Jan 19, 1995 12:05 PM
by K. Paul Johnson
The post to the Baha'i mailing list was rather obscure, for which
I apologize. Herewith a note of explanation and Theosophical
comment. Shoghi Effendi, who died in 1957, was the one and only
Guardian of the Baha'i Faith, appointed as such in his
grandfather's will. A belief had emerged through four
generations of Baha'i leaders that there would be a Guardian for
1000 years, each one a lineal descendant of Baha'u'llah. Shoghi
Effendi died childless after having excommunicated all his
siblings and his parents. The "Holy Family" thus came to an end.
In 1963, the Universal House of Justice was elected, an
institution that had originally been designed to share power with
the Guardian. Now of course Baha'is have only half of the setup
that had been planned.
The paper to which I was responding was a legalistic explanation
of a passage in which Shoghi Effendi wrote that the institution
of the House of Justice, separated from that of the Guardianship,
would be incapable of properly leading the Baha'is and that the
faith would be ruined without a Guardian. The author explains
this away by means made apparent in my post. But he skillfully
evades every Big Question raised by the failure of prophecy.
I think Theosophists have some splainin to do to ourselves about
our own prophecy failures re: Krishnamurti and (maybe) the
last-quarter messenger. But I don't see anyone showing interest
in doing so except maybe with the same old tired rules of
discourse. Hence my cross-post. Sorry if it was uninteresting
PS-- I'm glad to have Keith and Theodora among us.
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