Michael Curtotti

What does it mean to be a Baha’i?

to be a Baha'i

There is no single model of course – every Baha’i has their own story – which implies a multiplicity of ways of responding to Bahá’u’lláh’s teachings. The vision of what it means to be a Baha’i comes from Bahá’u’lláh’s writings. It is nothing like the stereotypes that might jump to mind. In one sense, Baha’is…

On Becoming Good

on becoming good

One day I was having a conversation with someone, and they asked a question.  The question, which was a very insightful one – and genuinely asked – went something like this. “I am a good person. I earn a living. I look after my family. I don’t do bad things. Isn’t that good? What more…

A Different Kind of Power

Lust for power, or an addiction to it, once acquired, or the endless contest for power, is at the heart of much human suffering. Baha’u’llah was a Persian nobleman. His birth gave him power over others, had he desired it. He rejected that kind of power although offered to him by the vizier of the…

A Mystic Journey – The Seven Valleys

Written for a judge and Sufi Shaykh, the Seven Valleys is described by Shoghi Effendi as Bahá’u’lláh’s greatest mystical work. The Seven Valleys is not easy to write about and defies superficial description. Only in travelling the journey can its meaning unfold. As Bahá’u’lláh writes in another of his mystical works, the Four Valleys: The…

Shoghi Effendi – A Transcendent Life

Shoghi Effendi served as Guardian of the Baha’i Faith from 1921-1957. As we have already seen, it was not a role he envisaged undertaking. It was a role he fulfilled magnificently. His life’s work stands at the sunset of what Shoghi Effendi himself defined as the heroic age of the Baha’i Faith. The time when spiritual heroes such…

Baha’i Elections

Baha'i elections

As explored in the article on religious institutions, Baha’i decision making bodies are elected bodies. So what do Baha’i elections look like? Perhaps our experience of elections isn’t very “spiritual” – their focus on exaltation of the individual – the tendency for the electoral contest to polarize a community – and a process with often…

Three Protagonists Generating the Future: Individual, Community and Institutions

individual, community and institutions

The title to this article draws on a concept described in letters of the Universal House of Justice to the Baha’i community – that there are three protagonists (three actors): individual, community and institutions; from whose interactions the future emerges. In the previous three articles we have examined Bahá’u’lláh’s reforms to religious institutions, the kind…

An Empowering and Supportive Community Life

In previous articles we have looked at how Baha’u’llah reforms religious institutions as consultative institutions with a duty to foster human well-being. We have also seen how the individual is framed by Baha’u’llah as an active citizen who is a partner in fostering human well-being. How then does community life change? Sometimes religious community life is viewed as…

The Individual in the Era of Human Maturity

adventure - role of the individual

As foreshadowed in yesterday’s article – Baha’u’llah’s teachings carry implications for the role of the individual. Indeed Baha’u’llah’s teachings empower the individual as an active participant in religious and social life. In his will and testament Baha’u’llah defines our time as follows: Great and blessed is this Day—the Day in which all that lay latent in…