Beliefs / Principles
Here are articles on The Baha´i beliefs and principles, how we live our lives.
A Perspective from 12-Step Programs
Bahá'ís believe that all religion--that all knowledge--comes from the same source: one loving God. That Creator, by whatever name people may use, has given spiritual guidance throughout human history.
A Spiritual Basis for Ills
Religion has been in the health business far longer than science, but blaming all ills on turning away from God's laws may be a gross over simplification of a complex Creation. Health and wellness of individuals or society need to be viewed holistically, both materially and spiritually.
Abortion and Birth Control in the Bahá'í Faith
Family planning is an integral part of Bahá'í married life, the purpose of which is to raise up children who know and worship God, but since the soul begins at conception, abortion is not an allowed form of birth control.
Age Old Wisdom via an Internet Dog
A light-hearted dip into the Bahá'í Writings on how to be a better human, triggered by the Internet meme, "Advice from a Good Dog."
Are Bahá'ís Dissidents ?
A dissident is one who uses words in order to educate and expects that to cause change, and a revolutionary might be a frustrated dissident who is tired of waiting. The followers of Bahá'u'lláh can adopt neither position, even though they are working to make the world a better place.
Are Bahá'ís Essentially Atheists ?
Bahá'ís have been accused of atheism when their definition of God doesn't match someone else's. The Bahá'í concept of God is that of an essentially unknowable essence, all-powerful, omniscient, omnipresent, but compassionate and loving.
Are Bahá'ís Pacifists?
Bahá'ís do not volunteer for violence and war, but are not absolute pacifists, either. They are obedient to their governments, but try to find non-combatant service.
Backbiting - the worst sin for Bahá'ís
Gossip, backbiting and calumny are considered sins on a par with murder and arson because they quench the light of the heart and extinguish the life of the soul.
Bahá'í Teachings on Political Non-involvement
The Bahá'í Faith does not endorse partisan political platforms, and its followers try to shun any activity which would result in division and discord.
Bahá'í View of Wealth
For Bahá'ís, detachment from material goods as the only source of happiness and security is a goal, and requires practicing both personal economy and social generosity.
Bahá'í Views on Racial Prejudice
The Bahá'í Faith teaches that there is only one human race, that all people are children of the same loving God, and that racial prejudice must be eliminated.
Bahá'í Words of Comfort in Times of Trouble
Disaster, disease, disappointments, unhappy surprises...these make up the world today--or at least, I'm noticing them of late. The Bahá'í Faith has guidance during times of trouble.
Bahá'ís and Revolution
There is the stink of revolution in the air. Frustration is fueling violent responses from the downtrodden as well as those trying to make things better. What is the position of the Bahá'í Faith on revolution as a means of change?
Bahá'ís and the End of the World
What the Bahá'í Faith has to say about the end of the world.
Baha'is and the Paranormal
So, if the Bahá'í Faith teaches that human beings are basically immortal spirit, does that mean Bahá'ís are busy developing and practicing their psychic powers?
Bahá'ís and the Separation of Church and State
How the Bahá'í Faith views the role of religion in governance. The choice is neither separation of church and state, nor state religion, but the behavior of those being governed.
Bahá'u'lláh's Steps to World Peace
The Prophet/Founder of the Bahá'í Faith advised world leaders that there are a few simple steps that they could take to achieve a prosperous and peaceful planet. Simple, but not easy.
Benefitting from Life's Tests
It is a central principal of the Bahá'í Faith that life has a purpose, and problems and tests are meant to serve that purpose.
How does religion in general, and the Bahá'í Faith in particular, view calamity and how to respond to it.
Calamity to Me
A more personal take on how the Bahá'í Faith views calamities, and how one Bahá'í deals.
Bahá'ís believe that creativity is a gift from God available to anyone.
Dealing with Regrets
Religion, philosophers, and wise teachers have consistently told the world that the beauty of life exists in the unfolding of it, so wallowing in regret and guilt is wasting precious time.
Detachment - Learning to Let Go
The Bahá'í Faith teaches detachment from material things as a source of happiness, but it also counsels freeing oneself from worldly motives and self-interest when dealing with others.
Discipline - Raising Children to Be Good Citizens
The concept of discipline means strength of character, not a form of punishment.
Do Bahá'ís Believe in Extraterrestrial Life ?
The Bahá'í Faith does have within its sacred texts several comments about the extent of God's creation that suggest non-terrestrial life is both possible and already existent.
Do Bahá'ís Believe in Ghosts ?
This life is only the beginning, and there is eternity to follow, so in that sense, Bahá'ís definitely believe in eternal spirits. As for ghostly manifestations that those of us still here can see--not so much.
Do Bahá'ís Confess Their Sins ?
Confessing one's sins and transgressions before another human being is not a source of either redemption or pardon in the Bahá'í Teachings. A believer turns only to God for forgiveness and salvation.
Do Bahá'ís Worry?
Well, yes--and no. There is no way any sensible person cannot be stressed by a daily dose of natural and human disasters. Bahá'ís, however, worry about character and virtues before responding.
Does the Bahá'í Faith Have Dogma ?
There are a minimum of institutionalized rituals in the Bahá'í Faith and no man-made dogmas. Ritual holds no place in a religious doctrine which must be expressed in all the actions of life, and accomplished in neighborly love.
Does the Bahá'í Faith Have Dress Codes ?
Most religions use the manner of dress as a way to express both respect and piety, although over time, traditions can become extreme. The Bahá'í Faith does not specify dress for either men or women, except to caution against immoderation.
Failing to Grow
Failure is part of God's design. It shouldn't be avoided at all costs, but treasured as an important tool for ultimate success.
Fasting and Baha´is
Baha´is fast for 19 days during the Month of Ala/Loftiness from March 2 to 21 from sunrise to sunset.
Fate and Predestination in the Bahá'í Faith
What does the Bahá'í Faith say about the perennial questions of Fate and predestination, and how does free will play any part in the Plan they firmly believe exists for creation?
Feed the Soul, Change the World
How a Bahá'í implements the teaching that developing spiritually is the way to make the world a better place.
Happiness is transitory and can be superficial, often based upon material things, whereas joy is a fundamental state underlying every other emotion.
Five Ways to Express True Love
"Love one another" is a divine admonition that exists in every religion, but human history is littered with mankind's failures to do so. Here are some ways anyone can change that on a daily basis.
Forgiveness is key to strengthening any relationship, whether between people or nations. Learning how to forgive oneself is critical to forging happiness and a successful life.
Freedom License and True Liberty
"Freedom is not a matter of place. It is a condition...When one is released from the prison of self, that is indeed release, for that is the greater prison."
Gratitude is Good for You
Scientific research is showing that gratitude is an effective way to improve mental and physical health. Religion has taught the process for centuries, and the Bahá'í Faith offers guidance and tools for today.
Health and Healing
For most of mankind's history, religion has been the source of both physical and spiritual health. Guidance for diet and hygiene was as common as religious instruction. The Bahá'í Faith has the latest info.
Hope - Religion's Most Useful Tool
Is hope an artificial construct, just a placebo to get us through the dark places? Even if so, are we justified in using it anyway?
How Bahá'í Prayers Helped Me Cope
Personal experience learning to use prayer to survive the tragedy of my grandson's sudden death.
How Bahá'ís Find Peace and Tranquility
Given the current state of heightened anxiety in the world, is there any way to salvage the peace and tranquility promised by the Bahá'í Faith?
How to Ask Divine Assistance
Asking for help when we need it is often difficult for women, and there are similar solutions, whether asking God or people for assistance.
How to Change the World
How to change successfully, get rid of old habits and build new ones -- and incidentally, change the world.
How to Feel Happier Now
A list of behaviors and attitudes that have been shown to increase happiness turn out to be religious.
How to Keep Your Faith
Holding on to faith that you can make a difference towards change of any kind can be a challenge, especially when it takes energy and sacrifice, and some days it feels like the whole world is against it. Yet, religion has supplied the power to do this over and over again.
How to Love Mankind
Love one another is a common religious refrain, but given current events--not to mention annoying neighbors, spouses and children--just how does one go about it?
How to Practice Encouragement
Encouraging others is a religious duty, but exactly how does one go about it without becoming discouraged?
How to Practice Humility
What does it mean to be humble, and how does one go about it? Notes from a consultation after my grand daughter's question.
Human Nature Doesn't Match Reality TV
Contrary to popular belief and the entertainment media, social rules don't crumble in disaster. Innate human nature is not driving bad behavior; choice is.
Humanity's Greatest Tragedy
The greatest tragedy facing humanity isn't racism, classism, poverty, or any of the other social ills. It is ignorance of mankind's true nature, which is spirit, not material.
Importance of Motherhood
A brief introduction to the importance of mothers in the Bahá'í Faith and teachings
Importance of The Arts
It's okay to sit and daydream! Why the arts are important to Bahá'ís.
Indigenous Religion & the Bahá'í Faith
The core of all religions is seen by Bahá'ís as a unified and progressive whole, provided by a single loving God to humanity. Indigenous people's sense of the interrelationship of all of creation may be the most important contribution to the science and spirituality of the modern world.
Is It Too Late ?
So, is it too late in the day to prevent total annihilation? Bahá'ís don't think so.
Is Religion Really All About Chores ?
For Bahá'ís, the purpose of life is to prepare spiritually for eternity, and to spend time and effort on building virtues to make a better world: spiritual chores.
Joy and Laughter
The importance of laughter and how to use it for better spiritual and physical health.
Kindness - Science Agrees with Religion
Kindness is a virtue common to many religious and philosophical teaching. Now it has scientific support for not only individual health, but also--Bahá'ís say-- for developing a healthy and peaceful world.
Life after Death
Religion has throughout history assured mankind that there was more to life than just this physical world. The Bahá'í Faith teaches that there is no death because true human nature is immortal spirit.
Lost Civilizations, or, How Old Is Creation ?
What do the teachings of the Bahá'í Faith have to say about ancient civilizations and the age of the Universe?
Military Service and the Baha’i Faith
Bahá'ís are not pacifists, but they will not engage in war, so how do they serve in the military?
Music & The Bahá'í Faith
Part 2 of the series on the importance of music for Bahá'ís, with some quotes from the Bahá'í Writings.
Musing on the Parable of Job
One woman's meditation on the Parable of Job and how his response to his trials might have meaning for my life.
On the Death of a Child
Solace from the Bahá'í Writings on the unexpected death of my youngest grandchild.
Positive Psychology Isn't New
It is science renewing the basic tenants of core religion: that mankind is much more than just lower nature, and accentuating virtues is more likely to bring happiness than constantly focusing on a negative view of human capacity.
Prayer in the Bahá'í Faith
A brief introduction to Bahá'í prayers and how they are used within the Faith.
Prayers for Assistance with Life's Tests
While preparing a devotional on dealing with crises that provide daily tests, I was struck by how similar prayer has been over the last several thousand years of recorded history.
Prayers for Protection
Every religion has provided some guidance to help its believers cope not only with the general dangers inherent in living on this planet, but also to deal with what their neighbors, relatives and humanity in general perpetrate. Here are some examples from the Bahá'í Faith.
Religion and Perception of Control
Some time proven remedies for the stresses of daily living.
Sex and the Married Bahá'í
For Bahá'ís, marriage is a divine institution, a spiritual and physical union that forms a fortress for wellbeing that will improve each other, raise up healthy children and make the world a better place. Turns out that a spiritual basis makes for great sex, too.
Sex and the Single Bahá'í
How the Bahá'í Faith views sexual activity in terms of spirit and character development, as well as providing for healthy marriages.
What is considered a sin in the Bahá'í Faith?
Spirit, Animals & Humanity
Kindness to animals and recognition of the unity and interconnectedness of all Creation is an important principle of Bahá'í theology.
Spirit, Not Drugs for Depression
Understanding true human nature and the purpose of life can be a better long-term treatment for depression than drugs.
Suicide is not an option for Bahá'ís, because their faith teaches that the purpose of this one chance at physical life is to develop the virtues needed for eternal spiritual life.
Survival Requires Diversity, not Uniformity
Unity in diversity is a watchword of the Bahá'í Faith. With some research into the core teachings of other religious groups, respect and even appreciation of the variety of flowers in the human garden can also be found.
The Bahá'í Concept of God
Improving my character and even working to build God's Kingdom on Earth seem like straightforward goals to me, but how does one know God?
The Bahá'í Concept of the Soul
The Bahá'í Faith teaches that human beings are souls, not bodies, and though physically belonging to the animal kingdom, are lifted above the rest of creation by virtue of having a soul.
The Bahá'i Peace Program
Bahá'is are working to make Bahá'u'lláh's vision of a peaceful world a reality. Here are some of the principles they are using.
The Bahá'í Position on Reincarnation
Reincarnation for the purpose of continuing to perfect character, or as punishment for sins of a previous life, is not a part of Bahá'í theology.
The Duty of Encouragement
How often do we remember to encourage one another? No one is an island of strength, although religion promises assistance. Bahá'ís are trying to be part of that.
The Importance of Education to Bahá'ís
Education and self knowledge, both spiritual and material, are important in the Bahá'í Faith because Bahá'u'lláh taught that in this Day, all are capable of and responsible for their own development.
The Meaning of Suffering
A Baha'i Perspective on Suffering
The Purpose of Creation
The Bahá'í Faith teaches that the purpose of life is to know and love God. Since it is impossible to 'know' an unknowable Essence, God made a Creation in which every atom is a sign and all created things contain attributes by which mankind can learn.
The Scourge of Perfection
Change, even for the better, is always scary. It won't happen until we abandon the notion that we can't try anything until we are sure to do it perfectly--the first time around!
The Value of Chastity
The word chastity is commonly used to refer only to sexual matters, but it encompasses much more of life and health.
The Value of Ritual
Ritual is a common and useful human construction, as long as rigidity doesn't obscure the original meaning. The Bahá'í Faith has a few simple rituals, but much meaning and guidance for effective daily living.
Tools for Dealing with Crises
We live in a rapidly changing world. Change often creates crises, but human resilience can be equal to the challenge(s). There are tools and skills which can help.
Triumph over Weakness
Religion is well known for advising humanity to overcome weakness. The Bahá'í Faith is only the latest chapter in an ongoing religious Book. And right now, with advertisers and politicians and news media telling us the world is crumbling around us, we could all use some strength!
Selflessness is one of those virtues that seems obvious and relatively easy--until I'm asked to make a sacrifice. And the most difficult sacrifices turn out to be spiritual, not material!
Trustworthiness is the key to changing the world, since it is, "...the door of security for all that dwell on earth and...the greatest portal leading unto the tranquility and security..."
Virtues - the Best Fuel for Business Success
Without virtuous behavior, material progress cannot be maintained over time. Without spirit, good character is impossible to sustain.
What Are Bahá'ís Working For ?
What inspires the followers of Bahá'u'lláh? What goals do Bahá'ís aim for, and what keeps them hopeful of success?
What Bahá'ís Think Is Happening in the World
Anyone with access to the news media, not to mention their family and neighbors, has got to be worried about the ever increasing mess that the world is in. What's really going on? The Bahá'í Faith offers some answers.
What Does Free Will Actually Mean?
What might having free will mean in day to day life? It's not just the big stuff.
What is a Manifestation of God?
An explanation of what Bahá'ís mean when they use the term Manifestation instead of Prophet.
What is Faith?
What does it mean to have faith? Is it avoiding reality, or the most powerful tool that shapes behavior and can change the world?
What is Religion ?
"Never mind all the trappings, all the ceremonial garments and the prayer rules and the fish on Friday. What is religion really for?"
What Men Gain from Women's Equality
The Bahá'í Faith teaches that the freedom, happiness, health and wealth--of individuals and society--will actually increase when women are allowed to attain their greatest possibilities.
What the Bahá'í Faith Has Done
Answer to a reader's question about what benefits the Bahá'í Faith provides mankind.
What The Bahá'í Faith Says about Evolution
The Bahá'í Faith teaches that humanity has been evolving steadily, but was always possessed of 'human' potential irrespective of what the species looked like at any point in its development--thus, people did not evolve from monkeys!
What You Resist Will Persist
When ego makes us ignore our needs, and even our pain, in order to impress others, it is a form of pride before God, a refusal to accept what we have been given to learn.
What's So Important about Good Deeds ?
Leaders of thought (including my grandmother!) have been counseling the importance of good deeds forever, it seems. What exactly is a good deed, and why would we want to go to the effort?
What's the Use of Praying?
Science and religion are coming together to answer this question, believe it or not!
When Faith and Facts Collide
What is a crisis of faith? What happens when beliefs don't grow and mature with time and the ever changing world in which we live?
Why Are There Religious Wars ?
The Bahá'í Faith maintains that there is only one God, and that core religious teachings are the same. But if that is true, why do people fight over perceived religious differences?
Why Teach Even the Youngest Children to Pray
"These children are even as young plants, and teaching them the prayers is as letting the rain pour down upon them, that they may wax tender and fresh, and the soft breezes of the love of God may blow over them..."
Women's Lib and the Bahá'í Faith
A brief comparison between the Women's Liberation movement and Bahá'í Teachings on the equality of women and men and the best ways to achieve parity.
You Are What You Think Baha'i Homepage | Editor's Picks Articles | Top Ten Articles | Baha'i Site Map
Learning and repeated experiences actually alter the physical structure of the brain, creating new neuronal pathways. Religion has built upon this truth for millennia. The Bahá'í Faith takes it a step further into the 21st Century and beyond.
Think your link belongs here? Use the contact page to let this editor know.