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Spiritual leaders answer on defeat

Editors note: Every Friday a question is printed at the end of this column inviting a response. If you are a religious leader on Kaua‘i please send in your thoughts or suggestions for future topics. Next week’s topic is on hope. The topic at the end of the column is for the following week.

The Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Koloa

A central tenet of the Baha’i faith is that of peace. Defeat is not seen as being conquered by another nation, but the defeat of one’s own ego. Man is of two natures: the physical and the spiritual. One of the purposes of this life is to have the spiritual self conquer the physical self. Therefore, God has sent “Manifestations of God” such as Baha’u’llah, Christ and Buddha to help man’s soul to develop the spirituality needed to defeat and control his physical self.

In one of his tablets Abdu’l-Baha, son of the prophet founder of the Baha’i faith, states, “God has not created men that they should destroy one another. All races, tribes, sects and classes share equally in the bounty of their heavenly Father.”

He also explained that the word courageous can apply to a person who conquers his own self and passion. For it is easier to conquer whole countries than to defeat one’s own self. The purpose of the coming of the Manifestations of God is to endow the soul of man with spiritual qualities and enable him to defeat his greatest enemy — his own self.

Abdu’l-Baha provided encouragement with our life’s struggles when he said, “We should try and make every stumbling-block a stepping-stone to progress. In the course of your past life you have all stumbled very gravely; but, far from being embittered or defeated by this experience, you are determined to make it a means of purifying your natures, improving your characters, and enabling you to become better citizens in the future. This is truly pleasing in the eyes of God.”

Next week’s question:

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• Spiritual leaders are invited to e-mail responses of three to five paragraphs to

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