Unsealing the Sealed Wine:
Slaying the dragon of dogmatism in the Writings of the Báb

By Habib Riazati

First presented at the Irfan Colloquia Session #104
Centre for Bahá'í Studies: Acuto, Italy
July 9–12, 2011
(see list of papers from #104)

    The principle of individual investigation of truth is one of the fundamental verities mentioned in the writings of the Bab. According to the writings of the Bab, everyone should on his/her own, investigate the truth and make his/her own decisions. Moreover, this is considered the main principle around which all other beliefs revolve. According to the Bab's later writings such as Seven Proofs, Persian Bayan and Panj Shan; no one should accept or reject anything based on the affirmation or rejection of others, regardless of who the other person(s) may be or what position or authority they may hold in society. According to the Bab, such individual investigation of truth will impact one's own individuation, differentiation and helps him/her to discover his/her hidden noble gems, as well as his/her attitudes and interpersonal relationships with others. According to Persian Bayan everyone has been given the gifts of thinking and reflecting that can be used to understand the truth according to his/her own capacity. Moreover, no one should Judge another person's faith or intention. The diversity of opinions should be allowed and encouraged. According to Bab's Rasala Suluk, there are manifold alternative paths to know the truth. Hence, according to Persian Bayan, no one should feel that his/her way of approaching the truth is the most fitted or the only way for everyone else. Everyone according to his/her capacity understands the truth. Upholding this principle will uphold the unity in diversity of humankind.

    One of the most important qualities of a true seeker is to uphold "Purity" in all things. According to Bayan, by purity is meant true detachment from everything but the Truth. The True seeker should not see anything but the truth, not hear anything but the truth. The true seeker needs to always concern itself with the ultimate objective of all things and never be content with blind obedience to the laws and ordinances. He/she should follow the light and not to feel in love with the lamps or get attached to the mirrors that are reflecting in them. He should see the reflections and the manifestations of the Sun of Reality (Primal Will) in every created being according to their own capacities and stations. Among other important attributes of a true seeker is to pray to God to make him/her to become insightful so that he/she can recognize the realities of all things and to judge the truth based on its own evidences and nothing else...

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