The Mystical Heart of Knowing:
Toward a worthy, Baha'i-inspired, epistemological model

By Roger Prentice

First presented at the Irfan Colloquia Session #38
Louhelen Baha'i School: Michigan, USA
October, 2001
(see list of papers from #38)

    (God's) purpose, however, is to enable
    the pure in spirit and the detached in heart to ascend,
    by virtue of their own innate powers,
    unto the shores of the Most Great Ocean.

    (Baha'u'llah: Gleanings, Page: 71)

    The larger the island of knowledge, the longer
    the shoreline of mystery."

    Huston Smith

    The presentation will seek to justify the mystical dimension as essential, in both Baha'i, and holistic, forms of knowing — within the context of philosophy and pedagogy of education.

    1. Views of prevailing models of knowledge and knowing, in the wider community, will be reviewed critically, along with alternative approaches.

    2. Key concepts and principles of knowledge and knowing in the Baha'i writings will be presented.

    3. Mystical 'principles' and insights will be presented and it will be argued that the mystical should constitute the very centre of education in general, and of our notion of knowledge and knowing in particular.

    4. A Baha'i-inspired, whole-person, model of knowing, centring on the mystical, will be presented.

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