Thoughts and music for a very special day

Today brings a very special personal celebration. But I have come to the conclusion that social media is no longer an appropriate way to share precious family moments. So as a nuanced public celebration I am publishing a revised version of a post from the archives which I feel is relevant in several ways.

Norwegian composer Lasse Thoresen (b. 1949), who is a follower of the Bahá'í faith, has set the teachings of Bahá'í founder Bahá'u'lláh's*, while the syncretic Requiem from Catalan composer Bernat Vivancos (b. 1973) sets sacred Bahá'í texts. Bahá'u'lláh taught that "We, verily, have made music as a ladder for your souls, a means whereby they may be lifted up unto the realm on high". Sacred art is prized and music encouraged within the Bahá'í faith. Architecture is particularly prized, and the photo above was taken by my wife when we visited the Bahá'í Lotus Temple in New Delhi designed by Iranian-American architect Fariborz Sahba.

The Bahá'í faith is the youngest of the world's independent religions; it is monotheistic and based on Revelations delivered by Bahá'u'lláh who was born in Tehran in 1817. Baha’i was the world's fastest-growing religion between 1910 and 2010; however the number of followers is still very small compared with the other great traditions. No definitive figures are available, but the total number of Bahá'í followers worldwide is estimated at 8 million. The Bahá'ís faith is inclusive and recognises the authorities of the divine messengers from the other great wisdom traditions. Because the Bahá'ís religion is considered heretical by orthodox Islam, members of the faith have suffered widespread persecution, particularly in Iran.

Personally, I favour Krishnamurti's view that: "A belief is purely an individual matter, and you cannot and must not organise it. If you do, it becomes dead, crystallized; it becomes a creed, a sect, a religion, to be imposed on others". However, when it comes to organised religions, the following Bahá'í beliefs ring very true:
There is one God
All humanity is one family
Women and men are equal
All major religions come from God
Science and religion are in harmony
The independent investigation of truth
The family and its unity are very important
World peace is the crying need of our time
Our economic problems are linked to spiritual problems
All prejudice – racial, religious, national or economic – is destructive and must be overcome
* Also noteworthy is the newly released album of Lasse Thoresen's orchestral music titled Sea of Names. Any copyrighted material is included for critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s). Also on Facebook and Twitter.


Pliable said…
The biographical link for Lasse Thoresen is not pointing at the composer's personal website as my anti-virus software (Trend) tells me - rightly or wrongly - that his site is infected with a virus.

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