Michael Curtotti

Looking Good – The Ornaments

man dressed up - looking good baha'u'llah's ornaments

Dressing up – and decoration of various kinds – is a universal human practice. Clothing isn’t just functional — it serves complex social functions – used to communicate mood, occasion, status, function and gender. It is sometimes religiously mandated – marking the boundaries of “appropriate” or “modest” clothing. Sometimes such constraints have been the vehicle…

Extremes of Wealth and Poverty

extremes of wealth and poverty

The increasing gulf between rich and poor has recently re-emerged as an issue in public debate, both as an issue of economic justice and as an issue contributing to political instability in the world.[1] The issue has been a standing concern of the Baha’i community. In his early mystical writings Bahá’u’lláh draws attention to the injustice of…

Seven Heavens and Extrasolar Planets

composite image - celestial sphers on left - artist rendition of extrasolar systems on right

Australian skies look to the centre of the galaxy. The milky way is a bright band high overhead and the night sky an explosion of starlight. Distant and constant points of light, stars are infinitely older than our vanishingly brief time on this Earth. So unconcerned with our petty happenings and trivial squabbles. They teach us a…

Civilization and its Excesses

Bahá’u’lláh called on all human beings to work for the advancement of civilization, yet he also warned of the danger of carrying civilization to excess. All men have been created to carry forward an ever-advancing civilization.[1] And yet: If carried to excess, civilization will prove as prolific a source of evil as it had been of goodness when kept within the restraints of moderation. Meditate on this,…

A Tribute to Bahá’u’lláh

abdu'l baha plymouth - tribute to baha'u'llah

This article tells the story of a moment in time. A small event – briefly told – yet an event that still echoes through time and space. A few evenings ago the words from that event echoed in song in the Australasian Baha’i House of Worship in Sydney. Here is the story. Abdu’l Baha was travelling…

Each Morrow Richer Than its Yesterday

each day better - dawn - healthy attitude to mistakes

We all make mistakes. How we deal with our own mistakes and of those around us has important implications. Too often we stand in judgement of our fellow human beings. It’s an attitude that is corrosive to our own connection with the sacred, and in its worst manifestations creates a judgemental and oppressive community. Despite the prevalence of…

We are One – Bahá’u’lláh’s Teachings Against Violence

peace dove - church window - against violence

Human beings are not inherently violent. But that we have a problem with violence is undeniable. How many times have prophets, poets, philosophers and philanthropists of all kinds called us to love and peace? Yet how many times have human beings found (indeed continue to find) excuses for violence? In this article five aspects of Baha’u’llah’s teaching…

Seeker

zion valley - seeker

For me, it was like the lifting of a darkness of which I had previously been unaware. The lights were on – a new beauty and truth was in the world – and there was no going back. The journey the seeker follows to faith is not an easy one. It is really impossible to describe.…

Solving Problems Beyond Solution – The Book of Certitude

Centre for the Study of the Sacred Texts - Book of Certitude

The goal of Bahá’u’lláh’s entire life’s work, as he describes, is to foster unity among human beings. Of his writings, the Book of Certitude plays a particular role in this purpose. Accordingly, it has been said that the Book of Certitude: by sweeping away the age-long barriers that have so insurmountably separated the great religions of…