Welcome to Noble-Creation, the Baha'i Development Forum!

(Updated February 1996)

Purpose of the list:

Noble-Creation, 'The Baha'i Development Forum' is sponsored by the Baha'i Computer and Communications Association (BCCA) and was started February 1994. It is an Email discussion group, open to all. The purpose is to share social and economic development issues, ideas and projects in the context of the Baha'i Writings. The forum is open to all individuals interested in this purpose, whether or not they consider themselves Baha'is, but is especially oriented to professionals working in the development fields. The following quote from the Baha'i Writings was the inspiration for the address of the list and sets the spiritual context for human development:

"O Son of Spirit! Noble have I created thee, yet thou hast abased thyself. Rise then unto that for which thou wast created."

-- Baha'u'llah, Hidden Words, Arabic #22

We believe the basic noble and spiritual nature of man must be recognized and 'spiritual principles' or 'human values' are the basis for solving the problems humanity is facing. As the Universal House of Justice wrote, in 'A Vision of World Peace', "The essential merit of spiritual principle is that it not only presents a perspective which harmonizes with that which is immanent in human nature, it also produces an attitude, a dynamic, a will, an aspiration, which facilitate the discovery and implementation of practical measures."

We acknowledge that societies are made up of individuals whose personal spiritual development is at the heart of all social dynamics, but the emphasis of this list is less on personal spiritual development and more on "social" i.e. group, community, social systems, and its components. The focus is on how to use the dynamic principles of the Baha'i Faith to : 1. Build a new society in which everyone's welfare and well-being is assured. 2. Alleviating some of the pain of the transition from our current society to this future vision.

Development itself, its definition, its foundation and its direction, is an issue of discussion. 'Abdu'l-Baha stated:

No matter how far the material world advances, it cannot establish the happiness of mankind. Only when material and spiritual civilization are linked and coordinated will happiness be assured. -- Abdul-Baha, Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 109 --

Drawing on statements such as these, the Baha'i view of development incorporates both the material and spiritual advancement of humankind with the explict objective of creating human happiness and 'an ever-advancing civilization.'

Sustainable agriculture is a fundamental component of stable and equitable social and economic systems. Thus agriculture is a major topic of discussion on the noble-creation email discussion group. Some references from the Baha'i Writings on agriculture:

Special regard must be paid to agriculture. Although it hath been mentioned in the fifth place, unquestionably it precedeth the others.

(Tablets of Baha'u'llah, page 90)

The fundamental basis of the community is agriculture, tillage of the soil.
(Promulgation of Universal Peace*, page 217)

Thy letter was received. Praise be to God it imparted the good news of thy health and safety and indicated that thou art ready to enter an agricultural school. This is highly suitable. Strive as much as possible to become proficient in the science of agriculture, for in accordance with the divine teachings the acquisition of sciences and the perfection of arts are considered acts of worship. If a man engageth with all his power in the acquisition of a science or in the perfection of an art, it is as if he has been worshipping God in churches and temples. Thus as thou enterest a school of agriculture and strivest in the acquisition of that science thou art day and night engaged in acts of worship - acts that are accepted at the threshold of the Almighty. What bounty greater than this that science should be considered as an act of worship and art as service to the Kingdom of God.
(Selections ... `Abdu'l-Baha, pages 144-145)

We look forward to learning from you and with you!

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Revised 31 January 1996