Crystallization of the Bahá'i Worldwide Community

By Jena Khadem-Khodadad

First presented at the Irfan Colloquia Session #93
Louhelen Bahá'í School: Davison, Michigan, USA
October 8–11, 2009
(see list of papers from #93)

    See also Dynamics of Growth: A Baha'i Approach.

    "Outward forms and symbols must be used to convey intellectual conceptions".
    SAQ, p. 81

    Large Scale growth is an imperative if the Bahá'í Faith is to fulfill its mission, as the begetter of a world civilization and culture. This paper presents certain understandings and insights on the growth of the Bahá'í Faith and proposes that the prospect for its large scale accelerated growth is promising; this may be attributed to a systematic and ingenious strategy which it has followed through a sequence of two phases. 1. The first phase has focused primarily on its geographical spread, although increase in the number of its adherents has also been an objective. 2. The second phase is focused primarily on increase in the number of its adherents, although increase in geographical spread also remains an objective. The orderly sequence in these two phases of growth places the Bahá'í Faith in a more favorable position than if the order had been in reverse. This paper uses a series of diagrammatic representations in explanation of this thesis.

    The spread and growth of the Bahá'í world community is likened to the process of crystallization which takes place, in a solution, resulting in formation of a crystal. The metaphor of crystal is applied to the ultimate product of the crystallization of the Bahá'í world community. Using insights from chemistry, the process of crystallization of the Bahá'í community is effected through inductive factors; these include the core elements of the plans of the Bahá'í world. Significantly, the characteristics of a crystal are structural organization, beauty; its hallmark, however, is purity. Similarly, the product of crystallization of the Bahá'í Community must have structure, beauty and purity. The Plans of the Bahá'í world make provisions for these.

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