in all their activities." "... одна из жизненно важных функций Национального Духовного Собрания состоит в том, чтобы постоянно быть в курсе местных условий общин и стремиться, через личные контакты и регулярную переписку, индивидуально и коллективно направлять друзей во всех их действиях". (From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to an individual believer, January 30, 1938: The National Spiritual Assembly, p. 33) (Из письма от имени Хранителя к одному из верующих, 30 января 1938) 130. Authority and Influence of Assemblies Must be Strengthened 130. Необходимо укреплять авторитет и влиятельность Собраний "... the steady progress and consolidation of the Cause of God on the hand and progressive disintegration of a moribund world on the other -- will undoubtedly impose upon us new tasks, the obligation of devising new approaches to teaching, of demonstrating more clearly to a disillusioned world the Bahá'í way of life and making more effective the administrative institutions of the

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Faith. The authority and influence of National and Local Spiritual Assemblies will have to be strengthened in order to deal with larger Bahá'í communities... . " "... постепенный прогресс и консолидация Дела Божия, с одной стороны, и все ускоряющийся процесс разложения умирающего мира - с другой, несомненно, стаят перед нами новые задачи, налагают обязательства вырабатывать новые подходы к учительской работе, демонстрируя утратившему свои иллюзии человечеству образ жизни Бахаи и увеличивая эффективность административных учреждений Веры. Авторитет и влияние Национальных и Местных Собраний необходимо укреплять, чтобы они могли взаимодействовать с еще большим числом общин Бахаи..." (From a letter of the Universal House of Justice, April 1971: Messages from the Universal House of Justice, 1968-1973, p. 72) (Из письма Всемирного Дома Справедливости, апрель 1971, "Послания Всемирного Дома Справедливости" период 1968-1973) 131. A "Best" Assembly 131. "Лучшее" Собрание "... The best Assembly is the one that capitalizes the talents of all the members of the group and keeps them busy in some form of active participation in serving the Cause and spreading the Message." Лучшим Собранием следует считать то, которое, накапливая таланты и дарования всех членов группы, постоянно дает им возможность каким-либо образом активно участвовать в служении Делу и распространении Послания. (From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to an individual believer, August 1932:Bahá'í News, No. 68, p. 3, 11, 32) (Из письма от имени Хранителя к одному из верующих, август 1932) 132. Centralization of Authority Made Manifest in Master's Will 132. Принцип централизации власти в Завещании Учителя "The need for the centralization of authority in the National Spiritual Assembly, and the concentration of power in the various local Assemblies, is made manifest when we reflect that the Cause of Bahá'u'lláh is still in its age of tender growth and in a stage of transition; when we remember that the full significance of the Master's world-wide instructions, as laid down in His Will are as yet not fully grasped, and the whole Movement has not sufficiently crystallized in the eyes of the world." "Необходимость централизации власти в Национальном Духовном Собрании и ее концентрация в различных местных собраниях становится особенно явной, если учесть, что Дело Бахауллы до сих пор переживает юношескую, переходную стадию своего становления; когда мы вспомним, что полный смысл наставлений Учителя, изложенных в Его Завещании, не до конца постигнут, Движение - недостаточно кристаллизовалось в глазах мировой общественности". (Shoghi Effendi: Bahá'í Administration, p. 42) (Шоги Эффенди, "Администрация Бахаи", с. 42) 133. Fundamentals of Bahá'í Administration Must be Adhered to 133. Необходимо придерживаться основных принципов Администрации Бахаи "The fundamental laid down in the Bahá'í Administration must, of course, be adhered to, but there is a tendency for Assemblies to constantly issue detailed procedures and rules to the friends, and He considers this hampers the work of the Cause, and is entirely premature. As far as is possible cases which come up should be dealt with and settled as they arise, and not a blanket ruling be laid down to cover all possible similar cases. This preserves the elasticity of the Administrative Order and prevents red tape from developing and hampering the work of the Cause... Uniformity in fundamentals is essential but not in every detail. On the contrary, diversity, the solving of the local situation in the right way, is important." "Безусловно, необходимо придерживаться основных принципов Администрации Бахаи, однако среди Собраний существует тенденция постоянно издавать подробные директивы и наставления для друзей, что, как он считает, мешает работе Дела и является преждевременным. Насколько это возможно, следует рассматривать и решать вопросы по мере их возникновения, а не пытаться выработать правило на все случаи жизни. Это позволяет сохранить гибкость Административного Порядка и препятствует возникновению бюрократических проволочек и рутины, которые затрудняют работу Дела... Важно сохранять единообразие принципов, не будучи при этом излишне буквалистичным. Напротив, для правильного разрешения местных проблем предпочтительнее разносторонний подход". (From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to the National Spiritual Assembly of Canada, November 4, 1948: Messages to Canada, pp. 8-9) (Из письма от имени Хранителя к Национальному Духовному Собранию Канады, 4 ноября 1948) 134. Tendency of All National Assemblies to Over-Administer 134. Тенденция всех Национальных Собраний к чрезмерному администрированию "Your Assembly must be very careful not to over-load the Bahá'ís with rules an regulations, circulars and directions. The purpose of the Administration at this time is to blow on the fire newly kindled in the heats of these people who have accepted the Faith, to create in them the desire and capacity to teach, to facilitate the pioneer and teaching work, and help deepen the knowledge and understanding of the friends. The beloved Guardian issues this work of warning, as long experience has shown that it is a tendency on the part of all N.S.A.s to over-administer. In their enthusiasm they forget that they only have a handful of inexperienced souls to guide, and attempt to deal with their work as if they had a large population to regulate! This then stifles the spirit of the friends and the teaching work suffers." "Вашему Собранию надо быть очень осторожным, чтобы не перегружать бахаи правилами и ограничениями, циркулярами и директивами. Цель Администрации на сегодняшний день - разжечь огонь, затеплившийся в сердцах людей, принявших Веру, воспитать в них желание и умение учить, облегчить пионерскую и учительскую работу, а также помочь углублению знаний и понимания среди друзей. Возлюбленный Хранитель обращается с этим предостерегающим словом, поскольку долгий опыт показал тенденцию со стороны всех Н.Д.С. к чрезмерному администрированию. В своем энтузиазме они забывают о том, что в их распоряжении всего лишь горстка необученных людей, и действуют так, будто руководят десятками тысяч! Это, в свою очередь, сковывает рвение друзей, отчего страдает учительская работа". (From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to the National Spiritual Assembly of North East Asia, July 15, 1957: Japan Will Turn Ablaze!, p. 67)

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(Из письма от имени Хранителя к Национальному Духовному Собранию Северо-Восточной Азии, 15 июля 1957) 135. It is Not Necessary to Anticipate Situations 135. Нет необходимости предварять ситуации "... It is not necessary for your Assembly to anticipate situations which have not arisen, and to lay down general rules and regulations to meet them. It would be wiser to consider every case individually as it arises, and then to resolve the problem connected with it in the most suitable and practical manner..." "... вашему собранию нет необходимости предварять еще не сложившиеся ситуации и заранее вырабатывать общие правила и уложения. Было бы разумнее рассматривать, по мере возникновения, каждый отдельный случай, а затем разрешать связанные с ним проблемы наиболее подходящим и практическим образом..." (From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States and Canada, November 27, 1937: The National Spiritual Assembly, p. 49) (Из письма от имени Хранителя к Национальному Духовному Собранию Соединенных Штатов и Канады, 27 ноября 1937) 136. Over-Administration Worse that Under-Administration 136. Чрезмерное администрирование хуже, чем недостаточное администрирование "...Over-administration can be even worse for the Faith at this time than under-administration. The believers are, for the most part, young in the Cause, an if they make mistakes it is not half as important as if their spirit is crushed by being told all the time-do this and don't do that! The new National Body should be like a loving parent, watching over and helping its children, and not like a stern judge, waiting for an opportunity to display his judicial powers. The reason he points this out to you is that constantly, for the past twenty years and more, he has been pointing this out to the old and tried National Assemblies, and he does not want the younger bodies to make the same mistakes. individual cases should be dealt with as they arise, according to the teachings, of which the believers have quite sufficient available to handle all of their problems at this time, and no more additional rules and regulations need be introduced." "... чрезмерное администрирование в наши дни может оказаться даже хуже для Веры, чем недостаточное администрирование. Верующие, по большей части еще недавно участвуют в Деле, и, если они порой совершают ошибки, это не так страшно, как если их дух будет постоянно подавляться словами: поступайте только так, а не иначе! Новый национальный орган должен уподобиться любящему отцу, который надзирает за своим ребенком и помогает ему, а не строгому судье, который лишь ожидает случая применить свои судебные полномочия. Он указывает вам на это потому, что на протяжении последних двадцати и даже более лет постоянно указывал на это старым, испытанным Духовным Собраниям и не хочет, чтобы более молодые органы повторяли их ошибки. Отдельные случаи следует рассматривать по мере из возникновения, в согласии с Учением, которого верующим вполне достаточно, чтобы решать все свои проблемы на сегодняшний день, не прибегая к каким бы то ни было дополнительным правилам и предписаниям". (Letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the National Spiritual Assembly of Alaska, June 30, 1957: The National Spiritual Assembly, p. 52) (Письмо от имени Шоги Эффенди к Национальному Духовному Собранию Аляски, 30 июня 1957) 137. National Spiritual Assemblies Should be Uncompromising in Principle but Flexible in Procedures 137. Национальное Духовное Собрание должно быть бескомпромиссным в главном, но гибким в конкретных методах "In the Bahá'í Faith there are matters of principle affecting the operation of Bahá'í institutions, which are outlined in the writings of the Faith as well as in the Constitutions of National and Local spiritual Assemblies. Obviously, National Assemblies will face situations and problems which have to be resolved but are not fully covered by these texts. In such matters the National Assembly should adopt its own procedures suited to the condition and requirements of its own national community. It may be found useful to adopt a procedure followed by another National Spiritual Assembly; certainly there is no objection to such course of action, provided it is clear that in the final analysis such issues are left to the discretion of the National Assembly itself. "В Вере Бахаи существуют принципиальные вопросы, влияющие на работу учреждений Бахаи и оговоренные в писаниях Веры, равно как и в Уставах Местных и Национальных Духовных Собраний. Разумеется, Национальным Духовным Собраниям придется сталкиваться с ситуациями и проблемами, которые могут не быть полностью оговорены в этих текстах. В подобных случаях Национальное Собрание должно выработать собственные методы, соответствующие условиям и требованиям национальной общины. Иногда полезно придерживаться методов других Национальных Собраний; никаких возражений против подобного образа действий быть не может, при том, конечно, что конкретное решение по данным вопросам предоставляется на усмотрение Национального Собрания. "In matters of principle, therefore,there should be uniformity, while in matters of detail and procedure not only is diversity permitted, it is also encouraged. As condition vary from country to country and, indeed, can vary from community to community within the country, Shoghi Effendi repeatedly advised the friends that they should be uncompromising in principle but flexible in subsidiary details." Отсюда следует, что в принципиальных делах следует соблюдать единообразие, в то время как в вопросах второстепенного порядка разносторонний подход не только позволяет, но и всячески приветствуется. Поскольку условиями меняются от страны к стране, а иногда и от общины к общине в пределах одной страны, Шоги Эффенди неоднократно советовал друзьям быть бескомпромиссными в вопросах принципиальных и проявлять гибкость в конкретных методах". (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Burundi, October 22, 1986) (Из письма от имени Всемирного Дома Справедливости к Национальному Духовному Собранию Бурунди, 22 октября 1986) 138. National Assembly is Guardian of the Welfare of the Faith 138. Национальное Собрание - страж благополучия Веры "The National Assembly is the guardian of the welfare of the Faith, a most sacred and heavy responsibility and one which is inescapable. They must be ever vigilant, ever on the lookout, ever ready to take action, and, on all matters of fundamental

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principle, refuse to compromise for an instant. Only in this way can the body of the Faith be free of disease." "Национальное Собрание - страж благополучия Веры, это его самая святая и очень нелегкая обязанность, от которой оно не имеет права уклоняться. Оно должно быть всегда начеку, соблюдать бдительность, всегда быть готовым к действию и держаться принципиальной позиции по основным вопросам, отказываясь от любых компромиссов. Только как тело Веры может избежать недуга". (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the National Spiritual Assembly of Germany and Austria, August 14, 1957: The National Spiritual Assembly, p. 61) (Из письма от имени Шоги Эффенди к Национальному Духовному Собранию Германии и Австрии, 14 августа 1957) 139. Tendency of Late-Comers to Belittle Work Done 139. Наклонность тех, кто явился позже, приуменьшать проделанную работу '... So often ... situations arise because there is tendency, very human but not very kind, for late-comers to belittle the work done by the first believers and hurt their feelings. Those responsible therefore, for carrying on the work must be extremely tactful and loving in their efforts to prevent a rift from occurring. it is very difficult for the administrators of the Cause to learn to be absolutely impartial, patient and wise, and very difficult for the believers to learn to give up personal will to the will of the majority! But this is Bahá'u'lláh's standard, and they must all constantly strive to attain it." "... зачастую ... среди тех, кто явился позже, проявляется вполне человеческая, и тем не менее не очень похвальная наклонность приуменьшать проделанную работу, больно задевая чувства первых верующих. Дабы избегать подобных ситуаций, лицам, ответственным за проведение работы следует быть исключительно тактичными и любящими во всех своих действиях. Сколь непросто администраторам Дела научиться быть абсолютно беспристрастными, терпеливыми и мудрыми, столь же непросто верующим отказаться от того, чтобы выдавать свои устремления за устремления большинства! Но таков образец, данный Бахауллой, и они должны непрестанно стараться соответствовать ему". (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the Inter-America Committee, March 28, 1950) (Из письма от имени Шоги Эффенди к Внутриамериканскому Комитету, 28 марта 1950) 140. Each Believer Should Have Access to Communications 140. Каждый верующий должен иметь доступ к сообщениям из Всемирного Центра своей Веры from World Centre of his Faith 'The importance of communicating the progress of the Faith to every individual believer can hardly be over-emphasized. Learning of the victories achieved by the valiant souls who have arisen to serve Bahá'u'lláh can inspire others and can create a sense of world perspective which raises one's sights above his own petty pre-occupations and makes being a Bahá'í more meaningful and purposeful. "Трудно переоценить важность сообщений о прогрессе Веры для каждого отдельного верующего. Знание о победах, достигнутых отважными людьми, восставшими во имя Бахауллы, может вдохновить других, вызвав в них чувство открывающейся перед ними великой перспективы, которое поднимает взгляды человека над его собственными мелкими повседневными заботами и придает статусу Бахаи большую значимость и целеустремленность. "Each believer should have access, for example, to the communications from the World Centre of his Faith -- the Messages from the Universal House of Justice and the Hands of the Cause as well as news emanating from the World Centre." Так, каждый верующий должен иметь доступ к сообщениям из Всемирного Центра своей Веры - посланиям Всемирного Дома Справедливости и Десниц Дела, а также к новостям, исходящим из Всемирного Центра". (Letter from the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assemblies in Latin America, Africa and the South Pacific, August 28, 1965) (Письмо Всемирного Дома Справедливости к Национальным Духовным Собраниям Латинской Америки, Африки и южной зоны Тихого океана, 28 августа 1965) 141. Legal Standing for Spiritual Assemblies[*] 141. Законное положение Местных Собраний "It is surely very important to give to the Local Assemblies some legal standing for as the Cause progresses and its adherents increase, they will be confronted with duties they cannot even imagine at present. Not only will they have to make contract for acquiring halls for their meeting place, but also they will be obliged to create new institutions to care for their sick, poor and aged people. We hope that before long the Bahá'ís will even afford to have schools that would provide the children the intellectual and spiritual education as prescribed in the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh and the Master." "Крайне важно придать Местным Собраниям определенное законное положение, поскольку по мере развития Дела, по мере того как растет число его приверженцев, им придется столкнуться с ситуациями, которые сегодня они даже не могут себе вообразить. Им не только придется заключать контракты на приобретение помещенй для проведения своих собраний, но и создавать новые учреждения для заботы о больных, неимущих и престарелых. Надеемся, что настанет время, когда бахаи даже смогут иметь школы, где из дети будут получать духовное и интеллектуальное образование, как то заповедано в писаниях Бахауллы и Учителя". (From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States and Canada, December 25, 1931: Principles of Bahá'í Administration, p. 47) (Из письма от имени Хранителя к Национальному Духовному Собранию Соединенных Штатов и Канады, 25 декабря 1951. "Принципы Администрации Бахаи", с. 47) [*] (See also: I.G. By-Laws) (См. также: Уставы) 142. Local Assemblies Should Give Teachers Every Encouragement 142. Местные Собрания должны всячески поддерживать учителей "Regarding the principle that the Cause must not be allowed to centre around any Bahá'í personality, the Guardian wishes to make it clear that it was never intended that well qualified individual teachers should not receive from local Assemblies ever encouragement and facilities to address the public. What the

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Guardian meant was that the personality and popularity of such a speaker should never be allowed to eclipse the authority, or detract from the influence of the body of the elected representatives in every local community. Such an individual should not only seek the approval, advice, and assistance of the body that represents the Cause in his locality, but should strive to attribute any credit he may obtain to the collective wisdom and capacity of the assembly under whose jurisdiction he performs his services. Assemblies and not individuals constitute the bedrock on which the Administration is built. Everything also must be subordinated to, and be made to serve and advance the best interests of these elected custodians and promoters of the Laws of Bahá'u'lláh." "Касательно принципа, по которому Дело не должно складываться вращаться вокруг отдельных личностейбахаи, Хранитель хочет пояснить, что принцип этот никогда не подразумевал отсутствие со стороны Местных Собраний поддержки квалифицированным учителям в их выступлениях перед широкой аудиторией. Хранитель имел в виду, прежде всего, то, что личность и популярность такого оратора никогда не должны затмевать авторитет избранных представителей местной общины или мешать наносить ущерб их влиянию. Человеку этому не только следует искать одобрения, совета и помощи органа, который представляет Дело в данной местности, но и всячески стремиться завоевать довериеотносить все свои успехи на счет коллективной мудрости и способностей того Собрания, под чьей юрисдикцией он трудится, опираться на его коллективный разум и возможности. Краеугольный каменьОсновой Администрации составляют являются Собрания, а не отдельные личности. Всёе должно быть направлено наподчиняться и служениеить тому, чтобы наилучшим способом отстаиватьвысшим интересамы этих избранных стражей попечителей и споспешников провозгласителей Законова Бахауллы.". (From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to an individual believer, August 12, 1933: Principles of Bahá'í Administration, p. 19) (Из письма от имени Хранителя к одному из верующих, 12 августа 1933) 143. Class Consciousness Contrary to Actual teaching of Faith 143. "Классовое" сознание противоречит учению Веры "... although it is essential for the believers to maintain always a clear distinction between teaching and administrative duties and functions, yet they should be careful not to be led to think that these two types of Bahá'í activity are mutually exclusive in their nature, and as such cannot be exercised by one and the same person. As a matter of fact, the friends should be encouraged to serve in both the teaching and administrative fields of Bahá'í service. But as there are always some who are more specially gifted along one of these two lines of activity it would seem more desirable that they should concentrate their efforts in acquiring the full training for that type of work for which they are best suited by nature. Such a specialization has the advantage of saving time, and of leading to greater efficiency, particularly at this early stage of our development. "... хотя верующим всегда существенно необходимо проводить четкую различительную грань между учительскими и административными обязанностями и функциями, они не должны выводить из этого, что два названных вида деятельности Бахаи взаимоисключающи по своей природе и не могут претворяться в жизнь одним лицом. В действительности, друзей следует побуждать к служению как на учительском, так и на административном поприще. Однако, поскольку всегда существуют люди более предрасположенные к тому или другому роду деятельности, желательно, чтобы они сосредотачивали свои усилия на как можно более полном овладении навыками того типа работы, который соответствует их природе. Преимущество подобной специализации в том, что она помогает сэкономить время и ведет к большей эффективности, особенно на ранней стадии нашего развития. "The great danger, however, lies in that by doing so the friends may tend to develop a sort of class consciousness which is fundamentally contrary to both the spirit and actual teachings of the Faith. Тем не менее большая опасность такого подхода состоит в том, что у друзей может сложиться разновидность "классового" сознания, в корне противоречащего как духу, так и учению Веры. "It is precisely in order to overcome such a danger that the Guardian thinks it advisable that the friends should be encouraged to serve from time to time in both the teaching and the administrative spheres of Bahá'í work, but only whenever they feel fit to do so." Хранитель полагает, что именно с целью избежания такой опасности друзей следует побуждать время от времени менять сферу деятельности, однако лишь в том случае, если они сами чувствуют в этом необходимость". (From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States and Canada, July 29, 1935: Ibid, p. 3) (Из письма от имени Хранителя к Национальному Духовному Собранию Соединенных Штатов и Канады, 29 июля 1935) 144. Extension Teaching Goals, Local Assemblies Should Assume Responsibility for 144. Местные Духовные Собрания должны взять на себя ответственность за расширение планов и задач учительской работы "The time has come, we believe, when increasing number of Local Spiritual Assemblies should assume responsibility for helping the teaching work at groups, isolated believers, and other Spiritual Assemblies in their neighborhood. Such extension teaching goals should be assigned by the National Spiritual Assembly or one of its teaching committees, or can be spontaneously adopted by Local Spiritual Assemblies, and should be carried out within the framework of the overall teaching plans of the country. It would also be made clear that by being given such goals a Spiritual Assembly is not being given any jurisdiction over believers outside its area, still less over other Local Spiritual Assembly, but is being called upon to collaborate with them in their work." "Мы полагаем, что пришло время, когда увеличившееся число Местных Духовных Собраний должно взять на себя ответственность за помощь в проведении учительской работы в группах, среди отдельных верующих и в других расположенных по соседству Духовных Собраниях. Инициатива расширения цель и задач учительства должна исходить от Национального Духовного Собрания или от одного из учительских комитетов, но и Местные Духовные Собрания могут самостоятельно предпринимать такого рода шаги в рамках общего плана учительской работы в стране. При этом следует уточнить, что, выдвигая подобные задачи, Собрание не приобретает никаких юридических полномочий по отношению к верующим, проживающим вне сферы его юрисдикции, а тем более в отношении других Местных Духовных Собраний, с которыми оно призвано сотрудничать в своей работе". (From a letter of the Universal House of Justice to All National Spiritual Assemblies, Naw-Ruz 1974)

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(Из письма Всемирного Дома Справедливости ко всем Национальным Духовным Собраниям, Новруз 1974) 145. Plans of the Assemblies Should be Known to Counsellors and Auxiliary Board Members 145. Планы Собраний должны быть известны Советникам и членам Вспомогательных Коллегий "It is the Spiritual Assemblies who plan and direct the work but these plans should be well known to the Counsellors and Auxiliary Board members, because one of the ways in which they can assist the Assemblies is by urging the believers continually to support the plans of the Assemblies. If a National Spiritual Assembly has adopted one goal as preeminent in a year, the Auxiliary Board members should bear this in mind in all their contacts with the believers and should direct their attention to the plans of the National Assembly, and stimulate them to enthusiastically support them." "Хотя Духовные Собрания сами планируют работу и руководят ею, им следует детально знакомить со своими планами Советников и членов Вспомогательных Коллегий, так как за счет этого они смогут оказывать дополнительную помощь Собраниям, побуждая верующих постоянно поддерживать планы Собраний. Если Национальное Духовное Собрание отдает в течение года приоритет какой-либо одной цели, члены Вспомогательной Коллегии должны учитывать это при встречах с верующими и при переписке с ними, привлекая их внимание к планам Национального Собрания и побуждая их с энтузиазмом откликаться на них". (From a letter of the Universal House of Justice to all National Spiritual Assemblies, October 1, 1969: Messages from the Universal House of Justice, 1968-1973, pp. 32-33) (Из письма Всемирного Дома Справедливости ко всем Национальным Духовным Собраниям, 1 октября 1969. Послания Всемирного Дома Справедливости, 1968-1973) 146. Local spiritual Assemblies Relation with Auxiliary Board 146. Взаимоотношения Местных Духовных Собраний и Вспомогательных Коллегий "It is at this local level of Bahá'í community life, the very foundation of the administrative structure of the Faith, that we so often find lack of adequate strength and efficiency. It is at this same level that our beloved Guardian urged Auxiliary Board members to establish contact with Local Spiritual Assemblies, groups, isolated centres and the individual believers, and through periodic and systematic visits to localities as well as by correspondence help in promoting the interests of the plan, assist in the efficient and prompt execution of the goals, watch over the security of the Faith, stimulate and strengthen the teaching and pioneer work, impress upon the friends the importance of individual effort, initiative and sacrifice, and encourage them to participate in Bahá'í activities and be unified under all circumstances." "Именно на этом, местном уровне общинной жизни Бахаи, который является основой основ административной структуры Веры, мы чаще всего сталкиваемся со слабостями и недостатками. И именно на этом уровне наш возлюбленный Хранитель призывает членов Вспомогательных Коллегий устанавливать контакты с Местными Духовными Собраниями, отдельными центрами и верующими и, систематически посещая общины на местах, переписываясь с ними, способствовать обеспечению интересов Плана, помогать эффективному и скорому выполнению поставленных задач, наблюдать за безопасностью Веры, стимулировать и укреплять учительскую работу, внушать друзьям важность индивидуальных усилий, инициативы и самоотверженности и призывать их участвовать в деятельности Бахаи, при всех обстоятельствах сохраняя единство рядов" (From a letter of the Universal House of Justice to all Continental Board of Counsellors, November 17, 1971) (Письмо Всемирного Дома Справедливости ко всем Континентальным Коллегиям Советников, 17 ноября 1917) 147. All Local Spiritual Assemblies Should Collaborate with Auxiliary board Members and their Assistants 147. Все Местные Духовные Собрания должны сотрудничать с членами Вспомогательных Коллегий и их помощниками "When a Local Spiritual Assembly begins to function properly, it does not mean it can dispense with the service and work of Auxiliary Board members and their assistants who can and should continue to provide stimulation and inspiration not only generally to the Assembly and local Bahá'í activities, but to individual believers as well. "Когда Местное Духовное Собрание начинает правильно функционировать, это не означает, что оно вправе отказываться от помощи членов Вспомогательных Коллегий и их ассистентов, которые могут и должны продолжать стимулировать и вдохновлять не только Собрания в целом и местную деятельность бахаи, но также и отдельных верующих" (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer, June 9, 1980) (Из письма от имени Всемирного Дома Справедливости к одному из верующих, 9 июня 1980) 148. When Local Spiritual Assemblies are Truly Effective 148. Когда Местные Духовные Собрания подлинно эффективны "Such a firmly-founded busy and happy community life as is envisioned when Local Spiritual Assemblies are truly effective, will provide a firm home foundation from which the friends may derive courage an strengthen and loving support in bearing the Divine Message to their fellow men and conforming their lives to its benevolent rule." "Имеющая прочную основу, деятельная и счастливая жизнь общин, которую могут обеспечить подлинно эффективные Местные Духовные Собрания, послужит прочным фундаментом, который, в свою очередь, даст друзьям мужество, силы и любящую поддержку в их главном деле - нести Божественную Весть своим собратьям, приводя их жизни в согласие с ее благим законом". (From the Universal House of Justice Naw-Ruz Message to the Bahá'ís of the World, 1974) (Из послания Всемирного Дома Справедливости к бахаи всего мира, Новруз 1974) 149. A Functioning Local Spiritual Assembly -- Salient Objectives to be Attained 149. Действующее Местное Духовное Собрание "In reply to your letter of July 14th asking guidance as to what is a functioning Local Spiritual Assembly, we offer you the following comments:

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"В ответ на ваше письмо от 14 июля с вопросом о том, что представляет из себя действующее Местное Духовное Собрание, предлагаем свои соображения: "Local Spiritual Assemblies are at the present newly-born institutions, struggling for the most part to establish themselves both in the Bahá'í community and in the world. They are as yet only embryos of the majestic institutions ordained by Bahá'u'lláh in His Writings This is also true of National Spiritual Assemblies. In the following passage written by the Secretary of the Guardian on his behalf this point is elucidated: В настоящий момент Местные Духовные Собрания предствляют из себя недавно появившиеся институты, которые по большей части борются за то, чтобы утвердиться как в жизни общин Бахаи, так и во всем мире. Пока это лишь зачатки величественных институтов, заповеданных Бахауллой в Его Писаниях. То же относится и к Национальным Духовным Собраниям. В нижеследующем отрывке из письма, написанного от имени Хранителя его секретарем, этот вопрос освещается более подробно: "The Bahá'í administration is only the first shaping of what in future will come to be the social life and laws of community living. As yet the believers are only first beginning to grasp and practice it at times it seems a little self-conscious and rigid in its workings. It is because we are learning something very difficult but very wonderful -- how to live together as a community of Bahá'ís according to the glorious teachings." "Админстрация Бахаи это лишь первый набросок того, к чему в будущем придет социальная жизнь и законы общественного сосуществования. Пока верующие еще только начинают осваивать и правильно применять ее на практике. Поэтому надо вооружиться терпением, если иногда она кажется излишне робкой и неловкой в своих действиях. Это происходит потому, что мы учимся чему-то очень трудному, но и столь же прекрасному - учиться жить вместе как община Бахаи, в согласии со славным учением". (Из письма к одному из верующих от 14 октября 1941) "What we find expounded in the writings of our faith is the lofty station Local Spiritual Assemblies must attain in their gradual and at times painful development. In encouraging these assemblies to attain this aim, there is no harm in the National Spiritual Assembly mentioning certain minimum requirements from time to time, provided it is clear that non-attainment of such standards, which by their very nature must be continuously revised with changing conditions, do not justify the withdrawal of recognition from any weak Assemblies. It would not be profitable therefore for the Universal House of Justice to lay down universal minimum standards for properly-functioning Local Spiritual Assemblies, as these must necessarily differ from country to country, and even from district to district within the same country in the process of the evolution of these Assemblies into House of justice, as envisaged by Bahá'u'lláh. "В писаниях нашей Веры мы читаем о том, какое возвышенное положение должны занять Местные Духовные Собрания в своем постоянном, иногда болезненном, развитии. Будет полезно, если, вдохновляя местные собрания на достижение этой цели, Национальные Духовные Собрания будут время от времени выдвигать определенный минимум требований, при условии, разумеется, что отклонения от этих норм, которые по самой своей природе должны подвергаться постоянному пересмотру в соответствии с меняющимися условиями, не может послужить поводом отказать в признании тому или иному еще не упрочившемуся Собранию. Поэтому Всемирному Дому Справедливости нецелесообразно применять некие универсальные нормы к деятельности Местных Духовных Собраний, так как они неизбежно меняются от страны к стране, и даже от района к району в пределах одной страны, по мере того как эти Собрания преобразуются в Дом Справедливости, что предрекал еще Бахаулла. "Among the more salient objectives to be attained by the local Spiritual Assembly in its process of development to full maturity are to act as a loving shepherd to the Bahá'í flock, promote unity and concord among the friends,direct the teaching work, protect the Cause of God, arrange for Feasts, Anniversaries and regular meetings of the community, familiarize the Bahá'ís with its plans, invite the community to offer its recommendations, promote the welfare of youth and children, and participate, as circumstances permit, in humanitarian activities. In its relationship to the individual believer, the Assembly should continuously invite and encourage him to study the Faith, to deliver its glorious message, to live in accordance with its teachings, to contribute freely and regularly to the Fund, to participate in community activities, and to seek refuge in the Assembly for advice and help, when needed." Одна из наиболее важных задач, стоящих перед Духовным Собранием в процессе его развития и созревания, состоит в том, чтобы действовать подобно любящему пастырю по отрошению к верующим-бахаи, способствовать укреплению единства и согласия между друзьями, направлять учительскую работу, отстаивать Дело Божие, организовывать праздники, юбилеи и регулярные собрания общины, знакомить бахаи со своими планами, поощрять общину вносить свои предложения, печься о благе молодого поколения и, несколько позволяют обстоятельства, участвовать в гуманитарной деятельности. Что касается отдельных верующих, Собрание должно постоянно побуждать их изучать Веру, нести ее славную весть, жить в согласии с ее учением, регулярно делать добровольные пожертвования в Фонд, принимать участие в деятельности общины и в случае необходимости обращаться к Собранию за помощью и советом". (From a letter of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Bolivia, July 30, 1972) (Из письма Всемирного Дома Справедливости к Национальному Духовному Собранию Боливии, 30 июля 1972) 150. Prominent People, Foster Cordial Relations with 150. Поддерживать дружеские отношения с видными людьми "A very important activity which as been pursued effectively in all too few countries, is the undertaking by the National Spiritual Assembly of a sustained, planned effort to foster cordial relations with prominent people and responsible government officials and to familiarize them personally with the basic tenets and the teachings of the Faith. Such an activity must be carried out with wisdom and discretion, and requires the constant attention of a responsible committee as well as periodic review by the National Spiritual Assembly itself. Where successful it

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can effectively forestall opposition to the Faith and smooth the way for many essential aspects of the development of the Bahá'í community." "Крайне важный вид деятельности, который эффективно осуществляется лишь в очень немногих странах, это непрестанные и планомерные усилия Национальных Духовных Собраний по поддержанию дружеских отношений с видными людьми и ответственными государственными чиновниками, личное ознакомление их с основными положениями и учением Веры. Подобную работу надо проводить мудро и осмотрительно, она требует постоянного внимания соответствующего комитета и периодического контроля со стороны самого Национального Духовного Собрания. Успешный ее ход поможет дейстенно противостоять силам, враждебным Вере, и облегчит путь к развитию многих существенно важных аспектов жизни общин бахаи". (Letter from the Universal House of Justice to all National Spiritual Assemblies, Naw-Ruz 1974) (Письмо Всемирного Дома Справедливости ко всем Национальным Духовным Собраниям, Новруз 1974) 151. Public Figures 151. Общественные деятели "To approach such well-known and important persons is always extremely delicate matter, since it requires a good deal of wisdom, courage and ability. But those friends who really feel the urge to do so and possess the necessary qualifications should cultivate such friendships which, if properly done, can be of an immense benefit to the Cause. In any case, however, the assistance and help of either the local or the National Assembly is not only useful but necessary if important contacts of this sort are to be fruitful and promising. The principle of consultation, which constitutes one of the basic laws of the Administration, should be applied to all Bahá'í activities which affect the collective interest of the Faith, for it is through cooperation and continued exchange of thoughts an views that the cause can best safeguard and foster its interests. Individual initiative, personal ability and resourcefulness, though indispensable, are, unless supported incapable of achieving such a tremendous task." "Сближение с широко известными, видными деятелями - процесс крайне щекотливый и деликатный, поскольку требует большой мудрости, мужества и умения. Однако тем друзьям, которые чувствуют в этом настоятельную потребность и отвечают необходимым требованиям, следует культивировать подобные знакомства, и, если их вести правильно, они могут принести Делу огромную пользу. Однако в любом случае поддержка и помощь местного или Национального Собрания не только полезна, но и необходима для того, чтобы важные контакты такого рода принесли в будущем ощутимые плоды. Консультативный принцип, составляющий один из основных законов Администрации, должен применяться во всех сферах деятельности Бахаи, которые могут повлиять на коллективные интересы Веры, так как именно за счет сотрудничества и постоянного обмена мыслями и точками зреня Дело моежт успешнее всего бороться за свои интересы. Индивидуальная инициатива, личные навыки и способности, конечно, тоже необходимы, однако, будучи лишены поддержки коллективного опыта и мудрости, они никогда не позволят разрешить в одиночку столь огромную задачу". (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, August 30, 1933: Bahá'í News, No. 79, pp. 3-4, November 1933) (Из письма от имени Шоги Эффенди к одному из верующих, 30 августа 1933) 152. Individual Members of the Local Spiritual Assembly Should Deepen 152. Члены Местного Духовного Собрания должны углублять свои знания "Only as individual members of Local Spiritual Assemblies deepen themselves in the fundamental verities of the Faith and in the proper application of the principles governing the operation of the Assembly will this Institution grow and develop toward its full potential." "Лишь в том случае если члены Местных Духовных Собраний будут углублять свое знание основных истин Веры и правильно применять на практике принципы, управляющие деятельностью Собрания, этот институт будет развиваться и в полной мере проявит свой потенциал". (From a letter of the Universal House of Justice to all National Spiritual Assemblies, August 11, 1970) (Из письма Всемирного Дома Справедливости ко всем Национальным Духовным Собраниям, 11 августа 1970) 153. Members of Spiritual Assembly Must Face Responsibilities 153. Члены Духовного Собрания не должны уклоняться от своих обязанностей 'All over the world the Guardian is constantly encouraging and enjoining the believers to learn to function according to Bahá'í laws and principles; members of Spiritual assemblies must learn to face their responsibilities; individuals must learn to turn to them and abide by their decisions. When we realize that all marriages, divorces, disposal of inheritance, etc., are now handled in Egypt and Persia solely through the Assemblies and that the believers abide by their decisions, we see that in Western countries the friends still have a long way to go -the sooner they start the better for themselves and for the Faith." "Хранитель постоянно побуждает и призывает верующих всего мира учиться действовать в согласии с принципами и законами Бахаи; это означает, что члены Духовных Собраний не должны уклоняться от своих обязанностей; отдельные верующие должны внимать этим решениям и неукоснительно следовать им. Если в Персии и Египте все дела, касающиеся заключения и расторжения браков, права наследования и проч., сегодня разрешаются исключительно Собраниями и верующие соблюдают их решения, то в странах Запада друзьям предстоит еще долгий путь, и чем скорее они на него ступят, тем будет лучше для них самих и для Веры". (From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to an individual believer, October 17, 1944) (Из письма от имени Хранителя к одному из верующих, 17 октября 1944)

I. Meetings of Bahá'í Assemblies, Attendance, Resignations I. Заседания Собраний Бахаи, присутствие, самоотводы 154. Obligation of Assembly Members to Meet and Discharge Sacred Responsibilities 154. Члены Собрания должны регулярно проводить встречи, исполняя тем самым свой священный долг "After the formation of the National Spiritual Assembly, laxity and negligence in the holding of its meetings, in the coming together of its nine members, and in the

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discharge of its sacred responsibilities, will have undesirable repercussions in the community, will weaken and disgrace the Cause, will create chaos and confusion, and will cause the Faith to decline and retrogress." "Когда Национальное Духовное Собрание наконец сформировано, нельзя допускать никаких поблажек, никакого небрежения в плане проведения встреч, на которые собираются девять избранных представителей, нельзя уклоняться от своей священной обязанности, поскольку это будет иметь нежелательные последствия для общины, ослабит и скомпрометирует Дело, внесет в него хаос и беспорядок, приведет к упадку Веры". (Shoghi Effendi: From a letter to the Central Spiritual Assembly of Persia by Shoghi Effendi, April 22, 1930: Meetings of the National Spiritual Assembly, A compilation, p. 1, October 1980) (Шоги Эффенди. Из письма к Центральному Духовному Собранию Персии, 22 апреля 1930) 155. Membership in Bahá'í Assembly or Committee is Sacred Obligation 155. Участие в Собраниях и Комитетах Бахаи - священная обязанность "... The Guardian wishes you to make clear to all the believers that membership in a Bahá'í Assembly or Committee is a sacred obligation which should be gladly and confidently accepted by every loyal and conscientious member of the Community, no matter how humble and inexperienced. Once elected to serve in a given Assembly a believer's duty is to do his utmost to attend all assembly meetings, and cooperate with his fellow-members, unless, however, he is prevented from doing so by some major reason such as illness, and even then he facilitate attendance at assembly meetings. If a member has no valid reason to justify his repeated absence from assembly meetings, he should be advised, and even warned, and if such warning is deliberately ignored by him, the Assembly will then have the right to suspend his rights as a voting member of the Community. Such administrative sanction would seem to be absolutely imperative and necessary, and while not tantamount to a complete expulsion of such member from the Cause, deprives him of any real participation in its administrative functions and affairs, and is thus a most effective corrective measure which the Assembly can use against all such half-hearted and irresponsible individuals in the Community." "... Хранитель хочет, чтобы вы разъяснили всем верующим, что участие в работе Комитетов и Собраний Бахаи является священной обязанностью, которую всякий преданный и сознательный член Общины, каким бы скромным и неопытным он ни был, должен принимать радостно и доверительно. Если верующий избран в Собрание, его долг - стараться не пропускать заседаний и помогать работе своих товарищей, разумеется, если этому не помешает какая-либо уважительная причина, как, например, болезнь, но даже и в этом случае он обязан уведомить Собрание. Долг Н.Д.С. - побуждать к работе в Собрании и обеспечивать как можно более полное присутствие членов на встречах. Если у члена Собрания нет серьезной причины, которой он мог бы объяснить свое неоднократное отсутствие, ему следует поставить это на вид и даже предупредить, если же он будет намеренно игнорировать предупреждение, Собрание имеет право временно лишить его права голоса. Подобная административная санкция абсолютно и настоятельно необходима и, хотя и не влечет за собой полного отрешения человека от Дела, лишает его всякой возможности реально участвовать в административных делах, таким образом являясь действенной исправительной мерой в борьбе Собрания против равнодушия и безответственности". (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the National Spiritual Assembly of India and Burma, July 2, 1939: Ibid) (Из письма от имени Шоги Эффенди к Национальному Духовному Собранию Индии и Бирмы, 2 июля 1939) 156. Teaching Must be Accorded Precedence When in Session 156. Уделять главенство учительской работе "When in session it behooveth them to converse, on behalf of the servants of god, on matters dealing with the affairs and interests of the public. For instance, teaching the Cause of God must be accorded precedence, inasmuch as it is a matter of paramount importance, so that thereby all men may enter the pavilion of unity and all the peoples of the earth be regarded even as a single body... " "Собравшись же и представительствуя за слуг Божиих, они должны весть речь об интересах и делах общества. Поэтому главенство следует уделять учительской работе, ибо это вопрос наиважнейший - лишь решив его, люди войдут под своды единства и все народы земли станут единой плотью... "Should these souls comply with the prescribed conditions, they shall, indeed, be aided through His Invisible bestowals. This is truly a matter whose benefits will be conferred on all men... " Однако без Его незримых даров людям этим не исполнить предписанных условий. Поистине от плодов этого дела вкусят все живущие. (Бахаулла. "Местные Духовные Собрания", с. 11) (Bahá'u'lláh: The Local Spiritual Assembly, p. 11) 157. All Meeting Must Revolve Around One Focal Center -- Teach 157. Все встречи должны строиться вокруг одного, стержневого вопроса "If the meetings or Spiritual Assembly has any other occupation, the time is spent in futility. All the deliberations, all consultation, all the talks and addresses must revolve around one focal center and that is: Teach the Cause! Teach! Teach! Convey the Message! Awaken the souls!" "Отвлекаясь от главного, Духовные Собрания будут лишь попусту тратить время. Все дискуссии, консультации, все беседы и обращения должны строиться вокруг одного, стрежневого вопроса: "Учите Делу! Учите неустанно! Несите Весть людям! Пробуждайте души!" Nothing else will be useful, today... The interests of such a Glorious Cause will not advance without undivided attention. While we are carrying this load we cannot carry any other load!" Ничто сегодня не принесет такой пользы... Столь Славное Дело не будет продвигать вперед, если не уделять ему безраздельного внимания. Это и только это бремя должно отягощать наши плечи!" ('Abdu'l-Bahá: Bahá'í Meetings and the 19 Day Feast, p. 9)

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(Абдул-Баха. Встречи Бахаи и Девятнадцатидневный Праздник, с. 9) 158. Principle on Which to Conduct the Work of an Assembly 158. Принцип, на котором строится работа Собрания "There is only one principle on which to conduct the work of an Assembly, and that is the supremacy of the will of the majority. The majority decisions must be courageously adopted and carried out by the Assembly, quite regardless of the opinionated adherence to their own views which any minority may cling to." "Есть только один принцип, на котором следует строить работу Собрания, а именно: приоритет воли большинства. Решения, принятые большинством, Собрание должно утверждать и осуществлять смело и решительно, не настаивая в безрассудном порыве на собственной точке зрения, даже елси ее поддержит то или иное меньшинство". (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Efendi to an individual believer, November 20, 1941: The Local Spiritual Assembly, p. 19) (Из письма от имени Шоги Эффенди к одному из верующих, 20 ноября 1941) 159. Why Some Local Assemblies Do Not Meet 159. Почему некоторые Местные Собрания не проводят встреч "Many Local Spiritual Assemblies do not meet, because they do not know or see what they should meet about. A compilation on the functions of a Local Spiritual Assembly, or the By-Laws of a Local Assembly will not usually provide the impetus to the members to meet. one of the stipulations of the Five Year Plan is the desirability for each Local Assembly to have local goals. Just as there are international and national goals, there should be local goals for each Local Assembly and throughout the Bahá'í world. These goals, as indicated in our Naw-Ruz 1974 Message, can either be adopted spontaneously by the Local Assemblies, or assigned to them by the National Spiritual Assembly. The adoption of a local plan by the Local Assembly can exert a far-reaching influence on its work and on the life of the community." "Многие Местные Духовные Собрания не проводят встреч, поскольку не видят достаточных оснований для того, чтобы делать это. Свод функций Местного Духовного Собрания, а также Устав Местного Собрания обычно не оговаривают необходимость проведения встреч. В соответствии с требованиями Пятилетнего Плана желательно, чтобы каждое Местное Духовное Собрание ставило перед собой местные задачи. Помимо задач интернациональных и национальных, каждое Местное Духовное Собрание должно выдвигать задачи местного масштаба. Эти задачи, как указывалось в нашем послании к Новрузу 1974 года, могут приниматься непосредственно Местными Собраниями или быть поручены им Национальным Собранием. Принятие плана местной работы может оказать далеко идущее воздействие на деятельность Местного Собрания и на жизнь общин". (From a letter of the Universal House of Justice to a National Spiritual Assembly of Africa, December 24, 1975) (Из письма Всемирного Дома Справедливости к Национальному Духовному Собранию Африки, 24 декабря 1975) 160. How Often to Meet 160. Насколько часто проводить встречи "The Spiritual Assembly must decide how often it should meet in order to properly handle the affairs of the Cause under its jurisdiction. Twice a week or twice a month is not the point, the point is that it should be alert and carry on the work adequately." "Духовное Собрание должно решить, насколько часто ему следует проводить встречи для того, чтобы правильно руководить Делом в пределах своей юрисдикции. Будут ли они устраиваться два раза в неделю или дважды в месяц - не столь важно. Важно, чтобы Собрание не теряло бдительности и вело работу на соответствующем уровне". (From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to an individual believer, October 23, 1949: Bahá'í News, 8/51, p. 2) (Из письма от имени Хранителя к одному из верующих, 23 октября 1949) 161. Bahá'u'lláh's Promise 161. Обещание Бахауллы 'Bahá'u'lláh has given the promise that in every Assembly where unity and harmony prevail, there His glorious spirit will not only be present, but will animate, sustain and guide all the friends in all their deliberations." Бахаулла обещал, что Его славный дух будет не только осенять всякое Собрание, где царят единство и согласие, но и вдохновлять, направлять и поддерживать всех друзей во время всех обсуждений. (From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to the Evanston and Wilmette Spiritual Assemblies, November 17, 1933) (Из письма от имени Хранителя к Духовным Собраниям Эванстона и Вилметта, 17 ноября 1933) 162. Not Possible to have Non-Assembly Member in National Spiritual Assembly Meeting 162. Недопустимость присутствия посторонних на встречах Национального Духовного Собрания "... in the light of the Master's statement that the deliberations of Assemblies must be secret and confidential, it is not possible to have a non-Assembly member in the National Spiritual Assembly meeting. You must always remember that in matters of principle, there can be not deviation; ... Highly personal subjects, damaging to the honor and happiness of others, are often taken up by National Assemblies, an the danger that confidence will be betrayed is already great enough with the 9 chosen representatives of the whole community, let alone introducing non-Assembly members. You will just have to make your minutes a

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little more compact and sacrifice, if necessary, a certain amount of efficiency in order to follow this very important principle." "... помня слова Учителя о том, что заседания Собраний должны проходить в строгобыть закрытыми и конфиденциальной обстановкеыми, недопустимо, чтобы на встречах Национального Духовного Собрания присутствовал кто-либо кроме его членов. Никогда не следует забывать о том, что в принципиальных вопросах нельзя допускать ни малейшей уступки... Духовные Собрания часто рассматривают вопросы глубоко личного характера, в которых затрагивающие бывают затронуты достоинство и счастье людей, и возможность того, что конфиденциальность будет нарушена одним из девяти избранных представителей, уже слишком велика для того, чтобы допускать на встречувводить сюда еще и людей, не состоящих в Собрании. Дабы не отступать от этого крайне важного принципа, вам будет необходимо лишь более сжато вести протоколы и, в отдельных случаях, затратить несколько больше энергии". (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States, July 5, 1950: The National Spiritual Assembly, p. 19) (Из письма от имени Шоги Эффенди к Национальному Духовному Собранию Соединенных Штатов, 5 июля 1950 г.) 163. Distribution of Minutes of Meetings 163. Распределение протоколов "We have your letter..., regarding distribution of the minutes of your National Assembly meetings to members of the National Assembly. "На ваше письмо ... касательно распределения протоколов среди членов вашего Национального Собрания отвечаем: "Two principles apply, namely: Основными принципами являются следующие два: 1. Every member of the National Spiritual Assembly is entitled to have access to the minutes of the National Assembly meetings. 1. Каждый член Национального Духовного Собрания имеет право получить доступ к протоколам заседаний Национального Духовного Собрания. 2. The National Assembly must take measures to safeguard the confidential nature of many matter referred to in the minutes. 2. Национальное Собрание обязано принимать меры по сохранению конфиденциальности многих вопросов, отраженных в протоколах. 'It is within the discretion of your National Spiritual Assembly to decide what should be done to give effect to these two principles." Каким образом можно наиболее полно осуществить эти два принципа, - предоставляетсяно на усмотрение вашего Национального Духовного Собрания". (The Universal House of Justice a letter to the National Spiritual Assembly of North East Asia, March 25, 1971) (Всемирный Дом Справедливости. Из письма к Национальному Духовному Собранию Северо-ВосточнойСеверо-восточной Азии, 25 марта 1971 г.) 164. Access to Records of the Spiritual Assembly 164. Доступ к документации Духовного Собрания "In reply to your letter of May 13th, 1976, the Universal House of Justice instruct us to say that all members of the Spiritual Assembly are equal and should have access to the files and minutes of the Assembly or which they are members. It is, however, within the discretion of any Spiritual Assembly to so organize its files and records that certain items should be listed as 'confidential' and access to those so classified could only be had by a specific decision of the Assembly itself." "В ответ на ваше письмо от 13 мая 1976 года Всемирный Дом Справедливости поручил нам сообщить вам, что все члены Духовного Собрания равны и в равной степени имеют право доступа к документам и протоколам Собраний, членами которого являются. Однако Духовноему Собраниею предоставляется может самому решиать, как именно составить рубрики докментоворганизовать свою документацию, чтобы некоторые из нихдокументов, с пометкой "конфиденциально", становились доступныоткрывались всем членам Собрания лишь после его особого разрешения". (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Ireland, June 8, 1976) (Из письма от имени Всемирного Дома Справедливости к Национальному Духовному Собранию Ирландии, 8 июня 1976 г.) 165. Business Can be Conducted with a Quorum 165. Встречу можно проводить при наличии кворума "... It is, as you say, highly desirable for all nine members of a Spiritual Assembly to be present but business can be conducted with a quorum of five, provided that all have been properly notified of the meting." "... как вы пишете, крайне желательно присутствие всех девяти человек, однако встречу можно проводить и при кворуме в пять человек, при условии, что все были своевременно оповещены о заседании". (From a letter of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Ecuador, June 14, 1972) (Из письма Всемирного Дома Справедливости к Национальному Духовному Собранию Эквадора, 14 июня 1972) 166. Assembly Quorum 166. Кворум Собрания "We have your letter of July 20, 1967 asking for clarification of Article VIII, Section 1 of the By-Laws of a Local Spiritual Assembly which appears on page 19 of the Declaration of Trust. "Получили ваше письмо от 20 июля 1967 с просьбой пояснить VIII статью I раздела Устава Местного Духовного Собрания, приведенную на 19 странице Декларации Доверия. "A majority of the members present and constituting a quorum is sufficient to carry a motion. Thus, if only five members of the Assembly are present at a meeting, a majority vote of three is sufficient. Присутствие большинства членов составляет кворум, достаточный для принятия того или иного решения. Так, если присутствуют лишь пять членов Собрания, большинство определяется тремя голосами. "However, Assemblies should take into account the last clause of the first sentence of Section 1 of Article VIII reading a follows: Тем не менее, Собрания должны учитывать и то, что говорится в конце первой фразы VII cтатьи I раздела, а именно: "... and with due regard to the principle of unity and cordial fellowship involved in the institution of a Spiritual Assembly.' "... с должным уважением к принципу единства и сердечного согласия, заложенному в основе Духовного Собрания". "In other words, members of a Spiritual Assembly should not take advantage of a quorum as an expedient to pass a motion which would violate the spirit of the above quoted passage.

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Иными словами, члены Собрания не должны использовать кворум для проведения решения, которое бы шло вразрез с принципом, о котором говорится в вышеприведенном отрывке. "As your National Assembly has stated, it is desirable that all nine members of a Local Spiritual Assembly be present at every meeting, and we hope that you will be able to educate members of Assemblies to assume their responsibilities in this regard." Как заявляет ваше Национальное Собрание, желательно, чтобы все девять членов присутствовали на каждой встрече Местного Духовного Собрания, и мы надеемся, что вам удастся таким образом воспитать членов Собраний, чтобы они блюли свои обязанности в этом отношении". (Letter from the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States, August 6, 1967) (Письмо Всемирного Дома Справедливости к Национальному Духовному Собранию Соединенных Штатов, 6 августа 1967) 167. Duties of Assembly Members 167. Обязанности членов Собрания "In its own meetings it must endeavor to develop skill in the difficult but highly rewarding art of Bahá'í consultation, a process which will require great self-discipline on the part of all members and complete reliance on the power of Bahá'u'lláh. It should hold regular meetings and ensure that all its members are currently informed of the activities of the assembly, that its Secretary carries out his duties, and its Treasurer holds and disburses the funds of the Faith to its satisfaction, keeping proper accounts and issuing receipts for all contributions. Many Assemblies find that some of their activities such as teaching, observance of Feasts and Anniversaries, solution of personal problems, and other duties are best dealt with by committees appointed by the Assembly and responsible to it... " "На своих встречах Собрание должно стремиться развивать навыки трудного, но чрезвычайно полезного умения участвовать в консультациях Бахаи - процессе, требующем огромной самодисциплины со стороны всех членов и полного доверия к авторитету Бахауллы. Оно должно регулярно проводить встречи и заботиться о том, чтобы все его члены были в курсе деятельности Собрания, чтобы секретарь выполнял свои обязанности, а казначей хранил фонды Веры и распоряжался ими, правильно вел счета и отчитывался за взнос пожертвований. Некоторые Собрания полагают, что такие виды деятельности, как учительская работа, наблюдение за Праздниками и Годовщинами, решение личных вопросов и прочие обязанности лучше поручать специальным комитетам, которые назначаются Собранием и ответственны перед ним". (From a letter of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Bolivia, July 30, 1972) (Из письма Всемирного Дома Справедливости к Национальному Духовному Собранию Боливии, 30 июля 1972) 168. Abstaining Does Not Arise in Bahá'í Voting 168. При голосовании Бахаи не может быть "воздержавшихся" "It is important to realize that the spirit of Bahá'í consultation is very different from that current in the decision-making processes of non-Bahá'í bodies. "Важно понять, что дух консультаций Бахаи очень отличается от процесса принятия решений в современных организациях. "The ideal of Bahá'í consultation is to arrive at a unanimous decision. When this is not possible a vote must be taken. In the words of the beloved guardian: '... when they are called upon to arrive at a certain decision, they should, after dispassionate, anxious and cordial consultation, turn to God in prayer, and with earnestness and conviction and courage record their vote and abide by the voice of the majority, which we are told by the Master to be the voice of truth, never to be challenged and always to be whole-heartedly enforced.' В идеале, итого консультации Бахаи - единогласное решение. Если это невозможно, следует провести голосование. Говоря словами возлюбленного Хранителя, "... когда они призваны принять то или иное решение, им следует, после беспристрастной, целенаправленной и доброжелательной консультации, с молитвой обратиться к Богу, а затем искренне, сознательно и смело заполнить свой бюллетень и повиноваться голосу большинства, который, как говорил Учитель, есть глас истины, коему никогда не должно противиться, но всем сердцем поддерживать его". "As soon as a decision is reached it becomes the decision of the whole Assembly, not merely of those members who happened to be among the majority. Как только решение наконец принято, оно становится решением всего Собрания, а не только тех его членов, которые оказались в числе большинства. "When it is proposed to put a matter to the vote, a member of the Assembly may feel that there are additional facts or views which must be sought before he can make up his mind and intelligently vote on the proposition. He should express this feeling to the Assembly, and it is for the assembly to decide whether or no further consultation is needed before voting. Когда предлагается поставить тот или иной вопрос на голосование, члену Собрания может показаться, что есть еще неучтенные факты и точки зрения, которые следует обдумать, прежде чем принять какое-то решение и с полным пониманием проголосовать по данному предложению. Ему следует изложить свои соображения Собранию, и затем Собрание решает, проводить или нет дальнейшие консультации перед голосованием. "Whenever it is decided to vote on a proposition all that is required is to ascertain how many of the members are in favour of it; if this is a majority of those present, the motion is carried; if it is minority, the motion is defeated. Thus the whole question of 'abstaining' does not arise in Bahá'í voting. A member who does not vote in favour of a proposition is, in effect, voting against it, even if at that moment he himself feels that he has been unable to make up his mind on the matter." После того как принято решение голосовать, нужно лишь подсчитать, сколько членов Собрания высказываются "за"; если среди присутствующих их большинство, предложение считается принятым; если таковых меньшинство, оно отклоняется. Таким образом вопрос о "воздержавшихся" не может возникнуть при голосовании Бахаи. Член Собрания, не проголосовавший "за", считается проголосовавшим "против", даже если он сам в данный момент полагал, что еще не пришел к окончательному решению". (From a letter of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Canada, March 6, 1970: Consultation: A Compilation, p. 12, February 1978) (Из письма Всемирного Дома Справедливости к Национальному Духовному Собранию Канады, 6 марта 1970) 169. Bahá'ís Not Required to Vote Against Consciences 169. От Бахаи не требуется голосовать против своей совести "Bahá'ís are not required to vote on an assembly against their consciences. It is

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better if they submit the majority view and make it unanimous. But they are not forced to What they must do, however, is to abide by the majority decision, as this is what becomes effective. They must not go around undermining the assembly by saying they disagreed with the majority. In other words, they must put the Cause first and not their own opinions. He (a Spiritual Assembly member) can ask the assembly to reconsider a matter, but he has no right to force them or create inharmony because they won't change. Unanimous votes are preferable, but certainly cannot be forced upon assembly members by artificial methods such as are used by other societies." "От Бахаи не требуется голосовать на Собрании против своей совести. Будет лучше, если он подчинится мнению большинства и результат окажется единогласным. Но принуждать его к этому нельзя. Однако при этом он обязан повиноваться решению большинства. Он не должен подрывать единство Собрания, подговаривая остальных и заявляя, что не согласен с мнением большинства. Иными словами, он должен ставить Дело выше собственных взглядов. Он (член Духовного Собрания) может просить собрание пересмотреть вопрос, но не имеет права принуждать своих товарищей или вносить разногласия потому, что они не желают изменить свою точку зрения. Предпочтительно, чтобы результат был единогласным, но, разумеется, членов собрания нельзя искусственно понуждать, как то делается в прочих обществах". (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, October 19, 1947) (Из письма от имени Шоги Эффенди к одному из верующих, 19 октября 1947) 170. Only Under Special Circumstances it is permissible to Resign from the Spiritual Assembly 170. Отказ от участия в Духовном Собрании возможен лишь ввиду особых обстоятельств "With reference to your question whether it would be permissible for believer to resign from the Local Assembly; under special circumstances, such as illness, one may do so, but only after, and never before one has been elected to the membership of the assembly. Personal differences and disagreements among Assembly members surely afford no sufficient ground for such resignation, and certainly cannot justify absence from Assembly meetings. Through the clash of personal opinions, as 'Abdu'l-Bahá has stated, the spark of truth is often ignited, and Divine guidance revealed. The friends should therefore not feel discouraged at the differences of opinion that may prevail among the members of an Assembly, for these, as experiences has shown, and as the Master's words attest, fulfil a valuable function in all Assembly deliberations. But once the opinion of the majority has been ascertained, all the members should automatically and unreservedly obey it, and faithfully carry it out. Patience and restraint, however, should at all times characterize the discussions and deliberations of the elected representatives of the local community, and no fruitless and hair- splitting discussions indulged in, under any circumstances." "Касательно вашего вопроса, возможно ли верующему отказаться от участия в Местном Собрании: это возможно лишь при определенных обстоятельствах, например из-за болезни, но только после того, как он избран членом Собрания. Субъективные расхождения во взглядах между членами Собрания не могут служить достаточной причиной для отказа и, безусловно, не служат оправданием отсутствия на встречах. Из столкновения различных мнений, как утверждал Абдул-Баха, часто рождается искра истины, озаряющая стезю Господню. Поэтому друзей не должна обескураживать разница во взглядах среди членов Собрания, поскольку, как показывает опыт, она часто оказывалась полезной во время дискуссий на Собрании. Но после того, как мнение большинства принято окончательно, все члены собрания должны автоматически и безоговорочно подчиняться ему и ревностно проводить его в жизнь. Однако при проведении самих дискуссий избранные представители общины должны проявлять терпение и выдержку, ни при каких обстоятельствах не впадая в бесплодные пустопорожние разговоры и софизмы" (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, April 18, 1939) (Из письма от имени Шоги Эффенди к одному из верующих, 18 апреля 1939) 171. Differences of opinion Should no Deter One from Performing His Bahá'í Activities 171. Разница взглядов не может служить причиной уклонения от работы "Needless to say how much he was afflicted to learn that you both had offered your resignation from the ... Spiritual Assembly. For he is convinced that your action in this matter will have a bad effect on the rest of the believers, and in this way cause great injury to the Cause. Differences of opinion, specially when they arise in connection with personalities, should under no circumstances lead any believer to turn his attention from his major Bahá'í activities. And what activity can be said to be more vital, and hence of a more weighty responsibility than to serve in an Assembly, and specially in the capacity of a Vice-Chairman. Your responsibilities, in this connection, are indeed manifold, and it would be a pity, therefore, if you fail in the least to carry them out to the fullest possible extent. "Он был очень огорчен, узнав, что вы оба отказались от участия ... в Духовном Собрании. Он убежден, что ваши действия в этой связи отрицательно скажутся на остальных верующих и причинят огромный вред Делу. Разница взглядов, особенно если она связана с личными взаимоотношениями, ни в коем случае не должна отвлекать внимание верующих от более важной деятельности. Какая же деятельность может быть более важной, более необходимой, а следовательно, связанной с большей ответственностью, чем служение в Собрании, тем более в качестве вице-председателя? Ваши обязанности в этой связи поистине многообразны и разносторонни, и будет жаль, если вы не постараетесь приложить все усилия, чтобы исполнить их как можно лучше. "Besides, you can easily realize that by resigning from the Assembly you would be encouraging, quite unintentionally but though the mere effect of example, your fellow-members to take a similar action in the future if necessary. This, of course, cannot be lead eventually to the disruption of your Assembly, and would in the meantime greatly detract from the authority and prestige for that body in the eyes of the public.

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Кроме того, вы должны понять, что, отказываясь от участия в Собрании, вы, пусть непреднамеренно, одним своим примером побуждаете ваших товарищей в будущем предпринять подобный же шаг. Безусловно, в конечном счете это может привести лишь к распаду вашего Собрания и подорвет престиж и авторитет этого органа в глазах общества. "In view of all these, the Guardian would specially appeal to you, to exert your utmost in order to retain your membership in the ... Assembly, and thus put a good example before the friends. Should you act in this way, Bahá'u'lláh would undoubtedly assist and strengthen you in overcoming the obstacles which, at present, so sadly retard the effective working and progress of your Assembly." Ввиду всего этого Хранитель убедительно просит вас приложить все усилия к тому, чтобы остаться в рядах Собрания и тем самым явить добрый пример для друзей. Если вы поступите так, Бахаулла несомненно даст вам силы преодолеть обстоятельства, которые в настоящее время столь прискорбным образом мешают эффективной работе и развитию вашего Собрания". (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, January 28, 1935) (Из письма от имени Шоги Эффенди к одному из верующих 28 января 1935) 172. There Should be a Valid Reason for Resignation 172. Для отказа необходима уважительная причина "Although it is highly desirable that all members of the National Assembly attend every meeting of the Assembly, the fact that a member is prevented by business or other circumstances from having a good attendance record is not a ground upon which a resignation can be accepted. It is not justified to accept a resignation or otherwise declare a vacancy on the National Assembly without a valid reason such as in the case of prolonged absence or serious illness which prevents one from discharging his duties as a member of the National Assembly." "Хотя крайне желательно, чтобы на каждой встрече Национального Собрания присутствовали все его члены, ссылка на то, что дела или какие-либо иные обстоятельства мешают регулярной посещаемости того или иного члена, не может служить достаточным основанием для отказа. Необосновано будет принимать отказ и объявлять о возникновении вакансии в Национальном Собрании при отстутствии уважительной причины - в данном случае продолжительного отсутствия или серьезной болезни, - которые мешают исполнять обязанности члена Национального Собрания". (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of United States, November 27, 1968) (Из письма от имени Всемирного Дома Справедливости к Национальному Духовному Собранию Соединенных Штатов, 27 ноября 1968) 173. Should National Assembly Members be relieved of Local Assembly Service? 173. Освобождаются ли члены Национального Собрания от участия в Местном Собрании? "We have your letter of April 28, 1970 raising the question as to whether believers elected to both a Local Spiritual Assembly and the National Spiritual Assembly may resign their membership in the Local Assembly and dedicate their full efforts to the work of the National Assembly. "В вашем письме от 28 апреля 1970 затрагивается вопрос о том, могут ли верующие, избранные одновременно в Местное и Национальное Духовное Собрание, отказываться от участия в Местном Собрании, чтобы целиком послужить себя служению в Национальном органе? "Normally those elected to a Local Assembly and the National Assembly should make every effort to serve on both bodies, whatever the personal sacrifices may be. If it is too much of a burden and impractical for an individual member to assume the responsibilities of serving on both the National and Local Assembly, he should present his case to both bodies, and seek consultation. Each case should be considered separately, depending on the circumstances of each member. It may be found that if a National Assembly member is an officer of the Local Spiritual Assembly, his resignation as officer of the Assembly, instead of the membership of that Assembly, may solve the problem for that individual." Как правило, избранным в Местное и Национальное Собрание приходится прилагать максимум усилий, чтобы служить в обоих, даже если при этом они вынуждены жертвовать личным временем. Если груз такой ответственности слишком тяжел и служение одновременно в Местном и Национальном Собрании оказывается нецелесообразным, верующему следует представить свой случай на рассмотрение обоих органов с целью консультации. Каждый случай следует рассматривать отдельно, с учетом конкретных обстоятельств. Может оказаться, что член Национального Собрания является должностным лицом Местного Собрания, и тогда, чтобы разрешить проблему, он может отказаться от своей должности, но по-прежнему принимать участие в работе Местного Собрания". (From a letter of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of North East Africa, May 7, 1970: Malaysian Bahá'í News, Vol. 8, No. 4, December 1972 to February 1973, p. 28) (Из письма Всемирного Дома Справедливости к Национальному Духовному Собранию Северо-Восточной Африки, 7 мая 1970. "Бахаи Ньюс" Малайзии) 174. Not Appropriate to Elect a Temporary Assembly Member 174. Нежелательность избрания временных членов Собрания "As regards electing a temporary member to replace one who is absent, the present practice of Bahá'í Administration is not in favor of this but prefers to ascertain the duration of the absence of any member who has to be away. Should this period of time be excessive it is within the discretion of the Assembly to recognize a vacancy and call for a by-election. However this should not be lightly decided and the members declared elected at the Convention should remain in office unless there are insuperable difficulties which prevent it." "Что касается избрания временных членов с целью замены отсутствующих, современная практика Администрации Бахаи не склонна одобрять подобное решение; предпочтительно сначала уточнить срок отсутствия. Если он слишком велик, Собранию предоставляется право провести дополнительные выборы. Однако решение это следует принимать со всей серьезностью, и делегаты, избранные на Съезде, должны оставаться на своем посту, даже если тому будут препятствовать непреодолимые трудности". (From a letter of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Malaysia, December 10, 1970: Meetings of the National Spiritual Assembly, p. 3, October 1980) (Всемирный Дом Справедливости. Из письма к Национальному Духовному Собранию Малайзии, 10 декабря 1970) 175. Non-Attendance of Assembly Members -- No Time Limit Fixed 175. Отсутствие членов Собрания - не лимитировано по времени "... it is establishing a dangerous precedent to allow Assemblies to put a time limit

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on non-attendance of their members at meetings of the Spiritual Assembly beyond which that person is automatically dropped from the Assembly and a vacancy declared. ... There should be no time limit fixed by Assemblies beyond which a person is dropped. Every case of prolonged absence from the sessions of the Assembly should be considered separately by that Assembly, and if the person is seen to not want to attend meetings, or to be held away from them indefinitely because of illness or travel, then a vacancy could legitimately be declared and a new member be elected." "... опасный прецедент возникает, если Собрание позволяет себе устанавливать временной лимит отсутствия, при превышении которого данный член Собрания автоматически исключается из его рядов и его место объявляется вакантным... Собранию не следует устанавливать никаких временных ограничений, могущих повлечь за собой исключение того или иного члена. Каждый случай неоднократного, продолжительного отсутствия на заседаниях Собрания следует рассматривать отдельно, и, есди выясняется, что данный человек сознательно не желает посещать собрания или ему постоянно мешают делать это болезнь или вынужденные отлучки, его место объявляется вакантным и производятся выборы нового члена". (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer. Bahá'í News No. 208, June 1948) (Из письма от имени Шоги Эффенди к одному из верующих, июнь 1948) 176. Repeated, Unjustified Absence Cause for Suspension of Voting Rights 176. Неоднократное, немотивированное отсутствие - причина лишения избирательных прав "... The National Spiritual Assembly's duty is to urge, and also facilitate attendance at assembly meetings. If a member has no valid reason to justify his repeated absence from assembly meetings, he should be advised, and even warned, and if such warning is deliberately ignored by him the Assembly will then have the right to suspend his rights as a voting member of the Community. Such administrative sanction would seem to be absolutely imperative and necessary, and while not tantamount to a complete expulsion of such a member from the Cause, deprives him of any real participation in its administrative functions and affairs, and is thus a most effective corrective measure which the Assembly can use against all such half-hearted and irresponsible individuals in the Community." "... обязанность Национального Духовного Собрания - призывать к участию во встречах и способствовать присутствию на них. Если у кого-либо из членов нет уважительной причины, оправдывающей его постоянное отсутствие на встречах, ему нужно поставить это на вид, предупредить, если же предупреждение сознательно игнорируется, Собрание лишает его права голоса как члена Общины. Подобная административная санкция абсолютно необходима и, хотя и не влечет полного отстранения от Дела, лишает данное лицо возможности реально участвовать в его административной деятельности, а поэтому является наиболее эффективной исправительной мерой, которую Собрание может применять против половинчатых и безответственных членов Общины". (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the National Spiritual Assembly of India and Burma, July 2, 1939: Dawn of a New Day, p. 79) (Из письма от имени Шоги Эффенди к Национальному Духовному Собранию Индии и Бирмы, 2 июля 1939) 177. Criticism, Opposition, Confusion Do not Provide Grounds Resignation -- Sanction May Be Necessary 177. Критика, противоречия и разногласия не являются достаточным поводом для самоотвода "Concerning the question of refusal by certain believers to accept election to an administrative post: the guardian strongly feels that criticism, opposition, or confusion, do not provide sufficient grounds for either refusal or resignation. Only cases of physical or mental incapacity, which, by their very nature, are extremely rare, constitute valid reasons for such an act. The difficulties and tests involved in the acceptance of administrative posts, far from inducing the believers to disassociate themselves from the work of the Cause, should spur them on to greater exertions and to a more active participation in the privileged task of resolving the problems that confront the Bahá'í community. Only in cases where individual believers, without any valid reason, deliberately refuse the repeated exhortations, pleas, and warnings addressed to them by their Assemblies, should action be taken in removing them from the voting list. This is a measure designed to sustain the institutions of the Faith at the present time, and to insure that the abilities and talents of its, as yet, limited number of supporters are properly consecrated to its services..." "Касательно вопроса об отказе некоторых верующих, избранных на административный пост: Хранитель уверен, что критика, противоречия и разногласия не являются достаточным поводом для самоотвода. Лишь физическая или умственная недееспособность, крайне редкая по самой своей природе, может послужить уважительной причиной для такого шага. Испытания и трудности, связанные со вступлением на административную должность, не только не должны отвращать верующих от работы во имя Дела, а напротив, подталкивать их к еще большим усилиям и еще более активному участию в почетном деле решения проблем, стоящих перед Общиной Бахаи. Лишь в случае, когда отдельные верующие, без какой бы то ни было уважительной причины, сознательно отвечают отказом на неоднократные уговоры, просьбы и предупреждения своих Собраний, их имена должны быть исключены из голосовательного списка. Эта мера направлена на поддержание институтов Веры, на то, чтобы таланты и способности ее еще достаточно ограниченного числа сторонников использовались надлежащим образом". (Letter written on behalf of the Guardian to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States and Canada, January 15, 1942: Bahá'í News, No.152, p. 2, April 1942) (Из письма от имени Хранителя к Национальному Духовному Собранию Соединенных Штатов и Канады, 15 января 1942)

J. Administrative Rights, Sanctions, Dissimulation X. Административные права, санкции, сокрытие 178. Basis for Deprivation of Voting Rights 178. Основание для лишения избирательных прав "The general basis for the deprivation of voting rights is of course gross

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immorality and open opposition to the administrative functions of the Faith, and disregard for the laws of personal status; and even then it is the duty of the National Assembly, before exercising this sanction, to confer with the individuals involved in a loving manner to help them overcome the problems; second, to warn them that they must desist; three, to issue further warning of the original warnings are not followed; and finally, if there seems no other way to handle the matter, then a person may be deprived of voting rights. "Главным основанием для лишения избирательных прав является, конечно же, вопиющая безнравственность и открытое противодействие административной работе Веры, а также пренебрежение законами гражданского состояния; но даже в подобных случаях обязанностью Национального Собрания является, во-первых, еще до применения санкций обсудить эту ситуацию в духе любви с теми, кого это касается, чтобы помочь им разрешить их проблемы; во-вторых, предупредить их и призвать изменить свое поведение; в-третьих, повторить предупреждение, если предыдущие призывы не возымели действия; и лишь затем, если нет иного выхода справиться с ситуацией, данное лицо может быть лишено избирательных прав. "The Guardian however, wishes the National Assemblies to be very cautious in using this sanction, because it might be abused, and then lose its efficacy. It should be used only when there seems no other way to solve the problem. Хранитель, однако, советует Национальным Собраниям применять эту санкцию с крайней осторожностью, поскольку ею можно злоупотребить, и тогда она потеряет свою эффективность. Ее следует использовать лишь тогда, когда иначе разрешить проблему невозможно. "Answering specifically the questions you raise, if a person is deprived of his voting rights, he may not contribute to the Local or National Funds; he may not attend Nineteen Day Feasts. Of course, not attending the Nineteen Day Feasts, he can take no part in consultation. While it is not forbidden for the friends to associate with the individual, yet their association should be on a formal basis. Отвечая на ваш конкретный вопрос: если человек лишен права голоса, он не может жертвовать в Местные и Национальные фонды; не может он и посещать Праздники Девятнадцатого Дня. Разумеется, не присутствуя на Празднике Девятнадцатого Дня, он не может принимать участие в обсуждениях. И хотя друзьям не запрещается общаться с данным человеком, общение это должно носить формальный характер. "So far as the individual who has been deprived of his voting rights, teaching the Cause, he is of course free to do this, as every individual has been encouraged by Bahá'u'lláh to teach the Cause." Если человек, лишенный избирательных прав, обучает Делу, он, безусловно, может свободно заниматься этим, поскольку Бахаулла призывал каждого человека учить Делу". (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the National Spiritual Assembly of South America, March 7, 1955) (Из письма от имени Шоги Эффенди к Национальному Духовному Собранию Южной Америки, 7 марта 1955) 179. Assembly Should not Deprive Believer of Rights Unless the Matter Is Very Grave 179. Собрание должно лишать верующего прав лишь в самых серьезных случаях "As he already told you in a previous communication he feels that your Assembly should not deprive people of their voting rights unless the matter is really very grave; this is a very heavy sanction, and can embitter the heart if lightly imposed, and also make people thing we unduly resort to pressure of a strong nature. The friends must be nursed and assisted, for they are still most immature spiritually, and their 'sins' are those of immaturity! Their hearts are loyal to the Cause, and this is the most important thing." "Как он уже писал вам, ваше Собрание должно лишать верующих избирательных прав лишь в самых серьезных случаях; это очень суровая мера, и, если ею пользоваться легкомысленно, может глубоко ранить и заставит людей думать, что мы безосновательно прибегаем к излишне сильному нажиму. Друзей надо воспитывать, им надо помогать, так как они еще по большей части духовно незрелы и "грехи" их происходят именно от незрелости! В глубине сердца они преданы Делу, а это - самое главное". (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the National Spiritual Assembly of India and Burma, August 2, 1946) (Из письма от имени Шоги Эффенди к Национальному Духовному Собранию Индии и Бирмы, 2 августа 1946) 180. No Bahá'í Can Swear to Bring up His Children in Another Religion nor Be Married in Church as a Christian 180. Бахаи не может обещать воспитывать своих детей в другой вере и венчаться в церкви по христианскому обычаю "... As the Guardian pointed out..., no Bahá'í can conscientiously swear to bring up his children in another religion; and of course he has no right to lie; therefore it becomes impossible for him to make such a promise on his marriage to a non - Baha'i. Any Bahá'í doing this should be deprived of his voting rights; and, as he has already made plain before, Bahá'ís who go to the church and are married as Christians must also of necessity be deprived of their voting rights." "... как уже указывал Хранитель ... ни один Бахаи не имеет права сознательно обещать, что будет воспитывать своих детей в другой вере, а поскольку он также не имеет права лгать для него в равной степени невозможно давать обещание вступать в брак с не-бахаи. Всякий Бахаи, поступающий так, лишает права голоса; и, как уже объяснялось, Бахаи, которые посещают церковь и заключают брак как христиане, по необходимости, лишаются избирательных прав". (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the European Teaching Committee, May 13, 1936) (Из письма от имени Шоги Эффенди к Европейскому Учительскому Комитету, май 1936) 181. Alcoholic Beverages -- Those Who Continue to Drink 181. Алкогольные напитки "In the case of a believer who continues to take alcoholic drinks the Assembly should decide whether the offence is flagrant, and, if it is, should try to help him to understand the importance of obeying the Bahá'í law. If he does not respond he must be repeatedly warned and, if this is unsuccessful, he is subject to loss of

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his voting rights. In the case of an alcoholic who is trying to overcome his weakness the Assembly must show especial patience, and may have to suggest professional counselling and assistance. If the offence is not flagrant, the Assembly need take no action at all." "В том случае если верующий продолжает употреблять алкогольные напитки, Собрание должно решить, является ли это нарушение вопиющим, и, если да, то оно должно попытаться помочь человеку осознать важность повиновения законам Бахаи. Если он не реагирует, его следует предупредить повторно, если же и это оказывается безуспешным, он лишается права голоса. Если речь идет об алкоголике, который старается преодолеть свою слабость, Собранию следует проявить особое терпение, и оно может предложить этому человеку прибегнуть к профессиональной помощи и консультациям. В том случае если нарушение не является вопиющим, Собранию вообще не следует ничего предпринимать". (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to a National Spiritual Assembly, September 26, 1978) (Из письма от имени Всемирного Дома Справедливости к одному из Национальных Духовных Собраний, 26 сентября 1978) 182. Divorce 182. Развод "... no sanctions should be imposed merely because the believer has commenced a civil action for divorce before the expiration of the year of patience. However, the believer will be subject to sanctions if he should marry a third party within the year of patience itself, but also because even though a civil divorce has been granted, the Bahá'í divorce cannot be granted until the end of the year of patience. For this reason no marriage is possible during the running of the year of patience unless the parties to the divorce re-marry each other again in a civil ceremony." "... не следует применять никаких санкций, если верующий предпринимает шаги к гражданскому расторжению брака до окончания года терпения. Однако, если он вступает в брак с третьим лицом до истечении года терпения, к нему следует применить санкции - ибо хотя гражданский развод уже оформлен, брак бахаи не может быть расторгнут раньше окончания года терпения. По этой причине вступление в брак в течение года терпения невозможно, если только сама разведенная пара вновь не заключает гражданский брак". (From a letter of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Alaska, March 29, 1966) (Из письма Всемирного Дома Справедливости к Национальному Духовному Собранию Аляски, 29 марта 1966) 183. Ecclesiastical and Political Associations 183. Отношение к церковным и политическим организациям "... The Same sanction (deprivation of voting right) should apply to those who persistently refuse to dissociate themselves from political and ecclesiastical activities. This is a general principle which is being maintained throughout the Bahá'í world, and the believers throughout the East are already aware of the absolute necessity or refusing any political or Moslem ecclesiastical office." "... ту же санкцию (лишение избирательных прав) следует применять в отношении тех, кто упорно не хочет отказаться от участия в политической и церковной деятельности. Таков общий принцип мира Бахаи, и верующие на Востоке уже полностью осознали абсолютную необходимость отказа от любой политической или церковной, мусульманской должности". (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States and Canada, January 15, 1965) (Из письма от имени Шоги Эффенди к Национальному Духовному Собранию Соединенных Штатов и Канады, 15 января 1942) 184. Politics, Participation in 184. Участие в политической деятельности "Your understanding and attitude regarding participation in politics is correct, namely, you immediately warn and quickly remove the voting rights, as such prompt action is necessary to protect the interests of the Faith." "Вы заняли совершенно правильную позицию в отношении участия верующих в политической деятельности: за немедленным предупреждением должно последовать столь же незамедлительное лишение избирательных прав - это необходимо для того, чтобы вовремя защитить интересы Веры". (From a letter of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of South and West Africa, November 12, 1965) (Из письма Всемирного Дома Справедливости к Национальному Духовному Собранию Южной и Западной Африки, 12 ноября 1965) 185. Homosexual Acts Condemned by Bahá'u'lláh 185. Гомосексуализм осужден Бахауллой "Regarding the question you asked him about one of the believers who seems to be flagrantly a homosexual -- although to a certain extent we must be forbearing in the matter of people's moral conduct because of the terrible deterioration in society in general, this does not mean that we can put up indefinitely with conduct which is disgracing the Cause. This person would have it brought to his attention that such acts are condemned by Bahá'u'lláh, and that he must mend his ways, if necessary consult doctors, and make efforts to overcome this affliction, which is corruptive for him and bad for the Cause. If after a period of probation you do not see an improvement, he should have his voting rights taken away. The Guardian does not think, however, that a Bahá'í body should take it upon itself to denounce him to the Authorities unless his conduct borders on insanity." "Касательно вашего вопроса относительно одного из верующих, который, судя по всему, открыто практикует гомосексуальные отношения: хотя в определенном смысле мы должны быть снисходительны к моральной стороне поведения людей из-за всеобщего падения общественных нравов, это не означает, что нам следует решительно пресекать любое мы можем бесконечно терпеть поведение, так или иначекоторое порочащеепорочит Дело. Вам Этому человеку следует указать данному человеку на тодовести до его сведения, что подобные поступки осужденыаются Бахауллой, что ему надо исправиться, в случае необходимости проконсультироваться с врачами и постараться справиться со зломэтим бедствием, которое пагубно как для него самого, так и для Дела. Если после испытательного срока ситуация не изменится в лучшую сторону, его следует лишить права голоса. Тем не менее, Хранитель полагает, что администрация орган бахаи не должена сообщать об его поведении властям, если только оно не является открытой патологиейграничит с безумием". (Letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the National Spiritual Assembly of Canada: Messages to Canada, p. 39)

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(Письмо от имени Шоги Эффенди к Национальному Духовному Собранию Канады. Послания в Канаду, с. 39) 186. Immorality, Blatant Acts of 186. Акты вопиющей безнравственности "Any blatant acts of immorality on the part of the Bahá'ís should be strongly censured; the friends should be urged to abandon such relationships immediately, straighten out their affairs, and conduct themselves as Baha'is; if they refuse to do this, in spite of the warnings of the Assembly, they should be punished through being deprived of their voting rights. The N.S.A. is empowered to settle such cases of flagrant immorality without referring them to the Guardian." "Безнравственное поведение среди бахаи следует решительно осуждать; надо требовать от друзей, чтобы они незамедлительно оставили подобную практику и вели себя как то подобает Бахаи; если, невзирая на предупреждения, они продолжают упорствовать, их следует наказать, лишив избирательных прав. В случае вопиющей безнравственности Собрание уполномочено решать дело без согласования с Хранителем-. (From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States and Canada, July 20, 1946: Principles of Bahá'í Administration, p. 85) (Из письма от имени Хранителя к Национальному Духовному Собранию Соединенных Штатов и Канады, 20 июля 1946) 187. Criminal Offences, Believers Charged with 187. Уголовные преступления "We have carefully reviewed your letter of April 18, 1967 inquiring about the attitude to be adopted by your National Assembly regarding believers who have been charged with criminal offences, suspected to have committed such offences, or convicted by the court. The principle to bear in mind is that each case falling in any of the aforementioned categories should be considered separately and on its own merits. No hard and fast rule should be applied. "Мы внимательно рассмотрели ваше письмо от 18 апреля 1967 касательно того, какую позицию должно занимать ваше Национальное Собрание в отношении верующих, совершивших уголовные преступления, подозреваемых в таковых или осужденных за их совершение. Основной принцип, которым следует руководствоваться, состоит в том, что каждый из вышеупомянутых случаев надо рассматривать отдельно, исходя из его тяжести. Не следует принимать жестких и скоропалительных мер. "If the believer's actions conspicuously disgrace the Faith and such actions seriously injure its reputation, the National Assembly may in its discretion apply the sanction of deprivation of voting rights. Если действия верующего открыто порочат Веру и наносят серьезный вред ее репутации, Национальное Собрание может по своему усмотрению применить санкции в виде лишения избирательных прав. "We feel that the Assembly should exercise it utmost wisdom when depriving believers of their administrative privileges, each case should be considered on its individual merits, and it should be realized that the application of Bahá'í sanctions is not an automatic action in response to a verdict of the court." Мы полагаем, что, лишая верующего его административных привилегий, Собрание должно действовать крайне осмотрительно, рассматривать каждый случай в соответствии с его конкретной спецификой и в полной мере отдавать себе отчет в том, что санкции бахаи не вытекают автоматически из решения суда". (Letter from the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of South and West Africa, May 3, 1967: Guidelines for Local Spiritual Assemblies, p. 81) (Из письма Всемирного Дома Справедливости к Национальному Духовному Собранию Южной и Западной Африки, 3 мая 1967) 188. Should be Given Chance to Improve 188. Возможность исправиться "Regarding those whose conduct is immoral, the matter should first be referred to the Local Spiritual Assembly. Whether the believer is a member of the Local Assembly or not, he should be first lovingly exhorted, then warned and required to rectify his conduct. If the conduct of the believer does no improve and continues to be a disgrace to the Faith, the National Spiritual Assembly, may decide merely to remove him from the membership of the Local Assembly, if he is a member of it, or to apply the full sanction of depriving him of his voting rights, depending upon the circumstances in each case. It is impossible and unwise to lay down a general ruling to cover all circumstances." "В случаях безнравственного поведения следует докладывать Местному Духовному Собранию, независимо от того, является ли верующий членом Местного Собрания, его следует сначала по-дружески попытаться вернуть на путь истины, затем предупредить и потребовать, чтобы он исправился. Если же его поведение не меняется в лучшую сторону и он продолжает порочить Веру, Национальное Духовное Собрание может ограничиться решением об отстранении его от участия в Местном Собрании, если он состоит его членом, либо, в зависимости от конкретных обстоятельств, применить к нему крайнюю санкцию, лишив его избирательных прав. Пытаться выработать какое-либо общее правило для всех случаев - невозможно и нецелесообразно". (From a letter on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Italy, January 14, 1966) (Письмо от имени Всемирного Дома Справедливости к Национальному Духовному Собранию Италии, 14 января 1966) 189. One Offence of Immorality Not Enough to Incur Heavy Penalty 189. Нарушение норм нравственности, когда оно не может повлечеть тяжкого наказания "In case of immoral conduct one offence is generally not enough to incur this heavy penalty, but only after patient counselling and in the face of flagrantly immoral conduct or blatant misbehavior should it be invoked." "В случае безнравственногое поведения один проступоке, как правило, не может явиться причиной сурового наказания; таковое может налагаться лишь после беспристрастного терпеливого обсуждения и лишь ввиду вопиющей безнравственных поступковости или откровенно недостойного поведения". (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Vietnam, January 11, 1967) (Из письма от имени Всемирного Дома Справедливости к Национальному Духовному Собранию Вьетнама, 11 января 1967) 190. Civil Marriage Ceremony Only 190. Гражданская церемония бракосочетания "... if a Bahá'í has a civil marriage ceremony only, he is subject to loss of his

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voting rights. If the Assembly is satisfied that such a couple is repentant, their voting rights may be restored on condition that they have the Bahá'í ceremony." "... если верующие регистрируют брак только путем гражданской церемонии, они лишаются избирательных прав. Если Собрание сочтет достаточным раскаяние новобрачных, они могут быть восстановлены в правах на том условии, что соблюдут также и церемонию Бахаи". (From a letter of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Peru, June 23, 1969) (Из письма Всемирного Дома Справедливости к Национальному Духовному Собранию Перу, 23 июня 1969) 191. Parents Voting Rights Can be Suspended If Consent is Given Contrary to Bahá'í Law 191. Временное лишение родителей избирательных прав "In connection with your question regarding the case of Mr. & Mrs. ... and their daughter, the Guardian considers that your did quite right to deprive all three of their voting rights. Their conduct is carrying out a moslem marriage in the circumstances set forth by you in your letter, and contrary to Bahá'í law, are most reprehensible, to say the least, and if such actions, are not strongly censured by the Baha'is, other friends may be encouraged in moments of weakness, to err." "По поводу вашего запроса относительно поведения г-на и г-жи... и их дочери Хранитель считает, что ваше Собрание поступило совершенно правильно, лишив всех троих избирательных прав. То, что они продолжали соблюдать мусульманский брачный обычай при обстоятельствах, изложенных в вашем письме, и в противоречии с законом Бахаи, в высшей степени предосудительно, и, если впредь Бахаи не будут сурово осуждать подобные действия, это может дать друзьям повод в минуту слабости впасть с заблуждение". (From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to the National Spiritual Assembly of India, Pakistan and Burma, March 10, 1951) (Из письма от имени Хранителя к Национальному Духовному Собранию Индии, Пакистана и Бирмы, 10 марта 1951) 192. Bahá'í membership in Masonic, Theosophical, Rosicrucian, and Similar Societies[*] 192. Участие Бахаи в масонских, теософских организациях, ордене розенкрейцеров и прочих "The following two principles should help to guide your Assembly in dealing with the problems of Bahá'í membership in Masonic, Theosophical, Rosicrucian, and similar societies: "Что касается участия бахаи в масонском, теософском обществе, ордене розенкрейцеров и прочих подобных организациях, ваше Собрание должно руководствоваться следующим принципом: (1) Formal affiliation with and acceptance of membership in organizations whose programs or policies are not wholly reconcilable with the Teachings is not permissible to the friends. 1. Друзьям не разрешается вступать в ряды и участвовать в работе организаций, чья политика и программа находятся в противоречии с Учением. (2) The friends should not become members of secret societies. 2. Друзьям не следует вступать в тайные общества "Your Assembly is advised to carefully inform the friends of these principles and to deepen them in their understanding and appreciation of them. Having made certain that all friends, especially those directly concerned, have been so deepened, your Assembly should then set a time limit by which the friends must obey your directive to withdraw their membership in the organizations. Each case will have to be considered on its own merits. Some of the friends may have to fulfill certain commitments as officers before they can withdraw with honor. The time limit should make allowance in such cases. Рекомендуем вашему Собранию досконально ознакомить друзей с этими принципами и способствовать их углубленному пониманию. Убедившись в том, что друзья, особенно те, кого это непосредственно касается, достигли такого понимания, Собрание должно определить время, в течение которого друзьям следует выполнить данные им рекомендации и выйти из состава указанных организаций. Каждый случай надо рассматривать исходя из его специфики. Если кто-либо из друзей занимает должностной пост, ему следует дать возможность завершить свои дела и уйти с честью. Соответственно следует устанавливать и временной лимит. "Whereas persistence in membership in these and in similar organization is ample ground for deprivation of voting rights, your Assembly is advised to give sufficient time for each of the friends to be throughout deepened, and to comply with the principles before any disciplinary action is taken." Поскольку упорное нежелание выйти из состава указанных и подобных организаций может повлечь слишком частое лишение избирательных прав, рекомендуем вашему Собранию, прежде чем прибегать к дисциплинарным мерам, представлять друзьям время достаточное для того, чтобы вникнуть в суть принципов Бахаи". (The Universal House of Justice From a letter to the National Spiritual Assembly of Colombia, December 26, 1963) [*] (See Organizations, Non-Baha'i) (Всемирный Дом Справедливости. Письмо к Национальному Духовному Собранию Колумбии, 26 декабря 1963) 193. Mental Illness 193. Душевные расстройства "Regarding persons whose condition (i.e mental condition) has not been defined by the civil authorities after medical diagnosis, the Assembly on the spot must investigate every case that arises,and, after consultation with experts, deliver its verdict. Such a verdict however, should in important cases, be preceded by consultation with the National Spiritual Assembly. No doubt, the power of prayer is very great, yet consultation with experts is enjoined by Bahá'u'lláh. Should

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these experts believe that an abnormal case exists, the withholding of voting rights is justified." "Что касается лиц, чья невменяемость, после постановки медицинского диагноза, не была четко определена гражданским властям, Собрание должно немедленно расследовать каждый случай и после консультации со специалистами вынести решение. В особо важных случаях этому решению может предшествовать консультация с Национальным Духовным Собранием. Безусловно, следует полагаться и на силу молитвы, ибо дух Бахауллы незримо присутствует во время любой консультации. Если специалисты признают наличие аномалии, лишение избирательных прав вполне оправдано". (Letter from the Guardian to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States and Canada, May 30, 1936: Bahá'í News, No. 153, June 1942, p. 12) (Письмо Хранителя к Национальному Духовному Собранию Соединенных Штатов и Канады, 30 мая 1936) 194. Mental Unfitness 194. Умственная недееспособность "Regarding the interpretation of mental unfitness, this is not the same as being physically incapacitated. By the latter is meant a condition much more serious that any temperamental deficiency or disinclination to conform to the principle of majority rule. Only in rare cases when a person is actually unbalanced, and is admittedly proved to be so, should the right of membership be denied him. The greatest care and restraint should be exercised in this matter." "Что касается умственной недееспособности, ее ни в коем случае не следует смешивать с физической неполноценностью. Последняя подразумевает состояние гораздо более серьезное, чем недостатки темперамента или природная наклонность не соглашаться с мнением большинства. Лишь в редких случаях, когда речь действительно идет о человеке с неустойчивой психикой, проявляющем явные признаки этого, его следует отстранять от участия в административной деятельности. В данном вопросе следует проявлять величайшую осмотрительность". (From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States and Canada, May 15, 1940: Bahá'í Procedure, p. 20) (Из письма от имени Хранителя к Национальному Духовному Собранию Соединенных Штатов и Канады, 15 мая 1940) 195. Withdrawal of Administrative Rights from One mentally Ill Is not a Sanction 195. Лишение прав по причине невменяемости не является административной санкцией "The withdrawal of administrative rights from a person who is suffering from a mental illness is not a sanction, but merely a recognition of the fact that the believer's condition renders him incapable of exercising those rights. From this you will see that the mental incapacity must be very serious for this step to be taken, and would normally be dependent upon a certification of insanity by medical authorities or confinement in a mental hospital. Again, depending upon the kind of mental illness, such suspension of voting rights may or may not involve non-receipt of Bahá'í newsletters, inability to attend Nineteen Day Feasts, etc." "Лишение административных прав лица, страдающего душевным расстройством, является не особой мерой, а лишь признанием того факта, что верующий по состоянию здоровья не способен пользоваться этими правами. Из этого явствует, что для принятия таких мер умственная неполноценность должна быть явно выраженной и подтверждаться либо соответствующим медицинским свидетельством, либо помещением больного в психиатрическую лечебницу. Также в зависимости от степени тяжести душевного расстройства лишение избирательных прав может сопровождаться или не сопровождаться возможностью знакомиться с информационными бюллетенями Бахаи, присутствовать на Девятнадцатидневных Праздниках и т.д". (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Austria, May 12, 1982) (Из письма от имени Всемирного Дома Справедливости к Национальному Духовному Собранию Австрии, 12 мая 1982) 196. National Assembly Can Debar an individual from Serving on a Local Assembly Without Removing Voting Rights 196. Национальное Собрание может отстранить верующего от участия в Местном Собрании, не лишая его избирательных прав "It is also quite permissible for a National Spiritual Assembly to debar an individual believer from serving in a Local Spiritual Assembly without removing his or her voting rights and they may also debar a believer from attending the consultative part of a Nine teen Day Feast. You may also debar a believer from voting in election without imposing all the other administrative sanctions involved in administrative expulsion." "Вполне допустимо также, чтобы Национальное Духовное Собрание отстраняло верующего от участия в работе Местного Духовного Собрания, не лишая его при этом права голоса, либо отстраняло его от участия в консультативной части Девятнадцатидневного Празднка. Вы можете также отстранять верующего от голосования, не применяя к нему прочих административных санкций, связанных с полным отстранением от административной деятельности". (Letter from the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Panama, January 31, 1972) (Письмо Всемирного Дома Справедливости к Национальному Духовному Собранию Панамы, 31 января 1972) 197. Voting Rights, Only National Assembly Can Deprive Believers of 197. Только Национальное Собрание может лишать верующего избирательных прав "In the Minutes of your meeting of March 13, 1971 we have noted an item on which we wish to comment. "Мы хотели бы прокомментировать один из пунктов протокола вашего собрания от 13 марта 1971. "It concerns your decision to inform the Spiritual Assembly of... that they can deprive a believer of his administrative rights if they feel that the believer's actions merit this. For the present only the National Assembly may deprive a believer of his administrative rights and this authority should not be given to Local Spiritual Assemblies." Речь идет о вашем решении уведомить Духовное Собрание... о том, что оно может лишать верующего административных прав, если полагает, что его поведение того заслуживает. На сегодняший день только Национальное Собрание может лишить верующего административных прав, и полномочия эти не следует предоставлять Местным Собраниям". (Letter from the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Honduras, April 18, 1971)

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(Письмо Всемирного Дома Справедливости к Национальному Духовному Собранию Гондураса, 18 апреля 1971) 198. Status of Those Who Lose Voting Rights 198. Статус лиц, лишенных права голоса "Concerning your question as to the status of those individual whom the Local Assembly or the National Spiritual Assembly have considered it necessary to deprive of the voting right and to suspend from local meetings and gatherings; such action which Local and National Assemblies have been empowered to take against such recalcitrant members, however justified and not matter how severe, should under no circumstances be considered as implying the complete expulsion of the individuals affected from the Cause. The suspension of voting and other administrative rights of an individual believer, always conditional and therefore temporary, can never have such far-reaching implications, since it constitutes merely and administrative sanction; whereas his expulsion or ex- communication from the Faith, which can be effected by the Guardian[*] alone in his capacity as the supreme spiritual head of the Community, has far-reaching spiritual implications affecting the very soul of that believer. "Касательно вашего вопроса относительно статуса лиц, которых Местное или Национальное Духовное Собрание посчитало необходимым лишить права голоса и посещения местных собраний и встреч; подобный шаг, который как Местное, так и Национальное Собрание полномочны предпринять против упорствующих в своих заблуждениях членов общины, ни в коем случае, сколь бы оправдан и суров он ни был, не должен рассматриваться как полное отрешение данного лица от Дела. Лишение избирательных и прочих административных прав, всегда условное и поэтому временное, представляет собой не более чем административную меру и не может иметь столь далеко идущих последствий, в то время как отлучение от Веры, которое вправе осуществлять только Хранитель как высшая духовная власть Общины, действительно может иметь далеко идущие духовные последствия для самой души верующего. "The former as already stated, is an administrative sanction, whereas the latter is essentially spiritual, involving not only the particular administrative relationship of a believer to his Local or National Assembly, but his very spiritual existence in the Cause. It follows, therefore, that a believer can continue calling himself a Bahá'í even though he may cause to be a voting member of the community. But in case he is excluded from the body of the Cause by an act of the Guardian he ceases to become a believer and cannot possibly identify himself even nominally with the Faith." Первое, как уже указывалось, является административной санкцией, тогда как отлучение от Веры - по сути своей духовный акт, влияющий не только на административные взаимоотношения верующего и Местного или Национального Собрания, но и на самое его духовное существование в рамках Дела. Следовательно, верующий может по-прежнему считать себя Бахаи, даже если он теряет право голоса в общине. Но в случае, если он отлучен от Дела волей Хранителя, он перестает считаться верующим и даже номинально не может отожествлять себя с Верой". (Letter written on behalf of the Guardian to an individual believer, May 8, 1939) (Письмо от имени Хранителя к одному из верующих, 8 мая 1939) [*]The function of expulsion or ex-communication from the Faith is now effected by the Universal House of Justice supreme spiritual head of the community. Функция отлучения от Веры в настоящее времыя осуществляется Всемирным Домом Справедливости как высшей духовной властью Общины. 199. No Bahá'í Marriage If One is Deprived of Voting Rights 199. Лицо, лишенное избирательных прав, не может заключать брак по обряду Бахаи "A Bahá'í deprived of his voting rights cannot be married in a Bahá'í marriage ceremony; a Bahá'í in good standing cannot marry a Bahá'í who has lost his voting rights; the marriage of a Bahá'í who has lost his voting rights does not fall within the jurisdiction of a Bahá'í administrative institution. "Верующий, лишенный избирательных прав, не может заключать брак по обряду Бахаи; Бахаи, имеющий хорошую репутацию, не может вступать в брак с верующим, лишенным избирательных прав; браки Бахаи, утративших избирательные права, не подпадают под юрисдикцию административных институтов Бахаи. "In other words, Bahá'í administrative requirements although their consciences should lead them to act as closely to the standards and ordinances of Bahá'í life as possible." Иными словами, Бахаи, утратившие право голоса, уже не соответствуют административным требованиям Бахаи, даже если они внутренне испытывают потребность вести себя в согласии с нормами и заповедями жизни Бахаи". (Letter from the Universal House of Justice to a National Spiritual Assembly, February 25, 1976, cited by the International Teaching Center) (Письмо Всемирного Дома Справедливости к одному из Национальных Духовных Собраний, 25 февраля 1976) 200. Heaviest Action We Possess -- Deprivation of Voting Rights 200. Крайняя мера "... he feels that all National Spiritual Assemblies should bear in mind that this is the heaviest sanction we possess at present in the Faith, short of ex-communication, which lies within the powers of the Guardian alone, and is consequently a very weighty weapon to wield." "... он полагает, что всем Национальным Духовным Собраниям следует помнить о том, что это (лишение избирательных прав) в настоящее время - самая суровая, крайняя мера, какой располагает Вера, не считая отлучения, которое вправе осуществлять только Хранитель, и поэтому представляет из себя грозное оружие. "He considers that under no circumstances should any Bahá'í ever be suspended from the voting list and deprived of his administrative privileges for a matter which is not of the utmost gravity. By that he means breaking of laws, such

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as the consent of parents to marriage, etc., or acts of such an immoral character as to damage the good name of the Faith." Он считает также, что ни один Бахаи ни в коем случае не может быть исключен из голосовательного списка и лишен административных привилегий из-за незначительного проступка. Под серьезными проступками он понимает такие нарушения закона, как согласие родителей на брак по чуждому религиозному обряду и т.д. либо безнравственные действия, порочащие добое имя Веры". (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the National Spiritual Assembly of Canada, March 3, 1955: Messages to Canada, p. 51) (Из письма от имени Шоги Эффенди к Национальному Духовному Собранию Канады, 3 марта 1955) 201. Before Anyone Deprived of Voting Rights Must be Given Repeated Warnings 201. Прежде чем лишать верующего избирательных прав, его следует неоднократно предупредить "He has informed, some years ago, the American National Spiritual Assembly that, before anyone is deprived of their voting rights, they should be consulted with an lovingly admonished at first, given repeated warnings if they do not mend their immoral ways, or whatever other extremely serious misdemeanor they are committing, and finally, after these repeated warnings, be deprived of their voting rights." "Несколько лет назад он уже писал Национальному Духовному Собранию Америки, что, прежде чем лишить кого-либо избирательных прав, следует поговорить с этим человеком, любовно, по-отечески попытаться наставить его на путь истины, неоднократно предупредить в том случае, если он не исправится и по-прежнему будет совершать серьезные проступки, и лишь затем, после неоднократных предупреждений, лишать права голоса". (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the National Spiritual Assembly of Canada, March 3, 1955: Messages to Canada, pp. 51-52) (Из письма от имени Шоги Эффенди к Национальному Духовному Собранию Канады, 3 марта 1955) 202. No Justification Suspension of Voting rights Pending Investigation 202. Немотивированность лишения избирательных прав без предварительного расследования "There is no justification for the suspension of a believer's administrative rights pending investigation and review of the facts of the matter in which he is involved. As we have repeatedly stated, the application of sanctions is a very serious action and should be imposed only in extra cases. Furthermore, any decision involving a believer's administrative rights is to be made by action of the Assembly itself. "Лишение административных прав не может считаться мотивированным без предварительного расследования и рассмотрения обстоятельств дела. Как мы неоднократно заявляли, применение санкций - шаг чрезвычайно серьезный, и прибагть к нему следует лишь в исключительных случаях. Любое решение, затрагивающее административные права верующего, должно приниматься непосредственно самим Собранием. "While the Assembly should always be concerned about matters which might affect the good name of the Faith, it should be remembered that a believer involved in such matters is entitled to be understanding of the Assembly and may need its guidance and assistance both before and after any decision regarding sanction is made." Следует помнить о том, что как Собрание должно постоянно заботиться о сохранении доброго имени Веры, так же и верующий, со своей стороны, вправе расчитывать на понимание Собрания и может нуждаться в его поддержке и руководстве равно до и после принятия административных мер". (From a letter of the Universal of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States, July 16, 1969) (Из письма Всемирного Дома Справедливости к Национальному Духовному Собранию Соединенных Штатов, 16 июля 1969) 203. Believer Cannot Escape by Resignation in Order to Break Law with Impunity 203. Верующий не может безнаказнно избегнуть отлучения, отрекшись от Веры "As you know, a believer cannot escape administrative expulsion by the ruse of resigning from the Faith in order to break its law with impunity. However, the Assembly should be satisfied that there was indeed such an ulterior motive behind the withdrawal. A believer's record of inactivity and his general attitude to the Faith may well lead the Assembly to conclude that his withdrawal was bonafide, even though immediately succeeded by marriage, and in such a case withdrawal may be accepted." "Как вам известно, верующий не может избегнуть административного исключения из рядов Веры, отрекшись от нее в надежде безнаказанно нарушить закон. Тем не менее Собранию следует учитывать, что выход верующего из рядов Веры имел под собой скрытое основание. Отсутствие активности со стороны верующего и его общее отношение к Вере могут привести Собрание к выводу, что уход верующего был чистосердечным, и в подобном случае, даже если верующий непосредственно вслед за тем вступает в брак, уход может быть принят". (From a letter of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States, May 20, 1971) (Из письма Всемирного Дома Справедливости к Национальному Духовному Собранию Соединенных Штатов, 20 мая 1971) 204. Dissimulation is Not Withdrawal 204. Сокрытие не приравнивается к уходу "To deny that one is a Bahá'í while one still believes in Bahá'u'lláh is not withdrawal, it is dissimulation of one's faith, and Bahá'í laws does not countenance the dissimulation of a believer's faith for the purpose of breaking the law. "Если человек отрицает, что он - бахаи, но по-прежнему верит в Бахауллу, он тем самым скрывает свою Веру, но не выходит из ее рядов; закон же Бахаи не поощряет сокрытия Веры с целью нарушения закона. "If a believer who did not like a particular law were to be permitted to leave the community to break the law, and then rejoin with impunity, this would make a mockery of the Law of God... It is abundantly clear from his letters that he has

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continually believed in Bahá'u'lláh, that he know the law that marriage is conditioned on the consent of parents, that he dissimulated his faith in order to be able to break this law with impunity. He must, therefore, be regarded as a Bahá'í without administrative rights... " Позволить верующему, которому не нравится тот или иной закон, выйти из общины, чтобы нарушить закон, а затем вновь безнаказанно присоединиться к ней, значит профанировать Закон Господа... Из его письма совершенно очевидно, что он продолжал верить в Бахауллу, знал, что закон разрешает брак лишь с согласия родителей, и скрывал свою веру, чтобы безнаказанно нарушить закон. Следовательно, его надо рассматривать как Бахаи лишенного административных прав..." (From a letter of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States, May 15, 1967) (Из письма Всемирного Дома Справедливости к Национальному Духовному Собранию Соединенных Штатов, 15 мая 1967) 205. Ignorance of the Law 205. Незнание закона "In all matters concerning the deprivation of voting rights your Assembly should bear in mind that at the present time, when Bahá'í laws are being progressively applied and when a large proportion of the community consists of newly declared believers, you may accept ignorance of the Bahá'í law as a valid excuse if your Assembly is fully convinced that such ignorance existed." "Во всех случаях, когда речь идет о лишении избирательных прав, вашему Собранию следует помнить о том, что в настоящее время, когда законы Бахаи применяются все более широко и значительный процент общин состоит из новых верующих, незнание законов может считаться уважительной причиной, если ваше Собрание твердо убеждено в самом факте неосведомленности". (From a letter of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States, October 11, 1965) (Из письма Всемирного Дома Справедливости к Национальному Духовному Собранию Соединенных Штатов, 11 октября 1965) 206. Child Out of Wedlock 206. Внебрачные дети "Generally, administrative rights should not be suspended because of the birth of a child out of wedlock. The questions to be considered are whether the party is guilty of blatant and flagrant immorality, whether such conduct is harming the Faith, and whether the believer has refused or neglected to improve her conduct despite repeated warnings. "Как правило, рождение внебрачного ребенка не может служить достаточным основанием для лишения административных прав. В подобных ситуациях следует учитывать, насколько откровенно безнравственным был совершенный проступок, нанесло ли поведение данного лица ущерб Вере и захотела ли верующая исправиться или пренебрегла неоднократными увещеваниями и предупреждениями. "As you no doubt know, deprivation of administrative rights is a very serious sanction, and the beloved Guardian repeatedly cautioned that it should be exercised only in extreme situations. In a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to another National Spiritual Assembly which asked similar questions, it was pointed out that it was task of the institutions to provide both counsel and education for the believers, and thereafter it is for the individual Bahá'í to determine his course of conduct in relation to the situations of his daily life." Как вам, несомненно, известно, лишение административных прав - чрезвычайно серьезная санкция, и возлюбленный Хранитель неоднократно предупреждал, чтобы к ней прибегали лишь в исключительных случаях. В письме от имени Всемирного Дома Справедливости к другому Национальному Духовному Собранию, которое задавало сходный вопрос, указывалось, что задача учреждений Бахаи - обращаться к верующим с советами и разъяснениями, а после этого задача каждого бахаи - самостоятельно, сообразуясь с обстоятельствами, определять линию своего повседневного поведения". (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice, March 23, 1983) (Из письма от имени Всемирного Дома Справедливости, 23 марта 1983) 207. Loss of Voting Rights 207. Утрата права голоса "A Bahá'í who has lost his administrative rights is administratively expelled from the community and therefore is not subject to the jurisdiction of the Spiritual Assembly in the matter of laws of personal status, such as divorce, unless, of course, he is involved in such a matter though having a Bahá'í spouse in good standing from whom the divorce is taking place. His observance of such laws is a matter of conscience and how would into be subject to further sanctions for non-observance of Bahá'í laws during the periods he is without voting rights." "Бахаи, утративший административные права, подлежит административному исключению из общины и, соответственно, выходит из-под юрисдикции Национального Собрания в вопросах личного статуса, таких как расторжение брака, разумеется за исключением, тех случаев, когда его супруга, с которой он хочет развестись, является полноправной Бахаи. Соблюдение законов - дело совести верующего, и он может не подвергаться административным санкциям за несоблюдение законов Бахаи в период лишения избирательного права". (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice, April 6, 1982) (Из письма от имени Всемирного Дома Справедливости, 6 апреля 1982) 208. Cases Involving Only Civil Ceremony 208. Гражданская церемония "We have your letter of October 9, 1971 informing us of your action to deprive... of his voting rights for violation of Bahá'í marriage law in that he married without having consent of all living parents. It is noted at he has a civil ceremony and a Catholic ceremony. The question you have asked deals with possible restoration of his voting rights. "Получили ваше письмо от 9 октября 1971, в котором вы уведомляете нас о лишении избирательных прав ... за нарушение им закона Бахаи о браке, состоявшем в заключении брака без согласия всех ныне живущих родителей. Было отмечено, что ... сочетался гражданским браком и церковным, по католическому обряду. Далее вы спрашиваете о возможном восстановлении... в избирательных правах. "In cases involving only the civil ceremony,voting rights may be restored if the

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Assembly feels that the believer is truly repentant and wishes to comply with the Bahá'í law previously broken. The civil marriage ceremony itself is not contrary to Bahá'í law, and therefore the dissolution of the civil marriage is not a pre- requisite to restoration of voting rights. In such cases the Bahá'í marriage ceremony may take place if the parents now give their consent to the marriage and the Assembly is satisfied that the consent has been genuinely and freely given and is not conditioned by the fact that the parties have already had a civil ceremony on the condition that it be performed. В тех случаях, когда речь идет только о гражданской церемонии, избирательные права могут быть восстановлены, если Собрание считает, что верующий искренне раскаивается и желает примириться с нарушенным ранее законом. Гражданская церемония сама по себе не противоречит закону Бахаи, следовательно, и расторжение уз гражданского брака не может являться предварительным условием восстановления в избирательных правах. Впоследствии в подобных случаях может совершаться брачная церемония Бахаи, если родители дают на нее свое согласие, а Собрание уверено, что согласие дано чистосердечно, из бескорыстных побуждений не обусловлено тем, что стороны уже заключили гражданский брак. В подобных случаях Собрание должно восстанавливать избирательные права непосредственно перед брачной церемонией Бахаи, при условии если она проводится. "Should ... apply for restoration of his voting rights, and should your Assembly feel that he is truly repentant, you should offer assistance in arranging the other details including helping him to obtain the consent of parents." Если ... просит о возвращении ему избирательных прав и Собрание полагает, что он искренне раскаивается, оно обязано в дальнейшем помочь ему уладить дела, в том числе - получить согласие родителей". (From a letter of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Ecuador, November 18, 1971) (Из письма Всемирного Дома Справедливости к Национальному Духовному Собранию Эквадора, 18 ноября 1971) 209. Voting Rights Removed Mistakenly or Justifiably 209. Ошибочное или необоснованное лишение избирательных прав "When believers who have been deprived of their voting rights have moved into the area of jurisdiction of another National Spiritual Assembly they are under the jurisdiction of that Assembly. When they apply for the restoration of their voting rights that Assembly should correspond with the National Assembly which applied the sanction in order to obtain the full particular of the case and also any views the Assembly may have on the matter of restoration. It is then for the National Assembly in whose jurisdiction the believers are living to decide the matter and take action accordingly. "Если верующие, лишенные избирательных прав, переезжают и оказываются в сфере юрисдикции другого Национального Духовного Собрания, они подлежат юрисдикции этого Собрания. Если они обращаются с просьбой о восстановлении избирательных прав, этому Собранию следует связаться с Собранием, наложившим санкцию, с тем, чтобы получить возможно полную информацию о нарушении, а также узнать соображения Собрания касательно восстановления избирательных прав. Лишь после этого Собрание, чьей юрисдикции подлежит верующий в данный момент, может предпринимать соответствующие шаги. "In answer to the second question in you letter of 17 May 1976, no had and fast rule can be laid down. It can happen, for example, that voting rights are removed mistakenly and the incorrect action of the Assembly is the basis for the believer's application for their restoration. If the voting rights have been removed justifiably it is generally sufficient for the believer to take the necessary actions to have them restored; his application for restoration and compliance with the requirements of Bahá'í law are sufficient evidence of repentance. However, if the Assembly sees that the believer does not understand the reason for the deprivation and has a rebellious attitude it should endeavor to make the matter clear to him If his attitude is one of contempt for the Bahá'í law and his actions have been in serious violation of its requirements, the Assembly may even be justifies in extending the period of deprivation beyond the time of the rectification of the situation -- but such cases, by their nature, are very rare." По поводу второго вопроса, который вы задаете в вашем письме от 17 мая 1976, отвечаем: установить какие-либо жесткие правила здесь невозможно. Так, может случиться, что избирательных прав верующий был лишен ошибочно или просит об их восстановлении, исходя из неправильных действий Собрания. В том случае, если Собрание действовало обоснованно, верующему, как правило, достаточно предпринять определенные шаги для их восстановления; просьба о восстановлении прав и примирение с законом Бахаи - достаточные свидетельства раскаяния. Однако если Собрание видит, что верующий не понимает причин наложенной на него санкции и не хочет смиряться с нею, оно должно постараться разъяснить ему суть дела. Если же верующий продолжает пренебрегать законами Бахаи и серьезно нарушает их требования, Собрание полномочно продлить период решения прав вплоть до момента, когда ситуация улучшится - однако подобные случаи, по самой своей природе, крайне редки". (From a letter of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Peru, September 21, 1976) (Из письма Всемирного Дома Справедливости к Национальному Духовному Собранию Перу, 21 сентября 1976) 210. Youth, Disciplinary Action Against 210. Дисциплинарные меры в отношении молодежи "With reference to the question in your second letter as to what disciplinary action can be take against youth who are not of voting age, it must be remembered that the removal of his voting rights is administrative expulsion. In addition to being deprived of is right to vote, the believer cannot attend Feasts or other meetings for Bahá'ís only; cannot contribute to the Fund; or, cannot have a Bahá'í marriage ceremony. The restrictions against voting would become operative when the young offender reaches voting age." "Касательно вопроса, который вы ставите в вашем втором письме относительно дисциплинарных мер, применяемых к молодежи, не достигшей избирательного возраста: следует помнить, что лишение избирательных прав приравнивается к административному отлучению. Верующий не только лишается права голоса, он не может посещать Праздники и другие собрания бахаи, не может вносить пожертвования в Фонд и заключать брак по обряду Бахаи. Ограничение избирательных прав вступает в силу по достижении соответствующего возраста". (From a letter of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Canada, April 14, 1965)

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(Из письма Всемирного Дома Справедливости к Национальному Духовному Собранию Канады, 14 апреля 1965) 211. If Acts of Immorality Are not Generally Known 211. Неявные безнравственные поступки "We feel that each and every case should be reviewed on its own merits. In some cases it is clear that there is no alternative to the removal of voting rights as in the case of marriage without the consent of parents. In other cases, such as those involving flagrant immorality, the removal of voting rights should be resorted to only in rare cases. If the acts of immorality are not generally know and are discoverable only on investigation, a serious question is raised as to whether this immorality is 'flagrant'. "Мы полагаем, что каждый случай следует рассматривать, исходя из его специфики. Иногда бывает совершенно очевидно, что иной альтернативы, помимо лишения избирательных прав, не существует: таковы случаи вступления в брак без согласия родителей. Если речь идет о вопиющей безнравственности, к лишению избирательных прав следует прибегать лишь в крайне редких случаях. Если же безнравственные поступки неявны и обнаруживаются только после выяснения обстоятельств, встает серьезный вопрос о том, считать ли в данном случае безнравственность "вопиющей". "We realize that a great problem is presented by gossip when it occurs in Bahá'í communities, and the poison it can instill into the relationship between the friends. However, deprivation of voting rights is usually of little help in such circumstances and should be restored to only after other remedies have been tried and failed. Мы прекрасно понимаем, в какую серьезную проблему может вылиться для общины Бахаи распространение слухов и как оно может отравить отношения между друзьями. Тем не менее лишение избирательных прав обычно мало помогает в подобных обстоятельствах и прибегать к нему следует лишь после того, как все остальные средства оказались недействительными. "We think it would be much better for the National Assembly to provide for the proper deepening of the friends and in a loving and patient manner attempt to instill in them a respect for Bahá'í laws. Rash action can dampen the zeal of the community, and this must be avoided at all costs." Мы думаем, что будет гораздо лучше, если Национальное Собрание любовно и терпеливо станет воспитывать в друзьях уважение к законам Бахаи. Опрометчивые, необдуманные действия могут ослабить рвение членов общины, а этого следует всячески избегать". (The Universal House of Justice: From a letter written to the National Spiritual Assembly of South and West Africa, August 20, 1969) (Всемирный Дом Справедливости. Из письма к Национальному Духовному Собранию Южной и Западной Африки, 20 августа 1969) 212. Community Attitude Toward Those Who Are Deprived of Voting Rights 212. Отношение общины к лицам, лишенным избирательных прав "The degree to which a community should be active or passive towards a believer who is deprived of his voting rights depends upon the circumstances in each individual case. Obviously, it is desirable that such a person should come to see the error of his ways and rectify his condition. In some cases friendly approaches by the Bahá'ís may help to attain this; in other cases the individual may react more favorably if left to his own devices for a time." "Как именно - активно или пассивно - должна вести себя община в отношении лиц, лишенных избирательных прав, зависит от конкретных обстоятельств. Безусловно, желательно, чтобы данное лицо поняло свои заблуждения и исправилось. В некоторых случаях дружеские контакты с другими бахаи могут помочь ему в этом; иногда же лучше на какое-то время предоставить его самому себе". (The Universal House of Justice: From a letter to a National Spiritual Assembly, November 1, 1973) (Всемирный Дом Справедливости. Из письма к одному из Национальных Духовных Собраний, 1 ноября 1973) 213. The Assemblies Should be Like the Master and the "Good Shepherd" 213. Собрания подобны Учителю и "доброму пастырю" "As regard the admittance of new members into the different groups as declared Baha'is, and the expulsion of any from the Community; Shoghi Effendi believes that the Assembles should not act hurriedly. They should be wise and most considerate otherwise they can do much harm to the body of the Cause. They should see to it that the new-comer is truly conversant with the teachings, and when he expresses his believe in the revelation of Bahá'u'lláh, knows what he is saying and what are the duties he undertakes. "Что касается принятия новых членов в различные группы, когда они объявляют себя бахаи, равно как и отлучения от Общины, Шоги Эффенди полагает, что Собраниям не следует предпринимать поспешных действий. Они должны вести себя мудро и осмотрительно, чтобы неа иначе они могут нанести значительный ущерб Делу. Оно должно убедиться в том, что новопришедший действительно согласен знаком с учением, а когда он заявляет, что верит в откровение Бахауллы, то он понимает, что он говорит и каковы обязанности, которые он на себя возлагает. "On the other hand when any person is expelled, the Assembly should not act hurriedly. There is a great spiritual responsibility attached to the act. The Assembles do not have only rights against the individuals, they have great duties also. They should act like the good Shepherd whom Christ mentions in His well-known parable. We also have the example of the Master before us. The individual Bahá'ís were organic parts of His spiritual being. What befell the least one of the friends brought deep affliction and sorrow to Him also. If by chance one of them erred He counseled him and increased His love and affection for him. Only after months of constant attention, if the Master saw that that friend was still stubbornly refusing to reform his ways, and that his being among the other Bahá'ís endangered the spiritual life of the rest, then He would expel him

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from the group. This should be the attitude of the Assemblies towards the individuals. the best criterion whereby you can measure the spiritual attainment of an Assembly, is the extent its members feel themselves responsible for the welfare of the group. And perchance they feel forced to deprive a person from his vote it should be only to safeguard the rest and not merely to inflict punishment." С другой стороны, если речь идет об исключении, Собранию также не следует торопиться. Шаг этот связан симеет огромноей духовноей ответственностьюзначение. Собрания не только наделены правами в отношении отдельных лиц, но и несут громадную великую ответственность. Они должны вести себя подобно "доброму пастырю", о котором Христос упоминает в одной из Своих широко известных притч. Перед глазами у нас также пример Учителя. Отдельные верующие бахаи составляли органическую часть Его духовного бытия. Если что-то случалось с самым малым последним из друзей, Он тоже погружался в глубокую скорбь. Если одному из них случалось впасть в заблуждение, Он спешил помочь ему советом и лишь больше любил его, сильнее привязывался к нему. Только если после уделив верующему достаточно вниманиямногих месяцев непрерывного внимания и видяУчитель видел, что он этот друг по-прежнему упорно отказывается изменить свое поведение, вследствие чего представляет опасность для духовной жизни своих товарищей, Учитель исключал его из группы. Таким должно быть отношение Собраний к отдельным членам Общины. Лучший критерий, с помощью которого можно судить об уровне духовности Собрания - внимание, которое его члены уделяют благополучию группы. Если же они вынуждены лишить кого-либо права голоса, то делается это ради заботы о большинстве, а не просто ради того, чтобы наказаниять, а ради того, чтобы предохранить большинство". (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States and Canada, April 11, 1933) (Из письма от имени Шоги Эффенди к Национальному Духовному Собранию Соединенных Штатов и Канады, 11 апреля 1933) 214. The Believer So Deprived Who Makes and Effort to Mend His Ways Should be Helped 214. Если верующий, лишенный права голоса, стремиться исправиться, ему следует помочь "The depravation of a person's voting rights should only be restored when absolutely necessary, and a National Spiritual Assembly should always feel reluctant to impose this very heavy sanction which is a sever punishment. Of course sometimes, to protect the Cause, it must be done, but he feels that if the believer so deprived makes and effort to mend his ways, rectifies his mistakes, or sincerely seeks forgiveness, every effort should be made to help him and enable him to re-establish himself in the Community as a member in good standing." "К лишению права голоса следует прибегать лишь если это совершенно необходимо, и Национальное Духовное Собрание должно отдавать себе отчет в том, что эта крайне суровая мере является тяжким наказанием. Разумеется, иногда это нужно, чтобы защитить Дело, но все он полагает, что если верующий, лишенный права голоса, прилагает усилия к тому, чтобы исправиться, избегает прежних ошибок и искренне жаждет прощения, то ему следует всячески помогать восстанавливать добрую репутацию в Общине". (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States and Canada, May 18, 1948) (Из письма от имени Шоги Эффенди к Национальному Духовному Собранию Соединенных Штатов и Канады, 18 мая 1948) 215. Bahá'ís Must Not Dissimulate their Faith Under Any Circumstances 215. Бахаи ни при каких обстоятельствах не должны скрывать свою Веру "The Beloved Guardian has directed me to write you concerning information which he has just received of your having indicated your application for permanent residence in ..., that you were Protestants -- and you did not indicate in any way that you were Baha'is. "Возлюбленный Хранитель поручил мне написать вам по поводу полученной от вас информации, а именно, что, подавая прошение о предоставлении вам постоянного жительства в ... вы указали, что являетесь протестантами, никоим образом не упомянув о том, что вы - Бахаи. "The Guardian has instructed me to inform you that he is shocked and surprised to receive this news, and this action meets with his disapproval. He said that if advance information has been given that such action must not be taken under any circumstances; then there would be only one thing he could and that would be removal of voting rights. Хранитель просил меня сообщить, что крайне удивлен, поражен вашим поведением и решительно не одобряет его. Он сказал, что, если бы вы были предварительно уведомлены, что подобный поступок совершенно недопустим, ему не оставалось бы ничего иного как лишить вас избирательных прав. Certainly such action in the future would result in immediate removal of voting rights. Разумеется, повторное нарушение такого рода немедленно повлечет за собой лишение избирательных прав. "In Persia, even during the period of persecution, when life was in danger, and complete freedom offered to those who indicated they were Muslims and not Baha'is, the Guardian not only deprived anyone who did not openly declare his Faith of his voting rights, but even indicated they were Covenant breakers. Даже в Персии в период гонений, когда жизни людей грозила опасность и человеку стоило лишь сказать, что он мусульманин, а не Бахаи, и он получал полную свободу, Хранитель не только лишал тех, кто скрывал свою Веру, избирательных прав, но и объявлял из нарушителями Завета. "Thus you will see that it is completely inconsistent for a Bahá'í under any circumstances whatsoever, to indicate they are anything but a Baha'i, regardless of what the result may be." Как явствует из вышесказанного, Бахаи ни при каких условиях не должен выдавать себя за лицо другого вероисповедания, каковы бы ни были последствия". (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to two believers, April 30, 1957) (Из письма от имени Шоги Эффенди к двум верующим, 30 апреля 1957) 216. Summary of the Extent of Deprivation of voting Rights 216. Последствия лишения избирательных прав "... One who has lost his voting rights is considered to be a Bahá'í but not one in good standing. the following restrictions and limitations apply to such a believer: "... лицо, утратившее избирательные права, продолжает считаться Бахаи, но не является полноценным членом общины. На административную деятельность такого верующего накладываются следующие ограничения: He cannot attend Nineteen Day Feasts or other meetings for Bahá'ís only, including International Conferences, and therefore cannot take part in consultation on the affairs of the community. Он не может присутствовать на Девятнадцатидневном Празднике и других собраниях Бахаи, включая международные конференции, и, следовательно, не может принимать участия в консультациях по делам общины. He cannot contribute to the Bahá'í Fund.

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Он не может вносить пожертвования в Фонд Бахаи. He cannot receive newsletters and other bulletins whose circulation is restricted to Baha'is. Он не может получать информационные и прочие бюллетени, которые имеют хождение исключительно среди Бахаи. He cannot have a Bahá'í marriage ceremony and therefore is not able to marry a Baha'i. Он не может участвовать в брачной церемонии Бахаи и, следовательно, вступить в брак Бахаи. He may not have a Bahá'í pilgrimage. Он не может совершать паломничества Бахаи. Although he is free to teach the Fath on his own behalf, he should not be used as a teacher or speaker in programs sponsored by Baha'is. Хотя ему позволяется учить Вере от своего имени, он не может быть использован как проповедник в программах, субсидируемых Бахаи. He is debarred from participation in administrative matters, including the right to vote in Bahá'í elections. Он отстраняется от участия в административных делах, включая право голосовать на выборах Бахаи. He cannot hold office or be appointed to a committee. Он не может занимать должность и быть назначенным в тот или иной комитет. He should not be given credentials (which imply that he is a Bahá'í in good standing)." Он не может получить удостоверения, которое подтвердило бы, что он является полноправным Бахаи". (From an attachment to a letter on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Netherlands, December 9, 1985) (Из приложения к письму от имени Всемирного Дома Справедливости к Национальному Духовному Собранию Нидерландов, 9 декабря 1985) 217. Summary of the rights and Privileges not Deprived 217. Права и привилегии, остающиеся за верующим "... Although generally speaking a believer deprived of his voting rights is not restricted except as stated above, the following privileges have been expressly stipulated as not denied: "... Хотя верующий, лишенный избирательных прав подвергается вышеуказанным ограничениям, часть привилегий за ним сохраняется: He may attend the observances of the nine Holy Days. Он может соблюдать требования девяти Священных Дней. He may attend any Bahá'í function open to non-Baha'is. Он может посещать те мероприятия Бахаи, куда открыт доступ не-Бахаи. He may receive any publication available to non-Baha'is. Он может получать любое издание, доступное не-Бахаи. He is free to teach the Faith as every individual believer has been enjoined by Bahá'u'lláh to teach. Он может свободно учить Вере, поскольку Бахаулла пизывал к делу учения каждого верующего. Association with other believers is not forbidden. Ему не воспрещается общение с другими верующими. He may have the Bahá'í burial service if he or his family requests it, and he may be buried in a Bahá'í cemetery. В случае необходимости он или члены его смеьи могут пользоваться похоронными услугами Бахаи, и он может быть погребен на кладбище Бахаи. Bahá'í charity should not be denied him on the ground that he has lost he voting rights. Несмотря на лишение избирательных прав, он может пользоваться благотворительной помощью Бахаи. Bahá'í institutions may employ him, but should use discretion as to the type of work he is to perform. Учреждения Бахаи могут пользоваться его услугами, однако при этом проявлять осмотрительность, поручая ему ту или иную работу. He should have access to the spiritual Assembly." Он имеет право доступа в Духовное Собрание". (Ibid) (Там же)

K. Appeals K. Апелляции 218. Right to and Procedure for Appeal 218. Право на апелляцию и процедура подачи апелляции "When the Local Assembly has given its decision in the matter, you then have the right to appeal, if you wish, to the National Spiritual Assembly for further consideration of your case. But before taking such an action it is your duty as a loyal and steadfast believer to whole-heartedly and unreservedly accept the National Spiritual Assembly's request to enter into joint conference with your Local Assembly. You should have confidence that in obeying the orders of your National Assembly you will not only succeed in solving your own personal problems with the friends, but will in addition set a noble example before them." "Когда Местное Собрание вынесло решение по тому или иному вопросу, вы имеет право, по желанию, подать апелляцию в Национальное Духовное Собрание для дальнейшего рассмотрения вашего дела. Однако прежде чем предпринять этот шаг, вам как преданному и последовательному верующему следует искренне прислушаться к просьбе Национального Собрания - еще раз обсудить ваше дело в Местном Собрании. Вы должны верить в то, что, повинуясь указаниям Национального Собрания, вы не только успешно решите личные проблемы ваших отношений с друзьями, но и явите им возвышенный пример". (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, October 2, 1935: The National Spiritual Assembly, p. 55) (Из письма от имени Шоги Эффенди к одному из верующих, 2 октября 1935) 219. Appeal from Local Assembly Decision to the National Assembly 219. Апелляция в Национальное Собрание "Appeal can be made from the Local Assembly's decision to the National

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Assembly, and from the National Assembly's decision to the Guardian.[*] But the principle of authority invested in our elected bodies must be upheld. This is not something which can be learned without trail and test." "По решению Местного Собрания апелляция может быть подана в Национальное Собрание, а решение Национальное Собрания может быть опротестовано в обращении к Хранителю. Однако при этом следует придерживаться принципа авторитета и полномочий, которыми наделены наши избранные органы. Чтобы постичь это, человек должен пройти через множество испытаний". (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the National Spiritual Assembly of Germany and Austria, June 30, 1949) (Из письма от имени Шоги Эффенди к Национальному Духовному Собранию Германии и Австрии, 30 июня 1949) [*] (Now the Universal House of Justice) (В настоящее время - в обращении к Всемирному Дому Справедливости) 220. Infringement of Bahá'í Rights 220. Ущемление прав Бахаи "... Whenever there is any infringement of Bahá'í rights, or lapse in the proper procedure, the friends should take the matter up with the Assembly concerned, and if not satisfied, then with the National Spiritual Assembly. This is both their privilege and their duty." "... если имеет место какое-либо ущемление прав Бахаи или нарушение процедурного процесса, друзья должны обсудить этот случай с Собранием либо, в случае неудовлетворительного исхода, с Национальным Духовным Собранием. Это не только их право, но и обязанность". (From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to an individual believer, July 10, 1942: The National Spiritual Assembly, p. 55) (Из письма от имени Хранителя к одному из верующих, 10 июля 1942). 221. Every Bahá'í may Write Directly to the Universal House of Justice, but Appeals Should be Submitted Through the National Spiritual Assembly 221. Каждый Бахаи может обратиться непосредственно во Всемирный Дом Справедливости, но аппеляции должны сначала проходить через Национальное Духовное Собрание It would seem that your National Assembly has misunderstood the procedure for submitting appeals. Mr. and Mrs... were quite correct in sending the appeal to your Assembly and you should have then forwarded it to the Universal House of Justice together with your comments of the case. "По всей видимости, ваше Собрание неправильно понимает процедуру подания апелляций. Г-н и г-жа ... совершенно справедливо подали апелляцию в ваше Собрание, вы же, в свою очередь, обязаны были передать ее во Всемирный Дом Справедливости вместе с вашими соображениями по данному вопросу. It is true, as you state in your letter of 26 may 1975, that every Bahá'í may write direct to the Universal House of Justice but this does not apply in the case of appeals which should be submitted through the National Spiritual Assembly. Only if the Assembly fails to forward the appeal within a reasonable time should the appellant take the case directly to the Universal House of Justice. This process is explained in Article XVIII of the Constitution of the Universal House of Justice. Каждый бахаи действительно, как вы утверждаете в письме от 26 мая 1975, может писать непосредственно во Всемирный Дом Справедливости, но это не касается апелляций, которые должны сначала проходить через Национальное Духовное Собрание. Только в том случае, если Собрание в определенный срок не передаст апелляцию, верующий прямо обращается во Всемирный Дом Справедливости. Эта процедура изложена в XVIII статье Устава Всемирного Дома Справедливости". (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Germany, June 17, 1975) (Из письма от имени Всемирного Дома Справедливости к Национальному Духовному Собранию Германии, 17 июля 1975) 222. The Appellant's Request for Referral of Appeal to the Universal House of Justice Cannot be Refused 222. Недопустимо отказывать в просьбе обратиться с апелляцией ко Всемирному Дому Справедливости The House of justice understand and appreciate your motive in striving to contain matters at the national level, and agrees that every effort should be made to resolve them without recourse to the World Centre. At the same time, if an appeal is turned down by the National Spiritual Assembly, the appellant's request for referral to the Universal House of Justice cannot be refuse, nor should the referral be unduly delayed. "Дом Справедливости понимает и ценит причины, побуждающие вас удерживать дела на национальном уровне, а также согласно с тем, что должны прилагаться все усилия к тому, чтобы решать их, не прибегая к помощи Всемирного Центра. В то же время, если апелляция отвергнута Национальным Духовным Собранием, недопустимо отказывать верующему в просьбе обратиться ко Всемирному Дому Справедливости, равно как и ставить преграды на его пути". (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States, July 17, 1979) (Из письма от имени Всемирного Дома Справедливости к Национальному Духовному Собранию Соединенных Штатов, 17 июля 1979) 223. Committees Should Take Up Their Problems with the National Spiritual Assembly 223. Комитеты должны рассматривать свои проблемы совместно с Национальным Духовным Собранием "Committees should first take up their problems with the National Spiritual Assembly and seek to solve them satisfactorily; if they are dissatisfied they have the right to appeal to the Guardian[*] himself. The Guardian will then decide

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whether it is a matter for him to pronounce upon, or if he will refer it back to the National body." "Комитетам следует предварительно рассмотреть и попытаться решить свои проблемы совместно с Национальным Духовным Собранием; если они не удовлетворены исходом дела, они имеют право обратиться непосредственно к Хранителю. Затем уже Хранитель решает, выскажется ли он сам по данному вопросу или вернет дело в национальный орган". (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, March 28, 1943) (Из письма от имени Шоги Эффенди к одному из верующих, 28 марта 1943) [*] (Now the Universal House of Justice) (В настоящее время - ко Всемирному Дому Справедливости) "In the event of a committee member disagreeing with the rest of his fellow-members on a particular issue, he has no right to appeal to the Assembly, but must follow the majority." "В случае если член комитета несогласен с товарищами по конкретному вопросу, он не имеет права подавать апелляцию в Собрание, а должен следовать решению большинства". (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, November 26, 1938) (Из письма от имени Шоги Эффенди к одному из верующих, 26 ноября 1938)

L. By-Laws L. Уставы 224. Purpose of By-Laws 224. Назначение устава "the purpose of the By-Laws is to clarify and strengthen the administrative legal functions of a Bahá'í community." "Назначение устава - разъяснить и укрепить законные административные функции общины Бахаи". (From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States, July 5, 1950: Bahá'í News, No. 236, October 1950, pp. 2-3) (Из письма от имени Хранителя к Национальному Духовному Собранию Соединенных Штатов, 5 июля 1950) 225. A Baby Can be Considered a Bahá'í -- Declaration Age 15 For Protection 225. Ребенок также может считаться Бахаи "... As a believer of 15 cannot vote he (Shoghi Effendi) sees no reason for including a statement regarding the age of 15 in the By- Laws. A baby can be considered a Baha'i; 15 is merely the age of maturity for fasting, marriage, etc., and in the case of America, a declaration at that age is invited from the youth in order to protect them, at a future date, from being forced to do active military service." "... поскольку верующий в возрасте пятнадцати лет не может голосовать, он (Шоги Эффенди) не видит основания для того, чтобы включать пункт, касающийся возраста, в Устав. Пятнадцать лет это не более чем возраст, когда человек достигает определенной зрелости для соблюдения постов, вступления в брак и т.д., в случае же с Америкой декларация возраста нужна молодому человеку для того, чтобы в будущем оградить его от принудительного несения военной службы". (Ibid) (Там же) 226. New York Version of By-Laws More Correct 226. Нью-йоркский вариант устава '... The original New York By-Laws are more correct, because they differentiate clearly between all members of the Community and voting members who are 21 years of age or more. In other words children under 15 are Bahá'ís according to the New York version, which is correct, but according to your version only people over 15 year are Bahá'ís which is not correct... The declaration of faith by children when they reach the age of 15 in the United States is in order to enable the American Youth to apply for exemption, under the American laws, from active military service. It has no other purpose, but in that country is expedient. It is not necessary to add such a clause to your By-Laws. "... Нью-йоркский вариант устава следует считать более правильным, поскольку он проводит черту между всеми членами общины и голосующими, которые достигли возраста 21 года или более. Иными словами, по Нью-йоркскому варианту дети младше 15 лет также считаются Бахаи, и это правильно, в соответствии же с вашим Уставом Бахаи считаются только дети старше пятнадцати лет, что неверно... В Соединенных Штатах объявление веры по достижении пятнадцати лет дает американской молодежи возможность избежать закона о принудительной военной службе. Не имея другой цели, эта мера в данной стране обусловлена чисто практическими соображениями. Поэтому нет необходимости вносить аналогичный пункт в ваш Устав. "He wishes the essentials to be maintained as per the New York By- Laws, but not amplifies and added to as this will gradually lead, all over the Bahá'í world, to a steady addition of unessential rules and restrict the freedom and plasticity of the Cause. As he has repeatedly told the American and other National assemblies, it is much better to deal with situations and new requirements as they arise, and not to have it all down in black and with and rigid before hand." Он хочет, чтобы вы приняли основные положения нью-йоркского Устава, но не расширяли бы текст чрезмерно, что в конечном счете может привести - во всем мире Бахаи - к постепенному прибавлению несущественных правил, будет сковывать Дело и ограничит свободу его развития. Как он уже многократно заявлял Американскому Национальному Собранию и прочим, будет немного лучше, если вы обратитесь непосредственно к возникающим в практике ситуациям и новым требованиям, которые выдвигает жизнь, чем попытаетесь заранее изложить все на бумаге в виде некоего незыблемого кодекса". (From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to the National Spiritual Assembly of Australia and New Zealand, August 22, 1949: Letters from the Guardian to Australia and New Zealand, p. 77) (Из письма от имени Хранителя к Национальному Духовному Собранию Австралии и Новой Зеландии, 22 августа 1949) 227. Matter of Belief in Bahá'u'lláh Not of Availability for Participation 227. Основное - не пригодность к работе, а вера в Бахауллу "... all declarants of the age of 15 years or older who qualify are accepted by your

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Assembly under the provision of your By-Laws are Bahá'ís and should be so registered in local communities, or in your National office. It is a matter of declaration of belief in Bahá'u'lláh and not necessarily of availability for participation with fellow believers in their community activities." "... все достигшие пятнадцати лет и старше, принятые в ряды Веры в соответствии с Уставом вашего Собрания считается Бахаи и должны быть зарегистрированы в местной общине или в вашей национальной Канцелярии. Таким образом они, прежде всего, заявляют о своей вере в Бахауллу, и это никак не связано с их пригодностью к участию в деятельности общины вместе с остальными верующими". (From a letter of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States, May 18, 1967:National Bahá'í Review, February, 1968, No.2, p. 3) (Из письма Всемирного Дома Справедливости к Национальному Духовному Собранию Штатов, 18 мая 1987) 228. The National Spiritual Assembly must Defend and Uphold Provisions of By-Laws and Declaration of Trust 228. Национальное Духовное Собрание должно защищать и поддерживать положения Устава и Декларации Доверия "... The National Assembly... must at all times vigilantly uphold, defend, justify and enforce the provisions of the Declaration of Trust and By-Laws which are binding on the Convention no less than on themselves. The National Spiritual Assembly has the right to lay down, enforce and interpret the National Constitution of the Bahá'ís in that land. It cannot, if it wishes to remain faithful to that Constitution, lay down any regulations, however secondary in character, that would in the least hamper the unrestricted liberty of the delegates to advise and elect those whom they feel best combine the necessary qualifications for membership of so exalted a body. "... Национальное Собрание... должно всегда бдительно защищать, укреплять и поддерживать положения Уставов и Декларацию Доверия, которые так же непосредственно относятся к Съезду, как и к нему самому. Национальное Духовное Собрание имеет право вырабатывать, укреплять и толковать Национальный Устав Бахаи в данной стране. Но оно не может, если хочет при этом оставаться верным Уставу, вносить в него какие бы то ни было, пусть даже второстепенные и незначительные, положения, которые хотя бы малейшим образом сковывали неограниченную свободу делегатов - избирать тех, кто, как им кажется, наилучшим образом сочетает качества, необходимые члену столь возвышенного органа". (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United States and Canada, August 18, 1933) (Из письма от имени Шоги Эффенди к Национальному Духовному Собранию Соединенных Штатов, 18 августа 1933) 229. International Uniformity in the Essentials Is to be Manifested 229. В основных вопросах единообразие должно поддерживаться на международном уровне "The Guardian is striving to build up uniformity in essentials all over the Bahá'í World, and this frequently involves a small measure of delay in achieving our various goals set locally. But he considers it sufficiently important to warrant the sacrifices it sometimes involves. "Хранитель стремится поддерживать единообразие в основных вопросах во всем мире Бахаи, и это часто приводит к задержкам в осуществлении задач местного масштаба. Но он считает этот момент настолько важным, чтобы время от времени жертвовать ради него чем-либо. "In this connection he would like to mention your Local By-Laws: He feels that they should conform much more closely to the original one of the New York Assembly. What is absolutely essential was incorporated in those, and all other Local Assemblies being incorporated should follow this pattern as closely as local legal technicalities permit. This again is in order to maintain international uniformity in essentials. It is not a question here of whether the By-Laws drawn up by your Legal Committee are not more up-to-date and do not represent the last word, undoubtedly they are and do, but if every country, when drawing up its local By-Laws, continues this process of elaboration, in the end uniformity will be lost. the Eastern Assemblies have adhered to the original by-Laws so carefully that they have practically translated them word for word and adopted them." В этой связи он хотел бы упомянуть о местных Уставах: он полагает, что они должны быть как можно более тесно увязаны с вариантом нью-йоркского Собрания. Он включает в себя то, что является абсолютно существенным, и всем Местным Собраниям следует придерживаться этого образца, насколько позволяют местные юридические условия. Это также делается с целью поддержания международного единообразия. Речь здесь идет не о том, что разработанный вашим Собранием Устав недостаточно современен и не отвечает последним требованиям - все это, безусловно, так, однако, если каждая страна будет без конца трудиться над разработкой все новых Уставов, единообразие неизбежно утратится. Восточные Собрания столь близко придерживались оригинального текста Устава, что скрупулезно, слово за слово перевели его и приняли этот текст". (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the National Spiritual Assembly of Australia and New Zealand, December 30, 1948) (Из письма от имени Шоги Эффенди к Национальному Духовному Собранию Австралии и Новой Зеландии, 30 декабря 1948) 230. Decisions of Local and National Assemblies Subject to Review by Higher Body 230. Решения Местных и Национальных Собраний могут подлежать пересмотру в высших Органах "... Mr... explained that it was felt that there is a seeming contradiction between the right of appeal to the Universal House of justice and the right of a National Spiritual Assembly to make 'final' decisions on certain matters as stated in the National Bahá'í Constitution. "М-р ... сообщает о том, что, с его точки зрения, существует противоречие между правом подачи апелляции во Всемирный Дом Справедливости и правом Национального Духовного Собрания принимать "окончательные" решения по тем или иным вопросам, как записано в Национальном Уставе Бахаи. "The House of Justice instructs us to explain that wherever 'final' jurisdiction is given to the Local or National Spiritual Assembly in its constitution there is a balancing provision. For example:

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Дом Справедливости поручил нам объяснить, что, хотя Местное и Национальное Собрание имеют юридическое право выносить "окончательные" решения, текст устава содержит дополнительное, компенсирующее положение, а именно: "Article IV of the Local Assembly By-Laws states: 'while retaining the sacred right of final decision in all matters pertaining to the Bahá'í community, the Spiritual Assembly shall ever seek the advice and consultation of all members of the community, keep the community informed of all its affairs, and invite full and free discussion on the part of the community in all matters affecting the Faith.' Yet, Article III of those same local By-Laws states: Статья IV Устава Местного Собрания гласит: "... пользуясь священным правом принятия окончательных решений по всем вопросам, касающимся общины Бахаи, Духовное Собрание должно постоянно искать совета и поддержки у всех членов общины, извещать общину о всех своих делах, приглашать ее членов к свободной и широкой дискуссии по всем вопросам, связанным с Верой". В статье III того же Устава Местного Собрания говорится: "The Spiritual Assembly, however, shall recognize the authority and right of the National Spiritual Assembly to declare at any time what activities and affairs of the Bahá'í community of... are national in scope and hence subject to the jurisdiction of the National Assembly." And in Article II is stated: '... the Spiritual Assembly shall act in conformity with the functions of a Local Spiritual Assembly as defined in the by-Laws adopted by the National Spiritual Assembly... " "Тем не менее Духовное Собрание должно признавать власть и авторитет Национального Духовного Собрания, которое в любое время может объявить то или иное мероприятие общины Бахаи вопросом национального масштаба, а следовательно, подлежащим юрисдикции Национального Собрания". Статья II гласит: "... Духовное Собрание должно действовать в согласии с функциями Местного Духовного Собрания, определенными Уставом, принятым Национальным Духовным Собранием". "With respect to those articles that accord final jurisdiction to the National Spiritual Assembly, there is the over-riding provision of Article IX of the National By-Laws: 'Where the National Spiritual Assembly has been given in these By-Laws exclusive and final jurisdiction, and paramount executive authority, in all matter pertaining to the activities and affairs of the Bahá'í Cause in ..., it is understood that any decision made or action taken upon such matters shall be subject in every instance to ultimate review and approval by the Universal House of Justice.' Однако помимо статей, отводящих право на принятие окончательного решения Национальному Духовному Собранию, статья IX Национального Устава содержит следующее положение: "Хотя Устав наделяет Национальное Духовное Собрание исключительным правом принятия окончательных решений, а также огромной исполнительной властью, само собой разумеется, что все, что так или иначе касается функционирования Дела Бахаи, любое действие или решение могут быть подвергнуты пересмотру Всемирным Домом Справедливости". "It is clear, therefore, that the word 'final' is not used in an absolute sense. It is, rather, and indication of the principle enunciated by Abdu'l-Bahá that the believers should whole-heartedly and loyally support their assemblies and abide by their decisions, even if they see them to be in error. At the same time, the Assemblies have the duty to lovingly and frankly consult with those who are under their jurisdiction and, if a believer (or Local Assembly) feels that a serious injustice is being committed or the interest of the Faith are being adversely affected, he has the right of appeal. When an appeal is made, the assembly whose decision is being questioned should lovingly collaborate in the process and join with the appellant in submitting all relevant information to the higher body for decision. Таким образом, ясно, что слово "окончательный" в данном случае следует понимать относительно. Это, скорее, указание на провозглашенный еще Абдул-Баха принцип: все верующие должны беззаветно и преданно поддерживать свое Собрание и повиноваться его решениям, даже если они кажутся ошибочными. В то же время Собрания обязаны с любовью и открыто советоваться с лицами, подлежащими их юрисдикции, и, если верующий (или Местное Собрание) полагают, что была допущена серьезная несправедливость или нанесен злонамеренный ущерб Вере, он имеет право подать апелляцию. После подачи апелляции Собрание, чье решение оспаривается, должно, в дружеском сотрудничестве с апеллирующим, собрать соответствующую информацию и представить ее в высший орган для принятия решения. "The whole matter of appeals is clearly summarized in Articles VII and VIII of the By-Laws of the Universal House of Justice." Вся информация, связанная с подачей аппеляций, ясно и полно изложена в статьях VII и VIII Устава Всемирного Дома Справедливости". (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Spain, March 24, 1982) (Из писем от имени Всемирного Дома Справедливости к Национальному Духовному Собранию Испании, 24 марта 1982) 231. Incorporation Is Not necessarily Lost be the Temporary Dissolution of the Local Spiritual Assembly 231. При временном роспуске Местного Собрания оно сохраняет юридический статус "The problem posed by an Assembly's being incorporated varies from country to country with differences in the civil law. However, the House of Justice asks us to draw to your attention that in many countries it is only changes in the membership or officers of an incorporated body that have to be reported to the authorities and therefore it is not always necessary to report the full membership each year. There have even been instances where an Assembly has had to be dissolved for a period but the corporation continued to exist as far as the civil as was concerned." "Проблема, связанная с юридическим статусом Собрания, меняется в зависимости от изменения гражданского законодательства в разных странах. Тем не менее Дом Справедливости просит нас обратить ваше внимание на то, что до сведения властей следует доводить лишь изменения в составе должностных лиц узаконенного органа, поэтому нет необходимости подавать полный список каждый год. Бывали случаи, когда Собрание распускалось на определенное время, однако легальный статус продолжал существовать насколько того требовали гражданские законы страны". (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Canada, July 22, 1981)

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(Из письма от имени Всемирного Дома Справедливости к Национальному Духовному Собранию Канады, 22 июля 1981)

M. New Believer M. Новые верующие 232. The Cause of God has Room for All 232. В Деле Божьем найдется место всем The Cause of God has room for all. It would, indeed, not be the Cause of God if it did not take in and welcome everyone -- poor and rich, educated, and ignorant, the unknown and the prominent -- God surely wants them all, as He created them all." "В Деле Божием найдется место всем. Поистине, оно не было бы Делом Божиим, если не принимало, не привечало бы каждого - равно богатого и бедного, ученого и невежду, человека выдающегося и безвестного; все они желанны для Господа, ибо Он сотворил их". (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to two individual believers, December 2, 1942: The Individual and Teaching, p. 25) (Из письма от имени Шоги Эффенди к одному из верующих, 10 декабря 1942) 233. 'Abdu'l-Bahá'í Example 233. Пример Абдул-Баха - терпеливо воспитывать новых верующих "... Let him remember the example set by 'Abdu'l-Bahá, and his constant admonition to shower such kindness upon the seeker, and exemplify to such a degree the spirit of the teachings he hopes to instill into him, that the recipient will be spontaneously impelled to identify himself with the Cause embodying such teachings. Let him refrain, at the outset from insisting on such laws and observances as might impose too severe a strain on the seeker's newly-awakened faith, and endeavor to nurse him, patiently, tactfully, and yet determinedly, into full maturity, and aid him to proclaim his unqualified acceptance of whatever has been ordained by Bahá'u'lláh. Let him, as soon as that stage has been attained, introduce him to the body of his fellow-believers, and seek, through constant fellowship and active participation in the local activities of his community... Let him not be content until he has infused into his spiritual child so deep a longing as to impel him to arise independently, in his turn, and devote his energies to the quickening of other souls, and the upholding of the laws and principles laid down by his newly-adopted Faith." "... напомните ему о примере, который дал Абдул-Баха, и о Его постоянных советах и наставлениях - утолять душу жаждущего потоками доброты, расширять дух воспитываемого в нем учения до такой степени, чтобы человек непроизвольно стремился отождествить себя с Делом, воплощающим это учение. Пусть он воздерживается от того, чтобы настаивать на соблюдении законов и заповедей, которые могут оказаться слишком суровой уздой для еще неокрепшей, юной веры, пусть терпеливо, тактично и в то же время решительно воспитывает его, помогая ему достичь зрелости и безоговорочно принять заповеданное Бахауллой. Как только достигнет этой ступени, его следует познакомить с собратьями по Вере и побуждать к постоянному участию в деятельности местной общины... Пусть воспитывает его не покладая рук до тех пор, пока его духовное дитя, испытывая непреоборимое внутреннее побуждение, не восстанет, чтобы, в свой черед, отдавать все свои силы пробуждению других душ, поддержке законов и принципов, заложенных в принятой им Вере". (Shoghi Effendi: Advent of Divine Justice, p. 52) (Шоги Эффенди. "Пришествие Божественной Справедливости", с. 52) 234. The Two Extremes in Bringing in New Bahá'ís 234. Две крайности "The believers must discriminate between the two extremes of bringing people into the Cause before they have fully grasped its fundamentals and making it too hard for them, expecting too much of them, before they accept them. This requires truly keen judgement, as it is unfair to people to allow them to embrace a movement the true meaning of which they have not fully grasped. It is equally unfair to expect them to be perfect Bahá'ís before they can enter the Faith. Many teaching problems arise out of these two extremes." "Верующие должны избегать двух крайностей: не принимать людей в ряды сторонников Дела, прежде чем они полностью не уразумеют его основные положения, и, во-вторых, не ждать, не требовать от них слишком многого, прежде чем они примут его. Здесь требуется крайне глубокое суждение, и несправедливо позволять людям вливаться в движение, смысл которого им до конца неясен. Так же несправедливо - требовать, чтобы они были безупречными Бахаи, до того как вступят в Веру. Многие учительские проблемы непосредственно вытекают из этих двух крайностей". (From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to an individual believer, November 22, 1941: Bahá'í News, No. 241, p. 2, March 19510 (Из письма от имени Хранителя к одному из верующих, 22 ноября 1941) 235. No Obstacles Should be Placed Before Any Soul 135. Не следует воздвигать препятствий на пути человеческом "No obstacle should be placed before any soul which might prevent it from finding the truth. Bahá'u'lláh revealed His directions, teachings and laws, so that souls might know God, and not that any utterance might become an obstacle in their way. "Не следует воздвигать на пути человеческом препятствия, которые могли бы помешать ему обрести истину. Бахаулла явил Свои наставления, учения и законы затем, чтобы каждое существо могло узнать Бога, а не затем, чтобы снова затрудняли путь к Нему". ('Abdu'l-Bahá in The Holy Land answers questions of Dr. Edward C. Getsinger in 1915: Star of The West, Vol. 6, p.43) (Абдул-Баха в Святой Земле отвечает на вопросы д-ра Эдварда К.Гетсингера, 1915) 236. Enrollments, New -- Those Responsible for 236. Списки новых верующих "... Therefore, those responsible for accepting new enrollments must just be sure

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of one thing -- that the heart of the applicant has been touched with the spirit of the Faith. Everything also can be built on this foundation gradually." "... таким образом, лица, отвечающие за составление новых списков должны быть уверены, прежде всего, в том, что подавший заявление до глубины души проникся духом Веры. На таком основании можно постепенно построить в дальнейшем и все остальное". (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the National Spiritual Assembly of Central and East Africa, August 8, 1957: A Special Measure of Love, p. 21) (Из письма от имени Шоги Эффенди к Национальному Духовному Собранию Центральной и Восточной Африки, 8 августа 1957) 237. The Process of Becoming a Bahá'í Is an Evolutionary One 237. Становление Бахаи - эволюционный процесс "the Guardian fully shares your view that it would be most unwise, and unfair to those who apply for membership in the Community to require that they should at first accept all the laws of the Faith. Such a requirement would be impossible to carry out as there are many laws in the 'Aqdas' with which even the well-confirmed and long-standing believers are not yet familiar. As you rightly point out the process of becoming a Bahá'í is an evolutionary one, and requires considerable time, and sustained effort on the part of the new believer. Such questions as the withdrawal from Church membership and that of abstention from alcoholic liquors should not be thrust upon the newcomer, but explained to him gradually, so that he himself may be convinced of the truth underlying these ordinances of the Cause." "Хранитель полностью разделяет Вашу точку зрения относительно того, что было бы крайне неблагоразумно и несправедливо по отношению к людям, изъявившим желание вступить в Общину, требовать, чтобы они приняли все законы Веры. Подобное требование немыслимо, так как в Акдасе существует множество законов, с которыми незнакомы даже хорошо себя зарекомендовавшие и вполне сведущие верующие. Вы совершенно справедливо указываете, что становление Бахаи это эволюционный процесс, требующий определенного времени и неослабных усилий со стороны нового верующего. Так, необходимость выхода из церковных общин или воздержание от употребления алкогольных напитков не следует сразу, силой навязывать новым верующим, постепенно объясняя им суть дела, подводя к мысли об истине, лежащей в основе этих заповедей". (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, February 17, 1938) (Из письма от имени Шоги Эффенди к одному из верующих, 17 февраля 1938) 238. Admittance Into the Faith 238. Принятие в ряды Веры - основные предварительные требования "Indeed, the essential pre-requisites of admittance into the Bahá'í fold of Jews, Zoroastrians, Hindus, Buddhists, and the followers of other ancient Faiths, as well as of agnostics and even atheists, is the whole-hearted and unqualified acceptance by them all of the Divine origin of both Islam and Christianity, of the prophetic functions of both Muhammad and Jesus Christ, of the legitimacy of the institution of the Imamate, and of the primacy of St. Peter, the Prince of the Apostles. Such are the central, the solid, the incontrovertible principles that constitute the bedrock of Bahá'í belief which the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh is proud to acknowledge, which its teachers proclaim, which is apologists defend, which its literature disseminates, which its summer schools expound, and which the rank and file of its followers attest by both word and deed." "Основным предварительным условием вступления в Веру Бахаи представителей иудаизма, зороастризма, индуизма, буддизма, и также последователей других древних религий, равно агностиков и даже атеистов, является чистосердечное и безоговорочное признание ими Божественного происхождения Ислама и Христианства, пророческой миссии Мухаммада и Иисуса Христа, законность имамата, а также первенства Св. Петра - князя апостолов. Таковы главные, прочные, неопровержимые принципы, составляющие краеугольный камень веры Бахаи, которую с гордостью признает Веры Бахауллы, которую провозглашают ее учителя, защищают ее апологеты, распространяет ее литература, которой учат в летних школах и которую ее рядовых последователи подкрепляют словом и делом". (Shoghi Effendi: The Promised Day is Come, p. 114) (Шоги Эффенди. "Обетованный день настал", с. 114) 239. On Becoming a Bahá'í 239. Когда человек становится Бахаи "When a person becomes a Baha'i, he gives up the past only in the sense that he is a part of this new and living Faith of god, and must seek to pattern himself, in act and thought, along the lines laid down by Bahá'u'lláh. The fact that he is by origin a Jew or a Christian, a black man or a white man, is to important anymore, but, as you say, lends color and charm to the Bahá'í community in that it demonstrates unity in diversity." "Когда человек становится бахаи, он отказывается от своего прошлого только в том смысле, что отныне он - часть новой, живой Веры Божией и должен стараться приспособить свои мысли и поступки к принципам, определенным Бахауллой. Тот факт, что по происхождению своему он еврей или христианин, представитель черной или белой расы, больше не имеет значения, но, как вы пишете, придает Общине Бахаи особый колорит и обаяние, демонстрируя единство в разнообразии". (From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to an individual believer, March 12, 1949: Bahá'í News, No.251, p. 2, January 1952) (Из письма от имени Хранителя к одному из верующих, 20 марта 1949) 240. Warning to Every Beginner in the Faith 240. Предупреждения начинающим "I consider it my duty to warn every beginner in the faith that the promised glories of the Sovereignty which the Bahá'í teachings fore-shadow, can be revealed only in the fulness of time, that the implications of the Aqdas and the Will of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, as the twin repositories or the constituent elements of that Sovereignty, are too for-reaching for this generation to grasp and fully appreciate.

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I cannot refrain from appealing to them who stand identified with the Faith to disregard the prevailing notions and the fleeting fashions of the day, and to realize as never before that the exploded theories and the tottering institutions of present-day civilization must needs appear in sharp contrast with those God- given institutions which are destined to arise upon their ruin." "Я считаю своей обязанностью предупредить каждого, кто недавно связал свою жизнь с Верой Бахаи, что обетованная слава Владычества, которую предсказывает учение Бахаи, явится лишь в конце времен, что требования, заложенные в Акдасе и Воле Учителя - двух вместилищах основных элементов Владычества, настоящее поколение еще не в силах в полной мере понять и оценить. Чувствую необходимость призвать всех, кто ощущает себя единым целым с Верой, отрешиться от расхожих понятий и взглядов, от преходящей моды дня, как никогда ясно понять, что изжившие себя теории, неустойчивые институты современной цивилизации по необходимости находятся в резком противоречии с Богоданными институтами, которым суждено быть воздвигнутым на их обломках". (Shoghi Effendi: The World Order of Bahá'u'lláh: p. 16) (Шоги Эффенди. "Миропорядок Бахауллы", с. 16) 241. Not Sufficient to Accept Some Aspects of Teachings and Reject Others 241. Недостаточно принимать лишь части аспектов учения '... The believer, and particularly those who have not had sufficient experience in teachings, should be very careful in the way they present the teachings of the Cause. Sincerity, devotion and faith are not the sole conditions of successful teaching. Tactfulness, extreme caution and wisdom are equally important. we should not be in a hurry when we announce the message to the public and we should be careful to present the teachings in their entirety and not to alter them for the sake of others. Allegiance to the Faith cannot be partial and half-heated. Either we should accept the Cause without any qualification whatever, or cease calling ourselves Baha'is. The non-believers should be made to realize that it is not sufficient for them to accept some aspect of the teachings and reject those not sufficient for them to accept some aspects of the teachings and reject those which cannot suit their mentality in order to become fully-recognized and active followers of the Faith. In this way all sorts of misunderstanding will vanish and the organic unity of the Cause will be preserved." "... верующие, особенно не имеющие достаточного опыта учительской работы, должны быть крайне осторожны, когда берутся учить Делу. Искренность, преданность, вера - не единственные условия успешной работы. Не менее важны здесь такт, крайняя осторожность, мудрость и осмотрительность. Когда мы возвещаем послание перед аудиторией, мы не должны привносить никакой спешки и быть очень осторожны, стараясь представить учение во всей его полноте, не приспосабливая к вкусам и интересам публики. Нельзя быть приверженным Вере наполовину. Мы либо безоговорочно принимаем Дело, либо утрачиваем право называть себя Бахаи. Неверующие должны осознать, что для того, чтобы стать активными и полноправными последователями Веры, им недостаточно принять лишь часть аспектов учения, отвергнув другие, почему-либо им чуждые. Только при таком подходе все недоразумения окончательно рассеются и органическое единство Дела будет сохранено". (From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to an individual believer, June 12, 1933: Bahá'í News, No. 80, p.5, January 1934) (Из письма от имени Хранителя к одному из верующих, 12 июня 1933) 242. When Enrolling New Believers, must be Wise and Gentle 242. Занося новых верующих в списки, надо проявлять мягкость и осмотрительность "When enrolling new believers, we must be wise and gentle, and not place so many obstacles in their way that they feel it impossible to accept the Faith. On the other hand, once accorded membership in the Community of the followers of Bahá'u'lláh, it must be brought home to them that they are expected to live up to His Teachings, and to show forth the signs of a noble character in conformity with His Laws. This can often be done gradually, after the new believer is enrolled." "Занося в списки новых верующих, мы должны проявлять мягкость и осмотрительность, не возводить на их пути излишние препятствия, чтобы воссоединение с Верой не показалось им невозможным. Однако, с другой стороны, как только они становятся членами Общины последователей Бахауллы, им следует разъяснить, что отныне они должны жить по Его Учению, демонстрируя черты возвышенного, благородного характера в согласии с Его законами. Чаще всего это принимает форму постепенного процесса, который начинается после того, как новый верующий заносится в списки". (From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to the British National Spiritual Assembly, June 25, 1953: Teaching the Masses. p.6) (Из письма от имени Хранителя к Национальному Духовному Собранию Великобритании, 25 июля 1953) 243. If Requirements to Enroll Made Too Rigorous, Will Cool Off Initial Enthusiasm 243. Если изначальные требования к новым верующим слишком суровы, это может охладить их энтузиазм "... If we made the requirements too rigorous, we will cool off the initial enthusiasm, rebuff the hearts and cease to expand rapidly. The essential thing is that the candidate for enrollment should believe in his heart in the truth of Bahá'u'lláh. Whether he is literate or illiterate, informed of all Teachings or' not, is beside the point entirely. When the spark of faith exists the essential Message is there, and gradually everything else can be added unto it..." "... если изначальные требования окажутся слишком суровы, мы лишь охладим энтузиазм верующих, отвратим их сердца от Веры, ряды которой перестанут расширяться. Основное и главное - чтобы кандидат душою и сердцем верил в истинность Бахауллы. Обучен ли он грамоте или нет, сведущ ли в Учении - все это не имеет никакого значения. Так где тлеет искра Веры, там и Весть, остальное постепенно приложится..." (From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to the National Spiritual Assembly of South and West Africa, July 9, 1957: Teaching the Masses, p. 12) (Из письма от имени Хранителя к Национальному Духовному Собранию Южной и Западной Африки, 9 июля 1957) 244. A Bahá'í must be Wholly a Baha'i; Must Not be Insular 244. Бахаи должен быть бахаи по самой сути своей, при этом ни в коем случае - не оторванным от жизни "... the very essence of the reason a person has accepted Bahá'u'lláh is that he has decided this way alone is the solution to the absolutely hopeless problems facing humanity. A Bahá'í must be wholly a Baha'i, concentrate in the work of

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the Cause, and put aside from his mind the distracting influence that scream at him from every newspaper these days. Naturally, this does not mean he must be insular, it means he must concentrate more consciously on doing the work of the Cause!" "... первейшая причины того, почему человек принимает Бахауллу, состоит в том, что он понимает - это единственный Путь разрешения безнадежного клубка противоречий, с которым столкнулось человечество. Бахаи должен быть бахаи по самой сути своей, сосредоточиться на работе Дела, стараться не обращать внимания на газетную шумиху, которая то и дело отвлекает его в наши дни. Естественно, из этого не следует, что он должен быть оторванным от жизни; это значит лишь, что он должен еще более сознательно сосредоточить все свои усилия на работе во имя Дела!" (From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States, November 23, 1951: United States Supplement to Bahá'í News, No.82, p.5, December 1964) (Из письма от имени Хранителя к Национальному Духовному Собранию Соединенных Штатов, 23 ноября 1951) 245. A True Bahá'í Should Justify his Claim to be a Bahá'í 245. Истинный Бахаи должен подтвердить свои притязания "They should justify their claim to be Bahá'ís by deeds and not by name... "Не на словах, а на деле следует им подтверждать истинность своих притязаний... "He is a true Bahá'í who strives by day and by night to progress along the path of human endeavor, whose cherished desire is so to live and act as to enrich and illumine the world; whose source of inspiration is the essence of Divine Perfection, whose aim in life is to conduct himself so as to be the cause of infinite progress. Only when he attains unto such perfect gifts can it be said of him that he is a Baha'i." Лишь тот может считать себя истинным бахаи, кто денно и нощно стремится отдавать прогрессу все свои силы, чья заветная мечта - жить и действовать так, чтобы обогащать и озарять мир; кто черпает вдохновение в Божественном Совершенстве, чья цель в жизни - вести себя так, чтобы стать источником бесконечного прогресса. Лишь овладев этими совершенными дарами, он может называть себя бахаи". ('Abdu'l-Bahá: Bahá'í Revelation, p. 285) (Абдул-Баха. "Откровение Бахаи", с. 285) 246. The Primary Reason for Becoming a Bahá'í 246. Основная причина, почему человек становится Бахаи "The primary reason for anyone becoming a Bahá'í must of course be because he has come to believe the doctrines, the teachings and the Order of Bahá'u'lláh are the correct thing for this stage in the world's evolution. the Bahá'ís themselves as a body have one great advantage; they are sincerely convinced Bahá'u'lláh is right; they have a plan, and they are trying to follow it. But to pretend they are perfect, that the Bahá'ís of the future will not be a hundred times more mature, better balanced, more exemplary in their conduct, would be foolish." "Разумеется, основная причина того, почему человек становится бахаи, заключается в том, что он осознает, что учение и Порядок Бахауллы - самая великая истина на современном этапе развития человечества. Сами бахаи, как единый организм, имеют одно несомненное преимущество: во-первых, они искренне убеждены в правоте Бахауллы, во-вторых, у них есть план, и они стараются следовать ему. Но неразумно, когда они начинают претендовать на совершенство, хотя очевидно, что бахаи будущего будут в сотни раз более зрелыми, более гармоничными, более образцовыми в своем поведении". (From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to an individual believer, July 5, 1947: Teaching Work Among the Masses, p. 2) (Из письма от имени Хранителя к одному из верующих, 5 июля 1947) 247. Ploughing Up the Soil of the Heart 247. Возделывайте ниву сердец человеческих "When a person becomes a Baha'i, actually what takes place is that the seed of the spirit starts to grow in the human soul. This seed must be watered by the outpourings of the Holy Spirit. These gifts of the spirit are received through prayer, meditation, study of the Holy Utterances and service to the Cause of God. The fact of the matter is that service in the Cause is like the plough which ploughs the physical soil when seeds are sown. It is necessary that the soil be ploughed up, so that it can be enriched, and thus cause a stronger growth of the seed. In exactly the same way the evolution of the spirit takes place through ploughing up the soil of the heart so that it is a constant reflection of the Holy Spirit. In this way the human spirit grows and develops by leaps and bounds. "Когда человек становится бахаи, в его душе начинает прорастать зерно духовности. Росток этот следует орошать водами Святого Духа. Дары духовности обретаются в молитве, размышлении, изучении Священных Изречений и служении Делу Божию. По сути, служение Делу подобно плугу, взрыхляющему землю перед посевом. Необходимо, чтобы земля была хорошо вспахана и готова принять зерно. Точно так же и духовное развитие достигается возделыванием нивы сердца в непрестанном созерцании Святого Духа. Так стремительно растет и развивается дух человеческий. "Naturally there will be periods of distress and difficulty, and even severe test.; but if that person turns firmly towards the Divine Manifestation, studies carefully His Spiritual teachings and receives the blessings of the Holy Spirit, he will find that in reality these tests and difficulties have been the gifts of God to enable him to grow and develop." Разумеется, человек может впадать в уныние, переживать периоды трудностей и суровых испытаний; но если человек твердо обратился к Божественному Явлению, заботливо изучает Его Духовное учение и осенен благодатью Святого Духа, то он поймет, что в действительности все эти трудности и испытания были ниспосланы Богом, чтобы помочь ему развиваться и расти". (From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to an individual believer, October 6, 1954: Living the Life, pp. 18-19) (Из письма от имени Хранителя к одному из верующих, 6 октября 1954) 248. New Believers Must Not be Left to Their Own Devices 248. Новых верующих нельзя бросать на произвол судьбы "After declaration, the new believers must not be left to their own devices.

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Through correspondence and dispatch of visitors, through conference and training courses, these friends must be patiently strengthened and lovingly helped to develop into full Bahá'í maturity. The beloved Guardian referring to the duties of Bahá'í Assemblies in assisting the newly declared believer has written: '... the members of each and every Assembly should endeavor, their love, their tact and wisdom, to nurse, subsequent to his admission, the newcomer into Bahá'í maturity, and win him over gradually to the unreserved acceptance of whatever has been ordained in the Teachings." "После объявления Веры новых верующих нельзя бросать на произвол судьбы. Переписка и встречи, конференции и учебные курсы - все это должно быть направлено на то, чтобы терпеливо укреплять друзей, с любовью помогать им достичь зрелости. Касаясь обязанностей Собраний Бахаи по оказанию поддержки и помощи новым верующим, возлюбленный Хранитель присал: "... все без исключения члены Собраний должны прилагать максимум усилий, чтобы тактично и осмотрительно, терпеливо и с любовью, используя все возможные средства, помогать новым верующим достичь зрелости и постепенно подвести их к безоговорочному принятию заповеданного в Учении". (From a letter written by the Universal House of Justice to all National Spiritual Assemblies, July 13, 1964: Wellspring of Guidance, pp.32-33) (Из письма Всемирного Дома Справедливости ко всем Национальным Духовным Собраниям, 13 июля 1964) 249. Deepening the Spiritual Life of the Individual Believers 249. Углубление духовной жизни отдельных верующих "Above all, the duty of deepening the spiritual life of your newly- enrolled co-workers is paramount, for the fate of the entire community depends upon the individual believers. Without the whole- hearted support of each and every one of the friends, ever measure adopted., no matter how well thought out, is fore-doomed to failure. It is the individual believers who must maintain the Local Assemblies, and the centres already won at the cost of such great sacrifice. It is they who must, afire with the love of Bahá'u'lláh, go forth to further broaden the base for administrative activity by forming new Assemblies and implanting the standard of Bahá'u'lláh in new localities; who must arise in response to the call to travel to the remote outposts of the Faith and push back the frontiers; and who must, through our wise and loving guidance, become your collaborators in carrying out your God-given mission." "Углубление духовной жизни ваших новых собратьев имеет поистине огромное значение, поскольку судьба всей общины зависит от отдельных верующих. Не найдя беззаветной поддержки в сердце всех и каждого, любая мера, как бы хорошо она ни была продумана, обречена на провал. Именно каждый отдельный верующий должен поддерживать Местные Собрания и ценой таких жертв утвержденные центры. Эти они должны, с неугасимым пламенем любви к Бахаулле, расширять основу административной деятельности, учреждая новые Собрания и водружая знамя Бахауллы в новых краях; это они должны восстать, откликнувшись на зов, чтобы отправиться на отделенные форпосты Веры, дабы расширить ее границы; это им, под вашим мудрым и любящим руководством предназначено стать вашими сотрудниками в исполнении Богоданной миссии". (From a letter of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States, August 14, 1968: National Bahá'í Review, No. 10 p. 1, 10/68: Messages from the Universal House of Justice, 1968-1973, p. 16) (Из письма Всемирного Дома Справедливости к Национальному Духовному Соединенных Штатов, 14 августа 1848) 250. Assemblies and Committees Must Enable Believers to Carry Forth Message of God 250. Собрания и Комитеты должны помогать верующим распространять Весть Божию "Now that they have erected the administrative machinery of the Cause they must put it to its real use -- serving only as an instrument to facilitate the flow of the spirit of the Faith out in to the world. Just as the muscles enable the body to carry out the will of the individual, all Assemblies and Committees must enable the believers to carry forth the Message of God to the waiting public, the love of Bahá'u'lláh, and the healing laws and principles of the Faith to all men." "Теперь, после того как создан административный механизм Дела, его надо реально использовать, и не только как орудие, с помощью которого можно нести дух Веры в мир. Подобно тому как мышцы тела послушно выполняют волю человека, все Собрания и Комитеты должны помогать верующим нести Весть Божию исстрадавшимся народам, доносить целительные законы и принципы до всех людей". (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, July 6, 1942) (Из письма от имени Шоги Эффенди к одному из верующих, 6 июля 1942) 251. If One Desire to Become a Baha'i, His past Should not be 251. Если человек хочет стать Бахаи, его прошлое не может помешать ему Held Against Him 'The Guardian does not feel that, if a person has approached this Cause and desires to become a Baha'i, and is determined to change his way of life, his past should be held against him. Where would forgiveness be if every prospective Bahá'í was judged by his past! But once a Baha'i, a change of life is expected and hoped for, and the friend must help the people to change." "Хранитель полагает, что если Дело влечет человека, он желает стать Бахаи и решительно изменить свой образ жизни, его прошлое не может быть тому помехой. Где же тогда милосердие и прощение, если судить каждого будущего Бахаи исходя из его прошлых проступков? Но после принятия Веры, человек должен изменить свою жизнь, а друзья - помочь ему в этом". (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, June 29, 1951) (Из письма от имени Шоги Эффенди к одному из верующих, 29 июня 1951) "Also there is no reason why a prisoner should not be accepted as a declared believer on the same basis as anybody else. they are now expiating their crime

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against society and, if their hearts have changed, and they accept the Cause there is not reason why they should be excluded from membership." "Так же нет никаких причин отказывать заключенному или кому-нибудь иному в его просьбе на том же основании. Если даже в данный момент они искупают свою вину перед обществом, но в сердце их произошла перемена и они приняли Дело, нет никакого повода отказывать им в праве состоять в общине". (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the Spiritual Assembly of Honolulu, April 23, 1955) (Из письма от имени Шоги Эффенди к Национальному Духовному Собранию Гонолулу, 23 апреля 1955) 252. Convert advised Not to Become Alienated from Parents 252. Новообращенным не следует порывать с родителями "It made him very happy to know of the recent confirmation of your young Jewish friends, and of her earnest desire to serve and promote the Faith. He will certainly pray on her behalf that she may, not withstanding the opposition of her parents and relatives, increasingly gain in knowledge and in understanding of the Teachings, and become animated with such a zeal as to arise, and bring into the Cause a large number of her former co-religionists. "Он был очень рад узнать о недавнем заявлении вашей молодой подруги-еврейки и об ее искреннем желании служить распространению Веры. Он будет всячески молиться за нее, чтобы она, невзирая на противодействие со стороны родителей и родственников, приобретала все более глубокие знания и понимание Учения, чтобы ее рвение позволило ей восстать и привлечь к Делу возможно большее число своих больших собратьев по вере. "Under not circumstances, however, should she allow her parents to become completely alienated from her, but it is her bounden duty to strive, through patient, continued and loving effort, to win their sympathy for the Faith, and even perhaps, to bring about their confirmation, however deep-rooted their attachment to the Jewish Faith may be." Однако ей ни в коем случае не следует порывать отношений с родителями, напротив, ее священная обязанность - в том, чтобы терпеливо, путем непрестанных любящих усилий, постараться вызвать в них симпатию к Вере и даже, быть может, привлечь их в ее ряды, как бы глубоко ни были они укоренены в своей привязанности к Вере Израилевой". (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, July 6, 1938) (Из письма от имени Шоги Эффенди к одному из верующих, 6 июля 1938) 253. Assembly Should Not Prevent Enrollment of Persons With Questionable Morals 253. Собрание не должно препятствовать вступлению лиц сомнительной нравственности "The young lady in question should be advised by you or the believer with whom she has been studying that the decision as to whether or not she wishes to enroll in the Faith rests with her and her alone. Your Assembly should not prevent her from enrolling should she so decide, but if she does apply for membership in the community, she obviously should understand that she will be expected to conduct herself as a Bahá'í by adjusting her relationship to the man with whom she is presently living. This means that either they must become legally married or she should sever the existing relationship between them. "Вам или верующему, с которым молодая леди, о которой идет речь, в настоящее время занимается, следует подсказать, что решение вопроса о вступлении в ряды Веры зависит исключительно от нее самой. Вашему Собранию не следует препятствовать ей вступить в общину, однако, если она поступит так, то должна дать себе ясный отчет в том, что отныне ей, как бахаи, придется сообразовывать свое поведение с человеком, с которым она в данное время живет. Это, в свою очередь, означает, что ей следует либо законным образом вступить в брак, либо прервать существующие между ними отношения. "Your Local Spiritual Assembly is responsible to guide and assist this young lady... " Ваше Местное Духовное Собрание несет ответственность за эту девушку и обязано оказывать ей всяческую поддержку..." (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to a Local Spiritual Assembly, April 4, 1977) (Из письма от имени Всемирного Дома Справедливости к одному их Местных Духовных Собраний, 4 апреля 1977) 254. May be Occasions When Enrollment must be Postponed 254. В некоторых случаях включение в списки может быть отложено "There may be occasions when an enrollment must be postponed, as in the case of someone holding a political post, unless that person is able and can, in good conscience, resign from such a post immediately. Other cases may permit acceptance but indicate a need for fixing a time when the individual will be required to conform to certain laws, such as membership in the Masonic Order, church, or other ecclesiastical organizations. Still other times an individual may be encouraged to become better acquainted with the spirit, laws, and principles of the Faith before submitting his application. However, the Guardian has cautioned us not to be too rigid in our requirements for accepting new believers or to place hindrances in their way. The question of conforming one's character an the pattern of one's life to the standards of conduct uphold in the Bahá'í way of life is a matter which should be inculcated in the new believer in the course of his spiritual education and deepening." "Могут возникать случаи, когда включение в списки должно быть отложено, как, например, в случае, если лицо занимает политический пост, даже если человек этот способен с чистой совестью немедленно отказаться от этого поста. В других ситуациях он может быть принят, но ему следует поставить на вид, что в течение определенного времени он должен ознакомиться с законами о членстве Бахаи в масонском ордене, в других церквях либо церковных организациях. В иных случаях, прежде чем человек подаст заявление, его следует побудить лучше ознакомиться с духом, законами и принципами Веры. Тем не менее Хранитель неоднократно предупреждал нас не предъявлять слишком суровых требований к новым верующим и не чинить им препятствий. Постепенное примирение характера и образа жизни человека с нормами и стандартами образа жизни бахаи должно складываться постепенно, в процессе все более глубокого духовного образования нового верующего". (Ibid)

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(Там же) 255. Qualifications of a Believer 255. Требования к верующему Regarding the very delicate and complex question of ascertaining the qualifications of a true believer, I cannot in this connection emphasize too strongly the supreme necessity for the exercise of the utmost discretion, caution and tact, whether it be in deciding for ourselves as to who may be regarded as a true believer or in disclosing to the outside world such considerations as may serve as a basis for such a decision. I would only venture to state very briefly and as adequately as present circumstances permit the principal factors that must be taken into consideration before deciding whether a person may be regarded a true believer or not.

'Full recognition of the station of the Forerunner, the Author, and the True Exemplar of the Bahá'í Cause, as set forth in 'Abdu'l-Bahá'í testament; unreserved acceptance of, and submission to, whatsoever has been revealed by their Pen; loyal and steadfast adherence to every clause of our Beloved's sacred Will; and close association with the spirit as well as the form of the present day Bahá'í Administration throughout the world -- these I conceive to be the fundamental and primary considerations that must be fairly, discreetly and thoughtfully ascertained before teaching such a vital decision ... ." "Что касается крайне деликатного и чрезвычайно сложного вопроса о требованиях к истинному верующему, я могу лишь еще раз подчеркнуть необходимость соблюдения величайшей осмотрительности, благоразумия и такта, как в том случае, когда мы сами для себя решаем ли мы сами, кого считать истинным верующим, или так и когда приоткрываем объясняем внешнему миру взглядыте принципы, которые он могужет использовать служить как основуанием для подобного решения. Возьму на себя смелость лишь очень кратко и по возможностинастолько точно, насколько это позволяют нынешние обстоятельства, сформулировать основные факторы, которые следует учитывать, прежде чем решать, является ли данное лицо истинным верующим или нет.

Полное признание положения Предтечи, Творца и Истинного Образца Дела бахаи, как они изложены в Завещании Абдул-Баха; безоговорочное принятие и полное подчинение всему, что было явлено Их Пером; стойкая приверженность каждому положению Завещания нашего Возлюбленного Учителя, равно как и тесная связь с духом и формой современной Администрации бахаи во всем мире - таковы, с моей точки зрения, основные и главные соображенияусловия, которые должны быть беспристрастно и взвешено учтены, прежде чем принимать столь важное и ответственное решение..." (Shoghi Effendi: Bahá'í Administration, p.90) (Шоги Эффенди. "Администрация Бахаи", с. 90) 256. The Process of Acceptance Varies 256. Процесс принятия может проистекать по-разному "The proves by which a new believer reaches this stage of acceptance caries according to his individual capacity. In some societies, for example, must believers must go through all sorts of intellectual processes and re-orientation of their thinking before coming to this acceptance. in a primitive society the new believer may reach this stage of conviction quite easily and directly. The stage of conviction is the important thing, and not the method by which he arrives at this conviction." "Процесс принятия нового верующего может принимать разные формы в зависимости от индивидуальных качеств кандидата. Так, в некоторых обществах верующие, по большей части, должны пройти сквозь разного рода интеллектуальные процессы, изменить ориентацию своего образа мыслей. В примитивных обществах новый верующий может достичь стадии убежденности гораздо проще и непосредственнее. В данном случае прежде всего важна степень убежденности, а не то, каким образом она достигается". (From a letter of the Universal House of Justice to a National Spiritual Assembly, November 9, 1963) (Из письма от имени Всемирного Дома Справедливости к одному из Национальных Духовных Собраний, 9 ноября 1963) 257. Declarants Need Not Know All the Proofs 257. Принимающие Веру не обязаны знать все доказательства "... Those who declare themselves as Bahá'ís should become enchanted with the beauty of the teachings, and touched by the love of Bahá'u'lláh. The declarants need not know all the proofs, history, laws, and principles of the Faith, but in the process of declaring themselves they must in addition to catching the spark of faith, become basically informed about the Central Figures of the Faith, as well as the existence of laws they must follow and an administration they must obey." "... красота Учения заворожит тех, кто назовет себя бахаи, и любовь Бахауллы коснется их сердец. Они могут не знать всех доказательств, истории, законов и принципов Веры, но, открыв в своей душе искру Веры, они должны получить основные сведения об основных Образах Веры, равно как и о существовании законов, которым они должны следовать, и администрации, которой обязаны подчиняться". (From a message from the Universal House of Justice to all National Spiritual Assemblies, July 13, 1964: Teaching the Masses, p. 2) (Из послания Всемирного Дома Справедливости ко всем Национальным Духовным Собраниям, 13 июля 1964) 258. Acceptance of New Believers Left to Discretion of Assembly 258. Принятие новых верующих предоставляется на усмотрение Собрания "As regard the accepting of new believers, it is for the National Spiritual assembly to decide the appropriate procedure to be followed. Naturally, when there is a firmly established Local Spiritual Assembly, as in Bombay, the National Assembly will normally endorse the Local Assembly's decision unless there is a particular reason to query it in any specific case. However,in the case of declaration from an area where there is no local Assembly, or where the Assembly is having difficulty in functioning, the National Spiritual Assembly itself will have to decide whether to accept them, basing its decision on the views of

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such teaching committee, individuals or neighboring local spiritual Assembly, as it may feel necessary. "Что касается принятия новых верующих, Национальному Духовному Собранию предоставляется самому решать, к какой именно процедуре прибегнуть. Естественно, если речь идет о крепком Местном Духовном Собрании, как, например, в Бомбее, Национальное Собрание обычно поддерживает решение Местного Собрания, если не возникает особых спорных случаев, требующих дополнительного выяснения. Однако в тех случаях заявления поступают из мест, где Собрания отсутствуют либо работа их затруднена, Национальное Духовное Собрание само решает вопрос, исходя из точек зрения соответствующих учительских комитетов, отдельных верующих или соседних Местных Духовных Собраний. "We have noted that you have advised that Local Spiritual Assemblies to meet new believers at the time of their enrollment in the Faith. While it would be desirable for new believers to become acquainted with the elected members of their community, this should not be a requirement for acceptance of the new believer in the community. Мы обратили внимание на то, что вы рекомендуете Местным Духовным Собраниям проводить встречи с новыми верующими в процессе их вступления в ряды Веры. Хотя желательно, чтобы новые верующие познакомились с избранными представителями своей общины, это не следует считать необходимым условием принятия новых верующих в общину. "It is entirely within the discretion of your National Assembly to set up proper procedures of enrolling believers in accordance with the requirements of the areas under your jurisdiction, bearing in mind that where there are local Assemblies it would be preferable to enroll new believers in their area of jurisdiction through the local Assembly." Национальное Собрание имеет полное право организовывать процедуру принятия верующих с учетом условий, сложившихся в местности, подлежащей его юрисдикции, постоянно учитывая, однако, что там, где существуют местные Собрания, предпочтительно заносить верующих в списки по участкам, находящимся в юрисдикции Местного Собрания". (Extracts from letters written by the Universal House of Justice on this subject cited in a letter to an individual believer, dated February 28, 1973) (Отрывки из письма Всемирного Дома Справедливости по данному вопросу, приведенные в письме к одному из верующих, 28 февраля 1973) 259. Mental Instability Has no Bearing Upon Acceptance of an Enrollment 259. Психическая неустойчивость не должна влиять на занесение в списки "In response to your letter of 11 March 1981, conveying the question of one of your local spiritual Assemblies about the enrollment of individuals who are mentally incompetent, drug users, alcoholics, etc., the Universal House of Justice asks us to convey the following: "В ответ на ваше письмо от 11 марта 1981, в котором излагается вопрос одного из ваших Местных Духовных Собраний относительно включения в списки людей душевно неуравновешенных, наркоманов, алкоголиков и т.д., Всемирный Дом Справедливости поручил нам довести до вашего сведения следующее: "The acceptance of a person into the Bahá'í community should be based not on whether he is leading an exemplary life, but in whether the Assembly is reasonably certain that he is sincere in this declaration of faith in Bahá'u'lláh and that he knows of the laws which would affect his personal conduct, so that he does not enter the community under a misapprehension. The question of mental instability has no bearing upon the acceptance of an enrollment unless it is of such a nature that it affects the ability of the declarant to judge whether or not he believes in Bahá'u'lláh." То или иное лицо принимается в общину Бахаи не потому, что ведет образцовую жизнь, а потому, что Собрание твердо уверено, что он искренне заявляет о своей вере в Бахауллу и знает влияющие на его личное поведение законы настолько, что вступает в общину сознательно. Психическая неустойчивость не может влиять на занесение в списки, если только она не ставит под вопрос саму способность подающего заявление судить о том, верит ли он в Бахауллу". (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Hawaiian Islands, April 19, 1981) (Из письма от имени Всемирного Дома Справедливости к Национальному Духовному Собранию Гавайских островов, 19 апреля 1981) 260. In These Special Cases, Steps Should be Taken to Deepen their Understanding 260. В особых случаях следует предпринимать шаги к углублению понимания 'Concerning the acceptance into the Faith of individuals who have mental problems or are drug addicts, etc.., the House of Justice instructs us to say that if the Assembly is satisfied that the person is sufficiently in command of his faculties to understand what his declaration of faith implies he may be accepted as a believer. In other words you should apply the normal guidelines of acceptance of new believers. In such cases, however, you may have to ensure that special steps are taken to deepen the understanding of the new Baha'i. A drug addict or alcoholic should, of course, be told that the taking of drugs and alcohol is strictly forbidden in Bahá'í law, and he will have to do whatever is necessary to break himself of the addiction. You may find it necessary and helpful to put him in touch with organization which specialize in helping such cases. If a case is severe you may have to warn the person that if he does not overcome this problem within a reasonable time you may have to consider depriving him of his voting rights." "Касательно принятия Веры людьми с умственными отклонениями, употребляющими наркотики и т.д. Дом Справедливости поручил нам сообщить, что если Собрание считает данное лицо в состоянии в полной мере оценить требования, которые налагает на него подача заявления, он может быть принят. Иными словами в данных случаях вы можете применять обычные методы приема новых верующих. Однако иногда следует удостовериться в принятии особых шагов по углублению понимания среди новых Бахаи. Человеку, склонному к употреблению наркотиков, или наркоману, разумеется, следует объяснить, что применение наркотиков, равно как и употребление алкоголя строго запрещены законом Бахаи и ему следует предпринять все необходимое, чтобы избавиться от зависимости. Если вы сочтете это необходимым и полезным, вы можете направить его в одну из организаций, которые специализируются на подобных случаях. Если случай слишком серьезный, вы можете предупредить, что, если такой-то через определенное время не избавится от своей привычки, он может быть лишен избирательных прав". (From a letter written on behalf of The Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Austria, May 12, 1982)

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(Из письма от имени Всемирного Дома к Национальному Духовному Собранию Австрии, 12 мая 1982) 261. Declaration of Faith Normally Accepted from Those Living in Immoral Situation or from Member of an Organization not Permissible 261. Объявление Веры должно приниматься в том числе и у тех, кто ведет безнравственный образ жизни или состоит в запрещенных организациях In the case of people who accept the Faith while living in a situation which is not morally acceptable, or while being a member of an organization to which it is nor permissible for a Bahá'í to belong, the normal procedure is for the Assembly to accept the declaration of faith so that the new believer may become a member of the Bahá'í community and his newly-born belief in Bahá'u'lláh can be natured, and at the same time for the Assembly to explain that his situation is one that he must change within a reasonable time. If the believer does not rectify his situation as a result of the Assembly's exhortations and assistance, and following due warning when the time limit expires, the Assembly would have to consider depriving him of his administrative rights. It may well be, however that in a particular case, it is preferable to explain the matter to the individual concerned and advise the postponement of the registration of his acceptance of the Faith until such time as he has been able to rectify his situation. This has happened, for example, in some countries where a person who holds a prominent political post has accepted the faith and needs to complete his term of office before being able to withdraw honourable from politics. "В случае, если принимающий Веру человек живет в нравственно неприемлемых условиях или является членом организации, в которой Бахаи не имеет права состоять, Собрание должно придерживаться обычной процедуры - так, чтобы новый верующий мог стать членом общины Бахаи и воспитывался в новообретенной Вере Бахауллы, в то время как Община разъясняла ему, что он должен изменить свое поведение в течение положенного срока. Если по истечении данного срока, после соответствующих предупреждений, увещеваний и помощи со стороны Собрания, ситуация не меняется, Собрание должно лишить данного верующего избирательных прав. Однако в отдельных случаях предпочтительно посоветовать данному лицу отложить свою регистрацию в качестве верующего вплоть до того времени, когда он сможет исправить свое положение. Подобное происходило в некоторых странах, когда человек, занимавший видный политический пост, принимал Веру и ему требовалось завершить свой срок исполнения должности, чтобы с честью уйти из политики". (From a letter on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer, June 18, 1985) (Из письма от имени Всемирного Дома Справедливости к одному из верующих, 18 июня 1985) 262. Children Are Accepted as Bahá'ís Regardless of Age 262. Дети могут считаться бахаи вне зависимости от возраста "... If the non-Bahá'í parents of a youth under fifteen permit their child to be a Bahá'í we have no objection whatsoever from the point of view of our Teachings to permitting Such a youth to declare as a Bahá'í regardless of age. When he declares is faith in Bahá'u'lláh, he will then be accepted in the community and be treated as other Bahá'í children." "... если неверующие родители разрешают своему ребенку, не достигшему возраста пятнадцати лет стать Бахаи, то наше Учение отнюдь не препятствует этому, полагая, что ребенок может стать бахаи независимо от возраста. Если он заявляет о своей вере в Бахауллу, то он становится членом общины и с ним обращаются так же, как и с прочими детьми-бахаи". (From a letter of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of El Salvador, December 14, 1970) (Из письма Всемирного Дома Справедливости к Национальному Духовному Собранию Сальвадора, 14 декабря 1970) 263. Prisoners, Declarations from 263. Объявления Веры среди заключенных "We have your letter of 16 November, 1969 inquiring about the status of Bahá'ís who are imprisoned and whether it is permissible to enroll prisoners who wish to join the Faith. "Мы получили ваше письмо от 16 ноября 1696 касательно статуса Бахаи, отбывающих тюремное заключение, и того, насколько позволительно включать в списки тех заключенных, которые изъявляют желание присоединиться к Вере. "You are free to accept declarations of faith from inmates of a prison, but their participation as voting believer can take place only after they have been discharged from prison. The fact of having been in prison does not deprive a Bahá'í from exercising his voting rights when he is released and there is no need for a probationary period. however if there is some other factor which would indicate to the national Assembly that in a particular case the voting rights should be suspended, the National Assembly may then exercise its discretion." Вы вполне можете принимать заявления Веры от находящихся в тюрьме, однако принимать участие в голосовании как верующие они могут только после освобождения. Сам факт заключения не может стать основанием для лишения Бахаи права голоса после освобождения, также нет необходимости прибегать к испытательному сроку. Однако если имеются привходящие факторы, могущие навести Собрание на мысль о временном лишении избирательных прав, оно может поступать по своему усмотрению". (From a letter of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of the South Pacific Ocean, December 8, 1969) (Из письма Всемирного Дома Справедливости к Национальному Духовному Собранию южной части Тихого океана, 8 декабря 1969) 264. Signature on Card is to Satisfy Administrative Requirements 264. Отвечает ли подпись на регистрационной карточке административным требованиям - характер и Вера не всегда пребывают в согласии "You have asked if the mere declaration of faith by a newcomer suffices to recognize him as a Baha'i, and whether living the Bahá'í life should not be

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regarded as the basis of admission into the Faith. You should bear in mind that the signature on a card, in the sense that it represents a record of the date of the declaration and data about the declarant, is to satisfy administrative requirements enabling the enrollment of the new believer in the community. The deeper implication of the act of declaration of faith are between the individual and God. Shoghi Effendi has made several statements on this important subject, and we have been asked to share with you the following two excerpts from letters written on his behalf to individual believers: "Вы спрашиваете, достаточно ли простого объявления Веры, чтобы человек мог считаться Бахаи, и, с другой стороны, можно ли считать жизнь в соответствии с нормами Бахаи основой для приобщения к Вере. Следует помнить, что карточка - поскольку она фиксирует дату заявления и данные о самом кандидате, - может рассматриваться как административная основа для занесения нового верующего в члены общины. Дальнейшие последствия акта признания Веры решаются на более глубоком уровне общения между человеком и Богом. Шоги Эффенди неоднократно выступал с заявлениями по этому важному вопросу, и нам поручили поделиться с вами двумя отрывками из писем, направленных от его имени двум верующим: 'There is a difference between character and faith; it is often hard to accept this fact and put up with it, but the fact that a person may believe in and love the Cause -- even being ready to die for it -- and yet not have a good personal or posses traits at variance with the teachings. We try to change, to let the Power of God help recreate us make us true Bahá'ís in deed as well as in belief. But the process is slow, sometimes it never happened the individual does not try hard enough. But these cause us suffering and are a test to us in our fellow-believers, most especially if we love him and have been their teacher!' "Характер же человека и его вера - не одно и тоже; с этим фактом зачастую трудно смириться, однако дело обстоит именно так: человек может верить и любить Дело - даже с готовностью отдать за него свою жизнь, - и тем не менее обладать дурным характером или чертами, которые противоречат Учению. Мы должны стремиться к тому, чтобы переделать себя, взывать к Силе Божией, чтобы она помогла нам преобразиться и сделала нас истинными Бахаи как на словах, так и на деле. Но порой процесс этот происходит медленно, порою человек так никогда и не достигает цели, поскольку прикладывает недостаточно стараний. Подобные вещи заставляют нас страдать, и являются истинным испытанием для нас самих и наших собратьев по вере, особенно тогда, когда мы любим их и являемся их наставниками! 'The process of becoming a Bahá'ís necessarily slow and gradual. The essential is not that the beginner should have a full and knowledge of the Cause, a thing which is obviously in the vast majority of cases, but that he should, by act of his own will, be willing to uphold and follow the truth guidance set forth in the Teachings, and thus open his heart mind to the reality of the Manifestation.'" Процесс воспитания Бахаи по необходимости является медленным и постепенным. Главное здесь не то, чтобы начинающий оказался в самом начале знаком с Делом во всем его объеме, что в подавляющем большинстве случаев совершенно очевидно невозможно, но чтобы он, опираясь на собственную волю и стремление, стремился бы следовать истине и наставлениям Учения, таким образом открыл свою душу и сердце Божественному Явлению". (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an believer, June 7, 1974: Bahá'í News of India, p. 2, July/August, 1974) (Из письма от имени Всемирного Дома Справедливости к одному из верующих, 7 июня 1974) 265. Enrollment Card -- Not a Universal Requirement 265. Регистрационная карточка "There is no requirements in Bahá'í administration for a new believer to sign an enrollment card. It is for each National Spiritual Assembly to decide in the light of conditions in the territory under its jurisdiction how it wishes a declaration of faith to be made. For a number of reasons it has been found in most countries that an enrollment card is a simple and useful way of registering new believers, but this is not a universal requirement..." "Администрация бахаи не предусматривает обязательного заполнения новым верующим регистрационной карточки. Исходя из условий, существующих на территории, подлежащей его юрисдикции, каждое Национальное Собрание должно само решать, как именно фиксировать объявление веры. По ряду причин в большинстве стран регистрационная карточка оказалсь наиболее простым и удобным средством регистрации новых верующих, но это не может считаться общим требованием". (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Germany, October 28, 1975) (Из письма от имени Всемирного Дома Справедливости к Национальному Духовному Собранию Германии, 28 октября 1975) 266. Duty of Assembly to newly Enrolled Believer 266. Обязанности Собрания по отношению к внесенному в список новому верующему 'Above all, the utmost endeavor should be exerted by your Assembly to familiarize the newly enrolled believers with the fundamental and spiritual varieties of the Faith, and with the origins, the aims and purposes, as well as the processes of a divinely appointed administrative Order, to acquaint them more fully with the history of the Faith, and with the origins, the aims and purposes, as well as the processes of a divinely pointed Administrative Order, to acquaint them more fully with the history of the Faith, to instil in them a deeper understanding of the Covenants of both Bahá'u'lláh and of 'Abdu'l-Bahá to enrich their spiritual life, to rouse them to a greater effort and a closer participation in both the teaching of the Faith and the administration of its activities,and to inspire them to make the necessary sacrifices for the furtherance of its vital interests. For as the body of the avowed supporters of the Faith is enlarged, and the basis of the structure of its Administrative Order is broadened, and the fame of the rising community spreads

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far and wide, a parallel progress must be achieved, if the fruit already garnered are to endure, in the spiritual quickening of its member an the deepening of their inner life." "Прежде всего ваше Собрание должно прилагать все возможные усилия к тому, чтобы познакомить новых верующих с основными духовными разновидностями Веры, с ее истоками, целями и задачами, а также - с процессами предустановленного свыше Административного Порядка, более полно ознакомить их с историей Веры, воспитывать в них более глубокое понимание Заветов Бахауллы и Абдул-Баха, обогащать из духовную жизнь, призывать их к еще большим усилиям и более активному участию в учительской работе Веры и в административной деятельности, вдохновлять их на новые жертвы во имя достижения ее жизненно важных интересов. Поскольку число преданных сторонников Веры увеличилось, основа структуры ее Административного Порядка расширилась, а весть о новой общине разнеслась во все уголки мира, то - дабы сохранить и приумножить уже собранные плоды, - следует развивать параллельный процесс - процесс духовного обогащения членов общины и углубления их внутренней жизни". (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the National Spiritual Assembly of Canada, June 26, 1956) (Из письма от имени Шоги Эффенди к Национальному Духовному Собранию Канады, 26 июня 1956)

N. The Believers' Relationship with the Assemblies N. Отношения верующих к Собраниям 267. Being a Bahá'í Essentially an Inner Thing 267. Быть Бахаи - по сути своей явление внутреннего мира "It is good for the Bahá'ís to learn that being a Bahá'í is essentially an inner thing, or way of life, and not dependent on fixed patterns. Important as our organized institutions are, they are not the Faith itself. The strength of the Cause grows no matter how much disrupted its activities may temporarily be. This we see over and over again, in lands where the Faith has been temporarily banned; at times when the believers are persecuted and even killed; where they are serving all along or scattered and isolated... " "Хорошо, если все верующие усвоят, что быть Бахаиэто явление внутренней жизни, образ жизни, не опирающийся на заранее заданные образцы. Какую бы важность ни представляли собой наши организации и учреждения - они не есть Вера. Дело набирает все новые силы, какой бы прерывистый характер ни носила порой его деятельность. И мы вновь и вновь видим подтверждение тому в странах, где Вера на время была под запретом; там, где верующие подвергались гонениям, а порой и гибели; там, где они малочисленны, рассеяны и несут свое служение поодиночке..." (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the Program Committee of Geyserville, November 11, 1951: Bahá'í News, No.257, p.4, July 1952) (Из письма от имени Шоги Эффенди к Программному Комитету Гейзервилля, 11 ноября 1951) 268. Should Have Respect for National and Local Assemblies 268. Мы должны уважать Национальные и Местные Собрания We should respect the N.S.A. and the Local Spiritual Assembly because they are institutions founded by Bahá'u'lláh. It has nothing to do with personality, but is far above it. It will be a great day when the friends on and off the Assemblies, come to fully grasp the fact that it is not the individuals on an Assembly which is important, but the Assembly as an institution." "Мы должны уважать Н.Д.С. и Местное Духовное Собрание, поскольку это институты, основанные Бахауллой. И дело здесь не в личном отношении, а в явлении гораздо более высокого порядка. День, когда друзья, будь то члены Собрания или нет, полностью осознают, что важны не столько входящие в состав Собрания люди, сколько сами Собрания, - день этот будет поистине великим днем". (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, July 7, 1949: The National Spiritual Assembly, p. 19) (Из письма от имени Шоги Эффенди к одному из верующих, 7 июля 1949) 269. This Great Prize, This Gift of God 269. Это великое благо, этот дар Божий - Местное Духовное Собрание "... The friends are called upon to give their whole-hearted support and cooperation to the Local Spiritual Assembly, first by voting for the membership and then by energetically pursuing its plans and programmes, by turning to it in time of trouble or difficulty, by praying for its success and taking delight in its rise to influence and honor. This great prize, this gift of God within each community must be cherished, nurtured, assisted, obeyed and prayed for." "... друзья призваны беззаветно поддерживать Местное Духовное Собрание и сотрудничать с ним, во-первых, избирая его членов, впоследствии же - энергично исполняя намеченные им планы и программы, обращаясь к нему в затруднительные моменты, молясь за его успехи и с ликованием в душе наблюдая за тем, как оно возносится к вершинам влиятельности и славы. Это великое благо, этот дар Божий внутри каждой общины должно лелеять, питать жизненными соками, любить его, повиноваться ему и молиться за него". (From the Universal House of Justice's Naw Ruz Message to the Bahá'ís of the World, 1974) (Из послания Всемирного Дома Справедливости к Бахаи мира, Новруз 1974) 270. Assembly is a Nascent House of Justice 270. Собрание это зародыш Дома Справедливости "... There is a tendency to mix up the function of the Administration and try to apply it in individual relationships, which is abortive, because the Assembly is a nascent House of Justice and is supported to administer according to the Teachings, the affairs of the community. But individuals toward each other are governed by love, unity, forgiveness and sin-covering eye. Once the friends grasp this they will get along much better, but they keep playing Spiritual Assembly to each other and expect the Assembly to behave like an individual... " "... существует тенденция неправильно истолковывать функции Администрации, пытаясь прикладывать их к сфере личных отношений, - попытка, неизменно терпящая крах, поскольку Собрание это зародыш Дома Справедливости и должно управлять делами общины в согласии с Учением. Отношения же индивидуумов друг к другу должны строиться исходя из духа любви, единства и благожелательности. Стоит лишь друзьям уразуметь это, как дела их пойдут намного лучше, причем друг для друга они будут олицетворять Духовное Собрание, в то время как поведение Собрания станет подобно поведению человека..." (From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to an individual believer, October 5, 1950: Living the Life, p. 17)

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(Из письма от имени Хранителя к одному из верующих, 5 октября 1950) 271. Two Kinds of Bahá'ís 271. Два типа бахаи "There are two kinds of Baha'is, one might say: those whose religion is Bahá'í and those who live for the Faith. Needless to say if one can belong to the latter category, if one can be in the vanguard of heroes, martyrs and saints, it is more praiseworthy in the sight of God." "Можно сказать, что существуют два типа бахаи: для одних бахаи - это религия, другие - живут во имя Веры. Стоит ли говорить, что последние, особенно становясь героями, мучениками и святыми, гораздо больше достойны хвалы пред лицом Господа". (From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to an individual believer, April 16, 1950: Living the Life, p. 16) (Из письма от имени Хранителя к одному из верующих, 16 апреля 1950) 272. Spiritual Children Should not Cling to Misconceptions of Their Teachers 272. Духовные дети не должны придерживаться ошибочных взглядов своих учителей "As to your question about the spiritual children of people who enter the Cause with some old ideas still clinging to them: everyone should study the Faith for himself, and just because a person's Bahá'í teacher has some concept not strictly Bahá'í it does not stand to reason that the new believer must be saddled with it; old believers, as well as new, should constantly endeavor to grow more fully into the Bahá'í pattern of thought and of life. Each should receives the gift of faith for himself, and from then on is a Bahá'í in his own right, independent of his teacher." "Что касается Вашего вопроса о духовных воспитанниках людей, которые вступают в Дело, придерживаясь устаревших идей: каждый должен учиться Вере сам в себе, и тот факт, что чей-то наставник исповедуют взгляды на вполне отвечающие духу Учения Бахаи, еще далеко не означает, что его воспитанник должен упрямо повторять его ошибки; и старым и новым верующим следует прилагать непрестанные усилия к тому, чтобы приблизиться к образцу мыслей и дел Бахаи. Каждый самостоятельно получает дар Веры, и каждый вправе быть Бахаи независимо от своего учителя". (From a letter written on behalf of shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, July 17, 1945) (Из письма от имени Шоги Эффенди к одному из верующих, 17 июля 1945) 273. Assemblies Should Inspire Confidence in Individual Believers 273. Собрания должны внушать доверие отдельным верующим "... the Local Assemblies should inspire confidence in the individual believers, and these in their turn should express their readiness to fully abide by the decisions and directions of the Local Assembly; the two must learn to co-operate, and to realize that only through such a co-operation can the institutions of the Cause 'effectively and permanently function. While obedience to the Local Assembly should be unqualified and whole-hearted, yet that body should enforce its directions in such a way as to avoid given the impression that it is animated by dictatorial motives. "... Местные Собрания должны внушать доверие отдельным верующим, а те, в свою очередь, должны выражать постоянную готовность полностью повиноваться решениям и указаниям Местного Собрания; обе стороны должны учиться сотрудничеству, сознавая, что лишь благодаря подобному сотрудничеству институты Дела могут функционировать эффективно и непрерывно. Повиновение Местному Собранию должно быть безоговорочным и беззаветным, однако и это учреждение, со своей стороны, должно действовать так, чтобы ни в коем случае не складывалось впечатление, что им движут диктаторские побуждения. The spirit of the Cause is one of mutual cooperation, and not that of a dictatorship. Дух Дела - во взаимном сотрудничестве, а не в диктатуре одних над другими". (Letter written on behalf of the Guardian to an individual believer, October 28, 1935: The Local Spiritual Assembly, p. 23) (Из письма от имени Хранителя к одному из верующих, 28 октября 1935) 274. Buckets-Full of Administrative Information: Putting Out the First Sparks 274. Избыток административной информации "... The Process of educating people of different customs and backgrounds must be done with the greatest patience and understanding, and rules and regulations not imposed upon them, except where a rock-bottom essential is in question. He feels sure that your Assembly is capable of carrying on its work in this spirit, and of fanning the hears to flame through the fire of the love of God, rather than putting out the first sparks with buckets, full of administrative information and regulations." "... процесс воспитания людей с разными привычками, выходцев из разной среды, должен вестись с величайшим терпением и пониманием, им не следует силой навязывать те или иные правила или ограничения, если только речь не заходит о фундаментально важных вопросах. Он полагает, что ваше Собрание способно вести работу в подобном духе, воспламеняя сердца огнем любви к Господу, а не обрушивая на людей потоки административной информации и ограничений, которые могут первые искры Веры". (From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to the National Spiritual Assembly of South and West Africa, July 9, 1957: Ibid) (Из письма от имени Хранителя к Национальному Духовному Собранию Южной и Западной Африки, 9 июля 1957) 275. Look to the Teachings 275. Взгляд на Учение "... Your should, under no circumstances, feel discouraged, and allow such difficulties, even though they may have resulted from the misconduct, or the lack of capacity and vision of certain members of the Community, to make you waver in your faith and basic loyalty to the Cause. Surely, the believers, no matter how qualified they may be, whether as teachers or administrators, and however high

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their intellectual and spiritual merits, should never be looked upon as a standard whereby to evaluate and measure the divine authority and mission of the Faith. It is to the Teachings, themselves, and to the lives of the Founders of the Cause that the believers should look for their guidance and inspiration, and only be keeping strictly to such true attitude can they hope to establish their loyalty to Bahá'u'lláh upon an enduring and unassailable basis. You should take heart, therefore, and with unrelaxing vigilance and unremitting effort endeavor to play your full share in the gradual unfoldment of this Divine World Order." "... Вы, должно быть, чувствуете себя крайне обескураженным - пусть даже причиной тому послужили неправильное поведение и ограниченность некоторых членов Общины, - если поколебались в Вере и преданности Делу. Разумеется, верующих, каким бы квалифицированными учителями и администраторами они ни были, сколь велики бы ни были их интеллектуальные и духовные заслуги, никогда не следует рассматривать как эталон, по которому можно оценить и измерить божественный авторитет и миссию Веры. Лишь обратив свой взор к самому Учению, к жизням Основателей Дела, черпая в них источник вдохновения и руководства, строго придерживаясь этой позиции, верующие могут надеяться воздвигнуть свою верность Бахаулле на незыблемой основе. Итак, приободритесь и с неусыпной бдительностью и неослабными усилиями старайтесь внести посильную лепту в постепенное развертывание Божественного Миропорядка". (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Efendi to an individual believer, August 23, 1939: Living the Life, p.7) (Из письма от имени Шоги Эффенди к одному из верующих, 23 августа 1939) 276. Two Principles to Follow: Doctrinal and Administrative Unity 276. Два основных принципа "There are two main principles which the Guardian wishes the friends to always bear in mind and to conscientiously and faithfully follow. First is the principle of unqualified and wholehearted loyalty to the revealed Word. The believers should be careful not to deviate, even a hair-breadth, from the Teachings. Their supreme considerations should be to safeguard the purity of the principles, tenets and laws of the Faith. It is only by this means that they can hope to maintain the organic unity of the Cause. There can and should be not liberal or conservatives, no moderates or extremes in the Cause. For they are all subject to the one and the same law which is the Law of God. This law transcends all differences, all personal or local tendencies, moods and aspirations. "Хранитель хочет, чтобы друзья постоянно помнили и сознательно и преданно следовали двум основным принципам. Первый - принцип беззаветной и безоговорочной преданности явленному Слову. Верующие должны быть крайне осмотрительны, чтобы ни на йоту не отступить от Учения. Первейшая их забота - охранять чистоту принципов, основных положений и законов Веры. Только таким образом им удастся поддержать органическое единство Дела. В Деле нет и не может быть либералов и консерваторов, экстремистов и умеренных. Ибо все повинуются одному закону - закону Господа. Закон этот превыше всех различий всех личных и местных устремлений, настроений и желаний. "Next is the principle of complete, and immediate obedience to the Assemblies, both Local and national. It is the responsibility of these Bahá'ís administrative bodies to enable the community to acquire, and increasingly deepen in the knowledge and understanding of the Cause. Doctrinal unity and administrative unity, these are the two chief pillars that sustain the edifice of the Cause, and protect it from the storms of opposition which so severely rage against it." Второй принцип - принцип полного и безусловного подчинения Собраниям - равно Местным и Национальным. Эти административные органы Бахаи ответственны за то, чтобы помогать общине приобретать опыт, постоянно углублять знание и понимание Дела. Административное единство и единство Учения - вот те два столпа, которые поддерживают здание Дела, дают ему силы нападкам врагов, столь яростно обрушивающимся на него ныне". (From a letter on behalf of the Guardian to the National Spiritual Assembly of India and Burma, September 5, 1936: Dawn of a New Day, p.61) (Из письма от имени Хранителя к Национальному Духовному Собранию Индии и Бирмы, 5 сентября 1936) 277. Bahá'í Administration -- Instrument of Spirit of the Faith 277. Администрация Бахаи "The friends must never mistake the Bahá'í administration for an end in itself. It is merely the instrument of the spirit of the Faith. This Cause is a Cause which God has revealed to humanity as a whole. It is designed to benefit the entire human race, and the only way it can do this is to re-form the community life of mankind, as well as seeking to regenerate the individual. The Bahá'í administration is only the first shaping of what in future will come to be the social life and laws of community living. As yet the believers are only first beginning to grasp and practice it properly. So we must have patience if at times it seems a little self conscious and rigid in its workings. It is because we are learning something very difficult but very wonderful -- how to live together as a community of Baha'is, according to the glorious teachings." "Друзья ни в коем случае не должны считать Администрацию Бахаи самоцелью. Она - не что иное, как орудие духа Веры. Господь явил Дело человечеству в целом. Оно предназначено облагодетельствовать весь род человеческий, а сделать это можно лишь преобразив общественный уклад жизни человечества и возродив каждого отдельного человека. Администрация Бахаи - лишь первый набросок того, что в будущем станет социальной жизнью и законами общественного существования. Пока же верующие лишь начинают постигать ее и учатся правильно применять на практике. Поэтому вооружимся терпением, если порой она кажется излишне самодовольной и неловкой. Это происходит потому, что мы учимся чему-то очень трудному, но столь же прекрасному - умению жить вместе как община Бахаи, в согласии со славным учением". (From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to an individual believer, October 14, 1941: The Local Spiritual Assembly, pp. 28-29) (Из письма от имени Хранителя к одному из верующих, 14 октября 1941) 278. Bahá'í World Community Develop New Cells, New Organs 278. Всемирная Община Бахаи развивает новые клетки, новые органы 'In the human body, every cell, every organ, every nerve has its part to play.

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When all do so the body is healthy, vigorous, radiant, ready for very call made upon it. No cell, however humble, lives apart from the body, whether in serving it or receiving from it. This is true of the body of mankind in which God has endowed each humble being with ability and talent', and is supremely true of the body of the Bahá'í World Community, for this body is already an organism, united in its aspirations, unified in its methods, seeking assistance and confirmation from the same Source, and illumined with the conscious knowledge of its unity... The Bahá'í World community, growing like a healthy new body, develops new cells, new organs, new functions and powers as it presses on to its maturity, when every soul, living for the Cause of God, will receive from that Cause, health, assurance, and the overflowing bounties of Bahá'u'lláh which are diffused through His Divinely-ordained Order." "Каждая клетка, каждый орган, каждый нерв человеческого тела имеет свое назначение. Когда все они приведены в согласие, тело здорово, полно сил, готово исполнить любую команду. Однако, сколь бы мала ни была клетка, она неотделима от организма - служит ли она ему или питается от него. Это правомерно и по отношению к телу всего человечества, ибо Господь "наделил самое наимельчайшее существо в нем умением и талантом", и уж тем более справедливо по отношению к такому организму, как Всемирная Община Бахаи, ибо это орган еще более высокого порядка, единый в своих устремлениях и методах, черпающий новые силы из одного Источника и озаренный сознательным знанием своего единства... Подобно юному, здоровому организму, Всемирная Община Бахаи вырабатывает новые клетки, органы, развивает новые функции и упрочивает свою мощь на пути к зрелости, когда каждый человек, живущий во имя Дела Божия, будет черпать в Деле здоровье, уверенность и неисчерпаемую благодать Бахауллы, явленную благодаря Его предустановленному свыше Порядку". (Message from the Universal House of Justice to the Bahá'ís of the World, September, 1964: Wellsprings of Guidance, pp. 37-38) (Послание Всемирного Дома Справедливости к Бахаи мира, сентябрь 1964) 279. Believers Should Turn to Assemblies for Advice and Help 279. Верующие должны обращаться к Собранию за помощью и советом "The believers should learn to turn more often to their Assemblies for advice and help and at an earlier date, and the Assemblies, on the other hand, should act with more vigilance and a greater sense of community responsibility towards every situation that may damage the prestige of the Faith in the eyes of the public. When decisions have been reached by the Assembly, they must be carried out loyally and willingly, but all concerned." "Верующие должны привыкать безотлагательно и как можно чаще обращаться к своим Собраниям за помощью и советом; Собрания же, с другой стороны, должны действовать более бдительно и с постоянным чувством общей ответственности за любую ситуацию, которая может нанести урон престижу Веры в глазах общественности. Когда Собрание приходит к тому или иному решению, все, на кого возлагается его исполнение, должны осуществлять его добросоветнсо и с готовностью". (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, March 13, 1944: The Local Spiritual Assembly, p. 26) (Из письма от имени Шоги Эффенди к одному из верующих, 13 марта 1944) 280. Mission of Bahá'u'lláh, Friends are Trustees of 280. Миссия Бахауллы "The friends have a great duty, first towards the Cause and then towards society at large. Bahá'u'lláh has come to the world with a divine Message and devoted all His life and withstood all forms of persecution in the hope of establishing it firmly. we are now the trustees of that Mission. It is for us to bring that task begun by Bahá'u'lláh to final consummation. should we rail, we have been untrue to our Lord and also remained deaf to the cry of humanity seeking salvation." "На друзьях лежит великая ответственность - в первую очередь, перед Делом, а во-вторых - перед всем обществом. Бахаулла принес в мир божественную Весть и посвятил всю Свою жизнь, вынес все гонения, чтобы прочно утвердить ее. Теперь эта Миссия - в наших руках. Мы должны завершить начатое Бахауллой. Если же мы потерпим неудачу, то тем самым предадим Господа нашего и останемся глухи к воплям человечества, ищущего спасения". (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, November 15, 1931: Bahá'í News, No.71, p. 2, February 1933) (Из письма от имени Шоги Эффенди к одному из верующих, 15 ноября 1931) 281. Believers Should have Confidence in Assembly 281. Верующие должны доверять Собранию "the believers should have confidence in the directions and orders of their Assembly, even though they may not be convinced of their justice or right. Once the Assembly, though a majority vote of its members, comes to a decision the friends should readily obey it. Specially those dissenting members within the Assembly whose opinion is contrary to that of the majority of their fellow-members should set a good example before the community by sacrificing their personal views for the sake of obeying the principles of majority vote that underlies the functioning of all Bahá'í Assemblies." "Верующие обязаны доверять указаниям и распоряжениям своего Собрания, даже если они не уверены в их справедливости и правомерности. Когда Собрание большинством голосов принимает то или иное решение, друзья должны с готовностью повиноваться ему. И, в первую очередь, те члены Собрания, которые несогласны с мненем большинства своих коллег, должны явить добрый пример, пожертвовав свои личным мнением во имя соблюдения принципа большинства, лежащего в основе функционирования всех Собраний бахаи". (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, October 28, 1935: The Local Spiritual Assembly, p. 26) (Из письма от имени Шоги Эффенди к одному из верующих, 28 октября 1935) 282. If Assembly Makes Ill-advised Decision It Must be Upheld 282. Даже если Собрание принимает необдуманное решение, его следует поддержать "One of the fundamentals involved in our Administrative Order, which we must

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remember will become the pattern for our World Order, is that even if an Assembly makes an ill-advised decision it must be upheld in order to preserve the unity of the community. Appeal can be made from the Local Assembly's decision to the National Assembly ... But the principle of authority invested in our elected bodies must be upheld. This is not something which can be learned without trial and test... " "Одно из основных положений нашего Адмнистративного Порядка, который - и мы должны постоянно помнить об этом - является прообразом нашего Миропорядка, заключается в том, что, даже если Собрание принимает опрометчивое, необдуманное решение, его следует поддержать, чтобы сохранить единство общины. Можно подать апелляцию по решению Местного Собрания в Национальное Собрание... Но принцип авторитетности, которым наделены наши избранные органы, должен оставаться неколебим. Научиться этому можно лишь пройдя через множество испытаний..." (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the National Spiritual Assembly of Germany and Austria, June 30, 1949: Ibid) (Из письма от имени Шоги Эффенди к Национальному Духовному Собранию Германии и Австрии, 30 июня 1949) 283. If Assembly Makes a Mistake 283. Если Собрание допускает ошибку - Бог исправит содеянное "the Assembly may make a mistake, but, as the Master pointed out, if the Community does not abide by its decisions, or the individual Baha'i, the result is worse, as it undermines the very institution which must be strengthened in order to uphold the principles and laws of the Faith. He tells us God will right the wrongs done. We must have confidence in this and obey our Assemblies. He therefore strongly urges you to work directly under your Bahá'í Assembly, to accept our responsibilities as a voting member, and do your utmost to create harmony within the community." "Собрание может ошибиться, но, как указывал Учитель, если Община или кто-либо из верующих откажутся повиноваться его решению, результат может оказаться еще хуже, так как неповиновение подрывает самые основы института, который следует упрочивать во имя поддержания принципов и законов Веры. Он говорит нам о том, что Господь исправит содеянное. Мы должны верить этому и повиноваться нашим Собраниям. Поэтому он убедительно просит Вас продолжать работу под руководством Собрания, не отказываться от участия в процедуре голосования и прилагать все усилия к тому, чтобы поддерживать согласие внутри общины". (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer in 1949: Ibid, p. 27) (Из письма от имени Шоги Эффенди к одному из верующих, 1949) 284. Obedience, Patience and Restraint 284. Повиновение, терпение и выдержка "The friends should therefore not feel discouraged at the differences of opinion that may prevail among the members of an Assembly for these, as experiences has shown, and as the Master's words attest, fulfil a valuable function in all Assembly deliberations. But once the opinion the majority has been ascertained, all the members should automatically and unreservedly obey it, and faithfully carry it out. Patience and restraint, however, should at all times characterize the discussions and deliberations of the elected representatives of the local community, and no fruitless and hair-splitting discussions indulged in, under any circumstances." "Таким образом, друзей не должна обескураживать разница во взглядах, поскольку таковая, судя по опыту и как то свидетельствуют слова Самого Учителя, играет важную роль в дискуссиях Собрания. Но сразу же после принятия большинством того или иного решения, все члены общины должны безоговорочно подчиняться ему и добросовестно претворять в жизнь. Тем не менее, терпение и выдержка должны неизменно отличать дискуссии избранных представителей местной общины, которые ни при каких условиях не должны потворствовать проведению заведомо бесплодных и пустопорожних дебатов". (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, April 18, 1939: Ibid, pp. 18-19) (Из письма от имени Шоги Эффенди к одному из верующих, 18 апреля 1939) 285. Criticism to Assemblies 285. Критика в отношении Собраний "The Bahá'ís are fully entitled to address criticisms to their Assemblies; they can freely air their views about policies or individual members of elected bodies to the Assembly, Local or National, but then they must whole-heartedly accept the advice or decision of the Assembly, according to the principles already laid down for such matters in Bahá'í administration." "Бахаи имеют поное право общаться с критикой в адрес своего Собрания; они могут свободно выражать свои мнения в отношении политики или отдельных членов избранных органов на местном и национальном уровне, но они должны беззаветно подчиняться всем советам и решениям Собрания в согласии с вышеизложенными принципами Администрации Бахаи". (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the National Spiritual Assembly of Australia and New Zealand, p. 55) (Из письма от имени Шоги Эффенди к Национальному Духовному Собранию Австралии и Новой Зеландии, 13 мая 1945) 286. No Protection for Faith Unless Friends Submit to Administrative Bodies 286. Вера лишится защиты и опоры, если друзья выйдут из повиновения административным институтам "... There can be no protection for the Faith unless the friends are willing to submit to their administrative bodies, especially when these are acting in good faith; the individual believers are not in a position to judge their national Body. If any wrong has been done we must leave it in the hands of god, knowing, as

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'Abdu'l-Bahá said, that he will right it, and in the meantime not disrupt the Cause of God by constantly harping on these matters." "... Вера окажется беззащитна, если друзья не станут добровольно подчиняться ее административным органам, особенно если последние действуют благонамеренно по отношению к Вере; отдельный верующий не вправе судить Национальный Орган. Если же и была совершена какая-то ошибка, мы должны препоручить ее Господу, ибо, как говорил Абдул-Баха, Он исправит зло, а пока нам не стоит подрывать Дело Божие, без конца твердя об одном и том же". (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, February 3, 1957: The National Spiritual Assembly, p.37) (Из письма от имени Шоги Эффенди к одному из верующих, 3 февраля 1957) 287. If Bahá'ís Undermine Leaders 287. Если Бахаи подрывают авторитет лидеров "The Guardian believes that a great deal of the difficulties from which the believers... feel themselves to be suffering are caused by their neither correctly understanding or putting into practice and administration. They seem -- many of them -- to be prone to continually challenging and criticizing the decisions of their Assemblies. If the Bahá'ís undermine the very leaders which are, however immaturely, seeking to coordinate Bahá'í activities and administer Bahá'í affairs, if they continually criticize their acts and challenge or belittle their decisions, they not only prevent any real rapid progress in the Faith's development from taking place, but they repel outsiders who quite rightly may ask however expect to unite the whole world when we are so disunited among ourselves!" "Хранитель полагает, что большая часть трудностей, из-за которых страдают верующие ... проистекает либо от того, что они неправильно понимают администрацию, либо неверно применяют ее на практике. Складывается впечатление, что они - по крайней мере большая часть из них - склонны постоянно оспаривать и критиковать решения своих Собраний. Если Бахаи подрывают автритет самих лидеров, которые, пусть и не всегда располагая достаточным опытом, стараются координировать деятельность Бахаи и управлять их делами, если они постоянно критикуют их действия и умаляют значение принятых ими решений, - то они не только препятствуют реальному и быстрому развитию Веры, но и отталкивают окружающих, которые с полным правом могут задаться вопросом: как же мы надеемся объединить целый мир, если настолько разобщены между собой?!" (From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to an individual believer, October 26, 1943: The National Spiritual Assembly, pp. 34-35) (Из письма от имени Хранителя к одному из верующих, 26 октября 1943) 288. Believers have the Right to express their Criticism Action of Assembly, but not in a Way to Undermine Its Authority 288. Верующие имеют право критиковать действия Собрания, но не подрывать его авторитет "... with reference to your letter in which you asked whether the believer have the right to openly express their criticism of any Assembly action or policy; it is not only their right, but the vital responsibility of every loyal and intelligent member of the Community to offer fully and frankly, but with due respect and consideration to the authority of the Assembly, any suggestion, recommendation or criticism he conscientiously feels he should in order to improve and remedy certain existing condition or trends in his local community, and it is the duty of the assembly also to give careful consideration to any such views submitted to them by any one of the believers. The best occasions chosen for this purpose is the Nineteen Day Feast which, besides this social and spiritual aspects, fulfils various administrative needs and requirements of the Community, chief among them being the need for opinion and constructive criticism and deliberation regarding the state of affairs within the local Bahá'í Community. "... касательно Вашего письма, в котором Вы спрашиваете, имеют ли верующие право открыто выражать критику в адрес Собрания, по поводу его действий или политики; не только право, но и жизненно важная обязанность всякого преданного и мыслящего члена Общины состоит в том, чтобы искренне и полно, соблюдая при этом должное уважение к авторитету Собрания, выдвигать свои критические замечания и предложения, которые, с его точки зрения, могут улучшить существующие условия или же повлиять на некие нежелательные тенденции внутри самой Общины; обязанность же Собрания - тщательно рассматривать и учитывать точку зрения каждого верующего. Лучше всего использовать для данной цели Праздник Девятнадцатого Дня, который, помимо своего социального и духовного назначения, призван исполнять и определенные административные функции, главнейшая из которых - необходимость в открытой и конструктивной критической дискуссии по состоянию дел внутри местной Общины Бахаи. "But again it should be stressed that all criticism and discussions of a negative character which may result in undermining the authority of the assembly as a body should be strictly avoided. for otherwise the order of the Cause itself will be endangered, and confusion and discord will resign in the Community." Однако следует еще раз подчеркнуть, что следует всячески избегать любой критики и дискуссий, могущих отрицательно повлиять на авторитет Собрания. В противном же случае вы подвергнете опасности само Дело, и в Общине воцарятся раздор и смятение" (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, December 13, 1939) (Из письма от имени Шоги Эффенди к одному из верующих, 13 декабря 1939) 289. Obedience to the Decisions of the Local Assembly Should be Unqualified and Whole-Hearted 289. Безоговорочно и беззаветно подчиняться решениям Местного Собрания "The most vital matter on which the Guardian wishes you to fully concentrate is that of consolidating the foundations of the Administration. Not until your group learns to work efficiently through obedience to the Local Assembly and under its guidance can there be any hope for future expansion. The friends must all realize the necessity of internal discipline and order which only a properly elected and efficiently functioning body such as the Local Assembly can effectively maintain. Obedience to the decision of the Local Assembly should be unqualified

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and whole-heated, as by this means alone can the community work as a united body and achieve something constructive and enduring." "Жизненно важный пункт, на который Хранитель хочет обратить ваше внимание, это упрочение основ Администрации. До тех пор, пока ваша группа не научится эффективно работать под руководством вашего Местного Собрания и подчиняться его указаниям, об успехе нечего и думать. Друзья должны в полной мере осознать необходимость внутренней дисциплины и порядка, которые могут действенно обеспечить лишь правильно избранный и эффективной функционирующий орган, каковым и является Местное Собрание. Вы должны безоговорочно и всем сердцем подчиняться любому решению Местного Собрания, ибо только за счет этого община может действовать как единый организм, создавая нечто поистине конструктивное и долговечное". (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the Bahá'ís of Vienna, April 5, 1936) (Из письма от имени Шоги Эффенди к бахаи Вены, 5 апреля 1936) 290. Local Assembly Should Not Criticize Policy of National Assembly 290. Местное Собрание не должно критиковать политику Национального Собрания "As to the problem which has arisen in connection with the News letter published and circulated by the ... Assembly, the Guardian has already written about it to your National Spiritual Assembly, expressing the view that under no circumstances should any Local Assembly be given the right to criticize, and much less oppose, the policy fully adopted and approved by the National spiritual Assembly. It is his hope that henceforth the problem of the relationship between the National Spiritual Assembly and the Local Spiritual Assembly in matter of this nature will, in the light of his instructions, be carefully understood by individuals and Assemblies alike." "Что касается вопроса, возникшего с связи с изданием и распространением ... Собранием информационного бюллетеня, Хранитель уже излагал свою точку зрения в письме к вашему Национальному Духовному Собранию, а именно: ни одно Местное Собрание ни в коем случае не имеет права критиковать, а тем более противостоять политике, справедливо принятой и поддержанной Национальным Духовным Собранием. Он надеется, что проблема отношений между Национальным Духовным Собранием и Местными Духовными Собраниями будет внимательно рассмотрена как самими Собраниями, так и отдельными верующими, на основе доброжелательства с учетом данных указаний". (From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States and Canada, May 19, 1934) (Из письма от имени Хранителя к Национальному Духовному Собранию Соединенных Штатов и Канады, 19 мая 1934) 291. Only One Remedy -- Study the Administration 291. Единственное средство - изучайте Администрацию "There is only one remedy for this: to study the administration, to obey the Assemblies, and each believer seek to perfect his own character as a Baha'i. We can never exert the influence over others which we can exert over ourselves. If we are better, if we show love, patience, and understanding of the weakness of others, if we seek to never criticize but rather encourage others will do likewise, and we can do likewise, and we really help the Cause through our example and spiritual Strength. The Bahá'ís everywhere when the administration is first established, find it very difficult to adjust themselves. They have to learn to obey, even when the Assembly may be wrong, for the sake of unity. They have to sacrifice their personalities, to a certain extent, in order that the Community life may grow and develop as a whole. These things are difficult, but we must realize that they will lead us to a very much greater, more perfect, way of life when the Faith is properly established according to the administration." "Существует только одно средство: изучать механизм администрации, подчиняться Собраниям и стараться совершенствовать собственный характер как Бахаи. Мы никогда не в состоянии повлиять на людей так, как можем повлиять на себя. Если мы станем лучше, если будем относиться к окружающим с любовью и терпением, научимся понимать чужие слабости, если мы будем меньше критиковать и чаще побуждать людей к действию, люди последуют нашему примеру, и мы окажем реальную помощь Делу своим примером и силой нашего духа. Повсюду, где администрация еще только начинает пускать первые ростки, Бахаи чувствуют себя крайне неуютно. Им приходится приспосабливаться, учиться повиновению - даже в тех случаях, когда Собрание неправо, - во имя единства. Им приходится в определенной степени жертвовать личными интересами, чтобы жизнь Общины могла расти и развиваться как единое целое. Это непросто, однако мы должны понять, что такой путь может привести нас к более совершенному образу жизни в тот день, когда Вера, наконец, обретет прочное основание в своей администрации" (From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to an individual believer, October 26, 1943: The National Spiritual Assembly, p.35) (Из письма от имени Хранителя к одному из верующих, 26 октября 1943) 292. On Individual Believer Depends Fate of Community 292. Судьба Общины зависит от каждого из верующих "This challenge, so severe and insistent, and yet so glorious, faces no doubt primarily the individual believer on whom in the last resort, depends the fate of the entire community. He it is who constitutes the warp and woof on which the quality and pattern of the whole fabric must depend. He it is who acts as one of the countless links in the mights chain that now girdles the globe. He it is who serves as one of the multitude of bricks which support the structure and insure the stability of the administrative office now being raised in every part of the world. Without his support, a once whole-hearted, continuous and generous, every measure adopted, and every plan formulated, by the body which acts as the national representative of the community to which he belongs, is foredoomed to failure. The World Center of the Faith itself is paralyzed if such a support on the part of the rank and file of the community is denied it. The Author of the Divine Plan Himself is impeded in His purpose if the proper instruments for the execution of His design are lacking. The sustaining strength of Bahá'u'lláh

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Himself, the Founder of the Faith, will be withheld from every and each individual, who fails in the long run to arise and play his part." "Это зов, столь настойчивый и суровый, и в то же время столь славный, обращен вне всякого сомнения к каждому из верующих как к тому, от кого, в конечном счете, зависит судьба всей общины. Он - та основа, от которой, прежде всего, зависит качество ткани и ее узор. Он - одно из бесчисленных звеньев той могучей цепи, которая ныне опоясывает весь земной шар. Он - один из множества кирпичиков, из которых по всему свету возводится ныне нерушимое здание Администрации. Без его идущей от сердца, неослабной и великодушной поддержки любые меры, принятые органом, действующим как национальный представитель общины, к которой он принадлежит, любой разработанный ею план - обречены на провал. Деятельность самого Всемирного Центра Веры, лишившись поддержки рядовых членов общин, будет мгновенно парализована. Сам Творец Божественного Предначертания окажется бессилен, если под рукой не окажется орудий, потребных для воплощения Его замыслов. Сила Самого Основателя Веры, Бахауллы, отнимется от того, кто бежит своих священных обязанностей". (Shoghi Effendi: Citadel of Faith, pp. 130-131) (Шоги Эффенди. "Цитадель Веры", с. 130-131)

O. Inactive Believers O. Пассивные верующие 293. Voting List, Names Should Not be Removed from 293. Имена в избирательных списках "Your Assembly should not remove the names of Bahá'ís from the voting list just because they do not attend meetings or just because their addresses are unknown. It is hard to make Baha'is; and you must try and help them and reactivate them, and find those whose addresses are unknown if you can." "Вашему Собранию не следует исключать имена Бахаи из избирательных списков только на том основании, что они не посещают собрания или же неизвестен их адрес. Стать бахаи непросто; и вы должны всячески помогать им, пробуждать их активность и разыскивать тех, чье местопребывания неизвестно". (From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to the National Assembly of Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay, September 26, 1957) (Из письма от имени Хранителя к Национальному Духовному Собранию Аргентины, Боливии, Чили, Парагвая и Уругвая, 26 сентября 1957) 294. Removal of Names from Voting List 294. Исключение имен из голосовательных списков "People who for years have ceased to either attend meetings of show the slightest interest in the Cause can be dropped from the voting list; but any who are unable to attend meetings, but still consider themselves to be Bahá'ís and are desirous of keeping up their contact with the Faith, should naturally be kept on the voting list." "Люди, на протяжении многих лет не посещающие собрания и не проявляющие заинтересованности в Деле, должны исключаться из голосовательных списков; однако те, кто не в состоянии посещать собрания, но по-прежнему считают себя бахаи и полны желания поддерживать контакт с Верой, естественно, остаются в списках". (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the National Spiritual Assembly of the British Isles, May 29, 1946) (Из письма от имени Шоги Эффенди к Национальному Духовному Собранию Великобритании, 29 мая 1946) 295. Inactive and Unresponsive Believers often Need Encouragement "He feels that people who are inactive should not automatically be removed from the voting list; each individual, in such matters, must be considered as an individual case. He is constantly trying to avoid the needless multiplication of rules and procedures, and that is why he urges the friends, and responsible bodies, to use patience, good judgment, and tact in handling such cases, and not just start a new rule of thumb to solve the question en masse. "When accepting new believers we must certainly not hold their past against them, but hope that the faith they have in Bahá'u'lláh will help them to change their characters and ways of living -- as we know so often happens. We must not add any conditions for Bahá'í membership beyond those already outlined by the Guardian himself as absolutely necessary. "It is very discouraging to find inactive and unresponsive believers; on the other hand we must always realize that some souls are weak and immature and not capable of carrying on an active administrative burden. They need encouragement, the love of their fellow Bahá'ís and assistance. To blame them for not doing more for the Cause is useless, and they may actually have a very firm belief in Bahá'u'lláh which with care could be fanned into flame. "If some of these isolated and inactive people gradually turn to other work than the Cause we should not always blame them -- they probably needed more help, more stimulating more teaching and Bahá'í comradeship that they received." (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Efendi to an individual believer, April 25, 1947) 296. Inactive Believers -- Names Removed When Clearly Stated No Longer Believe in Bahá'u'lláh "Further guidance might be welcome and we share portion of a letter written by

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the Universal House of Justice to another National Spiritual Assembly on 4 September 1966: '... Whilst it is embarrassing to leave names of inactive believers on a membership list, inactively and lack of attendance at Bahá'í meetings are not the bases for removable names of believers from the membership roster. A name should be removed only when the person clearly states that he not longer believes in Bahá'u'lláh and wishes his name to be removed from Bahá'í membership. If the believer's whereabouts are unknown, his name should still not be removed from membership, but kept in a special list of believers whose addresses are unknown, and who obviously are not counted in determining the allocation of delegates." (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Malaysia, September 25, 1973: Malaysian Bahá'í News, Vol.9, Nos. 2 & 3, June/November 1973) 297. Reasons for Inactivity Should be Ascertained "Concerning your question about inactive believers, the Universal House of Justice feels that it would be somewhat abrupt to drop them from the roster simply because they have been absent from meetings or otherwise inactive. They should be approached and the reasons for their absence or inactivity ascertained, and only when such investigation leads you to the conclusion that the believer concerned no longer believes in Bahá'u'lláh should this definitely be recognized. Every case of inactivity should be investigated and the believers lovingly encouraged to become active. A distinction is to be made between those who are interested in the Faith but remain inactive and those whose inactively indicated complete lack of interest in the Faith to the extent that they have in fact ceased to be Baha'is. In this latter instant removal from the list is simply recognition of this fact. (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of the North West Pacific Ocean, December 18, 1974) 298. Meetings Should be Made so Interesting as to Attract the Old Believers "You mentioned in one of your letters that some of the old believers who for many years had kept away are now coming back and attending the meetings. How wonderful it would be if all such persons together with all those who met the Master and whose life was changed through His influence would come along and help us in spreading these divine teachings! Perhaps the friends should take the initiative and make their meetings so inspiring and their activities so interesting and far reaching in importance that they would of their own accord come forward and lend us their help. Anyhow they would be a large army!" (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, March 9, 1932) 299. Must Aid Those with Unbecoming Conduct to Mend Their Ways "As to certain of your voting members who have long been inactive, and whose conduct you disapprove of, he suggests you make an effort to find out if they still believe in the Faith, and if they do, and wish to be members of it, then they should be helped to mend their ways. If this patient and loving method does not

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prove successful and they refuse to identify themselves with the Faith, they should be removed from the voting list." (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the National Spiritual Assembly of the British Isles, May 8, 1947) 300. If Person Does Not Wish to be Considered Member '... If a person makes it quite clear that they do not wish to be considered an active member of the Bahá'í Community and be affiliated with it and exert their voting right, then their name should be removed from the voting list; but if a person considers himself or herself a Bahá'í and for various reasons is not able to be active in the affairs of the Community, then they should certainly not be removed from our voting list... " (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the National Spiritual Assembly of Germany and Austria, March 2, 1951: The Nineteen Day Feast, p.8) 301. The Personal Situation of a Bahá'í May Preclude Activity 'The House of Justice has asked us to point out that normally once a person has declared his belief in Bahá'u'lláh and this declaration has been accepted by the Assembly it should be assumed that he continues to be a Bahá'í until he states the contrary. If believers become inactive it is naturally desirable that the Local Spiritual Assemblies attempt to maintain contact with them and encourage them to become active unless, of course, it is obvious that their personal situation precludes such activity. For example, a Bahá'í who is married to a non-Bahá'í may well have to limit his activities to same degree in order to maintain the unity of his family. If during this process of encouragement it becomes apparent that the Bahá'í in question has in fact ceased to believe in Bahá'u'lláh and wishes not to be a member of the Bahá'í community, the Assembly would be fully justified in accepting his withdrawal." (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Spain, May 7, 1975) 302. Those Who No Longer Believe in Bahá'u'lláh... "Basically it is for your National Spiritual Assembly to decide who should be retained on the voting list, but guidelines have been given by the beloved Guardian and the Universal House of Justice. Obviously people who do not believe in Bahá'u'lláh and those who have become inactive to the extent that they do not show the slightest interest in the Faith can be dropped from the voting list. On the other hand, people who are inactive should not automatically be removed from that list. Each case should be considered on its own merits. In some cases a spark of faith may be found which with care may be fanned into flame. Patience and good judgement are called for". (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer, July 10, 1975) 303. Believers Whose Whereabouts Are Unknown 'Where a believer has been sought and his whereabouts and address are not known, the believer's name can be held in a suspended file against possible reappearance in another community, and need to be counted in delegate assignments. You are correct in acknowledging that such believers retain their full

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administrative rights. However, a category can be added to the voting list for those individuals whose addresses are unknown. While this category need not be included in allocation of delegates, it can be included in such lists as total number of believer's, semi-annual reports, etc." (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Paraguay, April 22, 1982)

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II. BACKBITING, CRITICISM, FAULTFINDING, GOSSIP, LIES, SLANDER, ETC. 304. The Hidden Words of Bahá'u'lláh "Breathe not the sins of others so long as thou art thyself a sinner. Shouldst thou transgress this command, accursed wouldst thou be, and to this I bear witness." (The Hidden Words of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 10, Arabic no. 27) 305. Backbiting Defined "As regards backbiting, i.e. discussing the faults of others in their absence, the teachings are very emphatic. In a Tablet to an American friend the Master wrote: 'The worst human quality and the most great sins is backbiting, more especially when it emanates from the tongues of the believers of God. If some means were devised so that the doors of backbiting were shut eternally and each one of the believers unsealed his lips in praise of others, then the Teachings of His Holiness Bahá'u'lláh would spread, the hearts be illumined, the spirits glorified, and the human world would attain to everlasting felicity.' (Quoted in Star of West, Vol. IV. p. 192) Bahá'u'lláh says in Hidden Words; 'Breathe not the sins of others so long as thou art a sinner. Shouldst thou transgress this command ACCURSED ARE THOU.' The condemnation of backbiting could hardly be couched in stronger language than in these passages, and it is obviously one of the foremost obligations for Bahá'ís to set their faces against this practice. Even if what is said against another person be true, the mentioning of his faults to others still comes under the category of backbiting, and is forbidden." (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the National Spiritual Assembly of the British Isles, February 11, 1925) 306. Abstain from Fault-Finding and Backbiting "On no subject are the Bahá'í teachings more emphatic than on the necessity to abstain from fault-finding and backbiting while being ever eager to discover and root out our own faults and overcome our own failings. "If we profess loyalty to Bahá'u'lláh, to our Beloved Master and our dear Guardian, then we must show our love by obedience to these explicit teachings. Deeds not words are what they demand, and no amount of fervour in the use of expressions of loyalty and adulation will compensate for failure to live in the spirit of the teachings." (From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to an individual believer, May 12, 1925: Living the Life, p.3) 307. Jealousy or Petty Attitudes Can Only Be Overcome by Love and Tact "... he suggests you write the National Spiritual Assembly in a loving spirit, and

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point out to them how it distresses you to think that, after so many years of service, statements about you which you consider unjustified should be preserved. But even if these are not taken from the records it still does not make them either true or false. Many things are preserved in records as matters of opinion; no one has given a verdict on this matter! "The only way jealousy or petty attitudes can be overcome is by the love and tact of the teacher; these are not things that can be solved by a 'ruling'." (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, July 30, 1946) 308. Dealing with Bahá'ís Who Act in Ways Detrimental to the Cause "The question of dealing with those who call themselves Bahá'ís but who in ways which we believe to be detrimental to the interests of the Cause is a very difficult one. If we think we can help matters by a frank and friendly talk with the individual concerned, refraining from judging or condemning, but pointing out in as kind a manner as possible the way in which, as it seems to us, the sort of conduct in question is harmful to the Cause or of a nature forbidden by the teachings, then it seems well to try that method before resorting to the more formidable method of bringing the matter before the Spiritual Assembly. But if that fails or if we feel that it is hopeless to try and deal with the matter in that way, while at the same time the case is so serious that the interests of the Cause require that it should be firmly dealt with, then the proper course is to bring the matter before the Spiritual Assembly and have it frankly and fully discussed, calling such evidence as is necessary for the elucidation of the matter. After full consideration, the spiritual Assembly should take such action as it deems available, and it is incumbent upon all members of the group to be loyal to whatever decision is arrived at by the Spiritual Assembly. There is, of course the right of appeal from the Local to the National Assembly, and from that to Shoghi Effendi, but the matter ought to be dealt with, in the first instance, by the Local Spiritual Assembly. "... When a difficulty is brought out into the daylight and freely discussed by a duly authorized and responsible group of people who are sincerely desirous of finding the best solution and are free from prejudice or personal motive, then there is a good chance of overcoming it, but discussions of and faults of others, behind their backs by unauthorized people who have no authority to take action in the matter, is surely one of the most fertile causes - probably THE most fertile cause -- of disunity, and the importance of putting an end to this practice should be impressed on all Baha'is." (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the National Spiritual Assembly of the British Isles, followed by an extract from the Guardian's postscript, February 11, 1925) 309. Learning Not to Concern Ourselves with the Faults of Others "As to backbiting, the House of Justice points out that learning not to concern oneself with the faults of others seems to be one of the most difficult lessons for people to master, and that failing in this is a fertile cause of disputes among Bahá'ís as it is among men and women in general. In 'Star of the West', Volume 8, No. 10, on page 138, there is a record of a reply given by 'Abdu'l-Bahá in a private interview in Paris in 1913. He was asked 'How shall I overcome seeing the faults of others -- recognizing the wrong in others?', and He replied: 'I will tell

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you. Whenever you recognize the fault of another, think of yourself! What are my imperfections? -- and try to remove them. Do this whenever you are tried through the words or deeds of others. Thus you will grow, become more perfect. You will overcome self, you will not even have time to think of the faults of others... ' "You are quite correct in your understanding of the importance of avoiding backbiting; such conduct strikes at the very unity of the Bahá'í community. In a letter written to an individual believer on behalf of the Guardian it is stated: "If we are better, if we show love, patience, and understanding of the weakness of others, if we seek to never criticize but rather encourage, others will do likewise, and we can really help the Cause through our example and spiritual strength." (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice, August 13, 1980) 310. The Believers Need More Peace-Makers Circulating Among Them -- A Function of the Older And The More Mature Baha'is. "What the believers need is not only, as you state, to really study the teachings, but also to have more peace-makers circulating among them. Unfortunately, not, only average people, but average Baha'is, are very immature; gossip, trouble-making, criticism, seem easier than the putting into practice of love, constructive words and cooperation. It is one of the functions of the older and the more mature Baha'is, to help the weaker ones to iron out their difficulties and learn to really function and live like true believers!" (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, January 11, 1950) 311. To Be Forbearing, Patient, Merciful, Rather than Succumbing to Backbiting and Criticism "You ask in your letter for guidance on the implications of the prohibitions on backbiting and more specifically whether, in moments of anger or depression, the believer is permitted to turn to his friends to unburden his soul and discuss his problem in human relations. Normally, it is possible to describe the situation surrounding a problem and seek help and advice in resolving it, without necessarily mentioning names. The individual believer should seek to do this, whether he is consulting a friend, Bahá'í or non-Baha'i, or whether the friends is consulting him. "'Abdu'l-Bahá does not permit adverse criticism of individuals by name in discussion among the friends, even if the one criticizing believes that he is doing so to protect the interests of the Cause. If the situation is of such gravity as to endanger the interests of the Faith, the complaint, as your National Spiritual Assembly has indicated, should be submitted to the Local Spiritual Assembly, or as you state to a representative of the institution of the Counsellors, for consideration and action. In such cases, of course, the name of the person or persons involved will have to be mentioned. "You also ask what one should do to 'handle depression and anger with someone' one feels 'very positively about'. The Universal House of Justice suggests that you call to mind the admonitions found in our writings on the need to overlook the shortcomings of others, to forgive and conceal their misdeeds, not to expose their bad qualities, but to search for and affirm their praiseworthy ones, and endeavour to be always forbearing, patient, and merciful. Such passages as

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the following extract from one of the letter written on behalf of the beloved Guardian by his secretary will also be helpful: "'Each of us is responsible for one life only, and that is our own. Each of us is immeasurable far from being "perfect as our Heavenly Father is perfect: and the task of perfecting our own life and character is one that requires all our attention, our will-power and energy... On no subject are the Bahá'í teachings more emphatic that on the necessity to abstain from fault-finding, while being ever eager to discover and root out or own faults and overcome our own failings.'" (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer, September 23, 1975) 312. Backbiting -- The Most Great Sin ... Thou hast written regarding aims. How blessed are these aims, especially the prevention of backbiting! I hope that you may become confirmed therein, because the worst human quality and the most great sin is backbiting; more especially when it emanates from the tongues of the believers of God. If some means were devised so that the doors of backbiting could be shut eternally and each one of the believers of God unsealed his tongue in the praise of the other, then the teachings of His Holiness Bahá'u'lláh (Bahá'u'lláh) would be spread, the hearts illuminated, the spirits glorified and the human world would attain to everlasting felicity. "I hope that the believers of God will shun completely backbiting, each one praising the other cordially and believe that backbiting is the cause of Divine Wrath, to such an extent that if a person backbites to the extent of one word, he may become dishonored among all the people, because the most hateful characteristic of man is fault-finding. One must expose the praiseworthy qualities of the souls and not their evil attributes. the friends must overlook their shortcomings and faults and speak only of their virtues and not their defects." It is related that His Holiness Christ -- May my life be a sacrifice to Him! -- one day, accompanied by His apostles, passed by corpse of a dead animal. One of them said: 'How putrid has this animal become!' The other exclaimed: 'How it is deformed!' A third cried out: 'What a stench! How cadaverous looking!' but His Holiness Christ said: "Look at its teeth! how white they are!' Consider, that He did not look at all at the defects of that animal; nay, rather, He searched well until He found the beautiful white teeth. He observed only the whiteness of the teeth and overlooked entirely the deformity of the body, the dissolution of its organs and the bad odour. This is the attribute of the children of the Kingdom. This is the conduct and the manner of the real Baha'is. I hope that all the believers will attain to this lofty station." ('Abdu'l-Bahá: Tablet to Dr. M.G. Skinner, August 12, 1913: Star of the West, Vol. IV, No. 11, p. 192) 313. Backbiting "Quencheth the Light of the Heart" "... Backbiting quencheth the light of the heart, and extinguisheth the life of the soul." (Bahá'u'lláh: The Kitáb-i-Iqan, p. 193)

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314. Criticism a Calamity ... "Vicious criticism is indeed a calamity. But its root is lack of faith in the system of Bahá'u'lláh, i.e., the Administrative Order -- and lack of obedience to Him -- for He has forbidden it! If the Bahá'ís would follow the Bahá'í laws in voting, in electing, in serving and in abiding by Assembly decision, all this waste of strength through criticizing others could be diverted into cooperation and achieving the Plan... " (From a letter written in behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, December 18, 1949: Bahá'í News, No. 233, p. 2 July 1950) 315. Suppress Every Critical Thought and Every Harsh Word "When we see the condition the world is in today, we must surely forget these utterly insignificant internal disturbances, and rush, unitedly, to the rescue of humanity. You should urge your fellow- Bahá'ís to take this point of view, and to support you in a strong effort to suppress every critical thought and every harsh word, in order to let the spirit of Bahá'u'lláh flow into the entire community, and unite it in His love and in his service." (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, February 16, 1951: Living the life, p. 17) 316. An Unwise Act or Statement "... an unwise act or statement by a Bahá'í in one country could result in a grave set-back for the Faith there or elsewhere -- and even loss of the lives of fellow believers." (From a letter of the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer, December 8, 1967: Wellspring of Guidance, p. 131) 317. Personal Differences and Petty Pre-Occupations "He feels that you should do your utmost to call the attention of the friends to these large things and real triumphs, and away from their personal differences and petty pre-occupations. Now is certainly not the time for any man to think of himself, or busy himself with the weaknesses of his brother; but, rather each and every Bahá'í must concentrate in the tasks ahead and be reborn in the service of Bahá'u'lláh." (From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to the Area National Teaching Committee (USA), July 17, 1950: Bahá'í News, October 1970, p.3) 318. Like Ploughmen Each Has his team to Manage "... Each of us is responsible for one life only, and that is our own. Each of us is immeasurably far from being 'perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect' and the task of perfecting our own life and character is one that requires all our attention, our will- power and energy. If we allow our attention and energy to be taken up in efforts to keep others right and remedy their faults,we are wasting precious time. We are like ploughmen each of whom has his team to manage and his plough to direct, and in order to keep his furrow straight he must keep his eye on his goal and concentrate on his own task. If he looks to the side and that to see how Tom and Harry are getting on and to criticize their ploughing, then his own furrow will assuredly become crooked." (From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to an individual believer, May 12, 1925: Living the Life, pp. 2-3)

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319. Be a Friend to the Whole Human Race "One must see in every human being only that which is worthy of praise. When this is done, one can be a friend to the whole human race. If, however, we look at people from the standpoint of their faults, then being a friend to them is a formidable task." ('Abdu'l-Bahá: Selections of the Writings of Abdu'l-Bahá, p. 169) 320. Bahá'í Must be Distinguished "I desire distinction for you. The Bahá'í must be distinguished from others of humanity. But this distinction must not depend upon wealth -- that they should become more affluent than other people. I do not desire for you financial distinction. It is not an ordinary distinction I desire: not scientific, commercial, industrial distinction. For you I desire spiritual distinction; that is, you must become eminent and distinguished in morals. In the love of God you must become distinguished from all else. You must become distinguished for loving humanity; for unity and accord; for love and justice. In brief, you must become distinguished in all the virtues of the human world; for faithfulness and steadfastness; for philanthropic deeds and service to the human world; for love toward every human being; for unity and accord with all people; for removing prejudices and promoting international peace. Finally, you must become distinguished for heavenly illumination and acquiring the bestowals of God. I desire this distinction for you. This must be the point of distinction among you." (Abdu'l-Bahá: Promulgation Of Universal Peace, p. 185) 321. Believers Should Draw on Each Other's Love "Indeed the believers have not yet fully learned to draw on each other's love for strength and consolation in time of need. The Cause of god is endowed with tremendous powers, and the reason the believers do not gain more from it is because they have not learned to draw fully on these mighty forces of love and strength and harmony generated by the Faith." (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, May 8, 1942: Living the Life, p.8) 322. Worst Enemies of the Cause Are in the Cause "The worst enemies of the Cause are in the Cause and mention the name of God. We need not fear the enemies on the outside for such can be easily dealt with. But the enemies who call themselves friends and who persistently violate every fundamental law of love and unity, are difficult to be dealt with in this day, for the mercy of god is still great. But ere long this merciful door will be closed and such enemies will be attacked with a madness... " ('Abdu'l-Bahá answers questions asked by Dr. E.C. Getsinger in the Holy Land: Star of The West, Vol.6, No.6, p.45) 323. Backbiting is Divisive "... If any soul speak ill of an absent one, the only result will clearly be this: he will dampen the zeal of the friends and tend to make them indifferent. For backbiting is divisive, it is the leading cause among the friends of a disposition to withdraw. If any individual should speak ill of one who is absent, it is incumbent on his hearers, in a spiritual and friendly manner, to stop him, and say in effect:

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would this detraction serve any useful purpose? Would it please the Blessed Beauty, contribute to the lasting honour of the friends, promote the holy Faith, support the covenant, or be of any possible benefit to any soul? No, never! On the contrary, it would make the dust to settle so thickly on the heart that the ears would hear no more, and the eyes would not longer behold the light of truth." ('Abdu'l-Bahá: Selections From The Writings of Abdu'l-Bahá, pp. 230-231) 324. When Criticism and harsh Words Arise "When criticism and harsh words arise within a Bahá'í community, there is no remedy except to put the past behind one, and persuade all concerned to turn over a new leaf, and for the sake of God and His Faith refrain from mentioning the subjects which have led to misunderstanding and in harmony. The more the friends argue back and forth and maintain, each side, that their point of view is the right one, the worse the whole situation becomes. (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, February 16, 1951) 325. If We Listen, We are Guilty of Complicity "It is obvious that if we listen to those who complain to us about the faults of others we are guilty of complicity in their backbiting. We should therefore, as tactfully as possible, but yet firmly, do our utmost to prevent others from making accusations or complaints against others in our presence. (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the National Spiritual Assembly of the British Isles, February 11, 1925)

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III. BAHÁ'Í A. Bahá'í Archives 326. Bahá'u'lláh Admonishes Care in Preservation of the Tablets "....The people of God should do all that lieth within their power to protect and preserve the Tablets. In the Land of Ta whatever there was in the homes of the friends was taken and fell into the hands of the heedless. We have commanded all to safeguard that which hath proceeded from the Pen of the Most High. We ask God to aid them to act in accordance with His wish and desire, and to draw them nigh to Him. He, verily, is the Almighty, the Powerful." "We have commanded all to observe wisdom, but from the friends we see heedlessness and negligence. They should guard the Tablets as they guard their eyes, nay with greater vigilance, if they be of them that comprehend." "Truly, none must be careless in the matter of safeguarding the Divine Tablets. In former times, when plans were laid to seize some of the friends, before all else it was the Writings that fell into the hands of the enemy. This is not permissible. The friends should designate a strong, secure place for storing the Divine Verses so that they may not be exposed to the touch of unworthy hands, even though these Verses are, and shall always be, such as 'none shall touch but the purified'[1]." (Bahá'u'lláh: The Importance of Collecting and Safeguarding the Bahá'í Writings, October 1986) [1] Quotation from the Qur'an, 79:56 327. Tablets and Verses to be Gathered into the Archives "In one of the Tablets, the Pen of the Most High, referring to this foundation,[1] which provides the best and surest, the soundest and most perfect means of collecting safeguarding and classifying the scattered, but growing body, of Sacred Writings and relics, states: "It is the concern of the True One to reveal, and the concern of men to spread what hath been revealed. He will, verily, promulgate His Cause by the hands of His scattering and well-favoured angels. Spiritual souls will assuredly emerge from behind the veil of Divine protection who will gather together the tokens and Verses of God and put them into the most excellent order. This is His sure and irrevocable decree." (Shoghi Effendi's 1954 Naw-Ruz Message to the Bahá'ís of the East. Translated from the Persian: The Importance of Collecting and Safeguarding the Bahá'í Writings, a compilation, July 1980)) [1] The International Archives Building 328. Bahá'í Archives, Institution of "The importance of the institution of Bahá'í Archives is not due only to the many

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teaching facilities it procures, but is essentially to be found in the vast amount of historical data and information it offers both to the present day administrators of the Cause, and to the Bahá'í historians of the future. The institution of Bahá'í Archives is indeed a most valuable storehouse of information regarding all aspects of the Faith, historical, administrative as well as doctrinal." (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States and Canada, September 25, 1936) 329. Future Generations Will Appreciate Archives "...Future generations of believer will be surely in a better position than we are to truly and adequately appreciate the many advantages and facilities which the institution of the Archives offers to individual believers and also to the community at large." (Ibid) 330. All Assembly Members Should Have Access to the Files -- Certain Items can be Listed as 'Confidential' 330. Все члены Собрания должны иметь доступ к документации - отдельные бумаги могут быть помечены как конфиденциальные (см. 164) -- Certain Items can be Listed as 'Confidential' "In reply to your letter of May 13th 1976 the Universal House of Justice instructs us to say that all members of the Spiritual Assembly are equal and should have access to the files and minutes of the Assembly of which they are members. It is, however, within the discretion of any Spiritual Assembly to so organize its files and records that certain items could be listed as 'confidential' and access to those so classified could only be had by a specific decision of the Assembly itself." "В ответ на ваше письмо от 13 мая 1976 года Всемирный Дом Справедливости поручил сообщить вам, что все члены Духовного Собрания равны и в равной степени имеют право доступа к документам и протоколам Собраний, членами которого являются. Однако Духовное Собрание может само решить, как именно организовать свою документацию, чтобы некоторые из документов, с пометкой "конфиденциально", открывались лишь после его особого разрешения". (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the National Assembly of Ireland, June 8, 1976) (Из письма от имени Всемирного Дома Справедливости к Национальному Духовному Собранию Ирландии, 8 июня 1976 г.) 331. Every Believer Has Responsibility to Assist with Preservation of Sacred Relics Preservation of Sacred Relics "....has suggested to the Guardian that he should ask your N.S.A. to address an appeal to the ... believers urging them to co-operate with the National and Local Bahá'í Archives ... in their efforts for the collection of Bahá'í sacred relics, and specially the Tablets, and their safe preservation. "As this is undoubtedly one of the most urgent tasks facing the believers at present, he strongly feels it advisable that your N.S.A. should once more impress upon the friends the necessity of their giving full and continued support to the truly valuable work which the National as well as the Local Archives Committees are accomplishing for our beloved Faith... "Now that the Cause is rapidly passing through so many differently phases of its evolution is the time for the friends to exert their utmost in order to preserve as much as they can of the sacred relics and various other precious objects that are associated with the lives of the Founders of the Faith, and particularly the Tablets They have revealed. "Every believer should realize that he has a definite responsibility to shoulder in this matter, and to help, to whatever extent he can, in rendering successful the

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valuable work which National and Local Bahá'í Archives Committees are so devotedly accomplishing for the Faith in ..." (The Importance of Collecting and Safeguarding the Bahá'í Writings, a compilation, p. 4) 332. Bahá'í Archives to be Established in Each Bahá'í Administrative Centre "Another necessary and highly commendable undertaking is the founding of a Bahá'í Archives in each of the Bahá'í provincial administrative centres. ... Anyone who, spontaneously and of his own free will, donates material to the Archives of his National Spiritual Assembly -- whether this be Tablets, books, pictures, objects or the like -- and especially if his inheritors are not accounted of the people of Baha, or are not considered by him as trustworthy or reliable, will have performed a highly meritorious act in the sight of God, and his name will be perpetuated in the records of the Spiritual Assemblies and his memory enshrined in the Archives for ever." (From a letter of Shoghi Effendi to the Bahá'ís of the East, July 1925, translated from the Persian, Ibid, p. 2) 333. Documents of Historical Value Should not be Destroyed "The Universal House of Justice has received your letter of 13th November, 1975 asking about the policy to be followed for keeping correspondence and we have been asked to reply as follows: "While it is within the jurisdiction of the National Spiritual Assembly to decide which papers in its files are not of long-term value and to have them destroyed you should always bear in mind the historical value of your files. Letters which at this time seem to be of little value could prove to be of great interest to future historians of the development of the Cause of Bahá'u'lláh in the... We suggest that when your secretary has sorted out from among your files the papers which she feels could be destroyed, you should appoint a committee composed of members of your National Assembly to go over them with their historical value in mind and submit a recommendation to your National Assembly. Obviously, those records or letters needed for legal purposes should be retained." (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Gilbert and Ellice Islands, November 26, 1975) B. Bahá'í Arts and Drama[*] 334. Three Central Figures Cannot be Portrayed "...the Faith can certainly be dramatized, but two things must be remembered: no personal presentation of the Báb, Bahá'u'lláh or the Master, only Their words can be used, but no figure must represent Them; great dignity must be the keynote." (From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to an individual believer, August 19, 1951) [*](See also: Chapter, MUSIC) 335. Dramatic Works "With reference to your question whether the Figures of the Báb and Bahá'u'lláh should be made to appear as characters in dramatic works written by the

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believers, Shoghi Effendi's opinion is that such an attempt to dramatize the Manifestations would be highly disrespectful, and hence should be avoided by the friends, even in the case of the Master. Besides it would be practically impossible to carry out such a plan faithfully, and in a dignified and befitting manner." (From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States and Canada, January 27, 1935) 336. Dancers Must be Decently Clad "Dancers may appear, but great care should be used that they are not indecently clad or the dances vulgar in any way. Naturally, there should be no dancers at regular Bahá'í meetings. Vocal soloists, of course, may appear." (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, August 19, 1951) 337. The Artistic Presentation of the Faith Will Attract a Certain Type of Individual "Lighting, sound, floral decorations, etc; the House of Worship, too, may all be used, but the point to remember is that real beauty and dignity must be achieved, and all impression of our being in any remote sense a cult, or a group of 'artistes' be avoided. "It is always good to remember that this more artistic presentation of the Cause will attract only a certain type -- and, fortunately, a type hitherto ignored in our approach to the public - of person; other methods must also be used to attract other types, such as the intellectual and more reserved type." (Ibid) 338. Art Can Better Awaken Noble Sentiments "Shoghi Effendi was very much interested to learn of the success of the 'Pageant of Nations' you reproduced... "It is through such presentations that we can arouse the interest of the greatest number of peoples in the spirit of the Cause. That day will the Cause spread like wild fire when its spirit and teachings will be presented on the stage or in art and literature as a whole. Art can better awaken such noble sentiments than cold rationalizing especially among the mass of the people. "We have to wait only a few years to see how the spirit breathed by Bahá'u'lláh will find expression in the work of the artists. What you and some other Bahá'ís are attempting are only faint rays that precede the effulgent light of a glorious morn. We cannot yet value the part the Cause is destined to play in the life of society. We have to give it time. The material this spirit has to mould is too crude and unworthy, but it will at last give way and the Cause of Bahá'u'lláh will reveal itself in its full splendour." (Letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, October 10, 1932) 339. Taking Part in Dramas -- Dancing "In the teaching there is nothing against dancing, but the friends should remember that the standard of Bahá'u'lláh is modesty and chastity. The atmosphere of modern dance halls, where so much smoking and drinking and promiscuity goes on, is very bad, but decent dances are not harmful in themselves. There is certainly no harm in classical dancing or learning dancing in school. There is also no harm in taking part in dramas. Likewise in cinema acting.

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The harmful thing, nowadays, is not the art itself the unfortunate corruption which often surrounds these arts. As Bahá'ís we need to avoid none of the arts, but acts and the atmosphere that sometimes go with these professions we should avoid." (From letter written on behalf of the Guardian to the National Spiritual Assembly of India, June 30, 1952: Dawn of a New Day, p. 153) 340. Film Companies "with regard to your question relative to the advisability of having Bahá'ís join film companies. Although on principle there is no objection if any believer wishes to become a cinema actor, yet in view of the excessive corruption that now prevails along such a line of occupation, the Guardian would not advise any believer to choose this kind of profession, unless he finds this to be the only means of earning his livelihood." (From letter written on behalf of the Guardian to an individual believer, September 4, 1935) 341. Movies "With reference to ... question whether it is permissible for the Bahá'ís to see pictures; there is nothing in the Teachings that would forbid such a practice." (From letter written on behalf of the Guardian to the National Spiritual Assembly of India, December 14, 1940: Dawn of a New Day, p. 85) 342. Dramatizing Historic Episodes of the Faith As to your question concerning the advisability of dramatizing Bahá'í historic episodes; the Guardian would certainly approve, and even encourage that the friends should engage in such literary pursuits which, no doubt, can be of an immense teaching value. What He wishes the believers to avoid is to dramatize the personages of the Báb, Bahá'u'lláh and 'Abdu'l-Bahá, that is to say to treat them as dramatic figures, as characters appearing on the stage. This, as already pointed out, he feels would be quite disrespectful. The mere fact that they appear on the scene constitutes an act of discourtesy which can in no way be reconciled with Their highly exalted station. Their Message, or actual Words, should be preferably reported and conveyed by Their disciples appearing on the stage. (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, July 25, 1936) 343. If Light Suggests Personification of the Manifestation, it Should not be Used The use of light, either of great intensity or in different colours, needs your careful consideration. If the use of light in any way at all suggests a personification of the Manifestation of God it should not be used, but if it can be done without in any way giving the impression that the Prophet is being represented or personified then there is no objection to its use. (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer, August 12, 1975) 344. Prohibition on Representing Manifestations of God in Paintings or Drawings Applies to all Manifestations The prohibition on representing the Manifestation of God in paintings and drawings or in dramatic presentations applies to all the Manifestations of God. There are, of course, great and wonderful works of art of past Dispensations,

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many of which portrayed the Manifestations of God in a spirit of reverence and love. In this Dispensation however the greater maturity of mankind and the greater awareness of the relationship between the Supreme Manifestation and His servants enable us to realize the impossibility of representing, in any human form, whether pictorially, in sculpture or in dramatic representation, the Person of God's Manifestations. In stating the Bahá'í prohibition, the beloved Guardian pointed out this impossibility. (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer, March 9, 1977) 345. Need for Skill to Produce an Effective Film about History of the Faith As you are no doubt aware, it is not permissible to portray the Manifestations of God in dramatic works and it can be understood that great skill will be needed to produce an effective film about the history of the Faith in which neither the Báb nor Bahá'u'lláh could actually appear. Because of the overwhelming significance of the Bahá'í message and the Bahá'í Revelation, any such film produced under the aegis of the Bahá'í community would have to be of the very highest quality in all respects. (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to a National Spiritual Assembly, September 24, 1978) C. Bahá'í Authors/Writers 346. Bahá'í Authors Should Write in Such Manner as to Attract the Souls "... Whatever is written should not transgress the bounds of tact and wisdom, and in the words used there should lie hid the property of milk, so that the children of the world may be nurtured therewith, and attain maturity. We have said in the past that one word hath the influence of spring and causeth hearts to become fresh and verdant, while another is like unto blight which causeth the blossoms and flowers to wither. God grant that authors among the friends will write in such a way as would be acceptable to fair minded souls, and not lead to cavilling by the people." (Bahá'u'lláh: Extracts from the Bahá'í Writings on the Subject of Writers and Writing, a compilation. p. 3, July 1980) 347. Bahá'í Writers Should Have their Works Approved for Publication by National Assembly of Country where Published "It is not the practice of the World Centre to review the writings of individual Bahá'ís intended for publication. As you know, Bahá'í authors, writing about the Faith, are requested to have their work approved for publication by the National Spiritual Assembly of the country where such work is published. There is no objection whatever, to your submitting your manuscript to a non- Bahá'í firm, provided that the approval of the manuscript by the National Assembly is first obtained." (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer, December 10, 1981) 348. Bahá'í Authors/Writers Should Welcome Review of their Works "Bahá'í authors should welcome review of their works, and can greatly assist

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promptness in review by supplying a sufficient number of copies of the manuscript for each member of the Reviewing Committee to have one. "Bahá'í authors may submit their works for review to any National Spiritual Assembly, and may send their works, once approved, to any publisher they like, Bahá'í or non-Baha'i, at home or abroad. It should be remembered, however, that the approval should be given by the National Spiritual Assembly of the country where the work is to be first published. And in the case of a non- Bahá'í publisher the author should insist on use of the system of transliteration at present used by the Faith for languages employing the Roman alphabet. "It is hoped that Bahá'í authors will provide a constant stream of new works. Introductory books, commentaries, dissertations on various aspects of the Revelation, text books, histories, reviews, audio-visual material are all needed to stimulate study of the Faith and to promote the vital teaching work." (The Universal House of Justice: From Memorandum on Bahá'í Publishing -- Ridvan 1971) 349. Review of Magazine Articles Written by Individual Believers "In the Feb. 'Bahá'í News', page 3, it mentions that magazine articles about the Cause ... 'written by individual believers as their personal understanding of the teachings' ... need not be reviewed officially. He feels this is unwise, in view of the Master's own instructions that articles about the Cause should not be published by individuals without proper approval of some responsible body. "The Guardian says the Local Assemblies can pass upon such articles; it is not necessary to refer them to a National Committee. "So often persons can be carried away by their enthusiasm and express something detrimental to the Faith therefore they must either refer their articles to their Local Spiritual Assembly or the National Reviewing Committee." (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States and Canada, April 13, 1946) 350. The Reviewing Committee "It is recommended that Reviewing Committee be small, composed of two or three believers with adequate education and knowledge of the Cause. It is essential that works submitted be dealt with promptly. The standards to be upheld by reviewers are the following: (a) conformity with the Teachings, (b) accuracy, (c) dignity in presentation. The Spiritual Assembly, on the basis of its Reviewing Committee's report, gives or withholds approval of the work." "... In general the function of a reviewing committee is to say whether the work submitted gives an acceptable presentation of the Cause or not. Reviewers may win the gratitude and good will of authors by calling attention to such things as occasional grammatical or spelling errors, but approval should not be refused on such grounds; all such details are editorial matters for agreement between author and publisher." (Universal House of Justice: Memorandum on Bahá'í Publishing -- Ridvan 1971) 351. Obligation of Bahá'ís to Present the Faith in Dignified Manner "We approve your action in writing to the Public Information Department and in publishing a statement instructing Bahá'ís who are authors not to attempt or be persuaded to write articles on the Faith for unsavoury publications.

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It is an obligation of all Bahá'ís to present the faith in a dignified manner and therefore when writing articles about the Faith they should take into consideration the type of magazine or other publication in which the article is to appear. Should there be any question about its character they should consult with the National Spiritual Assembly. In addition, all authors should bear in mind that anything written about the Faith for publication is subject to review before submission to the publishers." (The Universal House of Justice: from a letter written to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States, September 15, 1968) 352. The Function and Purpose of Reviewing "The function of reviewing is, essentially, to check the Author's exposition of the Bahá'í Faith and its teachings, which may include verification of any quotations from Bahá'í writings. This function should not be confused with evaluation of the literary merit of a work or of its value as a publication, which are normally the prerogative of the publisher..." (The Universal House of Justice: from a letter to the National Spiritual Assembly of the British Isles, March 11, 1965) 353. Purpose of Review "... The purpose of review is to protect the Faith against misrepresentation by its own followers at this early stage of its existence when comparatively few people have any knowledge of it. An erroneous presentation of the Teachings by a Bahá'í who is accounted a scholar, in a scholarly journal, would by that very fact, do far more harm than an erroneous presentation made by an obscure Bahá'í author with no pretensions to scholarship." (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer, October 8, 1980) 354. No Objection to Bahá'ís Writing Novels Portraying Historical Events "There is no objection to Bahá'ís writing novels portraying historical events and figures of the Faith. However, in view of the impossibility of ever portraying adequately the Manifestation of God as a character in a novel, and of the disrespect implicit in such an attempt, the House of Justice feels that no such portrayal should be attempted. Of course, His sayings and the events of His life may be recounted, but in this case care should be taken to quote His exact words as we have them in authorized translations, and events in Bahá'í history should not be distorted. "Generally speaking, works of fiction which the writers hope will help to promote knowledge of the Cause of God will fulfill this purpose better if they are set against the background of particular events or developing processes in the Cause of God, and not used to portray the actual historical events themselves and the figures taking part in them. The reality of the actual events and the actual personages is so much more convincing than any fictional account. In this connection the Guardian's secretary wrote on his behalf: "He would not recommend fiction as a means of teaching; the condition of the world is too acute to permit of delay in giving them the direct teachings, associated with the name of Bahá'u'lláh. But any suitable approach to the Faith,

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which appeals to this or that group, is certainly worthy of effort, as we wish to bring the Cause to all men, in all walks of life, of all mentalities." (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer, September 23, 1980) 355. Journalists "There is no objection to your being a journalist as long as you try to keep off political issues; especially the big East-West issues. You have a talent for writing, and it might be of help to you financially and in making contacts for the Faith." (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, November 30, 1950) 356. Sciences that Begin and End with Words -- Bahá'u'lláh Never Meant to Include Story Writing under this Category "What Bahá'u'lláh meant primarily with 'sciences that begin and end in words' are those theological treatises and commentaries that encumber the human mind rather than help it to attain the truth. The students would devote their life to their study but still attain no-where. "Bahá'u'lláh surely never meant to include story writing under such a category; and shorthand and typewriting are both most useful talents very necessary in our present social and economic life." "What you could do, and should do, is to use your stories to become a source of inspiration and guidance for those who read them. With such a means at your disposal you can spread the spirit and teachings of the Cause you can show the evils that exist in society, as well as the way they can be remedied. If you possess a real talent in writing you should consider it as given by God and exert your efforts to use it for the betterment of society." (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, November 30, 1932: Extracts from the Bahá'í Writings on the Subject of Writers and Writing, a compilation, July 1980) 357. The Faith Needs Bahá'í Authors "Regarding the advice you asked him for, he feels that to devote all one's studies with the object of becoming a Bahá'í author, is rather risky. We need Bahá'í authors badly, but you have to be assured that you have the talent to earn your living in that field, and also serve the Faith in it." "He feels that the best thing for you to do is to devote your studies to acquiring a sound education, if you like along literary lines, and then see what develops." (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, May 14, 1957) 358. Doctoral Theses and Similar Treatises "It has been decided that doctoral theses and similar treatises submitted to institutions of learning for the obtaining of a degree are not subject to Bahá'í review unless they are to be published more widely than is required for the degree in question." (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer, May 11, 1982) 359. No Publisher has the Right to Alter Author's Manuscript "A publishing trust has the right to refuse publication of any particular title, and a

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National Assembly has the right to review any proposed Bahá'í publication for accuracy and propriety. But no publisher has the right to alter or change an author's manuscript without his knowledge and consent." (The Universal House of Justice: from a letter written to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States, July 28, 1966) D. Bahá'í Publication, Translation, Review and Copyright 360. Bahá'í Newsletters and Bulletins -- Why Circulation is Restricted to "Bahá'ís Only" "In reply to your inquiry of 18 November 1982 about Bahá'í newsletters and bulletins being for Bahá'ís only, we are asked by the Universal House of Justice to quote below from letters written by the Universal House of Justice or at its instruction to other National Assemblies which have asked similar questions. "With reference to your letter of October 31st asking why the circulation of Bahá'í News should be restricted to Bahá'ís we wish to point out that the same reasons that make it necessary to restrict the attendance at a Nineteen Day Feast to Bahá'ís only apply also to the circulation of Bahá'í Newsletters. "A Bahá'í news bulletin assumes that the reader is a Bahá'í and it would therefore normally contain items which are purely of a domestic nature of no interest to the general public and which, in some cases, may give the wrong impression to those not familiar with the Bahá'í teachings. However, there is no objection to the friends showing their newsletters to non-Bahá'ís if they so wish or find it useful at times. Furthermore, if the words 'For Bahá'ís Only' which appear on some newsletters are found to be offensive to the non-Baha'i, there is no requirement for these words to appear on every copy of the newsletter." "In answer to your query concerning the policy of keeping 'Bahá'í News' for Bahá'ís only, the House of Justice instructs us to explain that the circulation of Bahá'í newsletters is restricted to Bahá'ís because they are vehicles of news that is primarily of internal interest to the friends and the Assembly should be able to write freely to the believers without having to so word the information that it would be easily understandable to a non-Bahá'í reader. In other words, a Bahá'í newsletter is not secret but is an internal journal intended for an informed readership." (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Mexico, December 19, 1982) 361. Usage in Spanish Texts of Accents on Persian and Arabic Words "The question as to whether or not the accents on the word Bahá'í (and indeed on other words transliterated from the Persian and Arabic) should be used when the word is printed entirely in capital letters is one that should be uniform in usage throughout the Spanish-speaking world unless usage varies significantly from country to country. It is suggested, therefore, that you refer this question to the two Bahá'í Publishing Trusts in Spain and Argentina for their comments. The guiding consideration should not be the usage in relation to accents on Spanish words, but the usage in Spanish texts of accents on capital letters on foreign words

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appearing in Spanish texts, such as the German umlaut, etc. It should be borne in mind that, whereas the accent in Spanish indicates merely a presence of stress, in the transliteration of Persian words it indicates a difference in articulation of the vowel. For example, the words "VAHID [accent over the A)" and "VAHID [accent over the I]" are two words with different meanings and different pronunciations." (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Mexico, July 22, 1984) 362. Publications from World Centre -- No Restriction on Use of Quotations "There is no restriction on Bahá'í authors, institutions and publishing agencies using quotations from the publications of the World Centre, and permission to do so need not be sought. This ;freedom to quote likewise applies to compilations of the World Centre which have been published. "Permission to quote from publications of Publishing Trusts should be sought from the Trust concerned except in cases where the Trust has merely printed a compilation issued by the World Centre. "Of course, Bahá'í authors should seek review of their works by the National Assembly of the country in which it will be printed." (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice, December 11, 1980) 363. Copyright Clearance on Sacred Writings not Necessary for and Bahá'í Believers "The Universal House of Justice has been concerned of late to note an apparently growing impression among Spiritual Assemblies and individual believers in many parts of the world, that they must obtain copyright clearance before they may quote from the Sacred Texts of the Faith in any publication. It has now instructed us to make it clear that the Spiritual Assemblies and individual believers are free to quote in their publications from any of the Writings of the three Central Figures of the Faith or from the writings of the beloved Guardian, whether in the original language or in translation, without obtaining clearance from the copyright holder, unless the copyright holder in the case of a translation is an individual or is a non-Bahá'í institution. It is recognized that this ruling may endanger copyrights, but we feel that this is a risk that must be taken. "The ruling is made to ensure that the Sacred Scriptures of our Faith and the writings of the beloved Guardian may be freely used by the believers; it does not change the existing requirements for individual believers to submit their works on the Faith for review before publication, neither does it relieve Spiritual Assemblies of their responsibility to protect the dignity of the Faith and uphold the proper standard of reverence in the use of its Sacred Scriptures. Thus, if any Assembly sees that one of the friends is making use of any of the Holy Texts in an unbefitting manner, it should remonstrate with him and, if necessary, require him to stop doing so." (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States, September 4, 1981) 364. Capitalizing Pronouns in English "The Guardian wishes your Committee to capitalize all pronouns when referring

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to Bahá'u'lláh, the Báb and the Master, even though the newspapers do not use them." (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the Bahá'í News Service Committee, February 5, 1938) "In regard to your question about capitalizing the pronouns: the Guardian realizes this looks a little strange to non-Baha'is, but he feels we, being believers, and having the full sense of the Stations of the Central figures of our Faith, should do this as a sign of respect under all circumstances." (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an Individual believer, November 22, 1949) 365. Capitalizing Pronouns in other Languages "He is interested in accomplishing two things -- he would like in the European languages to have as much uniformity with the English translations as possible; he does not wish the Bahá'í translations to be in any way a flagrant violation of the rules of the language into which our literature is being translated. "Your Committee must conscientiously study this question, and then do the best you can to have the Bahá'í literature in French meet the high standards of the French language and grammar. "If the possessive and demonstrative adjectives and pronouns in French are never capitalized where they stand for 'God', then this should not be done in the Bahá'í literature. If there is a precedent for doing so in the French language, however, they should be. The same is true of the attributes of God." (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the National Translation and Publication Committee of France, February 15, 1957) 366. Quotation Marks -- Must Uphold Rigid Standard Inculcated by Cause "Also the Guardian feels it is absolutely essential that in all releases issued by your Committee quotation marks be used when passages from Bahá'í Sacred Writings are quoted. The friends should be careful to uphold under all circumstances the rigid standard inculcated by the Cause, and not, to compromise easily with the common and accepted standards of the time." (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the Bahá'í News Service Committee, February 5, 1938) 367. National Spiritual Assembly Authorizes Translations Through Committee of Bahá'í Translators -- The Guardian's Method of Should be Used "The National Spiritual Assembly which undertake the translation, usually through a committee of Bahá'í translators, is the body which "authorizes" the translation, if it is approved. In some instances, if there are no Bahá'í translators available, there is no objection, in principle, to employing non-Bahá'ís for this purpose. It is usual for the National Spiritual Assembly to appoint a Reviewing Committee, or establish some means of providing review of the completed translation. You will note from the enclosed memorandum that, with the exceptions enumerated therein, new translations of the Sacred Text into languages other than English must be made from the Guardian's English translation where it exists; and when no such translation exists, advice should be sought from the Universal House of Justice. In the case of Spanish, to avoid

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duplication of effort and to achieve the highest standard of accuracy, the National Assembly concerned should feel free to consult EBILA and/or the National Spiritual Assembly of Spain, and indeed the House of Justice encourages the closest co-operation between all administrative bodies and publishing trusts responsible for the production of literature in Spanish. "Regarding the transliteration of Persian and Arabic words the House of Justice requests that the method adopted by the beloved Guardian, and which is described in the various volumes of 'The Bahá'í World', be followed, as it permits all languages which use the Roman alphabet to transliterate such terms in the same way throughout the Bahá'í world." (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Panama, July 16, 1979) 368. Guidelines for the Translation of Bahá'í Sacred Writings "Translations into languages other than those akin to Persian and Arabic should normally be made from approved English translations rather than from the original Persian and Arabic. In such cases it is an advantage if it is also possible for the translator(s) to check with the original. "Any believer is free to translate for his own use anything he wishes, but dissemination or publication of such translation is dependent upon their approval by the appropriate National Spiritual Assembly or, in the case of translations into English, by the World Centre. a) If an individual Bahá'í spontaneously makes his own translation of a passage he may willingly make it available to a Spiritual Assembly but he cannot be compelled to do so. b) If a translation made spontaneously by an individual is approved and published, he retains the copyright of his translation unless, of course, he wishes to surrender it. "When a Spiritual Assembly wishes to have a translation made it should, if possible have the task undertaken by a committee rather than by individuals, as is explained by 'Abdu'l-Bahá. a) The members of such a committee need not all be Baha'is. b) Translations made by a committee are the property of the Assembly appointing the committee, and not of the members of the committee. c) Except for translations into English, a translation made by a committee does not have to be checked unless the Assembly deems it advisable. d) In accordance with the instructions of Shoghi Effendi the name of the committee should appear in the book as the translator, but the names of the members must not so appear." (The Universal House of Justice: from Guidelines for the Translation of Bahá'í Sacred Writings, attached to a letter written on behalf of the Supreme Body to the National Spiritual Assembly of Panama, July 16, 1979) 369. An Individual Can Be Commissioned to Make Translations -- Become Property of the Assembly "If it is not feasible to form a translation committee, translations must, perforce, be made by individuals.

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a) When an individual is commissioned by an Assembly to make a translation for it the translation should become the property of the Assembly, not of the individual, even if the work is done without remuneration. It is advisable to have this and other matters agreed in writing before the work is undertaken so that there may be no ground for subsequent misunderstandings. b) A translation made by an individual should be checked before being published, if possible, and such checking should be done by a committee rather than by an individual, if this is feasible. c) When a translation made by an individual is published, his name may appear as translator if he so wishes. "Normally credit for translation should appear on all complete works and compilations that are published, as well as on books that quote translated passages. a) Credit for translation should not appear in the case of passages quoted in communications from Bahá'í institutions, even when these are published. b) Credit for translation need not appear on published leaflets and pamphlets unless there is a legal requirement that it do so." (Ibid) 370. Translation of Bahá'í Literature into Everyday Language - and Paraphrasing not to be Published as Scripture "The Universal House of Justice, in response to your letter of 20 April concerning translations into French or Creole using simpler words than the original text, has requested us to send the following three quotations. These make it clear that a quotation in English may be rendered into simple English in order to facilitate its translation into another language or dialect. However, it is not permissible to publish simplifications and paraphrased extracts of Bahá'í Writings as Bahá'í Scripture. "We have noticed a tendency in a number of countries to attempt to translate Bahá'í literature into the current, easy, everyday language of the country. This, however, should not be an overriding consideration. Many of the Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh and 'Abdu'l-Bahá are in exalted and highly poetic language in the original Persian and Arabic and you will see, for example, that when translating Bahá'u'lláh's Writings into English the beloved Guardian did not use present-day colloquial English but evolved a highly poetic and beautiful style, using numbers of archaic expressions reminiscent of the translations of the Bible." (From a letter dated 7 October 1973, written by the Universal House of Justice to a National Spiritual Assembly) "Obviously teaching literature and books about the Faith can be written in Simple English. However, we feel that when the Sacred Writings are published the standard English translation should be used, but there would be no objection to printing alongside it the translation into Simple English which should be described as a paraphrase of the Holy Word. Thus, for the people of ... who have difficulty in comprehending standard English, the simple English version would be in the nature of an explanation of the Writings which they could understand. In the case of teaching literature in which quotations from the Writings appear, these could either be paraphrased or a simple English version could be

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used with the standard version printed as a footnote. This method would also provide a means whereby the people of ... could improve their knowledge and understanding of the English language." (From a letter dated 20 September 1973 written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to a National Spiritual Assembly) "It is, of course, permissible to translate Bahá'í Writings into other languages and dialects of languages. It is also possible to simplify or paraphrase the Bahá'í Writings in order to facilitate their translation into languages and dialects having small vocabularies. However, it is not permissible to publish simplifications and paraphrases of Bahá'í Writings as Bahá'í Scripture." (From a letter dated 13 March 1969 written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to a National Spiritual Assembly) (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the Spiritual Assembly of Guadeloupe, May 13, 1986) 371. Translators Should Utilize most Recent Editions of Books "The Universal House of Justice has requested us to advise you to base your translations on current editions of all the books referred to, if translation is involved. In each instance you should consult the original publisher and obtain a copy of the latest printing or edition to ensure that all approved correction are embodied in your translation." (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Taiwan, May 22, 1984) E. Miscellaneous Subjects 372. Friday -- Day of Rest in Bahá'í Calendar "'Abdu'l-Bahá gives no reason whatever why Friday has been chosen as the day of rest in the Bahá'í calendar. He just affirms it." (From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to an individual believer, July 10, 1939: Bahá'í News, No. 162, April 1943, p. 5) 373. Use of Bahá'í Dates "It is advisable to use both the Bahá'í dates, according to the Bahá'í Calendar, and the usual Gregorian dates as well. The friends at present are free to do as they please." (From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to an individual believer, December 24, 1943: Bahá'í News, No. 173, February 1945, p. 11) 374. Bahá'í Faith, Designation of "In reply to your letter of January 26th, we realize that there are occasions on which the use of the term 'Bahá'í World Faith' may be justified and useful. However, it is our hope that the friends will gradually lose the habit of using this term as widely as they do now. The designation 'The Bahá'í Faith' is more dignified and preferable. Any adjective added to this name tends to a diminution of its stature and might be taken to mean that there are other 'Bahá'í Faiths'." (From letter of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of the British Isles, February 5, 1967: Copies to various National Spiritual Assemblies)

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375. Symbol of Bahá'í Faith -- Five-Pointed Star "... Strictly speaking the five-pointed star is the symbol of our Faith, as used by the Báb and explained by Him. But the Guardian does not feel it is wise or necessary to complicate our explanation of the Temple by adding this." (From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to an individual believer, October 28, 1949: U.S. Supplement to Bahá'í News, No. 50, p. 4, April 1962)

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IV. BAHÁ'Í LIFE, EGO, SACRIFICE, SELF AND SERVICE A. Bahá'í Life 376. The Great Thing is to "Live the Life" "The great thing is to 'Live the Life' -- to have our lives so saturated with the Divine teaching and the Bahá'í Spirit that people cannot fail to see a joy, a power, a love, a purity, a radiance, an efficiency in our character and work that will distinguish us from worldly-minded people and make people wonder what is the secret of this new life in us. We must become entirely selfless and devoted to God so that every day and every moment we seek to do only what God would have us do and in the way He would have us do it. If we do this sincerely then we shall have perfect unity & harmony with each other. Where there is want of harmony there is lack of the true Bahá'í Spirit. Unless we can show this transformation in our lives, this new power, this mutual love and harmony, then the Bahá'í teachings are but a name to us." (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, February 2, 1925) 377. If Health is Spent in Sensual Desires, Death is Preferable to Such a Life If the health and well-being of the body be expended in the path of the Kingdom, this is very acceptable and praiseworthy: and if it be expended to the benefit of the human world in general -- even though it be to their material (or bodily) benefit -- and be a means of doing good, that is also acceptable. But if the health and welfare of man be spent in sensual desires, in a life on the animal plane, and in devilish pursuits -- then disease were better than such health, nay, death itself were preferable to such a life. If thou art desirous of health, wish thou health for serving the Kingdom..." ('Abdu'l-Bahá: From a Tablet to the Bahá'ís of Washington, quoted in, Bahá'u'lláh and the New Era, pp. 114-115: Op. cit.) 378. To Attract the Hearts of Others it is Necessary to Live up to the Teachings "Indeed if the friends could seek, and exert themselves, to become 100 percent Bahá'ís they would see how greatly their influence over others would be increased, and how rapidly the Cause would spread. The world is seeking not a

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compromise but the embodiment of a high and shining ideal. The more the friends live up to our teachings in every aspect of their lives, in their homes, in business, in their social relationships, the greater will be the attraction they exercise over the hearts of others. "He is pleased to see you have naturally, with conviction and good will towards all, been mingling with and teaching the coloured people. When the Bahá'ís live up to their teachings as they should, although it may arouse the opposition of some it will arouse still more the admiration of fair minded people." (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, January 23, 1945) 379. Bahá'ís Must Cling to their Faith and to Each Other "In these days when the forces of inharmony and disunity are rampant throughout the world, the Bahá'í must cling to their Faith and to each other and, in spite of every difficulty and suffering, protect the unity of the Cause. Often the first efforts at getting the administration of the Faith to work harmoniously are painful because the individual must learn to subject his will to the whole - but these are all minor details, and the friends must all concentrate on constructive work for the Cause." (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to a group of believers, May 7, 1941) 380. The Advertisements for the Faith Are Love, Hospitality, Understanding and the Will to Help "He is very pleased to see with what love and devotion you have accepted our beloved Faith and long to serve it. "Not all of us are capable of serving in the same way, but the one way every Bahá'í can spread the Faith is by example. This moves the hearts of people far more deeply than words ever can." "The love we show others, the hospitality and understanding, the willingness to help them, these are the very best advertisements of the Faith. They will want to hear about it when they see these things in our lives." "The Guardian will pray that Bahá'u'lláh will aid you and strengthen you to teach His Cause to many souls." (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, October 14, 1943) 381. How to Acquire Peace of Mind "...Peace of mind is gained by the centering of the spiritual consciousness on the Prophet of God; therefore you should study the spiritual Teachings, and receive the Water of Life from the Holy Utterances. Then by translating these high ideals into action, your entire character will be changed, and your mind will not only find peace, but your entire being will find joy and enthusiasm." (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, October 15, 1952) 382. One Should not Give the Impression of Being Fanatic -- Seek to be Many-Sided, Normal and Well-Balanced "You ask about 'spiritual indigestion': Bahá'ís should seek to be many-sided, normal and well-balanced, mentally and spiritually. We must not give the impression of being fanatics but at the same time we must live up to our principles." (Letter from the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer, March 19, 1938: Bahá'í Journal of the United Kingdom, No. 217, p. 7, June 1973)

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383. The Inner Life of the Spirit is What Counts "If people only realized it, the inner life of the spirit is that which counts, but they are so blinded by desires and so misled that they have brought upon themselves all the suffering we see at present in the world. The Bahá'ís seek to lead people back to a knowledge of their true selves and the purpose for which they were created, and thus to their greatest happiness and highest good." (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, July 24, 1943) 384. Through Deep Study and Living the Life to Become Like Firm Rocks "He hopes that these receptive souls you have succeeded to attract into the movement will through deep study and living the life become like firm rocks upon which the Cause can build its future spiritual temple -- the temple of the hearts. In one of His very beautiful and stirring poems written in the early days of His Mission Bahá'u'lláh bids us stay away and not become an encumbrance if we desire to live and have our well-being. In case, however, we are ready to sacrifice our all in the path of God then we should hasten to Him and follow His way." "What the Cause needs is such ardent and self-sacrificing servants and not lukewarm followers who are ready to reap the fruit but unwilling to take a part in winning that victory. Shoghi Effendi, therefore, hopes that you will endeavour to make of your spiritual children of the type Bahá'u'lláh sought to have and create not passive admirers but active servants of the New World Order." (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, November 6, 1932) 385. Evolution of the Soul "Regarding your questions concerning the condition of the soul during illness. The passages in the "Gleanings" make it quite clear that physical ailments, no matter how severe, cannot bring any change in the inherent condition of the soul. As Bahá'u'lláh says: 'The spirit is permanent and steadfast in its station'. The veil or hindrance that interposes between soul and body during physical disease is sickness itself. Sickness reveals itself. Sickness reveals a lack of balance in human organism, an absence of equilibrium in the forces essential for the normal functioning of the human body." (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, March 8, 1936) B. Ego -- Self 386. The Meaning of Self "Regarding the questions you asked: Self has really two meanings, or is used in two senses, in the Bahá'í writings; one is self, the identity of the individual created by God. This is the self mentioned in such passages as 'he hath known God who hath known himself etc'. The other self is the ego, the dark, animalistic heritage each one of us has, the lower nature that can develop into a monster of selfishness, brutality, lust and so on. It is this self we must struggle against, or this side of our natures, in order to strengthen and free the spirit within us and help it to attain perfection." "Self-sacrifice means to subordinate this lower nature and its desires to the more godly and noble side of ourselves. Ultimately, in its highest sense, self-sacrifice means to give our will and our all to God to do with as He pleases.

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Then He purifies and glorifies our true self until it becomes a shining and wonderful reality." (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, December 10, 1947) 387. The Ego is the Animal within Us "The ego is the animal in us, the heritage of the flesh which is full of selfish desires. By obeying the laws of God, seeking to live the life laid down in our teachings, and prayer and struggle, we can subdue our egos. We call people 'Saints' who have achieved the highest degree of mastery over their ego. "There is no contradiction between Gleanings P 66 and P 262. In one place He says the mirror will never be free from dross, in the other He says it will be 'so cleansed as to be able' etc. It is a relative thing; perfection will never be reached, but great, and ever greater, progress can be made." (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, January 8, 1949) 388. Life is a Constant Struggle Against Forces Around us and Our Own "Egos" "Life is a constant struggle, not only against forces around us, but above all against our own 'ego'. We can never afford to rest on our oars, for if we do, we soon see ourselves carried down stream again. Many of those who drift away from the Cause do so for the reason that they had ceased to go on developing. They became complacent, or indifferent, and consequently ceased to draw the spiritual strength and vitality from the Cause which they should have. Sometimes, of course, people fail because of a test they just do not meet, and often our severest tests come from each other. Certainly the believers should try to avert such things, and if they happen, remedy them through love. Generally speaking nine-tenths of the friends' troubles are because they don't do the Bahá'í thing, in relation to each other, to the administrative bodies or in their personal lives." (Ibid) 389. The Prophets Are the only Ones Free of the "Dross of Self" "Regarding the questions you asked in your letter: The only people who are truly free of the "dross of self" are the Prophets, for to be free of one's ego is a hall-mark of perfection. We humans are never going to become perfect, for perfection belongs to a realm we are not destined to enter. However, we must constantly mount higher, seek to be more perfect." (Ibid) 390. Self Mastery, Key to "Today the confirmations of the Kingdom of Abha are with those who renounce themselves, forget their own opinions, cast aside personalities and are thinking of the welfare of others.... Whosoever is occupied with himself is wandering in the desert of heedlessness and regret. The 'Master Key' to self-mastery is self- forgetting. The road to the palace of life is through the path of renunciation." ('Abdu'l-Bahá: star of the West, Vol. XVII, p. 348) 391. Through the Search for God, We Become Acquainted with Ourselves "The more we search for ourselves, the less likely we are to find ourselves; and

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the more we search for God, and to serve our fellow-men, the more profoundly will we become acquainted with ourselves, and the more inwardly assured. This is one of the great spiritual laws of life." (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, February 18, 1954) 392. Becoming Conscious of Self is a Gradual Process "You have asked as to what point in man's evolution he becomes conscious of self. This consciousness of self in man is a gradual process, and does not start at a definite point. It grows in him in this world and continues to do so in the future spiritual world. "Man can certainly recall past experiences in his evolution, and even when his soul leaves this world it will still remember its past." (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, November 20, 1937) 393. Man's Evolution is both Individual and Collective "Man's evolution is both individual and collective, because of his twofold relationship to himself and to the society in which he lives. Individual evolution starts with the early stages of one's existence. Consciousness too grows with this evolution." (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to and individual believer, January 14, 1938) 394. The Cause Has the Spiritual Power to Re-Create Us "The believers, as we all know, should endeavour to set such an example in their personal lives and conduct that others will feel impelled to embrace a Faith which reforms human character. However, unfortunately, not everyone achieves easily and rapidly the victory over self. What every believer, new or old, should realize is that the Cause has the spiritual power to re-create us if we make the effort to let that power influence us, and the greatest help in this respect is prayer. We must supplicate Bahá'u'lláh to assist us to overcome the failings in our own characters, and also exert our own will power in mastering ourselves. "He will certainly pray for the work of the beloved Cause there and especially that new souls may be attracted and embrace the Faith. He will also pray that the believers may, for the sake of God, draw close to each other and not permit each other's short-comings to be a source of disunity and consequently a means of depriving thirsty souls of this life-giving Message! The world is full of evil and dark forces and the friends must not permit these forces to get hold of them by thinking and feeling negatively towards each other." (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, January 27, 1945) 395. Our Thoughts Should be Turned Determinedly, Intelligently and Unemotionally to God "He was very sorry to hear of the condition of your dear sister. He would advise her to turn her thoughts determinedly and intelligently -- by that I mean unemotionally -- to God, realising that He is forgiving, that in one moment He can, through His Blessed Mercy, take away our sense of failure and help us to do better in the future -- if we sincerely wish to; to turn to Him in prayer and seek to draw closer to Him; and to accept His Will and submit her own desires and opinions to His Wish and plan for her.

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"There is a tremendous darkness in the world today, the darkness caused by mankind's going against the Laws of God and giving way to the animal side of human nature. People must recognize this fact, and consciously struggle against pessimism and depression." (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, July 14, 1945) 396. We Should Focus on the Glory of the Cause and not on Our Failures "Regarding your own condition: He strongly urges you not to dwell on yourself. Each one of us, if we look into our failures, is sure to feel unworthy and despondent, and this feeling only frustrates our constructive efforts and wastes time. The thing for us to focus on is the glory of the Cause and the Power of Bahá'u'lláh which can make of a mere drop a surging sea! You certainly have no right to feel negative; you have embraced this glorious Faith and arisen with devotion to serve it, and your labours are greatly appreciated by both the Guardian and your fellow-Baha'is. With something as positive as the Faith and all it teaches behind you, you should be a veritable lion of confidence, and he will pray that you may become so. "There is, unfortunately, no way that one can force his own good upon a man. The element of free will is there, and all we believers -- and even the Manifestation of God Himself -- can do is to offer the truth to mankind. If the people of the world persist, as they seem to be doing, in their blind materialism, they must bear the consequences in a prolongation of their present condition, and even a worsening of it. Our duty as Bahá'ís is to build up such a love and unity within our own ranks that the people will be attracted by this example to the Cause. We also must teach all we can and strengthen the Bahá'í Community in the administration. But more we cannot do to avert the great sufferings which seemingly still lie ahead of the world in its present evil state." (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, October 13, 1947) 397. Do not Dwell on Others' Thoughts and Attitudes "We must never dwell too much on the attitudes and feelings of our fellow believers towards us. What is most important is to foster love and harmony and ignore any rebuffs we may receive; in this way the weakness of human nature and the peculiarity or attitude of any particular person is not magnified, but pales into insignificance in comparison with our joint service to the Faith we all love." (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, September 19, 1948) C. Self-Defense 398. Bahá'í justified in Defending his Life in Emergency "Regarding the question you raised: In an emergency, when there is no legal source at hand to appeal to, a Bahá'í is perfectly justified to defending his life." (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, July 24, 1943) 399. Self-Defense "From the texts you already have available it is clear that Bahá'u'lláh has stated that it is preferable to be killed in the path of God's good-pleasure than to kill, and that organized religious attach against Bahá'ís should never turn into any kind of warfare, as this is strictly prohibited in our Writings.

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"The House of Justice does not wish at the present time to go beyond the guidelines given in the above-mentioned statements. The question is basically a matter of conscience, and in each case the Bahá'í involved must use his judgment in determining when to stop in self-defense lest his action deteriorate into retaliation. "Of course the above principles apply also in cases when a Bahá'í finds himself involved in situations of civil disorder. We have, however, advised the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States that under the present circumstances in that country it is preferable that Bahá'ís do not buy nor own arms for their protection or the protection of their families." (From a letter of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Canada, May 26, 1969: Messages from the Universal House of Justice, 1968 -- 1973, p. 26) 400. Pioneer Living in a Remote Area Lacking Protection, Circumstances Under which a Bahá'í is Justified in Defending Self "We have your letter of March 2, 1972 asking if ... a pioneer couple living in a remote area lacking police protection may have a weapon in their possession for defending themselves as thieves have broken into their house twice and robbed them. "A hitherto untranslated Tablet from 'Abdu'l-Bahá points out that in the case of attack by robbers and highwaymen, a Bahá'í should not surrender himself, but should try, as far as circumstances permit, to defend himself, and later on lodge a complaint with the government authorities. A statement in a letter written on behalf of the Guardian indicates that in an emergency when there is no legal force at hand to appeal to a Bahá'í is justified in defending his life. Although we have advised certain National Assemblies in countries facing increasing civil disorder the protection of their families, we feel that in the circumstances you have outlined in your letter it would be permissible for the pioneer family to keep a weapon in the house, provided the law permits." (From a letter of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Honduras, March 20, 1972) D. Self-Sacrifice and service 401. The Mystery of Sacrifice "O maid-servant of God! The mystery of sacrifice is that man should sacrifice all his conditions for the Divine Station of God. The Station of God is Mercy, Kindness, Forgiveness, Sacrifice, Favour, Grace and Giving-Life to the spirits and lighting the fire of His Love in the hearts and arteries. I asked God to make thee a sign of mercy, the banner of kindness among His maid-servants." ('Abdu'l-Bahá: Tablets of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, p. 65) 402. Self-Sacrifice, Meaning of "Self-Sacrifice means to subordinate this lower nature and its desires to the more Godly and noble side of ourselves. Ultimately, in its highest sense, self-sacrifice means to give our will and our all to God to do with as He Pleases. Then He

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purifies and glorifies our true self until it becomes a shining and wonderful reality." (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, December 10, 1947: Living the Life, p. 14) 403. To What Extent Should We Sacrifice Our Lives for the Interest of the Cause? "The problem of to what extent we should sacrifice our time for the interest of the Cause depends for its solution upon individual means and circumstances. It is a personal problem that we ought to settle individually. One person may give all his time to teaching and rely upon small personal income and another may find himself more fitted to business and give his share of service in the form of financial assistance." (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, December 18, 1930) 404. Accepting to Suffer for Each Other's Sake "With reference to your question as to whether individuals can help each other by accepting to suffer for each other's sake. Surely such sacrifice for our fellow-humans can have helpful results. This law of sacrifice operates in our own lives, as well as in the lives of the Divine Manifestations." (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, March 31, 1938) 405. Service as Magnet for Divine Confirmation "...There is nothing that brings success in the Faith like service. Service is the magnet which draws the Divine Confirmations. Thus, when a person is active, they are blessed by the Holy Spirit. When they are inactive, the Holy Spirit cannot find a repository in their being, and thus they are deprived of its healing and quickening rays." (From letter written on behalf of the Guardian to an individual believer, July 12, 1952: Living the Life, p. 18) 406. Assistance of Hosts of Divine Concourse "... An individual must center his whole heart and mind on service to the Cause, in accordance with the high standards set by Bahá'u'lláh. When this is done, the hosts of the Supreme Concourse will come to the assistance of the individual, and every difficulty and trial will gradually be overcome." (From letter written on behalf of the Guardian to an individual believer, October 6, 1954: Ibid, p. 19) 407. An Irresistible Urge to serve -- Do not Look at Your Shortcomings "... This irresistible urge to serve which you feel and which has prompted you to offer yourself for work in the teaching field is itself a clear indication that you are being guided by the Almighty to attain your highest and noblest goal in this life. For what a greater destiny can you hope to seek except that which Bahá'u'lláh has traced for every one of His loyal believer, namely to consecrate one's all to the service and glorification of His Faith! This assurance should indeed fortify your hopes, and enable you to banish every sense of dissatisfaction, and of unworthiness which may linger in your heart, and which may deter you from

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participating joyously and actively in serving the Cause. You should not look at your limitations, but derive full confidence at the thought that, however limited your resources and capacities may be, your efforts will be reinforced by Divine confirmations, provided you do your share and discharge your obligations as a believer, fully and conscientiously. Your perseverance will, even as a magnet, draw upon you the favours and blessings of Bahá'u'lláh. Do feel happy and confident, therefore, and fortified by such an assurance arise to contribute all that is in your power towards the furtherance and promulgation of our beloved Cause." (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, January 30, 1939) 408. There is no Rule or Standard Requiring a Believer to Serve in one Field at the Exclusion of Others "Whatever the particular field of service you may choose, whether teaching or administrative, the essential is for you preserve, and not to allow any consciousness of your limitations to dampen your zeal, much less to deter you from serving joyously and actively. "There is no general rule, or any particular standard requiring a believer to serve in one field, at the exclusion of others. Every believer is to choose for himself any avenue of work in which he conscientiously feels he can render the greatest amount of service to the Cause. He can seek the advice of his Assembly, and of his fellow-believers before taking such a step, but there is no obligation requiring him to do so." (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, February 6, 1939)

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V. BEGGING, CHARITIES AND THE POOR A. Begging 409. Begging is Forbidden -- House of Justice to provide for Disabled "We have been asked to share with you the following extract from one of the Tablets of 'Abdu'l-Bahá on the subject of begging: "By the Sacred Verse: "Begging is forbidden, and it is also prohibited to dispense alms to a beggar' is meant that mendicancy is forbidden and that giving charity to people who take up begging as their profession is also prohibited. The object is to wipe out mendicancy altogether. However, if a person is disabled, stricken by dire poverty or becomes helpless, then it is incumbent upon the rich or the trustees to provide him with a monthly allowance for his subsistence. when the House of Justice comes into being it will set up homes for the incapacitated. Thus no one will be obliged to beg, even as the supplementary part of the Blessed Verse denotes: 'It is enjoined upon everyone to earn his livelihood'; then He says: 'As to those who are disabled, it devolveth upon the trustees and the rich to make adequate provision for them.' By 'trustees' is meant the representatives of the people, that is to say the members of the House of Justice." "The Universal House of Justice does not wish to go beyond the elucidation given by the Master in the above passage and wishes, for the time being, to leave any matter not entirely covered by this text to the conscience of individual believers." (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer, August 13, 1974) 410. Beggers -- Most Despised of Men in the Sight of God "The most despised of men in the sight of God are those who sit idly and beg. Hold ye fast unto the cord of material means, placing your whole trust in God, the Provider of all means. When anyone occupieth himself in a craft or trade, such occupation itself is regarded in the estimation of God as an act of worship; and this is naught but a token of His Infinite and All-Pervasive Bounty." (Bahá'u'lláh: Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 26) B. Charity 411. Charity is the Very Essence of the Teachings "This Bahá'í teaching of human fellowship and kindness implies that we must be always ready to extend every assistance and help we can to those who are in distress and suffering. Bahá'í charity is of the very essence of the Teachings,

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and should therefore be developed in every Bahá'í community. Charitable institutions such as orphanages, free schools and hospitals for the poor, constitute an indispensable part of the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar. It is the responsibility of every local Bahá'í community to insure the welfare of its poor and needy members, through whatever means possible. But, of course, this extension of assistance to the poor, in whatever form should under no circumstances be allowed to seriously interfere with the major collective interests of the Bahá'í community, as distinguished from the purely personal interests of its members. The demands of the Cause transcend those of the individual, and should therefore be given precedence. But these two phases of Bahá'í social life, though not of equal importance, are by no means contradictory. Both of them are essential, and should be fostered, but each according to its own degree of importance. It is the responsibility of Bahá'í Assemblies to decide when individual interests should be subordinated to those affecting the collective welfare of the community. But, as already stated, the interest of the individual should always be safeguarded within certain limits, and provided they do not seriously affect the welfare of the group as a whole." (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, June 26, 1936) 412. Contributions to Charity by Assemblies and Individuals "First there is the principle that any believer may sell personal services or property too anyone and do with the proceeds as he wishes, including giving any or all of them to Bahá'í purposes. Thus if a Bahá'í concert artist gives a concert to which admission is charged, he is free, is he so wishes, to give the money so earned to the Fund or to any charity of his choice. In giving the concert, however, he should not represent to non-Bahá'ís that the concert is for the benefit of the Bahá'í Fund or is given on behalf of Bahá'ís for a charity, which brings us to the second principle: that it is improper for Bahá'ís to solicit funds from non-Bahá'ís in the name of the Faith for any purpose. If a non-Bahá'í insists on making a monetary contribution it may be accepted with the express understanding that it will be used only for charitable or philanthropic purposes, but such contributions should be discouraged, not encouraged. "The third principle concerns contributions made to charity by Bahá'ís themselves. Spiritual Assemblies are, of course, permitted to make contributions to charity -- indeed care of the poor and needy is one of the duties assigned to them in the Bahá'í Writings - but they must weigh their responsibilities very carefully and remember that in a highly organized country like the United Kingdom the poor are helped by a multitude of agencies, both governmental and private, whereas only the Bahá'ís can contribute towards the building of the Kingdom of God on earth. This, clearly, is a matter for wise moderation. Assemblies, moreover, should perform their charitable works with a pure motive, and not with the thought of propagandizing for the Faith. "An individual Bahá'í is, of course, free to contribute to charity from his own resources if he wishes, but as a Bahá'í he should bear in mind the needs of the Bahá'í Fund, which only believers can support." (The Universal House of Justice: From a letter to a Local Spiritual Assembly, March 19, 1973) 413. Surest Way of Lifting Once and for All Burden of Hunger and Misery "... in the first place every believer is free to follow the dictates of his own

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conscience as regards the manner in which to spend his own money. Secondly, we must always bear in mind that there are so few Bahá'ís in the world, relative to the world's population, and so many people in need, that even if all of us gave all we had, it would not alleviate more than an infinitesimal amount of suffering. This does not mean we must not help the needy, we should; but our contributions to the Faith are the surest way of lifting once and for all time the burden of hunger and misery from mankind, for it is only through the system of Bahá'u'lláh -- Divine in origin -- that the world can be gotten on its feet and want, fear, hunger, war, etc., be eliminated. Non- Bahá'ís cannot contribute to our work or do it for us; so really our first obligation is to support our own teaching work, as this will lead to the healing of the nations." (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, December 8, 1947: Lifeblood of the Cause, 1970, London, pp. 12-13) 414. There Are Many Ways that Help Can be Rendered to Suffering Fellow-Men "It is understandable that Bahá'ís who witness the miserable conditions under which so many human beings have to live, or who hear of a sudden disaster that has struck a certain area of the world, are moved to do something practical to ameliorate those conditions and to help their suffering fellow-mortals. "There are many ways in which help can be rendered. Every Bahá'í has the duty to acquire a trade or profession through which he will earn that wherewith he can support himself and his family; in the choice of such work he can seek those activities which are of benefit to his fellow-men and not merely those which promote his personal interests, still less those whose effects are actually harmful. "There are also the situations in which an individual Bahá'í or a Spiritual Assembly is confronted with an urgent need which neither justice nor compassion could allow to go unheeded and unhelped. How many are the stories told of 'Abdu'l-Bahá in such situations, when He would even take off a garment He was wearing and give it to a shivering man in rags. "But in our concern for such immediate obvious calls upon our succour we must not allow ourselves to forget the continuing, appalling burden of suffering under which millions of human beings are always groaning -- a burden which they have bourne for century upon century and which it is the Mission of Bahá'u'lláh to lift at last. the principal cause of this suffering, which one can witness wherever one turns, is the corruption of human morals and the prevalence of prejudice, suspicion, hatred, untrustworthiness, selfishness and tyranny among men. It is not merely material well- being that people need. What they desperately need is to know how to live their lives -- they need to know who they are', to what purpose they exist, and how they should act towards one another; and, once they know the answers to these questions they need to be helped to gradually apply these answers to every-day behavior. It is to the solution of this basic problem of mankind that the greater part of all our energy and resources should be directed..." (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Italy, November 19, 1974) 415. Bahá'ís Have the Divinely-Given Remedy for the Ills of Mankind "...There are mighty agencies in this world, governments, foundations, institutions of many kinds with tremendous financial resources which are working

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to improve the material lot of human beings. Anything we Bahá'ís could add to such resources in the way of special funds or contributions would be a negligible drop in the ocean. However, alone among men we have the Divinely-given remedy for the real ills of mankind; no one else is doing or can do this most important work, and if we divert our energy and our funds into fields in which others are already doing more than we can hope to do, we shall be delaying the diffusion of the Divine Message which is the most important task of all. "Because of such an attitude, as also because of our refusal to become involved in politics, Bahá'ís are often accused of holding aloof from the 'real problems' of their fellow-men. But when we hear this accusation let us not forget that those who make it are usually idealistic materialists to whom material good is the only 'real' good, whereas we know that the working of the material world is merely a reflection of spiritual conditions and until the spiritual conditions can be changed there can be no lasting change for the better in material affairs. "We should also remember that most people have no clear concept of the sort of world they wish to build, nor how to go about building it. Even those who are concerned to improve conditions are therefore reduced to combatting every apparent evil that takes their attention. Willingness to fight against evils, whether in the form of conditions or embodied in evil men, has thus become for most people the touchstone by which they judge a person's moral worth. Baha'is, on the other hand, know the goal they are working towards and know what they must do, step by step, to attain it. Their whole energy is directed towards the building of the good, a good which has such a positive strength that in the face of it the multitude of evils -- which are in essence negative -- will fade away and be no more. To enter into the quixotic tournament of demolishing one by one the evils in the world is, to a Bahá'í a vain waste of time and effort. His whole life is directed towards proclaiming the Message of Bahá'u'lláh, reviving the spiritual life of his fellow-men, uniting them in a Divinely-created World Order, and then, as that Order grows in strength and influence, he will see the power of that Message transforming the whole of human society and progressively solving the problems and removing the injustice which have so long bedeviled the world." (Ibid) 416. When a Bahá'í Finds it Essential to Seek the Help of Others "When a Bahá'í finds it essential to seek the help of others, and after his own efforts and those of his family and close friends have proved inadequate, he may certainly turn to his Local Spiritual Assembly, which will consult on his problem, extend a helping hand to him, if the conditions of the Local Fund permit, and even more importantly, will counsel and advise him on what opportunities are open to him, and what steps he might take to seek a solution to his problem. If the Local Assembly feels that the help or guidance of the National Assembly should be sought, it will no doubt refer the matter to the National Assembly." (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer, September 1, 1980: Giving to the Poor, a compilation of the Universal House of Justice) 417. Local Spiritual Assembly Should Extend Helping Hand to the Poor "They (Local Spiritual Assembly) must do their utmost to extend at all times the helping hand to the poor, the sick, the disabled, the orphan, the widow, irrespective of colour, caste and creed.

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"They must promote by every means in their power the material as well as the spiritual enlightenment of youth, the means for the education of children, institute, whenever possible, Bahá'í educational institutions, organize and supervise their work and provide the best means for their progress and development." (From a letter written by Shoghi Effendi to the Bahá'ís of the West, Japan and Australasia, march 12, 1923) 418. How a Bahá'í May Help his Fellow-Believer through the Institutions "In our dealings with the believers, however, apart from the need to give priority to the needs of the Faith, one has to bear in mind, as you point out in your letter, such considerations as wisdom as well as the importance of avoiding actions that may jeopardize our cordial relationships with the believers. If the individual believer is unable personally and prayerfully to resolve such a problem, he should, as each case may indicate, either himself refer to the Spiritual Assembly for guidance, or refer the believers to that institution. A Bahá'í who wishes to help his needy fellow-believer may do so by extending his assistance either personally, or impersonally through the Spiritual Assembly if he feels that this method will provide the means to objectively assess the real needs involved, or will maintain and preserve better relationship between him and the believer concerned. "This is just one more reason why we should endeavor to support, strengthen the foundations, and foster the development of Local Spiritual Assemblies so that they may become rallying points of the friends and the true shepherds of the Divine flock." (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer, April 9, 1973) C. The Poor 419. Those Possessed of Riches Must Have the Utmost Regard for the Poor "They who are possessed of riches, however, must have the utmost regard for the poor, for great is the honor destined by God for those poor who are steadfast in patience. By My Life! There is no honor, except what God may please to bestow, that can compare to this honor. Great is the blessedness awaiting the poor that endure patiently and conceal their sufferings, and well is it with the rich who bestow their riches on the needy and prefer them before themselves. "Please God, the poor may exert themselves and strive to earn the means of livelihood. This is a duty which, in this most great Revelation, hath been prescribed unto every one, and is accounted in the sight of God as a goodly deed. Whose observeth this duty, the help of the Invisible One shall most certainly aid him. He can enrich, through His grace, whomsoever He pleaseth. He, verily, hath power over all things..." (Bahá'u'lláh: Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, pp. 202-203) 420. The Greatest Gift We Can Give to the Poor "Regarding your question concerning helping the poor: The Bahá'ís should not go so far as to refrain from extending charity to the needy, if they are able and willing to do so. However, in this, as in many other things, they should exert moderation. The greatest gift that we can give to the poor and the down-trodden is

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to aid to build up the divine institutions inaugurated in this day by Bahá'u'lláh as these institution, and this World Order when established, will eliminate the causes of poverty and the injustices which afflict the poor. We should, therefore, do both, support our Bahá'í Fund, and also be kind and generous to the needy." (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual Believer, March 11, 1942) 421. Do no Grieve for Being Poor -- Some Great Souls Were of the Poorest in the World "Do not grieve, dear brother, for being poor, for you are rich instead in faith and in spirit. This is a divine wealth for which the richest of the world will crave for in vain. True we must work hard, earn money and keep our family in happiness and prosperity, but we must always realize that our lives must be devoted to things higher and more sublime. We must remember what great souls, whose lives still inspire hundreds and thousands, were of the poorest in the world." (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, May 18, 1927)

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VI. CALAMITIES AND CRISES 422. The World is in Travail "The world is in travail and its agitation waxeth day by day. Its face is turned toward waywardness and unbelief. Such shall be its plight that to disclose it now would not be meet and seemly. Its perversity will long continue. And when the appointed hour is come, there shall suddenly appear that which shall cause the limbs of mankind to quake. Then, and only then, will the Divine Standard be unfurled, and the Nightingale of Paradise warble its melody." (Bahá'u'lláh: Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, Wilmette, 1983, p. 118) 423. Powerful Forces Are Operating to Bring to a Climax this Portentous Century "... Both within and without the Cause of God, powerful forces are operating to bring to a climax the twin tendencies of this portentous century. Among the many evidences which reveal this process may be cited, on the one hand, the continual increase of lawlessness, terrorism, economic confusion, immorality and the growing danger from the proliferation of weapons of destruction, and on the other, the world-wide, divinely propelled expansion, consolidation and rapid emergence into the limelight of world affairs of the Cause itself, a process crowned by the wonderful efflorescence of Mount Carmel, the mountain of God, whose Divine springtime is now so magnificently burgeoning." (From a message of the Universal House of Justice to the Bahá'ís of the world, Ridvan 1983) 424. The People of Baha Are Assured of Divine Guidance "... the Pen of the Centre of the Covenant has repeatedly prophesied the intolerable calamities which must best be sent this wayward humanity ere it heeds the life-giving Teachings of Bahá'u'lláh. "Chaos and confusion are daily increasing in the world. They will attain such intensity as to render the frame of mankind unable to bear them. Then will men be awakened and become aware that religion is impregnable stronghold and the manifest light of the world, and its laws, exhortations and teachings the source of life on earth.' "Every discerning eye clearly sees that the early stages of this chaos have daily manifestations affecting the structure of human society; its destructive forces are uprooting time-honoured institutions which were a heaven and refuge for the inhabitants of the earth in bygone days and centuries and around which revolved all human affairs. The same destructive forces are also deranging the political, economic, scientific, literary, and moral equilibrium of the world and are destroying the fairest fruits of the present civilization. Political machinations of those in authority have placed the seal of obsolescence upon the root- principles of the world's order. Greed and passion, deceit, hypocrisy, tyranny, and pride are dominating features afflicting human relations. Discoveries and inventions, which

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are the fruit of scientific and technological advancements, have become the means and tools of mass extermination and destruction and are in the hands of the ungodly. Even music, art, and literature, which are to represent and inspire the nobles sentiments and highest aspirations and should be a source of comfort and tranquility for troubled should, have strayed from the straight path and are now the mirrors of the soiled hearts of this confused unprincipled and disordered age. Perversions such as these shall result in the ordeals which have been prophesied by the Blessed Beauty in the following words: 'Every day a new calamity will seize the earth and a fresh tormenting trial will appear'. "the day is approaching when its (civilization's) flame will devour the cities." "In such an afflicted time when mankind is bewildered and wisest of men are perplexed as to the remedy, the people of Baha who have confidence in His unfailing Grace and Divine Guidance are assured that each of these tormenting trials has a cause, a purpose, and a definite result and all are essential instrument for the establishment of immutable Will of God on earth. In other worlds on the one hand humanity is struck by the scourge of His chastisement which will inevitably bring together the scattered and vanquished tribes of the earth; and on the other, the weak few whom He has nurtured under the protection of his loving guidance are, in this formative age and period of transition, continuing to build amidst these tumultuous waves an impregnable stronghold which will be the sole remaining refuge for those lost multitudes. Therefore, the dear friends of God who have such a broad and clear vision before them are not perturbed by such events, nor are they panic- stricken by such thundering sounds, nor will they face such convulsions with fear and trepidation, nor will they be deterred, even for a moment, from fulfilling their sacred responsibilities. "One of their sacred responsibilities is to exemplify in their lives those attributes which are acceptable at His Sacred Threshold." (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the Iranian believers resident in various countries throughout the would, February 10, 1980) 425. If Bahá'ís Fail they Are Partly Responsible for Agony of Mankind There is so much suffering, such a great and desperate need for a true remedy and the Bahá'ís should realize their scared obligation is to deliver the message to their fellowmen at once, and on as large a scale as possible. If they fail to do so, they are really partly responsible for prolonging the agony of humanity. (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, December 18, 1943) 426. The World Will Experience Travails and testing as Never Before "We are instructed to say that although there is every reason to expect that the world will experience travails and testing as never before, we do not know that what form these upheavals will take, when exactly they will come, how severe they will be, nor how long they will last. "The Faith itself as it emerges from obscurity will suffer severe trials. Sensitive souls such as yourself are particularly aware of these impending developments. However, Bahá'u'lláh has given us the Administrative Order which is the channel through which the spirit and guidance flow to the Bahá'ís and to mankind. The beloved Guardian spent his entire lifetime unfolding and explaining the pattern, and it is this administrative machinery that we should seek to support and

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strengthen. As weak and fragile as it is in these formative years of the Faith, it is still the haven and protection of the Bahá'ís and of the world. You are therefore encouraged to expend your energies and your many-faceted talents in teaching and consolidating the Bahá'í communities under the direction of the National Spiritual Assembly and its agencies." (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer, March 19, 1981) 427. Calamities Will Continue Until Mankind is Chastened Sufficiently... "You make reference to calamities and request specific answers if there are any as to when they may occur and with what magnitude. The House of Justice noted your comments that you have read what Bahá'u'lláh had to say about the collapse of the old world order and the coming of the new, and that in recent times friends returning from their pilgrimages spoke of meeting with Hands of the CAuse and members of the House of Justice in which the coming of great world upheavals was related to a time 'around the end of the Five Year Plan and afterwards'. The House of Justice points out that calamities have been and are occurring and will continue to happen until mankind has been chastened sufficiently to accept the Manifestation for this day. 'Abdu'l-Bahá anticipated that the Lesser Peace could be established before the end of the twentieth century. However, Bahá'ís should not be diverted from the work of the Cause by the fear of catastrophes but should try to understand why they occur. The beloved Guardian, in innumerable places, has explained the reasons for these occurrences, and since they happen from time to time as explained above we should not be concerned as to when they occur." (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer, April 15, 1976) 428. Bahá'ís Should not Waste Time Speculating on the Coming Calamity "The House of Justice points out that Bahá'u'lláh in no uncertain terms has said 'O ye peoples of the would! Know, verily, that an unforseen calamity followeth you, and grievous retribution awaiteth you. Think not that which ye have committed hath been effaced in My sight.' Therefore it considers that it would be fruitless to attempt to foresee the time or the nature of a calamity which Bahá'u'lláh Himself said was 'unforseen'. No doubt the remarkable progress being made in scientific endeavour holds true in the study by experts of geological upheavals. But we cannot be certain that predictions of earthquakes, volcanic eruptions or tidal waves caused by such phenomena can be identified as the cataclysmic events to which Bahá'u'lláh refers. "In letters to other believers who have asked questions similar to yours, the House of Justice has emphasized that the friends should not waste their time and energies in fruitless speculations on this question. Rather, they should concentrate every ounce of energy on the winning of the goals of the Five Year Plan, which they have clearly before them, confident in the knowledge that whatever may happen in the world, however calamitous it may outwardly appear, will promote God's unalterable purpose for the unification of mankind." (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer, June 2, 1976)

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429. It is Important that Bahá'ís have Correct Attitude Regarding Pending Catastrophe "The important aspect for the Bahá'ís is that their attitude and actions and response to the pending catastrophe be correct. We all know that the Cause of Bahá'u'lláh is the world's only salvation, and that our duty is to actively teach receptive souls, and to do our utmost to help in the consolidation of the institutions of the Faith. Only in this way can we contribute our share of servitude at His Threshold, and we should then leave the rest to Him." (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer, November 18, 1980) 430. Should Bahá'ís be Cut off from World Center or from one another, they will be Guided by Spiritual Assemblies, Led by Counsellors Every institution of this Divinely created Order is one more refuge for a distraught populace; every soul illumined by the light of the sacred Message is one more link in the oneness of mankind, one more servant ministering to the needs of an ailing world. Even should the Bahá'í communities, in the years immediately ahead, be cut off from the World Center or from one another -- as some already have been -- the Bahá'ís will neither halt nor hesitate; they will continue to pursue their objectives, guided by the Spiritual Assemblies and led by the Counsellors, the members of the Auxiliary Boards and their assistants..." (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the Bahá'ís of the World, November 3, 1980) 431. Bahá'ís Can Help to Mitigate Suffering of Mankind "No doubt to the degree we Bahá'ís the would over -- strive to spread the Cause and live up to its teachings, they will be some mitigation to the suffering of the peoples of the world. But it seems apparent that the great failure to respond to Bahá'u'lláh's instructions, appeals and warnings issued in the 19th Century, has now sent the world along a path, and released forces, which must culminate in a still more violent upheaval and agony. The thing is out of hand, so to speak, and it is too late to avert catastrophic trials." (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, January 8, 1949) 432. The People of Today Are Suffering for Their own Sins of Omission and Commission "You should not consider yourself unfeeling because you see in this world agony the birth of a new and better world. This is just what the Bahá'ís should teach to others. However much pity and sympathy we may have for humanity, we nevertheless realize that people today are suffering for their own sins of omission and commission. We must help them to see this and to turn their thoughts and acts into the channels Divinely prescribed by Bahá'u'lláh." (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, July 14, 1943) 433. We Must Put the Faith First for our Eternal Security and Happiness "We do not know what form the immediate future will take, anywhere. Because the passions of mankind are so unregenerate, and it is so deaf to the voice of Bahá'u'lláh, no doubt great suffering will be experienced. What we do know however, is that we are Bahá'ís and that our salvation lies in this God-sent Faith.

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As we give to God, as we serve Him and love Him, so will He vouchsafe to us His Mercy, Guidance and Protection. We must, at all times, put the Faith first and our personal desires and comfort second. Having this Faith we have eternal security and happiness which nothing can take away from us ever, no matter what afflictions may befall a faithless world. The Cause of God is our security, and confidence in Bahá'u'lláh our protection." (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, November 5, 1949) 434. We Do not Know how Far-Reaching the Catastrophe Will Be "Shoghi Effendi has never stated how far-reaching the effects of a future war will be, or what other catastrophes may accompany it or follow it. From our teachings we know humanity can and must be welded into some form of political unity such as World Federal State -- through suffering as it seems only intense suffering is capable to rousing men to the spiritual efforts required. It seems clear to any thinking person that war will be the main cause of this degree of suffering." (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, September 5, 1954) 435. The Unification of Mankind "...Whatever our shortcoming may be, and however formidable the forces of darkness which besiege us today, the unification of mankind as outlined and insured by the World Order of Bahá'u'lláh will in the fullness of time be firmly and permanently established. This is Bahá'u'lláh's promise, and no power on earth can in the long run present or ever retard its adequate realisation. The friends should, therefore, not lose hope, but fully conscious of their power and their role they should persevere in their mighty efforts for the extension and the consolidation of Bahá'u'lláh's universal Dominion on earth." (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, November 6, 1933) 436. The Crisis is Serving a Great Purpose "The crisis that exists in the world is not confined to the farmers. Its effects have reached every means of livelihood. The farmers are in a sense better off because they at least have food to eat. But on the whole the crisis is serving a great purpose. It is broadening the outlook of man, teaching him to think internationally, forcing him to take into consideration the welfare of his neighbours if he wishes to improve his own condition. In short it is forcing humanity to appreciate the significance and follow the precepts laid by Bahá'u'lláh. The present and perhaps the near future is dark, but we have the wonderful promises of the Master before us and they shall become true ..." (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, February 3, 1932) 437. The Guardian does not think that God will permit man to annihilate himself... "In regard to your questions: The degree of rapidity with which human beings are to advance certainly depends on their own efforts; but he does not think God will permit man to annihilate himself. Too much evolution is behind him and too much before him for that! We should certainly not procrastinate for a moment. For almost a hundred years now the warnings of Bahá'u'lláh have been ringing in men's ears, and we have every reason to believe terrible thins may still befall

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mankind, if they do not listen to the Divine solution proposed by God's Manifestation for this day. In this connection he is constantly pointing out to the Bahá'ís that their direct Bahá'í work -- teaching, perfecting the administration, propagating he Cause of God is their job and of immediate importance because, it is, so to speak, spiritually organic. What they are doing will release forces which will combat the terrible disintegration of society which we witness today in every field, political, economic or otherwise ..." (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, July 5, 1947) 438. Hardship and Privation, Frustration and Despair Shall Encompass The People... "Know thou that hardship and privation shall increase day by day, and the people shall thereby be afflicted. The doors of joy and happiness shall be closed on all sides, and terrible wars shall occur. Frustration and despair shall encompass the people until they are forced to turn to the One True God. Then will the light of most joyful tidings so illumine the horizons that the cry of 'Ya Baha'u'l-Abha' will be raised from every direction. This shall come to pass." ('Abdu'l-Bahá: from a Tablet of Isabella D. Brittingham, Bahá'u'lláh and the New Era, p. 248, Wilmette 1980, corrected in a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to all National Spiritual Assemblies, January 16, 1984) 439. Apocalyptic Upheaval "He advised you to go ahead and plan your college education. We have no indication of exactly what nature the apocalyptic upheaval will be: it might be another war... but as students of our Bahá'í writings it is clear that the longer the 'Divine Physician' (i.e. Bahá'u'lláh) is withheld from healing the ill of the world, the more severe will be the crisis, and the more terrible the sufferings of the patient." (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, November 21, 1949) 440. World Condition Bringing Many Issues to a Head "... the condition that the world is in is bringing many issues to a head. It would be perhaps impossible to find a nation or people not in a state of crisis today. The materialism, the lack of true religion and the consequent baser forces in human nature which are being released, have brought the whole world to the brink of probably the greatest crisis it has ever faced or will have to face. The Bahá'ís are a part of the world. They too feel the great pressures which are brought to bear upon all people today, whoever and wherever they may be. On the other hand, the Divine Plan, which is the direct method of working towards the establishment of peace and World Order, has perforce reached an important and challenging point in its unfoldment; because of the desperate needs of the world, the Bahá'ís find themselves, even though so limited in numbers, in financial strength and in prestige, called upon to fulfill a great responsibility." (From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States, July 19, 1956) 441. Calamities and Crises "As humanity plunges deeper into the condition of which Bahá'u'lláh wrote, 'to

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disclose it now would not be meet and seemly', so must the believers increasingly stand out as assured, oriented, and fundamentally happy beings, conforming to a standard which, in direct contrast to the ignoble and amoral attitudes of modern society, is the source of their honour, strength, and maturity. It is this marked contrast between the vigour, unity, and discipline of the Bahá'í community on the one hand, and the increasing confusion, despair and feverish tempo of a doomed society on the other, which during the turbulent years ahead will draw the eyes of humanity to the sanctuary of Bahá'u'lláh's world- redeeming Faith." (Message from the Universal House of Justice to the Bahá'ís of the World, Ridvan, 1966: Wellspring of Guidance, pp. 79-80) 442. Internal Disintegration and External Chaos Being Accelerated "... Pregnant indeed are the years looming ahead of us all. The twin processes of internal disintegration and external chaos are being accelerated and every day are inexorably moving towards a climax. The rumblings that must precede the eruption of those forces that must cause 'the limbs of humanity to quake' can already be heard. 'The time of the end', 'the latter years', as foretold in the Scriptures, are at long last upon us. The Pen of Bahá'u'lláh, the voice of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, have time and again, insistently and in terms unmistakable, warned an unheeding humanity of impending disaster. The Community of the Most Great Name, the leaven that must leaven the lump, the chosen remnant that must survive the rolling up of the old, discredited, tottering order, and assist in the unfoldment of a new one in its stead, is standing ready, alert, clear-visioned, and resolute... . " (From a letter of Shoghi Effendi to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States and Canada, July 5, 1938: Messages to America, 1932-1946, pp. 13-14) 443. Worsening World Situation -- Many Stand Aside and Wring Their Hands "In the worsening world situation, fraught with pain of war, violence and the sudden uprooting of long-established institutions, can be seen the fulfillment of the prophecies of Bahá'u'lláh and the often repeated warnings of the Master and the beloved Guardian about the inevitable fate of a lamentably defective social system, an unenlightened leadership and a rebellious and unbelieving humanity. Governments and peoples of both the developed and developing nations, and other human institutions, secular and religious, finding themselves helpless to reverse the trend of the catastrophic events of the day, stand bewildered and overpowered by the magnitude and complexity of the problems facing them. At this fateful hour in human history many, unfortunately, seem content to stand aside and ring their hands in despair or else join in the babel of shouting and protestation which loudly objects, but offers no solution to the woes and afflicting plaguing our age. "Nevertheless a greater and greater number of thoughtful and fairminded men and women are recognizing in the clamour of contention, grief and destruction, now reaching such horrendous proportions, the evidences of Divine chastisement, and turning their faces towards God are becoming increasingly receptive to His Word. Doubtless the present circumstances, though tragic and awful in their immediate consequences, are serving to sharpen the focus on the indispensability of the teachings of Bahá'u'lláh to the needs of the present age, and will provide

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many opportunities to reach countless waiting souls, hungry and thirsty for Divine guidance." (From a letter of the Universal House of Justice to the Bahá'ís of the World, November 16, 1969: Messages from the Universal House of Justice, pp. 33-34) 444. A Yawning Gulf Threatens "... Every system, short of the unification of the human race, has been tried, repeatedly tried, and been found wanting. Wars again and again have been fought, and conferences without number have met and deliberated. Treaties, pacts and covenants have been painstakingly negotiated, concluded and revised. Systems of government have been patiently tested, have been continually recast and superseded. Economic plans of reconstruction have been carefully devised, and meticulously executed. And yet crisis has succeeded crisis, and the rapidity with which a perilously unstable world is declining has been correspondingly accelerated. A yawning gulf threatens to involve in one common disaster both the satisfied and dissatisfied nations, democracies and dictatorships, capitalists and wage-earners, Europeans and Asiatics, Jew and Gentile, white and coloured. An angry Providence, the cynic might well observe has abandoned a hapless planet to its fate, and fixed irrevocably its doom. Sore-tried and disillusioned, humanity has no doubt lost its orientation, and would seem to have lost as well its faith and hope. It is hovering, unshepherded and visionless, on the brink of disaster. A sense of fatality seems to pervade it. An ever-deepening gloom is settling on its fortunes as she recedes further and further from the outer fringes of the darkest zone of its agitated life and penetrates its very heart." (Shoghi Effendi: The World Order Of Bahá'u'lláh,. p. 190) 445. Forces of a World Catastrophe -- The Fire Of Ordeal "... That the forces of a world catastrophe can alone precipitate such a new phase of human thought is, alas, becoming increasingly apparent. That nothing short of the fire of a severe ordeal, unparalleled in its intensity, can fuse and weld the discordant entities that constitute the elements of present day civilization, into the integral components of the World Common Wealth of the future, is a truth which future events will increasingly demonstrate. "... Nothing but a fiery ordeal, out of which humanity will emerge, chastened and prepared, can succeed in implanting that sense of responsibility which the leaders of a newborn age must arise to shoulder. (Ibid p. 46) 446. When Crisis Sweeps Over the World Bahá'ís Should Not Let Hardships Weaken Their Hope in the Future "... When such a crisis sweeps over the world no person should hope to remain intact. WE belong to an organic unit and when one part of the organism suffers all the rest of the body will feel its consequence. This is in fact the reason why Bahá'u'lláh calls our attention to the unity of mankind. But as Bahá'ís we should not let such hardship weaken our hope in the future... " (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to a Bahá'í family, April 14, 1932) 447. Stage of Purgation is Indispensable-Bahá'ís Should not Hope to Remain Unaffected "... You seem to complain about the calamities, that have befallen humanity. In

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the spiritual development of man a stage of purgation is indispensable, for it is while passing through it that the over-rated material needs are made to appear in their proper light. Unless society learns to attribute more importance to spiritual matters, it would never be fit to enter the golden era foretold by Bahá'u'lláh. The present calamities are parts of this process of purgation, through them alone will man learn his lesson. They are to teach the nations, that they have to view things internationally, they are to make the individual attribute more importance to his moral, than his material welfare. "In such a process of purgation, when all humanity is in the throes of dire suffering, the Bahá'ís should not hope to remain unaffected. Should we consider the beam that is in our own eye, we would immediately fine that these sufferings are also meant for ourselves, who claimed to have attained. Such world crisis is necessary to awaken us to the importance of our duty and the carrying on of our task. Suffering will increase our energy in setting before humanity the road to salvation, it will move us from our repose for we are far from doing our best in teaching the Cause and conveying the Message with which we have been entrusted..." (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer in reply to a letter dated October 14, 1931: Bahá'í News, No. 58, January 1932, p. 1) 448. Dangers Facing America "He has been told that some of the friends are disturbed over reports brought back by the pilgrims concerning the dangers facing America in the future whenever another world conflagration breaks out. "He does not feel that the Bahá'ís should waste time dwelling on the dark side of things. Any intelligent person can understand from the experiences of the last world war, and keeping abreast of what modern science has developed in the way of weapons for any future war, that big cities all over the world are going to be in tremendous danger. This is what the Guardian has said to the pilgrims. "Entirely aside from this, he has urged the Baha'is, for the sake of serving the faith, to go out from these centers of intense materialism, where life nowadays is so hurried and grinding and, dispersing to towns and villages, carry the Message far and wide throughout the cities of the American Union. He strongly believes that the field outside the big cities is more fertile, that the Bahá'ís in the end will be happier for having made this move, and that, in case of an outbreak of war, it stands to reason they will be safer, just the way any other person living in the country, or away from the big industrial areas is safer. "It is remarks such as these that the pilgrims have carried back in their notes. He sees no cause for alarm, but he certainly believes that the Bahá'ís should weigh these thoughts, and take action for the sake of spreading the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh, and for their own ultimate happiness as well. Indeed the two things go together." (From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States, June 20, 1954) 449. Man's Outlook on Life Too Crude and Materialistic "Indeed, the chief reason for the evils now rampant in society is the lack of spirituality. The materialistic civilization of our age has so much absorbed the energy and interest of mankind that people in general do no longer feel the

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necessity of raising themselves above the forces and conditions of their daily material existence. There is not sufficient demand for things that we should call spiritual to differentiate them from the needs and requirements of our physical existence. "The universal crisis affecting mankind is, therefore, essentially spiritual in its causes. The spirit of the age, taken on the whole, is irreligious. Man's outlook on life is too crude and materialistic to enable him to elevate himself into the higher realms of the spirit. "It is this condition, so sadly morbid, into which society has fallen, that religion seeks to improve and transform... " (From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to an individual believer, December 8, 1935) 450. Mental Tests to be Suffered by Believers in the West 450. Психологические испытания, которым подвергнутся верующие на Западе "And yet, how often we seem to forget the clear and repeated warning of our beloved Master, who in particular during the concluding years of His Mission on earth, laid stress on the severe mental tests that would inevitably sweep over His loved ones of the West... tests that would purge, purify and prepare them for their noble mission in life. И всё же как часто мы забываем четкие и неоднократные предупреждения нашего возлюбленного Учителя, Который, особенно в последние годы Своей жизни, подчеркивал, сколь суровые психологические испытания неминуемо обрушатся на Его возлюбленных на Западе... испытания, которые должны очистить их и подготовить к той благородной миссии, что уготована им в жизни. "Ours then is the duty and privilege to labour, by day, by night, amidst the storm and stress of these troublous days, that we may quicken the zeal of our fellow-man, rekindle their hopes, stimulate their interests, open their eyes to the true Faith of God and enlist their active support in the carrying out of our common task for the peace and regeneration of the world." Следовательно, наша обязанность и привилегия - трудиться денно и нощно, посреди штормов и волнений этих бурных дней, дабы возродить энтузиазм своих собратьев, вновь воспламенить их надежды, стимулировать их интерес, открыть их глаза на истинную Веру Божию и заручиться их активной поддержкой в исполнении нашей общей задачи достижения мира и возрождения планеты". (From a letter written by Shoghi Effendi to the believers in Australia and New Zealand, 1923-1957, pp. 1-2) (Из письма Шоги Эффенди к верующим Австралии и Новой Зеландии, 1923-1957 гг., стр. 1-2) 451. A Civilization Torn by Strife "In the midst of a civilization torn by strifes and enfeebled by materialism, the people of Baha are building a new world. We face at this time opportunities and responsibilities of vast magnitude and great urgency. Let each believer in his inmost heart resolve not to be seduced by the ephemeral allurements of the society around him nor to be drawn into its feuds and short-lived enthusiasms, but instead to transfer all he can from the old world to that new one which is the vision of his longing and will be the fruit of his labours." (From a letter of the Universal House of Justice to the Bahá'ís of the East and West, December 18, 1963) 452. Fierce and Manifold will be Assaults Faith to Suffer "...The generality of mankind, blind and enslaved, is wholly unaware of the healing power with which this community has been endowed, nor can it as yet suspect the role which this same community is destined to play in its redemption. Fierce and manifold will be the assaults with which governments, races, classes and religions, jealous of its rising prestige and fearful of its consolidating strength, will seek to silence its voice and sap its foundations. Unmoved by the relative obscurity that surrounds it at the present time, and undaunted by the forces that will be arrayed against it in the future, this community, I cannot but feel confident, will, no matter how afflictive the agonies of a travailing age, pursue its destiny, undeflected in its course, undimmed in its serenity, unyielding in its resolve, unshaken in its convictions." (Shoghi Effendi: Messages to America, p. 14)

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453. Our Duty to Redeem Fellow Men "...It is our duty to redeem as many of our fellow men as we possibly can, whose hearts are enlightened, before some great catastrophe overtakes them, in which they will either be hopelessly swallowed up or come out purified and strengthened, and ready to serve. The more believers there are to stand forth as beacons in the darkness whenever that time does come, the better; hence the supreme importance of the teaching work at this time..." (From letter written on behalf of the Guardian to the National Spiritual Assembly of South and West Africa, July 9, 1957: Teaching the Masses, p. 11) 454. Bahá'ís Are the Leaven of God, The Chosen People of [*]God "...The Bahá'ís are the leaven of God, which must leaven the lump of their nation. In direct ratio to their success will be the protection vouchsafed, not only to them but to their country. These are the immutable laws of God, from which there is no escape: 'For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required.' "They cannot be the chosen people of God, -- the ones who have received the bounty of accepting Him in His Day, the recipients of the Master's Divine Plan -- and do nothing about it. The obligation to teach is the obligation of every Baha'i, and particularly, the obligations of the American Bahá'ís towards humanity are great and inescapable. To the degree to which they discharge them will they be blessed and protected, happy and satisfied." (From letter written on behalf of the Guardian to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States, September 21, 1957) 455. Eyes of the World Focussed on Us "... The eyes of the people of the world are beginning to be focussed on us, and as humanity's plight goes from bad to worse, we will be watched ever more intently by non-Baha'is, to see whether we do uphold our own institutions wholeheartedly; whether we are the people of the new creation or not; whether we live up to our beliefs, principles and laws in deed as well as word. We cannot be too careful. We cannot be too exemplary." (From a letter on behalf of the Guardian to the National Spiritual Assembly of the British Isles, August 5, 1955) 456. Bahá'ís Have Task of Cleansing Humanity by Precept and Example "In many letters and on many occasions the beloved Guardian warned that the disintegrating process will penetrate deeper and deeper into the very core of human society and that much suffering is in store ere mankind is fused by the fires of universal affliction into one organic commonwealth. Even when universal suffrage and all other rights presently sought by civil rights movements are fully attained, they still remains for the Bahá'ís the unaccomplished task of cleansing humanity, by precept and example, of every trace of racial prejudice. Nothing but the Faith of God can accomplish this." (From a letter of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States, March 30, 1965) 457. Chosen Ones of God Should Not be Content with Relative Distinction and Excellence "the chosen ones of God... should not look at the depraved conditions of the

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society in which they live, nor at the evidences of moral degradation and frivolous conduct which the people around them display. They should not content themselves merely with relative distinction and excellence. Rather they should fix their gaze upon nobler heights by setting the counsels and exhortations of the pen of Glory as their supreme goal. Then it will be readily realized how numerous are the stages that still remain to be traversed and how far off the desired goal lies -- a goal which is none other than exemplifying heavenly morals and virtues." (Letter from Shoghi Effendi to the Local Spiritual Assembly of Teheran, October 30, 1924: Living the Life, p. 2) 458. Obstacles that Stand in the Path "The gross materialism that engulfs the entire nation at the present hour; the attachment to worldly things that enshrouds the souls of men; the fear and anxieties that distract their minds; the pleasure and dissipations that fill their time, the prejudices and animosities that darken their outlook, the apathy and lethargy that paralyze their spiritual faculties -- these are among the formidable obstacles that stand in the path of every world-be warrior in the service of Bahá'u'lláh, obstacles which he must battle against the surmount in his crusade for the redemption of his own countrymen." (Shoghi Effendi: Citadel of Faith, p. 149) 459. Civilization Undergoing Severe and Unparalleled Tests "Let us pray to God that in these days of world-encircling gloom, when the dark forces of nature, of hate, rebellion, anarchy and reaction are threatening the very stability of human society, when the most precious fruits of civilization are undergoing severe and unparalleled tests, we may all realize, more profoundly than ever, that though but a mere handful amidst the seething masses of the world, we are in this day the chosen instruments of God's grace, that our mission is most urgent and vital to the fate of humanity, and, fortified by these sentiments, arise to achieve God's holy purpose for mankind." (Shoghi Effendi: Bahá'í Administration, p. 35)

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VII. CEREMONIES 460. Not Accurate to State that Bahá'í Faith Has No Ceremonies "It is not accurate to state that the Bahá'í Faith has no ceremonies. The marriage ceremony and the funeral service are examples of such observances in our teachings. "It would be correct, however, to state that the Faith has certain basic laws and simple rites prescribed by Bahá'u'lláh and that its teachings warn against developing these into a system of uniform and rigid rituals by introducing into them man-made forms and practices. Rituals such as those of the Catholic Church in the celebration of the Mass and the administration of the sacraments, which are performed by a member of the clergy. "In carrying out the basic laws of our Faith the friends should always maintain a standard of utmost simplicity and observe flexibility in all matters of detail." (From a letter to the National Spiritual Assembly of Colombia from the Universal House of Justice, August 31, 1967) 461. Naming Ceremonies "We have your letter of August 22, 1966 inquiring whether 'naming ceremonies' for children should be encouraged as a community activity. In a letter to an individual believer, dated December 20, 1938, the beloved Guardian said: 'Regarding your question whether there is any special ceremony which the believers should perform when they wish to 'name ' a baby; the Teachings do not provide for any ceremony whatever on such occasions. We have no 'baptismal service' in the Cause, such as the Christians have. There could be no objection, however, for the friends to come together on such happy occasions, provided they do not hold an official public ceremony, and provided also they strictly avoid any uniformity and rigidity in all such practices..." "We feel that this activity should be left to the discretion of the parents." (Letter from the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States, September 7, 1966) 462. Spiritual Baptism of Children "Thou hast asked regarding the naming of children: When thou wishest to name a babe, prepare a meeting therefore; chant the verses and communes, and supplicate and implore the Threshold of Oneness and beg the attainment of guidance for the babe and wish confirmated firmness and constancy; then give the name and enjoy beverage and sweet-meat. This is spiritual baptism." ('Abdu'l-Bahá: Tablets of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, pp. 149-150) 463. Baptism of Child 'We have your letter of September 14th inquiring about the baptism of a child

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where one of te partners to the marriage is a Christian and the other is a Baha'i. "Obviously, if both parties are Bahá'ís they cannot baptize their child, however, in the case of a non-Bahá'ís spouse insisting upon the baptism of the children, we said in a letter to the National Assembly of Spain of 18 February 1965: 'The Bahá'í parent may attend the ceremony with the understanding that he will not undertake any commitment or vow which is contrary to the principles of his Faith.'" (Letter from the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States, September 21, 1966) 464. Bahá'ís May and Should Participate in Harmless Cultural, Traditional Observances "In deciding whether or not to participate in such traditional activities, the Bahá'ís must guard against two extremes. The one is to disassociate themselves needlessly from harmless cultural observances and thus alienate themselves from their non-Bahá'ís families and friends; the other is to continue the practice of abrogated observances of previous dispensations and thus undermine the independence of the Bahá'í Faith and create undesirable distinctions between themselves and their fellow-Baha'is..." (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Malaysia, May 26, 1982) 465. There Are Some Religious Ceremonies in Which Bahá'ís Should not Participate "There are some exclusive religious ceremonies in which Bahá'ís should not participate, in order to safeguard the independence of the Faith. In this regard, the beloved Guardian has given the following advice to another National Assembly: 'In these days the friends should, as much as possible, demonstrate through their deeds the independence of the Holy Faith of God, and its freedom from the customs, rituals and practices of a discredited and abrogated past.' In observing this principle, the House of Justice advises the Bahá'ís to maintain a balance between their adherence to the Cause and obedience to its laws on the one hand, and their role in society on the other. When an individual becomes a Bahá'í he acquires, as you are aware, a wider loyalty to the Manifestations of God. Having found this new way of life, he should be careful not to isolate himself from his family and his people, and he should show respect for his former religion. The Bahá'ís should, of course, avoid performing any acts which could be considered as implying their membership in another religion or which are contrary to Bahá'í principles. There is a clear distinction between participating in festive and cultural events, as opposed to performing religious ceremonies and rituals. "It should also be remembered that the weaning away of the Bahá'ís from customs and traditions, which have been established among communities for centuries, takes time and is a gradual process. Therefore, while the National Assembly should avoid rigidity in these matters, it should also not compromise when the interests of the Faith and its integrity and independence are at stake." (Ibid)

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466. Bahá'í Parent May Attend Baptismal ceremony, but Cannot Make any Commitment or Vow 'In reply to your letter of 5 September 1984 saying that a ... believer will soon marry a member of the Roman Catholic Church and asking whether it is permissible for their children to be baptized, the Universal House of Justice has instructed us to convey its guidance. "Children of such a union may be baptized if the Christian parent so wishes; from the Bahá'í point of view the baptism has no effect. It must be emphasized, however, that the Bahá'í parent, while perfectly free to attend the baptismal ceremony, should not undertake any commitment or vow contrary to Bahá'í law and should not surrender her parental right to impart the Bahá'í teachings to her child."

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VIII. CHILDREN A. ADOPTED CHILDREN AND ORPHANS 467. "He that bringeth up His Son or the Son of Another..." "He that bringeth up his son or the son of another, it is a though he hath brought up a son of Mine; upon him rest My Glory, My loving Kindness, My Mercy, that have compassed the world." (Bahá'u'lláh: Synopsis and Codification of the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, p. 16) 468. Bahá'u'lláh and 'Abdu'l-Bahá Laud those who Adopt Children "It was a pleasure to Shoghi Effendi to receive your letter of May 26th and to hear about your adopted children. This is a truly Bahá'í act especially as it was often lauded both by Bahá'u'lláh and Abdu'l-Bahá, and the Guardian trusts that they will grow to become Bahá'í workers, and thus repay your kind generosity." (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, June 20, 1931) 469. Adopted Child and Its Natural Parents[*] "It is clear that the separation of a child from its natural parents is a tragedy that society must do its best to prevent or mitigate. It is also clear that in certain cases the actual separation may be better for the child than to continue living with a parent whose conduct and character make him unworthy of this sacred function, for the Guardian has explicitly stated that the serving of family ties and renunciation of responsibilities between parents and the children is, in certain cases, permissible under the Law of God, but that the Universal House of Justice has to make the law governing such matters. "Whenever the law of the land or the agreement of adoption prohibits future contact between an adopted child and its natural parents, the Bahá'í law does not require the child to seek the consent of those parents to its marriage. "In the situation, however, where contact with the natural parent is permitted, it should be a matter of wise discretion at what stage contact, in cases where it has been broken, should be re- established. Just as love for one person need not reduce the love one bears to another, so unity with the adoptive parents need not destroy or reduce the unity a child has with its natural parents, or vice versa. The characters and attitudes of the individuals concerned will have an effect upon this..." (From a letter of the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer, February 17, 1971) [*] (See also: Marriage Laws: Consent of Parents) 470. A Bahá'í Cannot Take Vow to Educate Adopted Child in Another Religion "A Bahá'í may not undertake a vow which commits him to any action contrary to the principles of the Faith. In other words, Mrs.... cannot agree to rear a child in the Catholic Faith.

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"Furthermore, if it is necessary to go through the Catholic marriage ceremony for the sake of the adoption, Mrs. ... must make it clear to the church authorities that she is a Baha'i, intends to remain a Bahá'í and that she cannot undertake any vow which is contrary to the laws and principles of her Faith." (From a letter of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of the united States, November 26, 1964) 471. Training in Morals and Good Conduct is Far More Important than Book Learning "Training in morals and good conduct is far more important than book learning. A child that is cleanly, agreeable, of good character, well-behaved -- even though he be ignorant -- is preferable to a child that is rude, unwashed, ill-natured, and yet becoming deeply versed in all the sciences and arts. The reason for this is that the child who conducts himself well, even though he be ignorant, is of benefit to others, while an ill-natured, ill-behaved child is corrupted and harmful to others, even though he be learned. If, however, the child be trained to be both learned and good, the result is light upon light." ('Abdu'l-Bahá: Selections from the Writings of 'Abdu'l-Bahá: pp. 135-136) 472. Duty Towards Orphans "In this holy Cause the question of orphans hath the utmost importance. The greatest consideration must be shown towards orphans; they must be taught trained and educated. The Teachings of Bahá'u'lláh, especially, must by all means be given to them as far as possible. "I supplicate God that thou mayest become a kind parent to orphaned children, quickening them with the fragrances of the Holy Spirit, so that they will attain the age of maturity as true servants of the world of humanity and as bright candles in the assemblage of mankind." ("Abdu'l-Bahá: Bahá'í Education, p. 46) B. Godparents or Co-Parenthood 473. Bahá'ís Serving as Godparents "In answer to your letter of 28 September 1984 on the above subject, the Universal House of Justice has instructed us to send you the following guidelines. "The position of 'godparent' varies considerably from country to country, and from one Christian denomination to another. "In many cases it involves the godparent in participation a religious service as a member of the church in question, and in assumption of the obligation to bring the child up in the teachings of that church. It is clearly impossible for a Bahá'í to become a godparent in such circumstances. However, where individuals have undertaken vows as godparents prior to becoming Baha'is, the Faith does not require them to disavow their promise, but the new Bahá'í should inform the parents of his change in religion so that they may make a change in godparents if they so desire. "In some countries a godfather or godmother is regarded by most people simply as a good friend of the family who sends gifts to the child annually. If that were all, there would, of course, be no objection to a Bahá'í accepting to be a godfather or godmother. However, even in such countries it is likely that, beyond

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assuming this responsibility, the godparent would have to take part in the baptismal ceremony of the infant and, although many nominal Christians may treat such matters very lightly, a Bahá'í should be aware of the solemnity with which the church regards the rite and should not assume an undertaking which he cannot fulfil or do anything which would imply a denial of his faith." (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Switzerland, November 4, 1984) 474. Bahá'í Couple Should no Have their Child Baptized "The House of Justice has noted your strong emphasis upon the social and economic aspects of co-parenthood in your country, and your mention of the religious basis for the custom. While the diminution of Christian fervor among the rank and file of Dominicans may be great, nevertheless the baptismal origin and other religious aspects of godparenthood cannot be minimized, particularly for rural people who may well be under pressure from parish priests. Your Assembly understands that a conscientious Bahá'í couple must not have their children baptized, nor should Bahá'ís ordinarily participate as godparents in a baptismal ceremony for this also may seem to imply their affiliation with the church..." (From a letter written on behalf of the universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Dominican Republic, February 17, 1980) 475. A Bahá'í May Become Godparent of a Non-Bahá'í Child if Conditions are Clear "You ask whether a Bahá'í may 'become the godparent of the child of a non Bahá'í if he made it clear that he is a Baha'i, cannot promise to bring up the child in the Catholic religion, is not affiliated with the Church...'. He may do so, for in such a case all concerned are informed of his beliefs. If called for, an agreement may be drawn up, through the local Assembly or a lawyers, which would define the social elements of the co-parental relationship while committing the religious ones." (Ibid) 476. Those Who Took Vows as Godparents Prior to Becoming Bahá'ís "You ask about those who have undertaken vows as godparents prior to becoming Baha'is. Trustworthiness is one of the great qualities which must characterize Baha'is, and the new believer therefore, far from repudiating any commitments entered into before becoming a Baha'i, must be ever more conscientious in discharging them. However, there are certain actions which would violate Bahá'í principles and from which the believer must abstain. Others would be incompatible with his allegiance to the Faith, such as the promise made by a godparent to bring up the godchild in the teachings of the Catholic church. In such a case the new believer could suggest to the parents that because of his new understanding of Christianity they would probably refer to cancel that part of the agreement, at the same time explaining his willingness to continue to discharge the social and economic functions of the godparenthood. The whole matter should be dealt with in a gentle and conciliatory manner, in the hope of retaining the friendship and trust of all concerned." (Ibid)

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477. Non-Bahá'í Godparents of Bahá'í Children "In the case of non-Bahá'ís who are godparents of Bahá'í children, the changed obligations of their roles may be quietly discussed with them by the Bahá'í parents, who would point out that they may now wish to be freed of their commitments, and that in any case the religious aspects of the relationship are no longer in effect." 478. Two Bahá'ís May Enter into a Co-parental Agreement "You have asked about the possibility of two Bahá'ís entering into a co-parental agreement within the Faith, there is no objection to this. " (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Dominican Republic, February 17, 1980) C. Education and Training of Children 479. Must First Train Children in Principles of Religion "....School must first train the children in the principles of religion, so that the promise and the Threat recorded in the Books of God may prevent them from the things forbidden and adorn them with the mantle of the commandments; but this in such a measure that it may not injure the children by resulting in ignorant fanaticism and bigotry. " (Bahá'u'lláh: Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh, p.68) 480. Encourage the Children from Early Childhood "Encourage the children from their earliest years to master every kind of learning, and make them eager to become skilled in every art -- the aim being that through the favouring grace of God, the heart of each one may become even as a mirror disclosing the secrets of the universe, penetrating the innermost reality of all things; and that each may earn worldwide fame in all branches of knowledge, science and the arts. "Certainly, certainly neglect not the education of the children. Rear them to be possessed of spiritual qualities, and be assured of the gifts and favours of the Lord." ('Abdu'l-Bahá: Bahá'í Education, pp. 27-28) 481. Incumbent Upon Bahá'í Children to Surpass Other Children "It is incumbent upon Bahá'í children to surpass other children in the acquisition of sciences and arts, for they have been cradled in the Grace of God. "Whatever other children learn in a year, let Bahá'í children learn in a month. The heart of 'Abdu'l-Bahá longeth, in its love, to find that Bahá'í young people, each and all, are known throughout the world for their intellectual attainments. There is no question but that they will exert all their efforts, their energies, their sense of pride, to acquire the sciences and arts." ('Abdu'l-Bahá: Selection from the Writings of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, p. 141) 482. Parents Held Responsible to God for Education of Children "It is for this reason that, in this new cycle, education and training are recorded

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in the Book of God as obligatory and not voluntary. That is, it is enjoined upon the father and mother, as a duty, to strive with all effort to train the daughter and the son, to nurse them from the breast of knowledge and to rear them in the bosom of sciences and arts. Should they neglect this matter, they shall be held responsible and worthy of reproach in the presence of the stern Lord." ('Abdu'l-Bahá: Selections from the Writings of ' Abdu'l-Bahá, 1982, pp. 126-127) 483. Teachers of Children Serving Bahá'u'lláh "...this teaching of the children is a service to the Blessed Perfection. Whosoever serves the world of humanity in this or any other way is serving His Holiness Bahá'u'lláh. Your heavenly reward is with Him. The education of children is one of the most great services. All these children are mine. If they are educated and illumined, it is as though my own children were so characterized... (Talk of 'Abdu'l-Bahá in the Holy Land: Star of the West, Vol. XIII, No. 6, p. 172) 484. Failure to Educate Child is an Unpardonable Sin "This is a sin unpardonable, for they have made that poor babe a wanderer in the Sahara of ignorance, unfortunate and tormented: to remain during a lifetime a captive of ignorance and pride, negligent and without discernment. Verily, if that babe depart from this world at the age of infancy, it is sweeter and better. In this sense, death is better than life; deprivation than salvation; non-existence lovelier than existence; the grave better than the palace; the narrow, dingy tomb better than the spacious, regal home; for in the sight of mankind that child is abased and degraded and in the sight of God weak and defective. In gatherings it is ashamed and humiliated and in the arena of examination subdued and defeated by young and old. What a mistake is this! What an everlasting humiliation!" ('Abdu'l-Bahá: Tablets of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, Vol.III, p. 579) 485. Child Left in Natural State Grows Up in Ignorance.... "If a child is left in its natural state and deprived of education, there is no doubt that it will grow up in ignorance and illiteracy, its mental faculties dulled and dimmed; in fact it will become like an animal..." ('Abdu'l-Bahá: Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 311) 486. If Babe did Not Live at all, Better than to Grow Ignorant "Therefore the beloved of God and maid-servant of the Merciful must train their children with life and heart and teach them in the school of virtue and perfection. They must not be lax in this matter; they must not be inefficient. Truly, if a babe did not live at all it were better than to let it grow ignorant, for that innocent babe, in later life, would become afflicted with innumerable defects, responsible to and questioned by God, reproached and rejected by the people. What a sin this would be and what an omission!" "Beware! Beware! that ye fail not in this matter. Endeavour with heart, with life, to train your children, especially the daughters. No excuse is acceptable in this matter." ('Abdu'l-Bahá: Tablets of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, Vol.III, p. 579).

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487. The Child Must Not be Oppressed or Censured[*] "The child must not be oppressed or censured because it is undeveloped; it must be patiently trained..." ('Abdu'l-Bahá: Promulgation of Universal Peace, pp. 180-181) 488. Pupil Must be Encouraged[*] "If a pupil is told that his intelligence is less than his fellow- pupils, it is a very great drawback and handicap to his progress. He must be encouraged to advance, by the statement, "You are most capable and if you endeavour you will attain the highest degree." ('Abdu'l-Bahá: Promulgation of Universal Peace, pp. 77) [*] (See also: VIII. C. Discipline, Duties and Religious Training) 489. Station of Those Who Serve and Teach Children "O thou teacher of the children of the Kingdom! "Thou hast arisen to perform a service which would justly entitle thee to vaunt thyself over all the teachers on earth. For the teachers of this world make use of human education to develop the powers, whether spiritual or material, of humankind, whilst thou art training these young plants in the gardens of God according to the education of Heaven, and art giving them the lessons of the Kingdom. "The result of this kind of teaching will be that it will attract the blessings of God, and make manifest the perfections of man. "Hold thou fast to this kind of teaching, for the fruits of it will be very great. The children must, from their infancy, be raised to be spiritual and godly Baha'is. If such be their training, they will remain safe from every test." ('Abdu'l-Bahá: Bahá'í Education, p. 34) 490. Methods of Teaching Children Among these children many blessed souls will arise, if they be trained according to the Bahá'í Teachings. If a plant is carefully nurtured by a gardener, it will become good, and produce better fruit. These children must be given a good training from their earliest childhood. They must be given a systematic training which will further their development from day to day, in order that they may receive greater insight, so that their spiritual receptivity be broadened. Beginning in childhood they must receive instruction. They cannot be taught through books. Many elementary sciences must be made clear to them in the nursery; they must learn in play, in amusement. Most ideas must be taught them through speech, not by book learning. One child must question the other concerning these things, and the other child must give the answer. In this way, they will make great progress. For example, mathematical problems must also be taught in the from of questions and answers. One of the children asks a question and the other must give the answer. Later on, the children will of their own accord speak with each other concerning these same subjects. The children who are at the head of the class must receive premiums. They must be encouraged and when any one of them shows good advancement, for the further development they must be praised and encouraged therein. Even so in God-like affairs. Oral questions must be

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asked and the answers must be given orally. They must discuss with each other in this manner. (Talks of 'Abdu'l-Bahá: The Bahá'í World, Vol. IX, p. 543; Bahá'í Education, p. 73) 491. A Wise Schoolmaster A wise schoolmaster should send his scholars out to play or to practice gymnastics for an hour, so that their minds and bodies may be refreshed, and during the hour of the lesson they may learn it better. If the teacher proves that his scholars are advancing, no on-looker has a right to object to his system, or to question his wisdom and say he wastes the boys' time. If a wise father plays with his children, who has a right to say it is not good for them? He calls them to come to him as the hen calls her chicks; he knows that they are little and must be coaxed along-coaxed along because they are young and tiny. (From Words of 'Abdu'l-Bahá: Star of the West, Vol. IX, No. 8, p. 91) 492. Curriculum of Study: Must Follow Same Curriculum for Daughters and Sons "He promulgated the adoption of the same course of education for man and woman. Daughters and sons must follow the same curriculum of study, thereby promoting unity of the sexes. When all mankind shall receive the same opportunity of education and the equality of men and women be realized, the foundations of war will be utterly destroyed. Without equality this will be impossible because all differences and distinction are conductive to discord and strife. Equality between men and women is conducive to the abolition of warfare for the reason that women will never be willing to sanction it. Mothers will not give their sons as sacrifices upon the battle-field after twenty years of anxiety and loving devotion in rearing them from infancy, no matter what cause they are called upon to defend. There is no doubt that when women obtain equality of rights war will entirely cease among mankind." ('Abdu'l-Bahá: The Promulgation of Universal Peace, pp. 174-175) 493. Beginning of Formal Education "....From the age of five their formal education must begin. That is, during the daytime they should be looked after in a place where there are teachers, and should learn good conduct. "Here they should be taught, in play, some letters and words and a little reading -- as is done in certain countries where they fashion letters and words out of sweets and give them to the child. For example, they make an 'a' out of candy and say its name is 'a', or make a candy 'b' and call it 'b', and so on with the rest of the alphabet, giving these to the young child. In this way children will soon learn their letters... "When the children are ready for bed, let the mother read or sing them the Odes of the Blessed Beauty, so that from their earliest years they will be educated by these verses of guidance." ('Abdu'l-Bahá: Bahá'í Education, pp. 39-40) 494. Subjects to be Taught in Children's Classes "The subjects to be taught in children's schools are many, and for lack of time We can touch on only a few: First and most important is training in behavior and

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good character; the rectification of qualities; arousing the desire to become accomplished and acquire perfections, and to cleave unto the religion of God and stand firm in His Laws: to accord total obedience to every just government, to show forth loyalty and trustworthiness to the ruler of the time, to be well wishers of mankind, to be kind to all. "And further, as well as in the ideals of character, instruction in such arts and sciences as are benefit, and in foreign tongues. Also, the repeating of prayers for the well-being of ruler and ruled; and the avoidance of materialistic works that are current among those who see only natural causation, and tales of love, and books that arouse the passions. "To sum up, let all the lesson be entirely devoted to the acquisitions of human perfections." ('Abdu'l-Bahá: from a Tablet published in The Bahá'í World, Vol. 16, p. 37) 495. Formal Education Must Begin at the Age of Five "The Tablet of 'Abdu'l-Bahá concerning the education of children refers particularly to their formal education which He says must begin at the age of five. The Master makes it clear that during the daytime children of that age and older should be looked after in a place where there are teachers. They should learn good conduct and be taught how to spell and to read and He indicates that spelling and reading can be learned by the use of simple games. Children of all ages can benefit from the guidance given to mothers by 'Abdu'l-Bahá in which He advises that when the children are ready for bed their mothers should read or sing to them verses of Bahá'u'lláh so that from their earliest years the children will be educated by these words of the Blessed Beauty. The House of Justice adds that you should feel free to hold classes for children under the age of five provided you keep in mind that their attention span is relatively short and so the duration of their class periods should be measured accordingly." (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the Spiritual Assembly of Newton, Kansas, March 24, 1976) 496. Nothing in Teaching State Child Must not be Separated from Parents for First Five Years "There is nothing in the teachings specifically to state that a child must not be separated from its parents and its home for the first five years of its life. In a Tablet, however, 'Abdu'l-Bahá points out that formal education at school begins when the child is five years old. Shoghi Effendi has indicated in one of his letters that the formulation of system of education based on the teachings can only be gradually undertaken, and has to be accomplished by Bahá'í scholars and educationalists of the future..." (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States, March 10, 1975) 497. Mother Has Chief Responsibility for Bringing Up Child "The task of bringing up a Bahá'í child, as emphasized time and again in Bahá'í writings, is the chief responsibility of the mother, whose unique privilege is indeed to create in her home such conditions as would be most conducive to both his material and spiritual welfare and advancement. The training which the child first

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receives through his mother constitutes the strongest foundation for his future development..." (From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to an individual believer in India, November 16, 1939: Dawn of a New Day, p. 202) 498. Mothers Ordained Primary Trainers of Children and Infants ".... It is incumbent upon to train the children from their earliest babyhood!... It is incumbent upon you to attend to them under all aspects and circumstances, inasmuch as God-glorified and exalted is He!-hath ordained mothers to be the primary trainers of children and infants. This is a great and important affair and a high and exalted position, and it is not allowable to slacken therein at all!" ('Abdu'l-Bahá: Tablets of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, Vol. III, p. 606) 499. Training of Children in Case One of Parents is Non-Bahá'í "The question of the training and education of children in case one of the parents is a non-Bahá'í is one which solely concerns the parents themselves, who should decide about it the way they find best and most conducive to the maintenance of the unity of their family, and to the future welfare of their children. Once the child comes of age, however, he should be given full freedom to choose his religion, irrespective of the wishes and desires of his parents." (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the National Spiritual Assembly of India, December 14, 1940: Dawn of a New Day, p. 86) 500. Greatest of All Services Rendered by Man to Almighty God -- Teach Children to Deliver Speeches of High Quality "Among the greatest of all services that can possibly be rendered by man to Almighty God is the education and training of children... "It is, however, very difficult to undertake this service, even harder to succeed in it. I hope that thou wilt acquit thyself well in this most important of tasks, and successfully carry the day, and become an ensign of God's abounding Grace; that these children, reared one and all in the holy Teachings, will develop natures like unto the sweet airs that blow across the gardens of the All- Glorious, and will waft their fragrance around the world." "Ye should consider the question of goodly character as of the first importance. It is incumbent upon every father and mother to counsel their children over a long period, and guide them unto those things which lead to everlasting honour. "Encourage ye the school children, from their earliest years, to deliver speeches of high quality, so that in their leisure time they will engage in giving cogent and effective talks, expressing themselves with clarity and eloquence." ('Abdu'l-Bahá: Selections from the Writings of 'Abdu'l-Bahá. pp. 133-134) 501. Preferable that Child Should Receive First Training at Home under Mother Instead of in the Nursery "With reference to the question of the training of children; given the emphasis placed by Bahá'u'lláh and 'Abdu'l-Bahá on the necessity for the parents to train their children while still in their tender age, it would seem preferable that they should receive their first training at home at the hand of their mother, rather than

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be sent to a nursery. Should circumstances, however, compel a Bahá'í mother to adopt the latter course, there can be no objection." (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, November 13, 1940) 502. Spiritual Assemblies Should Provide Mothers with Well-Planned Programme "So long as the mother faileth to train her children, and start them on a proper way of life, the training which they receive later on will not take its full effect. It is incumbent upon the Spiritual Assemblies to provide the mothers with a well-planned programme for the education of children, showing how, from infancy, the child must be watched over and taught. These instructions must be given to every mother to serve her as a guide, so that each will train and nurture her children in accordance with the Teachings." ('Abdu'l-Bahá: Selections from the Writings of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, p. 138) 503. Difficult to Teach and Refine Character Once Puberty is Passed "It is extremely difficult to teach the individual and refine his character once puberty is passed. By then, as experience hath shown, even if every effort be exerted to modify some tendency of his, it all availeth nothing. He may, perhaps improve somewhat today; but let a few days pass and he forgetteth, and turneth backward to his habitual condition and accustomed ways. Therefore it is in early childhood that a firm foundation must be laid. While the branch is green and tender it can easily be made straight. "Our meaning is that qualities of the spirit are the basic and Divine foundation, and adorn the true essence of man; and knowledge is the cause of human progress. The beloved of God must attach great importance to this matter, and carry it forward with enthusiasm and zeal." ('Abdu'l-Bahá: Bahá'í Education, pp. 24-25) 504. Should Train Children to Memorize Prayers and Tablets[*] "He is very glad to know that you attach importance to the training of the children, for whatever they learn in that early stage of their development will leave its traces upon their whole life. It becomes part of their nature." "The Master used to attach much importance to the learning by heart of the Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh an the Báb. During His days it was a usual work of the children of the household to learn Tablets by heart' now, however, those children are grown up and do not have time for such a thing. But the practice is most useful to implant the ideas and spirit those words contain into the mind of the children. "With 'the Dawn- Breakers' in your possession you could also arrange interesting stories about the early days of the Movement which the children would like to hear. There are also stories about the life of Christ, Muhammad and the other Prophets which if told to the children will break down any religious prejudice they may have learned from older people of little understanding." (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the Spiritual Assembly of West Englewood, October 19, 1932) [*] (See also: 1541 Children May Learn Parts of Prayers and Tablets)

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505. Sacred Duty of Children Towards Their Parents "There are also certain sacred duties of children towards parents, which duties are written in the Book of God, as belonging to God.[*] The (children's) prosperity in this world and the kingdom depends upon the good pleasure of parents, and without this they will be in manifest loss." ('Abdu'l-Bahá: Bahá'í Education, p. 50) [*] (In Questions and Answers, an appendix to the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, Bahá'u'lláh lays upon children the obligation of serving their parents and categorically states that after the recognition of the Oneness of God, the most important of all duties for children is to have due regard for the rights of their parents.) 506. Children Should be Trained to Understand Spiritual Significance of Bahá'í Meetings "The Universal House of Justice has received your letter of 14 September 1982 concerning the role of Local Spiritual Assemblies in guiding parents and children in standards of behavior for children at community gatherings, such as Nineteen Day Feasts and Bahá'í Holy Day observances. "Further to the letter we wrote on its behalf on 28 June 1977, the House of Justice has instructed us to say that children should be trained to understand the spiritual significance of the gatherings of the followers of the Blessed Beauty, and to appreciate the honour and bounty of being able to take part in them, whatever their outward form may be. It is realized that some Bahá'í observances are lengthy and it is difficult for very small children to remain quiet for so long. In such cases one or other of the parents may have to miss part of the meeting in order to care for the child. The Spiritual Assembly can also perhaps help the parents by providing for a children's observance, suited to their capacities, in a separate room during part of the community's observance. Attendance at the whole of the adult celebration thus becomes a sign of growing maturity and a distinction to be earned by good behavior. "In any case, the House of Justice Points out that parents are responsible for their children and should make them behave when they attend Bahá'í meetings. If children persist in creating a disturbance they should be taken out of the meeting. This is not merely necessary to ensure the properly dignified conduct of Bahá'í meeting but is an aspect of the training of children in courtesy, consideration for others, reverence, and obedience to their parents." (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Canada, October 14, 1982) 507. Few Children Are Really Bad "He is sorry to hear your little boy is not developing satisfactorily; very few children are really bad. They do, however, sometimes have complicated personalities and need very wise handling to enable them to grow into normal, moral, happy adults. If you feel convinced your son will really benefit from going to....,...'s school you could send him there. But in general we should certainly always avoid sending Bahá'í children to orthodox religious schools, especially Catholic, as the children receive the imprint of religious beliefs we as believers know are out-dated and no longer for this age. He will especially pray for the solution of this problem." (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi, May 30, 1947)

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508. Children Fighting "Regarding your question about children fighting: The statement of the Master, not to strike back, should not be taken so extremely literally that Bahá'í children must accept to be bullied and thrashed. If they can manage to show a better way of setting disputes than by active self-defence, they should naturally do so." (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, May 11, 1945) 509. Physical Punishment "As to your question about the use of physical punishment in child training, although there is a Tablet of the Master which considers beating as not permissible, this does not necessarily include every form of corporal punishment. In order to have a full grasp of the Master's attitude towards punishment, one has to study all His Tablets in this respect. For the time being no hard and fast rule can be laid down, and parents must use their own wise discretion in these matters until the time is ripe for the principles of Bahá'í education of children to be more clearly elucidated and applied." (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer, August 12, 1975) 510. Problem Child: Discipline of Some Sort Indispensable "With regard to the statement attributed to 'Abdu'l-Bahá and which you have quoted in your letter regarding a 'problem child'; these statements of the Master, however true in their substance, should never be given a literal interpretation. 'Abdu'l-Bahá could have never meant that a child should be left to himself, entirely free. In fact Bahá'í education, just like any other system of education is based on the assumption that there are certain natural deficiencies in every child, no matter how gifted, which his educators, whether his parents, school masters, or his spiritual guides and preceptors should endeavour to remedy. Discipline of some sort, whether physical, moral or intellectual, is indeed indispensable, and no training can be said to be complete and fruitful if it disregards this element. The child when born is far from being perfect. It is not only helpless, but actually is imperfect, and even is naturally inclined towards evil. He should be trained, his natural inclinations harmonized, adjusted and controlled, and if necessary suppressed or regulated, so as to insure his healthy physical and moral development. Bahá'í parents cannot simply adopt an attitude of non resistance towards their children, particularly those who are unruly and violent by nature. It is not even sufficient that they should pray on their behalf. Rather they should endeavour to inculcate, gently and patiently, into their youthful minds such principles of moral conduct and initiate them into the principles and teachings of the Cause with such tactful and loving care as would enable them to become 'true sons of God' and develop into loyal and intelligent citizens of His Kingdom. This is the high purpose which Bahá'u'lláh Himself has clearly defined as the chief goal of every education." (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, July 9, 1939: Bahá'í Education,pp. 65-66) 511. It is Not Permissible to Strike a Child "Let the mothers consider that whatever concerneth the education of children is of the first importance. Let them put forth every effort in this regard, for when

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the bough is green and tender it will grow in whatever way ye train it. Therefore is it incumbent upon the mothers to rear their little ones even as a gardener tendeth his young plants. Let them strive by day and by night to establish within their children faith and certitude, the fear of God, the love of the Beloved of the worlds, and all good qualities and traits. Whensoever a mother seeth that her child hath done well, let her praise and applaud him and cheer his heart; and if the slightest undesirable trait should manifest itself, let her counsel the child and punish him, and use means based on reason, even a slight verbal chastisement should this be necessary. It is not, however, permissible to strike a child, or vilify him, for the child's character will be totally perverted if he be subjected to blows or verbal abuse." ('Abdu'l-Bahá: Bahá'í Education,pp. 49-50) E. Registration of Children 512. Bahá'í Children do not Automatically Inherit Faith of Parents "In letters replying to questions on the registration of children and youth the Universal House of Justice has attempted to avoid laying down rulings that are universally applicable. However, for the assistance of National Spiritual Assemblies it is now providing the following summary of guidelines and elucidations that have been given. We are to emphasize that no hard and fast lines should be drawn, and procedural matters must never be allowed to eclipse the spiritual reality of belief, which is an intensely personal relationship between the soul and its Creator." "Unlike the children of some other religions, Bahá'í children do not automatically inherit the Faith of their parents. However, the parents are responsible for the upbringing and spiritual welfare of their children, Spiritual Assemblies have the duty to assist parents, if necessary, in fulfilling these obligations, so that the children will be reared in the light of the Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh and from their earliest years will learn to love God and His Manifestations and to walk in the way of God's Law. It is natural, therefore, to regard the children of Bahá'ís as Bahá'ís unless there is a reason to conclude the contrary. It is quite wrong to think of Bahá'í children as existing in some sort of spiritual limbo until the age of fifteen at which point they can 'become' Baha'is. In the light of this one can conclude the following: "Children born to a Bahá'í couple are regarded as Bahá'ís from the beginning of their lives, and their births should be registered by the Spiritual Assembly. "The birth of a child to a couple, one of whom is a Baha'i, should also be registered unless the non-Bahá'í parent objects. "A Spiritual Assembly may accept the declaration of faith of a child of non-Bahá'í parents, and register him as Bahá'í child, provided the parents give their consent." (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United Kingdom, July 19, 1982) 513. Children Whose Parents Become Bahá'ís "In the cases of children whose parents become Baha'is, much depends upon the ages and reactions of the children concerned. They will require great love and

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understanding, and each case must be judged on its own merits. This applies to an added degree, of course, if only one of the parents has accepted the Faith, in which case the attitude of the other parent is an important factor; the aim of the Bahá'ís should be to foster family unity. The important thing is that the children, whether registered as Bahá'ís or not, should be made to feel welcome at Bahá'í children's classes and other community gatherings." (Ibid) 514. Status of Children Under the Age of 15 "We have your letter of 18th August 1971 concerning the status of children under the age of 15 years who wish to become Baha'is. We share with you an extract of a letter on the subject written on behalf of the beloved Guardian by his secretary: Up to the age of 15 years, children are under the direction of their parents. At the age of 15, they may declare their Faith as a conviction, and be registered as Bahá'í youth, whether the parents are Bahá'ís or not. Children under the age of 15, of Bahá'í parents who wish to attend meeting and associate with the friends as Bahá'ís may do so. If non-Bahá'í parents permit a child of less than 15 to attend Bahá'í meetings, and in fact, to be a Baha'i, this is likewise permissible.' (To the National Spiritual Assembly of Germany, dated July 23, 1954) (From a letter of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Australia, August 29, 1971) 515. Age 15 Relates to Spiritual Functions and Obligations "Regarding the age of fifteen fixed by Bahá'u'lláh; this relates only to purely spiritual functions and obligations and is not related to the degree of administrative capacity which is a totally different thing, and is, for the present, fixed at twenty-one." (From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States, May 15, 1940) 516. Children Under 15 Who Declare Their Faith Please refer to Paragraph No. 262. 517. Children Are of Age at 15 As Far As Keeping Laws of Aqdas "Regarding children at fifteen a Bahá'í is of age as far as keeping the laws of the Aqdas is concerned -- prayer, fasting, etc. But children under fifteen should certainly observe the Bahá'í Holy Days, and not go to school, if this can be arranged on these nine days." (From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States, October 25, 1947) 518. Children of Bahá'í Parents Considered as Bahá'ís "Although the children of Baha'is, there is no objection at the present time, for purpose of keeping a correct census, and also ascertaining whether the young people are, sincerely, believers, and willing to do their share in service to the Faith, to asking them to make a declaration of their intention, at the age of fifteen or so. Originally the Guardian understands this was adopted in America to enable young Bahá'í men to make certain arrangements in connection with their

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application for non-combatant status, upon their attaining the age of military service. There is really nothing about it in the Teachings or in the Administration. Your Assembly is free to do as it pleases in this matter." (From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to the National Spiritual Assembly of the British Isles, June 17, 1954: From a compilation to the House of Justice of Extracts from letters written on behalf of the Guardian on various aspects of age and obligations) 519. Registering Children Upon Attaining Age 15 "...the way in which Bahá'í children should be registered upon reaching the age 15 is within the discretion of each National Spiritual Assembly; there is no objection to using for this purpose the general enrollment card, if such a card is adopted, or a new and separate one specially for Bahá'í children attaining the age of fifteen. It is important, however, that whatever method of enrollments is used or card adopted, it is clear to such children that they had been Bahá'ís up to that time, and that on attaining the age of spiritual maturity they are reaffirming their belief in Bahá'u'lláh. "The form and wording of an enrollment or registration card is also within the discretion of a National Spiritual Assembly." (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Germany, October 28, 1975: From a compilation of letters written on behalf of the Guardian and the Universal House of Justice regarding enrollment of children. Included in a letter from the House of Justice to the National Assembly of Ecuador, August 9, 1979) 520. Upon Attainment of Age 15 Child Must Reaffirm his Faith "...Both children of Bahá'í parents, and children who, with their non-Bahá'í parents' consent, declare their Faith in Bahá'u'lláh before they are fifteen years old, are regarded as Bahá'í and it is within a Spiritual Assembly's discretion to request such children to undertake work of which they are capable in the service of the Faith, such as service on suitable committees. However, upon attaining the age of fifteen a child becomes spiritually mature and is responsible for stating on his own behalf whether or not he wishes to remain a member of the baha'i community. If he does not then reaffirm his faith, he must be treated, administratively, as a non-Baha'i." (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Brazil, December 12, 1975: Ibid) 521. Registration of Children of Bahá'í Parents "In answer to your letter...concerning the registration of children of Bahá'í parents the Universal House of Justice has instructed us to say that at the present time it prefers to leave the details of such matters to the discretion of each National Spiritual Assembly. One National Assembly, for example, sends a very nice letter to each Bahá'í child in its community on the occasion of its fifteenth birthday (unless, of course, it has reason to doubt that the child in question is a Baha'i), explaining the meaning of attaining the age of maturity, and extending

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the good wishes of the Assembly for his or her future services to the Cause. This does not require an active response from every child but does provide each with an opportunity to make his or her position clear if desired. "The House of Justice points out that the Assembly must wisely steer a course between seeming to doubt the Faith of a child who has been brought up as a devout Bahá'í on the one hand, and seeming to compel a child to be a member of the Bahá'í community against his will, on the other." (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Germany, October 5, 1978: Ibid) 522. May be Circumstances in Which Children Should Not be Registered "It is within the discretion of your National Spiritual Assembly determine whether children should be registered as Bahá'ís in cases where one parent is not a Baha'i, although children of Bahá'í parents, under age 15, are generally considered Baha'is, there may be circumstances in which they should not be registered as such, and this is also left to your discretion. Local Spiritual Assemblies should help by advising the parents to consider it one of their primary obligations to raise their children in a spirit of love and dedication towards the Faith." (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Ecuador, October 13, 1976) F. Miscellaneous Topics in Reference to Children[*] 523. Children Should be Free to Choose Their Own Religion "Shoghi Effendi wishes me to acknowledge the receipt of your letter which you wrote concerning Catholic marriage and the promise that any resulting children should be Catholic. "The basic principle of the Cause is independent investigation of truth. This applies to us as much as to our children. They should be free to chose for themselves any religion they wish. To promise that they will belong to a certain Faith and not to another is therefore not only contrary to our precepts, but is also a futile promise to give. How can we make the future generation think as we do or follow our dictates. God has made them free. All that we can do is to open their eyes and tell them of what we think to be the truth." (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, March 3, 1931) 524. Teach Child to Say Greatest Name in Moments of Crisis "He thinks you are wise in not separating yourself from your child; and he will pray that he may grow out of this condition, and gain in physical and spiritual strength. It would be a great advantage to him if you could teach him to say the Greatest Name, when he is himself going through a moment of crisis and suffering." (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to a Bahá'í couple, December 4, 1954) 525. Criticizing the Faith in Front of Children "Regarding the question you asked about the attitude of criticizing the Faith in [*] (See also: Pioneer Children)

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front of children in a Bahá'í family: The Guardian feels that this is not something that one can lay down a general rule for. A great deal would depend on the age of the children, and whether they are able to think for themselves, and whether one of the parents has sufficient influence over them to offset the effect of the criticism of the other parent. It would seem that if the children are very young, and torn between the influences of both parents, it would be wiser to avoid discussing the Faith in front of them; but only encourage them when the staunch Bahá'í is alone with them, to revere and uphold the Faith." (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, April 16, 1951) 526. The Real Object of Life The Guardian Prays for Children "The Guardian will pray that each of you may become a brilliant light in this dark world, and in due time, lead many seeking souls to the Splendor of the Cause of God. This is the real object of life, and he hopes all your training, will be a means of training your characters, and enriching your spirits, so you may teach the Faith, and become strong supporters of its institutions." (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the Bahá'í children of Kenosha, Wisconsin, December 28, 1956) 527. Teach Children to be Kind to Animals "Train your children from their earliest days to be infinitely tender and loving to animals. If an animal be sick, let the children try to heal it, if it be hungry, let them feed it, if thirsty, let them quench its thirst, if weary, let them see that it rests. "Most human beings are sinners, but the beasts are innocent. Surely those without sin should receive the most kindness and love-all except animals which are harmful, such as bloodthirsty wolves, such as poisonous snakes, and similar pernicious creatures, the reason being that kindness to these is an injustice to human beings and to other animals as well... Tenderness and loving-kindness are basic principles of God's Heavenly Kingdom. Ye should most carefully bear this matter in mind." ('Abdu'l-Bahá: Selections from the Writings of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, p. 159-60) 528. Bahá'í Children Can Give to the Fund-Non-Bahá'í Children, no Ruling Made; Teacher to Solve Problem "Any Bahá'í can give to the Cause's Funds, adult or child. No statement is required on this subject. Bahá'í children have always given to the Cause, everywhere. Whatever situation may arise in a class which non-Bahá'í children attend is for the teacher of the class to solve. No ruling should be made to cover such things." (From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States, February 12, 1949: Lifeblood of the Cause, p. 18) 529. The Universal House of Justice Responds to Children's Questions Regarding the Catastrophe "The heart-warming messages from the children attending the Indiana District Convention forwarded with your recent letter brought much joy to the Universal House of Justice, and the House of Justice asks if you will kindly relay to these dear ones its comments on the several questions posed by the children.

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"When telling about the Faith to people who disagree with what you are saying, don't argue with them. Try to find a point of agreement and if you can't then leave them alone. You have done what you can by speaking of the Faith. Now leave them to Bahá'u'lláh. "Regarding the sad plight of the Bahá'ís in Iran and what children can do about it, the House of Justice suggests that you remember these dear friends in your daily prayers, and encourage your parents to support the efforts of their Local Spiritual Assemblies and National Spiritual Assembly to bring this terrible situation to the attention of the media and the authorities. "One of the children asks, 'Why did they call it the Universal House of Justice?' In the Most Holy Book the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, Bahá'u'lláh has written, 'The Lord hath ordained that in every city a House of Justice shall be established....;we know them by the name Local Spiritual Assemblies. 'Abdu'l-Bahá, in His Will and Testament, has stated 'and now concerning the House of Justice which God hath ordained as the source of all good and freed from error, it must be elected by universal suffrage, that is, by the believers...By this House is meant the Universal House of Justice, that is, in all countries, a secondary House of Justice (National Spiritual Assembly) must be instituted, and these Secondary Houses of Justice must elect the members of the Universal one.' When you study the wonderful Writings of Bahá'u'lláh and 'Abdu'l-Bahá, and the explanations of Shoghi Effendi, you will find many references to this Supreme Administrative Institution which will help you to understand why it is called the Universal House of Justice. "Two of the questions are, in a way, interrelated: 'Will the sun die on us pretty soon?' and 'will the world end if there is a nuclear war?' No doubt both are prompted by the current wave of rumors about impending calamities that are circulating amongst adults and which are overheard by the children. "Without minimizing the serous situation facing a world heedless of Bahá'u'lláh's admonitions, it must be remembered that He also refers to the Golden Age of civilization to come. the House of Justice hopes that Bahá'í teachers and parents will do their utmost to encourage the children to study the explanations of the beloved Guardian about the twin processes at work in the world-the steady growth of the Faith, and the devastating forces of disintegration assailing the outworn institutions of present-day society. We are asked to assure you that the House of Justice will remember you and the children of your class at the Holy Threshold." (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer, December 29, 1981)

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IX.CHURCHES 530. Bahá'ís Must Have No Affiliation with Churches " ... we, as Baha'is, must not have any affiliations with churches or political parties. But he feels certain that when you meditate on this matter you yourselves will see the wisdom of it. We, as Baha'is, can never be known as hypocrites or as people insincere in their protestations and because of this we cannot subscribe to both the faith of Bahá'u'lláh and ordinary church dogma. The churches are waiting for the coming of Jesus Christ; we believe He has come again in the Glory of the father. The churches teach doctrines -- various ones in various creeds -- which we as Bahá'ís do not accept; such as the bodily Resurrection, confession, or in some creeds, the denial of the Immaculate Conception. In other words there is no Christian church today whose dogmas we, as Bahá'ís can truthfully say we accept in their entirety -- therefore to remain a member of the Church is not proper for us, for we do so under false pretences. We should, therefore, withdraw from our churches but continue to associate, if we wish to, with the church members and ministers. "Our belief in Christ, as Baha'is, is so firm, so unshakable and so exalted in nature that very few Christians are to be fund now-a-days who love Him and reverence Him and have the faith in Him that we have. It is only from the dogmas and creeds of the churches that we dissociate ourselves; not from the spirit of Christianity. (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the Bahá'ís of Vienna, June 24, 1947) 531. We Must Have the Courage of Our Convictions " ... No Bahá'í can any longer dissimulate his faith and practise the laws and ordinances of a previous Dispensation and call himself at the same time a believer. No compromise, no vacillation can any longer be tolerated. We must have the courage of our convictions and preserve the integrity of our glorious Cause ..." (Postscript to a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to an individual believer, May 21, 1933) 532. On Becoming a Bahá'í Should Withdraw from Church "If a person is registered as a member of a church or similar religious organization he should withdraw from it on becoming a Baha'i. "In the case of new believers, it should be made clear to them in the course of teaching them the Faith that one cannot be a Bahá'í and also a member of another religious organization. This is simply a matter of straight-forwardness and honesty. A great part of the teaching of Jesus Christ concerned His Second Coming and the preparation of His followers to be ready for it. The Bahá'ís believe He has come. No Christian Church believes this; on the contrary, they either look for Him still, or have ceased to believe that He will come. For a

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Bahá'í to be a member of a community which holds such beliefs is disloyalty to Christ and hypocrisy towards the Christians. "You should not formalize the method by which the withdrawal from the church is to be made, and certainly nothing should be added to a declaration form, if you use one. It should be left to the Local Spiritual Assembly which is accepting the declaration to satisfy itself, as it deems best in each case, that the new believer has already resigned from the church, or does so within a reasonable time of his declaration. "In regard to the old believers, your Assembly should tactfully, and in a kindly way, make the Bahá'í position clear to them and gently persuade them to resign from their former churches. This is a matter for great tact and discretion. If such a believer remains adamant you will have to consider depriving him of his voting rights. (From a letter of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Switzerland, November 21, 1968: Canadian Bahá'í News Special Section, March 1973, p. 6) 533. Bahá'ís Are Ardent Believers in Christ "The friends should by all means be encouraged to withdraw from church membership and be made to realize that, though we as Bahá'ís are ardent believers in Christ, we do not and cannot support, church institutions and doctrines, when Christ has come again and brought new laws for the world today and it present need; to adhere to forms, mostly man-made, and now out-moded and no longer needed, is meaningless. This does not mean they should no longer associate with the church members; they should cease to be registered members of it." (From a letter written on behalf if Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, May 5, 1943 534. Ministers Who Consider Themselves Bahá'ís Should Withdraw from Church "As he has already informed you, the Guardian feels that the time has now come to ask any ministers still affiliated with churches, but who consider themselves practising Baha'is, to withdraw from the church openly. This is following the example of the Hand of the Cause, former Archdeacon Townshend, who courageously defied the opinion of his fellow clergymen, his relatives and the public, and stepped forth from his high office as a Baha'i. When the friends realize that many of the first to accept the Báb were priests and suffered martyrdom for their act, it does not seem to be asking much that they should rally openly to the Kingdom of the Father which they believe in and for whose advent they cannot very well go on encouraging people in their churches to pray." (From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States, July 19, 1956) 535. Membership in Jewish Synagogue "Concerning the membership of Mr. ... in the synagogue; as this concerns his non-Bahá'í Jewish wife and means a great deal to her - even involving the place of her burial -- the Guardian does not feel it is right to request him to take a step which would deprive her of her own religious rights. On the other hand,he sees no reason why Mr. ... should not write a letter to the appropriate authority in this

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synagogue, explaining that he is a practising Baha'i, but is keeping his synagogue membership for the benefit of his wife and children ... " (From a letter written on behalf of the Shoghi Effendi to the National Spiritual Assembly of the British Isles, May 8, 1947) 536. Withdrawal of Bahá'í Youth from Church Membership "Your letter of 25th October, has been received and we fully appreciate the problem, posed in the case of youth who accept Bahá'u'lláh but whose parents strongly oppose their withdrawal from the Church. In such cases where the parents oppose their withdrawal and insistence upon it by the youth would undermine the unity of the family it is permissible for the withdrawal to be postponed until the youth attain the age of 21. This would not, of course, in any way affect his acceptance into the Bahá'í community. As you mention, this is the very time at which such a newly-declared believer needs all the deepening and confirmation he can receive." (From a letter of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Germany, November 6, 1972 537. For Sake of Family Unity Concession Made for Youth "In reply to your letter of January 26th, we feel that while it is important to be flexible in requesting new believers, particularly youth who may encounter parental opposition, to withdraw from membership of other religious organizations, such flexibility cannot be allowed to extend to compromising Bahá'í law. Two Baha'is, when getting married, cannot have the religious ceremony of another Faith. "As to the age of maturity, voting rights in the Bahá'í Administrative Order are acquired when a believer becomes 21 and you might well make that point the period for severance of those religious ties which members of the Bahá'í community cannot maintain. The main point is that while, for the sake of family unity, the concession has been made to youth on the matter of withdrawal from church membership, every effort should be made to encourage all believers, as well as Bahá'í youth, to observe requirements of Bahá'í membership even at the cost of some hardship or inconvenience." (From a letter of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United Kingdom, February 11, 1973) 538. Bahá'í Attitude Toward the Church "Regarding church matters: the article of Dr. Townshend would be widely circulated and used. No matter what the attitude of people towards the churches in general may be, it has nothing to do with our Bahá'í attitude, and Townshend has courageously stated this, and it has weight, in view of his former position in the church." (From letter written on behalf of the Guardian to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States, August 18, 1949: Bahá'í News, No. 226, December 1949, p. 2) (This letter is in reference to Dr. Townshend's article, The Old Churches and the New World Faith, which was published as a pamphlet.) 539. On Being Expelled from Church " ... Thou hast written that they have expelled thee from the church and thy

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friends are manifesting aversion towards thee. This is the beginning of thy trials. There are greater trials than those. Therefore, be not sad, nay rather, be thou happy and full of glad- tidings. There is no harm done if they have expelled thee from the church ... . Thou hast entered into the Heavenly Jerusalem and discovered the Way to the Holy of Holies of the Kingdom. That church is of stone and cement, whereas this Holy of Holies is of overwhelming Light. "But the more the tormenting friends shun thee, go thou nearer to them. The more they deride and blame thee, show thou forth the greater love and affection. Do not look upon their shortcomings. Look thou upon all of them as the people of God and endeavour thou in right-doing and well-meaning. Ignorant are they; understand they do not. Therefore they are avoiding, criticizing and scorning thee." ('Abdu'l-Bahá: Tablets of "Abdul'-Baha, vol. III, p. 504) 540. Paying Church Tax " ... as regards paying the church tax. If there is a law in ... requiring citizens to pay such a tax, the believers should obey the law and do so. If there is no law covering this matter, but it is a question of a voluntary act and left to the individual they should not pay it. "In case there is no law, and the Bahá'ís consequently stop paying this contribution to church upkeep, new contacts and believers should not be tactlessly told they must stop doing this, but first confirmed, and strengthened in their faith and then the wisdom and necessity of this step be brought home to them. Certainly no publicity should be given to such a delicate question. In other words, we as Bahá'ís must clearly define the issue involved, set our goal before us, and work wisely, persistently and patiently towards its accomplishment." "If, in connection with this church tax matter delicate situations arise, such a school teacher's position, it is for the Assembly to go into the matter and try and find the right solution, bearing in mind the goal towards which the friends are working: the right to be citizens in good standing, but not church members." (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the European Teaching Committee, October 26, 1949) 541. Contributions to a Church "The first case is that of the elderly Catholic woman who is suffering from severe heart disease and is thus liable to die at any time. In this case, as also in that of suffering believers, the Assemblies, whether Local or National, should act tactfully, patiently, and in a friendly and kindly spirit. Knowing how painful and dangerous it is for such believers to repudiate their former allegiances and friendships they should try to gradually persuade them of the wisdom and necessity of such an action, and instead of thrusting upon them a new principle to make them accept it inwardly, and out of pure conviction and desire. Too severe and immediate action in such cases is not only fruitless, but actually harmful. It alienates people instead of winning them to the Cause. "The other point concerns the advisability of contributing to a church. In this case also the friends must realise that contributions to a church, specially when not regular, do not necessarily entail affiliation. The believers can make such offerings occasionally and provided they are certain that while doing so they are not counted as members of any church. There should be no confusion between

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the terms affiliation and association. While affiliation with ecclesiastical organizations is not permissible, association with them should not only be tolerated but even encouraged. There is no better way to demonstrate the universality of the Cause than this. Bahá'u'lláh indeed, urges His followers to consort with all religions and nations with the utmost friendliness and love. This constitutes the very spirit of His Message to mankind." (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States and Canada, December 11, 1935) 542. History of Early Church " ... There is certainly an element of truth at the bases of the organizations of the Christian Church. For instance, the primacy of Peter and his right to succession after Jesus have been established by the latter, though only orally and not in an explicit and definite language. The real reason why Christ did not make some explicit statement regarding His succession is not known, and cannot be known. Ford how can we, poor humans, claim to unravel the mysteries of God's mind and purpose, and to grasp the inscrutable Dispensations of His Providence. The utmost we can do is to give some explanations, but these must necessarily fail to give the fundamental reason to the problem we seek to solve. (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, December 28, 1936)

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X. COMMITTEES A. Appointing Committees 543. Freedom to Appoint Any Bahá'í Qualified for the Work "In going over the minutes of your recent N.S.A. meeting he noticed that you had decided to try as far as possible to eliminate National Spiritual Assembly members from the National Committees. Although he fully realizes your reasons for taking this decision, he feels it infringes on one of the fundamental principles of our administrative order which is freedom of choice -- freedom of electors to elect anyone they please to Local or National bodies, and freedom of the members of these bodies to appoint any Baha'i, who seems best qualified for the work, to function on Committees. "The first consideration must always be the person qualified for a job, and National Assembly members should in such matters not be either discriminated against, or in favour of, because of the position they occupy on the National body." (From letter written on behalf of the Guardian to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States and Canada, June 16, 1947) 544. Continuity of Committee Personnel " Although National Assemblies and Local Assemblies may provide for continuity of Committee personnel by re-appointment of members each year, Assemblies should not appoint members of Committees for a term of more than one year. (From letter of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States, December 20, 1966) 545. Preferable Some Qualified Native Believers Serve on Committee "There is no objection to a National Spiritual Assembly member serving on the National Teaching Committee, but if National Spiritual Assembly members were to predominate on the Committee the purpose of appointing it, which is to relieve the National Assembly of the details of the work, would be defeated. It is also preferable for some qualified native believers to serve on the National Teaching Committee so that they may thus be trained to carry on with the work. " ... the beloved Guardian paid great attention to the administrative arrangements for teaching and was highly in favour of one central National Teaching Committee with Regional Committees responsible to it. He once pointed out that absorption of petty details of Bahá'í administration by the personnel of the National Spiritual Assembly is manifestly injurious to efficiency and an expert discharge of Bahá'í duties. (From a letter of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Brazil, June 23, 1971)

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546. Desirability of Easy Meeting of National Teaching Committee - If possible, not to be Burdened with other duties " ... we ... suggest that for future consideration you should bear in mind the desirability of easy meetings of this important committee which would, of course, be facilitated by members being in the same vicinity. It is also desirable that the members of this vital right arm of the National Spiritual Assembly should, as far as possible, not be burdened with other duties. It has been found that the most effective arrangement is to have a strong, centrally located Teaching Committee -- although not necessarily at the National Headquarters- with its members free to devote all their efforts and energies to the work of that committee. The Regional Teaching Committees are in a sense the executive agents of the National Teaching committee and while there is no harm in members of the Regional Committees being also on the National Teaching Committee it is generally better for them to concentrate on the work in their own particular areas." (From a letter of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Colombia, June 23, 1971) 547. Committees Can be Constituted with Eye for Improvement and Change " ... He feels that it would be good to infuse more new life - by using different believers of capacity -- into National Committees. ... more young people and more people who are capable professional or business people in their private lives are now in the Faith than ever before, and such material should be tapped and exploited so that all Committees possess a certain amount of new blood and get an infusion of fresh ideas. As elections are by secret ballot only the education of the electorate can bring about changes on assemblies which often stagnate from lack of fresh blood -- but Committees appointed as they are by Spiritual Assemblies -- can be constituted with an eye for improvement and change." (From a letter on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States and Canada, March 31, 1945) 548. Assembly Should Use Discretion When Appointing Committee Members -- Incompatible Personalities on Committees "We are asked by the Universal House of Justice to acknowledge your letter in which you ask for guidelines on the following questions: "a. What attitude should a National Spiritual Assembly take when believers accept appointment to a committee but do not attend its meetings because of what you term incompatible personalities or lack of unity with other members of the committee, and yet they do not resign from the committee? "As you are already aware, in you choice of members for committees, you must use careful judgement and discretion, with the aim of appointing a membership, which, from the outset, has good prospects of operating with full force. If, despite your efforts to do this, there is disharmony among the committee members, the following extract from a letter of 13 May 1945 written on behalf of the beloved Guardian may be helpful to you. "Regarding the matter ... and the inharmony that seems to exist among certain of the friends ... When Bahá'ís permit the dark forces of the world to enter into their own relationships within the Faith they gravely jeopardize its progress; it is the paramount duty of the believers, the Local Assemblies, and particularly the N.S.A. to foster harmony,

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understanding and love amongst the friends. All should be ready and willing to set aside every personal sense of grievance -- justified or unjustified -- for the good of the Cause, because the people will never embrace it until they see in its Community life mirrored what is so conspicuously lacking in the world; love and unity." (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Bolivia, August 19, 1985) 549. National Committees Ordinarily Appointed by and Responsible to the National Spiritual Assembly "National Committees are ordinarily appointed by and responsible to the National Spiritual Assembly, but within the limits by wise discretion the National Spiritual Assembly may authorize a particular Committee to appoint a sub-committee or to ask individuals to assist it in carrying out its assigned functions. "In calling these principles to the attention of the believers, however, care must be exercised not to dampen the enthusiasm or initiative of the friends." (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of the North West Pacific Ocean, September 5, 1947) 550. Non-Members of Assemblies Should be Given the Opportunity to Develop Administrative Skills "In the list of national committees for 1983-84, it was noted that eight members of the National Assembly had been appointed to serve. Indeed, your treasurer will be on three committees, and your secretary on two. While it is understandable that those elected to a National Spiritual Assembly generally have great capacity to assume manifold duties, the House of Justice points out that the opportunity for non-members of Assemblies to develop administrative skills is lost when members of a National Assembly serve on a large number of national committees." (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to a National Spiritual Assembly, December 28, 1983) 551. Not Necessary that Committee Appointments Expire at Ridvan "As regards the appointment of committees on a yearly basis, we refer to the Guardian's instructions on page 141 of Bahá'í Administration that ... the renewal, the membership, and functions ... should be reconsidered separately each year by the incoming National Assembly ...' Individuals appointed to committees should identify themselves with functions and objectives which normally extend beyond the term of their appointment. Just as members of the National Assembly relate themselves to goals of the Nine Year Plan, members of Local Assemblies and committees should do likewise, so that a single dynamic spirit may animate the important work for which each Assembly or committee is responsible. "It is not necessary, however, that the term of committee appointments expire at Ridvan. It may be advisable, in order to provide continuity, to begin the committee year in June or July. Furthermore, the fact that, generally speaking, there are few radical changes in committee personnel should also make for continuity of thought and action." (From a letter of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United States, January 23, 1967)

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B. Election of Committee Officers 552. All Committee Members Must be Given Opportunity to Cast Ballot --Election of Officers by Majority, not plurality[*] "Concerning the question of the election of committee officers, the House of Justice has instructed us to explain that provided all members of the committee have been given the opportunity to be present at the meeting or to send their ballots by mail, the election of the committee's officers is valid, even if a member does not avail himself of the opportunity to vote. Of course, as you are no doubt aware, election of officers must be by majority vote, not plurality. The House of Justice also points out that it is preferable to have an odd number of members appointed to a committee. This would lessen the chance of a tie vote result." (Form a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Mexico, September 2, 1981) [*] (See also: No. 101. Any Officer Elected Must Have Received at least Five Votes) 553. If Member Has a good Reason, He is Free to suggest he Should not be Elected to Office " ... With regard to your question whether members of an assembly and/or a committee may excuse themselves from being elected to serve as an officer: "On several occasions the beloved Guardian pointed out that before the election of officers, if any member had a good reason in his own opinion why he should not be elected to one of the offices of the Assembly, he was free to suggest that he should not be so elected. The House of Justice also feels that as the work of the faith expands and the duties of officers, particularly on National Spiritual Assemblies, acquire more importance, it is permissible and at times advisable to discuss the duties incumbent upon and required of each officer before ballots are cast." (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Bolivia, August 18, 1985) C. Structure and Function of National Committees 554. An Efficient Teaching Structure Must be Adopted by the National Spiritual Assembly "The teaching committee structure that each National Assembly may adopt to ensure best results in the extension of its teaching work is a matter left entirely to its discretion, but an efficient teaching structure there must be so that the tasks are carried out with dispatch and in accordance with the administrative principles of our faith. From among the believers native to each country, competent travelling teachers must be selected and teaching projects worked out. In the words of our beloved Guardian, commenting upon the teaching work in Latin America: 'strong and sustained support should be given to the vitally needed and meritorious activities started by the native ... travelling teachers, ... who, as the mighty task progresses, must increasingly bear the brunt of responsibility for the propagation of the Faith in their homelands.'" (From letter of the Universal House of Justice to all National Spiritual Assemblies engaged in Mass Teaching Work, February 2, 1966)

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555. Function of the National Teaching Committee "The function of a National Teaching Committee is to take charge, under the direction of the National Spiritual Assembly, of the entire teaching program of the country. It should be given its terms of reference which will specifically define the general objectives and methods of the Teaching on the homefront; it should be provided with a budget and be required to submit to the National Spiritual Assembly an overall plan for the accomplishment of its tasks. Once this plan has been approved, the Committee should be allowed to carry out its work, although of course you should receive regular reports of its progress and of its financial position." "One of the great benefits deriving from such an arrangement is that the National Spiritual Assembly is freed from the day-to-day details of the teaching work and while retaining supervision of this most important method in its own hand, has an executive arm in its National Teaching Committee, which should be given the full confidence and support of the National Spiritual Assembly. " (From letter of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Trinidad and Tobago, November 12, 1971) 556. National Committees Constituted to Serve Needs of Local Assemblies "He feels that the Local Assemblies should be encouraged to realize that National Committees are constituted to serve their needs, not to dictate arbitrarily to them and to unify the work of the cause ... The Committees in question should be very tactful in dealing with a young Assembly which is beginning to "feel its oats" as this spirit of independence, if properly handled, can lead it to be strong and independent rather than weak and always relying on other bodies to carry it forward. Assemblies, however, should certainly co-operate with National Committees and not refuse their assistance." (Letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the National Spiritual Assembly of the British Isles, November 5, 1948: The National Spiritual Assembly, p. 48) 557. National Assembly Should Issue Instructions to National Teaching Committee to Avoid Confusion "To avoid confusion and follow the proper procedure the National Spiritual Assembly should issue its instructions to the National Teaching Committee who would then transmit them to the Regional Committee. Regional committees, though appointed by the N.S.A., are the auxiliaries of the National Teaching Committee. The Guardian does not feel he should go into the details of this matter, as they should be arranged by the National Spiritual Assembly itself. He merely lays down the principle to be adhered to." (From letter written on behalf of the Guardian to an individual believer, March 28, 1943) 558. Some Committees Need Larger Membership "The Universal House of Justice has noted in the minutes of your meeting of May 1, 1985 that ... you have adopted a pattern of restricting the membership of each committee to three. "While the House of Justice appreciates that some committees dealing with technical matters, such as the National Haziratu'l-Quds Committee, could very well have only three members. Nevertheless there are some very important committees, such as the National Teaching and Deepening Committee, the Youth

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Committee and the Committee for Women and Education of Children, and so on, to which are assigned responsibility for significant aspects of Bahá'í community life, which should have a larger membership to enable consultation to take place more effectively." (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Senegal, August 26, 1985) D. Special Committees (Administrative, Ad Hoc, Emergency -- National and Regional) 559. Administrative Committees Have Authority only as Given them by National Spiritual Assembly "Your letter of 24 May, 1985 to the Universal House of Justice has been received and we are asked to convey its response to your question concerning the role of administrative committees in dealing with personal problems. "Your caution in clarifying the functions of appointed administrative committees is commendable, for such committees have authority and responsibilities only through the authority and duties given them by the National Assembly appointment. Personal problems arising in communities under activation by such committees should be referred, as you have suggested, to your Assembly for consultation and advice, Should you, knowing its membership, see fit to request a committee to assist in resolving a specific problem, it may do so with your authority; similarly you are free to authorize consultation on a personal problem by an individual having the expertise needed." (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Leeward Islands, July 7, 1985). 560. Ad Hoc committees Can be Appointed to ideal with Personal Problems "Regarding your letter of 19 September, 1984 addressed to the Universal House of Justice, we have been directed to convey the following with reference to the three points that you make. "The first concerns cases of a personal nature which apparently have been on the increase and are consuming a great deal of the time of your Assembly during its meetings. In a letter addressed to your Assembly, dated 30 August 1971 advice was given by the House of Justice to you on this same point. However, for ease of reference, that portion is quoted: "Personal problems are often best dealt with by the Local Spiritual Assembly or Assemblies concerned. There is no objection to the National Assembly's appointing a committee or committees to deal with such problems as come before it, provided that the final decision remains in the hands of the Assembly itself." "In addition to the foregoing, we have been instructed to quote the following passage from a letter addressed to another National Assembly: "'In reply to your letter of February 4th asking whether you may assign personal problems which a Local Spiritual Assembly is unable to deal with to a nearby Local Spiritual Assembly, we feel that in such cases it would be better for your National Spiritual Assembly to appoint an ad hoc committee for each case, the membership of which could be drawn

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from one or two nearby communities as well as the community where the particular problem exists.'" (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of El Salvador, October 22, 1984) 561. When an Assembly Lapses, Administrative Committee can be Named from Adult Believers of Community "Your Assembly is empowered to name an administrative committee for the ... community. Such a committee should be viewed as being a temporary expedient form maintaining the life and vigour of the community until such time as the Local Assembly can be reformed; it is not a replacement for the divine institution of the Local Spiritual Assembly. "With reference to your specific question, the administrative Committee for ... can be named from among the adult believers of the community, without regard for their election or non-election to the now-lapsed Local Assembly. The single active youth can be called upon by the Committee for whatever duties he may be able to undertake. The Committee can continue the Local Bahá'í Fund and also will maintain the incorporation of the Local Assembly. "The National Spiritual Assembly has the authority to call for a By-election for a Local Assembly in the absence of a quorum of local believers." (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to a National Spiritual Assembly, November 8, 1983) 562. Scope of the Functions of the Emergency Committee "It is entirely appropriate to appoint an emergency committee and to authorize it to take action between National Spiritual Assembly meetings. Your Assembly can also authorize such a committee to deal with routine meters in the interim between your Assembly meetings. In both cases full reports of such committee meetings should be made to all members of the Assembly and all decisions arrived at should be confirmed, or otherwise, at the next meeting of the National Assembly. "You may decide on the number of the members of the National Assembly to compose such a committee. However, valid meetings of this committee can take place only when all its appointed members are duly notified. The House of Justice feels that giving notice by public service announcements of radio is not a satisfactory means of ensuing that all members have been notified. Finally, you are advised to have regular meeting of your National Assembly and not to allow the arrangement for routine and/or emergency action to take the place of such meetings." (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Liberia and Guinea, June 15, 1977) 563. Latitude of Action that May be Taken by an Emergency Committee "The latitude of actions that may be taken by an emergency committee of your National Assembly in any matter it deals with must be within the framework of guidance and authority given to it by your body. "This same principle would apply to the actions in which two members of an

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emergency committee of three, feel they have the right to take upon any matter before it." (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Ecuador, December 2, 1982) 564. National Assembly Defines Limits Placed on Emergency Committee "... it is for your Assembly to define the limits placed upon an emergency committee appointed by you from among your own membership to take action when absolutely necessary on emergencies which arise between meetings. Decisions of the committee of course always are subject to the subsequent approval of the National Assembly as a whole and you should assure yourselves that you are adequately informed of all its actions taken in your name." (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Barbados and Windward Islands, July 2, 1971) 565. Quorum of Emergency Committee Members "With regard to the question as to whether a quorum of the Emergency Committee members may act, there are no standard rulings and condition for Emergency Committees. Every National Spiritual Assembly must work out its attendance of members of the National Spiritual Assembly who are not also members of the Emergency Committee." (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Jamaica, October 24, 1971) 566. Special committee Can be Named to Assume Responsibility for Consolidation "If a National Spiritual Assembly finds that its National Teaching Committee cannot devote sufficient attention to the work of consolidation, it should not hesitate to appoint, in addition special committees whose tasks would be the falling within this category include the organization of circuit of travelling weekend institutes and conferences; the initiation and operation of tutorial schools; the dissemination of Bahá'í literature and the encouragement of its study by the friends; and the organization of special courses and institutes for Local Spiritual Assembly members." (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to all National Spiritual Assemblies, April 17, 1981) 567. Not Necessary for National Committees to be centred at National headquarters[*] "It is not necessary, of course, that the National Teaching Committee be centred at National Headquarters and it need not be a large committee. It is essential, however, that the members appointed be so situated that they can meet [*] (See also: No. 546 Desirability of Easy Meetings of National Teaching Committee)

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frequently during the year and that they be dedicated, active, knowledgeable, creative and reliable. As the National Teaching Committee has high priority in your administrative responsibilities, you should consider, if necessary, the possibility of relieving its members of other committee responsibilities, in order that they may devote their fullest possible time and energy to the work of the Teaching Committee, preferably at least one of the members should have secretarial skills and be capable of carrying the heavy burden of correspondence which results when plans are being implemented." (From a letter of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Trinidad and Tobago, November 12, 1971) 568. Regional Committees -- Sub-committees of National Teaching Committee "... the Guardian has re-emphasized the necessity of avoiding over centralization in the conduct of the affairs of the Cause, thereby relieving your Assembly of an unmanageable amount of detail and routine work, which would interfere with its clear and paramount duty of maintaining a through and vigilant supervision over the work of the Cause as a whole. Excessive de- centralization, on the other hand, would tend to nullify the principle which places ultimate authority and responsibly in the hands of the National Spiritual Assembly. His recent instruction regarding the relationship of the Regional Teaching Committee to the National Teaching Committee safeguard this principle which lies at the very basis of the Administrative Order. The Regional Committees, although appointed by the N.S.A., should, unlike all others committees, be viewed as special adjuncts created specifically for the purpose of helping directly the National Teaching Committee, in its all-important task of stimulating the teaching activities of the Faith... . In a sense they are sub- Committees of the National Teaching Committee, to whom their reports and all details of National Teaching activity should be constantly and directly referred." (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States and Canada, May 25, 1941) 569. Too Many Committees Confuse Rather Than Clarify the Work "A National Teaching committee, with the regional ones under it, will, he believes, run the work much better. Too many committees like too many circulars, confuse rather than clarify the work." (From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States, June 30, 1952) 570. Relationship of National Teaching Committee to Regional Teaching Committees "Regarding the question of the relationship of the National Teaching Committee to the Regional Teaching Committees which you had raised in your last two letters; the Guardian has carefully noted your views on the subject, and while he feels that, as a matter of principle, the appointment of the Regional committees should be entrusted to the N.S.A., their immediate supervision and control, he believes, directly concern the National Teaching Committee, which body is solely responsible for the organization and conduct of the teaching campaign throughout the U.S.A. and Canada, the N.S.A. has certainly ultimate jurisdiction over all these Committees, whether national or regional, but should, in view of the

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ever-expanding teaching activities of the Cause..., leave to the N.T.C. the task of supervising and coordinating the teaching work for the Regional Committees, The immediate responsibility of these committees is thus to the N.T.C., which in turn is directly and solely responsible to the N.S.A." (From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to an individual believer, January 28, 1941) 571. Auxiliary Board Members Can Serve on Certain Special Committees "The House of justice feels that committees such as the administrative committee of the Bahá'í International Health Agency, or committees responsible for aspects of social and economic development, which require professional expertise in their members, fall in a different category from other Bahá'í committees. Believers who have the necessary professional skills are often in short supply, and therefore the House of Justice has no objecting to Auxiliary Board members; serving on such committees at the present time -- indeed it is often highly desirable that they do so -- provided, of course, that such service does not so occupy their time and energies that they are unable to carry out their highly important services for the Auxiliary Board." (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Canada, September 9, 1984) 572. Collaboration Between Auxiliary Board Members and National and Regional Teaching Committee "It has become apparent that in some areas the progress of the teaching work requires closer collaboration between Auxiliary Board members and National or Regional Teaching Committees than heretofore. Following consultation with he International Teaching Centre on the matter, we have concluded that the possibilities provided by the present policy are adequate and that where a lack of collaboration has been felt it has arisen from an insufficiently full and frequent exchange of information between the institutions. "While the members of the Auxiliary Board and their assistants should never attempts to direct the work of committees or become involved in the administrative work associated with the committees functions, it is absolutely vital that they be kept fully informed of the committees activities and plans and their hopes for the work in the area. Only then can the members of the Auxiliary Boards be confident that the services to which they are exhorting the believers and the projects in which they are encouraging them are in harmony with the overall plans and objectives of the National Spiritual Assembly and its committees. "The existing policy and the reasons for it were conveyed to the Continental Boards of Counsellors and all National Spiritual Assemblies in our letter of 1 October 1969, a copy of which is attached. It should be noted that under this policy it is 'permissible and highly desirable to have a direct and regular exchange of information between the committees and the Auxiliary Board members. Moreover, at the outset of the work of the year or at times during the year when new plans are being evolved, it is often hopeful to arrange for consultation to be held between the Auxiliary Board members and the National or Regional Teaching Committees before such plans are finalized. "We are confident that a greater awareness of the importance of close collaboration between the two arms of the Administrative Order and of the ways

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available to achieve this will lead to a much-needed intensification of the teaching work in every land." (The Universal House of Justice to all National Spiritual Assemblies, July 6, 1977) 573. National youth Committee " ... if we say that no older person should take part in the organization of the youth it will be depriving them of the necessary experience needed to have a permanent and working institution. "Shoghi Effendi believes that the best solution is to have some reasonable age limit for the actual membership of the body of the organization so that only the young people may take part in the different activities and have no older person usurp the floor or deprive them from their chances to train themselves, and express their ideas. At the same time the National Assembly could appoint on the National Committee that is to supervise their work some older and experienced persons who could co-operate with them and guide them in their activities. The National Committee should be composed of both people within the age limit and also older people." (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States and Canada, October 27, 1932) 574. Young Bahá'ís Under 21 May Serve on Committees "The question of young Bahá'ís being permitted to serve on Committees other that the Youth Committee has been raised in a number of letters recently, and in considering the matter he felt that Bahá'í young people under 21 should not be denied the privilege of Committee work. Though they cannot be voting members of Bahá'í communities (or exercise the electoral vote at all until they reach that age), and though they cannot, likewise, be elected to Assemblies, there is no reason why they should not serve the Cause on various committees, as all Committees, National of Local, or subordinate to Assemblies and their members not elected but appointed, and appointed by Assemblies. We have many devoted and talented young believers who can be of great assistance to the Cause even though not yet legally of age. (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States and Canada, February 28, 1945) 575. Local Committees "...regarding local Bahá'í committees;these, though different in their functions enjoy equal rights, and are subject to responsibilities and obligations which, although varying in degree, are equally binding on them all. "These local committees, being appointed by the Local Spiritual Assembly itself, are responsible to that body alone, and they can be dissolved, and their membership altered by it at any time. the local committees are the hands of the Spiritual Assembly that has appointed them ..., and as such are subject to its rulings. "The Local Spiritual Assembly cannot delegate to any one of the local committees the authority to exercise any control or supervision over any other committee or body which it has itself appointed. All local committees are directly

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and solely responsible to the Local Assembly which alone can exercise the power of supervision over them." (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, February 16, 1939) 576. Structure of National and Regional Teaching Committees "...Whether it be the body of their elected national representatives, or its chief auxiliary institution, the National Teaching Committee, or its subsidiary organs, the Regional Teaching Committees, or the Local Spiritual Assemblies and their respective teaching committees, they who labour for the spread of the Cause of Bahá'u'lláh would, through constant interchange of ideas, through letters, circulars, reports, bulletins and other means of communication with these established instruments designed for the propagation of the Faith, insure the smooth and speedy functioning of the teaching machinery for their Administrative Order. Confusion, delay, duplication of efforts, dissipation of energy will, thereby, be completely avoided, and the mighty flood of the Grace of Bahá'u'lláh, flowing abundantly and without the least obstruction through these essential channels will so inundate the hearts and souls of men as to enable them to bring forth the harvest repeatedly predicted by 'Abdu'l-Bahá." (Shoghi Effendi: The Advent of Divine Justice, p. 52-53, 1984 Ed.)

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XI. CONSULTATION 577. No Welfare, Well-Being can be Attained Except through Consultation "... Say: No man can attain his true station except through his justice. NO power can exist except through unity. No welfare and no well-being can be attained except through consultation. (Bahá'u'lláh: Consultation: A Compilation, p. 3, from a previously untranslated Tablet) 578. Consultation and Compassion "... The heaven of Divine Wisdom is illumined with the two luminaries of consultation and compassion..." (Bahá'u'lláh: Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 126) 579. Consultation, Frank and Unfettered "... Consultation, frank and unfettered, is the bedrock of this unique order. Authority is concentrated in the hands of the elected members of the National Assembly. Power and initiative are primarily vested in the entire body of the believers acting through their local representatives." (From Shoghi Effendi's postscript to a letter written on his behalf to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States and Canada, November 18, 1933) 580. The Purpose of Consultation -- Should the People of a Village Consult one another... "The purpose of consultation is to show that the views of several individuals are assuredly preferable to one man, even as the power of a number of men is of course greater than the power of one man. Thus consultation is acceptable in the presence of the Almighty, and hath been enjoined upon the believers, so that they may confer upon ordinary and personal matters, as well as on affairs which are general in nature and universal. "For instance, when a man hath a project to accomplish, should he consult with some of his brethren, that which is agreeable will of course be investigated and unveiled to his eyes, and the truth will be disclosed. Likewise on a higher level, should the people of a village consult one another about their affairs, the right solution will certainly be revealed. In like manner, the members of each profession, such as in industry, should consult, and those in commerce should similarly consult on business affairs. In short, consultation is desirable and acceptable in all things and on all issues." ('Abdu'l-Bahá: Consultation: A Compilation, quoted in the Guardian's letter to Persia, February 15, 1922) 581. Each Bosom Must be a Telegraph Station "Each bosom must be a telegraph station -- one terminus of the wire attached to the soul, the other,fixed in the Supreme Concourse - so that inspiration may

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descend from the Kingdom of Abha and questions of reality be discussed. Then opinions will coincide with truth; day by day there will be progression and the meetings become more radiant and spiritual. The attainment is conditioned upon unity and agreement. The more perfect the love and agreement, the more the Divine Confirmations and Assistance of the Blessed Perfection will descend.... In discussions look toward the reality without being self-opinionated. Let no one assert and insist upon his own mere opinion; nay, rather, let each investigate the reality with the greatest love and fellowship. Consult upon every matter and when one presents the point of view of the reality itself, that shall be acceptable to all. Then will spiritual unity increase among you, individual illumination will be greater, happiness more abundant and you will draw nearer and nearer to the Kingdom of God." ('Abdu'l-Bahá: Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 183) 582. Any Person Can Refer a Matter to the Assembly "Regarding consultation: Any person can refer a matter to the Assembly for consultation whether the other party wishes to or not. In matters which affect the Cause the Assembly should, if it deems it necessary, intervene even if both sides don't want it to, because the whole purpose of the Assemblies is to protect the Faith, the Communities and the individual Bahá'ís as well." (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, October 17, 1944) 583. Every Member to Express Freely and Openly his Views "But before the majority of the Assembly comes to a decision, it is not only the right but the sacred obligation of every member to express freely and openly his views, without being afraid of displeasing or alienating any of his fellow-members. In view of this important administrative principle of frank and open consultation, the Guardian would advise you to give up the method of asking other members to voice your opinion and suggestions. This indirect way of expressing your views to the Assembly not only creates an atmosphere of secrecy which is most alien to the spirit of the Cause, but would also lead to many misunderstandings and complications. The Assembly members must have the courage of their conviction, but must also express whole-hearted and unqualified obedience to the well-considering judgement and directions of the majority of their fellow-members." (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, October 28, 1935) 584. Abstaining Does Not Arise in Bahá'í Voting "it is important to realize that the spirit of Bahá'í consultation is very different from that current in the decision-making processes of non-Bahá'í bodies. "The ideal of Bahá'í consultation is to arrive at a unanimous decision. When this is not possible a vote must be taken. In the words of the beloved Guardian: ' ... when they are called upon to arrive at a certain decision, they should, after dispassionate, anxious and cordial consultation, turn to God in prayer, and with earnestness and conviction and courage record their vote and abide by the voice of majority, which we are told by the Master to be the voice of truth, never to be challenged, and always to be whole-heartedly enforced.' "As soon as a decision is reached it becomes the decision of the whole Assembly, not merely of those members who happened to be among the majority.

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" When it its proposed to put a matter to the vote, a member of the Assembly may feel that there are additional facts or views which must be sought before he can make up his mind and intelligently vote on the proposition. He should express this feeling to the Assembly, and it is for the Assembly to decide whether or not further consultation is needed before voting. "Whenever it is decided to vote on a proposition all that is required is to ascertain how many of the members are in favour of it; if this is a majority of those present, the motion is carried; if it is a minority, the motion is defeated. Thus the whole question of 'abstaining' does not arise in Bahá'í voting. A member who does not vote in favour of a proposition is, in effect, voting against it, even if at that moment he himself feels that he has been unable to make up his mind on a matter." (From a letter of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Canada, March 6, 1970: Consultation: A Compilation, p. 12, February 1978) 585. Majority Decisions -- Instances When Assembly May Decide that all Nine Members Must be Present "Concerning a majority decision, ordinarily, the majority referred to is the majority of those present at a particular Assembly meeting. In any event, the Assembly can take no action unless at least a quorum of the members is present. There may be instances, however, in which the Assembly may specify that before voting on particularly important questions all nine members of the Assembly should be present and participate in the consultation and voting. This is within the discretion of the Assembly to decide." (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Mexico, July 22, 1984) 586. No Dissenting Votes in the Cause "There are no dissenting voters in the Cause. When the majority of an Assembly decides a matter the minority, we are told by the Master, should accept this. To insist on having one's dissenting vote recorded is not good, and achieves no constructive end. We must learn to look upon the laws of the Cause and administrative principles and not the shortcomings of the individual members of an Assembly." (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, March 19, 1950) 587. Suspend Consultation when Enmity and Threats Occur "The honoured members of the Spiritual Assembly should exert their efforts so that no differences may occur, and if such differences do occur, they should not reach the point of causing conflict, hatred and antagonism, which lead to threats. When you notice that a stage has been reached when enmity and threats are about to occur, you should immediately postpone discussion of the subject, until wranglings, disputations, and loud talk vanish, and a propitious time is at hand." ('Abdu'l-Bahá: Consultation: A Compilation, from a previously untranslated Tablet) 588. Take no Important Step in Personal Affairs Without Consultation "Settle all things, both great and small, by consultation. Without prior consultation, take no important step in your own personal affairs. Concern yourselves with one another. Help along one another's projects and plans. Grieve

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over one another. Let none in the whole country go in need. Befriend one another until ye become as a single body, one and all ..." ('Abdu'l-Bahá: Ibid) 589. When a Believer Has a Problem Several Courses Open to him "Your letter of 14 February 1973 enquiring about the uses of Bahá'í consultation has been received. "This is, of course, a matter in which rigidity should by avoided. "When a believer has a problem concerning which he must make a decision, he has several courses open to him. If it is a matter that affects the interests of the Faith he should consult with the appropriate Assembly or committee, but individuals have many problems which are purely personal and there is no obligation upon them to take such problems to the institutions of the Faith; indeed, when the needs of the teaching work are of such urgency it is better if the friends will not burden their assemblies with personal problems that they can solve by themselves. "A Bahá'í who has a problem may wish to make his own decision upon it after prayer and after weighing all the aspects of it in his own mind; he may prefer to seek the council of individual friends or of professional counsellors such as his doctor or lawyer so that he can consider such advice when making his decision; or in a case where several people are involved, such as a family situation, he may want to gather together those who are affected so that they may arrive at a collective decision. There is also no objection whatever to a Bahá'í asking a group of people to consult together on a problem facing him. "It should be borne in mind that all consultation is aimed at arriving at a solution to a problem and is quite different from the sort of group baring of the soul that is popular in some circles these days which borders on the kind of confession that is forbidden in the Faith. On the subject of Confession the Guardian's secretary wrote on his behalf to an individual believer: 'We are forbidden to confess to any person, as do the Catholics to their priests, our sins and shortcomings, or to do so in public, as some religious sects do. However, if we spontaneously desire to acknowledge we have been wrong in something, or that we have some fault of character, and ask another person's forgiveness or pardon, we are quite free to do so. The Guardian wants to point out, however, that we are not obliged to do so. It rests entirely with the individual'." (From a letter of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Canada, March 19, 1973: pp. 12-13) 590. Assembly Cannot Require a Member to Absent Himself from Consultation "In your letter of 4 April you enquire further about the principles governing the presence of a member of the National Assembly when a matter concerning him or her personally is being discussed. "The first principle to bear in mind is that every member of an Assembly has an absolute and incontrovertible right to be present at every meeting of that body and to be fully informed of every matter coming before it. "The second principle is that of detachment in consultation. The members of an Assembly must learn to express their views frankly, calmly, without passion or rancour. They must also learn to listen to the opinions of their fellow members without taking offence or belittling the views if another Bahá'í consultation is

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not an easy process. It requires love, kindliness, moral courage and humility. Thus no member should ever allow himself to be prevented from expressing frankly his view because it may offend a fellow member; and, realizing this, no member should take offence at another member's statements. "The Third principle is that if a believer feels that he has been done an injustice by the Assembly, he should appeal the decision in the normal way." (From a letter of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly if Italy, August 26, 1965) 591. A member May Wish to Absent Himself While Own Situation Being Discussed "We note ... that ... left the room while the National Assembly discussed ways and means of helping her. Naturally, if one wishes to absent himself while his own situation is being discussed by the National Assembly, there is no objection. The National Assembly cannot require a member to remove himself from the consultation, and he is fully entitled to remain." (From a letter of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Italy, February 23, 1965) "It should also be understood that a member may wish to absent himself from a meeting at which subjects in which he is personally involved are to be discussed. In such cases he may do so unless the Assembly requires him to be present." (From a letter of the Universal House of Justice to the International Teaching Centre, January 22, 1975) 592. Frank, Full, Unprejudiced Consultation Must Govern Work "There cannot be in our Faith any room for the political maneuverings so common to the outside world. Frankness, full unprejudiced consultation, must govern all Assembly and committee work, and anything less that this is not only unworthy of a Baha'i, but a direct disobedience to the Master's instructions an a sign of lack of faith." (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, November 29, 1948)

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XII. THE COVENANT A. Bahá'í Covenant 593. The Bahá'í Covenant "As regards the meaning of the Bahá'í Covenant: The Guardian considers the existence of two forms of Covenant both of which are explicitly mentioned in the literature of the Cause. First is the covenant that every Prophet makes with humanity or, more definitely, with His people that they will accept and follow the coming Manifestation Who will be the reappearance of His reality. The second form of covenant is such as the one Bahá'u'lláh made with His people that they should accept the Master. This is merely to establish and strengthen the succession of the series of Lights that appear after every Manifestation. Under the same category falls the covenant the Master made with the Bahá'ís that they should accept His administration after Him..." (From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to an individual, October 21, 1921) "The Most Great Covenant is different from the Everlasting Covenant." (From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to an individual believer, November 19, 1945) 594. Firmness in the Covenant: Be He an Insignificant Ant... "....Rest ye assured that if a soul ariseth in the utmost perseverance and raiseth the Call of the Kingdom and resolutely promulgateth the Covenant, be he an insignificant ant he shall be enabled to drive away the formidable elephant from the arena, and if he be a feeble moth he shall cut to pieces the plumage of the rapacious vulture." ('Abdu'l-Bahá: Selections from the Writings of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, p. 209) 595. The Crimson Book "...what Bahá'u'lláh did not elaborate but what He meant by the 'word' recorded in the Crimson Book was the Power of the Covenant. "The Crimson Book refers to the Book of His Covenant, and the reference above means the power for unity which the Covenant possesses and radiates. On page 238 of God Passes By you will find the cross-reference to the Crimson Book and the Epistle to the Son of the Wolf." (Letter written on behalf of the Guardian to an individual believer, January 5, 1948) 596. Regarding Covenant entered into on Mount Paran "As for the reference in the Hidden Words regarding the Covenant entered into on Mount Paran, this signifieth that in the sight of God the past, the present and the future are all one and the same whereas, relative to man, the past is gone and forgotten, the present is fleeting, and the future is within the realm of hope. And

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it is a basic principle of the Law of God that in every Prophetic Mission, He entereth into a Covenant with all believers - - a Covenant that endureth until the end of that Mission, until the promised day when the Personage stipulated at the outset of the Mission is made manifest. Consider Moses, He Who conversed with God. Verily, upon Mount Sinai, Moses entered into a Covenant regarding the Messiah, with all those souls who would live in the day of the Messiah. And those souls, although they appeared many centuries after Moses, were nevertheless -- so far as the Covenant, which is outside time, was concerned -- present there with Moses. The Jews, however, were heedless of this and remembered it not, and thus they suffered a great and clear loss." ('Abdu'l-Bahá: Selections from the Writings of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, p. 207) 597. To Withstand Tests Believers Need to be Deepened in the Covenant "...the believers need to be deepened in their knowledge and appreciation of the Covenants of both Bahá'u'lláh and 'Abdu'l-Bahá. This is the stronghold of the faith of every Baha'i, and that which enables him to withstand every test and the attacks of the enemies outside the Faith, and the far more dangerous, insidious, lukewarm people inside the Faith who have no real attachment to the Covenant, and consequently uphold the i